More connected classroom technology for Pellissippi

By Austin Berry

Cool concept for connected classroom

Vice President Audrey Williams provided insight towards incorporating in-class-connectivity software. She stated, “more connectivity in classrooms is my main focus.”

She called this focus her “Holy Grail,” meaning her main concern towards future tech in Pellissippi classrooms. Basically, she wants devices like phones, tablets, and laptops to be directly connected with in class projectors.

This could come from Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capabilities already existent in current technology. The system Audrey Williams wants to see incorporated is already “being utilized effectively by smaller private schools.”

Currently, students have to plug in their flash drive and/or log into a saved cloud storage to find their said presentation. The overall process takes up a lot of time in the class room.

Another drawback includes students often forgetting a flash drive or having an issue with cloud storage. These troubles could be improved using the “Holy Grail.”

If Pellissippi incorporates these ideals, it is in for a more connected future when it comes to in class connectivity.

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

Change in police presence at Pellissippi represented at the Magnolia Campus

by Shelby Verran


Pellissippi State has seen a change in recent years with a switch from a security department to now Campus Police. Rosalyn Tillman, Dean of the Magnolia Avenue Campus, explained some changes that can be visibly seen by students at her campus, as well as all other Pellissippi State campuses.

The policy for the number of officers has remained the same for Pellissippi Campus’, but there is a difference in the consistency of personnel because of the change from a contract security company to Campus Police. Now, instead of changing guards daily or weekly, the same guards can be seen each day. Dean Tillman said “This way you get to know them, and they know you.”

Magnolia student Katie Varner said, “[The Magnolia Campus] operates like a family unit.” The Magnolia Campus has had the least number of incidences out of all Pellissippi State campuses. In fact, for the years 2013-2015, Magnolia had zero reported crimes.

Tillman attributes the Magnolia Campus’ record to “the atmosphere that permeates the campus.” She attributes to the familiar faces of security officers that now walk the halls.

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

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

Upcoming Archery Tournament at Pellissippi

by Nathan Scott

Pellissippi will be hosting an archery tournament from Oct. 13 through Oct. 20. It will start at 3 pm Thursday, Oct. 13.

It will run every day that week from 3 pm until it ends for that day. The final day of the tournament is Thursday, Oct. 20, when it will end at 5 p.m.

You can register by emailing or by signing up in person at the Student Recreation Center. As long as you are a student, it is completely free.

No previous archery classes or formal experience is required, but you do need to know the basics of archery in advance. Once you have entered, meet in the Student Recreation Center at 3 p.m. on Thursday to start.

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

Pellissippi professor inspires students with golfing

by Caleb Souders

A teacher at Pellissippi State has inspired students and her own daughter through golf and other activities at schools throughout the country.

Cathy Clay, a professor at Pellissippi State, attended college in Virginia, and graduated at 22 with her master’s degree in psychology. She said, “My favorite courses were skill analysis, and motor learning. Golf mixed perfectly with my love for those, because it is a sport with lots of motor skill memorization.” She has taught several pro golf players but can not remember the names of them. Cathy emphasized on one particular point saying, “Golf is a sport that you have to start playing at age 12 if you would like to make it a career, otherwise you have no shot.”

Professor Clay also has a daughter that was an all conference golf player at Tennessee Tech University. Cathy taught her daughter growing up how to develop her swing, and also added, “She exceeded what I could teach her anymore, I had to find her a pro to work with, because her swing was really starting to develop into something special.”

Oddly enough, Cathy’s daughter’s first golf instructor was somebody that Cathy attended school with. Cathy told me, “He was a pro. We had motor learning and psychology classes together in school. I knew he would be the perfect teacher.” And he was the perfect teacher, as Cathy’s daughter won the Ohio Valley Conference championship while in her golf tenure at Tennessee Tech University.

Cathy has been teaching at Pellissippi State since 1993, and has inspired many students to take up golf as a hobby beyond her teaching. When I asked Cathy what her favorite thing about teaching golf and how long she plans on continuing to teach, she responded, “I enjoy teaching golf because I love seeing students improve and getting hooked on the game. It is very exciting to see their light bulb finally come on, so I plan to continue to teach golf even after I retire.”

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

A Student Acclimates From Across the Globe

by Katherine Lown

If you pass Slavik in the hallway at school, you might not guess him to be much different from every other guy you see on the way to class. If you sit down and talk with him, however, his smile widens and his story unravels in a kind, Russian accent.

Some people might simply label him a refugee, while others may just call him a student. But 29-year-old Slavik Malenchii has proved himself to be a man of determination, as he journeys toward a bright future.

Having spent the majority of his life in Eastern Europe, Slavik comes from the small country of Moldova. At age 17, he learned his family was going to move halfway across the world to begin life again in the United States. The move would mean leaving behind all his familiar surroundings, his friends, even his girlfriend, and starting over in America without speaking a word of English.

But with Communism growing in his home country and religious persecution increasing, the Malenchii family, all 11 of them, decided to make the transition in 2004. Originally, Slavik had not planned on spending more than a year stateside, but plans changed and he spent the next seven years in Washington. There he lived in a Russian community and worked as many construction jobs as he could pick up with his very limited English.

“In the movies, money grows on trees in America,” Slavik laughed, explaining that, in reality, he found himself making only $7 an hour.

By 2011 Slavik had begun to realize the opportunities a college education could offer. Following the example of some of his family members, he moved to Knoxville, Tennessee to begin school at Pellissippi State.

The first obstacle he had to tackle was mastering English. Slavik began with some adult education courses, and it wasn’t too long before he mastered the language. Four semesters later, Slavik prepares to graduate Pellissippi and transfer to King University in the fall, where he will complete a degree.

In faultless English, he explained that he is studying business management and dreams of starting his own business one day with his brothers. Considering the goals he has already reached and connections he has made, it probably won’t be too long until the brothers’ business is underway.

In the meantime, Slavik works as a project manager for a construction company. He combines his social abilities and hands-on skills by working with customers, as well as doing whatever odd jobs are needed around the workplace.

Looking toward the future, Slavik sees himself settling down with a family, but presently he continues to work hard. “Right now, this company…it’s perfect,” he said gratefully of his present job.

Though the United States has provided many challenges, Slavik has learned much through his experiences and has come to appreciate much more than his schooling. A professional musician, Slavik enjoys playing the accordion in his spare time; he also excels in martial arts. After a stressful day, you will probably find Slavik doing one of his favorite activities: riding his motorcycle through the Smoky Mountains.

Perhaps one day the Moldovan will return to his country and visit friends, but for now, Slavik is content with his future goals and is satisfied with where his journey has led him so far.

Thursday, March 17th, 2016

Student from East Africa

by Zaynab Bowers


Angelica Ndayiragije, a student at Pellissippi State Community College, moved from Burundi, East Africa, to Texas at the age of 4 in hopes of a better future.


“The reason me and my family moved here was because it was dangerous where we were living,” said Ndayiragije. “My mother wanted me to have better life opportunities.”


Her childhood was not that easy in Texas either. She was teased by students for being from Africa and struggled to fit in.


“I had to learn a whole new language and culture that often clashed with my home culture,” said Ndayiragije. “At home I was supposed to act a certain way, but at school, I was supposed to act another way.”


Ndayiragije later moved to Knoxville when she was accepted into the University of Tennessee’s Bridge Program. She is studying journalism at Pellissippi and will transfer to UT next fall to complete her bachelor’s degree.


Ndayiragije said that she is a lot happier with the environment at Pellissippi than she has been in other places.

“I like the students at Pellissippi, and I love the professors,” she said.


After she completes her studies, she hopes to achieve her lifelong dream of working for CNN.


“They stir up things that don’t need to be stirred,” she said. Ndayiragije believes that the news either exaggerates news or doesn’t inform people correctly. “I want to spread news the right way.”


Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Fall Choral Concert

By Jarrod Hall

The Fall Choral Concert will take place on October 20 at Pellissippi State Hardin Valley Campus. The Pellissippi Choir will be directed this year by Choir Director Meagan Langford. This is Langford’s first year as choir director for Pellissippi.

The concert will feature choral works from the Baroque, Classical, and Renaissance eras of music, said Langford. She is in charge of selecting all of the music to be performed. Langford said that she did not have a theme in mind while making the music selections, but after the fact she saw a common theme of comfort throughout the selections. Langford said that this theme is appropriate because Pellissippi only last year lost its last choir director, Bill Brewer.

Pellissippi’s choir is actually divided up into two groups: Variations, and Concert Chorale. Variations is an auditioned group comprised of mostly vocal majors. Concert Chorale is open to all comers, but the two groups share some members.

Choir Director Langford also stated that Variations will be taking part in the Knoxville Opera’s production of Boito’s Mefistofele on Oct 9.

Monday, October 12th, 2015

Presidential path to student success

By Michael Courtney

Dr. Wise has a number of different goals, all of which are based around student success. He has a tagline, “achieving success one student at a time,” which serves as a motivator to he and his staff. Graduating and transferring are the main goals that Dr. Wise has for his faculty and administrators to pass along to students. Last year Pellissippi had a record number of graduates, breaking graduating student numbers for the sixth year in a row.

After a strong start, Tennessee Promise seems to be very beneficial to the success of youth who may not have had the opportunity without the program. Wise said, believes that as the program grows, the amount of mentors for these youths needs to grown along side. This year, 67 percent of students attending Pellissippi’s Strawberry Plains campus are first year attendees. These mentors will work to ensure that the students will be ready for the next step after Pellissippi, wether that be transferring to a four-year institution or graduating and moving into the work force.

Wise believes that Tennessee Promise’s future is bright, with 1,700 students taking advantage of the program this year alone. These growing numbers will make finding mentors for Tennessee Promise students even more challenging, but Wise believes that this is not a pipe dream.

Wise is dedicated to providing opportunities for student success. He actively searches for local business and industry partnerships to help with networking for the college. This year, Pellissippi opened a magnet high school named Career Magnet Academy in Strawberry Plains. The school allows students to leave with a two year certificate in one of four different magnets, that can be used to further their education or join the workforce.

During his remaining time as president of Pellissippi State Community College, Wise hopes to see continuous growth in student numbers with graduation rates rising alongside that amount. Wise would also like to finish what he started with the adult student strategic plan, in hopes to draw more adult students who may not have thought they could obtain a post secondary education. I asked Dr. Wise where he sees the college in five years, he replied, “Wether it be 14,000 or 15,000 students on the campus, I hope that we continue to improve on the way we serve our students and create opportunities for them. I’d like to enhance the ways that they can be successful by making sure we continue to have great marks for our students who are going directly into the workforce and prepare our graduates to transfer. That’s really what it’s all about.”

Friday, October 9th, 2015

College from a Grandmother’s prospective

By Zaynab Bowers


Cristina Marques decided to get her college education after becoming a wife, mother, and grandmother.

Marques has three children and two grandchildren and is now attending Pellissippi State Community College with two of her daughters.

“It’s very hard. As we get older, our brains are not the same as when we were younger. It’s hard to retain information,” Marques said. Still, she wants to teach her family the importance of education and said she definitely regrets not getting her education earlier.

As a young girl, Marques dreamt of becoming a neurosurgeon.

“I think being one would just be so interesting in the way that I could see what the mind physically is like,” she said.

Although Marques did not have the opportunity to attend college when she was younger because of financial difficulties, she hopes to achieve a lifelong goal by graduating.

“I have more free time now since my kids are older,” she said. “I figured why not use my time wisely and keep my brain active.”

Marques is currently studying professional administration and healthcare. She chose this major because it is related to business, which is something she loves and enjoys.

Despite Marques’ age, her daughters, Samira Tamimi and Ayat Tamimi, said they admire and respect their mother’s decision to further her education and pursue her lifelong dream.

Friday, October 9th, 2015