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Ties that Bind

We are all familiar with that "back in my day" story from our parents and grandparents, but when it comes to the College of Mass Communications and Information Studies, those stories have helped build today's programs. Each generation has contributed to these advancements and developed ways to make use of new forms of communication.

If you take a moment to compare and contrast the college experiences of former and current students, you will see the connections, contributions and advancements made between generations. In some cases, past generations have contributed the next generation itself, a family connection.

Linda Bridges, a 1984 graduate of the University of South Carolina, earned her bachelor's degree in advertising and public relations. "Those were the greatest four years when I was there. I feel like I learned a lot and I met my husband there," said Linda Bridges. "I think Pierson hearing us talk about our experience in college made her interested in Carolina."

Pierson Bridges is Linda Bridges' daughter, now a senior visual communications major. For Pierson, the technological advancements are essential to success in her program. "Being a viscom major, it has impacted me a lot. Technology for my major is huge," said Pierson Bridges. Linda Bridges explains how impressed she is with her daughter's generation's abilities to handle technology and use it to the fullest. "The major difference is the computers. Everything is so instantaneous, and to me that's amazing."ties that binds quote

In the tight-knit community of the School of Library and Information Science, a mother daughter pair has reversed the generational story. Morgan Montgomery graduated with her master's in library and information science in August 2007. Morgan described SLIS as "more of a family type atmosphere," because it is a relatively small school compared to other schools on USC's campus. Family, in more than one way.

Morgan's mother, Barbara Montgomery, is now working towards her Ph.D. in information science, expecting to finish her doctorate this year. After working in the school library system for 28 years, Barbara was in a place in her life where she could retire. However, she heard that SLIS was starting a Ph.D. program and felt this higher degree would help her achieve her ultimate goal. "Public libraries and school libraries don't work seamlessly together," she explained. "I thought if I earned my doctorate then I could help them. I would be able to reach more people about what library media specialists do."

The program has allowed Barbara Montgomery to take all of her classes on campus, whereas her daughter had more experience with online classes while working towards her master's. "I think it's wonderful that students can earn a degree more conveniently because it's now online. It's less expensive and it's more convenient," said Barbara Montgomery. Morgan Montgomery clearly appreciates the options SLIS offers, too. "My mom and I always encourage each other to be the best that we can be," she said. "I feel like SLIS is a great program because they are always making leaps and bounds to reach students where they are."

The Bridges and Montgomerys are only two of many family legacies to have filled the classrooms and corridors of Davis College and the Coliseum. One key similarity the Bridges and the Montgomerys cite is the close-knit community formed by the college. "They all want every student to succeed. That's basically the theme of the whole College of Mass Communications (and Information Studies). I think because we are a smaller program, we make better connections," said Barbara Montgomery.

Reprinted from InterCom, the college alumni magazine
Story By: Grace Galvin & Design By: Pierson Bridges

Grace and Pierson

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