Meet the Staff

Health Educators

Kaylor Arant
Abbeville, Anderson, Laurens Counties 

arantWhat is your favorite part about working for SNAP-Ed?
I love being able to pass on valuable information that I have found to be personally life changing.  I was once extremely overweight and struggled with a myriad of health problems. I didn’t know how to eat healthy.  I learned what healthy habits really are for the “long term” instead of “diets” or over exercising as I had done for years. I love being able to give others the tools they need for a healthy life. 

What is your favorite quote or life motto?
I often say to myself and my children that “Every little thing is gonna be alright” from Bob Marley.  This phrase has become important to me over the years because I have experience with pretty rough anxiety. It’s a gentle reminder that no matter what, everything will work out. Just get through it as best you can…whatever “it” might be. “Every little thing is gonna be alright!”

If you could be a historical figure for a day, who would you be and why?
I would choose Amelia Earhart. Although I love adventure, I tend to be rather cautious and careful about my adventures, so I would love to know what it feels like to totally throw caution to the wind and be wholeheartedly daring. To me, being the first female to do anything during a time when women were so limited is pretty amazing- but to fly alone across an ocean in a world where flying was still new blows my mind. Yes- I believe I could use a day inside the brain of the woman who said “Never do things others can do and will do, if there are things others cannot do or will not do.”

Myra Brookins
Greenville County

What is your favorite recipe/food?
My favorite food item will always be peanut butter! My favorite recipe/meal changes all the time, but it is currently baked zucchini, squash, spinach casserole

What are your favorite ways to stay physically active?
My favorite way to stay active is through rock climbing! It’s a fun and challenging way to work your muscle groups. I also enjoy playing disc golf, hiking, paddle boarding and playing ultimate frisbee. Any opportunity to get outside!

What is the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?
I grew up in Alabama and attended college in Mississippi, I had not traveled much outside of these states. While in college I accepted a summer camp counselor job in South Carolina, where I had never been. It may seem small but to move away, not knowing anyone in addition to not knowing the area was a huge thing for me. After college I moved back to this wonderful state and have been here ever since!

If you could be a historical figure for a day, who would you be and why?
Jane Goodall. She is such an iconic figure for animal rights and conservation in addition to her work with the chimpanzees. I would love to experience the connection she has with the chimpanzees and just have the opportunity to be inside the brain of such a brilliant mind.

Hugh Latimore
Oconee, Pickens Counties

What is your favorite part about working for SNAP-Ed?
Seeing the change in people’s lives through our teaching

What is your favorite recipe/food?
Roasted Brussels Sprouts

What are your favorite ways to stay physically active?
Walking, Hiking, Ice Hockey, Tennis, Any sport

What do you most enjoy doing in your free time?
Walking, Hiking, Ice Hockey, Tennis, Any sport, Cooking, Reading

Sharon Lone
Edgefield, Greenwood, Laurens, McCormick Counties 

What is your favorite part about working for SNAP-Ed?
Working with Children and Senior Citizens sharing how to use My Plate as a guide to a healthier life.

What is your favorite quote or life motto?
“Do unto others as you would have them do to you” – The Golden Rule

What do you most enjoy doing in your free time?
Painting and quilting

If you could be a historical figure for a day, who would you be and why?
Mark Twain: great writer, saw the world without using rose colored glasses and rode the Mississippi.

Samantha Pace
Aiken, Allendale, Barnwell Counties

sam-pace

What is your favorite part about working for SNAP-Ed?
Through direct education and environmental changes, I get to help make life a little better, if not a little more fun for all my class participants!

What is your favorite recipe/food?
My two favorite foods are a tie between Manicotti and Gumbo!

What are your favorite ways to stay physically active?
Taking long walks in nature and doing yoga.

What is your favorite quote or life motto?
“Even amidst the hatred and carnage, life is still worth living.  It is possible for wonderful encounters and beautiful things to exist.” Hayao Miyazaki

Leah Price
Clarendon, Union Counties

What is your favorite recipe/food?
My favorite recipe is Baked salmon and asparagus

What is your favorite quote or life motto?
If you do your best, don’t worry about the rest.

What is the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?
I went to the National White Water Center where I went rafting and zip lining.

If you could be a historical figure for a day, who would you be and why?
It would be Shirley Chisholm, to understand her experience of running for president beyond what the books and articles say.

Arturo Salcedo
Multicultural Health Educator, Upstate Counties

What is your favorite part about working for SNAP-Ed?
My favorite thing about my job is the opportunity to work for our low income families in South Carolina. Hispanics face difficult lives, lot of cultural and economical barriers. I have a passion for working to provide nutritional education to the community and helping them improve their lives and wellness.

What is your favorite recipe/food?
My favorite food is Lamb Shish Kabab or Paella a la Valenciana. When I teach classes my favorite recipe is “Cowboy caviar” – Caviar de Vaquero

What is the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?
The bravest thing I did was in 2003 was when I did undercover investigative journalism interviews with human right leaders, community activists, and journalists who were sent death threats during the Drug’s cartels war in Colombia.

If you could be a historical figure for a day, who would you be and why?
If I could be a historical figure for a day, I would be Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi is one of history’s most transformative, courageous, compassionate and inspirational figures. Throughout his life in South Africa and India, Gandhi was a fearless campaigner for the human rights and dignity of all people, whose constant and unwavering promotion of non-violence as a tool to win over hearts and minds has forever left its mark on the world.

Dayana Wilkens
Cherokee, Spartanburg Counties

What is your favorite recipe/food?
My favorite food is a mashed sweet potato and almond butter sandwich on whole wheat bread.

What are your favorite ways to stay physically active?
I enjoy doing CrossFit and hot yoga!

What is your favorite quote or life motto?
My favorite quote is from a poem by Audre Lorde entitled “New Years Day”. It says, “I am deliberate and afraid of nothing”.

What do you most enjoy doing in your free time?
I enjoy playing my ukulele, reading, and enjoying nature.

Community Health Coordinators

Ami Frierson
Allendale, Aiken, Barnwell, Clarendon, Edgefield Counties

54462782_10100487141158372_7681746517262073856_nWhat do you most enjoy doing in your free time?
Yard work and gardening, CrossFit, roller skating, hiking, puzzles, and board games

What is your favorite quote or life motto?
I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you. We are in charge of our attitudes.”  -Charles Swindoll

What is the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?
At 30 years old, I put skates on for the first time in decades and walked on to a local roller derby team. 

Kristina Harris
Cherokee, Greenville, Oconee, Pickens, Spartanburg, Union Counties

0w0a6558_2What is your favorite part about working for SNAP-Ed?
I love being able to make a difference in my community. Equity is really important to a lot of us in community health, and SNAP-Ed is just another organization who strives to better the lives of everyone they meet.

What is your favorite recipe/food?
Zucchini Bread (banana and/or chocolate chips are great in place of walnuts!)

What is your favorite quote or life motto?
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”  John 13:34

What is the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?
I would say scuba diving. My husband and I are advanced certified, and we just love it!

Hannah Wigington
Abbeville, Anderson, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, McCormick

hannah_wigington_2What is your favorite part about working for SNAP-Ed?
What I enjoy most in working for SNAP-Ed are the opportunities to connect and convene in the communities we serve; all the while working towards a common goal of creating more vibrant, healthy city.

What is your favorite recipe/food?
The way to my heart (and belly) is a wood-fired Neapolitan pizza with a crust that is every so chewy. Until I own a pizza oven for myself and I perfect the recipe, I’ll resort to a Sidewall pizza in Greenville.

What do you most enjoy doing in your free time?
I love to carve out time and space for any activity outdoors, spent with family and/or friends. Runs, walks, bike rides, hikes. If I’m not outdoors, I also enjoy time spent in the kitchen baking or preparing some recipe to be later enjoyed by the company of friends.

What is the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?
I would not qualify it as “the most”, but one courageous step I took was a 3-month Bon Appetit internship at Google Headquarters working in tandem with The Google Food Team. To be in close quarters with the very people who are developing cutting edge technology was an intimidating and out-of-my element endeavor. However, this experience was one for the books. It stretched me and challenged me to think in terms of moonshot strategies, those that embrace change and often seem audacious.

Program Administrators

Jennifer Vrbenec
Administrative Assistant 

338145_10150837667930578_259187302_oWhat is your favorite recipe/food?
I really like the Cooking Matters Sir Fry Recipe.

What are your favorite ways to stay physically active?
Playing outside with my daughter.

What is your favorite quote or life motto?
“Life is too short, so love the one you got” – Bradley Nowell

Sarah King, MPH, CHES
Program Coordinator, Western Region

sarah-king_picWhat is your favorite part about working for SNAP-Ed?
Meeting and working with various health-focused workers across the state of South Carolina. I have learned so much from each individual and the communities in which we serve. I also appreciate how each day is different whether it is attending a meeting in another part of the state or working from home on a new task for our program.

What do you most enjoy doing in your free time?
Traveling to various places with good friends family.

What is the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?
Deciding not to let societal norms define what I can achieve.

If you could be a historical figure for a day, who would you be and why?
I admire Queen Victoria for her leadership, determination, and willingness to provide for all members of society. It would be fascinating to be in her role for a day in order to fully understand the circumstances she faced as a young, female ruler of one of the most powerful empires at that time.

Kim Shaffer,  PhD Exercise Psychology
Program Coordinator, Upstate Region

cologgi-photo-2019What is your favorite part about working for SNAP-Ed?
I love creating and implementing evidenced based physical activity programs for the Upstate region of South Carolina. I am extremely passionate about sharing my love of fitness, and mental well-being with people of all ages and backgrounds.

What are your favorite ways to stay physically active?
My favorite way to stay active is through running and high intensity interval training.  I am a member at a local yoga studio, and truly enjoy and am fascinated by the mind body connection. 

What is your favorite quote or life motto?
“Change is inevitable; Growth is optional.”  I constantly try to incorporate this into all my teachings, understanding that life is always going to throw us curve balls, but it is how we respond to those curve balls that sets us apart!

Loria Cass
Program Director

loriacass_biopicsnap-ed_04-09-20bWhat is your favorite part about working for SNAP-Ed?
I really enjoy the opportunity to give back to the community in which I grew up.  I want to be a part of finding solutions for the not just my neighbors but also work toward the Clemson SNAP-Ed program having a lasting positive impact for the next generations.

What are your favorite ways to stay physically active?
I like to incorporate being active into my daily activities as much possible.  Things like get a few extra steps when a stair case is available or doing a few bicep curls with my grocery bags.  In the gym, I really enjoy the stretching in yoga classes and the intense TRX class using the straps and leveraging your own body weight.  Also, the spin classes are a great way to work up a sweat.  Besides those things, I enjoy hiking around the upstate where we have such beautiful natural resources close by.

What is the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?
The most courageous thing that I’ve ever done is returning to SC to take care of my grandmother.  She raised me as if I were her daughter and was a huge influence on who I am today.  I had to suddenly leave a life that I loved and had built for myself in Charlotte, but I knew it was the right decision.  I chose to remain in SC and discovered a wonderful new life here, where I have reconnected with my home community and found a new sense of purpose.