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Something to Talk About Personal notes and news.

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  • Graphic designer Jonathan Ady welcomes baby boy right before Florence

    September 13 2018

    When disaster strikes, Chanticleers have each other's backs. When a baby is on the way? Even more so.

    Jonathan Ady, graphic designer within the University Communication office, and his wife, Kimberley Ady, welcomed their new baby boy, Evan Sanders Ady, on Sept. 12 at 10:28 a.m. Evan was born at the Conway Medical Center the day before Hurricane Florence was predicted to make landfall. 

    Kimberley's due date was Sept. 11, but with the storm approaching quickly, the Adys either had to make a decision to evacuate and hope for the best, or take the last scheduled appointment at the hospital that day for Kimberley to be induced. The Adys chose to stay, leaving their oldest son with Kimberley's mother and father. The day the storm was scheduled to hit, the family traveled back to Conway so everyone was together during this special time.

    The Conway Medical Center was slammed, taking patients in from all over. Jonathan recalls having different nurses for each room visit, as many were called to other emergencies. The staff hunkered down at the hospital for the duration of the storm, sleeping on cots and never missing a beat despite the circumstances. Jonathan describes the hospital environment as "perfectly calm while under a lot of pressure." Kimberley's regular doctor evacuated, leaving the Adys to be assigned to several new doctors to deliver baby Evan. 

    Through this tense time, Jonathan's co-worker Ron Walker, graphic artist for University Communication, opened his nearby home to the entire family. This allowed the Adys to make a quick transition from the hospital to the Walkers' home in a matter of minutes as the storm made landfall.

    After a short drive with a two-day-old baby, the Adys were made to feel right at home. The house did lose power, however, which caused concern about the loss of air conditioning for the baby. In Chanticleer fashion, Ron ran an intravertor from his car to the house, which allowed a single fan to create air circulation all evening. 

    While this experience was nothing short of a challenge, baby Evan will have a story to tell for the rest of his life. While reminicising on the turn of events, Jonathan says the experience was "beautiful while everything seemed to be going wrong." 

    Congratulations to the Ady family!

  • Hollywood actor Michael Kelly shows support for his alma mater

    September 24 2018

    Michael Kelly, Coastal Carolina University alumnus and famous actor, drafted a tweet on Monday, Sept. 24, letting current CCU students know that his thoughts are with them through the transition post Hurricane Florence.

    The actor, who has been features in the Netflix original "House of Cards" and several films, relates to students due to his similar situation post Hurricane Hugo.

    "Hey to all my brothers and sisters at #CCU who are dealing with the adjustment period after a hurricane. Know that I was in your very same shoes after Hurricane Hugo & it was when we all came together as a family that we ended up stronger after," he tweeted, with a mention of @CCUChanticleers, the official University account.

    Several hours later, CCU responded to Kelly, saying, "Thank you, @michaelkellyjr. Your encouragement means a lot to our students. #CCU."

    Kelly earned a bachelor's degree in performing arts, graduating with the class of 1992.

  • New psychology professor plans cancer study with McLeod Health

    September 24 2018

    Marlena Ryba, assistant professor of psychology, joined Coastal Carolina University in Fall 2017 after serving as the post-doctoral researcher at the Stress and Immunity Cancer Projects Laboratory at Ohio State University for three years. Her specific area of expertise is in oncology and behavioral medicine, and her primary interests of research include psychosocial aspects of cancer, psychotherapy outcome research and dissemination and implementation of evidence-based treatments. 

    Over the summer, Ryba co-wrote an article for the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) on the importance of recognizing anxiety and depression among cancer patients, and did a subsequent podcast for the ASCO Daily News on the same subject. 

    Since then, Ryba has put together a study in collaboration with McLeod Health that will evaluate an online treatment for cancer patients with depression. Five CCU students will assist with the study. She says depression is the most common psyhciatric disorder among cancer patients, with rates as high as 50 percent.

    "Treating depression in cancer patients has been shown to improve patients' quality of life, and some studies stuggest that it can also improve the course of the disease," Ryba said.

    Her study will be the first to examine online treatment for depression in cancer patients, but will also provide a service to local patients.

    "My hope is that this project will have a positive impact on the community and also provide our students with a valuale clinical and research experience," she said.

  • Faculty and Staff Benevolence Fund supports those impacted by Florence

    September 25 2018

    The University's Faculty and Staff Benevolence Fund program provides financial assistance to eligible CCU employees facing economic obstacles due to unforseen emergencies. Many faculty and staff have been or will be impacted by the damages Hurricane Florence caused.

    To contribute to the fund, visit this link to donate online. Select the "CCU Employee Benevolence Fund" in the gift designation section on the form.

    Checks made payable to the Coastal Education Foundation, referencing Fund 7911 or the "CCU Employee Benevolence Fund," should be sent to Brian Rothenberger of the Office of Philanthropy. The office is located at Parker Atheneum Hall Alumni Center 112E.

    For more information regarding financial support for the fund, contact Brian at

    To apply for financial assistance, visit this link to learn about eligibility and the application procedure.

  • Meet Kevin Davis, new assistant athletic director for media relations

    September 27 2018

    Living out of a car while simultaneously evacuating due to a hurricane and adjusting to a new position - a memorable start to a new chapter of life in Conway. For Kevin Davis, the new associate athletic director for media relations, this was his reality for the month of September. 

    Davis is a native of Asheville, N.C.. He earned his undergraduate degree ('05) and graduate degree ('07) from Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, N.C. Davis broke into the career field at his alma mater as well. 

    Throughout his 13-year career, Davis has also worked at Brevard College (Brevard, N.C.), Bowling Green State University (Bowling Green, Ohio) and most recently at Georgia Tech (Atlanta, Ga.) During his time at Georgia Tech, Davis was the assistant director of athletic communications and public relations for two years, serving as the primary contact for baseball, both men's and women's swimming and diving, as well as the secondary contact for the football program. 

    Davis' new position allows him to work directly with CCU's football, baseball and men's golf teams focusing on statistics, game day coverage and promotion of student-athletes and teams. In addition, he oversees the athletic media relations office, as well as communication for, social media accounts and press releases. Davis is the liason between the athletic department and both local and national media outlets, charged with telling "our story."

    As a result of working at Gardner-Webb, Davis knows a number of people in the athletics department, such as Director of Athletics Matt Hogue. With this connection, Davis felt confident in joining the CCU community, bringing his family closer to home and being part of "something special."

    The timing of Davis' hiring has been the perfect storm. From living in a hotel while figuring out moving arrangements, to moving his belongings into his car while evacuating with the athletics staff, the first few weeks have been a whirlwind. However, Davis is eager to get settled and is grateful for the experience.

    "I have been on the road more than in the office, and it has been crazy to say the least. But it is fun and you learn to adapt to do what you need and have to do to get the job done," Davis said. "The administration, staff and all of the people who I have had the pleasure to meet or come in contact with at Coastal Carolina have been great and extremely helpful."

    Over the last three weeks, the football team has been traveling throughout the South, staying in hotels close to their scheduled games. This led to Davis getting to know his new co-workers fairly well, while facing the challenge of being the "new guy" on a prolonged trip with a group of guys who have been together for months, some even years. 

    "The entire staff and the players were great," Davis said. "It was a great experience and a chance for me to learn a little bit about them. I couldn't ask for a better place to start a new job, much less during a crazy time like now."

    When asked about his favorite part about working at CCU, his response was "the people." 

    "I'm excited to be a part of Coastal Carolina University. Go Chants!"

  • Open enrollment and benefits fair

    September 28 2018

    The Open Enrollment and Benefits Fair, presented by Coastal Carolina University and Horry-Georgetown Technical College, will be Oct. 4, 2018. The fair will be held at the Kimbel Arena, located inside the Williams-Brice Building from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    The fair allows employees to explore their healthcare benefits, as October is open enrollment month. The fair also includes the opportunity to:

    • Meet with insurance representatives from PEBA and Blue Cross Shield;
    • Meet with SCRS and ORP retirement vendors;
    • Receive a flu shot with a photo ID and insurance card required; and
    • Acquire a worksite screening (only one per calendar year).

    All attendees will be given a CCU passport, and each vendor will have a passport stamp. Attendees who get 12 or more stamps will be entered to win prizes from ASI Flex, Mass Mutual, Valic, Tidelands Health, BB&T and the Chanticleer Store.

    Vendors include Empower Retirement, Tidelands Health, Vaught Eyes Associates, Teal Nutrition Lab and Life Services EAP.

    To schedule your worksite screening, email your completed form to Paula Gorrera at or fax to 843-347-7610.

    No prior registration is required for flu shots.

  • Professional enhancement grants deadline extended

    October 8 2018

    Proposal submissions for the 2018-19 Professional Enhancement Grant (PEG) program are extended through Monday, Oct. 8. The PEG Program exists solely to support faculty research, individual projects and creative initiatives through donated funds by the Horry County Higher Education Commission and the Coastal Education Fund. This year, the total funds available amount to at least $100,000. 

    The deadline for submitting proposals also includes chair's and dean's letters of support. Previously awarded faculty are welcome to apply again, but are required to include the outcomes of the PEG grants awarded to them within the last five years in their application titles. However, priority will be granted to those who did not reveive a PEG grant previously.

    There are two tracks available to apply for; both tracks encourage and promote the development of innovative projects, research and creative endeavors. 

    The Teaching Enhancement Grant (TEG) primarily supports faculty's teaching and cirriculum development, with full-time or contingent faculty members who teach an average of nine contat hours per semester in the past three years being eligible. 

    The Research Enhancement Grant (REG) primarily supports any full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty member's research initiatives and development.

    All PEG awards are limited to a maximum of $6,000 per grant. The guidelines and a detailed list of the application process, in addition to the application itself can be found here

    Finished applications, including letters of support from the Principle Investigator's department chair and dean, must be assemble and submitted by the Principal Investigator electronically in a single document to the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Services. For questions, call OSPRS at 843-349-2978 or email

  • Sustainability internships available through United Nations Youth Corps

    October 15 2018

    After the devastating floods in our communities, sustainable development is more important than ever in Horry and Georgetown counties. Coastal Carolina University has earned a United Nations designation as a Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development in Georgetown, fortunately allowing access for students to advance their experience. 

    Through this United Nations designation, students are encouraged to work in the 17 UN areas of sustainable development, as well as train to become leaders with professional development in sustainability in all careers. The Bunnelle Foundation has generously donated funds to provide paid internships for students in various areas of Georgetown through this oportunity. 

    Students with 60 credits by January 2019 from all majors are encouraged to apply. Applications are due Oct. 15 by 5 p.m. and can be accessed here. Faculty and staff are encouraged to send their best and most motivated students' information forward. 

    For more information, contact Pamela Martin at or 843-349-2966.