Claflin student encourages others to PUT THEIR HEALTH FIRST

PANTHER Kay the Body

Obesity has become such a problem for college students. Between studying, stressing out and the pressure of college, college students turn to eating unhealthy foods to cope. College students overindulge at the cafe, pizza hut, chinese food, the pit and local restaurants. Unhealthy ingredients can develop health problems in the future. It starts right here and now! Get off of this train of an unhealthy lifestyle and start a new healthy lifestyle. It starts with you, a bottle of water, determination, consistency and making smarter and healthy food choices on and off campus. Having a positive team that can encourage you along the way will be a great help! I have just the right woman that can help you get closer to your goal.

Khadijah Percell, a Claflin University student began her journey to helping others achieve their fitness goals about 2 years ago.
“Before then, I was always into fitness but it was just for myself mainly, as an outlet to get rid of my frustrations in a healthy way. It is not easy raising two boys and caring for a grandmother who's battling with cancer, while trying to get an education at the same time, however fitness has made this possible for me,” Percell said.

Watching her grandmother fight cancer is what motivated Percell to help others. Her grandmother always said, “I wish I would have taken better care of myself when I was younger". Percell took that message and ran with it, trying to influence as many young adults as she could. She started training just one girl, then, five. Now, Percell assists 20 ladies and gentlemen with living a healthier lifestyle. Percell teaches the students about nutrition as well. She simply enjoys doing what she does free of charge. “I just want every young person I encounter to have a chance my grandmother always wished for,” Percell said.

She has a myriad of success stories from students at Claflin University. Percell’s workout consists of working on the abs, legs, arms and buttocks.  She assists you one-on-one. Before and after every work out, Percell likes for everyone to join hands and pray. She takes before and after pictures so students can see their progress. It’s more than a workout. It is more than movement. The students are developing a family. They talk to each other, encourage each other and lose the weight together. Students of all shapes and sizes come out to be a part of this movement. Not only does she give students a good workout, she teaches students how to eat healthy and make better choices. She gives them examples of food charts and workouts that they can do at home if they are unable to make it to the gym. Percell also gives tips and advice. She gives students the encouragement to continue. At the beginning of their process, she informs students that the task before them is not easy, but to never give up no matter what obstacles they are faced with.  If you want something, you will work for it and she is here to help. Percell is building self-esteem and confidence in these students. Every Monday-Friday, she is located at State’s track at 8am-8:50am. If weather conditions are inclement, she moves the workout to Claflin University’s gym, JTK.
“Kay theBody Movement is open to all. She has her own website: You can also follow the movement on Instagram @kaytheboday. Khadijah Percell wants everyone to remember to always put your health first. 

PANTHER Kay the Body 2


 Daniel ‘DSims’ Simmons: Go-to-guy for sound



When he wakes up, Daniel starts his day with the production of one of his daily beats and instrumentals.
He always leaves his heard on every time through his organic and futuristically orchestrated melodies. After completing one beat, Daniel saves it and commences another.
There are a plethora of producers in the music industry, but even peers can attest to the fact that Daniel is slowly moving into an echelon of his own.
Daniel is the go-to guy on Claflin’s campus for all sound production and audio engineering needs.
Born in Harleyville but raised in San Diego, California, Daniel, “DSims” to his peers, has come back to his state of birth to leave his stamp on the Southern music scene.
When he is not in the studio, the 21-year-old Claflin University senior loves everything from traveling and attending concerts to networking and shopping for the newest footwear.
Artists on campus respect “DSims” and don’t hesitate when given a chance to work with him — unless the price is not right.
“My time is money, so if you don’t have money to work, don’t waste my time,” Daniel says. To avoid any confusion during the creative process, Daniel leaves this disclaimer every time.
Stetson Hagood, South Carolina State University senior ,says, “DSims is a legend in the making to have made as many moves and met as many people as he has. His future is beyond bright.”
As far as Daniel’s plans, he will be working on a self-produced EP in the upcoming winter and spring season.
All the while, “DSims” is living in the present.
“Stay tuned,”  he says. “There is plenty more to come.”
As he says this, he descends his head back into his laptop to create yet another masterpiece worth tuning into. One can only imagine what great melodies he will concoct this time around.

PANTEHR profile daniel simmons
PANTHER emmanuel pressley


Truman Scholar Emmanuel Pressley: Action and accomplishment

Each morning he wakes up around 6:45 to go to breakfast. Then he heads to the gym with his best friend from 7:30 to 8:30.
Upon their arrival back, he normally turns on some smooth jazz or gospel while showering and preparing for classes. Before leaving his residence hall, he checks his email and reviews his planner to see if he has any meetings or special engagements.
Each night he prepares an “action list.” The list consists of every assignment or extracurricular responsibility in conjunction with his personal agenda. He meticulously plans what he must do and the things he would like to do.
After completing each assignment, he ends the day studying his Bible and praying.
Claflin University’s Truman scholar, Emmanuel Pressley does not follow the schedule of a typical college student.
Does the name ring a bell? It’s the name of that smiling face you see on the billboard when driving down the interstate or passing Claflin University.
Emmanuel Pressley is the only person in the state of South Carolina to obtain the 2014 Harry S. Truman Scholarship. The Truman Scholarship is the second highest scholarship in the nation.
It is a National Merit Scholarship founded in 1972. It is named after our 33rd president, Harry S. Truman.
Essentially, it is a public service scholarship that looks for individuals in their junior year who have demonstrated high academic achievement, leadership potential and a commitment to public service.
“Within obtaining it, you have to write nine essays. You have to prepare a policy presentation, research it, as well as a slew of interviews that are state, regional and national. You have to articulate your community and public service commitments, but also defend your policy presentation to a panel of six Truman scholars, as well as other invited guests,” Emmanuel said.
“I had to tailor my community service outreach. I had to tailor my classes, in which they were diverse. I had to take a balance of psychology, philosophy, English, math, history each and every semester, as well as they were rigorous.
“I was taking 19, sometimes 20 credit hours per semester, as well as my internships and leadership experiences on campus. I had to tailor that, all geared toward obtaining the scholarship.”
Pressley is a member of the Student Activities Board, the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College and Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society.
Hailing from a small town did not deter Emmanuel from the path of pursuing his huge dreams. Pressley is a 21-year-old senior from Hemingway who is majoring in politics and justice studies.
“Hemingway is a small town in Williamsburg County. It literally has like three stoplights. We have no McDonald’s. Everyone knows each other. It’s a close-knit community,” Emmanuel said.
One of Pressley’s biggest obstacles on his academic journey was growing up in a single-parent household.
“Quite frankly, it never dawned on me until I got to college. It never dawned on me that I wasn’t living in the normal nuclear family until I observed the relationship between my best friend and his father. They’re like best friends. They talk all the time, so that’s when it really dawned on me.”
“It really affected me in trying to find what is masculinity and what is manhood for myself. I remember wrestling with the decision of whether or not I wanted to have children, and whether or not I wanted to do certain things. When asked if I wanted to be a father, I was like, ‘Well I don’t know. I grew up in a single-parent household. How can you expect me to do something that I’ve never even seen before?
“I think at that moment, it really pushed me to come to the understanding about manhood, and what is manhood, and how will I define it for myself. It pushed me toward taking a Men and Masculinity class. I’ve read different novels, and I’ve always been informed when it comes to the public, when it comes to popular culture, as well as how our society sometimes stigmatizes, stereotypes and demonizes men, as well as their masculinity, as well as the patriotic view of our society today.

“I think through being educated, and through taking classes, but also going through a struggle, and an attempt to find myself, my manhood and my masculinity, I’ve come to the understanding of how I define masculinity, which is honor and character.”
Becoming a Truman scholar was by far one of the best single moments of Emmanuel’s undergraduate career.
“To stand there and have a gymnasium full of people applauding you and cheering you on was amazing.”
Emmanuel’s mouth dropped when someone sent him a picture via text message of himself on a billboad.
“I was actually prepping for the LSAT, taking a Kaplan course at St. John’s School of Law in Queens, New York. I had no idea they were going to put me on the billboards. My best friend, Deontez Wimbley, texted me and he said, ‘Pressley, they got you on a billboard!’ I said, ‘Deontez, stop playing. What do you mean? Claflin put me up on the marquee outside or something?’ I did not believe him at that time, because I did not believe that Claflin would put me on a billboard. I really did not.”
Upon graduating in May 2015, Emmanuel will be pursuing his master’s degree at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He hopes to obtain a law degree from Harvard University as well.
Emmanuel is an aspiring civil rights attorney and legal scholar. Pressley would like to run for office and create a nonprofit organization geared toward combating felon disenfranchisement laws and help rehabilitating ex-offenders back into society.
Like the scholar he is, Emmanuel already has his action list completed with the steps listed to achieve these goals. People from all over have seen his face and name on billboards. Look out. The next stop may be on our television screens.

Drey's Diaries


This my first piece of the year and I wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year. We are in the month of love which has gotten a lot of couples really excited. However for those who are single, do not be discouraged. This is also a time to celebrate self-love. This month is also Black History Month. I would not say much but leave you guys with a poem I wrote in high school:
“We are who we are.
We were what we were.
We are what we were.
We are the dreams woven in the stars shining across the starry skies.
We are the fuel burning with desire buried within the soul.
We are who we are
We become what we become
We are what we became
We become the wind whispering in the woods, twirling and dancing with the leaves.
We become one with the yellow smiling sun, warming the four corners of the earth.
But what are we if we were to be in the shadows
Who are we becoming if we let our voices become voiceless?
What were we becoming if we did not stand tall discovering all covers
Dreaming with imagination; imagination coupled with creativity, upright with innovation
They said we are becoming the unbecoming
Because we stood with one voice in perfect symphony
With roots from the dusty footfalls of Africa,
We are what we were
We are who we became.”

Claflin vs Benedict Basketball   FASHION

Fashion Journalist

Orangeburg, It is that time of year again, the big game against our rival Benedict College. This game is like no other, the stands are packed with everybody from students to parents to local residents. The atmosphere is also like no other, the team is on fire, the cheerleaders are battling back and forth and most importantly the fashion game is on point. It has become a tradition to go through your closet and find your best outfit because you never know who you will see at the game. The JTK area runway features club looks, casual attire and of course orange and maroon gear. This year I am naming class of 2018’s very own Shirrel Jackson best dressed at the game. Her outfit screams urban chic with a high class twist.  The all-white ensemble paired with a faux fur vest and flats without a doubt slayed the panther runway.

Think you’re the best dressed on campus? Tweet me @kyanaatkins your best look for the chance to be featured in the Panther on Fashionista Fridays.

Shirrel Jackson
Photo by: Instagram



Parade marches Claflin in Saturday homecoming events


The Claflin University homecoming parade started at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, kicking off a full day of events.
The parade route was along Russell Street to the Claflin University’s gym parking lot.
Russell Street as well as Magnolia Street were blocked off from traffic to allow the parade to go on without any interruption.
High school marching bands and female dancers joined the parade and played their instruments as they walked.
There were a couple of floats for Miss Claflin University, the Homecoming Queen and others.
President Henry N. Tisdale and the first lady participated in the parade, waving and enjoying the celebration.
Fraternities, sororities, cheerleaders and alumni all merged together and walked in the parade to represent and spread the Claflin University pride.

PANTHER Adrian Marcel
Adrian Marcel (top) and Luke James (bottom) took the crowd through a range of low and high notes at the concert on Thursday. (Photos by Clayton JR Bryant)
PANTHER Luke James
R&B artists tear up the stage at Homecoming concert


R&B artists, Adrian Marcel and Luke James wooed the audience with their soulful voices Thursday night. Adrian began his performance with a brief roll call to get a feel of where his audience members were from. Adrian revealed that he is from Oakland, California. Shortly, after a little more crowd interaction, he began to sing a number of selections from his latest album that is currently on iTunes.
When Adrian finished performing, Luke James and his band took over the stage and began giving the crowd what they've been anticipating. Luke didn't hold back on any notes, taking the audience from extremely high notes to extremely low. He opened the floor up to the audience's request singing whatever selections they wanted to hear. He saved his hit single, "I Want You" until the end of the show.
"This is not a time for thinking. You can think when you're in class tomorrow. Right now, I just want you to feel...feel the music," Luke said.
If you didn't know who these artists were before you attended the concert, you certainly know now. If you weren't in attendance, you missed out on a soulful treat.
Have you been "hypbrotized?"

"SLEEP," Leroy "HypnoBro" Williams shouted!
Suddenly about 20 volunteers were on stage in the WVM Fine Arts Center in a deep trance.
As the students volunteered to come on stage, HypnoBro informed them that the hypnosis process requires three things: concentration, imagination, and relaxation.
"If you have a working mind and the ability to create, you can be hypnotized or even learn hypnosis," HypnoBro informed the crowd.
At the sound of applause students went deeper into a trance.
HypnoBro took the volunteers on the journeys of their hottest and coldest day, smelling beautiful aromas to foul stenches, and even reverted the voluteers back to the stage of being an 18-month old babies that haven't been fed all day.
"Put a thought in your conscious mind, it begins to germinate."
"When you go to sleep tonight, you will sleep better than you have in days, weeks, months, or even years,"HynoBro closed.
Needless to say, none of the volunteers have any recollection of what happened while being on stage Wednesday night.
They have officially been HypBrotized!

Pep rally on plaza gets students ready for games


The crowed was live and full of spirit Friday evening on Panther Plaza at Claflin University.
There was a black commercial van that brought all of the music equipment and to add, there was a MC that controlled the crowed.
The pep rally started with music that got students in the spirit of homecoming. Dancing, socializing, hanging out and having fun was highly encouraged.
The Pep rally was used to get students and alumni pumped for the remaining days of homecoming and for the basketball games on Saturday.
In the middle of pep rally, the MC introduced the male and female basketball players. After the introduction, the cheerleaders did a cheer that would get the crowed going.
There were dance competitions being held, with the winner at the end of each competition getting a small prize.
There were giveaways being thrown all throughout pep rally including:

· Hats

· Shirts

· Balls, which had a special code for an even greater prize.

R&B artist Sammie is surprise
guest for Greek Step Show


The annual Greek step show was held Nov. 22 during a fun-filled weekend of homecoming events.
Members of historically black Greek-lettered organizations at Claflin University and neighboring institutions were invited to present competitive performances for alumni and the Orangeburg community to enjoy.
Each year, the NPHC Step Show is a highly anticipated event for which chapters practice for months. This year's event did not disappoint, with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. taking home first place in the sorority and fraternity categories.
There was also a surprise special guest at the step show, R&B artist Sammie from Atlanta came to perform some of his greatest hits. The crowd enjoyed his performance and was more than excited when announced he would be meeting fans back stage after the step show.

PANTHER Kierra Sheard
KiKi Sheard didn't hesitate to bring the house down as she sang with all her might. (Photo by: Krystal George)
Sister not celebrity: Gospel Explosion opens Homecoming

Claflin University kicked off homecoming with Sunday night’s Gospel Explosion.
About 350 people filled Jonas T. Kennedy Center in excitement to see gospel artist Kierra “Kiki” Sheard. Along with Sheard, artist Kebra Moore and college choirs contributed selections.
“I’m not here as a celebrity, I’m here as your sister in Christ,” Sheard said before performing.
Sheard sang songs from her new album, Graceland, which is in stores now and also a few selections from previous albums. Between selections, “Kiki” inspired and encouraged students to pray and have great faith.
“Money is the currency here on earth but faith is the currency in heaven,” Sheard said.
Dressed in a hip-hip themed outfit and performing very upbeat songs, “Kiki” was able to minister to the youth on an age-appropriate level. They appeared very interested and entertained, often times yelling “NO” when she suggested she was talking too much.
The gospel concert was opened and closed with prayer led by SGA Chaplain Dorian Dillard. 2012 Claflin graduate Justin Rufus hosted the event, offering musical selections during intermissions.
The Claflin University gospel choir D.R.E.A.M was also featured. D.R.E.A.M premiered a new song titled, “I’m Free,” that they will be singing during their live recording on Nov. 22. The crowd enjoyed the call and response with the choir in attempt to learn the new song.
Guest choirs included South Carolina State University’s “United Voices of Christ,” which sang three selections, and Coastal Carolina University’s gospel choir. They sang one song that thrilled the crowd.
Graduate of Claflin College, Kebra Moore, representative for the group “Singing Behind the Wheels,” performed three songs: “I Am Beautiful,” “Testimony” and “Never Let Him Go.” Moore, seated in a wheelchair, revealed that she was paralyzed in a car accident and now performs to inspire others. Moore’s presentation included familiar hip hop beats and upbeat backup dancers, which seemed to be a trend for the night’s performances.
PANTHER Comedy Show
(Photo by: Clayton JR Bryant)
Freestyle Funny Comedy Show

Homecoming is kicking off with a bang this year. On Tuesday, November 18, 2014, Claflin held the Freestyle Funny Comedy Show in W.V.M. Auditorium.
The host of the show was none other than the comedian Dukk. He had the crowed rolling as soon as he walked on stage. Dukk performed at Claflin’s Homecoming last year.
Dukk then introduced four other comedians to the stage: Bdaht, Chico Bean, Osama Bin Drankin, and Darren. Chico Bean is an actual cast member from Wild n’ Out with Nick Cannon.
They talked about topics that us college students could relate to like:
  • The food in the Café
  • Being sent to the office when you were little
  • How it feels when you get your paycheck
  • Roommate problems
  • Natural hair and weave isn’t for everyone
  • The importance of using protection

The comedians also asked students who wanted to participate in games with the guys on stage to go on social media and tweet #FFCSpickme.
One of the students that were brought on stage was our Student Activities Board Vice President, Dahlia Mallett and Mister HBCU 2014-2015, Anthony Hyland. One of the games they played was called 2 pictures, one word.
The Freestyle Funny crew kept the audience in stitches all night long. If you weren’t there, you missed out on a whole lot of funny!

Ashleigh's Addition

​The Panther

The Claflin Commons' opening was anticipated by everyone at the university. Upon its opening, students could not wait to move into this new building. Everyone was more than happy to be done with the temporary living arrangements that we all had been stuck with. Soon after moving on, the problems started to arise. Is this a building that generations of Claflin students can live in comfortably? The construction workers and maintenance men in and out of your room all day is a bit of an inconvenience. Hopefully, this will all stop sooner than later. Three washing machines and dryers for 100 people is a bit of a hassle. Having a rack for a closet isn't that pleasant. The random noises, the waiting 15 minutes for somewhat hot water is a bother. Are all of these issues worth the high quality finishes that the Commons has to offer? The Claflin Commons is a very good use of space as far as how many people they were able to fit in the residence hall, but was this space used wisely? I believe that the biggest problem that the Commons faces is the closet space or the lack there of. As a resident of the Commons, I literally had to utilize every single inch and corner of my room. This is what we signed up for, so we're stuck with it for now. On the other hand, improvements will definitely have to be made in the future for the Commons to live up to its full potential. It's a beautiful building, but a little small for students' accommodations. 
PANTHER Ms. Claflin Coronation

Crowns, Gowns and Queen Things: Lia Holman’s Coronation


Ms. Annette Grevious began the coronation by informing students, faculty, staff and family of Lia Holman of the purpose of this event. The royal court and other queens of campus clubs and organizations were introduced, along with gentlemen who accompanied them to the stage. The girls, decked in their sparkling black or red dresses, danced and welcomed the audience to peek into Lia’s unique and queenly version of Broadway, and the audience accepted that invitation.
Lia was revealed, being the pinnacle of beauty in her jewel-studded white gown, standing center stage in front of a seat fit for a queen. After being presented with her crown, Miss Claflin University sash and scepter by our very own President Dr. Henry Tisdale, Holman took her throne and the program continued with performances dedicated especially to her.
The audience was serenaded with songs and exhilarating dances by C.U’s very own new Motown, Supremes, Temptations and Michael Jackson reincarnated. Miss Claflin herself took the microphone and sang. Receiving a standing ovation, Holman humbly thanked the audience for their support.
Dillion Isaac, the president of SGA, briefly took the stage, speaking highly of Lia and describing her as a “woman of distinction defined by her elegance and contribution to her University.” Isaac continues by saying “She epitomizes the ideals of Claflin University and embodies the stature, fortitude, pride and capability of Claflin. Congratulations Lia!”



Drey's Diaries

​The Panther





Yes we’ve begun a new month with expectations for something new and exciting. Well there is the issue of money. While some of us would be smiling all the way to the bank as its pay day, some of us are also doing extensive room cleaning just to find a few quarters.
Money is a word frequently popping up in every one’s mind, but is money really important? Well they say money is the root of evils however, in today’s world, almost everything centers on money. You can’t go anywhere or do anything without money.
I sometimes think back to how first money started, when people way back in the days just exchanged goods. Some parts of the world actually used big stones as money. Weird huh? I am still trying to figure out how a simple printed piece or a piece of metal became so valuable.
So if money was not important or needed, would you be in college or would you still chase your dreams? Well for me all I would need is a few lessons in geography and cultures of the world then I am good to go. I would just jump onto a plane free and go to where ever I want to go, buy whatever I want(mmm not actually buy just pick anything from a shop ) and do whatever. However come to think of it, people are motivated by the prospect of making money, so if money wasn’t important, would the world be how it is now? Well we would never really know, would we?
For me all I want is enough money to live comfortably and still pursue my dreams. To those lucky ones who have received their pay checks and are regular visitors to Pizza Hut, Zaxbys, McDonalds and the like, this month wouldn’t even come to end and you would be running back to the cafeteria. But that’s none of my business though, this tea taste great, must be from Japan, lol.

Surprise me November……..



English major, Ta’Shae Sterling publishes her first book

PANTHER Tashae Sterling

Panther Editor

Senior, English major, Ta’Shae Sterling has published her first book, entitled A Walking Contradiction.
Sterling wrote the book within a four year time span. The novel is self-help book with information on bettering ourselves.
“Basically, it’s about everybody having the potential to better themselves, instead  of living day to day, being rude to people, and setting goals and dreams, but not doing any actions to move forth and accomplish them, I’m saying stop procrastinating, and start being a better version of yourself now today. So I give step-by-step guiding help, and I hope that it’s very helpful for everybody,” Sterling said.
Sterling recalls having a niche for writing since the third grade.
“I guess I’ve always had a natural passion for writing,” Sterling recalls.
Sterling received the inspiration for writing this book simply from watching the world news.
“For example, baby formula was being contaminated, and I’m like, ‘This is crazy. What kind of world are we living in?’ However, I cannot say we’re living in a bad world, because at the same time, people are having fundraisers every other day trying to raise some awareness for something positive, so therefore, I was trying to realize that life as we know it is really a walking contradiction, so that was my inspiration,” Sterling explained.
Sterling has plans of publishing more novels in the future, and is currently working on two.
Sterling’s advice for other young aspiring writers is:
“I remember reading somewhere, ‘If you want to write a book, then just do it.’ I partially agree with that statement, because I feel that you can do whatever you want to do as long as you put your mind to it, and do it, but also own your talents and skills. If that’s what you truly want to do, then go take some classes. Go write something, and give your work out to other people with opinions that you value, so you can better your craft. So I wouldn’t say, ‘If you want to write a book, then just do it.’ I would say, ‘Write it. Let the people with valued opinions read it, critique it, and that’s how you write a book.’”

It's a Go for EnVeaux!


Claflin University's En Veux Modeling Company had the first show of the year on Monday Nov. 2.
The show featured the models sporting their most fashionable clothing along with contests and music by a live DJ.
The scenes for the show were Fall, Vintage, Freestyle Runway and Babafrik (a clothing line by Nigerian student Babatunde Sansui). The show also featured performances by the Men of En Veux, the Women of En Veux and South Carolina State's Verve' Fashion Movement.
​Photo by J.R. Bryant
Panthers in the News

Panthers Caught 
on Camera

2014 jan dorm construction princess williams

by Wendy Jeffcoat Crider | 03 Feb, 2014

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around campus 
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reports from 
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Letters from Boston

Imani Davis

Imani S. Davis, a member
of the Claflin University
Class of 2015,
is spending the fall semester
studying at Boston University.
Here, she shares her experiences
with her Claflin family.
Claflin University's
interactive view book

"Panthers Caught on Camera"
photos by
The Panther staff 

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