1067 lbs of produce?

11 Jul
The Gardeners Grove is home to the LMU Organic Garden Project

The Gardeners Grove is home to the LMU Organic Garden Project

Lincoln Memorial University is on a mission to serve underserved populations in Appalachia and beyond. You probably know that the University pursues that mission by providing educational opportunities. An email in my inbox this morning reminded me that although LMU fulfills this mission with class offerings, new programs and professional degree opportunities; it also uses swimming pools, stethoscopes, paintbrushes and produce.

Produce? Yes, as in squash, peppers, cabbage, cucumbers and tomatoes.

Say what? Yes, 1067 lbs., of squash, peppers, cabbage, cucumbers and tomatoes to be exact. And that doesn’t account for the summer crops that have been planted and haven’t started to yield a crop. Oh, and all of these crops are organically grown. What does all this produce have to do with LMU or her mission?

In January of 2010 the LMU Board of Trustees set aside a small portion of the LMU Main Campus’s 1,000 acres in Harrogate, Tenn., to establish an organic garden. The goal was to provide a place for community members, both from LMU and the surrounding counties, who might not have access to land or resources to grown their own food and learn organic gardening.

IMG_2212The LMU Organic Garden facilities are located on the south side of campus past LMU-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine near the roundabout. Today the garden includes two green houses and is split into two sections. The adult garden consists of 75 raised beds and ¾ of an acre community garden. The adult section includes three wheel chair accessible raised beds. The children’s garden consists of 25 raised beds and a ¼ acre community garden. Additionally, there is a ¼ acre produce market garden which is used to teach young adults successful market skills. Garden members have the opportunity to grow their own food in individual beds. Additionally they have access to a classroom/kitchen to attend weekly meetings each Monday, which often include guest speakers. Classes are offered for planting and soil preparation, canning and healthy eating. Produce is shared with local families and community food banks. Funded in part by grants from Grow Appalachia in Berea, Ky., and the Cumberland Natural Resource Association, the LMU Organic Garden offers free beds, seeds, home gardens and plants to its members.

The high tunnel gives gardeners more options during the growing seasons.

The high tunnel gives gardeners more options during the growing seasons.

While the growth at the garden has been gradual, progress is apparent as the roots of the group take hold. A high tunnel has been added in the last year providing another opportunity to multiply the crops. That 1067 lbs. of produces is up from 325 pounds a year ago. There are 52 families, a total of 132 individuals, participating in the garden and their weekly classes are usually filled to the brim. The group joined the Harrogate Farmers Market and the spring plant sale generated $674 and 200 vegetable plants were donated to local food ministries. All told, between providing healthy food to the participants, selling produce at the market and donating plants to ministries, the garden is extending LMU’s mission by providing for the underserved.

The LMU Organic Garden is managed by Bill Clayton and Sue Granger. Bonnie Banks is the green house manager and administrative duties are handled by Debbie Clayton. Applications are available by contacting Bill Clayton at organichillbilly_lmu@yahoo.com; or Sue Granger at doglovercaery@netscape.net or Debbie Clayton at debbiehoneybee9@gmail.com. For more information on the organization call Bill Clayton at 423.441.9133.

The LMU Organic Gardening Project is a partner site of Grow Appalachia, http://www.growappalachia.org an outreach education and service project of Berea College. It is funded by the generosity of John Paul Dejoria, co-founder and CEO of John Paul Mitchell Systems, Inc. Grow Appalachia emphasizes food production in order to introduce as much no-cost, fresh healthy food as possible to the region. The basic goal is to help as many families grow as much of their own food as possible. Additional financial support has come from Walmart in Tazewell and the 2014 Youth Garden Grant from the National Gardening Association.

The garden also produces honey from these bee hives.

The garden also produces honey from these bee hives.

One of two greenhouses at the garden.

One of two greenhouses at the garden.

 

Photo of the day

3 Jul
Matthew Hunt's photo captured during a recen storm is featured as the Smithsoian Magazine's Photo of the Day.

Matthew Hunt’s photo captured during a recen storm is featured as the Smithsoian Magazine’s Photo of the Day.

It’s not every day that Lincoln Memorial University is featured in the national media, but that is exactly what happened today thanks to Smithsonian Magazine. In a regular feature entitled Photo of the Day, a dynamic shot of the LMU campus during a lightning storm is displayed. The shot was captured by Matthew Hunt shows lightning striking the campus near the LMU-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM). Matthew is a photographer and physician assistant student at LMU-DCOM. He is a member of the Class of 2015.

New Student Registration, why should you go?

27 Jun

New Student RegistrationToday 42 new Lincoln Memorial University students visited campus for New Student Registration (NSR). They came with parents and family for the next step in their journey to college. The LMU Admissions team hosts several of these events throughout the summer to prepare for the start of the fall semester and the influx of roughly 600 new students.

What exactly happens at New Student Registration, and why is it important for you to attend if you are new student? Quite simply, NSR is when the groundwork of your first year of college, and possibly all four years, will be laid. During this day-long event you’ll hear multiple presentations about student activities, residence life and student success. But make no mistake; the most important thing that will happen at NSR will be your advising and registration session.

 

Faculty advisor

Dr. Tim Williams, a Vet Tech professor, advises an incoming LMU student during NSR.

During this time you will meet with a faculty advisor within your major. They will ask you several questions about your career and educational goals and help draw you a road map to meet them. You’ll have a list of required courses and electives that will make up your degree. The next step is to put together the puzzle of how to balance your course load on your way to your degree program. It is not as simple as high school may have been, when your guidance counselor scheduled your classes and then checked and double checked to make sure you had all the requirements for graduation. The classes you took in high school were available on a regular schedule, so if you missed chemistry as a junior you could still pick it up as a senior. In college there are a lot more options and a lot more forces influencing the availability of a course.

 

Text book

I was expecting to purchase a book like this one.

Let me share a personal anecdote on the topic of course selection and scheduling. I went to a private Catholic liberal arts college and one of the core/general education requirements was a three-class/9 credit hour cluster of sociology or psychology courses. I had no problem scheduling the first two classes in the cluster but put off the third until the first semester of my senior year because that was when they were offering a sports psychology class as an elective. I was excited about the class when I registered on my way out of town the last semester of my junior year. So you can imagine my surprise when I went to buy my books when I got back to campus that fall and instead of Psychology of Sports the title on my schedule appeared as the Psychology of Human Sex. While I was working my summer away, the faculty of the psychology department changed and the professor who was teaching the sports course left. The new faculty member got to pick her elective based on her area of research. And because I was a senior I couldn’t opt out of the course without delaying my graduation.

Surprise! My sports psychology course changed over the summer to the psychology of human sexuality.

Surprise! My sports psychology course changed over the summer to the psychology of human sexuality.

Now, it was a fascinating course and I fulfilled that requirement and graduated on time, but I never would have picked that course title out on my own. So keep an open mind and be flexible, but also it is important to not procrastinate with the requirements that are outside your major.

Another thing to keep in mind while attending your NSR is the schedule you set in your first semester will color your first experiences at LMU and shape your overall college experience. If you overload yourself with tough classes, you may struggle and wonder if college was the right path for you. Conversely, if you take a lot of less challenging classes you may find yourself lulled into a false sense of brain drain. Like most things in life, the key is balance. Listen to your advisor but don’t be afraid to ask questions if there is something that you are not sure about.

If you are a newly minted high school graduate maybe you are looking forward to one more summer of fun before packing up and heading off to college, or maybe you are working hard to save the money that will fund your higher education. Either way it would be easy to say ‘I don’t need to attend NSR until the semester is closer,’ or ‘I’ll just go to the next one.’ Classes fill up quickly, especially the ones not scheduled at 8 a.m. If you truly want to control your own destiny in terms of class schedule, the earlier you register the better. Nobody wants the 8 a.m. Monday, Wednesday class when there is a 10 a.m. option; so the early bird will get the worm, or in this case the later class.

If you haven’t attended a NSR, there are still three more opportunities. There will be two in July, on the 11th and 25th and the final one will take place on Friday, August 15, 2014, just before the start of the semester on August 18. You can register to attend by visiting www.LMUnet.edu/admissions and selecting the events calendar.

Traveling this summer? Don’t forget Flat Abe.

24 Jun

Balloons released with postcards.There are time honored traditions that every elementary student takes part in. I remember tying a postcard to a balloon and letting it fly, hoping whenever the flight ended someone would find my postcard, note where it landed and send it back to me. Some kids send out messages in bottles or the more traditional chain letter. The lesson in these exercises is to expand the worldview of the student. To show a child that there is so much more than their small insulated community. Similarly, the beloved children’s book Flat Stanley (by Jeff Brown in 1964) has evolved to the Flat Stanley project. In the Flat Stanley children’s books, Stanley travels the world in envelopes. Students who read the books send the paper doll and written notes to students in other parts of the world through conventional mail and e-mail. Children exchange ideas, photographs, questions and culture with students overseas. Once again, a world view is expanded and connections are made.

LMU’s Flat Abe project is aimed at providing a way for LMU students and alumni to share their blue and grey pride and document their travels. Flat Abe can be requested through the LMU Alumni page (alumni.LMUnet.edu/FlatAbe) and getting started is as easy as:

  1. Request Flat Abe
  2. Receive Flat Abe
  3. Take Flat Abe pictures
  4. Share Flat Abe pictures
Flat Abe in Zimbabwe.

Flat Abe visited Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe with Bill Hoffard.

As the alumni page explains, “Abe represents all of the LMU family and our impact on the world, because we represent LMU no matter where we are. Whether we are relaxing on the beach or volunteering our time on mission trips to underserved communities, we are carrying LMU’s legacy with us. And who better to bring with us on those trips but Abe himself?”

Since the program began Flat Abe has had some interesting journeys. He has celebrated important milestones including births, marriages and more. He has made it to quite a few locations including Labadee, Haiti; Cozumel, Mexico; Falmouth, Jamaica; George Town, Cayman Islands; and US cities in Florida, California, Texas, Nevada, and Tennessee. Flat Abe also hung out with some famous people like Clare Bowen from ABC’s Nashville.

Clare Bowen and Flat Abe.

Flat Abe and LMU Alum Jamie Mihalko met Clare Bowen of ABC’s Nashville, where else? In Nashville at a Predator’s Game.

So if summer adventures are on your horizon, don’t forget to pack Flat Abe and share your journeys with the LMU community. LMU Director of Alumni Services Donnie Lipscomb did just that earlier this week when he landed in Shannon, Ireland on his way to Galway with the current LMU Alumni Travel trip to the Emerald Isle.

 

Honest Abe in the Emerald Isle.

Flat Abe arrived in Ireland earlier this week.

When a gift is more than a gift…

2 Oct

LMU_WordmarkWhen I arrived on campus at LMU eight years ago it wasn’t my first foray into life and work in academia. As I may have mentioned before, I spent two years in media relations at the University of Tennessee working for Lady Vol Athletics. Before that, there was the four years I spent as a student at St. Bonaventure University. Schools big or small; public or private; religiously affiliated or lay; vary greatly in size, structure and scope of their staff and administration. I have observed in every stop of my journey that public relations, media relations and marketing vary greatly depending on that structure.

Here at LMU, PR and Marketing is part of University Advancement. In my previous stops PR was grouped with communications as its own division. I will admit there it was an adjustment for me. I had to change my mindset slightly. Where I was used to focusing my attention on media relations and publicity above and beyond anything else, in University Advancement donor relations take precedent. Yes, a positive public image is always an end goal, but how our messaging will impact donors should also be considered. Even as a student, receiving donor-funded scholarships I had never considered a donors role at an institution.

Yesterday was designated as a Day of Giving at LMU. The day was set aside by President Dawson to encourage giving to LMU. Coming about a month ahead of National Philanthropy day, our goal was to encourage giving and make students, faculty and staff aware of how giving impacts everyone at LMU. It is easy to look at the rapid growth the University has experienced over the last decade and see the physical impact of large gifts to the University. There are Pope, Mitchell, Dishner, Langley, Shelton and Burchett residence halls. All of the new residence halls were built with funds from generous donors. Not to mention the new academic buildings or renovation and revitalization of some of our most storied structures.

What you can’t always see is how gifts large and small have indirect impacts for the University. I give through payroll deduction. My monthly gift of $20 comes out of my paycheck and I don’t even miss it. That is $240 for the year, not a huge donation or commitment on my part. One might argue it is like taking a decrease in pay, but I know that gift makes a difference. Not only can LMU put my $20 a month in to the annual fund, they also can count me in the employee giving rate. In fact, the division of University Advancement has a 100% giving rate. That means everyone in our division makes at least one gift in a year.

LMU was also named an Up-and-Coming institution in the South.

LMU was also named an Up-and-Coming institution in the South.

Giving rates are tools that grant funders, foundations and philanthropists often request when deciding what organizations that they will support. The rate at which employees and alumni giving paint a powerful picture of the support an institution enjoys. The great thing about giving rates is that is a calculation of participation. Whether you give $1, $240 or $1,000 you are counted.

Giving rates also have an effect on rankings and recognition for a school. In the latest US News and World Report college rankings LMU made gains in its ranking on the Regional Universities list, moving from No. 80 to No. 66. One of the categories looked at in compiling that list is giving rates.

I support LMU because I believe in its mission. I believe that education at every level improves a person’s quality of life and I believe that LMU is making lives better by providing educational opportunities in Appalachia and beyond. And I believe that my $20 a month makes a difference for LMU. I see it every day and I challenge you to consider matching my gift with a gift of your own. It doesn’t have to be made monthly and it doesn’t have to be more than $1, but think of the good we could do if every person who reads this entry gave to LMU.

Recipients of donor-funded scholarships pose for a photo during the LMU Day of Giving activities.

Recipients of donor-funded scholarships pose for a photo during the LMU Day of Giving activities.

Here we GROW again!

9 Jul

LMU_WordmarkWhen I started work at Lincoln Memorial University on September 15, 2005, the University was a small, liberal arts institution with a main campus in Harrogate, Tenn., and a small handful of extended learning sites where primarily graduate education was delivered. Our student population was under 2,000. At the time that I interviewed for my position there was no mention of possible growth or impending plans to add professional programs. Shortly after I started Vice President for University Advancement Cynthia Whitt, my boss, handed me a brochure on osteopathic medicine and said “oh, learn more about this… we are looking at the possibility of adding a school of osteopathic medicine here.”

The LMU-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine.

The LMU-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine.

That was almost eight years ago. Today our enrollment is over 4,000 students, LMU operates 10 extended learning sites, and not only do we have the LMU-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine, it is now one of the largest medical school programs in the state. In addition to osteopathic medicine, LMU-DCOM is home to a top-notch Physician Assistant Program. And the University hasn’t limited its growth to the medical field. In 2009 the LMU-Duncan School of Law opened in Knoxville. As an institution, LMU-DSOL’s Inaugural Class graduation was a highlight of spring. Over my tenure there has also been tremendous physical growth on the main campus as five new residence halls and two new classroom facilities have been built.

One might think that with all that growth, the University would take a breather. However, today is another momentous day for LMU as we announce that the University has been granted a Letter of Reasonable Assurance by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education (COE) and can now recruit students to the emerging LMU-College of Veterinary Medicine (LMU-CVM).
As LMU Board of Trustees Chairman Autry O.V. “Pete” DeBusk said in the press release, “The approval from the COE to open a new school of veterinary medicine in Harrogate, Tenn., will propel this University to even greater heights and establish LMU as a leader in professional studies for the region.”

The University first announced its plans to pursue a college of veterinary medicine in 2011. Since then a dedicated pocket of LMU administrators and newly hired program directors have been working diligently toward the accreditation process. This group has worked tirelessly toward this day. However, there is no time to sit back and bask in the glow of today. It’s time to push forward and work harder than ever on program development. As the admissions team kicks into high-gear, recruiting the LMU-CVM inaugural class, faculty has to be hired and community partnerships lined up.

LMU is now recruiting for the emerging LMU-College of Veterinary Medicine in Harrogate, Tenn.

LMU is now recruiting for the emerging LMU-College of Veterinary Medicine in Harrogate, Tenn.

There is no time to rest because here we grow again!

Sunday Snapshot: New digs for the Knights

7 Jul
Farr-Chinnock Hall -- the new home to the J. Frank White Academy.

Farr-Chinnock Hall — the new home to the J. Frank White Academy.

Work continues on renovations to Farr-Chinnock Hall, the former home to math and science at LMU. Once completed, the facility will house the J. Frank White Academy. The work should be complete in August, just in time for a new school year. Picture is the new addition of a back entrance to accommodate drop-off and pick-up. Changes to the current road are also underway to assist with traffic flow.

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