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Lander graduates forge successful careers in health care and... comedy

November 18, 2009

Michael Goodwin and Rozalynn Banks are Lander University graduates and, nine years ago, he asked her to marry him and she said yes. The setting for his marriage proposal was Lander's Horne Arena at halftime of the 2000 homecoming weekend men's basketball game. As hundreds of surprised fans looked on, he knelt before her at midcourt and, using a microphone so all could hear, he popped the question. It was a romantic moment that also demonstrated Goodwin's ease before an audience, something he has since developed into a second career.

Goodwin graduated from Lander with a political science degree and is director of College Counseling at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School in Columbia. He also moonlights as a Christian comedian. He made his Christian comedy debut four years ago and performs in a variety of venues in South Carolina and elsewhere. He was one of 25 comics chosen to appear on the BET cable network's new Gospel Comic View, A Time to Laugh, which will air next year.

The Camden native said the seeds of his comedy were planted at Lander where he was involved in many activities, including hosting events on campus.

Rozalynn, who is from Mt. Carmel and still has family living there, is a 1995 graduate of McCormick High School. She was also busy at Lander where she held leadership positions in Minorities on the Move, the Blue Key National Honor Society chapter and Student Government Association. She was voted Lander's Woman of the Year and served on the Alumni Association Board for four years.

She received a health care management degree at Lander and a master's in health administration from the University of South Carolina. She is director of Policy Research and a lobbyist for the S.C. Hospital Association, and founder of The Motherhood Priority, which promotes corporate policies that make it less complicated for mothers to work and meet their child-rearing responsibilities.

Rozalynn was included in the 2009 Columbia Business Journal's 20 Under 40, saluting 20 Richland County executives for accomplishments in business and participation in community activities. In describing her work, Thornton Kirby, president and CEO of the S.C. Hospital Association, said Rozalynn's peers regard her as a leader in the state's health care profession. She is a Fellow of the American College of Health Care Executives and active in the S.C. Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.

Rozalynn and Michael live in Columbia and are elders in their church, Right Direction Christian Center. They have one child, daughter Gabrielle, 3. Rozalynn said, "She is our greatest accomplishment."