Monday, October 31, 2011

Seth Godin talks about getting jobs

Students who have been in my Marketing Communication class recognize the name Seth Godin. People who follow marketing and leadership in today's world recognize the Seth Godin brand. His current blog is about "how to get a job with a company." This column struck me today because we are getting close to a section of the Principles of Public Relations class that I call 'Marketing You - Incorporated.' I teach this class section in several of my "professional" classes because I am not sure we can talk enough to students about the need for a thought process that focuses on what you will do after the college years have ended.

Godin takes a little different tack in this post because he talks about the power of personal approaches to finding a job. He talks about the power of personally offering to show what you can do before the person who owns or run the company even has a thought of paying you for what you might do. His ideas are sound though I wish he had backed them up with a couple of case-in-point specifics that people might relate to. But, I am pretty sure this is a blog post I am going to ask students to consider when we start looking at Marketing-You tactics.

Coker College to add Men's Volleyball

Christian Stryker, Coker College Sports Information Director (SID) just sent out an announcement of a new Men's Volleyball team and, a year later, a new women's lacrosse team. Here is the news release:

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Coker College will add men's volleyball as an intercollegiate sport for the 2012-13 academic year and women's lacrosse in the following year. The additions represent Coker's 15th and 16th NCAA Division II programs.

"As an emerging sport in Conference Carolinas and across the country, men's volleyball is an excellent fit for Coker," said Coker College President Robert Wyatt, "and judging from the enthusiastic reception that lacrosse is enjoying on campus this fall, we are confident that the women will relish the opportunity to compete in 'America's first sport.'"

"Beyond expanding our athletic program, these additions directly support our strategic growth priorities, which call for elevating institutional visibility and enriching the student experience at Coker," Wyatt added.

As part of the college announcement today, Director of Athletics Lynn Griffin said that Todd Caughlin, Coker's head women's volleyball coach, has been selected to coach the new volleyball team.

"Todd's experience in both coaching and playing men's volleyball makes him well suited to lead our program," Griffin said. Caughlin will continue to serve as the head women's volleyball coach.

As the eighth member of Conference Carolinas with a men's volleyball program – the only men's volleyball conference composed entirely of Division II members – Coker joins Barton College, Erskine College, King College, Lees-McRae College, Limestone College, Mount Olive College and Pfeiffer University.

Currently, all NCAA men's volleyball teams, regardless of division, compete for a single national tournament title.

"Beginning in 2014 Conference Carolinas will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, which means that Coker will have the possibility of competing against perennial national powers such as UCLA, Penn State and Southern California in the NCAA men's volleyball tournament," added Griffin.

Caughlin has served as head coach of the Coker women's team since 2010. A native of Alberta, Canada, Caughlin came to Coker after spending the last nine years at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas. While at St. Mary's, he served as the head women's volleyball coach, leading the Rattlers to a record of 170-168 while also earning a Top 10 Southwest Regional Ranking for four straight years. To go along with his on-the-court leadership, Caughlin led his team to five straight American Vollyball Coaches Association National Team Academic Awards. In addition to being the head volleyball coach, Caughlin served as the assistant athletic director for NCAA Compliance for seven of those nine years.

"I am honored for the opportunity to coach the first men's volleyball team in Coker history," said Caughlin. "I am especially eager to get out on the recruiting trail and start building a competitive program both on the court and in the classroom."

Caughlin envisions a team made up of players from across the country, but will likely draw, in particular, from men's volleyball hotbeds like Pennsylvania, Nevada, Texas and Canada. As a former men's coach and player, he said the addition of a men's program at Coker will not only bring a new and exciting sport to the College, but it will also augment efforts to strengthen the competitiveness of Coker's women's volleyball program.

Caughlin will begin recruiting members of the newest Cobra team immediately in order to begin competition in January 2013.

Coker will become the ninth member of Conference Carolinas to have women's lacrosse. The others are Belmont Abbey College, Converse College, Erskine College, Lees-McRae College, Limestone College, Mount Olive College, Pfeiffer University and Queens University of Charlotte.

Coker will begin the search for a women's lacrosse coach in the fall of 2012.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Coker Soccer wins first conference title

The Coker College Men's soccer team will begin play in the Carolinas Conference Tournament on the Coker campus at 7 p.m. Tuesday night. For the first time ever, Coker is going into the Championship series as the Conference Champions as they topped St. Andrews 3-0 on Saturday evening. The team enjoyed celebrating following that victory as the video on this page shows. Coach Paul Leese has been aiming for this goal since taking over the reins of the Coker men's team three years ago. His wife and baby were on hand to watch this first conference championship.(photo)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Saturday afternoon on the Coker campus

And there is a body out in the middle of the road leading to Davidson Hall with crowd gathered and someone waving an oar like a scythe. It must be Halloween weekend and a group of students must be creating their own Halloween Horror video -- you have to enjoy working on a college campus.(turns out this scene is an assignment for Stage Movement class and the "director" has recruited some younger people who thought it would be really interesting to be playing Zombies on the Coker campus.)

As I open the doors to the building housing my office there are orchestral sounds wafting through the halls as the musicians playing for the next Coker production -- Charlie Brown -- are getting familiar with the score.

Another group of students were loudly cheering on the Coker College volleyball team as they get close to the end of their regular season and as I put up a little weight I was joined by a couple of baseball players in the weight room. And, as we lifted Ty called out to one of the girls passing through, "good luck in the game." She is a soccer player heading to the training room to get taped.
And as this day progresses the Halloween fun will get more diverse and more intense as there are trick or treat parties and a costume party in the den, costume competition at the soccer games. And, the soccer game this evening will determine if the Coker Cobras take first place in their division of Conference Carolinas -- the Coker men have had a superior season but every match is competitive and St. Andrews would like nothing more to upset the Coker bandwagon.

A college campus is just an interesting place to be -- about every day!

RSA Animate - Changing Education Paradigms - An Idea Igniter

Jean Grosser, chair of the Coker College Art Department, shared the above video with faculty in an email. This video is a thought starter on the entire concept of education and I hope some of us use it as a thought starter to the way we might even redefine classroom learning. There will be nothing easy about it.

I am finding a real convergence of ideas in having this video cross my communication environment this morning. First, I am in the middle of the new biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson and Jobs is a concrete example of a person who took control of his own education. Was Jobs really that much more "special" than a lot of other children in our world? Next, I was reading a statement of teaching philosophy from my daughter, Dr. Eve Puffer and a couple of her comments are directly related to some of the ideas spawned by the above video. Third, I am thinking of days students in my classes become particularly engaged and days when nearly all seem to be somewhere else. What can I do differently to make the first days far more common in their lives?

One of the great things about being in a campus atmosphere is the opportunity for thinking about thinking and thinking about how we think and how we learn and how we can become better at both thinking and learning.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Softball Players earn academic honors

Darlington and Hartsville Natives Named NFCA Academic All-American

Several Coker College Cobra players have earned fast-pitch academic All American honors and that information is included in the linked news release. Athletes getting academic honors is is a norm not an anomaly at Coker. Congratulations to these recently announced winners.

Here is the news release from S.C. Now:

HARTSVILLE -- Coker College Softball Coach, David Hanna, announced today that five student-athletes have been selected as Academic All-Americans by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) for the 2010-11 academic year.

In order to qualify for the academic honor each student-athlete must have acquired a 3.5 GPA or greater for the year.

The following Cobras received this prestigious honor: junior Jaclin Poole (Clover), sophomores Louise Benton (Kingstree), Stacy Burr (Darlington), Katie McElveen (Hartsville) and former Cobra Sydney Greenwalt (Edwardsville, Ill.). This is the fourth time that Greenwalt has received the Academic All-American honor.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Dr. Steve Terry Receives Student Affairs Award

This is a news release from Coker College. Steve Terry, vice president Student Affairs at Coker has been innovating at the college since 1975, when he first served as coach of the men's basketball team. He continues to lead innovation as Coker moves forward on an aggressive growth path.


Coker Vice President Steve Terry Receives Statewide Student Affairs Leadership Award

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Oct. 21, 2011 – Coker College Vice President for Student Enrollment Services Steve Terry was honored with the Joseph O. Nixon Award for chief student affairs officers by the South Carolina College Personnel Association at the organization’s fall conference Oct. 21.

“Dr. Terry is an outstanding administrator who has the students’ best interest at heart and always speaks up on their behalf, subtle and firm in his belief that our students come first,” said Coker College President Robert Wyatt. “From serving students at our late-night breakfast event before final exams begin, to attending as many athletic events as I do, to ‘cutting up’ with students all across campus, Dr. Terry personifies Coker College.

“I can think of no other person more deserving of this award,” Wyatt added.

The statewide award, which is not limited to SCCPA members, recognizes excellence in the areas of leadership, commitment to students and efforts to recruit higher education professionals to the field of student affairs.

Terry’s recognition represents the first time the award has been given to an individual from Coker College. Past recipients have come from Furman, Presbyterian College, Converse and the University of South Carolina.

Terry, who joined Coker in 1975, received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from East Carolina University and his doctorate from the University of South Carolina.

Established in 1970, SCCPA’s mission is to support professionals who serve students in South Carolina higher education institutions. In turn, SCCPA derives from its members a shared commitment to help colleges and universities provide a campus environment that promotes academic achievement and personal growth and development for all college students.


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

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Coker 101 with David Dorfman Dance Company

The David Dorfman Dance Company has been on the Coker College campus for the past couple of days. What an amazing opportunity this has been for the dancers and for many others in the Coker community who have been involved in classes with this company.

About an hour ago one of the dancers stopped by to say hello as she was leaving one of the classes. Earlier I happened to see a Facebook status where she was talking about how much working with these dancers means to her. As we talked I said, 'so, you have enjoyed David Dorfman.' Talk about and immediate and from the heart response - "I have so loved being with him and his dancers," she said with a bit of a lump in her throat.

This evening the David Dorfman Dance Company is putting on a concert called the Prophets of Funk. This concert is one of the major arts events for Hartsville and there is no question it is bring an idea of modern dance movement that will be leaving an impact on the audience. Angela Gallo and Erin Leigh, who teach the dance program at Coker, have both known David Dorfman for some time and have been very enthused about this visit to the campus and the community. The group even plans a quick question and answer get together at the Midnight Rooster of Hartsville on Friday morning.

In the Writing for the Media class this morning we were discussing potential story ideas for the "Coker Beat." One of the ideas offered was the dance company's involvement on campus. I happened to mention to three of the golfers who were sitting near each other that for the dancers having a professional company of this caliber on campus was much like having one of the top touring pros on campus. Perhaps the major difference is these dancers are involved directly in teaching and working with students -- majors and non majors. They are conveying their craft through actual movement; not just making an appearance. It is events and experiences like this one that are often tough to assess but are the activities that provide life-long memories for those who become involved. I am certainly not a person who knows dance or who has much luck with "movement" but I am one who is moved by the difference this kind of experience provides for Coker students and for members of the community who take advantage of Hartsville being a college town.

Just because I think it makes sense, I do want to mention that the David Dorfman Company visit to Coker and Hartsville is being partially underwritten with grants from the South ARTS Dance Touring Initiative in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, ARTWORKS and the Hartsville-Coker Concert Association.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Coker CollegeSoccer Nationally Ranked

A couple of days ago I mentioned to one of the Coker College soccer players they were making me sort of not like soccer bec their games always go down to the final play with a one goal difference usually the winning edge. They have done a great deal of winning this year and are 12-1 with 11 wins in a row to their credit. They are working hard, playing with talent and showing a great deal of resolve as they move forward in the conference competition, Here is a report on the most recent ranking that was shared by the Coker Sports Information Department:

Coker Athletics
October 18, 2011

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – The Coker College men’s soccer team has received a No. 7 national ranking according to this week’s National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll. This is the highest national ranking of any men’s soccer team in Coker’s history.

In addition to the No. 7 national ranking the Cobras are ranked No. 1 in the Southeast region, another program first. Other Conference Carolinas schools that are ranked in the Southeast Region include Lees-McRae at No. 6, Barton College at No. 8 and Limestone College at No. 10.

The Cobras will be back in action on Wednesday when they travel to Wilson, N.C. to face the Barton Bulldogs in a Conference Carolinas match at 7p.m.

NCAA Rankings National Men
Division II 7th Poll - October 18, 2011

Rank School


1 Simon Fraser (B.C.)

2 Franklin Pierce (N.H.)

3 Fort Lewis (Colo.)

4 Incarnate Word (Texas)

5 C.W. Post (N.Y.)

6 Northern Kentucky

7 Coker (S.C.)

8 Rollins (Fla.)

9 California (Pa.)

10 Anderson (S.C.)

11 Barry (Fla.)


9 - 1 - 3


Rockhurst (Mo.)


10 - 2 - 1


Midwestern State (Texas)


9 - 3 - 0


Southern New Hampshire


11 - 2 - 0


Mercyhurst (Pa.)


10 - 4 - 0


Cal State Dominguez Hills


10 - 3 - 1


Flagler (Fla.)


10 - 3 - 1


Texas A&M International


7 - 2 - 2


Metro State (Colo.)


9 - 5 - 1


Seattle Pacific (Wash.)


9 - 2 - 2


Christian Brothers (Tenn.)


11 - 3 - 0


Saginaw Valley State (Mich.)


7 - 2 - 2


Colorado Mines


9 - 4 - 1


Davis & Elkins (W. Va.)


8 - 4 - 1


West Florida


8 - 3 - 2

Also receiving votes: Grand Canyon (Ariz.), St. Thomas Aquinas (N.Y.), Mars Hill (N.C.), Fort Hays State (Kan.), Lynn (Fla.), Regis (Colo.)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Lacrosse team looks good in collegiate scrimmages

The Coker College lacrosse team reached another milestone on Saturday, October 8, 2011 as they played their first intercollegiate lacrosse in a series of scrimmages at the Greensboro Fall lacrosse tournament. Coker played Guilford, Ferrum and UNC-Greensboro in three forty-minute games.

How do they do? They did not win. They did however play some excellent lacrosse with two of the games decided by one goal and the other by two, despite the fact that Coker had a midfielder in goal as both goalies were not able to play in the scrimmage. The team, which just came onto campus this fall, looked like a team. The guys worked well together and executed well. Defense was especially good as each of the three scrimmages wee low scoring, in a sport that can often have scores in double figures, Saturday's games were in the 4-3,5-4,6-4 type of scores. One other exciting aspect of this three-game scrimmage was the following the lacrosse team had. There were parents and relatives from Florida, Pennsylvania, Maryland, South Carolina and probably a couple of other states cheering on the Cobras. In the small-world category, one of the mothers is a graduate of Rome Catholic High School of Rome, NY -- the same school from which I graduated.

This year I have the opportunity of being what Lynn Griffin, Coker Athletic Director, is calling a faculty mentor for the team and it is fun getting to know these guys in their lacrosse environment. Driving the bus to Greensboro is not really in the faculty mentor job description but it was a way to connect with the team and reconnect with some long-ago memories of my own very inadequate lacrosse playing days. The game was intense back then. Heck, lacrosse was a way the Indians used to settle serious disputes instead of going to war so it has always been intense. But, the talent, the speech, the athleticism of today's players is amazing to watch. It is a very different game from the days of wooden sticks.

Yesterday ended the Fall Season and now, except for study halls, the lacrosse team is anxiously awaiting the coming of second semester when they start their official lacrosse schedule, opening with Shorter College of Georgia.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Facets in Time = Fall Dance Concert

caption for photo: Following the dance concert Angela Gallo, associate professor of dance, had the choreographers answer questions about their pieces from interested members of the audience.

The Fall 2011 Student Choreography Showcase opened in the Watson Theater on the Coker College campus on Thursday evening. It will continue at 7:30 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday nights, October 7 and 8.

The dancers go by my office door all day, all week, including weekends. This close proximity to the Coker College Dance program has helped me become a dance fan. This year's Fall Choreography Concert is another event that makes me glad I am a fan. I hear people say that modern dance is not for everyone. That may be but performances I watch by the Coker dancers make me wonder why. Modern (heck, dance in general) is a complete performance with exquisite movement, intrepid imagination, powerful images and intriguing story lines. And, much of the interpretation is generally left up to the viewer -- providing frameworks for us to build our own stories. The student choreography is an example of that thesis and it was enjoyable watching it performed in the Fall Concert.

Males have long been a part of the dance program at Coker but to have four guys on stage at the same time almost made it feel like we had a visiting company. "Mental Enslavement" was the title of the piece choreographed by Italy Welton and performed by Dache Green, Ty Rogers, Daniel Stevenson and Keon Wilson.

"Break Out" was a duo of Kelsey Grimm and Kaycee Weaver and they were the choreographers for the piece. Watching the performances on Thursday evening it struck me how the pedagogy of project-based learning plays out in this student choreography. Two of the pieces had multiple choreographers and the collaboration involved in the creative process has to be a great learning opportunity.

"Bitter Words and Forgiving Hearts" was the other multi-choregraphed piece as the three dancers - Megan Stone, Devin Jennings and Alicia Nelson were also the choreographers. That piece closes the show.

Other pieces selected for this Fall performance included: "Dying to Live", choregraphed by Akhira Ansari and performed by Akhira Ansari, Devin Jennings, Chekera Lucas, Andria McFadden, Sarah McNamee, Alicia Nelson and Cheyenne Wiseman; "Visceral Instinct" was choregraphed by Devin Jennings and performed by Devin and my one-word response as she finished was "Wow." Ty Rogers choregraphed "Time for Today" and the dancers for that piece included Akhira Ansari, Ashley Lesage, Chekera Lucas, Ty Rogers and Kirsten Sanders. Cheyenne Wiseman choreographed and performed "Dover."

The next major dance event on the Coker Campus and in Hartsville will be the October 20th performance by the David Dorfman Dance company in a show titled "Profits of Funk."

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Student journalist posts story from Kuaula Lampur

Writing for the Media is one of the classes I have the opportunity to teach at Coker College this semester. As luck has it, one of the students in the class is traveling on a Students in Free Enterprise project. This gave me the opportunity to ask Tyler Senegal to become a foreign correspondent for his week in Malaysia. What follows is the first story that he wrote about the trip.

This week we are working on the concept of writing for Online Media and we will probably use this story to see about how we might include links to build an even richer experience for the reader. In fact, if you notice some links in this story I will have inserted to show the students what I was thinking about.

Two Coker Students Travel to Malaysia

Kuala,Lumpur October 2, 2011- On Saturday October 1, 2011 two students from departed from Hartsville on a 9,800 mile journey to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Tyler Senecal and Noah Lascell were the two students selected by Coker SIFE (Students In Free Enterprise) to make the trip. The purpose of the trip is for the students to witness the SIFE World Cup Competition and use the knowledge and experience gained in order to improve Coker’s SIFE team. The two were selected because of their leadership positions as members of the SIFE executive council.
SIFE is an international organization founded in 1975 in the United States. According to their website, SIFE is “a non-profit organization that works with leaders in business and higher education to mobilize university students to make a difference in their communities while developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders.” As of August 2010, had 48,000 students from 40 different countries participating in their program.
Last year, as a first-year team, Coker SIFE finished first in its regional competition, and top 60 in the nation out of around 600 teams.
The students will be returning to Hartsville on Sunday October 9, 2011 after 3 flights and more than 24 hours of travel time. The trip can be followed at