University of South Carolina

Going digital

By Liz McCarthy,, 803-777-2848

From journalism to comics, from the FBI headquarters in Quantico, Va., to South Korea, USC faculty, staff, students and alumni have been taking over the blogosphere. These Internet bloggers are sharing everything from scholarly research to the best recipes with audiences across the world. 

Faculty and staff blogs:

Common Sense Journalism

Senior instructor Doug Fisher’s Common Sense Journalism blog has been recognized as one of the best blogs for journalism students. The copy editing professor tackles AP Style issues, mistakes and other journalistic errors. The point of his blog? In his own words: “That journalism is a great occupation, that most journalism is common sense and that our problems arise when we sometimes don't use it.”  


School of Law’s bar preparation and academic success blog

Alex Ruskell, director of academic success and bar preparation, blogs about study habits, legal writing and fun cases, among other topics.

Cutsinger blog


James Cutsinger, a professor of theology and religious thought, began his blog in 2007 as a way to share his responses to questions with a broader audience. Throughout those years, he said he has found that blogging is a good way to combine teaching, research and service. It can also be a way to generate discussions in his classes, he said. The posts tend to be technical questions generally about the perennialist school of comparative religious thought. In the future he may add podcast conversations with other scholars to his posts, he said.

The blog gives Cutsinger instant feedback on his writing and reaches a broader audience than peer-reviewed journals. “I find that helpful as a teacher and scholar,” he said. 


The Critical Lede

USC Upstate faculty members Ben Myers and Desiree Rowe produced this audio blog and podcast about qualitative communication research. The pair posts a new episode every Wednesday with two interviews and two article reviews a month. Their goal is to direct readers to resources that might be of interest, stay abreast of the discipline and foster dialogue about communication scholarship. 


The Garnet Healthanista

Arnold School of Public Health Director of Public Information Karen Petit recently started blogging about news from the school. 

Stay Informed

Student Affairs began the Stay Informed blog to keep the community up-to-date about what was going on around USC. But the weekly posts detailing what articles Vice President of Student Affairs Dennis Pruitt is reading have become the most popular. 

Comic blog

Pencil Panel Page

About a year ago, Qiana Whitted, an associate professor of English and African-American studies, started a blog along with several other colleagues in her field of comic studies. The blog supplements research and opens comic studies discussions to a wider audience, she said. Whitted said she uses the blog as a teaching tool to get her students to think about comic studies and their projects in a different way. “It’s a way to reach beyond the university,” she said. 

BoneZone Odd Blog

Trombone professor Brad Edwards has been blogging since 2005 about odd musical thoughts. His posts range from his niche area of trombone technique to more general musical interpretation posts. Edwards said he has found that the blog offers possible students a point of contact for the School of Music, which can be key in recruiting.  


Sound Boarding

Jeff Francis, a recording engineer with the School of Music, uses his blog to talk about all things audio including recent recording, tips and tricks and interesting links.


Pristine Madness

Guitar professor Christopher Berg’s blog Pristine Madness isn’t entirely about musical things.  He writes about a variety of topics including arts, education and other musings. His other blog, The Guitar Whisperer, originates from the guitar program website and is used primarily to keep students abreast of guitar activities. 


FBI National Academy Session 251

When Maj. T.J. Geary, operations bureau commander for the USC Division of Law Enforcement and Safety, was selected to attend this year’s FBI training session in Quantico, Va., he decided to start a blog. Geary blogs about his experiences at the 11-week training course as a way to share what he is doing with the community and to keep people at home apprised of what he was learning. Geary said he was unsure of whether the blog will continue when he returns to Carolina later in the month. 


Research news 

April Heyward in the Arnold School's research office blogs about research news and was recently featured in the National Council of University Research Administrators magazine.

View from the Top

Patrick Wright with the Darla Moore School of Business blogs for the Human Resource Policy Association about the chief human resource officer's role. 


Student blogs: 


Scholar blogs

The Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs keeps an updated page of student scholar blogs, including recent graduates Christina Galardi’s Traveling Grits blog, detailing her travels as a Fulbright Scholar in South Korea, and Jackie Cantwell’s blog, Une Chemist a L’etranger, that tracks her experiences in France during her Fulbright year abroad. Kathryn Miles, senior political science major, also blogs about her experiences in Nanjing, China as a Boren/NSEP Scholar. 


America Needs Cheerleaders

Senior marketing major and cheerleader Caitlin Cofield is one of the monthly bloggers for the leading national cheerleading retailer Varsity. The company’s blog, America Needs Cheerleaders, features posts from Cofield and nine other bloggers from around the country writing about why cheerleading has made an impact on them and how they can make an impact on others and their communities through cheer. “Once a month I give cheerleaders kind of a look into what my team is up to at USC and then write about how they can incorporate things such as Breast Cancer Awareness and charity into their team's schedules,” she said. 

Preppy blog

Let’s Be Preppy

Senior marketing major Katie Rudder spends her free time blogging about fashion and other various topics. One recent post explored using social media tools like Pinterest and LinkedIn in her search for a post-graduation job. 

Boombox Guy JJ

The iconic Carolina student J.J. Shepherd known as "the Boombox Guy" blogs about boomboxing and his research as a doctoral candidate in computer science. 



Sarah Bal

Going on Goals

Sarah Bal, bachelors ’08 and masters ’09, began her blog, Going on Goals, more than two years ago. Her blog has been a travel, wedding, food and running blog, so the Arlington, Va., resident considers her blog a healthy living blog.

“I have a pretty active lifestyle and try to communicate to my readers that healthy living is always possible,” Bal says.

Bal’s blog has led her to a community of other bloggers and helped encourage her during her training for a marathon. 

“I also see my blog as a continuing education vehicle. My blog acts as a medium for me to learn about evolving technology before using it in the office,” she says. “I also enjoy using it as a personal diary and reaching out to the community for new ideas, fitness motivation and recipes.”  


Do you blog? Share your blog with the Carolina community on USC Times’ Facebook page or by emailing

News and Internal Communications

Posted: 12/14/12 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 01/11/13 @ 2:44 PM | Permalink