Pellissippi State Convocation encourages students to make a difference

Head shot of Whitney Kimball Coe
Whitney Kimball Coe of the Center for Rural Strategies will speak at Pellissippi State’s Convocation on Thursday, Sept. 12.

College students don’t have to wait until they graduate to start making a difference in the world.

That’s the key message behind Pellissippi State Community College’s new Common Academic Experience theme of “Making a Difference,” a two-year discussion of issues, both in and out of class.

Pellissippi State kicks off the Common Academic Experience with Convocation 12:30-1:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

This year’s speaker is Whitney Kimball Coe, director of National Programs for the Center for Rural Strategies and coordinator of the National Rural Assembly, a rural movement made up of activities and partnerships geared toward building better policy and more opportunity across the country.

Her presentation is free and open to the public.

“Whitney has a story that I hope will resonate with our students,” explained Pellissippi State librarian Allison Scripa, who co-chairs Common Academic Experience with librarian Will Buck. “Growing up in tiny Athens, Tennessee, her goal was to get out, to go to the big city. But what she found is that, day in and day out, she’s showing up in her community and making a difference in the world.

“That’s what we want our students to know: they can do start here, they can start now,” Scripa stressed. “They don’t have to wait until the graduate. They can start doing things that make a difference whenever they want to, wherever they are.”

Pellissippi State’s Common Academic Experience will encourage students over the next two academic years to explore volunteerism, civic engagement and citizen science.

“’Making a Difference’ is about learning that the little things we do to help others and help our communities can add up to make a big difference,” Scripa said.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865.694.6400. To request accommodations for a disability at this event or any campus event, call 865.539.7401 or email accommodations@pstcc.edu.

###

Pellissippi State welcomes astronaut who served on the International Space Station

Astronaut Mark T. Vande Hei
Astronaut Mark T. Vande Hei will speak at Pellissippi State on April 4. The event is free and open to the public.

Space is closer than you think – and an astronaut who spent almost six months on board the International Space Station will share how in a presentation at Pellissippi State Community College next month.

Astronaut Mark T. Vande Hei, who most recently served as flight engineer on the International Space Station, will detail how “Space is Closer Than You Think” in this free event at 12:25 p.m. Thursday, April 4, in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

Vande Hei’s presentation, which is open to the public, serves as a fitting bookend to the 2018-19 academic year at Pellissippi State, which kicked off with Convocation speaker Johnny F. Stephenson Jr., director of the Office of Strategic Analysis & Communications at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Vande Hei’s visit also caps Pellissippi State’s two-year Common Academic Experience theme of “Inner Space | Outer Space,” which was inspired by the total solar eclipse in August 2017. The Common Academic Experience has championed campus discussions of issues, both in and out of class, around this theme.

“Our students have really enjoyed experiencing the personal stories of down-to-earth people who have made stellar achievements,” said Pellissippi State librarian Will Buck, who co-chairs the Common Academic Experience with librarian Allison Scripa. “By relating these experiences to their own personal stories, Pellissippi State students have made connections – not just to their lives right now, but to their future place in this world and perhaps beyond.”

Vande Hei is a former combat engineer in the U.S. Army who served in Iraq and later worked as an assistant professor in the Department of Physics at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York.

Vande Hei was selected by NASA in 2009 as one of nine members of the 20th NASA astronaut class. He most recently served as flight engineer on the International Space Station for Expeditions 53/54, Sept. 13, 2017-Feb. 28, 2018. Vande Hei logged 168 days in space on this mission, venturing outside the space station for four spacewalks to perform work that included replacing and lubricating the Latching End Effectors on both ends of the Canadarm2. The total duration of his spacewalks was 26 hours 42 minutes.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at 865-539-7401 or accommodations@pstcc.edu.

###

Speakers share management expertise at Pellissippi State

Business leaders will share their secrets of success at Pellissippi State Community College this fall, and the public is invited to learn from them as well.

Pellissippi State’s new Leadership Management Speaker Series will be held 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. select Fridays in the Goins Building Auditorium on the College’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

All presentations are free.

Sponsored by Pellissippi State’s Business and Computer Technology department and the College’s Common Academic Experience program, the series kicks off this Friday with Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr., who will be addressing why an organization should be a good corporate citizen.

Future speakers and their topics include:

  • Sept. 28: Kim Bumpas, president of Visit Knoxville, on what tourism means to Knoxville;
  • Oct. 12: Bill Schmidt, former CEO of Oakley Eyewear and retired vice president for Gatorade Sports Marketing, on the keys to success;
  • Oct. 26: Marc Sallinger, WBIR reporter and multimedia journalist, on reporting news that matters to the community, cultivating sources and enhancing relationships;
  • Nov. 2: Tanya Brown, executive director of marketing and public relations for the University of Tennessee’s Haslam College of Business, on branding;
  • Nov. 9: Jimmy Buckner, executive director of the Scarecrow Foundation, on managing volunteers vs. paid employees; and
  • Nov. 16: Chris Wilson, chief operating officer for Smarter Searches, on managing a small team that produces big team results.

“I tried to get speakers in different stages of their careers,” said Pellissippi State Professor Lisa Fall, noting the speakers have worked not only locally, but in other markets. “We will save some time for Q&A at the end, and I always ask them, ‘If you only knew then what you know now, what advice would you share?’”

While the speakers initially were invited to share with Fall’s Project Management class, Amy Caponetti’s Organizational Behavior class and Brandi Funk’s Principles of Management class, all of which meet at the same time, the three instructors decided to open the presentations to the College and the public after colleagues noted the impressive list of speakers they had lined up.

“These professionals all specialize in different industries, and their experience is extensive,” Fall said. “Their lessons will add to the audience’s management repertoire; what they have to share with us is invaluable.”

The speaker series also complements Pellissippi State’s Common Academic Experience theme of “Inner Space | Outer Space,” which was inspired by the total solar eclipse in August 2017. The Common Academic Experience is a two-year discussion of issues, both in and out of class, around this theme.

“’Inner Space |Outer Space’ is about a journey that shows the relationship between the self and the environment around us,” said librarian Will Buck, who co-chairs Common Academic Experience with librarian Allison Scripa. “The experiences of these speakers showcases their journeys and allows our community to relate to their personal path of challenge and achievement.”

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at 865-539-7401 or accommodations@pstcc.edu.

###

NASA speaker explores outer, inner space at Pellissippi State

A special guest from NASA will help kick off the school year at Pellissippi State Community College on Sept. 6 – and the community is invited.

Johnny F. Stephenson Jr., director of the Office of Strategic Analysis & Communications at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., will speak on “The Journey of Exploration: From Outer Space to Inner Space” as part of Pellissippi State’s annual Convocation ceremony.

The presentation will be held 12:30-1:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The event is free to attend.

Stephenson’s NASA career began in 1986, when he joined the student co-op program, working as a systems engineer in Marshall’s Engineering Directorate. After earning a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 1987, Stephenson went to work for NASA full time.

Over his career at NASA, Stephenson has served in several capacities at both Marshall and at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C. NASA has bestowed numerous awards on Stephenson, including the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the highest award bestowed by the agency, for excellence in his leadership of the One NASA effort.

Stephenson now leads an organization of 160 civil service and contractor personnel in providing the strategic planning, objective analysis and comprehensive communications to support the policy, program and budget decisions for Marshall Space Flight Center, a field center with an annual budget of approximately $2.4 billion.

Stephenson’s presentation fits perfectly into Pellissippi State’s Common Academic Experience theme of “Inner Space | Outer Space,” which was inspired by the total solar eclipse in August 2017. The Common Academic Experience is a two-year discussion of issues, both in and out of class, around this theme.

Stephenson also is a first-generation college student, which Common Academic Experience co-chairs Will Buck and Allison Scripa felt would resonate with many Pellissippi State students.

“We hope students will be inspired by Johnny’s story and get fired up for the new academic year, while faculty and staff will be reminded of our common purpose to help our students get to where they’re going,” Scripa said. “We may have a future NASA director among our students, and we are an integral part of helping them get situated on that path.”

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at 865-539-7401 or accommodations@pstcc.edu.

###

Pellissippi State Announcements: Community invited to ‘Good Arguments’ event at Magnolia Avenue Campus

 

Pellissippi State Community College invites the community to attend a presentation by Kenny E. Hawkins, sports director for News Channel 11 WJHL in Johnson City, about being able to understand and present good arguments. The free event will be held from 11 a.m.-noon, Nov. 7, in the community room at Pellissippi State’s Magnolia Avenue Campus. The event is sponsored by the Beyond the Common Book Club, which facilitates discussions about the college’s annual common reading for all freshmen students. This year’s Common Book is “An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments,” by Ali Almossawi. Anyone interested in the career fields of journalism or communications are particularly encouraged to attend. To request accommodations for a disability at this event, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at 865-539-7401 or accommodations@pstcc.edu. For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu or call the Magnolia Avenue Campus, 1610 E. Magnolia Ave., at 865-329-3100.

Download this press release: Magnolia Common Book Sports

Community invited to discussion of Electoral College at Pellissippi State

Virgil Davis
Virgil Davis

To kick off this year’s Common Academic Experience, Pellissippi State Community College invites the community to attend a presentation on the Electoral College and its role in presidential elections.

The presentation is part of Pellissippi State’s annual Convocation ceremony, which will be held from noon-1 p.m., Sept. 7, in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the College’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The event is free to attend.

“This is an excellent chance to link common political arguments — some of which embody the concept of bad arguments — with the year’s Common Book,” said Virgil Davis, Pellissippi State faculty member and the Convocation presenter.

The Common Academic Experience is a yearlong discussion of issues — both in and out of class — related to a Common Book that all freshmen students read.

This year’s Common Book is “An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments” by Ali Almossawi, illustrated by Alejandro Giraldo. The “Book of Bad Arguments” introduces readers to the field of logical reasoning, or the science of making a well-reasoned argument.

Davis’s presentation will include a look at why America’s founding fathers chose to implement an Electoral College and the five-step process of electing a president, as well as include a discussion of political parties and the 2016 presidential election.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability for this event, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at 865-539-7401 or accommodations@pstcc.edu.

 

Download this press release: 2016 Convocation