July Commencement Provides Head Start for Graduates
On July 27, friends and families gathered with Southern employees to commemorate a pinnacle moment in students’ lives: college graduation. David Ferguson, senior pastor at Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventists, presented the commencement address on the topic of success.
Though significantly smaller than the Spring Commencement—23 graduates received undergraduate degrees and 35 earned master’s—this event provides an important opportunity for those who can’t graduate in May to complete their requirements and embark on their careers without waiting for the December graduation.
“I am proud to be among the graduates, albeit a little later than I expected,” said Rebecca Carnes, who received her Bachelor of Arts in English. “God’s plan is perfect. I am grateful for everything I’ve learned at Southern.”
Carnes will begin her first teaching job in Florida later this year.
-by Gelissa Leveille, senior film production major
October 5 Presidential Gala to Honor Servant Leaders
Promoting a life of service is part of Southern Adventist University’s core mission. Southern’s Presidential Gala on October 5 will celebrate Chattanooga-area residents who model this spirit of selflessness, honoring three specific servant leaders at the 5:30 p.m. celebration in Iles P.E. Center.
The event will consist of a silent auction, dinner, music, and an awards ceremony. Awards will be given to a student, a professional, and a community member who are known for seeing the potential in others, investing in their futures, and encouraging their successes. The student award highlights those ages 16-24, the professional award recognizes servant leaders in the work place, and the community award recognizes volunteers. Nominations were accepted from the public through July 31 and are being evaluated by a servant leadership committee.
Businesses and individuals can support the gala by sponsoring a table or purchasing tickets to the event. All proceeds, including those from the silent auction, will go toward Southern scholarship funds. For more information, visit southern.edu/gala.
-by Gavin Finch, senior English major
Southern Partners with PBS Station to Sponsor Health Show
Southern has connected with other health-minded businesses as a sponsor for “Explore Health,” local PBS affiliate WTCI’s new television series that answers viewers’ wellness questions. The show’s first episode airs October 5 at 8 p.m. and focuses on asthma, allergies, the opioid crisis, and mental health.
“I view this sponsorship opportunity as an excellent fit for Southern because of our emphasis on balance in all areas of life,” said Laurie Gauthier, director for graduate marketing and enrollment management. “In particular, the School of Nursing seeks to provide Christian education which prepares caring, competent professionals who make a positive impact on the individuals, families, communities and organizations they serve.”
As part of the show’s interactive format, producers invite conversations with the community; there’s still time to send in questions pertaining to the first episode. Email RHarr@wtciTV.org or visit explorehealth.wtciTV.org. Questions may also be sent via social media using Twitter (@WTCIHealth) or Facebook (@ExploreHealth).
-by Gavin Finch, senior English major
Survey Helps Southern Reconnect with Alumni
This year Southern is celebrating 125 years since the school first opened in Graysville, Tennessee. More than 58,000 students have come to campus during that time! In an effort to reconnect, Southern is offering alumni window clings to all those who take a short survey and share their contact information.
“We value your input and ask that you take a few minutes to answer a short survey about your relationship with Southern,” said Alumni Relations Director Evonne (Kutzner) Crook, ’79. “This is important as we strategically plan how best to use our resources for improving communication and serving you in the future.”
New Project Integrates Technology into Adventist Grade Schools
With today’s rapid technological advances, it can be challenging for schools to keep up. Especially those with lower enrollment. The North American Division, in collaboration with Southern’s Online Campus department, has developed a new project called “Our Creator’s Space” that provides science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) resources and lesson plans for multi-grade teachers.
“We believe this project will have a positive impact on getting technology into the curriculums of small schools,” said Ryan Harrell, media and creative design specialist for Online Campus. “By providing this extra layer of support, we hope that they will be able to create something that gives the glory to our Creator.”
Our Creator’s Space provides a dynamic and ever-growing program that can benefit students, teachers, and their schools. Students benefit from the exposure to STEAM fields and are encouraged to use problem-solving skills that are applicable in their future careers. Teachers benefit by having access to new technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality, co-presentation software, 3-D printing, and robotics, as well as instruction on how to use them.
Teachers wishing to utilize these lesson plans may visit ourcreators.space.
-by Oksana Wetmore, junior business administration and public relations major
Blanco Film Camp Teaches Students the Power of Story
During a July 10-14 summer camp in Chattanooga, 25 female high school students were wowed by the opportunity to tell and share their life stories—and the even bigger opportunity to receive funding for an education at Southern.
Network 7 Media Center’s second inner-city youth initiative, called the Blanco Film Camp, demonstrated for students the positive capabilities of media. The company, led by Christopher Beason, ’98 and ’07, partnered with Adventist-Laymen’s Services and Industries and the City of Chattanooga’s Parks and Recreation department to host the event. Network 7 used its film, The Jack Blanco Story, to show campers the importance of individual stories and to teach them writing and media skills as they produced their own video projects.
“The girls rallied around each other during the camp to pull each other out of their shells,” Beason said. “They were willing to speak and be transparent, and they realized they weren’t alone. That’s what made me excited.”
Jack Blanco, retired School of Religion dean, visited the girls on the last day of camp and spoke for about 30 minutes. Network 7 offered each of the girls a copy of The Clear Word Bible paraphrase, which Blanco wrote.
“They loved it and were thrilled to meet him,” Beason said.
To finish the week, Network 7’s production team chose the best video and the best story from the camp, recognizing each of the girls involved with those projects at their awards ceremony. Additionally, Southern offered $500 scholarships to each student being honored.
“They had no idea that was coming,” Beason said, “and they were extremely appreciative. Someone having faith that they might have bigger and grander plans beyond their high school was just a real encouragement to them.”
Students Build Tiny House for Hands-on Learning
Southern is the only school within the Adventist system offering an associate or bachelor’s degree in construction management. Not only is it a great career from an income standpoint, but more importantly, it’s a much-needed skill set to finish the Lord’s work in mission fields. Oh, and it can be a lot of fun, too!
The School of Business’ technology program recently started manufacturing tiny houses to integrate classroom learning with hands-on experience. Creating several houses each year will give students experience and teach them productivity, as each house becomes easier for them to build. Profits from the sales of these popular homes will help offset the cost of tuition.
“We spent a year planning and constructing our first tiny house, combing through award-winning designs, looking to integrate the most features into the smallest package,” said Associate Professor John Youngberg.
The result is a 300 square-foot tiny house measuring 24 feet long, 8.5 feet wide, and just over 13 feet tall, including a loft. These dimensions allow the home to be towed without any special permits. This unit has a full-size bathtub shower (identical to one in a traditional house), and is wired for alternative energy. Solar panels and a composting toilet can be added to make this unit truly off the grid.
The first tiny house is now for sale. Purchasing this house from Southern will help students gain valuable skills needed in their chosen profession. For pricing and additional information, email John Youngberg.
Southern Offers New Political Science Major
Students interested in law and government careers now have a major tailored for them. Southern’s History and Political Studies Department will offer a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science beginning this fall.
Political science was previously available only as a minor. This new major equips students with a wide range of skills, not only sharpening their critical thinking and analytical aptitude, but also advancing their ability to communicate verbally and through writing.
Students will engage in core political science classes while further enriching their learning in a specific area of their choice, including political theory, American politics, comparative politics, or international relations.
Shannon Martin, assistant professor of political studies, said the areas of focus are designed with the students’ futures in mind. After graduation, students will be equipped to work nationally and internationally or to further their education through graduate school.
Golf Tournament Highlights Connections, Friendly Competition
On Sunday, September 17, Southern will host its annual Alumni Golf Tournament on the Bear Trace Golf Course at Harrison Bay. Registration and the driving range will open at 7 a.m., with a shotgun start at 8 a.m.
In past years, the tournament has seen solid participation, with 80-100 local and non-local Southern alumni playing. It serves as a chance for alumni to spend time together both in friendship and competition while still celebrating their alma mater, a combination that may be hard to find elsewhere.
“I’ve participated in it for 25 years, and I was responsible for running the tournament for several years,” said Rob Howell, ’95. “It has significant meaning for me, because it’s my very tangible connection to other alumni, friends, and fellow golfers.”
Registration is $65 and proceeds will help provide tuition assistance for Southern students.
Cash prizes and pro-shop certificates will be given for first, second, and third place. There will also be prizes for holes-in-one, closest to the pin, longest drive, and putting green contests. In addition, a catered lunch is provided.
To register for the tournament or to receive more information, visit southern.edu/golf.
The Alumni Golf Tournament continues to fondly recognize former Student Association president Dave Cress, '79, along with his devotion to young people, passion for Christian education, and unforgettable gifts for nurturing personal relationships. Proceeds from the tournament support the Dave Cress Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund that provides tuition assistance for students at Southern.
-by Gavin Finch, senior English major
Star Watch. August 25 at 9 p.m. in the Hickman Science Center parking lot. Explore the heavens through a telescope (weather permitting). Meet at the sun dial in the parking lot of the Hickman Science Center located toward the Upper Stateside Apartments.
Piano Performance. August 29 at 7:30 p.m. in Ackerman Auditorium. Peter Cooper, new interim dean of the School of Music, will perform Bach, Rochberg, Liszt, and Brahms. Free admission.
Cave Exploration. September 3 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Student Park Cave (beside the Goliath Wall). The Student Park Cave is an educational and recreational resource that contains nearly a mile of walking, squeezing, crawling, and swimming passages. For $3 per person, the public can get a headlamp and entrance into the cave.
Alumni Golf Tournament. September 17 at 8 a.m. on Bear Trace Golf Course (Harrison Bay). Join Southern for two-person select shot with three flights. Win cash prizes and pro-shop certificates for first, second, and third place. Registration is $65. More information and registration are available online.
Cashore Marionettes. September 24 at 7 p.m. in Ackerman Auditorium. Through a combination of virtuoso manipulation, beautiful music, theatrical illusion, and artistic insight, the Cashore Marionettes explore a range of emotions with characters and actions that are amazingly convincing. Free for students and employees with current Southern ID; otherwise, admission is $5 per person.
Homecoming Weekend. November 2-5. Alumni and friends of Southern are invited back to campus to reconnect, reminisce, and get involved. Early highlights include a student missions reunion, a Sunday morning global service event, as well as many activities celebrating Southern’s 125th anniversary. A tentative schedule is available online. For more information, email Alumni Relations or call 423.236.2830.
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