Student Affairs spends day in community service


The entire staff of Student Affairs took a day during Spring Break to learn more about Service-Learning at Pellissippi State and to give back to the community.

The division’s 70-plus employees spent March 11 at eight different sites around Knox, Blount and Loudon counties doing community service.

“Because of the expected influx of Tennessee Promise students and as more and more of our other students participate in Service-Learning, I wanted the Student Affairs staff to understand what Service-Learning was and how students go through the program,” said Rebecca Ashford, vice president of Student Affairs.

“I wanted everyone who works in Student Affairs not only to have the chance to give back to the community and spend time with each other, but to understand what the students who come to them for help are going through.”

The group worked at the Blount County Animal Shelter, Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum, Knoxville Zoo, Mobile Meals, SAFTA/Firefly Farms, Second Harvest Food Bank, Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding (aka STAR), and Volunteer Ministry Center.

“We did everything from pulling weeds to cleaning horse stalls to delivering meals,” Ashford said. “It was a great day.”

Lisa Matthews from Counseling Services spent a rainy morning helping landscapers and working in the greenhouses at the Knoxville Zoo, where she repotted tropical ferns.

“I wasn’t aware how much the Knoxville Zoo relies on volunteers,” she said. “They have a small staff, but they really rely on volunteers to help keep the Zoo running.

“We had a good time. After we finished our work, we were able to go behind the scenes and tour the Turtle House, where we saw a hatchling turtle just emerging from its shell, poking out its little head.”

Matthews says she appreciated the chance to spend time in service to the community. “When I was in undergrad at Lee University, service-learning was very important to me. It was a wonderful new perspective of service now that I’m a staff member at a college.”

Gayle Wood of Access and Diversity spent time with clients of Volunteer Ministry Center and met a former Pellissippi State student there.

“It was awesome to interact with all of the clients of the Volunteer Ministry Center, but especially to meet a former student,” Wood said. “We invited him to come by Pellissippi State to work out his financial needs. We were able to talk to him about financial aid, counseling, academic and career services, and support for adult students. We have a great support system for students just like him.”

As part of Pellissippi State’s 40th anniversary celebrations, all faculty and staff members are encouraged to spend time in community service through the “4 for 40” service opportunities. Visit or for more information.

College hosts Career Fair for students

Please encourage students to attend the upcoming Career Fair, hosted by the Placement Office in the Goins Building College Center, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday, March 18. The event is open to students from all campuses.

On hand will be representatives of many area employers, among them, 21st Mortgage Corporation, ADT Security Services, AdvantaClean, Ajilon Professional Staffing, Accounting Principals Inc., Blackberry Farm, Boys and Girls Clubs, Cellular Sales, city of Knoxville, CVS Health Corporation, DENSO Manufacturing, Edfinancial Services, Exedy America Corporation, Fastenal, First Tennessee Bank, Girl Scouts of America, Harrison Construction, Helping Hands Home Assistance, H&R Block, Modern Woodmen of America, Primerica Financial, Right at Home, Robert Half, SmartWay TN, StaffSource, UPS, University of Tennessee Medical Center, Weigel’s Inc., and WVLT-TV.

Students should be sure to bring polished, up-to-date resumes and dress their best. The Placement Office, located in Goins 111 and 113, will offer students an informational brochure, “Turn a Job Fair Into a Job Offer,” in the days leading up to the event.

For more information, visit or call 694-6554.

Faculty: Share your teaching passion at March 19 Major Fair

Faculty members are invited to share their passion about what they teach at the March 19 Major Fair, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Goins Building College Center.

The Major Fair is designed for students to learn more about possible majors and career options within those majors. The event is open to students from all Pellissippi State campuses.

Faculty can showcase the areas in which they teach by bringing relevant photographs, books and other visuals. Each participating faculty member is allowed space at an informational table. Participants do not have to be present for the entire event.

To find out more or volunteer to participate, contact Elizabeth Firestone at or 694-6547. Interested faculty should sign up to participate by March 17.

Make a ‘Pellissippi Promise’ and support student scholarships

portrait of a maleKeep working toward your “Pellissippi Promise” at a special presentation from Buzz Thomas of Great Schools Partnership today, Monday, March 2, from noon-1. Thomas will speak in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus. The event also streams live at

During the College’s “Pellissippi Promise” internal fundraising campaign, February 23-March 6, Pellissippi State employees are invited to make their own promise and donate to student scholarships, awards, department funds or other campus resources.

“My Pellissippi Promise is to carry on with the College mission and give where needed,” says Mike North, Strawberry Plains Campus dean. “When someone remembers you as part of Pellissippi State and how they were helped by what we do, that reminds me of why I donate to fund student scholarships. That’s very rewarding and has a lot to do with why I give.”

Last year, Pellissippi State employees donated almost $60,000 to the internal campaign. So far this year, employees have donated $36,381. Give online at

Pellissippi State employees who complete a pledge form for Pellissippi Promise are eligible to win one of 40 prizes from such donors as Home Depot, Knoxville Ice Bears, AAA of East Tennessee, New Balance of Knoxville, The Titanic Museum and many more.

This year’s campaign chairs are Karen Ghezawi, Pat Riddle and Rosalyn Tillman. For more information, visit