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CCU announces appointment of Media Executive-in-Residence

December 1, 2010

Patricia OConnor, executive editor and vice president of The Sun News, has been appointed the first Media Executive-in-Residence for the Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts at Coastal Carolina University, according to an announcement today by Interim Dean John Beard.

Modeled after existing Executive-in-Residence programs at CCU, this position will bring a senior media executive with extensive media management experience into CCUs rapidly growing Department of Communication and Journalism. She will help guide the journalism program, assist communication and journalism students with career planning, and develop grant initiatives in support of departmental resource needs. She will also identify and build strategic alliances with local, regional and national individuals and professional associations in order to strengthen the quality and range of the program.

In addition to teaching classes in media management and media relations, OConnor will develop and deliver a variety of other learning experiences including: condensed format seminars, guest lectures in ongoing classes and open hours for student career advising. She will also use her professional experience and contacts to help plan and form a departmental advisory board to assist in strategic planning and evaluating program initiatives.

The communication major is one of the fastest growing majors on our campus, and to keep ahead of its demands and provide the best connection to the future careers our students want and need, we require someone with extensive media experience to help advise and guide that growth said Beard. Acting as our own Media Executive in Residence, Ms. OConnor will provide much needed professional expertise that is valuable to our students and to the overall success of the journalism program. We are excited to have her join the department.

Ms. O'Connor's appointment is another strategic indicator that theDepartment of Communication and Journalismwill become a significant regional resource in teaching, learning and research for the communication disciplines, said James Everett, professor of communication and chair of the department. The range ofherprofessional media management experience represents an extraordinary opportunity for student learning, faculty collaboration and community engagement.

OConnor earned a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee. During her 30-year career, she worked for The Capital Timesin Madison, Wisc., The Wichita Eagle andThe Charlotte Observer. Most recently, she has served as executive editor and vice president ofThe Sun News since 1999.She will retire at The Sun News at the end of the year and begin her new position at CCU in January 2011.