These monthly notes usually run about 400 words. If the maxim that a picture is worth a thousand words still holds true, you're getting a bonus this month.
First graders at St. Matthews' K-8 school in Calhoun County are the first to use Cocky's Reading Express™ iPads. It's part of our year-long program in the county — Get Ready to Read with Cocky! Our literacy team loads the iPads with books appropriate to the reading curriculum and can track the students' progress, providing valuable data for assessing our program.
We've always known Cocky and his reading friends are good. Now we are finding out how good.
The iPads were provided through a gift to our Center for Children's Books and Literacy by journalism school alumnus Chuck Keefer.
Dean's Circle member Manny Gaetan has his own project, recording the progress of construction on the journalism school building. Manny, a retired trade magazine publisher and untiring photographer, periodically sends me before-and-after comparisons.
I try to pass by the construction site every couple days, too. Here's what I saw on Thursday, Feb. 27. Big holes where future corridors will be. The old interior walls are gone. The new configuration will be open and inviting.
I hope you are keeping an eye on us, too. If you catch Cocky at a school or library or on his bus rolling across South Carolina, send us a photo. If your campus stroll takes you to the corner of Sumter and Greene, see what catches your eye as our building evolves from eyesore to architectural eye candy. We're still in the demolition phase, clearing out before we can start giving the building its new interior and brightening its facade.
The new face around our office is Katie Bullard, who joins us as assistant director of development.
Katie is a USC alumna — business major and journalism minor — who comes to us from the United Way of the Midlands. Her development work is focused on alumni relations for the college, the Dean's Circle of giving and building scholarship funds.
Katie would, of course, like to hear from the college's alumni.
Well, that's my 400 words — give or take — for this month. But the photos really tell the story.
Remembering Debbie Garris
Debbie Garris, the long-time assistant to the director in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, passed away unexpectedly on Feb. 14 at the age of 62.
Garris came to the school in 1997 as administrative assistant to the director of development and later became assistant to the director of the school.
J-school faculty receive Provost grants
Three SJMC faculty members have received funding for various projects through the Office of the Provost. Dr. Brooke McKeever received a grant that will allow her to develop the Principles of Public Relations class into an online option. Denise McGill received a creative and performing arts grant for her project "Documentary: The Last Farmer in Gullah Land." Also receiving a creative and performing arts grant is Dr. Keith Kenney for his documentary film about Adishi, a small village in the Caucasus Mountains in Georgia.
SLIS Fast Track Webinar
The School of Library and Information Science is sponsoring a Fast Track MLIS Webinar on Wednesday, March 5 at 6.p.m. Faculty will present information on the benefits of earning a Master's of Library and Information Science through the Fast Track MLIS option. The Graduate Admissions Coordinator will be available to answer questions on the requirements and application process.
More information and registration
CreateAthon student team wins gold ADDY
One of the student teams participating in the CreateAthon@USC last October has won a Student Gold ADDY at the AAF of the Midlands American Advertising Awards. The team was honored for a logo and brand development created for the Nickelodeon's Helen Hill Media Education Center. The group's work will be entered in the AAF's district competition.
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.
International exposure refocuses information studies student
By Liana Miller, communications intern in the development office
Sara Chizari discovered an entirely different side of information studies when she left Iran in 2008.
"At home, information studies is considered a 'sensitive science'," SLIS doctoral student Chizari explains. She says that in Iran, the government makes it difficult to pursue a career in the field because of its restrictions and censorship.
"Typically, universities in Iran focus more on the computer and engineering side of this field, rather than the human study of information-seeking behaviors," says Chizari, who earned a bachelor's degree in information technology engineering in Iran.
When she began her masters degree in information management at the University of Sheffield in London, Chizari learned a whole new meaning to "information studies." She began to learn about the different ways humans seek information and as an international student, she questioned if cultural background was a variable to consider.
This year, Chizari has been awarded the SPARC fellowship grant from USC's Office of the Vice President for Research. She, along with 52 other recipients, will be awarded up to $5,000 to carry out her research.
Chizari's study will look at the relationship between a user's cultural background and information-seeking behavior. She explains that this behavior is a part of social life and proposes that there may be a link between these two factors.
This will be a 15-month project that will use eye tracking and mouse movement technologies to study how subjects of different cultural groups seek information on the computer.
Her expectations? Chizari says that this is the first study of its kind and cannot predict the direction of her results. She hopes that its findings will play a role in enhancing user experience within program development.
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SLIS Alumni Tea at SCASL
Thursday, March 13,
3:15 - 4:15p.m.
Columbia Convention Center
Columbia Ballroom C.
Deans' and Directors' Lecture
Thursday, April 3
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