Afghan Humphrey Fellow to share message of hope, power of education

posted in: Community, International, TBR | 0

Angela Niazmand“I believe education is the only way out of darkness.”

So says Angela Niazmand, a Humphrey Fellows scholar from Afghanistan, who will visit Pellissippi State Community College the week of Feb. 8. She will share a presentation at 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11, in the Goins Building Cafeteria Annex, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Niazmand will spend time shadowing Pellissippi State administrators to learn more about the community college model and how Pellissippi State interacts with its community.

“Afghan women are capable the same as other women in the world. They are enhancing their capacity and building their nation. I believe we should be strong and stay firm with our goals and not let life challenges stop us from moving forward. Try to challenge life difficulties; do not let life difficulties challenge you,” Niazmand said.

Humphrey Fellows are mid-career professionals from other nations who travel to the U.S. and spend one academic year at a university or other higher education institution. The program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, was established in 1978. Professionals from 24 countries participate.

Before receiving the Humphrey Fellows award, Niazmand served as the acting registrar at the American University of Afghanistan. She holds two bachelor’s degrees, one in Dari language and literature from Kabul University and another in social science from the American University of Afghanistan. This year, she is based at Penn State University, where she is studying the American higher education system.

“My goal is to continue with my education in master’s degree and doctorate levels in higher education outside Afghanistan, then return to help the higher education system of my beloved country, Afghanistan,” Niazmand said.

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.

 

Download this news release: Angela Niazmand Humphrey Fellow

Pellissippi State: Y-12 machinists complete classroom portion of apprenticeship program

 

Y-12 Apprenticeship Graduation Ceremony
Pictured, in no order, are students in a Pellissippi State Community College and Y-12 National Security Complex apprenticeship program: Rachel Bachorek, Jason Brown, Jeff Bryant, John Bryant, Justin Dupas, Rashaad Gibbs, Brice Graham, Rachel Henley, Ryan Johnson, and Michael Lovelady.

Ten employees of Y-12 National Security Complex have completed the classroom training at Pellissippi State Community College as part of the first class of an apprenticeship program that grows talent from within Y-12.

The students — Rachel Bachorek, Jason Brown, Jeff Bryant, John Bryant, Justin Dupas, Rashaad Gibbs, Brice Graham, Rachel Henley, Ryan Johnson, and Michael Lovelady — received classroom instruction and hands-on training at Pellissippi State on topics related to working in an advanced technological workplace.

The completion ceremony was at Marble Springs, the historic home of Governor John Sevier. The apprentices built and donated a lawnmower and informational kiosk to the site.

“Our apprenticeship program has been a big investment at CNS Y-12,” said Beth Green, senior staff to the director of infrastructure, at the ceremony. “We wanted to make an investment in growing our employees into journeyman-level positions, and I’m proud to see the results in the work on these projects.”

The apprenticeship program is a four-year investment: the apprentices still must complete the remainder of their fourth year of actual on the job learning at Y-12 in order to finish.

 “It’s the end of one phase and the beginning of the next,” said Lovelady. “We’ll finish up this year, and once that is done we’ll be journeyman machinists.”

The program allows students the opportunity to earn substantial credit hours toward an Associate of Applied Science degree, plus the opportunity to finish additional coursework, including 15 credit hours of general education courses required to complete an Engineering Technology degree, with a concentration of the student’s choice.

“You’re giving yourself the best opportunity to grow in the company,” Lovelady said of those who participate.

 “Anything in life is worth working for,” said Bachorek. “I’m setting a grand example for my daughter. Once you have your education, no one can take that away from you.”

The participants also make up the first class of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union apprentices at Y-12. The partnership between the college, Y-12 and the union makes training more convenient and affordable.

Pellissippi State’s Engineering Technology faculty and Business and Community Services Division developed the curriculum for the program. BCS works with employers to create customized training and development solutions. For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu/bcs or call (865) 539-7167.

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

 

Download this press release: Y12 Apprentice Program

Pellissippi State earns grant funding to study Knoxville’s Cherokee Caverns

posted in: Academics, Faculty/Staff, Grant, TBR | 0
Cherokee Caverns Anthodites
Anthodites like these are just one of the unique rock formations that Pellissippi State Community College students will study in Cherokee Caverns, thanks to a National Speleological Society grant.

Strange as it might seem, East Tennessee was once quite beachy.

Geologically speaking, this area lay on the floor of a warm, shallow sea 500-plus million years ago, and Pellissippi State Community College students will soon be studying the rock formations and mineral deposits in Knoxville’s Cherokee Caverns that point to the fact that East Tennessee once had a climate similar to that of the Bahamas.

“[Cherokee Caverns] is good exposure to the geological history of East Tennessee and a new way to see your own hometown,” said Kathleen Affholter, associate professor in Natural and Behavioral Sciences at Pellissippi State. “This cave is unique — not just in Tennessee, but in the world. It’s a great outdoor laboratory.”

Affholter and Garry Pennycuff, an associate professor in the same department, recently applied for and were awarded a $750 grant from the National Speleological Society to study the mineralogy of Cherokee Caverns, one of the most geologically unique caves in the world. The cave, despite the effects of vandalism and improper use, is still home to flower-like crystal formations called anthodites and hollow stalactite-like formations that hang from the ceiling and look like bulbous soda straws. There are only a handful of caves around the world that feature anthodites and few others reported to have the bulbous-soda-straw stalactites.

“Tennessee has more caves than any other place in the United States — more than 10,000,” Affholter said. “But Cherokee Caverns is special.”

“When we grow up in a place, we often don’t realize or don’t take advantage of the amazing resources that are around us,” Pennycuff said. “But this amazing cave is right in our students’ backyards.”

The professors say their beginning physical geology, chemistry and environmental geology students will have the opportunity to take field trips to Cherokee Caverns. In class, students will study responsibly collected research samples and have remote access to Florida International University’s scanning electron microscope to analyze those samples. Some of the grant funds will be used to pay for the use of the electron microscope.

The biggest advantage of using an electron microscope over a more common optical microscope is that the electron microscope has a higher resolution and is able to magnify an object up to two million times. Optical microscopes can only magnify up to 1,000-2,000 times.

“So many times, students think of school as one thing and the ‘real world’ as another thing,” said Pennycuff. “But this opportunity lets them conduct real-world tests, explore real-world places and make real observations. This is what science looks like.”

 “For community college students, this is a rare opportunity to have this type of field experience and to use special equipment like the scanning electron microscope,” Affholter said.

The duo hopes the hands-on science experience will teach students the importance of conservation, particularly given Cherokee Caverns’ history. (Today, the cave can be accessed only with the permission of its caretaker.) But more than that, Affholter and Pennycuff hope students take away a love of science.

“Maybe the students will learn terms like ‘anthodites,’ but what’s more important to me is that they see that science is fun,” Affholter said.

“We can’t hide our enthusiasm,” Pennycuff said. “Hopefully, it’s contagious.”

The National Speleogical Society grant funds came through the Pellissippi State Foundation. The 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 science and other academic offerings, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Download a copy of this press release: Cherokee Caverns Grant

Pellissippi State now largest among Tennessee community colleges

posted in: Awards, TBR | 0

Pellissippi State Community College is now the largest community college in Tennessee.

According to the Tennessee Board of Regents, Pellissippi State’s governing body, the college’s fall 2015 enrollment is 10,325. The number of full-time students is 6,630. Not only is Pellissippi State’s enrollment higher than any other community college’s in the TBR system, but the college’s student enrollment is up 2.2 percent from last year.

Of the students contributing to Pellissippi State’s growth, 1,752 are Tennessee Promise students. Tennessee Promise is a last-dollar scholarship and mentoring program that covers tuition and fees for community college students across the state.

“We’re pleased that Pellissippi State is the largest community college in the state,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., the college’s president. “What’s most important, though, is that we strive to provide the best education to our students.

“At each of our five campuses, our faculty and staff are dedicated to these students — all 10,325 of them — and those faculty and staff work to make sure that our students succeed. That’s the fact that matters.”

In the past few years, Pellissippi State has set records for the number of students sent to study abroad and the number of high school students taking dual enrollment classes for high school and college credit. In 2013 and 2014, Pellissippi State set statewide records for the number of associate’s degrees awarded, with 1,286 in 2014 alone.

“We’re incredibly proud of the achievements of our students,” Wise said. “But the importance of these numbers isn’t in the actual statistics — it’s in the lives that are changed when our students earn their degrees, gain new opportunities and reach their goals.”

For more information about what the college has to offer, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Download this press release: PSCC Enrollment 2015

1 2 3 4 12