The CIC Alumni Council represents alumni of both the School of Journalism and Mass
Communications and School of Library and Information Science. Alumni Council members
support alumni programming to enhance career and social networking opportunities for
alumni and students as they prepare to join the alumni family. The CIC Alumni Council
advocates the needs and concerns of our alumni and serves in two-year terms on a volunteer
Marti (MLIS ‘11, SLIS ‘12) is currently a school librarian at Westwood High School
in Richland School District Two. Before moving to K-12 education, she served in various
student service positions at USC in the psychology department, the Civil and Environmental
Engineering department, and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Her biggest accomplishments
include completing two graduate degrees while balancing a full-time career, two accident-prone
children, two adventurous dogs, and an ultra-runner husband — all while maintaining
a 4.0! Before moving to South Carolina, she was an archaeological field technician
and participated in excavations in Honduras, Greece, Arizona, Idaho, and various southeastern
John works in the Office of Communications and Public Affairs at the USC where he
handles media relations for the Arnold School of Public Health, the College of Engineering
and Computing, the College of Nursing, the College of Pharmacy and the College of
Social Work. He also directs social media for Degrees of Health, the university’s
branding of its 100-plus health science degree programs. Prior to joining the university,
Brunelli worked at four TV stations in North and South Carolina where he held every
job in television news — reporter, anchor, assignment editor, newscast producer, news
director and station manager. His reporting earned him awards from the Associated
Press and the Radio Television News Directors Association of the Carolinas. John and
his wife have three degrees from Carolina between them and his son is currently a
sophomore at USC. He is keeping his fingers crossed that his teenage daughter will
become a Gamecock, too.
Kathy Carroll has been in education for over 20 years and she earned her MSLIS in
2009 from USC. She is the librarian at Westwood High School in Richland District 2
in Columbia. She was selected by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards
to work a committee to revise the standards for library media specialists in 2009.
She then continued to work with NBPTS on various projects including writing the framework
for the new teacher leadership standard and the revision of NBPTS publications. She
is a 2007 ALA Spectrum Scholar and has been actively involved in the Spectrum community.
She was elected as the AASL Region IV Director and currently serves as an ALA councilor
Marjorie Riddle Duffie
Marjorie graduated from the CIC in 2006 with a bachelor's in print journalism. Currently,
she is the PR and marketing director for the USC Student Health Services, a position
that she has held since 2013. Her team was recently awarded the NASPA Silver Excellence
award in student health, wellness and counseling for her management of USC’s Mental
Health Matters campaign in 2017 and 2018. In 2016, the campaign she worked on with
USC Communications was awarded the Silver Addy award by the American Advertising Awards
for Public Service Campaigns for the university’s Stop Sexual Assault campaign in
2016. Throughout her time working, Duffie has also taken classes part-time and has
recently graduated with her master’s in higher education administration from USC.
Chardonnay is a December 2016 public relations graduate. She is the coordinator for
social media marketing for undergraduate admissions at USC, and has recently taken
on a videography role. She also has experience in local government with Richland County
Government, and during the October 2015 flood, she helped with crisis communication
efforts. In 2017, Ismail was named one of the American Advertising Federation’s 50
Most Promising Multicultural Students and traveled to New York City to network with
some of the biggest names in the advertising industry. Many may not know that she
has a black belt in American karate.
Dawn graduated cum laude from USC in 1985 with a bachelor’s in journalism. Post-graduation,
she worked for The State Media Co. for 22 years where she had various newsroom positions
ranging from features editor to copy editor to special projects manager. She was a
two-time winner of The State’s annual newsroom award for editing and received awards
from the Society of Newspaper Design and SC Press Association during her time there.
Despite these accolades, Kujawa still believes that her biggest accomplishment in
life is being a mom, and doing it while juggling demanding careers. Currently, she
is the public information officer for Lexington School District 2. Outside of work,
she is trying to hike as many national parks in the U.S. and Canada as possible, having
hiked 10 to date.
Lauren is a 2015 graduate from the SJMC with a degree in public relations. She recently
received her Social Marketing Certification from Hootsuite Academy, which goes hand-in-hand
with her position as the digital marketing strategist at ADCO, an ad agency in downtown
Columbia. In her free time you can find her at the gym, with her puppy or planning
her wedding to her high school sweetheart.
Brindy McNair, chair
Brindy McNair currently serves as public relations manager for Palmetto Health Foundation,
where she coordinates and manages content for the foundation's digital properties.
Prior to joining the team at Palmetto Health Foundation, Brindy was a journalist with
more than a decade of experience in print and digital content management. She first
landed at the Post and Courier, where she wore multiple hats, including reporter,
page designer, copy editor and webmaster. Brindy's time at the Post and Courier came
to an end in 2013 when she was named managing editor of Cola Daily, a hyper-local
online daily publication covering Richland and Lexington counties.
Ore graduated from the SJMC in 2016 with a bachelor’s in public relations. Currently
he is the senior director of communications for the My Carolina Alumni Association
where he plans and executes communications strategies to nearly 300,000 USC alumni.
While working for the alumni association, he is also pursuing an M.M.C. in strategic
communications from the school. In 2017, Cola Today named him one of their six young
professionals to watch.
Abigail Pait graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2016 with a bachelor’s
in public relations. She is currently the public relations manager for Curing Kids
Cancer, a nonprofit devoted to funding cutting edge childhood cancer therapies and
whose founders are proud Gamecocks. It was there that she received her first job out
of college, and she has worked at Curing Kids Cancer for the two years since. While
at USC, she was on the National Championship Equestrian team.
Rebecca works for the university as the assistant director of marketing for South
Carolina athletics and is an adjunct professor in the sport and entertainment management
program. Piner has been with the athletics department for five years, where she has
overseen the women's basketball team, both tennis programs, softball, track and field,
volleyball and the department's community programs. In 2018, her marketing department
was named the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators (NACMA)
Marketing Team of the Year among all collegiate athletics programs in the country.
In 2015, she earned her bachelor’s in sport and entertainment management and in 2016
she earned her Master of Science in sport and entertainment management.
Ashley Pullen, co-chair
Ashley is a 2015 graduate of the SJMC with a degree in public relations. She also
graduated with leadership distinction in professional and civic engagement. Pullen
currently is the director for marketing and development at the South Carolina Bar
Foundation. Previously, she has served as the program coordinator for Columbia College's
Center for Leadership and Professional Excellence and as the communications coordinator
for Columbia Opportunity Resource. In her free time, you can find Pullen curled up
with a good book, walking her dog or catching up with friends at local Columbia hotspots.
Chrysti Shain is a public information officer at the South Carolina Department of
Social Services, focusing on foster care and adoption. She spent 25 years running
metro desks at newspapers in the Carolinas, including The Charlotte Observer, The
State and The (Myrtle Beach) Sun News. She also spent several years as a travel writer
and editor for the South Carolina tourism department. She is in her fourth year as
chairman of the judge’s panel for the National Headliner Awards, a national journalism
competition which she has helped judge on and off since 2002. Chrysti is passionate
about helping students and giving back to USC. She helped create the college’s Mentor
Match program a decade ago and has mentored many students since. She also serves as
vice president of operations for the Kappa Kappa Gamma House Board. An avid runner,
she has completed more than a dozen half marathons and is proud to have run her first
marathon last October. She is a fierce, lifelong Gamecock fan and is raising her daughter
to be one, too.
Ron graduated from SLIS in 2017 with a Master of Library and Information Science.
Ron recently accepted the position of head librarian at Northeastern Technology College
in Cheraw, South Carolina. In his new job, he will be building a digital archive
to document the school’s first 50 years of operation. Before working at NETC, Ron
operated an archival consultant company where his specialty was working with the archives
of artists. While a student at USC, he interned in the archives at the Mint Museum
of Art in Charlotte, where he honed his skills working with artist archives. While
a student, he also worked for Mauney Memorial Library in Kings Mountain, North Carolina,
as a digitization technician. In Kings Mountain, he helped to digitize, describe and
author metadata for the entire photography collection of Mauney Memorial Library and
Kings Mountain Historical Museum. This work has helped give the people of Kings Mountain
their history. Ron’s passion is studying: Hidden Jewish Archives in the era of World
War II. His overarching goal is to first and foremost, work to preserve the archival
record of Holocaust survivors. In this vein, he hopes to draw out the accounts of
the Romani People; allowing them a stage to tell their unique and little-known story
of persecution and survival.
Natalie graduated with a bachelor's in journalism in May 2015 and a master's in mass
communications in December 2017. She is currently a marketing and communications specialist
for Milliken and Co. in Spartanburg, South Carolina. This is her first job out of
graduate school, but she previously interned for BMW Manufacturing Co., Textron Specialized
Vehicles and Chernoff Newman. Her biggest accomplishment thus far is graduating from
the South Carolina Honors College with top honors and a published senior thesis: "Rome
and Sorrento: A Collection of Summer Moments." She is originally from Spartanburg,
and has loved getting to rediscover her hometown as a young professional. She can
regularly be found at Spartanburg's restaurants, breweries and events downtown.
Megan graduated in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in advertising. She's a senior account
executive with Lamar Advertising where she is the top account executive in South Carolina
and in the top 3 percent nationwide. She is also currently serving as the American
Advertising Federation District 3 governor, presiding over North Carolina, South Carolina
and Virginia. She's served on the USC Young Alumni Council as well as served as a
board member and president of the American Advertising Federation of the Midlands,
where several years the organization was awarded the National Club of the Year. She
became a new mom in March and enjoys all the baby snuggles she can fit in the day.
She also enjoys hiking with her husband and dog when the weather is cooler.
Samantha earned two degrees from USC — her bachelor's (PR, '12) and master's (M.M.C.,
'17). She is the solid waste assistant superintendent for the city of Columbia. Her
work focuses on waste reduction education and operations management. Yager previously
worked for the city’s Public and Media Relations Department as a public relations
coordinator. Last year, she was named a 2017 Woman of Influence by the Columbia Regional
Business Report and a 2017 Bill Heenan Emerging Leader by the National Recycling Coalition.
While spreading the importance of recycling, Yager might be seen frolicking around
Columbia in a wizard hat!