Category Archives: Faculty/Staff

Pellissippi State faculty star in art exhibit

artworkThe works of many of Pellissippi State Community College’s Art faculty are featured in an exhibit that kicks off Oct. 6.

The special Faculty Art Exhibit runs through Oct. 24. The display is in the gallery of the Bagwell Center for Media and Art on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

“This exhibit showcases the current work of our four full-time faculty members as well as several of our adjunct faculty members, so it’s a department-wide show,” said Jeff Lockett, professor and Art program coordinator. “We’ll have two-dimensional and three-dimensional art featuring both abstract and representational work.

“The Bagwell Gallery is wonderful for showcasing the work of local and regional artists, as well as the work of our talented students and our faculty.”

artwork

The Faculty Art Exhibit is one of the events that make up Pellissippi State’s arts series, The Arts at Pellissippi State. The series brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts. This year, the arts series celebrates Pellissippi State’s 40th anniversary.

For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts 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 vice president named Woman of the Year

portrait of female in red suitPeggy Wilson, Pellissippi State Community College’s vice president of College Advancement, has been named Woman of the Year in Education by the National Association of Professional Women.

“I’m honored and humbled to receive this award by an organization that seeks to empower and encourage professional women,” said Wilson, also the executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation.

The award recognizes “excellence, leadership and commitment to her profession, while encouraging the achievement of professional women.” The NAPW is the largest networking organization of professional women in the country, with more than 600,000 members.

Wilson has worked at Pellissippi State for 28 years. She was the first person in her family to graduate from college, the first employee at Pellissippi State to receive the Outstanding Administrator award and the school’s first female vice president. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Eastern Kentucky University and a master’s in education from Morehead State University.

“My greatest achievement is going from a girl wanting more than the mountains could offer to becoming the first female vice president at Pellissippi State,” Wilson said.

In addition to her other accomplishments, Wilson was named the 2001 Executive of the Year for the International Association of Administrative Professionals, Oak Ridge Chapter, and won the 2010 Excellence in Administration Otis L. Floyd Jr. Award from the Tennessee College Public Relations Association.

Wilson serves in and supports a number of community and international organizations, including Rotary Club of Farragut and Rotary International, Knoxville Symphony League, the Cerebral Palsy Center, East Tennessee Historical Society, and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. She and her husband, Joe, are members of Cokesbury United Methodist Church. Wilson has three children and three grandchildren.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400. For more information about the National Association of Professional Women, visit www.napw.com.

Pellissippi State: Community invited to ‘A Few of Our Favorite Things’ faculty concert

Graphic with female singing into a microphone and the word Music below.Pellissippi State Community College hosts its annual Faculty Recital Thursday, Oct. 2.

“A Few of Our Favorite Things” begins at 7 p.m. in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The concert features musical performances by the college’s Music faculty.

The event is free and the community is invited.

“Fifteen members of the Music faculty will be performing selections that represent their favorite genre, composer or time period,” said Bill Brewer, Music program coordinator. “Some commentary on selected pieces will be offered to give the audience a sense of why it is a favorite of the particular performer.”

“A Few of Our Favorite Things” is one of the performances in 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 faculty members spend summer researching Icelandic geology

Female with water and island behind.
Kathleen Affholter, a Pellissippi State Community College associate professor of geology, traveled to Iceland over the summer to study the island’s unique geology, including collecting soil and rock samples such as zeolite minerals.

Iceland, a sparsely populated island of glaciers, geysers and volcanoes, is again making international news, with the world waiting to see if the Bárdarbunga volcano will spew more than just lava from its latest eruption. In 2010, an ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano closed much of Europe’s air space for nearly a week.

Iceland’s unique geology drew two Pellissippi State Community College faculty members to the Northern European country for a two-week research trip this summer. The visit was supported by the National Science Foundation.

Kathleen Affholter, an associate professor of geology, traveled throughout Iceland with a research team, collecting soil and rock samples for DNA analysis from an archaeological site, glaciers, and volcanic mountains.

Affholter was joined on the trip by Pete Lemiszki, an adjunct faculty member who also teaches geology. The two traveled to Iceland at the invitation of a computer science professor at Earlham College, Charles Peck, who secured the grants and awards for the trip.

hands holding several rocks

“Geologically speaking, Iceland is very young,” said Affholter. “To paraphrase volcanologist Thor Thordarson, if the Earth is a year old, Iceland was born less than two days ago. The ice caps covered Iceland five hours ago, and they melted only a minute ago.”

According to Affholter, “Iceland is the only place in the world where you can stand on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a ‘divergent plate boundary’—a place where two tectonic plates are separating.” The country, which lies between the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans, straddles the ridge.

The divergent plate boundary, she says, creates volcanic systems, geysers and geothermal energy in the stark, stunning landscape. Iceland is growing, because the shifting of the plates causes molten rock, or magma, to erupt and the new rock that forms pushes the older rock toward the coastlines.

The group of researchers pulled together by Peck included not only Affholter and Lemiszki but also students from Earlham College and the University of California, San Diego. The American team was aided by researchers from the University of Iceland.

The group gathered rocks of varying ages from different locations around the island. Older and newer rocks may differ in a number of ways—in the amounts or types of bacteria they contain, for example—and the group used a university lab in Akureyri to extract DNA from the samples for further study back in the U.S.

While in Iceland, Affholter and one of the students also wrote a brochure about the zeolite minerals found there. The crystals form in holes caused by trapped gas in the country’s basalt rock. Zeolite crystals are unique, in that they can hydrate and dehydrate. Among their other applications, they are used to eliminate odors in diapers.

The fact that magma is, literally, the bedrock of Iceland presents a unique opportunity for geologic study, and the island is consequently a popular place to visit for geologists as well as other scientists, says Affholter.

“The students and professors on this trip were biologists, geologists and computer scientists,” she said. “It’s important to see how science is no longer compartmentalized. All of our disciplines are needed to do our research.”

This summer isn’t the first time Affholter has traveled to Iceland. She instructed the geology students on a Tennessee Consortium for International Studies trip there in 2013. TnCIS, which is headquartered at Pellissippi State, coordinates study abroad as part of its mission of boosting international experience and culture in higher education across the state.

For more information about Affholter’s trip, visit her blog, geologyslam.wordpress.com. For more information about Pellissippi State and its programs, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State Foundation adds two new directors

Aneisa McDonald
Aneisa McDonald

Two directors have been newly recruited to work in the Pellissippi State Foundation, and both bring with them experience from state and regional school systems.

Marilyn Roddy, who has been brought on as director of major gift development, is the former director of STEMspark East Tennessee STEM Hub, a 13-county group advocating for greater use of science, technology, engineering and mathematics curricula. Roddy also served as a Knoxville City Council member for eight years.

Aneisa McDonald, the new director of planned and annual giving, is a former health specialist for Knox County Schools and has worked for the Metropolitan Drug Commission and the Arts Council of Greater Knoxville.

Marilyn Roddy
Marilyn Roddy

“I’m pleased to have this opportunity to continue to have an impact in education,” said Roddy. “At Pellissippi State, I have the opportunity to work at the intersection of education and economic development. I have a great enthusiasm for community colleges. They are so important in preparing students and training our workforce.”

“In all my work in development,” said McDonald, “the shared experience has been in uniting people around a specific cause. I look forward to bringing those experiences to Pellissippi State.

“Everyone here is very passionate about the mission of the college and the success of the students, and I’m excited to join that mission.”

In her new position, Roddy will develop and implement major fundraising efforts for the Pellissippi State Foundation. McDonald will manage annual and planned gifts, working with internal and external audiences and Pellissippi State alumni.

The Foundation works to provide student scholarships and emergency loans, as well as to improve facilities and secure new equipment.

“Aneisa and Marilyn bring unique experiences and backgrounds to the Foundation,” said Peggy Wilson, executive director of the Foundation and vice president of College Advancement.

“With their help, the Foundation can continue to ensure that all Pellissippi State students have the opportunity for a higher education degree at a college with state-of-the-art equipment in comfortable facilities.”

For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation or call (865) 694-6528.

Pellissippi State Internet coming back online

The Internet at all five Pellissippi State Community College campuses went down earlier this week, but it was expected to be operational later today (Sept. 5).

The outage affected Pellissippi State’s website, www.pstcc.edu, as well as classroom software and some email systems. The outage began intermittently on Tuesday, and it impacted traffic both on and off campus.

Technicians have been working around the clock to restore the Internet and bring the college’s website back online. On campus, classroom software and Internet access were restored Wednesday. An emergency notice was sent to students advising them of the best way to access classroom software from home. Off campus, access to all Pellissippi State Web-based systems was expected to be restored Friday afternoon.

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

Pellissippi State kicks off 40th year with campus events

WHAT: Pellissippi State will kick off its anniversary year, themed “40 Years of Achieving Success, One Story at a Time,” with a celebration at each campus the first week of September. The events will features short programs, stories, music and light refreshments. Pellissippi State first opened its doors as State Technical Institute at Knoxville on Sept. 4, 1974.

WHO: Appearing at one or more events: Pellissippi State president L. Anthony Wise Jr., and past presidents Allen Edwards and J.L. Goins; State Senator Becky Duncan Massey; State Reps. Roger Kane and Joe Armstrong; Blount County officials and community leaders Jerome Moon, Joy Bishop, Peggy McCord and Sharon Hannum; Career Magnet Academy students and principal John Faulconer, as well as Pellissippi State students, employees and supporters.

WHEN AND WHERE: At all five Pellissippi State campus locations Tuesday-Friday, Sept. 2-5.

  • Division Street, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Sept. 2
  • Hardin Valley, 12:30-2:30 p.m., Sept. 3
  • Blount County, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Sept. 4
  • Magnolia Avenue, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Sept. 5
  • Strawberry Plains, 12:30 -2:30 p.m., Sept. 5

For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu/anniversary or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State welcomes two new academic deans

Portrait of a male

For Kane Barker, being offered the position of dean of Natural and Behavioral Sciences at Pellissippi State Community College is a dream come true.

“I grew up in Knoxville and had wanted to return for years,” said Barker, who was hired last month. “I sat down and designed my dream job, the job that would bring me back here, and it was the dean of Natural and Behavioral Sciences at Pellissippi State.

“I’m very happy to be here. I have a real heart for education in a place like Pellissippi State that allows professors to bond with students, to teach them and develop not only learning skills but introduce them to new opportunities for life.”

Stamm-LisaLisa Stamm, the new dean of the college’s Nursing Department, echoes Barker’s sentiments: “Pellissippi State truly does have a community feel. It’s a very dynamic place with lots of opportunities, and everyone is kind and supportive.

“I want to be sure the community knows about our top-notch Nursing program. I plan to continue to uphold standards that have kept our program at a 97 percent pass rate for the National Council Licensure Examination and that have given us our largest freshman class ever this fall.”

The Nursing Department will continue to offer new, technologically advanced methods for students to learn, Stamm says, from dual enrollment courses in health science at local high schools to a planned simulation center at the Strawberry Plains Campus. In addition, she hopes to include more service-learning opportunities that will allow Nursing students to give back to the community and learn by doing.

In his new position, Barker hopes to continue building on his department’s past successes, including STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] and early childhood education, as well as to pursue grants for additional student scholarships and state-of-the-art equipment. Barker earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from Georgia Institute of Technology. He and his wife of 10 years have three children.

Stamm completed an M.S. in nursing from the University of Tennessee and is currently pursuing a doctorate in health education. She has worked in cardiology, critical care and emergency units, and she has taught at local higher education institutions. Stamm and her husband have four grown children.

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

Pellissippi State employee recognized as a top graduate student worldwide

John-Brent-Morrison

John Brent Morrison, manager of technical operations in Educational Technology Services at Pellissippi State Community College, was recognized recently as one of the best business graduate students in the world.

Morrison, who is pursuing an M.B.A. at Tennessee Technological University, competed in the international Capstone Business Simulation program, or Capsim, during spring semester. He placed 23rd out of 1,760 participants from 36 countries, and his scores put him in the top 1.5 percent of competitors.

The Capsim is a sophisticated program used in more than 600 universities worldwide. Students create and operate fictitious companies, making decisions regarding marketing, finance, product development, factory production, and workforce management. Students who do well in the classroom can choose to compete in the biannual competition.

The company Morrison fabricated designed, manufactured, and distributed motion sensors for various products, such as pedometers and video game remote controls. Morrison’s success, he believes, came from his strategy of regularly introducing new products into the market.

“The steady pace of product innovation,” he said, “allowed me to examine the simulated market as a whole and target the consumer needs that my competitors were failing to meet, making products that were smaller, faster, and cheaper.”

According to Christine Miller, the decision sciences and management instructor who oversaw the classroom Capsim project, the program is designed to mimic the uncertainty of real-world business.

“The decisions are all interrelated,” she said. “A production decision can affect the corporation’s cash flow, which could have a ripple effect in the financial arena. If the simulation adds something like an economic recession, the companies have to be able to withstand it.”

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

Pellissippi State honors outstanding employees, recognizes retiring faculty/staff

Pellissippi State Community College recently hosted its annual employee recognition ceremony, honoring faculty and staff for outstanding service and longevity and recognizing retirees.

Gray-Annie
Annie Gray

At this year’s ceremony, the Excellence in Teaching Award went to Annie Gray, an English professor and the college’s Service-Learning coordinator. The award recognizes innovative teaching techniques and the positive impact they have had on students.

Gray launched and has since expanded Pellissippi State’s Service-Learning program. Service-Learning connects classroom learning to real-world problem-solving situations by pairing students with area organizations to work jointly on community service efforts.

Gray, an active member of the college’s Sustainable Campus Initiative, also serves as Pellissippi State’s AmeriCorps VISTA project supervisor for the 2014-2015 Good Food for All! Initiative. Additionally, she is on advisory boards for the Pond Gap Elementary UACS After-School program and the University of Tennessee’s TENN TLC Institute for Reflective Practice.

Jerry Burns and Laxman Nathawat
Jerry Burns and Laxman Nathawat

The Innovations Award was bestowed upon faculty members Jerry Burns in Chemistry and Laxman Nathawat in Computer Science and Information Technology for their work on one of four Chemistry Simulations Projects. The award is given in recognition of a project that demonstrates success of creative and original instructional and learning support activities.

The projects paired chemistry students with computer science students to create visual, interactive, computer-based models of chemical interactions. The goal is to provide a new way for chemistry students to learn chemical processes and give student programmers experience with peer clients. The simulations have since become part of the general chemistry curriculum.

The Gene Joyce Visionary Award was presented to Teri Brahams, head of the Business and Community Services Division, and Mary Kocak, who teaches in Engineering Technology. The award was in recognition of their work on an outreach project that had a positive impact on the community.

Teri Brahams and Mary Kocak
Teri Brahams and Mary Kocak

Brahams and Kocak worked on the launch of an additive manufacturing (3D printing) training initiative at Pellissippi State with community partners that included Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tech 20/20 and the University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services.

The initiative—the AMP! Advanced Manufacturing and Prototype Center of East Tennessee—creates partnerships and new jobs and increases workforce development and training. It also provides scholarship money and an opportunity to work on projects with small businesses to 160 Pellissippi State students.

The Excellence in Teaching, Innovations and Gene Joyce Visionary awards carry monetary recognition ranging from $1,000 to $1,500. Recipients of the awards also received a plaque and medallion.

Additional awards and their recipients, each of whom received $100, a plaque, and a medallion: Outstanding Adjunct Faculty, Saralee Peccolo-Taylor; Outstanding Administrator, Holly Burkett; Outstanding Contract Worker, Michael Hurst; Outstanding Full-Time Faculty, Mary Monroe-Ellis; Outstanding Support Professional, Karen Ghezawi; and Outstanding Technical/Service/Maintenance Worker, Tracy Smith.

Pellissippi State also recognized employees who were at five-year increments of service to the college, as well as acknowledging council presidents and retiring employees. This year’s faculty and staff retirees include Rick Barber, Alberta Boring, Bill Davis, Judy Eddy, Pat Grant, Cathy Hurrell, Jim Kelley, John Reaves, Bookie Reynolds and Elizabeth Wade.

Funding for all awards is provided by the Pellissippi State Foundation. The Foundation generates support for student scholarships and emergency loans, facilities improvements, and new equipment.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400. To learn more about giving opportunities, call (865) 694-6528.