The 2014 hurricane season began officially this week. Weather.com forecasts we'll have 11 named storms, five of hurricane strength and two of those category 3 storms or stronger. Forecasts are not always correct.
We're also in the political season. Primary day in South Carolina is June 10. I've been moderating a series of debates for ETV covering the two U.S. Senate races, the dozen candidates who want to be state superintendent of education and the handful who want to use the lieutenant governor's office as a catapult to greater things, or obscurity. These races are more predictable than hurricanes.
The Gamecocks 2014 baseball season wrapped up Sunday evening, but not the way it was predicted to. The Terrapins of Maryland were scrappier than the Gamecocks and move on towards Omaha. I watched six games involving four teams over the weekend. Baseball is less predictable than either politics or hurricanes.
You're not supposed to win games by consecutive hit batsmen with the bases loaded, bottom of the ninth. Maryland did to defeat Old Dominion. You're supposed to advance the base runners to scoring position and drive them in when they get there. USC did not on too many occasions. You're not supposed to see the umpires walk off the field in the middle of the first inning. The umps did in the Gamecocks' game against the Campbell Fighting Camels. To check on a batter's interference rule. It appears they got it correct. I know, some people don't expect umpires to see things straight.
And the Gamecocks' season is not supposed to end on June 1 in Columbia.
Otherwise, summer will be predictably hot. Gamecock fans will shift their attention to football season, now less than three months away. Other sports will gain attention as the new SEC Network comes on the air in August. Our Maymester sports production course was a hit with students who will have opportunities to work on SEC Network live games.
Cocky's Reading Express™ is on the road this summer fighting summer slide. Summer slide is the level of accomplishment lost between the end of school and the restart at the end of summer. Unfortunately, it's predictable. Keep your kids and grandkids and the neighbors' kids reading over the summer.
Construction on the new journalism school and rehab at Davis College are expected to move steadily over the summer. The steel framework for the j-school addition is now in place. That will add about 9,000 square feet to the existing building.
Next summer, at this time, we will really have expectations about the finishing touches and preparing to move. That, at least, is my prediction.
About those Campbell Fighting Camels. The North Carolina school is unique in Division 1 to have a camel mascot. His name is Gaylord, which may be why he is a fighting camel. Hall of Fame pitcher Gaylord Perry pitched for Campbell in the late 1950s. And Gaylord and Cocky seemed to get along fine. There were no terrapin sightings in the stands at Carolina Stadium.
The Carolina Agency wins SCPRSA award
The Carolina Agency received the 2013 Silver Wing Award of Merit from the SCPRSA for its "Share the Lights of Hope" mailer, a project completed for Ronald McDonald House Charities. The Carolina Agency is a student agency advised by instructor Jeff Ranta. The students create campaigns for clients both locally and nationally, and have been honored with multiple industry awards. The award was presented during the SCPRSE Mercury Awards in Charleston on April 24.
Davis College to undergo historical renovation
This summer, Davis College is undergoing a renovation to repair and restore the original columns, porticos and fascia of the building. This is the first exterior renovation to be completed since the building was constructed in 1909. Work is to begin this month and be completed before classes start in August. "It means so much to keep our 100-plus year old building in top shape," said Dr. Sam Hastings, director of the School of Library and Information Science.
Bracken receives information science scholarship
Amanda Bracken, a junior BSIS student from Cayce, South Carolina, has been named the recipient of the 2014-15 Information Science Dewey Decimal Scholarship. Bracken plans to pursue a Master's degree in Library and Information Science with the ultimate goal of becoming a librarian. She serves as secretary for the Tau Sigma National Honor Society Chapter for transfer students at USC and has organized a teen book club at the Sandhills branch of Richland Library.
Journalism faculty, graduate students to present at national conference
Eighteen faculty and graduate students in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications will present papers at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) annual conference Aug. 6-9 in Montreal, Canada. Some 25 faculty and graduate students will travel to the conference, which features sessions and panels on the latest research, teaching methods and public service in the various components of journalism and mass communication. See the list of publications
Join the college's LinkedIn group
The College of Mass Communications and Information Studies has launched its official alumni group on LinkedIn. This group allows college alumni and friends to make connections through its enhanced networking opportunities. Requests for membership will be verified. Join here
My Year Away
By Dr. Carol J. Pardun
Director, School of Journalism and Mass Communications
In case you all haven't heard, I am stepping down as director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. I'm sure it's the right decision, but it wasn't an easy one. I've loved the past six years (well, most of it!). But, it's time to get back to what I went to graduate school in the first place for. I'm heading back into the classroom and hoping to take up the mantel of “scholar/teacher” again. I've got at least another decade of work in me and I want to spend it teaching and writing.
I'm proud of the work that the school has accomplished over these years. We've hired great people. Five of our associate professors were promoted to full. Several have achieved tenure and promotion to associate professor. We've seen an increase in published research at top-tier journals. We received accolades in our reaccreditation. Our new building is progressing and on target for Fall 2015 occupation.
But, mostly I'm proud that in the midst of increased pressures to publish and increased pressure on university budgets, we continue to change lives in the classroom. I'm convinced that some of the best journalism and mass communications instruction in the country takes place right here in the Coliseum.
And that's why I'm happy that I'm planning to spend my last decade in the academy right here at Carolina. I love just about everything in South Carolina. I love that my house is close to the university, I love humidity, I love that I can row both in Columbia (with the Columbia Rowing Club) and Beaufort (with the Beaufort Rowing Club). I love how friendly — and accessible — the university is.
I love that the J-School faculty is made up of professional oriented faculty as well as academically trained. I love that we have new, straight-from-a-top-research university assistant professors and full professors who have been here for more than 20 years. I love that our faculty put their students first.
I love that I'm less than three hours from the beach and that the Sea Islands are also home for me. I love that I can walk to Garibaldi's for dinner.
I love that our school will soon move to our new building at the corner of Sumter and Greene. I love that we'll be Horseshoe neighbors. I love that I have had an influence on the design of this building. I love that I can meet my husband for lunch over at the Honors College dorm.
I still don't love sweet tea. And, I don't understand what “raw fries” are — other than I know they are not raw. But, peaches, fried pickles, tater tots and shrimp. Ah, the shrimp.
So, most of what I love about this place won't change. But some of it will. I won't be in charge any more — and I love being in charge. I entered the world of administration with the thought that I would be an administrator for the rest of my career. No one was more surprised than me when I came to the conclusion that “the best laid plans” are not always as straight-lined as we may think.
Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive of me over the past six years.
On July 1, I begin a sabbatical to help me transition from full-time administrator to full-time-regular professor. I invite you to follow me on my adventures through my blog, My Year Away (http://carolpardun.com), or on Twitter at @CJPardun.