All posts by elsimpson

Pellissippi State students named to summer 2014 dean’s list

Pellissippi State Community College has named 39 top students to the summer dean’s list. Students are eligible for inclusion upon completing 12 college-level hours in a semester with a 3.5-4.0 GPA. Pellissippi State honorees:

Julia Allison
Leea Butler
Joan Chamberlain
Dylan Chun
Ryan Clapp
Montana Coward
Jennifer DeFoe
Kelsey Dotson
Kelsey Elam
Morgan Everett
Angela Fields
Gregory Flynn
Sophie Fourniquet
Caroline Gowin
Hannah Hicks
Jessica Hughes
Jean Jamison
Jillian Jeffcoat
Marjorie Kennedy
Viola Kriston
Maddie Kulpa
Abigail Lane
Ahmad Mahmaud
Tim Marcum
Katilyn Mitchell
Robert Neel
Lynsey O’Barr
Dylan Powell
Cody Ricker
Mary Robinson
Joshua Roy
Yvette Satchel
Stephanie Shipp
Katharina Snyder
Edward Warren
Joshua Wilson
Brian Withrow
Kaylee Worsham
Courtney Young

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

Pellissippi State ranks high nationwide in number of communication graduates

Pellissippi State Community College ranks second in the U.S. among two-year colleges in the number of students who graduated from the institution in 2013 in the communications field.

The rankings are published in the Aug. 18 issue of Community College Week, and the college places high in the category of Top 50 Associate Degrees: Communication Technologies/Technicians and Support Services.

Pellissippi State was the only community college in Tennessee recognized in the category. The college’s ranking rose 9 percent from 2012.

The institution awarded 93 associate’s degrees in communication/media technologies in the 2012-2013 academic year, only 10 fewer than the top two-year school, the Institute of Production and Recording in Minnesota.

“We are honored to receive this national recognition for the number of graduates we have in this program,” said Ted Lewis, vice president of Academic Affairs. “Our faculty are deeply committed to helping students achieve their academic goals, and I am very proud of the excellent work they do in preparing students for successful careers in media technologies.”

The college offers a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree in Media Technologies. Students can choose from four concentrations: Communication Graphics Technology, Photography, Video Production Technology and Web Technology.

Pellissippi State was one of only three Tennessee two- and four-year schools recognized in the Community College Week issue, which records the top 100 associate’s degree producers in 2013 across a variety of disciplines and categories.

Community College Week is published biweekly. It covers community college news and features, analyses of academic trends and issues, statistics, and technology updates.

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

Pellissippi State faculty members spend summer researching Icelandic geology

Female with water and island behind.
Kathleen Affholter, a Pellissippi State Community College associate professor of geology, traveled to Iceland over the summer to study the island’s unique geology, including collecting soil and rock samples such as zeolite minerals.

Iceland, a sparsely populated island of glaciers, geysers and volcanoes, is again making international news, with the world waiting to see if the Bárdarbunga volcano will spew more than just lava from its latest eruption. In 2010, an ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano closed much of Europe’s air space for nearly a week.

Iceland’s unique geology drew two Pellissippi State Community College faculty members to the Northern European country for a two-week research trip this summer. The visit was supported by the National Science Foundation.

Kathleen Affholter, an associate professor of geology, traveled throughout Iceland with a research team, collecting soil and rock samples for DNA analysis from an archaeological site, glaciers, and volcanic mountains.

Affholter was joined on the trip by Pete Lemiszki, an adjunct faculty member who also teaches geology. The two traveled to Iceland at the invitation of a computer science professor at Earlham College, Charles Peck, who secured the grants and awards for the trip.

hands holding several rocks

“Geologically speaking, Iceland is very young,” said Affholter. “To paraphrase volcanologist Thor Thordarson, if the Earth is a year old, Iceland was born less than two days ago. The ice caps covered Iceland five hours ago, and they melted only a minute ago.”

According to Affholter, “Iceland is the only place in the world where you can stand on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a ‘divergent plate boundary’—a place where two tectonic plates are separating.” The country, which lies between the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans, straddles the ridge.

The divergent plate boundary, she says, creates volcanic systems, geysers and geothermal energy in the stark, stunning landscape. Iceland is growing, because the shifting of the plates causes molten rock, or magma, to erupt and the new rock that forms pushes the older rock toward the coastlines.

The group of researchers pulled together by Peck included not only Affholter and Lemiszki but also students from Earlham College and the University of California, San Diego. The American team was aided by researchers from the University of Iceland.

The group gathered rocks of varying ages from different locations around the island. Older and newer rocks may differ in a number of ways—in the amounts or types of bacteria they contain, for example—and the group used a university lab in Akureyri to extract DNA from the samples for further study back in the U.S.

While in Iceland, Affholter and one of the students also wrote a brochure about the zeolite minerals found there. The crystals form in holes caused by trapped gas in the country’s basalt rock. Zeolite crystals are unique, in that they can hydrate and dehydrate. Among their other applications, they are used to eliminate odors in diapers.

The fact that magma is, literally, the bedrock of Iceland presents a unique opportunity for geologic study, and the island is consequently a popular place to visit for geologists as well as other scientists, says Affholter.

“The students and professors on this trip were biologists, geologists and computer scientists,” she said. “It’s important to see how science is no longer compartmentalized. All of our disciplines are needed to do our research.”

This summer isn’t the first time Affholter has traveled to Iceland. She instructed the geology students on a Tennessee Consortium for International Studies trip there in 2013. TnCIS, which is headquartered at Pellissippi State, coordinates study abroad as part of its mission of boosting international experience and culture in higher education across the state.

For more information about Affholter’s trip, visit her blog, geologyslam.wordpress.com. For more information about Pellissippi State and its programs, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State hosts Medic Mobile at Hardin Valley Campus

Medic Regional Blood Center will host a blood drive at Pellissippi State Community College’s Hardin Valley Campus on Wednesday, Sept. 17.

The Medic Mobile is scheduled to be at the campus, located at 10915 Hardin Valley Road, 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. The community is invited to participate in the blood drive. The Medic Mobile will be parked in the O1 lot adjoining visitors’ parking in front of the Goins Building.

Medic is a nonprofit organization that supplies 27 area hospitals with volunteer donations. Medic representatives say there is a need for all blood types. Potential donors must be at least 17 years of age and weigh at least 110 pounds.

Donors should not fast before arriving. Medic suggests instead that donors eat a meal and drink fluids approximately three hours prior to donating.

Participants are asked to present photo identification and a list of current medications.

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

Pellissippi State invites students to Scholarship Days

Pellissippi State Community College will host two Scholarship Days events, one this month and one next, to encourage and help eligible students to sign up for Tennessee Promise.

Tennessee Promise is a “last-dollar” scholarship that will cover tuition and fees for community college students once other assistance has been applied. It essentially gives high school graduates the opportunity to attend college for free, beginning with spring 2015 graduates.

Although students won’t be eligible to receive funding until they begin college next fall, the deadline to apply for Tennessee Promise is Nov. 1.

Pellissippi State’s Scholarship Days take place 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, and noon-2 Sunday, Oct. 26. Both events are at the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The Sept. 20 session is in the Educational Resources Center, Room 147. The Oct. 26 session is also in the ERC, in the third-floor computer lab.

“We’re inviting students to come out for Scholarship Days so we can help them through the process of signing up for Tennessee Promise,” said Rebecca Ashford, vice president of Student Affairs at Pellissippi State.

“It’s extremely important that students understand that they must meet the Nov. 1 deadline to qualify to receive Tennessee Promise funding. If a student misses this deadline, there will not be another opportunity to take advantage of the Promise scholarship.”

Pellissippi State also is hosting a number of informational sessions throughout this month and October to share details about program requirements and deadlines and to highlight the educational offerings at Pellissippi State. For a full list of those sessions, visit www.pstcc.edu/promise.

“The Tennessee Promise is an excellent opportunity for students throughout the state,” said Leigh Anne Touzeau, assistant vice president of Enrollment Services. “We hope the students in our region will take advantage of this scholarship at Pellissippi State.”

For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu/promise or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Two-for-one special on September handgun carry-permit class at Pellissippi State

Pellissippi State Community College offers its popular Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit class this month at a special two-for-one price.

The class is sure to fill up quickly, thanks to the special pricing on the Saturday, Sept. 20, session.

The non-credit course is being offered through Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services Division at a cost of $75 for any two students who register at the same time. Space is limited, and one person must register both students simultaneously in order for the two-for-one rate to apply.

Those who satisfactorily complete the eight-hour course earn a certificate to apply for a state carry permit. Completion of this or another training course is required before applying for a Tennessee handgun carry permit.

The Pellissippi State class covers handgun parts, function, and operation; safety, cleaning, and storage; legal responsibilities of carrying a handgun; course review and testing; and firing range exercises.

Included is classroom instruction in the morning and range training after lunch. The person leading the class is certified both as a firearms instructor with the National Rifle Association and as a handgun instructor with the state of Tennessee.

The course meets at the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road, for classroom instruction. Range training in the afternoon takes place at a designated location off campus. Students must supply their own gun and ammunition. A $5 range fee for each student is payable to the instructor during class.

For information or registration, visit www.pstcc.edu/bcs or call (865) 539-7167. The BCS website lists updated class schedules and information on new course offerings. To request accommodations for a disability, email accommodations@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State: Free lecture, book signing by ‘Black Hawk Down’ author

male leaning against bar with arms foldedMark Bowden, bestselling author of “Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War,” will be at Pellissippi State Community College at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, for a lecture and book signing.

The presentation is free and open to the community. Because of limited seating, admission is first come, first served.

Funding for Bowden’s visit is provided by the Pellissippi State Foundation’s Clayton Performing Arts Endowment. The presentation is sponsored by the college’s Common Book Committee.

The event takes place in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. A question-and-answer and book signing follow the lecture.

Bowden, an internationally known journalist, also wrote “The Finish: The Killing of Osama Bin Laden.” He is a frequent contributor to “The Atlantic” and “Vanity Fair” magazines, as well as an essayist in Pellissippi State’s 2014 Common Book, “The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013.”

Pellissippi State’s Common Book unites all first-year students in a shared reading experience, which becomes the basis of a yearlong discussion of issues related to the book. The Common Book encourages exploration in class and in co-curricular programming and events both on and off campus.

“The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013” serves to spark discussions on topics that include biology, nature, and the impact of scientific research on the world around us and in our own psyches.

Bowden’s essay, “The Measured Man,” recounts the work of Larry Smarr, an astrophysicist and pioneer of the Internet, who advocates “digitally enabled genomic medicine” through in-depth study of his own body.

For more information about Bowden’s visit, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400. For more information about the Pellissippi State Foundation, visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation or call (865) 694-6528.

Pellissippi State Foundation adds two new directors

Aneisa McDonald
Aneisa McDonald

Two directors have been newly recruited to work in the Pellissippi State Foundation, and both bring with them experience from state and regional school systems.

Marilyn Roddy, who has been brought on as director of major gift development, is the former director of STEMspark East Tennessee STEM Hub, a 13-county group advocating for greater use of science, technology, engineering and mathematics curricula. Roddy also served as a Knoxville City Council member for eight years.

Aneisa McDonald, the new director of planned and annual giving, is a former health specialist for Knox County Schools and has worked for the Metropolitan Drug Commission and the Arts Council of Greater Knoxville.

Marilyn Roddy
Marilyn Roddy

“I’m pleased to have this opportunity to continue to have an impact in education,” said Roddy. “At Pellissippi State, I have the opportunity to work at the intersection of education and economic development. I have a great enthusiasm for community colleges. They are so important in preparing students and training our workforce.”

“In all my work in development,” said McDonald, “the shared experience has been in uniting people around a specific cause. I look forward to bringing those experiences to Pellissippi State.

“Everyone here is very passionate about the mission of the college and the success of the students, and I’m excited to join that mission.”

In her new position, Roddy will develop and implement major fundraising efforts for the Pellissippi State Foundation. McDonald will manage annual and planned gifts, working with internal and external audiences and Pellissippi State alumni.

The Foundation works to provide student scholarships and emergency loans, as well as to improve facilities and secure new equipment.

“Aneisa and Marilyn bring unique experiences and backgrounds to the Foundation,” said Peggy Wilson, executive director of the Foundation and vice president of College Advancement.

“With their help, the Foundation can continue to ensure that all Pellissippi State students have the opportunity for a higher education degree at a college with state-of-the-art equipment in comfortable facilities.”

For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation or call (865) 694-6528.

Fall semester brings non-credit courses to Blount County

The history of Appalachia is the topic of two upcoming Pellissippi State Community College non-credit courses at the college’s Blount County Campus.

“The Little Tennessee: Valley With a Big Story” is offered 6-8 p.m. Thursdays, Sept. 18-Oct. 30. “Our Appalachia: Mountain Mayhem, Misery and Music” is scheduled 6-8 p.m. Mondays, Sept. 15-Oct. 27. Both courses will be taught by Mark Davidson.

“The Little Tennessee” covers the history of the East Tennessee valley, from the Cherokee Nation to the Secret City project in Oak Ridge. Cost of the class is $89, plus a $15 materials fee. The focus of “Our Appalachia” is the difficulties of mountain life. The course is $89, with a $15 materials fee.

Both classes are presented by Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services Division. Other fall courses in Blount County:

  • “Drawing With Pastels, Pencils and Charcoals,” for all ages. Thursdays, Sept. 18-Oct.23, 6-8:30 p.m. Cost is $105; instructor is Mary Ruden. Learn the basics of drawing with charcoal, pencils and pastels. Participants must provide own art supplies.

For more information about these and other classes offered by Business and Community Services, visit www.pstcc.edu/bcs or call (865) 539-7167. To request accommodations for a disability, email accommodations@pstcc.edu.

Three local painters focus of Pellissippi State ‘Abstractions’ exhibit

JenniferBrickeyAbstractionsPellissippi State Community College features the paintings of three area artists in its “Abstractions” exhibit, which runs Sept. 15-Oct. 3.

The event highlights works of John Bissonette, Jennifer Brickey and Heather Hartman, all of whom explore non-objective imagery in various forms. Brickey also is an assistant professor at Pellissippi State.

“The paintings all make use of color, space and structure to convey various ideas,” said Herb Rieth, curator of the exhibit and assistant professor at Pellissippi State. “The paintings are engaging, witty, mysterious and intense without using concrete images.”

The exhibit is in the Bagwell Gallery on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

“Abstractions” is one of the many events that make up Pellissippi State’s arts series, The Arts at Pellissippi State. The series brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts. Throughout the 2014-15 academic year, the series celebrates Pellissippi State’s 40th anniversary.

For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.