Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Alum tells class about social media

Charles Ellison, a 2004 graduate of Coker, visited with the Marketing Communication class I am teaching and presented them with an overview of Social Media Marketing. His presentation was from the field and the students really enjoyed hearing about how a couple of businesses are using both Twitter and Facebook. As an instructor, I always appreciate it when a former student is able to come by class and share some of their real-world experience.

Holiday quiet on the Coker campus

A few minutes ago I was sitting on the bench outside the Performing Arts Center watching the steady stream of leaves falling; it was so quiet you could almost hear them hit the ground. Even the squirrels seem to have taken today off. While it is sort of strange to have a three-day weekend so close to the end of the semester, it does seem like it came at the right time. Students are certainly feeling the pressure of semester end as there are only two class days left before finals. Faculty have also been feeling the pressure of papers, a rapidly ending semester and committee work that has fast approaching deadlines. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is a day, I believe, for which all of us at Coker, students-faculty-staff-administration, are thankful. Everyone will probably be hard after it all beginning again on Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Coker College Speech Contest Had 10 Winners

The 2009 Speech Contest had ten contestants and in my mind that means it had ten winners. The ten students who took part "stepped out of their boxes" and stepped up to a significant challenge. This contest is going to make each of them better when it comes to public speaking.

For three of the contestants, the winning also meant some prize money. The Coker College Speech Contest is a co-curricular event with the Department of Literature, Language and Communication and Students Services & Leadership. The prize money for the event was provided by Student Services.

Matthew Blewitt, presenting a motivation speech on escaping your personal and societal box, was the first palce winner and takes home $150. In second place was Caleb Dunlop, who was speaking on the need to send more troops to Afghanistan. Third place went to Derek Bailey, who spoke on the normal abnormal events at family reunions.

There were some interesting speeches from all of the contestants. Jill Giguere talked about the myths we associate with some mental illnesses. Becky Dillon had a persuasive speech about allowing women into combat roles in the military. Hannah Jackson told the audience the importance and rewards of volunteering. Margaret McCoy entertained with the battle between the Snap/Crackle/Pop gnomes and the Kibler Elves. Elizabeth Carawan, who happens to have red hair, told us about the reputation of those with the gene who are said to have stolen the fire from hell. Rachel Minus described the magic of knowing American Sign Language and Elizabeth Gainey told of the challenge of reaching two childhood dreams, that of being a social worker and a teacher.

The judges for the contest were two members and officers of the Hartsville Toastmasters -- Ray Schnell and Bruce Eide (both TM contest winners themselves); Veronica Gallo, a Coker alum and winner of the 2006 Coker Speech Contest and Lisa Potoka, direction of student activities and leadership. Dr. George Lellis of the Coker Communication Department was the timer. The major rule of the contest was that speeches had to be between four minutes and thirty seconds and seven minutes.

It was a highly competitive contest and I appreciate those students who took on the challenge of competition. We also appreciate those who joined us for this contest and gave the speakers an appreciative audience.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Coker people talking about Coker

James Jolly of the Coker Marketing and Communications area is working with ClickTV to post some short videos of Coker people talking about Coker. They are fun to watch and I thought it would be interesting to post the link in this blog about the Coker experience. A few weeks ago DB, a communication student and basketball player, was in my office and we did a little video of his thoughts about Coker in the few months he has been here. Going to try posting that video here because I think those who sell Coker the best are those who experience Coker. So, I hope you get to meet Derek Bailey here and then click to the other site for more Coker voices.

Coker College Speech Contest is November 18

The following students will be competing on Wednesday night beginning at 6:30 in the Music Building Auditorium in annual Coker College Speech Contest.

Rachel Minus Matthew Blewitt Elizabeth Carawan Caleb Dunlop
Margaret McCoy Elizabeth Gainey Becky Dillon Hannah Jackson Jill Giguere and Derek Bailey

We hope that you will try to program the speech contest into your already busy schedules. These students are putting themselves under the pressure of a contest to get even better with their public speaking skills. And, they are competing for $150 as first prize and cash for second and third places. The contest will be judged based on public speaking as listeners like it. There will be four judges and a timer. All of the speeches must be between four minutes and thirty seconds and seven minutes. This event is cosponsored by the Department of Student Services at Coker and the Language, Literature and Communication Department. The Speech Contest will last approximately 90 minutes from 6:30 to about 8:00 p.m.

The Coker College Speech Contest is open to Day and Evening Students and the major qualification is that you are an active Coker student and that you are not a previous winner of the contest. In fact, one of the judges is a previous winner who is now a graduate of Coker College.

We instituted the Speech Contest as another way of showing students the variety of situations they might find themselves when it comes to speaking. Very few students will accept the challenge of a contest and I THANK those who have for going that extra few miles for this experience.

Basketball season now in full swing

The Coker College Women opened their season against UNC - Pembroke on Sunday and had difficult time finding their rhythmn. On Monday night, the Coker Men's basketball team held off the very determined Morris team from Sumter for the opening home victory. The women head to Rock Hill for a game against Winthrop University on Tuesday night.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Prospective Students

Really enjoy talking to prospective students about the opportunity of joining the learning community at Coker College. Coach Dave had a recruit and his parents in from Miami on Sunday and I got to talk with them about academics, classes, etc. Coker is a subject, like Hartsville, that I enjoy talking about. Our small campus, like our small city, can be one of THE right places for people. As we leaving the discussion my major advice to the student was to go with his gut as he looks at colleges. If the school feels right then you will have motivation to make it right. If it does not feel right there really is no reason to pressure yourself into a situation that does not feel like you. In higher education there are a lot of choices. For many, Coker could be THE right choice and I enjoy sharing information with students that can help them see the possibilities.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Getting into the important short rows

A quick look at the calendar shows that the Coker College Fall 2009 semester is quickly coming to an end. You can feel the end approaching as you read FACEBOOK lamentations about all the work that is suddenly coming due in classes all over the campus. You can see it in the posters announcing book buy backs (hope the students don't sell until after they use them for final study).

Complicating the work load is the fact that there continues to be a great deal going on outside the classroom. The basketball teams will be opening their regular seasons. This weekend A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM has a performance on Saturday evening and the closing performance on Sunday afternoon. Next week on November 18 there is a Speech Contest. The night before is a Faculty piano and voice recital. On Sunday, November 22, there is a performance by the Coker Singers of Requiem and the night before that the students have their Winter Formal at the Hartsville Country Club.

After today there are six Monday, Wednesday, Friday classes left in the semester. There are four Tuesday/Thursday classes left in the semester. Time does disappear and that is why many are feeling the end-of-semester pressure, including faculty.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Nothing to do -- often heard but not always the case

Recently, Jon Driggers, former dean of students at Coker, sent an email out to students, staff and faculty that listed some of the places students could find things going on at Coker and maybe even in Hartsville. We are in a small city. There is often the feeling there is nothing to do but we have a slogan in Hartsville that calls for residents and visitors to "Expect Pleasant Surprises." This is the email that Dean Driggers sent:
Have you had the feeling there is nothing for you to do in your free time? You will find some of the resources that list student events on campus:

The Campus Life Calendar: Have you had the feeling there is nothing for you to do in your free time? You will find some of the resources that list student events on campus:

The Campus Life Calendar:
The Campus Life Facebook page:
Athletics Website:
Cultural Events Calendar:

From August - October over 167 programs were held in the Campus Life area alone(SGA, Campus Life, Residence Life, RSOs), 54 of these programs were held between Friday-Sunday.

Please check the calendars for upcoming events!

And, if there are not enough events, I usually tell my students they can always use their free time to prepare for classes.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Coker Soccer Wins Conference Championship and Coker Basketball Plays Division 1 Pitt

The Coker College men's soccer team had an amazing week as they won three games capping the success with the Conference Carolinas Championship on Sunday afternoon before one of the largest crowds ever to watch Coker soccer. Coker and Belmont Abbey were tied a 0-0 after regulation and after the first overtime and after the second overtime. The penalty kicks decided the game with Abbey missing after Coker converted and the 0-0 goes down as a 6-5 win for Coker in a hard-played match by both schools. Jubilation would be a good word to describe the feelings of the players and the fans as Coker has had quite possibly the best season in men's soccer history. It was really good to see former Coker players in the fan section.

The Coker Men's basketball team opened their 2009-2010 season with a game in Pittsburgh, PA against Division I Pitt. The game generated a great deal of enthusiasm among both players and fans and while Coker came out on the short end of the score, Facebook comments from students said this was a great trip. The game generated some good publicity in the Pittsburgh papers as the reuniting of Coach Dan Schmotzer with some of his TCU friends from the old days made good feature material for the reporters.

On the women's side, the Coker Volleyball Team ended their season over the weekend with a victory over Queens of Charlotte.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Coker Inducts 14 New Omicron Delta Kappa Members

The Coker College ODK Circle inducted 14 new members on November 4th in a ceremony held at the Drengalen House on the college campus. ODK is a leadership honor society and Coker has had a chapter since 2003.

A group of family and friends attended the initiation event along with members of the Coker ODK circle. Melinda Norris, a business professor at Coker is also the ODK Faculty Advisor and she offered important words on the importance of personal leadership in developing a personal legacy of service.

Among the new members are: Taylor Adams, Hannah Beard, Shannon Smith Flowers, Sarah Folsom, Amy Hall, Jordan Heydt, Kyria Hoffman, Anna Lippard, Askley Meador, Brandi Nichols, Robert O'Hara, Lisa Potoka, Amanda Warner, Robert Wyatt.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Coker Men playing in Conference Soccer tourney

I know that a post should be original in nature but with lots going on and with the Coker Sports Information Department working hard on getting the news out, I thought it would be okay to share their release about the conference tournament opening game. This game will be November 3 in Anderson:

Cobra Men Ready for Conference Carolinas Tournament
by Christian Stryker, SID Coker College

Read this article on the web at
Hartsville, S.C. - All season long the Coker men's soccer team has made history and as the Conference Carolinas Soccer Tournament begins on Tuesday, they are hoping to continue to make history. The Cobras are seeded fifth in the tournament , their highest seeding in school history, and will have play nationally ranked #13 and fourth seed Anderson University.
Kick-off is set for 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3 at Anderson University.
The Cobras lost their only contest against the Trojans back on Oct. 24, 2-0. Even with the loss, Coker had several good scoring opportunities, but were unable to capitalize.
Leading the Cobras offense is junior forward Daniel Shrizad (Orlando, Fla.) with seven goals, while freshman Eric Stiefield (Eustis, Fla.) has scored six goals on the year with an assist. Holding down the defense is freshman goalkeeper James Sweeney (Huntingtown, Md.). Sweeney has allowed just 15 goals in almost 1500 minutes of play, while making 42 saves with a 10-4-2 record including seven shutouts.
To stay up-to-date on all the latest news, scores and bracket busters for the Conference Carolinas Tournament, visit the Conference Carolinas Tournament website.
Visit for the latest news and info on Cobras Athletics.