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College of Information and Communications

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CIC honors stand-out faculty and staff

Posted May 6, 2020
By Rebekah Friedman, communications manager,, 803-576-7270

Outstanding faculty and staff in the College of Information and Communications were surprised in a special online awards ceremony on April 30.

New awards were added this year to highlight excellence in research, teaching, adjunct teaching and staff service.

“Success is truly a team effort,” says Tom Reichert, dean of the College of Information and Communications. “We have an entire community of people working tirelessly to ensure our college excels across the board, and we want to make recognizing their efforts an annual tradition.”


Pierre d'Autel

CIC Impact Award: Pierre D’Autel

This award recognizes a staff member whose innovative spirit and commitment to service has enhanced the CIC's impact on students, alumni and the community at large.

Faculty commended D’Autel for helping students access technology following the campus shutdown this semester and providing extra support during CreateAthon@UofSC.


Amir Karami

CIC Rising Star Award: Amir Karami

This award is designed to recognize outstanding faculty for their research, creative and/or scholarly contributions.

In addition to serving as an assistant professor in the School of Information Science, Karami is a faculty associate in the South Carolina SmartState Center for Healthcare Quality at the Arnold School of Public Health, and the Social Media Core Director for the UofSC Big Data Health Science Center. He has numerous collaborations with faculty at numerous universities, including Johns Hopkins, Harvard and Syracuse. He has published at least 15 articles, presented 39 conference papers, and has been awarded 14 research-related grants totaling more than $3 million.

Shannon Bowen

CIC Leadership in Scholarship Award: Shannon Bowen

This award is designed to recognize faculty members who excel in their research and scholarship and use a synergistic approach to promote and inspire excellence in others.

Bowen has a long history of publishing in numerous journals. She has also published two books, presented at many conferences, and writes a regular column for PR Week. Her scholarly impact is impressive as her work has been cited more than 2,000 times. She has worked with five graduate students to co-author four book chapters in recent years, and she recently submitted a grant proposal with faculty from multiple schools across campus. She won the Jackson Jackson & Wagner Behavioral Science Research Prize in 2011, was inducted into the Measurement Hall of Fame in 2014, among other honors.


Vanessa Kitzie

Excellence in Teaching Award (School of Information Science):  Vanessa Kitzie

This award honors a full-time faculty member who demonstrates an ongoing commitment to best teaching practices.

Kitzie was selected based on the evidence she presented noting her dedication to both undergraduate and graduate student progress through the school’s programs, her leadership in the doctoral program, and her creative and inclusive pedagogical approaches. 

Lisa Conrath

Adjunct Teaching Award (School of Information Science): Lisa Conrath

This is a director-recommended award based on strong teaching and exemplary service to the school.

This award recognizes Conrath's many years of teaching for the school, as well as her positive impact on her students and contributions to their learning experience.

Randy Covington

Mary Caldwell Excellence in Teaching Award (School of Journalism and Mass Communications): Randy Covington

This award honors faculty who have demonstrated superior teaching in their annual performance reviews.

Covington was selected from an outstanding pool of candidates because of a combination of student evaluations and comments, his facilitation of local and global training programs in journalism and social media over the past 20 years, and his success in creating an environment for innovation in teaching for all faculty in the school at both the Social Media Insights lab and the Newsplex journalism lab.

Bertram Rantin

Adjunct Teaching Award (School of Journalism and Mass Communications):  Bertram Rantin

This is a director-recommended award based on strong teaching and exemplary service to the school. 

Rantin has worked with SJMC for 18 years, teaching intensive writing and editing courses that are foundational to the student experience. Students have noted in their evaluations that he provides a challenging yet rewarding learning experience that helps them succeed in the degree and prepares them well for their future careers.

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