Archive for October, 2013

Bridging the Cultural Gap

by Kelly Morrison

Pellissippi State students and faculty are invited to attend a lecture featuring ChinaNOW President D.K. Wu in the Goins Auditorium (GN136) Friday, Nov. 1 at 9:40 p.m.

Wu has made a career out of helping people bridge the cultural gap between China and North America. During his lecture, he will talk about life in China with a special focus on the economy and how businesses function.

Wu’s goal is to help the world to better understand the Chinese language and culture. He co-founded ChinaNOW Institute of International Education with the belief that when people see firsthand why people do what they do in other cultures, it will help them to understand and respect each other. Wu himself is a prime example of this as he has taught many classes in Taiwan’s colleges and universities which have helped him to understand how schools in America and China are so drastically different from one another.

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Magnolia Campus Celebrates Non-Traditional Students!

by Samantha Murrell

The Magnolia Avenue Campus will be hosting a “Non-Traditional Students Week” beginning Nov. 4.  Clinics and workshops available to students include:

  • “Enroll Knoxville!”  This will provide information on insurance under the Affordable Care Act. There will be two sessions on Nov. 4 in the Community Room, one at 11:50 a.m. and  one at 5:30 p.m.  Individual assistance will be available on Nov. 4 from 3-8 p.m. in Room 130.
  • “Hope for Non-Traditional Students” will be held on Nov. 5 at 12:05 in the Community Room.  This will give students information on financial aid and how to apply.
  • “I.T. Secrets” will be held on Nov. 6 in Room 122 at 10:45 a.m.
  • “Relaxation Day” is Nov. 7.  Representatives from LaSelva Med Spa will be in the Lobby.

The week will wrap up with a luncheon for non-traditional students on Nov. 8 in the Community Room from noon-2 p.m.

An essay contest will also be held. Students can write a brief essay about what they are most proud of since returning to school.  Entries should be emailed to or can be dropped off in the Magnolia Avenue Main Office.  The submission deadline is Nov. 4.   Winners will be announced on Nov. 8.

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

A Special Grant for Pellissippi’s Service-Learning Program

by Aaron Cowan-Banker

Pellissippi State has received a grant for the Service-Learning program, and her name is Catherine Carr.

Carr is, in her own words, “an AmeriCorps VISTA tasked with establishing and streamlining processes for a sustainable Service-Learning program at Pellissippi State.”

As a whole, the purpose of Service-Learning is to implement service opportunities that enhance learning outcomes, coordinate team building through volunteerism and provide resources for local nonprofit organizations to better serve the community. Carr explained, “Our last two semesters generated an economic impact of close to $450,000 in Knox and surrounding counties.”

Pellissippi Service-Learning has established connections with over 100 nonprofits in East Tennessee. Service hours worked through the program are recorded on student transcripts, which help when applying to other schools.

For more information on getting involved in the community, visit the Service-Learning page listed under the Academics tab on the Pellissippi website.

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

The Importance of Community in a Community College

by Chris Botsis

Pellissippi State Community College’s future plans for capital improvements go beyond the realm of just the educational.

President Anthony Wise said that encouraging more community interaction was an important part of Pellissipi’s expansion. “We’ve really tried to focus on doing little things to help the students and staff feel a stronger sense of community. This includes added space for students to gather and socialize, plans to make the campus grounds and facilities more attractive, and added benches and recreation areas on all Pellissippi campuses.”

The plans are detailed in Pellissippi’s multi-phased master plan document. The master plan expounds upon every facet of the ongoing expansion process, from specific additions or improvements of campus buildings themselves to the financial costs of all such improvements, and the purpose each of these additions will serve.

“Of course,” said Wise, “the end goal is an educational one. We simply believe that these improvements will aid a great deal in providing students a friendlier, more convenient, and more enjoyable environment to learn in. Our work on the Strawberry Plains campus is already becoming a testament to this.”

Mike North, dean of the recently added Strawberry Plains campus, said the main goal of the plan on his end was to “help speed up growth of the new campus so students can be guaranteed the same exceptional level of education as expected with all other Pellissippi facilities. In just one year, we feel that we’ve accomplished a great deal and made our campus one of Pellissipi’s finest and most advanced, but we’re still new and have a lot of work to do. Nevertheless, all Pellissippi State leaders stand firm in our belief that the community is stronger than ever. “

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Pink Monday at Division Street

by Samantha Murrell

The Division Street Campus hosted a “Pink Monday” on Oct. 21 to raise awareness about breast cancer. 

Dean Esther Dyer encouraged students to wear pink in memorandum of those who have battled breast cancer.  

Pink ribbons were distributed to students, and pink treats, such as pink lemonade and cupcakes were available.   At 11:40 a.m., all students wearing pink were invited to be in a photograph in front of the campus. 

Donations collected at the event were donated on behalf of the Division Street Campus to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, a representative of which was present at the event.

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Increased Funding for Capital Improvements

by Chris Botsis

Funding for capital improvements is high on the list for leaders at Pellissippi State Community College.

Dean Mike North of PSCC’s new Strawberry Plains campus said that the site property cost Pellissippi State $10 million to purchase. A state program that funds community college capital projects contributed $8.5 million toward the cost. The Pellissippi State Foundation paid the remaining $1.5 million through private donations.

Along with the addition of the Strawberry Plains campus, Pellissippi leaders have also approved a $4 million expansion to the Magnolia campus. Capital funding has significantly increased in recent years due to these improvements and will continue into the future.

Pellissippi State President Anthony Wise has stated that the Strawberry Plains campus will allow the college to expand its workforce development services, and added funding they’re hoping to get, be it on the federal or state level, will certainly help to expand the mission overall.

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Swing Big for Students

by Locke Springer

Swing Big for Students, an annual fundraising golf tournament, will be held May 7,  2014 at Egwani Farms in Rockford.

The tournament is hosted by the Pellissippi State Foundation, which aims to collect funds and make donations in order to better the education for deserving students. This foundation has collected over $7 million in the past five years and has used these funds to provide student loans, improve educational facilities, and to purchase new equipment that will improve student education.

Contestants for the tournament can register for $100 per person or $400 per team of four. Registration will be held at Pellissippi State Community College’s main campus at 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

Pilot Travel Centers will be sponsoring the event, and as tournament publicity has increased in recent years, more sponsors are encouraged.

If you’re interested in sponsoring this event, please go to and complete the “Sponsorship Opportunities and Registration Form” to apply. For any additional information, please contact tournament director Pat Myers or another member of the Pellissippi State Foundation at (865)-539-7242.

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Impacts of the Government Shutdown on PSCC

by Roxann Buckles

Federal financial aid for military veterans and federal educational grant programs have been adversely affected by the government shutdown. President of Pellissippi State Community College, Dr. Anthony Wise, gave details on the process and consequences of the government shutdown on Pellissippi.

“Financial aid to military veterans will be postponed, not eliminated,” said Wise.

Federal grants such as the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant or SEOG and other similar grants have been suspended.  This is due in part to slower processing, communication and response among governmental officials.  Military veterans living, housing and educational finances are directly affected.

The state of Tennessee and Pellissippi have been proactive in helping military veterans during this uncertain time.  Wise confirmed that Pellissippi is creating a veteran success center.  It will offer programs directed towards continuing education.

Larger federal financial aid opportunities, such as the Pell Grant, have not been impacted.  However, federal educational grant programs may.

Wise said the Department of Labor recently funded the creation of Southeastern Economic and Education Leadership Consortium, a grant program, at Pellissippi. The program will offer classes in welding, machining and manufacturing. The SEELC grant will fund the faculty and staff for the program.  The equipment and classroom training will also by supported by SEELC.  The students and staff participating in SEELC at Pellissippi have not been affected by the government shutdown yet.

Wise stated that the suspension of financial aid and educational programs would be “disheartening to our students.”

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013