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Frontline Fellows

Committed to progress in South Carolina, fellows of The Riley Institute’s Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI) seek to develop real solutions for real social issues. As the COVID-19 outbreak has drastically changed the way we live, these state leaders are quickly adapting the ways they support the communities they serve.

We’re shining the spotlight on their exemplary leadership during this unprecedented time in our new Frontline Fellows series.

Q&A with Mount Pleasant Police Chief Carl Ritchie

In this interview, we speak with Mount Pleasant Police Chief Carl Ritchie, a 2016 Riley Fellow who has spent more than 30 years on the force. A strong believer in community policing, Ritchie tells us about the creative ways his department has been reaching out to the town’s most vulnerable populations while still ensuring the safety of his officers. 



Q&A with Danny Merck, Pickens County School District Superintendent

In this interview, we speak with Pickens County School District Superintendent Danny Merck, a 2018 Riley Fellow. As South Carolina schools remain closed for the rest of the 2019-20 school year, Merck is pouring his energy into the holistic needs of both students and employees. 




Q&A with Roland Gardner and Faith Polkey of Beaufort-Jasper-Hampton Community Health Services (BJHCHS)

In this interview, we speak with two leaders at BJHCHS, Chief Executive Officer Roland Gardner and Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Faith Polkey. Gardner and Polkey shed light on the challenges that lie ahead for community health centers like their own as well as the actions they’re taking to protect vulnerable patients and keep their clinics in operation.

Q&A with SCETV President and CEO Anthony Padgett

In this interview, we speak with SCETV President and CEO Anthony Padgett. In the early days of the pandemic, the Riley Fellow (Midlands, Spring 2019) and his staff at the public broadcasting network worked quickly to air curriculum-based programs that supplement at-home learning. Since that time, COVID-19 has continued to crystallize the need to make content accessible for students who lack internet access, and SCETV is leading the charge with the pilot of its datacasting technology.