Archive | January, 2009

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Tusculum faculty members travel to Belize to enhance international opportunities for students

Posted on 30 January 2009 by srichey@tusculum.edu

As temperatures in East Tennessee drop below freezing, the idea of traveling South is most appealing, but for six members of the Tusculum College faculty, there is more on their agenda than sunny skies and warmer temperatures as they embark on a trip to the Central American country of Belize in February.

Robin Fife, assistant professor of social science at the College, is coordinating the trip that includes Dr. Katherine Stone, assistant professor of mathematics and geology; Robin Tipton, assistant professor of chemistry; Dr. Geir Bergvin, director for the Center for Global Studies; Dr. DiAnn Casteel, associate professor of education, and Dr. Tom McFarland, associate professor of business administration.

According to Tusculum College’s Interim President Dr. Russell Nichols, one of Tusculum’s highest academic priorities is the advancement of opportunities for students to have one or more international experiences before graduation.“It is envisioned that all Tusculum students and faculty, in five years, will be assured of that opportunity, regardless of their financial ability, and this goal has been embraced by faculty, students and Trustees,” said Nichols.

The Center for Global Studies was formed in spring 2008, with the mission to “enhance the capacity of individuals and organizations to address local and global challenges through building relationships with communities, institutions of higher learning and organizations globally.”

“Our first step in meeting these new college goals regarding international travel and experience is getting the faculty to travel and become familiar and motivated to bring that aspect into their courses,” Fife said.

Fife has led student trips to various parts of Belize on four different occasions and will work with the faculty on this venture to specifically relate their visit to a personal goal for the courses they teach.

She added that Belize is an ideal setting for an international experience for faculty, staff and students of Tusculum College. Only three and ½ hours from the U.S., it is an English speaking country with diverse cultures that offers authentic real world work and learning experiences. Belize is located on the Caribbean coast between Mexico and Guatemala.

Each of the traveling faculty and staff participating on the visit to St. Ignacio, Belize, will be researching international opportunities in their own field of expertise and looking for ways to incorporate a learning experience in the country into their current educational curriculum.

Bergvin, as director of the newly-created Center for Global Studies, will be looking at the overall international experience and for ways to provide cross-over experiences among the disciplines and student experiences.

Casteel will be developing a possible practicum site opportunity for education students at the College, with plans to integrate teaching and research opportunities for undergraduate students in junior and senior level courses. This program would introduce education faculty and students to multi-cultural aspects of the country and southern region of Belize.

Through living and teaching in Belize, pre-service teachers should develop a level of cultural literacy that will enhance their ability to strengthen academic achievement levels for a diverse population of children in their own classrooms.

McFarland will be meeting with economic development officials about the possibility of having majors visit Belize for international business experience. If the program is developed, students would learn how to develop, implement and monitor strategic, marketing and/or operational plans during their study of Belize. According to McFarland, this applied business opportunity will give students a chance to learn about both the Belize culture and economy.

Tipton will be looking at ways to integrate a visit into her environmental sciences course as a service learning project, and Stone will be researching internships and undergraduate research opportunities. Plans are to create an Environmental Science Service-Learning course that will meet the objectives of a service learning graduation requirement, while specifically focusing on environmental issues that will provide field experience and develop skills necessary in these fields of study.

“We hope to provide the faculty with an understanding of the educational, environmental, economic and social needs of Belize and to develop partnerships that will result in opportunities for integration into future courses, internships and undergraduate research,” Fife said.

Fife will continue with her trips to Belize and will bring her students back later this year. “We try to connect students to their fields of study through their service projects while we’re there,” Fife said. “Everything we do in Belize is to enhance and build on what students have learned in the classroom and provide them with an opportunity to experience the world in a way they might not otherwise have the chance to do.”

As an added element for the trip, Fife is working with Tusculum View Elementary School on a partnering project with the Belize schools. Students at Tusculum View are collecting school supplies as a service project and will send the items with the Tusculum faculty to be distributed to public schools in need in Belize.

In addition, Tusculum View art students will send drawings of Tennessee habitats and animals with the Tusculum College students traveling to Belize in March, who will then bring back drawings from the Belize children of their rainforest habitat and local animals which are very different, Fife said.

The trip is coordinated by Proworld Service Corps., an organization that specializes in international experiences for students and mission workers focused on sustainability. Fife also hopes to strengthen the College’s relationship with ProWorld, which has broad connections to the southern Belize community. According to Fife, these relationships will give Tusculum College faculty and students opportunities to develop and execute both academic and service learning projects connected to their fields of interest.

ProWorld has staff that lives in the community and help to provide long-term consistent development of projects for a broad spectrum of student learning, she said.

Ousainou Njie, who graduated from Tusculum College in December, is shown working in Belize. Njie was part of a previous Tusculum College student service learning and international travel experience.

Ousainou Njie, who graduated from Tusculum College in December, is shown working in Belize. Njie was part of a previous Tusculum College student service learning and international travel experience.

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Tusculum College Honors Program students, faculty participate in book discussion

Posted on 30 January 2009 by srichey@tusculum.edu

Tusculum College Honors Program students, faculty participate in book discussion

Twenty students in the Tusculum College Honors Program gathered with faculty members recently for a “book discussion and pizza party.” The group discussed the controversial book, “In Defense of Elitism” by William Henry III.

The book advocates a return to a stronger sense of personal responsibility and recognition that while individuals may all be equal in the eyes of the law, they have quite different abilities, a fact that needs to be acknowledged and adapted to.

Ron McCallister, director of the School of Arts and Humanities, led the discussion. The Honors Program plans to hold additional book discussion events in the future.

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Tusculum English Student Organization holds ‘Burns Supper’

Posted on 30 January 2009 by srichey@tusculum.edu

Tusculum English Student Organization holds ‘Burns Supper’

On Monday evening (Jan. 26), the Tusculum College English Student Organization hosted its third annual Burns Supper to celebrate the birthday of Scottish poet Robert Burns. Students and English Department faculty enjoyed a traditional Scottish meal while students read selections of Burns’ poetry. Burns, an eighteenth century Romantic poet, is widely considered the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. The Tusculum event followed the order of a traditional Burns Supper that begins with the reading of Burns’ “Selkirk Grace,” includes the “piping and cutting of the haggis” and concludes with the singing of perhaps Burns’ most well known work, “Auld Lang Syne.”

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Doak House Museum to host apron-making workshops in February

Posted on 29 January 2009 by eestes@tusculum.edu

With the popularity of cooking television programs, the apron is making a big come back in American kitchens, and the Doak House Museum will soon be offering an opportunity for cooks to make and personalize their own waist aprons.

The museum, located on the Tusculum College campus, will offer three waist-apron making workshops in February. Workshops will be held Thursday, Feb. 12; Saturday, Feb. 14; and Wednesday, Feb. 18. Each workshop will be 10 a.m. to noon with light refreshments and an “apron fashion show” to follow from noon to 1 p.m.

Individuals looking for a fun activity to get out of the house and escape the winter blues, those wanting to learn a new skill or perhaps make some special gifts for family or friends can find what they are seeking at this workshop. Groups and clubs are also welcome to reserve an entire time slot.

All supplies and instruction will be provided as part of the workshops. The cost for the workshop is $20 per person with advanced registration.. Proceeds from the workshops will benefit the educational programs of the Doak House Museum.

Reservations are required, and tickets will be sold on a first-purchased, first-served basis. Tickets at the door will be $25, if available.  Please call 423-636-8554 for ticket information.  No refunds will be given.

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Women’s basketball alumni return for special activities

Posted on 29 January 2009 by eestes@tusculum.edu

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Alumni who were members of the Lady Pioneer women’s basketball team were recognized during special activities on Saturday, January 24. The alumni were special guests and enjoyed at a pre-game social in the Pioneer Perk prior to the women’s basketball game that Saturday. The alumni were also recognized during the women’s basketball game. From left are Lesley Murray ‘04, Brook Underwood ‘08, Julie Maples ‘05, Kristen New Dalton ‘02, Angie Austin-Beets ‘94(with her son
Austin), and Monica Morgan Willingham ‘97. Not pictured was Kathryn Whartenby ‘05, who also attended the events.

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Jim Fields returns to Tusculum as Cross Country Coach

Posted on 29 January 2009 by eestes@tusculum.edu

jimfields1A familiar face for both residential and Graduate and Professional alumni is returning to campus. Former Tusculum College cross country coach and education professor Dr. Jim Fields is returning to guide the Pioneer harrier program.

Fields served as head coach of the Tusculum cross country program for five seasons (2000-04) as his runners garnered All-South Atlantic Conference (SAC) honors 11 times, including two SAC Freshman Runners of the Year and the 2003 SAC Female Runner of the Year. The Tusculum women’s program recorded three third place finishes in the conference (2001, 2002, 2003), while the men’s squad posted a sixth place showing at the 2003 SAC Championship. He taught education in the residential college program and then in Graduate and Professional Studies program until his retirement from teaching a few years ago.

Fields was responsible for bringing in two of the best cross country runners in the history of program in All-Region harriers Amanda Musick and Sue Lewis. In 2001, Musick and Lewis became the first Tusculum student-athletes to compete at a NCAA Division II national championship event.

Musick advanced to the NCAA National Championship three times in her career (2001, 2003, 2004), while also earning All-Region distinction an amazing four times. In 2003, she was the SAC Runner of the Year as she won a remarkable five events that season. She still holds the school record with 10 individual titles.

During Fields’ tenure as cross country coach, the Pioneers captured eight team championships and 14 individual titles.

“I’m very happy to have Coach Fields back with us at the helm of our cross country teams,” said DeBusk. “He is committed to making Tusculum one of the premier cross country programs in the South Atlantic Conference and I look forward to working with him once again.”

He also mentored two-time All-SAC runner Ross Lewis (2002, 2003). Lewis posted some of the best 8K times in school history, including his personal best 27:08 at the 2003 SAC Championship. Lewis recorded three individual title wins, while guiding the team to a pair of meet championships.

“I’m excited about returning to coach at Tusculum,” said Fields. “Working with college cross country runners is extremely rewarding because of their self discipline and goal setting. I have always enjoyed interacting with the runners and seeing their continued improvement as runners, students, and human beings.”

From 1996-98, he served as Director of Athletics at Tusculum. He ushered in an era of growth for the Pioneer athletics program. Under his watch, Tusculum achieved NCAA Division II membership, opened the new Pioneer Arena, while completing Tusculum’s initial steps for admission to the South Atlantic Conference.

He also served as the College’s Faculty Athletics Representative during the 1995-96 year before assuming the athletic director’s post.

Following high school, the Spring Grove, Va. native served three years in the U.S. Navy, specializing in communications. After the Navy, he attended Virginia Tech where he earns his Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Education in 1972. He later earned his Master’s from Virginia State in 1977 and an Ed.D from East Tennessee State University in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis in 1993.

Fields replaces Phil Roberts, who served as Tusculum cross country coach from 2005 to this past fall.

Coach Fields is married to the former Gayle Gilliam of Greeneville and they have two grown children, Kenneth and Melody. They are also the proud grandparents of two grandsons, Kenton (3) and Kade, who was born this past November.

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Financial Aid Night and College Day rescheduled for February 12

Posted on 29 January 2009 by eestes@tusculum.edu

A Financial Aid Night and College Day at Tusculum College that was cancelled earlier this month due to weather conditions has been rescheduled for Feb. 12.

On the new date, all students who are interested in attending college, as well as their parents, will have the opportunity to get a head start learning about college financial aid and will have the opportunity to explore higher education options. The event will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“No matter which college or university a student plans to attend, this college night and financial aid information session is designed to assist them and their parents,” said Melissa Ripley, director of admissions operations and marketing for residential admission at the College.

“Representatives from area colleges and universities will be on hand to answer questions about college admission and the financial aid processes,” Ripley said. “There will also be a special guest representative from the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation.”

Information will be provided about the Tennessee Lottery, Pell Grant information and various grants and scholarships from participating schools.

The event will allow parents as well as students to learn about the many different options available to young people to continue their education following high school graduation. The event will take place in the Pioneer Arena, and there is no admission charge. Door prizes will be given away to attendees.

Although the event is sponsored by Tusculum College, each year, a wide variety of colleges and universities as well as vocational schools set up displays that provide information about the institutions’ academic programs. Most also have representatives on hand to answer specific questions about programs or the school.

Last year, 40 colleges, universities, technical schools and the military had displays at the College Fair, and the participants included schools from Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia and across the state of Tennessee. There has already been a great response from exhibitors for this year’s event who are eager to come share information with students, said Ripley.
The College Fair, coordinated by the Tusculum College Department of Admission, has grown in size in recent years, and the department is appreciative of the opportunity to bring this service to area students and their families.

The event is represented on the official Tennessee Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers calendar.

For more information about the College Fair, please contact the Office of Admission at 1-800-729-0256 ext. 5374 or 423-636-7312, or e-mail mripley@tusculum.edu.

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Tusculum student receives scholarship from GCHRA

Posted on 29 January 2009 by eestes@tusculum.edu

The Greeneville-Greene County Human Resources Association is continuing its support for Tusculum College students through its sponsorship of annual scholarships. The association provides two scholarships annually to juniors or seniors from Greeneville or Greene County majoring in business.

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Pictured in the photo above, from left, are Susan Vance, interim vice president of Institutional Advancement for Tusculum College; Kim Kidwell, associate director of development for Tusculum College; Tabatha Smith, Tusculum College student and recipient of the $1,000 scholarship; Danelle Sells, vice president of the GCHRA and payroll officer and benefits administrator for the Town of Greeneville, and Michelle Myers, president of the GCHRA and human resource generalist at Huf North America.

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Rev. Lattany honored by heritage group

Posted on 29 January 2009 by eestes@tusculum.edu

The Rev. Lester Lattany ’87 ‘91, a member of Tusculum College’s Board, was recognized January 17 for his contributions to higher education by a regional heritage group.

Rev. Lattany was one of five honorees recognized during the seventh annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer Breakfast, hosted by the Langston Heritage Group at Wesley United Methodist Church in Johnson City. The historical organization is committed to documenting the history of African-Americans in the Northeast Tennessee region.

“There are not enough good things to say about Lester Lattany,” said Mary Alexander, director of the Langston Heritage Group, in presenting the award. Rev. Lattany came to the area from Brunswick, Ga., and “the sky has been the limit for him,” she added.

Rev. Lattany and the other honorees were recognized because of the type of people they are – men who have worked hard and prepared themselves for leadership as well as being men of strong character, Alexander noted.

The president and chief executive officer of the Johnson City Area United Way, Rev. Lattany is pastor of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Kingsport. An active community leader, his service to others includes membership on the boards of the United Way of America and Tennessee, the board of Washington County Court Services, and the board of Tri-Cities Christian School.

Rev. Lattany joined the Tusculum Board of Trustees last year. He also serves on the College’s Johnson City President’s Advisory Council. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Tusculum in 1987 and a master’s degree from Tusculum in 1991.

Another member of the Johnson City President’s Advisory Council was also honored – Robert L. White, who is public relations director at the Johnson City Power Board. White was recognized for his service on the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and was also keynote speaker for the breakfast.

In addition to Rev. Lattancy and White, the Langston Heritage Group honored Paul Montgomery who serves on the Tennessee Board of Regents; Dr. Paul Stanton, president of East Tennessee State University; and the Rev. C. Danny Johnson, a member of the Board of Trustees of Milligan College.

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The Rev. Lester Lattany’87 ’91 receives an award from the Langston Heritage Group during a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer Breakfast on January 17.

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Nashville film crew shoots footage at Tusculum College for upcoming retrospective on Mary Jane Coleman

Posted on 29 January 2009 by eestes@tusculum.edu

A film crew working on behalf of the Nashville Film Festival was on the Tusculum College campus this week taking footage of the people and places that relate the history of the annual event.

Mark Compton, executive director of the Southern Appalachian International Film Festival, was on the Tusculum Campus with a film crew Sunday and Monday of this week. Compton was coordinating the visit for representatives of the Nashville Film Festival in the making of a documentary to celebrate its 40th anniversary this year.

According to Compton, the footage shot at the College will be used in a retrospective on Mary Jane Coleman, who founded the festival, which was once known as the Sinking Creek Film Celebration and was held on the Tusculum College campus.

Coleman managed the event with the help of several Tusculum faculty and staff for several years before the event grew in scope and was moved to Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Those being interviewed for the film included former Tusculum College Professor Wess duBrisk, current Director of Arts Outreach Marilyn duBrisk, Professor Emeritus of Art Clem Allison, as well as husband of Mary Jane Coleman, Nat Coleman, and Greeneville Mayor Laraine King.

The festival remained the Sinking Creek Film Celebration until 1997, when the festival was renamed the Nashville Independent Film Festival and then later became the Nashville Film Festival.

The retrospective will focus on Mary Jane Coleman and her efforts to initiate the Sinking Creek Film Celebration, as well as the early years of the festival itself. Coleman, a long-time supporter of the arts, wanted to “create a forum for small, independent films shown in a community setting.” Even after the move to Nashville, Coleman remained the artistic director for the festival through the 1970s and 1980s.

Founded in 1969 (as Sinking Creek Film Celebration in Tusculum), the Nashville Film Festival is one of the longest-running film festivals in the country, This annual film event attracts enthusiastic film lovers from the region and has been praised by filmgoers and filmmakers alike for its unique combination of big city film festival atmosphere and southern hospitality.  With more than 215 films from 38 countries, numerous industry panels and music showcases, the 2008 Nashville Film Festival drew more than 22,000 attendees.

With films crossing all genres from drama, comedy, animation, and family to experimental, foreign, documentaries and short films, the Festival has something for every filmgoer to enjoy.

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Chris Massey and Kathy Conkwright, members of a film crew from the Nashville Film Festival, interview former professor Clem Allison, Tusculum College professor emeritus of art, about the history of the Sinking Creek Film Celebration, the original incarnation of the Nashville Film Festival now celebrating its 40th year. (Tusculum College photo)

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Pioneers have 21st best combined basketball record in the nation

Posted on 29 January 2009 by eestes@tusculum.edu

The Tusculum College men and women’s basketball teams boast the 21st best combined overall record in NCAA Division II, college officials announced Monday. The Pioneers have a combined 28-8 record for a .778 winning percentage, which is tied with Arkansas Tech, West Texas A&M and St. Cloud State.

The women’s basketball team has a 16-2 record and is currently tied for first place in the South Atlantic Conference at 6-1 in league play. Coach Missy Tiber’s squad is currently listed eighth in the country according to the ESPN/USA Today Division II Poll. Tusculum has already clinched its fourth straight winning season and is 42-7 over the last two years.

The Tusculum men are 12-6 overall and are riding a four-game winning streak. Coach Jim Boone has guided the Pioneers to three straight league wins, including Saturday’s 60-55 victory over Wingate that saw the Pioneers rally from an 18-point, second half deficit. Tusculum is 4-3 in conference play and is tied for third in the SAC standings.

The Pioneers return to action on Wednesday as Tusculum travels to cross-mountain rival Mars Hill for a doubleheader at Stanford Arena. The next home game for both teams will be on February 4 – “Pack the Arena Night” in which, hopefully, a new attendance record will be set. No admission will be charged for the games (a doubleheader against conference foe Lincoln Memorial University). The women’s game starts at 6 p.m. and the men’s game follows at 8 p.m.

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Doak House Museum to host apron-making workshops in February

Posted on 29 January 2009 by eestes@tusculum.edu

With the popularity of cooking television programs, the apron is making a big come back in American kitchens, and the Doak House Museum will soon be offering an opportunity for cooks to make and personalize their own waist aprons.

The museum, located on the Tusculum College campus, will offer three waist-apron making workshops in February. Workshops will be held Thursday, Feb. 12; Saturday, Feb. 14; and Wednesday, Feb. 18. Each workshop will be 10 a.m. to noon with light refreshments and an “apron fashion show” to follow from noon to 1 p.m.

Individuals looking for a fun activity to get out of the house and escape the winter blues, those wanting to learn a new skill or perhaps make some special gifts for family or friends can find what they are seeking at this workshop. Groups and clubs are also welcome to reserve an entire time slot.

All supplies and instruction will be provided as part of the workshops. The cost for the workshop is $20 per person with advanced registration.. Proceeds from the workshops will benefit the educational programs of the Doak House Museum.

Reservations are required, and tickets will be sold on a first-purchased, first-served basis. Tickets at the door will be $25, if available.  Please call 423-636-8554 for ticket information.  No refunds will be given.

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