CSU Physician Assistant program gains accreditation-continued status

CHARLESTON, S.C. (courtesy charlestonsouthern.edu) —The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Charleston Southern University Physician Assistant Program.

Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards. Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the standards.

“In 2016, I was given an incredible opportunity to come to Charleston Southern University as the founding program director for the Physician Assistant Program,” said Dr. Gabrielle Poole, interim dean of the College of Health Sciences. “I was charged with leading the program through the accreditation process in addition to matriculating and graduating the first several cohorts of the program.”

Dr. Jerica Derr, interim program director and director of clinical education, said the CSU PA program has graduated a total of 84 PAs, and 67 students are currently enrolled (33 first year, 34 second year).

Poole said, “Having the opportunity to educate and train future clinicians in a Christian environment has been so rewarding. I love being able to mentor and support students during this extremely challenging educational journey in hopes that they will go out into our community as the hands and feet of Jesus, showing compassion to all of their patients while using the medical knowledge and skills they have learned at CSU. I am incredibly thankful to the faculty and staff of the program for coming alongside me to ensure the program earned accreditation continuation and to the administration, especially Dr. Jackie Fish, vice president for academic affairs, for giving us the opportunity to build this program.”

Derr believes the CSU PA program is distinctive because of small class sizes with a small student-to-faculty ratio and the opportunity to deliver a PA education through a Christian worldview.

“We really get to know our students not just as our students, but as people and future colleagues,” said Derr. “Our robust mentoring program creates space and intentionality for conversations to take place about student’s academic performance and offer emotional support as they progress through the rigorous program. Delivering a PA education through a Christian worldview enables us to not only invest in the next generation of medical providers but also the next generation of Kingdom builders and world changers. The faculty feels so blessed every day for the privilege to be a part of our students’ journey to becoming clinicians,” said Derr.

The accreditation process for a new program is conducted through a series of three applications and subsequent site visits as outlined below by the ARC-PA:

  1. An initial provisional site visit is conducted to a new developing program that is within six to 12 months of matriculation of students. This visit verifies an institution’s ability to begin a program in compliance with the Standards, and the program’s readiness to matriculate students.
  2. A provisional monitoring visit is conducted within six months of graduation of the first cohort of students. This visit verifies the sponsoring institution’s and provisionally accredited program’s progress in delivering the program in compliance with the Standards and their ability to continue to do so.
  3. A final provisional visit is conducted 18-24 months following the second provisional review by the commission. This visit verifies the institution’s and program’s demonstration of compliance with the Standards including their ability to incorporate and report the findings of a robust self-assessment process as required by the ARC-PA.
    The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be March 2032. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

UNBEATEN! Benedict Tigers go 8-0 with 35-0 rout of Morehouse College

ATLANTA, Ga. (courtesy benedicttigers.com) — The 18th-ranked Benedict College Tigers used their impressive defense to smother the Morehouse Maroon Tigers and take a 35-0 victory Oct. 22, wrecking the Morehouse Homecoming,

Benedict, which entered the contest with the nation’s fifth-best defense in total defense and third-best team in scoring defense, only improved their status.

Benedict improves to 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the SIAC. Morehouse falls to 0-8 overall and 0-5 in the SIAC.

“To God be the glory. It is very tough to win football games, and we are very fortunate to go 1-0 again,” said Benedict Head Football Coach Chennis Berry. “Shout out to my defensive coaches for coming away with another shutout. It is a good day to be a Benedict Tiger.”

The Tigers are now giving up just 8.75 points per game after their second shutout of the season.

“They did their job,” Berry said of the Benedict defense. “Coach (Jordan) Odaffer and the defensive staff had a good game plan. The defensive line played well and lived in their backfield. The linebackers did their job and played well. The secondary played well and did their job. When you play well and do your job, good things happen.”

Benedict scored on their first offensive series of the game, going on a 50-yard drive. Noah Zaire Scotland started things off with a big gain, but left the game and never returned. Jaylen Taylor capped off the drive with a touchdown run to put Benedict on the board 7-0.

Benedict added another touchdown when Deondra Duehart ran from three yards out to put the Tigers on top 14-0. Duehart also was limited in the game due to an injury. The score remained 14-0 at the half.

“We started fast, but then had some setbacks when guys didn’t execute,” Berry said. “Our starting running back ran for about 50 yards on the first play and got hurt and was out for the rest of the game. The top two guys go down, and the next two guys stepped up and we still found a way to execute.”

After holding a 14-0 at the half, the Tigers opened the second half with a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Tayven Grice.

“We always talk about being special on special teams,” Berry said. “That was an explosive return and gave us the energy and juice we needed in the second half.”

Benedict added two more scores, as Taylor and Da’Von Smith added rushing touchdowns to make it 35-0.

After crashing three Homecomings this season (at Fort Valley State, at Albany State, and at Morehouse), the Tigers return home next Saturday for their own Homecoming celebration. Benedict takes on Clark Atlanta at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at BenedictTickets.com. The game will be live streamed on HBCU League Pass Plus.

North Greenville University honors President Gene Fant for five years of leadership

North Greenville University celebrates President Gene Fant's five years of leadership.

North Greenville University President Gene Fant and First Lady Lisa Fant

TIGERVILLE, S.C. (courtesy ngu.edu) — From a dinner with trustees to a student tailgate, celebrations across the North Greenville University community honored NGU President Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr., and First Lady Lisa Fant during the week of Sept. 19-24 for their five years of leadership. In addition to hosting an array of events honoring the Fants, NGU received written words of congratulations from scores of individuals. The congratulatory messages are available to read on the NGU website.

State and local leaders joined wNGU board members, faculty, students, and staff in recognizing President Fant’s contributions.

South Carolina Lt. Governor Pamela Evette was one of several state leaders to speak at a celebration Chapel last Wednesday as the Fants were honored in NGU’s Turner Chapel.

“This is a very special place, and it needed a very special leader to lead it,” Evette said, noting Dr. Fant’s commitment to “the virtues that we hold very near and dear to our hearts.”

During the ceremony, S.C. House Rep. Mike Burns (R-Greenville) presented a resolution from the South Carolina House of Representatives, while S. C. Sen. Tom Corbin (R-Greenville and Spartanburg) delivered a resolution from the South Carolina Senate. He was also given letters of congratulations from U.S. Senator Tim Scott and U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham. Special guests at the event included S. C. Sen. Dwight Loftis (R-Greenville), S. C. Rep. Bobby Cox (R-Greenville), Greenville County Councilman Joe Dill, and Carolina Pregnancy Center Executive Director Alexia Newman.

Presiding over the recognition ceremony, NGU Board Chair Mandie Boyd also offered her perspective as a trustee and alumna of the university.

“Every once in a while, you see someone who reminds you of our Jesus and how he led,” said Boyd. “Those leaders love serving others when no one is looking. They are always considering the future landscape in their current decisions. They seek integrity in their daily lives, and they have a depth of character that goes beyond the stage. They guard their hearts against pride, and they seek humility. They put together a team of like-minded servants to accomplish the purpose and then continually challenge them to growth. Over the past five years I’ve seen Dr. Fant embody everything I just spoke about.”

Earlier in September, Councilman Dill presented Dr. Fant a Greenville County Council proclamation recognizing his “academic contribution to the Greenville Community,” and proclaiming September 6, 2022, as “Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr. Day” in Greenville County.

Following the Chapel service, Dr. and Mrs. Fant were guests of honor at a “Picnic Celebration” inside the university’s Todd Dining Hall. They were greeted by students, faculty, and staff during the lunchtime event, and the campus community was served a special celebration cake noting “Five FANTastic Years.”

The week’s activities kicked off with a private dinner for the Fants hosted by NGU trustees. That included words of appreciation from several board members, including those who served on the presidential search committee which recommended Dr. Fant for the university presidency in early 2017.

Trustee Ron Edwards, who served on the presidential search committee, noted Dr. Fant’s strengths in financial management, personal warmth and his success in enhancing national recognition of the university.

“During his time at North Greenville, he’s been able to reach beyond the Upstate of South Carolina and has been very successful at reaching states that we have not reached before,” Edwards said.

President Fant received a resolution of commendation, and Mrs. Fant received a bouquet of yellow roses from members of the university’s Christian Ministry Scholarship Fund (CMSF) during the group’s Tuesday dinner. CMSF Chair Tom Capps presented the framed document, which cited appreciation for Dr. Fant’s leadership in pursuing NGU’s core values of being Christ-centered, biblically faithful, academically excellent, and mission-focused.

“Dr. Fant’s first five years of leadership elevated North Greenville University’s academic, spiritual, community, state, and national profile, firmly establishing us as a leader in Christian higher education,” said Capps. “I can’t wait to see how God will continue to use him in the future as North Greenville fulfills its mission to equip transformational leaders for the church and for society.”

North Greenville faculty members hosted Dr. and Mrs. Fant for a Tuesday afternoon tea event during the week of celebration. Dr. Paul Thompson, who serves as the Dean of the College of Humanities and Sciences, thanked President Fant for his commitment and dedication.

“In my 16 years at North Greenville, there is nothing that I am more proud of than being on the committee that brought Dr. Fant to NGU,” Thompson said. “Dr. Fant is a blessing because he is an academic at heart. He loves teaching, scholarship, and writing. Since becoming president, he has worked to find ways to strengthen NGU’s academic footprint and build a sense of community among faculty and staff.”

The celebration culminated with a student tailgate event at North Greenville home football game versus the University of Findlay on Saturday. NGU students escorted President and Mrs. Fant from their home to the game.

“Lisa and I were deeply humbled by the recognitions from so many people,” President Fant said. “This community has been a gift from God to us, and we want to serve it well for a long time. God is at work in our midst on a daily basis, and we want to make sure that everyone understands that all good things flow from His blessings; we are merely servants to His leading.”

IRS Form 990 for SCICU – Fiscal Year Ending August 31, 2021

SCICU Form 990 for fiscal year ended August 31, 2021

SCICU, recognized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, is required to annually file IRS Form 990. The IRS Form 990 is a publicly-available tax return that non-profit organizations file annually to document revenues, expenses, governance, and business and charitable activities.

Please click here to view SCICU’s IRS Form 990 for fiscal year ending August 31, 2021.

Anderson University subtropical ecosystems class takes learning to a new level

Anderson University ecosystems class takes learning to a new level

A team of Anderson University students and Biology Professor Dr. Joni Criswell traveled to the Florida Keys to study a diverse subtropical ecosystem.

ANDERSON, S.C. (courtesy andersonuniversity.edu) — A group of students from the Anderson University College of Arts and Sciences traveled to one of the most diverse ecosystems in the United States for studying subtropical environments.

Twenty-one students from the Subtropical Ecosystems class, along with Dr. Joni Criswell, associate professor of biology, and three chaperones traveled to Pigeon Key Island, Florida, May 5-11 to gain a better insight into the biodiversity among the subtropical regions of the United States. Another goal of the trip was to better educate students about conservation efforts and the effect human pollution is causing on ecosystems such as mangrove forests.

“I feel this trip is extremely beneficial to any student looking into ecology or how to better our planet through natural resources,” said Brianna Rao, a rising junior biology major from Rock Hill, South Carolina.

According to Dr. Criswell, the Florida Keys closely resembles tropical areas of other countries she’s visited. She says that observing subtropical and tropical ecosystems is beneficial, because such areas contain upwards of about 90 percent of diversity.

“Even though we live in a state that has a fair amount of biodiversity with the coast, the Upstate and the mountains, subtropical and tropical regions host most of the world’s biodiversity. You don’t get an appreciation until you’re up close and have hands-on experience with it and are not seeing in a zoo setting. It’s one thing to appreciate something behind a fence, but it’s completely different to actually see it in the wild and have an up-close encounter with a species,” Dr. Criswell said.

Pigeon Key is a five-acre island with a marine science center located along the old Seven Mile Bridge. The students also learned the history of Pigeon Key, which was originally the location for a work camp connected with construction of the Florida East Coast Railway in the early twentieth century.

“We visited Pigeon Key to learn more about conservation efforts and to physically experience what we had learned about in class, like coral reef ecosystems and how they were affecting marsh ecosystems and mangrove ecosystems. The experience gave us a better view of how our oceans work and how our ocean life is built upon these ecosystems that are subtropical and how we’re dependent on them for the future of the world,” Rao said. “We got to explore a lot and were able to snorkel. We were able to see some cool stuff along the islands: eels, lobsters, rays, dolphins, starfish—all the sea life you could possibly imagine. We were able to do a lot of things on the island that visitors can’t do. Staying the night we were able to do tide pooling and were able to look at smaller creatures we were never able to see and experience in South Carolina.”

The students also saw firsthand just how vulnerable such an ecosystem can be, picking up items that litter the area.

“We found pieces of wire from fishing lines, netting, pieces of wood, pieces of beer cans, alcohol bottles, pieces of cigarettes that had washed up, and a bunch of lumber and tires that shouldn’t be there,” Rao said. “It opened our eyes to a lot of conservation efforts and the reasoning behind so much of a movement in the world for conserving our coral reef ecosystems and mangrove ecosystems. I think for me it also opened my eyes to more career opportunities in the future, such as moving toward careers in conservation and ecology.”