Archive | October, 2012

Entrepreneurship focus of international videoconference at Tusculum

Posted on 26 October 2012 by

Does the United States have an edge over the rest of the world in entrepreneurship?

This question was the primary topic of the most recent international videoconference held Tuesday, Oct. 23, at Tusculum College.

Students in the college’s Business Club and the Study Abroad and Global Awareness (SAGA) organization along with faculty from the School of Business had the opportunity to discuss the environment for entrepreneurship in Europe, Africa and the United States with students from a university in Norway.

“This is a good opportunity for the students at both schools to discuss entrepreneurship and hear different perspectives on it,” said Dr. Geir Bergvin, associate professor of marketing and director of the Center for Global Studies at Tusculum.

Participating from the university in Norway were students in an international marketing class from 12 different nations, including England, Russia, Ghana and Denmark in addition to Norway.

Prior to the videoconference, both groups of students were asked to read the article, “The United States of Entrepreneurs: America still leads the world” from The Economist magazine, which served as a starting point for their transcontinental conversation. The article states that the United States does lead the world in entrepreneurism due to such factors as a culture that celebrates and encourages innovation and entrepreneurial risk taking, a well-developed venture capital investment industry, an open immigration policy and a close relationship between higher education and industry.

Beginning their transatlantic conversation, the students at Tusculum and in Norway both agreed that the article was biased towards the United States. With the acknowledgement of that fact, Tusculum student Luis Zamora, who is a native of Chile, asked the students in Norway to describe how entrepreneurship is encouraged in each of their countries.

One of the students from Denmark responded that programs exist in that country to assist entrepreneurs in starting a business through which they receive legal, marketing and management counsel. Another student from Denmark said that people are being encouraged to start new businesses. Both said that there are limited funds available from the government.

This exchange was typical of the videoconference as the students shared their knowledge and experiences with each other.

Dr. Bergvin served as facilitator for the conference, asking the students questions about various issues raised in the article, such as whether the article made a valid point in its assertion that individuals in other nations, particularly in Europe, have more to lose if an entrepreneurial venture fails.

A student from Ghana said that people in his nation are deterred from entrepreneurism because of the fear of bankruptcy. Students from Europe agreed that laws about bankruptcy in some countries do affect the willingness of individuals to take the risk of starting their own business.

Funds for starting entrepreneurial businesses typically come from individuals or banks in their native countries, but there is not widespread governmental support, the students from Norway said.

Tusculum students noted that there is governmental support through tax cuts and other programs that assist entrepreneurs in the United States. The students also discussed the tendency for individuals with capital making decisions to invest in ventures in their local community or region.

The decision by students graduating college to start their own businesses or even start them in college as a response to the global economic recession and the lack of job availability was noted by students in both groups as another reason for the rise of entrepreneurship.

The videoconference took place in Tusculum’s newest distance learning classroom, which is equipped with multiple flat display screens, audio equipment, cameras and laptops.

International videoconferences are scheduled throughout the year through the Center for Global Studies to give students the opportunity to interact with students from other countries on various topics.  Conferences have been held for students in specific courses or for students in a particular major.

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Tusculum College competes in ‘Blood Drive Bowl’ against Carson-Newman

Posted on 25 October 2012 by

Fans of the Tusculum Pioneers and Carson-Newman Eagles can support their team while aiding the East Tennessee Medic Regional Blood Center by participating in the 10th Annual Blood Drive Bowl.

The event is part of the festivities leading up to the November 3 football game between the Pioneers and Eagles that kicks off at 1:30 p.m. at Pioneer Field on the Tusculum College campus. There will be several opportunities to donate blood.

Tusculum holds the title of Blood Drive Bowl winner from last season after claiming the victory by a 50–unit margin. And Tusculum College, with the help of the community, is ready to take home the title again. Tusculum has been the top donor in six of the previous nine drives, including the last four in a row.

On Wednesday, October 31, Tusculum students, faculty, staff and fans may donate on the Greeneville campus at the Niswonger Commons from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Blood donations will also be taken at the Tusculum College Morristown campus on Tuesday, October 30, from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. In addition, there will be a drive at Pal’s on Tusculum Blvd. as well on Thursday, November 1,  from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Blood donations may also be given during the week at the Medic Regional Blood Center in Knoxville (1601 Ailor Ave.) during the following hours: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Please let the screener know the donation should count towards Tusculum College.

“This is an annual tradition that really meets a need in our region,” said Valisa Griffin, coordinator of the Tusculum Fund for Tusculum College.  “It doesn’t take much to punch up the rivalry with Carson-Newman, but with the Blood Drive Bowl, the communities are the real winners.”

A t-shirt will be provided to all donors, along with a coupon for a free Pal’s iced tea or Frenchie fry. Donors should bring a valid driver’s license or other official photo ID in order to give blood. Medical prescreening and a free cholesterol test (no fasting necessary) will be provided at the sites. One donation a year exempts donors and their IRS dependents from paying blood supplier processing fees at any U.S. hospital.

The winning school will be announced at halftime of the November 3 football game. Tusculum leads the series 6-3. The Pioneers won the inaugural title in 2003, again in 2005 and in each of the last four years. Carson-Newman has captured bragging rights three times (2004, 2006, 2007).

For more information, contact the MEDIC Regional Blood Center at (865) 524-3074 or at


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Tusculum College to host humanities event featuring three nationally-recognized poets

Posted on 25 October 2012 by

Tusculum College is hosting a poetry reading by three nationally-recognized poets including Ken Robidoux, Adam Clay and Dr. Erin Elizabeth Smith. All three serve as editors for literary publications.

The event will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, November 7, in the Behan Arena Theater in the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Center on the Tusculum College Greeneville campus.

Robidoux, whose poetry has been featured in the Tusculum Review, is the publisher and founding editor-in-chief of Connotation Press: An Online Artifact. He is a retired musician now living in Morgantown, W.V., where he is an instructor at West Virginia University. He is the former editor-in-chief of Mosaic Art and Literary Journal.

Clay is the author of A Hotel Lobby at the Edge of the World and The Wash. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Boston Review, Ploughshares, Denver Quarterly, Iowa Review and New Orleans Review. He co-edits TYPO Magazine and lives in Kentucky.

Smith is the founder and managing editor of Sundress and author of The Fear of Being Found and The Naming of Strays. Her poetry and nonfiction have appeared in numerous literary magazines including Mid-American, 32 Poems, New Delta Review, The Yalobusha Review, The Florida Review, Cimarron Review, Third Coast and Crab Orchard.

She earned her doctorate in literature and creative writing from the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi and is currently a full-time lecturer at the University of Tennessee where she teaches poetry writing and literature.

The event is part of the Humanities Series, sponsored by the Tusculum College English Department. The reading is free and open to the public. Arts and Lecture credit is available for Tusculum College students.

For more information, contact Dr. Clay Matthews, assistant professor of English, at 423-636-7300.


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‘Pickin’ at the Doaks’ for October to feature music and scary tales

Posted on 23 October 2012 by

“Pickin’ at the Doaks” on Friday, Oct. 26, will feature not only traditional music at the Doak House Museum but some scary storytelling fun.

The final “Pickin’ at the Doaks” old-time music jam session for the 2012 season will also provide an opportunity to share some favorite scary stories during an “open mic” time at the museum on the Tusculum College campus.

“Pickin’ at the Doaks” will begin at 6 p.m. It is a fun, informal jam session for musicians who specialize in “old-time” music played on traditional instruments. The jam is open to the public. Pickers and singers are encouraged to bring their instruments and join the fun. Pickin’ is held every month on fourth Friday from January through October. Pickin’ will take a break in November and December for the holidays, but it will return Friday, January 25, 2013.

The storytelling will be at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Storytellers are encouraged to come out for “open mic” style storytelling fun. Visitors are encouraged to take the stage and tell their favorite campfire spooky tales. The event is family friendly, so storytellers are asked to keep their stories G rated.

Anyone wanting to tell stories should contact Leah Walker, site manager at the Doak House Museum, at 423-636-8554 or

If the weather is pleasant, music and storytelling will be on the lawn of the house. In case of rain or cold temperatures, the music and tales will be moved inside.

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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Doak House Museum brings storyteller to Doak Elementary School

Posted on 19 October 2012 by

Students at Doak Elementary School enjoyed tales from professional storyteller Regi Carpenter on October 19 as the result of a partnership between the Doak House Museum and the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough. The students were part of each story as Carpenter had them sing or say words of different characters or do motions to illustrate the narrative. Since 1996, Carpenter has been a professional storyteller, singer, writer and educator traveling throughout the country to perform and teach at libraries, museums, schools, festivals, conferences and private events. As part of its continuing mission to provide free and low-cost educational opportunities for regional school children, the Doak House Museum has built a successful partnership with the Jonesborough Storytelling Center and Greene County Schools. The program has been in place since 2004.

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Ghosts of Tusculum College featured in Halloween event at Tusculum College’s Garland Library

Posted on 19 October 2012 by

Back by popular demand, “Haints and Boogers: Ghosts and Spirits at Tusculum College and Upper East Tennessee” will return in a supersized program.

This year’s event will begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, October 30, in the specially-darkened main reading room of the Thomas J. Garland Library. The entire library staff will all be involved in parts of the presentation, including Elmer the Library Gremlin.

The presentation will include illustrated stories concerning paranormal activities on campus and in the surrounding community, and refreshments will follow the presentation.

“We have expanded the program this year to include ghost stories of Tusculum College, plus Greene County and the East Tennessee region,” said Library Director Jack Smith. “The event is open to the public, free of charge and will include ghost stories and tales from Virginia, Haynes and Katherine halls on the main Tusculum campus.”

Two of Tusculum’s librarians who were not born in Tennessee will offer a few tales from their birth states as well, he added.

For more information, contact the Garland Library at 423-636-7320.


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Alumni invited to dinner and a play at historic Rogersville inn

Posted on 18 October 2012 by

The Hale Springs Inn, photo courtesy of the Rogersville Chamber of Commerce

Tusculum College alumni are invited to dinner and a play on Saturday, October 27, at the historic Hale Springs Inn in downtown Rogersville. Enjoy a three-course meal and Two Pence Productions’ performance of “Funeral of a Gangster” beginning at 6 p.m. at the inn, located at 110 W. Main St. The meal will include Tuscan bean soup, hickory smoked pork chop with sides and a flourless chocolate torte for dessert. The cost for Tusculum alumni will be $30.95 plus tax and tip, a $5 savings off the original price. Please RSVP by calling 423.636.7303 or emailing or



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Old Oak at Tusculum College added to Tennessee Tree Register

Old Oak at Tusculum College added to Tennessee Tree Register

Posted on 17 October 2012 by

The Old Oak, the large, white-oak tree that sits on the Tusculum College campus next to Old College has officially been added to the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council’s Tennessee Landmark and Historic Tree Register.

The tree itself is somewhere between 250 and 300 years old and has remained a noticeable feature in the area since before the Rev. Samuel Witherspoon Doak founded the college. As result, the oldest building on campus, Old College, was built in the Old Oak’s shade, and the tree has witnessed major events in American history such as the Civil War and Reconstruction, not to mention countless Tusculum students who have spent time beneath the tree’s branches.

According to Dollie Boyd, director of the Museums of Tusculum, a representative from the forestry council visited in April, and he was thrilled with the tree. He called it a “splendid” example of the White Oak variety, and he also said it was very healthy.

“It is great to hear that the tree is healthy and that the best thing we can do to ensure its health is to leave it be. He recommended no interventions of any kind, saying that if it is left alone it could live to be 400 years old.

The Landmark and Historic Tree Register allows for a brief history of the Old Oak to be added to the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council’s website, a plaque commemorating the tree and funding for a sign at the tree’s location. The Old Oak listing can be viewed at


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Register today for Family Weekend November 2-3

Register today for Family Weekend November 2-3

Posted on 16 October 2012 by

The corn hole tournament is one of the most popular parts of Family Weekend for both students and parents.

Tusculum College is welcoming parents and family members to campus for Family Weekend on November 2-3 and it promises to be a fun and special time for students and their families.

Make plans today to attend. You may register online, call 423-636-7303 or 1-800-729-0256 ext. 5303 or email All students, parents, siblings and relatives are welcome and encouraged to attend any and all the events. Please provide the name of each family member attending when you register.

On Friday, family members are encouraged to enjoy “Lunch with Your Student” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Dining Hall in the Niswonger Commons. The cost is $6 per guest (pay at the door) and reservations are requested. (4:30 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Meet and talk with Dr. Nancy B. Moody during “Conversation with the President” at 4 p.m. in Chalmers Conference Center in the Niswonger Commons.

Treat your student to dinner at a local Greeneville restaurant in the evening. There are several restaurants within 10-15 minutes from the campus that feature a variety of cuisine from barbecue to Asian.

Activities on Saturday, November 3, include the popular Corn Hole Tournament, which will begin at 10 a.m. on the Quad (located between Niswonger Commons and McCormick Hall). The entrance fee is $5 per two-member team.

A Parents’ Council meeting will also be held at 10 a.m. in Room 105 of the Thomas J. Garland Library.

Families are invited to Pioneer Park (the baseball stadium) for a tailgate party prior to the football game against Tusculum rival Carson-Newman College. The tailgate meal begins at noon, and the cost is $10 per person. (Members of the Pioneer Club at the Pioneer Level and above are admitted at no charge.)

After the tailgate event, show your Pioneer Spirit by cheering on the football team at Pioneer Field. The game kicks off at 1:30 p.m.

Saturday evening is another opportunity to take your student to dinner.

Parents and family members are also invited to three exhibits on campus.

“Rock, Paper, Scissors,” an art exhibition by Tusculum faculty members Dr. Deborah Bryan, Aurora Pope, Carrie Dyer and Charlesey Charlton and Tusculum alumna Brooke Wedding will be on display at the Allison Gallery on campus. There is no admission fee to the gallery, located in the Rankin House, which is adjacent to the parking lot beside Three Blind Mice on Erwin Highway (across from the Tusculum Arch).

Tusculum College’s Presidential Portrait Exhibit is on display around the running track on the upper level of the Garland Library, which is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. There is no charge.

“Scholars Then Soldiers: Tusculum College and the American Civil War” is on display in the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library. This student-produced exhibit tells the story of Tusculum students and their experiences in the Civil War. The museum, located in the Old College building near Tredway Science Hall, is open Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Tusculum College students, faculty volunteer in WETS drive

Posted on 16 October 2012 by

Three Tusculum College students and a faculty member volunteered during the membership drive for WETS-FM’s on-air pledge drive on Friday, Oct. 5. Students Victoria Hill, Feather Payne and April Poitras and Dr. Tom Harlow, associate professor of psychology and director of the Honors Program at Tusculum, answered phones during the public radio station’s fall on-air pledge drive now underway. From left are Dr. Harlow, Potrias, WETS Station Manager Wayne Winkler, Hill and Payne.


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Tusculum hosts student diversity conference

Posted on 15 October 2012 by

Tusculum College hosted the fifth annual G.L.I.M.P.S.E. Diversity Student Leadership Conference Oct. 12-14, an event designed to empower student leaders to be effective in their roles as multicultural change agents in their communities. Students from Centre College and Maryville College as well as those from Tusculum participated in the conference. Two Tusculum students presented and led individual sessions at the conference, Jabari Bunch and Alexander Spivey. Bunch, a senior biology major and creative writing minor, presented during a session addressing how homosexual males are perceived and treated in the African-American culture. Spivey, a senior majoring in creative writing, presented during a session about hip-hop and its impact on society and culture. In addition to attending topical sessions, the students from the three colleges had the opportunity to get to know one another through a series of activities, above, and to express their creativity during an open-mike session. Tusculum students organized and led many of the activities with the Office of Student Affairs.

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Sarmiento honored as ‘Student of the Block’ for First Block

Sarmiento honored as ‘Student of the Block’ for First Block

Posted on 11 October 2012 by

Head Volleyball Coach Michael Robinson, left, presents the “Student of the Block” award to Ashley Sarmiento, a junior from Centerville, Ohio.

Ashley Sarmiento, of Centerville, Ohio, has been honored as the first “Student of the Block” recipient for the 2012-13 academic year at Tusculum College.

Sarmiento, who is a junior with a double major in mathematics and mathematics education 7-12, was honored for academic excellence and her leadership on campus with the “Student of the Block” award for the First Block of the year. She was honored with a brief ceremony on Oct. 10.

The Office of Student Affairs established the “Student of the Block” award to recognize students who make a significant contribution to the college community. A plaque recognizing Sarmiento’s accomplishments will be displayed in the Niswonger Commons and other campus buildings. Recipients are nominated by faculty and staff members. Sarmiento was nominated by Head Volleyball Coach Michael Robinson.

Sarmiento has excelled in the classroom and on the court as a member of the Tusculum volleyball team. She maintains a 3.96 grade point average and has earned places on the college’s academic honor rolls and that of the South Atlantic Conference, of which Tusculum is a member.

Always giving 100 percent in the classroom and on the volleyball court is important to Sarmiento. “It is so important to me that I am a student-athlete,” she said. “I think the most important qualities in an individual are always giving 100 percent and passion. Strive for perfection even though you know it is unattainable. Always do everything to the best of your ability and you can always be proud. Whatever you do, do it with passion. It is obvious when you love what you are doing.”

That passion and commitment to excellence is obvious to those who know Sarmiento. She is the volleyball program’s first Academic All-American honoree. She was selected as the most valuable player on the volleyball team in 2010 and garnered conference honors as a freshmen.

Her coaches, fellow teammates, other coaches and teams and the Athletic Department’s staff are all supportive, she said. “The Pioneer Nation community is so amazing.”

Active in high school, Sarmiento has continued that commitment to service and engagement at Tusculum. She serves as a peer tutor, president of Pioneer Student Athletic Advisory Council and an organizer of the Tusculum College Make-A-Wish Annual 5K race. She is also a participant in Relay for Life, Ride for Life and a college mentoring program. She is one of the founders of the Pioneer Nation Athletic Spirit Club. “I think that school spirit and pride are so important,” she said. “I would love to leave Pioneer Nation as a legacy at Tusculum College.”

When she returns home to Ohio, she finds time to volunteer at such places as St. Vincent Homeless Shelter and her church.

“The many activities and programs have shown me how blessed I am in life,” she said. “They have influenced me by giving me the desire to help others and give back – pay it forward.”

Sarmiento is the daughter of George and Teresa Sarmiento and graduated from Centerville High School. Among her biggest influences are her mother, who nurtured her love of math and helping others, and her high school coach. “I would love to help one young athlete in the way he has influenced my life and love of the game,” she said of her coach.

Through the Tusculum volleyball program, she met another couple who have influenced her life, Tusculum alumni Ralph and Billye Horne. Mrs. Horne, who passed away earlier this year, was one of her biggest volleyball fans.

Dr. Polly Johnson, assistant professor of education and director of student teaching; Kellie Ross, campus counselor, and Dr. John Paulling, professor of mathematics, have also positively influenced Sarmiento thus far on her college journey.

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