Pamela Altstatt Receives TCTC Adjunct Faculty Award
Date: May 4, 2023
Contact: Lisa Garrett, email@example.com
By Lisa Garrett
Pamela Altstatt Receives TCTC Adjunct Faculty Award
PENDLETON, SC – Pamela Altstatt’s passion for providing learning experiences that support students’ physical, mental and emotional health and well-being was recognized Thursday, May 4, when she received Tri-County Technical College’s (TCTC) 2023 Adjunct Faculty Presidential Award.
This award is given annually at the spring faculty/staff convocation to the adjunct faculty member who is recognized for excellence in teaching, who has consistently high student evaluations and who supports the philosophy and goals of the College.
“This award is so special,” said Altstatt. “It is an honor to be among such a distinguished list of nominees from TCTC.”
Altstatt began her career at TCTC as an adjunct instructor in 2018 for the Academic and Career Foundations (ACF) department and became a lecturer in 2020, teaching every semester in addition to serving as an academic advisor in the summers.
“You won’t find a bigger cheerleader for students, employees and the College than Pamela Altstatt,” said Jennifer Hulehan, dean of the Arts and Sciences Division. “Her commitment to high quality teaching and learning experiences is second to none. She is committed to the ACF mission of cultivating in students the foundational knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors necessary for success in their college career and life experiences,” said Hulehan.
Altstatt, M.S., a clinical exercise physiologist, leads Sports Fitness Training (SFT-109), a three-hour university transfer course that focuses on improving individual health through knowledge and application.
Through the ACF department, the class is offered as an option for all students at TCTC. SFT-109 is now a requirement for all Criminal Justice majors.
A common misconception about the class is that it is just an exercise class. SFT-109 emphasizes a combination of science education with hands-on learning in a laboratory setting.
“This is a clinically-based program,” added Altstatt. “We’re not a yoga class. We are looking at and understanding disease processes, like high blood pressure, and how to reverse them through diet and exercise,” she said.
“I am enormously passionate about creating a ‘team’ classroom environment where students are able to learn, share and apply knowledge that is taught in a highly welcoming, fun and encouraging environment,” she said.
Along with the reversal of disease processes, students are learning to develop customized nutrition and exercise programs. Other class outcomes are improved mental and physical health and stress management.
“Pamela emphasizes positive lifelong habits that provide lifelong benefits. Students are learning to make better life choices,” said Corey Evans, instructor. “SFT-109 is an incredible course where students begin personally applying the information within their own lives from the first day of the course. SFT-109 is intentional about building a stronger, healthier workforce and a stronger, healthier community,” Evans said.
Altstatt understands that students’ success is about more than in-class learning from lectures and textbooks.
Altstatt recognizes that students will receive a more well-rounded learning experience if they are able to engage in the real world. “Therefore, instead of keeping her students on campus and in her lab, she takes them on hikes each semester and they visit local grocery stores together. It’s also why you see them playing volleyball on the grass outside Oconee Hall or practicing circuits outside Anderson Hall Event Center,” said Hulehan.
Six students in her Spring 2021 course stated this was their first time ever hiking. The experience challenged and changed them, and they were already planning other hikes with one another and with family and friends. Altstatt noted that the rewarding experience “facilitated natural student-to-student interaction and bonding as personalities shone and students' walls came down.”
When the class was introduced in 2019, there were two sections per semester. Based on her success in the classroom, Altstatt has helped grow this class to more than eight sections a semester. The course has been so effective that she is now TCTC’s Lifetime Fitness and Wellness lecturer and trains adjuncts to facilitate the additional classes.
Not only has Atlstatt helped increase the number of sections being offered, but she has also helped develop an obstacle course at TCTC’s Anderson Campus. This obstacle course is specially designed to help Criminal Justice majors qualify for the Police Exam obstacle course.
Her students are always actively engaged in her classes-whether it's lecture or lab.
One student wrote, “Coach Altstatt is TCTC’s best kept secret.” Another said, “Your energy always made me feel comfortable and motivated and for that I thank you for reigniting the spark I needed to finally realize how I can formulate my life choices in a very healthy mental state.”
“Pamela is strategic in choosing activities and assignments that will engage students and meet student learning outcomes,” the ACF team wrote in their adjunct award nomination letter for Altstatt. “Pamela is collaborative. She has worked closely with everyone from our Criminal Justice instructors to our HR department to Student Development and even the President to provide college-wide learning opportunities. Pamela builds trust with students and co-workers by demonstrating integrity in all she does. Finally, Pamela engages in her work at the College in a way that meaningfully contributes to the division and College goals.”
Altstatt was awarded the Outstanding Service to Students Award at this year’s South Carolina Organization for Student Success (SCOSS) conference. The award recognizes excellence in teaching, responsiveness to individual students, and commitment to professional growth.
Prior to moving to the Seneca area with her husband, they lived in Los Angeles where she administered fitness assessments for professional athletes. Among them have been the late Kobe Bryant, Rick Fox, Derek Fisher, Lisa Leslie, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Sparks, the Los Angeles Ice Dogs, competitors for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and the Los Angeles Fire Department.
Altstatt holds a B.S. degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science from California State University in Long Beach and a master of science in exercise physiology from California State University in Northridge.
She is a co-author of the best-selling book, Get With the Program, published in 2013.
In addition, Altstaff is a certified Functional Movement Screening Professional, a certified Sports Nutritionist, a certified Physique and Figure Training Specialist, and a National Exercise and Sports Trainer Association (NESTA) personal trainer.
She and her husband, Hamilton Altstatt, a veteran composer/sound designer whose tracks were used in the Avengers: Endgame trailers. live in Seneca.
About Tri-County Technical College
Tri-County Technical College, a public two-year community and technical college serving Anderson, Oconee and Pickens Counties in South Carolina, enrolls more than 9,000 students annually and offers more than 70 major fields of study, including computer technology, business administration, mechatronics, nursing, and university transfer programs. Tri-County boasts the highest student success rate among two-year colleges in the state and ranks in the top one percent nationally for successful student transfers to four-year colleges and universities. To learn more, visit tctc.edu.