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From the Dean


It was worth the seven-hour drive to have my oldest son roast the turkey — and make turkey soup the next day — allowing me to spend more time reading with the 5-year-old twins. Reading is always part of our visit, though their repertoire of events is expansive, now including a Thanksgiving morning Turkey Trot. Probably what entertains most, though, is the girls’ capacity for storytelling, one twin augmenting the other’s inventiveness.

The twins and their older sisters faded to dreamland before the USC-Clemson game’s late finish. But every Gamecock victory, especially the decisive ones on national television, raises the university’s stature and perception. Proud to wear South Carolina colors in ‘Bama country.

Back on campus now and looking forward to fall commencement on December 12. I’ll be introducing former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw as a candidate for the university’s honorary doctorate and the commencement speaker. Over the years, we’ve crossed paths on campaign trails. I’ve discovered there are a couple of Brokaw groupies among our faculty. Brokaw’s much admired for his writing and tribute to what he’s declared to be America’s “Greatest Generation.” I’m hopeful there’s still a greater generation to come, perhaps not one that overcomes a world war, but a global conquest of poverty, disease, illiteracy.

We’re putting the final edits on the fall issue of InterCom, our college alumni magazine. Watch for it in the mail and online in the next few days. If you don’t seem to be on the mailing list, let us know. As InterCom’s publisher, I’ve enjoyed working with this semester’s student staff under senior instructor Lisa Sisk’s direction. Much as we are using undergraduate students to produce InterCom, we also rely on journalism graduate student Joshua Joiner to create this monthly eNews.

Before we ended our Alabama journey, we all traipsed through the fields of a local farm to find the perfect tree. It’s become a family tradition to work off Thanksgiving dinner by cutting, hauling and trimming the girls’ Christmas tree. It never gets done so early in my home.

As you prepare for the holidays, in whatever way you celebrate, may you have joy and peace and a Happy New Year.

Bierbauer signature


Alumni News

Jason CharneyCharney Earns Adweek’s Brand Genius Award

Jeff Charney, ’81 journalism, was honored as Brand Genius 2011 by Adweek in recognition of his work as chief marketing officer of Progressive Insurance.

In honoring Charney, Adweek cited his role in refreshing Progressive’s Flo as a leading character, introducing the cutting-edge Messenger campaign, launching Progressive’s Snapshot device and for closely integrating all of Progressive’s diverse campaign elements under the broad Progressive brand umbrella.


Mary HartneyHartney goes Social with USA Today

Mary Hartney, '03 news editing, has been hired as social media editor for USA Today.

Hartney, a 2009 recipient of the journalism school’s Outstanding Young Alumni Award, previously worked at The Baltimore Sun and is also an adjunct instructor at the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism.


SLIS Alumna Accepts Librarian Position at WVU Law School

Ann Stewart Plein, '09 MLIS, has been hired as the special collections librarian at the West Virginia University School of Law.

While attending USC through the distance-education program, Plein, a native West Virginian, won the 2009 Thomas Cooper Library Student Book Collecting Award for her collection of book-binding designs by Margaret Armstrong.


Janice McDonaldJ-school Alumna Publishes New Book

Broadcasting alumna Janice McDonald’s book “The Varsity” was released on Oct. 24. The book is a history of the famed Atlanta restaurant known as the world's largest drive-in. McDonald has authored or co-authored several other books.

Read her full bio at http://jmacproductionsinc.com/janice.html


Mitchell Named One of Greenville’s Best and Brightest

Jason MitchellJason Mitchell, '03 advertising and public relations, was named to the 2011 class of the Greenville First Best & Brightest 35 and Under by Business Magazine Greenville. Mitchell is the director of sales for Marketplace Staffing Services.

The annual list recognizes 35 business leaders in Greenville, S.C., age 35 and under who not only have impressive professional careers, but who also possess humanitarian spirits that propel them into volunteer service.



College News

A Special Invitation from Dean Bierbauer

Dean's Circle

Dean Charles Bierbauer invites you to join the Dean's Circle, a giving society committed to meeting immediate needs of the college. Dean’s Circle gifts are undesignated funds used to support students, faculty and college activities not covered by the college budget.

The Dean’s Circle is comprised of alumni, community leaders and industry advocates who recognize the value and significance of the college’s two schools, the School of Journalism and Mass Communications and the School of Library and Information Science. Throughout the year, Dean’s Circle members have opportunities to attend and connect with guest speakers and other university representatives.

A minimum gift of $1,000 designated to the CMCIS Dean’s Circle will confirm membership. Alumni and friends 35 years and younger are invited to join with a minimum gift of $500.

Gifts are tax-deductible and may be billed monthly or quarterly by request. Contact Elaine Taylor for further information at 803-777-7118 or taylorem@mailbox.sc.edu. Online gifts may be made at http://giving.sc.edu/. Donors should select the “Other” designation and type in CMCIS Dean’s Circle.


J-school Honors 2011 Alumni Award Recipients


Six graduates of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications were honored Thursday, Nov. 10, at the School's 2011 Alumni Awards Dinner held at the Capital City Club in downtown Columbia.

Honored as Distinguished Alumni were Johnny Boggs '84, Western author and Spur Award winner, George Johnson, ’96 MA, former VP for BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and a SJMC adjunct instructor and Clayton Owen, ’82, senior director of media relations for AT&T Atlanta and founder of Curing Kids’ Cancer.

John Baker, ’01, senior art director for TBWA/Chiat/Day and Kenneth Moton, ’04, reporter for ABC’s Philadelphia affiliate WPVI, were honored as Outstanding Young Alumni. Ken Baldwin, ’49, a retired newspaper executive and loyal donor to the School of Journalism and Mass Communications received the Excellence in Service Award. Photos and video arrow


College Hosts Annual Homecoming Celebration

Alumni, faculty and friends of the College of Mass Communications and Information Studies gathered on Gibbes Green on Friday, Nov. 11 for Gamecocks on the Green, the college’s annual Homecoming celebration. More than 130 people attended the event, which included visits by Cocky, the university’s mascot, and newly crowned Homecoming Queen Christina Galardi, a senior public relations student. Photos and video arrow


Student News

Student Photography Group Wins NPPA Award

nppaUSC’s chapter of the National Press Photographers Association was named the NPPA’s 2011 Student Chapter of the Year, the organization’s top honor awarded to a student chapter.

The award follows the group’s sweep earlier this year of the student awards in the South Carolina News Photographers Association’s annual Pictures of the Year competition.

Chapter vice president Aaron Middeke took first and third honors in the competition, while former president Sarah Langdon took runner-up honors.

Check out some of the chapter’s work at their website: http://uscnppa.tumblr.com/.

Watch video from the award presentation arrow


SLIS Student Participates in AASL’s Congressional Briefing

SLIS student Kathy Mortimer was one of four American Association of School Librarians members to represent the organization in a congressional briefing held in October on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. The briefing advocated for the inclusion of the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLS) Act in the upcoming Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Mortimer, a School Library Media Certification candidate, discussed how the SKILLs Act supports and sustains school libraries by ensuring that every school is served by a state-certified school librarian.


Christina GalardiJ-school Senior Crowned USC Homecoming Queen

Christina Galardi, a senior public relations major from Lexington, was crowned University of South Carolina Homecoming Queen during the 2011 Homecoming Showcase on Nov. 8 in the Carolina Coliseum.

Nine contestants vying for the crown participated in the pageant-type competition that featured a formal wear portion, interviews and individual talent performances. Galardi performed a clarinet solo as her individual talent.



Upcoming Events

Carolina Day at the State House
Feb. 8, 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
Capital City Club - 1201 Main St., Columbia, SC

It's time to join in and show your support for higher education on Carolina Day at the State House. Attend a special legislative briefing, visit with legislators, and have lunch with University President Harris Pastides at the Capital City Club. There is a $15 fee or by calling 803-777-4111 or, toll-free, 800-476-8752 by Feb. 1. Register nowarrow

May Carolina Alumni Weekend
May 10-12
University of South Carolina campus

May Carolina Alumni Weekend is a Carolina springtime tradition that offers innovative and relevant exhibits, lectures, tours and receptions. Make plans to join us and let the natural beauty of the University of South Carolina campus inspire you this spring! For more information, contact Jane Lavender at janel@carolinaalumni.org or 803-777-4112



SLIS Students Learn Importance of Online Marketing Through Google Competition

By Joshua Joiner, SJMC Graduate Student

Ron BrownOnline marketing may not seem like a subject area important to aspiring librarians. However, as five students learned this past spring in Dr. Ron Brown’s Seminar in Applied Information Systems for Information Specialists, online marketing is not only something that’s applicable to today’s librarian, but it’s also something they’re skilled at.

The class revolved around the Google Online Marketing Challenge, a global competition in which student teams explored marketing strategies through search engine optimization and Google AdWords, Google’s online advertising platform.

Competing against more than 4,000 teams from 95 countries, Grace Barth, Michelle Cloer, Anna Zacherl, Michael Lawing and Christiana Scott, all graduate students in the School of Library and Information Science, received hands-on experience in the field of online marketing by completing an AdWords campaign for the South Carolina Digital Library.

The campaign was successful, improving the number of visitors referred to the SCDL website by search engines by 97 percent during a two-week period. It also allowed the team to reach the semi-finals of the competition. In the end, the campaign ranked in the top 100 of 4,000 teams globally and was among the top 15 teams from the United States, Canada and Mexico.

“This was something that turned out to be great experience for all of us,” said Zacherl, a former SCDL intern. “I believe Dr. Brown’s class was probably one of the most important classes I took in my program. We got real-life experience with online marketing and promotion, which is something within the library field. There’s a lot of room for opportunity.”

The team helped promote the SCDL by writing ads that promoted its lesson plans, metadata, photo/collections, and South Carolina history. The campaign ran for two weeks with a budget of $200. The experience of planning and executing the campaign showed the students just how important a tool marketing is to the success of a library and how important it is for librarians to understand how to use that tool.

“It’s really important to learn how to effectively market and promote libraries if you’re working as a library professional because that skill adds value to whatever institution you represent,” said Cloer, a Minneapolis, Minn., resident who attends USC through the distance education program. “The public usually doesn’t know what the library can offer them unless we promote it efficiently.”


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Carolina Day at the State House
Feb. 8, 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
Capital City Club - 1201 Main St., Columbia, SC

May Carolina Alumni Weekend
May 10-12
University of South Carolina campus




A Time Capsule. Last seen in the Carolina Coliseum a few decades ago. If you have any information leading to the recovery of our time capsule, please contact Elaine Taylor (taylorem@mailbox.sc.edu)


© College of Mass Communications and Information Studies | University of South Carolina.
This newsletter is published once a month by the College of Mass Communications and Information Studies.

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