Communication department chair to retire
USC Aiken’s Communication Department chair announced plans to retire next summer.
Dr. Charmaine Wilson has led the department for five years. After 28 years of service to USCA, Wilson has elected to retire next summer. Wilson wrote an email to all communication majors informing them of her decision.
“I will be here, working as Professor and Department Head, until June 30th, 2019,” said Wilson. “Until then, I am here, doing what I do.”
Communication major Avery Macklin said that she will miss Wilson as a professor and as her adviser. A junior at USCA and a member of the volleyball team, Macklin said that Wilson is a staple around the school and a regular at most of her sporting events.
“I think she has been a great leader,” said Macklin. “I think it will be a big loss all around.”
Macklin raised concerns about the transition period after Wilson’s retirement. She said it would be hard for the department to ever replace Wilson.
“She’s pretty much the face of the Communication Department,” said Macklin. “I think the major will be fine in terms of logistics but it’ll be sad without her around.”
Communication Professor Dr. Ben Triana has worked under Wilson for four years. Triana echoed the concerns by Macklin but said the department was working through many different solutions. Triana said that the department is exploring different options, but students need not worry.
“We have a number of things in the works that we are planning, changing and moving around,” said Triana.
Triana said the he understood students’ concerns regarding Wilson’s retirement, but said that they should not expect any change.
“For comm majors nothing will change,” said Triana. “In fact, over the last few years that has been the focus of our meetings.”
Triana said that as a boss, Wilson truly cared about her students as well as her employees. He said the he will miss Wilson’s compassion and diligence which has helped him become a better professor to his students.
“She is flexible about day-to-day interactions with other human beings,” said Triana. “That is something I will miss greatly about her.”
Another member of the Communication Department, Dr. Jason Munsell, said that Wilson was more than just a boss to him, she was also a friend. Munsell said that Wilson hired him last year after Dr. William Harpine retired from the department.
“I’ve known Dr. Wilson for over a decade,” said Munsell. “I’m excited for her and I think retirement is really an occasion to be celebrated.”
Munsell said that he expected Wilson’s retirement but that nothing could have prepared him for the official announcement. He said that Wilson created an understanding and friendly environment to work in, something that Munsell said he would miss greatly.
“It’s not a shocking surprise to me that Wilson is retiring,” said Munsell. “In fact, it's quite exciting for her and us in the department.”
Munsell said that the department expects some growing pains during the transition process but nothing that would directly affect communication students.
“I think the transition should be pretty seamless,” said Munsell.
Communication majors and faculty are encouraged to contact Wilson through email with any questions regarding her retirement at CharW@usca.edu.
A previous version of this article said that Jason Munsell was hired as a replacement for Peggy Elliot. This is incorrect, as Elliot was still a professor at USC Aiken at the time. We apologize for this error.