Pellissippi State No. 4 in nation for study abroad

Coby Wester
Pellissippi State student Coby Wester in Street Art Alley, also called “Graffiti Alley” in Hackescher Markt in Berlin during a study abroad trip.

Pellissippi State Community College is ranked number four in the nation among community colleges for study abroad, according to the 2017 Open Doors Report.

This is the sixth year in a row that the college has appeared in the top five for the number of students who studied abroad. It is the only community college in the southeast to be recognized in the Open Doors Report.

Pellissippi State student Coby Wester studied photography and videography in Germany through a study abroad trip with the college and the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies. He created a portfolio of photos as well as a video of the trip, in which he interviewed residents of Munich and Bavaria about their lives.

“What I took away most from the trip were the connections I made with the people I traveled with — people who went to Pellissippi but I never knew. We’re all still connected,” Wester said. “It’s this unifying moment of being part of this new, shared unexplored territory in our lives.”

Wester related a story of visiting the Dachau Concentration Camp with a friend who is Jewish. “There’s a noticeable atmospheric change there. Being part of that with her, and being there for her, was a humbling experience.

“I think going on study abroad programs pushes people’s limits to explore who they can fully be. It’s amazing to be part of that with the people around you,” Wester said. “I love studying abroad; I’d love to go back.”

Pellissippi State sent 166 students to study abroad in summer 2016 to sites across Europe and Asia as well as South Africa, Cuba, Peru and Brazil.

According to the Open Doors Report, the college led the state in international student enrollment among community colleges, with 101 students in 2015-16. Only two other community colleges were recognized for international enrollment in Tennessee.

Study abroad programs at Pellissippi State are organized through the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies, which is housed at the college. TnCIS serves all community colleges in the Tennessee Board of Regents system, organizing study abroad opportunities as part of its mission of boosting international experience and culture in higher education across the state.

For more information about TnCIS, visit www.tncis.org or call 865-539-7279. For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400.

Castle Neuschwanstein
Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, photographed by Coby Wester while studying abroad.

 

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Pellissippi State students win regional debate competition

posted in: Academics, Awards, Students, TBR | 0
Pellissippi State Community College Debate Team with faculty adviser Shaquille Marsh, center.

Pellissippi State Community College’s student Debate Team won Berea College’s John G. Fee Memorial Forensics Tournament, a novice National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA) Competition, earlier this month.

The competition is hosted by Berea College and included teams not only from Berea, but from Berry College, Butler University, Carson-Newman University, Cedarville University, Cleveland State Community College, Morehouse College, Spelman College, Walters State Community College and the University of Kentucky.

Dustin Paul
Dustin Paul

Debater Dustin Paul won the debate even though he competed alone in a team competition. His debate record throughout the competition was 7-0, with a 4-0 in the preliminary rounds. He beat a team from Berea College in the quarterfinals, semi-finals and finals. In the final round, the judges voted for him 3-0.

Pellissippi State also took home the Top Community College Award for NPDA Debate. The team of Robert Taylor and Preston Waggoner took turns debating in favor of, or against, a given topic related to current events. The students were given only 15 minutes to prepare for the debate, which lasted 40 minutes. Each student delivered a series of speeches based upon persuasive fact, persuasive value or persuasive policy topics.

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

Pellissippi State launches Weekend College

Pellissippi State Community College — extending its outreach to adult and nontraditional college students — will launch a Weekend College starting with the spring 2018 semester.

Weekend College will include credit courses and free non-credit classes. Registration for spring credit classes opens Oct. 30.

“This semester, Pellissippi State paved the way for adult students to come to college free of tuition, but we understand that finances are not the only hindrance to adults enrolling in college,” said Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. “For adults and working students, traditional class times simply do not fit the bill.”

Weekend College is part of Pellissippi State’s ongoing outreach to adult students, which includes the launch of Reconnect Now this fall. Reconnect Now is a last-dollar scholarship that covers the cost of tuition and mandatory fees for qualified adults. Students who participate in the program at Pellissippi State this year may roll into the Tennessee Reconnect program when it launches in fall 2018.

“Weekend College opens the doors to more adult and nontraditional students. Saturday classes will make earning a college degree from Pellissippi State easier than ever,” Wise said.

All Weekend College classes will be offered at the college’s Magnolia Avenue Campus, 1610 E. Magnolia Ave.

Weekend College will launch with general education and other courses, from English Composition and Survey of Math Principles to General Psychology, Introduction to Electronic Health Records and Social Welfare. Through weekend-only classes, students can earn a general transfer degree or an associate degree in Early Childhood Education, Accounting, Business Administration or Social Work.

This semester, Pellissippi State piloted free lifelong learning (non-credit) classes at its Magnolia Avenue Campus, including options from Women’s Self Defense to Smart Cycling Traffic Skills, presented with the Jeff Roth Cycling Foundation. This spring, the college will offer more free non-credit classes each Saturday.

For more information about Weekend College at Pellissippi State, call 865-694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability for one of these classes, call 865-539-7401 or email accommodations@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State students receive ‘Leaders of Promise’ scholarship

posted in: Awards, Financial Aid, Students, TBR | 0

Pellissippi State Community College students Kathryn Kali and Virginia M. Clark have been named two of 207 recipients of the 2017 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholars across the United States.

The Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholars are selected from among Phi Theta Kappa members. PTK is the international honor society of two-year colleges. Each student receives a $1,000 scholarship to help defray educational expenses while enrolled in associate degree programs. Scholars are selected based on scholastic achievement, community service and leadership potential from a pool of nearly 1,000 students.

“We are extremely pleased that our honor society students are successful in competing for scholarships at the national level through Phi Theta Kappa,” said Judith Sichler, Phi Theta Kappa faculty co-advisor at Pellissippi State.

“The Leaders of Promise Scholarships recognize students for what they have achieved already and assure that financial need isn’t an obstacle to achieving their academic goals,” said Monica Marlowe, executive director of the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation.

The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation provides $200,000 in funding for the scholarships, with $25,000 set aside for members who are veterans or active members of the U.S. military. The remaining amount is supported by donations to the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation and provides Leaders of Promise Global Scholarships, earmarked for international students.

“The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has a long history of providing financial assistance to outstanding students at community colleges,” said J. Mark Davis, president of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. “We are proud to partner with Phi Theta Kappa, make it possible for more deserving students to achieve their educational goals and support tomorrow’s leaders of the global community.”

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

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