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’5 x 10′ returns to the stage April 24 – 26

’5 x 10′ returns to the stage April 24 – 26

Posted on 20 April 2015 by eestes@tusculum.edu

Holly Marshall and Tyler Miller rehearse a scene from “Copper."

The Tusculum College English Department and Acts, Arts, Academia will present the return of the “5×10” showcase during the annual Old Oak Festival at Tusculum College this weekend and April 24-26.

The show consists of five original, 10-minute plays written by Tusculum College students under the direction of Wayne Thomas, interim dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and associate professor of English; Frank Mengel, Arts Outreach technical director and instructor of theatre, and Brian Ricker, assistant to the director of Arts Outreach.

The production will run for six performances in the David Behan Arena Theatre in the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts building on the Tusculum campus in Greeneville. The production will be staged at 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, April 17-18 and 24-25 2 p.m. on Sundays, April 19 and 26.

Aaron Martel portrays one of the toys in "Plush," a play about two toys who find themselves stored away in an attic.

The plays, which were written during Thomas’ Scriptwriting class during the fall 2014 semester, are varied in subject matter and are as distinct and unique from each other as the playwrights themselves. “I think folks will enjoy the work. This marks ten student playwrights that we’ve produced in the last couple of years. What a fantastic opportunity,” said Thomas.

With a wide range of themes including challenges of faith, mental disorders, and the repercussions of a decidedly flawed penal system, the plays range in genre from light comedy to heavy drama. Audiences are cautioned when considering bringing children to the production due to adult themes and strong language. The show is recommended for ages 13 and up, with parental guidance strongly advised.

The five plays to be featured are:

-          “Plush” written by Zach Gass, a sophomore from Greeneville, Tennessee, which centers on two plush toys, Milo and Toby, who are cast aside in an attic, and must deal with feelings of abandonment, challenges of faith, and maintaining optimism for an uncertain future.

-          “Copper” written by Hannah Berling a junior from Middletown, Ohio, is a comedy about the advances of a somewhat desperate young man, JT, as he tries to woo a young woman, Kendall, while the two wait in a dentist office waiting room, and the amusing repercussions of being deceitful while trying to attract the opposite sex.

Kristen Wiggins, left, and Macy French practice a scene from "Puddle Jumping," a comedy on the darker side about a child and his eccentric pet goldfish.

-          “Puddle Jumping” written by Sarah Holly and Tyler Jinks, juniors from Johnson City and Rogersville, Tennessee respectively, is a darker comedy focusing on the relationship between a young child, Jackson, and an egocentric pet goldfish, Puddles, who wishes for nothing more than a life away from his owner. However, the two must work in harmony in order to save Puddles from being flushed down the toilet by Jackson’s over-worked and demanding mother, Molly.

-          “Save Me” written by Joshua Fuller a sophomore from Alabaster, Alabama, highlights the struggles faced by individuals with mental disorders. Bill, a young man is trying to apply for a job, but must deal with the constant disruption of his mentally induced hallucinations during an interview.

Margo Olmsted, left, and Mike Lilly bring to life the story of an escaped prisoner and the therapist taken hostage.

-          “Psy-cho-ther-apy in Yazoo County, Mississippi” written by Jennifer Frost a sophomore from Friendsville, Tennessee, is about a convict who escapes prison and takes a therapist hostage in an attempt to work through the many emotional and mental problems brought on by life, crime, and a flawed penal system.

Bringing the student works to life will be a cast consisting of current Tusculum College students, Tusculum College Alumni, and veteran community actors. Also, with production assistance from the familiar Arts Outreach team of Costume Director, Barbara Holt, Arts Outreach Director and Artist-in-Residence, Marilyn duBrisk, and Arts Outreach Coordinator, Jennifer Hollowell.

The idea behind the “5×10” production was originally conceived a few years ago by Thomas when he was chair of the Fine Arts Department, in an effort to “promote interdisciplinary co-curricular engagement amongst various fine arts entities.”

Paige Mengel, left, and Tyler Miller rehearse a scene from "Save Me," a play about a man with a mental disorder and the challenges he faces in a job interview.

With the help of Mengel, the first “5×10” production premiered during the 2013 Old Oak Festival. According to Thomas, producing the showcase during the festival “seemed like a natural fit. [The Festival] is all about Fine Arts, so it seemed like a neat way to showcase our writing and theatre programs all at once.”

Tickets are $6 general admission and can be purchased at the box office which opens one hour prior to show time or reserved by contacting Arts Outreach at 423-798-1620, or by e-mail at jhollowell@tusculum.edu. Tickets may be purchased with cash or check only, no credit or debit cards.

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Dorrbecker and Fernando recognized as ‘Students of the Block’ for spring semester

Dorrbecker and Fernando recognized as ‘Students of the Block’ for spring semester

Posted on 09 April 2015 by eestes@tusculum.edu

Michael Fernando and Ashleigh Dorrbecker, front left and right, have been honored as “Student of the Block” award recipients at Tusculum College. On hand to congratulate the two students were Dr. Michelle Freeman, professor of business administration; Daniel Green, senior student life coordinator in the Office of Student Affairs, and Dr. Antonio Bos, professor of economics, back row from left.

Two student leaders in the classroom and on campus, Ashleigh Dorrbecker and Michael Fernando, have been recognized as “Student of the Block” award recipients at Tusculum College.

Michael Fernando, a native of Sri Lanka, was recognized as “Student of the Block” for Block Six. Ashleigh Dorrbecker of Montgomery, Ala., was honored as “Student of the Block” for Block Seven. Both were presented their awards prior to the Wednesday, April 8, Pioneer baseball game against Lee University.

The “Student of the Block Award” is presented by the Tusculum Office of Student Affairs and was established to recognize individuals who excel in their academic endeavors, campus involvement and/or athletic performance. The award is selected from nominations made by faculty and staff members. Plaques telling about the honorees are displayed in the Niswonger Commons and other campus buildings.

Michael Fernando

A junior majoring in accounting, international business and economics, Fernando has made an impact on the Tusculum campus. He is an active member of the Student Government Association, its Budgets and Organization Committee, the Study Abroad and Global Awareness organization, Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature and Business Club.

Fernando provides mentoring and guidance to his fellow students as a resident assistant in one of the resident halls on campus that predominantly houses freshman students. He is also a student peer tutor.

He is a member of the Honors Program and Leadership Tusculum. He has also been involved in Theatre-at-Tusculum, including a memorable role as “The Ghost of Christmas Past” in the 2013 production of “The Christmas Carol.”
An excellent student, he has been named to the President’s and Dean’s List during his time at Tusculum. He is a recipient of the Marjorie Nelle B. Cardwell Scholarship and the Charles Oliver Gray Scholarship.

His excellence as a freshman in an accounting course typically taken by upperclassmen led to an internship position at Plus Mark. Fernando is now serving an internship at the accounting firm of Blackburn Childers and Steagall.

Ashleigh Dorrbecker

Majoring in business administration with concentrations in international business and economics, Dorrbecker is also pursuing a minor in visual arts.

An excellent student, she has a 3.98 grade point average, but her college experience has not been filled with all lectures and homework assignments. She has taken advantage of the opportunities on Tusculum’s campus to develop her leadership skills and make an impact on the college community.

Dorrbecker is serving as president of the student body, but has also served as a senator and vice president of the Student Government Association. She has been chair of the SGA’s Food Committee, which has worked with the campus food service to bring more options to students. She has also served as chair of the Budget and Organization Committee.

A member of the Center for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship, she has gained valuable experience in putting her business knowledge and skills in practice to assist local small businesses and entrepreneurs.

She is the former president of the Anime Club and has served as an orientation leader. She was also recognized as a junior for having the highest grade point average of her class.

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Tusculum inducts charter members into history national honor society

Tusculum inducts charter members into history national honor society

Posted on 06 April 2015 by srichey@tusculum.edu

Tusculum College inaugurated its charter members into Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society on March 30.

Nine students were inducted during the ceremony including Ryan Barker, a senior double major in history and English from Laurens, S.C.; Erika Allison, a senior double major in history and museum studies from Alpharetta, Ga.; Melanie Sigman, a senior museum studies major from Covington, Ga.; Robert Owens, a senior history major from Afton; Chris Weems, a senior history education major from Dickson; Emily Cross, a sophomore history major from Russellville; Emily Bernin, a junior history major from Seymour; Matthew Moyer, a senior history major from Gray, and and Billie McKenzie, a junior history major from Allegan, Mich.

“We are very excited about our new chapter, and we are grateful to be able to recognize the extraordinary achievements of our history and museum studies majors through membership in this prestigious society,” said Dr. Scott McDermott, assistant professor of history at Tusculum, who presided over the ceremony.

“Not only does this express our tremendous pride in these students’ accomplishments, but Phi Alpha Theta will also give them a chance to grow in their historical knowledge and professional skill.”

Along with the nine students, faculty members Dr. Joel Van Amberg, associate professor of history and the department chair, and Dr. McDermott were inducted into the chapter. Other history department faculty, Dr. Angela Keaton, associate professor history and Dr. Peter Noll, assistant professor of public history, already Phi Alpha Theta members, were also in attendance.

“I have learned a great deal from this group of students,” Dr. McDermott said. “So, it is only fitting that I should be inducted side-by-side with them.”

Dr. Van Amberg added, “I am so proud of our students for this accomplishment. Many of our students are engaged in interesting historical research. Being part of the national history honor society will allow them to be recognized by a broader audience through conferences, publications and scholarships.”

Phi Alpha Theta is the national history honor society founded in 1921 at the University of Arkansas and houses more than 900 chapters and includes more than 350,000 members. The Tusculum chapter is named Alpha Pi Alpha, and its charter was initially sponsored by the East Tennessee State University Phi Alpha Theta chapter. Members in the honor society are eligible to attend and present research at regional and national conferences and may compete for more than 25 annual scholarships and prizes.

 

Tusculum College Phi Alpha Theta inductees included from left, Melanie Sigman, Robert Owens, Chris Weems, Emily Cross, Ryan Barker, Erika Allison, Emily Bernin, Matthew Moyer and Billie McKenzie.

 

 

 

 

By Ryan M. Barker, senior creative writing and history major from Laurens, S.C.

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“Best of Broadway” to bring popular show music to the AHB stage March 22

“Best of Broadway” to bring popular show music to the AHB stage March 22

Posted on 12 March 2015 by eestes@tusculum.edu

“Best of Broadway” show on March 22 at Tusculum College will feature performances of songs from popular stage shows such as “Wicked,” “Phantom of the Opera” and “Rent.”

Music from popular Broadway shows is coming to the stage later this month at Tusculum.

“Best of Broadway” will be presented at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 22, in the auditorium of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building on the Tusculum campus. The presentation is part of Tusculum College Arts Outreach’s Acts, Arts, Academia 2014-15 performance and lecture series.

The Best of Broadway will feature a cast of eight singers and dancers performing a revue of well known songs from popular Broadway shows such as “Wicked,” “Hairspray,” “Rent,” Mamma Mia” and “Phantom of Opera.”

“The show is a lot of fun and family friendly,” said John McConnell, producer for the performance, which will be divided into two 45-minute segments with an intermission.

The cast features two performers who have won the prestigious Drama Desk award for performances in Off Broadway productions.

Based in Orlando, the cast of the Best of Broadway performs at Disney World and Universal Studios theme parks and has performed around the world, including shows for U.S. troops stationed overseas.

Arts Outreach is appreciative of the opportunity to bring this level of talent to the local community for a inexpensive ticket cost. Admission for the performance is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors 60 and over, and $5 for children 12 and under.

For more information, please contact Arts Outreach at 423-798-1620 or email jhollowell@tusculum.edu.

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Old Oak Festival returns to Tusculum College April 17-19

Old Oak Festival returns to Tusculum College April 17-19

Posted on 27 February 2015 by eestes@tusculum.edu

The Old Oak Festival will feature a variety of craft vendors along with musical entertainment, theater, art exhibits, poetry readings and activities for children of all ages.

The Old Oak Festival is returning to the Tusculum College campus April 17-19.

The arts and music festival will span across three days and will feature something for everyone, including crafts, music, art, theater, storytelling and area authors, as well as gallery and museum exhibits.

“I would describe this year’s Old Oak Festival to be bigger and better than last year,” said David Price, director of music at Tusculum College and festival coordinator. “There will be arts on every level and something to interest everyone.”

In addition to artist vendors and music performances throughout the day on Friday and Saturday, there will be three performances during the festival of “5X10,” presented by Tusculum students under the direction of Wayne Thomas, the interim dean of the arts and sciences, Frank Mengel, arts outreach technical director and instructor, and Brian Ricker, arts outreach and assistant.

Performances will be held in the Behan Arena Theatre in the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Center. Show times are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

The college’s Allison Gallery will be open throughout the weekend, featuring a faculty and family spotlight exhibition by Deborah Bryan.

The festival is being coordinated by a committee of college and community representatives who are working to promote arts and music in the East Tennessee region.

“We are expecting a wide variety of artists, including painters, craftsmen and sculptors, whose work will be available for purchase. Arts will include pottery, woodcrafts and folk art,” said Price. Demonstrations will also be conducted on pottery, blacksmithing and cooking.

There are limited spaces still available for artisan and crafter booths. Deadline for reserving a booth is April 8, 2015, or until all spaces are filled.

Throughout the weekend on stage, the festival will present the sounds of the region, with a wide variety of music from bluegrass to jazz to local vocalists and musicians.

Both the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library and the Doak House Museum will be open to visitors during the festival and will have special activities planned for adults and children from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 1-4 p.m. on Sunday.

The Doak House Museum will sponsor a batik workshop during the three days of the festival. Participants will learn how to make stunning designs on natural fiber cloth using the wax-resist dyeing method. Reservations and advance deposits are required. The workshop will be held in the heart of the festival on the main campus. Reservation and deposit are required. Contact Leah Walker at 423-636-8554 or lwalker@tusculum.edu for reservations and more information.

Fiddlin’ Carson Peter’s Band and the Old Time Travelers, a duo from Chattanooga Tennessee, will perform on the Doak House lawn on the Saturday of the festival. Picnic tables are available to the public to bring a lunch, tour the museum and hear great bluegrass and old-time music. Performance times will be announced at a later date.

For the length of the festival only, the museum will open its collections storage to display never before exhibited Appalachian chairs and other furnishings, titled “Sittin’ Pretty: Selections from the Doak House Furniture Collection.” Admission is free and donations are appreciated.

The President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library will sponsor a 19th Century Toys and Games booth in the children’s area. Come and play with traditional folk toys and make-and-take your very own toy as a souvenir.

From 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library will feature the “Reaper: Nettie Fowler McCormick and the Machine that Built Tusculum College” exhibit. This exhibit explores the changes wrought by the mechanical harvest and explores the context through which Mrs. McCormick viewed her philanthropic mission.”

The festival will feature children’s activities on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and again on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. There will be storytelling performances on stage and around the festival grounds.

The Walnut Ridge llamas, previous favorites of the festival, will visit the Tusculum College campus over the weekend.

Throughout the weekend, there will be everything from bed racing to surprise performances to craft workshops.

Food selection will include festival favorites, such as homemade strawberry shortcake, Philly cheese steak, and Mennonite doughnuts. Music and food will be available until 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and until 4 p.m. on Sunday.

There is no fee to attend the festival. Art vendor hours will be Friday from noon until 6 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. For more information, contact Price at 423-636-7303.

Coolers and alcohol are prohibited during the festival.

For updates and more information, visit the website at www.oldoakfestival.org or on Facebook at www.facebook/OldOakFestival.

 

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Theatre-at-Tusculum to present comedic musical revue ‘How to Eat Like a Child’

Theatre-at-Tusculum to present comedic musical revue ‘How to Eat Like a Child’

Posted on 20 February 2015 by eestes@tusculum.edu

Practicing the scene “how to stay home from school” from the upcoming Theatre-at-Tusculum production of “How to Eat Like a Child” are, from left, Emma Beddingfield, Reagan Bunch and Allie Shelton.

Theatre-at-Tusculum and Actors Coming Together will invite audiences to revisit their childhood in the production of the musical comedy, “How Eat Like a Child (And Other Lessons in NOT Being a Grown-Up)” during the weekends of Feb. 27-March 1 and March 5-8.

The musical will be performed at 7 p.m. on Feb. 27-28 and March 5-7 in the Behan Arena Theatre (lower level side entrance) of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building. Sunday matinees are scheduled at 2 p.m. on March 1 and 8.

Director Marilyn duBrisk has assembled a cast of 28 talented young people for a hilarious musical romp through the joys and sorrows of childhood. Lessons in such subjects as how to beg for a dog, how to act after being sent to your room, how to laugh hysterically, and of course, how to eat like a child are presented in a series of fast-paced vignettes that should delight and amuse both the young and the young at heart.

“How to Eat Like a Child” is based on the book of the same by Delia Ephron and has been adapted for the stage with book by Ephron, Judith Kahan and John Forster, who also wrote the music and lyrics. The musical version was originally produced as a NBC prime time television special in 1981 starring Dick Van Dyke.

The stage production has been called a “musical revue for children that can also be enjoyed by adults [with] a charming and witty score” by Backstage magazine. “Applause, applause, applause!” wrote Steve Allen and the Hollywood Reporter called it “delightfully clever.” TV Guide praised the show’s Broadway-style songs and imaginative script.”

Assisting duBrisk in bringing this production to the stage are assistant director Brian Ricker, vocal director Angie Clendenon and choreographer Kim Berry. Costume creation is under the direction of Barbara Holt, and the stage and lighting design is by Frank Mengel. Pianist Christopher Beste will provide musical accompaniment.

Admission for the performance is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors 60 and over and $5 for children. For ticket information or reservations, please contact Jennifer Hollowell, Arts Outreach coordinator, at 423-798-1620 or by email at jhollowell@tusculum.edu.

“How to Eat Like a Child” features a series of fast-paced vignettes about the joys and sorrows of childhood including “how to ride in a car,” featuring Dawson Ottinger, Emma Waddell and Jorja Ward, front row from left, and Jade Ward, Victoria Oliver and Dawson McGill, back row from left.

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Hutchinson recognized as ‘Student of the Block’ for Block Five

Hutchinson recognized as ‘Student of the Block’ for Block Five

Posted on 13 February 2015 by eestes@tusculum.edu

Kate Hutchinson, left, accepts the “Student of the Block” award from Daniel Green, senior student life coordinator in the Office of Student Affairs at Tusculum.

Kate Hutchinson, from Calhoun, Ga., has been recognized as “Student of the Block” for Block Five at Tusculum College.

The senior pre-medicine major was recognized Wednesday, Feb. 11, during halftime of the women’s basketball game. The “Student of the Block Award” is presented by the Tusculum Office of Student Affairs and was established to recognize individuals who excel in their academic endeavors, campus involvement and/or athletic performance. The award is selected from nominations made by faculty and staff members. Plaques telling about the honorees are displayed in the Niswonger Commons and other campus buildings.

Hutchinson exemplifies the true meaning of the term “student athlete,” excelling in both the classroom and on the tennis court as a member of the Women’s Tennis Team.

She has maintained a 3.77 grade point average in her major and is a member of the Tusculum Chapter of the National Honor Society. Only the top 10 percent of juniors and seniors are invited to join the honor society. She has been recently accepted into medical school at Edward Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

In addition, she is a member of the President’s Society, a select group of students who serve as ambassadors for the college. She is also a member of the college’s Science Club, the Pioneer Student Athlete Advisory Council and the Greene County Humane Society.

On the tennis court, she has earned an Intercollegiate Tennis Association Scholar Athlete distinction and a 2013-14 All-South Atlantic Conference Honorable Mention after posting a 19-3 singles match record. She opened her collegiate career winning her first 11 singles matches. She has also been Tusculum’s No.1 flight player.

She has participated in various community service projects including fundraisers for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Habitat for Humanity.

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Duality between faith and reason explored during Theologian-in-Residence lecture session

Duality between faith and reason explored during Theologian-in-Residence lecture session

Posted on 13 February 2015 by eestes@tusculum.edu

In the second lecture session, Dr. Jim Miller discussed the modern science period and the development of a dualism between faith and reason.

The development of a dualism between science and Christianity was explored Tuesday during the second session of the annual Theologian-in-Residence lecture series at Tusculum College.

The period of modern science and its relation to Christianity were the focus of the session, led by Dr. Jim Miller, president of the Presbyterian Association on Science, Technology and the Christian Faith. The lecture series, now in its 25th year, is sponsored by Tusculum College and partially funded by Ron Smith.

Dr. Miller, described the modern science period as lasting from the time of Galileo during the Renaissance to Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist who came to prominence in the 1970s. Although Copernicus has been called the “father of modern science,” he added that the moniker “grandfather of modern science” might be a better description as his objections to an earth-centered solar system were from a classical world viewpoint and his mathematical solution was an earlier idea that had been espoused by the Pythagoreans.

However, Galileo was different in that his objections were based on what he observed through a telescope. Galileo “saw amazing things that differed from the Aristotelian ideas of the day,” said Dr. Miller, who is an ordained Presbyterian minister and currently the co-chair of the Broader Social Impact Committee of the Human Origins Program at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

While Galileo had evidence that the Aristotelian cosmology was not correct, he still lacked empirical proof to back his assertion that the earth rotated around the sun, Dr. Miller continued. Galileo’s teachings about a heliocentric solar system resulted in a conflict with the Catholic Church at the time of the Protestant Reformation. He was ordered to stop writing about or teaching the Copernican idea about the solar system. “To challenge the Aristotelian ideals seemed to be a challenge to Christian theology because Aquinas had intertwined Aristotelian ideals so much into his theology,” he explained.

After a new pope was installed with whom Galileo had corresponded about the idea of the heliocentric solar system, the Italian astronomer hoped the church’s stance would change. However, after Galileo wrote “Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems” promoting the heliocentric solar system, he was brought to trial by the Church and forced to recant belief in that idea.

Galileo spent his last years under house arrest and wrote his two most important scientific works, books about two sciences now called kinematics and strength of materials, Dr. Miller said.

One of Galileo’s lasting contributions to science was the establishment of the method of making a hypothesis, testing that hypothesis, analyzing the results and reaching conclusions, he added.

The period between Rene Descartes and Immanuel Kant saw a consolidation of modernity and the establishment of the basic core and shape of the modern worldview, Dr. Miller said. In this worldview, the prevailing metaphor is the machine, he continued. For example, Descartes initiated the idea that the body is a “meat machine” to be understood and repaired like a machine.

Rather than knowledge being derived from ordinary sensory experience, logic and intuition as in the classical worldview, in the modern worldview, knowledge comes from analytic deduction, dividing an object into its component parts and studying those parts. In the modern view “to be reasonable is to be logical,” he said.

While causality in the classical world was thought of more as determined by purpose, in the modern view, it is mechanical – one thing strikes another and causes it to act, Dr. Miller continued.

“In our modern culture, our inclination is to treat issues as though they were problems,” he said. “We act as if though we get the system right, everything will come out fine.”
However, he said, problems are situations that there may be one or two definite technical solutions, while issues are resolved by agreement between the parties involved and gave an example of building a bridge – how to build the bridge involves technical problems while whether or not to build the bridge is an issue.

With the scientific developments, a duality began to form between science and religion as individuals grappled with how they could be reconciled. “They thought that faith is one thing and scientific inquiry is something else,” Dr. Miller said.

Dr. Miller listed some of the divisions that have been defined, such as sacred versus secular, revelation versus science, God’s truth versus man’s truth. Over time the line between the two divisions has become defined by the “versus” with both sides vying to be the one that is considered as correct, he continued. “But why the versus?”

The series will continue on Feb. 17 with a focus on our current period, which Dr. Miller describes as the “emerging world” and conclude on Feb. 24 with a look at the theological implications of the history reviewed in the previous lectures for practical Christian living in the 21st century.

The sessions begin at 10 a.m. in the Chalmers Conference Center in the Niswonger Commons on the Tusculum College campus. There is no charge to attend the lecture series, but reservations are required as lunch is provided in the college’s cafeteria. To register or for more information, please call 423-636-7304 or email eestes@tusculum.edu.

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Lecture explores influence of Aristotelian thought on Christianity

Lecture explores influence of Aristotelian thought on Christianity

Posted on 05 February 2015 by eestes@tusculum.edu

Dr. Jim Miller is the featured speaker of this year’s Theologian-in-Residence lecture series at Tusculum College.

The influence of Greek philosophy and ideas, particularly those of Aristotle, on Christianity were explored Tuesday during the first session of the annual Theologian-in-Residence lecture series at Tusculum College.

In the “Baptism of Aristotle,” Dr. Jim Miller discussed how Christians in the classical world used the intellectual framework of Aristotle to express theology. Dr. Miller, president of the Presbyterian Association on Science, Technology and the Christian Faith, is leading the lecture series, which is sponsored by Tusculum College and partially funded by Ron Smith.

“Christianity includes a combination of strands of Jewish and Greek philosophy,” he said.

Dr. Miller defined the “classical world” as starting with creation, peaking at the time of medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas and concluding around the time of René Descartes.

For the classical world, knowledge came through ordinary sensory experience, logic and intuition, explained Dr. Miller, an ordained Presbyterian minister who is currently the co-chair of the Broader Social Impact Committee of the Human Origins Program at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

Additionally, truth in the classical world was determined by Biblical tradition and Aristotelian tradition, Miller said. He added that he had named the lecture, “Baptism of Aristotle” because of how the Aristotelian intellectual framework was used during the classical period to express theological ideas.

The classical worldview also involved a vertical cosmic dualism, celestial versus terrestrial, which was developed through Greek scientific and mathematical studies, he continued. In the classical world, the celestial was considered perfect as the motion seen in the heavens had regularity and geometric perfection, whereas motion on earth was irregular.

Greek mathematician and astronomer Ptolemy devised a geometric system of the heavens with earth in the center, which lasted more than a century as the prominent theory about the universe. Ptolemy was committed to the idea that the heavens were perfect and developed geometry to explain what appeared to be non-circular orbits and irregular motion, Dr. Miller said.

This is one of the Greek concepts whose influence can be found in Christianity.  During a Sunday service, worshippers may recite the Apostles Creed, which speaks of Jesus descending into hell and then ascending into heaven, Dr. Miller noted, reflecting the classical idea of celestial perfection and terrestrial imperfection.

While Christian ideas about the soul are rooted in Judaism, he said, Aristotle’s concept of the soul as a form of the body was also adopted by Thomas Aquinas, who is considered the preeminent medieval theologian.

Another example can be found in the first chapter of the gospel of John when the term “logos” is used to describe Jesus. The Greek concept of logos is a divine orderliness, that which brought out order in the world, he explained.

The Greek and Jewish traditions came together in the ancient world in places like Antioch, Dr. Miller said. That city was a cultural crossroads where a significant Jewish community settled after the Hebrew nation was dispersed during the Babylonian conquest. Many chose to stay in that area after Israel was resettled by Jews in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah and were there during the conquest of Alexander the Great, when Greek thought permeated through the region. It was to these Jews that Paul first spoke when he went to Antioch during his missionary journeys, he further noted, and the New Testament says that believers in Jesus were first called “Christians” in Antioch.

The next session of the lecture on Tuesday, Feb. 10, will be “How the World Was Divided.” In this lecture, Dr. Miller will explore how the scientific revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries challenged the Aristotelian culture of the classical world and its practical theological legacy. The series will continue on Feb. 17 with a focus on modern scientific developments and their theological significance and conclude on Feb. 24 with a look at the theological implications of the history reviewed in the previous lectures for practical Christian living in the 21st century.

The sessions begin at 10 a.m. in the Chalmers Conference Center in the Niswonger Commons on the Tusculum College campus. There is no charge to attend the lecture series, but reservations are required as lunch is provided in the college’s cafeteria. To register or for more information, please call 423-636-7304 or email eestes@tusculum.edu.

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‘Student of the Block’ recipients honored

‘Student of the Block’ recipients honored

Posted on 30 January 2015 by eestes@tusculum.edu

Recipients of the “Student of the Block” award for the fall 2014 semester were recognized Wednesday during the halftime of the women’s basketball game.

The honorees included David Cooper for Block One, Monica Smith for Block Two, Ryan Barker for Block Three and Joseph Elphingstone for Block Four.

The “Student of the Block Award” is presented by the Tusculum Office of Student Affairs and was established to recognize individuals who excel in their academic endeavors, campus involvement and/or athletic performance. The award is selected from nominations made by faculty and staff members. Plaques telling about the honorees are displayed in the Niswonger Commons and other campus buildings.

David Cooper

David Cooper, left, accepts his "Student of the Block" plaque from Daniel Green, senior student life coordinator in the Office of Student Affairs.

A senior majoring in biology, Cooper has a perfect 4.0 cumulative grade point average. His academic excellence has earned him a number of accolades. He was named the 2014 South Atlantic Conference (SAC) Men’s Cross Country Scholar Athlete of the Year. He is a member of the Tusculum chapter of the Alpha Chi National Honor Society, for which only the top 10 percent of juniors and seniors are eligible. Cooper is a two-time selection to the Capital One Academic All-America® Men’s Cross Country/Track and Field Team selection. He has also been named each year to the Tusculum President’s List, the college’s Dean’s List and the SAC Commissioner’s Honor Roll.

On campus, Cooper, who is from Greeneville, is a resident assistant and has served in the President’s Society, a select group of students who act as ambassadors for the College. He has also served on the Tusculum Athletic Judicial Board and volunteered at the Greene County YMCA and the Greene County Human Society.

Cooper has served as a four-year team captain of the men’s cross country team and has completed one of the finest running careers in Tusculum history. He owns 10 of the top 25 running times in program history, including two of the top 10. He is a three-time All-SAC selection, earning first team honors in 2012. In 2011, he was named to the SAC All-Freshman Team.

Monica Smith

Monica Smith, right, is presented the Student of the Block award from Green. Smith is the first Graduate and Profesional Studies program student to receive the honor.

A December 2014 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in organizational management, Smith will begin work on her master of business administration degree next month.

At Tusculum, she served her fellow student as a mentor in Tusculum’s ARCHES (Adults Reaching Career Heights and Educational Success) program. ARCHES assists first-generation college students, those with learning disabilities or individuals from low income backgrounds who are being served in Tusculum’s Graduate and Professional Studies degree programs. The federally funded TRIO program provides assistance in a variety of areas, including academic support/tutoring, academic advising, career services and personal counseling.

In addition, Smith, who is from Knoxville, has worked with Special Olympics and been a peer tutor and youth mentor. She has also been involved in her community as a gymnast, basketball player and track runner.

Among her favorite memories of Tusculum were participating in ARCHES trips, listening to lectures and visiting Malta through Tusculum’s Global Studies program in 2013.

After obtaining her MBA, she plans to pursue a law degree and become a practicing attorney.

Ryan Barker

Ryan Barker, right, was honored as the Block Three recipient of the award by Green.

Barker, a senior from Laurens, S.C., is a double major in history and English with a concentration in creative writing. During Barker’s time at Tusculum, he has made his mark on the college through campus leadership and his contributions in the classroom.

Currently, he is the president of the Students of Museums and the Students of History Organization and served as the 2013-14 president of the Student Government Association. He has served on the student Judicial Review Board and on the Old Oak Festival planning committee.
Barker has served as a student editor of The Tusculum Review, the college’s literary magazine and is a published author.

Academically, Barker has excelled in his studies, and has presented papers at the Blue Ridge Undergraduate Research Conference. He is a member of Tusculum’s chapter of the Alpha Chi National Honor Society, for which only the top 10 percent of the junior and senior class are eligible. He is also a member of the Phi Alpha Theta National Honor Society for history majors and the Sigma Tau Delta National Honor Society for English majors. He has been recognized on the Tusculum College Dean’s List and Charles Oliver Gray List.

The son of Jeffrey and Debbie Craine, Barker has made the most of his opportunities at Tusculum. He has successfully completed three internships, one in the college’s Office of Communications, another for the Museums of Tusculum College and the third for the Niswonger Foundation. He visited Norway as part of Tusculum’s Global Studies program.

Joseph Elphingstone

Joseph Elphingstone was recognized with the "Student of the Block" award for the Fourth Block by Green.

Joseph Elphingstone is a senior majoring in biology and pre-medicine. The native of Calhoun, Ga., has a 3.91 cumulative grade point average and has been able to successfully balance his academic and athletic responsibilities. A member of the men’s tennis team, he has accounted for a 9-4 singles record and an 11-3 worksheet in doubles.

His academic accomplishments have earned him recognition on the Tusculum President’s List, the Dean’s List and Charles Oliver Gray Honor List. He has also been named to the Tusculum Athletic Director’s Honor Roll and the South Atlantic Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll. He is also a member of Tusculum’s chapter of the Alpha Chi National Honor Society, to which only the top 10 percent of the junior and senior class are invited to join and has served as an officer of the organization.

After graduation, Elphingstone plans to attend medical school and become an orthopedic surgeon.

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Lessons added option to Feb. 14 benefit for the Band Program

Lessons added option to Feb. 14 benefit for the Band Program

Posted on 26 January 2015 by srichey@tusculum.edu

The Tusculum College Pioneer Jazz Band will be hosting a Valentine’s Day Dinner/Swing Dance benefit on Saturday, Feb. 14, at the General Morgan Inn. The reception will begin at 6:30 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. The event will include dinner and a performance of the Pioneer Jazz Band, along with special guests.

The event is a fundraiser to help raise money for much-needed equipment for the entire Tusculum band program, according to David A. Price, director of music at Tusculum College.

As an added bonus, swing dance lessons will be offered free of charge beginning at 5-6 p.m. Lessons will be provided by professional dancers Darian and Tiffany Chancellor. The Chancellors have been professional ballroom dance instructors and competitors for more than 12 years, and for the last 3 years have taught based out of Johnson City. They began with Fred Astaire Dance Studios and opened Johnson City Ballroom in 2012. They are finalists in the National Open Smooth division and are the recipients of a 2014 Kosbe Award for New Business this fall.

“We are thrilled to have Darian and Tiffany back as part of our program. With years of professional experience, it is a great time for beginners to learn or for more experienced dancers to pick up a few new moves,” said Price. “They were a big hit last year and we are excited to have them once again for our event.”

Ticket prices for the event are $50 per person and include dance tickets, free dance lessons, an opening reception, dinner and a special dessert. Please call in advance to request a vegetarian substitution. A cash bar will be available.

Darian and Tiffany Chancellor

Tickets are available for purchase at the General Morgan Inn or by contacting Price at

423-636-7303 or emailing daprice@tusculum.edu. A hotel package special is also available by contacting the General Morgan Inn at 423-787-1000.

Special table reservations are available for larger group seating by contacting Price.

The Pioneer Band Program at Tusculum College began in 2010, with the creation of the Pioneer Pep Band. The Pep Band became a much-enjoyed feature of the 2010 Pioneer football and basketball seasons, as the band performed at the Pioneer Club tailgate parties before each home football game and during pregame and half-time festivities.

Since that time a concert band, jazz band, marching band, handbell choir and several small ensembles have been added to the program.  The groups play several events on campus each year, as well as events in the community.

 

 

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‘Lincoln at Gettysburg’ program on Feb. 1 recounts celebrated speech

‘Lincoln at Gettysburg’ program on Feb. 1 recounts celebrated speech

Posted on 22 January 2015 by eestes@tusculum.edu

“Lincoln at Gettysburg” with Chris Small and local vocalists will explore the 16th president’s most famous speech in a program on Sunday, Feb. 1, at Tusculum College.

“What does it all mean?” At the height of the Civil War, a broken nation and its President were grappling with that question as Abraham Lincoln prepared to give a brief dedicatory speech for a new soldier’s cemetery at Gettysburg.

Lincoln’s contemplations that led to his most famous speech will be explored in “Lincoln at Gettysburg” on Sunday, Feb. 1. The program will begin at 2 p.m. in the Behan Arena on the lower level (side entrance) of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building on the Tusculum College campus. It is part of Tusculum Arts Outreach’s Acts, Arts, Academia 2014-15 performance and lecture series.

In a moving and educational presentation by Lincoln impressionist Chris Small, the 16th president’s visit to the cemetery will be recounted. The audience will learn about the cost of war and the price of freedom. Lincoln’s own experiences as a young man and as President, as well as those of slaves yearning for emancipation and soldiers—North and South, white and black—who made the ultimate sacrifice, help give meaning to the national conflict.

Interspersed throughout the program will be period music from the Civil War, including military songs, spirituals and popular standards, performed live by the Newsome Sisters from Newport and Tara Cohen, with Brenda Silva, from Greeneville. The program will conclude with the Gettysburg Address, which has become Lincoln’s most famous speech.

This year marks the 152nd anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and is the final year of the nationwide Civil War Sesquicentennial commemoration. Lincoln’s participation in the ceremony was requested only 17 days prior to the dedication service when David Wills wrote to the president, asking him to “a few appropriate remarks” after the main oration. Lincoln’s presence and words, Wills thought, would “formally set apart these grounds to their Sacred use” and give gratification and confidence to soldiers still serving in the nation’s forces and to their families back at home.

Small, a winner of the Association of Lincoln Presenters Outstanding Abraham Lincoln Award, began portraying the 16th president in 1997, later founding The Lincoln Project® in 2003 and continuing to lead it into new territories of “Bringing Lincoln to Life.”

In 2010, he authored the children’s book, “Abraham Lincoln Puts on His Hat.” Through The Lincoln Project, he has produced three films: “Abraham Lincoln’s Faith” (2009), “Lincoln and Emancipation” (2009) and “War in Heaven, War on Earth: The Birth of the Seventh-day Adventist Church During the American Civil War” (2014).   Clients and partners of The Lincoln Project have included the National Park Service; the United States Post Office; the East Tennessee Historical Society; and numerous churches, schools and organizations throughout the United States.

Small has a graduate degree in communication, with a specialty in interpretation and performance studies, and has directed Playback Theatre, Bibliodrama, and Boal-based sociodrama. He has formerly served as a university lecturer and a Seventh-day Adventist minister.

Admission to the program is $6. For more information, please call Tusculum College Arts Outreach at 423-798-1620 or email jhollowell@tusculum.edu.

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