Archive | February, 2013

Tennessee, New Jersey and Kentucky sites of upcoming alumni events

Tennessee, New Jersey and Kentucky sites of upcoming alumni events

Posted on 27 February 2013 by

The calendar continues to be filled with dates for alumni and friend events. Events are upcoming in Oak Ridge, Newport and Chattanooga in Tennessee and in Bridgewater, N.J. Individuals wishing to attend the Keenland event in April are asked to call to make reservations as soon as possible as only a few tickets remain.

On Tuesday, March 5, alumni and friends are invited to a networking luncheon in Oak Ridge. Enjoy networking and business card exchange with professionals in your area at Oak Ridge Country Club (150 Gum Hollow Rd., Oak Ridge, TN 37831) The luncheon is from 11:30 – 1 p.m. and the cost is $10 per person.

Another alumni and friends networking luncheon is scheduled Tuesday, March 12, in Newport, Tenn. The luncheon will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Sagebrush Steak House at 201 Heritage Blvd., in Newport. There is no cost to attend.

An alumni and friends event is scheduled on Friday, March 15, in Chattanooga. This will be lunchtime event, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be no charge to attend. The event will take place at the Logan’s Roadhouse at 2119 Gunbarrel Rd. in Chattanooga.

Alumni and friends of the College are invited to a reception from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday, March 23, in Bridgewater, NJ. Ted and Zita Heinz ’68 will be hosting the event at their home. Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served. There will be no cost to attend.

In April, the Women’s Soccer Team’s Sixth Annual Keeneland Trip is planned for April 13-14. The Bluegrass Stakes Race, a Kentucky Derby qualifier, will be on Saturday, April 13. The trip will be an all inclusive event. Plans are to depart at 7 a.m. on Saturday, April 13.

There will be two options provided: The Day Trip will depart on Saturday morning via Greene Coach and return that evening. This will include breakfast, lunch vouchers, tailgate dinner, entrance ticket, grandstand seating, race program, and much-much more. The cost for the Day Trip (all inclusive) is $115 per person.

The Overnight Trip returns on Sunday late afternoon and will include all of the above but also includes overnight hotel accommodations at the Campbell House Crowne Plaza Resort, breakfast, tour of a famous area location, lunch and an evening in downtown Lexington enjoying the nightlife or shopping. The Overnight Trip is $185 (all inclusive) per person, based on double occupancy.

Should you choose to drive, the cost for the Day Trip is $75 and the cost for the Overnight Trip is $150, based on double occupancy. The deposit is the same, per below.

Both the Day Trip and the Overnight Trip are adult only events.

In order to confirm attendees and secure tickets for the event, a deposit of $25 for the day trip or $35 for the overnight trip is due at time of reservation. Payments can be made by Visa/MasterCard or checks payable to Tusculum College Women’s Soccer. Come enjoy the fun and help support Tusculum College Athletics and the Women’s Soccer Program.

Future events are tentatively planned in Sevierville in May and Florida in June.

To RSVP for these events, please contact Barb Sell at or 423-636-7303.

Comments Off

Learn the latest about your fellow alumni!

Learn the latest about your fellow alumni!

Posted on 27 February 2013 by






Willie Anderson ’94 of Greeneville, TN, has retired from First Tennessee Bank. Anderson had served as vice president/financial center manager of First Tennessee’s Main Street Branch in Greeneville for more than a decade at the time of his retirement. He went to First Tennessee Bank in 1990 as a courier and also worked in maintenance. During his career at the bank, he also worked as a teller, loan processor and financial services representative/loan officer. Anderson has been active in the community, serving in leadership roles and various capacities with the Boys and Girls Club of Greeneville and Greene County Board of Directors, Greeneville Light and Power System Board of Directors, the Lions Club Board of Directors, the United Way, the Comcare Inc. Board, Bethel District Churches and Friendship Baptist Church. He serves as board chairman of the Greeneville Light and Power Board and chaired the community’s United Way campaign in 2007. He also volunteers at three senior care facilities in Greeneville. Anderson and his wife of 42 years, Brenda, have one daughter, and four grandchildren.



Lynn Miller ’03 ’06 has been named the financial center manager of the First Tennessee Bank Main Street branch in Greeneville. Miller is a 13-year employee of First Tennessee Bank and has served as manager First Tennessee’s Mosheim branch and one at the mall in Johnson City. He and his wife, Erica, are parents of a one-year-old daughter, Kinison.



Tusculum alumni among those named 2012-13 “Teachers of the Year” in Hamblen County School System

Four Tusculum College alumni were selected as their school-level “Teacher of the Year” in the Hamblen County School System. These teachers will now be considered for the district competition.


Michelle Green ’07 of Morristown, TN, was selected as Hillcrest Elementary School’s “Teacher of the Year.” Green is a fourth grade language arts teacher, who has also been recognized as a recipient of Office Max’s “A Day Made Better,” which honors dedication and passion in educators. She serves as her school’s lead mentor teacher and has conducted training for her faculty. Michelle co-founded and has served 12 years as administrative director of Children of Hope, a non-profit community outreach to local children and youth in need. She oversees 35 volunteers in the organization that serves more than 100 children and youth.


Shannon Mayes ’00 of Whitesburg, TN, was named as Fairview-Marguerite Elementary School’s “Teacher of the Year.” She is a kindergarten teacher who has been an educator for 14 years. She serves as her school’s grade level chairperson for kindergarten, is a supervising teacher for practicum students, a mentor teacher and a student teacher supervisor. Shannon also serves on her school’s improvement and leadership committees. Her classes have won the Director’s Writing Contest for best classroom book for three years.  She volunteers with McTeacher Night, Daily Bread, Angel Tree, Toys for Tots, Christmas Shoe Box and the American Cancer Society.


Amy Mitchell ’06 of Morristown, TN, was chosen as Manley Elementary School’s “Teacher of the Year.” She has taught fifth grade at Manley for three years. She previously taught at West View Middle School and at Hillcrest. Amy was a state finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching and modeled two math lessons for the State Collaborative on Reforming Education panel when Hamblen County was named District of the Year. She often models best practices for teachers throughout the district, recording classroom lessons and sharing them. Amy is an instructional leader for teachers throughout the state as a TNCore math coach. Last year, she was invited to represent Tennessee as a member of a six-person team at a 26-state collaborative in Washington, D.C. She has participated in extensive leadership activities in teacher training.


Crystal Vaughn ’04 ’07 of Morristown, TN, was chosen as “Teacher of the Year” at West Elementary School. She is a fourth grade teacher and has been team leader of her grade level since 2005. Crystal is the school’s science fair coordinator and scholar bowl coach. She assists with coaching the girls’ basketball team and has been cheerleading sponsor. Crystal also hosts student teachers and practicum teachers. She teaches her school’s inclusion writing class and her students have earned first place in the Director’s Writing Contest. Cherokee Health System has awarded her its Special Education Award.  Crystal is the Tennessee Education Association’s legislative contact team member and served the Hamblen County Education Association as RA leader and bargaining team member.




Jessica L. Britton ’12 and Matthew R. Harris were married December 28, 2012. She is the daughter of Lyn Britton ’12. After a honeymoon in St. Lucia, the couple is living in Greeneville, TN. Jessica is a first grade teacher at Chuckey Elementary School.





Cynthia L. Dewitt ’01 of Asheville, NC, is celebrating the birth of her second daughter, Rosalie Grace Dewitt-Stephens, on January 3, 2013.




Rita Sams King ’42 of Greeneville, TN, passed away February 3, 2013. Mrs. King was a retired educator, teaching the Greene County and Greeneville school systems for 40 years. Following her retirement, she was a substitute teacher as long as her health permitted. She was a long-time member of Mount Pleasant Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Her survivors include brother and Tusculum alumnus Robert Drain ’49.



Jane Edna Dalzell Krieger ’53 of St. Johns, FL, passed away on December 3, 2012. Mrs. Krieger was a retired human services manager for the Wackenhut Corporation, where she worked for 25 years. A native of New Jersey, her greatest love was her family and she raised her four sons in Glen Rock, NJ, and Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Tallahassee, FL. Her hobbies included knitting and embroidery. She often knitted socks for lifeguards.



Bernice L. Boswell Offerman ’61 of Orlando, FL, passed away on Thursday, August 30, 2012 from complications of Alzheimer’s disease.  She was 75.  Bernice began her college studies at Carson-Newman College and transferred to Tusculum in her sophomore year.  She was an elementary education major at Tusculum and served on the staff of the Tusculana.  She and her two sisters were day students, growing up in downtown Greeneville.   In the early 1990s she sold her home in Morristown and used the proceeds to purchase a charitable gift annuity that provided her with an annual income.  Upon her passing, the proceeds from the charitable annuity were given to Tusculum College to provide scholarships for students with great financial need.  In this way, her love for education and for Tusculum College continues. Bernice married Robert Edward Offerman, who predeceased her.  She is survived by two loving sisters, Jeanette Boswell Tennis ’61 and Josephine D. Boswell ’67, both of Virginia Beach, VA.


Richard J. Sloane ’63 of Marlton, NJ, passed away July 25, 2009. Mr. Sloane was a teacher for the Mt. Laurel school system. His survivors include his wife and Tusculum alumna Virginia L. Hartle Sloane ’64.

Comments Off

New major in chemistry added to Tusculum offerings

New major in chemistry added to Tusculum offerings

Posted on 25 February 2013 by

New laboratory equipment was installed last year for the chemistry program.

Tusculum College will be reintroducing chemistry as a major for fall semester 2013. The change will expand the current chemistry minor into a major.  Students will retain the ability to minor in chemistry if they choose.

The Bachelor of Science in chemistry was approved to be reinstated by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges in January.

According to Melinda Dukes, vice president for academic affairs, the major was last available to Tusculum College students during the 1976-1977 academic year.

“Bringing back chemistry as a major is an additional opportunity we have to offer our students,” said Dr. Dukes. “Our students in the sciences have been very successful, and we expect that the chemistry major will provide even more career and graduate school options for Tusculum students.”

The major is available this coming fall of 2013 and current Tusculum College students who are interested in pursuing chemistry may register for it during this spring’s registration.   New students will be able to consider the major as they register during the summer registration days. Enrollment is projected to be between eight and 10 students by the second year.

Recently, Tusculum College invested in the major by purchasing equipment and other useful tools including high performance liquid chromatography, infrared spectrometer, atomic absorption spectrometer, gas chromatography and a visible spectrometer. These new instruments, partially funded by gifts from alumni, will allow the program to adequately equip our chemistry majors for a career in industry or graduate studies.

Additionally, Dr. Richard Thompson joined the Tusculum College faculty as assistant professor of chemistry last fall. Thompson has a bachelor’s in chemistry with a minor in mathematics from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry from Syracuse University.

The major is designed to provide students with a strong foundation in the four principle subdisciplines—organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, physical chemistry and inorganic chemistry.

According to Thompson, students completing the major will be prepared for a successful career in chemical sciences, as well as have a strong foundation for pursuing graduate study either in chemistry or the allied health fields.

Dr. Thompson was recently awarded a $10,000 Faculty Fellowship from the Appalachian College Association which he will use to implement an undergraduate research program with Tusculum College students.

Comments Off

Tusculum students study abroad in Barcelona, Spain

Tusculum students study abroad in Barcelona, Spain

Posted on 22 February 2013 by

Tusculum College students in Advanced Studies in Fiction and Seminar in Literature and Society classes spent 10 days immersed in Catalonia culture while studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain. Picture from top left are: William Kemper, Austen Herron, Justin Reed and Joseph Borden. Front row from left are: James Cox, Cheyenne Hartman, Hilary Nowatski, Allison Harris, Professor Wayne Thomas, Trevor Long, Billie Jennings, Jeff Roberts and Andrew Baker.

On Monday, Feb. 4, students from Tusculum College offered a presentation of their recent study abroad trip to Barcelona, Spain. Students left for Spain on January 12, and returned on January 23.

Travelers included two Tusculum professors: Heather Patterson, assistant professor of English and chair of the English department and Wayne Thomas, associate professor of English and chair of the fine arts department, as well as thirteen students.

Students included Justin Reed, a senior from Florence, S.C.; Austen Herron, a junior from Durham, N.C.; Joe Borden, a senior from Lyles, Tenn.; Hilary Nowatski, a junior from Kingsport; Nathan Riddle, a senior from Danton, Ga.; Cheyenne Hartman, a senior from Louisa, Va.; Allison Harris, a senior from Franklin, Tenn.; Jeff Roberts, a junior from Breenbrier, Tenn.; Billie Jennings, a senior from Mountain City, Tenn.; Trevor Long, a junior from Atkins, Va.; Andrew Baker, a senior from Athens, Tenn.; James Cox, a senior from Greeneville,  and William Kemper, a senior from Greeneville.

The presentation came in a unique form as students utilized the Allison Gallery inside the Rankin House on Tusculum’s Greeneville campus. Pictures of various sights taken during the trip spanned the gallery, providing viewers with an opportunity to glimpse Catalonian culture.

While attendants moved through the gallery, viewing images of locations such as the monastery at Montserrat, Sagrada Familia and the Spanish Gothic quarter, members of Patterson’s “Advanced Studies in Fiction” class read from works they crafted from inspiration received during and after the trip. Students in Thomas’ class were participating in “Seminar in Literature in Society.”

The presentation also included a short documentary film created by the students that explained their responses to the immersion of Catalonian culture. Senior creative writing major, Reed explained, “Barcelona is a hotbed for conflict between Catalonian Separatists and Spanish Unionists. You walk around and can see separatist flags hanging from apartment terraces and building rafters, realizing the distinction this culture has from the whole of Spain. They want this complex crisis known, and in coming back I want the global public to become more informed of it.”

Outside of the distinctly political atmosphere currently embedded in Barcelona to the city’s historical significance, Professor Thomas said, “having the opportunity, in a single day, to walk from streets that are less than 50 years old, to ones that are almost 2,000 is amazing. You become caught up in the beauty of it.”

Comments Off

Importance of telling the stories of the church discussed during third session of lecture series

Importance of telling the stories of the church discussed during third session of lecture series

Posted on 21 February 2013 by

Telling their stories of faith and community can help churches engage younger generations in congregations, said Rev. Carol Howard Merritt during the third session of the annual Theologian-in-Residence lecture series at Tusculum College.

In this time of cultural change, the church has an incredible opportunity to reach younger generations through innovative ways to tell its stories, according to the Rev. Carol Howard Merritt.

The Rev. Merritt, author of “Tribal Church” and “Reframing Hope,” is leading the annual Theologian-in-Residence lecture series at Tusculum College, which is co-sponsored by the Holston Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the college with funding assistance from Ron Smith.

Churches can look to Paul’s example as they look for ways to reach out and engage young adults in the life of the church. “Paul did not wonder aimlessly, he was very strategic,” said Rev. Merritt, who is co-host of God Complex Radio and blogger for Christian Century and Huffington Post. “He went to port cities and places that were crossroads of trade. He knew that where he went, he would reach people.”

Likewise, she said, church leaders can be as strategic in reaching out in such ways as using podcasts of sermons that can be downloaded not only by the local congregation, but all over the nation or world and blogs to tell about the church’s work to serve the poor, disaster victims and other community services on blogs.

Rev. Merritt said she did not want to convey that there is no hope for small, rural churches in the future. Serving as a pastor of a rural Louisiana church, Rev. Merritt said church members relied on each other and helped each other get through the challenges of life. That sense of community is something that smaller churches can do much better than large churches and have been doing for years, she said. “The smaller churches are better prepared to handle the cultural shift.”

Creativity is needed to reach people in this time of change, Rev. Merritt said. For example, she said, her husband is in the process of starting a church in Chattanooga. He has been creating a network of artisans, artists and business people in the city and is setting up a local food market to provide fresh produce and basic staples to a community that has not had ready access to them.

“It is an idea of empowering the community in a different way, sharing with one another,” she said. “It gives the message that with Jesus Christ, we have abundance.”

This way of starting a church, bringing different people together and forming a worshiping community, is different from the way churches began in the past, she said, when a building was constructed and people were expected to come.

While the question of this type of church’s long-term sustainability is still unanswerable, there is a need to look differently at churches. “If we are going to thrive in the next generation, we need to start thinking more like Jesus in Luke 10 when he sent out disciples, saying ‘the 70 of you, you have power and authority go out and teach ahead of me.”

For a new generation of people, the “bigger is better” model is not working, and they are searching for a deeper community where they feel valued and cared for mind, body and soul.       This means an adjustment for the church away from looking at what the church can build or buy as a measure of success to perhaps measuring how it has reached out to the community in deeper and different ways, Rev. Merritt said.

Some say that the church needs to be more mission minded – “realizing how God is working in the community and how we can support and sustain that work,” Rev. Merritt said.

There has been a shift in culture from people being expected to go church to that not being the expectation, she said. “In a way that is frustrating and upsetting, but the positive side is the people who are there in church are not there out of expectation, but are there because they need something.”

Each generation is responsible for caring for one another, the giving and receiving that is part of the church community, she said.

Differences in generations can be seen in regards to giving, Rev. Merritt continued. The Silent Generation, who was born from 1927-1945, considers giving as part of their civic duty to their community, she explained. The Baby Boomers, the generation born between 1946 and 1964, are more idealistic and give toward efforts that are going to make a change to better someone’s life or the community. Members of Generation X, those born from 1965-1983, are more pragmatic in their outlook and want to give to efforts that “get the job done to help people.” Those born between 1984 and 2002, now known as the “Millenials” have been described as civic-minded and very team oriented. She said she would like to see churches engage this generation to discover how it wants to give.

Rev. Merritt also discussed the shift toward post-modernism with the breakdown of the meta-narrative, a predominant western philosophy in which history is seen as a progressive swing upward in that things were always improving.

However, a shift away from that began after World War II when people became aware of the depth of evil that people could do to one another and that technology does not always result in things getting better as technology had enabled the destruction of life on a massive scale, Merritt said.

Likewise, she said, there has been a shift in theology from the dominance of theological thought by the foundational European male theologians to the inclusion of other voices, such as women or liberation theologians that have different stories to tell.

Sharing testimonies, stories in essence, has long been part of church and can be a way for talking between generations, Rev. Merritt said, telling of the hope she found in listening to the stories of an older friend about surviving the Great Depression and growing in her faith.

In another church where she served, people who joined were asked to tell their faith journey and “it was some of the most holy moments in the church,” she said.

Telling stories deepen connections between people in churches, she said. For example, she said, she had a Lenten worship series in which people from each generation were asked to tell how God had worked in their lives or about a mentor who inspired them in their spiritual journey. “The sense of bonding between the generations was often palpable,” she said.

Merritt will conclude her discussions Feb. 26 with a look at how churches can faithfully respond to changes in culture, including examples of what has been successful in congregations around the country.

The sessions begin at 10 a.m. in the Chalmers Conference Center in the Niswonger Commons on the Tusculum College campus. There is no charge to attend the lecture series, but reservations are required as lunch is provided in the college’s cafeteria. For more information or to register, please call 423-636-7304 or email

Comments Off


Tusculum College participates in 24th annual national African-American Read-In

Posted on 20 February 2013 by

Alexander Spivery, a creative writing major who graduated from Tusculum College in December, was one of 70 participants in the national African-American Read-In held February 15.

As a part of Black History Month, on Friday, Feb. 15, Tusculum College participated in the 24th annual National African-American Read-In. The event was held in the living room of Niswonger Commons of the Greeneville campus with 70 readers and listeners participating in the event. This is the fifth consecutive year Tusculum has participated in the read-in.

Heather Patterson, chair for the Department of English, assistant professor of English and coordinator of the event, said, “We’ve had students read works of more well-known African-Americans (like poems by Langston Hughes and speeches by Malcolm X), but we’ve also been fortunate enough to have students read works by writers and orators that may be unfamiliar to the audience, their own works and works by their friends and relatives.”

The on-campus participation of the Read-In consisted of students, faculty, staff and alumni coming together in a public setting to make literacy a significant part of Black History Month. Readers included students, alumni and Tusculum faculty of varied ethnic backgrounds who read a combination of poetry, essays and fiction written by African-American authors.

“The experience is always rewarding for readers and listeners, and I’m pleased to see so many students—even those terrified by the prospect of speaking in public—participating in this worthwhile event,” said Patterson.

In 1990, the first African-American Read-In was sponsored by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English. In 1991, the National Council of Teachers of English joined in the sponsorship. The Read-In has been endorsed by the International Reading Association. More than a million readers of all ethnic groups, from 50 states, the District of Columbia, the West Indies, and African countries have participated. The goal is to make the celebration of African-American literacy a traditional part of Black History Month activities.

Comments Off

Trustees receive updates on construction projects, dual enrollment

Trustees receive updates on construction projects, dual enrollment

Posted on 20 February 2013 by

Site preparation is continuing for the residence hall to be constructed near existing apartments and behind Niswonger Commons and the Charles Oliver Gray Complex.

The Tusculum College Board of Trustees met Friday, Feb. 8 and Saturday, Feb. 9, to hear reports on several construction projects planned for the coming year as well as fund raising efforts, strategic plan goals and an expanded dual enrollment program for local high school students.

“The Board had the opportunity to hear reports on many of our key projects moving forward,” said Kenneth A. Bowman, a 1970 graduate of Tusculum College and chair of the Board of Trustees. “We have a lot of work to do, but it is such a pleasure to see the fruits of the labor of so many dedicated people who are committed to moving Tusculum College forward.”

The Board also approved three candidates for faculty emeritus status. Those candidates included Dr. Bob Davis, professor of biology; Dan Barnett, associate professor of chemistry, and Ron Conley, associate professor of mathematics.

Davis joined Tusculum College in 1970. During his tenure at Tusculum College, Dr. Davis has served in the capacities of faculty moderator and biology department chair. Dr. Davis has given his time and expertise by repairing a well house and building a split rail fence at the Doak House Museum.

Barnett, who has been with the college since 1985, has served in the capacities as faculty moderator, division director and chemical hygiene officer. Additionally, Barnett has served on numerous governance committees, search committees (including the presidential search), has been involved with the programming of the new Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Math and Science, the wetlands and the Doug Ratledge Environmental Science Scholarship.

Conley joined Tusculum College in 1983. Throughout his service to Tusculum College, Conley has taught in both the residential and Graduate and Professional Studies programs. He has served on numerous governance committees, search committees, task forces and as mathematics department chair.

In other business, Dr. Tom Stein, vice president for enrollment management, reported that new traditional student deposits are running well ahead of recent years. The enrollment staff is optimistic regarding reaching their goal of 400 new students. Additionally the GPS program saw the start of the second Master’s of Business Administration cohort. Stein added that GPS enrollment objectives were met for the fall semester for all sites and campuses.

The Board heard reports about several construction projects planned for the Greeneville campus over the next few years. Work has begun on two new apartment-style residence halls and plans are to break ground on the new Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Math later this year. In related reports, fundraising goals for the institution are on target for the year, according to Heather Patchett, vice president for institutional advancement. According to Patchett, donors are up 11.7 percent over the past year. She also reported that in November the college received approval to offer gift annuities. Total dollars raised this fiscal year are $1.43 million, more than a million more than at this point last year, Patchett said.


The steel framework continues to take shape on the new residence hall being constructed between the existing apartment-stype residence halls and Old College.

Dr. Blair Henley, vice president for Information Systems and chief technology officer reported that since August 2011, 100 computer lab workstations have been replaced with Thin Client Technology. Additionally, all classroom work stations have been replaced at the Knoxville, Morristown and Greeneville locations.

Henley also reported that two pilot dual enrollment programs were implemented in January. College algebra and world literature are currently being offered as dual enrollment/dual credit courses for area high school juniors and seniors. Two other courses will be made available next fall.

The next meeting of the Tusculum College Board of Trustees is set for May 17-18, 2013.

Comments Off

Curtis Owens winners to be announced by host judge Charles Dodd White on Feb. 21

Posted on 18 February 2013 by

Fiction writer Charles Dodd White will read from his work and announce his choices for winners of the 2013 Curtis and Billie Owens Literary Awards on Thursday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. in the Chalmers Conference Center in Niswonger Commons on the Tusculum College campus.

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

White teaches writing and literature at South College in Asheville, N.C. He has been a U.S. Marine, a fishing guide and a newspaper journalist. He is the author of the story collection, Sinners; the novel, “Lambs of Men,” and co-editor of the contemporary Appalachian short story anthology Degrees of Elevation.

His short fiction has appeared in Appalachian Heritage, The Collagist, Fugue, The Louisville Review, North Carolina Literary Review, PANK, the Tusculum Review and other publications. In 2011 he was awarded a fellowship in prose by the North Carolina Arts Council. His work has been nominated for the Appalachian Book of the Year, The Weatherford Award and the Chaffin Award.

The Curtis and Billie Owens Literary Awards are annually given to recognize the literary achievements of Tusculum College’s creative writing students. The literary award was named for Curtis Owens, a 1928 graduate of Tusculum College who went on to a teaching career at what is now Pace University in New York. He and his wife established the award at his alma mater to encourage and reward excellence in writing among Tusculum College students.

Comments Off

‘A … My Name Will Always Be Alice’ opening Feb. 22

‘A … My Name Will Always Be Alice’ opening Feb. 22

Posted on 15 February 2013 by

By popular request, Theatre-at-Tusculum will bring the “A . . . My Name Will Always Be Alice,” the third show in the popular “Alice” series, to the stage Feb. 22-24 and March 1-3.

Conceived by Joan Micklin Silver and Julianne Boyd, this 1984 award-winning Off-Broadway musical revue looks at a variety of issues from a woman’s point of view. The production will be performed at 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, Feb. 22-23, and March 1-2. Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. will be staged on Feb. 24 and March 3. All the performances will be in the Behan Arena Theatre on the lower level of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building (side entrance).

“A … My Name Will Always Be Alice” has 19 acts that range from naughty to nice, nostalgic to melancholy and thought-provoking to hysterically funny.

Fourteen acts will be new to audiences, providing food for thought, lots of laughs and maybe a few tears. Five of the acts are crowd-pleasers from previous “Alice” shows, including “Hot Lunch” and “Watching All the Pretty Young Men.” With the mature nature of some of the numbers, this show is not recommended for children, but is aimed at community adults, Tusculum faculty, staff and students and perhaps a few sophisticated high school students.

A cast of 24 will bring each act to life and includes several well-known Greeneville actors and Tusculum students under the leadership of production director Marilyn duBrisk, Tusculum’s artist-in-residence and director of the Arts Outreach program.

Angela Bride, Brian Ricker, Paige Mengel, Sandy Nienaber, Laura Dupler and Mike Lilly provide support for the 16 Tusculum College student cast members. Hannah “Faith” Rader will also bring her considerable talents to Theatre-at-Tusculum for the first time.

Tusculum students in the cast include Toni Bates, Maggie Bernabei, DeAundra Bowker, Jade Bussell, Michael Fernando, Ashley Fritz, Allison Harris, Austen Herron, Paige Hudson, Billie Jennings, Kayla D. Jones, Miranda Knight, Emma Murray, Bonnie Parks, Danielle Threet and Courtnay Vogel. The cast also includes former Tusculum student Kaci Norton.

In addition to duBrisk as the director, the production team includes Angie Clendenon, music director; Christopher Beste, accompanist; Suzanne Greene, stage manager, and Barbara Holt, costume director. Tusculum students are also working to build the set, designed by Frank Mengel, technical director of Tusculum Arts Outreach, and will be working backstage during the production.

Admission is $12 for adults and $10 for seniors (60 and over). For more information or to reserve tickets, please contact Tusculum Arts Outreach at 423-798-1620 or

Some members of the cast of “A… My Name Will Always Be Alice” prepare for rehearsal. Pictured are front row, from left, Paige Mengel, Allison Harris, Michael Fernando and Angela Bride; second row, from left, Emma Murray, Miranda Knight, Maggie Bernabei, Ashley Fritz, Kayla Jones and Sandy Nienaber, and third row, from left, DeAundra Bowker, Paige Hudson, Danielle Threet, Jade Bussell, Billie Jennings, Courtney Vogel, Mike Lilly, Bonnie Parks, Hannah “Faith” Rader and Toni Bates. Not pictured are Brian Ricker, Kaci Norton, Laura Dupler and Austen Herron.

Comments Off

Band program’s winter concert Tuesday, Feb. 26, to feature music celebrating children

Band program’s winter concert Tuesday, Feb. 26, to feature music celebrating children

Posted on 14 February 2013 by

The Tusculum College band program’s winter concert on Tuesday, Feb. 26, will feature a musical celebration of the joy and wonder of childhood as well as a tribute to the victims of the Newtown, Conn., shooting.

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.

David Price, director of the Band Program, has chosen selections for the concert that relate to the happiness that children bring as well as some pieces that are tributes to the youngsters and teachers who lost their lives in the Newtown, Conn., shooting.

The Concert Band will be performing “Stardance,” “Hallelujah” “Children of the Shrine,” “Bridges” and “Dances of Innocence.”

The  Handbell Choir will be performing Pachelbel’s “Canon of Joy” and “Hymn of Promise.”

The Jazz Band will perform “Fantasy,” “Pick Up the Pieces,” “Children of Sanchez” and “Birdland.”

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.

Featured in the upcoming winter concert of the Tusculum College band program will be the Concert Band, Jazz Band, above, and Handbell Choir. The concert will begin at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 26, in the auditorium of the Annie Hogan Fine Arts Building.


Comments Off

Technology and cultural changes discussed during lecture series

Technology and cultural changes discussed during lecture series

Posted on 13 February 2013 by

The Rev. Carol Howard Merritt discusses how technology and cultural changes affect the church and how they can be used to further the church’s ministry to younger generations.

Technology is quickly evolving, causing significant changes in culture that affect churches as they seek to engage younger generations, according to the Rev. Carol Howard Merritt.

Although church members from other generations do not have to embrace the technology and methods of communications of those in their 30s and younger, it is important to have an understanding of how those technologies and cultural changes affect how the younger generations lives, said Rev. Merritt, who is leading the annual Theologian-in-Residence lecture series at Tusculum College. The Theologian-in-Residence series is co-sponsored by the Holston Presbytery and Tusculum College with funding assistance from Ron Smith.

“Many churches were formed in a certain time period and now we must realize that this is a time when  the family structure looks different, work structure looks different and our society looks different, said, Rev. Merritt, author of “Tribal Church” and “Reframing Hope” and co-host of God Complex Radio and blogger for Christian Century and Huffington Post. “It is difficult and oftentimes it can cause intergenerational tension.”
Three things that often get in the way when churches try to minister in a new time and a new way, she said, are the differences between customs and traditions, the “invisible rule book” and desecration of the sacred.

Author Diana Butler Bass has written about the differences between customs and traditions, defining customs as things that people do year after year and defining traditions as those things that embody who a congregation is and have a greater historical meaning, she noted.

For example, Rev. Merritt said when she served as a pastor at a church in urban Washington, D.C., she was charged with getting more of the young families to come to the Wednesday night dinner. The custom was the Wednesday night dinner and the traditions it represented included building relationships and studying Scripture together intergenerationally.

When she implemented changes she thought would attract younger families such as making child care available and implementing new programs, still no one came.  Finally, one member told her that their work schedule and family responsibilities made it physically impossible to return to downtown D.C. for the dinner.

In discussing the issue, one member suggested that Wednesday night dinner be taken to people’s neighborhoods. Families from the church in various neighborhoods began hosting the dinner in their homes and then having Bible study afterwards, Merritt continued, and attendance went from six people to a 100 people meeting at homes throughout the D.C. area.

“As church leaders, we may not always be able to keep customs going because work structures look different and the culture looks different,” she said. “But that doesn’t mean that traditions are not important. They are important to the identity of the church, who we are as Christians, who we are in our communities and our work in the community.”

The “invisible rule book” can also be a stumbling block for new members and young adults, who may not know the unwritten rules that are just understood by long-time members, Merritt said.  Interested in becoming involved, they may find their suggestions are not given any positive response and become disengaged, she noted.

Church leaders have to find a delicate balance between being open to new ideas and getting people involved and looking to the wisdom of history, Rev. Merritt said.

The desecration of the sacred also causes some intergenerational friction, she continued. “When you have something holy and something sacred and someone comes in and tries to take it or change it around, you have a gut reaction to want to defend it.”

“Imagining our intergenerational ministry and trying to engage younger generations using technology as a way in which we tell our stories while realizing the importance of the sacred things – keeping and protecting them, can be a incredibly difficult job for many of us. So many pastors tell me that sometimes they feel like they are pastors of two different churches.”

A recent Pew survey showed that an increasing number of people who say they are spiritual but not religious which contrasts with a survey about 50 years ago when a large number of people said they are religious but not spiritual, she noted.

Some experts say that this reflects anti-institutionalism embraced by the younger generations and the narcissism found in society, she said, while others say that it shows a longing for God, to connect with God and worship God in a meaningful way.

The average adult in their 20s and 30s has been affected by the rise of school debt and uncertain employment situation, which has resulted in many having part-time jobs or having to change jobs frequently, she said.  They have also been told they need to wait to get married until they are financially stable, Rev. Merritt continued, but then it seems you need to get married with two incomes to be financially stable.

“It is important for churches to understand that sometimes they are not able to commit to community and churches,” she said.

Young adults may be hesitant to come to church because they feel as if they must have a good job, spouse and children to be accepted, she said, and others who wait to get married until they are older may be ashamed of that fact.

This nomadic generation has learned how to remain connected with each other through such means as Facebook and Twitter, she said, and the church needs to be open to how it can make connections to this generation.

“As the body of Christ, we need to realize the promises of God are not just for us, and we need to always think about how we translate it to a new generation, to our children and our children’s children.”

Many young adults are not interested in being a member of a church, and Rev. Merritt said she talks to them about membership using the metaphor of being the member of a tribe, “to be cared for mind, body and spirit and to be able to care for others mind, body and spirit.”

Merritt will continue her discourse on Feb. 19 with a session about the importance of stories to younger adults. The series will conclude Feb. 26 with a look at how churches can faithfully respond to changes in culture.

The sessions begin at 10 a.m. in the Chalmers Conference Center in the Niswonger Commons on the Tusculum College campus. There is no charge to attend the lecture series, but reservations are required as lunch is provided in the college’s cafeteria. For more information or to register, please call 423-636-7304 or email

Comments Off


Tusculum College president recognized with first-ever Founders Award

Posted on 12 February 2013 by

Dr. Nancy B. Moody receives the inaugural Founders Award, presented by the Tusculum College Board of Trustees. Presenting the award is Chair Kenneth A. Bowman, a 1970 graduate of Tusculum College.

Tusculum College President Nancy B. Moody was recognized on Friday, February 8, as the first recipient of the Founders Award, presented by the Tusculum College Board of Trustees.

To Dr. Moody’s surprise, the award was presented at a reception during the weekend’s Board of Trustees meeting by Dr. Kenneth A. Bowman, chair of the Tusculum Board and a 1970 alumnus of the college.

The Founders’ Award, named in memory of Rev. Samuel Doak, Rev. Samuel Witherspoon Doak and Rev. Hezekiah Balch, is presented by the Tusculum College Board of Trustees to recognize those who through tenacity, commitment, ingenuity and drive have moved Tusculum College forward in serving its students, its community and the world at large.

According to Bowman, Dr. Nancy B. Moody, during her tenure as president of Tusculum College, “has distinguished herself as an executive leader through her vision, hard work and dedication to the college. Since her arrival at Tusculum College, Dr. Moody has embraced the opportunity to encourage faculty, staff, students and volunteers to push Tusculum College forward through creative teaching and learning, responsible stewardship and a renewed commitment to service and civic engagement.”

He added that she has “led Tusculum College into a new era of growth and expansion, in terms of bricks and mortar, academic programs and opportunities, and fiscal responsibility. Like the Doaks and Rev. Balch, she has the courage, drive and tenacity to achieve the clear vision set forth for Tusculum College.”

            Under her leadership programs have been systematically researched and implemented, including programs in nursing, chemistry, criminal justice and a new site in Madison County, N.C. Additionally a bachelor of psychology degree and a master’s of business administration degree were added in the Graduate and Professional Studies program. She has also led the way in improvements to keep up with the increased student enrollment, including plans for a renovated Tredway Hall, a new math and science building and two new residence halls currently under construction.

She has implemented strategies that have improved the overall condition and appearance of campus grounds and facilities, as well as led the efforts to significantly improve campus infrastructure, particularly in the areas of technology, and has secured financial commitments to continue those improvements into the future.

“Dr. Moody has successfully sought new gifts, donors and partnerships in order to ensure the success of the new and existing programs. Working with donors, foundations and government agencies, she has encouraged the investment of millions of dollars into Tusculum College’s growth over the past four years,” said Bowman, adding that “She has reminded all of the Tusculum community what it means to be a Tusculum Pioneer.

Rev. Samuel Doak, Rev. Samuel Witherspoon Doak and Rev. Hezekiah Balch, founders of Tusculum College, came to the frontier to bring education and religion to the newly developing region. These energetic and strong-willed missionaries and pioneers each possessed a distinctive character that enabled their vision to endure for what is now 219 years. The three founders believed strongly in the value of education that included the development of good character and good citizenship.

In what is now East Tennessee, Balch and the Doaks, Presbyterian ministers educated at the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), were ministering to the pioneers of what was the southwestern frontier of the United States. They also desired to meet the educational needs of these Scots-Irish settlers. The Doaks and Balch, although they differed on important theological issues, were visionaries ultimately seeking the same goals through the rival colleges they established: they wanted to educate settlers of the American frontier so that they would become better Presbyterians, and therefore, in their vision, better citizens.

Comments Off

Advertise Here

Photos from our Flickr stream

See all photos

Advertise Here


60 Shiloh Road, Greeneville, Tennessee 37743