2021 Roaring10 award recipients honored by Clemson Young Alumni Council


On Friday April 1, 2022, ten exceptional individuals were presented with a 2021 Roaring10 award by the Clemson Young Alumni Council. To be honored with this award, each person must have earned an undergraduate or graduate degree from Clemson University within the past ten years and exemplify Clemson’s core values of honesty, integrity and respect. Recipients are recognized for their impact in business, leadership, community, educational and philanthropic endeavors.

Members of the Clemson Family nominate potential Roaring10 honorees, who are then selected by the Clemson Young Alumni Council.

This year’s recipients are:

Daniel R. Alexander
County Council member and Director of Operations for Anovotek, LLC

The Clemson Young Alumni Council presented a Roaring10 award to civic and business leader Daniel R. Alexander, a member of the Barnwell County Council (South Carolina) and director of operations for Anovotek, LLC, in Barnwell.

Alexander has two Clemson degrees. He graduated in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in polymer and fiber chemistry and earned his Master of Business Administration degree in 2012.

He joined Anovotek, a materials science-based company specializing in textiles and performance technologies, in 2013. He oversees the company’s revenues and expenditures, supervises production and lab personnel, leads expansion efforts into E-commerce on multiple sales platforms and manages production to fulfill customer orders as well as lab trials for product development evaluation.

He was elected to the Barnwell County Council in 2018, at the age of 29. He chairs the personnel committee and is a member of the finance committee, which creates and shepherds the county’s annual budget of approximately $16 million. He is also a board member of the Lower Savannah Council of Governments and an advocate for increasing broadband and quality of life opportunities in rural areas of South Carolina.

Along with his many community activities, Alexander works as a basketball official for the South Carolina High School League and the South Carolina Independent Schools Association, most recently working his third SCISA state championship game in Sumter, S.C.

He is a former member of the Sweetwater Country Club’s board of directors, a 2021 graduate of the South Carolina Economic Development Institute, and a 2018 graduate of Leadership Salkehatchie. He is a member of the Ellenton Agricultural Club, Harmony Lodge No. 17 (Barnwell, S.C.) and Barnwell First Baptist Church.

For Clemson, Alexander was instrumental as a graduate student in the creation of the Golf Paws program, which encourages and enables gifts and support for the men’s and women’s golf teams. He has remained active with Golf Paws as an alumnus and currently serves on its advisory board.

Alexander and his wife, Taylor, have two daughters: Mary Chilton, age 6, and Margaret, age 4.

Danielle Lester Arrington
Director of Talent Acquisition for Clemson University

The Clemson Young Alumni Council presented a Roaring10 award to Danielle Lester Arrington of Westminster, South Carolina, director of talent acquisition for Clemson University.

Arrington graduated from Clemson in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in communication studies. In 2016, she earned a master’s degree in public administration from Arkansas State University.
After three years as recruitment and employment manager for the South Carolina Department of Transportation in Columbia, Danielle returned to Clemson in 2017 to become academic advisor and recruiter for the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences. In 2018, she moved to the University’s Office of Human Resources, where her primary responsibility is to recruit and hire top talent to Clemson.
Arrington is an active member of HEERN, the Higher Education Executive Recruitment Network, and has received numerous accolades for creativity and innovation in her profession. In 2019 alone, she was named a CUPA-HR Rockstar by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources, the #ClemsonWorks campaign she developed garnered national recognition from Ragan Communication’s PR Daily news site, and her team was selected for Workforce Magazine’s Gold Optimas Award for Recruiting.
She serves as a professional mentor and works with various Clemson student organizations, such as the SHRM (Society for Human Resources Management) student chapter, the football program’s P.A.W. (Passionate About Winning) Journey leadership initiative and the Master of Business Administration program by participating in coaching and mock interview sessions, helping to prepare students for their entry into the business world. She also leads resume workshops and interview coaching sessions for spouses and partners of new university employees.
Arrington and her husband, Matt, recently became first-time parents, welcoming the birth to their daughter, Rosie.

Emily Martin Ewoldt
Co-owner of Clemson Family Dentistry

The Clemson Young Alumni Council presented its Roaring10 award to dentist Emily Martin Ewoldt, co-owner of Clemson Family Dentistry in South Carolina and membership chair of the Rotary Club of Clemson.

Ewoldt graduated from Clemson in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in public health science. In 2018, she earned a doctorate in dental medicine from the Medical University of South Carolina and became a partner in Clemson Family Dentistry, where she had interned as an undergraduate student.

She and her business partner, John McRoberts, are planning to expand their practice by opening an office in the Patrick Square community. Also, they are the official dentists for Clemson University athletic teams.

Ewoldt’s community service activities range from donating toothbrushes for schools and mission trips to supporting organizations, such as Ripple of One and the Dream Center, that help individuals and families become healthy and self-sufficient. She is active in Fort Hill Presbyterian Church.

Through the Rotary Club, Ewoldt works alongside other business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian service to the local Clemson community and around the world. She is helping to establish a satellite club for Clemson University employees that will focus on their specific needs and issues while being connected to the Rotary Club of Clemson.

Ewoldt is a member of the Tri-County Dental Society, which encompasses Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties, and of the Piedmont District Dental Society, a division of the South Carolina Dental Association. She presents lectures to Clemson students interested in pursuing careers in dentistry and serves as a teacher and leader for the two health science students each year who intern with Clemson Family Dentistry, just as she did.

Her three younger siblings — Ben, Abby and John Martin — all graduated from Clemson’s Department of Public Health Sciences. Her husband, Nathan, also practices dentistry at Clemson Family Dentistry and is pursuing his MBA from Clemson.

Christopher M. Harrington
Clemson University Police Captain

The Clemson Young Alumni Council presented its Roaring10 award to Clemson University Police Captain Christopher M. Harrington of Pendleton, South Carolina.

Harrington has two Clemson degrees. He graduated in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and earned a master’s degree in public administration in 2019. He is also a Distinguished Graduate of the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy.

He worked as a student patrolman when he was an undergraduate and began his professional career in 2005 as a University police officer. After serving as a sergeant and lieutenant, he was promoted to captain in 2021. His current responsibilities include leadership of the Investigative Support Services Bureau as its commander.

Among his many recognitions, he was named an Honorary Colonel of Clemson Army ROTC’s Fightin’ Tiger Battalion in 2015 and was the Division of Student Affairs Employee of the Year for 2018. He was honored for his life-saving actions in response to a mental health crisis is 2017.

His leadership in arranging specialized training in force de-escalation, mental health crisis response and active bystandership skills has helped officers across the Upstate mitigate potential dangers to themselves and private citizens. He serves on the advisory boards for both the Tri-County Technical College Criminal Justice program and Mothers Against Drunk Drivers of South Carolina.

Harrington has been the principal investigator for more than $300,000 in funding from sources such as a Justice and Law Enforcement Mental Health Coordinating Grant and the COVID Emergency Supplemental Funding Program.

He is active with the Police Executive Research Forum and participated in its Senior Management Institute for Police in 2019. He also participated in a collaborative Racial Equity Institute sponsored by Clemson University and AnMed Health in 2019 and a year later was a panelist for AnMed Health’s Connect 2020 diversity and inclusion symposium.

Harrington and his wife, Whitney, volunteer at NewSpring Church, where they attend with their two children.

Lauren Burdine Hood
York County 4-H Youth Development Agent with Clemson Extension

The Clemson Young Alumni Council presented its Roaring10 award to Lauren Burdine Hood, York County 4-H youth development agent with the Clemson Cooperative Extension Service.

Hood has two Clemson degrees. She graduated in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in environmental and natural resources and a minor in biological sciences. In 2021, she earned a master’s degree in agriculture with an emphasis in agricultural education, becoming the first graduate of that newly developed thesis-based program.

Before joining the South Carolina 4-H team in York County in 2017, she worked in Extension-related roles in Georgia for four years. Hood began master’s degree work in agricultural and environmental education at the University of Georgia, then transferred to Clemson.

Under her leadership, the York County 4-H Club has won numerous state honors, including 2020 awards for excellence in teamwork, agricultural literacy programming and animal science programming. She is president of the South Carolina chapter of the National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals. She and her regional team received the National Association of County Agricultural Agents’ 2020 Learning Module Communication Award for their programming available during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Her many community activities include serving on the York County Fall Livestock Show Committee and the York County Agribusiness Council. Hood is also a member of the York County Cattlemen’s Association and the South Carolina Cattlemen’s Association.

For Clemson, Hood is the Upstate District representative on the Clemson Extension Senate and a board member of the Women’s Alumni Council. Her work with council includes helping to plan and produce its annual Bring Your Daughter to Clemson event, which has a focus on agriculture and the STEM areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Hood is a first-generation Clemson graduate, who was greatly supported by her parents, Jimmy and Andrea Burdine. She and her husband, Tyler, began their relationship while students at Clemson, even getting engaged in the carillon bell tower on campus.

Jennifer Spaniel Moore
Chief Operating Officer of Graycliff Capital Partners

The Clemson Young Alumni Council presented its Roaring10 award to Jennifer Spaniel Moore, chief operating officer of Greenville-based Graycliff Capital Partners, a leading real estate development and investment company focused primarily on the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States.

Moore has two Clemson degrees. She graduated in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and completed her Master of Business Administration degree in 2017.

Moore was a first-grade teacher at Augusta Circle Elementary School in Greenville, South Carolina, before beginning her business career. She joined Graycliff in 2014 and quickly assumed increasingly responsible roles. She rose from a real estate coordinator to director of operations within just 10 months and, at the age of 30, was promoted to chief operating officer in 2017. She oversees all divisions and daily functions of the company, which has $1.1 billion in assets under management and $2.2 billion in transactions.

Among her many community activities, Moore is an avid volunteer for the local Ronald McDonald House, which provides a home away from home for families whose children are receiving medical care at Greenville-area hospitals, and she is a member of the Red Shoe Society, a philanthropic arm of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Carolinas, headquartered in Greenville.

She spearheads Graycliff’s participation in events sponsored by Public Education Partners to support, strengthen and advance public education and student achievement in Greenville County Schools.

Moore is an advocate and supporter of local initiatives and organizations that foster the development of young women in leadership, including PEARLS (Preparing Engaging and Respectful Lady Scholars). She mentors other local professionals who are young Clemson alumnae. She was named one of Greenville Business Magazine’s 2020 “Best & Brightest 35 & Under.”

Colleen J. Thomas
Non-Profit Director and Children’s Book Author

The Clemson Young Alumni Council presented its Roaring10 award to Colleen J. Thomas of Easley, South Carolina  author of “Beautiful Skin: A Children’s Book about Overcoming Racism,” which was an Amazon #1 New Release in 2020. 

Thomas graduated from Clemson in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. In 2014 she joined the non-profit Silicon Valley Education Foundation, an advocate and provider of education in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics for teachers and underserved students in Northern California. Now SVEF’s director of strategic impact, she has used her engineering skills to design systems and improve processes that have enabled the foundation to increase the number of students it serves annually from 900 in 2014 to more than 5,000 in 2021.

She published “Beautiful Skin” in 2020 to help parents and children of all races talk about and understand race, racism and diversity. Her goal is for the book to be a catalyst for discussions about welcoming differences and overcoming racism. She has donated 20 percent of the proceeds from book sales to benefit local schools and programs that assist children.

Thomas’ husband, Brandon, is a former Clemson football player. Everywhere his career in the National Football League took them, she became involved in community service activities. Examples range from helping to build a playground in San Francisco to volunteering at food pantries in Detroit and at a women’s shelter in Jacksonville, Florida. She also started her own initiative, #MomCoffeeMonday, to recognize deserving moms across the country with coffee gift cards every Monday.

Thomas shares her Clemson experience with students who participate in SVEF college readiness events in Northern California and when she is invited to speak at her high school alma mater in Rhode Island. She has given personal campus tours to students from her high school who have become interested in Clemson because of her remarks. She also shares Clemson through the illustrations in her children’s book. A Tiger Paw is hidden on every page.

Her three children were inspirations for the book. Mary Kate (5), Leila (2) and RJ (1) resemble characters in the story.

Daniel Ross Thompson
Laboratory Manager in Clemson University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy

The Clemson Young Alumni Council presented its Roaring10 award to Daniel Ross Thompson of Pickens, South Carolina, laboratory manager in Clemson University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Thompson graduated from Clemson in 2012 with a Ph.D. in physics. He earned his bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics from Wofford College in 2006.

After five years as an engineer with General Motors, during which he produced multiple publications, inventions and patents, Thompson returned to Clemson in 2017 in order to work with students and give back to the University.

He supervises graduate teaching assistants, provides lecture demonstrations, conducts science outreach programs and serves as building security coordinator. He has authored three laboratory manuals to keep the material relevant and timely, and he has championed laboratory updates that increased the availability of labs so that students could graduate on time. He also provides free physics tutoring to undergraduates and mentors graduate students engaged in teaching, preparing for jobs and planning careers in science.

Thompson was honored by the College of Science Student Advisory Board with its 2019 Student Advocate Award, and he received the college’s Outstanding Team Award in 2021 for exemplary service to the University during the COVID pandemic.

His work during the pandemic included developing custom videos and take-home kits for students that allowed them to gain the full benefit of laboratory exercises while remaining safely online. He has also developed online summer programs that make it more practical for students to take courses between the spring and fall semesters.

Thompson’s community service activities include supporting his son’s Boy Scout Troop 51 in Pickens and volunteering as a local science fair judge. He leads science outreach efforts that reach thousands of people each year, such as events for regional pre-K to 12th grade schools, the Roper Mountain Science Center, iMAGINE Upstate, Women in Physics and Denver Downs farm. Thompson and his wife, Heather, have two children: Micah and Naomi.

Kathleen “Katie” Mourning Turner
Owner of Invited Grace Co.

The Clemson Young Alumni Council presented its Roaring10 award to Kathleen “Katie” Mourning Turner of Greenville, South Carolina, owner of Invited Grace Co., an interior design firm that creates beautifully curated and functional spaces for residential clients in Upstate South Carolina, Charlotte, North Carolina, and along the Carolina coast.

Turner graduated from Clemson in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in graphic communications. Before returning to Greenville in 2019 and opening her own company, she worked in Charleston, South Carolina, as a corporate coordinator for the LS3P architectural firm, in which she rose to an associate level. She then became an interior designer and business developer with the JLV Creative team.

In Charleston, her community service activities included chairing the 2016 Trident United Way Day of Giving, which raised more than $30,000 in intraoffice gifts. With the help of Thompson Turner Construction and other volunteers, she organized, managed and executed an entire playground renovation and landscaping overhaul for St. Stephen Elementary School in rural Berkeley County. She also collected and donated Christmas gifts for each child at that school and ensured that a new student and his family, who lacked housing and other essentials, had the support, supplies and gifts they needed to enjoy the holiday.

Since 2019, she has been an active member of First Presbyterian Church and its Radiance Greenville ministry, which conducts Christmas fundraising and gift donations to benefit Hollis Academy students. She has also volunteered with Spirit of Greenville, which helps build a better Greenville by supporting public projects that incorporate local artists and enhance the quality of life in the community. She has organized markets and music events to raise funds to further the non-profit’s work.

Turner is a member and past president of the Clemson Young Alumni Council and since 2017 has helped to organize its annual Fall Band Party in Greenville. The 2018 event raised more than $6,000 for Hurricane Florence victims. In other years the proceeds have been used to endow scholarships at Clemson. Turner and her husband, Harold (Clemson Class of 2011), have two children: Sutton and Scout.

Frances Timmons Yarbrough
Civil Engineering Team Leader at SeamonWhiteside

The Clemson Young Alumni Council presented its Roaring10 award to Frances Timmons Yarbrough, civil engineering team leader in the Charlotte, North Carolina, office of SeamonWhiteside, a full-service land design firm with offices throughout the Carolinas.

Yarbrough graduated from Clemson in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and began working in SeamonWhiteside’s Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, office. After six years there, she was one of five employees asked to lead the opening of the company’s Charlotte location.

A licensed professional engineer, she has worked on projects ranging from mixed-use developments and retail expansions to roadway and utilities infrastructure improvements. In May 2021, she was featured in an interview with Authority Magazine about ways to close the gender gap in traditionally male-dominated industries.

In Charleston, South Carolina, Yarbrough participated in Leadership Charleston and was a member of the Charleston Young Professionals group, a division of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce. She was president of the Charitable Society of Charleston in 2016-2017 and was honored as its “Outstanding Member of the Year” for 2015-2016.

In Charlotte, she is a member of the Urban Land Institute and volunteers in various community service activities. These include the Crisis Assistance Ministry and Roof Above, both of which provide individuals with emergency shelter, meals, income and housing assistance, and the Carolinas Brain Tumor Race, which raises awareness and funds to support brain tumor patients and their families.

Yarbrough is a former member of the Clemson Young Alumni Council and served a year as its marketing chair. She frequently attends career fairs at Clemson to encourage more women to explore engineering as a profession.

The primary mission of the Clemson Young Alumni Council is to support the goals of the Clemson Alumni Association specifically on matters pertaining to young alumni. The Clemson Alumni Association is an open-membership, nonprofit organization that exists to connect alumni with their alma mater. Through a variety of programs and services, the Alumni Association works with alumni around the world to ensure they have a Clemson Experience every day.

For more information, visit Clemson Young Alumni.

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