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Something to Talk About Personal notes and news.

Chaucey Something To Talk About
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  • University Housing staff give best presentation at annual conference

    November 1 2018

    Several University Housing staff members attended the South Carolina Housing Officers Association conference earlier this semester, including:

    • Ellie Gathings, community coordinator
    • David Speiser, assistant director for recruitment and selection
    • Jenna Jeslis, resident success specialist for student employment
    • Kat Mortensen, associate director of resident success
    • Rachael Baker, assistant director for resident success

    All five attendees were selected to present at the conference, and Mortensen and Baker won the award for the best presentation. They will present at the Southeastern Association of Housing Officers conference in late February 2019.

    "The focus of our program was less on the overt sexism that we can all see but more on covert sexism that we sometimes do not realize is going on around us or that we sometimes do to ourselves," Mortensen shared.

    They plan to make some tweaks to the presentation in preparation for the February conference, including providing a handout and incorporating more discussion.

  • Video: Career Services brings more than 60 employers to campus to meet students

    November 7 2018

    About 60 companies came in to meet students for the Fall Career and Internship Fair at organized by Career Services. Each employer had job or internship opportunities. In many cases, these sorts of events offer students and potential employers the chance to begin a relationship, which might end with an employment opportunity or internship for the student.


  • CCU is an Exercise is Medicine on Campus university, but what does that mean?

    November 9 2018

    Healthy living isn't just for people; it's for campuses, too.

    In 2017, Coastal Carolina University became an official Exercise is Medicine on Campus (EIM-OC) university, an initiative launched by the American College of Sports Medicine. The initiative is meant to get faculty, staff and students involved in making the campus a healthy environment, said Marcia Rosiek, lecturer of kinesiology.

    "This requires an attempt to make physical movement a part of our campus lifestyle," she said. "It means providing health information at student health visits and the dissemination of educational materials so everyone can begin or maintain healthy physical activity habits."

    Part of Rosiek's plan to help spread the word was a yoga/walking break lunch event originally scheduled for Nov. 14. The event was postponed until the spring due to the weather, but Rosiek said the event included yoga sessions and informational tables and invited all faculty and staff to stop by during the lunch break to take a short walk or try a few minutes of yoga.

    "I think sometimes we forget that we are a community and not everyone knows what each department may be involved in, so it is a good way to share what we know and learn about our colleagues," she said. "After all, we do know that physical activity improves cognition and we also learn through social interactions. So, a walk that is social is better for our brain than one alone! It improves our focus, our mood, and our self-esteem."

    For more information about the EIM-OC initative or the rescheduled fitness break, contact Rosiek at or ext. 6619.

  • International Education Week 2018: An overview

    November 9 2018

    CCU observed International Education Week, a joint initiative of the U.Ss Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education, from Nov. 9-16 with a range of activities, wich include:

    - a juried photo exhibition, entitled “Education Abroad: Getting Lost in the Right Direction";

    - international tea tastings;

    - presentations by our Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant Salma Oubkkou on Morocco and the Arab Spring;

    - information sessions about Gilman study abroad scholarships for CCU Pell Grant recipients;

    - a presentation by the vice chief of the Waccamaw Tribe;

    - a dialogue program about identity and self in a global community;

    - panel discussions by students who have returned from education abroad programs and by campus community members who came from many different countries; and

    - movies that included Crazy Rich Asians, Smoke Signals, Legend of the Demon Cat, and Living on One Dollar.

    The purpose of the programs are to prepare young Americans for a global environment and to attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn and exchange experiences in the United States.

    “We had good turnout at the events this week, though it is always hard to have events the week before Thanksgiving Break,” said Darla Domke-Damonte, Ph.D., associate provost for global initiatives.

    Planning for the 2019 International Education Week will begin in the spring, and campus community members interested in participating are welcome to reach out to Domke-Damonte at or 843-349-2129.

  • Faculty and staff select Education Abroad photo contest winners

    November 12 2018

    The Center for Global Engagement has started a regular photo contest that shine the spotlight on the experiences students have during their Education Abroad trips throughout the year, and several faculty and staff were recruited to serve as the judging panel for the "Getting Lost in the Right Direction" contest that concluded this month.

    Delvie "Mr. G." Gavilan, facilities; Judy Johns, photography; Peter Paquette, dean of students; Easton Selby, visual arts professor; and Julie Wilson, Center for Global Engagement, served on the panel of jurors.

    The winning photos were: 

    • "Bubbles in Tanzania" by Maddison Franco, first place
    • "School Boys in Ghana" by Brandon Johnson, second place
    • "Sunset in South Africa" by Madison Dunn, third place

    The photos were on display during International Education Week, Nov. 12 to 16. The student photographers all spent their Maymesters studying abroad.

    The next photo contest is already underway, "Friends from Afar," that is meant to feature the diverse relationships students build during semester-long international programs, according to Rachel Massey, director of education abroad for CGE.

    The spring contest will be titled "No Reservations" to highlight the foods students tried for the first time during their education abroad experiences. 

    *Note: Photos pictured here have been cropped due to technical constraints. 

  • Students ‘unpack’ education abroad experiences at regional conference in Greenville, S.C.

    November 15 2018

    The Education Abroad unit in the Center for Global Engagement at Coastal Carolina University took five students to attend the Lessons From Abroad conference in Greenville, S.C., on Sunday, Oct. 14.

    Sponsored by the South Carolina Association of International Educators and hosted by Furman University, the conference assists college students with the process of transitioning back to the United States after an education abroad experience. The conference also helps students to reflect on their time studying and living in another country. 

    The five CCU students who participated in the conference are:

    • Hannah Hamelman, a senior history major from Conway, S.C., studied abroad with Narxoz University in Kazakhstan, Spring 2018.
    • Kyle Johnson, a senior communication major from Longs, S.C., studied abroad with Exeter University in the United Kingdom, Fall 2016, and Deakin University in Australia, Spring 2017.
    • Troy Kinner, a senior art history major from Myrtle Beach, S.C., studied abroad with Osaka Gakuin University in Japan, Fall 2017.
    • Victoria “Tori” Schroeder, a junior public health major from Cherry Valley, Ill., studied abroad with Veritas University in Costa Rica, Spring 2018.
    • Zahra Slimani, a freshman interdisciplinary studies major from Myrtle Beach, S.C., spends each summer abroad in Morocco with family.

    “Re-entering U.S. culture can be just as difficult and disorienting for education abroad participants as adjusting to their host culture,” said Rachel Massey, CCU director of education abroad. The Lessons From Abroad conference provides tips and tools that recognize common stages of reverse culture shock, and returned students are given ideas on how they can apply and utilize their experience abroad in future endeavors.

    “Lessons From Abroad taught me more about possible postgraduate opportunities because I’ve been thinking about doing a master’s degree in the United Kingdom,” said Johnson. “I also had the chance to network with professionals who may be able to help me in the future! It was cool bonding with other students who had been abroad and connect over the similarities in our experiences while learning about some of the differences in each of our programs.”

    Hamelman also found the conference worthwhile and emphasized the value international education added to her life.

    “Studying abroad changed me for the better, but I only came to realize the full extent to which the experience changed me during a reverse culture shock panel at the conference,” she said. “Presenters and the CCU Education Abroad staff encouraged me to share my stories and skills with those who are curious, and I hope to return to Central Asia because my time abroad made me happier than I have felt in a long time.”

    CCU Education Abroad facilitated international learning experiences for approximately 350 undergraduate and graduate students during the 2017-18 academic year. For more information, email or visit 

  • 15 new staff join Teal Nation after November New Employee Orientation

    November 16 2018

    The new staff who joined Teal Nation in November include a "massive Green Bay Packers fan," someone who has hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, a cancer survivor and a shoe collector. 

    Departments across campus from admissions to housing to academic colleges welcomed their new employees, who participated in New Employee Orientation on Nov. 12. 

    Take a few minutes to meet the new members of Teal Nation and get to know what makes them unique:

    Kelly Daniel is a new operations assistant for the Office of Philanthropy. She is a CCU alumna and Myrtle Beach native, and she has traveled to 11 different countries! Her favorite food is pasta, and she loves going to the beach and cooking.

    Kaitlyn "Katie" Fisher joins University Housing as a community coordinator. She is originally from Charlotte, N.C.

    Shay Godwin is an admissions counselor who graduated from CCU in 2012 as a history major. He is a Myrtle Beach native, so naturally his favorite foods are barbecue and chicken bog. "I chose CCU because I love the mission here and I believe it provides the best opportunities for our students," he said.

    Dylan Gress is a sports turf groundskeeper originally from Charleston, S.C. He has worked for three different MLB teams, for the NFL and for the MLS. He enjoys surfing, hanging out with family and, of course, baseball.

    Emily Griffin is the director of auxiliary finances. She is originally from Manteo, N.C., and enjoys photography and sushi.

    Claudia Johnson joins Counseling Services as the administrative assistant. She hails from Long Beach, N.Y., and loves fried chicken, "Criminal Minds" and "Family Feud," bicycling and socializing.

    Kyle Johnson is from Edgerton, Wis., (the same hometown as PGA's Steve Stricker) and is an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Department of Athletics. He enjoys golf, fishing and working out, and chose to come to CCU for its "great people and welcoming community."

    William Old is a classroom integration specialist for ITS. He is originally from Conway and loves steak and fishing.

    Shannon Sarvis has joined the HTC Honors College and Center for Interdisciplinary Studies as an academic adviser and student success counselor.

    Chasity Saunders is a financial aid counselor from Roanoke, Va. She has only lived in South Carolina for a few weeks, but she is looking forward to exploring new places and trying new restaurants. She could eat breakfast all day, and owns more than 100 pairs of shoes!

    Amanda Speiser is an academic adviser for the Wall College of Business. She is from Normal, Ill., and worked at Illinois State University before coming to Coastal. She loves chocolate chip cookies (eating them and baking them!).

    Verne Walker is the new director of Career Services and comes to CCU after spending 21 years at another higher education institution. He is originally from Muskegon, Mich., and loves the beach and being with his family. "I want to work with and learn from a great team at a University that has an excellent reputation," he said.

    Daniel Watson joins University Housing as a maintenance technician. His favorite food is sugar-free cookies, and he loves coffee, golfing and fishing. He has served as a police officer and private investigator and is a cancer survivor.

    Virginia Yonson is a grants business assistant in the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Services. She loves getting crafty by recycling and repurposing items and painting. She is orignally from Sumter, S.C., and spent 20 years as a military spouse, during which time she hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

  • Professional attire offered by University Photography for headshots

    November 19 2018

    When walking through the doors of Laurel Hall, a rack of dress shirts, ties, jackets and button-down shirts greets you. The reason for the stash of professional attire? Headshots. 

    Judy Johns, director of photography, and her photography staff see many students, faculty and staff who are often in and out the door to get quick headshots taken for professional uses. It's a free headshot service for all Chanticleers, offered as part of the University 110 course on campus.

    Carmaletia Keene teaches management and decision science in the Wall College of Business as well as a University 110 course, and she brought her class to photography this semester for the headshots.

    "As a business professional, I think it is extremely important that our business students have a good sense of professionalism," she said. Each of her freshmen are required to create a resume, and she introduces them to LinkedIn for the networking benefits it offers. 

    "The resume and the profile picture are two instruments that potential employers will view before meeting our students, so we want to ensure that these two items are professtionally presented," she said.

    Other professors feels the same way, and as the headshot service for students started growing in popularity, Johns quickly noticed that not everyone who came in for a professional headshot had the appropriate attire.

    "If someone forgets their clothes that day, needs a headshot quickly or if a student does not have access to professional wear, we have these to offer them," said Johns, referring to the rack of men's and women's business attire. 

    The professional attire collection has been used quite a bit this semester for the introductory University course, which includes 26 classes with an average of 20 students per class. 

    Student-athetes and coaches have shirts, ties and blazers prepared in advance so that they can come straight in, change and have their photograph taken. Coaches also drop off student-athletes' uniforms so students who are not able to make their scheduled team time can come at a convenient time and still get an updated shot. 

    The collection will continue to grow with help of donations. If you'd like to donate a piece of professional clothing, contact Johns at 843-349-2923.

  • Staff Senate calls for business for December meeting

    November 26 2018

    The Coastal Carolina University Staff Senate met on Nov. 13, which included robust discussion on a number of topics. All previous meeting items can be viewed on the corresponding agendas, found at

    The December meeting will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, at 9 a.m. in the Alford Ballroom. As the Staff Senate begins to progress, members will be considering topics of discussion that are of interest to CCU staff. The intention of these discussions is to help the senate focus efforts on topics and concerns where they can be most productive.

    All staff are encouraged to submit topics they find important and to speak with their area senator if they are uncomfortable speaking on the subject directly. A list of area senators can be found here.

    Initial discussion topics can be submitted to either your area senator or directly to Senate Secretary Wendy Singleton at All submissions are due no later than Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018.

    Any senator or committee wishing to submit any business item proposals should do so via the Staff Senate Motion Submission Form, which can be found on the University’s online forms page at Send the completed form and any related attachments to Singleton at and David Yancey at All proposals must be received no later than Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018.

  • Public health lecturer: Fight the flu with elderberry syrup

    November 28 2018

    Jessica Lowery ’07, lecturer of public health, believes in the power of alternative medicine, and the past year for her has served as evidence that her beliefs are not unfounded. In less than a year, Lowery has gone from making elderberry syrup from scratch for a few friends, to making and selling bulk batches from a commercial kitchen with DHEC approval, a business license and a website to farmers markets and retailers all across the Grand Strand.


    She learned about the power of elderberry syrup when she was pregnant with her first child and came down with the flu. She was back on her feet within 24 hours of taking doses of the syrup, and knew she had found a natural remedy for not just the flu, but for fevers, colds, runny noses, allergies, sinus headaches, stomachaches and more.

    Lowery says a regular regimen of elderberry syrup for her and her family has saved them from trips to the doctor and missing work or school.

    “Elderberry syrup is for those looking for a natural remedy,” she said, “especially for viral infections that can’t be treated with antibiotics. We take it daily as our natural flu shot.”

    From her very first homemade batch, Lowery has refined her recipe to make sure it tastes good (her kids love it!) and has a balance among the ingredients. She uses local raw honey, all certified organic ingredients and doesn’t add any preservatives, which means her syrup must be refrigerated.

    As flu season starts to return, Lowery encourages people to consider alternative methods to over-the-counter medicines.

    “Elderberries attack several different strains of the flu virus and have been known to significantly shorten the duration of symptoms when compared to Tamiflu,” she said.

    Lowery has been teaching at CCU since 2009 after earning her Master of Arts in Teaching health education from the Univesrity of South Carolina. She and her husband, Jake ’04, have three children. Their ultimate goal is to have more children in schools, more students in class and more parents at work, meaning fewer people in doctor’s offices.

    “If we’re all feeling better, we’re all accomplishing our jobs,” she said. “That’s what it’s all about.”

    Uses: Dietary supplement that can be used as an immune booster or taken when symptoms of flue, cold, allergies, cough, sore throat appear. Lowery recommends taking one tablespoon daily for prevention; one tablespoon twice a day (morning and night) for allergies; and one tablespoon every three hours up to four times a day when symptomatic until symptoms are relieved. Safe for children older than 1.

    Lowery says it can also be used as a natural fever reducer and has been known to help alleviate chronic inflammation and pain.

    Available at: Vanity Suite Salon, Discover Wellness and Chiropractic, Harrelson’s Seafood, Lee’s Farmers Market, Hope’s Healing Hands or order directly from or

  • Video: CCU shares ‘A Little Chicken and Rice’ with community

    November 28 2018

    Chicken, rice and sausage… sometimes. Chicken bog (or chicken perlou), this region’s hallmark dish, has a wide range of variations, many of which have been passed down for generations. One consistent factor among recipes is that it is a dish that brings people together.


  • Late-Night Finals Frenzy looking for faculty and staff servers

    November 29 2018

    The Office of Student Life and Aramark are looking for some of CCU’s favorite faculty and staff to show off their food-serving skills at the semi-annual...

    Late-Night Finals Frenzy
    Monday, Dec. 10, 2018
    10 p.m. to midnight
    Hicks Dining Hall

    Each semester, this event offers students an opportunity to take a break from studying, enjoy free food, and interact with faculty and staff outside their normal work environment.

    If you would like to serve, please complete this form by Thursday, Dec. 6.

  • Computing Sciences department trades keyboards for forks in new chicken bog contest

    November 30 2018

    Coastal Carolina University's Department of Computing Sciences got a taste of classic South Carolinian culture last month during a new chicken bog contest.

    "A discussion between faculty and staff during lunch revealed that some faculty had never eaten chicken bog before," said French. "This led to the idea of the contest, and we also wanted student involvement since many had never even heard of chicken bog."

    Faculty and staff members were encouraged to bring their own version of the traditionally South Carolina dish, consisting of rice, chicken and sometimes sausage. Students in the department judged each entry and voted to determine the top three enteries.Winners were awarded 3D-printed trophies.

    More than 50 students attended the contest with six faculty members participating in the cooking. As students entered the room, they put their names on a ticket. After tasting each of the bogs, they put their ticket into the box by their favorite bog.

    Rosemary Burke, a computing sciences teaching associate, won first place. Jean French, chair and professor of computing sciences, won second place as a first-time bog cooker. Cory Nance, the mastermind behind the contest and lecuter of computing sciences, won third.

    Students were entered into a drawing for attending, and one lucky student won a gift card, courtesy of French, to Buffalo Wild Wings.

    Although this is the first bog-off the department thas held, they are planning on continuing the new tradition for years to come. A different contest will begin in the spring similar to the bog-off, involving either barbecue or lasagna. 

  • From the LiveWell Office: Flu prevention tips and tricks

    December 3 2018

    The year is ending, temperatures are dropping and the holiday season is in full swing. Yet winter brings another season that may not be as joyous: flu season. Flu season is caused by the prevalence of outbreaks of Influenza during the cold half of the year. While it is not entirely escapable, lifestyle changes and mindfulness can help fend off the viral monster.

    Mike Cruise, health educator from CCU's LiveWell Office, spends his time informing students, faculty and staff about ways they can improve their physical and mental health through life choices, diet and exercise. As a health educator, his knowledge on ways to prevent influenza is beneficial, especially this time of year.

    Along with getting the flu shot, Cruise suggests prioritizing the care of high-touch areas.

    “The biggest recommendation is keeping stuff clean when you work in any office,” Cruise said. “There’s lots of people around and you don’t know who is sick or who has what.”

    Many people will come to work while sick, not particularly thinking about spreading germs while coughing or sneezing. Wiping down high-touch areas consistently with an alcohol wipe, as well as keeping up basic hygiene like washing hands frequently will help prevent any sickness.

    One of the reasons students get sick so easily during flu season is due to final exams occurring the same time, said Cruise. The combination of being stressed, not eating well and lack of exercise can damage the immune system, making students more susceptible to catching the flu. Students’ normal routines are different during finals week as well, which comprises the immune system even more.

    “Their bodies are in a responsive state trying to repair everything,” Cruise said. “As staff and faculty, we interact with students all the time, making the spread of the flu a lot worse.”

    Cruise’s advice is to upkeep normal routines as much as possible during the holiday season, in addition to eating well and exercising. Faculty and staff members have access to the HTC Center fitness floor and classes for free.

    Exercising is a stress-inducing environment for the body; physical activity causes the body to release cortisol, the stress hormone, while in action. However, the level of cortisol released is decreased after exercising, causing less stress throughout the day. 

    “With any person who is experiencing a greater amount of stress, the constant release of cortisol is what damages the immune system,” Cruise said. 

    Sleep is also an important factor, tightly related to the body’s stress response. Whenever the body sleeps, a large amount of cortisol is released. When the recommended amount of seven or eight hours a night is not reached, the body begins to release more cortisol than it should. The more cortisol that is released, the harder it is for the body to fight off viruses and bacteria.

    If influenza makes its way into the body, receiving treatment within 48 to 72 hours of being symptomatic is recommended. A variety of flu prevention medication is available at pharmacies, meant to shorten the length of the flu and ease the intensity of symptoms. For a more homeopathic remedy, check out the story in this edition of the newsletter about CCU lecturer Jessica Lowery's approach to medicine.

    Overall, taking care of the body through hygiene, exercise, a healthy diet and sleep can make a world’s difference in how the immune system reacts to the flu virus this season. For more information, contact the LiveWell Office at 843-349-4031.

  • Assistant provost plays role of Mother Ginger in local production of "The Nutcracker"

    December 4 2018

    David Yancey, assistant provost of special projects at CCU, has been cast in a local ballet troupe's annual production of "The Nutcracker," performed this year on the Wheelwright Auditorium stage.

    "I am thrilled to be playing the part of Mother Ginger this year," Yancey said. "I'm thankful to the Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre for providing the opportunity to participate."

    He will be performing at the Dec. 8 show at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at

    According to a release from the Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre, audiences look forward to seeing the campy and loony Mother Ginger take the stage in Act Two of the ballet in all of her off-the-wall attire, up in an elevated contraption, adorned with a crazy wig and a skirt that looks like it is couple hundred pounds of fabric. The Mother Ginger character provides the comic relief in the ballet!

    The celebrities and public figures are nominated by their community members to be featured individually in each of the performances. The other Mother Gingers are:

    • State Rep. Alan Clemmons, District 107, performing Dec. 8 at 7 p.m.
    • Sgt. Jeff Benton, Horry County Police, and DJ with iHeart Radio, Dec. 9 at 3 p.m.
    • Lt. Jon Evans, deputy fire marshal for the City of Myrtle Beach Fire Department, Dec. 15 at 2 p.m.
    • Realtor Jamie Broadhurst, president of Century 21 Broadhurst, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m.
    • Adam Dellinger, iHeart program director, Dec. 16 at 3 p.m.

    From the release:

    Past “Mother Gingers” have included Barbara Jo Blain-Bellamy, mayor of Conway; Ed Piotrowski, chief meteorologist for WPDE; Johnny Vaught, Horry County councilmember; and Randal Wallace Myrtle Beach city councilmember, among others.

    “The Nutcracker” tells the story of young Clara who is given a magical nutcracker doll on Christmas Eve by her eccentric uncle and godfather, Herr Drosselmeyer. Adventure awaits as she and her transformed Nutcracker Prince battle the frightful Mouse King before embarking on a journey through the Land of the Snow. With the help of the Snow Queen, Herr Drosselmeyer, Clara, and her Prince travel to the Land of the Sweets where they are entertained by the Sugar Plum Fairy, her Cavalier, and her Entourage of Sweets.

    CYBT ballerinas Kiely Elizabeth Clark and Alyssa Dionne are the featured Sugar Plum Fairies and New York City guest artists Mikhail Ilyin and Simon Wexler will perform as the Cavaliers. “The Nutcracker” is staged by CYBT professional artistic directors Liza Mata and Karen Mata to the music of composer Peter Tchaikovsky.