Category Archives: President

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 recognizes Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Male in suit at table with paper on desk and pen in hand. 3 females are standing behind him.
Pellissippi State Community College President L. Anthony Wise Jr. signs a proclamation Thursday, Aug. 29, naming September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month on all Pellissippi State campuses. Joining him, from left, are College counselors Lisa Orient, Elizabeth Firestone and Kathleen Douthat.

Pellissippi State Community College has named September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month at all of its five campuses. President L. Anthony Wise Jr. signed the official proclamation on Thursday.

According to the Jed Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting emotional health and preventing suicide among college students, one in 10 college students has contemplated suicide at some point.

Suicide is now the third leading cause of death among 15- to 24-year-olds and is the second leading cause among college-age students. Approximately 1,100 college students die by suicide each year.

“We want Pellissippi State students to be successful and hopeful,” said Wise. “Every student should know that our faculty and staff are here to help support them.”

As part of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, Pellissippi State counselors will offer programming designed to teach students how to recognize behaviors associated with vulnerability, depression and suicide contemplation.

In addition, counselors will visit classrooms by faculty request to facilitate question-persuade-refer training. QPR is designed to prevent suicide by providing support to the person in need.

“Mental illnesses are real, diagnosable and treatable,” said Elizabeth Firestone, director of Counseling at Pellissippi State. “More important, treatment of mental illnesses works—there is hope for recovery. Students who are feeling stressed, depressed or having suicidal thoughts can contact Counseling and find help.”

Pellissippi State joins the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network in its recognition of September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. The network is a collaboration of Tennesseans and organizations working to eliminate the stigma of suicide, educate the community about the warning signs and ultimately reduce the rate of suicide in the state.

For more information about Pellissippi State’s Counseling Office, call (865) 694-6547 or visit www.pstcc.edu/counseling.

May 2013 graduates invited to celebration breakfast

All Pellissippi State students who are set to graduate next month are invited to celebrate their accomplishments by attending a Graduates’ Breakfast With the President.

Join other graduates and Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. for breakfast refreshments. All breakfasts are 9-10 a.m., and you can choose from the following dates and campus locations:

Wednesday, April 24, Magnolia Avenue Campus, Community Room

Tuesday, April 30, Hardin Valley Campus, Goins Building College Center

Wednesday, May 1, Blount County Campus, Dining Room

Friday, May 3, Division Street Campus, Dining Room

Graduates’ Breakfast With the President is sponsored by the Pellissippi State Alumni Association.

R.S.V.P. to Brooke Pannell, Alumni Relations coordinator, at (865) 539-7275 or alumni@pstcc.edu.

Graduating next month? You’re invited to breakfast with the president

All Pellissippi State students who will graduate next month are invited to attend a Graduates’ Breakfast With the President.

Celebrate your accomplishment by joining other graduates and Pellissippi State President Anthony Wise. Breakfasts are 8-9:30 a.m., and you can choose from the following dates and campus locations:

  • Wednesday, April 11, Magnolia Avenue Campus
  • Wednesday, April 18, Division Street Campus
  • Thursday, April 19, Hardin Valley Campus, Goins Building
    College Center
  • Wednesday, April 25, Blount County Campus

Graduates’ Breakfast With the President is sponsored by the Pellissippi State Alumni Association.

R.S.V.P. to Brooke Pannell, Alumni Relations coordinator, at (865) 539-7275, or email alumni@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State celebrates selection of new president Anthony Wise April 10

Dr. Wise headshotPellissippi State Community College celebrates the selection of its new president, L. Anthony Wise Jr., with the Presentation of the Presidential Regalia on Tuesday, April 10, at 2 p.m. in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus.

Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan speaks at the event, and President Wise also addresses the audience. Following the presentation, Pellissippi State hosts a reception in the campus’ Courtyard.

Wise began his tenure as president of Pellissippi State on July 1, 2011. Yet he was no stranger to the college before being chosen to lead the institution. Between May 2007 and June 2011, he served as vice president of the Learning Division. He also was department head of Liberal Arts for three years and taught history at Pellissippi State for nine years.

President Wise earned a Ph.D. in history in 1997 from the University of Tennessee, a master’s degree in U.S. history in 1993 from Wake Forest University in North Carolina, and a bachelor’s degree in history and business economics in 1990 from Wofford College in South Carolina.

Throughout his career, Wise has played an active role in numerous committees and councils hosted by educational bodies such as the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, the Tennessee Board of Regents, the National Alliance of Community and Technical Colleges, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Honors include selection for participation in TBR’s Global Leadership Academy, Class of 2008, and the Regents Academic Leadership Institute, Class of 2006.

Locally, the new president serves on the boards of the Great Schools Partnership, Project GRAD and the Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee’s Workforce Connections.

President Wise and his wife, Lynn, have three children. The family is actively involved in soccer, dance and music.

Music for the Presentation of the Presidential Regalia will be provided by Variations student ensemble, under the direction of Bill Brewer, Music program coordinator.

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