Showing posts with label Coll. of Charleston. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Coll. of Charleston. Show all posts

The CofC guest speaker series continues this spring

One of the best benefits of being a major-league political blogger is the extensive range of contacts that it's allowed me to make. I've used these friendships to help add value to the clases I teach at the College of Charleston by getting three or four speakers for each class. Thus far, the line-up has been impressive, including business executives, lawyers, judges, teachers, legislators and other elected VIPs - up to the Speaker of the House and statewide elected officials.

I'm lining up guest speakers for the spring, and thus far, I'm getting a strong response. If you have a fairly advanced career, and would like to discuss public or managerial communication and your career, I may have room for YOU to come speak to one of my classes.

The rules are simple: 1) plan to talk for 15-20 minutes, mostly about what you do and relate it to the class - usually public speaking or organizational communication, 2) take some questions, and best of all, 3) discussions are generally not reported on the Blogland.

If you're interested,
drop me an email and let's see if we can get you down to the College of Charleston.

Just as long as you don't end up like this guy:

Richard Eckstrom to speak to my CofC students on Wednesday

Special thanks to Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom, who will be coming to the College of Charleston tomorrow evening as the next participant in this semester's roster of guest speakers to my evening Public Speaking classes:


South Carolina's Comptroller General, Richard Eckstrom, CPA, will speak at the College of Charleston in F. Mitchell Johnson Physical Education Center Beatty Center on Wednesday, Oct. 21, at 6:00 p.m.

Eckstrom will address an audience of students on the importance of public speaking in his career.

Eckstrom was invited to campus by Earl Capps, an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Communication and the teacher for multiple sections of the basic public speaking course.

“We thank Richard Eckstrom for taking the time to discuss the importance of public speaking with our students,” said Brian McGee, chair of the Department of Communication. “We are grateful for his willingness to speak with students who are taking this course, which is so critical to the future success of college students,” said McGee.

With one of the largest undergraduate majors at the College of Charleston, the Department of Communication enrolls more than 800 students in its undergraduate and graduate programs. Students in the department study such topics as political communication, interpersonal communication, journalism, and public relations. The department is housed in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The Speaker was in the the House


In teaching public speaking to college students, one of the most important things they need to know is that it is a vital career skill. The ability to speak to an audience to inform, persuade, entertain, or all of the above, will have a major impact upon the ability of my college students to succeed in life.

To help get that point across, I invite speakers to my classes to talk about their careers and how public speaking relates to what they do for a living. These speakers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, including teachers, sales consultants, teachers, judges, attorneys, and others.

Yesterday, the guest speaker was none other than The Speaker himself - Bobby Harrell - who came to share some experiences with the students to help impress upon them the importance of developing their ability to present themselves to their audiences.

His appearance was greatly appreciated and enjoyed by those in attendance: students, faculty, administration, and of course by yours truly.

A Tale of Two Graduations

With two graduations to attend, Friday was a busy day in the Blogland.

For lunch, it was the Community Healthcare program, by which the Lowcountry Workforce Investment Board (which I serve on) funds and operates a Certified Nursing Assistant program, filling much-needed vacancies with local employers (in spite of a recession, many healthcare-related positions are yet unfilled). This program, taught by an RN with a Master's in Education, offers those who are often working in jobs near minimum wage an opportunity to learn the skills necessary to increase their wages by fifty percent or more, as well as give some the needed push to pursue nursing programs.

As a board member, I take pride in seeing this cost-effective initiative filling needs and creating new opportunities for them willing to pursue them. That's real economic stimulus, folks.

For dinner, it was down to the Sotille Theatre at the College of Charleston to attend the graduation of Master's degree candidates, for my first graduation as a member of faculty. To be among the faculty who led the processions both in and out of the theater, among those who did much to nudge and guide me along in my own studies, was one of the biggest honors I've ever had. But even more important was the pride I took in seeing two friends graduate:

  • Anna Fiona Cooke, one of the stars of the program (and fellow recipient of the Carolina Communication Association's Jarrard graduate research award), who now has her MA in Communication. Pictured with her parents and sister, she was wearing my Master's hood (and looked darn good in it), which she needed to borrow due to a goof-up in her Master's attire order. She'll be taking a little downtime before planning her next move.

    Her work in the graduate program was outstanding, and whether she goes to work or to pursue a doctorate, she'll make outstanding contributions. I was honored to share several classes with her while I was still in the program, as well as to be among those who watched her win the Jarrard award last fall, making the CofC graduate program a winner both times its grad students competed for the award.

  • Kolo Rathburn, who was the President of the Graduate Senate this past school year, where I formerly served as a committee chair. Pictured with his mother, he received his MS in Marine Biology, in what is arguably the College's most outstanding graduate program. After some downtime, he'll be off to a public policy job in DC.

    Kolo is a hard worker in a tough program. His leadership in helping bring the college's Graduate Student Association into being, as well as leading it in its second year of existence, was outstanding. His balance and cheerful nature will open a lot of doors in the future, both in his career as well as for those he will work with.

The Department of Communication's graduate program graduated its second-ever class, going from four graduates last year to nine this year. Much thanks for the success of the program is owed the faculty of the graduate program, as well as Department Chair Brian McGee, current Graduate Program Director Vince Benigni and former Director Doug Ferguson for their vision and hard work - as well as for not strangling yours truly when I was still a student in the program.

John Land to address the Blogland and CofC Graduate Students on May 9

This year’s speaker for the Spring 2008 graduation ceremony for Master’s graduates at the College of Charleston is long-time Senate Democratic Leader John Land. In attendance, as a graduating Master's candidate, is the Blogland’s own Earl Capps.

Believe it or not, this is purely coincidence.

We first met John Land a couple of years back, at the event marking the completion of work on the four-laning of U.S. 521 in Manning. His efforts to prioritize the widening of U.S. 521 from Sumter to the coast have borne considerable fruit, with nearly half that section of the highway widened since 2000. It’ll be a major asset for economic development in that region, not to mention a great help for hurricane evacuation for the booming Georgetown County portion of the Grand Strand.

Agree with the guy or not, he’s survived over three decades of South Carolina politics and come out on top of a lot of scraps and feuds. His wife is passionate about the College and we know he takes her concerns to the General Assembly, and we appreciate that.

While CofC doesn’t have the volume of alumni in the General Assembly that USC and Clemson does, having the Senate Democratic Leader’s wife on the college's board and Glenn McConnell as an active alumni (we talk with him every year at the big graduation week Alumni social) makes a big difference. Until this state gets a Board of Regents system for its colleges to rationalize the allocation of higher ed resources, Senators Land and McConnell go a long way to helping CofC offset the political muscle that backs Clemson and USC.

On May 9th, we promise to behave while he’s speaking, listen politely, and clap with everyone else. So if you want to see him interrupted by yelling, air horns, or the squeal of pigs, don't ask us to do it.

We’ll leave that to the Governor and his cohorts.

Feminists for Colbert?

Recently, I put up a comment on the blogsite for Feminists for Colbert that I thought was harmless, and intended as a compliment, but apparently they disagreed. Well, I'm big enough to respect different points of view ... and to show I'm a good sport, I've added them to my blogroll.

So you might wonder ... "who are Feminists for Colbert?" Well, they're students involved with the Center for Women's and Gender Studies at my beloved College of Charleston (which makes them cooler than any other such students at any college in the entire universe).

They've got some cool "Full Frontal Feminism" T-shirts that I'd order one of, but shoot, they don't have a 2X size. I think the shirts are cool, so go buy one or two ... or even six.

In any event, they're on my blogroll, because I'm betting we'll see some serious discussion of new media vs. traditional print-and-broadcast media. Also, because as a parent of daughters, I think it's great to see bold and assertive women who are willing to stand up for themselves and take charge of their lives.

Take a few minutes to check them out.

Back to School

With the halfway mark reached, it's back to school tomorrow as spring semester starts. This semester, I'm taking two action-packed courses: Rhetoric Theory and Risk Communication.

For me, school already started last weekend, as I spent a lot of my weekend preparing a presentation of my iconography research for the college's annual Graduate School research poster session. It's kind of tough to distill a 23 page paper that required nine months of research into a 54x40 inch poster.

I'm sure this all sounds exciting, right?

Well, my life ends (again) for the next four months. Getting home while it was light out, being able to sleep at night, trying to get a little bit of a life ... it was all fun while it lasted.

In the meantime, check these Graduate School humor links out:

Ya'll may as well have some fun and chuckles. God knows for the next few months, I sure won't.

As always, thanks for all those words, private and public, of encouragement and support.

CofC Young Alumni Scholarship award: I won!

Late breaking news:

I was chosen as the 2006 recipient of the Young Alumni Scholarship from the College of Charleston Young Alumni (CCYA) Association. This is the third award or recognition that I've received since I started graduate school, and is certainly a good sign that while it's been a struggle, I'm on the right track!

According to their website:

The Young Alumni Scholarship provides $1,000 towards tuition at the Graduate School of the College of Charleston. To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must be a graduate or be graduating by May 2006 from the College of Charleston and be scheduled to enroll at the Graduate School for the Fall 2006 Semester. Applicants also must be a member of the Alumni Association or demonstrate an intention to do so as a senior.

Congratulations to me! I'm just flattered that someone thinks that much of my contributions to the college.

Also, special thanks is owed to those who have encouraged me and put up with me. I didn’t do this alone!

Battle of the Bands tonight

I'm going to the Battle of the Bands at the Music Farm downtown tonight. This is an annual event put on by the undergraduate Communication majors that I mentor in the College's PRSSA chapter.

Last year's event, which was largely underwritten by local attorney "Extreme Akim" Akim Anastapoulo, who also has a syndicated courtroom show entitled "Eye for an Eye", was a huge success. So much so that they had to move to the Music Farm, the largest music venue downtown.

Just eight bucks to get in the door, so ya'll come on down and have a good time tonight. The show starts at 8 p.m.
POST-SHOW UPDATE: WWWOOOWWWW!!!! What a GREAT event - it was by far the biggest and best BofB yet, and expect an even bigger one next year. An excellent production, and thanks to the current PRSSA chair for dragging me and BofB founder Joe McClendon on stage to thank us for our efforts to support their continual efforts with the event.
Those of you who could have gone but didn't ... your loss!

Upcoming CofC Alumni events

Those of you who are, like myself, CofC alumni, may want to check out the following upcoming events:

Saturday, April 1st, 8:00 – 11:00 pm
Band, Burgers and Brew! The Cistern

$5 for graduating seniors (December 2005 through December 2006)
$15 for alumni and guests.

The College of Charleston Young Alumni (CCYA) invite all graduating senior students and alumni for great burgers and beer. Entertainment provided by Permanent Vacation.

Saturday, April 22, 2006, 5:30PM - 11:00pm
Alumni Annual Meeting and Reception

Locations: Annual Alumni Meeting and Champagne Reception - Simons Center for the Arts; Alumni Reception - The Cistern, C of C Campus.

$35 for attending alumni.

Champagne Reception which will be held at 5:30 pm in the Simons Center and visit with fellow alumni prior to Annual Meeting. Listen to the music of the Tommy Gill Jazz Band at the Cistern beginning at 8 pm.. Sneakers band will play from 9:00 to 11:00pm.

For reservations, please visit: this website

I've always had a really good time at the alumni reception event in the Cistern, and am looking forward to the April 1st event as well. I'm hosting a cookout for some friends the afternoon before the April 1st burgers and beer event, but I've got my tickets.

Hope to see some of ya'll there!

Congratulations to ... Me

Congrats to me!

Last night, I was elected Vice-Chairman of the Alumni Association for my college's Department of Communication. Less than two years after graduation too ...

Wednesday, I was elected Chairman of the Lowcountry Utilities Coordinating Committee, a work-related association I've been involved with for several years.

Two offices in two days - WOW! Looks like my life is getting better and better, and busier and busier too. Maybe life on my own isn't so bad after all!