Tusculum College Dean of Students Dr. Scott Mashburn, behind podium, installs the Student Government Association officers for the 2004-05 academic year: from left, Tori Buck, secretary/treasurer; Josh French, vice president; and Ross Lewis, president.
Eight new faculty members were introduced Thursday during Tusculum College's annual Opening Convocation program.
Joining the faculty for the Residential College program for traditional undergraduate students are Lydia Carter, Dr. DiAnn Casteel, Barth Cox, Lisa Ellis, Lou Haney, Dr. Debra McGinn, and Dr. Nancy McNeely. Dr. Chris Kauffman has joined the faculty for the Graduate and Professional Studies program for working adults.
The Opening Convocation officially marks the beginning of the academic year at Tusculum and included the installation of new officers for the college's Student Government Association. The officers, elected by the student body, are president, Ross Lewis of Morristown, Tenn.; vice president, Josh French of Wise, Va.; and secretary/treasurer Tori Buck of Jamestown, Tenn.
Lewis addressed the student body after the installation, encouraging the students to become involved in the activities on campus, whether it be student government or one of the many organizations on campus.
Lewis himself is an active student, frequently seen by the local public over the summer in the costume of "Tennessee Tex," mascot for the Greeneville Astros. He also portrays the college's "Pioneer Pete" mascot at Tusculum College athletic events.
The students were challenged to make the most of their educational opportunities at Tusculum by College President Dr. Dolphus E. Henry, Faculty moderator Dr. John Ellisor, and Provost Dr. Jonathan Franz.
Success in college depends on a choice of commitment, Dr. Henry told the students. "It starts with a commitment to self, expecting nothing less of yourself than your best efforts in gaining education and knowledge, which will lead to a fuller life," he said, adding that the students should hold the faculty and administrative staff to the same standard of excellence.
"Please take advantage of the opportunities Tusculum affords you," said Dr. Ellisor, assistant professor of history. "Find
something that you love to learn about and follow that love to a better life."
Some of Dr. Ellisor's comments evoked laughter and applause from the assembled students as he described his own days as an
undergraduate more concerned with off-campus fun than with personal and academic excellence.
Dr. Franz told the students that "the faculty at Tusculum view teaching as more than imparting the knowledge they have to
their students, it is nurturing curiosity, imparting a passion for learning, and guiding students on a path of discovery."
He encouraged the students to "use, but not abuse" the
faculty to gain the utmost from their educational experiences
Dr. Franz introduced each of the new faculty and gave brief biographical sketches of each.
Lydia Carter, assistant professor of English, is returning to her alma mater to teach. Carter earned a bachelor of arts degree in English at Tusculum and a master's degree in English from East Tennessee State University. Her professional experience includes teaching at ETSU and Northeast Tennessee State Technical Community College. She has also served in the Renaissance Children's Program and as a writer tutor at ETSU.
Dr. DiAnn B. Casteel, assistant professor of education, has taught in Tusculum's graduate education program for eight years and begins teaching in the Residential College educational classes this semester. She has 30 years of experience as a teacher and administrator in the Greene County School System. Dr. Casteel has also taught as an adjunct faculty member at Virginia Intermont College, Walters State Community College, and for Tusculum in the early 1990s. She earned her doctorate in educational leadership and policy analysis at East Tennessee State University and also received an M.A. as a reading specialist from ETSU. She is also a Certified Novell Administrator. Active in the community, Dr. Casteel has served and provided leadership in a variety of youth and civic organizations.
Barth L. Cox, assistant professor of mass media, brings to the classroom experiences in production and post-production of film and video as well as an instructor of video production and mass communications. He served as an editor of an independently produced weekly hunting and fishing program in Louisiana and has also produced and directed several narrative and documentary pieces, which have been broadcast in the New Orleans-area, and was very active in the independent film and video in New Orleans. He taught video production and mass communication at the University of New Orleans while seeking a master's degree there in drama and communications. He also taught introductory digital video seminars at the New Orleans Video Access Center. Cox earned a bachelor's degree in communications from Mansfield University.
Lisa J. Ellis, assistant professor of education, has more than a dozen years' teaching experience. She comes to Tusculum from the Greeneville City School System, in which she taught special education. She also has professional clerical experience and served in a position providing direct care for the developmentally disabled. Ellis earned a master's degree in education with an educational leadership and policy analysis administrative endorsement from East Tennessee State University. She also earned a bachelor's degree in education from ETSU. She is pursuing a doctoral degree in educational supervision.
Lou Haney, assistant professor of art, has instructional experience at both the college and K-12 levels, teaching at Calhoun Community College in Alabama, Claremont (California) Graduate University, and Saint Patrick's Parish School in Australia. Haney has presented solo exhibitions of her works at the University of Alabama Huntsville, and galleries in Claremont and Pomona, Calif. She has participated in group exhibitions in Los Angeles, Claremont and Idyllwild, Calif., Alabama, Memphis, and Australia. She earned a master's of fine arts degree in painting from Claremont Graduate University and a bachelor of arts degree in art with a studio art concentration from Rhodes College. At Rhodes, she was able to study for a semester at Oxford University.
Dr. Debra McGinn, assistant professor of biology, brings a strong background in life sciences and laboratory methods to Tusculum. She has 12 years experience as a hospital pathologist and has taught at both the college and public school level. She earned ha doctorate of medicine from Vanderbilt University, a master of arts degree in secondary education (biology) from East Tennessee State University, and a master's degree in microbiology from the University of Michigan. She earned a bachelor's degree in medical laboratory sciences from the University of Illinois. Dr. McGinn is a reading tutor for the Literacy Council of Kingsport and is a Sunday School teacher at her church.
Dr. Nancy McNeely, assistant professor of English, earned a doctorate in Renaissance literature, medieval literature, and rhetoric from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. She pursued a bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Evansville. Dr. McNeely presents papers at conferences regularly and has recently had a chapter accepted for publication in "Exploring the Territory: The Life of the Writer/Teacher." She was active in preservation and literacy organizations in her former community.
Joining the faculty in the Graduate and Professional Studies program is Dr. Chris Kauffman, assistant professor of organizational management. Dr. Kauffman taught economics courses as a graduate associate at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, while seeking a doctorate in economics. He was honored with the John Moore Graduate Teaching Award in the College of Business Administration for the 2003-2004 academic year at UTK. He also has been a textbook reviewer for Addison-Wesley. Dr. Kauffman completed undergraduate studies at Muskingum College in Ohio, earning a bachelor of arts degree in economics, accounting, and business.