Category Archives: Students

Pellissippi State offers path to engineering tech bachelor’s degree

When President Barack Obama visited East Tennessee in January, he introduced America’s College Promise and launched a manufacturing innovation hub—both with ties to Pellissippi State Community College.

“We’re launching these hubs around the country, and the concept is simple: We bring businesses, research universities, community colleges, and state, local, and federal governments together, and we figure out, where are some key opportunities for manufacturing in the future, how do we get out in front of the curve, how do we make sure everybody is working together,” Obama said during his speech at Techmer PM in Clinton.

Pellissippi State has provided workforce development training for Techmer PM in recent years. The College and Techmer PM also are partners in a $15 million U.S. Department of Labor grant awarded to the Multi-State Advanced Manufacturing Consortium. The funding is directed toward helping workers who are displaced, unemployed or underemployed, particularly those in the manufacturing industry.

Pellissippi State has launched a number of programs and courses designed to meet those needs.

One of those initiatives is the College’s articulation agreement with Austin Peay State University in Clarksville. Under the partnership, a student can earn an associate’s degree in Engineering Technology through Pellissippi State, then a bachelor’s degree in either Manufacturing Engineering Technology or Mechanical Engineering Technology through Austin Peay—without ever leaving the Hardin Valley Campus.

“I think our partnership with Austin Peay is one that will help close the gap in manufacturing skills in the region,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president. “It allows our students to move seamlessly from a community college to a four-year university to earn an applied bachelor’s degree, then enter the workforce with much-needed job skills.”

The program’s first 15 students are set to graduate from Pellissippi State this year. They’ll enroll at Austin Peay in the fall as juniors.

Students in the program first earn an Associate of Applied Science degree from Pellissippi State, then continue on to earn a Bachelor of Science from Austin Peay. All four years of classes are taught at the Hardin Valley Campus, by both Pellissippi State and Austin Peay faculty.

The program is designed for working students, and it meets the demand for engineering graduates with a bachelor’s degree in East Tennessee.

“Other opportunities like this do not exist in this region,” said Pat Riddle, Pellissippi State’s Mechanical Engineering/Engineering Technology program coordinator. “Pellissippi State and Austin Peay provide local employers with trained, educated professionals with a bachelor’s degree credential.”

“It’s important that we deliver the academic portion and the follow-up: that our graduates are able to find meaningful job opportunities in the fields they’ve studied,” said William Cox, executive director of the School of Technology and Public Management at Austin Peay.

Registration for fall courses at Pellissippi State, including those in the Engineering Technology partnership with Austin Peay, begins in April.

For more information about the partnership program, contact Cindy Fowinkle, an assistant professor and program coordinator of Engineering Technology at Austin Peay at Pellissippi State, at (865) 694-7651. For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State: Student photography show open through March 20

A student photography exhibit on display through Friday, March 20, at Pellissippi State Community College features the works of second-year students in the college’s art classes.

The photography show is free, and the community is invited. The exhibit is 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 event closes with a reception.

“There will be a variety of genres and techniques shown in both black-and-white and color photographs,” said Ron Goodrich, assistant professor and Photography/Media Technologies program coordinator. “All of the images will be archival digital prints.”

The closing reception is 4-6 p.m. Thursday, March 19. Reception attendees will have the chance to meet students whose artwork is featured.

For more information about the photography show, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu. 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 event showcases student speeches

Student speeches will be the focus of an event Thursday, March 19, at Pellissippi State Community College.

The second annual Student Speech Showcase will be held from 7-9 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

Student speakers at the event include Hayden Bright, Kayla Lochman, Kyle McGee, Austin Smith and Priscilla Wilson. Lochman will deliver an informative talk titled “Connected or Lonely,” and McGee will persuade his audience that “Your Words DO Matter: The Power of Cyber Hate.” Smith will deliver a speech titled “Slow Down for a Healthy Future.” The other students also will deliver speeches either in the informative or persuasive styles. Each speech is between five and eight minutes long.

The event will feature a Skype interview with Steven Beebe, a professor at Texas State University, who will give a talk entitled “Communicating Well and the Search for Verbs.”

Beebe is author and coauthor of twelve books, many of which are used as textbooks at hundreds of higher education institutions across the world. He and his wife, Susan Beebe, are coauthors of “Public Speaking: An Audience-Centered Approach,” Pellissippi State’s new textbook for speech and public speaking courses. Beebe is a former president of the National Communication Association, and has been a visiting scholar at both Oxford University and Cambridge University.

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

Science Olympiad at Pellissippi State rescheduled to March 7

The East Tennessee regional Science Olympiad competition, hosted by Pellissippi State Community College, has been rescheduled for Saturday, March 7, due to inclement weather.

Science Olympiad brings together middle and high school teams to compete against one another in science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM, events. Events might include a building competition in which students use the basics of engineering and physics to build a bridge that can support the largest amount of weight. Or students might take part in a laboratory competition in which they apply chemistry and biology to identify mystery powders.

“Science Olympiad is great because it exposes these students to so many different real-life applications of STEM academics,” said Morvarid Bejnood, a Pellissippi State instructor who is planning the event.

“It gives these middle and high school students the opportunity to visit Pellissippi State’s campus, to see our science labs and meet our faculty, as well as to meet local scientists and professionals in STEM fields. Science Olympiad is wonderful for education.”

More than 250 students are expected to take part in the competition. Winning teams go on to compete at the state level.

In addition, dozens of Pellissippi State students will serve as volunteers for the event through the college’s Service-Learning program.

The presenting sponsor of this Science Olympiad competition at Pellissippi State is STEMspark, the East Tennessee STEM education hub of the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network and the national STEMx coalition.

To learn more about Pellissippi State and its STEM and other academic offerings, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State invites community to ‘Caribbean Festival’

steel drum band playing in building

Pellissippi State Community College invites the community to celebrate diversity at the Caribbean Festival, 5:30-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26.

The event is free and takes place in the College Center in the Goins Administration Building at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The Caribbean Festival will feature performances by the Carib Sounds Steel Band and the Caribbean Dancers of Atlanta. Guests can sample Caribbean foods, including jerk chicken and rice and beans.

The Caribbean Festival is sponsored by Pellissippi State’s Access and Diversity Office. The event is part of the college’s Black History Month celebrations. Other related events during February include

  • “Walk, Don’t Ride,” a presentation by The WordPlayers, 9:40-11:40 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17, at the Magnolia Avenue Campus
  • African-American Read-In, a recitation celebrating the works of African-American authors, all day Wednesday, Feb. 25, at the Division Street Campus

In addition, all five Pellissippi State campuses will be celebrating Black History Month with displays highlighting African-American activists, artists, writers and history. African coffees and teas will be served at special morning meet-and-greets each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday throughout the month.

For more information about the Caribbean Festival or other Black History Month events, visit www.pstcc.edu/diversity 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 announces opening of support center at Magnolia Avenue Campus

group of people in a lab on computers

Today, Pellissippi State Community College celebrated the grand opening of the Center for Student and Community Engagement at the Magnolia Avenue Campus.

The center provides a one-stop resource for student support services, including financial aid, advising, counseling, tutoring, service-learning, and safety and security.

“Life sometimes gets in the way of academic success,” said Rosalyn Tillman, dean of the Magnolia Avenue Campus. “The goal of the center is to provide every service we can to help our students overcome those distractions and roadblocks to success. Everything we do, we do so they can focus on school.”

Tillman was joined for the grand opening by L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president, as well as representatives from the Tennessee Board of Regents, Knox County and the city of Knoxville.

The center is designed to encourage student engagement within the school and in the community. Support programs and other resources will promote overall student health and wellness, prepare students for careers, and connect them with essential social support.

For more information about the Magnolia Avenue Campus and the Center for Student and Community Engagement, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 329-3100.

Pellissippi State to host Science Olympiad

Pellissippi State Community College will host hundreds of middle and high school students Saturday, Feb. 21, for the East Tennessee regional Science Olympiad competition.

Science Olympiad brings together school-based teams to compete against one another in science, technology, engineering and math events. Events might include a building competition that teaches the basics of engineering and physics to students called on to build a bridge that can support the largest amount of weight or a laboratory competition that teaches chemistry and biology as students identify mystery powders.

“Science Olympiad is great because it exposes these students to so many different real-life applications of STEM academics,” said Morvarid Bejnood, a Pellissippi State instructor who is planning the event.

“It gives these middle and high school students the opportunity to visit Pellissippi State’s campus, to see our science labs and meet our faculty, as well as to meet local scientists and professionals in STEM fields. Science Olympiad is wonderful for education.”

More than 250 students are expected to take part in the competition. Winning teams go on to compete at the state level.

In addition, dozens of Pellissippi State students will serve as volunteers for the event through the college’s Service-Learning program.

To learn more about Pellissippi State and its STEM and other academic offerings, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State students named to Who’s Who list

Thirteen Pellissippi State Community College students have been recognized by the prestigious Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges program.

“Who’s Who recognizes the fact that college is about more than just academic excellence—it’s also about giving back to the community and making a difference,” said Ted Lewis, vice president of Academic Affairs. “Students are honored for their leadership, scholastic achievement and community service.”

“We are very proud of these students, all of whom are devoted to their school and to the community.”

Pellissippi State’s Who’s Who inductees and their place of residence:

  • Mobin J. Araghi, Knoxville
  • Barbara Bearden, Knoxville
  • Patrick Bledsoe, Alcoa
  • Kevin Brooks, Greenback
  • Landon Burke, Knoxville
  • Amber N. Coffey, Oakdale
  • Brandi M. Crass, Knoxville
  • Rebecca Fields, Knoxville
  • Laura King, Oak Ridge
  • Susan M. Minehan, Oak Ridge
  • Nichole Proctor, Knoxville
  • Yvette M. Satchel, Oak Ridge
  • Bonnie Walker, Oak Ridge

Since 1934, Who’s Who has recognized students for academic excellence, college and community service, and potential for future achievement. Selection of students for inclusion is made each fall by a campus nominating committee composed of faculty, administration and other students. Honorees receive an award certificate.

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

Pellissippi State to host free FAFSA workshops

Pellissippi State Community College is offering a series of free FAFSA workshop sessions for students and parents Jan. 27-Feb. 1. FAFSA Frenzy and the annual College Goal Sunday serve to walk students and parents through the process of filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, form.

All sessions take place on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Workshop dates, times and locations:

FAFSA Frenzy

  • Monday, Jan. 26, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Room 129, Alexander Building
  • Tuesday, Jan. 27, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Room 147, Educational Resources Center
  • Wednesday, Jan. 28, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; 147 ERC
  • Thursday, Jan. 29, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; 147 ERC
  • Friday, Jan. 30, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; 147 ERC
  • Saturday, Jan. 31, 9-noon; 147 ERC

College Goal Sunday

  • Sunday, Feb. 1, noon-4; 147 ERC

Students and parents should bring current W2 forms and their most recent tax return.

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

Pellissippi State student meets President Obama, spreads message of hope

4 people standing in an office, smiling.
Ashley Albritton and her son, Mason, accept tickets to the Jan. 9 Presidential address on Friday, Jan. 9, from Pellissippi State Community College President L. Anthony Wise Jr., right, and Vice President of Student Affairs Rebecca Ashford, left.

Ashley Albritton sits down at her kitchen table each night to study with her 13-year-old son, Mason.

As an added incentive to succeed, they also compete with one another to get the highest grades—Ashley at Pellissippi State Community College and Mason at Farragut Middle School.

At the end of the semester, their report cards hang side by side on the refrigerator.

Ashley Albritton is busy knocking out the prerequisites to apply for nursing school. She enrolled at Pellissippi State in 2013, with strong encouragement from her sister.

“It was just Mason and I, and I had been working in hospice and home health, just getting by,” she said. “My younger sister told me that I needed to get back into the world.”

Her sister also helped her apply to Pellissippi State.

“When I first got here, I felt like it was a joke for me to be in college,” said Albritton, “like I wasn’t worthy to be here. But now I feel like this is all a dream. My son tells me that college has given me back the light in my smile, the light in my eyes.”

Female holding up a box.
Ashley Albritton, on stage for President Barack Obama’s address at Pellissippi State Community College on Friday, Jan. 9, holds up a small hope chest mentioned in Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr.’s opening remarks.

Albritton was seated on the stage when President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden visited Pellissippi State on Friday, Jan. 9. She shook President Obama’s hand from her place in the front row.

She had hoped to give the nation’s president a memento: a hope chest her father had given her when she was a child. Into this box, throughout her life, she has placed scraps of paper that represent all of her hopes and dreams.

“I want to give that box to someone else. The truth is, I can never say thank you enough to all the people who have helped me. I just hope to pass on my story so that it can help some other young woman follow her dreams.

“I don’t need my dream box anymore, because all of my dreams are coming true.”

Friday afternoon, Albritton gave the hope chest, instead, to Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr., who had featured her in his introductory speech earlier that day.

“Ashley is truly an inspiration, both to other students and to me,” Wise said. “She has a sincere heart, and through her strength and compassion, she proves, each day, that everyone can follow their dreams.”

Albritton hopes to become a medical missionary. She believes that her purpose is to give back and to serve. When she graduates from Pellissippi State, she hopes to go on to earn her bachelor’s degree and then a master’s to be an advanced nurse practitioner.

For more information about Pellissippi State’s academic offerings or its 40th anniversary celebration, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.