Devoted supporters of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities gathered with students at the fourth annual Fusion celebration on Feb. 27 at the Barnes Center.

The event gives donors a firsthand look at some of the finest work and achievements by undergraduate students in the College.

Interim Dean Tim Boosinger, faculty leaders, staff members and friends of the College spoke with students and learned about their projects, many of which were illustrated with posters, videos and PowerPoint presentations. The Clemson Jazz Combo provided music.

Retired attorney and former Tigers quarterback Jimmy Addison speaks with senior Kerry Barrowclough. The philosophy major in the Law, Liberty, and Justice program completed an internship with the U.S. Supreme Court. Image Credit: Patrick Wright

Kerry Barrowclough, a senior philosophy major in the Law, Liberty, and Justice program, discussed her internships with the South Carolina Bar Association, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott and the U.S. Supreme Court, where she was able to interact directly with Supreme Court justices.

Samuel Snipes, a senior history major, displayed his research into the beginnings of Hartwell Lake and Dam, a project that created one of the largest man-made lakes east of the Mississippi but also displaced more than 2,000 people from their homes and land in the 1950s and 1960s. His digital-history project collected photographs from the area, and recorded the voices and stories of some former area residents.

Mary Veideman said that the entrepreneurial culture of the Language and International Business program inspired her to create her own swimming-lesson business. For six summers, Veideman has taught swimming lessons in her neighborhood, but this year she developed a company, Swim Lessons With Mary & Co., hiring employees to go to customers’ homes and teach swimming.

“The Language and International Business program focuses on self-motivation, so it really steered me in that direction,” Veideman said.

Fusion was originally created by the CAAH Ambassadors, a student group currently led by Reagan Thompson, a senior performing arts major who serves as president. Jesse Blevins, the group’s vice president, was instrumental in planning the 2020 event, along with Karmen Sutton, donor relations manager for the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities, and the College’s Student Services team, which is led by Cari Brooks.

‘Shared commonalities’

Shatari Dunmore, a student in the Pan African Studies program, used a PowerPoint presentation to highlight her research into the African diaspora and the connections between blacks in Barbados and in Charleston, South Carolina.

She noted similarities in everything from food to architecture.

“Though Africans found themselves removed to different countries around the world, they still shared commonalities,” Dunmore said.

Three students in the Women’s Leadership program – Lindsey Gantt, Eden Wallace and Pepper Kolman – spoke of their efforts to promote community engagement and activism on campus in support of survivors of interpersonal violence.

“As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, we wanted to reflect on what majors and minors in the Women’s Leadership program are trying to accomplish on campus,” Gantt said.

Film festival

Some exhibits featured students’ own creative works. Art major Kat Eaves displayed her prints, sculpture and jars. English major Lauren Soash, meanwhile, created a comic-book story surrounding a fictional world of five kingdoms she calls Divinos.

Meriel Hennessy, a senior in the World Cinema program, handed out brochures about the international film festival she developed on campus. Hennessy and other World Cinema students selected the films to be shown, wrote about them in a program and introduced them at the screenings.

“Each film is different and directly related to a student’s educational experience in the World Cinema program,” Hennessy said. “It has been a fantastic experience.”