King University Welcomes New Board of Trustees Members

BRISTOL, Tenn., June 8, 2020 — King University announces the appointment of three new members to its Board of Trustees.

Dan Hurst, Jason Mumpower, and Dwight Owens were elected during the board’s most recent meeting.

“Each of these trustees lends a wealth of experience to our board,” said King’s president, Alexander Whitaker.  “We are grateful to benefit from their experience in business, public policy, and pharmacy, and we look forward to their guidance in our shared mission of preparing students in our Christian academic community for lives of service.”

Hurst is the founder and CEO of Strata-G, LLC, in Knoxville, Tennessee. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee – Knoxville (UTK), where he earned a B.S. degree in agricultural engineering in 1985 and an M.S. degree in environmental engineering in 1994. Hurst served as a naval officer in the US Naval Nuclear Power program and received an executive certificate in management and leadership from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Business in 2015. He has chaired the boards of the West Knox Utilities District and Knox Area Rescue Ministries, and has also served on the Tennessee Advanced Energy Council, the UTK Alumni Council, the Civil and Environmental Engineering Board of Advisors, and the UTK Chancellor’s Associates.

Mumpower is the deputy comptroller for the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury representing the office on multiple state boards and commissions. Prior to his current role, he was a state representative in the Tennessee General Assembly for 14 years, where he served on numerous House committees. He is a 1995 graduate of King, where he received a B.A. in economics and business administration, and a 2013 graduate of the John F. Kennedy School of Government’s senior executives in state and local government program at Harvard University. Mumpower is also a Rule 31 Listed General Civil Mediator.

After completing his pre-pharmacy coursework at King University in 1990, Owens obtained his doctorate in pharmacy from Campbell University’s College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences in 1994 and his MBA from King University in 2018. He is the multi-facility director of pharmacy services in the Northwest market for Ballad Health in Kingsport, Tennessee.  In 2016, Owens was the recipient of the Meritorious Service Award by the Tennessee Hospital Association. Owens has held several leadership positions for Ballad Health and is a member American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Owens currently serves as president of the YMCA of Bristol’s board of directors.

“We are fortunate to see these talented and dedicated board members bring their expertise to King’s Board of Trustees,” said Robert H. “Scott” Maclellan, board chair. “Their experience complements and contributes to that of our current board members, and we welcome their collaboration in leading the University forward.”

The Board of Trustees holds the legal authority and responsibility for King University’s mission, financial stability, and institutional policies related to matters of strategic importance. For a complete list of King’s Board of Trustees, please click here.

For more information about King University, visit www.king.edu.

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King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit www.king.edu. King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate in Virginia. King’s primary location in Virginia is Southwest Virginia Community College, 724 Community College Rd, Cedar Bluff, VA 24609.

King Plans to Resume In-Person Classes for Fall Semester

Commencement exercises re-scheduled for Aug. 1

BRISTOL, Tenn., May 26,2020 — After transitioning to online learning formats during the spring and summer semesters as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, King University is moving ahead with plans to return to in-person classes for fall 2020.

“Throughout this unprecedented situation, we have been listening to the counsel of many advisors to help guide us in our decision-making process,” said Alexander Whitaker, president of King. “With care and planning, we believe this is the right step for us to take, and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to our campuses.”

Rhonda Morgan, DNP, nursing professor at King and epidemiology advisor for the University, noted that King has reacted quickly to the large-scale changes that have faced society over the past several months, and will continue to make informed, real-time decisions in the best interest of students, faculty, staff, and the King community.

“As we work to minimize risk, it is important for everyone to be mindful of guidance and remain flexible as we make data-based decisions that foster wellness,” Morgan said. “The health and well-being of the members of our community is at the forefront of our minds and we continue to monitor the evolving information regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.”

Morgan noted that administration officials are constantly reviewing guidance and directives from such organizations as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the State of Tennessee, and county health departments, among others, and that King’s educational environment and practices will be adjusted as needed.

King has also rescheduled its commencement exercises for Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020, at 10 a.m. on the Oval at the main campus in Bristol. The event, which typically takes place in early spring and draws thousands of visitors to campus, had been previously postponed because of the outbreak.

For more information on the University’s coronavirus response and plans, visit King’s regularly updated COVID-19 information page.

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King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit www.king.edu. King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate in Virginia. King’s primary location in Virginia is Southwest Virginia Community College, 724 Community College Rd, Cedar Bluff, VA 24609.

King University STEM Students Recipients of Numerous Honors and Awards

BRISTOL, Tenn., May 12, 2020 — During the 2019-2020 academic year, several undergraduate students from the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in King University’s College of Arts and Sciences have received prestigious honors, grant funding, and opportunities to present their research at national and regional conferences.

“Students in King University’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programs have long distinguished themselves among their peers from colleges and universities across the country,” says Kelly Vaughan, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Biology. “The opportunity to participate in original research is transformational and not typically found at schools our size, and we are proud of all of our students’ accomplishments. Over the past several years, many of our students have obtained grant funding, conducted mentored research, presented their work at regional and national conferences, received national awards, and are now either employed in the STEM field or pursuing graduate or professional degrees in programs throughout the U.S.”

The Pfizer SOT (Society of Toxicology) Undergraduate Student Travel Awards, a prominent national program in toxicology, recognize outstanding undergraduates who are presenting research at the SOT’s annual meeting in order to foster interest in graduate studies in this field. Of the thousands of research scientists across the U.S. who present their research at the international meeting, approximately 50 are undergraduate students. King students Macarena Martín Mayor and Kelly Rivenbark, both of whom conducted research under Vaughan’s mentorship, were two of only 21 undergraduate students presented with the prestigious Pfizer Award to attend the meeting this year.

Martín Mayor was selected for her research on the effect of non-nutritive sweeteners on lipid accumulation. Rivenbark was chosen for her research on the effects of BPA exposure and its replacement of BPF on the reproductive potential of a model organism to help assess whether bisphenol compounds are safe for human exposure.

Martín Mayor and Rivenbark are also both honorees of King’s Burke Endowment fellowship fund, and annual presenters at the UMBC (University of Maryland at Baltimore County Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Chemical and Biological Sciences) and NIMBioS (National Institute for Mathematics and Biological Synthesis) conferences. In addition, Rivenbark is a two-time winner of the Eastman-NETSACS (Northeast Tennessee Section of the American Chemical Society) Student Research Symposium award. Both students were accepted into multiple doctoral degree programs. Martín Mayor plans to attend the University of South Florida to pursue her Ph.D. in Oceanography, while Rivenbark will pursue her Ph.D. in Toxicology at Texas A&M University.

In addition, Alex Svetlik was a recipient of the SOT Undergraduate Diversity Award. This award program enables promising undergraduate science majors from diverse backgrounds to engage in toxicology presentations and case studies at the SOT annual meeting, with the goal of recruiting them into graduate school and toxicology research careers. Her research, conducted under Vaughan, investigated the neuroprotective ability of nicotine to prevent neurodegeneration development due to pesticide exposure in microscopic nematodes as a model for understanding Parkinson’s disease development in a laboratory setting. Svetlik is also a Burke Fellow and NIMBioS presenter.

Additional outstanding STEM students from the current academic year include Lauren Campbell, Austin Huff, Morgan Powers, and Elijah Seay. Campbell is an Appalachian College Association (ACA) Ledford Scholarship recipient and presented her research at the ACA Annual Summit. The Ledford Scholarship provides financial assistance for summer research projects to undergraduate students enrolled at ACA member institutions. Under the guidance of Vaughan and Scott Landis, Ph.D., former assistant professor of Exercise Science, Campbell’s research investigated connections between core instability and prior lower extremity injuries (or no prior injuries) in college athletes. She has been accepted to multiple physical therapy doctoral programs and will be attending Emory & Henry University in the fall.

A Burke Fellow and NIMBioS presenter, Huff developed his research with Josh Rudd, assistant professor of Biology at King, on the impacts of salinity levels and exposure to juvenile mussels with the Virginia Department of Fisheries. This study will lead to further investigation on the interactions of road salt alternatives on this endangered organism. He has been accepted to the graduate chemistry program at Virginia Tech. Powers, a UMBC and NIMBioS presenter, participated in a National Science Foundation Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates at Texas A&M University, using microbiology techniques to investigate the relationship between gene mutation and antibiotic resistance.

Seay worked with Bill Linderman, Ph.D., associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and chair of the Department of Mathematics and Physics at King, to address questions in Ramsey theory. Their work is currently in development for publication, and Seay presented his research at the Joint Mathematics Meeting (JMM). The JMM is the national meeting of the American Mathematics Association and Mathematics Association of America, and is the largest mathematics gathering in the world. Seay was a NIMBioS attendee in 2018.

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King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit www.king.edu. King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate in Virginia. King’s primary location in Virginia is Southwest Virginia Community College, 724 Community College Rd, Cedar Bluff, VA 24609.

King University Students Honored for Achievements and Service

BRISTOL, Tenn., May 6, 2020 — King University recently honored a number of students for their academic, athletic, and community service accomplishments during the 2019-2020 academic year.

“We are proud to honor all our students and graduates, particularly during such an unusual time when so many have had to adapt their methods of communication and learning,” said Matthew Roberts, Ed.D., provost of King. “King’s students flourish inside and outside the classroom. They have done a remarkable job, and we want to acknowledge, in every way we can, their academic accomplishments and achievements.”

Students received the following awards, fellowships, scholarships, and recognitions (in alphabetical order among the varying colleges of study):

COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES

Jack E. Snider Honors Fellows

These students have completed an additional 17 hours of honors credit through participation in independent research; a publicly presented and defended senior honors thesis; overseas and domestic travel, study, and service; and campus and community service.

  • Mattie Brown – Taylorsville, North Carolina (Athletic Training)
  • Miyah Cook – Murfreesboro, Tennessee (Biology: Human Biology Track)
  • Courtney Harvey – Dickson, Tennessee (English and Psychology)
  • Abigail Lester – Bristol, Tennessee (Biology)
  • Tristen Luu – Amarillo, Texas (Biology: Human Biology Track)
  • Macarena Martin – Madrid, Spain (Biochemistry and Mathematics: General Track)
  • Samantha Oplinger – Lansing, Tennessee (Criminal Justice)
  • Kelly Rivenbark – Burgaw, North Carolina (Chemistry)

King Institute for Faith and Culture Award

Given to a student who demonstrates the mission of the King Institute for Faith and Culture (IFC). The IFC brings some of the contemporary faith landscape’s most influential thinkers, writers, and artists to campus to cultivate conversation on issues of Christian faith and popular culture.

  • Nicholas Blankenship – Collierville, Tennessee (Biology)

Arts

Allen Trousdale Guild Players Awards

Given to senior students recognized by their peers for outstanding achievement and contributions to the King Theatre Program and the Department of Performing & Visual Arts.

  • Brittanie Rose – Sevierville, Tennessee (Theatre)
  • Alaura Sporleder – Meadowview, Virginia (Theatre)

American Choral Directors National Student Award

Given annually to a graduating senior who has contributed to the efforts of the choral program over a four-year period.

  • Brianna Carder – Bristol, Tennessee (Digital Media Art & Design)

Digital Media Art and Design Award of Excellence

Recognizes a student who has demonstrated a commitment to academic achievement, leadership, and service.

  • Caleb Beverly – Bristol, Virginia (Digital Media Art and Design)

Bible and Religion

Philosophy Award

Given to a philosophy student who has excelled academically, and has exhibited the scholarly qualities of creative questioning, analytical reasoning, and critical thinking.

  • Nicole Joseph – Bristol, Tennessee (Psychology and Philosophy)

Humanities

History Award

Given to a graduating senior who exhibits a strong performance in the field of history.

  • Jerryn Puckett – Bristol, Virginia (History)

Women’s History Club Award

Given to outstanding rising seniors in the field of history.

  • Madison King – Dayton, Tennessee (History)

Languages and Literature

Evelyn W. Snider English Award

Given to a student who has made outstanding contributions to the English Department through service.

  • Stacey Horton – Richlands, Virginia (English: Grades 6 – 12 Education Track)

Geneva King Award

Given to a student who has performed well academically and helped foster a love for the English language at King.

  • Allison Petix – Las Vegas, Nevada (Psychology and English: Writing Track)

Graham Landrum Memorial Scholarship Fund

This scholarship is awarded to the rising senior in the English Department with the highest GPA.

  • Charis McReynolds – Bristol, Tennessee (English: General Track)

Sigma Tau Delta Inductees

Sigma Tau Delta is the English honor society for students at accredited colleges and universities that grant baccalaureate or higher degrees.

  • Haley Compton – Bristol, Virginia (English)
  • Stacey Horton – Richlands, Virginia (English: Grades 6 – 12 Education Track)
  • Kacie Kelley – Woodbury, Tennessee (English)

Spanish Language Award

Given to the student who demonstrates the best performance in Beginning Spanish.

  • Kayla Gillenwater – Bristol, Virginia (Biology: Human Biology Track)

Advanced Studies in Spanish Award

  • Cathy Scaniffe – Springfield, Virginia (Spanish and Interdisciplinary Studies: Elementary Education)

Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Arthur W. King Memorial Scholarship in Physics

This scholarship is awarded annually to a physics major who, in addition to maintaining an outstanding academic record, exhibits an enthusiasm for experimental and theoretical physics.

  • Braden White – Marion, Illinois (Mathematics: General Track and Physics)

Eula Cosby Coffee Awards in the Basic Sciences

Given to the female students with the highest overall grade point averages for the two semesters of each basic science course.

  • Biology: Alexis McDowell – Gray, Tennessee (Biology: Cell and Molecular Track)
  • Chemistry: Erin Peters – Humble, Texas (Biochemistry)
  • Physics: Trinity Lee – Knoxville, Tennessee (Mathematics: General Track and Physics)

Natural Science and Mathematics Awards

Given to the most outstanding graduates in the basic sciences and mathematics.

  • Macarena Martin Mayor – Madrid, Spain (Biochemistry and Mathematics: General Track)
  • Kelly Rivenbark – Burgaw, North Carolina (Chemistry)

Sarah Katherine Stamper Award in Biology

This award honors the memory of the daughter of a 1950s assistant to the President of King University.

  • Rebekah Thomas – Glade Spring, Virginia (Biology: Cell and Molecular Track)

William E. Torbett Memorial Scholarship

Given to a returning outstanding mathematics major.

  • Trinity Lee – Knoxville, Tennessee (Mathematics: General Track and Physics)

Social Sciences

John W. Burgess Award in Political Science

This award is named for Tennessee native John W. Burgess, the first president of the American Political Science Association.

  • Kori West – Shelby, North Carolina (Political Science/History)

Psi Chi National Honor Society in Psychology Inductee

  • Lindsey Nangle – Bristol, Tennessee (Psychology)

Security and Intelligence (SIS) Scholar Award

Given to the student with the highest cumulative grade point average across all courses taken for the SIS major.

  • Taylor Lane – Kingsport, Tennessee (Security and Intelligence Studies)

SCHOOL OF HEALTH AND PROFESSIONAL SCIENCES

Social Work

The Mary Richmond Social Work Students of the Year Award

Given to the student social workers who are active members of both Chi Omega and the Social Work Action Group, and best exemplify the Social Work Code of Ethics.

  • Heather Austin – Abingdon, Virginia (Social Work)
  • Monica Tucker – Gray, Tennessee (Social Work)
  • Damoria Walker – Bristol, Tennessee (Social Work)
  • Amanda Weiford – Bristol, Tennessee (Social Work)

The Jane Addams Social Work Students of the Year Award

Given to the student social workers who are active members of both Chi Omega and the Social Work Action Group, and best exemplify scholarly academic achievement in Social Work.

  • Miranda Blevins – Meadowview, Virginia (Social Work)
  • Mary Childers – Pounding Mill, Virginia (Social Work)
  • Joseph Harrigan – Kingsport, Tennessee (Social Work)
  • Arielle Holloway – Clarkston, Georgia (Social Work)
  • Veronica Vann-Ray – Kingsport, Tennessee (Social Work)

Chi Omega Award

Members of Chi Omega have achieved a minimum Grade Point Average of 3.5 in Social Work, exemplify honor, exceptional quality of character, altruism, and scholarship.

  • Courtney Thompson Amakonze – Lincolnton, North Carolina (Social Work)
  • Derek Ashley – Marion, Virginia (Social Work)
  • Heather Austin – Abingdon, Virginia (Social Work)
  • Brianna Baker – Bristol, Virginia (Social Work)
  • Miranda Blevins – Meadowview, Virginia (Social Work)
  • Brittany Bradley – Caryville, Virginia (Social Work)
  • Mary Margaret Chaney – Kingsport, Tennessee (Social Work)
  • Mary Childers – Pounding Mill, Virginia (Social Work)
  • Shaila Childs – Oliver Springs, Tennessee (Social Work)
  • Adreyana Cole – Grovetown, Georgia (Social Work)
  • Melissa Grady – Elkton, Kentucky (Social Work)
  • Laura Greeson – Bristol, Tennessee (Social Work)
  • Arielle Holloway – Clarkston, Georgia (Social Work)
  • Miranda Newsome – Haysi, Virginia (Social Work)
  • Cherrie Puckett – Saltville, Virginia (Social Work)
  • Jordan Sheets – Sugar Grove, Virginia (Social Work)
  • Monica Tucker – Gray, Tennessee (Social Work)
  • Veronica Vann-Ray – Kingsport, Tennessee (Social Work)
  • Damoria Walker – Bristol, Virginia (Social Work)
  • Amanda Weiford – Bristol, Virginia (Social Work)

SCHOOL OF BUSINESS, ECONOMICS, AND TECHNOLOGY

Awards are presented to outstanding traditional undergraduates, BBA students, and MBA students.

Outstanding Business and Economics Graduate Award

  • Nicholas Carroll – Christiansburg, Virginia (Business: Marketing and Management Tracks)

Outstanding Bachelor of Business Administration Graduate Award

  • Stuart Hamblen – Rogersville, Tennessee (Business Administration)

Outstanding Master of Business Administration Graduate Award

  • Lennard Neumann – Bad Honnof, Germany (Graduate Business – Project Management)

SCHOOL OF EDUCATION

John S. Gaines Excellence in Student Teaching Award

  • Andrew Counts – Kingsport, Tennessee (Political Science/History)

Outstanding M.Ed. Graduate

  • William Greening – Bristol, Tennessee (Graduate Education: Curriculum and Instruction)

SCHOOL OF NURSING

Nursing Pillar Awards

The Nursing Pillar Awards are based on the School of Nursing professional pillars of Integrity, Commitment, Service, Accountability, Civility, and Compassion.

  • Brandi Brown – Lenoir City, Tennessee (Graduate Nursing – FNP Concentration)
  • Jairo Ruiz-Caram – Bristol, Tennessee (Nursing)

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King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit www.king.edu. King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate in Virginia. King’s primary location in Virginia is Southwest Virginia Community College, 724 Community College Rd, Cedar Bluff, and VA 24609.

YMCA OF BRISTOL TO REOPEN MAY 6

Bristol, Tenn. — The YMCA of Bristol will reopen with limited services beginning Wednesday, May 6. The decision follows Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s announcement on April 28, which provided guidance for exercise facilities regarding how to safely reopen on or after May 1.

“We are taking extra precautions in our facility to ensure the health and safety of our members and staff,” said Rick Matthews, YMCA of Bristol president/CEO. “We are committed to serving the needs of our community and will continue to assist and offer support to those who need it.”

The YMCA of Bristol, in partnership with the Greater Kingsport YMCA, will provide free Emergency Child Care for essential workers and operate in accordance with state of Tennessee guidelines to accommodate exercise opportunities for members.

Phase 1 of the YMCA’s reopening will include the following safety measures:

  • The YMCA will utilize a single entry/exit point.
  • YMCA staff will receive temperature checks upon entry into the facility. Those with a temperature reading of 100 or higher will not be allowed access to the facility.
  • YMCA staff will be required to wear masks and other personal protective equipment while cleaning and interacting with members.
  • All open areas inside the YMCA have been evaluated and redesigned as necessary to help ensure social distancing between members, including limited equipment availability and capacity limits. Signage emphasizing the need for social distancing will be placed prominently throughout the facility.
  • In compliance with CDC and state of Tennessee guidelines, common gathering spaces such as coffee lounge areas, social rooms, water fountains, group exercise studios, pools, showers, saunas, stream rooms, whirlpools and gymnasiums will remain closed for the time being.

The YMCA is requesting that members adhere to the following health and safety precautions:

  • Members should stay home if they do not feel well. Members of vulnerable populations, including those with underlying health conditions, are strongly encouraged to check with their doctor prior to visiting.
  • Members, as well as YMCA staff, will be asked to complete an assessment questionnaire for COVID-19 symptoms before being allowed to access the facility. Those deemed to be at-risk will not be allowed to access the facility. 
  • Members (other than essential workers) will need to make alternative arrangements for child care services as the YMCA will be unable to provide these services during Phase 1 of the reopening process.
  • Members will be asked to bring their own water bottle. Water fountains and bottle filling stations will be unavailable.
  • Members of vulnerable populations are encouraged to wear a face covering whenever possible, especially in common areas where other members are present.
  • Members should exercise on designated equipment only and respect all signage requiring social distancing. Members must maintain 6 feet of separation between other members and YMCA staff.
  • To ensure proper social distancing, designated wellness areas will have a limited capacity. At times of full capacity, members will be asked to wait in a designated area until space is available or to return later.
  • Members should help reduce the risk of exposure by wiping down all equipment before and after use.

“We must remain positive, and together we can come out of this stronger and united,” Matthews said. “We appreciate our members who have chosen to stay with us, and we look forward to welcoming them back.”

About the Y

The YMCA remains committed to strengthening communities in the areas of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Driven by its founding mission, the Y has served as a leading nonprofit committed to strengthening community for more than 175 years. The Y empowers everyone, no matter who they are or where they are from, by ensuring access to resources, relationships and opportunities for all to learn, grow and thrive. By bringing together people from different backgrounds, perspectives and generations, the Y’s goal is to improve overall health and well-being, ignite youth empowerment and demonstrate the importance of connections in and across 10,000 communities in our nation.

For more information about the YMCA of Bristol, visit www.bristolymca.net or call 423-968-3133.

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WCSA Earns Top Ranking in Operations, Performance for Tenth Consecutive Year

ABINGDON, Va. – For the tenth consecutive year, the Washington County Service Authority (WCSA) has been awarded a gold award from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), the highest possible ranking in operations and performance excellence for water utilities.

WCSA received a 2019 Excellence in Waterworks/Operations Performance Award for the Middle Fork Drinking Water Plant following a 12-month analysis of data by the VDH Office of Drinking Water.

Each year, through Virginia’s Optimization Program, the VDH recognizes drinking water plants that perform above and beyond minimum standards by optimizing and running their treatment process efficiently and effectively. The primary purpose of the program is to reduce risks to public health associated with drinking water.

“We are tremendously honored to have received this top-level performance score for a full decade,” says Robbie Cornett, general manager of WCSA. “This award demonstrates WCSA’s long-standing commitment to providing safe drinking water for our customers that meets or exceeds the standards set forth by the VDH.”

Of the 124 conventional surface water treatment plants evaluated by the VDH during 2019, WCSA was among 39 that received a gold award, while 44 received either silver or bronze awards.

“WCSA has the largest permitted capacity and serves the largest number of service connections in the Mount Rogers Planning District,” says Eric R. Herold, PE, VDH district engineer for the Mount Rogers Planning District. “WCSA has consistently been a top performer in the Virginia Optimization Program and was one of 26 plants in Virginia to receive a perfect score for 2019.”

The mission of Virginia’s Optimization Program is “to encourage waterworks to provide water with a quality that exceeds minimum regulatory standards (i.e., as perfect as possible) and to operate water systems in an exemplary manner (i.e., as effective and functional as possible).”

Over a period of time, through research and plant performance studies conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the American Water Works Association and the waterworks industry, the VDH has developed performance goals for clarification and filtration processes in surface water treatment plants. For Virginia’s Optimization Program, drinking water programs throughout the commonwealth submit monthly operation reports containing operational data.

More About WCSA

The WCSA serves more than 21,500 water connections and approximately 2,500 wastewater connections in Washington County, Virginia, and surrounding areas. The water system consists of an estimated 900 miles of water line, a 12-million-gallon-per-day surface water treatment plant, a 3.1-million-gallon-per-day membrane filtration plant, two springs, one well, 28 pump stations and 26 water storage tanks. The wastewater system consists of approximately 100 miles of wastewater collection lines, 29 lift stations and two wastewater treatment plants. For more information about WCSA, visit www.wcsawater.com.

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For additional information, contact Robbie Cornett,
general manager, at 276-628-7151, ext. 224.

Walling Distributing Sells To Newly Formed Beverage Investor Group

BRISTOL, Va. (May 1, 2020) – After more than five decades of providing quality service and some of the world’s best-selling beverage products to the local community, the shareholders of Walling Distributing Company, Inc. (“Walling Distributing” or the “Company”) have agreed to sell substantially all of the Company’s assets to a newly formed investor group, Virginia Beverage Company, LLC (“Virginia Beverage Company”).

“The investor group, backed by Atlanta Beverage Company, was the first suitor that truly understood our market and the unique flavor of our culture here in Southwest Virginia,” said Mark Walling, president of Walling Distributing.

Walling went on to say, “My brother Challen and I have been blessed with incredible employees and an especially strong sales team. Furthermore, it has been wonderful to participate in the local community and offer our resources over the years. We are completely confident that our brands, as well as the partnerships, relationships and community investments we have developed over the past five-plus decades in Bristol will be in great hands. The ownership group of Virginia Beverage Company and its affiliates bring a tremendous amount of varied experience that will suit the Bristol business well for future generations. Without doubt, this is the right successor for us to hand over the reins to.”

Grant Gilbert, president of Virginia Beverage Company, said, “Virginia Beverage Company is thrilled to enter the territory and carry on the legacy that the Wallings and their employees have built since the early 1960s. We are excited to partner with existing management and are committed to providing the same great service that the company’s suppliers and customers have come to expect. We also look forward to getting involved in the local community in a meaningful way.”

Walling Distributing is responsible for the sales, marketing and distribution of products of Anheuser-Busch, Bold Rock Hard Cider, Bristol Station, Damascus Brewery, Geloso Beverage Group, Highland Brewing, Sugar Hill Brewing Company, Sweetwater and VPX Energy. Bristol’s territory includes the Virginia counties of Lee, Wise, Dickenson, Buchanan, Scott, Russell and Washington; and the towns of Abingdon, Bristol, Norton, Chilhowie and Saltville.

The transaction was formally approved by Anheuser-Busch and other suppliers of the company.

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King’s DMAD Department Pitches In On Production Of Protective Masks

BRISTOL, Tenn., April 13, 2020 — In the effort to help supply critical personal protective equipment (PPE) to health care providers on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, members of King University’s Digital Media Art & Design (DMAD) department are putting their knowhow and resources to work in a new and innovative way.

Shortages of gloves, face masks, gowns, and more have made headlines over the past several weeks. The situation is particularly dangerous for medical providers, who are being exposed to the virus daily. In response, grassroots networks of organizations have stepped in to help support the supply chain, forming alliances not typically associated with the health care industry.

One such partnership is between King University’s DMAD department and MatterHackers, an online company that sells 3D printing supplies. The company recently created a COVID-19 Maker Response Hub that connects hospitals and government agencies needing PPE with digital fabricators — like King — that can help produce the needed components.

As a result, King’s 3D printer, typically used for student projects at this time of the year, is now producing the headbands needed to help assemble protective face shields for doctors and nurses.

“Once we saw what was happening, we signed up to be able to pitch in,” said Joe Strickland, chair of DMAD at King. “Someone uploaded the design, we had the needed printer, we got the message of ‘hey, we’re calling you up,’ and now we’re printing around the clock.”

Once the initial order of 45 headbands is complete, Strickland will sanitize them, seal them in a plastic container, and ship them to the next partner on the list for assembly with the face shield. The end product is approved by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for medical use — and is reusable, a critical factor at this moment.

Strickland said it feels good to be able to assist in a time when so much of the world has been upended by the pandemic.

“We’re just so glad we have the materials and the opportunity to help out,” Strickland said. “MatterHackers is doing the most difficult part of this, combining designers and makers with people who have the supplies. It’s probably a nightmare, but they are doing it, and we believe helping the health care professionals on the front lines is a very worthwhile use of our time and resources.”

Those with 3D printing capabilities can visit the MatterHackers Maker Response Hub at https://www.matterhackers.com/covid-19 to see how they can help, Strickland said.

King has transitioned its classes to an online format for the remainder of the spring semester, with DMAD following suit — the group’s annual Spring Showcase, which usually occupies a gallery on campus, is now scheduled for a virtual launch on Thursday, April 16, at 10:30 a.m. Guests can tour the virtual gallery here.

“With so much of the world being disrupted right now, we wanted to hold the spring competition as we normally do, and really take the time to celebrate our students and applaud their work,” Strickland said. “This way, a much larger audience can explore the gallery and enjoy our students’ creativity.”

For more information on King University, visit https://www.king.edu.

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B-ROLL OF PRINTER AVAILABLE ON DROPBOX

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/04yl2ln660f976z/AABSdGKxJdMdiFsARcu5ffiKa?dl=0

King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit www.king.edu. King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate in Virginia. King’s primary location in Virginia is Southwest Virginia Community College, 724 Community College Rd, Cedar Bluff, and VA 24609.

King University Transitions to Distance Learning, Delays Commencement

BRISTOL, Tenn., March 24, 2020 — In light of heightened COVID-19 concerns, King University has announced that all remaining classes for the spring 2020 semester will be completed via distance learning.

As an added measure, King will delay its spring commencement ceremony, originally scheduled for May 2. The popular event typically draws thousands of guests to campus for a processional around the campus oval and the announcement of student honors and degrees.

“As we all work toward minimizing risk and maintaining a healthy community, we know it is in the best interest of everyone at King and in our region to keep our on-campus population as small as possible for now,” said Alexander Whitaker, president of the University. “Our hearts are certainly with our students and their families, especially our seniors, as we navigate these challenging days, and we will do everything we can to help ease this transition and celebrate our graduates’ well-earned degrees.”

Although the commencement ceremony will be delayed, the conferring of degrees will take place as scheduled on May 15, 2020, for those who have completed requirements.

King has been proactive in its efforts to preserve the health of students, faculty, and staff. Earlier this month, the University canceled study abroad trips, instituted enhanced cleaning protocols and meal preparation procedures, extended spring break by an additional week, and converted all courses to distance learning platforms. King also created a regularly updated COVID-19 resource page on its website, which can be reviewed here.

An announcement will be made at a future date regarding the rescheduling of commencement.

For more information on King University, visit https://www.king.edu.

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King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit www.king.edu. King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate in Virginia. King’s primary location in Virginia is Southwest Virginia Community College, 724 Community College Rd, Cedar Bluff, and VA 24609.

Washington County Board of Supervisors Appoints Cathy Miller to WCSA Board of Commissioners

ABINGDON, Va. — The Washington County Board of Supervisors has appointed Cathy Miller to serve on the Washington County Service Authority (WCSA) Board of Commissioners, effective immediately. Miller represents the Taylor Election District on the board, and fills the unexpired four-year term of her late uncle, Jim McCall, which began July 1, 2017.

A Washington County native, Miller has lived in the Meadowview community her entire life. She has worked in health care for three decades as a registered radiologic technologist and a certified pedorthist. Miller has served as a Washington County election officer for the past eight years, holds officer positions on the Clinch Mountain District United Methodist Executive Board and the local unit of United Methodist Women, and volunteers with the United Way of Southwest Virginia’s Backpacks Unite Program at Rhea Valley Elementary School. She and her husband, Tony, have two children and three grandchildren.

“On behalf of WCSA and the Board of Commissioners, we are pleased to welcome Cathy Miller to the board,” says Dwain Miller, chairman of the WCSA board. “Cathy is a lifelong resident of the Taylor Election District, and will bring added insight and experience to the table as we work to serve the citizens of Washington County and surrounding areas.”

The WCSA Board of Commissioners includes seven members who represent the Washington County election districts of Harrison, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Taylor, Tyler and Wilson. Along with Dwain Miller, who represents the Tyler District, board members include Vice Chairman David Campbell (Harrison District), Kenneth Taylor (Jefferson District), Kevin Thayer (Madison District), Tim Orfield (Monroe District) and Vernon Smith (Wilson District).

More About WCSA

The WCSA serves approximately 22,000 water connections and 2,300 wastewater connections in Washington County, Virginia, and surrounding areas. The water system consists of an estimated 900 miles of water line, a 12-million-gallon-per-day surface water treatment plant, a 3.1-million-gallon-per-day membrane filtration plant, two springs, one well, 29 pump stations and 22 water storage tanks. The wastewater system consists of approximately 70 miles of wastewater collection lines, 29 lift stations and two wastewater treatment plants. For more information about WCSA, visit www.wcsawater.com.

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For additional information, contact Robbie Cornett,
general manager, at 276-628-7151, ext. 224.