Guten Tag. Grüß Gott.
We're back from Germany, after two weeks exploring subjects as
diverse as energy independence, bread making and street performers.
For 21 School of Journalism and Mass Communications students, it
was a tale of two cities. The students discovered Berlin and Munich
have different characteristics. Some are as simple as greetings.
Berliners' "Guten Tag" is literally "good day." In
highly Catholic Munich, "Grüß Gott" translates as "greet
God" or, sometimes, "God's
is nuanced. Germans are no more all alike than Americans. I sense
our students discovered that. Stereotypes are always risky. They
saw reminders of the bleakest of Germany's history and met young
people who are the lights of its future. In last month's note,
I promised you a report from this Maymester adventure. I'd recommend
you read it in the students' own words. We'll add some of their
polished products as soon as my colleague Scott Farrand and I get
over jet lag.
Students regularly tell us that even a two-week study abroad experience
can change perspectives. It was equally rewarding for me to travel
with a younger generation born after the Berlin Wall came down.
It was a wall I'd seen from both sides. I sought to provide historical
context; they provided a fresh view.
While we were gone, a brouhaha was brewing in Washington over
the Obama administration poking its nose into the news gathering
practices of Fox News and the Associated Press. The Justice Department
issued subpoenas for the agencies' phone records. Is there a First
Amendment protection against that? Not exactly. I recommend Reid
H. Montgomery Freedom of Information Chair Jay Bender's column
for the S.C. Press Association for Jay's legal and journalistic
Cocky's Reading Express™ has an ambitious summer itinerary.
We are fighting to keep S.C. children from suffering "summer slide"
in their reading habits. Oh, the places we'll go. See
My summer reading list embarrassingly has a couple of carryovers
from last summer. Ben Franklin's biography took me a long time
to finish, but it took him a long time to live it. Alumnus Al Munn
dropped off one slim volume that I've already read. (See below.)
And I'm well through Chris Matthews' biography of John F. Kennedy.
The beach book bag looks like a good summer read. I promise, Cocky.
J-school alumnae are Face of Y'ALL finalists
Two public relations alumnae are finalists for the 2013 Face of
Y'ALL contest. Donnica Smalls, '11, and Jessica Todd, '12, are
among five finalists. The winner of the Face of Y'ALL represents
young alumni and helps classes of the last ten years leave a lasting
legacy at Carolina. Voting runs through midnight on June 4, so
be sure to get your vote in today! All USC alumni who graduated
between 2003-2012 are eligible to vote. Vote
Young Palmetto Books series debuts
Young Palmetto Books, a series that features children's and young
adult books, was created through a partnership between the University
of South Carolina Press and the S.C. Center for Children's Books
and Literacy, a unit of the USC School of Library and Information
Science. Led by the center's executive director Kim Jeffcoat, the
series seeks new projects with connections to South Carolina authors
and subjects. The first book from the series, Patricia Moore-Pastides'
cookbook "Greek Revival from the Garden," is out now.
the program's website and
read more about Young
CreateAthon turns garnet and black
The School of Journalism and Mass Communications is the newest
partner of CreateAthon, an organization that champions effective
nonprofit marketing through pro bono marathons. In the fall, students,
faculty and alumni volunteers will spend 24 hours designing marketing
pieces for nonprofit organizations.
CreateAthon was founded by Riggs Partners in Columbia and is holding
its 16th annual event the same week as USC. Other schools that
have CreateAthon programs include Virginia Commonwealth University,
the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and James Madison University.
For more information on CreateAthon at USC including how your
nonprofit can apply, visit
Information Science Degree graduates largest class
The School of Library and Information Science's young undergraduate
program in information science graduated five students at the spring
2013 commencement. This is the largest number of graduates this
degree program has had since it began classes in the fall of 2008.
The graduates were Nathan Elger, Rashad Ishmael, Austa Joye (Cum
Laude), Jeff Martineck (Cum Laude), and Kendra Wright. The school
is exploring taking the BSIS degree online.
College alumni and faculty have large presence at commencement
College of Mass Communications and Information Studies alumni
and faculty had a large presence at commencement ceremonies last
Curtis Rogers, '91 MLIS, was the speaker at USC-Union's commencement
ceremony on May 4. Rogers discussed the history of higher education
and "believing in something, believing in yourselves and believing
passionately about the path you take on life's journey."
Darius Rucker, a broadcast journalism alumnus, was the speaker
at the undergraduate ceremony on May 11, where he urged graduates "find
something that makes you want to give 'til it hurts."
Charles Bierbauer, dean of the college, spoke at the doctoral
hooding ceremony on May 11. In his speech, Bierbauer borrowed philosopher-athlete
Yogi Berra's aphorism: "When you come to a fork in the road,
take it." Read
his speech to the doctoral graduates here
J-school alumnus publishes brother's WWII diary
Al Munn, '50 journalism, has published a book detailing his late
brother's World War II naval service as part of the gun crew aboard
the freighter SS Larranaga. While visiting the college in May,
Munn stopped by the Coliseum to bring his alma mater a copy of
the book, "Diary of Squandered Valor: First Convoy to Murmansk."
Shannon A. Bowen, public relations, and Elina V.
Erzikova, Central Michigan University, "The international divide
in public relations education: Advocacy versus autonomy," PR Journal
A paper by Dr. Erik Collins, public relations, and Geah
Pressgrove, doctoral student, "Paralleling the
practice: An analysis of the scholarly literature in nonprofit
public relations," has been accepted for publication in
the Journal of Public Relations Research.
Dr. Kathy Roberts Forde, journalism, and co-author
Katherine A. Foss, Middle Tennessee State University, have won
the 29th annual Covert Award from the history division of the Association
for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication for their article, "'The
Facts - The Color! - The Facts': The Idea of a Report in American
Print Culture, 1885-1910," Book History, (2012), 123-151.
This is the second year in a row that Forde has received the Covert
Award, a first for the prestigious honor.
Dr. Bruce Konkle, visual communications, will receive
the Laurence Campbell Award for outstanding research in scholastic
journalism from the Association for Education in Journalism and
Mass Communication for his paper, "A Preliminary Overview
of the Early History of High School Journalism in the U.S.: ~1775-1925."
A paper by Karen Mallia, advertising, and Kasey
Windels, Louisiana State University, "How Gender Situates
Learning in Advertising Creative Departments," was named the
top professional freedom and responsibility paper in the advertising
division for the 2013 Association for Education in Journalism and
Mass Communication conference.
Dr. Ran Wei, public relations, is the Outstanding
Paper Award winner at the Literati Network Awards for Excellence
2013 by Emerald Literati Network for his paper, "Influences
of culture and market convergence on the international advertising
strategies of multinational corporations in North America, Europe
and Asia," which was published in the International Marketing
Reprinted from the spring 2013 issue
of InterCom Magazine.
By Ashley Honea, a sophomore broadcast
Having heard rumors concerning Dr. Erik Collins' media law class — its
challenging workload and professor alike — I stepped into
the lecture room carrying a sense of apprehension in the spring
of 2012. In he strolled, sporting a button down and sweater vest
with Diet Pepsi in hand, which I would come to recognize as his
"I swear I was born wearing a blue button-down collared shirt,
a navy blazer with gold buttons, gray trousers and loafers," Dr.
Collins said. Dr. Collins called roll, then announced that he would
be choosing a class "scribe" whose duties were to attend every
class, take notes on the day's lecture, and periodically summarize
"Ah, Miss Honea," said Dr. Collins with an air of confident humor,
formally addressing me as he did all of his students, "you will
be our class scribe for the semester. From that day forward I impossibly
strove to write down every word that Dr. Collins said, along with
his sporadic mentions of life "rules," including "never go to Ohio"
and "make as much money as you can."
Dr. Collins never comes to class with anything more than an Expo
marker and a Diet Pepsi, yet always has a method strategic to his
"If I don't know enough to where that is all I need in class,
why would you come?" Dr. Collins asked. "You have to work hard
to make it look easy, but that's the most fun of it."
Just when the twisting scenarios Dr. Collins crafts on-the-spot
seem without direction, a serious and comprehensible message concerning
a journalist's interpretation of the First Amendment would pop
up. A light bulb came on. Dr. Collins did it yet again.
"It's a pleasure coming to work every day," said Dr. Collins.
"It's like a tonic to me. You get in [the classroom] and it's like
a ‘let's get going!' kind of thing. It's just a lot of fun."
Dr. Collins expects his students to understand the material well
enough to be able to morph what they have learned into real-life
solutions, while at the same time forming their own opinion.
"Teach them not what is, teach them ways to apply what they're
learning to the next situation they face, because that's life,"
said Dr. Collins.
After graduating high school at 16, Dr. Collins became a professor
at the age of 27 and has influenced the lives of hundreds of students.
Richard Moore, a broadcast journalism instructor, was a student
of Dr. Collins at Ohio State. The two are now colleagues and both
"Erik has been a great mentor for me, personally," said Moore.
"He is a voice of reason for all faculty and has been a logical
and thoughtful advocate as the school of journalism tries to chart
its course through the development of a new curriculum and other
Dr. Collins came to the University of South Carolina in 1985 after
acquiring a breadth of communication credentials, including a master's
degree in higher education from Florida State, a Ph.D. in journalism
and mass communications from Syracuse, a law degree from Ohio State
and experience as Phillip Morris' public relations representative.
Dr. Collins has taught an assortment of subjects including public
relations, media law, research methods and journalistic writing
classes. Overall, he cherishes most his experience working with
students in the graduate level program.
"Our students who have come into our program, they're bright,
they're eager and they've done well and gone out and done great
things," said Dr. Collins. "I'm happiest about having helped create
With retirement a year away, Dr. Collins said there wasn't a single
thing he would change about his experience at the university. "I
will miss the hurly burly of the students," he admits. "But I want
to go out on top."
Erik Collins' 25-plus years at the J-school have left lasting
impressions on many. His intense, transparent love for what he
does will stick with me for the rest of my college career and inspire
me to put the same amount of passion into my future endeavors.
Having a professor who loves what he does simply for the betterment
of his students is a rarity and I feel privileged to have experienced
"Being a college professor, you have to accept that the rewards
are not always monetary," said Dr. Collins. "But there are rewards
that are worth the sacrifice."