Dr. Cheser received his Ph.D. from George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, one of the “nation’s top-ranked graduate schools of education.” Dr. Cheser began his initial teaching experiences in West Africa, studied the educational system of Great Britain on location in Reading, England, and studied the development of infants and toddlers through Harvard University in Boston with Dr. Burton White, a child development expert. He then returned to West Africa to conduct empirical research on Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development among rural and urban children for his doctoral dissertation. He has worked with Teacher Corps based in Nashville, TN, written social studies curriculum for the American Printing House for the Blind, and worked in diverse educational settings in KY and TN. He participated in governance simulations at the United Nations in New York City, spent two summers in Great Britain studying and working in the British Informal Primary Schools, camped and traveled throughout Middle America studying the ancient civilization of the Maya, and visited public school systems in Italy, France, and Kenya. While in Kenya, he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and camped in altitudes above 17,000 feet near the glacier.
Dr. Cheser teaches courses in early childhood education, elementary education, and in the educational leadership program. He has been the principal evaluator of multiple grants acquired by Converse including one from the National Science Foundation (Math Education), the U.S. Department of Education (Project HITE), and the South Carolina Dept. of Education (Critical Needs Program). He serves as both the Program Director for the Early Childhood Program and as the NCATE/CAEP Coordinator for Converse College. Dr. Cheser wrote the institutional report in 2011 for the state-required NCATE/CAEP accreditation and led the Converse team in the onsite accreditation process in 2012. As a result of this process, all national and state standards were met and the college is fully NCATE/CAEP accredited through 2020. He has worked with local schools as a consultant to gifted programs, as a supervisor of clinical students and student teachers, and as a contributor to science education in the upstate. He serves as a consultant and as a science fair judge at the local and regional levels. Dr. Cheser has developed, filmed, produced, and published commercial educational DVD’s on Energy Education and Climate Change.
Dr. Cheser is an avid sailor and races sailboats in the inland waters of South Carolina. He holds a commercial captain’s license with the United States Coast Guard and has taught water safety for the United States Power Squadron receiving their highest teaching award. He has served as the Commodore of the Western Carolina Sailing Club and is an active member of the Blue Gavel Society. He serves the sailing community as a regatta officer for the Charleston Race Week each year. Dr. Cheser is the father of two adult daughters and lives within walking distance of the college with his wife who is an art teacher in Spartanburg.