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  • Lizzie Howell

Alumni Spotlight: Christine “Lizzie” Howell discusses running the social media platforms of the oldest engineering society in America

The social media presence of the oldest and one of the most prestigious engineering organizations, the American Society of Civil Engineers, is in the hands of University of South Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communications alumna Lizzie Howell.

Originally from Hampton Roads, Virginia, Howell decided to attend South Carolina after taking a campus tour. She began her undergraduate career as a marketing major but quickly switched to public relations. The SJMC proved to be the perfect fit for her.

“The J-school completely shaped the trajectory of my career — what I considered possible for my career,” she says. “It opened my eyes to a lot of opportunities that I wouldn’t have known existed.”

She didn’t always know what career path she wanted to pursue, but after her senior semester working on the Bateman Team, she felt like the SJMC gave her all the tools she needed to step into the professional field immediately. While on the Bateman Team, the team placed in the top 15 nationally and won several other awards.

“I used to joke all the time when I was younger that I wish I could tweet for a living,” she says. “But I didn’t know that it was necessarily an actual, viable option until I started with the J-school.”

Shortly after graduating in 2018, Howell began working with the American Society of Civil Engineers as the social media administrator. ASCE is one of the top professional agencies in its field. Howell has to be very intentional with the content she produces, while still engaging multiple viewer groups.

“There's a fine line of having that good social presence that is so engaging but then also respecting the profession, which is very serious by its nature,” she says. “It's protecting the health and safety and welfare of everybody. We say in a lot of our messaging it's the backbone of society.”

The ASCE advocates for causes like increasing the quality of infrastructure to improve quality of life. They currently have over 150,000 members. You can keep up with them and see Howell’s work on Instagram.

Caroline Evans

Caroline Evans

Caroline Evans is a freshman in the South Carolina Honors College majoring in multimedia journalism. Originally from Barbourville, Kentucky, she plans to pursue a career in scientific journalism. She interviewed Howell for an assignment in her Honors JOUR 101 class, taught by Dr. Andrea Tanner.


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