Student Life Staff

Ahmed Samaha

Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Life



"Don't sweat the small stuff."

Ahmed oversees the Student Government Association, Judicial Affairs, Leadership Programs, and Freshman Orientation.

Ahmed grew up in Key West, FL. He received his Bachelors of Arts degrees in History and Political Science both from Mercer University. He then attended the University of Georgia and received his Master's degree in Student Personnel in Higher Education. (Go Dawgs!)  Ahmed is currently pursuing a Doctorate degree in Student Personnel from the University of South Carolina Columbia.

Ahmed and his wife, Kathy, met in college and they have been married for 15 years! They have two sons, Drew and Tucker. Ahmed has worked at USCA for 17 years and absolutely loves working here.  When he's not at USCA, he can be found either reading, playing golf, watching reality shows, or enjoying one of his favorite things in life: sports!

 Fun Fact: Ahmed played 2 years of Division I tennis.

Andy Kabasele

Director of International Programs

(803) 641-3671


Andy works with international students, domestic students, faculty, and staff wishing to study abroad, and international initiatives.

Andy has 20 years of experience in the field of international education. His areas of expertise include: immigration, international admissions, international students recruiting, programming and study abroad. He served at NAFSA Education Abroad Committee as consular liaison affairs officer.

In 2010, Andy was selected by NAFSA and the German Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts to attend the Baden-Wurttemberg Internatinal Educators Seminars. In 2015, he was part of the US Department of State Benjamin Gilman Scholarship program selection committee. He speaks fluently seven languages, and he has visited 36 countries.

Angel Miano

Associate Director of Student Life



"It all started with a mouse" - Walt Disney

Angel oversees Fraternity and Sorority Life, Student Organizations, the Student Activities Center, and Parent Orientation.

Originally from Franklin, KY, Angel relocated to Aiken in June of 2006. Prior to coming to Aiken she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, Cum Laude, from the University of Kentucky in 2003 and a Master of Science in Education, Higher Education in 2006, also from the University of Kentucky.

Angel is married to Steve Miano, a graduate of USC Aiken; they have one son. In her spare time Angel is a group fitness instructor and volunteers with Kidz Worship at her church, Cedar Creek West.  

Angel enjoys working because while it takes up a lot of her time, she believes she has the best job on earth!

Taifha Baker

Assistant Director of Student Life - Diversity Initiatives

(803) 641-3442


“Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance. And equity is ensuring that everyone has access to the dance floor.”

Taifha is from Queens, New York. She received her Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies at St. John’s University in New York. Her passion for equity and justice led her to pursue a law degree at Georgetown Law in Washington, DC. While at Georgetown Law, Taifha utilized her legal skills to advocate for marginalized students. She has published articles in the Huffington Post and Georgetown Journal of Law and Modern Critical Race Perspectives that illuminate the issues underrepresented students face throughout their academic careers. Taifha is a new resident of South Carolina and looks forward to beginning this new chapter in Aiken with her fiancé, James. 

Kevin Nolan

Assistant Director of Student Life - Programming and Volunteerism

(803) 641-3611


“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” Walt Disney

Kevin grew up in Nashua, N.H. He received his Bachelor of Science in Sport Management at Winthrop University.

Kevin and wife Paige recently added a little girl, Ellie, to their family. Paige and Kevin met at Winthrop University where they both were a part of the softball and baseball team. Kevin really enjoys playing golf, traveling with his family, and going to the movie theater. He really enjoys watching Marvel and DC movies.

Kevin oversees Pacer Union Board, Community Service Initiatives, and Transfer/Non Traditional Orientation.

Destini Wainer

Americorps, VISTA Member


“Don’t be afraid of failure.  Be more afraid of not trying. . . Take chances and risks—not foolhardy actions, but actions which could result in failure, yet promise success and reward.”  --Colin Powell

As an AmeriCorps VISTA, Destini will be working to alleviate poverty in the Aiken community by designing and implementing programming to improve the opportunities of the economically disadvantaged in areas such as education and financial literacy. 

Destini received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Georgia.  She is very excited for the opportunity to do community development work in the city of Aiken and to engage USC Aiken students in this work.    

Christian Medders

Graduate Assistant

(803) 641-3766


“Set your goals high, and don’t stop till you get there” - Bo Jackson

Christian oversees Pacer Fanatics and Spirit Programs.

Christian was born and raised right here in Aiken, South Carolina.  While attending USC Aiken Christian was able to experience many parts of the Student Life office from working as a student employee to taking trips to Disney and Boston with USCA Leadership Programs.  Christian loved his time here as a student and look forward to helping everyone else do the same!

Christian is currently working toward his Masters in Higher Education and Student Affairs at the University of South Carolina.  A few fun facts about Christian are he has been to 7 different countries and he loves to be outside.

Go Pacers!

Mandi Welch

Student Life Office Manager



Mandi was born and raised in Augusta, GA.  She has two beautiful daughters, Bailey and Hannah and is married to her wonderful husband, George.  Mandi has worked at USCA since June 2008 and feels like this is where she is meant to be.  She loves her job and can't imagine ever working anyplace else.  Mandi's hobbies are shopping, reading, sewing and baking.  Especially baking for her fellow co-workers.

Fun Fact: She likes to dance to loud music while cleaning her house.