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The CIC goes SXSW

Posted February 23, 2018
Top photo: Dr. Tom Reichert, Ricky Tafolla, Michaela Baker, Grace Steptoe, Dr. Tara Mortensen, Andrew Dunn, Dr. Elise Lewis and Tye Price.


While some might see spring break as a chance to kick back and relax, six students and two faculty from the College of Information and Communications are using it as an opportunity to learn from some of the brightest minds in media and technology. 

The CIC, along with communications firm Chernoff Newman, are sponsoring the team’s trip to the South by Southwest Interactive Festival, part of a massive, 10-day conglomeration of festivals and conferences in Austin, Texas. There, students will network with industry professionals and learn about emerging technology, film and interactive media.

“It’s the perfect experience for our college’s students and faculty because so much of what they’ll learn is right there at the intersection of information and communications,” says Dr. Tom Reichert, dean of the CIC. “The hope is that they’ll come back from the trip with a unique perspective on what’s next in their industries. It’s yet another way we’re preparing our graduates to be thinkers and innovators." 

During the conference (March 9-13), students will report back to the CIC in real-time to share what’s new and what’s next with those following along on the college’s social media channels. They will also give a public presentation about their experience in late March.

Follow along on the college’s social media channels: @UofSC_CIC on Twitter and Instagram, and Facebook.com/uofsccic. The students are also planning a takeover of the university’s Snapchat account on March 11: UofSCOfficial.


Meet the Students

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Michaela Baker

Junior, Visual Communications
Irmo, South Carolina

Dream job after graduation?
Creative director at a beauty corporation

What you’re looking forward to most about SXSW?
I’m looking forward to learning about what’s next in the world of technology, design and journalism. SWSW is about inspiring creatives in all fields. I can’t wait to attend sessions, network and learn.

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Andrew Dunn

Senior, Information Science
Cayce, South Carolina

Dream job after graduation?
Systems administrator

What you’re looking forward to most about SXSW?
I am most looking forward to all the coding topics. I don’t have much coding experience, however I am interested in learning more about it.

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Brian Mackenzie

Senior, Information Science
Plainsboro, New Jersey

Dream job after graduation?
Web developer

What you’re looking forward to most about SXSW?
I most look forward to hearing successful professionals in my field talk about how they came to be successful.

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Ivey Spellman

Junior, Information science
Charleston, South Carolina

Dream job after graduation?
Working for Kode With Klossy teaching young girls how to code.

What you’re looking forward to most about SXSW?
Hearing Karlie Kloss and Melinda Gates speak!

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Grace Steptoe

Senior, Visual communications
Irmo, South Carolina

Dream job after graduation?
Creative director of a beauty/makeup brand.

What you’re looking forward to most about SXSW?
Learning new things from the best professionals in the country and eating tacos in downtown Austin!

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Ricky Tafolla

Senior, Visual communications
Mexico

Dream job after graduation?
Ideally, I would love to work either editing footage for a network or in a writer’s room.

What you’re looking forward to most about SXSW?
I’m looking forward to listening to the speakers and networking with people working in my field of interest.


Meet the Faculty

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Elise Lewis

Assistant Professor
School of Library and Information Science

What you’re looking forward to most about SXSW?
I am excited to see what comes out of having so many people from diverse areas come together to share ideas. You have educators, gamers, technologists, just to name a few. Good things are bound to come from this. I am also excited to see the students grow and learn in this environment. We can’t really recreate this in a classroom, so it will be fun to see them engage.

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Tara Mortensen

Assistant Professor
School of Journalism and Mass Communications

What you’re looking forward to most about SXSW?
I’m most excited about learning innovative methods in design and web design and then sharing them with my students!