Pellissippi State named to President’s Honor Roll for community service

posted in: Awards, Service-Learning, TBR | 0
Annie Gray
Annie Gray, Pellissippi State Service-Learning coordinator, harvests produce from the Hardin Valley Campus Garden, which is used to provide fresh food for a five-campus food pantry.

 

Pellissippi State Community College has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll 2015 for its Service-Learning program and community outreach initiatives.

The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognizes higher education institutions with exemplary community service programs that raise the visibility of effective practices in campus-community partnerships. The college was recognized in the general community service division of the 2015 awards.

“We’re honored and grateful that Pellissippi State’s deep and active commitment to serving the community has been recognized at a national level,” said Annie Gray, Service-Learning coordinator and English professor.

In the 2013-2014 academic year — the year for which Pellissippi State was evaluated for the 2015 Honor Roll — the estimated economic impact of all of Pellissippi State’s volunteer service hours in East Tennessee was $899,205. In the past 2015-2016 academic year, the value of Pellissippi State’s Service-Learning hours rose to $971,617.

At Pellissippi State, students who complete community service hours and submit them through Service-Learning can have their verified community service hours listed on their official college transcripts.

“Service-Learning not only helps our students in the classroom, it provides meaningful ways for them to give back to their community — and it demonstrates to future employers or four-year universities that our students are well-rounded,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president.

The Good Food For All initiative, which took place in 2014 as part of Pellissippi State’s Service-Learning program, worked with community partners to address issues of food access, nutrition education and environmental stewardship. The initiative placed Pellissippi State students, employees and AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers in community service positions with local community gardens, food banks and poverty alleviation organizations — including Pond Gap Elementary School, Knoxville’s Great Schools Partnership, Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee, the Center for Urban Agriculture at Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum and the Knoxville Permaculture Guild.

The Good Food For All initiative oversaw the Pellissippi State-sponsored community garden at Pond Gap and was the inspiration behind the new garden on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus this year. Produce from the Hardin Valley garden is used to stock a five-campus food pantry program for Pellissippi State students in need.

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

 

Download this press release: SL President Honor Roll

Pellissippi State launches sustainable garden, food pantry

Annie Gray
Annie Gray, program coordinator of Service-Learning at Pellissippi State, shows off lettuce grown in the Hardin Valley Campus Garden.

Pellissippi State Community College is building on a history of sustainability and service with a new campus garden and food pantry.

The garden, which is located on the Hardin Valley Campus, is not only an outdoor education and community service hub, but a supplier of local produce to the college cafeteria. A significant portion of the food produced will help low-income students at Pellissippi State.

“What makes this project unique is not only the sustainability aspect, but the emphasis on providing for students in need and educating them about healthy food choices amid real concerns about poverty,” said Annie Gray, Service-Learning coordinator and leader of this project.

The Hardin Valley Campus Garden will complement a new food pantry that will support college students who struggle with chronic hunger issues. Most of the garden’s produce — 75 percent — will supplement the food distributed through this new Pellissippi Pantry, which also will partner with Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee.

The remaining food from the garden will supplement Hardin Valley Campus cafeteria food offerings, available to anyone.

The Pellissippi Pantry will be available on all five Pellissippi State campuses in Knox and Blount counties. It will offer qualified students healthy packaged and fresh food, as well as nutrition education. It will launch for at-risk students this summer.

Research shows there’s a need for this type of outreach. A 2015 study out of the University of Wisconsin has shown that, nationally, about 52 percent of community college students experience ongoing food insecurity, or the inability to readily access healthy or nutritious food. Atlantic magazine has reported that 22 percent of community college students nationwide reported they’d gone hungry due to a lack of money.

Pellissippi Pantry will operate on a basis of confidentiality. Students will be identified to workers only by an ID and will be able to discreetly pick up food at a pre-specified time and location.

Pellissippi State has a history of launching sustainable and service-oriented gardens. In partnership with other local organizations, the college opened the Pond Gap Elementary School community garden in 2013 as part of the Service-Learning program. That community garden has been a widely-regarded success in enhancing curriculum and after-school programs and providing healthy food for Pond Gap students and their families.

For more information about how to support the Pellissippi Pantry or the Hardin Valley Campus Garden, contact the Pellissippi State Foundation at www.pstcc.edu/foundation or call 865-694-6528. For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400.

 

Download this news release: PSCC Garden Pantry

Science Olympiad at Pellissippi State rescheduled to March 7

The East Tennessee regional Science Olympiad competition, hosted by Pellissippi State Community College, has been rescheduled for Saturday, March 7, due to inclement weather.

Science Olympiad brings together middle and high school teams to compete against one another in science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM, events. Events might include a building competition in which students use the basics of engineering and physics to build a bridge that can support the largest amount of weight. Or students might take part in a laboratory competition in which they apply chemistry and biology to identify mystery powders.

“Science Olympiad is great because it exposes these students to so many different real-life applications of STEM academics,” said Morvarid Bejnood, a Pellissippi State instructor who is planning the event.

“It gives these middle and high school students the opportunity to visit Pellissippi State’s campus, to see our science labs and meet our faculty, as well as to meet local scientists and professionals in STEM fields. Science Olympiad is wonderful for education.”

More than 250 students are expected to take part in the competition. Winning teams go on to compete at the state level.

In addition, dozens of Pellissippi State students will serve as volunteers for the event through the college’s Service-Learning program.

The presenting sponsor of this Science Olympiad competition at Pellissippi State is STEMspark, the East Tennessee STEM education hub of the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network and the national STEMx coalition.

To learn more about Pellissippi State and its STEM and other academic offerings, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State to host Science Olympiad

posted in: Events, Service-Learning, Students | 0

Pellissippi State Community College will host hundreds of middle and high school students Saturday, Feb. 21, for the East Tennessee regional Science Olympiad competition.

Science Olympiad brings together school-based teams to compete against one another in science, technology, engineering and math events. Events might include a building competition that teaches the basics of engineering and physics to students called on to build a bridge that can support the largest amount of weight or a laboratory competition that teaches chemistry and biology as students identify mystery powders.

“Science Olympiad is great because it exposes these students to so many different real-life applications of STEM academics,” said Morvarid Bejnood, a Pellissippi State instructor who is planning the event.

“It gives these middle and high school students the opportunity to visit Pellissippi State’s campus, to see our science labs and meet our faculty, as well as to meet local scientists and professionals in STEM fields. Science Olympiad is wonderful for education.”

More than 250 students are expected to take part in the competition. Winning teams go on to compete at the state level.

In addition, dozens of Pellissippi State students will serve as volunteers for the event through the college’s Service-Learning program.

To learn more about Pellissippi State and its STEM and other academic offerings, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

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