Northeast State named 2015 Healthier Tennessee Workplace

Northeast State has been named a 2015 Healthier Tennessee Workplace for its commitment to encouraging and enabling employees to live a healthy lifestyle both at work and at home. Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness.

Northeast State met the program’s wellness criteria of encouraging physical activity, offering healthy dining options, providing a tobacco-free environment and help with tobacco cessation.

The College also encouraged employees to monitor their own health through regular health risk assessments via on campus screenings or check-ups and recognized employees who participate in health and wellness activities.

“I have to treat this like an initiative, “said Northeast State President Dr. Janice Gilliam who is Northeast State’s Senior Leader supporting the Healthier Workplace Initiative. “Employees are invited to join me in the gym and on the walking trail each week as we strive to improve our health.”

HTN_recognitionbadge_workplaceNortheast State Health Services launched a Medical Clinic at the Blountville campus in fall 2014. The clinic was established via a partnership with East Tennessee State University’s Student and University Health Services. The clinic is staffed by licensed nurse practitioners who provide care, evaluate conditions for referral, offer health education, and answer any questions on health concerns.

The Allen Hurley Wellness trail at the Blountville campus is open to students, faculty, and staff throughout the year. The College also established a mandatory policy prohibiting smoking/tobacco use anywhere within 50 feet of a campus building. Northeast State students and staff also participate in physical activity events such as Walking Day and the Wellness Fair held each spring.

Gov. Bill Haslam launched the “Healthier Tennessee,” initiative in 2013 to improve physical active, better eating habits, and cessation of tobacco products. Healthier Tennessee uses a rewards-and-recognition program for participation and achievement including awards from the governor and a certification program for organizations. The designation is granted for one full year with an opportunity to renew on an annual basis.

The creation of the Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness and the launch of the Healthier Tennessee initiative are results of the work started by the Governor’s Health and Wellness Task Force that appointed in 2011. This effort is led by Gov. Haslam and made possible by the Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness, a non-profit corporation dedicated to enabling and encouraging Tennesseans to lead healthier lives.

Northeast State’s annual Spring Career Fair set for April 30

Northeast State invites students and community members to attend the Spring Career Fair 2015 Thursday, April 30 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts on the Blountville campus.

The free and public event will provide opportunities to learn about job openings and visit with area employers. Last year’s Spring Career Fair 2014 drew almost 50 companies and served 300 job seekers on the Blountville campus.

“It is a great opportunity for students to meet the company representatives and get some practice at selling themselves – that’s invaluable to anyone looking for a job,” Tittle said. “It also gives employers an opportunity to meet individuals. So much of the time people are applying online and it’s just not the same as networking with employers face-to-face.”
Employers may register online at until April 27. Companies do not have to be hiring to participate in the event.

The Spring Career Fair happens April 30 at the WRCPA.
The Spring Career Fair happens April 30 at the WRCPA, Blountville campus.

Employers attending the career fair will represent a wide variety of companies from around the region. Industry and business sectors include manufacturing, health-care, financial, information technology, insurance, education, retail, and food service will be in attendance.

“Last year, employers were impressed by the turnout and many are returning again this year,” Tittle said. “Several employers stated that they were impressed at how well-prepared our students were at the event. That’s a real compliment to the College,” Tittle said.

The Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts is located on the College’s Blountville campus, 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to the Tri-Cities Regional Airport. For more information, contact the Northeast State Career Services office at 423.354.5167 or

Celebrating 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 tonight at the MeadowView Conference Resort and Convention Center in Kingsport.

The college’s Outstanding Student Award was presented to Emmaline Bragg. 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 Leaders of Promise Scholar. Bragg won top student awards in the History and Social Work programs as well as Outstanding Honors Program Student. She served the Council for Leadership, Advocacy, and Student Success, and the Green’s Club. She will graduate summa cum laude in May with a perfect 4.0 grade point average.

The Northeast State Program Area Awards recognized outstanding students in the College’s academic departments for 2014-15. Program award winners are:

Advanced Technologies
Chemical Process Operations – Jennifer Griffin; Electrical Technology – David Dexter; Electromechanical Technology – James Raxter; General Technology – Sam Fanning; Industrial Operations – Craig Cox; Industrial Technology/Automotive Service – Roger Rains; Industrial Technology/Machine Tool – Charles Spencer; Industrial Technology/Manufacturing Engineering Technology – Jason Luster; Industrial Technology/Mechanical – Jason Payne; Industrial Technology/Motor Sports – Steven Jones; Industrial Technology/Welding/Metal Fabrication – George Lee III.

Behavioral & Social Science Division
Criminal Justice and Criminology – Jennifer Linebaugh; Early Childhood Education – Eva Rodriguez; Mass Communications – Holly Carter; Psychology – Taylor Jenkins; Exercise Science – Austin Cross; Public Safety and Justice Administration – Samantha Shelton; Social Work – Emmaline Bragg; Sociology & Anthropology – Jennifer Fields; Speech Communication – Kasey Coggins; Teacher Education – Suzanne Watson; Teacher Education Pre-K-3 – Carly Fields.

Business Technologies
Business-Accounting – Layne Willen; Business-Management – Marvene Hughes; Small Business Management – Katherine Cumbow; Computer & Information Science/Computer Programming – Kevin Jackson; Computer & Information Science/Information Information Assurance – John Porter; Computer & Information Science/Internet & Web Development – Bridgette Smith; Computer & Information Science/Network Engineering Technology – Jeremiah McClain; Computer & Information Science/PC Management – John Matherly; Information Technology – Alex Woods; Office Administrative Technology/Legal – Heather Hance.

Health-Related Professions Division
Dental Assistant – Caitlyn Marsh; Emergency Medical Technician – Jessica Havener; EMT-Paramedic – David Kindle; Medical Laboratory Technology – Chelsea Anderson; Surgical Technology – Kelli Hayes-Smith; Invasive Cardiology – Miriam Little; Non-Invasive Cardiology –April Frost.

Humanities Division
Art – Kelly Tolley; English – Heather Christian; History – Emmaline Bragg; Honors Program – Emmaline Bragg; Humanities – Brittany Curtis; Philosophy – Patricia Hinegardner; Spanish – Sarah Craddock; Theatre – Hannah Duncan.

Mathematics Division
Accounting – McKensie McGee; Business Administration – Jenna Carmody; Engineering – Charles Forstall; Mathematics – Jacob Smith; Surveying and Mapping – Charles Wells.

Nursing Division – Connie Ballard.

Sciences Division
Biology – Carolyne Thomas; Cardiopulmonary Science – Jenny Hilton; Chemistry – William Byington; Health Professions – Joshua Capwell; Nursing/Articulated – Cassandra Ross; Radiography – David Medukas.

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.

Deb Johnson won the Distinguished Support Staff Member award. Johnson serves as enrollment specialist at the College’s Bristol campus and has a long history helping students in the offices of Admissions and Enrollment Services.

Dean of the division of Mathematics, Malissa Trent, received the Distinguished Administrative/Professional award. Trent has been a professor of mathematics at Northeast State and also directs the Learning Support program.

Mathematics professor David Haga was honored with the Distinguished Faculty Member Award. Haga is a 2015 recipient of the Harold Love Outstanding Community Service Award from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

A big night for students and Northeast State.
A big night for students and Northeast State.

President Gilliam announced Dannette “Danni” Williams, ’04, as this year’s recipient of the College’s Outstanding Alumni Award for 2015. After graduating from Northeast State, Williams earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Southern Wesleyan University. Her career with Marriott International includes many roles in hotel management. She is a past president of the Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association, Rotary International Atlanta Airport Club and former member on the Board of Directors for Girls, Inc.

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.

Mass Comm student award winners honored

The Northeast State Department of Mass Communications presented outstanding student awards in a ceremony held at the school on April 20. Approximately 30 student majors, staff, and faculty gathered to honor academic and professional excellence for the academic year of 2014-2015.

Holly Carter, of Kingsport, earned the Outstanding Mass Communications Student award for 2015. She is an Advertising/Public Relations Major who also hosted the department’s public affairs video program, “Direction Northeast.” Upon graduation, Carter plans on transferring to the University of Tennessee.

(From left) Mitchell Calvin, Holly Carter, and Paul Taylor
(From left) Mitchell Calvin, Holly Carter, and Paul Taylor

Mitchell Calvin, of Kingsport, received the Outstanding Broadcasting Student award. During the past year, he served as a news producer and also worked with digital media. Calvin works part-time in the school’s Media Services department.

Paul Taylor, of Elizabethton, picked up the Outstanding Public Relations/Advertising Student award. Taylor is a non-traditional student who is a double-major in Advertising/Public Relations and Speech Communications. In addition to fostering an outstanding academic record, he did extensive work this spring on a student advertising campaigns. Paul served as videographer and editor on student projects and was a student worker in the Speech Communications department.

“These students represent the best,” said Gary Potter, area coordinator for the department of Mass Communications. “Their diversity in skills and willingness to do what the job demands make them highly desirable in today’s job market.”

David Haga earns 2015 Harold Love Award

Northeast State’s David Haga has earned the 2015 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.

Haga, instructor of Learning Support Mathematics, was cited by THEC for his work with the College’s Student Needs Project, a program started in 2012 to address non-academic, socioeconomic factors impacting student success and retention.

Haga helped raise about $65,000 to support the project through a combination of private fund-raising through the Northeast State Foundation and through a Tennessee Board of Regents Access and Diversity grant.

David Haga
David Haga

Data compiled for 2013-14 show the project served 323 students who posted an 85 percent retention rate from fall 2013 to spring 2014. In addition, project participants earned 68 awards at the College’s spring 2014 Honors Convocation and were awarded 50 degrees/certificates at the spring 2014 Graduation ceremony.

“While the Harold Love award does recognize me, I think more significantly it recognizes the College’s people and what we’ve accomplished working together,” Haga said. “The heart of Northeast State is its people, and I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve done as an institution. I believe the Student Needs Project could serve as a model for other institutions.”

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.

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.

Haga said a student he taught in spring 2012 was his inspiration for the project. The student was a middle-age woman suffering in an abusive relationship. She came to class faithfully, but was visibly upset a good deal of the time. After finding the courage to leave the relationship, she found herself homeless, yet persevered to complete her courses, transfer to East Tennessee State University, and graduated with a degree in Nursing.

“It was just something I couldn’t ignore,” Haga said. “This woman was giving it everything she had and facing all these difficulties by herself. Her courage inspired me; I knew we could do something to help her and students like her.”

Haga began discussions about the SNP during the College’s 2012 Because of You Campaign, which is an annual event to raise scholarship funds for the Northeast State Foundation.

Early initiatives include increased funding for Student Emergency Fund Scholarships, an Emergency Gas Certificate program, a consortium to coordinate efforts across campus, and a mobile food pantry, which grew from a master’s degree project by Raylene Steward, TRiO Student Support Services Tutor Coordinator.

In 2014, the College institutionalized the Student Needs Project and its initiatives became permanent services administered through the office of Scholarship Programs & Student Needs.

“I’m proud for us as an institution. This isn’t something that originated in Washington, D.C., or in Nashville,” Haga said. “This is something that grew right here from our hearts, and we figured out how to make a difference and get things done.”

Haga said more than 100 Northeast State employees financially supported the program last year, many through payroll deductions each month. The project involves more than 30 campus offices and programs.

THEC will honor Haga and other recipients on April 23 at a reception in Nashville. Each recipient will receive a $1,000 cash prize.

Haga earned his bachelor’s degree from King College. He started at Northeast State in 1990 as Developmental Studies Mathematics Lab Coordinator, a position he held until 2000 when he accepted a faculty position teaching Learning Support Mathematics.

The Student Needs Project is funded through private donations. Individuals wishing to donate to the project are invited to write checks to the Northeast State Foundation (Memo: Student Needs). For more information on the Student Needs Project, visit