Category Archives: Awards

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

Pellissippi State’s Behavioral Intervention Team certifies on two assessment tools

Portrait of female with short gray hair wearing a blue collared shirt.
Mary Bledsoe

Pellissippi State Community College has a new set of tools for evaluating campus threats, thanks to the college’s Behavioral Intervention Team.

Mary Bledsoe, Pellissippi State’s dean of students and BIT chair, and Holly Burkett, campus dean for the Blount County Campus, were certified to use two assessment tools at the recent National Behavioral Intervention Team Association conference. Bledsoe leads the five-member core group that makes up Pellissippi State’s BIT, while Burkett is a consulting member to the team.

The NaBITA Threat Assessment Tool, one of the tools added to BIT’s resources, is a standard aid that a number of colleges and universities are using, says Bledsoe. Known as SIVRA-35, the other tool is the Structured Interview for Violence Risk Assessment. SIVRA-35 (a 35-item inventory) is used, if needed, as a secondary step in conducting a more thorough and research-based violence risk assessment.

Portrait of female with short blond hair and a purple blouse.
Holly Burkett

“The NaBITA Threat Assessment rubric gives a wide focus for generalized risk, mental and behavioral health, and nine levels of aggression,” said Bledsoe, “while the SIVRA-35 enables BIT to fine tune the assessment of behavioral risk and/or threat.”

BIT represents a cross-section of college areas. Resources like the Threat Assessment Tool and the Structured Interview assist the team at Pellissippi State in the complicated and ever-evolving task of ensuring safety in the academic environment.

To learn more about BIT and its role at the college, visit www.pstcc.edu/bit.

Pellissippi State Paralegal Studies student garners state scholarship

Portrait of a female with blonde straight hair wearing a green patterned shirtThe Tennessee Association of Legal Professionals chose one college student to receive a scholarship in spring semester, and that recipient is a Pellissippi State Community College student.

Kelli Canan, a Paralegal Studies major, learned in April that she had been chosen to receive the $500 TALS scholarship.

“This scholarship will help me to afford to take more classes, provide flexibility and opportunities for me as I manage family and professional responsibilities as a non-traditional student, and work to achieve my professional goals in a time-efficient manner,” she wrote in an essay to TALS Scholarship Committee members.

The Knoxville resident is raising two children, working and attending Pellissippi State. She is also a school and community volunteer.

Paralegal Studies is a two-year program that prepares graduates to work in a law office under the direct supervision of an attorney, doing legal work such as drafting legal documents, organizing files, conducting legal research and investigations, and managing the office.

The program is approved by the American Bar Association and culminates in an Associate of Applied Science degree.

For more information about Paralegal Studies, email Arlene Cleveland, program coordinator, at acleveland@pstcc.edu. To learn more about Pellissippi State’s many other programs, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State: Employee publishes instructional ‘cookbook’ on learning management system

Portrait of a male with short hair and glasses in plaid standing in front of computersSometimes good questions prompt more than answers. Sometimes they inspire a book.

For Brandon Ballentine of Pellissippi State Community College, that book is the “Desire2Learn Higher Education Cookbook,” recently released by Packt Publishing, a U.K.-based technical book publisher.

A D2L administrator for the college, Ballentine fields questions daily from faculty members who use D2L for their online classes. The D2L learning management system enables instructors to upload and manage online class materials such as study guides, tests, and grades. It is used by colleges and universities in the U.S. and around the globe.

Ballentine says he first envisioned what came to be the book as an online resource for use nationwide.

“I thought, ‘So many schools are writing their own tutorials, their own documentation, and their own tips and tricks,’” he said. “‘Wouldn’t it be great if there was a central site that everyone could go to so that everyone isn’t duplicating work across the state or the country?’”

Before Ballentine could complete the website, however, Packt Publishing contacted him through LinkedIn and proposed the idea for a book.

“I had some decent notes and had started writing some chapters,” he said. “So when Packt got in touch, I had an idea of at least some things I wanted to include in the book.”

The goal of the “cookbook” is to help teachers gain expert knowledge of the tools within D2L, become more productive and create online learning experiences with the easy-to-follow recipes. And Ballentine was just the person to write it.

Having begun working at Pellissippi State in 2009, he is an instructional technology specialist in Educational Technology Services. He also teaches a course on mobile web design. While earning his master’s degree in English at East Tennessee State University, Ballentine worked in the university’s Academic Technology Support group. He says he has always been comfortable with both words and technology.

“As a former English major, it was really nice to have the chance to write a longer piece again. I definitely enjoyed finishing the project, though.” he said. “I have a few ideas for some future writing projects, but I’m not going to start those for a while.”

The “Desire2Learn Higher Education Cookbook” is Ballentine’s first book. It is available through Packt Publishing (www.packtpub.com) and Amazon.

Pellissippi State recognized as ‘Green Achiever’ for sustainability work

GoGreenET.com Green Achiever award logoPellissippi State Community College was recognized as a Knoxville leader in sustainability initiatives at a GoGreenET event May 14.

Attended by L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president, and Karen Lively, the college’s new sustainable campus coordinator, the event included recognition of the school as a “Green Achiever,” a program dedicated to recognizing East Tennessee businesses for sustainability initiatives.

“Pellissippi State is proud to join the ranks of other East Tennessee Green Achievers,” said Wise, “and we look forward to continuing to be a leader in environmentally responsible initiatives and programs that reduce our carbon footprint and benefit our students, faculty, and staff.”

“It was wonderful to see how many businesses and organizations in the area are adopting greener practices,” Lively said.

To be recognized as a Green Achiever, Pellissippi State completed a survey outlining more than 100 ways an organization could encourage green business practices. Green Achievers must have accomplished at least one item in each category and have scored at least 30 points.

“It’s very exciting that Pellissippi State met most of the criteria in the recycling, energy and water conservation, and waste reduction categories,” said Lively. “We’ve already implemented some effective sustainability measures and will be incorporating even more in the future, such as providing reusable bags and water bottles to students at New Student Orientation and constructing a solar pavilion.”

Pellissippi State has launched a number of green programs through its Sustainable Campus Initiative in recent years. The college employs recycling, water refilling stations, purchase of “green block” renewable energy, automatic light switches and faucets, hybrid vehicles for staff and faculty use, electric charging stations for alternative fuel vehicles, and replacement of traditional lighting with low-energy LED in the Clayton Performing Arts Center.

Pellissippi State students even voted to enact a sustainable campus fee of $10 per student for each semester. The funds go toward initiatives to make the college a healthier, more environmentally friendly space.

One recent initiative embraced by students and the full-service Cafeteria on the Hardin Valley Campus is Meatless Monday, an international movement aimed at reducing meat consumption by encouraging everyone to avoid meat one day of the week.

GoGreenET.com is an online resource hosted by the Greater Knoxville Business Journal. The site provides information to guide East Tennessee businesses and organizations toward improved environmental responsibility and energy efficiency.

For additional information on the college’s sustainability efforts, call at (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State recognizes outstanding students

Pellissippi State Community College acknowledged students for their outstanding achievements at the 2013 Academic Awards Ceremony, which took place in the spring in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus.

Students Maggie Jane Barta and Caleb Joshua Knox Bost were named to the All-USA Community College Academic Team. They were nominated by Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. in recognition of scholarly achievement.

Edwar J. Aguiar Chinchilla and Munira B. Punjvani were the recipients of the Outstanding Achievement Award–International, presented to students with international backgrounds in recognition of the pursuit of excellence.

Inductees into the 2012-13 Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges were Ashley Blair, Tonya D. Blasco, Colby Brooks, Jonathan J. Caylor, Mark Cragle, Lauren Foster, Lacy Hayes, Patrick Jarman, Jonathan C. Jones, Linda J. McLin, Michael W. Nance, Casey Owens, Christopher P. Pappas, Sridevi Ponnuchamy, Elizabeth Spenser, Katherine Swisher, Jennifer W. Talley, Valerie Clarke Tipton, Leah Watkins, Kelly Wright, Ricardo Zapata and Stacey Zupka.

Awards of Merit were presented to students in several academic disciplines: Ines Mena-Solano, Civil Engineering (Engineering Technology); Jacob Boling, Mechanical Engineering (Engineering Technology); Jonathan Jones, Interior Design Technology; Lisa Kaminski, Communication Graphics Technology (Media Technologies); and Ronald Harness, Video Production Technology (Media Technologies).

Outstanding Graduate Awards were given as well. Recipients included the following: Linda Hinkle, Behavioral Sciences; Kelly Wright, English; Niloo Ranjan, Mathematics; Abigail Cacace, Natural Sciences; and Lydia Pair, Nursing.

Students in Liberal Arts were recognized with Excellence Awards in the following subjects: Brittany Scrivner, French; Katelyn White, History; and Jessica Evans and Robert Tallent, Spanish.

Business and Computer Technology Outstanding Graduate Award recipients and their disciplines of study: Jane Sellers, Health Care Office Administration (Administrative Professional Technology); Karen Akins, Computer Accounting (Business Administration); Bobby Snodderly, Management AHEAD Program (Business Administration); Leah Watkins, Management (Business Administration); Sandra Sila-Massengill, Marketing (Business Administration); and Caleb Cooper, Networking and Communications Systems (Computer Science and Information Technology).

Business and Computer Technology Outstanding Student Award recipients and their disciplines of study: Kerry Jett, Business (Administrative Professional Technology); Candace Gilbert, Culinary Arts (Business Administration); Tammy Jo Johnson, Hospitality (Business Administration); Sarah Werling, Programming (Computer Science and Information Technology); and Jennifer Shannon, Paralegal Studies.

The Engineering and Media Technologies Outstanding Graduate Awards were presented to Sonja Girardi, Civil Engineering (Engineering Technology); Benjamin Manuel, Mechanical Engineering (Engineering Technology); Jennifer Talley, Interior Design Technology; Casey Owens, Communication Graphics Technology (Media Technologies); Rachel Emerson, Photography (Media Technologies); Jared Wilson, Video Production Technology (Media Technologies); and Alexander Briggs, Web Technology (Media Technologies).

The Electrical Engineering Outstanding Student Award was presented to Patricia Eckhart. Travis Silcox was named the recipient of the Mechanical Engineering John C. Mauer Award of Excellence.

The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs’ ACBSP Student Leadership Award was presented to Christopher Alexander.

Faculty member Beverly J. Rogers was selected by students to receive the Faculty of the Year Award. Rogers is an associate professor of Nursing at Pellissippi State.

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