David Shepherd named 2015 Coca-Cola Gold Scholar

Northeast State student David Shepherd of Kingsport has been named a 2015 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Gold Scholar. He will receive a $1,500 scholarship and a special medallion.

The program is sponsored by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and is administered by Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Nationally, 50 Gold, 50 Silver, and 50 Bronze Scholars were named with nearly $200,000 in scholarships awarded. More than 1,700 applications were submitted for consideration.

David Shepherd
David Shepherd

The selection process is based on scores earned on outstanding academic rigor, grade point average, academic and leadership awards, engagement in college, and community service.

“When I saw the e-mail announcement, I thought it was just a Phi Theta Kappa newsletter or something,” said Shepherd, a home school graduate, who earned 29 credits hours in the College’s Dual Enrollment program. “Then I started reading it and it was like ‘Whoa!’ My two brothers were in the room and I said ‘guys, I just won $1,500!’”

Shepherd is a biology major, planning to transfer to either Lipscomb University or East Tennessee State University in fall 2015. Upon transferring, Shepherd said he intends to major in biochemistry and eventually attend medical school.

At Northeast State, Shepherd is president of the Scholars Foundation, vice president of leadership for the Alpha Iota Chi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, and chief justice of the traffic court. He also holds the Basler Incentive Endowed Scholarship.

“I thank my parents and family for supporting me through all these different meetings and projects each week. I think they can see the hard work is starting to pay off,” Shepherd said. “I also want to thank the faculty and staff that got me involved; they were always there to support me.”

Phi Theta Kappa will recognize the 2015 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Scholars at this year’s Annual Convention, April 16-18, in San Antonio, Texas.

In addition, Shepherd was recently named to the All-Tennessee Academic Team. The All-Tennessee Academic Team is composed of students nominated by their colleges to be considered for the All-USA Academic Team, sponsored by USA Today and Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. Each of the state’s 13 community colleges selects two outstanding students to recognize for their academic achievement, leadership, and service to the community.

“We thank the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation for their vote of confidence in community college students by investing in their futures,” said Dr. Rod Risley, Executive Director of Phi Theta Kappa. “Their support is especially welcome during this challenging economic climate, as more and more community college students need additional resources to help them complete their degrees.”

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Miss., is the largest honor society in American higher education with more than 1,285 chapters on two-year and community college campuses around the world. Nearly three million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 135,000 students inducted annually.

Echoes & Images 25 contest winners announced

Winners of the Echoes and Images XXV competition have been announced by the Northeast State Humanities Division. The judges reviewed submissions made during the fall semester in the categories of Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, and Visual Arts. Judges selected first-, second-, and third-place award winners earlier this year.

In the Fiction category, Andrea Greer won first place for No Way Back Home, Cheston Axton received second place for Alias, and Heather Christian earned third place for Blind Date. Honorable Mention went to The Laments of War by Bradlee Clark, A Happy Little Walk Through Hell by Tyler Kerstetter, and III by Daniel Scott Rutherford.

In the Non-fiction category, Four Little Words by Tabitha Stambaugh won first place. Second place went to First Time Experience by Jameson Willis and Academic Failure by Jordan Feagins took third place. Flux Empyreal by Jonathan Earl Calhoun and Liars, Cheaters, and the Occasional Compliant Patient by Victoria Smith received honorable mention.

The Window by Alexandra Drumwright
The Window by Alexandra Drumwright.

Greer also won first place in the Poetry category for her poem Drowning. Orphaned Eyes by Axton received second place, and The Human Condition by Nicholas Hodge won third place in the division. Honorable mention notices were given to the following contestants: Everyone Needs a Hobby by Abigail Bell; The Cobblestone Path and Shapers by Paul Elderwith Taylor III; The Autumn Memory by Cassandra Messengill; Goosebumps by Nicholas Hodge; Supermarket Jungle by Shelley Ray; and Only the Sensation… by Victoria Hewlett.

In the Visual Art category, The Window by Alexandra Drumwright won first place. Diane Smith’s Stylish Target received the second place award. Third place went to Katie Moody’s work Untitled. Honorable mention notices went to Zachary S. Sturgill for Stay Classy, Don’t Do Drugs and Moriah Jones work It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! No, it’s Henryetta!

A reading of this year’s Echoes and Images work and an art exhibition will be held on Monday, April 6th at 6:00 p.m. in Room L106 of Basler Library.  Please come out to meet the artists, hear their work, and enjoy their visual art.

Jeff Little Trio & Wayne Henderson play The Paramount March 31

Northeast State’s Entertainment Technology Program and Bristol’s Paramount Center for the Arts present the acclaimed Jeff Little Trio and guest Wayne Henderson in concert March 31 at 7 p.m.

The Trio and Henderson promise a toe-tapping night of music ranging from traditional old-time country to bluegrass to rockabilly to blues. The show is free and open to the public. The Paramount is located at 518 State St., Bristol, Tenn.

For those with an interest in Northeast State’s Entertainment Technology program, an open house is slated from 4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. at 620 State St., site of the College’s Bristol campus. The open house will feature tours of the program’s state-of-the-art sound, lighting, and recording facilities.

Little’s involvement with fiddle tunes, old-time country, and traditional blues dates to his growing up in Boone, N.C., where his family owned a music shop. The shop was a regular gathering place for musicians dropping by to pick a few tunes. At an early age, Jeff would regularly sit in with many of the musicians from the region, including one of America’s most influential musicians: Doc Watson.

The Jeff Little Trio
The Jeff Little Trio

These influences helped shape Little’s approach to the piano which is based on these deep musical traditions. With few exceptions, the piano does not play a prominent part in Appalachian or Americana music, and is rarely the lead instrument. But Little is an exception – and a remarkable one. His distinctive two-handed style, much influenced by the mountain flat-picked guitar tradition, is breathtaking in its speed, precision, and clarity.

Little’s performances include The Smithsonian Institution, The National Folk Festival, American Piano Masters, Merlefest and many festivals, performing arts centers, colleges and music venues throughout the US. He has released four CDs, and been featured on National Public Radio and PBS several times.

The Trio includes Steve Lewis, one of the most respected acoustic musicians lauded for his flat picking on guitar and his mastery of the five-string banjo. Lewis earned many championships for his guitar and banjo playing in competitions at Merlefest, the Galax Old Time Fiddlers Convention, and the Wayne Henderson Guitar Competition. He is also a two-time national champion on the banjo.

Rounding out the Trio is Josh Scott, considered to be one of the most talented upright bass players working today. Scott has been featured on stage and in the studio with many critically acclaimed artists of acoustic and Americana music.

Wayne Henderson is the Appalachian guitarist that Nashville pickers all talk about. Sometimes Wayne’s playing is mistaken for flatpicking, but he actually uses a thumb-pick and fingerpicks to achieve amazing speed and fluidity, transforming fiddle and banjo pieces, and even the occasional jazz standard, into stunning guitar solos.

In addition to his reputation as a guitarist, Henderson is a luthier of great renown. He produces about 20 instruments a year, mostly guitars; he is almost as well-known for the mandolins he has made. Good friend Doc Watson owned a Henderson mandolin. He said, “That Henderson mandolin is as good as any I’ve had my hands on. And that’s saying a lot, because I’ve picked up some good ones.”

Wayne Henderson
Wayne Henderson

Some of Henderson’s instruments are intricately decorated but are most respected for their volume, tone, and resonance. Blues guitarist John Cephas said that Wayne Henderson “is probably the most masterful guitar maker in this whole United States.”

Henderson was awarded the country’s highest honor for a traditional artist, the National Heritage Fellowship in 1995 in honor of both his fine playing and his guitar-making.

TRiO SSS recognize scholars, graduates

Northeast State’s TRiO Student Support Services recognized the program’s scholars and graduates at its 6th annual Breakfast with the President awards ceremony on Thursday.

TRiO Director Virginia Reed presented scholar certificates and awards of honors to the program’s students. Mike Sanders won Outstanding Participant of the Year award and the Outstanding Peer Tutor of the Year award for the Blountville campus. Sherri Brooks received the Outstanding TRiO Participant of the Year for the Northeast State at Kingsport service branch. April McKinney received the Outstanding Participant of the Year award for the Elizabethton Teaching site. Stan Derrick won the Outstanding Advanced Tutor of the Year. Derrick works as a tutor with The Learning Center tutoring site at Kingsport.

“We are so proud of our scholars and graduates,” said Reed. “You have truly made incredible strides while facing some very difficult circumstances.”

Dr. Brent Lockhart presents Mike Sanders with the Outstanding Peer Tutor Award.
Dr. Brent Lockhart presents Mike Sanders with the Outstanding Peer Tutor Award.

TRiO SSS scholars recognized were: Charlie Bowman, Glen Burns, Ashleigh Caldwell, Melissa Dimech, Mary Eller, Autumn Fields, David Foudy, Brianna Franklin, Jeff Garrett, Tabitha Gentry, Melinda Gouge, Whitney Guinn, Joseph Hicks, Kaylin Hutson, MelindaLou Johnson, Jennifer Kendrick, Shania Leonard, Tammy Long, Cory Lyons, Dalton Maines, Deshawn Mingo, Matthew Parker, Zoe Sibley, Jenny Tester, Eugene Vanoy, and Devin Wood.

TRiO SSS scholar graduates preparing to graduate this spring are: Saba Albarati, Heather Allen, Tracy Allen, Melissa Bowers, Stephanie Brewer, Sherri Brooks, Jason Bryant, Bonnie Burns, Marcus Carr, Justin Carver, Jodi Chambers, Hailey Clark, Travis Deeth, Caitlin English, Kelli Garretson, Michelle Grubbs, Perri Hammock, Laura-LaRue Jones, Emilee Lawson, McKensie McGee, April McKinney, Timisha Mosely, Steven Parker, Lindsey Reynolds, Madison Rhoten, Eva Rodriguez, James Romero, Mike Sanders, Samantha Shelton, Andrew Snyder, Wata Tambah, Hazel Taylor, Morgan Wallen, Dana Williams, and Kaitlin Winters.

TRiO Scholar Graduates attending Thursday's award ceremony.
TRiO Scholar Graduates attending Thursday’s award ceremony.

Northeast State President Dr. Janice Gilliam spoke to graduates about the contributions they made as tutors and how the college sought to give its best to all their students.

“My father told me the most important thing you can do is raise your children,” said Dr. Gilliam. “When we are here the most important thing we do is help our students, and we strive to give all we can to you.”

TRiO Student Support Services at Northeast State serves more than 180 students and has been in existence nearly 30 years. The TRiO SSS staff of Reed, Raylene Steward, Tonya Cassell, Donna Addington, Wendy Taylor, and Rita Lay coordinate a variety of support services for students including assistance in transfer advising to a four-year college, tutoring, personal and financial counseling, career counseling; assistance in applying to four-year colleges and universities, workplace and college visits, teaching study and time management skills, and assistance in applying for financial aid.

TRiO SSS Scholars attending Thursday's awards ceremony.
TRiO SSS Scholars attending Thursday’s awards ceremony.

Unlike student financial aid programs which help students overcome financial barriers to higher education, the TRIO programs (Talent Search, Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math/Science, Veterans Upward Bound, Student Support Services, Educational Opportunity Centers, and the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program) provide valuable supportive services to students from low-income and working families to help them successfully enter college and graduate.

Northeast State professor Francis Canedo selected as Maxine Smith Fellow

Francis Canedo, assistant professor of Spanish at Northeast State, has been selected as a 2015 Maxine Smith Fellow by the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR). She joins 13 other faculty and staff members from TBR institutions in this year’s class.

“It was a very nice surprise to receive the fellowship,” said Canedo. “I’m a lifelong learner; I really enjoy being a student and love to learn.”

The prestigious program, which runs from February through September, is designed to provide professional, leadership, and career development opportunities for underrepresented minorities among TBR employees. Fellows observe and participate in system-wide meetings, projects, and workshops.

Each Maxine Smith Fellow is assigned to a senior-level administrative mentor at the TBR system office, a TBR institution, or the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. The fellow and mentor communicate on a regular basis about program activities and matters that cultivate a learning experience.

Canedo is pursuing an Ed.D., doctoral degree in Leadership and Policy Analysis at East Tennessee State University. She will begin working on her dissertation this fall. She earned her undergraduate degree in Economics and master’s degree in Business Administration from the Private University of Bolivia.

Family brought her to Tennessee. Her background in economics made Canedo a top prospect for the business world. However, jobs were few and far between during the nation’s rocky economic times of the mid-2000s. Looking for an opportunity she met with faculty members in the Foreign Languages department at ETSU about translating opportunities. The department gave her a job as an adjunct instructor, and she hasn’t looked back.

“I loved it,” Canedo said. “It completely changed what I was planning to do.”

Canedo joined Northeast State in 2008. She is now assistant professor and sitting president of the College’s Faculty Senate. Because language defined culture experience, she explained teaching Spanish language included sharing world views and how language shaped a culture’s reality.

(From left) Northeast State vice president Paul Montgomery, dean of Humanities William Wilson, Francis Canedo, and President Janice Gilliam.
(From left) Northeast State vice president of Access & Development Paul Montgomery, dean of Humanities William Wilson, Francis Canedo, and President Janice Gilliam.

“I enjoy teaching the cultural part of language to share my experiences as a Bolivian who immigrated to the United States,” she said. “We use a lot of idioms that are peculiar to every language, so the cultural understanding of what they mean is very important. Language gives me the opportunity to share my world with the students.”

The Maxine Smith Fellowship Program requires each fellow to complete a project – usually a research paper or report – that examines a higher education topic. Canedo and her mentor will meet monthly and work to decide on a meaningful research topic for her project.

Canedo is the third Northeast State faculty member named a Smith Fellow. Linda Calvert, current executive director of Grant Development, was a 2011 Fellow and Dayna Smithers, associate professor of Mathematics, was selected as a Smith fellow in 2014.

The program honors Dr. Maxine Smith, a noted civil rights activist and education advocate from Memphis who served as a TBR regent for 12 years.

“This is such a great opportunity,” Canedo said. “I’m very excited to expand my cultural horizons and get to network with a lot of people.”