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Two Tusculum College students spend semester in Ireland

Posted on 21 October 2016 by

Two Tusculum College students are well into their fall semester, but not at the Greeneville campus. Instead, Haylee Reed and Kristen Wiggins are taking classes at universities in Ireland.

Reed, a senior biology major from Winchester, is attending the University of Ulster in Colerain, Ireland, and Wiggins, a sophomore history major from Johnson City, is attending Queens University in Belfast, Ireland, through the Irish-American Scholars Program supported by Tusculum College.

The Irish-American Scholars Program is designed to promote an understanding of Northern Ireland culture and religion.

Kristen Wiggins

“I’ve always wanted to study abroad and I love to travel and see new cultures,” said Wiggins. “I went to Barcelona a year ago with Tusculum College, and it was amazing. Ronda Gentry recommended me to the Irish-American Scholars Program, which is why I went to Ireland.”

She added that her month in Ireland has been the best of her life. “The Irish people are phenomenally nice and Belfast, even though it’s a city, is quiet and feels like home. Queens University is absolutely amazing, and I’m seriously considering coming back for graduate school now. The academic side of being here is much less intimidating than I initially thought and easy to adjust to.”

She said she would highly recommend the program to anyone interested in study abroad. “It gives you the opportunity to go on so many adventures and branch outside of your comfort zone like you wouldn’t at home. I never knew adjusting to living in a different country could be so easy.”

Wiggins is blogging about her experience at

Reed reported that her courses are going very well so far and there is always much to do in Northern Ireland. “If my classes don’t keep me busy then my weekend trips around the rest of the U.K. sure do,” she said. “My courses here include a lot of hands-on learning and field excursions to many historical places in Northern Ireland like the Giant’s Causeway. There are also many cultural events always happening at and around campus so it’s a very encompassing place to be.”

She agreed that study abroad is an exceptional opportunity. “I truly love the opportunity I’ve gotten to study abroad here, and I encourage anyone else to give study abroad the chance, if not to Northern Ireland, then somewhere else just as amazing, if that is possible. It’s just great craic!” (“Craic” is Irish slang for a great time.)

Studying abroad offers Tusculum students the ability to experience a culture and educational system outside their own, according to Rev. Dr. Ronda Gentry, director of the Center for Civic Advancement at Tusculum College.

“In an increasingly global society it is important for Tusculum students to be aware of and have experience with other cultures and know how to work with and relate to diverse groups. Employers are seeking students who not only have global awareness but global experience. By studying abroad our students are better prepared professionally for their future. Further, our students learn more about themselves, their chosen field of study, and the global community. I highly encourage students to study abroad, as they will not only be better prepared for the work-force, but they will be better engaged and informed world citizens.”

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Tusculum College offering enrollment opportunity for registered nurses in family nurse practitioner master’s degree program

Posted on 17 October 2016 by

Tusculum College is now offering an RN to MSN track for registered nurses interested in pursuing an advanced degree in the Master of Science in nursing program.

According to Dr. Lois Ewen, dean of nursing, health sciences and human services, the Master of Science in Nursing degree prepares graduate advanced practice registered nurses as quality providers to meet healthcare needs of individuals, families and populations in surrounding communities.

“The MSN is the professional degree that prepares nurse practitioners to meet the dynamic and identified healthcare needs of local, regional and global societies,” said Dr. Ewen.

Upon completion of the accelerated Masters of Science in Nursing Program, graduates are eligible to sit for certification in the chosen specialty area.

Dr. Linda Garrett, assistant dean of nursing, health sciences and human services and chair of graduate nursing, the MSN program has experienced faculty that provide mentorship and support to students.

“The emphasis of the program is on use of evidence-based knowledge and skills to lead the healthcare team, encourage health promotion, diagnose and treat acute and chronic illness and evaluate the plan of care. However, critical thinking and decision-making skills are also emphasized and upon completion of the program, the student is prepared for doctoral level study in nursing.

“Nurse practitioners provide primary care across the lifespan to people of all ages with simple to complex illnesses. We have the same privileges that family physicians have, such as prescribing medications,” said Dr. Garrett.

Applications for enrollment in the program are currently available with classes beginning in January for nurses with associates degrees. Nurses with a bachelor’s degree who are interested in the program may apply now as well, with a start date of August 2017.

Individuals with interest in attending the family nurse practitioner program should contact the nursing department at or 423-636-7430 for more information.


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Tusculum College student retention rates highest in 10 years

Posted on 14 October 2016 by

With official 2016-17 enrollment numbers recorded in September, Tusculum College official have announced that student retention numbers are the highest in 10 years for the college’s residential program.

According to Lisa Johnson, associate vice president for academic affairs, student success and engagement, this year’s retention rate was recorded at 68 percent, 9.1 percent over the previous year, and beating the previous high of 62 percent in 2014.

Student retention is defined as the percentage of first-time, full-time undergraduate students who enter during a fall term and re-enroll the following fall term.

“Tusculum College is committed to supporting student growth in and outside the classroom,” said Dr. Johnson. “As reflected in our mission statement, our intention is to promote intellectual and social growth along with full preparation for professional life. Our commitment is to provide all necessary resources for authentic learning, persistence to graduation and readiness of our graduates to participate in their professional and civic spheres.”

A big part of this effort was the implementation of the college’s new Individual Health through Community Wellness program, called S.P.I.E.S. (social, physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual). A full schedule of weekly S.P.I.E.S. events have been implemented, which are held each Wednesday to address issues pertaining to S.P.I.E.S. health and wellness. According to Dr. Johnson, these events are interactive and include full engagement of faculty and staff and have been exceptionally well received by students.

Additionally, a peer mentoring program was implemented by Tusculum College’s Student Support Services department that provides peer mentors for students in both the residential and Graduate and Professional Studies programs. SSS staff are currently pursuing national certification for these programs.

Dr. Johnson added that the college’s Tutoring Center has experienced significant growth in utilization of services over previous years. The Nelson Learning Resources Program operated by the Tutoring Center provides students with textbooks for loan. “These services have been a key factor in the retention of several students.  The Nelson Learning Resources Project experiences have increased utilization each year.”


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A note to parents from the President

A note to parents from the President

Posted on 05 October 2016 by




What a wonderful weekend we just had! It was great seeing everyone during Family Weekend, and I applaud all those of you who were able to attend and support your student’s efforts towards achieving a higher degree. Your support makes a tremendous difference.

Since her inception in 1794, Tusculum College has developed into an important reflection of the greater region, where strides toward growth and excellence are balanced with a desire to remain deeply rooted in our community. In our mission to provide a liberal arts education in a Judeo-Christian and civic arts environment, with pathways for career preparation, personal development and civic engagement, we recognize that our work here affects our campus community, as well as our surrounding families, neighborhoods and businesses. We are intentionally conscious of and measured by the impact we make.

Tusculum College is committed to continuous improvement in creating a learning environment that allows her students to achieve academic excellence, as well as to grow strong in body, mind and spirit. Recently improvements were made to the Paul E. Hayden Educational Wetland that included vegetation removal and replacement, new signage and a walking tour brochure. More than 300 volunteers worked on removing cattails and reseeding the area with native plants. The cattails had become invasive and were actually preventing the wetlands from cleaning the moving stream as it was designed to do. Signage has been added to describe the habitat for those who visit the wetlands on their own. Additionally, the Tusculum College Board of Trustees was informed that a gift had been received by the college that would allow for a pavilion to be constructed as part of the wetlands project. The Paul E. Hayden Educational Wetland provides science students with an outdoor classroom and experiment center, while tending to the environment that supports campus life. Since its completion in 2014, more than 600 Greeneville and Greene County students have participated in educational programs at the wetlands.

Please continue to support Tusculum and your students in building a world-class faculty, staff, programs and learning communities that meet the needs of today and tomorrow.

Best Regards,

Nancy B. Moody, PhD


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Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett to “Rock the Vote” with Tusculum College on Wednesday, Sept. 28

Posted on 21 September 2016 by

Helping students and the community get registered to vote is the goal of Tusculum College’s Rock the Vote event, scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 28 in the Pioneer Arena in Niswonger Commons. The event will feature keynote speaker Tre Hargett, Tennessee Secretary of State.

The event will be held from 1:30-3:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Secretary Hargett will also be available to answer questions about voter registration and Tusculum College will provide an opportunity for voter registration on site. Also during the event a mock vote will be held and plans are also to have interactive games on the democratic system.

Hargett was elected by the Tennessee General Assembly to serve as Tennessee’s 37th secretary of state in 2009 and reelected in 2013. He is the chief executive officer of the Department of State with oversight of more than 300 employees.

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett

In order to help increase voter registration, turnout and awareness across Tennessee, Secretary Hargett launched the GoVoteTN campaign. Through this program, during the month of September, which is National Voter Registration Month, Tennesseans should have someone take a picture of them holding an “I’m registered to vote. Are you?” sign, then post it using the hashtag #GoVoteTN.

A flurry of posts is expected on Tuesday, Sept. 27 to celebrate National Voter Registration Day.

“This is a great educational opportunity for our students and our community,” said Courtney Washburn, program coordinator for the Center for Civic Advancement at Tusculum College. “We want to educate and also get people registered to vote, and this is an open, fun way to reach those goals.”

The Rock the Vote event is a project in support of Constitution Day and is supported by the Center for Civic Advancement, the Bonner Leader Program and Tusculum’s Service Learning program. Additionally, it is part of the S.P.I.E.S. initiative, a campus-wide Individual Wellness through Community Engagement initiative.

For more information, contact Courtney Washburn, program coordinator for the Center for Civic Advancement, at


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Tusculum College’s Travis Williams publishes several articles

Posted on 19 September 2016 by

Tusculum College’s Dr. Travis B. Williams, assistant professor of religion, will have several academic articles published in the next few months.

“Intertextuality and Methodological Bias: A Prolegomena to the Evaluation of Source Materials in 1 Peter” will be published in the December issue of the “Journal for the Study of the New Testament,” while “Reciprocity and Suffering in 1 Peter 2,19-20: Reading Xάρις in Its Ancient Social Context,” is scheduled to appear in the upcoming issue of “Biblica.”

He has also been invited to contribute an essay to a forthcoming reference series, “The Reception of Jesus in the First Three Centuries” (Bloomsbury T&T Clark). His contribution will be entitled, “The Reception of Jesus in the Petrine Epistles and Jude.”

“Intertextuality and Methodological Bias: A Prolegomena to the Evaluation of Source Materials in 1 Peter” attempts to expose some of the methodological problems surrounding the consensus view on the similarities of 1 Peter and other New Testament epistles, and seeks to establish reliable criteria which can be used to determine literary relationships between New Testament documents.

“Reciprocity and Suffering in 1 Peter 2,19-20: Reading Xάρις in Its Ancient Social Context” looks at the ancient social dynamics which underlie 1 Peter 2:19-20. By interpreting χάρις within the framework of reciprocity and gift-exchange in the Greco-Roman world, the study not only brings fresh perspective to a problem which has long divided scholarship, it also suggests a new direction for understanding the letter’s theology of suffering.

Williams has taught for the college since 2010 and has several previous books and articles written on 1 Peter. Williams’ received a Ph.D. in New Testament from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom.


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Tusculum Access Grant at Tusculum College now available for high school students

Posted on 16 September 2016 by

Students considering dual enrollment options at Tusculum College have additional financial assistance available with the announcement of the Tusculum Access Grant being offered by the college.

The grant is specifically for students who have already taken or who will have completed two dual enrollment courses through Tusculum College and would cover the $400 gap in state funding that students who are eligible receive.

Tusculum offers a variety of courses and course options for high school students wanting to get a head start in their college career or needing specific classes. The courses are offered online, a convenience for students in not having to drive to campus during the school day.

High school students have the opportunity to earn both high school and college credit through the dual enrollment program at Tusculum College. Through the program, high school students can take a variety of courses, including in English, math, history, psychology, sociology, art history, computer science, religion and speech.

Students are eligible to participate in the dual enrollment program beginning the summer before their junior year in high school. Individuals must maintain a 3.0 grade point average in their dual enrollment college course work.

While the Tusculum Access Grant is specifically for students who are seeking to take their third or fourth dual enrollment course at Tusculum College, other financial assistance may be available for others who are interested in Tusculum’s dual enrollment program.

For more information about the new program or to apply, please visit Individuals may also call 423-636-7349 or email to learn more about the program.


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Nearly 700 put in day of service as part of Tusculum College “Nettie Day”

Posted on 14 September 2016 by

Getting the prop room organized and cleaned out was the task of volunteers who assisted with the Theater Guild of Greeneville.


Nearly 700 students, faculty, staff and alumni fanned out into the region on Wednesday to provide a day of service through helping others and improving the community.

All freshmen and first-year transfer students participated in Nettie Fowler McCormick Service Day as part of the Tusculum Experience course. Many other students, faculty, staff and alumni also pitched in totaling 651 participants, the largest group to take part in a decade, according to Ronda Gentry, director of the Center for Civic Advancement and coordinator of the event.

Nettie Fowler McCormick Service Day is one of the longest-held traditions on the Tusculum campus and involves students spending time in service to others. Some of the projects that the students will undertake include working with local non-profit organizations and schools.

“Today we celebrate what Tusculum does,” said Gentry. “Nettie Day serves as an introduction to our new students and a reminder to our entire community of the importance and value of community involvement.”

In the morning kick-off session, Gentry told the group that what they would do today would impact tens of thousands of lives.

This year, Nettie Day participants helped numerous organizations, including Rural Resources, the Greeneville Boys and Girls Club, the Greeneville/Greene County Humane Society, local parks and several schools. Service activities will be conducted at all the Tusculum sites and campus in Greeneville, Knoxville and Morristown.

Additionally, one group of students travelled to Johnson City to help set up the city’s first Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

Nettie Fowler McCormick Service Day, which is conducted under the auspices of the Center for Civic Advancement, honors the memory and altruistic way of life of Nettie Fowler McCormick, widow of reaper inventor Cyrus McCormick, who was a 19th century supporter and advocate of Tusculum College. The McCormicks, staunch Presbyterians from Chicago, learned of Tusculum College through Tusculum graduates who attended their McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago and became some of the most significant donors in the college’s history.

Nettie McCormick is recognized as the college’s first Benefactor, a term that in Tusculum usage denotes a donor whose cumulative gifts total at least $1 million. Nettie McCormick funded construction of several of Tusculum’s historic structures, including Haynes Hall, Rankin Hall, Welty-Craig Hall, Virginia Hall and McCormick Hall, which is named after the McCormick family.

McCormick Day, now often informally called Nettie Day at the college, began as a day of cleaning the campus in reflection of Nettie McCormick’s insistence on clean living environments. The day has evolved to take on a more generalized community service emphasis.

This year’s Nettie Day was made possible through a gift from the estate of Nancy and Leon Leslie. Leon “Moose” Leslie was a key member of the last football team at Tusculum College prior to it being reinstated in the 1990s. He graduated from Tusculum in 1951 with a major in economics. He married his Westwood, New Jersey high school sweetheart, the former Nancy Hill. Mr. Leslie was elected a trustee of his alma mater in 1990 and served with distinction on the Athletic Committee until his death in 1996. Mr. and Mrs. Leslie served in the Bicentennial Campaign as members of the East Coast Advance Gifts Committee. In recognition of their generous support of Tusculum College throughout the capital campaign, the Leslie Resident Apartment in Craig Hall was named in their honor.

Members of the Tusculum College Men’s Tennis Team and their coaches worked with community volunteers to install new landscaping at the Greeneville-Greene County Tennis Center.

Volunteers clear headstones at the Oak Grove Cemetery.

Nettie Day volunteers repainted structures on the playground at the Boys and Girls Club of Greeneville and Greene County.

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Tusculum College receives $100,000 Tusculum First gift from Eastman Credit Union

Posted on 13 September 2016 by

Tusculum College has received a $100,000 gift from Eastman Credit Union to be used for the new Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Math. The gift is part of the Tusculum First capital campaign.

The gift will assist with the construction costs of the new 100,000 square foot, state-of-the-art Meen Center for Science and Math. The gift also helps to bring the Tusculum First campaign to more than $23.3 million in commitments.

“The new center will enhance academic programs with the goal of graduating students who will strengthen the capacity of the people of Appalachia to compete in the global economy through STEM education,” said Heather Patchett, vice president of institutional advancement at Tusculum College. “Strengthening STEM education requires engaging instruction from learned and innovative faculty in a flexible and well designed facility.”

The Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Math will replace Tredway Hall, long known as Science Hall, on the Tusculum College campus as the home of science and math. Tredway was constructed in 1928 for a much smaller student population, at a time when scientific research and instrumentation was much different.

“We appreciate the opportunity to contribute to this great facility. With a new branch in Greeneville, it’s important to us that you realize our dedication and desire to support the growth of Greene County,” said ECU President and CEO Olan O. Jones. “I think it will be.”

Jones explained that he is supportive of Tusculum College as a member of their Advisory Board, and that the Meens for whom the building is named were long-time ECU members.

According to Patchett, in spite of the limitations of the current building, science majors at Tusculum College have gone on to successful and distinguished careers in scientific research, health-related fields. “Our students have been admitted to first-rate graduate and professional programs and have contributed to the body of knowledge in their chosen profession. They have made discoveries that have improved lives and have saved lives thanks to the quality education received from dedicated professors at Tusculum College.”

The new Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Math will also bring changes to the teaching of math and the sciences at Tusculum College. More spacious classrooms will accommodate students comfortably, with ready access to technology. Labs will incorporate the latest instrumentation and safety features. With additional labs, all students will have the opportunity for hands-on experiences in scientific research.

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.

Chairman of the ECU Board Fielding Rolston (left) and President and CEO Olan O. Jones present a $100,000 gift to Tusculum College President Nancy B. Moody. The gift will support the construction of the Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Math.



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Doak House Museum to host wool rug hooking workshop on October 8

Posted on 12 September 2016 by

The Doak House Museum will offer a workshop in October to teach the American folk craft, wool rug hooking. The workshop will teach the basics of this rug-making technique.

The workshop will be Saturday, Oct. 8, from 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

“Overlooked and undervalued for almost two centuries because they were produced by poor women, hooked rugs are an important part of American history and culture. Hooked rugs have persisted as a craft since the mid-19th century but were not appreciated as works of art until the 1970s” said Dr. Angela Keaton, instructor for the workshop. “In fact, many scholars consider hooked rugs to be America’s only original folk art.”

The cost is $25 per person and all materials are provided. Class members will start a project and take home enough materials and a rug hooking tool to finish the piece on their own. Space is limited, registration is required. Contact Boyd at 423-636-8554 or for more information or to pre-register.


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A note to parents from the President

A note to parents from the President

Posted on 08 September 2016 by




There are a wide variety of college ranking systems and criteria, and Tusculum College is always pleased to be listed among them; however, recently we were notified that we had ranked highly on a list that I think is of critical importance, particularly to the parents of our students.

Tusculum College has been ranked 23rd among the “Best Bang for the Buck” Colleges in the southern category of the 2016 Washington Monthly College Rankings. Washington Monthly rates institutions based on three criteria: social mobility, research and civic engagement. The ranking also includes colleges that are doing the best job of helping students attain marketable degrees at a reasonable cost.

This breaks down to comparing the cost of attending college and the marketability of those who graduate in the job markets.  It’s value – getting the most for what you pay to receive. There are so many considerations when choosing a college home. Considering value is a critical component. When you choose Tusculum College, it is an investment you make in the rest of your life or your child’s life. Additionally, we are very proud of how well our students do after graduation. Many of our recent graduates have gone on to very promising careers at places such as PriceWaterhouseCooper, Forward Air, Presbyterian College and Mountain States Health Alliance. Others go on to graduate schools in places such as the University of South Carolina, Columbia University, the University of Southern California, the University of the Virgin Islands and many others.

From the very beginning students at Tusculum are supported by our robust Career Services Office. Through the Pioneer Certified program students gain valuable experience related to job hunting, portfolio development, interviewing, networking, internships, meal etiquette, job shadowing, career fairs and professionalism. In short, we believe these rankings recognize the work we are doing to help your students be successful while they are here, and when they leave us.

For anyone interested, the full rankings can be found at


Nancy B. Moody, Ph.D.

President of Tusculum College

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First class to graduate from Tusculum College in fully online degree program

First class to graduate from Tusculum College in fully online degree program

Posted on 07 September 2016 by

The first students to complete a fully online degree program at Tusculum College are set to graduate in December with a Master of Arts in education, human resource development concentration.

According to Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of the college, this will be the college’s first graduates in a fully-online degree program, although Tusculum has a successful history of the delivery of online coursework.

Graduates will include 24 students from a variety of locations in Tennessee, from Memphis to the Tri-Cities, as well as one student from Fairburn, Georgia. In the online format, the program participants are able to complete the program in 12 months.

The HRD concentration is designed to prepare professionals with the practical wisdom they need to be effective in helping organizations, groups and individuals work more effectively. As part of their degree program the students completed a consultant/client focused capstone project.

“One of the wonderful things about the HRD program is the variety of experiences our students bring,” said Dr. Jeff Burleson, assistant professor of education. “Our HRD students bring unique skills from local and global companies including Eastman Chemical Company, McGhee Tyson Air Force Base, Pepperidge Farms, the U.S. Pentagon, Jewelry Television, Wilderness of the Smokies, Knox Catholic Schools, Whirlpool, and many more. This diversity creates an engaging learning environment. Their client/consultant capstone projects are always interesting. There is always something new.”

The curriculum addresses the major segments of HRD by focusing on concepts, models, skills and methods. Courses are designed so that theoretical foundations are complemented with practice and application that enable students to build skills and competence. And while the curriculum is identical to the program taught in the traditional in-class format, the entire program has been transitioned to an online delivery system.

“The current trends in education and the need to provide accessible programs to adult and non-traditional students have led the college to decide that the time had come to develop a program that could be offered fully online,” said Dr. Moody. “Tusculum is making strong investments to offer fully online degree programs. Over the last three years, the college has spent $2.2 million dollars on technology, including software programs and data management systems, as well as the hardware to support college-wide wireless access.”

The online format has been popular with adult students as well.

“Being an older adult student at Tusculum College has been an amazing experience for me because I did not expect to feel so welcomed by the entire student body due to my advanced age as an enrolling freshman.,” said Lori Vance, a master’s program student who is part of the group graduating in December as the first fully-online degree recipients from Tusculum. “Deciding to stay to do my graduate studies was an excellent choice for my educational and career goals, as well as my very busy family life because the program had very supportive instructors and it was 100 percent online.”

For more information on any of Tusculum’s academic offerings or degree programs, contact the Tusculum College Admission Office at 1-800-729-0256.


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