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From the Dean

Summer Squash


We're back. Fall semester classes already have a week logged. Freshmen and undergraduate enrollments are up in both schools. We'd had an inkling the numbers would increase. This is the fourth consecutive year that the university has sought to enroll a larger freshman class. The intent had been to raise enrollment by about 200 freshmen each year and then plateau at the increased level. The university has overachieved.

Admissions at USC are centrally administered. We get involved when admitted students express an interest in one of our schools or majors, providing information about our programs and welcoming visits. The critical numbers the university watches are applications — those numbers keep increasing, acceptances — yes, we want you to become a Gamecock, yield — the percentage of those accepted who commit to attending, a check holds a place in fall classes, melt-no-shows who for one reason or another decide not to come (and forfeit their check).

The USC admissions team has it down to a near science, with a measure of alchemy and crossed fingers that the numbers work out. The ever-increasing number of applicants and arrivals shows the university has become a desirable destination.

Let's see what else we can harvest for this late summer's note.

We've added only one new faculty member, Dr. Robert McKeever in the journalism school's public relations sequence. Dr. Lance Holbert will join us in January as director of the journalism school's graduate program. But we have launched multiple searches for next year's crop of faculty in both schools.

May and August graduates have fanned out across the country. I've heard recently from former students in states as far flung as California, Colorado and Washington. We appreciate hearing from alumni young and old as you move, advance careers or just reminisce about your college days.

Cocky's Reading Express had a busy summer rolling across the state to combat summer slide — the gap that opens if young readers don't stay engaged over the summer months. Dr. Michelle Martin's Camp Read-a-Rama fought the same good fight for literacy in South Carolina.

We had lengthy meetings with the architects, technicians and project manager scouring the details of the building plans for the future School of Journalism and Mass Communications. The project goes out to bid this month. Construction is scheduled to start in January. (Insert your own appropriate exclamation of delight here. I'm going with "It's about time!")

Charles Bierbauer

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College News

Students to be matched with alumni mentors at annual event

On Sept. 10, students from the College of Mass Communications and Information Studies will get the chance to develop professional connections with alumni, begin building their networks and get coached by industry leaders. This free, year-long mentor program is open to students in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications and the School of Library and Information Science. Alumni are encouraged to register to be mentors. More information arrow


Doctoral student honored by Black Caucus of ALA

Jason AlstonJason Alston, a doctorate student at the University of South Carolina's School of Library and Information Science, was honored with the Dr. John C. Tyson Professional Development Award by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) in August.

While working on his master's degree, Alston conducted a study to determine factors that deter African-American undergraduate students from considering librarianship as a career.
Continue reading


Storyteller to visit University of South Carolina

Bill HarleyTwo-time Grammy award-winning artist Bill Harley will bring his songs and stories to the University of South Carolina campus Sept. 5 for a free concert and storytelling performance. An author, playwright, performing and recording artist, Harley uses song and story to paint a vibrant, humorous picture of growing up, school and family life. He is a regular commentator for NPR's "All Things Considered," and has been featured on PBS. "Harley's audiences are families, but it's hard to tell who enjoys him more — parents or children," writes the Los Angeles Times.

The event, at 7 p.m. in the Rutledge Chapel on USC's Horseshoe, is open to the public; tickets are not required.

The Storytelling Experience is sponsored by the School of Library and Information Science and the South Carolina Center for Children's Books and Literacy. More information arrow


CreateAthon@USC recruiting volunteers for inaugural event

CreateathonThe first CreateAthon@USC, a 24-hour creative blitz dedicated to helping South Carolina nonprofits and the people they serve, is recruiting volunteers for its kickoff event this Oct. 25 and 26.

Students will work together over a two-day period to produce advertising and marketing communications materials that improve the community. They will be assisted by volunteer mentors in the industry. The School of Journalism and Mass Communications will host CreateAthon@USC, but volunteers from throughout the university community are invited to participate.
More information



Faculty Notes

Bedingfield, Sid, et al, "Thinking About Romney: Frame Building in a Battleground State in the 2012 Presidential Election," Journalism and Mass Communications Quarterly, accepted for Spring 2014 publication.

Bowen, Shannon, et al (2013). Dictionary of public relations measurement and research (3rd ed.). Gainesville, FL: Institute for Public Relations.

Bowen, Shannon (2013). Ethics at the core: Building authentic reputation with publics that matter. Webinar for the International Association of Business Communicators. San Francisco, California.

McKeever, Brooke (2013). From awareness to advocacy: Understanding nonprofit communication, participation, and support. Journal of Public Relations Research, 25, 307-328.

Wei, Ran, "Texting, tweeting, and talking: Effects of smartphone use on civic discourse engagement in China," Mobile Media & Communication.




Bruce Konkle: A Voice for Scholastic Journalism

By Liana Miller, communications intern

Bruce KonkleDr. Bruce Konkle, an associate professor of visual communications, received the Laurence Campbell Award for the top paper in the scholastic journalism division at the 2013 Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) conference in Washington, D.C. in August.

His paper, "A Preliminary Overview of the Early History of High School Journalism in the U.S.: ~1775-1925," is one of 16 papers that Dr. Konkle has written for the division over the last 10 years.

Dr. Konkle previously received the Laurence Campbell Award in 2004 for his paper about Campbell, who Dr. Konkle says was the grandfather of the research that he conducts today. He plans to continue this research in hopes of writing a more in-depth monograph or book on high school journalism.

Since his years teaching at Homestead High School in Fort Wayne, Ind., Dr. Konkle has maintained a strong interest in scholastic journalism. In 1985, he began teaching at the University of South Carolina and served as the director of the South Carolina Scholastic Press Association (SCSPA) for seventeen years. In 2002, he stepped down as director to focus on his scholastic journalism research.

"I really am passionate about how participating in high school journalism can really be one of the most exciting times in a student's early education," Dr. Konkle says. "It also helps get us some talented students here at the J-school; many of them come to us because of their high school journalism experiences."



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Storytelling Experience with Bill Harley
Thursday, Sept. 5, 7 p.m.
Rutledge Chapel on the Horseshoe
Open to the public

Mentor Match Night
Tuesday, Sept. 10, 5:30 p.m.
Capstone Campus Room
Register to participate arrow

Annual Literacy Leaders Awards
Tuesday, Sept. 10
S.C. Center for Children's Books and Literacy
1430 Senate Street, Columbia, SC 29201

Atlanta Alumni Reunion and Networking Event
Thursday, Sept. 26, 6:30 - 9:30 p.m.
Gordon Biersch of Buckhead
3242 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30305
RSVP arrow

Gamecocks on the Green
Friday, Nov. 1, 2013

For more information,
contact Annie Lambert at lambert@sc.edu
or (803) 777-6791.




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