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Thanksgiving thoughts

Members of the CIC leadership team reflect on Thanksgiving memories and the things for which they are most grateful at the college. 

Tom Reichert, Dean of the College of Information and Communications

Being with family is at the top for Thanksgiving. Also, very thankful to thoughtful and welcoming friends and neighbors over the years who invite those of us who are far from family over on Thanksgiving!

Once, as a grad student, following the NCA conference in Miami (NCA is typically held the weekend before Thanksgiving), I booked a $99 flight to the Bahamas for a week of scuba diving. Despite the sun and sharks, I really missed being with my folks, especially as I watched Thanksgiving-themed television commercials alone in my hotel room.

The college retreat family photo.
The college retreat family photo.

I'm especially thankful for the wonderful team we have in the college and across our two schools. Staff, faculty and students — all are a treasure — and make coming to work each day a true blessing. Thank you!

Shirley Staples Carter, Associate Dean of Access and Engagement

Carter and CJ
Shirley Staples Carter with grandson CJ.

My favorite memory is the birth of my only grandchild, Craig C. (CJ) Becknell, Jr., the day before Thanksgiving, Nov. 24, 2004. I took the first flight out of Columbia to Wichita, Kansas, to spend my first Thanksgiving with him and his parents. It was a joyous occasion. This year, he will spend his first Thanksgiving with friends and classmates as a freshman engineering major at USC. I am sure they will stop by for the traditional Thanksgiving dinner and favorite dessert — his grandmother's carrot cake.

I am grateful for the opportunity to have served as the CIC's first full-time director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, serving a full five-year term, July 1, 2003-July 1, 2008. It was an honor to lead the unit to its first reaccreditation in 2005 since the 2002 merger of the former College of Journalism and Mass Communications with the former College of Library and Information Science to form the College of Mass Communications and Information Science. The CMCIS was renamed the College of Information and Communications. It was a history making appointment that provided the foundation for my continuous service and contributions to the SJMC, CIC and university during the past 20 years.

Linwan Wu, Associate Dean for Research

Former advertising faculty: Bonnie Drewniany, Jerry Jewler, Karen Mallia and Lee Wenthe.
Former advertising faculty: Bonnie Drewniany, Jerry Jewler, Karen Mallia and Lee Wenthe.

I want to express profound gratitude to the esteemed retired advertising faculty members, Bonnie Drewniany, Carol Pardun and Karen Mallia, for their unwavering support and guidance during my tenure as a junior faculty member at USC.

Their invaluable wisdom and shared experiences played a pivotal role in navigating the the challenges I encountered throughout my academic journey.


J. Scott Parker, Communications Director

Staff working
Kara Law and Austin Reed greet guests at the 2022 Gamecocks on the Green celebration.

I am thankful for the collegiality and supportiveness of the CIC staff.

Among many moments of teamwork intertwined with fun, the 2022 Gamecocks on the Green celebration stands out in my mind. After the event wrapped up, a group of us carried tables and supplies back to the SJMC.

Despite the fatigue of hosting events for three days in a row, everyone bantered and laughed.

It was a shining example of how our staff supports one another and makes the CIC a great place to work.


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