Archive for February, 2011

First Meeting of the Presidential Search Committee

By Michael Charnley

The Pellissippi Presidential Search Committee held its first meeting on Feb 23 in the Clayton Performing Arts Center at the Hardin Valley campus to discuss the task ahead of them.

Bob Thomas, a member of the Board of Regents and chairman of the search committee, opened the floor to the public for the first 15 minutes of the meeting. During this time, Trent Eades of the English department voiced his concern that the new president should be committed to preserving academic freedom. Eades said the faculty should be left free to innovate because it is one of the best ways students learn.

After a brief introduction of the committee members, Thomas said the role of the committee will be to screen applicants and advise Chancellor Morgan. Morgan will ultimately recommend one candidate for the position after the committee has narrowed the number of applicants down to three or five. As of today, Thomas stated that the number of applications is at 41. After there were no objections, the committee decided to stop accepting new applications after Feb 23.

The next meeting of the Presidential Search Committee will be held on March 16 at the same time and location. They will review the applications of the candidates during the meeting.

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Confucius Class Celebration

By Brandi Cawood

Pellissippi State hosted a reception in honor of the college’s newly established Confucius Classroom Wednesday at 3 p.m. in the College Center of the Hardin Valley Campus. The classroom resulted from a grant received from the Confucius Institute at the University of Memphis.

The Confucius Institute, lead by the Chinese Ministry of Education, is a non-profit, non-religious, non-political public institution that provides Chinese teaching resources for all countries.

Pellissippi State is the only community college in Tennessee that received funding for the establishment of a Confucius Classroom, according to Dr. Allen Edwards, president of Pellissippi State. The grant included funding for an instructor from China to teach the language and culture classes. Qiao Gui or “Freeman” is currently Pellissippi’s Beginning Chinese I instructor, which was already full before spring semester began.

According to Dr. Anthony Wise, vice president of Pellissippi State, the start of the Confucius Classroom began during Yang’s visit to Pellissippi during International Day on Nov. 6, 2007.Funds for Beginning Chinese II, which begins fall 2011, were also rewarded along with $20,000 towards technology and a donation of 1,000 Chinese language and art books.

Yiping Yang, professor and associate director of the Confucius Institute, said the Confucius Classroom will provide a positive bridge with Chinese Universities and give Pellissippi students more opportunities. Yang also stated that an increased number of Chinese students will be coming to Pellissippi to learn about American culture.

The reception featured light refreshments accompanied by a Tai Chi demonstration by the East Tennessee Chinese School and a Chinese Lion Dance by Wah Lum Kung Fu of Knoxville. Guests were able to meet with the representatives from the Confucius Institute and with Freeman and his Beginning Chinese I students.

Friday, February 18th, 2011

First Meeting Set for Presidential Search Committee

By W.E. Butcher

The presidential search advisory committee will hold their first meeting on Wednesday, February 23 at 1:15 p.m. in the Clayton Performing Arts Center at the Hardin Valley Campus. 

Pellissippi State Community College announced their selections for a presidential search advisory committee earlier this month. Dr. Allen Edwards, current president of Pellissippi State, will retire on June 30, 2011.

Dr. Allen Edwards said 17 people were named to identify three to five finalists for the position of president.  Once the finalists are selected, John Morgan, chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents, will make a final selection for submission to the TBR for approval.

All meetings of the presidential search advisory committee are open to the press and the public.

The committee members are as follows:

Mr. Robert P. (Bob) Thomas, Chair
TBR Board Member
Nashville, TN

Dr. John (Steve) Copeland, DVM
TBR Board Member
Cookeville, TN

Dr. Barry Gidcomb
TBR Board Member / TBR Faculty Regent
Columbia State Community College
Columbia, TN

Mr. Howard W. Roddy
TBR Board Member
Hixson, TN

Ms. Danni Varlan
TBR Board Member
Knoxville, TN

Mr. Mark Fuentes
President of the Faculty Senate
Pellissippi State Community College

Dr. Tom Gaddis
Faculty, Hospitality Technology, Division Street Campus
Pellissippi State Community College

Ms. Ashley Boone
Faculty, Math, Blount County Campus
Pellissippi State Community College

Ms. Kenyatta Rogers
COSA Liaison
Pellissippi State Community College

Ms. Renee Esty
Pellissippi State Community College

Ms. Heather Overton
Johnson Architecture, Inc.
Knoxville, TN

Ms. Melbia Jackson
Information Services
Pellissippi State Community College

Ms. Rosalyn Tillman
Dean, Magnolia Avenue Campus
Pellissippi State Community College

Mr. Randy Boyd
CEO and Owner – PetSafe Industries
Knoxville, TN

Mr. Jerome F. Moon
Blount County Commissioner
Maryville, TN

Ms. Judy Gooch
Judy Gooch Interiors
Oak Ridge, TN

Ms. Becky Paylor
Chair, Pellissippi State Foundation
Knoxville, TN

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Legislation Puts Classes on the Chopping Block

By Brandi Cawood

Will your classes make the cut?

The Tennessee State Legislature passed the Universal Path to Graduation Legislation, which may leave several courses offered at Pellssippi behind.

Ed Francisco, English teacher at Pellissippi State, said that the plan is designed to get students out of college and graduated faster. The curriculum throughout state colleges and universities will be synchronized due to an apparent problem of students being in school too long. Francisco believes students stay in school too long without graduating due to economic factors and the stress they are facing while trying to make financial ends meet.

According to Francisco, at face value the legislation looks good, but the “cookie cutter” curriculum won’t be. Colleges may graduate more students faster, but what kind of students will be graduating?

“Teachers want students to have what they need to graduate, but also what will enrich their lives,” stated Francisco.

If the plan is implemented at PSCC, many classes will be cut including Intro to Poetry, Intro to Fiction, Intro to Screenwriting, Intro to Shakespeare, African-American Literature, Intro to Business and Technical Writing and Creative Writing etc.

PSCC has a marvelous faculty, said Francisco, but their jobs are being threatened due to the “business as usual” mentality.

The English department will not be the only area to see cuts due to the legislation. Economics and Business classes would most likely also be affected.

Friday, February 4th, 2011

School Mourns Sudden Death of Teacher

By Michael Charnley

Tamela Marie Wheeler, 48, died Jan 17, 2011 at her family home.

She was a teacher of Adult Education and English as a second language at the Pellissippi State Magnolia Campus. Tamela received her diploma from South Young High School and graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. She was an artist and former nominee for the YWCA’s Woman of the Year for Education award.

Services were held at St. John’s Lutheran Church on Jan 20, 2011 where the Rev. Stephen Meisenheimer officiated. Interment followed at Greenwood Cemetery.

Tamela is survived by husband David M. Wheeler; sons, Andrew Wheeler of Gibbs, Aaron and Lijuan Cao of Johnson City; sister, Paula Cupp of Seymour; brother, Jason Carpenter of Knoxville; mother-in-law and father-in-law, Blanche and Riley Wheeler of Gibbs.

Pallbearers were Tony Jenkins, Sonny Jones, Benny Scarlett, Roger Pepper, Bryan Cupp, Ronnie Varner, and Eddie Nichols.

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Stimulus Funds Ending

By James Williams

Stimulus funding for Pellissippi State will end summer 2011.

During the two years the college had extra funding available, the administration spent it primarily on one-time expenditures.

Dr. Allen Edwards, president of Pellissippi State, said 600 scholarships were awarded using stimulus funds. Scholarships were awarded to students who joined the new Maintenance and Technology program. Students that switched to night and weekend classes, which opened up class space during the week, were also awarded scholarships.

The new Blount County campus was largely equipped using stimulus funding.

The stimulus funding was also used to pay off some of the college’s outstanding debts.

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011