Category Archives: Students

Pellissippi State’s 2014 Student Juried Art Show kicks off March 31

Artwork by Tony Sobota
Artwork by Tony Sobota

Pellissippi State Community College launches its annual Student Juried Art Show March 31, and the exhibit will run until April 18.

The event is free and the community is invited. The Art Show takes place 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 exhibit will include student works from a variety of media: drawing, painting, two-dimensional and three-dimensional design, ceramics, even blacksmithing,” said Jennifer Brickey, a Fine Arts assistant professor. “We really want to showcase the students that take studio art classes at Pellissippi State. It’s a really great show.”

The opening reception and awards ceremony are 3-5 p.m. Wednesday, April 2. Awards will be announced at 4 p.m.

Artwork by Steven Kempster
Artwork by Steven Kempster

The exhibit is juried by Pellissippi State’s art faculty.

The grand prize for the show is the “purchase award,” in which Pellissippi State buys a student’s artwork for the college’s permanent collection. The award is worth up to $500. Other awards include $25 gift cards to Jerry’s Artarama, given to four runners-up.

The annual Student Juried Art Show is part of The Arts at Pellissippi State, which brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts.

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

From professional paintballer to youngest assistant director, Pellissippi State graduate aims for success

Kevin-Fillers-jpgKevin Fillers thought he would spend his career aiming a paintball gun at opponents, but with the help of Pellissippi State Community College, he’s aiming instead for a career in business.

Fillers, who earned an Associate of Science degree from Pellissippi State in 2011, was the top graduate from the University of Tennessee’s college of business administration in December 2013.

“I had an unusual path into college,” Fillers said. “When I graduated high school, I wanted to become a professional paintball player, and I eventually was offered a contract and played professional paintball from 2005 to 2008. But I could see that it wasn’t going to remain a long-term career option, so in 2006, I started taking occasional classes at Pellissippi State.”

Fillers, who graduated from UT with a 4.0 grade point average, attributes his success to those early classes at Pellissippi State.

“If I’d had to deal with traditional class formats,” he said, “I probably never would have started going to school.

“Because of how much I worked and how much I traveled, the only class options open to me were the online, one-night-a-week or two-night-a-week classes. That nontraditional path gave me an entirely new perspective on my future, and allowed me a new start.”

Fillers began taking full-time classes at Pellissippi State in 2010, while also working full time at the Gamma Beta Phi Society’s national headquarters in Oak Ridge.

He worked his way up from a minor position in Gamma Beta Phi, a national honors and service organization for college students, to the finance director and, ultimately, the assistant director position. He is the youngest-ever assistant director of the society. He also owns his own paintball company and school, The Bizniss.

Fillers began his classes at Pellissippi State with the intention of earning a mechanical engineering degree, but he switched to business classes when he realized he wanted to work more closely with other people.

His next academic goal is to attend UT starting fall 2015 in pursuit of an M.B.A. or J.D.

“Kevin was a nontraditional student who was not quite ready to attend college right out of high school,” said Jonathan Lamb, associate professor of Mathematics, “but he entered Pellissippi State when he was ready, and he has thrived ever since.

“I am thrilled for him, and I think he is an excellent example of how well Pellissippi State prepares students for transfer to four-year colleges.”

Fillers says he credits his early academic success specifically to Pellissippi State’s offerings that are geared toward working adults.

“I’m so grateful to Pellissippi State, because I got the start on my new career path here. I have worked really hard for the past seven years, working full time and attending school, and I’m proud of how much I’ve accomplished.”

He also recognizes his work ethic as an inheritance from his father, Fred Fillers. The elder Fillers earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree while serving as a lieutenant colonel in the Army National Guard, working for the U.S. Department of Energy, and raising a family.

“Now, I understand how hard my father worked to make the best life for himself and to give us every opportunity that he could,” the younger Fillers said.

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

Honda grant to help urban high-schoolers at Pellissippi State’s Summer Institute

Pellissippi State Community College’s Summer Institute will get a boost this year to include a new STEM—science, technology, engineering, mathematics—emphasis, thanks to a $46,760 grant from the American Honda Foundation. The grant was awarded through the Pellissippi State Foundation.

“The grant will help fund academic programs for urban high school students that will provide rigorous exposure to relevant STEM career fields,” said L. Anthony Wise, Pellissippi State president.

“This exposure will broaden the educational opportunities for these students and allow them to consider new fields of study for college and career.”

The Summer Institute takes place on the Hardin Valley Campus each summer and is open to rising sophomores from Austin-East and Fulton high schools. The institute is affiliated with Project GRAD Knoxville, which seeks to boost excellence in education, particularly in schools in urban Knoxville.

The American Honda Foundation grant funds four new STEM programs at the 2014 Summer Institute: Alternative Energy, Robotics, Aquabiotics and Photographic Science. The grant also supports professional development, a new instructor, field trips and equipment.

“Through grant giving, the American Honda Foundation seeks to develop youth in the areas of math, science, engineering, technology and literacy,” said Alexandra Warnier, manager of American Honda Foundation. “We are proud to partner with Pellissippi State on its important contribution in this area and look forward to the impact and results that will be achieved.”

The Summer Institute has been offered annually since 2001 and serves about 150 students per year. Since 2005, 946 students participating in the institute have gone on to graduate from high school and earn a college scholarship for up to four years.

Summer Institute participants from Austin-East and Fulton who continue on to attend college at Pellissippi State have a higher GPA average and take fewer pre-college-level courses than students from those two high schools who enroll at Pellissippi State but didn’t take part in the summer program.

To learn more about the giving opportunities available through the Pellissippi State Foundation, visit https://giving.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6528. For more information about Pellissippi State and its programs, go to www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State announces new Automated Industrial Systems concentration

Automation is at the technological cutting edge of manufacturing. Now training in that technology is available at Pellissippi State Community College, and it’s linked to a degree.

In fall 2013, Pellissippi State launched a new Automated Industrial Systems concentration within the Engineering Technology program. Students who graduate in Engineering Technology earn an Associate of Applied Science degree.

“Manufacturing is now high-tech. I don’t know of any manufacturing job that doesn’t include automation,” said Margaret Ann Jeffries, dean of Engineering and Media Technologies.

The new AIS concentration will train students to operate state-of-the-art automated manufacturing equipment, including programmable controller training systems, robotics and motor training equipment.

“In order for students to be ready to go to work,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president, “we must continue to integrate newer technology into our training programs.

“The cutting-edge equipment used in our AIS concentration courses also will be used for our new and existing engineering technology, workforce training, and STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] awareness programs.”

Much of the new training equipment was purchased through a $50,000 grant from DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee.

“At DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee, we specialize in robot design and programming and now have more than 800 robots on our production lines,” said Mike Brackett. Brackett is a DENSO Foundation board member and senior vice president of Corporate Services at DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee.

“Automation will continue to be critical in the future of DENSO and our automotive customers, meaning we need talented and knowledgeable people in this area.”

DENSO is not the only local manufacturer that uses automated industrial systems.

“Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. utilizes advanced automation and robotic systems throughout our production process,” said Kennon Rollins, engineer manager for Green Mountain. The Vermont-based company has a manufacturing facility at Forks of the River in East Knox County.

“With the advancement of automated control systems, the need for proficient skills in computers and electrical, pneumatic, and mechanical systems and controls has only increased. It is an absolute necessity to have not only technical knowledge but also critical thinking skills that can be used for troubleshooting or getting to a root cause of a problem.”

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

Pellissippi State hosts high school students in Winter Choral Concert

Pellissippi State Community College’s Winter Choral Concert features performances from two high schools, Hardin Valley Academy and Lenoir City High School.

The Winter Choral Concert is at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25, in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

“We invite different high school choirs to this concert each year to give them an opportunity to be on campus, to meet our students and to learn about our Music program offerings,” said Bill Brewer, Music program coordinator and associate professor.

The event is free and the community is invited. Donations will be accepted at the door for the Pellissippi State Foundation on behalf of the Music Scholarship Fund.

“The high school choirs will perform along with Pellissippi State’s own Concert Chorale and Variations groups,” said Brewer, “for an evening of fine choral music covering a wide range of styles and tastes.”

The Concert Chorale and Variations groups comprise a cross-section of students from a variety of majors. The Variations Ensemble is preparing for a study abroad and concert opportunity overseas in May 2014, in collaboration with the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies.

The Winter Choral Concert is the latest in a string of performances during Pellissippi State’s yearlong Music Concert Series. The series is part of The Arts at Pellissippi State, which brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts. All piano performances and accompaniments are performed on Steinways, in keeping with Pellissippi State’s status as an All-Steinway School.

For additional information about the Pellissippi State Music Concert Series or The Arts at Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu/arts. 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: Local students invited to compete in ‘Frame x Frame’ audio-video competition

All local middle school, high school and college students are invited to participate in Pellissippi State Community College’s inaugural “Frame x Frame” competition, an audio and visual media contest.

Students will participate in age categories to tell short stories in video productions between two and 10 minutes long. The competition is free to enter. The deadline for entries is end of day, Friday, March 7.

“This is an opportunity for all students to put together a short audio and visual media production that tests their creativity and introduces them to industry professionals,” said Katie Lovette, an instructor in Engineering and Media Technologies and planner of the event.

“These films are ‘shorts,’ presentations of a moment in time. They can be animated, video or even pictures set to music. The theme, ‘Tell Us a Story,’ is open to encourage creativity among entries.

“Everyone will get feedback on their work from our judges, who are video production industry professionals, so it’s a valuable experience and a way to get critiqued.”

The entries for middle and high school students should be 2-4 minutes long, and the maximum length of any video should be 10 minutes. Entries should be brought in person to the lobby of the Bagwell Center for Media and Art on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Posted signs will direct participants where to leave their entries.

Each competition entry will be screened in the Bagwell Gallery during the “Frame x Frame” exhibit, March 17-26. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. The entries will be judged on March 19.

Prizes will be awarded to each age category’s winner. Awards include a scholarship to Pellissippi State.

For more information about the competition, visit www.framexframecompetition.wordpress.com or email framexframe@pstcc.edu. For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State students named to All-Tennessee Academic Team

Pellissippi State students Victoria Baker and Sydney Youngman were recognized Feb. 4 in Nashville for academic accomplishments, as both were inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa All-Tennessee Academic Team. Pictured, from left, are Judith Sichler, Pellissippi State Phi Theta Kappa advisor; Baker; Marilyn Harper, director of Academic Support Programs; Anthony Wise, Pellissippi State president; Youngman, and Casey Lambert, PTK advisor. Additional PTK advisor Ann E. Kronk is not pictured.
Pellissippi State students Victoria Baker and Sydney Youngman were recognized Feb. 4 in Nashville for academic accomplishments, as both were inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa All-Tennessee Academic Team. Pictured, from left, are Judith Sichler, Pellissippi State Phi Theta Kappa advisor; Baker; Marilyn Harper, director of Academic Support Programs; Anthony Wise, Pellissippi State president; Youngman, and Casey Lambert, PTK advisor. Additional PTK advisor Ann E. Kronk is not pictured.

At a ceremony in Nashville on Feb. 4, Pellissippi State Community College students Victoria Baker and Sydney Youngman were recognized for outstanding academic achievement by being named to the 2014 All-Tennessee Academic Team.

In all, 28 community college students from the Tennessee Board of Regents system earned the honor. The Academic Team is sponsored by USA Today and the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, which recognizes students with a 3.5 grade point average or above.

“Pellissippi State is immensely proud of Victoria and Sydney and their academic accomplishments,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president. “We recognize the hard work they’ve put into their studies. They know the value of investing in their future, and we wish them well.”

Baker completed an associate’s degree at Pellissippi State in December and is enrolled at the University of Tennessee. She plans to major in education for the deaf and hard of hearing.

Youngman will graduate from Pellissippi State in May. She plans to attend Middle Tennessee State University, where she will major in biochemistry. She hopes to pursue a career in the medical field.

“Each year, it’s a privilege to recognize the hard work, dedication and commitment these students have exhibited at their colleges,” said John Morgan, TBR chancellor.

“They’ve not only achieved a high degree of success in the classroom, but they’ve made significant contributions to their communities through their volunteer efforts and leadership skills.”

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

Pellissippi State hosts Young Inventors Fair

Young inventors are invited to bring their creations, innovations and science fair projects to Pellissippi State Community College for the Third Annual Young Inventors Fair Saturday, Feb. 15.

The Young Inventors Fair is noon-5 at the Strawberry Plains Campus, 7201 Strawberry Plains Pike.

Any student in elementary through high school with an invention or innovative science fair submission can participate. Contestants have the chance to win prizes and entry into the Southern Appalachian Science and Engineering Fair.

“The Young Inventors Fair is similar to a science fair, but it has an angle toward creation and invention,” said Jerry Burns, professor of Natural and Behavioral Sciences and organizer of the event.

“Unlike a typical science fair, this event is meant to reward students who have a great idea—even if the full science isn’t there, or if they weren’t able to feasibly follow through with the actual creation. It’s a way to reward students who think innovatively.”

Student projects are judged by a panel of faculty members from Pellissippi State, and winners are announced by age group.

“We feel like this event is a great way to get our name out to schools, to let them know that Pellissippi State has a new campus in the area,” said Mike North, Strawberry Plains Campus dean. “Students who participate in this Young Inventors Fair as middle-schoolers might return to Pellissippi State as college students.”

The Southern Appalachian Science and Engineering Fair is a regional science fair that takes place at the University of Tennessee’s Thompson-Boling Arena. It’s open to students in middle and high school, and students are qualified to enter after winning individual school science fairs.

The Young Inventors Fair could offer students a second chance to participate in the SASEF regional event if they didn’t win their own school science fair.

For more information about the Young Inventors Fair, email the Pellissippi State Science Club at science_club@pstcc.edu.

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 ranks at top for National Voter Registration Day

A student-led voter registration effort fall semester at Pellissippi State Community College ranked among the top highest in number of registered voters in the nation.

Pellissippi State’s National Voter Registration Day 2013 event registered 251 voters, earning the college a ranking of 21st in the nation in registering the most voters at individual events, according to National Voter Registration Day’s Communications and Field Report, prepared by Voto Latino.

National Voter Registration Day was Sept. 24. That day, there were 809 registration events around the nation, including at colleges, civic and community clubs, and other community service-oriented organizations.

“We partnered with Knoxville’s League of Women Voters to sponsor voter registration among college students, to help publicize the League of Women Voters, to help voters judge candidates and to help citizen organizations host effective candidate forums,” said Lisa Bogaty, associate professor in Business and Computer Technology.

Pellissippi State’s event took place all week at the Hardin Valley Campus. The college teamed up student, faculty and staff volunteers with members of the League of Women Voters Knoxville/Knox County.

Four classes at the two-year school also worked on various aspects of the event, from conducting marketing research to designing and producing posters to developing databases for surveys.

“It’s wonderful from a Service-Learning perspective, because each class has had an opportunity to learn and volunteer,” Bogaty said.

The Service-Learning program encourages Pellissippi State students to engage in a culture of civic engagement and altruism, partnering traditional academic experiences with opportunities for volunteerism and community service.

Overall, National Voter Registration Day resulted in 56,196 voters being registered among all 50 states.

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

Politics, security expert to speak at Pellissippi State showcase

Portrait of man in suit with flags behind himPellissippi State Community College hosts Steven P. Bucci as the featured speaker Tuesday, Feb. 4, at the Student Speech Showcase.

The showcase is sponsored by Pellissippi State’s Communication Club. The event begins at 7 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium and is open to the community. Ample parking is available.

Bucci will deliver a speech on the state of Greece and the issues that country faces. His talk is entitled “From Prosperity to Austerity and Back: Recent, Current and Emerging Issues in Greece.”

The guest presenter is director of the Heritage Foundation’s Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies. He is also a senior fellow for Homeland Security and Defense Issues in Washington, D.C. A retired U.S Army colonel, Bucci served as commander of the 3rd Battalion of the 5th Special Forces and as military assistant to former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

“Bucci is one of those great speakers who can change the scope of how our students view the world and help them learn about things they might otherwise have not known,” said Susan Childress, a Liberal Arts instructor and Communication Club advisor.

The Student Speech Showcase also features four top student speech contest winners from the fall semester.

Student speakers are Charysse Young on the topic “Make Your Body Talk: You Need ASL Literacy,” Alexis Huddleston on “Learning to Learn,” Summer Burns on “Shoes for Everyone” and Josh Boling on “Believe It to Achieve It.” One of the speeches is in the informative style, and the others are persuasive. Each is five to eight minutes long.

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.