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From the Dean

Summer Reading 2012

My dean colleagues and I often joke that summer is the time when we try to catch up. Emphasis is on the word "try." It's a good time for projects and planning, not to mention attacking that ridiculous pile of papers, articles and magazines that never seem to get read, clipped or filed. And then there's the scattered accumulation of books — on my bed table, next to my reading chair, on my desk — half read, partly read, waiting to get in the queue.

This is my newly decreed summer of catch up reading. It seems that I have a few centuries worth to work on. Let's start with Benjamin Franklin's 18th century adventures in journalism, diplomacy and statesmanship. I started Walter Isaacson's "Benjamin Franklin, An American Life" last summer. (No, it couldn't have been two summers ago.) In any event, if I want to catch up to Isaacson's Steve Jobs biography (I've read bits), I think I should finish Franklin first.

Next to it is Alexis de Tocqueville's "Democracy in America," which I pick up periodically and explore. Intriguing that the Frenchman De Tocqueville was as savvy about America as was Franklin about France. The joy of history books is that you don't have to swallow whole histories in one bite. When we moved to South Carolina ten years ago, I acquired a copy of Walter Edgar's "South Carolina, a History." It is as much a reference work, an encyclopedia — as is Walter himself — that I can periodically dive back into for better insight into the historic complexities of this state.

The bed table has been anchored for a while by Mike Rapport's "1848, Year of Revolution." That was the year, as the book jacket says, when "working class radicals and middle-class liberals in Paris, Milan, Venice, Naples, Palermo, Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Krakow, Munich, and Berlin toppled the old regimes and began the task of forging a new order." I quickly foraged for the parts reflecting my German forebears engagement in the revolution that led to their fleeing to the U.S. But I've been laboring longer than the events themselves in that "red summer."

I am willingly distracted. Before leaving for Egypt in May, I borrowed Daniel Kahneman's "Thinking, Fast and Slow" from colleague John Besley. My Egyptian hosts wanted me to talk to a couple of classes about the shaping of public opinion, more John's field than mine. Kahneman, a Nobel prize honoree in economics, artfully and plausibly dissects the rational and irrational influences in the way we all make decisions. In one sense, Kahneman demonstrates that we make most of our decisions intuitively and reflexively. We get in more trouble when we over think situations.

Meanwhile, Pat Conroy's "Prince of Tides" is the audio book currently airing in my car. I catch up on Conroy at the rate of about a book a year. His unhappy families are even unhappier than Tolstoy's. I'm on a limited angst and anger diet.

This year's USC First Year Reading Experience book is Jonathan Lethem's "Motherless Brooklyn." The offbeat detective novel won't linger on the reading pile, as I'll be leading one of the discussion sessions with the incoming freshmen in August. Otherwise, I'll be polishing off large chunks of the 18th and 19th centuries. It'll be good to catch up.

Fortunately, summer's got a couple months left to run. Pick up a book or two. A new one or an old one. Take your time reading them. Savor the moments.

Charles Bierbauer

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Alumni News

Wang named Dean and University Librarian at University of Cincinnati

wangXuemao Wang, MLIS '94, has been named dean and university librarian at the University of Cincinnati. Most recently the associate vice provost of university libraries at Emory University, Wang will begin his new appointment on August 31.

Previously, Wang has worked as head of library systems at Johns Hopkins University, director of information technology for the Metropolitan New York Library Council, manager of Internet services for Queens Borough Public Library, and head of the Information Service Department at Sichuan Institute of Business and Administration in Chingqing, China.

Along with his masters in library and information science from Carolina, Wang also earned a masters in business administration from Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. and a masters in library science from Kutztown University in Pennsylvania.

Reinhard wins Student News Emmy

Emilie Reinhard, broadcasting '11, won the 2012 Student News Emmy for her story "Making Wildfires." The announcement was made at the Southeast Regional Emmy Awards event in Atlanta in June.

Reinhard's production, which was put together during her broadcast senior semester, was filmed at the Insurance Institute of Business and Home Safety, whose research center is located in Richburg, SC. It covered the process of the wildfire tests performed at the center.

In addition to Reinhard, several other J-school students were involved in award-winning productions. Courtney Krebs, Cameron Widerman, Chelsey Parler and Angela Padgett served as student production assistants for Gamecock Productions, which earned two Southeast Regional Emmy Awards at the conference.


Dame Begins Work with Smithsonian Gardens Archives

daneJessica Dame, MLIS '12, is spending the summer interning at the Archive of American Gardens within the Smithsonian Gardens.

Dame's main project for the summer will be processing a part of the Rudy J. Favretti Collection. Favretti, a professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Connecticut, maintained materials on the landscaping of Thomas Jefferson's Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia.


Hasell Awarded Rookie of the Year

hasellAlyssa Hasell, public relations '11, has been named Rookie of the Year by the South Carolina Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

Hasell, communications coordinator for Collins & Lacy in Columbia, serves on the board of directors for the South Carolina Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators. She is also a marketing committee volunteer for the Columbia Opportunity Resource. As a student, she served as president of PRSSA along with multiple volunteer and internship positions. Hasell was named Outstanding Public Relations Senior in 2011.


Free Among 25 Influential Women in Business

freeVicky L. Free, broadcasting '92, has been recognized by The Network Journal as one of its annual 25 Influential Women in Business award winners.

Free is currently the executive vice president of marketing at BET Networks. She worked as a regional representative for Pitney Bowes, regional marketing manager and national director for McDonald's Corporation and vice president of entertainment marketing for the Turner Broadcasting System.



College News


Kenney named Editor-in-Chief of International Conference on Journalism & Mass Communications

kenneyVisual communications professor Dr. Keith Kenney has been named the editor-in-chief of the inaugural Annual Conference on Journalism and Mass Communication. He will also serve on the program committee.

Kenney hopes that his work with the conference, which will take place December 3-4 at the Hotel Fort Canning in Singapore, will lead to additional opportunities for international collaborations between the SJMC and universities around the world, particularly in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia.


Cocky's Reading Express Visits SC Libraries

Though schools are out for the summer, Cocky isn't letting literacy fall by the wayside. He and his volunteers have been on a library tour across the state, with stops in Union, Chester and Berkeley counties, just to name a few.

counterLed by program coordinator Christine Rienecker, volunteers made up of USC students, alumni, faculty and staff ride along in the 22-passenger bus donated to Cocky's Reading ExpressTM by BP America. After each visit, the children receive a new book to take home. Since the program began, over 45,000 books have been given out at libraries and schools across South Carolina.

Keep updated on the Cocky's Reading Express schedule by following them on twitter @CockyReads, or on their website arrow

VisCom Professor's Documentary Viewed Publicly for the First Time

mcgillVisual communications professor Denise McGill and Associate Director of the Earth Sciences and Resources Institute Dr. Buz Kloot previewed their documentary, "The Land Ain't Going Nowhere," for the first time on June 22 for the anniversary of the Penn Center on St. Helena Island.

The thirty-minute film highlights St. Helena Island and focuses on conservation, sustainable agriculture and the deep ties to the land that are found in the Gullah/Geechee culture. McGill plans to premiere the film for the public once it is completed in the fall.



Upcoming Events

Camp Read-a-Rama
August 6-10
South Carolina Center for Children's Books and Literacy

Camp Read-a-Rama, for ages 4-11, uses children's literature as a springboard for hands-on and outdoor education. Campers will swim, participate in other outdoor activities, and take several field trips.
More information and registration arrow

Save The Date

Annual Literacy Leaders Awards Ceremony
Tuesday, September 11 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
South Carolina State Library

Alumni/Student Mentor Match Night
Tuesday, September 25 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Russell House Ballroom

I-Comm Week
October 8 - 12

Gamecocks on the Green
Friday, November 9
Gibbes Green

For more information, email lambert@sc.edu





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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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