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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

Meet the Tepper Scholar Cohorts

The Nicole and David Tepper Scholars Program, launched July 2020, is changing students’ lives for the better in the University of South Carolina’s Department of Sport and Entertainment Management.

The Nicole and David Tepper Scholars Program recruits the best and brightest sport and entertainment management students and enriches their education opportunities, and ultimately their careers. Four incoming freshman are selected each year to be part of this prestigious scholarship and mentorship program.

2022–26 Cohort

TJ Hardy headshot

Todd Hardy

Todd Hardy is from Spartanburg, S.C., and as a high school student, he served as student body president and football team captain. He was elected for Palmetto Boys State, a career development program for young men interested in learning more about government and politics. He also volunteered and worked while in high school, including a job at a local sport complex and restaurant. Hardy has enjoyed sports as a player and a fan throughout his life, and as the time to make a college decision approached, he learned he could turn that passion into a career.

Sydney Rhue headshot

Sydney Rhue

Sydney Rhue’s academic performance would catch the attention of any college recruiter, as she was named an AP Scholar of Distinction in 2021.  She served for two years on the Dutch Fork High School Student Council and also volunteered at Harvest Hope Food Bank. She also served as a member of the house of representatives for the ALA Palmetto Girls State mock government. Her interest in the dynamic of players and management led her to choose sport and entertainment management as her major.

Jeremiah Smith headshot

Jeremiah Smith

As a student at Airport High School, Jeremiah Smith was selected for the National Society of High School Scholars, received the Columbia Urban League Young and Gifted Award in 2022 and was also selected for the Myrdis Walker Scholars Program. He has been active in his community, volunteering as an assistant coach for the Kountry Boys 7on7 football team and participating in the Swansea Mentoring Program. With a passion for football, Smith set out to channel his love for the game into a career on the business side of America’s most popular sport.

Kelsey Smith headshot

Kelsey Smith

Kelsey Smith, a native of Mechanicsburg, Pa., is a hard worker who loves school and graduated with an outstanding GPA. She served as a cheer coach for Cumberland Valley Youth Cheerleading Association for three years and also held part-time jobs with Target and a local firework wholesaler while earning her high school diploma. They sparked her interest in business, and taking a class in sport and entertainment management marketing as a high school sophomore led to her choice to focus on that field as she prepared for college.


2021–25 Cohort

Jake Brown headshot

Jake Brown

Jake Brown comes to South Carolina from Groton, Massachusetts. Brown has a passion for sport management and dreams of a front office career with a team in the U.S. or Europe.

Amber Ferra headshot

Ambar Ferra

The San Juan, Puerto Rico native will be living on the mainland for the first time and coming to South Carolina from a very small all-girls school.  Her dream is to become a leader in the sports industry, while also opening the doors for more inclusion within it.

Hannah Margeson headshot

Hannah Margeson

Competing as a DECA club member in high school helped Hannah Margeson step outside her comfort zone to focus her interest in sport and entertainment management. The Virginia native hopes to follow USC alumni she met during a visit to the Washington Capitals marketing offices.

Kayla Simmons headshot

Kayla Simmons

Every day since the beginning of her junior year in high school, Simmons, a New Jersey native, started her morning by looking at Google images of the USC Columbia campus. She would then write a note and repeat aloud her mantra: “I will be a student at USC fall 2021.”


2021-25 Cohort Feature


2020–24 Cohort

Madelin Mclean headshot

Madelin Mclean

Madelin McLean is a person who never stops. In high school, the Maryland native competed in three sports and was a member of five clubs and four honor societies. She did it all while earning a 4.2 weighted core GPA and earning an Academic Scholar Recognition Award along with her admission to South Carolina.

Jordan Mooring headshot

Jordan Mooring

First-generation student Jordan Mooring is also coming to South Carolina with a specific career goal in mind: to be an NFL agent. Mooring knows she will need to  stand out to succeed in a very competitive, and historically male-dominated field, but life has taught her to gain strength from challenges.

Devon Watson headshot

Devon Watson

Devon Watson comes to South Carolina after graduating as valedictorian of his high school in McDonough, Georgia. Playing soccer all four years while maintaining that level of academic excellence required him to cultivate time management skills, and he also found a determination to raise the bar.


2020-24 Cohort Feature


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