Mountain Empire Community College
Faculty/Staff Highlights

George Salaita, Adjunct Faculty

George Salaita, adjunct in history, was selected and attended another NEH summer workshop this past June. The title of this one was "Revolution to Republic: Philadelphia's Place in Early America."
Robert England, Professor of Criminal Justice

England has been notified he will be republished in the 7th edition of the Justice, Crime, and Ethics textbook published by Anderson Publishing. He co-authored Chapter 21 with long time friend, mentor, and former professor Mike Braswell from ETSU. England will be using the text this fall (2011) in his Ethics for Criminal Justice course.
Robert Widener, Adjunct Faculty

Robert Widener received his Ed.D in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis with a concentration in School System Leadership from ETSU.
Joseph Young, Information Technologist

Joseph Young won 1st Place at the 20th Annual International Battle of Magicians, held at The Palace Theater in Canton, Ohio for his WASH-O-MATIC Signed $100 Bill in Kiwi routine, competing against 20 other magicians from California to Canada.
George Salaita, Adjunct Faculty – History

Once again, Mr. Salaita has been selected to attend the National Endowment for the Humanities [NEH] week-long seminar for community college faculty. He will be attending the Revolution to Republic: Philadelphia's Place in Early America workshop at the University of Pennsylvania, June 12-19, 2011. Last year he attended the 2010 NEH “Building the New South” workshop as part of the Landmarks of American History and Culture Program held at Elon University.
Rosa-Lee Cooke, Information Technology Specialist

Rosa-Lee Cooke received her Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources on December 10, 2010 from Oregon State University. Her plans include obtaining her Master’s and Doctorate degrees.
Brandi Barnette, Career Coach

Brandi Tosh Barnette welcome a new baby into the family, Zeke Elijah Barnette. He was born on Friday November 12th at 7:56 am in Holston Valley Medical Center and weighed 7 lbs. 3 oz, 20 1/8 inches long. After a short stay in the NICU he is at home now!
John Bledsoe, Great Expectations Coordinator

MECC’s program success with the Career Readiness Certification (CRC) assessment and how four students have completed it, with two at a gold level, is currently headlining the VCCS Great Expectation website, This new program at MECC serves foster youth ages 18 - 24, and is located in the MECC Student Services Office. With a target goal of 20 students in the program during the 2010-11 academic year, Mr. Bledsoe has already enrolled 23 students.
Dr. Sue Graham, MECC AmeriCorps Director

The November 2010 AARP Bulletin showcased the partnership between Mountain Empire Older Citizens and MECC’s Americorps member’s winterization program, Operation Energy Save, which provided low-cost or no-cost ways to reduce energy costs to 60 homes of local elderly residents during 2008-09. For the complete article, click here.
George Salaita, Adjunct Faculty – History

Mr. Salaita was a 2010 National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Scholar, participating in the “Building the New South” workshop as part of the Landmarks of American History and Culture Program held at Elon University.
Dr. Chuks Ogbonnaya, Professor of Environmental Science

Dr. Ogbonnaya has been invited to serve on the Advisory Board of the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation for a two-year term by Dr. Janaki R. R. Alavalapati, Professor and Department Head of the College of Natural Resources and Environment at Virginia Tech.
Rita Quillen, Assistant Professor of English

Ms. Quillen’s biography and four of her poems will appear in the publication of the long-awaited 3rd volume of THE SOUTHERN POETRY ANTHOLOGY, entitled CONTEMPORARY APPALACHIA. This publication is part of a series currently underway at the Texas Review Press (Texas A & M) edited by Dr. Jesse Graves and Dr. William Wright. Quillen says, “I’m very proud to be included in what the editors and the press call “the definitive collection” of contemporary Southern poetry.” The book will be available after December 6, 2010 from the press website or on Amazon.
Dr. Kent Farnsworth, MECC Achieving the Dream Coach

A new book written by Dr. Farnsworth by Palgrave Macmillan Publishers and is already generating debate in education and public policy circles as preview copies reach reviewers. Titled Grassroots School Reform: A Community Guide to Developing Globally Competitive Students, the book argues that significant school reform in the United States will not happen if left to national or state policy makers, but must be a community-led initiative. Most notably, Dr. Farnsworth maintains that this can best be done if states extend to every school district the freedoms provided to charter schools and discusses restructuring boards, selecting change-minded leadership for districts, and organizing community activist groups to lobby states for extended flexibility in local school governance. Grassroots School Reform will be released by Palgrave Macmillan Publishers on November 23, 2010 to booksellers such as Borders, Books-a-Million, and Wal-Mart and is now available for pre-order on
Updated October 3, 2011                                      Contact MECC                                      MECC Home