Posted by: northeastnation | October 27, 2014

The Tyler Williams Band plays Northeast State Oct. 28

Four accomplished artists brought together under the lead singer’s banner to make some of the best contemporary music in the region take the stage at Northeast State this month.

The Tyler Williams Band plays a free one-night only show at Northeast State on Tuesday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. at the College’s Regional Center for the Performing Arts Theater on the main campus in Blountville. The performance is the keynote event for Disabilities Awareness Week on campus.

Singer, songwriter Tyler Williams, born in central Ohio, is a young man with big dreams that started when he was just two years old. At age four, he began playing piano attracting the attention of everyone around him. Although Williams was born with Cerebral Palsy and became blind at infancy, he remained determined in his pursuit of becoming an entertainer.

Tyler Williams

Tyler Williams

Over the years, Williams refined his skills playing with some of his heroes such as the legendary Tony Rice, Lonesome River Band, and Balsam Range. His hard work has produced a powerful voice and original style. He assembled a group of regional all-stars ready to move forward into the entertainment world.

Williams’s band is composed of Ashley Davis, Aaron Smith, and Megan McKamey – all gifted individual performers in their own right. Davis learned piano from her mother and picked up guitar on her own when she was 12 years old. She played with The Parsons and Sweet Potato Pie throughout her college years. In 2007, Davis recorded her first solo album, “Fiddlin’ with Les,” which is titled in honor of her musical mentor.

Smith first picked up a guitar at the age of 12 and soon learned how to play efficiently off recordings from artists such as Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, Blue Highway, Alison Krauss & Union Station. While still a teenager, he traveled full time with semi-professional band, Still Waters and ultimately attended East Tennessee State University to study in the prestigious Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music program. Davis quickly gained recognition with his guitar work and tenor singing and has also become fluent on mandolin and banjo, as well as working on bass.

McKamey started playing banjo at the age of 9 when her Papa Conner told her she could have his old banjo if she learned how to play it. Now at age 21, she has already had many successes in her musical career including playing with one of her most influential banjo heroes, J.D. Crowe, in the filming of Tim Farmer’s “Homemade Jam.”

Sponsored by Northeast State’s Cultural Activities Committee, the who is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Posted by: northeastnation | October 24, 2014

Northeast State commemorates Disability Awareness Week Oct. 27-31

Northeast State commemorates Disability Awareness Week Oct. 27-31 focusing on individuals who have battled and triumphed over disabilities. The Northeast State Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) is sponsoring a week-long series of events where students and guests will discuss how they overcame challenges associated with their disabilities.

The week kicks off on Monday with a film festival including The Blind Side the true-life story about NFL player Michael Oher, Forrest Gump about everyone’s favorite Southern boy, and Soul Surfer the story of surfer Bethany Hamilton who lost her arm to a shark attack. All films will be screened in the Auditorium (A202) and include free popcorn and drinks.  Films will also be screen at the Kingsport Center for Higher Education on Monday, Oct. 27.

The week’s keynote event is a concert by the Tyler Williams Band at noon and 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. at the Regional Center for the Performing Arts Theater on the main campus. Williams was born with Cerebral Palsy and became blind during his infancy. That didn’t stop him from playing music and continuing his dream to become an entertainer.
A student panel discussion entitled, “In Our Shoes” brings together Northeast State students and faculty to discuss their own challenges with the disabilities that changed their lives and how they learned to manage them. This event begins at noon on Wednesday, Oct. 29 in the Auditorium.

The week closes on Thursday, Oct. 30 with a lecture by Jason Oliver at 9 a.m. in the Auditorium. Oliver battled through learning disabilities as a student. Through his own experiences, he has become a learning disabilities advocate, helping people fulfill their dreams through individualized service planning.

Informational displays about disability services at Northeast State are available at all the College’s teaching sites. For more information about the week’s events or services provided by CSD, call 423.279.7640.

Posted by: northeastnation | October 17, 2014

Northeast State hosts annual Fall Technology Career Fair Oct. 23

Northeast State’s annual Fall Technology Career Fair will offer job seekers excellent one-on-one networking opportunities with local employers Thursday, Oct. 23. The event will run from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing (RCAM) in Kingsport, 305 W. Main St.

FallTechnology Fair_Poster

Fall Tech Career Fair 2014

The free and public event focuses on career opportunities in manufacturing, technology, and skilled trades. More than 20 local companies are expected to participate, representing a variety of specialized industries including automotive parts, chemical, paper, utilities, and others.

“These employers will be on-hand to talk with job seekers about available jobs and careers with their companies,” said Mary Beth Oxendine Woodby, Career Development Coordinator at Northeast State. “Everyone, from job seekers and new graduates who are looking for work to those who are simply exploring various occupations, can benefit from attending the fair.”

Oxendine said job seekers are advised to bring along resume copies and be prepared to discuss their skills with employers. She said persons needing help with resumes or interviewing techniques in advance of the event should contact Northeast State’s Career Development Services Center to set up an appointment. The center is located at 222 W. Main St. in downtown Kingsport.

In addition, there will be information about Northeast State programs, and virtual welding and robotics demonstrations.

For more information, call 423.354.5100 or e-mail

Posted by: northeastnation | October 16, 2014

Jim Donovan and his Rhythm Team visit Northeast State Oct. 23

What is synergy? A catch phrase? A book title? Or does it reflect a way of thinking to help students and faculty members reach beyond the traditional classroom into a new wave of learning.

Musician and educator Jim Donovan seeks to explain this idea and teach others to become effective leaders when he visits Northeast State on Thursday, Oct. 23 at 12 noon and 7 p.m. at the Northeast State Auditorium (A202) on the main campus in Blountville.

To help their students compete in the global workplace, universities are under increasing pressure to find ways to teach students how to be an effective part of a team. The problem is finding compelling ways to quickly align diverse groups of people with a common purpose in a synergistic and enjoyable way.

Jim Donovan

Jim Donovan

As a member of the platinum-selling band Rusted Root, he co-wrote and performed Send Me on My Way, a song whose unforgettable whistle has been featured in the films Matilda and Ice Age. Now a faculty member at Saint Francis University, Donovan works as a master facilitator, inspirational trainer and world-class musician with over 25 years of leadership and performance experience.

His touring work with Rusted Root provided ample opportunity to share the arena stages with rock legends such as Carlos Santana, members of Led Zeppelin and Sting, among others. Donovan is involved in research at Saint Francis where he has developed a training program that teaches Occupational Therapists, medical professionals, parents and teachers how to use percussion techniques as a complementary intervention for autistic and individuals with other disabilities.

Donovan’s program seeks to get a team of people to share a synergistic experience. His group Rhythm Team explains synergy and poses two questions to presentation participants:

• What if “meeting the goal” meant that all team members would choose to reach beyond what most people believe is possible?
• How might your students and our world improve if choosing selfless and courageous collaboration was a key part of their experience at your school?

Donovan and the Rhythm Team solve these issues by implementing a tried and tested, stepwise approach to leading group music creation designed for people with no prior musical experience. Participants engage in creatively solving problems in a way that pushes the edges of their comfort zone in an atmosphere of safety.

Sponsored by Northeast State’s Cultural Activities Committee, Donovan’s presentation is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.




Posted by: northeastnation | October 15, 2014

Northeast State hosts College Transfer Day Oct. 22

Northeast State students get a look at their next step on Wednesday, Oct. 22 at College Transfer Day where more than 20 college and university representatives will answer questions about transfer opportunities, entrance requirements, course equivalencies, articulation, financial aid, scholarships, housing and much more!

College representatives will be available for students from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Humanities Building (1st floor) at the main campus, 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport. No appointment is necessary and there is no charge to attend the event.

College Transfer Day is Oct. 22.

College Transfer Day is Oct. 22.

Colleges and universities scheduled to attend include: Alabama A&M University, Austin Peay State University, Bethel University, Carson Newman University, Emory & Henry College, ETSU, Hiwassee College, King University, Lee University, Lees-McRae, Lincoln Memorial University, Lipscomb University, Maryville College, Middle Tennessee State University, Milligan College, Old Dominion University, Radford University, Southern Adventist University, Tennessee Tech University, Tennessee Wesleyan College, Tusculum College, Union University, UT Chattanooga, UT Knoxville, Wesleyan College & Western Governors University.

Transfer Day brings colleges and universities from around the region to campus.

Transfer Day brings colleges and universities from around the region to campus.

Northeast State’s university parallel associate of arts/associate of science degree programs are designed for students who intend to complete the first two years of a baccalaureate degree program at Northeast State and then transfer to a four-year college or university to complete the bachelor’s degree. Northeast State has developed course-by-course equivalency tables and articulation agreements with many four-year colleges and universities.

For more information about College Transfer Day, contact TRiO Student Support Services at 423.354.2540.

Posted by: northeastnation | October 9, 2014

Debaters capture second place team finish at Smoky Mountain tourney

Northeast State debaters recently scored second and ninth place team finishes at the Smoky Mountain Debate Tournament at Walters State Community College. The College – only one of two community colleges in the debate – competed against 18 teams in the novice category.

Courtney Davis, Hannah Davis, Joseph Hicks, and Paul Taylor represented Northeast State, debating topics that ranged from UN travel bans to countries suffering Ebola outbreaks to quelling violence between the U.S. Border Patrol and illegal immigrants. In addition, Dr. Ruth Livingston, a Northeast State associate professor of Speech, helped the teams prepare their cases and judged at the tournament.

The format for the event was two-person parliamentary debate using National Parliamentary Debate Association rules. Basically, teams study each round’s topic for 20 minutes and then develop a case with one team in support and the other in opposition. Courtney Davis paired with Paul Taylor while Hannah Davis teamed with Joseph Hicks.

Hannah and Joseph won two of their three preliminary rounds, defeating teams from Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) and Carson Newman University. They missed getting into the quarterfinals by one point, finishing the day in ninth place. Joseph was named the 10th place speaker out of 36 participants.

Northeast State Debate Team winners.

Northeast State Debate Team winners.

Courtney and Paul also won two of their preliminary debates, defeating Middle Tennessee State and Walters State. They ended the preliminary rounds in sixth place and secured a spot in the quarterfinals. In that round, they competed against Tennessee Tech University on the topic “self-expression is more important than uniformity in conflict.” Courtney and Paul won their quarterfinal round on a 2-1 decision.

In the semifinals, the duo debated against MTSU regarding the proposition that “the U.S. Federal Government should take action to stop violence between the U.S. Border Patrol Agents and illegal immigrants.” The pair won the round on a 3-0 decision.

The final round was a debate about the proposition that “there should be legislation enacted to combat abstinence syndrome.” Courtney and Paul argued for the proposition. They lost the round to a hybrid team from East Tennessee State University and Berea College on a 2-1 decision. They ended the day in second place and Paul earned the sixth place speaker award.

The team will participate in the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature (TISL) event in mid-November. In the coming weeks they will be working on bills to present at the event held in the State Capitol building in Nashville. They will also be attending the TISL Caucus hosted by Northeast State on Oct. 9.

Posted by: northeastnation | October 7, 2014

Gang member to future doctor – Pacheco shares his story Oct. 16

The life of Juan Pacheco reflects hope, despair, and redemption for one man who summoned the will to change himself and his world.

Northeast State’s Cultural Activities Committee welcomes Pacheco to share his story on Thursday, Oct. 16 at 12 noon and 7 p.m. at the College’s Regional Center for the Performing Arts on the main campus in Blountville.

Pacheco’s motivation comes from his own life experiences. As a youth he was involved in gang activity, a path that cost him many things. His best friend’s life was taken away by gang violence. He had a full scholarship from the Early Identification Program into George Mason University that was also taken away. He spent some time in jail in which his freedom was stripped away due to his actions.

Juan Pacheco

Juan Pacheco

But Pacheco turned his life around. He now attends George Mason to attain his pre-med degree. He wants to become a pediatrician in the future. All of his education has been paid with hopes and hard work and through scholarships, since his parents have not been able to help out financially due to the economic strain that many immigrants go through in the northern Virginia area.

Pacheco worked as community Liaison for World Vision’s Community Mobilization Initiative (CMI). His role in World Vision helped the CMI Program earn the title of “Best Practices in Gang Prevention Program” highlighted in the study “Dare to Care – Community-Based Responses to Youth Gang Violence in Central America and Central American Immigrant Communities in the United States.”

Pacheco has invested his life working and volunteering for a violence prevention/intervention and community awareness organization.  His strategies for successful community and youth work come out of his own experiences as a gang member, and now as someone who is working to help other young people turn their lives around.

Pacheco’s presentation is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Posted by: northeastnation | October 2, 2014

GLOW Run proves a resounding success

Glow sticks, glow-paint, perfect weather, and a bright angel illuminated the night at Northeast State’s GLOW Run held Wednesday evening at the main campus in Blountville.

The three-mile night race brought 125 competitors to participate and raise money to fund student scholarships. Ayden Farmer of Kingsport won the race with an overall time of 18:15. Laura LaRue won the women’s division with a time of 21:15.  Amy McKinney of Johnson City took the female master’s division with a time of 27:52 and Travis Green of Bristol won the male masters division recording a time of 21:32.

Other division winners and race times are listed below.

Female division to 14 years old
Morgan Davenport of Kingsport/25:31
Male division to 14 years old
Justin Reed of Kingsport/27:55

Female division 15 to 19 years old
Carly Shoaf of Jonesborough/27:46
Male division 15 to 19 years old
Nicholas Lorch of Johnson City/18:44

Female division 20-29
Laura Nunley of Glade Springs, Va./23:48
Male division 20-29
Andrew Campbell of Bristol/18:43

Female division 30-39
Deanna Oaks of Erwin/25:50
Male division 30-39
Dustin Oaks of Erwin/26:02.66 08:41 2255

Female division 40-49
Tiffany Fitzgerald of Blountville 28:16
Male division 40-49
Roger Smith of Kingsport/24:23

Female division 50-59
Debra Qualls of Kingsport/ 34:06
Male division 50-59
Timothy Rutherford of Knoxville/22:45

Male division 60-69
Curtis Akard of Blountville/24:10
Male division 70-99
Ray Hatch of Kingsport/26:15

The event also recognizes the most glowing costumes worn by competitors. Erin Ferris claimed first place with her large glowing angel outfit complete with plugged in Christmas lights. Second place went to Brittany Curtis and her pink stick-figure costume. Third place went to Rebekah Bishop and her family with their glowing fairy costumes.

The GLOW Run highlights the Honors Program’s participation in the Northeast State Foundation’s Because of You campaign designed to raise money for student scholarships. Northeast State wishes to thank all the competitors, race volunteers, college faculty and staff and We Run Events for making this memorable event happen.

Several t-shirts are still for sale with the GLOW run logo are available. To buy a t-shirt, contact or 423.354.2596.

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