Archive for April, 2006

PSTCC professor recommends favorite outdoor pasttime

by Lloyd Loveday

Being in tune with nature, peacefulness and a spiritual feeling have guided Gay Bryant down the pathway to completing every named hiking trail in the Smokies.

Bryant, an associate professor at Pellissippi State, has completed a major goal by hiking every mile of officially-named trails in the national park. Bryant has worked at Pellissippi since 1985, and she is the program coordinator for web technology and media technologies.

Over 900 miles of trails in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park stood before Bryant in 1984. Twenty-one years later she completed her goal by hiking toward the Twentymile ranger station. Because some trails overlap, she covered 1700 miles total.

Bryant’s goal began by hiking with friends 21 years ago. Bryant fell in love with the Smokies and hiking. She said, “It is something I need to do, it’s spiritual.” It helps her to clear her head, enjoy life and stay in good physical condition. “I love nature and interacting with it,” Bryant said.

Bryant’s two favorite trails are Alum Cave Bluffs and Road Prong Trail. She enjoys them because of their diversity and separate ecological values, and also the landmarks that each has to offer.

Bryant would recommend hiking to anyone who hasn’t done it before. However, she does offer some advice for those new to hiking. Go with someone else (from personal experience with Mother Nature) and let someone know where you are going if you do go by yourself. Invest in the best equipment, use a hiking stick, or better yet, a pole, and know your limits.

For now, Bryant is content with just hiking for the fun of it, and getting people involved in hiking who have never experienced it before. She says she would also like to hike more in Shenandoah National Park, in Virginia.

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

Free golf tournament rescheduled due to weather

by Brent Tittsworth

The free golf tournament scheduled for April 21 has been rescheduled due to thunderstorms.

Dan Jones, the director of intramurals for Pellissippi, said that the tournament will now be held April 28, if weather permits.

The tournament will still be held at Dead Horse Lake Golf Course, located on Sherril Boulevard, with the entrance to the course adjacent to Brown Squirrel. The format will be a four-person team scramble, with the winners taking home a dozen golf balls each.

The games will begin at noon, so participants should show up at 11:30 to get signed in and ready to play.

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

Director of placement helps PSTCC graduates enter the work force

by Lloyd Loveday

Job placement is an important concern for most college students with graduation just around the corner.

Carolyn Carson is the director of placement at Pellissippi State, and Carson and the placement office can be helpful to graduating students in many ways.

Carson wil help with resume writing, mock job interviews, interviewing techniques and cooperative education. Carson said the best career goal is to identify skills and interests; then, find a career that utilizes both of these assets and that also provides job satisfaction. “People spend too many hours at a job not to be happy,” Carson said.

The placement office keeps an updated resume on file for three years for all Pellissippi students graduating with an Associate of Applied Sciences degree. The AAS degree is usually for students entering the work force directy following Pellissippi, not those continuing on to another college or university.

Kimberly Downey, a recent Pellissippi marketing graduate, said, “Through Carolyn Carson’s connections as the director of placement at Pellissippi State, I received five calls for interviews within three months after graduating.”

Richard Smith, a graduate of Computer Integrated Drafting and Design, said, “When it comes to finding a job in your field of study, the placement office is a wonderful gift for the graduating student.”

Many Pellissippi students sucessfully find jobs with the help of the placement office. For example, PSTCC graduate J.V. Russell is now a computer support engineer with the Department of Energy in Oak Ridge. Jennifer Reneau, graduate of marketing technologies, is employed with Nova Information Systems.

Carson can be reached at (865)694-6554, through e-mail at or in room GN 106 at the Hardin Valley Campus.Â

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

PSTCC president comments on internationalizing the college

by Nan Krichinsky

Pellissippi State has lost a number of international students since 9/11, according to Allen Edwards, president of the college.

“It’s difficult now to get a student visa or any type of visa,” Edwards said.  Pellissippi State had between 70 and 75 students from other countries in the past, but now, the number is between 55 and 60. “There’s a real problem in this.  We know that, on the one hand, we want national security to be very good.  On the other hand, we can’t close the door to good and well-meaning people,” said Edwards.

According to Edwards, other English-speaking countries are taking advantage of this dilemma and are heavily recruiting these students. “My interest is having money set aside to help us internationalize the curriculum,” Edwards said. He suggests finding occasions to experiment and introduce some international issues into certain courses.

Edwards suggested two possible actions.  Pellissippi State’s faculty could be given the opportunity to travel abroad and bring a new international perspective back to the classroom.  Edwards said it would also be possible to help Pellissippi’s international students connect with local students, so they could learn from each other.

This strategy could give students more opportunities to broaden their knowledge of other countries and cultures.  According to Edwards, “Most students here typically work and have families.  They’re not going to be the ones who go abroad for a semester.”  Despite this, Edwards said, “They are going to have to work in a world that is very globally focused.”

Monday, April 17th, 2006

The John Corbett Band coming to PSTCC

by Brittany Greene

The John Corbett Band will appear live at Pellissippi State on April 19 in the Performing Arts Center.

WIVK is sponsoring the event. Mike Hammond, WIVK’s program director, said, “John Corbett is a new voice on the country music scene and we wanted to showcase his music.”  Hammond said that Corbett will play this concert as a fundraiser for Pellissippi State.

All of the proceeds will go to the Foundation Office to help support student scholarships and supply better equipment in classrooms.

Corbett has been known mainly for his acting in TV’s “Sex and the City” and in the film “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” He has just released his first album.

Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased in the Goins Building, Room 255. Call (865)694-6528 for more information.Â

Sunday, April 16th, 2006

Hope scholarships now available for older students

by Lloyd Loveday

Eligibility rules for the Hope scholarship have changed, according to Pat Peace of the financial aid office. Now older students will be eligible for the scholarship. The new rule was past late last summer, which makes students 25 years old and up eligible.

Students must be 25 years of age upon enrollment, be a Tennessee resident for one year and have a 2.75 grade point average. They must make under $36,000 a year and maintain half-time status as a student. Peace said, “It is very important that students be enrolled for at least two three-hour classes every semester excluding summer.” Students cannot skip a semester or they lose eligibility.

Older students must first have 24 attempted hours, and cannot have had previous college courses upon enrollment. Graduating seniors can still enroll directly from high school and receive the scholarship.

Students can also receive two awards at a time, which means more free money. If the student qualifies financially, they can receive the Hope Scholarship and Aspire Award, or Hope and General Assembly Merit Scholarships.

The Hope Scholarship awards up to $3,300 a year for four-year institutions and $1,650 a year for two-year institutions. Aspire Award is a supplement up to $1,500 a year to the Tennessee HOPE Scholarship. The General Assembly Merit Scholarship is a $1,000 supplement to students with a 3.75 GPA.

This combination of scholarships can pay for the cost of tuition, books, and living expenses. Peace said that is also important to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, by September 1, for fall semester. Peace said that the earlier this is filed, the better.

Sunday, April 16th, 2006

Foundation Awards finalists named

by Courtney Baxter

The finalists for this year’s Foundation Awards have been announced.

The Foundation Awards are given by the Pellissippi Foundation to the faculty of Pellissippi, which collects money and makes grants and scholarships available for students. The awards honor the faculty for performing these services.

The three finalists for this year’s Gene Joyce Visionary Award are the Adult Education team at Pellissippi State, whose members include Joan Newman, Beverly Jolley, Tamela Wheeler, Joe Morin and Patricia Varga; Pellissippi State’s Articulation and Transfer Program which includes Berta Ward, Cheryl Leach, Sheryl Burnett and Rachael Cragle; and Karen Queener.

The three finalists for the Excellence in Teaching Award are Charles Cardwell, Tom Gaddis and Keith Norris.

The finalists for this year’s Innovation Award are Julie Bell, Annie Gray, and the Business Capstone Teaching Team of Roger Crowe, Rick Oster and Anne Schwartzlander.

Scott Bell, Pellissippi’s Maintenance Scheduler, said these awards are an “opportunity for individuals and/or teams to be recognized for their exemplary efforts in the realm of education.”

There will be cash prizes given to the winners of these awards. For first place, the winner will receive $1500. For second and third prize, both winners will receive $1000.

The winners of the Foundation Awards will be announced on Employee Appreciation Day on April 27 in the Goins Auditorium.

Monday, April 10th, 2006

PSTCC president Allen Edwards attends prestigious education summit

by Nan Krichinsky

“It was a very heady experience for me,” said Allen Edwards, president of Pellissippi State Technical College, as he described the first U.S. Presidents Summit on International Education he attended in January.

The aim of the summit was to initiate a dialogue between the government and college and university presidents in order to attract foreign students and scholars back to the U.S.

Edwards expressed concern that he would not have anything to offer this group, but he said, “as it turned out during the course of the day, I really did.” Edwards advocated “having money set aside to help us internationalize the curriculum” of two-year colleges, rather than for student foreign exchange, as promoted by the four-year institutions.

“I’m president and one of the founders of a group known as the International Association of Colleges and a board member in the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC),” said Edwards. His involvement in these groups could have factored into his being invited to the summit.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings co-hosted the State Department event. President George W. Bush was one of the speakers.

Since Sept. 11, visa restrictions have made it more difficult for international students to study here. “We need to go back to the world and tell them we’re open for business,” said Edwards.

If there is a follow-up summit, Edwards is hoping to continue his participation in the dialogue between government and institutions of higher education – and he may have a better-then-average chance at it.

The summit began the day after the national championship football game between Southern Cal and the University of Texas. Edwards, a University of Texas graduate, was wearing his Longhorn tiepin. President Bush, being a Texas man, had on his orange tie. Bush spotted the Longhorn pin as he was leaving and stopped to talk football with Edwards.

Monday, April 10th, 2006

PSTCC begins replacing roofs and parking lots

Pellissippi will replace the roofs of some of its buildings and expand some parking lots this summer, as part of a series of new construction projects.

Pellissippi will expand the 09 parking lot to compensate for the loss of the F2 parking lot that Building F will be swallowing.

New roofs will be put on the Goins Building, the Physical Plant, and the older part of the Alexander Building. Pellissippi will be using money out of its capital maintenance fund for these projects, according to Dave Walton, Pellissippi’s Director of Facilities.

It takes an average of 2-3 years to get projects approved that repair already-present installations. New building funds, called capital projects, can take over 10 years to be approved.

Monday, April 3rd, 2006

Holocaust survivor speaks out

by Amanda Henry

“I am a hidden child,” said Sonja Dubois, a survivor of the Holocaust. Before she was two years old she was parentless and being moved secretly from place to place in order to stay alive. Dubois spoke on March 28 at 11:30 in Goins Auditorium.

The Holocaust claimed the lives of over six million European Jews between 1933 and 1945; one million of them were children. Jews were not the only people to be killed in the Holocaust. Polish people, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, and handicapped people were also murdered at the command of Hitler.

Dubois was only 22 months old in 1942, when she saw her first parade. There were no clowns or rides; instead she saw men and boys being marched into boxcars to be taken to concentration camps.

Her parents were taken to Auschwitz when she was a toddler. Jewish prisoners of other camps would be transferred to Auschwitz to be exterminated there. This camp had two Birkenau gas chambers and three furnaces that could burn up to 340 people a day.

“There were so many people in the gas chambers, that when they opened the doors, the people fell out, because there wasn’t enough room for their bodies to collapse,” said Dubois. Dubois lost her parents at Auschwitz, and also her grandparents, aunts, uncles and three cousins in Hitler’s attempt to exterminate the Jews.

“I’ve been hidden most of my life,” said Dubois. While being moved from home to home in the attempt to find a new family, Dubois finally found who she calls “her mom and pop.” Mr. and Mrs. Willem Vander-Kaden took Sonja into their home and raised her.

Her parents named her Shefrah, a Hebrew name from the Bible in the Book of Exodus. The Book of Exodus is a collection of stories of the Hebrew people about escaping bondage from the Pharaoh of Egypt.

There have been some improvements in Dubois’ life over the past five years. She found the only remaining person from her family, her cousin Bev. “She was the only person who knew my daddy,” said Dubois.

Dubois was a guest speaker at the Appreciating Diversity in the Adult Education Classroom: Voices from the Holocaust event. Opening the event were Tamela Wheeler and Glenda Turner, two of twenty teachers chosen by the Center for Literary Studies. After being chosen, they had the opportunity to study at the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.

Monday, April 3rd, 2006