Alumni Class Notes

Jump to: 1969 | 1979 | 1987 | 1993 | 1995 | 1996 | 1998 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016


Keith Hinson, owner and founder of Waccamaw Land & Timber Company, has been confirmed by the South Carolina Senate to serve on the Department of Natural Resources board. He has also served as chairman of CCU’s E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration board of visitors and as a member of the Carolina First Bank board of directors.

Back to Top ↑


H. Delan Stevens was inducted into the 2016 Conway High School Hall of Fame as an Outstanding Alumnus in April. He is also a member of the CCU board of trustees.

Back to Top ↑


Darryl Morhardt is the pitching coach for the Newport Gulls. From 2008-2014, he was the manager of the Holyoke (later known as Valley) Blue Sox, and was the pitching coach for the Torrington Twisters from 1997-2006. He has coached in various roles for the University of Hartford, Gateway Community College, Western Connecticut State, Marietta College, George Washington University and Fairleigh Dickinson University. Morhardt played professionally from 1985-87, including a season with the Atlanta Braves Class A affiliate. He also worked with the New York Mets as an associate scout from 1997-2002.

Back to Top ↑


Leslie C. Moore is the editor for Strand Media Group. She is a 25-year resident of Pawleys Island.

Back to Top ↑


Michele L. Olds, the first female president of CCU’s Student Government Association, is a senior vice president at Nationstar Mortgage in Denver, Colo., where she manages the master servicing division. Olds served on two panels at ABS Vegas 2016, the world’s largest capital markets conference.

Back to Top ↑


Patricia Apone has taken a new job with the Louisville Regional Airport Authority. She previously served as the director of the Myrtle Beach International Airport.

Back to Top ↑


Jonathan Hyman was a 2016 candidate for the office of Horry County Treasurer. For the past 17 years, Hyman has been appraising residential and commercial property and is a candidate for MAI designation from the Appraisal Institute. He manages his own appraisal firm.

Rodney J. Summers was named the first head football coach at May River High School in Bluffton, S.C. He previously served as head coach at Westwood High School in Blythewood, S.C., guiding the team to the state playoffs in three of his four seasons, including an 11-2 finish in 2014 that earned him Coach of the Year honors from the S.C. Football Coaches Association. Summers was also honored in 2014 as the South Carolina Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Art Baker State Coach of the Year.

Back to Top ↑


Jennifer Creque-Blackburn teaches early childhood education and English as a second language at Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio. She is the only full-time faculty member in the early childhood education department, where she is working to create a department resource room. Blackburn and her husband, Keller, have one son.

Emily Owens is a lieutenant commander and environmental health officer in the U.S. Navy. She is also a Navy Medicine Training Support Center preventive medicine instructor at the Medical Education and Training Campus at Joint Base San Antonio - Fort Sam Houston. She holds a master’s degree in public health with a certificate in environmental health from Florida International University and an MBA with a concentration in organizational change and behavior from Hawaii Pacific University. She is also a graduate of the Marine Corps Command and Staff College. Owens is pursuing a master’s degree in adult education from Auburn University.

Karen Sanders has been promoted to senior environmental health specialist with the Arkansas Department of Health and is the hospital food services program coordinator for the entire state.

Back to Top ↑


Kelly Sloan Adams married Chris Adams in June 2015.

Back to Top ↑


Boris G. Menier, marketing manager for the Florida Marlins, and his wife welcomed their daughter, Lua Gabriella Menier, on Dec. 29, 2015.

Back to Top ↑


Jared Owen and his wife, Lovae, welcomed their son, Jaxton Brandford Owen, late last year.

Back to Top ↑


Jen Pierce has been teaching digital photography and art at Myrtle Beach High School for the past two years. She previously taught art and digital media at Loris High School after earning a master’s degree from CCU. She is an artist in various media including paint and mixed media.

Steven M. Toniolo and Caroline Willis Jones were married April 30, 2016, at First Presbyterian Church in Florence. Toniolo earned an MBA from Francis Marion University and is a co-owner of Tubb’s Shrimp and Fish Company in Florence.

Back to Top ↑


Craig Face recently moved with his wife and two children from Wakefield to Prince George’s County in Maryland after being named a market leader IV at BB&T Bank. He also served the Rotary Club of Franklin, Md., as a board member and project manager.

Arthur Jashienski is the new offensive coordinator at Stratford High School in Goose Greek, S.C. He and his wife, Mallory, live in Crowfield with their three children.

Back to Top ↑


Barrett Maners has joined Richard Odom & Associates as a licensed apprentice appraiser. He is a practicing affiliate of the Appraisal Institute and is licensed as a real estate broker in North and South Carolina. Maners earned a master’s degree in real estate development from Clemson University.

Steven Schuster came in 14th place at the 100th Annual Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest Main Event in Coney Island, N.Y., on July 4, 2016. He made it to the main event after eating 21.5 hot dogs in 10 minutes at a qualifying event in Charlotte, N.C., earlier this year.

Lauren K. Taylor and Peter Degnan welcomed their daughter, Mary Grace, on Feb. 1, 2016, in Milford, Conn.

John D. Morrell, of Wenham, Mass., was named vice president, retail market manager for TD Bank’s North Shore region. He is responsible for overseeing business development, sales management and employee development at 19 TD Bank locations.

Back to Top ↑


Ann Sue Lee is enrolled in an RN to BSN online nursing program at Liberty University.

Rachel Graves Sadowski of Far Hills, N.J., works for the United States Golf Association as director of championships for the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur and the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball. The 2017 Four-Ball Championship is scheduled for May 27-31 at The Dunes Golf & Beach Club in Myrtle Beach.

Back to Top ↑


Brentley Broughton is the web design manager at Coastal Carolina University. He and his wife, Victoria, a fellow CCU graduate, live in Conway with their 2-year-old daughter, Aubrey.

Amanda Floyd and her husband, Bobby, welcomed their daughter, Skylar Leigh Floyd, in early spring 2016.

James Galloway has been promoted three times in his seven years with CIOX Health, most recently to regional manager of operations for the Charleston-Savannah area. For the past few years, he and his wife, Kristina, have been living in the Tampa, Fla., area.

Back to Top ↑


Eugene Bellamy and his wife, Raven, welcomed their daughter, Madison Aaliyan Bellamy, on Dec. 11, 2015.

Back to Top ↑


David Duran was recently named the youth pastor at Christ United Methodist Church in Myrtle Beach, with responsibility for the spiritual development of middle and high school students. A Chanticleer football player from 2009 to 2011, Duran was the first recipient of the BAM (Be a Man) Player of the Year award.

Leigha Peterson is Coastal Carolina University’s first Ph.D. student in coastal and marine systems science. She recently passed the first Ph.D. comprehensive exam given at CCU. Peterson has participated in several extended research cruises to Antarctica, the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere in pursuit of her studies. She is now focusing on her dissertation. Peterson earned a master’s degree in coastal marine and wetland studies from CCU in 2014.

Roslyn Sakowitz was promoted to sales representative at Kingston Resorts in Myrtle Beach. She is responsible for developing new business and leads for the sales team.

Back to Top ↑


Kira Carter is the new assistant women’s basketball coach at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Mo. For the past two years, Carter served as the assistant coach at Wabash Valley College. She also coached for one year at Thomas College. Prior to coaching, Carter played a season of professional basketball in the Czech Republic league in 2012-13. She earned a master’s degree in sports leadership from Duquesne University in 2015.

Lindsay Osborne and Phillip Pampani were married April 24, 2016, in Pawleys Island. She works as a special events administrator for the American Heart Association in Myrtle Beach.

Joey Trail was named one of the five finalists for South Carolina Teacher of the Year. He is an English teacher at Forestbrook Middle School and general manager of the Carolina Forest Performing Arts Academy.

Back to Top ↑


Blake C. Collins is the manager of communication for Martinsville Speedway, a part of the International Speedway Corporation. Martinsville hosts two NASCAR Sprint Cup races a year, two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races and a Late Model Stock race in October.

Chandler Hilley has been accepted into the Ph.D. program in family and human development at Arizona State University. He will be working on adolescent and young adult research related to health and education.

Ashton Lee was named the Georgetown School District Teacher of the Year. She teaches social studies at Waccamaw Middle School. Lee is also pursuing a master’s degree.

Back to Top ↑


Nick Baldino has been promoted by Cisco Systems Inc. to a position in San Francisco, where he works with web accounts such as Facebook. For the past two years, he served as a fill-in radio play-by-play announcer for CCU athletics.

Erica Norwood and Zack Niemann married in July 2016. She teaches first grade at Sunset Park Elementary in Rock Hill, and he is a water loss technician for Paul Davis Restoration.

Cory Shaw is a web developer at Fuel, a Myrtle Beach online marketing agency specializing in e-commerce solutions for the travel and hospitality industry. As a student at CCU, he worked as a web programmer and was nominated for the Grand Strand Technology Council’s Student Innovator of the Year Award in 2013. He also independently developed CCU’s outdoor recreation rental and reservation system.

Back to Top ↑


Christopher T. McCormack started a travel blog, Been There Done That, to chronicle his two-month trip to China.

Trevor Tarleton is the first research assistant for the Grant Center for Real Estate and Economic Development at Coastal Carolina University. His background includes multiple certifications in forestry and land management techniques. Prior to returning to CCU to pursue an MBA, he was employed with AlphaEMC, where he provided consulting work for large land developers and builders in the coastal region.

Back to Top ↑


Bailey Cocca won the 87th New York State Women’s Amateur Golf Championship in July. The Latham, N.Y., native concluded her Coastal Carolina University playing career ranked fifth on the school’s career list with a 75.76 scoring average.

Alumnus of the Year - Gary Gilmore

Alumnus of the Year

Gary Gilmore

The 2016 Alumnus of the Year is Gary Gilmore ’80, head coach of the Chanticleer baseball team.

Back to Top ↑

Young Alumnus Meghan Laffin

Young Alumnus of the Year

Meghan Laffin: Making News

Meghan Laffin ’14 is quickly making a name for herself at CBS News, just as she did at Coastal Carolina University.

Laffin, a native of Long Island, N.Y., earned a bachelor’s degree in business management with a minor in journalism. Captain of the volleyball team, she was named the 2013-2014 Presidential Student-Athlete of the Year, and she received the 2014 Ronald D. Lackey Service Award. She was a member of the University Honors Program and the Wall Fellows program, and she was active in WCCU Radio, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and the Golden Key International Honor Society.

“I was lucky to have a series of exceptional professors at CCU,” said Laffin, “and learning to balance a heavy course load with athletics and community service really taught me to excel. The Wall Fellows program expanded my classroom experience to real-life scenarios. The program taught me to apply my classroom learning to the professional world, especially when it came to finding an internship and deciding which passion to pursue.” 

After interning at CBS to help fulfill her degree requirements, Laffin was later hired on a full-time basis. She began by learning the fundamentals, shadowing producers and assisting them with major projects. From there, she produced live shots with reporters in the field and the 

“Eye Opener” segment on Saturday morning. Later she switched to the control room, where she now works as a broadcast associate.

Meghan Laffin at the CBS studio in New York.

“Now I work for CBS This Morning with Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell,” Laffin said. “My primary focus is coordinating live segments. I’m the one in the control room deciding what video, images or graphics to show during a conversation. It is my responsibility to predict where the conversation may go and what visual elements are needed to follow. My goal is to someday produce major investigative or feature tape pieces, like the type of stories you see on 60 Minutes or Sunday Morning.”

Back to Top ↑

Charles Joyner - Memoriam

Remembering Chaz

Charles Joyner

Charles Joyner, who died on Sept. 13, is in the top flight of scholars of the American South. He grew up in South Carolina and was proud of his deep Horry County roots. After graduating from Myrtle Beach High School, he earned a history degree from Presbyterian College and a master’s degree from the University of South Carolina. After two years in the Army, he earned doctorates from USC and the University of Pennsylvania. His teaching career included positions at Pfeiffer College and St. Andrews Presbyterian College in North Carolina before joining the Coastal Carolina faculty in 1980. He accepted an appointment in 1988 to CCU’s first faculty chair, the Burroughs Distinguished Chair in Southern History and Culture, which he held until his retirement in 2007. He is perhaps best known for his groundbreaking work on slavery in All Saints Parish, Down by the Riverside (1984), but it was the personal way in which he combined his deep scholarship with his multiform talents (folklorist, musician, singer, artist, cross-stitch designer, puppeteer) that made him legendary; and it was his genuine kindness for everyone he met that made him beloved, as these brief tributes from some of Chaz’s CCU colleagues show.

Eldred “Wink” Prince Jr.

Charles Joyner had more friends than anyone I ever knew, in more places than anyone I ever knew. In many ways, Chaz helped to put Coastal Carolina University on the map. He used his resources, his reputation, his incomparable network of friendships to connect our history department to people and places around the world. He was like a river. I have been at conferences where I knew no one, but as soon as someone saw my CCU nametag they would instantly say, “Oh, that’s where Chaz is!” And right away I had an entrance or an opportunity to make a friend. Chaz Joyner was the best friend that I ever had, and he may have been the best friend that you ever had.

Rod Gragg

I was working in the CCU administration in the 1980s when Chaz joined the faculty, and we were buds from the beginning. I had worked in TV production before getting into academia, and Chaz and I got involved in some television history projects that involved some travel. I learned early on that we needed to build in more travel time if Chaz was going to drive, because he would start telling history stories, and the more he talked, the slower he drove! But the stories were great and nobody complained. What a blessing to have known and spent time with Chaz. 

Ronald Ingle

The recognition that Chaz brought to CCU was priceless. The national figures that he brought here—he would just pick up the phone and call John Hope Franklin, Vann Woodward, William Styron. He dearly loved this place. I remember changing planes once in the Atlanta airport and my wife Judy said, “Look, there’s Chaz Joyner over there playing the piano!” So I put a cup on the piano and dropped a dollar bill in it. He never gave me back the dollar.

John Navin

We who had the privilege to call Charles Joyner our colleague recognize his brilliance as a scholar but will likely remember him for his warmth, kindness and generosity. When I arrived at CCU in 1999, Chaz showed great interest in my work and in my career. He and Jean also treated my family like their own kin, acting like surrogate grandparents to my daughter, Sarah (now a CCU student). I quickly learned that Chaz had friends virtually everywhere, including my dissertation adviser. At times I wondered, who doesn’t Chaz know? I will miss Chaz’s counsel, bottomless reservoir of anecdotes, and warm laugh. He was a wonderful man and a great friend.

Nelljean Rice

I remember one wonderful night when my husband the late Paul Rice and Chaz traded songs for hours, and it was spectacular. 

John Navin

We who had the privilege to call Charles Joyner our colleague recognize his brilliance as a scholar but will likely remember him for his warmth, kindness and generosity. When I arrived at CCU in 1999, Chaz showed great interest in my work and in my career. He and Jean also treated my family like their own kin, acting like surrogate grandparents to my daughter, Sarah (now a CCU student). I quickly learned that Chaz had friends virtually everywhere, including my dissertation adviser. At times I wondered, who doesn’t Chaz know? I will miss Chaz’s counsel, bottomless reservoir of anecdotes, and warm laugh. He was a wonderful man and a great friend.

John Roper

Chaz was invited to give a speech at a college where I was teaching at the time in Virginia, and most visiting professors would just give their lectures, have a drink, cash their checks and leave. But Chaz asked me where my son went to school, and he took his puppet Woody out to this third-grade class and sat on the floor with those kids and entertained them for an hour. He did a lot of volunteer work in the public schools.

Roy Talbert

It was never my intent to become a Southern historian. Chaz diagnosed my problem one day while we were lunching and talking about “The Burden,” why some Southern intellectuals were so driven by being Southern. Some of us, I said, deny it, some repress it, and some wear it on their sleeves. “What is it?” I asked. Chaz calmly and deliberately replied, “Guilt. Guilt. Guilt.” I knew that, for I had been living with Robert Penn Warren’s Jack Burden since 1966, but it was the way Chaz put it, so simply yet so precisely. That ability was part of his genius and the hallmark of his style.

Back to Top ↑