Skip to Content

College of Information and Communications


Alumni Council

The CIC Alumni Council represents alumni of both the School of Journalism and Mass Communications and School of Library and Information Science. Alumni Council members support alumni programming to enhance career and social networking opportunities for alumni and students as they prepare to join the alumni family. The CIC Alumni Council advocates the needs and concerns of our alumni and serves in two-year terms on a volunteer basis.

 

alumni council

Marti Brown

Marti (MLIS ‘11, SLIS ‘12) is currently a school librarian at Westwood High School in Richland School District Two. Before moving to K-12 education, she served in various student service positions at USC in the psychology department, the Civil and Environmental Engineering department, and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Her biggest accomplishments include completing two graduate degrees while balancing a full-time career, two accident-prone children, two adventurous dogs, and an ultra-runner husband — all while maintaining a 4.0! Before moving to South Carolina, she was an archaeological field technician and participated in excavations in Honduras, Greece, Arizona, Idaho, and various southeastern states. 

alumni council

John Brunelli

John works in the Office of Communications and Public Affairs at the USC where he handles media relations for the Arnold School of Public Health, the College of Engineering and Computing, the College of Nursing, the College of Pharmacy and the College of Social Work. He also directs social media for Degrees of Health, the university’s branding of its 100-plus health science degree programs. Prior to joining the university, Brunelli worked at four TV stations in North and South Carolina where he held every job in television news — reporter, anchor, assignment editor, newscast producer, news director and station manager. His reporting earned him awards from the Associated Press and the Radio Television News Directors Association of the Carolinas. John and his wife have three degrees from Carolina between them and his son is currently a sophomore at USC. He is keeping his fingers crossed that his teenage daughter will become a Gamecock, too.

alumni council

Kathy Carroll

Kathy Carroll has been in education for over 20 years and she earned her MSLIS in 2009 from USC. She is the librarian at Westwood High School in Richland District 2 in Columbia. She was selected by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards to work a committee to revise the standards for library media specialists in 2009. She then continued to work with NBPTS on various projects including writing the framework for the new teacher leadership standard and the revision of NBPTS publications. She is a 2007 ALA Spectrum Scholar and has been actively involved in the Spectrum community. She was elected as the AASL Region IV Director and currently serves as an ALA councilor at large. 

alumni council

Marjorie Riddle Duffie

Marjorie graduated from the CIC in 2006 with a bachelor's in print journalism. Currently, she is the PR and marketing director for the USC Student Health Services, a position that she has held since 2013. She was recently awarded the NASPA Silver Excellence award in student health, wellness and counseling for her management of USC’s Mental Health Matters campaign in 2017 and 2018. In 2016, she was awarded the Silver Addy award by the American Advertising Awards for Public Service Campaigns for her work on the university’s Stop Sexual Assault campaign in 2016. Throughout her time working, Duffie has also taken classes part-time and has recently graduated with her master’s in higher education administration from USC.

alumni council

Chardonnay Ismail

Chardonnay is a December 2016 public relations graduate. She is the coordinator for social media marketing for undergraduate admissions at USC, and has recently taken on a videography role. She also has experience in local government with Richland County Government, and during the October 2015 flood, she helped with crisis communication efforts. In 2017, Ismail was named one of the American Advertising Federation’s 50 Most Promising Multicultural Students and traveled to New York City to network with some of the biggest names in the advertising industry. Many may not know that in 2016 she earned a black belt in American karate.

alumni council

Dawn Kujawa

Dawn graduated cum laude from USC in 1985 with a bachelor’s in journalism. Post-graduation, she worked for The State Media Co. for 22 years where she had various newsroom positions ranging from features editor to copy editor to special projects manager. She was a two-time winner of The State’s annual newsroom award for editing and received awards from the Society of Newspaper Design and SC Press Association during her time there. Despite these accolades, Kujawa still believes that her biggest accomplishment in life is being a mom, and doing it while juggling demanding careers. Currently, she is the public information officer for Lexington School District 2. Outside of work, she is trying to hike as many national parks in the U.S. and Canada as possible, having hiked 10 to date.

alumni council

Lauren McAlexander

Lauren is a 2015 graduate from the SJMC with a degree in public relations. She recently received her Social Marketing Certification from Hootsuite Academy, which goes hand-in-hand with her position as the digital marketing strategist at ADCO, an ad agency in downtown Columbia. In her free time you can find her at the gym, with her puppy or planning her wedding to her high school sweetheart.

alumni council

Brindy McNair, chair

Brindy McNair currently serves as public relations manager for Palmetto Health Foundation, where she coordinates and manages content for the foundation's digital properties. Prior to joining the team at Palmetto Health Foundation, Brindy was a journalist with more than a decade of experience in print and digital content management. She first landed at the Post and Courier, where she wore multiple hats, including reporter, page designer, copy editor and webmaster. Brindy's time at the Post and Courier came to an end in 2013 when she was named managing editor of Cola Daily, a hyper-local online daily publication covering Richland and Lexington counties.

alumni council

Ore Oluwole

Ore graduated from the SJMC in 2016 with a bachelor’s in public relations. Currently he is the senior director of communications for the My Carolina Alumni Association where he plans and executes communications strategies to nearly 300,000 USC alumni. While working for the alumni association, he is also pursuing an M.M.C. in strategic communications from the school. In 2017, Cola Today named him one of their six young professionals to watch.

alumni council

Abigail Pait

Abigail Pait graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2016 with a bachelor’s in public relations. She is currently the public relations manager for Curing Kids Cancer, a nonprofit devoted to funding cutting edge childhood cancer therapies and whose founders are proud Gamecocks. It was there that she received her first job out of college, and she has worked at Curing Kids Cancer for the two years since. While at USC, she was on the National Championship Equestrian team.

alumni council

Rebecca Piner

Rebecca works for the university as the assistant director of marketing for South Carolina athletics and is an adjunct professor in the sport and entertainment management program. Piner has been with the athletics department for five years, where she has overseen the women's basketball team, both tennis programs, softball, track and field, volleyball and the department's community programs. In 2018, her marketing department was named the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators (NACMA) Marketing Team of the Year among all collegiate athletics programs in the country. In 2015, she earned her bachelor’s in sport and entertainment management and in 2016 she earned her Master of Science in sport and entertainment management.

alumni council

Ashley Pullen, co-chair

Ashley is a 2015 graduate of the SJMC with a degree in public relations. She also graduated with leadership distinction in professional and civic engagement. Pullen currently is the director for marketing and development at the South Carolina Bar Foundation. Previously, she has served as the program coordinator for Columbia College's Center for Leadership and Professional Excellence and as the communications coordinator for Columbia Opportunity Resource. In her free time, you can find Pullen curled up with a good book, walking her dog or catching up with friends at local Columbia hotspots.

alumni council

Chrysti Shain

Chrysti Shain is a public information officer at the South Carolina Department of Social Services, focusing on foster care and adoption. She spent 25 years running metro desks at newspapers in the Carolinas, including The Charlotte Observer, The State and The (Myrtle Beach) Sun News. She also spent several years as a travel writer and editor for the South Carolina tourism department. She is in her fourth year as chairman of the judge’s panel for the National Headliner Awards, a national journalism competition which she has helped judge on and off since 2002. Chrysti is passionate about helping students and giving back to USC. She helped create the college’s Mentor Match program a decade ago and has mentored many students since. She also serves as vice president of operations for the Kappa Kappa Gamma House Board. An avid runner, she has completed more than a dozen half marathons and is proud to have run her first marathon last October. She is a fierce, lifelong Gamecock fan and is raising her daughter to be one, too.

alumni council

Ron Stafford

Ron graduated from SLIS in 2017 and now operates an archival consultant company where his specialty is working with the archives of artists. While a student at USC, he interned in the archives at the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, where he honed his skills working with artist archives. While a student, he also worked for Mauney Memorial Library in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, as a digitization technician. in Kings Mountain, he helped to digitize, describe and author metadata for the entire photography collection of Mauney Memorial Library and Kings Mountain Historical Museum. This work has helped give the people of Kings Mountain their history.  The trajectory of his career is based on his research topic: Hidden Jewish Archives in the era of World War II. His overarching goal is to first and foremost, work to preserve the archival record of Holocaust survivors. In this vein, he hopes to draw out the accounts of the Romani People; allowing them a stage to tell their unique and little-known story of persecution and survival.  

alumni council

Natalie Swift

Natalie graduated with a bachelor's in journalism in May 2015 and a master's in mass communications in December 2017. She is currently a marketing and communications specialist for Milliken and Co. in Spartanburg, South Carolina. This is her first job out of graduate school, but she previously interned for BMW Manufacturing Co., Textron Specialized Vehicles and Chernoff Newman. Her biggest accomplishment thus far is graduating from the South Carolina Honors College with top honors and a published senior thesis: "Rome and Sorrento: A Collection of Summer Moments." She is originally from Spartanburg, and has loved getting to rediscover her hometown as a young professional. She can regularly be found at Spartanburg's restaurants, breweries and events downtown.

alumni council

Megan Telenico

Megan graduated in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in advertising.  She's a senior account executive with Lamar Advertising where she is the top account executive in South Carolina and in the top 3 percent nationwide.  She is also currently serving as the American Advertising Federation District 3 governor, presiding over North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. She's served on the USC Young Alumni Council as well as served as a board member and president of the American Advertising Federation of the Midlands, where several years the organization was awarded the National Club of the Year. She became a new mom in March and enjoys all the baby snuggles she can fit in the day. She also enjoys hiking with her husband and dog when the weather is cooler.

alumni council

Samantha Yager

Samantha earned two degrees from USC — her bachelor's (PR, '12) and master's (M.M.C., '17).  She is the solid waste assistant superintendent for the city of Columbia. Her work focuses on waste reduction education and operations management. Yager previously worked for the city’s Public and Media Relations Department as a public relations coordinator. Last year, she was named a 2017 Woman of Influence by the Columbia Regional Business Report and a 2017 Bill Heenan Emerging Leader by the National Recycling Coalition. While spreading the importance of recycling, Yager might be seen frolicking around Columbia in a wizard hat!