University of South Carolina

Holiday Tip Sheet 2010

Check it once, and check it twice, the University of South Carolina’s Office of Media Relations has compiled a list of story ideas and faculty experts to help features, health and business reporters develop holiday-oriented stories. To coordinate an interview, contact the staffer listed with each entry. For additional help, contact us at 803-777-5400 or online at

Staying on a healthy track during the holidays
With stress and parties and all sorts of opportunities for overindulging, the holiday season can be a tough time to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be that way. Dr. Teresa Moore, in USC’s Arnold School of Public Health, can offer tips for keeping up with your exercise routine and making healthy food choices during the holidays. Moore, a clinical assistant professor in the department of exercise science, is an exercise physiologist and registered nutritionist. Her expertise includes physical activity, strength training, diet and nutrition. To arrange an interview, call Megan Sexton at 803-777-5400 or email

Loneliness often confused with lonesomeness at the holidays
The holidays can be a lonely time for people who have lost loved ones or who are apart from family and friends. Dr. Kevin Lewis, in Religious Studies, says loneliness often is confused with lonesomeness, a different experience for some people at the holidays. The state of lonesomeness is the subject of his 2009 book, “Lonesome: The Spiritual Meanings of American Solitude.” He says the solitude of being lonesome can be savory and contemplative, which isn’t negative at all. Lonesomeness in the bustle of holidays can bring balance and reflection and can spur creativity for the promise of the new year. Lewis is available for interviews beginning Monday, Dec. 13. To arrange an interview, call Peggy Binette at 803-777-5400 or email

Helping children lower expectations and raise joy in a tough economy
As the struggling economy continues to have its stranglehold on families, parents are wrestling with how to lower their children’s expectations on gifts and travel this holiday season without causing hurt or worry. Dr. Bradley Smith, a psychologist who works with adolescents and their families, can offer tips on how parents can help very young children and older teens understand the realities of tighter finances, managing expectations and recognize the opportunity for and gift of family togetherness. To arrange an interview, call Peggy Binette at 803-777-5400 or email

Adding a little green into your holidays
A few simple green practices this holiday season can add a little green to your pocket and your employer’s purse, says sustainability director Michael Koman. Koman is available to offer a series of green and money-saving tips, such as cleaning out and turning off the fridge at work, making wrapping paper out of recycled materials, buying energy-saving LED holiday lights, recycling trees, re-gifting, buying and giving rechargeable batteries, using plates and glasses for dinners and parties, recycling batteries and cell phones and giving the sustainable gift of animals to needy children and families worldwide through organizations such as To arrange an interview, call Peggy Binette at 803-777-5400 or email

Historian studying the stuff in your stocking
Ever wondered where holiday chocolates and toys come from? History professor Dr. Allison Marsh has. In fact, Marsh has spent a decade studying the history of factory tours, exploring why companies open their doors to the curious public and what visitors learn when they see how things are made. Marsh can discuss this fascinating slice of American history and can discuss how to make the most of adding a factory tour to your holiday travels this year. To arrange an interview, call Peggy Binette at 803-777-5400 or email

Businesses that screened holiday workers are more apt to increase sales
In anticipation of holiday sales, retailers nationwide have hired more than a half million part-time workers. Dr. Rob Ployhart, a management professor and expert on staffing at the Darla Moore School of Business, says retailers who used a simple screening process when hiring can expect higher sales than businesses who did not. Simply put, a more competent, qualified staff leads to shoppers spending more money during their visit and, often, returning before the holidays. Ployhart says too often retailers operate under the misconception that screening is expensive and complicated. To arrange an interview, call Peggy Binette in the Office of Media Relations at 803-777-5400 or email

Shoppers hold the key to retailers’ bottom line during the holidays
Shoppers have put sales at the top of their must-have lists this holiday season, and retailers are doing their best to oblige, since many will earn 40 percent of their revenue during November and December. The brutal recession still has some South Carolina consumers being super cautious, but nationwide, consumers are expected to spend generously. Dr. Marianne Bickle, chairman of the department of retailing, says people are starting to open their wallets and retailers are trying to capture as much of the market as they can, while they can. To arrange an interview, call Frenché Brewer in the Office of Media Relations at 803-777-5400 or email

By Office of Media Relations

Posted: 12/10/10 @ 2:55 PM | Updated: 12/10/10 @ 3:03 PM | Permalink



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