Posted by: northeastnation | March 12, 2014

Educate & Grow scholarship app 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.

Eligible students can download applications online at 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

Posted by: northeastnation | March 11, 2014

Caravan of Thieves 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.

Caravan of Thieves at Northeast State March 20.

Caravan of Thieves at Northeast State March 20.

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 423.279.7668 or

Posted by: northeastnation | March 10, 2014

Olivia Orten earns prestigious 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.”

Olivia Orten

Olivia Orten

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.

Posted by: northeastnation | March 7, 2014

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.

Alpha Iota Chi chapter  of Phi Theta Kappa

Alpha Iota Chi chapter
of Phi Theta Kappa

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.

Posted by: northeastnation | March 5, 2014

Honors Research Conference opens tomorrow in Basler Library

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!

The 10th annual Honors Conference happens tomorrow in L226.

The 10th annual Honors Conference happens tomorrow in L226.

Posted by: northeastnation | March 3, 2014

Northeast State offers RAD self-defense course

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.

RADPoster 2014Women 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

Posted by: northeastnation | March 3, 2014

TBR selects Dayna Smithers for Maxine Smith Fellow program

Dayna Smithers, assistant professor of mathematics at Northeast State, 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. 

Dayna Smithers

Dayna Smithers

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.

Posted by: northeastnation | February 27, 2014

Northeast State celebrates National TRiO Day

Students and Staff from TRiO Student Support Services will participate in recognition of National TRiO Day on Thursday, Feb. 27.   As a show of appreciation TRiO staff and volunteers will be serving cookies at all three TRiO locations (main campus, Northeast State at Elizabethton, and the Kingsport Center for Higher Education).

A donation jar will be available and all proceeds will go towards the Student Needs project “Change for Change.” For millions of students from low-income families who strive to be the first in their families to attend and graduate from college, seven federally funded programs called TRIO are making a world of difference.

“TRiO Works! The services provided offer first-generation, low-income students the tools they need to persist and turn obstacles into opportunities,” said Virginia Reed, director of TRiO Students Support Services at Northeast State. “Our continued collaboration with Northeast State has allowed us to assist students with tutoring, degree completion, transfer to 4-year institutions and more. I love TRiO because I have seen students gain confidence and transform to college graduates. ”

TRiO Student Support Services.

TRiO Student Support Services.

Unlike student financial aid programs which help students overcome financial barriers to higher education; the TRIO programs (Talent Search, Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math/Science, Veterans Upward Bound, Student Support Services, and the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program) have been providing valuable supportive services to students from low-income and working families for over 40 years. According to Dr. Arnold Mitchem, president of the Council for Opportunity in Education, TRiO succeeds because it operates as a community program with an outcome-based objective.

“These programs work because they are run at the local level, student-centered, performance-based, and non-bureaucratic,” said Mitchem.

TRiO provides services such as assistance in choosing a four-year college; tutoring, personal and financial literacy counseling, career counseling; cultural trips and college visits, teaching balancing college and life skills, and assistance in applying for scholarships. All program services are free of charge to participants.

“TRiO changes students’ lives,” said Olivia Orten, a TRiO participant and upcoming Northeast State graduate. “My confidence has grown because of TRiO.”

TRiO Student Support Services at Northeast State serves more than 180 students and has been in existence nearly 30 years. Dr. Chris Lefler was the first project director, and TRiO has continued going strong since the program’s inception in 1984.

Today more than 1,200 colleges, universities, and community agencies host more than 2,800 TRIO projects that serve approximately 790,000 young people and adults.

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