Patton reflects on events that lead her to Johnson

Rachael Patton, director of undergraduate education and elementary education in the Johnson University Templar School of Education, shares her love for education with students across the world, which, eventually led her to teach at Johnson University.

Growing up as the child of missionaries in Seoul, South Korea Patton learned to appreciate other cultures.

She developed the ability and desire to travel, and the desire to try new exotic foods. All the while understanding what its like to be in a culture she was not part of.

This desire lead her from her hometown of Seoul, South Korea to Johnson University in East Tennessee to work on her undergraduate degree in Education.

Once completing her bachelor’s degree, she began to teach in her parents home state of Oregon while working on completing her master’s in Education.

Finally, returning to Johnson after completing her Ph.D at the University of Tennessee, she became part of the faculty in 1997.

“I feel called to be at Johnson because of the experiences I had teaching in an international school children’s home, and being in a Christian school in Oregon gave me the background I needed to work with people who were going to be teaching in public school, private school, and international school.  So I had experience in all of those locations,” said Patton.

On returning to her hometown of Seoul, South Korea Patton said,“I went back and taught at the international school. I graduated from as a first grade through high school, and I went back and taught there for four years. So I had teaching experience as well as a completely different experience living there as an adult than as a child.”

Even though she considered it home and was not expecting to experience the culture shock, she found that due to the rapid growth of the city of Seoul–everything had changed.

According to Patton, this made it hard to fit in because it felt like going back to her home town without any of the people there. This was ”an odd sensation” for her by feeling at home but also feeling like an outsider.

Working with English as second language students during her time in South Korea helped her with understanding what its like to be in a culture she was not part of.

This experience has helped her when working with students experiencing culture shock, who are immigrating to this country or even students moving from another state to Johnson University.


First career fair for Johnson University campus

Johnson University’s Tennessee campus held its first career fair on Jan. 23, in an attempt to help the students connect with 31 local and abroad organizations.

These organizations ranged from simple non-profit summer camps to other university’s graduate school programs and churches. Even a mortgage company was present at the event.

The Russell Preaching Center housed the church booths, while the PW Gymnasium held the non-profits and other miscellaneous organizations not necessarily tied to the school’s religious affiliation.

In the long joining hall between the two major rooms, universities were able to show off their various programs. Among them were Lincoln Christian University, Asbury Seminary, Milligan College and  the University of Tennessee.

The fair was arranged by the Department of Student Life and Career Services Center in an attempt to engage students and aid them in their search for jobs after college. Both the offices show interest in the lives of their students.

Kara Smith, Senior in the counseling program, attended the career fair to see what it had to offer.

“Between getting jobs, and being an intern or a temporary job there was a great variety,” said Kara Smith.

Smith expressed her concern that the Career Fair had no booth present that dealt specifically with her interests.

“I didn’t really think there were enough people there,” Smith said. “They could improve by having more counseling and other majors outside of the Bible majors.”

Along with the lack of counseling related organizations, Smith also noted that the time in which the event took place made it somewhat difficult to attend.

“The time slot for the career fair was a little bit constricting considering there was class all day and it ended at two,” said Smith.

The time for which the fair took place was among the several items in which Smith believed that the university should try and improve in the future. This was the first attempt, and it still led to a handful of students getting hired.

The Career Services Center plans on hosting another event within the next year. They want to build, improve and expand upon the foundation they have created. They hope to include more organizations outside the realm of Biblical Studies as well.


Public Health major offers new ministry opportunities for university students

It’s no secret that it’s the sick who need a doctor.

Past the call of Mark 2:17, the Academics Department at Johnson University is excited to answer that call in a unique way with the Public Health major, to be launched fall 2015.

This will allow students to educate others internationally and locally on how to stay healthy and prevent diseases.

“It’s a way of reaching a group of individuals that Johnson may have not reached thus far. They can do mission work, but they would be focusing on health education within different countries, which is a great need,” said Cindy Norton, Professor of Health Education at Johnson University.

“Global health and community health is really escalating and the need is definitely there– internationally as well as domestically.”

The Public Health major is under consideration of the accrediting bodies and Norton along with others are highly confident it will gain accreditation soon, and the program will be launched.

Norton, who has had experience with Public Health, including a bachelor’s from the University of Tennessee in Physical Education, a master’s in Safety Education and Services, plus a Ph.D. in Education with a focus in Health offers a wealth of understanding to the creation of this major.

She has also taught 27 years at the University of the Cumberlands, in Williamsburg, Kentucky. During that time, she served 11 years as Department Chair of Health, Exercise and Sport Science.

According to Norton, students with a Public Health degree will act as health advocates, who will be able to work in global and community health programs. They will also have the opportunity to use an Interdisciplinary major with Health and Intercultural Studies from core courses in the Intercultural Studies program.

Kealy Mead, Administrative Assistant to the Dean of the school of Arts and Sciences, shared her excitement for the program. Mead graduated from Milligan’s first Nursing program and has been in practice for over 18 years.

Mead in her office organizing new majors and programs.

Mead in her office organizing new majors and programs.

“I think its something very different, Johnson has never stepped into that health realm. It will take some time to grow,” Mead said. “I do think it will be a very popular choice because of how global everything has become.”

Classes will be phased in by year so students can begin their specialization early.

Students will take Intro to Public Health which will educate students about the major and possible careers, and they will also take classes such as Nutrition and Study of Disease.

“They will go into the community and assist individuals in gaining access to the resources that they need, they provide health education,” Norton said. “They allow the community to take an active lead in moving and providing this information.”

The Public Health major will allow students to use their specialization to empower those across cultures to aid their own people and continue the cycle of learning and recycling knowledge.

However, the major is not limited to one location. Possible jobs in the United States would be available through Public Health departments on the local or state level.  Students could go into schools and offer health education about hygiene, drugs, and even decision making skills, according to Norton.

This degree is foundational in that students may want to go on elsewhere and get a nursing degree.

Academics at Johnson are growing in every avenue and this major caters to a diverse group of potential students. The implementation of courses will begin soon and students will have the chance to respond to worldwide epidemics and educate those who may not have had the resources to prevent illness before.


O’Brien and Council of Seventy continue search for master plan

Kevin O’Brien, director of Alumni and Public Relations, admits that there is no set plan to get the younger alumni involved.

There have been many attempts, but no tangible changes. With the numbers of interaction dropping, Johnson University shifts focus to reaching the younger generation. O’Brien hopes to resolve this issue with the Council of Seventy over the next few meetings.

Just last week, when giving information for a feature story, O’Brien said he wished to see the younger alumni involved with Johnson University.

“Many people don’t realize this,” O’Brien said, “But if someone finishes only one semester at Johnson then they are considered to be an alumni. I want them to be recognized more and for them to be more involved with the school itself.”

The course of action for getting the alumni more involved has yet to emerge.

“I honestly do not have a plan right now,” says O’Brien, “That’s why we need a full time Alumni Director because this is such an important task, but it only gets about 20-30 percent of my attention.”

In the past there have been attempts to begin a system where the younger alumni could be more involved, but they lacked follow through.

“I used to get a group of five seniors together,” explains O’Brien, “They were able to put in place a skeleton of a plan, but after they all graduated the plan just faded away.”

O’Brien also spoke to the Council of Seventy about this issue. They mentioned putting into place a mentoring system that would aid younger alumni in the preaching ministry, but the idea did not have much traction.

“I plan to bring this issue to light again,” says O’Brien, “But until we can all agree on something–nothing can be done to help the younger ones get involved.”

Without the help of  younger generations, Johnson University will not thrive the way it does now. Over 50 percent of Johnson’s alumni have come to the school since the year 2003, yet over 50 percent of the alumni involved with the school are over 50 years old.

The Council of Seventy will meet again during Homecoming in February to discuss the rising issue and hopefully lay it to rest.



How we listen: An overview of how we listen to music in the modern age

In October 2001 the world changed forever. This change may not have been widely noticed, but it has dramatically changed the way we interact with the world of audio and music.

The way we listen changed with the release of the first generation iPod.

The radio, the Walkman, and now a device that allowed its user to take it anywhere invited the listener to a world of possibility.

No other music player had ever boasted the mantra, “1,000 songs in your pocket”.

But this small product, released by Apple, was only the first wave in the dramatic storm that was getting ready to smash the recording industry, and music consumers alike.

According to Apple’s press info, in April 2003, iTunes went live and sold one million songs within their first week.

According to Apple, by 2006, iTunes sold its billionth song, proving that iPod had revolutionized the listening experience, and created a consumer demand like no other product before it.

The iPhone arrived in 2007 and offered the capabilities of an iPod, phone and computer in one devise.

As the iPhone gained popularity, and with the release of Spotify in 2011, the waves of change continue as products became cheaper and more diverse.

With a unique canvas and opportunities, the music industry continues to grow — as does a unique story.

This is the first installment of “How we listen”, a series that will endeavor to uncover the complexity of modern music and how consumers play into the equation.

This brief timeline is only a glimpse at the story of a generation that came to age inundated with music mobility.

Music is often seen as a business in America. However, the growing impact of a personable approach, where the artist adds more to the artistic process, adds a dimension of complexity.

In contrast to the dominating figures in the music producing industry stand individual musicians who are making a name for themselves, both locally, and nationally.

Even the local music presence is thriving more than ever — artists from anywhere can reach a crowd thanks to music sharing sites like Youtube. The world is becoming smaller and artists are more approachable due to social media.

The way we listen to music is evolving rapidly, and in hopes to discover that process,  “How we listen” will break down and analyze the different aspects of the listening experience.

Music shapes a culture and the way we consume that music is vital to translating culture.

Damon of Athens, understood the impact of music on a culture. According to, Carnes Lord’s, On Damon and Music Education, Damon was a musicologist during the time of Plato, and Plato borrowed some of his ideas in his book, Republic.

“Give me the songs of a nation, and it does not matter who writes its laws,” he said. This has been quoted by many throughout history because it illustrates a strong truth.

Damon was not demeaning the importance of laws or government, rather he was highlighting the importance that music plays in a society.

Yes, laws govern the land but what truly reflects the ideas of generation is the music they listen to and the lyrics they write.

Over the semester, “How we listen” will uncover this very idea. Topics for “How we listen” will include national trends, local music culture, consumerism, the effects of streaming, ethics, history, experience and digital transformation in music.

Examining these topics will hopefully illustrate the aspects of music that frame our everyday lives.

What is more relatable than music?

It’s not just the type of music we listen to. It’s how we listen.