‘B’ is for Building, Books and



BobbleheadWe’ve just celebrated the annual South Carolina Book Festival where I moderated a panel titled “Turning News into Books: Journalists Share Their Successes.” There have not been a lot of journalistic successes to crow about lately. The Rocky Mountain News folded over the weekend, 55 days shy of its 150th anniversary. The industry, like much of the economy, is much depressed. But the book festival allowed us to highlight several South Carolina journalists—Ann Wicker, Lane Filler and Ken Burger—who have turned their journalistic pursuits and interests into new books.


At our Center for Children’s Books and Literacy exhibit during the festival we unveiled the Cocky’s Reading Express™ bobblehead, and they were going like, well, bobbleheads. A $20 donation helps fund the literacy initiative. It’s the best looking bobblehead I’ve seen. Check with the SLIS office to see if there are any left. The premiere of our Cocky’s Reading Express™ video in February (see more below) has greatly elevated the visibility of our literacy program.


Our quest for a new home for the School of Journalism and Mass Communications has moved an important step forward. In spite of economic constraints elsewhere in the budget, this is a good time to be designing a building. Dr. Pardun has an update on our building.


Stay tuned for far more detail in the weeks ahead.




From the SJMC Director

Design Work Starts on SJMC Building…Really!



I know you’ve heard it before. Some of you have heard it more than once. But, I believe in my heart of hearts that it’s really going to happen this time. Plans are underway to move the J-School to the old health sciences building in the prime location at the corner of Sumter and Greene.


The architectural selection committee carefully reviewed 25 proposals including formal presentations by the four finalists. I’m thrilled to announce that the committee selected The Boudreaux Group to lead in the renovation. I loved their innovative ideas. They have extensive experience in historic restoration as well as a commitment to environmentally sound building principles. They seem to have a deep intuitive sense on creating a building that communicates—just what we need! We’ll keep you informed as the process develops.


Carol J. Pardun
Professor and Director
School of Journalism and Mass Communications


Alumni News

Alumnus Coming Home to Accept 2009 Cocky Award for Best Super Bowl Commercial


Advertising alumnus John Baker, ‘01, was the art director on Bud Light’s Conan O’Brien commercial that won this year’s Cocky Award. Baker will be on campus, along with copywriter Jeff Oswald, to accept the award on Tuesday, March 31, and tell the behind-the-scenes story of making the commercial. The commercial received the highest overall score in our Ad Bowl Poll, making it the fourth time that DDB Chicago and Bud Light have won the Cocky Award. The award presentation will be part of the college’s annual I-Comm Week, March 30 – April 3. For more information, visit http://jour.sc.edu.


SJMC Alumnus Receives Film Grant


Brian Rish, ’99, received a film grant through the SC Film Commission last month to make a movie. Rish and his sister entered the grant in a screenwriting/film proposal contest and won, meaning they are now going to make their movie. Brian says, “it’s a really nice heartwarming story.” For more information about the grant, visit http://www.filmsc.com/ProdFund.html.



Student News

Three Advertising Students Recognized by The American Advertising Federation (AAF)

Senior Courtney Robinson, from Simpsonville, was honored Feb. 4 in New York City by the AAF as one of the most promising minority students in America. She was among 40 students honored for academic achievement, interest in the advertising industry, leadership and community service. Noelle Williams, from Hollywood, S.C., and Katie Okawa, from Aiken, were named to the AAF’s Honor Roll.

Faculty advisor Bonnie Drewniany is no stranger to these awards. She is the only professor in the nation to have had selected at least one student for the AAF honor since the award was created in 1997. Visit jour.sc.edu for more information.

College News

Cocky’s Reading Express™ Rolled Out the Red Carpet


More than 200 guests attended the Cocky’s Reading Express Red Carpet Video Premiere hosted by President Harris Pastides and Mrs. Patricia-Moore Pastides on Feb. 9. The premiere invited business and community leaders throughout the state to get involved in promoting literacy among South Carolina children. The documentary showcased the Cocky’s Reading Express program and the effects of the program on the communities it has visited. Visit cockysreadingexpress.com to see the DVD and view photos from the event. For information on how to get involved, e-mail tedixon@mailbox.sc.edu or call 803-777-6898.


Assistant Professor Receives “Excellence in Academia” Award


Visual Communications Assistant Professor Denise McGill received the 2009 Beckman Stewart Academic Excellence award presented by the Southern Short Course in News Photography in Charlotte, Feb. 5 – 8. This award is based upon excellence in teaching, outstanding service to the photojournalism community, a successful practitioner career and a strong ability as a mentor. She was picked from among 200 other candidates. For more information, visit jour.sc.edu.


CMCIS Collaborates with Arnold School of Public Health to Meet Needs of Public Health Communicators


After two years of hard work among faculty at USC, a new certificate program to develop expertise in health communication is now available to graduate students and working professionals. The certificate is designed to enhance the professional or clinical skills of working practitioners in public health organizations and the media. For more information, visit sc.edu/healthcomm/news/intro.html.


SJMC Assistant Professor Receives Research Grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF)


John Besley recently received a $31,000 research grant from the risk division of the NSF to study public opinion about nuclear power. He conducted a series of public opinion surveys that coincided with the Public Service Commission of South Carolina’s hearings on whether to approve a request by Santee Cooper and South Carolina Gas and Electric to build two nuclear reactors at the site of the existing V.C. Sumner nuclear plant. Initial analyses showed that people are generally positive towards the expansion. Overall, the research also focuses on the role that trust and belief that regulators are providing citizens a voice in decision-making plays in public opinion about potentially controversial technologies.





    Spring Career Fair
    March 27
    The Marriott Courtyard, 1 – 4 p.m.
    Reception, 4 – 5 p.m.
    For more information, contact Beverly Dominick at bdominick@sc.edu.

    I-Comm Week,
    March 31-April 3
    Visit sc.edu/cmcis for details!

    May Carolina Alumni Weekend,
    May 15 - 16
    Visit mycarolina.org for details!

© College of Mass Communications and Information Studies | University of South Carolina.
This newsletter published once a month by the Alumni Society of the College of Mass Communications and Information Studies. If you wish to contribute a story or idea to this, please contact Elaine Taylor.

If you do not wish to receive this message in the future, please contact Elaine Taylor. The Alumni Society is comprised of graduates of the School of Library and Information Science and the School of Journalism and Mass Communications.