Monday, July 28, 2008

New Semester Coming Soon

Uncovering the wood on my desk I rediscovered the "Dear Colleagues" letter from Dr. Pat Lincoln, Provost at Coker College. This three-paragraph missive gently reminded the faculty that summer was quickly coming to a close and that school would soon be back in session.

We formally begin the new semester on August 13 with orientation of new faculty and a Faculty Social beginning at 6:30 p.m. that evening. In-service types of classes and meeting are set for August 14 and 15 and that weekend the students will be arriving on campus. One of the things I have learned to enjoy about working on the Coker College campus is the anticipation of every new beginning and relishing the clear conclusion of each semester. Those beginnings and endings are different from work in what might be called the 'corporate world.'

Like all semesters, this is going to be a busy time. During the day sessions I will have two classes of speech -- a 8 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and 8 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. In addition I get to teach the Introduction to Mass Communication course, which I call Mass Communication, Culture and Media Literacy. I also get to teach one of my favorite classes, Organizational Communication, which focuses a lot on the internal communication theories and practices of organizations. In the night program I will be teaching a public speaking class in both Term One (early) and Term Two (late).

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Coker Students - Alums blogging

The Coker Experience blog began one day as a classroom experience in getting familiar with blogging. This summer, two of the students from that class, Stacie Fields and Elsie Mufuka, have begun their own blogs. This seemed like a good time to give them a nod or prop for taking that initiative and a good opportunity to link to their efforts.

Stacie's blog is called "The Adventures of a Dancing Fancypants" and Elsie's blog is lettersfromsouthafrica. Both of these girls are dancers and Elsie is starting her new career with a modern dance company with a base in South Africa and Stacie, who will be a senior, has been dancing this summer with Pro Danza in Italy.

In just a month or two Maggie Meyer, who blogged from Germany when she was studying abroad, will be blogging from Malaysia, where she is going to be on a Fulbright Fellowship.

Connection to the Real World

As we work on building a broad base of knowledge about the field(s) of communication from the idyllic surroundings of Coker College in Hartsville, S. C., it is important that we find ways to bring in the lessons of what is fondly referred to as the real world. This coming semester I have the good fortune to be teaching one of my favorite classes, Organizational Communication. This is a class taught with the vision of being able to combine lessons in theory with lessons of practicality with hands-on experiences with organizational communication. The vision is broad but there are times when you can see it take a firm hold.

That brings us to the subject of this blog, a quick summary of an article by Milt Weinstock, who is the CEO of Stone Soup Marketing, a consulting firm. Writing in the July 14 issue of ADVERTISING AGE (P20), he talks about the lessons taught him by Ed Meyer, who was CEO of Grey Advertising. (Aside -- just found out Stone Soup Marketing is in Statesville, NC.)

The lessons that Milt Weinstock features and highlights in his article are ideas I try, in a variety of ways, to get across to the Coker communication students. At some point in the class this coming semester, I plan to use this article as a reading for the students. Here are the ten lessons that Mr. Weinstock says he learned from Mr. Meyer over 35 years with Grey Worldwide:

  1. Perform with a sense of urgency
  2. Acknowledge the good
  3. There's no such thing as a small client
  4. Relationships are our most important asset
  5. Share the bad news early
  6. Loyalty is long remembered
  7. There is no substitute for knowledge
  8. Winning is a team effort
  9. Recognize that business is a marathon, not a 100-yard dash
  10. Being proactive makes you stand out
Important lessons that need to be learned and relearned by those working in many fields with special emphasis for those of us in communication.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Fun to Talk with Coker grads and work with coker grads

Just finished a meeting with a graphic designer named Kyle Saverance who graduated from Coker with a degree in graphic design and a minor in communication. Kyle is the graphic designer for Coker and has a side business that he does nights and weekends called fingerprint-design-studio.

We are working on a project in Hartsville that we call Hartsville - The Art of Good Living. This project is to sell Hartsville. Was talking with Kyle about a dynamic web site that we will use to provide information about Hartsville to the various audiences that we are trying reach. If is really enjoyable seeing a former student with such a great grasp of what it takes to get things working in what we call this "real world."