Workshops for High School Students

Workshops for High Schools Student at the Old Oak Festival – April 21, 2017

Five $500 Scholarships will be awarded ǀ Hands-on workshops are free ǀ Materials provided ǀ Lunch provided | Students choose morning, afternoon session to attend.

Please RSVP for the workshops by April 12. For more information or to make reservations, please contact Kelsey Trom:

Scholarship Information

In the same tradition, Tusculum and the Fine and Performing Arts and English departments at the college would like to celebrate exceptional students interested in English, Art, Music, and Theater by offering five scholarships in the amount of $500. Your application must be received by April 21st or bring your entry to the Workshops for high school students at the Old Oak Festival that Friday — winners will be announced Saturday, April 22nd on the Festival Main stage.


• Must be a senior in high school

• Must apply and have been accepted to Tusculum College

• Must have attended Old Oak Workshops on April 21st

• Must submit entry (original work only) for consideration by the scholarship committee by April 21, 2017.

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Workshop Details



The Math and Science of Tree Identification Tour Tusculum’s Arboretum and learn outdoor math skills.

Brian Davis is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Mathematics at Tusculum College. He received a Ph.D. and M.S. in Mathematics from the University of Mississippi and a B.S. in Mathematics at Arkansas State University.

Melissa Keller is an Assistant Professor and Chair of the Department of Natural Sciences at Tusculum College. She received her Ph.D. in Plant Pathology/Agriculture from Virginia Tech and a B.S. in Environmental Science at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia.

Contemporary Poetry Experiment with the techniques and strategies of poetry writing.

Clay Matthews has published poetry in journals such as The American Poetry Review, Black Warrior Review, Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, and elsewhere. His most recent book, Shore, was recently released from Cooper Dillon Books. His other books are Superfecta (Ghost Road Press), RUNOFF (BlazeVox), and Pretty, Rooster (Cooper Dillon). He teaches at Tusculum and edits poetry for the Tusculum Review.

Instrumental Masterclass (Band) Enhance your instrumental performance skills.

*Students are asked to bring their own instruments.

Jack Furnari studied the clarinet and saxophone from a young age and by 15 was playing professionally in the Detroit area. At 19, he was accepted into the US Air Force Band. He holds two music degrees from UT Knoxville. He has been a band director, full-time private teacher, and woodwind instrument repairman. He has played every major venue in the Knoxville area and has taught at UT Knoxville, Maryville College, Pellissippi State College, Roane State College, and numerous private studios.

Vocal Masterclass Learn techniques for improved vocal performance.

Leslie Vaughn has performed in many opera productions and plays across the country, including “Amahl and the Night Visitors” with the original NBC cast. As a faculty member at the Chapel School of Fine Arts in Ohio, she taught vocal performance and piano. She directs musical and church pageants and maintains a home studio for voice and piano instruction. She and her husband have spent many years in full- and part-time ministry.

Introduction to Programming with Python Venture to code. (limited to 25 students)

David Frazier is Chair of the Department of Business and an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Tusculum. He has an M.S. from ETSU and is completing his Ph.D. in Computer Science at Clemson. He has worked as a professional programmer and Web Designer.

Drawing Learn drawing techniques, complete studio drawings. (limited to 25 students)

Bill Bledsoe is the Interim Chair of the Fine and Performing Arts Department at Tusculum. He has been an art instructor for 27 years and a working artist for more than 40 years. He worked as an artist for the United States Air Force in Europe, assistant to art direction for Walt Disney, and freelance artist/designer for the NFL. He has been recognized by the Tennessee Arts Council as one of the 100 Outstanding Artists in the state, by Good Housekeeping for Outstanding Children’s Book Illustration, and by ETSU as an Outstanding Alumni in the Arts.

The Brief Essay or Prose Poem Write very short nonfiction and contemplative prose.

Desirae Matherly is the nonfiction editor for the Tusculum Review and teaches at Tusculum. She received her Ph.D. in creative nonfiction from Ohio University and has published essays in literary journals and anthologies.


Medieval Siege Warfare Join the Department of History and Museum Studies faculty and students to learn about medieval siege warfare and experiment with its practical application by laying siege to the Garland Library.

Peter Noll is Associate Professor of Public History and Museum Studies at Tusculum. He completed his Ph.D. in Agricultural History and Rural Studies at Iowa State University (2011) and an MA in Historical Administration from Eastern Illinois University (2003). Peter brings over fifteen years of experience in public history and the museum field, having worked at historical sites, museums, and archives in Maine, Illinois, and Iowa.

Joel Van Amberg is Chair of the Department of History and Museum Studies at Tusculum. He earned his Ph.D. in History with a concentration in early modern Europe from The University of Arizona. He received a Fulbright Scholarship to complete his dissertation research in Germany. In 2012, he published A Real Presence: Religious and Social Dynamics of the Eucharistic Conflicts in Early Modern Augsburg (1500-1530).

Songwriting Learn strategies and techniques for writing songs.

*Students are asked to bring their own instruments.

Josh Miller was born and bred in the mire of Dark Mountain music. He has performed at prestigious venues like Charleston Music Hall and Prairie Home Companion. He has played with the Lovell Sisters, Carrie Hassler, NewFound Road, and Joe Diffie. With NewFound Road, he recorded the bluegrass cult classic “Blackadder’s Cove” and performed at the Grand Ole Opry.

Playwriting Explore the art and craft of playwriting.

Wayne Thomas received his MFA in scriptwriting from Georgia College. His plays have been produced in various community, collegiate, and professional settings. He served as Assistant Drama Editor for Arts and Letters and edited Drama submissions for the Tusculum Review. He is the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Tusculum.

Political Jeopardy Could you pass a U.S. citizenship test? Come show off your government knowledge. Join current Tusculum students and faculty to discover layers of historical and political understanding.

Mary Cooper is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science in the School of Arts and Sciences at Tusculum. She completed her M.A. in International Relations and Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale University. She has taught at Wesleyan University (CT), Yale University, and The Ohio State University. She worked as an economic analyst for Arthur Andersen and for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and spent a year as a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University’s Asia-Pacific Research Center.

Flash Fiction Learn to write sharp-edged short stories.

Kelsey Trom is an essayist, swimmer, and fiction writer who teaches at Tusculum College. Her fiction has been published in Makeout Creek and other venues.

SM-Art! Sensational Mathematical Art Explore mathematical art in this hands-on workshop that includes money origami, pop-ups, and optical illusions.

Tricia Hunsader is the Dean of the School of Education at Tusculum. Dr. Hunsader is a graduate of the University of South Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in finance, a Master of Arts in elementary education, and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with a specialization in mathematics education. She has worked as an elementary and high school mathematics teacher, a mathematics education professor, and as controller and event coordinator for Hunsader Farms.

Animation Complete a stretch of digital animation. (limited to 15 students)

Bill Bledsoe is the Interim Chair of the Fine and Performing Arts Department at Tusculum (see bio above).

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