At SMC, Cheek teaches a variety of history and anthropology classes that call for high student engagement, such as a joint Learning Community course pairing US History and Macroeconomics alongside SMC Economics professor Dr. Jonathan Keisler. He has also collaborated with Dr. Kirk Hansen and SMC students on creating a book about the war experiences of veterans in Spartanburg County and on establishing a History and Culture club on campus.
A strong advocate for student research, Cheek has worked with three students in applying for and obtaining research grants from SCICU. One student secured the largest grant given to a student in SMC history to further her research into Jewish identity during World War II.
Cheek is known on campus for his commitment to students and setting high standards for the rest of the faculty. In addition to advising students, he is often seen in his office helping students with reading, homework, and test prep. He understands the importance of engagement in learning, especially for the many first-generation college students who attend SMC.
“Cole brings energy to the classroom and excitement for his field. His enthusiasm for and commitment to teaching and learning is worthy of the SCICU award,” Dr. Ann Bowles, SMC’s Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.