Pellissippi State Community College will host Griselda Aguilera Cabrera for three events on Wednesday, Feb. 21, on the Magnolia Avenue Campus.
Cabrera will give three presentations: two eight-minute showings of the documentary film “Maestra” at 8:35 a.m. and 9:40 a.m., followed respectively by a Spanish-only presentation and an English-interpreted Spanish presentation. Cabrera also will host a full-length, 35-minute showing of “Maestra” from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. followed by a question and answer session. Cabrera will be accompanied by Catherine Murphy, the director of “Maestra.”
All events will be in the Community Room on the Magnolia Avenue Campus, 1610 E. Magnolia Ave.
Cabrera was featured in the movie “Maestra,” a documentary film about the Cuban literacy campaign that virtually ended adult illiteracy in 1961. Only seven years old, Cabrera was one of the youngest volunteers in that campaign. Now retired from her career as an educator, she is involved in the Cuban Psychology Society’s Working Group on Identity and Diversity, participating in workshops and activities concerning homophobia, prejudice against people with HIV/AIDS, racial discrimination and domestic violence.
Pellissippi State Community College is ranked number four in the nation among community colleges for study abroad, according to the 2017 Open Doors Report.
This is the sixth year in a row that the college has appeared in the top five for the number of students who studied abroad. It is the only community college in the southeast to be recognized in the Open Doors Report.
Pellissippi State student Coby Wester studied photography and videography in Germany through a study abroad trip with the college and the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies. He created a portfolio of photos as well as a video of the trip, in which he interviewed residents of Munich and Bavaria about their lives.
“What I took away most from the trip were the connections I made with the people I traveled with — people who went to Pellissippi but I never knew. We’re all still connected,” Wester said. “It’s this unifying moment of being part of this new, shared unexplored territory in our lives.”
Wester related a story of visiting the Dachau Concentration Camp with a friend who is Jewish. “There’s a noticeable atmospheric change there. Being part of that with her, and being there for her, was a humbling experience.
“I think going on study abroad programs pushes people’s limits to explore who they can fully be. It’s amazing to be part of that with the people around you,” Wester said. “I love studying abroad; I’d love to go back.”
Pellissippi State sent 166 students to study abroad in summer 2016 to sites across Europe and Asia as well as South Africa, Cuba, Peru and Brazil.
According to the Open Doors Report, the college led the state in international student enrollment among community colleges, with 101 students in 2015-16. Only two other community colleges were recognized for international enrollment in Tennessee.
Study abroad programs at Pellissippi State are organized through the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies, which is housed at the college. TnCIS serves all community colleges in the Tennessee Board of Regents system, organizing study abroad opportunities as part of its mission of boosting international experience and culture in higher education across the state.
For more information about TnCIS, visit www.tncis.org or call 865-539-7279. For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400.
Pellissippi State Community College ranks third in the nation among two-year colleges for the number of students it sends to study abroad. In 2015, the college sent 204 students on study abroad programs.
“Study abroad was a great experience,” said Pellissippi State student Elicia Ferrer, who spent time over the summer studying in Italy and England. “I had been out of the country before, but for mission experiences. Study abroad is different because you’re there to learn and to experience the place. It’s pretty magical.”
In Tennessee, Pellissippi State ranks eighth among all higher education institutions in the state for the number of students who study abroad. In fact, the college is the only community college in the top 15.
Ferrer, who is studying Chinese language and plans to transfer to a four-year university in the spring, said, “Studying abroad is an eye-opening way to observe different cultures and faiths. It gives you a front row seat to history. In my World Civilizations class, we were studying the Medicis, who did terrible things but who also funded the Renaissance. When you’re in Italy and can physically see their legacy, it gives you an interesting perspective.”
Pellissippi State works with the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies to provide study abroad opportunities for students. TnCIS, headquartered at Pellissippi State, organizes study abroad opportunities as part of its mission of boosting international experience and culture in higher education across the state. In the 10 years since its founding, TnCIS has supported more than 3,000 students statewide in pursuing a global education.
Additionally, Pellissippi State offers unique opportunities for students from around the world to study here in East Tennessee. In the 2015-16 academic year, Pellissippi State had 156 international students enrolled — the ninth highest among all higher education institutions in the state and the only community college in the top 20.
“Community colleges are diverse, and the ability to offer study abroad opportunities and to have international students on campus only increases that diversity. In a global economy, students need to be able to understand and appreciate diverse points of view,” said Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr.
For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400.
All degree-seeking students who have been accepted to attend Pellissippi State Community College for the spring 2017 semester should make plans now to attend a New Student Orientation session. Classes begin Jan. 17.
The free sessions are required of all new degree-seeking students, both freshmen and transfer, and will be held in November and early January. Reserve a space as soon as possible at www.pstcc.edu/orientation.
Orientation gives new students the opportunity to meet with Pellissippi State students, faculty and staff; learn about what they can expect in college and what the college expects of them; learn strategies for college success; explore degree, major and transfer options; and discover campus services and resources such as financial aid, tutoring and computer resources.
Students are encouraged to attend orientation at the campus that they will be attending for class.
Dates, time and locations of New Student Orientations:
Blount County Campus — 1-4 p.m., Jan. 11
Division Street Campus — 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Jan. 12
Additionally, a special session just for students transferring from another institution will be held 5:30-8:30 p.m., Jan. 9, on the Hardin Valley Campus. Some sessions are recommended for veterans or for international students; visit www.pstcc.edu/orientation for more details.
Pellissippi State encourages parents, spouses and others supportive of the student to attend New Student Orientation, too. They’ll receive special information in separate sessions.