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Chauncey’s Champion Someone making a difference.

I Spy: David Yancey strives to ‘make jobs easier’

by Lindsey Hanks Bookmark and Share
David Yancey was nominated for I Spy for his selfless work to help other CCU employees.
David Yancey was nominated for I Spy for his selfless work to help other CCU employees.

Students, faculty and staff at Coastal Carolina University owe a vote of thanks to David Yancey. As assistant to the provost for special projects, he works constantly to make everyone else’s jobs at CCU easier. In fact, many students and faculty have used several of the applications he has helped to create, probably without even realizing it.

Yancey, a Myrtle Beach native, returned home to earn his MBA and a master’s certificate in applied computing and information systems at CCU after earning a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems from the University of South Carolina (USC) in Columbia in 2003. After graduating, Yancey had several different jobs before finding his place at CCU.

 “The headline of the newspaper in Columbia on the day I graduated said ‘computer jobs crash in South Carolina,’” said Yancey.

Yancey began working in the restaurant industry soon after his graduation from USC. He then found a position with Starwood Hotels, doing data management for their call center. After a year, the manager of the marketing division left, and he was asked to take over. Yancey sold timeshares until 2009 when the real estate market crashed, and was forced to look for work elsewhere. It was not until he earned his master’s degree in business administration from CCU in 2012 that he decided to pursue a position with the University.Yancey worked for five years as assistant registrar for technology before being asked by the current provost Ralph Byington to transfer to the provost’s office as assistant for special projects in 2014.

During his time as assistant registrar for technology, Yancey aided then interim provost Byington with many computer systems and applications, a job closer to what he prepared for in his undergraduate work. Yancey created the student program evaluation on WebAdvisor, which allows students to see on their computer screen the classes they have completed, what they still need to complete, an estimated graduation date, and which courses they would need if they were to change their area of study. According to Yancey, it is his constant curiosity that keeps him for a better way to do things. 

“If you ask questions long enough, you’ll actually know something after a while,” said Yancey. “So, when I talk with other people I try to leave them with something they didn’t know based on what they’re trying to do and how that could be done easier.” 

Now, in his position in the provost’s office, Yancey has worked on several innovative projects including CCU’s redesigned website that premiered in April, electronic graduation ticketing, and some initiatives that are still in the works, such as an electronic graduation application and a student planning application on WebAdvisor.

“Basically, when there is something that doesn’t exist that we would like to exist, I make that happen,” said Yancey. “A lot of what I do revolves around making the various pieces of the University move toward the same outcome.”

While his job has many stresses and pressures, Yancey tries to handle them with composure and enthusiasm.

“There’s an old saying that if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life, and that’s where I am right now,” he said. “Every day is interesting and different. Most of the things I am doing are intended to make somebody’s life better, so being able to do that for faculty, staff and students is very rewarding.”

Yancey’s wife Stephanie is a master teacher who travels to K-12 schools in Horry County and shows other teachers how to use new technology. The couple has three daughters: Mia, 11, Ella, 7, and Lila, 6, who all attend Palmetto Academy in Myrtle Beach.

When not working on innovating projects with the provost’s office, Yancey can be found at his daughters’ school, volunteering for various activities such as Field Day, field trips to Alligator Adventure and end-of-the-year celebrations. He also serves on Palmetto Academy’s technology committee.

“With three kids, there is someone doing something all the time, so there is not a ton of free time,” he said.

This is Yancey’s first nomination for I Spy, the employee recognition program whereby CCU employees can nominate staff and faculty members for outstanding performance. Kristin Olsen, a graduate admission recruiter, who has known and worked with Yancey in the provost’s office for about two years, nominated him.

“He has a strong work ethic, a great sense of humor and is ready and available whenever you need him to answer a question or assist with a task,” said Olsen. “He has a way of making you feel like your issue is the only one on his plate, and does not hesitate to check to make sure everything is working properly.”

Yancey said the prospect of helping students, faculty and staff like Olsen motivates him to do the best job he can.

“No one wants to spend their whole day doing monotonous things; they’d rather be doing interesting, engaging activities,” said Yancey. “So when I can give faculty, staff and students time back to do those things, that gives me pleasure.”

According to Yancey, his office has provided him with an immense appreciation and new perspective of how the University operates day to day, trying to make the best decisions for the most people. Yancey also tries to make this idea of doing the best thing for the most people his new credo.

“He’s a team player,” Olsen said. “He gets that we are all in this together, and together we can take CCU to great places.”

That sense of community is exactly what Yancey loves the most about CCU.

“When I came to Coastal originally, I had this incorrect vision of a government institution that never changes, and this idea was so opposed to my personality that I never anticipated staying long,” Yancey admitted. “But I fell in love with the people. The people I work with and the culture of wanting to do better are why I stayed, and why I’ll continue to stay.”

Related Photos

The Yancey family: Stephanie and David and their children, from left, 
Ella Yancey, 7, Mia, 11, and Lila, 6. David Yancey was nominated for I Spy for his selfless work to help other CCU employees. David Yances gets his Feel the Teal certificate from CCU President David A. DeCenzo earlier this year.
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