Skip to Content

College of Information and Communications

July 2016

From the Dean . . .


I tagged along one Saturday morning last month as Cocky and his friends—our student volunteers and SLIS staff — strolled down Main Street in Columbia.  Soda City Market draws a cross section of people in our community who are looking for food, fellowship and fun.  Cocky’s Reading Express™ fits right in, handing out high fives, hugs and the nourishment of children’s books.

We had just launched our summer crowdfunding campaign for Cocky’s Reading Express, and our Columbia friends and neighbors chipped in $355.60 that morning.  Crowdfunding works that way.  It aggregates dimes and dollars from dozens of donors, pardon the alliteration, until a collective value is reached to support a cause or project.  Cocky’s Reading Express is our now 10-year-old project; children’s literacy is our cause.

USC’s Office of Development asked us to kick off a new series of crowdfunding campaigns for university programs.  With the high visibility of Cocky’s Reading Express and our continual needs, we were happy to do so.  CRE has always been substantially funded by gifts and grants.

You’d think it would be easy to do so, but it’s not.  Crowdfunding is a bit like selling door to door.  One college summer I sold encyclopedias, ringing doorbells in small Pennsylvania towns.  That’s another story and, in my experience, a short one.  I also drove an ice cream truck.  Much better received.

Crowdfunding has been around for some time.  Think of symphony subscriptions, Girl Scout cookies and even war bonds.  But like many things, it’s increased exponentially in the digital age.  Billions are raised annually for causes and crises.  Many times it’s for victims of natural, man-made or medical tragedies. 

We don’t offer tragic faces, but the hopeful ones of bright and engaged young minds and the unflappable (did I say that) Cocky, mascot extraordinaire.  (Beak flap.)

I’ve written before here about “summer slide.”  It’s the real loss of capability among young students who do not keep up their reading skills outside of school.  They return to school in the fall months behind those students who read through the summer.  What book’s in your backpack?

This summer, we are seeking $25,000 through the USC crowdfunding campaign.  We’ll buy new books and literacy kits, fuel the CRE bus and be able to visit areas of the state we have not been able to serve before.  Since June 30, we’ve received $14,028 and have 9 days remaining to reach and exceed our goal. 

You can find out more here »

Join the crowd. 


Charles Bierbauer

College News . . .

List Thumbnail

Welcome to SLIS: Dr. David Lankes

With almost 30 years at Syracuse University under his belt, in addition to writing more than 40 book chapters and journal articles, Dr. R. David Lankes has joined the University of South Carolina as director of the School of Library and Information Science. Read this short profile of the incoming director from InterCom, as well as his recent interview with Publishers Weekly.


Baldwin workshop: A crash course for budding reporters

While many students see summer as a time to unwind, 12 outstanding high school journalists spent time sharpening their reporting skills at the Baldwin Pre-Collegiate Fellowship in Business and Investigative Journalism. Open to just 10-12 high school students each year, the workshop provides instruction on strategic web searching, Freedom of Information Act and Open Government, cutting-edge reporting practices and data analysis.


Former student wins Southeast Emmy

Madisyn Kellough, a 2015 broadcast journalism alumna, won a Southeast Emmy from The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for a feature package she created during her senior semester capstone course.  Kellough received the award at the association's 2016 Gala in Atlanta for her light news feature "From Sorrow to Joy."


Alumnus promotes Charleston music scene with SCETV show

Mark Bryan hit it big as lead guitarist for Hootie and the Blowfish. The journalism alumnus is now making news with his newest endeavor: Bryan’s production company recently launched “Live at the Charleston Music Hall,” an SCETV series that showcases emerging musicians. Listen to Bryan’s interview with Mike Switzer here.