College Notes:

Middle East photographs on exhibit at Maryville College
David Young, a former staff photographer for the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s Office of Communications, has traveled in the Middle East five times since 2000, capturing the images of people in places like Iraq, Israel, Palestine, Egypt and Lebanon.

Approximately 40 of his photographic portrayals will be on exhibit in Maryville College’s Fine Arts Center gallerya Nov. 6 through Dec. 1. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The photographer refers to the exhibit as "The Middle East: People like us?only different."

According to his artist’s statement for the exhibit, Young hopes the photographs will encourage viewers to see themselves in the subjects.

"The Middle East is a general phrase, but the people there are not," the statement reads. "Though they may be strangers and have different cultural and religious patterns, they are like people anywhere who have family, jobs, schools and national identities.

Young will also be the final speaker in the college’s Community Conversations Series for the semester. Young’s presentation, "A Photographer’s View of the Middle East," is scheduled for 7 p.m., Nov. 7 in the Fine Arts Center Music Hall. The presentation is free and open to the public.

For more information on the art exhibit, contact the college’s Fine Arts Division at 865-981-8150.

‘Underneath the Lintel’ to be performed at MC
"Underneath the Lintel," a one-man play written by Glen Berger, will be performed Nov. 16-19 at Maryville College.

The play, sponsored by the college’s Alpha Psi Omega theatre honor society, is being produced as part of MC theatre major Evan Williams’ creative Senior Study project. It will be performed in the Maryville College Theater, located in Wilson Chapel, and curtain time is scheduled for 8 p.m. Nov. 16-18, and at 2 p.m., Nov. 19.

One of the distinctive features of a Maryville education, the Senior Study requirement calls for students to complete a two-semester research and writing project that is guided by a faculty supervisor. According to the college’s catalog, the Senior Study: The Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression program "facilitates the scholarship of discovery within the major field and integrates those methods with the educational goals fostered through the Maryville Curriculum."

According to Dr. Heather McMahon, assistant professor of theatre and Williams’ advisor, the college previously called the Senior Study requirement "senior thesis." The name change reflected a broadening of the kind of work students could complete as a part of the six-credit-hour requirement. Last year, senior Libby Pemberton was one of the first students to take a more creative approach to the Senior Study. She undertook researching, translating, casting and directing a Brazilian play, "Sinless," as her Senior Study at the College.

Williams builds on her example this fall.

"Underneath the Lintel" introduces the audience to a Dutch librarian who arrives at his post one morning to find a mystery waiting in the overnight return box a copy of a Baedeker’s guidebook that is 123 years overdue. In his efforts to track down the errant borrower, the librarian hero leaves his native town of Hoofddorp for the first time and travels to China, Germany and America. Though he squanders his vacation days, eats too many sweets and suffers through no fewer than three productions of "Les Miserables," the librarian has the time of his life.

Starring as the only character, Williams, the son of Scott and Jayne Williams of Franklin, Tenn., admits the role is a challenge.

"The most interesting but also difficult thing about this is relying on only myself," said the 2003 graduate of Columbia’s Spring Hill High School.

Always "intrigued and captivated by underdog characters that go against the odds to achieve their goals," the student said he chose this play because of the personality of the main character, the librarian.

Along with his solo performance, Williams has researched different acting methods and techniques for another aspect of his Senior Study. He has written one chapter on his study of acting techniques and after his "Underneath the Lintel"
performance, he will write another chapter about how these techniques affected his presentation.

Assisting Williams are Nicci Williamson, a junior theatre major who directs the play and Malinda Taylor, a first-year English major who was selected as the stage manager.

Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for seniors (60 years old and older) and students, MC faculty and staff, theatre alumni, and area students under 18 years of age. MC students are admitted free with student identification.
For more information contact the Maryville College Theatre Department at 865-981-8161.

MC’s Emily Edwards named FTE Undergraduate Fellow
Emily Edwards, a senior history major at Maryville College, has been named a 2006 Undergraduate Fellow by The Fund for Theological Education (FTE). Edwards is one of 70 students from across the country who has been awarded a fellowship as part of the fund’s efforts to encourage gifted young people to explore ministry as a vocation.

The 2006 FTE Undergraduate Fellows represent 24 denominations, 59 graduate educational institutions and diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds.

Fellows must hold a 3.0 cumulative grade point average, demonstrate gifts for leadership and be a junior or senior at an accredited college or university. Edwards has received a $1,500 stipend to be used in this academic year for educational expenses or a special experience related to ministry and additional funds to support a mentoring relationship.

Undergraduate Fellowships also covered expenses to attend the FTE Conference on Excellence in Ministry, "The Promise of Ministry," held this summer at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Austin, Texas.

As part of her Undergraduate Fellowship, Edwards, the daughter of Diane Edwards of Murfreesboro, Tenn., and a 2003 graduate of Oakland High School, is working with the youth at Maryville’s New Providence Presbyterian Church. Mentored by Mark Curtis, New Providence’s associate pastor for youth and young adult ministries, she participates in youth group meetings and helps plan retreats and special events for the church’s youth.

Edwards said she is considering enrolling in seminary following graduation from MC and feels "blessed" to have had the additional opportunities provided by the FTE Fellowship.

"FTE has helped me to realize the many spheres in which ministry can take place," she said. "I have looked forward to theological education for some time now, but after attending the FTE conference, I can’t wait to get started."

Curtis said Edwards’ gifts for ministry were apparent to him the first time he met her, but that they "continue to present themselves more fully" as she continues to work with the youth group.

"Emily brings a strong faith and great sense of humor in her work with the youth programs at New Providence," he said. "Her interaction with the youth is always sincere and honest, as she meets them where they are."

In addition to being an FTE Fellow, Edwards is the recipient of Maryville College’s Isaac Anderson Fellowship for Church Leadership. Awarded to first-year students, Isaac Anderson Fellowships were first awarded in 2002 as part of the college’s Initiative on Vocation. Instituted to attract academically strong students who have demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities and show interest in and promise for leadership in the church, the fellowship is currently valued at $18,000 for each year for four years or eight semesters and is renewable with a 3.25 cumulative GPA and leadership program participation.

As an advisor to Isaac Anderson Fellows, the Rev. Anne D. McKee, campus minister at Maryville College, knew of Edwards’ work and interests, and recommended her application to the FTE.

FTE supporting next generation of church leaders
FTE Undergraduate Fellowships are awarded annually to help improve the supply, quality and diversity of young candidates for ministry.

There is a need to attract quality candidates to ministry. Recent studies show a significant decline across most Christian denominations in numbers of clergy under age 35. Other reports indicate declining interest among seminary students in answering the call to ministry. Today, only about half of seminary students plan to be ordained and serve a local congregation.

"We know that congregations nationwide have increasing needs for exceptional leaders, and many denominations face a potential shortage of young ordained clergy," said Melissa Wiginton, vice president for FTE Ministry Programs and Planning. "We are proud to name Emily as a 2006 FTE Undergraduate Fellow and to support her in considering ministry as a vocation. She has demonstrated leadership abilities, gifts for ministry, a commitment to service, and a record of high academic achievement."

FTE is a leading ecumenical advocate for excellence and diversity in Christian ministry and theological scholarship. It supports the next generation of leaders among pastors and scholars, providing fellowships and a network of support to gifted young people from all denominations and racial/ethnic backgrounds. FTE has awarded $1.3 million in fellowships in 2006.

The fund is also a resource for educational and faith communities, offering programs to help encourage highly capable candidates to explore vocations in ministry and teaching. Since 1954, the Atlanta-based organization has awarded more than 5,700 fellowships in partnership with others committed to quality leadership for the church. Information about FTE
fellowships is available on the Web at www.thefund.org.

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