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Winter Commencement 2022 Takes Place December 16

Winter Commencement 2022 Takes Place December 16

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Mon, 12/12/2022 – 10:10

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Winter Commencement 2022 Takes Place December 16

December 12, 2022

Degrees will be presented in two ceremonies at Henderson Auditorium December 16, 2022.

 

More than 400 Anderson University students will become alumni as they receive their degrees during Winter Commencement, taking place in Henderson Auditorium. The University will honor the accomplishments of its students with two Winter Commencement ceremonies on Friday, December 16. 

Of 401 candidates for graduation, 224  are graduate students and 177 are undergraduates. 

At 10 a.m., graduates of the Center for Cybersecurity, Center for Leadership and Organizations, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, College of Education and the School of Public Service and Administration will receive their degrees.

At 3 p.m., graduates of the College of Christian Studies, College of Engineering, College of Health Professions, School of Interior Design and The South Carolina School of the Arts will receive their degrees.

The Commencement speaker is Patty Slaughter, Ph.D. Dr. Slaughter has been teaching in higher education for more than 25 years and is finishing her 12th year teaching at Anderson University. She is a licensed psychologist (in New York and North Carolina) and has worked in several practice settings including schools, churches, community mental health centers and private practice. While she enjoys doing clinical work, Dr. Slaughter loves teaching and mentoring college students. Dr. Slaughter has been married to her husband Dane for almost 30 years. They have two daughters—Jadyn is an officer in the US Navy studying to be a Navy Physical Therapist, and Kaelyn is a college junior studying mechanical engineering at a school in Tennessee. In her free time, she enjoys reading, running and spending time with her family.

Music for the ceremony will be performed by faculty and students from the South Carolina School of the Arts at Anderson University.

Commencements at Anderson University have celebrated many “firsts” over the years. This year, Alan Baldwin will become the first graduate of the Anderson University Center for Leadership and Organizations, receiving his Ph.D. in Leadership.

“The faculty has been tremendous,” Baldwin said. “I really encourage somebody to look if they’re looking for a way to be able to not go through a program quickly, but go through a program with an intentionality and a meaning and understand that they’ve got to show up, this is the program. It’s well put together.”

Dr. Kyle Small, director of the Center for Leadership and Organizations, said “Alan’s participation in the program has demonstrated the power of AU’s academic mentoring culture.” Dr. Jeffrey Moore, professor of management in the Anderson University College of Business who chaired Baldwin’s Ph.D. dissertation, said, “It has been a joy to participate in the development of classes and teach in the Organizational Leadership Ph.D. program. Dr. Small has successfully enabled an effective learning environment between faculty and students where leadership research is emerging. Today we celebrate the achievement of Dr. Baldwin who has been diligent and committed to this process.” Dr. Small added that several additional Ph.D. candidates will graduate in May.

For the convenience of family and friends who are unable to attend Commencement, there will be a live video streaming option on the Commencement page. Please check the Commencement page for the link that will be published when it becomes available.

Persons requiring special accommodations for participation in the Processional or ceremony should notify the Office of the Registrar at (864) 231-2120 or registrar@andersonuniversity.edu as soon as possible to discuss how we can best accommodate your needs.

Information regarding Commencement will be regularly updated on the Anderson University Commencement page. Inclement weather may require the University to change the location and nature of the event. For details, visit the Anderson University Commencement page. 

 

Commencement

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Andrew J. Beckner
Executive Director for Public Relations

864-556-4784

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Fall ’22 CTF Competition: Cybersecurity Teams in Top 50 of National Competition

Fall ’22 CTF Competition: Cybersecurity Teams in Top 50 of National Competition

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Thu, 12/08/2022 – 16:03

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Anderson University News

Fall ’22 CTF Competition: Cybersecurity Teams in Top 50 of National Competition

December 12, 2022

Center for Cybersecurity professor Brandon Grech, third from left, works with students in the cybersecurity lab. Hands-on experiences in these labs are a factor in the students’ outstanding competition performances.

 

Students from the Anderson University Center for Cybersecurity posted impressive team and individual performances in the NCL Games, the National Cyber League’s Fall 2022 competition. They competed in a field of more than a thousand teams overall from across the nation.

According to Cybersecurity Professor Brandon Grech, Anderson University is ranked No. 45 in the nation, putting them in the NCL Power Rankings.

According to Center for Cybersecurity Director Dr. Kenneth Knapp, this competition involved the largest number of Anderson University students to date: five teams of six to seven cybersecurity students each, for a total of 33—more than double the students competing in the last competition. 

Here are the Anderson University team standings:

The team elusive@au was ranked number 53, placing within the top five percent: Eric Watkins, Seth Taylor, Mason Kellam, Alexis Mahaffey, Sofia Deambrosi and Michael Pavel.

The team AU_PHISH3RSOFM3N was ranked number 80, putting them within the Top 100 with a ranking of 80 and within the top eight percent: Axel Zublena, Aaron McCurry, Camden Sloan, Zachary Lee, Kyle Beauregard, Patrick (Will) Bratten and Charlie Paddock.

The team bROOT.force ranked number 112, and were within the top 11 percent: Genevieve Bronson, Nicholas Fowler, Andrew Emerson, Zachary Seiter, Annie Nastasi, Murphy Smith and Jake Morrison.

The team Cory in da House placed at number 263, and were within the top 25 percent: Cory Freeburn, Ethan Windham, Jacob Cordeiro, Charlies Flaherty, Abby Jordan and Austin Shirley.

The team ERROR 418: placed number 528, and were within the top 50 percent: Jaimee Smith, Will Bruner, Levi Hoar, Jack Treaster, Cager Littlefield, Lucy Ray and Amanda Grubb.

In the individual student results, the following Anderson University students competed within a field of 3,485 individuals: Eric Watkins (Splorpy) was within the top four percent at number 132, Seth Taylor (Cloverblack44) placed within the top five percent at number 161, Annie Nastasi placed within the top 15 percent at number 524, Genevieve Bronson placed within the top 24 percent at number 830, and Zachary Seiter placed within the top 25 percent at number 869.

The remaining individuals also competed in the individual game: Aaron McCurry, Axel Zublena, Alexis Mahaffey, Michael Pavel, Murphy Smith, Cory Freeburn, Nicholas Fowler, Kyle Beauregard, Mason Kellam and Abby Jordan.

Seth Taylor feels blessed to have represented Anderson University in the NCL Games. 

“I am extremely humbled and thankful to be a part of NCL and represent Anderson University. Being with my amazing team everyday of the competition and supporting each other helped me achieve new personal goals; and of course all of this could not have been done without my amazing teachers Dr. Kenneth Knapp and Dr. Brandon Grech,” Taylor said.

When Eric Watkins entered the Cybersecurity degree program as a freshman, he wanted to learn everything he could, and knew the CTF (Capture the Flag) was something he wanted to be a part of. Preparation that included a practice site set up by Dr. Grech helped Watkins and others gain confidence and become equipped with the tools he needed to compete in the competition.

“Every day of the NCL Team Game, we got together and worked together on progressing in the competition. Typically, we would each work on our own laptops and comment if we found a lead on solving a challenge,” Watkins said. “Above all we made sure to have fun, which ranged from spontaneous milkshake runs to staying up till 3 a.m. watching movies together.”

The NCL Games offer students a variety of challenges to test their cybersecurity skills in areas that include identifying hackers, auditing vulnerable websites and recovering from ransomware attacks. 

The Anderson University Center for Cybersecurity trains students to meet the unique demands of today’s cybersecurity industry. Degree tracks focus on cybersecurity with   specializations in analytics, criminal justice, or mathematics. Details can be found online.

The complete results of the fall 2022 rankings can be found online.

 

Accolades

Cybersecurity

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Executive Director for Public Relations

864-556-4784

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Living the American Dream and Then Some: A Dutch Exchange Student’s Experience

Living the American Dream and Then Some: A Dutch Exchange Student’s Experience

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Wed, 12/07/2022 – 13:42

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Living the American Dream and Then Some: A Dutch Exchange Student’s Experience

December 8, 2022

Sem Mostert (right photo – second row, center) an exchange student from the Netherlands, enjoys hanging out with new friends during his spring semester as an exchange student at Anderson University. At left, Mostert reconnects with his friend, AU student Drew Howard (left) in Spain where he was studying.

 

Sem Mostert, a student from the Netherlands, wanted to fulfill a lifelong dream of coming to the United States. What he found at Anderson University fulfilled that dream beyond his expectations.

Mostert’s impressions of American life were shaped a lot by what he saw in television and movies. His father had traveled to the U.S. a couple of times, further heightening his interest. Mostert considered working to save up enough to travel there. A senior majoring in logistics at HZ University of the Applied Sciences in the Netherlands, Mostert explored the possibilities of studying abroad in the U.S.

“I had the idea I could go there and then I clicked on the American flag,” said Mostert, noting that Anderson University came up as a partner institution. Though he hadn’t heard of Anderson, South Carolina, Mostert applied to study at Anderson University and came at the beginning of the Spring 2022 Semester. 

Mostert, who attends his family’s church in Nieuwvliet, located near his hometown of Oostberg, was attracted to the idea of studying at a Christian university and taking Christian courses—something he couldn’t do in the Netherlands—so he took Christian Worldview and Contemporary Issues classes. He also took management and marketing classes through the AU College of Business.

When he arrived in South Carolina, Mostert experienced hospitality—one of Anderson University’s Four Pillars of Distinction.

“The first thing that I noticed here was how friendly the people were. I got in… I think at 10 p.m. at the airport and people from a church nearby, they drove specifically for me, like an hour, to pick me up. I don’t know how many people in the Netherlands would do that for a complete stranger,” said Mostert, who was moved by the ways people genuinely lived out their Christian faith, cared for him, and prayed for him.

In the Netherlands, Mostert explains, there is a large and increasing population of atheists and agnostics. Through research on his home country, Mostert observed that the majority of the population in fact has no belief in God.

“As far as I know, I’m the only Christian in my class in my school in the Netherlands. On my soccer team last year… I was the only Christian,” said Mostert. “It’s different in the Netherlands, that’s for sure.”

“When I got here on campus, on a Saturday morning when I went down into the cafeteria, I saw on nearly every table an open Bible or people praying for each other. I was like ‘Wow, this is a place that really exists. People are open about their faith and they want to share it because they know they have these kinds of experiences and they want to share them with other people and to talk with them and understand them,’” said Mostert. 

An unforgettable part of his experiences at Anderson University was Christian fellowship beyond what he had experienced before. 

“In the Netherlands, I go to a regional church. There are maybe 50 people on average on a Sunday. So I’ve never really been to a place where a lot of Christians get together. Going to BCM (Baptist Collegiate Ministries) for the first time, hundreds of people are there together and all of them are my age. That felt amazing,” he said. 

It didn’t take long for Mostert to make friends and feel a sense of belonging and community.

“We went to Lake Hartwell and Lake Keowee as well. We went to Myrtle Beach. The common thing that’s returning every time through those is ‘doing that with other people,’ and that’s been the most amazing thing,” Mostert said, adding that he keeps in touch with friends he made since he returned to the Netherlands.

Mostert also appreciates the Anderson University Center for Global Engagement for taking a lot of the guesswork out of coming from overseas as an exchange student. He appreciates the valuable assistance from the center’s director, Ann Themistocleous, and the staff.

“The moment I got here, they guided me through everything. Even when I was still in the Netherlands, I had a video call with Ann and she helped me to get my F1 visa and my insurance and everything was settled,” Mostert said. “I was 18 when I was going here for the first time and I had never been to America before. I actually never traveled on my own to another country before. To do such a big step on your own—that would have been really hard, so I’m super happy with all of the help I got… AU’s Center for Global Engagement does everything they can to help the international students.” 

Mostert, who is in his senior year, is praying for God’s direction for the future.

“I discovered that I’m more passionate about talking with people and talking about people’s faith, so I feel like I may do another study after I finish college in the Netherlands—hopefully somewhere around Christian Studies,” he said. “I will just go wherever God needs me to go or where He wants me to go… If He has a plan, he’ll fulfill it. I just have to be a servant for Him and see wherever He wants me to be. But if it was up to me, then I would live in this area.”

In November, 2022, Mostert returned to the U.S. to attend the wedding of Sam Davidson and Nicole Tabares, two of the many friends he made while at Anderson. 

And Mostert also got to experience his first Thanksgiving ever. 

Center for Global Engagement

College of Business

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Andrew J. Beckner
Executive Director for Public Relations

864-556-4784

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Millwood Retiring After 34 Years

Millwood Retiring After 34 Years

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Tue, 12/06/2022 – 11:08

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Anderson University News

Millwood Retiring After 34 Years

December 6, 2022

Kent Millwood has seen unprecedented changes in how a library serves its patrons.

 

As Kent Millwood looks back on 34 years of directing Thrift Library at Anderson University, he says his top accomplishment has been staying in front of change. That in itself is no small feat, considering everything that’s happened in the years since.

During Millwood’s time at Anderson, the university has grown into the largest private institution in South Carolina and the library itself has moved across campus and transformed into the state-of-the-art Thrift Library. During those years, the library has transitioned from card catalogs to computers, and from thousands of volumes of books to virtually limitless digital resources. More importantly, the library has moved from simply being a storehouse of information to a dynamic hub of research activity and group projects. 

After earning a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting, Millwood began his career working at a television station in his hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee. From there he moved to Dyersburg Community College where he was a media specialist. Then he interviewed for and accepted a position as library director/media specialist at his alma mater, Hiwassee College. Millwood had been a student worker there before graduating, so he had some familiarity with libraries. But he said he had his master’s in the wrong field—education, with an emphasis in learning resources. Millwood went on to earn his masters in library science while on the job.

“It was a bit of a gamble to become a library director with no experience and not bomb at it. I was a little bit worried,” said Millwood. “I took to it, I’ve stuck with it and it’s been a good career.” 

Although Anderson had about a thousand students when Millwood arrived, he saw it as a positive next step for his career. 

“It was a pay raise and an opportunity to have more resources and work on a bigger stage. Anderson had a really good reputation,” said Millwood. “We were at a transition period for libraries where the big universities were getting automated. They had gotten rid of their card catalogs and so forth long before, but the smaller colleges, particularly two year and independent faith-based colleges, were well behind making the transition; so when I arrived, we had a card catalog, we had zero computers.” 

From today’s point of view, the past seems light years away. As he gives library orientations to students, Millwood compares the size of the physical collection (books, periodicals and other paper resources) to Earth and the digital resources to Jupiter. He compared the laborious process of poring through thick bound periodical indices and hundreds of drawers of index cards to a search that today’s students can perform in the palm of their hands.

“Today you take a topic and you get a million hits. Back then, if you were doing a very specific topic, you struggled to find 10 resources,” Millwood said. “Interlibrary loan is basically infinite. Anything we don’t have we can get. It’s just mind boggling what’s available to us now compared to the old days.” 

Millwood recalled that when he began his career, libraries were basically like islands.

“Now, every academic library in South Carolina is connected into one automated system. Not only do we share a system but we share assistance, where we help each other and we delegate work among us and share the work so that instead of 56 libraries doing the same thing, one library does it for the entire state and then some other library does something else for the entire state. It makes us much more effective than we have been in the past.”

Even technology constantly changes to keep pace with demand, according to Millwood. A goal early on was to put an overhead projector in every classroom. As good as computer technology was when it arrived, the rows of computers that helped patrons find books and other resources eventually disappeared from the library floor. The library established its own website that offers ever-expanding resources available online. As one of few Apple Distinguished Schools in the nation, Millwood notes that every Anderson University student is issued an iPad—a powerful resource for them to use over the next four years.  

In 2007, the library moved from the location in Johnston Hall that they had outgrown many years before, to the newly constructed Thrift Library. In 2017, Thrift Library underwent more renovations to keep pace with ever-changing demand. 

Millwood’s wife Linda is an Anderson University graduate and helped edit a book on former president Annie Dove Denmark. All of his children are Anderson University graduates as well. One of Millwood’s retirement projects is to continue writing individual storybooks for his grandchildren as well as nephews and nieces. 

Anderson University will honor Millwood December 12, 2022 with a university-wide reception. 

About Thrift Library

In addition to housing library collections and resources, Thrift Library also contains the Vandiver Gallery, a space for rotating visual arts exhibitions. Upstairs is the AU Center for Cybersecurity’s lab, the Center for Student Success and the Writing Lab. Downstairs is the home of the AU Center for Information and Digital Learning (AU CIDL), which includes a state-of-the-art makerspace; AU Professional and Lifelong Learning; Anderson’s Information Technology Department; Books n’ Beans, a popular student gathering spot that serves coffee beverages and snacks; the campus post office and classroom space. Details can be found online.

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Andrew J. Beckner
Executive Director for Public Relations

864-556-4784

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