Archive | January, 2012

Tusculum students explore 19th century literature during trip to London

Tusculum students explore 19th century literature during trip to London

Posted on 25 January 2012 by

Literature came alive to a group of Tusculum College students as they traveled to London and were able to see settings of some of the most important works of 19th century British authors.

Students in the “19th Century British Literature” course traveled to London Oct. 27- Nov. 2 accompanied by their professor for the course, Dr. Shelia Morton, assistant professor of English. The trip was the first airplane trip for some of the students and the first international plane trip for most of the seven students who went. The students gave a presentation about their trip on Monday, Jan. 16.

Arriving after an overnight flight to London, the students settled into the hostel that would be their home during the trip and faced the challenge of trying to stay awake for the remainder of the day to adjust to that time zone.

They visited the National Gallery and Green Park and saw Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the London Eye as they explored London on foot. They went to Picaddilly Circus.

The students visited the Tower of London, which was built as a fortress and stronghold and also served as a royal residence and a prison. Michelle Hoover said the group’s guide, Jimmy, was excellent, and the students were interested to learn that an individual had to serve in the military for several years to qualify to be a tour guide and live within the Tower.

In front of the London Tower are Tusculum students, Andrew Baker, Bonnie Parks, Angel West, Michelle Hoover, Courtney Broderick, Valerie Harrell, and Zackery Elliott.

A day trip to Stonehenge, Salisbury and Bath was taken by the students. “It was beautiful, the scenery itself,” said Andrew Baker of the area around Stonehenge. “There was nothing but rolling green hills and sheep, lots of sheep.” Stonehenge itself was disappointing to some of the students because visitors are not allowed to go very close to the stone circle.

The students enjoyed exploring the streets of “ancient” buildings in the city of Salisbury, the home of author William Golding, and all enjoyed the trip to Bath, a popular high society destination in the 1800s and the setting for much of Jane Austin’s novel, “Persuasion.” “It was my favorite city,” Baker said.

Exploring some of the places authors frequented and places used as settings in their books was the main focus of the trip.

Oscar Wilde was the focus one day as the students visited various sites related to the playwright with a guide who is one leading experts on the British writer. This was Valerie Harrell’s favorite day because Wilde is one of her favorite authors and at the end of the tour was selected by the guide for a photo.

Sites related to Charles Dickens’ and his writings were part of another day. As part of the Dickens tour, the students went to sites that Dickens used as settings in his books. For example, Dr. Morton said that the guide took them to see a house that was used as a setting in “Martin Chuzzlewit.” “It really brings to life having been there,” she said.  The students also visited the debtor’s prison where Dickens’ father was imprisoned and his family lived during his childhood.

While in London the students read Dickens’ “Oliver Twist” and a history of 19th century London. The students said they read at every available opportunity, whether it was waiting on transportation or a spare moment in the evening.

The Victorian era in London was the focus of the “Darkest Victorian Walk” that the students took on Halloween. They saw some of the sites where charities were created to help the desperately poor who lived in London at the time. They learned about the members of the wealthy class who started these charities because the government did not provide support to the poor.

Sites related to Shakespeare were also on the itinerary, and the students visited the replica of the Globe Theatre.

The students found Londoners to be friendly once they were engaged in conversation. Baker said that people on the streets did not make eye contact or speak to one another. “You had to break their focus to get them to speak to you,” he said, adding that atmosphere of individuality could benefit a writer.

Pubs, which the students described as more like restaurants than bars, are the places people make connections. Dr. Morton said that is why the pubs are so important in British life, because they are the places where social connections are made.

Tusculum College students Valerie Harrell, left, and Andrew Baker pose in front of the set for the play, “The Kitchen” at the National Theater.

One evening the students went to the National Theater to see the play, “The Kitchen.” Baker said the set, which depicted a restaurant kitchen, was amazing and featured appliances that operated. “It was one of the best plays I have ever seen,” he said. “I rediscovered my love for theater that night.”

The trip was the first international one taken by Tusculum students during the 2011-12 academic year. A group of students are currently on a trip with stops in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and a trip to Malta for business and political science students is planned later this year. Dr. Morton is planning another British literature trip to England in 2013.

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Voter awareness programs planned for campus

Posted on 24 January 2012 by

Learn more about why voting is important and how you can get registered to vote at coming events Jan. 26 – 31. Displays will be set up in the Niswonger Commons from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, Jan. 26-27 and Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 30-31. The displays are a project of students in the CMNS 251, Theory and Practice of Citizenship, course taught by Robin Fife, assistant professor of social science. An open forum will be held from 4 – 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 31, in Chalmers Conference Center.


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FASFA Frenzy set for January 23, 24 and 25

Posted on 23 January 2012 by

The Tusculum College Office of Financial Aid will be having a FAFSA FRENZY on January 23, 24 and 25, from 3:30-5:30 p.m., in the computer lab fourth floor of Virginia Hall.

Financial Aid staff will be available to assist in completing your 2012-2013 FASFA.
Please bring both your own and your parents most recent tax information.

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Local hospitals sign clinical agreements to support new nursing program

Local hospitals sign clinical agreements to support new nursing program

Posted on 23 January 2012 by

Dan Wolcott, president of Takoma, Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum College, and Chuck Whitfield, president of Laughlin Memorial Hospital, (from left) sign clinical agreements for the college’s new nursing program.

Laughlin and Takoma hospitals signed clinical affiliation agreements on Thursday, January 19, to serve as educational sites for the new Tusculum College Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

A document signing event was held at the Greeneville campus in the Thomas J. Garland Library, at which presidents of the two hospitals and the president of Tusculum College formally agreed to the partnerships outlined in the document.

In addition, Dr. Lois Ewen, newly hired dean of nursing, was formally introduced.

“This is a very exciting day for Tusculum College, Greeneville, the City of Tusculum and Greene County and a major step forward to provide additional educational opportunities for students of all ages who are either interested in becoming a registered nurse, who are already an RN and want to pursue a BSN, or who have completed a degree and have decided on a career change into nursing,” said Dr. Moody.

“Tusculum College is dedicated to meeting this need in our area, and we are proud to move forward on this effort with community partners such as Laughlin and Takoma hospitals, which are critical to our success.”

Chuck Whitfield, president of Laughlin Hospital and Daniel Wolcott, president of Takoma both commented on their commitment to the college’s nursing program and to excellence in health care for Greene County and the region.

“We are sincerely appreciative to Tusculum College for taking the initiative in getting this program started,” said Whitfield. “The program is going to be a real asset and provide many opportunities for people from this region and beyond.”

“It is a credit to Dr. Moody’s leadership that this program is developing. It is a benefit to patients to have a mix of associate and bachelor’s degree educated nurses. The community will benefit from the enhanced quality of care,” said Wolcott.

The clinical agreements with the hospitals outline the mutual benefits of the provision of clinical experience for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at Tusculum.

Dr. Ewen spoke to the group about the developing program and the importance of community partnerships. She said she was appreciative to arrive and find all the support the program has already garnered from the administration and the community. She told the group that she and others are continuing to build the program through hiring faculty, developing curriculum and the eventual enrollment of students for classes beginning next fall pending approval by the Tennessee Board of Nursing and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Dr. Ewen comes to Tusculum from Capital Regional Medical Center in Tallahassee, Fla., where she has served as director of education since May. In this role she held the responsibility for designing, implementing, managing and evaluating all nursing and clinical staff professional development programs and educational activities. She also has experience in the higher education field, previously serving as a consultant to the Florida State University College of Nursing and as Dean of Health Care Professions for Tallahassee Community College. She has prior experience with the nursing programs in Tennessee at Dyersburg State Community College and Columbia State Community College, where she served as chair of Health Sciences and director of the nursing.

Dr. Ewen has a Doctorate in Philosophy in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in adult education and measurement and statistics from the University of South Florida. She holds a Master of Science in Nursing/Nursing Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, both from Barry University.

The college anticipates offering the nursing program to students effective August 2012; however, the proposed degree program is contingent upon the approval of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and the Tennessee Board of Nursing.



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Tusculum College continues long tradition of civic education

Tusculum College continues long tradition of civic education

Posted on 22 January 2012 by

Civic education has long been a cornerstone of the liberal arts educational program offered through the degree programs at Tusculum College, and with the publishing of a recent U.S. Department of Education Report on the decline of similar programs, is an example of how civic education can be integrated across curriculums and assimilated as part of the culture of an institution.

The recent report, commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education and presented Tuesday, January 10, by the National Task Force on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement, was reported on this week in the “Chronicle of Higher Education.”

The article, “A Crucible Moment: College Learning and Democracy’s Future,” states that “American democracy will confront an increasingly bleak future unless colleges make civic learning a central part of students’ education.”

It continues, stating, “Civic learning and democratic engagement should become explicit goals of college, and take more forms than civics courses. For example, every discipline should teach relevant civic issues and debates.”

Tusculum College is uniquely prepared to offer education that leads to effective citizenship through its focus on the civic arts, integrated throughout its degree programs, according to Dr. Melinda Dukes, vice president for Academic Affairs at Tusculum College.

“At Tusculum we have developed the term civic arts to recapture the original meaning of the phrase ‘liberal arts’ as it was first used by Cicero. The original meaning referred to those skills, attitudes and abilities appropriated to citizenship in a democratic society.”

The new report called for colleges to promote a spirit of public-mindedness, openness and civility and to train students to be civically literate and encourage them to continue working for the public good after graduating.

“Emphasis at Tusculum College is placed on problem-solving with reflective judgment, tied in with the idea of practical wisdom from Tusculum’s history,” said Dr. Bill Garris, assistant professor of psychology.

“At Tusculum College, there has been a 218-year history of civic education and through the years the College has revised and refined its efforts to help students learn to be learners, engaged citizens and servant leaders,” said Garris.

Tusculum College was founded 1794 by a pair of preacher-scholars who ventured to the frontier of their times because they believed this fledgling nation would need citizens, educated and prepared in the civic arts to sustain the new republic. Since that time, the challenges facing the United States have changed, but the need for men and women of character, liberally educated and skilled at prudent, public argument and decision-making has never been greater.

To this day, Tusculum still takes very seriously this charge to educate men and women to work together in groups to solve issues in a way that maximizes good for the community. In the past, these ideas would have found their home in the Roman forum or in the community town hall.

“At Tusculum, these ideas are equally at home in History 201 and Biology 480, as we mentor students to harness course skills and content and work together  through discipline-related problems which might occur within a community,” said Garris.

In addition to graduating individuals who have the knowledge and skills necessary for continued learning, an education in the Civic Arts tradition at Tusculum College seeks to graduate students who are prepared to participate in the public discourse that is at the heart of any democratic society and to strive for the continuous improvement of their communities and of the emerging global society, and that is the mission of the Commons Curriculum, said Jeff Lokey, assistant professor of management and director of the Commons Program for Tusculum College.

According to Lokey, the Commons Curriculum is designed to be an integrated curriculum that establishes intellectual common ground through a series of courses and experiences employing both theory and practice, to develop students’ abilities as engaged learners in both the classroom and the community, and to develop the knowledge, skills, perspectives and practical wisdom crucial to effective citizenship. Most specifically, Tusculum seeks to graduate individuals who will become engaged in their communities in various ways and who will know how to most effectively achieve the common good and justice in a global context.

The Commons Curriculum is made up of both theory and practice courses that include courses in arts and humanities, service learning, political and religious traditions, and engaged citizenship. Also as part of the Commons Curriculum, students are required to earn Arts and Lecture Series credits by attending lectures, debates, concerts, plays, readings or other approved events and activities on campus.

In addition, the assessment plans for the Commons Curriculum includes not only the assessment of foundational skills such as writing, public speaking and reflective judgment, but also include the assessment of practices of virtue, which includes self-knowledge, civility and ethics of social responsibility.

Student Ryan Barker, a history and creative writing major from Laurens, S.C., has enjoyed the Commons Curriculum classes and the broad liberal arts curriculum of Tusculum College in general. Currently he is enrolled in Political Traditions of the West, taught by Dr. David Key, assistant professor of history.

“One way Tusculum is great about implementing civic virtues in the classroom is by making it appealing to us. You can’t go wrong when your professor combines Aristotle and zombies.”

He added that the professors believe in the importance of the civic arts and teaching civic virtues and constantly encourage discussion, debate and student engagement.

“We have a very robust core curriculum and have specific courses which are content-related to the civic arts,” said Lokey, adding, “Tusculum remains firm in our commitment to the cultivation of citizenship skills and virtues, and this extends through the coursework and through the assessment process.”

The federal report encourages programs like those at Tusculum and suggests federal grants to encourage other institutions of higher education to build civic learning and democratic engagement into their academic programs.

For more information on the programs of Tusculum College’s Residential or Graduate and Professional Studies programs, contact the Office of Enrollment Management at 800-729-0256.


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Dr. Bob Pollock ’65 shares insight with education students

Posted on 18 January 2012 by

Dr. Robert W. Pollock, Jr. ’65, visited the Greeneville campus of Tusculum College in January to meet with education majors from both the Residential College and Graduate and Professional Studies Program to talk about interviewing for jobs as educators. Pollock is a teacher, author and mentor and the author of new book, “Teacher Interviews: How to Get Them and How to Get Hired!” He shared information from his long career in education with the students and encouraged them to best prepare to stand out among other applicants.

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Tusculum College to host internationally-known poets in January

Posted on 18 January 2012 by

Two internationally-known poets will be featured at Tusculum College in January, sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, in conjunction with the college’s African-American literature course.

On Thursday, January 19, Earl S. Braggs will visit Tusculum to conduct a question and answer session and give a reading of his poetry. Braggs is the Herman H. Battle Professor of African-American Studies at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, and the author of six collections of poetry, the latest being “Younger Than Neil” (Anhinga Press, 2009).

Braggs has been awarded an Individual Artist Grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission, and in 1995 he won the Jack Kerouac Literary Prize for “After Allyson,” a chapter from his yet to be published novel. The question and answer session will take place at 4 p.m. and the reading will take place at 7 p.m. Both events will be held in the Thomas J. Garland Library.

On January 24, D. Antwan Stewart will visit campus and also conduct a question and answer session and give a poetry reading. Stewart received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the Michener Center for Writers, where he was also a Michener Fellow.

He is the author of “The Terribly Beautiful” (2006) and “Sotto Voce” (2008), both Editor’s Choice selections in the “Main Street Rag Poetry” Chapbook Series. Recent poems from Stewart appear in “Callaloo,” “Many Mountains Moving,” “Poet Lore” and other publications.

Stewart’s question and answer session will also take place in the Thomas J. Garland Library on Jan. 24 at 4 p.m., and his reading will take place later that evening, also in the library, at 7 p.m.

All events are free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public.


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Guitarist Charles Tunstall to perform Thursday, Jan. 26, in Garland Library

Posted on 18 January 2012 by

Charles Tunstall

Charles Tunstall will perform a program of guitar music from the Renaissance to the present on Thursday, Jan. 26, at Tusculum College.

“Charles Tunstall’s World of Guitar” will be presented at 6 p.m. in the lobby of the Thomas J. Garland Library and feature a variety of styles including classical, sacred, folk, popular songs from the 1960s and Broadway show tunes.

Tunstall, reference and instructional services librarian at Tusculum, has more than 50 years experience in playing guitar. His program will introduce the audience to classical (nylon-string) guitar and pieces from several periods and provide an understanding of the acoustic style of music and playing. The versatility of the classical guitar will be demonstrated by presentation of a number of different playing styles, various voicings, chords, playing techniques and discussion about leading guitarists.

Primarily self-taught, Tunstall has had a large number of individuals who have mentored him. Though preferring to entertain as a solo act, he has played in a variety of bands over the years.

Skilled on several types of guitars, his main focus is in finger-style playing on the classical nylon-stringed guitar. He came from a country-bluegrass background and now enjoys playing and learning music from a variety of periods.

His guitar idols include Christopher Parkening, Chet Atkins, Rick Foster and Charlie Byrd, and he has personally met Parkening and Byrd.

Admission to the program is free and refreshments will be served. It is an arts and lecture credit program for Tusculum students.


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Tusculum faculty receive grant to lead student research project on Greene County tobacco market

Posted on 17 January 2012 by

Faculty at Tusculum College have been notified that they have received a research grant from the Appalachian College Association to complete an undergraduate research project focused on the Greene County tobacco market.

The grant, which totals $10,000, will be used to conduct a cross-discipline project involving professors from the English, digital media, mathematics and psychology departments and several Tusculum College students have been selected to participate in the project.

According to Chris Jacek, assistant professor of digital media, the research project will focus on tobacco farming in Greene County, with the goal of collecting the information on video and producing a documentary of their findings.

“We will be collecting information in a variety of areas,” said Jacek. “We do not have a defined direction, but will let the story tell itself.”

Students, under the direction of the faculty, will research both historical and living documents. According to Dr. Clay Matthews, assistant professor of English, students will conduct a wide range of interviews to gage general public perception of tobacco, smoking and the economic impact tobacco has had on the region.

In addition, under the direction of Dr. Brian Davis, assistant professor of mathematics, students will investigate the economic impact the tobacco market has had on Greene County. “We will look at economic impact and look at Greene County as a microcosm of the nation’s economy overall.”

Students in Tusculum psychology department will conduct a survey on the attitudes toward smoking and look at it in the context of behavioral health concepts. They will be mentored by Dr. Jennifer Harper, assistant professor of psychology.

The results of the various components of the research project will be compiled and presented at the annual Appalachian College Association Conference. According to Jacek, the documentary will not be completed at that time, but they will present their research findings and report on their work toward completion of the documentary. The documentary, however, will give students in the College’s digital media division the opportunity to work on a polished product to be produced and presented to the public.

“This grant is a great opportunity for our students to gain experience in their fields through a comprehensive research project while undergraduates,” said Dr. Melinda Dukes, interim vice president for Academic Affairs at Tusculum College. “It is also an opportunity, through the cross-curricular component, for students and faculty to work together in combinations that do not always occur naturally.”

According to Dukes, students involved in the project will work closely with their faculty to conduct the research. Faculty will mentor the students and provide guidance as the project moves forward.

“We will be focusing on the philosophy that research is an interpretive act rather than a means to prove a preconceived notion,” said Jacek.

Student participants will include students from all four departments and will be a mix of residential students and adult students in the Graduate and Professional Studies program.


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Tusculum College afternoon and evening classes cancelled for January 13, 2012

Posted on 13 January 2012 by

Due to inclement weather, there will be no afternoon or evening classes at Tusculum College for Friday, January 13, 2012. Classes are cancelled for Greeneville, Knoxville, Morristown and Gray.

Administrative offices will close at 1 p.m. at all sites and campuses.

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Tusculum College operating on a regular schedule, January 13, 2012

Posted on 13 January 2012 by

Tusculum College will be operating on a regular schedule for Friday, January 13, 2012.

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Class management plan/statement due to inclement weather or unforeseen event schedule changes

Posted on 12 January 2012 by

Given the possibility of inclement weather within the next 24 hours, information pertaining to possible schedule changes is being shared.

Unforeseen circumstances such as inclement weather may force the cancellation or delay/early dismissal of classes at one or more of the Tusculum College sites. Due to the nature of the focused calendar, these instances may significantly impact academic class time. To that end, students should look to faculty members to communicate with their students a plan for completing missed classes.

Specific schedule changes will be communicated through the Tusculum College Pioneer Alert System, the Tusculum College website and social media (Facebook and Twitter) and local media outlets (radio and television stations in Greeneville, Morristown, Johnson City and Knoxville) as soon as possible.

Students, faculty and staff should contact Jonita Ashley Pauley at or Tiffany Hutton at to enroll or update contact information pertaining to the Pioneer Alert System.


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