Pellissippi State honors employees and retirees

Tyra Barrett - Excellence in Teaching Award

Pellissippi State Community College recently hosted its annual recognition of employees for outstanding service, longevity and retirement.

At this year’s ceremony, the Excellence in Teaching Award went to Tyra Barrett, an associate professor in the Business and Computer Technology Department and the program coordinator for Business Administration. The award recognizes innovative teaching techniques and the positive impact they’ve had on students.

Barrett, who first came to Pellissippi State in 1988 as an adjunct faculty member in Economics and has served as an associate professor since 1994, was recognized by the college in 2006 with the Outstanding Full-time Faculty Award. She was also the 2007 recipient of the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development’s Excellence Award for outstanding contributions to teaching, leadership and learning.

Anita Maddox and Donn King - Innovations Award

The Innovations Award was bestowed upon Donn King and Anita Maddox. This award is given in recognition of a project that demonstrates success of creative and original instructional and learning support activities.

King and Maddox each serves as an associate professor of Speech in the Liberal Arts Department. Maddox is also the program coordinator for Speech. King was the 1999 recipient of Pellissippi State’s Excellence in Teaching Award, as well as the 2000 recipient of NISOD’s Excellence Award.

The two collaborated on “Flipping the Speech Class,” in which students enrolled in selected sections of SPCH 2100 were able to access classroom lectures via audio podcasts rather than only attending traditional lectures during class time. The strategy of “flipping” how the students spent their instructional time gave them the opportunity to use classroom hours for engaging in group work, delivering speeches and receiving feedback from fellow students and professors.

Martha Merrill and Regina Buckley - Gene Joyce Visionary Award

Regina Buckley and Martha Merrill were honored at the ceremony with the Gene Joyce Visionary Award, which recognizes external outreach projects that have an impact on the community. Buckley serves as an associate professor in the Business and Computer Technology Department and as the program coordinator of Administrative Professional Technology. Merrill is a professor in and the program coordinator of Web Technology in the Engineering and Media Technologies Department.

Buckley and Merrill served as co-instructors of a class that incorporated “service-learning” in the curriculum. Service-learning provides an opportunity through the curriculum for students to volunteer in the community.

Pellissippi State students who enrolled in ADMN 2450 Communications Media worked with a local nonprofit organization, Therapeutic Riding Academy of Knoxville, to increase community awareness of, involvement in and support for the organization.

Thanks to the efforts of Buckley and Merrill, Pellissippi State students enrolling in a summer Web design course and a fall advertising course also will incorporate real-world service-learning for the riding academy in their studies.

The Excellence in Teaching, Innovations and Gene Joyce Visionary awards carried with them monetary recognition ranging from $1,000 to $1,500. Funding for all awards was provided by the Pellissippi State Foundation. Recipients of the three awards also received a plaque and a medallion.

Pellissippi State also recognized employees who had reached five-year increments of employment, as well as council presidents and retiring employees. Retirees received a clock in recognition of their service. Retirees included Bill Chapman, Luanne Dagley, Cathalin Folks, Sydney Gingrow, Milton Grimes, Hudson Jeter, Phyllis Pace, Terry Sisk, Anne Swartzlander and Greg Walters.

Part of this year’s ceremony was set aside to honor two Pellissippi State employees, Brenda Ammons and Mike Hudson. Ammons, associate professor of Math, was recognized for her 20 years of work with the Faculty Senate Book Sale. Since its inception three decades ago, the event has raised more than $101,000.

Event proceeds go to the Pellissippi State Foundation, which supports students by providing scholarships, new technology and equipment. Funds from the book sale are earmarked for the Faculty Senate Scholarship. The scholarship provides tuition and fees for full-time students who maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA and meet additional scholarship criteria.

Mike Hudson, who passed away in December 2011, served for many years as the college’s director of Certificate Programs. At the time of his death, he was director of special projects.

Hudson was the 2011 recipient of the college’s Innovations Award. As one of the employee award winners, he was to be recognized with a certificate and a medallion at the 2012 NISOD conference in Texas later this month. The certificate and medallion were given instead at the Pellissippi State awards ceremony. L. Anthony Wise Jr., president of the college, presented the special recognition to Hudson’s family at the event.

Additional award recipients—each of whom received $100, a plaque and a medallion—included the following: Outstanding Adjunct Faculty, Jack Heck; Outstanding Administrator, Spencer Joy; Outstanding Contract Worker, Chris Niesen; Outstanding Support Professional, Ann Burgess; Outstanding Technical/Service/Maintenance Employee, Travis Whitson; and Outstanding Full-time Faculty, Bill Brewer.

Jack Heck - Outstanding Adjunct Faculty
Spencer Joy - Outstanding Administrator
Chris Niesen - Outstanding Contract Worker
Ann Burgess - Outstanding Support Professional
Travis Whitson - Outstanding Technical/Service/Maintenance Employee
Bill Brewer - Outstanding Full-time Faculty

As this year’s winner of the Outstanding Full-time Faculty Award, Brewer will carry the college’s mace at the 37th Annual Commencement Ceremony on May 4. The event takes place at the University of Tennessee’s Thompson-Boling Arena, beginning at 7 p.m.

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