Pellissippi State student awarded prestigious scholarship to study abroad

Young female in portraitPellissippi State Community College student Ciara Sheets is the recipient of the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad this summer.

Sheets is one of only two community college students in the state to receive the award. She plans to study biology during a summer study abroad program to Ecuador with the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies.

“I am thrilled to have won the award. It’s such an honor,” Sheets said.

“I’ll be going to the Galapagos Islands and am taking my Biology II course there, getting to take hikes and visit caves and natural observation points. We’ll take a trip to the observatory where scientists like Charles Darwin and others have studied.”

The Gilman Scholarship offers grants for undergraduates—particularly those who are typically underrepresented in international studies, such as students of limited financial means, community college students and minority students—to pursue academic studies or career-oriented internships abroad. The program is intended to better prepare students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world.

“Ciara is participating in our Ecuador program, a four-week course in the Galapagos Islands that focuses on the study of biology and genetics. It’s a unique program that offers field work with an outdoor laboratory,” said Tracey Bradley, executive director of TnCIS.

“Study abroad opportunities are traditionally thought of as arts or humanities related, but we’re very proud to offer one that is strongly science based.”

Sheets plans to graduate from Pellissippi State in May 2015 and then attend the University of Tennessee to pursue pre-veterinary coursework.

TnCIS, whose headquarters are at Pellissippi State, organizes study abroad opportunities as part of its mission of boosting international experience and culture in higher education throughout the state. More than 425 students and 65 faculty from across Tennessee participated in the summer 2013 study abroad programs organized by TnCIS. There are 18 study abroad programs planned for summer 2014.

For more information about TnCIS, visit www.tncis.org or call (865) 539-7280. For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Building Operator Certification starts at Pellissippi State end of May

The Building Operator Certification course, a national workforce training and certification program, begins in May at Pellissippi State Community College. The course is offered by the Business and Community Services Division.

“Programs of this kind are often geared to the traditional student—the recent high school graduate who is able to attend class two to three days during the week from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., for a semester or more,” said Debi Bolton, BCS project manager. “But we have scheduled our programs with the busy adult in mind. Each class is only a day or two long.”

The BOC offers facilities personnel the job skills and knowledge to improve the energy performance of their buildings. To become Level I certified, participants must attend seven classes and complete class exams and assigned projects, for a total of 74 hours. The cost of the course is $1,595.

The classes, all of which run 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and their dates:

  • Energy Efficient Operation of Building HVAC Systems, May 27-28
  • Measuring and Benchmarking Energy Performance, June 17
  • Efficient Lighting Fundamentals, July 15
  • HVAC Controls Fundamentals, Aug. 19
  • Indoor Environmental Quality, Sept. 16
  • Common Opportunities for Low-Cost Operational Improvement, Oct. 21

A final, supplemental course on Facility Electrical Systems will be offered 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Nov. 18.

The Level I curriculum for the BOC core courses has been approved by the Green Building Certification Institute as acceptable for continuing education hours toward the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) credential maintenance program.

For more information about the BOC program and other job training courses offered at Pellissippi State, contact Business and Community Services at www.pstcc.edu/bcs or (865) 539-7167. To request accommodations for a disability, email accommodations@pstcc.edu.

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

Pellissippi State Community College will offer its popular Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit class in May at a special two-for-one price.

The Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit Class is sure to fill up quickly, thanks to special two-for-one pricing on the Saturday, May 17, session at the Hardin Valley Campus.

The non-credit course is being offered through Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services Division at the rate 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 course 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 recognizes outstanding student achievements

Pellissippi State Community College acknowledged students for their outstanding achievements at the 2014 Academic Awards ceremony. The event took place April 29 in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus.

Students Victoria Baker and Sydney Youngman were named to the All-USA Community College Academic Team. They received the honor in recognition of scholarly achievement as members of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

Inductees into the 2013-2014 Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges were Leina Beckner, Katherine Chambers, Betty Edwards, Andrew Frantz, Lisa Grunwald, Christian Harris, Tresse Hicks, Joyanna Hirst, Chisa Huffman, Christina Kampas, Morgan Lay, Belinda Lewis, Cassie Lopez, Lori Monroe, Michelle Morgan, Whitney Oslonian, Neel Patel, Sandra Pringle, Ethan Richardson, Chelsea Temple, Jordan Toney and Janice Vowell.

The Pellissippi State Altruist/Scholar is Daisy Falin. Service Leadership Excellence Award winners are Chisa Huffman and Andrea Pappas. Campus Leadership Award winners are Andrew Frantz (Hardin Valley), Sheila Hayden (Division Street), Angela McGee (Blount County), Kari Sanders (Magnolia Avenue) and Rachel Skyles (Strawberry Plains).

Colby Dorcely and Barbara Alfonzo-Tinoco were named winners of the Outstanding Achievement Award–International, presented to students with international backgrounds in recognition of diligence in the pursuit of excellence.

Awards of Merit were presented to students in several areas: Jerri Reed (Citizenship), Kalyn Smith (Communication Graphics Technology), Derrick Barrow (Engineering Technology/Civil Engineering), Whitney Wolff (Interior Design Technology), Rachel Collier (Engineering Technology/Mechanical Engineering), Heath Long (Nursing freshman) and Jason Childers (Nursing sophomore).

Outstanding Graduate Awards went to Krystalee Bailey, Alexander Bishop, Sophie Bogdanski, Laura Bourque-Kliethermes, Chris Caserta III, David Copcutt, April Coward, Eric Cutshaw, Emily Davidson, Emily Davis, Christopher Elliott, Daulton Ellis, Madeline Enderle, Robbeline Enyenihi, Matthew Gibbs, Lisa Grunwald, Brighton Hatfield, Jessica Haynes, Chisa Huffman, Wallace Hynds, Brandi Jones, Michelle Lehmann, Andrew Leming, Belinda Lewis, Victoria Long, Daniel Mace, Nicholas McCloskey, McKalie Merriman, Lori Monroe, Nikita Mounger, William Overby, Andrea Pappas, Joshua Patterson, Nadine Raines, Michael Smith, Laurie Spoon, Robert Tallent, Jefferson Thompson, Andrew Valesky, Tavish White and Sarah Zarczynski.

Jerry Sherrod was selected by students to receive the Faculty of the Year Award.

For additional information about Pellissippi State and its programs, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State: ‘Train the Trainer’ workplace electrical safety course begins May 8

Pellissippi State Community College will offer a “Train the Trainer” NFPA 70E course for supervisors, operators, mechanics, engineers and safety personnel during the month of May.

The four eight-hour classes are geared toward teaching safe electrical practices and hazard recognition and mitigation in the workplace. Cost is $3,000 per person, and classes are at the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Classes are 8 a.m.-4 p.m., May 8, 15, 22 and 29.

“This onsite training module will equip students with the resources needed to articulate both the skilled worker training and unskilled worker training requirements for NFPA 70E compliance,” said instructor Travis Perry.

“Participants also will receive the materials needed to customize onsite training for all of their qualified employees, supervisors, operators and other personnel about electrically safe work practices.”

For more information about the job training and other courses offered at Pellissippi State, contact Business and Community Services at www.pstcc.edu/bcs or (865) 539-7167. To request accommodations for a disability, email accommodations@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State stages pinning ceremony for graduating Nursing students

Lo! in that house of misery
A lady with a lamp I see
Pass through the glimmering gloom,
And flit from room to room.

—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
from the poem “Santa Filomena”

Pellissippi State Community College recognizes the hard work and dedication of its 2014 class of Nursing students during a pinning ceremony at 7 p.m. Friday, May 9. The ceremony is at the Clayton Center for the Arts in Maryville.

“The Nursing degree,” said Beverly Rogers, the program’s interim dean, “requires long hours of studying, homework and heart-wrenching clinical experiences, culminating with a three-hour licensure exam.”

Pellissippi State graduates earn the Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree. Before they can practice as registered nurses, they also must pass the NCLEX-RN licensing exam.

“The pinning ceremony, which dates back more than 1,000 years, is an honored graduation tradition that signifies that the pin recipient has completed his or her nursing education and is now prepared to provide nursing care to individuals, families, and communities,” said Rogers.

At the ceremony, each graduate is pinned with a Pellissippi State Nursing program pin recognizing the student’s achievement. The evening also includes a traditional candle lighting. The candle-burning lamp is a symbol of one of the world’s best-known nurses, Florence Nightingale. The 19th-century caregiver earned the nickname “Lady With the Lamp” for her custom of making rounds in the wee hours.

“The lamp will always shine brightly as a symbol of the care and devotion the nurse administers to the sick and injured,” said Rogers. “As the flame is passed from Nightingale to each nurse, the new nurse recites the nurse’s pledge.”

The ceremony will include remarks by L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State’s president; Ted Lewis, vice president of Academic Affairs; and featured speaker Darneta Brown, an associate professor in the Nursing program.

The pinning ceremony takes place in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre. The center is located at 502 E. Lamar Alexander Pkwy.

For more information about Pellissippi State and its programs, 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 to dedicate Jenny and Randy Boyd Building

In recognition of outstanding support of higher education opportunities in this area, Pellissippi State Community College will dedicate its Strawberry Plains Campus building in honor of Randy and Jenny Boyd on Friday, May 9.

The dedication ceremony begins at 10 a.m., and the campus is located at 7201 Strawberry Plains Pike. Tours of the building will follow.

“We are naming this building in recognition of Jenny and Randy Boyd for their support of Pellissippi State Community College and their dedication to increased access and opportunities for higher education in East Tennessee,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State’s president.

In 2012, Randy and Jenny Boyd donated $1 million to the Pellissippi State Foundation toward the purchase of the Strawberry Plains Campus. The campus began offering classes in fall of that year.

Boyd, who is chairman of Radio Systems Corporation, also was Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s special advisor for higher education in 2013. In 2009, he helped start tnAchieves, a last-dollar scholarship and mentoring program for college students.

Boyd is a proponent of the governor’s “Drive to 55” campaign. The campaign’s goal to increase the percentage of Tennesseans with college degrees or certificates to 55 percent by 2025.

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

Gov. Bill Haslam to speak at Pellissippi State Commencement

Portrait of male in suitGov. Bill Haslam is the keynote speaker at Pellissippi State Community College’s Spring Commencement ceremony Saturday, May 10.

Spring Commencement begins at 7 p.m. at the University of Tennessee’s Thompson-Boling Arena. More than 500 students will walk across the stage.

“It’s a great honor to have Gov. Haslam attend and speak at our Commencement ceremony,” said Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise.

“Gov. Haslam has made higher education opportunities in Tennessee a priority and has special interest in the unique and much-needed opportunities available at community colleges like Pellissippi State. We look forward to his message to our students, many of whom are looking toward achieving their next measure of success as they enter the workforce.”

“I look forward to having an opportunity to personally congratulate the graduates on their significant achievement and to encourage them to be part of a bigger story that is happening in our state,” Haslam said.

“We’ve set a goal to be the No. 1 state in the Southeast for high-quality jobs, and these graduates are key to making that goal a reality. We need their brainpower, their energy and their commitment to make Tennessee a healthy, thriving state.”

Haslam was elected governor in 2010, after serving two terms as mayor of Knoxville. He has championed and promoted higher education in Tennessee through his “Drive to 55” campaign. The campaign strives to bring the percentage of Tennesseans with college degrees or certifications to 55 percent by the year 2025.

A signature piece of Drive to 55 is the Tennessee Promise scholarship. The scholarship aims to give all high school graduates in the state the opportunity to attend a community college or Tennessee College of Applied Technology free of tuition and fees. As part of the Tennessee Promise, students agree to being provided with a mentor to guide them and help ensure their success.

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

Spring Choral Concert is Arts at Pellissippi State season finale

Pellissippi State Community College’s Spring Choral Concert on May 1 brings to an end the 2013-2014 The Arts at Pellissippi State season.

The concert is at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 1, in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

“The Spring Choral Concert will feature our Concert Chorale and Variations Ensemble in our usual wide variety of choral music offerings,” said Bill Brewer, program coordinator of Music and associate professor of Liberal Arts. “Selections will range from classical to Broadway show tunes to African-American spirituals.

“A highlight of this year’s final concert will be a performance by the alumni choir. We are really looking forward to having these former students back on campus and singing with us again.”

The event is free and the community is invited. Donations will be accepted at the door for the Pellissippi State Foundation on behalf of the Music Scholarship Fund.

The Concert Chorale and Variations groups are composed of a wide cross-section of students from a variety of majors. The Variations Ensemble is preparing for a study abroad and concert opportunity overseas in May, in collaboration with the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies.

The Spring Choral Concert is the last in a string of performances during 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 will be 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 graduate comes from behind the scenes to walk at Commencement

male wearing a blue shirtDaniel Mace has helped build the stage for Pellissippi State Community College’s Commencement ceremony each of the past seven years. This May, he’ll be walking across it as a graduate.

“I have seen many a Pellissippi State graduation,” said Mace. “Normally, I sit behind the stage. I’m looking forward to walking across the stage myself this year and receiving that diploma and shaking hands with the president.”

Commencement is at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 10, at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Mace officially graduates in the summer with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Engineering Technology. He plans to return to Pellissippi State next fall to take additional classes before transferring to Austin Peay State University to work toward a degree in mechanical engineering.

The Austin Peay degree is offered at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus, thanks to a unique partnership between the two schools.

“I love Pellissippi State—that’s why I want to keep coming here,” Mace said.

He attributes his success in school to instructors and administrators at Pellissippi State “who have been great to help me and to teach me new ways of looking at the world. I think differently, now, when I look at the world and my actions in it.

“I’m not sure what career path I’ll take, but I think this degree will open doors for me and be a great opportunity.”

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

Pellissippi State Community College, Knoxville, TN