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."
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