Archive | April, 2007


Tusculum College hosts Oxfam Hunger Banquet on Wednesday, part of ‘Poverty Awareness Week’ on campus

Posted on 19 April 2007 by

OxfamWhat is a normal meal for the majority of people around the world?

The answer to that question was provided at the Oxfam Hunger Banquet on Wednesday (April 18) at Tusculum College.

For admittance to the banquet, individuals were asked to bring a canned food item or make a donation of at least $1. The canned food items are being donated to the Mission Soup Kitchen at Tabernacle Presbyterian Church in Greeneville and a majority of the donations will be given to local charities with a smaller percentage sent to Oxfam to support the organization’s international efforts to combat hunger.

The Hunger Banquet is designed to inform participants about the daily reality of the world’s population in terms of food resources, which finds a majority living on subsistence or less amounts of food. The event was sponsored by Sodexho, the Bonner Leaders Program, the Women’s Leadership House and the Center for Civic Advancement.

During the Hunger Banquet, participants were divided into three groups to illustrate the percentages of people living at different economic levels. The largest group represented the low income group. These sat on the floor and were given dry rice and water from a bucket with no utensils.

A much smaller group represented the middle income level, who served themselves beans and rice with water, but had utensils and sat in chairs. Another small group, representing the high income level, were seated at a neatly decorated table and served a three-course meal.

The event is part of “Poverty Awareness Week” on campus, which was student-organized to include activities each day to bring awareness of issues related to poverty, including homelessness and hunger.

On Monday evening, the college hosted a panel discussion about homelessness. Participating on the panel were Donald Minor, vice president and “Point-in-Time” chair of the Appalachian Regional Coalition on Homelessness (ARCH); Andrew Hicks, a homeless veterans outreach clinician for the Mountain Home Veterans Administration Center; and Steve Edwards, a resident of Manna House, a transitional recovery home in Johnson City.

Minor described the activities of ARCH, a volunteer organization that works with more than 60 agencies that provide services to the homeless. Agencies that provide service to the homeless apply through ARCH to receive grant funding for programs from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). ARCH also conducts HUD-mandated “point-in-time” surveys of the homeless, which students at Tusculum have helped conduct in past years.

He also commented that ARCH itself receives none of the funding HUD provides for direct service to the homeless and depends on private donations for much of its activities. ARCH is having a fundraising dinner and silent auction on Friday, May 4, at 6:30 p.m. in the Millennium Center in Johnson City. Tickets for the dinner are $50 with a special price of $35 for college students. ARCH needs to raise thousands of dollars in matching funds to receive its grant or it may face ceasing its activities at the end of May.

There are a variety of reasons that people are homeless, such as health problems, mental illness, substance abuse, and financial problems that all have to be addressed in helping people become established in a home for the long term, Minor said.

Hicks discussed his work with veterans, going out to such places as homeless camps to try to locate veterans and then link them to services they may need.

Edwards told the students about his substance abuse problem that had resulted in his loss of his home and business. A veteran, he was treated in programs at Mountain Home, but relapsed after his return to the community. Edwards said Manna House had given him another chance to rebuild his life, and now he has maintained his sobriety and joined its staff.

Minor said that cases like Edwards’ point to the fact that ARCH is in the “restoration business” in trying to address people’s issues before they become homeless, noting that many are “one drink, one drug, one bill” away from homelessness.

Also as part of Poverty Awareness Week, informational displays have been set up in the Niswonger Commons highlighting organizations that fight poverty, and a canned food drive has been conducted.

Poverty Awareness Week activities end on Friday night with a “Sleep Out for Homelessness,” in which students will experience the homeless condition by sleeping outside overnight.

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Service provides Tusculum community opportunity to come together to pray for Virginia Tech

Posted on 19 April 2007 by

vtservice.jpgA large crowd of students, faculty, and staff gathered Wednesday morning for a community prayer service to offer intercessory prayers for all those who have been impacted by the tragic events at Virginia Tech earlier this week.

Led by the Rev. Dr. Steve Weisz, campus minister, a number of students took an active role in leading prayers, responsive readings, and scripture readings during the brief service that was held inside the Living Room of the Niswonger Commons building.

The prayer service was organized to allow the Tusculum community an opportunity to come together to reflect on the tragedy and pray for those at Virginia Tech, to remember and pray for those of the Tusculum community who may have connections to the victims at Virginia Tech, and for the Tusculum community itself, said Dr. David McMahan, vice president of student affairs for the college.

The service followed a liturgical order of service with responsive readings, confessionary and intercessory prayers, and scripture readings, all led by students. Among the scripture readings were passages from Ecclesiastes and Psalms. The passage from Ecclesiastes 3 was the familiar passage about “a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”

Also read was a passage from Psalm 91 about God’s protection and strength, as well as the well known 23rd Psalm.

Dr. Weisz then led the group in a prayer asking God to comfort and strengthen the families of the victims of the Virginia Tech tragedy, the survivors, and all the students, faculty, and staff of Virginia Tech.

After the service, Connie Kretchmar-Sitz, the college’s counselor, was available to speak to those wished to talk to someone about the tragedy.

The service also brought local and regional media to campus, including reporters from the local newspaper and radio station as well as those from two Tri-Cities television stations, WJHL and WCYB.

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Students, faculty recognized during Tusculum Honors Convocation

Posted on 17 April 2007 by

Student excellence in academics and outstanding service by faculty and staff were recognized during Tusculum College’s annual Honors Convocation Thursday, April 12.

The President’s Award was presented to Ashley Moreira, a senior majoring in English with a literature concentration who is from London, Ontario, Canada. The Bruce G. Batts Award was presented to Anup Kaphle, an international student from Katmandu, Nepal, who is majoring in English with a writing concentration. The two awards are the top honors presented to students.

Academic Honors

Senior Honor Key Awards were presented to students who have earned a 3.25 grade point average or higher in their major, shown achievement and aptitude in the major, and possess strong character. Following are the award recipients and their degree programs:

Biology – Justin Montgomery of Sevierville, Tenn.
English – Anup Kaphle of Katmandu, Nepal
General Management – Taylor Olsen of Bristol, Tenn.
K-12 Education – Allison Higgins of Greeneville, Tenn.
Management Accounting – Tori Buck of Jamestown, Tenn.
Mathematics – Frank Ottinger, Jr. of Greeneville, Tenn.
Physical Education – Joshua Fleenor of Sneedville, Tenn., and
Gerald Watt of Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Political Science – Daniel Estes of Talbott, Tenn.
Pre-Secondary Education – Samantha Harrell of Morristown, Tenn.
Psychology – Jessica Horton of Hendersonville, N.C.
Secondary Education – Shanna Malone of Greeneville, Tenn.
Special Education – Ginny Swaggerty of Afton, Tenn.
Sport Science – Rebecca Carreiro of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, and
Luana Pereira of Salvador, Bahia Brazil,
Visual Arts – Ana Cantor of Troy, Va.

Recognized as Honor Students for having a 4.0 grade point average were:

Henrique Alves Rodrigues of Salvador, Brazil
Marne Louis Nash Armstrong of Afton, Tenn.
Cindy Lynn Barrett of Surgoinsville, Tenn.,
Ashley Claudene Bradford of London, Ky.
Erika Marie Carter of Chuckey, Tenn.
Lena Eidson-Kelly of Odenville, Al.
Andrea Christine Guinn of Limestone, Tenn.
Jarrell Dupree Nesmith of Russellville, Ala.
Jeremiah John Peterson of Unicoi, Tenn.
Alexander W. Smith of Mosheim, Tenn.
Kristin Marie Watkins of Middlebury, Vt.

Alpha Chi Seniors:

Sarah Alston of Morristown, Tenn.
Tori Buck of Jamestown, Tenn.
Jamie Gibson of Greeneville, Tenn.
Samantha Harrell of Morristown, Tenn.
Jessica Horton of Hendersonville, N.C.
Anup Kaphle of Katmandu, Nepal
Eliza Land of Greeneville, Tenn.
Leanne Lietzke of Bristol, Tenn.
Shanna Malone of Greeneville, Tenn.
Taylor Olson of Bristol, Tenn.
Luana Pereira of Salvador, Bahia Brazil
Alison Pierce of Hampton, Tenn.
Angela Webb of Chuckey, Tenn.
Eric Wilkerson of Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Alpha Chi Academic Excellence Award: Amanda Kyker of Telford, Tenn.

Dr. Shirley Beck Award: David Goforth of Knoxville, Tenn.

Master of Arts in Organizational Management Award: Erin Williams of Limestone, Tenn.

David Behan Award: K. Marie Hodge of Lenoir City, Tenn.

Curtis and Billie Owens Literary Prize:

Fiction: Rebecca (Becca) Friddle of Honea Path, S.C.

Non-fiction: Eliza Land of Greeneville, Tenn.

Poetry: Anup Kaphle of Katmandu, Nepal

E.H. Sargent Award in Science: Candace Allwardt of Pembroke Pines, Fla.

Doug Ratledge Environmental Science Scholarship: Aislynn Hartman of Greeneville, Tenn.

Warren Lynn Drain Award: Leanne Lietzke of Bristol, Tenn.

Theatre Arts:

Samantha Kidd of Boston, Va.
Eric Wilkerson of Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Scott Howard of Wakefield, Mass.
Shanna Malone of Greeneville, Tenn.
TAHPERD Award (Tennessee Association Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Outstanding Major Award):
Nicole Ferris of Lebanon, Ohio

NASPE Award (National Association for Sport and Physical Education):
Michael Bujnik of Greeneville, Tenn.

Praxis Award – Given to students who are Education majors and scored in the top 5 percent of the scores on this national test:
Rodney Biddle of Athens, Tenn.
Miki Cruser of Knoxville, Tenn.
Kelly Day of Knoxville, Tenn.
Bradley Drinnon of Morristown, Tenn.
Keith Graybeal of Sevierville, Tenn.
Samantha Harrell of Morristown, Tenn.
Rebekah Hatfield of Tazewell, Tenn.
Rachel Hinkle of Midway, Tenn.
Carley Lester of Chuckey, Tenn.
Dustin Morrow of Lexington, Ky.
Laura Quemore of Lake City, Tenn.
Lisa Richardson of Knoxville, Tenn.
Amber Ridley of Whitesburg, Tenn.
Emily Waddell of Clinton, Tenn.
Christie Wolf of Sevierville, Tenn.
Jenny Wyatt of Morristown, Tenn.
Sandra Young of Robbins, Tenn.

Outstanding Education Students:
Alejandra Chavez and Angie Tulley, both of Greeneville, Tenn.

Service Awards

Service-Learning Award:
Becky Carreiro of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Kimberly Coapstick of Merritt Island, Fla.
Jeremy Jones of Marietta, Ga.
Shannon Palenkas of Maryville, Tenn.
Sarah Philipp of Hendersonville, N.C.
Charles Sullivan of Anderson, S.C.

Bonner Leaders Program Award:
Sudipa Shrestha of Nepal

Walter T. Dette, Jr. Memorial Athletic Spirit Award:
Luana Pereira of Salvador, Bahia Brazil

Faculty, Staff Awards

Kay W. Leonard Outstanding Service to Students Award:
Dennis Lingerfelt, assistant professor of computer science

Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award (Residential College):
Ron McCallister, assistant professor of computer science

Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award (Graduate and Professional Studies):
Dr. Richard Ross, professor of management

Staff Award:
Todd Eason, assistant men’s soccer coach

Recognition of Longevity:

20 years of service:
Joyce Combs, administrative assistant, residential student accounts
Chris Summey, network systems analyst
Nancy Thompson, registrar

15 years:
Marilyn duBrisk, artist-in-residence
Diane Urban, assistant professor of management

10 years:
Tim Carter, assistant professor of management
Karen Chapman, director of financial aid
Joyce Doughty, director of the Center for Civic Advancement
Kathy Joy, director of the Graduate & Professional Studies Tri-Cities Center
Mike Joy, head women’s soccer coach
Ron McCallister, assistant professor of computer science
Dee Roby, executive assistant to the provost and faculty secretary
Robin Underwood, coordinator of faculty services, SE

Recognition of Volunteers for the Library:
Anna Mooneyham

Recognition of Volunteers for the Museums of Tusculum College:
Doak House Museum and President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library:
Josh Ashby
Jolin Babcock
Amy Barnum
Camey Buck
Barth Cox
Dr. Bob Davis
Marilyn duBrisk
Sam and Emily Doak
Joyce Doughty
Eugenia Estes
Dr. Kim Estep
Angie Ellenburg
Dr. Paul Fox
Mark Freshour
Casey Freshour
Donna Freshour
Burke Greear
William Hardy
Delina Hensley
Kendra Hinkle
Tom Janaskie
Amy Jewell
Gayleen Kelley
Dr. Carol Hartman
Julia Jones
Dr. Angela Keaton
Jo Anne Lintz
Don Miller
Agnes Myers
Cody Neas
Jean Peek
Jane Pilloni
Jeannie Rademacher
Joy Seher
Dr. Don Sexton
David Smith
Joann Snyder
Shirley Snyder
Lillian Taylor
Karen Thies
Heather Tunnell
Dr. Joel Van Amberg
Leah Walker
Jean Weaverv Kayla Webb
Gloria Weiszv Dr. DiAnn Casteel
>Grant Collins
Alina Lucas

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Tusculum College one of 39 campuses to host National Post-Katrina College Summit

Posted on 13 April 2007 by

katrina_event.jpgTusculum College was one of 39 campuses across the country to host the National Post-Katrina College Summit, a nationwide effort to raise awareness about the crisis in the Gulf Coast and to promote federal legislation calling for a New Deal-style program for the region.

Events on the Tusculum campus on Wednesday (April 11) included a public reading of the names of victims of Hurricane Katrina and a discussion by Tusculum students who have traveled to the hurricane-stricken areas about their experiences along with a showing of a portion of Spike Lee’s documentary “When the Levees Broke.”

Students also conducted a petition drive to gather signatures in support of the passage of federal legislation to create a program that would create 100,000 jobs for Gulf Coast residents to rebuild their communities. The cost for the program, which includes job training, is estimated at $4 billion.

The National Post-Katrina College Summit was initiated by the Gulf Coast Civic Works Project, which is spearheading the national effort to develop the legislation to establish the federal work program.

The need for such a program was expressed by Tusculum students and faculty during the discussion session on Wednesday.

Robin Fife, assistant professor of social science, has led three Service-Learning classes to the Gulf Coast area to help in the hurricane relief effort with the most recent trip taken earlier this year.

“It was the hardest work I have ever done,” Fife said of the relief projects she and her students have undertaken, including ‘mucking out’ damaged contents of people’s homes. “It was not just physically hard, but emotionally as well because we were taking the stuff of people’s lives out to the curb to be thrown away.”

She said that on one trip, the students met a lady in one neighborhood who is the only person who has returned to that area in New Orleans. “The city is not coming back, and now the insects, bugs and animals are taking over,” she added.

Sudipa Shrestha, who was in New Orleans in March, said she was disappointed to find that the government and large national organizations were not doing more to help people in New Orleans, but that the help was coming through smaller non-profit organizations.

Shrestha, an international student from Nepal, organized and led a group of 12 Tusculum students to New Orleans for an “Alternative Spring Break” in the first week of March. The students worked to remove damaged materials from homes, some so overtaken with mold that the students had to wear protective clothing and masks.

The students worked with Common Ground Collective. Common Ground was established one week after Hurricane Katrina and its mission is to provide short-term relief for hurricane victims and long-term support in rebuilding communities. It has hosted over 10,000 volunteers to provide relief and assistance to hurricane survivors, and contributed millions of dollars to the community through distribution of food, water, cleaning supplies, protective gear, tools, building materials, and volunteer labor.

Shrestha said the organization is student-oriented and provides both short-term and long-term volunteer projects for students. Working with the group, the Tusculum students had the opportunity to meet other college students from across the country, she added.

The “Alternative Spring Break” is the first trip of its kind at Tusculum College and had sponsorship from MECO Corporation.

The trip to New Orleans was among the latest service efforts by Shrestha, who is a member of the Bonner Leader student service program on campus and active in the local community, through both service and her academics. An accounting major, she gained invaluable experience through an internship at MECO Corporation last summer, and she has used the knowledge she has gained in the classroom and the business world to provide a needed service to a local non-profit organization.

Last January, Shrestha began working for the director of the Greeneville company’s Foreign Sourcing Department, which handles the company’s importing of supplies and exporting of products. She describes MECO as “one of the best places I have worked – the company has a family environment.” Through her internship, Shrestha said she learned about working in the global business environment with suppliers and customers from different parts of the world.

She has been able to use her business skills learned in the classroom and her internship to assist the Opportunity House. Shrestha worked at the Opportunity House once or twice a week through the summer and created a brochure about the organization and its services. This brochure has been sent to local businesses and organizations to raise the awareness of the services provided by the Opportunity House and help garner some much-needed support.

The Opportunity House Thrift Store, which provides financial support for the organization, moved locations during the summer, and Shrestha helped in the process of sorting clothes in preparations for opening at the new location.

As a Bonner Leader, Shrestha has also served locally in children’s educational programs as well as traveling to other communities such as Caretta, W.Va., to help others.

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