Nancy Pevey still uses a document camera in her classroom. She admits to telling some “pretty corny” math jokes. She makes errors while working sample math problems for her students—usually on purpose.
Pevey, an associate professor of Mathematics at Pellissippi State Community College, has a stockpile of low-tech tricks stashed up her sleeve, all of them used to make math easier for her students to learn. Those techniques are some of the reasons she recently was recognized with a statewide education honor: the Teaching Excellence Award, presented by the Tennessee Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges.
Pevey, originally from Starkville, Miss., has been teaching math full time at Pellissippi State since 2000. She also has taught middle- and high-schoolers, and she was a teacher at Bearden and Northwest junior high schools before the Knoxville–Knox County system consolidated.
For the veteran faculty member, making math easier for her students to learn is all about interaction. That’s why Pevey chooses to work math problems by hand on the document camera, a modernized overhead projector. Though she certainly has access to newer tools such as PowerPoint presentations, she believes they just can’t replace the give-and-take of talking through a math solution with her students.
“Writing out the math problems on the document camera makes it fresh every time,” said Pevey. “I like to do more than just hit the ‘go’ button. If I happen to think of a better example that addresses a student’s question, I can write it out as soon as I think of it.
“I’d call my classes ‘interactive lectures.’ Students solve the math problems as we talk together about what’s going on.”
But why introduce mistakes?
“I make them to help show the students how they might have easily gotten a wrong answer,” Pevey said. “Of course, every so often I make a mistake by mistake. We can all learn from that, too.”
Telling math jokes, she says, is a tool she uses to help her students more readily remember math formulas and rules.
“A corny joke or story gives students a memory hook,” said Pevey. “Math concepts are easier to remember with a story.”
The TMATYC Teaching Excellence Award is bestowed every two years. This year’s TMATYC conference took place in Chattanooga, with 24 faculty attending from Pellissippi State.
For additional information about the college, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu.
Tom Gaddis, who coordinates the Hospitality concentration at Pellissippi State Community College, has been named a 2012 recipient of the Idahlynn Karre International Exemplary Leadership Award.
The award, presented by the Chair Academy, recognizes leaders in post-secondary institutions worldwide who have modeled “best practices” in advancing academic and administrative leadership development.
Gaddis, who has served in his current role at Pellissippi State since 1997, is highly regarded within the hospitality industry. He was recognized in 2003 and 2008 as the Hospitality Educator of the Year by the Tennessee Hotel and Lodging Association as part of their Stars of the Industry award program.
Also a professor at the college, Gaddis has been instrumental in the development and implementation of Pellissippi State’s concentration in Culinary Arts. Like Hospitality, Culinary Arts culminates in an Associate of Applied Science in the Business Administration degree program.
The Culinary Arts concentration was first offered at Pellissippi State in 2010 and represents a collaboration with the Culinary Institute at the University of Tennessee. Students enrolled in the culinary classes learn hands-on skills in a state-of-the-art laboratory/kitchen at UT’s Culinary Institute on Neyland Drive. They take classroom courses at Pellissippi State’s Division Street Campus, two miles away.
Gaddis joins educational professionals from around the world as a recipient of the Chair Academy’s Idahlynn Karre International Exemplary Leadership Award. The Chair Academy, founded in 1992, offers leadership development for college and university leaders. This year’s award recipients were honored during the organization’s 21st Annual International Conference, which took place in March in Atlanta.
For more information about the Hospitality and Culinary Arts concentrations at Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu.
Registration is currently under way for the fall semester. Classes begin August 25.
Pellissippi State Community College recently hosted its annual recognition of employees for outstanding service, longevity and retirement.
At this year’s ceremony, the Excellence in Teaching Award went to Tyra Barrett, an associate professor in the Business and Computer Technology Department and the program coordinator for Business Administration. The award recognizes innovative teaching techniques and the positive impact they’ve had on students.
Barrett, who first came to Pellissippi State in 1988 as an adjunct faculty member in Economics and has served as an associate professor since 1994, was recognized by the college in 2006 with the Outstanding Full-time Faculty Award. She was also the 2007 recipient of the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development’s Excellence Award for outstanding contributions to teaching, leadership and learning.
The Innovations Award was bestowed upon Donn King and Anita Maddox. This award is given in recognition of a project that demonstrates success of creative and original instructional and learning support activities.
King and Maddox each serves as an associate professor of Speech in the Liberal Arts Department. Maddox is also the program coordinator for Speech. King was the 1999 recipient of Pellissippi State’s Excellence in Teaching Award, as well as the 2000 recipient of NISOD’s Excellence Award.
The two collaborated on “Flipping the Speech Class,” in which students enrolled in selected sections of SPCH 2100 were able to access classroom lectures via audio podcasts rather than only attending traditional lectures during class time. The strategy of “flipping” how the students spent their instructional time gave them the opportunity to use classroom hours for engaging in group work, delivering speeches and receiving feedback from fellow students and professors.
Regina Buckley and Martha Merrill were honored at the ceremony with the Gene Joyce Visionary Award, which recognizes external outreach projects that have an impact on the community. Buckley serves as an associate professor in the Business and Computer Technology Department and as the program coordinator of Administrative Professional Technology. Merrill is a professor in and the program coordinator of Web Technology in the Engineering and Media Technologies Department.
Buckley and Merrill served as co-instructors of a class that incorporated “service-learning” in the curriculum. Service-learning provides an opportunity through the curriculum for students to volunteer in the community.
Pellissippi State students who enrolled in ADMN 2450 Communications Media worked with a local nonprofit organization, Therapeutic Riding Academy of Knoxville, to increase community awareness of, involvement in and support for the organization.
Thanks to the efforts of Buckley and Merrill, Pellissippi State students enrolling in a summer Web design course and a fall advertising course also will incorporate real-world service-learning for the riding academy in their studies.
The Excellence in Teaching, Innovations and Gene Joyce Visionary awards carried with them monetary recognition ranging from $1,000 to $1,500. Funding for all awards was provided by the Pellissippi State Foundation. Recipients of the three awards also received a plaque and a medallion.
Pellissippi State also recognized employees who had reached five-year increments of employment, as well as council presidents and retiring employees. Retirees received a clock in recognition of their service. Retirees included Bill Chapman, Luanne Dagley, Cathalin Folks, Sydney Gingrow, Milton Grimes, Hudson Jeter, Phyllis Pace, Terry Sisk, Anne Swartzlander and Greg Walters.
Part of this year’s ceremony was set aside to honor two Pellissippi State employees, Brenda Ammons and Mike Hudson. Ammons, associate professor of Math, was recognized for her 20 years of work with the Faculty Senate Book Sale. Since its inception three decades ago, the event has raised more than $101,000.
Event proceeds go to the Pellissippi State Foundation, which supports students by providing scholarships, new technology and equipment. Funds from the book sale are earmarked for the Faculty Senate Scholarship. The scholarship provides tuition and fees for full-time students who maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA and meet additional scholarship criteria.
Mike Hudson, who passed away in December 2011, served for many years as the college’s director of Certificate Programs. At the time of his death, he was director of special projects.
Hudson was the 2011 recipient of the college’s Innovations Award. As one of the employee award winners, he was to be recognized with a certificate and a medallion at the 2012 NISOD conference in Texas later this month. The certificate and medallion were given instead at the Pellissippi State awards ceremony. L. Anthony Wise Jr., president of the college, presented the special recognition to Hudson’s family at the event.
Additional award recipients—each of whom received $100, a plaque and a medallion—included the following: Outstanding Adjunct Faculty, Jack Heck; Outstanding Administrator, Spencer Joy; Outstanding Contract Worker, Chris Niesen; Outstanding Support Professional, Ann Burgess; Outstanding Technical/Service/Maintenance Employee, Travis Whitson; and Outstanding Full-time Faculty, Bill Brewer.
As this year’s winner of the Outstanding Full-time Faculty Award, Brewer will carry the college’s mace at the 37th Annual Commencement Ceremony on May 4. The event takes place at the University of Tennessee’s Thompson-Boling Arena, beginning at 7 p.m.
For additional information about Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu.
Two years ago, when Brandy Robinson made up her mind to enroll at Pellissippi State Community College, she knew she would have her work cut out for her.
Certainly, pursuing an education would require late-night studying, test-taking and plenty of focus and perseverance. But those weren’t the half of her concern: at the time, she had two children in elementary school, plus five younger ones who were at home with her every day.
Yet enroll Robinson did. And on May 4, when she walks across the stage at Pellissippi State’s Commencement ceremony, she’ll take away an associate’s degree in Teacher Education and cum laude honors for earning a 3.6 cumulative grade point average.
“I want my kids to know they can do anything they set their minds to,” said Robinson. “If I can do this—go back to school and even be on the dean’s list—then anybody can do it.”
Attending the graduation ceremony will be Robinson’s husband, Daniel, and children Nick, 12; Eli, 8; Samantha, 6; Emma, 3; and quadruplets D.J., Will, and Jake, 5. (The fourth of the quadruplets, Gabriel Noah, died in utero at 20 weeks.)
Robinson, who previously had had an unsatisfactory experience with college, says that as her children grew, so too did her desire to return to school.
Initially, she took online courses at Pellissippi State. Later, she attended classes at the Hardin Valley and Blount County campuses.
“I began classes as my younger children started into preschool and were getting close to school age,” she said. “I tried to time it so that when I finished all the online classes I could, most of my kids would be in school.
“I did most of my studying at night. I learned that sleep was way overrated and coffee was my best friend!”
Robinson recalls how she made the decision of what career she wanted to pursue.
“I didn’t want to just ‘find a job,’” she said. “I wanted a career I could start into and hopefully retire from. I love kids, and being a schoolteacher seems to be the perfect fit for me and my family, especially considering the kids’ schedules.”
Robinson took an education class her very first semester at Pellissippi State, then got real-life experience in a third-grade classroom the beginning of her second year. Of course, that wasn’t her entree into an elementary school classroom—she already had put in scores of hours as a volunteer in her own children’s classes.
“I’ve always been a firm believer that parents should be involved in their kids’ educations,” she said. “By becoming a teacher, I hope to remain active in my own children’s educations and encourage other parents to be involved in their children’s, to enrich the lives of their kids as well as their own lives. After all, learning is a lifelong process.”
This fall Robinson plans to begin working toward a bachelor’s degree in education. The children are older now, but, she says, the juggling hasn’t gotten a whole lot easier: “We are on the go year-round, since the oldest six kids rotate through football, cheerleading, basketball, baseball and softball.”
Making her journey toward a four-year degree a lot easier is a partnership between Pellissippi State and Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville. The agreement allows education students to earn a bachelor’s from TTU, yet remain at Pellissippi State’s campus to attend classes.
“I have loved being back in school,” Robinson said. “I feel like I’ve really connected with my professors and peers at Pellissippi State. It seems as though my professors really want all of their students to succeed, and one of my best friends is someone I met last semester in chemistry.”
For more information about Pellissippi State’s Teacher Education program, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu. This year’s Commencement ceremony is at the University of Tennessee’s Thompson-Boling Arena, beginning at 7 p.m.
Pellissippi State Community College recognized students for their outstanding achievements at the 2012 Academic Awards ceremony, April 9 in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus.
Students Amber Hampton and Joshua Hemphill were named to the All-USA Community College Academic Team. They were nominated by Pellissippi State President Anthony Wise in recognition of scholarly achievements.
Luis Mora, Shokrieh Rezabaksh and Lu Zhang were the recipients of the Outstanding Achievement Award–International, presented to students with international backgrounds.
Inductees into the 2011-12 Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges were Katie Adcock, Natalya Andreeva-Smith, Michael Baird, Jessie K. Crane, Alexander DeLoach, ReGina Evans-Truss, America Henry, Shandie Howell, Sarah Jett, Billi Lewellyn, Heather Lowery, Corey Miller, Luis Mora, Jean Nkurunziza, Kenyatta Rogers, Lindsay Shaw, Christina Shelley, Janell Sinclair, Ryan Sparks, Olga Vorobyeva, Kalonji Woods, Trina Yates and Karen Yearwood.
Awards of Merit were presented to students in several academic disciplines: Nathaniel West, Civil Engineering (Engineering Technology); Lyndsey Sharp, Interior Design Technology; Stephanie Bullock, Communication Graphics Technology (Media Technologies); Garrett Masters, Video Production Technology (Media Technologies); and Gatlin McPherson, Web Technology (Media Technologies).
Outstanding Graduate Awards were given across the curriculum as well. Recipients included the following: Jesse Carmichael, Mathematics; Claudia Coleman, Behavioral Sciences; Jacqueline Davis, English; Kathryn Kelso, Natural Sciences; Sadril Mohammad, Social Sciences (Liberal Arts); and Kelly Nelson, Nursing.
Business and Computer Technology Outstanding Graduate Award recipients, with their concentrations and majors: Floyd Davis, Business (Administrative Professional Technology); Elliott Foster, Networking and Communications Systems (Computer Science and Information Technology); Sally French, Computer Accounting (Business Administration); Daniel Greene, Management (Business Administration); Elizabeth Kilbey, Marketing (Business Administration); E. Jewell Lawson, Health Care Office Administration (Administrative Professional Technology); Kyndall Leach, Culinary Arts (Business Administration); Stanley Weaver, Programming (Computer Science and Information Technology); Jesse Williams, Hospitality (Business Administration); and Karen Yearwood, Paralegal Studies.
The Engineering and Media Technologies Outstanding Graduate Awards were presented to Ryan Burgess, Interior Design Technology; Sarah Busby, Photography (Media Technologies); Chadwick Doub, Electrical Engineering (Engineering Technology); Oliver Gee, Video Production Technology (Media Technologies); Robert Kring, Civil Engineering (Engineering Technology); Matthew McNeilly, Mechanical Engineering (Engineering Technology); Michael Nagle, Web Technology (Media Technologies); and Sophie Willborn, Communication Graphics Technology (Media Technologies).
The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs’ ACBSP Student Leadership Award was presented to Tyler Hood.
Faculty member Jonathan Lamb was selected by students to receive the Faculty of the Year Award. Lamb is an associate professor of Mathematics.
For additional information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.
The robotics team from Pellissippi State Community College faced off with 53 other teams in Orlando, Fla., March 15-18 and came home satisfied.
The team competed in the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) SoutheastCon 2012 Hardware Competition. Contenders included 51 four-year institutions and only two other community colleges.
Pellissippi State took 13th place, defeating the other two-year schools and dozens of top-ranked engineering institutions, among them, the University of Florida, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Clemson University.
The robotics team was led by Carl Mallette and Kenneth Swayne, both of whom teach in the Electrical Engineering concentration. Mallette is the student advisor for the team and is the IEEE East Tennessee section chair for 2012-13. Swayne served as a mentor.
All teams were required to bring a robot that could navigate a course with four stations. The robots had to measure voltage and the difference between two wave signals, temperature, and capacitance. They had four minutes to complete the course as many times as possible. The robots competed in three rounds, with points given for each correct measure and deducted for incorrect measures.
“We were very pleased with the performance of our robot in being able to endure real-world conditions,” said Erik Speyer, team leader and a student in Mallette’s Robotics and Automation course last semester. “Its ability to make correct decisions allowed us to beat out numerous top-ranked engineering universities. This really emphasizes the caliber of education Pellissppi provides its students.”
“The students tell me that they understood so much more of what they’ve learned in other classes by working on this project,” Mallette said.
Five Pellissippi State Community College students distinguished the college with its highest placement ever in Round One of the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges’ annual Student Mathematics League Math Competition. Now they’re taking part in Round Two.
Pellissippi State took first in the state and second in the Southeast region during Round One of the October competition, which involves administration of a math exam at the precalculus level. The Southeast region includes two-year colleges in eight states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
The same students are now participating in the second round. Round Two started Feb. 17 and continues through March 10. Any school may enter that competition.
“We have never been higher than about 10th place in the Southeast region,” said Bobby Jackson, an associate professor of mathematics. “We were only three points behind ‘perennial power’ Georgia Perimeter College.”
Pellissippi State students Trevor Sharpe and Christopher Shutt placed first and second, respectively, for their team and in the region.
Typically about 80 students from Pellissippi State take the exam, but that number increased this time around. Round One drew 111 Pellissippi State students. Each participating college administers the test according to AMATYC guidelines.
“It’s a very challenging test— very challenging,” said Jackson, who has overseen the SML test for more than a decade at Pellissippi State. “We’re just proud of the students who took part.”
Sharpe’s score is the highest Pellissippi State has ever recorded, says Jackson. Sharpe is a dual enrollment student who is taking classes at Pellissippi State and also home-schooling through Homelife Academy in Knoxville. Shutt, a sophomore, is scheduled to graduate in May.
The top five qualifying scores count toward the team total. Pellissippi State students Harry Hughes, Connor Corcoran and Isa Dauti rounded out the college’s top five in the competition. Hughes is also a dual enrollment student. Corcoran and Dauti are sophomores.
Nationally, Pellissippi State finished 42nd in a field of 185 colleges in Round One.
Learn more about the many programs offered at Pellissippi State. Visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.
Pellissippi State Community College has named 833 part-time students to the list of “Academic Achievers” for fall 2011. To be included, a student must earn a grade point average of 3.50-4.00, be degree-seeking and have completed 6 to 11 college-level hours per term of Pellissippi State coursework. Honorees include—
David (Trey) Alley
John Thomas Easley
Joshua Hamilton De Leon
Mary Henkel Gray
Christine L. Johnson
Christine M. Johnson
Rashmi Molukuvan Narayana Murthy
Sanessa Vander Heyden
Drexel Waggoner II
Pellissippi State Community College has named 913 top students to the fall 2011 semester dean’s list. To make the list, a student must take a full course load and earn a minimum 3.5 grade point average. Pellissippi State honorees include the following:
Hanane El Moutii Thompson
Tammy Jo Johnson
Denis Johnson II
Lukresse Kouam Tchuendem
Benjamin Manuel II
Sadril Vula Mohammad
Jean Damascene Nkurunziza
Jacob Ramsey DeLozier
Tommie Lou Rogers
Jee Yeon Shin
Kalonji Khafre Woods
Pellissippi State Community College, Knoxville, TN