Category Archives: Faculty/Staff

Pellissippi State associate professor of Spanish wins teaching award

portrait of femaleMarilyn Palatinus, foreign languages program coordinator and an associate professor of Spanish at Pellissippi State Community College, has been named this year’s Jacqueline Elliott Award recipient by the Tennessee Foreign Language Teaching Association.

The award honors exemplary work and recognizes outstanding service by foreign language educators at the postsecondary level. According to the TFLTA, Palatinus was recognized “in glowing terms” by her coworkers and colleagues for her support to foreign language at the college and to the TFLTA.

“I was very surprised and humbled to learn that my colleagues felt I deserved the award,” said Palatinus. “I’m so very proud of our program at Pellissippi State. We’ve been very successful because of all of our great faculty members.”

Jane Stribling nominated Palatinus for the teaching award.

“I was personally acquainted with the late Jacqueline Elliott,” said Stribling, an associate professor of French at Pellissippi State. “Marilyn demonstrates the debrouillard spirit which shone with Jacqueline—the ability to tackle any project and handle it with grace.”

Palatinus has taught Spanish at Pellissippi State for 25 years. She also formerly served as department head of Humanities.

“I’ve always been interested in different languages, and I studied Spanish in college and high school,” Palatinus said. After she completed graduate school, she and her husband spent two years in Panama, where she spoke Spanish every day.

She enjoys teaching the language to students and, she says, uses learning by experience—like her own immersive language opportunity in Panama—when possible.

Palatinus put her passions for teaching and language into practice this summer when she accompanied Pellissippi State students to Spain for study abroad through the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies. It was the sixth summer she had taught Spanish on a TnCIS trip to Spain. TnCIS, which is based at Pellissippi State, organizes study abroad opportunities as part of its mission of boosting international experience and culture in higher education across the state.

Palatinus is the third foreign language faculty member from Pellissippi State to earn the Jacqueline Elliott Award. Beverly Burdette, who taught Spanish, and Joan Easterly, who teaches French, were recipients of the honor in 2011 and 2001, respectively. Elliott was a French professor at the University of Tennessee.

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

Pellissippi State’s 40th anniversary: Former president remembers tenure

Male standing at a podium speaking with blue press background behind
J.L. Goins speaks during the kickoff ceremony for Pellissippi State Community College’s 40th anniversary celebrations in September.

“Overrun with success.” That’s how J.L. Goins remembers what’s now Pellissippi State Community College during his time as president of the institution.

This year, Pellissippi State celebrates four decades of service to the community, with the theme “Forty Years of Achieving Success, One Story at a Time.”

Goins was president from 1981 to 1993. Under his leadership, the school changed from State Technical Institute at Knoxville to Pellissippi State Technical Community College. During that time, the institution operated campuses on Division Street and Hardin Valley Road, and it offered classes in two different empty Blount County elementary schools and even a vacated building on the grounds of Lakeshore Mental Health Institute.

Goins recalls in particular the changes after the state legislature, in 1988, made State Tech a comprehensive community college. Enrollment promptly tripled, he says.

“The Hardin Valley campus was finished in 18 months, which was a state record,” he said, “but still, we had to delay class a few weeks that fall so we could finish the buildings.
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“That first day, we watched for students nervously. By 8:15, students had filled every parking space we had—and still they came.”

Goins acknowledges the selfless contributions of faculty and staff in those years, when enrollment exceeded state funding and faculty members agreed to teach extra courses without pay to ensure no students were turned away.

He also recalls how the name “Pellissippi” was chosen. The name is said to come from a Cherokee word, “Pelisipi,” which means “winding waters” and refers to the nearby Clinch River.

“It wasn’t a typical name for a community college,” Goins said. “But it was a term that had a history in the community. We understood that we would be an anchor in the community, that we would be a leader in the growth of this area, and ‘Pellissippi’ fit that idea.”

It was during Goins’ term as president that the stage was set for Pellissippi State’s long history of workforce development.

“I spent a lot of time working to recruit businesses to the area,” he said, “because I understood that those businesses would be hiring our graduates.”
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Goins foresees that the next 40 years will bring continued growth to Pellissippi State. The college will “continue to change to meet the educational needs of our community, with programs like our culinary, music and art and with the much-needed advanced manufacturing training.”

Throughout the year, the college will host community events as well as other special occasions for students, faculty and staff. Students, alumni and community members are encouraged to share their positive stories and memories of Pellissippi State at www.pstcc.edu/anniversary. On social media, use #PSCC40.

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

Pellissippi State faculty member’s art explores time, movement

artwork of pathway
Artist Brian Jobe and his son, Russell, visit “Right Angle Reply (Tall Grasses)” at the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum.

In a culture in which the passage of time is often rushed, one Pellissippi State Community College faculty member has unveiled an interactive public art installation designed to encourage visitors to pause in the moment and engage in their surroundings.
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Brian R. Jobe, an art adjunct faculty member, completed the permanent piece, titled “Right Angle Reply (Tall Grasses),” at the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum during the summer. The 100-linear-foot pathway is constructed of brick, mortar, and paint and is designed to increase the mindfulness of visitors who walk through it.

“‘Right Angle Reply (Tall Grasses)’ is a series of open pathways allowing visitors to come in and interact with it at multiple points,” Jobe said. “The universal nature of the angled corridors creates a space of increased awareness for a person within the piece. When the zigzag motion slows visitors, they become more engaged and aware of their surroundings.
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“I hope that it can be a place for people to gather, rest, move and think. It invites all ages to walk through it, lean against it, sit on top of it or next to it. That interactive experience is something people will remember being part of, and it’s designed to be a destination spot for people to return again and again.”

Jobe’s projects are focused on altering foot traffic to engage walkers in a physical, sensory experience.

To complete “Right Angle Reply (Tall Grasses),” Jobe partnered with General Shale, Johnson & Galyon Construction, and Sequatchie Concrete, which donated materials and labor in full. He also worked with project consultants Christopher King of Smee + Busby Architects; John McRae, a professor at the University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design; and Carri Jobe, a painter and the artist’s wife.

“The use of brick and other modular building units suggests permanence, yet houses the fluid movement of the public within these passages,” said Brian Jobe. “There’s a terrific tension embedded in that dynamic of static and active.”
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For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400. For more about Brian Jobe, visit www.brianjobe.com.

 

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.
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“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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.”
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“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.
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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.
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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.
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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.”
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.