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College of Information and Communications

SJMC honors alumni and faculty

Posted October 30, 2017

The School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of South Carolina presented awards to six recipients at the annual Alumni Awards on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. The awards recognize exceptional graduates whose careers represent significant professional achievement.

“We are honored to welcome these outstanding alumni back to campus for Homecoming,” said Dr. Andrea Tanner, director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. “Their achievements have made a significant impact on the industry, and we are proud to recognize all that they have accomplished.”

Distinguished Alumni

The Distinguished Alumni Award honors graduates of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications who have demonstrated a history of exemplary work in their professional careers and who have been out of school for at least 10 years. The 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients are:

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Charles Bloom, '85

Charles Bloom is the executive associate athletics director/chief of staff/chief communications officer for the University of South Carolina Athletics Department. He joined the Gamecock staff in December 2012 after 17 years as the associate commissioner for media and public relations at the Southeastern Conference office.  He has also worked in athletics departments at East Carolina University, University of Mississippi and Louisiana State University. Bloom was inducted into the College Sports Information Directors Association Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Chris Hanclosky, '05

Chris Hanclosky is a media director for a marketing and branding agency on Sullivan’s Island, S.C. He got his start as a graphic designer drawing for companies like Starbucks, Blockbuster and Panera Bread and then transitioned to camera operation for ESPN, Fox and other national television networks covering live sporting events around the Southeast. He spent the past 10 years in news as a videographer and photographer for the Post and Courier newspaper in Charleston, S.C., where he worked on a collaborative Pulitzer Prize-winning project and covered multiple presidencies, tragedies and a number of other historic events.

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Russ Mischner, '00

As director of integrated marketing communications at The Coca-Cola Company, Russ  Mischner has led breakthrough programs in the U.S., such as the summer ‘Share a Coke’ campaign, #THATSGOLD for the Rio Olympics and the digitally-led “AHH Effect” for teens. As a global director, he also developed content supporting Coca-Cola’s latest ‘Taste The Feeling’ global brand communication that runs in markets around the world.  Prior to joining Coke, Russ drove multichannel advertising efforts at The Home Depot. He began his career at advertising agencies in New York, supporting brands like Reebok and Marriott International at mcgarrybowen and at Ogilvy & Mather for AT&T Wireless. 

Outstanding Young Alumni

The Outstanding Young Alumni Award honors graduates of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications who have been out of school for 10 years or less but have already demonstrated great professional accomplishments early in their careers.  The 2017 Outstanding Young Alumni Award Recipients are:

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Josh Dawsey, '12

Josh Dawsey covers the White House for POLITICO, where he writes broadly about President Donald Trump and his unique presidency. Josh joined POLITICO in December 2016 after spending five years at the Wall Street Journal, where he broke a number of stories about federal investigations into New York City Hall, record lobbying in the city and the questionable ethical activities of the mayor’s political non-profit and his outside advisers. He has written detailed portraits of the mayor’s management style and character and his national ambitions.

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Keri Goff, '11

Keri Goff is creative director and producer at in New York City. A storyteller at heart, she is a former award-winning photojournalist-turned-graphic designer for social good. Keri brings concept to reality through simple and effective design. She is responsible for managing the video, design and photography for over 275 campaigns and the cause-related marketing for Fortune 500 companies. She combines her passion for visual storytelling and social change by creating campaigns that get young people to take action in their communities around causes they care about.

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Stefanie Pidgeon, '08

Stefanie Pidgeon is the Press officer for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency. She serves as the main point of contact for national level media, writes and publishes communication plans and press releases, and advises agency principals on media strategies. Prior to joining USDA, Stefanie spent eight years as a senior strategic communication specialist for Headquarters, Department of the Army, in the Pentagon. There, she supported and attended five Medal of Honor ceremonies at the White House and coordinated Medal of Honor outreach events.

Mary Caldwell Excellence in Teaching Award 

In addition, the School of Journalism and Mass Communications recognized the Mary Caldwell Excellence in Teaching Award winner. Scott Farrand, a senior instructor in the school’s visual communications sequence, is the 2017 recipient. Farrand was chosen by the Caldwell teaching award committee because of his superior annual performance reviews. 

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Scott Farrand

Scott Farrand joined the School of Journalism and Mass Communications in 1999, following 20 years as a visual journalist and editor with The State newspaper. He teaches data visualization, graphic design and publication design in the VisCom sequence and also teaches multimedia journalism in the senior semester journalism capstone class. He has written a textbook titled “Design and InDesign” and taught study abroad classes in Jordan, Germany, Africa and China. As a journalist, he has worked with more than 25 South Carolina newspapers and has done multimedia training and presentations in countries such as Puerto Rico, Dubai, China and Russia.

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