Board Members

Jennifer Bagwell
Credentials:  MSN, RN, OCN
Affiliation:  Clemson University

Passionate about teaching undergraduate nursing students who represent the future of healthcare. Family values are extremely important to me and are expressed in my nursing practice. Throughout my career as an oncology/stem cell transplant nurse, family values are deeply encompassed and interwoven throughout my care plans. I practice as a Nationally Certified Oncology Nurse with special training in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant. I am one of many nurses who blends entrepreneurship with a vibrant nursing career having a nationally recognized dog kennel and producing grand champion/hall of fame German Shorthaired Pointers. Our kennel produced the 2018 Southern Fried Cotton Dog of The Year, as well as the 2017 NASCAR Dog of The Year (Dale Earnhardt, Jr. with Nationwide Pet Health Insurance). My advocacy interests include: local waterfowl associations--Clemson chapter for Ducks Unlimited and Quail Forever that seeks to return wild quail to South Carolina. In addition, I advocate for small business owners as I conduct our family businesses solely with other small business owners, having built an outdoor center on Lake Hartwell solely from contracts with local/family businesses. To God be the glory!

Tracy P. George
Credentials:  DNP, RN, APRN-BC, CNE
Affiliation:  Francis Marion University

She is an assistant professor of nursing at Francis Marion University. She has worked as a family nurse practitioner since 1999 in a variety of settings, and she continues to care for patients in public health and free clinic settings. Since 2012, she has taught undergraduate and graduate nursing courses at Francis Marion University. She has published and presented on the scholarship of teaching and learning, shared decision-making, and clinical nursing topics. She has written several peer-reviewed articles and textbook chapters.

Pam Weinberg
Pamela Weinberg
Credentials:  MSN, RN
Affiliation:  Central Carolina Technical College

She is employed at Central Carolina Technical College as a Fundamentals of Nursing Instructor. She came with a wide variety nursing background which included medical surgical, ER, community, public health, and correctional nursing. She opened and staffed a home health agency. She served as a nursing home director of nursing and administrator. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, National Honor Society of Nurses and member of The South Carolina Technical Education Association. She was recently chosen as the Central Carolina Technical College Teacher of the year-2013. Her education includes both a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Nursing at the Medical University of South Carolina. She specialized in geriatric nursing and was certified as a Geriatric Clinical Nurse Specialist. She was hired at CCTC as a part time faculty in 2003. She states she really did not intend to make teaching a career. Her passion for nursing grew stronger and stronger upon moving through a variety of health care settings. She has served as a member of the Admissions and transfer Committee, College Scholarship Committee, Nursing Faculty and Curriculum Committee. She chaired the accreditation committee for the NLNAC standard 6 for the nursing program last year. She is currently authoring in the development of the Learn Smart for Fundamentals of Nursing.  Her community service includes the Clarendon County United Ministries, Relay for Life, Friends of the Library, and Habitat for Humanity. She serves as the secretary for EPRM Daughter’s of the American Revolution. She has been a Participant in the Nurses’ Health Study II for 22 years. She served on the Board of Visitors for Presbyterian College.

Member Director 1
Annie Muller
Credentials:  DNP, RN
Affiliation:  Francis Marion University

A tenured Associate Professor of Nursing at Francis Marion University (FMU). She has been a nurse over 35 years, with the last 20 years as a Board Certified Family and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.  She has co-authored a chapter Skills for Laboratory Learning, in Wittmann-Price, R. A., Godshall, M., & Wilson, L. (Editors) (2013). Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) Review Manual (3rd. ed.). NYC: Springer Publishers. Another publication from a research study which is now in press for publication: George, T.P., Muller, M.A., & Bartz, J. (in press). A mixed-methods study on pre-licensure nursing students changing answers on multiple choice examinations. Journal of Nursing Education. It was presented at Drexel’s EDU SIM 2016 conference in Clearwater, FL. She is currently attending the Amy Cockroft Leadership program sponsored by University of Carolina, Columbia. She is working on her project for the leadership program to establish a special focus orientation for family and friends of nursing students who will be attending nursing school for the first time.  She is a 2003 doctorial graduate (DNP) from Rush University, Chicago, IL. Her doctorial project, she established an Asthma Coalition, to assist others with limited access to health care.  Additional educational experience, she has traveled to 19 different countries. This includes providing extended cultural education for nursing students from FMU, with the most recent trips being to London, England and Belize.  She has been active in developing and teaching several courses in the new graduate program for Family Nurse Practitioners. She has expanded her teaching skills to include the new graduate program for a master’s degree in health care for non-nursing majors at FMU. 

Member Director 2
Sarah Hathcock
Credentials:  MSN, RN
Affiliation:  Oakbrook Elementary School

She serves as a school nurse at Oakbrook Elementary School in Ladson, South Carolina. In addition she has served as an adjunct nursing instructor for both Charleston Southern University and Trident Technical College. Her nursing background includes both pediatrics and medical-surgical nursing. She has been a registered nurse for 10 years. She received her ADN degree from Trident Technical College in 2002 and her MSN from Charleston Southern University in 2011. She was the recipient of the Charleston Southern University Derry Patterson Wingo School of Nursing Excellence in Nursing Education Award in 2011. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, International Society of Nurses. She also served as the Keynote speaker for the Charleston Southern University MSN Pinning Ceremony in December 2012. She organizes the annual Angel Tree for Oakbrook Elementary. 

Member Director 3
Susan T. McAlister
Credentials:  MS, RN

She is a Clinical Nurse Specialist. She is a graduate of the Medical University of South Carolina and received her Master’s degree from Clemson University. She has been a nurse for 33 years and has experience in General Surgery, Women’s Health, Nursing Education, and Home Health. She has been a faculty member at Piedmont Technical College and Lander University.

lmcdowell faculty picture
Member Director 4
Liz McDowell
Credentials:  PhD, RN
Affiliation:  Lander University

Member Director 5
Jason R. Thrift
Credentials:  MS, RN
Affiliation:  Clemson University

I have been working with the School of Nursing in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program, Bachelor of Science Accelerated Nursing Program, Accelerated Second Degree Program, and RN-BS Program. I currently am a member of the following nursing professional service boards and chapters: President of the Gamma Mu Chapter of Sigma, Global Nursing Excellence and International Honor Society of Nursing, Director of Communications/Webmaster for the South Carolina League of Nursing (SCLN), Board Member for the Mental Health America, Anderson County Board, Adviser for the Clemson Chapter of the American Association of Men in Nursing (Student Organization). I am an active member of the following nursing organizations: American Nurses Association, South Carolina Nurses Association, National League for Nursing, South Carolina League for Nursing, American Nursing Informatics Association, Sigma (Clemson Gamma Mu and Mercer Pi Gamma Chapters), the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, Mental Health America, and the American Association of Men in Nursing. I also serve on the South Carolina Nurses Foundation Board of Trustees.

Shelli Gibbs

Member Director 6
Shelli Gibbs
Credentials:  DNP, RN, APRN, FNP-BC
Affiliation:  University of South Carolina

She is an Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina (USC) College of Nursing where she is an Assistant Director of the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Program and Medical Surgical Coordinator for the Bachelor’s in Science (BSN) and faculty in the FNP Program. She has been with USC for eight years. She earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Family Nurse Practitioner from MUSC, MSN in Nursing Administration from MUSC, BSN from MUSC and Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) from Orangeburg Technical College. She began her career as a Registered Nurse on a cardiac thoracic intermediate step-down unit at Roper Hospital. After graduating with her MSN in administration, she began working at USC Salkehatchie Rural Nursing Initiative Program as an educator, advisor, mentor, liaison, and advocate for the nursing students on the Salkehatchie campus. She is a recipient of Palmetto Gold Award (2020) and an Amy V. Cockcroft Leadership Fellow. Dr. Gibbs received the USC College of Nursing Innovative award for the use of i-robots for FNP students and undergraduate students in simulation. Dr. Gibbs scholarly research is in obesity in the rural primary care setting and simulation.

Sonya Blevins
Member Director 7
Sonya Blevins
Credentials:  DNP, RN, CMSRN, CNE
Affiliation:  Southern New Hampshire University

She is the Associate Dean for Nursing at Southern New Hampshire University. She received her Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) from the University of South Alabama; Masters of Science from Syracuse University; Bachelors of Science from Clemson University. She is a Certified Medical-Surgical Nurse (CMSRN) and Certified Nurse Educator (CNE). Her experience includes medical-surgical, critical care, and women’s health nursing.  She has taught at the associate, bachelors, and masters degree levels in the online, onsite, and clinical settings.  Her areas of interest include online education, simulation, and mentoring nurse educators. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau National Honors Society, National League for Nursing, Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses, and American Nurses Association.
Member Director 8
Dorie L. Weaver
Affiliation:  Francis Marion University

Member Director 9
John J. Whitcomb
Credentials:  PhD, RN, CCRN, FCCM
Affiliation:  Clemson University

A retired Navy Nurse Corps Commander after 26 years of service. His current position is an Associate Professor and Undergraduate Studies Coordinator at Clemson University School of Nursing. He served on the Board of Directors for the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) 2007-2010 and Board of Directors for the Certification Corporation of AACN 2008-2010. He served as the Specialty Advisor to the Surgeon General (Navy) for critical care nursing 2007-2009. He supports the learning, knowledge, and professional development of nurses committed to making a difference in health worldwide and “advance quality nursing education that prepares the nursing workforce to meet the needs of diverse populations in an ever-changing healthcare environment”. He has demonstrated this as evidence by publications in scholarly journals such as Nursing Research, Advances in Nursing Science and Critical Care Nursing Clinics of North America. He has presented locally, nationally and internationally in such places as Belfast Ireland, Yokosuka Japan and Montreal Canada. He has served as President of the SCLN, President of STTI Gamma Mu and on the Leadership Succession Committee for STTI.

Member Director 10
Karen K. Gittings
Credentials: DNP, RN, CNE, CNEcl, Alumnus CCRN
Affiliation: Francis Marion University

Professor of nursing and Dean of the School of Health Sciences at Francis Marion University, Florence, South Carolina. Dr. Gittings received her diploma in nursing from The Washington Hospital School of Nursing, Washington, Pennsylvania and her BSN from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County campus. She earned her MSN with specialization in nursing education and her DNP at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She was a 2015 to 2016 Amy V. Cockcroft Fellow, achieved certification in online instruction in 2011, became a Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) in 2013 and earned certification as an Academic Clinical Nurse Educator (CNEcl) with the inaugural group of test-takers. Dr. Gittings has extensive experience in critical care nursing and has been a certified critical-care RN (CCRN) since 1991. Her areas of teaching and clinical expertise are medical–surgical nursing, critical care, and cardiac nursing. She has taught students across the curriculum in the BSN, MSN, and DNP programs. Dr. Gittings has co-authored three books and eight book chapters. Dr. Gittings has also presented nationally on multiple nursing education-related topics. She is past president of Francis Marion University’s chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, Chi Lambda Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, and the Pee Dee Area Chapter of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. She is a recipient of multiple Outstanding Faculty Teaching Awards at Francis Marion University and the South Carolina Palmetto Gold Award (2005).

Nicole Paul

Member Director 11
Nicole I. Paul
Credentials:  DNP, MSN, RN, ICC
Affiliation: USC Upstate and Chamberlain University

She is currently a full-time Corporate Quality Assurance Nurse Manager where she supervises the Grievance Department and provides companywide education and training to over 300 RN Nurse Aide Evaluators.  In addition, she teaches the practicum component of Mental Health Nursing in a pre-licensure BSN program, the theory component of Community Health Nursing in an online RN-BSN program, and is a teacher assistant for a Nursing Theory course in an online MSN program. 

She has 20 years of nursing experience to include the following areas of nursing: telemetry, geriatric mental health, corrections, homecare hospice, staff development, infection control, employee health and 16 years in nursing education between nursing assistant, patient care technician, medication aide, practical nursing diploma programs, associate nursing degree programs, bachelor nursing degree program, and a masters nursing degree program.  

She received a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) from USC Upstate in 2001, a Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a focus on Nursing Education from Chamberlain University in 2016, a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Healthcare Systems Leadership from Chamberlain University in 2018, and a Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a focus in Family Nurse Practitioner from Chamberlain University in 2020.

Professional memberships include the National League for Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society – Phi Pi Chapter, Upstate Nurse Practitioner Association, Association of Community Health Nursing Educators, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Epsilon Beta Omega Chapter.