Back to the books for about 1,800 USCL students

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By Jesef Williams

Dennis Dunham sat in the lounge area in Starr Hall reviewing his schedule, wondering what he’s going to do with the dead time between his classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Dunham, a sophomore at the University of South Carolina at Lancaster, is taking 14 hours this semester. Tuesdays and Thursdays will be inconvenient, as he has a nearly four-hour gap in between classes.

This week, he was using that period to settle financial aid issues. But once the semester starts rolling, he knows he can use that time to study. He wants to make better grades this time around.  

“I’m expecting to boost my GPA,” Dunham said of his grade point average. “I’m positive as far as the work.”

Thursday was the first day of classes for Dunham, one of about 1,800 students enrolled at USCL this semester.

Throughout the day, it was business as usual, as students walked to and from class while taking time out to chat and catch up with old friends.

Kayla Lee, also a sophomore, has a rather unique schedule this semester as well.

She’s taking 15 hours, and all of her classes are on Tuesday and Thursday. For her, those days will run from 9:30 a.m. until 8 p.m.

The nursing major appeared perfectly fine with that set up. She said she’s disciplined enough to make it to every class and study hard during the other times.  

“It gives me three days completely free that I have time to work on stuff,” Lee said. “I’m more than ready.”

New degree program

This semester marks the beginning of the bachelor of arts degree in organizational leadership (BOL) at USCL.

The track is designed for students who want a degree with a focus on workplace leadership, preparing students for leadership roles in a variety of settings, including government, nonprofit organizations and business.

“This is another fantastic opportunity for students in our area who, for whatever reason, cannot attend USC Columbia, but who still want to earn a baccalaureate degree from SC,” said Dr. Ron Cox, associate dean for academic and student affairs at USCL.

“The BOL is geared toward the student who needs strong leadership, organizational and management skills for a future career in the corporate or nonprofit sector.”

Two Ph.D.s join USCL faculty

New faculty members are Alexis Sanders, who holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Cincinnati, and Suzanne Penuel, who holds a Ph.D. in American literature from the University of Mississippi.

Some semester events of note at USCL include:

• Back to School Blast – Sept. 15, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Bradley Multipurpose Room

• Intramural volleyball – Sept. 21- Sept. 23

• Freshman council elections – Oct. 5

• Halloween party – Oct. 28 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Bradley Multipurpose Room. The top three winners of the costume contest will receive a pair of USC football tickets.

• International Food Festival – Nov. 17 (to raise money for a USCL China trip)

Contact reporter Jesef Williams at jwilliams@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 283-1152