When Tara Walker and Makayla Edwards cross the stage at Pellissippi State Community College’s commencement ceremony on May 5, they will have a special grant, funded by NASA, to thank.
Walker and Edwards are two of 14 female Engineering Technology students at Pellissippi State to have earned scholarships funded through the Tennessee Community College Space Grant Consortium, which is part of the NSPIRES (NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System) program. The grant funds are earmarked for women and other underserved populations in STEM programs.
“I have absolutely loved the time I have spent at Pellissippi,” Walker said. “The teachers I’ve had make me want to come to class every day because they are so enthusiastic about their jobs. I do not believe, as a whole, any school has better teachers than Pellissippi. They are truly here because they want to see us learn and help us in any way they can.”
“I wouldn’t be where I’m at today without Pellissippi State and my professors,” Edwards said. “Pellissippi introduced me to 3D printing, and that helped me start my own business.”
Edwards started AMTec Fishing (an abbreviation of Additive Manufacturing Technologies Fishing) at the end of 2016. She designs and 3D prints fishing lures, then has them mass manufactured. Edwards intends to transfer to Austin Peay State University this fall, where she will study mechanical engineering.
Walker will transfer to Tennessee Technological University, where she will study chemical engineering.
“I like the engineering field because I feel like it gives me the opportunity to apply the knowledge I have gained in math and science while in college in a practical way. Chemical engineering is a fairly broad field, and there are a lot of different directions I could go with it. I would really like to work on the environmental side of chemical engineering in waste water treatment,” she said.
Walker, who graduated from Hardin Valley Academy in 2013, was not always interested in STEM fields.
“When I was in high school, I wasn’t always a very good student. But in my senior year, something clicked and I realized I needed to do well to be successful. That success mindset has continued here at Pellissippi State,” she said. “I first enrolled in an education program, but I realized it takes a very special person to be an educator and that wasn’t me.”
Walker first came to Pellissippi State as part of the tnAchieves scholarship, the precursor to Tennessee Promise — as did Edwards.
“The tnAchieves scholarship was one of my biggest reasons for originally attending Pellissippi,” Walker said. “I wasn’t sure if I would do well in college because of my not-so-stellar academic performance in high school, so I didn’t want to go to a huge university.”
“The NASA grant brought a lot of the female engineering technology students together,” Edwards said. “It’s nice to know you’re not alone when you’re studying in a traditionally male-dominated field. It also introduced me to the community; I was able to go to local middle schools and speak to students about STEM.”
The NASA grant funds more than just scholarships for the students who earn it. Pellissippi State students have traveled to the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama and to the Society of Women Engineers conference.
“At the SWE conference, I was able to speak to companies who wanted to hire female engineers,” Walker said. “Those contacts and the SWE organization may help me find companies hiring engineers when I graduate. Plus, it was amazing to see all of the accomplishments women in engineering are making.”
For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400.
Pellissippi State Community College opened a nine-hole disc golf course at its Hardin Valley Campus yesterday, April 10 — and the course is open to the community.
The course is open from sunrise to sunset and is free to use. The course is located at 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The college’s campus also features a walking trail that connects to the Pellissippi Greenway.
“Our new disc golf course is an expansion of our recreational facilities at Pellissippi State and a wonderful addition to our campus,” said Philip Ems, manager of Pellissippi State’s Student Recreation Center. “We are proud to have such a wonderful course for our students and community, and we are excited to join the disc golf community of East Tennessee.”
“The course is challenging and exciting, presenting a number of formidable shots, from navigating tight tee shots to subtle but difficult elevation changes. And of course, the three-hole tour around our pond is one of the most exciting three-hole stretches in disc golf,” he added.
Community members should bring their own discs. Pellissippi State students may check out discs at the Student Recreation Center.
The course was designed by Daniel Boutte of boutteDESIGN and installed by Outdoor Designs Knoxville. Pellissippi State’s disc golf course is listed with the Professional Disc Golf Association.
For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400.
Pellissippi State Community College graphic design students will demonstrate their design skills at the annual Communication Graphics Technology Showcase 4-8 p.m. April 20.
The event is free and the community is invited. The showcase will be held in the Bagwell Center for Media and Art, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.
The theme of this year’s showcase is “The Future of Design.”
The showcase will give 24 students the opportunity to 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 available to industry professionals. The event is like a graduation, celebration and potential job interview all rolled into one.
Participating students are Mark Allison, Adam Atchley, Jaima Baskin, Justin Blizard, Lucy Branam, Alex Bright, Paul Bush, Jessica Cole, Jordan Graham, Austin Hall, Kevin Harris, Kisha Jackson, Nicholas Jackson, Dane Jensen, Taylor Lawrence, Ayla LeCoultre, Ryan Oglesby, Sam Spann, Megan Stephenson, Brennon Toledo, Alexandria Walker, Chelsea Walker, Liz Wilson and Nick Wright.
The CGT Showcase is part of The Arts at Pellissippi State, an annual arts series that includes music and theatre performances, cultural celebrations, lectures and fine arts exhibits. Learn more about the CGT Showcase at www.pstcc.edu/cgt_showcase.
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.
Pellissippi State Community College theatre students will premiere their own original, one-act plays April 14-15 and 21-23.
The collection of plays, entitled “One’s Night,” will be held in the Clayton Performing Arts Center, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Show times are 7:30 p.m. April 14-15 and 21-22 and 2 p.m., April 23.
Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and students, available at the door or online at www.pstcc.edu/tickets.
“We hope the community enjoys this special evening of never-before-seen and original short plays written, directed by and starring Pellissippi State theatre students,” said Pellissippi State professor and theatre program director Charles R. Miller. “Each of these one-act plays is the culmination of months of hard work and dedication — and is an incredible display of the talents and creativity of our students.”
The evening will include the original one-act plays “The Stubborn Artichoke and the Pompous Potato,” written by Olivia Webb; “Lauren Spencer is Ready to Die,” by Cypress Wade; “Serve and Protect,” by DeSean Blevins; “Alexandra,” by Jeremy Law and “Dominant Women,” by Olivia Webb.
“One’s Night” is part of The Arts at Pellissippi State, an annual arts series that includes music and theatre performances, cultural celebrations, lectures and fine arts exhibits. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.