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From the Dean

Resolved: 2011 will be better than 2010

There. That's done. Now we can take our chances on what this new year may bring. I've never been one for resolutions. Lose weight. Exercise more. Eat less. Sleep more. Work less. Earn more. Figure that one out.

First, though, let's give 2010 its due. On balance, was it all that bad a year? The University enrolled a record freshman class. Enrollment in our college increased. We kept the budget in the black, no mean feat in the face of overall budget reductions due to decreased state support for higher education. We hired new faculty and have, at least, been able to replace departed faculty. Faculty research and grants have increased significantly. We have two undergraduate Magellan research awards — one in each school — for the coming year. We invested in technology and rebuilt the television control room in the journalism school. Our alumni wrote books and received honors. We created new scholarships and fellowships. We traveled abroad with our students and shared experiences beyond the classroom.

No, let's neither rue 2010 nor lament what we didn't get done. Instead, let's redouble our effort.

Why, by the way, do we always "redouble our effort"? Not that it's a bad thing. Twice as ambitious as doubling our effort. Are we really Stakhanovites* in spirit? Back in my days as a foreign correspondent, one of the old socialist banners hoisted by the road leading into Moscow used to read, "Work better today than yesterday and better tomorrow than today." It was attributed to Leonid Brezhnev, who must have worked hard to become Soviet party boss. The Soviet Union, however, calcified.

So let's redouble and not calcify.

Let's also not mold. In 2011, we're scheduled for a major renovation of the HVAC system in Davis College bringing an end, we trust, to its old mold problems. Meanwhile, we politely nip at the heels of our friends in Public Health as they put together their plans to leave the Health Sciences building that we will renovate for the journalism school. Our timetable is tied to theirs, so we are highly encouraging and only a little bit pushy.

The university's capital campaign will get a big push this year as it moves into its more visible, multi-year public phase. Our college's focus will be on increasing our scholarship and fellowship assistance to students, faculty development, the SLIS literacy initiative and the SJMC building effort. We are resolved to continue building the college, growing our students in character and capability and reflecting on the pride we have in our alumni. That’s not a bad resolution.

Have a great 2011.

Bierbauer signature

*Aleksei Stakhanov was a Soviet coal miner in the 1930s who set a record — mining 102 tons in a six-hour shift. Other workers were exhorted to reap the rewards of working as hard as Stakhanov. Not all were thrilled with the challenge.

Alumni News

Haley Names J-school Alumnus to Lead Commerce Department

Bobby HittRobert M. “Bobby” Hitt, ’73, has been named as secretary of Commerce by Governor-elect Nikki Haley. Hitt is the manager of corporate affairs at BMW Manufacturing Inc. He served as chairman of the S.C. Manufacturers Alliance in 2009-2010 and has also served on the Centers of Economic Excellence review board.

In 1987, Hitt received a Nieman Fellowship for journalists, which allowed him to study for a year at Harvard University, where he focused on management and law. To read more, click here>

College News

Cocky’s Reading Express Heading to Horry County

CRECocky and a cohort of Carolina students will travel to the Myrtle Beach area January 3-5 for the annual Cocky’s Reading Express road trip.

This is the fifth year that the joint SLIS-student government effort has taken to the road during the week before the spring semester to demonstrate to elementary school children the importance of life-long reading.

If you are in the area and would like to meet and greet with this group while they are there, please let Kim Jeffcoat (kjeffcoa@mailbox.sc.edu) know as soon as possible.

You’re Invited to Join Dean’s Circle

Dean’s Circle is one of the most loyal groups of supporters in the College of Mass Communications and Information Studies, and we would like to invite you to join!

Members of the Dean’s Circle serve as college ambassadors, committed to supporting needs within the college, which may otherwise go unfunded.

Dean’s Circle supports our student competition teams and Maymester classes, provides funding to send faculty members to conferences, helps bring speakers to campus and supports campus programs such as Cocky’s Reading Express. Members are invited to unique events such as private receptions for guest speakers including Kathleen Parker and Candy Crowley, private tours of campus facilities, and meeting time with the dean and school directors.

An unrestricted gift of $1,000 or more qualifies an individual to become a member of Dean’s Circle. Gifts are tax-deductible and individuals can be billed monthly.

E-mail Elaine Taylor (taylorem@mailbox.sc.edu) if you are interested in joining the Circle!


Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation Scholarships Aid LIS Students

By Chelsea Sullivan, SJMC student

School of Library and Information Science students have benefited from the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation Masters in Library and Information Science Annual Scholarship Fund since 2005.

The scholarship offers current employees of the Florence County Library System the opportunity to earn their master’s degrees in library and information science. The scholarship can also be used for professional travel and is recurring, if needed. The board of the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation has always shown a strong interest in the Florence County library system and has worked diligently to keep it running effectively. When foundation members noted the library system had a below average level of employees with master’s degrees, they created the $90,000 scholarship fund to cover the cost of several degrees.

“This scholarship is unique in awarding an existing employee the opportunity to advance his or her position and earn a degree. It is essential that we continue to help libraries advance employees into leadership positions,” says Dr. Sam Hastings, SLIS director. “We are so grateful to the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation for their vision and understanding of the needs of their community.”

Since his appointment in 1995, Bradley Callicott, the executive director of the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation, oversees nearly all of the operations of the foundation. “I like it all!” he says. Although he has an accounting degree and a strong business background, his work with the foundation also includes governance, investments, grants procedures and public relations.

Callicott adds that what the foundation does would not be possible without the support and assistance of its partners, especially the South Carolina Grantmakers Network. The network’s mission is to promote member networking, foster collaborative funding opportunities, and leverage the influence of grant makers in their respective communities.

To learn more about the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation and the South Carolina Grantmakers Network, visit their website>.


A Student’s Reflection on InterCom

By Adam Keele, SJMC student

InterCom Class

As a senior, there isn’t much I haven’t seen or done in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. My classes have been positive, and I know my professors. I feel prepared to become a leader in my field. I thought I’d had the best of the J-school experience until I enrolled in the class that produces InterCom.

It’s taught by Lisa Sisk of the J-school’s public relations faculty. I’ve had classes with her before, and knew she required precision and professionalism in my writing.

Sisk divided up potential stories among the 19 students. My assignment was to find a time capsule hidden in the Coliseum and report on its contents. I felt like I was chasing a ghost, as its location was a mystery, but my research led me down some interesting avenues. I talked with Dean Charles Bierbauer, Dr. Bruce Konkle and others about the location of the time capsule; they’d heard of its purported existence but couldn’t pinpoint its location. They encouraged me to contact Dr. Henry Price, a J-school professor emeritus and alumnus.

After I interviewed Dr. Price and searched the catacombs of the Coliseum, my quest for the time capsule ended. It was nowhere to be found. This story had reached a dead end, but I still had plenty to do for InterCom.

I looked to Sisk for help. She gave me another story instead: the opening day activities of I-Comm Week VII in October.

InterComI spent a sunny afternoon with School of Library and Information Science faculty and alumni, where I interviewed guest speakers at events honoring the legacy of the late Augusta Baker. I enjoyed the activities and acquired plenty of information for InterCom and the website coverage of I-Comm Week VII.

Writing up my experience was easy, but it wasn’t nearly the end. I joined my classmates in the process of re-writing and re-writing again before our stories would be good enough for publication

The design phase was next. Zach Sykes, a 2007 visual communications alumnus, is a graphic design professional who was in class with us almost every day. He shared his knowledge and helped InterCom find an appealing and consistent theme. Under his direction, students created the layouts that would ultimately be our edition of InterCom.

As the semester ended, I looked back on all we had accomplished. We had written for the print and online editions of InterCom, as well as for the college’s website and monthly online eNews. We learned how to shape our messages. My ability as a reporter had increased tremendously, and I learned how challenging it is to create a magazine.

InterCom showcases the people featured in the magazine and also the quality of the students’ work. I know our alumni, friends and the Carolina community will read an outstanding publication.


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Alumni Awards Dinner

Annual Scholarship Luncheon

Dancing with the Deans

Gamecocks on the Green

Humpy Wheeler Book Signing



Spring SJMC Career Fair
March 18, 2011

Carolina Day at the Statehouse
March 30, 2011


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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