Pellissippi State’s targeted professional development program focuses on five core competencies designed to strengthen the college’s performance by investing in its employees. The Pellissippi Academy is free and open to all staff and faculty, including adjuncts and temporary part-time staff.
The Pellissippi Academy will run Sept. 1st - May 1st and offer programs in Change & Conflict Management, Communication, Diversity & Inclusion, Emotional Intelligence, and Leadership. These competencies were identified from a culture survey conducted in 2018 and are designed for meaningful engagement with the college and stronger employees, managers and leaders.
Each of the five competencies has one or two Champions who will guide employees through the programming. Supervisor approval is required for participation, as some assignments could take place during the regularly scheduled workday. Employees are limited to participating in one competency per academic year.
The competency has five learning mediums in which the learner participates. Within each of these mediums, the learner will choose from a list of options. These mediums include but are not limited to:
Meaningful learning takes place over time and requires practice and reinforcement of concepts to ingrain the lessons in the learner’s mind. The value of repeatedly engaging in a topic over months, not weeks, is the retention of knowledge, which leads to behavior and/or mindset change. Our Champions will work with you individually to set a pace within the competency to give you the best possible chance of meaningful professional growth.
Entry is given into cohorts on a first-come, first-serve basis during Open Enrollment: Thursday, August 13th – Friday, August 28th, 2020. Those interested in joining one of the cohorts, capped at 12 employees each, will submit their interest directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. This is the only way to join a cohort. Please attend the Pellissippi Academy Panel during In-service for more information.
Esther Dyer has served as Campus Dean of Division Street Campus for the last 10 years. Esther holds a Bachelor's in Education from University of Tennessee and a Master's in Organization Development from Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA. As an educator, her experience includes public school, beginning with 1st grade, English in middle school, Business curriculum at the college level, and extensive training and facilitation in corporate boardrooms. The corporate training experience evolved into change management consulting, which has been the bulk of her work experience. Esther is fascinated with how folks go about making changes in the work setting. The recipe is easy; it takes a common goal, a sense of urgency, and the fortitude to sustain the effort. She enjoys helping individuals and teams arrive at a common goal, create a vital sense of urgency, and identify and execute all the tasks, even the ones that are hard to do.
Dr. Nancy Ramsey is the Executive Director of Institutional Effectiveness, Assessment and Planning. She has 28 years of experience working in secondary and postsecondary education. Her experience includes working in the classroom and in higher education leadership. Dr. Ramsey’s research interests include topics related to effective management and leadership skills. When asked why she wanted to be a cohort champion in the Pellissippi Academy, she responded, "I have been so very fortunate in my career to have people in authority over me take an interest in my career and development. They shared, advised, bullied and supported me to test my skills in positions with increasing responsibility. If I can, I want to do that for others who have an interest in being the best they can be in their role."
Annette Eldridge has worked for Pellissippi State for over 20 years. With a master's degree from Austin Peay State University in International Business and Management, she says she’s studied both good and bad ways to communicate, reading, quilting, and cooking. Eldridge said, "I've seen several styles of communication or miscommunication, both professionally and personally. With every person I contact, I want to ensure that I offer the best communication (written, spoken, and listening) so that we can accomplish all goals! This cohort provides me that venue; I cannot wait to learn from everyone else."
Anna Childs is an English instructor at Pellissippi State since 2003. She has also facilitated several community groups that dealt with communication, including creative writing groups and emotional support groups. Since she teaches mainly writing courses, she says she is consistently working to help people communicate as strongly as they can, both verbally and in writing. Childs said, "As a writer myself, I am always working to discover and develop my own communication skills. I look forward to being on this communication journey with fellow group members this year."
Kate O'Meara has been teaching at Pellissippi for almost 10 years, having started as an adjunct instructor in Learning Support and ESL, and eventually finding her way to a full time faculty position in the English Department. Her primary academic focus is on English as a Second Language instruction. Kate is invested in doing work on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and passionate about co-championing the Diversity and Inclusion Cohort. She believes that as faculty and staff at an institution of higher learning, we are uniquely positioned to learn about and help bring about positive change for our students, ourselves, our community, and our society. She says, "I couldn't let such an opportunity pass me by."
Keri Withington, associate professor of English, is passionate about creating an equitable learning environment and fostering students' growth. She brings her background of education in English and Gender Studies, a commitment to research, and her experiences living in multiple countries to her work with this cohort.
Dr. Antija Allen is an Assistant Professor of Psychology with nearly two decades of teaching experience. She is passionate about leading the Emotional Intelligence (EQ) cohort because she sees how strengthening your EQ can not only improve your professional life, but also your personal relationships. Apart from her BA and MA in Psychology (with a clinical focus), Antija has been educated on the doctoral level in group coaching, leadership & supervision, managing conflicts in organizations, and staff development & training. In addition to teaching Psychology for most of her professional life, she also has extensive experience in workshop/training development and facilitation. Antija was the EQ cohort champion last academic year and had a blast working with an absolutely amazing group of staff and faculty. She is excited to return and welcome the new EQ cohort!
Richard Brintnall has proudly served Pellissippi State in the Police Department and the Department of Safety and Security for the past 7 years. Brintnall served in the United States Marine Corps for 4 years, was deployed to Iraq twice, and was thrust into a leadership role in charge of 8 marines in one of the most dangerous areas of Iraq on his 19th birthday. This trial by fire is what he says forged his passion for leadership. When asked about his role as Leadership co-champion Brintnall said, "Regardless of title or rank there are leaders at Pellissippi at all levels. It is both a science and an art that balances both skill and style. My hope in this cohort is to foster great conversations that sharpens your skill as a leader and helps you develop your own leadership style that will enrich the vision of the Pellissippi State Community."
"The Change and Conflict Management Cohort led by Dean Dyer and Dr. Ramsey brings in different points of how you can manage change and conflict in the workplace and in your personal life. The presentations given allows one to establish a baseline of negative and positive and determine if you want to fall in the lower or upper categories. Not to give too much away, but I learned much from this cohort that I have been able to expand into my personal life and into the classes which I teach.Thank you for a wonderful year." – Mandy Summit, Adjunct Instructor
"I would recommend the Communication Cohort to anyone who wants to communicate more effectively. You will learn to relate better with others through email, text, talking, social media, presentations, informal conversations and just about any way you communicate with another human being. The cohort helped me understand that communication is never a "cookie cutter" "one size fits all" approach. I learned to understand my communication style while learning to appreciate and understand that others may communicate differently than I do. Give it a try and be able to add skilled communicator to your skill set!" - Participant review from Communication Cohort, 2019-20