As Ken Swayne’s students tightened the screws on the new solar panels, they also strengthened Pellissippi State Community College’s investment in alternative energy education.
Swayne, a professor of Electrical Engineering in the Engineering Technology degree program, pooled the talents of two of his classes this semester in order to install the first-ever solar panel array at Pellissippi State.
His Applied Electricity class wired the six panels to an inverter located in a classroom in the McWherter Building on the Hardin Valley Campus. Then the Photovoltaics Alternative Energy class installed brackets and the solar panels on the roof of the building. The panels are expected to produce 324 watts of electrical energy under peak sun conditions.
Both classes then worked in a frigid wind on the rooftop to put the finishing touches on installing the solar panel array.
“The system will be a great learning tool for our technology students,” said Swayne. “I am very grateful to the college for supporting this project. I believe any contribution toward green energy production and training is a plus for Pellissippi State and the Knoxville community.”
Last year the college installed electric vehicle charging stations on its Hardin Valley and Blount County campuses. Pellissippi State earned the 2010 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award for its collegewide sustainability and environmental efforts.
William Draney, a 28-year-old Electrical Engineering student at Pellissippi State, says he was first drawn to the idea of solar energy during Swayne’s campuswide lecture on photovoltaics last year.
“I wanted to know how to put solar panels on my own house,” he said. “Plus, I had been an electrician for five years and wanted to see if solar panel installation would be a good thing to get into on the side.”
Pellissippi State offers many green courses, both in the classroom and online. Among them are Photovoltaic System Design and Installation, Green Building for Contractors, and classes for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.
For more information, contact the college’s Business and Community Services Division at (865) 539-7167. To learn more about Pellissippi State’s Engineering Technology programs, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.
Lee Garrand, a Pellissippi State Community College Culinary Arts student who is scheduled to graduate this Friday, May 4, has just landed a culinary job at the prestigious Blackberry Farm. The position wasn’t handed to him on a silver platter—he earned it, through hard work and an intense but successful hands-on “interview.”
The 30-year-old student is one of 28 in the first graduating class of Culinary Arts, a collaborative venture between Pellissippi State and the University of Tennessee’s Culinary Arts Institute.
Garrand says he had some stiff competition when he vied for the position at Blackberry Farm. Some applicants came from other states and two had gone to the most prestigious culinary schools in the country, he says. Yet, it was the student from Pellissippi State who apparently impressed those conducting the interview most.
“I had a ‘working interview’ with Josh Feathers, the corporate chef at Blackberry Farm,” Garrand said. The 4,200-acre luxury resort in the Smokies attracts visitors from around the world.
Garrand was tasked with designing an entrée that would appeal to the eye and wow the discriminating palate of Feathers and sous chef Steve Ledbetter.
“There was a time limit, just like the show ‘Chopped,’” Garrand said. “It was 8:40 in the morning, and [Feathers] said he wanted to see a platter by 9:30.”
So the former Marine and law enforcement officer foraged through the restaurant’s walk-in cooler for available ingredients.
“I made a pepper-spiced wild rice and a bone-in poussin [baby chicken] breast with blanched asparagus and a raspberry cream beurre rouge [red butter sauce],” Garrand said. “He loved it.”
Garrand has been at Blackerry Farm since March.
“It’s very busy,” he said. “It’s of the highest quality and highest standards one could expect from a professional five-star restaurant.”
The soon-to-be graduate speaks highly of what he learned at Pellissippi State: “The Culinary Arts program is a great technical experience. It’s extremely informative and absolutely hands-on in preparing you for the professional culinary field.”
Garrand and his classmates spent the last two years sharpening both their kitchen and their business administration skills. Culinary Arts has a “cohort”-style format, so the students went through all the courses together, start to finish. They learned everything from ice carving to pastry, and they each interned at local restaurants and bakeries.
The class graduates with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Culinary Arts. The ceremony is at 7 p.m. at UT’s Thompson-Boling Arena.
Garrand, Kyndall Leach and Tammy Jo Johnson were named the top students.
Leach was a 16-year-old home-schooled high school graduate when she started in Culinary Arts. Now 18, she graduates Friday with a concentration in not only Culinary Arts but also Hospitality. Similar to the joint effort by classmates and sisters Tiffany Haynes and Stephanie Criswell, who just opened Emma Lou Bakery in Oak Ridge, Leach wants to open her own catering business, she hopes with a couple of her fellow students.
“I loved working in the kitchen,” Leach said of her experience. “It was always loud—that’s for sure. We had a good time. It’s like doing something with your friends that everybody loves, creating something together.”
Johnson, 46, already has a position as a hot appetizer chef at The Orangery, an upscale restaurant in Knoxville.
Students who enter Culinary Arts pursue their classroom instruction at the Pellissippi State’s Division Street Campus. Tom Gaddis coordinates Culinary Arts (as well as Hospitality). A two-time graduate of UT’s Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism program, he has a doctorate in human ecology with a concentration in hotel and restaurant administration.
Gaddis received the Tennessee Hospitality Association Award in 2003 and 2008 and the Greater Knoxville Tourism Alliance’s Pauly Award in 2008. He recently was awarded the national Exemplary Leadership in Higher Education Award from the Chair Academy.
Students also spend four hours a day, three days a week, honing their skills in the state-of-the-art laboratory kitchen at UT’s Culinary Institute on Neyland Drive, just two miles away. They are taught by local chefs with American Culinary Federation certifications.
Graduates are certified through the National Restaurant Association in food production and sanitation and can apply to the ACF for certification as Certified Culinarians, the first step toward professional chef certification.
For additional information on Culinary Arts, contact Gaddis at (865) 971-5246 or email@example.com.
Registration is now under way for fall semester. To learn more, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu.
Two years ago, when Brandy Robinson made up her mind to enroll at Pellissippi State Community College, she knew she would have her work cut out for her.
Certainly, pursuing an education would require late-night studying, test-taking and plenty of focus and perseverance. But those weren’t the half of her concern: at the time, she had two children in elementary school, plus five younger ones who were at home with her every day.
Yet enroll Robinson did. And on May 4, when she walks across the stage at Pellissippi State’s Commencement ceremony, she’ll take away an associate’s degree in Teacher Education and cum laude honors for earning a 3.6 cumulative grade point average.
“I want my kids to know they can do anything they set their minds to,” said Robinson. “If I can do this—go back to school and even be on the dean’s list—then anybody can do it.”
Attending the graduation ceremony will be Robinson’s husband, Daniel, and children Nick, 12; Eli, 8; Samantha, 6; Emma, 3; and quadruplets D.J., Will, and Jake, 5. (The fourth of the quadruplets, Gabriel Noah, died in utero at 20 weeks.)
Robinson, who previously had had an unsatisfactory experience with college, says that as her children grew, so too did her desire to return to school.
Initially, she took online courses at Pellissippi State. Later, she attended classes at the Hardin Valley and Blount County campuses.
“I began classes as my younger children started into preschool and were getting close to school age,” she said. “I tried to time it so that when I finished all the online classes I could, most of my kids would be in school.
“I did most of my studying at night. I learned that sleep was way overrated and coffee was my best friend!”
Robinson recalls how she made the decision of what career she wanted to pursue.
“I didn’t want to just ‘find a job,’” she said. “I wanted a career I could start into and hopefully retire from. I love kids, and being a schoolteacher seems to be the perfect fit for me and my family, especially considering the kids’ schedules.”
Robinson took an education class her very first semester at Pellissippi State, then got real-life experience in a third-grade classroom the beginning of her second year. Of course, that wasn’t her entree into an elementary school classroom—she already had put in scores of hours as a volunteer in her own children’s classes.
“I’ve always been a firm believer that parents should be involved in their kids’ educations,” she said. “By becoming a teacher, I hope to remain active in my own children’s educations and encourage other parents to be involved in their children’s, to enrich the lives of their kids as well as their own lives. After all, learning is a lifelong process.”
This fall Robinson plans to begin working toward a bachelor’s degree in education. The children are older now, but, she says, the juggling hasn’t gotten a whole lot easier: “We are on the go year-round, since the oldest six kids rotate through football, cheerleading, basketball, baseball and softball.”
Making her journey toward a four-year degree a lot easier is a partnership between Pellissippi State and Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville. The agreement allows education students to earn a bachelor’s from TTU, yet remain at Pellissippi State’s campus to attend classes.
“I have loved being back in school,” Robinson said. “I feel like I’ve really connected with my professors and peers at Pellissippi State. It seems as though my professors really want all of their students to succeed, and one of my best friends is someone I met last semester in chemistry.”
For more information about Pellissippi State’s Teacher Education program, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu. This year’s Commencement ceremony is at the University of Tennessee’s Thompson-Boling Arena, beginning at 7 p.m.
Commencement is just days away for Pellissippi State Community College’s first class of Nursing students.
Since the start of the program in fall 2010, students have balanced lectures, labs and clinical rotations each semester while preparing for the rigorous test that licenses and enables registered nurses to practice: the NCLEX-RN exam.
The students’ growth has impressed Pellissippi State’s dean of Nursing, Larry Goins.
“To see the confidence as they grow in this nursing program is just wonderful,” said Goins, a nursing educator of 20 years.
Most of the upcoming graduates are “non-traditional”—they range in age from 21-56. Theirs is a diverse group overall, says Goins. Most are parents, and one is a grandparent. Three students have bachelor’s degrees, one has a master’s, and several have other health-care certifications or licensures. Career changers are not uncommon in this group.
A trend is under way in the nursing profession: an increasing number of men are committed to working in the demanding profession. Of the 29 students in the college’s first graduating class, seven are male.
Kelly Nelson is the premier recipient of Pellissippi State’s Outstanding Graduate in Nursing Award.
Nelson, a 55-year-old retired firefighter and paramedic, started taking classes part time at the Hardin Valley Campus about four years ago. He moved to Vonore from Tucson, Ariz., after a 30-year career with the Tucson Fire Department.
A lifelong learner, Nelson already has associate’s degrees in fire science, paramedicine and liberal arts from Pima Community College. He also taught fire science as an adjunct faculty member for 15 years at Pima. He likes math and science, so he enrolled first in anatomy and physiology at Pellissippi State.
“After I took classes for probably a couple of semesters,” he said, “it just seemed like I was taking all the prerequisite courses for the Nursing program, and that was right up my alley because of my medical background in the fire department.
“It seemed like a good fit. My wife is a nurse, and I’ve got a daughter-in-law who is a nurse.”
When Pellissippi State announced the approval of the program in September 2009, Nelson decided to apply. There are nine nursing schools in the Knoxville area, but he applied only to Pellissippi State and says it has worked out great.
“I would have to say, as a group, I was concerned that I was going to be the oldest. I’m certainly one of the oldest,” he said. “The group is an older group, a lot of life experience and different careers and backgrounds.
“There are a couple of young people, but I think mostly it’s more experienced people—a diverse group, I would say, a very capable group, an enjoyable group of people.”
There are two sites for the Nursing program at Pellissippi State: the Magnolia Avenue Campus and the Blount County Campus. Both have state-of-the-art simulation laboratories. Every semester, students combine classroom lectures, lab work and clinical rotations.
The Nursing program arranged clinical rotations at 22 sites in eight counties for the first class. The variety gives students experience in a number of settings, with patients in rural and urban areas. Striking that balance prepares them to meet a range of needs and improves the students’ prospects for employment.
Pellissippi State admitted a group of 40 students for the first class. Twenty-nine are anticipated to take part in a private pinning ceremony at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 3, at the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus and in the Commencement ceremony at the University of Tennessee’s Thompson-Boling Arena the next day at 7 p.m.
“That gives us a 73 percent rate of retention, which is really good for nursing,” said Goins. “Usually it’s about 50 percent for a nursing class.”
The next class begins fall semester, and it will be larger. Goins anticipates an incoming class of 60 students.
Candace Gilbert did Japan and Italy. Jessica Hawkins oversaw Ireland and France. Summer Bury coordinated Brazil and Persia.
No, the Pellissippi State Community College students are not involved in a study abroad program. As students in Culinary Arts at the college, all three have been involved in a series of luncheons this spring at the University of Tennessee’s Ready for the World Café.
The luncheon series, which concludes on April 26, offers the culinary students the opportunity to serve as head kitchen managers and assistant kitchen managers for luncheons inspired by cuisines from a wide variety of traditions.
In their supervisory roles, Gilbert, Hawkins and Bury have already taken their turn at executing the dining experience, managing staff, planning menus, preparing the food, generating cost analyses, marketing, serving diners and ensuring customer satisfaction.
Bury stepped into the spotlight on April 17, when she oversaw the luncheon spotlighting Persia. The Pellissippi State student, who moved to Knoxville five years ago from Washington state, says she was excited about her luncheon duties. She had previously supervised a luncheon focusing on Brazil, so many of her preparatory activities were the same for the Persia luncheon. What was different, she explains, was the challenge of gathering ingredients.
“For my research for the Persia luncheon,” she said, “I found that we couldn’t necessarily get all of the ingredients here. We had to find substitutes. Some things are the same, though, such as presentation. The food always has to be plated nicely.” Bury recently began an internship with Kroger Marketplace.
Gilbert, originally from Knoxville, says that she has been interested in cooking since the age of 4. She cooked for her family as a teen, deciding to pursue her passion as a profession when Pellissippi State began offering Culinary Arts.
Gilbert is now working as an intern with All Occasion Catering. She hopes to one day open her own catering business, preferably one that focuses on organic food and operates as a food truck. She praises the chefs who serve as instructors.
“Tyler White and John Alunni are excellent instructors,” she said. “Chef White and Chef Alunni both push you out of your comfort zone to make you the best you can be. They have been very supportive and have offered me great direction.”
Hawkins, who has worked in the restaurant industry for 13 years, enrolled at Pellissippi State for an education in hospitality management. Culinary Arts and Hospitality are two of five concentrations offered in Business Administration. She says that Tom Gaddis, coordinator of both Culinary Arts and Hospitality, saw her potential and encouraged her to attend the Culinary Arts classes.
“I am glad he did,” said Hawkins. “I love the program and am going to miss it when I graduate. We have had many great opportunities, such as working with Chef McGrady, Princess Diana’s chef, and Chef Garrett, who has his own show on PBS.”
Hawkins says she is also grateful for the employment opportunities that she attributes to Pellissippi State:
“When I started my job at Calhoun’s on the River as a banquet chef, I surprised myself with how comfortable I was and how much I know. I owe this to the Culinary Arts concentration. In this slow economy, many people have the problem of finding a job. My problem seems to be choosing which job to accept.”
The Ready for the World Café is produced through collaboration by Pellissippi State, the UT Culinary Institute and UT’s Advanced Food Production and Service Management class. The two schools began a joint venture in 2010 that offers Pellissippi State students the opportunity to earn the Associate of Applied Science degree.
The Pellissippi State students learn culinary skills in a state-of-the-art laboratory/kitchen at the Culinary Institute, located in UT’s Visitors Center, 2712 Neyland Dr. The students also take classes at Pellissippi State’s Division Street Campus, which is located two miles from the Culinary Institute.
Graduates of Pellissippi State’s two-year program are eligible to apply to the American Culinary Federation for the Certified Culinarian credential, the first step toward professional chef certification.
The April 26 luncheon features the cuisine of Germany. The event takes place noon-1 and is open to the public.
Tickets are $12, available through UT, by calling (865) 974-6645. Seating capacity is 50-60 diners.
For more information regarding Pellissippi State or the Culinary Arts concentration, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu.
Pellissippi State Community College recognized students for their outstanding achievements at the 2012 Academic Awards ceremony, April 9 in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus.
Students Amber Hampton and Joshua Hemphill were named to the All-USA Community College Academic Team. They were nominated by Pellissippi State President Anthony Wise in recognition of scholarly achievements.
Luis Mora, Shokrieh Rezabaksh and Lu Zhang were the recipients of the Outstanding Achievement Award–International, presented to students with international backgrounds.
Inductees into the 2011-12 Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges were Katie Adcock, Natalya Andreeva-Smith, Michael Baird, Jessie K. Crane, Alexander DeLoach, ReGina Evans-Truss, America Henry, Shandie Howell, Sarah Jett, Billi Lewellyn, Heather Lowery, Corey Miller, Luis Mora, Jean Nkurunziza, Kenyatta Rogers, Lindsay Shaw, Christina Shelley, Janell Sinclair, Ryan Sparks, Olga Vorobyeva, Kalonji Woods, Trina Yates and Karen Yearwood.
Awards of Merit were presented to students in several academic disciplines: Nathaniel West, Civil Engineering (Engineering Technology); Lyndsey Sharp, Interior Design Technology; Stephanie Bullock, Communication Graphics Technology (Media Technologies); Garrett Masters, Video Production Technology (Media Technologies); and Gatlin McPherson, Web Technology (Media Technologies).
Outstanding Graduate Awards were given across the curriculum as well. Recipients included the following: Jesse Carmichael, Mathematics; Claudia Coleman, Behavioral Sciences; Jacqueline Davis, English; Kathryn Kelso, Natural Sciences; Sadril Mohammad, Social Sciences (Liberal Arts); and Kelly Nelson, Nursing.
Business and Computer Technology Outstanding Graduate Award recipients, with their concentrations and majors: Floyd Davis, Business (Administrative Professional Technology); Elliott Foster, Networking and Communications Systems (Computer Science and Information Technology); Sally French, Computer Accounting (Business Administration); Daniel Greene, Management (Business Administration); Elizabeth Kilbey, Marketing (Business Administration); E. Jewell Lawson, Health Care Office Administration (Administrative Professional Technology); Kyndall Leach, Culinary Arts (Business Administration); Stanley Weaver, Programming (Computer Science and Information Technology); Jesse Williams, Hospitality (Business Administration); and Karen Yearwood, Paralegal Studies.
The Engineering and Media Technologies Outstanding Graduate Awards were presented to Ryan Burgess, Interior Design Technology; Sarah Busby, Photography (Media Technologies); Chadwick Doub, Electrical Engineering (Engineering Technology); Oliver Gee, Video Production Technology (Media Technologies); Robert Kring, Civil Engineering (Engineering Technology); Matthew McNeilly, Mechanical Engineering (Engineering Technology); Michael Nagle, Web Technology (Media Technologies); and Sophie Willborn, Communication Graphics Technology (Media Technologies).
The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs’ ACBSP Student Leadership Award was presented to Tyler Hood.
Faculty member Jonathan Lamb was selected by students to receive the Faculty of the Year Award. Lamb is an associate professor of Mathematics.
For additional information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.
The Brits will be celebrating William Shakespeare’s 448th birthday this month, and so can you.
The Magnolia Avenue Campus Drama Club of Pellissippi State Community College invites the public to enjoy “Scattered Shakespeare,” a presentation of favorite scenes from the Bard of Avon’s plays, offered three times, beginning Wednesday, April 18.
The student club will perform segments from “Macbeth,” “Hamlet,” “Henry V,” “The Taming of the Shrew,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “The Comedy of Errors,” “The Winter’s Tale,” “The Merchant of Venice” and “Julius Caesar.”
The event takes place in the Community Room of the campus’ Joe Armstrong Building, 1610 E. Magnolia Ave. Presentations are April 18, 4-5 p.m.; April 19, 7-8 p.m.; and the traditionally celebrated day, April 23, 7-8 p.m.
The performances are free and light refreshments will be provided. Donations will be accepted at the door on behalf of the Pellissippi State Foundation.
For more information, contact Rick Patton, co-sponsor of the Magnolia Avenue Campus Drama Club, (865) 329-3134 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or email@example.com.
The robotics team from Pellissippi State Community College faced off with 53 other teams in Orlando, Fla., March 15-18 and came home satisfied.
The team competed in the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) SoutheastCon 2012 Hardware Competition. Contenders included 51 four-year institutions and only two other community colleges.
Pellissippi State took 13th place, defeating the other two-year schools and dozens of top-ranked engineering institutions, among them, the University of Florida, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Clemson University.
The robotics team was led by Carl Mallette and Kenneth Swayne, both of whom teach in the Electrical Engineering concentration. Mallette is the student advisor for the team and is the IEEE East Tennessee section chair for 2012-13. Swayne served as a mentor.
All teams were required to bring a robot that could navigate a course with four stations. The robots had to measure voltage and the difference between two wave signals, temperature, and capacitance. They had four minutes to complete the course as many times as possible. The robots competed in three rounds, with points given for each correct measure and deducted for incorrect measures.
“We were very pleased with the performance of our robot in being able to endure real-world conditions,” said Erik Speyer, team leader and a student in Mallette’s Robotics and Automation course last semester. “Its ability to make correct decisions allowed us to beat out numerous top-ranked engineering universities. This really emphasizes the caliber of education Pellissppi provides its students.”
“The students tell me that they understood so much more of what they’ve learned in other classes by working on this project,” Mallette said.
Although employment of graphic designers is expected to grow 13 percent between 2008 and 2018, job seekers also are expected to face “keen competition.” That’s according to the 2010-11 edition of the Occupational Outlook Handbook produced by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Students completing their graphic design coursework at Pellissippi State Community College plan to get an edge on that “keen competition” on April 19, when they take part in the annual Communication Graphics Technology Student Design Showcase. This year’s theme is “Design is Served.”
The event is like a graduation, celebration and potential job interview, all rolled into one evening. This year, 35 students will present their portfolios for viewing and evaluation by invited area design professionals. Each student has his or her own table display, business cards and resumes on hand.
Also open to the public, the free CGT Student Design Showcase is 4-8 p.m. at the Bagwell Center for Media and Art on the Hardin Valley Campus.
The bookstore at Pellissippi State Community College reports that students who rented their textbooks for the spring semester saved a total of $93,000 over the cost of purchasing the same books.
Renting a textbook can save students 50 percent compared to purchasing a book, according to Allison Crye, manager of the Pellissippi State store. This semester, the bookstore rented 3,016 textbooks, saving students an average of $30 on each, she says.
The total savings were printed at the bottom of each receipt, and often the amount saved by renting would be more than the total bill, Crye says.
“Students have so many options for renting their textbooks online, it’s great to know that the convenient bookstore close to campus offers real savings,” said Crye. “Plus, there’s the added benefit of students’ being able to pick out their own books and not wait for delivery, hoping the correct book will arrive on time and in good condition.”
The Pellissippi State bookstore is owned by Neebo, a national company that owns 280 college bookstores.
Pellissippi State Community College, Knoxville, TN