Archive | Alumni News

Tusculum student art exhibit featured at Tipton Gallery

Posted on 25 May 2017 by

“Just Another Roadside Attraction,” a rotating collection of Tusculum student artwork, will be the exhibition at the Tipton Gallery in Johnson City throughout the month of June. Opening receptions will be held on June 1 and 2, from 6-9 p.m.

The exhibit will feature additional Tusculum student art in subsequent weekends. There will be a closing reception on Wednesday, June 28, f\rom 6-9 p.m.

“Just Another Roadside Attraction” is a presentation of various art projects that Professor Bill Bledsoe and Tusculum students have put together over the past year. The Tipton Gallery is located on 126 Spring Street in Johnson City. The Thursday exhibit coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles album Sgt. Pepper.  A special body of work was created for this occasion, for which, the students assisted with developing.

The Friday opening coincides with Johnson City’s “First Friday” celebration and the Blue Plum Festival.  The closing reception will feature a finale of artwork that celebrates the history of East Tennessee.

“Just Another Roadside Attraction” is on loan to the Tipton Gallery as a Clem Allison Gallery/Shulman Exhibit. All events are open to the public


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New English degree and minor in gender studies approved at Tusculum College Board of Trustees meeting

Posted on 16 May 2017 by

The Tusculum College Board of Trustees approved a new Bachelor in Arts in English education 6-12  and a minor in gender studies at their recent meeting held May 12-13 on the Greeneville campus.

Both programs will be enrolling for fall semester.

“As an institution it is important that we continue to be responsive to the students we serve as well as the communities around us,” said Dr. Kenneth A. Bowman, chair of the Board and 1970 alumnus of the college. “Changing, and particularly adding degree programs, allows us to serve the needs of students today and into the future.”

The Board recommended preliminary approval of the 2017-2018 operating budget. Additionally a report was made on the ongoing presidential search, as Dr. Nancy B. Moody announced in February her intent to retire at the end of the year. A nationwide search for a new president of Tusculum is moving forward as a designated search committee begins accepting inquiries from potential candidates.

Board of Trustees Member Dr. Greg Nelson is chairing the search committee and a presidential search webpage has been created to keep the campus community informed and updated on progress of the search. The webpage contains the Presidential Profile and information about Tusculum for prospective candidates.

The Board also recognized the service and success of retiring Golf Coach Bob Dibble. Dibble, who announced his retirement in June, has been the golf coach at Tusculum College for the last 28 years.

Dibble has led the men’s team for all 28 years and has guided the women’s program for 20 years. His teams have won a combined 59 tournament titles, eight conference titles and two region championships. The men’s team played in five consecutive national tournaments from 1993-97. He was the invited guest and was recognized by the Board at their lunch meeting on Friday.

The next meeting of the Tusculum College Board of Trustees will be October 2017.


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Highland Elementary student tour Tusculum’s Paul E. Hayden Wetland

Posted on 12 May 2017 by

On Wednesday, May 10, Tusculum hosted 32 fourth graders from Highland Elementary School for a tour the Tusculum College Paul E. Hayden Wetland.

The student participants toured the Wetland while identifying a variety of plant species and learning how wetlands are beneficial to the environment and water quality.

They also learned how contaminates can spread downstream, and they were able to talk about muskrats and how they are one of many mammals that surround the wetland.

Students also were able to test water quality and see the difference between the Wetland water quality and the stream’s water quality it empties into. The Middle Nolichucky Watershed Alliance and volunteers partnered with Tusculum to make this tour a success.

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Tusculum College announces Master of Education program with a concentration in special education

Posted on 10 May 2017 by

Tusculum College has announced a new Master of Education program with a concentration in special education: interventionist K-8/comprehensive K-12, beginning August 2017.

This program is particularly important due to recent changes made by the Tennessee Department of Education, according to Dr. Tricia Hunsader, dean of the School of Education and professor of education. “Beginning in the 2017-18 school year, special educator emergency permits and waivers will no longer be accepted. This means that all special educators (new and current) must hold a full, valid license with a special education endorsement. The department will not approve any permits or waivers for the 2017-18 school year.”

According to a letter received from Commissioner of Education Candice McQueen, Tusculum College has been asked to collaborate with the state in order to provide a way for teachers to earn the special education endorsement and meet the new requirements.

“This program allows educators to do just that,” said Dr. Hunsader.

Candidates for the graduate-level advanced-degree program who are seeking interventionist K-8 and comprehensive K-12 endorsement must have completed an initial licensure program at an approved institution and currently hold licensure in either the elementary or middle school grade range.

According to Dr. Hunsader, all courses in this program are K-12 and prepare candidates to instruct students across the developmental spectrum. Candidates will tailor their course assignments to the grade range for which they are seeking interventionist endorsement.

She added that the addition of this program is especially timely given the state’s recent change to the special educator credential requirement. Teachers who complete this program and pass the national Praxis exam will meet all state requirements for full licensure in special education.

In addition to this new graduate program, Tusculum has also announced that the special education: interventionist K-8/comprehensive K-12 coursework will be offered to non-degree seeking students as a concentration of six courses and a practicum experience. Completion of the non-degree coursework will also satisfy the state’s new requirements.

For more information or to enroll in the program contact Katie Tassell at 888-488-7285 or visit


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Former Library Director Smith publishes 89th book

Posted on 09 May 2017 by

Tusculum College Professor Emeritus Myron J. “Jack” Smith, Jr., has authored a new book, “Joseph Brown and His Civil War Ironclads: The USS Chillicothe, Indianola and Tuscumbia.” This is the 89th volume published by the Newmansville-area resident who was director of Thomas J. Garland Library from 1990-2015.

A Scottish immigrant to Illinois, Joseph Brown made his pre–Civil War fortune as a miller and steamboat captain who dabbled in riverboat design and the politics of small towns. When war erupted, he used his connections (including a friendship with Abraham Lincoln) to obtain contracts to build three ironclad gunboats for the U.S. War Department—the Chillicothe, Indianola and Tuscumbia. Often described as failures, these vessels were active in some of the most ferocious river fighting of the 1863 Vicksburg campaign, including the Yazoo Pass Expedition of March and the passage of the citadel’s batteries and the Battle of Grand Gulf in April.

Despite the spotty combat records of his ironclads, Brown was also able to obtain a near monopoly at Cincinnati on the modification at of small sternwheel steamboats into light draught gunboats, handling 55 of the 66 “tinclads” acquired by the USN. “Captain Joe” returned to Missouri and in 1866 was commodore of the steamboat fleet that conveyed President Andrew Johnson from Alton, Illinois, to St. Louis during the western phase of the “swing around the circle.”

Brown was not one of those Civil War participants who just faded away, but, instead, took an active role in the commercial, civic, economic, and social life of his community, gathering even further laurels as a businessman, politician and raconteur.  A mayor of a small town before the great conflict, he served two terms as mayor of the country’s fourth largest city in the early 1870s and his administration was regarded as both colorful and successful.

Brown supported public health and education, opening a special woman’s health facility and  what became the St. Louis Public Library, and, as a fanatical opera fan, gloried in the arts. During the Panic of 1873, he used his own fortune to personally guarantee script issued by the city (“Brownbacks”) and organized a soup kitchen that fed 1,200 destitute people every day in cold weather.

He also pushed construction of the famous Eads Bridge over the Mississippi, opened in 1874. Today, one of the most successful Civil War contractors and Reconstruction-era mayors is unknown  and, like his brother George T., the man who served Johnson his impeachment notice from Congress,  no photograph of him exists. This book covers his life and career, as well as the construction and operational histories of his controversial trio of large warships.

The historian’s latest volume is the eighth in a series of related works from the same publisher and his ninth Civil War title overall. It is available from McFarland & Company, which is located in Jefferson, N.C. and publishes more than 400 books a year on all subjects. It may also be purchased from Amazon or the Tusculum College bookstore.

Smith is currently penning “Civil War Ironclad Captains: A Biographical Directory.” Modeled on his award-winning 2015 title “Civil War Biographies from the Western Waters,” the work will profile 150 of the commissioned and volunteer naval officers who skippered monitors and other ironclads warships on the coasts and inland waterways during the conflict.

Prior to his retirement, Smith was a professional librarian for 50 years. In 1993, he received pro football’s Nelson Ross Award and in 2006, was the first Greene Countian to publish an e-book. He is the only American to have received the Richard Franck Preis for historical bibliography from the German Government.


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Local students excel at Tennessee Math competition

Posted on 09 May 2017 by

On April 11, Tusculum hosted the 61st Annual Tennessee Mathematics Teacher’s Association Competition.

Coordinated by Tusculum’s Shannon Brewer, this competition tests the best high school mathematics students from the region in specific subject areas ranging from algebra I, geometry, algebra II, statistics, pre-calculus and calculus and advanced topics.

According to Brewer, assistant professor of mathematics, the high schools participating included Chuckey-Doak, Greeneville, North Greene, South Greene and West Greene, as well as Cherokee High School, David Crockett High School and St. Mary’s School.

“Overall close to 200 of the best and brightest high school math students came to Tusculum’s campus to participate,” said Brewer.

This year’s winners included:  Algebra I: first place – Makayla Kindle of Greeneville High School; second place – Stephen Hay of Greeneville High School; and third place – Sydney Finchum of Greeneville High School;

Geometry: first place – Dakota Euscher of David Crockett High School; second place – Ally Johnson of Greeneville High School; and third place – Caitlin Lunsford of South Greene High School;

Algebra II – first place – Kassidy Albert of Greeneville High School; second place – Brianna Lay of Greeneville High School; and third place – Meredith Bailey of Greeneville High School;

Statistics – first place – Corbin Cowden of David Crockett High School; second place – Jeremiah Price of David Crockett High School; and third place – Mary Whaley of David Crockett High School;

Pre-Calculus – first place – Bradley Holt of Greeneville High School; second place; Joshua Hamilton of Greeneville High School; and third place – Elizabeth Leonard of Greeneville High School;

Calculus and Advanced Topics – first place – Adam Bennett of David Crockett High School; second place – Brandon Waddell of Greeneville High School; and third place – - Nash Newberry of Greeneville High School.


Students from around the region competed for top honors at the 61s Annual Tennessee Mathematics Teacher’s Association Competition held at Tusculum College.


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Nearly 300 receive degrees Saturday at Tusculum College

Posted on 08 May 2017 by

Graduating from Tusculum College during spring commencement were 292 individuals in two ceremonies held on Saturday, May. 6.

On Saturday 102 students earned Bachelor of Science degrees and 157 earned Bachelor of Arts degrees. In addition 19 graduates earned Master of Arts degrees and 11 received Master of Business Administration degrees. Three students earned Associate of Arts degrees.

Walking with this spring’s graduates were seven representatives of the Tusculum College Class of 1967 who are celebrating their 50th anniversary year. Representatives walked in the procession, clothed in golden caps and gowns and were recognized during the ceremony by Dr. Moody.

The new graduates were addressed by Tusculum President Nancy B. Moody, who recognized the hard work of the path to graduation, saying “Commencement is an occasion of celebration and completion. It is a culmination event for the graduates.” Adding, “Today is a testament to your efforts, to your persistence. Each of you made sacrifices, made adjustments and made some tough decisions along the way.”

She told the group, that while there was no doubt they were thinking about the many people in their lives who have stood by them on this journey, that graduation day was a moment to celebrate the completion of a goal they had worked hard to attain. “Relish the victory that you claim today.”

The Golden Pioneers, represented by Robert Ken Conner and the Class of 2017, represented by Carrie Rose of Knoxville, presented a check to Dr. Moody for $2,685.08 as a gift to the college to be used to endow the Tusculum First Scholarship.

The new graduates were addressed by Alan Levine, president and CEO of Mountain States Health Alliance. With 20 years of hospital operations experience, Levine has served as CEO of hospitals and health systems from rural north Florida to the fifth-largest public not-for-profit health system in the nation.

Speaker Alan Levine

In his comments, he shared with the graduates in both ceremonies the choice they have in front of them. There are two possible futures, he said, one of integrity and faith; hard work and joy, or one of hopelessness and pain; anger and darkness. “You will be propelled into the future by what binds you, not by what separates you,” he said. He encouraged the graduates to put to use the qualities of a Tusculum graduate that include civic responsibility, practical wisdom and a passion for life-long learning.

“Don’t be discouraged by the negative,” he advised, and “be who you are and like who you are.” He added that it is good to be ambitious and achieve success, but “never forget where you came from. In order to be great, you must first be good.”

Speaking at the morning ceremony were Brittany Vang Moua and Jonathan Spicher.

Moua chose Tusculum because it offered her the flexible schedule necessary to maintain a balance with family, work and school. She is a technology manager at Oak Ridge Associated Universities and received her MBA degree on Saturday.  She is married to Sean Moua and they have four children.

Moua’s path to her MBA was a difficult one, compounded with a diagnosis of cancer half-way through the program. She told the graduates that there was a time when she questioned if finishing her degree was where she should be focusing her energies, but it was important to her and she wanted to be there on this day to graduate alongside her sister, Tia, also receiving her MBA.

“There were three keys to how I did it,” she said, “Passion, a supportive network and my faith. You can do anything you set your mind to.” She also announced that she was now not only finishing her degree program, but was also cancer-free.

Spicher, this year’s recipient of the President’s Award, has a 4.0 cumulative grade point average. He was named the Men’s Soccer Scholar Athlete of the Year for 2016 by the South Atlantic Conference and has been named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America team for a two consecutive years. Spicher was also named as the inaugural recipient of the SAC Men’s Soccer Elite 18 Award for having the highest GPA at the final site of the 2016 Men’s Soccer Championship.

Spicher talked about remembering the good times, but also recognizing that it was the challenging times that led to growth. “Anyone is the blacksmith of his own life,” he quoted from a German saying of his childhood. “Education is not received. It is achieved. Celebrate that you have successfully overcome those challenges in your lives. Whatever is next – it will be a continuation of your education. Face the challenges. They show you what it means to be a Pioneer.”

Speaking during the afternoon ceremony was Jamie Arnold. Arnold received an associate degree in early childhood education from Northeast State Community College prior to enrolling in the K – 6 education program at Tusculum. While at Tusculum she discovered her love of teaching middle grades and sought an additional middle school teaching endorsement.  Following her graduation today, she plans on pursuing a master’s degree in education at Tusculum.

Arnold spoke about being inspired by her professors and discovering her passion for teaching. “There are always challenges and obstacles in life. Make the choice to persevere, and know the biggest challenges often lie within ourselves.” She added that success is always possible if one keeps moving forward.

Also during the ceremony, members of the Tusculum College faculty were recognized. Receiving the Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership award for the Residential College was Dr. Troy Goodale. Receiving the award for the Graduate and Professional Studies program was Dr. Michael Dillon and Dr. Peggy Goodson-Rochelle.

2017 Golden Pioneers with Dr. Nancy B. Moody

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Summer programs in historical tools and drawing basics to be offered at the Doak House Museum

Posted on 08 May 2017 by

The Doak House Museum at Tusculum will offer a “Tool School” and a series of basic drawing instruction workshops during the month of June.

“Tool School” will be offered five Thursdays in June, open to children ages 10-12.

Participants will complete woodworking projects like a tool tote and a box mentioned in the 1839 text, “The Joiner and Cabinet Maker.” The book was written for children and it describes the experiences of a young apprentice in England learning the trade while introducing several tools and techniques.

According to Dollie Boyd, director of the museums, participants in the class will read excerpts from that book and be given other historical source material. In addition to the two large projects there will be smaller projects along the way where students practice skills before starting on the larger project

Under the instruction of Dr. Peter Noll, assistant professor of history, students will learn about trees, wood, basic hand tools including mallets, hammers, saws, planes, squares, gauges and boring tools. Most of the tools the students will use are more than one hundred years old.

Space is limited for the class, sign up information can be had by calling the museum at 423-636-8554 or emailing A class fee of $40 covers all materials for the five Thursday sessions in June. The program will run from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. June 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29.

In the second program, participants may learn drawing basics at three Saturday classes offered by the Doak House Museum. Classes will run June 10, 17, and 24 from 9 a.m. to noon, cost for all three classes is $30, with all materials are included. This class is open to children ages 12 and up and adults of all ages.

“Drawing for art and designing involves a set of skills that can be learned,” said Boyd. “In these classes tried and true methods for drawing will be taught, as well as techniques for making drawing easier.”

Various media will be used such as pencil, charcoal, and inks.

Call 423-636-8554 or email to reserve a spot.


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Tusculum moves forward with search for new president

Posted on 08 May 2017 by

A nationwide search for a new president of Tusculum is moving forward as a designated search committee begins accepting inquiries from potential candidates.

According to Dr. Greg Nelson, chair of the search committee and a member of the Tusculum Board of Trustees, a series of open forums were conducted in April to collect suggestions, recommendations and advice from campus constituents and community leaders.

“The goal of these sessions was to help outline expectations for the next president of Tusculum,” said Dr. Nelson. “As a result, the search committee, in partnership with the department of marketing and communications and the executive search firm Witt/Kieffer, has developed a dynamic institutional/leadership profile to be used as part of the recruiting process, effective immediately.”

Dr. Nelson added that a presidential search webpage has been created to keep the campus community informed and updated on progress of the search. The webpage contains the Presidential Profile and information about Tusculum for prospective candidates. Interested candidates may contact the search committee and nominations may be submitted via webpage at or by emailing

Detailed information on the required qualifications for the position may be found on the webpage.

The search committee will begin its review of candidates in early July 2017, with the goal of having the new president appointed by early September 2017. Select candidates will be invited to campus in August to engage in dialogue with campus constituents. The campus community will have an opportunity to participate in the interview process and provide feedback during the August visits.


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Home school conference to be held at Tusculum College

Posted on 05 May 2017 by

Heritage Home Scholars will host a regional home-school conference at Tusculum College on Monday, May 15, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The goal of the day is to promote college readiness and provide valuable information to current and prospective homeschoolers. There will be a variety of home-school related vendors, including education materials and textbooks.

“We are sponsoring this conference to provide support and resources for home-schooling families in the Greene County region. This free conference is open to all home-schoolers and prospective home-school families,” said Jennifer Jenkins, coordinator for the conference. She added that there will also be vendors on site with used home-school curricula, as well as speakers on various home-school related topics.

Informational sessions will be provided on topics such as financial aid, how to prepare for college and navigate the application process and home schooling through high school, which will be presented by Christa DelSorbo.

Special guests from HomeLife Academy will be in attendance and available to answer questions regarding home schooling in Tennessee. They will also be presenting sessions on “Getting Started: Homeschool Law, 411 and Tips” and “Homeschooling with a Growing Family.”

They will present on organizational methods for homeschooling as well as different methods of homeschooling and the resources available. Conference attendees will be offered a 20 percent discount by HomeLife Academy for umbrella school registration.

Other topics of discussion will include the Hope Scholarship, preparation for high school, what high school credits can be received, graduation requirements, college admission requirements, duel enrollment, testing, beginning a resume, Eta Sigma Alpha National Homeschool Society, the different extracurricular activities available, as well as athletics, beneficial items and driving courses. Visit Heritage Home Scholar’s website at for a schedule of speakers.

Tusculum College, which is hosting and supporting the event, will have a table setup at this event, as will Walters State Community College and East Tennessee State University.

Heritage Home Scholars is a nonprofit corporation formed in 2014 in Greeneville. HHS is a home-school support group that operates a co-op that meets on Mondays from August through April, with more than 120 families participating.

The purpose of HHS is to serve and support Christian home-schooling families. This includes families who are anticipating home schooling, families who are currently home schooling one or more children and families who may no longer be home schooling but are still interested in ministering to home-schooling families. For more information contact the HHS by email at


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Rag rug workshop set for Doak House Museum on May 6

Posted on 01 May 2017 by

The Doak House Museum will be hosting workshops in rag-rug making workshop on Saturday, May 6, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

“This is an opportunity to learn three easy techniques for making rag rugs from old t-shirts and woven fabric,” said Dollie Boyd, director of museums for Tusculum. “Rag-rugging is a great beginning project for young people and adults who are new to crafting.”

Participants will learn how to make “toothbrush” rugs, hoop rugs, and a style of shag rug. The fee for the workshop is $10, and participants are asked to bring t-shirts, old sheets or fabric remnants to upcycle. All other needed tools will be provided.

The workshop is recommended for ages 12 and up. Space for each workshop is limited, Contact Boyd at 423-636-8554 or to reserve a spot.

Participants make rag rugs during last year’s rag rug workshop at the Doak House Museum

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Dale Laney named director of veteran services at Tusculum

Posted on 26 April 2017 by

Dale Laney has been named director of veteran services for Tusculum.

Laney is a retired Chief Master Sergeant from the United States Air Force where he spent 23 years in various positions of leadership. After military retirement, Laney worked for the State of Tennessee as a veteran benefits representative where he assisted veterans and their families understand and apply for federal, state and local benefits ranging from education to disability.

“Dale brings with him many years of mentoring and counseling active duty and veteran personnel. He will be an invaluable part of our team and will be a key part of our increased efforts to provide educational opportunities for our veterans,” said Dr. Lisa Johnson, associate vice president for student success and assistant professor of education.

Dale Laney

According to Dr. Johnson, Laney has extensive training in veteran administration programs. He has also been previously accredited with various veteran service organization as a veteran service officer.

Laney holds a Master in Business Administration from East Tennessee State University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from King University.

“It will be a great honor to be able to work with our military veterans as they pursue their education goals,” said Laney. “Although Tusculum already has a long history of supporting our veterans, establishing a veteran services office shows the long-term future commitment it has for our men and women in uniform. I am just proud to be a part of that.”

As director of veteran services, Laney will be responsible for the recruitment of veterans for enrollment at Tusculum and will coordinate the veteran services support program at all Tusculum campuses and sites.

He will be responsible for fostering and maintaining outreach relations between Tusculum and military institutions, veteran associations and the surrounding Northeast Tennessee community.

His office is located in the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building on the Greeneville campus.

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