Archive for October, 2016

Gender-neutral bathrooms to be implemented at Pellissippi

Transgender bathroom rights are making progress, as Pellissippi has plans to integrate gender-neutral bathrooms as soon as next spring.

Dr. Anthony Wise, president of Pellissippi, explained that the implementation would be near other restrooms for convenience of students.  At a meeting of Pellissippi Pride, members expressed their support for the effort.

When asked about the motive behind this accommodation, Wise expressed that “Pellissippi is above all else a community college.  It’s in the name,” he said.  “If we can’t care for each other as a community, we’re failing our students.”

As far as safety is concerned, Wise reminded us that should students feel unsafe, that they should contact the Pellissippi Security Office.  Being a college without dorms, it is harder, but not impossible for hate crimes to occur.

Wise says that Pellissippi will continue to support all of its students in the future.

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Pellissippi will begin new associate programs

Pellissippi President Anthony Wise Jr. met with Governor Bill Haslam on the Blount County campus Oct. 4 to discuss new associate programs.

The meeting was scheduled during Tennessee’s Manufacturing Week. Its purpose was to address the needs of advanced manufacturing in the greater Knoxville area and the educational resources the college could provide in order to better meet those needs.

“The governor really believes that there is a strong connection between education and workforce development. It’s one of the reasons he has invested so much in Tennessee Promise, Tennessee Reconnect, and supporting higher education. We have to make sure citizens have the right kind of educational opportunities,” said Wise.

To that end the college opened two new associate degrees of Applied Sciences and has committed itself to the construction of new science facilities on its Blount County and Strawberry Plains campuses.

At the Strawberry Plains campus, in partnership with TCAT (Tennessee College of Applied Technology) a new 16-unit welding lab has been constructed. The facility offers a year-long diploma based program during the day, and Pellissippi offers its new associate program in welding at night.

The college has also created a new concentration within its computer science program offering an associate degree in cyber defense, which will be available on all campuses.

“Cyber security is critical for hospitals, banks, businesses, and educational institutions,” said Wise. “I would expect given the connectivity that we have going forward that cyber security is going to be a field of growth,” he went on to say.

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Because you asked…


by Natalie Whitaker

How has the Tennessee Promise affected financial aid at Pellissippi?

            The Tennessee Promise scholarship has proven to be a lot more than just free college.

In 2015 another group of Tennessee seniors graduated from their high school and that fall had the first day of classes at the college of their choice. This was also the first year the Tennessee Promise scholarship, a scholarship that gives students two years of free college, was implemented.

Richard Smelser, director of financial aid at Pellissippi, said that initially enrollment into the college was not as great as predicted because Pellissippi had already been using the TN achieves scholarship for six years. However, the number of students on the Tennessee Promise scholarship rose.

The Promise scholarship means a lot to students because anyone is eligible for it no matter their financial background. Taylor Shaw, a third-semester student at Pellissippi, and one of the almost 3,000 students who are eligible for the Promise put it this way, “It gives me the chance to be debt-free my first two years of college, allowing me to spend more time studying and less time worrying.”

Since the Promise went active retention rate is up 80 percent and Smelser, along with others, predict graduation rates will rise as well.

When asked if this scholarship has caused more work to be done in the financial aid office Smelser laughed and said, “Yes, but it is work we want to do because we know this is such a great opportunity for our students.”

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Garden at Pellissippi offers healthy foods to students

by Adolfo Felix

The garden at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus provides access of healthy foods to students and employees.

“The garden grows vegetables according to their seasonal growing habits for vegetables in East Tennessee,” said program director Annie Gray.

Strawberries, different types of tomatoes, sweet potatoes and others can be found at the garden.

Volunteers harvest the produce and process it for Pellissippi Pantry orders, said Gray.

Gray said it is a mission of the garden to reduce the hunger need of students and employees of the Pellissippi State Hardin Valley campus.

The garden is located near the Student Recreation Center at the Pellissippi State Hardin Valley campus.

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Pellissippi State’s Choral Department thriving under director

by. Olivia Eddy

Pellissippi’s Choral department is preparing for its Holiday Spectacular Concert on Dec. 1. It will be at 6 p.m. in the Clayton Performing Arts Center.

The choral department has sung their way into the spotlight at Pellissippi State Community College.

With their fall concert freshly under their belt, the department is thriving under the direction of Megan Langford. Although high energy songs are her preference, the department sings a wide variety of songs, from medieval music to modern pop songs.

Pellissippi State currently has two choirs, the Concert Choral and Variation. Although Langford is officially titled as the Choral Director, she also doubles as full-time faculty and assists with administration affairs.

The entire department considers themselves a close-knit bunch, from the faculty to the students. Langford says that’s what makes Pellissippi States Choral Department special. The students range in all ages and are a diverse group, and all come together for one cause; to make music.


Monday, October 31st, 2016

New Facebook page celebrates Pellissippi’s Ducks and Geese

By. Grace Whitaker
It takes a “Fowler” to know a fowl.

The FaceBook page Pellissippi Ducks and Geese commemorates the birds oftentimes found wandering around campus.

Joseph Fowler, 24, created the page after overhearing a classmate jest about unlucky geese he encountered while driving. Fowler felt “disturbed” by the comments. “The geese and ducks are a part of the Pellissippi family,” Fowler said.

Fowler has spent time bonding with the birds. Having no pets of his own, he finds the birds to be good company. “I spend a borderline unhealthy amount of time with them anyway,” he said. Some birds allow Fowler to pet them.
Fowler said that Panther Pause, the student news bulletin found around campus, will feature the page sometime in October or November this year.

“Like the page,” Fowler said, “and don’t give the juveniles [birds] crackers. It stunts their growth.”

The page was created October 21 and has accumulated roughly 30 “likes.”

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Recreational Center Manager reflects on education and Pellissippi

by Caleb Souders

Pellissippi’s Recreational Center Manager is living his childhood dream every day, and has no plans on going anywhere anytime soon.

Philip Ems attended Ball State where he received his undergraduate degree in travel and tourism. Life panned out perfectly for the former Ball State University punter.

Ems grew up playing sports and received his master’s degree from the University of Memphis in sport and leisure commerce. After Ems graduated he was “looking for some experience right out of college, but Memphis was not interested.”

This turned into a blessing for Ems. “I contacted the University of Mississippi and asked about an internship as a facility manager – the guy running it told me that he would be thrilled to have me, and that I would even get paid.” Ems also added that the facility manager at Ole Miss was, “One of my best references, he really taught me a lot.”

Pellissippi State quickly became home to Ems, who has now been managing the Recreational Center for five years. On what school he would facilitate if he could do so anywhere in the country – “Honestly, I would choose Pellissippi.  It is a commuter school and the hours are not too crazy, there are no dorms, and the facilities are not open at bizarre hours. I am very happy here at Pellissippi.”

What are his goals while at Pellissippi State? “I want all of my associates to get full-time jobs running their own facilities, I believe they are all qualified enough. I mentored a guy who is now the intramural coordinator at Wichita State. That is one of my proudest accomplishments.”

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

Science Fiction coming to Pellissippi

By: Asia Brown

A lecture based around science fiction is coming to Pellissippi State Community College.

The lecture lead by Trent Eades, an English professor at Pellissippi, will be held on Thursday, Nov. 10 at 12:30 p.m. in the Goins building auditorium on the Hardin Valley campus.

The lecture traces the development of science fiction from its earliest Greco-Roman beginnings to present day, as described by the faculty lecture series webpage.

The department of marketing and communications described the lecture as a continuation of the faculty lecture series at Pellissippi.

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

New ID Cards are coming to Pellissippi

By Artamus Cameron

The new Pellissippi ID cards will be much more functional than the current ones are.

Vice President of Information Services, Audrey Williams, says that the new ID cards will have many features and many purposes other than just a typical ID card, continuing on to say that we are “thinking ahead of things.”

The ID Card Printapalooza will take place Thursday Nov. 3 from 8:30a.m.-7:00 p.m. and Friday Nov. 4 from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The event will take place on the second floor of the ERC building. The staff can bring their current ID card or photo ID from which the new ID cards will be made.

Students will be able to get new ID cards made starting in January.

The new cards will feature a magnetic strip which will allow access to equipment across all campuses. As more upgrades are made across the college, the cards will only increase in their functionality.


Monday, October 24th, 2016

Student Life Hosting Ping Pong Tournament

Pellissippi is hosting a ping pong tournament on Thursday, Oct. 27 at 3 p.m. It will run until roughly 6 p.m. or until it ends.

It will take place at the Student Recreation Center. You can register by emailing or by signing up in person at the Student Recreation Center before the tournament begins.

Once you have signed up, meet in the Student Recreation Center before 3 p.m. on Oct. 27 to wait for the tournament to start.

The tournament is organized by Student Life. For more information, head over to the Student Life calendar on Pellissippi’s website.

Monday, October 24th, 2016