TBR Vice Chancellor Visits Northeast State

TBR Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges Dr. Warren Nichols visited Northeast State recently, touring the College’s main campus and teaching sites, and talking with faculty and staff about the Complete College Tennessee Act.

Nichols, formerly president of Volunteer State Community College, was named vice chancellor in September after a comprehensive search that included a large group of candidates from across the United States.

In his new role, Nichols oversees a unified system created for the 13 community colleges across the state. As mandated by the Complete College Tennessee Act, the consolidated system will allow for more effective and efficient operations among the colleges and within the TBR, which oversees 46 public higher education institutions, including six universities, the state’s 13 community colleges, and all 27 Tennessee Technology Centers.

Nichols toured the Blountville campus and traveled to Northeast State teaching sites in Gray, Elizabethton, and Kingsport. He also visited the College’s proposed teaching site in downtown Johnson City.

“I think many people are now looking to Tennessee as the model for higher education,” Nichols said. “That might seem odd in that the state doesn’t rank very high in some educational categories, but we’re talking about the future and The Complete College Tennessee Act is the future for higher education.”

Among other changes, the Act revises funding formulas, stipulates common programs and courses at community colleges, streamlines transfer policies between community colleges and universities, and promotes science, technology, engineering, and math education. Nichols also will oversee a comprehensive marketing plan for the state’s community colleges to create a college-going culture among Tennessee residents.

Nichols told faculty and staff of his early educational efforts, which were far from stellar. Neither of his parents graduated from high school and he received little encouragement to succeed academically. On a whim, he enrolled in a community college criminal justice program, which he credits for getting him on the right track.

“I was that student that comes in on the last day and says ‘I want to sign up for classes, but I don’t know what to study – and can we hurry up because I have to be back at work soon,’” Nichols said. “It made the difference in my life and I know it can make the difference in the lives of your students.”

Nichols, who holds a doctoral degree in higher education administration from the University of Houston, has taught or served in higher education for more than 28 years. He led Volunteer State Community College for more than eight years. Prior to accepting his post at the helm of Vol State, Nichols worked as vice president for Academic Affairs and interim vice president for Continuing Education and Economic Development at Darton College in Georgia and was associate dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Public Service at Lone Star College in Texas.

He has served as the presidential liaison between the community colleges and the Tennessee Board of Regents for the past two years and was noted for his meritorious service by the Tennessee Senate in 2009. In 2008, Nichols was named the Rotary Foundation Paul Harris Fellow. Among other recognitions, he has received the PTK Tennessee Region Presidential Award of Distinction.


Southern Writer Sharyn McCrumb to lecture at Northeast State

Author Sharyn McCrumb will present two programs Nov. 7 at 10:45 a.m. and 7 p.m. at Northeast State's Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts.

McCrumb is an award-winning Southern writer, best known for her Appalachian "Ballad" novels, including the New York Times best sellers The Ballad of Frankie Silver and She Walks These Hills, and for St. Dale, winner of a Library of Virginia Award and featured at the National Festival of the Book (and featuring Northeast State as part of the backdrop in storylines).

Co-sponsored by the Basler Library and the Northeast State Cultural Activities Committee, these programs are free and open to the public. The performing arts center is located on the Blountville campus, 2425 Highway 75. For more info, 423.354.2463 or www.sharynmccrumb.com.


King College Symphonic Band plays WRCPA Nov. 8

Northeast State Community College welcomes the King College Symphonic Band to campus for a fall concert on Tuesday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m. in the Wellmont Regional Center for Performing Arts on the main campus at Blountville.

The program will feature music by Vincent Persichetti, David Maslanka, David Holsinger, Frank Ticheli, and others.

The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, contact 423.354.5164 or e-mail tcteague@NortheastState.edu.


Heart Walk 2011 hits stride at Northeast State on Oct. 30

Northeast State Community College joins more than a million people in 300+ cities across America in taking a stand against heart disease and helping save lives through Heart Walk 2011-12 Tri-Cities this weekend.

Sponsored by the American Heart Association Heart Walk activities begin at Northeast State's main campus at Blountville on Sunday, Oct. 30 at 2 p.m. when walkers will gather at the Allen Hurley Wellness Trail.

Northeast State walking teams comprised of students, faculty, and staff are raising donations through the Heart Walk to fund heart disease and stroke research and educational programs. There is no fee to participate. Walkers are eligible for a Start! Heart Walk t-shirt once they have raised a minimum of $100.

The Heart Walk is the American Heart Association's largest grassroots fundraiser. Participation not only raises funds but also encourages employees to improve their heart health through actions like the American Heart Association's My Life Check Assessment - an online tool designed to help people understand their heart score and enhanced corporate wellness programs, like hosting walking challenges among employees throughout the year.

Companies interested in joining the Heart Walk as a National Team or in individual locations should contact 423.534.1491 or e-mail martin.price@heart.org or visit www.heartwalk.org for more information and next steps.


Children's book author to lecture at Northeast State

One of the world's largest writing organizations, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), will host a program about children's books on Oct. 29 at Northeast State Community College. Scheduled at 9:30 a.m., the free program will be held in the first floor meeting room of the Basler Library.

The featured speaker will be Patsi Barnes Trollinger, a native of Sullivan County and former resident of Emory, VA. She is the author of an award-winning children's book, Perfect Timing, and numerous magazine articles. Trollinger serves as an advisor to the Midsouth region of SCBWI. She will discuss current trends in children's books, review steps to getting published and answer questions about the process, and provide information about membership in SCBWI. Trollinger also will provide a display and information about best-selling children's books written or illustrated by men and women from Tennessee, Virginia, and Kentucky.

The program - co-sponsored by SCBWI, Northeast State's Basler Library, and the Sullivan County Public Library - is designed especially for persons interested in becoming authors or illustrators of children's books, as well as teachers, librarians, and booksellers.

Northeast State is located at 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to the Tri-Cities Regional Airport. For more information, contact Patsi Trollinger at trollinger@kycom.net. 


It's not about the chair

Lyena Strelkoff is an inspired, creative artist and innovative educator. A professional dancer and actor, Strelkoff's life was forever altered after a fall left her paralyzed from the waist down. Forced to re-examine the very essence of her life, she discovered new pathways of artistic and personal expression, reflecting a rare spirit of grace and courage, gratitude and compassion.

Northeast State Community College welcomes Strelkoff to campus on Thursday, Oct. 27 for two presentations of It's Not About the Chair, an engaging, entertaining, intimate look at life with paralysis. Sometimes heartbreaking, often hilarious, Strelkoff lays bare her disability, inviting the audience into her experience – from trauma to transcendence, bathroom to bedroom, doctors to dancing – with an insightful, personal connection that is deeply impactful and truly unforgettable.

In this unique blend of lecture and performance, Strelkoff delivers a riveting, unflinchingly honest account of becoming paralyzed, and building a life of happiness, success and love anyway. In the process, she debunks and demystifies our preconceptions of life in a wheelchair and creates an environment of openness where no question is too personal and no answer is too private.

A nationally recognized actor and writer, Strelkoff has spoken in colleges and performed in theaters throughout the United States. Most recently, she was honored by VSA Arts, an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, as a selected performer in their 2010 International Festival. She spoke about accessibility and disability in the arts at the National Performance Network Annual Meeting.

Creative expression has always been a necessity in Strelkoff's life. In the face of her injury, artistry offers a means to understand and integrate her experience, while also providing a way to connect with the hearts and minds of other people. Intrinsic to Strelkoff's personal philosophy is the need to transcend her own circumstance, and to transform her insight, experience and growth into positive opportunities for others.

Strelkoff's story has moved thousands across the country, helping others find in themselves the courage to face their vulnerabilities. Through her journey, she offers an approach to life that paves the way for happiness and success, no matter what the obstacle.

Performances are at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts Theater. Both events are free and open to the public. Her appearance is sponsored by the Northeast State Center for Students with Disabilities. Contact 423.279.7668 or jpkelly@NortheastState.edu for more information.


Muriel Anderson plays Northeast State Oct. 21

Harp-guitarist Muriel Anderson returns to Northeast State Community College on Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. to perform a free concert of original music at the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts.

Anderson is considered among the top acoustic nylon-string guitarists / harp-guitarists in the world. She is the first woman to have won the National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship and is host of the renowned Muriel Anderson's All Star Guitar Night.

Appearing with Anderson is renowned studio musician Jack Pearson. Formerly of the Allman Brothers Band, Pearson's musicianship and vocals have made him one of the most sought after studio musicians in Nashville. During his 30-year career he has mastered a wide range of instruments including electric, slide, acoustic and resonator guitar, mandolin, old time banjo and Hammond organ, which he incorporates into many musical styles such as blues and roots music; jazz; pop & rock; and bluegrass & country. His list of accolades is nearly endless, summed up by Charlie Daniels: "He's got to be one of the finest pickers on the planet." An earthy roots and blues slide player who can glide effortlessly into rock, jazz, mandolin or claw hammer banjo.

Anderson's Heartstrings recording accompanied the astronauts on the space shuttle Discovery and her music appears in Woody Allen's film Vicki Cristina Barcelona. She has performed in a bluegrass band and has written music for the Nashville Chamber Orchestra. An engaging performer, her obvious joy of music reaches across musical genres, one moment launching into a Japanese song, and the next a Sousa march.

She was the first woman to win the National Fingerpicking Guitar Championship and was also awarded a bronze level for classical in the 2009 Acoustic Guitar Magazine's Players Choice poll. She has been composing since the age of six and has published works for guitar and orchestra, voice, and solo guitar.

Don't miss the chance to hear two of the most talented instrumental musicians performing today. The free concert is open to the public and sponsored by the College's Cultural Activities Committee.

Check out audio samples at www.murielanderson.com. For more information, contact 423.279.7669.


What you don't know can eat you

Northeast State Community College welcomes zombie expert Matt Mogk (MOKE) for two free cautionary lectures about all things undead on Oct. 20 at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the Wellmont Regional Center for Performing Arts Theater.

Mogk, author of Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Zombies (2011) and founder/head of the Zombie Research Society, presents a special lecture/presentation exploring why zombies are so popular and what they can tell us about emergency preparedness and other topics. A special "Zombie Panel," made up of Northeast State students and faculty will also be on hand to share their perspectives.

He has been featured on National Geographic Channel, Spike's hit series Deadliest Warrior, and G4TV. In print and radio, he regularly does interviews in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia. His book projects include a zombie children's book designed to teach kids to recognize an undead outbreak in its earliest stage called That's Not Your Mommy Anymore (Ulysses), and a non-fiction work covering all aspects of zombie science, survival and culture called Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Zombies (Simon & Schuster).

Mogk directs an organization of over 60,000 zombie academics and enthusiasts on six continents, with dozens of local chapters worldwide. A walking catalog of important modern developments in zombie research, he offers an interactive multi-media talk that includes essential information for survival in the face of the coming undead threat. Topics covered include zombie history, science, survival, film, and pop culture, blended together in a seamless discussion of the undead that will have audiences checking the back seat of their cars on the drive home.

Mogk believes zombies have lurched among us before. In fact, there are at least 10 possible zombie outbreaks throughout recorded history, including the legendary Lost Colony of Roanoke. The disappearance in 1587 of 115 men, women, and children from their settlement off the coast of present-day North Carolina is the biggest unexplained mystery of early America. Was Roanoke the site of a historic zombie outbreak? Unearthed evidence of mass cannibalism and reports from local tribes that the colonists were fighting within their own ranks points to that gruesome possibility.

Collected knowledge about zombie anatomy may surprise you. For example, despite popular belief, the undead probably don't prefer eating brains to any other part of your living body. In fact, bite compression work done by researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute found that the human mouth is both too flat and too weak to penetrate the human skull. While an adult alligator registers a bite force of 9,000 pounds per square inch (psi), the human jaw comes in at a paltry 300 psi. Mogk believes zombies don't get stronger just because they're dead and rotting, so scientifically, they couldn't possibly bite through a human skull.

The zombie horde is banging at the door. Which weapon gives the best chance of survival: a baseball bat, a staple gun, or a chainsaw? Find out the answer in Matt's talk, along with 10 essential strategies for surviving the coming zombie pandemic.

Both lectures are free and open to the public. Contact 423.279.7668 or jpkelly@NortheastState.edu for more information.


Northeast State hosts College Transfer Day Oct. 13

Northeast State Community College students can learn more about during College Transfer Day on Oct. 13.

College representatives will be available for students from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Courtyard at the main campus in Blountville. No appointment is necessary. The event features representatives from the following institutions: Austin Peay State University, Bethel University, Carson-Newman, East Tennessee State University, Emory & Henry College, King College, Lee University, Liberty University, Lipscomb University, Maryville College, Milligan College, Tennessee Tech University, Tusculum College, University of Tennessee Knoxville, University of Tennessee Memphis (Kingsport Higher Ed Center), Virginia Intermont College and University of Virginia at Wise.

Representatives will answer questions about transfer opportunities, entrance requirements, course equivalencies, financial aid, scholarships, housing and more. The Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation will also be available to provide information to students regarding the HOPE Scholarship as well as other programs administered by the state.

Northeast State's university parallel associate of arts/associate of science degree programs are designed for students who intend to complete the first two years of a baccalaureate degree program at Northeast State and then transfer to a four-year college or university to complete the bachelor's degree. Northeast State has developed course-by-course equivalency tables and articulation agreements with many four-year colleges and universities. The university parallel program continues to ranks as one of the top majors for students enrolled at Northeast State.

Tonya Cassell, Transfer Advisor, Student Support Services
423.354.2540 or tscassell@NortheastState.edu 


Fiber optics technician courses set at Northeast State

A series of courses in fiber optics offered this fall by Workforce Solutions at Northeast State Community College gives an overview of this exciting technical career specialty.

Certified Fiber Optics Technician is a three-day introductory course designed to teach basic fiber optic networking. The course uses theory and hands-on activities to prepare the participant to take the Certified Fiber Optic Technician test.

Certified Specialist/Testing and Maintenance offers advanced training of testing and maintenance of fiber optics networks. The course emphasizes a clear approach to fiber optics testing standards with considerable hands-on activities. Suggested prerequisites include a CFOT course or another formal fiber optics training course within the preceding six months, or one year fiber optics-related experience. The course is scheduled Sept. Nov. 11-12, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Certified Fiber Optics Splicing Specialist is a two-day course includes a PowerPoint presentation explaining the importance of high performance splicing and details how to achieve these splices. Hands-on classroom activities will provide training in both fusion and mechanical splicing of both single and multi mode fiber optic cables. Both inside and outside plant fiber optic cable types will be utilized. The course will be held Nov. 12 – 13, from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The priority registration deadline for all three courses is Oct. 24.

The courses are offered in partnership with the BDI DataLynk company providing standards based computer network infrastructure training programs. The Certified Fiber Optics Technician Course from BDI DataLynk is designed to teach fiber optics networking and its capabilities. All BDI programs are accredited by BICSI for Continuing Education Credits (CEU's).

All courses are being taught the College's main campus at Blountville, 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport. For information or to register, contact 423.354.2570 or e-mailcmtauscher@NortheastState.edu.


Workforce Solutions offers American Sign Language class

Workforce Solutions at Northeast State Community College is offering beginner's course in American Sign Language this fall.

The evening class will meet Tuesday evenings, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m., from Oct. 11 through Dec. 6 at the main campus at Blountville.

Students will build vocabulary in the language as well as learn the grammatical structure. Deaf culture and etiquette will also be taught as well as expressive and receptive skills in the language.

At the completion of the course, students should be able to communicate with the deaf on a basic level. The course is perfect for anyone interested in learning basic sign language on a conversational level. The course provides insight into Deaf culture.

The course fee is $180 which includes a textbook. The course instructor is Shauna Walsworth. The priority registration date for the course is Oct. 6.

For more information, contact 423.354.2570 or e-mail cmtauscher@NortheastState.edu.