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From the Dean

We’re back.  What a great study tour we had.  Not exactly a vacation, but a fantastic trip.

I hope you followed our students’ blog as we made our way across the formerly communist countries of central Europe.  I’ve also summed it up in my irregular Minding Our Business column on the college web.

It’s not the trip itself, but the lesson brought home to me that I want to share.  In one of my blog entries, I wrote about the “prism of time” and how we see things differently through the passage of time.  Berlin was my particular point of reference.  Once there was a wall; now there isn’t.  Its absence does not make me any fonder of the former East German regime.  The changes in Berlin and the other countries we visited make me all the more respectful of the resilience people have when given opportunity.

 That’s not a bright light revelation.  We are all aware that perspective changes over time. Circumstances change.  Horizons brighten or dim. We mellow or toughen.  We fade and refresh.

About that summer refresher.  Where did it go?  Here we are at the start of August.  Time for a quick trip to the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication summer conference in Denver.  The persuasive Dr. Carol Pardun—AEJMC president and SJMC director--has talked me into a panel presentation.  Then a dash back for summer commencement, freshman move-in day, SLIS orientation, convocation, First Year Reading Experience and all that the start of a new academic year encompasses.

This is the ninth year that I’ll be welcoming a freshman class.  We expect it will be the university’s and, perhaps, the college’s largest.  They’ll be eager, bright and a little bit tentative.  Some will thrive.  Some will struggle.  Many will be our graduates in 2014. 

Part of our job is to push them to push themselves.  One of the students on the Europe trip came back reflecting that she’d traveled before, but always with her parents close at hand.  This time, she’d learned what she could accomplish much more on her own. 

She’d passed through her own prism of time and made a discovery.  Perfect.

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Alumni News

Alumna Named President and CEO of Souper Bowl of Caring

Tracy BenderSJMC Alumna Tracy Bender, ’01 and one of our 2008 Outstanding Young Alumni Award recipients, is the new leader of Souper Bowl of Caring, the Columbia-based, nationwide youth-led initiative against hunger held annually on Super Bowl weekend. 

Bender has worked for the organization for five years, during which time she created the National Youth Advisory Board, a service leadership group composed of 12 high school youth from across the nation. She also shaped the direction of a branding campaign that helped the grassroots effort grow to become the national movement it is today.  Through Bender’s hard work, the Souper Bowl of Caring’s yearly totals have increased, from $4 million collected in 2005 to more than $10 million collected in 2010. The national movement has generated $71 million for food banks, soup kitchens and other charities since its inception.  Prior to joining the Souper Bowl of Caring, Bender worked for Erwin Penland advertising and the Special Olympics of South Carolina.  For more information about Souper Bowl of Caring see their website here>

J-school Alumna To Lead Columbia College’s Basketball Program

Maria Audas, ’07, MMC, is leaving her career in public relations with the S.C. Department of Consumer Affairs to coach basketball for Columbia College. Audas is passionate about basketball, a sport she started playing in fourth grade. Her knowledge of the game was enhanced while sitting on sidelines of NBA games with her newscaster dad. Since 2007, he has been an assistant coach for Ben Lippen School, her alma mater where she played four years. She has coaching and playing experience with Bob Jones University and Bob Jones Academy. She received her bachelor of science from Bob Jones University in organizational communication. Read more>

College News

I-Comm Week Plans Exciting Speakers

Be sure to put our seventh annual I-Comm Week on your calendar! From Sunday, Oct. 3 through Friday, Oct. 8, we’ll host a series of lectures, panels and presentations by information and communications professionals and we invite you to join us.

We start with storytelling on the Davis College steps and end with a panel of prestigious business journalists—and there’s much more in between. Rita Cosby will discuss her book about her father’s time fighting as a Polish partisan and his capture during World War II; David Carr will present part of his fall SLIS lecture series; CNN’s Candy Crowley will deliver the annual Buchheit Lecture, and Paul Jon will bring his "Fort Knox" cartooning experience to life. We’re continuing to schedule more speakers, so watch upcoming issues of eNews for details. We hope to see you during our special I-Comm Week!

Three New Faces at our School of Library and Information Science

The School of Library and Information Science will welcome the following new faculty to campus in August:

Dr. Karen Gavigan joins SLIS as an assistant professor. She has a Ph.D. in Teacher Education with a concentration in literacy from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG).  She is currently the director of the Teaching Resources Center at UNCG.  Prior to working at UNCG, she served as a children’s services librarian, reference librarian, and worked for fifteen years as a school librarian. Karen’s research interests include the use of graphic novels with struggling male adolescent readers, flexible versus fixed scheduling in school libraries, as well as the ways in which poverty affects school library services.
Dr. Susan Rathbun-Grubb
joins SLIS as an assistant professor. She received her Ph.D. from the UNC School of Information and Library Science in 2009, where she has also taught organization of information, organization of materials, and indexing and abstracting as an adjunct instructor. She earned her MSLS at Chapel Hill and a MAT and AB from Duke University. Her doctoral research focused on career satisfaction, turnover, and retention in the library and information science field.
Gerry Solomon
joins SLIS as an instructor, specializing in School Library Media, internships and administration. She has been the School Library Media Consultant with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction's Instructional Technology Division, supporting approximately 2300 media professionals throughout the state with consulting and professional development. She also has been an adjunct instructor at the UNC-Chapel Hill/School of Information and Library Science. Prior to joining the state agency, she was a school library media consultant in North Carolina and in the Fairfax County (VA) Public Schools.

Donor Spotlight

Society of American Business Writers and Editors

David MorrowThe Society of American Business Writers and Editors (SABEW) has established the David J. Morrow Business Journalism Scholarship Fund in the University of South Carolina’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications in memory of SABEW board member and SJMC alumnus, David J. Morrow, ’83.  Morrow died earlier this year from pancreatic cancer. The scholarship will support undergraduate or graduate students interested in business and financial journalism.

Rob Reuteman, SABEW president, said Morrow’s colleagues and friends created the memorial fund, which reached more than $100,000 in a matter of months.  SABEW agreed to direct the majority of the fund, $90,000 over the next 10 years, to Morrow’s alma mater.

USC’s journalism program first attracted SABEW’s attention in 2009 when news of the J-school’s newly created Baldwin Business Journalism Endowment Fund received national coverage.  Donor and alumnus Ken Baldwin, ’49 and SJMC alumnus Fred Monk, ‘71 championed potential synergies between SABEW, the Baldwin Fund and SJMC. 

“Through Ken and Fred, we already had an awareness of USC,” Reuteman explained. “When Dave passed away and we learned he was a USC alumnus, the pieces just seemed to fit together so well. We arrived at the conclusion that we would do something really significant in Dave’s memory by establishing something at his university.  We just felt this was the right thing to do.”

SABEW received fund requests from larger journalism schools with well-defined business journalism programs. However, Reuteman explained SABEW felt the annual scholarship allocation would have a more significant impact for USC students.  “There are not that many business journalism focuses throughout the country. I feel that will change because it is highly employable and relevant. New graduates sometimes seem scared of it.”

“This is further impetus for us to develop our program, connect with the university’s highly ranked Darla Moore School of Business, and add value to a state that needs to grow its economic and business base,” said Charles Bierbauer, dean of the College of Mass Communications and Information Studies.  “We are honored that SABEW thinks this well of us.  It probably has a lot to do with how highly Dave Morrow was respected.”

Morrow was a leading business journalist in his field, most recently serving for eight years as editor-in-chief of TheStreet.com, an American financial news and services website. “Dave was a hilarious guy to hang around with,” Reuteman said. “He was sharp. At our board meetings, I could tell he was someone who was very serious about his work and very, very intelligent. He worked as hard as he could at a high level of professionalism.”

The first scholarship(s) from the David J. Morrow Business Journalism Scholarship Fund will be awarded in spring of 2011. SABEW member Beth Hunt, managing editor of American City Business Journals will participate in a business journalism panel October 8, as part of the college’s I-Comm Week. The public is invited.

Learn more about SABEW by visiting sabew.org.

Student Spotlight

BriAnne Baxley

By Ruth Castillo, SLIS Graduate Student

BriAnne BaxleyIt doesn’t take much time to see second year SLIS student BriAnne Baxley’s passion for connecting with people. Baxley said she chose to pursue a career in libraries because of the personal connection with patrons.  As the new president of the Library and Information Science Student Association (LISSA), Baxley's priority is working to improve members’ professional and personal connections to the program, the school, their communities and globally.  Baxley wants to help SLIS students in South Carolina, as well as student cohorts in West Virginia/Virginia and Maine, to become a more close-knit group.   For a connection to the community, Baxley has started a collaboration with the Lexington County Public Library system to set up a homebound program where LISSA members work with local nursing homes to provide residents with reader advisory and book delivery services.  Baxley is also working with SLIS faculty member, Dr. Kendra Albright, to identify ways that LISSA can work with libraries in Africa to expose LISSA members to global literacy needs and to network with professionals across the globe. 

As might be expected, Baxley has even more ambitious goals for herself.  “My dream,” she says, “is to work with kids in a global sense, promoting literacy and providing reading materials.  What I really want to do is start a library in Africa.”  Baxley is already working towards her objective.  Baxley just finished Dr. Albright’s summer course, Social Issues in Information and Communication in Sub-Saharan Africa.  She hopes to go to Africa next summer as part of a study abroad or independent study trip.


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Join our School of Library and Information Science at the South Carolina State Library to meet our 2010 Literacy Leaders Awards recipients. These awards are given to individuals in South Carolina who are making an impact on literacy in our state. 

Mentor Match Night
Thursday, September 16
6 – 8 p.m.
Harper College on the Historic Horseshoe

Our College’s Alumni Society invites you to join its Mentor Program! If you are interested in mentoring a student, plan to attend our mentor match night to meet the students and other alumni mentors.  
The event format will model speed dating where alumni and students will rotate every few minutes until everyone has had a chance to meet and talk. It’s a fun way to network and meet all of the participants. At the end of the event, participants will rate their top choices. Then, we’ll pair all students and mentors.  
Don’t worry, if you cannot attend, you can still participate in the program.  
To sign up, e-mail Chrysti Shain

I-Comm Week
Oct. 3 – 8

Stay tuned to www.sc.edu/cmcis for details about our seventh annual I-Comm Week. We’ll be showcasing our College’s faculty, students and alumni with presentations and events throughout the week.  

Gamecocks on the Green
Friday, Nov. 5
4:30 – 7 p.m.

Make plans to meet your former classmates, faculty and friends for our annual Homecoming celebration on Gibbes Green!


SLIS Celebrates New Masters’ Graduates with First Hooding Ceremony
Alumni Tailgate and Baseball Game
May Carolina Alumni Weekend

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