Pellissippi State opens Ben Atchley Veterans Success Center Nov. 11

Pellissippi State Community College celebrates the grand opening of the Ben Atchley Veterans Success Center on Veterans Day, Monday, Nov. 11, with a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony. The community is invited to attend.

The ceremony begins at 3 p.m. in the courtyard outside the Educational Resources Center, where the new facility is housed. The Ben Atchley Veterans Success Center is located on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

The dedication will be attended by Pellissippi State student veterans, area dignitaries and elected officials. The Veterans Success Center’s namesake, Ben Atchley, an early and longtime supporter of Pellissippi State, also will be present.

Atchley, who was born in Knoxville in 1930, served in the U.S. Naval Reserves–Seabees (Construction Battalion) for 10 years, 1948-58. He was elected to the state House of Representatives in 1972, then to the Senate in 1976, where he served for 28 consecutive years. He retired from the Legislature in 2004.

The Ben Atchley Veterans Success Center will centralize veteran-related services—including tutoring, mentoring, advising, financial assistance and job placement services—at a single location. The facility plans to serve an estimated 125 veterans each year.

“We’re trying to provide an additional layer of support to an important group of students, and a growing group of students, who are returning to college after service in Iraq or Afghanistan,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president.

“We want to provide the best possible environment for them to learn and grow while they’re here at Pellissippi State.”

Pellissippi State hopes the Veterans Success Center also helps increase retention among student veterans.

Statistics indicate that more than 88 percent of veterans using the Post-9/11 GI Bill abandon higher education pursuits after the end of their second semester of college, and only 3 percent graduate. Feelings of isolation are said to be a major contributing factor to veterans’ dropping out.

“The Veterans Success Center will offer not only the ‘formal’ network of support these students need,” said Ted Lewis, vice president of Academic Affairs, “but it will also provide them with an informal network through which they can work together, socialize and share common interests.”

The Ben Atchley Veterans Success Center was funded in part by grants from the Tennessee College Access and Success Network and the Tennessee Board of Regents Office of Access and Diversity.

For more information about the Veterans Success Center, call (865) 694-6400 or visit To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or

Pellissippi State presents Nov. 7 Instrumental Concert

Pellissippi State Community College’s Music Concert Series continues Thursday, Nov. 7, with a performance that includes musical stylings for every palate.

The Instrumental Concert begins at 7 p.m. in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus. The free concert features the talents of Pellissippi State students, and the community is invited to attend.

“The fall Instrumental Concert offers a wide variety of musical styles and genres,” said Bill Brewer, program coordinator of Music and an associate professor in Liberal Arts. “This concert typically offers the most variety for the audience of all the programs in our Music Concert Series.”

The performance will include 15-minute sets from the student brass, guitar, percussion and bluegrass ensembles, as well as from the studio orchestra. Each ensemble will perform some of the best music associated with its unique instrumentation.

“There should be something for every taste at this concert,” Brewer said.

The Music Concert Series is part of The Arts at Pellissippi State, which brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts.

All events in the Music Concert Series are free; however, donations will be accepted at the door for the Pellissippi State Foundation on behalf of the Music Scholarship Fund.

For additional information about Pellissippi State’s Music Concert Series or The Arts at Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or

Pellissippi State: Fairy tales topic of Nov. 6 Faculty Lecture Series talk

Trolls and mermaids, elves and giants. Why do fairy tales remain so enduring and endearing to adults? What basic truths do the stories teach?

These are the questions to be discussed at Pellissippi State’s next Faculty Lecture Series presentation, one of many offerings in The Arts at Pellissippi State’s yearlong slate of events. The series brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts.

Marilyn Sue Yamin, an associate professor and the program coordinator of Composition in the English Department, delivers the lecture “Fairy Tales Aren’t Just for Children” at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov 6. The free event, which takes place in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus, is open to the public.

“I’ll start with the origin and background of fairy tales,” said Yamin, “and discuss some of the critical and psychological theories that have been advanced about why fairy tales are so persistent—not just in American culture but all over the world—and why they remain so popular with adults.

“What is it about fairy tales that intrigues us, that keeps these stories prevalent in our lives, in the media, as movies and plays and television shows? We use fairy tales in all forms, past childhood.”

Part of the enduring popularity of fairy tales may be linked to their relevance to humanity.

“There is a basic truth in these tales that rings true through all cultures and keeps them forever young,” she said.

In her lecture, Yamin also will discuss the unique art form of fairy tales: how they can be adapted, transformed and rewritten, yet still remain true to the core of their story. She’ll discuss familiar fairy tales and characters, as well as read a short 20th century fairy tale that might be new to the audience.

To learn more about “Fairy Tales” or The Arts at Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or

Pellissippi State Nursing program awarded accreditation

The Nursing program at Pellissippi State Community College has received official notification of initial accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

“This is a great accomplishment for our program and Pellissippi State,” said Larry Goins, dean of Nursing. “To earn ACEN accreditation for the A.A.S.N. [Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree] program within three years is an exemplary accomplishment.”

The college’s two-year Nursing program was launched in 2010.

ACEN accreditation couldn’t come at a better time, says Goins, since more students than ever are seeking opportunities for nursing careers. Nursing is one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing occupations, the demand for nurses is at an all-time high, and the need for nurses is projected to continue to increase.

Nursing is offered at the Blount County and Magnolia Avenue campuses. Both facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art simulation labs, creating a strong learning environment for the students who will become tomorrow’s nurses.

Partnerships with other institutions allow Pellissippi State’s Nursing graduates to transfer seamlessly if they choose to pursue a bachelor’s and master’s degree in nursing.

Following an on-site evaluation in March 2013, the ACEN granted accreditation for five years, the maximum number available for initial accreditation. The program’s accreditation is effective until spring 2018.

Accreditation indicates to the community that Pellissippi State’s Nursing program meets national standards and guidelines for nursing education and that it is committed to the delivery of quality nursing education.

The program initially received full approval on August 22, 2012, by the Tennessee Board of Nursing after a two-day site visit in February 2012.

For more information about the Nursing program, call Pellissippi State at (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State earns two state public relations association honors

protrait of female with glassesPellissippi State Community College came away with two awards at the Tennessee College Public Relations Association conference in Cookeville this summer.

Julia Wood, Pellissippi State’s director of Marketing and Communications, was named the Charles Holmes Award recipient, and the college received a silver Communications and Marketing Award for design of a campus sustainability poster.

The Charles Holmes Award is presented annually to a member of TCPRA who demonstrates steadfast service and earnest dedication to the organization. A founding member of TCPRA, Holmes is a former public relations director at the University of Memphis.

“It was a complete surprise,” Wood said of receiving the award. “It was also very special for me, because I used to work for Charles Holmes at the University of Memphis. Receiving an award named for him is a great honor.”

Wood has been a TCPRA member for 28 years and has served as president and vice president of the organization. Her two-year term as president ended in June.

sustainability poster with ladybug on a leafPellissippi State’s Marketing and Communications Office also produced the campus sustainability poster that won an award. Designed by Mark Friebus, the brightly colored poster sports an illustration of a ladybug on a leaf. It was designed to hang in the Goins Building Rotunda on the Hardin Valley Campus to educate students and visitors about the college’s sustainable campus initiative.

Pellissippi State students initiated a small campus fee to support sustainability initiatives in 2011, and those funds have been used for various projects, including recycling and waste reduction programs, educational events, and building plans for conversion to energy efficient operations.

“Pellissippi State has made great strides in promoting a sustainable campus, and we’re very proud of that,” Wood said. “We’re also very proud to have garnered a TCPRA award for the poster.”

‘Robber Bridegroom’ bluegrass musical premieres Nov. 1 at Pellissippi State

Broadway’s hit bluegrass musical “The Robber Bridegroom” promises to be a rollicking good time when it comes to Pellissippi State Community College’s stage Nov. 1-3 and 8-10.

“The Robber Bridegroom” premieres at the college at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, with additional performances at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 2, 8 and 9. Matinee performances begin at 2 p.m. Nov. 3 and 10. All presentations take place in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus.

The musical is a rousing, bawdy tall tale set in 18th century Mississippi. It tells the story of Rosamund, the only daughter of the richest planter in the county, and her romance with legendary outlaw Jamie Lockhart.

Proceedings go awry thanks to a case of double mistaken identity, coupled with the machinations of an evil stepmother intent on Rosamund’s demise, the stepmother’s pea-brained henchman and a hostile talking head in a trunk.

“There will be singing—bluegrass, country and a little bit of Broadway style—plus lots of dancing, lots of silliness, and, above all, plenty of bluegrass picking,” said Charles R. Miller, Theatre program coordinator and Liberal Arts professor.

Tickets are available online at or at the Box Office, beginning one hour before the performance’s start. Tickets for seniors and students are $12; tickets for adults are $14. Plenty of free parking is available.

Pellissippi State’s presentation of “The Robber Bridegroom” features an all-student cast of 14 principal actors and singers, in addition to six musicians. The music, composed by Robert Waldman, includes one of the first genuine bluegrass scores ever heard in a Broadway musical.

“The Robber Bridegroom” book and lyrics are by Alfred Uhry, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Driving Miss Daisy.” The story is based on a 1942 novella of the same name by Eudora Welty.

For more information, contact Pellissippi State’s Box Office at (865) 539-7529 or visit To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or

Pellissippi State launches veterinary, medical assistant programs

Pellissippi State Community College is launching two new job training programs: Clinical Medical Assistant and Veterinary Assistant. Designed to meet the needs of today’s adults, the new programs begin in November.

“Programs of this kind are often geared to the traditional student — the recent high school graduate who is able to attend class two to three days during the week from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., for a semester or more,” said Debi Bolton, a manager in Business and Community Services. “We scheduled our programs with the busy adult in mind. Classes meeting either two evenings a week or on Saturdays.”

A free informational session on both programs is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22, in Room 206, Alexander Building, at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus. To register for the session, call (800) 830-2228.

Completion of the Clinical Medical Assistant program generally takes less than seven months, and the Veterinary Assistant program can be completed in two.

The CMA program combines 134 hours of classroom and online training with 160 hours of hands-on clinical experience at a local medical practice. Students learn to perform duties such as taking vital signs, preparing examination rooms, assisting with medical examinations and administering medication.

Students who successfully complete the program are eligible for national certification through the National Healthcareer Association. They are prepared for employment in a physician’s office, urgent-care facility or other clinical setting.

The CMA training program begin Nov. 9 and ends March 8. It meets 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. each Saturday at the Hardin Valley Campus.

The VA program includes 35 hours of classroom training and 24 hours of volunteer, hands-on training in veterinary facilities. Students learn how to assist vets and vet technicians with examining pets, feeding, and watering. They also learn how to clean and disinfect cages, as well as how to sterilize surgical, examination, and lab equipment.

VA training begins Nov. 5 and runs through Dec. 12, with classes meeting 6-9:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Classes are also at the Hardin Valley Campus.

For more information about these programs and other job training offered at Pellissippi State, contact Business and Community Services at or (865) 539-7167.

Pellissippi State: Dual enrollment registers record number of high school students

The number of high school students taking classes in the Fast Forward Dual Enrollment program at Pellissippi State Community College this semester is at an all-time high, and overall enrollment for the group has jumped nearly 40 percent since last fall.

Dual enrollment allows high school juniors and seniors the chance to take college-level classes at their schools or at Pellissippi State and receive credit simultaneously for high school and college.

This fall, Fast Forward registered 1,128 students. That reflects a 29 percent rise in enrollment in Blount County, a 44 percent increase in Knox County, and a 35 percent jump in home school and other students.

“Fast Forward is a program that allows high school students who are ably prepared to complete college courses,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president. “We are very proud that those students and their parents and counselors recognize the quality of our classes and faculty.”

“This is what it’s all about: helping students reach their goals,” said Spencer Joy, head of the Fast Forward program. “Our success is attributable to more dual enrollment classes being offered at local high schools and to building new relationships with high school counselors and parents.”

A Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation grant pays for eligible high-schoolers to earn up to 12 hours of college credit, and dual enrollment students can take additional classes if they choose, at their own cost.

Fast Forward offered 39 classes at high schools in Knox and Blount counties this semester, up from 22 last fall, and dual enrollment increased at 13 of the 19 schools where the classes are offered. Among those with record enrollments: Bearden High School, with 103 participating students; Farragut, 115; Halls, 96; and Maryville, 82.

About half of all dual enrollment students are taking classes at their high schools, with the other half opting for classes on Pellissippi State campuses. Fast Forward students make up 10.5 percent of the college’s credit enrollment.

Pellissippi State is looking toward continued growth in the Fast Forward program, and it offers numerous options for parents and students to learn about dual enrollment opportunities. In early 2014, Pellissippi State will host Fast Forward information sessions as well as a home school open house. The free events—both of which are open to the public—will feature presentations and question-and-answer sessions.

“Dual Enrollment allows high school students to double up on their learning and take up to four 3-credit classes that count for college credit,” said Joy. “Those students then get a jump-start on their college education, entering college as freshmen who already have 12 credits under their belt.

“The academic experience is very beneficial, but in many ways, the best part of the program is that high school students find independence by taking part in the transitional process of becoming a college student early, by registering for classes on their own and pursuing other formative college experiences.”

For more information about Fast Forward, visit or call Spencer Joy at (865) 539-7349.

Pellissippi State students featured in Fall Choral Concert

Pellissippi State Community College’s Music Concert Series continues with the Fall Choral Concert Thursday, Oct. 24.

The Fall Choral Concert begins at 7 p.m. in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus. The community is invited to the free event.

“The annual Fall Choral Concert will feature the 50-voice Concert Chorale and the 40-voice Variations Ensemble,” said Bill Brewer, Music program coordinator. “These student choirs have been rehearsing since August on a variety of choral selections.

“Expect to hear beautiful Renaissance motets, the Baroque music of Handel, and a few American folk songs and African-American spirituals.”

The Fall Choral Concert is the second of nine musical performances in the 2013-14 concert series. It is followed by the Instrumental Concert at 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 7, in the same location.

The Concert Chorale and Variations Ensemble are comprised of a cross-section of students from a variety of majors. Variations is preparing for a study abroad and concert opportunity overseas in May 2014, in collaboration with the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies.

The Music Concert Series is part of The Arts at Pellissippi State, which brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts. All piano performances and accompaniments are performed on Steinway pianos, in keeping with Pellissippi State’s status as an All-Steinway School.

All events in the Music Concert Series are free; however, donations are accepted at the door for the Pellissippi State Foundation on behalf of the Music Scholarship Fund. Ample free parking is available.

For additional information about the Pellissippi State Music Concert Series or The Arts at Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or

National Day on Writing: Pellissippi State to host bestselling author Schoenewaldt

Portrait of woman with glasses with bookshelves behind herUSA Today bestselling author Pamela Schoenewaldt will be at Pellissippi State Community College’s Strawberry Plains Campus Monday, Oct. 21, to promote the love of language and literature.

Schoenewaldt, author of “When We Were Strangers” and “Swimming in the Moon,” presents a reading of her works to celebrate the National Day on Writing. The event, sponsored by the Strawberry Plains Creative Writing Club, also features free refreshments and fun activities. The community is invited to attend.

“I felt that Pamela would be an incredible inspiration to our students, because she is such a skilled writer with such interesting works,” said Patricia Ireland, who teaches English and is the faculty sponsor of the Creative Writing Club. “We’re very fortunate that we have someone with such professional ability living right here in Knoxville.”

Schoenewaldt will read from “Swimming in the Moon” and answer questions from the audience during the event, which takes place at noon in the Lobby.

“I’ve written short stories, poetry, and now novels; taught creative writing; and done professional writing for years,” Schoenewaldt said. “I find many similarities. To move people with words is exciting, deeply challenging, frustrating and exhilarating when it works.

“But it is work and requires the same discipline as any other endeavor for which you want results. Particularly with novels, there is so much to attend to at once: plot, character, theme, imagery, pacing, sound, mood, historical accuracy in my case. You have to really want a book to happen, and it takes sacrifice and being there on the job. The angel of inspiration will come, but if she comes and you’re not there, focused, she’ll go away.”

On the National Day on Writing, the Creative Writing Club will sponsor free activities all day. The group will award prizes for a campus contest for best original fiction work, best poem and best artwork.

The organization is the first official club to be organized on Pellissippi State’s Strawberry Plains Campus. Its members work to promote the power of the written word through readings, a published journal of creative writing and sponsorship of special events.

Schoenewaldt is a New Jersey native with degrees in English literature and film and television. She and her husband, physicist Maurizio Conti, lived in a small town outside Naples, Italy, for 10 years, and her short stories have been published in literary magazines in both the U.S. and Europe.

Schoenewaldt was writer-in-residence at the University of Tennessee, where she wrote her first novel and taught fiction, rhetorical, and professional writing. “When We Were Strangers” is a USA Today bestseller, was a Barnes & Noble Great Discovery Selection and was short-listed for the Langham Prize in American Historical Fiction.

For more information, call the Strawberry Plains Campus at (865) 225-2300 or visit To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or

Pellissippi State Community College, Knoxville, TN