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Sonic the Hedgehog animator to speak Thursday

Animator Tyson Hesse, best known for his work on the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, will speak at the first installment of the SJMC's Studio South Speaker Series on Feb. 20.

Softball partners with J-school to bring broadcasts 🥎

Three J-school students will provide broadcasts for up to 27 home games during the 2020 Gamecock softball season.

College announces 2020 Digital Media Academy

Students from diverse backgrounds are invited to apply for the week-long video storytelling camp, which will prepare them for a spectrum of media careers. The second annual Digital Media Academy will be held May 18-22 at the SJMC.

Civil Rights series: Augusta Baker's legacy in SLIS

Storyteller-in-residence sounds like a dream job for some MLIS students, but for Augusta Baker, it was more than a fairy tale. Baker led a life that saw her overcome all obstacles to become one of ALA Archives' most important leaders of the 20th century.

Turning connections into a career

How do you go from anthropology major to building an agency's voice marketing department? Just ask Ja'Qor "Jay" Goodwin, strategist and voice team lead for Nebo in Atlanta. The 2018 MMC alumnus shares how he got where he is today and offers advice for students hoping to do the same.

Lessons from Silicon Valley ✈️

Faculty members from SLIS and the SJMC traveled to Silicon Valley last month to learn from giants like Facebook and Google. Not only did the CIC team learn about emerging trends in media and technology, they also learned what companies like these look for in interns and new hires. Catch highlights from their trip on our travel blog.


Myra McPhee, BA, 2002, graduated with an MFA in theater from Sarah Lawrence College in December. She wrote a play that has been selected for the Hear Her Call play festival in New York City. 

Meredith Morris, BA, 2005, has joined The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina as professional development director. 

Tiffany Ervin, BA, 1992, has been selected as governor for Rotary International District 7670 (Western North Carolina) for 2019-2020. She has also been elected vice president of public image for The CART Fund, a nonprofit that awards Alzheimer's disease research grants. 

Amanda Brown Heckert, BA, 2003, is deputy editor at Garden & Gun magazine. She edited the publication's latest book, Southern Women, which came out in October. She and her husband, Justin, live in Charleston. 

Ashley Randall McGee, BA, 2010, has been promoted to director of marketing for TargetMarket, a Charleston-area digital marketing agency.

Jan Phillips Smoak, BA, 1989, celebrated 20 years with the University of South Carolina's National Fellowships and Scholar Programs this year. In the fall, she continued her SJMC education as a student in Lisa Sisk's Crisis Communications class.

Jodie Peeler, MA, 1998, Ph.D., 2001, wrote Ben Robertson, South Carolina Journalist and Author, which was published by University of South Carolina Press in October.

Matt Johns, BA, 2012, works at The Richards Group in Dallas, where he supports clients with needs in the areas of public relations and public affairs. He will complete a master's degree in public administration in May.

Chris Floore, BA, 2002, was named Government Communicator of the Year by PR News. He manages Macon-Bibb County's Office of Public Affairs in Macon, Georgia.

LaDonna Beeker, BA, 2005, is employed as an assignment manager at WIS-TV in Columbia. She completed the paralegal certificate program at the University of South Carolina in December. In addition to her position with WIS, she works as a paralegal at the law office of Elizabeth Franklin-Best, P.C., in Columbia.

Melissa Martin, BA, 2009, has been promoted to manager of coverage and content at WSOC-TV in Charlotte. In January, her team was honored with a duPont-Columbia Award for their investigation into election fraud in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District race. Her team won Polk and Cronkite awards for the same reporting. Her team also received a Midsouth Regional Emmy Award in the Continuous Coverage - Within 24 Hours category for their coverage of the UNC-Charlotte shooting.

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This newsletter is published once a month by the College of Information and Communications at the University of South Carolina. Questions or story ideas? Contact Rebekah Friedman.