NE State’s Dog Days of Summer pet adoption event set for June 9

Meet your next best friend when Northeast State hosts the Dog Days of Summer pet adoption event on Saturday,  June 9 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Blountville campus, 2425 Highway 75.

Hosted by the College’s Office of Scholarship Programs and Student Needs, this free, open-to-the-public event provides the opportunity to adopt dogs and cats from area adoption agencies. Adoption fees are determined by the participating partners.

dog days
Dogs Days of Summer offers a selection of animals up for adoption as well as vaccinations and microchipping to help keep animals safe and healthy.

Veterinarians will also be on hand to provide vaccinations and microchipping for current pet owners and offer tips on how to choose and care for animals. Vaccination fees will be $15 for distemper and $10 for rabies while microchipping will be $15.

“Our goal is to provide pets in our area with a loving home,” said Joshua Johnson, Coordinator of County and State Scholarships at the College. “Also, owners can ensure their pets are kept safe and healthy with low-cost vaccinations and microchipping.”

Leashed dogs and cats are welcome to attend, Johnson said. Free pet photos and giveaways will be available as well.

Event partners include Airport Pet Emergency Clinic, Appalachian Animal Hospital, Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter, Humane Society of Washington County, Petworks Regional Animal Services, the Sullivan County Animal Center, and the Bridge Home No Kill Animal Rescue.

For more information, call 423.354.5235 or email


Elizabeth Van Hoy receives music scholarship to Milligan

Elizabeth Van Hoy wanted a break from music. A piano player since age 11, she had decided to refocus on other things when she enrolled at Northeast State.

“I’d started taking lessons when I was 11, and I was done,” said Van Hoy who graduated from Northeast State this spring. “When I was little, I would play the piano and make up my own songs.”

Elizabeth Van Hoy

Northeast State Music Prof. Tawana Teague told Van Hoy about the College’s Talent Show competition held during the Because of You fundraising campaign in the fall. The temptation was too much. She resumed playing piano and singing with the Northeast State Singers during her first semester.

Van Hoy entered her first Northeast State Talent Show competition in 2016 and earned honorable mention notice. She competed again and won first place in the 2017 competition. She also earned the Performing Arts Annual Scholarship for Music from the Northeast State Foundation.

A Tennessee Promise scholarship recipient, Van Hoy received a music scholarship of $11,500 from Milligan College. She enrolled there and will begin as a Music Education major this fall.

“I try to practice an hour every day and 5 to 7 hours a week,” said Van Hoy. “Between work and school it has been hard sometimes.”

Van Hoy graduated cum laude from Northeast State this spring with associate degrees in Sociology and Speech Communication. Her list of accolades is considerable. She earned the Outstanding Music Student program award and Outstanding Singer award of the Northeast State Singers. She was one of 24 semifinalists for the Outstanding Student Award and was named to Who’s Who Among Students at Northeast State. Van Hoy has juggled school, work, and practice during her college years.

“Being here really helped me grow as a person,” she said. “It really helped me come out of my shell and made me a more outgoing and better person.”

While her mom and two aunts played piano for a few years, Van Hoy said she’s the first in her family to push her talent this far. Her younger brother is following his sister’s footsteps albeit with a different instrument.

“My brother is seven, and he just started learning to play guitar,” said Van Hoy. “I tried to teach myself how to play guitar, but I didn’t find it as interesting as the piano.”

Her scholarship application to Milligan involved more than filling out forms. She performed works by Beethoven and Chopin as an audition for the college’s music professors. The audition served as part of the scholarship’s competitive selection process for all applicants. The scholarship also gives Van Hoy the opportunity to perform with the Milligan choir, expanding her opportunities to play piano and sing at the college.

The scholarship rewards years of dedication by Van Hoy. She expects to increase her practice regimen this summer. Developing her musicianship was an important goal as she continued her education. But Van Hoy said music serves a greater purpose by enriching the lives of others.

“I want to be able to better myself as a musician and improve my overall skills,” said Van Hoy. “Music can help you as a person, but you can use it to help other people as well.”

Northeast State’s Abbie Saulsbury earns 2018 Harold Love Award

Northeast State student Abbie Saulsbury has earned the 2018 Harold Love Outstanding Community Service Award. She is one of only five students to receive the honor statewide.

The award is presented by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) to recognize demonstrated success in public service.

Saulsbury graduated this May summa cum laude with an associate of science degree. She plans to pursue a doctorate in either political science or higher education administration.

THEC cited her work with the Small Miracles Therapeutic Equestrian Center, the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Charity Miles.

Abbie Saulsbury
Northeast State’s Abbie Saulsbury earned a 2018 Harold Love Award for community service. She’s pictured with Mike Krause (left), executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, and Rep. Harold M. Love, Jr.

Saulsbury has been involved with Small Miracles since she was 14 years old and she volunteers one day a week at the facility, which helps individuals with disabilities, at-risk youth, and veterans through equine-assisted activities and therapies. She completed a full-time internship with Small Miracles last summer.

She became involved with St. Jude’s four years ago when her sister was diagnosed with cancer. After being inspired by the treatment and care her sister received, Saulsbury started participating in walk/run events for the hospital, helping to raise several thousand dollars. She also helps to raise funds to buy Christmas gifts for pediatric cancer patients and their families.

Also, Saulsbury’s involvement in the St. Jude walk/runs to End Childhood Cancer led her to start running, and she’s used the app Charity Miles to raise funds for organizations such as Feeding America, Special Olympics, the American Cancer Society, and the Niswonger Children’s Hospital. Charity Miles donates 25 cents for each mile run or walked to a charity of choice. So far, she has run 3,000 miles for charitable causes.

“I am truly honored and grateful to have received the Harold Love Award,” Saulsbury said.  “Various organizations like Small Miracles, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Charity Miles that I have been privileged to volunteer and fundraise for, have blessed me greatly. It is incredibly rewarding to be a small part of the life-changing work of each.”

During her time at Northeast State Saulsbury was president of the Student Navigators and Toast to Education, as well as chief justice of the Student Traffic Court. Also, she was vice president of Leadership of Alpha Iota Chi and served as a member of the Council for Leadership Advocacy, and Student Success, and the TRiO Club.

The General Assembly created community service recognition programs for Tennessee higher education students and faculty/staff in 1991. In 1997, the awards were named for the late Rep. Harold Love, who was instrumental in passing the legislation. Five students and five faculty/staff members are honored statewide each year.

Individuals receiving the recognition represent the many dimensions of community service–volunteer work, public service, charitable service, and leadership roles in community organizations. They serve as ambassadors for community service among the many diverse higher education communities in Tennessee.

Northeast State celebrates 1,463 graduates

Northeast State celebrated the Class of 2018 on May 8 as the College awarded degrees and certificates to 1,463 graduates.

The 2018 class represents one of the largest graduating classes in the College’s history. The graduates garnered a total 1,798 associate degrees and certificates.

Northeast State awarded 22 academic certificates, 514 technical certificates, 449 associate of applied science degrees, 36 associate of arts degrees, 26 associate of science in teaching degrees, and 751 associate of science degrees.

A total of 206 students graduated cum laude (3.6 – 3.74 GPA), 108 received magna cum laude distinction (3.75 – 3.89 GPA), and 118 students graduated summa cum laude (3.9 – 4.0 GPA).

NE State Commencement 2018 2
Northeast State awarded 1,798 degrees and certificates to 1,463 graduates during the spring 2018 commencement.

“Whatever course your future takes; it is my sincere hope that you will look back on your time at Northeast State as having prepared you for the challenges that life will present,” said President James D. King. “I wish each and every one of you the happiness of a productive life, the respect of your colleagues, and the love of your family. May the future be yours.”

Nick Pinchuk, chairman and chief executive officer of Snap-on, Inc., delivered the commencement address. Pinchuk is a noted expert on workforce development and technical education. He has been recognized numerous times for his extensive efforts in building a skilled American workforce.

Pinchuk holds an M.B.A. from Harvard, and master’s and bachelor’s of science degrees in engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He currently serves on the boards of Columbus McKinnon Corp.; the National Association of Manufacturers; and the Manufacturer’s Alliance for Productivity and Innovation.

Pinchuk urged graduates to remain curious and continually add to their skills and knowledge. He said those who ask questions are always well served, growing in both wisdom and strength of conviction.

“This is your time. You have stepped forward and enlisted in an American calling,” Pinchuk said. “I see no possibility for America’s ongoing prosperity without your success. America needs you now…you are guaranteeing our future going forward.”

The ceremony was held at the ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center on the campus of East Tennessee State University in Johnson City.

Northeast State pins new class of Nursing graduates

Northeast State recognized the 2017-18 class of Nursing program graduates at the annual Pinning Ceremony held Friday evening at the Regional Center for the Performing Arts on the Blountville campus.

The College’s interim dean of Nursing Dr. Johanna Neubrander welcomed more than 45 students who received their nursing pins. Completion of the R.N. degree program marks a major milestone in these students’ lives. While the Northeast State faculty praised the students’ achievement, Prof. Amy Brown perhaps best summed up the marriage of professional skill and personal savvy a nurse brings to the world.

“I’m lucky I was able to teach every single one of you,” said Brown. “Each of you can now deliver a baby on the side of the road.”

Northeast Nursing graduates of 2017-18 are: Kaci Allen; Sierra Allen; Monica Ash; Leah Austin; Vanessa Bare; Lakeisha Blevins; Sarah Bowers; Katie Burchett; Emily Campbell; Joshua Campbell; Emilee Carver; Victoria Childress; Emily Church; Jennie Dillon; Kristy Draper; Tara Drinon (Bledose); LeShay Foster; Taylor Hamby; Emily Harris; Bridgette Hensley; Jennifer Hensley; Brittany Hilliard; Jessie Hodges; Melissa Howery; Charity Hubbard; Clinton Hurley; Kaeleigh Johnson; Tammy Kurz; Maria Macariola; Courtney Matney; Ashley Meade; Penelope Musgrove; Meggan Necessary; Joshua Odom; Rebecca Ramsey; Aaron Reed; Chassity Sawyer; Mila Sidlinskaya; Molly Southerland; Melanie Tucker; Alexandria Upchurch; Sagen M. Vanover; Anna Walker; Wayne Wheeler; Angela Winters; and Tatsiana C. Yavas.

The 2018 Northeast Nursing class takes the Nightingale Pledge.

Speaking on behalf of the nursing class, LeShay Foster thanked attending family members and friends for their love and support. She compared the students to planted seeds nurtured under a rich soil of faculty guidance, familial support, and the perseverance to graduate.

“These faculty are some of the best influences, teachers, nurses, and friends we could ever ask for,” said Foster. “Never underestimate the power of a planted seed.”

Victoria Childress received the program’s Outstanding Student Award for traditional R.N. Program students. Taylor Hamby won the Outstanding Student Award for L.P.N to R.N. Program students.

Program awards to students were presented by Prof. Laura Jones, L.P.N. to R.N. Coordinator and leadership instructor for this class of nursing students. Certificates of Gratitude for class leadership were presented to Emilee Carver, Victoria Childress, LeShay Foster, and Melanie Tucker.

The Adult Learner Award for the R.N. Program was awarded to Lakeisha Blevins. The Adult Learner Award for the L.P.N. to R.N. Program was presented to Melissa Howery. The Program Support Award was presented to LeShay Foster.

As a symbol of those dedicated to care for the sick and wounded, the nursing pin is 1,000 years old and dates back to the Maltese Cross. The pinning ceremony provides a symbolic welcoming of new nurses into the profession. Each graduating student received the Northeast Nursing pin on his or her white lab coat signifying completion of the associate of applied science degree.

The nursing students graduating this spring will receive their diplomas on Tuesday, May 8 at the College’s spring commencement ceremony scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City.