Friday, February 27, 2009

Getting Quiet Around the Coker Campus students have been throwing some luggage into cars for much of the day and pulling out to Spring Break locations. Just talked with one student who is heading home to Hartsville, where she plans to sleep for the next four days. A second student was heading home to Ohio, where she was anticipating cold. It is 70 degrees here at Coker this afternoon. Coker's Spring Break is from today through Sunday, March 8, the day daylight savings time comes back to the clocks.

The other big trip happening this Spring Break are the Coker Singers on tour in Washington, D.C. and North Carolina. Overhearing conversations, I am thinking the singers are excited to be on the road.

Spring Break comes at the middle of the semester but it always seems like there is almost no time left between when we return and graduation. Won't be lone before students are again in finals -- using a video here of students in a midterm at Coker. You can hear (almost nothing) as the students write, focusing on the answers.

Sports teams are not on any real break. The softball team left this morning for a weekend tournament in Spartanburg, S.C. The Coker men's basketball team is home on Saturday in the first game of the Conference Carolinas tournament and the Cobra women's basketball team is at home on Sunday for their first tourney game. It is big news for the basketball teams to be hosting tournament games -- both teams have had exciting seasons.

Baseball is heading out on Monday to play at Erskine, two games that were weather delayed from this weekend.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rusty Ray of WBTW talks about broadcast journalism

Often, students hear things in the classroom for which they have no real external context and assume the classroom information has no real-world value. Rusty Ray of WBTW Television (Myrtle Beach and Florence)drove to Hartsville this morning (2/26) to take on the role of professor for the Writing for Media class at Coker College.

Having a journalist discuss the importance of attribution, and present-tense writing for broadcast seems to hit home with students. Rusty, who drove up from Myrtle Beach after his morning anchor duties, also helped students get an idea of the reporting process as he explained they why and how of story details. Rusty is a University of Maryland journalism graduate who appears quite at ease in front of a class. Our media writing class got several important lessons in the quick 50-minute visit. Students got to understand that a reporter is not only reporting stories but is also videoing the stories and is also editing the stories and with today's software he/she can do that without going to the office. This is the world of converged journalism and Rusty's parent company is Media General, one of the leaders in converged journalism. Students got to feel the pressure of putting out information quickly in a form that could be used -- either online, on television or in print. There was high value in that short visit and as an instructor, I really appreciate the willingness of those from outside who will come into the classroom.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Undergraduate Research Conference includes several colleges and universities

Dr. Mac Williams, an assistant professor of Spanish at Coker, took the initiative to organize an undergraduate research conference in the Humanities and this conference is being presented for the first time on Saturday, February 21, 2009. In the Selling Hartsville campaign of which I have been a part, we suggest that around Hartsville you should "Expect Pleasant Surprises." This research conference is one of those pleasant surprises for both Hartsville and Coker. Dr. Williams is hoping that he piques some increased interest among undergraduates for pursuing more in-depth research and this conference is one of the tactics to make it happen. Check out the schedule below and you might even see a couple of things you want to know more about.

Coker College Undergraduate

Humanities Research Conference

February 21, 2009

Hartsville, South Carolina


Saturday February 21, 2009

Morning Session One Davidson Hall 110

10:15 AM -11:45AM

Justin Barker, “The Dream of Fortune and Arthur’s Guilty Conscience in the Alliterative Morte Arthure”
Queens University of Charlotte, NC

Benjamin Gray, “Beowulf and The Fellowship of the Ring: Loyalty and the Immortalization of Fellowship”
Methodist University

Cody Bellows, “The Influence of Classical Mythology in Milton’s Paradise Lost.”
Montreat College

Nicole Hill, “Women in Chains: Authors and Their Critics on 19th Century Marriage’
Columbia College (UMC)

Morning Session Two Davidson Hall 112

10:15 AM -11:45AM

Nicole Dumouchel, “Gabriela Mistral: Interaction of Her Life Experiences in Her Literary Works”
Converse College

Katie Lyle, “Looking for Warning Signs of Genocide in El Señor Presidente by Miguel Ángel Asturias”
Queens University of Charlotte, NC

Danielle Haney, “Psychological Issues of Acculturation Demonstrated in Selected Latina Poetry”
Coker College

Caitlin Gaule, “Silencio y traición: Aspectos del cristianismo en ‘Bernadino’”
Creighton University

Afternoon Session One Davidson Hall 110

1:15 – 2:45PM

Katy Cloninger, “Hardy’s Michael Henchard: A Victorian Macbeth?”
Newberry College

Ashley Gedraitis, “Tess of the D’urbervilles: A Case Study in Modern Rape Theory”
Wake Forest University

Rikki Rocanti, “Behind the Witty Banter: Comparing Mirabell and Millamant with Beatrice and Benedick”
Montreat College

Laura Reichling, “Voltaire and Religious Fanaticism in Spain”
Creighton University

Afternoon Session Two Davidson Hall 112

1:15 – 2:45PM

William Pace, “Literary Genius of Barbara W. Tuchman”
Claflin University

Joanna King, “Amélie Nothomb: Portraying Paradox in the Human Condition”
Montreat College

J.J. Calao, “The Amoral Egoist vs. the “Fearful Jesuit”: Buck Mulligan’s Battle for Stephen’s Soul in Ulyssess
Wake Forest University

Coker College Undergraduate

Humanities Research Conference

February 21, 2009

Hartsville, South Carolina

Dancer and Communicator

Stacie Fields, a Coker senior is Dance and Communication major and last night she staged her Dance Senior Thesis. It will be performed on Friday and Saturday this weekend in a really creative, interesting "Spring Faculty and Guest Artist Dance Concert." Here, Stacie tells you a little bit about the Choreography that she titled Defined.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sharing ideas from Professor Ebright about Dance Concert

The following is from Professor Wanda Ebright about dance and choreographers featured in the dance concert that will be performed this Thursday, Friday and Saturday:
From Professor Ebright:
Six things to know about the six dances in the Spring Faculty & Guest Artist Dance Concert, running Thursday through Saturday nights at 8pm in the Watson Theater...

1. Sometimes you come to see a performance, but become a part of the performance. (Choreography by Twyla Tharp)

2. We sink or swim, stand or fall, united as one group. (Choreography by guest artist Natalie Berry)

3. Many of us with PCs will once again be envious of the Mac. (Choreography by Prof. Angela M. Gallo)

4. Gloom and doom are not requirements for a senior thesis project in dance, as evidenced by Miss Stacie Fields. (Choreography by Stacie C. Fields)

5. Coker does ballet? Twice in one show? (Choreography by Prof. Wanda K. W. Ebright)

6. I get exhausted just watching this one! We must be doing something right over here! (Choreography by Terance Henderson)

Tickets are free for faculty, staff and students, $5 for all other seats. A reception in the Stein Gallery will follow the Friday night performance. Come and see!

"The saddest thing in life is wasted talent." from the Chazz Palminteri film "A Bronx Tale"

Wanda K. W. Ebright
Associate Professor of Dance
Coker College Dance Program
300 East College Avenue
Hartsville, SC 29550

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Coker student to have research published

Michele is a hard working Coker student and this owrk is paying off as her research has been accepted for publication. That might be one of the elements that helped her just get the good news that she has been accepted into the University of Georgia graduate school The news release below comes from the Coker College web site.

HARTSVILLE, S.C. — An article written by Coker College biology major Michele Burnham will be published later this year by the scientific journal“Mycologia,”the official publication of the Mycological Society of America.

Burnham’s article deals with the discovery of a photoreceptor gene in Cercospora kikuchii, the fungus that causes purple seed stain and leaf blight in soybean crops. This gene could make it possible to control the disease with more environmentally friendly methods, such as light, rather than harmful pesticides.

Burnham conducted her research last summer in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Arkansas as a C. Roy Adair Undergraduate Research Fellow.

Burnham is a senior from Lancaster, S.C. She is advised by Coker College biology professor Joseph Flaherty and plans to attend graduate school.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Fun hearing from students who have graduated

Just got a Facebook note from Patrick Hammie, who is a 2004 graduate of Coker. He was art major with a minor in psychology. I got to meet Patrick in a speech class and we stayed in touch while he was a student. In 2008 he earned an MFA in painting and is now producing painting and teaching in the Connecticut area. You can visit his website.

And just the other day Jen Crocker Roberts noted that she had watched her old team, the Coker Women's Tennis Team, as they played at Converse in Spartan burg, SC. She was commenting on she missed those good old days of competition and camaraderie with the tennis team. We commiserated about how fast time really does fly. Jen, who was a communication major, is working on her Masters in Teaching.

And, right now I have two scrabble-type of word games going with graduates -- Suzanne and Ashley -- who are both just killing me with their high scores. Facebook is amazing connecting tool.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

February Spring

Ok, the temperature is 73 degree and though there is a warm wind blowing, this is as hot as it sometimes gets in my hometown (Rome, NY) in July. So, a perfect day for the home opener of the Coker College baseball season. And, the Cobras snapped a four-game losing streak with a 5-2 win over Claflin. It was also the day that the Jazz II dance class ventured out of doors for a different venue for their dance. The dancers, and their instructor - Professor Ebright -- enjoyed the change of scenery. The dancers perform their Spring Concert (again in February), which will open on Thursday, February 19. It is a great day to be part of the Coker College community!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Students enjoying hearing from those in the field

This term I am teaching a class called Crisis Communication and Media Relations. This class combines two Public Relations specialties that we don't usually get to in a general PR writing course or a PR Principles course. One of the elements of this course that students seem to get a great deal from are the visits from people who are in the field, doing these jobs.

This past Thursday, for example, Captain Andy Locklair of the Darlington County Sheriff's Department discussed the media relations concept from both the law enforcement perspective and from the perspective of his own experience as a talk show host and former television news assignment editor. So far we have had three visitors and all have enriched the background of the students and they have all enhanced the messages that are important in both the crisis communication field and the medial relations practice. Those visitors have included Lynwood Eppes from Darlington County Emergency Preparedness, Audrey Childers, of the Darlington County School District and Captain Locklair.This video is a brief slice of Captain Locklair's discussion:

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Updates on a Saturday morning

Adam Johnson was one of several bell ringers getting attention for the COW Day events on Saturday morning -- February 7, 2009.

Busy day on campus with COW day events early

-- Basketball beginning at 2 p.m. and 4:15 p.m.
-- Opening of softball season beginning at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
-- Baseball team in Florence at FMU tourney - early afternoon

Dance rehearsals going on in the dance studio this morning
And, the library opens in just a little while.

Saturdays on college campuses are usually very quiet in the mornings; not today at Coker.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What other college has C.O.W Days

In the dreariness of midwinter there are times when there just isn't that much to do, even on a college campus. Years and years ago a students services person and the Coker students of the day dreamed up some events they called the Coker Olympics of Winter. Lots of stuff that was silly and usually fun (you probably have to be here) and those COW Days became a tradition that exists today. The students spice a lot of events with interclass competition frosh and juniors vs sophs and seniors for the COW bragging rights. For example, tonight at the half time of the guys' basketball game against Barton there will be a "Pin the tail" on the cow contest. Remember, I mentioned that you might have to be here to appreciate the tradition. The included video is the dancing cow, who calls the attention of the campus to the hallowed activities of this traditional week. Highlighting this year's COW Days (not to be confused with South Park episode, Coker was here first)was the snow that greeted everyone as they got out of bed on Wednesday morning. We don't see that much and now twice in one winter.

The way the story is handed down, the student services person was Fred Edinger who went on for his Ph.D. and who has been on staff at Coker for a lot of years and many of them as our resident Geology expert(Professor of Geology). So, what are some of the other C.O.W. Day activities? There is the lip-synch contest, believe that was held last night. There is the Miss Cow contest -- a sort of reverse (in many ways) beauty contest. The classes are even vying for bragging rights in a Bloodmobile that is on campus tomorrow. There is also a morning of quasi-olympic activites that include events like the wings-eating championship. All of this is part of the experience of a small liberal arts college with 100 years behind us and our second hundred just begun.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The overlap season

About this time on the Coker campus you begin to wonder who started to schedule Spring sports. Why? This is the overlap season. The Cobra baseball team was on the road to open their season against Chowan College this afternoon and the Guys and Girls Tennis teams were on opening their home season against Francis Marion University on Sunday (2/1/09) afternoon. Basketball season is still going full tilt with the girls avenging an earlier season loss on Saturday afternoon as they beat Converse College with relentless defense from the opening "tip" to the final buzzer. Makes the one-person Sports Information Officer scrambling for stats at this time of year.