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The CIC goes SXSW

Posted February 14, 2019
By Shenika Glover, communications graduate assistant
Top photo (l to r) Meredith Price, Drew Hill, Kristin Stitzlein, Dr. Sabrina Habib, Jared Stephens, Dr. Elise Lewis, Robert Gamble and Carla Fant.


For many students, spring break is a time to hit the beach. But for six students and two faculty from the College of Information and Communications, it’s a chance to get a rare look at what’s new in the world of media and technology.

For the second consecutive year, the CIC is sending students to the South by Southwest Interactive Festival, part of a massive, 10-day conglomeration of festivals and conferences in Austin, Texas. There, students will network with industry professionals and learn about emerging technology, film and interactive media.

“This is a tremendous learning opportunity for our students,” said Dean Tom Reichert. “They bring back what they see and share it with us — they are our eyes and ears — so we can stay current. With communication and information changing so quickly, we need these student envoys.”

During the conference (March 8 - 13), the students will document their experiences to share what’s new and what’s next with those following along on the college’s travel blog. They will also give a public presentation about their experience in late March.

The college will share updates from the trip on its social media channels: @UofSC_CIC on Twitter and Instagram, and facebook.com/uofsccic. And get daily updates from the students at the CIC’s travel blog.

Meet the Students

Carla Fant

Carla Fant

Senior, Information Science
Elgin, South Carolina

Dream job after graduation?
Database administrator.

What you’re looking forward to most about SXSW?
I am looking forward to hearing the keynote speaker’s ideas as well as seeing first-hand what is up and coming in the world of technology. This is an amazing opportunity, and I am very excited to bring back and share what I learn.

Robert Gamble

Robert Gamble

Senior, Information Science
Lexington, South Carolina

Dream job after graduation?
Data analytics or visualization for an eSports organization or Blizzard Inc.

What you’re looking forward to most about SXSW?
I'm looking forward to learning about current big data, analytical, AR/VR and other technological advances. I'm also excited to network and get my name out there.

Drew Hill

Drew Hill

Junior, Broadcast Journalism
Rock Hill, South Carolina

Dream job after graduation?
Being a radio host on BBC Radio 1 or Sirius XM Channel 36: Alt Nation.

What you’re looking forward to most about SXSW?
I'm most excited about learning about the future of journalism. There are so many sessions about news in the digital age and multiplatform journalism as well as the incorporation of AI. Being able to see the ways the industry is changing and why that change is happening through data and in sessions is going to be so awesome!

Meredith Price

Meredith Price

Senior, Visual Communications
Boston, Massachusetts

Dream job after graduation?
Graphics and motion designer with Pixar.

What you’re looking forward to most about SXSW?
I am looking forward to having my mind flipped inside out with all the new and crazy innovations, technology and ideas that are presented at SXSW. This opportunity, as students, to attend a conference of this size and caliber alongside professional and innovative companies and creatives in the industry is truly incredible. 

Jared Stephens

Jared Stephens

Senior, Criminal Justice (Information Science minor)
New Ellenton, South Carolina

Dream job after graduation?
I would love to be a program manager in the IT Department of a large company, then slowly work my way up to chief information officer (CIO).

What you’re looking forward to most about SXSW?
I am very excited about all the AI and blockchain sessions that are going to be available. I think that AI is the future of every technological initiative and is going to be a large asset to major corporations. I want to learn these cutting-edge ideas and be able to bring them back and educate others.

Kristin Stitzlein

Kristin Stitzlein

Senior, Visual Communications
Olney, Maryland

Dream job after graduation?
Multimedia journalism, specifically producing content for an NGO or aid/relief organization.

What you’re looking forward to most about SXSW?
I’m so looking forward to learning all about the new frontier of storytelling in the digital age, being challenged to think more creatively and strategically and networking with inspirational creatives in the industry!

Meet the Faculty

Dr. Elise Lewis

Dr. Elise Lewis

Assistant Professor
School of Library and Information Science 

What you’re looking forward to most about SXSW?
The ideas and creativity at SXSW is on a level that can’t be replicated anywhere else. The energy is contagious. I can’t wait to bring that back to the CIC and my classroom. Also, there are food truck and tacos!

Dr. Sabrina Habib

Dr. Sabrina Habib

Assistant Professor
School of Journalism and Mass Communications

What you’re looking forward to most about SXSW?
I’m excited to see how artificial intelligence is playing a role in the creative industries. I’m also delighted the students will have an immersive learning experience like no other!


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Shenika A. Glover

Shenika Glover is pursuing her master's degree in mass communications at the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Currently, she works as a graduate assistant for the college and is a social media intern for the Millennial FM 95.9 radio station in Columbia.


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