Coker to Launch New Summer Science Program

For more information, contact Barb Steadman - 843.857.4199

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – May 24, 2012 – Registration is open for applicants to a new summer science program at Coker College for local high school teachers and student interns.

Participating high school teachers who attend Discovery Workshop: Advanced Technology in the Sciences will work with Coker science faculty to learn advanced tools and techniques. The workshop will include hands-on activities and candid discussions about how advanced tools can be incorporated into the classroom.  Topics to be covered will range from field biology and computer science to quantitative real-time PCR analysis of gene expression, bioinformatics and advanced spectrophotometry.

Coker faculty assisting in the Discovery Workshops include Assistant Professor of Biology M. Valeria Avanzato, Assistant Professor of Biology Jennifer Borgo, Assistant Professor of Chemistry Gordon Brown, Assistant Professor of Mathematics Paul Dostert, Assistant Professor of Mathematics Rachel Manspeaker and Associate Professor of Biology and Director of Undergraduate Student Research Joseph Flaherty, who, with financial support from the Monsanto Fund, developed the programs.  A number of Coker student researchers will also assist in the workshops.

High school students interested in continuing their education in science after graduation will have the opportunity to work alongside college student researchers under the guidance of a faculty member in the Discovery Internships in the Sciences program. They will work on discovery-based projects in biology, chemistry or computer science.

“This particular project involves broadening otherwise rare opportunities for students and teachers to learn technologically-advanced skills in the rapidly changing discipline of scientific research,” said Flaherty.

“Monsanto is proud to provide support for such a worthwhile science project,” said Dawn Fraser, Monsanto cotton breeder and Hartsville site manager. “Projects such as this provide a great foundation for students and high school teachers to gain an understanding and appreciation for cutting-edge scientific research.”

The Discovery Workshop: Advanced Technology in the Sciences will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., July 9-12 at Coker College. Lunch will be provided. Four teacher participants will be selected and provided a stipend of $250 to offset travel and related expenses.

Discovery Internships in the Sciences can extend up to six weeks in the summer months. Dates will be arranged individually with each participating intern. Three high school students will be selected and provided an hourly stipend of $9 per hour for up to 30 hours per week during their internship.

Applications for both programs will be reviewed until programs reach capacity.

Applications for the teacher workshop should include contact information, area of specialization and a brief personal statement indicating how this workshop could specifically advance the applicant’s goals and be sent to Flaherty at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Applications for internships should include contact information, high school grade point average, area of interests and a personal statement indicating how this experience could specifically assist the student’s transition to college and also be sent to Flaherty.

Established in 1964 as the philanthropic arm of Monsanto, the Monsanto Fund works to substantially and meaningfully improve people’s lives by strengthening both farming communities and the communities where we live and work. Projects supported by the Monsanto Funds include educational initiatives designed to enrich K-12 school programs as well as wide-ranging efforts to assist nonprofit organizations that are working to meet critical needs such as food security, sanitation and public safety.



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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