Category Archives: Community

Appalachian dulcimer mini-lesson and demo at Pellissippi State

Those interested in attending an Appalachian dulcimer mini-lesson and demonstration at Pellissippi State Community College can pick from three different dates: July 20, Aug. 8, and Aug. 17.

The demonstration includes dulcimer performances by veteran players, as well as a mini-lesson on how to get started playing the traditional laptop instrument. The cost of each session is $29, and space is limited. The times and dates are 6-8 p.m. July 20, 10-noon Aug. 8 or 6-8 p.m. Aug. 17 at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

To learn more or to register for one of the sessions, visit www.pstcc.edu/bcs or call (865) 539-7167. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at (865) 539-7401 or accommodations@pstcc.edu.

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

Students to undertake video project at Pellissippi State summer camp

Lights. Camera. Claymation.

Pellissippi State Community College invites students in the rising fourth through eighth grades to attend the Double Play summer camp, where they can learn how to create their own Claymation video project in one week.

The camp is 9 a.m.-3 p.m. each day, July 13-17, at the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Cost is $219. Participants need to bring their own lunch, drinks and snacks.

Students will learn the process that major movie studios use to make claymation productions, and they’ll be able to make their own stop-motion animation video from start to finish. That process includes writing scripts, setting up props, taking photographs and creating a video by adding audio to the frame-by-frame movie.

All participants will receive a digital copy of their finished work.

For more information about these and other classes offered by Business and Community Services, visit www.pstcc.edu/bcs or call (865) 539-7167. For more information 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 accommodations@pstcc.edu.

Keurig Green Mountain, Pellissippi State partner to train employees

Row of males standing in front of a Pellissippi State Community College logo.
Keurig Green Mountain Inc. employees completed an industry-specific workforce development program at Pellissippi State Community College in late May. Pictured, in no order, are graduates Kevin Anderson, Marshall Boyd, Stanley Burgin, Robert Coleman, John Fronczak, Damien Kerr, John LaForge, Tim Mabry, Daniel North, Teddy Phillips, Rodney Reynolds, Josh Sicotte, Stephen Strader and Jeremiah Williams.

Pellissippi State Community College celebrated its first cohort of students completing an industry-specific workforce development program in late May.

The short-term certificate program was designed for Keurig Green Mountain Inc. employees to train them to install, troubleshoot and maintain industrial electrical systems. The curriculum was built through partnerships between Pellissippi State’s Engineering and Media Technologies department and Business and Community Services division with Keurig Green Mountain’s continuous learning department.

“We are pleased to work with our local employers to provide the training and education their employees need to be successful and productive,” said Teri Brahams, executive director of Economic and Workforce Development. “We can do that by either fully customizing a solution or packaging existing course offerings to accomplish the company’s workforce development needs.”

In this case, 14 Keurig employees earned 10 credits toward an Associate of Applied Science degree in Engineering Technology with a concentration in Electrical Engineering. The specialized Keurig certificate is based on Pellissippi State’s Electric Systems Technology certificate.

The Pellissippi State program serves as the model for similar partnerships Keurig Green Mountain is launching across the country with other community colleges.

The 14 graduates are Kevin Anderson, Marshall Boyd, Stanley Burgin, Robert Coleman, John Fronczak, Damien Kerr, John LaForge, Tim Mabry, Daniel North, Teddy Phillips, Rodney Reynolds, Josh Sicotte, Stephen Strader and Jeremiah Williams.

To learn more about the college’s workforce training opportunities, visit www.pstcc.edu/bcs or call (865) 539-7167. For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Three-time Pellissippi State student finds promise in new degrees

Brenda Hale

Brenda Hale has probably experienced a heavier dose of work-world reality than most of Pellissippi State Community College’s 10,000-plus students.

The 54-year-old single mother is attending the college for the third time in nearly four decades, with a firsthand understanding of the fickleness of the economy and of employers’ needs for well-rounded, well-educated employees.

“I’ve been downsized and I’ve been laid off, but I know I can come back to Pellissippi State and update my education if I need to,” Hale said. “Pellissippi State reflects real life.”

Hale first graduated from Pellissippi State in 1980, only four years after the institution opened as State Technical Institute at Knoxville. She graduated with a degree in Construction Engineering Technology and was immediately hired by TVA. She went to work on construction at the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant near Spring City, but when that phase of work was completed, TVA laid off the construction team.

So Hale returned to Pellissippi State. She earned a second degree, this time in Computer Integrated Drafting and Design, in 1990. She worked for businesses around East Tennessee using that degree for nearly 20 years — until her position was downsized during the recession in 2008.

“I took some time off then to spend with my son, who was young,” Hale said, “and I went back to work part time. But now my son is older, and I’m looking for full-time work again. Since the recession, the CAD [computer-aided drafting] workers that businesses needed before now need to know new programs, like SolidWorks.”

So Hale once again enrolled at Pellissippi State.

“Pellissippi State is familiar and it’s convenient, and I know that the education I receive here is going to be what employers are looking for. They need people who know how to use SolidWorks, so that’s what Pellissippi State is offering now.”

Hale is now in the Engineering Technology/Mechanical Engineering degree program. She’s also studying additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, while she’s here.

“I love what I do — I love drafting,” Hale said. “I’ve always been interested in houses and building things, and I’ve never been tired of this job. It’s wonderful to see what was manufactured from my drawings. Things like 3D printing are the new iterations of what I do.”

“Technology is pulling everything forward,” said Pat Riddle, program coordinator of Engineering Technology/Mechanical Engineering at Pellissippi State. “Continuing education or training on the job is going to be necessary in many fields in the future, as employees find they have to keep up with changing programs and knowledge.”

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

Regional, national Math Bowl wins garnered by Pellissippi State

Pellissippi State Community College’s students have earned the college top spots in the 2015 regional and national Student Mathematics League competition.

In the Southeast region’s final standings, Pellissippi State finished third out of 25 schools. Nationally, the college was 43rd of 188. Of Pellissippi State’s student competitors, Shreyas Muralidharan took third place in the Southeast, with Joseph Allston 12th and Harrison Smith 18th.

“This was our second highest finish ever,” said Bobby Jackson, an associate professor of Mathematics. “This is a very challenging math contest, and we are proud of our students’ accomplishments.”

Pellissippi State had 138 students take part in the contest. In the first round of competition, the Southeast regional in October, the top five Pellissippi State students in the contest were Muralidharan, Allston, Chase Toth, John Simmins and Liana Hu. In the second round, the national in February, the top five from the college were Muralidharan, John Jones, Smith, Son Quang and Kevin Konopka.

Each year the contest consists of two rounds, one during the fall semester and one during the spring semester. Students are tested in many areas of mathematics, including geometry, trigonometry, algebra, probability and logic. Each round includes an exam of 20 multiple-choice questions. Students can use a calculator but no notebook or textbook.

Pellissippi State — thanks to a grant from Oak Ridge Associated Universities — awards its top finishers in each subject with additional cash prizes.

Pellissippi State has taken part in the Student Mathematics League Contest for at least 14 years. The contest is sponsored by the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges.

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

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.