College of Education Founding Dean George Petersen, along with the college’s senior advisory board, enjoyed hearing from Rita Allison at its most October meeting.
Image Credit: College of Education

CLEMSON — Clemson University’s College of Education recently convened its senior advisory board to discuss strategies and future initiatives to positively affect student achievement and teacher preparedness across South Carolina. The college welcomed four new board members hailing from governmental entities, school districts, corporations and nonprofit organizations.

George J. Petersen, founding dean of the College of Education, discussed the college’s academic goals, development priorities, marketing and communication goals, and innovative programs on the horizon. The board also heard from the Rita Allison, who prioritized educational priorities during her 10-year term in the S.C. House of Representatives.

“It was great to have so much insight coming from leaders in education and industry regarding the direction of our college,” Petersen said. “I couldn’t be happier about this meeting as it confirms that the initiatives that we are prioritizing as a college are the correct ones.”

The board engaged with college leadership on topics ranging from student and faculty demographics to the college’s plans to strengthen its doctoral programs to become more competitive nationally. College leadership also detailed new strategies to reach potential students and make them aware of what the college offers.

College leadership also introduced upcoming innovative programs to the senior advisory board. These include a planned teacher residency program that extends student teaching to a full year for select students as well as a Ed.D. program collaboration between Clemson and other higher education institutions in South Carolina. Both programs are currently in the approval process at the state level.


College of Education Founding Dean George J. Petersen addresses the senior advisory board and welcomes its newest members.
Image Credit: College of Education

The board welcomed four new members into its ranks. Kathleen Swinney, who co-founded Dabo’s All In Team Foundation with her husband, Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney, and was a school teacher in Alabama before moving to Clemson. Latoya Young currently serves as assistant principal in Richland School District Two in Columbia. During her 16-year career in education, Young has served as an English language arts teacher, a site-based AVID coordinator and teacher, a technology specialist and has assumed several leadership roles.

Damon Qualls and Kristy Ellenberg were also welcomed as new members on the advisory board. Qualls, principal at Monaview Elementary School in Greenville, discovered his passion for education through Clemson’s Call Me MISTER program, which he participated in while attending Benedict College as an elementary education major. Kristy Ellenberg is president of Ellenberg Associates Inc., an environmental training consulting firm based in Columbia that works with government, nonprofit and corporate clients.

“The variety of new members on our senior advisory board is indicative of the range of knowledge that our college needs and values moving forward,” Petersen said. “We are excited to take the board’s feedback and make sure it informs our next steps in preparing future teachers and improving education for children across South Carolina.”

The college of education’s senior advisory board also includes:

  • Susan Bruce Bankson, vice president and South Carolina Community affairs representative for Wells Fargo;
  • Edith Howard Bostic,  member of the Clemson University Foundation board;
  • Michael Brenan, state president of BB&T for South Carolina;
  • Traci Young Cooper, former chair of the South Carolina State Board of Education;
  • Kathryn Lee D’Andrea, professor of practice in Clemson’s College of Education, former superintendent of Anderson School District 4 and superintendent of the School District of Pickens County;
  • Katherine Howard, owner of Sand Dollar Consulting, a firm dedicated to improving schools through coaching principals and monitoring and improving classroom instruction;
  • Calvin “Chip” Jackson, chief operating officer for administration at the Bible Way Church of Atlas Road;
  • Hayes Mizell, former founder and director of the South Carolina office of the nonprofit American Friends Service Committee;
  • John C. Read, CEO of the Tri-County Cradle-to-Career Collaborative;
  • Ansel Sanders, president and CEO of Public Education Partners; and
  • Earl H. Wagener, CEO of Tetramer Technologies LLC.

For more information and full bios on all board members, click here.

Clemson University’s College of Education is a transformative leader in systematically improving education, beginning at birth. The college trains teachers, counselors and leaders for P-12 schools; prepares counselors to serve in communities; trains student affairs practitioners, administrators and faculty to serve in higher education; and prepares training and development specialists for business and industry.