Pellissippi Connections

The Pellissippi State Alumni Foundation is hosting a networking event in October, inviting people to socialize with friends, and to reach out to the community for career opportunities.

Pellissippi State is reaching out to the community by hosting an event in October that brings people together and creates new career opportunities.

Angela Pugh, the development and alumni coordinator at Pellissippi State Community College’s Hardin Valley campus, announced that the networking event will be in sometime in October. The specific date and location of the event have not been announced.

The networking event will be open to the public.

  • The networking event is a way for people to interact with friends, and making business connections to help start their careers.
  • Food will be provided, along with entertainment
  • Last year, the networking event had a guest speaker give a lecture on social media networking. This year, the guest speaker will discuss career development, such as the use of social networking and social media.

For more information about the networking event, please visit the Pellissippi State Alumni Foundation Facebook page, or the Alumni page on the Pellissippi website [ ].


April 26th, 2017, posted by Charles Higdon

Budget Cuts Threaten the Pell Grant

by Dakota Makres


Proposed budget could possibly affect the Pell Grant.


Pellissippi’s Pell Grant could be in danger following proposed budget cuts in Washington D.C.

President Donald Trump proposed a budget for 2018 which cuts $3.9 billion from the Pell Grant. The proposed budget, which would cut $1.3 billion from the grant this year, is awaiting congressional approval.

Richard Smelser, financial aid director, says “67 percent of Pellissippi State students receive the Pell Grant,” stated Smelser.

Pellissippi State and the Tennessee state government offer many scholarships for students:


  • Tennessee Promise
  • Tennessee HOPE Scholarship
  • “Reconnect Now” offered by Pellissippi State
  • The Homeless Students Scholarship


To view scholarships and grants visit:


April 26th, 2017, posted by Dakota Makres

Students Could Be the Next to Carry Guns on Campus

by Shelby Verran

Students will be allowed to carry concealed handguns on campus grounds if newly introduced House Bill 0884 is passed.

Students will be the next carry concealed and permitted handguns on campus grounds if House Bill 0884 is passed. Last year, State Bill 11 enabled full-time employees to carry on college campuses in Tennessee.

Some of the details of House Bill 0884 are as follows:

  • Must possess a valid handgun carry permit
  • Cannot be under the influence of alcohol
  • Cannot be involved in a judicial proceeding

Fred Breiner, chief of police at Pellissippi State, says “Pellissippi State Police personnel would need to be properly trained on all details of House Bill 0884.” Breiner says that once trained, Pellissippi officers will impartially enforce the law, if passed.

Breiner brought up how other states, such as Texas, changed their laws in recent years to allow student-carry on college campuses. He says, “I have not heard of any problems related to students legally carrying weapons on college campuses in those states.” Breiner says that he expects Tennessee to have few issues with legal student carry.


April 26th, 2017, posted by Shelby Verran

The drawbacks of D2L

By Austin Berry

D2L Digital Disaster?

D2L service, Pellissippi State’s web-based learning system, is one of the services most complained about by Pellissippi State Community College students.

College Vice President Audrey Williams stated, “I want to say we are not the only college with this problem.” “When first implemented it could take days to receive D2L messages from students to teachers and vice-versa.” said Williams.

The D2L, Desire to Learn, system often glitches when moving messages between students and teachers. Most Professors have started offering their own email as a use of communication between themselves and students.

However, D2L has some pro’s. Audrey Williams stated, “It is a great system for giving and receiving class assignments.” The system is tried-and-true when used for assignment exchange offering 24/7 access to course materials, drop-boxes for assignments, on-line quizzes and grades.

Many colleges and universities use the D2L system. These include Eastern Tennessee State University, Middle Tennessee State University, and Michigan State.

April 26th, 2017, posted by Austin Berry

Teacher Achievement Week at Blount County

Teacher Achievement Week at Blount County

By Sandra Kapaya

“Professors” ..have you ever wondered about the obstacles your professors have gone through to earn that title?

The Blount County Campus is having a Faculty Achievement week on April 24 -26.

This event will take place at the Blount County Campus lobby starting at noon. Faculty Achievement week is an event that gives professors a chance to share their achievements and scholarly work.

According to , Dean Holly Burkett says, “ This event was started by our librarian and it is our first-time Faculty Achievement Week. This event is a great way to knowing our faculty and all that they have achieved”.

  • The event will last to about 30-45 minutes in the lobby. Students may come and go to stop by and listen.
  • All Faculty members are welcome to participate and share their rewards and scholarly achievements.
  • This event not only talks about their past rewards, but also their future endeavors that they plan on achieving.

Faculty Achievement week is a great way for the students to get to know their professors outside of the classroom. It also shows the students all of the obstacles they had to conquer to earn their degrees which may inspire students to do greater.

April 26th, 2017, posted by sjkapaya2

Panther Pause at Pellissippi

by Tessa Irwin

Panther Pause brings information on upcoming events at Pellissippi.

Have you ever wondered who was in charge of those crazy “Panther Pause” Papers hanging up throughout the school? Well, wonder no more because students here at Pellissippi State write and edit them monthly to bring attention to special events! These calendars aren’t just for looks, if you take the time to read them, they are extremely informative. Panther Pause reminds when deadlines for class registration end and inform about fun social events taking place on campus each week. If you aren’t interested in participating in the creation of Panther Pause but you have an event you would like to advertise you can email the Student Life center at and apply.
If you are interested in becoming apart of Panther Pause you can talk to editor, Alison Fox, or writer, Jonathan Powell.

April 26th, 2017, posted by Tessa Irwin

Heroes Among U.S.

by: Paul Bristol

”Excellence in all we do, that is something that will resonate in me for the rest of my life.”
There is a saying that all heroes do not wear capes.  Most of these heroes volunteer their time to be a part of something greater than themselves, by joining the American Defense System.

Brandon Alston grew up with a military background, but he was not influenced enlist right away in any of the armed forces.  Alston joined because he wanted to be a part of something bigger than himself.

Even though his father wanted him to join the military, he says he was very proud of his son when he enlisted in the American Defense System.

Although in the beginning of his service, he found it quite hard to stay the course.  “When you get to boot camp,” Brandon noted, “it is very hard because you do not know anybody and you are having a hard time keeping the motivation alive.”

The cards were against him, but that did not stop him from reaching the goal.  “It taught me a lot, going through boot camp, that you have got to keep your head down to find your motivation.”  Alston says.

Alston said that true character is revealed through times where everything is not going your way.  He ended up staying the course and found his motivation in Tactical Aircraft Maintenance.

There he would operate on some of the fastest, aerodynamic aircrafts on the face of the planet.  He mainly worked on A-10 fighter jets, but he also had training on some of the infamous F-15’s and F-16’s.

If you do not have a background in aviation, an F-15 itself can reach up to speeds of 2.5 machs (1,600 mph).  This is also the first fighter jet in American history that can accelerate vertically.

Although he worked on these jets, he never really got the chance to go overseas and experience action firsthand.  “It was kind of bittersweet” Alston noted.  “I really wanted a chance to go overseas, however circumstances out of my control prevented that.”

  • Enlisted in the Air Force
  • Became a Tactical Aircraft Maintenance Mechanic on F-15’s, F-16’s, & A-10 fighter jets
  • Never got a chance to go overseas for combat
  • Two years later, he is a full time student at Pellissippi State

He worked on these aircrafts for all of two years while in the Air Force.  Now, he resides in Knoxville and is a full time student at Pellissippi.

He has not worked on an aircraft or a vehicle since.  He has since strayed away from being a mechanic.  Alston is trying to find his true passion in life one day at a time.

“I do not have a set future career just yet.   I am taking this one day at a time to find my passion in life,” Alston happily exclaims.  “Just like my training in the Air Force, I am going to put my head down and find my motivation in life.”

April 26th, 2017, posted by Paul Bristol

Regional Antiquity Coming to Pellissippi

 New courses are already approved for 2017-18 school year.

Students, grab your coonskin cap and tobacco pipe. Pellissippi will soon offer two classes that will teach history pertaining to East Tennessee.

Judy Gosch, director of curriculum and new program development, said the courses will be Tennessee History and Appalachian Literature. The two are unrelated in terms of specific material, but they both have local relevance. Gosch stated these classes “will be added to the 2018-19 catalog.”

Amanda Carr-Wilcoxson will teach Tennessee History. She says, “just one course is on the agenda for now, but more classes will be offered as interest for the subject grows.” The lone class is expected to be taught at the Hardin Valley campus.

Carr-Wilcoxson also stated that Tennessee History “will cover everything from the Pre-Columbian era to current times.” The course can be taken in place of one of the U.S. History offerings. However, students looking to transfer to the University of Tennessee will have to take it as an elective. Carr-Wilcoxson said Pellissippi has “separate agreements with UT.” Students transferring to UT will still have to take World History or Western Civilization as their history requirement. All other universities in conjunction with the Tennessee Board of Regents will accept Tennessee History as a history credit.

Dr. Charles D. White will teach Appalachian Literature. This class will study genres of poetry and other stories that are a part of Appalachian culture. White stated that his class will provide “cultural and historical context pertinent to northern and southern Appalachia.”

White is the director of the James Agee Conference for Literature and Art. He says the idea for this course developed from people attending the conference. The meeting is a forum for discussions, presentations and workshops. Scholars and authors unite periodically to explore various literature.

Students who want to get ahead on these classes can study Davy Crockett and James Agee to become acquainted with some local history. Engaging in this type of learning with a glass of apple cider might even be appropriate.

  • It is a long process for TBR to approve credit courses.
  • These courses have been approved, but deadline for the 2017-18 catalog has passed.
  • Deadline for next catalog will be sometime next spring.
  • Changes can be made to these courses before that target date.
  • Faculty members indicate these classes will draw much interest.
  • Location for Appalachian Literature is not yet known.

April 26th, 2017, posted by Logan Quinton

Final Weekly Writing Club Meeting

By Jaeland Lawson

Creative Writing Club Meeting

The Weekly Creative Writing Club will be holding its last meeting of the spring semester this

week from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the McWherter building in room 320.

Students feel free to come out and display your unique writing styles and converse with many other writers April 27, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the McWherter building, room 320, on the Hardin Valley Campus.

Pellissippi appreciates the diverse and creative student body that it holds, and acknowledges the undeniable creativity that comes along with it. Many of the student population here at Pellissippi possess a passion for writing and means of self-expression. The Weekly Creative Writing Club may just be that outlet that allows these particular students to come and find that release that they have been searching for. Holding weekly meetings, this club encourages all students to come participate in this gathering by bringing their personal perspectives and approach to the table by voicing their emotion through their work. Although this is the final meeting of them semester it is never too late to come and share your work by participating in the meeting.

April 26th, 2017, posted by Jaeland Lawson

Pellissippi State Offer Free Tuition

by Dakota Makres


Free tuition offered to current and new students.


Pellissippi State announced that it will offer free tuition to adults. The new program “Reconnect Now” ( was modeled after Governor Bill Haslam’s “Reconnect” program.

Richard Smelser, Financial Aid Director, explained how Pellissippi’s “Reconnect Now” program works. “Students have to be independent on the FAFSA to receive free tuition. Which means the students are married, has a child, or homeless,” stated Smelser.

The “Reconnect Now” program is for new and current students. To qualify for “Reconnect Now” students must:

  • Be independent on the FAFSA
  • Complete the FAFSA by Aug. 1, 2017
  • Must enroll in at least six credit hours
  • Be a Tennessee resident since Aug. 1, 2016
  • Do not have an associates or bachelor’s degree.

April 9th, 2017, posted by Dakota Makres