Category: News

News about activities of importance to Johnson University.

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Trump Addresses Nation Amidst Government Shutdown

On Tuesday Jan. 8, President Donald Trump addressed the nation from the Oval Office, his first time doing so since taking office in January 2017. He addressed the crisis at the border and put before the public his thoughts and proposals for how to end the humanitarian crisis.

“This is a humanitarian crisis — a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul,” Trump said.

Shortly after his address, newly-elected Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) addressed the nation and rebutted some of what the president said while laying out their own solutions to the problems along the border.

“The fact is: We all agree we need to secure our borders, while honoring our values,” Pelosi said.

Both of these addresses were given during what is now the longest federal government shutdown in the 231 years since the Constitution was ratified. Since 1976, when the modern budget process began, there have been 20 shutdowns. Some of them only lasted hours; however, some, like the current one, have lasted weeks. The previous record for the longest shutdown occurred in 1995 and lasted 21 days.

A shutdown may not seem like a big deal, but a lot of people are being affected by it. According to Quartz, a U.S. news organization focused on the global economy, 800,000 government workers are directly affected. Many critical security positions, such as FBI agents and TSA inspectors, are calling in sick or working without pay.

One of the greater ironies of the shutdown is that it was sparked by illegal immigration and differing views on how to approach the problem. Due to the government being shutdown, a service, known as E-Verify, which allows employers to see if potential employees are allowed to work in the U.S. is operating at a reduced rate. It can still give out some information, but cannot verify if someone is legal or not. Another irony is that because the government is shutdown, the Department of Homeland Security cannot award contracts from the $1.6 billion it has already been given to expand border security.

However, one cannot also forget about the people being directly affected by this shutdown. Due to the IRS not verifying tax returns, people buying and selling homes cannot close on deals. For all you sports fans out there, college basketball is also being affected. For example, David Ugochukwu, a forward at Penn State, cannot get play because his mom works for the Treasury Department and her paycheck covers his tuition, according to Quartz.

There are ongoing talks to reopen the government, but there is no concrete deal as of the time this article is being written.

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MEDIC Fall blood drive turnout lower than previous years

Johnson University hosted the MEDIC Regional Blood Center for the Fall Blood Drive on campus, Oct. 9. The event was held in the Gally Commons from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Approximately 45 units of blood were collected, less than previous fall blood drives at Johnson, which typically provide 65 units.

“Blood donations are important for several reasons, mainly because it saves lives,” Chris Phipps, MEDIC Donor Resource Coordinator, said. “One blood donation can save up to three people’s lives.”

Phipps said that baby boomers were taught the importance of donating blood while growing up. As more of that generation becomes unable to donate blood, the need for young people to donate is high.

“We encourage and rely on student donations because they are our donor base for the future…,” Phipps said. “Unfortunately, we often don’t see enough young people that recognize the altruistic value of donating blood and its importance to help save the lives of others. Our goal is to try to teach that to young people so that even after college when they enter the workforce or are out in the community they will take some time out of their schedule to visit us.”

MEDIC keeps the blood collected in the community to serve the local hospital’s needs. They also provide credit for those who donate blood.

“If the donor or a close family member of a donor were to later develop cancer or be in an accident, they would not be billed for the blood products used or needed for them,” said Phipps. “Donating blood is also healthy for the donor in that it lowers cardiovascular health risks and provides other positive effects on the body.”

Students were encouraged to donate blood with the promise of a t-shirt and a Texas Roadhouse Appetizer coupon. Johnson Hall residents were also enticed with a pass on room checks.

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Emily Hudelson and Sarah Chitwood after donating blood at the Fall blood drive.

“I figured it doesn’t take that much time, and it doesn’t hurt that much, but it can really help people so it’s a good use of my 40 minutes,” Emily Hudelson, class of 2022, said.

Hudelson donated once before, in high school, and she says she will continue donating blood. Hudelson’s friend has needed blood transfusions before so she wants to help donate for people like her.

“I felt like it wasn’t that much of a trouble and it could potentially help someone in the future,” Sarah Chitwood, another JU student, said.

She wanted to donate because of her uncle who has needed blood transfusions due to heart problems.

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A day in review: campus wide service day

 

 

 

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The Origins: Johnson University K-Day

Knoxville– Johnson University students take the Christian calling to the next level imbedding it into their mission statement and living it out with a day dedicated to serving the Knoxville community.

David Legg, dean of students, said the idea of a campus wide service day was discussed between himself and Dr. Richard Beam, former Vice President of Academics, a few years before the service day was put into effect. Legg said no action was taken on the topic at that time. Later, the Student Government Association approached them about starting a day dedicated to service.

This day is commonly referred to as “K-Day,” or “K-18,” the last two digits representing the year of service.

Every year, SGA plans a day off from classes so students can go out into the surrounding communities to serve. This year, K-Day had an impact on the cities of Knoxville, Maryville, Alcoa, Sevierville, and Seymour. This annual event started on Sept. 9, 2009.

SGA published fliers this year that referred to the service day as a day of remembrance for the lives lost during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

According to Legg, this day of service was originally intended for students to be able to serve the greater Knoxville community as a school body.

“It [K-Day] gives our students an opportunity to live out who we say we are, as a community,” Legg said.

SGA Representatives on K-Day

While K-18 is only a one-day event for many students on campus, for SGA it is an event that has been in the making for months.

“Today we get to step back and see all the hard work that has been put in over the year,” Ashton Lowery, student body president, said.

The SGA Spiritual Life Committee, headed up by Carli Long, dedicated hours to gather the needs of the Knoxville community and plan for the upcoming service day.

Lowery said that getting students out in the community to serve has always been a challenge. However, when students get started on the day, they immensely enjoy it and want to engage in service more often.

“It’s an adrenaline high of a day of serving,” Lowery said.

Lowery’s first year as student body president has impacted how she participates in K-18. “It’s a learning experience to step back and not do everything myself,” Lowery said “It’s a humbling experience.”

Members of SGA were scattered among the different sites, participating as team leaders.

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Bethany Snowden, Senior

Beth Snowden, a member of the Spiritual Life Committee, helped lead a group serving at a local ministry, Knoxville Area Rescue Ministry. Snowden said she had never volunteered at KARM before, but remembered hearing that “they do great ministry downtown.”

Snowden’s group was mainly working on renovating the third floor of the KARM building into a living area called ‘The Berea House.’ Snowden said the house will be a place homeless men can live while also attending classes, work, and participate in community service.

As her team sanded walls, cleaned, painted, replaced ceiling tiles, and polished doors and baseboards, Snowden said, “I like knowing these small things will go towards helping better the life of someone.”

Snowden said the impact of K-18 on students is important.

“It’s great to so manual labor, it helps us gain a servants’ heart,” she said.

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Kayla Senor, Sophomore

Kayla Senor, unofficial vice president of the sophomore class, spent the service day leading a group at the Young Women’s Christian Association in East Knoxville.

The ministry has a focus on social justice issues. One aspect of this ministry includes empowering children, helping them with reading and writing skills.

Senor’s group had the opportunity to paint encouraging murals on the bathroom doors and organize supplies, all in hopes to help facilitate a better learning environment for the children.

“I’m really excited to be here because I love social justice and empowering kids,” Senor said. “One of my passions is helping kids to read. It’s really cool that I ended up in a place that fits my passion so well.”

The Student Perspective

JU’s athletic teams were slated to work for the Knoxville Leadership Foundation for their day of service. Each sports team was supposed to be stationed at sites building ramps, along with other household improvements for those in the community who cannot afford to do it themselves.

Due to the significant amount of rain the past few days, KLF decided that the work could not be completed Thursday. Athletic Director Brandon Perry said the athletes will be working on these projects in the upcoming weekends.

For now, the athletes had the opportunity to work at the university, cleaning up the campus grounds.

Some of the athletes and Perry said that they were disappointed the sites were canceled, but are looking forward to helping these people later in the semester.

“I’m kind of disappointed,” Kenyon Helmuth, a member of the class of 2020, said. “I felt it was a great opportunity for the teams to get together and be unified.”

Some of the JU athletic representatives said that K-Day is a great way for the teams and the school to give back to the community and live out the Christian lifestyle.

“To me, K-Day is about giving back to our community,” Perry said.

Some students said they enjoy the opportunity to minister outside of campus, in the local area.

“JU has a K-Day so students have an opportunity to give back to the community, so that we can serve and show God’s love,” Luci Evans, a member of the class of 2022, said.

Students hope K-Day is impactful 

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L. Thomas Smith Jr. inaugurated as Johnson University’s seventh president

Written by Drew Tapp and Jenna Stahlman

KNOXVILLE   On Friday, Sept. 21, at 3 p.m., in the Phillips-Welshimer gym, Johnson University inaugurated its seventh president, L. Thomas Smith Jr.

Various faculty, institutional leaders, community members, students, and others, welcomed those in attendance    in person and online via livestream.

“Your presence also represents your participation, prayer and encouragement towards the achievement of Johnson University’s mission and your prayerful support of Dr. Smith’s role in leading the pursuit of that mission,” said Jon Weatherly, Provost. “For those we are especially grateful.”

Former President Gary Weedman gave his thoughts titled “Reflections of a Presidential Mentor” to encourage and show support for his successor.

“As provost you had to deal with deans, faculty and accrediting agencies,” said Weedman. “Now you have a Board of Trustees and senior administrators and staff and faculty and the budget. You have students and parents and alumni and friends of the university, and the budget…You have a wife and children and grandchildren and in-laws and yes, the budget. You get the point.”

Smith was welcomed into presidency with three gifts    a Bible that was compiled and signed by Ashley S. Johnson, the founder of the university, a medallion with the college motto, and a portrait of himself which will be hung in the Marble Hallway of the Phillips-Welshimer Building, beside the portraits of the previous six presidents.

 The Board of Trustees, the campus community, and the extended community all pledged to pray for the new president.

Former President David Eubanks also spoke and encouraged Smith with charges from Jesus, Paul, and other various biblical figures.

Smith gave his inaugural address which was titled “Take Care Lest We Forget” from Deuteronomy 6:10-13. In it he said that he and the university must not forget to take care of the great gifts that we have inherited from those who have gone before us and charged the university to be a good steward of its many gifts.

The Johnson University choirs performed throughout the event.

Following the ceremony, was a reception at the White House lawn where students, staff and alumni were invited to socialize and celebrate with the new president and first lady.

 

 

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JU Students celebrate alongside new president

The student event kicked off at 6 p.m. with the Cruze Farm ice-cream truck on campus to give away ice-cream to the students, faculty, and campus guests. Other events included games like Kan Jam, corn hole, and 9 Square Up in the Air which President Smith played along with students.

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President Smith and some of the students who played with him in 9 Square Up in the Air.

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Morgan Kast, a sophomore majoring in Intercultural Studies, said that she is excited to see what President Smith will do for the university.

“…I think that he’s a really humble leader already,” Kast said. “I can see that off the bat, so I’m really excited and I think that he’ll do great things for our school.”

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Morgan Kast

Kast also said that she enjoyed the events of the day.

It was really unique and it was really cool to be able to be a part of history for our school, because something like that will probably not happen (again) before I graduate,” Kast said.

 

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Stone-Campbell Journal Conference paper competition open for submission

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The Fourteenth Annual Student Paper Competition of the Stone-Campbell Journal Conference is asking for entries before the Dec. 15, 2018 deadline.

The 2019 contest is open to undergraduate juniors and seniors, and graduate MA/MDiv. Papers falling under any SCJ discipline are eligible for entry. The requirements state that papers must be 8-12 pages in length.

Contest winners will receive a certificate and books, and will also be recognized in an article on the SCJ website. The Isaac Errett winner    Stone-Campbell topics only    will receive a $250 cash prize.  In addition, several Christian universities have pledged scholarships of $2500 toward one year of graduate school for the winners of the respective divisions.

Finalists will be notified by Feb. 17, 2019. The top three students from each category will present their papers before judges at the conference, which will be held April 5-6, 2019 at Johnson University in Knoxville. Paper presentations must be under 20 minutes for undergraduates, and 25 minutes for graduate students.

Undergraduate and graduate participators should submit their papers to Les Hardin by Dec. 15, 2018. Any questions should be directed to Dr. Hardin at LHardin@johnsonu.edu.

Errett Paper contestants in Stone-Campbell history should submit their papers and area of program study to Newell Williams by Dec. 15, 2018. All questions for this category should be directed to Dr. Williams at n.williams@tcu.edu.

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Fall semester brings all new changes in Royal Scribe staff

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Johnson University’s official student publication, The Royal Scribe, has brand new staff for the 2018-19 academic year.

InezThe new advisor for the Royal Scribe is Inez Reyes. Inez joined Johnson last semester as a speech professor. She graduated from Orangeburg Wilkinson High School in South Carolina. She then received her Bachelor’s in Marketing from South Carolina State University and her Master’s in Media Communications from Governors State University. Her hobbies include reading, teaching, sewing, and building things. Some of her passions include health and nutrition, as well as God and His love for humanity. She is married to Mubanga Chisulo. She has two daughters – Dania Reyes, 14, and Anya Reyes, 7. Her favorite thing about Johnson is the atmosphere and the friendliness of the campus.

Jenna-1Jenna Stahlman is the Editor of the Royal Scribe. She was born and raised in Summerville, PA. She graduated from homeschooling in 2016. This was also when her family moved to the Sevierville, TN area. She is majoring in mass communications. Although she is not yet sure what career path she wants to pursue, she would love to be involved in the horse or rodeo industry in some way. Her hobbies and passions include her horse Rusty, hiking, fishing, photography, being in nature, and southern culture. She is a country music enthusiast, specifically older country. She also has a cat and dog. Her favorite thing about Johnson is the beautiful setting of the campus, the relationships she has made so far, and the doors that have opened, bringing new opportunities.

drewDrew Tapp is Royal Scribe’s Assistant Editor. He graduated from Southport High School in Indianapolis, IN. He is a freshman studying Preaching and Youth Ministry. In addition to working in youth ministry, Drew hopes to obtain his master’s and doctorate in the New Testament. One thing he would enjoy in the future is watching a kid bring their friend to Christ and then baptizing them, as he has a heart for middle and high school students and believes that they will radically change the world. Some of his hobbies include crosswords, watching Netflix, and spending time with friends. His passions include working with refugees and supporting his friends. He wanted to attend Johnson because of the belonging he felt when visiting, and the great ministry program. He appreciates the uncommon community and the support and love people give each other at Johnson.  His favorite thing about the local area is getting to the top of a hike and looking out at the view. It reminds him that things in life may seem big and impossible to deal with, but in reality are quite small, and he serves a great God who will help him through them.

MadisonMadison Buchanan is Copy Editor of the Royal Scribe. She graduated from Robinson High School in Robinson, IL. She is currently a junior pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in English. With that, she hopes to teach middle school or high school English. In addition, Madison hopes to work with missional organizations and write for them. She also desires to publish a book someday. Her hobbies include reading, hanging out with family and friends, and listening to music. Her passions are writing, tennis, and social justice. She has a Husky/Shepherd named Sully, and two cats. Madison desired to go to a Christian University that offered an English degree, where she thought she would be challenged, in both her major and her faith. She loves the community of Johnson. Her favorite thing about the Smoky Mountains are the beautiful views, as she is from a state where everything is flat and in cornfields.

kyara.pngKyara Vinales is a reporter for the Royal Scribe from the Florida campus. Her hometown is Kissimmee, FL. She graduated from Gateway High school just down the street from campus. She is a senior pursuing a Bachelor’s in Worship Ministry. She hopes to be able to use that to facilitate worship in a unique way. She desires to serve along side her husband, Isaias, who wants to become a pastor. Her hobbies include playing guitar and singing, painting, drawing, and crocheting. Kyara is passionate about helping people and discipling them, and incorporating art into the Christian faith as another way of worship. In searching for a college, she wanted one that was close to home and based off of the  Word of God, and Johnson fit that. Her favorite thing about Johnson is how Scripture based the university is and that they require students to major in Bible and Theology in addition to their chosen major.

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JU to hold first Fall Commencement

KNOXVILLE    Johnson University will hold their first Fall Commencement this year.

Fall Commencement will be held Saturday, Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. in the Phillips-Welshimer gym. It is mandatory that all graduates arrive early, at 10:30 a.m., for rehearsal.

Students planning on graduating at the end of this semester should fill out the intent to graduate form by Sept. 15. This form is mandatory for all prospective graduates, regardless of whether or not they participate in the Commencement ceremony.

Students are expected to participate, however, if they are not able to for any reason, they must notify the registrar to be granted permission in advance. Even if graduating in absentia, the student is still required to pay the graduation fee in order to receive their diploma.

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Student Athlete Advisory Committee created to help further athletics, community

KNOXVILLE   The Student Athlete Advisory Committee is providing a voice for Johnson’s student athletes to impact their individual programs, the athletic department as a whole, the entire campus community, and the South Knoxville area.

The SAAC was developed over the summer by Johnson University Athletic Director Brandon Perry, committee president, senior Isaac Morris, and Professor Landon Huffman who is serving as the Faculty Representative of Student-Athlete Development.

“It’s basically like a player’s union,” Perry said. “It gives our athletes a voice on what’s happening in the athletic program, so that’s its main purpose. We added an additional purpose to that, of being able to use it as a way to help organize our ministry opportunities, and community, and social justice opportunities.”

In addition, the committee could help allow Johnson’s athletic programs to reach new levels of competition.

“We looked at NCAA DIII and NAIA DII – some of their standards and practices, and tried to find what would work for us and what would be some good things for us to be doing,” Perry said. “SAAC is actually a DIII requirement for most DIII programs.”

The committee consists of two student athletes from every team and will meet on the first Wednesday of each month.

“There are (currently) 16 different members of the committee and they were each chosen by the respective coaches,” Isaac Morris, the committee’s president, said. “Just leaders that they see give a good voice in their program.”

The committee will not only serve JU’s athletic department and athletes, but the rest of campus as well.

“It’s not just about the athlete. Not just about the participators,” Perry said. “So we want our department to enhance community life. That means if you’re going to a game to find entertainment or true connection with other people…that’s a big deal. So I believe that this department without a doubt is going to engage the entire community and shape it in a number of ways.”

The committee representatives will be able to speak out on issues that effect the entire student body.

“The athletes here have concerns that we need to admit, they’re not just theirs, they’re everybody’s,” Perry said. “So in some ways, athletes are giving a voice to the entire community.”

SAAC will also help JU’s athletic department become involved in the local area.

“One of my big initiatives, first and foremost, is I believe that when you’re planted in a community, as Johnson is planted in South Knoxville, you are to some degree responsible for it,” said Perry. “This opportunity will allow our students to get involved in South Knoxville and look to make some real changes in the areas of social justice.”

In the future, the group hopes to have all student athletes team up with Operation Backyard and Knoxville Leadership Foundation to work on homes in the area.

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Your Role in the Story of Johnson: Brandon Perry

KNOXVILLE — Johnson University’s campus has been shaped and molded by hundreds of individuals through the years.

Approaching the 125th anniversary, the Royal Scribe has prepared a video series that will introduce current Johnson faculty and staff, and give them a chance to reflect not only on how Johnson has shaped them personally, but how they have in turn left their mark on Johnson.

Brandon Perry, Men’s Basketball Coach: