Category Archives: TBR

Pellissippi State awarded $50,000 by DENSO for automated manufacturing

Pellissippi State officials accept a donation of $50,000 from DENSO Wednesday, August 5. The donation will fund state-of-the-art equipment for the Engineering Technology degree program’s Automated Industrial Systems concentration. Pictured, from left, are Holly Burkett, dean of Pellissippi State’s Blount County Campus; Emilie Denson, section leader of Human Resources for DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee; Melissa Smith, program manager of Community Affairs for DENSO North America Foundation; Ted Lewis, Pellissippi State's vice president of Academic Affairs; and Teri Brahams, executive director of Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services.
Pellissippi State officials accept a donation of $50,000 from DENSO Wednesday, August 5. The donation will fund state-of-the-art equipment for the Engineering Technology degree program’s Automated Industrial Systems concentration. Pictured, from left, are Holly Burkett, dean of Pellissippi State’s Blount County Campus; Emilie Denson, section leader of Human Resources for DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee; Melissa Smith, program manager of Community Affairs for DENSO North America Foundation; Ted Lewis, Pellissippi State’s vice president of Academic Affairs; and Teri Brahams, executive director of Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services.

Automation is at the technological cutting edge of manufacturing — and Pellissippi State Community College is working with partners like DENSO Manufacturing to ensure that the college’s Automated Industrial Systems graduates are well prepared to enter the workforce.

“No question, partnerships like these are what we’re looking for in Drive to 55,” said Mike Krause, executive director of the state’s Tennessee Promise and Drive to 55 initiatives. “This initiative isn’t just about getting students in school but encouraging them to graduate and then join the workforce. That’s what it’s all about.”

The DENSO North America Foundation has awarded Pellissippi State a $50,000 grant to purchase state-of-the-art equipment for the Engineering Technology degree program’s Automated Industrial Systems concentration. The concentration prepares students to operate automated manufacturing equipment, including the programmable controller training systems, robotics and motor training equipment that are now the industry standard in manufacturing settings.

DENSO and Pellissippi State representatives gathered for a ceremonial check presentation Wednesday morning, Aug. 5, at the college’s Blount County Campus.

 “In order for students to be ready to go to work at the most advanced levels of manufacturing, we must continue to integrate newer technology into our programs,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president. “We appreciate DENSO’s support in helping us achieve those goals.”

“Manufacturing is now high-tech. I don’t know of any manufacturing job that doesn’t include automation,” said Margaret Ann Jeffries, dean of Engineering and Media Technologies.

DENSO is a longtime supporter of Pellissippi State. Awards from the international automotive supplier during the past decade have included two grants that have helped the college build its Automated Industrial Systems concentration. The concentration was launched in 2013.

“In a global economy, DENSO is continually investing in ways to improve our competitiveness through highly skilled employees and advanced equipment,” said Mike Brackett, DENSO North America Foundation board member and senior vice president of Corporate Services at DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee. “This donation represents an investment in the future of our region, as well as in the advanced technology needed by our customers in the automotive industry.”

For more information about Automated Industrial Systems or other academic offerings at Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.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.

NHC donation funds Pellissippi State nursing equipment

Pellissippi State Community College officials accepted a donation of $10,000 from NHC’s East Tennessee facilities during a brief ceremony Friday, June 12. The donation will fund laboratory simulation equipment for the college’s nursing program. Pictured, from left, are NHC vice president Ray Blevins, Pellissippi State professor More Herington, NHC Farragut director Karla Lane, Pellissippi State vice president of College Advancement Peggy Wilson and President L. Anthony Wise Jr., with Jeff Tambornini, Keith McCord and Brad Shuford.
Pellissippi State Community College officials accepted a donation of $10,000 from NHC’s East Tennessee facilities during a brief ceremony Friday, June 12. The donation will fund laboratory simulation equipment for the college’s nursing program. Pictured, from left, are NHC vice president Ray Blevins, Pellissippi State professor More Herington, NHC Farragut director Karla Lane, Pellissippi State vice president of College Advancement Peggy Wilson and President L. Anthony Wise Jr., with Jeff Tambornini, Keith McCord and Brad Shuford.

A $10,000 donation to the Pellissippi State Community College Foundation by local affiliates of the National HealthCare Corporation is earmarked for the purchase of state-of-the-art teaching equipment for the college’s Nursing degree program.

The equipment includes a bed with a headwall containing electronic patient monitors and is to be used in the simulation lab at the Strawberry Plains Campus.

The donation was presented to the Pellissippi State Foundation by Ray Blevins, senior regional vice president of the NHC, Eastern Region, June 12. L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president, and Peggy Wilson, executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation and vice president of College Advancement, accepted the check. The Foundation works on the college’s behalf to provide student scholarships and emergency loans, as well as to improve facilities and secure new equipment.

“The Nursing department is very grateful for NHC’s support,” said Lisa Stamm, dean of the program at Pellissippi State. “We currently have students completing clinical rotations at NHC Farragut, and we appreciate the many opportunities NHC continues to provide for our students, in addition to this gracious gift.”

The donation was made by NHC Farragut, NHC Fort Sanders, NHC Knoxville, Holston Health and Rehabilitation Center, and NHC Oak Ridge. NHC affiliates operate long-term health-care centers, as well as home-care programs, independent living centers and assisted living communities throughout the country.

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

The program runs two years, and students graduate with an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree. They are then prepared to take the national licensure exam to become a registered nurse.

Pellissippi State also offers a fast-track degree option through the Bridge to Registered Nurse program that allows licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and paramedics to enter nursing school following the successful completion of one summer transitional course. The college partners with other schools to offer the RN to BSN path for students interested in going on for a bachelor’s degree.

To learn more about the college’s Nursing program, visit www.pstcc.edu/nursing or call (865) 981-5353. For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

To find out more about the Pellissippi State Foundation, including opportunities to give, visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation or call (865) 694-6528.

Keurig Green Mountain, Pellissippi State partner to train employees

Row of males standing in front of a Pellissippi State Community College logo.
Keurig Green Mountain Inc. employees completed an industry-specific workforce development program at Pellissippi State Community College in late May. Pictured, in no order, are graduates Kevin Anderson, Marshall Boyd, Stanley Burgin, Robert Coleman, John Fronczak, Damien Kerr, John LaForge, Tim Mabry, Daniel North, Teddy Phillips, Rodney Reynolds, Josh Sicotte, Stephen Strader and Jeremiah Williams.

Pellissippi State Community College celebrated its first cohort of students completing an industry-specific workforce development program in late May.

The short-term certificate program was designed for Keurig Green Mountain Inc. employees to train them to install, troubleshoot and maintain industrial electrical systems. The curriculum was built through partnerships between Pellissippi State’s Engineering and Media Technologies department and Business and Community Services division with Keurig Green Mountain’s continuous learning department.

“We are pleased to work with our local employers to provide the training and education their employees need to be successful and productive,” said Teri Brahams, executive director of Economic and Workforce Development. “We can do that by either fully customizing a solution or packaging existing course offerings to accomplish the company’s workforce development needs.”

In this case, 14 Keurig employees earned 10 credits toward an Associate of Applied Science degree in Engineering Technology with a concentration in Electrical Engineering. The specialized Keurig certificate is based on Pellissippi State’s Electric Systems Technology certificate.

The Pellissippi State program serves as the model for similar partnerships Keurig Green Mountain is launching across the country with other community colleges.

The 14 graduates are Kevin Anderson, Marshall Boyd, Stanley Burgin, Robert Coleman, John Fronczak, Damien Kerr, John LaForge, Tim Mabry, Daniel North, Teddy Phillips, Rodney Reynolds, Josh Sicotte, Stephen Strader and Jeremiah Williams.

To learn more about the college’s workforce training opportunities, visit www.pstcc.edu/bcs or call (865) 539-7167. For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Adult students invited to apply for ‘last-dollar’ scholarship at Pellissippi State

Pellissippi State Community College welcomes adult students to apply for a new, “last-dollar” scholarship to cover mandatory tuition and fees.

The Pellissippi Adult Learner Scholarship is open to adults ages 24 and older. PALS, like Tennessee Promise, is last-dollar, meaning it covers tuition and fees once other financial aid, like grants or other scholarships, has been applied.

“With the implementation of the Tennessee Promise scholarship, students who come to Pellissippi State right out of a Tennessee high school have unprecedented access to affordable higher education,” said Rebecca Ashford, vice president of Student Affairs. “Pellissippi State wants to provide that kind of affordability to adult students. The creation of this scholarship is a step toward meeting that goal.”

The priority deadline to apply for financial aid is July 15. Individuals can apply for PALS online at www.pstcc.edu/adult. They must first complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

In order to qualify for PALS, applicants must meet the age criteria, must be first-time freshmen and must qualify for in-state tuition. Priority will be given to students with an expected family contribution to their college education of $3,800 or less, though other students are welcome to apply.

Students who receive the scholarship must maintain a 2.0 GPA, must submit a degree plan with an advisor, and must enroll in at least 6 credit hours each fall and spring semester. The scholarship doesn’t cover summer semesters.

For more information about PALS and other adult learner support and programs, visit www.pstcc.edu/adult. 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.

Three-time Pellissippi State student finds promise in new degrees

Brenda Hale

Brenda Hale has probably experienced a heavier dose of work-world reality than most of Pellissippi State Community College’s 10,000-plus students.

The 54-year-old single mother is attending the college for the third time in nearly four decades, with a firsthand understanding of the fickleness of the economy and of employers’ needs for well-rounded, well-educated employees.

“I’ve been downsized and I’ve been laid off, but I know I can come back to Pellissippi State and update my education if I need to,” Hale said. “Pellissippi State reflects real life.”

Hale first graduated from Pellissippi State in 1980, only four years after the institution opened as State Technical Institute at Knoxville. She graduated with a degree in Construction Engineering Technology and was immediately hired by TVA. She went to work on construction at the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant near Spring City, but when that phase of work was completed, TVA laid off the construction team.

So Hale returned to Pellissippi State. She earned a second degree, this time in Computer Integrated Drafting and Design, in 1990. She worked for businesses around East Tennessee using that degree for nearly 20 years — until her position was downsized during the recession in 2008.

“I took some time off then to spend with my son, who was young,” Hale said, “and I went back to work part time. But now my son is older, and I’m looking for full-time work again. Since the recession, the CAD [computer-aided drafting] workers that businesses needed before now need to know new programs, like SolidWorks.”

So Hale once again enrolled at Pellissippi State.

“Pellissippi State is familiar and it’s convenient, and I know that the education I receive here is going to be what employers are looking for. They need people who know how to use SolidWorks, so that’s what Pellissippi State is offering now.”

Hale is now in the Engineering Technology/Mechanical Engineering degree program. She’s also studying additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, while she’s here.

“I love what I do — I love drafting,” Hale said. “I’ve always been interested in houses and building things, and I’ve never been tired of this job. It’s wonderful to see what was manufactured from my drawings. Things like 3D printing are the new iterations of what I do.”

“Technology is pulling everything forward,” said Pat Riddle, program coordinator of Engineering Technology/Mechanical Engineering at Pellissippi State. “Continuing education or training on the job is going to be necessary in many fields in the future, as employees find they have to keep up with changing programs and knowledge.”

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

New Human Resources director named at Pellissippi State

Carole-GaryCarole Gary has joined Pellissippi State Community College as director of Human Resources.

Gary comes to the college from Blackberry Farm, where she had been over the human resources department since 2010.

“Blackberry Farm’s organization is built around customer service,” Gary said, “and I told myself I would only leave there for a very special place. I got that opportunity earlier this year. I feel Pellissippi State has a great brand and a dedicated group of employees who are devoted to the college’s own brand of customer service: to our students.”

Gary’s responsibilities at the college include oversight of staffing and other institutional concerns, such as Affordable Care Act compliance. She says she hopes her role also offers opportunities for training and professional development.

“I love working in organization development,” she said. “I look forward to helping the college reach its goals, while also helping employees reach their personal goals.”

Gary has worked in human resources for nearly 20 years, beginning at National Book Warehouse.

“I was asked by the owners of National Book Warehouse to step into the role of human resources director,” she said. “I agreed, though I didn’t know much about it at the time. They provided me training and resources, and I found that human resources fit me well. I didn’t find it — it found me.”

Gary earned her Senior Professional in Human Resources credential in 2005.

For more information about Pellissippi State, 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.

New vice president of Information Services named at Pellissippi State

Audrey-WilliamsAudrey Williams can remember going to a former boss in the early ’90s and saying, “There’s this thing called the World Wide Web, and I think it’s going to be big.”

That one statement launched her on a path down the Internet technologies and services rabbit hole, and it might just be what launched her on the path to her new position as Pellissippi State Community College’s vice president of Information Services.

“In this new position,” she said, “my job is to make sure all of our students have the technology they need to learn, that faculty have all the technology they need to teach, and that everyone who works here has the technology they need to do their jobs.”

Williams has worked at Pellissippi State since 1999. She’s served as an instructional technology specialist and, most recently, as director of Educational Technology Services.

But she says she got her start in Internet technology at the American Museum of Science and Energy, where she worked in the 1990s and where she first learned about what was then the revolutionary phenomenon of the Internet.

“The Internet and all of that related technology is ubiquitous now,” Williams said. “We can’t do our jobs without it. But then, I was working at AMSE as the Web was just emerging, and I told my boss we should be on it. I sat at a computer with an ‘HTML for Dummies’ book and tapped out code, and I created an exhibit on the Web for AMSE. I brought the museum into this age.

“I feel like I grew up with the Internet, because I’ve been so involved with it from its beginning.”

Williams says her love of technology has carried her through a series of jobs, and it will continue to evolve in the new one as vice president of Information Services.

“I want to keep a few of my tech projects even as a vice president,” Williams said. “Those are what I love, and I don’t want to give them away, like serving as the administrator of many of the college’s blog pages.”

In her new position, Williams’ goals are to maintain the already high standard of service among the three areas she will oversee — Educational Technology Services, Networking and Technical Services, and Application Programming Support — and increase communications to students and employees about the many technological services Pellissippi State can boast.

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