NST’s “The Foreigner” begins second weekend run Nov. 16

The Northeast State Community College Department of Theatre stages the second weekend run of Larry Shue’s award-winning play The Foreigner from Nov. 16 to Nov. 19 at the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts Theatre on the Blountville campus.

Audiences are introduced to The Foreigner as British soldier “Froggy” LeSeuer and his friend Charlie Baker visit a fishing lodge in rural Georgia. Charlie’s pathological shyness sets in motion a series of hilarious conversations and confrontations with the locals. Funny yet biting, the play delivers some welcomed humor to the tense political and cultural times of our day.

“One of the reasons we chose this play is because we thought everyone needed a laugh,” said Elizabeth M. Sloan, associate professor and director of Northeast State Theatre. “This play is one of the funniest plays I have ever seen.”

Shelby Minogue portrays wistful lodge owner Betty Meeks who has known Froggy for many years. Her friendship with Froggy and his globe-trotting experiences have made Betty long for taking a different direction in life.

“I think Betty was a hippie when she was younger,” said Minogue. “Betty represents a traditional Christian woman, but she is also much more go-with-the-flow attitude and fun to be around.”

Northeast State Theatre major Shelby Ashley pulled double duty as a cast member and lighting designer for the play.  Ashley earned a first-place award in lighting design for the Weiss Design category at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. For that competition, she created a lighting design project from sketch to stage for the play Sunday in the Park with George. In The Foreigner, she portrays debutante Catherine Simms. Although a spoiled rich girl in a small town, Simms longs to break free from her stale life and finds a possible suitor in Charlie.

“She wants to fall in love with someone but she wants to fall in love with someone who will listen to her,” said Ashley. “I think she’s sick of that life she’s known and becomes drawn to Charlie because he does listen to her.”

Fellow Theatre major Chris Bell portrays Owen Musser, an oily townie involved in a shady plot with some other well-connected locals. Bell said his character represented some of the worst stereotypes about the South.

“He goes from being an unlikeable character early in the play to being an even more unlikable character by the end of the play,” said Bell. “I think we all know someone like Owen who makes us cringe every time he’s around.”

Brad McKenzie, the play’s director, urged community members to come out and see this heart-warming and funny play that deals with themes of acceptance and love. He noted how the characters in the play grow and realize that they have become stronger together by accepting others and standing up for what is right.

“Sometimes in the ever-shifting, often hateful, national conversations we find ourselves in, it is nice to be reminded that there is hope and people actually can be good to one another if they try,” he said. “Northeast State is a nationally and regionally recognized award-winning theatre department. Our students put uncountable time and hard work into each and every production. I invite everyone in the community to come out and support local art and at only $10 a ticket, it’s a reasonable and fun night out.”

The second-week run opens with evening performances at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16, 17, and 18. A matinee performance happens on Nov. 19 at 2:00 p.m.

“These students, four of which, have never been on our stage, really do the play justice,” said Sloan. “We had a great response from everyone who attended the first weekend. In fact, I have never had so many people tell me how much they enjoyed a show.”

Tickets are $10 general admission and $8 for groups of 10 or more. Admission is free to Northeast State students presenting valid student identification.

The play is presented through special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc. In compliance with the American Disabilities Act, Northeast State honors requests for reasonable accommodations made by individuals with disabilities.

Get your tickets now at http://www.northeaststate.edu/boxoffice. For more information please contact the Box Office at 423.354.5169.

Visit the Open House at Mountain City on Nov. 20

Looking to get a jump on your college degree or reboot your career?  You are invited to learn more when Northeast State Community College hosts an Open House at the CTE Building of Johnson County High School on Monday, Nov. 20.

The Open House happens from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in Room V102 in the CTE Building at Johnson County High School, 348 Fairground Hill, in Mountain City.

The Open House welcomes Johnson County residents to learn about the College and classes available at Johnson County High School (JCHS) next spring. Northeast State representatives will be available to talk about the opportunities awaiting current high school students and adults seeking to earn a college degree.

Northeast State is offering classes at Mountain City for the Spring 2018 semester. Classes begin Jan. 16, 2017 and will meet at the JCHS CTE Building.

For more information, contact the College’s Multi-Campus Programs office at 423.354.2425 or phhogan@northeaststate.edu.


NE State students attend prestigious ATE Conference

Northeast State students Brittany Calixto, Tristan Lambert, and Rebekah Pennewell recently attended the national Advanced Technical Education (ATE) Principal Investigators Conference in Washington, D.C.

The students received three of only 50 invitations made to community college students nationwide to attend the conference. The annual conference is sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges with the support of the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The students were nominated to attend the conference by Computer Science associate professor Allan Anderson who directs Northeast State’s Cyber Defense program.

The conference brings together more than 850 people from higher education, business, and industry, as well as research and development centers to focus on the critical issues related to advanced technological education.

Conference attendees represent community colleges, business and industry, secondary school systems, and four-year colleges covering projects in a wide variety of areas such as information technology, engineering technology, micro- and nanotechnologies, chemical technology, biotechnology, and others.

Lambert said she was impressed by the size and scope of the event as well as the networking opportunities.

“I didn’t realize how many business professionals we were going to be able to meet; that was really neat,” Lambert said. “We were able to social network with business professionals for about an hour and were given tips on how to interview and how progress in your career.”

ATE/NSF 2017 Washington DC
Tristan Lambert (center) with ATE program directors David Campbell and V. Celeste Carter.

Lambert, who said she has a “deep passion for everything computers,” will graduate in May 2018 with A.A.S. degrees in Cyber Defense and Programming. Upon graduation, she said she hopes to land a job as a penetration tester checking systems and networks for vulnerabilities.

Pennewell said her interest in cybersecurity was kindled during job shadowing at a Georgia company. She said getting a glimpse of basic security and other aspects of computers helped her to choose cyber defense as a major.

“I really enjoyed the first-hand experience of job shadowing,” Pennewell said. “I knew that technology was a growing field and when I enrolled at Northeast State, I decided cyber defense was the field I wanted to go in to.”

Pennewell said she hopes to participate in internships in the near future and explore different areas of computer security. After graduating from Northeast State, she said she expects to take a job in the field and build some experience before proceeding with another degree or certificate.

“My drive is to help other people,” Pennewell said.“ Although cybersecurity  isn’t really visible to people, you’re still helping them with something really important, and that’s attractive to me.”

ATE/NSF 2017 Washington DC
Rebekah Pennewell (center) with ATE program directors David Campbell and V. Celeste Carter.

Pennewell called the conference “a great step in accelerating my career journey.” She said she enjoyed the interactive nature of the conference and the opportunities to network with students and business professionals, which boosted her knowledge and communication skills.

“The opportunity to present and see the work of others at the Student Showcase was also a highlight of this conference for me,” Pennewell said.  “Seeing people who are passionate about their field made for an exciting and inspiring atmosphere.”

Calixto describes herself as a “geek” who likes challenges and figuring things out by herself.

“I’ve always had an interest in computers, but I was never sure what I wanted to do in that field until my best friend—who’s going into law enforcement—mentioned digital forensics,” Calixto said.

Digital forensics specialists help recover stolen data, track computer attacks back to their source, and aid in other investigations involving computers.

“I had never thought about digital forensics, but the class is super fun and I’m glad that I picked it,” Calixto said. “I like to break things down and figure out what happened.”

ATE/NSF 2017 Washington DC
Brittany Calixto (center) with ATE program directors David Campbell and V. Celeste Carter.

Calixto said she also plans to enter the job market after graduating with her associate’s degree. Eventually, she wants to get a bachelor’s degree and is hopeful a future employer will help with tuition.

Calixto said the ATE conference met her expectations of being educational and fun. She said conference highlights included networking sessions with industry professionals, student displays and projects, and plenary speeches by principal investigators.

“The entire conference was really a bit of an eye-opener for me, especially meeting so many successful people and realizing what they wanted out of their colleagues and us as future job applicants,” Calixto said.

All three students encouraged other young women to consider a career in cybersecurity or a related computer science field and expand their opportunities beyond tradition career paths.

While entering a male-dominated career field like computer science can be daunting, Lambert said the lack of diversity is actually an advantage.

“At first, I was really terrified because it’s (computer science) not diverse, but I’ve found it’s actually a benefit for women because companies are looking to become more diverse,” Lambert said. “The prospects and benefits of the field have kept me interested, and I think they are promising for someone who wants to have a family and a career.”





Northeast State hosts Veterans Day ceremony Nov. 9

Northeast State invites you to commemorate Veterans Day on Thursday, Nov. 9 at 10:30 a.m. with a special ceremony honoring the sacrifices of the nation’s servicemen and women.

Vice president of Student Affairs at Northeast State and United States Army veteran Matt DeLozier will emcee the event. Sponsored by the College’s Office of Veterans Affairs. The ceremony will be held at the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts on the College’s Blountville campus.

The Northeast State Choral Ensemble will perform the National Anthem and Sing America. Northeast State students presenting the service colors for their respective service branches are Sammie Willis – United States Army; Ben McNeil – United States Marine Corps; Wes Moore – United States Navy; Rick Bowling – United States Air Force; and Jesse Carter – United States Coast Guard.

The event’s guest speakers include two Northeast State students: Joni M. Hughes, a veteran of the U.S. Army, and Steven M. Jones, a United States Marine Corps veteran.  U.S. Army veteran John M. Adcox with the Northeast State Office of Veterans Affairs is also featured as a guest speaker.

The Office of Veterans Affairs serves more than 200 student veterans and their dependents enrolled during the current 2017-18 academic year.

The event is open to the public and the community is encouraged to attend.  For more information, contact 423.354.2527 or jlkelso@NortheastState.edu.

Northeast State hosts Technology Career Fair Nov. 16

Whether you’re looking to land that first job, upgrade your career, or just check out the hiring market, Northeast State’s Fall Technology Career Fair on Nov. 16, 2017 is the perfect place to network with local employers.

The event is free and open to the public and will run from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing (RCAM) in Kingsport, 305 W. Main St.

Fall 2012 Technology Career Fair 014
The 2017 Fall Technology Career Fair is scheduled for Nov. 16 at the RCAM.

The fair focuses on career opportunities in manufacturing, technology, and skilled trades. More than 20 local companies are expected to participate, representing a variety of specialized industries including automotive parts, chemical, paper, utilities, and others.

“The fair is a great opportunity for job seekers to meet employers and gather information about hiring trends and the types of skills that employers are looking for in these fields,” said Mary Beth Oxendine Woodby, Career Development Coordinator at Northeast State.

Oxendine said job seekers are advised to bring along resume copies, dress appropriately, and be prepared to discuss their skills with employers. She said persons needing help with resumes or interviewing techniques in advance of the event should contact Northeast State’s Career Development Services Center to set up an appointment. The center is located at 222 W. Main St. in downtown Kingsport.

In addition, there will be information about Northeast State programs and various technology demonstrations.

For more information, call 423.354.5100 or e-mail mboxendinewoodby@NortheastState.edu.