Author Archives: Haley Sprankle

Trump suggests financing for historically black colleges may be unconstitutional


President Donald Trump signaled Friday that he may not implement a 25-year-old federal program that helps historically black colleges finance construction projects on their campuses, suggesting that it may run afoul of the Constitution.

In a signing statement on the $1.1 trillion omnibus government spending bill, Trump singled out the Historically Black College and University Capital Financing Program as an example of provisions in the funding bill “that allocate benefits on the basis of race, ethnicity, and gender.”


Trump said his administration would treat those programs “in a manner consistent with the requirement to afford equal protection of the law under the Due Process Clause of the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment.”’

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Marlene Johnson-Moore serves her country through Presidential Management Fellows Program

Marlene Johnson-Moore graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 2015.

It was before her time at law school that Marlene Johnson-Moore knew she wanted to help people. Now, with a law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law, the 2015 alumna serves as a part of the Presidential Management Fellows Program (PMF). It’s a job she says she was prepared for, with the help of the School of Law.

Beginning in 1977, PMF sought to create opportunities for graduate students to get engaging federal work experience. Every year, students apply for the program to prove they are the outstanding type of candidate that the PMF program seeks. In 2016, Johnson-Moore was announced as a finalist for the program and became a Fellow.

“Being selected as a PMF was extremely meaningful for me because when I began law school I already had the idea that I wanted to take a non-traditional path into the legal profession by working in government at either the state or federal level,” Johnson-Moore said.

Through the PMF program, finalists are trained as leaders in government to seek out and create change. Finalists are expected to embrace challenges and serve their country through their work. Johnson-Moore was appointed as a Fellow with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“The government, at all levels, often oversees broad but critical issues such as education, food, housing, healthcare, and other vital matters that affect every family and individual,” Johnson-Moore said. “Therefore, it is important that conscientious, fair, and compassionate people who understand the importance and value of public service become actively engaged at all levels of government.”

Johnson-Moore says her social and political consciousness was nurtured at the School of Law, both in the classroom and through extracurricular experience, providing her with opportunities to engage and interact with the diverse student body, the community, and local government participants.

“From Career Services workshops, to fundamental and skills-based legal courses, to meaningful volunteer participation; the breadth of my time and education at the School of Law prepared me well for my experience as a Presidential Management Fellow,” Johnson-Moore said.

The PMF program is not the end of the line for her, though. Through the program, she says she will be able to make connections and seek career advancement across all facets of government. These unique, unparalleled opportunities are what make the PMF program such a significant catalyst for well-qualified graduate students seeking careers in policy, politics, or government leadership.  

“Now, as a Fellow, I can continue to advance professionally, while serving my country and making meaningful contributions to local communities, families, and individual citizens.” Johnson-Moore said.

To apply for the Presidential Management Fellows Program, go to

Self-driving companies to consumers: Hop in


Test rides in the cars of the future are becoming more available to the public, and are no longer limited to engineers, executives and journalists.

Last week, Waymo, Google’s autonomous vehicle arm, said it would give Arizona residents access to its self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans and Lexus RX 450h crossovers for daily use. With the introduction of the program, Waymo joins Uber, Tesla Inc. and Volvo Cars in opening its technology to a public that has been slow to embrace self-driving vehicles.

Waymo’s Arizona program lets interested residents apply via its website to become “early riders.” It is limited to residents of specific areas of Phoenix and applicants must be at least 18 years old. If accepted, applicants and their family members can use Waymo vehicles — which are supervised by trained drivers — for daily transportation.

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