Archive | March, 2009


Summer position leads to opportunities for Tusculum student to work in national events

Posted on 26 March 2009 by

disneyTusculum College student Amber Sharp has had the opportunity to see Disney World’s Thanksgiving Day parade and national cheerleading events from an insider’s point view – all resulting from a summer job.

Sharp, a sophomore majoring in athletic training, was a first aid technician for cheerleader troupes participating in the Disney parade and at the National High School Cheerleading Competition and the All-Stars National Competition earlier this month. She was offered these opportunities by Varsity Sport Corporation, a company she worked for last summer as a camp manager and first aid technician.

Sharp says her experiences have “allowed me to be more confident in what I do and work with amazing people that take the time to explain their knowledge and how their program does things as well.  It has also helped me to network with people from all over and keep in touch with those that work for the company.  Overall I couldn’t be happier to have such an amazing time with these opportunities and making friends that last a lifetime while I’m doing what I enjoy!”

Working in the Thanksgiving parade also gave Sharp an opportunity for some other firsts in her life – her first commercial airline trip and her first visit to Disney World. She then followed this experience up with working at the two national cheerleading competitions.

At the cheerleading competitions, Sharp worked with registration and checking in the cheerleaders. On competition days, she worked in the rehearsal area before the squads went on the stage, taping lots of ankles and wrists to make sure they didn’t severely injure themselves before they actually got onto the competition mat.

These opportunities came to Sharp, who is from Claiborne County, through her work experience with Varsity Sport Corporation last summer. She spent most of the summer in Panama City Beach, Fla., where the company holds cheerleading camps. Sharp served in two capacities in the camps – she put her knowledge from her athletic training courses to practice as a first aid provider and she received experience in coordinating and managing each of the events as she was the only staff person from Varsity Sport working each of the camps.

The individual camps lasted four days, Sharp explains, but each was five days of work for her as she spent a day beforehand making preparations to ensure that everything needed for a camp was in place.

“I learned a lot in managing the camps,” she said. “I had to mature and definitely had to learn better time management skills. On many of the camp days, I began at 7 a.m. and finished at 10 p.m. with breaks only for lunch and dinner.”

During some of the camps that included some time at the beach for the participants, Sharp did get a chance to enjoy a few hours a day enjoying the coastal locale.

In addition to the Panama City Beach camps, Sharp also worked at camps in such places as the University of Tennessee, University of Kentucky, Mississippi State University and the University of South Florida.

In addition to the first-hand experience in her career choice, Sharp said her work has allowed her to meet a variety of people in the profession and network. She has kept in touch with several of the people she met over the summer and hopes those ties will help her professionally.

sharpAfter graduation, Sharp plans to go to graduate school and then work for a professional sports organization. Her ultimate ambition is to be an athletic trainer for a professional football team. “There are no female athletic trainers in the NFL, and I would like to be involved in breaking that door down,” she said. “Females can do the position and gain the respect of the athletes, which is what an athletic trainer must have in any sport.”

Realizing that this is a lofty goal, Sharp said it is beneficial to have such an ambition. “It drives me to take the next step and do things the right way,” she said.

For now, Sharp is back in class and is busy with her many activities on campus. In addition to her studies, Sharp is a member of the Student Government Association and the Athletic Training Student Society. She works as a tutor with Student Support Services. She is also a member of the President’s Society, a select group of students who serve as ambassadors for the college, and a member of the Bonner Leader service organization, a group of students committed to providing at least 100 hours of service per semester in the community. As part of her Bonner efforts, Sharp is coordinating a fashion show to benefit the Greene County Chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

Next summer, Sharp will return to work with the cheerleader camps for Varsity Sport Corporation and more opportunities for new professional experiences.

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Tusculum College students at Knoxville Regional Center light up the Ronald McDonald House of Knoxville with efficiency

Posted on 26 March 2009 by

A group of students from Tusculum College Knoxville Regional Center recently spent the day helping the Ronald McDonald House of Knoxville save money and the environment.

Four students took a class project to the next level when asked to develop a business plan for a class they were taking. “Rather than just make up a business for the class assignment, we decided to develop a real business plan for a real organization that might not otherwise have the resources to do the research, and which could actually be implemented,” said Debbie McCoy, one of the Tusculum College students.ronmcdbulbs

The team contacted the Ronald McDonald House of Knoxville with the idea of going green and in particular, with an energy-savings, cost-savings project of replacing inefficient incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps.

Sue Beverly, Director of the Knoxville Ronald McDonald House was delighted with the idea of saving money and opened the house for the team to conduct an inventory. She provided the utility bills from the last year for the calculations to be made for the part of their utility bill attributable to lighting. All of the team members worked on the project and utilized several types of software and various spreadsheets to work out the numbers. Others members include Mike Henderson, Alton Reeves and Mark Scansen.

The calculations, based on attributing 15 percent of the electric utility bills to lighting, showed that an average of $500/month could be saved with the change in lighting. According to McCoy, the savings translates to “avoiding burning 18 tons of coal, removing seven cars from the road, and adding ten acres of forest in positive “green” effects.”

Beverly said, “This is such a win/win project for all as we continue to help families while helping the environment as well.  We strive to be such good stewards of the donations entrusted to us and the dollars saved by reducing our energy costs can be re-directed to help our families in other ways.”

“The team was dedicated to ensuring that this project was completed,” said Scansen.   Because that amount of money is significant in these economic times when people do not have the resources to give to charitable organizations, the team decided to donate the labor and time to replace the bulbs.  A sponsor was needed for the cost of the replacement bulbs. After several inquiries, the group located a sponsor – GE Lighting General Distributor, who agreed to provide the new, energy-efficient light bulbs – all 750 of them.

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Tusculum College to host Easter Fun Day, Sunday, April 5

Posted on 26 March 2009 by


Break out the Easter baskets and head out to Tusculum College on Sunday, April 5 for Easter egg hunts, crafts, face painting and activities for the whole family.

The annual event is hosted on campus at the Indoor Sports Practice Facility on the Tusculum College campus and is sponsored this year by The Tusculum College Dance Team, Herstory and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

This year the Easter Fun Day will be held April 5, from 3-5 p.m. and will games, prizes, photos with the Easter Bunny and other great fun, according to Bonnie Taylor, Tusculum College’s Student Life Coordinator.

“This event is open to everyone associated with the College, their families and the community,” Taylor said. “Children of all ages are encouraged to attend and there is no cost to participate.”

Children are asked to bring an Easter basket in order to participate in the Easter Egg Hunt.

Other activities planned include craft activities, egg dying, face painting and eggstacle races.

“It’s an afternoon of fun for the whole family,” said Taylor. “We hope our students, staff and faculty will come out and enjoy the activities with their families, but the event is open to anyone in the community who would like to participate.”

For more information on the Tusculum College Easter Fun Day, contact Taylor at 636-7300, Extension 5412.

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Soprano Melissa Sumner to perform April 5 at Tusculum

Posted on 26 March 2009 by

sumnerSoprano Melissa Sumner will perform art songs, operatic arias and musical theater favorites in a concert Sunday, April 5, at Tusculum College.

Sumner will perform at 2 p.m. in the auditorium of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building on the Tusculum College campus. The concert is part of Tusculum Arts Outreach’s Acts, Arts, Academia 2008-09 performance and lecture series.

The performance will include selections by Bach, Mozart and Debussy as well as tunes from the Cole Porter musical “Kiss Me Kate” and Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods.” Sumner will also perform pieces from “Knoxville: Summer of 1915” by Samuel Barber and “A Word on My Ear” by Michael Flanders and Donald Swann.

Sumner made her operatic debut as Edith in Knoxville Opera’s production of “Pirates of Penzance.” She has performed at Brevard Music Center, the Bay Area Summer Opera Theatre Institute, and Ashlawn Opera Festival, where she also served as an artist-in-residence.

As a guest artist at the University of Virginia, Sumner performed Puccini’s “Suor Angelica,” a role she also performed in Rome, Italy. She recently made her Wagnerian debut as Gerhilde in “Die Walküre” with the Wagner Opera Theatre in New York under the baton of David Gilbert. A MACCO competition winner, Sumner has performed with the Waynesboro Symphony Orchestra, the Williamsburg Choral Society, and Schola Cantorum. Recent and future engagements as a recitalist and master-class clinician include performances at Emory and Henry College and Radford University.

Sumner maintains a vocal studio Mary Baldwin College, where she serves as the coordinator of vocal studies. She has served as the director of opera at the University of Virginia, and directed the first opera workshop at Mary Baldwin College last May. As an educator, she recently received recognition from the Virginia Governor’s School of the Arts for her commitment to excellence in music education. Sumner received a bachelor of arts from Emory and Henry College, a master of music from the University of Tennessee, and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree at James Madison University. She also maintains a private vocal studio in the Shenandoah Valley, where she resides with her husband, Shawn Swisher.

Sumner will be accompanied on piano by Tonya Menard, a nationally certified teacher of music through Music Teachers National Association. She has taught privately and in the public schools, and has served as a church music and youth director.

Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors 60 years of age and older, and $5 for children 12 and under. For more information, please call Tusculum College Arts Outreach at 423-798-1620 or e-mail

Acts, Arts, Academia is a program of Tusculum College Arts Outreach and is supported by Dr. Sam Miller in memory of Mary Agnes Ault Miller, Hearts for the Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, Society of Cicero, and Arts Outreach.

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New President Moody visits campus

Posted on 26 March 2009 by


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Students’ academic achievements recognized on Dean’s List for fall 2008 semester

Posted on 25 March 2009 by

Tusculum College announces students whose academic achievements during the fall 2008 semester have earned them a place on the President’s List, Dean’s List, and/or Charles Oliver Gray Scholars List.

Named to the Dean’s List are students who have earned at least a 3.5 grade-point average while completing at least 12 semester hours. Students who have attained a 4.0 grade-point average and completed at least 12 semester hours are additionally named to the President’s List.  Recognized on the Charles Oliver Gray Scholars List are students who have been named to the Dean’s List for two consecutive semesters.

The following students have been named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2008 semester. Students on the President’s List are denoted with an “*”.  Those listed on the Charles Oliver Gray Scholars List are marked with a “+.”

Tylan Marie Adams
+Henrique Luiz Alves Rodrigues
*+Danielle Nicole Armstrong
*+Candace Leigh Babb
Ashley Brooke Bagley
Erica D. Barenbaum
Rachel Alana Barnard
+Brittany Marie Barnett
*+Cindy Lynn Barrett
*Faith Audrey Bases
Ashley T. Basilicato
*+Matthew Hunter Beal
Joy Elizabeth Beeler
+Brittany Elizabeth Bible
+Nathan Frederick Vernon Binder
Nicolette Connors Blackstone
+Nikki Lane Blankenship
+Ashley Danielle Blow
+Katarina Alexandra Bowman-Catron
+Ashley Claudene Bradford
Amber Lynn Bradley
+Anne Katherine Brady
+Emily Marie Broyles
Elliot E. Burrow
Rynel Steven Butler
Brandi Nicole Canter
William R. Carr
+Chase Emery Carroll
Nathan Ward Carver
Elizabeth Ann Chamberlain
John Williamson Chilcutt
Thomas Jordan Clayton
*+Kimberly Ann Coapstick
+Lacey Nicole Coile
*+Kristin Brooke Compton
*Eric Chandler Conley
Jennifer Marie Cornett
Blair Cowlery
*Brian Cory Cox
*+Heather Christine Craft
Julia Ashton Crittenden
*+Heather Dalton
+Alicja Dembna
Kelly Diane Dixon
Katrin Mattie Doane
Victoria Kristen Doty
Justin Kyle Edwards
Timothy Eichinger
Kaysi Lynn Elkins
+Joshua Daniel Ellis
William R. Ellis
+Benjamin Andrew English
+Kiarra Monette Ervin
Jamar Maurice Ferguson
*+Nicole Renee Ferris
Whitney LeSha Fleenor
+Ashley LeAnne Foust
+Vanessa Nicole Fyffe
+Brandon DeWayne Gann
Jamie Lieren Garrett
Heather Denise Genereux
Kelley Catherine Gentry
+Logan Dean Goodin
Robert Craig Goodman
+Jessica Nicole Greer
*+John Ellis Gregory III
+Nicholas Salvatore Grizzanti
Aaron Wesley Guinn
Kirstie Lauren Gust
Bess Rachel Gutenstein
+Devona Nicole Hamm
Kevin Blake Hammons
+Melissa Ann Handy
+Micah A. Haney
*Theodore Francis Harmon
Megan Danielle Hart
Justin Conley Harvey
*+Brian Albert Hayes
Darrell Emanuel Hayes III
+Brooke Ashton Haymaker
Lelia Helen Heinbach
Paul Edward Helton
*Kylie Elizabeth Henegar
Lucas Alvis Herr
Staci Malea Hicks
Kenneth Wayne Hill
Joni Danielle Hite
*+Darren Richard Hobbs
Taylor Hobbs
*+Simon Dietrich Holzapfel
Dean Michael Hopewell
Payden Gene Houser
JohnDavid Howard
Ryan Phillip Huff
Sandra Virginia Humphries
Brittany Amanda Hunley
+Chanaine Monique Hunter
Katie Shea Hyatt
Erin Michelle Hyde
+Cody Ray Jennings
+April Dawn Jones
Jeremy Lorenza Jones
*+Andrea Megan Joyner
Tonya Marie Justice
Jeannie Vicki Keebler
Katie Lee Kelley
Kayla Amber Kelley
+William Howell Kelly Jr.
*Hannah Paige Kirk
*+Amanda Rose Kyker
Hannah Marie Laposky
Joseph Mohr Lasko
*Jennifer Ann Lawson
Rochelle Marie Leach
Erick Lee
Craig Douglas Leng
Patience Rae Leonard
Yu-Wen Steven Lin
Katie Marie Lindsay
*+Kelsey G. Longwell
Scott R. Lucky
+Jonathan Derek Lyons
*+Heather MacArthur
+Taylor Leigh MacDonald
*+Sharad P. Mani
+Jessica Nancy McCracken
Brett Ayers Mercurio
Sven Meyer
Angie Marie Michaud
*+Jennifer Sue Miller
Cori Lynn Monger
Erin Lynne Moore
+Marci Elizabeth Moore
Kaitlyn Dian Morgan
Chelsea McGrady Morris
+Jordan Wesley Morrow
*Derek E. Murrell
+Kurt Ryan Napier
Jarrell Dupree Nesmith
Heather Anne Newton
Quyen Van Nguyen
Christopher Andrew Noe
+Brittni Rachel Oliver
Jessica Danielle Ott
*Samuel R. Partin
*+Jeremiah John Peterson
+Hannah Ree Pierce
Jordan Donovan Wade Polk
+Justin Allen Pollom
Erica Kristin Pomana
*Christopher Allen Poore
Cory Nathaniel Pratt
Nathan John Quellmalz
David Taylor Rakes
+Sonya Marie Ramsey
Jordan Tucker Reams
Thomas Andrew Rees
Matthew Coburn Ritchie
Crystal D. Roark
*+Kaara Heloise Roark
+Nina Marie Roettger
*+Matthew Craig Ross
Gareth Ashley Rowlands
*+Joseph Edwards Runkles
Mara Nichole Rutherford
+Erik Edward Sams
*+Christina Denise Sane
Richard Schofield
Jason Scott Seaton
Katherine Nicole Shelton
Leslie Sierra Shelton
+Ashley Nicole Shoults
*+Jessica Nicole Simpson
Jamie Jo Sizemore
Alexander William Smith
Jessica Suzanne Smith
+Tabatha Nicole Smith
+Zachary Eugene Smith
*Benjamin Samuel Sneyd
+Jennifer Lee Sparks
+Wesley Scott Spurgeon
Justin Nichola Steigerwald
*+Nikita Chinelle Stephens
Jessimine Renee Strauss
Katy Michelle Stuckwish
Marcus Glen Taylor
Brittany Marlise Teffeteller
David McCall Terrell
*+Bryan Adam Thiry
Robert Kevin Troutman
Ryan Thomas Troutman
Shaquna T. Truitt
Jennifer Ann Turley
*Nicole Scarlett Storm Vance
Glenn Ward Vicary
+Heidi Elizabeth von der Lage
Priscilla Marie Wampler
*+Kristin Marie Watkins
Alyssa Kathryn Watts
*+Brody Allen Wells
Randi Marie Williams
*+Amber Michelle Willis
Erika Nicole Witt
Abigail Elizabeth Wolfenbarger
+Christopher Frederick Young

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Dr. Nancy Moody named as Tusculum College’s 27th President

Posted on 25 March 2009 by

reception1Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn., has been named the new president for Tusculum College effective June 1. The announcement was made during a called Tusculum College Board of Trustees meeting on Saturday, February 28. Dr. Moody will be the first female president at Tennessee’s oldest college.

“Dr. Moody is a strong advocate of our civic arts curriculum and is well-known and respected in our region. We feel fortunate to have attracted someone of her caliber, and we are truly optimistic about the future of Tusculum College under her leadership,” said Ken Bowman, chairman of the Tusculum College Board of Trustees and of the selection committee. “Dr. Moody is a proven, successful college president with an especially impressive record of preparing students to be active citizens and successful in the careers they choose.”

He added that Dr. Moody’s has demonstrated a commitment to Tusculum College’s mission of providing a strong civic arts curriculum for all graduates and to continuing to grow the College in that tradition for both residential and Graduate and Professional Studies students.

Dr. Moody has been president of Lincoln Memorial University since 2002, and in that time LMU’s enrollment increased by 90 percent. Under her leadership the university initiated the Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine, expanded the Caylor School of Nursing to include a master of science in nursing degree program with family nurse practitioner and nurse anesthesia concentrations, developed the proposed physician assistant program, School of Law, doctorate of education degree program, undergraduate programs including criminal justice and music and opened five new extended site learning centers.

The Railsplitter athletic department also moved from the NCAA Division II Gulf South Conference to the South Atlantic Conference. With Dr. Moody at the helm, LMU experienced seven years of positive fiscal management which allowed the university to invest $12 million into institutional priorities. Additionally, she oversaw nearly $25 million in fundraising initiatives. During this time LMU completed four large-scale renovation projects, the construction of five new apartment-style residence halls, the conversion of an off-campus hotel to graduate student apartments, the construction of a 105,000 square foot medical school building and a 30,000 square foot educational building.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to serve Tusculum College. I am extremely impressed with the people of Tusculum – the students, faculty, staff, administrative personnel and members of the Board of Trustees,” said Dr. Moody. “Without exception, there is a sense of enthusiasm and pride for the mission of the College, which has a wonderful legacy as the oldest institution of higher education in the state of Tennessee. I look forward to becoming a part of that legacy and to experiencing that enthusiasm as we work, learn and grow together in our efforts to enhance academic excellence, public service and the qualities of Judeo-Christian character.”

She added, “As a first-generation college graduate, I have always valued all levels of education with a particular interest in the higher education of traditional aged college students and adults of all ages. Achieving the knowledge and skills necessary to function in society through a college education is one of the best ways to stimulate the local economy and positively impact local communities and the lives of others.

Dr. Moody received associate and baccalaureate degrees in nursing from Eastern Kentucky University, a master’s of science in nursing from Texas Woman’s University and a doctorate of science in nursing from the University of Alabama’s School of Nursing at Birmingham. Her professional career in higher education began at LMU as an instructor of nursing.

She subsequently served in several roles at LMU, culminating in her appointment as the dean of LMU’s School of Professional Studies before joining the faculty at East Tennessee State University where she was tenured and served as department chair. She would go on to become an associate professor at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, while also serving as the executive director of the Tennessee Center of Nursing.

Dr. Moody currently chairs the executive committee for the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association and serves on the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation Board of Directors. She is a member of the NCAA Division II President’s Council and an active participant on the boards of the Appalachian Colleges Association and the Tennessee Center for Nursing, Inc. She is married to Tom Moody, a self-employed public accountant in Knoxville. She and Tom are proud parents of grown children, daughter, Mykel, and son, Adam.

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Knoxville celebration of GPS 25th anniversary is coming

Posted on 25 March 2009 by


The first event in Tusculum College’s year-long celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Graduate and Professional Studies program is coming in April!

A cookout will be held on Thursday, April 30, from 5:25 to 8:25 p.m. at the College’s Knoxville Regional Center at 1305 Centerpoint Boulevard near the intersection of Lovell Road and Pellissippi Parkway. Directions

The next events in the celebration are scheduled  in June. A celebration will be held at Meadowview Convention Center on June 20 in the Tri-Cities. In Morristown, a celebration will be held June 26 in at the Morristown Country Club. The celebrations will culminate with an event October 17 in Greeneville. Details are still being finalized on the events, which are being planned by groups of alumni, faculty and staff.

For more information about the celebrations, to make reservations, or updates on the events, please visit this special Web page created for the anniversary. If you have questions about the events, please contact Cody Greene ’08, coordinator of development and alumni relations, at 423-636-7331 or

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‘Tusculum College Night’ at the Smokies to be in June

Posted on 25 March 2009 by

smokieslogoAlumni are invited to enjoy an evening of baseball and fun on Friday, June 5 — “Tusculum College Night” at the Tennessee Smokies’ home game against the Chattanooga Lookouts.

All Tusculum alumni, students, faculty, staff, and their families/guests will receive a discounted ticket price for the game when tickets are ordered in advance  prior to June 4. Special discounted field level tickets will be $8 each, which is a $2 discount off the “walk-up” price by Tusculum alumni that night.

The game will begin at 7:15 p.m. and fireworks will immediately follow the game. The Smokies are the Class AA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. Smokies park is in Sevierville near Exit 407 on Interstate 40. Directions to the park are available here.

To reserve tickets or for more information, please call 865-286-2308.

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Student Visual Art Exhibition set for March 27 – April 14

Posted on 25 March 2009 by

The Tusculum College Department of Visual Arts will be holding a Student Exhibition of charcoal and pastel drawings, oil paintings and aquatint and collagraph prints in the Allison Gallery at the Rankin House.

The exhibition will be held from Friday, March 27 until Tuesday, April

The Rankin House, which houses the College’s gallery, is located off the 107-Cut-off behind the Three Blind Mice retail store across from the Tusculum Arch.

An opening reception will be held on Friday, March 27, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Gallery, refreshments will be provided. Students, faculty and staff, as well as interested community members are invited to this event.

According to Deborah Bryan, assistant professor of art at the College, visitors will see a selection of oil paintings in various styles on display. “Styles range from realistic to abstract,” she said.

Included in the display are aquatints, which are etchings that use the colorful chine colle process that includes thin colored papers in the process of printing from an etched copper plate, said Bryan.  There will also be black and white drawings of a wide variety of subjects.

“These works represent the best of student work from drawing, painting and printmaking classes at Tusculum College for this year,” said Bryan.

For more information on the reception, student exhibition or the Tusculum College art program, contact Bryan at

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Faculty and staff return from Belize with ideas for student travel

Posted on 25 March 2009 by


Six staff and faculty from Tusculum College recently returned from a trip to the Central American country of Belize and set to work on plans for implementing what they saw, discovered and learned on the trip as part of the campus wide effort to internationalize the Tusculum College curriculum.

Robin Fife ‘99, assistant professor of social science, Dr. Katherine Stone, assistant professor of mathematics and geology; Robin Newberry Tipton ‘98, assistant professor of chemistry; Dr. Geir Bergvin, associate professor of marketing and director for the Center for Global Studies; Dr. DiAnn Casteel, associate professor of education and Dr. Tom McFarland, associate professor of business administration met recently to debrief the trip and begin looking at ways to implement international experiences in Belize into existing curriculum at the College.

McFarland said that his experience with Belize confirmed that it is an excellent country to visit for a first international experience. “English is spoken everywhere, currency is easily transferable and there are no issues with electrical voltage conversion as in other areas,” he said.  Adding that these three items eliminate routine daily frustrations often associated with international travel. “It’s a great country for the first-time international traveler,” he said.

Bergvin added that the company that hosted the group, ProWorld Service Corps, treated the group well, and “took us to places that gave us more of a perspective of their culture as well as showed the group various opportunities that are available for student learning experiences.”

ProWorld is an organization that specializes in international experiences for students and mission workers focused on sustainability.

Casteel added that one of the advantages of utilizing ProWorld’s services is that a mixed group of students with different educational goals could easily travel together and have opportunities in their own fields of study or interest because of the variety of programs ProWorld offers.

According to Tusculum College’s Interim President Dr. Russell Nichols, one of Tusculum’s highest academic priorities is the advancement of opportunities for students to have one or more international experiences before graduation. “It is envisioned that all Tusculum students and faculty, in five years will be assured of that opportunity, regardless of their financial ability, and this goal has been embraced by faculty, students and Trustees” said Nichols.

The Center for Global Studies was formed in spring 2008 with the mission to “enhance the capacity of individuals and organizations to address local and global challenges through building relationships with communities, inductions of higher learning and organizations globally.”

This most recent trip to Belize was part of the initial efforts to learn more about international experiences for students and begin to introduce faculty to ways in which they might incorporate such an experience into their existing curriculum, said Bergvin.

The next challenge is going to be for the group to begin working toward implementing what they learned into real classroom experiences, but for Casteel, the excitement of the trip has pushed her forward to write an internship proposal for her education students.

“The proposal I have written is to set up a program that would allow our education students to do 40 hours of their required practicum hours in Belize, teaching in Belize schools,” she said. “We could allow for the students to receive practicum credit hours for two courses,” she added.  Under her proposal, students would fund their own travel, easing the financial burden on the College.

For others, there is more work to be done before implementation to begin.  Stone said she would love to begin a program where her students could study the ecology of a developing country.  “Belize is going to rapidly develop, and it would be a perfect place to study the policy making end of protecting the ecology during development.”

McFarland would like to have students provide a management workshop for entrepreneurs in Belize.  “I would like to do something sustainable, possibly an annual workshop so that there could be follow-up with the business leaders and entrepreneurs in the community. In these workshops, the business students could provide needed expertise in areas where those resources don’t currently exists,” he added.

Fife, who has led student trips to various parts of Belize on four different occasions, is preparing to once again to visit Belize with one of her service learning classes later this year.

“We try to connect students to their fields of study through their service projects while we’re there,” she said. “Everything we do in Belize is to enhance and build on what students have learned in the classroom and to provide them with an opportunity to experience the world in a way they might not otherwise have the chance to do.”

As the faculty begins their efforts to increase opportunities for student international experience at the College, Bergvin is already working on two planned faculty trips to gain even more exposure for the international program.

Coming up are two faculty opportunities to travel to northeastern Italy and to Costa Rica/Nicaragua in June.

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

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Oliver “Buzz” Thomas to speak during regional conference at Tusculum

Posted on 25 March 2009 by

thomasAuthor, attorney, minister, educator and community leader Oliver “Buzz” Thomas will be speaking at the Appalachian College Association (ACA) Honors Conference to be held on the Tusculum College campus in April.

Thomas will be the keynote speaker at a dinner on Friday evening, April 17, during the two-day conference. The public is invited to attend the dinner, which will begin at 6 p.m. in the Chalmers Conference Center.

“Preparing Students for Life on a Different Planet” will be Thomas’ topic as he discusses the academic and civic challenges facing young Americans in the 21st century.

Thomas is executive director of the Niswonger Foundation of Greeneville, which has education as its focal point and mission. In addition to his work at the Foundation, he has taught First Amendment law at Georgetown University Law Center. Thomas has also lectured at such universities as Harvard and Notre Dame. He has served on the Maryville Board of Education, including completing three years as its chairman. Thomas has provided training to teachers and administrators from more than 500 school districts across the country.

As an attorney, Thomas has practiced at every level of state and federal courts including the U.S. Supreme Court. His clients have included the National Council of Churches, Southern Baptist Convention and Children’s Defense Fund. He has appeared as an expert witness before the Judiciary Committees of the United States Congress on many occasions.

As an author, Thomas co-authored “The Right to Religious Liberty.” He also co-authored “Finding Common Ground,” the First Amendment handbook endorsed by the Department of Education and used in many of the nation’s public schools. His articles have appeared in a variety of national publications, and he has been a guest commentator on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, C-Span, and National Public Radio. He is also a regular contributor to USA Today.

Thomas is also the author of “10 Things Your Minister Wants to Tell You (But Can’t Because He Needs the Job),” which discusses challenging issues for the contemporary church. Thomas discussed some of the issues covered in the book as the featured speaker for the successful 2008 Theologian-in-Residence at Tusculum College, which is sponsored by the Holston Presbytery and the college. As a minister, Thomas has served churches in Tennessee and Louisiana.

Thomas is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Tennessee where he graduated first in his class. He earned a Master of Divinity from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where he also graduated first in his class and was chosen as the school’s outstanding divinity student. Thomas received his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Tennessee College of Law where he was Order of the Coif and earned his Master of Law from the University of Virginia.

This is the second year that Tusculum will be hosting the conference, which addresses topics and issues of interest to faculty and staff members who work with academic honors programs at colleges in the ACA.

The cost for the dinner is $20 and reservations are required. Please RSVP by Wednesday, April 1. For more information or to make reservations, please call 423-636-7300 ext. 5650.

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