AACC report calls for dramatic changes to community colleges

ORLANDO – Today, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) released a report that calls for dramatic changes to America's community colleges to ensure U.S. competitiveness. The report outlines seven specific recommendations for reforming the country's community college system in its new report, Reclaiming the American Dream: A Report from the 21st-Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges.

The report's counsel center on the "Three Rs" of reform: Redesign, Reinvent and Reset. These are defined as a redesign of students' educational experiences, a reinvention of institutional roles, and a resetting of the system to create partnerships and incentives for student and institutional success.

"We need to completely reimagine community colleges for today and the future," said Dr. Walter G. Bumphus, AACC's president and CEO, who commissioned the report. "It is important that college graduates be not just globally competitive but also globally competent, understanding their roles as citizens and workers in an international context. In today's knowledge economy, intellectual capital is a nation's greatest, most renewable natural resource."

Bumphus went on to say, "Higher education is struggling with low student success rates and employers complain about inadequate student preparation for the job market. Our underinvestment in higher education not only wastes our human capital, it threatens U.S. global economic leadership, contributes to the erosion of our middle class, and calls into question the viability of the American dream, with its promise of upward mobility for each generation."

The report states low student success rates and inadequate job preparation hinder middle-class students and have a devastating effect on low-income students and students of color, those often in greatest need of what community colleges have to offer.

In a rapidly changing America and a drastically reshaped world, the Commission notes, sustaining the American Dream is at risk. The ground beneath the nation's feet has shifted so dramatically that community colleges – which had their greatest growth period to respond to societal needs in the 1960s and 1970s – need to re-imagine their roles and the ways in which they work. A highly educated population is fundamental to economic growth and community colleges play a significant role in ensuring the American dream. Stepping up to this challenge will require dramatic redesign of these institutions, their mission, and, most critically, their students' educational experiences.

The report's recommendations are:

1. Increase completion rates of community college credentials (certificates and associate degrees) by 50 percent by 2020, while preserving access, enhancing quality, and eradicating attainment gaps associated with income, race, ethnicity, and gender.

2. Dramatically improve college readiness: by 2020, reduce by half the numbers of students entering college unprepared for rigorous college-level work, and double the rate of students who complete developmental education programs and progress to successful completion of related freshman-level courses.

3. Close the American skills gaps by sharply focusing career and technical education on preparing students with the knowledge and skills required for existing and future jobs in regional and global economies.

4. Refocus the community college mission and redefine institutional roles to meet 21st-century educational and employment needs.

5. Invest in support structures to serve multiple community colleges through collaboration among institutions and with partners in philanthropy, government and the private sector.

6. Target public and private investments strategically to create new incentives for educational institutions and their students and to support community college efforts to reclaim the American Dream.

7. Implement policies and practices that promote rigor, transparency, and accountability for results in community colleges.

The report also includes implementation strategies for each of the seven recommendations.

"This report is intended to be a bold roadmap – a working document – for community colleges to use as they implement these recommendations. To assist in this challenging work, AACC will establish the 21st Century Center to assist members with strategic planning, leadership development and research," said Bumphus.

The report is the culmination of phase 2 of AACC's 21st-Century Initiative. The overall goal of the initiative is to position community colleges to educate an additional five million students with degrees, certificates, or other credentials by 2020. The initiative enjoyed the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, ACT, and the Educational Testing Service. The report was written by the 21st-Century Commission on the Future of

Community Colleges, which was co-chaired by Augustine "Augie" Gallego, chancellor emeritus, San Diego Community College District; Kay McClenney, director, Center for Community College Student Engagement, The University of Texas at Austin; and Jerry Sue Thornton, president, Cuyahoga Community College.


Former Wings guitarist plays Northeast State May 1

A former member of the band on the run, Laurence Juber performs a free concert at Northeast State Community College on May 1 at 7 p.m. in the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts at the main campus in Blountville, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport.

The lead guitarist for Paul McCartney's Wings (with whom he earned a Grammy award), Juber is a world-renowned guitar virtuoso, composer and arranger.   He has released 19 acclaimed solo albums. His solo arrangement of The Pink Panther earned him a second Grammy. Pop Goes Guitar includes his arrangement of Stand by Me that was heard nationally in a “Diamonds Are Forever” commercial. His last CD is a Vol 2 follow-up to LJ Plays The Beatles, which is one of Acoustic Guitar Magazine’s all-time Top Ten acoustic albums. His latest release is his original soundtrack to the “NBC Dateline” documentary Children of the Harvest.

Juber’s work pops up on the CD Poppin’ Guitars, a tribute to the music of the Sherman Brothers, and can be seen in the documentary film, The Brothers, about the celebrated Disney composers.

As a studio musician, he can be heard on recent albums from artists as diverse as Dan Hicks & the Hot Licks and Barry Manilow, plus he is featured on the soundtracks to hundreds of TV shows and films including the Academy Award-winning Good Will Hunting and most recently, The Muppets. His music is featured on the ABC Family Channel’s show The Secret Life of the American Teenager

As a composer, Juber has contributed the soundtrack of the upcoming Activision/Blizzard Entertainment video game “Diablo III.” His music is also featured in the Ken Burns documentary The Tenth Inning.

With his wife Hope Juber, he has composed the scores to the musical comedies Gilligan's Island: The MusicalA Very Brady Musical and It's The Housewives!  His performance is free and open to the public.

For more information contact 423.279.7669 or jpkelly@NortheastState.edu.


Brittany Thomas earns All-USA academic honors

Northeast State' Brittany Thomas is one of 20 outstanding students named to the All-USA Community College Academic Team. She was chosen from more than 1,700 applicants representing 800 community colleges across the nation. She is the first Northeast State student to receive the honor.

The American Association of Community Colleges, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, USA Today, and the Follett Higher Education Group collaborate on the annual honor, focusing on students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and community and college involvement.

Thomas received a $2,500 award and a medallion at a ceremony today in Orlando, Fla. USA Today featured the team in its April 23 edition.

In addition, to the All-USA Academic Team honor Thomas was named the New Century Scholar from Tennessee for receiving the state' highest All-USA Academic Team application score. For this honor, she will receive an additional $2,000 stipend from the Coca Cola Scholars Foundation and Coca Cola Refreshments.

"I never imagined I would be on this level with other people in the country," Thomas said. "I feel proud of myself for accomplishing more than I ever thought I could. Getting national recognition makes me feel like I can do everything I want to and be the best possible person I can be."

Thomas, a graduate of Hampton High School, is a nursing major and plans to transfer to either East Tennessee State University or Lipscomb University. From there, she plans to sign on for a U.S. Air Force tour and pursue a master' degree. She eventually hopes to become a nurse practitioner.

"I really love helping people. I know that sounds like a cliché, but I really look forward to those types of situations," Thomas said.

Thomas is president of Northeast State' Alpha Iota Chi of Phi Theta Kappa chapter, coordinator of Foundation programs for the Scholar' Foundation, and a Volunteer State Northeast member. She also served on the Foundation' Because of You Campaign and Scholarship committees.

Thomas said her Phi Theta Kappa experiences have served her well academically and helped her learn more about leadership and service.

"Phi Theta Kappa has built me up and made me a better person," Thomas said. "It' prepared me to take the next step in college and given me so many opportunities and experiences." 

Phi Theta Kappa recognizes academic excellence in the two-year college with more than 2.5 million students inducted since the society' founding in 1918. The society is comprised of more than 1,200 chapters at community, technical, and junior colleges in all 50 states and several foreign countries.


Northeast State celebrates year's best at Honors Convocation

Northeast State Community College recognized the year’s distinguished students, staff, and faculty members at the annual Honors Convocation held Thursday night at the MeadowView Conference Resort and Convention Center in Kingsport.

The college’s Outstanding Student Award was presented to Joshua Johnson.  His holds membership in the College’s Alpha Iota Chi chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, the Northeast State Scholars Foundation, and serves as coordinator of Alumni Programs.  Johnson also won the Lifelong Adult Learner of the Year Award given to a non-traditional student with high achievement after returning to college.  He will graduate cum laude in May with his associate of science degree in Speech Communication.

Northeast State alumnus Matthew Hill, ’01, received the Outstanding Alumni Award.  Hill represents Washington County as state representative for the 7th House District. He earned an associate of science degree at Northeast State and a bachelor’s degree from East Tennessee State University.

The Northeast State Program Area Awards recognized outstanding students in the academic department. Program award winners are:

Advanced Technologies
Chemical Process Operations – Floyd Manis; Electrical Technology – Jared Ledford; Electromechanical Technology – Elmer Taylor; General Technology – Troy Christian; Automotive Service – Daniel Jeter; Industrial Drafting Design – Jordan Pate; Machine Tool – Bryan Richardson; Manufacturing – Christopher Painter; Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning – Christopher Cox; Mechanical – Allen Foster; Welding/Metal Fabrication – Philip Swain.

Business Technologies
Accounting – Phillip Millard; Management – Cheri Kuzio; Small Business Management – Nicole Kroshus; Computer & Information Science/Computer Networking – Ricker Montgomery; Computer & Information Science/Computer Programming – Lemuel De Repentigny; Computer & Information Science/Internet and Web Development – Darlene Brooks; Computer & Information Science/ PC Management – Terri Keesee; Office Administrative Technology/General – Amy Stacy-Litz; Office Administrative Technology/Legal – Amber Lindholm; Office Administrative Technology/Medical – Lacy Thouin.

Behavioral & Social Science Division
Criminal Justice and Criminology – Lauren Thompson; Early Childhood Education – Wendy Eaton; Mass Communications – Joey Morris; Psychology – Kasey White; Public Safety and Justice Administration – Nikki Cassidy; Social Work – Margaret Vorel; Sociology & Anthropology – Kassandra Kerns; Speech Communication – Joel Vicars; Teacher Education – Kelly Stapleton.  

Health-Related Professions Division
Dental Assistant – Jordan Dyer; EMT-Paramedic – Megan Archer; Medical Laboratory Technology – Steven Wagner; Surgical Technology – Kelli Turnmire; Invasive Cardiology – Angela Baker; Non-Invasive Cardiology – Erin Cassel.

Nursing Division – Heather Grindstaff.

Humanities Division
Art – Fred Lyle; English – Matthew Gilbert; History – Carolyn Keys; Spanish – Brittany Boone; Honors Program – Brittany Thomas; Humanities – Katherine Sellers; Philosophy – Alan Koch; Spanish – Catherine McFarlane; Theatre – Richard Curtis.  

Mathematics Division
Business – William Saulsbury; Engineering – Jessika Samples; Mathematics – Steven Raines.  

Sciences Division
Astronomy – Nick Rycek; Biology – Laura Wemple; Chemistry – Jian McKee; Dental Hygiene – Monica Scheiman; Health Professions – Julia Cosgrove; Nursing/Articulated – Daniel Finnie; Physical Therapy – Wesley Tate; Physics – Kevin Rhodes; Radiography – Jennifer Honeycutt.

Northeast State President Dr. Janice Gilliam presented the Distinguished Staff Awards to Northeast State faculty and staff who were nominated by their colleagues for their outstanding service to students and the College.

Dr. Nancy Forrester received the Distinguished Administrative/Professional Staff Member Award.  Forrester is dean of the Mathematics Department and director of Learning Support.  Last year she led her department to create a new Learning Support math curriculum including a new textbook.

Dr. Ed Osborne was honored with the Distinguished Faculty Member Award. Osborne is an associate professor of chemistry at Northeast State.

Erin Blevins won the Distinguished Support Staff Member Award.  Blevins administers the popular Educate and Grow Scholarship Program at Northeast State.  Educate and Grow provides scholarship funds to students residing in all five counties of the College’s service region.

Northeast State also recognized students graduating next month with academic honors. A total of 135 students are graduating cum laude (honors), 76 will graduate magna cum laude (high honors), and 79 students are summa cum laude (highest honors) graduates.

The College’s spring graduation ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. on May 8 at the East Tennessee State University/Mountain States Health Alliance Memorial Center in Johnson City.


Lightnin' Charlie headlines Hope for Haiti concert

The Music Department of Northeast State presents the Music for Haiti concert on April 27 at the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts Theater at the main campus in Blountville.

Headlining the show are regional favorites Lightnin’ Charlie and the Upsetters. Also performing are The Diamonds Jazz group and students from the Northeast State Music Department.

The concert benefits the Hope for Haiti relief effort.  The College’s collaboration with the Hope for Haiti relief organization seeks to aid orphans and elderly Haitian resident get access to food and medical resources they so desperately need.  The concert admission is free but donations are welcomed to help turn hurt and hunger into hope.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m.  Attendees are encouraged to donate canned food, toiletries, cleaning supplies, and medical supplies for benefit for Hope for Haiti.

For more information contact 423.354.5164 or tcteague@NortheastState.edu.


Spring Career Fair 2012 big hit with employers, job seekers

Northeast State Community College's Spring Career Fair 2012 drew almost 50 companies and served 275 job seekers on the Blountville campus April 18.

The free and public event provided opportunities to learn about job openings and visit with area employers.

"The nice thing is that the event provided face-time with employers," said Marquita Tittle, Northeast State's coordinator of Career Services. "So much of the time people are applying online and it's just not the same as networking with employers face-to-face."

Tittle said employers were impressed by the turnout and many were requesting to return again next year. She said several indicated they would like to return individually to campus for recruiting.

"One thing I heard from employers was that they were impressed at how well-prepared our students were with interviewing skills and appearance. That was a real compliment to the College," Tittle said.

Employers attending the event represented 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.

Among the organizations on hand for the three-hour event, were State Farm Insurance, Eastman Chemical Company, Cracker Barrel, Mountain State Health Alliance, Sullivan County Sheriff's Department, Fleenor Security, Bell Helicopter, Wells Fargo, and Bristol Tennessee Essential Services.

The fair also featured the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development's Career Coach, a 35-foot bus with 10 computer workstations equipped with high-speed Internet connections. The Career Coach staff assisted job seekers with individualized job search assistance.

"The Career Coach was a big hit," Tittle said. "It was a good way for people to be introduced to technology and information that can really help with job searches."


Alpha Iota Chi chapter earns honors at PTK convention

Northeast State Community College’s student chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society earned numerous awards for organizational and individual student accomplishments at the society’s 2012 regional and international convention held in Nashville.

The College’s Alpha Iota Chi chapter of Phi Theta Kappa received the prestigious Chapter of Light Award signifying the chapter went beyond the call of duty in fulfilling the Phi Theta Kappa hallmarks of Scholarship, Leadership, and Five Star Developmental status. A Five Star Chapter designation represents the highest level of achievement by a chapter in Phi Theta Kappa.

At the Tennessee Regional Convention, the chapter officer team received a third place award for Most Distinguished College Project, a Distinguished Issue Award for its work on the issue of education, and a second place award as the Region’s Most Distinguished Chapter. 

Student members of Alpha Iota Chi also were recognized for their outstanding work as student leaders in the society.

Carolyn Keys was selected as Alpha Iota Chi’s most distinguished chapter member, and at the Tennessee Regional Convention, she took second place as the Most Distinguished Chapter Member of the Tennessee Region.

Brooke Boone was selected as one of the Chapter's Most Distinguished Officers for 2011-12, and she took third place as the Most Distinguished Chapter Officer of the Tennessee Region.

Brittany Thomas was chosen as one of the Chapter’s Most Distinguished Officers for 2011-12, and she took first place as the Most Distinguished Chapter Officer of the Tennessee Region. In addition, at the International Convention, Brittany was one of only 30 officers selected out of 1,200 chapters worldwide as a Most Distinguished Chapter Officer. 

Chapter officer awards are given based on the recipients’ demonstration of leadership, promotion of Honors in Action and other Society activities, and enthusiasm for PTK hallmarks.

Northeast State faculty advisor Jane Honeycutt earned a Paragon award, given to advisors with less than four years of service. She was recognized for significant contributions to the growth of individual members, service as the chapter’s advocate on campus, and encouraging the chapter’s involvement on the local, regional, and/or international levels of the organization.

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

For more information, contact, Jane B. Honeycutt, at 423.354.2596 or jbhoneycutt@NortheastState.edu. 


Hypnopalooza returns to Northeast State

Prepare to be mesmerized when hypnotist and mentalist Rich Aimes brings his riotous "Hypnopalooza!" show to Northeast State on April 18, for two free performances scheduled at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the WRCPA Theater at the main campus, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport.

Aimes makes audience members the stars of the show by putting them into funny situations as hypnotic subjects. The performance sheds some light on the power of suggestion and influence that can be exerted on the human thought with the right prompting. His dramatic flair and uncanny abilities has won over audiences across the country.

Aimes is a board certified hypnotist with the National Board of Hypnotist Education and Certification (NBHEC) and studied psychology and theater as an undergraduate. As a student of hypnosis, he trained in Los Angeles and Florida with some of the top hypnotists in the country. Marielle, his wife and stage partner, is also a board certified hypnotist with NBHEC.

Aimes' performances are being sponsored by the Northeast State Cultural Activities Committee. Both performances are free and open to the public. For more information, contact 423.279.7669 or e-mailjpkelly@NortheastState.edu.


College to hold annual honors convocation

Northeast State recognizes the past year's most distinguished students, staff and faculty members at the annual Honors Convocation held Thursday, April 19 at the MeadowView Conference Resort and Convention Center in Kingsport.

The Honors Convocation recognizes Northeast State's top student achievers in each academic department, students graduating in May with honors, and the Outstanding Student, Outstanding Alumni, and Outstanding Faculty award winners. The Honors Convocation also recognizes students involved with service learning programs, Volunteer Northeast State, club and individual awards won throughout the year from state and national organizations.

The event begins at 7 p.m. in the main convention center at MeadowView. For information, contact the office of Student Life at 423.354.2416.


Workplace violence preparedness seminar slated

Do you know that workplace violence accounts for nearly 800 homicides and nearly 2 million non-fatal assaults each year in the United States? Learn to prepare and be responsible for your own safety in a one-day seminar offered by Workforce Solutions at Northeast State.

The Workforce Violence Preparedness seminar teaches participants how to make themselves and their workplace a harder target for those that would do harm. The seminar teaches steps that can be taken to raise the chances of survival in violent situations including events such as "active shooters."

The course explains the definitions of workplace violence and its history. Participants also learn the typology of violence (developed by the FBI), the five main elements of a Workplace Violence Prevention Plan, situational awareness and personal safety. The course also advises participants what to do if an active shooter appears at their workplace and the skill of "verbal de-escalation" to calm volatile situations.

The seminar meets on May 1, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the main campus, 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport. The course fee is $250 per participant and includes all course materials.

Instructor John Rose actively served in local law enforcement for over 18 years and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. He is an adjunct faculty member of the Criminal Justice and Criminology department at East Tennessee State University.

Priority registration date for the class is April 17. For more information, contact 423.354.2570 or e-mail cmtauscher@NortheastState.edu.


Cloud computing class scheduled at Northeast State

Are you new to online telecommuting, managing virtual employees or the most current technologies that are used to collaborate? Well, get your head into the clouds.

Workforce Solutions at Northeast State Community College offers the one-day class Cloud Computing and the Virtual Worker this spring. The class provides a foundation on techniques and technology to leverage Internet technologies and remote workers at your company.

Cloud computing is defined as the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices as a utility (like the electricity grid) over a network. Cloud computing provides software applications, data access, management and storage resources without requiring users to know the location and details of the computing infrastructure.

The class is perfect for professionals who are new or seeking to further knowledge in the telecommuting and technology field. The class meets April 20, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the College's main campus, 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport. The fee is $379 per student.

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


Northeast State to host Spring Career Fair 2012

Northeast State Community College invites students and community members to attend the Spring Career Fair 2012 Wednesday, April 18, 2012 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 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".

Employers attending the career fair 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 fair will also feature the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development's Career Coach, a 35-foot bus with 10 computer workstations equipped with high-speed Internet connections. The Career Coach staff will be available should job seekers need individualized job search assistance. The bus also contains technology for multi-media presentations. The coach is equipped with a wheelchair lift and the workstations are ADA compliant.

"We want to make Career Center services accessible to job seekers and employers in their home communities," said Karla Davis, Labor and Workforce Development commissioner. "The mobile unit offers the same services available to our customers as when they walk into one of our Career Centers located across the state."

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.


Northeast State Theatre presents Godspell

With the passion of a lone voice crying out in the wilderness, the musical production Godspell comes alive on stage this week as the Northeast State Theater Department's last spring production.

Godspell opens April 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts, at the main campus, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport.

"It is an updated version of the show that moves the message into modern times," said Elizabeth M. Sloan, the play's producer and director of Northeast State Theater. "This production incorporates the three skills of dancing, singing, and acting, and our cast has worked very hard to bring it together."

Created by Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak, Godspell unfolds as a series of parables, based on the Gospel of Matthew. The cast performs the musical's well-known songs such as All Good Gifts and By My Side. Set in a gritty streetscape of New York, each parable features modern music set primarily to lyrics from traditional hymns to tell the story of Christ's passion.

"The staging reflects the needs of people, and the separation and alienation they feel today," said Brad McKenzie, the play's technical director.

The production features a mix of talent from around the area. Cast and crew are students from Northeast State and East Tennessee State University theater students, and seasoned community actors. The production's music director, Dr. Kellie Brown, chairs the Music Department at Milligan College.

"We want a collaborative, creative experience for everyone when we do a production," said Sloan. "Having such a diverse group of people who want to get involved with Northeast State Theater is exciting."

Directing the show is Brandon Stanbrough, a Northeast State and ETSU alumnus, making his directorial debut for a Northeast State Theater production. Stanbrough noted that of the numerous artistic representations of Christ, an often overlooked version was that of Jesus the advocate who spends time with society's outcasts.

"It was this same Jesus who takes a rag tag group of disciples and creates a new community," he said. "Those are the ideas that become the heart of Godspell."

Portraying Jesus is ETSU Theater major Zach Starnes. A Dobyns-Bennett graduate Starnes portrayed the dual roles of John the Baptist and Judas during a high school production of the musical.

"Switching from Judas to Jesus is quite a task," said Starnes. "The production is relatable because it presents many of the moral values that are laid down in the Book of Matthew. Everyone should feel comfortable to come see this play."

McKenzie said the production would be submitted to the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival annual competition for 2013. Northeast State Theater's production of Oedipus Rex won two first-place awards and considerable acclaim at the event held earlier this year.

Performances of Godspell are scheduled April 5-7 at 7:30 p.m. and April 7-8 at 2 p.m. in the WRCPA Theater on the main campus. Tickets are $10 general admission and $8 for students and seniors. Northeast State students with valid student identification get one free ticket. Get tickets now at www.NortheastState.edu.

For more information, contact 423.354.2479 or e-mail emsloan@NortheastState.edu.