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Departments: Department of Communication

Rettew Receives Excellence in Teaching Award

Pictured from left: Sarah Rettew, adjunct lecturer, Anderson University; Robert Reeves, associate professor, Anderson University; Bobby Rettew, associate professor and Anderson University award recipient; Nathan Cox, associate provost; director of

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Making Anderson a Family Tradition

Mom Terrie Brendle attended Anderson and among the children are numerous Anderson University graduates; the two youngest are current students. Pictured from left are Seth Brendle, Susanna Brendle, Sadie Brendle,

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Pictured from left: Sarah Rettew, adjunct lecturer, Anderson University; Robert Reeves, associate professor, Anderson University; Bobby Rettew, associate professor and Anderson University award recipient; Nathan Cox, associate provost; director of the Center for Learning and Teaching Excellence, Anderson University; Willis Cantey, chair, SCICU Board of Trustees; and Dr. Ryan Neal, provost, Anderson University. 

 

Professor Bobby Rettew was recognized for excellence as an educator. 

South Carolina Independent Colleges and Schools (SCICU) presented Rettew with the 2024 SCICU Excellence In Teaching Award. 

Rettew, who is an assistant professor of Communication in the College of Arts and Sciences, teaches classes that include Podcasting for Business Communication, Media Ethics, Introduction to Digital Photography and Photojournalism, Corporate Video Production and Documentary Video Production.  

Rettew brings into the classroom many years of experience as a journalist. He is also the owner of Rettew Creative, a storytelling and communications agency focused on grant-making, healthcare, higher education, housing, literacy, health disparities and the rural church. 

Rettew holds a master of arts in professional communication and a bachelor of science in mathematics teaching, both from Clemson University. 

Before moving into higher education, Rettew’s early career in journalism took him all over the country serving WSPA-TV, KPHO-TV, and WCNC-TV (Belo Corporation) where he traveled domestically and internationally to cover local, regional and national stories. Some of the top stories he covered included John Glenn’s return to space, Billy Graham’s last crusades, border migration while traveling with coyotes across the southern border, Senator John McCain’s first presidential campaign, and Hurricane Katrina. Over the span of his career as a journalist, Rettew was awarded numerous Associated Press Awards, Regional Emmy Awards and Arizona and South Carolina broadcasting awards. 

Rettew is also an alumnus of the Riley Institute, a leadership program devoted to diversity, broadening community perspectives on critical issues, supporting public education and creating knowledge through community solutions-focused research. 

Web Rettew class

Rettew’s students learn not only the nuts and bolts of media communication—be it creating a podcast or producing a video—they learn the art of using a particular medium to tell an impactful story.  

Among the classes he teaches is a class about documentaries in which students have been working on video productions. During this past semester, topics ranged from telling about how the Rocky River Nature Conservancy is preserving a diverse natural area within the Anderson city limits to showing how the community is remembering the victims of racial violence incidents in Anderson County from the late 1800s through the early 1900s. These documentaries were presented for the first time April 23 on the Anderson University campus. 

Emerson Courtney, a student from Charleston, has been working with her teammates on a documentary about the Morris Street cabins in downtown Anderson and their powerful link to local African-American History. She appreciates the confidence she’s gained in Rettew’s class. 

The biggest thing I’ve learned… has been from when Bobby has gone out with me into the community to talk to people. I can get nervous about going up to people to ask them to tell their stories, but he’s definitely helped provide a comfortable setting to do that,” Courtney said. “People have stories that need to be told, and so learning how to do that in a way that we’re approachable to them and they feel comfortable and just capturing that, whether it’s through audio or visual has been the biggest thing I’ve learned.” 

Communication major Micah Tassy and his teammates have been working on a documentary about Willis Jackson, one of the five men lynched in the Anderson County area roughly a century ago. Tassy has learned a lot from Rettew about sorting through issues large and small; for example, how to deal with a canceled interview or an individual who is reluctant to be recorded. 

“A lot of it was practical stuff we had to go through like learning how to set up an interview or anything like that, which I’ve been doing for several years now under Bobby with internal video production, with corporate video production, and now it’s culminating with documentary production,” Tassy said. “I’m taking all of those skills I’ve learned in the past and applying them now to probably the most important project I’ve worked on in my entire college career.”  

Tassy continued, “One of the first things always said among our group is ‘let’s talk to Bobby’ because he’s been through it before; he’s been doing this for years. He’s probably been our number one resource in terms of help with figuring all of this stuff out.” 

“He’s been very helpful, more than just in class, even outside as far as after graduation, because I also have him as an advisor,” said communication digital media major Sam Nadal, whose team has been working on a documentary about Dr. John Vines, a Baptist minister and former Anderson President who courageously spoke out against the racial violence happening in Anderson County. “In and out of class he has helped me prepare for a lot in life as far as my major and careerwise. He’s been very helpful with advice and is always willing to take the time to have a conversation. I think it’s refreshing to have a professor really care about you, not only as a student but as a person. He’s very relational and that’s very important to me and very eye opening.”  

Rettew was among 21 faculty leaders—one per SCICU member institution—to be recognized during SCICU’s Excellence in Teaching Awards event April 9 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. He received a framed award certificate and a $3,000 professional development grant. The 2024 Excellence in Teaching award reicipients represent a wide range of academic disciplines. 

“At SCICU we’re honored to recognize our campuses’ deep commitment to their students, embodied by these exemplary educators,” said SCICU President and CEO Jeff Perez.