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Sen. Bob Corker among speakers set for ETSU Commencement on Dec. 15

Contributed • Dec 6, 2018 at 12:37 PM

U.S. Senator Bob Corker and Dr. Bethany Flora, incoming president of Northeast State Community College, will be the featured speakers for ETSU’s fall commencement exercises on Saturday, Dec. 15, when more than 1,400 students are expected to graduate.

Two ceremonies are scheduled, with the afternoon ceremony planned for a new time.

Flora will be the speaker during the 10 a.m. ceremony, and Corker will deliver the afternoon address, which will begin at 3 p.m. in order to provide adequate time for graduates and guests of the morning program to vacate the Mini-Dome.

Flora, an associate professor in postsecondary and private leadership through ETSU’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis in the Clemmer College, is the associate director of the Center for Community Leadership and was among the first group of faculty members chosen to the Presidential Fellows Program at ETSU in 2015.

On Nov. 13, the Tennessee Board of Regents approved Flora to be the next president of Northeast State Community College, a role she will assume on January 2, 2019.

Since joining the ETSU faculty in 2011, she has supervised the research of more than 30 doctoral students and taught a variety of courses in the Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis doctoral program, such as “Theories of Administration” and “Technology Applications for Educational Leaders.” An active researcher, Flora serves as associate editor of the International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, a role she’s held since 2010.

Flora holds a Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy studies from Virginia Tech, where she worked as an assistant provost before coming to ETSU. After receiving her B.A. in business and public administration from the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, she earned her M.A. in organization management from Tusculum College.

Corker has represented Tennessee as a United States Senator since 2007. A resident of Chattanooga, Corker chairs the Foreign Relations Committee and has visited more than 70 countries since taking office to gain a deeper understanding of international relations with the U.S. He is also an active member of the Banking Committee and the Budget Committee. A key voice in Congress on housing finance reform, Corker coauthored a bipartisan bill 2013 that has been called the “blueprint” for how our nation’s housing finance system should look in the future.

Prior to being elected to the Senate, he was Tennessee’s Commissioner of Finance and served as mayor of the City of Chattanooga. Earlier this year, Corker announced that he will retire from the Senate at the conclusion of his term.

A graduate of the University of Tennessee, Corker earned a degree in industrial management and at the age of 25, invested $8,000 of his savings to start his own construction company and later expanded its operations to 18 states.

Corker and Elizabeth, his wife of 31 years, have two daughters – Emily Corker and Julia and her husband Justin Spickard – and two grandchildren.

Graduates and guests are encouraged to arrive early to ETSU’s fall commencement ceremonies to accommodate additional security measures, including metal detectors and bag searches. Complete information on commencement for graduating students and the public is available online at http://www.etsu.edu/reg/graduation/ceremony.php.

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