Faculty News and Notes - Spring 2010

For more information, contact James Jolly | 843.383.8018


  • History professor Dr. Shawn Lay, chair of the Department of History, Philosophy and Religion, spoke to the Darlington County Chapter of the Colonial Dames of America on “Natural Rights and the Legacy of the American Revolution.”
  • Dr. Glenn Chappell, associate professor business administration and chair of the Department of Business Administration, was appointed to the City of Hartsville Planning Commission.
  • Assistant Professor of Business Melinda Norris was accepted to Experiential Classroom XI in September at the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University. Experiential Classroom XI focuses on methods of teaching entrepreneurship. The U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship awarded Norris a partial scholarship to attend the conference.
  • Dr. Jun Matsuo, visiting assistant professor of music, served as an adjudicator for the Louise Mathis Scholarship Audition at the College of Charleston. Hosted by the Charleston Music Teachers Association, the audition features advanced piano students from grades 7-12.
  • Associate Professor of Music Dr. William Carswell directed four choirs in concert at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Columbia, S.C. The choirs were the Coker College Chamber Singers, Columbia Choral Society, Dreher High School Choir, and Spring Valley High School Choir. Carswell is director of choral and vocal studies at Coker.
  • Dance professors Angela Gallo and Erin Leigh took 10 students to the American College Dance Festival Association’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. The conference featured workshops, master classes, and performances.
  • Coker students Rebecca Armentrout (biology), Whitney Wallett (biology), and Dan Dong (chemistry) presented their research at a meeting of South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU). The students are conducting research with Dr. Joe Flaherty, assistant professor of biology, Dr. Jen Borgo, assistant professor of biology, and Dr. Pramod Chopade, assistant professor of chemistry.
  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Social Work Dr. Elaine Townsend gave a presentation at the national conference of the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors in Atlanta. "Looking Back and Moving Forward: Forrester Washington on Social Justice" focused on the former dean of the Atlanta School of Social Work, an educator and civil rights advocate. Townsend also discussed ways of teaching about Washington, including the use of primary documents in the classroom.
  • A presentation by Melinda Norris, assistant professor of business administration, has been accepted by the Popular and American Culture Association in the South for their annual conference to be held in Savannah in October.  Her topic, "The Social Media Revolution: The New Marketing Medium" is a result of a faculty panel discussion Norris participated in as part of Coker’s Inauguration Week events in March.
  • Librarians Melinda Deyasi and Todd Rix gave a presentation at LIBRIS 2010 in Columbia, SC. "Yo ur Mom's Couch is NOT an Option" described how students in the course Advanced Academic Research Skills (LIB301) were asked to research their options for the future as they learned about the research process. Deyasi is assistant director of the library and associate professor of library science. Rix is electronic resources and instruction librarian and assistant professor of library science.
  • Alexa Bartel, assistant professor of library science, has been elected to serve a 3-year term on the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities’ Library Directors Council (LDC) Executive Committee and will represent the LDC on the PASCAL (Partnership Among South Carolina Academic Libraries ) Board, July 2010-June 2013.
  • An article co-authored by Dr. Jen Borgo, assistant professor of biology, was published in The Condor, an international journal that publishes original research reports, review articles, and commentary pertaining to the biology of wild bird species.  "Greater Sage-grouse Select Nest Sites to Avoid Visual Predators but not Olfactory Predators" compared nesting locations to random locations and found that sage grouse select nest sites that give them greater visual concealment, not necessarily scent concealment.
  • Kaye Crook, associate professor of mathematics and SACS Accreditation Liaison Officer, and Dr. Dave Eubanks (former Professor of Mathematics and Director of Planning, Assessment and Information Services at Coker) presented a session titled “Ubiquitous Core Skills Assessment” at the Atlantic Assessment Conference in Cary, NC.
  • Four Coker chemistry students presented their research at a poster session of the South Carolina Academy of Sciences (SCAS) annual meeting at the College of Charleston. The student worked with chemistry professors Dr. Pramod Chopade and Dr. Gordon Brown.

    Dan Dong presented "Microwave-Assisted Synthesis of Alpha-Diimines." Dan was also recognized by the SCAS judges for Outstanding Research Poster in the area of Chemistry/Biology.
    Caitlyn Driscoll and Patrick Jenkins presented  "Microwave-Assisted Synthesis of Bolaamphiphilic Diimines."
    Austin McJunkins presented  "Quantum Chemical Calculations on Pericyclic Reactions."

  • An article co-authored by Dr. Katie Flaherty, visiting assistant professor of biology and NCAA Compliance Coordinator, was published in the journal Vegetation Science.  “Above- and below-ground plant biomass response to experimental warming in northern Alaska” addressed how rising temperatures in the high arctic tundra impacts the ecology of plant life.
  • Associate Professor of Art Jim Boden was selected for a two person exhibition at the Lake George Arts Project in New York.
  • Work by Jim Boden, associate professor of art, was featured in the Human Rights Art Exhibition at South Texas College's 2010 Human Trafficking Conference. A painting by Boden was also chosen for conference publicity.
  • Dr. Julia Klimek, associate professor of English, and Dr. Jasna Shannon, assistant professor of English and Director of the Writer's Studio, presented papers at the annual conference of the American Comparative Literature Association in New Orleans.  They both addressed the experience of being international academics living in the South. Shannon's paper was titled “Passing in the South: Creating a New Identity” and Klimek’s paper was titled “Being Invisible.”


Founded in 1908, Coker College is an independent, comprehensive college with a liberal arts core required of all students. Coker provides quality educational experiences in and out of the classroom that prepare graduates for professional and personal success. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Coker one of America’s Best Colleges. The Princeton Review rates Coker a Best Southeastern College based on academic reputation and student satisfaction.





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