Pellissippi State Community College was one of four finalists for the 2016 Student Success Award of Excellence, given by the American Association of Community Colleges.
“Everyone deserves access to higher education, and Pellissippi State is proud to be a leader among community colleges in ensuring that everyone has that opportunity to follow their dreams and find their success,” said Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. “We are very proud to have been a finalist in this prestigious award.”
The Student Success Award recognizes a community college that has demonstrated a sustained commitment to and proactive advancement of the cause of student success. Nominees are evaluated based upon increases in degree completion and transfer rates, as well as innovative programs that encourage retention, graduation and student success.
Pellissippi State was nominated in recognition of its Accelerated Higher Education Associates Degree program, which allows working adults to complete an Associate of Applied Science degree in only 16 months. The AHEAD program has a 75 percent completion rate — higher than the national average for similar programs — and has been expanded to include more than 300 students in 20 cohorts in nine different degree areas.
“I attribute a great deal of my life and career success to the AHEAD program,” said Pellissippi State alumna Amber Hampton. “I’m a first-generation college student who thought she wouldn’t make it through the first class. In reality, I graduated Summa Cum Laude from Pellissippi State in 2012 and from Bryan College in 2014.”
Alumnus Josh Hemphill said, “My success in the business community all started at Pellissippi State when I enrolled in the AHEAD program in 2009. The professors showed support and guidance to help everyone, and thanks to the support of my professors and cohort peers, I’m now entering my second year as a business owner.”
“We are certainly proud of all that AHEAD has done and is doing, but AHEAD is only a small part of all Pellissippi State does to increase access to higher education for all of our students,” Wise said. “We’re devoted to student success and will continue to find new ways to open doors to students.”
The winner of the AACC Award of Excellence in Student Success was announced April 11 to be El Paso Community College.
For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400.
Download this press release: PSCC Excellence Award Finalist
Pellissippi State Community College’s Blount County Campus will celebrate Shakespeare — and the 400th anniversary of his death on April 23 — with a two-day festival that is open to the community.
“The Bard at Blount: A Celebration of Shakespeare” will explore how Shakespeare went from being a playwright to being the playwright, and how Shakespeare remains relevant in today’s modern culture. The free event will feature Pellissippi State faculty members Jennifer Horn, Kelly Rivers and Amanda Carr-Wilcoxson delivering lively lectures about Shakespeare’s life and works, as well as performances of iconic Shakespearean scenes by Pellissippi State acting students.
Beginning at 2 p.m., April 19, Carr-Wilcoxson and Rivers will present “Accidental Icon: Shakespeare in History and Culture.” Beginning at 3 p.m., April 20, Horn will present “Renew, Reuse, Recycle: Shakespeare Today.” Horn’s lecture will include a performance by fellow faculty member Grechen Wingerter’s Acting I class.
Each day’s events will be held in the West Chevrolet Auditorium, and Shakespeare birthday cake will be served following both. The Blount County Campus is located at 2731 W. Lamar Alexander Parkway.
To request accommodations for a disability at this event, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at 865-539-7401 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu or call the Blount County Campus at 865-981-5300.
Download this press release: Bard at Blount
Pellissippi State Community College’s Marketing and Communications Office recently earned national recognition for poster design in the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations Paragon Awards.
Pellissippi State earned a Silver Award for the design of a poster for “She Kills Monsters,” a play by Qui Nguyen that premiered last fall at the college. The poster depicted the dragon Tiamat, a classic villain in the roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons, which was a central tenet of the play.
Pellissippi State was the only college in Tennessee to earn a Paragon Award from NCMPR this year. NCMPR presented gold, silver and bronze awards in 53 categories at the Paragon Awards dinner and ceremony in March. Some 236 colleges submitted a total of 1,773 entries to the contest.
“I’ve been playing Dungeons & Dragons since I was a kid, so when this project came my way I couldn’t wait to get started,” said designer Mark Friebus, creative project coordinator at Pellissippi State. “I initially wanted to mimic the iconic art from the game, but ultimately was inspired to make something completely original that could stand on its own as art.”
Friebus drew all of the poster elements by hand, including the female figure, the dragon, the clouds and the flames.
The poster’s fantastical quality is continued through the use of bizarre colors in the purple clouds and orange ground, pulling the viewer into a strange and colorful fantasy land. Extending the female figure’s shadows — as well as the shadows of the iconic Dungeons & Dragons dice — not only creates depth within the poster, but reinforces the sense of struggle between the female figure and the dragon.
NCMPR annually presents Paragon Awards to recognize outstanding achievement in communication at community and technical colleges. It’s the only national competition of its kind that honors excellence exclusively among marketing and PR professionals at two-year community and technical colleges.
For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu/mc or call 865-694-6400.
Download this press release: NCMPR Monsters Poster
Gun thugs. Activism. Social justice.
These are some of the themes — still relevant today — that will be addressed during the world premiere of the original play, “Which Side Are You On: The Florence Reece Story,” April 15-17 and 22-24 at Pellissippi State Community College.
The play is written by Pellissippi State’s Writer-in-Residence Edward Francisco and is directed by Grechen Wingerter, assistant professor in Liberal Arts. It is a fictional retelling of the life of Florence Reece, an American social activist, poet and folksong writer.
The daughter and wife of coal miners, she penned the song “Which Side Are You On?” during the Harlan County War, a decade-long battle in the 1930s between coal miners and union organizers on one side and the coal companies, gun thugs and law enforcement officials on the other. The war included a series of strikes, skirmishes, bombings, executions and the occupation of Harlan County by both state and federal troops. Reece’s song became a social justice anthem after Pete Seeger recorded it in 1940.
Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and students and are available at www.pstcc.edu/tickets. Show times are 7:30 p.m. April 15, 16, 22 and 23 and 2 p.m. April 17 and 24.
“This will be a very different play than what people are used to because of the scope of it,” said Wingerter. “The play has a huge, epic scope over decades and follows multiple characters. Plus the content of the play itself is all about social change and workers’ rights. We’re pushing the play to the max.”
Wingerter sees parallels between the social activism of the Harlan County War’s battle between coal miners and coal companies as reflective of similar confrontations still happening today.
“Florence Reece and her husband, Sam, wanted life to be fairer and more equitable for everyone, not just coal miners. Her song has been used in social justice movements since it was written in the 1930s,” Wingerter said.
The ensemble cast of 27 includes a number of Pellissippi State students as well as local children, high school students and other community and professional actors. The style of directing, based upon Bertolt Brecht’s concept of “epic theatre,” will include unusual features for plays, such as image projections and actors in the audience.
“Which Side Are You On: The Florence Reece Story” is one of the events that make up The Arts at Pellissippi State, a series of cultural activities including music, theatre, international celebrations, lectures and the fine arts. The play also is part of this year’s Common Academic Experience, a shared reading experience that includes class curriculum and extracurricular activities and events. This year’s Common Book is “The United States of Appalachia” by Jeff Biggers.
Additionally, “Which Side Are You On” is sponsored by an Arts Builds Communities grant administered by the Tennessee Arts Commission.
For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts or call 865-694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability at this event, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at 865-539-7401 or email@example.com.
Download this press release: Florence Reece at PSCC