USC Aiken Professor Included in Statewide History Initiatives

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AIKEN, SC (09/18/2018) One University of South Carolina Aiken history professor has several projects in publication and available to the public.

Alexia Helsley's essay, "A Girl, a Boy and a Train," appears in the book, Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy (University of Georgia Press), which hits the bookshelves on Sept. 18. Hers is the first essay in the book as she and renowned southern author, Conroy, were members of the same graduating class at Beaufort High School. While there, these two high-school friends took an English class together and studied with the same two "exceptional" English teachers.

SCETV and USC Beaufort have partnered on "By the River," a series of interviews with Lowcountry authors. The segment which features Helsley will air Oct. 4 at 8 p.m., on SCETV. She grew up in Beaufort and has written three books on Beaufort and one on Edisto Island. While Helsley's interview airs Oct. 4, the series officially kicks off Sept. 13.

In November, USC Press will publish Recovering the Piedmont Past, II. It features a chapter written by the USC Aiken professor, specifically, "Better Babies: Dr. Daniel Lesesne Smith, his Baby Hospitals and the Southern Pediatric Seminar." Smith was a pioneer pediatrician in Spartanburg, S.C., and operated a private baby hospital in Saluda, N.C.

"Progressive leaders in Spartanburg lobbied to establish a similar public hospital that would treat all children in need," she said.

"They were successful, and Smith administered both hospitals."

According to Helsley, the hospital only operated in the summer and focused on maternal education and diet with a higher than average percentage of good results. Smith also established a Pediatrics Seminar to educate general practitioners as, at that time, there was no pediatric specialization and doctors treated infants and children as if they were adults.