Alcoa Foundation Supports Graduate Assistantships
in Department of Graphic Communications
CLEMSON — Clemson University Foundation has received a $25,000 grant from the Alcoa Foundation to provide funding for graduate students to gain leadership and communication skills to make them more effective in the workplace.
The funding will provide assistantships in the university’s graphic communications lab, technology to conduct graphic arts research and training for emerging graphic communications technology.
The announcement came from Southern Graphic Systems, an Alcoa business headquartered in Louisville, Ky., that supplies photographic and digital images and manufactures flexographic printing plates and rotogravure cylinders for the packaging printing industry.
“Our responsibility to our customers in the very demanding markets we serve requires the best talent available,” said Dennis Wilcox, regional vice president at Southern Graphic Systems, “One of our key strategic objectives is workforce development – to attract and retain talented people by developing and implementing well-defined human resources initiatives.”
Southern Graphic Systems also provides internships for Clemson students to enhance their skill levels and broaden their perspectives in an active workplace.
“The program benefits Southern Graphic Systems in that we get short-term task oriented work completed with no long-term commitment and we have the opportunity to evaluate these students as potential permanent hires in the future,” said Wilcox.
The grant is part of Alcoa Foundation’s commitment to its business communities. In South Carolina, Alcoa employs 1,250 at four operating locations in Goose Creek, Spartanburg, McBee and Gaffney.
The Clemson University Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization incorporated in the state of South Carolina to promote the welfare and future development of Clemson University’s educational and scientific goals. The foundation receives, manages and distributes donor gifts to build and maintain academic programs through faculty and student aid programs.
Intern Employer Day Next Event Scheduled for March 6, 2007
Clemson University Graphic Communications interns prepare to once again go out into the industry. The program sends students out three times a year to coincide with the university calendar. For the Fall 2006 semester there are currently 43 Clemson Graphic Communications (GC) majors interning in eleven states from New Jersey to Texas and Indiana to Florida. A range from 160–180 GC students intern annually with the largest group in the summer (approx. 80 students).
To help facilitate the placement of so many students, the department hosts Intern Employer Day each Fall and Spring to bring industry representatives and students together. On October 10, 2006, over 112 representatives from 59 companies were on hand to meet nearly 250 students all studying graphics. Nancy Leininger, Internship Coordinator for the Department of Graphic Communications says that the event, hosted by the graduating seniors, “…provides a perfect opportunity for employers to learn more about the scope and hands-on philosophy of the program, and to the meet underclassmen as well as graduating seniors looking to go out into the industry.” Employers on campus in October were quite impressed with the caliber of the students and the overall organization of the event.
Every Clemson GC major must complete at least 2 required internships prior to graduation. When surveyed as seniors, students consistently rank these two experiences as being the most beneficial of their college careers. Leininger says the current interns owe their thanks for the outstanding interest and turn out of employers to those interns and graduates who have gone out before them. “If previous students and graduates weren’t meeting their needs and expectations these employers wouldn’t be so committed to those currently seeking employment.”
The evening before Intern Employer Day, many employer representatives, graduating seniors, and graduate students attend a social followed by dinner. This gives potential employers a great opportunity to informally meet students who will soon be beginning printing industry careers.
On Tuesday morning employers are given program and internship information. Interns from past terms present their stories to the employers to provide examples of the many things students do in their internships. Most of the day employers meet at their table top exhibits with students. Many employers and students are able to make plans for internships. Follow up activities tend to be brisk, with several employers staying an extra day to interview students or to arrange plant visitations for those who at the top of their lists as prospective intern employees.
Clemson’s Graphic Communications Department hosts Intern Employer Day twice a year. The next event will be on March 6, 2007, where employers will make Summer and Fall 2007 internship plans. Companies wishing to receive registration information on Intern Employer Day should fax their business card to 864-656-4808, and simply write a “IED” on the card, the code for Intern Employer Day mailings. For immediate intern needs please contact Nancy Leininger the Graphic Communications Internship Coordinator.