Northeast State pins 2016 class of Nursing graduates

Northeast State recognized the 2016 class of Nursing program graduates at the nurse pinning ceremony held Thursday night at the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts on the Blountville campus.

Northeast State Nursing students take the nurse’s pledge after receiving their pins.

The College’s Dean of Nursing, Dr. Melessia Webb, welcomed the graduating class of more than 70 students who received their pins from the faculty member of their choosing. Charity Conkin and Heather White shared the program’s Outstanding Student Award. The Adult Learner of the Year Award was presented to Dawn Eubanks.

Northeast Nursing graduates of 2015-16 are:  Haley N. Adkins; Stephanie Bauer; Shelbi L. Bishop; Candace P. Blangin; Amanda K. Bradley; Stephanie A. Brickey; Kesha B. Brown; Megan L. Carr; Charity M. Conkin; Sarah A. Cooper; Patrina N. Cradic; Tequila D. Davidson; Clinton S. Davis; Carrie B. Deskins; Meagan M. Dial; Jacob M. Elkins; Kelli R. Elliott; Dawn M. Eubanks; Nicole C. Ferrell; Michele J. Frasier; Sabrina Light; Melinda G. Gillenwater; Ashley N. Goings; Violet R. Grizzle;  Amber D. Harris; Devinn C. Harris; Mary M. Hartzell; Sina L. Hassler; Kayla M. Hawkins; Brianna L. Horton; Talli A. Hunigan; Carla J. Keys; Debbie Lawson; Preslee D. Lawson; Michelle M. Leatherwood; Bethany N. Lewis-Henegar; Brittany L. Littleton; Kayla M. Lowe; Keri L. Melson; Vivian L. Mitchell; Gordon W. Mobley; Lisa J. Mobley; Sherry M. Montgomery; Ashliann K. Norton; Elsie M. Nyeplu; Kaitlin M. Oakes; Bradley C. Overbey; Katyann N. Owens; Julie-Anna L. Perkins; Anya N. Price; Harlie D. Priester; Jacquelyn A. Reese; Stacy L. Rutherford; Amber L. Salley; Taylor P. Shelton; Crystal S. Simpson; Tiffany D. Sluss; Michael B. Smith; Jessica R. Summie; Stephanie J. Taylor; Bailey L. Tullis; Cody D. Tupper; Briana D. Way; Tiffany N. Webb; Heather M. Weeks; Heather D. White; Savanna M. Whitehead; Laurie M. Whitmore; Kayla B. Winters; Jessica L. Worley; and Timothy W. Worley.

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 May 10 at the College’s spring commencement ceremony scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at East Tennessee State University/Mountains State Health Alliance Athletic Center on the campus of ETSU in Johnson City.

Northeast State Nursing graduates get pins May 5

Northeast State celebrates its newest class of Nursing program graduates with the annual pinning ceremony scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on May 5 in the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts on the Blountville campus.

The Northeast State Nursing program will honor more than 60 students graduating with associate of applied science degrees. Each nursing graduate will received a special Northeast State Division of Nursing pin to place on his or her lapel to signify the beginning of a nursing career. Pinning celebrates the transition from the role of student to the role of nurse – a rite of passage into the nursing profession. It is also a symbol of care and devotion.

Northeast State Nursing recognizes its newest class.
Northeast State Nursing recognizes its newest class on May 5.

Pinning, or honor, ceremonies are traditionally held for nursing classes at colleges and universities across the country. The pinning ceremony symbolizes the culmination a student’s professional nursing education. The nursing school pin distinguishes the graduates from all other health care professionals.

Nursing students graduating this spring will receive their diplomas on May 10 during spring commencement at East Tennessee State University/Mountains State Health Alliance Athletic Center on the campus of ETSU in Johnson City. For additional information, contact the division of Nursing at 423.354.5108.

Northeast State Theatre caps another impressive season

Northeast State Theatre students continue to win awards and perform as top competitors at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF).  Student nominees were invited to submit their work to the Festival’s Region IV competition held earlier this spring at the College of Charleston in Charleston, S.C. The adjudicated competition recognizes the best theatre work of two- and four-year colleges across the Southeast.

Courtney Hubbard received an award of General Excellence for Costume Design in the Weiss Design competition for the play Cloud 9 by Carolyn Churchill.  A Theatre major from Bristol, Hubbard created costumes from drawing design to creation onto storyboards detailing the costumes for each character.

cuckoo's nest
A tense scene from Cuckoo’s Nest.

“The judges are detail-oriented about your work so you have to be precise with what you do,” said Hubbard. “It was a long process and a really great learning experience. I was pretty happy about it.”

Hubbard created types of stone to represent each character in the play. The characters exhibited the same characteristics of their stones from rigidness to porousness to malleability. The judges were duly impressed by Hubbard’s creative take on design.

Teach, Bobby, and Don from American Buffalo hatch their plan.
Teach, Bobby, and Don from American Buffalo hatch their plan.

Fellow Northeast State student and first-time KCACTF competitor Charles Clark submitted a set design for Monty Python’s Spamalot, an outrageous musical take on the King Arthur story. From the hands and feet of God to the Holy Grail and Lady of the Lake/Laker Girls cheerleaders, Clark created his concept to match the play’s bizarre, hilarious themes.

“There were a lot of set pieces and flats for Spamalot,” said Clark. “The judges wanted to see your concepts from beginning to middle to end of the design, and they want specificity.”

A respected actor performing in past NST productions of Harvey and American Buffalo, Clark spent several weeks drawing set models to demonstrate the process of his ideas. He credited the high standards set by theatre faculty/directors Elizabeth Sloan and Brad McKenzie for getting the best from students.

“We are students at a community college and we’re going up against designers with master’s degrees and theatre professionals,” said Clark, who will do an internship with Barter Theatre this summer. “It was great to demonstrate and let them see you can do these amazing things at a two-year college because Brad and Elizabeth really know what they are talking about.”

Shelby (Shelby Minogue) and M'Lynn (Caitlin Haltom) earned Irene Ryan award nominations for acting.
Shelby Minogue (left) and Caitlin Haltom earned Irene Ryan award nominations for acting.

Clark also served as acting partner to fellow nominee Shelby Minogue who was nominated for an Irene Ryan Acting award for her role as Shelby in Steel Magnolias. They performed a scene from the play Dog Sees God for the competition.

“We rehearsed and ran our lines until we could run each other’s lines back and forth,” said Minogue, a first-time Kennedy nominee. “We prepared well so once we got there we were able to enjoy the trip and not freak out.”

Minogue said she focused on the technical work of theatre during the spring semester. She served as assistant stage manager for the spring production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and hopes to expand her design skills next year.

“This semester I’ve focused on technical work to learn everything I can so I can continue working in theatre all my life,” said Minogue. “I am going into design and hope to be doing more costume design work when the next semester begins.”

Aaron Musselwhite received a nomination his sound design work in Magnolias. Also an experienced actor in NST productions of I, Ebenezer and The Laramie Project, Musselwhite took on the sound design and sound board operator roles to expand his skill set in theatre.

“There were a lot of scene segues so I had to find a balance to move scenes along and help tell the story,” said Musselwhite. “The design process is a totally different animal from stage performance.”

Other students receiving nominations for Magnolias were: Caitlin Haltom who received her second Irene Ryan acting nomination award for Magnolias; Sommer Hughes in the category of Scenic Design; Ashley Guy and Jessica Richardson for Costume Design; and Dustin Lawson for Stage Management.

Northeast State Theatre’s three productions drew audiences of almost 2,000 people this season. With every performance, Northeast State Theatre students continue to raise the standard of excellence on stage and behind the scenes. The College invites you to enjoy their work when a new fall semester brings a season of imaginative productions.

Noted educator Ron Clark to speak at Educate 4 Success conference

Noted educator Ron Clark will be the keynote speaker at Northeast State’s Educate 4 Success conference scheduled for Sept. 30.

Known to many as “America’s Educator,” Ron Clark is the 2000 Disney American Teacher of the Year, a two-time New York Times bestselling author, the subject of a television movie, and the founder of The Ron Clark Academy. He is regularly featured on network and cable television. Visit to learn more about Clark, the Academy, and books he has authored.

Ron Clark with kidsThe Educate 4 Success conference is designed to bring together a variety of stakeholders in the field of education to discuss issues related to student success and completion, including the formulation, development, and/or illumination of solutions to these issues.  Stakeholders include professionals in postsecondary and second education, business, government, and nonprofit organizations.

The College’s Targeted Leadership Development Program (TLDP) is spearheading this conference which seeks to offer solutions and inspiration through engagement with influential thinkers, motivators, and colleagues.

Registration for the public will open on May 1. Visit for more information.

For those interested in presenting at the conference, Educate 4 Success, is now accepting proposal submissions. Topics include:

  • The Body: Adventure, Creativity, Reflection – Share successful education strategies.
  • The Mind: Common Sense, Appreciation, Resilience, Balance – Share the broader thought processes and purposeful behaviors behind your success.
  • The Soul: Enthusiasm, Compassion, Confidence, Humor – How can we develop and maintain positive, productive attitudes toward education, especially under less-than-perfect circumstances?

All proposals must be submitted no later than May 1.  For more information about submitting a proposal, visit

For more information about the conference, contact Jessica Barnett at 423.354.2589 or

Northeast State celebrates the year’s best at Honors Convocation

Northeast State 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.

Outstanding Student Award winner for 2016, Victoria Hewlett.

The college’s Outstanding Student Award was presented to Victoria Hewlett, of Elizabethton. A member of the College’s Alpha Iota Chi chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), Hewlett is an Honors student and member of the President’s All-Academic Team with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. A double major in Sociology and Speech Communication, she is the Tennessee regional vice president-east for Phi Theta Kappa. She was named a New Century Scholar for Tennessee by PTK earlier this spring. She is also an officer in Northeast State’s Student Government organization, the Council for Leadership, Advocacy, and Student Success (CLASS). Hewlett has competed with the Northeast State Debate Team and is a member the Toastmaster’s Club. She plans on attending St. John’s College in New Mexico next fall.

The Northeast State Program Area Awards recognized outstanding students in the College’s academic departments for 2015-16. Program award winners are:

Advanced Technologies

Chemical Process Operations – Hannah Casey; Electrical Technology – William Allen; Electromechanical Technology – Christopher Vermejan; General Technology – James Weaver; Industrial Operations – Daniel Jeter; Industrial Technology/Automotive Service – Aaron Terry; Industrial Technology/Machine Tool – John Yeazel; Industrial Technology/Manufacturing Engineering Technology – Joshua Head; Industrial Technology/Engineering Design Technology – Isaac Wentz; Industrial Technology/Automotive Body-Collision Repair – Jordan Ortega; Industrial Technology/Welding/Metal Fabrication – James Taylor.

 Behavioral & Social Science Division

Criminal Justice and Criminology – Kyla Faust; Early Childhood Education – Alicia Holley; Mass Communications – Abigail Hathorn; Psychology – William Feijoo; Public Safety and Justice Administration – Phillip Baumgardner; Social Work – Shawna Burrow; Sociology & Anthropology – Victoria Hewlett; Speech Communication – Chelsi Crockett; Teacher Education – Casey Osborne; Teacher Education Pre-K-3 – Mary Klug.

 Business Technologies

Business-Accounting – Antje Campbell; Business-Management – Jimmy Murphy; Small Business Management – Mary Chess; Computer & Information Science/Computer Programming – Heather Wilson;  Computer & Information Science/Information Information Assurance – Michael Bowers; Computer & Information Science/Internet & Web Development – Martin Mozingo; Computer & Information Science/Network Engineering Technology – John Deakins; Computer & Information Science/PC Management – Shawn Stuart; Computer Science – Annie King; Information Systems – Dakota Alford; Office Administrative Technology/General – Jennifer Baird; Office Administrative Technology/Medical – Shannon Lane.

 Health-Related Professions Division

Allied Health/Dental Assistant – Sarah Bradley; Allied Health/Medical Laboratory Technology – Eileen Madden; Allied Health/Surgical Technology – Dale Stafford; Cardiovascular Technology/Invasive – Landis Johnson; Cardiovascular Technology/Non-Invasive – Bridget France.

 Humanities Division

English – Kilian Thomas; History – Moriah Jones; Honors Program – Victoria Hewlett; Humanities – Gabriel Hobbs; Philosophy/Religious Studies – Rena Baker; Spanish – Tayla Sluss; Visual Art and Design – Whitney Culbertson.

Mathematics Division

Accounting – Sarah Black; Business Administration – Jeffrey Robinson; Engineering – Jacob Ellis; Mathematics – Nicholas Hodge.

Nursing Division – Charity Conklin.

 Sciences Division

Biology – Cassandra Ross; Chemistry – Carolyne Thomas; Dental Hygiene – Taylor Slaughter; Nursing/Articulated – Matthew Boyd; Occupational Therapy – Hannah Fink; Physics – William Byington.

Student members of the President's All-Academic Team graduating with 4.0 grade point averages.
Student members of the President’s All-Academic Team graduating with 4.0 grade point averages.

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.

Other award honorees included Alicia Blasini who won the Adult Learner of the Year Award and Rayma Gibbs who received the Outstanding Student Organization Advisor Award.

Jane Honeycutt recognizes the Honors Programs students for 2015-16.
Jane Honeycutt recognizes the Honors Programs students for 2015-16.

Dottie Corey with the Human Resources Department won the Distinguished Support Staff Award. Dean of Enrollment Management, Jennifer Starling, received the Distinguished Administrative/Professional Staff award. English professor Tempi Hale was honored with the Distinguished Faculty Member Award.

Donald Coleman, ’87, received the College’s Outstanding Alumni Award for 2016. Coleman earned his EMT-Paramedic certification from Northeast State in 1987. He went on to earn his bachelor’s and master’s degree from East Tennessee State University. During 20 years of service as a SWAT Team paramedic and reserve police officer, Coleman participated in more than 100 SWAT missions and complied more than 4,260 volunteer hours. Today, Coleman serves as assistant vice president of Academic Affairs and associate professor of Emergency Medical Technology at Northeast State.

The College’s spring graduation ceremony will be held at 7:00 p.m. on May 10 at the East Tennessee State University/Mountain States Health Alliance Memorial Center in Johnson City.