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

Posted on 30 June 2015 by srichey@tusculum.edu

The Women’s Fund of East Tennessee has awarded a $10,000 grant to Tusculum College for a first generation college student mentoring program. Representatives of the Women’s Fund presented the funds to representatives of the college at a luncheon on the Greeneville campus in June.

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.

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 program 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, Arts Outreach staff, Tusculum College’s Financial Aid and Career Services staff, Student Support Services, area financial advisors, etiquette coaches, hair and make-up specialists, health department officials and law enforcement 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, 46 percent are the first in their family to attend college and 66 percent are Pell Grant eligible, the students with the greatest financial need.

“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, and critical thinking skills, and financial literacy.

The Women’s Fund provided grants to Haven House, New Opportunity School for Women, Red Legacy Recovery, Servolution, The Next Door and Tusculum College.

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

 

From left are Heather Patchett, vice president of institutional advancement for Tusculum College; Legacy Member Linda Spence, research and grants committee for the Women’s Fund; Women’s Fund Founder Nita Summers, research and grants committee for the Women’s Fund; Women's Fund Founder Judy Ingala; Women's Fund Founder Cynthia Burnley, chair of the research and grants committee; Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum College; Women’s Fund Founder Nikki Niswonger; Jeanne Stokes, director of TRIO program; Alisha Roberson of Hampton; Ali Giovannelli of Unicoi; Lindsey Hixson of Limestone, and Michelle Arbogast, associate director of foundation and donor relations at Tusculum College.

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Tuition Freeze at Tusculum College helps Tennessee private schools initiative to keep student debt from increasing

Posted on 29 June 2015 by srichey@tusculum.edu

Students and parents of students at Tusculum College welcomed good news when it was announced in October that there will be no increase in tuition and room and board fees for Tusculum College students in the 2015-16 year.

Members of the Tusculum College Board of Trustees voted to freeze fees for the upcoming year at their fall meeting on the Greeneville campus.

“We are pleased that tuition, room and board at Tusculum College will remain at the same rate,” said President Nancy B. Moody. “It is our challenge and our duty to control costs for our students to the best of our ability.”

The tuition freeze will be applied to both the residential and the Graduate and Professional Studies programs. Students from both programs have responded positively.

Tusculum’s efforts support an initiative of the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities that show private, non-profit, four-year colleges and universities in Tennessee are committed to holding down student debt.

Students at these institutions across Tennessee will see a modest increase in tuition and fees next year, and they will continue to pay thousands of dollars less than students attending similar institutions in most other states.

Average undergraduate tuition and fees for 2015-16 at the member institutions of the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association will increase by 2.95 percent, the lowest such increase in more than a decade.

“TICUA institutions are steadfast in their commitment to educational opportunity and choice,” said Dr. Gary Weedman, Chair of TICUA Board of Directors and President of Johnson University. “Our institutions are affordable. In addition, we provide generous financial aid, making it possible for students to attend the college or university that best fits their individual needs.”

Through their commitment to provide affordable access to higher education, TICUA institutions serve many low-income students. Approximately 91 percent of first-time, full-time students attending private, non-profit colleges and universities in the State receive some form of financial support. The majority (75%) of this aid comes directly from the 34 college and university members of TICUA, of which Tusculum College is one.

The State of Tennessee provides another 13 percent and the federal government the remaining 12 percent of the aid.

More than 42 percent of Tennesseans attending TICUA institutions receive the federal Pell Grant, targeted to support students from low-income families.

The State’s need-based aid program, the Tennessee Student Assistance Award provided $21.1 million to more than 5,400 low-income students attending TICUA member institutions.

Thousands of TICUA member institution students also benefit from the State’s education lottery program. In the 2014-15 academic year, more than 12,000 students attending private colleges and universities participated in the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship award program, which provided more than $54.7 million in grant aid to students at private colleges and universities.

“It is important to recognize that almost every student attending a TICUA member campus receives some form of financial aid either from the state or federal government or, more typically, directly from the institution,” said Dr. Claude Pressnell, President of TICUA. “When you combine institutional, state, and federal aid, the actual price paid by students can be substantially lower than the published price.”

For academic year 2015-16, the average published tuition and fees, not including room and board, for undergraduate students attending a TICUA member private, non- profit, four-year institution in Tennessee will be $24,190 per year. This is expected to be considerably lower than the national average. Last year (academic year 2014-15), average tuition at Tennessee’s private, non-profit, four-year institutions was 25 percent less than the national average. After considering the contribution of financial aid, many students ultimately pay significantly less than the either the national or southern regional averages.

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Tusculum College receives grant from the Tennessee Historical Records Advisory Board

Posted on 19 June 2015 by srichey@tusculum.edu

The President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library at Tusculum College has received an $800 grant from the Tennessee Historical Records Advisory Board to purchase shelving to improve the storage for its historic collections.

The Tennessee Historical Records Advisory Board received $27,500 from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission to assist Tennessee’s historic record centers through a grant program called State and National Archival Partnership. SNAP Grants are available up to $2,500.

The SNAP grants are open to any Tennessee organization with historical records that are available to the public. The SNAP grants provide training and supplies for the preservation, improving access and enhancing historic record programs.

Through this grant, the museum will be purchasing new shelves for its archival collections. According to Kathy Cuff, archivist at the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library, the new shelves will provide proper storage for the Rare Books Collection and the backlog of other collections.

“This will relieve the crowding seen in the Rare Books Collection, which contains one of the most complete libraries from a post-Revolutionary frontier college,” she said.

Cuff added that the shelving will also be used to improve access to backlogged collections. The backlog shelving will remove the possibility of crushing collections through stacking boxes on top of each other.

“Tusculum College looks forward to installing the shelves soon and redressing these issues.”

The President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library collects, preserves and makes available the records of Tennessee’s first college. The museum is open to the public Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information about Tusculum College’s historic collections, contact Cuff at kcuff@tusculum.edu or at 423-636-7348.

The President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library and the Doak House Museum 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 www.tusculum.edu/museums to learn more about the variety of programs offered at the museums.

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Greeneville native, Tusculum alumnus Nick Darnell named to Governor’s Teacher Cabinet

Posted on 18 June 2015 by srichey@tusculum.edu

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced Wednesday 18 Tennessee teachers selected to serve on the first Governor’s Teacher Cabinet.

Among those named was Nick Darnell, a native of Greeneville who graduated from Tusculum with his bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 2006. Darnell is a Niswonger Scholar and while at Tusculum was inducted into the Alpha Chi National Honor Society and helped found the college’s chapter of College Republicans.

Now serving his ninth year as an educator, Darnell teaches eighth grade American history at East Ridge Middle School in Hamblen County. He is the head sponsor of the school’s Junior Beta Club, chairman of the school improvement committee, a member of the data team and a lead mentor. He earned his master’s degree in educational leadership and his specialist degree in school system leadership, as well as an administrative endorsement, from East Tennessee State University.

Darnell and his wife Emily reside in Morristown.

The cabinet will meet quarterly with Haslam and Education Commissioner Candice McQueen to share real-time information from the classroom, advise on policy considerations and provide a direct line of communication to schools and communities.

Nick Darnell

A year ago the governor traveled the state to hear from groups of teachers, and in December, he announced plans to create the cabinet in an effort to improve teacher communication and collaboration.

“We’ve had a number of conversations with teachers in a variety of settings, and this is another way to receive direct feedback from teachers who are in front of a class every day,” Haslam said. “As Tennessee continues to build on the success we’ve seen in our schools over the past four years, we want to hear from teachers about what is working and what needs improvement. These teachers have a lot on their plates, so I really appreciate their willingness to serve the state in this way.”

Directors of schools were asked to nominate one teacher from each of their districts, and 18 classroom teachers were selected from across the state based on the following criteria: focuses on student achievement, encourages collaboration among colleagues, demonstrates leadership, solutions-oriented and relentlessly pursues excellence.

The teacher cabinet includes a diverse mix of backgrounds and experience. Members represent each of the state’s three grand divisions as well as cities, suburbs and rural areas and have varying years of experience teaching first through twelfth grades.

Members of the first Governor’s Teacher Cabinet are: Elisabeth McArthur Bellah, Maryville City Schools; Melissa Bennett, Blount County Schools; Marsha Buck, Kingsport City Schools; Nick Darnell, Hamblen County Schools; Rebecca Few, Murfreesboro City Schools; Cathy Ginel, Oak Ridge City Schools; Anita Underwood Gray, Lebanon Special School District; Annette C. Johnson, Franklin County Schools; Abbey Kidwell, Clinton City School District; Wanda N. Lacy, Knox County Schools; Jessica Lindsay, Achievement School District; Schwann Logan, Bartlett Municipal School District; Lance Morgan, Union City Schools; Jessica Murray, Dyer County Schools; Kyle Prince, Rutherford County Schools; Angie Tisdale, Franklin Special School District; Karen Vogelsang, Shelby County Schools, and Catherine Whitehead, Chester County School System.

Teachers will serve two-year terms on the cabinet. The first meeting is planned for July.

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Tusculum College Upward Bound celebrates local student graduates

Posted on 15 June 2015 by srichey@tusculum.edu

Celebrating the successful completion of their high school careers, 40 Tusculum College Upward Bound seniors and their families attended a banquet and discussed paths to success at their respective colleges in conjunction with College Signing Day. Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum College, was the featured speaker.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Upward Bound is a program designed to help students excel in high school while providing them with preparation for college success. Students selected for Upward Bound meet with a counselor at their respective school on a regular basis.

The banquet, held on May 1, was aligned with “Reach Higher,” an initiative of First Lady Michelle Obama. The highlights of the evening were the presenting of chords of achievement that the students would don at their graduations, as well as Dr. Moody’s speech about her own struggles as a first-generation college student and her subsequent success as a nurse, nursing professor and ultimately president of Tusculum College.

“Upward Bound was proud to share in First Lady Obama’s celebration, as it aligns perfectly with many of the goals which Upward Bound was founded upon in 1965 as part of The Higher Education Act,” said Jeanne Stokes, director of the TRIO program, which includes Upward Bound, Talent Search and Student Support Services. First Lady Obama created the “Reach Higher” initiative in hopes to inspire young people to “take charge of their future by pursuing education beyond high school.”

Stokes added, “This hope is at the very heart of Upward Bound.” Both First Lady Obama’s plan and Upward Bound incorporate summer programs meant to expand and broaden students’ horizons, support academic planning and promote a better understanding of the financial aid process. Since none of these admirable concepts are new to Tusculum College’s Upward Bound, which has been promoting student achievement for more than forty years, it was a natural progression to make College Signing Day a new tradition, she added.

 

Tusculum College President Dr. Nancy B. Moody places an Upward Bound graduation cord on Cocke County High School senior and future Tusculum College student Delessa Stewart during the Upward Bound Senior Banquet.

 

By Chloe Creel

Upward Bound Intern

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Leadership workshop for high school students scheduled for June 25-27

Posted on 04 June 2015 by eestes@tusculum.edu

A workshop designed to help high school students develop their leadership skills will be held June 25-27 at Tusculum College.

The workshop is open to all high school students and is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, June 25 and 26, and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 27. Sessions will be held all three days in Chalmers Conference Center in Niswonger Commons. The workshop is hosted by the Tusculum College Band Program.

Joel Denton, director of bands at Ooltewah High School, will be leading the workshop. Denton is also the founder of Covenant Consultants, which works with bands and organizations to help them develop leadership and team building skills among their members.

Participants will be actively engaged in developing their leadership skills during the sessions. Areas to be addressed in an active-learning environment include setting high standards of excellence, effective communication principles, behavior modification versus motivation, self-discipline fundamentals, value of risk and dealing with insecurities.

The workshop’s activities are designed to strengthen participants’ skills in independent carry through, sensitivity to peers, development of a positive attitude, increased level of cooperation, understanding of I/Me versus We/Us, understanding the consequences of complacency and commitment to self-improvement.

Registration will begin at 8 a.m. on Thursday. Cost is $70 per person. A discounted rate of $65 is available to groups of 10 or more. Adult group leaders are admitted free with student registrations. The fee includes all materials and instruction, as well as snacks and lunch on Thursday and Friday and snacks on Saturday.

For more information or to register, please contact David Price, director of music programs at Tusculum, at 423-636-7303 or email daprice@tusuclum.edu.

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Tusculum’s Arbogast wins Virginia Carter Smith Scholarship to persuasive development writing conference

Posted on 03 June 2015 by srichey@tusculum.edu

Michelle Arbogast, associate director of foundations and corporate relations at Tusculum college was one of five national winners of the Virginia Carter Smith Scholarship to attend a national persuasive development writing conference in Denver, Colo.

Arbogast will attend the event, sponsored by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, in early June.

The conference is a hands-on training workshop designed to strengthen fundraising skills for professional education development staff. Featured training will include revision and review of writing samples, strengthening writing skills and an opportunity to expand writing resources networks.

“This is an amazing opportunity to hone my writing skills to and improve our future applications for grants that go a long way in helping the college meet its goals. Many of the grants we receive provide scholarships or program support for a wide variety of academic and co-curricular programs,” said Arbogast.

According to Heather Patchett, vice president of institutional advancement for Tusculum College, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education is an excellent resource for fundraising and development professionals.

“Having the opportunity to have one of our staff attend this reputable professional development experience is incredibly valuable,” said Patchett, and particularly well-timed as we are moving full-speed into our Tusculum First Campaign efforts.”

Tusculum First is designed to address the college’s areas of greatest need including a new center for science and math, growth of academic programs, endowed scholarships, student life improvements, technology, an environmental resources and facilities center and support to the Tusculum Fund.

The campaign, which follows the college’s long line of firsts, “was initiated to improve and expand Tusculum College and its programs for the benefit of both the internal and external community. It is designed to improve the areas that most affect student success and inspire them to be contributing members of society,” said Patchett.

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Tusculum named to Presidential Honor Roll for Community Service for ninth time

Tusculum named to Presidential Honor Roll for Community Service for ninth time

Posted on 01 June 2015 by srichey@tusculum.edu

Tusculum College has been honored by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the U.S. Department of Education with a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the ninth year in a row. The designation recognizes colleges and universities for exemplary service efforts and service to America’s communities.

Tusculum College was selected for the Honor Roll for its work in education, hunger, homelessness, environmental stewardship, economic empowerment and youth development in the East Tennessee region. Students have worked with Rural Resources, Greene County Habitat for Humanity, the Greeneville and Greene County school systems, the Boys and Girls Club, Opportunity House, the United Way of Greene County, the Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park and many other groups.

“Since 1794 Tusculum College has desired to teach its students to serve their communities and to develop strong values that included service to humankind,” said Tusculum College President Nancy B. Moody.

She added that service projects and service learning experiences are part of the core of Tusculum College’s mission that includes the Civic Arts and service to others as part of its overall mission.

“I am delighted Tusculum has been honored with this distinction; service and civic engagement are an integral part of campus life and campus culture,” said Ronda Gentry, director of the Center for Civic Advancement at Tusculum College.

Launched in 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. Honorees for the award were chosen based on a series of selection factors including scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.

In addition, numerous projects have been completed by staff, faculty and other volunteer groups associated with Tusculum College.

The Honor Roll is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation. The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is presented during the annual conference of the American Council on Education.

College students make a significant contribution to their communities through volunteering and service, according to the most recent “Volunteering and Civic Life in America” report. In 2012, 3.1 million college students dedicated more than 118 million hours of service across the country — a contribution valued at $2.5 billion.

The complete list of schools recognized is at http://www.nationalservice.gov.

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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 Distinguished Service Award

Margaret Simpson Gaut honored with 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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Museum hosting traveling exhibit about Emancipation and Reconstruction through June

Museum hosting traveling exhibit about Emancipation and Reconstruction through June

Posted on 15 May 2015 by srichey@tusculum.edu

Kim Crowell, a graduate student intern at the Doak House Museum this summer, reads one of the "Free at Last!" exhibit panels now on display at the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library.

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 banner stands, 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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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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