Pellissippi State finalist for national Award of Excellence

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Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr.
Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr.

Pellissippi State Community College was one of four finalists for the 2016 Student Success Award of Excellence, given by the American Association of Community Colleges.

“Everyone deserves access to higher education, and Pellissippi State is proud to be a leader among community colleges in ensuring that everyone has that opportunity to follow their dreams and find their success,” said Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. “We are very proud to have been a finalist in this prestigious award.”

The Student Success Award recognizes a community college that has demonstrated a sustained commitment to and proactive advancement of the cause of student success. Nominees are evaluated based upon increases in degree completion and transfer rates, as well as innovative programs that encourage retention, graduation and student success.

Pellissippi State was nominated in recognition of its Accelerated Higher Education Associates Degree program, which allows working adults to complete an Associate of Applied Science degree in only 16 months. The AHEAD program has a 75 percent completion rate — higher than the national average for similar programs — and has been expanded to include more than 300 students in 20 cohorts in nine different degree areas.

“I attribute a great deal of my life and career success to the AHEAD program,” said Pellissippi State alumna Amber Hampton. “I’m a first-generation college student who thought she wouldn’t make it through the first class. In reality, I graduated Summa Cum Laude from Pellissippi State in 2012 and from Bryan College in 2014.”

Alumnus Josh Hemphill said, “My success in the business community all started at Pellissippi State when I enrolled in the AHEAD program in 2009. The professors showed support and guidance to help everyone, and thanks to the support of my professors and cohort peers, I’m now entering my second year as a business owner.”

“We are certainly proud of all that AHEAD has done and is doing, but AHEAD is only a small part of all Pellissippi State does to increase access to higher education for all of our students,” Wise said. “We’re devoted to student success and will continue to find new ways to open doors to students.”

The winner of the AACC Award of Excellence in Student Success was announced April 11 to be El Paso Community College.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit or call 865-694-6400.


Download this press release: PSCC Excellence Award Finalist

Pellissippi State wins national Paragon Award

SheKillsMonstersPellissippi State Community College’s Marketing and Communications Office recently earned national recognition for poster design in the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations Paragon Awards.

Pellissippi State earned a Silver Award for the design of a poster for “She Kills Monsters,” a play by Qui Nguyen that premiered last fall at the college. The poster depicted the dragon Tiamat, a classic villain in the roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons, which was a central tenet of the play.

Pellissippi State was the only college in Tennessee to earn a Paragon Award from NCMPR this year. NCMPR presented gold, silver and bronze awards in 53 categories at the Paragon Awards dinner and ceremony in March. Some 236 colleges submitted a total of 1,773 entries to the contest.

“I’ve been playing Dungeons & Dragons since I was a kid, so when this project came my way I couldn’t wait to get started,” said designer Mark Friebus, creative project coordinator at Pellissippi State. “I initially wanted to mimic the iconic art from the game, but ultimately was inspired to make something completely original that could stand on its own as art.”

Friebus drew all of the poster elements by hand, including the female figure, the dragon, the clouds and the flames.

The poster’s fantastical quality is continued through the use of bizarre colors in the purple clouds and orange ground, pulling the viewer into a strange and colorful fantasy land. Extending the female figure’s shadows — as well as the shadows of the iconic Dungeons & Dragons dice — not only creates depth within the poster, but reinforces the sense of struggle between the female figure and the dragon.

NCMPR annually presents Paragon Awards to recognize outstanding achievement in communication at community and technical colleges. It’s the only national competition of its kind that honors excellence exclusively among marketing and PR professionals at two-year community and technical colleges.

For more information, visit or call 865-694-6400.

Download this press release: NCMPR Monsters Poster

TSBDC earns Eagle Award for small business loans

TSBDC director Larry Rossini, left, with Walter N Perry of the U.S. Small Business Association and L. Anthony Wise Jr., president of Pellissippi State Community College.
TSBDC director Larry Rossini, left, with Walter N. Perry of the U.S. Small Business Administration and L. Anthony Wise Jr., president of Pellissippi State Community College.

Knoxville’s Tennessee Small Business Development Center and Pellissippi State Community College have been recognized for their excellence in facilitating working capital loans to small businesses.

The TSBDC and Pellissippi State recently received the Eagle Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Tennessee District, in recognition of the TSBDC having the highest number of clients assisted with small business loans among all 14 regions within the TSBDC network. The Eagle Award launched in 2013; Pellissippi State’s TSBDC has won the award two of the past three years.

In 2015, TSBDC Knoxville directly assisted seven clients who obtained a cumulative total of more than $4 million in Small Business Administration loans. As reported by the small businesses receiving funding, a cumulative total of 13 jobs were created and 32 jobs retained as a result of the firms receiving SBA loans to finance their capital needs. Four businesses were started with the loans.

“Pellissippi State’s leadership is evident to identify sources of capital for small business owners” said Walter Perry, District Director of SBA’s Tennessee District Office. “And it is through their relationships with East Tennessee lenders that dollars are available to start or expand a small business.” 

 “Pellissippi State’s Small Business Development Center has always been committed to helping businesses in our community find the resources they need in order to be successful” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., president of Pellissippi State Community College. “This recognition by the Small Business Administration is an affirmation of that good work.”

The SBA guarantees small business loans and through a cooperative agreement with Pellissippi State and the TSBDC, provides counseling and training to small business owners. A key component of this assistance is helping small business owners acquire capital through SBA-guaranteed loans made by area lenders. 

 A number of small businesses benefited from this funding, including a veterinarian, winery, restaurant, retail store, transportation services firm, research and development firm and a temporary services agency. Participating East Tennessee lenders assisting Pellissippi State clients included Commercial Bank, Pathway Lending, Peoples Bank, Renaissance Bank and UT Federal Credit Union.

Pellissippi State’s Small Business Development Center serves Blount, Claiborne, Cocke, Jefferson, Knox, Sevier and Union counties.  In 2015, it served 466 clients for a total of 2,135 counseling hours. The TSBDC helped 30 new businesses start up, create 183 new jobs and retain 1,280 jobs. The firms TSBDC aided went on to create more than $11 million in new capital investment into the local economy.

For more information about Pellissippi State’s Small Business Development Center, visit or call 865-246-2663. For more information about Pellissippi State, visit or call 865-694-6400.


Download this press release: TSBDC Eagle Award 2016

Pellissippi State Announcement: Students recognized for outstanding achievement

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Pellissippi State student award winners

Pellissippi State Community College students Brenda Tirado and Mikaela Woods were recently recognized for outstanding academic achievement by being named to the 2016 All-Tennessee Academic Team. 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 at community colleges throughout the Tennessee Board of Regents system. Pictured, from left, are Pellissippi State president L. Anthony Wise Jr., Tirado, Phi Theta Kappa advisor Casey Lambert, Woods, and Phi Theta Kappa advisor Judy Sichler.

Download this textPSCC PTK 2016

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