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  • Faculty are invited to the Inclusive Pedagogy Workshop

    January 11 2019

    Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) and the Center for Teaching Excellence to Advance Learning (CeTEAL) are kicking off the new year with the Inclusive Pedagogy Workshop on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019.

    Inclusive pedagogy is a student-centerd approach that focuses on the varied backgrounds, learning styles and abilities of all learners in the classroom in order to create a space that works for all students.

    The workshop will allow faculty members to take a look at their current teaching practices and implement inclusive pedagogy into their unique teaching styles. Aims of the workshop include focusing on curriculum reform in order to become more culturally inclusive, allow faculty to meet and hear from consultant Dena Samuels, an expert in the field, and collaborate with colleagues from across campus.

    The faculty who participates will receive a copy of Samuels' book, "The Culturally Inclusive Educator: Preparing for a Multicultural World," and workshop materials. Also, they will attend lunch with Samuels and Provost Ralph Byington to discuss making inclusive pedagogy a part of the broader vision of the University. Faculty will be invited to continue discussing this matter through the semester at Book Talks, an event sponsored by ODI and CeTEAL.

    Additionally, the workshop will honor the experience of faculty who have been reflecting diversity and inclusion through their classroom teaching and lived experience. All faculty are encouraged to apply.

    Fifteen spaces are available for each workshop, with two time options available. The morning workshop will be repeated in the afternoon. Sessions are scheduled for Friday, Jan. 11, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and 1 to 4:30 p.m. Lunch is included.

    A brief application process is required, including the following pieces: choice of a course the faculty member teaches as a focus for the workshop, and a brief essay of 300 words or less describing what the faculty member hopes to gain from the workshop. The essay is to be submitted on the application website. After submitting, email a copy of the course's syllabus to

    All faculty and staff are invited to attend a drop-in session with Samuels from 2:30-4:45 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, in LJSU A201. Samuels will also speak on the topic of mindful educational leadership at a colloquium in Johnson Auditorium on Jan. 10, 2019, at 7 p.m.

    For more information, email or

  • Video: Highlights from the 2018 Blanton Park Holiday Tree Lighting

    December 4 2018

  • CCU student makes a positive impact by raising awareness about multiple sclerosis and cancer

    December 6 2018

    Vilmarie Ocasio never expected to become an advocate for multiple sclerosis (MS) and cancer prevention awareness. But after lobbying in the senate of Puerto Rico, becoming the founder and CEO of a nonprofit organization, and winning several awards for her work, the Coastal Carolina University student has made a significant impact for MS patients in Puerto Rico.

    “It started off small and it became huge,” said Ocasio. “It takes time and effort, but it’s not impossible [to make a difference].”

    Ocasio, a native Manati, Puerto Rico, is a sophomore communication major with a minor in public health. She completed one semester of college in Puerto Rico, then she transferred to CCU for the spring semester in 2018.

    She moved to the United States with her mother and brother after Hurricane Maria left 80 percent of the island with no power or running water in fall 2017. “My family and I decided to move to South Carolina because with my mother’s condition, she could not handle the circumstances that the island presented,” said Ocasio.

    Ocasio’s mother, Vilma, had sought medical treatment for various symptoms since 2008, but her doctors could not diagnose her illness. She showed typical MS symptoms, such as fatigue, numbness and weakness in her right leg, tingling and pain throughout her whole body, and electric-shock sensations in her hands, face and legs. Eventually, in 2014 a neurologist diagnosed her mother with multiple sclerosis, a disease that attacks the central nervous system.

    According to Ocasio, the last straw that led her mother to seek out a doctor who could diagnose her problem was when she lost coordination so badly and felt tremors to the point that she could no longer write her name. 

    “My family and I didn’t have access to information about what MS is, the symptoms of MS, or anything,” said Ocasio. “At that time, we felt lost and really unhopeful about my mother's outcome. I even thought that I would not have a mother by next year.”

    Read Vilmarie's full story at Coastal Now here.

  • Feel the Teal and holiday cheer with Baxley Hall

    December 7 2018

    Baxley Hall was filled with holiday cheer on Friday, Dec. 7, at the second annual Baxley Hall Progressive Holiday Drop-In. While this time of year can be stressful with tying loose ends before the new year, employees of the offices housed in Baxley Hall took a break from work, joining together for a time of celebration.

    Each office "decked the halls" by decorating, as well as offering delicious treats for guests. The Office of Admissions and Merit Awards hosted a hot chocolate bar, including a variety of toppings to create the perfect hot cocoa. The Office of Financial Aid made holiday cookies and provided a festive photo booth for attendees to capture the moment in their ugly Christmas sweaters. The Office of the Registrar served cupcakes, the Office of Student Accounts served popcorn with several toppings, and the CINO Card office served rich fudge. Lastly, the Office of Graduate Studies offered hot holiday cider.

    Guests visiting any of the offices were invited to join the fun. 

    "What a great way to visit and catch up on holiday plans while filling up on sweets," said Sharlene Zwing, adminsitrative coordinator of in the Office of Admissions and Merit Awards. 

  • Five Grand Strand properties receive CCU award for real estate

    December 10 2018

    Coastal Carolina University’s Grant Center for Real Estate and Economics held the second annual CCU Real Estate Awards on Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. The center, which is now located in Room 107 of the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony following the real estate awards.

    The CCU Real Estate Awards celebrate real estate excellence in five awards categories: Residential, Commercial, Government, Public and Nonprofit, Resort and Tourism and, new to this year’s awards, Restaurants.

    “The nominations were judged by a panel of experts based on community impact, sustainability, creativity, land use, design and legacy,” said Ed Gilmer, commercial banker for First Reliance Bank and chairman of the Grant Center for Real Estate and Economics advisory board. “Each nomination recognizes a new construction or rehabilitation real estate project that not only improves the physical appearance of a neighborhood, but works as a catalyst for further development.”

    Each awarded property holds the winning title for the 2018 CCU Real Estate Awards and received both a crystal plaque and winning certificate. The other 11 nominated properties were also recognized with certificates of nominations. Representatives from each company joined Coastal Carolina University, the local chambers of commerce and various other community members for a celebratory reception following the awards.

    Winning the residential award category for making a demonstrable and measurable impact on the quality of life in the community it serves by enhancing quality of life was Papillon North Ocean Boulevard. Papillon, an effort of Winchester Development Group and Sands Building Group, is a pedestrian-friendly community that showcases traditional lowcountry homes.

    Winning the commercial award category for the development and successful implementation of an ongoing, sustained initiative that promotes and is integral to comprehensive community and economic development was THEBlvd. THEBlvd complex on North Ocean Boulevard features live music, dining and shopping options. The project is part of a revival underway along the northern end of Myrtle Beach boardwalk that promises to elevate the neighborhood for not only visitors, but for residents and business as well.

    Winning the resort and tourism award category for measurably improving the range of attractions available to the visiting public and enhancing the architectural environment of the tourism landscape in Myrtle Beach was Ocean Enclave by Hilton Grand Vacations Club.

    Ocean Enclave is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2019 and will feature a large oceanfront pool, private cabanas, an indoor pool, a fitness center, a restaurant and bar and a children’s game room. The developer, Strand Capital Group, is contributing $2.7 million in public improvements to the neighborhood, which will include new sidewalks and streetscaping, new street lighting, two oceanfront parks and an extension of the Myrtle Beach boardwalk.

    The government, public and nonprofit award category is designed for businesses that leverage local artistic talent, private and public assets and other community resources to transform its property into a safe, attractive, and inviting neighborhood environment for the purpose of facilitating connectedness within the community. This year’s winner was Matt Hughes Skate Park.

    The newly renovated skate park is named after Matthew Hughes, a Myrtle Beach teen who died while skating boarding in 1998. The project was led by his sister, Noel Hughes, the Friends of the Skatepark Foundation, the City of Myrtle Beach and various other organizations.

    The renovations include replacing graffiti-covered wood and metal with concrete and a newly added gate that prominently features Matt’s names and initials. Additionally, the park now includes a memorial to Matt and a bench made from skate decks. The project has now entered its second phase to expand the park with a skateboarding bowl, larger stair sets and handrails.

    Finally, winning the restaurants award category for enhancing the architectural environment of the tourism landscape and showcasing innovation, creativity, and originality in design and concept was Lucy Buffett's LuLu's at Barefoot Landing.

    Opened in June 2018, LuLu’s is the anchor to the new Dockside Village in Barefoot Landing. The restaurant is a sprawling 18,000-square-foot dining and retail compound with more than 400 seats and its own beach.

    The awards were presented by Robert F. Salvino, Ph.D., director of the Grant Center for Real Estate and Economics; Barbara A. Ritter, Ph.D., dean of the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration; and Gilmer.

  • Leadership opportunities available for students

    December 12 2018

    There are several leadership opportunities for students this month that faculty and staff should be aware of.

    Wall Fellows

    The Wall Fellows program, housed within the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration, is recruiting students now for the Class of 2021. The program is available to second semester sophomores of any major and is a two-year program designed to prepare fellows for high-level careers.

    To get a better idea of the program, you can watch this video of students talking about their valuable experiences within the program.

    Students can apply at until Jan. 18, 2019. You are encouraged to share this information and contact information with students who may be interested in applying or who you think would be a good fit. Faculty are free to email students in their classes. Email or visit Wall 215 for more information.

    Resident Advisers

    Another leadership opportunity for students is within University Housing, which is looking for motivated, resourceful, supportive and genuine role models to be resident advisers (RAs) for the 2019-2020 academic year.

    RAs gain valuable leadership skills that will transfer to their careers and are provided housing and a meal plan. They are responsible for building community, providing resources to residents, serving in an on-call rotation, and being positive role models to all students on campus.

    Students can apply for this opportunity through MyCoastalHome until Jan. 7 at 11:59 p.m.

    It is essential to find students who have the character to support their residents when fulfilling Housing's mission of care, safety and success. University Housing provides training for all RAs at the beginning of each academic year. All faculty and staff should encourage qualified students to apply for this opportunity. If you have any questions or concerns, contact Jenna Jeslis at or David Speiser at

    Swain Scholars

    The Swain Scholars program is also accepting applications through Feb. 28, 2019. This program is open to sophomores majoring in biochemistry, biology, chemistry, exercise and sport science, public health, or sociology who have a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

    Students selected as Swain Scholars work to improve the health of the community and take six credit hours during their junior and senior years as part of the program. They also plan health outreach programs and conduct research. Scholarships of up to $5,000 are available.

    For more information, contact Sharon Thompson at or ext. 2635. 

  • Faculty member's UN Youth Corps initiative earns top recognition by global organization

    December 13 2018

    When the United Nations General Assembly formed a global network of centers to accelerate global objectives on the local level, CCU Professor of Politics Pamela Martin saw an opportunity.

    She, along with the National Estuarine Research Reserve North Inlet-Winyah Bay and the Bunnelle Foundation, started Georgetown RISE, which stands for resilience, innovation, sustainability and education. The mission of Georgetown RISE is to align Georgetown County with global objectives by promoting productive dialogue and collaboration within the county so that future generations can enjoy a quality of life as we have.

    Part of Georgetown RISE is the youth corps, comprised of CCU student interns placed at multiple businesses and organizations throughout Georgetown County. 

    That facet of Georgetown RISE has earned global recognition. The Georgetown RISE Youth Corps earned an Outstanding Flagship Project designation from the Global RCE Service Centre in December, which was announced at a global conference in Cebu, Philippines, Dec. 7-9.

    The Regional Centres of Expertise (RCE) Awards for Innovative Projects on Education for Sustainable Development are awarded annually in three categories: Outstanding Flagship Project, Acknowledge Flagship Project, and Honorable Mention. 

    Per the RCE, "The award recognizes projects and programs that bridge local and global perspectives on sustainable development, those that engage with transformative learning and research, and initiatives that contribute to community engagement, research and development, and capacity development of stakeholders and partners."

    Other Outstanding Flagship Projects include those submitted from Mexico, Scotland and Western Sydney University. This is the seventh year the awards have been part of the Global RCE Conference. 

  • Video: More than 700 students were eligible to participate in fall commencement

    December 14 2018

    “Tough times don’t happen TO us,” Conway Mayor Barbara Blain-Bellamy said to graduating Coastal Carolina University students during one of two commencement ceremonies Friday. “Tough times happen FOR us.”

    More than 700 students were eligible to participate in fall commencement held Dec. 14. Ceremonies were held at 2 and 6 p.m. in the HTC Student Recreation and Convocation Center.

    Read more at Coastal Now here.

  • Career Services welcomes new director: Meet Verne Walker

    December 17 2018

    Verne Walker, Ph.D., the new director for Career Services, came to CCU in November with a vision, along with a confidence and spirit of collaboration to start turning that vision into reality. In short, that vision is one of teamwork and excellence. Walker and the Career Services team members are committed to collaborating with various departments on campus.

    “I believe a departmental vision should be a shared vision,” he said, “one in which the talents of the Career Services team members should be included. As a team, we will work together, learn from each other, and collaborate with various team members on and off campus as we lead Career Services toward excellence.”

    Walker moved from Bowling Green, Ohio, to the Carolina Forest area with his wife and niece late in 2018 after a 21-year career at Owens Community College, with campuses in Findlay and in Toledo, Ohio. As the assistant dean of student services, he worked with student resource departments including counseling, career services, disability resources, international services, testing services and veterans services.

    The decision to move to the Myrtle Beach area came after several family vacations and a self-guided tour of Coastal about a year and a half ago.

    After that tour, “I concluded that CCU had one of the most beautiful campuses I had seen,” Walker said. “I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to work on a scenic campus and to learn from such a talented team.”

    The Career Services team includes Robert Bulsza, director of internships and service learning; Karen Arnie, career counselor and employment coordinator; Christen Cox, career counselor and outreach coordinator; Yvette Jefferson, employer recruitment specialist; and Jessica Small, administrative specialist. Walker already calls this team “collaborative, engaging, strategic and service-oriented.”

    His goals include increasing on- and off-campus awareness of the importance of infusing career development into the student experiences; serving alumni with career development needs; and creating a program that is recognized on the local and national levels as excellent.

    “I feel that it is a privilege to work with and learn from the talented team members at Coastal,” he said. “I will do my best to create and sustain positive and collaborative relationships with on-campus and off-campus partners. Together we will provide students with timely and valuable career services experiences.”

    Outside of work, Walker enjoys walking on the beach or riding his bike. His core values are health, balance and wellness, which he lives daily by maintaining an active lifestyle. He also enjoys having walking meetings with colleagues, which he says can allow for conversations that lead to creative new ideas and planning.

    Walker’s office is inside the Career Services Center, Lib Jackson Student Union A-203. He can be reached at or ext. 2357. Visit

  • James Luken rejoins College of Science as associate dean

    December 18 2018

    James Luken has been appointed associate dean in Coastal Carolina University’s College of Science.

    Luken will be specifically charged with developing initiatives related to the University’s Strategic Plan Goal 5. These duties will include: piloting a process for archiving faculty and student achievements into the campuswide assessment system, Campus Labs; continuing the production of the college magazine Progression and developing its online presence; developing newsletter and video clips to promote the college both inside and outside the campus community; working with the College of Science’s academic departments to produce brochures and other collateral for open houses, Discovery Days and other events.

    “I’m excited to once again be involved in the College of Science," said Luken. "My plan is to discover, interpret and then make others aware of the many student and faculty accomplishments.”  

    Luken earned his Ph.D. in botany from Duke University and came to Coastal Carolina University from Northern Kentucky University in 2001 to serve as the chair of the biology department. At the conclusion of his service as chair, he was appointed associate dean of science, charged to oversee the master’s program in coastal and marine wetland studies. Most recently, Luken has directed universitywide graduate programs and initiatives, which have led to the establishment of the College of Graduate Studies and Research.

  • More than 2,400 students make it on the Dean's List for the Fall 2018 semester

    December 20 2018

    More than 2,400 students at Coastal Carolina University were named to the Dean's List for the Fall 2018 semester. That's more than 23 percent of the student body earning a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

    In addition, more than 800 students earned a perfect 4.0 GPA during the fall semester, earning them a spot on the President's List.

    View these achievements and others on CCU's Merit Page.

    If you are aware of student achievements that deserve recognition and publication, email

  • Your #CCUSnapshot: What does CCU look like to you?

    December 21 2018

    What does CCU look like to you? Coastal Now wants to see Coastal Carolina University through your eyes and your lens. 

    Post your CCU photos on Twitter with the caption "My #CCUSnapshot" and tag @CCUNewsDesk. Selected photos will be featured on the Coastal Now website!

    Don't have a Twitter account? You can email your CCU snapshots to

    Happy snapping!

  • Amanda Hanford: Winner of this year's parking space

    January 1 2019

    Amanda Hanford, student accounts specialist in the Office of Student Accounts, is the winner of this year's faculty/staff giving campaign parking space. 

    The Office for Philanthropy runs a contest every year, and all faculty and staff who contribute to CCU during the year are entered to win. This year's prize was an official parking spot for Hanford to use all year long. Next year, the prize will be a CINO Card loaded up with money for food and merchandise. 

    Congratulations, Amanda!

  • Office of Student Life seeking faculty and staff mentors of CINO Elevate

    January 1 2019

    The Office of Student Life is seeking individuals who are willing to serve as CINO Elevate mentors to junior level students for the spring semester. CINO Elevate is a University mentorship program designed to pair faculty and staff members with junior level students. The program provides students with an additional opportunity to meet faculty and staff members on campus, allows students to learn what it means to have a personal, yet professional relationship, and grant students access to people who have "been there," providing a sense of guidance through their past experience. 

    With the number of students interested increasing, faculty and staff members are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible. The only requirement is to meet with the designated student once a week for about an hour. Many pairs meet for lunch once a week. 

    The Office of Student Life will provide mentors with a handbook of items to talk about; however, the program is meant to be unique for each faculty and staff member based on their preferences. 

    Each student will be hand-paired with a faculty or staff member based on what the student requests. The requests can include someone with same outside interests, someone within their career field, or an individual to talk about their fturue with. On your application, please be as specific and detailed as possible to ensure the most accurate selection. 

    The link to sign up can be found here. For questions, please contact Jessica Combess within the Office of Student Life at 843-349-2656.