Category Archives: Academics

Pellissippi State students named to Who’s Who list

Thirteen Pellissippi State Community College students have been recognized by the prestigious Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges program.

“Who’s Who recognizes the fact that college is about more than just academic excellence—it’s also about giving back to the community and making a difference,” said Ted Lewis, vice president of Academic Affairs. “Students are honored for their leadership, scholastic achievement and community service.”

“We are very proud of these students, all of whom are devoted to their school and to the community.”

Pellissippi State’s Who’s Who inductees and their place of residence:

  • Mobin J. Araghi, Knoxville
  • Barbara Bearden, Knoxville
  • Patrick Bledsoe, Alcoa
  • Kevin Brooks, Greenback
  • Landon Burke, Knoxville
  • Amber N. Coffey, Oakdale
  • Brandi M. Crass, Knoxville
  • Rebecca Fields, Knoxville
  • Laura King, Oak Ridge
  • Susan M. Minehan, Oak Ridge
  • Nichole Proctor, Knoxville
  • Yvette M. Satchel, Oak Ridge
  • Bonnie Walker, Oak Ridge

Since 1934, Who’s Who has recognized students for academic excellence, college and community service, and potential for future achievement. Selection of students for inclusion is made each fall by a campus nominating committee composed of faculty, administration and other students. Honorees receive an award certificate.

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

Pellissippi State student meets President Obama, spreads message of hope

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Ashley Albritton and her son, Mason, accept tickets to the Jan. 9 Presidential address on Friday, Jan. 9, from Pellissippi State Community College President L. Anthony Wise Jr., right, and Vice President of Student Affairs Rebecca Ashford, left.

Ashley Albritton sits down at her kitchen table each night to study with her 13-year-old son, Mason.

As an added incentive to succeed, they also compete with one another to get the highest grades—Ashley at Pellissippi State Community College and Mason at Farragut Middle School.

At the end of the semester, their report cards hang side by side on the refrigerator.

Ashley Albritton is busy knocking out the prerequisites to apply for nursing school. She enrolled at Pellissippi State in 2013, with strong encouragement from her sister.

“It was just Mason and I, and I had been working in hospice and home health, just getting by,” she said. “My younger sister told me that I needed to get back into the world.”

Her sister also helped her apply to Pellissippi State.

“When I first got here, I felt like it was a joke for me to be in college,” said Albritton, “like I wasn’t worthy to be here. But now I feel like this is all a dream. My son tells me that college has given me back the light in my smile, the light in my eyes.”

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Ashley Albritton, on stage for President Barack Obama’s address at Pellissippi State Community College on Friday, Jan. 9, holds up a small hope chest mentioned in Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr.’s opening remarks.

Albritton was seated on the stage when President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden visited Pellissippi State on Friday, Jan. 9. She shook President Obama’s hand from her place in the front row.

She had hoped to give the nation’s president a memento: a hope chest her father had given her when she was a child. Into this box, throughout her life, she has placed scraps of paper that represent all of her hopes and dreams.

“I want to give that box to someone else. The truth is, I can never say thank you enough to all the people who have helped me. I just hope to pass on my story so that it can help some other young woman follow her dreams.

“I don’t need my dream box anymore, because all of my dreams are coming true.”

Friday afternoon, Albritton gave the hope chest, instead, to Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr., who had featured her in his introductory speech earlier that day.

“Ashley is truly an inspiration, both to other students and to me,” Wise said. “She has a sincere heart, and through her strength and compassion, she proves, each day, that everyone can follow their dreams.”

Albritton hopes to become a medical missionary. She believes that her purpose is to give back and to serve. When she graduates from Pellissippi State, she hopes to go on to earn her bachelor’s degree and then a master’s to be an advanced nurse practitioner.

For more information about Pellissippi State’s academic offerings or its 40th anniversary celebration, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Two Pellissippi State students state’s only Grainger Scholarship winners

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Isaiah Maylott

Pellissippi State Community College students Jeffrey Roller and Isaiah Maylott have each earned a $2,000 Grainger Tools for Tomorrow Scholarship—the only recipients in Tennessee to receive the award this academic year.

Both Roller and Maylott are in the Engineering Technology degree program’s Electrical Engineering concentration.

The Grainger Tools for Tomorrow Scholarship supports technical education and promotes careers in technical areas of work. Grainger is an Illinois-based distributor of facilities maintenance supplies. Upon graduating, recipients also receive $2,500 worth of Grainger hand tools, each with a lifetime replacement guarantee.

“Pellissippi State is the only college in Tennessee that has students who receive this scholarship,” said Peggy Wilson. Wilson is vice president of College Advancement and executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation, which oversees the awards.

“Grainger classifies Pellissippi State as a ‘veteran-friendly college,’ and each student who receives a scholarship from Grainger must be a veteran.”

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Jeffrey Roller

Roller, who served in the Marine Corps and as a civilian contractor in Afghanistan, plans to finish his associate’s degree at Pellissippi State in 2015.

“This scholarship has allowed me to continue going to college full time,” he said. “I can concentrate on keeping a high GPA so I can be more competitive for jobs when I graduate. It’s definitely helped.”

Maylott joined the Air National Guard in 2011 and is a radio frequency transmissions systems technician. He plans to graduate from Pellissippi State in 2015.

“I was excited to find out that I got the scholarship,” said Maylott. “I’ve never earned a scholarship based on military service and my grades. It was really an honor to be recognized for that. I’m also definitely looking forward to getting the tool set—that will be really helpful as I look toward my future career.”

“Grainger is investing in the future of American industry and local communities through the Grainger Tools for Tomorrow Scholarship Program,” said Russell Rumpp, Grainger’s market manager in Knoxville. “We are proud to partner with Pellissippi State and believe business and community college partnerships are one solution to building a stronger workforce.”

The Pellissippi State Foundation 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 and its programs, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State students compete in Math Bowl

Pellissippi State Community College students once again compete against other Tennessee college students when the institution hosts its yearly Math Bowl, Saturday, Nov. 22.

Pellissippi State’s Math Bowl is part of the annual State Mathematics Competition, sponsored by the Tennessee Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges. In 2013, four Pellissippi State students finished in the top three in the state for their respective subjects: Zachary Jerome placed first in calculus A, Charles Garrett first and Ben Aptaker third in basic algebra, and Thao Nguyen Strong first in precalculus.

“We’re very proud of our winners from last year and look forward to seeing more top-level competition from Pellissippi State students in 2014,” said Bobby Jackson, an associate professor of Mathematics.

The State Mathematics Competition takes place each year at locations across the state. On Nov. 22, Pellissippi State hosts two site competitions, one at the Hardin Valley Campus and one at the Blount County Campus.

In the Math Bowl, students are tested in basic algebra, statistics, precalculus, and two levels of calculus, A and B. Each contest exam consists of 25 multiple-choice questions. Students can use a calculator but no notebook or textbook.

TMATYC awards cash prizes to the top three students in each subject. In addition, Pellissippi State—thanks to a grant from Oak Ridge Associated Universities—rewards its top finishers in each subject with additional cash prizes.

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

Info meetings set for new Pellissippi State accelerated Business Administration pathways

Prospective Business Administration students are encouraged to attend an informational meeting in November to learn more about two new accelerated cohort degree pathways—Business Administration/Management and Business Administration/Computer Accounting—to be offered spring semester at Pellissippi State Community College.

Students who successfully complete the coursework will earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in either Management or Computer Accounting.

Two info meetings are scheduled: at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 3, on the Magnolia Avenue Campus and at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11, at the Hardin Valley Campus.

The accelerated pathway allows students to earn a degree more quickly than normal thanks to shorter-length courses. It’s an ideal choice for those who work during regular school hours, who have family or other responsibilities and/or who may have been out of school for a while.

In a cohort, students begin and progress through a program together, as one supportive group.

Both accelerated cohorts meet Tuesday and Thursday evenings, in mostly five-week courses, for 16 months. The Management concentration provides the skills necessary to effectively manage and lead.  The Computer Accounting concentration prepares students for entry-level accounting positions in business and industry.

For more information about accelerated pathways and cohorts at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu/cohorts or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State tops in Tennessee for associate’s degree graduates

For students like Daniel Mace and Chisa Huffman, May 2014 was a milestone month in their lives. Both graduated from Pellissippi State Community College, with Huffman planning to enter a post-grad nursing program and Mace to continue working toward a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

The success of Mace and Huffman is definitely worthy of celebration, but the two students are also part of another cause for celebrating: they helped contribute to a new college record.

For the second year in a row, Pellissippi State leads the state in the number of associate’s degrees awarded by a two-year college.

In the 2013-2014 school year, Pellissippi State awarded 1,286 associate’s degrees—more than last year’s record-setting 1,265 degrees. According to the Tennessee Board of Regents, Pellissippi State’s governing body, the college also awarded 693 certificates.

“We’re incredibly proud to again be first in the state in the number of associate’s degrees we award,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president. “But the importance of these numbers isn’t in the statistics—it’s in the lives that are changed when our students earn their degrees and reach their goals.”

Huffman entered the doors of Pellissippi State’s Blount County Campus in 2013, when she decided to return to school at age 30 to pursue an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree. She’s now enrolled in Pellissippi State’s partnership RN to BSN program with King College, taking her coursework at the Blount County Campus.

Mace, who as an employee of Thompson-Boling Arena actually helped build the Commencement stage he walked across, plans to enroll at Austin Peay State University and pursue a degree in mechanical engineering. Those classes are offered at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus.

For more information about Pellissippi State and the many ways it offers to help students succeed, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State associate professor of Spanish wins teaching award

portrait of femaleMarilyn Palatinus, foreign languages program coordinator and an associate professor of Spanish at Pellissippi State Community College, has been named this year’s Jacqueline Elliott Award recipient by the Tennessee Foreign Language Teaching Association.

The award honors exemplary work and recognizes outstanding service by foreign language educators at the postsecondary level. According to the TFLTA, Palatinus was recognized “in glowing terms” by her coworkers and colleagues for her support to foreign language at the college and to the TFLTA.

“I was very surprised and humbled to learn that my colleagues felt I deserved the award,” said Palatinus. “I’m so very proud of our program at Pellissippi State. We’ve been very successful because of all of our great faculty members.”

Jane Stribling nominated Palatinus for the teaching award.

“I was personally acquainted with the late Jacqueline Elliott,” said Stribling, an associate professor of French at Pellissippi State. “Marilyn demonstrates the debrouillard spirit which shone with Jacqueline—the ability to tackle any project and handle it with grace.”

Palatinus has taught Spanish at Pellissippi State for 25 years. She also formerly served as department head of Humanities.

“I’ve always been interested in different languages, and I studied Spanish in college and high school,” Palatinus said. After she completed graduate school, she and her husband spent two years in Panama, where she spoke Spanish every day.

She enjoys teaching the language to students and, she says, uses learning by experience—like her own immersive language opportunity in Panama—when possible.
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Palatinus put her passions for teaching and language into practice this summer when she accompanied Pellissippi State students to Spain for study abroad through the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies. It was the sixth summer she had taught Spanish on a TnCIS trip to Spain. TnCIS, which is based at Pellissippi State, organizes study abroad opportunities as part of its mission of boosting international experience and culture in higher education across the state.

Palatinus is the third foreign language faculty member from Pellissippi State to earn the Jacqueline Elliott Award. Beverly Burdette, who taught Spanish, and Joan Easterly, who teaches French, were recipients of the honor in 2011 and 2001, respectively. Elliott was a French professor at the University of Tennessee.

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

Pellissippi State to host open house for high school seniors

Photo of the exterior of the Hardin Valley Campus Education Resource Center with the words Fall Open House Thursday, October 23rd. High school seniors who attend will be placed in a drawing for two 250 dollar scholarships awarded by the Pellissippi State Foundation!

All prospective students and their guests are invited to attend an open house at the Hardin Valley Campus of Pellissippi State Community College on Thursday, Oct. 23.

The open house is free and open to anyone who wants to learn more about the educational opportunities at Pellissippi State. The event is 5:30-8 p.m. in the Goins Building College Center. The campus is at 10915 Hardin Valley Road.
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“The open house will allow guests to hear presentations regarding admissions and financial aid,” said Leigh Anne Touzeau, assistant vice president of Enrollment Services. “Guests will be able to speak with current students and all our support services representatives, as well as with faculty.”

Tours of the campus will be provided, as will Pellissippi State’s academic options and information on how to apply to the college. Students and their guests should register at www.pstcc.edu/prsvp.

High school seniors who attend will be placed in a drawing for two $250 scholarships awarded by the Pellissippi State Foundation.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu 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.

Pellissippi State student starts scholarship for homeless students

A Pellissippi State Community College student is taking steps to ensure homeless students have the funds they need to attend college.

Through a partnership with the Pellissippi State Foundation, student Stephanie Davis has started the Homeless Students Scholarship, which will help fund tuition, books and school supplies for students who are homeless.

The Homeless Students Scholarship is dependent upon donations from the community. To make a donation, contact the Foundation at (865) 694-6528.

“In the spring, I wrote an argument essay in my English 1010 class about homeless students,” said Davis. “During the research for that paper, I found out that Pellissippi State has had homeless students attend classes, and I came up with the idea of starting a fund to help those students.
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“It is heartbreaking that homeless students sometimes feel that they have nowhere to turn, or that they’re embarrassed to ask for help. It just takes one person to speak up before we see change.”

Davis hopes the scholarship is up and running by the spring 2015 semester.

“Stephanie is enthusiastic and inspiring in her desire to help other students,” said Peggy Wilson, vice president of College Advancement and executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation. “By setting up this scholarship, we hope to help students in need achieve their dreams.”

To qualify for the scholarship, a student would need to meet the following criteria:

  • Demonstrate financial need.
  • Validate that he/she is homeless.
  • Provide a written recommendation from a high school or college advisor, counselor, teacher or other professional.
  • Maintain an overall GPA of 2.0. Scholarships would be awarded annually, and the award would depend on the funding available.

“Even $5 would buy a pack of pens,” Davis said. “We can start small and grow.”

The Pellissippi State Foundation works to provide student scholarships and emergency loans, as well as to improve facilities and secure new equipment. For more information about this and other scholarships and grants offered through the Foundation, visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation or call (865) 694-6528.
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Pellissippi State ranks high nationwide in number of communication graduates

Pellissippi State Community College ranks second in the U.S. among two-year colleges in the number of students who graduated from the institution in 2013 in the communications field.

The rankings are published in the Aug. 18 issue of Community College Week, and the college places high in the category of Top 50 Associate Degrees: Communication Technologies/Technicians and Support Services.

Pellissippi State was the only community college in Tennessee recognized in the category. The college’s ranking rose 9 percent from 2012.
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The institution awarded 93 associate’s degrees in communication/media technologies in the 2012-2013 academic year, only 10 fewer than the top two-year school, the Institute of Production and Recording in Minnesota.

“We are honored to receive this national recognition for the number of graduates we have in this program,” said Ted Lewis, vice president of Academic Affairs. “Our faculty are deeply committed to helping students achieve their academic goals, and I am very proud of the excellent work they do in preparing students for successful careers in media technologies.”

The college offers a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree in Media Technologies. Students can choose from four concentrations: Communication Graphics Technology, Photography, Video Production Technology and Web Technology.
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Pellissippi State was one of only three Tennessee two- and four-year schools recognized in the Community College Week issue, which records the top 100 associate’s degree producers in 2013 across a variety of disciplines and categories.

Community College Week is published biweekly. It covers community college news and features, analyses of academic trends and issues, statistics, and technology updates.

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