Pellissippi State volunteers generate nearly $817,600 in economic impact

Pellissippi State Community College’s student volunteers have generated an estimated $817,569.88 in economic impact during the past year, according to the estimated state value of volunteer time.

Through participation in its Service-Learning program, Pellissippi State recorded 2,867 student volunteers in the 2013-2014 academic year. Service-learning integrates community service with more traditional learning experiences. The program’s primary goals are to teach civic responsibility and strengthen communities.

“What’s even more impressive than the economic impact of our students’ volunteer time,” said Annie Gray, Service-Learning coordinator and an English professor, “are the consistently positive things students have to say about how that service experience helped them find career focus and deep motivation during their college journey.
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“Based on the projects I have seen them do, I am convinced that service-learning experiences inspire college students to strive hard and think deeply about their subjects from multiple points of view. That’s pretty exciting.”

The economic impact of students’ hours was calculated using the dollar value the state places on volunteer time: $20.13 per hour. Using the federal estimate of $22.55 for volunteer service, the Service-Learning students contributed $915,856.97 to the local economy. Gray estimates that even more students participated in volunteer work than the total reflects, but that they didn’t report their hours in the college’s ServiceCorps program, which collects and reports such hours.

The benefits for students of participation in community service go beyond economics.

According to the findings of more than 900 anonymous surveys, students overwhelmingly believe that community service reinforces their desire to earn a college degree and that it motivates them to be better students. More than 80 percent prefer courses that incorporate some type of community service into the curriculum.

The vast majority also feel that civic engagement is essential to a successful academic and professional life.
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“At Pellissippi State, we incentivize giving back to the community while pursuing a higher education,” Gray said. “Students’ verified service hours are listed on their student transcripts, which shows a future employer or a transfer institution how well-rounded an applicant really is.”

For more information about Service-Learning at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu/service-learning or call (865) 694-6400. To learn more about the college’s academic programs, go to www.pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State’s Blount County Campus hosts career fair

Dozens of local companies will be ready to talk to job seekers at a career fair at Pellissippi State Community College’s Blount County Campus Wednesday, Oct. 1.

The career fair is open to the community and takes place 10 a.m.-1 p.m. in the William “Keith” McCord Lobby. The campus is located at 2731 W. Lamar Alexander Parkway in Friendsville.

Participating companies include the Boys and Girls Club, Clayton Homes/Vanderbilt Mortgage, Cellular Sales Contact Center, Comfort Keepers, DENSO, Express Employment Professionals, the FBI, Harrison Construction, H&R Block, K12 Call Center, Modis, Resource Accounting, and US Foods, among others. Most of the companies are located in Blount and Knox counties.
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“The Placement Office and the Blount County Campus host this event for Pellissippi State students—as well as members of the community— to speak with local professionals in specific careers,” said Holly Burkett, campus dean.
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“Our career fair allows easier access to ask questions about each company and its hiring process, available job openings, and future career opportunities. We encourage our students to begin thinking about what can be possible after graduation.”

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 vice president named Woman of the Year

portrait of female in red suitPeggy Wilson, Pellissippi State Community College’s vice president of College Advancement, has been named Woman of the Year in Education by the National Association of Professional Women.

“I’m honored and humbled to receive this award by an organization that seeks to empower and encourage professional women,” said Wilson, also the executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation.
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The award recognizes “excellence, leadership and commitment to her profession, while encouraging the achievement of professional women.” The NAPW is the largest networking organization of professional women in the country, with more than 600,000 members.

Wilson has worked at Pellissippi State for 28 years. She was the first person in her family to graduate from college, the first employee at Pellissippi State to receive the Outstanding Administrator award and the school’s first female vice president. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Eastern Kentucky University and a master’s in education from Morehead State University.

“My greatest achievement is going from a girl wanting more than the mountains could offer to becoming the first female vice president at Pellissippi State,” Wilson said.

In addition to her other accomplishments, Wilson was named the 2001 Executive of the Year for the International Association of Administrative Professionals, Oak Ridge Chapter, and won the 2010 Excellence in Administration Otis L. Floyd Jr. Award from the Tennessee College Public Relations Association.
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Wilson serves in and supports a number of community and international organizations, including Rotary Club of Farragut and Rotary International, Knoxville Symphony League, the Cerebral Palsy Center, East Tennessee Historical Society, and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. She and her husband, Joe, are members of Cokesbury United Methodist Church. Wilson has three children and three grandchildren.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400. For more information about the National Association of Professional Women, visit www.napw.com.

Pellissippi State: Community invited to ‘A Few of Our Favorite Things’ faculty concert

Graphic with female singing into a microphone and the word Music below.Pellissippi State Community College hosts its annual Faculty Recital Thursday, Oct. 2.

“A Few of Our Favorite Things” begins at 7 p.m. in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The concert features musical performances by the college’s Music faculty.
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The event is free and the community is invited.

“Fifteen members of the Music faculty will be performing selections that represent their favorite genre, composer or time period,” said Bill Brewer, Music program coordinator. “Some commentary on selected pieces will be offered to give the audience a sense of why it is a favorite of the particular performer.”
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“A Few of Our Favorite Things” is one of the performances in Pellissippi State’s yearlong Music Concert Series. The series 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. All piano performances and accompaniments are performed on Steinways, in keeping with Pellissippi State’s status as an All-Steinway School.

For additional information about the Pellissippi State Music Concert Series or 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.

Pellissippi State celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

graphic with dragon that says culture and diversityPellissippi State Community College celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with an assortment of food and festivities on Wednesday, Oct. 1. Hispanic Heritage Month is Sept. 15-Oct. 15.

The Pellissippi State event takes place 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Goins Building College Center on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. It is free and open to the community.
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“We will celebrate the histories, cultures and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America,” said Gayle Wood, director of Access and Diversity, which sponsors the event.

Activities will include performances of Latin dances by Tiffany Weddle and of Spanish and South American music by classical guitarist Chris Lee. Attendees can sample chicken fajitas and pork carnitas, as well as chips and salsa and non-alcoholic sangrias.

Hispanic Heritage Month began as a weeklong observation in 1968 and expanded under President Ronald Reagan in 1988. In September, a number of Central and South American countries—among them, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua—celebrate the anniversaries of their independence.
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Hispanic Heritage Month is one of the 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. This year, the series celebrates Pellissippi State’s 40th anniversary.

For more information about The Arts at Pellissippi State, 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.

Pellissippi State: Faculty lecture explores Mary Poppins, Maleficent approaches to teaching

headshot of female“Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, in a most delightful way!”

Unlike the heroine of the 1964 movie, Pellissippi State Community College’s Anne Pharr doesn’t blow into her classroom with an umbrella, but in her early years of teaching English, the assistant professor says she did make use of what she now calls the “Mary Poppins model” to engage students.

Pharr addresses the effectiveness of different teaching styles in an upcoming lecture at the college, “From Mary Poppins to Maleficent: Professorial Persona and Student Perception.” The event is at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25, in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.
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“In an attempt to engage my students,” said Pharr, who has been teaching for two decades, “I added a spoonful of sugar to any task that might seem the least bit medicinal (or unpleasant) to my students. After a few years, I began to wonder if this approach to student engagement—putting all the responsibility on the teacher—set students up for long-term success.

“No one wants to be viewed as a Maleficent. But in my lecture, I hope faculty and students can consider this possibility: if an educator’s goal is to truly engage students, not merely entertain them, then temporary discomfort may well be worth it.”

The presentation by Pharr, the first of the 2014-15 Faculty Lecture Series, is free and open to the community.
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The Faculty Lecture Series 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 next year, the Arts series commemorates Pellissippi State’s 40th anniversary.

For more information about The Arts at Pellissippi State, 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.

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.”
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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.
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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.
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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 Community College, Knoxville, TN