Spadoni College Welcomes New Identity, New Dean

The Spadoni College of Education and Social Sciences launched this fall, and its new dean, Holley Tankersley, is beyond thrilled.  

The Spadoni college is the new home for the social sciences and includes the Department of Policy Research and Evaluation; Department of Anthropology and Geography; Department of Politics; Department of Sociology; Department of Foundations, Curriculum, and Instruction; and Department of Graduate and Specialty Services.  

Tankersley said the social sciences now have a place to collaborate and reach out to the local community.  

“It is fantastic, I feel great about it,” Tankersley said. “It is just so energizing and exciting to have this new college because I think we fill a really important role both on campus and in the community.”  

Tankersley emphasized the college is important because it allows students to focus on  

on two specific things: people and community connections. First, the college’s programs of study highlight understanding humans and how they learn, grow and behave. Second, the college offers students opportunities for involvement with the surrounding community either by internships, local issues, and community service.  

She said these are important new features because they are the foundations of what universities are supposed to do.  

Since the college is new, Tankersley said her first goal is to focus on laying down the correct foundation. From there, her goal as dean will be to build new programs, specifically those that are future-focused. She intends to encourage students to get involved with faculty research. She hopes to conduct research that is beneficial to all and creates a strong culture of belonging.  

Another thing Tankersley looks forward to is developing programs of human services for graduates. This includes non-profit work, social work and counseling.  

“There is a real lack of mental health professionals in Horry County, in the surrounding areas, so that’s a real need. That’s an area that we can grow,” Tankersley said.