Archive for March, 2009
Tusculum College will have a presence at the upcoming national convention of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) through a presentation by Dr. Kirpal Mahal, professor of physical education, and Katherine Shelton, a student from Dandridge majoring in sports science.
Dr. Mahal and Shelton will be presenting, “Many Stressors – One Remedy: Breath Control with Yoga” as part of an intensive all-day workshop on March 31. The presentation is part of “Health/Wellness with Dance in Mind,” a full-day session focusing on critical health, nutrition, somatics and conditioning issues for dance and physical educators. Emphasis will be given to the best and safest ways to prepare for dance and performance.
A group of six additional Tusculum students will be attending the national convention, to be held March 31through April 4 in Tampa.
Attending the national professional conference has three primary benefits for students, said Dr. Mahal. First, he continued, there is the learning aspect – the students attend presentations and learn the latest developments in the profession. Secondly, students can get a first-hand look at sports facilities and their operation in tours of sports facilities in or near the city hosting the convention, he said. Students have had the opportunity to tour professional sports facilities during past conventions.
A third and very important benefit to attend conventions is the opportunity for student to meet leaders in the physical education, health, recreation and dance professions, he said. Networking and getting to know these leaders can help the students as they continue their education in graduate school, he added.
Students who attend the convention have the desire to go back and become leaders on subsequent trips, guiding those who have not been to a convention, Dr. Mahal said. Tusculum College students have received compliments from other educators and professors at the conventions as well. Last year, Dr. Mahal had another convention attendee comment to him that “your students are very articulate and very nice.”
Taking students to a national convention requires much work, but it is enjoyable and worth it in the satisfaction it brings in helping students learn and grow, he said.
About 7,000 professionals attend the convention from not only across the country but also from Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa. Dr. Mahal has attended the national AAHPERD each year since 1974, when he came to the United States from his native India to pursue a master’s degree in physical education.
As an educator, Dr. Mahal noted, the conventions are part of his professional development, as the presentations and workshops help keep him apprised of the latest developments in the profession, which he then can share with his students.
Dr. Mahal has been a presenter at the national convention in the past, has served on the executive committee of one of the associations that is a member of AAHPERD and recently completed a two-year term on the awards and nominating committee of another.
Through his participation in the professional associations and conventions, Tusculum College is gaining a higher visibility, he said, noting he frequently gets e-mails from professionals and educators from across the country that he has met through the associations or conventions.
The College has supported his and student trips to attend conferences, Dr. Mahal said. The College is providing funding for Dr. Mahal and Shelton to attend the AAHPERD convention, and Dr. Mahal has received funding from Tusculum College and the Appalachian College Association (ACA) to attend four ACA conferences and workshops.
Author, attorney, minister, educator and community leader Oliver “Buzz” Thomas will be speaking at the Appalachian College Association (ACA) Honors Conference to be held on the Tusculum College campus in April.
Thomas will be the keynote speaker at a dinner on Friday evening, April 17, during the two-day conference. The public is invited to attend the dinner, which will begin at 6 p.m. in the Chalmers Conference Center.
“Preparing Students for Life on a Different Planet” will be Thomas’ topic as he discusses the academic and civic challenges facing young Americans in the 21st century.
Thomas is executive director of the Niswonger Foundation of Greeneville, which has education as its focal point and mission. In addition to his work at the Foundation, he has taught First Amendment law at Georgetown University Law Center. Thomas has also lectured at such universities as Harvard and Notre Dame. He has served on the Maryville Board of Education, including completing three years as its chairman. Thomas has provided training to teachers and administrators from more than 500 school districts across the country.
As an attorney, Thomas has practiced at every level of state and federal courts including the U.S. Supreme Court. His clients have included the National Council of Churches, Southern Baptist Convention and Children’s Defense Fund. He has appeared as an expert witness before the Judiciary Committees of the United States Congress on many occasions.
As an author, Thomas co-authored “The Right to Religious Liberty.” He also co-authored “Finding Common Ground,” the First Amendment handbook endorsed by the Department of Education and used in many of the nation’s public schools. His articles have appeared in a variety of national publications, and he has been a guest commentator on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, C-Span, and National Public Radio. He is also a regular contributor to USA Today.
Thomas is also the author of “10 Things Your Minister Wants to Tell You (But Can’t Because He Needs the Job),” which discusses challenging issues for the contemporary church. Thomas discussed some of the issues covered in the book as the featured speaker for the successful 2008 Theologian-in-Residence at Tusculum College, which is sponsored by the Holston Presbytery and the college. As a minister, Thomas has served churches in Tennessee and Louisiana.
Thomas is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Tennessee where he graduated first in his class. He earned a Master of Divinity from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where he also graduated first in his class and was chosen as the school’s outstanding divinity student. Thomas received his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Tennessee College of Law where he was Order of the Coif and earned his Master of Law from the University of Virginia.
This is the second year that Tusculum will be hosting the conference, which addresses topics and issues of interest to faculty and staff members who work with academic honors programs at colleges in the ACA.
The cost for the dinner is $20 and reservations are required. Please RSVP by Wednesday, April 1. For more information or to make reservations, please call 423-636-7300 ext. 5650.
Tusculum College students Amanda Clampitt, Amanda Harmon and David Roncskevitz are the winners of the 2009 Curtis and Billie Owens Literary Awards, annually given to recognize the literary achievements of the college’s creative writing students.
Amanda Clampitt of Jefferson City won in the non-fiction category for “We Ain’t the Clampet’s Anymore.” Clampitt is a freshman majoring in museum studies and history.
Amanda Harmon of Greenville, Ala., won the poetry competition for “Midnight Dessert.” Harmon is a junior majoring in English with a double concentration in writing and journalism.
David Roncskevitz of Franklin won the poetry competition with his work, “The Jazzman.” Roncskevitz is a sophomore majoring English with a writing concentration.
The announcement about the literary competition was made recently by award-winning author Kellie Wells. Wells, who is also a creative writing professor at Washington University in St. Louis, was the judge for this year’s competition. The announcement of the award was made prior to a reading at Tusculum by Wells from her work. The reading was part of the college’s 2008-2009 Humanities Series.
The award was named for Curtis Owens, a 1928 graduate of Tusculum College who went on to a teaching career at what is now Pace University in New York. He and his wife established the Owens Award at his alma mater to encourage and reward excellence in writing among Tusculum College students.
The winning students’ work will be featured in “The Oracle,” a publication of creative works by Tusculum College students, which will be included later in the semester inside an edition of The Pioneer Frontier, the student newspaper.
On Tuesday, March 2, 2009 more than 330 residents selected their rooms for next year in Tusculum College’s first ever Housing Lottery. The event took on a celebration atmosphere as in addition to housing assignments several students took away prizes such as DVD players and a Wii game system.
Attendees included not only students who were participating in the housing lottery, but also a number of commuting students who joined the group for dinner and hoped for a chance of winning one of the many prizes.
The new housing lottery was made possible by the change to a flat rate housing fee that goes into effect next year and has made the on-campus apartments an extremely popular and now, more affordable option. Juniors and seniors received the opportunity to select first, followed by upcoming sophomores. The Student Government Association recently voted to have future housing lottery processes observe only year of classification (senior, junior, sophomore), and the College has agreed to put this policy into place next year agreeing that those who have made the longest commitment to Tusculum College have earned their opportunity for the best the College has to offer.
The Grand Prizes included a Wii gaming system and a 26” flat screen television, each of which were raffled off in a random drawing of those 311 students who were eligible for participation. Students earned eligibility by maintaining their “Passports” throughout the process from the Clearinghouse in January through Advising and Registration in February throughout to the Lottery. The Clearinghouse was the first event of the series where students picked up their Passports for the first time, and were given an Orientation of the one-stop events to help students prepare for the 2009-2010 academic year.
The winner of the flat screen television set was rising sophomore commuter Sara Edens.
The winner of the Wii game console was rising sophomore resident Regina Collins.
Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn., has been named the new president for Tusculum College effective June 1. The announcement was made during a called Tusculum College Board of Trustees meeting on Saturday, February 28. Dr. Moody will be the first female president at Tennessee’s oldest college.
“Dr. Moody is a strong advocate of our civic arts curriculum and is well-known and respected in our region. We feel fortunate to have attracted someone of her caliber, and we are truly optimistic about the future of Tusculum College under her leadership,” said Ken Bowman, chairman of the Tusculum College Board of Trustees and of the selection committee. “Dr. Moody is a proven, successful college president with an especially impressive record of preparing students to be active citizens and successful in the careers they choose.”
He added that Dr. Moody’s has demonstrated a commitment to Tusculum College’s mission of providing a strong civic arts curriculum for all graduates and to continuing to grow the College in that tradition for both residential and Graduate and Professional Studies students.
Dr. Moody has been president of Lincoln Memorial University since 2002, and in that time LMU’s enrollment increased by 90 percent. Under her leadership the university initiated the Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine, expanded the Caylor School of Nursing to include a master of science in nursing degree program with family nurse practitioner and nurse anesthesia concentrations, developed the proposed physician assistant program, School of Law, doctorate of education degree program, undergraduate programs including criminal justice and music and opened five new extended site learning centers.
The Railsplitter athletic department also moved from the NCAA Division II Gulf South Conference to the South Atlantic Conference. With Dr. Moody at the helm, LMU experienced seven years of positive fiscal management which allowed the university to invest $12 million into institutional priorities. Additionally, she oversaw nearly $25 million in fundraising initiatives. During this time LMU completed four large-scale renovation projects, the construction of five new apartment-style residence halls, the conversion of an off-campus hotel to graduate student apartments, the construction of a 105,000 square foot medical school building and a 30,000 square foot educational building.
“I am excited to have the opportunity to serve Tusculum College. I am extremely impressed with the people of Tusculum - the students, faculty, staff, administrative personnel and members of the Board of Trustees,” said Dr. Moody. “Without exception, there is a sense of enthusiasm and pride for the mission of the College, which has a wonderful legacy as the oldest institution of higher education in the state of Tennessee. I look forward to becoming a part of that legacy and to experiencing that enthusiasm as we work, learn and grow together in our efforts to enhance academic excellence, public service and the qualities of Judeo-Christian character.”
She added, “As a first-generation college graduate, I have always valued all levels of education with a particular interest in the higher education of traditional aged college students and adults of all ages. Achieving the knowledge and skills necessary to function in society through a college education is one of the best ways to stimulate the local economy and positively impact local communities and the lives of others.
Dr. Moody received associate and baccalaureate degrees in nursing from Eastern Kentucky University, a master’s of science in nursing from Texas Woman’s University and a doctorate of science in nursing from the University of Alabama’s School of Nursing at Birmingham. Her professional career in higher education began at LMU as an instructor of nursing.
She subsequently served in several roles at LMU, culminating in her appointment as the dean of LMU’s School of Professional Studies before joining the faculty at East Tennessee State University where she was tenured and served as department chair. She would go on to become an associate professor at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, while also serving as the executive director of the Tennessee Center of Nursing.
Dr. Moody currently chairs the executive committee for the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association and serves on the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation Board of Directors. She is a member of the NCAA Division II President’s Council and an active participant on the boards of the Appalachian Colleges Association and the Tennessee Center for Nursing, Inc. She is married to Tom Moody, a self-employed public accountant in Knoxville. She and Tom are proud parents of grown children, daughter, Mykel, and son, Adam.
Home-schooled students will have the opportunity to learn about recycling in a camp this month at the Doak House Museum.
The museum will host the camp, “Recycling History,” March 23-26 for home-schooled students ages 6-12 years of age. The camp will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. Located on the Tusculum College campus, the Doak House Museum preserves the 19th century home of the Rev. Samuel Witherspoon Doak, co-founder of the college, and offers educational programs about education and life in the 1800s.
During the camp, students will learn about recycling in the past and the present. The camp will focus on how the Doaks recycled during the 19th century, the value of recycling, the history of protecting the environment and how people of today can reuse items in their own homes. In addition, participants will be engaged in a variety of hands-on activities that will illustrate how to “reduce, reuse and recycle.”
Cost for the camp is $85 per participant and $75 for additional participants from the same home. Cost includes instruction, materials, and snacks. Participants are required to bring a sack lunch and drink, and are advised to wear comfortable shoes and clothing.
Enrollment is first-come first-serve with a deposit. Reservation for the camp is confirmed upon receipt of an application and $30 deposit. For more information or to make reservations, please call 423-636-8554.
Pioneering female dance troupe Decadancetheatre will bring its hip-hop ballet, “Decadance Vs. The Firebird” to the Tusculum College stage on Tuesday, March 17.
The performance will begin at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building on the Tusculum College campus. The production is part of Tusculum College Arts Outreach’s Acts, Arts, Academia 2008-2009 performance and lecture series.
Decadancetheatre is a troupe of female dancers from the U.S., Germany, Italy and Japan. Although the dancers don’t speak the same verbal language, they share a physical form of communication in hip-hop, an urban folk culture they acquired in the clubs and on the streets of the cities where they grew up.
The group joined to create a new outlet for hip-hop performances. Decadancetheatre’s goal is to take hip-hop - the style, attitude, energy and female dancers - out of the background of music videos and into the forefront of theatrical performance through creating hip-hop ballets.
Much like traditional choreographers use the vocabulary of ballet, Decadancetheatre uses the vocabulary of hip-hop to tell the stories of the hip-hop generation. The group feels that the popularity of the movement genre loosely called “hip-hop” represents a global youth culture that merits artistic exploration and experimentation.
In its performances, Decadancetheatre incorporates a fusion of various underground dance styles such as breaking (floor power moves), popping (small articulated, movements of the arms and legs making the dancer look robotic), locking (big, cartoon-like steps) and commercial hip-hop (big, sharp movements of the arms and head with kicks, jumps, turns, and knee slides). The group also incorporates graffiti, DJing, and MCing into its work as these elements complete the diverse culture of hip-hop.
Decadancetheatre has toured all over the U.S. and Great Britain, including performances at festivals in London, Liverpool and Seattle where the troupe shared the bill with Wu-Tang Clan, John Legend and Fergie. In addition, Decadancetheatre been featured on MTV, CBS, and in The New York Times, The Village Voice, Dance Magazine, Dance Spirit and XXL. The dance troupe has received support from the Brooklyn Arts Council.
“Decadance Vs. The Firebird” is an urban ballet for the 21st century that tells the story of Iva, a young girl in the inner city whose youthful exuberance keeps her blissfully ignorant of the potential dangers around her. Iva meets an unlikely companion who will prove to be an even more unlikely savior - a dazzling creature known only as the Firebird through which Iva can see all things are possible. As Iva encounters a series of challenges, she will need the Firebird’s light to find her way out. In one of the opening scenes, Iva twirls the knob of a boombox, looking for her place among the hip-hop she hears, which does include some offensive, derogatory language about women. Other than the song lyrics of this particular song, the performance is appropriate for all audiences.
The ballet, based on a Russian folktale, was originally performed in 1910 by the Ballet Russes with music by Igor Stravinsky and choreography by Michael Fokine. Decadancethreatre has fused breakdancing with ballet, integrated original, hip-hop beats into Stravinsky’s score and remixed the classic story into a contemporary text. The all-female cast challenges the ballet convention of a “handsome prince” and instead creates a world where women battle for the right to rule the dance floor. A high-energy dance performance ready to entertain diverse audiences of all ages, “Decadance Vs. The Firebird’ presents a new vision for hip-hop dance theatre.
Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors (60 and over) and $5 for children 12 and under. For more information, please contact Tusculum College Arts Outreach at 423-798-1620 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Susie Jones is the recipient of the 2009 “Woman of Courage of Greene County Award” in recognition of her dedicated service to the community and her church.
Jones, who volunteers in several capacities at Trinity United Methodist Church and has been a long-time supporter of the local youth soccer programs and other children and youth community programs, was presented the award on Monday during a presentation at Tusculum College by students in a “History in Gender” course.
In the program marking the beginning of “Women’s History Month,” the students shared information about significant individuals in women’s rights efforts in American history and concluded with the award presentation. The award, which recognizes an individual for community service whose efforts have not been in the public eye, was sponsored by the College’s Center for Civic Advancement and the history course.
Describing Jones as a true example of “Pioneer spirit,” student Burke Greear told of her service to others in the award presentation.
An active member of Trinity United Methodist Church, Jones presently serves as secretary of the Buel Brooks Bequest Committee; Sunday School teacher for the children’s department; member of Church Council; counselor for college-age group; member of the adult handbell choir, assistant director of children’s choirchimes, and assists with youth handbell choir; and is a member of United Methodist Women serving as Coordinator of Spiritual Growth and is immediate past Vice President of the District Team. Jones has served as secretary of the Church Council; Youth, Children’s, and Young Adult Coordinators; church treasurer; trustee; member of the finance committee; and building committee.
Jones has also been a long-time supporter of youth soccer programs in Greene County. Her children participated in the soccer program and her grandchildren are now participating. Jones has also served as a mentor for Senior High Girl Scouts and served on the Partnership’s Youth Leadership Board and Keep Greene Beautiful Board.
She has also touched the lives of many young people through her career. Jones, who is the executive assistant to Chief Financial Officer and Vice President Steve Gehret at Tusculum College, has worked at the College for more than a decade. She has worked in other administrative departments, including Institutional Advancement, where she worked closely with the College’s Church Relations program, Pioneer Club efforts and was interim director of alumni for one year.
Prior to working at Tusculum, Jones worked at Greeneville Middle School (GMS) and served as president and vice president of the GMS Greeneville Schools in Action (GSIA) and secretary of the Greeneville High School GSIA.
Jones is married to Charles Jones, and they have three sons, two daughter-in-laws and five grandchildren. She is a graduate of South Greene High School and Hamilton Business College.
This is the fourth Woman of Courage Award that has been presented. Previous recipients include Mary Jane Coleman who established the Sinking Creek Film Festival, which is now the Nashville Film Festival; Lillian Taylor, who has served for many years in the Andrew Johnson Heritage Association and promoted the cause of peace locally, and Patty Sarden, whose community service includes music ministry, artistic expression and was the first president of the George Clem Scholarship Foundation.
Tusculum College and the South Atlantic Conference have announced ticket prices for Wednesday’s Food Lion SAC Basketball Tournament doubleheader at Pioneer Arena.
The top-seed Tusculum College’s women’s team will host No. 8 seed Lincoln Memorial University at 6 p.m. At 8 p.m., the third-seeded Tusculum College men’s team will face No. 6 Wingate University in a quarterfinal game.
Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for students and children ages 6 to 12. Tusculum College students will be admitted free, but must present a valid student ID at the gate for admission. The Tusculum College athletic department will be providing admission for all Tusculum College students (with a valid ID).
Per South Atlantic Conference policy, no passes of any kind will be accepted for admission to Wednesday’s games. Pioneer Club regular season passes will not be accepted for admission.