Archive for December, 2004

Pellissippi State student studies abroad this term

by Wendy Hitt

Do you ever wish that you could study in Europe?

Pellissippi student Jonathan Savage did. So, he logged onto the computer and entered “study abroad” as a search term.

Jonathan Savage contemplates his semester abroad.Posted by Hello

That led him to, which provided a link to American Intercontinental University where he applied last April.

A month later he learned that he was accepted.

He departs for England on Jan. 6, where he will attend school for the next six months.

The program, run through the American University of Chicago, costs $15,000 for each three-month term. The curriculum includes extensive travel throughout Europe and other parts of the world. The itinerary for April, for instance, includes a journey to Hong Kong.

Jonathan’s major is International Studies. Checking with his advisor at Pellissippi State, he discovered that all classes would transfer. He chose to study in England in order to avoid the language barrier.

He will share a flat in Bloomsbury, London, with three roommates. He hopes at least one of his roommates will be an American. However, when he enters the program, he won’t know another soul.

Savage said that by traveling throughout Europe and then Hong Kong he will be able to experience different people, foods and cultures. Jonathan said that living in Europe will be a life experience that will broaden his horizons.

“I know I’ll be homesick for a little while,” he said.

Of course he’s going to miss his mom’s cooking. And in true American fashion he said, “I’m really going to miss my car.”

Friday, December 31st, 2004

Poll for week of Dec. 13, 2004

What do you plan to do over the holiday break?

Christmas break is a time for catching up on all kinds of things. For some it’s time, for some it’s money, for some it’s rest. What are your Holiday Plans?

By following the link, you can not only cast your vote, but also see the results of the poll in progress. Watch for next week’s poll and participate to have your voice heard!

Monday, December 13th, 2004

Student survives harrowing vacation experience unscathed

by Josh Holman

During a recent trip to Rio De Janeiro, one Pellissippi State student experienced what he called one of the most frightening experiences of his life.

Paul Huntington said the majority of the vacation with his parents was fantastic, with 65 to 70 degree weather and a constant wind. The trouble arose when they were on their way to drop off their rental car at the airport.

Huntington said an old beat-up pickup truck and another car pinned their car on the side of the road.

Three “shady dudes” exited the two vehicles with long knives and demanded their money. The Huntington family immediately relinquished their wallets (fortunately they were only carrying travelers’ checks).

The three men then demanded their car keys, said Huntington, which they handed over as well.

Huntington said two of the men returned to their vehicles as the third got in their rental car, and all three sped off. Fortunately they were only a few blocks away from the car rental depot, to which they walked.

Huntington said the police were very helpful, and advised them to stay for another day to see if anything turned up. Officials took them to a hotel, which he said was really nice, and they got to spend an extra day in Rio, which wasn’t so bad.

The three men were arrested that night and most of their belongings were reclaimed. Huntington called the whole situation very frightening, but he said he is happy it didn’t turn out worse.

Saturday, December 11th, 2004

Student concerns heard

by Janelle Davis

The recent forum by the Council of Student Advocates gave students a chance to hear the results for their earlier-expressed concerns.

In an earlier meeting students turned in 116 comment cards to COSA members, which they sorted into six categories.

A key issue was student parking. Students complained that there is more parking for faculty than for students. However, COSA reported a new parking lot will be built between the Goins Building and the McWherter Building. Members say it will be a couple of years before the project begin.

COSA passed a petition around to students to approve a raise in activity fees. COSA members are asking that activity fees be raised from $3 to $5 dollars, which will bring in an additional $70,000 for all Pellissippi State campuses and allow for more student activities, according to COSA member Philip Agee.

Other concerns included the need for more picnic tables on campus and keeping student e-mail accounts open during the summer.

COSA members have tentatively set the next “Voice Out” for February.

Friday, December 10th, 2004

COSA seeks to resolve smoking complaints

by Janelle Davis

Sometimes, where there’s smoke there’s complaints instead of fire.

The Pellissippi State Council of Student Advocates regularly receives complaints dealing with the large number of smokers in public areas on campus. Students complain that smokers standing in front of building entrances cause problems for those going to and from classes.

A lot of smokers gather between the McWherter and Goins buildings on the main campus, as well in front of the Educational Resource Center. COSA members are working on providing designated areas for students who smoke on campus.

Members will propose to Pellissippi State President Dr. Allen Edwards that small shelter areas be placed around campus and private entrances for smokers.

“We are going to propose that certain entrances be made for smoking or nonsmoking so that students who are bothered by the cigarette smoke will be able to avoid it,” said COSA member Phillip Agee.

It will be a couple of months before any decision can be made regarding this problem.

Students seeking updates on this issue can contact

Friday, December 10th, 2004

Santa Claus is coming for breakfast

by Samuel Seivers

He’s making a list and checking it twice–for flour and pancake syrup.

Pellissippi State host a breakfast with Santa Claus on Saturday, Dec. 11, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The event is sponsored by the Student Life and Recreation Department.

“Besides the free pancake breakfast, we have ten crafts and four special activities,” said Student Life and Recreation’s Sara Johnson. Crafts include making jingle bell bracelets, piecing together a Santa face out of cotton, and building a Nativity scene. Activities include a Christmas village tour, a Dreidel game, and singing along to holiday songs on a karaoke.

“As always, everything is free and open to one and all,” said Johnson. “This is a great opportunity for faculty, students, and staff of Pellissippi to have some fun before the end of the semester. All are encouraged to bring along friends and family.”

Friday, December 10th, 2004

Future educators give current gift

by Kristen Kicks

Thanks to a group of students at Pellisippi State, Christmas will have special meaning this year for a second-grade teacher at Rocky Hill Elementary School.

Melanie Steele, a first-year teacher, did not have adequate school supplies to meet the needs of her students. Those she did have were in short supply.

Members of the Student Tennessee Education Association of Pellissippi State, all planning to become teachers one day, got into the holiday spirit by purchasing the needed supplies.

“Teachers are given very little money to purchase supplies for their class,” said Carla Ellis, project sponsor and treasurer of STEA. “Teachers end up spending a lot of their own money to purchase the materials they need to teach effectively. All of us in STEA are going to be teachers ourselves one day, so we decided to ‘adopt’ a first-year teacher and help her out with her classroom needs.”

The PSTCC Fee Board granted the STEA $500 for their project, and they were able to purchase almost everything from Steele’s wish list except a tiered bookshelf. According to a Pellissippi State Community Relations news release, Steele will receive books from the Magic School Bus series, books on tape, craft supplies, a paper cutter and a filing cabinet.

“While it’s true I’ll never make a tremendous amount of money teaching, I will see many rewards,” Kasey Greenway, the group’s president, said. “There’s no better feeling than explaining to another person a concept they just can’t seem to get and then, all of a sudden, they get a look on their face like they’ve just found a pile of money.

“To me, it’s all about helping create a better future with open-minded thinkers who can make a difference.”

Steele will receive the gifts on Dec. 17 at 1:15 p.m. in her classroom at Rocky Hill Elementary School.

Friday, December 10th, 2004

Deadline for honor students approaches

by Trevor Renfro

If you qualify for membership in the Pellissippi State honor society, you still can do so this semester, according to one of the organization’s advisors.

“Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society recently changed its policy to allow eligible students to join at virtually any time during the semester,” said Dr. Jonathan Fowler, faculty advisor for Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

An induction ceremony for Phi Theta Kappa was held earlier this year, Fowler said. Under the previous policy, if eligible students who had not joined at that time would have had to wait until spring semester.

Pellissipi State’s chapter needs five more members to qualify for the Pinnacle Award for increasing their membership, according to Carol O’Farrell, another faculty advisor for the honor society.

By-laws for Phi Theta Kappa say students need to complete at least 12 college-level credit hours at Pellissippi State with a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher to be eligible for membership.

“Membership looks good on transcripts and resumés, affords scholarship opportunities and potential letters of recommendation, and gives students innumerable chances to demonstrate their leadership in service to the college and community at large,” Fowler said.

Applications are available outside the office doors of O’Farrell (McWherter 352) or Fowler (ERC 120F).

There is a one-time $60 fee for joining. The deadline for joining this semester is Dec. 16.

Fowler said completed applications and checks can be submitted to O’Farrell, Fowler, or Sue Carter in McWherter 329.

Friday, December 10th, 2004

Pell Grant changes expected

by Wendy D. Hitt

Changes within the Pell Grant program may either cut or eliminate grant eligibility for up to a million low-income students.

A Nov. 23 Associated Press story said Congress passed a spending bill increasing Pell Grant funding by $458 million. However, Congressional advisor Brian Fitzgerald said a million grant recipients could lose an average of $300 per year if the Education Department updates the tax tables.

Fitzgerald, the director of the Advisory Committee on Financial Assistance, said about 84,000 students who are now eligible for funding would receive nothing.

Pellissippi State President Dr. Allen Edwards said that at this time there is no final wording on the changes made to either the Pell Grant or the updating of the tax tables. Therefore, it’s difficult to say whether the changes will help or hurt Pellissippi State.

Edwards said that the American Association of Community Colleges writes letters in behalf of colleges in response to the press releases given by each opposing side.

Even though funding has increased, allowance amounts will not increase because of the growing number of people seeking them. College Board statistics show a 37 percent increase in the number of Pell Grant recipients within the last decade.

Fitzgerald said families earning between $35,000 and $40,000 would be most likely to feel any changes to the Pell Grant.

Friday, December 10th, 2004

December brings extra stress for students

by Laura Foster

College students face a triple whammy of stress in December.

Pellissippi State classes end this week, and the final exam period begins Dec. 13 and ends on Dec. 16. Many students are starting to feel stress from final exams, shopping for friends and relatives, and working extra hours on top of it all.

“This year I’m flying up to Maryland to spend Christmas with my family,” freshman Jon Franks said. “I can’t wait until finals are over.”

Sophomore Kristen Hicks said, “This time of the year is always the busiest for me. Trying to balance studying with family gatherings and Christmas shopping can get pretty stressful!”

Medical professionals suggest specific strategies for coping with holiday stress.

“Stress is brought about by change, positive and negative,” Dr. B. Lee Coyne from Mental Health Today online magazine said. “It means our thought process has to gear up for some adjustment. Instinctively, we pause–especially if unprepared.

“The onset of the holidays inevitably poses a challenge to our usual routine. More folks are counting on us for getting greeting cards, buying gifts, or even visiting.”

Coyne suggested practicing stress-relieving exercises to deal with added holiday stress.

“There are a number of helpful stress relief exercises you can practice and master,” he said. ” Try your hand at doing a stress journal, especially one that charts how the body responds with a delayed reaction such as a headache or tummy pains. We call that the ‘mind-body’ linkage.

“Much of what the doctor hears is really the by-product of human frustration registered by the body.”

Friday, December 10th, 2004