Archive for March, 2009

Golf Tournament

by Heather Black

Pellissippi State is getting ready for its 5th annual golf tournament, “Swing Big for Students.”

The event will be held Tuesday, May 5 at Egwani Farms in Rockford.
Information pamphlets are emailed to a list of 4500 graduates and 100 special friends.

The money raised goes to student enhancements such as improving the facilities and new equipment. The event is “friendly, fun competition,” says Pat Myers, Tournament Director.

Dick McGilt, the Event Chair and on the Foundation Board of Trustees, is a major planner in this event along with Pat Myers.

One thing that makes this tournament different is that scholarship students are at the different holes to say thank you to each of the sponsors.

“We really appreciate the support, we are very lucky,” says Pat Myers about the various sponsors involved.

In-kind sponsors who don’t give money but instead give donations with a monetary value such as bottled water and snacks are welcomed. Pellissippi already has a few sponsors: Bank East which will provide bottled water, Snack Time Vending who will donate snacks and sodas. Also, Qdoba Mexican Grill is the food sponsor this year giving food at cost value making them a partner in the competition.

Everyone receives goody bags and a team photo for competing in the tournament. There are various prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places for both morning and afternoon sessions.

Other contests will also be held during the event such “the longest drive” which is who can hit the ball the farthest.

For more information, please log on to and the link is on the left about ¼ of the way down.

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Visually Challenged Pellissippi Student Earns Associates Degree

By: Matt Pih

Pellissippi student Johnny Quest is graduating this semester with plans to earn a bachelor degree in Accounting.

Quest, who is in his third year at Pellissippi, is visually challenged and has learned to manage the difficulties of his disability.  He has been completely blind since 1996 and had to learn everyday tasks from scratch.

He plans to attend Tennessee Technical University this fall.  He hopes to open a certified public accounting firm in the future.

Quest, 49, already has a degree in computer programming from Draughons College; however, due to being visually challenged he has had to adapt to a much more difficult lifestyle.

How does Quest travel campus?  He said reference points are the “key to getting around.” A blind-cane with a rubber ball on the tip carries vibrations and is also a daily tool he must use.

Quest recommends to students in his situation, “Don’t let anything stop you and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.” He also praised the aid provided to those with disabilities by Pellisippi.

Pellissippi’s Services for Students With Disabilities department has played a major role in the success of students who attend Pellissippi, Quest said. The SSWD helps visually challenged students in several ways.  They provide visually challenged students with scribes who read questions on assignments and they teach students how to move around campus and maneuver obstacles, such as the cafeteria line, Quest said.

Quest said his day consists of tending to his e-mail in the morning, getting some homework done before school, making some coffee before school and having motivational conversations with fellow passengers on the Knoxville Area Transit bus.

Quest said he feels “proud and accomplished” about his upcoming graduation.

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Eleven Students Will Study In Spain

By Matt Pih

Eleven students from Pellissippi State are preparing to study in Spain for three weeks.

The Pellissippi State students are leaving May 11. Theresa Castillo, program coordinator for Tennessee Consortium for International Studies, said students would have the opportunity to broaden their horizons and the program is an advantage compared to the traditional classroom.

Students will be staying in the town of Segovia, going on excursions, visiting castles and museums, and going on a trip to Madrid. Students will live with local families during their stay being provided with three meals per day and classes will be held four hours per day during the week.

Along with the 11 students from Pellissippi State, students from six other schools will also be participating in the TnCIS study abroad program. The other schools include Middle Tennessee State University, Southwestern College, Tennessee State University, Vol State Community College, Roane State Community College and Motlow State Community College.

Students will be learning foreign language skills while being in a small-town atmosphere in a traditional Spanish culture with visible history from medieval and Roman times Castillo said.

This will be the second year that students have had an opportunity to go to Spain for a foreign language credit.

The students were required to have completed a minimum 12 hours of college level courses and be in good standing at one of the Tennessee Board of Regents schools to be eligible for the TnCIS study around program Castillo said.

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Honors Recital Held

By Jessica Shipp

The annual student honors recital was held on March 3, in the Clayton Performing Arts Center.

The night started off with a piano piece of Intermezzo, Op. 118, No. 2 by Chris Young.  This was followed by a classical guitar piece, La Falda Bailante, performed by Ryan Cofer. Later on, Rachel Christensen did a soprano piece, Into the Night.

Stevie Ray Vaughn’s Pride and Joy was performed by Jim Cooper as vocalist and guitarist,  Brandon Shelby on drums, and Sam Ward on the electric bass.

The event was free to attend, however donations were accepted for the scholarship for the Music Department.

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Campfield Takes On Illegal Aliens With New Bill

By Matthew Shields

A bill proposal by Rep. Stacey Campfield will make Tennessee’s public universities and colleges more carefully screen for illegal immigrants amongst the student population.

In a time where higher education is facing budget cuts and layoffs, the proposed bill could cost individual schools more than $500,000 a year said University of Tennessee lobbyist Anthony Haynes to the House Higher Education Subcommittee.

Rep. Stacey Campfield said on his website, “The only problem is to illegal aliens. It is actually a partial solution to overcrowded universities and classrooms for the legal immigrant and citizen… This bill is not in conflict with any federal law and the US supreme court has not ruled on it. The “Dream act” has not even passed into law yet so I am not sure how a state law can be in conflict with a federal bill that has not even passed. Much less be ruled on by the supreme court. In fact, a law similar to mine is in place in other states.“

The proposal has been delayed due to concern about the cost of the screening process.

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Bad Economy Increases Theft Rate

By: Micah Stephens

Over the past month, there has been an increase in thefts on the Pellissippi campus .

David Walton, Director of Facilities on campus, says one of the main reasons that these events are on the rise is because of the declining economy.

Walton advises students to keep I-pods, laptops, and other valuables with them or hidden.

Students who notice an item is missing should contact the security office.

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Mark Franklin Wins Ping-Pong Tournament

By Anthony Elias


Mark Franklin won the ping-pong double-elimination tournament held February 27, at the Bubble, defeating Shaun Williams in the final.

The score was 21-13.

Franklin was the only undefeated player.  He held his opponents to an average of 12.5 points.  He won a Pellissippi backpack and a ping-pong paddle from Tacteo 50.

He and Williams had met in the first round of the tournament, which Franklin won as well, 21-13.  Franklin then defeated Alex Fickey, one of the other four participants, 21-12.

The single elimination rules set leading up to the event were changed to double elimination due to only four participants.  This gave everyone who lost their first matches another chance at advancing to the final. 

Williams defeated Katherine Gosney, the fourth participant, to set up a match with Fickey to decide who would face Franklin in the final.  Williams would win the match, 21-9.

 After his tournament victory, Franklin said, “It would be cool to have more people out here.”



Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Pellissippi Students Study in Scotland

By Rebekkah Pullen

Students will experience Scottish culture on a study abroad trip to Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland from June 10 until July 6.

The students will be staying in Edinburgh first for the Edinburgh International Film Festival, but will also have the option to travel to Glasgow to attend the International Screen Conference.

“Students who go to Scotland get an Industry Pass to attend the Edinburgh International Film Festival which gets them into almost every film in special screenings with film professionals, critics and reviewers for 11 days,” said Michael Tomlinson, who is organizing the trip for Pellissippi students.

Tomlinson also said, “All the courses use the films and film festival experience as the core content around which assignments and projects are planned.”

Living accommodations are provided to the students. The TnCIS website says that “budget accommodations are provided in group apartments at the University of Edinburgh near the city center and university housing in Glasgow within walking distance of most venues.”

Although this trip is focused on academia allowing students to expand their knowledge of film, there is time for leisurely activities also. There are shops and restaurants around where the students will be staying.

Students who have traveled previously to the Edinburgh Film Festival have good things to say about their trip. One student, Ryan Prout writes in his blog, “The festival showed many interesting films and taught me the work that goes behind filmmaking. I feel that I am much more aware of the movie world. Outside of studying this place is extremely entertaining.”

The study abroad program offers an alternative way for students to learn and to open their minds to new experiences.

Students have to apply online and must be at least 18 years of age with at least 12 credit hours completed. They must submit an official transcript and a letter of recommendation. There are significant costs, but students are able to obtain financial aid.

Michael Tomlinson said, “It’s the best time of year to be out and about in Edinburgh.”

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Budget cuts raise concerns

by Jillian Edmonds

The recession has many students wondering if they will see changes at Pellissippi because of possible budget cuts.

According to President Dr. Allen Edwards, the tuition at Pellissippi will remain reasonable compared to other institutions even if there is a small increase. The college will also continue to offer Pell Grants and scholarships for students who need financial assistance.

If tuition is raised it will be used to increase faculty and staff as well as to keep up the funds needed for the college to take in new students. Student tuition contributes about half of the college’s funds.

Originally it was set up so that the state would provide 65% of the costs and students would only have to provide 35%, but over the past few years that percentage has increased to students paying over half of the cost due to the state lowering how much it contributes.

The possible twelve-hour tuition cap has been something that has been discussed recently among colleges in Tennessee. As noted by Dr. Edwards, this would not affect the majority of students attending Pellissippi.

“Half of the students attending here are part-time, and the other half is taking exactly 12 hours, so it would not affect them. The people it does affect are the 15-25% of students who are taking 15 hours and more. The majority of students it would affect are those attending a university,” Dr.Edwards explained.

The president noted that he does not think the tuition cap is unfair although it would be a change from what students are used to.

If the tuition cap were put into effect it would only increase revenue at Pellissippi slightly, since the majority of students are part-time.

Efforts to preserve energy, such as cutting lights on after leaving a classroom and turning computers off at night, have helped saved the school money.

The president said that when the school was notified of a budget cut about seven years ago, about 17 staff members lost their jobs and 30 positions were cut.

These positions have remained unfilled as the college is still watching the money spent because of the legislature’s decision to cut funding.

“We are in better shape than some schools. Some schools did not do the things we did as far as making the cuts on a permanent basis. They only did things that would temporarily save. That’s why we feel we are better prepared this time around,” Dr.Edwards said.

Although the college’s funds seem to be secure right now, it is unknown how things will unfold in the near future.

Dr.Edwards said, “We know that we have enough reserves to get through this year. Beyond that it is hard to speculate. It is unsure right now whether or not the school will be receiving funds from the stimulus package or from a small tuition increase. With news of the economy getting worse it is hard to feel better. The fact of the matter is that people look to the school more during times of fiscal instability for acquiring new skills, so we need to keep operating as a business.”

Monday, March 2nd, 2009