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For reporters: Summer Tip Sheet

To help beat the sweltering days of July and August, the Office of Media Relations at the University of South Carolina offers a variety of cool story ideas and related experts to help broadcast and print media. To coordinate an interview, contact the faculty or staff member directly or the media relations contact listed with each entry. Media relations staff members can be reached at 803-777-5400.

Permanently parked
There was a time when learning to drive a car was the ultimate rite of passage for teenagers. However, in today’s age of often overly involved and overly cautious parents, an increasing number of teenagers are passing on the car keys of independence until their senior year in high school or even college. Dr. Tobin Lovell, a psychologist in the university’s Counseling and Human Development Center, can discuss what parents and teens can do this summer to shift out of park, tackle fears and need for control and hit the open road. 803-777-5223; lovellt@mailbox.sc.edu. (Peggy Binette)

Keeping summer food safe
Summer means picnics and pool parties and backyard cookouts. While it’s the time of year for relaxing, don’t be too casual about food preparation. Cases of foodborne illnesses increase in the summer, as bacteria multiply faster in foods that are left in the sun too long. Jill Michels, director of the Palmetto Poison Center, can discuss the importance of keeping food safe in the warm summer months. (Megan Sexton)

Pickings are ripe for healthy eating
Blueberries, tomatoes, squash, peppers. Our gardens and roadside markets are filled with them during the summer months. Deborah Zippel, a dietitian with USC Campus Wellness, can take you on a stroll through USC’s Healthy Carolina Farmers Market and discuss how to choose and prepare fresh foods your family will eat. She can also talk about and demonstrate how to choose and cook fresh fish, another good choice for summer. Reach Zippel at 803-777-0742 or debzippel@sc.edu (Note: Zippel is unavailable July 12-16 and Aug. 2-6). (Megan Sexton)

Test prep while the living is easy
Between homework and activities, the school year offers high-school students little opportunity to prepare for standardized tests. Meredith Fievet, pre-university programs coordinator, says summer is the best time for students to take advantage of an array of test-prep tools and offerings. Fievet can offer tips for how teenagers can tackle test prep and still have plenty of time for fun in the sun. She also can provide details about a series of SAT-ACT test-prep institutes that USC is offering this summer in Columbia, Greenville, Sumter, Beaufort and Charleston. 803-777-9444; fievet@mailbox.sc.edu (Peggy Binette)

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