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From the Dean

What More Do We Need to Do?

Teach entrepreneurship. Financial media literacy. Digital media literacy. Cartography. Grant writing. Grammar.

The question was posed to professionals meeting with journalism deans and directors at the recent Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communications winter meeting in Dallas. We got plenty of answers — those above — along with some "don'ts."

"Don't teach software," Peter Bhatia, editor of The Oregonian, cautioned. "Teach how to use software." In other words, the young professional must be adaptable.

Juan Elizondo, editor of the Dallas Business Journal, was explicit: "Math, math, math, math, math. Hard core!"

This Just InYes, we need to dispel the notion that there is no math in journalism. There is a significant amount of applied math — statistics, polls, consumer finance, budgets in millions, billions and trillions. Our students need to understand that. We can't shirk it. We can make it more palatable through the way we incorporate the instruction across the curriculum. But there's little substitute for a research methods course, and one conference colleague described a "math for journalists" course taught by his university's math department. That has the ring of "math for dummies," which would miss the point of overcoming the math aversion.

From what I heard at our conference, programs across the country are wrestling their curricula into some form that accommodates the dramatic changes in the media environment while maintaining core competencies of effective writing, critical thinking and ethical judgment. That's what our faculty members are doing, as they carefully reshape the curriculum for our School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

The aim is to prepare our graduates for the new environment, meet the needs of the professions and blend with the university's revision of core competencies. No mean task, but an essential one taking place across this university for all programs.

One apt description of what our students need is a program that fits them to a "T". That is, breadth across disciplines and, in the media sense, platforms. That's the crossbar of the "T" and what we encompass in a broad liberal arts foundation. Its stem represents depth in a specific area of expertise—a major or minor. We've been meeting the "T" test for a long time, but how we do it is not engraved in stone, certainly not in this digital age.

And one of the things we welcome hearing from the professionals — you — is the sort of thing we heard in Dallas. What more do we need to do so that our graduates, regardless of their school or major, are best prepared for today's jobs?

There is a growing Gamecock cohort at ASJMC meetings. One of the pleasures of attending is the reunion with our alumni and former faculty who are deans, directors or department chairs at other journalism and mass communications programs.

Alumni on hand in Dallas were Brad Hamm, dean at Indiana University; David Arant, chair at University of Memphis; and Jennifer McGill, ASJMC's executive director. Former faculty were Sonya Duhe, now director at Loyola University, New Orleans; Judy VanSlyke Turk, now associate director at Virginia Commonwealth University; and Lynn Zoch, director and acting dean at Radford University.

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Alumni News

J-school Alumnus Writes Book About His Years In the Media Business

Hank GilmanJournalism alumnus and Deputy Managing Editor of Fortune Magazine, Hank Gilman, ‘75, shares a "management memoir" in his book, "You Can't Fire Everyone: And Other Lessons From an Accidental Manager." "Hank is one of the smartest, funniest, still employed journalists I know," said Teresa Barker, New York Times bestselling co-author of "Raising Cain".

Hank shares about managing employees in his book saying, "motivating your employees is one of the most important parts of your job. That means you have to treat your stars differently. Otherwise, you'd pay everyone the same and your company would be one big happy socialist workplace."

The book releases March 17 and is available for purchase at all fine booksellers.

Mentor Program Continues

The college's Mentor Program held its Spring Mentor Match Night Thursday, Feb. 10 and made 18 matches of alumni and students from both SLIS and SJMC. Alumni and students participated in speed networking in a fun environment to determine their best matches. Cocky even joined the networking!
View photos from the event >

Internship Lands Alumna Dream Job at ESPN

Laura GoldmanLaura Goldman, '09 broadcast graduate, interned in USC Athletics for three years and had a senior-year opportunity at "the worldwide leader in sports" that resulted in her dream job at ESPN.

Laura's working in the Social Media Department to produce and launch continuous content on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. It's a job that involves on-camera interviewing, such as a recent assignment interviewing New York Jets players.
Read more >


College News

SLIS Partnership Bringing 3D Image Center to University

SLIS has partnered with Arius3D to open a 3D Image center at the McKissick Museum. The Center will produce scientific quality, full color, three-dimensional models of museum and research collections. The resulting 3D image models will be used within the museum and university to enhance learning, creativity and research on a full range of topics. Arius3D and SLIS will serve the 3D models through a commercial Image Library. In addition to SLIS, the Center for Digital Humanities (CDH) at the university will serve as a research partner, offering CDH faculty fellows opportunities to participate in the project.
Read more >

Cocky Award Goes to VW's "The Force"

After all votes were counted—and the Packers had defeated the Steelers-- the overall winner of the eighth annual Super Ad Poll was Volkswagen's "The Force" commercial. Professor Bonnie Drewniany's Super Bowl of Advertising class and online viewers rated the commercials on brand identity, likability and persuasiveness. The spot used a child dressed as Darth Vader to promote the new Passat's remote-controlled engine.
Watch the winning commercial and see other videos from the event >


Upcoming Events

Carolina Day at the Statehouse
Wednesday, March 30

Every year, hundreds of alumni take to the steps of the Statehouse to advocate for the our university. Wear your garnet and black and "Step Up" in support of Carolina. Don't miss out on this opportunity to become an effective advocate for USC and meet your legislators at the Statehouse. You can make a difference on Carolina Day at the Statehouse, March 30, 2011! Those wishing to participate should register by March 23. There is a $15 registration fee to defray the cost of lunch.
Click here to register >

SLIS Deans' and Directors' Lecture
April 7, 7 p.m.
Ernest Hollings Library Program Room
Dr. Michael Buckland, Professor Emeritus at Berkeley University
Open to the public.

Student Spotlight

AAF Minority Award

By Reilly Blackwelder, SJMC Student

Tsilavo RatsimbaharisonTsilavo Ratsimbaharison has a name that is hard to pronounce but is a person who is easily remembered. Ratsimbaharison was named one of the American Advertising Federation's Most Promising Minority Student and was recognized Feb. 3 in New York City at the AAF annual meeting. Only 50 students were chosen for this award from the 200 AAF chapters.

He is a senior advertising major who is a leader with Young Life and blogs about advertising trends.

While in New York, he went to recruiter expos, seminars and networked with important people in the industry. Of all the people Ratsimbaharison met, he most enjoyed meeting Rob Rizzo, the executive creative director of Digitas, who gave him some advice and encouragement. "Rizzo told me, ‘you can do it,'" Ratsimbaharison said. "It just came at the perfect time. I want to be a copywriter and it's really hard to get into the creative side of the advertising industry right now, but he was just so encouraging."

Ratsimbaharison was also recognized by CNN and received a $1500 grant for his commitment and service to the community. He was one of three students chosen for this grant.

Erin LooRatsimbaharison wasn't the only USC journalism student recognized. Erin Loo was named to the AAF Honor Roll.

Erin is a senior advertising major and is involved with the Student Advertising Federation and the Baptist Collegiate Ministries. She also is the media director for the AAF-NSAC Ad team.

At least one student from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications has received this honor each year since the AAF Honor Roll was created in 1997.


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Give to USC


Alumni Awards Dinner

Annual Scholarship Luncheon

Dancing with the Deans

Gamecocks on the Green

Humpy Wheeler Book Signing

Spring Mentor Match Night



Spring SJMC Career Fair
March 18, 2011

Carolina Day at the Statehouse
March 30, 2011

SLIS Deans' and Directors' Lecture
April 7, 7 p.m.
Ernest Hollings Library Program Room
Dr. Michael Buckland, Professor Emeritus at Berkeley University
Open to the public.


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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