Pellissippi State names Ronni Chandler Alumna of the Year

posted in: Alumni, Awards, TBR | 0
Ronni Chandler
Ronni Chandler

Pellissippi State Community College has recognized Vrondelia “Ronni” Chandler as its Distinguished Alumni Award winner for 2016.

Chandler is the executive director and CEO of Project GRAD, which focuses on increasing academic achievement, high school graduation rates and college-going and success rates for students from 14 of Knoxville’s urban schools.

Pellissippi State’s Distinguished Alumni Award is given to an individual in recognition of significant professional achievement, service to the community and support of the College and the Pellissippi State Foundation.

Chandler is both a graduate and former employee of Pellissippi State.

She began working at Pellissippi State in 1978, just four years after the College opened its doors at Division Street as State Technical Institute at Knoxville.

“I served in a number of different positions while at Pellissippi State. I was administrative assistant to the president, then admissions coordinator, then minority student affairs coordinator and finally the director of community outreach and engagement at the Magnolia Avenue Campus,” Chandler said.

She went back to school at Pellissippi State in the early 1990s.

“My degree was unfinished business,” Chandler said. “I went to UT the year after I graduated from high school, but my mom got sick and I withdrew. I always wanted to complete my college education.”

Chandler graduated from Pellissippi State in 1994, earning a general associate’s degree before transferring to Tusculum College, where she earned her bachelor’s in business and organizational management.

“The time I had the opportunity to be at Pellissippi State laid a great foundation for me and has had a great influence on me as a leader,” Chandler said. “I’ll forever be part of the Pellissippi State family.”

She has worked at Project GRAD Knoxville since its inception in 2001, first as a program director and now as executive director. Pellissippi State partners with Project GRAD each summer to host a Summer Institute for students from Austin-East and Fulton high schools; more than 2,000 students have gone through the program.

 “I’ve always had a love of leadership and coaching others, helping them to grow. I get that opportunity at Project GRAD. Who we are is in our name: Graduation Really Achieves Dreams,” Chandler said.

Since Project GRAD was founded in 2001, the graduation rate at Fulton and Austin-East high schools increased from about 50 percent to more than 80 percent. Approximately 57 percent of those students now go on to postsecondary education, and the completion rate for those students in higher education is 46 percent — far higher than the national average of 10 percent for students from low-income circumstances.

Chandler will speak at Pellissippi State’s December Commencement ceremony as the college’s Distinguished Alumni Award winner.

For more information about Pellissippi State Alumni, visit www.pstcc.edu/alumni or call 865-539-7275.

 

Download this press release: Distinguished Alum Ronni Chandler

Pellissippi State Announcements: Gamma Beta Phi recognized, College a Top-10 Tech-Savvy School

posted in: Academics, Awards, Students, TBR | 0

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.

 

Download this press release: PSCC Briefs Honors Society

Pellissippi State announces Krissy DeAlejandro as Commencement speaker

posted in: Commencement, Events, TBR | 0
Krissy DeAlejandro
Krissy DeAlejandro

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 accommodations@pstcc.edu. For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400.

 

Download this press release: DeAlejandro PSCC Commencement Speaker

Pellissippi State finalist for national Award of Excellence

posted in: Academics, Accelerated Cohorts, Awards, TBR | 0
Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr.
Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr.

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.

 

Download this press release: PSCC Excellence Award Finalist

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