Som Linthicum Staff Medallion Recipient And Team DSC1236

Press Release                                                                           

Date: August 17, 2023

Contact: Lisa Garrett,

Som Linthicum Honored with TCTC’s Staff Excellence Award

PENDLETON, SC – Somervell (Som) Linthicum, director of the Learning Commons at Tri-County Technical College (TCTC) was honored Thursday (August 17) with the highest award given for staff excellence at the College.          

TCTC President Galen DeHay presented Linthicum with the Presidential Medallion for Staff Excellence at the College’s fall convocation. The medallion, along with a cash award made possible by the Tri-County Technical College Foundation, goes to a person who best exemplifies the College philosophy and has contributed the most during the academic year to the development of the College and its students. Linthicum joined the College in 2018 as the instructional librarian and was promoted to assistant director of the Learning Commons two years later. He assumed his current position in 2022.

“Som strives to deliver the highest level of service excellence each and every day through his service and leadership,” Brady Cross, a librarian in the Learning Commons, wrote in his nomination letter. “He is the embodiment of our institutional commitments to students, employees, and the community.”

“As director of the Learning Commons, Som demonstrates daily that we all ‘learn in common,’ and that learning in common is the foundation for student and employee success,” said Linda Jameison, vice president for student support and engagement.

“Som is a thought partner for our division, supporting our goal of creating integrative programming that brings 21st- century student learning outcome opportunities in and outside the classroom. He helps to bridge the gap between ‘faculty speak,’ ‘student speak’ and ‘staff speak.’ This communication skill provides the opportunity to consider all perspectives within the context and lens of the speaker's goal,” said Jameison.

Linthicum’s team says he values innovation and learning and is always looking for ways to empower them in these areas, so ultimately, they may empower students. He hosts in-house professional development sessions for the Learning Commons where participants discuss relevant topics that impact learning in higher education. “By equipping his employees with the tools we need to succeed, we are better able to assist students in being successful at Tri-County,” said Hannah Shuler, student services manager in the Tutoring Center.

Personal and professional development of his staff is part of the culture he's created in the Learning Commons, said Tracey Hotham, student services program coordinator. “I have never had a supervisor like Som. I feel seen, heard, valued, and respected. He has empowered me to make my role my own, where I feel secure in trying new things, knowing that any stumble or mistake is a teaching moment. He's the genuine real deal, a living embodiment of TCTC values. He ensures that everyone feels like they belong because he believes everyone belongs. Everything he does is focused on helping others develop into their best selves,” she said.

Lifelong learning, research, and establishing opportunities for continuous improvement for him and his staff are a hallmark of his work, team members agree. He encourages them to join professional organizations, to present at conferences to share their knowledge and skills and bring back ideas to implement in the Learning Commons.

Linthicum is a leader in Partnership Among South Carolina Academic Libraries (PASCAL), a statewide library consortium that consists of all 57 academic libraries in South Carolina. He has served on many PASCAL committees and work groups over the years such as the Consortia! Purchasing Committee, Ebook Collection Committee, and Non-Returnables Task Force.

He also serves as a leader in the Oconee Pickens Anderson Libraries (OPAL) organization which helps bridge resource and service access gaps for local communities.

He led an effort to secure a grant from PASCAL's South Carolina Affordable Learning (SCALE) to promote Open Educational Resources (OER) at TCTC.  This allows students access to high quality, rigorous course material at no cost, thus lightening their financial burden. He hosted information sessions about OER for TCTC faculty and staff to participate in during the Spring 2023 Professional Development Day.

Linthicum also serves as a TCTC representative in the Rural Educators Academy (REA). This year the first cohort of faculty and staff participated in this new professional development venture organized by Community Colleges of Appalachia (CCA). The goal is to increase awareness of challenges and struggles of our under-resourced students and to provide practical interventions for faculty and staff to incorporate into their practice.

Shuler said Linthicum is dedicated to ensuring that students of all backgrounds have an opportunity to achieve a lifelong track record of success.

“He has developed content for co-curricular programs that provide additional avenues for students to learn specific learning strategies and career-ready skills that will benefit them way beyond their time at TCTC.”

“Tri-County Technical College is a better place because of Som's service excellence as evidenced by his reputation and track record of bringing people together to solve problems, develop high-quality planning, and ensure that everyone associated with him works at a higher level of success,” said Cross.

Linthicum holds a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of South Carolina and a Master of Arts degree from Brandeis University.  He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Haverford College,

He is a member of the American Library Association, Association of College and Research Libraries, and the Reference and User Services Association.

From 2013 until coming to TCTC, he was employed at Berry College where he served as the User Experience and Engagement Librarian. As an extension of his MLIS program, he trained in the Reference Department at the University of South Carolina's Thomas Cooper Library. From 1990 – 1996 he managed in  both the circulation and reserve departments at the University of Chicago's Regenstein Library.

Linthicum resides in Pendleton.

About Tri-County Technical College

Tri-County Technical College, a public two-year community and technical college serving Anderson, Oconee and Pickens Counties in South Carolina, enrolls more than 9,000 students annually and offers more than 70 major fields of study, including computer technology, business administration, mechatronics, nursing, and university transfer programs. Tri-County boasts the highest student success rate among two-year colleges in the state and ranks in the top one percent nationally for successful student transfers to four-year colleges and universities. To learn more, visit