Category Archives: Community

Trevis Gardner named Pellissippi State’s 2015 Distinguished Alumni

Trevis Gardner

For Trevis Gardner, Pellissippi State Community College’s 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award winner, success is all about building relationships.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is given to an individual in recognition of significant professional achievement, service to the community, and support of the college and the Pellissippi State Foundation. The 1991 graduate was presented the award at a recent Alumni Association luncheon at the college.

Gardner is vice president of operations for the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority. He oversees nearly every tangible aspect of the airport experience — from parking to buying a ticket to getting on a plane and leaving and coming back to Knoxville — not only at McGhee Tyson Airport but also at Downtown Island Airport.

The MKAA is responsible for creating the business environment that allows the hundreds of airport vendors to engage with customers. Every layer of service between the MKAA and the passengers falls under Gardner’s purview.

But the technical responsibilities aren’t what Gardner talks about — it’s the relationships.

“I manage people from entry-level positions to folks who are much smarter than I am,” he said. “I get to have a lot of different relationships with people. I feel like I’m in the Tower of London making sure the crown jewels are safe. The organization trusts me to make sure I take care of these people.”

Gardner earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Civil Engineering Technology from what was then Pellissippi State Technical Community College and later earned a surveying certificate. He served in the U.S. Air Force and Tennessee Air National Guard from 1987 to 2011, and he has worked for the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority since 1991.

According to Gardner, his grades weren’t exactly those of a model student when he initially enrolled at Pellissippi State.

“I should not have gone to community college, should not have gone to university, should not have graduated, by all statistical measures,” Gardner said.

But after he came to Pellissippi State on the GI Bill, his mindset changed.

“I loved learning at Pellissippi State,” he said. “I felt like I was home. My time at Pellissippi State was some of the most fun I ever had.”

Besides working for the airport authority, Gardner is also very active in the community, particularly in his native Blount County. He has served on the Blount County Board of Education and the board of the Adult Education Foundation of Blount County. He has worked as a tutor for the GED Preparation Program at the Blount County Justice Center, as well as with many other organizations and causes.

“This year, there were three candidates for this award,” said Peggy Wilson, vice president of College Advancement and executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation. “A committee of Foundation board members reviewed the nominations and felt Trevis was the best candidate. We congratulate him!”

To learn about the benefits of being part of the Pellissippi State Alumni Association, visit www.pstcc.edu/alumni or call (865) 539-7275.

Pellissippi State hosts June 18 ‘MakerPalooza’ for creators of all ages

male holding a pole with a quadcopter attached
Pellissippi State Community College student Seth Giles poses with the “LawnShark,” a drone that he and other Pellissippi State students “hacked” into a weedeater during the Hack Tennessee event earlier this month. Giles and others at Pellissippi State are planning a similar event, MakerPalooza, open to creators of all types, which will be held June 18.

Calling all makers of doodads and inventors of thingamajigs — everyone is welcome to submit his or her creations at Pellissippi State Community College’s inaugural MakerPalooza in June.

MakerPalooza brings together creative sorts of all ages to show off their work. Perhaps it’s a computer program or a 3D printed item. Or a painting or sculpture. Or a remote-controlled vehicle, a hack, a rocket or a delicious cake. Bottom line: If it’s original and created, fabricated or otherwise made by an individual, Pellissippi State welcomes the creator to register.

“If you made it, bring it,” said Sarah Graham, student success coach for the Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping Center of East Tennessee (aka, AMP!) grant at Pellissippi State and a planner of the event.

Register as a maker at www.pstcc.edu/emt. Space for participants to present their projects is limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

The free event is Thursday, June 18, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. MakerPalooza is open to the community and is free to attend. The event is sponsored by Pellissippi State’s Engineering and Media Technologies Department.

Graham and Seth Giles, a student in the department, are planning MakerPalooza. They, along with Thanh Duong and Brenda Hale, also EMT students, recently participated at a similar event, Hack Tennessee in Nashville.

There, the group “hacked” a DJI Phantom 2 Quadcopter drone into a weed trimmer.

“Hack Tennessee was set up to help local people who had problems to ask teams of people, like our students from Pellissippi State, to help solve them. The man we helped needed a new way to use drones that had become technologically obsolete,” Hale said.

Pellissippi State’s team worked with a programmer to reprogram the drone to operate upside down, then used a 3D printer and everyday equipment from a hardware store to turn the drone into their super-powered weed trimmer, which they named the “LawnShark.”

For more information about MakerPalooza, visit www.pstcc.edu/emt.

For more about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at (865) 539-7401 or jpshipwash@pstcc.edu.

Summer 3D printing course for young women hosted by Pellissippi State

Hey, young women, want to make your own 3D printer this summer?

Pellissippi State Community College is offering a hands-on 3D printing class — for young females exclusively — June 8-12.

In MakeHERSpace, one of the college’s summer camp classes, female students who are rising eighth- through 12th-graders will discover about everything related to 3D printing. Students will learn how to use the beginner-friendly modeling program SketchUp, as well as assemble — and keep — their own 3D printer along with a basic toolkit and starter supplies.

MakeHERSpace is 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. each day at the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The class costs $450. Reserve a space at www.pstcc.edu/bcs.

Students in MakeHERSpace also have an opportunity to tour the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and to receive mentoring from women in engineering- and technology-related fields. Even after the course is over, students will have access to thousands of free 3D designs they can print at home.

“This class is specially created for young women,” said Lynn Klett, a Pellissippi State instructor in Engineering and Media Technologies who is teaching the summer camp class.

“So often, engineering or manufacturing have this stigma of being ‘masculine’ or intimidating. But we want women to understand that they can invent, create, make. They can do anything they want to do.”

MakeHERSpace is sponsored through a NASA National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program grant. The grant seeks to boost enrollment in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields among women and underrepresented students. The funding also pays for scholarships and other recruitment and retention activities.

For more information about this and other summer camp classes offered by the college’s Business and Community Services Division, visit www.pstcc.edu/bcs or call (865) 539-7167. To request accommodations for a disability, email accommodations@pstcc.edu.

To learn more about 3D printing and Pellissippi State’s Engineering Technology degree program, visit www.pstcc.edu/emt or call (865) 694-6400.

Two-for-one special on handgun carry-permit class at Pellissippi State

Pellissippi State Community College offers its popular Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit class this month at a special two-for-one price.

The class is sure to fill up quickly, thanks to the two-for-one rate on the Saturday, May 16, session at the Hardin Valley Campus. The eight-hour course begins at 8 a.m.

The non-credit course is being offered through Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services Division at the rate of $65 for any two students who register at the same time. Space is limited, and one person must register both students simultaneously in order for the two-for-one rate to apply.

Those who complete the eight-hour course satisfactorily can apply for a state carry permit. Completion of this or another related training course is required before applying for a Tennessee handgun carry permit.

The Pellissippi State course covers handgun parts, function, and operation; safety, cleaning, and storage; legal responsibilities of carrying a handgun; course review and testing; and firing range exercises.

Included are classroom instruction in the morning and range training after lunch. The person leading the class is certified both as a firearms instructor with the National Rifle Association and as a handgun instructor with the state of Tennessee.

The course meets at the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road, for classroom instruction. Range training in the afternoon takes place at a designated location off campus. Students must supply their own gun and ammunition. A $5 range fee for each student is payable to the instructor during class.

For information or registration, visit www.pstcc.edu/bcs or call (865) 539-7167. The BCS website lists updated class schedules and information on new course offerings. To request accommodations for a disability, email accommodations@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State partners with Town of Farragut at outdoor classroom

Rachael ReevesPellissippi State Community College students in a geology course are working at the town of Farragut’s outdoor classroom to study soil porosity and the hydrologic cycle and to build a rain garden.

“The projects at the outdoor classroom are led by the groups that come here,” said Jason Scott, Farragut’s stormwater engineer. “Pellissippi State has been great to work with. They’re coming in to test the soil, come up with concept plans and follow the whole process of building a garden.”

Sarah Drummond, a Geology adjunct faculty member at Pellissippi State, had her students at the garden in early February to take soil samples and study how quickly water drains from East Tennessee’s clay soil. This month, Drummond hopes her class—in addition to others from Pellissippi State—will be able to plant a rain garden at the site.

“I’ve loved the hands-on experience that the outdoor classroom has given us,” said Rachael Reeves, a student in Drummond’s class. “Sometimes it’s hard to relate what you learn in the classroom to real life, and this class has definitely broken that mold.”

Kathleen Affholter, an associate professor in Geology, travels with her class from Pellissippi State’s Blount County Campus to Farragut’s outdoor classroom.

“We’re taking soil samples and testing porosity and permeability, and those tests are more meaningful when the students have collected the soil themselves,” Affholter said. “It’s a great learning experience to have hands-on knowledge of what can be an abstract experiment.”

Affholter is using technology, including a storytelling app called Shadow Puppet, to help her students document their experiments. Landon Lowe and Catherine Metler created a short video in February to show their experiment.

Pellissippi State’s partnership with the town of Farragut began in 2014 with Caroline Erickson, also a Geology adjunct faculty member.

“I was looking for a project that would tie in what students were studying in the classroom with hands-on learning in a setting that would benefit both the students and the community,” Erickson said. “Students will carry out various projects in the demonstration space: they will study the soil’s porosity and permeability and finally install the plants at the outdoor classroom.”

Farragut’s outdoor classroom is located near Farragut High School off Campbell Station Road. With the help of grant funds, the outdoor classroom showcases native plantings, rainwater collection systems and water quality.

For more information about Pellissippi State and its many programs, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Mobile Mammography Unit at Pellissippi State April 27

Pellissippi State Community College hosts the University of Tennessee Medical Center’s Mobile Mammography Unit Monday, April 27.

Digital screenings are available to the public 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

To qualify for screening, participants should be over age 40 with no current breast problems, no personal history of breast cancer and no breast implants. Participants also are required to have had their last mammogram no less than one year prior to the April 27 screening.

Insurance is filed for each participant. Participants over 40 who don’t have insurance may contact UT’s Breast Health Outreach Program to discuss options to cover the cost. To schedule an appointment or find out more, call the Breast Health Outreach Program at (865) 305-9753.

The Mobile Mammography Unit will offer digital screening mammograms at the Hardin Valley Campus again June 8 and Nov. 20.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Faculty to read original poetry at Pellissippi State

In honor of National Poetry Month, Pellissippi State Community College is celebrating its own faculty poets.

The college presents a Faculty Poetry Reading at 1 p.m. Friday, April 17, in the Goins Building Auditorium at the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

The free event is open to the community.

The presentation features the poetry of several faculty members, and each poet-professor will read one or two original works. Featured faculty members are Edward Francisco, Patricia Ireland, Nicholas Morgan, Keith Norris, Barbara Anne Pharr, Heather Schroeder and Charles White.

“We want to enable our students in particular to see what talented faculty we have,” said Francisco, professor of English and writer-in-residence at Pellissippi State. “When they’re in the classroom, they might not know the talent of the person who is teaching them.

“Plus, April is Shakespeare’s birthday month. We couldn’t let that month go by without a celebration of language and literature at Pellissippi State.”

For more information about the event, call (865) 694-6638. To learn more about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Family Literacy Night at Pellissippi State open to families of preschoolers

East Tennessee families of preschool students are invited to the free Family Literacy Night at Pellissippi State Community College 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, April 14. This event is held in the Educational Resources Center, room 120, on the Hardin Valley Campus. The college’s Language and Literacy in Early Childhood class is hosting the inaugural event.

The class’ students are planning a number of literacy activities tailored to preschool children and their families. The evening will include four activity stations, each of which is based on an individual book theme, and the event will feature a book walk, door prizes, and other child-friendly activities.

“Our students are responsible for creating and implementing activities for preschoolers and their families, as well as decorating their areas,” said Hope Denny, an instructor in Early Childhood Education. “I’ve had a lot of positive feedback from students so far, and we hope that this will be the start of an annual event.”

Family Literacy Night is supported by the local chapter of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The event celebrates the national Week of the Young Child, which is sponsored by the NAEYC.

“We wanted our students to be part of this national observance by putting what they’ve learned in class into practice,” said Denny. “Family Literacy Night is a great opportunity for our students to connect both with children and their parents.”

For more information about the event and Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Genealogy, women’s self-defense, estate planning— Pellissippi State hosts array of non-credit classes in April and May

Trace your family history. Take up digital photography. Discover the serenity of fly-fishing.

Sign up now for one or several of these fun and informative non-credit classes offered at Pellissippi State Community College in April and May. All classes are at the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road, unless otherwise specified.

  • Basic Genealogy—Tuesdays, April 7-May 12, 6:30-9 p.m. Find out how to trace your family tree. Cost is $75.
  • Introduction to Color Theory—Wednesdays, April 8-May 13, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Study color theory and complete a painting. Cost is $120.
  • Playing With Copper: Torch-Fired Enamels—Mondays, April 13-May 18, 6:30-9 p.m. Discover how to fire traditional enamels on copper. Cost is $130 plus a $40 materials fee.
  • Beyond Basic Digital Photography—Thursdays, April 9-23, 6:15-8:15 p.m. on the Hardin Valley Campus or Thursdays, April 30-May 14, 6:15-8:15 p.m. at the Blount County Campus, 2731 W. Lamar Alexander Parkway. Learn basic digital photography techniques. Cost is $119.
  • Women’s Self-Defense: Reduce the Odds—Saturday, April 11, 1-3:30 p.m. Open to women over age 18. Learn self-defense based on the Women’s Empowerment Series’ Girls on Guard module. Cost is $40.
  • Tennessee Estate Planning, Beyond the Basics: The Importance and Flexibility of Trusts—Thursday, April 23, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Discover the many types of trusts. Cost is $29.
  • Flyfish 101—Saturday, April 18, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. or Saturday, May 16, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Learn the basics of fly-fishing. Cost is $85.

For more information about these and other classes offered by the college’s Business and Community Services Division, visit www.pstcc.edu/bcs or call (865) 539-7167. To request accommodations for a disability, email accommodations@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State: TSBDC receives $5,000 from First Tennessee Foundation

The Knoxville office of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center, which is administered by Pellissippi State Community College, has received a $5,000 grant through the Pellissippi State Foundation from the First Tennessee Foundation. The First Tennessee Foundation has given to the TSBDC’s First Tennessee Resource Center for more than 20 years.

“The funds from the First Tennessee Foundation over the years have funded a small library, upgraded the TSBDC training room, and maintained the First Tennessee Resource Center’s business software and support equipment,” said Larry Rossini, director of the Knoxville TSBDC. Upgrades to the training room include dual-screen technology for instructional programs like QuickBooks Reports and Google My Business.

“Without these generous funds from the First Tennessee Foundation, we could not provide the quality service we offer to the business community,” Rossini said.

TSBDC’s First Tennessee Resource Center opened in 1993 using funds from a $10,000 grant from the First Tennessee Foundation, along with matching federal funds. It is open to anyone, free of charge, and provides computer and Internet access, as well as printing and faxing capabilities and a library of business-related books. The Resource Center serves a broad spectrum of clients, including entrepreneurs, businesspeople and researchers.

Recent users of local TSBDC services include Bobby Nicholson, owner of Outliers Advantage In-Home Tutoring, who received help to apply for a government grant to tutor military veterans, and Umoja Abdul-Ahad, executive director of Project 2000 Inc.

“We appreciate the TSBDC staff and facility for this priceless service provided to the community,” said Abdul-Ahad.

“As a result of the generosity of the First Tennessee Foundation,” said Peggy Wilson, “the TSBDC has been able to continually upgrade the TSBDC Resource Center and classroom with the latest business-related hardware and software.” Wilson is vice president of College Advancement and executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation.

“None of this would have been possible without the generous support of the First Tennessee Foundation.”

The Pellissippi State Foundation works to provide student scholarships and emergency loans, as well as to improve college facilities and secure new equipment. For more information about the Foundation, visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation or call (865) 694-6528.

For more about TSBDC, visit www.tsbdc.org/pscc or call (865) 246-2663.