Dual enrollment students earn college certificates

A top-notch welder or metal fabricator uses fire, oxygen, water, and the earth’s ore to shape vehicles, bridges, skyscrapers, aircraft, ships, and other wonders of modern civilization. Machine Tool operators and machinists create precision-crafted materials both great and small that drive the mechanized world.

The next generation of these technical troubadours will include the first class of students from Sullivan Central High School to earn their technical certificates in Combination Welding from Northeast State this spring.

“Most people don’t know how much technical skill goes into welding,” said student Matt Baker. “It requires a lot of math to get correct measurements. You can’t just show up in the shop and play around.”

Dual enrollment welding students from Sullivan Central High School.
Dual enrollment welding students from Sullivan Central High School.

The Welding/Metal Fabrication dual enrollment students are: Baker, Connor Couch, Travis Franklin, Samuel Cole Hutchens, Christian Lee, Richard Poore, Bradley Matney, and J.W. Rutledge. The Welding/Metal Fabrication curriculum focuses on the development of knowledge and skills in Oxy-fuel welding, brazing and cutting, plasma arc cutting and carbon arc cutting, Flux-Core Arc Welding, Gas Metal Arc Welding, (MIG), Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (TIG), and Shielded Metal Arc Welding.

Baker and his classmates from Sullivan Central entered the dual enrollment program during their junior years of high school. They took dual enrollment classes at both their high school and Northeast State at Blountville. The welding cohort completed 8 college classes totaling 27 college credit hours and the machining cohort completed 9 college classes totaling 33 college credit hours.

Sullivan East High School dual enrollment students participating in the CNC/Machine Tool program are: Trevor Baker, Christopher Booher, Jacob Gourley, Logan King, Kyler Harley, Travis Justice, Austin Litton, Preston O’Dell, James O’Neal, and Joshua Rouse.

“I had an opportunity to do dual enrollment and wanted to see what I was all about,” said O’Dell. “It teaches you to take your time and do things right.”

Both Welding/Metal Fabrication and Machine Tool students classroom study, math, and the practical applications of the welding laboratory. Math meets metal in the welding and machining shops where instructors track the progress of students.

“While in high school, these students have completed a rigorous program of study that not only prepares them to enter the workforce, but also is completely embedded in an Associate’s degree program at Northeast State.  said Chelsea Rose, director of Career and Technical Education at Northeast State. “Some of the students even took additional dual enrollment classes and will graduate from high school with 47 college credit hours, leaving them only one semester away from earning their Associate’s degree.”

Students from Sullivan East High School receiving technical certificates in Machine Tool Operations.
Students from Sullivan East High School received their technical certificates in Machine Tool Operations.

With Northeast State’s spring commencement held May 10, Travis Franklin noted the class would be getting their college certificates before their high school diplomas were awarded on May 19. He praised both his high school and college instructors for their guidance during the program.

“It is a great facility to learn with and the teachers really care about the students learning here,” said Franklin. “The skills you can learn at this facility are amazing.”

Samuel Cole Hutchens became interested in welding during middle school. Like many of his classmates, Hutchens referenced family members who had forged successful careers in welding as influences in their decision to pursue the occupation. Their skill and advice compelled him to take welding in high school and join the dual enrollment program.

“You’ve got to put all your effort into it,” said Hutchens. “You’ve got to make the use of your time in the shop and put in the hard work.”

As one of many high school students trying to figure out a direction in life, Christian Lee said the Welding program completely changed his focus and academic pursuits. His said dedicating himself to the work helped raise not only his overall grade point average but his desire to succeed in college and beyond.

“When I dedicated myself to the dual enrollment program, my grades went up and everything clicked for me,” said Lee. “I had a lot of growing up to do and realized you’ve got to make something of yourself.”

Dual enrollment welding student Christian Lee at work.
Dual enrollment welding student Christian Lee at work.

Courses such as Welding Blueprints help students understand geometric construction and welding symbols to follow blueprints submitted by project architects. Students dedicate themselves to learning the difference between groove welds and a fillet weld with considerable hands-on work in the College’s welding laboratory.

Connor Couch said his brother had a MIG welding machine that he became familiar with before he entered high school. He echoes the sentiments of his classmates by advising high school students to pursue welding education with diligence.

“If anyone is interested in learning I’d recommend they give it a try and put all their effort into becoming skilled at welding,” said Couch. “If they commit to doing it they can make a career out of it and a good living at it.”

The dual enrollment students received their technical certificates on May 10 during Northeast State’s spring commencement held at East Tennessee State University/Mountains State Health Alliance Athletic Center.

Northeast State celebrates 50 years of graduates

Northeast State celebrated 50 years of graduates on May 10, 2016 as the College awarded 1,155 degrees and certificates at commencement exercises.

Northeast State started classes in 1966 as a vocational school with two buildings, six programs, and 35 students. Since then it has grown into a comprehensive community college with five campuses and 150 programs, serving more than 7,500 students annually.

Northeast State awarded 14 academic certificates, 264 technical certificates, 394 associate of applied science degrees, 21 associate of arts degrees, 27 associate of science in teaching degrees, and 435 associate of science degrees. A total of 135 students graduated cum laude (3.6 – 3.74 GPA), 60 received magna cum laude distinction (3.75 – 3.89 GPA), and 88 students were summa cum laude (3.9 – 4.0 GPA) graduates.

commencement mom and dad and grad
Northeast State awarded 1,155 degrees and certificates May 10.

Dr. Warren R. Nichols, vice chancellor of Community Colleges for the Tennessee Board of Regents, delivered the commencement address. Nichols provides the overall strategic direction, coordination, and support of the 13 Tennessee public community colleges.

Nichols previously served as president of Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, Tenn. In his time there, he led the institution through a substantial growth period, with a record student enrollment of nearly 9,000 students and several significant construction projects to expand the college’s facilities.

A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Dr. Nichols holds a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Houston. He received his master and bachelor degrees from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Beth Ross, Northeast State Class of 2013, served as special 50th anniversary speaker. Ross, a non-traditional student who overcame a number of personal struggles, earned the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship while at Northeast State, allowing her to attend Columbia University. She will attend Harvard University in the fall and pursue a Ph.D.

The event was held at the Mountain States Health Alliance Athletics Center on the East Tennessee State University campus.

Northeast State pins 2016 class of Nursing graduates

Northeast State recognized the 2016 class of Nursing program graduates at the nurse pinning ceremony held Thursday night at the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts on the Blountville campus.

Northeast State Nursing students take the nurse’s pledge after receiving their pins.

The College’s Dean of Nursing, Dr. Melessia Webb, welcomed the graduating class of more than 70 students who received their pins from the faculty member of their choosing. Charity Conkin and Heather White shared the program’s Outstanding Student Award. The Adult Learner of the Year Award was presented to Dawn Eubanks.

Northeast Nursing graduates of 2015-16 are:  Haley N. Adkins; Stephanie Bauer; Shelbi L. Bishop; Candace P. Blangin; Amanda K. Bradley; Stephanie A. Brickey; Kesha B. Brown; Megan L. Carr; Charity M. Conkin; Sarah A. Cooper; Patrina N. Cradic; Tequila D. Davidson; Clinton S. Davis; Carrie B. Deskins; Meagan M. Dial; Jacob M. Elkins; Kelli R. Elliott; Dawn M. Eubanks; Nicole C. Ferrell; Michele J. Frasier; Sabrina Light; Melinda G. Gillenwater; Ashley N. Goings; Violet R. Grizzle;  Amber D. Harris; Devinn C. Harris; Mary M. Hartzell; Sina L. Hassler; Kayla M. Hawkins; Brianna L. Horton; Talli A. Hunigan; Carla J. Keys; Debbie Lawson; Preslee D. Lawson; Michelle M. Leatherwood; Bethany N. Lewis-Henegar; Brittany L. Littleton; Kayla M. Lowe; Keri L. Melson; Vivian L. Mitchell; Gordon W. Mobley; Lisa J. Mobley; Sherry M. Montgomery; Ashliann K. Norton; Elsie M. Nyeplu; Kaitlin M. Oakes; Bradley C. Overbey; Katyann N. Owens; Julie-Anna L. Perkins; Anya N. Price; Harlie D. Priester; Jacquelyn A. Reese; Stacy L. Rutherford; Amber L. Salley; Taylor P. Shelton; Crystal S. Simpson; Tiffany D. Sluss; Michael B. Smith; Jessica R. Summie; Stephanie J. Taylor; Bailey L. Tullis; Cody D. Tupper; Briana D. Way; Tiffany N. Webb; Heather M. Weeks; Heather D. White; Savanna M. Whitehead; Laurie M. Whitmore; Kayla B. Winters; Jessica L. Worley; and Timothy W. Worley.

The pinning ceremony provides a symbolic welcoming of new nurses into the profession. Each graduating student received the Northeast Nursing pin on his or her white lab coat signifying completion of the associate of applied science degree.

The nursing students graduating this spring will receive their diplomas on May 10 at the College’s spring commencement ceremony scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at East Tennessee State University/Mountains State Health Alliance Athletic Center on the campus of ETSU in Johnson City.

Northeast State Nursing graduates get pins May 5

Northeast State celebrates its newest class of Nursing program graduates with the annual pinning ceremony scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on May 5 in the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts on the Blountville campus.

The Northeast State Nursing program will honor more than 60 students graduating with associate of applied science degrees. Each nursing graduate will received a special Northeast State Division of Nursing pin to place on his or her lapel to signify the beginning of a nursing career. Pinning celebrates the transition from the role of student to the role of nurse – a rite of passage into the nursing profession. It is also a symbol of care and devotion.

Northeast State Nursing recognizes its newest class.
Northeast State Nursing recognizes its newest class on May 5.

Pinning, or honor, ceremonies are traditionally held for nursing classes at colleges and universities across the country. The pinning ceremony symbolizes the culmination a student’s professional nursing education. The nursing school pin distinguishes the graduates from all other health care professionals.

Nursing students graduating this spring will receive their diplomas on May 10 during spring commencement at East Tennessee State University/Mountains State Health Alliance Athletic Center on the campus of ETSU in Johnson City. For additional information, contact the division of Nursing at 423.354.5108.

Northeast State Theatre caps another impressive season

Northeast State Theatre students continue to win awards and perform as top competitors at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF).  Student nominees were invited to submit their work to the Festival’s Region IV competition held earlier this spring at the College of Charleston in Charleston, S.C. The adjudicated competition recognizes the best theatre work of two- and four-year colleges across the Southeast.

Courtney Hubbard received an award of General Excellence for Costume Design in the Weiss Design competition for the play Cloud 9 by Carolyn Churchill.  A Theatre major from Bristol, Hubbard created costumes from drawing design to creation onto storyboards detailing the costumes for each character.

cuckoo's nest
A tense scene from Cuckoo’s Nest.

“The judges are detail-oriented about your work so you have to be precise with what you do,” said Hubbard. “It was a long process and a really great learning experience. I was pretty happy about it.”

Hubbard created types of stone to represent each character in the play. The characters exhibited the same characteristics of their stones from rigidness to porousness to malleability. The judges were duly impressed by Hubbard’s creative take on design.

Teach, Bobby, and Don from American Buffalo hatch their plan.
Teach, Bobby, and Don from American Buffalo hatch their plan.

Fellow Northeast State student and first-time KCACTF competitor Charles Clark submitted a set design for Monty Python’s Spamalot, an outrageous musical take on the King Arthur story. From the hands and feet of God to the Holy Grail and Lady of the Lake/Laker Girls cheerleaders, Clark created his concept to match the play’s bizarre, hilarious themes.

“There were a lot of set pieces and flats for Spamalot,” said Clark. “The judges wanted to see your concepts from beginning to middle to end of the design, and they want specificity.”

A respected actor performing in past NST productions of Harvey and American Buffalo, Clark spent several weeks drawing set models to demonstrate the process of his ideas. He credited the high standards set by theatre faculty/directors Elizabeth Sloan and Brad McKenzie for getting the best from students.

“We are students at a community college and we’re going up against designers with master’s degrees and theatre professionals,” said Clark, who will do an internship with Barter Theatre this summer. “It was great to demonstrate and let them see you can do these amazing things at a two-year college because Brad and Elizabeth really know what they are talking about.”

Shelby (Shelby Minogue) and M'Lynn (Caitlin Haltom) earned Irene Ryan award nominations for acting.
Shelby Minogue (left) and Caitlin Haltom earned Irene Ryan award nominations for acting.

Clark also served as acting partner to fellow nominee Shelby Minogue who was nominated for an Irene Ryan Acting award for her role as Shelby in Steel Magnolias. They performed a scene from the play Dog Sees God for the competition.

“We rehearsed and ran our lines until we could run each other’s lines back and forth,” said Minogue, a first-time Kennedy nominee. “We prepared well so once we got there we were able to enjoy the trip and not freak out.”

Minogue said she focused on the technical work of theatre during the spring semester. She served as assistant stage manager for the spring production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and hopes to expand her design skills next year.

“This semester I’ve focused on technical work to learn everything I can so I can continue working in theatre all my life,” said Minogue. “I am going into design and hope to be doing more costume design work when the next semester begins.”

Aaron Musselwhite received a nomination his sound design work in Magnolias. Also an experienced actor in NST productions of I, Ebenezer and The Laramie Project, Musselwhite took on the sound design and sound board operator roles to expand his skill set in theatre.

“There were a lot of scene segues so I had to find a balance to move scenes along and help tell the story,” said Musselwhite. “The design process is a totally different animal from stage performance.”

Other students receiving nominations for Magnolias were: Caitlin Haltom who received her second Irene Ryan acting nomination award for Magnolias; Sommer Hughes in the category of Scenic Design; Ashley Guy and Jessica Richardson for Costume Design; and Dustin Lawson for Stage Management.

Northeast State Theatre’s three productions drew audiences of almost 2,000 people this season. With every performance, Northeast State Theatre students continue to raise the standard of excellence on stage and behind the scenes. The College invites you to enjoy their work when a new fall semester brings a season of imaginative productions.