Archive for October, 2007

Division Street changes library

by Joe King

Pellissippi’s Division Street campus has made some changes. Most notably they moved the computers out of the library and into a separate room.

Dr. Mike North, assistant dean at Division Street, said that students responded well to this change because they felt it was quieter. More computers were added which allowed more students access to a computer.

The issue of not having enough parking is still a concern that Division is working to fix, says North. The neighboring school, Tennessee Tech, has allowed them access to use their parking. The priority is to find property nearby so students will have places to park.

Division Street is the second largest of the five campuses with just over 1,100 students this semester.

Unlike Hardin Valley, Division does not have a cafeteria. To compensate, clubs such as the Active Black Student Association (ABSA) and Phi Theta Kappa along with the Smoky Mountain Deli pitch in to sell hot dogs, pizza and sandwiches to students every Tuesday – Thursday.

One of Division Street’s up-and-coming events is Window on the World on Nov. 6, when the art and customs of different cultures are presented throughout the hallway for students to see.

Division Street will also be setup for voter registration for the U.S. presidential election next year.

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

WebCT replaced by Desire2Learn

by Kristin Jewell
Students applying for courses involving use of the internet will notice a change in the format of an interface system.

A new program medium for those participating in web or a mixture of classroom and online courses, known as hybrid courses, is named the Desire2Learn interface or D2L.

Desire2Learn has replaced the online connection to the database system WebCT. Desire2Learn allows students the ability to view their status in classes that the professors update.

Student resources for the site include orientation/tutorial, helpful links such as: admissions, academic assistance, student services, and technical support.

For those wishing to acclimate themselves to the system,there is an online orientation that aids students in proceeding to perform actions including how to log in, what type of software/hardware is required, when classes will be viewable, and how to prepare their web browser using a navigation bar and oral instructions from the system.

“The D2L Learning Environment is web-based, meaning users log in to D2L through the internet using a web browser”, (“What Software Do You Need?” Current Announcements; Support Site Home). The following are the required and recommended components for accessing courses through the system:Operating systems must be Windows 98,98SE, ME, 2000, 2003, XP,Vista,Mac OS X (up to 10.4)Browser options for a Mac are Mozilla 1.7, Firefox 1.5, Firefox 2.0, Safari 2.0, and Netscape 7.2. For a PC; Internet Explorer 6, Internet Explorer 7, Mozilla 1.7, Firefox 1.5, Firefox 2.0.

The required internet speeds are 56K modem, 56K or cable modem DSL.

The site for direction through D2L can be reached using http://www.pstcc.edu/online

                  

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

Pellessippi Pride sees increase in membership

by Rochelle Williams

Pellissppi Pride, Pellissippi’s LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) organization, is being revamped from the inside by increased leadership.

Travis McMurray, the new club vice president, hopes for continued growth in membership and funds in the future. This semester has been marked by a turnaround in the level of activity the group has experienced.

The result of this re-dedication is an increase in membership, McMurray said.

McMurray remarked that one of the club’s positive attributes is the freedom members have. “It’s a no pressure atmosphere,” he said, “you don’t have to be worried about the things that you say because you know that no one’s going to persecute you.”

Pride’s mission statement, according to the club’s Yahoo Groups home page, is to “offer unity, resources and support in educational, political and social events.”

Pride has three events and a fund raiser planned for this term.

On Oct. 29, Pride plans to hold a Halloween Party at 3 p.m. McMurray said that Pride is actively attempting to book a section of the cafeteria for this event, although the actual location is pending.

On Nov. 18, Pellissippi Pride selling special event tickets to the Simon Evening of Giving, which will be held at West Town Mall from 6 p.m.- 9 p.m. Tickets will cost $10. These tickets will give the holder special discounts during a special charity event.

Funds raised will go to future club expenses.

“Give it a chance, because it’s a 100 percent inclusive club, it doesn’t matter about your sexual orientation.” McMurray said.

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

Pellissippi choir invited to sing in Poland

by Lara Russell

Next semester, Variations,The Pellissippi State Choir, will be venturing off to somewhere most college students could never say they have been.The choir and its directors are planning a trip to Poland over spring break.

President Edwards received an invitation from Dr. Marek Pienkowski asking Variations to perform a concert tour in Poland. Pienkowski is a physician originally from Poland, who is currently living in Knoxville. The choir will also be receiving planning assistance from Victor Ashe, U.S. ambassador to Poland and former mayor of Knoxville.

The choir will leave Knoxville on March first and arrive in Warsaw on the following day. While in Poland, the 38 students, along with six chaperones, will stay in Warsaw for several days, touring places of interest and performing. They plan to visit Frederic Chopin’s birthplace in Zelazowa. Variations will visit Pienkowski’s estate on the way to Krakow. The tour will end in the city of Krakow.

The choir is hoping to get persmission to perform at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum.

For 12 of the students, this will be their first time traveling with the choir. Choral director, Professor Brewer, stated, “ Having the experience last year was incredible, but to go two years in a row is phenomenal for our students at Pellissippi.”

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

Pellissippi “alert” system up and running

by Russ Warth
What is the “Pellissippi Alerts” link that just showed up on the Pellissippi State website? It is a computer-based system called e2Campus that can send e-mail and text messages in case of an emergency, said Julia Wood, Pellissippi State director of marketing and communications.

The recent water main break that closed the campus is an example of the need for this kind of alert system. e2Campus wasn’t up and running when the water stopped running, but it is now.

“The campus closing was a good test of our ability to respond to an emergency,” said Pelllissippi State President Allen Edwards.”Now we have a new alert system that is even better.” Coupled with the college’s recently enhanced campus-wide loudspeaker system, students and staff will be well informed if needed, said Wood.

It is an “opt in” system; you have to go to the Pellissippi website and sign up to receive messages, said Wood. Just click the “Pellissippi Alerts” link on the home page to go to the sign up page. Then create an e2Campus login name and password.

The first entry will be for your 10-digit mobile phone number in order to receive text messages. Students and staff can also choose to receive alerts via e-mail. In the future additional methods of receiving alerts will be available. Alerts can only be sent by designated Pellissippi administrators and will be sent to everyone who signs up within minutes.

It is a technology that responds to how quickly people need to communicate in today’s world and in a way that students are accustom to communicating, said David Smith, Pellissippi State manager of advertising, marketing and communications.

Everyone, including students and employees of Pellissippi State, are urged to sign up for their own safety and convenience. It is a system somewhat motivated by the Virginia Tech shootings, said Edwards. It is an emergency system we need, but we don’t want to use, said Wood.

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

COSA hosts game night

by Travis Cabage

Are you in the mood for a little fun and games? 

Friday, Oct. 26, the Council of Student Activities will be hosting its Video and Board Game Night in the cafeteria annex from 4-8 p.m. 

The COSA organization will provide televisions, food and drinks.  Students will need to bring board games, Playstations, Xboxes, Wiis and other types of gaming systems. 

COSA plans to have doorprizes for the students.  Kim Thomas, organizer of the event, said, “This is a way to bring students together in a public and safe environment.” 

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

Civil War author to speak at Pellissippi

by Kodie Underwood

Author Charles Swift Northen III will speak at Pellissippi on Nov. 9 about the diary of his great-grandfather, John G. Earnest, who served as a Confederate soldier in East Tennessee.

Northen’s book, “All Right, Let Them Come: The Civil War Diary of an East Tennessee Confederate,” was chosen as one of several supplemental readings to this year’s common book, David Madden’s “Sharpshooter,” a story about a fictional Civil War soldier.

John G. Earnest served as a low-ranking Confederate officer during the Civil War. “The book offers rare observations about Earnest’s day-to-day life in a state deeply divided between Confederate and Union supporters,” said Edward Francisco,associate professor of English.

Earnest’s diary documents the period from his enlistment in September 1862 to May 1863, when he was in the trenches at Vicksburg. The Siege of Vicksburg marked a turning point in the Civil War for the Confederacy. The Confederate soldiers “had endured as much as mortals ever endured in an army,” Earnest wrote.

Other novels supplementing the Common Book Experience, whose authors will also be speaking at Pellissippi, include: John D. Fowler’s “Mountaineers in Gray,” and Todd Groce’s “Mountain Rebels.” Francisco said that all of these novels present the unique perspectives of historians who have investigated the Civil War in this area.

“All Right, Let Them Come,” Francisco said, is particularly interesting both for its first-hand account of a soldier during the actual time of the war, and because Earnest was in a territory of mostly Union support.

Northen’s talk will take place in the Goins Auditorium at 10:45 a.m.

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

Pellissippi president goes to China

by Russ Warth 

Pellisippi State president Allen Edwards is currently on a trade mission to China that will potentially result in jobs for Pellissippi State graduates and Tennesseans in general. 

Edwards was invited to go to China by Gov. Phil Bredesen, along with 77 other leaders in education, business, healthcare and politics. The driving purpose of the trip is to open economic development offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong to promote trade for Tennessee businesses and products, Edwards said.  The trip concludes on Oct. 24, 2007 in Hong Kong.

The goal is to create high skill, good paying jobs for Tennesseans by connecting existing industry to customers in China and by convincing Chinese business leaders that Tennessee is a good place to invest, said Matt Kisber Tennessee’s commissioner of economic and community development. 

“Doing business globally is a complex undertaking”, said Gov. Phil Bredesen, “but we hope the groundwork we’re laying will yield results for Tennesseans and Tennessee companies.”  The governor officially opened the first Tennessee-China Development Center in Beijing on Oct. 18, 2007.  

The office will serve as a clearinghouse for information about business opportunities in China for Tennessee companies and will raise Tennessee’s profile among Asian companies seeking to invest in the U.S. market. Chinese citizens who are on the Tennessee state payroll will staff the office. 

The economic development centers will also focus on the exchange of ideas in healthcare and education. Edwards and the other educators are tasked with China’s work force development issues.  

They have 100 million people that don’t have enough education for the jobs that are available, said Edwards. We at Pellissippi State have a lot of experience working with our community to educate the work force, which is not a common concept in China.   

There is a different world coming, Edwards said, in the way we work and live. Today, there are 60 countries represented by the students at Pellissippi State. The exchange of ideas resulting from the trade mission could impact our curriculum, starting with the opportunity for Pellissippi students to study in China. 

China is important, said Edwards, because it has the fastest growing manufacturing industry in the world and Tennessee has the fastest growing trade relationship with China among U.S. states over the past five years. In 2006, Chinese purchases of Tennessee products reached $1.8 billion. According to Tennessee’s office of economic and community development, that ranks China as third behind Canada and Mexico. 

However Tennessee is playing catch up with the opening of its three proposed trade centers. Georgia, for example, has 10 overseas offices in China and North Carolina has six.

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

Division St. and Magnolia Campuses improvements planned

by Ben Underwood

More improvements could be on the way for the Division St. and Magnolia Ave. campuses.

The continued growth of the Pellissippi State student body on all of the campuses has stretched space to the limits. According to Dr. Jane Stribling, a Spanish instructor, parking at the Division Street campus is nearly impossible. She is not alone in her feelings.

Dave Walton, facilities coordinator, said parking issues have been considered. He said the staff is watching for land to open up surrounding the campus. If land becomes available, parking will be added to accommodate the growth.

The Magnolia Ave. campus will be undergoing renovations soon. The building hasn’t had major improvement since Pellissippi State took over from Knoxville Catholic High School in 2000. The work will involve improving the look of the front of building and installing new heating and cooling units. The renovations are scheduled in the very near future.

Monday, October 8th, 2007