A Political Year
Iowa has already voted, in its quirky caucus way, for the Republican
presidential candidates. New Hampshire is on the cusp, as I write
this first note of the New Year. Then it’s South Carolina’s
turn. We will only be two weeks into our spring semester, and the
political circus will have come and gone.
That might be all right with you, but I’m teaching a spring
course on Media & Politics. I was counting on having the first
half of the course to focus on the primary process. Then Florida
Republicans got all antsy and compressed the calendar. As I told
my students when I sent them the course syllabus this week, neither
politics nor journalism functions well in a rigid environment.
My classes have one flexible guideline. If something occurs that’s
more compelling than what is on the syllabus, we’ll make
the most of it. When I taught a similar course in Washington, we
were usefully diverted in successive years by President Clinton’s
impeachment, the Bush-Gore court challenges of 2000, and 9/11.
There is academic purpose to the syllabus. It is a road map for
where we plan to go over the course of a semester. We also emphasize
outcomes that a student will take away from the course. Those side
roads are not just whimsical distractions. They don’t just
lead to interesting places, they produce understanding, in this
case, of the convoluted political process. That’s a good
As we review and revise our curricula, there is a natural tension
between traditional core competencies and the dynamics of our learning
and working environment. Reality dictates that we both retain and
Towards the end of the semester, I’ll ask the class to scrap
Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution and design a better
way to elect a president. It’s not easy to set aside something
that has worked reasonably well since 1787. (Florida was not at
the Constitutional Convention.)
Over a span of 20 years covering politics, I spent a lot of time
in the snows of Iowa and the cold of New Hampshire. It’s
no wonder that the politicians and the press alike begin to look
forward to the campaign turning to South Carolina. It’s a
great teachable moment to have them here, even if they don’t
stick around very long.
Muth Joins My Carolina Staff
Public relations alumna Elizabeth Muth has been hired by USC’s
My Carolina Alumni Association as its director of alumni engagement.
Muth, ’05, joins My Carolina after previously working for
three years as the director of development for the university’s
Hearne Earns Teacher of the Year Honor
Kristen Hearne, '06 MLIS, was named Anderson School District 1’s
Teacher of the Year for the 2011-2012 school year.
Hearne, a library
media specialist at Wren Middle School, will represent Anderson
District 1 in the competition for South Carolina Teacher of the
Year. She will also serve on a state-wide advisory panel to the
State Department of Education and will receive $1,000 in recognition
of her outstanding achievements.
Nale Joins South Carolina Federal Credit Union
Rebekah Nale, '09 public relations, was hired as the Public Relations
Coordinator by the South Carolina Federal Credit Union in Charleston.
Nale previously worked with Savannah, Ga., organizations Abshire
Public Relations and United Way of the Coastal Empire.
Holder’s Company Named one of the country’s Fastest
Growing Print Firms
Advertising and public relations alumnus Jeff Holder’s company
PrintTek, Inc., was named one of the fastest growing print distributors
in the U.S. by Print Solutions Magazine. Holder, ’88, started
the company in 1997 in Greer, S.C., and provides customized solutions
for printing projects, procurement and inventory management.
SLIS Alumna featured on Good Morning Texas
SLIS alumna Jo Giudice, ’03 MLIS, was recently featured
on ABC’s Dallas affiliate WFAA-TV’s Good Morning Texas
show. Giudice, manager of the Dallas Public Library, described
new features of the library and showed off the library’s
Book Mobile. Watch the video
Haney Earns Second Excellence in Teaching Award
Advertising and public relations instructor Jim Haney was named
a 2011 recipient of USC's Mortar Board honor society’s Excellence
in Teaching Award.
Haney, who also earned the honor in 2006, was
nominated for the award by public relations senior Christina Galardi.
Mortar Board is a national honor society that recognizes college
seniors for their exemplary scholarship, leadership and service.
Teaching Award recipients are nominated for the award by Mortar
Liz Qunell Retires After 25 Years of Service
Liz Qunell retired in December after a quarter century of providing
technology support for faculty, staff and students of the School
of Library and Information Science.
School director Sam Hastings
paid tribute to Qunell’s many-faceted service to the library
“Needless to say, we are going to miss her desperately. Her ‘picture
of the week’ has been a favorite web feature. Under ‘other
duties as described’ Liz is our photographer, our instructor
for the online searching course, our technology wizard and, generally,
the very best of employees! Her wry sense of humor and many
kindnesses will be missed, and yet we say, have some fun dear Liz! We
thank you for all of your service and good work!”
Carolina Day at the State House
Feb. 8, 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
Capital City Club - 1201 Main St., Columbia, SC
Show your support for higher education on Carolina Day at the
State House. Attend a special legislative briefing, visit with
legislators and have lunch with President Harris Pastides at the
Capital City Club. There is a $15 fee. Call 803-777-4111 or, toll-free,
800-476-8752 by Feb. 1.
May Carolina Alumni Weekend
University of South Carolina campus
May Carolina Alumni Weekend is a Carolina springtime tradition
that offers innovative and relevant exhibits, lectures, tours and
receptions. Make plans to join us and let the natural beauty of
the University of South Carolina campus inspire you this spring!
For more information, contact Jane Lavender at firstname.lastname@example.org or 803-777-4112
Sig Huitt Helps Lead the Way as Carolina’s Promise Capital
By Joshua Joiner, SJMC Graduate Student
With a goal of raising $1 billion, the University of South Carolina’s
recently announced Carolina’s Promise campaign is the largest
and most ambitious fundraising campaign in the state’s history.
As the capital campaign chair for the College of Mass Communications
and Information Studies, Sig Huitt is helping to lead the way in
the college’s effort to meet its goal of raising $11.5 million
of the campaign’s total amount.
Huitt knows the task will be a challenge, but he’s confident
the campaign’s goal can be reached. “I think it is
a challenging goal for the entire university, but it’s by
no means unattainable,” he said. “As a driver of the
state’s ambitions and fortunes, there’s a need to strengthen
the university in a way that ensures the promising future that
we all want for our state and our region. To do that, we need to
be proactive in raising capital.”
Huitt, a resident of Rock Hill, earned a news editorial degree
from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications in 1967.
He is the founder and managing principal of Carolina PR, a successful
firm based in Charlotte and Columbia. Prior to launching the firm
28 years ago, Huitt worked as The State newspaper’s Piedmont
bureau chief in Rock Hill and served as editor of the Union Daily
Times before he returned to USC and worked for eight years as the
university’s director of information services.
Along with serving on various college boards and committees, professional
success allowed Huitt and his wife Judy to endow a School of Journalism
and Mass Communications scholarship in their name. Each year it
assists one or more students pursuing a well-rounded communications
degree. For Huitt, donating time and money to the college not only
allows him to stay involved, but is also a way for him to give
“I can’t quantify what I gained from the college since
I first came there as a student in 1963,” said Huitt, a 2002
School of Journalism and Mass Communications Distinguished Alumnus. “It’s
very meaningful for me to continue to be involved in the university
and the college. So much of my professional success is due to the
education and background I received during my time as a student.
By giving back in various ways, I know I’m helping to ensure
the same opportunities I’ve had for future students.”
His involvement in Carolina’s Promise affords Huitt another
opportunity to support the college and its continued growth. Among
other areas, funds from the campaign will be used to improve the
college’s facilities, enhance degree programs in the college’s
two schools and provide for more student support and faculty development.