Reprinted from InterCom, the college alumni magazine
“I wanted to be a part of something special.”
Cory Burkarth is among the more than 225 College of Mass
Communications and Information Studies alumni working at
USC. He and Duncan Alford, Jenna Eckel and Elizabeth West,
all have different reasons for wanting to work for their
alma mater, and they reflect how broadly the college’s alumni are engaged across the university.
home and wanting to work in the area are some of the reasons
graduates of the College of Mass Communications and Information
Studies choose to work at the university.
Alford, associate dean of the School of Law and the director
of the law library, has used his degree from the School
of Library and Information Science to help him with budgeting,
selecting materials and managing personnel. While Alford
has a degree in law from the University of North Carolina,
his MLIS degree, which he earned in 2001, also assists
him daily. He uses both degrees in his teaching and administration
“I wanted to be a part of a research university. We have a variety of programs
here that aren’t offered at other universities,” Alford said. He
also wanted this job so he could be closer to his family.
Eckel, a 2011 graduate of the J-school, works in President
Harris Pastides’ and
Provost Michael Amiridis’ offices, an exciting opportunity for a recent
graduate. Eckel said her story is an unexpected one, as she had already accepted
a job in November. Dr. Amiridis sat next to Eckel at a scholarship luncheon,
and he told her to send him her résumé. He emailed her the day
after her December graduation to offer her a job, making her job decision difficult.
“I knew I could accomplish a lot, and it felt like
home,” Eckel said.
Even though she is from Pennsylvania, she is comfortable
In her job, she makes presentations, takes phone calls,
researches and studies sustainability issues. An interesting
aspect of her job is learning how a university operates.
Her public relations degree taught her to look at the big
picture, comprehend facts from various subjects and connect
West, a graduate of both the J-school (1989) and SLIS
(1995), is a university archivist, working with a wide
range of people, from freshmen to graduate students to
faculty to administrators. West assisted with ESPN College
GameDay this year and in 2010, to ensure that trucks parked
in appropriate places to avoid wells that could collapse
under their weight. West knows where the wells are located
because she takes care of historical records, including
maps of USC’s campus.
As a university archivist, West oversees exhibits for
the South Caroliniana Library. “The
exhibits are driven on collections we have, collections we want to highlight,
anniversaries coming up, and new collections that come in,” West said.
Her degrees have helped her determine what information is needed, how to handle
and catalogue materials and use the South Caroliniana Library records.
As the media coordinator for the athletics department,
Burkarth (BA, 2009, MMC, 2012) updates the website, coordinates
press conferences and events like Marcus Lattimore’s birthday celebration for television stations and news networks.
His job is unique because of the way the journalism field is changing; video
is becoming more of an emphasis, increasing in the three years he has worked
for USC. He can release a story immediately on the website rather than waiting
for traditional media to gather the information, conduct interviews, and run
the story a day or two later.
“As a student, the J-school provided me opportunities to grow and learn,” Burkarth
said. His degree taught him several things he uses in his job, such as how to
use the camera and the editing software.
Many USC graduates are working for the university, and
all of them have stories to tell. We’d like you to share your story about what USC has done for
you, what you’re doing for USC and what you hope to do for USC in the future.
Megan McPheely is a junior visual communications
major from Duluth, Georgia.