Coker College Hires Seven New Faculty Members
Hartsville, S.C. – September 28, 2018 – Dr. Susan Daniels Henderson, Provost and Dean of Faculty of Coker College, announces the addition of seven faculty members: Katherine Chandler, Eric Litton, Christi McLain, Lisa Stockdale, James Sweeney (‘13), Sami Varjosaari, and James D. Wacker.
“We’re fortunate to have these individuals join us as we work together to further student success inside and outside the classroom,” says Dr. Henderson. “These educators bring with them years of experience, which will benefit our students, colleagues, and community.”
Katherine Chandler is visiting instructor of music. Chandler worked most recently as a teaching assistant for group piano at the University of South Carolina School of Music, an admissions assistant at the University of South Carolina Center for Piano Studies, and as a music instructor at Coker during the 2017-2018 academic year. She has a bachelor’s in music from Lebanon Valley College, a master’s of music in piano pedagogy from the University of South Carolina, and is a candidate for a Ph.D. in piano pedagogy from the University of South Carolina. Chandler is a nationally certified teacher of music, a certification awarded by the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), and is also chair of the MTNA collegiate chapters piano pedagogy symposium planning committee.
Eric Litton is assistant professor of business administration. Litton worked most recently as an adjunct faculty member at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, and the University of Maryland University College, as well as serving as director of administration and operations at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He has a bachelor’s in mathematics and economics from Cornell University, a master’s in business administration from the University of Notre Dame, and a Ph.D. from the School of Public Policy, Government, and International Affairs at George Mason University. Litton is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, and spent several years working abroad in places such as Pakistan, Chile, and South Africa.
Christi McLain is visiting instructor of music. McLain taught at Coker during the 2017-2018 academic year and worked most recently as an adjunct faculty member at Choate Rosemary Hall, a preparatory school in Wallingford, Connecticut, and the Hartt School at the University of Hartford. She has a bachelor’s in music-voice performance from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a master’s in opera performance and Ph.D. in voice performance from Arizona State University. McLain has extensive performance experience including with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Hartford Opera Theater, and numerous music festivals around the United States and abroad.
Lisa Stockdale is assistant professor of education. Stockdale most recently worked as an English to Speakers of other Languages (ESOL) teacher in several elementary schools in Camden, South Carolina. A National Board Certified teacher, Stockdale has a bachelor’s and master’s in early childhood education from the University of South Carolina, and a Ph.D. in elementary education from the University of South Carolina. Stockdale is a certified ESOL teacher with more than two decades of experience working with children in South Carolina’s elementary schools, and her research interests include multilingual learners and culturally responsive classrooms.
James Sweeney (‘13) is special lecturer in mathematics. Sweeney worked as a graduate teaching assistant while in graduate school at the University of South Carolina, and taught mathematics classes at Coker last spring. He has a bachelor’s in mathematics and computer science from Coker College, and a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of South Carolina. During his time as a student at Coker, Sweeney was captain of the men’s soccer team and received numerous academic achievements, including an award for outstanding achievement in mathematics as well as the 2012-2013 Murphy Osborne Scholar Athlete Award.
Sami Varjosaari is visiting assistant professor of chemistry. Varjosaari worked most recently as a teaching assistant at Northern Illinois University teaching general and organic chemistry to undergraduates. He has been educated at the English International College in Marbella, Spain, has a MChem from the University of Oxford in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom, and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the department of chemistry and biochemistry at Northern Illinois University. Varjosaari’s research focuses on novel synthetic methodology development in organic chemistry, and he presents regularly at conferences, including the American Chemical Society National Meeting and the Silicon Symposium.
James D. Wacker is assistant professor of business administration. Wacker is the owner and president of Argent Noir, LLC, in Effingham, South Carolina, and was, most recently, program manager of advanced manufacturing engineering for General Electric Corporation in Florence, South Carolina. He has a bachelor’s in physics from the State University of New York at Albany, a master’s in electrical engineering from Syracuse University, a M.B.A. from the University of South Carolina and a M.B.A. focusing on international business from Northcentral University. Wacker has considerable experience in increasing efficiency, profits, sales, and production, and has visited more than 40 countries carrying out work-related duties.