Category Archives: Students

Pellissippi State: New Student Orientation sessions available before summer term

Two New Student Orientation sessions are being offered for students planning to attend summer semester at Pellissippi State Community College.

Classes for summer begin May 27. New Student Orientation sessions are 5-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 20, and 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Friday, May 23, on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. All first-time degree-seeking freshmen must attend a New Student Orientation session.

Reserve a spot now by visiting www.pstcc.edu/orientation or calling (865) 694-6400.

Orientation sessions are recommended for transfer students and those who have been out of school for a while. Parents, spouses and other supporters of new students also are encouraged to attend.

At the sessions, new students can meet Pellissippi State faculty and staff; explore degree, major, and transfer options; learn strategies for college success; and find out about campus services and resources, such as financial aid.

Prospective students should keep in mind that summer classes often fill early. Key deadline dates include May 19, the application deadline; May 20, the entrance testing deadline; and May 22, the schedule confirmation and fee deadline.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact Disability Services at accommodations@pstcc.edu or (865) 539-7153.

Community invited to Pellissippi State’s annual Student Design Showcase

Pellissippi State Community College graphic design students display what they’ve created in their coursework during the annual Communication Graphics Technology Student Design Showcase. The exhibit is 4-8 p.m. Thursday, April 24.

The theme of this year’s showcase is “A Spark of Creativity.” The event is free and the community is invited.

The showcase gives 22 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.

The CGT Student Design Showcase is in the Bagwell Center for Media and Art on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

For more information about the showcase, visit www.pstcc.edu 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.

Pellissippi State answers learning needs with help from TBR grant

Pellissippi State Community College faculty will seek to improve student success through a new course redesign, with the help from Tennessee Board of Regents Course Revitalization Initiative grants.

Two English courses and a math course will pilot the project at Pellissippi State.

In MATH 1530 Elementary Probability and Statistics, faculty will develop an “embedded remediation” component to enhance the class. In other words, students who formerly would have been placed in pre-college-level learning support at Pellissippi State will now take part in a standard, college-level course, but with extra support.

“There’s been a lot of data on success with embedded remediation, which is a type of just-in-time intervention,” said Brittany Mosby, project leader for the MATH 1530 course. Mosby’s team includes Math faculty Sue Ann Dobbyn and Claire Suddeth.

“Students who might have been placed into a learning support course will instead take a college-level class with their peers. As part of the embedded remediation component, these students will have additional classroom time to reinforce the material and be sure they understand the concepts.”

In the English Department, faculty will revitalize two gateway classes, ENGL 1010 Composition I—the only Pellissippi State course that all students are required to take—and its follow-up, ENGL 1020 Composition II. The revamped 1010 course will place more emphasis on regular, consistent writing and on sentence structure and grammar skills.

ENGL 1020, similarly, will be reworked to more appropriately continue skills learned in ENGL 1010, rather than spending the time reteaching or reviewing skills that should have been mastered in 1010. Revitalized 1020 will teach students more refined, advanced and specialized writing skills.

“Our faculty members have some exciting ideas about how to revise these courses to make them more effective,” said Kathryn Byrd, dean of the English Department. “Notably, their approach includes plenty of writing practice, clear communication of academic expectations and an emphasis on the student’s responsibility for his or her own learning.”

English faculty members participating in the pilot project are project leaders Alex Fitzner and Tara Lynn, with Casey Lambert, Teresa Lopez, Kelly Rivers, and Heather Schroeder.

The TBR Course Revitalization Initiative grants, awarded by the TBR Office of Academic Affairs, target high-enrollment gateway classes and encourage faculty to develop creative strategies to engage their students and teach critical thinking skills. TBR is the governing body for Pellissippi State.

“These grants will provide an opportunity for these faculty members to create an innovative class for students to review their prerequisite skills just in time for new college-level content,” said Nancy Pevey, dean of the Mathematics Department.

The pilot revitalized classes at Pellissippi State begin this fall. The effectiveness of those classes will be evaluated, and the pilots may be enlarged to include other classes.

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

Pellissippi State students, employees to participate in Ijams River Rescue

Pellissippi State Community College students and employees will spend the day on Saturday, April 5, cleaning East Tennessee’s waterways. The occasion is Ijams Nature Center’s River Rescue, and the Pellissippi State effort is being coordinated by the college’s Service-Learning program.

The team of students, faculty and staff will be on site 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Loves Creek, where Loves Creek Road meets Millertown Pike. The cleanup location is behind the ORNL Federal Credit Union and Food City, in Northeast Knoxville.

This year is Ijams’ 25th annual River Rescue. River Rescue places volunteers at more than 40 sites around the Knoxville metropolitan area to clean trash out of East Tennessee’s rivers, creeks and waterways. In 2013, more than 1,000 volunteers participated in the event.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400. For more information about the River Rescue, visit www.ijams.org or call Ijams at (865) 577-4717 ext. 124.

Pellissippi State students only Grainger scholarship recipients in state

Michael Swihart
Michael Swihart

Pellissippi State Community College students Robert Sanders and Michael Swihart are the only two Tennessee recipients of $2,000 Grainger Tools for Tomorrow scholarships.

Both Sanders and Swihart are in the Mechanical Engineering concentration of the Engineering Technology degree program. The Grainger Tools for Tomorrow scholarship supports technical education and promotes careers in technical areas of work. Grainger is an Illinois-based distributor of facilities maintenance supplies.

“Pellissippi State is the only college in Tennessee that has students who receive this scholarship,” said Peggy Wilson, vice president of College Advancement and executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation.

“Grainger classifies Pellissippi State as a veteran-friendly college, and each student who receives a scholarship from Grainger must be a veteran.”

Robert Sanders
Robert Sanders

The Grainger awards go through the Pellissippi State Foundation. The $2,000 scholarships are earmarked for students in an Engineering Technology field. Upon graduating, recipients also receive $2,500 worth of Grainger hand tools, each with a lifetime replacement guarantee.

“Robert and Michael are outstanding students, and both are very deserving of this scholarship,” said Pat Riddle, program coordinator of Mechanical Engineering.

“We appreciate that Grainger has a scholarship that recognizes the dedication and sacrifice of our student veterans—the hard work they put into their education and their drive to better themselves.”

Sanders, a stay-at-home father, said, “I felt honored that Mr. Riddle picked me as an applicant for the scholarship. For him to single me out was a privilege in itself, and to win is a wonderful bonus.” Sanders, whose career interest lies in green construction, plans to donate a portion of the scholarship back to the Pellissippi State Foundation for another student to use.

Swihart relocated to Knoxville from Chicago, transferring credits to Pellissippi State and starting classes at the college in spring 2012. He plans to graduate this year and hopes to work for a geotechnical firm.

“When Mr. Riddle approached me and told me I was one of the few chosen,” said Swihart, “I was speechless and honored. I am very grateful to receive the scholarship. I’m very grateful to my instructors at Pellissippi State, because of their commitment and the extra time they’ve sacrificed to help me.”

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

Pellissippi State: High-schoolers invited to Creative Writer’s Workshop

Pellissippi State Community College invites local high school students to a Creative Writer’s Workshop Saturday, April 12, at the Strawberry Plains Campus.

The workshop is a free all-day event designed for current high school students who wish to gain experience in fiction and poetry writing, songwriting, screenplay writing, and performance skills. Lunch is provided.

“Young people who feel that hunger to write—whether it be fiction, poetry, plays or songs—need encouragement and motivation to pursue their abilities,” said Patricia Ireland, an English instructor at Pellissippi State.

“Our goal is to pair Pellissippi State’s professional writers with young, aspiring writers in order to offer personal feedback and inspiration, as well as an opportunity to see our campus and get to know college student writers.”

At the end of the day, students have the option of performing their original work at a showcase event. Check-in begins in the lobby at 9:30 a.m., followed by morning and afternoon workshop sessions. The showcase begins at 2:45 p.m.

Workshop sessions will be taught by professional writers from the Pellissippi State faculty, assisted by members of the Strawberry Plains Creative Writing Club.

Interested students should register by 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 9, with Ireland, paireland@pstcc.edu or (865) 225-2340.

The Strawberry Plains Campus is located at 7201 Strawberry Plains Pike.

For more information, contact Ireland, 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 humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State hosts Computer Careers Open House for Knox-area women

Pellissippi State Community College is offering a Computer Careers Open House for Knoxville-area women Monday, April 7.

The event is 5:15-7:15 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The open house is funded through a $1,000 grant to help encourage women in computing and information technology fields. The grant is administered by the National Center for Women and IT Academic Alliance.

The Computer Career Open House is open to female rising eighth-grade and high school students, their parents, Pellissippi State and other college students, and other women in the community interested in learning more about careers in computing.

“We are excited about and grateful for the opportunity to share and be an influence on young women in their career choices,” said Christy Watson, a Computer Science and Information Technology student and chair of the student club that received the Symantec Student Seed Fund grant.

“In some of my Computer Science and Information Technology classes,” she said, “I’m the only woman or in the minority among mostly male students. I think women often relegate computers and technology to being the equivalent of ‘gaming,’ or they feel that they’ve outgrown their interest in computers.”

Presenters at the Computer Career Open House will include Pellissippi State faculty and students, as well as local professionals and employers in the computer science and IT industries.

After the open house portion of the event, an optional hour-long “Hour of Code” session will be offered to the first 50 people to register. Sign up by contacting Sharon Burlingame, CSIT program coordinator at Pellissippi State, at (865) 694-6588.

The NCWIT Academic Alliance includes more than 275 colleges and universities. The program is charged with implementing institutional change in higher education, particularly in providing access to leading-edge best practices for recruiting and retaining women. Symantec, a NCWIT sponsor member, is a computer security software corporation and Fortune 500 company.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu 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.

Pellissippi State’s 2014 Student Juried Art Show kicks off March 31

Artwork by Tony Sobota
Artwork by Tony Sobota

Pellissippi State Community College launches its annual Student Juried Art Show March 31, and the exhibit will run until April 18.

The event is free and the community is invited. The Art Show takes place in the Bagwell Center for Media and Art on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Exhibit hours are 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.

“The exhibit will include student works from a variety of media: drawing, painting, two-dimensional and three-dimensional design, ceramics, even blacksmithing,” said Jennifer Brickey, a Fine Arts assistant professor. “We really want to showcase the students that take studio art classes at Pellissippi State. It’s a really great show.”

The opening reception and awards ceremony are 3-5 p.m. Wednesday, April 2. Awards will be announced at 4 p.m.

Artwork by Steven Kempster
Artwork by Steven Kempster

The exhibit is juried by Pellissippi State’s art faculty.

The grand prize for the show is the “purchase award,” in which Pellissippi State buys a student’s artwork for the college’s permanent collection. The award is worth up to $500. Other awards include $25 gift cards to Jerry’s Artarama, given to four runners-up.

The annual Student Juried Art Show is part of The Arts at Pellissippi State, which brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts.

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

From professional paintballer to youngest assistant director, Pellissippi State graduate aims for success

Kevin-Fillers-jpgKevin Fillers thought he would spend his career aiming a paintball gun at opponents, but with the help of Pellissippi State Community College, he’s aiming instead for a career in business.

Fillers, who earned an Associate of Science degree from Pellissippi State in 2011, was the top graduate from the University of Tennessee’s college of business administration in December 2013.

“I had an unusual path into college,” Fillers said. “When I graduated high school, I wanted to become a professional paintball player, and I eventually was offered a contract and played professional paintball from 2005 to 2008. But I could see that it wasn’t going to remain a long-term career option, so in 2006, I started taking occasional classes at Pellissippi State.”

Fillers, who graduated from UT with a 4.0 grade point average, attributes his success to those early classes at Pellissippi State.

“If I’d had to deal with traditional class formats,” he said, “I probably never would have started going to school.

“Because of how much I worked and how much I traveled, the only class options open to me were the online, one-night-a-week or two-night-a-week classes. That nontraditional path gave me an entirely new perspective on my future, and allowed me a new start.”

Fillers began taking full-time classes at Pellissippi State in 2010, while also working full time at the Gamma Beta Phi Society’s national headquarters in Oak Ridge.

He worked his way up from a minor position in Gamma Beta Phi, a national honors and service organization for college students, to the finance director and, ultimately, the assistant director position. He is the youngest-ever assistant director of the society. He also owns his own paintball company and school, The Bizniss.

Fillers began his classes at Pellissippi State with the intention of earning a mechanical engineering degree, but he switched to business classes when he realized he wanted to work more closely with other people.

His next academic goal is to attend UT starting fall 2015 in pursuit of an M.B.A. or J.D.

“Kevin was a nontraditional student who was not quite ready to attend college right out of high school,” said Jonathan Lamb, associate professor of Mathematics, “but he entered Pellissippi State when he was ready, and he has thrived ever since.

“I am thrilled for him, and I think he is an excellent example of how well Pellissippi State prepares students for transfer to four-year colleges.”

Fillers says he credits his early academic success specifically to Pellissippi State’s offerings that are geared toward working adults.

“I’m so grateful to Pellissippi State, because I got the start on my new career path here. I have worked really hard for the past seven years, working full time and attending school, and I’m proud of how much I’ve accomplished.”

He also recognizes his work ethic as an inheritance from his father, Fred Fillers. The elder Fillers earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree while serving as a lieutenant colonel in the Army National Guard, working for the U.S. Department of Energy, and raising a family.

“Now, I understand how hard my father worked to make the best life for himself and to give us every opportunity that he could,” the younger Fillers said.

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

Honda grant to help urban high-schoolers at Pellissippi State’s Summer Institute

Pellissippi State Community College’s Summer Institute will get a boost this year to include a new STEM—science, technology, engineering, mathematics—emphasis, thanks to a $46,760 grant from the American Honda Foundation. The grant was awarded through the Pellissippi State Foundation.

“The grant will help fund academic programs for urban high school students that will provide rigorous exposure to relevant STEM career fields,” said L. Anthony Wise, Pellissippi State president.

“This exposure will broaden the educational opportunities for these students and allow them to consider new fields of study for college and career.”

The Summer Institute takes place on the Hardin Valley Campus each summer and is open to rising sophomores from Austin-East and Fulton high schools. The institute is affiliated with Project GRAD Knoxville, which seeks to boost excellence in education, particularly in schools in urban Knoxville.

The American Honda Foundation grant funds four new STEM programs at the 2014 Summer Institute: Alternative Energy, Robotics, Aquabiotics and Photographic Science. The grant also supports professional development, a new instructor, field trips and equipment.

“Through grant giving, the American Honda Foundation seeks to develop youth in the areas of math, science, engineering, technology and literacy,” said Alexandra Warnier, manager of American Honda Foundation. “We are proud to partner with Pellissippi State on its important contribution in this area and look forward to the impact and results that will be achieved.”

The Summer Institute has been offered annually since 2001 and serves about 150 students per year. Since 2005, 946 students participating in the institute have gone on to graduate from high school and earn a college scholarship for up to four years.

Summer Institute participants from Austin-East and Fulton who continue on to attend college at Pellissippi State have a higher GPA average and take fewer pre-college-level courses than students from those two high schools who enroll at Pellissippi State but didn’t take part in the summer program.

To learn more about the giving opportunities available through the Pellissippi State Foundation, visit https://giving.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6528. For more information about Pellissippi State and its programs, go to www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.