Developing up in Beaufort, South Carolina, Mikel Hannah-Harding ’19 dreamed about performing at The Weather Channel. He was fascinated with hurricanes, and in its place of seeing cartoons, he was glued to the meteorologists on The Weather conditions Channel. In sixth grade, his mother surprised him with a excursion to the Are living 5 Information station in Charleston for his birthday.
“I remember it like it was yesterday,” smiles Hannah-Harding. “Bill Walsh [the chief meteorologist] gave me a tour of the studio. He showed me the inexperienced monitor along with the technique he utilized to make temperature graphics, and I received to talk to him about my curiosity in meteorology. Many years afterwards, I was capable to intern at Are living 5 Information when I was a senior at the College. I simply cannot thank my mother enough for investing in my meteorological pursuits at this kind of a younger age.”
When it arrived to university, Hannah-Harding couldn’t uncover a South Carolina college with a meteorology main. He resolved upon the University of Charleston mainly because it had a physics important with a concentration in meteorology. As fortune would have it, in 2017, the College or university grew to become the only undergraduate institution in South Carolina with a bachelor’s diploma in meteorology, suitable in time for Hannah-Harding to be a person of the initial to graduate with the significant.
After graduating with a double significant in meteorology and physics, Hannah-Harding landed a job as a weekend meteorologist and a multimedia journalist at the CBS affiliate in Augusta, Georgia, the place he performs a array of obligations – from modifying and pictures to going out into the community to carry out interviews and shoot videos. But his favourite portion of the job, of course, is performing the weekend temperature when he receives to be in entrance of the inexperienced monitor and place his meteorology skills to use.
Many thanks to his two several years as president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., a historic African American fraternity at the School, he’s comfy talking to an viewers. And the meteorology lecture notes from his departmental advisor, Gabriel Williams, seriously came in helpful when he began his job, much too.
He credits his results to his neighborhood of fellow pupils, faculty and personnel who supported him as an undergraduate, like the late Sherry Gadsden, head of circulation at Addlestone Library, wherever he labored all 4 yrs. And he’s quite appreciative of the staff in Admissions, where he worked for a time right after graduating, specifically Kenyatta Grimmage, Deborah Counts and Michelle McDowell.
Director of Multicultural Pupil Applications and Solutions Rochelle Johnson was also there for him, introducing him to SPECTRA (Fast Consolidation and Transition), which provides assist to 1st-yr minority pupils. As a SPECTRA Leader for numerous many years, Hannah-Harding mentored learners, for which he was awarded a scholarship.
“Upon introducing himself, he explained with self-confidence, ‘Ms. Rochelle, I will be the to start with Black meteorologist to graduate from the Faculty of Charleston,’” remembers Johnson. “And I believed he would achieve his desire. Mikel’s intelligence, perform ethic and commitment to his experiments placed him on the route to good results also, he surrounded himself with a village of on-campus supporters to inspire and champion his accomplishments.”
Hannah-Harding’s top goal is to come to be a broadcast meteorologist at The Weather conditions Channel and make his childhood aspiration a actuality. The forecast appears to be like excellent.
Photographs by Randy Speed