Dr. Angela W. Peters met in an open forum to discuss her vision and the Chancellor opening with faculty and students at USC Upstate on Tuesday. Dr. Peters currently serves as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Albany State University. Under her leadership, ASU increased retention, low or no cost textbook options; internationalizing the curriculum, infusing global learning competencies within courses, and promoting opportunities for experiential learning, entrepreneurship and study abroad/away.
Just this past year, hundreds of thousands of students across the world have been affected by the Corona Virus pandemic. However, Chancellor candidate, Dr. Angela W. Peters sees great things in the near future for USC Upstate students. Looking back to March 2020, USC Upstate students went home for spring break and never returned. For many at first, an extended spring break sounded like a blessing in disguise. However, due the Covid-19 outbreak it was in the best interest of the student’s safety for many campuses to close.
Chaos only began to emerge amongst students and professors as many had to adapt to virtual instruction. USC Upstate resources were very accommodating and helpful by providing internet access to those who were in need, virtual counseling, the pass fail system, and so much more. Although these efforts did in fact ease up the transition, students were likely to struggle with procrastination, isolation, anxiety, and even depression.
Currently in the 2021 school year, students have adapted to virtual learning but have lost their drive, focus, and ambition. Students spend countless hours on their computers trying to stay on top of virtual lectures and assignments without face-to-face interaction and the benefits of hands-on activities. The overall student atmosphere at USC Upstate has become very quiet and dull. However, Dr. Peters stresses that the light is at the end of the tunnel and to urge students to keep going. “I would advise students to stay hopeful and keep their main focus on graduating from this fine institution. Don’t give up. Whatever you do, don’t give up,” Peters said. Peters is also a strong advocate for communication in order to succeed and to get through obstacles that students may be facing.
Although students may struggle with opening, Peters is confident in Spartan faculty and staff to help resolve problems. “If you’re having issues navigating through your academic experience, whatever it may be, you have to talk to someone, it can be your advisor, instructor, or any staff member. You have to reach out to get help because we want you to remain here in college and graduate,” Peters said.
With many hopes and growing concerns of opening up in the fall of 2021, Peters emphasizes the need for a memorable affair. Students have dreamed of campus life returning back to normal and have overcome so many difficulties and still currently are. Peters is optimistic about celebrating the success of students for making it this far for the grand return of face-to-face instruction. “In the fall it has to be somewhat of a celebratory entrance. Everything that the university, the state, and the community has gone through is an opportunity for us to restore hope and to provide a vehicle of success to celebrate, and I am excited,” Peters said.
Peters’ career has footprints throughout South Carolina. She earned her doctorate in biochemistry from the University of South Carolina, Columbia. Peters earned both the bachelors and master’s degree in chemistry from Hampton University.
She served at various levels of leadership at Claflin University as Vice Provost of Academic Programs, Department Chair of Chemistry and Professor of Chemistry.
Most of Peters’ efforts at Claflin revolved around restructuring the academic program review, faculty annual evaluations including the tenure and promotion process, and advanced the research of faculty members whose projects were progressing towards product development, commercialization, and patents. She established partnerships with pharmacy and medical schools and cooperative agreements with government laboratories.
Peters began her leadership career at the University of South Carolina – Columbia as the Executive Director for the South Carolina Alliance for Minority Participation Program (SC-AMP).
She is married to Dr. Stephen G. Peters, President of the International Literacy Association Board of Directors and former Superintendent of Laurens County School District 55. They were both reared in South Carolina.