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Doak House Museum to present ‘Drop-In’ History Camp June 8-12

Posted on 26 May 2015 by eestes@tusculum.edu

The Doak House Museum is offering a history camp option in June for youngsters who want to attend fun, educational activities over the summer but may not be able to commit to a week-long camp.

The “Drop-in History Camp” is scheduled for June 8 -12 and will offer participants an opportunity to enjoy fun, educational and interactive games and activities each day. The camp is designed for children ages six through 12 years of age.

Each day will offer a different focus for activities. On Monday, June 8, the focus will be on cooking and crafts as participants will make baked apples, churn butter, create recycled planters and practice the art of tin punching.

Activities on Tuesday, June 9, will provide youngsters a glimpse of what school was like for their counterparts in the 19th century. They will be making their own paper, creating a marbled paper journal and writing a story using a quill pen.

Every day life in the 1800s will be explored on Wednesday, June 10, as participants will dip their own candlesticks, craft a candlestick holder, make corn husk dolls, piece together a paper quilt and play 19th century games.

On Thursday, June 11, participants will get creative as they put on a shadow puppet play, learn the art of decoupage, cut out silhouettes and make holiday ornaments.

The camp will conclude with a day of fun and games on Friday, June 12. Participants will make a mop horse and then use their creations in a mop horse race. They will go on a marble hunt and learn to shoot marbles with their finds. Youngsters will make their own checkerboards and play jackstraws.

The camp will be led by Kim Crowell, who is a second-year student in the University of Florida’s Museum Studies Master’s program. Her disciplinary focus is in education. Crowell earned bachelor of fine arts degree in fine art with a minor in business from Columbus State University.

Parents are asked to drop off their children at the museum between 9:30 and 10 a.m. on camp days and pick them up by 3 p.m. The fee is $15 per day and no sign-up, deposit or reservations are required. A snack will be provided but participants will need to bring their own lunch.

For more information contact the Doak House at 423-636-8554 or email kcrowell@tusculum.edu.

The Doak House Museum and the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library are operated by the Department of Museum Program and Studies of Tusculum College. In addition to the museums, the department is responsible for the College Archives and offers one of the few undergraduate Museum Studies degree programs in the country. The two museums are also part of the National Historic District on the Tusculum College campus. Follow the museums on Facebook and Twitter to learn the latest news and upcoming events or visit its website at www.tusculum.edu to learn more about the variety of programs offered at the museums.

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Margaret Simpson Gaut honored with Tusculum College Distinguished Service Award

Posted on 18 May 2015 by srichey@tusculum.edu

Tusculum College presented Margaret Simpson Gaut the Distinguished Service Award during the annual Tusculum College President’s Dinner on Friday, May 15. She was recognized for her service and support of Tusculum College.

Tusculum President Dr. Nancy B. Moody and Dr. Kenneth A. Bowman, chair of the Board of Trustees and 1970 alumnus of the college, presented the award. In addition to the presentation of the Distinguished Service Award, guests heard remarks from Ryan M. Barker, a 2015 graduate of the college and winner of this year’s Bruce G. Batts Award.

The Distinguished Service Award is given to an individual or individuals who have a history of outstanding support of Tusculum College. The award is presented at the President’s Dinner, which honors the college’s major donors.

Gaut, a 1940 graduate of Tusculum College, has lived most of her life less than half a mile from Tusculum College. She grew up on the ancestral family farm in Tusculum, and her dedication to education and community has changed the lives of innumerable students and others fortunate enough to cross her path.

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in home economics and went on to post graduate study at the University of Tennessee. While at Tusculum, she was a member of the Cicero Society. She spent a life dedicated to education in the East Tennessee region, retiring after serving 31 years with the educational systems of Bristol, Va. and Greeneville. She served at the state level on the Board of Tennessee Classroom Teachers and remains an active member of the Retired Teachers Association.

From her early youth Gaut was a dedicated member of Shiloh Cumberland Presbyterian Church, where she began her career of teaching in Sunday school classes. She later became a member of the Greeneville Cumberland Presbyterian Church and was active in its Sunday school program. She served as the Worship Committee Chairman and established and chaired the Heritage Ministry for the church.

Throughout her life, she maintained a connection with Tusculum College, supporting its students and programs, and serving as president of the Alumni Association. She remains an active member of the Alumni Executive Board. She has served on a presidential search committee and was a member of the External Relations Committee of the Tusculum College Board of Trustees. She has served as a class representative and as a phonathon volunteer. In 2001, she received the Pioneer Award, the highest honor given by the Alumni Association.

“With her commitment to education in the community and at Tusculum College, Mrs. Gaut has made a significant impact on the education of students, said Dr. Moody “She is an amazing person, and her legacy will continue to impact the lives of thousands of students for many, many years to come.”

In his remarks to guests, Barker talked about how his life had been changed at Tusculum College and how those he encountered during his time there has imprinted upon him the importance of working to improve the world around him.

Presented in memory of a beloved educator at Tusculum who helped define the college’s civic arts curricular focus, the Bruce G. Batts Award is presented to a student who clearly demonstrates the qualities that reflect the civic arts ideals. The Civic Arts embrace such things as active and empathetic listening, the ability to present one’s thoughts clearly in speaking or writing, the ability to analyze situations carefully and solve problems creatively, consistent use of the virtues embodied in the traditions for personal and public decision making and respect for one’s own cultural heritage, as well as those of others.

“This desire to influence my environment, to create the place I want to live in, is possibly the most distinguishing trait of my Tusculum experience. More than the experiences in and out of the classroom, the civic arts notion that one should create the environment he wants to live in is one of the strongest beliefs I have taken from Tusculum,” he said.

Barker graduated cum laude as a double major in history and English: creative writing. Coming to us from Laurens, S.C. Barker has repeatedly earned spots on both the Dean’s List and the Charles Oliver Gray List. He was named to the Alpha Chi National Honor Society for his academic achievement, one of the highest academic honors offered at Tusculum College.

Among his other successes, Barker served as the 2013-2014 president for Tusculum’s Student Government Association and as SGA Senior Senator. He presented three research papers at conferences, while also completing several internships. He has taken the initiative to study abroad with a class on Medieval Europe in 2013. He is the type of student who was fully engaged in the Tusculum College experience, enriching his academic and extracurricular success.

“I went out of my way to be active and involved in my time at Tusculum. As a result, Tusculum paid me back for my time and energy. I’m now getting ready to move to Charleston, South Carolina and enter a master’s program in history,” he added.

“This was an amazing night, featuring two particularly amazing people who, while graduating 75 years apart, both embody the civic arts and the desire to serve their communities, and who both credit Tusculum College in large degree with helping to develop these value systems,” said Dr. Moody.

Also recognized at the event were Dr. Angelo and Dr. Jeannette Volpe and Dr. Judy and Fred Domer, both of whom recently celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversaries. Dr. Angelo Volpe and Dr. Judy Domer are members of the Tusculum College Board of Trustees. Dr. Domer graduated from Tusculum College in 1961.

 

Margaret Simpson Gaut (center) was honored with the Distinguished Service Award by Tusculum College at the annual President’s Dinner. At right is Dr. Ken Bowman, chair of the Board of Trustees. At left is Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum College.

 

Ryan M. Barker, 2015 graduate of Tusculum College, spoke to guests at the Tusculum College President’s Dinner about the impact his college education had on his development into a civically engaged adult.

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Jo Ann Soderquist Kramer advises Tusculum College graduates on becoming leaders

Posted on 11 May 2015 by srichey@tusculum.edu

Jo Ann Soderquist Kramer, the first woman to receive a master’s degree in aerospace engineering at the  University of Virginia, was the keynote speaker at the Tusculum College May Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 9.

Kramer earned the aerospace engineering degree from The University of Virginia in 1967, making her the first female from UVA to earn any type of degree in engineering. She holds an undergraduate degree from Sweet Briar College, where she majored in physics.

Kramer’s mother, Mabel F. Soderquist, is a 1937 graduate of Tusculum College. Kramer also took several courses at Tusculum College.

During her time at UVA, Kramer was the only female in the engineering department, but said she always felt confident and prepared because of her undergraduate experience at a liberal arts college.

JoAnn Soderquist Kramer, the first woman to receive a master’s degree in aerospace engineering, advised Tusculum College graduates on becoming leaders at Spring Commencement Ceremonies on Saturday.

“I was treated with a great deal of respect,” she said. Adding, “There is nothing like a liberal arts education. If you have that you are able to speak and talk and write, and you will succeed. If you perform well, you will be respected.”

She began her career as an aerospace engineer with Martin Marietta Corp. in Orlando, Fla., then with Lockheed Martin Corp. in Burlington, Vt. She retired in 2011 from her position as director of air and naval defense system programs for General Dynamics Corp. in Burlington.

During her commencement speech, Kramer focused on the key traits that she has admired through the years that were shared by successful leaders. Among those traits were honesty and personal integrity, being able to “cut to the chase” and communicate clearly, the ability to speak and write well, being available and accessible and treating people fairly.

“Nothing is more important than personal integrity,” she said. “You never get a second chance to be trusted and respected.”

She added that while work should be taken seriously, that is not the same as taking oneself seriously. “Enthusiasm and optimism is contagious,” she said. Likewise, she added, negativity and pessimism spreads in the same way.

She encouraged the graduates not to be afraid to make tough, unambiguous decisions that will impact the fate of their organizations and to encourage conflict in order to promote an environment that is open to opposing opinions.

“Embrace change and uncertainty. Use your best judgment and act quickly. Good leaders realize if you ask enough people for permission, you will inevitably find someone to say no.”

Recently, Kramer served on the Sweet Briar College Board of Directors and has been a leading fundraiser for the College. With the school’s recent announcement of its closure, she is heading the efforts of the “Save Sweet Briar College” campaign. She resides in Essex, Vermont.

For the past two months she has put in innumerable hours in the effort to save her alma mater. “We believe we will prevail,” she said. “Sweet Briar alumnae are very passionate.”

She added, “If you go into business – any business – and talk to the leaders, they will tell you that their best performers come from a liberal arts education. All the talk about it being endangered is wrong.”

Kramer is affiliated with Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, the National Defense Industrial Association, and Women in Defense. She has worked on the Board of Directors for Sweet Briar College and the North Country Federal Credit Union, and also served on the Sweet Briar College Alumnae Association Board.

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Spring 2015 Commencement program

Spring 2015 Commencement program

Posted on 09 May 2015 by eestes@tusculum.edu

Congratulations to all the students who earned degrees today during the spring commencement ceremony.

Thanks also to all those families and friends who came out to celebrate with the Tusculum College community and for your patience and  cooperation as we took measures to accommodate our larger than capacity crowd for the ceremony.

Below is a link to a printable version of the commencement program for those who may not have received one or may want to have multiple copies.

Spring 2015 Commencement Program

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Tusculum College offering scholarships for transfer students

Posted on 08 May 2015 by srichey@tusculum.edu

Community college students interested in continuing their education at a baccalaureate school will now be eligible for a transfer student scholarship program at Tusculum College.

Jose Guerrero of Knoxville, will be one of the first students benefiting from this program. Guerrero, who has completed a certificate of pre-allied health at Pellissippi State Community College, was awarded the scholarship and will begin the Bachelor of Science in nursing program at Tusculum College in the fall.

Guerrero, a first generation college student who is juggling his educational commitments with working full-time, said that the transfer scholarship helped him make his commitment to continue his education.

“I have known since high school that I wanted to work in health care. The scholarship helped relieve some of the financial worries about continuing my education,” he said. “It’s a huge deal for college students. Every dollar makes a difference.”

Currently an orderly at Park West Hospital, Guerrero said working with the nurses there and talking to them about their jobs and educational preparation led him to the decision that nursing is where he would like to focus his energies.

“I’m taking it a step at a time, but eventually I would like to get my master’s degree and work as a nurse anesthetist or as a physician’s assistant.”

Students who wish to pursue their bachelor’s degree at Tusculum College and are transferring from a qualifying community college may receive a one-time $500 scholarship. In addition to the opportunity to receive this one-time $500 transfer scholarship, students that are members of Phi Theta Kappa or a similar academic honors organization are eligible to receive an additional one-time $500 scholarship, totaling to a one-time $1,000.

“The Tusculum College scholarship for transfer students will help them to make an easier transition,” said Andrew Starnes, admission representative at Tusculum. “Our hope is that it will make the transition from the two-year program to the four-year program a smooth one.”

For more information on admission or to request an application for a transfer scholarship, contact the Tusculum College Office of Admissions at 1.800.729.0256 or email admission@tusculum.edu.

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Doak House Museum to host history, art camps this summer

Posted on 07 May 2015 by srichey@tusculum.edu

The Doak House Museum, located on the campus of Tusculum College, will be offering two exciting summer camps for area children, “Art Camp” and “History Camp.”

History Camp will be held June 8-12 and Art Camp will be held July 13-17. The camps are designed for children ages 6-12.

In History Camp, children will explore the Tusculum College campus and the Doak House Museum site through a variety of interactive games, crafts and activities. The camp will feature a new instructor with all new activities and curriculum.

Art camp will be a mixture of sculpture, drawing, color mixing and other fun activities. Campers can let their imaginations run wild and make fantastical figures out of paper mache or draw from nature at the beautiful five-acre Doak House site.

Tuition for each camp is $85 with all materials and a daily snack included. Camp hours are 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Sibling and Tusculum College employee discounts are available. A deposit and registration are required. Reserve a spot by Friday, May 15, and receive the special discount rate of $75.

“We pride ourselves on having fun, engaging, affordable camps for the families in our community,” said Dollie Boyd, director of Museum Program and Studies at Tusculum College.

Space is limited. For more information, contact Boyd at dboyd@tusculum.edu or by phone at 423-636-8554.

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Tusculum College Museums win two state awards

Posted on 07 May 2015 by srichey@tusculum.edu

The Tusculum College Museum Program and Studies department was the recipient of two awards at the recent Tennessee Association of Museums annual meeting, held in Jackson.

Students in the museum studies program won an Award of Excellence for their exhibit, “Reaper: Nettie Fowler McCormick and the Machine that Built Tusculum College,” and the program won an Award of Commendation for its Historic District Lantern Tour, which was offered during the 2014 Old Oak Festival.

“The great thing about this exhibit is that it challenges the visitors’ pre-conceived notions about how and why Nettie Fowler McCormick made Tusculum College a focus of her philanthropic efforts,” said Josh Helvey, a senior museum studies major from Blountville. “It provides new insight into what exactly made this generosity possible, namely her husband’s wealth generated by his company and the forces that made that company profitable in the first place. Given that we as a class only had three and a half weeks to build this exhibit, the Award of Excellence is an honor and point of pride we can all share.”

Tusculum’s undergraduate students competed in the same categories as professional exhibit designers from across the state.

Leah Walker, site and events manager of the Doak House Museum, and Dollie Boyd, director of the museum, also presented at the conference. Boyd’s session was titled “Out of the Kitchen, Into the Tour Script: Giving the Women’s Story at your Site Equal Time,” and Walker’s session was titled “Excellent TAM Awards of Excellence.”

The Tennessee Association of Museums was founded in 1960 and fosters communication and cooperation between museums, cultural societies and other members of common interests. The goal of the association is to inform the public on the importance of understanding and preserving Tennessee’s cultural, historical, and scientific heritage.

 

One of the two state awards won by the Tusculum College Museum Program and Studies department was for the exhibit “Reaper: Nettie Fowler McCormick and the Machine that Built Tusculum College,” which is still on display at the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library.

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Tusculum students earn special guest status at education conference

Posted on 06 May 2015 by srichey@tusculum.edu

Two Tusculum College students recently attended the Southwest Virginia Early Childhood Conference at the University of Virginia at Wise, as guests of the conference keynote speakers, Dr. Harry Wong and Dr. Rosemary Wong.

Dr. Harry Wong requested Amanda Silvers and Rick Rogers attend the conference after Dr. DiAnn Casteel, professor of education, shared with him samples of their work.

“He was so impressed that he requested permission to use their work in his future publications,” said Dr. Casteel.

Dr. Harry Wong is well-known internationally and has published several books on the topic of classroom management. According to Dr. Casteel, teachers in the Greeneville and Greene County school systems utilize his materials extensively for classroom management.

Silvers is completing her undergraduate degree in teacher education. Rogers is completing his Master of Arts in education degree and has been accepted into the University of Tennessee’s doctoral program for mathematics. Dr. Casteel and Dr. Kathryn Crumm, assistant professor of education, also attended the conference.

While taking a classroom management book with Dr. Casteel, utilizing Dr. Wong’s book, Silvers said the book, “The Classroom Management Book,” is essentially a handbook for both new and seasoned teachers. “It gives explicit suggestions on establishing classroom procedures and rules,” said Silvers, “The book recommends steps to take to help you, as an educator, create an effective learning environment for your students.”

Assignments during the course included setting up an imaginary class and completing various assignments that required the students to set classroom rules and procedures, as well as the preparation a script which that could be used to keep pace throughout each day as routines are established.

It was these projects, completed by Silvers and Rogers, that Dr. Casteel shared with Dr. Harry Wong.

“Hearing Dr. Wong and his wife speak makes me so excited to get into my own classroom, and to put all of this information to use,” said Silvers. “I am certain that the information I learned in Dr. Casteel’s class, and the works of Dr. Harry Wong, will help me to be an organized, effective teacher.”

Rogers said attending the conference reinforced everything that he had learned in the MAT program at Tusculum.

“The presentation allowed me to meet the authors of our classroom management class textbook.  They turned a subject that can be very dry into a presentation that was fun, motivational, educational and applicable,” he said.

 

 

From left are Dr. Harry Wong, students Amanda Silvers and Rick Rogers, and Dr. Rosemary Wong. Silvers and Rogers were guests of the Wongs, who were keynote speakers at the Southwest Virginia Early Childhood Conference at the University of Virginia at Wise.

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Traveling Exhibition on Emancipation and Reconstruction in Tennessee to be featured at Tusculum College

Posted on 06 May 2015 by srichey@tusculum.edu

The Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area has expanded its traveling exhibition, “Free at Last!” to include the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library at Tusculum College. The exhibit expansion comes with the concluding year of the multi-year celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

“Free at Last!” tells the story of the transition from slavery to freedom and the development of citizenship among formerly enslaved African-Americans. Doubled in size to eight bannerstands, the exhibition now has panels focused on each of Tennessee’s three grand divisions.  “Free at Last!” will be on view at the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library on the Tusculum College campus from May 4 to June 30.

“As the sesquicentennial of the Civil War draws to a close, we are gratified to be continuing the exploration of our history,” said Dollie Boyd, director of museum program and studies at Tusculum College. “In this region we are still feeling the effects of the Reconstruction period even 150 years later, this exhibit helps us understand why. We want to thank the outstanding staff at the Center for Historic Preservation at Middle Tennessee State University for creating such an outstanding exhibition. We are pleased to host it this summer and offer it free of charge to visitors.”

More than 40 venues across Tennessee have hosted “Free at Last!” Sites will now have the opportunity to share even more of the story with visitors.  New panels on East Tennessee look at that region’s legacy of emancipation before the Civil War and consider how emancipation has been remembered in the region since the war.

The Heritage Area has also published a driving tour of Reconstruction sites across the state.  “The driving tour goes hand in hand with the expanded exhibition to provide Tennessee residents and visitors with in-depth knowledge about this significant and often misunderstood period in Tennessee’s history,” says Leigh Ann Gardner, interpretive specialist for the Heritage Area.

For more information, please contact Boyd at 423-636-8554 or dboyd@tusculum.edu.

The Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area receives funding from the National Park Service and is administered by the Center for Historic Preservation at Middle Tennessee State University.  For more information about the exhibition, please contact Antoinette van Zelm at (615) 494-8869.

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Tusculum College kicks off Pioneer Club campaign

Posted on 06 May 2015 by srichey@tusculum.edu

With a $60,000 goal, Tusculum College officially kicked off the 2015-16 Pioneer Club campaign with a motivational breakfast held at the Greeneville campus on Tuesday, May 5.

“Tusculum College appreciates all that you do to support Tusculum College athletics,” said Tusculum President Nancy B. Moody, who welcomed the campaign volunteers. “What you do truly makes a difference with our students.”

Chairman of the Pioneer Club Campaign this year is Larry Coughlin, in his seventh year serving as leader of this effort. Coughlin announced the campaign goal, and the time frame of this year’s campaign, which will be four weeks, ending on June 2.

Coughlin has been actively involved with Tusculum College and its student-athletes and is respected in the Greeneville community as a member of Notre Dame Catholic Church and the Foundation Board of the Greeneville Exchange Club. He is a member of the Laughlin Health Care Foundation Board and on the Consumer Credit Union Board of Directors.

He and his wife, Donna, have for many years been dedicated to supporting Tusculum College student-athletes and their programs. In 2010, Coughlin was recognized with the Sports Benefactor Award, which recognizes individuals for their contributions toward the Pioneer athletic programs.

Coughlin also announced team captains for this year’s efforts. Team captains include friends of the college Bland Justis and Dr. Craig Shepherd, as well as alumni Doug DeBusk, Justin Jeffers. Angelo Botta and Curtis Morrison.

The Pioneer Club is the college’s vehicle to provide athletic scholarships and program support to all athletic programs. The program began in 1991, and with the help and support of alumni and friends of the college, each year the goals have been met in both membership and dollars raised.

Athletics at Tusculum College are a big part of campus life; nearly 50 percent of the students are student-athletes.

Tusculum Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Frankie DeBusk was on hand at the kick-off event to encourage and thank the volunteers.

“Thank you for all you do. The money you raise helps every single one of our sports teams through scholarships and help for our budgets,” said DeBusk. “I truly believe we have a special place here, and your efforts go directly to support our student-athletes.”

Coughlin said volunteers will be making contacts in the community over the next four weeks to solicit support for Tusculum College athletics, and he is expecting the community to be receptive.

“What an exciting program to be a part of, and as a Pioneer Club member, you can help student-athletes enjoy the unique Tusculum College experience,” Coughlin added.

For more information on the Pioneer Club or to become a member, contact Tusculum College’s Office of Institutional Advancement at 423-636-7303.

 

Leadership for this year’s Tusculum College Pioneer Club Campaign includes from left, Angelo Botta, Chairman Larry Coughlin, Justin Jeffers, Curtis Morrison, Bland Justis and Dr. Craig Shepherd. Not pictured is Doug DeBusk.

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Home school conference to be held at Tusculum College

Posted on 05 May 2015 by srichey@tusculum.edu

Heritage Home Scholars will host a regional home-school conference at Tusculum College on Monday, May 18, 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 Ramona Taylor, 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 information related to Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation, how to prepare for college and navigate the application process and home schooling through high school, which will be presented by Taylor. 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 “Tennessee Home-school Law: Category What? Option Who?” and “Sports and Home Schooling in Tennessee.” There will also be a “Home Schooling 101” session for those just getting started.

Other topics of discussion will be 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 www.heritagehomescholars.org for a schedule of speakers.

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

Heritage Home Scholars is a non-profit corporation formed in 2014 in Greeneville, Tenn. 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 heritagehomescholars@gmail.com.

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Tusculum College receives grant from Women’s Fund of East Tennessee

Posted on 04 May 2015 by srichey@tusculum.edu

The Women’s Fund of East Tennessee has awarded a $17,650 grant to Tusculum College for a first generation college student mentoring program.

The Women’s Fund of East Tennessee will provide funding for the proposed program’s guest speakers and honorariums, Tusculum College student participants, interview wardrobe, supplies, meals, cultural events and transportation expenses of $10,650.

The grant will provide for 18 female high school students, who come from low income families and would be their family’s first generation to attend college, to participate in a five-day residential, mentored institute at Tusculum College. Students from Carter, Cocke, Greene and Unicoi counties will be eligible. The new program, which began in 2014, is called the Women’s Search for Success and Self-Sufficiency.

Tusculum College is working with its Talent Search program to expand the Women’s Search for Success and Self-Sufficiency program. The Talent Search program seeks to empower underrepresented participants with the tools to achieve academic and personal success. The program accomplishes this goal through interventions to assist low-income and first-generation participants to finish high school, enter and complete a program of post-secondary education.

The goal of the Women’s Search for Success and Self-Sufficiency program is to help girls in East Tennessee learn various life, education and work-related skills. Various workshops are implemented to instruct participants in areas such as financial literacy, basic social skills, cognitive skills, job- and college-searching, basic employment skills and employment transitions.

Talent Search professional staff, Tusculum College’s Financial Aid and Career Services staff, area financial advisors, etiquette coaches, hair and make-up specialists, health department officials and police department officials will conduct the workshops, training and activities.

“Tusculum College has a long history of serving first generation college students and that commitment is stronger than ever with the establishment of our summer institute,” said Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum College.

According to Dr. Moody, 75 percent of Tusculum College students call Appalachia home, and approximately 35 percent of Tusculum’s students are first-generation with parents who have no college experience.

“These students need the mentoring and support a small college like Tusculum can provide,” said Moody.

Jeanne Stokes, director of the TRIO programs who will coordinate the new program said, “This is a wonderful opportunity to introduce our students to different career options, teambuilding activities and cultural enrichment. We plan for the students to leave with a sense of self- sufficiency that will enable them to be successful as they complete high school and enter and complete college.”

Because of the partnership with the Talent Search program, participants in the Women’s Search for Success and Self-Sufficiency will continue to be mentored, monitored and guided throughout high school and college by professional staff and identified mentors. Skill attainments will be measured utilizing pre- and post-tests. A pre-test will be administered at the beginning of the summer institute and a post-test and the end of the week-long institute. Items on the test will cover topics including personal appearance and hygiene, personal safety, leadership, communication, critical thinking skills and financial literacy.

For more information or to donate to the Women’s Fund, visit www.womensfundetn.org or call 865-524-1223.

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