The World Needs Visionaries
Claflin Comes to Town with  First  Stop in Walterboro 
The Claflin University Board of Visitors will host a reception, "Claflin Comes To Town," on Thursday, April 26 at 6:30 p.m. at New Life United Methodist Church, 763 Green Pond Highway in Walterboro, S.C. Chaired by Thelma Hudson, '73, the Board of Visitors has created this event to share information about the University and publically launch its special gifts campaign for FOCUS100 Scholarships.

The program will feature musical performances, a University update by President Henry N. Tisdale, a presentation by a FOCUS100 Scholarship recipient, refreshments and fellowship.

The FOCUS100 Scholarship Fund, established in 2004 by the Board of Visitors, provides a crucial financial bridge that allows students to fulfill the dream of graduating from Claflin University. It also helps to eliminate the stress and heartbreak for students who are forced to terminate degree achievement when personal resources are exhausted. 

FOCUS100 Scholarships have made a big impact. In fact, in the past decade, the retention rate for first-year students - a critically important indicator of student success - has enjoyed a marked increase.

Energized by this progress, but fully aware that the need for more assistance is great, the Board of Visitors has set a goal of raising $1 million in five years to ensure that this fund, that has already helped hundreds of students, will continue to be available.

According to a longitudinal study published in 2017 by the National Center for Educational Statistics, the gap between available resources and the cost of college attendance is significant and impacts all but the wealthiest families of first-time college students. In fact, even students whose parents' income falls in the middle quartile (between $34,238 and $61,388) will have an average unmet need of $9,912.
More than 70 percent of Claflin University students are eligible for Pell Grant funding (federal support for low-income students). Most Pell Grant money goes to students with a total family income below $20,000.
Claflin Celebrates the 11th Anniversary of the James and Dorothy Z. Elmore Chapel

Claflin University hosted the 11th Anniversary of the James and Dorothy Z. Elmore Chapel on Sunday, April 22 at 4 p.m. The guest speaker for the anniversary worship service was Bishop L. Jonathan Holston, resident bishop of the South Carolina Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. His message was titled, "Failure is not an Option."

In his greetings, President Henry N. Tisdale spoke about the history of the former chapel, the T. Willis Lewis Chapel, which was dismantled in 1968 in order to build the W.V. Middleton Fine Arts Center. He also recognized contributions of the late Dr. James and Mrs. Dorothy Z. Elmore, of which the current chapel is named. "In 1999, God sent us a special blessing through Mrs. Dorothy Z. Elmore and her later husband, Dr. James Elmore, a former Board of Trustees member," said Dr. Tisdale. In 1999, the Elmores made a $250,000 challenge grant to initiate the fundraising effort for the $3 million edifice. "They did this because like so many other alumni, they remembered the role the chapel had in their spiritual and intellectual development here at Claflin University."

Other special greetings were delivered by Jessica Tolbert, '19, student government president; Dr. Liz Zimmerman Keitt, '70, sister of Mrs. Dorothy Z. Elmore and Mayor Pro Tem for the City of Orangeburg; and Rev. Dr. Frederick N. Yeboah, district superintendent of Orangeburg District of The United Methodist Church. 

Throughout Bishop Holston's message, he reminded the congregation that failure is not an option. He also drew examples from the lives of Moses, David and the woman who washed Jesus' feet. "Jesus said just bring me what you have. Don't bring me what you don't have. Failure isn't an option  when you bring to Jesus what you  have. He takes what you have and gives you no reason for excuse," Bishop Holston said.

Bishop Holston then related the message to the construction of the James and Dorothy Z. Elmore Chapel. "The reason why we are in this place today is because someone said there is no excuse for us not to be able to praise our Lord because a facility was torn down. They made provision for another place and they did it without excuse," he said.

Considered to be the faith hub of the campus, the James and Dorothy Z. Elmore Chapel is one of the most impressive constructions to date. The facility not only serves as a place for worship services or weddings. It is also the educational building for those students who are studying religion and philosophy as well as humanities and social  sciences. The Chapel houses a sanctuary, the office of the University chaplain, as well as classrooms and offices for professors. This crown jewel of the campus was erected debt free.
Claflin Hosts Annual Research Day

From left to right: Ricardo Burke, Kai Cobb, Morgan Reese, Joyla Cobin, Michelle Coyle, Detravious Brinkley, Taaliah Campbell, Amori Washington, Chelsey Williams, Amber Ravenell and Antwayn Green

Claflin University showcased and celebrated its focus on undergraduate research on Thursday, April 19 during its annual Research Day. Students majoring in STEM disciplines and the humanities made oral and poster presentations of their creative, high-impact research .

"Research Day builds on Claflin's tradition of leadership, creativity, and innovation that continues today," said Claflin President Henry N. Tisdale during the opening ceremony. "We created the Visionary Leadership Institute during the 2011-12 academic year and the adoption of the strategic plan -  Claflin LEADS -  which describes Claflin as one of the leading teaching and undergraduate research institutions in the world. They are connected."

The Visionary Leadership Institute strives to be recognized internationally as a center for education, research, and service of globally engaged visionary leaders.  Claflin LEADS is an acronym for Leadership Development, Experiential Learning, Academic Excellence, Diversity and Inclusion, and Student Success.

"The experiential learning in LEADS includes undergraduate research," said Tisdale. "It's a building process and it's all connected.  I thank all of the faculty and staff who have worked so hard to continue the tradition of Research Day." 

Dr. Teresa Chahine, a distinguished researcher and faculty member at Harvard University delivered the keynote address during the opening ceremony.  "Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Leadership" was the theme for this year's event.
Chahine is the social entrepreneurship program leader at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard. Social entrepreneurship, as described by Chahine, is the power of the person to create positive change. She teaches her students how to launch new products, services, or systems to tackle the world's most pressing concerns using evidence-driven, financially viable methods that result in population-level improvements. 
" Social entrepreneurship helps you to examine h ow can society benefits from your research and your role in this process," said Chahine, who described her circuitous journey into public health.

"I started out wanting to be a doctor who would discover the cure for cancer. But I discovered I did not like memorizing information like you are taught in biology and pre-med and I also did not like working in hospitals.  But I did like the idea of helping people. I had to reformulate what I wanted my career to look like. I later returned to my home country of Lebanon to find an entrepreneurial way to create impact. I began working for Alfanar, a venture philanthropy organization that provides tailored financing and critical management support to social enterprises serving marginalized communities."

An awards ceremony concluded Research Day activities.  Winners for oral and poster presentations in STEM and non-STEM research categories are listed below with their faculty mentors. Congratulations to the following winners: 

Oral Presentations - STEM
"A Large-Scale Parameter Study using kPCA in Hyperspectral Imagery"
Michelle Coyle | Mentor: Dr. Nesan Sriskanda
"Defining the Effects of a High Advanced Glycation End Product Diet on Mammary DevelopĀ­ment During Puberty"
Taaliah Campbell | Mentor: Dr. Arezue Boroujerdi
"Metabolic Differences in Cellular Structure of Wheat under Drought Conditions"
Imrana Hassan Salia | Mentor: Dr. Arezue Bourjourdi
Poster Presentations - STEM
"Effects of Diethyl Phthalate on Developing Fetal Brain Neuronal Cell Lines"
Morgan Reese | Mentor: Dr. Omar Bagasra
"Utilizing NMR Metabolomics to Study Alterations in Serum and Urine Metabolomes of Women with Type-1 Diabetes Mellitus During Pregnancy"
Kai Cobb | Mentor: Dr. Charlie Holman
"Investigating the Efficacy of Functionalized Hybrid Gold Nanoparticles as Theranostic PlatĀ­forms in Dialysis Related Amyloidosis and Alzheimer's Disease"
Ricardo Burke | Mentor: Dr. Derrick Swinton
Oral Presentations - Non-STEM
"A Transnational Comparison of U.S. and Australian Education Curriculum and Perspectives"
Amori Washington, Amber Ravenell, and Chelsey Williams | Mentor - Dr. Belinda Wheeler
"Claflin University Summer Arts Camp 2017"
Joyla Cobin, Austin Reynolds | Mentor: Annette Grevious

"Assessing Orangeburg County's Businesses and Citizens to Revitalize the Community"
Detravious Brinkley | Mentor : Dr. Belinda Wheeler

Poster Non-STEM
"Trust of Healthcare Providers Among Rural African Americans"
Taylor Willis | Mentor: Dr. Anisah Bagasra
"The Advantages of Measuring Campus Climate using SurveyMonkey"
Jamellah Scott | Mentor: Dr. Matthew Hiatt
"Preferred Teaching and Assessment Method Mix for Millennials"
Antwayn Green | Mentor : Dr. Abdullah Khan
Claflin President Henry Tisdale Reflects on 25 Years of HBCU Excellence
After the announcement of Dr. Henry Tisdale's retirement, HBCU Digest recorded a podcast interview with Dr. Tisdale. 

Click here to listen to the interview.
Countdown to the 2018 Commencement Convocation

According to the calendar, there are 17 days remaining until the 2018 Commencement Convocation at Claflin University on Saturday, May 12. Please visit the University's website for an outline of all activities including a schedule of events, speakers, Golden Anniversary Class, hotels, directions, and more. The baccalaureate speaker is Rev. Otis Scott Jr., '69, and the commencement speaker is April Ryan.
Employee News
Claflin University head men's basketball coach Ricky Jackson is the National Sports Media Association (NSMA) 2017-2018 Clarence "Big House" Gaines Award recipient as the college basketball coach of the year for Division II. The Gaines Awards will be presented at the 59th annual NSMA Awards banquet on June 25 in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Jackson's teams have made a steady climb during his five years at Claflin. His teams' wins totals have climbed from 10 in his first season to 16, 16, 17 and 26, respectively. He led the Panthers to a share of the 2017 SIAC East Division title and followed that up with this season's SIAC Tournament Championship and a berth in the NCAA Division II Tournament. The Panthers also advanced to the South Regional Semi-final.
In his short time at Claflin, Jackson has also coached several SIAC first and second team members, all-tournament selections, as well as an SIAC Defensive Player of the Year.
Jackson was also named the 2018 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Outstanding Tournament Coach and the BOXTOROW 2017-18 Coach of the Year.
Faculty News
Dr. Anthony Broughton , assistant professor of education, was one of 10 individuals recognized during the 2018 Capital Young Professional (CYP) Awards on April 24 at Senate's End in Columbia, S.C. The program and event was sponsored by Columbia Metropolitan Magazine and the United Way of the Midlands. The event honors young professionals age 35 and under who aspire to make Columbia a strong and thriving community.  

On March 30, Dr. Kodilinye Igwe, professor of art, unveiled two wood sculptures during a ceremony on Friday, March 30, at the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center at Penn State. The sculptures, titled "International Ministries" and "Coming Home" were in honor of his professors and friend and International Christian Fellowship founder, Bill Saxton.  Igwe previously donated sculptures to Penn State in 2005 and 2011.

Dr. Igwe has been on the art faculty at Claflin since 1990, serving as chair of the art department from 1990 to 1998. He earned a Ph.D. in art education from Penn State, a master of arts degree in education at Rhode Island School of Design, and a bachelor of fine arts degree (with distinction) in textiles at the California College of Arts and Crafts.
Alumni Notes
Anthony "Duke" Hallmon, '16, is running as a candidate for Orangeburg County auditor. He is an advisory board member for the OCSD5 Technology Center Business Department, a classroom volunteer for the district, a member of The New Generation of Funeral Service Practitioners Association and the  National Morticians and Funeral Directors Association, recording secretary for the Delta Zeta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, a board member for the I'm Possible Scholarship Fund, and a mentor for Open Minded Mentoring. He is currently employed  with  the Orangeburg County Probate Court and Glover's Funeral Home. MORE

Rev. Larry D. McCutcheon, '72 was honored on Tuesday, April 24, in the Gallery of the South Carolina State House Chambers in Columbia, S.C. for his 45 years of dedicated service to The United Methodist Church and to communities throughout the state of South Carolina. Rev. McCutcheon was joined by legislators, members of his family and congregation, Claflin faculty, staff, students, and alumni for the momentous occasion.

Philana Payton, '12 was recently awarded the University of Southern California's (USC) 2018-2019 Endowed Fellowship. She will join the National Museum of African American History and Culture Media Conservation in Washington, D.C. as a summer media conservation intern. Payton is a Ph.D. candidate at USC's School of Cinematic Arts where she is completing her dissertation titled: "Resistance through Excess: Black Women Performers on the Stage and Screen." Payton was a member of the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College and graduated summa cum laude.

Courtney Person, a 2015 graduate of the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College, has been awarded two prestigious scholarships: the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association (MBLA) Honorable Reginald Lindsay Public Service Award and the Massachusetts Black Women Attorneys Foundation (MBWA) Blanche E. Braxton Bar Scholarship.  Both scholarships are awarded to law students of color who have demonstrated outstanding academic excellence, a commitment to public service, and a dedication to the advancement of minoritized people through the legal process. Person  is now a judicial intern under Justice Kimberly Budd with the Supreme Judicial Court and a law clerk for Morrison Mahoney LLP. She will graduate from New England Law in May and plans to continue her law career in Massachusetts.
Panther Pride
Claflin Men Finish 4th at SIAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships

The Claflin University men's track and field team scored 72 points en route to placing fourth on April 20-22 at the 2018 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Outdoor Track & Field Championships. MORE

Claflin Women Finish 5th at SIAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships

The Claflin University women's track and field team scored 58 points including several top five finishes en route to placing fifth on April 20-22 at the 2018 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Outdoor Track & Field Championships. MORE

Claflin Softball Sweeps Benedict in SIAC Doubleheader

The Claflin University softball team swept Benedict, 11-0 and 12-6, in a Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) doubleheader on Sunday, April 22 at Tiger Field in Columbia. With the wins, the Lady Panthers takes the conference series 3-0.
Claflin, now 24-25 overall and 14-5 in the SIAC, has won 10 of its last 11 contests.
Claflin will close out the 2018 regular season on Wednesday, April 25, when they travel to Aiken, S.C., to take on USC-Aiken in a non-conference doubleheader.
The Lady Panthers will then travel to Albany, Ga. to participate in the 2018 SIAC Softball Championships.

Claflin Baseball Secures the SIAC Series with Win Over Benedict

The Claflin University baseball team defeated Benedict College 14-3 on Sunday, April 22, in the second game of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) three-game series at Tiger Field in Columbia, S.C. The win secures the SIAC series win for the Panthers. MORE
April 25, 2018
In This Issue
Connect with Us
@Claflin is published by the Office of Communications & Marketing 
President: Dr. Henry N. Tisdale, '65
Vice President for Institutional Advancement: Rev. Whittaker V. Middleton, '73
Assistant Vice President for Communications & Marketing: George Johnson Jr.
Public Relations Director: J. Craig Cotton
Social Media and Public Relations Coordinator: Bernita Cooper, '12
Web Communications Manager: Colin Myers, '07
Sports Information Director: Romanda Noble-Watson
Photographers: Cecil Williams, '60, Geoff Henderson and Colin Myers, '07
Interns: Nathaniel Fields, Alexis Garner and Trendon Howard