The Team

McGill_Denise_2013Denise McGill  is director, producer and principal cinematographer. Ms. McGill is a photojournalist with a focus on migration, faith and multicultural issues.  She worked as a staff photographer for daily newspapers until earning a spot as an overseas correspondent for the award-winning magazine The Commission. She went on assignment to 25 countries in three years. She now shoots photos and video, and teaches at University of South Carolina’s School of Journalism & Mass Communications.

sherardheadshot-smSherard Duvall is producer and editor. He is a film and messaging professional from Columbia, S.C. He specializes in visual storytelling, film education, media strategy, diversity consulting and is an advocate of Hip-Hop culture. He is an accomplished editor, director, and producer for commercial and documentary projects for VH1, Discovery Channel, MTV, BET, The Mungo Companies, the American Cancer Society and many more. He is currently owner and executive producer at OTR Films and is a 2001 University of South Carolina graduate.

eric crawford.jpg

Eric Crawford is the Director of Music. He has done extensive field recordings of traditional music and Negro spirituals on Gullah islands. His transcriptions are held at the Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. In 2013, he participated in the Saint Helena Island Gullah Spirituals project, which was a collaborative effort among scholars and students to preserve and foster the study of the earliest recorded Negro spirituals. In 2014, The Atheneaum Press released a CD of his field recordings and accompanying booklet to the general public. Dr. Crawford is currently working on his book on the Saint Helena Island spirituals entitled De Ole Sheep Done Know De Road: In Search of the Gullah Spiritual, and he is conducting field recordings on historic Sandy Island, SC. He also composes jazz and gospel music, and works with modern gospel choirs.

ron-daise-cd-coverRon Daise is a Story Consultant. He is best known as the star and cultural consultant of the television series Gullah Gullah Island. Now he is involved extensively as a writer, songwriter and Gullah culture preservationist. He currently works as Vice President for Creative Education at Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet. Daise is past chairman of the federal Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission, and he has written several books about Gullah culture. He is a recipient of the South Carolina Folk Heritage Award, given for lifetime achievement and excellence in folk art that has enriched the lives of the people in their community and state; South Carolina Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest honor; and the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission’s Lifetime Achievement Award.


Victoria Smalls is a Story Consultant. She is the Director of Development and Public Relations for Penn Center National Historic Landmark District. Hired in 2012, Smalls has developed and coordinated numerous cultural education programs and events during her tenure at Penn. She has strong ties to Penn Center; her father Elting Smalls graduated from Penn School in 1943; her parents first met on the historic grounds at a religious conference during the Civil Rights Movement. Currently, Smalls serves as a Commissioner on the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission, Board Member of the First Shore Tourism and Education Network, and as Advisory Board Member for the Gullah Geechee Consortium of Beaufort County. She has a personal mission of promoting and preserving her Gullah Geechee history, art and culture. Smalls attended South Carolina State University and University of South Carolina—Beaufort with concentrations in Education.

car-avatarAlexandria Cone is production manager. She recently graduated from The University of South Carolina with a BA in Visual Communications & Media Arts. While in undergrad, Cone worked with a number of production companies in Columbia, S.C like Mad Monkey Inc. and Gamecock Productions (UofSC’s Athletic Production Department) to create promotional content for thousands within the southeast.




Kate Chatman is production secretary. She is from Pawleys Island, SC and is currently studying Anthropology at the University of South Carolina. Kate’s interest in The Gullah Project stems from an adolescence spent on the sea islands of South Carolina. Her studies in anthropology developed into a study of the African diaspora and the sustainability of Gullah cultures in the low country. Kate’s work with The Gullah Project is an opportunity to observe firsthand Gullahculture as the community of St. Helena grapples with changes in the region.




John “Spud” McCullough is media archivist, researcher, social media coordinator, and a doctoral student at the University of South Carolina. He is a Linguistics major specializing in sociolinguistics and syntactic theory. He earned his M.A. in Linguistics from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa where he focused on language documentation and conservation. John’s research interests include creole languages, endangered language revitalization, and language change in the digital age.




Tiffany Marquise Jones is a linguistic anthropologist and Doctoral student in the Anthropology department at USC. She is currently developing a dissertation fieldwork project on African American Language and Verbal Arts where she will develop her first ethnographic film. When she’s not teaching or submerged in research, Tiffany enjoys all things language, performance, and culture –interests she uses to inform her work.



Alex Wyatt is a video editor and sophomore at the University of South Carolina studying Marketing and Visual Communications. He specializes in directing and cinematography and helped produce the short film “Light” which premiered at Campus Movie Fest 2017 in Columbia, SC.





Ashli White is production accountant assistant and a social media coordinator. She is a sophomore at Queens University of Charlotte studying Business Administration and Spanish. White has a passion for cultural awareness and accounting and hopes to use her talents to spread awareness of Gullah communities.





Phoebe Johnson is photographer and archivist. She’s a junior mass communications major at Benedict College and a sprinter on Benedict’s Track and Field team.




unnamed-2Hannah Clingman is an SC native, having spent significant time between both Columbia and Charleston. She currently studies Anthropology at the University of South Carolina. In addition to her interests in cultural understanding and awareness, she also shares an interest for environmental conservation. The Gullah Project offers her a personal and up-close opportunity to experience and acquire further knowledge in those areas of interest.


Jordan Ferguson is a video editor and graduate student at the University of South Carolina. Ferguson recently graduated from the University of Oklahoma where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology.

Michael Tolbert is the social media project manager for The Gullah Project. Mr. Tolbert is known for the documentary series, Operation Adventure, and recently founded Carolina Film Network a nonprofit organization that supports film in the Carolinas.

Drew Jordan
 is the motion graphics designer for the documentary film. Jordan specializes in motion graphics, video editing, web design, and photo illustrations.

Ali O’Hara
 is a video contributor, and production assistant for The Gullah Project. Currently Ms. O’Hara is a marketing and sales rep for The Tide radio station in Virginia Beach.

Kelly Nash is web developer and designed The Gullah Project logo. He is also a video contributor. He shot and edited the “Penn Center History” segment.

Andrew Hida contributed significant editing and script writing. Hida is a multimedia storyteller and visual journalist who specializes in telling stories about health, environmental, and social justice issues and photojournalism.

Dr. Robin “Buz” Kloot is a video contributor for The Gullah Project. Dr. Kloot is a soil scientist in the School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina.

Ski Dauphiney is a video contributor to The Gullah Project.