Category: News

News about activities of importance to Johnson University.

HomeNewsTennessee

19-year-old wins Knoxville’s Professional Bull Riders Velocity Tour

By  Mina Blaylock and Jenna Stahlman

KNOXVILLE     There was a full crowd for Saturday night’s Professional Bull Riders Velocity Tour’s stop in Knoxville at the Thompson-Boling Arena. Dylan Smith, a 19-year-old from Ararat, Va., wrangled in his first win of the season.

45 cowboys mounted bulls and competed to move onto the short round, in which the top ten scoring riders would compete for first place. Only 17 of the 45 riders in the long round met the required time of 8 seconds    the time necessary for a qualifying ride     for which the judges then award them points.

Smith rode ‘Switch Hitter’ in the long round for a ride score of 89 points, putting him at

Dylan Smith's 89 pt ride on Switch Hitter

Knoxville’s 2019 winner, Dylan Smith, during his 89 point ride on the bull, Switch Hitter.

the top of the leaderboard in the long round.

Smith’s ride was accompanied by the Tennessee favorite, ‘Rocky Top’. When asked what he thought about this song being played during his winning ride and if he’d seen a better crowd, Smith said he had not.

“This is the most fun I’ve had at a bull ride ever,” Smith said. “I’m just blessed to be here, for sure.”

There were no qualified rides in the short round, so the scores from the long round determined the night’s victors.

Smith left Knoxville with a check worth $6,400, as well as the opportunity to compete at one of PBR’s elite tour stops, in Los Angeles, on Feb. 22-23.

Ouncie Mitchell, a competitor from Fresno, Tx. , placed 2nd with an 88 point ride on ‘Last Chance’ . He received a check for $4,700.

Jason Mara of Cloncurry, Queensland, Australia, attained 87.5 points on ‘Blood Money’. He took home $3,000.

East Bernard, Tx. native Bryan Titman placed 4th with a ride worth 86.5 on ‘Striker’ and received a check for $2,000.

The top five winners were rounded off by Lindomar Lino of Anapolis, Brazil. He had an 86 point ride on ‘How Bout It’ and was awarded a check for $1,140.

4th place winner Bryan Titman said he enjoyed the competition in Knoxville.

“It was awesome,” Titman said. “The crowd was awesome. Y’all just filled the place in here. It’s phenomenal. It’s a blessing to be here.”

Knoxville’s hometown cowboy, Cody Clint Brewer, had a successful 82 point ride atop ‘Ring of Fire’ as his home crowd roared in the stands. He ranked 16th in the event overall.

The next stop for the PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour is in Edinburg, Tx. on Feb. 9.

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HomeNewsTennessee

Senior Sermon Spotlight: Jacob Leimeister

KNOXVILLE     Senior sermons are held throughout each Fall and Spring semester for chapel services. This gives the seniors a chance to demonstrate their spiritual gifts and share a message from God’s word.

The first senior sermon of the Spring semester will feature Jacob Leimeister,as he delivers his senior sermon before graduating this May. It can be a daunting task to prepare to speak in front of a crowd like those who attend Chapel in the Phillips-Welshimer gym every Tuesday and Thursday. He talks about his feelings as time approaches closer to that 9 a.m. starting time on Jan. 31.

“This is a big opportunity to preach in front of a whole bunch of people,” Leimeister said.

With the campus community along with those who watch the livestream elsewhere, this serves as a great way for the speaker to make a positive impact on a larger scale. A person giving a senior sermon has the opportunity to use this opportunity to gain experience as a preacher as they transition into the careers that God calls them to pursue.

Jacob has been interacting with others that serve as mentors, so that he correctly interprets Luke 5:1-11 in order to create the sermon in which he will be preaching.

Jacob’s senior sermon will be held this Thursday during the 9 a.m. chapel service located in the gym of the Phillips-Welshimer building.

 

HomeMissions/CultureNewsTennessee

Ignite Prayer Night to be held Feb. 2

Knoxville — The Harvesters group at Johnson University is hosting a night of prayer from 9 p.m. to midnight, Saturday in the PW gym.

Brielle Smith, the President of Harvesters, said that the theme of the night is based on Psalm 46:10 – “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Students will participate in different styles of creative prayer to understand this scripture.

“We all get stressed out and like overwhelmed with school and so sometimes it’s good to just like take time to be still and be with God,” Smith said.

Smith said that the night is meant to be a night of refreshing for students to come together and connect with God through a long period of prayer.

There is no need to sign up for the event and there will be snacks and coffee for those who choose to attend.

StellieMay Whitesides is the prayer coordinator and will be helping to lead the event.

Many different styles of creative prayer will take place throughout the night. There will be corporate prayer, individual prayer and prayer stations.

HomeNewsTeachersTennessee

Meal discounts offered for non-traditional, commuter students

Knoxville — In the busyness of the day, sometimes dinner preparations get put on the back burner. Pioneer Dining Services is introducing new specials and advertising old ones to make non-traditional and commuter students’ lives easier.

Every Tuesdays in the River Grill, all meals are $4 for non-traditional and commuter students. Every Thursdays, dinner costs $5 for adults and $2.50 for their children in the Gally.

The special in the Gally has been running for years, but the new discount in the River Grill will hopefully attract more students.

“It will benefit [non-traditional students] because they will have an even more affordable option for lunch or dinners on campus that fit into their class schedule,” Jordan Durant, director of Pioneer Food Services said.

He said only a handful of non-traditional and commuter students take advantage of the discount in the Gally.

On Thursdays, the Gally has a variety of rotating dinner options, including fried chicken, spaghetti, and usual options like pizza and subs.

The River Grill has more specialized options like quesadillas, hamburgers, chicken sandwiches and salads.

Jan. 22 was the first day of the special at the River Grill and Durant said the response was positive.

“We doubled our sales [in the River Grill] from last week,” Durant said.

In addition to the meal discounts for some students, Durant said his crew is preparing for a new cookie delivery service.

“It will be open to all campus residents alike, nontraditionals, and faculty and staff,” he said. “The start date will be next Wednesday.”

He said more details about this upcoming service will be released to the campus body soon.

HomeNewsSportsTennessee

Gilpin enters JU record books

KNOXVILLE   On Jan. 22, Johnson University senior Taylor Gilpin scored his 2,000th  point of his college basketball career.

This was a big accomplishment for Gilpin, who only scored 100 points during his high school career.

“I’ve been averaging 18 points a game, so I knew I’d be on pace for it, and I felt pretty good about it coming into the game,” Gilpin said. “I was confident I’d get it today.”

gilpin.png

Brandon Perry and Taylor Gilpin after Tuesday night’s game

Gilpin attributes all of his accomplishments thus far to God.

“It was crazy,” Gilpin said. “I mean, I couldn’t help but just thank God for all that He’s done. I came from high school, where I didn’t play very much…Going from 100 to 2,000 [points] in college, it’s just crazy to see all that God’s done. I can’t take any glory; it’s all been God. And I’m just super thankful for that, just the way He’s used me.”

Head Coach for the Johnson Royals men’s basketball team, Brandon Perry, is very proud of Gilpin’s accomplishments, including but not limited to this particular achievement.

“This marker is not really a definer of the type of player he is, but it’s an announcement to everyone else that says…‘oh my goodness, this guy is something special’,” Coach Perry said. “I’ve known it from day one, and for me to get to see that, to be a part of his life for four years   all this stuff from basketball, it’s great    but it’s the way that he loves my son and the way that he’s been a part of my family, the way he has led our team for four years. For him to score 2,000 was great, but all of that stuff is even better…He’s just been amazing. I don’t even know that I can say the right words.”

Gilpin is very grateful to everyone who has helped him reach this point in his career.

“I just wanna thank my team. It’s all my team that has allowed me to get here; they’ve been the ones that have pushed me, that have helped me get to this point, and that have encouraged me,” Gilpin said.

Gilpin also said that his family and his coach have played a major part in getting him to where he is today.

“My coach has just been awesome. He’s built confidence in me to be the player I’ve become,” Gilpin said. “My parents   my dad    he always spends time with me in the gym. Growing up, we’d spend countless hours just shooting hoops in the gym and in the driveway. My family, which is my team, and my coach have all been super amazing, and I’m thankful for them and having them in my life.”

Perry predicts that Gilpin still has great things ahead of him. He said if Gilpin has more games like Tuesday’s, he has the potential to push his way from being 5th in scoring to being 2nd .  If the team makes the national title game, Gilpin has a good shot at placing 1st.

CultureHomeNewsStudentsTennessee

Students encouraged to participate in upcoming faith, sexuality conversations

Knoxville — Johnson University’s Counseling Center is hosting round table discussions for students who are interested in diving deeper into the topic of faith and sexuality.

These discussion groups are an opportunity for students to debrief following the Faith and Sexuality lectures presented by Mark Yarhouse, here Thursday.

These discussions will be held at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, in the private dining hall. They are an open-ended conversation between students and faculty, touching on the information given by Yarhouse.

Emily Eisenhart, Director of Clinical Services, said that the conversation will mainly be “focused on what was heard from the lectures” and “continuing the idea of being hospitable to those that are different from us.”

She also said that the format of the conversations will be informal.

The format is intended to allow students to discuss their questions, comments and concerns in a safe environment. The conversation will be facilitated and guided by a faculty or staff member.

“We know that there are students that are struggling with issues of sexual identity or may be in a different place than the majority on campus,”  Eisenhart said. “And we want those students to feel welcome.. to feel hope.”

Eisenhart said that support for students thinking through sexual identity issues is available beyond the meeting Tuesday.

“If sexual identity topics are personal to them and they find themselves in that minority here at Johnson, they can receive support here at the counseling center,” she said. “We can’t stress enough how confidential their sessions are.”

All students at JU are encouraged to attend this round table discussion and become more educated on the topic of sexual identity.

“This is a topic we really need to consider and engage,” Eisenhart said.

“How can we move toward people, rather than disregard where they’re at?”

She said this is an opportunity to meet people where they are and walk with them through differences.

HomeNewsTennessee

JUTN’s internet to be down Jan. 25 for upgrades

KNOXVILLE     Johnson University’s Tennessee campus will be down Fri, Jan. 25 from approximately 6:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. for internet upgrades.

During this upgrade time, there will be no access to the FL campus, internet, email, and most anything else internet related. However, there will still be access to on-campus servers such as Jenzabar EX and the Johnson Portal.

The upgrades were suppose to happen Jan. 18, however, the Internet Service Provider for the University could not add the additional circuit at that time.

The bandwidth will be doubled providing much faster internet speed. This will effect the main Johnson University and Johnson Guest wireless internet networks as well as the student’s wired networks.

HomeNewsTennessee

U.S. skies shadowed by super blood wolf moon eclipse, Sunday

 

mina's photo - eclipse

A super blood wolf moon eclipse was seen across the skies of the U.S. on Sunday evening into the early hours of Monday morning. This sight was a combination of a super moon, a wolf moon, and a total eclipse, or blood moon. Viewers were able to watch the eclipse begin around 9:36 p.m. It did not reach totality until a few minutes after midnight. The viewing time of the total eclipse ended around 12:43 a.m.

The moon is classified as a supermoon during the time of the month when the moon is closest to Earth in its orbit. A wolf moon gets its name by being the first full moon of the new year. When the moon is completely in Earth’s shadow, it is referred to as a total lunar eclipse, or blood moon. A combination of these three classifications best described Sunday night’s sky show: the super blood wolf moon eclipse.

Knoxville, Tenn. saw some clouds at the beginning of the eclipse. However, as it reached totality, the clouds moved out of the way, giving a better view to those watching.

CultureHomeNews

SPSU offers opportunity to march in Knoxville’s MLK Day parade

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JUTN group that participated in the 2018 MLK Day parade. (Photo by Chastedy Johnson)

 

KNOXVILLE    Johnson University’s Students Promoting Social Unity invites students to participate in the Martin Luther King Day parade in Knoxville.

The parade will be held on Jan. 21 from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. at Midway Chilhowee Park on E Magnolia Ave.

The parade’s purpose is to offer the community a display in tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

People interested in participating can contact Shae Pierre-Jean at Shae.Jean@johnsonu.edu.

 

HomeNews

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.