Summer brings Hot Nights, Cool Music to Northeast State

Northeast State Community College presents a series of musical concerts at the Wellmont Regional Center for Performing Arts Center Theater on the main campus in Blountville. 

Northeast State presents the Hot Nights, Cool Music summer concert series beginning June 15 with nine shows over six weeks. The series schedule includes local, regional, and nationally known artists bringing eclectic sounds of music to the stage.  All shows are free and open to the public. All shows are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.  The concert series features the following performers:

My New FavoritesJune 15 – A Johnson City-based band playing Americana music at its best.  Jeff Benedict is a singer and songwriter who played everything from rock to bluegrass. Linda Waltner plays fiddle invoking either Bach or Bob Dylan, she can also do old-time and Celtic.  Amy Benedict plays bass and brings strong melodies and harmonies to the band’s vocal mix.  Tracy Johnson plays keyboard and accordion.

Mandolin OrangeJune 21 –Songwriters Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz comprise this Chapel Hill, N.C. duo.  They highlight their lyrics and harmony-focused tunes with acoustic and electric guitars, fiddle and mandolin.  Their instrumentation draws on bluegrass and rock-and-roll.

The BilliesJune 29 – The Billies are a low country grove band dedicated to bringing Celtic Music to a more main stream audience.  The Billies blend modern pop rock tunes and Celtic songs.

The Ed Snodderly Group, July 12 – Ed Snodderly is the legendary songwriter extraordinaire performing with his band. Snodderly’s legacy extends over five decades as a songwriter, singer, and musician. 

The Johnson City Community BandJuly 14 – The band is made up of approximately 60 members and associate members who have a diverse background in music.

The Barefoot Movement July 19 – A new, talented bluegrass band from Jonesborough successfully melds Americana influences with the invigoration of acoustic modern rock and jazz. Their sound simultaneously captures the rustic beauty of old Southern front porch Bluegrass improvisation while being accessible to the modern era.

Trey HensleyJuly 27 – The popular country traditionalist with two successful albums to his credit returns to Northeast State.  Hensley’s voice and guitar chops are in top form as he continues to grow as a rising star in country music.

Doug and Judy SmithJuly 28 – Smith is a nationally recognized acoustic guitarist who weaves together folk, classical, jazz and contemporary forms into a unique, flowing fingerpicking style.  His wife Judy lends her vocals to this performance that concludes the concert series.

For more information about the summer concerts visit www.northeaststate.edu or contact 423.279.7669 or jpkelly@northeaststate.edu.


Northeast State holds tabletop crisis exercise

Northeast State Community College recently conducted a tabletop exercise that simulated an emergency situation on the Blountville campus.

The College’s Director of Police and Safety John Edens facilitated the exercise with help from the Sullivan County’s Sheriff’s Department and Emergency Management Services. Edens provided a scenario and a timeline of events to stimulate discussions by participants who assessed and resolved theoretical events based on the College’s emergency preparedness plan.

Also, participating in the exercise were local media representatives and Monica Greppin, communications director for the Tennessee Board of Regents.

The exercise - which concerned a hostage situation on campus - allowed Northeast State’s administration and selected faculty and staff to examine the roles, responsibilities, tasks, and overall logistics associated with managing a real-life emergency. Also discussed were common crisis elements such as reuniting parents and students, initiation of support services, media relations, internal and external communications, and medical and psychological care.

“There is no one perfect plan, but exercises like this provide an informal, stress-free environment to test the emergency plan, identify any needs for updates and allow College personnel to reacquaint themselves with their duties and responsibilities,” Edens said.

Northeast State President Dr. Janice Gilliam noted that every TBR institution has an emergency preparedness plan designed to reduce the potential effects of various emergencies that might impact an institution. Emergencies may include such things as tornadoes, fires, hazardous chemical spills, utility outages, or terrorist activities.

“We are committed to measures that will preserve life, minimize damage, and aid the recovery of normal operations,” Gilliam said. “The tabletop exercise ensures we are all on the same page and ready to work together in the event of an emergency.”

Edens said the exercise provided a greater understanding by faculty and staff of the existing emergency preparedness plan and a number of suggestions to adjust the plan for greater efficiency. Edens said the College’s plan is updated annually.


• Initiated training of Business Affairs division staff on annual financial statement preparation.

Northeast State spring semester 2012 summary

Academic Affairs
• Hosted accreditation site visits for Surgical Technology, EMT-Paramedic, and Dental Assisting.

• Hosted a SACS Substantive Change On-Site visit in October 2011.

• Submitted self-study for initial accreditation for Early Childhood Education with on-site visit in fall 2012.

• Implemented 26 Tennessee Transfer Pathways with 11 more planned for 2012-13.

• Piloted AA/AS 41-hour certificate as a cohort at Northeast State at Gray.

• Implemented the TBR A100 guidelines for Learning Support in all three subject areas: math, English, and reading.

• Developed a Learning Support Summer Institute for Summer 2012.

• Implemented a degree planner for the 2012-13 Online Catalog and Student Handbook, a feature that outlines the curriculum within a program of study into a planner. This planner will assist both the student and academic advisor.

• Developed new concentration within AAS degree program: Information Assurance Concentration within AAS Computer and Information Sciences.

• Developed new 12-hour technical certificate in Industrial Operations.

• Expanded ITV capabilities to six classrooms.

• Increased enrollment in ITV, Internet, and Accelerated Studies classes.

• Continued partnerships with King College, Milligan College, LMU, UT, TTU, ETSU, and Tusculum College.

• The Theatre Department presented Godspell April 5-8.

Business Affairs
• Completed May budget process and transmitted to for inclusion in our system-wide budget.

• Preparing to send out a bid for the exterior cleaning and painting of the Northeast State – Johnson City Downtown Centre.

• Processing with TBR on bids for designer services for Northeast State at Johnson City.

• Processing with TBR on bids for leased classroom space for our Northeast State at Bristol site.

• Prepared financial materials for the Northeast State Foundation spring board meetings.

• Implemented risk analysis on two areas of our college: Information Technology and Instruction/Academic Support.

• Conducted a Police and Safety table top exercise to aid in communications and implementation of our campus safety program.

Institutional Effectiveness
• Implementation of iDashboards: A user-friendly dashboard software that provides real-time access to data. It enables the user to make quicker, well-informed business decisions.

• Implementation of Institutional Effectiveness Assistance Request System: An automated, easy to use system that our colleagues can now use to submit various requests to the division. With this new system, the requests will be forwarded to the correct researcher quicker with more of the information that they’ll need to complete the request.

• Provided Strategic Planning/Budgeting Training (Unit/Individual Objectives).

• Hired additional research analyst to aid with assessments and conduct training for College employees.

Information Technology
• Training and implementation of iDashboard (with Institutional Effectiveness and other departments).

• Implementation activities for Course Signals (with Student Affairs and Academic Affairs).

• Training and implementation activities for DegreeWorks (with Student Affairs).

• Training and implementation activities for BDMS (Financial Aid) (with Student Affairs).

• Completed installation and training for ARGOS reporting package.

• Provided technology resources for Regional Center for Automotive Programs (RCAP).

• Launch of first Apple and Droid Apps for community colleges in Tennessee (cross-functional team from across campus).

• Made presentation of app project at statewide Information Technology Symposium.

• Completed replacement of main campus digital signage (Media Services).

• Completed replacement and upgrade of main campus SAN (Storage Area Network) for Information Systems.

• Completed upgrade of Information Systems UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply).

• Implemented a multi-site videoconferencing system with added access to outside locations (Media Services).

• Began preparations for installing technology resources for Johnson City location (removed old computer cabling, ordered Ethernet circuit and phone system, ordered and received digital signage).

• Began preparations for Bristol location (ordered Ethernet circuit and phone system, ordered initial network switches and infrastructure).

• Continued roll-out of iPads to additional personnel and departments.

• Continued changeover of main campus to VoIP phone system.

Northeast State at Kingsport
• Grand opening held Feb. 23 for the Pal Barger Regional Center for Automotive Programs.

• Gov. Bill Haslam visited and toured the Kingsport Center for Higher Education Jan. 20.

• Workforce Solutions at RCAM – Working with regional companies to develop qualified worker pools and improve student success including developing co-op opportunities for Advance Technology students.

• Workforce Solutions working in partnership with business and industry helped validate the curriculum for Welding, Office Management/Legal, and Web Design/Developer through the DACUM process.

• Completed several efforts to promote and grow the Kingsport Teaching site including speaking engagements, participation in community events, and television coverage.

• Active participation in transitioning to a new partnership structure for Academic Village and Northeast State at Kingsport.

• Communicated to state legislators to support the passage of an additional budget appropriation (HB 2314 / SB 2130) for the College and to defeat the “guns bill” (SB 3002 / HB 3560).

• Reached over 300 contact hours with high school students with the STEM mobile outreach and Tech-Explorer catapult project.

President’s Office
• Developed 2010-15 Academic Master Plan. Plan was approved by TBR Academic Affairs and has been incorporated into the facilities master planning process. A 2016 Schedule of Classes was developed, which includes the facilities and academic program master plan.

• Planned for off-campus expansions in Johnson City (Fall 2012), Bristol (Spring 2013), and Elizabethton (science lab for microbiology).

• Planning funds finalized for Emerging Technologies Building.

• Brittany Thomas and Kelly Stapleton were named to the All-Tennessee Community College Academic Team.

• Brittany Thomas named to All-USA Academic team.

• Personnel budget was finalized and submitted to TBR on May 4, 2012.

• Preparing to enter into a contract with The Centre Group to conduct a salary study this year.

• New Fall Campaign: Right here. This includes a new commercial, new billboards and new online advertising.

• Amp Camp Postcard Campaign: Postcard went on at the end of April and the camps were full in less than 2 weeks.

• Strategic Marketing plan under way: Goal for completion is June 30, 2012.

• New direct mail initiatives: Targeted audiences for specific courses.

Student Affairs
• Revised New Student Orientation program to improve student experience and increase student retention

• Established an Office of Career Services resource center on the Blountville campus.

• Conducted a career services spring fair, which included resume tips and interview training.

• Continued implementation and training of the DegreeWorks degree audit program (target date for go-live is fall 2012 semester). Note: item done in conjunction with I.T.

• Initiated training and implementation activities for BDMS (Banner Document Management System) for Financial Aid. Note: item done in conjunction with I.T.

• Participated in the implementation and training of the early alert system: Course Signals (with IT, Academic Affairs)

• Implemented new student discipline rules

• Coordinated the annual Honors Convocation at the MeadowView Resort and Conference Center in Kingsport.

• Coordinated Grad Kickoff with 497 students participating.

• Hosted commencement exercises at the Mountain States Health Alliance Athletics Center at ETSU (467 students participated. There were 981 graduates).

• Reviewed Financial Aid business processes and implemented recommendations to streamline processes.

• Several Student Affairs employees participated in the Northeast State Targeted Leadership Program.

• Established a Financial Aid Help Center to assist current students and applicants by loading their FAFSA information for them.

• Student Health Services hosted a number of activities including a blood drive, walking day, stress management workshop, and a business and wellness fair.

• Enrollment Services Enrollment hosted a number of activities including Survival Week, Home School Day, Gardens to Degrees, tour group presentations, and an open house.

• The College was named top blood drive sponsor for 2011 by the Marsh Regional Blood Center.


Northeast State names two new academic deans

Northeast State named two faculty members to academic division dean positions this spring.

Danny Lawson was named dean of the division of Business Technologies. Sam Rowell was selected as dean of Advanced Technologies. The College's division of Technical Education was reorganized in July 2011 into two divisions – Advanced Technologies and Business Technologies.

Lawson joined Northeast State in 2005 as an assistant professor of Business Technologies. He holds an associate of applied science degree from Virginia Highlands Community College. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from East Tennessee State University.

Lawson spent 30 years at Eastman Chemical Company primarily in the Systems and Computer Services (Information Technology) division. He also taught computer science for 22 years as an adjunct faculty member at Northeast State.

Rowell has taught at Northeast State since 1996, most recently as an associate professor of industrial technology.

Rowell holds an associate degree and a bachelor's degree from Southern Illinois University. He earned his master's degree from California State University at Long Beach. Rowell has taught CNC machining and manufacturing technology.


College offers Microsoft Excel workshops

The Workforce Solutions department at Northeast State will present two daylong workshops teaching the Microsoft Office Excel 2010 program. Both workshops will be taught at the main campus in Blountville, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport.

Excel 2010 Intermediate continues instruction from the basic program. Participants learn how to use multiple worksheets and workbooks, advanced formatting, tables, cell and range names, advanced charting, documenting and auditing tools and PivotTable and PivotCharts. The workshop meets May 24, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Course fee is $110 per participant.

Excel 2010 Advanced finalizes the instruction of MS Office's Excel 2010 and teaches the advanced features of the program. This workshop explains use of financial data functions, data tables, list management, exporting and importing data, analytical options, and macros and other custom functions. This workshop meets May 31, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Course fee is $110 per participant.

Northeast State at Elizabethton is located at 386 Highway 91, across from the Elizabethton Municipal Airport. Make reservations by contacting Cindy Tauscher at 423.354.2570 orcmtauscher@NortheastState.edu.


Brittany Thomas honored by Carter County commissioners

The Carter County Board of Commissioners formally recognized Northeast State’s Brittany Thomas on May 21 for her selection to the All-USA Academic Team. She received a plaque from County Mayor Leon Humphrey and a standing ovation from commissioners during a regular monthly meeting.

 Brittany, a 2009 graduate of Hampton High School, is one of 20 outstanding students named to receive the honor. She was chosen from more than 1,700 applicants representing 800 community colleges across the nation.

The American Association of Community Colleges, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, USA Today, and the Follett Higher Education Group collaborate on the annual honor, focusing on students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and community and college involvement.

Thomas received a $2,500 award and a medallion at a ceremony in Orlando, Fla., and was featured in USA Today’s April 23 edition.

In addition, to the All-USA Academic Team honor, Thomas was named the New Century Scholar from Tennessee for receiving the state’s highest All-USA Academic Team application score. For this honor, she received an additional $2,000 stipend from the Coca Cola Scholars Foundation and Coca Cola Refreshments.

Brittany, a nursing major, plans to transfer to East Tennessee State University. From there, she plans to sign on for a U.S. Air Force tour and pursue a master’s degree. She eventually hopes to become a nurse practitioner.


Foundation hosts annual spring luncheon

The Northeast State Foundation recognized a year of patron generosity and student excellence at the Foundation Board of Directors' annual luncheon held earlier this month at the Banq building in downtown Kingsport.

Executive Director of the Foundation, Heather Cook, welcomed attendees to recognize the newest member of the Foundation's President Trust and one of the Foundation's biggest supporters.

Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan attended the luncheon and presented the Chancellor's Award to Foundation member and Northeast State alumnus Allen Hurley for his generosity to his alma mater. Hurley founded the Touchstone Wireless company after earning his associate degree at Northeast State.

"We do everything we do because we are so inspired at what happens here at the College," said Hurley, '93. "From the time I graduated until today, the same kind of heartbeat is there – the staff really does care and they inspire us to go the extra mile."

Cook updated the board of the past's year including the Because of You campaign that raised more than $50,000 for student scholarships. The campaign also increased faculty participation in scholarship funding to 86 percent.

Cook also welcomed J. Louie Greene as the newest member of the Foundation's President's Trust. A President's Trust member makes a significant contribution to the College. Cook noted that after Greene retired after a long career at Citizens Bank he contacted her to learn more about the College and how he could contribute.

"He has been very successful, and he wanted to provide that opportunity to others," said Cook.

The Foundation board also recognized recent graduate Brittany Thomas who racked up numerous national academic awards as a Northeast State student. Thomas became only one of 20 students selected nationally to the All-USA Community College Academic Team. She was also recognized as a New Century Scholar and served as president of the College's Alpha Iota Chi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

"Northeast State has been my foundation for success for the past three years," said Thomas. "Like Northeast State says, 'we're here to get you there', that's exactly what they've done for me – they have helped me get to ETSU, receive the Honors Midway Scholarship, and I want them to know they've played a part in accomplishing my dreams one day."


Personal computing courses offered this summer

Workforce Solutions at Northeast State will offer a non-credit course on computers this summer to give beginners the basics about navigating the personal computing world.

The Computer Concepts course is an introduction to computers for individuals with little to no previous computer experience. Students will learn basic navigation and operation of computers, and will receive hands-on experience with popular computer applications. Participants will learn windows operating system basics; starting and using programs; creating, saving, and organizing information; using a Word Processor (WordPad and WORD 2010 basics); using the Internet and e-mail to receive and send messages while keeping your messages safe.

The course breaks down into eight sessions:

Session 1-2 Wednesday, June 6 and Thursday, June 7

Session 3-4 Wednesday, June 13 and Thursday, June 14

Session 5-6 Wednesday, June 20 and Thursday, June 21

Session 7-8 Wednesday, June 27 and Thursday, June 28

The course is ideal for individuals with little computer experience who need or want a basic working knowledge of computers. Class meets 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., at the main campus in Blountville, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport. The course fee is $320.

For information, contact 423.354.2570 or cmtauscher@NortheastState.edu.


Nursing applications due June 11

Applications for the Nursing program at Northeast State are due June 11. Click here to download an application and learn more about the process.

Click this link to learn about the A2 Nursing admission exam. The A2 exam is a computerized nursing entrance exam required for admission to the Northeast State nursing program. The results will be used to determine readiness for and success in the program. Students must have a Northeast State application on file before taking the A2 exam.


Leadership groups present directed projects

The Northeast State Targeted Leadership Development Program cohort I recently completed its second year of management and leadership activities by presenting projects and recommendations designed to improve such areas as teaching methods, student communication, sustainability, and mentoring at the College.

Eight teams in the cohort each worked to devise a project that would improve some aspect of college operations. During the six-month project, the teams identified opportunities, researched best practices, and formulated plans and solutions. The teams were directed by Dr. Don Cameron, retired president of Guildford Technical Community College, and Dr. Janice Gilliam, president of Northeast State. 
Here are summaries of the projects:

Student Information at Your Fingertips
This project examined how to improve and provide accurate student information between campus offices. The SIFT training model will create campus awareness of the interrelationships between categories of student information while continuously improving customer service.

The training model will improve customer service to all campus populations by increasing the accuracy of Student Information disseminated; promote awareness of student information policies and procedures that impact decision-making by campus departments as well as by students; and facilitate communication practices that positively enhance a student’s experience with Northeast State.

Cooperative Learning Classrooms
This project examined how to redesign classrooms to improve cooperative learning, basically allowing students to work in small groups to maximize learning. The physical classroom plays a huge role in making this happen, according to researchers.

This plan suggests a pilot program one classroom of specially designed chairs with caster wheels and backpack storage that allow students to move easily about the room. The project proposes to measure ease of learning with the chairs as opposed to traditional classroom desks.

Music Entertainment Workshop
This project put together an entertainment technology workshop designed to help individuals in such places as schools, churches, theaters, and dance studios learn more about lighting and sound design. The workshop will give individuals theoretical and practical applications, which they can apply in their current situations.

In addition, participants will take what they’ve learned and apply it to two concerts scheduled in July on the Northeast State campus. They will help stage the concerts and serve as assistants, putting their knowledge to work on the show’s lighting and sound.

Handbook for Academic Deans
This project created a checklist of duties of responsibilities required of an academic dean. As designed, manual works as an orientation guide for new deans as well as a ready reference resource for current deans. The handbook provides guidance of more than 50 job responsibilities. Deans will receive hard copy and digital versions of the document. The handbook will be reviewed on an annual basis.

Social Media
This project examined social media and how it might be further integrated into the College’s marketing and communications efforts. Team members reported on the impact of social media and looked at ways the College is now using social media. The group made suggestions on how to encourage the use of social media among faculty and staff and presented guidelines for implementation. In addition, the group surveyed faculty and staff about social media use.

Student Mentoring
This project examined the mentoring process and how to equip mentors with information to help high school students make the transition to college. Group members gathered relevant material from across Northeast State departments, building a digital tool-kit of that included information on enrollment, financial aid, testing, and other basic knowledge about college processes and programs. As envisioned, the tool-kit would be distributed to mentors as a resource to help them encourage high school seniors to enroll in college.

Paperless Office
This project examined ways to reduce costs and increase efficiency by replacing paper-based forms and processes and putting them online. The group looked at policies, signatures issues, and possible technological solutions.

The cohort performed an inventory of Northeast State forms, finding more than 250 forms now in circulation. Then, the group attempted to narrow down forms used on a campus-wide basis and determine which of those forms were conducive to an online format. As a test, the group chose one form - Use of Facilities – and explained the process involved in turning the paper form into an online document.

Grant Pre-Approval Process
This project sought to clarify and update the process of applying for grants, making it more user-friendly and efficient. The cohort reviewed Northeast State’s current process, assessed methods at other community colleges, surveyed faculty and staff, and revised pre-approval forms. The group noted the College’s grant approval process was developed in 1992, but had not been revised since 1997.

The cohort developed an updated pre-approval form, reducing the number of signatures required from nine to three. In addition, a form was developed to aid the Office of Grant Development in researching funding sources and matching them with Northeast State needs.


Northeast State awards more than 1,000 degrees and certificates

Northeast State Community College celebrated the Class of 2012, awarding more than 1,000 degrees and certificates May 8 at commencement exercises.

The event was held at the Mountain State Health Alliance Athletics Center on the East Tennessee State University campus.

Northeast State awarded 5 academic certificates, 89 technical certificates, 388 associate of applied science degrees, 36 associate of arts degrees, 31 associate of science in teaching degrees, and 457 associate of science degrees. A total of 136 students graduated cum laude (3.6 - 3.74 GPA), 77 received magna cum laude distinction (3.75 - 3.89 GPA), and 79 students were summa cum laude (3.9 - 4.0 GPA) graduates.

Rep. Matthew Hill, a Northeast State alumnus who represents the 7th House District in the Tennessee General Assembly, was commencement speaker.

Hill encouraged graduates to enjoy the moment, but plan for a future that includes as much learning and meaningful work as possible.

“Your graduation is also your commencement. There is much more to be learning and much more to be experienced, and much, much more to be appreciated,” Hill said. “After the celebration with faculty, family, and friends, be ready to travel to new destinations, to brighter horizons, to heights of splendor, to work that is fulfilling, and to a future that is filled with hopes and dreams.”

Hill holds an associate of science degree from Northeast State and a bachelor of science degree from East Tennessee State University. He is vice president of Operations of the Information Communications Corporation. He was first elected in 2004 and has served in the 104th through the 107th General Assemblies.

Dr. Janice H. Gilliam, president of Northeast State recognized alumnus and local entrepreneur J. Allen Hurley as a recipient of the Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Philanthropy for 2012.

The award is based on criteria of generous giving of time and resources to TBR institutions and ethical leadership, philanthropy, civic responsibility, and integrity.

Hurley ranks as one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the region. As founder and former chair of Touchstone Wireless, Hurley built the company into the largest national cell phone repair and reverse logistic company in Northeast America. Hurley sold the company to Brightpoint North America in 2010 and currently serves as president of Vision, llc.

Also noted was Northeast State' Brittany Thomas - one of 20 outstanding students named to the All-USA Community College Academic Team. She was chosen from more than 1,700 applicants representing 800 community colleges across the nation. She is the first Northeast State student to receive the honor. Thomas received $4,500 in scholarships for the honor.

The American Association of Community Colleges, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, USA Today, and the Follett Higher Education Group collaborate on the annual honor, focusing on students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and community and college involvement.

In addition, Gilliam recognized the Distinguished Staff Awards given to Northeast State's faculty and staff who are nominated by their colleagues for their outstanding service to students and the College.

Dr. Nancy Forrester received the Distinguished Administrative/Professional Staff Member Award.  Forrester is dean of the Mathematics Department and director of Learning Support.  Last year she led her department to create a new Learning Support math curriculum including a new textbook.

Dr. Ed Osborne was honored with the Distinguished Faculty Member Award. Osborne is an associate professor of chemistry at Northeast State.

Erin Blevins won the Distinguished Support Staff Member Award. Blevins administers the popular Educate and Grow Scholarship Program at Northeast State. Educate and Grow provides scholarship funds to students residing in all five counties of the College’s service region.


Northeast State pins nursing graduates of 2012

Northeast State recognized the newest class of Nursing Division graduates at the 2012 Pinning Ceremony held May 7 night on the Blountville campus.

In the Dean's charge to the graduates, Nursing Division Dean Dr. Melessia Webb reminded students the easiest choice was not always the best one. She challenged graduates to make their decisions carefully and be accountable for their choices.

"Decisions determine destinies," she told the class of 39 students. "The decision to enroll in the nursing program was a very large decision – all the decisions you have made come together to bring you to where you are tonight."

Northeast State Nursing graduates for 2012 are: Carey Banks, Amanda Basham, Kristi Begley, Jennifer Blumberg, Tina Bowery, Cynthia Boyd, Joshua Buck, Holly Byrd, Shannon Charlton, Ashley Day, John Dowling, Tabitha Fisher, Courtney Griffin, Heather Grindstaff, Shea Holly, Miriam Humphrey, Sue Lowe, Carl McCoy, Ronnie McRae, Julie Moore, Ashley Morelock, Blayne Murrell, Kymberly Nelsen, Peter Olsen Selena Parrott, Whitney Pate, Sheila Quillen, Betsey Ritz, Teresa Schneweis, Hayley Shields, Matthew Smith, Jessica Smith, Whitney Snyder, Denise Sosnoski, Samuel Vaughn, Laura Wagner, Karri Wingfield, Kenneth Worley, Jr., and Andrew Worrell.

The pinning ceremony provided a symbolic welcoming of new nurses into the profession. Each graduating student received a Northeast State Nursing pin on his or her white lab coat signifying completion of the associate of applied science degree program.

Selected to answer the Dean's charge on behalf of the graduates was student Samuel Vaughn. He thanked the nursing faculty, his classmates, and all their families for their support during trying times of nursing school.

"About this time two years each of us made a huge decision when with fingers crossed and breath held, we mailed off our nursing school applications," said Vaughn. "That now brings us to this night – we are graduate nurses."

Andrew Worrell received the program's Outstanding Student award. Betsey Ritz received the Adult Learner of the Year award. Heather Grindstaff won the Nursing academic award.

The nursing students receive their diplomas Tuesday night at the College's spring commencement ceremony scheduled for 7 p.m. at Mountains State Health Alliance Athletic Center on the campus of East Tennessee State University.

"We have endured so much and have so much to be proud of," Vaughn told the audience. "Now let's go make the decision to be the best nurses in the area."


Members of cohort II included: 

Leadership cohort wraps up semester

Northeast State's Targeted Leadership Development Program Cohort II wrapped up the spring semester with sessions on the budget process, case studies of critical leadership issues, and a presentation about handling the challenges of change.

Dale Sims, vice chancellor for business and finance at the Tennessee Board of Regents, provided an overview of the system's budget process, giving the group a glimpse of how the Complete College Tennessee Act of 2010 has changed the old enrollment-driven formula to one that now measures outcomes such as dual enrollment, accumulation of hours, job placements, certificates, and degrees.

To bolster this effort, Northeast State has worked since 2008 to redesign its learning support curriculum and improve the success of students who lack college-ready academic skills. The redesign has show promise in helping students move through learning support courses faster, making them more successful in college-level courses.

"Enrollment is still important because it generates revenue, but the real home run in our new funding environment is enrollment that produces outcomes," Sims said.

Sims said the TBR system faces still faces funding challenges because state appropriations continue to decline, while tuition and fees continue to rise. There is concern that continued tuition increase of 7 to 8 percent annually may hinder some students from seeking a college education, he said.

Dr. Donny Hunter, president and CEO of the North Carolina Association of Community College Trustees and president of National Search and Education Consulting, led the group through three case studies about leadership issues.

Assigned groups were given scenarios, asked to identify leadership issues and critical factors, and lay out strategies to achieve desired outcomes. Each group presented its findings while Hunter played devil's advocate, challenging members to rethink and revise solutions.

"The things that challenge leaders are those instances that hit suddenly and you don't have a lot of time to think about things, figure out what's going on, and move forward to deal with the situation," Hunter said.

Dr. Brenda White Wright presented "Effective Leadership through the Challenges of Change," which examined the five stages of change: anticipation, letting go, disorientation, reappraisal, and recommitment.

"The thing you have to understand is the process of change is not an 'if' it's a 'when' and you need to know where you are in the process," White Wright said.

White Wright looked at each stage of change – which she likened to the grieving process – and noted typical feelings and possible behaviors of each stage. She said this helps leaders know and identify how employees are managing and dealing with change, and be able to step in and help them move through each stage.

"As leaders, you have to know the old saying 'People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care,'" White Wright said.

White Wright said leaders would do well to understand that change is about action, which helps move people from anticipation to recommitment as quickly as possible. This makes for individuals who are energized, confident, productive, and ready to contribute value to the organization.

White Wright concluded by charging cohort members to identify key personal and professional challenges, acknowledge change stages, and develop plans to carry out change.

Dr. Don Cameron, retired president of Guildford Technical Community College, and Dr. Janice Gilliam, president of Northeast State, led the cohort. Each member of the cohort was presented with a certificate of completion and a copy of the book 212° The Extra Degree by Sam Parker and Mac Anderson. The cohort will resume this fall with another round of sessions and work on a directed project to improve Northeast State practices and processes.

  • Amanda Adams
  • Erika Adams
  • Mark Beaty
  • Travis Brooks
  • Dr. Heather Cook
  • Vicky Crawford
  • Dawn Dabney
  • Deborah Denney
  • Robin Dice
  • Dr. Louise Dickson
  • Teressa Dobbs
  • Larry Dykes
  • John Grubb
  • Christopher Hitechew
  • Dr. Ruth Livingston
  • Betty Mask
  • Jeff McCord
  • Eric Morritt
  • J. Mike Ramey
  • Sue Robertson
  • Mahmood Sabri
  • Dayna Smithers
  • Dr. David Toye
  • Dr. Tom Wallace
  • Bob Carpenter
  • Cory Cole

Northeast State spring graduation exercises

Northeast State Community College will hold spring graduation exercises May 8 at 7 p.m. at Mountain States Health Alliance Athletic Center on the campus of East Tennessee State University in Johnson City.

The College will award more than 1,000 degrees and certificates.

Rep. Matthew Hill, a Northeast State alumnus who represents the 7th House District in the Tennessee General Assembly, is the commencement speaker.

Hill holds an associate of science degree from Northeast State and a bachelor of science degree from East Tennessee State University. He is vice president of Operations of the Information Communications Corporation, having begun working with ICC and its radio stations while in high school. 

Additionally, he is a Tennessee State Representative serving the 7th District which is part of Washington County. He was first elected in 2004 and has served in the 104th through the 107th General Assemblies. He is vice chair of the House Health and Human Resources Committee, chair of the House General Sub-committee of Health, member of the House General Sub-committee of Transportation, and member of the House Transportation Committee.  He also serves on the House Rules Committee.


KCHE hosts Microsoft DigiGirlz Day

Microsoft's popular DigiGirlz Day returned to the Kingsport Center for Higher Education for the second consecutive year on April 27 to introduce local high school students into the dynamic world of Information Technology (IT).

The daylong event was sponsored by Microsoft, Eastman Chemical Company, and Northeast State.

"Eastman approached us about returning this year, and we were delighted to do so," said Donna Bank-Hoglen, of Microsoft. "We want young women to see what they can do with technology and how it can match any of their professional interests."

DigiGirlz participants learn about the opportunities available for Information Technology industry.

DigiGirlz Day welcomed young women from surrounding high schools to interact with Microsoft professionals and managers to learn about careers in business and technology. Held at selected locations around the world, this event gives students an insight into opportunities available in the high-tech industry and potential career paths.

The already modest number of women entering the Information Technology field dropped considerably in recent years, according to Microsoft representatives. DigiGirlz Day, held at multiple Microsoft locations worldwide, is designed to provide high school girls with a better understanding of what a career in technology holds for them. More than 19,000 girls have participated in DigizGirls Day since the first event was held in 2000.

A Microsoft instructor gave students a look at the Kodu Game Lab as an educational tool. Kodu uses game theory to help students learn critical thinking, logic and problem solving, and programming. Kodu also teaches cooperation, logic and creative elements of learning applicable to many academic subjects.

The Kodu Game Lab introduced DigiGirlz participants to game theory as a creative learning tool for logic and critical thinking.
Students also met other young women already working in the information technology field to get some insights about the industry.

"The industry is so multifaceted beyond merely writing code for computer programs," said Cynthia Hanna, of Microsoft. "The opportunities are enormous for young women who want to enter IT."