Career Discovery program offered for high school juniors, seniors

This summer, rising high school juniors and seniors will have the opportunity to take part in a five-day, rigorous, hands-on exploration of various academic areas such as Entertainment Technology, Welding, Drafting, and Criminal Justice.

Career Discovery, sponsored by Northeast State’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program, aims to help high school students discover their career and academic potential within a fun and exciting atmosphere. Students will join in activities at the College and explore careers through industry field trips.

The Career Discovery program will allow CTE students to explore career and academic paths.

Career Discovery will be held June 12-16, 2017. The program is free, but limited to 20 high school students. Participating students will receive a t-shirt, lunch daily, and a $50 gift card for completing the program.

Any current high school sophomores or juniors interested in Career Discovery should speak with their high school’s CTE Principal by March 30. For more information, call 423.354.5297 or e-mail

NE theatre students, alumni competing at Kennedy Festival

Northeast State Theatre’s 2016 productions of She Kills Monsters and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest were hits with audiences and critics.

Northeast State Theatre students and alumni were nominated by proctors from Region IV of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) to submit their work to the Festival’s Region IV competition Feb. 8-11 at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Ga. The adjudicated competition recognizes the best theatre work of two- and four-year colleges across the Southeast.

“I am continuously impressed and proud of the hard work and dedication our students put towards the shows they work on,” said Elizabeth M. Sloan, associate professor and director of Northeast State Theatre. “They really do push themselves and grow not only as theatre artists but as humans. It is a wonderful thing to observe.”

A proctor from Region IV attended performances of Cuckoo and Monsters to judge both productions.  The plays’ quality was graded and considered for nominations to the regional competition.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest cast and crew.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest cast and crew.

Current Northeast State students Madison Grace Phillips and Hayley Forbes both earned Irene Ryan Acting nominations for their work in Monsters. Meredith Muse won a nomination for her role of Nurse Ratchet in Cuckoo.

Phillips portrayed Tilly and Tillius the Paladin, a gaming legend whose death prompts her sister’s search for her identity. She also served on the crew as assistant fight captain and dance captain.

“Every performance we did was more exciting than the last,” said Phillips. “After our last curtain of the last show, I cried my eyes out not from sadness but joy from what we had all accomplished in putting on such an amazing show.”

Forbes stepped on stage for the first time in the role of Agnes, pursuing the adventure her sister Tilly started. Forbes tapped into her role through her relationship with her own younger sister and how her character dealt with grief and loss.

“This was my first play so I threw myself into it and discovered I had a passion for theatre,” said Forbes. “Though the play is funny and light-hearted, but I’m glad people saw how powerful love can be through the play.”

The She Kills Monsters cast and crew.
The She Kills Monsters cast and crew.

Northeast State alumnus Charles Clark will serve as the acting partner to the participating acting nominees during the competition. A theatre veteran, Clark portrayed Orcus in Monsters while serving as fight captain on the crew. Participating acting nominees will perform in dramatic scenes at the festival. Actors are judged with the winners advancing forward into new rounds facing longer scenes and more stringent critics.

Northeast State alumnae Erin Peters and Jessica Richardson were nominated for their work on Cuckoo.  Peters received her nomination for sound design while Richardson nabbed a nomination for costume design. Northeast State students Andrea Marshall, Andrea Greer, and Shelby Ashley will present their work in the Weiss Design competition hosted for theater participants at the festival.

Northeast State alumni Dustin Lawson and Grace Arrowood both received nominations. Lawson earned a nod for makeup and special effects design for Monsters. Arrowood was nominated as a Weiss Design participant in set design on Monsters. She will present a start-to-finish concept of a set design for competitive review. This is her second trip to the festival being a Weiss Design participant in 2015.

Theatre instructor and technical director Brad McKenzie was nominated for a Best Faculty Design award for his work as Lighting Designer on the production. Sloan said she was delighted to see Northeast State alumni returning to be a part of new productions.

“We had current students, alumni, and alumni who are now students at East Tennessee State University nominated for their work with us,” said Sloan. “The collaboration between Northeast State Theatre and the ETSU Department Theatre is at an all-time high.”

Project Management course starts Feb. 20

 Workforce Solutions at Northeast State is offering a project management course set to begin Feb. 20 at its Blountville campus.

The course structure is based on the Project Management Body of Knowledge, which consists of all the topics, subject areas, and intellectual processes that are involved in the application of sound management principles to the administration of projects. This body of knowledge supports PMI’s Project Management Professional (PMP) certification program, the most widely recognized certification program in the profession.


Course topics include project scope management, time management, cost management, risk management, procurement and subcontracts, quality management, communications, human resources management, and a review of sample PMP certification exam questions.

Professionals who manage any size project, individuals who work in project management, industry specialists who need a core project management approach and professional project managers preparing for PMP certification.

The class will meet every Monday evening, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m., from Feb. 20 – May 22 with the exception of March 6. The course instructor has earned a Project Management certification through the Project Management Institute (PMI).

Course fees are $325. For more information, contact 423.354.5520 or

Northeast State hosts Legislative Update at KCHE

Following the Regional Legislative Breakfast held in Kingsport on Friday morning, Northeast State hosted a Legislative Update session at the Kingsport Center for Higher Education. President Dr. Janice Gilliam welcomed state Reps. Matthew Hill of District 3 and John Crawford of District 1 as well as Joshua Russell representing Rep. Bud Hulsey of District 2.

Also attending the update were Lana Moore, field representative for U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, Jill Salyers, field representative for Sen. Bob Corker, and John Abe Teague, representing Congressman Phil Roe.

Northeast State hosted a Legislative Update at KCHE on Friday morning.

Northeast State administrators briefed legislators about the College’s success since being named as one of eight state service providers for Adult Education services, the ongoing digital textbook project aimed to cut costs for students, and the future Emerging Technologies facility to be constructed on the Blountville campus.

Ginger Hausser, director of External Affairs for the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR), addressed upcoming budget and legislative issues pertaining to higher education. The upcoming legislative session will include state appropriation recommendations for TBR institutions based on each institution’s performance outcomes.

State legislators return to Nashville on Jan. 30 when the Tennessee General Assembly reconvenes.

Performance outcomes measure an institution’s accomplishments in categories including students accumulating 12 credit hours, dual enrollment, associate degrees awarded, 1-2 year certificates awarded, and job placement among others. Northeast State has ranked first or second in performance outcomes among two-year TBR institutions in three of the past four years.

Legislators return to Nashville on Jan. 30 when the Tennessee General Assembly reconvenes.


Faculty Focus: Lisa Poole

Northeast State shines the spotlight on current faculty members making a difference in the lives of students. Associate Professor Lisa L. Poole teaches in the Psychology program at Northeast State. She earned bachelor’s degrees in English and Mass Communications at Carson-Newman University. She earned her master’s of Education degree from East Tennessee State University.

Why did teaching appeal to you as a career?

Well, teaching runs in my family starting with my great-grandfather who taught in a one-room schoolhouse. My dad was a coach, principal, and Director of Secondary Education. However, I majored in English and Mass Communication in college. I was going to be the next Barbara Walters! I actually was offered a job at a television station out of college, but I could not afford, based on the starting salary, to move to that city, so I started reviewing my career options. My mother taught psychology and my brother taught psychology so that discipline became a strong influence on my career path.

How did you come to join the faculty at Northeast State?

While I was getting my master’s at ETSU, I applied for and was hired as a part-time tutor coordinator in Student Services. After receiving my master’s degree, I was hired, by Dr. Chris Lefler, as a counselor in Developmental Studies.  After deciding to start a family, I left full-time work here but continued as an adjunct instructor. After my youngest son started school, a full-time psychology instructor position opened so I applied and got the job. I also had experience as an elementary school guidance counselor, but once I taught my first college class I was hooked.

Lisa Poole
Lisa Poole

What should college students hope to gain if they are considering a Psychology major or taking psychology classes?

Understanding psychology help can enhance their life experiences. I teach General Psychology, Social Psychology, and Lifespan Psychology. We engage in several social experiments ranging from the “elevator experiment” where students face the back of the elevator and measure the reactions of people when the doors open. The idea is getting the student into a learning experience to better understand behavior.

How do psychology classes benefit overall learning?

In anything you do, as well as a career, you need an understanding of people and human behavior. There are lots of disciplines, beyond the area of just psychology, that would benefit having an understanding of behavior and mental processes.  Part of my job is helping students develop critical thinking skills and prioritize their information they are studying.

How does the study of Psychology program help students transition from the classroom to the “real world”?

There are several excellent classes we offer to help students studying business, social work, education. I think it is a valuable tool for everyone to have. Every program at Northeast State wants the student to succeed. Student success is what we are striving to achieve and not only in the classroom. We want them to think about the world and understand how to make sound decisions as students and in life.