Category Archives: Students

Pellissippi State students rank tops in Math League competition

group of males standing in a row
Pellissippi State Community College students, left to right, Matt Rumbolt, Khoa Nguyen, Scott Maxwell and Boone Cornell placed tops in the first and second rounds of the Student Mathematics League competition for the 2013-2014 school year.

Pellissippi State Community College students ranked among the top participants in the annual Student Mathematics League Math Competition. The contest is a two-round nationwide event sponsored by the American Mathematics Association of Two-Year Colleges.

“Pellissippi State has competed in this contest for at least 13 years in a row,” said Bobby Jackson, associate professor of Mathematics. “This year, we had a total of 154 students who took part in at least one of the two rounds. In the final rankings, Pellissippi State finished in eighth place in the Southeast Region and first in the state of Tennessee.”

In the first round of competition, which took place in November, Boone Cornell placed first and Ravenne Hall placed second among 94 Pellissippi State students. Simon Boka, Timothy Frantz and Phillip McKnight tied for third place. Cornell tied for 20th place among all Southeast Region students for the first round of competition.

In the second round of competition in March, Scott Maxwell placed first, Khoa Nguyen second and Matt Rumbolt third among 77 Pellissippi State students. Tied for fourth place were Dylan Junion, Jonathan McGuire and Dylan Sauls.

The AMATYC competition includes a fall and spring component involving more than 8,000 community college and junior college students from 165 institutions. Results from both components are tabulated and released in May.

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

Pellissippi State student awarded prestigious scholarship to study abroad

Young female in portraitPellissippi State Community College student Ciara Sheets is the recipient of the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad this summer.

Sheets is one of only two community college students in the state to receive the award. She plans to study biology during a summer study abroad program to Ecuador with the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies.

“I am thrilled to have won the award. It’s such an honor,” Sheets said.

“I’ll be going to the Galapagos Islands and am taking my Biology II course there, getting to take hikes and visit caves and natural observation points. We’ll take a trip to the observatory where scientists like Charles Darwin and others have studied.”

The Gilman Scholarship offers grants for undergraduates—particularly those who are typically underrepresented in international studies, such as students of limited financial means, community college students and minority students—to pursue academic studies or career-oriented internships abroad. The program is intended to better prepare students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world.

“Ciara is participating in our Ecuador program, a four-week course in the Galapagos Islands that focuses on the study of biology and genetics. It’s a unique program that offers field work with an outdoor laboratory,” said Tracey Bradley, executive director of TnCIS.

“Study abroad opportunities are traditionally thought of as arts or humanities related, but we’re very proud to offer one that is strongly science based.”

Sheets plans to graduate from Pellissippi State in May 2015 and then attend the University of Tennessee to pursue pre-veterinary coursework.

TnCIS, whose headquarters are at Pellissippi State, organizes study abroad opportunities as part of its mission of boosting international experience and culture in higher education throughout the state. More than 425 students and 65 faculty from across Tennessee participated in the summer 2013 study abroad programs organized by TnCIS. There are 18 study abroad programs planned for summer 2014.

For more information about TnCIS, visit www.tncis.org or call (865) 539-7280. For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State recognizes outstanding student achievements

Pellissippi State Community College acknowledged students for their outstanding achievements at the 2014 Academic Awards ceremony. The event took place April 29 in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus.

Students Victoria Baker and Sydney Youngman were named to the All-USA Community College Academic Team. They received the honor in recognition of scholarly achievement as members of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

Inductees into the 2013-2014 Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges were Leina Beckner, Katherine Chambers, Betty Edwards, Andrew Frantz, Lisa Grunwald, Christian Harris, Tresse Hicks, Joyanna Hirst, Chisa Huffman, Christina Kampas, Morgan Lay, Belinda Lewis, Cassie Lopez, Lori Monroe, Michelle Morgan, Whitney Oslonian, Neel Patel, Sandra Pringle, Ethan Richardson, Chelsea Temple, Jordan Toney and Janice Vowell.

The Pellissippi State Altruist/Scholar is Daisy Falin. Service Leadership Excellence Award winners are Chisa Huffman and Andrea Pappas. Campus Leadership Award winners are Andrew Frantz (Hardin Valley), Sheila Hayden (Division Street), Angela McGee (Blount County), Kari Sanders (Magnolia Avenue) and Rachel Skyles (Strawberry Plains).

Colby Dorcely and Barbara Alfonzo-Tinoco were named winners of the Outstanding Achievement Award–International, presented to students with international backgrounds in recognition of diligence in the pursuit of excellence.

Awards of Merit were presented to students in several areas: Jerri Reed (Citizenship), Kalyn Smith (Communication Graphics Technology), Derrick Barrow (Engineering Technology/Civil Engineering), Whitney Wolff (Interior Design Technology), Rachel Collier (Engineering Technology/Mechanical Engineering), Heath Long (Nursing freshman) and Jason Childers (Nursing sophomore).

Outstanding Graduate Awards went to Krystalee Bailey, Alexander Bishop, Sophie Bogdanski, Laura Bourque-Kliethermes, Chris Caserta III, David Copcutt, April Coward, Eric Cutshaw, Emily Davidson, Emily Davis, Christopher Elliott, Daulton Ellis, Madeline Enderle, Robbeline Enyenihi, Matthew Gibbs, Lisa Grunwald, Brighton Hatfield, Jessica Haynes, Chisa Huffman, Wallace Hynds, Brandi Jones, Michelle Lehmann, Andrew Leming, Belinda Lewis, Victoria Long, Daniel Mace, Nicholas McCloskey, McKalie Merriman, Lori Monroe, Nikita Mounger, William Overby, Andrea Pappas, Joshua Patterson, Nadine Raines, Michael Smith, Laurie Spoon, Robert Tallent, Jefferson Thompson, Andrew Valesky, Tavish White and Sarah Zarczynski.

Jerry Sherrod was selected by students to receive the Faculty of the Year Award.

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

Pellissippi State graduate comes from behind the scenes to walk at Commencement

male wearing a blue shirtDaniel Mace has helped build the stage for Pellissippi State Community College’s Commencement ceremony each of the past seven years. This May, he’ll be walking across it as a graduate.

“I have seen many a Pellissippi State graduation,” said Mace. “Normally, I sit behind the stage. I’m looking forward to walking across the stage myself this year and receiving that diploma and shaking hands with the president.”

Commencement is at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 10, at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Mace officially graduates in the summer with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Engineering Technology. He plans to return to Pellissippi State next fall to take additional classes before transferring to Austin Peay State University to work toward a degree in mechanical engineering.

The Austin Peay degree is offered at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus, thanks to a unique partnership between the two schools.

“I love Pellissippi State—that’s why I want to keep coming here,” Mace said.

He attributes his success in school to instructors and administrators at Pellissippi State “who have been great to help me and to teach me new ways of looking at the world. I think differently, now, when I look at the world and my actions in it.

“I’m not sure what career path I’ll take, but I think this degree will open doors for me and be a great opportunity.”

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

Pellissippi State: New Student Orientation sessions available before summer term

Two New Student Orientation sessions are being offered for students planning to attend summer semester at Pellissippi State Community College.

Classes for summer begin May 27. New Student Orientation sessions are 5-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 20, and 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Friday, May 23, on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. All first-time degree-seeking freshmen must attend a New Student Orientation session.

Reserve a spot now by visiting www.pstcc.edu/orientation or calling (865) 694-6400.

Orientation sessions are recommended for transfer students and those who have been out of school for a while. Parents, spouses and other supporters of new students also are encouraged to attend.

At the sessions, new students can meet Pellissippi State faculty and staff; explore degree, major, and transfer options; learn strategies for college success; and find out about campus services and resources, such as financial aid.

Prospective students should keep in mind that summer classes often fill early. Key deadline dates include May 19, the application deadline; May 20, the entrance testing deadline; and May 22, the schedule confirmation and fee deadline.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact Disability Services at accommodations@pstcc.edu or (865) 539-7153.

Community invited to Pellissippi State’s annual Student Design Showcase

Pellissippi State Community College graphic design students display what they’ve created in their coursework during the annual Communication Graphics Technology Student Design Showcase. The exhibit is 4-8 p.m. Thursday, April 24.

The theme of this year’s showcase is “A Spark of Creativity.” The event is free and the community is invited.

The showcase gives 22 students the opportunity to present their portfolios for viewing and evaluation by invited area design professionals. Each student has his or her own table display, business cards and resumes available to industry professionals. The event is like a graduation, celebration and potential job interview all rolled into one.

The CGT Student Design Showcase is in the Bagwell Center for Media and Art on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

For more information about the showcase, 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 answers learning needs with help from TBR grant

Pellissippi State Community College faculty will seek to improve student success through a new course redesign, with the help from Tennessee Board of Regents Course Revitalization Initiative grants.

Two English courses and a math course will pilot the project at Pellissippi State.

In MATH 1530 Elementary Probability and Statistics, faculty will develop an “embedded remediation” component to enhance the class. In other words, students who formerly would have been placed in pre-college-level learning support at Pellissippi State will now take part in a standard, college-level course, but with extra support.

“There’s been a lot of data on success with embedded remediation, which is a type of just-in-time intervention,” said Brittany Mosby, project leader for the MATH 1530 course. Mosby’s team includes Math faculty Sue Ann Dobbyn and Claire Suddeth.

“Students who might have been placed into a learning support course will instead take a college-level class with their peers. As part of the embedded remediation component, these students will have additional classroom time to reinforce the material and be sure they understand the concepts.”

In the English Department, faculty will revitalize two gateway classes, ENGL 1010 Composition I—the only Pellissippi State course that all students are required to take—and its follow-up, ENGL 1020 Composition II. The revamped 1010 course will place more emphasis on regular, consistent writing and on sentence structure and grammar skills.

ENGL 1020, similarly, will be reworked to more appropriately continue skills learned in ENGL 1010, rather than spending the time reteaching or reviewing skills that should have been mastered in 1010. Revitalized 1020 will teach students more refined, advanced and specialized writing skills.

“Our faculty members have some exciting ideas about how to revise these courses to make them more effective,” said Kathryn Byrd, dean of the English Department. “Notably, their approach includes plenty of writing practice, clear communication of academic expectations and an emphasis on the student’s responsibility for his or her own learning.”

English faculty members participating in the pilot project are project leaders Alex Fitzner and Tara Lynn, with Casey Lambert, Teresa Lopez, Kelly Rivers, and Heather Schroeder.

The TBR Course Revitalization Initiative grants, awarded by the TBR Office of Academic Affairs, target high-enrollment gateway classes and encourage faculty to develop creative strategies to engage their students and teach critical thinking skills. TBR is the governing body for Pellissippi State.

“These grants will provide an opportunity for these faculty members to create an innovative class for students to review their prerequisite skills just in time for new college-level content,” said Nancy Pevey, dean of the Mathematics Department.

The pilot revitalized classes at Pellissippi State begin this fall. The effectiveness of those classes will be evaluated, and the pilots may be enlarged to include other classes.

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

Pellissippi State students, employees to participate in Ijams River Rescue

Pellissippi State Community College students and employees will spend the day on Saturday, April 5, cleaning East Tennessee’s waterways. The occasion is Ijams Nature Center’s River Rescue, and the Pellissippi State effort is being coordinated by the college’s Service-Learning program.

The team of students, faculty and staff will be on site 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Loves Creek, where Loves Creek Road meets Millertown Pike. The cleanup location is behind the ORNL Federal Credit Union and Food City, in Northeast Knoxville.

This year is Ijams’ 25th annual River Rescue. River Rescue places volunteers at more than 40 sites around the Knoxville metropolitan area to clean trash out of East Tennessee’s rivers, creeks and waterways. In 2013, more than 1,000 volunteers participated in the event.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400. For more information about the River Rescue, visit www.ijams.org or call Ijams at (865) 577-4717 ext. 124.

Pellissippi State students only Grainger scholarship recipients in state

Michael Swihart
Michael Swihart

Pellissippi State Community College students Robert Sanders and Michael Swihart are the only two Tennessee recipients of $2,000 Grainger Tools for Tomorrow scholarships.

Both Sanders and Swihart are in the Mechanical Engineering concentration of the Engineering Technology degree program. The Grainger Tools for Tomorrow scholarship supports technical education and promotes careers in technical areas of work. Grainger is an Illinois-based distributor of facilities maintenance supplies.

“Pellissippi State is the only college in Tennessee that has students who receive this scholarship,” said Peggy Wilson, vice president of College Advancement and executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation.

“Grainger classifies Pellissippi State as a veteran-friendly college, and each student who receives a scholarship from Grainger must be a veteran.”

Robert Sanders
Robert Sanders

The Grainger awards go through the Pellissippi State Foundation. The $2,000 scholarships are earmarked for students in an Engineering Technology field. Upon graduating, recipients also receive $2,500 worth of Grainger hand tools, each with a lifetime replacement guarantee.

“Robert and Michael are outstanding students, and both are very deserving of this scholarship,” said Pat Riddle, program coordinator of Mechanical Engineering.

“We appreciate that Grainger has a scholarship that recognizes the dedication and sacrifice of our student veterans—the hard work they put into their education and their drive to better themselves.”

Sanders, a stay-at-home father, said, “I felt honored that Mr. Riddle picked me as an applicant for the scholarship. For him to single me out was a privilege in itself, and to win is a wonderful bonus.” Sanders, whose career interest lies in green construction, plans to donate a portion of the scholarship back to the Pellissippi State Foundation for another student to use.

Swihart relocated to Knoxville from Chicago, transferring credits to Pellissippi State and starting classes at the college in spring 2012. He plans to graduate this year and hopes to work for a geotechnical firm.

“When Mr. Riddle approached me and told me I was one of the few chosen,” said Swihart, “I was speechless and honored. I am very grateful to receive the scholarship. I’m very grateful to my instructors at Pellissippi State, because of their commitment and the extra time they’ve sacrificed to help me.”

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

Pellissippi State: High-schoolers invited to Creative Writer’s Workshop

Pellissippi State Community College invites local high school students to a Creative Writer’s Workshop Saturday, April 12, at the Strawberry Plains Campus.

The workshop is a free all-day event designed for current high school students who wish to gain experience in fiction and poetry writing, songwriting, screenplay writing, and performance skills. Lunch is provided.

“Young people who feel that hunger to write—whether it be fiction, poetry, plays or songs—need encouragement and motivation to pursue their abilities,” said Patricia Ireland, an English instructor at Pellissippi State.

“Our goal is to pair Pellissippi State’s professional writers with young, aspiring writers in order to offer personal feedback and inspiration, as well as an opportunity to see our campus and get to know college student writers.”

At the end of the day, students have the option of performing their original work at a showcase event. Check-in begins in the lobby at 9:30 a.m., followed by morning and afternoon workshop sessions. The showcase begins at 2:45 p.m.

Workshop sessions will be taught by professional writers from the Pellissippi State faculty, assisted by members of the Strawberry Plains Creative Writing Club.

Interested students should register by 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 9, with Ireland, paireland@pstcc.edu or (865) 225-2340.

The Strawberry Plains Campus is located at 7201 Strawberry Plains Pike.

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