P.A.C.E. Newsletter for October 2018

From the P.A.C.E. Director, Kellie Toon

Kellie ToonThe Pellissippi Academic Center for Excellence (P.A.C.E.) officially kicked off the academic year with an in-service P.A.C.E. Day picnic to welcome and introduce everyone to the College’s new faculty and professional development center. If you missed what P.A.C.E. can do for you, be sure to check out the website for upcoming events, trainings, and opportunities.

The August kick off was only the beginning. September got off to a great start with a multi-campus tour to introduce Faculty Fellow Rick Patton’s First-Year Experience project “Putting on the A.R.M.O.R. of College Success.” Rick introduces a mnemonic device, A.R.M.O.R., which helps students remember the essential skills necessary to succeed in College. But Rick’s advice isn’t only relevant for students; the skills are essential for life success and thus applicable to us all. Take a minute to watch Rick’s introduction video and help your students put on a solid shield of A.R.M.O.R. as they navigate their college experiences.

September also brought a great first round of G.I.F.T. “Rapping”. Everyone who came walked away with a unique G.I.F.T. (Great Ideas for Teaching) shared by our colleagues. Stay tuned for the next G.I.F.T. “Rapping” session and don’t miss an opportunity to share and learn great teaching ideas from one another.

In October, P.A.C.E. highlights Global and Diversity Learning which emphasizes exploration of culture and life experiences both abroad and at home. P.A.C.E. Faculty Fellow, Oakley Atterson, in coordination with the International Education Committee, is working to help faculty globalize their curriculum in an effort to prepare students for an increasingly interconnected and diverse world. P.A.C.E. will partner with TnCIS to bring World Savvy and Dr. William Gaudelli to Pellissippi to teach us more about integrating global competence into teaching and learning. Check out the P.A.C.E. web site for October events.

There are so many exciting opportunities happening not only at P.A.C.E., but around the College, including the Pellissippi Academy, The Arts at Pellissippi State, and many more. Remember, Excellence is Collaborative and we can’t do it alone. Take part, engage, and join the movement!

P.A.C.E. Events Calendar

 “Global and Diversity Learning” is the professional development focus for October.  Please join us for one or more of these events:

  • September 28, 11:00 to 4:30: Global Learning Workshop on globalizing your curriculum with Ken Simon of World Savvy. Limited to 20 participants. Contact PACE@pstcc.edu if you are interested in attending.
  • October 4, 2pm to 3pm : “Keeping Students Engaged” webinar. During this webinar, participants learn how to use technology to increase student engagement, flip the classroom from teacher-centric to student-centric, and identify on-the-spot methods for assessing student learning. (NISOD webinar presented in the PACE classroom, HV Portable F101)
  • October 17, 9am to 6pm, NISOD Virtual Conference : The virtual conference will consist of high-quality, handpicked sessions chosen from outstanding presentations made at NISOD’s 2018 International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence. Check out the schedule and join Rachel Glazener, P.A.C.E. Faculty Fellow and other colleagues in the P.A.C.E. classroom, HV Portable F101 for sessions that interest you.
  • November 5:  Global Diversity Day. Dr. William Gaudelli speaking on global citizenship. Followed by a Global and Diversity Learning Student Panel.

Chester NeedhamFaculty Profile: Chester Needham

Department: English

What do you teach? ESOL, ESL, and occasional native-speaker 1010 classes

How long have you been teaching at PSCC? Since August, 2014

Finish this sentence: Successful students _________

Successful students ask lots of questions and arrange time for assistance when needed.

What are one or two of your best classroom practices?
Flipping the classroom and putting students into groups to work with one another.

Do you have a favorite professional organization, newsletter, or blog that you follow?


What do you like to do when you aren’t working?

  1. Being in nature, either hiking or chasing trout in rivers
  2. Attending live music concerts
  3. Working on my classic automobile

Who is your favorite superhero?  Kate O’Meara

If you had a theme song, what would it be?  “The Weight” by The Band

Which movie or TV show character do you identify with the most?

The Dude from The Big Lebowski–I’m trying to sweat the small stuff less and less, and I hate The Eagles!

If you could have dinner with absolutely anyone, living or not, who would it be?

My grandfather/namesake, Han Chester Needham

What book is on your bedside table? Cormac McCarthy’s Border trilogy

Faculty Fellow Project Spotlight: Internationalizing the CurriculumOakley Atterson

This month we would like to introduce you to Oakley Atterson and his Faculty Fellow Project. Oakley Atterson has been a P.A.C.E. Faculty Fellow since 2017 focusing on the high impact practice (HIP) of Global and Diversity Learning.

Globalization and economic interdependence favor a workforce with the ability to view things from different perspectives. Exposure to this diversity can benefit our students in everything from writing to manufacturing, from communication to business. Embedding these skills into the curriculum and even individual class syllabi can give Pellissippi State graduates a built-in competitive advantage in the job market.

Since the experiential learning element of Global and Diversity Learning is so well covered at Pellissippi by TnCIS (our study abroad programs), Oakley’s project, in coordination with the International Education Committee, aims to internationalize the curriculum at Pellissippi to prepare our students for an increasingly interconnected world.

Overall, Oakley’s hope is to expose more students to this HIP both through study abroad as well as through “domestic” or local study in the classroom. Ideally, experience of a global class here will inspire more students to go out into the world through study abroad, and vice versa.

For more information about Oakley’s project or if you would like to be involved, please contact him at 865-539-7389, or by email at ojatterson@pstcc.edu.

Tech Talk: Student’s Be Tech Ready website

By Rachel Glazener, P.A.C.E. Mobile & Emerging Technology Faculty Fellow

Be Tech Ready website

Last month the “Grow Your Skills” Tech Challenge began, hosted by P.A.C.E. and faculty fellow Rachel Glazener. The techy highlight this month from level 1 of the challenge is the “Be Tech Ready” site for students. The student website can be f

ound at https://sites.pstcc.edu/infoservices-catalog/be-tech-ready/ and is provided to students at new student orientation (NSO) as a handout. This website provides students with detailed information on using their P number/username, what kind of accounts they have on campus, what kind of training/support they have access to, and file storage.

This guide walks students through the basics of techy things students might use in class to help them be better prepared, especially if they are new to using technology for their courses. This is a great reference for instructors to post on Brightspace as an additional reference for students.

Some highlights from the student site that might be useful for your courses:

  • Under student accounts there is an interactive Brightspace tour. For instructors that teach online or have a strong online presence, it would be useful to recommend students complete the tour during the first week of classes. If students seem to be struggling with navigating or using specific areas of Brightspace point them to that specific area to work through in the tour.
  • Also, under student accounts, is the Brightspace Quick Reference Sheet. If students have completed the tour but need additional information on how to use specific areas of Brightspace, you can send them to the quick reference guide. This guide even includes how-to videos for particularly tricky tasks.
  • Under computer basics there are detailed webpage links for Windows 10 and Apple’s Mac. These documents instruct students how to utilize their machines and the included software.
  • Under general productivity software and What is Office 365, there are several guides and free programs that can be completed to become a more efficient user of Microsoft products and the free Microsoft 365 provided for all PSCC students.

These are just some of the materials included in the Be Tech Ready website for students. Many students will have explored this and already be familiar with the techy things included and ready to go for your course. If you’re interested in a faculty version of this check out the “Grow Your Skills” challenge on the P.A.C.E. website. It provides similar information to get connected on campus and grow your own techy skills.

For more information on getting your students connected and more techy using the Be Tech Ready site or on the Grow Your Skills Challenge, contact Rachel Glazener, rlglazener@pstcc.edu.

Dear Instructional Designer

Dear Instructional Designer,

Most of my students are from East Tennessee, but I also have a few students from different countries. I would like to give my class a more global perspective, but I don’t have time to rewrite my entire curriculum this semester. Do you have any suggestions?


Perplexed @Pellissippi

Dear Perplexed,

Your desire to give your class a more global perspective is a great start! I suggest a two-pronged approach.

First, contact the PACE Faculty Fellow, Oakley Atterson. Oakley is gathering instructors who wish to rewrite one of their syllabi to give it a more global perspective. They will begin working on this during the spring 2019 term with the goal of rolling out their newly globalized classes in fall 2019.

Second, there are some things to do in the short term. For example, add a reading, a lecture and/or an assignment with an international or intercultural focus and use examples from other countries and cultures. (source: Univ of WaterlooSTLHE Newsletter)

I hope that helps you to begin the process of building a more global perspective into your classes. Be sure to check out our PACE Events calendar. You could gather lots of great ideas and techniques from the Global Learning Workshop on the 28th, the GIFT Rapping session on October 10th, the student panel on October 29, and our guest lecturer, Dr. William Gaudelli, on November 5th.


Karen Sorensen, PACE Instructional Designer


If you have a question for the Instructional Designer, please contact her. With your permission, she may publish your question in the P.A.C.E. newsletter.