Archive for May, 2005

Environmentally friendly innovations help PTSCC save money

by Josh Thorne

Several new, environmentally friendly improvements are underway at each of the Pellissippi State campuses.

A capital improvement project aimed at reducing the amount of electricity used by the college is being evaluated and implemented in an effort to save money and utilities.

The project will incorporate new technology such as energy-efficient light fixtures and updated motion sensors. All buildings across four campuses will receive a complete lighting upgrade.

The project also calls for a new HVAC system to be installed at the Magnolia Avenue campus.

Preliminary costs are expected to be around $2.6 million for the necessary upgrades and renovations to be completed.

Once in place, the savings incurred by the new system is expected to return on its investment in as early as 11 years. The continued reduction in operating costs plans to, in the future, provide funding for other capital improvement projects.

Thursday, May 5th, 2005

Spice it up with Jazz

by: Joslynn Heath

Feel its time to get involved but do not know what to do? If you are musically talented, consider joining the jazz band.

Dr. Edwards, President of Pellissippi notes it’s often hard to get involved at a community college outside the classrooms. He says, “if you can find something you really love, like music, and the student can connect that way, college is a better experience for them” while they are attending Pellissippi.

Edwards comments that the jazz band is “Just remarkable”. He believes we “have a wonderful music program at the college. It provides an incentive for students to get involved.”

Tom Johnson directed the recent jazz concert held Tuesday, April 19. The jazz band performs once every spring semester. Johnson says he has been fortunate to have the same students for a couple of semesters that have been very talented.

Julius Blue is a pianist in the jazz band and has played the piano since he was 10 years old. He said that one day he just sat down, started playing and never stopped. When discussing how the piano makes him feel, Blue says “Depending if I am depressed or happy, it helps release emotions.”

During the recent performance, Blue played both the piano and the keyboard simultaneously. He said he was practicing for the concert when he was listening to one of the songs on a CD.

Blue remembers feeling the vibe in its sound, so he wanted to try something different. He practiced the song during the rehearsal, and decided to play both the keyboard and the piano at once during the performance. Blue said “I thought it would make it more exciting.”

Though the jazz band performs every spring semester, Johnson noted that this performance “was difficult because members introduced new tunes, and they had many new singers. “

Johnson usually tries to get guests performers each year who have been colleagues of his that he has known over the years. This year’s featured guest was Lance Owens on the tenor saxophone. Johnson has known Owens for about 15 to 20 years.

The jazz band has a web page for audio and video clips from past performances at, and information on how to join.

Wednesday, May 4th, 2005

Support Relay for Life

by Katrina Jordan

Phi Theta Kappa will be participating in the Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society.

The event organizer Danielle Ozdych says that PTK’s goal is to raise $2,500.

The event will be held at the World’s Fair Park in Downtown Knoxville on June 17th. It will begin around 7 p.m. and go through the night.

So far there are about six team members on the Phi Theta Kappa of Pellissippi State Team. Anyone attending Pellissippi is encouraged to join the team.

Ozdych states that if anyone wants to help out but cannot walk, donations can be made at

Anyone who wants to participate can contact Ozdych at or Cheryl Miller at

Ozdych encourages everyone to get involved in some way if they can. “It is a wonderful feeling to know that we are contributing in finding a cure for cancer and that our efforts are done in the memory of loved ones we have lost to cancer,” she said.

Wednesday, May 4th, 2005

Pellissippi Capital Improvements

by Josh Thorne

Several projects are planned for this summer to improve Pellissippi State’s campuses in anticipation for the upcoming fall semester. The summer semester begins on May 31 and classes are scheduled at the Magnolia, Blount, and Hardin Valley Road campuses.

The main building on the Division Street campus will be closed for the third year during summer classes because it will undergo a roof replacement. The project is expected to be completed by the beginning of classes for the fall semester. The roofing replacement is earmarked with a cost of $230,000. David Walton, director of Facilities for Pellissippi State, revealed that renovations are also in the works for a new nursing facility in 2005 at the Division Street campus.

At the Hardin Valley Road campus, the J.L. Goins Administrative Building will also undergo a roof replacement. The project will not affect the summer schedule for classes at the main campus.

Wednesday, May 4th, 2005

Balancing your budget

by Jordan Dawson

Rebecca Simpson from the UT Federal Credit Union told students and faculty alike how to balance their budget on Wednesday.

“I look at budgeting like dieting and exercising…it works better with a plan,” said Simpson.
“It is common for people to spend everything they make,” she explained to her audience. “A good idea is a spending diary. Write down everything you spend, even if it’s just 50 cents for a Coke.”

Simpson said, “There are three types of expenses: fixed, flexible, and variable.”

Fixed expenses are unchangeable, such as electric bills. Flexible expenses could become fixed and include car payments. Variable expenses are unnecessary or unexpected expenses, such as cable for the television or emergency hospital visits.

Simpson explained, “Needs vs. Wants should be considered. Pay bills on time to avoid late fees.”
“Avoid check cashing stores because they will take a good chunk of money from your check,” advised Simpson. “And avoid title loan places. These are known as ‘predatory lending’ and have incredibly high interest rates.”

“Avoid credit card use, save it for emergencies. Don’t go shopping just for fun,” Simpson told her listeners.

“Also, call utility companies to see if you qualify for reduced rates.”

Simpson will be back this week to discuss credit scores.

Wednesday, May 4th, 2005

Barbeque and music to help Blount County campus

by Joe Thomas

Music, barbeque and an auction will be featured at the first Blount County Bluegrass and Barbeque.

This event will be held on Saturday, May 21 from 5-9 p.m. The event will be at the Mccord Farm at 4230 Montvale Road in Maryville, Tenn. This event will be hosted by Keith and Peggy Mccord.

All of the profits from this event will go to that Pellissippi State Blount County campus.

This event will showcase music from “True Blue”, a bluegrass music group from East Tennessee, and barbecue.

Four levels of sponsorship are available at the event. The Guitar sponsorship is $500. The Banjo sponsorship is $1,000. The Mandolin sponsorship is $2,500 and the Signature sponsorship is $5,000.

Tickets are $35. Faculty and students can purchase tickets for $25. For more information, call the Pellissippi State Foundation office at (865) 694-6528.

Pat Myers, director of Alumni Relations and Foundation Events, said, “Join us for a fun-lovin’ evening of bluegrass and barbecue.”

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2005

Summer means school for some

by Joslynn Heath

Summer may be a good time to earn a few extra credit hours, or a good time to take a break from school.

Dr. Edwards, President of Pellissippi, comments that deciding on whether or not to take summer classes is a personal decision. He believes for some students, it may be best to take summer classes, and for others, it is a good idea to take a break from school and work for the summer.

According to Edwards, the classes offered during the summer session are based on demand, what the students generally request, and the history of successes and failures for each class during the summer.

Dr. Jim Bruns, Vice President of Student Affairs, believes grades improve overall during the summer session. Bruns believes he is speaking on behalf most the faculty when he says that “students who sign up for summer classes are more serious about their education.” This may be why grades are higher this time of year.

According to Bruns, approximately 3,000 students take summer classes at Pellissippi State each year. In most cases, students take less than 6 credit hours. There is an average of 21 students per class.

To sign up for summer classes log onto As a reminder, summer fees are due on or before May 23rd.

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2005

Nice guys don’t always finish last

by Ty Mathews

Following his heart and his faith helps keep college student Nathan Guilleran moving.

He is in his second semester at Pellissippi State, and he works part-time as a manager at Papa John’s Pizza. He has worked for Papa John’s for four years, spending 25 to 30 hours a week working, while also attending school for 12 hours per week.

He also plays drums for the local Christian band, “Fist,” and he plays drums for his worship team at Harvest Church. Guilleran leads a busy life like many college students leaving little time for leisure activities due to having bills to pay, school work, and his commitment to leading worship.

In the fall, Guilleran plans to enroll at the Institute for Global Outreach Developments International in Antioch, Tenn. He plans on obtaining a degree in Biblical Studies and leading worship at a citywide youth event once a week.

He does not exactly know his plans from there and says he’s always had a heart for missions, but he wants to go where the Lord leads him. His friends say that wherever that may be, they know he will be living a life that is devoted to his Savior, Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2005