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College of Information and Communications


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April 2016

From the Dean . . .

Oh, the ‘R’ Word

Retirement, I like to think, is a word not at all what it seems.  We ought to, well, retire it.

When I came to South Carolina 14 years ago, some colleagues thought I’d retired.  It surely has not felt like it.  And that’s a good thing.

Three of our faculty colleagues are venturing forth from the college at the end of this semester. None of them strikes me as the retiring type, not based on what I know of their personal styles. 

We’ll send off Pat Feehan in a celebration of storytelling later this month. (See item below.) Pat is herself a storyteller and puppeteer.  She’s been in our School of Library and Information Science since 1988.  And she has stories to tell.  Seems there’s one about a boa constrictor.  Another about a tarantula.

Tom Klipstine capped a 25-year career in corporate communications with General Motors by getting a doctorate and joining our School of Journalism and Mass Communications in 2002.  He’s won two Mortar Board awards after being nominated by his students for excellence in teaching.  That mortar board will look jaunty on Florida golf courses.

Students treasure their “I survived Jay Bender’s Media Law class U.S.C.” coffee mugs. Bender is a journalism school alumnus as well as a USC law school graduate.  A First Amendment champion, Bender joined the faculty as Reid H. Montgomery Freedom of Information Chair in 2006.  Jay’s also visited the four farthest corners of the contiguous 48 states.  By motorcycle.  In all respects, he’s had a great ride.

So, let’s get beyond that ‘R’ word.  There are so many more.  Rest, refresh, rejuvenate, reactivate, reorient, reread, retool, retrain, retread, repair, restore, recalculate, recreate, rededicate, reciprocate, redecorate, reverberate.  And I haven’t even cracked the thesaurus.  Add your own.

Bon voyage to Pat, Jay and Tom.  Send post cards.  Tweet.  Wherever the ‘R’ word takes you.

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Charles Bierbauer


College News . . .

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New director of library school named

Dr. David Lankes, author, researcher and passionate advocate for libraries and their essential role in today’s society is the next director of the School of Library and Information Science. Dean Charles Bierbauer announced the appointment, which will take effect on July 1, 2016. Lankes succeeds Dr. Samantha Hastings, who has served as director since 2006.

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CreateAthon@USC seeking nonprofits in need of marketing

If your nonprofit needs help – a website, brochure, business cards, logos or any kind of marketing communication materials – you can apply now to be helped by USC students and mentors who want to give of their talents and time to help you advance your mission. The University of South Carolina is soliciting applications from area nonprofits for the fourth annual CreateAthon@USC, scheduled for Oct. 21-22 at the School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

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Hats off to Pat

The School of Library and Information Science will hold its annual Deans’ and Directors’ Lecture on Thursday, April 14. But don’t expect a traditional lecture as this year’s program will include a retirement celebration for Dr. Pat Feehan.

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Jay Bender presented with Lifetime Achievement Award

He’s the soon-to-be-retired bow-tied mass communications law and ethics professor with many accolades. But this honor is for his 30-years representing the state’s newspapers and press association.

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Alumni spotlight: CIC Guardian Society members

When a donor makes a planned gift to the University, he or she is invited to join the Guardian Society, an exclusive organization that recognizes those who have invested in Carolina’s future. The College of Information and Communications is honored to count more than three dozen members as supporters. These dedicated alumni and friends have demonstrated their commitment to the college – and to its students – by including it in their estate plans. Several of them shared their stories at the March Guardian Society luncheon.

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‘Spotlight’ journalist calls for return of investigative journalism

At the Buchheit Family Lecture, journalist Walter "Robby" Robinson, portrayed by actor Michael Keaton in the Academy Award winning film ‘Spotlight,' discussed the vital role investigative reporting must continue to play in journalism. Robinson is editor at large of The Boston Globe and led the team that uncovered the story of sexual abuse by Catholic priests. His lecture was titled, ‘Investigative Reporting: How Hollywood Came to Celebrate What Newsrooms Believe is No Longer Worth the Cost.’


Who’s new?

Holly Ott has accepted a faculty position in the SJMC as an Assistant Professor on the research track in our public relations sequence. Ott is currently an assistant professor at Shippensburg University and received a Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University in February.

Camea Cato has joined the SJMC as a first year adviser in the Student Services office. Camea is an alumna of our school — she was an advertising major and had a successful career in advertising before realizing her passion was in student services.