ETSU Today - Winter 2022

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Developing a Nursing Pipeline A Championship Season

Building The Future

Drafting Aspiring Craft Brewers

WINTER 2022 ETSU President Brian Noland Executive Editor Fred Sauceman Managing Editor Joe Smith Advancement/Alumni Editors Pamela Ritter Whitney Goetz Contributing Writers Kevin Brown Karen Crigger Lee Ann Davis O.J. Early Yasmeen Elayan Jennifer Hill Jared Nesbitt Melissa Nipper Rebecca Proffitt Fred Sauceman Joe Smith Jessica Vodden Raina Wiseman Briar Worley Graphic Design Jeanette Henry Jewell Contributing Photographers Ron Campbell Matthew Carroll Tanner Clements Robert King Larry Smith Charlie Warden


Appalachian Highlands Center for Nursing Advancement


Brendon Tiggs Shines a Light on ETSU’s Campus Community


College of Nursing Welcomes New Dean Meet Dr. Leann Horsley


Equity and Inclusion Conference Continues to Grow


President’s Perspective


Homecoming Makes Jubilant Return


Building the Future


Drafting Aspiring Craft Brewers

10 Bert C. Bach Theatre Opens 11 Renovations Provide Lifts and Leaps for Dance Program 12 New Center for Global Engagement 13 Planning for a Global Year 14 World-Class in a Rural Setting: Launching the ETSU Research Corporation 16 Meet the ETSU Board of Trustees: Charles Allen, Jr. 19 A Championship Season 20 Who’s Teaching at ETSU? 23 Helping to Heal 24 A Comprehensive Success


25 Honoring Jack Tottle

26 2021 Alumni Award Winners 28 DATELINE: ETSU 30 For ETSU’s Dr. Ingrid Luffman, Creekbanks are Her Classroom 33 Turning Hardship into Opportunity: Finnegan’s Challenge 34 Who’s Going to ETSU? 36 Simon Harris: ‘Blue Collar’ Approach Paves the Way 37 Desmond Oliver Named Head Coach of ETSU Men’s Basketball 39 New Candy Shop is Cornerstone of University Commons 41 Meet the Voices of ETSU Esports 42 Treasures: Reece Museum Building Turns 100 43 Class Notes 46 ETSU Obituaries




hroughout the fall 2021 semester, many alumni took the opportunity to return home to their alma mater. They came for Homecoming, to attend an event, or to move their child into the residence halls. Many had not been on campus since the pandemic began. Some told me they were curious to walk through the newly renovated Culp Student Center, or peek inside the new Martin Center for the Arts, or simply stroll through the new University Commons and test the new slide beside Stone Hall. Back in 2015, I shared with you the exciting news that ETSU was moving into a five-year period that represented the highest number of construction projects on campus in decades. A new parking garage had been completed, and new projects on the horizon at that time included construction of a football stadium, a new performing arts center, a new day center for the Johnson City Downtown Clinic, and a data center, as well as major renovations for an interprofessional education center, Lamb Hall, and, of course, the D.P. Culp Student Center.

Now, as we move into the new year, all of those projects are complete, with the exception of Lamb Hall, where a $20 million renovation is continuing; yet, new opportunities have emerged that have set the stage for this five-year era of robust construction to begin a second chapter. In last year’s state budget, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee included nearly $3 million in planning money for a new academic building that will be built in the center of campus, providing classroom space for many of our humanities programs. In addition, another high-priority project is a renovation of Brown Hall, which houses our biology, chemistry, physics, and astronomy programs. This effort will be undertaken in two phases, beginning with the north side of the building. At the same time, we also are seeking funding for an integrative health services building that will provide educational and patient care space for the Quillen College of Medicine and the College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences. The opening of the University Commons was a milestone moment for the 2021 year, and that space, along with the Quad in front of Ball Hall, are popular campus destinations where students love to gather on warm days to study, have lunch, throw a Frisbee, or simply connect with their friends. As I walk across our grounds each day, I often reflect on how our campus – our home – has transformed in recent years. At one time, this campus was farmland before George L. Carter donated it to become home to East Tennessee State University. As new buildings rise from the ground and other major renovations occur, original buildings, such as Carter Hall and Gilbreath Hall, where our first students spent so much of their time, are still part of our campus and are places where our students continue to learn, live, and build memories. Our campus home looks much different today than it did back in the early 1900s on those warm spring evenings as our Normal School students hurried back to Carter Hall in order to make curfew. It even looks drastically different for our more recent graduates who were here just a few years ago. These major updates did not just happen because the need was there. As you will read inside this issue, our comprehensive Campaign for ETSU exceeded its goal, and that financial support helped make these transformations possible. Our students, faculty, staff, and this community greatly appreciate all you did to support our Campaign for ETSU. You made our dream possible! Each of you will always be part of the ETSU family, and this campus will forever be your home. We look forward to having you back home again soon.


Brian Noland President

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APPALACHIAN HIGHLANDS CENTER FOR NURSING ADVANCEMENT BALLAD HEALTH, ETSU CREATE CENTER TO INCREASE PIPELINE OF OPPORTUNITY Ballad Health has committed a $10 million investment to create the Appalachian Highlands Center for Nursing Advancement at East Tennessee State University. The Center will be dedicated to bringing nursing, business, liberal arts, education, and other academic and support programs together to increase the pipeline of opportunity and augment the supply of nurses and nursing support in the Appalachian Highlands. The Center will develop partnerships with other colleges and universities to advance the clinical practice of nursing, enhance interprofessional collaboration, contribute to knowledge about nursing workflow, and generate nursing scholarship and innovation.

Not only will the Center work with current nurses and nursing students, but it also will seek to attract more students to the nursing profession. The Center will partner with other institutions to develop a common pipeline for high school students to identify those with aptitudes for the sciences and help match them with employment and pathways to certification as a nursing support professional or for a nursing degree. These programs could match students with jobs within Ballad Health while they are in high school, which provides a path to certification by their high school graduations, linking them with the possibility of scholarships for nursing degrees, as well as employment opportunities within Ballad Health.

“As the largest nursing program in the state of Tennessee and as an institution whose mission is to improve the lives of the people of our region, we are excited about the opportunity Ballad Health has created to increase this vital pipeline of nurses, while also seeking to provide support and ongoing enhancement of our existing workforce,” said ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland. “ETSU is poised to continue to meet the challenge of the nursing shortage through the Center for Nursing Advancement, which will be rooted in our strong service, teaching, and research missions.” The Appalachian Highlands Center for Nursing Advancement will focus on data and research, collaboration with key stakeholders across the region, and advocacy to promote the nursing profession. “Our nurses and their direct support teams, such as certified nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses, and the other allied health professionals who care directly for patients, are the heart of the health care team,” said Ballad Health Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Alan Levine. “The dynamics of the nursing profession have changed so much, becoming even more complex because of the challenges of the pandemic. We now seek to learn from our nurses what we need to do to evolve to better support the needs of our nursing teams and enhance their resilience in a very difficult environment. Partnerships with these regional institutions of higher education within the Appalachian Highlands are just the beginning of this collaborative effort to invest in health care workforce development.”



Even prior to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the nation faced a shortage of nurses, with more than 1 million nurses expected to retire before 2030, according to a study published in Medical Care. Combining this with the historically high acuity of hospitalized patients creates a high-stress situation for practicing nurses, leading to burnout and higher turnover rates.

“Inspiring and educating the next generation of nurses and nurse educators is perhaps more important now than it has ever been,” said Dr. Leann Horsley, Dean of ETSU’s College of Nursing. “The Appalachian Highlands Center for Nursing Advancement will be critical to laying the groundwork for tomorrow’s nursing workforce in our region and ensuring that not only do we overcome the challenges of the pandemic, but that we also are proactive in creating a resilient and wellprepared workforce that can meet the future needs of our region as it grows.” The announcement of the creation of the Center has drawn support from throughout the Appalachian Highlands and in Nashville. “The nation is facing a labor shortage with profound impacts on health care,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Lee. “Ballad Health is investing into East Tennessee State University to develop the Appalachian Highlands Center for Nursing Advancement, which will not only serve the needs of the Appalachian Highlands region, but the entire state. My administration looks forward to working with Ballad Health and ETSU as they build solutions to the national nursing shortage.”


Before beginning her role at ETSU on August 16, 2021, Horsley served as an assistant dean, associate professor, and interim director for the Healthcare Simulation Center (HCSC) at South Dakota State University College of Nursing, the state’s land grant institution with the largest and most comprehensive nursing education programs. She has held many roles throughout her career, but her best memories involve helping students succeed. “The highlights of my career as a nurse educator have always been when the ‘lightbulb’ goes off in a student’s head, when students begin to synthesize information to solve complex problems,” she said. “Now it is when I see our current nursing educators assisting students to reach their maximum potential as nurses who will impact many lives.” Horsley’s own path to a career in nursing began when she was in high school. “I had a close family friend who was three years older than I was, and she was very influential in my early academic career path,” Horsley said. “As she was in nursing school, I would hear about all that she was learning and the impact she was having on the lives of others. I wanted to be able to have that same positive impact on others.” Horsley completed her B.S.N. in 1990 and an M.S. in nursing education in 2005 from the University of Oklahoma. In 2012, she received her Ph.D. in nursing from the University of Kansas. As a nurse, she served in medical/ surgical, critical care, and emergency/ trauma care, laying the groundwork for the progression of her career into higher education.

“As a nurse, I have always provided education to patients, families, and nursing students, but I formally became a nurse educator in the spring of 2006 when I accepted a position at Tulsa Community College in Tulsa, Oklahoma,” she said. Throughout her career, Horsley has maintained an interest in health care simulation, beginning in 2004 while she was at the University of Oklahoma. “Simulation is an instructional strategy used during experiential learning,” she said. “My knowledge and experience with this pedagogy grew into a program of research involving interprofessional education and collaborative practice.” While at SDSU College of Nursing, Horsley provided the leadership and oversight of all faculty, staff, and educational experiences at the Sioux Falls campus, located 55 miles south of SDSU’s main campus in Brookings. She was appointed to lead the HCSC as interim director, providing leadership for 25 facilitators in the university’s comprehensive simulation program that earned provisional accreditation through the Society for Simulation in Healthcare in 2018. She also served as lead nurse planner for the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning, and in 2019, she was elected to a two-year term as the vice president for programs on the board of directors for the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning. Horsley has participated in two leadership development programs that have provided a strong foundation for her as a leader. From 2014-2015, she was a scholar in Sigma Theta Tau International’s Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy. More recently, she completed the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s Elevating Leaders in Academic Nursing program, specifically designed


As the new Dean of the ETSU College of Nursing, Dr. Leann Horsley brings more than 30 years of experience in nursing, nurse education, and health care simulation.

for aspiring deans and faculty in a leadership role who desire to advance to the next level of leadership. “The ETSU College of Nursing is a leader in the state for preparing nurses, advanced practice nurses, and nurse educators, and the school is also a national model in the arena of faculty practice and delivering care to underserved populations,” said ETSU Provost Kimberly D. McCorkle. “Dr. Horsley was chosen from a field of outstanding candidates, and we were very impressed by her vision for the ETSU College of Nursing. I look forward to working with her as we continue the work of the college, which has been training nurses for more than 60 years.” Melissa Nipper is Director of Marketing and Communications in the Office of University Marketing and Communications.

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After the COVID-19 pandemic forced organizers to push the 2020-21 academic year Homecoming to spring 2021, East Tennessee State University students and alumni alike were thrilled to have the opportunity to celebrate Homecoming in the fall semester once again. “I think this Homecoming, coming back from a COVID spring celebration, was so exciting for everyone! Students were eager to get involved, and there was a sense of normalcy after missing out on so many other opportunities,” said Sadie King, Student Government Association Secretary of State. “I am so happy that everyone got to come together and participate in a traditional fall Homecoming.” Once again nestled in the red, orange, and yellow hues of Appalachian fall, Homecoming was held from November 1-7. In contrast to the previous Homecoming, this fall’s events allowed for in-person participation for all. While face masks were required for events being held indoors, the bustling atmosphere from attendees excited to take that next step into normalcy was nearly tangible.


“After the limited participation during the spring Homecoming due to safety restrictions, I think students were really primed to enjoy a full range of activities this fall,” said Carter Warden, Director of Student Organizations and Activities. “The weather was absolutely fantastic for the festive kick-off events for the carnival and the pep rally, but that dunking booth was still cold.” Participation in the events was up compared to last spring’s Homecoming; events like the carnival and pep rally saw student attendance in the hundreds. Other events included blood drives, a skit night, a comedy show, a fashion show, and an event named “Light Up Night,” in which campus icon Brendon “Light Up Guy” Tiggs hosted his last campus performance. A massive 90-foot-tall Ferris wheel was one of the main features of Homecoming, giving attending community members the opportunity to witness breathtaking aerial views of ETSU. “We had considered bringing a Ferris wheel to campus in previous years,” said Warden. “However, considering the theme for this year, we were absolutely determined to make it happen. I’m so glad that we were able to. In just over two


“It was very special to see the Homecoming celebration return to the fall semester,” said ETSU alumnus and staff member Jacob Bilek. “I’m still in awe at the amount of work the Student Government Association must have put into it. The events came together beautifully, and in such a short amount of time. Normally, they have an entire year to prepare something of that magnitude. Organizers this year only had half of that, and it was incredibly done.” Briar R. Worley is Marketing/Communications Specialist in the ETSU Office of University Marketing and Communications. | Photos by Ron Campbell


After forgoing a football game last spring, ETSU hosted its Homecoming game against the Virginia Military Institute and came away with a 27-20 victory in front of a record crowd of approximately 10,416. POLO (Preview and Orientation Leader Organization) member and Kappa Delta active Trinity Owens was crowned Homecoming Queen, and Sigma Chi’s Cody Allen was crowned Homecoming King. The overall Homecoming point champions were Circle K International, Black Affairs Association, and POLO.


days, nearly 3,000 people enjoyed the ride and a unique view of campus.”





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For Brendon Tiggs, dancing is an act of public expression and self-acceptance. Hailing from New Orleans, he graduated from East Tennessee State University in December 2021 with a bachelor’s in psychology and minors in sociology and social work. “I came to ETSU for a fresh start,” recalls Tiggs. “I’ll never forget the second week of classes, when I decided to go ahead and perform. I didn’t think it would get this far.” Starting with only an ihome speaker and light-up shoes, Tiggs made a decision that put into motion something he never anticipated would happen: he began to dance, every single day. Through this act of individualism and perseverance, he inspired thousands of people on campus. Over time, he became an ETSU icon: Light Up Guy. With his daily performances in high-traffic areas on campus, one would be hard-pressed to find a student who isn’t familiar with the name “Light Up Guy.” Known for his LED-adorned displays (and his incredible resilience to fickle Appalachian weather), Tiggs has managed to leave a lasting impression on the ETSU community. It all started with a childhood dream. Inspired by performers he saw in the media, Tiggs began to pursue dance as a method of self-expression. “Since I was little, I would watch videos of people dancing. It started with American dance crew Jabbawockeez,” recalled


Tiggs. “And then, I really started to get into the dancers Les Twins. They really inspired me.” Since then, Tiggs has been working to improve his performances. All of his choreography is self-taught, and he designs his own light equipment. Despite being self-made, he isn’t in it all alone. Tiggs created a community for himself not only on campus, but online. His Instagram account boasts nearly 16,000 followers, and there he flourishes in a community where he and other artists support one another. While he is known for creating his own tracks, he often boosts other artists up by incorporating their music into his performances. Tiggs said these communities have enabled him to grow. Unfortunately, his journey to personal freedom was not always a pleasant one. Tiggs often struggled with being ostracized by those who reacted poorly, sometimes maliciously, to his unique methods of self-expression. “When I was in high school, people used to bully me for dancing, for just being myself,” admitted Tiggs. “I almost gave up on everything, but a part of me kept saying, ‘No, don’t give up.’ A person only loses when they give in, so as long as I’m putting up a fight, I haven’t been beaten yet.” While Tiggs said he initially came to ETSU in 2016 feeling reserved and withdrawn, it was only a matter of time before the support of the campus community began to help him shape and rebuild his confidence.

When I started at ETSU, everything changed. Everyone was friendly, and they supported me. That’s what got me to stay.” Brendon Tiggs

“I used to be very introverted, very shy, unconfident. I didn’t know anyone, especially after having moved here from Louisiana. No one really knew who I was; I didn’t have any family here,” said Tiggs. “When I started at ETSU, everything changed. Everyone was friendly, and they supported me. That’s what got me to stay.” Even after so much love and support from those on campus, Tiggs confessed that sometimes it’s still hard to believe that he’s impacted others in the way that they’ve impacted him. “Feeling that I’ve inspired everyone is still a big deal for me,” said Tiggs. “I am very happy that I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to motivate people.” Looking back, Tiggs is in awe of how much his life has changed. He credits that to community support and an unyielding spirit. “There’s no future except the one that you create. You have to be yourself,” said Tiggs. “Even if it’s a scary world. A lot of people don’t really expect change, but when you create, they can’t look away. They have to see, so I say, ‘Watch.’ This is who you are. This is your only life. Focus on what you want to do. Don’t do it to impress, do it to express yourself.” Briar R. Worley is Marketing/Communications Specialist in the ETSU Office of University Marketing and Communications. | Photos by Ron Campbell WINTER 2022 x 7


OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY PROGRAM ALMOST READY FOR FIRST CLASS The steady progression of construction on the first floor of Charles Allen Hall, also known as Building 2 on the VA campus, is a visible reminder that ETSU is almost ready to welcome its first class of occupational therapy students to campus in May 2022. ETSU’s Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) Program received approval in 2021 and began accepting applications for up to 30 spots in the first cohort. Just weeks shy of the December 1, 2021, application deadline, almost 300 applications were in progress and more than 60 were already completed for the indemand program. “For so long, the program has been a concept, as we’ve worked through state, institutional, and accreditation processes,” said Dr. Rachel Ellis, Program Director. “To finally be able to see actual student names populate in that application system and to see the ongoing construction in Building 2 is exciting. We’re just a few months away from having a complete presence on campus.” The first OTD class will be selected and notified by the end of February 2022 and will begin their studies in May. ETSU’s program is an entry-level doctorate in occupational therapy, designed for students who have completed a bachelor’s degree, but do not necessarily have a master’s degree or professional experience in OT. Therefore, the students can come from many different backgrounds and majors, as long as they have the prerequisite coursework. Currently, there are only two OTD programs offered in Tennessee. ETSU’s program will prepare graduates as generalists to help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. OTD students will participate in ETSU’s signature interprofessional education experiences, regional and national clinical experiences, and community hands-on learning opportunities so that they are well prepared for an in-demand career in occupational therapy. ETSU already has letters of commitment from approximately 70 local, regional, and national clinical sites representing a variety of populations and settings. These sites will allow ETSU’s OTD students to get clinical experience in acute care, pediatrics, outpatient care, skilled nursing care, in-patient rehabilitation, and more. 8 x ETSU TODAY


In addition to the new students, Ellis is excited about the faculty and staff coming on board to launch the program. In July, Dr. Ron Sheppard was hired as the academic fieldwork coordinator, and searches are currently underway for a capstone coordinator and additional faculty positions. The new students and faculty will be housed in a state-of-the-art physical rehabilitative sciences hub in Building 2, which is also home to ETSU’s Physical Therapy Program on the second floor. A $4 million renovation project began in August 2021 to 14,000 square feet of space on the first floor, which will house the OTD program, as well as a Master of Science in Orthotics and Prosthetics program currently in development. Having the three physical rehabilitative sciences programs under one roof and on the same campus as the medical and pharmacy schools will create a natural interprofessional learning environment for the students, Ellis said. “We are rounding out the rehab offerings that are already a successful part of ETSU,” Ellis said. “The arrival of our occupational therapy program creates a fuller picture of what we offer and fills a need for an in-demand field.” The employment of occupational therapists is projected to grow 16 percent from 2019-2029, nearly four times the national average growth rate of four percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. “It’s evident that there is a growing need for occupational therapists, and ETSU is poised to help meet that need in exciting and innovative ways with our focus on interprofessional education and immersive community-based experiences,” said Dr. Jeff Snodgrass, Chair of the Department of Rehabilitative Sciences. Melissa Nipper is Director of Marketing and Communications in the Office of University Marketing and Communications.

DRAFTING ASPIRING CRAFT BREWERS, ETSU LAUNCHES NEW MINOR Across the United States, breweries have become incredibly popular. According to the Brewer’s Association, in 2020, taprooms alone produced over 1.8 million barrels containing more than 55 million gallons of beer. Breweries are springing up in Appalachia. During the summer of 2021, Tennessee Hills Brewing and Distilling opened a new location on West Walnut Street, the site of a $33 million investment project by the City of Johnson City aimed at revitalizing the space that connects downtown with East Tennessee State University. And now at ETSU, students have the opportunity to minor in Brewing and Distillation Studies. “This exciting minor will enable our students to find success in the craft beverage industry,” said Dr. Sharon James McGee, Dean of the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies at ETSU. “There is so much science and business training that students need to be successful in this field, and ETSU is providing it. The Division of CrossDisciplinary Studies is proud to be the home for this undergraduate minor that draws from courses across the university to provide students a grounding in all aspects of brewing and distillation.” In the minor, students will enroll in a variety of courses. Fermentation science, business, marketing, entrepreneurship, and the cultural and historical aspects of brewing and distillation in this region and beyond are among the courses that students will take. In addition, those minoring in the new program will work through the legal, ethical, and social aspects of alcohol consumption, as well as the effects on both communities and economies. Learning will go well beyond the classroom. At ETSU, students will get hands-on experience thanks to the university’s relationship with Tennessee Hills. “Tennessee Hills is humbled yet very proud to help a great university like ETSU provide its students with world-

Dr. Kimberly D. McCorkle class experiential learning opportunities in the rapidly growing distillation and fermentation sciences fields,” said the CEO of Tennessee Hills Scott Andrew and President and founder Stephen Callahan in a joint statement. “Northeast Tennessee has been a cultured home to these craft sciences for over 200 years, and there is no better place than ETSU and these great ‘Tennessee Hills’ to make something like this happen.” ETSU Provost and Senior Vice President for Academics Dr. Kimberly D. McCorkle said the new minor is a key workforce development initiative. “This is a unique educational program that we developed through listening to the needs of regional industries,”

McCorkle said. “People are not necessarily training for this in Northeast Tennessee, so we are helping to fill that void. Meeting the workforce needs of the Appalachian region goes directly to the core of what this institution has been doing for more than 100 years, and we are grateful to Tennessee Hills for partnering with us on this venture and for investing in the future of our students.” To learn more about the minor, visit O.J. Early is Marketing/Communications Specialist in ETSU’s Office of University Marketing and Communications. | Photo by Ron Campbell

WINTER 2022 x 9

BERT C. BACH THEATRE OPENS Inside the Martin Center for the Arts, students in ETSU’s Department of Theatre and Dance have found a new place to learn and a new place to perform. This fall, the Bert C. Bach Theatre opened its doors to its first production, Men on Boats, which enjoyed a completely sold-out run in November. “Our students and faculty have been anticipating the opening of the Bach Theatre for years, while others have been waiting decades for this moment,” said Karen Brewster, Chair of ETSU’s Department of Theatre and Dance. “We have a truly state-of-the-art black box theatre, and we are so excited to welcome our patrons and the community to our new home.” Some have asked: What is a black box theatre? “As a black box theatre, the theatre is designed to be a flexible space that can be transformed into whatever we want it to be,” Brewster said.


“For example, this season began as the Colorado River during Men on Boats and will become a family living room in February for Straight White Men, and then transform to various locations across the mountains of North Carolina in Bright Star,” adds ETSU faculty member and Assistant Department Chair Cara Harker, who directed Men on Boats. The theatre also allows for flexible seating for the audience. For Men on Boats, the audience was seated in the center of the Grand Canyon where the action takes place, but for other shows, arrangements can be made for theatre-in-the-round or the traditional proscenium setup. “We have the technical capacity to do just about anything,” Brewster said. “Our lighting capabilities have no boundaries, and we worked with our consultants to create acoustic settings that are ideal for all of our performances. Plus, the specialized sprung floor setting provides support for our dancers and actors as they move across the stage.”


Located adjacent to the theatre, which is also a classroom for theatre and dance students, are the costume shop and scene shop, as well as dressing rooms and a green room. The theatre is named in honor of longtime ETSU leader Dr. Bert C. Bach, who retired from the university in 2020 after spending nearly 26 years as the institution’s chief academic officer. Bach has been a champion for the arts at ETSU and the region. Up Next in the Bert C. Bach Theatre: Straight White Men by Young Jean Lee, February 17-20. For tickets, visit




As dance students at ETSU anticipate performing on the new Bert C. Bach Theatre stage, the classrooms where they train have also undergone major upgrades. Brooks Gym is home to the Lady Bucs basketball team, and it also provides space for ETSU’s aerial dance studio where dance students are learning to fly. “The presence of our aerial dance program continues to draw more students every year,” said Cara Harker, Associate Chair and Professor of Theatre and Dance. “The popularity of aerial dance within the arts industry is booming, and our students are able to learn skills and techniques that will help them be competitive in auditions and as they pursue other performance opportunities.” Recent upgrades to the studio include the installation of floor-to-ceiling walls, as well as acoustic panels that have improved sound. “In teaching aerial dance, we primarily use silks and the lyra, or aerial hoop,” she said. “Previously, in order to change from one apparatus to another, we would have to make special arrangements to bring in ladders simply to move from hoops to silks. Now, we can make that switch in a matter of minutes. “This has been a huge game-changer for us,” Harker added. In addition to students who are theatre majors, dance is also offered as a minor at ETSU. Currently some 43 students, from

programs like nursing, dental hygiene, and exercise science, are minoring in dance. “They all share a common love for dance.” Next door to Brooks Gym at the Ballad Health Athletic Center, or Mini-Dome, renovations also have been completed on the dance studio that has been housed there for many years. The studio now has wall-to-wall mirrors and new acoustic panels, as well as new harlequin dance flooring, the industry’s top-of-the-line option for dance studios. “The sprung flooring provides a safe space for preventing injuries, both immediate as well as over time,” Harker said. Karen Brewster, Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance, says these renovations have transformed the classroom experience for students and faculty. “Our ability to teach and our students’ ability to learn have been optimized,” Brewster said. “We greatly appreciate the university and our donors for making all of this possible.” Joe Smith is Senior Director for Strategic Communications in ETSU’s Office of Marketing and Communications. | Photo by Ron Campbell

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ETSU ANNOUNCES NEW CENTER FOR GLOBAL ENGAGEMENT For years, East Tennessee State University officials have pondered how to expand the university’s influence worldwide. With the creation in 2021 of the Center for Global Engagement, ETSU took a major step toward realizing that goal. The center will drive “comprehensive internationalization” across ETSU by infusing international perspectives within teaching, service, and community engagement missions, according to Dr. Christopher Keller, Senior International Officer at ETSU. The center will likewise be the hub for several international educational initiatives, including study abroad programs, as well as the ETSU Global Year Project that is scheduled to launch during the fall 2022 semester. “Global learning can be obtained abroad, but we often forget that meaningful global educational experiences can also be gained on campus, in the community, and across the region,” said Keller, who is also Dean of the ETSU Honors College. “This continued movement toward comprehensive internationalization at ETSU is critical, given the global reconfiguration of economies, trade systems, research, communication, and the impact of global forces on our everyday lives.” The center provides strategic leadership to ETSU on many internationalization efforts. Those include assisting faculty with developing internationalized courses and collaborating with campus partners to develop community engagement projects, including ones related to K-12 students, educators, and university alumni. The center is also facilitating “Internationalization at Home” educational programs for all students, particularly those who are unable to participate in education abroad programs. Keller and his team also provide support to colleges and departments on building and enhancing international partnerships and collaborations. “As we continue to see restrictions lifted on international travel, our study abroad activity will return to the robust level we experienced prior to the pandemic,” said Keller, who noted that the university has recently finalized agreements with American University Rome, the University of the West of Scotland, and the American College of Greece in Athens. A student plans to study at American College of Greece during the spring 2022 semester. At present, ETSU has affiliations with over 50 schools in about 35 countries around the world. “The mission of ETSU is to improve the quality of life for the people of this region, and this includes providing broader frames of reference regarding the world and opportunities to develop global learning and intercultural competencies,” Keller said. O.J. Early is Marketing/Communications Specialist in ETSU’s Office of University Marketing and Communications. | Photo by Ron Campbell 12 x ETSU TODAY

PLANNING UNDERWAY FOR NEW GLOBAL YEAR With the launch of the new Center for Global Engagement in 2021, the university moved toward greater international influence. The ETSU Global Year Project, an initiative that begins during the fall 2022 semester, is another critical move in that direction.

Another critical component of the project: the ETSU Faculty Seminar.

“Our clear goal with the ETSU Global Year Project is to internationalize East Tennessee State University,” said Dr. Christopher Keller, Senior International Officer at ETSU and Dean of the ETSU Honors College. “There are so many positives that can come from this. Pushing ETSU’s global reach not only has the potential to bring more students to our university, but it will give our students and larger community opportunities to better understand the world.”

Faculty from across ETSU are taking part in the seminar. Those scholars will develop projects ETSU GLOBAL YEAR that relate to their 2022-2023 fields of study. These projects will hopefully materialize into relationships with the Universidad de San Francisco de Quito, Keller said.

When the project began, officials said they would select a single South American country to focus on each academic year. For 2022-2023, planning members chose Ecuador, located in northwestern South America, with a population of more than 17 million. ETSU went with Ecuador for a variety of reasons. For one, officials preferred a country where relationships already existed. “We also wanted a place where there would be some buy-in for this program, especially since this is our inaugural year,” Keller said. “We have some relationships that are already established in Ecuador.” Dr. David Wood, with the ETSU Quillen College of Medicine and planning committee member for the ETSU Global Year Project, has worked to build partnerships and collaborations for years with the Universidad de San Francisco de Quito, a liberal arts university in Ecuador. Beyond those scholarly connections, there were other reasons to select the South American country. Johnson City has a more than 50-year-old relationship with the Ecuadorian city of Guaranda. It is one of Johnson City’s sister cities, a relationship created in 1963. “Historically, there have been some Johnson City ties to Ecuador, another reality that helped us pick that country for our inaugural year,” Keller said. How will the ETSU Global Year Project play out on campus? Speakers will come to campus, addressing students, faculty, and the public. Displays about Ecuador will be up at ETSU. Workshops, too, will be open to faculty interested in including in their classes content about Ecuador. “And we hope to work with the ETSU Dining Hall to have Ecuadorian food days,” said Keller. “These are some of the more visible elements to the project that students, faculty, and many visitors to campus will be able to see.”


The following faculty members, with research interests ranging from music to public health, are participating in the faculty seminar: • Roy Andrade, College of Arts and Sciences • James Boone, College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences • Lisa Dunkley, Clemmer College • Matthew Fehskens, College of Arts and Sciences • Andrew Joyner, College of Arts and Sciences • Karen Kornweibel, Honors College • Bethesda O’Connell, College of Public Health • Jean Swindle, Clemmer College • William Tollefson, College of Arts and Sciences • Ante Ursic, College of Arts and Sciences “The aim here is to create sustainable relationships that truly help internationalize ETSU,” Keller said. “This is an exciting opportunity for our own ETSU scholars to work on.” In addition to Keller, the project’s planning committee includes: Scott Jeffress, Roan Scholars Program; Amy Johnson, Center for Teaching Excellence; Hopelyn Mooney, Center for Global Engagement; Megan Quinn, College of Public Health; and David Wood, Quillen College of Medicine. Members of the project are planning a trip to Ecuador in March 2022. “From economics to communication, there are so many reasons to understand the effects of global forces on each of our lives,” said Keller. “We hope this project will touch ETSU and the world for years to come.” O.J. Early is Marketing/Communications Specialist in ETSU’s Office of University Marketing and Communications.

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LAUNCHING THE ETSU RESEARCH CORPORATION The most cost-efficient way to improve a nation of islands is to build bridges among them. The ETSU Research Corporation applies this model to the university. “The world can be viewed as an integrated, highly complex, non-linear value chain,” said Research Corporation Chief Executive Officer David Golden. “If we’re not careful, we teach and research at the university level something that is somewhat of an artificial world of disparate domains, and then we launch students into the real world, which is trans-discipline and non-linear. One of the things the Research Corporation is focused on is building bridges among these wonderful islands of academic

expertise by convening, collaborating, and driving experiential learning.”

we work to enrich the region and impact the world.”

ETSU President Brian Noland announced the launch of the ETSU Research Corporation in January 2021, repurposing the ETSU Research Foundation in order to expand its role to connect, convene, and create across the university, the region, and beyond.

The ETSU Research Corporation is a convener for research, innovation, and activation particularly in the areas of PK12 STEM education, entrepreneurialism, regional development, workforce development, and artificial intelligence/ machine learning. Underpinning these efforts is expertise in design, media, and marketing to enhance and promote the university and region’s success and create experiential learning opportunities.

“With all of the many opportunities in our region to establish partnerships, innovate, and help drive prosperity, I feel strongly that ETSU should play an even greater role in this effort,” said Noland. “The Research Corporation will be a dynamic and forward-thinking partner as

After the launch, Golden began organizing the Research Corporation, making the organization’s first four appointments and bringing four new members to the board of directors. The Research Corporation has become a focal point to coordinate the portfolio of such ETSU organizations as the ETSU Innovation Lab, Tennessee Small Business Development Center, and the ETSU-Eastman Valleybrook Campus. “I hear from people outside of our region repeatedly that we have so many great ‘pieces and parts,’” Golden said. “Indeed, we have many wonderful assets across the campus and incredible educators, but systems work as designed. If you


want different outcomes, you generally have to redesign the system. Putting more pressure on the existing system to produce different results is rarely a successful model, so the Research Corporation is catalyzing a collaborative system redesign.” The redesign also means helping the university move faster as it interfaces off campus with the business community. Through new off-campus partnerships, the Research Corporation has helped recruit early-stage companies, find angel funding for AI initiatives, and launch a professional certification program with Brand Storytelling beginning in January 2022, which will connect the university to the world’s top marketing and creative professionals.

The Research Corporation is also partnering with ETSU’s Clemmer College, the Strong BRAIN Institute, and Ballad Health to launch and develop educational resources as part of Finnegan’s Challenge (see page 33). To further the STRIVE program for veteran entrepreneurs, the Research Corporation collaborated with the city of Kingsport and the College of Business and Technology. The Research Corporation helped create experiential learning opportunities for students in the MBA and Brand and Media Strategy graduate programs by recruiting real-world clients ranging from Eastman to MIT throughout the fall and spring semesters. Additionally, the Research Corporation announced

new internships in marketing/brand communication, graphic design, video brand storytelling, and computing. In spite of significant challenges in 2021, the ETSU Research Corporation is on an upward trajectory to enrich the region and impact the world and is optimistic about even greater progress in the coming year. If you would like to help drive this success, please consider a tax-deductible donation. Email for more information. Raina Wiseman is Director of Operations and Marketing for the ETSU Research Corporation. | Photos contributed

Through partnering, the Research Corporation has hosted several worldclass events, including the 2021 MATE ROV World Championship in underwater robotics during August and the 2021 Bands of America Regional Championship in October. In addition to showcasing some of the brightest young minds in the region, these events brought thousands of high school students and their parents from around the world to the ETSU campus and community.

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Charles E. Allen, Jr., continues a longstanding family legacy of commitment at ETSU as one of the newly appointed members of the ETSU Board of Trustees. He attributes his success in the classroom at ETSU to the building blocks of a foundation that led to future entrepreneurial successes. “I cannot say enough good things about my college experience at ETSU. I received an education second to none. I spent most of my time in the College of Business taking accounting and finance classes.” Allen said he even met his wife, Barbara, in an accounting class. Allen vividly remembers the path that placed him in the political arena in Nashville and the full-circle moment in which he would later return after being elected to represent Northeast Tennessee. “My earliest experience with the Tennessee General Assembly was in 1974 during the effort to establish the ETSU College of Medicine. I was made a page for the day and sat at the desk on the House floor of Representative P.L. Robinson. Little did I know that 16 years later I would sit at that same desk after being elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives at the age of 29.” He served two terms in the Tennessee General Assembly. Allen’s calling to public service allowed him to showcase his entrepreneurial spirit, something he holds dear to his heart. “An entrepreneur must be able to figure out creative solutions to needs and problems when there are no obvious answers. There is nothing as satisfying as starting and building a business. I believe that small business people are the heart and soul of our economy and community,” he said. Allen helped start many small businesses during his career, spanning from self-storage, banking, and real estate to fintech and even an electric vehicle company. Currently, he serves as president of Stowaway Storage, which has developed 16 storage facilities throughout the region, and Charles E. Allen Company.


Allen’s professional career also demonstrates his exemplary skills and highly respected expertise in finance and investments. “I hold three financial certifications, CPA, CFP, and CFA. Shortly after graduating from ETSU with a degree in accounting, I earned the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation. A few years later, some of my clients were requesting financial planning, so I studied for and earned the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation,” he said. His educational journey did not end at graduation but rather flourished with time. Allen said he set a goal early on in his career to earn the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, which requires the completion of a three-year program. “When I was 50, I fulfilled that commitment. What I learned earning the CFA designation has been immeasurably helpful, and I would highly recommend it to anyone entering the field of finance and investments.” Allen encourages ETSU students to believe they can accomplish anything and begin by determining a goal to achieve before putting a plan in motion to then reach that goal. “Be grateful when your goal seems difficult to obtain and there are roadblocks in the way. If it were easy, everyone would be pursuing and reaching the same goal and then the goal would have little value. If you want something to happen, you must take the initiative to make it happen,” he said. Allen witnessed firsthand how determination and drive are key attributes to manifesting an idea from concept to completion when his father, Dr. Charles Allen, a prominent Johnson City physician, began working to establish a medical school at ETSU in 1963. “He realized there was a tremendous shortage of doctors as well as medical capabilities in our area. Over the next ten years, he and many other people throughout our region worked tirelessly against enormous odds to establish the school,” Allen said. “I believe this effort is probably the finest example of what our region can accomplish when

we all work together. Fifty years later, I still have people tell me from all over the region they worked with my father on the founding of the medical school.” The Quillen College of Medicine is now recognized as one of the top schools in the country for rural medicine and primary care training. Dr. Allen’s unwavering advocacy for the medical school will be remembered for generations to come after a building on the VA medical campus was named in his honor. Charles Allen Hall, Building 2, has served as the home of the Physical Therapy program since 1996 (see page 8). Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced the appointment of Charles Allen, Jr., to the ETSU Board of Trustees on September 30, 2021. “I believe it is a large responsibility to serve on the board that governs ETSU and helps shape its future. I am very much looking forward to serving and working with the other trustees, Dr. Noland, ETSU faculty, and staff,” Allen said. He hopes to make a big impact in his new role, carrying on a family legacy that positively impacts students and his alma mater. “I would like to see ETSU recognized, throughout our region and the country, as an institution that provides a world-class education that is second to none. There is no doubt ETSU has a tremendous future.” Allen and his wife, Barbara, live in Johnson City and have two sons, Chip and Wes. They also have two golden retrievers, Jack, who is Allen’s constant companion, and Cooper, who is the Stowaway Storage mascot. Yasmeen Elayan is Marketing/ Communications Specialist in ETSU’s Office of Marketing and Communications. | Photo by Charlie Warden

I would like to see ETSU recognized, throughout our region and the country, as an institution that provides a world-class education that is second to none. Charles E. Allen, Jr.

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Equity and Inclusion Conference

Continues to Grow

Nearly 500 people attended the third annual Equity and Inclusion Conference: “From Discussion to Action: Bold Steps Toward Equity and Inclusion,” which was held virtually in September.

said, “and that machine is working toward a goal that you really believe in. It’s also important to have humility and reminders that we’re just part of a bigger movement.”

This three-day event was deemed a “huge success” by Dr. Keith Johnson, ETSU Vice President for Equity and Inclusion. The conference has grown since the inaugural event in 2019, when just over 100 attended, followed by 320 registered participants in 2020.

Wall, President of One Better World, LLC, and a longtime higher education student affairs administrator, said that many times, people equate social justice work with action. However, he encouraged listeners to do the personal work of dialogue and skill-building before taking action.

This year’s conference highlighted the importance of personal action and helped attendees build confidence for situations they encounter that call for understanding, empathy, and advocacy. It was sponsored by the ETSU Office of Equity and Inclusion, with numerous university colleges, academic departments, centers, offices, and organizations as partners.

“I believe that it’s important for us to … be about the actual work of community and connectedness because we all have a place,” he said. “The key is to make sure that we truly look at the fact that we’re all a part of this and do what we can in order to help people have an entry point into the conversation.

“We had many dynamic speakers who were very informative and engaging,” Johnson said, “including but not limited to Paul Farmer, Vernon Wall, and Wes Moore. The platform Paul Farmer Vernon Wall that we used to host the conference allowed participants to interact during the conference and beyond. Many of those interactions are continuing, which is possibly one of the biggest outcomes of the conference. Participants continue to discuss the conference and are sharing best practices and having conversations that otherwise would not occur regarding social justice, equity, and inclusion.” Farmer, a medical anthropologist and physician known as a leading voice on global health equity and social justice, told attendees not to be discouraged in pursuing their goals. “Remember you’re just one cog in a much bigger machine,” he


“I am probably the most hopeful I’ve ever been about us in higher education around equity and inclusion, and the reason why is because of our students.” “I was no stranger to social justice,” first-time participant Elizabeth S. Cloyd wrote. “But I was met with a collection of valuable data and helpful perspectives that will profoundly shape the way I think about and interact with people. And it will affect the way I teach.” Planning for the fourth annual Equity and Inclusion Conference at ETSU is underway. “Creating a Culture of Belonging: Building Capacity, Partnerships, and Opportunities for Progress” will be held September 27-29, 2022. “My vision for the conference is to continue growing in attendance and attracting attendees from around the country and abroad,” Johnson said. “I see East Tennessee State University becoming the hub for inclusive excellence as we grow into our mission.” Jennifer L. Hill is Marketing/Communications Specialist in ETSU’s Office of Marketing and Communications.

It was a season that began on a warm Saturday in September as the Bucs defeated Vanderbilt 23-3. The first home game a week later on September 11 against UVA-Wise brought another victory, 45-14. And it was a season that would extend for another three months, concluding on December 11 in the FARGODOME as the 7th-seeded Bucs took on the 2nd-seeded North Dakota State Bison in the FCS quarterfinals, resulting in a 27-3 loss for ETSU. Along the way, the Bucs picked up a Southern Conference Championship, a SoCon Coach of the Year award for Coach Randy Sanders, a SoCon Offensive Player of the Year title for Quay Holmes, and multiple other honors that brought the powerhouse season – with some hair-raising fourth-quarter comebacks – to an 11-2 finish.


The 2021 season was historic as the Bucs set a program record for wins (11) and reaching the quarterfinals of the FCS Playoffs for only the second time in school history. ETSU also set single-season school records for most points scored (425), points per game (32.7), total offense (5,319), rushing touchdowns (32) and total touchdowns (53). The dominating 23-3 win at Vanderbilt was their second-ever win over a Power-5 program. The Bucs defeated three nationally ranked teams and garnered their highest ranking since the return of football at No. 8 in the AFCA Top 25 Poll. The Blue and Gold earned the No. 7 seed in the FCS Playoffs and recorded their first postseason win in 25 years by knocking off Kennesaw State in the second round, 32-31. As the season concluded, football head coach Randy Sanders announced his retirement. He enjoyed an illustrious 33-year coaching career – the last four as the leader of the Buccaneer program – where he led ETSU to a pair of Southern Conference Championships and two Football Championship Subdivision Playoff appearances. “I want to thank Dr. Brian Noland and Scott Carter for giving me the opportunity to lead the ETSU football program,” said Sanders. “This wasn’t an easy decision. I have been fortunate to coach football for over 30 years, and I’ve really enjoyed my time at ETSU, but I am ready for the next chapter. I am looking forward to spending time with my family and being around my grandchildren. I will forever be a Buccaneer, and I am grateful for all the friendships I have made during my time at ETSU.”

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Clive Brewer More often than not, the excellence and success of any program in higher education can be attributed to not only the students, but the faculty and staff responsible for guiding them. Departments that host particularly innovative programs attract the attention of those with prestige. East Tennessee State University is home to one such program: the Center of Excellence for Sport Science and Coach Education (CESSCE). It was their groundbreaking, innovative practices that first drew the attention of Clive Brewer, who is now the Performance Director of the CESSCE. Brewer’s name is one that is internationally recognized in the worlds of high-performance sports conditioning, athlete development, and applied research. Not only does he have over 25 years of experience working with professional athletics and sport science, he is also known for revolutionizing the way standards for athletic assessment and development are conceptualized. As a published author, he actively works with other specialists in his field to research the most innovative practices in creating athletic developmental frameworks that further establish the foundation of existing coaching models. Throughout his career, Brewer has maintained an expectation of excellence, and the results of his collaborations are consistent with his promise of work. He is accredited by the UK Strength and Conditioning Association, the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences, and the National Strength and Conditioning Associations of both the US and Australia. In 2020, as Director of High Performance for the Columbus Crew, he was responsible for leading the cutting-edge, integrated services that led to MLS championship success. While acting as Assistant Director of High Performance for the Toronto Blue Jays, he led the development of the first High Performance department in Major League Baseball, with Toronto reaching the play-offs in his first two years. His position of High Performance Advisor with the Liverpool F.C. Women enabled them to take two national championships, and he has led National programs for Performance in Scotland and with England Rugby. He has also consulted with world-recognized organizations such as Manchester United, USA Football and the WTA. He has been to three world cups, had athletes at four Olympics (including two gold medal winners, and most recently, USA’s Galen Rupp in the 2021 Marathon), and is overseeing the High Performance system at 20 Wimbledon tennis tournaments on the way. In August 2015, he was awarded the fellowship of the UKSCA in recognition of his contribution to the world of strength and conditioning and sport science. However, after nearly three decades in the world of professionals, Brewer says that when he saw the work


the CESSCE was doing at ETSU, he was immediately drawn in. The athlete-centered, coach-driven, evidencebased program delivers in a way that is not seen on any other college campus in the nation. He was so impressed, he interviewed for the role of Director of CESSCE while running a program for professional athletes in Dubai. “To be the best, I want to get better every day,” says Brewer. “I’m eager to seek out new concepts, and new challenges. The environment here enables high-level integration of coaching, athletics and research in a way that I’ve not seen anywhere else. Plus, we’re equipped with a staff of world-class leaders, such as Dr. Michael Stone, who is renowned in his field. The potential for what we can do here is limitless in delivering a national leading program.” When he first arrived at the CESSCE, Brewer used his professional experience to streamline collaborative efforts between different departments, and he is full of praise for his department, Bucs Medicine, and ETSU Athletics, who have embraced this fully. The first step was to introduce an open, creative environment where groups can collectively express and challenge one another’s ideas. This way, any issues that arise can be identified and effectively processed and mitigated. “I’ve got whiteboards set up that track program delivery,” said Brewer. “The real canvas is the body. Every procedure we work through, every exercise, we often get down right there in the office and workshop through it ourselves before we work it through with the athletes in practice. As coaches, we should only be teaching techniques we that personally know work, and why.” As Performance Director of the CESSCE, Brewer oversees graduate students through the opportunity to become sports scientists and strength conditioning coaches. By placing them in an environment that provides hands-on experience with athletes and coaches, using the principles the faculty program teaches them, they are able to immediately enter the professional field with applicable work experience. Brewer says this is thanks to the hard work and dedication put towards the collaborative atmosphere that allows the CESSCE to truly bring out the best each student has to offer. “ETSU was an opportunity that was just too good to miss.” Briar R. Worley is Marketing/Communications Specialist in ETSU’s Office of Marketing and Communications. | Photo by Charlie Warden

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An interprofessional team of students, faculty, and staff from ETSU’s five health sciences colleges volunteered at the Remote Area Medical (RAM) clinic in Gray November 5-7, 2021. This was the fifth year that ETSU sent a team to Gray to help deliver free medical, dental, and vision services to the people of the region. Throughout the weekend, the volunteers assisted with screenings and services, provided health awareness and education initiatives, and administered COVID-19 vaccines.

Watch highlights of the 2021 RAM Clinic

“The students got to meet the real patients, see the struggles they have, and connect them with resources in the community,” said Dr. Caroline Abercrombie, Director of Experiential Learning at Quillen College of Medicine and Director of Community Engagement for Interprofessional Education Programs. “The community engagement is two-fold. We want to make sure that we’re meeting the needs of our community, but also meeting the needs of our students and the learning objectives.”


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THE COMPREHENSIVE CAMPAIGN FOR ETSU SURPASSES GOAL “Throughout our history, going all the way back to 1911, there has been a consistent theme, a story of people who campaigned for ETSU,” said ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland. “It began with a campaign for Johnson City to be home to one of the newly created Normal Schools that would provide formal training for aspiring teachers.” Local businessman George L. Carter was determined that Johnson City would be home to the state’s eastern school – so determined that he donated his farmland to be the campus home for this school. The rest, of course, is history as this fledgling school, East Tennessee State Normal School, eventually became East Tennessee State University. And, as history would reveal, it would be the first of many times the community would rally together to champion for a better ETSU. “The story of how this region fought for ETSU to have a medical school is still remembered as one of the most dramatic chapters in the history of Tennessee politics,” Noland said. “Of course, there are other stories of how people campaigned for ETSU, such as how the community raised funds for the creation of the Gatton College of Pharmacy and the building of the Martin Center for the Arts, and rallied for the return of football.”

So when the time came to launch the institution’s new comprehensive fundraising initiative, the framework was already familiar. “The Campaign for ETSU set a goal to raise $120 million to support projects and initiatives that would support our students and our faculty, and transform our campus,” said Pam Ritter, Vice President for University Advancement and President/CEO of the ETSU Foundation. “Our alumni, our friends, and our community love ETSU and support our mission to improve the quality of life for others. For more than 100 years, those whose lives have been touched by ETSU have stepped up to campaign for this institution.” The Campaign for ETSU officially began in January 2017 and continues until June 30, 2022, but that initial goal of $120 million has already been reached – with well over $125 million already raised! We now have the opportunity to raise the bar. “Our alumni, partners, and friends can write their own chapter for ETSU and create many future opportunities for the institution,” said Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Ron Hite, ETSU Foundation and Campaign Chair. “Our alumni and other donors believe in ETSU’s ability to inspire, to transform, and to make positive change happen, as evidenced by our success so far. We mean to finish strong! We are so grateful to our friends for helping us achieve this goal, and we invite others to join us while the campaign continues.” Ritter said the campaign sought $21 million to create new opportunities for students, such as scholarships and graduate stipends, and $35 million to support the creation of new undergraduate and graduate programs.

Pam Ritter and Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Ron Hite 24 x ETSU TODAY

In addition, the campaign was to raise $40 million for facility renovations and new

construction projects, and $23 million to support ETSU faculty through creation of distinguished chairs and professorships. “Though the overall campaign goal has been met, our work continues,” Ritter said. “In particular, we are still working to raise $28.9 million for facilities projects and another $5.9 million to empower our faculty. “Identifying funding to support the expansion of our facilities is very important,” she said, “and critical to the projects currently planned and underway.” Those include: • Undergraduate academic building, including renovations to Burleson and Gilbreath halls • Charles Allen Hall [VA; physical rehabilitative sciences hub for the university’s new Master of Science in Orthotics and Prosthetics (MSOP) program and the Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program] • Lamb Hall • Martin Center (equipment/build-out) • Brown Hall • Possible Bluegrass Building • Alumni Center Noland added that the Campaign for ETSU seeks to provide additional support for ETSU faculty. “We have world-class faculty on our campus, who, every day, are transforming the lives of our students,” he said. “Through your support, we can create new opportunities that will help inspire and retain them.” To learn more about ways to support the Campaign for ETSU, visit or call 423-439-4242. Joe Smith is Senior Director of Strategic Communications.

HONORING FOUNDER OF ETSU’S BLUEGRASS PROGRAM A new scholarship named in honor of the founder of ETSU’s Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Roots Music Studies program was recently endowed in the ETSU Foundation.

Don Stover and the White Oak Mountain Boys. In 1976, he created the progressive bluegrass group Tasty Licks and continues to create music and songs to this day.

The Jack Tottle Scholarship Endowment will provide scholarship assistance to recruit promising students who will be enrolled in Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Roots Music in ETSU’s Department of Appalachian Studies. Eligible students must be new incoming or transfer students who display strong musical and academic potential and who are declared undergraduate majors or minors in Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Roots Music Studies.

Tottle’s 1975 book Bluegrass Mandolin, published by Oak Publications, remains the best-selling mandolin instruction book of all time. He is also the author of two other instruction books, How to Play Mandolin and Guitar from the Beginning. His recordings include his 1976 solo album, Back Road Mandolin; a self-titled debut album; Anchored to the Shore with Tasty Licks; and The Bluegrass Sound and The Eagle, which include his original compositions performed by Tottle himself and numerous bluegrass luminaries. In 1982, Tottle founded the first comprehensive bluegrass music studies program at a four-year university at ETSU. Since that time, the program has drawn students from throughout the United States and around the world and developed the nation’s first baccalaureate degree in Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Roots Music Studies. Numerous program alumni have gone on to achieve great success in the music industry as musicians, vocalists, songwriters, producers and more, with many earning Grammy, International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), Academy of Country Music, and Country Music Association awards.

The scholarship is endowed by Lonette Seaton, a retired teacher, philanthropist, survivor, and long-time supporter of Appalachian culture through her gifts to various institutions. In her name and in the name of her family, Seaton and her sister, the late Betty Donahue, have provided scholarships which, since the early 2000s, have supported students at ETSU. Tottle, a native of Baltimore, is a multi-instrumental musician, singer, songwriter, educator, and author. Educated at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, he founded the Lonesome River Boys in the early 1960s, and in the early 1970s, he joined

Tottle retired as director of the ETSU program in 2007, and in 2020, the IBMA honored him with the organization’s Distinguished Achievement Award during its annual convention and awards ceremony. Prospective students who wish to learn more about Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Roots Music Studies at ETSU may visit To contribute to the Jack Tottle Scholarship Endowment, contact Karen Sullivan, Director of Development in ETSU University Advancement, at or 423-439-6969.

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ETSU NATIONAL ALUMNI ASSOCIATION HONORS 2021 AWARD WINNERS The ETSU National Alumni Association announced its 2021 Alumni Award recipients during the annual Evening of Distinction and ETSU PRIDE event on November 19.

Outstanding Alumna Renee Bays Lockhart is a member ETSU’s Class of 1987. A highlight of her time at ETSU was being part of the Marching Bucs. She was a majorette and later served as the ETSU majorette instructor for 14 years. Today, she continues to remain active with the program. Lockhart received her bachelor’s degree in 1987, and her master’s degree followed in short order, in 1989. Both degrees are in accountancy. She used these degrees in her career at Heritage Partners, earning the position of president with that company in 2019. In 2001, the Business Journal named her as one of the region’s 40 Under Forty, and, in 2003, she was inducted into the ETSU College of Business Hall of Fame. Lockhart has served as a member of the Elizabethton Civitan Club, the Rotary Club of Elizabethton, and the board of Abuse Alternatives, Inc. She continues to serve as a member of the ETSU Foundation and the ETSU National Alumni Association Board of Directors, where she has held the offices of Treasurer, Secretary, Vice President, and President, and currently is the chairperson of the ETSU Foundation Investment Committee. Throughout this time, she has been an active student recruiter for ETSU.

Outstanding Alumnus

Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Gary L. Harrell, U.S. Army, graduated from ETSU in 1973. Harrell was a recipient of the first fouryear Army ROTC scholarship, receiving a commission as a second lieutenant, Infantry, upon graduation. While at ETSU, he majored in industrial technology and played defensive tackle on the football team. During a distinguished U.S. Army career of 35 years, Harrell commanded units from the airborne platoon level to one of the largest special operations forces assembled since World War II. After Harrell’s initial assignment with the 82nd Airborne Division, he completed the Special Operations Qualification Course and served in Panama as Commander of a Special Forces Operational Detachment-A SCUBA Team, and Commander of an assault Team. In March 1991, he was assigned to the Joint Special Operations Command and participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm as the U.S. Army Special Operations Officer. In April 1992, he assumed command of C Squadron, 1st Special Operations Detachment-D and deployed


to Colombia leading forces in operations against Drug Lord Escobar. His next combat deployment was to Somalia where, as Ground Force Commander, he was severely wounded by enemy mortar fire and evacuated to the U.S. for a long recovery process. This combat action was later depicted in a book and subsequent movie known as Blackhawk Down. His numerous awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Bronze Star Medal (with V-device and two Oak Leaf Clusters), Purple Heart, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), Joint Service Achievement Medal, and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), as well as several service and campaign medals. He has also earned the Combat Infantry Badge, the Master Parachutist Badge, the Master Military Free Fall Parachutist Badge, the Pathfinder Badge, the SCUBA Diver Badge, the Special Forces Tab, and the Ranger Tab. He married his high school sweetheart, Jennifer Counts. Jen served by his side during his distinguished military career, supporting not only Gary, but also all of those service members and families under his command. They have two daughters, one son, and six grandchildren. Two of their children attended ETSU. The couple resides in Washington County.

Distinguished Alumnus in Higher Education

Dr. Robert M. Plummer’s legacy at ETSU began in the 1980s when he first arrived on the campus as an undergraduate student. One of his first jobs was as ETSU’s Alumni Coordinator – a role that expanded and one that he held for nearly 30 years. As ETSU’s alumni leader, Plummer was responsible for the administration of universitywide alumni programs, as well as oversight of the ETSU National Alumni Association. He worked with the alumni board and volunteers and played an integral role in University Advancement operations by representing the vice president and the division on university committees. During his tenure, Plummer established the Alumni Gallery in the Culp Center and led the creation of an Alumni House on campus. In 1997, he took a handful of yard signs with the message “ETSU PRIDE” and strategically placed them at intersections throughout Johnson City. From those seeds grew the highly successful ETSU PRIDE program, which has brought regional attention to the university for over a quarter-century. Every year, the ETSU PRIDE campaign brings the campus, the community, and alumni together to celebrate the ways in which ETSU has transformed the lives of others. He continues to serve his alma mater as Executive Director of Corporate Relations and Economic Development.

Distinguished Alumnus in Public Service The Honorable J. Ronnie Greer is a native of Mountain City and earned a bachelor’s degree with honors in political science from ETSU in 1974. While at ETSU, he was president of the Student Government Association and was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha. In 1980, he received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Tennessee’s College of Law. Soon after, he was admitted to the Bar Association of Tennessee. He served as Greene County Attorney from 1985 to 1986 and was a member of the Tennessee Senate from 1986 to 1994. While a member of the Tennessee Senate, Judge Greer was chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Conservation, and Tourism and chaired or co-chaired several study committees, including a joint legislative study committee to examine Tennessee’s solid and hazardous waste problems. He was the author and prime sponsor of the Tennessee Solid Waste Management Act and was named legislator of the year by the Tennessee Conservation League in 1989 and by the Environmental Action Fund in 1994. In addition, he spent over 20 years in a private law firm in Greeneville. Judge Greer was appointed as the district court judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee in 2003, a position he was nominated for by President George W. Bush. Greer assumed senior status as district judge in 2018. He continues to serve as a district judge.

Award of Honor

Tony Treadway came to ETSU from Unicoi County High School to study mass communications and political science and would later graduate Magna Cum Laude as the first person in his family to graduate from a university. While at ETSU, he was a member of the debate team and used his skills to win the Ohio Valley Conference Television Anchor Competition. He also was a four-year Army Scholarship recipient and a cadet in ETSU’s ROTC. During this time, he was a member of ETSU’s parachute team and would parachute in to ETSU football games at the old Memorial Stadium. Treadway began his career with WJHL, the CBS affiliate in Johnson City. He was hired as Assistant Sports Director in August 1977 and later served as Sports Director and Assistant News Director before becoming anchor of the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts. While at WJHL, he kept ETSU sports as a frontline story. He hosted numerous ETSU coaches’ shows, with coaches Jack Carlisle, Buddy Sasser, Mike Ayers, Jim Hallihan, and Barry Dowd. He also organized and hosted the first gubernatorial live debate in Northeast Tennessee between Ned McWherter and Winfield Dunn. Treadway later served as Director of Public Relations for Nuclear Fuel Services, a nuclear defense contractor. In 1992, he founded

Creative Energy, a full-service advertising agency of national acclaim. Over the years, one of the agency’s primary goals has been to hire ETSU graduates. Presently, over 75 percent of Creative Energy’s workforce is composed of ETSU alumni and current students. The Tony Treadway Press Box at William B. Greene Jr. Stadium was named in honor of Treadway and his efforts to highlight ETSU athletics in the region and nation.

Honorary Alumnus

Dr. Allan D. Spritzer arrived on ETSU’s campus in 1981 as Dean of what was then known as the College of Business. During his tenure that spanned almost two decades, Spritzer led many new initiatives, including the launch of the Small Business Development Center, the Center for Banking, an economic research center, and new academic programs. However, his greatest legacy was leading the college to achieve accreditation with the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business in 1987. Later, in 1991, accreditation was awarded to the accounting program. At that time, only 53 schools in the nation had accredited master’s programs in accounting. During his time at ETSU, he built partnerships with a number of academic units on the campus that resulted in beneficial curriculum innovations and the restructuring of existing programs. These include the development of a Computer Integrated Manufacturing Program with the College of Applied Science and Technology; the creation of a new Master of Public Management Program with the College of Arts and Sciences; and the development of graduate level programming in health care in conjunction with the College of Nursing and the College of Public and Allied Health which culminated in an interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Health Care Management. Spritzer also spent more than two decades serving as an accreditation consultant for a number of universities. He worked with the ETSU Development Office to raise more than $3 million for two endowed chairs and one annually funded chair: The Allen and Ruth Harris Chair of Excellence in Business, The AFG Industries Chair of Excellence in Business and Technology, and the ETSU Chair of Banking. Spritzer later served as holder of ETSU’s Allen and Ruth Harris Chair of Excellence. He has remained active, serving in leadership roles with the Johnson City Chamber, First Tennessee Bank, the Johnson City Development Authority, the Economic Development Board, East Tennessee Foundation for the Harris Fund of Washington County, the Northeast Tennessee Economic Development Corporation, and the Sequoyah Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The ETSU National Alumni Association Awards are part of an annual recognition program which began in 1970. The Alumni Gallery, located outside the Martha Street Culp Auditorium, recognizes all current and former alumni award winners. For more details or to submit future nominees, contact the ETSU National Alumni Association at 423-439-4218 or email


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 JUNE 22 Dr. Kiana Johnson from ETSU is among the 21 faculty and staff members from colleges and universities across Tennessee selected to participate in the 2021-22 Class of the Maxine Smith Fellows program.

ETSU’s federal TRIO Program is selected by the U.S. Department of Education to receive renewed funding for two of its programs – the Educational Talent Search Program and the Educational Opportunity Center – both for each of the next five years.

 AUGUST 9 Dr. Debbie Byrd, Dean of Pharmacy, is presented the Anne Marie Liles Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Pharmacy Practice Section.

 SEPTEMBER 1 The stage area in the D.P. Culp Student Center Cave is named the Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union Stage in recognition of a recent $75,000 pledge from Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union.

 SEPTEMBER 9 ETSU and Vanderbilt University researchers are continuing a five-year partnership with a $2.1 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to study trained immunity in sepsis.

 OCTOBER 5 The Appalachian Regional Commission names Audrey Depelteau, Director of the ETSU Innovation Lab, to participate in the 2021-22 class of the Appalachian Leadership Institute.

 AUGUST 20 The 2021 Distinguished Faculty Awards are presented to Drs. Aruna Kilaru (Research), Sean Fox (Teaching), and Sarah Melton (Service).

 AUGUST 23 The fall 2021 semester arrives with an increase of more than 200 firsttime freshmen.

 AUGUST 26 ETSU senior Ethan Galloway is appointed to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission as a student member.


 OCTOBER 19 The College of Nursing is named one of 2021’s best schools for online programs and courses in health care education by

 OCTOBER 26 A team of student pharmacists at Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy demonstrates state and national success in the American College of Clinical Pharmacy’s Clinical Pharmacy Challenge, an academic competition that included more than 100 other pharmacy school teams across the country.

 OCTOBER 27 The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recognizes ETSU Health’s Baby Steps clinic as a “Promising Practice” for enhancing primary care services for children and families affected by prenatal opioid exposure.

 OCTOBER 28 ETSU and Elizabethton High School sign an agreement that allows EHS students to earn one credit hour at ETSU.



Faculty members Dr. Aruna Kilaru (Biological Sciences) and Vanessa Mayoraz (Art and Design) are named as recipients of the 2021 Notable Women of ETSU award.

The ETSU football team wins the Southern Conference Championship after defeating the Mercer University Bears.

A report from the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education, founders of the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, reveals that ETSU student voting increased significantly during last year’s presidential election, rising from 46.8 percent in 2016 to 64.3 percent in 2020 for a 17.5 percent increase overall.


 NOVEMBER 10 Dr. Ted Olson produces and curates a four-disc box set, “Doc Watson – Life’s Work: A Retrospective.”


Dr. Sharon McGee, Dean of Graduate and Continuing Studies, is elected to a two-year term as Vice President of the Tennessee Conference of Graduate Schools, followed by a two-year term as President.

College of Public Health faculty member Dr. Michael Smith, who is also program and policy director of the Center for Applied Research and Evaluation in Women’s Health, receives a $1.86 million R-01 grant from NIH to study how policies affect birth outcomes across generations.

Dr. Steven Wallace, Gray Fossil Site and Museum Director of Field Operations and a Professor in the ETSU Department of Geosciences, and Dr. T. Andrew Joyner, an Associate Professor in Geosciences, co-authored chapters in the book Red Panda: Biology and Conservation of the First Panda. Lauren Lyon, a former student of Joyner’s who is now pursuing a Ph.D., also authored a chapter.

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Smartphones and laptop computers fill the backpacks of Dr. Ingrid Luffman’s hydrology students at East Tennessee State University, as expected. But there are other essentials, such as a can of mosquito repellant and a durable pair of wading boots. While a portion of their semester is spent inside smart classrooms, much of the ETSU hydrology course takes place outdoors. Field trips are not simply a once-per-semester diversion. They are vital, frequent, and required, in order for students to understand the behavior of water. Roiling creeks, slick rocks, and muddy pasture fields are as much the domain of Luffman’s hydrology students as crowded hallways, quiet libraries, and map-lined lecture halls. Each semester, students in her hydrology class define a group research project, conceptualize it, plan it, and go into the field to collect data. “I love the idea that we start from nothing and then move to the point where our students have complete ownership of a project,” says Luffman, who is Associate Professor in the Department of Geosciences, within the ETSU College of Arts and Sciences. “They go out into the field for about a 15-day period, every day. It could be muddy, it could be buggy, it could be rainy. It doesn’t matter. The data need to be collected. “I love seeing that group go from 15 to 20 separate individuals to turning into a team. It’s amazing how very quickly they take on this responsibility and embrace it.” Knowing Luffman, it’s easy to understand why her students brave the elements without complaint. Her enthusiasm about geography, geology, hydrology, and even epidemiology, is boundless. On top of an impressive dossier of academic achievements, she says she is simply driven by a love of the outdoors. Hiking and spending time in natural spaces are not just recreational experiences for her. They


are professional development activities. Every turn in the forest and every branch of a stream hold new lessons for her. That love of nature goes back to her childhood in Canada, where her father, Roger Gough, a chemist for the National Research Council, owned a sailboat. “I have fond memories of learning to sail on lakes in Canada,” Luffman recalls, looking back to her days on Lake Deschesne, essentially a wide section of the Ottawa River. Influenced by her father’s academic and professional interests, Luffman earned her undergraduate degree in mathematics and her master’s in earth sciences at the University of Ottawa, an urban, bilingual campus not far from where she was born. Students at Ottawa U., as she calls it, had to be bilingual before they could earn a diploma. Several of the mathematics classes Luffman took as an undergraduate were only offered in French, which she took in stride because of the “French immersion” she experienced as a K-12 student.

Luffman was on her way to a STEM career in Canada or as a university professor there. Her husband, Robert Luffman, was employed by AFG Industries in Toronto, doing accounting work for the company’s Canadian operations. In 1997, accounting for operations in the U.S. and Canada was combined, and he was transferred to Kingsport, Tennessee. Knowing that academic departments often keep lists of job availabilities, Ingrid made her first visit to the ETSU campus, seeking advice from the late Dr. Bob Peplies, who chaired what was then called the Department of Geography, Geology, and Geomatics. Peplies had no list of openings in the marketplace but asked Luffman if she knew anything about remote sensing. Indeed she did, by virtue of a term as a cooperative education student in Canada. Peplies hired her on the spot as a part-time adjunct faculty member. Before long, that position evolved into a full-time one, and soon her dean was encouraging her to seek a Ph.D. By the time she secured a position as a lecturer at ETSU, her daughter Sydney was 10

and her son Benjamin 12—old enough for her to leave them after school. In 2007, she began her doctoral studies in geography at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, while teaching at ETSU. “I had a very understanding department chair at ETSU, Dr. Ed Baryla, who told me my service requirement as a faculty member was to obtain my doctorate,” Luffman says. “My courses were shifted to online delivery, which freed me up to build a course schedule at UT.” One of the many reasons for Luffman’s success in her professorial role at ETSU is the fact that she has lived through the stresses of juggling family responsibilities, coursework, and a fulltime job, as so many of her students have done through the years. “I have a really supportive husband,” she says proudly. “For the first four years of my doctoral program, I did not clean house. I did not mow the yard. I did not see the inside of a grocery store.” She carefully blocked off her schedule— mornings, afternoons, and nights—only allowing herself Wednesday evenings off for choir practice and then Sunday mornings to sing at St. Christopher Episcopal Church in Kingsport. Saturday afternoons were reserved for family time. Luffman has taken that hard-earned knowledge and applied it toward the betterment of the region served by ETSU. A common theme in her courses, in her research work, and in her public service responsibilities is making life better for her neighbors. Through her position as Vice President of the Boone Watershed Partnership, that means connecting a family to a city sewer, when they were previously using a septic system that was suspected of failing and affecting water quality in a local creek. It means conducting agricultural fencing projects on farms where cows that had access to streams are now fenced out and provided with an alternate watering source. It means planting trees around eroding stream banks. Making life better for her neighbors has even involved fishing some 200 discarded automobile tires out of Brush Creek, about a mile from

downtown Johnson City. The Tennessee Department of Transportation helped fund that effort. “And it wasn’t as easy as it sounds, because some of them were truck tires, and they required heavy equipment to pull them out,” Luffman says. “Then we conducted a free tire drop-off day so that members of the community could bring tires and discard them properly.” In a sense, Luffman and her students are watching over the residents of Johnson City every day. Underneath the bridge at Sevier Street is something that looks like a large ruler. It’s a gauge that measures how the stream responds to precipitation. Out in Bluff City, Luffman and her students engage in field work that could never be replicated in a classroom. They inject various types and colors of non-toxic dye into the waters of Dry Creek. Their purpose is to determine the water’s course underground. East Tennessee is characterized by what is termed Karst topography, meaning a proliferation of limestone bedrock that dissolves in water. “Streams flow into sinkholes and then pop back out somewhere else as springs,” Luffman says. “With dye tracing, we can figure out what is connected to what underground.” To a person interested in hydrology, East Tennessee is a never-ending source of wonder. “Everything is accessible here,” Luffman says. “We have a stream that we can walk to from campus. We have a stream that flows right through campus that we have examined in hydrology classes. There are so many opportunities to get out in the field.” Luffman describes her life at ETSU as the teacher’s dream. “I feel like I am making a difference in the lives of students every day.” In November, Dr. Ingrid Luffman was given the 2021 Undergraduate Mentoring Award by the Southeastern Division of the American Association of Geographers. Fred Sauceman is Executive Editor of ETSU Today. | Photos by Charlie Warden

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Advance your career on your schedule





When retired ETSU Athletic Director Dr. Richard “Doc” Sander welcomed his grandson Finnegan into the world on June 15, 2014, he was ecstatic. However, that joy quickly turned to fear and uncertainty when the family learned the baby was born with a rare birth defect. The Sander family learned over the following weeks, months, and years how difficult it is to find support and resources for children with birth defects and, simultaneously, the emotional burden families bear. Inspired by the experience, Doc and Finnegan’s father, Jimmy Sander, decided to devote their lives to supporting families undergoing similar hardships. They established For Our Kids Project as a nonprofit organization in 2021 with a mission to support families of children with birth defects or who are facing similar challenges. With support from the ETSU Research Corporation, Clemmer College, and the Strong BRAIN Institute as well as Ballad Health, For Our Kids Project is developing a community of support and a national resource that includes pertinent information and mentorship for families. The university hosted Finnegan’s Challenge, a 24-hour fundraising kickoff for the project, on November 4 in Brooks Gymnasium. As part of the challenge, Doc set a personal goal to make more than 3,300 basketball free throws – a


number signifying the one in 33 children born with a birth defect – which he ultimately exceeded with 3,956 made. “Through this first event, we heard from numerous individuals who have been impacted and have shared their story and emphasized the need for support for families who experience the stress, worry, and emotional and financial burden of having a child with a birth defect,” Doc Sander said. “Every day our family is more committed to help other families navigate their path by developing this support system.” The event attracted media attention both locally and nationally, including college athletic newsletter “D1 Ticker,” ESPN basketball analysts Seth Greenberg, Fran Fraschilla, and Debbie Antonelli, as well as coverage on Right This Minute. NBA Hall of Famer and television celebrity Charles Barkley even discussed Finnegan’s Challenge with Ernie Johnson during their podcast, “The Steam Room.”

Within days, Finnegan’s Challenge raised more than $125,000 in donations and pledges to support For Our Kids Project and provide necessary resources for families, and this is only the beginning of its legacy. “The event was a tremendous success and shows the leadership, determination, and tenacity of Doc,” said Jimmy Sander. “It’s an ethos that he has taught many people in his career, and the support demonstrated by the individuals he loves, respects, and appreciates shows the passion he has to make a difference and how he brings people together.” Convening the expertise of ETSU’s Clemmer College and Strong BRAIN Institute with Ballad Health, the For Our Kids Project will research and develop training material for early childhood educators to implement in their classrooms. The Sanders chose this as an early goal for the nonprofit as Finnegan recently began school and the family worried about social struggles that might arise with peers. The ETSU Research Corporation’s Dr. Stephen Marshall and Dr. William Heise supported two graduate student groups in producing marketing and business strategy plans for the effort. Brand and Media Strategy students spearheaded marketing and public relations for Finnegan’s Challenge, while MBA students developed the For Our Kids Project’s business strategy. “Finnegan’s Challenge is a success not only in its effort to support children overcoming adverse circumstances, but also in uniting our university and the region,” said ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland. “The collaboration of so many departments and organizations to make the kickoff a success demonstrates the strength of our university and its commitment to serving others. It’s a success because everyone came together to support a common goal, and it makes me excited to see how our community continues to convene and grow moving forward.” For more information about Finnegan’s Challenge and For Our Kids Project, visit Raina Wiseman is Director of Operations and Marketing for the ETSU Research Corporation. WINTER 2022 x 33


PAMELA AVENDAÑO-RUBI Language ties everything and everyone together for Pamela Avendaño-Rubi, whose native language of Spanish has been the key to relationships and opportunities throughout her time at East Tennessee State University. “I was born and raised in Mexico, and it wasn’t until maybe seven or eight years ago that I first learned English. That was the biggest thing ever,” said the senior pre-medical student. “So I empathize with a lot of people for whom English is a second language, even the professors here who have English as a second language, and they struggle to express themselves. I am able to connect with them in ways that a lot of other students cannot.” When she saw the number of Hispanic people in Appalachia who do not speak English, Avendaño-Rubi found ways to help fill the need for interpreters in the region. “That in itself – the language – is what means the most to me,” she said. The native of Puebla, Mexico, moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee, with her parents and sister as a result of her father’s work in international relations for Volkswagen. “I came from a very, very, VERY big city in Mexico – almost comparable to New York or Mexico City – so going from that to Tennessee was a little bit shocking,” she said. “We were used to traveling a lot, but this was our first international move. It was just our nuclear family, starting in a new place. And then I decided to enter ETSU.” As a freshman pre-med student, Avendaño-Rubi assisted with a Remote Area Medical clinic, where she noticed a patient who did not speak English. “I stood up and said, ‘Hey, I know Spanish, and I’ll help you,’” she said. “I was the only female in the RAM clinic who was able to communicate in Spanish.”

Avendaño-Rubi’s efforts caught the attention of Dr. Felipe Fiuza, Director of ETSU’s Language and Culture Resource Center, who offered her a job with the LCRC,


Both Avendaño-Rubi and Fiuza found their skills particularly needed when the region, along with the world, found itself in the midst of a pandemic. “During 2020, when we first came into COVID pandemic mode, the interpreters were not allowed to go into the hospital, which was a problem, because a lot of people couldn’t communicate,” she said. “So Dr. Fiuza and I took calls and interpreted remotely during the pandemic for ETSU Physicians. It was beautiful to have that experience from Dr. Fiuza and that he was able to help me out with that. And I was also able to help so many people, even if I wasn’t there present.” Avendaño-Rubi, who also speaks French and German, finds that her passion for language ties in with her love of culture. “Meeting people from France and speaking to them in their own language kind of opens up a new door to connect with someone else,” she said. “Being able to express myself in English opens up the doors to the American culture, the British culture, and everyone else. And Spanish – it’s not just Mexico, but it’s the entire South American continent. The German culture is very different from the American culture, from the Spanish culture, from the French culture. Languages in general just tie everyone together, even if you don’t know them well. I know many people who don’t know English proficiently but are still willing to try. The willingness to be open to other cultures, I think, is the beauty of languages. Languages are the bridge in between everything, between people.” Avendaño-Rubi is an Honors-in-Discipline biology major with a concentration in biochemistry and a minor in physics, and she holds a Diversity Scholarship through the ETSU Multicultural Center. In addition, she is Vice President of Member Development for Alpha Delta Pi Sorority. After graduating in May 2022, Avendaño-Rubi plans to take a gap year to spend time with her family, as her father plans to retire in the next two years, and to explore all her options for medical school before pursuing an M.D./Ph.D. dual degree. She has also accepted a research opportunity in Germany during that time.


Because a female interpreter was needed especially in the area of women’s health, she was asked to come back and has helped with ETSU’s RAM clinics ever since.

translating for patients in clinical settings, translating documents, assisting with health clinics, and more.

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‘BLUE COLLAR’ APPROACH PAVES THE WAY Since birth, basketball has always been a part of Simon Harris’ life, so it’s no surprise he wanted to get into coaching at a young age. Following stints as an assistant coach at Dayton, North Carolina State, and Ohio State, Harris received his first head coaching job when he was named the leader of the ETSU women’s basketball program on March 19, 2021. “I knew at a young age that I wanted to get into coaching,” said Harris. “My dad got to NC State in 1996, and he worked for Herb Sendek, who was an unbelievable teacher and student of the game. Coach Sendek was from five minutes away from where I lived, and to see someone experience his dream was really awesome and made me want to be around the game.” It was during his time at NC State when Harris was given some advice that stuck with him and made him believe coaching was in his future. Despite not knowing the meaning of what was said to him at the time by Hall of Fame Coach Kay Yow – who held head coaching jobs at Elon and NC State – Harris knew those words were powerful and carried great weight. “I think the biggest turning point for me was when I was about 12 years old,” said Harris. “I was very fortunate to be around Coach Kay Yow, and one day she told me, ‘You have a really great temperament.’ Of course, at that age I didn’t know what temperament was, but she said ‘You will probably make a really good coach one day.’ That conversation really resonated with me. It stuck. First, I had to find out what temperament meant. But being able to be around Coach Yow, and seeing the presence and effect she had on young people within the game of basketball really opened my eyes to the possibility when she told me that.” Harris has been blessed to have many mentors come across his path, including Yow, but it was his parents and great grandmother who instilled the work ethic to help get him to this point in life. Growing up on the east side of Pittsburgh provided Harris with that “blue collar” approach – something he uses to this day to help teach his players and staff. 36 x ETSU TODAY

“Having the blue-collar mentality is the reason I feel I have this opportunity,” said Harris. “I grew up on the east side of Pittsburgh, which isn’t the greatest of situations, but I was very fortunate that my mother and great grandmother worked their tails off to send me to one of the best schools in the city, so I could see what the other side looks like. It showed me that if you put in the work, do what’s asked of you and commit to it, that you can achieve your goals. I am forever grateful for my family giving me the opportunity, because you saw what the other side looked like, but you knew the reality that you were in and you saw the people working to get you out of that.” Being from Pittsburgh also helped Harris add to his list of mentors. Not only his dad – who coached for 27 years – but others from the area helped Harris on his coaching path. “Pittsburgh is a college basketball mecca of coaching,” said Harris. “I was fortunate to have a lot of mentors — my dad, Coach Sendek and others from that area, including Archie Miller, Sean Miller, and their dad was my AAU coach. I’ve been very fortunate from that side of things. Growing up in this business and to have Wes Moore to confide with or Houston Fancher or Coach McGuff or Shauna Green, I have been fortunate to be around all these great coaches along the way. You can really see when people genuinely care, and I have been blessed to have the basketball community behind me. They all provided advice that has helped me along the way, and I am extremely thankful for all of them and the relationships I have been able to build.” Being around a lot of successful coaches and teams, Harris has developed one motto for his Buccaneer program, “The Expectation.” “It’s the blue-collar mentality. My family raised me to do as well as I can for as long as I can. That was the only rule I had,” said Harris. “It was so evident that they provided the opportunity as long as I earned the opportunity. That’s the effort level, the approach. I only expect our

players to do what they’ve agreed upon and to do their best for as long as they can. That’s all it is. That’s on the court, in the classroom, in the community, in their personal relationships – it’s just genuinely doing your best – and that’s the only thing I expect.” Harris is excited for his first head coaching opportunity and being at a place where people love basketball. “I was intrigued by the success the program has had in the past. It’s a basketball-centered school. At ETSU, people love our sports and they love our basketball…. It’s also fun to have the football energy leading into our season as well,” said Harris. “We want to get our program and fans back to that championship brand. The thing that really sold me was the passion that Scott (Carter) had selling his alma mater to me. Dr. Sander presenting the opportunity and making that connection with me, too. I was then scheduled for a 30-minute Zoom with Dr. Noland, and we stayed on the call for multiple hours. We had a genuine conversation, and we kind of interviewed each other. Once I saw how passionate he was about this university and what he wants to do athletically, it was a no brainer for me.” Kevin Brown is Director of Communications for ETSU Intercollegiate Athletics.

DESMOND OLIVER NAMED HEAD COACH OF ETSU MEN’S BASKETBALL OLIVER BECOMES 18TH HEAD COACH IN PROGRAM HISTORY On Monday, April 5, during a press conference held inside Gordon Ball Court, East Tennessee State University Director of Athletics Scott Carter announced the hiring of Desmond Oliver as the new head coach of the ETSU men’s basketball program. Oliver, who spent the last six seasons as an assistant coach at Tennessee, becomes the 18th head coach in ETSU men’s basketball history. The Buffalo, N.Y., native brings 27 years of Division I coaching experience with him to Johnson City, as he held stints as an assistant at Charlotte (2010-15), Canisius (2009-10), Georgia (2004-09), Rhode Island (2001-04), St. Bonaventure (2000-01), Cornell (1998-2000), Texas A&M (199798), and Niagara (1994-97). “It is an honor to welcome Coach Desmond Oliver as the head coach of ETSU Basketball,” said Carter. “Coach Oliver has a tremendous reputation from the Ivy League to the SEC as a man of the highest integrity and extraordinary work ethic. His wealth of collegiate coaching experience includes multiple championships, postseason appearances, renowned recruiting

classes, and development of NBA Draft picks. Those who know him best state that Coach Oliver’s comprehensive basketball knowledge, relationship building, fierce competitiveness, and commitment to young men are what make him so special. As I have gotten to know Coach, I am most excited about the father, husband, and person he is. Our ETSU Basketball program is very fortunate to have Desmond Oliver as its head coach.” This marks Oliver’s first head coaching job, and he’s excited for the opportunity to lead a program with such tradition-rich history. “ETSU basketball has a history of success that was attractive to me,” said Oliver. “This program has experienced success on the court and has also successfully cultivated strong relationships throughout the community. I’m really excited about this opportunity to build on that and lead us as we take our next steps forward. My staff and I are going to hit the ground running, and begin our pursuit of cementing ETSU as the hardest-working and most respected program in the Southern Conference — a program admired nationwide for doing things the right way. You’re going to be proud of the culture within this program. “No one is going to outwork us as we develop young leaders within our program who will connect with this community and make a positive impact. My family is eager to make Johnson City our home and engage in productive dialogue about uplifting approaches to the unique challenges our young people face.” During his six seasons in Knoxville, Oliver saw Tennessee compile 123 wins and make three trips to the NCAA Tournament, including a Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2019. In the 2018-19 season, the Vols were ranked as high as No. 1 in the AP Top 25 Poll and finished sixth in the country with an overall record 31-6. Tennessee, who was ranked in the top-10 all season, went a perfect 11-0 in games where Oliver had been the scout. Oliver helped direct Tennessee to the 2018 SEC Championship and a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Vols were one of the best defensive teams in the country as they finished sixth nationally in defensive efficiency and led the SEC in scoring defense (65.7 ppg). Oliver played a critical role in Tennessee’s recruiting, as the Vols’ 2020 class was ranked No. 4 nationally by ESPN and their 2016-17 freshman class finished as the highest-scoring rookie class in program history with 1,040 points. Oliver coached three players who were selected in the NBA Draft, including back-toback SEC Player of the Year and first team All-American Grant Williams. Williams was drafted 22nd overall by the Boston Celtics in 2019, while Admiral Schofield (42nd overall by Philadelphia) and Jordan Bone (57th overall by Detroit) were also taken in the 2019 Draft.

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In his five-year stint at Charlotte, the 49ers defeated three top-15 opponents – No. 7 Tennessee (49-48, 2010-11), No. 11 Butler (71-67, 2012-13), and No. 14 Michigan (63-61), when they claimed the 2013 Puerto Rico Tip-Off. A year prior, Charlotte won the 2012 Great Alaska Shootout, while finishing the 2012-13 season with 21 wins and a trip to the NIT. The 21 wins marked the most by a Charlotte 49er team since posting 22 in 2000-01. Oliver was also essential in having the 49ers post back-to-back non-BCS top-10 recruiting classes.

with 21 wins in 2002-03, and again, posted another 20-win campaign in his third and final season en route to making their second straight NIT appearance.

Prior to his one season at Canisius (2009-10), where the Golden Griffins had their highest win total over a nine-year span, Oliver had his first run as an assistant in the SEC at the University of Georgia. Oliver led the Bulldogs to a pair of postseason berths – a 2007 NIT appearance and a trip to the 2008 NCAA Tournament. Georgia completed a historic run to win the 2008 SEC Tournament as they had to win two games on Saturday – the quarterfinal game versus Kentucky followed by the semifinal win over Mississippi State. Georgia then defeated Arkansas in the championship, marking the Bulldogs’ first SEC Tournament title since 1983. While at Georgia, Oliver recruited Travis Leslie and Howard Thompkins, who both ended up being NBA Draft picks.

Following his three years at Niagara, Oliver then coached one season at Texas A&M and two seasons at Cornell.

Over a four-year stretch, Oliver spent time on Jim Baron’s staff – one season at St. Bonaventure, and then three years at Rhode Island. At Rhode Island, Oliver helped guide the Rams to a 13win improvement from 2001-02 to 2002-03. The Rams finished


The Buffalo native began his collegiate coaching career in New York, where he joined Jack Armstrong’s staff at Niagara. Oliver helped recruit Alvin Young to the Purple Eagles, and Young went on to lead all NCAA Division I players in scoring in 1999 (25.1 ppg) and receive MAAC Player of the Year honors.

In 1992, Oliver graduated from Dominican College in Orangeburg, N.Y., where he was a three-year starter on the basketball team and a two-year team captain. He earned a master’s degree in student personnel administration at Buffalo State. As Oliver was working on his master’s, he started his coaching career as a varsity assistant and head junior varsity coach at Turner-Carroll High School. Following an outstanding prep career at DeSales High School in Lockport, N.Y., Oliver played one year at Genesee Community College in Batavia, N.Y., under coach Bill Van Gundy (father of NBA head coaches Jeff and Stan). Oliver and his wife, the former Annette Applewaithe, have two sons, Dante and Dallas.



Warm greetings and sweet treats wait inside King’s Corner, a new pastry and coffee shop at ETSU.



King’s Corner opened on November 2 on the ground floor of Carter Hall in University Commons serving candy, coffee, and confections from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Much of what the shop offers for sale is sourced from local businesses, such as Doe River Roasters and Peggy Ann Bakery.

The goal of these and other improvements around campus is to transform ETSU into a space that is well cared for, thoughtful, and interactive. Though they’re not much taller than the students right now, shade trees line the main axis of University Commons. Ross hopes the trees will give the Commons a feeling similar to La Rambla in Barcelona, Harvard Yard in Cambridge, and Boston Commons. Ross drew inspiration for ETSU’s University Commons from these spaces and others like them.

King’s Corner is named after the late Sonia King, who donated a major gift to support the creation of University Commons. “She would be pleased to see a student go in, get a nice treat, and come out on a sunny day and clear their head or study in the commons,” said Jeremy Ross, ETSU Chief Operating Officer.

University Commons is an important centerpiece for the new living-learning communities on campus. Stone Hall was renovated to support a community of pre-health students. The common areas and study rooms of the hall received a makeover to encourage socialization and cooperation among its residents.

Ross is one of many who have worked toward a greater vision for ETSU’s common space. The plan centers around an East to West axis that runs from Tri-Hall (Centennial, Davis, and Governors halls) through the renovated Culp Center and on to William B. Greene Jr. Stadium.

“It’s a great place to stay,” said Luke Bryant, a microbiology major and resident of Stone Hall. “It’s right in the center of campus and everything going on. Just look outside these windows. It’s so accessible to everything in the area.”

“For three decades architects, engineers, and master planners have been looking at this East–West axis to have this academic, social, and cultural experience walking across campus,” said Ross. “University Commons is one piece to it.” University Commons is a new central park for ETSU stretching from the D.P. Culp Student Center to John Robert Bell Drive. The Commons features open green space, a selection of outdoor games, and even a pair of slides that traverse the embankment between Stone Hall and the Culp Center. The idea for the slide came one wet day when discussing what to do with the embankment. Ross lost his footing in the wet grass and figured out what he wanted to put in that space.

University Commons creates opportunities for interactions that were absent from campus before the renovation. Ross and everyone who has lent their support to University Commons hope that the space can foster mental well-being and a sense of belonging among the university community. “I enjoy sitting on a bench, under a tree,” said Ross. “And someone will come by that I know or haven’t seen in a while and I interact with them. That is absolutely my favorite part of University Commons.” Jared Nesbitt is part of ETSU’s Office of University Marketing and Communications and is a student in the Media and Communications program.

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MEET THE VOICES OF ETSU ESPORTS “My love for healthy competition, both in esports and traditional sports…that and I also love to talk about them,” he laughed.

Chris Moser

Spencer Jedrzejek

Levi Everroad

Colleen Sharkey

They predict match-ups, hype up the crowd, and call the game as they see it. They share information about player stats and also help newcomers – and veteran audience members too – understand what is happening during the game, as well as behind the scenes (…or screens). And the four ETSU students who are esports casters this year will tell you they also get to have an amazing amount of fun. Introducing Levi Everroad, Spencer Jedrzejek, Chris Moser, and Colleen Sharkey. They are all students at ETSU and they share in common a profound love for esports – a passion that earned each of them an invitation to be casters for the university’s esports teams for the 2021-22 season. “We are like color commentators,” said Jedrzejek, a manufacturing engineering major from Mooresville. “We try to predict what the game might do, kind of like Tony Romo has over the past couple of seasons covering the NFL. “When I first heard ETSU was starting an esports team, I knew I wanted to be involved in some way, and casting has been my opportunity,” added Jedrzejek, who is a caster for the Overwatch team alongside of Everroad, a Japanese major from Johnson City. “I’ve played games for as long as I remember, whether it was sitting with my dad while he played Metal Gear Solid 2, or the sheer amount of hours I put into any Pokemon game,” he said. “I’ve always played lots of video games, and as a caster, we get to paint a visual image of the gameplay and the potential for plays.” What inspired Everroad to be a caster?

ETSU first entered the esports competition arena in fall 2020 with two teams, Overwatch and League of Legends. Twenty-two students who were already highly ranked in the respective fields were chosen for the inaugural teams. Overwatch played its first season finishing 8-1 in their group and earning a spot in the National Association of Collegiate Esports playoffs where they made it to the final 16. They also made it to the NECC playoffs and finished in their division’s top 8. League of Legends also We are like had a successful inaugural year, color commentators. finishing the Collegiate League Spencer Jedrzejek of Legends with a 4-2 season record. They also placed second in the Battle at Buff Nation and placed in the top 8 at the Drury League of Legends Invitational. This fall, a third team began its first season with the addition of Rocket League. Casting for Rocket League’s inaugural year are Moser and Sharkey. “I think the point of a caster is two things,” said Moser, a visual effects major from Memphis who is also a member of the League of Legends junior varsity team. “First, we give useful information within the context of the game, and second, we entertain the audience. “You can do both at the same time if you are good enough,” he said. His fellow caster, Sharkey, is a graduate student in brand and media strategy and is also pursuing a graduate certificate in esports management. Her love for esports began as a hobby. “My parents made the mistake of gifting me a PlayStation 1 in December of 2000, and I never gave up after that,” said Sharkey, a self-described military brat who never lived anywhere longer than four years. “Email…was boring, and forget international calls, so I stayed in touch with friends through gaming and made countless new friends through the years,” she said. “As casters, our job is to narrate and, above all else, engage. We are there to engage veteran viewers, casual category viewers, and rope in the baby viewers – especially those who have no idea why these six cars are fighting over a giant soccer ball. “The players are doing all the hard work; we’re just here to make it make sense,” she said. Joe Smith is Senior Director of Strategic Communications at ETSU. Photos by Charlie Warden

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he Reece Museum is housed in the fourth oldest building currently standing on ETSU’s campus. Not so different from a chest holding and protecting the treasures within, the building has witnessed a century of change. Built in 1922, it was the first stand-alone library until the construction of what became Sherrod Library (now Nicks Hall) in 1931. During the decades between the construction of the new library building and the dedication of the Reece Museum in 1965, the building served as office space, a health clinic, the state laboratory, and, during World War II, the Cadet Training Corps headquarters. The original collection of artifacts first became part of campus life in 1928 when Professor Maxine Matthews asked her students to bring in objects related to local and family history. This early collection of objects was set up in Matthews’ classroom in Gilbreath Hall, but a letter written by President Charles C. Sherrod in 1935 shows that the administration was intentionally collecting artifacts in order to create a permanent exhibit that would be an educational resource for the campus community. Designs for the Sherrod Library called for a designated “museum space” in the upper floor for the “valuable and unique” collection, which remained in the care of librarians until being transferred to its current home in the Reece Museum. The museum is named for Tennessee’s First District Congressman Brazilla Carroll Reece, who served in the House of Representatives longer than anyone else in the state’s history. After his death during the beginning of his 18th term in 1961, his widow, Louise, was elected to serve the remainder of his unexpired term. Louise Goff Reece was a political powerhouse in her own right and set out to cement her husband’s legacy in East Tennessee. A memorial fund was quickly initiated by veterans living at the Old Soldier’s Home in memory of all the advocacy and work that B. Carroll Reece did on behalf of his fellow veterans. The fund grew to unexpected proportions, and Louise Goff Reece donated the money needed to renovate the building and establish a “storehouse of knowledge” at East Tennessee State College that would make her husband’s collection of rare books, Congressional memorabilia, papers, and photographs available to the campus and regional community. On October 10, 1965, the B. Carroll Reece Memorial Museum and Archives opened to the public with a grand ceremony attended by university and state officials, including ETSU President Burgin E. Dossett, Governor Frank Clement, and Congressman James H. “Jimmy” Quillen. Today, the treasure chest known as the Reece Museum continues its mission to serve the Appalachian region through


Taken on October 10, 1965, this picture captures the moment just before the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Reece Museum. Pictured left to right: Congressman Jimmy Quillen; Louise Goff Reece; Tennessee Governor Frank G. Clement; Louise and Carol Marthens, granddaughters of Congressman and Mrs. Reece; Louise Marthens, the Reeces’ daughter; and ETSU President Burgin E. Dossett.

The Reece Museum as it looks today.

exhibitions, collections, and community engagement. Recently, the Reece Museum was recognized with two awards of excellence by the Tennessee Association of Museums and, along with the Archives of Appalachia, was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities grant entitled “Digital Access and Preservation: Calling Attention to Diverse Voices in Appalachia.” Spenser Brenner is Exhibition Coordinator at the Reece Museum, and Savannah Bennett is a Graduate Assistant there. | Photos courtesy Reece Museum.

CLASS NOTES 1950s Beverly Barnes Herd, Class of 1958, passed away November 22, 2020. Texas Governor, Greg Abbott declared August 21 to be Beverly Herd Day because she contributed her time and leadership to numerous professional associations, cultural arts institutions, and charitable organizations. In addition, an American flag flew over the Texas state capitol in honor of her life.

1960s David M. Combs, Class of 1969, is a retired manager from AT&T, with a successful second career as a songwriter, entrepreneur, and author. He has written over 120 songs and recorded 15 albums of instrumental music. He has also written a best-selling book, Touched by the Music: How the Story and Music of “Rachel’s Song” Can Change Your Life. His degree is in Math. John E. Ross, Class of 1969, has written a book entitled Through the Mountains: The French Broad River and Time. He is a winner of the National Outdoor Book Award and author of more than a dozen books exploring the interactions of humans with the natural world. His degree is in Journalism.

1970s Robert D. Williams, Class of 1970, has written a book entitled Shallow Creek, a semifinalist for the Florida Writers Association 2021 Royal Palm Literary Awards in the Historical Fiction genre. His degree is in Psychology. Dr. David B. Stout, Jr., Classes of 1973 and 1977, received the Significant Sig Award from Sigma Chi fraternity. Dr. Stout served as the Director of Adult Education (GED) in South Carolina. He is currently a consultant to Adult Education programs in other states. He received a Bachelor of Science in Journalism with a minor in History and a Master of Arts in Educational Administration. Dr. Ellen Stites Wyatt, Classes of 1975 and 1994, was inducted into the Johnson City Schools 2020 Hall of Fame. She served 30 years as a teacher, principal, and mentor to teachers. Her degrees are in Education. Perry L. Elliott, Class of 1977, was honored with a plaque at Elizabethton High School for his 31 years of service as Director of the Betsy Band. His degree is in Music. William “Ed” Lawson, Class of 1979, has become a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers at Turner Padget, one of the premier legal associations in North America. His degree is in Political Science.

1980s Charles A. Adams, Class of 1980 and former ETSU baseball player, is the baseball coach at Lebanon High School, where he won the VHSL Class 2 State Baseball Championship. His degree is in Physical Education. James M. Adams, Class of 1980, retired from teaching and now resides in Winston Salem, North Carolina. His degree is in Geography.

Douglas M. Hubbard, Class of 1982, retired after 39 years of coaching football at Honaker High School in Virginia. His degree is in Physical Education. He was a member of the football team. Ronald E. Smith, Class of 1982, has been named Vice President of Sales - Southeast at Omni Aircraft Sales. His degree is in Mass Communication. Dr. B.J. Davidson Lowe, Classes of 1983, 2016, and 2020, is a Mental Health Counselor at Wellsprings Counseling Group, LLC. Her degrees are in Criminal Justice, Counseling, and Educational Leadership. Dr. Alan V. Meade, Classes of 1983 and 1988, has been inducted into the ETSU College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences Hall of Fame. Meade is Director of Rehabilitative Health Services at Holston Medical Group, a statewide and national group. His degrees are in Health Education and Public Health. Barry K. Reed, Class of 1983, is the new softball coach at Bluefield High School in Virginia. He had a successful career coaching basketball and softball and being the athletic director during his 22-year tenure at Virginia High School. His degree is in Business Education. Pauline L. Douglas, Classes of 1984 and 1987, has performed in her first movie soundtrack playing hand bells for the movie Lost and Found: The Story of a Prodigal. The movie is produced by Knoxville Christian Arts Ministries, of which Douglas is a member. She serves on the ETSU National Alumni Association’s Board of Directors. Her degrees are in Psychology. James L. Harlan II, Class of 1987, participated in the ETSU Fall Career Expo representing ETSU’s department of Management and Marketing. His degree is in Business Administration. J. Daniel Howard, Class of 1985, has been promoted to General Sales Manager of WDEF-TV in Chattanooga. His degree is in Mass Communication. J. Michael Gilmer, Class of 1987, has been appointed Vice President of Claims at Seibels in Columbia, South Carolina. His degree is in Political Science. Trena G. Green, Class of 1987, is working as a Gift Processor for ETSU’s Office of Advancement Services. Her degree is in Business. Kimberly D. Reece, Class of 1987, has started a new position as Administrative Manager for Doe Mountain Recreation Authority. Her degree is in Health Education. Gregory N. Walters, Class of 1987, has retired from Northeast State Community College as Assistant Vice President for Student Success and Dean of Student Development. He was employed by Northeast State for over 30 years. His degree is in Mass Communication.

Matthew H. Cooter, Class of 1989, received the Order of Constantine Award from Sigma Chi fraternity. Cooter served as Chapter Advisor for Sigma Chi at ETSU, when the chapter received Sigma Chi’s highest award, the Peterson Significant Chapter Award. He previously served on the reunion committee and on the faculty of the fraternity’s Balfour Leadership Training Workshop. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing. Dr. David L. Gibbs, Class of 1989, was awarded tenure and promoted to Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Information Management at Texas State University in Round Rock. His degree is in Computer and Information Science. He continued his education at other institutions, earning an MS and a PhD in Education, as well as receiving a graduate certificate in Applied Biomedical Informatics. Barbara E. Mentgen, Classes of 1989 and 1992, married John Archer on September 27, 2021, in Charleston, South Carolina. The couple will reside in Johnson City. She is Director of Operations at the Chamber of Commerce serving Johnson City, Jonesborough, and Washington County, Tennessee. Her degrees are in Management and Business Administration.

1990s Kenny A. Chesney, Class of 1990, is an Executive Producer for ESPN’s 11th season of “SEC Storied.” The 90-minute film entitled More Than a Voice, will showcase some of the legendary football play-by-play voices in conference history. His degree is in Mass Communication. David C. Farmer, Class of 1990, has been appointed President of Fishbowl Spirits, LLC, which is owned by Kenny A. Chesney (’90). Farmer will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the company’s operations, which produces Blue Chair Bay Rum. Farmer’s degree is in Business Administration and Marketing. Mark Anthony Davis, Class of 1991, has been named the ALF Administrator for Noble Senior Living. His degree is in Health Education. Philip J. Anson, Classes of 1993 and 1994, has been recognized by Florida Trend magazine as one of the most influential business leaders in the Sunshine State. This is the fourth time Anson has received this honor. He is Chief Executive Officer of STS Aviation Group. His degrees are in Business Administration. Christopher W. Hughes, Classes of 1993 and 1995, is the Permanent Supportive Housing Manager at People Incorporated of Virginia. He has an Associate degree in Law Enforcement and a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Buddy R. Morrison, Classes of 1993 and 2003, has been awarded his 6th Degree Black Belt in American Kenpo, in Houston, Texas. Morrison is a counselor at Volunteer High School in Church Hill, Tennessee, and owns Morrison Tactical in Kingsport. His degrees are in Marketing and Counseling. W. Pat Wolfe, Classes of 1993 and 1999, is an Accounts Payable Manager for ETSU’s Office of Business and Finance. His degrees are in Accountancy and Business Administration.

Tammy Lynn Albright, Class of 1994, Vice President and CEO of Behavioral Health Services at Ballad Health, received the Early Careerist Award (Regent Award for a rising star) from the American College of Healthcare Executives. Her degree is in Nursing. L. Keith Hampton, Class of 1994, received the Order of Constantine Award from Sigma Chi fraternity. He has served as Chairman of the Sigma Chi House Corporation. He also aids in planning the Sigma Chi Anniversary Reunion Celebrations and summer golf event. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing. Lt. Col. Michael S. Humphreys, Class of 1994, has recently begun working as a Marketing Coordinator for LeFerney Commercial Roofing. He is also a novelist of The Bantering Welshman. His degree is in Mass Communication. Monique MarShell Pannell, Classes of 1994 and 2017, who earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology at Northcentral University, recently accepted a position as Staffing Coordinator for Luttrell Staffing Group. She married Michael Pannell in Norfolk, Virginia, on August 14, 2021. Her degrees are in Criminal Justice and Psychology. Bryan S. Winston, Class of 1994, and his wife, Kimberly S. Winston, Class of 1992, have opened Local Motion Cyclery, a bicycle shop, which has plans for an expansion to include a taproom, retail space, and an outdoor pump track for children in downtown Johnson City. His degree is in Marketing. Her degree is in Psychology. Christopher T. Beatty, Class of 1995, has been named Wide Receivers Coach for the Los Angeles Chargers. His degree is in Physical Education. Jeremy A. Lawrence, Class of 1995, and his wife Amanda are proud of their son, Trevor, for being the #1 NFL draft pick for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jeremy’s degree is in Finance. Kimberly A. Masker, Class of 1995, is an Adjunct Professor at Emory & Henry College. She is also a Certified Hand Therapist and Occupational Therapist at Bristol Regional Medical Center. Her degree is in Foreign Language. Chaka Ogon Sutton, Class of 1995, is Senior Vice President of Sports & Unified Schools for Special Olympics Colorado. He has been asked to serve on the USA Football Medical Advisory Panel. His degree is in Sociology. Thomas L. Tull, Class of 1995, was featured on Becker’s Healthcare Podcast discussing navigating careers, adding notes of interest that have been helpful during his 30-year career. Tull is Vice President and Chief Experience Officer at Ballad Health and serves as President-elect of the ETSU National Alumni Association Board of Directors. He has a Master of Business Administration degree. Joey E. Barnard, Classes of 1996 and 2000, has been named Vice President of Operations at FILMtech, Inc. His role will include assisting in the formulation and implementation of the company’s current business plan, growing manufacturing and engineering talent, and sales. His degrees are in Accountancy and Business Administration.

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Dr. Jeffrey S. Howard, Classes of 1997, 2002, and 2014, is the new Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs at UNC Pembroke. His degrees are in Political Science, History, and Educational Leadership. Kimberly Campbell Garland, Classes of 1998 and 2013, has been awarded the ETSU College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences Distinguished Alumna Award. Garland currently serves as Child Protective Services Director with the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services. Her degrees are in Criminal Justice and Social Work. Jamie Rhudy Henson, Class of 1998, has been named Organizational Development Manager at Crown Laboratories, Inc. She will lead all aspects of organizational development, including competencybased career path development, leadership development, and performance management. Her degree is in English and Political Science. Janice K. Dowdy, Classes of 1999 and 2001, has been inducted into the ETSU College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences Hall of Fame. She currently serves as Speech-Language Pathologist at NeuroRestorative Kentucky. Scott M. Grady, Class of 1999, is starting a new position as Manager of Fulfillment Center Logistics for Life is Good. His degree is in Criminal Justice. J. Nathan Parker, Class of 1999, was recently promoted to Senior Manager, Product Delivery - Intelligent Grid for the Tennessee Valley Authority. His degree is in Computer Science. Jason R. Onks, Classes of 1999 and 2017, is the new Director of Business and Operations for Martin Center for the Arts. His degrees are in Engineering Technology and Business Administration. Kenneth D. Thomas, Classes of 1999 and 2001, is a Nuclear Engineering Advisor for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. His degrees are in Mathematics.

2000s James C. Chadwell, Class of 2000, has been selected as the George Munger Coach of the Year award winner by the Maxwell Football Club. In 2020, Chadwell received many awards and honors including the Walter Camp Coach of the Year, the Associated Press Coach of the Year, the Home Depot College Football Coach of the Year, the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year, the Sporting News Coach of the Year, the CBS Sports 24/7Sports Coach of the Year, the Paul “Bear” Bryant “Group of 5” Conference Coach of the Year, the Premier Coach of College Football, the Sun Belt Coach of the Year, the Werner Ladder AFCA FBS Region 2 Coach of the Year, and was honored by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) with the Grant Teaff Coach of the Year award. As head coach at Coastal Carolina, Chadwell led the Chanticleers to the program’s first-ever Sun Belt Conference title and the program’s first-ever FBS postseason bowl game. His degree is in Economics.


Cpt. (Ret.) Steven R. Salyer, Class of 2000, has been named the new Chief Executive Officer of Watsonville Community Hospital in California. His degree is in Physical Education. Corey B. Shoun, Class of 2000, has been promoted to Sergeant by the Johnson City Police Department. Shoun has served with JCPD as a patrol officer, field training officer, criminal investigator, recruiting team member, bike team member, and Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team member. He also serves in Security Forces with the United States Navy and is currently a reserve investigator with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). His degree is in Mass Communication. Dr. Sean J. Fox, Classes of 2001 and 2013, is the recipient of ETSU’s 2021 Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching. Dr. Fox is a lecturer and laboratory coordinator in ETSU’s Department of Health Sciences in the College of Public Health. His undergraduate degree is in Criminal Justice and his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences and Microbiology. Steven M. Neilson, Class of 2001, has received a certification from the American Institute of Certified Planners. He currently serves as Community Development Director for the City of Morristown. He has a Master of City Management degree. Dr. Gaurav Bharti, Classes of 2002 and 2006, was recognized by Newsweek magazine as being one of America’s Best Plastic Surgeons in 2021. He serves as a member of the ETSU National Alumni Association’s Board of Directors. His degrees are in Biology and Medicine. Dr. Lisa Finch Piercey, Class of 2002, is the 14th Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health and received an Excellence in Diversity Award from the American College of Healthcare Executives. Her degree is in Medicine. Dr. Michelle Athryn Taylor, Class of 2002, is the new Health Director of the Shelby County, Tennessee, Health Department. Her degree is in Medicine. Dr. Tony Davis Jr., Class of 2003, joined Summit Medical Group as a physician at Greeneville Family Medicine. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Biology. Dr. Joshua L. Whitlock, Classes of 2003, 2013, and 2018, is an Engineer for ETSU’s Information Technology Services, after serving as Vice President for Research, Analytics, and Planning at Northeast State Community College. He holds a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. Paul Bashea Williams, Classes of 2003 and 2006, is a recipient of the ETSU College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences Distinguished Alumnus Award. Williams operates a private practice, Hearts In Mind Counseling, in Maryland. His writing, acting, and public speaking have been featured on many national television networks and in national publications. He serves as a member of the ETSU National Alumni Association’s Board of Directors.

Allison Sherrill Guinn, Class of 2004, has a recurring role in Season 4 of the Amazon series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She performed her latest show, “The Legacy of Daisy Dean,” at The Green Room 42, a cabaret club in New York City. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and minored in English. Dr. Laralee Ferrell Harkleroad, Class of 2004, has started a new position as Quality Enhancement Plan Co-Chair at Tusculum University. Her degree is in Business Administration. January Mullins Tankersley, Class 2004, is the new Marketing Coordinator for the Greater Kingsport Family YMCA. Her degree is in Art. Dr. Alison Guinn Whitman, Class of 2004, has received an honorable mention in the Vasculitis Foundation’s 2021 Recognizing Excellence in Diagnostics award program after saving a patient’s life by diagnosing him with a rare form of vasculitis. Dr. Whitman is a family medicine specialist at Holston Medical Group in Abingdon. Dr. Brandon R. Hudson, Classes of 2005 and 2019, has been named Box Office Manager for ETSU’s Martin Center for the Arts. He has a Master of Arts in Physical Education and a doctorate in Global Sports Leadership. David R. Ongie, Class of 2005, has been named the new Managing Editor of the Business Journal of Tri-Cities TN/VA. He has 16 years of experience as a journalist, having worked for the Kingsport Times-News and the Johnson City Press. His degree is in English. Kimberly D. Risner, Class of 2005, is a Logistical Technician for the Tennessee Early Childhood Learning Training Alliance, within ETSU’s Center of Excellence in Early Childhood Learning and Development. She was previously employed as a teacher in the Greeneville City School System. She has a Master of Early Childhood Education degree. Vanessa Gregory Canter, Classes of 2006 and 2016, has been promoted to Financial Management Analyst at ETSU. Her degrees are in Business Administration. Keely Richardson Goodwin, Class of 2006, has been promoted to Director of Corporate Strategy at Eastman Chemical Company. Her degree is in Business Administration and Marketing. Kelly Jones Harrison, Class of 2006, is starting a new position as Product Director for Schafer Systems. Bailey Garrett McChesney, Classes of 2006 and 2009, has been promoted to Director, MBA Admissions at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management. Her degrees are in Mass Communication and Counseling. Drew D. Guider, Class of 2007, has been promoted to Sergeant and is assigned to Platoon 2 with the Johnson City Police Department. Guider has served as a

patrol officer, a member of the traffic unit, field-training officer, child passenger safety technician, and recruiter. He also served for several years on the departmental Officer Advisory Board. He is certified in Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement and earned the “DUI Officer of the Year” award from the Tennessee Highway Safety Office in 2019. His degree is in Criminal Justice. Kara A. Khaley, Classes of 2007 and 2009, was promoted to Senior Advisor, Market & Competitive Intelligence at Sedgwick in May 2021. Her degrees are in Foreign Languages and Business Administration. Christopher Cody Link, Class of 2007, has accepted a job as a Senior IT Network Engineer at SpaceX in Hawthorne, California. He has a degree in Engineering Technology. David W. Saleh, Classes of 2007 and 2010, is a Lecturer in ETSU’s Department of Accountancy. He was previously an Accounting Manager with Wyoming Electronics, Inc. His degrees are in Accounting. Ashley King Daugherty, Class of 2008, participated in the ETSU Fall Career Expo representing Eastman Credit Union. Her degree is in Business Management. Justin A. Layne, Classes of 2008 and 2010, has been named Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff at Citi. His degrees are in Business Administration. Brandon C. Bledsoe, Class of 2009, married Michelle Reynoso on July 5. His degree is in Business Management. Tyla Short Boyd, Class of 2009, performed at the contemporary Christian Sunset Concert Series during Fun Fest in Kingsport. Her degree is in Early Childhood Development. Christopher D. Carroll, Class of 2009, married Taylor Walker on September 18, 2021, at Bluff View Art District in Chattanooga. He is Director of Executive Writing at The American Petroleum Institute. The couple will reside in Washington, DC. His degree is in History. Andrew S. Gilbert, Class of 2009, has been named Vice President, Commercial Portfolio Manager at Citizen’s Bank. His degree is in Economics. Mathew C. Halter, Class of 2009, has accepted a position as Senior Bioprocess Engineer with Blue Nalu. His degree is in Biology. Dr. Dana Eckerle Harrison, Class of 2009, is Assistant Professor of Marketing, Director of MBA programs, and Stanley P. Williams Faculty Fellow at ETSU. She recently co-authored The Essentials of Marketing Analytics, a textbook that will be used by students throughout the industry. Her degree is in Business Administration. T. Ryan Hughes, Class of 2009, has been appointed by Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally to serve on the Tennessee Childcare Taskforce. Hughes currently serves as the Boys & Girls Clubs in Tennessee and Tennessee Alliance of Boys

& Girls Clubs Executive Director. His degree is in Political Science. Derek A. Wagner, Class of 2009, and wife Mary Beth welcomed a new Buccaneer to their family. Katherine Virginia-Ruth Wagner was born on May 31. Derek’s degree is in Business Management.

2010s Dr. Linde Christine Burkey, Classes of 2010 and 2012, has been promoted to Associate Professor at ETSU. Her degrees are in Criminal Justice and Criminology. C. Jeff Fyke, Class of 2010, has been named Communications Director at Knoxville Area Association of Realtors. His degree is in History. Ashly N. Garris, Class of 2010, has started a new position as Outreach and Employer Services Coordinator at ETSU. She has a Master of Arts in Teaching. Akiah Highsmith, Class of 2010, is working as an Associate Attorney at the law office of Herndon, Coleman, Brading and McKee, LLP. His degree is in Engineering Technology. Seamus E. Power, Class of 2010, earned his first PGA Tour win at the Barbasol Championship, beating J.T. Piston after a six-hole playoff. His degree is in Accountancy. Alisa Teffeteller, Class of 2010, was recognized by her peers for her leadership as the East Tennessee recipient of the Trailblazer Award from the Tennessee Directors of Career and Technical Education. She completed her doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. Dr. Jacob L. Allen, Classes of 2011 and 2018, is working as a Mortgage Loan Originator for Cardinal Financial. He has a master’s degree in Mathematical Science and doctorate in Global Sport Leadership. Jacob D. Baggett, Class of 2011, is the new Senior Public Policy Counsel for the firm Bass, Berry & Sims in Nashville. His degree is in History. Jennifer Griggs Finley, Class of 2011, is an Assistant Professor of Family and Consumer Sciences at Carson Newman University. Her degree is in Clinical Nutrition. David L. Ford, Class of 2011, is a Senior Account Executive with Tombras. He speaks to various groups including the University of Tennessee’s Ad Club for the School of Advertising and Public Relations. His degree is in Mass Communication. V. Kristina Phipps, Class of 2011, has started a new position as a Customer Service Representative for United Health. Her degree is in Organizational Leadership. J. Logan Tindell, Classes of 2011, 2013, and 2019, is working as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist at Summit Counseling Services, LLC. His degrees are in Psychology, Counseling, and Educational Leadership. Shawna N. Chaney, Class of 2012, was featured on UT Medical Center’s social media channels during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. She serves as an Oncology Nurse at the Cancer Institute at UT Medical Center. Her degree is in Nursing.

Paige A. Donaldson, Class of 2012, has been named as the Small Business Advocate within the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office. Donaldson is a specialist in the Office of Research and Education Accountability. She has also served as a member of the Comptroller’s legislative team. She has a Master of Public Administration degree. Sander Gille, ETSU Class of 2012, earned the opportunity to play doubles tennis for Belgium in the Olympic games in Tokyo. His degree is in Management. David F. Mowell, Class of 2012, has been promoted to Vice President at Citizens Bank, where he currently manages a commercial portfolio of over $40 million. He is primarily responsible for business development and relationship management throughout the Tri-Cities market, with a concentration in Kingsport and Elizabethton. Jennifer Bailey Walters, Class of 2012, has accepted a position as Corporate Talent Acquisition Manager for Providence Enterprises LLC (d/b/a Ashley Home Stores). Her degree is in Business Administration. Marshall B. Couch, Class of 2013, has been named Senior Product Analytics Engineer at Eastman Chemical Company. His degree is in Computing. O.J. Early, Classes of 2013 and 2016, is a Marketing and Communications Specialist in ETSU Office of Marketing and Communication. His degrees are in Mass Communication and History. Dana N. Glenn, Class of 2013, has been named the new Director of Licensing for the Tennessee Department of Human Services. Her degree is in Business Management. John D. Kaywood, Class of 2013, is the new Executive Director at The Kingsport Theatre Guild. His degree is in Theatre and Dance. Chelsea D. Rose, Class of 2013, is Director for Career Readiness at Tennessee’s Department of Education. She has a Master of Public Administration degree. Matthew S. Brickey, Class of 2014, and his wife, Katie welcomed their son, Andrew Thompson Brickey, on September 1, 2021. Matthew is a Music Teacher for Cherokee Elementary and the Organist and Music Associate at Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church. His degree is in Music. Dr. Courtney Gosnell Haun, Classes of 2014 and 2016, has been named one of Auburn University’s 30 Under 30 recipients. Dr. Haun is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Undergraduate Healthcare Administration program in the Department of Healthcare

Administration and Informatics at Samford University. Her degrees are in Healthcare Administration and Public Health. She received her PhD in Public Administration and Public Policy from Auburn in 2019. Adam C. Jarvis, Class of 2014, is working as a Project Delivery Manager, Government and Public Services for Deloitte. His degree is in Public Health. K. Hayden Fleenor, Class of 2014, is Director of Nonprofits for Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. He earned a BS in Human Services. L. Haley Williams, Classes of 2014 and 2016, is starting a new position as Analyst Relations Manager at Optimizely. Her degrees are in Marketing and Digital Marketing. Sally Kathryn Neal Woodward, Class of 2014, is a Registered Nurse in ETSU’s College of Nursing Nurse Family Partnership after serving as an RN for Northeast Tennessee Family Nurse Partnership. Her degree is in Nursing. Blakely Bays Ball, Class of 2015, is now working as a Field Sales Trainer for Salix Pharmaceuticals. Her degree is in Communication Studies. Jacob A. Bolen, Classes of 2015 and 2017, has accepted a position of Claims Specialist for the Social Security Administration. His degrees are in Marketing and Digital Marketing. Kathleen “Katie” Miller, FNP-C, Class of 2015, has been instrumental in the opening of Fleetwood Family Medicine in Fleetwood, Tennessee. She earned a Master of Science in Nursing. J. Nicholas Routh, Class of 2015, has been named Sullivan County Teacher of the Year. He is currently a Band and Music Teacher at Sullivan North High School. His degree is in Music. Chelsea D. Taylor, Class of 2015, has been promoted to Senior Public Relations Specialist at Media Source. Her degree is in Mass Communication. Jefferson A. Young, Classes of 2015 and 2017, is an Academic Advisor in ETSU’s College of Nursing, Office of Student Services. He was previously an Upward Bound Counselor at Tusculum University. He has degrees in Psychology and Counseling. Dr. J. Owen Driskill, Class of 2016, has been named Assistant Provost and Chief Operating Officer at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His degree is in Educational Leadership. Robert P. King, II, Class of 2016, is working as a Digital Content Manager in ETSU’s Office of Admissions. His degree is in Digital Media.

Adrian Meronk, Class of 2016, earned the opportunity to play golf for Poland in the Olympic games in Tokyo. His degree is in Finance. Emily L. Murr, Class of 2016, was recently promoted to Market Director, Marketing and Communications for Ballad Health’s Southern Market. Her degree is in Public Health. She is currently a candidate in the Master of Health Administration program at ETSU. William N. Perkins, Class of 2016, participated in the ETSU Fall Career Expo representing the Harrell Group/ Raven 22 Solutions, which provides comprehensive security solutions within a variety of disciplines and fields, originating from a vast experience and knowledge base within the personal/executive protection and commercial security environments. His degree is in Sociology. Ryan R. Roberts, Classes of 2016 and 2018, is a Procurement & Contracts Manager in ETSU’s Office of Business and Finance. He was previously a Financial Risk Management Analyst with Eastman Chemical Company. His degrees are in Finance and Business Administration. William M. Quinlan, Class of 2016, is a Budget/Research Analyst in the Executive Budget Office for the State of South Carolina. His degree is in Interdisciplinary Studies. Jacy E. Richardson, Classes of 2016 and 2018, is an Assistant Professor in ETSU’s Department of Digital Media. Richardson was formerly a VFX and 3D artist with Cortina Productions. Her degrees are in Digital Media and Technology. Ryan Blake Berkley, Class of 2017, welcomed a new Buccaneer to his family. Rhett William Berkley was born on May 24, 2021. Ryan’s degree is in Computing. Matthew D. Carter, Class of 2017, has joined the Board of Directors for Music City Youth in the Arts. He currently works as a Compensation Analyst for Continental. His degree is in Business Management. Devin A. Clark, Class of 2017, is a Dispatcher with ETSU Public Safety. His degree is in Exercise Science. Katherine E. Cooter, Classes of 2017 and 2019, has accepted a position as Finance Officer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Her degrees are in Accounting.

Dr. Loren M. Kirk, Class of 2016, has been promoted to Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships at Pharmacy Quality Alliance. He has a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. in Music Education.

Derrick Epps, Class of 2017, has been named Teacher of the Year at Northwest Middle School for the Greenville School System in South Carolina. His degree is

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Dr. Richard D. Gibson, Class of 2017, has joined the Bone and Joint Institute of Tennessee. He is a board-certified family medicine physician with a specialized focus in sports medicine. His degree is in Medicine. Dr. Daniel H. Gouger, Class of 2017, will start his anesthesiology residency in 2022 at Johns Hopkins to complete combined fellowships in Neurocritical Care, Surgical Critical Care, and Neuroanesthesiology. His degree is in Medicine. Wesley E. Harris, Class of 2017, has accepted a Search Associate position at Bonell Ryan Executive Search. His degree is in History. Melissa Ann McElroy, Class of 2017, has begun law school at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Her degree is in Political Science. Albert “A.J.” Merriweather, Class of 2017, founded Merriweather Construction Company, LLC in Medon, Tennessee. He also was the keynote speaker at the 12th anniversary banquet of Keep My Hood Good in Jackson, TN. His degree is in Engineering Technology. Ruth Chioma Nwauche, Class of 2017, is the Judicial Extern for Chief Judge John J. McConnell at United States District Court, District of Rhode Island. Her degree is in International Affairs. Kayla D. Yates, Class of 2017, started a new position as Coordinator of Circulation Services at the Thomas J. Garland Library at Tusculum University. Her degree is in Media and Communication. Brandi L. Campbell, Class of 2018, has accepted a job as Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Scientist and software developer at NSWCDD’s Strategic and Computing Systems Department. Her degree is in Computer Science. Cory A. Dillard, Classes of 2018 and 2020, has been promoted to Dimensions Corporate EPIC Trainer at Novant Health. His degrees are in Health Sciences and Public Health.

Dr. Brittany J. Ezell, Class of 2018, has been named Executive Vice President of Elite Entertainment Experiences, LLC. She has a doctorate in Global Sports Leadership. Peyton L. Harold, Classes of 2018 and 2020, has accepted a position as Associate Banker for Rocket Mortgage LLC. His degrees are in Marketing and Business Administration. Christopher T. Kudera, Class of 2018, is the General Manager of TNT Sportsplex and serves as Head Soccer Coach at David Crockett High School. His degree is in International Affairs. Dr. Kelsey Lee Lloyd, Class of 2018, is an Assistant Professor in ETSU’s Department of Family Medicine. Her degree is in Medicine. Abigail R. Reece, Classes of 2018 and 2020, married Samuele A. Wilson, Class of 2020, on May 29, 2021, in Mountain City. She is a Mathematics Teacher for the Johnson County School System. Her degrees are in Mathematics and Education. He is an fiber optic tech for Appalachian Fiber Splicing. His degree is in Engineering Technology. Raina E. Wiseman, Classes of 2018 and 2020, has begun a new job with ETSU’s Research Corporation. Her degrees are in Media and Communication and Brand and Media Strategy. Courtney D. Woods, Class of 2018, is an advisor for Talent Search within ETSU’s Trio Programs. Her degree is in Human Services. Taylor Starlin Cole, Class of 2019, has accepted a position with Ferguson Enterprises as a BIM specialist/ drafter, with the waterworks team based in San Antonio, Texas. In addition, she married Wyatt A. Cole, Class of 2020. Her degree is in Interior Architecture. His degree is in Business Management.

Maude Mooneyham Wilburn; Livonia, Michigan; July 7, 2021; BS ’43 Elementary Education

Kaylin C. Hutson, Class of 2019, has accepted a job as a Personal Assistant at The Blake by QSL Management. Her degree is in Psychology. Dr. McCartney Andrews Johnson, Class of 2019, has been named Deputy to the President at Sam Houston State University. Dr. Johnson will assist the Office of the President with communications, project management, policies and procedures, and Texas State University Systems Board relations. Her degree is in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. Daniel K. Martin, Class of 2019, is an Academic Advisor with the Council for Advisement and Student Excellence at ETSU after serving the university as an Information Research Technician. His degree is in Psychology and Sociology. Maya G. Mathis, Classes of 2019 and 2021, has been named General Manager of the Elizabethton River Riders, a summer collegiate baseball team in the Appalachian League. Mathis has a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and a master’s degree in Sports Management. She was also a member of the ETSU softball team.

2020s Bobbye L. Carothers, Class of 2020, has started a new position as Support Specialist at Headspace Health. She is also a Social Media Coordinator and Entrepreneur. Her degree is in Media and Communication. Wyatt A. Cole, Class of 2020, married Tyler Cole in Tampa, Florida, on April 25, 2021. His degree is in Business Management. Paige K. Hill, Class of 2020, is the new Digital Content Producer at WVLT and WBXX in Knoxville. Her degree is in Media and Communication. Kirsten N. Litz, Class of 2020, has been named Director of Marketing for Ransom Digital. Her degree is in Media and Communication.

Elizabeth A. Greer, Class of 2019, is a Merchandise Buyer and Manager at Congaree and Diamond Creek Golf Club. Her degree is in Marketing.

Asia M. Rutherford, Class of 2020, is a Senior Account Representative with Assured Partners. Her degree is in Business Management.

Macy S. Harrell, Class of 2019, has been promoted to Management Assistant with

Jordan L. Trent, Class of 2020, married Jordan Hodge on November 13, 2021. She

Truett Hayes Pierce; Sneedville, Tennessee; September 8, 2021; BS ’50 Chemistry


Enterprise Holdings. Her degree is in Media and Communication.

Thomas C Henley; Cleveland, Tennessee; September 26, 2021; BS ’49 Mathematics Wanda Goode McJunkin; Henrico, Virginia; September 24, 2021; BS ’49 Health Education

Allen Phipps Jennings; Wytheville, Virginia; March 8, 2018; BS ’51 Physical Education


Louise Montgomery Carmack; Hendersonville, Tennessee; April 28, 2021; BS ’46 Secondary Education

Frederick Earl Griffith; Newtown, Connecticut; October 15, 2021; BS ’50 Business Administration

Dr. Lee R. Shugart, Jr.; Oak Ridge, Tennessee; September 20, 2021; BS ’51 Chemistry

Jessie Goodman Young; Kingsport, Tennessee; December 7, 2020; BS ’47 Elementary Education, MA ’57 Education

Beverly Barnes Herd; Beverlee, Texas; November 22, 2020; BS ’58 Nursing

Don McNees Beasley; Johnson City, Tennessee; May 25, 2021; BS ’52 Economics, MA ’66 Economics

David L. Gray; Greeneville, Tennessee; August 20, 2021; BS ’49 Business Education


John Love McBee; Kingsport, Tennessee; July 22, 2021; BS ’50 Business Administration

Chayton B. Williams, Class of 2020, has been named a Logistics Specialist for the Pilot Company. His degree is in Business Administration. Nosa Galahard Woghiren, Class of 2020, has accepted a position as Business Development-Sales Representative at Nolan Transportation Group. He has a Master of Arts in Brand and Media Strategy. Leslie Barboza, Class of 2021, is a Junior Social Media Specialist at Creative Energy. Her degree is in Media and Communication. Carly Brewington, Class of 2021, has accepted a position as a Special Education Teacher at North Charleston High School in Charleston, South Carolina. Her degree is in Special Education. Dylan K. Colby, Class of 2021, has accepted a position as a Junior Pre Vis Animator at The Third Floor. His degree is in Digital Media. D. Faith Little, Class of 2021, is a News Reporter for Bristol Broadcasting Company. Her degree is in Media and Communication. Kennedy Weber Peacock, Class of 2021, is a Marketing and Communications Project Manager at Eastman Chemical Company. She has a Master of Arts degree in Brand and Media Strategy. Dr. Nadia Saint-Louis, Class of 2021, has been named Principal of North Little Rock High School in Arkansas. Her doctorate is in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. Kayla N. Sharp, Class of 2021, is the Northeast Regional Director of the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network. Her degree is in Social Work. McKenzie Templeton, Class of 2021, has been hired as Director of Young Professional Development at the Johnson City Chamber of Commerce. She earned a bachelor’s in Advertising and Public Relations. Jessica Vargo, Class of 2021, has accepted a position as an Operations Analyst with Ballad Health Medical Associates. She has a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. Luke Willoughby, Class of 2021, is a Project Control Specialist at Ford Bacon & Davis, LLC. His degree is in Mathematics with a concentration in Statistics.

Perry Dalmond Counts; Johnson City, Tennessee; June 5, 2021; BS ’52 History

Dr. Robert William McConnell; Greenville, North Carolina; August 10, 2021; BS ’51 Biology Elizabeth Ann Luntsford Patton; Johnson City, Tennessee; August 10, 2021; BS ’51 Business Education

Elizabeth “Betty” Bagby Chester; Maryville, Tennessee; July 12, 2021; BS ’45 Education

earned her bachelor’s degree in Social Work.

Alta Bernice Carter Brown; Erwin, Tennessee; August 21, 2021; BS ’53 English Mary Lou Smith Testerman; Morristown, Tennessee; April 3, 2020; BS ’53 English Betty Rose Seward; Greenville, South Carolina; October 8, 2021; BS ’54 Mathematics William Robert Bruce; St. Petersburg, Florida; July 27, 2021; BS ’55 Economics Ted Vernon Cooper; Charleston, South Carolina; June 16, 2021; BS ’55 Business, MBA ’73 Business Administration

Phyllis Audrey Edens; Elizabethton, Tennessee; June 19, 2021; BS ’55 Biology

Jackie Douglas Fannon; Greeneville, Tennessee; October 25, 2021; BS ’59 Business Administration

Ronald Stidham; Kingsport, Tennessee; March 10, 2021; BS ’64 History, MA ’70 Political Science

John Alden Mullins; Concord, North Carolina; October 26, 2021; BS ’59 Business

Gordon Wayne Tingle; Woodbridge, Virginia; December 19, 2020; BS ’64 Business

Harry Carl Hendrix, Jr.; Fairfield, Ohio; October 7, 2021; BS ’55 Business Administration

James “Jim” Edward Pyne Sr.; Rogersville, Tennessee; February 5, 2021; BS ’59 Industrial Arts/Tech Education

Cecil Edward Yount; Asheville, North Carolina; August 18, 2021; BS ’64 Industrial Arts Education

Colonel Carl E. Kincheloe; Jonesborough, Tennessee; October 9, 2021; BS ’55 Chemistry

Patty Agnes Saylor; Jonesborough, Tennessee; August 28, 2021; BS ’59 Music

Robert Jefferson Ayers; Wytheville, Virginia; October 6, 2021; BS ’65 Mathematics


Barbara Jeanne Clark Buck; Johnson City, Tennessee; September 9, 2021; BS ’65 Elementary Education

Beth Ogle Freeman; Cosby, Tennessee; June 1, 2020; BS ’55 Elementary Education, MA ’59 Education

Jackie Mullins; Fall Branch, Tennessee; August 25, 2021; BS ’55 Physical Education Shirley Jean Hughes Shipley; Kingsport, Tennessee; May 5, 2021; BS ’55 Music Ambers Wilson, Jr.; Johnson City, Tennessee; January 1, 2020; BS ’55 Secondary Education Eugenia Dossett Matthews, Somerville, Tennessee; November 15, 2021; BS ’56 Elementary Education, MA ’57 Elementary Education Wade C . Miller; Nashville, Tennessee; May 23, 2021; BS ’56 History Luther B. Scarlett; Dandridge, Tennessee; February 28, 2021; BS ’56 Elementary Education

Lucille Carter Carico; Coeburn, Virginia; October 25, 2021; MA ’60 Education William Goodwin Curtis; Seymour, Tennessee; June 4, 2021; BS ’60 Business Education Billy Ray Kiser; Fayetteville, North Carolina; November 6, 2021; BS ’60 Physical Education Oscar Jennings Leach, Jr.; Piney Flats, Tennessee; October 26, 2021; BS ’60 Industrial Arts Education Ned Lee Mathews; Youngsville, North Carolina; October 16, 2021; BA ’60 English Conrad Burt Metz; Pitman, New Jersey; August 27, 2021; BA ’60 History

Clara Elizabeth McKay Smith; Jonesborough, Tennessee; November 22, 2021; BS ’56 Business Education

Nancy Louise Wood; Lexington, South Carolina; July 26, 2021; BS ’60 Elementary Education

Wanda Louise Webber; Elkton, Maryland; November 6, 2021; BS ’56 Health Education

Frank Lester Jones; Milford, New Hampshire; May 19, 2021; BS ’61 Accounting

Ronald Lee “Jack” Cardwell; Hendersonville, North Carolina; July 8, 2021; BS ’57 Business Doris S. English; Kingsport, Tennessee; April 26, 2021; BS ’57 Elementary Education Margaret Jones Mahaffey; Kingsport, Tennessee; December 17, 2020; BS ’57 Business Marvin Aldrich Blizard; Springfield, Virginia; June 9, 2021; BA ’58 Mathematics Norman Carlisle Francis; Jonesborough, Tennessee; April 3, 2021; BS ’58 Business Education Dr. Robert Ernest Gray; Weaverville, North Carolina; June 20, 2021; BA ’58 History Ned Darrel McMillan; Melbourne, Florida; August 9, 2021; BS ’58 Mathematics David Earl Morgan; Bradenton, Florida; April 25, 2021; BS ’58 Mathematics James William Reel; Jonesborough; May 1, 2021; BS ’58 Geography

Thelma Haynes Norris; Johnson City; August 3, 2021; BS ’61 Elementary Education Arlene Dockery Tyson; Montgomery, Alabama; July 28, 2021; BS ’61 Physical Education, MA ’73 Elementary Education Wilfred Gorman Waddell; Kingsport, Tennessee; February 13, 2021; BS ’61 Accountancy Carolyn Joann Perrin Wade; Powell, Tennessee; August 22, 2021; BS ’61 Business Education James Edward Williams; Strawberry Plains, Tennessee; November 20, 2021; BS ’61 Business Administration Albert Boss Woodard; Greenwood, South Carolina; August 1, 2021; BS ’61 Mathematics Irma Lee Reedy; Manassas, Virginia; June 3, 2021; BS ’62 Elementary Education Betty Ruth Roberts; Kingsport, Tennessee; August 28, 2021; BS ’62 Physical Education Ruth Alice Mathes; Palm Springs, California; May 9, 2021; BS ’63 English

Conrad Tate Kendall Sutherland; Abingdon, Virginia; November 4, 2021; BS ’58 English Barbara Geisler Treadway; Johnson City, Tennessee; September 26, 2021; BS ’58 Health Margaret Louise Barnes Williams; Johnson City, Tennessee; November 17, 2021; BS ’58 Elementary Education Rebecca Jean Potter DePonti; Johnson City; November 16, 2021; BSN ’59 Nursing

Sandra Leigh Holtzclaw Moore; Kingsport, Tennessee; February 11, 2021; BS ’63 Physical Education, MED ’82 Education Carole Ann Onks Davis; Lenoir City, Tennessee; September 13, 2021; BS ’64 English Benjamin F. Lyle; Johnson City, Tennessee; August 9, 2021; MA ’64 Mathematics Ronald Eugene Snyder; Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania; October 20, 2021; BS ’64 Elementary Education, MA ’72 Guidance and Counseling

David Carl Burnette; Newnan, Georgia; November 7, 2021; BS ’65 History Parker Fleming Davis; Bainbridge, Georgia; May 28, 2021; BS ’65 History Howell Owen Hilton; Sonoma, California; June 15, 2021; BA ’65 Mathematics Henry Boyd Johnston; Franklin, Tennessee; May 14, 2021; BS ’65 History, MA ’74 Educational Administration Franklin Conley McCauley Sr.; Johnson City, Tennessee; June 30, 2021; MA ’65 Chemistry Phillip Richard Morgan; Chesapeake, Virginia; September 24, 2021; BA ’65 Education; BS ’67 Physical Education Ronnie Edward Swindall; Big Stone Gap, Virginia; May 17, 2021; BS ’65 General Science, MS ’74 Biology Jimmy Charles Bales; Spartanburg, South Carolina; September 25, 2021; MA ’66 Educational Administration Betty Byrd Sanders Deakins; Johnson City, Tennessee; October 12, 2021; BS ’66 Education Whitney McClanan Foster; The Villages, Florida; August 22, 2021; BS ’66 English Tyrone Herbert Hash; Norton, Virginia; September 19, 2021; BS ’66 Physical Education and Health Robert Edward Hensley; Florham Park, New Jersey; October 6, 2021; BS ’66 Finance

David Joe Parrish; Blacksburg, Virginia; July 19, 2021; BS ’67 Biology David Samuel Sternberg; Port Orange, Florida; July 19, 2021; BS ’67 Management Grace Howard Sullivan; Greenbush, Wisconsin; May 16, 2021; BS ’67 Geography Larry Curtis Tester; Pearl River, Louisiana; August 18, 2021; BS ’67 Mathematics Michael David Westbrook; Jacksboro, Tennessee; November 5, 2021; BS ’67 Industrial Arts Education, MA ’68 Industrial Education Joanne Carscaddon Witherspoon; Knoxville, Tennessee; November 9, 2021; BS ’67 Home Economics William Blaine Campbell; Gray, Tennessee; May 27, 2021; BA ’68 English, MA ’77 English Gary Franklin Clayton; Johnson City, Tennessee; October 28, 2021; BS ’68 Industrial Technology Gary Douglas McKamey; Johnson City, Tennessee; June 6, 2021; BS ’68 Biology Jill Irene Herring Mount; Fredericksburg, Virginia; January 24, 2021; BS ’68 Political Science Jerry Conrad Sandidge; Winthrop, Maine; August 20, 2021; BS ’68 Health Education Leonard Arcidiacono; Kingsport, Tennessee; May 26, 2021; BS ’69 Health Education Doris Evelyn Barker; Oak Ridge, Tennessee; October 2, 2021; MA ’69 Elementary Education Phyllis S. Gibson; Big Stone Gap, Virginia; May 2, 2021; BS ’69 Elementary Education Gary Stephen Killian; Atlanta, Georgia; July 23, 2021; BS ’69 Business Thomas Michael Mooty, Jr.; Coventry, Rhode Island; July 27, 2021; BS ’69 Political Science Ella Ruth Nave Perry; Elizabethton, Tennessee; August 22, 2021; BS ’69 Elementary Education

Henry Glen Musick; Honaker, Virginia; November 6, 2021; MA ’66 Elementary Education

Betty Ruth Martin Rollings; Jonesborough, Tennessee; August 13, 2021; BS ’69 Education, MA ’73 Educational Administration and Supervision

Grant Vance Repass; Nashville, Tennessee; August 29, 2021; BS ’66 Industrial Arts Education

Peter Eugene “Gene” Samborsky; Cincinnati, Ohio; May 15, 2021; BS ’69 Finance

Edward James Roccella; Irvington, Virginia; November 18, 2021; BS ’66 Health

Jerry Franklin Shuttle; Johnson City, Tennessee; July 11, 2021; BS ’69 Political Science, MA ’74 Sociology

Wilbur Maurice West; Greeneville, Tennessee; August 24, 2021; BS ’66 Biology, MA ’74 Educational Administration and Supervision Jerry Alexander Wiseman; Knoxville, Tennessee; June 12, 2021; BS ’66 History Kenneth Dale Bowen; Salem, Virginia; May 12, 2021; BS ’67 Business Administration Danny Lee Brown; New York, New York; May 21, 2021; BS ’67 Business Management Jean Hembree Lewis; Bristol, Virginia; April 25, 2020; BS ’67 Business Education, MBA ’71 Business Administration Richard Larry Lewis; Jonesville, Virginia; June 2, 2021; BS ’67 Social Work J. B. Mitchell; Elk Park, North Carolina; June 5, 2021; BS ’67 Business Management

1970s Henry Frederick Eugen Bowman; Bethania, North Carolina; November 12, 2021; BS ’70 Biology Sharon Tolliver Copley; Mountain City, Tennessee; April 24, 2021; BS ’70 Social Work Roby Gerald Gardner; Johnson City, Tennessee; May 29, 2021; BS ’70 Business Management Nancy Ellen Puckett King; Piney Flats, Tennessee; June 27, 2021; BS ’70 English Orville Eugene Seaton; Decherd, Tennessee; October 28, 2021; BS ’70 Health

WINTER 2022 x 47

Jerry Glen Shields; Winchester, Virginia; August 16, 2021; BS ’70 Management Charles R. Simpson Jr.; Salem, Virginia; May 22, 2021; BS ’70 History Larry W. Trent Sr.; Newport News, Virginia; May 11, 2021; BS ’70 Real Estate David Harman Ward; Kingsport, Tennessee; July 31, 2021; BS ’70 Health Education Charles Hubert Woods; London, Kentucky; June 18, 2021; BS ’70 Business Reta Gail Barrett Caldwell; Kingsport, Tennessee; September 4, 2021; BS ’71 Health Education Marilyn Alicia Hankins; Johnson City, Tennessee; June 2, 2021; BS ’71 Reading, MA ’72 Reading, EDS ’80 Educational Administration and Supervision, EDD ’82 Educational Administration and Supervision William Michael Hartling; Beckley, West Virginia; June 11, 2021; BS ’71 General Psychology Gregory John Heimall; Camden Wyoming, Delaware; November 8, 2021; MAT ’71 Elementary Education Dr. Ransome Ellis Holcombe; Jonesborough, Tennessee; August 14, 2021; MA ’71 History, EDD ’85 Educational Administration and Supervision Rodney Dean Horne; Maxie, Virginia; June 11, 2021; BS ’71 Physical Education Jack Elbert Marlar; Fountain Inn, South Carolina; September 4, 2021; BS ’71 General Psychology Betty J. O’Quinn; Westerville, Ohio; May 18, 2021; BS ’71 Home Economics Travis Lee Sexton; Kingsport, Tennessee; August 11, 2021; BS ’71 Management James Ben “Jim” Slover; Knoxville, Tennessee; July 13, 2021; BS ’71 Psychology Glenn Matthew Cowan; Bristol, Tennessee; August 16, 2021; BS ’72 English Helyn Link Dougherty; Bristol, Tennessee; November 8, 2021; BS ’72 Philosophy, MA ’75 Philosophy Stanley Thomas Lewis; Johnson City, Tennessee; September 17, 2021; MEH ’72 Environmental Health John Constantine Massouras; Piney Flats, Tennessee; September 12, 2021; MBA ’72 Business Administration Gary Len Street; Johnson City, Tennessee; August 5, 2021; BS ’72 Physical Education Michael Reed Trent; Knoxville, Tennessee; November 11, 2021; BS ’72 Geography Norman Jerrold Weems; Greeneville, Tennessee; June 17, 2021; BS ’72 Health Education, MA ’77 Education/Supervision David Ronald Corzine; Kingsport, Tennessee; May 15, 2021; BS ’73 English, MA ’74 English Jane Jessee Dickerson; Morristown, Tennessee; May 27, 2021; BS ’73 Special Education Robert Francis Hendrickson; St. Petersburg, Florida; August 18, 2021; BS ’73 Environmental Health, MS ’79 Environmental Health


Jack Winston Larkey; Greeneville, Tennessee; August 28, 2021; BS ’73 Accountancy Sherry Lynn Arnwine Marshall; Hattiesburg, Mississippi; October 9, 2021; BS ’73 Home Economics Mary Lena Green Mayberry; Winter Haven, Florida; September 27, 2021; MA ’73 Reading Michael Carter Moore; Cosby, Tennessee; May 9, 2021; BS ’73 History Nancy Delores Erwin Tolbert; Kingsport, Tennessee; September 2, 2021; BS ’73 Office Administration Larry Jack Bunton; Elizabethton, Tennessee; October 12, 2021; BS ’74 Elementary Education, MA ’79 Education

Robert Steve Harr; Kingsport, Tennessee; October 1, 2021; BS ’77 Physical Education Rick Lee Litton; Naples, Florida; August 17, 2021; BS ’77 General Psychology William Karl Lorch; Greeneville, Tennessee; July 10, 2021; MA ’77 Educational Administration

Jane York Mason; Bristol, Tennessee; July 13, 2020; BS ’84 Mass Communication, BSW ’97 Social Work Gail B. McDaniel; Knoxville, Tennessee; May 9, 2021; BA ’84 Foreign Languages Michael Scott McGuire; Elizabethton, Tennessee; June 18, 2021; BBA ’85 Finance

Judith Easley Taylor; Johnson City, Tennessee; June 25, 2021; BS ’77 Health Education

Karen Ann Hamilton Stevens; Johnson City, Tennessee; August 14, 2021; BS ’85 Medical Technology

Kenneth Edward Webb; Johnson City, Tennessee; May 2, 2021; BS ’78 General Psychology

Carolyn Hawkins Brown; Greeneville, Tennessee; May 24, 2021; MED ’86 Educational Supervision, EDD ’91 Educational Administration and Supervision

Jack Phillip Williams; Seviervillle, Tennessee; June 22, 2021; AS ’78 Law Enforcement, BS ’79 Criminal Justice

Stanley Herbert Dever; Douglasville, Georgia; August 5, 2021; BS ’86 Computer and Information Science

Kathryn Ruth Ford; Kingsport, Tennessee; July 26, 2021; BS ’74 Speech and Hearing

Gary Henderson Derrick; Kingsport, Tennessee; November 11, 2021; BS ’79 Health Education

Gerald Lynn “Peanut” Hall; Rocky Mount, Virginia; May 16, 2021; BS ’74 Health Education

Vickie Y. Gregory; Greeneville, Tennessee; June 24, 2021; BS ’79 Elementary Education, MED ’90 Education

Gary Lynn Harvey; Knoxville, Tennessee; June 11, 2020; BS ’74 Industrial Technology

Robert Alan Hurd; Surgoinsville, Tennessee; June 7, 2021; BS ’79 Business

Joan Smith Penland; Unicoi; Tennessee; July 4, 2021; AS ’87 Nursing

David Blake Helton; Rogersville, Tennessee; May 10, 2021; BS ’74 Biology

Darrell Gene Miller; Jefferson City, Tennessee; August 25, 2021; BS ’79 Journalism

Jennifer Caldwell Phillips; Fall Branch, Tennessee; September 5, 2021; BS ’87 Mass Communication

Marsha Kay Montemarano; Greeneville, Tennessee; September 26, 2021; AS ’79 Nursing, BS ’86 Nursing

Charles “Britt” Alexander Ratledge, III; Apopka, Florida; August 21, 2021; BBA ’87 Management

Mary Sue Rigsby; Kingsport, Tennessee; June 17, 2021; BS ’79 Elementary Education, MED ’89 Reading

Timothy Arthur Cable; Hampton, Tennessee; September 12, 2021; BS ’88 Mass Communication


Leefee Cynthia Weber Miller; Talbott, Tennessee; September 2, 2021; BS ’88 Engineering Technology

Dan Campbell Noel; Knoxville, Tennessee; June 26, 2021; BS ’74 Industrial Arts Education Mark Lindsay Fuzek; Knoxville, Tennessee; August 30, 2021; BS ’75 Biology Bob Oliver Jones; Knoxville, Tennessee; August 24, 2021; BS ’75 Economics Betty Robinette Koffman; Kingsport, Tennessee; August 24, 2021; BS ’75 English John Lee McFadden; Johnson City, Tennessee; August 18, 2021; BS ’75 Marketing John Kenneth Pridemore, II; Kingsport, Tennessee; July 23, 2021; BS ’75 Marketing, MBA ’80 Business Administration Shirlee Anne Silver Brown; Panama City, Florida; July 10, 2021; ASN ’76 Nursing Patty Louise Brydges; Monroe, North Carolina; April 20, 2021; BS ’76 English Ron Elie DuBois, Jr.; Knoxville, Tennessee; July 14, 2021; BS ’76 Industrial Arts Education Linda Gale Greer; Richmond, Virginia; August 22, 2021; BSN ’76 Nursing Johnny Carroll Pickering; Greeneville, Tennessee; July 18, 2021; BS ’76 Marketing Debra Trivett Preston; Unicoi, Tennessee; May 11, 2021; BS ’76 Speech Pathology Nancy Bounds Rutherford; Bristol, Tennessee; June 18, 2021; BS ’76 Business Education Phyllis Jeane Starnes; Kingsport, Tennessee; June 5, 2021; ASN ’76 Nursing Janet Murray Anderson; Blountville, Tennessee; September 5, 2021; BS ’77 Business Education Carol Lynn Hartman Clarke; Atlanta, Georgia; July 29, 2021; AS ’77 Nursing John Tyler Fleming; Kingsport, Tennessee; September 18, 2021; BM ’77 Music Education, MED ’94 Educational Administration and Supervision

Elizabeth Ann William Chappell; Manchester, Georgia; August 22, 2021; BS ’80 Elementary Education Donna Gail Whitson Guinn; Johnson City, Tennessee; July 28, 2021; BBA ’80 Management Barbara Anne Johnson; Kingsport, Tennessee; October 22, 2021; BS ’80 Journalism Kenneth Jeffry Knight; Norristown, Pennsylvania; July 16, 2021; BBA ’80 Management Mark Anthony Galloway; Church Hill, Tennessee; October 24, 2021; BS ’81 Engineering Technology Sandra Taylor Guy; Kingsport, Tennessee; September 6, 2021; MAT ’81 Elementary Education Bobby Wayne Burchette; Georgetown, Kentucky; October 9, 2021; EDD ’82 Educational Supervision Dr. Thomas Weston Hodge, III; Saint Simons Island, Georgia; July 31, 2021; PHD ’82 Biomedical Sciences Millard Ray Lamb; Johnson City, Tennessee; May 26, 2021; MD ’82 Medicine Deanna Marsh Mauldin; Johnson City, Tennessee; August 2, 2021; MED ’82 Secondary Education Lillian Elizabeth “Beth” Ford; Prince George, Virginia; July 6, 2021; BS ’83 History Craig Alan Hampton; Franklin, Tennessee; August 2, 2021; BS ’83 Computer and Information Science

Mary Susan Hill Finnell; Cleveland, Tennessee; June 26, 2021; BS ’86 Microbiology Janet Dawn Hayes; Chuckey, Tennessee; October 23, 2021; BBA ’87 Management

Vickie Lynn Arp Gouge; Johnson City, Tennessee; August 8, 2021; BS ’89 Elementary Education

1990s Kimberly Shea Edenfield; Maxie, Virginia; October 19, 2021; BS ’90 Physical Education Robert Lynn Ladd; Kingston, Tennessee; October 15, 2021; BS ’90 History Paula Jo McGlothlin; Kingsport, Tennessee; June 13, 2021; BS ’90 Elementary Education Joel Alan McLawhorn; Rural Retreat, Virginia; January 20, 2021; BS ’90 Engineering Technology Carla Vanlandingham, Spirit Lake, Idaho; June 12, 2021; BFA ’91 Art Birl Edward Hannah; Richlands, Virginia; October 22, 2021; BS ’92 Criminal Justice Tammy Jean Roberts Moore; Victoria B.C., Canada; May 1, 2021; BS ’92 Elementary Education James Alan Schad; Hurricane, West Virginia; April 26, 2021; MS ’92 Business Administration Carlton Lee Argoe; Richmond, Virginia; November 1, 2021; BSW ’93 Social Work Thomas Andrew Carr, Jr.;Erwin, Tennessee; October 22, 2021; MAT ’93 Secondary Education Jennifer Elaine Harris; Kingsport, Tennessee; June 4, 2021; BS ’93 Elementary Education

Ricki Ann Kaplan; Gray, Tennessee; September 24, 2021; MA ’93 Sociology, MBA ’99 Business Administration

Christy Yonz Bowlin; Dandridge, Tennessee; July 15, 2021; BS ’94 Mass Communication Colonel Charles (Chuck) R. Rambo; Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; September 25, 2021; BS ’94 Political Science Callie Paige Brown; Maryville, Tennessee; May 22, 2021; BS ’95 Sociology Linda Kay Forbes; Bristol, Virginia; September 24, 2021; BS ’97 Criminal Justice and Sociology Brenda L. Greene; Johnson City, Tennessee; September 26, 2021; BBA ’97 Accountancy Lonnie Gudger; Greeneville, Tennessee; October 20, 2021; BM ’97 Music Stacy Duane Binkley; Abingdon, Virginia; July 5, 2021; BS ’98 Mass Communication Amy Roberts Cobble; Greeneville, Tennessee; April 19, 2021; BS ’98 Nursing

2000s Vanessa Dale Livesay; Kingsport, Tennessee; July 15, 2021; BSN ’01 Nursing Andrea Morgan Pierce; Bristol, Tennessee; August 24, 2021; BS ’01 Public Health James Edward Martin; Kingsport, Tennessee; May 11, 2021; BA ’02 Mass Communications Randy Jay Wilson; Mountain City, Tennessee; September 7, 2021; BS ’02 History Stephen McClure Barbee; Barnwell, South Carolina; October 19, 2021; BS ’03 Engineering Technology Dr. Jennifer Renee Barber; Johnson City, Tennessee; October 16, 2021; BS ’05 Mass Communication, EDD ’18 Educational Leadership Alicia Michelle Tompkins Rector; Maryville, Tennessee; December 20, 2020; BS ’05 General Psychology

Lisa Gail Brown Salley; Kingsport, Tennessee; May 6, 2021; BS ’06 General Psychology John W. Williams; Middletown, Delaware; August 5, 2021; BS ’06 Engineering Technology David Jesse Arwood; Johnson City, Tennessee; June 19, 2021; BS ’08 Criminal Justice Svetlana Kirk; Dandridge, Tennessee; August 21, 2021; MS ’08 Communicative Disorders Kristen Taylor Spencer; Johnson City, Tennessee; September 24, 2021; BS ’09 Public Health, MPH ’18 Public Health

FACULTY, STAFF, AND RETIREES OBITUARIES Alyssa Hope Adams; Elizabethton, Tennessee; September 23, 2021. Pauline Miller ArcherPhillips; Elizabethton, Tennessee; October 6, 2021. Jackie Stephen Rhea; Johnson City, Tennessee; July 18, 2021.

2010s Miranda Brooke Blackwell; Abingdon, Virginia; November 11, 2021; BBA ’10 Marketing Elizabeth Nicole Potter; Hamilton, Ohio; November 16, 2021; MAT ’10 Teacher Education Montara Rakel Davis; Murfreesboro, Tennessee; September 7, 2021; BSN ’11 Nursing Christopher Todd Holmes; Johnson City, Tennessee; July 14, 2021; BS ’12 Interdisciplinary Studies

Cathy A. Butler; Johnson City, Tennessee; May 11, 2021. Brian Skipton Clark; Johnson City, Tennessee; August 10, 2021. Phyllis Elaine Danner; Johnson City, Tennessee; August 11, 2021. Harold Joseph Faber; Johnson City, Tennessee; August 4, 2021.

Cynthia Garland Rutherford; Knoxville, Tennessee; July 11, 2021; BS ’12 Interdisciplinary Studies Kasey Kalina Parker Taylor; Jefferson City, Tennessee; August 2, 2021; BS ’12 Interdisciplinary Studies Joshua Thomas Holder; Jonesborough, Tennessee; August 5, 2021; BA ’15 Anthropology Kimberly Ann Osucha; Johnson City, Tennessee; May 10, 2020; AUD ’15 Audiology

Mark Wayne “Otis” Thornton; Kingsport, Tennessee; July 31, 2021; Certificate ’19 Public Health

Jerry Rust; Johnson City, Tennessee; August 21, 2021. Gary T. Stevens; Elizabethton, Tennessee; October 6, 2021.

Joe J. Stewart; Johnson City, Tennessee; July 28, 2021.

Joann Fitzgerald; Johnson City, Tennessee; September 28, 2021. Sylvia Joann Laws Kirkpatrick; Johnson City, Tennessee; October 27, 2021. Melinda Ann Lucas; Maryville, Tennessee; June 1, 2021.

Jessica Darnell; Johnson City, Tennessee; June 3, 2021; DPT ’16 Physical Therapy Charles Anthony Goins; Maryville, Tennessee; June 1, 2021; BS ’17 Interdisciplinary Studies

Jean Jennings O’Brien; Stockbridge, Georgia; November 27, 2021.

Calvin Vere Morgan; Johnson City, Tennessee; September 23, 2021.

Nathan J. Tino; Gray, Tennessee; May 29, 2021. Carol Gardner Transou; Johnson City, Tennessee; November 19, 2021;

Roger Dale Williams; Johnson City, Tennessee; July 27, 2021.

2020s Lisa Faye Copeland; Jamestown, Tennessee; October 26, 2020; BS ’20 Nursing

Kristi Jean Davenport; Hampton, Tennessee; September 18, 2021; BA ’06 English, MA ’11 Reading

East Tennessee State University does not discriminate against students, employees, or applicants for admission or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, age, status as a protected veteran, genetic information, or any other legally protected class with respect to all employment, programs and activities sponsored by ETSU. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Compliance Coordinator, PO Box 70271, Johnson City, TN 37614, 423-439-8544. ETSU’s policy on non-discrimination can be found at: ETSU is an AA/EEO employer. ETSU-PRZ-291-22


ETSU TODAY P.O. Box 70709 Johnson City, TN 37614-1710

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