University of South Carolina.

Partnership In Communication Projects Discussed At University Of South Carolina

In response to an invitation from Dr. Tom Reichert, dean of the College of Information and Communication, Dr. Tudor Vlad, director of the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research spent two days at the University of South Carolina in mid-August to discuss future collaboration.

The Cox Center is the international outreach unit of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

“We think that many grant opportunities in the future will be multi-disciplinary and collaborative projects will be encouraged,” said Dr. Reichert. “Our school has experts in some important communication areas, and we would like to use the Cox Center’s experience to develop international programs together.”

Prior to being the dean of the College of Information and Communication at the University of South Carolina, Dr. Reichert was the head of the Advertising/Public Relations Department in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, where he developed an international Business and Public Communication Fellowship in collaboration with the Cox Center.

In a meeting with Dr. Erik Collins, Professor Emeritus, Dr. Andrea Hickerson, director, and Professor Randy Covington, Dr. Vlad said the field of mass communication should be perceived as broad and dynamic, and that topics of workshops and other training programs should embrace social media, strategic communication and the non-traditional communication occupations.

Dr. Vlad also presented a research pilot-project coordinated by the Cox International Center that aims to stimulate civic engagement through better communication between local government and citizens in rural areas. Mr. Fred Monk, senior advisor to the S.C. Department of Commerce said that this project should be expanded to many rural areas in Georgia and South Carolina and that the U.S. Department of Agriculture might be interested in funding such a program.

Drs. Reichert and Vlad and Professor Covington also had a meeting at the State House with chief of staff Trey Walker and talked about the role of the American university in the community and how higher education institutions in East and Central Europe have started moving toward the U.S. model.

“We are interested in multi-disciplinary projects and we think that communication could and should be a component of many of our programs,” said senior associate director Kendall Roth of the Darla Moore School of Business. “Especially through alumni of our international MBA, we have been in touch with some of the best business programs around the world and we might consider creating a business communication module for international experts.”

While being in Columbia, Dr. Vlad also talked with Dr. David Lankes, director of the School of Library and Information Science, about how libraries have become public forums and how they currently are one of the most effective tools to bring communities together.