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From the Dean

Riding on Your Shoulders

I’ve been walking around the past two weeks with my right shoulder in a sling and feeling terribly mortal. Frayed parts and built up arthritic deposits had exhausted my capacity to “live with it.” So I had the shoulder scoped. Now the right shoulder has three small scars and matches the left. TMI? Sorry.

For this issue of eNews, I’d thought I’d write about Homecoming events that are coming up November 10-12. Those culminate with the USC-Florida football game and, if we’ve had three good weeks, back-to-back SEC East titles. But I’d written about Homecoming in last year’s November eNews and have an unwritten two-year statute of forbearance on recycling themes. I’d like to retain at least the illusion of an occasionally fresh thought.

Homecoming is a combination of remembrance, revival and renewal. We remember the good times of our college experiences, renew our ties to classmates and professors and revive our enthusiasm for the university’s future. Sort of like renewing a shoulder’s muscle memory, flexibility and strength.

We hope you will join us at our annual Gibbes Green gathering of alumni, students, faculty and friends from 4-6 pm on Friday, November 11. This is the college’s primary Homecoming event, bridging generations and schools. All are welcome. We do like to know if you’re planning to come so we can carry on our tradition of hospitality. RSVP to Elaine Taylor - taylorem@mailbox.sc.edu - by Nov. 4.

Homecoming is also another opportunity to share with you our successes and progress. As promised in this monthly column, I want to keep you up to date on the steps toward the construction phase for the journalism school’s building. We now have approval from the university’s Board of Trustees and staff approval from the state Commission on Higher Education. Still to come: the Joint Bond Review Committee and the Budget and Control Board.

Meanwhile, we’ll all be holding our renewed shoulders to the wheel. It’s less painful than keeping our noses to the grindstone.

Go Gamecocks!

Bierbauer signature


Alumni News

Waggoner Earns Honor from West Virginia Library Commission

J.D. Waggoner, ’94 MLIS, was awarded the West Virginia Library Commission’s Dora Ruth Parks Award in recognition of a long and outstanding career of service to West Virginia libraries. Waggoner worked more than 40 years for the commission, serving many roles within the organization before retiring earlier this year. Waggoner was the Secretary of the West Virginia Library Commission for the final eight years of his career.

Among previous awards and recognitions, Waggoner was the recipient of the School of Library and Information Science’s Wayne S. Yenawine Outstanding Student Award in 1994 and earned the school’s Outstanding Alumni Award in 2005.


Spires joins Columbia’s City Center Partnership

SpiresPublic relations alumna Heather Spires, ’98, has been hired by the City Center Partnership as the director of retail recruitment for downtown Columbia.

Prior to joining the partnership, Spires served as the development director at Columbia’s Nickelodeon Theatre, overseeing a $4 million capital campaign. She has also worked with a variety of advocacy and nonprofit organizations.

The Center City Partnership works to improve and attract businesses to a 36-block area surrounding Main Street in Columbia. Matt Kennell, president and CEO of the partnership, said Spires was chosen because of her sales experience, personality and relationships in Columbia.


Recent MLIS Grad Combines Interests at San Francisco Conservatory of Music

Rodney Linebarger, ’11 MLIS, has accepted an assistant librarian position at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Linebarger moves into the full-time position after previously working as a part-time weekend and evening supervisor at the Conservatory while also completing an internship with the University of California San Francisco. Linebarger’s work at the Conservatory goes hand-in-hand with his love for music. A skilled French horn player, Linebarger also holds a bachelor’s degree in music education and a Master of Music in Conducting.


J-school Alumni Connect at PRSA Conference


Three alumni of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications connected at the recent Public Relations Society of America International Conference in Orlando. Rachel Beanland ’03 public relations, Jeff Wilson ’92 journalism, both members of PRSA’s Richmond chapter spent time reminiscing about their years at the J-school with Stephen Brown, ‘95 public relations, who was at the conference representing PRSA’s Atlanta chapter.


College News

Scholarship Donors and Recipients Honored at Annual Scholarship Luncheon

The College of Mass Communications and Information Studies honored its scholarship donors and recipients at its annual Scholarship Luncheon on Oct. 13. The event was held in the Russell House Ballroom with more than 80 attendees. Two scholarship recipients, Courtney Gibson (SJMC) and Antonio Peterson (SLIS), shared with the audience what receiving their scholarships has meant to them personally.

Gibson, who will finish the Master of Mass Communication program in December, said that the Page Morris Fellowship for Journalism Education in Business has “reduced the financial burden of graduate school on my parents and myself, allowing me to fully focus on my studies while pursing my degree.”

Peterson, a SLIS graduate student and USC employee who is a father of three, said that the SCLA Scholarship for Diversity in Librarianship helps him to “show my kids that with hard work and your faith all things are possible, and I have an opportunity for a better life.”

View photo gallery arrow


MSNBC Anchor Craig Melvin Returns Home to Deliver Buchheit Lecture

By Josh Dawsey, Editor-in-Chief, The Daily Gamecock
Reprinted from The Daily Gamecock

The Burger Kings were closing all around Columbia, and Craig Melvin was on the story.

Craig MelvinMelvin — then a freshly graduated associate producer at WIS-TV in 2001 — had little experience, but it was a seemingly simple story. The Whoppers were gone. Why? So to the field Melvin went “panning, tilting, zooming and bringing these Burger Kings to life.” One problem: he’d forgotten to turn on the camera.

“Even when I lacked talent and skill, I never lacked confidence,” Melvin said, drawing a collective chorus of laughs from a crowd of about 150 inside Gambrell Hall’s Auditorium.

Melvin, now an MSNBC anchor and correspondent for NBC News in New York City, returned to Columbia Wednesday night, Oct. 5 and delivered the Buchheit Family Lecture, the headlining speech of the College of Mass Communications and Information Studies’ I-Comm Week. His speech was a potent mix of self-deprecating humor, powerful inspiration and intriguing analyses of the current media environment.

Read more and view video of Craig Melvin’s speech arrow


SLIS Instructor Receives Service Award for Work with North Carolina Libraries

Gerry SolomonGerry Solomon, a second-year instructor in the School of Library and Information Science, was awarded the North Carolina School Library Media Association’s Francis Bryant Bradburn Distinguished Service Award at the organization’s annual conference in Winston Salem, N.C., on Oct. 7. The prestigious award is presented to individuals who have made noteworthy contributions to NCSLMA and school library media programs throughout the state of North Carolina.

Prior to joining the USC Library School in 2010, Solomon spent many years working with North Carolina libraries. Among other positions, Solomon was a school library media consultant with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction's Instructional Technology Division, where she supported more than 2,000 media professionals throughout North Carolina. Solomon also taught as an adjunct instructor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science.


Student News

SLIS Student Receives RCPL’s Minority Scholarship

The BoldensGabrielle Marshaé Dudley, a graduate student in the School of Library and Information Science, was recently honored as the recipient of the second annual Ethel Bolden Minority Scholarship from the Richland County Public Library Foundation. A reception honoring Dudley was held at the Richland County’s Main Library in October with a special presentation by Ethel Bolden’s son, NASA administrator Charles F. Bolden Jr.

The $2,500 scholarship, which honors Ethel Bolden’s many years of service to the Richland County community and its libraries, was awarded to Dudley to provide financial support and encourage completion of her joint Master of Library and Information Science and Master of Public History degrees.

During her first academic year at USC, Dudley worked as a graduate assistant in the South Carolina Political Collections Library. She has also served as a graduate research assistant for the university’s African American Documentary History Initiative.


Broadcast Students go Behind the Scenes with ESPNU's Campus Connection

A group of broadcast students got a taste of what it’s like to work on the production crew of a live sports production during ESPNU’s broadcast of the USC volleyball team’s match against Florida on Oct. 19. As senior Lauren Hinnant learned, the job is more than just fun and games.

Lauren HinnantThe production crew “had to live and breathe all sports and know them in and out,” said Hinnant, who shadowed the broadcast’s producer as part of the ESPNU Campus Connection program. “For me, it's a hobby I love and will always love, but the ESPNU crew took their love to a whole new level.”

Hinnant spent most of the day in the crew’s mobile control room, where she got an up-close look what goes into a sports broadcast. “Shadowing the ESPNU crew was an amazing experience and really opened my eyes to the world of sports broadcasting,” Hinnant said.

Before participating in the program, Hinnant, who plans to pursue a career in news television after graduating in December, said she never saw herself going into sports broadcasting, but working with the ESPNU crew may have swayed her opinion slightly. “After working with ESPNU, I found the job was a totally different experience than the notion I had regarding sports on TV,” she said.

Read more about Hinnant’s participation in ESPNU’s Campus Connection arrow


Upcoming Events

Alumni Awards Dinner
Nov. 10, 7:00 p.m.
Capital City Club
1201 Main St., Columbia, SC

The School of Journalism and Mass Communications will honor the following alumni Thursday, Nov. 10 at the annual Alumni Awards Dinner.

Distinguished Alumni Award recipients:
• Johnny Boggs, ‘84, western author
• George Johnson, ‘96, former VP for BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, adjunct instructor
• Clayton Owen, ‘82, senior director of media relations for AT&T, Atlanta
Outstanding Young Alumni Award recipients:
• John Baker, ‘01, senior art director, TBWA/CHIAT/DAY
• Kenneth Moton, ‘04, reporter, WPVI, Philadelphia, ABA affiliate
Excellence in Service Award recipient:
• Ken Baldwin, ’49, retired newspaper executive and loyal donor to the SJMC

The Alumni Society will host a reception at 6:30 with dinner to follow at 7. Alumni, faculty and friends are welcome. Cost is $35 per person. RSVP by Nov. 3 to Elaine Taylor – taylorem@mailbox.sc.edu.

Gamecocks on the Green
Nov. 11, 4:00 p.m.
Gibbes Green
The Horseshoe

We hope you’re making plans to join former classmates, faculty and friends for Gamecocks on the Green, our college's Homecoming celebration and our tradition since 2005!

We'll gather on Gibbes Green near Davis College on Friday, Nov. 11, from 4:00 - 6 p.m. Rain location: Campus Room in Capstone House, 900 Barnwell Street. RSVP to Elaine Taylor - taylorem@mailbox.sc.edu - by Nov. 4. Bring the kids.



Dr. Wei Portrays American Culture Through Columns for Chinese Newspapers

By Alyssa Lepow, SJMC graduate student

Chinese citizens often have a distorted view of Americans and the American way of life. However, Dr. Ran Wei, a China-born professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, has set out to change these inaccurate perceptions.

Ran WeiDr. Wei currently writes columns for two major, influential Chinese newspapers, Sangin Metro Daily and China Daily, and will add a third column appearing in Beijing Daily. Because he usually writes for academic journals, Dr. Wei has had to adapt to a journalistic style and approach to write the columns. He depicts American lifestyles from his point of view, with an overall goal of informing Chinese people of American practices.

Because Chinese citizens receive limited information about American people, their view of Americans is predominately one-sided. The Chinese media most often portray Americans negatively, and Dr. Wei feels he can provide readers an authentic look at American life. He wants to educate Chinese people about common events in the United States, as well as provide relatable interpretations of American customs. His columns address a range of topics, from the traditional high school prom to terrorism.

“Chinese media have a practice of inviting contributors to the op-ed section, in a way to boost their authoritativeness,” Dr. Wei says, in describing why Chinese people are open to reading his columns, despite their negative views of Americans. “Most invited contributors or columnists are scholars, or someone with an expertise in an area.”

“There is a lack of balanced coverage of the U.S. in China’s media,” Dr. Wei says. “Most of the news stories focus on hard news, not relating to the average Chinese reader. So, my columns seek to tell stories about all aspects of living and working in America.”

ChinaDailyEarlier this fall, he tried to help Chinese readers understand Americans’ feelings about Sept. 11. “As the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America approaches, 9/11 has a significant bearing on the worldview of Americans,” Dr. Wei wrote in China Daily. “The world’s sole superpower fell victim to deadly attacks by terrorists from a land far away — something Americans have never experienced in its 235-year history.”

Dr. Wei also often writes about events in American culture with which Chinese people are not familiar. In another recent column, Dr. Wei wrote about the traditional high school prom; he described it and defined why it is a significant event in American life.

The columns’ influence and reach are growing, and Chinese readers are taking an increasing interest in his stories. They are archived on his blog http://blog.sina.com.cn/u/2195186310.

Dr. Wei is the Gonzales Brothers Professor of Journalism. He earned his Bachelor of Arts at Shanghai International Studies University, his Master of Arts at the University of Wales and his Ph.D. at Indiana University – Bloomington. Dr. Wei joined SJMC in 2001 after teaching at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.


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Annual Scholarship Luncheon
Fall Mentor Match Night




Alumni Awards Dinner
Nov. 10, 7:00 p.m.
Capital City Club
1201 Main St., Columbia, SC

Gamecocks on the Green
Nov. 11, 4:00 p.m.
Gibbes Green
The Horseshoe




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)


© College of Mass Communications and Information Studies | University of South Carolina.
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