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From the Dean

Road Trips

In the weeks just past, you might have run into our students at a soccer game in Munich, a baseball game in Atlanta or a golf tournament in Greenville. But they were pursuing their studies, not just spring pleasures. Maymester is a great time for students and faculty to hit the road toward better understanding of career possibilities.

You might have caught a glimpse of some of Dr. Glenda Alvarado's Sport and Social Media class on the Golf Channel. South Carolina Charities Inc. sought our help in raising the annual BMW Charity Pro-Am tournament's profile through social media. Eight journalism, advertising and public relations students fanned out over the tourney's three courses to create Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and You Tube content.

"I think we were more than successful in reaching our goals," advertising major Colleen MacMillan said. "Not only did we see a jump in Facebook "likes" and comments, but we gained numerous "reTweets" and "mentions" on Twitter. (Social media do have a jargon all their own.)

"This is something I could see myself doing after I graduate, so the experience I gained and the people I met will be something I carry over into the future," added ad major Stephen Scott.

Journalism school alumnus Mark Bryan was one of the golfers they met and captured on video. The Hootie and the Blowfish lead guitarist shares his Gamecock shoutout in this eNews.

Networking is another purpose of our Maymester programs, and USC alumni have been great about opening doors for us.


"Connecting with alumni really personalized the trip and made generally intimidating positions seem attainable and within reach," J-school student Jordan Osborne said after her experience on the Atlanta Public Relations Maymester.

The BMW event was a first-timer on our Maymester schedule; the Atlanta trip is an evergreen, though it's ever changing. "We're always adding new visits," says Dr. John Besley, who co-taught the course with senior instructor Lisa Sisk. "We're happy to facilitate other types of contact that alumni might like to have with current students. They could join us at a restaurant or a ball game."



  Maymester Class Photo

The multimedia Munichmester has been on our calendar since 2007. It puts students in a position of having to create, research and produce stories in an unfamiliar environment, even an unfamiliar language.

"Perhaps the most valuable thing I gained from the experience is understanding a different culture," said Isabelle Khurshudyan of her experience in Germany. "It really opened my eyes to how I might want to slow down every once in a while instead of living at such a rushed pace."

Maymester courses have traditionally focused on undergraduate students with a sprinkling of grad students. But SLIS professors Dr. Kendra Albright and Dr. Jennifer Arns are planning a Great Libraries of the World study in Paris and Rome for May 2012. Although these are purposefully small classes, there may be a few places for alumni on the library tour.

On one of the early Munich trips, our students coined an expression for these Maymester adventures: See it! Live it! Tell it! To which, I might add: Join it!

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Alumni News

Recent J-school Graduate Hired by Collins & Lacy, P.C.

Alyssa Hasell, '11 public relations major, has been appointed communications coordinator for Collins & Lacy, P.C. , a law firm serving South Carolina. While attending USC, Hasell was chosen as the 2011 Outstanding Public Relations Senior and also interned for Riley Communications, now Davis Public Relations & Marketing.

Alumna Earns Accreditation in Public Relations (APR)

Ashley Manuel Dusenbury, '94 advertising and public relations major, has earned the Accreditation in Public Relations distinction from the Public Relations Society of America and the Universal Accreditation Board. Dusenbury, a 17-year veteran of the public relations field, is currently director of public relations at Palmetto Health Foundation.

Alumnus Hired by the Other USC

Alan J. House, ‘89 broadcast major, was named associate director of communications at the University of Southern California. In this position, House works with both the Government and Civic Engagement and University Communications departments. He writes, designs and manages all types of communications projects to support public and media relations, marketing and development.

College News

J-school Professors Promoted

faculty photoDr. John Besley and Karen Mallia have been recommended by President Pastides for tenure and promotion to associate professors.

Besley is the head of the Journalism Sequence and focuses on communication research methods, public opinion and persuasion, and science/risk communication in his teaching.

Mallia teaches in the Advertising/Public Relations Sequence and focuses on developing creative strategies, copywriting, and building integrated advertising and marketing campaigns in her teaching. The recommendations require Board of Trustees approval.

Spring Commencement Updates

The College of Mass Communications and Information Studies awarded 306 degrees at May's commencement ceremonies. Of these, the J-school granted 12 Master of Mass Communications, and 213 undergraduate degrees, the majority being public relations degrees followed by advertising. In addition, one doctorate was awarded.

The School of Library and Information Science recognized 92 Master of Library and Information Science graduates in May, including one certification.

SLIS Professor is a "Rising Star"

Dr. AlbrightDr. Kendra Albright, associate professor in SLIS, is featured in the spring 2011 issue of Breakthrough, the university's research and economic development magazine. Her research focuses on using information as a force for good in society and in the marketplace. The article notes Dr. Albright's studies on the way information has helped reduce the prevalence of AIDS and HIV in Uganda and the importance of information in the competitive marketplace.

To read the article, click here >

J-school Professor Retires

Dr. StephensAfter 35 years of scholastic service to the students of USC, Dr. Rick Stephens has retired.

Stephens served in many capacities during his tenure at USC, including associate dean of the then College of Journalism and Mass Communications and as the J. Rion McKissick Professor, an endowed chair.

For video and photos of the retirement celebration, click here>


Student News

Rising Senior Receives S.C. Press Association Foundation Mundy Scholarship

Ryan Quinn is one of two recipients of the S.C. Press Association Foundation's Mundy Scholarships. A journalism major and political science minor, Quinn will receive $3,000 toward his schooling at the University of South Carolina.

The Mundy Scholarships are given in memory of R. Frank Mundy, the late publisher of the Index-Journal in Greenwood and the first president of the SCPA Foundation.

Quinn is the son of John and Jeannine Quinn from Charleston. He has spent two years in editor positions at the university's newspaper, The Daily Gamecock. Beginning his sophomore year as the assistant editor of The Daily Gamecock's opinion section, Quinn then became editor of this section his junior year. In the fall, Quinn will return to The Daily Gamecock as the news editor.

Upcoming Events

SC Storyfest
June 4

Join Cocky at the SC Storyfest on Saturday, June 4 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at the SC State Museum at 301 Gervais Street, Columbia SC. This free event serves as the kick-off for summer reading programs throughout the state and features presentations from award winning authors and a craft area.

Alumni Spotlight

Ruth Castillo, Development GA

By Charlotte Bishop
May ‘11 Mass Communications graduate

Ruth CastilloThe first thing you notice about Ruth Castillo is her personality. Grabbing lunch, she joked with the workers at the Coliseum's Fast Break. Later, she related just as easily to the students and visitors who make their way into the College of Mass Communications and Information Studies development office. Castillo, the graduate assistant at the development office and a recent graduate of the master's program in the School of Library and Information Science, is also a "multitasking mastermind."

"I like to be involved in everything and know about everything," she said.

She certainly got a taste of that with development and alumni relations. Castillo's duties included updating alumni information, sending out mailings, producing eNews, helping with events and projects, and identifying grant opportunities.

"I never do the same thing every day. There's always something different or new or something starting or ending," Castillo said. Now her time in the development office has ended with her graduation.

"She's just been a tremendous help in the office," alumni relations manager Elaine Taylor said. "We've loved working with her."

"In her two years with us, I can't think of one time when she has not been able to figure something out or track down information or answers," development director Terry Dixon said.

Castillo is also grateful for her time in the office. "It's given me an opportunity to not just be a graduate assistant but to be a part of a team," she said. "I feel like I have a much better sense of what it takes to be a professional."

As a graduate assistant and a SLIS student, Castillo saw how the two halves of the college come together. Libraries, she explained, are places that preserve and provide access to information, whereas journalism is a vehicle that communicates information and ideas. To have one without the other is to have pieces missing.

SLIS may have a piece missing without Castillo. Dr. Sam Hastings, Castillo's adviser and director of the school said, "I toyed with the idea of stopping her graduation but realized even though we'll miss her, she was ready for the world, and the world was ready for her."

Castillo earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Virginia Tech in 2009. She is looking forward to working as a reference librarian in an academic setting.


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June 4


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)

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