Posted November 14, 2018
By Abe Danaher, communications assistant
Nearly 50 potential students visited the College of Information and Communications
on Nov. 9 to learn more about its master’s and doctoral programs.
The CIC’s inaugural Graduate and Professional Inclusivity Day was an open house targeted
toward students at historically black colleges and universities in South Carolina,
as well as Columbia College and USC. Attendees from schools including Claflin University,
South Carolina State and Voorhees College made the trek to campus to get information
on the MA, MMC, MLIS and Ph.D. programs.
“It was very successful,” said Dr. Shirley Staples Carter, a professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications who led the event’s planning efforts. “It was our first time departing from a traditional
graduate recruitment day or open house.”
The directors of the schools, Dr. Andrea Tanner and Dr. Dick Kawooya, gave attendees an overview of their programs and discussed potential careers. Attendees
also heard from Dr. Brooke McKeever, the faculty coordinator of the MMC program, and Dr. Sarah Keeling, the student services manager of the School of Library and Information Sciences, who delved deeper into the details of the program and gave stories of how CIC alumni
were using their degrees.
There was also a panel at the open house consisting of current students from each
of the programs, as well as MLIS alumna Kathy Carroll. This panel discussed the transition
from HBCUs to USC, what kind of academic backgrounds fit well with specific graduate
programs, and post-graduate career opportunities for CIC alumni.
The open house is another step in the college’s efforts to increase inclusion and
diversity in its student body. Last year, the CIC hosted a research symposium that
explored how faculty in the college were studying diversity, equity and inclusion.
The CIC also hosts an annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Breakfast of Champions in
conjunction with the Midland’s chapter of the American Advertising Federation, and
it has plans to launch its own digital media academy next year with a boot camp geared
toward minority students.
With success of this years’ open house, Carter said that it will become an annual
event coordinated by the CIC’s graduate programs and student services division, and
in conjunction with the diversity and inclusion program.
Rushondra James, the CIC’s assistant dean for student services who helped coordinate the event, called
the it “overwhelmingly successful” and reiterated that the open house will be annual.
“Not only did the students who came learn that they are welcome here, but we showed
that they are welcome,” James said.