By Jackie Todd, Clemson University Relations
Amazing. That’s how seven-year-old Jeffrey Joseph described his time on the field in front of 85,000 cheering football fans in Death Valley. The Green Charter School second-grader accompanied his dad, who was honored as Staff Member of the Game during Clemson’s first home football game of the season.
Jeffrey’s dad, Mark Joseph works as a coordinator for Clemson’s Call Me MISTER program – and was himself a Call Me MISTER student. The Clemson-founded nationally recognized program provides educational opportunities for minority education students and places graduates in underserved educational districts.
Joseph said that the experience of being on the field was empowering and he was excited to see the Call Me MISTER program get attention.
Joseph was equally thrilled to share the experience with Jeffrey.
“When my son was able to see himself on the jumbotron, I believe it heightened his experience,” he explained. “Sharing that experience broadens his horizon and helps him understand that there are no limits to what he wants to accomplish. It speaks volumes to what we do as a university.”
Sarah White was on vacation when she learned that she was going to be honored as the Professor of the Nov. 18 football game against the Citadel – the last home game of the season. An associate professor of horticulture and participant in the President’s Leadership Institute, White conducts research related to water conservation and how to use plant-based technologies to cleanse water runoff. White was part of a team of scientists who, the week before the game, received a Multistate Research Award for their collaboration in researching ways to treat and recycle water.
“It’s nice to feel appreciated for the work that I do,” she said. “And I appreciate that others who wouldn’t normally know about our work can hear about it.”
White said that the on-field recognition brings attention to Clemson’s commitment to academics and research.
“I’m excited about about what we do at Clemson,” she explained. “This program is a wonderful opportunity to let fans know about Clemson – beyond that we have a great football team.”
All in all, seven faculty and seven staff members were recognized during the university’s home football games this season. Honorees are nominated by their areas to serve in this role not only for their career achievements, but also for going the extra mile to better the community. President Jim Clements and Provost Bob Jones initiated the program, supported by Athletics, as a way to highlight the positive impact that Clemson’s faculty and staff have on the university.
The practice of honoring faculty and staff during Clemson football home games began in 2015. These representatives are guests of President and Mrs. Clements in their suite and are recognized in the president’s pre-game remarks, on the field and in the game-day program.
Other game honorees included:
Clemson v. Kent State
Celeste Bates, associate professor of literacy in the College of Education and director of the Clemson University Reading Recovery and Early Literacy Training Center for South Carolina
Clemson v. Auburn
Delphine Dean, associate professor in the department of bioengineering
Aubrey Baldwin, director of the Residents in Science and Engineering program
Clemson v. Boston College
Amber Porter, lecturer in the department of physics and astronomy
Lynn Fisher, Clemson’s Emergency Preparedness Coordinator
Clemson v. Wake Forest
Ray Huff, director of the Clemson Architecture Center in Charleston
Susan Kaplar, business manager of the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts
Clemson v. Georgia Tech
Steven Miller, assistant professor in the department of political science
Janet Evatt, program coordinator for Clemson’s Center for Research on Health Disparities
Clemson v. Florida State
Erica Walker, assistant professor in the graphic communications department
Charleen Fitzgerald, student services program coordinator for the College of Business
Clemson V. Citadel
Paula Beecher, director of the Bookhart Student Services Center for the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences.