Monthly Archives: March 2017

Miss Maiya

By Megan Comalander

“Burm! Burm! BURM!”

Her alarm clock is yelling at her in her ear and the sun is shining in through the windows. She stands on her two feet. Splashing water against her dark cheeks; she is refreshed and s ready to take on a new day.

With her bubbly personality lighting up a room when she walks in, she is always making new friends. She’s from small town Rock Hill, S.C., but her dreams take place in big cities, like Los Angeles, Atlanta, or Washington, D.C.

“Recently, I went to Washington, D.C. and it was the greatest ever! I love big cities, I want to move to one really soon, and just absorbing the different culture of the area and how busy it was and going to see the African American Museum…and the national monument! And eating food and taking Uber’s everywhere…it was a thrill,” she said.

Moving to the big city will help her fulfill her dreams of working for ESSENCE or OWN. The perfect job for her would be at a big television network that has a main focus on uplifting women and black culture.

Whether or not she is fulfilling those dreams in the next five years, she also wants to travel the world and visit many countries with a fiancé that she hopes to have by then. Her main desire in five years is to be, “thriving and filled with joy,” she said.

She continued by saying, “I want to be happy. I want to make those around me proud of me, and to say that I’ve fulfilled my God-given purpose and for him to say, ‘Job well done.’ Once I’ve done that, I know I’ve done my job on this earth.”

While she is working her way to her five-year plan, she is taking it one day at a time. Today, her main goal is to graduate college and to find a job post-graduation. She is spending time with her friends and laughing at everything. Her best friend would describe her as a “tell it like it is,” kind of person.

“My best friend is comical. We can literally look at each other, not say a thing, and die in laughter, “ she said.

“My best friend is someone who is not afraid to tell me, ‘No, you’re wrong.’ Because I’m never wrong,” she said laughing.

She is ready to conquer the world. She is a broadcast journalism major, small town girl with big dreams, and the life of the party.

She is Maiya Dickerson.

Comalander is a broadcast journalism senior 

Meet Wesley Mitchell

By Madelyn Smith

Wesley Mitchell is a very dedicated student who always stays true to herself. A junior at the University of South Carolina, she is studying public relations. She is very committed to her studies and has worked really hard so she can graduate a semester early. Mitchell is a Lexington, South Carolina, native who is very ambitious and enjoys anything life throws at her.

Mitchell began school at USC in fall 2014 and was very unsure where life was going to take her. She went to college without any plans of what she wanted to major in. She was undeclared her freshman year but focused on business classes. Mitchell realized she hated those classes because there was too much math involved.

During her freshman year she decided to take a leap of faith and participate in a pageant for the first time. She surprised herself and won the pageant. Mitchell was labeled Miss South Carolina Teen USA in 2015. Winning the pageant meant she was committed to represent the state of South Carolina in a positive light. She had the opportunity to compete in the national pageant in the Bahamas in 2015.

“I realized that I liked it way more than anything I was doing in school and my grades weren’t good because of it,” said Mitchell. She loved every aspect of pageant life, but found herself not caring about school at all. During her year as Miss South Carolina Teen USA she got to attend makeup classes with some big makeup artists and was able to start branding herself through her social media platforms.

When Mitchell’s sophomore year came around, her mom told her she should think about majoring in public relations because everything she was doing for her pageant was public relations related. She was planning events, scheduling appearances and representing the state of South Carolina in a positive way. She finally declared her major as public relations and has loved school ever since. Mitchell could not be happier with her decision.

Her love for public relations has led her to a huge internship opportunity. She began working for Nephron Pharmaceuticals in January 2017 as the company’s marketing and public relations intern. Mitchell said the company supports the younger generation and is eager to hire recent college graduates.

A member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority on campus, she is really involved in the organization. She serves as the judicial chair, which involves holding members responsible for their actions. “It is a really hard job because people get mad at me a lot, but it fits my personality and I’m able to do the job without being hypocritical,” said Mitchell.

Her family also is important to her. Mitchell is the middle child and has a younger brother and an older brother. She has always been a cat person. “I probably like cats a little too much,” said Mitchell. She currently has two cats, Ritter, named after the German chocolate Ritter Sport. Mitchell studied abroad in Germany and became obsessed with the chocolate. She has another cat named Mufasa, Muf for short. Muf is scared and timid and Ritter wants attention at all times.

Mitchell is a very dedicated to the things she most cares about. “I am very outgoing, but consider myself to be a passionate person,” said Mitchell. “The things I care about have a big impact on my life.” She continues to brand herself in hopes to build a positive reputation.

Smith is a public relations senior

Meet Margo

By John Kendall

Margo Shiffman always knew she wanted to pursue a career in public relations. As she continued her studies in mass communication from elementary school to high school, the field of public relations constantly piqued her interest.

More particularly, Schiffman has always been interested in the idea of managing and communicating with people of various backgrounds. This distinct interest could even be observed on her elementary school playground while she mediated arguments between students during games like tag.

Schiffman grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina, with her parents and two older brothers. Like many North Carolina families, her weekends consisted of visiting ski resorts and going to Panthers games. In her spare time, Schiffman played competitive volleyball with the club team Fusion. It was here she could practice her management and communication skills in a competitive environment.

After graduating from Greensboro Day School in 2013, Schiffman decided to pursue her degree in mass communications at the University of South Carolina. The decision to come to Columbia was easy given her dad’s business is located in the Vista. As a child, Schiffman visited the campus many times and fell in love with the city of Columbia.

While at South Carolina, Schiffman recalls her greatest challenge to be when she studied abroad in Australia. During her junior year, Schiffman took the leap and went all the way across the world with another one of her close friends. They had no idea what was in store for them the following month.

Schiffman and her friend decided to take a weekend trip to Fiji during their time abroad. Little did they know, this trip to Fiji would become the best and worst experience of their lives. A cyclone had just come through Fiji, and the living conditions were horrible. People were living out on the streets and sickness loomed everywhere. After exploring the beautiful countryside of Fiji, Schiffman’s friend came down with pink eye.

Because her friend suddenly came down with pink eye, border patrol threatened to not let them back into Australia. There are laws that allow countries like Australia to keep people with certain illnesses out of the country. One of the locals overheard the predicament and told them how to fix the problem. The man told them how breast milk could cure pink eye in a heartbeat. Little did they know; this urban legend was widely believed in this part of the world. One could buy breast milk on the street corner for this very purpose.

Fortunately, Schiffman’s friend woke up feeling well enough to pass through border customs the next day. Lucky for them, they did not have to personally test the urban breast milk legend of Fiji.

Schiffman says her time abroad was remarkable. She learned an incredible amount about the culture and environment of another country. She scuba dived at one of the Seven Wonders of the World and swung on a 400-foot-high swing. Schiffman will forever regard her abroad trip to Australia as some of the best of times and some of the worst of times.

Kendall is a public relations senior

Hannah Treece Talks

By: Kylie Sheaffer

Hannah Treece sat down for her interview and immediately laughed off the initial awkwardness.  Her zebra t-shirt and easy-going nature gave off approachable, cool-girl vibes.  She is someone who doesn’t take herself too seriously. After settling into our banter, Treece, a first-semester senior broadcast major, was open to chat about travel, the future, and what’s most important in her life.

Adding to her credibility, the University of South Carolina student recently backpacked around Europe almost entirely on her own.  She traveled without access to phones and had to get comfortable asking people for help.  Although she loves her home, Treece admitted her mission to get out of the South Carolina-bubble.

Pushing herself out of her comfort zone seems to be a common theme in Treece’s life.

Treece admits that she has her sights set high. One day, the world will watch as she delivers news as a foreign correspondent for CNN.  Treece was hesitant at first to talk about her dream job, but revealed that telling war-zone stories is where her passions lie.  She’s aware that working in the Middle East, the primary region she would like to cover, would be demanding, dangerous and potentially very draining work. But that doesn’t daunt her.

Treece was up front about the realities of working in unsettled environments- the positions are normally reserved for men due to the danger involved. Treece laughs off any fear she might have.  She called herself naïve, but admitted that her passion is worth more than fear.   So much good can come out of telling these stories and sharing the realities of war that Treece doesn’t want fear to hold her back.

Why does she get out of bed every morning?

“I mean, it sounds cheesy- it’s Jesus.  As soon as I wake up every morning I try to have Jesus-time.  That’s what starts my day off.”

She laughed about the Sunday-school nature of her answer, but talks about her faith with ease.  She has been raised Methodist her entire life and has the church in her blood.  She lived in the church community, with her own father working as a Methodist pastor until Treece was 17.  She has been on numerous mission trips, with her journeys extending from small towns in South Carolina to Honduras.

Her family and her religion have fueled a desire to help others.  She volunteers through her church and uses her faith to propel herself forward.  Since going off to college, she has truly had the chance to make her religion her own.

Family is important to Treece, but she has had to learn to stand on her own.  Though her family did not see journalism as the best career option, Treece has found that she can’t imagine doing anything else.  Although she values her parents’ opinions, Treece is looking for a career that can sustain her and her passions.  Working as a war-correspondent is risky and competitive, but she knows it’s exactly what she’s meant to do.


Sheaffer is a broadcast junior

Anderson’s Purpose In Life

By: Nicholas Spano

“The fact that I can help someone makes me smile and get up every day.” This unselfishness can immediately attract anyone immediately who talks with Rashaan Anderson. The thought helps him to be the best he can be.

For Anderson, he would rather be remembered as a kind-hearted individual that someone can look back on and know that he was a great guy and willing to put himself last for the greater good.

Anderson grew up in a military family where traveling around the country was quite the normal thing. Born in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina but mostly raised in Norfolk, Virginia, he’s a Southern boy with an outgoing and intellectual personality.

Rashaan’s father is considered hands down his role model and a top-ranked Master Sergeant in the U.S. Airforce. He says his parents are, “strict and protective parents but also understanding.” With his father in the military and mother as a kindergarten assistant, they are very proud of him being the first to graduate not only high school but also college. That’s a milestone for his family.

Anderson works hard with his studies majoring in broadcasting. His ability to write creatively, good use of the camera, and a voice that fits perfect for the radio ties into his dreams of covering hard news.

Anderson is a huge sports fan, cheering for his favorite baseball team The Chicago White Sox. In basketball, he roots for the Miami Heat. As you begin to talk to Anderson, you see a different side of him. He escapes any stress with reading his favorite comic books and very much expressing that Superman is his favorite superhero.

Life has not been easy for Anderson. But he explains that with struggles, can reveal the true purposes of life. Losing his girlfriend Hannah, he states was, “the hardest enduring he has ever faced.” The loss of someone special to his heart creates a glow of celebration for what she stood for in life. Those values were passed down to Anderson who wants to help people with depression, alcoholism, and any other obstacles someone may be facing in life.

Anderson has always had the desire to travel which goes well with his major and all the values he stands for. His desired job would include helping others and being able to travel and visit new places. He seems to have a very bright future. One day he will be able to overcome his fear of heights and fly above the clouds for the first time marking out his road map for the next adventure in life.

Spano is a public relations senior

Looking Towards The Future

By Hannah Treece

Kylie Sheaffer is a storyteller. She peppers her interview with anecdotes, and answers each question with an example from her life. She makes you laugh or cry with each of her stories, and she had a way of making you feel like you experienced each story right along with her.

A perfect example is one of the first stories Sheaffer told about her childhood. In middle school, she had to dress up as Santa for an animal shelter so people could take pictures of her with their pets. “I was a 13-year-old girl dressed up as Santa,” she said laughing. “It was terrible. I had a fat suit basically, like a pillow in the stomach.”

Continuing with these stories about growing up, Sheaffer talked about being born in Michigan, and moving to Charlotte, North Carolina when she was three. Despite the move, she has no shortage of Michigan wisdom. She described the state as being cold and gray, but added that it’s close to Canada, home to Ryan Gosling, Ryan Reynolds, and the prime minister, Justin Trudeau. All three are handsome enough to make up for the weather’s shortcomings.

Sheaffer is the oldest of three siblings, she has a brother and a sister. She laughed out loud as she talked about her brother, a 6-foot-5 man in a family of average-heighted members. “It looks like in Willy Wonka when the kid gets stretched out, like that’s my little brother.”

As a junior at the University of South Carolina, Sheaffer spent one of her semesters studying abroad in London, England, for which her passion is undeniable. “London is my favorite place in the world. Easily, in the world! Literally on my last day in the city I just sat across from Big Ben, I just sat on a bench and was crying.”

She then shared one of her favorite experiences of the trip. She and her friends went to see the new Harry Potter play, performed only in England. During the intermission, they walked outside and started joking about getting Harry Potter tattoos, and low and behold there was a tattoo shop right across the street. They took that as a sign and went for it, each getting one.

“I was in the theater and intermission came and I looked at my friend Elaine and we were just both crying because we were so happy, and we were like, ‘we both have tattoos and we’re in England for months!’”

This passion of hers isn’t just limited to Harry Potter, it spans many subjects from animals to the environment to politics to comedy. Sheaffer loves satirical news, co-founding a segment on Student Gamecock Television called Carolina Tonight, similar to Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update.

She told me about how last week, they made up a skit where they had “Ronald the White House janitor” come in, but it was actually Donald Trump with a fake mustache and a janitor suit. “It was so much fun to get the inside scoop from Donald as the janitor. It was really fun.”

In addition to this possible career path, she talked about how she’d love to get involved with marine biology, local politics, theater, and even having her own magazine. She joked that one day she would have her own empire. Sheaffer graduates in a year, but she doesn’t seem too worried about the future and which path to take. “I really would be happy doing so many different things… I’ll figure it out. I’m here now, that’s what matters.”

Treece is a broadcast journalism senior




Forging Her Own Path

By Alana Bremner

Margaret Persons’ family is committed to service. She spent years of her childhood in Jamaica while her father served as director of the Peace Corps for the Jamaican office. Her mother and father both served the Peace Corps in different locations in the 1970s. Her older sister currently serves the Peace Corps in the southern province of Zambia. While Persons has no plans to join the Peace Corps, she credits the organization for her love of travel and service.

Persons has lived in the United States and Japan. She has visited Zambia, Ethiopia, Greece, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Honduras, Puerto Rico, Aruba, The Bahamas and Dominican Republic.

Most recently, she ventured to Zambia to visit her sister. Persons found herself fully immersed in the Zambian culture. She stayed in her sister’s village with no electricity or running water. She ate Zambian foods like maize, camel and even bugs. Certain bugs are considered delicacies in Zambia.

“The country is breathtaking,” Persons said. “I was fortunate enough to visit Victoria Falls and go on a safari.”

Some experiences were eye-opening. Persons recalls children on the streets begging for money and an abundance of unfinished construction projects because money ran out. Visiting the school where her sister teaches was something of a shock.

“We were able to see the school where my sister teaches and meet all of her students,” Persons said. “It was such a rewarding experience to see how much she is loved by the kids she’s working so hard to educate.”

Persons sees the immense positive impact her family members have made on the world as members of the Peace Corps. This organization is the very reason she has such a passion for travel and service. So why isn’t she joining the Peace Corps? She’s forging her own path.

Persons, a senior at the University of South Carolina, will graduate with a degree in public relations and psychology. She is an active member of Alpha Delta Pi, a sorority dedicated to serving Ronald McDonald House, its philanthropic partner. She plans to use her degree and experience to serve others after graduation. Her goal is to work in the public relations department of a nonprofit organization.

“Even though I don’t want to join the Peace Corps, I’ve always been grateful for what I have and want to help those less fortunate,” Persons said. “With my skills, I strongly believe I will have the greatest impact in the public relations department of a nonprofit organization.”

Bremner is a senior studying public relations. 

Into The Real World

By Anya Middleton

As she nears the end of college, Sterling Hopkins reflected on her experiences and her hopes for her future. Hopkins, a graduate of Columbia’s Dreher High School, ironically did not want to attend the University of South Carolina. Finances and circumstances drove her choice to stay in-state. Since starting at USC four years ago, Hopkins hasn’t regretted her decision.

The only thing she wishes she would have done differently would have been to take more time to enjoy what was going on around her and not be so consumed with working. So,  “You only live once,” has become her motto.  Hopkins says people should take all the opportunities they can to make memories and experience almost everything the world has to offer. There may come a time in life when one might regret that one didn’t, she says.

Hopkins says that the best way to experience the world is through spontaneity and travel. Since she has lived mostly in the same area, travel is something she looks forward to upon graduation. Although Hopkins hasn’t been many places yet, one of her fondest memories of college is when she randomly picked up and drove to Miami with some friends.

The excitement and nervousness ran through her veins as this was her first “adult” trip.  She realized her life had to change. She decided to capitalize on the experiences life had to offer. Since then, she has planned a trip to France after graduation and can’t wait to plan many more.

Hopkins hopes to establish a career in corporate communications and maybe one day even take her skills international. Completing college will be the greatest accomplishment of her life. As this semester nears a close and she embarks on the “real world” Hopkins reminds herself of this short poem, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Middleton is a public relations junior

Alana Bremner Interview

By: Maggie Persons

Writing has always been a passion for Alana Bremner. Bremner is a senior at the University of South Carolina studying public relations with a minor in business. Growing up in the small town of Ocean Port, New Jersey, Bremner knew that she needed a change when it came to college.

Her decision to attend USC was tough. The first time Bremner visited the campus she absolutely hated it. Eventually she chose to attend USC after realizing it could help her to improve her writing skills.

After completing her freshman year, Bremner realized that she wanted to become more involved at USC. Confident in her writing ability, she applied to become a peer writing and communications tutor for the Student Success Center. In that role, Bremner assists students who are writing papers or giving presentations in all subject areas. She wanted to be able to make a constructive difference in helping others improve their writing and gain self assurance. Bremner’s love for writing and confidence in her ability made her realize she would be good at being a peer tutor.

One of Bremner’s most rewarding experiences was with one student that she tutors rather often. The girl was taking the PRAXIS exam, a test that measures teacher candidates’ knowledge and skills, and had failed the test twice already. Together they went over the girl’s past essays and discussed how she could improve content, grammar and writing style.

Bremner also focused on helping the girl gain confidence in her writing. Bremner later found out that the girl had passed the exam which made Bremner feel she had contributed a small amount to this girl’s great moment.

Bremner loves the challenge of tutoring many different types of students. She sees many international students whose second language is English. While this can be challenging, it has helped Bremner gain communication skills in a way she didn’t think was possible.

Bremner’s love for writing has not only helped her join an organization that helps others improve their writing but helped her choose her career path. This past summer, Bremner was a financial communications intern at Assured Guarantee in New York City. Combining her love for public relations writing and interest in the business world, this internship was the perfect beginning for her.

She hopes to find a job within the financial communications field, hopefully in NYC, after graduation.  For now, Bremner is enjoying her last few months as a college student, tutoring students at the Student Success Center and searching for a job.

Persons is a senior public relations major

Mackenzie Ryan Feature Story

By Grant Hensley

Many young college students enter on to the campus of the University of South Carolina with the intention of graduating and finding a job shortly thereafter.

But for Mackenzie Ryan, there was no other duty in her life that she would rather fulfill than being the first person in her family to graduate from college. And to know what drives her the most, you would have to embrace her upbringing that led to this point.

Like many people in this world, your father is your biggest role model. For Ryan, growing up in a family with a father who was in the army only made her role model more respected. At 17, Robert Ryan enlisted into the army and learned the hard work and determination needed to make it in life. Shortly after retiring to start a family, he ended up running a construction business with the same attitude.

Just like her father, Ryan followed suit all the way through high school, ultimately landing her a scholarship to Pace University in N.Y. Although she only ended up staying a year, she learned how much of an impact she could make in this world. A year later, she transferred to USC where she would eventually call the School of Journalism and Mass Communications her home for the next three years.

With that same hard work and determination as her father, Ryan has been studying public relations in hopes of one day becoming the head of communications for the NHL team, the Boston Bruins. She will concede to another National Hockey League team if offered, however. She has already worked for famous Gamecock insider, to jump-start her path.

But not all of Ryan’s life is so serious. She likes to run a lot, hang out with friends, and even drink a few cold ones when the day permits it. She loves to read books; especially suspense filled ones, even though she does not like mixing in schoolbooks at the same time.

You would expect millennial leanings out of her, but she enjoys 70’s rock with no remorse. After growing up on the beach in Cape Cod, Massachusetts she has always had hopes of someday making it to one of her dream beaches on New Zealand. These are just a few interesting things about what makes Ryan such a special character.

Describing herself, she said, “I am compassionate, opinionated, and driven.” These three attributes are exactly what are seen when talking to Ryan.

She is a person that cares deeply about others.

She is opinionated in how one should run their life, although don’t talk to her about politics because she has no more time to listen to that madness.

And lastly, she is driven. Just like her father, her drive to make the most out of what she has been given only propels her to reach for more and never settle for less.

As her goal of graduating college has almost come to fruition, there is only more to come as the 22 year-old prepares for her next journey in life.

Hensley is a s senior public relations major in the journalism school