The following projects have been selected for McCausland Innovation Fund awards.
Co-leads: Conor Harrison and David Fuente(School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment; Department of Geography)
This new course will address energy and water equity, a critical issue stemming from
the intertwined challenges of climate change and socioeconomic inequality. Students
will conduct on-the-ground research to cultivate skills in problem solving, hone their
analytical and quantitative abilities and develop effective written, visual and verbal
Lead: Dustin Whitehead(Department of Theatre and Dance)
The Get on Set Initiative provides an opportunity for student filmmakers to gain real-world
experience on a professional set, expanding their tools for breaking into the film
industry. Additionally, this project will create economic opportunity for the state
and university by bringing yearly film productions to South Carolina. This funding
supplements an active grant from the South Carolina Film Commission.
Lead: Liz Countryman(Department of English)
Split P partners with local public schools to provide writing workshops for elementary
students in English and Language Arts. Master of Fine Arts students receive stipends
to teach fiction and poetry to young learners, enhancing the fellows’ educational
experiences and giving children in the community the opportunity to explore creative
writing and tell their own stories.
Lead: Mark Smith(Institute for Southern Studies)
The South Carolina Department of Archives and History houses probate records from
the 18th and 19th century. The SHARE project will work with partners, locally to internationally,
to digitize these important records and to lay the groundwork for future management
of complex primary source materials in a digital framework. The project also aims
to provide funding to assist first-generation and underrepresented students.
Lead: Joshua Meyer-Gutbrod(Department of Political Science)
This project provides greater access to internships for political science students,
particularly first-generation, underrepresented and non-traditional students. It will
help students find paid internships, support them through weekly class sessions for
course credit and culminate with presenting at a job fair with networking opportunities.
Lead: Stephanie Milling(Department of Theatre and Dance)
The newly designed M.A. in Dance Studieswill prepare students to teach dance in K-12 schools through two years of online courses
with brief, in-person residencies. The 2023 McCausland Innovation Fund award will
support development of three online, asynchronous courses included in this program:
DANC 725: Arts Policy, Advocacy, and Funding, DANC 750: Critical Issues in Dance Pedagogy,
and DANC 790: Research Methods in Dance.
Co-leads: Judith Kalb and Lara Ducate(Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures)
A few new, online courses will help students develop knowledge and skills related
to global cultures.FORL 360: Introduction to Intercultural Communicationwill give students an introduction to the connection between language and culture
and prepare them to communicate well with people with different cultural backgrounds.SPAN 280: Spanish Language in Societywill allow students to learn about the language's role in cultures around the world.CHIN 315: China’s Monkey Kingwill explore Chinese literature and film.
Co-leads: Leah Lindsey and Catherine Wiskes(Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures)
These courses prepare students to communicate in basic Spanish and explore the cultures
of the Spanish-speaking world, while meeting Carolina Core requirements. The faculty
will redevelop the online delivery of these courses and provide improved instructor
training, creating an enhanced experience for the many USC students who take these
Lead: Dawn Campbell(Department of Women’s and Gender Studies)
The women’s and gender studies major gives students a deep understanding of women
and other underrepresented groups through research and community involvement. In addition
to gaining skills that translate well into future employment or graduate studies,
WGST students learn to think critically, communicate effectively, solve problems and
interpret human experiences with empathy and insight. The online program, to be launched
in fall 2024, will embody the same major course requirements and learning outcomes
as the traditional B.A. program, while contributing to equitable access to higher
The McCausland Visiting Scholars Fund will bring several scholars to campus in the
2023-2024 academic year.
The Department of Psychology will host David MacKinnon, Regents and Foundation Professor
of Psychology from Arizona State University, for public talks, workshops, and consultations
with faculty and graduate student researchers. Amanda Fairchild is the faculty host.
The Department of Women’s and Gender Studies will host Monica McLemore, a professor
from the University of Washington Department of Child, Family and Population Health,
for a talk, seminar and classes about health equity. The talks will be part of the
department’s 50th anniversary celebration. Emily Mann is the faculty host.
The Department of Sociology will host two scholars from the University of Tokyo ―
Dimitri Vanoverbeke, chair in sociology of law, and Jason Karlin, chair of the Interfaculty
Initiative in Information Studies, for talks and guest lectures about law and culture
in Japan. Mathieu Deflem is the faculty host.
Tracks I-III Awards
These projects are designed to enhance the student experience and, promote interdisciplinary
teaching and research and build partnerships in the community.
Lead: Minuette Floyd (School of Visual Art and Design)
Team Members: Althea Counts (Director, Trio Program); Nancy Tolson (Assistant Director,
African-American Studies); Sherrie Belton (Parent & Family Engagement Specialist,
This beyond-the-classroom experience will allow underrepresented and first-generation
students the opportunity to study abroad in Ghana, West Africa. Students will engage
with the peoples and rich culture of the region while examining cultural misconceptions
through artmaking and storytelling. Carolina students will hone their programming
with Richland School District One elementary school students prior to traveling abroad.
Lead: Kelly Goldberg (Anthropology); Lana Burgess (Graduate Director, McKissick Museum)
Team Members: Laura Kissel (Director, Media Arts); Adam King (Director, SCIAA); James
Spirek (SCIAA); John Sherrer (Historic Columbia Foundation)
Students, faculty and staff will collaborate with local partner institutions to increase
access to cultural heritage materials using three-dimensional copies of significant
archaeological and cultural artifacts. This new facility will allow collaborators,
including the McKissick Museum, to spotlight and bring to life the experiences and
stories that remain untold while increasing public access to historical collections
Lead: Beth Krizek (Biological Sciences); Charles Andy Schumpert (Biological Sciences)
Undergraduate students in their first semester will learn fundamental laboratory and
research skills with the goal of increasing participation of underrepresented and
first-generation students in STEM fields. Graduate students in the Department of Biological
Sciences who also belong to underrepresented or first-generation groups will teach
the Saturday sessions with the help of upper-level undergraduates.
Lead: William Strosnider (Baruch Institute)
Team Members: Tameria Warren (Undergraduate Studies Program Coordinator, SEOE); Bruce
Pfirrmann (BMFL Research Resource Specialist); Steve Williams (Historian); Patti Burns
This project seeks to uncover, acknowledge, and honor the contributions that enslaved
individuals made in creating the landscape that now houses the Baruch Marine Field
Laboratory. In collaboration with the University of Dayton, efforts will be made to
intensify engagement with local African American communities, gather primary sources
concerning the Black experience on that land and integrate this new information into
current and future USC courses.
Lead: Marius Valdes (School of Visual Art and Design)
Select students in the School of Visual Art and Design will lead this design studio
and incubator to innovative learning opportunities beyond the classroom and bring
community visibility to the work of student designers. The studio will function as
a self-sustaining small agency with students collaborating with faculty directors
to sell products, engage with the community, and potentially gain international recognition
for their work.
Lead: August W. Fountain III (Chemistry and Biochemistry)
Team Members: Amy Taylor-Perry (Senior Instructor, Chemistry and Biochemistry); Demi
Garvin (Consultant, Pharm.D., F-ABFT, Director of Forensic Services, Retired SLED)
In response to the anticipated growth of the forensic science profession over the
next decade, the department will endeavor to establish a minor in Forensic Science.
This project aims to redesign CHEM 107 and CHEM 622 courses to align with the requirements
of the Forensic Science Education Accreditation Commission (FEPAC), making USC one
of only two FEPAC certified universities in the state. Partnerships with SLED and
a new lab component will further prepare graduates to enter this in-demand occupation.
Lead: Valinda Littlefield (History), Brent Morris (ISRE at USC-Beaufort)
Team members: Rhonda Carey (Director, Project Reconstruction); Melissa DeVelvis (Augusta
University); Minuette Floyd (Art Education); Nicole Maskiell (Director, Public History
Program); Victoria Smalls (Director, Gullah Geechee Corridor)
In this interdisciplinary project, faculty and graduate students will work closely
with middle and high school students on archival research and collecting oral histories
and other materials about the 1st South Carolina Volunteers. Documenting the history
of African American soldiers serving in the US Armed Forces will serve local communities
and partner organizations while equipping secondary students to present their work,
in a variety of mediums, at a special event.
In service of USC students and the many professional track faculty (PTF), this addresses
a need for teaching-focused professional development. Using a peer-to-peer format
based on the Japanese Lesson Study, this project will pilot a scalable implementation
of a pedagogical training program beginning with select departments. PTFs will take
an active role in the building and assessment of this program, in which teachers support
one another within a community learning context.
Track IV: Online Course Development Awards
Online offerings will be developed for the following courses, allowing greater flexibility
in teaching and learning while improving students' online learning experiences.
Leads: Rodney Taylor and Kendall Deas and Team Member: Kimberly Simmons (African American
First taught in Fall 2021, AFAM 200 has proven to be a very popular Founding Documents
class that has received many requests from students to be taught online. This Carolina
Core class is a study of the United States founding documents that emphasizes how
the experiences of African American citizens throughout history and culture shape
the country’s values, norms and ideals.
Lead: Qiana Whitted (English Language and Literature and African American Studies)
Moved online during the pandemic in a remote delivery format, this cross-listed course
(with WGST 515) explores the representation of race and gender in comics with a special
emphasis on the experiences of African Americans. As part of the McCausland cohort,
the faculty lead will revise the course to be a completely asynchronous, high-quality
online course designed to meet the flexibility of today's students and to increase
access to students throughout USC.
Lead: Kimberly Simmons (Anthropology and African American Studies)
This highly engaging course explores the African American identity in popular feature
films and investigates cultural representations, constructions, production and consumption.
The rich resources available through University Library's educational streaming films
and highly engaging technology provide an opportunity to move this course online to
better reach and engage students in this field of study.
Lead: Rebecca Stern (English Language and Literature)
ENGL 280, Literature and Society, fulfills two Carolina Core requirements (both AIU
and VSR) and has been popular, attracting a range of majors and minors to the College.
Developing a fully online version of this course enhances flexibility for students.
Lead: Tara Remington and Team Members: Jerry Mitchell and Grayson Morgan (Geography)
Moving this GIS course online will help provide students flexibility in learning introductory
principles and methods of geographic information systems including discussion of computers,
spatial data, analysis and display. This course not only includes discussion of applications
but also hands-on experience — all of which is enhanced through online delivery.
Lead: Grayson Morgan and Team Members: Jerry Mitchell and Tara Remington (Geography)
This 500-level GIS course introduces students to theory and application of geographic
information systems including discussions of automated input, storage, analysis, integration
and display of spatial data. Students will learn to use an operational geographic
information system in an online format.
Lead: Derek O'Leary and Team Member: Colin Wilder (History)
HIST 201 has become a highly demanded course that will be taught each semester by
multiple instructors in the History Department from a variety of specialties. Designing
this course for online delivery will help provide instructional resources that will
help future instructors deliver high-quality History 201 instruction in an online
format to attract students who have different interests in American history and to
help meet the needs of students who need an online Carolina Core Founding Documents
and History option.
Lead: Saskia Coenen-Snyder and Team Members: James Risk (History)
A gateway course for history majors, this course lays the groundwork for students
who wish to explore the field and craft of history. An online hybrid format will allow
the program to reach more students, with greater flexibility and accessibility, and
the course will utilize the many digital resources available at USC.
Lead: Neil Levens and Team Members: Sam McQuillin and Amanda Davis (Psychology)
In response to the recent growth of the psychology program, the development of this
online class will provide a solution to scaling a new required course. Teaching hundreds
of students each semester, a creative format will allow for instruction as well as
a laboratory component.
Lead: Amit Almor and Team Members: Dawson Peterson (Ph.D. student, Linguistics) and
Sarah Wilson (Ph.D. student, Linguistics)
This interdisciplinary course satisfies major requirements in psychology as well as
minor and graduate requirements in linguistics. With few online offerings at the 500
level, this format will allow greater access for students and a faster path to graduation
as a summer course.
Lead: Erin Roberts and Team Member: Graduate Student Assistant (Religious Studies)
A Carolina Core class, RELG 101 provides foundational knowledge on the beliefs and
practices of the world's religions and the methods scholars use to study them. An
online version of this course will help reach more students in a more flexible format.
Lead: Stephanie Mitchem and Team Member: Graduate Student Assistant (Religious Studies)
In a two-for-one proposal, this team will develop RELG 205 for online delivery for
the first time and will revise a popular online course, RELG 270. RELG 205, another
Carolina Core class, introduces students to knowledge of the values and ethics developed,
contested and transmitted through a variety of religious practices. This course is
highly requested by students to be taught online. As part of this cohort, RELG 270
will be revised to meet current trends within the field of Religion and the Arts and
to incorporate new techniques, instructional materials and assignments for student
Lead: Stephanie Milling
The Master of Dance Studies program is a first-of-its-kind undertaking that will provide
graduate-level dance study with the goal to address the increasing need for teachers
in K-12 dance education.
Lead: Hanne van der Iest
The Summer of Sociology will be a highly-collaborative, accelerated minor program
that allows students to earn the minor in a single summer.
Lead: Hanne van der Iest and Team Members: Andrea Henderson (Faculty Expert), Atticus
Wolfe (Graduate Assistant), Victoria Money (Graduate Assistant), Valerie Barron (Graduate
Assistant), and Morgan Koziol (Graduate Assistant) (Sociology)
SOCY 360 is a high-demand, highly marketable sociology course that would constitute
one of the three core 300-level courses in our online minor. Developing this course
online through a team approach will provide a course that can meet the unit's need
for increased sustainability of this core Departmental online offering.
Lead: Hanne van der Iest and Team Members: Matthew Brashears (Faculty Expert), Nicholas
Heiserman (Graduate Assistant), and Nick Harder (Graduate Assistant) (Sociology)
Our Elementary Statistics course, SOCY 392, is a minor requirement with enrollment
numbers capped due to space constraints in our statistics lab. Moving this course
online will help the department to better serve the needs of its students and to offer
a variety of courses in a more sustainable fashion.
Lead: Hanne van der Iest and Team Members: Jaclyn Wong (Faculty Expert), Meg Routh
(Graduate Assistant), and Samantha Moser (Graduate Assistant) (Sociology)
A Carolina Core Integrative Course, this research course helps majors meet requirements
for both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees and provides students
the skills they need to conduct research. Developing this into an online format provides
flexibility for sociology students and an opportunity for non-majors as well.
Lead: Pat Gehrke (Speech Communication, English Language and Literature)
Many college students experience very high public speaking anxiety, and this online
course will provide tools to help. The asynchronous format will allow the reintroduction
of a course that has not been offered for nearly 20 years, with the scalability to
meet student needs.
Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.