Category Archives: Awards

Pellissippi State students named SouthEast Bank Scholars

group of people holding a check
Pellissippi State Community College and SouthEast Bank officials presented Pellissippi State students with scholarships in November. Pictured, from left, are SouthEast Bank president Monty Montgomery, Pellissippi State vice president of College Advancement and executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation Peggy Wilson, student Sydney Youngman, Pellissippi State president L. Anthony Wise Jr. and SouthEast Bank scholarship director Tommy Schumpert. Additional student recipients Jerri Reed and Michael Smith are not pictured.

The Pellissippi State Foundation and SouthEast Bank announced last month that three Pellissippi State students have been selected to receive the SouthEast Bank Scholars award for the 2013-2014 academic year.

The recipients are Jerri Reed, Michael Smith and Sydney Youngman. The scholarship will provide each student with $3,000 annually to reduce the cost of education and assist in accomplishing academic and personal goals.

“We are very appreciative of SouthEast Bank’s generous support of these deserving students,” Peggy Wilson. Wilson is the college’s vice president of College Advancement and executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation.

Reed, Smith and Youngman join a prestigious group of students chosen by their respective postsecondary institutions around the state for exceptional character, academic commitment and community involvement.

“SouthEast Bank is proud to support Pellissippi State Community College in awarding scholarships that help keep our future leaders right here in Tennessee,” said Monty Montgomery, SouthEast Bank president.

“We are a true community bank operated by local employees who live and work alongside the people we serve, and we are committed to using our resources to reinvest in our schools, organizations, and neighborhoods.”

If a Pellissippi State student furthers his or her education at a Tennessee four-year university, the funds extend two additional years.

For more information about the Pellissippi State Foundation and its many giving opportunities, visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation or call (865) 694-6528.

Pellissippi State honors couple on National Philanthropy Day

Group of older adults standing in a row, holding a framed award
Pellissippi State Community College honored longtime supporters Joe and Judy Johnson at a National Philanthropy Day celebration by the Great Smoky Mountain Chapter of the Associate of Fundraising Professionals in November. From left are Peggy Wilson, vice president of College Advancement and executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation; Joe and Judy Johnson; and L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president.

Pellissippi State Community College and the Pellissippi State Foundation honored Joe and Judy Johnson at a National Philanthropy Day celebration Nov. 14.

Joe and Judy Johnson are longtime supporters of Pellissippi State. Joe was chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees from 2011 to 2013, and the couple supports an endowed scholarship for Music students named in honor of Mary Costa.

“The Johnsons truly ‘walk the talk’ through their involvement with their church, higher education and other community organizations,” said Peggy Wilson, vice president of College Advancement and executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation.

“We give not only to have the joy of giving but also to help our fellow man,” the Johnsons said.

Joe and Judy were honored during a luncheon of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Great Smoky Mountain Chapter (www.afpknoxville.afpnet.org), Nov. 14 at Cherokee Country Club. Other East Tennessee organizations and companies also recognized volunteers and fundraisers at the event.

For more information about the Pellissippi State Foundation and Pellissippi State giving opportunities, visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation or call (865) 694-6528.

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Pellissippi State Community College is a member of Tennessee’s Community Colleges. Tennessee’s Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. We offer associates degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit us online at www.tncommunitycolleges.org.

Pellissippi State tops state in associate’s degrees in 2012-2013

Pellissippi State Community College led Tennessee in the number of associate’s degrees awarded by two-year colleges this past school year, and now the college has established its first winter Commencement ceremony next month to accommodate graduates and their families.

Pellissippi State awarded 1,265 associate’s degrees in the 2012-2013 school year, more than any other two-year college in the state, according to the Tennessee Board of Regents, the school’s governing body. The college also awarded 935 certificates, the second highest number in Tennessee.

“Since L. Anthony Wise Jr. became president [in 2011], he has said he wanted us to become the No. 1 producer of associate’s degrees in the state. We did it!” said Rebecca Ashford, vice president of Student Affairs.

“We’ve been focusing on increasing graduation rates: from making the process for applying to graduate simpler for students, to implementing academic support programs, to increasing the number of cohort programs we offer, and even to changing our focus and message to students in advising.”

“It is generally advantageous to students to earn a degree, rather than to just take some courses and transfer,” said Lois Reynolds, assistant vice president of Academic Affairs, “because universities are more likely to accept all of the students’ credits with a complete degree.”

As the number of degrees awarded to Pellissippi State students has increased, the college’s annual Commencement ceremony in the spring has grown correspondingly larger. In May, 514 students walked across the stage at graduation.

“We’ve never had more than one graduation ceremony in an academic year,” said Ashford, “but at this past spring graduation ceremony, we had so many students and guests that we found we’d grown too big for our venue, and realized the ceremony has become less intimate.”

Pellissippi State’s administration responded by adding a second graduation ceremony: Friday, Dec. 13, the college will host its inaugural winter Commencement.

Any student graduating in summer or fall 2013 is eligible to walk across the stage at the ceremony. The event takes place at 7 p.m. at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville.

Ashford and Reynolds hope the ceremony will attract Pellissippi State graduates who earn their degrees in the summer or fall but otherwise would have declined to return for spring graduation.

Pellissippi State is among several of the state’s community colleges seeing gains in the number of degrees and certifications they award. This past school year, community colleges awarded 14,299 degrees and certificates—8,543 associate’s degrees and 5,756 certificates, according to TBR.

That number compares to 18,531 degrees and certificates awarded by universities, and the proportion of community college-to-university students who are graduating or earning certificates is increasing: in 2009, community colleges awarded only half as many degrees and certificates as universities.

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

Small Business Development Center names ‘Rising Star’ business excellence winner

Group of 3 males and 1 female.
(From left) Scott Schimmel and Lisa Sorensen, the winners of Tennessee Small Business Development Center’s Rising Star honor, accept the award honoring their businesses, Bliss and Bliss Home, from Pellissippi State Community College President L. Anthony Wise Jr. and Knoxville TSBDC Director Larry Rossini during an award ceremony Tuesday, Nov. 12.

In an award ceremony Tuesday, Nov. 12, the Knoxville office of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center, which is administered by Pellissippi State Community College, presented Bliss and Bliss Home as its 2013 Rising Star winner.

The Rising Star award is the highest honor TSBDC has to recognize growing small businesses in the Knoxville area.

“From start-up to success, Bliss owners Lisa Sorensen and Scott Schimmel took advantage of the services of the Knoxville Tennessee Small Business Development Center by participating in one-on-one consulting for budgeting, inventory control and financial projections,” said Laura Overstreet, TSBDC spokesperson.

Sorensen and Schimmel also completed the Strategic Management Learning System series of 12 business training modules, provided by TSBDC and sponsored by the Knoxville Chamber.

Bliss recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary. Today, the business operates at three locations with the support of approximately 40 employees.

“Our TSBDC counselor has been a phenomenal asset and a great sounding board for our business,” Schimmel said. “He always figures out a way to ask us the right questions so we can do our homework and make the right decisions for our business.

“There are business principles that go hand in hand with any business, and TSBDC counselors have a great understanding of those business principles. They’re able to shed light on the questions we have, able to apply those principles to our specific business ideas and issues. Their one-on-one counselors help us feel relaxed about our decisions.”

Sorensen and Schimmel first opened Bliss, a gift and accessory shop, on Market Square in 2003. In 2005, they followed that start-up success with the opening of Bliss Home, a furniture and interior design store, also on Market Square. In 2008, the partners opened another Bliss Home location in West Knoxville.

TSBDC offers a network of professional business consultants at 13 centers throughout Tennessee. For more information, visit www.tsbdc.org. For more information about Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State earns two state public relations association honors

protrait of female with glassesPellissippi State Community College came away with two awards at the Tennessee College Public Relations Association conference in Cookeville this summer.

Julia Wood, Pellissippi State’s director of Marketing and Communications, was named the Charles Holmes Award recipient, and the college received a silver Communications and Marketing Award for design of a campus sustainability poster.

The Charles Holmes Award is presented annually to a member of TCPRA who demonstrates steadfast service and earnest dedication to the organization. A founding member of TCPRA, Holmes is a former public relations director at the University of Memphis.

“It was a complete surprise,” Wood said of receiving the award. “It was also very special for me, because I used to work for Charles Holmes at the University of Memphis. Receiving an award named for him is a great honor.”

Wood has been a TCPRA member for 28 years and has served as president and vice president of the organization. Her two-year term as president ended in June.

sustainability poster with ladybug on a leafPellissippi State’s Marketing and Communications Office also produced the campus sustainability poster that won an award. Designed by Mark Friebus, the brightly colored poster sports an illustration of a ladybug on a leaf. It was designed to hang in the Goins Building Rotunda on the Hardin Valley Campus to educate students and visitors about the college’s sustainable campus initiative.

Pellissippi State students initiated a small campus fee to support sustainability initiatives in 2011, and those funds have been used for various projects, including recycling and waste reduction programs, educational events, and building plans for conversion to energy efficient operations.

“Pellissippi State has made great strides in promoting a sustainable campus, and we’re very proud of that,” Wood said. “We’re also very proud to have garnered a TCPRA award for the poster.”

Pellissippi State students earn second place in Knoxville Film Festival

Five Pellissippi State Community College students recently placed second in the student competition of the Knoxville Film Festival for their Civil War-inspired short film.

The six-minute film, titled “If You Don’t Run Fast Enough, the Past Will Catch Up to You,” is based on the story of Gen. William P. Sanders, who was killed in a skirmish only weeks before the Battle of Fort Sanders in November 1863.

The film was produced by Jared Lovette and his company, JXL Productions, in conjunction with Pellissippi State’s Video Production Technology concentration. Students Michael Hutchins, Jim Clenney, Robert Wills and Lori Fuller shared in the award.

“The film is about two modern-day runners who are running by the plaque commemorating Gen. Sanders, and he shows up magically,” said Lovette. “The long and short of it is, Gen. Sanders is not aware that he is dead and the modern-day characters must convince him that he is.”

Others involved in the film are Ted Lewis, Les Fout, Katie Lovette and Ross Bagwell Sr. Gen. Sanders is portrayed by a Civil War reenactor, Bill White.

“This was my very first film festival,” said Jared Lovette, “so this was a great debut for me. Who knows? Maybe next year, another team from Pellissippi State can enter and win.”

Jared Lovette and several others involved in the making of “If You Don’t Run Fast Enough” are Video Production Technology students. VPT, along with Communication Graphics Technology, Photography and Web Technology, is one of four concentrations in the Media Technologies degree program. VPT students learn techniques in all phases of video production—from script writing to budgeting, shooting to editing.

“Our students registered for the film festival in August and only had a month to complete and submit their short film,” said Katie Lovette, a VPT instructor and Jared’s mother, “so they worked incredibly hard, and achieved a great deal. We’re very proud of them and how well they did in the professionally judged student competition.”

This was the inaugural year of the Knoxville Film Festival. Formerly the Secret City Film Festival, the event is now under the umbrella of the Dogwood Arts Festival. The Knoxville Film Festival was Sept. 19-22 at Regal Downtown West Cinema 8. The festival showed a wide array of local, regional, and national filmmakers’ independent movies and short films.

The student competition was open to high school and college students. It was judged by film industry professionals John Feld, Dr. Earl J. Hess, Bill Larsen and Joan L. Merkel.

For more information about Pellissippi State’s VPT and other courses, visit www.pstcc.edu/mdt/vpt or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State grad accepted to prestigious Atlanta photography review

Female smiling at a desk with portfolio open with portraits
Nicole Carnival with photographs from her portfolio, which features men and women in natural settings.

It was about a 1 in 20 shot, and Nicole Carnival, a Pellissippi State Community College graduate, made it.

Carnival has been accepted for participation in this year’s Portfolio Review, part of the annual Atlanta Celebrates Photography conference taking place this month. The Oct. 12 Portfolio Review allows photographers to meet with curators, editors and photography agents from across the U.S.

“More than 1,000 people apply, and the ACP only accepts 52. So to be chosen the very first year I applied, at age 21, was really incredible,” Carnival said.

Carnival’s submitted portfolio included three images of her fine arts work, all depicting women in natural settings.

“It was a difficult process to choose only three images, since I’d usually have to submit 15 to 20 for a competition,” she said. “John Edwin May, my Photography professor at Pellissippi State, helped me with the selection process.”

An image submitted by Carnival to the Atlanta Celebrates Photography conference’s Portfolio Review depicts a woman against a background of bamboo.
An image submitted by Carnival to the Atlanta Celebrates Photography conference’s Portfolio Review depicts a woman against a background of bamboo.

Carnival, who now is attending classes at the University of Tennessee in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in photography, earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Media Technologies, concentrating in Photography, from Pellissippi State in December 2012. Samples of her work can be viewed at www.nicolecarnival.com.

For more information about Photography and other Pellissippi State offerings, visit www.pstcc.edu/mdt/photo.

Pellissippi State awarded record-breaking $4.6 million grant by federal Department of Labor

The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded Pellissippi State Community College a grant for $4,569,689—the largest single amount the school has ever received.

The funding is part of a $474.5 million DOL effort to help community colleges around the country train the workforce and facilitate students in earning credentials. The award was announced Wednesday, Sept. 18.

The grants are to be used for the development and expansion of innovative training programs in partnership with local employers. Pellissippi State was one of only three Tennessee colleges awarded funds in the competitive process.

“We are excited and proud to have won this very competitive grant for the expansion of our workforce training programs,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president. “The funding will significantly enhance our efforts with business and industry partners to create more and better jobs for graduates throughout East Tennessee.”

The college wrote and submitted the grant as the leader of the Southeastern Economic and Education Leadership Consortium. The consortium includes five other community colleges in the Southeast: Northeast State Community College, Palm Beach State College and Polk State College in Florida, and Randolph Community College and Vance-Granville Community College in North Carolina.

The SEELC proposal resulted in a total of $12.7 million for use in advanced manufacturing projects.

“At Pellissippi State, we will use the grant to expand welding, machining, and manufacturing programs, with the long-term goal of ensuring that our graduates are well prepared to enter the workforce,” said Wise. Funds will be used to purchase equipment and new technology and to hire program faculty and staff.

“As a SEELC member, we will also work with national credentialing bodies to make sure our training continues to meet industry-recognized standards of excellence.”

Through the consortium, Pellissippi State will partner with organizations such as the American Welding Society and the National Institute for Metalworking Skills to offer national credentials as part of the college’s degree and certificate programs. Pellissippi State has available a wide variety of short-term training certificates that enhance job opportunities for students.

Consortium members also will work with public partners in their respective states to open the door for more students and workers to receive advanced manufacturing certificates and degrees.

The six colleges that make up the SEELC are leaders in partnering in regional workforce development and education, and the six were specifically chosen to represent economic and demographic diversity. Each SEELC member is located in a state in which governors and other community leaders are working to improve economic development and workforce system change.

To learn more about Pellissippi State’s programs and services, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu. For more about the federal grant, visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s website.

Pellissippi State faculty member featured in New York Times March on Washington retrospective

Robert Boyd, an associate professor of English at Pellissippi State Community College, was featured last week in a New York Times article commemorating the March on Washington in 1963.

The 50th anniversary of the event, which included the now-famous “I Have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King Jr., is today, Aug. 28.

According to “Pass the Bill,” Boyd’s written account of the march, he was called upon as a New York City fireman to guard the Lincoln Memorial area.

“My job was to make sure Martin was safe,” he wrote in the Times, “so I was paying attention to my job. Consequently what I remember from the speech was more about the crowd than him.…

“I remember the impact it had on people, the audience. When he started to speak, there was silence. Thousands and thousands of people, and not a word. And then when he finished, it was an uproar, a crescendo, and this joyous noise. Then I realized, this is something.”

Before the pivotal event, Boyd wrote, “I had no idea about the march, or anything about the civil rights movement at all…. And I tell you, it changed me.… It ignited something in me that has lasted forever. Will always last.”

The 80-year-old Boyd recounts his involvement in starting the “Pass the bill!” call for civil rights legislation through the Washington Mall that day, as well as his later activism in the community and term as president of the Flushing (N.Y.) NAACP.

“Robert was selected by The New York Times to serve as a witness to history,” wrote L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president, in an emailed notice of the Times piece to faculty and staff.

“His story is a timely reminder of how events change lives and how people change communities. I am grateful to Bob for his service to our country and this College.”

To see the complete New York Times article, link here.

Pellissippi State presents summer 2013 dean’s list

Pellissippi State Community College has named 42 top students to the summer semester 2013 dean’s list. Students are eligible for the dean’s list upon completion of 12 college-level hours per semester of college coursework with a 3.5-4.00 GPA. Pellissippi State honorees include the following:

Courtney Barnes
Eric Belew
Allison Brown
William Burkhart
Dylan Chun
Justin Coleman
Matthew Davis
Anna Dilworth
Sean Dornbush
Amanda Fancher
Emily Finley
Crystal Gentry
Elissa Goodson
Mallory Gruenenfelder
Brent Hattley
Jeffrey Hickman
Linda Hinkle
Devon Hoskins
Whitney Jones
Amber Julian
Kevin Kidder
Megan Kidder
Noya Livne
Nicholas McCloskey
Holly Metcalf
Adam Myers
Gladys Nance
Julie Pham
Daryl Ray
Holly Reagan
Keven Reed
Tiffany Rullan
Wendy Sherrod
Debbie Silcox
Jay Smithson
Silvia Sweitzer
Morgan Terry
David Torres
Henry Weber
Sarah Weinsheimer
Holly Whitaker