Not only has Erica Moore excelled in and out of the classroom, she is a case study on how to build a resume in pursuit of one's passion.
With a 3.84 GPA, Moore earned dual degrees Friday -- in business and hospitality management -- from the University of South Carolina Beaufort. She did so while serving as student body president and working or volunteering at the Inn at Palmetto Bluff, the Marriott Vacation Club International, the Savannah Tourism Leadership Council, on Brays Island and at the Beaufort Film Festival.
"(She is) an outstanding example for taking advantage of working and living in the Lowcountry and making the most of working in business and hospitality management," said USCB hospitality management professor Charles Calvert.
Moore was one of 314 graduates, making up USCB's largest graduating class. The students received their degrees during a ceremony in front of the Hargray Building on the Hilton Head Gateway Campus in Okatie.
John Martin Hicks Hart Jr., a former criminal defense attorney, award-winning author of four best-selling novels and a land-preservation activist, delivered the commencement address and received an honorary degree. Beaufort native and staunch USCB supporter Emory Wayne Rushton, who became one of the highest-ranking supervisors in the U.S. banking system in Washington, D.C., also received an honorary degree.
Moore was among 15 students recognized Friday for performance and leadership in and out of the classroom.
Kyree Whitehead, editor of the college's newspaper and student body vice president, won the Sheila J. Tombe Award for Outstanding English Major, as well as the Darwin B. Bashaw Student of the Year Award, along with Moore.
Whitehead came to USCB from Georgia, thinking he would transfer to USC in Columbia. But he fell in love with the campus, students, faculty and staff.
"I'm very happy with my decision and wouldn't have changed it in the world," Whitehead said.
Now, he'll share the love and passion with prospective students as a USCB admissions counselor and recruiter.
"At an institution like this, because of the size, you really have the opportunity to get involved in as many activities as you want and be a leader in your own way," Whitehead said. "This institution really allowed me the opportunity to do so. ... And the peer help you're able to get here at USCB -- and the bar set by faculty and staff for us to be leaders -- ends up creating a great environment and fulfilling experience you cherish and remember fondly."