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College of Information and Communications

Alumni Council

The CIC Alumni Council represents alumni of both the School of Information Science and the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. 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.

For more information about the Alumni Council, contact Elaine Arnold, senior director of development,, 803-777-6898.

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

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. 

Susan Elofson


Jennifer Falvey


Will Frierson


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 she has a black belt in American karate.

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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.

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Brindy McNair, chair

Brindy 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. B

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.

Barbara Montgomery


alumni council

Abigail NeSmith

Abigail NeSmith 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 UofSC, she was on the National Championship Equestrian team.

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.

Jill Quattlebaum-Altman

Jill earned two degrees from UofSC; a masters in Anthropology ('93) and MLIS ('99).

After a brief career as an archaeologist with UofSC, she decided she didn't want to spend all her time tramping through the woods digging holes. Thankfully SLIS was able to provide her an outlet for her other love, books and organization.

She is currently in her 19th year as a school library media specialist for Saluda County Schools and serves at Saluda Primary School where she is also the school webmaster, holder of the keys to the garden shed, and laminator repair wizard.

She feels that schools and communities should create more connections and that libraries are integral to creating thriving communities so she also serves as the current chair of the Saluda County Library Board.

She lives in a two librarian household (her husband is also a librarian) amongst many books and two kids who also enjoy reading. When not at one school function or another, Jill likes to tend to her chicken flock, pet the cats, or cook. When she grows up she wants to be a writer and get paid for it. 

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.

Bianca Shelton


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Ron Stafford

Ron graduated from the School of Information Science in 2017 with a Master of Library and Information Science.

Ron recently accepted the position of head librarian at Northeastern Technology College in Cheraw, South Carolina.  In his new job, he will be building a digital archive to document the school’s first 50 years of operation.

Before working at NETC, Ron operated an archival consultant company where his specialty was 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.

Ron’s passion is studying: 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.  

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Natalie Swift

Natalie graduated with a bachelor's in journalism in May 2015 and a master's in mass communication 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.

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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 UofSC 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.

Paige Whitaker


alumni council

Samantha Yager

Samantha earned two degrees from UofSC — 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!


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