Archive | Alumni News

Used eyeglasses, reading glasses needed for mission trip to Cambodia

Posted on 07 December 2016 by

Prescription eyeglasses, reading glasses and financial donations are being collected at Tusculum College to support a mission trip to Cambodia through the Asia’s Hope organization.

Dr. Patricia Hunsader, dean of the School of Education at Tusculum College, will participate in the mission trip later this month and is working through the college’s Center for Civic Advancement to collect items for the trip.

For Dr. Hunsader, this will be her thirteenth trip to serve the region through work projects such as the medical clinic planned for this trip.

“The people in the area served by the medical clinics do not have access to eye care of any kind,” said Dr. Hunsader.  “We are not medical professionals, we work with the trained personnel in Cambodia, but we can provide energy, organization and financial resources.”

As part of that, Dr. Hunsader will collect the glasses and financial resources and take them with her to the clinic.

Anyone wishing to donate may do so at the drop off location in the Charles Oliver Gray North building on the Greeneville campus. Items need to be received by Wednesday, December 14.

“Our team will host a medical clinic and plan to provide prescription eyeglasses to adults from five slums in Phnom Penh, Cambodia,” said Dr. Hunsader. “All of the items collected will be used for this purpose.”

She added that plans are in the works for a second trip in 2017 that will be organized to include students at Tusculum College.


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9-15-16 Anderson_Kristen_Dept. of Correction_Offical Portrait

LeAnne Anderson named district director for Tennessee Department of Corrections

Posted on 06 December 2016 by

LeAnne Anderson has been promoted to district director of community supervision with the Tennessee Department of Correction. Additionally, she was selected to be one of six representatives from TDOC to be part of LEAD TN in 2017.

LEAD Tennessee is a statewide, 12-month development initiative for current and emerging leaders from all branches of government. It consists of six one-day summits of intense, high impact learning focused on eight leadership core competencies. The goal of LEAD Tennessee is to increase the state’s leadership bench strength by providing agencies a continuous pipeline of motivated and prepared leaders who share a common language and mindset about great leadership.

LeAnne Anderson

Anderson is a resident of Sneedville and is a 2007 graduate of Tusculum College, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in organizational management. She also holds two associate’s degrees from Walters State Community College and she is a graduate of the Police Academy program there as well.

Professionally, she previously served as probation and parole manager for the State of Tennessee and as a 911 dispatcher.

“When I realized I had to go back to school so I could have more options, I began looking for a school that would work with my schedule,” said Anderson. “Needless to say my options were few and far between. I wanted a good education, but I had to continue working. Tusculum was my school. The hours were perfect for me and the classes were awesome.

“I was able to work during the day and do my class at night. I didn’t miss any of my kids activities and finished with my degree really fast.”

According to Lindsey Seal, director of GPS enrollment at Tusculum College, “While the return isn’t always immediate, with dedication the investment in a college education does pay off. LeAnne’s story is proof of that.”


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Heritage Trust makes donation to Garland Library collections

Posted on 01 December 2016 by

At the November 21 meeting of the Greene County Heritage Trust, Museums of Tusculum Director Dollie Boyd accepted a copy of “Civil War Soldiers of Greene County, Tennessee: Vol. I,” a Civil War Sesquicentennial project of the Greene County Genealogical Society. The book was donated to the Tusculum College Library by the Heritage Trust. Its inclusion in the college’s library collection will ensure that it is available to genealogists, researchers, and students.

From left to right are Trust President Tim Massey, Museums of Tusculum Director Dollie Boyd and Trust Board Member Stevie Hughes.

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Update on construction of the new Tusculum College science and math building

Update on construction of the new Tusculum College science and math building

Posted on 17 November 2016 by

The finishing touches are underway on the construction of the Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Math at Tusculum College. Interior work continues with flooring, electrical and furniture installation well underway.

According to David Martin, director of facilities at Tusculum College, construction will be completed in the next few weeks and plans are to being moving into the building over the Christmas break. Classes will be held in the new facility beginning in January with the start of the spring semester.

The Meen Center for Science and Math is 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 large general classroom spaces and classrooms equipped for distance learning programs. A large lecture hall will be included on the ground floor. Space is also allocated to house the Bachelor of Science degree program in nursing and the Master of Science degree in Nursing.

The facility is possible in part to the late Verna June Meen, whose $3.875 million gift towards funding the facility in memory of her husband, Dr. Ronald H. Meen, allowed the leadership of the college to move forward with plans for the facility.

Much of the laboratory equipment has been installed as the finishing touches are added to the Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Math at Tusculum College.

The finishing touches on the exterior of the building are under way including sidewalk construction.



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Dr. Paul Pinckley named vice president of enrollment management and marketing at Tusculum College

Posted on 16 November 2016 by

Dr. Paul Pinckley has been named vice president of enrollment management and marketing for Tusculum College effective January 1, 2017. He will also serve as assistant professor of education.

Dr. Pinckley comes to Tusculum with experience in marketing, fundraising, strategic planning and working with students through the enrollment process. Most recently he has served the University of Iowa as director of MBA admissions and financial aid for the Tippie College of Business.

As vice president for enrollment management and marketing, Dr. Pinckley will be responsible for directing activities related to Tusculum’s comprehensive college-wide student enrollment, marketing and communications operation for the residential and Graduate and Professional Studies programs.

Dr. Paul Pinckley

“We are very pleased that Dr. Paul Pinckley will be joining us at Tusculum College,” said Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum College. “His experience and success in enrollment management will support continuing success as the college builds upon current strategies to grow our programs.”

In his career, Dr. Pinckley has served as ship manager for The Ship of Life – Partners in Progress, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia; as executive director of student recruitment for the Graziadio School of Business & Management at Pepperdine University, and as director of admissions and vice president for enrollment management at Freed-Hardeman University.

“I am enthused about the opportunity to return home to Tennessee, and work with such a well-respected institution as Tusculum College. The mission, vision and goals of Tusculum College are needed in higher education, now, more than ever. I am honored to be a part of this great work,” said Dr. Pinckley.

He has a doctorate in organizational leadership from Pepperdine University, a master’s degree in communication and theater arts from the University of Memphis and a bachelor’s degree in communication from Freed-Hardeman University.

Dr. Pinckley has served on the Board of Directors of the California Education and Training Export Consortium, was selected to serve on Business School Advisory Board for the Graduate Record Exam, was selected to serve on School Advisory Group for the Graduate Management Admission Council and was twice named Teacher of the Year at Faulkner University. He is married to Debbie Pinckley.


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Tusculum College receives Tennessee Higher Education Commission grant for improved teacher quality efforts

Posted on 11 November 2016 by

Tusculum College has received a $74,991 grant from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission to fund a regional educational effort to improve skills of high school mathematics and computer science teachers.

The grant will be used to fund the Tusculum College Python TEAM2 project, which is designed to enhance the content knowledge, pedagogical skills and pedagogical content knowledge of high school mathematics and computer science teachers in the high-needs school districts surrounding Tusculum College’s home campus in Greene County and its instructional sites in Hamblen and Knox counties.

Project participants will benefit from five on-site days of professional development in Tusculum College’s Meen Center for Science and Math along with a 10-month online credit-bearing course in the Python computer language. The content focus will be on the use of Python computer programming to solve mathematical problems. Participants will explore mathematical concepts, learn the Python programming language and develop programs to solve the kinds of problems they teach in their high school classrooms.

According to Dr. Tricia Hunsader, dean of the School of Education and professor of education, participants’ growth in content knowledge related to mathematics concepts, programming basics and the Python computer language will be assessed via a pre-test and post-test. Participant surveys will assess teachers’ perceptions of the learning experiences and their growth in content knowledge, pedagogical skills, and pedagogical content knowledge.

“The primary content objectives are to increase high school mathematics and computer science teachers’ knowledge of and practical skills in fundamental mathematical concepts directly applicable to computer programming, essential structures and algorithms used in object-oriented programming, the writing of Python code to solve mathematical problems and numerical methods applicable to the high school mathematics curriculum,” said Dr. Hunsader.

The program is a partnership among Tusculum College’s Department of Mathematics and Computer Science within the School of Arts and Sciences, Tusculum College’s School of Education and regional high-need school systems, which include Greene County, Greeneville City, Hamblen County, Hawkins County, Jefferson County, Knox County and Washington County school districts.

THEC administers this federal program, which was established to provide grants for colleges and universities to develop and implement workshops for K-12 teachers in the areas of mathematics, science and humanities. The purpose is to establish a collaborative planning partnership between higher education and K-12 education for teacher preparation and continuing professional development. – See more at:


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Tusculum Commencement ceremony to feature Dr. Ron May

Posted on 08 November 2016 by

Dr. Ron May, vice president of academic affairs at Tusculum College and a 1968 graduate, will be the speaker at Tusculum College’s winter commencement exercises on Saturday, Dec. 10.

Dr. May will deliver the address to students at both ceremonies in the Pioneer Arena in Niswonger Commons on the Greeneville campus. The morning ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. The afternoon ceremony will begin at 2 p.m.

Dr. Ron May

“Dr. Ron May joined Tusculum College in 2014 and has helped guide us through a significant period of change in the academic arena,” said Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum College. His leadership has been invaluable as we steer the college through difficult times in higher education. He will most certainly leave Tusculum in a better place.”

Dr. May has had a distinguished career in higher education, retiring in June 2014 as president of Ancilla College in Donaldson, Indiana. In his career he has taught public school, as well as served as a college professor, department head, dean, vice president and twice as a college president, at Ancilla and at Louisburg College in Louisburg, North Carolina. Dr. May also holds faculty rank as professor of education.

In his career, Dr. May has been recognized by numerous organizations, including by the Leadership Marshall County program with their Leader of the Year Award in 2011. He served Tusculum College as dean of faculty from 1985 to 1988. He also served for a time as the president of the Tusculum College Alumni Association.

Dr. May earned a Doctorate of Education from Indiana University, a Master of Arts in Teaching from East Tennessee State University and an Associate of Science from Vincennes University. He returned to serve as interim vice president of academic affairs in June 2014.


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Tusculum College participating in White House Healthy Campus Challenge

Posted on 04 November 2016 by

Making sure students have access to affordable health insurance is the primary focus of Tusculum College’s participation in the White House Healthy Campus Challenge.

The Healthy Campus Challenge aims to engage college and university campuses, and in particular community college campuses, across the country in enrollment efforts of the Affordable Health Care Act.

Groups on participating campuses will implement focused activities to reach the uninsured both on campus and in the surrounding community, during the open enrollment period.

“We are aware that we have students on campus who do not have health insurance and have felt the need to address this issue prior to the announcement of the White House Challenge,” said Rev. Dr. Ronda Gentry, director of the Center for Civic Advancement at Tusculum College. “The challenge fits in well with what we were making plans to address, so it is a natural fit for Tusculum College.”

She added that additional activities will be held addressing how to live a healthy lifestyle that will provide opportunities to discuss insurance and its importance.

Tusculum Colleges efforts will include undertaking in-person enrollment activities on campus, sending e-mails to students and faculty reminding them of the opportunity to enroll in coverage, using social media platforms to highlight open enrollment for students, faculty and staff, as well additional educational programming on how to access insurance options.

Efforts began on Wednesday, Nov. 2, with the incorporation of healthcare-related activities into Tusculum’s S.P.I.E.S. program, a campus-wide Individual Wellness through Community Engagement initiative. The acronym S.P.I.E.S. stands for social, physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual. During the S.P.I.E.S. event, staff talked with the approximately 250 students in attendance about the healthcare exchange and walked interested students through the application process. Additional activities were designed to educate students on simple exercises they can add to their day, as well as how to eat healthy on a college student budget. Students also participated in group biking, trail hike, lawn games or yoga activities.

The 2016 White House Healthy Campus Challenge builds on the successful 2015 White House Healthy Communities Challenge, in which Milwaukee – the challenge winner – saw about 38,000 people newly select a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace during the open enrollment period.


Students participated in a healthy lifestyle event at Tusculum College on Wednesday that included learning about health insurance options and is part of the college’s participation in the White House Health Campus Challenge.


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Organic progression – alumna serves after graduation

Posted on 03 November 2016 by

Finishing college and heading into the world of work is a different experience for each of Tusculum’s alumni, but for many, such as Kristen Lane ’14, the transition was organic in its development and in her continued work with Tusculum College’s environmental science program.

Lane, currently serves as an AmeriCorps intern for the Middle Nolichucky Watershed Alliance, and continues to work with Tusculum College science departments, as well as Tusculum students in other programs volunteering in environmental programs in the community. Additionally, she credits Tusculum faculty with helping her make the connections to put her in the right place at the right time for the intern opportunity.

“Dr. Keller was very involved with the Middle Nolichucky Watershed Alliance and helped me to get my foot in the door,” said Lane, adding that as a field guide naturalist major, she had a lot of interaction with the faculty during her time at Tusculum that led to long-term relationships.

Kristen Lane gets to return to campus often, working with students from the College and those from local schools at the Paul E. Hayden Educational Wetland or sharing information with Tusculum students about the volunteer opportunities available with the Middle Nolichucky Watershed Alliance.

Dr. Melissa Keller, assistant professor of biology and former professor Dan Barnett was instrumental in helping Lane land that first position and in serving as resources for her in her first few months after graduation.

As part of her service, Lane is responsible for developing, implementing and evaluating service learning projects with target outcomes to a wide range of participants, maintaining and expanding community partnerships and capacity building for the Middle Nolichucky Watershed Alliance. She also handles volunteer coordination and management, which is another path that keeps her in contact with the Tusculum community.

“Many of the skills I developed at Tusculum,” said Lane. “In addition to the academic base, I developed a lot of skills through my participation in student organizations on campus, things like being self-directed, detail oriented and thinking creatively.”

During her years at Tusculum, Lane led the Pioneer Green Team, an environmental student organization, as its president and found herself planning events, recruiting volunteers and setting up strategies for educating the public, all of which is in her job description at the Middle Nolichucky Watershed Alliance.

“Being involved with several on campus organizations and being a national service member has given me experience in public speaking, reaching, networking, organizing volunteers, developing community partnerships, maintaining public relations and leading and cooperating in team environments,” she said. In addition to the Green Team, she was a representative for Voices Against Violence and served as both representative and senator for the Student Government Association.

In her AmeriCorps position, she puts her skills toward grant writing and projects involving restoration work, but there is also a strong educational component, working with elementary school students at the wetlands and giving community presentations. She also calls on her relationships often that she built while attending Tusculum.

“We have a strong partnership with Tusculum College, particularly the science areas and the biology and environmental science classes,” she said.  She also calls on Tusculum often for volunteer work because of the community engagement focus, particularly with service learning courses.

“The Earth Day program that I coordinated as president of the Pioneer Green Team is very similar to projects I do now, like the Energy Fair. My experience in planning a project was very helpful.  I learned how to do things on my own time and it was a great experience that is similar to the way I work now.”

While at Tusculum, Lane was the recipient of the Doug Ratledge Environmental Science Scholarship, awarded to an outstanding student majoring in environmental science or the field guide naturalist program. Serving with the Middle Nolichucky Watershed Alliance, she also gets to share her love for environmental science with others.

Her advice to current students is to build relationships with faculty. “If you haven’t built these relationships after four years you may have missed the boat,” said Lane. “The faculty are great resources for networking in your field.”

She also encourages building leadership skills through clubs and organizations, which she says is a great way to learn how organizations work, as well as a safe way to learn and try things and see what works.

“For those that have never heard of the AmeriCorps program, it is very similar to the Peace Corps but on the domestic front,” said Lane. “AmeriCorps offers a living stipend and educational stipend upon successful completion of service, which can be full or part-time. It’s an honor to be a part of this program, and I would recommend it to undergraduates looking for professional experience and meaningful service to the community.”

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Kim Kidwell named director of the Tusculum Fund at Tusculum College

Posted on 03 November 2016 by

Kim Kidwell has been named director of the Tusculum Fund at Tusculum College. She will assume her new duties on Dec. 1.

Kidwell joined Tusculum College in 2007. Her office is located in McCormick Hall on the Greeneville campus. As director of the Tusculum Fund, Kidwell will be responsible for planning, execution and oversight of the college’s annual fund. She will be responsible for identifying, cultivating and soliciting prospective donors for various campaigns that provide funding support for the institution.

“We are excited to announce that Kim Kidwell is returning to our Advancement staff as director of the Tusculum Fund,” said Heather Patchett, vice president of Institutional Advancement. “Kim has amazing relationship skills and was much missed by many of our alumni when she took her position in the Business Office. Her organizational abilities and her dedication to Tusculum College and its students are just of the few things that will help us move our programs forward.”

Kim Kidwell

According to Patchett, Kidwell has demonstrated excellent skills for developing and nurturing relationships with alumni and other donors.  In her role, she will be focusing on acquiring new donors, increasing the giving of current donors and working with current students and young alumni to build an awareness of the importance of giving.

She is also a highly analytical and a detail-oriented problem solver with a strong background of accounting, finance and development. She has extensive experience in implementing and managing not-for-profit programs; successfully managing and expanding existing programs; promoting, funding and organizing programs and events; conducting research; managing databases; managing staff, volunteers and volunteer teams; and preparing reports and presentations.

A 1999 graduate of Tusculum, this will be Kidwell’s return to fundraising at Tusculum College.  For the past four years she has served as payroll specialist in the Business Office.  Prior to that, she held positions in fundraising including director of the Tusculum Fund, associate director of development and development director.

“My time at Tusculum College has given me valuable experience, particularly in development,” said Kidwell. “I am passionate in working with the Tusculum College donors, as well as the faculty and staff to achieve the fundraising goals of the college.”

Kidwell resides in Afton with her two children, Macy and Talon. They are members of First Baptist Church.


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Tusculum students secure $3,000 grant for elementary school library

Tusculum students secure $3,000 grant for elementary school library

Posted on 03 November 2016 by

Students at Camp Creek Elementary will soon have some new reading material at their disposal, as a grant written by students in a Tusculum College grant writing course has made possible the purchase of new books for the school’s library program.

“We are so excited about the grant, and so appreciative of the students at Tusculum College for doing this for us,” said Jennifer Reeves, the Camp Creek Elementary School librarian. “The vast majority of the money will go toward the purchase of new book titles for students in the school to read and check out.”

Reeves said that with limited funds each year, it is hard for them to keep current titles in the library, and it is disappointing to not have an exciting new series when a student comes in and asks for it.

The grant is from the Dollar General and also allows some of the funds to be used for library programming.

Dr. Michael Bodary, associate professor of English who taught the grant writing course offered at Tusculum College, explained why he enjoys teaching it. “Tusculum has an ongoing commitment to civic engagement, so I am constantly looking for opportunities where students can apply what they learn in the classroom to help better the lives of those around them. With one success under their belts, I hope these students are encouraged to write more grants after they graduate—or even explore grant writing as a career.”

Tusculum students who worked on the grant were journalism and professional writing majors Madilyn Elliott Whitley from Hampton, who graduated in May, Meg Franklin of Newport, and Jonathon Dennis of Rome, Georgia.

“What made our grant different was how out-of-the-box it was, I think,” said Whitley. “Reading doesn’t just mean novels and stories, so we played on that. This program gets kids reading nontraditional material, like video game guides and magazines, and has people in ‘dream jobs’ telling them how reading is important in every career field. We wanted to break the mold of reading programs, and I think that contributed to it getting funded.”

She added, “I chose to work on this grant because reading is and always has been a priority to me. I come from a school like Camp Creek, where the library had little money to spend on new books. Sometimes libraries are the only access kids have to reading, and it is vital that we give kids every opportunity to read, expand their horizons, and figure out who they want to be. Dollar General is doing a great service in funding literacy programs, and I’m just grateful that I was able to help connect them to a local school.”


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Tusculum versus Carson-Newman Blood Bowl match up this November

Posted on 02 November 2016 by

Fans of the Tusculum Pioneers and Carson-Newman Eagles can support their team while aiding the East Tennessee Medic Regional Blood Center by participating in the 14th annual Blood Drive Bowl next week.

The event is part of the festivities leading up to the Nov. 12th football game between the Pioneers and Eagles, which kicks off at 1:30 p.m. from the Niswonger Sports Complex and Pioneer Field in Greeneville.  There will be several opportunities to donate blood.

Tusculum has been the top donor in eight of the previous 13 drives, including six of the last eight.

On Tuesday, Nov. 8th, Tusculum students, faculty, staff and fans may donate on the Knoxville campus from 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; at the Greeneville campus at Niswonger Student Commons from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.; and at the Morristown site (420 West Morris Blvd.) from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Blood donations may also be given during the week at the MEDIC Regional Blood Center in Knoxville (1601 Ailor Ave.) during the following hours: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Please let the screener know your donation should count towards Tusculum College.

All donors will receive a t-shirt and coupons for a free appetizer from Texas Roadhouse.

Donors should bring a valid driver’s license or other official photo ID in order to give blood. Medical prescreening and a free cholesterol test (no fasting necessary) will be provided at the sites. One donation a year exempts donors and their IRS dependents from paying blood supplier processing fees at any U.S. hospital.

The winning school will be announced at halftime of the Tusculum/Carson-Newman football game at Pioneer Field. Tusculum leads the series 8-5.  The Pioneers won the inaugural title in 2003 and again in 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014. Carson-Newman has captured bragging rights five times (2004, 2006, 2007, 2013, 2015).

For more information, contact the MEDIC Regional Blood Center at (865) 524-3074 or at


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