Archive | April, 2012

Tusculum students explore ecosystems in Costa Rica as part of environmental science course

Tusculum students explore ecosystems in Costa Rica as part of environmental science course

Posted on 30 April 2012 by

Tusculum College students Drew Baker, from left, Charles Shrewsbury, Morgan Baese, Jabari Bunch, Ariel Hawkins and Sandy Salmons visit Poas Volcano during their recent trip to Costa Rica.

Six Tusculum College students explored rain forests and coastal ecosystems in Costa Rica as part of an environmental science course.

The students spent 16 days of the 18-day “Field Biology II” course in Costa Rica, exploring the Central American nation’s rich abundance and variety of plant and animal life. The students shared their experiences in a presentation to the Tusculum College community on Tuesday, April 17.

The trip took the students all across the nation as they visited a volcano, mountainous regions, a wet tropical forest, a dry tropical forest and the coast.

“Ecotourism is huge in Costa Rica,” said Ariel Hawkins, and the students stayed in eco-friendly hotels and visited nature reserves, a reforestation project and an animal rehabilitation organization. Hawkins is a senior from Greeneville.

They stayed at the Celeste Mountain Lodge, which is operated by a French national and constructed in a modern style with primarily recycled materials. “It was one of the most beautiful places that we stayed,” said Drew Baker, a junior from Athens, Tenn., who recalled that the students wondered about their destination as they traveled over narrow and treacherous roads.

The lodge had a garden area that stretched to the bordering nature reserved. “When we were in the garden, we saw more native birds there than any other place on our trip,” said Charles Shrewsbury, a senior from Stanton, Va.

On one hike, the students had to take care not to fall on some muddy and very vertical hillsides.

While there, they hiked to the Rio Celeste, a nearby river, and to some natural hot springs. Hiking through the rain forest, the students experienced a rain shower unlike one they had experienced before. Jabari Bunch, a senior from Stone Mountain, Ga., explained that when it started to rain, the tree canopy overhead was so thick that they stayed relatively dry. “Everything seemed to glow there,” Bunch said of the rain forest. “Everything was so colorful.”

Wherever they traveled, the students said their guides cautioned them to not veer from paths because of the dangerous and poisonous animals in the forest. Morgan Baese, a senior from Chattanooga, Tenn., noted that at the Rio Celeste Lodge, there was a carpeted path going through the garden because the first guests apparently would go out into the garden and the wilderness beyond barefooted.

This caution was needed at their stop at Tárcoles River. The students took a boat ride on the river, which is filled with huge crocodiles. “We were riding in a flat-bottom boat,” Baese said. “The water was murky and every once in a while, you would see these two eyes peering at you beside the boat.”

The primary purpose of the boat ride was to see the hundreds of birds that live alongside the river. At one point, Hawkins said, “the guide asked everyone to be quiet and we could hear the most beautiful song. It was from a clay robin, which is not the most colorful or beautiful bird. In Costa Rica, it is the symbol of the common man . . . that he has a beautiful song inside.”

Sandy Salmons, Jabari Bunch and Charles Shrewsbury enjoy the view from this hill overlooking the seaside.

The students then visited the coastal region. “The beach there looked like a movie,” Hawkins said. Swimming into tidal pools off the beach, the students saw an abundance of sea life and also encountered spider monkeys on land.

Their next few days were spent visiting Cloudbridge Nature Reserve that is focused on reforestation of land that had been stripped by farming practices. The reforestation has been a success and the reserve is now channeling its efforts into education about the importance of the forests and how to preserve the forest.

At Cloudbridge, the students met a former attorney from Minnesota who is living at the edge of the reserve in a home that is completely hydro-powered. They also talked with a former local farmer who is now helping in the reforestation project and with college students completing research internships.

Another destination was La Fortuna, a small town at the base of the volcano. Shrewsbury said that this was one of his most anticipated destinations of the trip because he wanted to see an active lava flow. Unfortunately, there was not one while the students were there, but they hiked up the side of the volcano.

Five of the students are majoring in the sciences while Baker is a creative writing major. Baker said his primary reason to go on the trip was gaining further experience in travel writing.

Baker is most interested in the travel essay that shares reflections on experiences in a particular location and what an individual felt and learned. He encouraged anyone who is interested in that type of writing to keep an open mind when traveling with no expectations or assumptions of the destination.

The waters of Rio Celeste are a vivid shade of blue due to copper sulfate deposits.

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‘Heritage and Hoopskirts’ to bring 19th century culture to life on Friday, May 4

‘Heritage and Hoopskirts’ to bring 19th century culture to life on Friday, May 4

Posted on 30 April 2012 by

The music, dances and culture of the Civil War era will return to Greeneville with “Heritage and Hoopskirts,” a nineteenth century ball, on Friday, May 4.

The Doak House Museum is partnering with the 1860s Living History and Dance Society to bring the 19th century to life in this family friendly event at 7 p.m. at the Nathanael Greene Museum.

The 1860s Living History and Dance Society will demonstrate dances of the period and teach them to the audience. The group is composed of families interested in the Civil War civilian population. Formed in 2009, the group offers many demonstrations on fashion, dress and dance from the Civil War time period and has been part of regional Civil War events including the Lincoln Presenters Ball held last year in Greeneville. Last fall, the group was part of the Museums of Tusculum Lantern Tour.

Music will be provided by Olde Towne Brass, a group of professional musicians who perform in the manner of early American and Civil War bands. The band members play original period music on Civil War over-the-shoulder brass horns just as they were played more than 150 years ago. The repertoire of Olde Towne Brass includes more than 4,000 songs of both Confederate and Union bands compiled from various resources across the country including the Library of Congress and the Museum of the Confederacy.

In addition to performing at countless prestigious Civil War events throughout the country, Olde Towne Brass has recorded music for renowned documentary director Ken Burns’ productions, “Not for Ourselves Alone” and “Jazz.” The group also appeared in the documentary “Civil War Songs and Stories” that appeared on public television in 2011. The band also appeared in the film, “American Drummer Boy.”

This event is made possible by a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission’s Arts Builds Communities program, which receives funds through the sales of specialty license plates.

“Heritage and Hoopskirts” is part of Greene County History Week, which will be observed April 27 through May 6. Greene County History Week is a collaborative effort to raise awareness and involve the community in appreciation of the heritage of the area.

In addition to the Museums of Tusculum College, participants in Greene County History Week include the Greene County Partnership, the Genealogical Society, the Greene County Heritage Trust, the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site and National Cemetery, the Dickson-Williams Mansion, the Nathanael Greene Museum, Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park, the Nolichucky Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and many other parties interested in the preservation and celebration of Greene County’s rich history. The full calendar of events can be found at

Tickets are $10 for general admission or $5 for senior citizens, students, and attendees in period costume.

Call the Doak House Museum at 423-636-8554 or email for reservations. Tickets will also be available at the door the evening of the event.

The Doak House Museum and the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library are operated by the Department of Museum Program and Studies of Tusculum College. In addition to the museums, the department is responsible for the College Archives and offers one of the few undergraduate Museum Studies degree programs in the country. The two museums are also part of the National Historic District on the Tusculum College campus. Follow the museums on Facebook and Twitter to learn the latest news and upcoming events or visit its Web site at to learn more about the variety of programs offered at the museums.

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Alumni event in Atlanta scheduled for Sunday, May 6

Alumni event in Atlanta scheduled for Sunday, May 6

Posted on 26 April 2012 by

Tusculum College alumni, parents and friends are cordially invited to join President Nancy B. Moody for a reception in the Atlanta area on Sunday, May 6. Frank Horsman ’68 and his wife, Kay, will be hosting the event from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at their home, 4561 Kettering Dr. NE in Roswell. Hors d’ oeuvres will be provided.


Please RSVP by Tuesday, May 1 to 423.636.7303 or 1.800.729.0256 ext. 5303,  or

Or you may use the form below to register for the event! We look forward to seeing you there.


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Old Oak Festival’s return to campus a success

Old Oak Festival’s return to campus a success

Posted on 26 April 2012 by

A "best of" exhibit of student art was on display in the Allison Gallery and selected student pieces were auctioned Saturday in front of the Niswonger Commons, above.

After a 20-year hiatus, the Old Oak Festival returned to the Tusculum College campus and brought students, alumni and community members out to see the artisans and crafters, visit the quilt show, see student art and digital media presentations and enjoy the literary readings and musical performances.


Student work was featured in the art exhibit, art auction, readings by the Curtis and Billie Owens Literary Prize winners and the “Big Box” interactive media experience by digital media majors.

Senior Justin Reed reads one of his poems during the reading Friday afternoon by the student winners of the Curtis and Billie Owens Literary Prize.

Theatre-at-Tusculum enjoyed a good opening weekend for its production of “The Diary of Anne Frank” in the Behan Arena Theatre. The production features both Tusculum students and alumni.


Students and staff were also featured among the musical performances. Ben Sneyd, a creative writing major, treated the crowd with a mixture of tunes from Bob Dylan to Levon Helm. He was accompanied for the performance by Joe Borden, another creative writing major, who performed a song he penned. Zach Wampler, another current student, drew an appreciative audience with his acoustic show featuring songs from the 1970s through today. Shiloh Road, an all-student band, kicked off the music performances with their brand of guitar rock on Friday afternoon. The band, which has won a local “America’s Got Talent” competition, includes students Robert Arrowood, Josh Davis, David Nunez and Chris Weems, who are all involved with the Tusculum band program. Women’s Soccer Head Coach Mike Joy performed all original material, including some humorous and heartfelt tunes, on Friday afternoon. Audiences Saturday afternoon enjoyed acoustic guitar by Reference Librarian Charles Tunstall, who was accompanied on vocals by his wife, Susan.

The Digital Media program's "Big Box" interactive presentation featured some footage from previous Old Oak Festivals.

The Tusculum band program was well represented during the festival. The Pioneer Jazz Band performed on Saturday on stage. The Marching Band and Flag Corps made an unscheduled parade through campus on Saturday morning with the cheerleaders. The three groups also did a “flash mob” in the afternoon that drew a crowd. The flash mob began with one musician playing on the sidewalk in front of the Niswonger Commons and was joined gradually by other members of the band, the flag corps and the cheerleaders.

The cheerleading squad joined band and flag corps members in the "flash mob" early Saturday afternoon.


Artisans set up booths throughout the quad between McCormick Hall and the Niswonger Commons with a variety of displays from woodworking to jewelry making. Art students had a tent that featured the Old Oak Festival poster, created and printed on the Vandercook press by Dr. Deborah Bryan, assistant professor of art. Students were also available to do portrait pencil drawings of visitors at the tent. Students volunteered at the information tent where signed copies of books by English professor Dr. Clay Matthews and Susan Vance ’91 were available. Students in the theater program manned a popular table as fortune tellers, who gave free fortune telling.


Shiloh Road kicked off the music performances Friday afternoon in the Library Bowl.


Authors, which included alumnus Dr. Bob Pollock ’65, Dr. Joel Van Amberg, associate professor of history and Matilda Green, admissions records and communications clerk, signed and sold copies of their books under the breezeway of the Niswonger Commons.

Ben Sneyd, left, was accompanied by Joe Borden during his performance Saturday afternoon.

Dr. Michael Bodary, visiting professor of English, provided a falconry demonstration with Gonzo, a red-tailed hawk. Gonzo, which was part of Theatre-at-Tusculum’s production of “Carnival!” in the fall, is now being desocialized by Dr. Bodary for release back out into the wilderness.

Zach Wampler performs a Jim Croce's "I Got a Name" in his acoustic set.

To see more photos, visit Tusculum College’s facebook page and its Pinterest page.







Mike Joy, accompanied by Michael Hawkins, treated the audience to some of his compositions.















Susan and Charles Tunstall performed everything from bluegrass to pop Saturday afternoon.











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Learn the latest about your fellow alumni

Learn the latest about your fellow alumni

Posted on 26 April 2012 by






Dr. Bruce Shine ’60 H’84 of Kingsport, TN, has been named chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission for a two-year term ending in January 2014 by the Tennessee Supreme Court. The 12-person commission was created by the Supreme Court to implement an alternative dispute resolution system within Tennessee’s court system. The commission authored Rule 31, Rules of the Tennessee Supreme Court, which provides a detailed process for mediation and arbitration to resolve litigation effectively, swiftly and at a financial benefit for the parties involved. Shine, who was a member of the commission since its creation, participated in the writing and development of Rule 31. As a member of the Credentials Committee of the commission, he has passed upon the credentials of all Rule 31 mediators in the state. Shine is a graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Law, has earned a master of laws degree from the University of Leicester in England. He is also a Fellow of the Tennessee Bar Foundation as well as the American Bar Foundation since 1998. The latter is an entity limited in membership to one-third of one percent of lawyers in a state who are selected by their peers.

Reuben Battle ’68 is interested in hearing from his classmates. Contact him at



Glenn Bowman ’72 of Saline, MI, has retired from a 30-year career as a quality engineer and environmental engineer. His work included chemical, electrical, defense and automotive industries. He is staying busy with activities in amateur radio, restoring antique clocks and making home repairs. He is also secretary for NAWC Chapter 67.



Patrick Fraley ’98 has been named principal at Greeneville High School, where he will begin his duties at the end of May. He is the current principal of Cherokee High School in the Hawkins County School System. The school under Fraley’s leadership since 2007 has experienced tremendous gains in academic growth, created a positive school culture and increased the school’s graduation rate by 20 percent. After earning his master’s degree at Tusculum, he has earned an education specialist degree in educational administration and supervision from Lincoln Memorial University. Fraley and his wife, Tonya, have one son, Augustus, and are active members of Mooresburg United Methodist Church.


Brad Hawks ’05 of Galax, VA, has been named the 2011-12 Southwest District Coach of the Year. His team at Carroll High School finished 19-5 and made the region semi-finals for the first time in 20 years.





Robert William Fabian ’39 of , Concord, NH, passed-away on March 25, 2012.  Fabian and his wife, Dottie (Crane) ‘38, lived in Wolfeboro, NH, from 1980 to 2000.  A native of New Jersey, Mr. Fabian became friends with his wife while at Tusculum. After college, both Mr. Fabian and Dorothy moved back to their respective homes in New Jersey and were married on Christmas Day in 1943 after an extended courtship. In the midst of World War II, they chose the date in hopes that family and friends might be able to attend because of the holiday. Mr. Fabian worked at Eastern Aircraft in Trenton until 1946. Moving to Connecticut, Mr. Fabian earned a master’s degree in chemistry. He then worked as a research chemist for Arthur D. Little, Inc., in Cambridge, MA. They lived in Massachusetts until they moved to Doylestown, PA. During the Fabians’ 24 years in Pennsylvania, Mr. Fabian worked for the Naval Air Development Center and then was marketing manager for AMCHEM. Eventually, he turned his love of building into working with a friend in constructing houses. Retiring in the late 1970s, Mr. Fabian began constructing he and Dottie’s retirement home in Wolfeboro, next door to the house where Dottie had been born. He enjoyed maintaining their home as well as vegetable gardening. He and Dottie were bridge players and Mr. Fabian especially loved playing solitaire. Mr. Fabian was also an active member of the Masons.



Dr. Joanne Lovell Linn ’46 of Nashville, TN, passed away January 27, 2012. Dr. Linn was professor emerius of anesthesiology at Vanderbilt University, where she practiced and taught for more than 35 years. She was an active member and officer of many professional organizations including the American Medical Women’s Association, of which she served as national president in 1979.



Clarence Henry Hughes ’50 of Greeneville, TN, passed away March 28, 2012, after an extended illness. Mr. Hughes joined the U.S. Navy immediately after high school graduation and served in both World War II and the Korean War. After finishing his military service, Hughes attended Tusculum and then graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in industrial engineering. He later earned a master of science degree from UT. After spending many years in industry as an engineer, he began a teaching career at Tri-Cities Technical Institute in the engineering and industrial sciences department. Mr. Hughes retired from teaching after 20 years of service. He was an active member of Asbury United Methodist Church of Greeneville, holding many offices in different groups of the church. His favorite hobbies included singing in the church choir, flying airplanes, riding motorcycles and talking to friends.


Noah C. Wagner ’51 of Greeneville, TN, passed away April 12, 2012. Mr. Wagner was retired from the National Security Agency, where he worked for many years as a linguistic cryptologist. He was a member of McLean Presbyterian Church in McLean, VA, and of the Greeneville Moose Lodge No. 692. An active alumni and supporter of the College, Mr. Wagner served as a member of the Alumni Executive Board for many years. He also worked with Dr. Donal Sexton, professor emeritus of history, to collect oral histories from alumni about their time at Tusculum. He and his wife, the late Scottie Dobson Wagner ’52 also attended many College events, particularly Homecoming.


John E. Shanks ’54 of Lenoir, NC, passed away April 13, 2012. After earning his degree from Tusculum, Mr. Shanks was commissioned into the U.S. Marine Corps and was honorably discharged as captain in the reserves. He held various accounting positions throughout his career and last served as the cost accounting manager at Singer Furniture. Mr. Shanks was a member of First Presbyterian Church of Lenoir, where he served as deacon and elder. He had obtained the rank of Eagle Scout, was inducted into the Order of the Arrow and served as a scoutmaster. Mr. Shanks was an active volunteer for Caldwell County Habitat for Humanity and served as a board member and treasurer. He was one of the original members of the “Grumpy Old Men” who met regularly to work on building Habitat homes. Survivors include his sisters and brothers-in-law and Tusculum alumni Meldrum (Shanks) and Earle Shotwell ’47 ’45 and Jane Shanks) and Bill Pilloni ’59 ’60.



Ross ‘Buddy’ Kreeger ’60 of Greeneville, TN, passed away April 9, 2012. Mr. Kreeger was retired from Philips Consumer Electronics Co. and was a member of Reformation Lutheran Church. A veteran of the U.S. Army, he was a 50-year Master Mason, a 50-year member of York Rite Masons, a member of Jericho Shrine Temple and Greeneville Lodge No. 3, F&AM.



Russell Lynn “Rusty” Shelton ’03 of Greeneville, TN, passed away March 25, 2011. At Tusculum, he earned a bachelor’s degree in special education. He was a member of Calvary Baptist Church.



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Tusculum College Community Chorus to present spring concert Monday, April 30

Posted on 25 April 2012 by

The Tusculum College Community Chorus will present its spring concert on Monday, April 30, at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building on the Tusculum College campus.

David Hendricksen is the conductor for the group; James Winfree is accompanist. There is no admission charge for the concert.

The first half of the program will include classical selections by American composer, Emma Lou Diemer, and by Johannes Brahms, settings of folk songs, and music drawn from “Fiddler on the Roof.”

After intermission, the chorus will sing choral arrangements of African-American spirituals. The titles include “Every Time I Feel the Spirit,” “All My Trials,” “Go Down Moses,” “Jacob’s Ladder,” “Climbin’ Up the Mountain,” “Children” and “Worthy to be Praised.” The program concludes with “Ye Followers of the Lamb” from the Shaker tradition.

Throughout the evening, a variety of Community Chorus members will sing solo roles including Jim Bennington, Beth Brimer, Beth Casteel, Wess duBrisk, Michael Forte, Jill Jones, Joe Kilday, John Maddux, Karin Small, Jim Teague, Phil Thwing, Martha Wiley and J. Grady Worley.

Founded in 1996 as a way to involve singers from throughout the community in a broad range of sacred and secular repertoire, the Tusculum College Community Chorus has grown to over 50 singers. For further information, please contact conductor David Hendricksen at

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Class of 1962 to celebrate milestone at commencement

Class of 1962 to celebrate milestone at commencement

Posted on 25 April 2012 by

Members of the Class of 1962 will mark the 50th anniversary of their graduation as special participants in the May commencement ceremony and other special events on May 4 and 5.

The special events, coordinated by Tusculum’s Office of Alumni Relations, begin with a reception Friday, May 4, at the President’s House for the Golden Pioneers, their spouses and family members. Dr. Nancy B. Moody, Tusculum College’s president, will present medallions to each of the Golden Pioneers at the reception, which begins at 5:30 p.m. and lasts until 7 p.m. The reception will be followed by dinner at The Farmer’s Daughter restaurant on the Erwin Highway at 7:15 p.m.

Activities on Saturday, May 5, begin with a breakfast at 9 a.m. in the Pioneer Perk in the Niswonger Commons on campus. At the breakfast, the Golden Pioneers will be fitted with their gold caps and gowns.

The commencement ceremony begins at 10:30 a.m. The Golden Pioneers will lead the Class of 2012 in the procession into the ceremony. During the ceremony, the Golden Pioneers will be recognized by Dr. Moody and asked to stand.

Following the ceremony, a luncheon will be held for the Golden Pioneers in the Pioneer Perk. The Golden Pioneers’ spouses and guests are also invited to the breakfast and luncheon.

For more information or to make reservations, members of the Class of 1962 are asked to contact Colleen Cox, coordinator of alumni relations, at 423-636-7303 or 1.800.729.0256 ext. 5788, or email


Members of the Class of 1961 enjoyed a reception at the President's House last May, hosted by Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum. A reception at the President's House is again planned as part of the Golden Pioneer activities for the Class of 1962 this year.

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Students, faculty learn about European Union’s effects on business first-hand in Malta

Students, faculty learn about European Union’s effects on business first-hand in Malta

Posted on 24 April 2012 by

Pictured at the University of Malta were, from left, Maria Cassar of the University Malta, Tusculum students Bo Cordell, Nathan Riddle, Jill Corum, Beth Anne Collins, Trey Whitfield, Kirstie Gust, Trevor Long, Marla Nesbitt, Paul Bergvin and Lauren Taylor, and Tusculum professors Troy Goodale and Tom McFarland.

A group of 10 students and two faculty members from Tusculum College learned about how joining the European Union has affected Malta and about the nation’s history and culture in a recent trip to the Mediterranean country.

The students, who included business, political science and education majors, spent their spring break at Malta University. They were accompanied by Dr. Troy Goodale, assistant professor of political science, and Dr. Tom McFarland, professor of business administration. The group shared their experiences in a presentation to the Tusculum College community on April 11.

A typical day for the students included attending a lecture at the university during the morning and taking trips to business or historical sites in the afternoon.

One of those trips was to the Malta Experience, which is an audio-visual attraction in the capital city of Valletta that tells the history of the island nation from prehistoric times to the present and helped give the students a deeper understanding of the places they would be visiting and the country itself.

Among the historical sites they visited was the city of Mdina, the area where the apostle Paul stayed after the boat in which he was traveling shipwrecked on the island. “It was exciting to walk the same streets that Paul walked,” said Kirstie Gust, a senior from Rutledge, majoring in business administration with a concentration in accounting and management.

The students visited Attrans, a transportation company. “It was one of the more interesting places we visited said, Trey Whitfield. “One of the focuses of the trip was to learn about the European Union and how membership affects a member country. At Attrans we saw how joining the European Union has helped them to expand and grow.” Whitfield is a senior majoring in business administration with a concentration in accounting from Greeneville, Tenn.

The political workings and laws of the European Union were also explored by the students. Trevor Long, a sophomore majoring in political science from Atkins, Va., said that while the European Union’s political structure is similar to America’s with three branches, there are significant differences legally. “As a political science major, learning about international law will definitely help me in my studies in the future,” he said.

The U.S. Embassy in Malta was another interesting visit, the students said. There they learned about the embassy’s work in Malta, including how staff worked to help American citizens get out of Libya during the recent conflict, as well as how an individual can attain a position working in an embassy or international relations.

Lauren Taylor was the only education major on the trip. Taylor said she talked to the local people they would meet at places and ask them about their education system and was able to get an insight into it from their responses. Taylor is a senior from Kissimmee, Fla.

The group said that they found the people in Malta to be friendly and welcoming. Jill Corum, a junior from Knoxville majoring in business administration, said she did not know what to expect in regards to the reception the people would give the Tusculum students, but found them to be very friendly. A major benefit of traveling abroad is to be exposed to other cultures and people groups, she said.

Traveling and studying abroad can be life changing, agreed Bo Cordell, a junior majoring in business administration from Cincinnati, Ohio. “You can use what you learned for the rest of your life,” he said. “It changes you as a business person and gives you an international perspective.”

Gust said that the trip helped her to better realize how everyone is living in a global society. “As an accounting major, it will good to know how other systems operate. An international experience is also good as a talking point.” She added that she was able to talk about her Malta trip on a recent trip to the graduate school she will be attending.

Tusculum professors, Dr. Tom McFarland, left, and Dr. Troy Goodale, present a gift from Malta University to Dr. Nancy B. Moody, center, president of Tusculum College. The two professors and 10 students recently visited Malta in an international study trip.

The Malta trip is a first step in an effort to form a strong relationship with Malta University and provide Tusculum students with additional international study opportunities.

Last year, Tusculum hosted an international exhibit that displayed a photographic study of the Malta’s prehistoric temples and artifacts. Malta’s ambassador to the United States, Mark Miceli, visited campus during the exhibit and made a presentation to students about the nation’s history and its role in the European Union. The exhibit and trip to campus were coordinated through the assistance of Dr. Bruce Shine and his wife, Betsy. Shine, a 1960 graduate of Tusculum, has close ties with Malta through his years teaching at the International Maritime Law Institute.

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Strauss named ‘Student of the Block’ for Block Seven

Strauss named ‘Student of the Block’ for Block Seven

Posted on 23 April 2012 by

Jessimine Strauss, at right, was honored as “Student of the Block” for the seventh block at Tusculum College during a ceremony on April 24. From left are, Dr. Tom Harlow, assistant professor of psychology; Pat Simons, coordinator of student and veteran information; Audrey Brackens, clerical assistant in the Registrar’s Office; Dr. Bill Garris, assistant professor psychology, and Strauss.

Jessimine Strauss, a senior majoring in psychology from Walterboro, S.C., was recognized for her academic achievement and campus leadership as the recipient of the “Student of the Block Award” for Block Seven at Tusculum College.

Strauss was presented the honor in a ceremony April 24. The “Student of the Block” award is presented by the Office of Student Affairs to recognize Tusculum students who excel in the classroom, provide leadership in the campus community and serve others. A plaque listing Strauss’ accomplishments will be displayed in the Niswonger Commons and in other prominent buildings on campus.

Strauss’ hard work and quiet determination makes a firm impact on all she encounters.  During the award ceremony, Dr. Bill Garris, assistant professor of psychology, said that he took notice of Strauss during her freshmen year because she had declared psychology as her major and also expressed an enjoyment of mathematics, which is not common among psychology majors.

Garris continued that since that time, Strauss has excelled in her chosen major and has been instrumental through her hard work and diligence in establishing a chapter of Psi Chi, a psychology honor society, at Tusculum.

Three individuals in the Registrar’s Office nominated Strauss for the award, Audrey Brackens, clerical assistant in the office; Bobbie Clarkston, registrar, and Pat Simons, coordinator of student and veteran information. All three were more than impressed with Strauss’ work ethic, academic standards and maturity during her four years as a student worker in the office.

“Jessimine is a dynamic young lady, extraordinary person, and quick learner,” Clarkston said. “She has tackled and excelled in any task she is given and has also excelled in the classroom, evident by the numerous Dean’s List, Charles Oliver Gray’s list and President’s list honors she has received. It has been a pleasure to see her grow and mature over the past four years, and I have no doubt she will go on to do

extraordinary things.”

Simons noted, “Jessimine is a very versatile student. She is active in her clubs as well as working in the Registrar’s Office. We have come to rely on her heavily when we need to have our office covered. She takes care of students and can handle most any situation that comes up with students or parents. She comes in, checks to see what needs to be done, and does it without someone having to tell her to do so. She created our system to manage work-study students and track their assignments. She helps everyone in the office and is always dependable.”

Brackens added, “Jessimine is a very smart and motivated young lady and will succeed at anything she puts her mind to doing.”

The staff members in the Registrar’s Office have also had a positive impact on Strauss as well with their daily support and encouragement. “They push me to be the best that I can be and beyond,” she said. “Without them, I think my career at Tusculum would not have been successful. I do not see them as just my supervisors but consider them as my friends and my second family.”

As an incoming freshman, Strauss was impressed with the positivity of the community and the beauty of the campus. Since becoming a student, Strauss has made a significant difference on campus with both staff and students through her involvement with student and academic organizations and as working as a work study student in the Registrar’s Office.

She has served as a senator and secretary of the interior in the Student Government Association, as president of the Psychology Club, vice president of the Tusculum’s chapter of the Alpha Chi national honor society, and as a member of Psi Chi. She is also involved in the Pioneer Anime Club.

She counts her proudest accomplishment at Tusculum as the establishment of the Psi Chi chapter on campus because it will open doors not only for her but for future students. Another source of accomplishment for Strauss is making the President’s List by having a 4.0 grade point average during the fall 2011 semester. She is also proud of the opportunity she was given to have an impact on her department major as president of the Psychology Club and her induction into Alpha Chi and service as its vice president.

Strauss credits her success to family, friends and peers but also thanks a special person in her life, her mentor, Lena Locicero ’10, who was honored as a Student of the Block during the 2009-10 academic year. She met Locicero, the former Eidson-Kelly, during her freshman year when Locicero served as her living-learning community mentor. During her sophomore year, the two were always together as Locicero had become not only her role model and mentor, but her friend. “When she graduated, she left me her lantern (during the Lantern Festival ceremony) with the expectation to carry her legacy,” Strauss added. “I have lived this by continually striving to work hard in the office, Psychology Department and as a member of Alpha Chi.”

The daughter of Michael and Joy Strauss, she has aspirations to become a professor at a small liberal arts institution, similar to Tusculum. Her advice to her fellow Tusculum students is to “remain focused on school work but still enjoy your time here, it will be over before you know it.”

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Tusculum College band program to perform spring concert on Thursday, April 26

Tusculum College band program to perform spring concert on Thursday, April 26

Posted on 23 April 2012 by

The Pioneer Jazz Band, above, the Concert Band and the Handbell Choir will all perform during the Tusculum College band program’s spring concert at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 26, in the auditorium of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building.

The Tusculum College band program will feature a variety of music from standard concert band music to swing in its concert on Thursday, April 26.

The concert, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building.

Performing will be the Concert Band, Handbell Choir and Jazz Band.

The Concert Band will be performing “Mystic Portal,” “Video Games Live – Part 1,” “Pulsation,” “Here’s That Rainy Day” and Henry Filmore’s march, “The Klaxon.”           Three familiar pieces will feature the Handbell Choir: “The Wind Beneath My Wings,” “Do Lord” and “The Tennessee Waltz.”

The Jazz Band will be playing a variety of pieces from 70s pop to traditional swing, including “25 or 6 to 4,” “Go Daddy-O,” “Smooth,” “Li’l Darlin’” and “Sing, Sing, Sing.”

The band program began in 2010 with the formation of a pep band and has grown to include a Marching Band, Concert Band, Jazz Band, Handbell Choir and various small ensembles.

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Dr. Michelle Freeman to be published on education website

Posted on 23 April 2012 by

Dr. Michelle Freeman, associate professor of business administration at Tusculum College, was recently notified that she will be published on the website of a national publication. Freeman is an associate professor of business administration at the college.

The article, “Teaching Circles: A Low-Cost, High-Benefit Way to Engage Faculty,” will appear later this month on Magna’s Faculty Focus website. Freeman’s article was published in Magna’s newsletter last June.

The article details Freeman’s work over the past three years directing The Teaching and Learning Initiative at Tusculum College. The program has become more commonly known as Teaching Circles.

Freeman, who directs the program, works with four to six faculty members at the beginning of each academic year to select topics and relevant reading materials for groups that will be available to all faculty to become a part of for the year.

“The goal of these circles is enjoyable scholarly exchange between peers,” wrote Freeman. “Sometimes the focus is on pedagogy; other times it is a topic simply for knowledge expansion.”

The costs of implementing such a program are minimal, according to Freeman, who reports that the main investments are associated with books and materials, as well as a closing banquet and one dinner per group.

According to Freeman, the initiative has generated a number of benefits, including providing in-house faculty development, serving as a community builder across disciplines and serving as a way to ease new faculty into the college community.

In addition, the program has assisted other college programs, including the college’s Quality Enhancement Plan, which is a campus wide effort to implement the skills of critical thinking with reflective judgment into a cross section of campus curriculum, as well was in other key areas of the college. The program also provides peer incentives among professors to continue to improve.

“As faculty members learn together, they are challenged to make changes in their classrooms. Faculty participation in these circles offers evidence of ongoing interest in scholarship,” said Freeman.

“Faculty Focus” publishes articles on effective teaching strategies for the college classroom.


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Old Oak Festival recognized by Tennessee House of Representatives

Posted on 19 April 2012 by

The Tennessee House of Representatives passed a resolution on Monday, April 16, recognizing the return of the Old Oak Festival to the Tusculum College campus.

The resolution, presented by Rep. David B. Hawk, who is also a former student at Tusculum College and represents Greene and Unicoi counties, honors and recognizes the Old Oak Festival and its efforts to promote local arts, entertain and educate citizens and celebrate the history and culture of the State of Tennessee.

“As an alumnus of Tusculum College, I am so pleased to see the Old Oak Festival return to Greene County. This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our heritage and bring the community together,” said Hawk.

The resolution recognizes the Festival’s past as the Old Oak Folk Festival, which ran from 1977-1991, with the mission of educating the public on the rich cultural heritage of Appalachia through arts and crafts, music, theater and literature.

It also honors the return of the event, recognizing “the Old Oak Festival of Greeneville and Tusculum College” and encourages “all Tennesseans to join in celebrating the return of this wonderful event and its promotion of Appalachian culture.”

The event begins this week, running Thursday, April 19, on the Tusculum College campus. The Festival and will feature four full days of activities through Sunday, April 22, and will include artists from a variety of genres, as well as live music ranging from blues to blue grass.

Activities will be going on all four days; however, vendors, artisans and musicians will be performing and have their wares available for sale Friday and Saturday. For a complete schedule of events please see the website at

Also part of the festivities will be a quilt show on Friday and Saturday.

The quilt show, presented by Country Home Accessories, will be held in the atrium of the Pioneer Arena of Niswonger Commons and will run Friday, April 20 and Saturday, April 21 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The show will feature more than 150 quilts made by local quilters. Some of the quilts will be for sale, others for display only. There will also be a presentation from the antique collection of Juanetta Swatzell.

The arts and music festival will span four days and will feature something for everyone, including music, art, an author’s row, theater and poetry, as well as gallery and museum exhibits on the campus of Tusculum College.

For complete schedule of events please see the website at

The festival is being coordinated by a committee of college and community representatives who are working to bring the historical event back as a major arts and music event in the East Tennessee region.

Music at the Old Oak Festival will feature acoustic rock, blues, blue grass, electric rock, R&B, jazz, Broadway and gospel. Musicians will perform on three stages scattered throughout the campus on Friday and Saturday and will feature groups like Jimmie D and the B Movie Blues, the Great Smokey Mountain Blue Grass Band and the Tusculum College Jazz Band.

Music begins at 3:45 p.m. on Friday with Tusculum student rock band Shiloh Road and continues until 8:30 p.m. with a closing performance by The Kevin Wilder Group, featuring classic rock. Music begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday with Michael Cable and the Hot Mountain Caravan, and runs throughout the day. Closing out the music portion of the festival will be hillbilly rock band Bootleg Turn at 8 p.m.

Other music acts include Stephen Winslow and Ben Kirk, Zach Wampler, Tusculum College rock band Shiloh Road, Wayne and Jean Bean, Lonesome Pine, Mike Joy, The Kevin Wilder Group, The Scat Kats, Sandy Ray and the Cold Shoulders, The Foundations, The Madisons, the Threetles, Joyce Carroll, Greeneville Middle School choirs, Charles and Susan Tunstall and Ben Sneyd.

Art vendors vary from glass and metal jewelry from Jewelry by Gloria (Lenon) to ink prints from Ben Clark and crochet rugs from the Crafty Lady.

The Evergreen Woodcarvers will demonstrate the art of woodcarving and provide lessons for those who wish to learn the skill.

Other vendors are Tusculum College art students; Richard and Freda Donoho, artists in glass; Jimmy and Judy Rader, artists in wood; Buckthorn Artistic Originals, painted feathers; Joan Beaver, pencil and oil prints; Broyles Oak Rockers; Josh Swatzell, photography; Betty Goudy, oil paintings and bird houses; W.T. Hines, woodwork; Light Images, photography; Channa Payne, jewelry; Nick Hankins, mixed media paintings; Walnut Ridge Llamas, spinning and weaving; Collins Lane Art, wheel-thrown pottery; Rew Art, acrylic painting, and Mike Willis, wood items.

There will be three performances during the festival of “The Diary of Anne Frank,” presented by Theatre-at-Tusculum. Show times are Friday and Saturday, April 20 and 21 at 7 p.m. and Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. Tickets may be reserved in advance by calling 423-789-1620.

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

Food vendors will be on campus and will include the Pioneer Perk; John Price, hotdogs and Polish sausage; Ella Price, strawberry shortcake and hot fudge cake; Debbie Haney, gyros and Philly cheese steak sandwiches; Rural Resources, health food including veggie wraps; the Smoking Pig BBQ, Karly’s Kettlecorn, and the Creamy Cup offering coffee and ice cream.

On Thursday, April 19, a launch party will be held for the “Tusculum Review,” the literary journal produced by faculty and students. The journal features works of top creative fiction, non-fiction, art and poetry from writers across the country. Special guest readers are essayist Katie Fallon and poet Gary McDowell. The event will begin at 7 p.m. in the Shulman Atrium.

Several local and regional authors will be on hand on Saturday in “Author’s Row,” and many will be signing copies of their work. Copies of the Tusculum Review past and present will also be available.

Participating writers include: Dr. Robert Pollock, a 1965 alumnus of Tusculum College; Susan D. Vance, a 1991 alumna of the College; Travis Reynolds; Matilda Green, admissions, records and communications clerk for the College; Jack Smith, director of the library for Tusculum College; Emory Rhea Raxter; George Ryan, a 1975 alumnus of the College; Dr. Joel Van Amberg, associate professor of history; Lisa Hall; I.S. Moore; Joe Kilday; Kim Rhor, and Ruth Kross, adjunct faculty at the College.

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

A special Civil War exhibit, “Scholars then Soldiers” will be featured during the weekend of the Old Oak Festival at the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library. Exhibit hours are Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Another unique feature will be an opportunity to participate in the “Big Box” experience. The Big Box project is an exhibition of video art created by Tusculum College Professor Chris Jacek and students in his digital media department. In the Big Box experience, projection is used to create an enclosed video room that offers both surround sound and surround vision.

The Big Box experience is free of charge. It will be open Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Annie Hogan Byrd Auditorium.

The festival will also feature children’s activities and storytelling performances, as well as a chapel service on Sunday morning at the Garland Library.

There is no fee to attend the festival. Art vendor hours will be Friday from noon until 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. For more information, contact Vance at 423-636-7303.

Parking will be available off Shiloh Road and across the Erwin Highway. No alcohol will be sold or permitted on campus. Coolers are also prohibited.


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