Pellissippi State Community College will host a volunteer resource fair, Call to Service (C2S), on Sept. 12 to introduce members of the community and students interested in learning about regional volunteer opportunities to local nonprofit agencies seeking volunteers. More than 75 agencies have been invited to the free event. Pellissippi State’s Magnolia Avenue Campus is hosting the fair.
Potential volunteers will have the opportunity to meet with agency representatives to learn more about each nonprofit organization’s mission and the roles available to individuals wishing to become more involved in their communities. This marks the second year that the Magnolia Avenue Campus has hosted a volunteer resource fair.
Students at Pellissippi State are introduced to volunteerism through the school’s Service-Learning program and the student club Gnosis. Service-learning pairs community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.
To date, Pellissippi State students have volunteered with Beardsley Community Farm, Ijams Nature Center, and Maynard Elementary School, all in Knoxville; Second Harvest Food Bank in Maryville; and a growing list of other schools and nonprofit organizations.
Event hours are 10 a.m.-2 p.m. C2S takes place in the Joe Armstrong Building at Pellissippi State’s Magnolia Avenue Campus, 1610 E. Magnolia Ave. Registration is not required. The event will also take place at the Blount County Campus on September 26 and the Hardin Valley Campus on September 28.
For additional information, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or email@example.com.
Pellissippi State Community College has named 421 part-time college-level students to the list of Academic Achievers for summer. To be included, a student must earn a grade point average of 3.50-4.00, be degree-seeking and have completed 6 to 11 credit hours per semester of Pellissippi State coursework. At least 6 of those hours must be college-level.
David (Trey) Alley
Corey A. Browning
Corey J. Browning
Chester Craig IV
Mildred De Leon
Erika Martinez Gutierrez
Rashmi Molukuvan Narayana Murthy
Jee Yeon Shin
Jena Lee Silva
La Questa Summeour
Sara Van Duzer
Drexel Waggoner II
Jhean Shetan Wolfsbrother
For more than 35 years, Pellissippi State Community College has welcomed the community to take part in the institution’s many cultural activities. Beginning this fall, Pellissippi State launches The Arts at Pellissippi State, an arts series that offers more opportunities than ever to enjoy everything from music and theatre to cultural celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts.
The series showcases the talents of Pellissippi State students and faculty, as well as those of special guest performers. To set the new series in motion, the college is hosting Backstage Pass, an evening that will showcase a sampling of the arts-related events slated for the upcoming season.
Backstage Pass offers attendees not only a behind-the-scenes look at future arts activities but also a live auction and cocktail buffet. The setting is Knoxville’s Cherokee Country Club. Proceeds from the special event will be used by the Pellissippi State Foundation to support The Arts at Pellissippi State.
“Backstage Pass” takes place on Friday, Sept. 7, beginning at 7 p.m. Cherokee Country Club is located at 5138 Lyons View Pike.
Individuals interested in attending are encouraged to order tickets early. Tickets are $100 per person. Sponsorships also are available.
For additional information on Backstage Pass, call the Pellissippi State Foundation at (865) 539-7351.
Matthew Waldrep, a home-school student in the Fast Forward Dual Enrollment program at Pellissippi State Community College this past spring, has been accepted to the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.
To be considered for admission to West Point, candidates must meet certain academic, medical and physical requirements and must receive a nomination from an approved source. Waldrep was nominated by U.S. Rep. John Duncan and leaves for New York in July.
The 18-year-old Farragut home-schooler took Fast Forward classes for the past two academic years. Dual enrollment allows high school students to earn high school and college credit simultaneously for the same course. Nearly 2,000 area high school students participated in the program in 2011-12.
Waldrep says he has known for many years that he wanted to go to West Point, and he chose his academic path accordingly.
Taking dual enrollment classes at Pellissippi State was a crucial part of the plan, since, he figured, college-level credit would carry more weight with the academy’s tough admission standards than would high school credit.
When President Thomas Jefferson signed legislation establishing West Point in 1802, he envisioned it as a strong science and engineering institution, and that tradition continues today. With that knowledge, Waldrep also took Fast Forward courses that would give him a good foundation in math and science.
“All my teachers at Pellissippi State were very helpful and willing to help me understand the concepts,” he said.
Waldrep earned a 3.96 grade point average at Pellissippi State. Along the way, he played for Farragut High School’s rugby club for two years, became an Eagle Scout, won two national awards from the Sons of the American Revolution and received a Congressional Award Gold Medal, the highest award bestowed on youth by the U.S. Congress.
In addition to accumulating 42 college credit hours through Fast Forward and 6 at the Governor’s School at UT-Martin, he worked as a paid student instructor at Pellissippi State under the supervision of Jerry Burns, a chemistry professor.
“When Matthew was in my class, I could tell he was a top-notch student,” said Burns, who served as a faculty reference. “After that, when he was my student instructor, he did an excellent job as well. When West Point chooses their cadets, some of what they look for is superb ability, inner strength and self-motivation. Matthew’s got all that.”
As a West Point cadet, Waldrep is a member of the U.S. Army. He receives a full scholarship and an annual salary, from which he pays for his uniforms, textbooks, personal computer and incidentals. Room, board, medical and dental care are provided by the federal government.
Upon graduation, he will be awarded a Bachelor of Science degree and an officer commission in the U.S. Army. In turn, he is obligated to serve five years on active duty in the Army and three years in an inactive reserve status.
For information about Pellissippi State’s Fast Forward program, visit www.pstcc.edu/dual or call (865) 694-6400.
Pellissippi State Community College has named 666 part-time students to the list of Academic Achievers for spring 2012. To be included, a student must earn a grade point average of 3.50-4.00, be degree-seeking and have completed 6 to 11 college-level hours per term of Pellissippi State coursework. Honorees include—
Jacob Ramsey DeLozier
Joshua P. Smith
Samuel Damewood is right at home in Nashville’s limelight. Damewood helped open for country music star Eric Church this spring and describes performing for a large audience as “exhilarating.”
But Damewood says he’ll never forget the friends he made when he took a hiatus from the stage and enrolled in the Music program at Pellissippi State Community College.
In 2009, the Knoxville native had already toured the country as a professional musician for four years, playing his fiddle for thousands of people. As a member of the bluegrass band Pine Mountain Railroad, he was living the life—touring 300 days a year, playing in glitzy places, recording and hanging out with bluegrass greats Ricky Skaggs and Alison Krauss.
But it was at Pellissippi State that he says he finally “found himself.”
“I had hit a rough patch in my life,” said Damewood. “I decided to make a change, quit playing professionally for a while and go back to school.
“I had played with Larry Vincent [a Pellissippi State Music assistant professor] before, and he knew about my bluegrass background and wanted me to help with the college’s bluegrass ensemble, Hardin Valley Thunder. It was something I could really give to.”
For the next two years, Pellissippi State’s Music faculty became family for the now 29-year-old. As a college student, Damewood rediscovered his love for bluegrass and also found a couple of new passions: jazz andclassical music.
“Two big things that Pellissippi reinvigorated: my love for life and my love for music,” he said. “I also learned who I was and what I wanted in the future.”
Damewood used his time at the college to grow both personally and technically.
“Bill Brewer became a great friend and ally and huge inspiration.” Brewer is an associate professor and program coordinator of Music. “Larry Vincent told me not to lose myself and who I am. It took me a while to figure out what he meant, but now I understand. I have this energy and this drive and almost a childlike view of music.
“Robin James was my violin teacher at Pellissippi State,” Damewood said. “Her drive for me to practice classically and work on my technique has been a super foundation for what I do in Nashville, because Nashville really isn’t the ‘country music capital of the world.’ It’s the ‘music capital of the world.’ There are so many more things going on than country.”
Damewood says the people in the Music program became his family during a hard time in his life.
“All of the teachers were such a great help. They were all very nurturing, and they listened a lot. I talked to them a lot about the classes and how they pertained to what I wanted to do in the future.”
The summer before he transferred to Belmont University in Nashville last year, he put together Heyday Revival, a progressive bluegrass band composed entirely of former and current Pellissippi State students.
“We still play gigs in Knoxville, when I’m not on the road,” he said. “We’ve got a few performances lined up for this summer.”
Damewood is now a commercial violin major with an emphasis in music technology at Belmont.
“This degree teaches you how to be a music supervisor for film and TV,” he said. “I plan on getting my degree and then have a lot of big plans for the future. I want to eventually start my own entertainment company and use that to help people to achieve their dreams in the music industry.
“Someday down the road from that I’d like to start my own record label to help people with their dreams—just like Pellissippi State helps people.”
Meanwhile, Damewood is playing with a new group, Drake White and the Big Fire. The band signed with Universal last year and opened for country musician Eric Church’s Blood, Sweat and Beers Tour this spring. The musicians also have opened for Willie Nelson and will open for the Allman Brothers in August.
The first gig with Church was in Portland, Maine, before a 9,000-member audience—the largest Damewood had ever played for. He says he felt a surge of nervous energy and, despite his previous experience, took a sneak peek through the curtain before he went on stage.
“I’d never played on such a big stage before,” he said. “I just kind of stayed in one place for the first song and then realized the other four band members were moving around. I thought, ‘Oh, I can move.’
“After it was over the guys in the band said they were proud of me for owning the stage and not being afraid. It’s very intoxicating in a way that just by moving around and doing things, you can have 9,000 people watch you. It’s crazy.”
These days, Damewood is back and riding high. “My life is full steam ahead forward. I couldn’t be any happier. A lot of that stems from my time at Pellissippi State.”
To learn more about Music and other offerings at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu.
It all adds up to a historic finish for Pellissippi State Community College math students.
The college’s team has placed second in the Southeast Region and student Trevor Sharpe has taken the top individual score in the second and final round of the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges’ Student Mathematics League Math Competition.
The results were announced this month. Sharpe, a 16-year-old high school student enrolled in Pellissippi State’s Fast Forward program during the recently ended school year, retained his individual ranking of number one in the Southeast from the first round. Fast Forward, the institution’s dual enrollment program, allows high school juniors and seniors to earn both high school and college credit for the same course.
The math competition consists of two tests each academic year: round one in the fall and round two in the spring. The Pellissippi State team placed second both times.
The one-hour multiple-choice test at the precalculus level is administered at local campuses across the country during a two-week window. Any student who has not already earned a degree is allowed to compete. About 180 students took part at Pellissippi State.
Bobby Jackson, associate math professor and contest coordinator for the college, estimates that well over 10,000 students participate nationally each year. Pellissippi State awards top-scoring students locally, and the AMATYC awards the top national team and individual honors.
“We’ve never scored this high before,” Jackson said. “Our team maintained second place despite having to compete without our number two team member during round two.”
The Pellissippi State team came in just behind Georgia Perimeter College, and ahead of 22 other schools, including Wake (N.C.) Technical Community College, Florida State College at Jacksonville, Miami Dade College and Chattanooga State Community College.
The top five scorers for Pellissippi State in the fall competition were Sharpe, Christopher Shutt, Harry Hughes, Connor Corcoran and Isa Dauti. Top scorers this spring were Robert Drake, Christopher Salvo, Calvin Scott, Jonathan Rowe and Sharpe.
Pellissippi State has participated in the AMATYC competition since 1998, Jackson says.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for students to take part in something outside of the classroom that is challenging, fun and competitive,” he said.
The Student Mathematics League was founded in 1970 by Nassau Community College in New York. The AMATYC assumed sponsorship in 1981, and the league has grown to more than 165 colleges in more than 35 states, as well as Bermuda.
To say home-school junior Trevor Sharpe was able to hold his own in a college-level math competition would definitely be an understatement.
The 16-year-old student, who was enrolled in the Dual Enrollment program at Pellissippi State Community College during the recently ended academic year, took part this past fall in a Student Math League competition. The event took place at Pellissippi State and was sponsored by the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges.
Sharpe took home top honors—first place in the individual competition category in the Southeast region—and it’s likely that his participation in Dual Enrollment was of benefit.
Pellissippi State’s Dual Enrollment program allows area students to earn high school and college credit for the same course. About 2,000 high school students participated in the program this year. Classes are offered at both the high schools and the college.
For a future engineer who is already looking at graduate schools for his master’s work, earning credit towards college is completely logical.
“Since my dad’s a mechanical engineer and math and science have always been my favorite subjects, engineering seems like a natural fit,” Sharpe said. “If you have to take a class anyway, why not get college credit for it?”
Sharpe started at Pellissippi State with Calculus I last fall, then moved on to Calculus II spring semester.
“College is definitely different than what I’m used to,” said Sharpe. He says he intentionally transitioned into postsecondary courses slowly, but things have gone so well, he’s now ready to take three college-level classes per semester.
Sharpe traveled to Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus twice a week for classes. Last semester he met fellow high school students Josh Beck and Reed Stracener in Calculus II.
Calculus II was the seventh Pellissippi State course for Beck, 18, also a home-school student. Beck’s two years in the Dual Enrollment program have made a significant dent in the credits he’ll need to become a mechanical or nuclear engineer.
Like Sharpe, Beck has thrived in the Dual Enrollment program.
“[Dual Enrollment] has prepared me more for college,” he said. “It’s definitely a challenge, which is nice.”
Stracener, an 18-year-old student at Mount Pisgah Baptist Academy in Oliver Springs, had already completed English Composition I and II in the Dual Enrollment program when he took calculus.
“I don’t know what I was expecting at Pellissippi State,” said Stracener, “but the resources and infrastructure have been very impressive. All of it has been absolutely good.” Stracener says he hopes eventually to become a physicist.
Pellissippi State Community College has named 939 top students to the spring 2012 semester dean’s list. To make the list, a student must take a full course load and earn a minimum 3.5 grade point average. Pellissippi State honorees include the following:
David (Trey) Alley
Eun Jeong Cho
Hanane El Moutii Thompson
Joshua Hamilton De Leon
Tammy Jo Johnson
Lukresse Kouam Tchuendem
Benjamin Manuel II
Jeanette Marengo Jimenez
Mario Moncada Urbina
Ana Karolina Paiva
Tommie Lou Rogers
Jee Yeon Shin
Drexel Waggoner II
Kalonji Khafre Woods
Pellissippi State Community College serves one of the largest veteran populations of any Tennessee community college, and the institution does it with distinction, according to G.I. Jobs magazine.
The publishers of G.I. Jobs selected Pellissippi State for inclusion on the 2012 list of Military Friendly Schools in the fall. The list honors the 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace the country’s service members and veterans as students.
“I was very pleased with the recognition from G.I. Jobs magazine, in part because of the work and the support systems that we had put into place for these students,” said Pellissippi State President Anthony Wise.
“I think part of it is just being intentional, understanding that this particular population of students does have specific needs and concerns, and making sure, as an institution, we’ve found a means of addressing those.”
The 1,518 colleges, universities and trade schools on the list prioritize the recruitment of students with military experience. The schools offer scholarships and discounts, veterans’ clubs, full-time staff, military credit, and other support for those who served.
Pellissippi State’s recent initiatives to improve veterans’ services took shape out of a working group that began three years ago. Rebecca Ashford, vice president of Student Affairs, leads the group.
Ashford says the group’s first step was to create a brochure for veterans attending or considering attending Pellissippi State. The brochure lists services such as admissions, financial aid, advising, and veterans’ assistance, as well as disability and personal and career counseling. There are phone numbers and email addresses for staff in each department. Having points of contact was important for veterans, the group learned from a survey of Pellissippi State students.
The college offers an assortment of educational assistance through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Last year, 512 students received VA benefits, says Sharon Shastid, a financial aid coordinator and the college’s VA certifying official. That number represents 5 percent of the institution’s student population and includes veterans, service members, and their dependents.
Applying for benefits can be a lengthy process, so the college initiated early advising to ensure that veterans’ tuition funds arrived in time for the start of classes. At Pellissippi State’s Student Assistance Center, staff members Rachael Cragle and Ben Sugg give priority access to service members, veterans, and their dependents.
That approach eased National Guard member Mohammed Amran’s transition into school. Amran, a member of the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Knoxville, began taking classes at Pellissippi State when he transferred from another National Guard unit.
“When I registered, they worked with me because I’d just moved to Tennessee due to the change of station,” said Amran, an accounting student. “They were able to work with me on in-state tuition because of that, so I thought that was nice. Of course, you have a veteran representative there, Sharon Shastid—she’s wonderful—and Ben Sugg.
“They have been very helpful throughout. I see them every semester and they’ve been very on top of everything.”
Amran says his teachers, too, have been supportive.
“The teachers, there are times when I had [National Guard] training that went over on Monday or started on Friday; they were very accommodating,” he said.
Those kinds of support are why Pellissippi State made the “military-friendly” list.
“I think it’s also the attitude,” said Kathy Douthat, a Pellissippi State counselor. “It’s being willing to go the extra mile for people who have put themselves on the line for us.”
Beyond supportive faculty and staff, Pellissippi State also provides its service members and veterans with recognition through special events—the “Conflict Zone” photography exhibit in conjunction with Memorial Day, the Remembrance Day Roll Call on Nov. 11—as well as with organizations like the Student Veterans Association. In addition, staff, faculty and the administration are offered training through webinars and conferences about veterans’ issues.