BGS Team

Faculty and Staff Leaders

Dr. Trisha Folds-Bennett
Dean of the Honors College and Associate Professor of Psychology

I received my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in PsycDr. Folds-Bennethology from Wake Forest University and my PhD in Developmental Psychology from UNC-Chapel Hill. I have taught at the College of Charleston since 1990 and have been in the Honors College since 2006, first as Associate Dean and now as Dean. My research has focused primarily on understanding how the mind works and how it develops from early childhood to adulthood. I enjoy teaching courses in developmental psychology, cross-cultural psychology and community-based research. I’ve had the pleasure of taking students to France and Honduras, as well as to research conferences in the United States. In the Honors College, I helped to establish the first-year program, the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards, the William Aiken Fellows Society, and most recently the E-LLC. I love my role in Honors and look forward to working with all of you!


Dr. Brooke Falk Permenter
Faculty Fellow, Adjunct Lecturer, Director of Student Engagement

I received my B.A. in Art History from the College of Charleston Honors College in 2006. I completed my PhD in Art History at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. My research focuses primarily on late medieval religious conflict as it is represented in fifteenth century manuscripts and printed books, but my true passion is in using art history to teach students how to understand the world and its history through vision. I teach the Western Civilization Colloquium and several Honors Interdisciplinary courses in the Honors College, and I also organize lots of events for our living-learning community in Berry and beyond. The Honors College has been a hugely rewarding part of my life, and I think it is the perfect place to spend my days – working, learning, and growing with all of you!


Mr. Robby Maynor
Assistant Director of Student Engagement
I received my M.A. in English from the joint program at the College of Charleston and the Citadel in 2017. As Assistant Director of Student Engagement, I assist in the coordination of BGS and other on-campus activities for Honors students. I also direct the Honors Engaged program, which fosters meaningful partnerships between Honors students and the Charleston community. I am looking forward to welcoming another group of students to the Honors College, the broader CofC campus, and  the greater Charleston community.



Dr. Elizabeth Meyer-Bernstein
Associate Dean of the Honors College, Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities, and Associate Professor of Biology

Meyer-B Bio PicI am an Associate Professor in Biology and a faculty member in the Neuroscience Program. I enjoy outdoor pursuits such as boating, gardening and relaxing with my family.





Dr. Bryan Ganaway
Faculty Fellow, Director of Academic Advising for the Honors College, and Director of the International Scholars Program

I received my Ph.D. in Modern European History from the University of Illinois in 2003.  I publish on Modern Germany and the world wars. I teach Honors Western Civilization and upper-level classes for History and International Studies. My two young daughters (Mila 9, Lydia 6) keep me young and hopeful, but they seem to have the unfortunate side effect of making me go bald at an exponentially increasing rate.



Dr. Anton Vander Zee
Faculty Fellow, Assistant Professor of English, and Director of Nationally Competitive Awards

Anton1I received my Ph.D. in English from Stanford University in 2012, and I am currently Assistant Professor of English at the College of Charleston and Faculty Fellow in the Honors College, where I also direct the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards and help oversee the Honors First-Year Experience. I have taught students around the world, from Singapore and Siberia, to Stanford University and Stephens College. I’m always excited to meet a new group of Honors students and to help them develop the tools, knowledge, and reflective space they need to succeed at the College of Charleston and beyond.


Peer Leaders

TUESDAY @ 9:25

Caroline Greenblatt
Peer Facilitator, Tuesday 9:25

Hey Y’all! I’m a current junior from Dallas, Texas, majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing, and minoring in sociology. In the future, I hope to get a doctorate in English and teach high school! In addition to being a peer facilitator, I am also involved in Kappa Delta Sorority and the Charleston 40 tour guides.. In my free time, I love to read books, bake cakes and other goodies, and cheer on the Dallas Cowboys! My life long goals are to own a 40-acre ranch and open a no-kill dog shelter on it and to become a novelist!


Renee Fraley
Peer Facilitator, Tuesday 9:25

Hi everyone! I’m Renee from Charlotte, North Carolina and I’m a junior majoring in International Business and minoring in Business Language in Spanish. Besides being a PF, I’m a Charleston 40 tour guide and member of the William Aiken Fellows Society. I spent last semester studying abroad in London and the summer interning in Germany. Outside of BGS, you can find me at the beach, petting every dog around Charleston, or watching Friends. I can’t wait to meet you all in the fall and help you get involved at the College!


TUESDAY @10:50

Kevin O’Dell
Peer Facilitator, Tuesday 10:50

I am a senior double-majoring in Political Science and International Studies with a concentration in Asia. After spending time working and studying in China last year, I am excited to return to the BGS team for my second year as a PF. Aside from my studies, I take great pride in serving as a Co-Chief of Staff for NYC’s National High School Model United Nations (NHSMUN) conference. While in Charleston, my activities range from part-time work in the Center for Student Learning and the REACH program to going out for nachos with my best friends. I cannot wait to meet everyone soon, see y’all then!


Jake Brown
Peer Facilitator, Tuesday 10:50

Hello everyone!! My name is Jake Brown and I am a sophomore from Connecticut. I am currently doubling majoring in Spanish and Biology, and double minoring in Linguistics and Political Science. Besides being a PF for the College, I am part of Student Government Association as an Executive Initiative Director, and serve on the Honor Board. I love to travel and am planning to study abroad in Spain this upcoming spring semester. Along with traveling, I love to watch and play sports, especially soccer, go to the beach, and just have a good time with friends. I look forward to meeting the Class of 2022 and helping them throughout their first semester!!



Madison McCormick
Peer Facilitator, Tuesday 10:50
Hey guys! My name is Madison McCormick, and I’m a sophomore from Lancaster, South Carolina. I’m an International Business major with a minor in Asian Studies. My focus is China, and this past summer I studied Chinese politics for a month in Shanghai. Other than being a peer facilitator, I volunteer with Reading Partners, and I’m a member of the Hospitality and Tourism management club here on campus. In my free time, you’ll find me in one of the many nooks and crannies on campus catching up on my reading, enjoying the art Charleston has to offer, or having a hot chocolate and movie night with friends. This will be my first year being a peer facilitator on the BGS team, and I can’t wait to get to know the Class of 2022!

TUESDAY @12:15

Megan Minchak
Peer Facilitator, Thursday 12:15

Hi everyone! I’m Megan and I am a senior here at the Honors College. I’m from Blackwood, New Jersey and am majoring in Public Health on a pre-med. track. Aside from being a Peer Facilitator, I work as a Writing Lab Consultant at the Writing Lab in the CSL. I am also involved in AED (CofC’s medical fraternity), Public Health Society, the Women’s Health Research Team, and Campus Outreach. In my spare time, I love to spin, enjoy Charleston’s amazing food, listen to podcasts, and volunteer  at a local nonprofit health clinic in North Charleston. I can’t wait to meet all of you and hope you love CofC as much as I do!!


Patrick Smith
Peer Facilitator, Thursday 12:15

Hey there! I’m Patrick Smith, and I am from the small town of Clover, South Carolina. I am a Senior majoring in Biology and minoring in Psychology. Besides having the opportunity to teach you all, I am a part of an amazing acapella group called the Chucktown Trippintones, I am a C40 tour guide, I partake in research at MUSC, I am a pre-health peer mentor and I am the director of Charleston Miracle (FTK)! At the College, I have been able to take advantage of two study abroad programs — a summer term in San Salvador, Bahamas and a semester term in Belfast, Northern Ireland. I have had such a great experience so far at CofC so I hope I can help you enjoy your individual journey as much as I have enjoyed mine. Let’s have a great year!


TUESDAY @ 1:40

Aika Ishimori
Peer Facilitator, Tuesday 1:40

Hi guys! My name is Aika and I am a Junior in the Honors College, majoring in Religious Studies and double minoring in Geology and Studio Art. This summer, I worked as an intern at a local church in Irmo, helping with interfaith projects and activities for youth and adults. This will be my second year as a Peer Facilitator, and my third year of mentoring at Allegro Charter School of Music. Starting this Fall, I will be one of their liaisons for the Honors College. I am also the founding President of the CofC Kendo Club. We started back in January, and we practice Japanese fencing. (It’s great stress relief, come to a class!!) I’m looking forward to meeting the class of 2022!
Erika Golden
Peer Facilitator, Tuesday 1:40

Hey everyone! My name is Erika and I’m a sophomore from the Boston area, Massachusetts. I am double majoring in International Studies and Political Science with a dream to work for the United Nations some day. Aside from being a peer facilitator, I am also conducting research on campus alongside one of my professors about how urban populations view climate change, and how one’s politics affects their view of the topic. In my free time, you’ll find me hanging out at the local coffee shops, walking around the city, or soaking up the sun at the beach. I can’t wait to welcome the class of 2022!

Mikayla Suggs
Peer Facilitator, Tuesday 1:40

Hi y’all! My name is Mikayla Suggs, and I am a Sophomore in the Honors College from Florence, South Carolina. Right now, I am majoring in Special Education with a concentration in mental disabilities and minoring in Music. After teaching, I plan to go back to school and get my doctorate in psychology to study the effects of music on the brain. Other organizations that I am a part of on campus are the Bride Program, Greek Life, and Teaching Fellows. I also have an amazing tutoring job that came from being a part of Honors Engaged! Besides working or being at school, you can always find me binge watching a Netflix series or looking at the kitties at Pounce. I am so excited to take on this next year with the class of 2022!



Olivia Rothstein
Peer Facilitator, Thursday 9:25

Hey everyone! My name is Olivia and I am a current sophomore from Gainesville, Florida. I am a double major in Political Science and Historic Preservation and Community Planning. In addition to being a PF for the College, I am an Executive Initiative Director for the Student Government Association and President if College Democrats. I also spend much of my time during the week mentoring middle to high-school aged students at Kids on Point and working at the Political Science Department. In my free time, you can find me watching baseball, reading a book on the beach, FaceTiming with my two dogs Walter and Lizzie, or traveling any chance I get. I can’t wait to meet all of you and help in any way I can throughout this first semester at CofC.


Caroline Reece
Peer Facilitator, Thursday 9:25


Hey everyone! My name is Caroline Reece and I am a sophomore from Columbia, South Carolina. I am a Political Science major with a minor in Environmental and Sustainability studies, hoping to go into environmental law. Other than being a peer facilitator, I have an internship with Plastic Pollution Solutions in the Charleston area and I am involved in the College Democrats club on campus. In my free time I love to read any book I can get my hands on, go to concerts, watch documentaries, go to the beach and take walks around the beautiful Charleston area! I am looking forward to getting to know the class of 2022!


Mary Britt McDonald
Peer Facilitator, Thursday 9:25

Hello everyone! My name is Mary Britt McDonald, and I am a sophomore in the Honors College from Stevens Point, Wisconsin. I am currently a Biochemistry and International Studies double major hoping to pursue a career in medicine. This past May, I had the opportunity to visit Ghana to learn about development and democracy through the International Scholars Program here. Following this with a Jane Austen summer course at Magdalen College, Oxford has been a travel lover’s dream, widening my eyes to foreign cultures. Alongside my Peer Facilitator role, I am a member of CofC Crew, a Classroom Mentor with Charleston Hope, and a volunteer at Roper Hospital. Running, cooking, exploring Charleston with friends, and savoring a good cuppa tea are among my favorite pastimes. This is my first year with the BGS team and I am eager to welcome the Class of 2022 to CofC!


THURSDAY @ 10:50

Regina Day
Peer Facilitator, Thursday 10:50

Hey guys! My name is Regina Day, and I am a Senior in the Honors College from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. I am majoring in Public Health, with aspirations to attend PA school after graduation. Other than serving as a Peer Facilitator for BGS, I am involved with AED, the Women’s Health Research Team, Dance Alliance, and the CofC EMS. Besides from living in Charleston (the greatest city in the world), I also love taking barre classes, eating chocolate, and watching whale documentaries. I am really excited to return to the BGS team and am looking forward to getting to know the Class of 2022!



Samantha Czwalina
Peer Facilitator, Thursday 10:50

Hey everyone! My name is Samantha and I’m a sophomore from Greenville, South Carolina. I am a pre-med student double majoring in Biology and Anthropology. In my free time you can usually find me at the beach or studying with Starbucks in the library. I am involved with CofC EMS, work with SSMB, have experience as a residential assistant, and am an ELLC ambassador. In my free time I love to cook and try new restaurants, spend time with friends, read, and binge watch all the best Netflix shows. I’m so excited to meet all of you and I can’t wait to help you explore all the opportunities that College of Charleston has to offer. See you soon Class of 2022!



Jenny Nankoua
Peer Facilitator, Thursday 10:50

Hi everyone! My name is Jenny Nankoua and I’m from Lexington South Carolina. I’m currently a sophmore at the college and I’m majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry. I hope to get into the medical field in the future. Along with being a peer facilitator, I’m also involved with Campus Outreach and I’m a volunteer at MUSC. During my free time I enjoy baking and exploring new places. I’m excited to get to know the incoming class of 2022 this year!


THURSDAY @ 12:15

Garrett Smith
Peer Facilitator, Thursday 12:15

My name is Garrett Smith, and I am a Junior in the Honors College from Clover, South Carolina. I am a Biology major, and hope to pursue a future career in the medical field. Besides being a Peer Facilitator for BGS, I am a Charleston 40 tour guide, I sing with the Chucktown Trippintones, and I do volunteer research at MUSC. I have also taken advantage of the wonderful study abroad programs that are offered at CofC. Two summers ago, I studied in Panama, and last Spring, I studied abroad in Belfast. While traveling has been amazing, I am definitely glad to be back in Charleston this semester. This will be my second year working with the BGS team, and I am excited to get to know the Class of 2022!


Nina Hayes
Peer Facilitator, Thursday 12:15

Hey! My name is Nina Hayes and I’m a sophomore in the Honors College from Amherst Massachusetts . I am a double major in Finance and Economics. Besides being a PF, I am involved in my sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, I am an officer for the Women in Business club, and I’m on the club volleyball team. When I’m not at school, I work as a summer camp counselor in the Downer state forest in Vermont. In my free time, you can find me at the beach, watching some Boston sports, or hanging with friends. I can’t wait for you guys to come and see how great our beautiful school is!!


Ben Sackler
Peer Facilitator, Thursday 12:15

Hello everyone! I am Ben Sackler, a junior in the Honors College, from Chappaqua, New York. This year will be my first year as a Peer Facilitator, and I couldn’t be more excited to get started! I am most excited to show the CofC class of 2022 what a special place the College of Charleston truly is. I am majoring in Sociology and minoring in Environmental Studies. My involvement on the CofC campus thus far has included the College of Charleston Outdoors Club, of which I will be co-president this upcoming year; the Chucktown Trippintones, a co-ed a cappella group on campus; and Alternative Break, for which I led a trip to an Environmental Literacy center this past Spring Break. I am fun, goofy, and, of course, serious when necessary, so I hope all first-year students feel comfortable coming to me for advice on college-related topics! BGS introduced me to many things on campus, and I am looking forward to providing these resources to new students. CofC 2022, get pumped!








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