My dean colleagues and I often joke that summer is the time when
we try to catch up. Emphasis is on the word "try." It's
a good time for projects and planning, not to mention attacking
that ridiculous pile of papers, articles and magazines that never
seem to get read, clipped or filed. And then there's the scattered
accumulation of books — on my bed table, next to my reading
chair, on my desk — half read, partly read, waiting to get
in the queue.
This is my newly decreed summer of catch up reading. It seems
that I have a few centuries worth to work on. Let's start with
Benjamin Franklin's 18th century adventures in journalism, diplomacy
and statesmanship. I started Walter Isaacson's "Benjamin Franklin,
An American Life" last summer. (No, it couldn't have been
two summers ago.) In any event, if I want to catch up to Isaacson's
Steve Jobs biography (I've read bits), I think I should finish
Next to it is Alexis de Tocqueville's "Democracy in America," which
I pick up periodically and explore. Intriguing that the Frenchman
De Tocqueville was as savvy about America as was Franklin about
France. The joy of history books is that you don't have to swallow
whole histories in one bite. When we moved to South Carolina ten
years ago, I acquired a copy of Walter Edgar's "South Carolina,
a History." It is as much a reference work, an encyclopedia — as
is Walter himself — that I can periodically dive back into
for better insight into the historic complexities of this state.
The bed table has been anchored for a while by Mike Rapport's "1848,
Year of Revolution." That was the year, as the book jacket
says, when "working class radicals and middle-class liberals
in Paris, Milan, Venice, Naples, Palermo, Vienna, Prague, Budapest,
Krakow, Munich, and Berlin toppled the old regimes and began the
task of forging a new order." I quickly foraged for the parts
reflecting my German forebears engagement in the revolution that
led to their fleeing to the U.S. But I've been laboring longer
than the events themselves in that "red summer."
I am willingly distracted. Before leaving for Egypt in May, I
borrowed Daniel Kahneman's "Thinking, Fast and Slow" from
colleague John Besley. My Egyptian hosts wanted me to talk to a
couple of classes about the shaping of public opinion, more John's
field than mine. Kahneman, a Nobel prize honoree in economics,
artfully and plausibly dissects the rational and irrational influences
in the way we all make decisions. In one sense, Kahneman demonstrates
that we make most of our decisions intuitively and reflexively.
We get in more trouble when we over think situations.
Meanwhile, Pat Conroy's "Prince of Tides" is the audio
book currently airing in my car. I catch up on Conroy at the rate
of about a book a year. His unhappy families are even unhappier
than Tolstoy's. I'm on a limited angst and anger diet.
This year's USC First Year Reading Experience book is Jonathan
Lethem's "Motherless Brooklyn." The offbeat detective
novel won't linger on the reading pile, as I'll be leading one
of the discussion sessions with the incoming freshmen in August.
Otherwise, I'll be polishing off large chunks of the 18th and 19th
centuries. It'll be good to catch up.
Fortunately, summer's got a couple months left to run. Pick up
a book or two. A new one or an old one. Take your time reading
them. Savor the moments.
Wang named Dean and University Librarian at University of Cincinnati
Xuemao Wang, MLIS '94, has been named dean and university librarian
at the University of Cincinnati. Most recently the associate vice
provost of university libraries at Emory University, Wang will
begin his new appointment on August 31.
Previously, Wang has worked as head of library systems at Johns
Hopkins University, director of information technology for the
Metropolitan New York Library Council, manager of Internet services
for Queens Borough Public Library, and head of the Information
Service Department at Sichuan Institute of Business and Administration
in Chingqing, China.
Along with his masters in library and information science from
Carolina, Wang also earned a masters in business administration
from Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. and a masters in library
science from Kutztown University in Pennsylvania.
Reinhard wins Student News Emmy
Emilie Reinhard, broadcasting '11, won the
2012 Student News Emmy for her story "Making Wildfires."
The announcement was made at the Southeast Regional Emmy
Awards event in Atlanta in June.
Reinhard's production, which was put together during her
broadcast senior semester, was filmed at the Insurance Institute
of Business and Home Safety, whose research center is located
in Richburg, SC. It covered the process of the wildfire tests
performed at the center.
In addition to Reinhard, several
other J-school students were involved in award-winning productions.
Courtney Krebs, Cameron Widerman, Chelsey Parler and Angela
Padgett served as student production assistants for Gamecock
Productions, which earned two Southeast Regional Emmy Awards
at the conference.
Dame Begins Work with Smithsonian Gardens Archives
Jessica Dame, MLIS '12, is spending the summer interning at the
Archive of American Gardens within the Smithsonian Gardens.
Dame's main project for the summer will be processing a part of
the Rudy J. Favretti Collection. Favretti, a professor of Landscape
Architecture at the University of Connecticut, maintained materials
on the landscaping of Thomas Jefferson's Monticello in Charlottesville,
Hasell Awarded Rookie of the Year
Alyssa Hasell, public relations '11, has been named Rookie of
the Year by the South Carolina Chapter of the Public Relations
Society of America.
Hasell, communications coordinator for Collins & Lacy in Columbia,
serves on the board of directors for the South Carolina Chapter
of the International Association of Business Communicators. She
is also a marketing committee volunteer for the Columbia Opportunity
Resource. As a student, she served as president of PRSSA along
with multiple volunteer and internship positions. Hasell was named
Outstanding Public Relations Senior in 2011.
Free Among 25 Influential Women in Business
Vicky L. Free, broadcasting '92, has been recognized by The Network
Journal as one of its annual 25 Influential Women in Business award
Free is currently the executive vice president of marketing at
BET Networks. She worked as a regional representative for Pitney
Bowes, regional marketing manager and national director for McDonald's
Corporation and vice president of entertainment marketing for the
Turner Broadcasting System.
Kenney named Editor-in-Chief of International Conference on Journalism & Mass
Visual communications professor Dr. Keith Kenney has been named
the editor-in-chief of the inaugural Annual Conference on Journalism
and Mass Communication. He will also serve on the program committee.
Kenney hopes that his work with the conference, which will take
place December 3-4 at the Hotel Fort Canning in Singapore, will
lead to additional opportunities for international collaborations
between the SJMC and universities around the world, particularly
in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia.
Cocky's Reading Express Visits SC Libraries
Though schools are out for the summer, Cocky isn't letting literacy
fall by the wayside. He and his volunteers have been on a library
tour across the state, with stops in Union, Chester and Berkeley
counties, just to name a few.
Led by program coordinator Christine Rienecker, volunteers made
up of USC students, alumni, faculty and staff ride along in the
22-passenger bus donated to Cocky's Reading ExpressTM by BP America.
After each visit, the children receive a new book to take home.
Since the program began, over 45,000 books have been given out
at libraries and schools across South Carolina.
Keep updated on the Cocky's Reading Express schedule by following
them on twitter @CockyReads,
or on theirwebsite
VisCom Professor's Documentary Viewed Publicly for the First Time
Visual communications professor Denise McGill and Associate Director
of the Earth Sciences and Resources Institute Dr. Buz Kloot previewed
their documentary, "The Land Ain't Going Nowhere," for the first
time on June 22 for the anniversary of the Penn Center on St. Helena
The thirty-minute film highlights St. Helena Island and focuses
on conservation, sustainable agriculture and the deep ties to the
land that are found in the Gullah/Geechee culture. McGill plans
to premiere the film for the public once it is completed in the
South Carolina Center for Children's Books and Literacy
Camp Read-a-Rama, for ages 4-11, uses children's literature as
a springboard for hands-on and outdoor education. Campers will
swim, participate in other outdoor activities, and take several
field trips. More information and registration
Save The Date
Annual Literacy Leaders Awards Ceremony
Tuesday, September 11 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
South Carolina State Library
Alumni/Student Mentor Match Night Tuesday, September 25 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Russell House Ballroom
I-Comm Week October 8 - 12
Gamecocks on the Green Friday, November 9