Students at Volkswagen

VW_logoStory by Hanna Aven

The business department’s immersion program expanded last semester when Lee was granted the opportunity to work with Volkswagen.

Students hand-picked to work with the company went through over one hundred hours of training before they were teamed with a top executive or manager of the company the teams devoted between ten and twenty hours a week on-site completing various projects. At the end of the semester students presented their work to Volkswagen’s CEO Frank Fisher.

Dr. Guy DeLoach, the director of the immersion program, explains that, “the program is not for the faint of heart.” Although students receive class credit for the program, they are also considered to be the company’s employees. Their research and contributions have the potential to greatly impact the company’s efficiency.

Blaine Vanquez, a senior business administration major, was a team leader at Volkswagen last semester. His team’s research transformed the way that certain parts are shipped to Volkswagen.

“We were able to save VW money and increase the overall efficiency of their incoming parts,” said Vasquez.

Lee’s contribution to Volkswagen last semester went so well that the partnership has continued. Vanquez is helping at Volkswagen again this semester coaching and assisting new student teams as they work to accomplish a new set of project goals.

This hands-on approach to classroom concepts is an opportunity that benefits every entity involved. It has proven itself to be more than a temporary arrangement.

In the past six years, Lee has partnered with a variety of Fortune 500 companies. Since the program’s launch, partner corporations estimate that their partnerships with Lee students and faculty has saved them approximately $6.5 million.

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Filed under Business, Students

Luke Powery Speaks at Lee

Story written by Hanna Aven

Adapted from Tyler Beckett’s story at


The Reverend Dr. Luke Powery presented “I’m Gonna Sing! The Faith and Music of the Unknown Black Bards” on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. in the Lee University Chapel as part of the 2012-2013 Arts and Cultures Series.

Thissecond event in the Arts and Culture Series was presented in conjunction with Lee University’s Humanities Coalition, the Department of History, Political Science, and Humanities, and the Faculty Diversity Committee.

Powery’s lecture was an interactive combination of spoken and sung word focusing on the historical context, spiritual themes, and musical influence of African American spirituals.

Powery also spoke at chapel in the Conn Center.

Dr. Mary McCampbell, assistant professor in humanities, invited Powery to Lee’s Campus after she and a group of students were moved by his lecture on African
“Most of us have heard a spiritual or two, but we haven’t thought about the theology of them,” she explained. American spirituals at the Festival of Faith and Music last year. She felt that Powery spoke a message that Lee students should not miss out on.

McCampbell said that after Powery’s lecture several of her students wrote about how they had never before realized the particular way in which African American spirituals relate to pain. Instead of ignoring pain, the spirituals reflect upon it.

Junior humanities major Caroline Bocarossa attended Powery’s lecture and found Powery’s speaking to be eye-opening.

“It was really cool to learn about how the repetition of truth and stories kept people alive. I never thought about that before,” she said.

Powery is the dean of Duke Chapel and an associate professor of the practice of homiletics at Duke Divinity School. He received his ThD from Emmanuel College, University of Toronto, his MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary, and his BA in music with a concentration in vocal performance from Stanford University.

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Filed under Campus, History and Political Science, Humanities, Uncategorized

Students Present at Honors Conference

10905_843676249536_1018188749_n-1In February, fourteen students traveled to Tennessee Technical University to present their various academic papers at the annual Tennessee Collegiate Honors Collegiate Conference.

The group represented Lee’s Kairos Scholars honors program and was made up of a variety of majors.

Over the course of the weekend, the students had the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion group with other honors programs from across eastern Tennessee, enjoy a tuba and euphonium concert, and listen to several presentations by students from other schools.


Among the papers that were presented by Lee students were “Killers and Diers: Competitive Consumption in Don DeLillo’s White Noise,” “James Madison: The Frail yet Dominant Fighter,” “Comparing and Contrasting Ancient Number Systems Throughout History,” and “Placing the Individual at the Center of Poverty.”

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Filed under College of Arts and Sciences - Departmental, Kairos Scholars

Shenanigans in Gatlinburg

Thirteen Lee students performed and communed with professional improvisers in a festival of laughter and learning over their spring break.

Shenanigans, Lee’s Improv Team travelled to Gatlinburg on March 8th, to participate once again in the Gatlinburg Improv Festival. The GIF is in it’s sophomore year of existence and team members could see a growth in both size and quality of the festival. “The crowds were bigger, the teams were better, and the classes were outstanding” notes faculty sponsor Dan Buck.

Even though the festival occurred during Lee’s Spring Break, all twelve current members of the team, the team’s founder, and the team sponsor were able to attend. The evenings included opportunities for the students to perform in shows and Saturday included a series of Improv classes taught by experienced improvisers from around the southeast.

In addition to learning about improv and performing, Shenanigans had the chance to watch five professional improv teams and get to know skilled improvisers who have been performing in front of audiences for years. Teams from Asheville, Nashville, Knoxville, and Atlanta were present. Lee students made quite an impression on the other teams present.

“I was constantly being approached by other team members who wanted to know how I collected such a talented and friendly group of students,” Buck says. Connections were made, and the Lee was well represented at the festival.

Three of the current team members have plans to pursue training at leading improv institutions in Chicago this summer. Shenanigans has already produced three members who are performing improv and/or stand-up comedy in Chicago in professional venues.

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Filed under Students, Theatre, Uncategorized

Faculty Update

Story by Hanna Aven

Brown, Kevin new

Dr. Kevin Brown completed his MFA in Creative Writing in December at Murray State University.



freakecloseDr. Michael Freake, along with his partners fromMiddle Tennessee State University and the Nashville Zoo, recently won the State Wildlife Action Plan Partnership Award. The awards will be presented to recipients on March 6 at the congressional reception in Washington, D.C.



Dr. John Hisey received his doctorate in Biology last December from the University of Memphis.





Dr. Joel Kailing was named President of the Cleveland Media Association in January and will serve in this position throughout 2013.




Dr. Matthew Melton has been named president of the Religious Communication Association.




Williams, Kirstee

Dr. Kirstee Williams named to the Editorial board for Journal of Marital and Family Therapy in January.




Woolfitt William

Dr. William Woolfitt’s poem “Teresa of Avila Compares the Soul to a Palm Cabbage” has recently been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. In the last year his writings were published in Indiana Review, Precipitate, Sekura Review, Fiction Southeast, New Ohio Review, Hawaii Pacific Review, Ottowa Arts Review, White Whale Review, Bellingham Review, Witness, Thrush, Saint Katherine Review, Imago Dei: Poems from Christianity and Literature, River Styx, Drafthorse, Painted Bride Quarterly, and Mid-American Review.

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Filed under College of Arts and Sciences - Departmental, Faculty & Staff, Lee University

Students Visit Detention Center

Bradley Co Juv.Last semester, Dr. Arlie Tagayuna, Assistant Professor of Sociology interrupted his students’ pre-final anxiety by taking both his Introduction to Sociology and his Criminology classes to the Bradley County Juvenile Detention Center.

The students were given a tour of the facility, and provided with the opportunity to consider an idea that Tagayuna was taught in grad school: “If you want to understand a society, go straight to the jail system.”

While the trip allowed his students to look at their own society from a new perspective, Tagayuna was hopeful that it would also challenge them spiritually.

“I want them to see that these people are not just bad people,” said Tagayuna.

Tagayuna has taken his classes on a trip to a different jail facility each semester since he has been at Lee, and plans to continue doing so in the future.

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Filed under Behavioral and Social Sciences, Sociology, Students

LeeTinos: Unity and Diversity

Story by Hanna Aven


Lee has long been the host of clubs for Latin American students and students that are interested in Latino culture. LeeTinos is the new face of this long-running tradition.

The club is made up of both Latino and non-Latino students and meets weekly. Vice President of the club Orlando Vanquez explains that although LeeTinos is a fun place for Latino students to unite, it is also place where diversity is encouraged.

“I was looking for a comfortable place to go and be with people who have things in common with me. But they are also different, too, because they are from different countries,” said Vanquez.

Dr. Jose Minay, the club’s sponsor, believes that it is this diversity that makes the club important. The students’ differing backgrounds allow them to educate one another on the cultures of different Spanish-speaking countries. The club’s practice of cultural education has recently been extended to the Spanish Cafes, where members of LeeTinos have been given an opportunity to dialogue about their home countries with Intermediate Spanish students.

Regardless of what country LeeTinos’ members are from, Minay insists that the division is trivial. “It’s the language that unites us,” he says.

Thus far, LeeTinos has worked to unite native Spanish-speaking students as well as other students who simply have a love for the language and culture. LeeTinos is currently in the process of recruiting new members and organizing a campus-wide event to celebrate Latino culture.

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Filed under English and Modern Foreign Languages, Spanish, Students

Lee Students Present Posters

Story by Hanna Aven

Last semester 27 students from the Introduction to Genetics class, the Biochemistry lab, and the Senior Seminar in biology gathered to present their research to their peers and professors. The students created posters for the event and prepared to explain and defend the process of their research and their results.

Dr. Lori West, the Biology Representative for the Poster Session Committee, explains that this requirement helps prepare students for the future.

“They will be equipped to do this sort of presentation in graduate school,” says West.

Junior biochemistry major Garrett Zinck agrees that the session was a difficult but rewarding opportunity.

“It developed my people skills, because I had to be able to present in a clear concise manner,” Zinck said.

A similar poster session was held February 22 for the English Technical and Professional Writing class.

“Anytime you take material that students learn in the classroom and move it out, it becomes less about the class and more about the real thing,” says the class’s professor, Dr. Jeffery Ringer.

photoBecause the English Technical and Professional Writing class teaches its students different means of presenting and organizing information, the various posters displayed many different kinds of research and arguments. The students’ session was complete with complementary bagels and coffee and lasted for one hour.

Although its early-morning atmosphere was lighthearted, sophomore Writing major Hannah Murie made sure to point out that the presenting work at the session was not a simple task.

“(The session) has shown me how much I don’t know about my issue from a practical political standpoint,” she explained.

The questions she received from her posters’ viewers forced her to solidify her explanation of what she knew about her topic and admit to the things that she was unsure about.

Various classes host poster sessions every semester. Be on the lookout for the next science poster session.

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Filed under College of Arts and Sciences - Departmental, English, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Students

First College Tea Held in January

IMG_0689Story by Hanna Aven

The first “College Tea” turned out to be a great success. In January all of the College of Arts and Sciences faculty members were invited to come snack on finger foods in the SMC great room and enjoy one another’s company.

The tea was hosted in an effort to bring together coworkers that have never had a chance to meet.

“(The college has) grown so large that we have 90 faculty members and not everyone knows each other,” said Dr. Matthew Melton, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Melton explained despite snowy weather, nearly all of the college’s faculty members were able to come and spend time meeting one another.

Melton hopes for the college to host a similar tea at the start of ever spring semester.

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Filed under College of Arts and Sciences - Departmental, Faculty & Staff

Student Receives Cleveland Media Association Scholarship

Story by Hanna Aven

Kelsy Black, senior communication studies major, recently received a $500 scholarship from the Cleveland Media Association.

After hearing about the scholarship from Dr. Christie Kleinmann, Black filled out her application, writing an essay about the lessons she learned while working at an advertisement agency last summer.

Her scholarship winning essay centered on the responsibility that comes with creating and broadcasting messages.

“My degree is not an expensive piece of paper, but a weapon of mass destruction, if not properly managed,” she wrote.

Black’s understanding of the power of media fuels her passion for using her degree to convey a “positive messages through advertising.”

Black plans to use her scholarship money to help pay for her final semester before attending graduate school next fall.

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Filed under College of Arts and Sciences - Departmental, Communication, Communication and the Arts, Students