Archive for the ‘Personnel’ Category

Change in police presence at Pellissippi represented at the Magnolia Campus

by Shelby Verran


Pellissippi State has seen a change in recent years with a switch from a security department to now Campus Police. Rosalyn Tillman, Dean of the Magnolia Avenue Campus, explained some changes that can be visibly seen by students at her campus, as well as all other Pellissippi State campuses.

The policy for the number of officers has remained the same for Pellissippi Campus’, but there is a difference in the consistency of personnel because of the change from a contract security company to Campus Police. Now, instead of changing guards daily or weekly, the same guards can be seen each day. Dean Tillman said “This way you get to know them, and they know you.”

Magnolia student Katie Varner said, “[The Magnolia Campus] operates like a family unit.” The Magnolia Campus has had the least number of incidences out of all Pellissippi State campuses. In fact, for the years 2013-2015, Magnolia had zero reported crimes.

Tillman attributes the Magnolia Campus’ record to “the atmosphere that permeates the campus.” She attributes to the familiar faces of security officers that now walk the halls.

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

Student Art Exhibit Being Held at Pellissippi


By Nicholas Walker

A juried art exhibition is currently being shown at Pellissippi State Community College’s Hardin Valley Campus.

Jennifer Brickey, Pellissippi’s associate professor of Liberal Arts, says the exhibit is beneficial to students by teaching them how to prepare showings for art shows.

The campus is located on 10915 Hardin Valley Road, and it is being held in the galley of the Bagwell Center for Media and Art. The exhibit opens on March 28 and runs through April 15. The gallery is open to the public from 10 to 6:30 p.m.

The exhibit is showcasing many forms of art, including paintings, sculptures, two-dimensional and three-dimensional design and ceramics.


Friday, April 22nd, 2016

Student from East Africa

by Zaynab Bowers


Angelica Ndayiragije, a student at Pellissippi State Community College, moved from Burundi, East Africa, to Texas at the age of 4 in hopes of a better future.


“The reason me and my family moved here was because it was dangerous where we were living,” said Ndayiragije. “My mother wanted me to have better life opportunities.”


Her childhood was not that easy in Texas either. She was teased by students for being from Africa and struggled to fit in.


“I had to learn a whole new language and culture that often clashed with my home culture,” said Ndayiragije. “At home I was supposed to act a certain way, but at school, I was supposed to act another way.”


Ndayiragije later moved to Knoxville when she was accepted into the University of Tennessee’s Bridge Program. She is studying journalism at Pellissippi and will transfer to UT next fall to complete her bachelor’s degree.


Ndayiragije said that she is a lot happier with the environment at Pellissippi than she has been in other places.

“I like the students at Pellissippi, and I love the professors,” she said.


After she completes her studies, she hopes to achieve her lifelong dream of working for CNN.


“They stir up things that don’t need to be stirred,” she said. Ndayiragije believes that the news either exaggerates news or doesn’t inform people correctly. “I want to spread news the right way.”


Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Access And Diversity

by Stephen Marbury


Access and Diversity is a valuable academic support and degree completion program located in the Goins Building Room 162.  The Diversity Plan was developed by Pellissippi State Community College on the premise of increasing diversity among students, faculty, and staff. The primary focus of the plan is driven by the Complete College Tennessee Act of 2010 to increase the number of Tennesseans with post-secondary degrees.


The department is run by Gayle Woods now in her 26th year at Pellissippi State. Woods describes her work as a mentor and advisor.  As Director of Access and Diversity, Woods and her staff are focused on enhancing the educational, cultural and interpersonal experiences of low-income students, adult learners age 25 and older and underrepresented minorities.


Programs such as Pellissippi Adult Learners, or PAL, are intended for first-time freshmen who may have obstacles and challenges to overcome in order to meet their college needs. Students are assigned a faculty or staff mentor who will assist them through their first year of college.


Another program designed to increase graduation rates is Project Making Graduation Attainable. The program is aimed to help students who have earned 45-plus college-level credit hours toward their degree. So far, more than 192 students have successfully participated in PMGA since 2012.


As the program’s vision statement articulates, Access and Diversity celebrate individuals by affirming strengths, gifts and differences each faculty, staff and student brings to Pellissippi State Community College.  The staff maintains contact with students on a bi-weekly basis with its weekly mixers intended to allow students to network with others about classes, career prospects or a chance to relax after classes with fellow classmates.


Access and Diversity has continued to promote a diverse student body by celebrating various cultures from around the world.  Gayle Woods and her staff have supported numerous international themed events around campus, including a celebration of persons from Spain, Mexico and South America during Hispanic Heritage Month and a Caribbean Carnival where students experience food, music and dance. During Black History Month in February students and faculty are encouraged to taste African coffee and teas while discussing the contributions of African-Americans.

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Potential Outsourcing

By: Janelle Piper


State-run facilities face potential privatization of management and operations across Tennessee.


Gov. Bill Haslem has planned to privatize the oversight of all state government buildings, including state colleges and universities, prisons, state parks and National Guard armories. The jobs would be outsourced to Jones Lang LaSalle, a global property and asset management firm. Employees at these state-run facilities have protested the potential outsourcing.

Ron Kesterson, vice president of business and finance at Pellissippi State said, “It will not impact us very much at all.” Pellissippi State already has a mixture of private and public employees.

Because of the way Pellissippi State is structured, “We went the contract route earlier,” says Kesterson. He says there is not a reason to have people employed when they are not needed. The college is not like other businesses that are open during scheduled breaks so staff is not needed.

“We now have private contractors in the custodial department, grounds department, and in the security department currently,” said Kesterson.

The current agreement at Pellissippi State costs less than the estimated costs of the plan proposed by Haslem. Kesterson says the governor’s privatization plan would cost the college more financially.

Employees at other state-owned facilities and those opposed to the privatization formed a Facebook community called Tennessee is NOT for Sale as well as the hashtag, #tnisnotforsale on Twitter.

Haslem has recently given government facilities, such as the University of Tennessee, whose employees have been vocal opponents to the outsourcing plan, the option to not participate in the privatization.



Friday, October 9th, 2015

College from a Grandmother’s prospective

By Zaynab Bowers


Cristina Marques decided to get her college education after becoming a wife, mother, and grandmother.

Marques has three children and two grandchildren and is now attending Pellissippi State Community College with two of her daughters.

“It’s very hard. As we get older, our brains are not the same as when we were younger. It’s hard to retain information,” Marques said. Still, she wants to teach her family the importance of education and said she definitely regrets not getting her education earlier.

As a young girl, Marques dreamt of becoming a neurosurgeon.

“I think being one would just be so interesting in the way that I could see what the mind physically is like,” she said.

Although Marques did not have the opportunity to attend college when she was younger because of financial difficulties, she hopes to achieve a lifelong goal by graduating.

“I have more free time now since my kids are older,” she said. “I figured why not use my time wisely and keep my brain active.”

Marques is currently studying professional administration and healthcare. She chose this major because it is related to business, which is something she loves and enjoys.

Despite Marques’ age, her daughters, Samira Tamimi and Ayat Tamimi, said they admire and respect their mother’s decision to further her education and pursue her lifelong dream.

Friday, October 9th, 2015

Increasing safety by increasing security

By Caleb Noe

Fred Breiner director of security at Pellissippi explained how to increase safety and security on Wednesday Sept 30th. I sat down with Breiner who has worked with Pellissippi since May of 2007, and went down a list of questions that were prepared.

If someone sees a potentially dangerous situation developing, Breiner said the first thing to do is to pass it on to campus security and if necessary to call 911 as soon as possible. He also said that campus security cannot help with a situation if they do not know about it.

When security gets a call, the first thing to do is to send someone out to get as much information as possible and talk to the person Breiner said. He also said after a report is filed they do a follow up if the property is found.

Breiner said that even though they don’t get a lot of anonymous tips through the silent witness system on Pellissippi’s web page, the information they get is very accurate. He said the department encourages students to use it.

A normal day of work, Breiner said is, “Never the same you never know what is going to happen some days are slow and others are busy.”

Breiner said that if you see anything on campus that isn’t right, let the security know and basically if you see something say something.

Friday, October 9th, 2015

Pellissippi Faculty Ready to Impress with Photography Exhibition

by Payton Boyd

Photography students now have a chance to see what their professors have been working on at the third annual Faculty Photography Exhibition.

The event will be held on Thursday Nov. 13 beginning at  9 a.m in the Bagwell Center Gallery on the Hardin Valley Campus.

Ron Goodrich, the program coordinator of photography and photography teacher at Pellissippi, stated that the exhibition will include photography projects from the full time faculty and adjuncts closely working with the photography department. Although there is no set theme of the photos being previewed in the showcase, it will give students the opportunity to see what their faculty has been up to.

The exhibition is open to the general public. Goodrich stated that the exhibition will open at 9 a.m. and will close at the end of the business day, but may be flexible to change depending on the number of visitors.

Monday, October 20th, 2014

A Future Forged in Fire

by: Jane Cassidy

Graphic Design major Jason Campbell is forging his fiery future with the timeless art of the Blacksmith.

Campbell’s interest first sparked at a very young age while watching blacksmiths work at Dollywood. Campbell also said that he comes from a crafty family. His mother is a seamstress and his father is involved in wood working.

Campbell is currently taking Mike Rose’s blacksmith class for the second time. In his free time he is working on opening his own shop where he will make practical items such as wall hooks, pots and bottle openers for craft shows. He is also currently in the process of building a portable forge for Civil War reenactments.

One of the first projects Campbell made was a fire poker using the first basic principles learned in blacksmithing class.

Speaking of fire, Campbell has picked up a few scars along the way from “gray burning snowflakes” produced by the fuel used in this process. Battle wounds aside, Campbell explains that “It’s a very nice stress reliever to be able to beat a piece of steel into submission and create whatever you can picture in your mind; it’s a beautiful art.”

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Hope and Faith

by David Ball

Most college students this time of year are focused on finals, jobs or where their summer vacation may be. One Pellissippi student, however, is focused on more than just the norms of college life.

Charlie Graham, 20, a social work major at Pellissippi State, is focused on friendship. Moreover, she is focusing it towards someone who truly needs it.

“It’s when I see her on the front porch, smiling, and the way she runs down to my car and gives me a hug. You know, it’s definitely worth it,” said Graham.

Over the past year, Graham has been a friend or “big sister” to 10-year-old Daniya from East Knoxville. Daniya is one of many young children involved in a program called Hope Central, which serves as a safe house for children in a 50-block area near Magnolia Ave., Winona and Cherry streets.

Children like Daniya come from low-income areas and homes that endure frequent relationship problems and emotional instability.  Hope Central’s goal is to step in and help create a family environment through educational activities and a big brother/sister program.

A combination of Graham’s faith and career interest prompted her to get involved. With 20-30 kids participating, there was no shortage of need. “I was looking for an opportunity, to see what kind of things are out there for social work, volunteering or internship.”

Now, every other Friday, Graham picks up Daniya at her house and they spend a few hours together. “She gets that kind of secure stable relationship with me, because things are so unstable in her house and life.”

The two girls have fun outdoors, lunch at the mall, or participate in activities planned by Hope Central, such as Bible studies. Also on the itinerary for Graham is spending time with Daniya’s mom. She finds it makes a greater impact to have a familial relationship with Daniya and her relatives.

“I’ve seen a tremendous difference in Daniya. Her mom has told me even in school, Daniya’s grades are definitely improving. To hear her mom say ‘because of you, she is changing’ is rewarding,” said Graham.

As beneficial as this has been for both girls, Graham warns that this is not for everyone. “Not everyone may have the heart to be completely sold out,” she said. “Me being in the social work field, it’s natural for me to want to do this.”

She plans to continue being a big sister for Daniya and follow the path that her faith lays out for her.

If interested in being a part of a young person’s life as a big brother or sister, contact Veta Sprinkle at 865-314-8514.

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014