Skip to Content

College of Information and Communications

CIC’s new minors keep South Carolina on front-end of digital trends

Three new minors in the College of Information and Communications are helping students hone in on popular interests that will provide them with a competitive edge and a broader range of skills in the fields of sports media, social media and information science.

The sports media concentration has been an increasingly popular addition to the School of Journalism and Mass Communications’ curriculum in recent years, and its success inspired the creation of the sports media minor, which delves deeper into the world of sports and the dissemination of sports-related information. Classes will focus on the media, societal sports impacts and even how fans interact with the sports world.

“We don't talk about what you think about LeBron James,” jokes sports media lead Kevin Hull, addressing a common misconception about the minor. “We talk about what you think about how ESPN talks about LeBron James.”

Along with high enrollment in sports media classes, SJMC students have also expressed an interest in learning more about social media content creation and analytics. The new social media minor will cover these topics and teach students to use social media strategically.

Assistant professor Anli Xiao is the J-school’s social media lead. With the help of assistant professor Kirstin Pellizzaro, Xiao has worked to develop specialized classes, such as the Social Media Planning course.

“In this course, we hope to connect social media content with social media analytics,” Xiao says. “This way, students can learn how to design content for social media and then track the impact of their content via analytic tools.”

The new informatics minor also has a concentration on analytics, teaching hard skills such as data analysis alongside soft skills like communicating data and technical jargon to the public.

“What we're concerned about within both our major and minor programs is teaching students how to identify and solve problems at the intersection of people and technology,” says assistant professor Vanessa Kitzie, who leads the information science program. This intersection is what makes the new informatics minor so versatile. No matter which fields students want to go into, they can apply their informatics knowledge to communicating technical information accurately and effectively.

These new minors are opening up a world of opportunity for the CIC, bringing in students from other schools while simultaneously creating meaningful partnerships. Hull described the journey in creating the sports media minor as a “team effort,” especially from notable faculty such as J-school sports media instructor Manie Robinson and the university’s sport and entertainment management program.

“They've been an unbelievable partner,” says Hull. “I think it's just the beginning of what could be an even bigger partnership.”

Along with bringing in students from various backgrounds, these minors are keeping students and faculty engaged in emerging fields and up to date in the digital world.

“Not only is this good for students, but it’s smart to invest in faculty expertise in these areas ⁠— they won’t be going away anytime soon,” says CIC Dean Tom Reichert.

Brooke Burris

Brooke Burris

Albemarle, North Carolina native Brooke Burris is a senior public relations major. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in travel and tourism PR. In her free time, Brooke enjoys hiking, painting and spending time with friends.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.