Pellissippi State employee recognized as a top graduate student worldwide

posted in: Awards, Faculty and Staff | 0

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

posted in: Awards, Faculty and Staff | 0

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.

Pellissippi State answers learning needs with help from TBR grant

Pellissippi State Community College faculty will seek to improve student success through a new course redesign, with the help from Tennessee Board of Regents Course Revitalization Initiative grants.

Two English courses and a math course will pilot the project at Pellissippi State.

In MATH 1530 Elementary Probability and Statistics, faculty will develop an “embedded remediation” component to enhance the class. In other words, students who formerly would have been placed in pre-college-level learning support at Pellissippi State will now take part in a standard, college-level course, but with extra support.

“There’s been a lot of data on success with embedded remediation, which is a type of just-in-time intervention,” said Brittany Mosby, project leader for the MATH 1530 course. Mosby’s team includes Math faculty Sue Ann Dobbyn and Claire Suddeth.

“Students who might have been placed into a learning support course will instead take a college-level class with their peers. As part of the embedded remediation component, these students will have additional classroom time to reinforce the material and be sure they understand the concepts.”

In the English Department, faculty will revitalize two gateway classes, ENGL 1010 Composition I—the only Pellissippi State course that all students are required to take—and its follow-up, ENGL 1020 Composition II. The revamped 1010 course will place more emphasis on regular, consistent writing and on sentence structure and grammar skills.

ENGL 1020, similarly, will be reworked to more appropriately continue skills learned in ENGL 1010, rather than spending the time reteaching or reviewing skills that should have been mastered in 1010. Revitalized 1020 will teach students more refined, advanced and specialized writing skills.

“Our faculty members have some exciting ideas about how to revise these courses to make them more effective,” said Kathryn Byrd, dean of the English Department. “Notably, their approach includes plenty of writing practice, clear communication of academic expectations and an emphasis on the student’s responsibility for his or her own learning.”

English faculty members participating in the pilot project are project leaders Alex Fitzner and Tara Lynn, with Casey Lambert, Teresa Lopez, Kelly Rivers, and Heather Schroeder.

The TBR Course Revitalization Initiative grants, awarded by the TBR Office of Academic Affairs, target high-enrollment gateway classes and encourage faculty to develop creative strategies to engage their students and teach critical thinking skills. TBR is the governing body for Pellissippi State.

“These grants will provide an opportunity for these faculty members to create an innovative class for students to review their prerequisite skills just in time for new college-level content,” said Nancy Pevey, dean of the Mathematics Department.

The pilot revitalized classes at Pellissippi State begin this fall. The effectiveness of those classes will be evaluated, and the pilots may be enlarged to include other classes.

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

Pellissippi State hosting adjunct faculty recruiting fairs

Pellissippi State Community College has scheduled adjunct faculty recruiting fairs at two of its site campuses: the Blount County Campus on March 27 and the Strawberry Plains Campus on April 22.

“Pellissippi State relies heavily on a professional, experienced, well-trained body of part-time instructors,” said Ted Lewis, vice president of Academic Affairs.

Interested individuals are invited to each recruiting fair, where they can expect information sessions, meetings with department representatives and an overview of the application process. Both events are 6:30-8 p.m.

Pellissippi State adjunct faculty in most subject areas are required to have a master’s degree and at least 18 hours of graduate hours in the subject they wish to teach. Positions are open in Accounting, Chemistry, Computer Science and Information Technology, Economics, English, History, Mathematics, Microbiology, Spanish and Theatre, among others.

Candidates for adjunct faculty positions in three areas—Video Production Technology, Photography and Communication Graphics Technology—require a bachelor’s degree and three years’ work experience. To be considered for an adjunct position in Clinical Nursing requires an RN with MSN and three years’ clinical experience.

Pellissippi State’s Blount County Campus is located at 2731 W. Lamar Alexander Pkwy., and the Strawberry Plains Campus is at 7201 Strawberry Plains Pike.

For more information about employment at Pellissippi State and for a full list of open adjunct faculty positions, visit www.pstcc.edu/hr/employment 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.

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