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Tusculum College: A Degree in Three?

Posted on 26 March 2015 by

After months of  study by students, faculty and staff, the Tusculum College Board of Trustees convened Monday, March 23, and approved changes to the general education curriculum and course delivery calendar. With the approved changes, motivated students may complete their degrees in three years.

The Board accepted recommendations, approved by a faculty committee tasked to address policy and procedural matters, to provide increased flexibility in course scheduling and improve students’ ability to transfer into Tusculum College.

“Tusculum’s faculty, staff, students and trustees have been working for more than a year to identify changes to meet the needs of today’s and future students who are impacted by the ever increasing cost of a college education. Recent changes reviewed by interdisciplinary work groups, town hall meetings, faculty and students and approved by the Board also help ensure the success of our students, the primary reason for any college or university to exist,” said Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum College.

“Preparing students to be the new leaders in our ever changing world has been the goal of Tusculum College since its founding in 1794,” said Dr. Moody. “We are excited about the opportunities for our students as we address the changes we are seeing in higher education. The Board’s approved changes will make it easier for students to transfer to Tusculum and earn their college degree. Governor Bill Haslam’s Tennessee Promise program makes it possible for more Tennessee students to begin their college careers. Tusculum’s changes are designed to help them complete their college education and compete for the jobs available in today’s world.”

“As the governing body of this institution, it is critical that we continue to reshape Tusculum College in ways that will make our students more successful while we also look after the future of the college,” said Dr. Kenneth A. Bowman, chair of the Board and 1970 alumnus of the college. “These improvements are necessary as we align Tusculum College’s curriculum with other colleges and universities in our country, while we keep the distinctiveness of the block schedule that is uniquely Tusculum’s.”

Dr. Bowman added that these changes are part of the overall strategic efforts of the college. These include the $25 million Tusculum First capital campaign launched in October and the upgrading of facilities, telecommunications and other technology at the Greeneville campus and locations in Knoxville, Morristown and Kingsport.

“As a Board, we usually meet in the summers to update and expand our strategic plan, as opportunities and threats continually arise,” said Dr. Bowman. “These changes are a result of that process.”

Also approved during the October 2014 Board of Trustee meeting was the transition to a 120-hour graduation requirement and three-hour course format as part of the overall effort to reposition Tusculum College to meet the needs of its students. A transition period is planned for current students.

“During the transition period, all students will have increased access to individualized academic advising,” said Dr. Ron May, vice president for academic affairs. “All students will have their academic plans reviewed to ensure continued academic progress toward graduation without delaying their timeline for completion. Students will also have the opportunity to maximize their course options by moving to the new 120-hour graduation requirement and the three-hour course format.”

Additionally on Monday, the Board approved changes to the general education curriculum effective no later than Fall 2016. Some former commons courses, previously required of all students, will be included in major course offerings, thus providing students with the option of taking these courses, as well as the added flexibility of selecting other electives. This general education curriculum reduces the required general education courses to 41-credit hours, as approved and recommended by the Tusculum faculty.

Under the new course delivery system, students may continue to take one course per day scheduled to meet two days a week. Students may also take a course over the entire semester on Wednesday morning with the afternoons being reserved for academic and student engagement activities, including service projects and special topic lectures. The new calendar will allow two to five classes to be taken in each eight-week period, up to 18 hours per semester for those receiving financial aid.

“The culminating effect of these changes in credit hours per course, credit hours required for graduation, change in the general education requirements, the modified delivery format and more opportunities for online courses will allow students the option of completing their baccalaureate degree in three years should they choose that option,” said Dr. Bowman.

“Throughout her 220-year history, Tusculum College has continually transformed herself. The transformations have included name changes when merging with other institutions, creating programs to meet the needs of non-traditional adult students, adopting a unique focused calendar and even how we teach,” said Dr. Moody. “Recent actions by the faculty and Board allow Tusculum College to once again adapt to change and move forward while continuing to make an impact on the world through the success of her graduates.”


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Tusculum College’s Pioneer Fishing Club wins Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Tournament

Posted on 25 March 2015 by

The Tusculum College Pioneer Fishing Club traveled to the Kentucky Lake in Paris, Tenn. from March 14 and 15, for the Cabela Collegiate Big Bass Bash and brought home the top prize.

Corban Rood, a junior, business administration major from Knoxville, led the team to victory. Rood and his boat mate Corey Neece, a freshman, environmental science major from Bristol, and their teammates Nick Hatfield, a junior, business administration major from Greeneville, and Justin Reagan, a junior, computer science major for Johnson City, beat more than 200 boats from both Division II and Division I schools in the southeast competition.

Rood’s bass weighed in at 8.58 pounds and was in the number one spot overall on Day 1 and 2 of the competition.

In addition to pleasure outings, this is the club’s second year of competing in collegiate tournaments. This competition is the second out of 10 events that they will be competing in this year.

“We are excited to be participating in competitions now,” said Hatfield. “If we do well enough, we can build up points toward the School of the Year title.”

Members of the fishing club are hoping to build the program to where it would become a club sport competition team. “I have fished all my life and really love it,” said Hatfield. “I wanted to continue on the college level and maybe one day see this club transition into a sports team.”

The club sponsor is Dr. Jason Jones, assistant professor of physical education. Anyone  interested in the club should email


Tusculum College’s Fishing Club took top honors in the Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing tournament. From left are Corey Neas, Justin Reagan, Coban Rood and Nick Hatfield.



By Corrine Absher, senior digital media major from Kingsport


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Alumni and friends invited to ‘Pack the Park’ on Saturday, May 2

Posted on 24 March 2015 by

Alumni and friends of the College, mark your calendars to attend  “Pack the Park for Education,” which will feature fun and entertainment for all ages on Saturday, May 2, at the Tusculum College Pioneer baseball game at Pioneer Park.

Festivities will begin at 3:30 p.m. outside Pioneer Park on the Tusculum campus with a free concert featuring recording artists Austin Baze, Michelle Leigh and Greeneville’s own Step Cousins.

A “fun zone” for kids and those young at heart will feature inflatables, corn hole, face and body painting and other free activities outside Pioneer Park during the event.

Concessions will be available and an area will be open to all who want to bring a blanket or chairs and tailgate prior to the baseball game against Bluefield State.  At the game, member of the 2005 championship baseball team will be recognized.

While providing a fun weekend outing for local families is one reason the College is sponsoring “Pack the Park for Education,” its primary goal is to honor those who are dedicated to providing a quality education to the community’s young people. Through this event, Tusculum College wants to express its appreciation to all those involved in the Greeneville and Greene County school systems whose efforts are preparing the leaders of tomorrow.

Admission to the baseball game will be free to all students, teachers, teacher assistants, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, custodians and maintenance personnel, school board members, etc. Throughout the game, local educators will be honored in a variety of ways.

A fireworks display, sponsored by Watauga Orthopaedics, will immediately follow the game to conclude the day’s festivities.

Please RSVP to Joni Parker, assistant director of alumni relations, at or by calling 423-636-7303.




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New School of Business newsletter

Posted on 23 March 2015 by

Newsletter – March 2015


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Tusculum College students recognized for literary works

Posted on 23 March 2015 by

Tusculum College students Jennifer Frost, Carnes White and Cynthia Conte are the winners of the 2015 Curtis and Billie Owens Literary Awards.

The awards, which are given annually to recognize the literary achievements of the college’s students, are open to all Tusculum College students.

Frost, a sophomore creative writing major from Friendsville won both the competition’s drama and poetry categories. The drama piece she submitted was “Psy-cho-ther-apy in Yazoo, County, Mississippi” and the poetry piece was “For the Birds.”

White, a senior creative writing major from Pike Road, Ala., won the competition’s fiction category, for his work, titled “Conservation.”

Conte, a senior creative writing major from Chattanooga, won the competition’s nonfiction category with the submission of “Time Travelism.”

Honorable mentions were given in the fiction, poetry and nonfiction categories. Four students received an honorable mention for original works. Sarah Holly, a junior creative writing major from Johnson City, was recognized for “But Resist the Devil, and “He Will Flee From You” and Laine Callahan, a sophomore creative writing major from Morristown, was recognized for “Languish” in the fiction category. Emily Waryck, a sophomore creative writing major from New Concord, Ohio, was recognized for “’86” in the poetry category. Holly was also recognized for “Forking the Tongue” in the nonfiction category.

The winners’ works will be included in a publication to be released during the 2015 Old Oak Festival, April 17- 19.

The Curtis Owen Literary Award was established by Curtis Owens, a 1928 graduate of Tusculum College who went on to a teaching career at what is now Pace University in New York, and his wife, Billie. He and his wife established the Owens Award at his alma mater to encourage and reward excellence in writing among Tusculum College students.

The announcement of the winners was made during a reading by creative nonfiction writer Juljia Šukys. Šukys was a judge for the final round of the competition. The reading was pieces from her most recent book “Epistolophilia: Writing the Life of Ona Šimaitė. “

Šukys is a creative nonfiction writer who at first studied literature and continued through her doctoral program and dissertation in literature at the University of Toronto. She began with her first book called “Silence is Death: The Life and Work of Tahar Djaout,” which is about an Algerian author that was gunned down.

Her next book, “Epistolophilia: Writing the Life of Ona Šimaitė. Epistolophilia” won the 2013 Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Award for Holocaust Literature.

Šukys is currently teaching creative writing at the University of Missouri, Columbia. She publishes a blog that includes the processes of writing creative nonfiction and the life of a writer.


From left to right, Carnes White, Juljia Šukys, Jennifer Frost, Sarah Holly, Emily Waryck and Cynthia Conte.





By Ashley Bell, a senior journalism and professional writing major from Nashville


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alternate spring break

Tusculum College students spend spring break on service trip

Posted on 20 March 2015 by

In early March, students from Tusculum College’s Bonner Leader program participated in an alternative spring break that included a focus on service, rather than surf time.

The students took a trip to Orlando, Fla., where they stayed with members of the College Park Baptist Church and took part in activities that benefited the community. Due to the onset of snow, they arrived a day late to Florida but they were nonetheless excited to start their spring break and volunteering, according to Ronda Gentry, director of the Center for Civic Advancement at the college.

“The Orlando trip was a great experience,” said Megan Buczek, a junior education major from Chattanooga, Tenn. “Through this week not only did I grow in unexpected ways, but I had the honor of watching our group grow in the ways they care about the community and each other.”

Over the duration of their stay in Florida, they worked with the church and helped paint the building and remove wallpaper from the office. They also worked with the Give Kids the World Village, which is a vacation resort run mainly by volunteers for families whose children are suffering from life-threatening illnesses. For the families, the stay is free and many of the entrances to Orlando’s famous themes parks are as well.

The volunteering students got to operate rides for the children while others served dinner at the Gingerbread House. While they were there, they also worked with several non-profit organizations, including the Mustard Seed Foundation, which provides household items for those transitioning to homes or those who have lost everything due to a disaster.

“Coming together as a group and serving others outside Tusculum was a heart-filling experience that will be long-lived,” said Denise Coffey, a sophomore graphic arts major for Reagan.

The students were able to have a recreational day at Universal Studio’s Island of Adventure. They were able to explore the World of Harry Potter at Hogwarts, ride various roller coasters, shop for souvenirs and meet their favorite characters and some dinosaurs. On their day off they were asked about their Alternative Spring Break t-shirts which gave them an opportunity to share what they were doing and their other experiences at Tusculum College.

“It was great to spend my Spring Break doing something meaningful and memorable rather than having the usual Spring Break party experience,” said Josh Suttles, a sophomore environmental science major from Seymour, Tenn.

In addition to Buczek, Coffey and Suttles, other students participating included Kelsey Freeman, a sophomore psychology major from Johnson City; Brianna Werder, a junior education major from Greeneville; Amanda Werder, a freshman from New Market, Ala.; Morgan Jones, a sophomore criminal justice major from Winston, Ga.; Torrey Klee, a nursing major from Jonesborough; Noel Reed, a freshman psychology major from Church Hill;

Miranda Ferguson, a sophomore nursing major from Church Hill; James Ducker, a freshman athletic training major from Winter Park, Fla.; Jacob Hensley, a freshman from Mosheim; Michael Emery, a sophomore education major from Bean Station; Christian Howard, a special education major from Greeneville; Nicole Wilkerson, a sophomore English literature major from Loudon.; and Charlene Garner, a sophomore creative writing major from New Market, Ala. Gentry and Jonathan Calloway, program coordinator for the Center for Civic Advancement, also participated in the trip.



Front row standing from left to right is Christian Howard, Denise Coffey, kneeling is Michael Emery, Charlene Garner. Second row from left to right is Nicole Wilkerson, Amanda Werder, Brianna Werder, Ronda Gentry, Jonathan Calloway, Morgan Jones. Third row from left to right is Josh Suttles, Miranda Ferguson, Megan Buczek, Noel Reed, Jacob Hensley, Kelsey Freeman.






By Emily Watson, freshman creative writing major from Watauga


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Tusculum College receives grant for nursing simulation lab expansion

Posted on 20 March 2015 by

Tusculum College’s nursing program has been awarded a $116,159 grant from the Tennessee Health Foundation Review Committee, part of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, for expansion of the nursing simulation lab.

Grant funds will be used to expand the nursing programs simulation laboratory by adding an infant and a child simulator for infant and pediatric nursing training.

According to Michelle Arbogast, associate director of foundation and donor relations, the purpose of this grant is to educate nursing students in practical clinical exercises without causing any harm to patients.

“It’s going to provide an alternative to the pediatric clinical,” said Dr. Lois Ewen, dean of the School of Nursing, health sciences and human services and professor of nursing. “Simulation allows us the opportunity to let students make their own decisions and see the consequences of those decisions. We all learn from our mistakes, but in health care we can’t let a student make the wrong decision. With simulation, we can allow mistakes to happen.”

The infant and child simulators will join two adult simulators purchased through a previous grant from the BCBS and the Tennessee Health Foundation in spring 2013.

The simulation lab will also provide opportunities for other academic programs at Tusculum to learn, such as physiology courses in the science and physical education departments and the athletic training program, as well as other health care organizations in the Greeneville community.

Dr. Ewen said, “We’re going to use the simulators to help the community train nursing staff, too. We will open the lab to our partners, and they’ll use our simulators to help train their staff, which enhances the health of our community as a whole.”



By Corrine Absher, senior digital media major from Kingsport


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Summer online courses announced at Tusculum College

Posted on 17 March 2015 by

Tusculum College will be offering online courses this summer for students wanting to begin or continue their studies off-campus.

In addition to the regular summer catalog, the college will offer more than 25 online courses including topics in business, education, English, history, human resource development, mathematics and sociology during summer term. Each course will be offered in an 8-week format and will consist of four-credit hours.

“The online course option allows students to take additional coursework during the summer months on their own time and schedule,” said Dr. Ron May, vice president of academic affairs at Tusculum College. “The curriculum is adjusted to the online format and the professors will make themselves accessible during the timeframe of the course for additional support.”

All students, including incoming freshmen, will be able to take these courses for the same cost as on-campus summer tuition courses. Courses are available to new and currently registered students and for both students in the Residential and Graduate and Professional Studies programs.

Summer online courses will include: Fraud in Organizations; Special Topic – Business Lessons in Social Media; Income Tax 1: Personal; History, Philosophy and Principals of Education; Comparative International Pedagogy; Composition and Rhetoric; Composition, Research and Rhetoric; World Literature; U.S. History Survey I; U.S. History Survey II; Organizational Performance Management; Introductory Algebra; Quantitative Applications; Elementary Statics; Compensation and Benefits; Personal Selling/Customer Satisfaction Management; Employment and Labor Law; Marketing Promotion; Sport and Society; Officiating Games and Sports; Organization, Administration and Supervision of Physical Education, Health and Wellness; Essentials of Psychology; Principles and Social Instruction, and Transition Strategies for Special Needs Students.

The deadline for registration will be the first day of each course.

For more information, contact Jill Jones, director of academic advising at or Dr. Blair Henley, vice president and chief technology officer, at


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Tusculum College organization receives Student Veterans of America designation

Posted on 17 March 2015 by

The Tusculum Military Assistance Group  has been approved as an official chapter of the Student Veterans of America, a national organization dedicated to providing veterans with the resources needed to succeed in higher education.

“Being a part of SVA will enhance veterans outreach for Tusculum College by making grants, scholarships, marketing material and other resources available to TMAG and Tusculum,” said Tom McKay, the assistant director of academic support, veteran’s advisor and adjunct faculty member.

Formed in 2009 by students Jordan Eggleston and Wes Baessler, TMAG is a student group at Tusculum College that supports student veterans and students currently active in the U.S. Armed Forces. While the veterans and active duty students have given their commitment to our country, TMAG focuses on giving back to them by making the transition into higher education easier.

The group is currently working on a program called Blue Star, which seeks to assist veterans, including those who have exhausted their GI benefits, and provide assistance with gaining a higher education. With more than sixty members, the group is also working to expand to the rest of the Tusculum College campuses and provide more opportunities to our veterans.

With the support of Tusculum College faculty and staff, TMAG is the first certified Graduate and Professional Studies student organization at Tusculum.

For additional information please call Tom McKay at Ext.5020 or email at



By Stephanie Turner, junior journalism and professional writing major from Shelbyville


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Naturalist David Williams to conduct workshop and artist talk at Tusculum College

Posted on 12 March 2015 by

Join artist, designer and naturalist David Williams for a descriptive tale of how to make work fun during “Wingin’ It Works – The Melding of Art and Science into a Career” sponsored by the Doak House Museum at Tusculum College on March 27-28.

The Friday artist talk will begin at 6 p.m. in Chalmers Conference Room in Niswonger Commons on Tusculum College Greeneville campus. This event is free and open to the public.

An ardent naturalist, wildlife artist and designer, Williams renders work that captures the living essence of the subject matter he portrays. He achieves a skillfully controlled blend of beauty, meticulous accuracy and educational value.

With a strong appreciation for the natural world, he decided to put that enthusiasm to work through full-time graphic/exhibit design, mural painting and scientific illustration.  His work can be seen at many prestigious museums, science centers and other facilities.

David Williams

On Saturday, March 28, the Wingin’ It Workshop will be held. The program participants will meet at the Doak House Museum at 10 a.m. Workshop participants will accompany Williams on a hike to Margarette Falls. Along the way, Williams will explain the process of keeping a field journal, making color studies, a naturalist’s notebook and how he finds inspiration in the natural world.

After the hike, the group will meet at the Doak House for further instruction on the process of keeping a field journal as the launching point for inspiration. Reservations are required as space is limited. Lunch, field journals and all materials are provided. The registration fee for the workshop is $40. To participate in the workshop, attendees must be able to make the hike to the falls, classified as an easy to moderate trail.

Contact Leah Walker at or 423-636-8554 to make a reservation.


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‘Charles Tunstall’s World of Guitar’ scheduled for Tuesday, March 24, in the Library

Posted on 09 March 2015 by

Charles Tunstall, reference and instructional services librarian at Tusculum, will be sharing his musical talent during a performance at 6 p.m. on March 24 in the lobby of the Thomas J. Garland Library.

Guitar music from the Renaissance period to the current day will be featured in a performance by Charles Tunstall and special guests on Tuesday, March 24, at Tusculum College.

The program, “Charles Tunstall’s World of Guitar” will be presented at 6 p.m. in the lobby of the Thomas J. Garland Library on the Tusculum campus.

As in years past, Tunstall will feature guitar music from a variety of periods in his performance, almost all of which he has not previously performed publicly.  Selections will include music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Fernando Sur, Mauro Guiliani, Luiz Bonfa and Antonio Carlos Jobim. Tunstall will also be performing a Celtic folk song, a hymn, “Malaguena,” and his arrangement of “America the Beautiful.”

Special guests will be featured on some selections.

Tunstall has more than 50 years of experience playing the guitar. He is primarily self-taught but has been mentored by a large number of individuals. Though preferring to entertain as a solo performer, he has played in a variety of bands over the years. While Tunstall enjoys several types of guitars and playing styles, his main focus is in finger-style playing on the classical nylon-string guitar. He emerged from a country-bluegrass background and now enjoys playing and learning music from different periods. His guitar idols include Christopher Parkening, Chet Atkins, Rick Foster and Charlie Byrd. He has had the opportunity to personally meet Parkening and Byrd.

Admission to the performance is free and refreshments will be served following the program. Arts and lecture credit will be available for Tusculum students.



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Meen Science Bldg  Rendering – NoNameCopy

Rentenbach selected as general contractor for Tusculum College science facility

Posted on 09 March 2015 by

Rentenbach Constructors Incorporated recently selected by the Tusculum College Board of Trustees as the general contractor for the Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Mathematics. In a called meeting, the Board of Trustees authorized President Nancy B. Moody and Steve Gehret, vice president and chief financial officer, “to negotiate, execute, sign and deliver the general contract” as noted in the resolution.

“This is a very good day in the future of Tusculum College,” said Dr. Moody. “The journey to build a state-of-the-art academic building on the campus of Tusculum College will prove to be very exciting and, along with a dynamic faculty, provide the foundation for academic programs to thrive.”

The new building is named in appreciation for a gift from Verna June Meen of Kingsport.   Meen chose to make this gift in memory of her late husband, Dr. Ronald H. Meen, who was an organic chemist for Eastman Chemical in Kingsport.

A “pioneer” from the beginning, Mrs. Meen attended college at a time when few women were encouraged to attend college.  She earned top marks and graduated with an accounting degree in less than three years while she also worked. Following graduation and still single, Verna June accepted an offer from Eastman Chemical Company and moved from Indiana to East Tennessee.

I look forward to seeing the progress of our support of Tusculum College, said Mrs. Meen. “This is another step closer to the realization of mine and my deceased husband Ron’s dream to support Tusculum College students in a way that will make a positive impact on their education and their lives. I know he would be proud.”

The Meen Center for Science and Math will be a four-story structure of approximately 100,000 square feet. Interiors include wings for biology, chemistry, mathematics, computer science and environmental science. There will also be lab space and research areas for both faculty and students.

The ground floor features the environmental science wing with a loading dock, as well as larger general classroom spaces and classrooms equipped for distance learning programs. A large lecture hall will also be included on the ground floor. Space is also allocated to house the bachelor of science degree program in nursing and at least one other graduate level health-related program.

“It’s an exciting time at Tusculum College. Every time we visit campus we see visible signs of growth,” said Dr. Ken Bowman, chair of the Board of Trustees and a 1970 graduate of Tusculum College. “In addition to the construction, Tusculum is also growing in enrollment, academic programs and offerings to the community.”

Founded in Knoxville in 1946, Rentenbach Constructors Incorporated has served clients throughout the United States from its offices in Tennessee and North Carolina.

“Rentenbach has a long history of constructing the facilities which serve an expanding list of institutions of higher education,” said Don Freeman, Chairman. This building will be a major asset to the Tusculum curriculum, and we welcome the opportunity to be included as a member of the project team.”


Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Mathematics



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