Pellissippi State Community College’s Gamma Beta Phi chapter has received an “Exemplary Chapter” designation from the national Gamma Beta Phi Society, an honors and service organization for college students. Pellissippi State inducted 176 students into its inaugural Gamma Beta Phi class in fall 2014, a number which proved to be a record for the largest community college class of inductees in national Gamma Beta Phi history. For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400.
The Center for Digital Education has recognized Pellissippi State Community College as a Top 10 Tech-Savvy Community College in its 2015-2016 Digital Community Colleges Survey. The survey analyzes how community colleges use a range of technologies to improve services to students, faculty, staff and the community. Pellissippi State placed ninth in the large colleges category, those with 10,000 students or more. For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400.
Krissy DeAlejandro has spent eight years helping open the doors of higher education to Tennessee students.
On May 6, DeAlejandro, the executive director of tnAchieves, will congratulate Pellissippi State Community College’s 2016 graduates as speaker at the college’s spring Commencement. The ceremony begins at 7 p.m. at Thompson-Boling Arena. More than 750 students will graduate this spring, and approximately 450 are expected to walk across the stage.
“As a first generation, low-income, rural college student, I will share a few lessons from my experience,” DeAlejandro said. “I want students from similar backgrounds to understand that what might seem like an adversity is really an opportunity. I truly believe that higher education changes life trajectories. It certainly changed my life.”
In her position with tnAchieves, DeAlejandro oversees the Tennessee Promise last-dollar scholarship in 54 counties. DeAlejandro has a long history with Pellissippi State — from once serving as an adjunct faculty member to helping launch knoxAchieves, a precursor to tnAchieves, in 2008.
“I’ve had a long and very supportive relationship with Pellissippi State throughout the tnAchieves journey,” DeAlejandro said. “tnAchieves has been sending students to Pellissippi State since 2009, so I’m excited that many of our students will be in the audience graduating this year.”
“Krissy has been a great partner to Pellissippi State in rolling out the knoxAchieves, tnAchieves and Tennessee Promise access programs,” said Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. “I admire her passion for students across our state in encouraging them to take advantage of higher education opportunities.”
To request accommodations for a disability at this event, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at 865-539-7401 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400.
Pellissippi State Community College was one of four finalists for the 2016 Student Success Award of Excellence, given by the American Association of Community Colleges.
“Everyone deserves access to higher education, and Pellissippi State is proud to be a leader among community colleges in ensuring that everyone has that opportunity to follow their dreams and find their success,” said Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. “We are very proud to have been a finalist in this prestigious award.”
The Student Success Award recognizes a community college that has demonstrated a sustained commitment to and proactive advancement of the cause of student success. Nominees are evaluated based upon increases in degree completion and transfer rates, as well as innovative programs that encourage retention, graduation and student success.
Pellissippi State was nominated in recognition of its Accelerated Higher Education Associates Degree program, which allows working adults to complete an Associate of Applied Science degree in only 16 months. The AHEAD program has a 75 percent completion rate — higher than the national average for similar programs — and has been expanded to include more than 300 students in 20 cohorts in nine different degree areas.
“I attribute a great deal of my life and career success to the AHEAD program,” said Pellissippi State alumna Amber Hampton. “I’m a first-generation college student who thought she wouldn’t make it through the first class. In reality, I graduated Summa Cum Laude from Pellissippi State in 2012 and from Bryan College in 2014.”
Alumnus Josh Hemphill said, “My success in the business community all started at Pellissippi State when I enrolled in the AHEAD program in 2009. The professors showed support and guidance to help everyone, and thanks to the support of my professors and cohort peers, I’m now entering my second year as a business owner.”
“We are certainly proud of all that AHEAD has done and is doing, but AHEAD is only a small part of all Pellissippi State does to increase access to higher education for all of our students,” Wise said. “We’re devoted to student success and will continue to find new ways to open doors to students.”
The winner of the AACC Award of Excellence in Student Success was announced April 11 to be El Paso Community College.
For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400.
These are some of the themes — still relevant today — that will be addressed during the world premiere of the original play, “Which Side Are You On: The Florence Reece Story,” April 15-17 and 22-24 at Pellissippi State Community College.
The play is written by Pellissippi State’s Writer-in-Residence Edward Francisco and is directed by Grechen Wingerter, assistant professor in Liberal Arts. It is a fictional retelling of the life of Florence Reece, an American social activist, poet and folksong writer.
The daughter and wife of coal miners, she penned the song “Which Side Are You On?” during the Harlan County War, a decade-long battle in the 1930s between coal miners and union organizers on one side and the coal companies, gun thugs and law enforcement officials on the other. The war included a series of strikes, skirmishes, bombings, executions and the occupation of Harlan County by both state and federal troops. Reece’s song became a social justice anthem after Pete Seeger recorded it in 1940.
Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and students and are available at www.pstcc.edu/tickets. Show times are 7:30 p.m. April 15, 16, 22 and 23 and 2 p.m. April 17 and 24.
“This will be a very different play than what people are used to because of the scope of it,” said Wingerter. “The play has a huge, epic scope over decades and follows multiple characters. Plus the content of the play itself is all about social change and workers’ rights. We’re pushing the play to the max.”
Wingerter sees parallels between the social activism of the Harlan County War’s battle between coal miners and coal companies as reflective of similar confrontations still happening today.
“Florence Reece and her husband, Sam, wanted life to be fairer and more equitable for everyone, not just coal miners. Her song has been used in social justice movements since it was written in the 1930s,” Wingerter said.
The ensemble cast of 27 includes a number of Pellissippi State students as well as local children, high school students and other community and professional actors. The style of directing, based upon Bertolt Brecht’s concept of “epic theatre,” will include unusual features for plays, such as image projections and actors in the audience.
“Which Side Are You On: The Florence Reece Story” is one of the events that make up The Arts at Pellissippi State, a series of cultural activities including music, theatre, international celebrations, lectures and the fine arts. The play also is part of this year’s Common Academic Experience, a shared reading experience that includes class curriculum and extracurricular activities and events. This year’s Common Book is “The United States of Appalachia” by Jeff Biggers.
Additionally, “Which Side Are You On” is sponsored by an Arts Builds Communities grant administered by the Tennessee Arts Commission.
For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts or call 865-694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability at this event, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at 865-539-7401 or email@example.com.