Category: Tennessee

Stories originating from Johnson University Tennessee.

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A year in review

KNOXVILLE – In the words of President Tommy Smith, “This has been a year of celebration.” At the end of his first year in office Smith feels like he has accomplished a few of the goals he walked in with.

Among those goals was: being a student friendly president, putting an emphasis on athletics, math and science, and getting the ARC finished while working on the strategic plan of the university.

In regard to his first goal of being a student friendly president, Smith said that he wanted to make as many events student oriented as possible. He also said that he wanted to be an accessible president to the students.

“I want students to know that they can come talk to me,” Smith said. “I may not always do what they want me to do, but I will be glad to listen and really hear their concerns.”

His second goal of putting an emphasis on athletics, math and science Has also been successful, according to Smith. The ARC is almost finished and will open in mid-May and Smith and First Lady Debbie Smith have also been to a lot of athletic events this year. The university has hired a new math professor, according to Provost Jon Weatherly, and is also in the process of hiring a new chemistry professor.

Weatherly said that former President Gary Weedman “crystalised” the idea of a Third Way institution that Smith has embodied well and carried on in. Weatherly is glad that Smith is putting an emphasis on math and science, and says that he hopes the progress that is being made in those fields will boost enrollment and the intellectual diversity of the student body. Weatherly hopes that the addition of new resources to these fields will increase overall student awareness and ability within these fields.

“We have all heard the jokes about Johnson math,” Weatherly said. “But soon those jokes won’t add up. It will quickly become inappropriate to say ‘I can’t answer that because I go to Johnson and I can’t do math’. It will be ‘I go to Johnson, I have friends that do math.”

Weatherly also says that he is happy with the current state of the faculty and how they have continued to progress this year. He also pointed out that professors go through the same challenges everyone does, and he hopes that they realize that they are loved and supported by everybody at Johnson.

“Those kinds of experiences continue to transform them to better teachers in the regard that they become more mature exemplars of genuine Christian faith,” Weatherly said.

In regard to Smith’s third goal, the ARC will be open on May 19, and the administration is working on the new master plan for the future of the university. He says in the years to come the focus will be on deferred maintenance that needs to be done. He also says they are talking about what the next big project will be, which he says could be transforming the gym in the PW to an 1100 seat chapel.

Freshman Drew Algate says that he feels he has been adequately challenged academically this year but ultimately loves the “uncommon community” of Johnson. Junior Micah Magee says that he concurs with Algate.

“Junior year was the most challenging year,” Magee said. “It was a great semester. I finished up my last semester of Greek…yeet! I loved the culture of the dorms. It’s something that I’m not going to have next semester, so I have been trying to take it all in.”

Smith ultimately says that chapel has been good, student morale is up and that he is encouraged by the success of the capital campaign so far. He has plans for a busy summer, but is excited for what next year will bring.

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JUTN sophomore creates business out of passion for photography

hannah

Sophomore Hannah Mattson laughs at a photo that she just took, admiring the personality that she captured in the photo. Photo Courtesy of Sarah Moser Photography

Knoxville- JUTN sophomore Hannah Mattson has transformed her passion for photography into a job and part-time business.

Mattson is currently pursuing a degree in human services with a focus in psychology at JUTN. She is exploring various ways in which she could use this degree in the future but is still unsure of what she would like to do.  However, Mattson has been able to express her passion for photography through her job in the JUTN graphics department as well as her own business, Hannah Mattson Photography.

Mattson’s love for photography started when she was a young girl and continues to grow.

“Anytime I had the chance to get a camera and take pictures I have loved to do that,” She said.  “I remember from when I was little I have loved to take pictures and take detailed pictures and pictures of people or whatever it might be. I’ve always had a passion for it.”

Mattson began working in Johnson’s graphics department as one of the two student photographers in September. She works alongside the graphic designer each week. The graphic designer will share with Mattson and the other student photographer what her vision is for the week and then the photographers have the freedom to plan and execute photography sessions.

“We get pictures for sporting events, chapel, any type of Founders Day, Homecoming, basically any big event the graphics department – the other photographer and I – try to get as many pictures as we can for that,” Mattson said.

Currently Mattson is working on a project to photograph each of the majors offered at Johnson.

“We are trying to get more pictures for every different major so that we can market the majors better and so that people can see really hands-on what we do (at JUTN) through pictures,” She said. “We are giving students that are possibly going to come here a perspective of what it is like to come here.”

Once the photographs are taken and edited, the graphics department along with the director of communications may feature the content in the Johnson Magazine, the annual report, marketing brochures for prospective students, or social media content for the university. Mattson’s work has been featured in many of the publications that Johnson produces.

While Mattson has always had a love for photography, it was not until she began working for the graphics department that she began to make great strides in work as a photographer.

“I kept falling more in love with (photography) as I was able to use the camera that we have here and so after that I started thinking ‘maybe I could make a business out of this or potentially do something more apart from school,’” Mattson said.

After some brainstorming, Mattson decided to begin building her business. Last semester she did this primarily through building her portfolio and getting more pictures so that future clients would have past work to view before choosing her as their photographer. This semester Mattson decided to launch her Instagram, which can be found at @hannahmattsonphoto, in order to get her name out more.

“It has kind of been a slow and gradual process of starting my business and I don’t really know where I want it to go or where I am taking it, but I am taking it slow right now since I am in college,” Mattson said.

At this stage, Mattson views her business as a “side gig” and an extra way to make money. If someone asks her to take their photos, she is happy about it, but if someone does not ask her to take their photos, she could not care less about it.

Balancing college and a photography business present itself with some unique challenges for Mattson.

“A lot of times photo shoots are done on the weekends and a lot of times I want my weekends to be kind of chilling and not doing anything,” Mattson said. “I think it is hard because I have to sacrifice my time that I want to go out and take pictures or whatever that might be.”

Along with school and photography, Mattson also works at Starbucks, so with an increase of people asking her to do photo shoots she has had to find a balance in managing her time, but she has found a way to make it work.

Not only has finding a balance between her jobs brought about challenges but learning how to edit her photos in a way that makes them original has been a learning process. Mattson had help from a few people, including her sister who started her own photography business when she was in college, but she has mostly been learning how to photograph and edit on her own.

“I think in a technical sense, getting my editing styles the way that I like them is one of the greatest challenges that I have faced,” Mattson said. “It can be really hard, and you can find a lot of easy imperfections in those and a lot of times it’s hard to not get discouraged about those things.”

Finding an editing style that worked for her was an important feature, to stay on track with one of her main goals.

“My goal is to get natural looking photos, so I guess that is one of the bigger challenges,” she said.

While running a business brings about many challenges, there are many aspects that bring Mattson joy as well. One of the most exciting parts for her is the marketing and social media aspect of her business.

“I did a giveaway a few weeks ago that was a lot of fun that I was able to make a few posts about and then it was cool to see all of the people that entered into the contest,” Mattson said.

She has enjoyed seeing how marketing works, especially seeing how influential social media sites like Facebook and Instagram can be for an individual and a business. Alongside the media, Mattson enjoys getting to know different people.

“I’ve enjoyed learning different ways to pose people and bring the natural side of each person out because obviously when you are in front of the camera it can be intimidating so and seeing the people and their personalities coming out in the pictures,” Mattson said.

Mattson would love to travel to a beach and take pictures of people with the sunset. Taking photos at the Grand Canyon would also be a dream photo shoot session for her. No matter where she is taking the photos, Mattson enjoys photo shoots with multiple people because she loves capturing the way that people interact with one another.

While being a photographer has its challenges, the joy that Mattson receives from it inspires her to continue doing what she does.

HomeNewsSportsTennessee

Royals basketball team ranked 3rd in nation, highest in JU history

KNOXVILLE Johnson University’s men’s basketball team finished this season earning the title of 3rd in the nation the highest title in Johnson history at the National Christian College Athletic Association DII Men’s Basketball National Championship in Greenville, SC, March 7-9.

The Royals played their first championship game against the #6 team, Trinity Baptist College, winning 76-60, on March 7.

On March 8, the team lost to the #2 team, Grace Christian University, 75-51.

The Royals played their final game of the season, March 9, against Maranatha Baptist University, to compete for third place. They succeeded in winning, beating MBU 101-86.

At an awards banquet earlier in the week, various members of the team were recipients of awards. Taylor Gilpin was awarded the Pete Maravich Award. Coby Jones was named one of the 1st Team All Americans. Seniors Taylor Gilpin, Kenton Gullion, and Brandon Toro were recipients of the Scholar-Athlete award. Gavin Grubb earned all-tournament honors, as well.

During the week of the championship, the team completed a community service project at a local food bank.

HomeNewsSportsTennessee

Royals Recap: Royals advance to Mid-East Regional Final

The Johnson Royals have advanced to the finals of the Mid-East Regional tournament with a win over #1 seeded Grace Christian University.

 

The Royals came into the game as the 4th seed in the tournament having already defeated the 5th seed Welch College. Both teams played with extreme intensity right from the opening tip. The Royals played some of their best basketball on both sides of the floor for the entire first half. Coby Jones (SO/Hampton, TN) was able to put up 16 points and gather 4 rebounds to lead Johnson in the first half. Even with this effort, the Tigers were able to keep up.

By halftime, the teams had matched each other almost perfectly. Johnson had 16 rebounds, 37 points, and gave up 8 turnovers. Welch had also given up 8 turnovers with 17 rebounds and 32 points. This 5-point lead for the Royals was the largest of the half for either team.

The second half continued to be high intensity with non-stop action at both ends of the floor. Until the 4-minute mark, the teams stayed within 5 points of one another. With 3:45 remaining in the game, Taylor Gilpin (SR/Bloomington, IN) drilled a three-point shot with an assist from Coby Jones and the Royals’ momentum took over. They went on an 11-0 run over the next 3 minutes to cap off the game. Though the Tigers tried until the very end, their efforts were no match for the play of the Royals.

The Johnson Player of the Game was Coby Jones. Jones recorded a team-leading 31 points, shooting 10-17 from the field and 4-9 from behind the arc. He also had 9 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals. His 31 points put him into the One Thousand Point Club at Johnson in only his 3rd semester with the team. Coby agreed to an interview after the game:

Coby Jones Interview

Coach Perry also had a lot of positive things to say after the game:

Coach Perry Interview

 

Courtesy of johnsonroyals.com

HomeNewsTennessee

Winter Jam Tour Spectacular returning to Knoxville

KNOXVILLE     Premier Productions Winter Jam Tour Spectacular will be held Fri., Feb. 22 at the Thompson-Boling Arena. The doors will open at 6 p.m. The event starts at 7 p.m.

Winter JamKnoxville’s Winter Jam Tour stop will feature Newsboys United, Danny Gokey, Mandisa, Rend Collective, Ledger, NewSong, Hollyn, Greg Stier, Ty Brasel, Manic Drive, Dan Bremnes, and Adam Agee.

The event costs $15 or $10 with a canned food donation, which will be given to the local Rescue Mission. No tickets are required in advance as admission will be taken at the door.

More information can be found here.

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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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Professional Bull Riders Velocity Tour returning to Knoxville

 

By Mina Blaylock and Jenna Stahlman

KNOXVILLE     Professional Bull Riders Velocity Tour will stop in Knoxville for the second year in a row, on Feb. 2, at the Thompson-Boling Arena. Bryan Titman, a bull rider in the PBR, is ready to compete in Knoxville.

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Bryan Titman, PBR competitor.

Titman, a Texas native, was raised in a bull riding family with his dad and grandpa having competed in the sport. He turned down a football scholarship to pursue bull riding instead and said that he does not regret it.

“I don’t see myself getting any bigger and I’m a pretty small guy when it comes to muscle wise, so I didn’t feel like I wanted to get hit and lift a bunch of weights every day,” Titman said. “My dream was always to ride bulls so I figured I’d follow that one. Football, I just happened to be pretty good at, but it really wasn’t what I wanted to be.”
He said the most complicated aspect of bull riding is keeping your mind clear and focused.

“The most difficult is your head,” Titman said. “You can’t get through it without your head… You’re not gonna make it very far. Your head’s a big thing in bull riding.”
Titman said he hopes to win the event in Knoxville, but he is also excited just to compete there once again.

“I mean, I’m excited to be there,” Titman said. “I just love Tennessee. Texas born – Tennessee couldn’t get any better.”
The tour’s stop in Knoxville will mark a little over two weeks since the death of Mason Lowe. Lowe was a competitor in the Velocity Tour. He was bucked off of a bull, and then stepped on, at the PBR event in Denver on January 15. He later died at the Denver Health Medical Centre due to the injuries.

Titman said that this loss does affect those who competed with and knew Lowe.
“It’s a bit rough but he wouldn’t want us to be down and low,” Titman said. “He’d always been a happy person so he’d like us to just keep spurring and doing the riding for him, so that’s what we want to continue to do and just push forward. It’s a sad day but we all know what we what we gotta do just to push on, and just thank him, and he won’t be forgotten.”

This one night event will be held at the Thompson-Boling Arena on Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. The doors will open at 6 p.m. Tickets for the event can be purchased here.

 

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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.

 

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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.