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College of Education

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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.

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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 setting.  

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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.  

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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 Education (SAHE).

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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.  

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Ruth Bollinger

Lead Coach

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. 


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