Pellissippi State student starts scholarship for homeless students

A Pellissippi State Community College student is taking steps to ensure homeless students have the funds they need to attend college.

Through a partnership with the Pellissippi State Foundation, student Stephanie Davis has started the Homeless Students Scholarship, which will help fund tuition, books and school supplies for students who are homeless.

The Homeless Students Scholarship is dependent upon donations from the community. To make a donation, contact the Foundation at (865) 694-6528.

“In the spring, I wrote an argument essay in my English 1010 class about homeless students,” said Davis. “During the research for that paper, I found out that Pellissippi State has had homeless students attend classes, and I came up with the idea of starting a fund to help those students.
“It is heartbreaking that homeless students sometimes feel that they have nowhere to turn, or that they’re embarrassed to ask for help. It just takes one person to speak up before we see change.”

Davis hopes the scholarship is up and running by the spring 2015 semester.

“Stephanie is enthusiastic and inspiring in her desire to help other students,” said Peggy Wilson, vice president of College Advancement and executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation. “By setting up this scholarship, we hope to help students in need achieve their dreams.”

To qualify for the scholarship, a student would need to meet the following criteria:

  • Demonstrate financial need.
  • Validate that he/she is homeless.
  • Provide a written recommendation from a high school or college advisor, counselor, teacher or other professional.
  • Maintain an overall GPA of 2.0. Scholarships would be awarded annually, and the award would depend on the funding available.

“Even $5 would buy a pack of pens,” Davis said. “We can start small and grow.”

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 this and other scholarships and grants offered through the Foundation, visit or call (865) 694-6528.

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 or call (865) 694-6400. For more information about the National Association of Professional Women, visit

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 or call (865) 694-6400. For more information about the Pellissippi State Foundation, visit 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.
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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.
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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 or call (865) 694-6528.

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