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Tusculum College contractor wins world championship

Posted on 05 February 2016 by

Tony Shelton of Creative Masonry is the “Toughest Tender” in the world. Shelton competed in the Spec Mix Bricklayer 500 World Championships this week and was named “Toughest Tender.” Shelton competed as tender, the mason’s assistant, for Fred Campbell in Las Vegas, Nev., on Wednesday, Feb. 3.

The competition included more than 20 master craftsmen from across the globe. Campbell, while not a winner this year, is a past Bricklayer champion, winning in 2013 and 2015. Campbell’s company, Creative Masonry, is the contractor for the brickwork on the Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Math, which is currently under construction at Tusculum College. Creative Masonry also was the brick layer for the new Walters State building in downtown Greeneville.

Shelton is a contractor in his own right, as was his father, and he owns and operates Limestone Construction.

“Tony’s the best mason I’ve ever been around, and I wish I could take him with me to every job,” said Joe Lane, superintendent for Rentenbach Constructors, contractor for the Tusculum math and science building.

The Meen Center for Science and Math will be a four-story structure of approximately 100,000 square feet. Interiors include wings for biology, chemistry, mathematics, computer science and environmental science. There will also be lab space and research areas for both faculty and students.

Campbell led the team to the world championships through regional and national competitions, and Shelton served as tender to Campbell during the main competition. In the preliminary event, the tenders raced against the clock to set up a predefined work area for the mason, and Shelton took home the top award in his category with a winning time of 15:22.


By Stephanie Turner, senior journalism and professional writing major from Shelbyville


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Tusculum lecture to feature tenuous relationship of Tusculum College founders

Posted on 05 February 2016 by

A lecture examining the political and religious rivalry between Rev. Hezekiah Balch and Rev. Samuel Doak, founders of Tusculum College, will be presented on Wednesday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m. in the Chalmers Conference in the Niswonger Commons by Jeff Lokey, assistant professor of business administration at Tusculum College.

“It’s interesting because their rivalry was transcended by Tusculum College,” said Lokey. “We haven’t forgotten it, but Tusculum doesn’t reflect that rivalry anymore.”

Balch’s and Doak’s animosity is historic to Greeneville. Several stories have been told detailing instances when the duo encountered each other.

As told by Richard Doughty, the late Greene County historian, “… [Balch and Doak] met one day on a plank over a particularly muddy spot. Doak was the first to speak. ‘I never make way for the devil.’ To which Balch quickly replied, ‘I do,’ and steeped aside in the mud to let Doak pass.”

While their rivalry is legendary, they both had a passion for higher education. Balch founded Greeneville College; Doak founded Washington College, formerly known as Martin Academy. Eventually, the two institutions merged to form Tusculum College.

Lokey said, “For more than 30 years, I have worked at Tusculum College, and I didn’t understand the rivalry between the two. I decided to find out what caused it.”

Part of the Tusculum College Humanities Series, the event will be open and is free of charge. For residential students, an Arts and Lectures credit is offered.


By Stephanie Turner, senior journalism and professional  writing major from Shelbyville


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Tusculum student receives Northwestern Mutual internship award

Posted on 04 February 2016 by

Northwestern Mutual has honored Tusculum College senior Kevin Jerome with its 2016 Southern Region Top Ten Intern award. The honor recognizes Jerome for an outstanding year with Northwestern Mutual, serving the financial security needs of clients and policy owners throughout the region.

“In a world of financial uncertainty, Northwestern Mutual financial experts like Kevin Jerome have helped deliver confidence to thousands of families,” says Greg Oberland, Northwestern Mutual president.

Kevin Jerome

During his internship with Northwestern Mutual, Jerome, an international business and economics major from Johnson City, offered personalized solutions that helped people reduce financial vulnerability and address a lifetime of needs and goals.

Through an on-campus recruiting event, he landed the internship with Northwestern Mutual. After only a few months, he was ranked nationally as Northwestern Mutual’s seventh leading intern in productivity.

In addition to school and work, Jerome is also a volunteer with the Young Professionals of Tri-Cities, Habitat for Humanity and Pou Yi Mou’n Yo, a charitable organization for children.

After graduation in May, Jerome will join the Atlanta office of Northwestern Mutual as a full time employee.

Robin Lay, director of Career Services at Tusculum College, helped Jerome apply for his internship and said, “Kevin has the unique confidence to ask very successful people for career advice—mixed with enough humility to make him teachable—which means that he will continue to grow personally and professionally.”

Northwestern Mutual financial professionals provide a comprehensive approach to financial planning in order to help clients meet a variety of personal and business needs. Clients are able to obtain personalized financial solutions through Northwestern Mutual’s commitment to financial strength, expertise with time-tested planning principles and comprehensive approach to planning – accompanied by a financial professional’s long-term commitment to listen, guide and encourage.


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Celebrate Valentine’s Day with dinner and dancing and support the Tusculum College band program

Posted on 03 February 2016 by

Dinner, dancing and romance are on the agenda for the Valentine’s Day Dinner/Swing Dance, set for Saturday, Feb. 13 at 6:30 p.m., at the General Morgan Inn.

The evening event includes a reception, free dance lessons and a steak and shrimp dinner. Following dancing, a special dessert course will be served. Providing the music will be the Tusculum College Pioneer Jazz Band, along with special guests.

“When we decided to do a fundraiser for the band program, we were looking for a way to also provide entertainment to the Greeneville community,” said David Price, director of music at Tusculum College. “Spending a night dancing and eating good food with your sweetheart is what Valentine’s Day is all about.”

For anyone interested in honing skills for the dance floor, basic swing dance instruction will be offered immediately prior to the event from 6-6:45 p.m. by Dr. Bob and Christine Thorpe. The Thorpes have participated and competed in dance events across the southeastern United States for more than 20 years.

The Thorpes have been dancing together for 20 years and seize every opportunity to attend workshops, competitions and dance events from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati
and all over the southeastern US. They have taken private instruction in many styles of dance including Ballroom East and West Coast Swing, Waltz, Foxtrot, Carolina Shag and Latin Rumba, Cha-Cha and Tango.

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.

Tickets are available for purchase at the General Morgan Inn or by contacting Price at 423-636-7303 or emailing 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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Allison Josephweb

“The Tusculum Review” names advisory board members

Posted on 01 February 2016 by

“The Tusculum Review” recently named Ada Limon and Allison Joseph as members of The Tusculum Review Advisory Board.

The Tusculum Review Advisory Board consists of regionally and nationally renowned editors and writers, who support the literary magazine by promoting it to their peers and encouraging their contacts to submit their literary work, as well as advising members of “The Tusculum Review” editorial staff.

“Each member was carefully selected and invited because they all have made impressive contributions to the world of letters and have influenced the editors of the Review in some way as mentors or collaborators,” said Dr. Heather Patterson, associate professor of English at Tusculum College.

Ada Limon

Dr. Patterson added, “For instance, Jaimy Gordon won the National Book Award for fiction in 2010, and Bonnie Jo Campbell and Ada Limon were both National Book Award finalists. Allison Joseph is the author of many works such as ‘What Keeps Us Here,’ and ‘Imitation of Life.’ Among her many honors is the John C. Zacharies First Book Prize. Ada Limón is the author of four books of poetry which led to her becoming a finalist in the National Book Award.  The members on our advisory board are successful and innovative writers, and we are proud to have them.”

Allison Joseph

Board members include Limon, Gordon, Joseph, Campbell, Mary Cappello, Richard Greenfield, Martin Lammon, David Lazar, Patrick Madden, Michael Mortone, Wayne Thomas and Kellie Wells.

The Tusculum Review Advisory Board originated with Wayne Thomas, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and associate professor of English, when he was editor of the Review. Thomas invited working writers to become involved with Tusculum’s literary magazine, and when Dr. Patterson became editor, she did the same.

“The Tusculum Review” is an international literary journal that publishes visual art, drama, poetry, fiction and nonfiction. The journal is released annually. “The Tusculum Review” also offers students the chance to learn and refine their skills as reviewers of literature, critics of visual art and editors of the written word. These opportunities provide students with unique qualifications for graduate studies and employment in publishing.




By Kayla Freeman, freshman business major from Charleston, S.C.

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Lesser known Supreme Court cases that have had a significant impact to be focus of lecture Feb. 9

Posted on 29 January 2016 by

Uncovering cases from the annals of the highest court in America that may not have the popular recognition of Brown v. Board of Education or Roe v. Wade but have had as significant impact on the nation will be the focus of a presentation Tuesday, Feb. 9, at Tusculum College.

“American Civil Rights and Liberties: Little Known Supreme Court Cases That Have Made a Big Impact” will be presented by Dr. David Scott at 7 p.m. at the Behan Arena Theatre in the lower level (side entrance) of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building on campus. The presentation is part of the Cicero Lecture Series and Tusculum Arts Outreach’s Acts, Arts, Academia 2015-16 performance and lecture series.

Dr. Scott, visiting instructor of political science at Tusculum, will be primarily discussing four cases that have been significant for the country during his lecture, but will also share information about other important Supreme Court decisions.

A licensed attorney, Dr. Scott earned his doctorate in political science with a focus in American politics from the University of Tennessee. He holds Juris Doctorate and Master of Dispute Resolution degrees from Pepperdine University.

His teaching and research interests include American constitutional law, civil rights and liberties, the influence of interest groups on the Supreme Court via the submission of amicus curiae briefs and political philosophy.

In his second year as an instructor at Tusculum, Dr. Scott has also taught at Carson-Newman University and Walters State  Community College, as well as serving as a graduate teaching associate at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. He and his family live in Greeneville and he serves as an elder at First Christian Church.

Admission to the lecture is $7 per person.

For more information about the lecture, please contact Tusculum Arts Outreach at 423-798-1620 or

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Tusculum College to participate in regional career fair

Posted on 28 January 2016 by

Originally scheduled for Jan. 25, the event will be open to the public.

“The Interstate Career Fair is an opportunity for students to make direct connections with employers,” said Robin Lay, director of career services at Tusculum College. “This is where students learn about professional opportunities and how to talk about themselves professionally.”

With more than 70 employers and graduate schools seeking qualified candidates, there will be opportunities for full-time, part-time, internship and summer positions.

Lay said, “Career fairs are incredibly valuable. When students talk to potential employers and graduate school representatives, it really brings it home what they’ve learned.”

Employers from across the East Tennessee region will be recruiting at the fair, and assistance with resumes, interview preparation and job-databases will be provided at no cost by the Tennessee Career Coach staff, who will also attend the event. For more information about Tennessee Career Coach, visit

Sponsored by the Interstate Career Council, the Interstate Career Fair provides students and alumni the opportunity to network with employers and graduate schools.

The Interstate Career Council consists of 17 colleges and universities, including Tusculum, Bluefield State College, Carson-Newman University, Concord University, East Tennessee State University, Emory & Henry College, King University, Lincoln Memorial University, Milligan College, Northeast State Community College, Old Dominion University, Southwest Community College, Tennessee Wesleyan College, University of Virginia at Wise, Virginia Highlands Community College, Virginia Tech and Wytheville Community College.


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Health Care discussion to take place at Tusculum College on Feb. 11

Posted on 28 January 2016 by

A discussion titled “Health Care: How Can We Reduce Costs and Still Get the Care We Need?” will be hosted by Tusculum College on Thursday, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m. in Chalmers Conference Center in the Niswonger Commons on the Greeneville campus and in the large first floor classroom at the Knoxville Regional Center. The joint session will be simulcast.

“Everyone has an interest in affordable, quality health care,” said Dr. Ronda Gentry, director for the Center for Civic Advancement at Tusculum. “By participating in this discussion, every individual has the chance to voice their concerns about the costs and quality of health care.”

As part of a national conversation, health care workers, community members and students are invited to discuss finding a balance between the quality and cost of health care. Participants will explore the advantages and disadvantages of the three options that were proposed through the National Issues Forum.

The results of Tusculum College’s discussion will join the results of other conversations across the country in an effort to direct the national response to the need for affordable health care.

Dr. Gentry said, “As an institution of higher education, Tusculum encourages students, faculty and staff, and community members to take part in this discussion and impact it for the better.”

Sponsored by the Center for Civic Arts and the School of Business, this discussion between the Knoxville and Greeneville campuses will be video linked, increasing the depth of responses and sharing of ideas. No RSVP is required. For more information, contact Dr. Ronda Gentry at



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Performances of Cinderella rescheduled for Jan. 29-31

Posted on 26 January 2016 by

Winter’s first big snowstorm caused changes of plans for many and Central Ballet Theatre of Greeneville was no exception. However, the show will go on as “Cinderella” takes the stage a week later than originally planned.

Performances are now scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 29; 2 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 30, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 31. All performances will be in the auditorium of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building on the Tusculum College campus. Tickets for last week’s performances will be honored for the corresponding shows this weekend.

A cast of 110 local and professional dancers will present the original ballet for all ages. Adapted and choreographed by Central Ballet Theatre’s Artistic Director Lori Ann Sparks, this unique ballet is based on the familiar children’s story of a virtuous young woman who suffers hardships and injustice but endures and is miraculously rewarded for her courage and kindness. “Cinderella” includes something for everyone: from cute little butterflies and military mice to dancers welding swords in a wolf attack, from a fire-breathing dragon to a manly but kind prince, as well as modest yet beautiful costuming, intricate choreography, inspiring music, creative sets and lighting.

Tickets are still available. General admission is $10. Tickets for students and seniors 60 and over are $5. Tickets are available for purchase at Three Blind Mice, the General Morgan Inn, Richland Creek Gifts, and Tusculum Arts Outreach. Tickets can also be reserved by calling (423) 724-7014 or (423) 798-1620.

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Tusculum College classes on Saturday, Jan. 23 cancelled

Posted on 22 January 2016 by admin

All Tusculum College classes at all sites and campuses on Saturday, January 23 have been cancelled.

Additionally, the Friday, Saturday and Sunday  performances of the Cinderella ballet have been postponed until next week due to weather.

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Tusculum College student receives internship opportunity at PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Charlotte

Posted on 15 January 2016 by

Michael Fernando, a senior Tusculum College student from Sri Lanka majoring in accounting, general management and economics and international business, has accepted an offer of internship at PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Charlotte, N.C.

According to Robin Lay, director of career services at Tusculum, Fernando is the first Tusculum student to obtain an internship with a “Big Four” accounting firm.

Michael Fernando

Fernando has made an impact on the Tusculum campus. He is president of the Student Government Association, chairperson of the Student Philanthropy Council and president of the Pioneer Business Club.  He is an active member of the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society, the Center for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship, the Study Abroad and Global Awareness organization and the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature.

“I am grateful for the confidence that PwC has placed in me,” said Fernando. “I intend to represent our college well and excel in fulfilling my duties with the company. I owe this great privilege to some very important people, especially Dr. Michelle Freeman, who tirelessly worked hard to ensure that her accounting students had a thorough understanding of the accounting discipline and opportunities within the industry. Her commitment to the professional success of her students is what motivated me to think differently, dream big and achieve what I have achieved today. I must also thank Ms. Robin Lay for her hard work in ensuring that students are career ready; her guidance was instrumental in my receiving this opportunity.”

Fernando added, “I must also thank my colleagues at Unaka Company Inc. who have consistently added value to my experience as an intern with their company. They have always supported my personal and professional growth and are excited about my next steps. I thank God for blessing me with the opportunity to attend Tusculum College and my parents who have worked so hard to ensure that I have the ability to pursue my education.

“I have learned so much from the faculty, staff and students at Tusculum College. As my time here as a student at Tusculum comes to an end, I look forward to my journey ahead. With courage and humility, I will travel to the frontier. I will always be a Pioneer.”

According to their website, PriceWaterhouseCoopers offers more than 700 internships annually across 29 countries and more than 88 percent of those interns accept careers with the company once they graduate.

Fernando plans to graduate in the spring, and either pursue a career with PriceWatehouseCoopers or attend East Tennessee State University for graduate school, also with a focus on accounting.

At Tusculum, Fernando provides mentoring and guidance to his fellow students as a tutor and as a resident assistant in one of the resident halls on campus. 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. His excellence as a freshman in an accounting course typically taken by upperclassmen led to an internship position at Plus Mark. Fernando has also worked internships at the accounting firm of Blackburn Childers and Steagall and Unaka Company Inc., where he currently is employed.


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Tusculum students welcome Bill Darden

Posted on 14 January 2016 by

Tusculum College was pleased to host Mr. Bill Darden, field representative for Congressman Phil Roe, as a speaker at a student luncheon today. Mr. Darden spoke to the students about work as a "political staffer" and gave them tips for being successful post-graduation. Top of the list were honing time management and conversational skills. The event was co-hosted by Career Services and the Department of Political Science.

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