Category Archives: Academics

Female students at Pellissippi State get career jump-start with engineering internships

Pellissippi State Community College students Kathryne Farris, left, and Gabriela Sabin, right, spent their summers interning at DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee. Pictured with Harris and Sabin is Josh Brady, DENSO section leader in the machinery and tools division.
Pellissippi State Community College students Kathryne Farris, left, and Gabriela Sabin, right, spent their summers interning at DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee. Pictured with Farris and Sabin is Josh Brady, DENSO section leader in the machinery and tools division.

Although women make up about 61 percent of enrollees in Tennessee’s community colleges, they account for only 11 percent of students who enter engineering technology programs.

This summer, Pellissippi State Community College provided three of its female students, two of whom are pursuing an Engineering Technology degree and one who plans to transfer to a four-year institution to major in engineering, with a jump-start on their careers.

Thanks to a grant from the Tennessee Space Grant Consortium, Pellissippi State was able to link all three students with engineering-related internships. The consortium, which is funded by NASA, is made up of five Tennessee Board of Regents community colleges. This is the first time that a NASA Space Grant has been awarded to Tennessee community colleges.

Kathryne Farris, who is in the Mechanical Engineering concentration of the Engineering Technology program, spent her summer working with DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee in Maryville. DENSO is one of the world’s largest automotive parts manufacturers and one of the largest employers in Blount County.

 “I’ve appreciated the inside look at the business side of jobs after graduation — which honestly has been rather terrifying to think of for me,” she said. “This has most definitely helped. My fears of the unknown have been quelled a bit, and I feel like I could enter the workforce after graduation with some extra confidence.”

That’s the goal of the internships, says Lynn Klett, an assistant professor in Engineering Technology and the Pellissippi State faculty member in charge of the grant consortium. Klett also is a mentor to the grant participants.

The Pellissippi State portion of the grant is $110,715, $45,000 of which is earmarked for scholarships to students majoring in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) programs. The award is meant to boost enrollment among women and other underrepresented groups. The funding paid for the summer internship opportunities as part of the overall scholarship package for each Pellissippi State recipient.

Farris plans to graduate in May 2016. So does scholarship recipient Gabriela Sabin, a Computer Science student. Once she earns her degree at Pellissippi State, she intends to transfer to a university, majoring in engineering. Sabin also interned at DENSO.

“I’ve been shadowing an electrical engineering co-op student who is troubleshooting and powering up a new machine,” she said. “I feel like this internship is giving me useful experience into what working as an electrical engineer would be like. I like knowing that I’ve made something that works and that people will use.”

Makayla Edwards, like Farris, a Mechanical Engineering/Engineering Technology student, will take a different path once she graduates from Pellissippi State. Instead of continuing on to a four-year school, she’ll enter the workforce directly.

“[Earning a two-year degree] is much more hands-on and applicable,” she said. “My internship was at Pellissippi State, where I worked with professor Klett in additive manufacturing. Right now, I have a huge interest in 3D printing.”

This summer, Edwards built her own 3D printer from a kit with the help of Klett and student mentors. Currently, she’s working on the design of a bicycle made from bamboo, which is considered a renewable resource because of its quick growth rate. The moving parts will be made using a 3D printer.

“I would like to think that whatever I do in the future will impact the world in a positive way,” Edwards said. “The internship has given me really useful experience. Without it, I doubt I would have had such a jump-start on 3D printing and CAD [computer-aided design].”

NASA awarded a total of $499,689 to the Tennessee Space Grant Consortium, which is headquartered at Vanderbilt University.

The award is the result of a proposal coordinated and submitted by the Pellissippi State Foundation. In total, the Pellissippi State portion of the grant will provide each of 11 students with a $4,000 scholarship.

In addition, the grant included funds to send a group from each of the community colleges to Florida to compete in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ SoutheastCon robotics event. It also will fund two grant participants to attend the 10-week Summer Robotics Program at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

For more information about this and other Foundation scholarships, visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation/scholarships or call (865) 694-6528. For information about the Tennessee Space Grant Consortium, email Klett at lbklett@pstcc.edu.

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

Download the press releaseNASA Scholars Intern

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Makayla Edwards
Makayla Edwards spent the summer interning at Pellissippi State, where she worked with a 3D printer (foreground) to make, among other things, a small plastic lizard.
Gabriela Sabin and Josh Brady
Pellissippi State student Gabriela Sabin with Josh Brady, DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee.
Makayla Edwards
Makayla Edwards spent the summer interning at Pellissippi State, where she worked with a 3D printer (foreground).
Pellissippi State student Kathryne Farris with Josh Brady, DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee.
Pellissippi State student Kathryne Farris with Josh Brady, DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee.

Potential students, community invited to Nursing Preview at Pellissippi State’s Strawberry Plains Campus

Students and others interested in learning more about earning a Nursing degree are invited to attend the Nursing Preview at Pellissippi State Community College’s Strawberry Plains Campus, 7201 Strawberry Plains Pike. The event is Aug. 15.

The preview includes tours of the college’s state-of-the-art patient simulation lab, as well as information sessions about Pellissippi State’s Nursing program and the admissions and financial aid process. Attendees may also participate in free vision, blood pressure and blood glucose screenings.

In addition, there will be a drawing for one $250 scholarship, to be given courtesy of the Pellissippi State Foundation. Potential recipients must be present to participate in the drawing.

The Nursing Preview is 10 a.m.-1 p.m. The event is free, but attendees are asked to register online at www.pstcc.edu/nursingpreview.

“Pellissippi State is about to enter its fourth year of operation at the Strawberry Plains Campus,” said Mike North, campus dean. “We are excited about the renovations that we anticipate at Strawberry Plains within the year, and we wanted to show off our facility to anyone interested in Nursing. Prospective students will also have an opportunity to hear about what life in the program is like from the dean, faculty and a former student.”

“This is our second year admitting a freshman Nursing class to the Strawberry Plains Campus,” said Lisa Stamm, dean of Nursing. “We’re pleased to bring this degree program to students across Knox and Blount counties.”

Each of Pellissippi State’s five campuses offers pre-nursing courses, and the Nursing program is offered at the Blount County, Magnolia Avenue, and the Strawberry Plains campuses. The program began in 2010 and is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

For more information about the Strawberry Plains Campus, call (865) 225-2300. To learn more about the Nursing program and Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at (865) 539-7401 or accommodations@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State to study potential ophthalmic program

Pellissippi State Community College has received a grant from the Trinity Health Foundation of East Tennessee to study the feasibility of a new program for certified ophthalmic technicians.

The grant, one of 26 the Trinity Health Foundation awarded this year, is for the college’s proposal “New Insight: Seeing a Brighter Future with Ophthalmic Technician Training.” The $15,000 funding was announced at a luncheon for grant recipients June 3.

Pellissippi State will spend the next year exploring the need for both a degree and a certificate program for certified ophthalmic technicians aimed at meeting eye-care needs in rural East Tennessee. COTs work under the supervision of an ophthalmologist, a physician specializing in medical and surgical eye problems, to perform clinical evaluations and office tasks like vision tests and photography.

“With an aging population, it’s anticipated that the demand for accessible eye care will continue to grow, too,” said Lisa Stamm, dean of Nursing at Pellissippi State and the person who will oversee the exploratory study. “If this study demonstrates that there is a significant need in our area for certified ophthalmic technicians, Pellissippi State would seek additional grant funding to get approval for that new program, start the curriculum and equip a training lab.”

Only one other college in Tennessee, Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, offers training in ophthalmic technology.

“Nationally, the need for COTs is expected to grow by 36 percent by the year 2020,” Stamm said. “Creating more ophthalmic technicians will increase access to eye care in East Tennessee.”

The grant study will include employer surveys to local optometrists and ophthalmologists to assess the need for a COT program, as well as visits to other higher education institutions that have similar programs. If the program is deemed needed and is approved, Pellissippi State will work with an advisory board of eye-care professionals to provide input on curriculum, student learning outcomes, and effectiveness of the program.

The $15,000 in funding is a phase-one, exploratory grant from Trinity Health Foundation. Pellissippi State will be eligible to apply for a phase-two, implementation grant, worth $150,000, which could provide enough money to equip a laboratory to train certified ophthalmic technicians.

The grant funds are processed through the Pellissippi State Foundation, which works to provide student scholarships and emergency loans as well as to improve facilities and secure new equipment. For more information about the Foundation, visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation or call (865) 694-6528. For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State hosts encore Registration Rocks for Tennessee Promise students

Promise-logo1

Back by popular demand, Pellissippi State Community College will host a second Registration Rocks event, organized specifically to assist Tennessee Promise students, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday, June 18.

Students should RSVP by going to www.pstcc.edu/promise or clicking on the Registration Rocks icon at the top of the www.pstcc.edu homepage. Registration Rocks is on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

Registration Rocks is meant to help see Tennessee Promise students through the final requirements they need to meet to keep their funding. At the event, students can verify their financial aid, tour campus, sign up to attend an orientation session this summer and meet with Pellissippi State Service-Learning representatives about options available to complete the required eight hours of community service.

Academic advising and entrance testing appointments will be made on a first-come, first-served basis. Additionally, students who have completed the eligibility requirements can register for classes.

Tennessee Promise students are welcome to visit campus at any time during the summer to register for classes, but Registration Rocks provides a one-stop shopping experience for many college entrance needs.

For more information about Pellissippi State and its programs, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at (865) 539-7401 or accommodations@pstcc.edu.

Regional, national Math Bowl wins garnered by Pellissippi State

Pellissippi State Community College’s students have earned the college top spots in the 2015 regional and national Student Mathematics League competition.

In the Southeast region’s final standings, Pellissippi State finished third out of 25 schools. Nationally, the college was 43rd of 188. Of Pellissippi State’s student competitors, Shreyas Muralidharan took third place in the Southeast, with Joseph Allston 12th and Harrison Smith 18th.

“This was our second highest finish ever,” said Bobby Jackson, an associate professor of Mathematics. “This is a very challenging math contest, and we are proud of our students’ accomplishments.”

Pellissippi State had 138 students take part in the contest. In the first round of competition, the Southeast regional in October, the top five Pellissippi State students in the contest were Muralidharan, Allston, Chase Toth, John Simmins and Liana Hu. In the second round, the national in February, the top five from the college were Muralidharan, John Jones, Smith, Son Quang and Kevin Konopka.

Each year the contest consists of two rounds, one during the fall semester and one during the spring semester. Students are tested in many areas of mathematics, including geometry, trigonometry, algebra, probability and logic. Each round includes an exam of 20 multiple-choice questions. Students can use a calculator but no notebook or textbook.

Pellissippi State — thanks to a grant from Oak Ridge Associated Universities — awards its top finishers in each subject with additional cash prizes.

Pellissippi State has taken part in the Student Mathematics League Contest for at least 14 years. The contest is sponsored by the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges.

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

Early Childhood Education program at Pellissippi State earns accreditation

Pellissippi State Community College’s Early Childhood Education program is now accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

The college’s successful completion of the exhaustive accreditation process means that its two-year degree program has joined the ranks of the 170 programs in 32 states that are NAEYC Early Childhood Associate Degree accredited.

“For our students, accreditation means that our program is at a higher standard,” said Terenia Moody, Early Childhood Education program coordinator. “When they graduate, our students can know that they completed a degree program that is strenuous in its adherence to very high standards of excellence.”

The process of accreditation was three or four years in the making and included self-study and peer-review processes as the college expanded its program to adhere to the NAEYC’s 12 accreditation criteria.

Students can register now to begin the Associate of Applied Science degree program this fall. Registration continues until Aug. 12, and classes start Aug. 24.

“We have a very diverse student population, and to meet their needs we offer all types of classes: traditional day classes, night classes, hybrid courses that combine online and in-class, and accelerated cohorts for working adults,” Moody said. Cohorts allow a group of students to progress through a program together.

This fall starts the second year that Early Childhood Education has offered the accelerated cohort courses at the Magnolia Avenue Campus and the first year the college has offered an Early Childhood Education certificate at the Blount County Campus. The certificate includes four of the courses required for the Child Development Associate, serving as an interim step between CDA certification and Pellissippi State’s A.A.S. degree.

For more information about Pellissippi State’s Early Childhood Education program, visit www.pstcc.edu/eced or call (865) 694-6400.

Culinary Arts at Pellissippi State earns accreditation

Pellissippi State Community College Culinary Arts student Alexis Meneese prepares signature desserts for a recent community event.
Pellissippi State Community College Culinary Arts student Alexis Meneese prepares signature desserts for a recent community event.

Bring out the hors d’oeuvres and fine wine!

Culinary Arts at Pellissippi State Community College recently gained accreditation through the American Culinary Federation Accrediting Commission. Enrollment for fall semester is now open.

Pellissippi State’s Culinary Arts Institute prepares students to earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in Business with a concentration in Culinary Arts. The college’s culinary degree program is the only one accredited in Knoxville.

“When we first started Culinary Arts, we worked with an advisory committee to create a curriculum that was useful to local employers,” said Tom Gaddis, program coordinator. The Pellissippi State Culinary Arts Institute graduated its first class in 2012.

“Local employers want graduates who not only could cook fabulous foods but do it profitably. That’s why our program is a business program: we want them to learn to cook, but also to have that foundation in accounting, management and even marketing.”

Culinary Arts students are provided a unique education at Pellissippi State. They are trained in business and management practices, and they are taught practices of sufficiency and sustainability. Pellissippi State’s Culinary Arts students take classes at the college’s Division Street Campus and use the kitchen facilities of the University of Tennessee’s Culinary Institute.

Pellissippi State’s Culinary Arts/Business program had a 100 percent career placement rate, based on the latest figures, in 2013. Graduates have taken jobs in the hospitality industry, in restaurants and grocery stores, in bistros, at resorts, and in casual dining.

Graduates of the Pellissippi State Culinary Arts Institute can certify as cooking professionals through the ACF, progressing from certified culinarian to certified sous chef, all the way to certified master chef.

Enrollment for the fall semester is open until Aug. 12. Classes start Aug. 24.

For more information about the Pellissippi State Culinary Arts Institute and the degree program, visit www.pstcc.edu/culinary or call (865) 971-5246.

Two Pellissippi State students named to All-Tennessee Academic Team

Pellissippi State Community College students Carly Baskette (second from right) and Petr Stephanovich Bulkhak (not pictured) were recognized for outstanding academic achievement as part of the 2015 All-Tennessee Academic Team. Pictured with Baskette, from left, are Pellissippi State Phi Theta Kappa advisors Casey Lambert and Judith Sichler and Pellissippi State president L. Anthony Wise Jr.
Pellissippi State Community College students Carly Baskette (second from right) and Petr Stephanovich Bulkhak (not pictured) were recognized for outstanding academic achievement as part of the 2015 All-Tennessee Academic Team. Pictured with Baskette, from left, are Pellissippi State Phi Theta Kappa advisors Casey Lambert and Judith Sichler and Pellissippi State president L. Anthony Wise Jr.

At a ceremony in Nashville in February, Pellissippi State Community College graduates Carly Baskette and Petr Stephanovich Bulkhak were recognized for outstanding academic achievement.

Baskette and Bulkhak were named to the 2015 All-Tennessee Academic Team, along with other community college students throughout the Tennessee Board of Regents system. The team is sponsored by USA Today and the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, which recognizes students with a 3.5 grade point average or above.

“Pellissippi State is immensely proud of Petr and Carly and their academic accomplishments,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president. “We recognize the hard work they’ve put into their studies. They know the value of investing in their future, and we wish them well.”

Baskette earned a two-year general associate’s degree and a Pre-Business Transfer certificate in December 2013. Bulkhak earned an associate’s degree in Engineering Technology with a concentration in Mechanical Engineering in December 2014.

“Each year, it’s a privilege to recognize the hard work, dedication and commitment these students have exhibited at their colleges,” said John Morgan, chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents, Pellissippi State’s governing body.

“They’ve not only achieved a high degree of success in the classroom, but they’ve made significant contributions to their communities through their volunteer efforts and leadership skills.”

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

Pellissippi State recognizes outstanding student achievements

Pellissippi State Community College acknowledged students for their outstanding achievements at the 2015 Academic Awards ceremony, which took place April 28 in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus.

Carly Amber Baskette and Petr Stephanovich Bulkhak were named to the All-USA Community College Academic Team. They were nominated in recognition of scholarly achievement as members of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

Inductees into the 2014-2015 Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges are Mobin Araghi, Barbara Bearden, Patrick Bledsoe, Kevin Brooks, Landon Burke, Amber Coffey, Brandi Crass, Rebecca Fields, Laura King, Susan Minehan, Nichole Proctor, Yvette Satchel and Bonnie Walker.

Pellissippi State’s Altruist Scholar 2014-2015 is Barbara Bearden. Service Leadership Excellence Award winners are David Arnopole and Anna Thomas. Outstanding Campus Leadership Award winner is Alayna Strickland.

Awards of Merit were presented to students in several academic disciplines: Heather M. Potter Clark, Michelle Eder, Erik Heng-Fischbach, Richard Grant, Corey D. Puckett, Molly E. Roberson, Leighann Romanesk, Alexandra N. Rozanski, Jamie Stanley.

Outstanding Student Awards went to students in recognition of their work in specific subject, program or course areas: Alexandria Atkins (Chemistry), Leyton Adams (Mathematics), Simon Boka (Mathematics), Lauren Byington (College Success), Amanda Freuler (Biology), Zachary Jerome (Mathematics), Robert Jeffrey Keith (Allied Health), Kyle Kennedy (Fine Arts), Andrew Lawson (Botany), Nathan Martindale (Physical Science), Deanna Sanders (Fine Arts), Kalen Sellers (Behavioral Science) and Ryan Zotz (Early Childhood Education). 

Outstanding Graduate Award winners are Sherri Ahlstrom, Barbara Bearden, Darcy Coffey, Lori Deer, Anielle Duncan, Christopher A. Finger, Megan Grubb, David Hodge, Stephanie A. Kaser, Whitney Rebecca Kaul, Carlee Laws, Julianna Meyers, Tyler Miller, Donald Peltz, Sheena Pilkey, Sarah Ramsay, Misti B. Rivers, Ciara Sheets, Lillian Smith, Thao Nguyen Strong, Benjamin Taylor, Courtney M. Vaughn, Edward Warren, Derek White and Courtney Whited.

The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs Student Leadership Award was presented to Colby Dorcely. The Paralegal Studies Award was given to Megan Grubb.

The following students in Liberal Arts were recognized with Excellence Awards in these subjects: Rusul S. Alani in French and Jake Harrison Miller and Cullen M. Jones in Spanish.

For the second year, faculty member Jerry Sherrod was selected by students to receive the Faculty of the Year Award.

For additional information about Pellissippi State and its programs, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Project GRAD executive director to speak at Pellissippi State’s Commencement

Vrondelia-ChandlerProject GRAD Knoxville’s executive director, Vrondelia “Ronni” Chandler, is the keynote speaker at Pellissippi State Community College’s Spring Commencement ceremony Saturday, May 9.

Commencement begins at 4 p.m. and takes place at the University of Tennessee’s Thompson-Boling Arena. More than 500 students will walk across the stage.

Chandler is both a former employee and an alumna of Pellissippi State. She began working at the college in 1978, just four years after the institution opened its doors at the Division Street Campus. She earned a General Technology/Interdisciplinary degree from Pellissippi State in 1994, then went on to earn a bachelor’s from Tusculum College.

Chandler has worked at Project GRAD Knoxville since 2001, serving first as a program director and now as executive director. Project GRAD Knoxville provides support for students and families, many of them from low-income areas, in 14 Heart of Knoxville schools and 80 higher education institutions. The group’s mission is to positively impact generational change through education.

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