2019-2020 Annual Report
RESILIENCE. PURPOSE. HOPE.
President Brian Noland Editors Amanda Mowell and Joe Smith Writers Jennifer Hill, Amanda Mowell, Melissa Nipper, Joe Smith Photography Ron Campbell, Matthew Carroll, Dakota Hamilton, Larry Smith, Charlie Warden Design Jeanette Jewell Published by Office of the President Office of University Relations
2019-20 Annual Report
Office of the President Officeofthepresident@etsu.edu 423-439-4211 etsu.edu/president ETSU is an AA/EEO employer. ETSU-UR-0120-18 2,000
At a Glance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Faculty and Staff. . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
President's letter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Student Success. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Community Engagement. . . . . . 34
Academic Programs. . . . . . . . . . 14
Special Section: COVID-19 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Rankings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
AT A GLANCE 14,435
Students Enrolled (Fall 2019)
Faculty and Staff (Fall 2019)
Operating budget with tuition and other sources supporting 65% of general academic budget and the remaining 35% from state appropriations
Colleges and Schools
living alumni residing in 50 states and 69 countries
Total fund balance
in scholarships awarded from the Foundation in 2019-20
secured toward the $120 million goal for the Campaign for ETSU
gifts totaling $130K for Bucs Helps Bucs initiative (as of July 31, 2020)
East Tennessee State Universityâ€‚|â€‚1
2 | 2019-2020 Annual Report
RESILIENCE. PURPOSE. HOPE.
President's Letter In the spring of 2020, as the weather warmed, there were no crowds gathered at the Quad, no laughter resonating from the D.P. Culp Student Center. On walks across campus I saw more squirrels than people, but through the heaviness of the silence hope rang loudly from the carillon. Nature also provided signs of the precarious spring semester. In between two cracks in the pavement a small dandelion proudly displayed its yellow petals. Despite its circumstances, the flower was thriving. The unforeseen challenges our university faced did not impede the spirit of our students, faculty and staff. We are thriving. I realize that dandelions are considered unwanted pests for many and our grounds crew does an impeccable job maintaining a manicured campus, but the plant’s presence reminds us that even when our lives drastically change, nature knows and continues to live out its purpose. The COVID-19 pandemic reminded us that East Tennessee State University exists to improve the lives of the people of this region. This important work continued as individuals volunteered to offer homework help, built face shields and produced hand sanitizer. The many successes of fall 2019 were not abandoned or forgotten. In fact, the new Center for Rural Health Research, established through a gift from Ballad Health and appropriations recommended by Gov. Lee and approved by the Tennessee General Assembly, hired its first director of research and programs and was instrumental in ETSU receiving one of seven federally funded rural health research centers—a $2.8 million grant award over four years. We also continued efforts to ensure all high school students have access to a quality, affordable
postsecondary education by launching the Promise Plus and Free Freshmen Tuition initiatives and the ETSU Board of Trustees voted to hold tuition and fees steady in order to help students and their families face financial headwinds caused by the pandemic. Throughout this year we focused on what matters most – people. Faculty, staff and our community of alumni and donors provided financial and one-on-one support to students struggling to gain footing as effects of the pandemic became a harsh reality. The Bucs Help Bucs and Bucs Calling Bucs initiatives are only two examples of the countless ways the ETSU community showed its heart and reaffirmed our institution’s purpose. The results of these efforts were made clear this fall as we celebrate the highest fall-to-fall retention rate in our history. Seventy-eight percent of students who started at ETSU in fall 2019 enrolled for fall 2020. The 2019-20 year was one of resilience, hope and purpose. I hope you will take time to read and reflect upon the stories and snapshots from a year unlike any other. Much like the dandelion, I too, am proud of how ETSU has continued to grow even when conditions were quite unfavorable. These accomplishments are shared by each individual who chooses to be part of ETSU and those who guide and support our students and our university every day. Thank you for all you do for ETSU.
Brian Noland President
East Tennessee State University | 3
RESILIENCE. PURPOSE. HOPE.
Student Success D.P. Culp Student Center Transforms
In March 2015, members of the Student Government Association overlooked the obstacles and envisioned what their living room, the D.P. Culp Student Center, “could be.” “I remember that vote like it was yesterday. It was unanimous,” recalls Doretha Benn (Class of 2016). With the passage of the resolution, Benn, the first Black female to serve as SGA President at ETSU, and subsequent student leaders, watched their dream begin to grow and eventually bloom nearly five years later. “Our students have remained dedicated to seeing this happen, even though many of them knew they would never be here to enjoy it,” said Dr. Jeff Howard, Associate Vice President for Student Life and Enrollment and SGA advisor. The transformation of the Culp Student Center would not have been possible without the student leaders who called for more student services, rallied for support of the fee increase necessary to support the renovation, helped with the redesign and reassured students while the building was in various stages of construction. The additional 20,000 feet of square footage, a new dining hall, an 4 | 2019-2020 Annual Report
The ramp inside the Culp Student Center was removed as part of the renovation.
outdoor plaza and a wall of windows to let natural light into a concrete building, were worth the wait. Their legacy -- a $45 million renovation -- is now on full display to be enjoyed by generations to come.
building, a state-of-the-art feature when the Culp Center opened in 1976.
During the ribbon cutting ceremony March 5, SGA President Aamir Shaikh proudly said ETSU “is a place where students are encouraged to bring forward their ideas and this is a place where students are encouraged to dream. One of the things I value most is that students truly have a voice on this campus.”
The second floor houses the new Carrier Center for Student Success and Engagement with plenty of resources for student organizations, as well as a new Student Media Center for the East Tennessean and The Edge Radio, plus the Dr. Patricia Robertson Pride Center and the Mary V. Jordan Multicultural Center.
The first floor of the renovated Culp Student Center is a thoroughfare connecting the east and west side of campus featuring new and returning dining options, a video wall and stage in the Cave and the ETSU Bookstore. This open layout was made possible by removing the iconic ramp from the center of the
“This building will continue to play a transformative role in the lives of our students and those who work in the Culp and dedicate their careers to ETSU,” said ETSU President Brian Noland. “These individuals are planting seeds daily that will be realized for years to come.” Student Success | 5
NPHC Plaza Unveiling A highlight of the Homecoming 2019 celebration was the opening of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) Plaza, a gathering place honoring the nine historic African American fraternities and sororities that are part of the NPHC, founded in 1930. NPHC organizations, which became increasingly important to the social integration, academic success and professional development of its collegiate and graduate members, were founded at ETSU in 1973 and today there are five active chapters: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Situated between Centennial and Governors halls, the NPHC Plaza serves as a place to share the history of each of the “Divine Nine” NPHC member organizations and provides a dedicated outdoor setting for community engagement and programming. Dozens of alumni, current members and students were in attendance for the unveiling ceremony November 2. Each brick column and plaque revealed honors past and present members of the NPHC organizations. The plaza was made possible by supporters contributing $54,000 toward the project.
Students Experience the ETSU Advantage During its quarterly meeting this past April, the Board of Trustees announced that students attending ETSU in fall 2020 would not see an increase in tuition and fees. This was the first time in possibly decades that an increase had not been put in place. The zero percent tuition increase was part of the ETSU Advantage initiative announced during the spring semester aimed at improving access to higher education for graduating high school students. ETSU Promise Plus was announced in January 2020 and is open to first-time, full-time freshmen beginning fall 2020 who are 6 | 2019-2020 Annual Report
eligible for the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship and the maximum Pell Grant. In addition to financial assistance, Promise Plus offers free support to help students be successful in their pursuit of a degree. These support services include participation in pre-college programs including new student orientation, Preview ETSU and early move-in to the residence halls. Program benefits include access to faculty and peer mentors, academic tutoring services, career support, a first-year experience course, and membership in the Buccaneer Family Association. Students living on campus can receive up to $6,000 in on-campus housing scholarships ($1,500 annually). In addition to Promise Plus, another new initiative – Free Freshmen Tuition – was made available for the 2020-21 academic year for first-time, full-time freshmen who are Tennessee residents and are eligible for the Tennessee Student Assistance Award and the Tennessee Lottery Scholarship.
Ten members of the ETSU Class of 2020 were inducted into the newly formed 1911 Society. Named in commemoration of the year when ETSU was founded, the honorary recognizes the university’s most notable graduates from undergraduate, graduate and professional programs who have distinguished themselves among all graduates for academic excellence, service, and leadership. The inaugural recipients are Sarah Hamilton, Alexis Harvey, Gabrielle Johnson, Shannon Ketchem, Brianna McCoy, Margaret Jean Miller, Taylor Osborne, Aamir Shaikh, John Sterrett and Raina Wiseman. Of the 165 undergraduate and graduate students from across ETSU’s educator preparation programs who recently took the edTPA exam (a national performance-based assessment), 95 percent earned a passing score. Some educator preparation programs had a 100 percent pass rate. ETSU students and alumni took home five International Bluegrass Music Awards in 2019. ETSU Army ROTC commissioned 17 second lieutenants
Army ROTC welcomed 21 national scholars in fall 2019, the highest in more than a decade. Scholars attend ETSU or other partnering satellite programs at UVA Wise, Milligan University and King University. In its annual Educator Preparation Report Card for Tennessee, the State Board of Education announced that the Clemmer College performed very well and earned an overall designation as “Exceeds Expectations.” A scholarship program offered by the Honors College that helps develop artists for the 21st century was named in honor of ETSU Provost and longtime Tennessee higher education leader Dr. Bert C. Bach, who retired from the university in early 2020. Approximately 17 students are chosen each year for the Bert C. Bach Fine and Performing Arts Scholarship Program. 406 international students enrolled, from 51 countries and in 58 majors (fall 2019) $40,303,469 awarded in institutional scholarships
The Patricia Robertson Pride Center in the D.P. Culp Student Center was named in honor of retired faculty member Dr. Patricia Robertson, who was a champion for inclusion on the ETSU campus, particularly for the LGBTQ+ community. The Mary V. Jordan Multicultural Center was dedicated in honor of retired staff member Mary Jordan in recognition of her ongoing and tireless efforts to foster and build an environment of equity, inclusion and diversity on the ETSU campus and, in particular, for her visionary leadership to establish the Multicultural Center. Cassie Dandridge Selleck, an ETSU graduate student in storytelling, authored an award-winning book, The Pecan Man, which is being adapted into a major motion picture starring Laurence Fishburne. In Selleck’s novel, a widow sets out to tell the truth about a homeless black man who was charged with the murder of the town police chief’s son, who was found near his camp. Student Success | 7
Student Success 78%
Fall 2019-Fall 2020 retention rate (first-year, fulltime freshmen) – highest in ETSU’s history
Degrees conferred during 2019-20
Average GPA Fall 2019 entering class
Student-to-Faculty ratio (Fall 2019)
High school students participated in dual-enrollment program (57.3% increase from previous year)
in Spring 2020 named to dean’s list
Roan Reaches a Milestone The Roan Scholars Leadership Program is celebrating 20 years since welcoming its first class in fall 2000. This comprehensive fouryear leadership development program was the vision of Mr. Louie Gump whose initial gift established an endowment to provide unique, out-of-the-classroom experiences and a financial award. Each Roan class is chosen from high school seniors nominated by eligible schools in Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia and Western North Carolina. There are 32 Roan Scholars now enrolled at ETSU, and the number of Roan alumni stands at 74. Excelling in and out of the classroom, current Roan Scholars have an average GPA of 3.71. Both the current SGA President and Student Trustee are Roan Scholars. 8 | 2019-2020 Annual Report
ETSU Student Advertising Team Heads to National Competition ETSU’s National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) team competed in the national championship for the second time in three years in the spring of 2020. The team participated virtually after winning first place at both the district and regional levels of the American Advertising Federation (AAF) competition sponsored by Adobe. The NSAC tasks AAF college chapter teams to develop an integrated marketing campaign in response to a real-world marketing challenge facing Adobe. “Students must research the product and its competition, identify potential problem areas and devise a completely integrated campaign for the client. Each student team then ‘pitches’ its campaign to a panel of judges,” according to the AAF website. The ETSU team is made up of 25 students from the departments of Media and Communication, Art and Design, and Digital Media. These students competed against nearly 200 schools across the U.S. to be in the top eight. Faculty mentors Dr. Stephen Marshall and Megan Fannon of Media and
Communication, Jonathan Hounshell of Digital Media, and Kelly Porter of Art and Design praised the team for its efforts, especially in light of the extra challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“You can’t tackle such challenges without all hands on deck,” Hounshell said. “I believe the ETSU team is set apart from the rest because of the heart and diligence in each and every student.” Student Success | 9
Iris Kamgue, a student pharmacist at Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy, was chosen from nearly 400 applicants as a recipient of the CVS Health Minority Scholarship for Pharmacy Students. From Douala, a coastal city in Southwest Cameroon, Africa, Kamgue hopes to take the health care skills she learns at ETSU back to her home.
ETSU alumnus Greyson Jennings is serving a three-year term on the Tennessee State Rehabilitation Council upon the appointment of Gov. Bill Lee. Jennings assists in the review, analysis and advisement to the state on vocational rehabilitation and shares his perspectives on state vocational rehabilitation services as a former client.
In May 2020, Hunter Ayers and Chase Carter were the first to graduate with B.S. degrees in Engineering from ETSU and Tennessee Tech University. The joint degree program in general engineering began enrolling students in fall 2017.
Students from three disciplines – business, mathematics and computer science – earned 2nd place in the first-ever National Analytics Case Competition held at Elon University. Jessica Owens, Dawson Maddox and Aaron Barlow also won the Team Spirit Award for their hype video created before the competition. Clara Reynolds (health sciences) was recognized as volunteer of the year by the Branch House – The Family Justice Center of Sullivan County. She received the Daryl Marino Award for work completed during Summer of Service with Roan Scholars Leadership Program. 10 | 2019-2020 Annual Report
Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy’s American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists Chapter received the national Division AAA Chapter Achievement Award. In addition, the college’s Generation Rx Initiative and Operation Diabetes Project were recognized as the Region 3 award winners for their work in 2018-2019.
In February, Pepper journeyed to ETSU from Florida via the Paws & Stripes Comfort Dog Program. As a therapy dog, she is available to meet with students when they need a break from the pressures and demands of college.
250 Student Organizations — average membership is 32 with a total of 7,652 students involved in student organizations
Marah Mullins (elementary education) and Shivam Patel (health sciences) were recipients of 2020 Appalachian Highlands Twenty Under 20 honors for serving as ambassadors and role models in their communities. Lily Edwards (media and communication) received an honorable mention.
The Office of Veterans Affairs received the Minuteman Award from the Tennessee Army National Guard for participation in the Tennessee STRONG Act, a last-dollar tuition reimbursement program for first-time degree seeking Tennessee National Guard members. Thirty-two students took advantage of the program this year, resulting in more than $160,000 in tuition reimbursements.
Six ETSU students brought home honors in the 2019 Tennessee Associated Press Broadcasters and Media Editors College Contest. Kirsty McCaughtry, Kate Trabalka and Allison Winters placed third in the Online Specialized/Topic Reporting Category for their work on the fall 2019 edition of “Overlooked in Appalachia,” which examined the opioid crisis in the region. Also, taking second place in the Radio Newscast Category were Jessica Dunker and Raina Wiseman of the East Tennessean and Jesse Denney of The Edge 89.5 HD4 for their work on “The ET Echo,” a collaborative news show launched in 2019 and produced by the two student-run news outlets. 441 students enrolled in Honors College Programs (University Honors, Midway Honors, HonorsIn-Discipline, Fine and Performing Arts, Presidential Honors Community Service)
ETSU a cappella ensembles nearly swept the 2020 South Regional Quarterfinals of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA). With its overall first-place finish, Greyscale, directed by Dr. Alan Stevens, moved on to the ICCA South Semifinals, and student-led ensembles Ascension and Harmonium placed third and fourth, respectively. Rebekah Cormack (Greyscale) was named Outstanding Soloist, Thomas Richardson (Ascension) earned Outstanding Arrangement, and Kaitlyn Hopkins (Harmonium) received Outstanding Vocal Percussion honors.
763 military-affiliated students enrolled in fall 2019
Student Success | 11
New Fraternity Spaces on Campus Four fraternities now have a space on the ETSU campus they can call their own. During fall 2020, the Interfraternity Council celebrated the opening of four new learning community spaces. Both Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Sigma Phi Epsilon relocated to houses at 916 and 920 West Maple Street, respectively, which are on campus. In addition, two new chapters – Alpha Sigma Phi and Beta Upsilon Chi – unveiled their new dedicated suites on the first floor of Nell Dossett Hall. These facilities are available for meetings of organization members, alumni and guests and for use as a gathering place for academic enrichment and organization activities.
SoCon Championship The Buccaneer Men’s Basketball team brought home the Southern Conference Championship after defeating Wofford on March 9. That game was a historic win for the Bucs, as it marked their 30th victory of the season. Only four programs in SoCon history have ever achieved that mark. Selection Sunday was just on the horizon and would reveal the Bucs’ first opponent in the NCAA tournament. Sadly that day never came. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCAA announced all winter and spring championships would be canceled, bringing ETSU’s 2019-20 season to a sudden halt. It would also mark the end of Coach Steve Forbes’ tenure at ETSU. Coach Forbes became the new head basketball coach at Wake Forest University. During his five seasons at ETSU, he compiled an overall record of 130-43 (.751) and directed the Bucs to four Southern Conference Championships and two NCAA Tournament appearances. 12 | 2019-2020 Annual Report
ETSU is in the Esports game Esports has become one of the fastest growing areas of collegiate and professional competition here in the United States and around the world. And now, ETSU is in the game with its first varsity esports team. A total of 22 students have been recruited for the League of Legend® team and the Overwatch® team and will compete in tournaments hosted by the National Association of Collegiate E-Sports. Members of the ETSU esports team have the opportunity to compete in the new esports arena in the D.P. Culp Student Center. A new 32-foot video wall has been installed to display tournaments and other livestreaming esports events.
Academic Programs | 13
RESILIENCE. PURPOSE. HOPE.
ETSU elevated its interprofessional education (IPE) curriculum with two new innovative IPE experiences that included students and faculty from ETSU’s five health sciences colleges.
14 | 2019-2020 Annual Report
Interprofessional Training ‘Code Blue’ Simulation In November 2019, students participated in the pilot Interprofessional and Profession-Specific Skills Simulation, which brought together students and faculty from the health sciences colleges for a code blue simulation in a state-ofthe-art skills simulation lab, located in ETSU’s Interprofessional Education and Research Center (known as Building 60) on the VA campus. Interprofessional education, or learning to work across health care disciplines to ensure better patient outcomes, is a wellestablished priority at ETSU. However, the code blue IPE simulation is a new addition to the program. The students’ “patient” was a high-fidelity simulation manikin whose vital signs could be manipulated by technicians behind the scenes. The students from the various health professions disciplines worked together as a team to navigate the intricacies of the situation to save the patient’s life, just as they would in a real medical emergency. Afterwards, the participants came together to debrief as an interprofessional team, and then broke into their specific colleges/ disciplines for additional debriefing specific to their profession.
Capstone Event The culminating experience of the IPE curriculum took place in February 2020 with the inaugural IPE Capstone Event. The students who participated in this event had completed the IPE curriculum and were brought together for one final experience in which they worked in teams to deal with a situation that was presented to them by a simulated patient. The patient situations ranged from a pregnant woman unexpectedly going into labor during a routine exam to a patient who required end-of-life care at home. To create these experiences, organizers utilized all of the simulation spaces in Building 60, including hospital rooms, exam rooms, ERs, step-down units, and home settings. As the teams followed their patients, they focused on transitions of care and the importance of communication between the health care professions. At the end of the experience, they participated in a final debriefing session to unpack the important lessons they learned that day and throughout the two-year longitudinal IPE curriculum at ETSU. “One of the things we are most proud of about our IPE program is that it is an intentional journey that culminated in this capstone event,” said Dr. Brian Cross, Director of ETSU’s Interprofessional Research Center and Associate Professor in Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy. “We are trying to create an environment of trust and teamwork. This environment elevates everyone’s training.” Academic Programs | 15
Two Schools Become a College When Dr. Rick Osborn, longtime Dean of the School of Continuing Studies and Academic Outreach, retired in the summer of 2020, university officials decided on a new direction to maximize academic and fiscal efficiencies and to best align with the university’s mission. Effective July 1, the school merged with the School of Graduate Studies, becoming the new College of Graduate and Continuing Studies, with Dr. Sharon McGee, formerly Dean of Graduate Studies, becoming the leader of the new academic unit. While much of Graduate Studies remains the same, some restructuring of Continuing Studies and Academic Outreach has taken place. All of the academic degree programs within the former college, along with Professional Development and transfer articulation, now fall under Dr. McGee’s leadership in the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies. The new college is now home to two interdisciplinary research units – the Smart Brain Institute and the Child and Family Health Institute. Among the future plans for the new college are working with regional business and industry to expand professional development opportunities to provide needed badges and micro-credentials for current and future employees, the creation of new interdisciplinary programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and more. ETSU’s off-campus centers in Kingsport, Sevierville, Asheville and Abingdon, however, are now under the oversight of Dr. David Linville, Executive Vice Provost for Academics and Health. “We’re really just taking the foundation of what Dr. Osborn had built in the School of Continuing Studies and Academic Outreach,” Dr. McGee says, “and moving forward to pursue opportunities we may now have as a college.” 16 | 2019-2020 Annual Report
ETSU was the only institution in the Southeast and among seven nationwide to receive a 2019 Education Award from the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES).
Nine new educational offerings were approved or implemented in 2019-20: B.S. in Microbiology, B.S. in Health Administration, Graduate Certificates in Health Care Genetics and Genomics, Sport Nutrition, Health Data Analytics, Forensic Nursing, Data Analytics, Heritage Interpretation & Museum Studies, Esports Management A new program allows highachieving high school seniors choosing to attend ETSU or current ETSU freshmen to apply to be accepted directly into Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy through the Early Admission Pathway, allowing students the opportunity to earn both a Bachelor of Science and a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) in six years.
The College of Public Health celebrated the 50th anniversary of its B.S. in Environmental Health. In 1969, ETSU’s program pioneered the way for environmental health education, becoming the first undergraduate program in environmental health to receive full accreditation by the National Environmental Health Science & Protection Accreditation Council.
The ETSU Dental Hygiene program commemorated 50 years of educating students and providing dental hygiene care for the region. The program first offered an associate degree in 1969 as a result of the Vocational Education Act. Now a bachelor’s degree program, Dental Hygiene is housed in the College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences.
Through its Department of Media and Communication, ETSU has become the first university in the U.S. to earn accreditation from the Digital Marketing Institute, the largest accrediting digital marketing organization in the world.
Academic Programs | 17
“Best Online Radiology Tech Programs for 2020” (four-year schools category) released by EduMed.org.
Animation Career Review ranked ETSU’s Digital Media Program the top school in Tennessee for animation and game design and the eighth best school in the South.
Gatton College of Pharmacy ranked first in the state for its Postgraduate Year 1 (PGY1) residency match rate, as well as 12th in the nation.
ETSU’s Child Psychological Science Program was ranked fourth Best Online Bachelor’s in Child and Adolescent Psychology program by BestColleges.com
University School on the ETSU campus was ranked the eighth best high school in Tennessee by U.S.News & World Report.
Military Friendly® School top 10 designation ETSU received a silver seal from the ALL In Campus Democracy Challenge in the 2019 ALL IN Challenge Awards for achieving a student voting rate between 30 and 39%. 18 | 2019-2020 Annual Report
Named a 2020 Best Southeastern College by Princeton Review
U.S. News & World Report recognizes ETSU among its Top Performers on Social Mobility for enrolling and graduating large populations of disadvantaged students. Designated a Voter Friendly Campus
Online graduate program in Sport Science and Coach Education ranked 10th in the nation by Sports Management Degree Guide (SMDG).
Named among the 30 Best Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities (tied at 24).
National Recognitions for Nursing The ETSU College of Nursing had a banner year in national and statewide rankings as well as other recognitions for its curriculum offerings.
Recognitions The College of Nursing’s new 12-month residency program, PREPARE (Progressive Resident Experiences for Practitioners to meet Appalachian Rural healthcare Expectations), received a $1.4 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration. The program will help to increase the number of psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners in community primary care clinics and rural community-based mental health agencies.
The ETSU Family Medicine Addiction Medicine Fellowship received initial accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, paving the way for more physicians to become leaders in the care of persons with substance use and behavioral disorders in rural counties of Appalachia. Development of the new fellowship program is the result of a partnership between ETSU’s Quillen College of Medicine and Ballad Health.
The College of Nursing earned the 2019 Pacesetter Award for the redesign of the curriculum for its popular LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) to BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) program.
Rankings #1 “2019 best online RN to BSN programs in
#1 “2019 best DNP programs” (RegisteredNursing.org)
#10 “Most affordable online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs” (BestHealthDegrees.com)
#10 “2020’s Best Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner programs” (EduMed.org)
The Association for Counseling Education and Supervision (ACES) recognized the Clemmer College’s graduate program in counseling with the Robert Frank Outstanding Counselor Education Program Award.
#11 “Top accredited online nursing programs and schools in the country” (Learn.org)
#13 “2020’s best online nurse practitioner programs” (EduMed.org)
The Center for Academic Achievement earned International Tutor Training Program Certification from the College Reading and Learning Association. The Center provides tutoring and supplemental instruction, and Testing Services.
Top 25 online PhDs in Nursing Education (Online College Plan)
“Top 50 best Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs” (Study.com) Academic Programs | 19
RESILIENCE. PURPOSE. HOPE.
Faculty and Staff “Equity is all about opportunity”
20 | 2019-2020 Annual Report
In addition to holding titles of professor and chair for the Department of Engineering, Engineering Technology and Surveying, Dr. Keith Johnson is the first to be named Vice President for Equity and Inclusion at ETSU. Upon his arrival 28 years ago, Johnson thought his tenure would be brief. The culture he encountered was much different than anywhere else he had lived and it was nearly impossible to find a radio station that played familiar music and voices. The experience presented an opportunity. “I saw a need to educate and mentor students and to be a part of this community,” he said. “I realized there was a void and a need to make ETSU a more inclusive environment.” Johnson and his growing family established roots in the community. He has since mentored hundreds of students, many of them from racial groups often underrepresented in science and engineering, while also facilitating summer STEM camps, advancing engineering curriculum in higher education and helping establish a chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers at ETSU. “Over the years, students of color have depended on me to be a role model for them and I felt a responsibility to care for them like one of my own and see them through to graduation.” Johnson continues to mentor students and faculty as chair while also
championing the work started by the late Dr. Chris Dula and Dr. Angela Lewis. Over the last year, he and an advisory council developed the Office of Equity and Inclusion and added two members to the team – Dr. Chassidy Cooper, (coordinator) and Kim Maturo (office coordinator). This important work also led to the development of an Equity and Inclusion Strategic Action Plan offering an inclusive excellence framework with six major goals and the overarching objective to become a HEED (Higher Education Excellence in Diversity) designated institution. The plan focuses on assessment, implementation of training and learning opportunities to enhance understanding of diversity and inclusion. “Inclusion is all about providing pathways, directions, encouragement and support for those we serve to reach their fullest potential,” Johnson said. One of those pathways started more than a decade ago. “A Diverse ETSU” initiative led by Johnson hosts highly-qualified faculty applicants from underrepresented race and ethnicity groups on campus. The strategic plan calls for a renewed focus on recruitment by “rolling out the blue carpet” for visitors. Twenty-eight years into a “brief” stop at ETSU, Johnson remains dedicated to equity and opportunities for underserved populations.
Faculty and Staff | 21
New At ETSU Dr. Tom Donohoe University Registrar Donohoe served as Associate Registrar at ETSU for nine years managing and participating in daily and seasonal operations for the Office of the Registrar, including registration, student records, and end-ofterm processing.
Garrison Burton Title IX and Title VI Coordinator A native of East Tennessee, Burton previously worked in general corporate and legal billing compliance.
Dr. Mark Fulks University Counsel
Prior to joining ETSU, Fulks spent seven years in private practice. From 20002012, he was Senior Counsel in the State of Tennessee’s Criminal Justice Division. 22 | 2019-2020 Annual Report
Whitney Goetz Executive Director, ETSU National Alumni Association Goetz returned to Johnson City after working in human resources for the state treasury. Her career has included serving as a staff member in constituency relations and policy for U.S. Senator Bob Corker both in Washington D.C. and Nashville.
Dr. Adam Green Chief of Staff and Secretary to the Board of Trustees Green came to ETSU from West Virginia where he spent 12 years working for the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. Green’s tenure with the commission included more than four years as Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and an additional four years as Senior Director of the Division of Student Success and P-20 Initiatives.
Dr. Brian Partin Director, University School Partin has served in Tennessee public education for more than 20 years. Prior to his arrival at ETSU, he was principal at Robinson Middle School in Kingsport. Previous leadership roles include principal at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, also in Kingsport, and at Crieve Hall Elementary in Nashville.
Dr. Chassidy Cooper Program Coordinator, Equity and Inclusion Before arriving at ETSU, Cooper was an academic advisor and first-year experience instructor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Several individuals represented ETSU in statewide leadership positions and programs.
Dr. Randy Wykoff, dean of the College of Public Health, was selected to serve on Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s new Health Care Modernization Task Force and was also named to Leadership Tennessee’s Class of 2019-2020. Dr. Mike Hoff, associate vice president and chief planning officer in ETSU’s Office of Planning and Decision Support, was selected as one of 15 members of the inaugural cohort of the Tennessee Higher Education Leadership and Innovation Fellows program. Dr. Jennifer Axsom Adler, assistant director of the Roan Scholars Leadership Program, joined 30 other mid-career professionals from across Tennessee to take part in the second class of Leadership Tennessee NEXT.
Dr. Wesley Wehde of the Department of Political Science, International Affairs and Public Administration received a National Science Foundation Enabling the Next Generations of Hazards Researchers Fellowship aimed at developing junior faculty to become excellent scholars in their individual disciplines as well as in the broader hazards and disasters research community.
The 2019 Distinguished Faculty Award winners included: Research – Dr. Alok Agrawal (Quillen College of Medicine) Service – Dr. Andrea Clements (College of Arts and Sciences) Teaching – Dr. Lori Meier (Clemmer College) Faculty and Staff | 23
Four ETSU faculty and staff were honored at the 19th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Interfaith Prayer Breakfast, held Jan. 18 at Memorial Park Community Center: Joy Fulkerson, Dr. Keith Johnson, Laura Terry, and Nathnael Tadesse. A financial and compliance audit of ETSU conducted by the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury resulted in no findings or recommendations. The report was released by the Division of State Audit Feb. 27, 2020. Conducted annually, the audit was for the July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019 fiscal year. More than 40 ETSU faculty and staff participated in the launch of the university’s first Faculty and Staff LGBTQ+ Association.
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ETSU faculty taught 325,794 credit hours in Fall 2019. Dr. Benjamin Caton (Arts and Sciences) and Doug Taylor (Quillen College of Medicine) celebrated 45 years of service to the university. Dr. Joe Florence and Carolyn Sliger (Quillen College of Medicine) received awards at the Rural Health Association of Tennessee’s annual conference held in November 2019. Florence was presented with the Rural Health Professional of the Year Award. Sliger was awarded the Eloise Q. Hatmaker Distinguished Service Award.
Dr. Dawn Rowe, an associate professor in the Clemmer College, was named editor of “TEACHING Exceptional Children,” a top-tier, peer-review journal produced by the Council for Exceptional Children, which has over 30,000 members.
28 faculty awarded tenure and 62 received promotion by ETSU Board of Trustees
Dr. Istvan Karsai, Department of Biological Sciences, received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program Award, through which he spent time in Budapest, Hungary, conducting research to be used in the book, Mathematics of Planet Earth: Interdisciplinary Approach to Environmental Conservation, part of a series published by Springer Verlag. Karsai collaborated in his research with Drs. George Kampis and Thomas Schmickl, both former chairholders of ETSU’s Wayne G. Basler Chair of Excellence for the Integration of the Arts, Rhetoric and Science.
In February 2020, Dr. Bill Block assumed additional responsibilities as the university’s Vice President for Clinical Affairs in addition to his ongoing role as Dean of Quillen College of Medicine. As Vice President for Clinical Affairs, Block is ETSU’s lead liaison to Ballad Health, handles all contracts between ETSU and its health care partners, and holds clinical oversight of ETSU Health in association with the ETSU Health Advisory Board, which consists of all five deans of the colleges within the academic health sciences center at ETSU.
Dr. Christine Mullins, assistant professor in the College of Nursing, is the 2019-2020 recipient of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s (AACN) Novice Faculty Excellence Clinical Teaching Award. The purpose of the AACN Novice Faculty Teaching Awards is to recognize excellence and innovation in the teaching of nursing by novice faculty at AACN member schools.
Dr. Nicholas Hagemeier (Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy), Dr. Jodi Polaha (Quillen College of Medicine) and Dr. Megan Quinn (College of Public Health) were named ETSU Presidential Fellows for the fall 2020 semester.
The Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness appointed Dr. Wilsie Bishop, Senior Vice President for Academics and Interim Provost, to the Defense Health Board Public Health Subcommittee that provides independent advice and recommendations to maximize the health, safety and effectiveness of all Department of Defense (DoD) health care beneficiaries.
Dr. Cerrone Foster, Department of Biological Sciences, was listed among “100 more inspiring Black scientists in America” by CrossTalk, the official blog of Cell Press, which publishes biomedical and physical science research and reviews. Foster’s research focuses on the mechanisms of estrogen loss and its effects on the heart after menopause. Faculty and Staff | 25
Dr. Pamela Evanshen, chair of the Department of Early Childhood Education, is the co-author of Room to Learn: Elementary Classrooms Designed for Interactive Explorations, published by Gryphon House.
Dr. Jane Broderick, a professor in the Department of Early Childhood Education, is co-author of From Children’s Interests to Children’s Thinking: Using a Cycle of Inquiry to Plan Curriculum, recently published by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
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Dr. Joseph O. Baker, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, is serving a four-year term as editor of Sociology of Religion, the official peer-reviewed journal of the Association for the Sociology of Religion. Sociology of Religion is the flagship journal for the subfield of sociology of religion, in which Baker specializes. Through this role, Baker will provide a valuable opportunity for ETSU students to see and assist with the behind-the-scenes operation of a peerreviewed publication. Dr. Benjamin D. Caton III, who retired in the spring of 2020 after 46 years on the faculty of ETSU’s Department of Music, was named the Tennessee Music Teachers Association 2020 Teacher of the Year. Caton has a long and distinguished record of service at the state and local levels of the TMTA, including terms as president, recording secretary and collegiate auditions chair.
World-renowned paleoartist Mauricio Antón shared his knowledge and experience with ETSU Geosciences and Art and Design students as chairholder of the 2020 Wayne G. Basler Chair of Excellence for the Integration of the Arts, Rhetoric and Science. Antón, one of the world’s foremost experts on sabertoothed cats, specializes in the scientific reconstruction of extinct life and is well-known for his influential paintings of early humans, extinct carnivores and other vertebrate fossil groups.
Seven individuals were honored by the ETSU Staff Senate in the presentation of the 2020 Distinguished Staff Awards: Leah Adinolfi, Beth Skinner, Teresa Williams, Lisa Fields, Maria Kalis, Jennifer Mayberry and Career Award winner Mike Orr.
Dr. Candace Forbes Bright, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, is co-author of an article that won the inaugural Zumkehr Prize for Scholarship in Public Memory sponsored by the Charles E. Zumkehr Professorship in Communication Studies at Ohio University. The article, published in the Journal of Heritage Tourism, presents a new method researchers, museums and historic sites can employ to better tell their stories and is based on research funded by the National Science Foundation.
Faculty and Staff | 27
RESILIENCE. PURPOSE. HOPE.
First-of-its-Kind Research Center Established A partnership between ETSU and Ballad Health has resulted in the establishment of a first-of-its-kind institute to promote the awareness and empirical study of adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs. The Strong BRAIN (Building Resilience through ACEs-Informed Networking) Institute will facilitate the development and dissemination of evidence-based practices that prevent, reduce or mitigate the negative effects of ACEs on health and health disparities. The institute will also work to inform the citizenry and workforce in the Appalachian Highlands on the importance of being trauma informed. ACEs are considered traumatic experiences, such as abuse, neglect and family dysfunction that can disrupt the safe, stable and nurturing environments that children need to succeed and thrive. ACEs can have lasting effects on children as they mature into adults, leading to adulthood disease, disability and social impediments. Studies have found the more adverse events a person experiences as a child, the higher the risk 28 | 2019-2020 Annual Report
of that person having health, social and economic problems. Established through a five-year gift from Ballad Health to ETSU, the Strong BRAIN Institute will be guided by an advisory board comprised of ETSU experts, Ballad Health experts and community members. “We cannot thank Ballad Health enough for once again stepping up to offer this gift that will not only bring additional national recognition to ETSU, but this institute will truly benefit the people of this region, both directly and indirectly,”
President Noland said. “When Ballad Health and ETSU came together to form the Strong BRAIN Institute, one of our main strategic objectives was to ensure this research center serves as a resource regionally, nationally and even internationally on the study of adverse childhood experiences and the social determinants it can have on health.” Dr. Wally Dixon, chair of the ETSU Department of Psychology, will serve as the founding director of the Strong BRAIN Institute, which is located on the ETSU campus.
Center for Rural Health Research Moves Forward In its first year, the Center for Rural Health Research at ETSU has made significant strides in its mission to improve health and enhance the quality of life of people living in rural and economically depressed communities across Tennessee, Central Appalachia and around the country. The Center for Rural Health Research was created in July 2019 by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, who announced that ETSU would receive a $1.5 million firstyear grant for the implementation of the center, and then a recurring $750,000 annual investment to support the ongoing operations. These appropriations were recommended by Gov. Lee and approved by the Tennessee General Assembly during the 111th legislative session. In addition, Alan Levine, chairman and chief executive officer of Ballad Health,
announced the system would contribute more than $15 million, the largest gift in ETSU history, to the center over the course of the next 10 years. Dr. Randy Wykoff, dean of the ETSU College of Public Health, was named founding director of the center. In July 2020, Michael Meit, a nationally respected leader in rural health, was named director of research and programs. Over the past year, the center has grown in reputation, funding, and staff. It has added four full-time research staff and four graduate assistants. To create and advance the work of the center, Wykoff has spoken to more than 100 national, state and local rural experts. The center is working closely with Ballad Health and other regional partners. In August 2020, the Center for Rural Health Research, in collaboration with the ETSU Addiction Science Center and the NORC
Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis, received one of seven federally-funded rural health research centers, a $2.8 million grant award over four years. This award will provide the opportunity to conduct nationally focused research designed to improve rural health and well-being. Most recently, a special issue of the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) featured the work of the Center for Rural Health Research at ETSU, with center staff contributing two lead editorials and two research articles. Meit also was featured in an AJPH podcast to support the rural health issue. “The work of ETSU and the Center for Rural Health Research that is featured prominently in the premier public health journal in the United States reflects the growing national reputation of the university for excellence in health care, public health and rural health,” Wykoff said. Research | 29
The ETSU Center for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment, established in 2016, began 2020 with a new name: the ETSU Addiction Science Center. The change is part of a concerted effort to keep pace with the evolving nature of the opioid crisis and to provide an opportunity to expand research efforts. The College of Nursing was named to a cohort of health care systems participating as study sites for the Opioid Quality Improvement (QI) Collaborative. The Collaborative’s goal is to support health care systems in implementing recommendations from the CDC Guide for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain and using associated QI measures to improve chronic pain care and opioid prescribing management. $275,000 awarded by Research Development Committee to fund research activity
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Dr. Chaya Nanjundeswaran Guntupalli (College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences) received a three-year grant from the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders, National Institutes of Health to study a novel approach to treating vocal fatigue.
$53 million in extramural research and sponsored programs funding awarded during 2019-20 575 studies receiving Institutional Review Board approval.
Donna Paulsen (Communication and Storytelling Studies) won the 2019 3 Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition with a presentation on “Women’s Experiences with Infertility Within Faith Communities.” The competition challenges students to distill complex thesis topics into engaging, three-minute presentations for a general audience. A $1.24 million grant is funding educational costs for a group of graduate students in special education and speech-language pathology whose career goals are to work with young people who have high-intensity support needs, such as persons with multiple disabilities, significant Autism or significant cognitive, physical or sensory disabilities. This is a collaborative project between the Clemmer College and Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences.
Dr. Ashana Puri (Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy) received one of 16 national American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy 2020 New Investigator Awards to aid in her research of the transdermal naloxone treatment of opioid addiction, potentially saving more lives from overdose by making the life-saving drug easier to administer and require less doses. Dr. Alok Agrawal (Quillen College of Medicine) received a $1.85 million award for an R01 grant proposal from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health to further develop his research on a protein that could be used to develop a treatment for pneumococcal infection.
Dr. Alyson Chroust, Department of Psychology, is leading a study looking at ways visual processing and motor development in newborns might be affected by prenatal opioid exposure. If differences between exposed and non-exposed newborns are found, the team hopes to use the results of this and subsequent research to design intervention methods to help affective infants with low cognitive and motor skills to improve. Research | 31
DISEASE ADDICTION CANCER REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARDIOVASCULAR ACCESS TO CARE
PREGNANCY CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE
TO CARE PREGNANCYACCESS TO CAREADDICTION ACCESS PREGNANCY REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH WOMEN’S HEALTH CANCER
PREGNANCYADDICTION PREGNANCY CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE ACCESS TO CARE ACCESS TO CARE
A Leader in Women's Health ETSU has created a new interprofessional research center that is expanding efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of women, particularly women from rural areas. The ETSU Center for Applied Research and Evaluation in Women’s Health (CARE Women’s Health) was formally established in 2020. However, its roots go back to 2017, when ETSU’s College of Public Health received a grant to fund research and evaluation efforts aimed at reducing
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unintended and teen pregnancy and improving maternal health outcomes. Over the last three years, that project has blossomed into additional funding opportunities and an interprofessional team whose aim is to advance women’s health by engaging in research that informs policy and practice. CARE Women’s Health leverages the expertise of approximately 50 ETSU students, faculty, and staff members, as well as collaborations with other universities, public health agencies, and stakeholders from throughout the country. In addition to its main office at ETSU, CARE has faculty and staff working and
conducting studies in Alabama and South Carolina. While the primary focus of CARE is the South/Appalachian region of the United States, its work has implications for women nationwide. “ETSU has always been deeply connected to its community and to its region,” said Dr. Amal Khoury, director of CARE Women’s Health and a professor in the College of Public Health. “This is a defining feature of our university. We see CARE as an extension to the university’s commitment to its region, and we see it as a regional and national player that has already established ETSU as a leader in women’s health research.”
Research on moss conducted by Dr. Aruna Kilaru and doctoral students in the Department of Biological Sciences could enhance crop success and mitigate stress and pain in humans. Kilaru and spring 2020 graduate Dr. Imdadul Haq found that a lipid, anandamide, which is present in humans, is also present in certain mosses that date back millions of years and are highly resistant to environmental stressors. Further studies could lead to effective pain relief for humans, the development of drought-tolerant crops, and perhaps many other benefits.
Dr. Richard Carter, Department of Biological Sciences, is studying patterns of reinforcement in the larynx of bats, looking deeper into how the windpipe, larynx and lungs work together to produce echolocation, the screaming sounds that enable them to form images of their surroundings and find their way around in the darkness. 217 theses and dissertations completed 2 million database searches at Sherrod Library Two extinct plant species that are entirely new to science were found at the Gray Fossil Site. Corylopsis grisea, a member of the witch hazel family, and Cavilignum pratchettii, a flowering shrub or tree, have helped fill in the picture of how this part of the world has changed over time.
Ten students participated in the fourth annual SoCon Undergraduate Research Forum (SURF). The Undergraduate Research Division (Honors College) assisted students with project presentations on topics ranging from biochemistry to marketing, nutrition and psychology. Researchâ€‚|â€‚33
RESILIENCE. PURPOSE. HOPE.
Community Engagement Elevating Our Region Southwest Virginia Northeast Tennessee Regional Economic Forum A refocused effort to unite growth and economic development efforts across Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia dominated headlines and conversations in 2019. The Regional Economic Forum (September 10) afforded ETSU the opportunity to provide the venue and present regional trends that inspired candid discussions about the future of the Appalachian Highlands. “Our university’s founding mission was to improve the lives of the people of this region, therefore it was fitting for ETSU to help bring together stakeholders and address this call to action and ensure our region is a place people want to call home for decades to come,” said President Noland, who joined Dr. Jon Smith, director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at ETSU to outline the economic health and vitality of the region.
opportunity to support its mission by engaging nonprofits and service organizations across the region. The ETSU Elevates initiative was announced on the anniversary of the East Tennessee State Normal School dedication (October 10, 1911). ETSU Elevates awarded $5,000 service grants to nine projects aimed at improving the region. Applicants were randomly selected to participate in “Shark Tank” style pitch competitions. Each team was allowed seven minutes to present their project followed by Q&A with a live audience. Three winners out of five participating teams were selected by audience vote. ETSU hosted three competitions before the COVID-19 pandemic halted in-person gatherings and activities. Winning teams received funds to support a variety of unique projects.
Elevates Winners Leadership Kingsport: Fresh Start Morning Club at Roosevelt Elementary School Johnson City Public Library Teens: De-Stress Week Program
More than 400 in-person guests and hundreds of online viewers watched as Gov. Bill Lee championed local leaders and provided encouragement for the tough work ahead. Mark Fuller, founding chairman and CEO of Rosc Global, offered insight on the requirements to compete globally to engage business and manufacturing opportunities. A panel discussion included Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president and general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway; Mark Costa, chairman and CEO of Eastman; William B. Greene, Jr., chairman of BancTenn Corp; Alan Levine, chairman and CEO of Ballad Health; and Scott Niswonger, founder of Landair.
ETSU Elevates Housing: Critical Home Repairs For Families in The Tri-Cities
Feeding 5,000: Expand Food Program in Sullivan County
Almost a month after business leaders discussed how to take the Appalachian Highlands to the next level, ETSU embarked on another
STREAMWORKS: Regional competition For Underwater Robotics Teams
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Unicoi County Animal Shelter Critter Crew: Expansion For Cats and Kittens Project SHEroes: The SHEroes Journey Workshop Series for ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) affected adolescent-aged females Inspiring Girls to Become Engineers: STEM Camps For Girls Inc. Bunkheads: Bed Build Day For Children In Need
Community Engagement | 35
ETSU was the second institution in the country selected to host free entrepreneurship training for veterans and transitioning service members with business ideas and those refining early stage businesses. The inaugural STRIVE (Startup Training Resources Inspiring Veteran Entrepreneurship) class had 18 participants.
ETSU’s second annual Festival of Ideas – “Dreams and Discord” – featured appearances from actress/veterans advocate Melissa Fitzgerald; pop singer/ songwriter Mandy Harvey; author Jon Meacham; and playwright/ actor/director Mike Wiley. A number of ETSU faculty and musicians, along with community organizations, were instrumental in bringing “Tell It to Me,” the Johnson City Sessions 90th Anniversary Celebration, to fruition in downtown Johnson City in October 2019.
Known for his role in the popular Discovery Channel series MythBusters, New York Times bestselling author Adam Savage drew nearly 1,500 people to his keynote addresses for IDEAcademy 2019 (Business and Technology).
The one-day music festival commemorated the historically significant and influential Appalachian music recording sessions conducted in Johnson City by Columbia Records in 1928 and 1929. ETSU and Volunteer State Community College formed a partnership to increase access to health and safety training for businesses and industries in Northeast Tennessee and the surrounding region. 558 client encounters provided by Community Counseling Clinic 36 | 2019-2020 Annual Report
Quillen College of Medicine students organized and hosted the inaugural Quillen 100 bicycle race and community health fair held at Bristol Motor Speedway in October 2019. They raised more than $6,000 for the Tri-Cities American Heart Association and drew cyclists to the area from as far away as Alabama, Kentucky and Ohio.
Participating as part of the ACT (Academia-CPESN Transformation) Pharmacy Collaborative National Day of Service, 15 student pharmacists from Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy served at four different independent community pharmacies across the region conducting blood pressure readings, immunizations and patient education.
Our City: Celebrating 150 Years The history of East Tennessee State University is inextricably intertwined with the city it calls home, and the university is proud to have helped Johnson City celebrate its Sesquicentennial in 2019. Each month of the Sesquicentennial had a theme, and ETSU was the focus of October. During that month, a ceremony commemorated both the 150th anniversary of Johnson City’s founding in 1869 and the 108th anniversary of ETSU’s founding in 1911 on land donated by railroad magnate George L. Carter. Several trees were planted, and, on a stone saved from the original construction of
the university, a plaque was affixed which reads, in part: “From the moment our doors first opened in 1911, East Tennessee State University has been a proud partner with the City of Johnson City in enhancing the quality of life for the people in our hometown and across the region. ETSU is proud and honored to call Johnson City home. Happy 150th anniversary!”
artifacts, and personal and family histories. In addition, the Reece Museum hosted several exhibits in conjunction with the Sesquicentennial, including “Johnson City Collects: Recent Acquisitions to the Reece Museum’s Permanent Collection,” “The Tri-City Beverage Story: A History of Dr. Enuf and Mountain Dew in Johnson City,” and “Johnson City: Then and Now.”
ETSU contributed to the Sesquicentennial Celebration in other ways, as well, including the “Johnson City’s History Harvest: Preserving Our Heritage,” an effort by the Department of History to locate and digitally preserve documents, photographs,
Representing ETSU on the Sesquicentennial Commission, which planned and implemented the celebration, were ETSU First Lady Donna Noland and Joy Fulkerson, Director of Leadership and Civic Engagement. Community Engagement | 37
A Conversation About Opioids United States Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams visited the campus of East Tennessee State University with U.S. Rep. Dr. Phil Roe on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, where they hosted a roundtable discussion about opioids. Approximately 65 university, community, state and federal leaders attended the roundtable discussion, held in ETSU’s Interprofessional Education and Research Center (also known as Building 60) on the VA campus. Adams and Roe were joined on the platform by Dr. Lisa Piercey, commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Health and an alumna of ETSU’s Quillen College of Medicine. Participants in the roundtable included representatives from law enforcement, health care, government, education and public health. In addition, ETSU Health leaders had the opportunity to meet with Adams while he was on campus. Adams is the 20th Surgeon General of the United States. As the Surgeon General, Adams holds the rank of Vice Admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. In this capacity, he oversees the operations of approximately 6,500 uniformed health officers who serve in nearly 800 locations around the world, promoting, protecting and advancing the health and safety of our nation. In response to the opioid epidemic, Adams issued the first Surgeon General’s Advisory in 13 years, urging more Americans to carry naloxone, an FDA-approved medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. While at ETSU, he applauded the university’s naloxone training efforts, including the university’s addition of naloxone in the AED responses boxes in all of its residence halls. 38 | 2019-2020 Annual Report
More than 100 individuals, including health care professionals, students, community leaders and other supporters, came together for White Coats for Black Lives, a solidarity march and demonstration against racial injustice on June 15, 2020. The event was planned by the ETSU chapter of the Student National Medical Association, the Gold Humanism Honor Society and the Organization of Student Representatives at Quillen College of Medicine.
Numerous ETSU faculty and students were key collaborators in planning and coordinating the inaugural Johnson City Film Festival in fall 2019. Short films, feature films and documentaries by ETSU students and filmmakers from throughout the U.S. and around the world were shown at several downtown Johnson City locations. The Tennessee Department of Human Services awarded a grant totaling nearly $5 million over the next four years to fund evidencebased BSN-RN home visiting services for first-time mothers who live in poverty in nine Northeast Tennessee counties. The grant was awarded to ETSU’s Nurse-Family Partnership program.
ETSU’s Tipton Gallery and Slocumb Galleries earned two awards in the 2020 Tennessee Association of Museums Awards of Excellence competition for a series of exhibits highlighting diversity. The galleries, operated through the Department of Art and Design, earned the Award of Excellence for Temporary Exhibit and the Award of Commendation for Publication, Book/Catalog/Annual Report for the “Diverse and Empowered: Africanx, Latinx and Asianx Art in Tennessee” series of exhibits.
Comedian Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias performed for a sell-out crowd at Johnson City’s Freedom Hall Civic Center for the ETSU Student Government Association’s Fall Major Concert of 2019. Four thousand tickets were distributed for this stop on the “Beyond the Fluffy” tour by Iglesias, who is one of America’s most successful stand-up comedians and star of the comedy series “Mr. Iglesias.”
The Archives of Appalachia, part of the Center for Appalachian Studies and Services, continued the process of digitizing all of the university’s yearbooks (1919-1998) and making them available online. Over the years, ETSU’s yearbook was called “Old Hickory,” “The Chalkline” and “The Buccaneer.”
386,013 client encounters reported at ETSU Health clinics $1.5 million in uncompensated care provided by Johnson City Community Health Center 2,885 client encounters at the Behavioral Health and Wellness Clinics
Community Engagement | 39
RESILIENCE. PURPOSE. HOPE.
A Campus Faces COVID-19 Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and safety of all members of the ETSU community has remained the institution’s highest priority. A COVID-19 Medical Response Team was created to make recommendations to university administration regarding modifications to campus operations, and a Future Operations Workgroup developed a series of operational stages to provide levels of restrictions and other health and safety guidelines. Major safety enhancements for the fall 2020 semester included: Reduction in campus population density – More than 80 percent of courses were offered online for fall 2020; all residence halls were transitioned to single occupancy for the fall semester. Increased cleaning and sanitation protocols – Led by the Facilities Management team, new processes include the use of E-Mister disinfectant spray in buildings across campus each day and altering classroom setup to meet physical distancing guidelines. Hand sanitizing stations were installed in the main entrances of all ETSU buildings. Facilities Management also made Plexiglass Service Shields available to offices on campus. Testing for COVID-19 – University Health Center made testing available for students, faculty and staff. A new testing initiative was launched encouraging students who were asymptomatic to be tested.
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Special Section: COVID-19 | 41
As the COVID-19 closures and quarantines disrupted lives across the Appalachian Highlands, a group of faculty and students in the Department of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology created an online outreach program that continued to help children and families who deal with communication disorders. The Tennessee Small Business Development Center at ETSU partnered with the College of Business and Technology’s Department of Management and Marketing to provide guidance, information, and resources to small businesses in our region amidst the COVID-19 crisis. The center offered weekly free Zoom webinars to explain available Small Business Administration funding and other financial assistance available.
The Johnson City Community Health Center and the Johnson City Downtown Day Center, which are managed by the College of Nursing, a part of ETSU Health, implemented policies to help ensure that patients continued receiving important medical care throughout the pandemic, even when faced with job loss or lack of insurance. The College of Public Health created a clearinghouse of information related to the pandemic ranging from tips on how to follow the latest COVID-19 statistics to information about how to stay safe and healthy. The webpage contains public service announcements, useful tools and links to helpful resources. It also features a series of short videos on various aspects of COVID-19.
March 10, 2020 Interim Provost Dr. Wilsie Bishop sends a memo to faculty and staff asking them to prepare for instructional continuity should classes have to be moved online.
March 9, 2020 University suspends all outgoing university-related international travel. 42 | 2019-2020 Annual Report
The Archives of Appalachia launched the project “Telling Your Story: Documenting COVID-19 in East Tennessee,” that will chronicle how the people of the Appalachian Highlands journeyed through the COVID-19 pandemic. ETSU launched the Bucs Help Bucs campaign to assist students facing extraordinary circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The ETSU family contributed $130,000 toward relief areas such as student/staff emergency funds, Bucky’s Food Pantry, the ETSU Counseling Center and other areas.
ETSU’s Reece Museum, Mary B. Martin School of the Arts and community supporters created “Local Art in the Age of the 2020 Global Pandemic,” a new juried collection of art to be housed in the Reece Museum’s Permanent Collection. The exhibit captures a sense of the collective experiences of the people of this region during the COVID-19 pandemic.
March 12, 2020 ETSU announces that all current face-to-face courses will move online effective Monday, March 23 for three weeks. Students are asked to stay home after spring break and resume classes online from their permanent residence.
March 11, 2020 ETSU suspends all outgoing university-related domestic travel. In a memo, students who are leaving for spring break are encouraged to take any books, items or learning materials that they might need and be mindful of travel alerts.
Quillen College of Medicine students partnered with the Washington County Emergency Management Agency to host several no-contact, drive-through medical supply and card collection drives. They donated the supplies to local first responders and health care workers.
To increase testing for COVID-19 in the Appalachian Highlands, ETSU Health established the region’s first drive-through community testing site. In the 12 days that the site was open, ETSU Health administered more than 600 tests at the tent and in its clinics. In addition, the testing site was instrumental in detecting the first cases of community spread of COVID-19 in the region.
April 2, 2020 University announces that all courses offered during summer terms would be taught online.
March 17, 2020 ETSU Health opens the first drive-through COVID-19 testing site in the region. Plans are announced to have employees transition to remote work.
Gov. Bill Lee formed a Coronavirus Task Force to enhance Tennessee’s coordinated efforts to prevent, identify, and treat potential cases of COVID-19. Dr. Jonathan Moorman, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Quillen College of Medicine, along with 14 other Tennesseans, including Quillen alumna Dr. Lisa Piercey, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health, helped to develop and execute strong precautionary measures, resource allocations, and emergency response plans.
April 24, 2020 ETSU Board of Trustees approves no increase for tuition and mandatory fees for the 2020-21 academic year.
April 3, 2020 President Noland announces the postponement of in-person Spring Commencement Exercises and related activities.
April 28, 2020 ETSU announces that faculty and staff will continue to work from remote locations through at least May 31. Special Section: COVID-19 | 43
In mid-April, more than 100 volunteers from across campus – including faculty, staff and senior leadership – began calling every ETSU student to provide a friendly voice during a difficult time to check in and say “hello.” The initiative, spearheaded by the Division of Student Life and Enrollment, was called Bucs Calling Bucs. Students in “Culture, Health and the COVID-19 Pandemic,” a summer course taught by Dr. Melissa Schrift, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, channeled their energies and anxieties into a class oral history project on the lived experiences of Appalachian communities during the pandemic. The students contributed photography, interviews and reflection papers commemorating the ways they, their families and others coped with the pandemic.
When Gov. Bill Lee and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission issued a statewide request for personal protective equipment, Dr. Keith Johnson and Bill Hemphill (pictured above) from ETSU’s Department of Engineering, Engineering Technology and Surveying immediately went to work developing a face shield prototype. ETSU faculty and staff and critical partners—Eastman, Borla Performance Industries, TRICOR, the Northeast Tennessee Regional Health Office and many others—fabricated, distributed, and stockpiled well over 10,000 emergency face shields for regional first responders and health care professionals. May 8, 2020
ETSU announces that emergency grants will be awarded to eligible students through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act resulting in $5.3 million awarded to over 8,500 students. Quillen College of Medicine and Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy hold virtual commencement ceremonies for their 2020 graduates.
May 9, 2020 ETSU holds a Virtual Commencement Ceremony to confer some 2,200 degrees to its May 2020 graduates. 44 | 2019-2020 Annual Report
June 1, 2020 Future Operations Workgroup releases its report recommending a series of operational stages, 1-4. Research activities resume on the ETSU campus.
June 18, 2020 ETSU announces changes to the Fall 2020 academic calendar in order to safeguard the health of our students, faculty and staff.
Due to the pandemic, the ETSU community came together to celebrate May 2020 Commencement in a virtual format. The university conferred some 2,200 degrees, and special guest Dolly Parton made a surprise appearance with words of wisdom and congratulations for the graduates.
Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy produced hand sanitizer to help ETSU Health clinics and first responders curb shortages and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Dr. Charles Collins, professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, produced the hand sanitizer in the college’s compounding lab.
July 1, 2020 A phased reopening of campus begins, with offices becoming accessible for in-person assistance during normal business hours.
Three special education faculty members – Dr. Pam Mims, Dr. Cynthia Chambers and Dr. Dawn Rowe – held weekly Zoom meetings for teachers and parents who were trying to educate students at home who have severe disabilities, such as significant Autism or significant cognitive, physical or sensory disabilities, or multiple disabilities. The faculty helped answer questions and provided for ideas, strategies and bestpractices for teaching children with severe disabilities in an online environment. As K-12 schools sent students home and instruction moved online, the Clemmer College stepped forward to offer a “Homework Hotline” that was staffed by education students and
August 10, 2020 ETSU announces that it would implement a Modified Stage 2 for the Fall 2020 term.
July 28, 2020 President Noland announces the approval of a new policy requiring all students, faculty and staff as well as visitors to campus to wear a face covering when in classrooms and other public areas as well as outdoor areas where a physical distance of six feet cannot be maintained.
was offered to school districts across the Northeast Tennessee region, from Sevierville to Mountain City. Dr. Karin Keith from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction organized the Homework Hotline. Dr. Kason O’Neil, also from the Clemmer College, helped lead a grassroots effort to provide strategies, resources and other virtual teaching techniques to the physical education community across the nation. O’Neil and five research colleagues convened a Zoom meeting and invited physical education faculty from across the nation to participate. More than 155 faculty participated in the call.
August 24, 2020 The fall semester begins.
August 17, 2020 In consultation with ETSU’s COVID Medical Response Team, ETSU announces the decision to shift residence halls to single bed occupancy. Special Section: COVID-19 | 45
COVID Time if needed