Umfress Receives Paul P. Fidler Bridge-Builder Award

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Nov. 18, 2013 – Coker College Dean of Students Jason Umfress received the 2013 Paul P. Fidler Bridge Builder Award at the annual South Carolina College Personnel Association Conference in October.

The award recognizes contributions toward building stronger alliances between student and academic affairs. Umfress received the award for his work with first-year experience courses and co-curricular partnerships.

“I am honored to have received this award,” said Umfress. “When we design our programs, our goal is to create a seamless transition between what is happening in and out of the classroom.  Co- and extra-curricular activities are chosen to support our students as they learn how to successfully balance their academic and non-academic work.”

For first-year experience courses, Umfress has developed syllabi, learning objectives and course requirements. For co-curricular partnerships, Umfress has brought in a variety of experts to provide training in professional development opportunities as well as assessment training for staff and faculty. In addition, he has participated in panels for graduate students at the University of Georgia and Clemson University and has accepted an invitation to serve as program developer for a higher education administration graduate program with Southern New Hampshire University.

Umfress has been a Coker staff member since 2009. He received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Delta State University and a master’s in college student affairs administration from the University of Georgia. Umfress also holds a doctorate in higher education leadership from Clemson University.


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.

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