Friday, January 29, 2010

Food cooperative offers a way to save on grocery bill | SCNow

Food cooperative offers a way to save on grocery bill | SCNow

The included article in this blog discusses how two of Coker faculty members have developed a food cooperative that helps many people on the Coker faculty or in the Hartsville community get easier access to the produce from the Farmers'Market in Columbia. This is an interesting story about how the idea developed.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ping!Baseball - College Baseball Rankings, News, Numbers and other Hullabaloo

Ping!Baseball - College Baseball Rankings, News, Numbers and other Hullabaloo

Coker Baseball Coach Dave Schomotzer is out on the diamond as they words are written. He is surrounded with his baseball team composed of players from around the country. The guys are hitting under a beautiful blue sky, though our January 28 temperature is only about 62 -- bit on the cool side. The team is looking forward to February when they can begin a couple of scrimmages and see how all their practice might pay off. The above link is for an interview Coach just did with a baseball blog.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday and dancers at Coker College learning a new piece

Dancers, like athletes, don't always get weekends off. On January 23, this group of dancers was busy for much of the day in the large dance studio working on a piece being introduced by guest artist, Julie Mulvihill. The piece a light-hearted jitterbug reminiscent of early Charleston seemed to be getting a lot of energy from the dancers, even late on Saturday afternoon. The piece will be performed later in the year at the Coker Dance Concert. (The video is only a snippet of the entire piece but video always seems to get a bit more interest in a blog.)Mulvihill is an instructor of dance at Georgia College and State University. Dance Professors Angela Gallo and Erin Leigh of Coker regularly bring in guest artists to work with the Coker College dancers to ensure they are getting a variety of dance experiences and philosophies.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Jared Crane talking about his golf blog

Jared Crane (Greenville, SC) started a blog as part of our Mass Communication class last semester and he is keeping it up for the Spring Coker College golf season. We were talking about videos and how they enhance blogs and this video should show him in that discussion. In addition, his most recent post (as of 1-24-10) is about his teammate Chris Marsh, who is having strong success on the links and in the classroom. Click on the link at Jared's name to get to this post.

Coker College on Palmetto People

Coker College is getting another spot on Palmetto People and the section will begin airing sometime in February. James Jolly, director of marketing and communication for Coker, set up the shooting. He asked me to talk a bit about the round table instruction and it was fun to be part of the shoot. Right after it was over I was wishing for a chance at a second take because I ignored a lot of what I teach in class about keeping it in sound bites and using only common words, etc. Need to get more practice in this, I think. But it was fun.

Jessica Welch, a communication and dance major, is doing her internship with the Coker office of Marketing and Communication and she was there to observe how things were set up and took a seat in the interview chair to get a feel for the setting from the participants view. Hope that is the video that accompanies this post. (Seems to be a problem with processing video to the blog.)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Shelli was the semester's first Morrie at Coker Seminar

I get the opportunity to teach the Coker Communication Senior Seminar and that is one of my classes this semester. One of the parts of this course is something I call Fridays with Morrie(not always on Friday and so far no Morrie) after Mitch Albom's book Tuesdays with Morrie. The objective is to get people the student might not normally know or run across and ask them to share ideas, thoughts, lessons, etc. with the class as they continue to prepare for what comes after Coker.

Our first Morrie visitor this semester is someone who seems at home when she is at Coker, Shelli Wilson. She is at home, though now instead of being the assistant admissions director she is a recruiter for Sonoco in Hartsville. Shelli visited with the students in that role of corporate recruiter. I think they know how fortunate they were to have her take so much time to join our seminar.

Shelli shared with the students ideas about finding a job. Now, when I talk about finding searching for a job they will listen but when Shelli shares with them the idea that the resume better be perfect, that you NEED to do research on the company before you apply, that you need to think about how you will dress -- they TAKE NOTICE. Shelli, after all, looks at job seekers for a living. Shelli's observations were worth way more than the cost of tuition for this particular class.

We are moving away from the job-search section of the Senior Seminar and from my perspective, Shelli Wilson provided some high-value advice to the seniors in this class. (Sonoco is a $4 billion+ company whose corporate headquarters are in Hartsville, where the company was founded in 1899 by the same visionary leader who founded Coker, Major James Lide Coker.)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Link to the photo of coaches dancing

The Coker Spring and Winter coaches were challenged by Coker President Robert Wyatt and some of the athletes to a bowling match last Fall. The coaches lost the match and that meant they would do some entertaining between basketball games in January. That was a fun challenge to hear about and it was fun watching the coaches last Wednesday as they "danced" for the crowd. When Coach Dan jumped from the table I was a little worried but javascript:void(0)he still seems to be a rock star. Good fun.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

BONK is a hit on campus and Coker is a hit with BONK

The student affairs group at Coker College put together a fun list of activities for the first-week back at school. While I did try to iceless ice skating and could see how it might have been fun, I think I may have been a bit too heavy for the surface. I could walk in the skates but could not get a flow going. Discretion kicked in and I got off the "ice." The students got the knack and word was it was a hit.

Another activity that seemed to play well with the Coker students is a game show called BONK. The people running the game show commented on how much they enjoyed the Southern hospitality they received at Coker and we have photos around the campus of students enjoying the BONK game show.

The activities provided some fun ways for friends to reconnect after the Christmas/New Year holidays before drowning in the sea of work that comes in the first weeks of a new semester.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What should I major in?

Trying to come up with some interesting short-speech topics for the Advanced Public Speaking class I am teaching this semester. Today's topic was a one and a half to two-minute talk on "What am I passionate about?" There are about 20 people in the class and we had an interesting array of topics. One response was interesting. Hannah said (paraphrasing) there are a lot of things that I feel strongly about either I love or hate but I am not certain yet what I have a passion for.

Because it was Hannah, who just changed her major to communication, it got me to thinking about the quandary many students face as they try choosing a major. At 17 or 18 years of age there are not all that many people who can know EXACTLY what they want to do with their lives. Heck, with the rate of change in today's world some things they may want to do have not yet been invented. So, when I get the opportunity to talk with prospective Coker students at Open Houses I tell them "Undecided" is one of my favorite majors. And, sometimes, when I can, I will mention to them that I see communication as one of those excellent majors for someone who does not know exactly what they want to do.

It has been my experience that a broad-based major like communication can open a lot of doors. Think about it, nearly every job posting includes the admonition that the employer is seeking people with excellent speaking and writing skills. In the communication area, we have a great variety of courses that emphasize these skills.

At Coker, we have a broad-based communication major that introduces students to a wide range of communication opportunities from film to public relations and from theory to video production. We have former communication majors who are in sales and marketing jobs with big and small companies. There are some communication majors who are serving in the armed forces and one who just returned from a nine-month Fulbright scholarship teaching English in Malaysia. We have former communication majors who discovered a couple of years after graduation they wanted to be teachers or nurses or hospital administrators. Just today I had a lunch with a student who graduated last May who is in graduate school and will probably continue on to a Ph.D., perhaps in political communications. One of her communication-major colleagues who was also her tennis partner and is starting her second semester of law school this week.

Lots of people know that the world of journalism has been turned upside down over the past few years with newspapers consolidating, radio stations being centralized and television stations being downsized. At the same time, the need for professional reporting has never been more important and the number of ways people are able to report have never been so abundant. So, at Coker we do teach writing for media though we do not have a "professional" journalism program. We do teach organizational communication (both practice and theory) though we don't have that as a sole concentration. With the strong liberal arts focus that we have a Coker, we believe that our broad approach to the communication major helps students develop important tools that will aid them in opening doors to employment,to graduate school and to a lives filled with continuous learning.

So, I often tell students who aren't sure what to major in that communication will open a wide variety of doors.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Spring 2010 should be productive and interesting at Coker

Only three days of Coker College classes but it is evident this is going to a "full speed" semester. The classes I have this semester should be a good combination of challenge and fun.

The senior seminar is always one of the highlights of my year. The senior communication majors and minors undertake one of the major challenges of their undergraduate year as they prepare for an extensive communication research project or communication-project based on research.

The class also includes a strong does of communication ethics discussion; self development information and some advice and coaching on the job search process.

Job-search ideas
As everyone so well understands, we are in one of the worst economic and employment situations we have seen in any of our life times. Last Friday a major observation that I shared with the seminar is my belief that finding a job can be the hardest job you every have. My advice was to treat the job hunt as a job; not everyone does. Graduate school is also competitive and this same advice holds for those hoping to begin work on their Masters Degree.

We began the job search with an assignment to visit job board, classified ad sections of news papers and other areas to find jobs they might like. We had a good assortment of jobs but it was also apparent the jobs are not in overabundant supply. One other idea I shared was that the world is not picking on those born in 1986,87 or '88. My reason for becoming a South Carolinian was unemployment after the Marines in 1971. The economy is a lot more like the weather than we want to believe.

This coming week the students will be looking over a longitudinal communication research project that is looks at employment for those graduating with journalism degrees around the nation. They will also be research recent articles on the job and employment situation that will be shared as part of the seminar. Not likely to be fun but should be informative.

The other classes I am teaching this semester include two classes of introductory public speaking and one class of advanced public speaking that emphasizes persuasion in speech.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Good news from a graduate on email today

One of our Coker grads just got promoted at a major bank. He is a person who will as far as he wants to go in life. I know he shared the good news of his promotion with several of my Coker colleagues. I don't know that he knows how good his news made everyone who got that email feel. Today is the first day of the semester. Receiving a quick note of Thanks on the first day of the semester is like getting upgraded from a mini van to a Porsche at the rental car counter. (Okay, bad simile but you get the drift.)

This is second semester and I get to teach our Communication Senior Seminar and I like to start the first day with thoughts of legacy -- many provided by Stephen Covey from his book THE EIGHTH HABIT. Demetrious was a business major, not a communication major but I got to know him on two mission trips he helped organize. Demetrious began his legacy while an undergrad and he provided a great example for me to use with the senior seminar today.

Coker is a launching pad for students who forge large legacies and make real differences in our communities and our world.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Former Provost Making News in Charlotte

Dr. Ron Carter, who was formerly provost and dean of Coker College is now the president of Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, NC. He is working quickly to help build Johnson C. Smith into a more influential institution inside Charlotte. One of his initiatives is making this school into a premier "Urban university." Some of the impact that Dr. Carter is making was noted in an article in THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. The article is interesting and though no other names are mentioned, I believe one former Coker faculty member, Wanda Ebright, is at the center of some of this change as she is now with Johnson C. Smith and one of the people at the center of the emerging new performing arts curriculum that is being developed at the school.

As Coker is currently in the midst of building a strategic plan under Dr. Robert Wyatt, our new president, it is interesting to see how Dr.Carter has moved to put his ideas into play at JCSU. As we enter a new year and perhaps a new decade, it is going to be interesting and exciting to be part of the growth and vision that is to be Coker College over the next several years.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Basketball teams no longer on holiday

The basketball players have been back on campus the past two days. They had a shorter holiday as they are now getting back in the groove of what will be a fairly long season that will start back up on January 7 as the Cobra teams host St. Andrews.