Archive for December, 2013

A New Adjunct with Stone-Age Tools

by Samantha Murrell 

Katherine Barry, a doctoral student from Canada, is new to the adjunct staff at the Blount County campus.  Barry teaches ANTH 1300 this semester, and next semester she will add ANTH 1200 to her teaching schedule.

Barry says she is passionate about her field of study and is excited to have the opportunity to pass that enthusiasm on to students.  She brings ancient tools to class that our early ancestors would have used in the last ice age.  Although she has been at a large university since 2005, she is happy to be at the Blount County campus.  “It has a very communal feel here, and I feel like I am able to work so closely with my students.”

For two years, she studied and classified artifacts that were found in the Townsend Archaeological Project.  The dissertation she is working on will be about Dust Cave.  The cave, located in northwest Alabama, is home to a plethora of ancient tools that Barry will use to interpret cultural changes.

Barry may be from Canada, but her heart is in the South.  Her favorite type of study is that involving Native American cultures.  Barry says that her parents were the source of her passion. “When I was a child, we would take trips to historical sites, and that really piqued my interest in archaeology.”

She is looking forward to finishing her degree in May 2014.

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

New Magnet High School to Open at Strawberry Plains

by  Roxann Buckles

Pellissippi State Community College and Knox County Schools have partnered together to open a new high school at Strawberry Plains within the next year .

Pellissippi President Anthony Wise confirmed the plans for the high school.  The new school will be a magnet school, offering the notion of choice.  Students from all over Knox County can choose to attend upon granted admission.  There will be no school zoning.

The magnet school will also offer specialized programs.  The programs are career-based, focusing on manufacturing, sustainability, homeland security and education.  Students who earn a high school diploma will be able to enter the workforce.  An associate’s degree can be earned with one year of college education at Pellissippi.

The school will admit a ninth grade class each year.  Once students have reached 11th or 12th grade, they will have the opportunity to take dual enrollment classes that will earn them college credit.

Pellissippi State and Knox County Schools hope to open the school in the fall of 2014 with 125 freshmen.

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

May Holiday Cheer (and the Force) Be with You

by Aaron Cowan-Banker

The SURGE club will be hosting an Angel Tree event with a Star Wars theme on Wednesday, Dec. 4 starting at 11 a.m. in the Goins Rotunda.

Rita Trythall, a club representative said, “The event is designed as a way to encourage people around Pellissippi to not only give at this time of year but have a fun time doing it.”

The Angel Tree operation serves to assist thousands of families each holiday season. Baylee Phillips, a student at PSCC said, “I decided to donate to this event because I wanted to help make a positive difference in a child’s life.”

For every gift donated, the person making the donation will be entered into a drawing at which they can win Star Wars prizes. All gifts to be donated should be brought to the Student Life office.

If you are interested in participating in the event, you can find the wish lists of many children on the Christmas tree in the Goins Building beside the cafeteria.

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

PSCC Leads Tennessee in Number of Granted Associate’s Degrees

by Chris Botsis

Pellissippi State awarded 1,265 associate’s degrees in the 2012-2013 school year. According to the Tennessee Board of Regents, this is more than any other two-year college in the state.

Vice President of Student Affairs, Rebecca Ashford, explained how they helped make it happen. “Since Anthony Wise became president, we’ve tried to slightly change our message to the student body. In advising, we’ve encouraged more students to attain degrees before transferring. Having a complete degree, rather than just an accumulated number of credit hours, ensures that a university accepts all of a student’s credits for transferring.

“Along with this change in approach, we’ve also simplified the application process for students to graduate and implemented more academic support programs to help students excel in their toughest courses.”

Because the number of graduates is so large, a second graduation ceremony has been added to the school’s schedule of events. Friday, Dec. 13, the college will host its very first winter Commencement. Any student graduating in summer or fall 2013 is eligible to walk across the stage at the ceremony, which takes place at 7 p.m. at Thompson-Boling Arena.

According to the Tennessee Board of Regents, Pellissippi State is among several of the state’s community colleges with increasing graduates. This past school year, community colleges in Tennessee awarded an altogether total of 8,543 associate’s degrees and 5,756 certificates. Along with 1,265 of those degrees, Pellissippi State awarded 935 certificates, the second highest number in the state.

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

A Gardens Gala in Goins

by Aaron Cowan-Banker

The Imaginary Gardens Literary Magazine will be hosting a gala on Wednesday Dec. 4 at 3 p.m. in the Goins Auditorium.

Imaginary Gardens is a student organization that publishes artwork of students each semester in the form of a literary magazine. Professor Robert Lloyd explained, “The arts are an important piece of the college experience and give students a real opportunity to find out who they are and what they like.”

The gala will offer a showcase of what will be in the fall semester issue. The pieces displayed range from photographs, drawings and paintings to fiction stories. In addition, there will be a poetry reading.

Lloyd added, “The club was voted the best student organization last year.”

The fall 2013 issue of Imaginary Gardens will be available on Tuesday Dec. 3. If one would like to submit a piece of artwork for future issues, they can do so by emailing it to


Sunday, December 1st, 2013