Scholars and Donors; Bricks and Mortar


Our scholar/donor lunch on November 2 was the largest we’ve ever had in the college. The tables buzzed with conversation among scholarship donors and recipients. Many donors don’t seek recognition, but they got some welcome and deserved appreciation.

For the 2009-2010 school year, the School of Journalism and Mass Communications awarded 49 scholarships—some with multiple recipients—to 196 students, totaling $122,600. The School of Library and Information Science awarded 14 scholarships to 26 students, totaling $16,509.


Yet we could not meet the needs of all the deserving students who applied for scholarship assistance this year. This is, of course, a repercussion of the current financial strain we are seeing across the economy. A further consequence is that endowment earnings have also been down, and a portion of our scholarships are endowed and depend on those earnings.


We expect requests for student aid to be just as great in the coming year. So this is a straightforward appeal. Can you help a student now? Most of our scholarships are given out in annual $500 increments, but any amount will enhance our ability to provide assistance to more students.


Contact Terry Dixon ( or 803-777-6898) for questions or assistance. Checks should be made to the USC Education Foundation, but sent to the college. Keep our students in mind as you do your year-end tax planning.


We’ll have much more to tell you about building plans as we get to the beginning of the year. But I wanted to let you know that the Arnold School of Public Health has received board approval for the design phase leading to its move from the Health Sciences building to Discovery I in Innovista.


And the Design Review Committee gave a very positive nod this week to our work in preparing for the renovation and expansion of the Health Sciences building as the future home of the college and School of Journalism and Mass Communications. We will be finishing the design work shortly for final approval and look forward to showing you more detail soon.


Have a great Thanksgiving celebration. We feel we have much for which to be thankful.






College News


Syndicated Columnist is J-School’s Buchheit Lecturer Nov. 19


Kathleen ParkerKathleen Parker, syndicated columnist with the Washington PostWriters Group, will be this year’s speaker for the Buchheit Family Lecture Series. Her lecture is titled, From South Carolina to Washington D.C.: Seeking Civility in America’s Political Discourse. Parker is the most widely distributed columnist in the country; her twice-weekly column is published in 425 newspapers. She writes on politics, gender and culture in America.


The Buchheit Family Lecture Series is sponsored by the Buchheit Family Endowment, providing undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships and doctoral fellowships to students of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications.


This event is free to all students, faculty, alumni and friends of the university, as well as the public. It will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19 at the Belk Auditorium in The Darla Moore School of Business on the Columbia campus. RSVP to or 803-777-7118.


College Held Largest Scholarship Luncheon


Scholarship donors and recipients of the College of Mass Communications and Information Studies were honored at a luncheon on Monday, Nov. 3 in the Russell House Ballroom. President Harris Pastides and First Lady Patricia Moore-Pastides joined the luncheon to thank our donors and talk to students about the meaning of scholarships. Two scholarship recipients, Adam Harms (SJMC) and Bethany McGowan (SLIS), shared with the audience the difference their scholarships have made on their educational experience. In Adam’s remarks, he said, “Mr. and Mrs. Sig and Judy Huitt’s gift was instrumental in my decision to attend USC, and has enabled me to continue my dream of pursuing a career in journalism. I cannot thank both of them enough.” More than 30 scholarships were represented.


Click here to see photos from the event >


Huitt and Hams

Pastides and Sutherland


Davis College Celebrated 100 Years


Faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the School of Library and Information Science gathered on Sunday, Oct. 25, to celebrate the 100th birthday of Davis College. Present at the Birthday Party Tea were former deans Dr. William Summers and Dr. Fred Roper, former director Dr. Dan Barron and current director Dr. Samantha Hastings. Roger Leonard, a Columbia artist, also attended and his original oil on canvas "Davis College: The First Hundred Years,” was on display. A limited number of signed prints are available for purchase from the School.


To read more and see photos from the event, click here >


Alumni News



Gift Announced at Gamecocks on the Green


As alumni, friends, faculty, staff and Cocky gathered on Gibbes Green to celebrate Homecoming, Stan Bugner and Afton Ellison with Verizon Communications joined the festivities and presented a check to Cocky’s Reading Express for $24,500. This gift will support visits by Cocky and his student friends along the I-95 Corridor and in the Midlands, Upstate and Lowcountry.


Click here for photos from the event >


Five J-School Alumni and One Professor Honored at Awards Dinner


The School of Journalism and Mass Communications gave the following six awards last month:


Distinguished Alumni award recipients for 2009 are Benjy Hamm (MMC ’91), editorial director of Landmark Community Newspapers, Inc. Dr. Brad Hamm (MA ’90), Dean of Indiana University’s School of Journalism and Mari Maseng Will (BA ’75), president of Maseng Communications.


Outstanding Young Alumni award recipients are Puspha Gopalan (MMC, ’99), vice president of Leo Burnett USA and Mary Hartney (BA ’03), director of audience engagement for The Baltimore Sun.


Bonnie Drewniany, associate professor in advertising, is the recipient of the school’s Excellence in Service Award.


Click here for photos and videos from the event >


Alumni Awards Dinner


Faculty Spotlight



Faculty Spotlight on Karen Mallia


By Gary S. Mansell


Karen MalliaWhy are there so few women creative directors? In a recent issue of Advertising Age, Karen Mallia passionately answers this question.


Professor Mallia says three factors are working against women in the creative industry. She believes “there's the pervasive masculine culture in agency creative departments.” Secondly, she states, “While their portfolios may get them their first jobs, a great book alone doesn't get people hired in middle- to upper-level creative jobs.” Lastly, because of economic reasons, “Few advertising agencies have embraced policies that foster flex time, job sharing and flexi-place, the very workplace programs proven to enhance women's careers.”


Mallia is an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. A former creative director herself, Mallia worked for more than 20 years at several New York advertising agencies. She has been teaching USC students the ins and outs of copywriting, creative strategy, and building integrated advertising and marketing campaigns since 2005. She taught advertising management, advertising principles and copywriting at The City College of New York before coming to the J-school.


The New Jersey native also enjoys cooking, hiking, gardening, and spending time with her husband, Bruce Bakaj, and their daughter Emily. 


Student Spotlight


Student Spotlight on

Megan Coker


By Kathryn McKay


If you think a degree in library and information science is all dusty card catalogs and old books, don’t tell sophomore Information Science major Megan Coker. “Information Science could possibly be defined as the study of anything and everything.  Every little thing you do contains a flow of information that affects you and what you do. Learning about it is absolutely astonishing.” 


Coker wants to be a librarian in the future and believes that her degree from the School Library and Information Science will be a large step in the right direction. After she earns her undergraduate degree--she could be the first to obtain a B.S. in our new program--she plans to attend graduate school.


What she likes most about SLIS is how much she can learn. “This semester alone I’ve studied everything from public history and self-defense to archeology to information storage and retrieval.”

The second of five children and second to attend USC, Coker likes Bach and the Beatles, old books and vintage clothes. She is an Army child who lived in nine houses in the first 11 years of her life and is so accustomed to moving that, she says, “I feel the need to rearrange furniture every so often to simulate the experience.”



Donor Spotlight


Donor Profile on South Carolina Association of School Librarians


By Larry Di Giovanni


Eight hundred members strong, the South Carolina Association of School Librarians (SCASL) has formed an unbreakable bond over the years with the School of Library and Information Science. One mutual benefit for both: A significant number of the state’s public- and private-school librarians have received their Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degrees from the University of South Carolina. They have been thoroughly prepared for demanding careers as school library media specialists.


One such SLIS alumna is Valerie Byrd Fort (MLIS, 2002), school library media specialist with New Providence Elementary in Lexington, S.C., and SCASL’s immediate past president. The association’s bond with the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) continues to grow, she said, as students benefit each year from two endowed scholarships SCASL created from designated membership dues.


Both scholarships were fully funded in 2005 and named in honor of two women who had a profound influence on school library evolution in the Palmetto State. The Margaret Ehrhardt Student Scholarship is awarded to a deserving high school senior who has volunteered with a school library media center. It is named for a long-time library media specialist who was the Supervisor of School Library Services for the South Carolina State Department of Education during the 1970s through the early 1980s.


The other is the Mary Frances Griffin/SCASL Scholarship, awarded to under-represented students. It is named for Griffin, a colleague of Ehrhardt from Greenville County. Starting in the late 1960s, Griffin pioneered opportunities for high-level librarianship in South Carolina for people of color by becoming the State Department of Education’s Program Coordinator for Secondary Education Library Programs.


Fort said SCASL members are grateful for the professional ground paved by Ehrhardt and Griffin, which continues to prioritize library media centers in state schools. SCASL members also contributed to the school’s Penny Hayne Foundation, a special collection of Caldecott Award and Newbery Award children’s books honoring Hayne, who passed away last year. She was a well-loved children’s library media specialist from the Midlands, most recently Lake Murray Elementary.





Buchheit Family Lecture Series

Featuring Kathleen Parker

Syndicated Columnist

The Washington Post

Writers Group

Thurs., Nov.19 at 7 p.m.

The Darla Moore School of Business - Belk Auditorium

© College of Mass Communications and Information Studies | University of South Carolina.
This newsletter is published once a month by the College of Mass Communications and Information Studies. If you wish to contribute a story or idea to this, please contact Elaine Taylor.

If you do not wish to receive this message in the future, please contact Elaine Taylor.