HSS Dean's Council

The HSS Dean's Council provides advocacy, professional expertise, community leadership, student mentorship and financial support to assist the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and its students.

New Council Members

We are pleased to welcome five new members to the council this year. 
  • Carmen Lane Conley '88

    Carmen received her B.A. in political science from the College of Charleston and her M.A. in Africa regional studies/peace and conflict resolution from the American University School of International Service. She began her career with the National Democratic Institute, where she played a supporting role in historic democratic transitions in South Africa, Malawi, and Mozambique as well as in the peace process in Angola. She ultimately carried her expertise to DAI where, in addition to legislative strengthening, she managed projects in areas as diverse as local governance, anticorruption, public administration, and civil society. Carmen was named the Managing Director of Governance, where she is able to draw upon her multiple areas of technical expertise and geographic experience.

  • Laura Hammond Holdych '93

    Laura graduated from the College of Charleston with a B.A. in sociology and now lives in Richmond, VA.

  • Philip Jos

    Phil Jos is a retired College of Charleston professor. He served as Director of the Master of Public Administration program and as Chair of the Department of Political Science. His academic research and teaching focused on public accountability, political ethics, public policy, and political philosophy. He lives on James Island and is an active member of Circular Congregational Church and the Charleston Area Justice Ministries (CAJM).

  • Carolyn Larson '08

    Carrie received her B.A. in communication from the College of Charleston. While studying, she worked in the food and beverage industry as well as for SPOLETO Festival USA. In 2015, Carrie joined Slow Food Charleston, the local chapter of the worldwide Slow Food International organization. She is now board chair of the local chapter. In 2020, Carrie began work at Pay It Forward Charleston and currently serves as its executive director. The organization started as a collaboration between farmers, restaurants, and community members who united in an effort to feed food and beverage workers in crisis during the COVID-19 crisis. Carrie's time in the industry familiarized her with workers' vulnerability and their continuing need for occasional emergency assitance provided by Pay It Forward.

  • Ryan Spraker '16

    Ryan traces his interest in education law and policy to his undergraduate days at the College of Charleston, where he studied political science and was president of the Student Governemet Association. He was motivated to pursue a legal career through which he could work hand in hand with college administrators. Ryan received his law degree from George Washington University Law School and is now an associate at Husch Blackwell, where he supports colleges, universities, and education technology companies in their missions. Ryan also assists clients administering the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ education benefits programs, including the G.I. Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program. Ryan loves supporting mission-driven clients, with educational opportunities at the center of his practice.

Returning Council Members

We have the deepest gratitude for the wisdom and dedication of the HSS Dean's Council returning members.
  • Brandon Cochran '04

    Brandon received his B.A. in communication and his B.S. in business administration from the College of Charleston in 2004, and earned his MBA from Charleston Southern University in 2010. He is a Regional Director of Development for the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia, securing private support for the College’s top priorities and initiatives. Having more than 10 years of fundraising experience, primarily in the higher education sector, his expertise encompasses donor cultivation, solicitation and stewardship, major gifts and annual fund, campaign management, program development, event management, development communications, and marketing.

  • Joshua Cooper '10

    After graduating from the College of Charleston with a B.A. in political science in 2010, Josh returned to his hometown of Richmond, VA, and joined his father at the Cooper Financial Group of Raymond James. Josh and his team work diligently with their clients around the country to identify their unique goals, concerns, and situations, then create financial plans for pursuing their long-term objectives. Actively involved in his community, Josh is a three-term member of the board of trustees of Fredericksburg Academy. Additionally, he enjoys volunteering with The Community Foundation of the Rappahannock River Region and serves as a mentor for students at the VCU School of Business.

  • Sabra Horne '87

    Sabra serves as the Director of Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). She leads agency efforts for ensuring the effective sharing of cyber information with the private sector as well as state, local, tribal, and territorial entities. Prior to this role, she served at the National Security Agency (NSA) as the Deputy Chief for Information Sharing and Collaboration, facilitating the sharing of NSA’s most highly classified intelligence. Before serving in government, Sabra had an 18-year career in academic publishing, the last twelve as Senior Executive Editor for the largest list of academic criminal justice publications at Wadsworth Publishing. Sabra received her B.A. in English from the College of Charleston and a Master in Public Administration degree from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

  • Joseph Rively '89

    Joe graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from the College of Charleston. While in school, he interned and worked at WCSC –TV in the newsroom. Upon graduation, he interned at CNN and worked at Turner Broadcasting in Atlanta. He made the transition from broadcasting to media and public relations, volunteering for the 1996 Olympics and working for the High Museum of Art. Joe began his career in fundraising at the museum. He ultimately transitioned to higher education fundraising and is currently the Managing Director, International Development, for the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. In this role, he travels the world to engage international alumni and parents of current students with supporting the fundraising priorities of the university.

  • Barbara Schreiner '13

    Barbie brings more than 15 years of community outreach experience to the Dean's Council. From her work with large scale nonprofits like United Way and American Red Cross, to regional organizations like Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy and the College of Charleston, her commitment to the greater good is ubiquitous. Also committed to life-long learning, Barbie earned her Masters of Public Administration for Nonprofit Management from the College of Charleston and has taught as an adjunct professor in the program. Prior to that, she received her bachelor's degree in Public Relations from Ferris State University. Barbie is passionate about connecting people, resources, and opportunities throughout our community to create a sustainable impact. 

  • Neel Ellison Woollen '93

    Neel earned a B.S. in sociology with a minor in communications at the College of Charleston, where she was an active member of the Student Alumni Association. After graduation, she became a life-time member of the College's Alumni Association. Neel’s passion is working with non-profit organizations. She is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Charlotte, N.C., and she completed the Charlotte Arts and Science Council’s “Cultural Leadership Training Program,” which focused on the structure of non-profits and board member expectations. After completing the program, Neel was a two-term board member of Historic Charlotte. She has actively supported the grass roots organization Go Jen Go, which financially assists those fighting breast cancer in metro-Charlotte, since its inception in 2012.

  • Laura Zagby-Dye '03

    A graduate of the College of Charleston, Laura Zagby-Dye triple majored in Philosophy, Corporate Communication, and Religious Studies and minored in Business Administration. She has worked for the American Red Cross for more than 15 years and is currently an account manager. Her passion is raising awareness regarding the need for blood in our community, and she works throughout the Lowcountry to implement life-saving blood drive programs at businesses, schools, and religious institutions. Her success has landed her in the top 10% of her colleagues nation-wide, and in 2015 Laura was awarded one of the non-profit’s highest honors, the Presidential Award for Excellence. Outside of work, Laura is a proud volunteer mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Carolina Youth Development Center.

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