Over the past eight years or so, I’ve spent one day each week working at a different one of our campus locations. Doing so allows me to spend time with students, faculty and staff at each campus and to get a sense of how things are going. It also affords me the opportunity to see how our students engage other members of the college community – in activities, clubs and projects, formal and informal.
If you decide to grab a snack from the vending machines in the Student Engagement and Leadership lounge on our Hardin Valley Campus or walk through the lobby at the Magnolia Avenue Campus, you might see tables full of friends playing card games or chess together. You also might see students collecting nonperishable food items in support of the Pellissippi Pantry.
If you stroll through the Blount County Campus lobby, I’ll bet you’ll catch a couple of students playing pingpong, a proud tradition that dates back to the old Bungalow building. If you wander through the main lobby at the Division Street or Strawberry Plains campuses, you could see students engaged with librarians seeking to share the academic resources available at the College.
Across our five campuses, Pellissippi State students are sticking around before and after their classes to experience what our college has to offer – not just in socialization, but in enrichment. In this issue of Connections, you’ll meet students who spent months building a race car for international competition, trekked to a cave weekly to conduct scientific research, created an animated mascot for a statewide program and more.
I believe that, as a community college, Pellissippi State sets the tone for students, whether they’re heading straight into the workforce or transferring to finish a four-year degree. By giving our students opportunities to actually apply what they’re learning inside the classroom and shine outside the classroom, we can set them up for success in the future.
And who knows? They could end up like one of our alumni you’ll read about in these pages – and return to Pellissippi State one day as faculty. I invite you to join us on any one of our campuses at any time to see our students on their pathway to success.
Pellissippi State Community College