TBR Chancellor visits Northeast State

John Morgan was appointed chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents in August 2010. He previously served as Deputy to the Governor of the state of Tennessee since January 2009; prior to that, he had served as Comptroller of the Treasury of the state for 10 years.

“It is both a challenge and an opportunity,” Morgan said following his appointment.  “We are facing difficult times from a number of perspectives, but in working our way through the issues before us, I believe we can do great things for our state and its citizens.”
Morgan’s public service career dates back to 1976 except for a brief stint in the private sector during the late 1980s. He has had a longtime interest in and commitment to education. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in political science and history from Austin Peay State University.

Chancellor Morgan visited Northeast State Community College in recently.  He praised the College’s programs such as Educate and Grow and the collaborative efforts in creating Northeast State at Kingsport and the Kingsport Center for Higher Education.

Morgan directs the nation’s sixth largest higher education system, governing 46 post-secondary educational institutions.  The TBR system includes six universities, 13 two-year colleges and 27 technology centers.


Two causes, one purpose: The Bandana Project at Northeast State

The Spanish and Art clubs of Northeast State Community College are participating in a unique national campaign to highlight two unspoken social issues that coincide during the spring semester.

National Farm-workers Awareness Week (FWAW) is commemorated March 27-April 1. This year, the last day of FWAW is also the first day of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  How are these two issues related?  In more ways than most would think.

“Working in the fields is one of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S., and the fields are often not a safe environment for women, especially undocumented immigrant and migrant women,” says Francis Canedo, instructor of Spanish at Northeast State.  “Undocumented women farm-workers tend to believe they have no rights or protections from the law.  They feel scared, afraid to speak out against sexual violence because they feel they may lose their job.”

This year the Northeast State Spanish and Art student clubs organized participation in The Bandana Project, a national campaign to raise awareness and educate farm-worker women about their rights. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a staggering 80 percent of migrant women farm-workers have reported some type of sexual harassment or assault.

Because women farm-workers wear bandanas to hide their faces in the fields to guard against sexual harassment, in the Bandana Project, bandanas are being painted and decorated across the country as a symbolic gesture of support for farm-worker women.

The Bandana Project involves students with an art contest to decorate up to three bandanas highlighting both issues.  Contest entrants create art with their bandanas including messages written in Spanish and English.  Submissions are evaluated by a faculty committee composed of art, Spanish, theatre, and English instructors.

Combining the farm-worker’s tool of sanctuary with art to communicate a message of solidarity demonstrates the power of art in society.
“This project represents how I’ve always looked at art: If it can break down barriers it is useful,” says Christal Hensley, instructor of Art at Northeast State.  “I think art can speak to people and change the way they think.”

Of the estimated three million farm-workers in the United States, 1 in 5 is a woman, according to the Department of Labor’s 2005 National Agricultural Workers survey.  Farm-workers labor in fields, packing sheds and nurseries. They harvest and pack fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, sod and a range of other agricultural products. Low-wage immigrant women are also employed in meatpacking, poultry, hotels, cleaning services, restaurants and factories, where they also face sexual harassment and violence.

Northeast State Spanish Club will also screen two documentary films about the exploitation of migrant and immigrant farm-workers in the United States including Edward Murrow’s Harvest of Shame and Morristown: In the Air and Sun as well as other activities to create awareness about the plights of farm-workers. 

Student or student club representative can pick up bandanas in H107 or H120 of the Locke Humanities Building, through March 18 and decorate it with a pertinent theme.  The entry deadline is March 21.  Student and club bandanas entries selected as winners will remain on display in the Basler Library during Farm-workers Awareness Week. 

For more information, contact 423.279.3694 or ffcanedo@NortheastState.edu.


Amber Kinser visits campus March 23

Northeast State Community College welcomes Amber Kinser, feminist writer, speaker, mother, and professor, to campus on March 23 for two lectures at noon and 7 p.m. in the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts.


Kinser is the College’s keynote speaker for Women’s History Month commemorated during March.  Her presentation, The Truth About Motherhood and Feminism, delves into mothering, maternal identity, and feminism in the modern era.  She is performing for the National Women's Studies Association conference, and the Organization for the Study of Communication Language and Gender conference. 

Kinser’s latest book, Motherhood and Feminism, discusses women’s advocacy efforts related to motherhood.  The book details how feminism's pro-woman advocacy has shaped the issues of family and motherhood during the past 150 years.

As a professor of Communication at East Tennessee State University, Kinser seeks to explain the relationship between gender and communication.  She explores the links between human interaction, gender, and living empowered personal and professional lives.  She gives talks to women in business, student leaders, teachers, and professional organizations on crossing the gender divide to cultivate powerful communications among women and men.

Kinser draws on feminist thought and activism, her doctoral training in family communication, and 18+ years experience as a mother to explore how women who choose to mother can do so as powerful people.  Her anthology of essays Mothering in the Third Wave focuses on who mothers are affected by the political and social realities of the modern era.

Kinser has delivered numerous presentations at national conferences including “Women and Men, Girls and Boys Communicating” for the American Association of University Women’s Conference and “Ambivalence, Paradox, and Mothering in Postfeminist Times” for the Association for Research on Mother Conference.

Her other writing has appeared in the academic journals such as National Women’s Studies Association Journal, Communication Education, and the Journal of Business Communication.

Kinser’s appearance is free and open to the public.  Her appearance is sponsored by the Northeast State Cultural Activities Committee.  For more information, contact 423.279.7669 or e-mail jpkelly@NortheastState.edu.


Community college expert visits Northeast State

Noted community college expert, Dr. John Roueche, visited Northeast State Community College March 18, bringing a customer-comes-first message to faculty and staff.

Roueche, professor and director of the Sid W. Richardson Regents Chair at the University of Texas, has written 35 books and more than 150 chapters and articles about community college education.


Roueche, who speaks on more than 100 community college campuses annually, related wry tales of customer service gone wrong he’s witnessed during his travels. For instance, he once called a community college where a receptionist gruffly answered, “College” – and this in an area populated by many similar institutions.


His talk was one of caution and he reminded the audience that there are no second chances at first impressions.


“First impressions may also accurately reflect the values of that institution,” Roueche said. “To have an excellent organization you better hire people that have excellent human skills that can motivate and inspire other human beings.”


Roueche reminded staff and faculty that community students are sometimes fragile and can bolt from an institution if they encounter negative behavior and confusing information. He noted that community colleges might lose 10 percent of applicants in the orientation process if their needs are not met.


“All employees play a critical role in the needs and wants of students. All have to help make the college a pleasant positive experience for constituents,” Roueche said.


Roueche also covered topics such as developmental education and the critical role that faculty play in keeping students on track.


Roueche said community colleges might lose as many as 40 percent of developmental students because the students do not see any utility in subjects as English and mathematics. He said teacher have to undo students’ fear and dislike of courses they struggle with and show them the functionality and application those topics can have in their lives.


A caring attitude also goes a long way, he said.


“Once they see a teacher cares, it makes all the difference,” Roueche said. “Our job is to promote the development of those we teach and motivate them to discover their talents.”


Roueche started the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) more than 30 years ago to aid the professional development of administration, faculty, and staff at the community college level. Currently, NISOD sponsors an annual conference and has more than 700 community college members.


TBR Board to meet at Northeast State

NASHVILLE - The Tennessee Board of Regents will meet in regular quarterly session at Northeast State Community College in Blountville on Friday, March 25. The Board meeting will begin at 10 a.m. EDT in the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts theatre.

A full agenda and meeting materials are available on the TBR Web site at http://www.tbr.edu/about/default.aspx?id=1390&ekmensel=e2f22c9a_8_84_btnlink. The meeting is open to the public and the press as observers. The meeting is also accessible via live streaming video at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/tennessee-board-of-regents using the password tbr2011.

The Tennessee Board of Regents is the nation’s sixth largest higher education system, governing 45 post-secondary educational institutions. The TBR system includes six universities, 13 two-year colleges and 27 technology centers (one center shares a campus with a community college), providing programs in 90 of Tennessee’s 95 counties to more than 200,000 students.