03-26-14 

Dr. Janice Gilliam receives YWCA Bristol's Tribute to Women award

Northeast State President Dr. Janice Gilliam has been selected as a 2014 recipient of YWCA Bristol's Tribute to Women award.

YWCA Tribute to Women empowers women by providing businesses and organizations an opportunity to publicly recognize the outstanding achievements of exceptional women in East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. Every day, the Tri-Cities community is supported and strengthened by women devoted to enriching the quality of life for others.

Gilliam became the first female president of Northeast State in 2009. As president of the second largest college in the region, Dr. Gilliam epitomizes the College’s three value statements of respect, responsibility and responsiveness.

Under her tutelage, the NeSCC was recognized as first among all Tennessee community colleges for its graduation rate, productivity (number of graduates compared to enrollment), and efficiency (lowest cost to produce a graduate). The College launched the largest capital project in Tennessee community college history with its Emerging Technologies Complex and implemented an initiative to make students more employable.

An esteemed panel of out-of-state judges considered numerous nominees in the fields of art, business, education, and community service before selecting 12 award recipients who will be honored at an awards banquet on April 24.

In addition to Dr. Gilliam, the following award recipients were selected according to their leadership qualities, positive impact on the community, and demonstrated growth and achievement:

ARTS
Anita DeAngelis is an associate dean and professor at East Tennessee State University (ETSU) who is described as “the face of the arts at ETSU.” Since 1994, she moved through the professional ranks and earned enhanced recognition as a teacher, artist, administrator, and an articulate advocate for the arts on campus and in the community. She is the founding director of the Mary B. Martin School for the Arts, demonstrating effective leadership and skill development. ,

Valeria Sinyavskaya, artistic director and ballet mistress at the Kingsport Ballet (KB), is a member of an elite group of Russian-born Vaganova-trained ballerinas. She has optimized the process of bringing out self-motivation and personal gratification in students as a result of dedication, commitment and greater understanding of the art form. Since joining Kingsport Ballet in 2002, numerous area companies have collaborated with KB to create similar programs and even start their own dance schools. ,
 
Sandra Woolley has a long history of championing many causes that benefit the people in our greater community, particularly as it relates to the proliferation, growth and support of the arts. She has supported various ballet companies and area symphony orchestras with her board membership and leadership, fund-raising assistance, and advocacy efforts for several decades. Her fundraising efforts have helped raise over $260,000 for the Symphony of the Mountains.

BUSINESS
Denny DeNarvaez joined Wellmont Health System as CEO in 2010. Since joining the organization, she implemented a healing environment philosophy that empowers employees to find ways to enhance the hospital experience for patients and visitors. She spearheaded a new leadership model for Wellmont Medical Associates, played a key role in the establishment of the Wellmont CVA Heart Institute, and created the Wellmont Cancer Institute. One of the central tenets of DeNarvaez’s leadership is her passion for the welfare of patients, evidenced by her decision to add nearly 200 bedside caregivers in fiscal 2011 alone.

Patricia Holtsclaw’s passion grows as she works with patients and families to further the Mountain States Foundation mission of “changing lives through giving.” As president of the Foundation, she oversaw the $25 million campaign to build Niswonger Children’s Hospital, which transformed the healthcare for children in the entire region. Throughout her tenure, she has quadrupled revenues, hosted a celebrity golf tournament that raised over $500,000, and created three signature events each raising over $100,000. Holtsclaw’s current campaign is for radiation oncology which will benefit adult and pediatric patients.

Helen Scott, executive director of Healing Hands Health Center, demonstrates strong leadership with a vision for success. Under her guidance, Healing Hands continues to provide free health services to working uninsured residents of the greater Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia area.  Throughout her ten years with Healing Hands the organization has grown, from 3 to 14 employees, a $250,000 annual operating budget to $760,000, and $550,000 in assets to $2 million. .
 
EDUCATION
Dr. Kelly Bremner sees theatre and the way she teaches it as a way of taking students into new areas of exploration and critical thinking. Her Emory and Henry College (EHC) student actors come to understand that they are engaged in ongoing “theatre talk back” with audiences, compelling them to think continually about the messages they present on stage and the impact they, as actors, have on their world. Thanks to Bremner, EHC was chosen as one of 44 theatre programs nationwide (and the only one in Virginia) to stage a production of 44 Plays for 44 Presidents. .

Amal Khoury, Ph.D. is chair of the Department of Health Services Management and Policy and the associate dean for Quality and Planning for the College of Public Health at East Tennessee State University. On the national level, Khoury is a recognized public health leader, with a focus on identifying the factors that prevent women from seeking healthcare. Recent research projects have included an evaluation of the use of tele-homecare to prevent patients from being re-hospitalized; a study of the use of preventive health services among poor women; and issues related to breast cancer control among minority women. 

VOLUNTEER
Lottie Ryans has challenged herself and others not to settle for the status quo, but rather to strive for excellence in faith, family and career. She is a member or officer on a number of regional Boards of Directors, in both the public and private sectors, in the fields of economic/workforce development, education and healthcare. Ryans has been appointed by Governor Haslam to represent the Northeast Tennessee region on the State Workforce Development Board, which provides guidance to the Governor on critical economic and workforce issues.

Johnnie Mae Swagerty works tirelessly for her community and is at the epicenter of change and growth of Kingsport’s African American community. She started New Vision Youth 12 years ago, which teaches and mentors 45 children, ages 4 to 18. Swagerty expands her vision for community betterment by conducting two community clean-ups annually, overseeing Rhythm in Review as part of Fun Fest, serving as a reading tutor with the Kingsport Literacy Council, raising funds for several initiatives, and organizing a prom for underprivileged students.

Sandra S. Willis inspires those around her to get involved and make a difference in the lives of others who are struggling. She has participated on numerous founding committees responsible for developing new agencies and programs such as Family Promise Bristol, Bristol Faith in Action, and Bristol Ministry Mall. She serves as the community coordinator for the Meals on Wheels program in Bristol which is responsible for coordinating the delivery of hot meals to 52 homebound individuals six days a week.

The 2014 Tribute to Women awards banquet and silent auction will be held at the Holiday Inn, 3005 Linden Dr. in Bristol, Va., at 6 p.m. on April 24. Tickets can be purchased online at www.ywcabristol.org. Funds raised from this event support YWCA Bristol programs: sliding-scale child care, teen pregnancy education, after-school program for at-risk girls, and women’s health and wellness programs.

For more information, call 423.968.9444 or email s_burns@ywcabristol.org.

 03-25-14 

Theatre Department to stage The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

The Northeast State Theatre Department will take audiences through an old coat closet into the strange nature-world of Narnia with its spring production of the C.S. Lewis classic: "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe."

The production will recreate the magic and mystery of Aslan, the great lion, his struggle with the White Witch, and the adventures of four children who inadvertently wander from an old wardrobe into the never-to-be-forgotten land of Narnia. The story is one of love, faith, courage, giving, and the triumph of good over evil.

“Our goal is to create a totally original production of the play,” said Brad McKenzie, technical director. “Since nature plays such a large role, we’ve taken an organic bent and tried to incorporate wood and other elements of nature to help tell the story. It won’t be childish, but it will maintain the child-like wonder that’s inherent in the original story.”

The action features chases, duels, and escapes as the witch is determined to keep Narnia in her possession and to end the reign of Aslan. All the memorable episodes from the story will unfold: the temptation of Edmund by the witch, the slaying of the evil wolf by Peter, the witnessing of Aslan’s resurrection by Susan and Lucy, and the crowning of the four new rulers of Narnia.

The memorable supporting characters are also here: the unicorn, the centaur, and other forest animals, as well as Father Christmas, Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, and the faun, Tumnus.

The set will feature two, 13-foot tall arches and four large panels of material that will use multiple arrangements and lighting to adapt to various settings. McKenzie said stage hands dressed as wood nymphs will set the stage as needed and then fade back into nature.

A unique aspect of the production will be sound, which will be created solely by the actors or crew members – and require deft timing. For example, as the actors crunch through the woods or snow, a crew member will create the sound of footsteps off-stage.

“We think it ideas like this will make the production unique and be something that no one’s seen before,” McKenzie said. “We know we have a challenge presenting this story because it’s well-known, so we’re looking to stray from convention.”

The set is totally designed by students and all the actors are Northeast State students, McKenzie said. He said there are eight student-designers and 20-25 cast members.

The play was dramatized for the stage by Joseph Robinette from the story by C.S. Lewis.  The novel was the first installment of Lewis’ "The Chronicles of Narnia" series. First published in 1950, it has long been a youth-fiction staple. Time magazine placed the book on its 2005 list of the 100 best English-language novels.

The play is being brought to the Northeast State stage courtesy of Dramatic Publishing. The play is being directed by Northeast State’s own Elizabeth M. Sloan, theatre department chair.

The show will be presented at the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts on two successive weekends of April 3-6 and April 10-13.   Evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m., April 3-5 and April 10-12.  Matinee performances begin at 2 p.m., April 6 and 13.

Tickets are $10 general admission with senior and students priced at $8. Tickets for children under 12 are $6. Performances are free to current Northeast State students, but they must pick up tickets at the box office.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.NortheastState.edu or at the theatre box office one hour prior to the show. The house opens 30 minutes before show time.

The performing arts center is located at 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to the Tri-Cities Regional Airport.

For more information, contact Northeast State Theatre at 423.354.2479 or e-mail emsloan@NortheastState.edu.

As a bonus attraction, pop-culture historian Stephanie Murray will give free presentations about the book on April 10 at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in the performing arts center.   

03-21-14  

College earns award for blood drive participation

Northeast State was recognized by Marsh Regional Blood Center on March 21 as the top blood drive supporter among community colleges for the 2013 year. The College’s student organizations help make Northeast State’s blood drives successful and receive a monetary donation to their club funds when they are one of the top clubs recruiting donors.

The February blood drive winners were the TRiO Club (1st place); the Greens Club (2nd place); and the Scholars Foundation (3rd place). A big thanks to the Northeast State family of students, staff, and faculty for your commitment to donating blood for our community needs.

The next blood drive happens April 15 at the main campus and Northeast State at Kingsport. Thanks to Marsh Regional Blood Center for their support of Northeast State.

 03-20-14 

Nikki Sumner named Coca-Cola Silver Scholar

Northeast State student Nikki Sumner of Kingsport has been named a 2014 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Silver Scholar. She will receive a $1,250 scholarship and a special medallion.

The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation sponsors the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team program by recognizing 50 Gold, 50 Silver and 50 Bronze Scholars, and providing nearly $200,000 in scholarships annually.

“I was ecstatic when I got the news,” said Sumner, a Sullivan North High School graduate. “This is very helpful for me – I don’t have to worry about working so much and can focus on school,” Sumner said.

Sumner is a nursing major, planning to transfer to ETSU in fall 2014. Her career goal is to work as an operating room registered nurse and eventually become a physician’s assistant. In addition to her position as secretary/treasurer for the Alpha Iota Chi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, she is the administrative liaison for the Council for Leadership, Advocacy, and Student Success; secretary of the Green's Club; a member of the Northeast State President's Student Advisory Council; and a member of the Scholars Foundation. She also holds the Academic Work Scholarship.

“To be recognized this way makes me feel really good and humbled,” Sumner said. “Getting this award helps me clarify that I’m doing the right things and that I am capable of achieving even more things in the future.”

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society administers the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Program and recognizes Coca-Cola Academic Team scholars during All-State Community College Academic Team Recognition ceremonies held in 38 states. Student scholars also receive recognition locally during ceremonies held on campus and internationally for those who are able to attend Phi Theta Kappa’s Annual Convention.

More than 1,700 students were nominated from more than 900 community colleges for recognition. Judges consider grades, leadership, activities and most importantly, how students extend their intellectual talents beyond the classroom. A total of 51 students received the honor.

Sumner will be recognized during the Parade of Scholars at the Second General Session of the Phi Theta Kappa Annual Convention in Orlando, Fla., April 25 and at a special reception for Phi Theta Kappa Scholars later that same day.

In addition, Sumner was recently named to the All-Tennessee Academic Team. The All-Tennessee Academic Team is comprised of students nominated by their colleges to be considered for the All-USA Academic Team, sponsored by USA Today and Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. Each of the state’s 13 community colleges selects two outstanding students to recognize for their academic achievement, leadership, and service to the community.

“We appreciate the support of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and The Coca-Cola Foundation to recognize the outstanding academic achievement and leadership accomplishments of these outstanding community college students,” said Dr. Rod Risly, Phi Theta Kappa’s executive director. “These scholarships provided by organizations like Coca-Cola make the goal of college completion possible – especially during these challenging economic times.”

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Miss., is the largest honor society in American higher education with more than 1,285 chapters on two-year and community college campuses around the world. Nearly three million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 135,000 students inducted annually.

 03-18-14 

Alpha Iota Chi welcomes 72 new members

Northeast State welcomed 72 new members to the Alpha Iota Chi chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society for the 2014 spring semester.

The new members were welcomed into Alpha Iota Chi during an induction ceremony held March 16 at the College’s main campus in Blountville. The ceremony was led by Jane Honeycutt, the chapter’s faculty advisor and coordinator of the Northeast State Honors Program. The event’s guest speaker was Dayna Smithers, Northeast State faculty member, Phi Theta Kappa co-advisor, and recently named Maxine Smith Fellow.

The newest members of Alpha Iota Chi are: Tracy M. Allen; Myka M. Baker; Matthew A. Baptist, Melissa Botaro Ros; Michael B. Bowers; Kayla E. Bryant; Bonnie Burns; Antje Campbell; Kimberly D. Campbell; Summer D. Cleek; Jason E. Conley; Holly Renee Carter Bradlee Clark; Rebecca J. Cote; Patrina N. Cradic; Sherry Crigger; Austin E. Cross; Matthew K. Dean; Jose E. Diaz; Misty D. Dishner; Hunter R. Dotson; Richard S. Ervin; Brandon K. Fenwick; Carly D. Fields; Patricia Fink; Eden Galvez; Curtis D. Grindstaff; Kevin B. Grindstaff; Emily M. Hamilton; Amber N. Harr; Shelley Harrell; Dustin T. Harris; Justin K. Hartsell; Alicia B. Holley; Teresa P. Horton; Kaylin C. Huston; Alexandra S. Johnson; Kasey N. Johnson; Kyle A. Johnson; Allan B. Jones; Josie L. Klepper; Austin W. Lewin; James E. Lewis; Miriam N. Little; Hannah Long; Faith N. Maddox; James McDonald; McKensie G. McGee; Christopher S. Middleton; Christopher W. Miller; Haley C. Money; Labreeska Montgomery; Rebecca L. Murray; Logan Myers; Dylan S. Nichols; Andrew Perry; Logan C. Phillips; Dillon J. Price; Brenda Rankhorn; Heidi Rankhorn; Rebecca Rasnick; Samantha S. Reed; Kimberly A. Regan; Jordan Rhoton; Jeffrey L. Robinson; David J. Shepherd; Christina F. Stacy; Esta A. Stevens; Heater R. Trinkle; Morgan L. Wallen; Charles Walters; Rachel M. Wyco; and Adam J. Zapka.

To qualify for membership in Phi Theta Kappa, a student must be enrolled full-time in an associate degree program, have completed at least 12 hours of college-level coursework, and have a minimum 3.5 grade point average. A college’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter extends membership invitations to students meeting these criteria.

The Alpha Iota Chi chapter has achieved five-star status, the highest level of participation in Phi Theta Kappa activities. The society supports the four hallmarks of Scholarship, Leadership, Service, and Fellowship that are designed to give members opportunities for personal growth as well as service to others. Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honor society in American higher education with 1,200 chapters on two-year and community college campuses in all 50 of the United States and four countries.

 03-18-14 

Alan Bracken and creating the WOW Factor

The Wow Factor. Some people and organizations possess this intangible trait that makes them successful. The trick is finding it and putting it on display.

Alan Bracken and his colleagues engaged an audience of 100 Northeast State staff businesspersons on March 14 about creating the “Wow Factor Experience” for customers and consumers on a daily basis.

“We give off an energy; every one of us has an energy signature,” Bracken told the audience assembled in the Auditorium at the College’s main campus. “We need that wow factor because creating a ‘wow’ is going over and above what is expected.”

With business professionals sharing their experiences and interview sessions, Bracken shared elements that give organizations an edge in success and help individuals achieve. The ability to surprise and energize people instilled loyalty with those raving fans. He cited a recent on-site visit to Zappos, an online store with soaring revenues and loyal customers.

“Your personal expectations must exceed the people around you to deliver the ‘wow’ factor,” said Bracken.

Bracken welcomed violinist Daniel Blair who performed for the audience and revealed his lifelong dedication as a virtuoso and music teacher. Blair explained how he, like his best students, always went a little farther than what was asked of them.

“An average student will give you less or equal to what you ask for but an excellent student will go beyond that,” Blair said. “If you consistently do more than asked, you will achieve a much higher competency in your work.”

Bracken said this is why the “Wow” experience could be a challenge. Personal sacrifices were often required to create the right experience of success.

Bracken’s colleague J.D. Kyle shared his experiences as a veteran of the corporate world working for companies including Starbucks and Jack in the Box. Kyle put forth the “five D’s” of excellence: Desire, Decision, Doing, Discipline, and Determination. He highlighted companies such as Disney and Nordstrom as well as local favorite Pal’s for their excellence in customer service.

“Character is key to deliver the ‘wow’ factor over a long period of time,” said Kyle. “Developing character is a long process.”

Successful people want to succeed, they make a decision for success, they do what it takes to succeed, adhere to a personal discipline, and stay determined, said Kyle. Great success, added Kyle, always included a series of past failures.

“Excellence is not a destination,” said Kyle. “It keeps going through time.”

Another seminar segment featured two young ladies trained in martial arts. They presented a perfectly choreographed demonstration of their skills. Bracken explained this as a demonstration of “unconscious competence” when an individual achieves mastery of a skill as to become his or her second nature.

The day also featured a presentation by Don Cameron, former president of Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown, N.C. Cameron said the traits of confidence and competence were hallmarks of great business leaders he had worked with during his career.

“You have to invest in yourself,” Cameron said. “The best leaders focus on goals, keep learning every day, and take feedback from other people.”

To get there from here, Cameron urged individuals to “close the gap” between what they do and where they are going. He explained the Gap as “Gain knowledge, Apply it, and Pass it on.” This philosophy gave leaders the opportunity to learn, do, and mentor future leaders.

Bracken is an entrepreneur who sought to better his leadership skills through the John Maxwell leadership events. He and his wife, Amanda, have traveled extensively training leaders around the country and world.

“My commitment is to do everything I can to engage, challenge and inspire you,” Bracken told his audience. “Excellence is not about perfection – it is about pursuing perfection.”

 03-17-14  

Workshop looks at accountability in the workplace

Northeast State employees and community members were treated to an insightful look into accountability in the workplace recently by noted professional development and motivational speaker Iwana Ridgill.

Northeast State employees and community members were treated to an insightful look into accountability in the workplace recently by noted professional development and motivational speaker Iwana Ridgill.

Using examples from “The Oz Priniciple” - a book that looks at achieving positive results through responsibility – and clips from the classic film, “The Wizard of Oz,” Ridgill outlined four steps for achieving individual accountability.

“The book presents a traditional challenge to our view of accountability and it offers an alternative view that is almost converse to the definition we normally attach to accountability,” Ridgill said.

Basically, Ridgill said accountability can be approached in either a negative or positive manner, which she called “drawing the line.”

“We can make any of several choices, some of which are ‘below the line’ and some ‘above the line,’” Ridgill said. “The choices that are below the line will deny us an opportunity to learn from our mistakes.”

Below the line actions include denial, finger-pointing, and inaction, which prevent ownership of a job task or mistake.

On the other hand, above the line behaviors allow people to learn from mistakes and use them as learning opportunities to reduce mistakes and foster potential for personal and professional growth.

Ridgill outlined these positive choices and/or behaviors to achieve understanding of an issue or situation:

  • See It – Critical feedback and self-evaluation.
  • Own It – Objective questions for a thorough analysis.
  • Solve It – Engagement, alternative thinking, and initiative to move forward.
  • Do It – Full responsibility and ownership to achieve desired results.

 “Staying above the line gives us the freedom to hold ourselves accountable,” Ridgill said. “That allows us to make choices that improve us both professionally and personally.”

 Ridgill, is an adjunct faculty member in the Continuing and Corporate Education division at Midlands Technical College in Columbia, SC.  She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the Honors College of the  University of South Carolina (B.A. English, magna cum laude; M.Ed. Student Personnel Services, Ph.D. Counselor Education), and conducts staff and management development training programs for businesses and organizations in the public and private sectors. 
 
03-14-14 

Northeast State to host annual Spring Career Fair

Northeast State Community College invites students and community members to attend the Spring Career Fair 2014 Thursday, March 27 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 director of Career Services. “It will be an excellent opportunity to network and learn about current hiring needs.”

Northeast State Community College’s Spring Career Fair 2013 drew almost 50 companies and served 250 job seekers on the Blountville campus.

“The nice thing is that the event provides face-time with employers,” said Tittle. “So much of the time people are applying online and it’s just not the same as networking with employers face-to-face.”

Employers may register online at http://apps.northeaststate.edu/registration/careerfair/ until March 20. 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.

“Last year, employers were impressed by the turnout and many are returning again this year,” Tittle said. “Several employers stated that they were impressed at how well-prepared our students were. That is a real compliment to the College,” Tittle said.

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.

03-11-14 

Educate and Grow scholarship priority deadline is March 31

Applications for the Educate and Grow Scholarship Program at Northeast State are being accepted now for all high school seniors graduating this spring and residing in Carter, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi, and Washington counties and the city of Kingsport.

Applications for the Educate and Grow Scholarship Program at Northeast State are being accepted now for all high school seniors graduating this spring and residing in Carter, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi, and Washington counties and the city of Kingsport.

Eligible students can download applications online at www.educateandgrow.com. Scholarship award amounts depend on the number of student applicants in Educate and Grow and the availability of funds. The priority deadline to submit an application is March 31.

An Educate and Grow Scholarship applicant must be a member of a 2014 high school graduating class and have a custodial parent or court-appointed legal guardian who meets program residency requirements and has lived in their county of residence for 12 months prior to the applicant’s high school graduation date. An applicant must enroll at Northeast State as a degree-seeking student for the upcoming fall 2014 semester and meet all scholarship requirements.

Educate and Grow provides tuition assistance for qualifying students graduating from high schools located within the College’s service area. The program was initiated in 2001 between Northeast State and the governments of Kingsport and Sullivan County. Northeast State has since partnered with other local governments, private companies, and individual donors to expand the program throughout the College’s five-county service area.

Applications for the Educate and Grow Scholarship Program are available at the student guidance offices of local high schools.  Applications can also be picked up at the Northeast State campus in Blountville or teaching sites at Elizabethton, Bristol, Gray, Kingsport Center for Higher Education, and the Regional Center for Applied Technology in downtown Kingsport.

Completed applications must be submitted in person at the main campus General Studies Building, office C2107, 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport.

For more information or questions contact the Northeast State office for Scholarship Programs at 423.354.5235 or e-mail jajohnson@NortheastState.edu 

03-11-14  

Caravan of Thieves to play Northeast State March 20

Northeast State welcomes Caravan of Thieves back to campus this month to interpret one of the best-loved albums of The Beatles. The marvelously theatrical and talented band plays a free live performance on Thursday, March 20 at 7 p.m. in the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts at the main campus in Blountville.

A crowd-pleaser from last summer’s “Hot Nights, Cool Music” summer series returns with a very special tribute to the 50th Anniversary of the arrival of the Beatles in America in the form of a unique Caravan of Thieves interpretation of the entire “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album. Don’t miss this incredible evening. You won’t experience anything quite like this anywhere else in the Tri-Cities.

Caravan of Thieves are musical and intense. Driving gypsy jazz rhythms, acoustic guitars, upright bass and violin lay the foundation for the band’s mesmerizing vocal harmonies and fantastic stories.  They entertain, dazzle and defy musical classification while welcoming the crowd to join throughout the performance in momentary fits of claps, snaps and sing-alongs.

In the spring of 2008, guitarist/vocalists Fuzz and Carrie Sangiovanni extended their family to include fiery violinist Ben Dean and double bass madman, Brian Anderson completing their colorful vision. Within the group’s first year, the Caravan of Thieves won immediate praise for their unique blend of gypsy swing and popular music, inspiring them to record and release the debut full-length album Bouquet.

The band’s third release and second studio album, The Funhouse, broadens the Caravan of Thieves sound to include the kitchen sink, and then some. Tunes like “Raise the Dead,” the record’s single, drive the point home with impressive lift, powered by soaring crescendos and inspired gang vocals, not to mention a lyric that invites the deceased to join in the fun.

The concert is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact 423.279.7669 or jpkelly@northeaststate.edu.

03-08-14 

Northeast State hosts noted leadership speakers

Northeast State Community College hosted two nationally recognized speakers March 7 as part of the College’s ongoing professional development and targeted leadership development (TLDP) programs.

Noted community college expert John Roueche delivered two presentations to the TLDP Advanced Leadership Cohort. His first presentation – “Facing the Future” – focused on how technology has impacted the lives of students, faculty, and staff in higher education. Specifically, Roueche touched on how technology has changed the process of learning and teaching by the immediate availability of information on devices that people carry with them almost all of the time.

Roueche touched on the importance of considering how community college are going to prepare students for jobs of the future, many of which do not even exist today. The importance of professional development for faculty was a major topic of discussion, including growing skills for greater use of technology in the classroom.

Roueche also discussed “Building a Collaborative College.” During this presentation, he offered insight into how critical it is, and will continue to be, for leaders to build relationships and connections with members in the community, including business, industry, and the public. Roueche challenged the participants to think about things that have a big impact, but can be done at low cost (examples included: promotional items and thank you notes).

Roueche is president of the Roueche Graduate Center at National American University. Previously, he served as the Sid W. Richardson Regents Chair and as professor and director of the Community College Leadership Program at The University of Texas at Austin from 1971-2012. He is a graduate of Mitchell Community College and received his Ph.D. in higher education administration from Florida State University in 1964.

Dr. Jerry Sue Thornton delivered a two-hour presentation on “High Performance Leadership: The Pathway to Possibilities,” with a focus on how important it is for leaders to grow their understanding of the organization that they work for.

Thornton described her work on the Report from the 21st-Century Commission on the Future of Community College – Reclaiming the American Dream (Community Colleges and the Nation’s Future). She also described change, the importance of continually thinking of how to maximize leadership skills in times of change, and how to determine the difference between visible and invisible barriers to leadership.

The presentation concluded with a conversation with the TLDP participants, including discussion of important leadership traits and book recommendations.

Thornton is best known for her leadership of and service to Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C), where she served as President from 1992 to 2013. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Murray State University, and earned her Ph.D. in Educational Administration from The University of Texas.

During her tenure at Tri-C, she was responsible for overseeing the educational experiences of 60,000 individuals a year, across four campuses, one university center, and three workforce training facilities. In her 21 years as President, Tri-C saw marked growth in student enrollment, facilities, academic offerings and workforce training opportunities.

 03-06-14  

Northeast State wins big at Phi Theta Kappa regional competition

While there were no Oscars or red carpets, several Northeast State students enjoyed a weekend of winning and recognition for their achievements.

The College’s Alpha Iota Chi chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society won several team and individual honors at the society’s regional convention held this past weekend at Walter’s State Community College Sevierville campus.

Alpha Iota Chi won 1st Place as Most Distinguished Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa in the state of Tennessee. The chapter’s secretary/treasurer, Nikki Sumner, won 1st Place as Most Distinguished Chapter Officer in the state. Her colleague and vice president of Communication, Matt Parker, took 3rd Place in the same category. Will Riddle earned the 1st place award as Distinguished Chapter Member. The chapter also earned a 3rd place award for Distinguished Chapter Officer Team.

“I am honored to have worked with these students” said Jane Honeycutt, faculty advisor for the chapter and Northeast State associate professor of English and Women’s Studies. “Their projects have had a meaningful impact on the Northeast Tennessee Region as well as the College.”

The chapter received the 1st Place award of Most Distinguished Honors in Action Project. The chapter created an online directory of regional community services.  The directory consolidated scores of regional service contacts into one source accessible online for the community.

The chapter also took the 4th Place Award of Most Distinguished College Project involving a reduction of paper use on campus. Chapter members initiated a volunteer effort to reduce paper usage by asking faculty members to find alternative ways to communicate class information.

Alpha Iota Chi chapter officers and members participating in these projects are: Kelsey Smith, fall 2013-14 President; Jared Allen, spring 2013 president; Nicole Nielson, vice president of Fellowship; Nikki Sumner, secretary/treasurer; Matt Parker, vice president of Communication; Anna Musket, vice president of Scholarship; Isabella Smith, vice president of Service; Tim Crigger, vice president of Leadership; and Emma Bragg, 2013-14 secretary/treasurer.

Phi Theta Kappa improves student success by providing opportunities for recognition, scholarships, and intellectual development through scholarly programs based on the Society’s four Hallmarks of Scholarship, Leadership, Service, and Fellowship.

Alpha Iota Chi members engage in research projects each year as part of their independent study. An Alpha Iota Chi member must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 and demonstrate leadership and community service consistent with Phi Theta Kappa principles.

“Phi Theta Kappa offers students unparalleled opportunities for leadership development and community service,” said Honeycutt.

Phi Theta Kappa has recognized academic excellence in the two-year college with more than two million students inducted since the society’s founding in 1918.  The society is composed of more than 1,200 chapters at community, technical and junior colleges in all 50 states and several foreign countries.  

03-05-14 

Olivia Orten earns pretigious New Century Scholar honor

Northeast State student Olivia Orten of Kingsport has been named a 2014 New Century Scholar - the only community college student in Tennessee to receive the honor.

The New Century Scholars Program is sponsored by The Coca-Cola Foundation, Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, Phi Theta Kappa, and the American Association of Community Colleges.
 
The New Century Scholars program and All-USA Community College Academic Team, which is sponsored by Follett Higher Education Group and presented by USA TODAY and Phi Theta Kappa, share a common application and together recognize outstanding community college students.

More than 1,700 students were nominated from more than 900 community colleges for recognition. Judges consider grades, leadership, activities and most importantly, how students extend their intellectual talents beyond the classroom. A total of 51 students received the honor.

“I am very humbled,” Orten said. “I am thankful for my journey here at Northeast State, which has allowed me to receive this amazing award.”

Orten attributes much of her success to the College’s TRiO Student Support Services program, a federally funded program that provides tutoring, mentoring, and college transfer services to eligible college students.

“If it wasn’t for TRiO, I wouldn’t be sitting here talking about this honor,” Orten said. “TRiO has helped me tremendously with my growth and leadership skills, and allowed me participate in activities and things that were outside my comfort zone.”

Orten is a social work major with a 4.0 grade point average. After graduation, she plans to transfer to East Tennessee State University and pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Orten said she plans to return to Northeast State and become a TRiO transfer advisor.

Orten is TRiO CLuB president and Glee Club president. She is also a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the President’s Student Leadership Academy, and the Council for Leadership, Advocacy, and Student Success. She currently holds the Brock Services, Ltd., scholarship.

“I don’t think I’m better than any other student here – there are tons of students who are very good academically, but I think what set me apart was my involvement in activities here on campus,” Orten said. “All the opportunities allowed me to grow as a person, become more confident, and make a difference in the lives of other students.”

New Century Scholars are the highest scoring students in each state, plus one student from Canada and one additional student chosen from among one of the remaining seven sovereign nations where Phi Theta Kappa is represented internationally. Each scholar will receive a $2,000 scholarship and attend the American Association of College Presidents (AACC) Convention in Washington, D.C., on April 8.

In addition, Orten will be recognized during the Parade of Scholars at the Second General Session of the Phi Theta Kappa Annual Convention in Orlando, Fla., April 25 and at a special reception for Phi Theta Kappa Scholars later that same day.
 
In addition, Orten was recently named to the All-Tennessee Academic Team. The All-Tennessee Academic Team is comprised of students nominated by their colleges to be considered for the All-USA Academic Team, sponsored by USA Today and Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. Each of the state’s 13 community colleges selects two outstanding students to recognize for their academic achievement, leadership, and service to the community.
 
“We appreciate the support of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and The Coca-Cola Foundation to recognize the outstanding academic achievement and leadership accomplishments of these outstanding community college students,” said Dr. Rod Risly, Phi Theta Kappa’s executive director. “These scholarships provided by organizations like Coca-Cola make the goal of college completion possible – especially during these challenging economic times.”

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Miss., is the largest honor society in American higher education with more than 1,285 chapters on two-year and community college campuses around the world. Nearly three million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 135,000 students inducted annually.

 03-05-14 

Northeast State presents 10th annual Honors Research Conference 

Northeast State presents the 10th Annual Honors Research Conference tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. in L226 at Basler Library.  This event features students and faculty presenting research papers on a variety of subjects.  The day’s agenda is listed below.

Schedule of Events

8:30 a.m. - Coffee & Continental Breakfast
8:45 a.m. - Welcome
8: 50 a.m. - East Tennessee State University (ETSU) Ronald E. McNair Program: Dinah DeFord, McNair Coordinator

9:00-10:20:  Session One

Dinah Deford, ETSU McNair Coordinator:  The Voice of the ABD: A Phenomenological Exploration of Lived Experiences

Hannah McNeill, ETSU McNair Scholar: Quantification of XPA DNA Repair Protein in Cancer, Normal, and Progeroid Cells

10:30-11:50:  Session Two

Jim Kelly, Associate Professor, History: Northeast State STEP:  Exploring the Transition from Teaching to Learning

Brandon Johnson, NeSCC Student:  A Generation without Religion.

Jane Honeycutt, Honors Program Coordinator:  Persistent Gender Wage Discrimination in Academia

12:00-1:20:  Session Three

Jessica Lambert, ETSU McNair Scholar:  Lived Experiences of Formerly Incarcerated Adults on the Road to Rehabilitation

Andrea Frye, Associate Professor, English: No Rakes Need Apply: How the College Admissions Process Evolved Into a Feeding Frenzy

Julie Young, NeSCC Honors Student: The Subject of Bullying in School

1:30-2:50:  Session Four

Grace Arrowood, NeSCC Honors Student: Society’s Idols, Self-Help, and Self-Image

Toby Stidham, NeSCC student:  Take This Job and Love It! 

03-03-14 

 Northeast State offers R.A.D. self defense course for women

 A free course designed to give women the basic tools of self-defense and the confidence to use them begins in March at Northeast State. 

 Women can learn the art of self-defense and survival through the Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D) course.  The course has three sessions meeting March 11, 18, and 25, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.  The course is being taught at the College’s main campus, 2425 Highway 75, in the Courtyard of the Student Activities Building.

Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) is a nine (9) hour program conducted over three sessions.  Participation is open to female Northeast State students, staff, and faculty as well as female members of the community 18 years of age and older. If you feel you may not be able to attend all three sessions on the dates above, please do not sign up.

The R.A.D. System is a comprehensive, women-only course that teaches awareness, prevention, risk reduction and risk avoidance, while progressing on to the basics of hands-on defense training.  The course includes lecture, discussion and self-defense techniques, suitable for women of all ages and abilities.

The course is free.  Registration is required.  To register or learn more, contact 423.323.0255 or jnoffield@NortheastState.edu.

03-03-14       

TBR selects Dayna Smithers for Maxine Smith Fellow program

Dayna Smithers, assistant professor of mathematics at Northeast State Community College, has been selected as a 2014 Maxine Smith Fellow by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

The prestigious program, which runs from February through September, is designed to provide professional, leadership, and career development opportunities for African-American TBR employees. Fellows observe and participate in system-wide meetings, projects, and workshops. 

Each fellow is assigned to a senior-level administrative mentor at the TBR system office, a TBR institution, or the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. The fellow and mentor communicate on a regular basis about program activities and matters that cultivate a learning experience. Smithers' mentor is Dr. Jim Catanzaro, president of Chattanooga State Community College.

“When you think about all the applicants from the universities, community colleges, and colleges of applied technology,” said Smithers. “I feel very honored to be one of the 10 in this group."

Smithers earned a bachelor of science degree from Auburn University in 2003 and a master’s of science degree from East Tennessee State University in 2005. She recently finished her coursework in ETSU's Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis (ELPA) program and is working on her dissertation.

"Having gone through the ELPA coursework, I've studied about decision- and policy-making, but this opportunity will allow me to see first-hand how higher education administration works," Smithers said. "It's one thing to read and study about something, but to experience that environment is going to be amazing - that's what I'm excited about."

In addition, the program requires each fellow to complete a project - usually a research paper or report - that examines a higher education topic. Smithers and Dr. Catanzaro will meet monthly and work to decide on a meaningful research topic for her project.

Smithers is the second person to earn the honor at Northeast State. Linda Calvert, executive director of Grant Development, was a 2011 fellow.

The program honors Dr. Maxine Smith, a noted civil rights activist and education advocate from Memphis who served as a TBR regent for 12 years.