Aids Educator Pernessa Seele to be Charleston Campus SpeakerDecember 22, 2006
NORTH CHARLESTON, S. C., Dec. 22, 2006 -- Pernessa C. Seele, a pioneer in mobilizing faith communities in the fight against AIDS/HIV affecting African people worldwide, will be the speaker at commencement ceremonies for the Charleston Campus of the Springfield College School of Human Services (SHS). The college will award 67 bachelor’s and master’s degrees in human services on Friday, Jan. 5, 2007, in ceremonies at the Mt. Moriah Family Life Center, in North Charleston, S.C.
Seele is founder and chief executive officer of The Balm in Gilead, Inc. The not-for-profit organization has enabled thousands of churches in the United States and Africa to offer comprehensive educational programs on preventing HIV transmission and compassionate support to persons affected by HIV/AIDS.
A native of Lincolnville, S. C., Seele recently was named by “Time” magazine as one of the 100 people “Shaping Our World.” She was the guest of President and First Lady Bush for the 2006 State of the Union Address as a symbol of the President’s commitment to working with African-American churches in the fight against HIV/AIDS. “Essence” magazine named her one of the “35 most beautiful and remarkable women in the world,” one of “50 Women Shaping the World,” and “One of the New Activists.” She has received the Congressional Black Caucus Award, and the African American AIDS Policy and Training Institute selected her as a “Hero in the Struggle.”
At the commencement ceremonies, Springfield College Charleston Campus Director Elsie W. Smalls, MBA, will present 37 bachelor’s degrees and 30 master’s degrees in human services. Vice President for Academic Affairs Jean A. Wyld, Ph.D., will offer greetings from Springfield College, and Dean of the School of Human Services Robert J. Willey, Ph.D., will recognize completion of degree requirements. Assistant Professor Tracey Phillips, LMSW, will lead the processional, and Adjunct Instructor Rev. Dale Andrews, M.A., will give the invocation and benediction. Musical selections will be performed by Daniel Davis from the Mt. Moriah Family Life Center, Depayne Doctor and Tide Williams.
Springfield College, founded in 1885 in Springfield, Mass., was licensed in 2003 by the South Carolina Commission of Higher Education to offer bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in human services in South Carolina. The master’s degree program is the only one of its kind in the state. The campus at 7410 Northside Drive, North Charleston, is one of 10 Springfield College campuses around the country dedicated to educating human services professionals. Springfield College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The School of Human Services undergraduate programs are accredited by the Council for Standards in Human Service Education.
The SHS educational program is designed to build the leadership skills of human services professionals while they are serving their communities. Students are working adults who attend classes two weekends a month in the bachelor’s degree program and one weekend a month at the master’s level. In its degree programs in human services, the SHS offers an undergraduate concentration in criminal justice, and graduate concentrations in organizational management and leadership and community counseling psychology.
The SHS has agreements with Midlands, Trident, and Horry-Georgetown technical colleges allowing their qualified graduates to enter the SHS bachelor’s degree program as third-year students. Technical college graduates must have completed at least two years of community service.
A hallmark of the Springfield College School of Human Services education is that students identify a community need and design and implement a program to address it. Such projects usually are done in partnership with community organizations.
In addition to its main campus in Springfield, Massachusetts, Springfield College maintains School of Human Services campuses in Tampa Bay, Fla.; San Diego and Los Angeles, Calif.; Wilmington, Del.; Boston, Mass.; Manchester, N. H.; St. Johnsbury, Vt.; and Milwaukee, Wis.
At its main campus, Springfield College offers bachelor’s degree programs in 50 majors, master’s degree programs in 14 concentrations, and doctoral programs in physical education and physical therapy. There are more than 5,000 students at its main and regional campuses, and 36,000 alumni in 60 nations. Academics and student life are characterized by the college’s humanics philosophy that emphasizes educating the whole person, consisting of spirit, mind, and body, for leadership in service to other people.
Springfield College was founded in 1885 to train YMCA directors and, since then, has broadened its programs and developed an international reputation as a pioneer in physical education, and as a leader in the health sciences, human and social services, sports and movement studies, and the arts and sciences. Information on the Springfield College School of Human Services is available in Charleston by calling (843) 569-7003.