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C-N Honors Dean Sharon Teets and Alumni Couple Jim and Irene Murphy

Carson-Newman University honored alumni couple Jim and Irene Murphy and longtime professor Dr. Sharon Teets during Alumni Awards festivities Thursday, March 29.

President Randall O'Brien reads the plaque denoting Dr. Sharon Teets as the recipient of the R.R. Turner Spirit of the College Award. The president requested Michael Teets join his wife for the presentation during a dinner last evening.

Jim and Irene Murphy became the first married couple to receive together C-N's Distinguished Alumni Award during Thursday ceremonies. Dr. Randall O'Brien presented the award and the couple's daughter Julie, a 1992 graduate, was on hand to help her parents celebrate.

The Murphys received the Distinguished Alumnus and Alumna Awards, marking the first time the recognition has been shared by husband and wife. Teets, dean of the School of Education, was presented the institution's Spirit of the College Award, named for legendary professor and Jefferson City resident Dr. R.R. Turner.

"What a marvelous opportunity to celebrate three people who have spent their lives and their careers in service to others," said C-N President Randall O'Brien. "Jim, Irene and Sharon all embody Carson-Newman's ideal of Truth, Beauty and Goodness, but the kicker is that none of these three believe they deserve such accolades. They have lived this way because they wouldn't live any other way."

The Murphys, of Greenwood, South Carolina, both earned associate's degrees at North Greeneville College and sociology degrees from C-N — Jim in 1964 and Irene (Dow) in 1966. Jim earned the MA in the sociology from the University of Tennessee graduate in 1968.

The C-N dynamic duo has worked to make the world a better place through their shared ministry over the last half century, say those who know and love them. Dr. James R. Thomason, pastor of Anderson, South Carolina's First Baptist Church says his friends have a way of rubbing off on those with whom they have contact.

"They influence those around them to be better, to care more deeply and to serve others in ways that will make a difference in their lives and in the Kingdom," affirmed Thomason.

As Carson-Newman students, both Jim and Irene were active in Baptist Collegiate Ministries, which foreshadowed their professional careers and commitment to their faith. Irene served as a member of the Residence Hall Council and Psi Chi (the honor society for sociology majors). Jim also was a member of Phi Mu Delta and was part of C-N's volunteer mission organization.

In the time following their undergraduate years, both invested themselves in a host of service roles. Jim worked as executive director for Greenwood County's Food Bank and later as the Saluda Baptist Association's director of Church and Community Ministry. His volunteerism has included roles as a team member and as a leader on several domestic and international and mission trips.

Irene's career has included being an associate for the Women's Missionary Union and several years as an Independent Mary Kay Consultant. Other professional service includes working for Foothills United Way, the Literacy Association of Anderson County, and the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention and at the Saluda Baptist Association. She has been honored on several occasions for her commitment to literacy education.

Kelly Jo Barnwell of Anderson, South Carolina's Jo Brown Senior Center has had many opportunities to watch the couple in action in her role as program coordinator. "Individually, their accolades are numerous, Together, they set an example worthy of following," praises the administrator.

Irene Murphy used the occasion to say she was thankful for the honor and to tell students how much they can accomplish through faithful service. "God can use you in more ways than you will ever know. Just give him your time and your talents."

Her husband summed up their appreciation for their alma mater's role in their lives, saying, "God has used Carson-Newman faculty and our fellow students to help lead us, and to enrich our lives."

The couple has two adult children. Their son Howard is a 1990 graduate; he and wife Peggy have two children, Jack and Natalie. Their daughter Julie is a1992 alumna married to 1990 grad David Maxey; their daughters are Chloe and Sadie.

Teets has worked at Carson-Newman some 30 years beyond what she initially expected. She began in 1980 as director of the College's Child Development Laboratory. She said she thought she would work there for a couple of years and move on to another institution.

"Having risen through C-N's ranks from her early days in the CDL, joining the School of Education long before it was a School and by demonstrating throughout her tenure how to be a great teacher by being a great teacher, Sharon Teets is Carson-Newman," championed Mark Brown, director of News and Media Relations.

Beyond fulfilling her duties as a faculty member and administrator, the professor, along with her husband, Scott, regularly attends evening events to support her students and colleagues as an active member of the Carson-Newman family. The couple chose New York as their destination to celebrate their 41st wedding anniversary because several music students had auditioned and were selected for a Carnegie Hall performance.

Dr. Kim Hawkins says her colleague's regard for and interest in others is constant. She noted a recent exchange with a commuter student whose car had broken down that morning. "She said that she knew Sharon would have helped her so that who she had been trying to find."

Hawkins says Teets has assisted her in recent years during the pursuit of a doctorate. "Sharon's helped me develop as a faculty member and scholar. She helped me select a topic for my dissertation, read multiple drafts of various chapters, and volunteered to help with data collection. Like the student with the broken down car, I know that Sharon Teets will help me whenever I call."

Vice President for Student Affairs Ross Brummett said that Teets "embodies a Ministry of Presence… I have known her on more than one Saturday to be on campus in the morning, in Knoxville in the afternoon, and back on campus at night, all for C-N events."

The honor "overwhelmed and humbled" the woman who, as of this year, has spent half of her life teaching at Carson-Newman.

"I am filled with gratitude for being able to work in a place that reminds me so very clearly on a daily basis what it means to be Christian," effused Teets. "The environments in which we spend our time; the people with whom we interact — shape us in that that we cannot understand. So, if I, in any way, represent the R.R. Turner Sprit of the College it is because I reflect, I reflect the way I have been treated by students, alums, faculty and staff — everyone here at Carson-Newman. It is your spirit of love, respect, faith and intellectual curiosity that have nourished and shaped me. My prayer for each of you is that you to will be so nourished."

Sharon and Scott reside in Jefferson City and are active members of Knoxville's St. James Episcopal Church

Dr. Karen Bullock to Present T.B. Maston Lecture

Dr. Karen Bullock, fellow and professor of Christian heritage at the B.H. Carroll Theological Institute, will deliver Carson-Newman's annual T.B. Maston Lecture on Monday, April 2. The free event is open to the public and will be held at 7 p.m. in Thomas Recital Hall, part of Tarr Music Center.

Bullock, C-N's visiting professor for the School of Religion's Master of Arts in Applied Theology program, is teaching "Ideas and Kairos Moments of Church History." The course begins with the founding of the faith in first century Jerusalem and magnifies points in time from then to the present, closing with expectations for the future.

A graduate of the University of North Texas, Bullock earned both the MDiv and PhD from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. The director of the Carroll Institute's PhD program says she is "fascinated about all areas of Christian heritage… (and) especially passionate about missions, the persecuted church, Baptist heritage, and justice."

Before joining the Carroll Institute faculty, Bullock taught theology for 10 years at SWBTS; as associate dean, she led the school's PhD program. She oversaw the PhD in Leadership Studies at Dallas Baptist University when she taught there. Other service has included being a guest professor at the Uganda Baptist Seminary and Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary.

Bullock's service includes chairing the Baptist World Alliance's Identity Commission, and membership in the American Association of Church History, the Texas State Historical Association, the Southern Baptist Historical Association and the Texas Baptist Historical Society. A sought-after speaker who has written several articles, books, chapters and documentaries, she is also the historian and archivist for Buckner Baptist Benevolences. She and husband John have two married children and five grandchildren.

The lecture series is an annual event that honors Jefferson County native T.B. Maston. Following his 1920 Carson-Newman graduation, he attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, receiving both the MRE and Doctorate in Religious Education in 1925. Further study produced the MA degree from Texas Christian University and a PhD from Yale University. He later studied at both the University of North Carolina and the University of Chicago.

As professor at Southwestern for over 40 years, he influenced deeply the lives of thousands of ministers. His mentorship is directly traceable in the lives of broadcast journalist Bill Moyers, former SBC leaders Foy Valentine and Jimmy Allen, as well as college and seminary professors across the country. He produced scores of articles and 23 books in the area of Christian ethics and spiritual development.

C-N Students Spark Jefferson City's First Art Crawl

Four of a Kind -- C-N students (l-r) McKenzie Wampler, Nathanael Mosher, Hannah Williams and Megan McSwain will move a step closer to graduation with the open their senior gallery shows Sunday afternoon. Wampler will be the first artist to utilize The Creek's new Creekside Room, while Mosher, Williams and McSwain will present their works in C-N's Omega Gallery.

Four senior art majors and two exhibits less than a half-mile apart might not rival Manhattan, but it's a start that may expand over time, hopes Carson-Newman's David Underwood.

C-N's art department and The Creek are partnering to pull off Jefferson City's first art crawl on Sunday. The afternoon's events begin simultaneously at 2 p.m. when Megan McSwain, Nathanael Mosher, McKenzie Wampler and Hannah Williams open their senior gallery shows.

Wampler's exhibit will be the official inaugural event for The Creek's new venue, the Creekside Room. The coffeehouse/creamery/sandwich shop began as a nonprofit enterprise before developing a more traditional business model in the last six months. Located at 110 Old Andrew Johnson Highway in Jefferson City, the business is part of the revitalization effort for the Historic Mossy Creek District.

"The beauty of art is that it has no boundaries, no restrictions, no rules," said Wampler, an art major who has designs on med school after May graduation exercises. "My love for science and anatomy meets my artwork in figure studies... I attempt to communicate deeper truths through some of my work, while others are created out of mere exploration of aesthetics."

Some five blocks south of downtown, C-N's Warren Art Building's Omega Gallery will host the three-artist display of McSwain, a photography major, and art majors Mosher and Williams. Both Mosher and Williams are part of C-N's Honors Program and their exhibits will include their respective capstone projects. A reception from 2 until 4 p.m. will kick off the three week exhibit.

"We're excited by this opportunity for our students and for the community," said Underwood, C-N's art department chair. "It may be the first art crawl in town, but we hope it's an idea that takes root and grows in the coming years."

C-N Presents Fabulous Fable Factory This Weekend

The Fabulous Fable Factory will play this weekend at Carson-Newman University as a part of the theatre department's annual Theatre for Youth program.

Written by noted playwright and 1960 C-N alumnus Joseph Robinette, the work features Maggie (junior Melanie Meade) who discovers a factory run by Ms. Aesop (junior Glory Ledbetter). Aesop's operations consists of seven fable-makers because, fables, like cars or microwave ovens have to come from somewhere, right?

Robinette uses the idea of manufacturing stories to retell some of humanity's best-known fables: The Ant and the Grasshopper, The Lion and the Mouse, and The Tortoise and the Hare. Maggie's adventures with factory workers teaches her and young audience members that both morals and storytelling are important.

"These classic stories — ones that we all know and love — are told in an energetic and hilarious way that really allows old and young alike to understand the moral of the story," noted Jessica Whitmill, a C-N Junior directing the work. "Plus, the show is just 45 minutes long, so it's ideal for kids."

Whitmill said she particularly likes the fact that cast members represent several academic disciplines beyond communication studies, including early childhood education, film, and sociology. The limited Gentry Auditorium run offers three shows, Friday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. Tickets ($5 general, $3 for kids 3-12, and free for those two and under) will be sold 30 minutes prior to the show. For more information, contact Kyle Biery at 865-471-3293 or kbiery@cn.edu.

Wake Forest Divinity Prof to Deliver Holy Week Sermon

Carson-Newman's Holy Week Chapel Service will feature Dr. Veronice Miles, of Wake Forest University's School of Divinity. The 9:30 a.m. Tuesday service will be held in Jefferson City's First Baptist Church.

The Ruby Pardue and Shelmer D. Blackburn Assistant Professor of Homiletics and Christian Education, Miles teaches courses in Christian religious education, preaching and issues of faith among African-American women. She has combined her career in the academy and the ministry to challenge churches to become "conduits of hope as we help women, men and children give birth to life-affirming possibilities for themselves and their communities." She is in the early stages of publishing research in a work to be titled Safe Spaces for Our Stories: Young Black Women and the Temerity to Live with Hope.

She earned the PhD in from Emory University and the MDiv from Emory's Candler School of Theology. She holds a BA in psychology, as well as the MEd and EdS in counselor education, all from the University of Florida. She received Emory's Bandy Preaching Fellowship, Candler's John Owen Smith Preaching Award and Baptist Women in Ministry's Addie Davis Preaching Award.

She has served Atlanta's Greater Bethany Baptist Church as interim pastor, and has preached and led workshops across the country. Christians, she says, quoting the gospel of Luke, are called "to bring good news to the poor… to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free and to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor

C-N Forensics Wins Overall NCCFI Title and Fourth Straight IE Crown

We Are The Champions — The 2012-13 C-N Forensics includes (l-r, first row): Michael Lugo, Jeremy Hayes, Jordan Rasnic, Alex Davis, (second row) Rachel Lee Hicks, Sara McHenry, Melanie Meade, Taylor Rasnic, Luke Willoughby, (third row) Callie Booher, Faith Rader, Kate Doyle, Rebecca Bird, Abbie Moody (fourth row) Coach Chip Hall, Rheannah Summers, Laura Kate Gonyea, and Mary Collins.

Carson-Newman University's forensics team hosted the National Christian College Forensics Invitational tournament last week and worked together to keep two national titles on campus. While the team became a dynasty with its fourth consecutive Individual Events Championship, performances were so strong that the squad won its first NCCFI Overall National Championship as well.

In besting 25 schools from 16 states, Coach Chip Hall's team dominated IE brackets with 591.5 points while second place Belmont University compiled 388. Minnesota's Bethel University came in third with 242. Other institutions represented included Azusa Pacific University, Cedarville University, Liberty University and Wheaton College.

"Our sound scoring and strong performance in Individual Events, coupled with the debate points scored, made the overall NCFFI trophy a reality," said Hall. "The novice team of Rebecca Bird and Laura Kate Gonyea, who made it to the final round in Novice Parliamentary debate, was an important component to this significant victory. All in all, this was a team victory — one where all 18 students came together and emerged victorious."

Senior Faith Rader, National Champion in Faith Literature Interpretation, performed literature that likened one woman's disillusioned approach to her faith as something akin to her Mary Kay cosmetics consultancy. Junior Luke Willoughby won the Extemporaneous Speaking championship. The Duo Interpretation title went to seniors Jordan Rasnic and Rheannah Summers for their excerpt of a play in which a soldier's post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) creates a scenario in which he interacts with the Iraqi child he killed.

Hall said Bird had the weekend of her young forensics career by hauling in a pair of victories, Novice Impromptu Speaking and Novice Persuasive Speaking, which warned against potential harms of face recognition software.

It's the fourth tourney from which the team has emerged victorious. Others came at the University of West Florida's Marks Invitational Tournament, a Miami University (Ohio) competition and Gainesville, Georgia's Chicken and Egg Tournament.

Senior Cadets Visit Wounded Warriors

Warm Gratitude — Cadets who carried quilts to Walter Reed are (l-r): Stephanie Savino, Rachel Stone, Joel Magnusson, Ben Cofer, Savanah Jones, Cody Denson, Linda Saroka, Josh Shelton, Ellie George, Gwen Simpson and Rachel Axelson.

While training to serve as officers in the U.S. Army, ROTC cadets often hear the refrain "Freedom is not free," notes Savannah Jones, one of 12 fourth year Carson-Newman Eagle Battalion cadets who recently traveled to Washington D.C. The experience, which included delivering handmade quilts to wounded warriors, helped drive home the meaning of the adage along with the understating of what " a privilege (it is) to lead America's brave men and women who help keep the country free," expressed Jones.

The cadets carried with them 16 "Quilts of Valor," which are made by "the Scrappy Ladies," a group of women who live in and around the Texas/Arkansas border town of Texarkana. Project manager Betty Lee said group members (Ginger Baxley, LouAnn Brown, Janet Carpenter Ruth Jackson, Debbie James, Sue Murphy, Linda Nelson and Carolyn Sackette) choose a particular charity each year. Each quilt they made for delivery by C-N cadets included a hand stitched message to its new owner, a recuperating serviceman or woman at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

"(It) has meant a great deal to us in knowing we have played a small part in comforting these wonderful, brave defenders of our country," said Lee. "It was an honor for us to do this. We love them and pray for them; they are our heroes."

Jones said that she and fellow cadets were "fortunate to spend a humbling afternoon receiving advice from the injured soldiers and their families." Cadets received a tour of Walter Reed's innovative facility and saw firsthand the unique care soldiers receive throughout rehabilitation.

"There are no words that can explain seeing someone younger than me in a hospital bed having lost both of his legs in combat, or seeing a triple amputee in a motorized wheelchair, who had a one percent chance of survival when he got to the hospital," said Eagle Battalion Cadet Commander Stephanie Savino. "These men are just two examples of the many (that) the wounded warrior program is designed to help. You really grasp a new appreciation for your life when you see the optimism in these men."

Jones said the group also visited Arlington National Cemetery "to pay respect to all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice."

Cadets who made the trip will be commissioned as second lieutenants in the United States Army on Thursday, May 10, and will graduate the following day.

Mossy Creek Documentary Festival Slated for April 10

"Inspire" has been chosen as the theme of Carson-Newman University's Mossy Creek Documentary Arts Festival on Tuesday, April 10. The daylong festival, which is free and open to the public, begins at 10:30 a.m. and will be held in Phoenix Theater, part of Henderson Humanities Building.

Seven diverse and thought-provoking films have been chosen to represent the theme.

Films with local flavor include Valley of Independence, featuring the surprising history of Grainger County, and Nashville Rises, which explores the city's destruction and recovery from flooding two years ago. A C-N student production titled Day by Day follows a group of students who for one month put into practice suggestions taken from the Pal's restaurant sign marquee.

Ed's Story: It Ain't Over is a short film that examines a man's resilient spirit despite the diagnosis of a terminal illness.

The festival will include a special university screening of a work in progress, Rising from Ashes, which tells the story of Rwanda's first national bicycling team. Another festival film, BTS: A Documentary about Making Documentaries, takes the audience behind the scenes in the making of that film.

Sure to be a favorite is Being Elmo, the Sundance Award-winning film about the African-American creator of one of the world's most beloved puppets. Alpha Chi Honor Society will host a fundraiser featuring children's games and story time. The party is slated to begin at 2 p.m. and the film will follow at 3:30 p.m.

Breakout sessions with directors, cinematographers, producers and composers will allow audience members to learn more about the ins and outs of documentary filmmaking. A student photography competition will also explore images that create a sense of inspiration.

The festival's full schedule is available at (www.commatcn.com). For more information, contact Dr. Mark Borchert at 865-471-3294 or mborchert@cn.edu.

Pediatrician Shares Knowledge with C-N Family Studies Majors

A Doctor of Education — Dr. Mary Bukovitz holds a doll she used as a teaching aid during her recent guest lecture. On hand for the class were (left to right) Ali Miller, Randall Nored, Bukovitz, Laurin Dahistrand, Von Jessee, and program director Dr. Catherine Bush.

Parents and expecting parents should consider CPR training, the founder of Hamblen Pediatric Associates told some 50 students during a guest lecture at Carson-Newman last week. And that doesn't mean reading a manual or finding online tips, but rather instructor-led, hands-on classes that provide practical exercises.

Such information for college students, who will one day be parents, were among what Dr. Catherine Bush, who leads C-N's child and family studies major, called several "pearls of wisdom" that Dr. Mary Bukovitz shared during her address, "What Doctors Wish Parents Knew."

Another of the physician's lesson Bush noted revealed that while any number of medications treat diaper rash — some of which can be expensive, the old standby of Vaseline is a "very good remedy" for the problem. Bukovitz also said that a surprising number of parents do not yet realize that a new Tennessee regulation mandates that children under two years of age ride in rear-facing car seats .

Bukovitz, a member of the School of Family and Consumer Sciences' advisory board, "enthralled her audience with information about healthy and safe parenting practices," praised Bush. "And she was assisted in her presentation by Ali Miller, a child and family studies major who is completing her internship at Hamblen Pediatric Associates."


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