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From the Dean

It Isn't Over Until It's Over

I ended my July note with “the really good news is that summer is far from over.” Check that. Where’d it go?

I’ve made headway on my summer reading list. Admittedly, I made more progress on flights to and from Omaha than I did at the beach. Then more books joined the pile. Attacking it is a Sisyphean task, though welcome. The audio book currently playing in my car is Pat Conroy’s My Reading Life. As Conroy explains it, his reading is the underpinning for his writing. The part I heard this morning explains how the novelist Thomas Wolfe enthralled Conroy as a high school student and impelled him to read everything Wolfe wrote. I am a piker in comparison.

Breaking news that broke since our last eNews:

Dr. Martin photoWe completed the search for the inaugural Augusta Baker Chair in Childhood Literacy. Dr. Michelle Martin will forsake Clemson (Now, now. No gloating.) for USC, joining our School of Library and Information Science faculty for the fall semester. We think Dean Tom McNally and his search committee have found us a stellar chair. The bonus is that Dr. Martin, having grown up in Columbia, can recount her own experiences with the much admired Augusta Baker. So, the protracted search is over. Here’s our announcement:


Construction updates:

Sometimes meetings count as progress. We’ve had beneficial ones this summer regarding the work ahead for both schools. While the prep work for the new HVAC in Davis College has yet to start, we’ve now laid out a timetable that will work around the SLIS class schedule and still get things ready for the installation, as planned, in summer of 2012.

We’re locking in the overall design this month for the SJMC renovation and expansion of the current Health Sciences building. That will get us into the succession of Phase II construction approvals that must take place through the rest of 2011.

Year 10:

It might have occurred to me when I arrived on campus in 2002 that I’d hang around for a decade. But others might have said “deans come and go.” I feel most fortunate to have spent this much time in a position that challenges and inspires, and only occasionally bewilders. When Les Sternberg stepped down this summer as dean of our College of Education and I began my tenth year, I became the currently longest serving dean at USC. Longevity, in and of itself, is nothing to get excited about. But I enjoy having strong leadership among our directors and associate deans, an engaged faculty and staff, and students — whether they are at the top or bottom of the class — who make it interesting to be around.

Together, we have made some significant strides in expanding our academic reach, some great hires, some good friends among our alumni and supporters and some exciting plans for the future.

It isn’t over … not yet.

Bierbauer signature


Alumni News

J-school Represented in Leadership Columbia Class 2012

Kayla Muldrow photoThree alumni of the J-school are taking part in the Columbia Chamber of Commerce Leadership class of 2012.

Jamie Muldrow, ’00, Whitney Fleshman, ’97, and Anna Saunders, MMC ’08, are joining other young professionals in the 10-month program. Additionally, Muldrow received the Glenn Jacobus Award that recognizes the outstanding member of the Leadership Class.

Leadership Columbia promotes service learning while also encouraging participants to use their talents in professional and civic organizations.


Kent Babb photoNational Award for Journalism Alumnus

Kent Babb, ’04 journalism, received a first place award for sports feature writing in the 2010 Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) national sports journalism writing competition.

Babb, a sports writer for The Kansas City Star, also received second place honors for explanatory reporting.


Amy Love photoNew Position for J-school Graduate

Amy Love, MMC ’00, now heads the South Carolina Department of Commerce marketing and communications division.

In this capacity, Love will also serve as the department spokeswoman.


Alumna Back at USC

Lindsay Carter-TidwellBroadcast alumna Lindsay Carter-Tidwell, ’00, has been appointed Director of Gift Planning for the USC Development Office.

In addition to her J-school degree, Carter-Tidwell earned her Juris Doctorate from Florida State College of Law in 2003.

She has worked on the Walt Disney World marketing team, taught law courses and, most recently, practiced as an estate planning and probate attorney in Lake City, FL.


SLIS Alumna Published

Linda Waskow  photoLinda Waskow, MLIS ’10, had an article published in the June issue of Teacher Librarian, a school media specialist trade journal.

Waskow’s piece is the lead article in a series she will be writing about her implementation of the concept of Learning Commons in her school. This concept promotes an interactive, collaborative environment in a school setting where school media, administration and teachers work together to engage student learning.


College News

Dr. Kim photoPublic Relations Professor Receives International Honor

Dr. Sei-Hill Kim was recently named president of the Korean American Communication Association. Dr. Kim’s two-year term begins in August. As president, he will direct the organization that is dedicated to the academic and social needs of more than 400 Korean communication scholars and graduate students in North America and South Korea.


Student News

My Summer in Washington!

By Kayla Burns, MLIS student

Kayla Burns photoSpending a summer immersed in gardening and horticulture is not typical for most library and information studies students. However, I was able to do just that as an intern for the Archives of the American Gardens (AAG) at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.    This was among several internships available to choose from at the Smithsonian. I chose to apply for AAG because, though I didn’t have any prior experience with horticulture, I knew I wanted to learn more about archival work.

During my internship I had the opportunity to work on many projects. My personal favorite was a tagging initiative for the Smithsonian online catalog. This entailed testing the functionality of the tagging feature, while noting problems and user friendliness. In addition, I researched how other museums and similar institutions are using tagging on their sites. This research and development work helped design the look and feel of the tagging feature the Smithsonian will be testing. Other projects during my internship included cataloging photographs and processing a recently donated archival collection from a landscape architect.

Kayla Burns in the SmithsonianNot only was the work experience extremely helpful, but the Smithsonian provides a great deal of professional development for its interns, including grant writing lessons, career fairs, resume workshops and field trips. One of my standout experiences was being able to tour the Smithsonian’s museum support center (MSC), which is not open to the public. The MSC is the size of five football fields and stores oversized items, plant and animal specimens, along with items from a variety of departments. It was amazing to realize how many items the Smithsonian truly has and how it is connected to research and conservation.

Though an internship in the scorching, humid Washington summertime is not ideal, I would not trade this experience. From this internship, I have developed a keener sense of purpose for my future career; I would like to focus on user behavior research. I’ve learned whether you’re working in a library or museum setting, the challenges are similar.


Upcoming Events

"A Practice Tailgate"
Aug. 31, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
GMR Marketing
1435 West Morehead St., Suite 190
Charlotte, N.C.  

Ready for Carolina football? Going to the first game?

Plan to kick off the season with Dean Charles Bierbauer as we paint the town garnet at this special pre-season gathering for Charlotte area alumni.

We'll fire up the grill and enjoy sporty libations in Gamecock style. Don't miss this opportunity to connect with your fellow alumni and hear the latest college updates.

A special thanks to J-school alumni Mike and Kim Boykin of GMR Marketing for generously hosting our event. Go Gamecocks!

RSVP by Aug. 26 to Elaine Taylor: 803-777-7118 or taylorem@mailbox.sc.edu

Mentor Match Night
Sept. 8, 6-8 p.m.
Russell House Ballroom

Our college’s Alumni Society invites you to join its Mentor Program. If you are interested in mentoring a student for the coming school year, plan to attend our mentor match night. The format will model speed dating where alumni and students will rotate every few minutes until everyone has had a chance to meet and talk. It’s a fun way to network and meet all of the participants. At the end of the event, participants will rate their top choices. Then, we’ll pair all students and mentors.  

Don’t worry if you cannot attend; you can still participate in the program.  
To sign up, RSVP to Chrysti Shain - chrysti.shain@gmail.com.


Dr. Elise Lewis and the Arius 3D Scanner

Dr. Lewis photo

Four years is a long time to wait. But for Dr. Elise Lewis, the School of Library and Information Studies, and the McKissick Museum, it was worth it now that the Arius 3D scanner has finally arrived. The Arius 3D scanner was delivered to the school in June. The wait began in 2007 when the school was approached by Arius 3D, a Canadian company, to establish an imaging center. Arius was looking for several universities that would have access to historical or valuable collections. Ours would be the first of its kind in the U.S. With the ability to work with McKissick, South Caroliniana Library and other archives and museums throughout the state, SLIS’s response was an enthusiastic “yes.”

Surprisingly small at two feet square plus the actual camera, the scanner uses laser technology along with proprietary software to create 3-dimensional images of objects. All components, including a week of on site training for Dr. Lewis and her team, are a part of the $1 million donation to our program.

One of the challenges for Dr. Lewis was finding space for the scanner, plus technician, and keeping the space adequately cooled. While scanning, the laser puts off a tremendous amount of heat which can interfere with the scanning procedure.

The unique value of the scanner is its ability to create digital records of artifacts that can be used for archiving and research by the collection owners. “Any images become the property of the collection owner. We’re more of a digitization shop,” is how Dr. Lewis describes the imaging center located in the North gallery of McKissick.


Dr. Lewis, in conjunction with staff from McKissick and the College of Arts and Sciences, will lead the ongoing project of scanning items from museum collections. Chess Schmidt, MLIS ’10, is the lab technician for the Arius scanner. Scanning an object is a painstaking process involving multiple steps. “It’s like putting pieces of a puzzle together,” Schmidt says.

Scanner team imageUsing proprietary software from Arius, separate images from a single object are pieced together using markers that guide where each part should fit. After that, software is used to edit the image, which can include color correcting and filling in spaces to better represent the object.

The imaging center’s first project is scanning the museum’s Catawba pottery collection, which involves 300 pieces that will likely take months to finish. Dr. Lewis is in the preliminary stages of identifying the next collection to be scanned.

In addition to the ongoing scanning, the Arius will also be part of a new exhibit at McKissick, starting Aug. 12, titled “Imaging the Invisible.” As Jill Koverman, Chief Curator of Collections and Research, describes, “It will take us from microscopes to nanotechnology.” Exhibit visitors will be able to watch Schmidt scan items that will become three-dimensional items for the exhibit.


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Annual Scholarship Luncheon

Dancing with the Deans

Gamecocks on the Green

Humpy Wheeler Book Signing

Spring Mentor Match Night



A Time Capsule. Last seen in the Carolina Coliseum a few decades ago. If you have any information leading to the recovery of our time capsule, please contact Elaine Taylor (taylorem@mailbox.sc.edu)

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