USC: System Affairs and Extended University

Information for specific audiences:


Matthew Wilkie


Matthew Wilkie is currently serving as Chair of the Association of Carolina Emerging Scholars Board, board member for the SC National Association of Social Workers, and  committee member for the SC National Association of Social Workers Government Affairs Committee. Matthew earned a Bachelor of Liberal Studies with an emphasis in English and History from the University of South Carolina, and is currently a graduate student in the College of Social Work pursuing a Master of Clinical Social Work emphasizing in Individuals, Families and Groups. Matthew’s undergraduate thesis, entitled Pathway to Failure in the Southern Black Belt: Literacy Issues in Adolescent African American Males, focuses on literacy issues in young African American boys in southern states, and specifically addresses the issue from an English, Historical and Sociological perspective.  Matthew has recently presented his research on “Domestic Violence and Children” at the South Carolina National Association of Social Workers annual symposium. Matthew’s research interests include experiential psychotherapy, and the role of spirituality when treating mental illness. Matthew enjoys singing in his local church choir and ministering through song. Matthew is a licensed credentialed minister in the Church of God (Cleveland, TN).



Hayes Hampton


Dr. Hayes Hampton is Associate Professor of English and Chair of the Division of Arts and Letters at the University of South Carolina Sumter. He earned his Ph.D. in Composition and Rhetoric from the University of South Carolina, and teaches first-year writing, business writing, and various literature courses, including courses on African American literature and spiritual literature. Dr. Hampton’s research concerns mystical texts and how their authors use language to create sacred space.






Brandi Ham


Brandi Ham earned double Associates degrees in Arts and Sciences from the University of South Carolina and is currently continuing to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in English, Sociology, and Religion from the University of South Carolina. She is the President of USC Union’s Literary Club and has recently published the first copy of a literary journal on campus titled Spillage. She is a member of the Student Government Association and she is a committee member for the University Reads Program. She recently was awarded the first Magellan Scholar Award for the University of South Carolina at Union campus basing the research on Infanticide.




Melissa Makala


Melissa Makala specializes in nineteenth and early twentieth-century British literature and teaches at the University of South Carolina, Aiken. Her essays have appeared in English Studies, English Language Notes,Persuasions: The Jane Austen Journal, The North Carolina Literary Review, Notes and Queries, The CEA Critic, and Gothic Studies. In 2011, she completed the first scholarly edition of Alice Perrin’s East of Suez (1901) for Victorian Secrets Publishing, and her book, Women’s Ghost Literature in Nineteenth-Century Britain (2013), is forthcoming from the University of Wales Press. She recently completed a chapter on the Anglo-Indian ghost stories of Bithia Mary Croker and Alice Perrin in the collection, White Women and British India, and is currently working on a project which examines mixed-race relationships in the novels of Alice Perrin.



Nick Lawrence

  • NICHOLAS LAWRENCE is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of South Carolina Lancaster.  His areas of scholarly interest include early and nineteenth-century American literature, literature of the American West, and Science Fiction literature.  He has published peer-reviewed articles on Francis Parkman’s Oregon Trail and Herman Melville’s Typee.   His essay, “‘I wont tell you you can save yourself because you cant’: The Western Formula and the Removal of the Hero in No Country for Old Men and Blood Meridian,” appeared in Critical Insights: Cormac McCarthy, ed. David Cremean (Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 2012):  234-254.   Dr. Lawrence has also edited, and contributed an essay to, a special issue of South Central Review, forthcoming in May 2013, entitled “Anti-Imperialist Traditions in U.S. Literature and Culture.”


Julie Morris
Julie Morris is director of the Office of Undergraduate Research at the University of South Carolina. The office promotes discovery for all disciplines on all USC system campuses by assisting faculty in identifying students to work with, helping students find projects, awarding grants for student research such as the Magellan Scholar program, and sponsoring opportunities for students to showcase their accomplishments at events such as Discovery Day and the Carolina Emerging Scholars Conference. Julie received her BS in biochemistry/biotechnology from Michigan State University in 1996 and her MS in genetic counseling from the University of South Carolina in 1998. She has been with USC since 2000 and started the Office of Undergraduate Research in 2004.



Denise Shaw
Dr. Denise Shaw is an Associate Professor of English and Women’s Studies at the University of South Carolina – Union.  Her areas of specialty include Southern literature and the 20th century American novel. Her first book, The Rape Narrative in the American South (Mellen, 2007), explores the proliferation of sexual violence in modern Southern literature.  Her most recent book, Julia May and Virginia:  The Making of a Modern Southern Belle (UP of the South, 2011), explores a family’s social experiences during the first half of the 20th century in Americus, Georgia.  Shaw’s most recent article, “Sexual Violence in Literature,” examines how sexual violence figures not only in literature but also in American popular culture.  She has also been published in Hollins Critic, African American History Reference Series, Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Women Writers, Infanticide In Its Global Context, Cleave, and Journal for the Association of Research on Mothering.  In addition to her scholarly pursuits, teaching classes in American and Southern literature and Women’s Studies, and participating in community service (she has worked with the Union County Pregnancy Center the past few years), she is currently mentoring student for a Megellan Scholar’s grant. Shaw has also been awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award at USCU.


Michael Sumner


Michael Sumner is a student at the University of South Carolina currently seeking a Bachelor of Arts degree in General English with a minor in History. Michael graduated with honors from the University of South Carolina Union with an associate of arts degree. Michael desires to pursue graduate studies in Literature or History. Michael’s area of expertise is mostly directed towards American Culture. Michael also enjoys studying the inspiration, impact and creative fiction.







Dr. Mary Hjelm


Dr. Mary Hjelm is a tenured Associate Professor of English with the Extended University in the University of South Carolina’s Palmetto College.  She teaches the required courses for the Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree and the Bachelor of Organizational Leadership degree through Palmetto Programs.  Occasionally, she also teaches in her specialty of Shakespearean Drama and Early Modern Literature.  She graduated with a BA in English from Brigham Young University, an MA in English from Northern Arizona University, and a PhD in English from Washington State University.






Elisa Gonzalez
Originally from Florida, Elisa Gonzalez moved to South Carolina with her family after her husband was stationed at Shaw AFB.  She began attending USC Sumter in the spring of 2009 with an interest in studying English. She has received the Arts & Letters Outstanding Student Award, several USC Sumter scholarships, Spouse Club scholarships, and is a member of the South Carolina Golden Key International Honour Society. Elisa currently attends Washington State University and has been awarded a “pass with distinction” for the WSU Senior Writing Requirement.  She is on track to graduate Magna Cum Laude in the Spring of 2012 with a degree in Literary Studies & is currently hoping to be accepted to the University of Washington School of Law for the Fall 2012 Semester.




Geordan Geddings


Geordan Geddings is currently serving as the Secretary of the Carolina Emerging Scholars Conference. He is pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and also a Bachelors or Arts in Religious Studies. Geordan began his college career on the USC Satellite campus of Sumter and transferred in the Fall of 2011 to the Columbia campus. An avid reader, his favorite genres are Southern Literature and Religious/Spiritual. Geordan is honored to serve on the Conference board.









Maureen Anderson, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of English at University of South Carolina, Salkehatchie. Her current research includes American literature and Women’s Studies. Her most recent project includes examining how the feminine is represented in literature and folklore. Most recently, her  “Phillis Wheatley’s Dido” appeared in New Essays on Phillis Wheatley (Univ. Tenn Press, 2012).









Dr. Steve Lowe
Born in Waycross, Georgia, Steve Lowe grew up there and many other places before his family settled north of Charleston, South Carolina in the small community of Ladson. Lowe was not terribly fond of the public schools of Berkeley County, nor they of him, so after one particularly bad day, his parents decided that despite their limited means, private school was the only option. After spending half (not counting kindergarten) of his school years in private school (despite the last one at a second-rate segregation academy), he thought he could hack college pretty well, but a dose of serious education in the College of Charleston's Honors Program disabused him of that notion, although he did go on to graduate from that institution with a degree in History (and quite close to minors in Political Science and Economics). A post-graduation trip to Oregon by car (through Texas and California, and back through Nebraska and Illinois, as well as all the other connected states) demonstrated to his satisfaction that South Carolina was home enough. After all, that's where his stuff was. A few more months of bumming around and only half-heartedly looking for work could mean only one thing: Grad School! Applications were written, tests were taken, and visits to campuses (well, really only one, because a friend just happened to be heading up to Clemson) were made. Clemson took him and to his eternal gratitude, turned him into a decent student and a half-decent scholar. While there, he met his lovely wife-to-be and after graduation, they moved to Michigan to attend Michigan State University, where he became a decenter student and perhaps somewhat more than half-decent scholar. Six cold years in Michigan (the summers are really quite nice, but not many were spent there) and back to the Southland they came, Ph.D.'s not yet in hand. But jobs were waiting, and their first child was already a year old. Two completed Ph.D.'s and another child later, the happy family still reside in the Greenville area. Lowe has taught at so many colleges in the Upstate that it’s almost easier to list the ones where he hasn’t worked, but neither list is likely to be of interest to anyone reading this. If anyone is interested, please send $5.00 (per list) and a self-addressed envelope to Lowe at USC Union. He’ll cover the return postage. Lowe started working for the University of South Carolina in Greenville in 2002 and became the Academic Dean at USC Union in 2009. Since July 2010, he has also been the Interim Dean at that campus. In addition to spending way more time writing his own bio than he should, Lowe serves (since 2002) as co-editor of the South Carolina Historical Association’s annual Proceedings and is working on a book on the legal history of the civil rights movement in South Carolina. He’s also on facebook, twitter, and Google+, none of which he updates very often, and never with pictures of cats, no matter how cute they are.











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