Pellissippi State honors employees, retirees

Pellissippi State Community College hosted its annual Employee Awards ceremony recently, honoring faculty and staff for outstanding service and longevity and recognizing 2014-2015 retirees.

Jerry-Sherrod

At this year’s ceremony, the Excellence in Teaching Award went to Jerry Sherrod, an associate professor in Business and Computer Technology. The award recognizes innovative teaching techniques and the positive impact they have had on students. Sherrod uses industry-based case study models in his Computer Science and Information Technology courses. The case studies apply collaborative learning, improve students’ oral and written communication skills, and help prepare students for issues in a global economy.

David-Brown-and-Edward-Francisco

The Innovations Award—given in recognition of a project that demonstrates success of creative and original instructional and learning support activities—was presented to Edward Francisco and David Brown. This faculty team uses mathematical and computer science concepts including game theory, game trees and behavior trees, in discussing Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” in the classroom. Game theory is the study of mathematical models of conflict and cooperation, the classic application of which is exploring the various win-lose combinations in the game of chicken.

In the classroom, Francisco and Brown help students map the ever-expanding repercussions of each character’s actions within the world of “Hamlet.” Using game theory, game trees and behavior trees, students are meant to better understand characters and the play’s narrative, as well as to understand the alternate realities that might have occurred had any character’s actions been different. In addition, the team is developing software that will allow students to interactively and collaboratively examine any literary universe, including stories, plot lines and characters, and then use the collected structured information to create new characters and alternative narrative universes.

Morvarid-Bejnood

The Gene Joyce Visionary Award was given to Morvarid Bejnood, in recognition of her work on an external outreach project that had a positive impact on the community. Bejnood oversaw a Science Olympiad regional competition at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus in March. More than 270 middle and high school students competed in the competition.

The Excellence in Teaching, Innovations and Gene Joyce Visionary awards carry monetary recognition ranging from $1,000 to $1,500. Recipients of the awards also received a plaque and medallion.

Additional award recipients, each of whom received $100, a plaque and a medallion: Outstanding Adjunct Faculty, John Jackson; Outstanding Administrator, Carolyn Carson; Outstanding Contract Worker, Mark Palmer; Outstanding Full-Time Faculty, Kellie Toon; Outstanding Support Professional, Barbara Bailes; and Outstanding Technical/Service/Maintenance Worker, Alvin Brummett.

Pellissippi State also recognized employees at five-year increments of service, as well as acknowledging council presidents and retiring employees. The 2014-2015 faculty and staff retirees include Dennis Adams, Debi Bolton, Rick Bower, Jerry Bryan, Carolyn Carson, Karen Cornell, Joan Easterly, Pat Ferguson, Brenda Harmon, Lynn Hyman, Joy Ingram, Jean Jackson, Maggie Jenkins, Ellen Keene, Darell McBee, Linda Peterson, Ann Preston, Karen Queener and Mike Rose.

Funding for all awards is provided by the Pellissippi State Foundation. The Foundation works to provide student scholarships and emergency loans, as well as to improve facilities and secure new equipment.

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

Pellissippi State welcomes equity and compliance director

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Patrick-ShipwashPatrick Shipwash has joined the staff of Pellissippi State Community College as the new executive director of equity and compliance.

“My role here is to support the mission of the college to provide a higher education to anyone,” Shipwash said, “by helping to make sure that people are free to work and study without having to worry about illegal discrimination or harassment, including sexual harassment.”

In his role, Shipwash will serve as affirmative action officer, equity and compliance officer, Title IX and Title VI coordinator, and ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) officer.

“My goal is to maintain an environment where people feel safe in raising concerns,” he said. “I’m really happy to be doing this.”

Previously, Shipwash worked for TVA’s law enforcement branch, the Tennessee Department of Human Services’ Office of Inspector General, and Southern California Edison’s equal opportunity and ethics and compliance offices. He retired from Southern California Edison in 2013.

“But I got tired of being retired,” Shipwash said. “I was ecstatic when I was offered this job. I knew this was what I wanted to do.”

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

Pellissippi State pilot retention program to focus on black male students

Pellissippi State Community College has received a $10,000 grant to improve the retention rates for black male students at the Magnolia Avenue Campus.

The Student Engagement, Retention and Success grant, awarded by the Tennessee Board of Regents, Pellissippi State’s governing body, begins this fall. The pilot retention program will serve up to 50 students.

“Nationally, African-American male students have the lowest college completion rate—32.8 percent—among both genders and among all racial and ethnic groups in higher education,” said Rosalyn Tillman, dean of the Magnolia Avenue Campus.

The program’s objective is to provide assistance and encouragement for black male students to persist through college and graduate.

“The project is designed to provide empathetic advising sessions, workshops and a mentoring component to help our African-American male students in their pursuit of higher education,” said Tillman.

Specifically, the pilot program combines New Student Orientation sessions, success workshops, monthly developmental seminars and learning sessions, advising and academic tutoring, and mentorship to provide social and emotional support.

“Research often shows that African-American men struggle with barriers to academic success,” said Tillman. “They’re juggling jobs, managing finances, trying to meet family commitments, and they often combat other barriers like the absence of role models, low self-esteem, social exclusion or even the fear of success.

“All students need one-on-one support, but that’s often true for minority students. And sometimes that’s just having someone to talk to.”

For more information about the programs and resources offered by Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

And the College and Career Readiness award goes to … Pellissippi State

posted in: Awards, TBR | 0

Pellissippi State Community College has been selected as the Tennessee community college recipient of the national ACT’s College and Career Readiness Campaign award.

The Career Preparedness Award recognizes the honoree for significant strides in helping students prepare for success in the workforce or in continuing their education. Pellissippi State next enters the selection process for national semifinalists in the ACT campaign. The selected finalist will be recognized as the national exemplar and will be honored at an ACT gala in Washington, D.C., in June.

“We’re honored that the work we do at Pellissippi State was recognized through this award,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., the college’s president. “Our faculty and staff do a great job helping students find their success, whether they’re transferring to a four-year university or entering their career fields.”

This is the ACT’s third College and Career Readiness Campaign. This year’s campaign is the largest so far, involving 34 partner states. One exemplary student in each participating state receives an academic scholarship from ACT.

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

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