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College of Information and Communications

Accomplishments in the 2021-2022 academic year

Diversity, equity and inclusion are important goals across the college and comport with the university’s current strategic plan priority for diversity. The following report provides a summary of new and ongoing initiatives implemented and reported during fall 2021 through summer 2022. We strive to create a welcoming environment of mutual respect where all can flourish. We continue to make progress while recognizing that more should be done.

Accomplishments in 2021-2022:

  • 1 +6 = The first Rising Star Fellow graduated this summer as part of the CIC’s 4+1 dual degree program with Claflin University, and the second cohort of six Rising Star Fellows enrolled in the graduate program in fall 2022.
  • 8+7 = Organizations represented by student leaders at the Dean’s Dive-In for Diversity Lunch during fall 202l: Cocky’s Reading Express, The Daily Gamecock, Garnet and Black Magazine, PRSSA, NABJ @ USC, SGTV, and WUSC. Seven of the CIC’s newest faculty served as discussion leaders—Drs. Monica Colon-Aguirre, YingYing Chen, Candice Edrington, Jabari Evans, Jacob Long, Brett Robertson, and Wesley Stevens.
  • 3 = Visits to cultivate partnerships with local HBCUs—Allen University, Claflin University, and Voorhees University during the 2021 fall and 2022 spring semester.
  • 55 = Number of underrepresented students participating in the CIC’s third in-person Inclusive Excellence Graduate Program Open House in Fall 2021.
  • 2 = Second climate survey conducted in fall 2021 toward building a more equitable and inclusive college community.
  • 82 = Percentage of fall 2021 climate survey respondents who believe topics relevant to diversity and inclusion are prominent in coursework.
  • 87 = Percentage of fall 2021 respondents who think the CIC is supportive of fostering a culture of diversity and inclusiveness, compared to 78% last year.
  • 1 = Honorary Doctorate awarded to former SJMC graduate student, McGhee Osse, co-CEO of Burrell Communications, one of the world’s most influential multicultural agencies.
  • 50 = Spring 2022 CIC DEI Research Symposium commemorated the iSchool’s 50th anniversary and featured keynote speaker Dr. Michelle Martin, Beverly Cleary Endowed Professor in Children and Youth Services in the Information School at the University of Washington, and a stellar panel of CIC faculty, doctoral students and alumni: Jason Broughton, director of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled; Cearra Harris, iSchool PhD student Dr. Andrea Hickerson, former director of the SJMC, and Dr. Jenna Spiering, assistant professor, iSchool. The symposium attracted more than 50 attendees.
  • 1 = 2022 Inclusive Excellence Award presented to the iSchool’s Dr. Clayton Copeland.

CIC Composition Snapshot – FALL  2021

The following tables provide a snapshot of composition within the college. Our DEI strategic plan seeks to make progress in many areas, but an important one includes composition. Source: USC Office of Institutional Research, Assessment & Analytics

  Faculty Staff
Asian 4 1
Black/African American 10 7
Hispanic/Latino 3 1
Non-resident Alien 3  
Two or More Races 1  
White 61 22
Total 82 31


  Undergraduate Graduate
American Indian or Alaska Native 1 1
Asian 22 2
Black or African American 156 75
Hispanic 74 13
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 1 1
Non-resident Alien 11 17
Race/Ethnicity Unknown 10 6
Two or More Races 65 12
White 1221 383
Total 1561 383


 We seek to create a diverse, inclusive and aware college with impactful and sustainable activities. Each program component is evaluated annually for improvement and continuation.

  • Partnership with the Center for Teaching Effectiveness to engage CIC faculty as workshop presenters and participants in the Teaching Toward Inclusive Excellence certificate program, including Dean Reichert.
  • Partnership with ODEI, Civil Rights History Center and the Media and Civil Rights History Symposium to provide leading DEI thought leaders as keynote speakers for the joint CIC DEI Research Symposium and M&CRHS. The March 30, 2023 symposium keynoter will be Dr. Jelani Cobb, renown journalist, historian, media commentator and Columbia University’s new dean of the School of Journalism.
  • Partnership with CIC graduate studies to host the annual CIC Inclusive Excellence Graduate Program Open House. On Nov, 4, 2022 the University will partner with the CIC and other participating academic units to hold the first annual USC Inclusive Excellence Graduate Program House.
  • Provide research support for the cluster faculty whose research explores race and ethnicity at the intersection of data, media and society, such as the Burrell Research Group.
  • Conduct annual CIC climate survey and use the findings to create and sustain initiatives that foster an equitable, inclusive and supportive college climate and environment., including listening sessions and civility training. Recent findings indicate student, staff and faculty satisfaction with college DEI efforts, while confirming our resolve to do more.
  • Create, promote and sustain student DEI experiences such as the Dean’s Dive-In Lunches, student organization activities, study abroad and others.
  • Through CADO, participate in training for faculty recruitment, shared equity leadership, and ACE-sponsored workshops on Translating Equity-Minded Principles into Faculty Evaluation, training workshops to facilitate inclusive searches, and the ODEI/CADO data literacy project this fall.
  • Encourage faculty, staff and student participation in DEI planning and implementation through the CIC Inclusive Excellence Advisory Council
  • Review and update college/school diversity strategic plans in alignment with university strategic priorities for diversity and unit accreditation standards.

New goals and continuing activities planned for 2022-2023

Represent the CIC on the University’s Council of Academic Diversity Officers (CADO), working with the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and inclusion and the Office of the Provost.

  • Provide guidance and support for reaccreditation
  • Develop and sustain a Carolinas DEI Partnership
  • Seek funding to support continuing and new DEI initiatives
  • Continue creating pathway/pipeline programs and partnerships with all HBCUs
  • Create a Leadership Experience for Women students, alumni and media professionals (Academy, Symposium, Institute, Summit, TBD)


We keep busy with CIC DEI, and we are always receptive to your ideas, comments and suggestions. Please contact me as DEI is a college-wide effort, and we welcome collaborations and partnerships.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.