Archive | February, 2009


Museums of Tusculum College receive state awards

Posted on 28 February 2009 by

museumsThe Museums of Tusculum College received two awards during the annual meeting of the Tennessee Association of Museums earlier this month.

An “Award of Excellence” in the small museums category was presented to the Museums of Tusculum College for development and presentation of “Andrew Johnson: Heritage, Legacy and Our Constitution,” a celebration of the bicentennial of Andrew Johnson and the 221st anniversary of the U.S. Constitution. The event, held on Sept. 17 last year at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center, featured the 113th U.S. Army Band and was attended by more than 900 people.

The Doak House Museum received an “Award of Commendation” for the “Heritage, Legacy and Our Constitution” educational school program commemorating the Andrew Johnson bicentennial. More than 1,500 students participated in the program during 2008.

The awards were presented during the 49th annual meeting of the Tennessee Association of Museums on March 18-20 in Chattanooga. Tusculum was represented at the meeting by George Collins, director of the Tusculum Department of Museum Program and Studies; Cindy Lucas, associate director of the department and director of the Doak House Museum; Kathy Cuff, museum assistant/archivist, and Faith Bases, a museum studies major.

Collins was also appointed to the Awards Committee for the 2010 Conference to be held in Nashville.

The Doak House Museum and the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library are administered by the Tusculum College Department of Museum Program and Studies under the direction of George Collins, director of Museum Program and Studies, and Cindy Lucas, associate director of the department and director of the Doak House Museum. The department also offers one of the few undergraduate degree programs in museum studies in the country.

The Doak House Museum, which was the home of the Rev. Samuel Witherspoon Doak, co-founder of the college, hosted more than 10,000 school children from East Tennessee last year for a variety of educational programs related to the 19th century and CHARACTER COUNTS!

The Andrew Johnson Museum, located in the oldest academic building on campus, houses a collection of books, papers and memorabilia of the 17th president of the United States.  The museum also houses the Charles Coffin Collection from the original college library and the College archives containing documents related to the history of Tusculum.  The museums are also two of the 10 structures on the Tusculum campus on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Tusculum College Open House to bring 138 families to campus on March 7

Posted on 27 February 2009 by

More than 138 students and their families will be on the Tusculum College campus on Saturday, March 7, to meet with staff and faculty and learn more about the College and what it has to offer.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.

“Our spring Open House is a chance for students who are interested in Tusculum College to visit campus and experience what it would be like for them to be a student here,” said Melissa Ripley, director of operations and marketing for the College’s Admission Office.

Students and their families are expected from across Tennessee, as well as from Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida and Kentucky. And, according to Ripley, the day will be filled with activities for both students and parents to learn about the College and to experience a day as a Tusculum College student.

“This is a chance for the students to see what Tusculum College is really about,” Ripley said, adding that students and parents will have the opportunity to meet faculty members and students will attend a mock class.

“There are parent sessions on financial aid, student life and opportunities for students to complete the application process if they choose,” Ripley said. Tours of the campus will be offered, including visits to the residence halls, lunch in the cafeteria and a visit to the new Thomas J. Garland Library.

Parents and students both will attend financial aid workshops and will have assistance from representatives of the College’s Department of Admissions in answering any questions regarding either financial aid or their application to the College.

Ripley said that more than 25 faculty and staff will be working the day of the Open House and interacting with the students and their families.  “So many people are involved and excited to meet our potential new students.  It’s a great opportunity for us as well as the families involved.”

For more information on Tusculum College’s Open House, admissions or financial aid information, contact Ripley at 423-636-7312.

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Cinema at Tusculum presents Dr. Zhivago on March 4

Posted on 26 February 2009 by

drzmoviejpgDon’t miss an opportunity to see one of the most popular Russian epic films of all time, when Cinema at Tusculum presents Russian epic Dr. Zhivago, on March 4 at 7 p.m. in the Behan Arena.  Students who attend receive Arts & Lecture Credit.

Brilliantly photographed and sweepingly romantic, Dr. Zhivago is an exploration of the Russian Revolution as seen from the point of view of the intellectual, introspective Dr. Zhivago, played by Omar Sharif.

Released late in 1965 Dr. Zhivago was a box-office success across the globe and grossed more than Gone with the Wind. It was nominated for 10 Oscars and won five of them, for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Music Score, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration and Best Costume Design.

Dr. Kim Estep, provost and vice president for academic affairs will introduce the film. Estep said she selected the film because she has previously used small snippets from the film when teaching about World War I, the Bolshevik Revolution and related historical events of Russian history.

“I find that it brings life to what can be ‘dry’ history, to see the impact of these cataclysmic events on individual people living during that time period,” Estep said.  “The social upheaval and personal hardship of this time in Russian history is very accurate-which is probably the main reason his novel was banned in the Soviet Union when it was published in 1957.”

In addition, mark your calendar for March 25, when the final film in the series, East/West will be show, also at the Behan at 7 p.m. The presenter will be Dr. Biliana Stoytcheva-Horissian, originally of Bulgaria, where the film was shot, and a department chair at Emory and Henry University.

All shows in the Tusculum College Cinema Series are open to the public and are free of charge.

Dr. Zhivago Trivia

  • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer ((MGM)) who bankrolled the movie originally wanted to cast star Paul Newman in the title role played by Omar Sharif. Actor Peter O’Toole was offered the part, but declined.
  • Although depicting Russia and in particular the stunning city of Moscow, the movie was actually filmed in Spain.
  • The film was not shown in Russia until 1994.
  • While the scene with the crowd chanting the Marxist theme was being filmed at 3 a.m., police showed up at the set thinking that a real revolution was taking place and insisted on staying until the scene was finished.
  • One of the features which contributed to the outstanding box-office success of the movie and also critical impact was the immortal ‘Lara’s Theme’, a composition of ‘balalaika’ music, created by Maurice Jarre. This musical number was an international success and continues to be as popular as it was forty years ago.

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Dates set for events to celebrate the GPS’ 25th Anniversary

Posted on 26 February 2009 by

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Tusculum College’s Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS) program, and the milestone is being marked by activities and events planned for Greeneville, Knoxville, Morristown, and the Tri-Cities.

Alumni, faculty, staff, and students from the four locations are involved in planning the activities and events, and while all the details of the events have not been finalized, dates have been set. Events are scheduled April 30 in Knoxville, June 20 in the Tri-Cities, June 26 in Morristown, and October 17 in Greeneville.

These Silver Anniversary celebrations are set to include students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the long-established adult education program.

“We are celebrating 25 years of making dreams of a college education come true for non-traditional students,” said Dr. Lisa Johnson, director of the Graduate and Professional Studies Program and assistant professor of education at the College.

While planning is still in the early stages, events could range from receptions reuniting former students with current and former faculty, to a cookout, to golf outings to a GPS “reunion” at a fall football game, said Cody Greene ’08, coordinator of development and alumni relations for the College’s Department of Institutional Advancement.

“This is a year-long celebration of all the successes of GPS, and there are many exciting things being discussed.” Greene added that the group is also trying to track down as many of the original class of 1986 as possible in order to recognize them during the events. If you are a member of that original class, want more information about the GPS celebrations, or would like to volunteer with one of the events, please contact Greene at 423-636-7303 or email


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Tusculum College alumni return to class to discuss careers

Posted on 26 February 2009 by

Psychology and Museum Studies students recently got first-hand information and advice from alumni who came “back to class” to share their professional experiences.

Noah Grunzweig ‘04 and Amy Willet ’04 shared their experiences with Dr. Melinda Dukes’ Psychology class in late January to talk about life after College for students with a bachelor degree in psychology.

Julia Jones ’08 shared her professional experiences as museum coordinator at the Farragut Folk Life Museum with a Museum Studies class in late February.

Grunzweig and Willett
Dr. Dukes has asked the two young alumni to return to talk with her class about their experiences in the professional world with a Tusculum College psychology degree. “The students have finished reading about why it is important to get a college degree and a chapter that gives an overview about psychology as a major,” said Dukes, associate vice president for academic affairs and professor of psychology.

“It is great for these students to see former students and hear about their career paths after graduation with a psychology degree,” said Dukes. The visitors also talked with students about varying career paths that are available after graduation, including those in areas of clinical, counseling, abnormal and educational psychology.

Grunzweig told the students that there are several things they can do while still in college that will make them more competitive in the post-graduation job market.

“Independent research is a great way to find something really you want to sink your teeth into and can be an amazing starting point in career development,” he said.

He added that internships are also very valuable, can result in job offers and are required elements of many graduate degree programs.

“Building communications skills is critical,” Grunzweig told the group. “You are all going to work with people in some way and need to be able to write and present and to get your ideas and point of view across.”

willettWillet talked to the students about the GRE – Graduate Record Examinations – that are required for admittance into graduate school.

“It is important that after graduation, you continue to establish your professional credentials,” Willet said. “Whatever path you take, either clinical, school or counseling, there are ways to define yourself and be more competitive in the job market.”

Both students pointed out the long-term importance of developing relationships with professors during the undergraduate years. Grunzweig said Dr. Dukes has written several letters on his behalf for job and graduate school recommendations based on the relationship they developed while he was a student at Tusculum College.

Jones spoke to the Museum Studies students about her position at the Farragut Folk Life Museum and the Jekyll Island Management Institute she attended in January.

Working at the Farragut Museum since last summer, Jones said she has had to use much of what she learned in each of her museum courses in her daily work. She advised them to pay particular attention to lessons about working with boards and other governing bodies. Her museum is governed by a board, whose members all have a personal connection to the museum, she said, which has proved an interesting experience.

Jones was one of two museum professionals from Tennessee to attend the Jekyll Island Institute, which provides an eight-day, total immersion management environment for museum professionals to learn more about general administration and operations.

In entering the museum profession, Jones said thought that others working in museums would share a background of education in museum studies, but has been surprised to find that is not the case. For example, at the Jekyll Island Institute, only about half of the participants had museum studies degrees, Jones said, while many had backgrounds in conservation or history.

The Institute covered museum basics, which was a help to those who did not have a museum studies degree, Jones said, but she found the sessions about leadership and protecting a collection from such things as water damage, the most beneficial. The Institute also provided an excellent opportunity to network, she continued, and encouraged the students to try to attend conferences or other museum association events to make contacts with others in the profession.


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Alumni assist in Grad Finales

Posted on 26 February 2009 by

Grad Finales were held in Greeneville, Morristown, and Knoxville last week, helping the upcoming May graduates prepare for their milestones.

Jackie Paxton Rose ’75 volunteered at the Grad Finale on the Greeneville campus, greeting the alumni-to-be and giving directions for the process. Dr. Thien Freeman ’01 volunteered at the Knoxville event, also meeting and assisting the May graduates who participated in that event. The Office of Alumni and Parent Relations thanks Dr. Freeman and Rose for their willingness to volunteer their time to help their Alma Mater and appreciates their efforts during the events.

Grad Finales are events to allow upcoming graduates to take care of their preparations for the milestone at one location. They are able to order their caps and gowns, order invitations, take care of any outstanding issues with the Business or Financial Aid offices, as well as enjoy fellowship with their fellow students over light refreshments. Students participating can also enter a drawing for a door prize during the event.


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Susan Vance named to advancement conference planning committee

Posted on 26 February 2009 by

Susan D. Vance ’91, interim vice president of institutional advancement at Tusculum College, was recently informed that she has been selected to participate on the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) III 2010 Conference Committee.

vanceCASE’s national membership includes nearly 3,400 colleges, universities, independent elementary and secondary schools and educational associates in 60 countries around the world, making it one of the largest nonprofit education associations in terms of institutional membership.

CASE helps its members build stronger relationships with their alumni and donors, raise funds for campus projects, produce recruitment materials, market their institutions to prospective students, diversify the profession, and foster public support of education.

Vance, who has been with Tusculum College’s Institutional Advancement Office since 2003 and has served as interim vice president since February 2007, has been involved with CASE conferences and professional development programs for the past five years and has served as a moderator in previous conferences.

“I am honored to have been asked to participate in the planning of the CASE III 2010 Conference,” Vance said. “This annual conference provides exceptional professional development opportunities for advancement, development and communications professionals in our region and has a tradition of bringing in prominent speakers, workshop leaders and moderators.”

According to Vance, the planning for the 2010 conference has already begun, despite the fact that she just returned from the 2009 event in Atlanta.

“The planning for next year’s conference starts before the end of this year’s conference in order for CASE to announce plans for the next session before the members head back to their home cities,” Vance said.

In her role with the planning committee, Vance will co-chair a new pre-conference workshop for emerging leaders in advancement.

The 2010 conference will be held in Tampa, Fla., and will be themed “INGENUI+Y.”

Vance added that through the years she has gotten to know many of the CASE leadership team and volunteers through shared professional development experiences and looks forward to working with the group.

“I appreciate the chance to give input on this important conference for our profession, and I look forward to planning an exciting and educational event in 2010 that will provide those working in the educational advancement field with the tools they need to be successful,” she said.

CASE District III advances and supports educational and professional institutions in the southeastern United States by enhancing the effectiveness of the alumni relations, fund raising, communications, marketing and other advancement professionals who serve them. Tusculum College is a part of District III, one of eight national districts CASE serves.

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Theatre-at-Tusculum presenting “Twelfth Night” this weekend

Posted on 26 February 2009 by

tnight3An evening of laughter awaits audiences of Theatre-at-Tusculum’s latest production, Shakespeare’s romantic comedy “Twelfth Night.”

Performances of the hilarious production are scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27, and Saturday, Feb. 28.  A Sunday matinee performance will be at 2 p.m. March 1.

A cast of 17 under the direction of Marilyn duBrisk bring to life the play that is considered Shakespeare’s finest and most popular romantic comedy, a tale full of mistaken identities, scorned love, bawdy drinking songs, sword fights, intrigue, humiliation and joyful reunions. The cast includes Tusculum alumna Angela Alt Bride ’95 and current student Brittany Connolly.

While it may seem incredible that a play written more than 400 years ago is relevant today, Shakespeare had the ability to hold up a mirror to the foibles of men and women.  His characters are not a reflection of any particular place, but are a reminder that men and women of all ages and backgrounds share similar hopes and fears.

The cast consists of some of Greeneville’s finest actors as well as a few exciting newcomers. Duke Orsino, (played dramatically by Doug Presley), is in love with the beautiful Countess Olivia, (Brandi Ricker).  Into this story of thwarted love, comes the lovely Viola, (newcomer Martha-Grace Burkey), who has just been shipwrecked and thanks to the ship’s captain, (Wess duBrisk), she narrowly escapes with her life.

However, she fears her twin brother, Sebastian, (played by Kenny Hamer) has drowned. Viola decides to dress as a boy and join Duke Orsino’s court as a page and chooses the name Cesario.  The Duke takes a liking to Cesario and sends her to plead his case to the Countess Olivia.

Much of the hilarity of the play comes from those in Olivia’s household – her drunken uncle, Sir Toby Belch, (played by Chris Greene), Sir Andrew Auguecheek (Brian Ricker), whom Sir Toby wants to marry his niece; her chambermaid Maria, (Angela Bride), Malvolio, (Mike Lilly), her pompous steward, and Fabian (Jeremiah Bales), a fun loving servant.  Last, but by no means least, Feste, (Sterling Bean), her jester, who winds his merry and tuneful way throughout the play.

The plot then thickens when Sebastian, Viola’s twin, appears after having been rescued from the sea by the brave and courageous Antonio (Robbie Poteete). Supporting this rich cast are the Duke’s Gentlemen played by Will Chilcutt and Dallon Jones and two ladies-of-the-court Brittany Connolly and Hannah Stryker.

Assisting duBrisk, artist-in-residence at Tusculum, with the staging of the play are Frank Mengel, technical director and stage manager for Tusculum Arts Outreach; Barbara Holt, overseeing the colorful costumes, and Angie Clendenon, music director.

Ticket prices are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors 60 and over, and a special rate of $5 for all students. For more information, please contact Tusculum College Arts Outreach at 423-798-1620 or email


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Tusculum College leaders return from Salzburg with plans for future of international program

Posted on 26 February 2009 by

Three members of the Tusculum College faculty and staff recently returned from Salzburg, Austria, with detailed plans for the future of the international program at the College.

Provost Dr. Kim Estep, Dr. Geir Bergvin, director of the Center for Global Studies and Dr. Joel Van Amberg, assistant professor of history, recently spent eight days at the Salzburg Global Seminar in Austria, to participate in an international curriculum development program through a Mellon Fellowship grant program.

“We did a lot of work prior to the trip,” said Bergvin, “And, we found that we were doing the right things right, and in seeing what others are doing with similar programs, realized that we are definitely well ahead of where many other similar institutions are at this time.”

Bergvin has been a leader in the charge to expand international opportunities at the Tusculum College campus since Estep and Interim President Dr. Russell Nichols declared it a major strategic initiative of the College to increase the number of students who participate in international travel experiences and to internationalize the curriculum to better prepare students for the 21st Century.

“One of the key advantages Tusculum College has over the other schools implementing similar programs is the support and commitment from the leadership of the College.  Dr. Estep and Dr. Nichols have shown commitment beyond words by incorporating these programs into the strategic plan for the College and by allocating dollars for the programs.”

Van Amberg, who has traveled extensively both personally and through his role at the College, said that this seminar was an intense work session for the three leaders, and that they left the program with a detailed implementation plan to globalize the campus over the next 10 years.

“A lot of the prior work involved assessing what we have already achieved, so that once we got to Salzburg we were able to focus on establishing a series of principles to guide our plan, and concrete steps that we want to implement, including benchmarking and budgeting,” he said.

“According to our most recent data, only six percent of our seniors report engaging in an international experience while enrolled at Tusculum College,” Estep said. “Our goal is to increase this number to 50 percent over the next five years, and this program will allow us to move this process forward and begin to lay the groundwork for future international connections.”

According to Estep, the fact that Tusculum College operates on the block schedule, with students taking one course at a time, makes it a great fit for globalization and internationalization of the curriculum.

“We don’t have to make giant curricular changes,” Estep said. She added that many of the components are already in place, and the College can use these international opportunities to meet existing requirements, such as service-learning and senior capstone requirements. Senior capstones are the culminating coursework in a student’s major.

Bergvin added that there were representatives at the seminar from other Appalachian College Association schools, as well as five from Historically Black Colleges and Universities member schools.

“It was a good opportunity for us to interact with the others and learn what they are doing in the international arena.”

The three will return to Salzburg in December, as their grant participation is a two-year program that will give them time to develop and implement the international components they designed at the first seminar.

Estep said the next step is to begin implementation.  The Advisory Council for the Center for Global Studies is looking at a possible faculty retreat that would focus on globalization.  In addition, there are two trips approved and funded for this summer for faculty, and the group is currently planning several student trips for the 2009-10 school year.

“We got further down the road that we expected,” said Estep. The group brought back a five-year draft plan, along with other documents from the seminar.

Major goals outlined in the document include that Tusculum College students will gain the skills needed to be successful in a globalized 21st century. These skills include the ability to engage citizens of other countries in civil discourse, explore other languages as appropriate to their program of study and the ability to apply critical thinking skills to complex global problems.

In addition, with implementation of the full program, Tusculum College students will recognize that the power structures and cultural assumptions that impact poverty in Appalachia also exist in other parts of the world and are interconnected.

In order to reach the goal of enhancing students’ global competency, the plan recognizes that the College must first increase the global competency of its faculty members.  The program is designed to be interdisciplinary in nature and is aimed at improving student learning outcomes and broadening faculty and staff development opportunities.

All three agreed that the Salzburg summit provided them with the tools they needed to come back to Greeneville and begin moving forward.

“It was a lot of hard work,” said Van Amberg, and not a lot a free time, although the three were pleased with the opportunity to have their meetings at a Schloss (German for palace) that was used as a set during the filming of “A Sound of Music.”


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Tusculum College named to Presidential Honor Roll for community service

Posted on 26 February 2009 by

The Corporation for National and Community Service has honored Tusculum College with a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and service to America’s communities.

“We are pleased to have been recognized for the efforts our staff, faculty and students put into the Civic Arts and community service projects here at Tusculum College,” said Joyce Doughty, director for the Center for Civic Advancement at the College.

Doughty added that service projects and service learning experiences are part of the core of Tusculum College’s mission that includes the Civic Arts and service to others as part of its overall mission.

Launched in 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. Honorees for the award were chosen based on a series of selection factors including scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.

honorrollPoverty, homelessness and hunger were among many of the projects addressed by the most recent group of students participating in service projects in the East Tennessee region, according to Doughty. Students have worked with the Adventist Community Service Center, the Boys and Girls Club of Greeneville and Greene County, Greeneville-Greene County Community Ministries, Greene County Habitat for Humanity, the Manna House (a transitional shelter for the homeless), the Melting Pot soup kitchen, the Mission Soup Kitchen at Tabernacle Presbyterian Church and the Safe Harbor Home program.

In addition, numerous projects have been completed by staff, faculty and other volunteer groups associated with Tusculum College.

“In this time of economic distress, we need volunteers more than ever. College students represent an enormous pool of idealism and energy to help tackle some of our toughest challenges,” said Stephen Goldsmith, vice chair of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees the Honor Roll.

“We salute Tusculum College for making community service a campus priority and thank the millions of college students who are helping to renew America through service to others.”

Overall, the Corporation for National and Community Service honored six schools with Presidential Awards. In addition, 83 were named as Honor Roll with Distinction members and 546 schools as Honor Roll members.  In total, 635 schools were recognized. A full list is available at

This is the third time Tusculum College has been named to the Honor Roll.

The Honor Roll is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation. The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is presented during the annual conference of the American Council on Education.

“I offer heartfelt congratulations to those institutions named to the 2008 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. College and university students across the country are making a difference in the lives of others every day – as are the institutions that encourage their students to serve others,” said American Council on Education President Molly Corbett Broad.

Recent studies have underlined the importance of service-learning and volunteering to college students. In 2006, 2.8 million college students gave more than 297 million hours of volunteer service, according to the Corporation’s Volunteering in America 2007 study. Expanding campus incentives for service is part of a larger initiative to spur higher levels of volunteering by America’s college students. The Corporation for National and Community Service is working with a coalition of federal agencies, higher education and student associations, and nonprofit organizations to achieve this goal.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that improves lives, strengthens communities and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. The Corporation administers Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America, a program that supports service-learning in schools, institutions of higher education and community-based organizations. For more information, go to

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Doak House Museum launches interactive educational Web site

Posted on 26 February 2009 by

doaksiteA new interactive Web site for the Doak House Museum is providing a fun and different way for students and teachers to learn about the early history of Tusculum College and life in the 19th century.

The Web site provides a virtual look at the museum located on the Tusculum College campus. While the Web site is engaging to those interested in history and education, it was created to be especially fun and informative for students and their teachers.

The Web site features an attractive shot of the Doak House on its front page and information about the house, the home of the Rev. Samuel Witherspoon Doak, who, with his father, founded a school in his home that became the Tusculum College of today. The educational focus of the Web site is underscored by the background graphics for each page, a blackboard surrounded by handsome woodwork with chalk and an inkwell and quill pen in the corners.

From the front page, visitors can click headings to learn more about the house itself, the Doak family history, early education and the pastimes of children in the 1800s. Another page features information about agriculture (the Doaks operated a large farm), archaeology and what recent archeological digs at the Doak House site have uncovered.

On the easily navigated topic pages, collages of photos can be clicked to reveal vignettes of interesting facts.

“The Web site interactive idea came from so many requests from students and teachers that were wanting more information about the Doak family,” said Cindy Lucas, director of the Doak House Museum and associate director of the Tusculum College Department of Museum Program and Studies. “Since 21st century students are in tune with technology, what better way to provide information than through an interactive Web site.  They can click and learn at the same time, entertaining yet educational in the same click.”

After coming up with the idea for the Web site, Lucas then wrote a grant seeking funding through a state grant. Last spring, the museum received a $7,500 Community Enhancement Grant from the state of Tennessee.  The Web site project has also received the support of Virginia Gray, and Charlotte Gray, who is a member of the Tusculum Board of Trustees and granddaughter of Charles Oliver Gray, who was president of the college in the early 20th century.

Developed by the Tombras Group, the Web site features photos by Christopher Bradshaw of Photography Done Right.

The Doak House Museum and the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library are administered by the Tusculum College Department of Museum Program and Studies under the direction of George Collins, director of Museum Program and Studies, and Cindy Lucas, associate director of the department and director of the Doak House Museum. The department also offers one of the few undergraduate degree programs in museum studies in the country.

The Doak House Museum, which was the home of the Rev. Samuel Witherspoon Doak, co-founder of the college, hosted more than 10,000 school children from East Tennessee last year for a variety of educational programs related to the 19th century and CHARACTER COUNTS!

The Andrew Johnson Museum, located in the oldest academic building on campus, houses a collection of books, papers and memorabilia of the 17th president of the United States.  The museum also houses the Charles Coffin Collection from the original college library and the College archives containing documents related to the history of Tusculum.  The museums are also two of the 10 structures on the Tusculum campus on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Two Tusculum professors named to education review boards

Two Tusculum professors named to education review boards

Posted on 26 February 2009 by

Two Tusculum professors have been named to professional boards involved in the evaluation and review of educational programs.

Dr. Lisa Johnson, director of the School of Education and director of Graduate and Professional Studies at Tusculum College, has been named to the Tennessee Board of Examiners.

Dr. Kirpal Mahal, professor of physical education at Tusculum College, has been named to the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) Board of Program Reviewers.

ljohnsonJohnson is the first Tusculum faculty member to receive such an appointment and immediately began serving a three-term and will participate in training activities later this month.

“This is an exciting opportunity for me and for the College,” said Johnson. “I not only have the opportunity to see what others are doing across the state, but also to bring innovative program ideas back to Tusculum College.”

Johnson’s role with the Board of Examiners will be to serve as an evaluator for schools that certify teachers of K-12 education. She will have the opportunity to participate in a minimum of three evaluations, but said she hopes to do more. “Each time you serve is a chance to increase your knowledge and experience and to gain new perspectives.”

“Dr. Johnson’s appointment to the State Board of Examiners will provide the College with the most up-to-date information on the application of the state standards for teacher education programs. This will help us tremendously in keeping our own programs compliant and in developing new programs in the School of Education,” said Dr. Kim Estep, provost and vice president of academic affairs.

Estep nominated Johnson for the appointment based on her extensive experience in the development and evaluation of educational programs, including working with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools reviews at the college level and in the K-12 system.

“Her skills in program analysis, use of computer technology, writing skills, professional judgment and interpersonal skills are all exceptional. She represents a new generation of educational leaders in this state who will shape the future of teacher education.”

Johnson said she is hoping that she will visit schools with diverse populations because as a College, Tusculum trains teachers who will work in many different socio-economic and culturally blended communities.

“Our field experiences are limited to our geographic areas, so we are always looking for opportunities to provide our students exposure to diverse teaching experiences. That’s what I hope to bring back to Tusculum from this experience.”

mahalDr. Mahal will serve a three-year term on the Board of Program Reviewers, whose members have successfully completed one program review and been co-trained by NCATE and the professional association in their educational specialty area.

NCATE is an independent accrediting body recognized as a standard of excellence in teacher preparation. Through the process of professional accreditation of schools, colleges and departments of education, NCATE works to make a difference in the quality of teaching and teacher preparation. NCATE’s performance-based system of accreditation fosters competent classroom teachers and other educators who work to improve the education of students.

The purpose of the NCATE Board of Program Reviewers is to provide consistent policies for programs reviewers for all specialty areas in education and to provide a status and position for program reviewers within the NCATE system. As a member of the board, Dr. Mahal is to participate in at least one cycle of program reviews annually, adhering to NCATE’s standards of fairness, collaboration, and confidentiality.

In a letter from NCATE notifying him of his selection to the board, Dr. Mahal was told, “The high-quality, rigorous reviews that the profession demands would not be possible without professionals of your caliber.”

Dr. Mahal has extensive experience in education program reviews. For more than a decade, he has provided his professional service as a volunteer reviewer of physical education and teacher education programs for the National Association for Sports and Physical Education (NASPE), the professional association for physical education teachers.  A reviewer for NASPE since 1992, he reviewed four programs last year and has reviewed programs from a number of states from the Northeast to the Southwest.

Completing program reviews is beneficial to him professionally and to his students, Dr. Mahal says. Through the reviews, he learns what others are doing, what is happening in the field of teacher education and the changes that are occurring, which he can then share with his students.

In addition to his program reviews for American schools, Dr. Mahal is an examiner of doctoral dissertations for a university in his native India as a professional service to students in that country.

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