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Kathleen Parker Draws Large Crowd for Sixth Annual Buchheit Family Lecture Series
A full house in Belk Auditorium heard syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker of the Washington Post Writers Group at this year’s Buchheit Family Lecture Series. Parker spoke on civility in America’s political discourse.
The Buchheit Family Lecture Series was created in 2000 in honor of the late Phil Buchheit, the former president and chairman of Mid-South Management Company and the former publisher of the Spartanburg Herald-Journal.
The series is sponsored by the Buchheit Family Endowment, which provides undergraduate scholarships and graduate and doctoral fellowships to students of the university’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications.
Scholarship Recipients Share Thanks Through Postcard Campaign
A postcard featuring one of the college’s deserving scholarship recipients is mailing to you. Learn how your gifts have helped them this year. Scholarship need is significant, according to the College’s Director of Development, Terry Dixon. Scholarship gifts are tax deductible. Make a gift online at https://giftsonline.sc.edu/give/choose.asp or contact Terry Dixon more information at (803) 777-6898 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alumna Named Dean of Francis Marion University’s James A. Rogers Library
Joyce Durant, ’88, MLIS, has been promoted to dean effective Jan. 1.
Durant began working for Francis Marion University (FMU) after receiving her Bachelor of Science in business administration from FMU.She has held many positions at FMU including clerk-stenographer in the library’s reference department, library technical assistant, coordinator of acquisitions, professor and interim dean.
Durant said, “I am thrilled and humbled to have the opportunity to lead the library’s efforts to fulfill its mission of helping students become information literate, lifelong learners.”
Faculty Spotlight on Kendra Albright
By Kaitlin Sanderson, SJMC Student
When asked what made her want to go into the field of library science and information studies, Dr. Kendra Albright, an associate professor in the School of Library and Information Studies, said, “It was an accident! But after I tried it, I was hooked.” She believes that library and information professionals are one of the best-kept secrets; their knowledge is very wide-ranging. The best part is she’s unbeatable at quiz night!
Albright has a strong presence within our university. Since August 2008, she has taught a variety of classes and still makes time for her own research, which focuses on users and their social and cultural contexts. She has explored the role of information in the prevention of HIV/AIDS and other health issues and is currently investigating the link between literacy and economic development. She typically spends part of each day either leading a class or grading and another part either working with specific project data or developing grant proposals for follow up studies.
She loves having the opportunity as a professor to contribute to the intellectual preparation of students while continuing her own lifelong learning. Albright has seen many changes in her profession since becoming a librarian. There are many new career opportunities and an increasing recognition and value of the field.
Her advice for current SLIS students? “Get involved in organizations of interest to create new opportunities for developing confidence and leadership skills.”
Student Spotlight on Ashley McGarry
By Kaitlin Sanderson, SJMC Student
Unlike many freshman who are still getting lost looking for classes, confused about what major to choose and unsure about their overall decisions, Ashley McGarry feels at home here in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Growing up in Irmo, Ashley was constantly linked to the university through journalism camps and conventions.
McGarry wasn’t always so sure about the decisions she made. Her passion is art, but her goals changed when she got involved in scholastic journalism in high school. “My career ambitions shifted more in the direction of journalism, but I realized that visual communications is the point where the two meet,” McGarry said. She is now working on her degree in visual communications in the hopes of becoming a graphic designer.
McGarry has quickly become involved in the university. She is a DJ for our campus radio station, WUSC and an active member of Student Advocates for Africa’s Regional Improvements. McGarry is the recipient of two SJMC scholarships, the Elizabeth B. Dickey SIPA Scholarship and the Cable TV Association Scholarship and an academic scholarship from the university. “Being offered the scholarships I have allowed me to pursue my degree at a school that I knew would benefit me the most in the long run,” McGarry said.
Based on her first semester’s experience, McGarry says freshmen should, “be persistent in the things you really care about.”
Donor Spotlight on Mimi and Tom Cunningham
By Larry Di Giovanni, University Advancement
Access to technology will be an important piece in the new School of Journalism and Mass Communications building when it opens in the not too distant future. The Mimi Wilkinson and Thomas G. Cunningham Technology Suite Fund will support such access thanks to the generosity of a Wilmington, N.C. couple, Mimi and Tom Cunningham.
It’s a way for them to give back to the program that provided undergraduate and graduate-level opportunities for Mimi Cunningham, whose impressive career followed bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism (1968, 1975) at Carolina. As an underclassman, that opportunity came through a South Carolina Press Association Scholarship.
Later—placed among the journalism school’s first cohort of graduate students—she received an assistantship allowing her to work with Reid Montgomery. He was a prominent First Amendment advocate and longtime secretary-manager of the South Carolina Press Association.
Mimi made the most of her Carolina education, retiring in March 2008 as the Executive Director of Community Relations at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. For more than 26 years, starting in 1982, she served as one of the “right-hand” liaisons of the University chancellor. Some of her highlights at UNC Wilmington included chairing the school’s 50th anniversary observance in 1997-98, managing communications during emergency situations involving “six hurricanes in 39 months,” and leading a highly successful media relations campaign in 2000 for North Carolina’s $3.1 billion University facilities bond issue. She passed along her skills to more than 100 interns during her UNC Wilmington career.
Her husband, Tom, a metallurgical engineering graduate of North Carolina State University, can relate to the importance of technology in any building: He spent his career as a nuclear power manager for G.E., responsible for the internal components of nuclear reactors including control rods. As he says, “It’s the kind of work where you don’t want to make any mistakes.” Cunningham served as a captain for the Army Corps of Engineers during Vietnam while his wife was in graduate school.
Mimi and Tom Cunningham are equally passionate about giving to the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, a main reason their generosity has included a planned gift. Now ”retired,” Mimi Cunningham is as active as ever. She’s a member of the Landfall Foundation, which raises charitable funds for a three-county region, and has volunteered to chair the Events Committee as UNC Wilmington prepares for the 2010 NCAA Women’s Golf Championship.