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Jeffrey Coker

Director of Elon Core Curriculum and Associate Professor of Biology
Belk Pavilion-Teaching&Learning 117
2610 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
jcoker@elon.edu (336) 278-6206

Brief Biography

Jeffrey Coker leads the Elon Core Curriculum, the set of courses and experiences that are shared by every undergraduate.  During his term as Director, the Core Curriculum has undergone many improvements:  revision of First-Year Foundations courses, doubling of the Experiential Learning Requirement, creation of new advising materials for core requirements, implementation of capstone projects for all students, re-titling of the program and its parts, creation of core curriculum (COR) and interdisciplinary (IDS) prefixes, reduction of class sizes in first-year seminars, creation of new leadership positions (Associate Director, Independent Major Coordinator, etc.), increased participation in the common reading program, creation of the first “Core Forums” (common intellectual events for all first-year students), and others. 

Coker was also instrumental in the founding of Elon University Forest (established by the Trustees on Oct. 22, 2010), a campus preserve for teaching and research, and served as the first chair of its management committee.

He has published and presented widely on higher education topics such as experiential learning, civic engagement, new pedagogies for introductory courses, and other high-impact educational practices.  His biological research is similarly broad, ranging from plant ecology to genetics.

Education

Ph.D. in Plant Biology (Biotechnology minor), N.C. State University

M.Ed. in Science Education, N.C. State University     

B.S. in Biology, Davidson College

Employment History

2011-present, Director of the Elon Core Curriculum, Elon University

2010-present, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Elon University

2004-2010, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Elon University

Courses Taught

Reinventing Life (Biology 103).

The Global Experience (General Studies 110).

Science without Borders (Science 121). 

Field Biology in Peru (Biology 335). 

Plant Biology (Elon Academy for high school students).

Topics in General Biology (Biology 101/102). 

Elon 101

Leadership Positions

Director of the Elon Core Curriculum.  2011-present.  Recruited faculty to teach COR 110 and upper-level seminars, organized and led 25-30 faculty development lunches per year, scheduled and coordinated COR 110 and upper-level capstone courses, passed and implemented curricular revisions (new First Year Foundations, Experiential Learning Requirement, capstone seminars, etc.), managed budget, organized coordinators of First-Year Foundations courses, directed the Independent Major, hosted major university speakers, led program assessment and general education reporting for SACS reaccreditation, led the Common Reading Program, organized programming for Orientation and Admissions events, and served on the following additional committees:

  • Provost’s Council
  • Academic Affairs Advisory Council
  • First-Year Committee
  • Core Curriculum Council
  • Joint Dean’s Council
  • University Curriculum Committee
  • Study Abroad Committee
  • Common Reading Committee
  • Residential Campus Advisory Committee
  • Experiential Education Oversight Committee
  • SACS Reaccreditation Compliance Committee (2011-13)
  • QEP (Quality Enhancement Plan) Planning Committee (2012-13)
  • School of Education Assessment Committee (2013-present)
  • Various search committees

Establishment of Elon University Forest.  2006-present

Chair of the ASPB Excellence in Education Award Committee.  2009-2012

Chair of the Science Education Committee of the N.C. Academy of Science.  2004-2011

Education Committee Member for the American Society of Plant Biologists.  2005-2009

Reviewer.  2004-present.  Reviewed journal articles, grants, and educational materials for the ASPB Teaching Award, Science, The Plant Cell, Physiologia Plantarum, ASPB Education Booth Award, Journal of the N.C. Academy of Science, W.H. Freeman & Co., Carolina Biological Supply Co., N.C. Space Grant, Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education, John B. Derieux Award of the N.C. Academy of Science, Czech Science Foundation, Sigma Xi, McGraw-Hill, N.C. Department of Public Instruction, and the U.S.-Israel BARD.

Associate Editor for the Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education (JNRLSE). 2003-2006

Coordinator of 2005 CANCAS Undergraduate Research Workshop at Elon University

NACTA Journal Awards Committee.  2004-2005

Many others!

Publications

Coker, J.S., Haskell, R., and Nelson, T.  2014.  Teaching Global Studies to All Undergraduates:  A Required First-Year Course.  Perspectives on Global Development and Technology 13: 265-278.

Coker, J.S.  2012.  Reinventing Life: A Guide to Our Evolutionary Future.  Charleston, SC: The Blue Helix.

Coker, J.S.  2012.  Crossing the species boundary: Genetic engineering as conscious evolution.  The Futurist 46: 23-27.

Coker, J.S., Ellis, J.P., and Williams, M.  2010.  Inquiry-Based Activities to Accompany the 12 Principles of Plant Biology.  American Society of Plant Biologists.  www.aspb.org/education/12Labs/.

Helms, A. and Coker, J.S.  2010.  Variability of actin gene expression during tissue regeneration of the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris.  Journal of the N.C. Academy of Science 126: 138-143.

Coker, J.S.  2009.  Reinventing Life: Introductory Biology for a rapidly evolving world.  American Biology Teacher 71: 281-284.

Coker, J.S. and Johnson, A.  2008.  Using presidential elections to engage students in science issues.  American Biology Teacher 70: 13-14.

Coker, J.S. and Davies, E.  2006.  Ten time-saving tips for undergraduate research mentors. Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education 35:110-112.

Coker, J.S.  2006.  Citing by example: Responsible science teaching in the Information Age.  Journal of College Science Teaching 35: 6.

Coker, J.S. and Agnew, J.D.  2005.  The story of dinosaur evolution.  National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science Case Collection.  http://www.sciencecases.org/dinosaur_evolution/dinosaur_evolution_notes.pdf.

Coker, J.S., Vian A., and Davies, E.  2005.  Identification, accumulation, and functional prediction of novel tomato transcripts systemically up-regulated after fire damage.  Physiologia Plantarum 124: 311-322.

Coker, J.S. and Van Dyke, C.G.  2005.  Evaluation of teaching and research experiences undertaken by botany majors at N.C. State University.  NACTA Journal 49: 14-19.

Coker, J.S. and Davies, E.  2004.  Identifying adaptor contamination when mining DNA sequence data.  Biotechniques 37: 194-198.

Coker, J.S. and Davies, E.  2003.  Selection of candidate housekeeping controls in tomato plants using EST data.  Biotechniques 35: 740-748.

Coker, J.S., Jones, D., and Davies, E.  2003.  Identification, conservation, and relative expression of V-ATPase cDNAs in tomato plants.  Plant Molecular Biology Reporter 21: 145-158. 

Coker, J.S. and Davies, E.  2002.  Involvement of plant biologists in undergraduate and high school student research.  Journal of Natural Resources and Life Science Education 31: 44-47.

Coker, J.S. and Davies, E.  2002.  Correspondence  re:  A.H. Ree et al., Expression of a Novel Factor in Human Breast Cancer Cells with Metastatic Potential (Cancer Res., 59: 4675-4680, 1999).  Cancer Research 62: 4164-4165.

Coker, J.S.  2001.  Snow and ice storm’s effect on a Piedmont Juniperus virginiana population.  Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society 117: 217-223.

 

Presentations

House, S., Book, C.L., Coker, J.S., Heiser, E.  Oct. 1., 2013  Understanding the Impact of Experiential Education: A Longitudinal Study of the Elon Experience and the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE).  Ninety-minute workshop at Annual Meeting of the National Society for Experiential Education (St. Pete Beach, FL).

Coker, J.S., Haskell, R., Nelson, T.  June 8, 2013.  Teaching Global Studies to All Undergraduates:  A Required First-Year Course.  Two-hour panel at the Annual Meeting of the Global Studies Association (Marymount College, CA).

Coker, J.S.  April 6, 2013.  Teaching Science for Global Citizens.  Invited hour-long workshop at the Annual Meeting of the N.C. Academy of Science (UNC-Pembroke).

Coker, J.S., Haskell, R., Nelson, T.  October 28, 2012.  Teaching Global Communications Skills and Strategies for All Students.  Global Fusion: A Global Media and Communication Conference.  Ohio University.

Coker, J.S.  August 5, 2012.  Reinventing Life: A Guide to Our Evolutionary Future.  Invited public lecture sponsored by Ethical Humanist Society of the Triangle (Raleigh, NC).

Coker, J.S.  July 28, 2012.  Reinventing Life: A Guide to Our Evolutionary Future.  Invited lecture at the Annual Meeting of the World Future Society (Toronto, Canada) .

Coker, J.S.  April 22, 2012.  Reinventing Life: A Guide to Our Evolutionary Future.  Invited lecture at Holy Comforter Episcopal Church (Burlington, NC).

Coker, J.S.  April 11, 2012.  Crossing the species boundary: Genetic engineering as conscious evolution.  Science Café.  Elon, N.C.

Coker, J.S.  August 25, 2011.  The General Studies Program at Elon University.  Invited lecture at Erskine College, S.C.

Coker, J.S.  August 17, 2011.  The Future of  “The Global Experience (GST 110).”  GST 110 Annual Retreat.  Elon University.

Coker, J.S.  August 3, 2011.  Creating a World Without Poverty.  Common Reading workshop for Student Life.  Elon University.

Coker, J.S.  April 22, 2011.  Three Principles of Sustainability.  Invited mini-lecture for Earth Day video produced by Elon University Public Relations.

Coker, J.S.  March 15, 2011. Managing the Tenure Process.  Invited talk at N.C. State University.

Coker, J.S., Ellis, J.P., and Williams, M.  March 11, 2011.  Inquiry-Based Activities to Accompany the 12 Principles of Plant Biology.  NSTA Annual Meeting.  San Francisco, CA.

House, S., White, H., Warner, B., Coker, J.S., and Smith, P.  January 26-29, 2011.  Teaching Global Citizenship Across Campus.  AAC&U Annual Meeting.  San Francisco, CA.

Coker, J.S.  August 4, 2010.  China Road.  Common Reading workshop for Student Life. Elon University.

Coker, J.S., Ellis, J.P., and Williams, M.  August 2, 2010.  Inquiry-Based Activities to Accompany the 12 Principles of Plant Biology.  ASPB Annual Meeting.  Montréal, Canada.

Coker, J.S.  August 1, 2010.  Education Outreach: Strategies for Broadening the Impact of Your Research.  Workshop at the ASPB Annual Meeting.  Montréal, Canada.

Coker, J.S.  March 2, 2010.  Understanding the Rewards and Challenges of a Faculty Career. Invited talk for the Preparing the Professoriate Program at N.C. State University.

Coker, J.S., Ellis, J.P., and Williams, M.  April 4, 2009.  Inquiry-Based Activities to Accompany the 12 Principles of Plant Biology.  N.C. Academy of Science Annual Meeting.  Warren Wilson College, NC.

Coker, J.S.  April 3, 2009.  Teaching the Future.  Numen Lumen presentation for faculty and staff at Elon University.

Coker, J.S.  April 1, 2009.  Nurturing long-term thinking and planning.  Professional development workshop for Residence Life staff.  Elon University.

Coker, J.S., Ellis, J.P., and Williams, M.  October 18, 2008.  Inquiry-Based Activities to Accompany the 12 Principles of Plant Biology.  National Association of Biology Teachers Annual Meeting.  Memphis, TN.

Coker, J.S., and Anderson, J.  August 21, 2008.  Teaching the Future.  Innovation in Instruction Conference.  Elon, NC.

Coker, J.S.  March 29, 2008.  Student-designed experiments in Introductory Biology for non-majors.  N.C. Academy of Science Annual Meeting.  UNC-Greensboro, NC.

Coker, J.S.  April 3, 2008.  Reinventing Life: A New Paradigm for Biology Education. Lab Corps.  Burlington, NC.

Coker, J.S.  November 30, 2007.  Student-designed experiments in Introductory Biology for non-majors.  National Association of Biology Teachers Annual Meeting.  Atlanta, GA.

Coker, J.S., Felten, P., Hargrove-Leak, S., and Schulman, S.  June 14, 2007.  Student voices in the scholarship of teaching and learning: Examples and questions.  Associated New American Colleges (ANAC) Summer Institute.  Elon University, Elon, NC.

Coker, J.S.  March 31, 2007.  Reinventing Life: A New Paradigm for Teaching and Learning Biology. N.C. Academy of Science Annual Meeting.  East Carolina University, Greenville, NC.

Coker, J.S.  March 25, 2007.  Humans as Creators: Stewardship in a Rapidly Evolving World. Invited talk at Holy Comforter Episcopal Church (Burlington, NC).

Coker, J.S.  February 11, 2007.  Humans as Creators: Stewardship in a Rapidly Evolving World. Invited lecture at Elon Community Church on “Evolution Sunday.”

Coker, J.S.  January 25, 2007.  Careers in Biology.  Invited talk at Davidson College. 

Coker, J.S. and House H.  February 15, 2006.  Teaching Using Active Learning.  Invited presentation for the Preparing Future Faculty Program.  Duke University.

Coker, J.S.  August, 2006.  A Prelude to Reinventing Life: New Teaching Paradigms in a Century of Rapid Biological Change.  Innovative Instruction Conference.  Elon University, Elon, NC.

Rice, E.A. and Coker, J.  March 25, 2006.  Identification and analysis of housekeeping genes in the wood-forming tissues of loblolly pines.  N.C. Academy of Science Annual Meeting.  Bennett College, Greensboro, NC.

Coker, J.S.  January 17, 2006.  Decentralizing Humanity: The Lesson of Humility in Science and Religion.  Invited lecture at St. Andrews Presbyterian College, Laurinburg, N.C.

Coker, J.S. and Johnson, A.  March 19, 2005.  Student editorials on science policy: Raising awareness of science issues in an election year.  N.C. Academy of Science Annual Meeting.  Meredith College, Raleigh, NC.

Coker, J.S.  October 9, 2005.  What is the scientific basis for evolution?  Does evolution leave “room” for God?  Invited public lecture.  Church of the Nativity.  Raleigh, N.C.

Coker, J.S., Jones, D.A., Grant, K., and Davies, E.  March 27, 2004.  Identification, accumulation, and functional prediction of tomato transcripts systemically up-regulated after fire damage. N.C. Academy of Science Annual Meeting.  Catawba College, Salisbury, NC.

Coker, J.S.  May 14, 2004.  Ten things you probably have not been told about college.  Plymouth High School Academic Boosters Club Banquet.  Plymouth, N.C.

Coker, J.S.  April 28, 2004.  The systemic response to fire damage in tomato plants.  Department of Botany.  N.C. State University.

Coker, J.S., Jones, D.A., and Davies, E.  March 23, 2003.  Identification, conservation, and relative expression of V-ATPase cDNAs in tomato plants.  N.C. Academy of Science Annual Meeting. UNC-Wilmington.

Coker, J.S.  October 18, 2003.  A national perspective on undergraduate research training.  Fall Undergraduate Research Workshop of the Collegiate Academy of the N.C. Academy of Science.  Meredith College.

Coker, J.S. and Davies, E.  March 23, 2002.  Contamination of DNA sequences by commercial adaptors.  N.C. Academy of Science Annual Meeting.  UNC-Chapel Hill. 

Coker, J.S.  October 21, 2002.  Cold tolerance in trees: The effect of a piedmont snowstorm on Juniperus virginiana.  Botany Club.  N.C. State University.

Coker, J.S. and Brown, C.  March 24, 2001.  Teaching space biology.  N.C. Academy of Science Annual Meeting.  UNC-Greensboro. 

Coker, J.S. and Croom, B.  October 17, 2001. Secret of our survival: The link between plant research and agriculture.  Given to 350 middle school students brought to N.C. State University for “AgriLife Quest” by the Collegiate Future Farmers of America.      

Coker, J.S.  2000.  A snowstorm’s effect on a Juniperus virginiana population.  Piedmont Ecology and Conservation Symposium.  Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden.  Belmont, N.C.