Archive for December, 2006

Get computer nerdy for free

by Jonathan Reagan

Pellissippi State’s Adult Education Program is offering 18 hours of free computer classes, including materials, at six locations beginning Jan. 22.

All classes, except for the Pellissippi campus, are scheduled to meet three hours twice a week, for three weeks. Pellissippi campus meets twice a week for two hours, for 4.5 weeks.

According to Joan Newman, supervisor for the adult education program, “Computer Skills for Beginners” covers:

  • how to use the Internet and send e-mail,
  • how to create and use simple spreadsheets, and
  • word processing and computer terminology.

All programs use Windows operating systems. PowerPoint presentations and other applications are used as teaching methods.

The six locations are:

  • Heart of Knoxville Career and Resource Center, Pellissippi’s Magnolia Avenue campus.
  • Tennessee Career Center at 1620 University Ave.
  • Halls County Clerk Office Complex, 7028 Maynardville Highway.
  • Knoxville Center Mall in the County Clerk Office Complex.
  • Five Points Village Plaza, located at 2364 Martin Luther King Blvd.
  • Pellissippi’s Hardin Valley Campus.

Class size varies depending on location. Preregistration is required due to limited space.

“I knew nothing about the computer, so what I like best is that I now feel comfortable exploring all the programs,” said a former participant.

To learn more and to register call (865) 694-6454. Information is also available at

Monday, December 11th, 2006

Rubbing Elbows with Rocket Scientists

by Alex Franklin

Karen Quammen might appear like other Pellissippi students, but her scholastic aptitude has taken her to new heights and given her opportunities to work beside some of the country’s elitist minds.

According to Quammen, her husband, who recently returned to college, played a large part in her decision to return to school in 2001 after a 20-year break. Quammen majored in computer science and information technology with a concentration in programming.

In the summer of 2003 Quammen learned about an internship program for students with disabilities who are seeking a technology degree called Achieving Competence in Computing, Engineering and Space Science. ACCESS, sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and NASA, feeds companies with interns from technological colleges.

Quammen was diagnosed in 1984 with Lupus, an autoimmune disease striking mainly women between the ages of 18 and 45. She was granted Social Security full disability in 1997 due to the rheumatoid arthritis — a side effect of Lupus — in her hands, wrists and ankles.

She went through the long application process, and was accepted to begin the summer internship in 2004 at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. “I’m going to be working with honest to god rocket scientists,” she said after her initial shock of learning about it.

The first summer of her internship, Quammen worked in the National Space Science and Technology Center as part of the Solar Group and focused on learning the systems used to monitor the sun.

She learned about a machine called a tower vector magnetograph, which uses light waves to measure magnetic fields located on the surface of the sun. A program called V-MAP is utilized to weed out the flawed data created by the atmosphere to produce research quality magnetograms, so that scientists can monitor the intensity of the sun’s magnetic fields.

Quammen’s second summer assignment was to produce a teaching manual for the V-MAP software. By summer’s end, she had successfully written a manual and some visual flow charts for the software that may be used in the curriculum at the University of Alabama.

She wrote another program to add to V-MAP in her third summer as an intern. The old cameras in the tower vector magnetograph were changed and the new ones used a format that V-MAP was unable to read. Quammen created the program to add to V-MAP, which enabled the scientists to read the data collected before July 2000.

Quammen graduated from Pellissippi in May 2006 and continues to take classes at the college towards earning an associates in general science. She has amassed an impressive list of awards, recognitions and accomplishments from Pellissippi and other clubs and associations. According to Quammen, the college has given her great knowledge in her chosen field.

“Pellissippi has officially given me every award they have to offer,” said Quammen.

The Solar group is working on a co-operation agreement with NASA and whatever college Quammen attends so she can continue her work during the summer at the center in Ala. and still receive benefits once she returns to classes.

She plans to transfer to Maryville College in the near future.

Monday, December 11th, 2006

Committee formed to probe faculty emeritus policy

by Liz Overton

The Faculty Emeritus Committee has been formed to clarify and restructure Pellissippi State’s faculty emeritus policy.

“Faculty emeritus is designed as a title for faculty that have retired from the college,” said Mark Fuentes, associate professor of accounting and chair of the committee. “Generally, faculty emeriti are given privileges at the college they retire from that non-emeritus faculty do not have.”

The present policy states that retired faculty with 10 or more years of service to the school who demonstrate “outstanding contributions” and ”distinguished service” to the college are eligible to apply for emeritus status. It says emeritus faculty is entitled to privileges available to current faculty such as a faculty-parking permit, a library card and computer accounts.

Faculty emeritus applicants must first be recommended by current faculty and the applicant’s department head. The Promotion and Tenure Committee recommendation comes next and the college president makes the final decision, according to Fuentes.

Most of the Pellissippi faculty feels that the current policy “does not provide enough guidance as to what the prospective emeriti need do to apply for emeritus status, nor does the policy give guidance as to the evaluation of that application,” said Fuentes.

According to Fuentes, a discussion among faculty to decide whether or not to keep the policy was held a couple of months ago. Most of the faculty decided that the policy should be kept, but reformed and a decision to form a committee to restructure the policy was made.

One emeritus title has been given since Pellissippi first adopted the policy in 1995. Doris Ivie was awarded faculty emeritus status in 2005, Fuentes said.

Friday, December 8th, 2006

The Salvation Army Wants You!

by Nan Krichinsky

Maj. Don Vicks, head of Knoxville’s Salvation Army, needs student volunteers to help put together and/or deliver Christmas baskets to families in need.

No experience or training is required. Students are welcome to work anytime between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. now until Christmas. The site location is in the building next to Big Lots in Fountain City — 4825 North Broadway.

Volunteers are especially needed on Dec. 15, 16 and 18.

For more information contact Vicks or his wife, Mrs. Daphne Vicks, at (865) 525-9401.

Friday, December 8th, 2006

Student mixes hip-hop and sports

by Alex Franklin

What do two local radio shows, one that plays freestyle hip-hop music and the other a sports talk program, have in common? The answer is Pellissippi State student Brian Tate.

Tate, a sophomore in sports broadcasting, hosts a freestyle hip-hop show — where he sometimes freestyles — on 90.3 FM WUTK, Saturday nights from 9 pm to midnight. Many college students who listen to the U.T. affiliated radio station hear the program.

Tate and his friend John Ramsey wanted to start a sports talk show, too, and they had a plan to make it happen. “We met with Horn Radio and Brian Tatem, who is the station manager, and we got a contract for a year to talk about sports,” said Tate. He and Ramsey cover all levels of football, baseball and basketball on their show “The Drive,” which broadcasts on 850 AM WKVL on Sundays from noon to 2 p.m.

A Knoxville native, Tate developed a passion for freestyling after he won a freestyle contest in Philadelphia at a Boys and Girls Club Keystone Conference to help raise money for the organization.

Besides classes and the radio shows, Tate works at The Fresh Market and is a College Campus Representative for — a student travel and entertainment organization.

He hopes to host his own hip-hop or sports talk show on radio or television after he graduates.

Friday, December 8th, 2006

Pellissippi keeps students warm and safe

by Ashley Rose Hannay

With winter weather coming, Pellissippi State is ready to assist students and their vehicles in case of emergencies.

According to the college’s guidelines for inclement weather, Pellissippi will notify radio and television stations if classes must be canceled or delayed and post the information on the college web site.

Pellissippi’s security department provides additional services for students’ safety and security.

Security supervisor Bill Galyon said the college is staffed with “two security guards at Magnolia, two at Division, one at Blount and two at the Hardin Valley main campus 24 hours a day seven days a week.”

The department offers air for tires, first aid, 24-hour emergency phone line and 24-hour security cameras, inside and outside of buildings.

According to the service call statistics, Pellissippi security performed 196 car battery boosts and 180 vehicle unlocks last year.

Friday, December 8th, 2006

Scholarship information released for 2007

by Emily Cantrell

“Students will need to start applying for the 2007 FAFSA in January,” says Walter Geter, financial aid assistant at Pellisssippi’s Hardin Valley campus. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, renewal deadline is Feb. 28, and the priority deadline is March 15. The 2007 FAFSA will apply to the 2007-2008 school year.

To find available scholarships, students must have their FAFSA and a separate institutional scholarship form filled out and turned in before Feb. 28. “There are over 200 institutional scholarships awarded every year,” says April Morgan, financial aid coordinator at the Hardin Valley Campus.

In addition to the FAFSA, Pellissippi’s Foundation Scholarship application must be submitted before March 2007. Interested students must include 2006 tax information for themselves and their parents to complete both scholarship applications.

A new lottery scholarship for non-traditional students went into effect fall 2006. Qualifying students must be at least 24-years-old, have completed 24-credit hours or more at one college and have a cumulative GPA of 2.75.

For more information on scholarships and financial aid, see the Pellissippi State financial aid website at

Friday, December 8th, 2006

Outdoors Club holds presents for Lakeshore patients campaign

Brian Tate

To get into the holiday spirit, Pellissippi State’s Outdoors Club collects and donates clothing and other items for patients at Lakeshore Mental Health Institute in Knoxville. “This year marks the third year the club will be giving presents to the residents of Lakeshore,” said Bobby Nicholson, president of the club.

The club provides jackets, scarves, gloves and other winter apparel along with personal hygiene products. Nicholson said, “Overall since the start of this event, the club has raised over 1,000 gifts for the patients.”

He said, “The event brings lots of happiness and spirit each year to the residents of Lakeshore. It’s important to support those who might not receive the support and encourage meant from others.”

The club will be collecting clothing, hygiene and entertainment items until Dec. 9. Items can be dropped off at the following sites:

  • Hardin Valley Campus has three locations: Goins Room 162, located in the Student Lounge, The English Department located in the McWherter Bldg. on the third floor and in the ERC first floor near the library entrance.
  • Blount County Campus will accept items in their Student Lounge.
  • The Division Street Campus will accept items in the ERC.

The club sponsors the event to ensure those in need have not been forgotten during the holiday season.

Thursday, December 7th, 2006

Sleigh into annual breakfast with Santa Dec. 9

by Ashley Rose Hannay 

Santa is coming to visit Pellissippi State for the nineteenth annual breakfast with Santa on Dec. 9 from 9 to 11 a.m. in the Goins building at the Hardin Valley campus. The theme of the event is a celebration of family and cultural traditions.

The morning will be filled with food, crafting and game activities. Magnetic gingerbread men, foam accordion fold polar bear, wooden spool, and felt snowman are some of the crafts available to create. Games like musical chairs, Christmas matching game and name that Christmas song will be on tap for all to play.

Santa will be on hand for pictures. Mary Bledsoe, director of student life and recreation, said, “I think Mrs. Claus is making an appearance as well. We are expecting 450 people. It is such a blast!”

Bledsoe said the goal of the event would be “to celebrate holiday traditions from the many cultures at Pellissippi by creating fun, interactive and educational activities for pre-school and elementary kids of our students and employees… in a relaxed and informal setting.”

Pellissippi’s Hospitality Program and various volunteer groups are sponsoring the event, according to Bledsoe, with the aim of instilling “a sense of belonging to a caring campus community.”

Breakfast with Santa is free and open to students, faculty, staff and their family members.

Thursday, December 7th, 2006

Culture Shock for Pellissippi student

by Alex Franklin

Imagine being from a society rich in culture and tradition, and being dropped right into the middle of a country where there is no singular culture or tradition to define the masses. Such was the case for Pellissippi student, Aisa Suaniu.

Suaniu, 22, is from Western Samoa, a small island in the south Pacific with a beautiful landscape and a society rich with culture. When 18, Suaniu and her family moved to Knoxville in 2002 to help her aunt plan her daughter’s wedding. Her parents became accustomed to life in America and decided to stay.

“Culture is everything,” said Suaniu of what life is like in Samoa.

Suaniu lived and attended schools in Western Samoa until she reached high school. She then went to Tafuna, an American Samoan school in Pago Pago where a British system of teaching is used.

According to Suaniu, Samoan children learn much about the history of their civilization and the importance of respect while still young. These traits are revered by Samoans.

Children must learn to dance a certain way and move gracefully while also being very proper students. Western Samoan schools still use disciplinary rules such as spanking and require their students to wear uniforms not unlike some American schools do today.

Although schools on both islands taught English from the very beginning, Samoan was the main language used by teachers. Suaniu said, “It is not uncommon to hear people speaking in Samoan and then turn around and hear someone else speaking in English. They are both used there.”

Now a freshman in accounting at Pellissippi, Suaniu is considering transferring to the University of South Carolina at the end of the summer. Once she graduates from college, Suaniu wants to go back to her home of Western Samoa to work.

Thursday, December 7th, 2006