Northeast State adds accelerated Business Administration cohort

Northeast State will expand its NextStep program offerings in fall 2014 with an accelerated associate of science degree in Business Administration. The program is a two-day-a-week, five-semester program that offers the opportunity to complete the degree in just 22 months.

The program is part of the Tennessee Transfer Pathway initiative, which means all credit hours transfer to a state four-year institution for the pursuit of a bachelor’s degree. In addition, the program is built on a cohort concept, which allows a group of students to follow a set schedule and progress through the program together.

Thacker said the Business Administration program is a mixture of hybrid courses, which means both in-class and online instruction. Students will need access to an Internet connection and be comfortable with using a computer to submit assignments online. The classes will be offered in the Weekend College based on the Blountville campus scheduled on Friday nights and Saturdays. Some courses will meet the entire semester, while others will be held in seven-week blocks. Students completing the program will earn an Associate of Science degree and 60 hours of transferable college credit.

NextStep Business Administration
NextStep Business Administration

The fall 2014 semester classes include Principles of Accounting I, Composition I, Computer Applications, Composition II, and Probability and Statistics. The accounting course meets the entire semester, while the other classes are seven-weeks long.

“You build relationships and camaraderie with the other students in your cohort – there’s strength in that, especially when you’re going through all the things non-traditional students experience with balancing school, life, and work,” said Jennifer Thacker, a cohort and academic support specialist at Northeast State. “The cohort is a great format because it helps students to push toward common goals and accomplishments,” Thacker said.

Because of special requirements, students interested in the new program must contact Ms. Thacker at 423.354.5187 or to register for classes.

David Mayfield performs at Northeast State May 1

Northeast State welcomes pianist David Mayfield to campus for a special piano recital on May 1.

David Mayfield
David Mayfield

The recital begins at 7:00 p.m. in the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts Theater at the main campus in Blountville. The concert is free and open to the public. He will perform “French Suite No. 5” in F Major by Johann Sebastian Bach, “Ballade No. 2” in F Major by Frederic Chopin and “Piano Sonata No. 30” by Ludwig van Beethoven.

Mayfield received his Master of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Tennessee in May 2011 where he studied with David Northington and also taught class piano and applied piano. While there, he received training in both the Suzuki Method and traditional methods of teaching under Fay Adams.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Piano at Lee University. Also, he performed in master classes with Adam Golka, Juyong Kang, Ning An, and Gloria Chien. For the past year, Mr. Mayfield took time to serve as a VISTA Volunteer, helping his community to combat high rates of poverty. During this time, he not only gave performances with a local community group known as the Plateau Player, but also crafting a concert series to bring classical performances to a rural area of Tennessee.

The recital is open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.  For more information contact

Linda Calvert earns 2014 Harold Love Award

Northeast State’s Linda Calvert has earned the 2014 Harold Love Outstanding Community Service Award. The award is presented by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) to recognize demonstrated success in public service. Five students and five faculty/staff members are honored statewide each year.

Calvert, currently executive director of Grant Development for the College, was cited by THEC for her long-time affiliation with South Central Kingsport Development Inc. Since 2000, the Kingsport organization has made tremendous strides in neighborhood revitalization and drug eradication. Calvert was instrumental in the charter of the organization as well as in securing funding for projects.

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.

Linda Calvert
Linda Calvert

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.
While Calvert notes her service is rooted in community growth and development, rather than individual achievement, she is appreciative of the College’s administration and staff for the nomination.

“It’s always difficult to tout yourself particularly when you’re not seeking accolades or awards,” Calvert said. “But it was rewarding to receive the honor.”

Calvert said her dedication to service was instilled at an early age, watching her parents and other adults giving back to the community. She also lists Dr. Harold Middlebrook – a noted civil rights leader and long-time Knoxville minister – as a role model.

“I’ve always seen people giving back – it was nothing out of the ordinary,” Calvert said. “I was taught that ‘to whom much is given, much is required” and that it’s not a matter of holding onto to what you have, but rather being open to giving back…if you never open your hands to give, you can never receive.”
THEC will honor Calvert and other recipients on April 24 at a reception in Nashville. Each recipient will receive a $1,000 cash prize.

Calvert earned her bachelor’s degree at the Mississippi University for Women and her master’s degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She taught middle school in Mississippi and Knoxville before moving on to teach college math at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville. She later became department chair of the Mathematics and Sciences Division at the College.

After nine years at Pellissippi, Calvert accepted a position as dean of the Liberal Arts academic division at Northeast State in 1989. Three major programs that are still a part of the College were instituted during her tenure: Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, The Honors Program, and Echoes and Images, the award-winning literary magazine.

She was later named dean of Economic and Community Development/Community Education at Northeast State. She held that position until 2007 when she became director of College Access Programs.

In her current role, Calvert seeks to secure available federal and state grant money to fund programs at Northeast State. Under her guidance the College has landed grants from the State of Tennessee, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship.

Her current community volunteerism includes the Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority Board of Commission, Hands On! Regional Museum, and United Way of Greater Kingsport Vision Council. Calvert recently earned the Bristol YWCA’s Tribute to Women Award in 2013 for work and dedication in the area of education.

Grow Your Business Workshop series

Northeast State’s Workforce Solutions will offer three workshops this spring and summer designed to boost business growth. The seminars are offered through a grant from the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship.

Based on the experience and insight of local successful entrepreneurs, the seminar will challenge participants to develop an action plan and take away the confidence to grow an existing company or launch a start-up.

The speakers include Allen Hurley, April 29; Mayor Dan Eldridge, May 27; and Karen Hester, June 24.

The hours for each workshop are 5:45 – 8:30 pm. A light dinner will be served each workshop.
Each speaker will present the most important lessons they learned about business growth. Attendees will have the opportunity to develop their own plans with the speaker’s guidance and recommendations.

The fee for each event is $30, with a $10 discount for chamber members. To register, contact Diana Harrison at 423.354.5520 or

The workshops will be held in the Wayne G. Basler Library on the College’s Blountville campus, 2425 Highway 75.

Bristol resident Hurley is a successful entrepreneur and community leader. He started a wireless phone repair business out of a neighbor’s garage and grew the business to more than 2,700 employees with four facilities and approaching a quarter billion in annual sales.

In 2010 Touchstone was named one of Fortune magazine’s top 5000 privately held companies. Touchstone pioneered innovation in one of the fastest growing consumer electronic sectors in history. He sold the business in 2010, to a Fortune 500 company.

Since then, he has created public and private partnerships that continue to stimulate economic development and jobs while successfully developing over 300,000 square feet of commercial and residential real estate.

Johnson City Mayor Dan Eldridge is a graduate of East Tennessee State University where he majored in Construction Management. In 1987 he joined Summit Communications, Inc. in Jackson, Miss., as general manager and led the company in growing more than 300 percent in three years.

In 1990, Eldridge founded Com-Net Construction Services, Inc. The company became a nationwide provider of wireless communications infrastructure development and services before merging with SBA Telecommunications in 1999. The combined company, SBA Communications Corp., has since become an international provider of communications tower leasing and network services. From 2003 through 2008 Eldridge focused on residential and commercial real estate development. In 2010 he was elected Mayor of Washington County.

Karen Hester grew up in Marion, Va., and in 1993 she fell in love with Bristol, especially historic downtown. In 2001, she became part of the “downtown community” by selling antiques at the State Street Antique Mall. Her entrepreneurship and passion for business led her to open her own business a few short months later.

Karen has successfully grown her business and has become an anchor store for Downtown Bristol. She has now expanded her store, Cranberry Lane, into a 15,000 square foot location and sells, home decor, gifts, gourmet food, and old-fashioned candy. Hester’s desire to work and live downtown led to her establishing the historic preservation and real estate development company – Preservation Properties.

About the Sam’s Club Giving Program
Sam’s Club Giving supports community-based programs that empower young people, families and small businesses to make smart choices that lead to healthy and bright futures. In 2011, Sam’s Club and the Sam’s Club Giving Program made cash and in-kind contributions of more than $101 million, which included donating more than 38 million meals. Visit for more information.

The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) is an organization of educators, administrators, presidents and entrepreneurs, focused on inciting entrepreneurship in their community and on their campus. NACCE has two main goals: 1. Empower the college to approach the business of running a community college with an entrepreneurial mindset; and 2. Grow the community college’s role in supporting job creation and entrepreneurs in their local ecosystem.

Founded in 2002, NACCE is at the heart of the “entrepreneurship movement.” Through membership, an annual conference and exhibition, regional summits, a quarterly journal, monthly webinars, a dynamic list-serv, and training resources, NACCE serves as the hub for the dissemination and integration of knowledge and successful practices regarding entrepreneurial leadership, entrepreneurship education and student business incubation. These initiatives and resulting actions advance economic prosperity in the communities served by its member colleges. NACCE is a founding member of the White House-led Startup America Partnership. For more information, visit

Follow us at @NACCE, like us on, and join our LinkedIn group.

Northeast State celebrates year’s best at Honors Convo

Northeast State recognized the year’s distinguished students, staff, and faculty members at the annual Honors Convocation held Tuesday night at the MeadowView Conference Resort and Convention Center in Kingsport.

The college’s Outstanding Student Award was presented to Nikki Sumner. She holds membership in the College’s Alpha Iota Chi chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, the Northeast State Scholars Foundation, and was named a Silver Scholar on the 2014 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team.  She served as member of the President’s Student Advisory Council, the Council for Leadership, Advocacy, and Student Success, and the Green’s Club. She will graduate summa cum laude in May with a perfection 4.0 grade point average. She plans to transfer to East Tennessee State University this fall.

Nikki Sumner
Nikki Sumner

Samuel Carson Waugh received the Outstanding Alumni Award for 2014. A 2005 graduate of Northeast State Waugh owns Off the Waugh Productions, a client-focused high-definition video production company that provides graphic design, corporate presentations, video services, and web design. He holds a bachelor’s degree from East Tennessee State University. Off the Waugh’s stellar work has been featured in regional and national marketing campaigns.

Carson Waugh
Carson Waugh

The Northeast State Program Area Awards recognized outstanding students in the academic department. Program award winners are:

Advanced Technologies
Chemical Process Operations – Zachary Gilliam; Electrical Technology – Jordan Appiah-Kesse; Electromechanical Technology – Austin Dietrich; General Technology – Jacob Porter; Automotive Service –Alexander Riddle; Engineering Design Technology – Jonathan Ponder; Machine Tool – Derick Cook; Manufacturing – James Parton; Mechanical – Jason Miles; Motor Sports – James Barr; Welding/Metal Fabrication – Jonathon Blackwell.

Behavioral & Social Science Division
Criminal Justice and Criminology – Tyler Chambers; Early Childhood Education – Sommer Bauer; Mass Communications – Katie Parks; Psychology – Caitlin Meadows; Public Safety and Justice Administration – Anna Musket; Social Work – Sherry Boyer; Sociology & Anthropology – Philip Chambers; Speech Communication – Steven Hobbs; Teacher Education – Wilma Barnette; Teacher Education Pre-K-3 – Mary Crowe.

Business Technologies
Accounting – Kimberly Campbell; Management – Allana Jones; Small Business Management – Michaela Slagle; Computer & Information Science/Computer Programming – Samuel Wells; Computer & Information Science/Information Assurance – Mary Johnson; Computer & Information Science/Internet & Web Development – Odette Simons; Computer & Information Science/Network Engineering Technology – Megan Coram; Computer & Information Science/PC Management – James Price; General Technology – Terence Weber; Information Technology – Willie Riddle; Office Administrative Technology/General – Wendy Guinn; Office Administrative Technology/Medical – Jolene Combs; Professional Studies – Michael Grindstaff.

Health-Related Professions Division
Dental Assistant – Renee Powell; EMT-Paramedic – Katrina Ginelli; Medical Laboratory Technology – Amanda Haun; Surgical Technology – Chelsea Daniel; Invasive Cardiology – Jordan Pleasant; Non-Invasive Cardiology – Chelsea Davis.

Humanities Division
Art – Caitlin Meadows; English – Kelly Tolley; History – Haley Money; Honors Program – Kaleb Wentz; Humanities – Matthew T.E. Parker; Philosophy – Matthew A. Parker; Spanish – Jacob Slagle; Theatre – William Lambert.

Mathematics Division
Business – Renee Walden; Engineering – Steven Walker; Mathematics – Katelyn Salyers.

Nursing Division – Stephanie Brown.

Sciences Division
Astronomy – Teresa Duncan; Dental Hygiene – Ashleigh Haun; Health Professions – Sydney Hartley; Nursing/Articulated – Nikki Sumner; Occupational Therapy – Brenda Rankhorn; Physical Therapy – Dustin Neubrander; Physics – Elizabeth Terranova; Radiography – Kasey Johnson.

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.

Mike Collins won the Distinguished Support Staff Member Award. Collins provides information technology support around campus. He is well-known as a consummate professional and one of the most upbeat people on campus.

Pat Chandler received the Distinguished Administrative/Professional Staff Member Award. Chandler’s dedicated service to Northeast State has long made her one of the most beloved people on campus.  She presently works in the Veterans Affairs office advising veterans who have returned to college.

Dr. Brent Lockhart was honored with the Distinguished Faculty Member Award. He is a professor of biology at Northeast State. Lockhart’s numerous nomination letters from students praised his dedication and skill as a professor for helping them succeed in the rigorous science disciplines.

Northeast State also recognized students graduating next month with academic honors. A total of 117 students are graduating cum laude (honors), 80 will graduate magna cum laude (high honors), and 84 students are summa cum laude (highest honors) graduates.

The College’s spring graduation ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. on May 12 at the East Tennessee State University/Mountain States Health Alliance Memorial Center in Johnson City.