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They’re baaack!

28 Sep

Prospective students visiting DCOM for interviews listen ad Class of 2015 President Kirubakaran Sivagurunathan makes a presentation.

Walking through DCOM this morning, I passed the fishbowl (the first floor conference room with a glass wall) and spotted the black suits for the first time this year. It’s hard to see the black suits and not sense their excitement and nervousness.

 Twice a week from mid-September to mid-May, twelve fresh faces arrive in Harrogate, Tenn., for in-person interviews as part of the medical school application process. We call them the black suits, because most of them where black suits to their interviews.

 Every Tuesday and Wednesday, 12 DCOM hopefuls get a chance to see why at least thirteen people have applied for each and every seat since the school opened in 2007. Typically in a year, 500 black suits will filter through for interviews.

 

The official interview comes after the admissions committee reviews the applicant’s AACOMAS application, supplemental application and test scores. The personal interview itself is 30 minutes, long but interviewees go through a full day of programming.

 

Since the second class went through interviews, DCOM’s Student Osteopathic Medicine Association (SOMA) has sponsored an informal pizza night to give prospective students a chance to meet current students and ask a wide range of questions in a relaxed atmosphere.  Pizza night occurs the evening before the interviews. Often, attendance is determined by travel schedule as applicants travel from across the country to check out DCOM.

 

On the actual interview day, the black suits will be shuttled from hotels in Middlesboro to the LMU campus. One of the comments we often hear after interviews is how friendly and relaxed our process is. From the start, our visitors are welcomed into the LMU family whether they ultimately choose to attend DCOM or not. Our greatest ambassador is our shuttle driver, Bob Jackson. Bob has been with DCOM from the beginning, when he volunteered to help with whatever the medical school needed because he was proud of its mission and wanted to be a part of it. Bob picks the black suits up in the morning and helps them to relax on the short drive to campus. When their day is done, he picks them back up and gives them a quick driving tour of LMU and often visits some of the highlights in the area, like the Pinnacle in nearby Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.

 

The day officially gets underway with a welcome session conducted by the admissions staff. When he is in town, Dean Ray Stowers also makes a special point to welcome the black suits. The welcome session is followed by a financial aid overview as well as information about the preclinical and clinical curriculum from faculty. Next, the prospective students are interviewed in one on two sessions with faculty. The students will be paired with a DO and a PhD for the individual interviews. Current DCOM students also make a point to drop in and talk with interviewees while they wait for their time to interview.

 

Following the interviews, DCOM student ambassadors give tours of the building. The black suits are then joined by current students for a lunch in LMU’s dining hall. After lunch, Bob gives his tour and takes them back to the hotels.

 

The admissions committee typically meets on Thursdays, following the interview days. This helps the committee make decisions while the interviews are fresh in their minds. The admissions staff tries to have letters out no later than Monday of the next week, but it often depends on the Dean’s schedule as he has final say and review on all applicants. The letters can also be delayed, because Dean Stowers enjoys calling the accepted students personally to offer them a seat in the class.

Take a Swing with the Alumni Association

22 Sep

Calling all Railsplitters! Come on we know you are out there. Step up, take a swing and support the LMU Alumni Association as it hosts its very first golf tournament tomorrow at Three Ridges Golf Course in Knoxville. All the proceeds from the event will benefit the Association’s Democrat Hollow Renovation project.

Planned by the LMU Alumni Association Board with the assistance of Director of Alumni Services Donnie Lipscomb, the tournament promises to be fun. Teams finishing 1st, 2nd, 10th and last will win prizes including GPS systems, putters, golf bags and weekend getaway packages. There will also prizes for closest to the pin and longest drive.

The Alumni Association has gathered a host of sponsors including DeRoyal Industries, The Village Market, Kramer-Rayson LLC., Attorneys at Law, The Lodge at Valley View, Middlesboro Coca-Cola, Lee Motors and the Ideal Print Shop. There will also be the opportunity to win a new car, compliments of Lee Motors, with a hole in one on a designated par three hole.

The festivities get underway at 1 p.m. with a shotgun start. It is not too late to be a part of the action. There will be door prizes and silent auction that includes autographed memorabilia from Pat Summit and Derek Dooley, plus Tennessee football and Bristol Raceway tickets.

The tournament will wrap up with a dinner and awards ceremony immediately following completion of play. For more information or to register visit https://secure.imodules.com/s/1119/index.aspx?sid=1119&gid=1&pgid=537&cid=1479  .

White Coats & Tradition

21 Sep

As traditions go, 18 years is relatively new. That is exactly how long medical schools in America have been “coating” first year students in a ceremony that has become a rite of passage for medical student. The first White Coat Ceremony was held in 1993 at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and is now a standard ritual in medical schools across the country. During the Ceremony, each medical student is presented and “robed” with his or her short white laboratory coat, formalizing and welcoming the student’s entrance into the study of medicine.

 

Of course when you are talking about new traditions, it seems that is all that the DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine has. Now in its fifth year and celebrating its fifth entering class, DCOM’s White Coat Ceremony, set for Saturday, will be steeped in the young traditions of the new school.

 

Traditions like a DCOM family barbeque in Democrat Hollow the evening before the ceremony. It’s the first opportunity for the extended family of the newest DCOMers to meet and mingle with faculty, staff and other families. A fresh take on the tradition this year is that the meal will be prepared by  Dean Ray Stowers and Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation/OPP and Assistant Vice President for Program Development Michael Wieting. The pair are certified barbeque judges and the “two Docs” of Two Docs Barbeque. They hosted a similar event during the Inaugural Class Commencement week.

 

Since the very first White Coat Ceremony in 2007, the Tennessee Osteopathic Medicine Association (TOMA) has provided the white coats for the students of Tennessee’s only osteopathic medical school. During the ceremony, a TOMA representative, usually the president of the organization, makes a presentation to the class. The students are actually “robed” by faculty representatives. Another DCOM tradition is closing with the Osteopathic Oath of Commitment — A pledge the students will also recite during commencement.

 

The White Coat Ceremony is an important rite of passage for new medical students. The white coat is another tool of the profession. Dr. Stowers said few new students really understand the confidence a white coat can instill in a patient.

Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum gets aniversary gift from ETF

10 Sep

The East Tennessee Foundation (ETF) has been doing good works in this region for over 25 years. Their work is executed through grants and awards to non-profit organizations in 25-counties in East Tennessee.  LMU is proud to be one of those organizations. Throughout its history, the ETF has supported LMU and the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum with enrichment programs and by providing funds for special projects and events including the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival.

In 2011, ETF is celebrating 25 years of thoughtful giving – Neighbors caring for Neighbors. To mark the occasion and to demonstrate what the Foundation does in our 25-county service area, ETF will award 25/$2,500 grants (one $2,500 grant to one nonprofit in each of the 25 counties we serve) and one $25,000 ETF recognition endowment to a nonprofit located within our service area.

The unusual part of the 25th Anniversary Grant is that there was no application. All the recipients were evaluated and selected by the ETF staff and its board without even knowing they were under consideration.  That is what happened for the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum. One day, they got the call that they had been selected and a few weeks later ETF Senior Vice President for Programs and Regional Development Terry Holley presented the award to Museum Director Thomas Mackie.

Holley noted in her presentation that ETF and ALLM have partnered in the past to support a variety of educational and cultural programs. The Museum is a unique treasure in this region and ETF has supported efforts to promote public awareness and appreciation of LMU’s historical legacy of documentary resources relating to Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War era and regional Appalachian history.

The overall objective of our 25th Anniversary Celebration is to bring greater awareness and understanding throughout East Tennessee of how East Tennessee Foundation works with donors and through nonprofits in the region and how each person in our service area can have a relationship with the Foundation.

The Museum  will use the grant to complete one of our public programs later this year.

Pictured during the presentation are Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Philip Supina, Administrative Assistant for the Paul V. Hamilton School of Arts and Science Laura Mackie, University Archivist Michelle Ganz, Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum Assistant Director and Curator Steven Wilson, East Tennessee Foundation Senior Vice President for Programs and Regional Development Terry Holley, Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum Director Thomas Mackie, President B. James Dawson, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs Evelyn Smith, Lincoln Historian and Professor of History Charles Hubbard and Vice President for Academic Affairs Clayton Hess.

 

 

Woefully behind, trying to catch-up

9 Sep

This has been a busy week at LMU. So busy, I have fallen way behind on this blog. I have attempted to catch back up all week, but at the end of the day, it’s the end of the day and I’m out of time. So here we are at 10:26 p.m. on Friday night. So let’s hit the highlights of the week and call ourselves caught-up. I’ll try to start new with the daily posting next week.

Monday brought a rainy Labor Day to LMU. Classes were cancelled and offices were closed and it turned out, the City of Harrogate Labor Day festivities were called on account of rain. The annual celebration which takes place at the Harrogate City Park includes live music, family activities and fireworks. The celebration has been rescheduled for Saturday, September 17 beginning at 3 p.m.

Tuesday, another rainy day, took me to the LMU-Duncan School of Law where everyone is busy preparing for accreditation events. For my part, I arranged a last minute photo shoot to highlight some of the smaller, but no less equipped, study rooms.

 

East Tennessee Foundation grant presentation.

Wednesday, the rain was finally clearing, brought a new session of Staff Senate with a gaggle of new staff representatives including yours truly. The meeting served as an introduction to the organization for us “newbies” as Staff Senate Chair Julie Longmire reviewed the accomplishments of the past year and went over the projects that were being carried over to this year. New officers were also elected. I literally walked out of that meeting and into the next event. The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum had been selected by the East Tennessee Foundation to receive a $2,500 grant and ETF Senior Vice President for Programs and Regional Development Terry Holley travelled to Harrogate to make the presentation (I will share more on this in a future entry). No sooner had I snapped the last picture at the presentation than my phone began to ring. It was Lieutenant Adam Howland with LMU ROTC and they were presenting a huge scholarship to one of our students. It was really a milestone for LMU’s ROTC program which is in the midst’s of a reboot after dropping off the campus landscape for a while (again more on the presentation in another post). I capped the day with a visit to the Math Science Building site to take some photos of the project’s progress. The trip wasn’t exactly planned, so I was dressed appropriately for a construction site. With all the rain, I was lucky to escape without ruining my dress shoes.

 

Marshall Chapman performs.

I started my day on Thursday in Harrogate for a homecoming meeting. I hit the road before noon heading back to DSOL to finish the ABA photo project. Later that evening Writer-in-Residence Darnell Arnoult welcomed Marshall Chapman for the opening of the Appalachian Reading Series. Chapman, a Nashville-fixture, is an accomplished songwriter and essayist. She even stared alongside Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim McGraw in the movie Country Strong, she played Paltrow’s road manager. The program was co-sponsored by the Music Department. Chapman performed her music and read from her new book, They Came to Nashville. Afterwards, she met with the crowd and signed books.

 

Marshall Chapman signs Charlie Allen's kindle during the Appalachian Reading Series event on Thursday.

 

And I’m not really sure how Friday got away from me so quickly, but here I am, signing off at 11:11 p.m. (make a wish) whew…. What a week.

 

A day of days for the Duncan School of Law

6 Sep


And with that, the Tennessee Supreme Court was in session at the LMU-Duncan School of Law. What an exciting time for LMU’s young law school. For the roughly 200 students, it was an opportunity to see the state’s highest court in action; for Dean Sydney A. Beckman, his faculty and the administration of LMU, it was a watershed moment in the institution’s lifespan.

 

LMU Chairman Pete DeBusk and LMU-DSOL Dean Sydney A. Beckman take in the action just prior to the Supreme Court proceedings.

When Beckman and company set out to build a law school at LMU, chief among their goals was to harness technology to enhance a student’s experience. They wanted to employ faculty who had practice experience and could offer advice from the life lessons they had learned in their careers. They wanted to provide their students with mentors, as well as teachers, and make sure access was never an issue. They sought to build a facility that could and would host even the state’s highest court so students could observe the law in action.

Last Wednesday, as Justice Sharon G. Lee, Justice Gary R. Wade, Chief Justice Cornelia A. Clark, Justice Janice M. Holder and Justice William C. Koch entered DSOL’s courtroom to the sound of a gavel striking the bench, I could not help but feel a swell of pride for the school, its students, faculty and Dean Beckman.

 

James Alexander of the Old City Hall Partnership, Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) President Nancy B. Moody and Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam sign lease agreements to allow LMU to occupy the Old City Hall Building in Knoxville while LMU Board Chairman Autry O.V. “Pete” DeBusk looks on.

Sitting in the very same room that had hosted the lease signing in February of 2008 it’s impossible to quantify just how much has changed in “Old City Hall.” Back then, LMU was still developing plans for the facility that “might” include a possible school of law. Soon after the lease signing, LMU notified the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners of its intent to pursue a jurisprudence degree. Dean Beckman, hadn’t made his first visit to Knoxville yet and was still a faculty member at the Charleston School of Law. He would join LMU in July of 2008. To think of all the man hours that have been spent to get that “possible law school” to the point where it would host the state’s highest court is staggering.

Beyond the pride in how far we’ve come, Wednesday was a celebration of the potential of what is yet to come. As the overflow crowd gathered to hear oral arguments presented in three cases, including a death penalty appeal, it isn’t hard to imagine that some students might one day present their own arguments before the Tennessee Supreme Court. Likewise, it isn’t a far stretch to envision other judges and area courts presiding over the bench in the LMU-DSOL courtroom.

 

 

3 Sep

The Claiborne County Relay for Life event last Friday was a great success, raising a total of $137,231.13 to benefit the American Cancer Society. Claiborne County has now surpassed $1,000,000 in giving since Relay for Life began in the county. LMU once agian played a big role in the event acting as corporate sponsor. Additionally, three LMU administrators were a partof the leadership team, the LMU community was represented by three teams and Railsplitter Athletes volunteered with everything from logistics to clean-up.

The LMU faculty, staff and student team, The Relay Railsplitters, raised $5,481.44 for the cause.The J. Frank White Academy used the theme "The Cure is Up There."The LMU-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine team raised $1,346.44.