Those who want to enjoy the concert will not need social media accounts to view the concert, as privacy will be set to “public.”
“Our annual Holiday Spectacular is one of the most well-loved events of the year, so we traditionally perform the show twice in the same night,” said Assistant Professor Meagan Humphreys, music program coordinator for Pellissippi State. “With so many of us working and learning from home this year due to the pandemic, we thought, ‘Why not bring the concert into people’s homes?’ It’s a very 2020 way to kick off the holiday season!”
This year’s concert will feature Pellissippi State’s jazz band, studio orchestra, percussion ensemble, bluegrass ensemble, guitar ensemble and brass ensemble as well as pieces by the College’s two choirs: Concert Chorale and Variations.
The eight songs will be a mix of sacred and secular holiday music, from “Away in a Manger” to “Jingle Bell Rock.”
There is no cost to view the concert, which will feature more than 70 Pellissippi State students.
For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865.694.6400.
The Pellissippi State Community College Media Technologies program will continue its free webinar series titled “The Art, Science & Impact of Digital Storytelling” on Dec. 1, with a focus on “Building Greater Knoxville’s National Reputation as a Creative Community.”
Thesession will take place 12:30-2 p.m. Eastern over Zoom. Registration is open now for professionals, faculty, students and alumni in digital, creative and strategic communications.
“Building Greater Knoxville’s National Reputation as a Creative Community” will focus on the region’s wealth of creative intellectual assets and highlight Knoxvilleas a major hub of production vision, talent and output.
The session, which will be moderated by Mary Beth West of Fletcher Marketing PR,will spotlight the future direction and demand for creative and production services. Panelists including Deborah Allen of Catalina Content, Doug Lawyer of the Knoxville Chamber and Joe Richani of Jewelry Television will address how the region can best position itself to grow and adapt to workforce development needs.
This webinar series is sponsored by The Hive, Bagwell Entertainment and Jupiter Entertainment and will conclude Jan. 22 with “The Media Technologies Workforce Pipeline & 2021 Employer Hiring Priorities.”
Pellissippi State Community College has announced it will not hold an in-person Commencement ceremony in Decemberdue to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Instead Pellissippi State’s summer and fall 2020 graduates are invited to participate in a Virtual Commencement, which will premiere at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18, on the College’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.
“Students, we know this has been a challenging time for you, and we are so proud of the strength and dedication you’ve shown throughout the year,” Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. said in a video announcement emailed to students and their families on Monday.“Thank you for being a prime example of what it means to be #PellissippiStrong.”
While Pellissippi State has only had 31 reported cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, according to the Tennessee Board of Regents System COVID dashboard, the College continues to conduct most classes and student services virtually out of an abundance of caution. Masks are required for any faculty, staff and students who do report to campus.
With 303 summer 2020 graduates and 503 graduation applications for fall 2020 already received ahead of this weekend’s deadline, the College’s graduation committee decided a Virtual Commencement would be the safest option.
To participate in Pellissippi State’s Virtual Commencement, summer 2020 graduates and those students graduating this semester should submit a photo of themselves or a 5-second video of themselves via this form by Sunday, Dec. 6. Only a single file of 100 MB or smaller can be uploaded per graduate.
Students do not have to wear a cap and gown in their photos to participate in the Virtual Commencement, but those who want to should order their regalia as soon as possible to ensure the cap and gown arrive in time.Students who need financial assistance purchasing regalia should email Beth Correro at email@example.com and put “Cap and Gown for Graduation” in the subject line.
Arconic Foundation has awarded Pellissippi State Community College $50,000 to start a new afterschool program for children in Blount County.
The Pellissippi Youth Scholars Program, which will be implemented at the Martin Luther King Jr.Community Center in Alcoa and the Boys & Girls Club in Maryville, will focus on career awareness, exploration and preparation for high-wage, high-demand advanced manufacturing and coding careers. The program will offer concentrations in robotics, additive manufacturing, coding, hydraulics and pneumatics.
“The earlier a student is introduced to these jobs, the sooner they will see an optimistic future open to career-connected learning,” said Teri Brahams, executive director for economic and workforce development for Pellissippi State. “Exposing students to these career opportunities in middle school will allow them to better use their time in high school to prepare for the path they’ll take after graduation.
“Having an exciting experience with the Pellissippi Youth Scholars Program could not only spark their interest in these careers, but also could help students understand the importance of taking advanced math, science and English courses in high school,” she added.
The program,which will begin January 2021, will be led by a Pellissippi State employee, although the College is recruiting volunteers from industry and the community to help. Activities will be interactive and age appropriate, introducingparticipantsto the basic terminology and concepts that are critical to each concentration. Students will learn how to use the basic types of equipment common to each field and will build new skills through hands-on instruction. Guest speakers will help students make the connection between what they are learning and a real job.
The Pellissippi Youth Scholars Program also will focus on critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity – four areas regularly identified by area business and industry leaders as skills that their employees need.Activities will address the barriers students may face when considering one of these career pathways and will highlight the resources available throughout the community tohelp them. Inspiring self-esteem in students is another program goal.
“Blount County employers are emphasizing a desire to hire a more diverse workforce, but many underrepresented populations may notbe aware of the opportunities for a career in advanced manufacturing or the educational pathway needed to be successful in manufacturing,” Brahams said. “This program will address both of these challenges.”
The Pellissippi Youth Scholars Program is open to students attending afterschool programs held at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Alcoa and the Boys & Girls Club in Maryville. However, those who would like to volunteer to help with the program should contact TeriBrahamsattbrahams@pstcc.edu.
For the first time, 100% of Pellissippi State Community College’s graduating Nursing students have passed their national licensing exam on their first attempt.
The National Council of State Boards of Nursing released the results of the NCLEX-RN exam last week. All 70 of Pellissippi State’s spring 2020 Nursing graduates passed the exam, which each nurse in the United States and Canada must pass to become a registered nurse.
“This is the first time a graduating class has achieved 100% pass rate since the inception of our Nursing program in 2011,” said Dean of Nursing Angela Lunsford, noting the College achieved a 99% pass rate in 2019. “I am very proud of our faculty, staff and students. They worked through a very demanding curriculum, put in 540 clinical hours during their program and graduated during a global pandemic.”
Lunsford also stressed the difficulty of the NCLEX-RN, which tests a Nursing graduate’s ability to think critically, use clinical judgement and perform in a safe and ethical manner when caring for patients.
“The exam is a computer-adaptive test, so questions get harder or easier depending on how the candidate performs,” she explained. “Students are given situations and must use the knowledge acquired in the program to select the best response. These are not yes-or-no questions.”
Another aspect of the exam that makes it challengingis that the test can be as few as 65 questions or as many as 245 because the test continues until the computer decides the candidate is safe or not safe, Lunsford added.
“The candidate can finish in 45 minutes or they may be there for up to four hours, depending on how they perform,” she said. “When the computer cuts off, the candidate has no idea if they have passed. They have to wait 24 to 48 hours for the results.”
The national pass rate for those associate degree graduates taking the exam for the first time is 84%, according to NCLEX statistics.
“Our faculty and staff work closely with our hospitals and clinical agencies to ensure Pellissippi State students get the experience needed to be safe professional nurses,” Lunsford said.“Our program is extremely rigorous and requires students to spend 20 to 30 hours a week on their studies. All of these factors are what makes achieving a 100% pass rate something of which to be very proud.”
Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. echoed his pride in the College’s spring 2020 graduates.
“To have 100% of graduates pass the NCLEX in the best of times is an outstanding achievement. To do so in the midst of a curriculum change and pandemic is quite remarkable,” he said. “Our faculty and staff did a wonderful job preparing the students for success, and our graduates have demonstrated excellence across the board. They will serve as outstanding nursing professionals in our community for years to come.”
Pellissippi State Community College alumnus Randy Martinezwas honored on Veterans Day by his alma mater and by the Tennessee Board of Regents, the system that governs the state’s 13 community colleges and 27 technical colleges.
Martinez, who graduated from Pellissippi State in 2017, received the Chancellor’s Commendation for Military Veterans, which was accompanied by a Challenge Coin from Chancellor Flora Tydings.The TBR and Tydings established the new commendation as a system-level award to honor the service, bravery and sacrifices of military veterans in the campus communities.
Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr.presented Martinez with the coin, which carries a strong history of military tradition associated with loyalty, unity and commitment.
“I am glad a small number of the Pellissippi State community could gather on campus today to recognize and honor the sacrifice military veterans and their families have made on behalf of our country,” Wise said. “Of special significance today is the opportunity to recognize alumnus Randy Martinez with the Chancellor’s Commendation for Military Veterans. He was a decorated soldier during his time in the service and an engaged learner and leader while at the College. We are grateful for Randy and pleased to honor him today.”
The Veteran Support Committee of Pellissippi State recommendedMartinez for the commendation, which he received during the College’s Veterans Day Commemoration on its Hardin Valley Campus.
Martinez served in the U.S. Army for eight years, earning the rank of Specialist 4th Class. He served in the United States, Korea and the Middle East and was awarded the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Army Commendation Medal twice, the Unit Commendation Medal twice, Good Conduct Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.
As a student at Pellissippi State, Martinez served as a New Student Orientation leader, a Veteran’s Affairs work study, an officer with the Student Veterans Club and a mentor for new student veterans. He was deeply involved in volunteer activities supporting homeless veterans at the Mountain Home Domiciliary in Johnson City,as well as assisting with several massive clean-up projects at Sharp’s Ridge Veterans Memorial Park in Knoxville. Martinez also is a gifted cook and provided many delicious meals to studentveterans, staff and faculty while he was a student at Pellissippi State.
“Randy’s caring nature, easy humor and innate kindness made him a favorite across the College,” said Rachael Cragle of Pellissippi State’s Veteran Support Committee. “We are proud of his accomplishments and pleased to call him one of our own.”
Martinez earned his Associate of Science degree, Tennessee Transfer Pathway in Business Administration at Pellissippi State. He transferred to King University and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration. Martinez now works as a member of the quality control management team at C.R. Barger & Sons, Inc. in Lenoir City, with plans to pursue a master’s degree in project management.
“Pellissippi State has a great support structure between the faculty and staff, and the Veteran Support Committee was just phenomenal,” Martinez said. “Without them, I know for a fact that I would not have graduated. And as an alum, I was able to come back and still get help; these people were still willing to sit with me and do the tutoring. There is so much Pellissippi State offers, not just to veterans but to all students, that it would be silly not to take advantage of it.”
For more information on Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400.
A group of Pellissippi State Community College students is spearheading a drive to provide 1,000 wreaths to decorate veterans’ graves in December, and you can help.
Maya Billingsley, Celeste Christopher, Justin Hammack, Jake Harrell and Leslie Nokes are assistingKnoxwreaths, the local affiliate of Wreaths Across America, as their service-learning project for their Project Management and Design class.
The group’s goal is to get 1,000 wreaths donated to the organization by Thanksgiving so that they can be placed on headstones at Knox County’s three veteran cemeteries at noon Dec. 19.
Knoxwreaths needs 18,000 wreaths total.
“This is very close to my heart – it’s very personal to me – because my father was a World War II vet and my grandfather a World War I vet,” Christopher explains in a video on the Knoxwreaths Facebook page. “Because I can’t thank them anymore in person, this is my way of contributing.”
Assistant Professor Tracey Farr said this project picks up where a spring 2020 Principles of Marketing class left off. That class,taught by adjunct Mandy Summitt, met with the United Veterans Council of East Tennessee to create a marketing plan for summer and fall 2020.
“We are doing a lot of social media for them,” Farr said of the group of gentlemen who work with Wreaths Across America each year to provide wreaths for Knox County‘s threeveteran cemeteries.“It’s a big goal, but we are hoping that the vast Pellissippi State community will contribute.”
Those who want to sponsor a wreath can do so on a Wreaths Across America webpage set up specifically for the Pellissippi State project. The cost of each wreath, which is crafted from balsam and hand-tied with a red velvet bow, is $15.
There also is an opportunity to volunteer on the day the wreaths are placed at the cemetery, Farr added.
“I would love to have a Pellissippi State team,” said Farr, who plans to participate with her own children. “It will be safe, with social distancing and masks, and even young kids can do this.”
Volunteers are needed at all three veteran cemeteries. Those who are interested can sign up to volunteer at the site of their choicethrough the website or can email Farr at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pellissippi State Community College has recognized Leila Howell as winner of the 2020 Peggy Wilson Volunteer Alumni Award, sponsored and announced this year by Discovery, Inc.
This honor highlights an outstanding graduate in recognition of extraordinary service to the Pellissippi State community.
“At Discovery, being purposeful and doing the right thing are two of our Guiding Principles and core to our DNA,” said Vikki Neil, executive vice president and general manager forDiscovery’s Digital Studios Group.“We are dedicated to giving back in communities where we live and work and value the importance of volunteerism and recognize the passion and commitment volunteers bring to an organization. We are honored to partner with Pellissippi State and sponsor the 2020 Peggy Wilson Volunteer Alumni Award and honor Leila Howell, who is incredibly deserving of this award.”
Howell’s story is one of persistence. She started her education at Pellissippi State more than 20 years ago, but then put college on hold when she became a mother to five daughters. She returned to Pellissippi State in 2011 and earned her general Associate of Science degree in 2013.
Today Howell is a human resources manager at Integrity HR Services and is pursuing a master’s in organizational leadership at Trevecca Nazarene University.
Despite working full time, taking classes and raising her daughters as a single mom, Howell still finds the time to be an active member of Pellissippi State’s Alumni Association. For 2019’s Pack the Pickup food drive, she led a campaign to support both the Pellissippi Pantry and the college’s Clothes Closet — promoting the needs of students, setting up her workplace for drop-offs and personally picking up donations around town.
Howell also volunteers at student events and mentors Pellissippi State students through Tennessee Achieves.
“Volunteering means a great deal to me,” Howell said.“I have always harbored the philosophy that when we are blessed, we should bless others in return. My father, a sage man, once told me that anyone could give money, but not everyone can give time and talent. This is an idea that has followed me, with merit, through my adult life.”
“The Foundation is proud to honor Leila Howell’s passion for serving Pellissippi State through the Peggy Wilson Volunteer Alumni Award,” said Britney Sink, director of Alumni and Donor Engagement for the Pellissippi State Foundation.“Supporting our community is vital, and we encourage our alumni to get involved and give back.”
For more information about Pellissippi State Alumni, visit www.pstcc.edu/alumni or call 865–539–7275.
Pellissippi State Community College broke ground today on its new Ruth and Steve West Workforce Development Center, a joint project with Tennessee College of Applied Technology Knoxville.
The 51,000-square-foot building on the College’s Blount County Campus will help fill the area’s need for highly skilled, college-educated employees. Blount County has experienced $2.8 million in new capital investment and announced 5,500 new jobs since 2011, according to the Blount Partnership.
Named for longtime Blount County Campus benefactors Ruth and Steve West, the workforce development center will include space for Pellissippi State’s Computer Information Technology, Culinary Arts, Electrical Engineering Technology and Electromechanical Engineering programswhile TCAT will have space for its Engineering Technology program, giving that college its first footprint in Blount County.
“I was on the Blount County Industrial Board for 20 years, and we brought a lot of diverse companies in and continue to do so,” said Mr. West, longtime owner of West Chevrolet and a former mayor of Maryville. “But it’s not like it was when I was young. A good attitude and willingness to learn, while important, are not enough in today’s economy. We need more specialized training to fill these jobs.”
The center will help fill that gap, with a unique, integrated approach to workforce development.In addition to Pellissippi State’s partnership with TCAT, the workforce development center also represents a K-12 partnership, offering dual enrollment classes for high school students, focusing on high-demand career skills. Meanwhile,a new corporate training center will givethe College’s local industry partners extra space and opportunity to train their employees at Pellissippi State.
“Our institutional mission at Pellissippi State is to provide a transformative environment that fosters the academic, social, economic and cultural enrichment of individuals and of our community,” said Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. “The Ruth and Steve West Workforce Development Center is going to embody that mission in a tangible way, helping us prepare Blount County students for high-demand careers that will sustain them and their families economically and allow them to stay right here at home instead of leaving in search of well-paying jobs.”
For example, the new building will include a 4,890-square-foot Culinary Institute that will allow the College to expand its Culinary Arts degree program and industry-recognized certification programs, increasing the number of graduates ready to fill in-demand culinary positions at hotels, restaurants, farmsteads, breweries, wineries and resorts across Blount, Knox and surrounding counties.
“The workforce development center will also help us serve our industry partners by providing more space to train their employees and offering individuals the continuing education that helps them move to the next level in their careers,” said Teri Brahams, executive director of Economic and Workforce Development for Pellissippi State.“And with the flexible space located right outside our new Culinary Institute, the College can provide the community space to host events and have them catered by our Culinary Arts students. It’s a win for everyone.”
Construction of the $16.5 million building, which was funded by the state of Tennessee and TCAT in addition to Pellissippi State, is projected to be complete in February 2022.
The Pellissippi State Foundation raised $5.5 million for the workforce development center.In addition to the Wests, the center also received significant financial contributions from donors such as the Economic Development Board of Blount County Government, the City of Maryville and the City of Alcoa; Arconic Foundation; Blackberry Farm Foundation; Blount Memorial Hospital; Care Institute Group; Clayton Family Foundation; Clayton Homes Inc.; DENSO North America Foundation; and William Ed Harmon.
For more information on Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400.
Registration for spring 2021 classes at Pellissippi State Community College opens Wednesday, Oct. 21.
Spring 2021 will look like fall 2020, with most classes not taking place on campus. In the spring 2021 schedule, students should look at “instruction mode” to see how classes will be conducted:
Asynchronous online: students do the work on their own time;
Synchronous online: students meet with their class at a set time via a platform such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom;
Hybrid: students will be expected to come to campus at some point during the semester, often for hands-on labs or proctored tests, but most work will take place virtually; and
In person: students will report to campus and meet with instructors and classmates in a traditional classroom.
Students who prefer one of these modes of instruction over others can do a search by instruction mode in the College’s Schedule Planner.
Current Pellissippi State students are encouraged to schedule an appointment with their assigned academic advisor using the Navigate app prior to registering. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, advising is being conducted virtually and includes access through Microsoft Teams, Zoom, email and phone.
“It is important to register early for the spring term so that you can be assured to get the classes you need to keep you on track to complete your degree,” said Leigh Anne Touzeau, assistant vice president, Enrollment Services.
Prospective students have a unique opportunity to learn what it’s like to attend Pellissippi State later this month. The College will host its first drive-thru Pellissippi Preview 4-6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road, Knoxville. Those who want to learn more about Pellissippi State’s academic programs, admissions, financial aid and student support services, all from the safety of their vehicles, are encouraged to reserve their spot at www.pstcc.edu/prsvp.
“With five campuses and a variety of online and virtual classes, Pellissippi State remains ready to meet students where they are and help them get to where they want to go,” Touzeau said.
Pellissippi State has staff standing by to assist prospective students with the registration process in its Virtual Walk-in Student Services platform. Prospective students with a camera-enabled computer or smartphone can access Admissions, Advising, Financial Aid, HelpDesk and other student services 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday via Zoom. Prospective students do not need an appointment, but should be aware that, just like walking into an actual waiting room, prospective students will be helped on a first-come, first-served basis.
Prospective students also can learn more about Pellissippi State through a remote meeting, an in-person appointment or online information sessions. To learn more about these options or to sign up for one, visit www.pstcc.edu/admissions/tour.
For more information on Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.eduor call 865-694-6400.