Pellissippi State Community College student Alex Huezo has joined fellow student Casey Sullivan as a recent recipient of the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.
Huezo, who has attended Pellissippi State for a year, returned in June from a summer study abroad program during which he focused on biology in the Galápagos Islands and Ecuador. The travel opportunity was hosted by the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies, which resides on the Hardin Valley Campus.
The Pellissippi State students were two of only about 500 nationwide who were named recipients of the highly competitive scholarship this year.
Huezo chose the Galápagos trip from among 18 destinations specifically because of the General Biology I course offered for credit as part of the experience. Huezo plans to study nursing, and he recognized that the opportunity to take the class in a setting renowned for its biodiversity was a unique chance to learn biology principles.
The Galápagos Islands, located in South America off the west coast of Ecuador in the Pacific, helped inspire Charles Darwin and his theories of evolution in the 1830s.
“We saw in ‘real life’ the things we would have only read about in textbooks,” said Huezo. “In our lab work, we were able to observe finches, tortoises and other wildlife firsthand, and then we presented our reports from the analyses that we did while we were on the island.”
Now in its 10th year, the Gilman Scholarship Program has helped approximately 10,000 students from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico who might not otherwise be able to study abroad because of financial constraints. The program is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Institute of International Education. It is known for its rigorous application standards.
Although he was aware at the outset that the Gilman Scholarship was highly competitive, Huezo nonetheless felt positive about his chances for success when he submitted his application. He credits not only his essay and proposed project but also his sheer determination to study abroad with his selection as one of this year’s scholars.
“At the end of my essay, I made it clear that I would find some way to pay for studying abroad this summer,” said Huezo. “I explained that I would appreciate any assistance, but I was determined to go even if I wasn’t selected for the scholarship.
“And now that I’ve had this experience, I definitely want to study abroad again next summer. I’d like to go to Iceland. It’s supposed to be a challenging program, but I’m ready.”
Huezo is one of more than 450 Tennessee students, faculty and administrators who participated in this summer’s TnCIS study abroad programs. TnCIS coordinates the opportunities as part of its mission of boosting international experience and culture in higher education across the state. A wide variety of study areas were offered this year, in locales ranging from Brazil and China to the Czech Republic and Ghana.
For additional information about TnCIS, including 2013 study abroad options, visit www.tncis.org or call (865) 539-7280. For more about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.
Pellissippi State Community College produced the second largest number of graduates nationally in “Communication Technologies/Technicians and Support Services” in 2010-11, according to Community College Week. The magazine announced the new rankings in June in its annual “Top 100 Associate Degree Producers 2012” edition. The analysis was based on U.S. Department of Education data.
Pellissippi State saw an increase of 29 percent in the number of associate’s degrees awarded in the category between 2009-10 and 2010-11. The college’s communication technologies program is Media Technologies. The college bestowed 81 degrees in Media Technologies in 2010-11, up from 63 the previous academic year.
The Media Technologies degree program offers four cross-disciplinary concentrations: Communication Graphics Technology, Photography, Video Production Technology and Web Technology.
Pellissippi State has five campuses in Knox and Blount counties, including the newest at Strawberry Plains. Fall classes began Aug. 25.
For additional information about what the college has to offer, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.
Pellissippi State Community College has named 421 part-time college-level students to the list of Academic Achievers for summer. 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 credit hours per semester of Pellissippi State coursework. At least 6 of those hours must be college-level.
David (Trey) Alley
Corey A. Browning
Corey J. Browning
Chester Craig IV
Mildred De Leon
Erika Martinez Gutierrez
Rashmi Molukuvan Narayana Murthy
Jee Yeon Shin
Jena Lee Silva
La Questa Summeour
Sara Van Duzer
Drexel Waggoner II
Jhean Shetan Wolfsbrother
Pellissippi State Community College has named 666 part-time students to the list of Academic Achievers for spring 2012. 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—
Jacob Ramsey DeLozier
Joshua P. Smith
It all adds up to a historic finish for Pellissippi State Community College math students.
The college’s team has placed second in the Southeast Region and student Trevor Sharpe has taken the top individual score in the second and final round of the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges’ Student Mathematics League Math Competition.
The results were announced this month. Sharpe, a 16-year-old high school student enrolled in Pellissippi State’s Fast Forward program during the recently ended school year, retained his individual ranking of number one in the Southeast from the first round. Fast Forward, the institution’s dual enrollment program, allows high school juniors and seniors to earn both high school and college credit for the same course.
The math competition consists of two tests each academic year: round one in the fall and round two in the spring. The Pellissippi State team placed second both times.
The one-hour multiple-choice test at the precalculus level is administered at local campuses across the country during a two-week window. Any student who has not already earned a degree is allowed to compete. About 180 students took part at Pellissippi State.
Bobby Jackson, associate math professor and contest coordinator for the college, estimates that well over 10,000 students participate nationally each year. Pellissippi State awards top-scoring students locally, and the AMATYC awards the top national team and individual honors.
“We’ve never scored this high before,” Jackson said. “Our team maintained second place despite having to compete without our number two team member during round two.”
The Pellissippi State team came in just behind Georgia Perimeter College, and ahead of 22 other schools, including Wake (N.C.) Technical Community College, Florida State College at Jacksonville, Miami Dade College and Chattanooga State Community College.
The top five scorers for Pellissippi State in the fall competition were Sharpe, Christopher Shutt, Harry Hughes, Connor Corcoran and Isa Dauti. Top scorers this spring were Robert Drake, Christopher Salvo, Calvin Scott, Jonathan Rowe and Sharpe.
Pellissippi State has participated in the AMATYC competition since 1998, Jackson says.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for students to take part in something outside of the classroom that is challenging, fun and competitive,” he said.
The Student Mathematics League was founded in 1970 by Nassau Community College in New York. The AMATYC assumed sponsorship in 1981, and the league has grown to more than 165 colleges in more than 35 states, as well as Bermuda.
Pellissippi State Community College has named 939 top students to the spring 2012 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:
David (Trey) Alley
Eun Jeong Cho
Hanane El Moutii Thompson
Joshua Hamilton De Leon
Tammy Jo Johnson
Lukresse Kouam Tchuendem
Benjamin Manuel II
Jeanette Marengo Jimenez
Mario Moncada Urbina
Ana Karolina Paiva
Tommie Lou Rogers
Jee Yeon Shin
Drexel Waggoner II
Kalonji Khafre Woods
Pellissippi State Community College serves one of the largest veteran populations of any Tennessee community college, and the institution does it with distinction, according to G.I. Jobs magazine.
The publishers of G.I. Jobs selected Pellissippi State for inclusion on the 2012 list of Military Friendly Schools in the fall. The list honors the 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace the country’s service members and veterans as students.
“I was very pleased with the recognition from G.I. Jobs magazine, in part because of the work and the support systems that we had put into place for these students,” said Pellissippi State President Anthony Wise.
“I think part of it is just being intentional, understanding that this particular population of students does have specific needs and concerns, and making sure, as an institution, we’ve found a means of addressing those.”
The 1,518 colleges, universities and trade schools on the list prioritize the recruitment of students with military experience. The schools offer scholarships and discounts, veterans’ clubs, full-time staff, military credit, and other support for those who served.
Pellissippi State’s recent initiatives to improve veterans’ services took shape out of a working group that began three years ago. Rebecca Ashford, vice president of Student Affairs, leads the group.
Ashford says the group’s first step was to create a brochure for veterans attending or considering attending Pellissippi State. The brochure lists services such as admissions, financial aid, advising, and veterans’ assistance, as well as disability and personal and career counseling. There are phone numbers and email addresses for staff in each department. Having points of contact was important for veterans, the group learned from a survey of Pellissippi State students.
The college offers an assortment of educational assistance through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Last year, 512 students received VA benefits, says Sharon Shastid, a financial aid coordinator and the college’s VA certifying official. That number represents 5 percent of the institution’s student population and includes veterans, service members, and their dependents.
Applying for benefits can be a lengthy process, so the college initiated early advising to ensure that veterans’ tuition funds arrived in time for the start of classes. At Pellissippi State’s Student Assistance Center, staff members Rachael Cragle and Ben Sugg give priority access to service members, veterans, and their dependents.
That approach eased National Guard member Mohammed Amran’s transition into school. Amran, a member of the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Knoxville, began taking classes at Pellissippi State when he transferred from another National Guard unit.
“When I registered, they worked with me because I’d just moved to Tennessee due to the change of station,” said Amran, an accounting student. “They were able to work with me on in-state tuition because of that, so I thought that was nice. Of course, you have a veteran representative there, Sharon Shastid—she’s wonderful—and Ben Sugg.
“They have been very helpful throughout. I see them every semester and they’ve been very on top of everything.”
Amran says his teachers, too, have been supportive.
“The teachers, there are times when I had [National Guard] training that went over on Monday or started on Friday; they were very accommodating,” he said.
Those kinds of support are why Pellissippi State made the “military-friendly” list.
“I think it’s also the attitude,” said Kathy Douthat, a Pellissippi State counselor. “It’s being willing to go the extra mile for people who have put themselves on the line for us.”
Beyond supportive faculty and staff, Pellissippi State also provides its service members and veterans with recognition through special events—the “Conflict Zone” photography exhibit in conjunction with Memorial Day, the Remembrance Day Roll Call on Nov. 11—as well as with organizations like the Student Veterans Association. In addition, staff, faculty and the administration are offered training through webinars and conferences about veterans’ issues.
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.
Pellissippi State Community College, Knoxville, TN