Owls, Jets, Bears - You make the call

Northeast State has announced its mascot finalists and now it’s time for students, staff, faculty, and the community to make the call. Will it be an Owl, Jet, or Bear?

To help Northeast State make history, visit http://www.northeaststate.edu/mascot/ to cast a vote. The voting period extends from Feb. 1 to Feb. 15.

The choices were narrowed down during a recent survey that polled students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members for visual symbol that would demonstrate college pride and provide a memorable, unique, and appropriate public identity. The College received a number of colorful suggestions with the owls, jets, and bears rising to the top.

Here are descriptions and logos:

Why?  The location next to the airport primarily makes the Jets mascot an appropriate choice. While the Jets couldn’t be a costumed mascot, an “aviator” would serve as the symbol at events. Jets also get you from here to there falling in line with the Northeast State motto.

Why?  Owls have always been tied to wisdom/school. The owl is intuitive, resourceful, powerful and courageous. They also fly and that fits in with the Northeast State motto “We’re here to get you there” encouraging students.

Why?  Black bears are intelligent, curious, and closely tied to the Appalachian region. Most of all, bears are extremely adaptable – much like community colleges.

The mascot’s job description is still evolving; however, it will most likely serve as a goodwill ambassador and/or a marketing tool that will embody the spirit of Northeast State. It’s the College’s hope that through a mascot, every student, alum, friend, and supporter will cultivate a strengthened connection to Northeast State’s mission, values, and commitment to building a college-going culture.


Step Afrika! performs at Northeast State on Feb. 8

The spectacular dance company performers of Step Afrika! return to Northeast State Community College on Feb. 8 for a night of traditional African step dancing.

The free performance begins at 7 p.m. in the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts at the main campus, 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport.

One of the most thrilling and best-received performance groups ever at Northeast State, Step Afrika! was founded in 1994 by C. Brian Williams.  Step Afrika ranks as the only professional dance company in the world dedicated to the tradition of stepping.

The company is critically acclaimed for its efforts to promote an understanding of and appreciation for stepping and the tradition’s use as an educational tool worldwide.
Step Afrika! delivers a powerful performance at Northeast State Feb. 8.

While in traveling to southern Africa, Williams came across the South African gumboot dance — an art form created by mineworkers which greatly resembled the stepping he had learned at Howard University. He later met three members of the Soweto Dance Theatre.  Together, they created the Step Afrika! International Cultural Festival the first known attempt to link the people who practice stepping in America with Gumboot dance performers in Africa.

The first festival was held in 1994, just six months after the election of Nelson Mandela as president of a free and Democratic Republic of South Africa. Two years later they launched Step Afrika!’s first program in the USA.

Stepping is a unique dance tradition created by African-American college students practiced by historically African-American fraternities and sororities in the early 1900s.  In stepping, the body is used as an instrument to create intricate rhythms and sounds through a combination of footsteps, claps and spoken word. Stepping comes from a long and rich tradition in African-based communities using movement, words and sounds to communicate allegiance to a group.

Step Afrika! reaches tens of thousands of Americans each year and has performed on prestigious stages in North & South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.

The production is part of Northeast State’s commemoration of Black History Month throughout February. The performance is free and open to the public.  For more information, contact 423.279.7669 or jpkelly@NortheastState.edu.


Debate team competes at UT-Knoxville 

The Northeast State Debate Team recently participated in the Volunteer Classic Debate Tournament at the  University of Tennessee-Knoxville , competing against 30 speakers from 15 teams.

Debaters Britny Fox, Rocky Graybeal, Nicole Neilson, and Anne Rowell represented Northeast State, competing in four rounds that included topics ranging from domestic infrastructure funding to firearm and ammunition regulation.  In addition, Beth Ross assisted in helping the teams set up their cases and judged at the tournament.  

Fox and Neilson faced opponents from Valdosta State University, East Tennessee State University, and Peidmont College. Fox earned the second-rank speaker in two of her three rounds, while Neilson earned a third-rank speaker in the second round. 

Graybeal and Rowell debated teams from Walters State, Morehouse College, Arkansas State University, and East Tennessee State University. Rowell earned first-rank speaker in the third round and Graybeal was named the first-rank speaker in the fourth round. 

Graybeal and Rowell earned a place in the elimination round of 8 and they won their first elimination round before falling in the second. Overall, they earned fourth place for the tournament and Rowell was named the seventh best speaker for the tournament.  


Northeast State continues to move forward on Downtown Centre

Northeast State Community College has announced that Shaw & Shanks Architects are nearing completion of design work for Downtown Centre renovations in Johnson City. Once plans are finalized, the College will issue bids for construction.

The design plans by Shaw & Shanks, a Johnson City-based company, will allow Northeast State to move ahead with construction that will meet required building, fire, and city codes and create space for offices and classrooms for the College’s Northeast State at Johnson City teaching location.
Northeast State signed a five-year lease for the Downtown Centre with the Johnson City Development Authority, which has committed $1 million in funds for interior renovations. The building is located at 101 E. Market St.

The building’s exterior has been pressure-washed, cleaned, and painted with a 3-color scheme. Signage will be placed on the building in the near future, including a digital sign near the intersection of Buffalo and Market streets. In addition, the College’s plant operations personnel have cleaned the building’s interior courtyard and are in the process of landscaping the area.

The College recently received $180,000 in funds from the state’s new Clean Tennessee Energy Grant Program to replace the building’s HVAC system.

The College proposes to install two boilers as part of the replacement for the HVAC system in the facility. Having two units will permit the use of one or both as demand dictates.

The building’s current HVAC system has been in the building since its construction in 1986.  The new system will increase thermal efficiency from 75 percent to 95 percent and overall annual HVAC operating costs are projected to decrease from $60,000 to about $46,000.

Students enrolling at the Johnson City teaching site may take advantage of East Tennessee State University’s Dual Admission Program. Dually admitted students first enroll at Northeast State to complete an associate’s degree and then enroll at ETSU to pursue a bachelor’s degree. The program eases the transfer process, fosters academic success, and provides enhanced advisement and transition support services.

ETSU will have an office in the facility to provide information for the program as well as a variety of other services. ETSU’s dual admission program is available to Northeast State students at all of the College’s teaching sites.

“We’re excited about this partnership and the opportunity for students to be dually admitted to Northeast State and ETSU,” said Dr. Rick Osborn, Dean of Continuing Studies and Academic Outreach. “Not only will this new location make higher education more accessible for students in northeast Tennessee, leading to more college graduates in area, but it will also invigorate Johnson City’s downtown.  I look forward to the opening.”

More information about dual admission can be found at www.etsu.edu/dualadmission


Seminar offered on OSHA’s new chemical labeling standards

Northeast State’s Workforce Solutions is offering a four-hour seminar to help employers and employees in complying with the OSHA’s new regulations for labeling hazardous chemicals.

To better protect workers from hazardous chemicals, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently revised its Hazard Communication Standard, aligning it with the United Nation’s global chemical labeling system.

The system will be fully implemented in 2016 and benefit workers by reducing confusion about chemical hazards in the workplace, facilitating safety training, and improving understanding of hazards.

This seminar is primarily for employers and employees facing compliance with the new regulations and not for manufacturers, distributors, and importers who must provide the new labels and safety data sheets.

The workshop is set for Feb. 19 and offered with the option of a morning or afternoon session: 8 a.m. – noon or 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. The seminar will be held on Northeast State’s Blountville campus (2425 Highway 75) in Room L106 of the Basler Library. The fee is $75 per participant. Deadline for registering is Feb. 11.

• The seminar will provide:
• Updates to the Hazard Communication Standard
• How to comply with the new requirements
• How to ensure compliance with all requirements
• Dates for new requirements
• How to stay in compliance while making the required changes
• Brief overview of new hazard classification system
• Details of the new labeling system
• Format for safety data sheets

For more information or to register, contact Diana Harrison with Workforce Solutions at 423.354.5520 or dlharrison@NortheastState.edu.


Northeast State hosts MATHCOUNTS Feb. 2

Tomorrow’s generation of engineers and scientists will put their math skills to the test when Northeast State hosts the regional MATHCOUNTS competition on Saturday, Feb. 2, from 6:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the College’s main campus in Blountville, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport.

MATHCOUNTS is a national math competition for middle school students. Those students who win at the local level proceed to state competitions held in Nashville next month. Tennessee’s top four Mathletes® and top coach earn the right to represent their state at the national level. Competition sites will be staged in the College’s auditorium, the faculty/staff/guest dining room (A110), the courtyard & overflow area, and auditorium classrooms (A101, A103, A103).

The competition features four rounds of competition in both individual and team categories. Teams will work together to complete math problems. In individual competition events, students will be quizzed on their math knowledge. The final round will be followed by an awards ceremony recognizing the top team and individuals.

More than 500,000 students take part in the MATHCOUNTS competition each year. Founding sponsors of MATHCOUNTS are the CNA Foundation and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. National sponsors include ADC Foundation, General Motors Foundation, Lockheed Martin, NASA, Northrop, Raytheon Company, Shell Oil Company, Texas Instruments Inc., 3M Foundation, and Xerox Corp.

For more information, contact Brandon Stevens with Eastman Chemical Company at bstevens@eastman.com or 423.229.3891 or Dr. Mark Pollock mapollock@NortheastState.edu or  423.354.2506.


Auditions for Treasure Island set for Jan. 29-30

Get an eye patch and practice your best ‘Arrrrrrrrrrrr, matie!’ for one of two open auditions for the Northeast State Theater's spring production of Treasure Island.

Northeast State Theater hosts open auditions on Jan. 29 and 30 from 5 – 8 p.m. Auditions will be held in the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts (WRCPA) at the main campus at Blountville, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport.

Call backs will be made on Jan. 31 between 5 and 8 p.m. The first day of rehearsal will be Feb. 1.

Performers are asked to gather in the lobby of the WRCPA Theater. A performer will be asked to read a one-minute prepared monologue in his or her best British accent. If you do not have a prepared monologue, prepared script pages will be available to read.  Performers are only required to attend one night of audition. Auditions are open to performers aged 16 years old to adults. The production will need at least 20 actors and no more than 30. There are roles for both males and females.

Adapted by Ara Watson from the novel of Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island is the coming-of-age story of Jim Hawkins’ thrilling adventure – as reflected upon by his adult self – in search of buried treasure on a distant and mysterious island. The play features swashbuckling pirates surrounded by elements of wind and water, swords and sea chanteys, and old ropes and rowboats on the South Seas. The play follows young Jim’s adventures with the pirates, ship battles, betrayal, and the infamous Long John Silver, who just may be the “devil hisself.”

The show will run for two successive weekends: April 4-7 and April 12-14. Please note that the production includes student matinees during the afternoons. The play is being presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.

For more information, contact Northeast State Theater at 423.354.2479, e-mail emsloan@NortheastState.edu or visit the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/NSCCTheatre.


Recycling center opens on Northeast State's Blountville campus

A recycling center sponsored by Northeast State and Sullivan County is now open near the back of the Blountville campus, 2425 Highway 75. The site is located near the corner of Muddy Creek Road and Aviation Drive.

The site has bins for mixed paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, and aluminum and tin cans. The site may be accessed by the public any time during the day or night.


Textbook information provided by bookstore 

The Northeast State Bookstore has released information concerning textbook purchases for the spring semester.

Financial Aid charges begin Monday, Jan. 7 and continue through Jan. 24.

Students may now charge electronics and supplies to their financial aid accounts.

Students may pre-order their textbooks for in-store pickup or off-campus delivery. Call the bookstore at 423.279.3340 or visit www.NortheastState.edu/bookstore for details or to place an order. The last day for pre-orders is Jan. 23 with a last day to pickup on Jan. 24.

Bookstore personnel will be at the Kingsport Higher Education Center selling textbooks or delivering pre-orders Jan. 16, 17, 23, and 24 from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Bookstore personnel will be at the Elizabethton Site selling textbooks or delivering preorders on Jan. 18 and 22 from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Students may pre-order textbooks on financial aid to be picked up at one of the off-site campus locations.

Extended bookstore hours begin Jan. 7 through Jan. 24. The bookstore will be open Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. The bookstore will be open Saturday, Jan. 19 from 8 a.m. - noon. 


Six Sigma courses begin Jan. 15 at Northeast State

Workforce Solutions at Northeast State Community College will be offering a full range of Six Sigma training for the spring semester. Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven approach and methodology that strives for perfection in any process. Offerings are geared towards helping individuals reach their professional goals.

All Six Sigma training will be held on the College’s main campus in Blountville, TN, 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport. These classes are a combination of evening classes held from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and daylong sessions. Those class times are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The classes are scheduled to start the week of Jan. 15, 2013 and run for approximately 20 weeks.   

Black Belt - Training provides in-depth knowledge of all the tools in Six Sigma Methodology. Upon completion, the participant will be fully prepared to take on the role of Six Sigma Black Belt. The class provides mastery of all five phases complimented by the best training materials available including, but not limited to; project selection, measurement system analysis (MSA), basic statistics, capability, inferential stats, hypothesis testing, normality, and design of experiments, control plans, and process failure mode effects analysis (PFMEA).

Class Times – Combination of Day and evening classes
Total Hours - 128
Cost - $6,200

Green Belt - Training provides hands on training and the opportunity to assist organizations in the roll out and utilization of the Six Sigma Methodology. The class will go through the full define, measure, analyze, improve, and control (DMAIC) process with emphasis on: project identification and management, proper project documentation, introduction to statistical tools and analysis, introduction to Minitab, root cause analysis, quality management, introduction to DOE and control methods.

Class Times – Combination of Day and evening classes
Total Hours - 67
Cost - $4,795

Green Belt to Black Belt – A unique opportunity to upgrade previous Six Sigma Green Belt training by local Six Sigma professionals.  As part of the overall Spring 2013 Six Sigma curriculum, participants will need to attend as few as 61 hours of classroom instruction. Upon completion of these classes and an approved project, the Green Belt will become Black Belt certified. 

Class Times – Combination of Day and evening classes
Total Hours - 61
Cost – Previous Green Belt Students = $3,395,  New Students = $3,955

Note: The above cost will include all necessary training material but does not included Minitab software.

The one requirement for these courses is that participants MUST have at least Minitab 15 with 16 being preferred.

For more information, contact Cindy Tauscher, Training Specialist with Workforce Solutions at 423.354.2570 or cmtauscher@NortheastState.edu.


Spring registration under way at Northeast State

Spring classes are still available at Northeast State Community College with online registration ongoing and a day-long Open Registration session scheduled for Jan. 15. 

The Jan. 15 open registration is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.  at the main campus in Blountville; at the offices of Northeast State at Elizabethton, 386 Highway 91; and at the Regional Center for Applied Technology, 222 West Main St., Kingsport.

Northeast State applicants can view the complete spring schedule at www.NortheastState.edu.  After Jan. 9, student fees for the spring semester are due the day of registration.

For more information, visit the Web site or contact the College’s office of Admissions and Records at 800.836.7822, 423.323.0253, or admissions@NortheastState.edu.