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College of Information and Communications

From interests to investments

Posted December 20, 2018

Therese Griffin (B.A., 1982) is manager of energy efficiency and demand management for Dominion Energy (formerly SCE&G/SCANA Corporation). Since graduating, she’s done everything from hosting public affairs shows to corporate marketing and communications. Her broadcast degree has opened doors — now, she’s finding ways to return the favor.

What do you do in your current job? 
I help customers lower their energy bill and take advantage of renewable energy. Energy can be a significant spend for many households and businesses. I manage a department that markets and delivers programs to help customers better manage their electric energy usage and lower their utility bills. While it may seem counterintuitive for a company to help its customers not use its product, these programs are fairly common among regulated utilities and often support goals to reduce the need for new power plants.

What’s the most interesting or significant thing you’ve done since graduating?
Since earning my journalism degree at USC, I’ve used it to build a career that has included radio news anchor, host of public affairs shows on both television and radio, public relations director, college magazine editor and corporate marketing/communications manager. My degree has afforded me the opportunity to enjoy a fairly interesting and dynamic career in ways that I could not have predicted.   

What are you passionate about in your work?
I’m passionate about helping people improve their lives in meaningful ways. Working for a utility company that provides a critical service to more than 700,000 customers in South Carolina has been a rewarding way to fulfill my desire to serve others. 

What did you learn while in school at the CIC that still resonates today? 
The importance of good written and verbal communication skills is timeless. There is no substitute for being able to effectively communicate — whether working on a team, serving customers, asking for a raise or writing a business plan.  Many students underestimate the value of their communication skills. They shouldn’t. Those skills can be invaluable throughout all stages of any type of career.

Do you have a favorite professor or a favorite memory from your time at the CIC?  

My most interesting experiences were in Dr. Dudek’s broadcast television classes, where he taught everything from producing and directing the news to operating a camera to coaching on-air talent. He had a memorable and unique teaching style that either produced fear or excitement in his students. I experienced both.

You recently helped establish a scholarship for diverse students. Why is this a meaningful giving area for you and what is your vision for the scholarship’s student recipients?
My late mother taught French and English in the school systems of Aiken County, South Carolina, and Brooklyn, New York.  Although I did not become a full-time teacher, I’ve always admired the significant role they play. I also have an interest in promoting communications as a career path for diverse students. Supporting the establishment of the scholarship fit both interests.

You also support the CIC through your membership in the Dean’s Circle Society. Why do you give?
I’ve been blessed in my career and benefited from the help of mentors and people who were invested in my professional growth and development. I want to do the same for others. 

What would you say to someone who is considering joining the Dean’s Circle Society?
You won’t regret the investment. The school has done a great job of connecting my interests with my giving.

You’re also involved with the SJMC’s Professional Advisory Board. How do you hope to shape the J-school through your work with the PAB?
Corporations need qualified communicators to help them break through the enormous amount of information being consumed daily by their customers. I hope to connect my corporate experiences with students interested in a similar career path.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.