Hall named CEO of Claiborne Economic Partnership
Jennifer Hall '06
Jennifer Hall ’06 has been chosen to lead her native county’s efforts for economic advancement.
Hall was recently named the chief executive officer of the newly-formed Claiborne Economic Partnership. The Partnership is a combination of the Claiborne County Chamber of Commerce and the Claiborne County Economic Development Board.
Hall has deep roots in Claiborne County. She attended Claiborne County High School, where she played basketball all four years. She attended Walters State Community College for two years before earning her Bachelor of Science degree in organizational management from Tusculum.
After finishing her studies, she took a sales position at Rotech Healthcare, experience success during her five-year tenure there. Her latest position was as an account manager at SunCrest HomeHealth and Hospice.
She and her husband of 12 years, John, have two daughters, Jaycee and Julianna. They reside on a 20-acre farm in New Tazewell and are active in their church, where John serves as pastor.
Four Tusculum alumnae nominated for ATHENA Awards
Four Tusculum alumnae in the Greeneville, TN, area were nominated for the ATHENA Leadership Award. Nominated were Vicki Culbertson ’87 ’93, Paige Mengel ’88, Debbie Oldenberg ’99 and Dr. Linda Stroud ’89. The award, backed by ATHENA International, recognizes the accomplishments of women leaders.
Vicki Culbertson worked for Doehler-Jarvis, ARC of Washington County, Elite Elevator/AmeriLift of Johnson City, Ameristar Manufacturing in Greeneville and Ecoquest International in Greeneville before accepting her current position as executive director of Greene County Habitat for Humanity in 2009. She and her husband, Tyre, were married for 21 years prior to his death in 2010.
Paige Mengel is a certified public accountant, certified global management accountant, certified power executive and certified utility accountant. She worked at Rodefer Moss & Co., CPAs, and the Greeneville Water Commission before accepting her current position as controller of the Greeneville Light & Power System. She is also the business coordinator for the newly-formed Greeneville Theatre Guild, and is active with Theatre-at-Tusculum and theatre groups in surrounding areas. She has been an active member of the Exchange Club. Her husband, Frank, is the technical director for Arts Outreach and a theater instruction at Tusculum.
Debbie Oldenberg attended Draughon’s Business College in Knoxville before earning her degree from Tusculum College. After a move to Wisconsin, she returned to Tennessee and joined Landair/Forward Air in 1998. She became executive assistant to Scott Niswonger in late 1989, and continues in that role with The Niswonger Group. She has held numerous leadership roles with the Greeneville Woman’s Club, including president, and is a member of the Holston United Methodist Home for Children Board of Trustees. She and her husband, Ken, have been married for 37 years and their son, Chris ’06 is a Tusculum alumnus.
Dr. Linda Stroud began her career with Greeneville City Schools as a speech and language pathologist in 1982. She also served as a social counselor for the Tennessee Department of Human Services, director and teacher of an Alternative Learning Program, director of the Family Resource Center, assistant principal of Greeneville Middle School, educational consultant for the Niswonger Foundation, and adjunct professor of educational leadership and policy analysis at ETSU. She became principal of Greeneville Middle School in 1999, Greeneville City Schools assistant director of schools for administration in 2007, principal of Greeneville High School in 2008 and director of schools for the Greeneville system in 2012. She retired in May. She is an active member of Tusculum Baptist Church.
Dr. John Roberts ’71 has joined the national executive search firm, Isaacson Miller as vice president. Dr. Roberts has been serving as the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Houston. In his new position, Dr. Roberts will be based in firm’s Washington D.C. office. Prior to his tenure at the University of Houston, he served as dean of Arts and Humanities, as well as chair of the Department of African and African-American Studies at the Ohio State University. He was a professor in the Department of Folklore and Folklife and served as director of the Afro-American Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2000, Dr. Roberts was appointed deputy chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities by the Clinton White House and served in the position until 2002. He is also past president of the American Folklore Society and the Association of African and African-American Folklorists. He has served on the Advisory Board of the Folklife Center at the Smithsonian Institution and the Advisory Board of the Center for American Folklife at the Library of Congress.
Connie Lamb ’82 of Afton, TN, retired from service in the Federal Court Clerk’s Office in Greeneville, TN, at the end of April. Lamb began working in the Clerk’s Office in 1984 until a year and a half ago when she became the judicial assistant for U.S. Magistrate Judge Dennis Inman. Lamb had worked at two factories before pursuing her dream of a college education at Tusculum at the age of 28.
Tusculum alumnae Lee Anne Guinn Hall ’88 published in Silver Birch Press. The title of her work is “Meadow of Grace.” She is currently living in Knoxville.
Todd Brooks ’90 has been named athletic director at Berry College in Rome, GA. Brooks is returning to the position in which he served from 2002 to 2013. He has been serving as athletic director at Christopher Newport University for the past two years. During his previous tenure at Berry, Brooks oversaw the college’s transition from NAIA membership to NCAA Division III status. The college also doubled its varsity athletics from 10 to 21 sports during his tenure.
Randy Richards ’92 ’98 of Afton, TN, has been named the new principal at Baileyton Elementary School. Richards, who has been an educator for 20 years, has spent the last 18 years at Greeneville High School as a science teacher, coach, athletic director and most recently, assistant principal.
Jason Liggett ’96 of Los Angeles, CA, returned to his native Bristol, TN, for the inaugural Push! Film Festival. Liggett’s short film, “The 7th Man” was one of the featured projects for the new festival. “The 7th Man,” written and directed by Liggett, focuses on what happened just before the U.S. flag was raised during the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II through the eyes of famed Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal, whose photo of the flag raising is one of the iconic images from the war. Liggett has two projects in the works, one of which was filmed in the region. Liggett’s film is available on his production company’s website, hickoryhollowentertainment.com.
Alan Cobble ’98 ’05 of Greeneville, TN, has been named principal at West Pines Elementary School in the Greene County School System. He had been serving as assistant principal at Mosheim Elementary School. He started his professional career as the director off the 21st Century Community Learning Center at McDonald Elementary School. He has taught at Doak Elementary School and Chuckey-Doak Middle School and has coached football and baseball.
John House ’00 of Limestone, TN, as been named the new girls’ basketball coach at West Greene High School. A Greene County native, he played basketball at Chuckey-Doak High School and later played baseball at Tusculum. He has served as an assistant coach at Chuckey-Doak. This will be his first head coaching position.
Bill Dunham ’01 of Church Hill, TN, has been named principal of Colonial Heights Middle School in the Sullivan County School System. Dunham has served as band director at Ketron and Lynn View middle schools as well as at Holston Middle School and at Ketron Intermediate School. He has worked as assistant principal at Colonial Heights Middle since 2008.
Tammy Swinney ’02 has been named assistant principal at Chuckey-Doak Middle School. She began her teaching career at Doak Elementary School and has taught math at both Doak and Chuckey-Doak Middle.
Jonathan Sitzlar ’03 of Maryville has been named director of the Facilities, Information, and Reservation Management Division, or FIRMD, in the Office of Assistant Manager for Administration in the U.S Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office. In his new position, Sitzlar directs a staff of 24 federal employees with responsibility for the development and execution of a variety of programs including reservation management and infrastructure and facility management on the DOE Oak Ridge Reservation. Since 2009, Sitzlar has served as the supervisory property manager and contracting officer for the U.S. General Services Administration in Knoxville. He has also held positions with the Knoxville Office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Tennessee. Sitzler is active in several community organizations including Helen Ross-McNabb Center, Combined Federal Campaign, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, Blount County Historical Trust, Second Harvest Food Bank and Coats for the Cold Angel Tree.
Sarah Gray ’05 has been named assistant principal Mosheim Elementary School. She has taught at the school for 10 years as an instructor in the third and seventh grades. She has served as a district learning leader for the past three years.
Nick Darnell ’06 of Morristown, TN, has been selected as one of 18 teachers across the State of Tennessee to serve on the first Governor’s Teacher Cabinet. The cabinet will meet quarterly with Governor Bill Haslam and Education Commissioner Candice McQueen to share real-time information from the classroom, advise on policy considerations and provide a direct line of communication to schools and communities. Directors of schools were asked to nominate one teacher from each of their districts, and 18 classroom teachers were selected from across the state based on the following criteria: focus on student achievement, encouragement of collaboration among colleagues, demonstration of leadership, a solutions-orientation and a relentless pursuit of excellence. The teacher cabinet includes a diverse mix of backgrounds and experience. Members represent each of the state’s three grand divisions as well as cities, suburbs and rural areas and have varying years of experience teaching first through 12th grades. Teachers will serve two-year terms on the cabinet. The first meeting is planned for July.
Cody Baugh ’07 of Greeneville, TN, has been named the head baseball coach at Greeneville High School. Baugh has been an assistant football coach at the high school and has been the head baseball coach at Greeneville Middle School since 2009.
Noelle Smith ’08 of Greeneville, TN, has been named assistant principal of Greeneville High School and will begin her duties in July. She taught social studies at South Greene High School for 12 and served as the high school instructional coach for the Greene County School System last year. She has also served in many capacities with the Tennessee Department of Education to increase professional development opportunities for teachers across the state during the transition to the new Tennessee State Standards. As a classroom teacher, she earned two Teacher of the Year recognitions from two separate organizations in 2013: the Tennessee National History Day Teacher of the Year and Belz-Lipman Holocaust Educator of the Year. She has also coached cross country and sponsored a student government association. Smith is married to Dr. David Smith, director of student support services at Tusculum College. They have two children, Reagan and Emma Claire.
Robbie Mitchell ’09 started in a new job this month as executive director of academic strategies and operations for the Tennessee Department of Education after serving the Greeneville School System for 15 years.
Danielle Armstrong ’12, a Tennessee native, completed an Master of Fine Arts degree in Fiction at the University of Central Florida in May 2015. She has Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Studio Art from Tusculum. At UCF, she worked as an English Department graduate teaching assistant with the Literary Arts Partnership to provide creative writing classes to Orlando area youth and adults affected by mental illness. During the final year of her master’s program, she also helped to create and maintain a blog. Her fiction and nonfiction has appeared (or is forthcoming) online and in print at bordercrossing, riverSedge, Scissors & Spackle, Paragraph Line, and Connotation Press: An Online Artifact. She works in Orlando as a technical writer.
Rashaad Carter ’12 has returned to the active roster for the Spokane Shock, an Arena Football League team. He had been sidelined for nearly two months after having surgery to repair a torn ligament in his thumb. Prior to his injury, he had 51 receptions for 648 years and 11 touchdowns through the Shock’s first eight games.
Drew Baker ’13 is now working at Amazon in Chattanooga. He was previously teaching English as a second language in China. He began work at Amazon in October of last year.
Josh Davis ’13 of Morristown, TN, has completed his Masters in Business Entertainment at Full Sail University.
Matthew Moyer ’15 of Gray, TN, has accepted an interpretation job at the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, TN.
David Nunez ’15 has been hired as the new Spanish teacher at West Greene High School in Greene County.
Mark Patterson ’15 has been named head of soccer program for Hardin Valley Academy in Knoxville.
John Cage ’08 and Meghann Burton ’09 were married at Tusculum College on May 23, 2015. The couple are living in Englewood, TN.
Ralph E. Maines ’51 of Santa Clara, CA, passed away on June 12, 2015. Mr Maines had served as a special agent for the FBI and finished his career as director of security at NASA Ames. He was a veteran, having joined the U.S. Navy at 17 and was part of the invasion of Okinawa during World War II. Mr. Maines was a 356 Porsche enthusiast, volunteering at hundreds of Porsche club events and was always ready with tools-in-hand to help repair anyone’s356. He was a faithful travel companion who loved the camaraderie of the Porsche clubs.
Dorothy “Dottie” Blair ’62 of Rock Hill, SC, formerly of Greeneville, TN, passed away May 22, 2015. She and husband, Marcus, served as missionaries in Haiti in the 1940s before settling in Tennessee, where Mr. Blair was involved with the Children’s Bible Mission and was known as “The Bible Story Man” in Greene County Schools in the 1950s and early 1960s. Meanwhile, Mrs. Blair returned to college and graduated from Tusculum with a degree in education. She began her career as a teacher at Mosheim High School and then began an 18-year career at Highland Elementary School in Greeneville, teaching third grade. After retirement, the Blairs moved to Waxhaw, NC, where they were very active with JAARS, an affiliate of Wycliffe Bible Translators. Mrs. Blair was involved in the creation and design of many of the exhibits at the Alphabet Museum at JAARS, where she gave tours when the museum opened. Mrs. Blair was a resident at Park Pointe Village in Rock Hill since 2001. She teaching, traveling and flowers. She had an avid interest in the wild flowers of East Tennessee and gave lectures about them. Mrs. Blair was a member of Westminister Presbyterian Church in Rock Hill and previously of First Baptist Church of Greeneville, where she taught Sunday school and sang in the choir.
Charles S. Brooks ’63 of Greeneville,TN, passed away on July 11, 2015. Mr. Brooks was chairman of the board of McInturff, Milligan and Brooks, Inc. of Greeneville, and Bennett & Edwards in Kingsport, until his retirement in 2013. He had also served as president of the Reed Insurance Agency in Greeneville and as CEO of Corroon & Black of Greeneville, Kingsport and Knoxville. Prior to joining the Reed Agency, he had held positions with the Magnavox Company and the Equitable Life Insurance Company. A veteran, Mr. Brooks served in the U.S. Navy from 1956-58, which most of his active duty time spent on an aircraft carrier in the Far East. He was a former member of the Board of Directors of the Greene County Partnership, and served on the Agents Advisory Counsel of USF&G Insurance Company, the Insurance Company of North America, The Royal Insurance Company and The Continental Insurance Company. Mr. Brooks was also a former member of the Advisory Panel for the Tennessee Public Service Commission. He was a former president of the Greeneville Jaycees, a director of the Exchange Club, president of Link Hills Country Club, a member of the East Tennessee State University Foundation board of directors, a member of the Greene County Bank board of directors, and a United Way volunteer. Mr. Brooks worked on various fundraising campaigns throughout the years for the Tusculum College Fund. He was a member of Asbury United Methodist Church, where he served on the administrative board, the Pastor-Parish Relations Committee and the Budget and Finance Committee. His Sunday School class, D.&H. Brown, was always close to his heart. He was an avid golf and tennis player and a loyal fan of University of Tennessee football and NASCAR. Since his first strokes four years ago, he had participated daily in exercise classes at Silver Sneakers, where he enjoyed the friendships of many. His survivors include sisters and Tusculum alumnae Sara Brooks Cullison ’53 and Phyllis Brooks Stansfield ’62.
Mr. Ronald C. DiPietro ’71 of North East, MD, passed away December 28, 2014. Mr. DiPietro was a teacher for 31 years with the Cecil County Board of Education. He was a veteran, having served in the U.S. Air Force from 1963-66. Mr. DiPietro was a longtime member of the North East Lions Club, North East VFW Post 6027 and the Elkton American Legion. He also enjoyed all sports, especially golf, football, ice hockey, baseball, basketball and boating. Mr. Dipietro was an avid reader.
Barry Auerbacher ’75 of Neptune Township and Manchester, NJ, passed away on Thursday, July 2, 2015. A man of deep and abiding faith, Mr. Auerbacher was an avid organic gardener, a staunch Libertarian, a devoted husband and a dedicated, gentle, and loving father to his three children. He was also a fan of rock and roll and the New York Mets. He was always ready to help those needing a hand.
Tim McCoy ’80 of Blountville, TN, passed away on June 28, 2015, after fighting a valiant battle against cancer. Mr. McCoy was serving as a member of the Tusculum College Alumni Executive Board at the time of his passing. He was a member of St. Dominic Catholic Church in Kingsport. Mr. McCoy was active throughout his life coaching youth sports and was passionate about improving the safety of the Indian Springs community. He recently began training and showing his Chesapeake Bay Retriever.
Linda J. Babb ’88 of Johnson City, TN, passed away July 16, 2015. Mrs. Babb was a career educator, teaching students from pre-kindergarten through master’s degree post-graduate special education for more than 40 years. She taught in Sevier, Greene and Washington counties as well as in the Greeneville School System and at East Tennessee State University. She and her husband, Phil, also co-owned and operated Johnson Hardware in Chuckey, TN, for several years. Cooking for, and visiting with family, as well as chairing the initiative to preserve the Chuckey train depot became her focus during retirement. Due in large part to her efforts, the train depot is in its initial restoration phase and was relocated to historic Jonesborough as a museum to be dedicated later this year.
Joshua Mabe ’04 of Sneedville, TN, passed away June 6, 2015, in an accident on his family farm. Mr. Mabe was a sergeant in the Tennessee Highway Patrol. He had served as a patrolman for 10 years and had been named Trooper of the Year in 2008 in the Fall Branch district. In 2005 he had been selected to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Training Center as a state trooper cadet . He had also served as a deputy in the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department. His survivors include his wife and Tusculum alumna Victoria ’06.
Leonard Bradley of Nasvhille, TN, passed away on June 22, 2015. Mr. Bradley worked for 28 years in state government career as a senior policy assistant to three Tennessee governors, served as deputy commissioner of human services and vice chancellor of the State University and Community College System of Tennessee. After retiring from state service in the mid-1990s, Bradley taught public policy and government for five years at Tusculum, where he also served as director of the Institute for Public Leadership and Policy. He later taught at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College and retired from teaching in 2010.