Posted by: northeastnation | March 4, 2015

Northeast State wins big at Phi Theta Kappa regional competition

Northeast State’s Alpha Iota Chi chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society racked up an impressive number of team and individual honors at the society’s Tennessee Regional Convention held this weekend at Columbia State Community College in Columbia.

Alpha Iota Chi won 1st Place for Most Distinguished Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa in the state of Tennessee and 1st Place for Most Distinguished Chapter Officer Team.

“We are so honored and tremendously excited about this year’s results,” said Jane B. Honeycutt, faculty advisor for the chapter and Northeast State associate professor of English and Women’s Studies.

The chapter’s officer team was recognized by competition judges for their outstanding work as leaders. Vice president of Scholarship, Anna Musket, won 2nd Place for Most Distinguished Chapter Officer. The chapter’s secretary/treasurer, Emma Bragg, won 3rd Place in the same category. In addition to the officers’ team recognition, new chapter inductee Victoria Hewlett was elected Regional Vice-President, East to serve as a Regional PTK officer.

(from left) Alpha Iota Chi members Anna Musket, Emma Bragg, and David Shepherd representing their chapter at the PTK Tennessee Region last weekend.

(from left) Alpha Iota Chi members Anna Musket, Emma Bragg, and David Shepherd representing their chapter at the PTK Tennessee Regional Convention last weekend.

Honeycutt said the chapter flourished this year thanks to student leadership of chapter officers Kelsey Smith, chapter president; Musket, vice president of Scholarship; Bragg, secretary/treasurer; Isabella Smith, vice president of Service; David Barlow, co-vice president of Service, and David Shepherd, vice president of Leadership. The team organized and carried out two significant projects during the past year designed to mentor incoming college students and middle school students.

The chapter took 1st Place awards for both the Most Distinguished College Project and the Honors in Action Project. The College Project was a pilot peer mentoring program attached to the C4 Commit to Complete Community College initiative. Phi Theta Kappa mentors worked with students interested in having a mentor and helped them navigate their way through registration, advisement, financial aid, etc., by providing them with resources and locations and overall support.

The chapter’s Honors in Action Project involved developing a partnership with the Innovation Academy at Holston Middle School. The school’s entire 8th grade class was assigned a Northeast State mentor in order to help create a college-bound culture among middle-school students.

Alpha Iota Chi continues to perform at a high level for both projects and officer leadership. The chapter received the 1st Place award last year for the Honors in Action Project with their creation of both an electronic and a hard copy of the Northeast Tennessee Regional Directory of Community Services.

The PTK Tennessee Region also recognized Honeycutt’s dedicated work with the Advisor Horizon Award recognizing advisors who have attained new levels of achievement in Phi Theta Kappa programs. As chapter advisor and director of the Northeast State Honors Program, Honeycutt works with Alpha Iota Chi members and Honors Program students on a variety of projects throughout the academic year. Alpha Iota Chi chapter and honors students consistently win recognition for their achievements under Honeycutt’s guidance.

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.

“These students deserve our respect and appreciation for their commitment to go above and beyond to contribute to the College and our community,” said Honeycutt.

Posted by: northeastnation | February 23, 2015

Doyle Lawson plays Northeast State Feb. 27

Northeast State welcomes back beloved music legend Doyle Lawson and his band Quicksilver to campus for a performance on Friday, Feb. 27 at 7:00 p.m.

Lawson and Quicksilver will perform at the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts on the College’s main campus at Blountville, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport. Advance tickets are $20 and can be purchased online now at

Called a “mandolin virtuoso” with “perfectly silken harmony” by The New York Times, Lawson and Quicksilver have nearly 40 albums to their credit, are seven-time International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Vocal Group of the Year winners, and have multiple Grammy, Dove, Inspirational Country Music Association (ICMA), and other IBMA award nominations. The band also earned four previous Dove Award nominations for the Best Bluegrass Gospel Album and Best Bluegrass Gospel Song awards for their 2008 release, Help Is on the Way.

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver

DLQ burst onto the national spotlight in 1996 when their album, There’s a Light Guiding Me earned a Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album. They went on to receive three more Grammy nominations in the Best Bluegrass Album category. Lawson was named Mandolin Player of the Year for 2012 by the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America (SPBGMA). He was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame in 2012 at the Ryman Auditorium.

Lawson has served as the feature instructor and performer at the College’s summer music workshops held at the Northeast State at Bristol for two years. He shared his knowledge and expertise with students about recording tips and techniques as well as live performances.

Lawson broke new ground in 2011 with a Children’s Hospital and Arena Tour, the first tour of its kind in any genre, combining National Anthem performances at major sporting arenas with performances for boys and girls at Children’s Hospitals in the same cities or regions.

The Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America has honored the group with numerous awards for albums and recorded gospel songs. The Gospel Music Association honored DLQ in 2011 with a Dove Award nomination for Bluegrass Album of the Year. In 2012, Lawson was inducted into the IBMHF at the Ryman Auditorium. That same year the band was named ICMA Vocal Group of the Year.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. For more information call the Northeast State Box Office at 423.354.5173.

Posted by: northeastnation | February 12, 2015

Workforce Solutions to offer 9-week ECG technician course

Northeast State’s Workforce Solutions will offer a nine-week ECG technician course at the Regional Center for Health Professions (RCHP) in downtown Kingsport starting Feb. 23.

ECG Technicians perform electrocardiograms and are one of the first providers to assist patients experiencing cardiac symptoms. ECG Technicians are critical members of the patient care team and may be employed in physician offices, emergency rooms, and hospital-baApple heartbeat red ECGsed cardiology clinics across the country. The course includes theory and hands-on instruction during the nine-week program.

Individuals interested in starting a career in the medical field, prospective patient care technicians, current nurses, or those looking to develop skills may benefit from this program. The program includes the National Health Career Association Certified ECG Technician exam.

The course will be taught from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the RCHP, 300 W. Main St. in Kingsport. Fee for the course is $475 and the deadline to register is Feb. 18.

For more information and how to register for this class, contact Diana Harrison with Workforce Solutions at 423.354.5520 or

Posted by: northeastnation | February 11, 2015

Theatre faculty selected to judge regional competition

An award-winning Northeast State alumnus and Theatre faculty member was invited to join a judging panel at a regional theatrical design competition in January.

Instructor Brad McKenzie was invited by the U.S. Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) to adjudicate technical competitors at the institute’s Southwest Regional Conference held at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.

The conference included a competition for design and technical artists from the region’s member institutions. Judges reviewed technical categories including lighting and sound design as well as costuming and make-up done by competitors.

“This was my first foray into adjudicating a competition,” said McKenzie. “It was certainly a great opportunity to network with theatre professionals and talk to them about our program and Northeast State.”

McKenzie served as one of six adjudicators for the competition. His own work has won several awards in the annual Region IV Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. His reputation for excellence in technical design and teaching the process of modeling design concepts piqued the interest of conference organizers.

McKenzie described modeling as sketching design ideas on paper with pencil to better understand light and setting for a scene. A three-dimensional model drawing demonstrates how light and shadow should frame a production.

“It is not used often, but I like it because you get a better sense of how light renders and moves,” he said.

Judges for USITT critique a nominee’s process from initial idea to realization on the stage. McKenzie also taught a workshop about lighting design to a class of 25 students and theatre professionals. As with his Northeast State students, McKenzie said he emphasized the art of technical theatre trade as a marketable skill for the industry.

“When you are a designer, you have experience operating a piece of theatre equipment or possess a skill set that people need in live performances,” said McKenzie. “Those are very specialized skills that are needed in performance areas. The job market for technical theatre professionals is way better than that for performance.”

McKenzie was among the College’s first theatre majors when the program was established. He went on to earn his bachelor’s degree at East Tennessee State University and his master’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi. McKenzie was named a full-time instructor at Northeast State last year. He worked as technical director and lighting designer for several Northeast State Theatre productions before becoming a full-time faculty member last year. He has also written original stage adaptations for I,Ebenezer, and The Odyssey Abridged: A Puppet Journey of Epic Proportions both performed by Northeast State Theatre.

McKenzie noted that the top-tier technical effects for theatre were becoming more available as equipment became more refined and affordable. He added that Northeast State’s decision to build a top quality venue in the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts raised the bar for students’ training and live performance innovation by the department.

“At Northeast State, we are fortunate to have fantastic technical capabilities and tremendous facilities available with the RCPA Theatre to train students, showcase their work, and stage shows with high production value,” said McKenzie. “I want to share our students’ abilities and skills with as many people in the theatre industry as possible.”

Posted by: northeastnation | February 10, 2015

Northeast State hosts Financial Literacy Day Feb. 18

Freaky financial times require smart budgeting, saving, and avoiding debt to stay solvent. Northeast State students, faculty and staff will learn methods to secure a financial future at Financial Literacy Day scheduled for Feb. 18 at the College’s Blountville campus, 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport.

Financial Literacy Day Poster finalFinancial institution representatives will be available from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the 1st floor Student Services Building in the upper Courtyard area and individual presentations will be in the Auditorium (A202). The community is invited to attend. No appointment is necessary. There is no charge to attend the event.

Participating institutions and their presentation times are scheduled as:

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Appalachian Community Federal Credit Union, “Financial Cents – College & Youth-Based Program”
9:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. TriSummit Investment Services, “The Psychology of Spending”
10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Mortgage Investors Group, “Financial Peace University”
11:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Citizens Bank, “Credit – The Good and The Bad”
12 noon – 12:30 p.m. Eastman Credit Union, Money Management Basics

Event is hosted by Northeast State’s TRiO Student Support Services and Student Life Office. For more information about Financial Literacy Day, contact TRiO Student Support Services at 423.354.2540.

Posted by: northeastnation | February 2, 2015

Ebenezer, Lion shows earn award nominations

The land of Narnia and the streets of jolly old England came alive on stage last year as Northeast State Theatre continued staging classic productions with creative new twists.

Once again the work of Northeast State Theatre students was recognized by proctors from Region IV of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF). The student nominees have been invited to submit their work to the Festival’s Region IV competition held Feb. 3-8 at Darton State College in Albany, Ga. The adjudicated competition recognizes the best theatre work of two- and four-year colleges across the Southeast.

“Our students have been nominated for and won KCACTF awards every year we’ve entered as participants,” said Brad McKenzie, instructor and technical director of Northeast State Theatre. “So we are doing something right here.”

A scene from I, Ebenezer with Marlene (Heather Christian, left) Marley-bot (Austin Sparks, center) and Ebenezer (Richard Jackson). (Photo by David Grace)

A scene from I, Ebenezer with Marlene (Heather Christian, left) Marley-bot (Austin Sparks, center) and Ebenezer (Richard Jackson). (Photo by David Grace)

Marty France received a nomination for Costume Design with his lyrical and dreamlike work on The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Dustin Lawson earned a nomination for Make-up Design in Lion and Ebenezer. Eli Kistner received a nomination for his work as Technical Director for Lion. Ashley Guy picked up the Costume Design nomination for the multiple period-piece design of Ebenezer. The managing of Narnia was pulled off by Hannah Duncan who picked up her third KCACTF nomination for her Stage Management work of Lion.

“Our students are so dedicated. Every semester they rise to the challenge,” said Elizabeth M. Sloan, professor and director of Northeast State Theatre. “It is rewarding and inspiring to work with so many incredible students.”

Lucy (Lorrie Anderson) and Mr. Tumnus (Tyler Bishop) in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. (Photo by David Grace)

Lucy (Lorrie Anderson) and Mr. Tumnus (Tyler Bishop) in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. (Photo by David Grace)

Lorrie Anderson earned an Irene Ryan acting nomination for her role as the curious and courageous Lucy in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Austin Sparks received an Irene Ryan Acting nomination for his role of young Edmund in Lion. He nabbed a second Irene Ryan Acting nod for his work as Marley-bot, Scrooge’s mechanical creation in Ebenezer. Richard Jackson won his fourth Ryan acting nomination for playing the titular role in Ebenezer.

Grace Arrowood was selected as a Weiss Design participant for scenic design. Arrowood will present her own original concept of a set design for competitive review. The Weiss competition requires entrants to create a technical design for a hypothetical show.

Posted by: northeastnation | January 29, 2015

Concert celebrates music that fueled the Civil Rights movement

As part of Northeast State’s Black History Month events, vocalist Jonathan Blanchard will present “Music that Fueled the Civil Rights Movement” at the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 2 at 7:00 p.m. Admission is free and open to all.

Drawing on the songs of Billie Holiday, Mahalia Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Curtis Mayfield, Sly Stone, and Marvin Gaye, Blanchard presents iconic music that was an essential component of the movement. His performance captures the vitality and idealism necessary to fuel dangerous marches, sit-ins, picket lines, and freedom rides.

Jonathan Blanchard (courtesy of Allen Cooley Photography)

Jonathan Blanchard (courtesy of Allen Cooley Photography)

Blanchard, in the tradition of great soul singers, creates music that allows his deep, soulfully rich voice to blend naturally with the times. He movingly conveys poignant words and melodies to evoke feelings of love respect, hard times, and revolt. His voice of depth and richness draws comparisons to the likes of Paul Robeson, Isaac Hayes, and Barry White.
Blanchard recently released his first studio album entitled “Freedom’s Soul…the REVOLUTION.” Recorded in Memphis and Atlanta, the album is a fusion of soul, funk, jazz, spirituals, hip-hop, and R&B.

Blanchard’s artistic tastes were first forged in grade school. However, by the time he entered high school his artistic curiosity led him to sing in various choruses and to act in a number of theatre productions. He attended Tennessee State University, receiving bachelor’s and master’s degrees in commercial music and music education, respectively. While in college, he learned to weave the various elements of his artistic nature into a magnetic style of delivery.

His stage credits include roles in Your Arms Are Too Short to Box with God, A Westside Story, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Scipio, Do Lord Remember Me, and The Wiz. In addition, he’s done voice-over work for local and national concerns, appeared on Memphis’ WREG – Live at 9 program, and most recently been the featured singing artist on the PBS film Underground Railroad – Quilt Code for Georgia Public Broadcasting.

Northeast State’s performing arts center is located adjacent to the Tri-Cities Regional Airport, 2425 Highway 75.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call 423.279.7669 or visit

Posted by: northeastnation | January 22, 2015

Open auditions for The Laramie Project set Jan. 27 & 28

Northeast State Community College Department of Theater announces open auditions next week for its spring production of The Laramie Project.

Actors are invited to two open auditions scheduled Jan. 27 & 28 scheduled from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts (WRCPA) on the main campus 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport in Blountville. The play is being presented by special arrangement with Dramatis Play Service, Inc.

Written by Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project, The Laramie Project tells the story of the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard outside Laramie, Wyoming, and how local residents dealt with a hate crime happening in their town. Shepard, a 21-year-old gay student registered at the University of Wyoming, was tied to a cattle fence, beaten severely, robbed, and left to die on a bitterly cold night. Two local men were charged and convicted of the crime. The Laramie Project is a deeply moving theatrical experience that explores both the savage darkness and extraordinary compassion of humanity. The production contains mature subject matter that may not be suitable for all audiences.

Performers are asked to gather in the lobby of the WRCPA Theater. All actors should be familiar with the story and are asked to prepare a one-minute monologue to be read at the audition. Call backs will be made on Jan. 29 between 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Production dates are March 19-22 and March 26-29.

For more information, contact Northeast State Theater at 423.354.2479 or e-mail

Grand Tetons fenced in

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