Pellissippi State Community College will host hundreds of middle and high school students Saturday, Feb. 21, for the East Tennessee regional Science Olympiad competition.
Science Olympiad brings together school-based teams to compete against one another in science, technology, engineering and math events. Events might include a building competition that teaches the basics of engineering and physics to students called on to build a bridge that can support the largest amount of weight or a laboratory competition that teaches chemistry and biology as students identify mystery powders.
“Science Olympiad is great because it exposes these students to so many different real-life applications of STEM academics,” said Morvarid Bejnood, a Pellissippi State instructor who is planning the event.
“It gives these middle and high school students the opportunity to visit Pellissippi State’s campus, to see our science labs and meet our faculty, as well as to meet local scientists and professionals in STEM fields. Science Olympiad is wonderful for education.”
More than 250 students are expected to take part in the competition. Winning teams go on to compete at the state level.
In addition, dozens of Pellissippi State students will serve as volunteers for the event through the college’s Service-Learning program.
To learn more about Pellissippi State and its STEM and other academic offerings, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.
Not a question of poverty but a statement about food security, it’s the topic of discussion when permaculture expert Peter Bane visits Pellissippi State Community College for an upcoming lecture.
The free presentation is 12:30-1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 3. It takes place in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The event is open to the community.
“The implications of the humble garden and of local food are far-reaching,” said Bane, author of “The Permaculture Handbook: Garden Farming for Town and Country.”
“Permaculture” refers to the concept of agricultural ecosystems designed to be sustainable and self-sufficient. Bane, a frequent lecturer and speaker, promotes urban and suburban “garden farming,” which may include vegetable gardens, tree crops, and even animal husbandry.
“From up in the atmosphere to down on the table,” he said, “I’ll speak about how permaculture, climate security and food security are things that impact everyone, every day. Considering the question ‘Where is my next meal coming from?’ is something that will make our food access safer and more secure in the future.”
Bane’s presentation is part of Pellissippi State’s ‘Good Food For All’ yearlong campaign. The campaign encourages civic engagement regarding food access issues through the college’s Service-Learning program and Sustainable Campus Initiative.
“Permaculture is all about working with nature and not against it,” said Annie Gray, Pellissippi State’s Service-Learning director. “On a practical level, it’s about harmonizing landscape design—urban or rural—with the daily lives of human beings who need secure access to food, shelter, energy, and income.”
“With climate and energy challenges in front of us, knowing how to provide basic human needs as close to home as possible is becoming increasingly important,” said Chad Hellwinckel, founder of Knoxville’s Permaculture Guild, which is sponsoring the Pellissippi State event. “Permaculture gives insight on how to let natural forces work for us instead of battling them.”
Gray, Hellwinckel and Bane say they hope the presentation will be beneficial to attendees, whether or not they’re interested in gardening, who want to learn more about the benefits of local, healthful food.
Pellissippi State’s Service-Learning program integrates community service with traditional classroom learning. The Sustainable Campus Initiative pioneers sustainable projects on all five Pellissippi State campuses. Together, the groups plan to put permaculture design into practice at a garden on the Hardin Valley Campus.
For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.
Thirteen Pellissippi State Community College students have been recognized by the prestigious Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges program.
“Who’s Who recognizes the fact that college is about more than just academic excellence—it’s also about giving back to the community and making a difference,” said Ted Lewis, vice president of Academic Affairs. “Students are honored for their leadership, scholastic achievement and community service.”
“We are very proud of these students, all of whom are devoted to their school and to the community.”
Pellissippi State’s Who’s Who inductees and their place of residence:
Mobin J. Araghi, Knoxville
Barbara Bearden, Knoxville
Patrick Bledsoe, Alcoa
Kevin Brooks, Greenback
Landon Burke, Knoxville
Amber N. Coffey, Oakdale
Brandi M. Crass, Knoxville
Rebecca Fields, Knoxville
Laura King, Oak Ridge
Susan M. Minehan, Oak Ridge
Nichole Proctor, Knoxville
Yvette M. Satchel, Oak Ridge
Bonnie Walker, Oak Ridge
Since 1934, Who’s Who has recognized students for academic excellence, college and community service, and potential for future achievement. Selection of students for inclusion is made each fall by a campus nominating committee composed of faculty, administration and other students. Honorees receive an award certificate.
For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.
Pellissippi State Community College is offering a series of free FAFSA workshop sessions for students and parents Jan. 27-Feb. 1. FAFSA Frenzy and the annual College Goal Sunday serve to walk students and parents through the process of filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, form.
All sessions take place on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Workshop dates, times and locations:
Monday, Jan. 26, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Room 129, Alexander Building
Ashley Albritton sits down at her kitchen table each night to study with her 13-year-old son, Mason.
As an added incentive to succeed, they also compete with one another to get the highest grades—Ashley at Pellissippi State Community College and Mason at Farragut Middle School.
At the end of the semester, their report cards hang side by side on the refrigerator.
Ashley Albritton is busy knocking out the prerequisites to apply for nursing school. She enrolled at Pellissippi State in 2013, with strong encouragement from her sister.
“It was just Mason and I, and I had been working in hospice and home health, just getting by,” she said. “My younger sister told me that I needed to get back into the world.”
Her sister also helped her apply to Pellissippi State.
“When I first got here, I felt like it was a joke for me to be in college,” said Albritton, “like I wasn’t worthy to be here. But now I feel like this is all a dream. My son tells me that college has given me back the light in my smile, the light in my eyes.”
Albritton was seated on the stage when President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden visited Pellissippi State on Friday, Jan. 9. She shook President Obama’s hand from her place in the front row.
She had hoped to give the nation’s president a memento: a hope chest her father had given her when she was a child. Into this box, throughout her life, she has placed scraps of paper that represent all of her hopes and dreams.
“I want to give that box to someone else. The truth is, I can never say thank you enough to all the people who have helped me. I just hope to pass on my story so that it can help some other young woman follow her dreams.
“I don’t need my dream box anymore, because all of my dreams are coming true.”
Friday afternoon, Albritton gave the hope chest, instead, to Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr., who had featured her in his introductory speech earlier that day.
“Ashley is truly an inspiration, both to other students and to me,” Wise said. “She has a sincere heart, and through her strength and compassion, she proves, each day, that everyone can follow their dreams.”
Albritton hopes to become a medical missionary. She believes that her purpose is to give back and to serve. When she graduates from Pellissippi State, she hopes to go on to earn her bachelor’s degree and then a master’s to be an advanced nurse practitioner.
For more information about Pellissippi State’s academic offerings or its 40th anniversary celebration, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.
The Knoxville office of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center, a division of Pellissippi State Community College, has presented SERVPRO of Rocky Hill, Sequoyah Hills and South Knoxville with the 2014 Rising Star award. The disaster-cleanup franchise is owned by John and Kristina Greenway.
The Rising Star award is the highest honor TSBDC has to recognize small businesses. The award honors business owners who have achieved sustainability and success and who contribute to the growth and development of Tennessee’s economy.
“John and Kristina Greenway have expanded their business from 1,900 square feet in 2009 to over 16,000 square feet and 23 employees today,” said Larry Rossini, director of the Knoxville TSBDC. “They had a bumpy start finding affordable space, learning on the go and managing a large number of jobs, but they have risen to become our Rising Stars.”
SERVPRO, which is based in Gallatin, specializes in cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial properties that incur damage from fires, floods, and other disasters.
The Greenways opened their franchise in 2009. Kristina had worked with the Knoxville TSBDC for years before that as a home-based entrepreneur, and the couple used TSBDC’s services to connect with SERVPRO after the pharmaceutical firm for which John served as district manager downsized.
“Without Larry Rossini and the TSBDC there would have been no SERVPRO at Rocky Hill,” said John. “We’d have never become a company. I needed someone to steer me in the right direction, and Larry was that guy. It’s because of him and the team at TSBDC that we found SERVPRO and got our start.”
Making the business a success wasn’t always easy.
“We were totally overwhelmed with work for the first eight months,” Kristina said. “We had a tough time keeping up as we taught ourselves what we desperately needed to know.”
But the couple’s dedication and hard work paid off.
In 2013, the Greenways’ business was recognized at the SERVPRO National Convention as “The Best” among 1,700 franchises for best practices. Last year, the Greenways also were recognized by SERVPRO, as members of the company’s Southeast Storm Response Team, for their efforts to help clean up post-Hurricane Sandy.
“John and I know we’ve built a team of quality people who understand the needs of our clients,” said Kristina. “Our mission is to restore customers’ lives, business and homes. We go the extra mile for each other, for our employees and for our customers.”
TSBDC is a network of small-business consultants offering services in 13 centers throughout Tennessee. For more information, visit www.tsbdc.org. For more information about Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu.
“Elasticity”—a room-size multimedia exhibit that its creator, award-winning artist Crystal Wagner, describes as “fast forward to 2050, where plastic grows by itself”—is scheduled for display at Pellissippi State Community College Jan. 19-Feb. 6.
Visitors can experience Wagner’s mesmerizing exhibit, which takes a full week just to set up, in the gallery of the Bagwell Center for Media and Art on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. The exhibit is free.
A reception to meet the artist takes place 4-7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5.
“‘Elasticity’ is a conduit,” Wagner said. “It explores ideas related to human beings and the increasingly severe divide between themselves and the natural world by growing—as if the art itself were a life form—through the gallery.
“More and more of our natural world seems alien to us, but there’s a strange familiarity and attraction to the forms that people categorize as exotic. Even in our attempt to keep the outside ‘out,’ plastic plants occupy small corners of people’s homes.”
According to Nastia Voynovskaya in “Hi Fructose” art magazine:
“[Wagner] creates deceptively natural-looking environments with paper and other materials purchased from dollar stores and office supply chains. Whether working on drawings, installations or printmaking, Wagner begins all of her work with an organic mark, allowing shapes to emerge and multiply like moss or fungus from another planet.”
Wagner, who earned an M.F.A. from the University of Tennessee in 2008, is represented by Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco. This year, her work has been exhibited in California, Florida, Hawaii, Canada and England.
“Elasticity” is one of the events that make up Pellissippi State’s arts series, The Arts at Pellissippi State. The series brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts. This year, the series commemorates Pellissippi State’s 40th anniversary.
For more about The Arts at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts or call (865) 694-6400.
Pellissippi State Community College has named 920 top students to the fall semester dean’s list. Students are eligible for the dean’s list upon completion of 12 college-level hours per semester of college coursework with a 3.5-4.00 GPA. Pellissippi State honorees include the following:
Confit, crème brûlée, coq au vin. Gnocchi, pierogi, béchamel.
They’re more than just a tableful of fancy foreign foods—they’re what’s for dinner, and breakfast and lunch, when it’s prepared by students enrolled in the Pellissippi State Culinary Arts Institute.
Registration is now under way to launch an exciting culinary career through Pellissippi State Community College, with a new round of courses starting spring semester. The application deadline is Jan. 9, and classes begin Jan. 20.
“Our students learn to cook to the sensory perceptions,” said Tom Gaddis, Culinary Arts program coordinator. “Before you even see fajitas, you hear them sizzling. Before you bite into them, you see the multicolored peppers. Culinary is truly an art.”
Students who pursue a two-year degree in Business/Culinary Arts learn about every aspect of the institutional kitchen: stocks and sauces (“There are five mother, or foundation, sauces,” one of them the creamy béchamel, said Gaddis); moist and dry cooking methods: blanching, braising, poaching, stewing, baking, barbecuing/smoking; equipment, safety; meats, from beef and fowl (coq au vin, confit) to rabbit and venison; seasonal vegetables; desserts (crème brûlée).
“Each instructor has his or her own specialty,” said Gaddis. “One chef is from Pittsburgh, and his specialty is Polish food like pierogi and gnocchi. Another specializes in Mediterranean, and another in Japanese.
“Students are able to pursue careers they genuinely love,” he said, “and Culinary Arts has maintained a very high level of job placement since its inception.”
Culinary Arts launched in 2010, part of a collaborative venture between Pellissippi State and the University of Tennessee. It’s a cohort, meaning students enter and complete the courses together, start to finish. Classes are at the Division Street Campus and in the laboratory kitchens at UT’s Culinary Institute off Neyland Drive.
Graduates earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in Business with a concentration in Culinary Arts. They’re also certified through the National Restaurant Association in food production and sanitation, and they can apply to the American Culinary Federation to become certified culinarians, the first step toward professional chef certification.
Pellissippi State Community College pumped an average of $274 million each year into the local economy over the past five years, a recent study shows.
The 27th annual analysis of the economic impact of the college on the Knox and Blount county area reveals that the value of business volume, jobs, and individual income created amounted to about $1.4 billion in the 2009-2014 period, or an average of $274 million each year.
Fred H. Martin, an educational consultant who completed the study, says local business volume—the total amount generated locally by businesses from the college’s direct and indirect expenditures—was $659 million for the five-year period. Of that total, $537 million came from non-local revenues, such as state appropriations, state and federal contracts and grants, and state and federal student financial aid revenues.
Although Pellissippi State had a total of 2,573 full-time-equivalent employees during the period, the total employment created and sustained by the college’s expenditures was estimated at 44,967 jobs for the five years. Of that number, 36,202 jobs were created by external or new funds.
Using the more conservative of two different calculations, Martin has estimated that the impact of Pellissippi State’s expenditures on personal income in the area amounted to about $708 million during 2009-2014, of which $589 million came from external or new funds.
Of the college’s $1.4 billion total economic impact, about $1.1 billion ($225 million per year) could be attributed to the infusion of new non-local revenues.
“This impact would likely not have occurred without the presence of Pellissippi State in the area,” Martin said.
The economic impact study notes that each dollar of local revenue coming into Pellissippi State generated a return on investment of about $3.54 in local business volume. The individual income generated ranged from $3.81 to $4.04, for a total return on investment of at least $7.35.
The study also projects that graduates who complete a two-year associate’s degree can expect to earn about $470,800 more over their work lifetime than students who have only a high school diploma. For the most recent class of Pellissippi State graduates, that difference could mean an additional $605 million in lifetime earnings, plus about $2.4 million in additional annual tax payments.
Finally, the study describes a number of benefits to society that are proven to accompany higher levels of education.
“The results of this economic impact study clearly demonstrate that Pellissippi State continues to be a major contributor to the economic base of Knox and Blount counties,” Martin said. “Economic impact is expressed in this study in terms of jobs created, business volume generated and personal income earned.”