If you knew Augusta...
"How many of you met or knew Augusta Baker?" I
asked at the annual Augusta Baker lecture at Richland County
Public Library. At least half the hands in the large audience
shot up. Impressive, considering that in April we marked the
centenary of her birth and she passed away in 1998.
I never met the distinguished pioneer in children's literature,
revered librarian, gifted storyteller and inspiration for countless
authors and illustrators. But I'm always pleased to be a part
of our collaboration with RCPL and other sponsors in the spring
celebration of "A(ugusta) Baker's Dozen."
Author Patricia Reilly Giff—"Augusta Baker's Irish
to Sam Hastings — charmed with her reflections on "diamond
the 25th annual Augusta Baker lecturer. I think she also tacitly
gave us permission to leave an occasional coffee drip, chocolate
smudge or grain of beach sand in the books that capture our
attention. Don't do that on your e-reader, though.
Even better news was the view of historian and critic Leonard
Marcus — two
lectures for the price (free) of one this year — that
electronic books are not going to take the place of the experience
of real, tactile children's
books. Try getting the fluffy sensation of "Pat the Bunny" from
a plastic screen.
"Picture books are like food for young kids," says Marcus. Now we
all know that a child will occasionally turn up her nose at certain foods. Brussels
sprouts, in my case, as a child and adult. "A book," sniffed one
of the four-year-old twin granddaughters (I won't say which one) last Christmas.
But the girls all know that Grandpa brings books. Each has her favorites and
is eager to demonstrate advancing reading skills.
That's the message behind every Cocky's Reading
Express™ school visit. Each child promises to take the
book Cocky gives her and read it with her parents, grandparents,
siblings, pets to develop a passion for reading. Cocky and
our student readers were at Carver-Lyon elementary school in
Columbia the other day, along with an ESPN camera crew. Cocky's
Reading Express™ will be featured on a summer broadcast
on ESPNU, the sports giant's collegiate network headed by SJMC
alumna Rosalyn Durant. We'll alert you to the show's airtime.
The SLIS literacy initiative, which encompasses these programs
and more, has great momentum. Augusta Baker has been very much
our inspiration. Now, go read to your kids, grandkids, neighbors,
Alumni Recognized at SCPRSA Mercury Awards
Many J-school alumni were honored at the South Carolina Chapter
of the Public Relations Society of America's (SCPRSA)
annual Mercury Awards April 14, and two of our grads took
some of the top awards.
For the second year in a row, alumna Kelly Jackson Davis ('98)
of Davis Public Relations and Marketing received the overall
Best in Show Mercury Award. The agency was recognized for its "Dawn
of a New Day" brand campaign for LRADAC, the authority
for the prevention, intervention and treatment of substance
abuse for Lexington and Richland Counties.
In special recognition, SCPRSA announced the renaming of
its Community Spirit Award in honor of alumnus and longtime
SCPRSA member George L. Johnson, MA '96, APR, Fellow PRSA.
Johnson retired in 2010 from a 32-year public relations career
with BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina. Johnson was recognized
for his lifelong commitment to community service and for his
dedicated work in improving the quality of life for all South
Carolinians. He has been an adjunct faculty member at the J-school
SCPRSA also awarded a scholarship to public relations major
Connor Watkins. For a list of all awards presented, please
click here. http://www.scprsa.org/SCPRSAMercurywinners.htm
Alumnus Tenured and Promoted
Dr. Tim Brown, who received his Ph.D. from the J-school in
2005, has been tenured and promoted to Associate Professor
at the University of Central Florida (UCF). Since obtaining
his doctorate, Brown has taught broadcast reporting and media
in society courses at UCF.
MMC Students' Work Recognized
Keep the Midlands Beautiful, a Columbia nonprofit organization
focused on litter prevention and beautification, recognized
four School of Journalism and Mass Communications graduate
students for their work developing the new "Hot, Not
Trashy" campaign at its April meeting. Matt McColl,
Caroline Pollard, Rachael Renken and Laura Wedell created
the comprehensive campaign for their Integrated Communications
Campaigns class, taught by Lisa Sisk.
Keep the Midlands Beautiful began rolling out the students' print
advertisements and other tactics on Earth Day. All four students
have completed the requirements for the Master of Mass Communication
degree and will graduate May 6.
Awards Presented at Deans' & Directors' Lecture
The School of Library and Information Science honored five
individuals with awards at its 26th annual Deans' and
Directors' Lecture, April 7, 2011. The F. William Summers
Outstanding Alumni Award was presented to alumnus Rayburne
Turner, '00, reference manager at the Charleston County
Public Library. The John N. Olsgaard Distinguished Service
Award was awarded to David Goble, director of the South Carolina
State Library. Alumna Natalie Couch, '10, was awarded
the Wayne S. Yenawine Distinguished Student Award, and the
William M. Trafton III Outstanding Student Award for Leadership
was awarded to Sara Mason Rosensteel, '11. Dr. Dan
Barron, distinguished professor emeritus and former director
of the School of Library and Information Science, received
a Special Award of Merit from current director, Dr. Samantha
Hastings. (We're calling this occasional and special
recognition the "Sammy" award.) In addition,
seventeen graduates were inducted into Beta Phi Mu, the library
and information science honor society.
J-school Unanimously Reaccredited
The School of Journalism and Mass Communications received
final approval of its reaccreditation on Friday when the Accrediting
Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications
met in Portland, Oregon. The school’s director,
Dr. Carol Pardun, reports from the meeting that ACEJMC’s
vote was unanimous. The school has been continuously
accredited since 1954.
May Carolina Alumni Weekend
Make plans to join us and let the natural beauty of the University
of South Carolina campus inspire you this spring! Hope to see
you at the following events hosted by our college:
13, 3:30 p.m., Hollings Library
Social Media: Not Just For Your "Friends"
May 14, 2:30 p.m., Carolina Coliseum
Annual Alumni Society Baseball Gathering
Bring your own food and drink and enjoy mingling with other
alumni, faculty and staff of the College of Mass Communications
and Information Studies. We'll take the Gameday Shuttle to
the baseball stadium. Shuttle cost is $2 per passenger.
May 14, 4:30 p.m., Carolina Stadium
Baseball Game vs. Arkansas
Group tickets available for $5 each. RSVP to Bianca Crawford
at Bianca@redcarpetcommunications.com if
you would like a ticket.
Charles M. Keefer
Alumnus Charles M. Keefer III has created
two scholarships, one in the School of Journalism and Mass
Communications where he studied, and the other in the School
of Library and Information Science. He supports both schools
because, he says, "If
you've ever worked in a newsroom, you know how important
librarians are. You just can't quantify what they do
for the daily newspaper."
After a full career as a journalist in South Florida, Keefer
has settled in to what he calls the good life. The 1972 journalism
graduate serves his alma mater and his community and enjoys
spontaneous treks on his motorcycles.
Keefer worked at the Palm Beach Post as a reporter, bureau
chief, state editor, computer programmer and systems editor
for more than 30 years. In retirement, he finds plenty to keep
him busy. He actively serves on the board of directors of an
organization that provides arts programs to county schools.
He established the Kathryn Linwood Scholarship in memory of
his friend and fellow journalist who worked at the Miami Herald.
What began as a $1,000 scholarship for one journalism student
each year has now grown to two $2,000 scholarships, one for
a student in the J-school, and the other for a SLIS student.
Keefer feels the changes in journalism shouldn't
keep students from entering the field. "There's always
going to be journalism. It may not be at a newspaper, but we
need reporters,"no matter the platform.
Journalism skills are transferable, he says. "You become
a quick study, getting information, putting it in context and
clearly communicating it to others.
Last year, Keefer received a thank-you letter from a recipient
of one of his scholarships, and he says he was touched. He
encourages students to connect with their donors. "You
never know. Someday you may be asking that person for a job."
Keefer is a member of the College of Mass Communications and
Information Studies Dean's Circle, a connection that
is evidently important to him. He recently jumped on his new
red motorcycle, making the trip all the way from Palm Beach,
Fla. to hand-deliver his check.
Van Kornegay, an associate professor in the visual communications
sequence of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications,
says his most memorable teaching moments have occurred outside
the classroom, and often outside the borders of the United
States. This award-winning educator believes in broadening
his students' and his own horizons.
"One summer, I took a group of students to the Caribbean
island nation of Trinidad and Tobago for the better part of
a month," he recalls. "While we were there,
the students worked on the staff of the Trinidad Guardian newspaper
as reporters, graphic artists and in the paper's advertising
When Hurricane Fran was bearing down on South Carolina, Kornegay
led a group of students on a two-day "hurricane hunt" to
the coast, where they stayed in civil defense shelters and
covered the storm for The Carolina Reporter. He also has traveled
with students to New York, San Francisco and San Diego to visit
major media outlets, such as Newsweek, Time and Rolling Stone,
as well as some of the world's biggest ad agencies and
Kornegay's mentorship isn't limited to whole classes.
Recently he was project director for an undergraduate Magellan
Scholar. "I took her with me to Africa to produce a
short documentary on an organization providing assistance to
AIDS orphans," he says.
His dedication to teaching is evident. Twice he has won the
Mortar Board Award for Excellence in Teaching, and also has
received the prestigious Mungo Award. "My love for teaching
undoubtedly is the result of being exposed to some great teachers
along the way," he says.
"In that spirit I've tried to shape myself into
a teacher who is a cross between Mr. Rogers and John Houseman's
character in the movie The Paper Chase. I want to be known
for setting the bar high and for finding creative ways to challenge
students to make the leap over it."
George Stevens, a 2007 visual communications graduate, says, "I
still recall snippets of Kornegayan wisdom on a regular basis." Stevens
is a graphic designer in Charleston.
"What I liked most about Van is that he didn't adhere
to the standard professor/student dynamic. Sure, he graded
your projects and slapped a test in front of you every now
and then, but his approach was more managerial than anything," he
"He wanted an excellent product out of us, and he motivated
us to deliver. As a judge of our work, he was reasonable and
thorough — important qualities for someone tasked with
evaluating something so subjective as design."
Kornegay's extensive professional background in journalism
and design prepared him well for teaching. And, he says, he's
still learning. "Anyone teaching in this field must frequently
retool their methods and learn new skills. Each year students
are increasingly savvy with the technologies and processes
of graphic production, and it's a demanding challenge
to structure course work that combines timely skills with timeless
Before coming to USC, Kornegay worked in higher education
media relations and has done freelance graphics and writing.
He has been a media trainer and consultant at such far-ranging
places as the South Pacific, Albania, Hawaii and Kosovo.
Kornegay says he appreciates the academic and professional
mix in the journalism program at USC. "Here, the academic
critique of the media rubs up against the realities of professional
practice, and in the end, I think both sides benefit from the
exchange," he says. "I like being in this kind