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College of Charleston Establishes the Martin Center for Mentorship in Communication

by | Mar 28, 2023

The College of Charleston announced the establishment of the Martin Center for Mentorship in Communication. The Center will be housed within the Department of Communication in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. The Martin Center’s mission is to inspire and develop a future generation of leaders and mentors among today’s outstanding communication students, and to foster more robust relationships between those who educate and those who practice in the communications field. The Martin Center was made possible by a multi-year founding pledge by Thomas and Wanda Martin.

“We are thrilled to launch this new center focused on the critical importance of mentoring,” said Andrew S. Hsu, president of the College of Charleston. “Mentors play a vital role in translating knowledge from the classroom into practical applications that help our graduates succeed. The Martin Center will add to this body of knowledge and help build bridges between academia and the communications practice. We appreciate the Martins’ generosity in providing the endowment to make this center an enduring resource at the College of Charleston.”

“During my fifteen years at the College, I have seen the dramatic and positive impact that mentors have had with our students,” said Tom Martin. “My career and life have been shaped in large part by mentors I had along the way, and I believe this is an area that can be further researched and taught, so that future mentoring efforts here and elsewhere can be even more effective. I’m excited that Wanda and I can help facilitate this important work.”

In 2016, the Martin’s launched the Martin Scholars program, an experiential learning and mentoring program for graduating seniors in Communication. Tom Martin has served as Executive in Residence in the Department of Communication at the College of Charleston since 2007, and he has taught the Martin Scholars since the program’s founding. The Martin Scholars program has seventy graduates now working in a variety of fields including communication, marketing, and education. It will be one of the signature programs of the new Center. The Center will also manage the Department of Communications Mentor-Protege program that matches members of the National Advisory Council and alumni of the College with Communication students. In addition, the Center will manage and further develop the department’s internship program. In the future, the Center plans to develop on-line modules to help teach mentoring skills, for both mentors and mentees. The Center will also sponsor research into topics focused on effective mentoring.

Dr. Bethany Goodier, a professor in the Department of Communication, has been selected as the Center’s first director. She will work with Mr. Martin, other faculty, and the department’s National Advisory Council to expand the Center’s outreach at the College of Charleston and in the broader field of communication. “I am honored to be working alongside Mr. Martin, the Advisory Council and the Faculty in the Department of Communication to direct the Martin Center for Mentorship in Communication,” said Dr. Goodier. “I’ve seen firsthand how connecting students to the right mentor can change the course of their lives and I am excited to build on the foundation of our existing programs to expand our reach to include more students, alumni, and community partners.”

The Martin Center will be officially launched at a celebratory dinner on March 29 at the College. The dinner is being held as part of the 20th Anniversary of the department’s National Advisory Council, which was founded in 2003. The Council consists of an outstanding and nationally prominent group of communication leaders who actively support the department in creating and improving Communication programs, providing co-curricular opportunities, mentoring students, and encouraging the many accomplishments of the department’s students and faculty.

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