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From the Dean

Gifts of Time

Luanne Lawrence became the university’s vice president for communications at the end of August. After 10 months of double duty, serving as interim VP, I again had only this college’s dean’s duties to attend to. It seemed as though I’d been given a gift of time.

It was an illusion, of course. The 10 months of triage, setting aside what absolutely, positively did not need to be done immediately, had produced a pile (or two) of things unread and un-filed. Most of them still are. I call them works in progress. How about un-catalogued archives? Journalists’ offices often have that ambience.

Even with only one official job, there have been other things to do that have taken precedence over sifting and sorting. The provost had a new assignment, asking me to chair the search for the next law school dean. "You’ll have fun," he assured me. I’m learning a lot about the law school as the applications come in and we move forward with the search.

I was asked to get involved with a Central Carolina Community Foundation endeavor to fund more literacy projects in the Midlands. I’m on board. Nothing we do to give children a head start is more critical than inspiring and encouraging their ability and desire to read.

The Honors College fall lecture series on "civility" concluded this past week with my lecture on the responsibility of public journalism. I could hardly say no. Not too difficult to find examples of media incivility. It’s not a new phenomenon, but it does seem to be a 24/7 barrage.

There are a myriad of other things to attend to at the university that gobble up time. Deans’ council, faculty meetings, alumni events, scholarship lunch, student mentoring, prospective students and their parents, football games. I'm not sure how it all fit, but in one week I also managed to attend David Carr's third in a series of thought-provoking lectures for our School of Library and Information Science, another of the "civility" lecture series, the first showing of Professor Dick Moore's documentary of our study abroad trip through the former communist countries of central Europe, and a delightful ballet presentation by the USC Dance Company. The artistic and intellectual offerings of the university are varied and plentiful.

But one calendar item seems an incongruous outgrowth of popular — albeit questionable — American culture. It's called "Dancing with the Deans" and is part of the development office's Annual Fund drive among faculty and staff. It was sprung on the Council of Academic Deans as a fait accompli. Some of my decanal colleagues seemed to discover schedule conflicts and old ailments. In truth, if the deans had been asked beforehand, we'd likely all have balked. Who's got time for that frivolity? So I've squeezed a few dance lessons into the schedule and have been educated about USC's splendid little dance program in the process. The event takes place December 1, just as we are sending this out. There's probably no way to keep it from being YouTubed. But who's got time to even look?

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Watch for InterComIntercom

Our 2010 fall issue of InterCom has gone to print!

This season’s InterCom will include features on many of the College of Mass Communications and Information Studies events, including October’s seventh annual I-Comm Week.

Look for the new InterCom in your mailbox or pick up a copy at the College of Mass Communications and Information Studies office.


Mildly Attractive Men of SLIS

SLIS CalendarThe fourth annual Mildly Attractive Men of SLIS Calendar is now on sale. This year, the Library and Information Science Student Association (LISSA) is bringing you all the hits with a calendar that celebrates your favorite album covers throughout the years. Not only does the calendar feature hilarious photos of SLIS men, but it also includes important national and state conference dates for the 2011 calendar year. All proceeds from the sales will be used to fund SLIS students' attendance at major conferences this year. These calendars make great stocking stuffers but quantities are limited, so make sure you get one soon! Get yours here>

J-school Students Win National Award for Reporting

Jennifer Standard and Paul Bowers have won first place in the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors national contest for their work last spring in JOUR532 that was published on Dateline Carolina. Capitolbeat’s annual college contest seeks to recognize superior student work that focuses on a state issue or personality and was published in a student-run publication. Standard and Bowers were recognized for their article published on Dateline Carolina and titled, "South Carolina breastfeeding bill could affect custody cases."

SLIS Student Helps Haiti One Hair at a Time

SLIS student Chess Schmidt vowed to fellow students that he would take the dramatic step of shaving his head, beard and legs if they contributed a total of $750 to help Haiti rebuild its libraries. Check out the story here>

Associate Dean of the Graduate School Receives Women’s Leadership Award

Dr. ZimmermanDr. Nancy Zimmerman, an associate professor in the School of Library and Information Science, was honored by the Palmetto Center for Women with a 2010 TWIN Award for her work as associate dean of the Graduate School.

The award honors women as leaders and role models in business and the community. Since the inception of the TWIN Awards in 1980, more than 490 businesswomen have been honored for outstanding contributions to their professions and communities.


Retired Professor Leaves Generous Gift to Journalism School

Mary CaldwellMary Caldwell was a public relations professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications from 1978 - 2000. At her retirement, she was named Professor Emeritus. She died on August 29, 2009.

In life, Caldwell made a positive impact on her students and colleagues. Her influence will continue in perpetuity for the school she loved, thanks to a generous yet simple provision in her will. Caldwell's $600,000 gift is designated to support the advancement of SJMC faculty and student development. Watch announcement video>


Alumni Spotlight

Robin Roberts

By Meredith Martin, SJMC Student

Robin RobertsA School of Journalism and Mass Communications alumnus is encouraging advertising students to get involved in public affairs through the Washington Media Scholars Foundation he has founded. Robin Roberts, a 1976 graduate, is president and co-founder of National Media, Inc., a top public affairs advertising agency in Washington.

"The foundation was established to lend a hand to students interested in the public policy advertising world. The whole idea is to give the students a first hand look at the kind of people our agency deals with," said Roberts, who serves as president of the Washington Media Scholars Foundation.

The Media Scholars Program begins with the Media Plan Case Competition where undergraduate students compete as two-person teams to strategically solve a hypothetical public policy issue. The program is open to all students, but is specifically geared toward students in the mass communications, marketing and political science fields.

The finalists of the case competition win an all-expense paid trip to Washington and get to participate in Media Scholars Week. During this week, students dive into public affairs advertising by meeting top executives in the field. Last year the participants got to visit the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Google, Walt Disney Company, Gannet Broadcasting, CNN and radio station WTOP.

"We have also implemented a mentor program where the foundation will match up students who have an interest in public policy advertising with professionals in the field to help point them in the right direction," said Roberts.

"We are not lobbyists." Roberts said about National Media, Inc. "We are more on the advertising and communications side of life. We help develop communications strategies and then we implement them," he said. Roberts has worked on more than 300 campaigns including all media research, planning and placement for the Bush-Cheney campaigns in 2000 and 2004.

While Roberts’ success in public affairs advertising has kept him busy, he has not forgotten his roots. "The journalism school gave me the tools and the confidence I needed to enter the advertising field. It’s been great to work with the Dean and the leadership of the school over the years," said Roberts.

Roberts was named a J-school Distinguished Alumnus in 2004. He has served on the SJMC building committee and the Partnership Board.

For more information on the Washington Media Scholars Foundation, please visit www.mediascholars.org.

Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Karen Gavigan

By Katie Haswell and Lauren Todd, SJMC Students

Karen GaviganDr. Karen Gavigan may be new to the School of Library and Information Science this fall, but she arrived with a significant amount of experience in the field of library science.

Prior to joining the SLIS faculty, Dr. Gavigan was the director of the Teaching Resource Center at UNC-Greensboro. She previously worked as a children’s services librarian, as a reference librarian and as a school librarian for 15 years. She has also been a children's services librarian and a reference librarian in public libraries in North Carolina and Virginia. In addition, she also has served as president of the North Carolina School Library Media Association.

"I was attracted to the SLIS program because of the impressive reputation of the program and its faculty. The school library media program is ranked number two in the nation, and that is my field, so I was delighted to have the opportunity to join the faculty," said Dr. Gavigan.

Dr. Gavigan’s research interests include using graphic novels to assist struggling male adolescent readers, flexible versus fixed scheduling in school libraries, and the ways in which poverty affects school library services.

"As information specialists, I think our profession has done a great job of keeping up with a changing world.  I am telling my age, but when I was in library school our technology training consisted of walking down the hall to see a mainframe computer.  Now, our students are active in Second Life and have advanced technology skills that have prepared them well for 21st Century jobs.  It is exciting to see the variety of jobs that are available to our graduates, whether they are undergraduates, masters students, or Ph.D. students," said Dr. Gavigan.

Dr. Gavigan received her Ph.D. in Teacher Education with a concentration in literacy from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She earned a Master of Library Science degree from the University of Tennessee and a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


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Alumni Awards Dinner

Annual Scholarship Luncheon

Dancing with the Deans

Gamecocks on the Green

Humpy Wheeler Book Signing



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