Caroline E. Sawyer, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Communication Studies
Department of Social Sciences
Caroline E. Sawyer is an award-winning producer and an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at University of South Carolina Beaufort. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Memphis, her Master of Arts from Austin Peay State University, and her Bachelor of Business Administration from Baylor University. Dr. Sawyer's research interests include transmedia storytelling, broadcast media, gender and sports communication, sports and new media, corporate communication, popular culture, American culture and critical discourse studies.
Her teaching experience includes working as several universities in Tennesse and California. Her professional experience includes working as a corporate communication consultant for several large public and private corporations advising on website design, social media campaigns, and public & investor relations, as well as training employees to improve their presentation skills.
In 2017, Dr. Sawyer was awarded the Carolinas Communication Association Monica Pombo Early Career Teaching Award. She embraces experiential learning in the classroom and works hard to expand experiential learning at USCB in her role as the Co-Director of Students Connected. Students Connected is a University-wide program that will inspire students to contribute to the needs of their community through focus on three central goals: (1) enhance and expand experiential research and service-learning opportunities for students across all disciplines, (2) collaborate with local organizations to engage students in research that affects community-based project outcomes, and (3) integrate knowledge learned from these experiences into curricula and facilitate classroom and community-wide discussions. Dr. Sawyer is also the director of the Sand Shark Center for Innovative Media.
She is the producer of a By The River, a collaborative TV show between USCB & SCETV, which airs Thursdays at 8 pm in the fall on ETVHD. Dr. Sawyer serves as the USCB Faculty Senate Secretary, the Southern States Communication Association Gender Studies Division Secretary, and the Carolinas Communication Association 1st Vice President. Dr. Sawyer enjoys working with students on research and video productions. When not teaching, Dr. Sawyer enjoys quilting, spending time with her dogs, and walking on the beach.
2021 UofSC Breakthrough Star Award, recognizes early career faculty that demonstrate considerable contributions to their field in terms of scholarly activity
2020 Telly Award, Bronze, Set Design – By The River, National award honor in excellence in video and television across all screens
2020 The Freshley Early Career Teaching Award, Southern States Communication Association Regional Discipline Teaching Award
2017 The Monica Pombo Early Career Teaching Award, Carolinas Communication Association Discipline Teaching Award Recognizing Faculty in both North & South Carolina
2015 Civility Champion, California State University San Marcos
2012 Graduate Scholar Recipient, The third annual Conference on Sport and Society, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK
2012 Graduate Study Abroad Scholarship, The University of Memphis, Sport, Commerce & Culture in the Global Marketplace, London, UK
2009 Putting Him/Her Through Award, Austin Peay State University Student Affairs Award for going above and beyond to help a student graduate college
Sawyer, C.E. (2020). (Producer, Director, Editor). By The River, Season 3 [Television Series]. Columbia, SC: South Carolina Educational Television
Sawyer, C.E. (2019). (Producer, Director, Editor). By The River, Season 2 [Television Series]. Columbia, SC: South Carolina Educational Television
Sawyer, C.E. (2018). (Producer, Director, Editor). By The River, Season 1 [Television Series]. Columbia, SC: South Carolina Educational Television
Sawyer, C.E. (2018) (Producer, Director, Editor). Palmetto Scene - Beaufort County Waits to See. Columbia, SC: South Carolina Educational Television [News Package].
Sawyer, C.E. (2018) (Producer, Director, Editor). What Florence Will Do. Columbia, SC: South Carolina Educational Television [News Package].
2020 Teaching Innovation Grant, University of South Carolina Beaufort $750
2020 USC Aspire III Grant, Equipping the Future: 4K Digital Cinema Camera Kit $49,859 For Interdisciplinary Digital Humanities Projects
2020 Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, Creating Integrated Media $73,500 Makers: Integrated Media Lab to Teach Media Making Skills for Transliteracy
2020 NEH Digital Projects for the Public Production Grant, under review $150,000 Augmented Reality Tour for Mitchelville, South Carolina, Gullah-Geechee Heritage Site, National Endowment for the Humanities, Digital Media Consultant, (PI - Topher Maraffi, Asst. Prof. of Media Arts at FAU)
2020 Clemson/UofSC COVID-19 Challenge Finalist $1,000 Co-PI with Dr. Seriuex, Assistant Professor of Public Health)
2020 Sea Islands Institute Grant $4,820 SCETV & USCB’s By The River Interdisciplinary Podcast (Co-PI with Drs. Swofford, Assistant Professor of English & Barnes, Associate Professor of English)
2020 NEH Digital Projects for the Public Production Grants, Augmented Reality $30,000 Tour for Mitchelville, South Carolina, Gullah-Geechee Heritage Site, National Endowment for the Humanities, Digital Media Consultant, (PI - Topher Maraffi, Asst. Prof. of Media Arts at FAU)
2019 Individual Underwriters for By The River $1,500
2019 By The River Budget, SCETV $50,000
2019 USC RISE Grant, By The River Production $5,805
2019 Sea Island Institute Grant, By The River Post Production $4,859
2019 Community Foundation of the Lowcountry Grant $5,200 Students Connected Project – Barnwell Excavation
Sawyer, C.E. (2018, September). Accelerating Student Success in Broadcasting: A Panel Discussion with SCETV Regional Station Directors and University/College Faculty. Panel presentation at Carolinas Communication Association annual conference in Charlotte, NC. (Presenter).
Sawyer, C.E. (2018, April). You Don't Own My Words: Domestic Violence Survivors' Twitter Responses to Media Discourse following the Ray Rice Incident. Paper presentation at Southern States Communication Association annual conference in Nashville, TN. (Presenter).
Sawyer, C.E. (2017, October). No Girls Allowed: A Discussion of the Exclusion of Women in American Football Fandom. Paper presentation at Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association of the South annual conference in Savannah, GA. (Presenter).
Sawyer, C.E. (2017, October). Power, privilege and representation in comic-based media. Panel presentation at Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association of the South annual conference in Savannah, GA. (Presenter).
Sawyer, C.E. (2017, September). Collaborating for Success and Engagement: A Panel Discussion of the partnership between the First Year Reading Experience(FYRE), the Library, and Public Communication Courses. Panel presentation at Carolinas Communication Association annual conference in Clemson, SC. (Presenter).
Sawyer, C.E. (2017, May). Girls Can't Play Football: A Discussion of the Exclusiveness of American Football and the Inclusiveness of Fantasy Football. Paper presentation at International Communication Association in San Diego, California. (Presenter).
Sawyer, C.E. (2017, April). Feminist Perspectives, Purposes, and Practices in the Archives: An Interactive Roundtable Discussion. Panel presentation at Southern States Communication Association in Greenville, South Carolina. (Presenter).
Sawyer, C.E. (2016, October). Working Together: Partnering with University Initiatives for Experiential Learning. Panel presentation at Carolinas Communication Association in Wilmington, North Carolina. (Presenter).
Sawyer, C.E. & Rivera, K.D. (2016). Three Strategies for Implementing Authentic Altruism into your CSR Campaign. PR NEWS Corporate Social Responsibility & Green Public Relations Guidebook.
Markman, K.M. & Sawyer, C.E. (2014). Why Pod?: Further explorations of the motivations for independent podcasting.
Journal of Radio and Audio Media, 21(1):20-35.
Gray, P. & Downes, C.E.S.* (2009). Meeting the needs of Native American radio: A preliminary exploration of the Native America Calling. Intercultural Communication Studies, XVIII:I. Rhode Island.
Kanervo, E. W, Zhang, W., & Sawyer, C.E. (2005). Communication and democratic participation: A critical review and synthesis. The Review of Communication, 5(4):193-236.
Teaching & Research Specialties
media production, media 2.0, transmedia storytelling, new media, sport communication, gender communication, discourse analysis, qualitative research, corporate communication, public speaking