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Community Chorus to begin practice Monday, Sept. 14

Posted on 25 August 2015 by

Practice will begin Monday, Sept. 14, for the Tusculum College Community Chorus.

New members from the community as well as Tusculum students are invited to join the Community Chorus. No audition is required to join the chorus.

Chorus practice will begin at 7 p.m. in the choir room on the lower level (side entrance) of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building on the Tusculum College campus.

The chorus will be practicing material for the Chorus’ annual Christmas concert, which will be on Monday, Dec. 7.

For more information, please contact chorus director Kathy May at or


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President’s Society members partner with two local agencies to help family

Posted on 24 August 2015 by

Members of the President's Society work to repair a handicapped ramp at the home.

On a recent hot August day, students from the Tusculum College President’s Society partnered with Greene County Habitat for Humanity and the Area Agency for Aging and Disabled to help a local elderly couple, the Hensleys, with a few tasks outside their home.

“The Tusculum students from the President’s Society were enthusiastic and very willing to lend a helping hand,” said Vicki Culbertson, executive director of Greene County Habitat for Humanity. “They rallied together working as a team helping with yard clean up, cleaning out flower beds, creating a play area under a large 30-year-old tree for the Hensley’s grandchildren and helping repair part of a handicap accessible ramp. It appeared they all had a good time, and we so appreciate their interest in helping people in our community.”

“I am sure the Hensley’s were very appreciative in having the help, and they enjoyed the company.  Hopefully this was a good learning experience for the students to work with our ‘Habitat Hearts’ program.”

The President’s Society is a small group of selected students that represent the college as a whole to alumni, board members and any other official event Tusculum College hosts. The members help with guide tours to all families that come to visit Tusculum. They also help with other dinners and events on campus including Homecoming, graduation and Arts Outreach plays and other performances.

To be considered for membership in the President’s Society, students must be nominated by faculty or staff members. Nominated students complete a two tier interview process before selections are made. Students’ grade point averages GPA in addition to their interview skills play a role in their selection. Members attend a retreat that includes classes and a service project, which this year was through Habitat for Humanity. Once they are selected they have to attend a retreat that includes classes and a service project.

The President’s Society chose this year to work with Greene County Habitat for Humanity, which is a Christian housing ministry that brings people together from all walks of life to help families with special needs. Habitat chapters across the country build decent, affordable houses that carry a 0 percent, 20-year mortgage turning “hope into a home.”

Members of Tusculum College’s President’s Society work to make yard improvements for a local elderly couple in partnership with Greene County Habitat for Humanity and the Area Agency for Aging and Disabled.

The Greene County Habitat Chapter also provides a minor exterior repair program to families who  need to replace rotting porches, steps, decks, railing and siding or assistance with yard cleanup and handicap accessible ramps. The Habitat ReStore takes donations and the sales help fund Habitat’s mission in Greene and Greene County.

“It was a pleasure working with the President’s Society,” Culbertson said. “These students represent their college well and we wish them great success in their studies and careers.  We would also like to thank Heather Blanton, the President’s Society program advisor, for contacting us to work on a project together and to thank Angela Roberts with the Area Agency for Aging and Disability for working with us to help find a family that could use a helping hand.”

“We have worked with this agency for several years now,” Culbertson said. “Its mission is to aid older citizens of Greeneville and Greene County in remaining in their own homes as they age.  The agency supports seniors in our community with daily, nutritious meals, through the Meals on Wheels program, and arranges personal care and homemaking assistance to those who are no longer able to do these things for themselves. Our team efforts plus volunteers giving their time and talents from our community have given us opportunities to help many families in need.”


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Tusculum student to speak at the United Nations summit

Posted on 24 August 2015 by

Michael Fernando

Tusculum College student Michael Fernando, a senior accounting, general management and economics and international business major from Sri Lanka, has been invited to speak at the 12th annual Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) summit at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.

He will speak on the topics of freedom, post-war Sri Lanka and youth involvement.

“The purpose of YHRI is to teach youth about human rights, specifically the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and inspire them to become advocates for tolerance and peace,” said Dr. Mary Shuttleworth, founder of YHRI.

YHRI is a global movement that includes hundreds of groups, clubs and chapters across the globe. The organization teaches human rights education in traditional and nontraditional educational settings.

“We are honored to have YHRI Youth Ambassador Michael Rukshan Fernando participate in our 12th International Human Rights Summit that will be held at the United Nation,” said Dr. Shuttleworth. “Michael will participate at the United Nations on both August 27 and 28 in his official capacity as YHRI Youth Ambassador.”

He will be sponsored by Bruce Ferguson, founder and executive director of Ferguson Humanitarian Foundation International, Inc., who is also co-sponsoring the summit.

Fernando began his journey with YHRI in 2009, when he reached out to the nonprofit organization. He was invited to the 2009 YHRI summit in Geneva, Switzerland, where he delivered a speech that received a standing ovation.

Dr. Shuttleworth said, “Michael touched the hearts and minds of young and old during our summit in 2009 with his closing remarks: ‘All my life I have been waiting for an opportunity to inspire the world. I have been searching for a platform on which I can be heard. I believe that this summit serves my purpose, and I am determined to be that beacon of hope. There will be no more suffering. I will bring hope to the hopeless. But above all, I will take the message of love, peace and unity to the world.’”

Following the 2009 summit, Fernando was offered the position of undersecretary general for the Sri Lankan Model United Nations.

Fernando said, “Through that delegation, we brought about a simulation of the United Nations, where youth all across the country and South Asia could attend. We saw about 2,000 delegate participants from India, Pakistan, Malaysia and some from the Middle East as well.”

Later, he served as secretary general, when he and other Sri Lankan delegates started an organization called the One World Volunteers.

“One World Volunteers streamlines the development of a national youth-volunteer network of more than 2,000 high school students in Sri Lanka to help them find volunteer opportunities,” said Fernando. “Sri Lanka did not previously have this.”

At the 2015 summit, Fernando will deliver a speech about what he has accomplished and contributed to the human rights cause since his 2009 speech. He will also be speaking about the concept of freedom having to be free, post-war Sri Lanka and what youth have accomplished since 2009.

“Speaking at the United Nations is a tremendous honor,” said Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum College. “Michael is accomplished in many ways and a shining star at Tusculum. We are proud of him and know he will represent us well.

“Michael has a clear path set ahead of him and has taken every measure to give him the best opportunity to be a successful businessman after graduation. His leadership on campus has benefited the student body, the administration and the college community. He is successful now and will be far into the future.”

Majoring in accounting, general management and economics and international business, Fernando is a recipient of Charles Oliver Gray, Nellie Caldwell and Clements-Mays scholarships. He is also pursuing college honors and business departmental honors.

At Tusculum College, he is the president of the Student Government Association, the Business Club, the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature and the Study Abroad and Global Awareness club. Additionally, he is chairperson of the Student Philanthropy Council, director of Student Entrepreneurship at the college’s Center for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship, a member of the Alpha Chi National Honor Society, a recipient of the 2015 Honors Olympian Award, a residential assistant and a tutor.

“In high school, I was involved with anything and everything but my education, but that all changed when I was offered an opportunity through Tusculum College. I used it as a clean slate. Ever since my first class, it’s been nothing but As,” said Fernando. “I like to take every opportunity that comes to me and continue to perform to the best of my ability so I can prove myself to those who took a chance on me.”

He added, “I am very thankful to the college and its donors for supporting me and everything so far, and in my journey to New York.”


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


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Tusculum College wins fundraising award

Posted on 21 August 2015 by

Tusculum College has been recognized with the 2015 Educational Fundraising Award in the category of Overall Improvement in United States educational fundraising programs by The Council of Advancement and Support for Education (CASE).

Educational institutions that have completed the Council to Aid Education’s annual Voluntary Support of Education survey for past three years are automatically eligible for the consideration. The winners are recognized for overall performance, overall improvement or both.

Of the 571 eligible institutions this year, 42 won an award for overall performance in fundraising, 39 for overall improvement and nine for both categories.

“This is an incredible honor,” said Heather Patchett, the vice president for institutional advancement. “We work hard to engage our students, alumni, community and friends, and more than anything else, this recognition reflects their generosity.”

Founded in 1974, CASE serves educational institutions and the advancement professionals who work on their behalf by helping its members raise funds, build stronger relationships with their alumni and donors and foster public support of education. According to its website, CASE includes a network of more than 3,600 colleges and universities, primary and secondary independent and international schools and nonprofit organizations.

Last October, Tusculum College launched its capital campaign, Tusculum First. Designed to improve and expand Tusculum College and its program for both its internal and external communities, Tusculum First’s goals include a new center for science and math and the growth of academic program, endowed scholarships and student life.

“It is with great pride that I congratulate our staff, alumni, community and friends for this achievement,” said Patchett. “Tusculum College’s continuous growth would not be possible without them.”


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


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Tusculum’s Andrew Starnes named as assistant director of admissions

Posted on 21 August 2015 by

Andrew Starnes has been named assistant director of admissions at Tusculum College. His new duties will include oversight of daily operations of territory management, application reviews, managing the telecounseling program and planning and coordinating admissions staff travel.

Starnes will recruit and market Tusculum College to prospective students through travel, telecounseling and personal counselor communication; attend college fairs/nights and make individual visits to high schools in targeted geographical areas. He will be responsible for arranging and conducting individual interviews with prospective students.

Andrew Starnes

“Andrew has proven himself as a true team player. His desire to see Tusculum as the premier college in the south and his work ethic have made him a natural in this new role. I am very excited to see Andrew accept this new challenge in his career,” said Melissa Ripley, director of operations for admissions.

Starnes joined the college in 2012 and has previously served as admission representative. He is a native of Greeneville and a graduate of the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism/electronic media and a minor in political science.

He previously served as an intern to Congressman Phil Roe.

Starnes said that this is a career progression that he has been working toward. “I’m very excited and it’s a great fit for me. In this role I will be able to contribute more, assist co-workers in their jobs, as well as help future students of Tusculum College.”


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More than 100 attend Interfaith Candlelight Prayer Service at Tusculum College

Posted on 20 August 2015 by

More than 100 people braved the stormy weather to participate in an Interfaith Candlelight Prayer Service held at Tusculum College on Wednesday, Aug. 19.

Each person was asked to light a candle during the service to symbolize the college’s commitment to community, to one another and to efforts to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

According to Tusculum President Nancy B. Moody, the event was the first of several planned to kick off the Individual Wellness through Community Engagement Initiative. The prayer service was planned as a campus-wide program with the primary purpose of encouraging the Tusculum community—including students, faculty, staff and alumni—to lead and maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

The program included several religious leaders from a variety of faith traditions who spoke and prayed to promote spiritual health among all people.

“Wellness is a lifelong pursuit and often requires peer encouragement,” said Wayne Thomas, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and one of the architects of the new program. “As such, our aim is to indoctrinate its importance and approaches on our campuses through continuous communal activities that reach our entire population and focus on social, physical, intellectual, emotional and/or spiritual health.

“Additionally, we recognize that people succeed better if every aspect of their lives is attended to, thus addressing our students’ wellness and satisfaction significantly improves retention.”

Participating in the program were: Mark Stokes, chaplain of the Presbyterian-affiliated Tusculum College; Rev. Linda Bass, pastor, Christ United Methodist Church; Rabbi Arthur Rutberg, of the B’nai Shalom Congregation in Blountville; Taneem Aziz, president of the Islamic Center in Johnson City; Dr. Nancy Thomas, English professor at Tusculum College and a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church, and Marina Munjal, president of the Appalachian Dharma and Meditation Center in Johnson City.

Each of the participants offered a prayer or blessing and encouraged those present to walk in friendship and unity.

“There is far more that unites us than divides us,” said Rabbi Rutberg.

Rev. Bass offered prayers for guidance, love, protection and grace and the ability for all to use their gifts to change the world.

Aziz told the group that in today’s world, we are “shoulder to shoulder in our uniqueness” and added that everyone, given the opportunity to do good, should do so without qualification or the expectation of receiving anything in return.

Munjal, who is Buddhist, said that she sees her religion as kindness and offered a traditional Buddhist blessing, “The Metta Prayer,” which is a prayer for the well-being and happiness of all beings.

“The spiritual, however it is practiced, is a part of each of us,” said Dr. Moody. “For some, it is how one finds peace, for others it is how they find meaning and purpose in life. Meditation, prayer, study, exercise and fellowship can all be part of our spiritual caretaking and, tonight if you have not already, I hope you will begin your journey to find how to nourish your spiritual self.”


Participants in the Tusculum College Interfaith Candlelight Prayer Service each lit a candle to symbolize the college’s commitment to community.


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Tusculum’s Brad Allen named as military liaison

Posted on 20 August 2015 by

Brad Allen has been selected to act as Tusculum College’s enrollment representative military liaison. His new duties will include the recruitment and marketing of Tusculum College to active duty military, veterans and their dependents.

Allen will serve as a point of contact for all military personnel, coordinating with other departments to provide academic and financial advice for current and prospective students. As a component of the position, he will be responsible for representing Tusculum throughout the region at veteran related events and helping to foster and grow military related groups and community on Tusculum’s campuses throughout the region.

Brad Allen

“Brad is a valuable part of our recruitment team, and we are confident that he will continue to excel at providing service to our veterans, active duty service men and women and their families,” said Lindsey Seal, director of Graduate and Professional Studies enrollment.

Allen is a native of Greeneville, where he attended Greeneville High School. He served as a noncommissioned officer in the U.S. Navy. He received numerous awards and commendations for his service, including being selected as the Atlantic Fleet’s Sailor of the Quarter.

After completion of his service, he attended East Tennessee State University as an honors student, where he double majored in history and English. He went on to complete the Master of Arts program in history at Appalachian State University, and he is currently pursuing his master’s degree in mental health counseling at Lincoln Memorial University.

Allen has been with Tusculum College since 2012, when he began as an admissions representative for the residential college. He transitioned to become an enrollment representative for Tusculum’s Graduate and Professional Studies Knoxville campus in fall of 2014. Allen currently resides in Knoxville.


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Information workshop for Center for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship set for Sept. 3 at Tusculum College

Posted on 19 August 2015 by

An informational workshop for Center for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship will be held on Thursday, Sept. 3, at 7 p.m. at Tusculum College.

The session will be held in the Niswonger Commons building of the college’s main campus in Greeneville. Signups are not required but encouraged.

Due to the financial support of the community, attendants and program participants will not be charged a fee in any CEDE events and programs.

The Center for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship offers a wealth of resources for entrepreneurs, small business owners, small farmers and non-profit organizations. The workshop will provide information on these resources, as well as opportunities to interact with CEDE leaders, student monitors and Tusculum faculty.

Specifically, participants will receive information on the upcoming “Help Me Help You” (HMHU) course. This nine-week program includes modules on market definition, cost administration, pricing, marketing and sales strategies, body language in business, financing, legal issues, networking and business presentations.

In the last four years, the HMHU course has assisted dozens of small business and organizations to reach their goals including retail operations, restaurants, service providers, artists, non-profit and community organizations.

Participants will also learn about the business consulting opportunities offered by the CEDE in the areas of business planning and operations. These individualized consultations are tailored to the specific needs of each small business.

CEDE has the support of the Tusculum College administration, the Tusculum College School of Business and the Center for Civic Advancement. CEDE has also partnered with the Greene County Partnership, Main Street Greeneville, Rural Resources, the Cocke County Partnership, the Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce and Crossroads Downtown Partnership.

Dr. Antônio Bós, professor of economics, is the CEDE director and Erin Mills, a senior in the business program, is the CEDE coordinator.

Participants should be prepared to provide names, contact information and business information if applicable at the event. Registration and additional information are available by calling (423) 636 7300 x5256, by e-mailing and by visiting


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Update on construction of the Dr. Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Math

Posted on 19 August 2015 by

Construction continues on the Dr. Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Mathematics on the Tusculum College campus.

According to David Martin, director of facilities for Tusculum College, the water taps have been placed and water connected to the building site. “We have also received the bar joists and decking, which we will be installing vertically,” said Martin. “We are trying to expedite these so we can bring up the flooring as we go.”

He added that the stair and elevator towers are now completed and a portion of the north side retaining wall has been poured.

Anyone interested in watching construction progress for the Meen Center for Science and Math may do so via web cam feed on the Tusculum website

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.

The ground floor features the environmental science wing with a loading dock, as well as large general classroom spaces and classrooms equipped for distance learning programs. A large lecture hall will be included on the ground floor. Space is also allocated to house the bachelor of science degree program in nursing and at least one other graduate level health-related program.

The contractors, Rentenbach Constructors Incorporated, began work in early May.

The building’s construction is part of the Tusculum First Campaign, which seeks to provide students with the best possible living and learning communities, innovative and responsive academic programs, and expanded opportunities for students to become engaged as global citizens. For more information on how to contribute to the campaign, contact Heather Patchett, vice president for Institutional Advancement, directly by calling 423-636-7303 or 1-800-729-0256 ext. 5303 or by emailing



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Auditions set for Aug. 25-28 for fall production of ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’

Posted on 17 August 2015 by

Toby auditions for the role of “Edison,” the Potts’ family dog in Theatre-at-Tusculum’s upcoming production of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” Auditions for his fellow human cast members will be held Aug. 25-28 at Tusculum College. From left are the show’s choreographer, Kim Berry Toby, the musical’s assistant director Brian Ricker and the show’s director Marilyn duBrisk.

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!

Theatre-at-Tusculum announces auditions Aug. 25 – 28 for its annual fall production. This year, director Marilyn duBrisk and her team will bring Ian Fleming’s fantastical tale about a magical flying car to the stage as Theatre-at-Tusculum presents Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

duBrisk and her production team are looking for actors, singers, and dancers to fill a cast of approximately 35 adults and 30 children. The cast includes 10 leading roles and around 15 supporting roles for men and women of varying ages as well as an ensemble of singers and dancers.

Auditions will be held in the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building on the Tusculum College campus, and will span three days with possible call-backs being held on a fourth day.

Adult auditions, for those ranging in ages from high school students to senior citizens, will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 25 and Thursday, Aug. 27. Registration on both days will begin at 5:30 p.m. The auditions will start at 6 p.m.

Youth auditions, for second through eighth graders, will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 26. Registration will start at 3:30 p.m., and auditions will begin at 4 p.m.

Possible call-backs will be held at 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 28, as needed.

No prepared pieces are required for any of the auditions, but those auditioning are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing and footwear. No flip-flops please.

Auditions will consist of readings from the script, and singing selected music from the show’s score. Vocal auditions will be lead by musical director Angie Clendenon and accompanist Kasie Shelnutt. Those auditioning will also participate in a brief choreography audition lead by the show’s choreographer, Kim Berry.

Technical director Frank Mengel will also be looking for several dedicated volunteers to assist with set construction and the elaborate technical aspects of the show in addition to possible backstage crew members. Set construction work calls are scheduled for Wednesday and Friday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Anyone interested in assisting with construction must be aged 18 years or older. Those under 18 years are welcome to attend but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who is willing to assist as well.

The production will be directed by duBrisk and produced with the help of Arts Outreach staff and many generous community volunteers. In addition to duBrisk, Clendenon, Shelnutt,
Berry and Mengel, the production staff includes assistant director Brian Ricker, costume director Barbara Holt, box office manager Jennifer Hollowell and stage managers Jim Holt and Suzanne Greene.

Based on Fleming’s novel Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car, this fun, fast-paced musical comedy is the stage adaptation of the 1968 film starring Dick Van Dyke and with music by renowned Disney composers, Richard and Robert Sherman. The Sherman Brothers provided scores for many of Disney’s most popular musicals including “Mary Poppins,” “The Jungle Book,” “Charlotte’s Web,” “The Aristocrats,” “ Bedknobs and Broomsticks” and “The Parent Trap.”

The show features songs from the movie including “Toot Sweets,” “Me Ol’ Bamboo,” “Doll on a Music Box” and the Academy Award nominated, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”

Performances are scheduled for November. 13-15 and 19-22 with rehearsals on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings, as well as some Sunday afternoons.

Anyone wishing for more information regarding auditions, or possibly volunteering to help with the production crew are asked to call Tusculum College Arts Outreach at 423-798-1620 or e-mail Arts Outreach Coordinator Jennifer Hollowell at or Arts Outreach Assistant Director Brian Ricker at



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Reverse Transfer program allows transfer students at Tusculum College to receive associate degrees

Posted on 17 August 2015 by

Students enrolled at Tusculum College who started their college journey at a Tennessee community college may be eligible to receive their associate’s degree through a program called Tennessee Reverse Transfer.

Reverse Transfer makes it possible for students who transferred from a Tennessee community college before earning a two-year degree to retroactively receive that credential when requirements are met in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree.

“Tusculum College is committed to providing seamless transitions for our transfer students. We are very pleased to announce our participation in the Tennessee Reverse Transfer program,” said Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum College. “This complements our existing articulation agreements with regional community colleges and offers prospective students an opportunity to complete both their associate and bachelor degrees.”

The program represents a partnership involving the state’s three public and private higher education systems and is an example of Tennessee’s commitment to helping more students earn college degrees. Approximately 2,300 students transfer each year from Tennessee’s community colleges to four-year colleges and universities, with at least 45 of the 60 credit hours required for most associate degrees.

“The process allows students who early-transfer the opportunity to have their completed four-year courses and grades combined with their completed community college courses and grades to determine if they meet the requirements for an associate degree,” said Gloria Gammell, project coordinator for Tennessee Reverse Transfer and program manager for the University of Tennessee System.

Eligible transfer students are those admitted and enrolled at Tusculum College and who have earned a minimum of 15 college-level credits from a Tennessee community college, transferred before earning an associate degree and completed a combined total of 60 college-level credits post-transfer.

Participating students will be contacted in the late fall by their former community college and notified if the degree will be awarded or if courses for an associate degree are lacking. Eligible transfer students will be identified and notified each semester.

“The benefits of a Tennessee Reverse Transfer degree include having a credential that matters in the world of work, serving as a motivator to complete the bachelor’s degree and having the satisfaction of receiving a degree already earned,” said Gammell.

The program is funded by a State of Tennessee appropriation and a “Credit When It’s Due” grant from Lumina Foundation, an Indianapolis-based private foundation dedicated to expanding access to and success in education beyond high school.

For more information about Tennessee Reverse Transfer, visit or contact the Tusculum College Admissions Office at 800.729.0256.


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Tusculum College professor published in teaching journal

Posted on 13 August 2015 by

Tusculum College History Professor Angela Keaton has been published in the June/July issue of “The Teaching Professor.”

Dr. Keaton’s work was based on her involvement with the Tusculum College Professionalism Initiative. The article, “Professionalism Isn’t Just for the Workplace,” reports Dr. Keaton’s efforts to incorporate the professionalism initiative into each of her courses.

Dr. Keaton reports in the article that on the first day of class, she explained to students why professionalism would be part of each student’s overall class grade. Graded behaviors and attitudes would include commitment to excellence, comportment, integrity, among others.

She explains that these will be expectations in the workplace, and the classroom can, and should be, a training ground for students as they prepare to enter the professional workforce. Accordingly, eight professional values are listed and defined on course syllabi. These behaviors and attitudes are derived from my college’s professionalism initiative and are commitment to excellence, honesty and integrity, expertise, humility, respect, compassion, awareness of interpersonal boundaries and comportment.

By covering both academic and co-curricular activities, the Professionalism for Leadership Initiative at Tusculum College seeks to help students establish what behaviors are associated with professionalism. Students have opportunities provided by Tusculum College that will promote professionalism and success, such as etiquette dinners, resume workshops and practice job scenarios. Several courses also have assignments that tie into the professionalism that should be exhibited by professionals of that area of study. The Professionalism for Leadership Initiative was implemented with support from the Niswonger Foundation and is chaired by Dr. Joel Van Amberg, associate professor of history.

During her courses, Dr. Keaton regularly asked students to write a short paper on the professional code of conduct or ethics for their specific discipline. She also created assignments that let them demonstrate their professionalism, such as debates or a group project.

Dr. Keaton reports, “As a result of these changes in my courses, student behavior has improved immensely.” One student confessed, “I have failed to exhibit the values of professionalism because I never arrived to class on time and I turned in one of my papers late.” The paper reports that other students admitted that they knew their behavior would be unacceptable to other professors and employers.

Dr. Keaton concludes, “We do not have to dismiss inappropriate behavior as a sign of youthful immaturity or let it exasperate us. We can instead help students develop the skills, attitudes, and behaviors they need to chart a successful course as students and soon to be professionals.”

Dr. Keaton currently serves as associate professor history and commons at Tusculum College. She earned her Ph.D. in history from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She received her master’s of arts degree in history from Marshall University and her bachelor’s of arts degree in history from Concord University. She specializes in the topics of United States social and cultural history, gender history and childhood history.


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