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    Snapshots of South Carolina

    Photographs by SLIS "artist-in-residence" Ron Stafford are on display in Davis College. The pictures depict buildings on campus as well as landmarks throughout the state.

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    Debbie's Cafe is official!

    Family and colleagues dedicated the breakroom in the journalism building in honor of late SJMC staffer Debbie Garris.

April 2017

From the Dean . . .


You may have seen quite a bit of some of our students lately without realizing it.  If you’ve been following USC’s double dash to the NCAA Final Four tournaments, you’ve seen what three are accomplishing outside the classroom. The Gamecock women won their NCAA championship Sunday, and the men reached their first Final Four.

A’ja Wilson, the All-American on Coach Dawn Staley’s team, is a junior advertising major.  The sharp-shooting Allisha Gray is a junior broadcast journalism major.  On the men’s team, senior Duane Notice is a public relations major. We’re pretty impressed with them on and off the court, in and out of the classroom.

Student-athletes (the NCAA uses the hyphen to connect their roles) run on rigorous schedules.  The Final Four trips to Phoenix and Dallas were not vacations from class requirements.  When I have athletes in the classes I teach, I hear regularly from the athletics department’s academic office.  Are the student-athletes attending class regularly, keeping up with assignments, on path to pass the course?

I’ve been enjoying our teams’ successes and maybe cheered a little louder when A’ja, Allisha or Duane scored.  But there’s more to this story than just our players.

Two of our senior broadcast majors, Nic Jones and Brian Principe, covered the men’s NCAA playoff path from the Greenville regional games to Madison Square Garden’s Sweet Sixteen/Elite Eight games in New York to the Final Four in Phoenix.  They took the initiative to obtain press credentials for our Carolina News broadcasts.  And when the Gamecocks reached the Final Four, Nic and Brian persuaded journalism school director Andrea Tanner and me to send them to Phoenix.  It was not a tough sell. Read more »

There’s a contagion to Gamecock enthusiasm.  I’ve no doubt many of our college’s students jumped in the Cooper Library fountain after the men played their way into the Final Four.  (And again when the women won.) That afternoon, we were having a reception at the top of Capstone for the visiting ALA accrediting team here to evaluate our School of Library and Information Science.  A strongly positive evaluation, by the way. As the game ended, we could see students streaming out of the Capstone residence hall heading for the mid-campus fountain. 

Coach Staley and men’s coach Frank Martin should have a great recruiting season after the Final Four.  But athletic success also means a better recruiting cycle for the rest of us.  Already record applications to USC have us on the cusp of potentially record freshman enrollment for the fall semester.  Throughout the spring, we hold “accepted student” events on campus.  More prospective students, and their parents, seem to arrive already decked in Gamecock gear.

When I talk with prospective students, I tell them they are about to make the most important decision in their 18-year-old lives — where will they go to college.  Most have options.  I tell them think about “fit.”  Where do you feel most comfortable and welcome? Not mom, not dad, though they certainly have an interest.

The “fit” bit ends with a litany: big school/small school, in-state/out-of-state, public/private, urban/rural campus.  I used to end with ACC basketball or SEC football, as if that were a choice.  Now I say, “Gamecock football or Gamecock basketball.” 

Charles Bierbauer


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