Tag Archives: Tennessee

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.

Is Facebook the cure for the World School Blues?

8 Nov

Five days ago I attended the World School International Forum 2012 closing banquet. It was the last event on a packed schedule for delegates from 21 countries around the world and while I expected it to be emotional for the nearly 100 high school students and teacher chaperones that had spent two weeks forming friendships and unbreakable bonds, I wasn’t prepared for the abundance of tears.

The mission of World School is to create a truly borderless entity for the purpose of helping the participants create their image of an ideal educational program. The program is designed to train students to adopt a global perspective by becoming receptive to differences and to enable them to form lasting friendships. It will also prepare them to excel in a globalized society. To accomplish this, a forum has been held once a year since 1997 to give students from around the world an opportunity to come together and learn from each other. These forums were held in Tokyo, Japan, from 1997 – 2001, then LMU became the first institution to host the event outside of the founding country in 2002. Ten years later, it was the University’s turn to host the event again.

It’s no wonder the students, and teachers too, shed some tears on their last day, because in the 11 days that came before life changing friendships were made, borders were torn down and a truly global community built on respect was created.

Hailing from Australia, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand, Indonesia, South Africa, Turkey, Romania, France, Russia, Italy, United Kingdom, Japan, Thailand, Germany, India, Sri Lanka, China, Finland and Macau the delegates all landed in Knoxville before boarding buses and vans to take them to the Cumberland Mountains that LMU calls home. After settling into LMU residence Halls and celebrating the opening of the Forum with the Opening Ceremonies, the international contingent was on the road again for an excursion to Washington, D.C.

Things didn’t slow any on their return to Tennessee, as home stay would greet them. The students and teachers were split among community members to get a taste of home life in America. They returned to LMU for an intense second week of more academic pursuits. The education theme for the forum was Environment: Housing and Volunteerism and the students spent a lot of time preparing for a debate on the topic. The second week also included booth day and country performances where they shared information about their country with over 1,000 community members and school children.

The country performances included everything from –

the evolution of dance in the United States:

To the international sensation that is South Korea’s PSY Gangham Style (check it out around the 3 minute mark).

To the Aussies sharing a holiday favorite from Down Under.  Jingle Bells with no snow?

I had a very limited role in World School, mainly to photograph selected events as my schedule permitted. My family also played host for a pair of students during home stay (more on that in another post). Even as an outside observer, it was clear that special bonds were formed every step of the way.

During the closing banquet the delegates were warned of the “World School Blues” that could greet them when they returned to their home countries. At first, I was skeptical. I thought, these kids have been away from home and their families for nearly two weeks, surely they will be happy to have the comforts of home. They have been staying in institutional residence halls without the benefits of customizing them like college students do. They had been eating strange food and kept on a tight schedule with little down time to just chill. Surely, home was calling. But then I watched as they shared memories throughout the banquet and at its conclusion began moving around in small groups alternately hugging, crying and snapping pictures and I knew home was far from their minds.

 In that moment, as an adult who has said goodbye to my fair share of friends over the years, I was envious of their connections.  I remember crying over friends as I said goodbye every summer at the end of summer camp. I cried because I knew that I was not likely to see or hear from until the next summer. These World School delegates weren’t crying over that. They may never be in the same room again, but they would always know what was happening in Montreal, Paris, New Zealand or even Harrogate. Technology has changed everything. Facebook is now a conduit to maintaining these friendships. While the delegates may get the “World School Blues” longing to sneak out of a residence hall to meet up for midnight talks or miss a certain delegate’s unforgettable laugh, they’ll always be just a few clicks away from seeing their friends.

A close call, close to home.

11 Mar

If you have ever visited Kresge Hall or been to a University Advancement event, then likely you know who Angela Jordan is. If not, you are missing out. This remarkable woman puts all of us at UA first. She never ceases to lend a hand, help out or just listen to whatever may be on your mind. Her official title is administrative assistant to the vice president for University Advancement, but she really does so much more than assist for our entire division. More than just an assistant, Angie mothers us all.

No matter how many times she has been recipient of one of my eye rolls when she fusses at me for carrying too much, she still cares enough to chastise me any time I lift more than I should. She often tells me that she doesn’t care if I think I can do it, she knows that I shouldn’t. There is never a day that I leave work without her telling me do drive safe and take care.

When the devastating storms hit Harrogate on Friday, March 2, 2012, Angie’s house was struck by one of the tornados that ravaged neighborhoods across the street from LMU. She and her husband were thankfully unharmed, but the house and property sustained much damage. Angie asked me to help her thank the community who came to her aid. She said that she felt a thank you card wasn’t enough and wondered if I would print something in our University newsletter, CampusLinc, which I assured her I would. I also encouraged her to share with me her story and the following is just that…

 

Extending a helping hand

9 Mar

A week ago, our mild winter erupted into an outbreak of damaging storms which lashed out across the Southeast. At LMU, two rounds of tornado warnings came down during the day on Friday, March 2, before the most damaging storms arrived around 8 p.m. Through it all, LMU’s main campus in Harrogate, Tenn., was spared damage. Reports from that night included just wind, light rain and a short burst of hail. Some of our historic trees lost a few limbs, but the University had seen worse.

Our neighbors just across Highway 25E did not fare as well. The initial reports on Friday described as many as 10 houses that were totally destroyed. Those same reports placed them all in the City of Harrogate in the area behind Ellen Myers Elementary School. And the reports were fairly accurate.

By the time the weather service confirmed that an EF2 tornado touched down in the area earlier this week, the clean-up effort was already well underway. Emergency responders rescued trapped residents and helped guide people around downed power lines immediately following the storms on Friday. In the light of day on Saturday, more volunteers joined the efforts as neighbors helped neighbors to assess the damage and start to clear the debris.

After a weekend full of reports from the storm damaged areas, the burning question on most people’s minds on Monday was, how could LMU help? The Student Services division was contacted by several students about going into the community and helping in any way possible. On Wednesday, a team of about 15 students, including most of the Lady Railsplitter volleyball team, and the entire Student Services staff assisted in clean-up efforts at two residences.

A camera crew from LMU-TV followed the LMU volunteers and filed this report.

On Thursday, the student services team was at it again, helping two more families clear debris around their homes.

 I had the privilege of being a part of the clean-up yesterday. Seeing the destruction up close was remarkable. Even more remarkable, was the spirit of community that radiated out of this devastation. Sure, a few homeowners shared stories of people salvaging through debris and looking to take advantage of the people affected by the storms, but, the majority had also experienced complete strangers coming up and assisting in the clean-up.

LMU is about service. The University believes that one of the major cornerstones of meaningful existence is service to humanity. Our students routinely volunteer in their communities. What is so impressive about this service, is that it was a grassroots effort initiated by students. The students went to administration looking for a way to help. The Student Services division, inspired by the students’ request went to President B. James Dawson and asked for permission not only to take the students over to help, but to volunteer as well. The Student Services division went on to sacrifice two days to assist their neighbors and the work isn’t complete yet.

Student leaders and the administration have reached out to a number of the relief organizations working in the area, offering to recruit and organize teams of student volunteers as the recovery efforts turn to rebuilding.

Knoxville’s WBIR-TV also sent a reporter to cover the recovery efforts. A link to reporter Mary Scott’s story is below.

WBIR VIDEO

Tennessee’s highest court coming to LMU-DSOL

29 Aug

Anyone visiting the LMU-Duncan School of Law on Wednesday afternoon can expect a heavier than normal security presence. While the University has round-the-clock security at the law school, it’s never as noticeable as it will be on Wednesday when the Tennessee Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments in LMU-DSOL’s Courtroom on the third floor.

Pictured in the courtroom at the Supreme Court Building in Nashville are (seated) Chief Justice Cornelia A. Clark (standing left to right) , Justice Janice M. Holder, Justice William C. Koch, Jr., Justice Gary R. Wade and Justice Sharon G. Lee.

Tennessee’s highest court goes on the road a handful of times each year to promote access to educational institutions.  Through the Supreme Court Advancing Legal Education for Students (SCALES) program the Court visits high schools and high school programs. For instance this year they heard oral arguments to both Tennessee Boys State and Tennessee Girls State. The Court has also heard arguments at the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at the University of Memphis. It will be the first such engagement for LMU-DSOL, though the Courtroom was specifically designed to hold five justices on the bench in hopes that the Supreme Court would one day sit there.

Not only will the students of LMU-DSOL be fortunate enough to witness the Court in action, the docket for the afternoon includes a death penalty appeal. Chief Justice Cornelia A. Clark and Associate Justices Janice M. Holder, Gary R. Wade, William C. Koch, Jr., and Sharon G. Lee will preside over  Leonard Edward Smith vs. State of Tennessee, Allstate Insurance Company vs. Diana Lynn Tarrant, et al and SNPCO Inc., dba Salvage Unlimited vs. City of Jefferson City, et al.

The Smith case originated in Hamblen County and is a post conviction appeal. Smith is appealing orders of the Hamblen County Circuit Court denying his initial and amended petitions for post-conviction relief challenging his 1985 conviction and life sentence for the first degree felony murder of John Pierce, his 1989 conviction for the first degree felony murder of Novella Webb and his 1995 sentence of death for that murder.

In accordance with the security requirements of the Court, LMU-DSOL will be limiting access to the building throughout the day. The third floor will be restricted in the afternoon when court is in session and everyone entering the building should expect to be wanded by security.

The arguments will be heard beginning at 1:30 p.m. The proceedings are open to the public.

 

 

And then I jumped…

12 Aug

1 – 2 — 3 — Zip! And with that I walked off the plank. What came next was shear exhilaration as I soared over forty feet off the ground spanning the 500 foot valley of Democrat Hollow in about 15 seconds. It was quick, but it certainly qualified as the most fun I have had on the job in a long time. Had I not had important public relations duties to attend to, I probably would have stayed there all day or at least taken the plunge one more time.

The zipline is the final high element of LMU’s High Adventure Ropes Course, which has been a fixture in Democrat Hollow since 2009. The High Adventure Ropes Course combines fun and adventure with team building and leadership development. Designed and built for the University by Challenge Tours, the course consists of six low ropes elements and three high ropes elements.  

LMU’s High Adventure Ropes Course Coordinator Turner Bowling agreed to take a group the University Advancement staff out to the course to experience a few of the elements. The best part, we all got to wear some really cool harnesses that are extremely flattering to our figures (I hope you can feel the sarcasm in that statement). Seriously, the best part was having fun with my co-workers and trying something new. To fully capture, and share, this experience I even rigged my own helmet cam by duct tapping a Flip Cam to the helmet. The result is a pretty shaky video, but you can get a sense of what the zipline experience is from the video.

The zipline is pretty self explanatory. Turner took our group two at a time to the plank, which has been built about forty feet up on one side of the valley. A wire is suspended across the valley attached to poles on each side. For lack of a technical explanation, the “zipliner” zips across the wire, suspended by a rope connected to your harness on one end and a pulley on the other. There is not a lot of team building to this exercise, but some technique is required to successfully “land.” Since Turner was on his own on this outing, he asked for one of our group to volunteer to “catch” for him.

 

LMU High Adventure Coordinator Turner Bowling demonstrating an easy landing.

I wanted to capture some video and photos of everyone, so I volunteered to catch. A successful landing involved landing on your feet and running up the hill building on the momentum off the zipline. It sounded easy enough in theory. Turner demonstrated how easy it should be.

LMU Director of Alumni Services demonstrates a not-so-easy landing.

Once my first team member came crashing into the earth, about 20 feet lower on the hill than I was set to catch him, I realized that it might be trickier than it looked. After three other failed catchings I was relieved of my catching duties and headed to the plank armed with my observations on the landings. My teammate ahead of me, who had also had the benefit of observing other landings, did manage to land on his feet.

When it was my turn, Turner reminded me that I would start to twist after take-off. He said it was important that I throw my weight the way the rope is turning, so that I am square with the ground on the landing. Amazingly, I executed a near perfect landing. After watching person after person slide into the other side of the valley, I was just happy not to be covered in mud.

My group decided, because of time constraints, to skip the ultra scary Pamper Pole. Another high element of the course, the Pamper Pole involves climbing to the top of a pole (picture a telephone pole), standing straight up and jumping off to hit a ball that is suspended about five feet off the pole. It’s the ultimate trust fall, as you have to trust your team, which is managing the belay, to ease your decent.

 I’m not sure if I’m crazy or just still high from the adrenaline from the zipline, but I definitely want to try the Pamper Pole on my next visit to the High Adventure Ropes Course. That’s right, I said next. I’m totally hooked. I wonder why it took me two years to get out there in the first place.


 

 

A graceful take off.

 

 

My smooth landing. Notice the helmet is over my eyes.