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Coastal Carolina University announces Public Engagement projects for Fall 2003

August 27, 2003

Two Coastal Carolina University professors will be working in the community during the fall semester as part of the university's Public Engagement Directed Studies program.

Jerome Christia, assistant professor of marketing, will work with Smith-Jones Community Center in Conway to develop a marketing plan aimed at revitalizing the center. Timothy Touzel, professor of education, will work with Horry County Schools to introduce a more rigorous level of mathematical problem-solving into the elementary school curriculum and to coordinate the transition of student teachers as they begin teaching in classrooms.

The Public Engagement project, initiated in the spring 2003 semester, is a university-community partnership in which Coastal professors work full-time, 40-hour-per-week "internships" with area organizations. They share their knowledge and expertise with their respective partner organizations, focusing on projects that have meaningful, measurable applications in "real world" endeavors.

Working with the board of directors of the Smith-Jones Center, which closed its doors in 1999, Christia will develop a detailed marketing plan designed to strengthen the center's image and its operational structure. The plan will promote broad-based community involvement. Christia and the board of directors hope that the plan will help to restore the center's historical position as a positive force in the life of the community.

Touzel will work directly in schools with students, teachers and administrators to introduce methods that will be used to challenge elementary school students to achieve at their highest levels of competency. By helping students develop analytical skills at an early age, Touzel hopes to prepare them for superior academic accomplishment and even higher PACT and SAT scores. Furthermore, he will coordinate the curriculum at CCU to insure that the college student is fully aware and prepared to teach the Horry County curriculum.

Four Coastal professors participated in the first semester of the Public Engagement initiative last spring. Alan Case, associate professor of recreation, worked with the City of Myrtle Beach's Culture and Leisure Services Department to do statistical research on sports tourism in the area. Taylor Damonte, associate professor of management, worked with the City of Myrtle Beach to develop a comprehensive database for the area's hospitality/tourism industry. Scott Harris, assistant professor of marine science, worked with the Friends of the Hunley to oversee the marine geological investigations relating to the Hunley conservation project. Susan Libes, professor of marine science, worked with the City of Conway and the Environmental Protection Agency to facilitate the Waccamaw Riverkeeper program.