Archive for November, 2016

Finals Studying Tips

It’s the “finals” countdown.

          Studying doesn’t have to be a hassle. Here are some tips to make studying simple, or even fun.

  • Study with friends – Get in a group and study together. Whether it’s friends from your class, or friends from different classes, getting together can make studying more fun. You can ask one another questions and help someone in a subject that you may be good at.
  • Go to tutoring – Ask your professor about any tutoring sessions you could attend. If another professor is holding a workshop, approach him and ask if you can join. Studying becomes a breeze when you have a professor available to ask questions to.
  • Study a little each day – It’s no use to cram the night before the test. By studying ten or fifteen minutes every day, you retain more information. Plus, you don’t have to stress about forgetting something from the night before.
  • Look over previous homework/quizzes/tests – Chances are, your professor will be pulling questions from what you’ve already done. Go over what you missed and make sure you understand why you missed it.

Sidanni Di Franco, 18, may be a freshman, but she’s no stranger to cramming for finals. “Usually, I just go unit by unit,” she said, “I look over tests and quizzes and stuff. I try not to do too much at once. It makes me tired.”

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

College President on the Focus Act

College President Dr. Anthony Wise talks about new possibilities under Tennessee’s new Focus Act.

On June 8, Bill Haslam signed the Focus Act, which split Tennessee’s six major universities from TBR (Tennessee Board of Regents), enabling them to form independent governing boards of directors. TBR now presides over the state’s 13 community colleges and 26 technical colleges.

Tennessee state legislature has passed the Focus Act in order to better achieve its “Drive to 55” goal, which aims to help 55 percent of adults in Tennessee to achieve a post-secondary degree by 2025. “If we are going to hit the ‘Drive to 55,’ it is going to be to be because community and technical colleges carry a significant portion of the load,” said College President Dr. Anthony Wise.

“For the most part, the way those system was organized those institutions [state universities, community colleges and technical colleges] were all in one pot,” said Wise. “One of the things that the Board of Regents has to decide is how it is going to govern the two types of colleges it will now have,” said Wise.

Wise recounts having attended only one meeting in his 5 years as college president where presidents from all of the state’s community colleges and technical colleges were in attendance.

Wise says it is not certain whether the community colleges and technical colleges will be granted certain autonomy, or whether the institutions will “begin to align” in terms of curricula as well as shared facilities and resources.

Wise says he was approached by the Focus Act’s transition task force for feedback about moving forward, to which he shared ideals he felt were crucial to the success of the college.

Chief among his concerns was that students at Pellissippi would continue to have a clear and smooth transition to state universities. “We need to make sure that universities do not start creating barriers by changing curricula and requiring new courses of community college students, said Wise. Nearly 60 percent of Pellissippi students are in transfer programs to state universities.

Another of his concerns was the compartmentalized budgets and building projects of universities. THEC (Tennessee Higher Education Commission) will now be submitting the TBR budget alongside, new budgets from each of the state’s universities.

Wise also felt that the decision may allow for greater improvement elsewhere. “It gives the chance for the Board itself and the board members to become more engaged in what happens at community and technical colleges,” said Wise.

“I look at what happened in other states like Kentucky that went through a similar process, and it actually elevated the profile of community and technical colleges,” said Wise.

“I think there is an opportunity for the Board to become more engaged with individual institutions about what kind of help and support they need. We are fortunate in terms of our size and our budget, said Wise. “I would like to see a Tennessee Board of Regents that provides state-wide for community and technical colleges,” Wise went on to say.

New state boards consist of:

  • institution alumni
  • local business leaders
  • community leaders
  • local politicians
  • One faculty member
  • One current student of the instituion

Focus Act looking forward to (2016-2017)

  • July 1, 2016, Focus Act took effect
  • Sept., 2016, university board members appointed by Governor Haslam
  • Dec., 2016,  boards will meet to consider TBR universities’ proposals for substantive change of governance
  • March, 2017, TN General Assembly takes up confirmation of board members
  • April,  2017, THEC provides orientation for university board members
  • June, 2017, New university boards convene, adopt policies and assume governance of universities

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

Sleep Deprivation at Pellissippi

Pellissippi President and Faculty Get Ready for End of Semester

President Wise and professors all give advice for students before the end of the semester


Faculty and President Anthony Wise advise that students are not getting enough sleep before finals and the end of the semester.

“Honestly, students don’t allow themselves enough sleep to begin with,” said Wise, on students’ study and sleeping habits.  “Students tend to procrastinate, and then stay up doing homework.  When they’re done with homework, then they proceed to give themselves ‘playtime’ instead of getting some sleep.”

General opinion from professors like Joseph Dartez and Charles Cardwell agree that students aren’t spending enough time sleeping.  Before the end of the semester, consider these facts before the finals.

  • Sleep works in RPM cycles. If you try to wake up in the middle of one, you’ll be miserable.  Longer sleep times avoids this.
  • Sleep deprivation affects 86 percent of teenagers attending school.
  • A light breakfast will help with finals, but heavy ones make students groggy.
  • Sleep deprivation is the first thing to affect the health of students.
  • Grades are significantly higher for well-rested students versus students not sleeping.

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

Financial Wellness Club at Magnolia Campus

Financial Wellness Club at Magnolia Campus

by: Hannah Weaver

Bright financial future for the Magnolia Campus!

A financial wellness club is the works to be established in 2017 for the Magnolia Campus of Pellissippi.

A financial wellness club has been formed to help students better manage their finances.

Aneisha Brown, a financial aid coordinator at the Magnolia Campus, drafted a “Show Me the Money” presentation to a group of students last year, which started the whole idea of creating a club. From that one presentation, the idea has grown and gained more people to become involved.

Tracey Farr, a business professor and Quanisha Springfield, a student at Magnolia, have already started promoting their soon-to-be club by holding events such as a field trip to the restaurant, Tomato Head, to explore how business is applied in the real world and the “Don’t Be Scared of Money” event that offered students to be introduced to local financial experts.

Patrick Davis, a member of AmeriCorps VISTA, who is also helping organize the club states, “As a member of AmeriCorps VISTA, I have been amazed by partnership that has been set  throughout faculty, students, and staff. This partnership will help us to start wrapping our arms around financial literacy.”

Although the Financial Wellness club is still in the works and has not been officially set as a club yet, the staff, faculty and students are doing everything in their power to invite more people in to get the awareness out.

Some key events the club hopes to achieve in the future together are:

  • Build upon the success of events from this past semester by inviting the financial experts back to offer more of their workshops and one-on-one coaching.
  • Design an annual Financial Wellness Profile to review the best practices for incorporating financial literacy into lives and the classroom.
  • Explore partnerships with local employers in the central city to offer opportunities for students, staff and families.
  • Improve the Magnolia Campus participation with the annual financial aid process.
  • Help people learn how they can better manage their money.
  • Overall impact everyone at the campus.

Drema Bowers, a mother of three, counselor, and who inspired the club state’s, “Budget management is not just targeted to college students, I plan on visiting the people of Operation Hope as a family. This will show my family how budgeting is a useful tool for life, regardless of your age. I do believe the more early you learn the better, but it is never too late. My family will learn about basic money management, benefits with their jobs and what a difference it will make when they hit retirement.”

The club hopes to inspire everyone at the Magnolia Campus and spread the knowledge to other campuses at Pellissippi as well. If anyone is interested in learning more about what the the club will soon offer, contact Patrick Davis at

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

Incoming student interested in a convenient on-campus job?

by Caleb Souders

The work study scholarship offers free tuition, and pays minimum wage. Applications can be received at the Pellissippi Rec Center!

Philip Ems, head of Pellissippi recreational center, is looking for students to come work at the center. “We have students transfer and graduate every semester, so we always have a hole to fill. We encourage every student to at least give it thought.”

For information on applying, students can stop by the Rec Center anytime to talk to either Roy Wayne or Ems. “We enjoy the interviewing process because we learn a lot about the potential of the incoming students.” To learn more about applying for work study, you can go to the rec center or go to

Wayne and Ems assign work study students “chores” such as cleaning the locker rooms, organizing the golf room, and washing and waxing the basketball court for safety of the students.

Some important information for interested work study students:

  • Work study students get paid once a month
  • Minimum wage
  • Tax FREE
  • Scholarship available for free tuition
  • 25 hours a week for work study students with no scholarship
  • Five hours a week for students with the scholarship

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

“Because you asked…”

“What does it take to become a Supplemental Instructor?”

Pellissippi State provides the opportunity for free tutoring to help students to succeed. One way they do this is providing the students with a supplemental instructor for courses.

An SI is a former or current student at the college who has already taken the course. Terra Blanton, the SI for Biology 1120, says that there isn’t really much to become a “SI.” “You have to pass the class with an A and the instructor of the course has to recommend you to Jan Sharp in the tutoring center.” says Blanton.

Once you become a “SI” you have to maintain seven hours a week working as the tutor:

  • Two hours spent in class with the students and instructor.
  • One hour spent as a planning period to organize what you want to work on with the students.
  • Four hours spent in the tutoring center putting all your knowledge into action and helping the students who want it.

The supplemental instructors are put in place as a way for students who have done well to help other students do the same. Blanton says that she loves being a SI because you’re “able to explain things in a different way that is helpful and beneficial to the student’s success.”

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

Is Pellissippi technologically up to par?

by Artamus Cameron

Pellissippi is “on par” with most colleges and universities.

Pellissippi is constantly updating the technology equipment throughout all of its campuses.

Vice President of Information Services Audrey Williams, said that Pellissippi is “on par” with most universities and colleges.

Williams went on to say that the college is ahead of others in some areas.

“Every three years we replace three of the computers, so you will never see anything older than three years,” said Williams.

Williams said that one of the many advantages is that students will have learned about different types of software and will walk out of Pellissippi “having used technology that is used in the real world.”

Williams stated that all of this is possible due to the technology fee that students pay as part of their tuition.

“We utilize the tech fee very well,” Williams said.

  • Full time students pay a tech fee of $112.
  • This tech fee is used for upgrading and maintaining hardware and software across the campus.
  • Technology fee can also be used to replace science lab equipment.
  • A student-ran technology access fee committee provides input and is informed of where the funds go.

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

Toys for Tots

Boxes around Pellissippi campuses are collecting toys

Until Nov.30, AITP will be collecting toys for the upcoming holiday.

Toys will be collected by the Association of Information Technology Professionals on Pellissippi campuses for Toys for Tots, a program ran by the Marine Core Reserve.

Keren Ghezawi, an AITP volunteer, says, “It doesn’t matter how many toys we get, every toy is another child served.”

The Marine Corps Reserve distributes the toys to parents who fill out an application.

Students can go to and find where to donate on their campus.

For those who are unsure about what to donate, Ghezawi suggests:

  • Puzzles
  • Toy cars
  • Dolls
  • Stuffed animals


Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

Pellissippi State’s Magnolia Campus Drama Club

By Olivia Eddy

Pellissippi State’s Magnolia Campus introduces students to the world of theatre with the Campus Drama Club.

The Magnolia Campus of Pellissippi State will do a table reading from Act 2 of the renowned play Inherit the Wind Tuesday, Nov. 29, at 3:30 p.m. The reading will take place at the school’s Community Room (MA109), and will be followed by a discussion about the bad arguments featured in the play.

Professor Rick Patton at Pellissippi State’s Magnolia Campus does more than just teaching English classes. He and fellow Professor Linda Streebeck have been advisors for the Magnolia Avenue Campus Drama Club for the past 11 years.

The Drama Club serves as an outlet for students who wish to view and participate in theatrical productions as well as other artistic performances.

Activities members of the Drama Club have participated in include:

• Hosting open mics
• Played improvisation games
• Performed favorite scenes from Shakespeare
• Done staged readings of plays
• Performed one-act, as well as full-length plays

For upcoming events at the Magnolia Campus, visit

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

“Because you asked…”

by Natalie Whitaker

Why does the cafeteria charge extra to pay with a card?

Students who regularly dine in Pellissippi’s cafeteria are well aware of the many delicacies it has to offer. However, when they pull out their card to pay they see the words, “a $0.25 charge is added when paying with a credit card,” taped to the register.

If you are a penny-pincher who treats your card like it’s a gift card, “hey I don’t know how much is left on this,” then the extra $0.25 can seem detrimental.

Sayona Shoemaker, senior dining manager at Pellissippi states, “the purpose of the $0.25 service charge is to absorb the cost of credit card charges administered by the processing centers such as Elavon.”

Every month the bank charges are around $2,300 at the end of the month.  October got 3 percent of the total sales in the Cafeteria, meaning the cafeteria made around $9,000.

Sayona says as the school begins to close down for the holidays that sales will plummet, but as the new year picks back up they will begin to make money again. So continue eating those nachos, but check your account first to be sure you can afford that extra $0.25.

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016