Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lois Gibson, who retired from the Coker faculty last year, relayed information that Terrance Hayes, a former Coker student, had his new book of poetry reviewed in the NEW YORK TIMES this past Sunday. The new book is called LIGHTHEAD, By Terrance Hayes,Penguin Poets. Paper, $18. Earlier this year Professor Hayes, who teaches at Carnegie Mellon University, was named the Poet Laureate of Coker College.

The end of another academic semester

Parking can sometimes be a problem around the Coker College campus -- guess like all colleges. But, this week, the parking situation has begun to ease as students are starting their summer vacations. This is the end of another semester. I have one set of grades to post with the Registrar and my semester is over. I think today is last day of exams in the day program and pretty soon the campus will be really quiet.

One big day left of the academic year -- this Saturday. Graduation at Coker is out of doors in front of our iconic Davidson Hall. It is always a great event. Emerson Gower, former vice president with Progress Energy and a member of the Coker College Board of Trustees will be the speaker for graduation. A friend of mine and an amazing contributor to the Hartsville community, Clayton Richardson is being honored as the community Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award winner. The campus winner is Robert O'Hara, who defines the engaged Coker College student. Robert is on his way to law school.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Senior Seminar ends with lunch at Miriams

This was, I think, my 10thyear teaching the Coker Communication Capstone Course that we call the Communication Senior Seminar. This seminar is mix of subject areas with the capstone being a research project by the students on some keen interest they have in a facet of the wide world of communication. We finished the 2010 course on April 23 with a lunch at Miriam's Restaurant that is located in Griggs Grocery outside of Hartsville. The first seminar class and I went to Griggs for the end of semester lunch and it became a tradition. We are fortunate that we are getting a new professor to add to our department with the next academic year. We are going to give him the opportunity to teach this Capstone Course and I can say, it is an experience I will miss but I am certain he is going to enjoy.

I believe another post described the different projects the students accomplished this semester but just in case:

Kimberly Wilson, a communication minor and business major, researched the question of narcissism and its relationship to television reality shows. Lance Player researched television habits of college students along with the question of how television might impact college students. Ricardo Smith researched the question of who makes the better celebrity spokesperson -- an athlete or a musician. Audrey Player looked at the influence of television on the question of teenage pregnancy. Rachel Croyle wanted to determine if the perception of marriage within young women has been affected by television portrayals of men-women relationships in regard to marriage. Adam Johnson looked into the question of social and academic worlds of college video gamers. Kate McElveen studied shopping habits of Coker students to see if there are any marketing communication tactics that could change that behavior in regard to shopping in downtown Hartsville. Whitley Echols studied the attitudes of college students toward texting to determine if they knew of the dangers involved. Sheila Braddock is doing our final project,which is investigating gender roles in society.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Late Night Breakfast a Coker Tradition - 2010

Steve Terry, vice president, gives a quick overview of the Late Night Breakfast in this video clip.

The students seemed to enjoy the break from studying for exams on April 21 as they enjoyed the Late Night Breakfast that has been a tradition at Coker College for years. Staff and faculty help do the cooking and the serving at the gracious hospitality of the Aramark staff, who have their kitchen invaded by these amateurs. This was the last Late Nigh Breakfast for a great many Coker College seniors but it was also the last one for Ebi Zahabi, ARAmark Manager of the Coker operations. By the time of the next breakfast he will be heading up operations on at dining halls on the James Madison University campus. The photos show just a snapshot of the evening.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Academic Awards Banquet Highlights Achievements

Jessica Barnes, a communication major at Coker College, who actually finished her classes in December was sitting at the same table I was for the Coker College Academic Awards Banquet. I have known Jessica since she came to Coker for a Coker Connection just before she started her four year experience. She was impressive as a first-year student and she has become even more skilled through her undergraduate years. Jessica was one of a number of students recognized for their Academic prowess at the Coker Academic Awards Banquet on April 20.

Jessica spends most of her time these days at the S.C. Governor's School for Science and Mathematics where she has been a resident assistant. And, much of her time the past couple of months has been awaiting news of a Fulbright Fellowship. She is one of two Coker Students who were finalists this year. Anna Lippard, the other finalist, was notified of her Fulbright earlier. Apparently this is a rolling selection process with much of the final decision based in the host country. Jessica is on the short list for a city in China. But, she has not just been waiting around. Jessica was accepted into the Syracuse University S. I. Newhouse Masters Program in Magazine, Newspapers and Online journalism. She has been working on finding the funds to make that dream a reality.

The impressive thing about the Coker College Academic Awards banquet is that each table had students with stories like Jessica's. The students recognized last night were the top students on our campus and they are impressive. Those graduating with honors gave short overview of their research as they received awards. The research is cutting edge for those honor grads.

Dr. Pat Lincoln, the college Provost and Dean of the Faculty, coordinated this program to bring recognition to these academic all stars. It is likely that Dr. Wyatt summed up the feeling of many of the faculty who were in the room when he talked about the emotion that welled within him thinking about what these students had accomplished while on the Coker campus and what they are going to accomplish throughout their lives.

PHOTO CAPTIONJessica Barnes was sitting next Melinda Deyasi at the Academic Awards banquet. Melinda works closely with students who get up the courage to apply for programs like the Fulbright to guide them through the process.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

April 20 is last day of classes for the semester

More than a little excitement in the Spring Semester of 2010 and from a class perspective it comes to an end today.

** Excitement like the Communication Department getting the opportunity to add a third person to our department and then having soon-to-be Dr. Mark Glantz of the University of Missouri accept the offer.

** Excitement like having one of our majors, Jessica Barnes as a finalist for the Fulbright Scholarship.

** Excitement like being able to be part of the Strategic Planning process initiated by the new president of the College.

** Excitement at being able to be among those at the inauguration of Dr. Wyatt as the new president of Coker College.

** I always find it exciting to be learning and teaching and watching as people develop new skills, new thought patterns and new perspectives.

** Excitement that we have an end to the semester and that it will not be long before the new semester begins with hopes that it will be long enough that I at least straighten up the office a little.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Voice and Piano Recital was Friday night

video is a fast forward of some of the selections from the Spring Recital

The Coker college Spring Recital for voice and piano students was held on Friday night at the First Presbyterian Church in Hartsville. Serena Hill, adjunct professor of voice coordinated the recital with Ronda McElveen assisting the students as the piano accompanist. While these students were performing in the recital many of their colleagues were enjoying themselves at the Coker College Bandfest, an annual end-of-year student bash on campus.

As the year is coming to a close there are lots of things happening nearly every day and often all through the day. Earlier on Friday I had the opportunity to see a performance by the Coker College Dance Department Repertory Company that highlighted much of what they had worked on this year. And, then there was also the annual Crew race among the girls of the four classes (frosh and juniors vs sophs and seniors. Turns out the sophs and seniors won again this year, after taking the race by a bow last year.

In classes we finished up the Communication Senior Seminar research project presentations on Friday and one of my colleagues was giving his speech classes the written portion of their final exam on Friday. These little snippets give you an idea of the variety of things that are ongoing as the semester comes to a close.

Students participating in the Spring Recital included: Avery Bateman, Jill Brantley, Rachel Buchanan, Morgan Etheridge, Kyle Berry, Amanda Groves, Morgan Hairston, Tara Haynes, Star Jarrells, Devin Jennings, Joshua McKenny, Ashley West, Tiffany Ross, Allyson (Mary) Osborne, Amanda Groves, Stephanie McGlothlin, Estebon Middleton, Jonathan Moree, Latavia Smith, Amesha Johnson, Paige ManWaring, Julio Ruiz, Valerie Wilke, Marlin Ketter accompanied by Allyson Osborne, and Dustin Moree.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Coker video from a business class

One of the Marketing classes being taught by Professor Melinda Norris worked on putting together a video about Coker. It is an interesting package that I think you all might enjoy. Here is the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6avQHzKW8DU. Becky Dillon, who is a communication major, was one of the people who worked on this video.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Professional Speaker "Step into the F-I-R-E"

Pat Park, a professional speaker and trainer and owner of Sunrise Motivations, Inc. spoke to the Coker College Advanced Public Speaking Class on Tuesday, April 13.

I have had the opportunity to lead an Advanced Public Speaking class about three times over the past couple of years. It is a class that focuses on persuasive public speaking. One of the aspects I have wanted to include in this class is a visit from a public speaker who has worked "the circuit" and who could talk to the students about the various aspects of making speaking a career alternative. Pat Park, owner of Sunrise Motivations, made that a reality this semester.

She is a motivational speaker and a professional trainer who emphasizes messages of customer service. The past few years she has been doing a bit less traveling and has been focusing a a sales and consulting career closer to home.

Pat's presentation this morning included a shorter version of her keynote speech - Step Into the Fire, as well as some overall background on key elements of getting started with a speaking career. The students appeared very involved in her presentation and I think she may have shown a couple of them that a speaking career could be in their future. From the instructor's perspective, she brought a good bit of closure to the importance of differentiation, the importance of professionalism, the importance of preparation, the importance of knowing your audience and the importance of answering the question -- why this subject and why YOU on this subject.

We have been using a text for this class called THANK YOU FOR ARGUING that emphasizes several of Aristotle's key appeals -- logos, ethos and pathos with a strong emphasis on the ethos factor. Our speaker this morning gave some great real world examples of the various elements of ethos that Jay Heinrichs emphasizes in his book.

On behalf of the class, we thank Pat Park for sharing some of her expertise at Coker College.

Students recognized at Coker Excellence in Leadership Awards Banquet

The Coker College Student Services team annually honors students who have been recognized as leaders on the Coker College campus. It was my good fortune to be part of the selection committee for the leadership awards, which is how I happened to be invited to the Leadership Banquet on April 13, 2010 at the Hartsville Country Club.
The students earning recognition at the Excellence In Leadership Banquet, which was planned and coordinated by Lisa Potoka, were from all four classes.
First-year nominees were:
Kira Dobbs, Gregory Keith Martin, Estebon Middleton, and Timothy Strickland
Sophomore nominees were:
Josh Bittenger, Caitlyn Driscoll, Karen Kelly and Danielle Wallace
Junior nominees were:
Taylor Adams, Andrew Caputa, Sarah Folsom, Margaret McCoy, Whitney Wallett and Amanda Warner
Senior nominees were:
Mason Ambler, Sheila Braddock, Benjamin Chastain, Michael Crook, Amy Hall, Jordan Heydt, Jennifer Kyria Hoffman, Henna Koponen, Amanda Naron, Christina Nealey, Robert O’Hara, Tervor Robinson, Gertrude Stoney, Rebecca Sullivan, Daniel Wagner and Jessica Welch.
These students are involved in a variety of activities around the campus and as their personal statement reiterated again and again, Coker College is a place where if you work to help others you reap a great deal of benefit.

There are two major student leadership awards - The REBEKAH Chapman Memorial Award, named for a student who was at Coker from 1984 until her death in an automobile accident in 1986. She was deeply committed to Coker College and represented the best qualities of a student leader. Trevor Robinson was named the winner of the Rebeka Chapman Memorial Award at the 2010 Leadership Banquet.

The second award is the James D. Daniels Student Leader of the Year award, named after Dr. Jim Daniels, Coker's 14th president. Dr. Daniels led Coker from 1981 until his retirement in 2002. The winner of the James D. Daniels Student Leader Award was Benjamin "Beeze" Chastain.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Two Coker students get NSF grants

Dr. Pat Lincoln, provost of Coker College, just announced that two Coker students have received NSF grants for Summer research. That is impressive. Here is a copy of the note Dr. Lincoln sent:

"I would like to congratulate two of our students, Ms. Cynallyhia Indriago and Mr. Bryan Musungu, for being selected to receive summer research fellowships funded by the National Science Foundation.

The NSF fellowships will allow Cynallyhia and Bryan to conduct research at Purdue University on genes important in fungal-plant interactions for 8 weeks this summer. Their research at Purdue is related to and will enhance the research they are conducting here at Coker College in Dr.Flaherty’s lab as part of a NSF-CAREER funded project.

Cynallyhia is a rising junior majoring in biology and a member of the Volleyball Team. Bryan is a rising senior majoring in biology and a member of the Men’s Soccer Team."

Congratulations to two students who are proving what it means to be student-athletes.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Carswell's Coker Singers Delight Audience

An upbeat program of Church music brought concert goers to their feet at the First Baptist Church in Hartsville on Sunday evening as the Coker Singers and the Coker Chamber Singers demonstrated their musical excellence.

This was a busy weekend for the Coker vocal musicians as they had two or three performances -- highlighting Earth Day (Chamber Singers) at Kalmia Gardens on Saturday and then the annual Spring Concert (both groups)on Sunday.

The First Baptist Sanctuary was a perfect setting for this concert and the students did an superior job demonstrating the amazing effect of combining hard work with talent. Dr. Will Carswell, who directs the Singers and Chamber Singers, again constructed a challenging, delightful concert. Can you tell, I really enjoy listening to these singers perform.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Alumns were visiting and celebrating at Coker College

Colleges of every size value their alumni because it is within the alumns that the traditions of the college are most fondly remembered. It is also the alumns who prove daily, yearly and over long careers the success of the college mission. On Saturday, April 10, several alumni classes had anniversaries of ten, twenty, thirty, forty and more years. Those with whom I talked as they left one of the programs in the Performing Arts Center were remembering lots of their favorite times and people from those formative college years.

And, on the other side of the campus there were male alumns from different generations who were here for what appeared to be an intense soccer match with the current Coker players.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Day in the life at Coker College

Presentations began today in the Communication Senior Seminar and Kimberly chose the first day.

The softball team played its last home game at Coker; the final home game for senior players.

The Language, Literature and Communication Honor Societies had their induction dinner and here Dr. Cuppett is with a few members of that society.

The Poetry Slam was a hit event in the Cobra Den. And that doesn't count so many other happenings like Emily's Senior Show in the Coker Art Gallery, the persuasive speeches in Com 101, the Outdoor Education trip to Myrtle Beach. And, it is the end of the semester and there is still LOTS of work to be accomplished.

Lamda Pi Eta Induction

The Language, Literature and Communication Department had the annual Honor Society Inductions on April 6, 2010 with a great dinner from ARAMark at Coker's Drengalen House.

The Communication Honor Society at Coker is Lamda Pi Eta and the requirements for getting in a pretty stiff. The members of the Honor Society at tonight's dinner included: Rachel Croyle, who was inducted last year, Adam Johnson, Bridgette Mulligan, Caitlin Allen and Jessica Welch, who were inducted this year. Dr. Lellis is the Faculty Sponsor of the Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society. Bridgette is not in this photo.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Advanced public speakers thinking SUN

We are working on persuasion as the goal for most of the speeches in Advanced Public Speaking this semester. Today we had a little convergence of topics -- maybe because the speakers knew the temperatures today would be the mid-90s and people would have their minds on the sun.

So, one of the speakers persuades the audience to forget about the sun totally -- it causes really bad cancer. He is followed a speaker or two later by the message that you really have to live life on the edge and among the things you might do to create memories would be a fun skinny dip and then maybe later laying out in the sun without the benefit of sunscreen. Two lifetime memories she said.

A third speaker urged that every one take full advantage of the sun but be sure you wear sunscreen -- not tanning lotion.

Seemed like it would be appropriate to mention that as I see some facebook messages from people who a) either spent too much time in today's sun; or b) ignored the advice about the sunscreen.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Golf Team wins Tournament

Coach Tommy Baker and his Cobra golf team won the Carolinas Sandhill Tourney at the University of North Carolina Pembroke for the third straight year this past weekend. One of the golfers, Jared Crane, is a communication major, so I like to keep up with how they are doing. This is the first tournament win this Spring and my guess is that it is putting the golfers into a golf frame of mind for the conference that will be coming up April 18-20.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Coker's Repetory Dance Company travels to Charleston

Thursday there was a bit more activity near my office that is normal at 7:05 in the morning. Six to eight dancers came through the doors apparently full of energy and excitement (unusual for that time of day for any students). The company was headed to Charleston to work with students at the Charleston School of the Arts. Erin Leigh, the professor who works with the Repertory Dance Company, said this was a way for the dancers to begin to get experience similar to that enjoyed by professional dance companies. The dancers performed a full program of guest artist and student pieces and they also designed and taught master classes for the dance students at the Charleston School. In describing the event, Professor Leign said, "This experience is modeled after the community outreach work that most professional dance companies do. It also provides students at CSOA an opportunity to see what our program offers and the type of work our undergraduates do." This was a great example of students getting real-world experience while contributing to the good of community and also getting in some recruiting for Coker.

I happened to be in my office as the Company returned about 5 p.m. The dancers must have worked hard. All the energy of early morning had disappeared. They obviously had put in a full day of work that drained all that early-in-the-day energy.

I was hoping to have a photo with this post but I have not yet figured how to transfer a phone photo to my computer.

The dance students who went to Charleston on April 1 included:
Eimile Davis, Qaadir Hicks, Devin Jennings, Amy Nelson, Kaitlin Owens,Tabitha Quick and Meagan Stone