Posted by: northeastnation | July 28, 2015

TRiO program receives Student Support Services funding renewal

Northeast State TRiO Student Support Services will receive annual funding over the next five years through a renewed federal grant through the U.S. Department of Education. The grant amount apportions $270,986 for the upcoming budget year beginning Sept. 1 and continuing through Aug. 31, 2016. The grant renews each budget year for the next five years totaling approximately $1.3 million.

The federally-funded TRiO Student Support Services program is funded to serve 180 students every year through an application process. The program provides low-income, first-generation college students and students with disabilities the support to improve their retention and graduation rates while facilitating their transfer from two-year to four-year colleges.

“The biggest thing with Student Support Services is the heart and emotion that goes into working with the students,” said Virginia Reed, director of TRiO at Northeast State. “It is more than a job, it is watching them succeed from start to finish. It is an amazing feeling.”

Tutoring is one of several services the The Northeast State TRiO SSS program offers to qualifying students.

Tutoring is one of several services the The Northeast State TRiO SSS program offers to qualifying students.

The Northeast State SSS program celebrated its 30th year of existence in 2014. Northeast State’s SSS program provides services including: academic tutoring; transfer advisement, college course selection advisement; financial aid/financial literacy advisement; counseling resources; assisting students to apply for financial aid; and assisting students enrolled in two-year colleges to apply for financial aid/scholarships to enroll in four-year colleges and universities.

“A majority of students do not have college knowledge meaning they are not sure what to ask or where to find out what they need,” said Olivia Orten, a Northeast State alumna and TRiO SSS participant. “The TRiO SSS program helped me so much with my confidence in myself and my abilities.”

Orten now attends East Tennessee State University and expects to graduate next spring with her bachelor’s degree in social work. She signed up for the TRiO SSS program to get tutor help for math but discovered much bigger things about the program and herself.

“I was a special education major but once I started working with TRiO at Northeast State I saw what I really wanted to do was help people achieve like Jenny and the staff did,” she said.

TRiO logoTRiO SSS participants who graduated from Northeast State were equally excited for new students to enjoy the same opportunities they experienced. Northeast State graduate and TRiO participant Lindsey Mosier credited the program with guiding her through those challenging first two years of college. Mosier said the TRiO staff provided the help and encouragement she needed to achieve her goal of being accepted into the ETSU Radiography program.

“Honestly, I don’t think I would be where I am today had I not found TRiO,” said Mosier. “What the Northeast State TRiO staff is doing changes so many lives, and I am so thankful I was a part of it.”

Imagine living life without language. In/Visible Theater’s newest production, Without Words tells a poignant, beautiful story of communication and the human spirit.

Northeast State is thrilled to host this enthralling play on Sunday, July 26 at 3:00 p.m. in the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts Theater on the College’s Blountville campus. The performance is free and open to the public.

The play tells the story of Ildefonso, a 27-year-old Mexican Indian, was born deaf, never learned sign language, and lived on the fringes of human interaction. Susan, a sign language interpreter, found him intelligent, observant, and isolated from the world around him, and despite the experts, she was determined to help him communicate.

Without Words delves into how language connects humanity and how words ask, express love, argue, and make a place in society.

Without Words delves into how language connects humanity and how words ask, express love, argue, and make a place in society.

Written by Derek Davidson, the play is based on a true story chronicled in the book A Man Without Words by Susan Schaller. This show is unique in that the script was written bilingually, in both ASL and spoken English. The play delves into how language connects humanity and how we use words to ask, express love, argue, and to take our place in human society.

In/Visible Theatre Uses dance, drama, sound, and silence in this remarkable true story of how language is so much more than words.In/Visible started in 2012 with Bumbershoot, In/Visible Theatre’s inaugural production written and directed by Davidson and produced by Karen Sabo. The company sent Bumbershoot to the 2012 New York International Fringe Festival. Part of In/Visible Theatre’s mission is to bring new plays, new interpretations of older plays, and plays infrequently produced in the area.

For more information, contact 423.279.7669 or visit the In/Visible Theater website http://nvsblthtr.wix.com/invisibletheatrenc.

Posted by: northeastnation | July 21, 2015

Tri-Cities Gospel Music Camp performs shaped-note show July 30

Revisit a fascinating piece of the South’s musical history when the Tri-Cities Gospel Music Camp performs a shaped-note singing concert at Northeast State to round out the College’s Hot Nights, Cool Music summer concert series.

Fans of the shaped-note style, as well as newcomers to the method, will be treated to a concert and workshop by singers from the camp July 30 at 7:00 p.m. at Northeast State’s Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts Theater at the Blountville campus. The event is free and open to the public.

The Tri-Cities Gospel Music Camp brings the shaped-note music concert to life at the WRCPA Theater July 30.

The Tri-Cities Gospel Music Camp brings the shaped-note music concert to life at the WRCPA Theater July 30.

Shaped-note singing is an American tradition of hymn-singing that endures today in churches and annual singing schools and conventions. The style began in New England during the 18th century and made its way to the Southern states where it enjoyed popularity through the mid-19th century.

Shaped-notes allow for a simplified way to read music. Based on geometric shapes like squares, ovals, diamonds, and triangles – the distinctive shapes of the notes instantly tell what pitch to sing. The style gained a great following in colonial times when many singers were musically untrained.

The performing arts center is located at 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to the Tri-Cities Regional Airport.

For more information, contact Jim Kelly at jpkelly@NortheastState.edu or 423.279.7669.

Posted by: northeastnation | July 14, 2015

The fantastic Caravan of Thieves perform July 18

Don’t bother locking up your valuables. Bring them along when the phenomenal Caravan of Thieves returns to Northeast State for a free live performance on July 18 at 7:00 p.m. in the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts at the main campus in Blountville. The performance continues the College’s Hot Nights, Cool Music summer concert series.

In the spring of 2008, musical duo Fuzz and Carrie Sangiovanni extended their family to include violinist Ben Dean and double bass madman, Brian Anderson completing their vision of Thieves. Since then, the four of them ran away from home and never looked back. The band is on tour supporting their latest album KISS KISS released under their own Buskaroo label. The new album combines the dark humor and sarcastic social commentary of Caravan of Thieves’ previous albums with an added emphasis on love and all the beauty and danger it brings.

Caravan of Thieves

Caravan of Thieves

According to Fuzz and Carrie, “We enjoy writing about concepts that most listeners can relate to while seeing how far we can bring it to the edges of our imaginations, and try to use as many unexpected images and comparisons as we can to illustrate them. One of the main themes behind KISS KISS is love, which is already so complex, so we tried to cover as many angles as possible, the good the bad and yes, even the ugly.”

Driving gypsy jazz rhythms, acoustic guitars, upright bass and violin lay the foundation for the band’s mesmerizing vocal harmonies and fantastic stories. Caravan of Thieves are musical and intense. They entertain, dazzle and defy musical classification while welcoming the spectator to join the band throughout the performance in momentary fits of claps, snaps and singalongs.

Within that first year, the Caravan of Thieves began to win immediate praise for their unique blend of gypsy swing and popular music, inspiring them to record and release the debut full-length album Bouquet in 2009. The band followed up with the equally sharp albums Mischief Night and The Funhouse.

Caravan of Thieves are touring to support their new album KISS KISS.

Caravan of Thieves are touring to support their new album KISS KISS.

“The years spent making music as an acoustic duo, alongside street performers, forced us to create a style of music we can present anywhere, anyhow, plugged in or not, a little wild and raw,” adds Carrie addressing the troubadorian nature of Caravan Of Thieves, “And this seemed to be a characteristic of popular artists and performers who have developed their persona and style that continue to span generations.”

The concert is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact 423.279.7668 or jpkelly@northeaststate.edu.

Posted by: northeastnation | July 13, 2015

Summer institute explores uses of iPad in the classroom

For the 2015 fall semester, Northeast State will issue iPad Mini 2 tablets to Tennessee Promise and new full-time, degree-seeking freshmen who meet established criteria. As envisioned, the initiative will focus on ways to promote student-centered learning through the use of mobile technology.

To explore the iPad’s potential in the classroom, selected Northeast State faculty are attending three-hour training sessions during the month of July. The College’s Center for Teaching Excellence is conducting the training.

Dr. Rick Merritt breaks down the iPad as a teaching tool.

Dr. Rick Merritt breaks down the iPad as a teaching tool for faculty.

The workshops are designed for faculty members who have been chosen to teach i-Pad enhanced classes. Jim Kelly, CTE director, said iPad uses might include note-taking, online and in-class collaboration on projects, research, and app use to share information during classes.

The training involves an overview of how iPads work, a look at how the devices are used in student-centered learning, and an introduction to useful teaching apps. The devices are pre-loaded with apps such as Microsoft Office and Nearpod, a tool that allows the iPads to communicate in a classroom.

“We don’t mean for the iPad to replace current teaching methods,” Kelly said. “We just want faculty members to think about ways iPads can enhance, enrich, and extend what they already do and use the technology to engage students in the learning process. This emphasis on student-centered learning has been the focus of the College’s STEP (Strategies for Teaching Excellence) initiative, which has been ongoing for the past five years, so the current iPad initiative is a logical extension of STEP.”

To explore the iPad’s potential in the classroom, selected Northeast State faculty are attending training sessions during July.

To explore the iPad’s potential in the classroom, selected Northeast State faculty are attending training sessions during July.

Kelly said the CTE will provide continuing education about iPads throughout the year and a faculty-written blog is in the works to provide a conversation about best practices. He said periodic assessments will occur with faculty and students to gauge the effectiveness of the initiative.

“The exciting part about this is that our iPad initiative is not static or fixed – it’s something we can continuously improve upon and expand, and we look forward to learning from any challenges that might arise. Our goal is to become a model for other higher education institutions in the state who are exploring ways to use iPads to promote student learning and retention.”

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