Service Stories Archive: December Graduates Who Serve (December 2019)

Because of the upcoming introduction of a new University website design, existing Service Stories on the site are being migrated to our Service Learning Blog so that they will remain in our archive.

This article was originally published in December 2019.


Upstate students do great things both in the classroom and out. This week’s story highlights the service outside the classroom of three December graduates.

Whitley Farmer is a Nursing student and mother who runs an annual coat drive from November through the beginning of January. She credits her recently deceased parents with teaching her to caring, empathetic, and attentive to the needs of others. She also credits nursing professor Dr. Stephanie Barnhill with teaching her that nurses should be rooted in the resources of their communities to help with patients’ needs. Whitley also serves as Vice President of the Student Upstate Black Nurses Association and plans to serve as a nurse in the Rock Hill or Charlotte areas after graduation.

Each year Whitley collects between 100-150 coats and gives them to an organization that serves at risk people such as homeless, women/children, people living in poverty. In the past she has donated coats to Miracle Hill Ministries, Crisis Assistance Ministries, and the Shepard’s Gate & Renewal Center. This year coats will again go to Miracle Hill Ministries.

Drop off a gently used coat to support Whitley’s drive in the Student Life Office (CLC 210) before January 15. 

Whitely with Anne Hill of the Shepherd’s Center; Donation box for coats in CLC 210

Joshua Dzuba is an accounting major who serves on the Board of the World Missions Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina (see more information at with a focus on Haiti. Specifically, they work to improve the overall living conditions in Cange and surrounding villages. They have partnered with Clemson’s Engineers for Developing Countries leading to the first source of clean water for the country. Other projects range from healthcare (treatment of hypertension and creating a peanut butter supplement to combat infant malnutrition) to literacy projects (creating libraries for villages). Josh has employed his accounting stills with both small business owners and a local artisan center, helping them understand how to keep financial records as well as to develop strategies to become profitable.

Yusef Robinson, majoring in accounting with a minor in Translation and Interpretation, plans to get an additional certification in teaching English as a foreign language after graduation. Yusef’s service has varied from playing the cello at the JCBE’s annual award ceremony to functioning as an auxiliary translator on a medical service learning trip to Costa Rica. In addition he is currently working in an unpaid internship providing subtitles for mental health videos targeting improved awareness of mental health difficulties and treatment options in our community.