Category Archives: Students

Pellissippi State’s inaugural Gamma Beta Phi class also honor society’s largest

portrait of femaleDoneisha Wilburn was one of 176 students at Pellissippi State Community College inducted into the national Gamma Beta Phi Society earlier this school year.

The induction was Pellissippi State’s inaugural Gamma Beta Phi class—it was also the biggest community college class in the 40,000-plus-member honor society.

“Pellissippi State had the largest community college induction in the entire organization,” said Kevin Fillers. Fillers, himself a Pellissippi State alumnus, is assistant national executive director of Gamma Beta Phi.

“Gamma Beta Phi sets out to recognize and enrich the lives of academically excellent students who are willing to make a commitment to improving their community through service projects.”

Wilburn, who is pursuing a career in social work, is set to earn her associate’s degree in May.

“I was honored to be named to Gamma Beta Phi,” she said. “It’s the first time I’ve ever been involved in an honors society.”

The Gamma Beta Phi Society is dedicated to promoting education and providing community service to colleges and communities. Pellissippi State’s first Gamma Beta Phi induction took place in October 2014.

The college’s Gamma Beta Phi chapter is one of several student clubs that offer the opportunity for students to give back to the community and be honored for their academic achievements.

“When students get involved in a club, they feel connected to Pellissippi State for years to come,” said Kim Thomas-LaRue, director of Student Life. “Our goal is to lead students to connect and engage on campus so that their academic experience is enhanced.”

Wilburn is active in Student Life and is a member of the college’s Student Activities Board, which plans campus events for students. She says both organizations keep her busy on campus, but she loves opportunities to get to know people and to help.

“It’s an honor to do that: to help out around campus as much as we can,” said Wilburn. “It’s busy, but it’s fun and good to be involved and to help students.

“I started at another community college in Nashville before moving back home and coming to Pellissippi State, but that ended up being the best thing for me. Pellissippi State has helped me start out well on my academic path.”

After Wilburn graduates in May, she plans to transfer to Tennessee State University, where she will continue working toward a bachelor’s degree in social work.

“I love to help people. Knowing that you made an impact and that you changed someone’s life for the better is always a rewarding feeling.”

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

April 18 open house at Pellissippi State for adult learners

Pellissippi State Community College hosts a special open house for adult learners 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, April 18.

The open house is free and takes place in the College Center of the Goins Administration Building on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Adult students (those age 24 or older) are invited.

RSVP to attend the open house at www.pstcc.edu/adult.

Participants may bring copies of their transcripts for an informal evaluation of potential college credit. The event also will include information sessions throughout the day:

  • 10:15-11 a.m. and 12:15-1 p.m.—“Affording College as an Adult Learner, Prior Learning Assessment, and Transferring In and Transferring Out”
  • 11:15-noon—Programming for Adult Student Support, a program that supports degree attainment for nontraditional students at Pellissippi State

Additional information about academic departments, services, workforce development, veterans’ services, and access and diversity will be presented as well.

Pellissippi State Community College makes going back to school easier for adult learners by providing unique pathways and services for nontraditional students. The college offers many scholarships and grants for adult students, and additional financial aid is available to students who are eligible. With prior learning assessment, adult learners can receive college credit for experiences ranging from career and military training to volunteer work.

Adult students can take classes at their convenience through online learning and alternative scheduling. Some programs also are offered as cohorts, in which groups of students progress through a degree program together. Created with busy parents and working students in mind, accelerated pathway cohorts allow students go to school part time, yet earn a degree more quickly, thanks to shorter-length courses.

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 Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Eighth annual Festival of Cultures at Pellissippi State celebrates diversity

graphic with dragon that says culture and diversityFood, music and festivities will fill the evening as Pellissippi State Community College celebrates diversity at its eighth annual Festival of Cultures Friday, April 10.

The event is 4-8:30 p.m. in the College Center on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The Festival of Cultures is free to attend. The community is invited.

“Each year, the Festival of Cultures promotes a wide array of cultural experiences,” said Gayle Wood, director of Access and Diversity, the office that plans the event. “We hope each event encourages our students, faculty and staff members, and the community at large to look at the world from a new cultural perspective.”

At the Festival of Cultures, attendees will receive a Festival Passport booklet. As they browse cultural booths and exhibits, they’ll receive stickers representing various countries to place in their passports.

The event features performances by the Carib Sounds Steel Band, Caribbean Dancers of Atlanta, Chinese Dancers of Atlanta and Hardin Valley Thunder, Pellissippi State’s student bluegrass ensemble.

Additionally, the Festival of Cultures offers children’s activities such as balloon art, glitter tattoos and face painting, a magic show, exhibits from Pellissippi State’s own international students, and international food.

Festival of Cultures is one of the events that make up the college’s arts and culture series, The Arts at Pellissippi State. The series brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts. This year, the arts series commemorates Pellissippi State’s 40th anniversary.

For more information on the festival and other arts series events, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts 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.

Free open house at Pellissippi State’s Blount County Campus

Pellissippi State Community College’s Blount County Campus hosts the free “Sneak Peek” Open House for prospective students and their families 4:30-6 p.m. Thursday, April 9.

The campus is located at 2731 W. Lamar Alexander Parkway.

Students will receive all the information they need for a smooth entrance into college life: info on admissions, financial aid, services for students with disabilities, dual enrollment and degrees. Details about educational and training opportunities offered through the college’s non-credit division, Business and Community Services, also will be provided.

Guests can take a tour of the 70,485-square-foot, two-story facility, and light refreshments will be served.

To learn more about the open house, call (865) 981-5300. 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 Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State offers path to engineering tech bachelor’s degree

When President Barack Obama visited East Tennessee in January, he introduced America’s College Promise and launched a manufacturing innovation hub—both with ties to Pellissippi State Community College.

“We’re launching these hubs around the country, and the concept is simple: We bring businesses, research universities, community colleges, and state, local, and federal governments together, and we figure out, where are some key opportunities for manufacturing in the future, how do we get out in front of the curve, how do we make sure everybody is working together,” Obama said during his speech at Techmer PM in Clinton.

Pellissippi State has provided workforce development training for Techmer PM in recent years. The College and Techmer PM also are partners in a $15 million U.S. Department of Labor grant awarded to the Multi-State Advanced Manufacturing Consortium. The funding is directed toward helping workers who are displaced, unemployed or underemployed, particularly those in the manufacturing industry.

Pellissippi State has launched a number of programs and courses designed to meet those needs.

One of those initiatives is the College’s articulation agreement with Austin Peay State University in Clarksville. Under the partnership, a student can earn an associate’s degree in Engineering Technology through Pellissippi State, then a bachelor’s degree in either Manufacturing Engineering Technology or Mechanical Engineering Technology through Austin Peay—without ever leaving the Hardin Valley Campus.

“I think our partnership with Austin Peay is one that will help close the gap in manufacturing skills in the region,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president. “It allows our students to move seamlessly from a community college to a four-year university to earn an applied bachelor’s degree, then enter the workforce with much-needed job skills.”

The program’s first 15 students are set to graduate from Pellissippi State this year. They’ll enroll at Austin Peay in the fall as juniors.

Students in the program first earn an Associate of Applied Science degree from Pellissippi State, then continue on to earn a Bachelor of Science from Austin Peay. All four years of classes are taught at the Hardin Valley Campus, by both Pellissippi State and Austin Peay faculty.

The program is designed for working students, and it meets the demand for engineering graduates with a bachelor’s degree in East Tennessee.

“Other opportunities like this do not exist in this region,” said Pat Riddle, Pellissippi State’s Mechanical Engineering/Engineering Technology program coordinator. “Pellissippi State and Austin Peay provide local employers with trained, educated professionals with a bachelor’s degree credential.”

“It’s important that we deliver the academic portion and the follow-up: that our graduates are able to find meaningful job opportunities in the fields they’ve studied,” said William Cox, executive director of the School of Technology and Public Management at Austin Peay.

Registration for fall courses at Pellissippi State, including those in the Engineering Technology partnership with Austin Peay, begins in April.

For more information about the partnership program, contact Cindy Fowinkle, an assistant professor and program coordinator of Engineering Technology at Austin Peay at Pellissippi State, at (865) 694-7651. For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State: Student photography show open through March 20

A student photography exhibit on display through Friday, March 20, at Pellissippi State Community College features the works of second-year students in the college’s art classes.

The photography show is free, and the community is invited. The exhibit is in the Bagwell Center for Media and Art on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Exhibit hours are 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. The event closes with a reception.

“There will be a variety of genres and techniques shown in both black-and-white and color photographs,” said Ron Goodrich, assistant professor and Photography/Media Technologies program coordinator. “All of the images will be archival digital prints.”

The closing reception is 4-6 p.m. Thursday, March 19. Reception attendees will have the chance to meet students whose artwork is featured.

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

Pellissippi State event showcases student speeches

Student speeches will be the focus of an event Thursday, March 19, at Pellissippi State Community College.

The second annual Student Speech Showcase will be held from 7-9 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

Student speakers at the event include Hayden Bright, Kayla Lochman, Kyle McGee, Austin Smith and Priscilla Wilson. Lochman will deliver an informative talk titled “Connected or Lonely,” and McGee will persuade his audience that “Your Words DO Matter: The Power of Cyber Hate.” Smith will deliver a speech titled “Slow Down for a Healthy Future.” The other students also will deliver speeches either in the informative or persuasive styles. Each speech is between five and eight minutes long.

The event will feature a Skype interview with Steven Beebe, a professor at Texas State University, who will give a talk entitled “Communicating Well and the Search for Verbs.”

Beebe is author and coauthor of twelve books, many of which are used as textbooks at hundreds of higher education institutions across the world. He and his wife, Susan Beebe, are coauthors of “Public Speaking: An Audience-Centered Approach,” Pellissippi State’s new textbook for speech and public speaking courses. Beebe is a former president of the National Communication Association, and has been a visiting scholar at both Oxford University and Cambridge University.

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

Science Olympiad at Pellissippi State rescheduled to March 7

The East Tennessee regional Science Olympiad competition, hosted by Pellissippi State Community College, has been rescheduled for Saturday, March 7, due to inclement weather.

Science Olympiad brings together middle and high school teams to compete against one another in science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM, events. Events might include a building competition in which students use the basics of engineering and physics to build a bridge that can support the largest amount of weight. Or students might take part in a laboratory competition in which they apply chemistry and biology to identify mystery powders.

“Science Olympiad is great because it exposes these students to so many different real-life applications of STEM academics,” said Morvarid Bejnood, a Pellissippi State instructor who is planning the event.

“It gives these middle and high school students the opportunity to visit Pellissippi State’s campus, to see our science labs and meet our faculty, as well as to meet local scientists and professionals in STEM fields. Science Olympiad is wonderful for education.”

More than 250 students are expected to take part in the competition. Winning teams go on to compete at the state level.

In addition, dozens of Pellissippi State students will serve as volunteers for the event through the college’s Service-Learning program.

The presenting sponsor of this Science Olympiad competition at Pellissippi State is STEMspark, the East Tennessee STEM education hub of the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network and the national STEMx coalition.

To learn more about Pellissippi State and its STEM and other academic offerings, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State invites community to ‘Caribbean Festival’

steel drum band playing in building

Pellissippi State Community College invites the community to celebrate diversity at the Caribbean Festival, 5:30-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26.

The event is free and takes place in the College Center in the Goins Administration Building at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The Caribbean Festival will feature performances by the Carib Sounds Steel Band and the Caribbean Dancers of Atlanta. Guests can sample Caribbean foods, including jerk chicken and rice and beans.

The Caribbean Festival is sponsored by Pellissippi State’s Access and Diversity Office. The event is part of the college’s Black History Month celebrations. Other related events during February include

  • “Walk, Don’t Ride,” a presentation by The WordPlayers, 9:40-11:40 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17, at the Magnolia Avenue Campus
  • African-American Read-In, a recitation celebrating the works of African-American authors, all day Wednesday, Feb. 25, at the Division Street Campus

In addition, all five Pellissippi State campuses will be celebrating Black History Month with displays highlighting African-American activists, artists, writers and history. African coffees and teas will be served at special morning meet-and-greets each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday throughout the month.

For more information about the Caribbean Festival or other Black History Month events, visit www.pstcc.edu/diversity 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.

Pellissippi State announces opening of support center at Magnolia Avenue Campus

group of people in a lab on computers

Today, Pellissippi State Community College celebrated the grand opening of the Center for Student and Community Engagement at the Magnolia Avenue Campus.

The center provides a one-stop resource for student support services, including financial aid, advising, counseling, tutoring, service-learning, and safety and security.

“Life sometimes gets in the way of academic success,” said Rosalyn Tillman, dean of the Magnolia Avenue Campus. “The goal of the center is to provide every service we can to help our students overcome those distractions and roadblocks to success. Everything we do, we do so they can focus on school.”

Tillman was joined for the grand opening by L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president, as well as representatives from the Tennessee Board of Regents, Knox County and the city of Knoxville.

The center is designed to encourage student engagement within the school and in the community. Support programs and other resources will promote overall student health and wellness, prepare students for careers, and connect them with essential social support.

For more information about the Magnolia Avenue Campus and the Center for Student and Community Engagement, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 329-3100.