Thursday, September 30, 2010

Coker Dancers present Fall Showcase

Erin Leigh of the Coker College Dance Department proofs the PATHWAYS poster that will publicize the Coker College Fall Dance Showcase.

I knew the dancers would have a concert in the Fall and this afternoon a news release came over the email pointing out that this Fall is next week. I am not a fan at how fast time moves -- it is a rip current when you get a year or two on you.

Here is the news release:

Coker Dance Presents Fall Showcase

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Coker College Dance presents “Pathways: Fall Student Choreography Showcase,” their annual fall concert, Thursday, October 7 through Saturday, October 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Watson Theater of the Elizabeth Boatwright Coker Performing Arts Center. Admission at the door is $5 or free with a Coker College ID.

The showcase will feature nine student works choreographed by dance majors. These works will range in style from Jazz to Modern/Contemporary Dance.

“There should be something in the program that appeals to all,” said Associate Professor of Dance Angela Gallo. “From strong athletic movement and fun, energetic works to more contemplative and emotional themes, this should be a program everyone can enjoy.”


Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.

Christian Stryker
Director of Media Relations and Sports Information
Coker College

Women Golfers in first-ever tourney

The Coker College Women Golfers had their first tournament last weekend and they demonstrated a foundation to build on according to an article in the MORNING NEWS of Florence. The Tommy Baker coached team came in tenth of twelve teams on a very tough course. Mark Haselden wrote an interesting story about this first-ever tourney.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Coker Communication Professors Present at Conference

My two communication department colleagues are presenting papers at the Carolinas Communication Conference and this is the news release that came out. I really like the one that included the photo so I have linked it:

Coker Professors to Present at Annual Carolinas Communication Association Meeting

HARTRSVILLE, S.C. – Coker College Communication professors Dr. George Lellis and Dr. Mark Glantz will be presenting papers at the annual meeting of the Carolinas Communication Association in Conway, S.C. on October 1-2. The annual meeting is being hosted by Coastal Carolina University.

Glantz will be presenting his paper entitled “A Functional Analysis of 2010 South Carolina Gubernatorial Primary Campaign Discourse,” while Lellis will be presenting a paper entitled “Transnational Aesthetics and Aristotelian Categories in Milos Forman’s Goya’s Ghosts.”

Glantz’s paper has been selected as one of four finalists for the Ray Camp Award. This award is given to the best paper at the conference written by a faculty member.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

MS Bike Ride makes stop at Coker College

The large parking lot in front of the Library and Information Center on the Coker College campus was transformed on Saturday (9-25) into a major bicycle parking lot and lunch area as 1600 runners were stopping for some fast rest, easy to eat lunch and some encouragement and cheers before heading on their way to the Myrtle Beach finish line. Reports were that more than 200 volunteers were working to help the event happen at Coker with many of those volunteers students from many organizations and athletic teams on campus. Dee Pierce, one of the major organizers for the event, said she had been told Coker had more volunteers signed up than some other larger colleges. This was a different way of being able to showcase the college and Dr. Robert Wyatt, president, noted that probably a thousand people who might never have heard of the college (these riders) were now aware of both Coker and Hartsville. Hope some of the photos of the scene are uploaded here.

On a side note, one of my old friends and now a Facebook friend commented on one of the photos with a thank you to those volunteering because she is one with MS who could benefit from the research dollars raised to fight the disease.

Friday, September 24, 2010

10 Tips For Moderating a Great Panel

We often have panels on the Coker campus and both students and faculty members take part in a great number of panels. Paul Gillin is a social media expert who spends a lot of time on panels. I thought his tips for "moderating-a -great-panel" might be useful for a variety of people.

10 Tips For Moderating a Great Panel

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Early mornings are one of my productive times of day. This morning while at the computer in the college office I began to hear some enthusiastic cheering type of sounds. It was 6:15 a.m. and while the vacuum cleaner is sometimes on around here that early, those were some strange sounds for so early in the morning.

Today, the Coker Dance Team had an early morning practice and they were working hard routines with Brianna Douglas, their coach. So, to get the best feel for this video, you should watch it about 6:15 in the morning. (could not get the video to transfer but hate to waste the blog post.)

Being on a college campus is full of interesting experiences, at all all times of the day.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Coker Dancers work with Brazillian Performer

Several Coker dancers were busy on Sunday afternoon working on learning a new Contemporary Dance piece from Iarra Ciequera, a guest artist who is in residence and teaching on the Coker Campus this entire week. I got the opportunity to see just a small section of the dance that is involving breaking bonds and boxes. This piece is going to make its Hartsville stage debut in the Spring Dance Concert, which will be 2/24.25 and 26th.

Happened to be in my office this past Sunday and noticed that dancers were busy not only learning this new choreography but also working with a variety of other pieces that will be part of the Fall Dance concert. Weekends, apparently, are not off-days for dancers.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Organizational Communication and theory

Organizational Communication is a course that I have not gotten to teach as often as I like but I do have a class this semester and as we continue into the semester I am reminded why I enjoy this class.

At Coker, we spend time in this class on organizational theories, case histories and practical applications and currently we have been exploring some of the historical theories that set up the study of organizations. I am not sure the students enjoy learning of Weber's observations of bureaucracy or Fayol's and Taylor's prescriptions for making big organizations more effective as much as I enjoy talking about those things. So, one of my challenges is to find ways of making the old stuff relevant. One analogy we used today was the hierarchical nature of a sports team like soccer. There is a strict vertical hierarchy, there are special jobs and each member of the organization is expected to do his/her job. There may be some horizontal communication among the teammates but the bottom-up communication is not a high priority. When it comes to practice, everyone is expected to conform to the norms and there is not much latitude for individual preference. But, if you are not on a soccer team, a baseball team or a basketball team or volleyball team, or football team that might not be a great analogy. We did work to explain it in depth.
The real point here is trying to connect the classroom conversation to the real world the students will be entering to become communication specialists and communication experts.

A couple of weeks ago I ran across an article in the online version of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL called "The End of Management" by an author named Alan Murray. Murray adapted this article from some of the information in his new book, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO MANAGEMENT - cc 2010 HarperCollins Publishers.
Murray is referring to many of the ideas, observations and theories that we are discussing in class and I have put a discussion board assignment up hoping this helps those in the class get a good sense that what is in the books does totally relate to what is in the office or the production line or the project space.

i am hoping the students do enjoy reading this article and referring it to some of the theories because there are very significant implications for the massive changes we are experiencing in our work worlds.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Lots of students out for Day of Service

(Photo shows several of the students heading back to campus after a hot afternoon inside the old Thornwell Elementary School, which is to become the new center of the Community Action Agency.)

Began the day with a quick blog about the day of service that was scheduled by Coker Staff for the students and other volunteers from Coker. I know there were a few people involved in the planning and Darlene Small and Jason Umfress shouldered a big part of the effort to make this day happen. Thanks to them and all the others who helped.

A friend of mine writing on FACEBOOK commented that it is a great to remember 9-11 but it would probably be even greater to use this memory as an opportunity day to make something better. I appreciate those from my first-year class who let me be involved as we helped begin to make it look like the Community Action Agency might be able to reclaim the old Thornwell Elementary School into a full-service Community Action Agency office and headquarters.

Day of Service including Coker Students

On NPR there was this echo of a bell ringing -- noting the time the first plane hit the Twin Towers nine years ago. As the van turned the corner, the eyes spotted a group of students waiting to board a bus -- heading out to a community service project in the Hartsville area. When 9-11 happened, many of the Coker students heading out for today's "Day of Service" projects were nine and eight years old. But their memories hold the images and much of who they are and what they believe were shaped by those horrible hours nine years ago.

Dean Umfress and Dean Small came up with the idea of using both the First-Year experience classes and other Coker student volunteers to become part of the "Day of Service" that has been called as a reminder of the 9-11 experience. Right at 200 students are participating in today's projects, which were a major logistical feat.

Today's community service, in memory of the 9-11 events, is just one way Coker is working to be a highly visible member of Hartsville, SC -- one of South Carolina's 'College Towns.'

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Former Coker player signs to play in Ireland

Mason Ambler, a leading player for the Coker College Cobras as a dominant center on the basketball team, has signed to play more basketball in Europe. What follows is an article from Ireland announcing his signing:

Moycullan sign American ambler
Tuesday, 7 September 2010 15:54

Moycullen Basketball Club have completed the signing of Mason Ambler ahead of their second Nivea For Men's SuperLeague campaign.

A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Ambler will replace Nathaniel Fritsch who has signed to play in Portugal after a productive year for the Galway club.

Ambler joins Moycullen with serious pedigree, having been named on the first team all conference of the Carolina Conference after averaging 17.7 points and 8.4 rebounds per game for Coker College.

'Mason has a great knowledge of the game and brings a lot of attributes to the court but also give us some bulk inside which is one area we really needed help with,' said Moycullen head coach Enda Byrt.

Moycullen were often mismatched for size last season but they will hope that Ambler, who stands at six foot six inches, and was described as 'country strong' by former teammates and coaches, will help neutralise that problem.

However, the Coker College Cobras' former captain and star player is expected to bring much more than size to Moycullen.

'Mason showed great leadership skills during his time in Coker,' added Byrt. 'He worked for three years before entering college so has a maturity beyond most graduates. He should be a fantastic court leader for our team that really progressed last year and learned from all the ups and downs we had.

'We have everyone returning and we're lucky enough to have a couple of players who were big underage stars for Moycullen coming back to the game in Kevin McDonald and Kieran O'Connor who should be great additions to the squad.'

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Cobras open Men's Soccer with win over FMU

The Coker College Men's soccer team opened the 2010 season with a 1-0 win over the Patriots of Francis Marion University on Thursday. Rommel Fondin had the winning goal on a penalty kick in the first half. The story from Coker Sports Information is on this link.

Job Blog -- In case you missed Kat's comment

A couple of days ago we discussed the difficult of finding jobs in today's economy and the idea that those who read this blog -- especially Coker College grads -- can begin to use this Blog as a JOB BLOG. The first official comment back to the blog comes from Kat Friedmann and her incisive comments bare so additional view. Here they are:

Kat Friedmann said...

Hey there! Long time no see/talk! I stumbled upon this post on facebook, and my thoughts exactly. I've started to look for jobs even though I still have one semester left of grad school, but I thought the earlier I started the better. I'm actually trying to go a little bit of a different route and get creative with the job searching. Instead of pushing a resume that I'm pretty sure no one wants to read, I'm pushing a website I created that has real proof of what I can do. You can check it out at I'm also trying to get my linkedin up to speed and I am joining other networks that could help in a different way such as I recently read in a book, "What Color is your Parachute?", that joining "job clubs" or these online networks is one of the most effective ways of finding a job, so I hope this works out!

Puffer back ...
Kat has been in grad school in Boston. She was captain of the Coker Women's soccer team when she was here and her college life included activities from sports to creative writing to student government to --- you can almost name it. She is one of those people who will be a major find for the person who puts her on the team.

What, who, where, why. is Coker College

When is the fifth W of the inverted pyramid style of constructing a news story and the When of Coker College is NOW!. This is already an exciting semester in the classroom and the feeling of student engagement is strong in classes all over campus.

Always, I am trying to get students to use specific examples. So, in today's Organizational Communication class we were lucky enough to have a professional corporate communicator who works as a writer/editor/strategist for Sonoco, a multi-billion dollar global packaging company. As she discussed the kinds of communications that she creates the students were getting a first-hand, up-close view of the real world tools, challenges, rewards and frustrations. There were a lot of dots from theory and background that students will now be able to connect using some of the specific examples that Mary Ruth Austin shared with them in today's class.

As we walked out the door following class, there was evidence of a great deal of activity as the annual ACTIVITY Fair was taking place with organizations from both on and off campus showing students the kinds of opportunities available in this one-of-a-kind campus and this cosmopolitan smaller host city of Hartsville, SC.

So, what about those other four Ws of Coker College? One of the new ways we are describing our Coker College opportunity was distributed by Kyle Saverance, our new director of marketing and communications. This is the short version:

Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.