On Friday, February 6, Pellissippi State Community College and the Tennessee Board of Regents honored the support of Knox County and the City of Knoxville during an awards ceremony at the College’s Magnolia Avenue Campus.
Knox County and City of Knoxville representatives, including mayors Tim Burchett and Madeline Rogero, were presented the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Philanthropy in honor of their combined investment of more than $1 million to the College, particularly the Magnolia Avenue Campus.
“The support and partnership of our local governments has been critical to our success in reaching students and helping them succeed,” said Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. in his nomination letter.
“Courses and programs offered at the Magnolia Avenue Campus help build our regional workforce. Local government investment in the College has helped to support the expansion of our regional tax base and keep unemployment low in East Tennessee.
“At Pellissippi State, our collaboration with local government is impacting workforce development and student success. Without question, our mission to serve our community has been enhanced through our partnerships with the governments of Knox County and the City of Knoxville,” he added.
For more information about Pellissippi State’s Magnolia Avenue Campus, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 329-3100.
Pellissippi State Community College and the Tennessee Board of Regents recognized the Clayton Family Foundation and Clayton Homes for their support of higher education at a state legislative breakfast in Knoxville Friday, Feb. 6.
Danni Varlan, a TBR board member, presented the Regents Award for Excellence in Philanthropy to James L. Clayton of the Clayton Family Foundation and Kevin Clayton of Clayton Homes. TBR is the governing body for Pellissippi State and all of the state’s other community colleges.
“Clayton Homes and the Clayton Family Foundation truly epitomize the spirit of the Regents Award,” Varlan said. “Their contributions to numerous institutions in East Tennessee have enriched the fabric of our community. The Clayton foundations together have awarded over $40 million to hundreds of charitable organizations, giving back to the generations to come.”
A $1 million donation to the Pellissippi State Foundation from the Clayton Family Foundation and Clayton Homes supported two major projects: the Performing Arts Center and the Blount County Campus. The gift to the Performing Arts Center in 2008 resulted in the 500-seat facility’s renaming to the Clayton Performing Arts Center. The donation to the Blount County Campus, which opened in 2010, went for the purchase of equipment and furniture.
“Support from the Clayton family has been so much more than bricks and mortar,” Varlan said. The Claytons’ philanthropy and generosity have benefited various programs, campaigns, and funds, including Music scholarships, The Arts at Pellissippi State, art and cultural program funds, the Student Emergency Loan fund, and the Greatest Need fund for students, among others.
To find out more about the Pellissippi State Foundation, including opportunities to give, visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation or call (865) 694-6528.
Today, Pellissippi State Community College celebrated the grand opening of the Center for Student and Community Engagement at the Magnolia Avenue Campus.
The center provides a one-stop resource for student support services, including financial aid, advising, counseling, tutoring, service-learning, and safety and security.
“Life sometimes gets in the way of academic success,” said Rosalyn Tillman, dean of the Magnolia Avenue Campus. “The goal of the center is to provide every service we can to help our students overcome those distractions and roadblocks to success. Everything we do, we do so they can focus on school.”
Tillman was joined for the grand opening by L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president, as well as representatives from the Tennessee Board of Regents, Knox County and the city of Knoxville.
The center is designed to encourage student engagement within the school and in the community. Support programs and other resources will promote overall student health and wellness, prepare students for careers, and connect them with essential social support.
For more information about the Magnolia Avenue Campus and the Center for Student and Community Engagement, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 329-3100.
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.”
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.
Pellissippi State Community College pumped an average of $274 million each year into the local economy over the past five years, a recent study shows.
The 27th annual analysis of the economic impact of the college on the Knox and Blount county area reveals that the value of business volume, jobs, and individual income created amounted to about $1.4 billion in the 2009-2014 period, or an average of $274 million each year.
Fred H. Martin, an educational consultant who completed the study, says local business volume—the total amount generated locally by businesses from the college’s direct and indirect expenditures—was $659 million for the five-year period. Of that total, $537 million came from non-local revenues, such as state appropriations, state and federal contracts and grants, and state and federal student financial aid revenues.
Although Pellissippi State had a total of 2,573 full-time-equivalent employees during the period, the total employment created and sustained by the college’s expenditures was estimated at 44,967 jobs for the five years. Of that number, 36,202 jobs were created by external or new funds.
Using the more conservative of two different calculations, Martin has estimated that the impact of Pellissippi State’s expenditures on personal income in the area amounted to about $708 million during 2009-2014, of which $589 million came from external or new funds.
Of the college’s $1.4 billion total economic impact, about $1.1 billion ($225 million per year) could be attributed to the infusion of new non-local revenues.
“This impact would likely not have occurred without the presence of Pellissippi State in the area,” Martin said.
The economic impact study notes that each dollar of local revenue coming into Pellissippi State generated a return on investment of about $3.54 in local business volume. The individual income generated ranged from $3.81 to $4.04, for a total return on investment of at least $7.35.
The study also projects that graduates who complete a two-year associate’s degree can expect to earn about $470,800 more over their work lifetime than students who have only a high school diploma. For the most recent class of Pellissippi State graduates, that difference could mean an additional $605 million in lifetime earnings, plus about $2.4 million in additional annual tax payments.
Finally, the study describes a number of benefits to society that are proven to accompany higher levels of education.
“The results of this economic impact study clearly demonstrate that Pellissippi State continues to be a major contributor to the economic base of Knox and Blount counties,” Martin said. “Economic impact is expressed in this study in terms of jobs created, business volume generated and personal income earned.”
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.”
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.
The state recently certified Pellissippi State Community College as a “VETS Campus,” in acknowledgment of the institution’s efforts to ensure veterans experience a successful transition from military service to college enrollment.
“This designation is important because it recognizes Pellissippi State’s commitment to educating our men and women who have served in the military,” said Rachael Cragle. Cragle is Pellissippi State’s Advising director. She also is project director of the grants that help fund a number of the college’s student veteran support projects, including the Ben Atchley Veterans Success Center.
“This certification validates all of the work that Pellissippi State has done to establish our Veterans Success Center and to provide support for our student veterans,” said Cragle.
The certification is part of the Tennessee Veterans Education Transition Support (VETS) Act, which was passed into law earlier this year. The VETS Act recognizes colleges that not only deliver services to veterans but also “create a supportive environment where student veterans can prosper while pursuing their education.”
Pellissippi State opened the Ben Atchley Veterans Success Center one year ago this Veterans Day (Nov. 11) to provide space for veterans to gather, study, and relax, as well as to have access to advising and mentoring services.
The college provides pre-enrollment services—such as test preparation and help with benefits—through a partnership with the Veterans Upward Bound Program at the University of Tennessee.
The school communicates with its student veterans through email from enrollment to graduation and beyond, with the goals of improving retention rates and identifying situations that might require intervention. Pellissippi State offers veterans credit for military and other career experience through prior learning assessment, or PLA.
The college’s outreach programs to veterans are funded in part by a $37,982 Tennessee Access and Success Network grant and a three-year, $98,000 Tennessee Board of Regents Access and Diversity grant. Community partners include the Knoxville Rotary Club, the East Tennessee Military Affairs Council, and other non-profit and support groups.
For more information about Pellissippi State’s efforts to help student veterans succeed, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.
Pellissippi State Community College showcases the work of its Photography faculty members during the Photography Faculty Exhibit, Nov. 18-Dec. 12.
The exhibit is in the Bagwell Center for Media and Art gallery at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.
A reception takes place 4-6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17. The exhibit and reception are free to attend, and the community is invited.
“This exhibit allows our students to see what their professors are doing in their personal art pursuits,” said Kurt Eslick, an associate professor in Photography. “It’s great when students can see that their professors are out there creating, too.”
For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.
Pulitzer Prize nominee David Madden reads from his newest book on Wednesday, Nov. 5, beginning at noon on Pellissippi State Community College’s Strawberry Plains Campus.
Madden chooses excerpts from his newest collection of short stories, “The Last Bizarre Tale.” The reading is free and the community is invited.
“We are honored to have acclaimed author David Madden with us,” said Patricia Ireland, an English faculty member and advisor for the Strawberry Plains Creative Writing Club, which is sponsoring the event. “We feel certain he will serve as an inspiration to all of our aspiring writers.
“The fact that his reading is presented as a dramatic performance will certainly provide listeners with an entertaining and informative experience. He’ll be taking questions from the audience after his reading, so we hope everyone will stay for that part of the event as well.”
Stories in “The Last Bizarre Tale” include “A Walk with Jefferson at Poplar Forest,” “The Invisible Girl” and “Who Killed Harpo Marx?” among others. Copies of his books will be available to buy at the event.
Madden was born in Knoxville in 1933 and is the author of several novels, including “The Suicide’s Wife,” “London Bridge in Plague and Fire,” and “Sharpshooter: A Novel of the Civil War.” Both “The Suicide’s Wife” and “Sharpshooter” were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Madden also is a prolific poet, short story writer and essayist, as well as an editor.
For more information about this event, visit www.pstcc.edu or call the Strawberry Plains Campus at (865) 225-2300. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or email@example.com.
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 Community College, Knoxville, TN