Northeast State hosts College Transfer Day Oct. 4

Northeast State Community College students get a look at their next step in higher education at College Transfer Day happening Oct. 4 at the Blountville campus.

Hosted by the TRiO Student Support Services, more than 25 college and university representatives will be available to answer questions. College representatives will meet with students from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the William Locke Humanities Building (1st floor).

Students can get information about transfer opportunities, tuition, entrance requirements, articulation agreements, financial aid, scholarships, housing, internships, and more. No appointment is necessary. The event is free to attend.

Colleges and universities scheduled to attend include: Alabama A&M University, Austin Peay State University, Bethel University, Bryan College, Carson-Newman University, Cumberland University, East Tennessee State University, Emory & Henry College, King University, Lees-McRae College, Lincoln Memorial University, Lindsey Wilson College, Lipscomb University, Maryville College, Middle Tennessee State University, Milligan College, Morehead State University, Old Dominion University, Tennessee State University, Tennessee Tech University, Tusculum College, University of the Cumberlands, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and Western Governors University.

Northeast State’s university parallel associate of arts/associate of science degree programs are designed for students who intend to complete the first two years of a baccalaureate degree program at Northeast State and then transfer to a four-year college or university to complete the bachelor’s degree. Northeast State has developed course-by-course equivalency tables and articulation agreements with many four-year colleges and universities.

For more information about College Transfer Day, contact TRiO Student Support Services at 423.354.2540.

Alumni in Action – Sherri Epperson

As a Northeast State student and TRiO Club president, Sherri Epperson had a saying: “If you want your life to change, you have to change your life.”

Those words became actions as this Northeast State alumna pursued a dream of moving to Hollywood and working in the entertainment industry. While filmmaking may seem a far-off dream, Epperson made it a reality. In 2014 she moved to Los Angeles, starting working in show business, and is now a union member of the motion picture industry.

“While other kids idolized ballplayers, I idolized Steven Spielberg and Aaron Spelling,” she said. “I knew one day I was going to make movies.”

Epperson graduated from Northeast State with an associate degree in Advertising/Public Relations. She went on to graduate from East Tennessee State University getting her bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication with an advertising/public relations concentration and a minor in International Studies.

Sherri Epperson

Like many non-traditional college students, Epperson enrolled in college after high school but life changed her course before she could finish. Still, she held on to the goal of earning her college degree.

Epperson was living in Johnson City and working full-time when she opted to return to college in order to improve her career opportunities and finally get herself to Los Angeles. Encouraged by the College’s reputation she enrolled at Northeast State in 2011.

“I knew about Northeast State and had friends who had attended there,” said Epperson. “

Like most adults returning to college, college courses – particularly mathematics – presented a challenge. She talked to a classmate who told her about TRIO and the tutoring opportunities available for students. She met with program representatives Jenny Wright and Tonya Cassell to improve her mathematics work and go forward. As a first-generation college student, she was accepted as a TRiO SSS participant and TRiO Scholarship recipient.

“I just can’t say enough great things about TRIO. They helped me in so many ways…especially the personalized attention and math tutoring,” she said. “The support I received from the program was a lifesaver.”

Sherri Epperson at graduation from Northeast State in 2012.

TRiO Student Support Services program at Northeast State welcomes students in need of academic and career advisement. The support paves the way for students – both traditional and non-traditional – to find success on their terms. TRiO helps low-income, first-generation and/or students with documented disabilities to successfully persist semester-to-semester, graduate, and transfer. Northeast State’s TRiO SSS program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education to serve 180 eligible students. All participants must qualify on the basis of income eligibility and/or first-generation college student status, and/or disability.

So how does an aspiring filmmaker with no great love for math wind up in accounting? A willingness to start on the ground floor. Epperson accepted an entry-level position in production accounting to get into the industry. In less than three years she’s worked her way up to Production Accountant. The job proved to be a blessing in disguise, according to Epperson.

 “It’s been very beneficial to me because I’ve learned so many things I need to know as a Producer such as creating and working with budgets of shows/movies and what each department does and what is required,” Epperson said.

Epperson with actor and colleague Gary Sinise.

Epperson said a college degree did not guarantee automatic success. As in most jobs, new hires start out in entry-level positions. College graduates of all ages should expect rejections before that right opportunity opens up for them.

She earned her first job in the entertainment industry with Warner Brothers. During the past three years, she moved on to jobs with Sony Pictures, Legendary Pictures, ABC Studios, Netflix, and Dick Clark Productions. Her tenacity opened many doors. She has worked on several television and film projects including the TV show Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders.

“The college degree gives you an advantage when working your way up, it doesn’t give you a golden ticket to step right into an advanced position,” she said. “You just have to be patient and persistent and be willing to work your way up.”

For Epperson, her personal achievement has been living her dream and accomplishing so many of her goals. When she isn’t rubbing elbows with A-listers, she continues to build her own future as a producer and filmmaker.  The competitiveness of the entertainment industry is intense, but she remains determined to succeed. She’s writing scripts on her own and with friends in the industry. She is also producing a variety of side projects to build her resume.

“Being a producer and living and working in Los Angeles is the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do,” said Epperson. “As a little girl, I was always fascinated with movies and entertainment.”

 Epperson’s childhood dreams may seem ambitious. But her success boiled down to a simple fact: She refused to give up on it. Completing her college degree at Northeast State started the beginning of a new career and life.

“No matter what background you come from, you can do anything you set your mind to, you just have to believe you can,” Epperson said. “Don’t let anyone or any circumstance stop you from doing it.”

Get your BOYC 2017 apparel today!

The Because of You Campaign 2017 is here! The Human Resources & Organizational Effectiveness team will be selling Northeast State apparel for the BOYC in support of the General Foundation Fund.

The General Foundation Fund provides monetary support for the Scholarship Reception and other various Northeast State student-related events. Long-sleeved cotton shirts and polo shirts are available in the colors, sizes, and prices below.

Polo shirt options.
Long-sleeved shirt options.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To order, email Jessi Waugh  (jwwaugh@northeaststate.edu) and provide the style, color, size, and quantity desired.  All orders must be submitted by Friday, September 22.

Apparel must be purchased in advance. Please drop by the office of HR/OE (P315 Blountville) to submit payment. Questions, please call 423.354.5183.

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Milligan, Northeast sign engineering partnership

A new partnership between Milligan College and Northeast State will give Northeast State students a smoother and faster start to earning a bachelor’s degree in electrical or mechanical engineering at Milligan.

On Friday, administrators from Northeast State and Milligan signed an agreement giving Northeast State students who plan to transfer to Milligan’s engineering program an option to co-enroll and take core pre-engineering and engineering courses.

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Milligan College President Dr. Bill Greer (left) and Northeast State President James King signed a transfer agreement Friday.
Back row, L-R: Hongyou Lu, Milligan’s program development associate for engineering; Dr. Jeff Giesey, Milligan’s professor of electrical engineering; Dr. Greg Harrell, Milligan’s director of engineering; and Malissa Trent, Northeast State’s dean of mathematics.

“We’re grateful for the chance to collaborate with Northeast State in this venture, and we look forward to discussing additional mutually-beneficial partnerships with them in the near future,” said Dr. Garland Young, vice president for academic affairs.

Milligan’s engineering program is a four-year program offered at the college’s main campus in Johnson City, Tennessee. It is the only such program within a two-hour radius of the Tri-Cities. The college recently dedicated its state-of-the-art labs in honor of Eastman, NN Inc., Nuclear Fuel Services Inc. (a subsidiary of BWX Technologies) and TPI Corporation.

“I think one of the big advantages to the program is co-enrollment,” said Northeast State President James King. “Students can co-enroll here at Milligan and automatically feel comfortable. We are very pleased to be able to offer this opportunity to our students.”

Directed by Dr. Greg Harrell, a lead technical adviser for the United Nations and the U.S. Department of Energy, Milligan’s engineering faculty have taught at Virginia Tech, West Point and the Russ College of Engineering and Technology at Ohio University, as well as earned NASA and Fulbright fellowships.

Milligan’s engineering majors have been reviewed and approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Milligan also will be seeking accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Accordingly, the program has been designed to meet accreditation standards.

Milligan’s engineering faculty members are experienced leaders in the field and seasoned academicians who have been core faculty members in ABET-accredited programs. Local industry leaders and national corporations have endorsed the program, are offering internships and co-ops, and are eager to hire Milligan engineering graduates.More information on ABET accreditation can be found atwww.abet.org.

Faculty Focus – Dr. Miriam Bryant

Faculty Focus, Dr. Miriam Bryant
Professor & Communications expert.
East Tennessee State University. Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate.
United States Navy veteran.
International marketer.
Coalfields native.

How did you find your way to Northeast State?
I am from Pound, Virginia. My father was a coal miner. My mother was a stay-at-home mom. The best way I felt to get to college was to join the Navy and served on active duty for five years until 2003. So I went to college and initially wanted to be a lawyer because I loved political science. I did my Master’s degree in communications with an emphasis in Business Management. I did international marketing for a number of years while I was teaching communications part-time as an adjunct. I started to feel that I was happier with my part-time job than with my full-time job. So I applied for communications faculty jobs. Those are really hard to get, but I was fortunate a position opened here at Northeast State.

What is the appeal of communications as a major and career?
Speech is an amazing major because it provides students a basis to all the behavioral science degrees. You will be seen as a more competent communicator than others. When people realize, ‘Oh, I can have a conversation with you’, you become a much stronger candidate in your field. I tell students it is all about how you market yourself.

Why does public speaking terrify people?
Most are terrified of it because they are striving for perfection. We think a speech has to be memorized and rehearsed perfectly. You memorize the entire speech and never deviate from it in a serious tone. That is the worst kind of speech. I want them to understand that they can take a breath and realize it is the extension of a conversation.

Dr. Miriam Bryant

How do you want students to see communications and the messages they encounter?
That we consume a great deal of media messages that shape who we are and how we see ourselves and others in the world. News and entertainment media are products. The person who created the message you see is seeking to sell more of their product. I want them to understand what they are seeing. They need to understand behind all these media messages they receive is the desire to make a profit. Even if it is heartfelt and has a great cause behind it, there is a profit motivation there.

With all the diverse methods of communications especially social media, have people become better or worse communicators?
Everyone is more conflict avoidant today. It has become harder to communicate because no one wants to have a negative interaction. I try to teach students that everybody is not going to agree with you. I teach them that you have to be able to communicate face to face. You have to handle conflict constructively wherever you work.

What appeals to you about Northeast State?
As a division department, I feel like I have gained a new family. It is really nice to know you can rely on that. We celebrate each other successes. Whatever challenges that arise, I know faculty remains focused on our students. My experience with them has strengthened my loyalty to the college.

As a Navy veteran, what advice do you give to a military veteran or any non-traditional student seeking to start anew by seeking his or her college degree?
It is never too late to start over. I didn’t start college until I was 24 years old. If you aren’t happy, make a change. For the traditional students that is usually easier to accept than the non-traditional student. But it is true. Your situation doesn’t make you, you make your situation!