Monday, January 31, 2011

Coker College Student Profile - A.J. & James Sweeney

(caption)Soccer brought the Sweeney brothers to Coker college

This is a really well done profile of two Coker community members. It is well done because it will give you a good view of the difference Coker can make in the lives of people. Reading in between the lines, you will also see how much of a difference individuals can play in the lives of their community. Hope you will click on the link and enjoy both the video and the write up.

Student Profile - A.J. & James Sweeney

Friday, January 28, 2011

Coker Golf Team ranked third in Conference

So, I am hoping the Cobra golfers will post a few upsets and take the top of the conference but starting at third is not a bad place to be. Here is the Coker Sports Release from Christian Stryker:

Coker Golf Claims No. 3 Ranking in Preseason Poll
by Christian Stryker, Director of Athletics Media Relations, Coker College
Read this article on the web at
HIGH POINT, N.C. - The Coker College men's golf team has received a No. 3 ranking in the 2011 Conference Carolinas Coaches' Preseason Poll that was released on Friday.
The Cobras are coming off a successful fall campaign where they placed in the Top 10 as a team in three of their four tournaments, including winning the Lenoir-Rhyne Myrtle Beach Intercollegiate. Returning for the Cobras are Jake Murphy, the 2010 Conference Carolinas Freshman of the Year, along with All-Conference selection Jared Crane.
With the help of sophomore Ben Conroy, junior Diego Polo and freshman Matt Kreider, the Cobras have a solid core of golfers that should help them compete for the Conference Carolinas Championship in April.
Barton College claimed the top spot in the poll with eight first place votes, followed by Queens University of Charlotte in second and Coker in third. Both Queens and Coker received votes for first place.
Rounding out the golf preseason poll 4-10 was: Belmont Abbey, Pfeiffer, Mount Olive, Limestone, Erskine, St. Andrews, and Lees-McRae respectively.
Coker's first tournament in the spring of 2011 will be in Savanna h, Georgia, at the Armstrong Atlantic State University Pirate Invitational on Feb. 21-22.

Conference Carolinas Pre-Season Coaches' Poll (First place votes in parentheses)
1. Barton College (8) 80
2. Queens University of Charlotte (1) 68
3. Coker College (1) 64
4. Belmont Abbey College 61
5. Pfeiffer University 49
6. Mount Olive College 41
7. Limestone College 31
8. Erskine College 23
9. St. Andrews Presbyterian College 22
10. Lees-McRae College 11
Visit for the latest news and info on Cobras Athletics.

Art - Powerful political tool? Ask Coker's Jean Grosser

Art can be a powerful political tool and Professor Jean Grosser, chair of the Coker College Art Department has been demonstrating this over most of her career. According to a news release from the college, she has work that will be displayed as part of the "Road to Equality, The 1961 Freedom Rides" art display at the historic Greyhound Bus Station in Montgomery, Alabama. That show will open May 20.

Visitors to the Coker College Art gallery have been able to enjoy some of Professor Grosser's work the past couple of weeks at the Faculty Art Exhibit on the campus. Clicking on that news release link will give readers a little more insight to the vision on which some of her work is based. Professor Grosser is an accomplished artist who gets great satisfaction from the opportunity to share her passion and knowledge as part of the Circle of Learning on our Coker College campus. This place has some brilliant and talented people who are great colleagues and whom students get to know on a personal basis. It is one of the major reasons I find my job so satisfying.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Coker Athletes get academic recognition

Christian Stryker, Sports Information Director, distributed a news release about athletes and academic recognition in the Conference Carolinas. I have a lot of these athletes in class (when I am not on sabbatical) and just thought it would make good copy for the blog. So, here is the entire release:

79 Coker Student-Athletes Named to Conference Carolinas Presidential Honor Roll

by Christian Stryker, Director of Media Relations and Sports Information, Coker College

Read this article on the web at

High Point, N.C. - Coker College is proud to announce that 79 student-athletes have been named to the 2010 Conference Carolinas Fall Presidential Honor Roll. These student-athletes have made a commitment to academic excellence and have achieved a grade point average of 3.2 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) at Coker College.

Coker College and Conference Carolinas continue to emphasize "Academics and Athletics Working Together." The Presidential Honor Roll recognizes student-athletes who have earned a 3.20 grade-point average (up from 3.00 in previous years) on a 4.00 scale for the semester and includes freshman and transfer student athletes (that have participated in either a conference or non-conference sponsored sport).

The Conference Carolinas Presidential Honor Roll is awarded twice a year covering each of the fall and spring academic semesters and is based on meeting the criteria at the end of the previous semester. This fall the number of Coker student-athletes named to the honor roll increased by 23, with just 56 making the cut in the fall of 2009.

Conference Carolinas is a premier NCAA Division II athletics conference made up of 11 schools from North Carolina and South Carolina. These institutions consist of: Barton College, Belmont Abbey College, Coker College, Converse College, Erskine College, Lees-McRae College, Limestone College, Mount Olive College, Pfeiffer University, Queens University of Charlotte, and St. Andrews Presbyterian College.

Matt Ammons
Matt Bowman
Lucas Britt
Brendan Burns
Cody Ellison
Nick Fulco
Andrew Goot
David Walters
Adam Windham

Men's Basketball
Joselle Bracy
Jonathon Gardner
Austin Harper
Eren Moses
Tom Wright

Men's Cross Country
Austin McJunkins
Thaddeus Sulek

Men's Golf
Joshua Clay
Benjamin Conroy
Nolan Dorner
Matthew Kreider
John LaDow
Diego Polo

Men's Soccer
Atticus Lum
Brendan McCarron
Michael Rice
Stephen Scrivens
Tyler Senecal
Tyler Staub
Timmy Strickland
James Sweeney
C J Telford
Damien Vuotto

Men's Tennis
Tycho Lamberigts
Evan Schreiner
Juan Vallejo

Sara Atkinson
Jessica Covington
Adrienne Kennedy
Amber Lewis

Performance Dance Team
Lindsey Allen
Tara Clossman
Shea Flotow
Ashley Hancock
Leslie Hanna
Amber Shannon

Women's Basketball
Maija Castren
Megan Thomas
Joanna Tyndall

Women's Cross Country
Ashlyn Barnwell
Samantha Fletcher
Aliese Gregory
Caitlyn Higgins
Adriana Ochoa

Women's Golf
Alexa Clark

Women's Soccer
Jill Giguere
Mackenzie Hallahan
Morgan Hartline
Sara Kinsey
Stephanie Leitgeb
Jaime McCoy
Melanie McGrath
Emily Morrow
Mandi Warner
Devan Williams

Louise Benton
Lauren Brailsford
Stacy Burr
Ashley Coleman
Becky Dillon
Sydney Greenwalt
Katie McElveen
Jaclin Poole
Jennifer Sanborn
Ashley Thompkins

Women's Tennis
Faith Baxley
Stephanie Medley

Women's Volleyball
Brittany Bass
Katie McElveen
Mindy Morris

Visit for the latest news and info on Cobras Athletics.

Job market is tough; there have been cracks

Over the past month or so at least four relatively recent Coker College Communication major graduates have landed jobs. This is really good news because the job market has been tough.

Every time I talk with students about jobs, I mention that I found finding a job to be about the hardest job I have ever had. This past two years and, still today, the job supply is small and that makes finding any job, let alone your choice job, a very hard goal to accomplish. The four students I have heard from have jobs inside the careers they are hoping to develop and that is good news.

A recent USA TODAY had an interesting review of a new book in the job hunting field, CRACKING THE HIDDEN JOB MARKET that I think lots of people might find interesting.

Any former or current students wanting to talk about the job search can call at your convenience. This sabbatical will not stop me from getting back to you quickly about a job-search strategy.

Who are those job winners? Tom, Audrey, Rachel, Tyson

Would love to hear more from those of you who have found a way to crack the market. Maybe some of you could post a reply and let people know how you did it.

Coker Art Faculty Show Up in Art Building

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caption -- Larry Merriman, More Than You Think, Bricks & bottle caps, 2011, approximately 48” in dia. x 48” high

One of the great things about working on and around a college campus is being able to experience the brilliance of the people with whom you work. Last week the college's Art faculty put some of their work on display in the Coker Art Gallery. The art work is fascinating and worth both a visit and a discussion with the creators.

Is the name that Serena Hill. Coker's voice professor, has given to a show that she and one of her colleagues will be performing at Coker this evening. This is another example of the wealth of culture that is so prevalent on the Coker College campus.

Book Discussion
And Dr. Rhonda Knight, chair of the Literature, Language and Communication Department, will be leading a book discussion on January 31 on the book FAIR AND TENDER LADIES by Lee Smith.

There is something happening all the time on a liberal arts college campus.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

2011 Coker Cobra baseball team takes to diamond for Spring? practice

With snow still in the shadows of the right field wall and still slowly dripping from the home dug out on the first base line the Coker Cobra 2011 baseball team was at work on the Coker field the 16th of January. The team had been back in Hartsville for several days but an unusual Southern snow storm had them practicing indoors for most of that first week back. On the 16th there were getting a feel for the diamond and the 51 degree temperatures made it feel like the beginning of of baseball season.

To some, it may seem like this season is off to an early start but the opening day of the 2011 schedule is only about two weeks away on February 1. The opening home game will be on Wednesday, February 2, also known as Groundhog Day. I am certain that if you were to talk with Coach Dave about how things are going -- he would suggest that it certainly was not too early to start practice.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"Lead wih Luv"

"Lead with Luv" is part of the title of a new book co-written by Kenneth Blanchard of ONE MINUTE MANAGER fame and Coleen Barrett, president emeritus of Southwest Airlines. I have only read a few pages of the first chapter but this book appears to be another good lesson in leadership that will be a quick read. The book is written primarily as a conversational Q&A between the co authors.

This book recommendation could make sense on the Community Thinking blog because leadership has to be a key ingredient in community building. I opted for the Coker College blog because this past semester I let the Organizational Communication class and it is clear from even the first three pages, this book is full of references to how you build culture in an organization -- communication is the key! One admonition my students get in every class is that the class is just the introduction to the idea, the learning takes place throughout your life. So the book recommendation makes sense in this blog.

Lead With LUV Book Synopsis
(from the web announcement)
As Southwest's President, Colleen Barrett proved that leading with love is the non-stop route to outstanding business performance. Now, in an inspiring conversation, Barrett and legendary leadership expert Ken Blanchard (The One Minute Manager) explain what love-based leadership really means...why there's nothing "soft" about it...and how you can start leading with love right now, wherever you are!

So by now, you may be asking yourself, where does "LUV" come into all of this? Since the 1970s, it's been Southwest Airlines' New York Stock Exchange symbol, and represents their philosophy and commitment to both their employees and customers.

"Even the idea of Ken Blanchard and Colleen Barrett creating a book together staggers the imagination.... For the committed reader it will be a truly life-altering event."

—Tom Peters, New York Times bestselling author of
In Search of Excellence

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Coach Dan Gets 300th Win

Would like to throw my congratulations to Coach Dan Schomotzer of the Coker College Cobras. He got his 300th win on Monday night at the Coker gym against St. Andrews. The Coker win snapped the St. Andrews three-game winning streak.

The following story is from Christian Stryker head of Sports Information at Coker College.

Coker's Schmotzer Earns 300th Career Victory
by Christian Stryker, Director of Media Relations and Sports Information, Coker College
Read this article on the web at
HARTSVILLE, S.C. - In his first game behind the bench for the Cobras in 2011, Head Men's Basketball Coach Dan Schmotzer earned his 300th career victory at Coker College on Monday, January 3. Schmotzer led his Cobras to an 88-73 victory over Conference Carolinas rival St. Andrews Presbyterian College.
Schmotzer is in his 24th year leading the Cobras and his earned an overall record of 300-332. Currently, the 2010-11 Coker men are 3-6 overall and 2-1 in the conference, placing them fourth in the Conference Carolinas standings.
"As I get older here, I become really thankful for what I have," said Schmotzer. "It seems like yesterday that I won that first game here at Coker and now we are going on almost 25 years. It has gone by so fast; it's hard to believe I now have 300 wins."
"When I think about all the players that I have coached and the games that I have been a part of I am very thankful," he said. "Coaching at Coker has been one of the greatest experiences of my life."
Coach Dan and the Cobras will look to make it 301 wins on Thursday, January 6 when they take on Limestone College at home. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
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