Archive for April, 2009

Milk Glass Moon is old Oak Ridge remembered

by Rebekkah Pullen

Rebecca Carroll, instructor of English at Pellissippi, has published a book entitled “Milk Glass Moon.”

“Milk Glass Moon” is a historical novel set in Oak Ridge just prior to the Manhattan Project.

“It chronicles one family’s experiences in the summer of 1942 when they learn of the takeover of their home and farm,” said Carroll. “Much of the story centers around the father’s desperate efforts to find a new home and make the move.”

The book also depicts other struggles the family endures.

“There is a murder; and turmoil ensues from there,” she said. “People can relate to the book and the characters because this is part of our history. Many older people will recognize some of the things in the book.”

Carroll said she grew up listening to her father talking about having to move out of Oak Ridge for the Manhattan Project. She said that it fascinated her.

In order for Carroll to write this book she went to relatives.  She was able to obtain a large amount of insight due to the willingness of people to share their stories.

“My favorite part in the writing was using the notes I had gathered from my research and interviews and turning it into a readable story,” said Carroll.

“When I get an idea for a story, I work out most of the plot in my head before I type anything,” she said.

Carroll’s short stories have been published in several literary magazines. She said she chose to make this a novel because “it was too long of a story for a short story.”

Although this is Carroll’s first published book, she doesn’t intend it to be her last. She is working on two more books.

“One is about an outstanding man, a married pillar of the community who falls in love with a young girl,” she said. “The relationship ruins his life. The other is about a girl who is sent away from home suddenly. She gets off the train at the wrong stop and assumes the identity of another person, wreaking havoc upon the small town.”

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

President explains vision of PSTCC future

by Jillian Edmonds

Dr. Allen Edwards, president of Pellissippi, explained that his vision for the future of Pellissippi is based on what the public needs the college for.

“You have to take a look at what the community needs. If you can discover that…you try to put in place programs that are rigorous and relevant that will lead to productive lives,” said Dr. Edwards.

Dr. Edwards said that one of his goals is to keep the college accessible as possible. For instance, by continuing to have campuses in different areas as well as offering classes online.

There will be more diverse programs offered in the future, such as a teaching program where people could get a bachelor’s degree in education. Dr. Edwards explained the college has a responsibility to help provide teachers to the education system.

“Knox County schools hire between five to six hundred teachers a year. A lot are just to replace people that are retiring or leaving. The University of Tennessee produces one hundred new teachers a year. That is not enough to fill the gaps,” said Dr. Edwards.

Some of the programs Dr. Edwards suggested would serve the community include a bachelor’s degree program, business administration and criminal justice.

Dr. Edwards said he is first and foremost “always trying to keep things accessible.” Especially for students who did not perform well early on in their academic careers who want access to higher education.

“We should never have to be a closed-door prestigious institution,” said Dr. Edwards.

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

Campus crime rate falling

by Matthew Shields

Crime reported on state college campuses dropped by about 6 percent last year.

According to the latest Tennessee Bureau of Investigation report, violent crimes decreased 25 percent statewide. Thefts accounted for 38 percent of the crimes across the state campuses, which made thefts the largest number of crimes reported.

Pellissippi State Technical Community College reported two assault offenses, 17 theft offenses, one motor vehicle theft and eight vandalism offenses.

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

IPause 460 goes on YouTube

by Jessica Shipp

The activities staff at Pellissippi recently began airing 60 second videos on YouTube to promote upcoming events.

The videos, titled IPause460 feature one student from the activities board as a host, who announces the events coming up for the next two weeks.

IPause460 was started this school year and gained popularity this semester due to promotions and accessibility through the student life page.

“We capitalized on the YouTube craze,” said student event staff member Gabriel LeFlore. “We figured students would enjoy it because it’s fast and easy, as well as relevant in today’s fast paced, tech savvy world.”

The videos are 100 percent fully written, directed, produced, and performed by Pellissippi students, and seem to be getting a considerable amount of students’ attention.With such success, Pellissippi is seeing lots of promise and seeking more ways to reach students through the Internet, one example being the social network Facebook.

The newest I-Pause460 will be aired April 24.

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

Colleges ramp up financial aid counseling

by Chris Williams

Over 70 percent of students in the 2009 freshman college class may be looking at big changes in their education plans due to economic pressures.

A nationwide study was released today by Longmire & Co., Inc, an educational consulting firm. Nearly half of the families participating in the study say they will definitely modify their children’s college plans, and another 26 percent are in a state of flux because of the uncertainty surrounding the economy.

Adding to their anxiety is an overall frustration in understanding the complexities of the financial aid system, the study showed.  More than 22 public and private institutions from across the country participated in the Economic Impact on College Enrollment study.

Both large and small colleges were represented, and only families of students already expressing an interest in college attendance were surveyed. In total, the students represented all 50 states and a wide range of socio-economic classes.

Only 28 percent of the participants said their college plans had not been influenced by the current economic situation. Conversely, 46 percent said their plans are being modified, ranging from “somewhat” to “drastically.” The remaining 26 percent expressed uncertainty as to the impact of the economy on their college plans.

Topping the list of likely changes facing this year’s freshman class: attending a less expensive college; a heavier reliance on financial aid; attending an in-state institution or one that is closer to home; working while attending school; and living at home.

Borrowing more heavily to finance their child’s higher education is a viable option cited by 38 percent of respondents. With 24 percent of respondents, consideration is being given to switching from enrolling in the private school that topped their list to enrolling in a lower-cost public university.

Another 11 percent are considering enrolling in a community college where prices are generally much lower instead of the 4-year institution originally on their radar screen.

“What we are seeing is a great deal of anxiety and confusion on the part of parents as they try to navigate today’s economic uncertainty,” said Longmire.

“The good news for colleges, and for students, is that the study points out some specific actions colleges can take that will help make higher education a reality for many students.”

Specifically, the study shed light on one of the areas of most concern to parents: the lack of understanding they have on available financial aid.

Some schools will actually fare better in these difficult times, Longmire predicted.

“Colleges that provide the highest level of customer service out of their financial aid and admissions offices stand the best chance of enrolling the highest percentage of students they’ve admitted,” he said. “In this period of economic uncertainty and stress, families are simply demanding an unprecedented level of advice and counsel on financing a college education.”

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

Racquetball Tournament After One Week of Competition

By Anthony Elias

The second round of the inaugural racquetball tournament at Pellissippi State began Wednesday, April 16, when Bryan Patterson defeated David Pratt (15-13, 15-13).

Patterson will face the winner of the Dan Jones/Brandon Penland matchup to decide who goes on to the semifinal round.

In the first round of the tournament, Brandon Penland defeated Dr. Anthony Wise while Patterson defeated Sean Green, 15-3, 15-3.  David Pratt defeated Josh Wical by forfeit.

Since the tournament is double elimination, Wise, Green, Wical and Pratt have not been eliminated from the tournament.  The four players have been sent to the loser’s bracket where Pratt will face Sean Green and Wise will face Wical.

The Wise/Wical winner will face the Jones/Penland loser.

Patterson’s semifinal opponent will be the winner of the Dan Jones/Brandon Penland matchup.

In the first round, Patterson defeated Sean Jones, 2 games to 0 (15-3, 15-3), while David Pratt defeated Josh Wical by forfeit.

Sean Jones is not eliminated; he will face David Pratt in the loser’s bracket with a chance to stay in the tournament.  The loser of the Jones/Wical matchup will be eliminated

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

What Will the Stimulus Package be Used For?

By Jillian L. Edmonds

Now that PSTCC has received the stimulus package, the question is: What will the money be used for?

A letter of budget guidelines was sent by the Tennessee Board of Regents to all presidents and directors of public colleges from the years 2008-2011. The letter’s purpose is to clarify what the law permits that funds can and can not be used for.

For instance, according to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act State Fiscal Stabilization Funds General Guidelines, the funds “must be spent on the modernization, renovation, or repair of facilities that are primarily used for instruction, research, or student housing, including (those) that are consistent with a recognized green building rating system.”

Dr. Edwards, president of Pellissippi, agrees that one of his main concerns for PSTCC is to save energy costs and become more energy proficient.

“We would like to use the funds to provide the Blount and Magnolia campuses with high efficiency windows and sustainable roofs, which you can actually plant gardens on top of, as well as solar panels to save energy costs,” said Dr. Edwards.

However, the guidelines do not give specific details as to what the money can or can not be spent on.

“We are now in conversations with people about how (the letter) states we can spend the money on something consistent with a green building rating system, but does that mean we can we spend the money on, for instance, energy efficient windows for the Magnolia campus?” said Dr. Edwards.

Some things that the money can not be spent on include pay and bonus increases for faculty and staff, as well as on facilities used for religious or athletic purposes.

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

“I’m Coming Out” fashion show and award program

by Shani Hammonds

The Active Black Students Association Club presents “I’m Coming Out” fashion show and award program on April 17 in the Magnolia Avenue Campus’ Community Room.

The fashion show and award program is free and will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

There will be 8 to 10 models consisting of Pellissippi State students, staff and a few children of the Pellissippi staff that will be illustrating the clothes.  The models will be wearing fashions by Belk’s clothing store.

In the fashion show the models will be wearing spring and summer collections. The first half of the fashion show will show off casual wear. The second half of the fashion show will model dressy, formal or special occasion attire.

Pellissippi faculty member Yolanda Roebuck said “The theme of the show is ‘I’m Coming out’ to symbolize the budding of springtime and a new horizon.”

The award program is a tradition that was started over 20 years ago by the former club advisor Ms. Ronni Chandler. The purpose of the award program is to acknowledge the students who have supported the ABSA and to celebrate their accomplishments.

Awards will be given to ABSA officers and active student members who have been instrumental in planning and implementing events.  The ABSA Students’ Choice Award will be presented during the award program.

Roebuck said “an award will be given to someone who the students feel have made a difference in the community and has been a positive role model.”

Roebuck also stated that this year’s recipient of the ABSA’s Students’ Choice Award is George Williams of Alcoa.

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Handgun Safety and Personal Protection courses offered at Pellissippi

By Matt Pih

The Tennessee handgun carry permit class and other gun safety courses are offered at Pellissippi State throughout the year.

In Tennessee, individuals that wish to carry a handgun outside of their home must obtain a carry permit.

NRA certified firearms instructor and Tennessee certified handgun instructor, Jerry Huffman, proposed the Handgun Safety and Personal Protection courses to Nancy L. Corum, the coordinator of the Community Services Programs at Pellissippi. The courses were approved by Corum then authorized by the state, Corum said.

The Handgun safety and Personal Protection courses are classified under non-credit personal development courses. Corum said the personal development courses are for “people to take enjoyable classes for fun, pleasure, skill enhancement and for continuing education.”

The non-credit course catalogue describes the Handgun Carry Permit class as a handgun safety course that focuses on handgun parts, function, operation, safety, cleaning, storage and the legal responsibilities for carrying a handgun.

The classroom portion is conducted at Pellissippi’s Hardin Valley campus and the firing exercises are at John Sevier Range. The handgun carry permit class is eight hours, with class and range time split evenly, Corum said.

The Home Firearm Safety Course is described in the non-credit course catalogue as a class that presents basic knowledge, skills, and the attitude necessary for the safe handling and storage all types of guns

The non-credit course catalogue lists the Tennessee State Handgun Safety Course being held on April 18, and May 16, from 8 a.m. till 4 p.m. The Home Firearm Safety Course is offered April 4, from 8:30 a.m. till 12:30 p.m.

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Fast Track American Sign Language

By Taylor Rhea

American Sign Language (ASL) is now offering Beginning ASL 1010 and 1020 during summer fast track sessions for students needing prerequisites before the intermediate courses.

ASL 1010 and 1020 are available during the summer to prepare students for Intermediate ASL 2010 and 2020 in the fall and spring semesters.

ASL instructor, G. Gay Baker, who has been teaching ASL at Pellissippi State for 12 years, says that this class is approached as any foreign language, however students learn by visual means with no audio assistance.

Since this is the first time ASL has been offered during fast track sessions Baker said, “Students must attend. Don’t expect to miss class and be able to keep up. It is extremely difficult to rely on a book to learn a 4-D language.”

Learning the fourth element, movement, requires students to move their hands frequently. Baker said, “ASL is the natural language of the brain! Many students embrace it right away.”

According to the National Institute of Deafness and Communication Disorder, sign language is the fourth used language in the United States.

However, the Tennessee Board of Regions requires that Pellissippi State, along with many other Tennessee colleges, only offer ASL as an academic credit rather than a language credit.

Because the Tennessee School for the Deaf is located in South Knoxville, the city has a high deaf population. Many health field professions in the area offer better jobs, especially to nurses who know sign language.

There are job opportunities available in this field such as: interpreters for the deaf, Deaf Education, Special Education, social work, vocational rehabilitation, and many others within the medical field.

Baker said, “Many students take my class out of curiosity, but then realize it is something they want to continue to use professionally and personally.”

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009