2011 Inspiring Women
Vivian Ayers-Allen is the founding director of the "Brainerd Institute Project," a subsidiary of The ADEPT Publications New American Folk Center, Inc. She has made significant contributions to literary arts, for facilitating and promoting the artistic efforts of others, and for her preservation of an important South Carolina cultural landmark.
She has been recognized by Cambridge Who's Who for dedication, leadership and excellence in all various aspects of her career.
Dr. Maria Buse joined the faculty at MUSC in 1957. Her career has been marked by sustained excellence in research, teaching and mentorship. She has had continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health for nearly 50 years. She has made substantial and sustaining contributions toward understanding basic mechanisms through which diabetes mellitus alters cellular function, ultimately resulting in micro- and macro-vascular disease, and organ failure.
Dr. Buse was the first woman in MUSC’s 179-year history to receive the honor of Distinguished University Professor in 2003. She is recognized for her groundbreaking work in medical research and for her efforts to forge new roles for women and create opportunities for future generations.
Mignon L. Clyburn has a long history of public service and dedication to the public interest.
She was nominated as a member of the Federal Communications Commission on June 25, 2009, and sworn in August 3, 2009. Her term expired June 30, 2012.
Prior to her appointment as commissioner, she served as the representative of South Carolina’s sixth district on the Public Service Commission of South Carolina (PSC) for 11 years. She was sworn in for her first term in July 1998, and was subsequently reelected in 2002 and 2006; she served as chair from July 2002 through June 2004. Clyburn was elected to the PSC following 14 years as the publisher and general manager of The Coastal Times, a Charleston-based weekly newspaper that focused primarily on issues affecting the African American community. She owned and operated the family-founded newspaper following her graduation from the University of South Carolina, where she earned a bachelor's degree in banking, finance and economics.
Brigadier General Goff made history on January 7, 2011, when she was promoted from Colonel to Brigadier General. She became the first female general officer in the South Carolina National Guard.
She is recognized for her dedicated service to the people of South Carolina and for opening new frontiers for women’s military leadership in the Palmetto State.
Nikki Randhawa Haley • • •
Governor of South Carolina
Nikki Haley was elected the 116th Governor of South Carolina on Tuesday, November 2, 2010, as and as South Carolina's first female governor. As one of the strongest fiscal conservatives in state government, she was first elected to represent the 87th District in Lexington County in 2004 when, as a virtual unknown, she beat the longest serving state legislator in a Republican primary. In 2008, Haley was sent back to the Statehouse with 83 percent of the vote – the highest percentage earned by any lawmaker facing a contested South Carolina election that year. She won the Republican Party nomination for governor on Tuesday, June 22, 2010.
She graduated from Clemson University with a bachelor of science degree in accounting and, following her graduation, worked as accounting supervisor for a private company and five of its subsidiaries. She then returned to the family business and helped oversee its growth into a multi-million dollar operation. She was born in Bamberg, S.C.
The Honorable Kaye Hearn, South Carolina Supreme Court Justice, made history in 2000 by becoming the first female chief judge of the Court of Appeals; on May 13, 2009 she became only the second woman in state history to be elected to the South Carolina Supreme Court. She is recognized for effecting change through her visionary leadership throughout the public sector.
Bonnie McElveen-Hunter was not only was she the first female chair of the American Red Cross, but was also the founder and CEO of Pace Communications and a former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Finland (2001-2003). She is recognized for her for her extraordinary leadership in solving pressing challenges both domestically and globally as well as her professional leadership and consistent commitment to excellence.
As a long-time philanthropist and charitable-cause activist, she was appointed by President Bush as National Chairman of the Board of the American Red Cross in 2005. Her appointment marked the first time a woman has been named to this position, and in 2007 the board voted unanimously to appoint her as chairman for a second term.
Pace Communications is the largest custom publishing company in the nation serving an array of Fortune 500 companies, making McElveen-Hunter one of the nation’s most successful women entrepreneurs, ranked by Working Woman Magazine as one of the top 175 women-owned businesses in America.
During her term as U.S. Ambassador to Finland, McElveen-Hunter led several initiatives to advance entrepreneurship and encourage businesswomen from the Baltic Region to the Middle East to launch or expand business opportunities in their native countries: the Women Business Leaders Summit® in Helsinki in 2002 for women from the Baltic Region and Russia, another in Riga, Latvia, and a third in 2007 in Amman, Jordan, for women from Iraq, Palestine, Syria and other Middle East nations which continued into Bahrain and Dubai in 2008.
Frances Scott is recognized for her selfless commitment to her children and for serving as an inspiration to mothers everywhere who nurture, encourage and support the lives and success of their children.
A native of Charleston, South Carolina, she is the mother of two sons, Benjamin H.S. Scott Jr. and Timothy E. Scott, and the grandmother of one grandson, Benjamin H. S. Scott III. She was educated in the Charleston County Public School System and currently works as a unit clerk and nursing assistant at St. Francis Hospital where she has been employed for more than 38 years. In addition to her family and career in health care, she is also active in her church, Voice of the Lord International.