The Paul Brock Band plays Northeast State Nov. 1

Dance a jig and get your Irish on when the Paul Brock Band performs at Northeast State bringing an evening of unmatched traditional folk music.

This internationally acclaimed Irish folk band travels from Ireland to share Celtic, Irish and Global music and dance at a one-night-only show on Nov. 1 at 7:00 p.m. in the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts on the Blountville campus next to Tri-Cities Regional Airport. The concert is free and open to the public.

Paul Brock

Button accordionist and melodeonist, Brock is one of Ireland’s most celebrated traditional musicians and has been at the forefront of Irish music for many years. He gets splendid support by bandmates Shane Ferrell on banjo, Denis Carey on piano, and Dave Curley on guitar and vocals.

A multiple All-Ireland accordion champion born in Athlone, County Westmeath, Brock pursued a solo career through the 60’s and 70’s by mastering the single-row, two-row, three-row, and five-row button accordions. His illustrated lecture “Irish Traditional Music in America – The Golden Era” has been widely acclaimed.

As a soloist, Brock has toured extensively throughout the world. He has performed with leading musicians and has been a special guest artist on a number of occasions with the beloved Irish band The Chieftains. His list of awards and accomplishments are many.

Paul Brock and bandmates tuning up at the Grand Old Opry.

Brock previously performed at Northeast State as a part of the renowned Brock McGuire Band which he co-founded with Manus McGuire. They produced many well-received albums including Green Grass Blue Grass, a collaboration with Grammy-winning musician Ricky Scaggs that celebrated the deep historical connection between Appalachian and Irish music.

The band will also perform at 1:30 p.m. in the Kingsport Center for Higher Education in the auditorium. The performance is open to students, faculty, and the public.

The concert is sponsored by Northeast State’s International Education Committee. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit or email


Northeast State hosts conference on opioid addiction Nov. 2

As opioid addiction continues to make headlines across the country, Northeast State Community College will host a conference addressing this national public health crisis and its effects in our region.

The College’s Alpha Iota Chi chapter of Phi Theta Kappa presents A Gift of Freedom from Substance Abuse: A Conversation about Opioid Addiction, on Nov. 2 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts on the Blountville campus. The conference is free and open to the public.

Alpha Iota Chi chapter
of Phi Theta Kappa

Speakers scheduled to appear include Dr. Robert Pack, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the East Tennessee State University’s College of Public Health and Dr. Lyle Ailshie, Deputy Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Education.

The conference also features a panel discussion to include three former victims of opioid abuse disorder, local health care and substance abuse professionals, and education professionals. Area healthcare organizations will be setting up booths to provide information regarding substance abuse prevention and treatment.

The conference is organized by student members of the Alpha Iota Chi. The chapter extends an open invitation to the community seeking to fight opioid abuse in our region. Register now to attend this event at

Be a mentor & be a hero – sign up before Oct. 31

Returning Northeast State students can leverage their academic achievements into leadership experience as an EDUC 1030 peer mentor for the upcoming spring semester.

The EDUC 1030 Peer Mentoring Program needs returning students to help transition new students into the college environment. A peer mentor is a second-year student who leads a maximum of five (5) students enrolled in EDUC 1030 classes throughout the 2018 spring semester.

College can be a climb. Peer mentors can help.

An eligible peer mentor candidate is a second-year student with a grade point average of 3.0 or above. Training will take place during the latter half of the current fall semester. Students selected to serve as peer mentors are compensated with meals during training and will receive a $250.00 stipend upon completion of assigned duties and responsibilities.

If interested, please complete the Peer Mentoring Application Form no later than October 31, 2017.

For questions and details, please contact Jane Honeycutt at or Dr. Teressa Dobbs at

Faculty Focus – Dr. James Perry Cleveland

Faculty Focus, Dr. James Perry Cleveland
Professor & Chemist.
Georgia Institute of Technology, Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate.
Post-doctorate Fellowship, Oregon State University.
U.S. Army & Vietnam Veteran.

How did you join the faculty at Northeast State?
(Northeast State professor) Dr. Ed Osborne who I knew from Eastman suggested I apply for adjunct faculty. In 2004, I applied to be a tutor and adjunct faculty member and came on board. Shortly thereafter Professor Dr. David Fagerburg, who also had retired from Eastman and joined the faculty, decided to retire so I applied for his position. I was fortunate to be selected and have been a full-time faculty member since 2005.

What was the transition like from the chemical industry to the classroom?
It was a shock. The chemistry textbooks had changed a great deal from my day. But I picked up on it pretty quickly. Getting a Ph.D. is not learning factual knowledge; it is gaining a grasp of the fundamentals in your field and learning how to learn. Everything made sense because I knew the fundamentals. The students are different, too, but I’ve never had a student who wasn’t capable of learning chemistry. Some may be better at it than others, but if students do the work they can get it.

Dr. James P. Cleveland

What should a student taking a college chemistry class know?
The first thing you should know is all education is self-education. A Ph.D. in chemistry teaches you how to teach chemistry. The way I was taught in fundamental chemistry classes was the professor walked in, presented the material, described it, diagrammed it, and walked out. Either you got it or you didn’t. There were many times I walked out of graduate-level chemistry courses and wondered, “What is that professor talking about?’ We were all scared to death, but we were willing to do the work. The expectations were set high, and you were expected to meet them.

What is the best way to learn chemistry?
Learning chemistry is like learning a musical instrument. You can’t sit down with an instrument, read the instructions, and learn how to play it in 30 minutes. If you want to learn to play an instrument, you can’t practice one hour a week. I tell students you need to spend at least three hours studying chemistry for every one hour you spend in class. You must practice consistently every day to learn what you need to know. If you don’t understand something ask, and practice.

How is Northeast State preparing students taking chemistry courses or seeking a chemistry degree?
We have started the Chemistry 1035 course to basic algebraic equations and problem-solving. The whole idea is to set a foundation of the math skills students will need. The course also teaches a systematic approach to reason their way through a problem. Chemistry 1035 is an elective. It is required this fall for chemistry majors. An industry doesn’t want people who are encyclopedias of knowledge. They want people who can solve problems and use innovative, alternative ways to go there.

Northeast State students named Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholars

Two Northeast State Honors students have been named Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholars.

Matthew Bennett and Sydnee Merritt were among 207 Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society members nationwide named as 2017 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholars. They will receive a $1,000 scholarship. The two Scholars were selected from a pool of almost 1,000 applicants from across the nation.

“I actually applied on the last day the application was open,” said Merritt, a second-year student at Northeast State. “I was pretty excited when I got the news.”

Merritt is a General Studies major and Northeast State Honors student. She is a member of the College’s Toastmasters Club. She serves as a peer mentor this semester for new Tennessee Promise students. She also spends time as a Big Sister in the Big Brothers, Big Sisters organization for children.

Sydnee Merritt

Bennett is an Honors student with a double major in History and English. He serves as vice president of the student DREAM Club and is a member of the College’s Fantasy Sci-Fi Guild. He also serves as a peer mentor for Tennessee Promise students.

“I was a little nervous at first becoming a mentor because it is such an important responsibility,” he said.  “But I want to go above and beyond for the students I mentor to help them see what they can do.”

The Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program helps new Phi Theta Kappa members defray educational expenses while enrolled in associate degree programs. Scholars are also encouraged to assume leadership roles by participating in Society programs and are selected based on scholastic achievement, community service, and leadership potential.

“I am so pleased to see not only chapter officers but chapter members taking advantage of the generous scholarship opportunities available through Phi Theta Kappa,” said Jane Honeycutt, Northeast State professor and faculty advisor to the Alpha Iota Chi chapter.

Merritt plans to attend East Tennessee State University to major in Marketing. She said the engagement with professors and peers was the best recipe for academic success in college.

“If you want to do well as a student talk to your professors get involved in learning,” she said. “It pays to get that face-to-face relationship rather than your professor knowing you only by your name on a paper.”

The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation provides $200,000 in funding for the scholarships, with $25,000 set aside for members who are veterans or active members of the U.S. military. The remaining amount is supported by donations to the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation and provides Leaders of Promise Global Scholarships, earmarked for international students.

Matthew Bennett

Bennett earned an award for his work of fiction, Forlorn Stranger, in last year’s Echoes and Images student art and literature competition. A Grundy, Va., native, he plans to pursue his bachelor’s and graduate degrees to become a professor of both English and History.

“I’ve been writing since I was five years old when I got a journal,” said Bennett. “I had a terrific teacher in eighth grade who told me I could do anything I wanted to do. I want to be the best person I can be to make the world a better place and help students be the best they can be.”

Bennett and Merritt are members of Alpha Iota Chi, Northeast State’s chapter of the PTK Honor Society. Alpha Iota Chi has earned several regional and national awards for students and chapter achievements. To qualify for membership in Phi Theta Kappa, a student must be enrolled full-time in an associate degree program, have completed at least 12 hours of college-level coursework, and have a minimum 3.5-grade point average.

The Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program was launched in 2001 to assist new Phi Theta Kappa members in obtaining an associate degree and encourage participation in Society programs. The funds provided by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation not only aid college completion but also give students the opportunity to engage in Society programs and develop leadership skills to become future leaders in their communities.