Pellissippi State hosts Armenian Humphrey Fellow in April

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Tatevik Gharibyan
Tatevik Gharibyan

Pellissippi State Community College will host Tatevik Gharibyan, a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow, April 2-8.

Gharibyan works for the Ministry of Education and Science for the Republic of Armenia, where she is a higher education policy development specialist.

“My goal is to explore how effectively higher education contributes to economic development and the wellbeing of society in America,” Gharibyan said. “I hope to connect with policy-makers and researchers who focus on the ethical internationalization of learning.”

As part of her work in Armenia, Gharibyan works with the European Union’s Erasmus+ program, which focuses on education, training and sport activities for youth — as well as the opportunity to study or volunteer abroad.

“I want to compare the education perspective of the American system with the European system,” Gharibyan said.

During her week at Pellissippi State, Gharibyan will spend time with administrators and may visit local civic organizations and businesses in order to help her research on America’s higher education system. She will lead a presentation to college students, employees and the community at 2 p.m., Thursday, April 6.

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.

Gharibyan’s fellowship year is sponsored by Penn State University.

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

Pellissippi State campuses to become HABIT facilities

students with dog
Pellissippi State Community College students interact with a HABIT dog during finals week.

Pellissippi State Community College, in partnership with Human-Animal Bond in Tennessee, is on track to make all five of its campuses official HABIT facilities.

HABIT is a program that sponsors visits from medically and behaviorally screened dogs, cats and rabbits to facilities like schools, retirement and assisted-living facilities, rehabilitation facilities and hospitals. For many years, Pellissippi State has hosted HABIT animals on its campuses during final exam weeks as a de-stressor for students.

Pellissippi State’s Blount County Campus is the first among the college’s campuses to attain its HABIT facility designation. Pellissippi State is the first community college in the state to be named a HABIT facility.

“I have a Maine Coon cat who is a HABIT animal,” said Betsy Boyd, a counselor on the Blount County Campus. “I have been bringing him by campus to visit, and he became an immediate hit with our students, faculty and staff.”

HABIT facilities can host volunteers with HABIT animals at any time. For Pellissippi State students, that means that comfort animals can be available more than simply during finals weeks.

Elizabeth Firestone, director of Counseling Services at Pellissippi State, said, “We like the idea of promoting visits from HABIT animals to all of our campuses because our students have so much stress in their lives — from the simple stresses of the college workload to the fact that many of our students are juggling multiple roles at home and at school.”

HABIT, which is housed at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, promotes the benefits of human interaction with animals, including lowered stress and improved senses of wellbeing. More information about HABIT is available at vetmed.tennessee.edu.

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

Pellissippi State Foundation selects new executive director

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Aneisa McDonald
Aneisa McDonald

The Pellissippi State Foundation has a new executive director to lead its fundraising efforts. Aneisa McDonald, an experienced local fundraising professional, began her tenure as executive director this month.

“This feels like the greatest professional achievement of my career,” McDonald said. “I’m honored to serve. I walk through these doors every morning and see the needs of Pellissippi State’s students, and I look forward to working with our Foundation board and staff members to fulfill those needs through the gifts of our very generous donors.”

McDonald, previously the director of planned and annual giving for the Foundation, succeeds Peggy Wilson, who retired in December after 33 years at Pellissippi State. The Pellissippi State Foundation works to provide funding for student scholarships and emergency loans, facility improvements and new equipment at Pellissippi State Community College.

“When the Foundation can match a donor who wishes to give with a student who needs a scholarship or an academic program that needs new equipment, everybody wins,” McDonald said.

“Last week, the Foundation was able to give a scholarship to a student who had lost everything they owned in a fire and still retained a 4.0 GPA. That scholarship doesn’t replace what that student lost, but it can keep him on the path toward completing his dream.”

Before coming to work for the Pellissippi State Foundation in 2014, McDonald worked for Knox County Schools, the Metropolitan Drug Commission and the Arts Council of Greater Knoxville. She received her Master of Science in Education from the University of Tennessee.

She is a Tennessee Promise mentor and supports numerous organizations, including Introduction Knoxville, the Knoxville Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital and the Emma Walker Memorial Fund.

For more information about the Pellissippi State Foundation, visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation or call 865-694-6528.

Pellissippi State generates $263 million annual economic impact

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Over the past five years, Pellissippi State Community College has pumped an average of $263 million per year into the local economy.

From 2011-2016, that amounts to about $1.3 billion in economic impact, or the value of business volume, jobs and individual income in Knox and Blount counties that’s tied to Pellissippi State.

“Pellissippi State’s economic impact in our community is important, but we at the college consider it of greater import that we work to change the lives of everyone who comes through our doors,” said Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. “Our most significant impact comes from graduates who pursue their dreams and, in turn, give back to our community.”

Of the college’s $1.3 billion in total impact, the majority — $1.05 billion — can be attributed to the infusion of new, non-local revenues.

“This impact would likely not have occurred without the presence of Pellissippi State in the area,” said educational consultant Fred H. Martin, who conducted the study.

Every single dollar of local revenue that comes into Pellissippi State generates an estimated annual return on investment of at least $6.51, comprised of $3.16 in local business volume, plus at least $3.35 in individual income.

The report also studied what a degree from Pellissippi State might mean for a student. According to the American Association of Community Colleges, associate degree graduates can expect to earn about $470,800 more over their work lifetime than if they only had a high school diploma. For Pellissippi State’s 1,429 graduates in academic year 2015-2016, this means an additional $673 million in lifetime earnings and $2.7 million in additional annual tax payments, which benefit the economy.

Pellissippi State’s business volume impact in the community amounted to about $640 million from 2011-2016. Of that total, $504 million came from non-local revenues such as state appropriations, grants, contracts and federal student financial aid revenues.

Over the five-year period, Pellissippi State’s expenditures created and sustained an estimated 43,855 jobs. More than 34,000 of those were created by external or new funds. The College itself employed 2,734 full-time employees from 2011-2016.

The total impact of Pellissippi State’s expenditures on personal income in the area amounts to about $678 million over the past five years, including $547 million from new or external funds.

The complete 29th annual analysis of Pellissippi State’s economic impact in Knox and Blount counties can be accessed at www.pstcc.edu/ieap under “Fact Books and Data Reports.” For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400.

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