June 16, 2022
The World Needs Visionaries
Claflin University Receives $500,000 from Bank of America to Support The Center for Social Justice
Claflin University announces that Bank of America will invest $500,000 to support the University’s  Center for Social Justice and the Pathways From Prison Program. The Pathways From Prison Program is a historic collaboration between Claflin and the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) that provides incarcerated individuals in South Carolina access to the University’s exceptional academic programs.
Incarcerated individuals that meet Claflin and SCDC requirements can earn a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, psychology, and organizational management. They can also earn minors and certificate credentials.

Bank of America's investment will support student scholarships and enhance technological resources such as laptops, keyboards, printers, routers, and wi-fi hotspots. Funding for the partnership will also be used to increase the number of qualified faculty and staff to ensure incarcerated students receive the same high-quality educational experience that has earned Claflin national recognition as one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities.
“We are extremely grateful for Bank of America’s support for our Center for Social Justice and the Pathways From Prison Program. Research indicates a dramatic reduction in recidivism rates for incarcerated individuals who participate in prison education programs,” said Claflin President Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack, a 2019 USA Eisenhower Fellow. Warmack’s research during his fellowship explored global best practices for reducing mass incarceration through education and rehabilitation.

“Bank of America’s reputation as a global leader in banking and finance is widely recognized. This partnership amplifies their commitment to equality, equity, and expanding economic opportunities for diverse populations.”

“Education is a gateway to a better life,” said Kim Wilkerson, President, Bank of America South Carolina. “We appreciate Claflin University’s leadership and recognize the success and progress made through the Pathways From Prison Program. Issues of racial equality and economic opportunity are deeply connected, and it’s important to remove the barriers to success and focus on areas where systemic, long-term gaps have existed.”

The Pathways From Prison Program was established through the Second Chance Pell Grant Pilot Program, a U.S. Department of Education (DOE) initiative. The grant provides need-based Federal Pell Grants to individuals incarcerated in federal and state prisons. Claflin University was the only historically black college/university (HBCU) in South Carolina among 67 colleges and universities nationwide selected for the program.
Claflin President Featured in Diverse Issues in Higher Education
President Dwaun J. Warmack was recently featured in a Diverse Issues in Higher Education article titled “HBCUs in Collaboration to Tell Their Stories.” He was quoted during a panel discussion at the Higher Education Leadership Foundation’s "Ideation, Innovation & Collaboration: The Future of HBCUs" conference held earlier this month. “Student success is everyone’s responsibility—too often we’re siloed, and I hear all the time, ‘I stay in my lane,’” said Warmack. “So be intentionally thinking about student success, and it starts with inquiry process, from application, matriculation, graduation, to gainful employment. It is integral that every person touches that student and plays a role in their success.” The Higher Education Leadership Foundation (H.E.L.F.) was established in March 2015 to provide bold, engaging and innovative learning and mentoring opportunities for current and aspiring leaders. 
STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Senior Lauren Tolbert Named a White House HBCU Scholar and John Robert Lewis Scholar
Senior Lauren Tolbert has been named a 2022 HBCU Scholar by the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity through Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Tolbert is an African and African American Studies major. She is among 86 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students who are being recognized for their accomplishments in academics, leadership, civic engagement and much more.

The scholars are currently enrolled at 56 of the nations HBCUs. They were selected from a competitive pool of over 350 students. Applications also required the signature of their HBCU president or designated HBCU faculty, adding a level of prestige to this application process.

During her academic journey at Claflin, Tolbert served as the 63rd president of the Student Government Association, freshman mentor, and president of the Gamma Chi Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

“The HBCU Scholars have dedicated themselves to learning and exemplify the talent that our nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities have nurtured for generations,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “The Biden-Harris administration is committed to supporting these leaders and I cannot wait to learn from them while they serve as ambassadors for the White House Initiative and their institutions.”

Over the course of an academic school year, HBCU Scholars will participate in training and cross-university networking opportunities. Scholars will also have an opportunity to work on issues specifically related to the HBCU community and participate in national and regional events with professionals from a wide range of disciplines.

“As an HBCU graduate I’m honored to announce our HBCU Scholars, our future leaders of tomorrow. At HBCU’s we are a family, we build each other up and we’re taught that we can do and be anything,” said Dietra Trent, executive director of the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence and Economic Opportunity through HBCU’s. “I look forward to supporting the growth of our HBCU family through the Scholar Recognition Program.”

A key feature of the HBCU Scholar Program is a partnership with NASA to foster innovation and opportunity for the cohorts. This partnership with NASA makes the Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) Innovation Tech Transfer Idea Competition (MITTIC), “Mini MITTIC” part of the HBCU Scholar Program. Through the Mini MITTIC program students will partner in developing ideas to commercialize technology derived from NASA intellectual property. Scholars will have the opportunity to present their IP ideas during the National HBCU Week Conference in September.

“The goal with Mini MITTIC is to provide the HBCU Scholars with an authentic experience while ensuring they leave with the foundational tools to utilize NASA intellectual property to create their own business concept and participate in the full MITTIC competition,” said Misti Moore, NASA’s Johnson Space Center MUREP Lead & MITTIC activity manager.

HBCU Scholars will also be invited to the 2022 HBCU Week National Annual Conference, on September 20-23, in Washington, D.C. During the conference, they will participate in sessions designed to engage a spirit of entrepreneurship, innovation, and personal and professional development. Most importantly, scholars will have opportunities to engage with one another and showcase their individual and collective talent.

Program events are designed to enhance HBCU Scholars professional development and create post-graduation opportunities within non-profit, business, and federal agency partners to ensure that as a nation we remain globally competitive.

Tolbert was also selected to serve as a John Robert Lewis Scholar for 2022-2023. The John Robert Lewis Scholars & Fellows Program is designed for undergraduate (Scholars) and graduate students (Fellows) to examine Lewis’s nonviolent philosophy from a historical perspective; define its principles and strategies; and identify their applicability to modern times and movements, current issues, and everyday life.

Sponsored by the Faith & Politics Institute, the goal of the John Robert Lewis Scholars & Fellows Program is to build a network of young leaders who are inspired by the moral leadership of John Lewis, educated, and empowered to use King’s principles and strategies of nonviolence, and committed to applying these competencies to become changemakers in their local communities. The program enables students to learn from changemakers of history, contemporary nonviolence practitioners, and civil rights leaders. 

As a scholar, Tolbert will participate in two trips to Washington, D.C., in July 2022 and July 2023. She and other scholars and fellows will connect with representatives from national, state, and local governments, as well as businesses and nonprofits engaged in social impact work. They will also join members of Congress and other national leaders on Faith & Politics’ annual Civil Rights Pilgrimage in March 2023 and complete an oral history report. 
STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Breyonna Ravenel Chosen to Participate in Travel and Hospitality Internship Program
Breyonna Ravenel, a junior business administration major from Charleston, S.C. has been selected to participate in Explore Charleston’s Intern Cultural Enrichment Program (ICEP). This initiative connects underrepresented minority students, most from historically-black colleges and universities (HBCUs), with world-class internship opportunities in the Charleston area travel and hospitality industry. Ravenel will serves as an intern at Wild Dunes Resort in Isle of Palms, S.C. 

ICEP includes a ten-week leadership development program that complements the paid internships. Students participate in a weekly curriculum led by Explore Charleston that introduces them to the community and local culture, fosters interaction with civic and business leaders, cultivates peer relationships, and develops business and communication skills to support personal and professional growth.

“We’ve maintained a commitment to raising awareness and taking action for diversity, equity and inclusion through our Heart for Hospitality initiative. The growth of ICEP represents meaningful progress toward achieving one of our strategic goals: encouraging opportunities to recruit and develop individuals from diverse backgrounds into tourism and hospitality. Our industry should reflect the community, but that doesn’t mean employees and future leaders have to be from the Lowcountry,” said Helen Hill, CEO of Explore Charleston.

The ICEP concept originated in 2020 with support from Explore Charleston’s Board of Governors and insight from the Heart for Hospitality Steering Committee. Since then, Explore Charleston has worked continuously to build relationships with HBCUs and other universities, recruit candidates, and identify local travel industry partners interested in hosting interns.

The ICEP class of 2022 includes 14 students from 10 universities who are completing internships with ten area employers.

Hilton-Embassy Suites Charleston Harbor and Embassy Suites Historic District, Hilton Garden Inn Charleston Waterfront/Downtown, and Explore Charleston join an existing lineup of employers including The Charleston Place, Charleston County Aviation Authority, Charlestowne Hotels, Hotel Bennett, Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Lowcountry Hotels, and Wild Dunes Resort.

There is no cost to the students for participation in ICEP, and Explore Charleston covers housing costs. The ICEP program began with orientation on June 1. The program concludes with a pinning ceremony on August 9 at the Riviera Theater.

As the region’s destination management and marketing organization, Explore Charleston represents ten municipalities across three counties. It seeks to unify and lead the local travel industry in marketing the Charleston area, create overnight visitation, and support responsible development through travel and tourism strategies.

Heart for Hospitality was developed in 2018 to formalize Explore Charleston’s ongoing efforts to advance the Lowcountry by promoting, informing and advocating inclusion and engagement in the travel and hospitality industry.
STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Daa'iyah Fogle to Participate in Business Plan Pitch Competition in Cleveland, Ohio
Senior mass communications major Daa'iyah Fogle will present her business plan for Day's Design in a pitch competition for a chance at $10,000 on Friday, June 17. The pitch competition, sponsored by Black Girl Ventures and the NBA Foundation, provided an eight-week learning component that offered 24 students information on the fundamentals and legalities of business and entrepreneurship, customer discovery, ecosystem mapping, fundraising, pitching, and understanding the investor mindset. Fogle was selected as one of the top seven entrepreneurs to present her idea at the pitch competition in Cleveland, OH. Fogle hails from Greenville, S.C.
PantherCam - Honoring Our Retirees
Claflin University hosted its Retirement Celebration on May 25, 2022. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this program celebrated employees who retired 2020-2022.

Pictured above from left to right with President Dwaun J. Warmack are:
  • Mrs. Claudette M. Hopkins, senior administrative assistant (34 years of service)
  • Mrs. Juretta Dash, senior administrative assistant (39 years of service)
  • Mrs. Gwendolyn B. Phillips, senior director of academic student support services (48 years of service)
  • Mr. James O. Randall, head men's baseball coach (13 years of service)
  • Mrs. Sadie Jarvis, counseling services director (24 years of service)
  • Dr. Jerome Fitch, athletic director (12 years of service)
  • Mr. Habibur Rahman, associate professor of art (18 years of service)

Not pictured:
  • Mr. Nazir Ahmad, instructor of chemistry (13 years of service)
  • Mr. Drexel B. Ball, vice president for administration (13 years of service)
  • Mr. Michael Fairwell, instructor of mass communications (25 years of service)
  • Dr. Charles E. Holman, associate professor of biology (10 years of service)
  • Dr. Kema Irogbe, professor of political science (30 years of service)
  • Mrs. Cynthia A. Kennerly, associate administrative assistant (13 years of service)
  • Rev. Whittaker V. Middleton, vice president for institutional advancement (46 years of service)
  • Mr. Titus Perry, residence life manager (18 years of service)
  • Mrs. Janice Ray, assistant director of financial aid (13 years of service)
  • Dr. Jorge Salvo, associate professor of Spanish (10 years of service)
Employee News
Dr. Luis Almeida, associate professor of mass communications, won a Telly Award (Bronze) in the Non-Broadcast - Travel & Tourism category for his promotional video “Huntsville Botanical Garden: Night Blooms Event.” The Telly Awards was founded in 1979 to honor excellence in local, regional and cable television commercials with non-broadcast video and television programming added soon after. With the recent evolution and rise of digital video (web series, VR, 360 and beyond), the Telly Awards today also reflects and celebrates this exciting new era of the moving image on and offline.

Mrs. Helaine Hayes, senior staff nurse, was honored by the Times and Democrat during National Nurses Week in May. Said Hayes in the article, "I grew up with parents that were in service to the community. My father was the first Black city police officer in Barnwell County. In the early ‘70s, there was a lot of racial unrest, but he served the community with duty, strength, and respect. My mother served faithfully in the church as a youth director, Sunday school teacher, and she also served as a den mother for the Boy Scouts. My parents each answered their call. How could I not? I can’t say I chose nursing. Nursing chose me. My call is to care for the sick along with promoting health and wellness. For the past 35 years as a registered nurse, I have never regretted being a nurse. It’s who I am. COVID-19 has been a deal maker for some and a deal breaker for others. Having lost my best friend a few years ago and, recently, my mother a few months ago to COVID-19, the loss has been devastating. However, I know that I don’t stand alone. My duty to continue to care for the sick is only strengthened in their spirit and my love for nursing."
Alumni News
Tiara Miles-Clarke, '14, will narrate her second children’s book, "Causie Can Bake," at the Readers Theater event at the Orangeburg County Library on Friday, June 17. "Readers theater is one of my favorite ways to actively engage readers. I’m so excited that I not only get to engage these little learners but also their parents to promote family literacy in the same town that poured so much into me,” she said. The event is in collaboration with Trinity Childcare Learning Center and the Orangeburg County Library in an effort to promote family literacy in the area. 
Congratulations to Eden J. Wiggins, ’22, who will attend the University of California, San Diego to earn a Master's of Arts degree in Latin American Studies. During her studies, she will serve as a teaching assistant in the “Making of the Modern World” program which allows her to attend the University tuition free! Wiggins was also selected to be a 2022 Competitive Edge Fellow. In this six-week program, she will receive faculty mentorship and gain research experience. 
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@Claflin is published by the Office of Communications & Marketing 
President: Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack
Interim Vice President for Institutional Advancement: Dr. Marcus H. Burgess, '96
Assistant Vice President for Communications & Marketing: George Johnson Jr.
Public Relations Director: J. Craig Cotton
Web Communications Manager/Photographer: Colin Myers, '07
Director of Athletic Media Relations: Trevin Q. Goodwin
Photographers: Cecil Williams, '60 and Geoff Henderson