Debate team hosts Spring Fling tournament

The Northeast State Debate Team hosted their 6th Annual Spring Fling Tournament last week with debaters from Tennessee Tech University, East Tennessee State University, Walters State Community College, and Northeast State participated in the event.

The field of 11 teams and 21 debaters argued topics ranging from the advantages of Israel reverting to the 1967 pre-war borders to school choice in the United States educational system.

The tournament consisted of three preliminary rounds, a semi-final round and a final round. Northeast State Debate Team members Sydney Crowder, Britny Fox, Rocky Graybeal, and Anne Rowell represented Northeast State.  Graybeal and Rowell won all three of their preliminary rounds earning a place in the semifinal round.  Crowder and Fox won two of their three preliminary rounds and also earned a spot in the semifinal round.

In the semifinal round Graybeal and Rowell fell to the eventual tournament winners from Tennessee Tech.  They earned the 3rd place team trophy. Crowder and Fox took home the 4th place trophy. Crowder was also named the 2nd place Best Speaker of the tournament while Fox earned 3rd place in the category.

Northeast State debater Jordan Warhurst also competed as part of a hybrid team with ETSU. He earned a second place speaker ranking in his first round.

Speech professor Dr. Rick Merritt praised all the competitors, tournament director Beth Ross, as well as faculty colleagues Professor Cate Strain and Dr. Laura Barnett who served as tournament judges. He also thanked tournament supporters Carrie Keys, Speech department colleague Dr. Ruth Livingston, event caterer extraordinaire Maureen Merritt, and Behavioral and Social Sciences division dean, Dr. Xiaoping Wang.

“I would like to extend a huge blanket of thanks to all of these fine individuals,” said Merritt. “All these individuals are very supportive of our team and play major roles in our success.”


Northeast State to host Spring Career Fair 2013 

Northeast State Community College invites students and community members to attend the Spring Career Fair 2013 Wednesday, April 17, 2013 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts on the Blountville campus. The free and public event will provide opportunities to learn about job openings and talk with area employers.

“We’d like to invite not only our students but also the community to come out and meet our local employers,” said Marquita Tittle, Northeast State’s Coordinator of Career Services. “It will be an excellent opportunity to network and learn about current hiring needs.”

Tittle said last year’s fair drew more than 45 employers and more than 300 persons took part in the event.

“Last year’s event was a great success and we’re anticipating this year’s fair will be bigger and better,” Tittle said. “Our employers are eager to find qualified employees and we’re hoping that the Spring Career Fair will allow them to do so.”

Employers may register online at http://apps.northeaststate.edu/registration/careerfair/ until April 1. Companies do not have to be hiring to participate in the event.

Employers attending the career fair will represent a wide variety of companies from around the region. Industry and business sectors include manufacturing, health-care, financial, information technology, insurance, automotive, education, retail, and food service.

The Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts is located on the College’s Blountville campus, 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to the Tri-Cities Regional Airport. For more information, call 423.354.5167 or e-mail mbtittle@NortheastState.edu.


Bandana Project now under way at Northeast State

The Bandana Project is a national campaign to raise awareness and educate farm worker women about their rights.

ImageWomen farm workers wear bandanas to hide their faces in the fields to help protect themselves from sexual harassment. The Bandana Project seeks to raise awareness about their plight with bandanas are being painted and decorated across the country as a symbolic gesture of support for farm worker women.

The contributions of past Bandana Project artists are being displayed now on the first floor of Basler Library.

Northeast State invites students to participate in decorating events March 25-March 28, in the Locke Humanities Building. Deadline to submit decorated bandanas is March 28, at 4:30 p.m. in Room H-107 of the Humanities Building.  Winners will be announced April 5.


Holocaust survivor to recount death camp experiences

The story of Esther Bauer comes as the witness of a young woman who saw the rise of the Third Reich and the Jewish Holocaust. She endured the imprisonment of her parents, the murders of her husband and mother, and herself being a prisoner in a series of concentration camps including Auschwitz.

Northeast State welcomes Bauer to campus on March 20 for a free lecture at 7 p.m. in the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts on the main campus in Blountville.

In her unforgettable and moving lecture, Bauer recounts her harrowing experiences as a Holocaust Survivor. She shares the story of her amazing, educated, and liberated mother, Dr. Marie Anna Jonas, who was a medical doctor who was stripped of her ability to practice by the Reich Citizen Law against Jews. It did not matter that her mother had received the honor cross (Ehrenkreuz) for her services treating German soldiers during World War I.

Born in Hamburg, Germany in 1924, Bauer grew up to see the rise of National Socialist Party and Adolph Hitler. Her father, Dr. Alberto Jonas was the principal of the Jewish Girls School, and her mother was a medical doctor. On July 19, 1942, Esther, her mother, and her father were deported to the Theresienstadt Jewish ghetto in Czechoslovakia, where from one minute to the next they were prisoners. Bauer’s father died only six weeks later of meningitis.

After two years at Theresienstadt, she married because her then friend, not yet husband, got the order to be sent with many others to the city of Dresden to build up a new ghetto. He and the other men wound up in the dreaded Auschwitz camp.  After the men had left, their spouses were told they could go voluntarily after their husbands. Bauer went and landed in Auschwitz where her husband was murdered. In October 1944 her mother was herself deported to Auschwitz and later murdered there.

Bauer survived and was later sent to a women’s labor camp in Freiberg, a satellite camp of Flossenbürg concentration camp. She was later transported to Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria as the Allied forces closed in on Berlin.  U.S. troops liberated Bauer and her fellow prisoners from Mauthausen on May 5, 1945.

So exuberant upon being liberated, Bauer made a vow to “live each day, have fun and be a human being.” Her bounding energy and joy for life is infectious, and will leave you filled with respect, awe, and appreciation for the indestructibility of the human spirit. She speaks to students as often as she can so that they will “learn what happened, and see to it that it never happens again.”

For more information about this event, visit www.NortheastState.edu or contact 423.279.7669 or jpkelly@NortheastState.edu.


Northeast State at Bristol announces spring 2013 classes

Northeast State at Bristol – the College’s newest teaching site – is offering six accelerated three-week courses for Spring 2013.

The courses include Principles of Business, College Success, U.S. History I, Computer Applications, Learning Support Math I, and Keyboarding. Classes begin April 12 and end May 1. For a complete listing of times and days, visit www.NortheastState.edu/bristol.

The teaching site is located on the third floor of 620 State Street, formerly the H.P. King Building. The 16,000 square-foot site is currently under renovation and the College tentatively plans to open the facility on April 1.

Currently, Northeast State has a temporary office at 100 5th Ave. and prospective students may contact Lisa Lobdell, associate registrar, at 423.354.5201 or lmlobdell@NortheastState.edu. For financial aid information, contact Tammie Greene at 423.354.2466 or tmgreene@NortheastState.edu.

Northeast State developed the accelerated courses to help students who have work or family responsibilities that make it difficult to attend classes during long semesters, which are typically 15 weeks in duration.







BSMG 1110

Principles of Business

12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.



EDUC 1010

College Success

9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.



HIST 2010

U.S. History I

12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.



INFS 1010

Computer Applications

12:10 p.m. – 3:10 p.m.



MATH 801

Learning Support Math I

9:00 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.



OFMG 1010


9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.




Career Expo hosts 1,400 8th graders

KINGSPORT, Tenn., March 12, 2013 – Approximately 1,400 local eighth graders will visit the Kingsport Academic Village this week to learn about potential careers. Students attending Thursday, March 14 will get a special treat as actor and Knoxville native Cylk Cozart takes the stage.

Eastman Chemical Company is hosting the annual Regional Career Expo for 8th Graders. The event starts today and will continue through Friday from 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. daily. Students from Kingsport City, Sullivan County, Tenn., and Scott County, Va., schools are taking part in the four-day event.

The highlight of this year’s event will take place Thursday, March 14 at noon when Cylk Cozart joins the students at Kingsport Center for Higher Education. Cozart has appeared in more than 50 films and television shows throughout his career, including Eagle Eye, Conspiracy Theory, and White Men Can’t Jump. Born in Knoxville, Cozart has a heart for helping students in the region. Cozart’s organization, Keeping Dreams Alive, is designed to provide mentoring as well as connect students with scholarships.

“We are excited about this year’s expo,” said Tanya Foreman, education manager at Eastman. “It is our goal to expose the students to people working in a variety of careers to better equip them in making decisions about their future. We encourage them to believe in themselves and their potential to achieve great things.”

All students attending this week will have an opportunity to learn about a variety of careers including arts and communications; automotive; business and marketing; culinary arts; education; engineering and science; health and medicine; human services; legal services; manufacturing and technology.

This is the tenth year for the Regional Career Expo for 8th Graders and the first time it has been hosted at the Academic Village. Northeast State Community College, Junior Achievement of Tri-Cities TN/VA and the Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce are also sponsoring the event. 


Honors Conference opens tomorrow in Basler Library

The 9th annual Northeast State Honors Conference kicks off tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. in L226 of Basler Library on the main campus. The conference features Honors students and faculty members presenting their academic research on a thematic study topic.

Since 1968, the National Collegiate Honors Council and the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society have together established an Honors Study topic designed to encourage scholarship among two-year college students.

Since 2002, each study topic is explored for a period of two years to allow investigation. For the 9th Annual Research Conference, students and faculty examined the 2012-2013 Honors Study Topic, The Culture of Competition.  The schedule of conference presenters and their subjects is listed below.


8:30 a.m. - Coffee & Continental Breakfast
8:45 a.m. - Welcome
8: 50 a.m. - ETSU Ronald E. McNair Program: Dr.  Michelle Hurley, assistant director

9:00-10:20: Session One  

John Grubb, NeSCC librarian, and J. Michael Ramey, NeSCC coordinator, Distance Education: Massive Open Online Courses:  Reformation or Revolution

 Emily Glover and Taylor Simounet, NeSCC Speech Communication students: Let Me Get That For You! : Gender Roles and the Ritual of Door Holding

Leslie Alison Davis, ETSU McNair Scholar: The Impact of Media on the Development of Eating Disorders

10:30-11:50: Session Two  

Mahmood Sabri, associate professor, Computer Science: Winning Isn’t Everything.  Doing Your Best Is.

Miriam Phillips, instructor, Speech, and Elizabeth Ross, NeSCC Honors student: Forward Thinking and Its Impact on Leadership

Will Carver, NeSCC Honors student: Currency Manipulation: Treating the Symptoms Instead of the Source

12:00-1:20: Session Three   

David Toye, professor, History:  Christians vs. Pagans:  The Propaganda War in the Late Roman Empire

Britny Fox, Rocky Graybeal, Nicole Neilson, Anne Rowell, Jordan Warhurst, Argumentation and Debate students:  The Debt Ceiling.

1:30-2:50: Session Four 

Jim Kelly, associate professor, History: How to Win Friends and Feed on People:  Survival of the Fittest and The Walking Dead

Michael Pagel, instructor, English: William Heuman’s “Brooklyn’s Lose” Dodges Tragedy with the Goodwill of Neighbors

Maria Johnson, ETSU McNair Scholar: The Experience of Homelessness in Kingsport, Tennessee.


Atlantic Steps dance troupe performs March 15

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and get your feet moving when the Irish dance troupe Atlantic Steps takes the stage at Northeast State on March 15.

Atlantic Steps takes the stage of the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts Theater on the College’s main campus, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport. The show begins at 7 p.m. and doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for reserved seating and $12 for students and seniors. Book your tickets online now at www.EngageKingsport.com.

A Master Class with the cast of Atlantic Steps is being offered for $10.00 at 4 p.m. the day of the show. There are only 25 openings for this class. Participants should have some dance experience. Reserve your space online at www.EngageKingsport.com or call the office of Cultural Arts at 423.392.8414.

The performance is sponsored by the City of Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts and, in part, by a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission. Special guest Fire in the Kitchen will open the show. Playing together since 2002, Fire in the Kitchen specializes in presenting lively Appalachian and Celtic music to audiences.

Atlantic Steps is the inspiring epic story of Ireland’s oldest dance form, portrayed through the music, song, dance and Atlantic-Ocean-inspired energy of the Connemara region. Centered on the joyful sean-nós (pronounced shawn-nos) style dance of extraordinary Irish dancer Brian Cunningham, the show continues to move festival and theatre audiences to their feet.

Having performed alongside Irish greats including Dé Danann, The Chieftains, Sharon Shannon, Altan, Dervish & Téada, Cunningham brought his dancing talents to headline the high-profile Volvo Ocean Race spectacular in Galway during 2009. When 20,000 people danced the night away at Galway’s docklands within striking distance of the Atlantic Ocean, he was convinced of the worldwide potential of the sean-nós (also known as old style) dance, handed down from his grandparents as a tradition from the days of house dances.

One of many forms of Irish dance, sean-nós dance is an informal and spontaneous art form, traditionally performed solo.Unlike the better known Irish step-dancing (Riverdance), sean-nós dance is characterized by its “low to the ground” footwork, free movement of the arms, and improvisation.Creating a percussive music of its own, sean-nós can be seen in such American forms as clogging, hoofing, and soft shoe tap dancing.

Cunningham leads a formidable cast of dancers and musicians including Jordan, one of Irish-America’s hottest talents who began dancing at age five, and has been a major figure in the sean-nós revival in the States. The musicians include some of Ireland’s top traditional artists including the great Séamus Begley of County Kerry on accordion and Oisín Mac Diarmada of the group Téada, one of Ireland’s premiere fiddlers today. 


Workforce Solutions sets root cause analysis workshop for April 4 & 5 

Workforce Solutions at Northeast State Community College presents a Root Cause Analysis (RCA) course scheduled April 4-5, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Wayne G. Basler Library on the College’s main campus, 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport.

The two-day course consists of lectures, practices, and role plays that will provide attendees with an in-depth understanding of how to analyze a system to identify the root causes of problems. The following topics are covered:

• The difference between problem solving and root cause analysis  
• Some common problem solving models and their weaknesses  
• Five steps for performing the root cause analysis part of problem solving 
• What each step accomplishes and some tools available for carrying it out 

This program is designed to:
• Enhance problem solving effectiveness by providing a model for more deeply analyzing problem situations  
• Clarify the difference between analytical and creative thinking, and when each is most useful  
• Promote the ability to provide problem-solving support in situations where one is not an expert
• Expand the range of tools available for analysis of problem situation

The course is ideal for quality and process engineers, technicians or others responsible for troubleshooting technical problems, corrective action coordinators, or managers; supervisors, team leaders, and process owners; anyone who wants to improve his or her ability to solve recurring problems.

The course does not have pre-requisites; however, familiarity with standard problem solving models (e.g., PDCA, 8-D, ISO 9001 corrective action) and the seven QC tools (flowcharts, cause & effect diagrams, pareto charts, check sheets, run charts, histograms, scatter diagrams) would be useful.

The course instructor is Duke Okes who has been helping organizations solve technical problems for more than 30 years. He holds degrees in technology, business and education, is an ASQ Fellow, and is certified by ASQ as a CMQ/OE, CQE and CQA. He is author of Root Cause Analysis:The Core of Problem Solving and Corrective Action.

Class Dates: April 4 & 5, 2013
Class Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Location:  L105 in the Wayne Basler Library, main campus, Blountville, TN
Fee: $425.00 per participant

For more information, contact Diana Harrison at dlharrison@NortheastState.edu or call 423.354.5520.

Northeast State's annual economic impact on region: $90 million

Northeast State Community College pumped an average of $90 million each year into the local economy over the past five years, a recent study shows.

The analysis of the economic impact of the college on its service area revealed that the value of business volume and individual income generated amounted to about $451 million in the 2007-2012 period, plus more than 16,000 jobs were created.

The study shows that local business volume—the total amount generated locally by businesses from the college’s direct and indirect expenditures—was $223 million for the five-year period. Of that total, $178 million came from non-local revenues, such as state appropriations, state/federal contracts and grants, and state/federal student financial aid revenues.

Although Northeast State had an average of only 350 full-time-equivalent employees per year during the period, the total employment created by the College’s expenditures was estimated at 16,058 jobs for the five years. Of that number, 12,570 jobs were created by external or new funds.

Using the more conservative of two different calculations, the study estimated that the impact of the college’s expenditures on local individual income amounted to about $229 million during 2007-2012, of which $189 million came from external or new funds.

Of the college’s $451 million total economic impact, about $367 million ($73 million per year) could be attributed to the infusion of new non-local revenues. This impact would likely not have occurred without the presence of Northeast State in the area.

The economic impact study notes that each dollar of local revenue coming into Northeast State generated a “return on investment” of about $2.70 in local business volume. The individual income return on investment was at least $2.78, for a total ROI of at least $5.48 on the local dollar.

The study also estimated that an Associate degree graduate could expect to earn about $350,000 more over their work lifetime than if they only had a high school diploma. For the most recent class of Northeast State graduates, this difference could mean an additional $271 million in lifetime earnings, plus about $1,470,600 in additional annual tax payments.

Finally, the study described a number of benefits to society that are proven to accompany higher levels of education, including lower unemployment, reduced poverty, decreased crime and incarceration rates, improved personal health, etc.

The results of this economic impact study clearly demonstrate that Northeast State is a major contributor to the economic base of Upper East Tennessee. This economic impact is expressed in this study in terms of jobs created, business volume generated and personal income earned.

The study was compiled by FHM Consulting of Knoxville, Tenn.

"We know that the impact of Northeast State is positive and it is sometimes hard to put a number on the total impact, but this study is about as good as it gets from a quantitative perspective," said Dr. Janice Gilliam, Northeast State president. "Northeast State is not only making a difference in the lives of students, but in the local economy. Our mission is about access, completion, and community. Mission accomplished." 

For more information, contact Dr. Janice Gilliam at 423.323.0201 or majones@NortheastState.edu


Northeast State launches Bristol teaching site

Northeast State Community College has received approval from the Tennessee Board of Regents to bring higher education to downtown Bristol.

The College’s new teaching site will be situated at 620 State Street, location of the old H.P. King Building. J. Allen Hurley, president of Vision, LLC and former CEO of Touchstone Wireless, recently purchased the property from the City of Bristol and has proceeded with plans to make the facility a downtown attraction. The facility will be known as City Central.

The building has multiple-sized venues for events and the 620 State Restaurant & Venue is located on the first floor.

“This plan is a commitment to drive the growth of downtown Bristol and make higher education more convenient for area residents,” said Hurley, a Northeast State alumnus. “The project has generated a lot of excitement as we seek to create a more prosperous downtown.”

Northeast State will lease 15,979 square-feet of third-floor space to house classrooms and offices. The space in currently under renovation and the College will soon move forward with the installation of fixtures, equipment, and furniture. The College envisions having personnel on site by early March to provide information and answer questions. Initial enrollment is estimated at 100-200 students.

Northeast State President Dr. Janice Gilliam said the College plans to offer two-year associate degrees, certificates, Workforce Development Training, and GED/Adult Education at the site and is seeking partnerships with other area higher education institutions including Virginia Highlands Community College, King College, and East Tennessee State University.

Northeast State officials also are planning to offer an entertainment technology program that will mesh with Bristol’s “Birthplace of Country Music” brand. The program would focus on equipping students with sound, lighting, and rigging skills, which could be used in performances, hotels, churches, theaters, and other related venues.

 “We are very excited to announce that 620 State Street is Northeast State’s new teaching site in Bristol,” said Dr. Gilliam. “We’ve been working on this project at the state and local level for two years and we are very appreciative of the support we’ve received from the Chamber, the City, and other state and local leaders. We especially appreciate Allen Hurley’s support, through his leadership and funding to set up this great facility.”

Hurley complimented the spirit of cooperation exhibited by the City of Bristol and Northeast State saying he hopes the effort will further re-vitalize the downtown area, as well as spark similar endeavors.

“It’s great to see people on the same page and moving toward a common goal,” Hurley said. “This will make for a stronger downtown and a better quality of life for residents.”

The Northeast State at Bristol Advisory Board met Feb. 22 with Northeast State officials to discuss and tour the site which houses classroom and office space that melds features of the vintage building with modern construction. All classrooms will be equipped with multimedia facilities and wired for interactive television broadcasts to capture local and remote instruction.

“This is a great day for Bristol, a great day for Northeast State,” J. Allen Hurley, president of Vision, LLC and former CEO of Touchstone Wireless, who recently purchased the property from the City of Bristol. “Northeast State has made a name for itself with partnerships and this is just one more step. Everyone at the College is so willing to resolve issues, move forward, build things – that’s very admirable.”

For more information about the facility, contact Dr. Keith Young at 423.354.5237 or ckyoung@NortheastState.edu.