Coker College Promotes Dean Whitney Watts To Lead Expanded Student Success Initiatives

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Hartsville, S.C. — June 26, 2017 — Coker College is pleased to announce that Whitney Watts, ‘08, has been promoted to dean of student success. In her new role, Dean Watts will lead a team of academic student success coaches for both the traditional undergraduate and adult degree programs. She will also be responsible for new student orientations, Coker College 101 and 102 courses, the peer mentoring program, and other student success initiatives of the college. 

“Whitney Watts is perfectly suited, after a number of years serving as our dean of students, to step into this key leadership role,” says Dr. Robert Wyatt, Coker College president, noting that the institution’s five­-year strategic plan focuses on student success. “The college is moving quickly to embrace and utilize key data to inform student-­individualized decisions, which will have the most impact in the classroom, in campus life, and ultimately in career choices.” 
Dean Watts will report to Brianna Douglas, who takes on the expanded role of vice president of student success. VP Douglas will lead the implementation of Coker’s student­-centered strategic priorities. Additionally, she will continue to be responsible for campus safety, residence life, campus life, health services, and other campus functions. 
“I am excited to see these two talented members of the Coker team join forces for student success,” says executive vice president Tony Floyd. “They both have a passion for Coker and a passion for seeing our students succeed in the classroom, and in their lives after they graduate.” 
Whitney Watts has been a Coker College staff member since 2010. She has earned a bachelor of arts from Coker College, as well as a master of education in higher education and student affairs from the University of South Carolina. She has previously held positions at Coker as assistant director of residence life and first year experience, director of residence life, and dean of students. While in graduate school, Dean Watts completed assistantships at Columbia College in student activities, orientation, and leadership. She also completed three summer internships in student affairs at Coastal Carolina University, assisting in student activities, orientation, student conduct, and special projects. She has served on the Coker College Alumni Board and the Hartsville Young Professionals leadership team. Currently, she is a member of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), the South Carolina College Personnel Association, Hartsville Young Professionals, and the Cobra Club board. 
Brianna Douglas has been a Coker College staff member since 2009. She holds a bachelor of arts from Coker College, a bachelor of science in business from the University of South Carolina, and a master of business administration in human resources from the University of North Florida. She is currently a PhD candidate at Colorado State University. Douglas has served on the Hartsville Downtown Development Board, the City of Hartsville Economic Development Committee, the Coker College Alumni Board, and St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church Vestry. She is currently a member of the Byerly Foundation board.


Coker College is a student-focused, private liberal arts college located in Hartsville, South Carolina. Coker combines round table, discussion-based learning with hands-on experiences to encourage active participation in and out of the classroom. A supportive, close-knit community prepares Coker students with the confidence and practical life skills they need to reach their personal best, in college and beyond.

Founded in 1908, Coker is a bachelor’s and master’s degree-granting institution and competes in 21 NCAA Division II sports. Coker is ranked among the "Best Colleges" in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review, and by Washington Monthly as one of the Southeast's "Best Bang for the Buck" colleges.