Female Pellissippi State students benefit from attending women engineers conference

Makayla Edwards
Makayla Edwards is one of the Pellissippi State Community College students who attended the recent Society of Women Engineers conference.

Female Pellissippi State Community College students pursuing a career in engineering had the chance to hear from some of the nation’s most prominent women engineers at a recent conference.

“The SWE [Society of Women Engineers] conference was an amazing opportunity,” said Ravenne Hall, one of the students who attended. “The workshops were helpful and thorough. The biggest benefit was to meet all the amazing women who, just like me one day, work in the technical industry. It was very inspiring to see that women really have accomplished amazing feats and are expanding and sharing their great minds with the world.”

The conference took place in Nashville in late October. It highlighted successful female engineers and the realities that women face when they enter traditionally male-dominated fields in science, technology, engineering, and math.

“My experience at the conference was inspirational: just to be around fellow like-minded female engineers who have accomplished so much,” said Makayla Edwards.

“I learned so much, but most important to me was how to negotiate your salary. That’s invaluable information that I’ll treasure for the rest of my life,” said Ines Mena-Solano.

Hall, along with Edwards and Mena-Solano, are recipients of scholarships funded through the Tennessee Community College Space Grant Consortium, part of the NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System.

The NASA grant seeks to increase enrollment and retention in STEM fields among women and underrepresented minorities.

“Women only account for about 11 percent of the enrollment in engineering technology programs in Tennessee community colleges,” said Lynn Klett, “even though women make up 61 percent of overall community college enrollment.” Klett manages the NASA grant at Pellissippi State.

“Out-of-classroom experiences like this increase retention rates for our students by encouraging them to build relationships with each other and with their professors,” said Kathleen Scruggs, student completion coach for the NASA grant at Pellissippi State.

In all, nine female Pellissippi State students attended the conference with Scruggs and Klett. The NASA grant covered not only the cost of the conference but also the students’ ongoing membership in the Society of Women Engineers.

Funding provided by the NASA grant comes through the Pellissippi State Foundation. The Foundation works to provide student scholarships and emergency loans, as well as to improve facilities and secure new equipment. For more information about the Foundation, visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation or call (865) 694-6528.

For more information about Pellissippi State’s Engineering Technology degree program and concentrations, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400. For more about the Foundation and giving opportunities, call (865) 694-6528 or visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation.

Download this press releaseNASA Scholars Attend Conference

Pellissippi State #GivingTuesday campaign will support student scholarships

Elicia Ferrer Photograph
Pellissippi State Community College student Elicia Ferrer thanks generous donors who fund scholarships like hers. On December 1, Pellissippi State will participate in Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving back, by asking community members to consider giving to student scholarships to help students like Elicia.

Pellissippi State Community College will participate in the global day of giving, Giving Tuesday, Dec. 1, to support student scholarships.

Many of Pellissippi State’s 10,000-plus students need scholarships funded by the Pellissippi State Foundation in order to go to school. On Giving Tuesday, the Pellissippi State Foundation encourages you to give to support student scholarships at https://giving.pstcc.edu.

“This year, with so many students being helped by Tennessee Promise, it’s easy to think of community college as being free,” said Peggy Wilson, executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation. “But the truth is, the majority of our students don’t qualify for Tennessee Promise. Those students still desperately need scholarships in order to attend college.”

In 2015, 80 percent of Pellissippi State Foundation scholarships went to students who were adults or non-traditional or to students who would otherwise have been ineligible for Tennessee Promise funding.

On Giving Tuesday, the Pellissippi State Foundation will raise funds for all students, with emphasis on funds that are in the greatest need of donations — particularly those that support veterans looking to return to college and homeless students.

The Pellissippi State Foundation works to provide student scholarships and emergency loans, as well as to improve facilities and secure new equipment. For more information about the Foundation, visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation or call (865) 694-6528.

Giving Tuesday is a global day dedicated to giving back. It takes place each year on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. For more information, visit www.givingtuesday.org.

Download this press release: PSCC Giving Tuesday

Pellissippi State hosts workshop for college-bound high school students with disabilities

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Pellissippi State Community College will host a workshop for high school students with disabilities interested in pursuing a college degree. Parents are invited to attend as well.

The event is meant to provide information to help students make a seamless transition from high school to community college. The workshop is sponsored by the Universal Pathways to Employment Project at Pellissippi State.

The workshop is 6-7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10, in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The session is free, but space is limited. Reserve a spot at www.pstcc.edu/upep.

At the UPEP workshop, students and their parents will learn about the requirements to receive accommodations in college for a disability, how to obtain required testing and paperwork, and other information needed to make a smooth transition to college.

UPEP is funded by a grant from the Office of Disability Employment Policy in the U.S. Department of Labor. UPEP’s goal is to expand Pellissippi State’s capacity to deliver integrated education and career training to students with disabilities.

For more information about UPEP at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu/upep or call (865) 694-6596. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at (865) 539-7401 or accommodations@pstcc.edu.

Download this press release: UPEP Workshop

Pellissippi State, Alcoa Foundation partner to give industrial scholarships

Miguel Balladares
Pellissippi State Community College student Miguel Velez Balladares received a scholarship from the Alcoa Foundation that is allowing him to earn his Industrial Maintenance Technology degree.

 

Students in two Engineering Technology concentrations at Pellissippi State Community College are eligible for new scholarship money, thanks to a grant from the Alcoa Foundation.

The Pellissippi State Foundation received $50,000 from the Alcoa Foundation last month. The grant funds scholarships for students in Industrial Maintenance and Automated Industrial Systems, both of which are concentrations in the Engineering Technology degree program, over the next two years.

“These scholarships will empower students to secure the critical skills necessary to obtain a high-skill, high-wage job after earning their degree,” said Peggy Wilson, executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation and vice president of College Advancement.

Earning an Associate of Applied Science degree in Engineering Technology with a concentration in Industrial Maintenance prepares students to work in manufacturing settings as multicraft, industrial machinery maintenance and repair technicians. The Automated Industrial Systems concentration prepares students to work with modern manufacturing control systems, including robotics, electrical systems and industrial process controls.

“These Engineering Technology concentrations are filling the gap that exists between the skills local manufacturing employers need and the skills that potential employees have,” Wilson said. “Student scholarships like those funded by the Alcoa Foundation make a higher education possible for students, whether they’re looking to start out in a promising field, transitioning between jobs or improving their knowledge base.”

“We are excited about Pellissippi State’s Engineering Technology program,” said Ken McMillen, Alcoa’s Tennessee operations location manager. “Alcoa is just one of the many manufacturing companies in our community that are expanding and looking for a qualified technical workforce. These scholarships are helping students gain the necessary skills to fill the pipeline and create a qualified workforce for manufacturing jobs.”

Alcoa Foundation grants funded 94 student scholarships in the 2013 and 2014 academic years.

The Alcoa grant funds came through the Pellissippi State Foundation. The Foundation works to provide student scholarships and emergency loans, as well as to improve facilities and secure new equipment.

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

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