Alpha Iota Chi caps big year at PTK event

Northeast State’s Alpha Iota Chi chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society won several team and individual awards at the society’s national convention held in National Harbor, Md., on April 7-9.

PTK international judges awarded the Alpha Iota Chi chapter the Distinguished Chapter Officer Team Award as well as the Distinguished Chapter Award. The chapter’s officer team was named one of the 30 most distinguished teams in the nation. PTK judges selected the chapter’s Honors-in-Action Project as one of the top 35 projects submitted nationally. Alpha Iota Chi was the only chapter in Tennessee to receive both the Distinguished Chapter and Project awards.

“They care about what they do and work to achieve it,” said Jane B. Honeycutt, associate professor of English and Women’s Studies and faculty advisor for the chapter. “They feel passionate about their projects and that is why they are willing to work so hard.”

Alpha Iota Chi chapter members at the PTK national convention.
Alpha Iota Chi chapter members at the PTK national convention.

This is the second consecutive year the chapter received the Distinguished Chapter and Distinguished Officer Team awards. Distinguished Chapter Officer Teams are nominated by the chapter advisor through the Hallmark Awards application process, and are chosen based on the team’s demonstration of an exceptional atmosphere of teamwork, leadership abilities, promotion of Honors in Action, other engagement in the Society, and enthusiasm for the Hallmarks of the Society.

Honeycutt said the chapter flourished this year thanks to the leadership of 2015-16 chapter officers: Carly Sluder, President for fall semester; Myka Baker, President, spring semester, and Vice-President of Communication; Cassandra Ross, Vice-President of Scholarship; Victoria Hewlett, Vice-President of Leadership and Tennessee Region Vice-President—East; Kyla Faust,  Vice-President of Service; and Tessa Ross, Secretary/Treasurer.

“Every year the new officers come in and see the standard set by chapter officers from the previous year,” said Honeycutt. “While that motivates them, they form their own ideas and create the projects based on research and what they want to pursue.”

Alpha Iota Chi chapter of Phi Theta Kappa

The team organized and carried out the Honors-in-Action and the College project during the 2015-16 academic year. Chapter members designed their College Project to help mentor the first class of Tennessee Promise students through Keeping Our Promise. Members and honors students worked with first-year Tennessee Promise students to help them with class registration, filing deadlines for the FAFSA accounts, meeting advisors, and supporting them through the first year of college. Their contributions were significant as the retention rate for those Tennessee Promise students at Northeast State reached 81 percent for the academic year.

The Honors-in-Action Project focused on the community garden concept. Chapter members reached out to community garden site representatives around the region and organized the “Community Garden Symposium: Building Visions for a Healthier Appalachia” event held in November at the College’s Blountville campus. Their research found many community gardens in existence but few were coordinated regionally. Participating garden representatives submitted a list of goals and a five-year plan to guide their garden. The project also created a database for regional gardens to share information among community gardeners.

Chapter members researched food insecurity in Southern Appalachia, contacted representatives to community gardens in the region, and organized the symposium. The event featured guest speakers David Cooke with Grow Appalachia and Samantha Benjamin Kirk with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

Alpha Iota Chi sought to link together the region’s community gardens via the “Community Garden Symposium: Building Visions for a Healthier Appalachia.”

Individual students also racked up awards and honors for their work. Hewlett was selected as one of only 12 regional officers recognized as the most distinguished in the nation, and she was selected as a New Century Scholar. Chapter member Paul Taylor received an All-USA Gold Team scholarship. Faust received a Midway Honors Scholarship from East Tennessee State University.

Headquartered in Jackson, Miss., the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,250 chapters worldwide. More than 3 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with about 134,000 students inducted annually.

Spring Career Fair set for April 28

Northeast State invites students and community members to attend Spring Career Fair 2016 on Thursday, April 28 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 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 fair drew more than 70 companies and served 300 job seekers.

12771544_614514438701782_2098064239093141732_o“It is always a great opportunity for our students to not only apply to employers but also to meet employers and gather information about majors and hiring trends. Employers may not need anyone at the moment, but they might in six months and this lets them know who’s in the pipeline and who’ll be graduating,” said Marquita Tittle, director of Career Services at Northeast State. “It’s a wonderful networking event and it’s open to the community as well.”

Employers may register online for the event at Companies do not have to be hiring to participate in the event. The registration deadline is April 21.

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.

Tittle advises job seekers to bring resumes, dress appropriately, and network with a variety of employers.

“Employers often offer jobs in many different types of field, so it’s always advisable to talk to as many representatives as possible,” Tittle said. “That’s an excellent way of discovering opportunities that might not be readily apparent.”

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

Northeast State Debate Team closes out impressive year

The Northeast State Debate Team ended the season on a high note by winning the East  Tennessee State University ParliPlunder Debate Tournament on April 9.

Debaters Joseph Hicks and Seth Manning defeated a Walters State Community College team in the finals to win the tournament. To get there the duo defeated teams from Walters State and ETSU in three preliminary rounds. They also defeated and ETSU Team in the semi-finals to reach the final round.

In the semi-final and final rounds, the pair won by unanimous decisions. Both Hicks and Manning earned speaker awards. Hicks was the third best speaker of the tournament and Manning was the eighth best speaker.

ETSU debate photo - Seth Manning (left) and Joseph Hicks
Northeast State Debate Team members Seth Manning (left) and Joseph Hicks.

The win caps a successful year for the NeSCC debaters. In the fall, Hicks teamed with Jess Webb to earn a second place finish at the Smoky Mountain Tournament.  Paul Taylor and Victoria Hewlett won third place in that tournament and all speakers took home individual speaker awards.

At the Northeast State Spring Fling in March, Seth Manning teamed with Stephen Shepherd to win second place. Joseph Hicks teamed with former Northeast State debater Hannah Davis, now at ETSU ,to form a hybrid team that placed fourth in the competition. Victoria Hewlett debated as a single person team in the tournament. All four Northeast State debaters earned speaker awards.

This year marks the first time that teams have earned awards at all of the competitions. It is also the first time that all debaters won speaker awards at every tournament.

Workforce Solutions to offer EKG technician course

Northeast State’s Workforce Solutions will offer an Electrocardiogram Technician course at the Regional Center for Health Professions (RCHP) in downtown Kingsport starting May 9, 2016.

Electrocardiogram (EKG) Technicians perform electrocardiograms and are one of the first providers to assist patients experiencing cardiac symptoms. EKG Technicians are critical members of the patient care team and may be employed in physician offices, emergency rooms, and hospital-based cardiology clinics across the country.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in this field is projected to grow more than 20 percent through 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.

EKG technicianIn addition, this EKG program serves as a prerequisite to an upcoming Certified Clinical Medical Assistant program. Certified Clinical Medical Assistants interview patients, measure and record vital signs, prepare exam rooms, as well as perform EKG tech and phlebotomist’s duties. Jobs in this field are expected to grow 23 percent over the next decade.

The EKG course includes theory and hands-on instruction during the program. Classes are taught on Mondays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the RCHP, 300 W. Main St. in Kingsport, for eight weeks.

Individuals interested in starting a career in the medical field, prospective patient care technicians, current nurses, or those looking to develop skills may benefit from this program. The program includes the National Healthcareer Association certification exam.

Fee for the course is $475 and the deadline to register is April 28.

For more information and how to register for this class or the CCMA, contact Rebecca Moody with Workforce Solutions at 423.354.5353 or

Northeast State, CMT present Courtney Cole in concert April 22

Northeast State and CMT (Country Music Television) will present rising talent Courtney Cole in concert April 22 to raise awareness of educational opportunities for U.S. veterans in Northeast Tennessee.

Northeast State is partnering with CMT’s Empowering Education initiative and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) to increase visibility for education and rural workforce challenges. The partnership centers on using storytelling to help individuals, no matter their age, enroll or re-enroll in college to realize their full potential.

Courtney Cole
Courtney Cole

“Our event is designed to highlight the opportunities Northeast State can provide veterans and show them we have a support system in place to help them succeed,” said Pat Chandler, coordinator of Veterans Affairs. “We are very appreciative of CMT and its willingness to help us support veterans in their educational pursuits.”

Cole, a recent graduate of Belmont University, said “I’m excited to partner with CMT on their Empowering Education initiative. Combining music with education is a powerful combination. Having the opportunity to meet students and hear their stories is something I’m looking forward to.”

The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a community fair. Doors will open at 6:30 with a panel discussion from Northeast State student veterans about their college experiences, followed by opening local act Jeffrey Benedict of My New Favorites and completing the evening with headliner Cole.

The community fair and concert will be held in the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts on the College’s Blountville campus, 2425 Highway 75.

Admission to the concert requires a ticket, but tickets are free. Tickets are available for pick up at the Northeast State Office of Veterans Affairs, East Tennessee State University Office of Veterans Affairs, Warrior’s Canvas, Department of Labor and Workforce Development (Kingsport and Johnson City), and the Tri-Cities Military Council.

For more information about CMT’s Empowering Education initiative visit www.CMTEmpoweringEducation. The site is a comprehensive online resource, designed to aid CMT individuals in overcoming the most commonly perceived obstacles to education. This tool aggregates the multitude of existing quality information in one easy-to-navigate central location, and creates an individualized education action plan for each user.