Good Things Come in Threes


Homecoming weekend always provides a flurry of activity, and it will later this month. There’s a football game—Vanderbilt on October 24—but there’s so much more to Homecoming for alumni, faculty and students. Our college celebrates with three events.


We’ll be honoring School of Journalism and Mass Communications alumni at the school’s annual awards dinner on Thursday, October 22. Dr. Brad Hamm, dean of the Indiana University School of Journalism, Benjy Hamm, editorial director of Landmark Community Newspapers (yes, they are twins), and Mari Maseng Will, communications strategist, are this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award recipients. They will be joined by our youthful and always energizing Outstanding Young Alumni Award recipients—Pushpa Gopalan, vice president of Leo Burnett USA, and Mary Hartney, Baltimore Sun copy editor. Professor Bonnie Drewniany will receive the service excellence award for the extraordinary amount of things she does for the school. Join us to honor them all.


In the late afternoon of Friday, October 23, we’ll gather on Gibbes Green for our Homecoming reception. Gamecocks on the Green—a tradition since 2005 (Wow!)—is the college’s opportunity to welcome back alumni, family and friends. Make this your Homecoming gathering point. (There’s no pre-game barbecue this year, due to budget constraints.)


Enjoy Gamecock football on Saturday. But save Sunday afternoon for tea at Davis College. The building that’s home for our School of Library and Information Science is turning 100 this month. (We’re not that old, but just as venerable.) We’ll be celebrating Davis College’s first century and also welcoming the ALA accrediting team arriving that weekend to evaluate SLIS. I’ve no doubt that their first impression will reflect the fabric of SLIS, woven from close alumni, faculty and student relationships. 


We’re a college of storytellers in all our disciplines, whether we are informing, entertaining, selling or promoting. Alumni have some of our best stories. Come share some over this month’s Homecoming weekend.


See you there.






College News


Dean's Circle Breakfast


Dean's Circle


This year’s Dean’s Circle members gathered for breakfast last month with the dean and school directors. We appreciate their support. For information about joining the 2010 Dean’s Circle please contact Terry Dixon at   


2009 Dean’s Circle Members
• Mr. Robert Bentley, Jr.
• Mr. Mark W. Buyck, Jr.
• Ms. Gayle Douglas
• Dr. Manual Gaetan
• Mr. Jim Hoagland
• Mr. Van Newman
• Dr. Carol J. Pardun
• Dr. Fred W. Roper
• Mrs. Mari Maseng Will
• Dr. George Frederick Will



Donor Spotlight


Donor Spotlight on Sig Huitt


By Larry Di Giovanni


Sig HuittSig Huitt earned his news editorial degree in 1967 and has served on the School of Journalism and Mass Communications’ Partnership Board. He remains actively engaged with the school’s development efforts. Huitt is a 2002 Distinguished Alumnus of the school. He is founder and managing principal of Carolina PR, a successful firm based in Charlotte and Columbia.


Professional success allowed Huitt and wife, Judy (1967 alumna, psychology), who live in Rock Hill, to endow a School of Journalism and Mass Communication's scholarship in their name earlier this decade. Each year it assists one or more students in receiving a well-rounded communications degree in a time of rapid technological change, one during which aspiring journalists are challenged to keep pace.


“We just felt that since so much of the training and background I received in journalism came during my time as a student, giving back through a scholarship is another way to continue a close association with the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. We are glad to know the scholarship will help journalism students afford their educations,” he said.


Huitt has enjoyed the opportunity to hire University of South Carolina communications graduates over the years. An account manager, Allison Aiken, ’00, happens to be one.


Carolina PR serves a diverse client list ranging from healthcare and professional service firms to those under the political microscope. “There was a void serving Carolina businesses,” Huitt said. “A good percentage of the folks we provide communications services for have needs in both Carolinas, part of our firm’s uniqueness. We continue to grow.”


During his time at Carolina, the journalism school was located on the Horseshoe. Huitt said it’s good to see the school plan a return engagement to the Horseshoe area, what was then and still is “the center of campus.”


Following his South Carolina news editorial education, and before he founded Carolina PR 26 years ago, Huitt rounded his journalism skills working for The State newspaper as Piedmont Bureau chief in Rock Hill and as editor of the Union Daily Times before he revisited his alma mater to work for eight years as director of Information Services. He also worked as director of communications planning for Carolina Power and Light (now Progress Energy), and as public relations director for Springs Industries in Fort Mill.


Faculty Spotlight


Faculty Spotlight on Ron Brown


By Gary Mansell


Dr. Ron BrownOne might not think that libraries and video games should be mentioned in the same sentence, but Dr. Ron Brown would disagree. Dr. Brown, an assistant professor in the School of Library and Information Science, hopes to partner with Georgetown library to investigate video gaming programs in libraries.


The main research question is how can video games be used in libraries to enhance learning in school. In addition to research, he teaches a variety of courses at SLIS, including Information Organization and Retrieval, Design, Management of Databases, and Digital Libraries. Dr. Brown is in the process of developing a new course for Spring 2010, which will teach students about the improving the search rank Web pages and online ads.


He feels students from SLIS and the School of Journalism and Mass Communications will benefit from the class.


Dr. Brown said, “students will learn about the search engine optimization and how a Web page is the public face of a business. I view the Web page as an intersection of our disciplines. Information scientists need to know about the theory of marketing and journalists need to know how search engines work.”


The class will mainly focus on Google Adwords as a marketing tool.


Alumni News


Gamecocks on the Green


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, October 23, from 4:30-7:00 p.m.

Rain location: Campus Room in Capstone House, 900 Barnwell Street.

This will be the college's only Homecoming event this year. We hope it will be our most successful effort to reconnect our alumni, friends and faculty.


Library and Information Science alumna Amanda Brewer, ’06, will tell stories and play music with her acoustic guitar. Brewer is a reference librarian at Beaufort County Library.

RSVP to Elaine Taylor at before October 15.


For more information, click here>



Alumnus Stars in New Reality Series




Journalism alumnus Cyrus Frakes, ’86 Advertising/Public Relations, is the star of The Learning Channel’s new reality series, King of the Crown, which airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. The reality series follows Frakes and his staff as they prepare pageant contestants for competition. Frakes has 23 years of experience in pageantry. He is the owner of Gowns and Crowns, a Columbia based pageant preparation business. Watch a clip from the Sept 30 debut>



Your News Goes Here


Are you doing something exciting? We want to know! E-mail You might be featured in our next eNews!



Donor List


Thank you to the following donors who made a gift or pledge from 9/2/09 to 9/24/09:


• Mr. and Mrs. William D. Poe , Jr. • Mrs. Amanda A. Loveday
• Dr. Lowndes F. Stephens • Mr. Lawrence D. Turner
• Dr. Donna M. Shannon • Dr. and Dr. William H. Motes
• Mr. and Mrs. Robert W. Prunty , Jr. • Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Lutz
• Mr. and Ms. James A. Ley • Conoco Phillips Company
• Mr. and Mrs. Steven C. Heimbrook • Mrs. Laura McGrew Judson
• Ms. Cynthia Kebart Lutz • Ms. Lynda M. Weeks
• Mrs. Lori Mitchell Barnett • Ms. Lisabeth D. Sisk
• Mrs. Alice McMillian Wasson • Mr. and Mrs. Nim S. McConnell
• Ms. Kathryn A. Graves • Ms. Jan P. Smoak
• Mr. and Mrs. William W. Reynolds , Jr. • Dr. Bruce Edward Konkle
• Dr. Jinmook Kim • Ms. Evelyn M. Casey
• Ms. Kaori Fay Klatte • Ms. Eileen A. Ielmini
• Mr. John B. Bryan III • Ms. Kela E. Thomas
• Ms. Carolyn T. Brown • Mr. Arthur Farlowe
• Ms. Gayle Douglas • Mrs. Kendra Albright
• Ms. Theresa C. Masters • Dr. Jinmook Kim
• South Carolina Broadcasters Association • Mrs. Lori Mitchell Barnett
• Ms. Sarah M. Keeling • Ms. Deborah S. Garris
• Mr. and Mrs. James A. Ley • Dr. Carol Jean Pardun
• Mr. Jay Bender • Ms. Kaline Alice Goodrich-Hills
• Ms. Jan P. Smoak • Dr. Martha Jane K. Zachert
• Mr. and Mrs. William B. Estridge , Jr. • Mr. and Mrs. Carl S. Stepp
• Mr. Donald A. Caughman • Ms. Joann E. Webber
• Ms. Jessica Ruth Felker • Mr. and Mrs. Fred Kelly
• Ms. Julia Dorn • Ms. Sally E. Summers
• Ms. Jo Ann Benedeck • Ms. Janet D. Goodwin
• Ms. Joan Kruger • Ms. Keisha N. Alexander
• Ms. Susan P. Neely

• Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Ray Price

• South Carolina Association of School Librarians • Charleston County Association of School Librarians




    The School of Journalism and Mass Communications will honor the following five alumni and a professor on Thursday, October 22 at 7 p.m. at the Capital City Club.


    Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

    Benjy Hamm, 1991, MMC
    Editorial Director, Landmark Community Newspapers, Inc.

    Dr. Brad Hamm, 1990, MA
    Dean, Indiana University, School of Journalism

    Mari Maseng Will, 1975, BA
    President, Maseng Communications

    Outstanding Young Alumni Award Recipients

    Pushpa Gopalan, 1999, MMC
    Vice President, Leo Burnett USA

    Mary Hartney, 2003, BA
    Copy Editor, The Baltimore Sun

    Excellence in Service Award Recipient

    Bonnie Drewniany
    SJMC Associate Professor


    6:30 p.m., Reception

    7 p.m., Dinner

    RSVP by October 15 to

    Cost is $35 per person


    Davis College 1910

    Davis College Turns 100 Years Old! Help Us Celebrate!

    The home of our School of Library and Information Science will celebrate 100 years on Sunday, October 25, 3 – 6 p.m. We’ll give a tour of Gibbes Green and the Horseshoe from 3 – 4 p.m. Our High Tea and recognition of special birthday guests will begin at 4 p.m. RSVP by October 9 to or call 803-777-3858.


© 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.

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