Pellissippi State to host Goldenstein art exhibit beginning Aug. 28

Abstract art
Wear Valley, Mixed Media on Paper

Pellissippi State Community College hosts the paintings and mixed media pieces of local artist and educator Marcia Goldenstein in “Everything In Between” Aug. 28-Sept. 19 on the Hardin Valley Campus.

“We are very pleased to have Marcia coming to Pellissippi State,” said Jennifer Brickey, assistant professor of studio art. “We try to get local or regional artists for exhibits in the Bagwell Gallery, as well as artists whose work we can use to educate our students, who can visit the exhibit and discuss the artwork.

Black Oak, Mixed Media on Paper
Black Oak, Mixed Media on Paper

Goldenstein, a professor at the University of Tennessee School of Art, formerly taught Brickey and instructs many of the Pellissippi State students who continue their art education at UT.

“We have great respect for her,” said Brickey. “I’m very much looking forward to taking my painting students to the exhibit so they can look at her work and learn from it.”

“Everything In Between” opens Wednesday, Aug. 28, in the gallery of the Bagwell Center for Media and Art and closes with a reception that takes place 4-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19. Normal gallery hours are 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

The Goldenstein show features mixed media and oil paintings that put a new twist on familiar images.

“Whether looking up at the sky, at a distant panorama, a map or an artifact, my interest is in bringing a moment, a place or a familiar image to new life,” Goldenstein said.

The exhibit will include a series of more traditional landscapes, dominated by the sky and painted with oil on linen, as well as a new series of mixed media paintings, featuring acrylic and colored pencils, on paper maps. The maps are mirror-imaged to create an invented, alternate reality. The landscapes and maps allow the viewer to experience the environment through different but familiar filters.

“All of the pieces have to do with identity and knowing where you are but perhaps not understanding exactly where you are,” the artist said.

Goldenstein earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Nebraska in 1973. She has been at UT since 1976. A few of her more recent exhibits include showings in “Art in the Airport” at McGhee Tyson Airport in 2012 and 2013 and in “Artscapes” at the Knoxville Museum of Art in 2011 and 2010.

She has been a visiting artist in venues around the nation, as well as in the United Kingdom, Slovakia and China. Goldenstein’s work is in public collections at New York Life Insurance, KMA, UT and General Motors Corp., among many others.

The closing reception Sept. 19 will be a good opportunity for visitors and students to ask questions of Goldenstein.

“Everything In Between” 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.

For additional information about the exhibit 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

Pellissippi State’s Behavioral Intervention Team certifies on two assessment tools

Portrait of female with short gray hair wearing a blue collared shirt.
Mary Bledsoe

Pellissippi State Community College has a new set of tools for evaluating campus threats, thanks to the college’s Behavioral Intervention Team.

Mary Bledsoe, Pellissippi State’s dean of students and BIT chair, and Holly Burkett, campus dean for the Blount County Campus, were certified to use two assessment tools at the recent National Behavioral Intervention Team Association conference. Bledsoe leads the five-member core group that makes up Pellissippi State’s BIT, while Burkett is a consulting member to the team.

The NaBITA Threat Assessment Tool, one of the tools added to BIT’s resources, is a standard aid that a number of colleges and universities are using, says Bledsoe. Known as SIVRA-35, the other tool is the Structured Interview for Violence Risk Assessment. SIVRA-35 (a 35-item inventory) is used, if needed, as a secondary step in conducting a more thorough and research-based violence risk assessment.

Portrait of female with short blond hair and a purple blouse.
Holly Burkett

“The NaBITA Threat Assessment rubric gives a wide focus for generalized risk, mental and behavioral health, and nine levels of aggression,” said Bledsoe, “while the SIVRA-35 enables BIT to fine tune the assessment of behavioral risk and/or threat.”

BIT represents a cross-section of college areas. Resources like the Threat Assessment Tool and the Structured Interview assist the team at Pellissippi State in the complicated and ever-evolving task of ensuring safety in the academic environment.

To learn more about BIT and its role at the college, visit

Pellissippi State Foundation announces new Executive Committee

Portrait of a male with dark, short hair, blue collared shirt, dark suit jacket, with yellow and blue tie.
Todd Moody

The Pellissippi State Community College Foundation Board of Trustees has chosen its officers for 2013-14. The Foundation secures financial support for educational and cultural activities that are above and beyond the ongoing operational expenses of Pellissippi State.

Todd Moody will serve as the chair of the board, and Tom Ballard will fill the role of vice chair. Moody is an attorney at Hagood, Tarpy and Cox, PLLC. He earned a bachelor’s in political science and a law degree from the University of Tennessee. Ballard is director of innovation and entrepreneurial activities for Pershing Yoakley & Associates, P.C. He has a bachelor’s degree in communications from UT.

In addition to Moody and Ballard, members of the Executive Committee include

Portrait of balding male with gray suit jacket, glasses, light blue collared shirt, and a dark tie.
Tom Ballard
  • Andrew Lorenz, secretary
  • Rick Rushing, treasurer and chair, Finance Committee
  • Heather Overton, parliamentarian
  • Sherri Gardner-Howell, chair, Projects Committee
  • L. Anthony Wise Jr., president, Pellissippi State
  • Joseph Johnson, past chair, Board of Trustees

For more information on the Foundation, visit or call (865) 694-6528.

Pellissippi State puts out cast call for ‘Robber Bridegroom’ bluegrass musical

Bring your musical instruments and singing voices to Pellissippi State Community College. Community-wide auditions get under way the end of this month for “The Robber Bridegroom,” Broadway’s hit bluegrass musical.

Auditions are open to everyone. They take place 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 28-29, in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus.

“The Robber Bridegroom” will be presented “Doyle style,” with actors playing instruments and singing throughout. For auditions, performers should bring their own instruments, if possible, to accompany their vocal tryouts.

The play is told in “story theatre” fashion—in a style that lies somewhere between storytelling and an acted-out play. Nine principal actors will appear on a unit set, thus providing extreme flexibility in staging and production and allowing each actor his or her moment to shine. The musical includes a score by composer Robert Waldman to be played by a small onstage band.

Rehearsals are Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 7-10:30 p.m., as well as occasional Wednesday evenings.

“The Robber Bridegroom” is a rousing, bawdy Southern fairy tale set in 18th-century Mississippi. The play tells the story of Rosamund, the only daughter of the richest planter in the county, and her courting by rascally robber Jamie Lockhart.

Affairs go awry by way of an unconventional case of double-mistaken identity, compounded by the machinations of an evil stepmother intent on Rosamund’s demise, a pea-brained henchman and a hostile talking head in a trunk.

The play includes one of the first genuine bluegrass scores ever heard in a Broadway musical, giving this unusual tale a distinctive sound reminiscent of the Natchez Trace Band. “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.

Pellissippi State presents “The Robber Bridegroom” at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 1-2 and 8-9. Additional performances are set for 2 p.m. Sundays, Nov. 3 and 10.

For more information, call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State, American Heart Association host August nursing conference

Pellissippi State Community College and the American Heart Association will co-host the inaugural Nurse Symposium at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus on Aug. 8. The theme of the event is “Care for Those Who Give Care.”

“We know that nurses are one of our most valued treasures,” said Pat Myers, director of community outreach and donor engagement at Pellissippi State. “This symposium is a way to both honor them and share learning tools that are vital for better health—better health not only for those who work in the medical field but for all of us.”

The symposium is 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Goins Administration Building. Here is the event schedule in brief:

  • 9-11:30 a.m.—Registration, vendor exhibits/screenings and mini-sessions
  • 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.—Lunch
  • 12:45-1:45 p.m.—Keynote speaker and demonstrations presented by Laerdal Medical
  • 2-4 p.m.—Breakout sessions (30 minutes each, running concurrently throughout the afternoon; applicable for continuing education units)

Registration is $10 and includes lunch, an exhibit area with information, and various medical screenings. The event has several key partners, including Covenant Health, East Tennessee Heart Consultants, Tennova Healthcare and the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

To register, as either a participant or a vendor, visit or call (865) 539-7242.

Pellissippi State: Industrial Maintenance cohort helps returning students succeed

Portrait of bald male outside wearing a white shirt with the Alcoa building behind himIf Jay Easter had been required to go through registration each semester, thereby facing the possibility of not getting into a required class, he says he would never have graduated from college. He likely would not have even enrolled.

Fortunately, Easter enrolled in the Industrial Maintenance cohort at Pellissippi State Community College. He earned his degree in 2011 and was promoted by his long-time employer last year.

Enrolling in an area that uses the cohort approach—in which students who enter college start and finish together as one dynamic group—gives students the opportunity to take the worry out of planning their college career. Cohort students have a set of classes already mapped out for them. They do not have to be concerned that a required class will be full and, therefore, unavailable.

Once enrolled, students find a lot more to like about being in a cohort. It’s the group component that Easter found particularly beneficial. He says he and fellow students in Industrial Maintenance, one of the concentrations in the Engineering Technology degree program, became a team. They assisted each other with subject matter, study skills and, most important, motivation.

“If I hadn’t gone back to college with a group of like-minded people, I wouldn’t have been able to do it,” he said. “We were so similar—full-time jobs, family concerns, time struggles.

“The few times I thought I couldn’t finish, I kept on going. We didn’t want to let each other down. Being with the same people made getting my degree actually enjoyable. I think I laughed as much in those two years as I did in the past 10.”

Employed by Alcoa, Inc. since 1999, Easter knew that in order to advance further within the management structure, he would have to obtain a degree. He found out about Pellissippi State’s Industrial Maintenance cohort from a coworker.

Easter told his wife that he was going to Pellissippi State to get more information before making any decision, but, to his own surprise, he ended up enrolling on the spot.

“I called my wife and told her, ‘Honey, I think I just enrolled in college,’” he said, laughing. “Pat Riddle [an associate professor and the Industrial Maintenance program coordinator] made it so much easier.

“I had been afraid of going back to school, but the cohort model was appealing. I don’t know if I would have made it through the stresses of a traditional program.” Easter was also the recipient of a scholarship for his studies at Pellissippi State.

Students in the Industrial Maintenance concentration learn about multicraft, industrial machinery maintenance and repair technology. Courses emphasize safety, teamwork, efficient work practices and communication skills, all of which are sought by employers in the industry.

Designed for working professionals, the accelerated Industrial Maintenance cohort classes meet two evenings each week over the course of six semesters. Class size is limited to allow for more in-depth individual and group instruction.

Another of the concentration’s cohorts begins this August, with graduation slated for spring 2015. Upon successful completion, students earn an Associate of Applied Science degree. They are then eligible, if they choose, to transfer to any state university as a junior.

Additional cohorts are also available at Pellissippi State: Associate of Science General Education Certificate, Associate of Science in Teaching, Communication Studies and Culinary Arts. All of these cohorts are now enrolling students for fall 2013. Cohorts available for spring 2014 are Computer Accounting, Culinary Arts and Management.

Pellissippi State’s fall 2013 application deadline is Aug. 14. Classes begin on Aug. 24.

For additional information, visit or call (865) 694-6400.

View a video of Jay Easter’s speech recorded by a friend during the 2011 Cohort Family Night event at Pellissippi State:

Pellissippi State Paralegal Studies student garners state scholarship

Portrait of a female with blonde straight hair wearing a green patterned shirtThe Tennessee Association of Legal Professionals chose one college student to receive a scholarship in spring semester, and that recipient is a Pellissippi State Community College student.

Kelli Canan, a Paralegal Studies major, learned in April that she had been chosen to receive the $500 TALS scholarship.

“This scholarship will help me to afford to take more classes, provide flexibility and opportunities for me as I manage family and professional responsibilities as a non-traditional student, and work to achieve my professional goals in a time-efficient manner,” she wrote in an essay to TALS Scholarship Committee members.

The Knoxville resident is raising two children, working and attending Pellissippi State. She is also a school and community volunteer.

Paralegal Studies is a two-year program that prepares graduates to work in a law office under the direct supervision of an attorney, doing legal work such as drafting legal documents, organizing files, conducting legal research and investigations, and managing the office.

The program is approved by the American Bar Association and culminates in an Associate of Applied Science degree.

For more information about Paralegal Studies, email Arlene Cleveland, program coordinator, at To learn more about Pellissippi State’s many other programs, visit or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State: Employee publishes instructional ‘cookbook’ on learning management system

Portrait of a male with short hair and glasses in plaid standing in front of computersSometimes good questions prompt more than answers. Sometimes they inspire a book.

For Brandon Ballentine of Pellissippi State Community College, that book is the “Desire2Learn Higher Education Cookbook,” recently released by Packt Publishing, a U.K.-based technical book publisher.

A D2L administrator for the college, Ballentine fields questions daily from faculty members who use D2L for their online classes. The D2L learning management system enables instructors to upload and manage online class materials such as study guides, tests, and grades. It is used by colleges and universities in the U.S. and around the globe.

Ballentine says he first envisioned what came to be the book as an online resource for use nationwide.

“I thought, ‘So many schools are writing their own tutorials, their own documentation, and their own tips and tricks,’” he said. “‘Wouldn’t it be great if there was a central site that everyone could go to so that everyone isn’t duplicating work across the state or the country?’”

Before Ballentine could complete the website, however, Packt Publishing contacted him through LinkedIn and proposed the idea for a book.

“I had some decent notes and had started writing some chapters,” he said. “So when Packt got in touch, I had an idea of at least some things I wanted to include in the book.”

The goal of the “cookbook” is to help teachers gain expert knowledge of the tools within D2L, become more productive and create online learning experiences with the easy-to-follow recipes. And Ballentine was just the person to write it.

Having begun working at Pellissippi State in 2009, he is an instructional technology specialist in Educational Technology Services. He also teaches a course on mobile web design. While earning his master’s degree in English at East Tennessee State University, Ballentine worked in the university’s Academic Technology Support group. He says he has always been comfortable with both words and technology.

“As a former English major, it was really nice to have the chance to write a longer piece again. I definitely enjoyed finishing the project, though.” he said. “I have a few ideas for some future writing projects, but I’m not going to start those for a while.”

The “Desire2Learn Higher Education Cookbook” is Ballentine’s first book. It is available through Packt Publishing ( and Amazon.

Pellissippi State offers daytime, evening GED test dates

The job market looks as if it’s picking up, and now is the time to earn your GED. Pellissippi State Community College is offering two opportunities this month—one during the day and one at night—to take the exam.

The first GED test takes place in the daytime on Saturday, June 15. The second is split between two evenings, June 27 and 28. Both tests are given at the Hardin Valley Campus.

“According to the statistics, there are more than a million working-age adults who have started but not finished the current GED test,” said Joan Newman, director of Academic Education and Adult Education. “These adults need to complete the test as soon as possible. It will open doors to college, training and better jobs.”

The June 15 test is 8 a.m.-5 p.m. The June 27-28 test is 5-9:30 p.m. Cost is $65. Test takers need to register with Pellissippi State 48 hours in advance, to be age 17 or over, and to have completed an official GED practice test.

The GED test covers writing, reading, science, social studies and math. The five parts may be taken separately, but all must be passed to receive the corresponding credential.

In 2014, the GED test will change from its current format to one given entirely on a computer. The revised exam will reflect new Common Core state standards and will require higher-level math proficiency and generally be more rigorous. It also will be more expensive.

Anyone who has not completed the GED before Jan. 1, 2014, will have to start over with the new format.

“We are trying to encourage people to go ahead and take it, or finish taking it, this year,” Newman said.

Even if adults have been out of school for years, they shouldn’t fear taking the GED, she says.

“Approximately 70 percent of adults who take the GED pass,” Newman said. “Unfortunately, only about 1.5 percent of all adults who did not graduate from high school even attempt it. The odds really are in your favor, especially when you’re prepared.”

Newman said Adult Education at Pellissippi State offers several hours of instruction to students planning to take the GED. The college also provides free practice tests that often are reliable predictors of actual GED scores.

“We encourage you to study with us and, through that, build your skills, boost your confidence, and help yourself reach your goals.”

To find out more or to sign up, call Adult Education at (865) 539-7109 or the Testing Center at (865) 694-6454. To learn more about Pellissippi State programs, call (865) 694-6400 or visit

Carter High School to host ‘Registration Days’ for Pellissippi State

Pellissippi State Community College is reaching out to community members in East Knox County through its newly opened Strawberry Plains Campus and will host summer registration days for prospective college students at Carter High School.

“‘Registration Days’ at Carter High School will be an opportunity for anyone interested in registering for fall 2013 classes at Pellissippi State to apply, work with a Financial Aid representative and register for classes,” said Mike North, Strawberry Plains campus dean.

“Anyone interested in enrollment at Pellissippi State can come to one of the two registration days we will offer at Carter High School—you don’t have to be a Carter graduate. Interested high school graduates, adult learners or transfer students from other institutions can come on July 10 or 24 to get help with applying to Pellissippi State, financial aid, placement testing, or registration.”

Registration Days takes place 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Wednesday, July 10, and Wednesday, July 24. Pellissippi State staff from the Admissions, Financial Aid and Advising offices will be on hand to assist prospective students. Students can even take a placement test on site.

This is the first time a Pellissippi State registration event has been staged at a community high school.

“This is a new initiative for the college,” said North. “The Strawberry Plains Campus will close for several renovation projects and will not be able to provide enrollment services until it reopens later this summer.

“Carter High School is close to Pellissippi State’s Strawberry Plains Campus, and people in and around the community are familiar with the location.”

No reservation or registration is required. Interested students may walk in at any time July 10 or 24 and find assistance.

For more information, call the Strawberry Plains Campus at (865) 225-2300 or the Hardin Valley Campus at (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State Community College, Knoxville, TN