All posts by Karysa Parrott

Hello! I am a freshman at Johnson University where I am studying to be an elementary teacher. Cats, books, and guitar are great things that I love. I am all about telling stories and sharing captivating tales so I also might happen to like to write :)


Johnson’s History Center renovated for 125th anniversary

KNOXVILLE— Johnson University is celebrating its 125 year anniversary, and one part of commemorating this special occasion was the redesigning of the Phillips-Welshimer building’s History Center.

Director of Human Resources at Johnson University, Leslie Bean became a part of the Quasquicentennial Celebratory Committee. With an education in history and museum studies, Bean lead in the creating ideas for the exhibits for the 125th.

There are three categories of the committee: events, publication, and exhibits. From Cabinet members to staff and faculty, a wide range of people were chosen to be involved.

“They were picking people who could help put things in place to celebrate the 125th,” Bean said.


Bean said the committee began meeting in the summer of 2016, and knew they wanted to do something with the History Center, but nothing was decided then.

“This room was set up before for the 100th anniversary,” said Bean. “So not much had changed over the past twenty-five years.”


The History Center’s established usage and ideal placement meant that it was was overdue for an update.

“As neat and interesting as the artifacts in this room were, they didn’t really tell the story of Johnson,” Bean said. “We wanted a space close to the auditorium where most of the events were being held.”


Bean made plans with Facilities and met with the Committee about the progress. Bean said it took about a year to nail down the plans for this room, and renovations began in October of 2017.

“Jonathan Robinson, and Facilities really helped spearhead all the physical renovations,” Bean said. “Facilities really had a big part in putting this room together.”

Her and Mark Young put together the videography features such as the Smart TV of the History Center.


Inspired by East Tennessee’s History Center, Bean said that they wanted to change the name to reflect the change in the room’s functionality and purpose.

“Traditionally this room was referred to as the Historical Room, and it was in memory of the Johnson’s,” Bean said. “We wanted something more functional, a room that would tell the story of the place…I also wanted a room that could be used for multiple events.”


Having opened for homecoming, and to be used for Senior Saints workshops, Bean hopes that this center is the beginning for future exhibits.

“It will remain as an exhibit space,” Bean said. “But I hope that after we have other projects completed such as the ARK we will be able to have more exhibits.”

The History Center will continue to serve as a functional room designed for multiple uses for Johnson. It is open during the week for anyone to discover Johnson’s history.



Johnson hosts Allen Morris Moustache Memorial 5k run/walk

KNOXVILLE—On February 21, Johnson hosted for the first time, the Allen Morris Moustache Memorial 5k run/walk. This event was created to benefit the Allen Morris Memorial Scholarship Fund.
In 2016, Morris unexpectedly died during a softball tournament for his church—First Christian Church in Cookeville, TN where he preached, according to the scholarship’s gofundme page.

David Lee and Tracy Shaner put together this event in honor of Morris and to represent the class of 1988.

“We were roommates for a year and a half,” Lee explains. “One of the best things about Allen was how humble, kind and caring he was.”
Together with this 5k and the gofundme page, the Allen Morris Scholarship fund has raised more than $1,000.

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Royal Wellness adds children’s classes to their program

KNOXVILLE — The Royal Wellness program is dedicated to providing tools for healthy living on Johnson University Tennessee campus, and now they are introducing a new class specifically aimed at the children of the community.

Associate Professor of Sports and Fitness Leadership and founder of the Royal Wellness program, Dr. Trevor Egli, gave his input on the just what newest addition of the program, ‘Royal Kids’, involves.

“Essentially what it’s going to be is functional movement for kids” Egli described. “The age range was initially 5-9 years of age, but we actually have from four-year-olds, at the youngest, to 12-year-olds.”

When asked about what the classes for the kids include, Egli replied with all of the things that the program has planned.

“Really it’s getting the kids moving by doing a lot of body weight movement, and try to make it fun,” Egli said. “There may be a little bit of weights, but it will be very light, because even kids can do a little bit of weight training. At that age it’s mostly about having fun with learning about correct form, weight, and movement patterns.”

Monica McKnight, who has been connected with Royal Wellness for several years, is in charge of Royal Kids program.

“Her work with Royal Kids is completely  volunteer,” Egli explained. “She has plenty of experience and certification to be doing something like this.”

Egli explained why he believes Royal Kid’s Classes will benefit Royal Wellness program and local community as a whole.

“If we can include the family, which does include the kids, we’re able to accommodate a larger group and expand for the Johnson community.”


JUTN Ultimate mixed team wins second tournament this season

KNOXVILLE—This year at JU there is not only a men’s Ultimate Frisbee team, but a mixed team as well. The new mixed team has won the past two tournaments they have competed in this season.

Never in JU history has an ultimate team won first place in two consecutive tournaments before.

Lexi Overcash and Colin Giebler are leaders in this new mixed team.

“The team as a whole is a lot closer this year than last year,” Giebler said.

When asked about how their team is different from the men’s team, Giebler stated, “Mixed has a different mindset—It is more about having fun than competition.”

Overcash said she believes the creation of the mixed team is a step in the right direction for female students.

“Girls are able to compete against girls, which creates a lot more even playing field and just a better environment where they feel like they can thrive,” Overcash said. “The new girls are enjoying it because they can play someone with a similar skill level.”

Photo Credit: Hunter Long

Giebler said he views the games as more than just a chance to play ultimate, but a chance to minister to teammates and the other team as well.

“Ministry has been really well, we’ve gotten to really get to know some teams we’ve played against in the past,” Giebler said. “The captains have made the team a welcoming place to everyone. People feel like they have a place to hang out here.”

Photo Credit: Hunter Long

Both Overcash and Giebler say they look forward to the tournament the team plans to host in Knoxville next semester. This will be the second year the team has hosted a tournament, and they encourage the students to look forward to it as well.


Stone-Campbell Movement panel discussion held on JUTN campus

KNOXVILLE— JU hosted a panel discussion over the history and evangelical effects of the Stone-Campbell Movement last Wednesday. This panel included Jamey Gorman, Matt Shears, Jon Weatherly, Mark Weedman and Bill Wolf.

Dr. Gorman, a professor of Restoration Movement history at JU, discussed background information involving the relevance of the Stone-Campbell Movement. The main question discussed on the panel was “Is the Stone-Campbell Movement evangelical and is it relevant today?”

Matt Shears, a Johnson alumnus, took part in the panel. Shears explored how many Christians today, despite Stone-Campbell Movement roots, are not evangelicals.


Matt Shears speaks on the question of evangelicals within the church.

In his presentation Shears stated that the goal of the Stone-Campbell Movement reflects Christian principles, but that many Christians today should not identify as evangelicals.

Dean of the School of Bible and Theology Jon Weatherly, countered Shears argument.

Weatherly said some in the church have faltered in keeping the ideals of the Stone-Campbell Movement, but he believed that does not discount Christian churches today as evangelical.

Weatherly said it is the job of the Church to realize failure as part of life, and by their authenticity the Church should accept them.

Dr. Weedman, professor of philosophy and ethics at Johnson, countered both Shears’ and Weatherly’s arguments by proposing that the discussion should not be held at all.

Weedman argued that Christians spend too much time expressing Christianity intellectually and not enough time taking action.

Dean of Chapel Bill Wolf, concluded the discussion by heading up a Q&A time with the four speakers so that the audience had a chance to ask about the ideas they discussed.


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Reminder: Johnson thank you letters deadline approaching 

KNOXVILLE—Johnson’s annual scholarship thank you letters are due Friday. This year the Financial Aid department has made it easier for students to turn letters in.

Last year it was the students’ job to print off the certain amount of letters, buy envelopes and stamps and return the letters sealed and ready to mail to Financial Aid. This year they have made it easier for students to turn in their letters.

Students are to email their letters to where Financial Aid will take care of the rest.

Financial Aid has also asked that students write these letters in a Word document and attach it to the email.

Financial Aid reminds students that if they do not send in their thank you letters by Oct. 27 their financial aid will be reduced.

Remember to check your mailbox for the yellow paper that gives instructions on how to write and send this letter to Financial Aid.


JUTN Ultimate Frisbee club gear up for first tournament of the season

KNOXVILLE— Saturday, the Johnson University Tennessee Ultimate Frisbee club will compete in their first tournament of the season.Ultimate

The Johnson Royals will be playing at the University of Tennessee. Four games will be played Saturday which will determine how many games will be played Sunday.

Come out to the UT Intramural Fields at 3620 Sutherland Ave, to see your Johnson Royals’ first games of the semester. Admission is free!

The first game starts at 9 a.m. and games will go to 4 p.m. There will be a break between 11:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.

Last year, Johnson placed seventh overall in their last tournament of the season at UT.This tournament was unique in that the team scored universe points in four out of the seven games they played, meaning they were tied until the last point.

This year the Ultimate Frisbee club welcomes Nate Plyler and Blake West as senior co-captains, along with Sean Torres and Colin Giebler as junior co-captains.




Director of Counseling Center, Emily Eisenhart shares advice of how to manage finals stress

KNOXVILLE—On Friday, Emily Eisenhart, director of the university’s counseling center,was interviewed over the topic of how stress can affect students and how students can cope and manage this stress.

“It’s finding that balance…from finding positive ways of relieving stress such as reaching out to family or friends to have someone to debrief with or just to get off campus, and then sometimes food isn’t the best option though,” Eisenhart said.

When asked about how the UCC can serve students dealing with finals stress, Eisenhart answers the question with,”We’re definitely up here, when you come up here you don’t have to commit if you just need some support.

“It’s the end of the semester, you’re thinking about getting out of the dorms, summer plans, yet you’re in the in-between stage of being almost done, yet these grades for finals may be a lot heavier than the other grades during the semester,” she added.

Eisenhart advises students to manage their schedules and food intake wisely during finals week.

“Finals week may be that week to pull back from some of the other activities going on outside of academics,” she said. “Make sure you’re eating, but limiting the sugar and caffeine intake, usually that gives a surge of energy and then you’ll get a crash that has the reverse effect.”

Eisenhart also stresses the importance of taking a brief break from studying.

“Movement can be really important, breaks are too. Taking 60-90 minute study times and then a 10-20 minute break is good,” she said. “Going for a walk and listening to music is a way that lets the mind take a rest from the stimulation it has gone through with studying.”

Eisenhart adds that taking a break to be on your phone isn’t helping your mind because it is still stimulating the brain. Lastly, she advises students on how to cope with anxiety.

“If anxiety is what is keeping you from studying the first thing is to not ignore it. Take a moment to figure out what you need to do to take care of yourself, so you can focus without trying to fight anxiety,” she said.

If you need to reach the University Counseling Center, their number is 865-251-2217, and they are open from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. The UCC is located in Myrtle Hall directly behind the Gally Commons.