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What I really wanted to study, when I first started thinking about college, was ACTING. I wanted to be a star, to be the next Bette Davis or Angela Lansbury. I wrote my Oscar’s acceptance speech; I could see myself sailing elegantly down those red-carpeted stairs in my black velvet dress with the long gloves and sparkling tiara, smiling benignly at all the losers, until I trip on the hemline and go a@()# over teakettle to land in Robert Redford’s lap. At least, that’s what it felt like when my parents said “Nope, acting doesn’t pay a living wage, you need to find something else.” So, I caved. I now have a degree in Broadcast Journalism, a Masters in English and an almost-Masters in History with a little Arts Management certificate thrown in. Life sure is strange.
I joke a lot about being a “perpetual student” – after all, I have been taking classes here at the College since 2006 almost without a pause. But the really cool thing I discovered when I started taking graduate classes in Fall 2006 is that I love the classroom! And I don’t want to stop. I will finish my Masters in History in May (if the gods are willing, and I can complete my thesis) and I think I will maybe look at classes in Public Administration. Or maybe Creative Writing. Heck, I might even take a swing at Computer Science! But what I know is that being in class, meeting the amazing faculty and students that roam the campus here at the College, is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. And helping others to step into this special place called Graduate Education is just icing on the cake!

english graduate


And don’t worry about the whole acting bit – I’ve seldom gone more than six months without doing at least one show, and I’ve even been lucky enough to win a couple of acting awards along the way. In fact, I am going to be in the Flowertown Players’ production of The Importance of Being Earnest at the end of September – you can see for yourself where at least some of my passion lies!!


What is your favorite part about working in the Graduate School?

The office is full of people who are all incredibly hardworking, open-minded, and yet so different from one another, which makes each day in this office exciting.

What inspires you?

Seeing students who thought they could never come to a place like CofC and watching them grow and thrive on campus after graduation.

What does diversity mean to you?

Diversity, to me, means not just recognizing that people come from all different backgrounds and hold different perspectives, but celebrating that fact. Seeing life from a new perspective and allowing that new vision to influence your own life.

Favorite place on campus?

My office is my safe place. It makes me happy.

Any advice for new graduate students?

  • Expect to feel out of place for a bit
  • Recognize that graduate school is a job
  • “Networking” is not just a word for MBAs
  • Recognize that graduate school should not be your entire life
  • Build an online profile
  • Share what you know with others
  • Spread your wings and soar!
under: Academics, Accountancy, Arts Management, Business Administration, Charleston, Communication, Computer & Information Sciences, Early Childhood Education, Education, Elementary Education, English, Environmental Studies, ESOL, Fine Arts, Gifted & Talented, Graduate Programs, Graduate School Office, Graduate Student Association, Guest Bloggers, Historic Preservation, History, Languages, Marine Biology, Mathematics, Middle Grades Education, Peace Corps Masters International, Performing Arts, Professional Development, Prospective Students, Public Administration, Science & Math for Teachers, Special Education, Statistics, Teaching, Learning, and Advocacy, Urban and Regional Planning

Aaron Holly-Working for the sake of the City

Posted by: McCrayCC | August 10, 2016 | No Comment |


Aaron Holly ’16  graduated from the University of Charleston, South Carolina, with dual Master degrees in Environmental Science and Public Administration with an additional Graduate Certificate in Urban and Regional Planning. Aaron started working for the City of Charleston as a City Planner in May 2016. For his position, he works on a variety of projects for the City such as bike and pedestrian planning initiatives including assisting in a City study on the potential economic impacts of the Legare Bridge bike and pedestrian path and updating City zoning maps and database information. His time in graduate school helped to prepare him for working in local government, particularly aspects of working multiple stakeholders including representatives from other local municipalities, non-profit organizations, and private businesses. For his final masters project, Aaron completed an academic internship with Charleston Moves and the Coastal Conservation League examining areas with high densities of bike and pedestrian collisions in Downtown Charleston. In his spare time, Aaron enjoys biking, running, cooking, watching the Olympics, and helping to ensure a high handicap for his old bowling team.




under: Uncategorized


The new Master of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing at the College of Charleston is pleased to announce the first recipients of the Woodfin Scholarship, Nick Plasmati and Laura Cannon.  The two $5000 scholarships will be awarded annually to the best creative writing portfolios submitted by students accepted into the MFA program.

The Woodfin Scholarships are made possible through the extraordinary generosity, vision and good will of an alum of the College of Charleston, and are designed to attract the very best writers from across the country to come study writing at the College in its new graduate program in creative writing. Each year, the Woodfin Scholarships will be awarded to the incoming writers whose creative portfolios show the highest merit. These awards, which will go to offset tuition costs, will be available for renewal for the second year of study as well.

“This is an extraordinary moment in the new life of the MFA,” said program director Bret Lott, “and this incredibly generous gift from our alum is a hallmark in the development of our ability to reward the writers who come to study with us here at the College.”

The College of Charleston’s Master of Fine Arts Program is a two-year degree offering advanced training to students who wish to gain expertise in the writing of poetry and fiction. A unique feature of the program is its two tracks of study: Studio, the traditional track involving workshops and the study of literature; and Arts Management, which combines workshops with courses offered through the College’s graduate program in Arts Management.

“It’s an incredible honor to receive the inaugural Woodfin Scholarship award,” said Nick Plasmati of the good news, “and it is with the sincerest gratitude that I thank all of those involved in making this scholarship possible, not only for supporting individual writers but also for promoting the arts and helping to foster a creative atmosphere in Charleston.” Plasmati, who lives in Foxboro, Massachusetts, is a 2010 graduate of William & Mary, and will soon be moving to the Lowcountry to begin classes in the MFA, where he will be in the program’s Arts Management track.

Nick Plasmati - Woodfin

(Pictured above Nick Plasmati)

Laura Cannon, a 2009 graduate of our very own College of Charleston, is the second recipient. “To say I’m honored to accept the Woodfin Scholarship to aid in my MFA studies is an understatement,” she said. Cannon lives in North Charleston, and is electing to take the program’s Studio track. “I am deeply thankful to all of those who have made this experience possible, and eagerly anticipate what possibilities lie before our class. Thank you, again and again!”


(Pictured above Laura Cannon)

For further information, please feel free to contact Bret Lott, MFA Program Director, at lottb@cofc.edu.

under: Academics, Fine Arts, Fine Arts, Graduate Programs, Graduate School Office, Graduate Student Association

Graduate Student Orientation 2016

Posted by: McCrayCC | July 20, 2016 | No Comment |

Orientation Flyer Summer 2016

To help you prepare for your graduate studies here at the University of Charleston, S.C., we encourage you to attend The Graduate School orientation on Monday August 22, 2016. This event brings together entering students from a wide range of disciplines and provides key information on topics such as campus and community resources, campus health services and health insurance, and life at UCSC from a graduate student perspective.

We look forward to seeing you on August 22 – and to working with you in the years ahead. Our offices are located on the third floor of Randolph Hall. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions about orientation or anything else during your time here at UCSC. (843) 953-5614 or gradstud@cofc.edu.

under: Accountancy, Arts Management, Business Administration, Communication, Graduate Programs, Uncategorized

Alumni Spotlight: Jeremiah Rees

Posted by: Allisyn Miller | June 22, 2016 | No Comment |

Jeremy Rees Photo

Jeremiah Rees completed the Master of Public Administration program from College of Charleston’s Graduate School in December of 2014. He hails from the town of Good Hope, a small farming community near Athens, Georgia. Jeremy was homeschooled throughout his early education and split his undergraduate education between Grace College (Winona Lake, IN) and Regent University (Virginia Beach, VA). He completed his undergraduate education in 2010 with a degree in Organizational Leadership. Mr. Rees has been a member of the United States Army Reserve since April of 2002 and has completed two overseas tours, one to Iraq in 2003-04 and another to Honduras in 2006-07. He has been decorated for military service with the Joint Service Achievement Medal for his work with the Honduran military and has received numerous other awards, commendations, and medals during his time in the Army. He currently operates at the rank of Staff Sergeant.  Jeremy began working with Water Mission in February of 2013 as the Production Supervisor. His primary responsibilities include supervising daily teams of 8-12 volunteers, stock ordering, and international shipping. He has subsequently been promoted to Director of Operations overseeing all of those same activities and coordinates shipping life-saving water treatment equipment to dozens of countries on 6 Continents. Mr. Rees is also responsible for budgeting operations, facilities maintenance, strategic relationships, and coordinating logistics for +4,000 person events.



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Check out these 10 great tips every graduate student should do over the summer:

1. Get to know the faculty

Graduate programs are the mecca of expert professionals in your field or industry. Colleges and universities really focus on having incredibly intelligent, influential, and experienced faculty and adjunct professors to train and teach the next generation of professionals in the field. Take some time to Google and research the faculty members in your program–even read some of their scholarly publications and research. Their work may inspire you to study specific topics, and you may even find a mentor or advisor to guide you through your career. Plus, they’ll be impressed if you know about their work!

2. Catch up on current events

Specialized advanced degrees are meant to prepare you and provide practical experience for a career. It wouldn’t be surprising, then, to find that your coursework will tie back to real issues, problems, and topics that are currently happening in your field. Start getting into the routine of checking the news every day–whether it’s online, on television, or even on Twitter–to brush up on current events that could have real implications in your career field.

3. Join a professional organization or association

Graduate school should be considered the beginning of your professional career, where you’ll be regarded as a specialist or scholar in your particular field. You’ll be exposed to a large network of other professionals and have access to tons of resources to help you excel in your career. Every profession has a related association or membership club that provides professionals and students with relevant tools. Some are free to join, but most have a membership fee.

4. Subscribe to industry publications and newsletters
While you’re scoping out the right professional associations to join, add yourself to the mailing lists of other relevant websites and blogs to stay on top of industry trends, issues and even potential job opportunities.

5. Work on your resume/CV and set up a LinkedIn page

Many graduate programs will require that you complete an internship or have relevant work experience in order to graduate. Most programs even have a “Resume Book” for employers to search for qualified candidates from the program. You’ll definitely want to have your resume included in this! Check with the career services office within your school or program to make sure that your resume or CV is formatted according to industry standards. You should also create a virtual resume through your LinkedIn profile – another resource that employers use to seek candidates.

6. Polish your professional side

Now that you want to be taken seriously as a professional, you’ll want to ditch your collegiate persona. Whether you were the campus jock, the popular sorority girl, or the fun-loving socialite in undergrad, you’ll want to update your Facebook page and even consider creating a more polished Twitter account. People in your new professional network will certainly Google you and inevitably find your social network profiles. Make sure those profiles speak well for you!

7. Network with your cohort

“Cohort.” Fancy, right? You’re in graduate school. You get to use words like this now.

For the next year or two that you’ll spend in your graduate program, you’ll be surrounded by the same eager, ambitious, and tortured faces. You and your classmates will be going through #thestruggle together; studying for exams; working together on group projects; calculating what your weighted grade will be; and navigating the many challenges you’ll encounter in grad school. This is not the time to be shy. These folks will not only be your friends in school, but they’ll be long-term professional contacts whom you’ll keep in touch with long after graduation.

8. Get organized for next semester

Graduate school will not only demand your time and energy inside the classroom, it will take up your time outside of the classroom. You’ll want to take full advantage of guest lecture series, attend helpful workshops, travel to conferences, take on an assistantship with a faculty member, fulfill an internship or job requirement, join a student club or professional association… oh yea, and study! It’s best to get organized as early as possible. Get started with a day planner or calendar and use it diligently. There are also really helpful websites and mobile applications that can keep you organized when you’re on the move. My favorite apps to use are Evernote and Google Calendar.

9. Scout out your favorite study spot

Full disclosure: you may have already found out that graduate school is not like undergrad. In undergrad, it may have been easy for you to get by on last-minute studying, or you may have been able to talk your way out of a penalty on a late assignment. But graduate school shows no mercy. In fact, for a lot of programs, grades that are lower than a C are considered failing!

Take graduate school seriously; it’s not worth your money or time to slack here. You’ll want to get into a routine of studying regularly. Find a place where you’ll be able to concentrate on your work and not fall asleep. For some folks it’s at home, for others it’s a library. Or maybe it’s a nearby coffee shop with free wifi. Wherever it is, find it, and start calling it “home.”

10. Relax and enjoy the summertime

By enrolling in graduate school, you have already determined that a quality education is important to you. So be ready for the tough stuff. Once next semester starts, you may have to again sacrifice your social life and free time, but trust me, it’ll be well worth it. Before classes begin, find some time to enjoy the summer – take a trip, check out a summer concert, hang out with friends and family (before you put yourself in exile), and reward yourself for making it this far. You’ve signed up for another year of schooling – something that most people wouldn’t even dare to accomplish!

Happy Summer!


under: Accountancy, Arts Management, Business Administration, Charleston, Communication, Computer & Information Sciences, Early Childhood Education, Education, Elementary Education, English, Environmental Studies, ESOL, Gifted & Talented, Graduate School Office, Graduate Student Association, Guest Bloggers, Historic Preservation, History, Holiday, Housing, Jobs & Careers, Languages, Marine Biology, Mathematics, Memorial, Middle Grades Education, Peace Corps Masters International, Performing Arts, Public Administration, Science & Math for Teachers, Special Education, Statistics, Teaching, Learning, and Advocacy, Urban and Regional Planning

Graduate Spotlight: Abbie Cain

Posted by: McCrayCC | May 6, 2016 | No Comment |


Please join us in welcoming Ms. Abbie Cain to the M.S. in Environmental Studies (MES) program. Abbie is our new Program Coordinator and Director of the Student Garden at Dixie Plantation. Abbie has been at the College of Charleston since 2014, previously in the Center for International Education. Prior to that, she held various positions at her alma mater, Northern Kentucky University. Her undergraduate degree is in Economics and International Studies and she received her Master’s in Public Administration in 2012. She lives with her husband and two dogs in Mt. Pleasant. Stop by or email Abbie at any time – Abbie will be splitting her time between the MES program office at 284-B King Street and in the School of Sciences and Math Building (room 254). Abbie is excited to join the MES program and would like to stress that her door is open to students both inside and outside of our program. We are excited to have her as the Coordinator for Environmental Studies!

under: Academics, Award, Charleston, Deadline, Diversity, Environmental Studies, Events, Graduate Programs, Graduate School Office, Graduate Student Association, Professional Development, Prospective Students, Public Administration


Maggie Harrelson Dangerfield is the Strategic Planning and Sustainability Officer for the Charleston County School District. Born and raised in Charleston, Maggie is a graduate of Clemson University with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Economics, and a graduate of the College of Charleston with a Master in Environmental Studies, a Master in Public Administration, and a Certificate in Urban and Regional Planning. Prior to joining the District, Maggie worked as an environmental consultant in the private sector and as a research specialist at SCDHEC’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management on a multi-institutional NOAA grant. During her time with the District, Maggie has focused her efforts on expanding the District’s waste management program, school-based green initiatives, and environmental protocols. In particular, over the last three years, Maggie has developed a school-based commercial composting program in 48 schools for which EPA Region 4 recently recognized the District for its outstanding achievement in food waste prevention and diversion in 2015. In addition to operational and programmatic sustainability, Maggie also focuses her efforts on strategic planning, having recently transitioned positions within the organization to assist with the facilitation of the District’s new five-year strategic plan. Outside of her professional life, Maggie enjoys cooking, traveling, the beach, and hiking. She currently resides in Mount Pleasant with her husband, James, and their Brittany Spaniel, Grady. Maggie is also a LEED AP BD+C accredited professional.


under: Academics, Award, Charleston, Graduate Programs, Graduate School Office, Graduate Student Association, Guest Bloggers, Jobs & Careers, Networking, Public Administration, Uncategorized, Urban and Regional Planning


As an undergraduate at the College of Charleston, I knew I would miss the beautiful campus and amazing faculty upon graduation. So, I was thrilled to discover in early spring 2015 that the College of Charleston offered a variety of graduate programs through the University of Charleston, SC. I jumped at the chance to apply to the Masters in Communication (MCOM) Program because I knew I wanted to pursue health communication. Because I already had a research background and was a research assistant on the Women’s Health Research Team (WHRT), an interdisciplinary research team at the College, I knew that continuing my education at the University of Charleston, S.C. would allow me to pursue my passion for health communication and women’s health research. The mentors from the WHRT really helped solidify my decision to remain at the College to continue working toward improving the health of women and girls in the community and in South Carolina.

I love how close-knit the MCOM faculty and students are and I have made some incredibly talented friends. Charleston has always been like a second home to me. Sincethe age of two, I have been coming to Charleston with my family. Charleston has become even more like a home because of the relationships I have formed while at the University of Charleston, S.C. It is such an honor to receive the ExCEL Award for Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year because I feel so lucky to be here pursuing my graduate studies in such a meaningful and lovely place.



under: Uncategorized

Alum Spotlight: Rebecca Kukulka

Posted by: McCrayCC | March 28, 2016 | No Comment |

RCKukulka Photo

As a military child growing up, I lived all over the country and the world. We came to Charleston every summer and Christmas to visit my grandparents and I was determined to live here. In 2003, I got my wish and came to College of Charleston as a freshman. I set my curriculum path toward working in pediatrics because I knew I wanted to work with children. I completed my undergraduate degree in biology in 2007 and began working in a pediatric dentist office to gain experience. I finally realized that education was my passion and returned to The College for my masters in teaching in elementary education. I graduated in December of 2010 and began substitute teaching in local private schools. I later taught third, fourth, and fifth grades in a Title I, Dorchester District II school. English Language Arts was my primary role for all grades and I love sharing the joy of reading with students. These years included teaching in traditional classrooms, single-gender classrooms, and gifted and talented classrooms. I am currently employed as a nanny while working to build a network of clientele for private tutoring. My time and experience at College of Charleston is invaluable to me, and I am grateful to the dedicated professors and our very unique school in the heart of Charleston.


under: Academics, Early Childhood Education, Education, Elementary Education, Graduate School Office, Graduate Student Association, Networking, News

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