Faculty and Staff
CarolinaLIFE faculty and staff are experts in the field of inclusive education who
are passionate about building intentional programmatic supports to assist students
in achieving their goals while attending college.
Chelsea VanHorn Stinnett, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Studies
Executive Director of CarolinaLIFE
Chelsea VanHorn Stinnett is in charge of the “big picture” at CarolinaLIFE. She works
to support and evaluate the full-time professional staff who carry out day-to-day
service delivery, while working towards constantly evaluating and refining the program.
Additionally, Stinnett manages the program budget, including cultivating donors and
pursuing external grant funding for program sustainability. She earned her Ph.D. in
Special Education from the University of South Carolina in 2019 and has established
a line of research aimed at examining how to improve post-school outcomes for students
with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Specifically, her interests lie
in inclusive postsecondary education and building students agency within a college
Abigail Mojica, MAT
Assistant Director of Academics and Family Engagement
Abigail Mojica is the Assistant Director of Academics and Family Engagement for the
CarolinaLIFE program, an inclusive postsecondary education program for students with
disabilities. She obtained her Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of South
Carolina and went on to teach special education at the middle school level for two
years. Currently, she is pursuing her Ph.D. in special education, her research interests
focus on transfer of rights issues and options for youth with disabilities.
Hannah Jean Peak, M.S.
Assistant Director of Employment
Hannah oversees instruction and support related to employment and internship experiences
for CarolinaLIFE students. She directly supervises all employment specialists. She
started her first year with CarolinaLIFE in fall of 2021. Hannah graduated from Missouri
State University in Spring of 2019 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education
and in Spring of 2021 with a Master of Science degree in Student Affairs in Higher
Rebecca Smith Hill, MSW
Assistant Director of Campus and Community Engagement
Rebecca Smith-Hill is a Project Coordinator for CarolinaLIFE. She is ABD in her doctoral
program in special education at the University of South Carolina. She is a social
worker and a former middle and high school special education teacher. Her research
interests include agency and equity in transition outcomes, including access to IPSEs,
for students with disabilities from historically minoritized groups. In her current
role, Becca facilitates the formalized exit planning process, serves as a liaison
for campus offices, and oversees the residential component of CarolinaLIFE.
Ruth Bollinger graduated from CarolinaLIFE in May 2020. As CarolinaLIFE’s Lead Coach,
she provides support and instruction to CarolinaLIFE students in the areas of personal
and professional development. Besides her work in the classroom, Ruth serves as a
representative of CarolinaLIFE to various stakeholders both in the community and across
campus. During her time at UofSC and CarolinaLIFE, she served as a secretary in Student
Government and was the first CarolinaLIFE student to be initiated into a sorority
as a fully pledged member of Gamma Phi Beta. When Ruth isn’t at work, you can find
her at Gamecock sporting events, Soda City Market on Saturdays, is a Disney fan, and
is a big sports fan of Pittsburgh sports.