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Museum exhibit opening reception, lantern tour part of Old Oak Festival

Museum exhibit opening reception, lantern tour part of Old Oak Festival

Posted on 21 April 2014 by eestes@tusculum.edu

An opening reception will be held this weekend for the new “Reaper: Nettie Fowler McCormick and the Machine that Built Tusculum College” exhibit at the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library during the Old Oak Festival.

The reception for a new exhibit, a lantern tour and “Pickin’ at the Doaks” are among the events occurring at the Museums of Tusculum College during the Old Oak Festival on campus this weekend.

A new exhibit, “Reaper: Nettie Fowler McCormick and the Machine that Built Tusculum College,” will celebrate its opening with a reception at the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Friday, April 25, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 26.

While Nettie Fowler McCormick’s donations to Tusculum College have been well documented, the new exhibit explores the machine upon which the McCormicks built their fortune. Museum Studies students and Dr. Peter Noll, assistant professor of public history and museum studies, have created this exhibit to describe the McCormick mechanical reaper and the changes wrought in farming and manufacturing ensuing from the mechanical harvest. The exhibit also explores the context through which Mrs. McCormick viewed her philanthropic mission.

Both the Doak House Museum and the President Andrew Johnson Museum will be open for tours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

The museums will host at lantern tour of the Tusculum Historic District on campus from 4:30 – 6 p.m. on Saturday. Those wishing to take the tour are asked to check in at the Doak House for a tour map and instructions. Costumed interpreters will be stationed at each of the 10 structures on campus that make up the historic district. Visitors may take the tour at their own pace and visit the stops in any order. There is no charge for the tour, but donations are appreciated.

On Friday night, the Doak House will host the monthly “Pickin’ at the Doaks” traditional jam session.  A music stage will be set up at the Doak House on Saturday when Carson Peters will perform from noon until 1 p.m. and Lonesome Pine will perform from 1 – 2 p.m.

The museums will also have a booth with children’s activities in the children’s area from 10 a.m. to 3 .m. on Saturday.

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 Web site at www.tusculum.edu/museums to learn more about the variety of programs offered at the museums.

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Theatre-at-Tusculum to present provocative drama ‘Twelve Angry Men’ April 25-27, May 2-4

Theatre-at-Tusculum to present provocative drama ‘Twelve Angry Men’ April 25-27, May 2-4

Posted on 16 April 2014 by eestes@tusculum.edu

Theatre-at-Tusculum will present the powerful and engaging drama “Twelve Angry Men” the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May.

The life of a young man hangs in the balance as the “twelve angry men” of the jury must decide whether he is guilty of murder in the play, which will be performed at 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, April 25-26 and May 2-3 in the Behan Arena Theatre in the lower level of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building (side entrance). Sunday matinee performances will be at 2 p.m. on April 27 and May 4.

“Twelve Angry Men” was originally a teleplay by Reginald Rose, which was later adapted to the stage and also became a critically acclaimed film featuring Henry Fonda. Rose’s original work reflects the time period in which it was written in that only men served on juries. Theatre-at-Tusculum will be performing an adaption of the play by Sherman L. Sergel, which provides for jurors of both genders.

Juror Three (Will Maddux) has to be restrained from Juror Eight (Paige Mengel) during this scene from Theatre-at-Tusuclum’s upcoming production “Twelve Angry Men.”

Those who are familiar with the film will find that the play does differ from the film in several points. For example, the film’s focus is preventing an injustice whereas the play’s emphasis is how people from diverse backgrounds come to a consensus, said Frank Mengel, director of the play. Mengel is the technical director for Tusculum College Arts Outreach and has directed such productions as “The Diary of Anne Frank” and “Dogg’s Hamlet” for Theatre-at-Tusculum in recent years.

When the play opens, the jurors are almost unanimous in a “guilty” vote, except for a single dissenter. As the jury discuss their views, individual biases and prejudices are revealed and seeds of doubt about the guilt of the accused man begin to grow.

Many familiar local actors will be portraying the jurors, who are not known by name but by their juror number, including Paige Mengel, Brian Ricker, Will Maddux, Parker Bunch, Angela Bride, Sandy Nienabar, Margo Olmstead, Jeff Reese, Eva Griffin, Larry Bunton, Michael Fillers and Jeff Klepper. Zach Gass will portray the guard to the jury room.

The jury room is the scene of all the action of the play and the single set is being constructed by DeAundra Bowker, Bonnie Parks, Jacob Hoffman, Devon Suttles, Ashley Brooks, Andrew Herzig and Gary Mitchell. The stage manager is Suzanne Greene and Barbara Holt is the costume designer.

Admission for the play is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors 60 and over, and $5 for children 12 and under.

To make ticket reservations, please call Tusculum College Arts Outreach at 423-798-1620 or email jhollowell@tusculum.edu.

Theatre-at-Tusculum's production of "Twelve Angry Men" is an adaptation of the original, which includes both genders as members of the jury.

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Local educators, students invited to ‘Pack the Park’ on May 3

Local educators, students invited to ‘Pack the Park’ on May 3

Posted on 15 April 2014 by eestes@tusculum.edu

Fun and entertainment for all ages is planned for “Pack the Park for Education” activities surrounding the Saturday, May 3, Tusculum College Pioneer baseball game at Pioneer Park.

While providing a fun weekend outing for local families is one reason for Tusculum College to sponsor “Pack the Park for Education,” its primary goal is to honor those who are dedicated to providing a quality education to the community’s young people. Throughout the event, Tusculum College wants to express its appreciation to all those involved in the Greeneville and Greene County school systems whose efforts are preparing the leaders of tomorrow.

“What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon, enjoying baseball, music, food and fun, while honoring a profession central to the local community, economic development, and the future of the region, state and nation,” said Tusculum College President Nancy B. Moody.

Festivities will begin at 3:30 p.m. at Pioneer Park on the Tusculum campus with a free concert featuring recording artists Austin Baze, Michelle Leigh and Greeneville’s own Step Cousins.

Austin Baze, the duo of Brian Buckner and Nick Gunter, will be joined by musicians Dave Fowler, Jack Gavin and Jason Roller, who have played with such artists as Tracy Lawrence, Charlie Daniels, Dolly Parton, Tanya Tucker, Dave Mason and others. Michelle Leigh is an up-and-coming southern-rock performer who has toured with the “Young Guns of Country.” Local band Step Cousins mixes past and present country and has played in the popular Dogwood Park Concert Series. Dave Fowler and Dave Fowler Productions have been instrumental in helping the college provide this concert to the community. (Please see the bio information below  for more information about each of the artists.)

A “fun zone” for kids and those young at heart will feature inflatables, corn hole, face and body painting and other free activities outside Pioneer Park during the event.

Concessions will be available and an area will be open to all who want to bring a blanket or chairs and tailgate prior to the baseball game against Bluefield State.

Admission to the baseball game will be free to all students, teachers, teacher assistants, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, custodians and maintenance personnel, school board members, etc. Throughout the game, local educators will be honored in a variety of ways.

A fireworks display, sponsored by Watauga Orthopaedics, will immediately follow the game to conclude the day’s festivities.

Concert Performers

Austin Baze with Dave Fowler, Jack Gavin and Jason Roller:

Austin Baze  (Brian Buckner and Nick Gunter) –  Austin Baze is a duo from the foothills of Western North Carolina and Greeneville, Tenn., carrying on their strong music heritage and deep rooted beliefs. They grew up influenced by generations of musicians in the Appalachian Mountains.  ” I remember when we sat around the porch, hill top, or just wherever…pickin and singing with all our family and friends. ” said Brian Buckner…..” We have been singing together since we were kids in church, and other venues in the later years. “adds Nick Gunter. The years have passed and now here they are; writing songs about life, love, and their experiences. They are excited to be back together in their element doing what they love. “We are working on a new project with our producer Dave Fowler of Dave Fowler Productions, and looking forward to sharing our music with all of you!!”

 

Dave Fowler: Nashville record producer, tour manager, and professional artist.  He has composed, arranged, and recorded many original songs along with producing records for a number of artists.  He was Dolly Parton’s tour manage and band coordinator from 2005 to 2009 and has managed Collin Raye. He has played bass guitar for more than 30 years and has toured with Lorrie Morgan, Tracy Lawrence, Rhett Akins, Dottie West, Edwin McCain, Cinderella, John Michal Montgomery, Chely Wright, Dolly Parton, Collin Raye, Joe Diffie and Mark Chesnut.

 

Jack Gavin - played drums for Charlie Daniels band for 15 years. He also played and tour managed Tanya Tucker for 10 years. He and Dave Fowler were also were the rhythm section for country artist Tracy Lawrence for 5 years.

 

Jason Roller - plays electric guitars. He has toured with Tracy Lawrence, Joe Diffie, Wynonna, Dave Mason, Dolly Parton and many others.

 

 

Michelle Leigh:

Edgy and honest, Michelle Leigh brings a no-holds barred approach to her writing and her music. The Southern Rock Uprising Records recording artist’s songwriting style can only be described as raw and honest. Her songs amplify real-life situations, real-life problems and real-life solutions.  She has crafted a sound and style that mixes Southern Rock (a traditionally male dominated genre) with Country and Pop elements. Michelle has toured with the “Young Guns of Country” and won the Charlotte Music Awards 2013 Women in Rock Showcase.  Michelle performs regularly throughout the region and most recently at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino.  She spends her time between her home in Marshall, North Carolina and Nashville, Tennessee.

 

Step Cousins:

A local group providing a pure mixture of past and present country, with a light alternative sense and a feel of something new. Their high energy show appeals to people of any age.  Step Cousins was formed in the fall of 2012, cultivating a sound all their own in their hometown of Greeneville. They have had many local accomplishments since their formation, including a first place finish in the Appalachian Fair youth talent show, a performance in American Downtown, Tusculum College’s tailgate series, Coffeehouse series and a slot in the Dogwood Park series.

 

Austin Baze with Dave Fowler, Jack Gavin and Jason Roller:

Austin Baze  (Brian Buckner and Nick Gunter) –  Austin Baze is a duo from the foothills of Western North Carolina and Greeneville, Tenn., carrying on their strong music heritage and deep rooted beliefs. They grew up influenced by generations of musicians in the Appalachian Mountains.  ” I remember when we sat around the porch, hill top, or just wherever…pickin and singing with all our family and friends. ” said Brian Buckner…..” We have been singing together since we were kids in church, and other venues in the later years. “adds Nick Gunter. The years have passed and now here they are; writing songs about life, love, and their experiences. They are excited to be back together in their element doing what they love. “We are working on a new project with our producer Dave Fowler of Dave Fowler Productions, and looking forward to sharing our music with all of you!!”

 

Dave Fowler: Nashville record producer, tour manager, and professional artist.  He has composed, arranged, and recorded many original songs along with producing records for a number of artists.  He was Dolly Parton’s tour manage and band coordinator from 2005 to 2009 and has managed Collin Raye. He has played bass guitar for more than 30 years and has toured with Lorrie Morgan, Tracy Lawrence, Rhett Akins, Dottie West, Edwin McCain, Cinderella, John Michal Montgomery, Chely Wright, Dolly Parton, Collin Raye, Joe Diffie and Mark Chesnut.

 

Jack Gavin - played drums for Charlie Daniels band for 15 years. He also played and tour managed Tanya Tucker for 10 years. He and Dave Fowler were also were the rhythm section for country artist Tracy Lawrence for 5 years.

 

Jason Roller - plays electric guitars. He has toured with Tracy Lawrence, Joe Diffie, Wynonna, Dave Mason, Dolly Parton and many others.

 

 

Michelle Leigh:

Edgy and honest, Michelle Leigh brings a no-holds barred approach to her writing and her music. The Southern Rock Uprising Records recording artist’s songwriting style can only be described as raw and honest. Her songs amplify real-life situations, real-life problems and real-life solutions.  She has crafted a sound and style that mixes Southern Rock (a traditionally male dominated genre) with Country and Pop elements. Michelle has toured with the “Young Guns of Country” and won the Charlotte Music Awards 2013 Women in Rock Showcase.  Michelle performs regularly throughout the region and most recently at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino.  She spends her time between her home in Marshall, North Carolina and Nashville, Tennessee.

 

Step Cousins:

A local group providing a pure mixture of past and present country, with a light alternative sense and a feel of something new. Their high energy show appeals to people of any age.  Step Cousins was formed in the fall of 2012, cultivating a sound all their own in their hometown of Greeneville. They have had many local accomplishments since their formation, including a first place finish in the Appalachian Fair youth talent show, a performance in American Downtown, Tusculum College’s tailgate series, Coffeehouse series and a slot in the Dogwood Park series.

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Tusculum students explore politics, history and economy of Malta

Tusculum students explore politics, history and economy of Malta

Posted on 10 April 2014 by eestes@tusculum.edu

Six Tusculum College students had the opportunity to explore some of the oldest known free-standing structures on earth, talk to business leaders about their experiences in the European Union and learn about international law during a trip to Malta in March.

The six students were accompanied by Dr. Troy Goodale, assistant professor of political science, for the trip to the small island nation south of Italy on March 8 -15. This is the third year for a group of Tusculum students to travel to Malta and the second trip that has included both students from the Residential College program and the Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS) program for working adults.

The trip’s purpose was to give the students an insight into international law, economics and history of Malta, said Dr. Goodale Tuesday evening during a presentation by the students about the trip to the campus community.

“It was an awesome trip,” said Christian Grumbach of Oak Ridge, who encouraged those attending to study abroad. “It is a great opportunity. I would highly recommend going on a study abroad trip. You can learn a lot.” Grumbach is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration through the GPS program.

The students stayed at the University of Malta, where they attended a class about international law. Grumbach said that the class focused on laws regarding search and rescue on the high seas, which he found interesting because of his background in the military.

Malta’s rich history was the focus of several of the excursions by the students, including to prehistoric temples that are considered to be some of the oldest free-standing structures on Earth and pre-date the Egyptian pyramids.

Describing the temple of Hagar Qin, Heather Hammack noted that it was built so that the light from the summer solstice strikes an interior stone. Hammack, who is from Maryville, is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in organizational management in the GPS program.

In the Mnajdra Temple, located about 500 feet down the hill from the Hagar Qin, the students discovered that it was built in such a way to not only mark the summer solstice but also the spring and autumn equinoxes. A museum at the temple sites contained objects found inside the temples, including statutes that are believed to be related to fertility beliefs of the builders of the temples.

The third temple the students visited was Ggantija, which gets its name for the Maltese word for “large.” Hammack said they had a long walk to reach the temple, which has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

While the students did much walking in their visits to the temples, they enjoyed a boat ride to travel to historic Birgu, which was an earlier capital of the nation. “The ocean was so beautiful, and the history is so rich,” said Grumbach. “I learned a lot and the culture was awesome.”

The students also visited the Domus Roman, a Roman villa that was unearthed during a construction project. The students said a museum was literally built around the villa, giving visitors an idea what it would have been like to be inside the villa.

Tusculum students Hannah Lefler, Christian Gumbach, Ryan Norton, Christina Murrell, Heather Hammack and Debbie Smith (from left) explore the Domus Roman, the remains of a Roman villa.

The students also visited Mdina, one of the oldest cities of Malta, and St. Paul’s Cathedral, named in honor of the Apostle Paul, who was shipwrecked on the island on his travels to Rome. The island’s people are primarily Roman Catholic, said Christina Murrell of Maryville, who is pursuing a business administration degree. The island has a church on almost every street corner, the students noted.

The striking Blue Grotto was one of the highlights of the trip for Ryan Norton, an art design major from Greeneville. Some of the students took a boat ride through the series of sea caverns. “The water is so blue,” Hammack said. “And it is so clear you can see to the bottom.”

The students noted that while they saw incredible architecture, the country is in an almost constant state of renovation because of the damage caused by the winds and salty air on the island.

As a student with a background in business, exploring the economic side of the nation was fascinating, said Debbie Smith of Knoxville, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration. The students visited the Malta Financial Services Authority, which is the agency that regulates all aspects of financial for the nation.

There they learned more about Malta’s entrance into the European Union. The European Union was established following World War II initially to foster cooperation between nations in Europe, explained Smith.

Malta joined the European Union in 2004. During their visit to the Attrans, an international transport company, the owner told them that joining the European Union helped them as previously they had to go through the differing customs processes and tariffs in each country but now it is uniform, Smith noted.

“They are also very frugal, recycling and repurposing all they can,” she said. “Nothing is ever wasted.”

A trip to Gozo, one of the three islands that make up the nation, provided insights into history, business and culture. The island can only be reached by a ferry, said Hannah Lefler, a psychology major from Chapel Hill, and this lack of access has been debated for years as it limits commerce on the island. A bridge between the main island of Malta and Gozo is proposed, but so far not much progress has been made toward its becoming a reality, she added.

Victoria, the main city on Gozo, was first fortified in the Bronze Age and inside its walls are very narrow streets. The students visited three museums – one dedicated to forklore, another to archeology and the third to natural science.

The students also discovered a thriving jewelry trade in the city. The jewelry was made by hand and was inexpensive. Gozo is also known for its glass production and the glass items were much more expensive, the students noted.

A visit to the U.S. Embassy allowed the students to talk to employees about what they do and the life of a diplomat.

As they ended their presentation, they encouraged the students in attendance to travel to Malta or other international destinations for study. “If you have the opportunity, just go,” said Hammack. “It is the best money you’ll ever spend.”

Additional opportunities for study in Malta may be offered soon as the college is entering an exchange relationship with the University of Malta, which will allow Tusculum students to study there as well as University of Malta students to study at Tusculum, said Dr. Geir Bergvin, director of the Center for Global Studies.

The students traveled by boat to both the city of Birgu and the island of Gozo.

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Voting continuing to help Tusculum qualify for $5,000 grant

Voting continuing to help Tusculum qualify for $5,000 grant

Posted on 06 April 2014 by srichey@tusculum.edu

Your vote is needed! First Tennessee’s 150 Days of Giving continues and Tusculum College is seeking to be one of the recipients of one of the $5,000 grants that are being awarded as part of the event.

To commemorate First Tennessee’s 150th anniversary and to  celebrate its long tradition of serving communities, the First Tennessee Foundation is giving away $5,000 to a different nonprofit every day for 150 days as part of its “150 Days of Giving.”

To help Tusculum College be one of the 150 non-profits to receive a grant, All you have to do is vote! Please vote each day throughout the 150 Days of Giving. You will be able to vote for up to ten different nonprofits a day from any device at www.150DaysofGiving.com once a day until Tusculum wins or the 150 days ends.

Winners are announced daily at www.firsttennesseefoundation.com, and you can join the conversation using #FTB150.

Tusculum College is happy to celebrate with First Tennessee and is honored to be among the nonprofits eligible to participate in “150 Days of Giving.”

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Borden and Menken win 2014 Owens Literary Prize competition

Borden and Menken win 2014 Owens Literary Prize competition

Posted on 04 April 2014 by srichey@tusculum.edu

Tusculum College students Joseph Borden and Britany Menken  are the winners of the 2014 Curtis and Billie Owens Literary Prize, which is given annually to recognize the literary achievements of the college’s creative writing students.

Menken, a senior from Maryville who won the competition’s nonfiction category, submitted a work titled “A Girl, Not the Girl.”

Borden, who won the competition’s fiction, poetry and scriptwriting categories, submitted a fiction piece titled “Hell or High Water” and poems titled “We Should Have Rained,” “Clockstop Blues,” “Down in the Valley,” “For Austin, Long Age,” “It’s Seasonal,” “Like Clockwork” and “On the Line.” He also submitted a script titled “Backover.” Borden is a senior from Lyles.

Of the four categories, fiction, nonfiction, poetry and scriptwriting, four students received an honorable mention for the works they each submitted. Madilyn Elliot, a sophomore from Johnson City, was recognized for “Lenses” in the fiction category, Ginny Lay, a senior from Laurel Bloomery, was recognized for “Snake, Drop, and Roll” in the non-fiction category, Melissa’s Mauceri, a senior from Pigeon Forge, was recognized for “Madness is Genius” and “I Pray to the Lord My Soul to Keep” in the poetry category and Caitlin Hobgood, a sophomore from Greeneville was recognized for her script, “Losing Face.”

The winners’ works will be included in a publication to be released during the 2014 Old Oak Festival, April 25-27.

The literary award was established by Curtis Owens, a 1928 graduate of Tusculum College who went on to a teaching career at what is now Pace University in New York, and his wife, Billie.  He and his wife established the Owens Award at his alma mater to encourage and reward excellence in writing among Tusculum College students.

The announcement of the winners was made during a reading by scriptwriter David Muschell. Muschell served as the judge for the final round of competition. The reading was part of the annual Humanities Series, sponsored by the Tusculum College English Department.

Muschell has won awards for his plays from MultiStages in New York City, Stage 3 Theatre in Sonoma, Calif., Feedback Books in Bloomington, Ill., The Southeast Playwright’s Project, The Deep South New Play Contest, The Beverly Hills Theatre Guild and The Alleyway Theatre in Buffalo, N.Y.

Thirteen of his plays have been published, including “The Jesus Trip” by Baker’s Plays of Boston, “Mixed Emotions” by the Dramatic Publishing Company and “The Invisible Princess” by Brooklyn Publishers. His work has been produced in 23 states, Canada and Japan.

From left to right, Madilyn Elliot, Caitlin Hobgood, Britany Menken, Playwright David Muschell, Ginny Lay, Joseph Borden and Melissa Mauceri.

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‘Charles Tunstall’s World of Guitar’ scheduled for Tuesday, March 25

‘Charles Tunstall’s World of Guitar’ scheduled for Tuesday, March 25

Posted on 19 March 2014 by eestes@tusculum.edu

Charles Tunstall

The versatility of the classical acoustic guitar and its adaptability to a variety of musical styles will be featured in Charles Tunstall’s recital Tuesday, March 25, at Tusculum College.

“Charles Tunstall’s World of Guitar” will begin at 6 p.m. in the lobby of the Thomas J. Garland Library on campus. This performance was previously scheduled in January, but was rescheduled due to inclement weather.

The performance will feature guitar music from the Renaissance to the present. Styles will include classical, sacred, folk, popular tunes from the 1960s, Broadway show tunes and more.

The recital will include some personal sacred and jazz arrangements by Tunstall, a new show-tune medley, a new 1960s medley and two or three surprise guests to accompany him on some songs.

The musical program will introduce the classical (nylon-string) guitar and the literature from several periods to the audience. Tunstall will demonstrate the versatility of the familiar instrument through his musical selections that incorporate a number of different playing styles, various voicings, chords, playing techniques and discussion about leading guitarists of the present and the past. In his program, Tunstall hopes to help the audience better understand the acoustic style of music and playing as opposed to electric or synthesized guitar music.

Tunstall, who is reference and instructional services librarian at Tusculum, has more than 50 years of playing experience. Primarily self-taught, he has been mentored by a large number of individuals. Although he prefers to entertain as a solo act, he has played in a variety of bands through the years. While he is skilled on several types of guitars, his main focus is in finger-style playing on the classical nylon-stringed guitar. He emerged from a country-bluegrass background and now enjoys playing and learning music from different periods.

As a guitarist, he has been inspired by Christopher Parkening, Chet Atkins, Rick Foster and Charlie Byrd, and he has had the opportunity to meet Parkening and Byrd.

Admission to the recital is free. Refreshments will be served, and arts and lecture credit is available for Tusculum College residential students.

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Mengel, Niswonger recognized with ‘Woman of Courage’ awards

Mengel, Niswonger recognized with ‘Woman of Courage’ awards

Posted on 19 March 2014 by eestes@tusculum.edu

Paige Mengel ’88 and Nikki Niswonger were recognized for their community service and leadership Tuesday as recipients of 2014 Woman of Courage of Greene County Awards.

The awards, sponsored by the Tusculum College Center for Civic Advancement, were presented during a luncheon ceremony. The Woman of Courage Award, now in its 10th year, is presented to a woman who has displayed the virtue of courage throughout her life and made a significant contribution to the local community. Nominations for the award are submitted by community members and honorees must be residents of Greene County. Honorees must have also made a noteworthy contribution to the community in the areas of arts, education and/or social justice and exemplify the qualities of a courageous woman in the 21st century.

Rachel Edens, director of the college’s Center for Civic Advancement, said that after reading the nominations for this year’s awards, it was an honor for the Center to be able to recognize the recipients for their service to others.

Rachel Edens, left, director of the Tusculum College Center for Civic Advancement, recognizes Paige Mengel as a 2014 Woman of Courage of Greene County Award recipient for her community service in such organizations as the Exchange Club.

Paige Mengel is an active member of the Exchange Club and serves on the boards of the United Way of Greene County and CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Northeast Tennessee. She was a member of the Leadership Greene County Class of 2005. A 1988 graduate of Tusculum College, she has served on the Tusculum College Alumni Executive Board for 20 years. She has been honored at her alma mater with the Alumni Association’s Frontier Award.

A certified public accountant, she worked for a private firm until she decided to seek a change professionally so she could be able to contribute more to the community. She then became comptroller at the Greeneville Water Commission and is currently the controller at Greeneville Light and Power System.

As a member of the Exchange Club, Mengel has been an officer on both the local and district level, as well as serving on its national task force. She is currently a director on the Tennessee District Board and has served as Tennessee district president. Mengel has also served two terms as local club president. She currently chairs the Book of Golden Deeds Committee, and is active on the Americanism committee.

During her time in the Exchange Club, she has been responsible for organizing three major projects as well as smaller regular duties such as preparing the weekly bulletin and the Youth of the Month certificates. She was the organizer of the Healing Field Project in 2007, which brought attention to the issue of child abuse, and also organized the “Loads of Love” project that provided laundry services to the tornado victims in Camp Creek and Horse Creek. She recently chaired the “Flags for the Fallen” project that recognized soldiers in Greene County who had been killed in action.

Mengel is also supportive of the arts and has been active in the Theatre-at-Tusculum program, both on-stage and behind the scenes. She has volunteered countless hours in building and painting sets as well as appearing in productions. She has a leading role in the upcoming Theatre-at-Tusculum production of “Twelve Angry Men.”

Nikki Niswonger, right, was recognized for her contributions to local education and the community as a recipient of the 2014 Woman of Courage of Greene County Award. Rachel Edens, left, presented the award.

Nikki Niswonger became deeply involved in her children’s education while living in Ohio and gained a deeper understanding of the importance of parental involvement in schools. She brought her love of community and belief that all children should have a quality education to her new home in East Tennessee when she moved to Greeneville. Among her first experiences in the community were serving as a substitute teacher in the Greeneville School System and as an active member of the Greeneville Schools In Action (G.S.I.A.) parent organization. She served as president and secretary of the Tusculum View G.S.I.A., president and vice president of the Greeneville Middle School G.S.I.A. and president of the systemwide G.S.I.A. Council.

Niswonger also created a “Birthday Book Club” at Tusculum View, providing an opportunity for the school’s library to attain new books. In the “Wonder of Words” program, she served as a mentor for at-risk children in kindergarten through third grade to help improve their basic math and reading skills. Niswonger served as chairperson of the “Success by Six” Task Force, which secured a grant to provide reading enhancement to preschoolers. A founding member of the Greeneville City Schools Foundation, she has also served as its trustee. In addition, she has served as a board member for Community of Promise.

An active member of Youth Builders, Inc., whose mission is to promote the welfare of young people in the community, she has served as president, secretary, school-assistance co-chair and fundraising co-chair. In addition, she served for eight years on the United Way’s Allocation Committee, as an Arts United advisory board member and a membership drive committee member for Community Concerts. She has served six years on the planning committee for the Parenting Fair, and is a board member for Frontier Health, serving on both the finance and policy committees. She is a founding member of the East Tennessee Women’s Fund.

Her love of the community’s history is evident in her efforts as president and board member of the Greene County Heritage Trust, as a board member of the Nathanael Greene Museum and her service as co-chair for the annual Historic Homes Tour.

She has served as a board member of the Niswonger Foundation since its inception. She serves on the Niswonger Scholars Selection Committee and also serves as a member of the Niswonger Performing Arts Center board of directors.

Dr. Taimi Olsen, director of the Tennessee Teaching and Learning Center at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, was the keynote speaker for the ceremony and challenged those in attendance to reflect on their own community service. She recalled her time as a faculty member and academic leader at Tusculum College and the community service projects she and her students enjoyed, working with such diverse groups as Rural Resources, Habitat for Humanity and Greene County Skills.

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Students travel to Barcelona for English study-abroad course

Students travel to Barcelona for English study-abroad course

Posted on 18 March 2014 by eestes@tusculum.edu

On January 14-25, 12 Tusculum College students studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain, alongside Heather Patterson, chair of the Tusculum College English department and associate professor of English, as a part of Tusculum’s global studies program.

As part of the course “Seminar in Literature and Society,” the class focused on how writers respond to or take the lead on topics of global importance, the complexity of world issues and the diversity of perspectives internationally.

Students participating included Meagan Talley, a junior math education major from Fairview; Jessica Kagias, a junior education major from Middlesboro, Ky.; Melissa Mauceri, a senior journalism major from Pigeon Forge; Herchell Bridges, a junior athletic training major from Fairview; Destini Wingerter, a senior English major from Bristol; Katie Capel, a senior digital media major from Waverly; Carnes White, a junior creative writing major from Montgomery, Ala.; Andrew Hollingshead, a sophomore graphic design major from Tellico Plains;  Jeffery Peck, a junior business management major from Tazewell; Trenikia Shelton, a senior journalism major from Memphis; Andrea Wilcox, a junior athletic training major from Knoxville, and Amanda Grempel, a senior athletic training major from Blakeslee, Pa.

Andrew Hollingshead of Tellico Plains visits the National Catalan Museum of Art in Barcelona, Spain. He was one of 12 Tusculum College students who participated in a study abroad English course earlier this semester.

Students visited several sites and went on many tours in Barcelona, including the George Orwell walking tour. For the class students had been assigned to read Orwell’s “Homage to Catalonia. On the tour they visited the Museum of the History of the City, as well as a cathedral during the walking tour of the Gothic Quarter. They took an excursion of Montserrat, home to the Virgin of Montserrat, and a tour of La Sagrada Familia. Other stops included a visit to the National Museum of Catalan Art and tours of Eixample, which gave students a chance to learn about Modernista architecture, and El Borne.

“Barcelona was the most beautiful place I have ever been,” said Talley. “Learning about a place while actually being there was an experience I will never forget,” added Wingerter. “Barcelona was by far the most incredible journey I have ever experienced. The city was beautiful, and I hope I get a chance to visit it again someday.”

The students all seemed to be struck by Barcelona’s beauty. Hollingshead said, “My favorite part of Barcelona was relaxing and reading in the garden and the beautiful photogenic opportunities of the city.”

After returning to Tusculum the group shared their experience with a photo presentation of their academic trip for the campus population. The students described all of the tours and talked about Barcelona’s history and culture.

Students in Tusculum College’s “Seminar in Literature and Society” course visited several sites in Barcelona, Spain that were influential to the writers they were studying, including the Cathedral at Montserrat.

 

By Melissa Mauceri, senior journalism major from Pigeon Forge

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Psychology students and faculty participate in professional conference

Psychology students and faculty participate in professional conference

Posted on 17 March 2014 by eestes@tusculum.edu

Students and faculty members of the Tusculum College psychology department recently participated in the Southeastern Psychological Association’s 60th annual Conference in Nashville, Tenn.

Participating were students Thomas Bitner; a junior from Chuckey; Taira Peters, a junior from Rogersville; Theo Oing, a senior from Chattanooga; Melinda Franklin, a senior from Concord, N.C.; Jade Bussell, a senior from Harrogate, and Robert Arrowood, a senior from Erwin. Faculty included Dr. Brian Pope, professor of psychology; Dr. Bill Garris, associate professor of psychology, and Dr. Stephen Nettelhorst, associate professor of psychology.

Tusculum students and faculty presented five posters based upon original research conducted during the 2013-2014 year. The topics they researched and shared included Bitner, Dr. Pope, Peters and Dr. Tom Harlow’s work on the relationship between stereotype threat, positive emotions and athletic performance.  Harlow is associate professor of psychology at Tusculum College.

According to their research, the expectation was the stereotype threat “your group does poorly on this task” would impair athletic performance.

A second project by Oing, Dr. Pope, Franklin and Lawson considered the effect of ego depletion on videogame performance.

The research reported that the expectation was that as people experienced a frustrating situation, their performance on a videogame task would decrease.

Dr. Nettelhorst presented two studies pertaining to consumer psychology. The first examined how individuals use customer reviews and ratings to evaluate products on online marketplaces such as Amazon.com. The second investigated whether individuals’ decisions to skip an advertisement on online streaming sites (e.g. Hulu.com, YouTube.com, etc.) were influenced by factors such as the actor’s attractiveness and the viewer’s choice to view or not view the ad.

Arrowood and Dr. Garris explored how thinking about one’s own death might influence his or her sexual interest.

The theory and prior research predicted that contemplating death would increase an interest in sex, similar to the intense romantic feelings one might feel before being called off to war. However, there was a mild dampening of sexual interest, which could be attributed to the religious values the subjects may have that were elevated when the subjects thought about “meeting their maker.”

“This conference is always an important experience for our students because of the opportunities for professional growth and networking within the discipline,” said Dr. Pope.

While Arrowood, Franklin, Bussell and Dr. Garris did not find results that supported their theory, a number of other researchers at the conference said they had also experienced a failure to replicate in the same research area, which led to engaging conversations and networking about common interests.

Dr. Pope said that the psychology department strongly encourages its students to pursue research. He added, that by conducting research, students develop skills in data collection and data analysis that will help them not only in graduate school but also in their chosen professions.

 

Tusculum College students and faculty participating in the annual Southeastern Psychological Association Conference included from left, Theo Oing, Jade Bussell, Melinda Franklin, Thomas Bitner, Taira Peters, Dr. Stephen Nettelhorst, Dr. Brian Pope, Robert Arrowood and Dr. Bill Garris.

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The Old Oak Festival is returning to the Tusculum campus April 25-27

The Old Oak Festival is returning to the Tusculum campus April 25-27

Posted on 14 March 2014 by srichey@tusculum.edu

The Old Oak Festival is returning to the Tusculum College campus April 25-27.

The arts and music festival will span three days and will feature something for everyone, including music, art, theater and creative writing, as well as gallery and museum exhibits.

“Details on the artisans and musicians scheduled to participate are being finalized, but the dates have been confirmed, and many of the arts events are officially on the calendar,” said David Price, director of music at Tusculum College and festival coordinator.

In addition to artist vendors and music performances throughout the day on Friday and Saturday, there will be three performances during the festival of “Twelve Angry Men,” presented by Theatre-at-Tusculum under the direction of Frank Mengel, the technical director of the Arts Outreach program. Show times are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Performances will be held in the Behan Arena Theatre in the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Center.

In addition, the college’s Allison Gallery will be open throughout the weekend, featuring top student work in a “best of” show for student painting, sculpture and photography.

The festival is being coordinated by a committee of college and community representatives who are working to promote arts and music in the East Tennessee region.

“We are expecting a wide variety of artists, including painters, craftsmen and sculptors, whose work will be available for purchase. Arts will include pottery, woodcrafts and folk art,” said Price. Demonstrations will also be conducted on pottery, blacksmithing and cooking.

There are limited spaces still available for artisan and crafter booths. Deadline for reserving a booth is Monday, March 24 or until all spaces are filled.

Throughout the weekend on stage, the festival will present the sounds of the region, with a wide variety of music from bluegrass to jazz to local vocalists and musicians.

Pickin’ at the Doaks, which is a bluegrass music jam session, will be held at the Doak House Museum on Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at noon. Saturday’s performance will be a special session with a surprise guest.

Woodcarver Jimmy Rader is one of the more than 70 artisans that will participate in the Old Oak Festival on the Tusculum College campus April 25-27. The weekend will feature arts and crafts, live music, theater, literary readings, craft demonstrations, festival food and non-stop entertainment.

Both the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library and the Doak House Museum will be open on Friday and Saturday to visitors during the festival and will have special activities planned for adults and children.

At 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 26, there will be a lantern-lit tour of the Tusculum College buildings listed on the National Historic Register.

From 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library will feature the “Reaper: Nettie Fowler McCormick and the Machine that Built Tusculum College” exhibit. This exhibit explores the changes wrought by the mechanical harvest and explores the context through which Mrs. McCormick viewed her philanthropic mission.

At 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 27, the festival will conclude with a 5K race. This beautiful, easy to moderate course will start and finish at the Tusculum Linear Trail Head. Pre-register by Friday, April 18, at www.oldoakfestival.org.

The festival will feature children’s activities on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and again on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Throughout the weekend there will be storytelling performances on stage and around the festival grounds.

The Ayers llamas, previous favorites of the festival, will visit the Tusculum College campus over the weekend.

A Sunday highlight will be an outdoor chapel service beginning at 11 a.m. designed to re-create the feel of the frontier church experience. The service is open to the public and will be followed by traditional and contemporary gospel music performances throughout the day.

Food selection will include festival favorites, such as homemade strawberry shortcake, Philly cheese steak, and Amish doughnuts.

There is no fee to attend the festival. Art vendor hours will be Friday from noon until 6 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1-4 p.m. For more information, contact Price at 423-636-7303.

Service animals are welcome; however, no pets allowed. Coolers and alcohol are also prohibited during the festival.

For updates and more information, visit the website at www.oldoakfestival.org or on Facebook at www.facebook/OldOakFestival.

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Restoration of Tusculum College Arch underway

Restoration of Tusculum College Arch underway

Posted on 10 March 2014 by srichey@tusculum.edu

Work has begun on repairs and restoration of the Tusculum College arch.

The landmark, which is on the National Register of  Historic Places, is getting a full restoration after water damage began to cause some failure in the existing mortar, according to David Martin, director of facilities for Tusculum College.

“The arch is getting a full restoration,” said Martin, who added that all the old mortar is being removed, new mortar added and some minor repairs made. There will also be some ground lighting installed to light the arch in the evening hours.

Martin said the work is being done by WASCO, a commercial masonry company out of Knoxville that is certified in historic masonry preservation.

Work is expected to be completed in the next few weeks, depending on weather conditions.

Built in 1917, the Arch has come to symbolize Tusculum College. The architectural form is present throughout the campus. Costing $400, the Arch was built by one of Tennessee’s foremost stonemasons, J. T. Ponder. The construction of the Arch was a project conceived in the patriotic fervor that swept the Tusculum College campus and the rest of the country after the United States entered World War I.

 

The Tusculum Arch at Tusculum College, which is on the National Register for Historic Places, is getting a facelift and new lighting.

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