All posts by elsimpson

African-American modern art topic of Pellissippi State faculty lecture

male smiling, standing in front of brick hallway

Herb Rieth, a faculty member at Pellissippi State Community College, presents a lecture titled “Flip, Flop and Freestylin’: Art of the African Diaspora in the 20th and 21st Century” at the college at 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12.

The event is free and open to the community. The lecture takes place in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

“I’m going to be talking about the history of African-American modern art,” said Rieth, an assistant professor in Liberal Arts, “especially from the 1960s Civil Rights Movement and onward.”

His presentation will feature discussions of the works and lives of artists Kara Walker; Willie Cole; Yinka Shonibare, MBE (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire); and Kahinde Wiley.

Rieth’s presentation is just one event in the Faculty Lecture Series. The lecture 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. This year, the arts series celebrates Pellissippi State’s 40th anniversary.

For more information about The Arts at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Non-credit course at Pellissippi State offers baby boomers retirement info

Baby boomers: Are you thinking about retiring?

Pellissippi State Community College is hosting a class that can guide you in making your decision. “Savvy Social Security Planning: What Baby Boomers Need to Know to Maximize Retirement Income” is being offered on several dates in February through May, at three campus locations.

The non-credit course takes place at the Blount County Campus Feb. 24 and 26 and April 28 and 30, at the Strawberry Plains Campus March 24 and 26, and at the Hardin Valley Campus on May 26 and 28. Classes are 6:30-8:30 p.m.

A full schedule of class times and locations is available at www.pstcc.edu/bcs.

The course is designed for baby boomers—people between the ages of 60 and 67—and anyone else approaching or planning for retirement. Cost of the class is $59. Married couples may attend for the cost of one registration. Seating is limited.

The class includes explanations of various types of Social Security benefits, the factors to consider when deciding when to apply for benefits, how to check an earnings record for accuracy, how to minimize taxes on benefits and how to coordinate Social Security with other retirement income.

For more information about this and other classes offered by the Business and Community Services Division, visit www.pstcc.edu/bcs or call (865) 539-7167. To request accommodations for a disability, email accommodations@pstcc.edu.

Painting, jewelry making, landscape design and more: Plan to sign up for spring non-credit courses at Pellissippi State

Aspiring artists, crafters, travelers and even landscapers, Pellissippi State Community College has a non-credit class tailored specifically to your interests this spring.

The college’s Business and Community Services Division offers dozens of courses—among them, painting, jewelry making, and landscape design—beginning in February, March, and April. All take place on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road, unless otherwise specified.

Here’s a sample of our multi-session classes:

  • “Playing With Copper: Beginning,” Mondays, Feb. 23-April 6, 6:30-9 p.m. Cost is $130 plus $40 materials fee. No prerequisite required. Learn traditional metal-smithing techniques using copper sheet and wire.
  • “Playing With Copper: Torch-fired Enamels,” Mondays, April 13-May 18, 6:30-9 p.m. Cost is $130 plus $40 materials fee. No prerequisite required. Learn to fire traditional enamels on copper with a torch for art or for jewelry.
  • “Fabric and Figure Art: A West African Art and Culture Class,” Tuesdays and Thursdays, Feb. 17-March 5, 6-7:30 p.m. Cost is $69. Participants will need to provide their own materials. Learn to make popular African folk art and wearable art, including a head wrap, dress or baby wrap. This course is at the Magnolia Avenue Campus.
  • “Landscaping Made Easy and Fun,” Tuesdays and Thursdays, Feb. 24-March 5, 1-3 p.m. Cost is $89. Learn the principles of landscape design and how to plant and care for plants.
  • “Beginning Watercolor and Acrylics,” Wednesdays, Feb. 4-March 11, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Cost is $120. Learn about brush strokes, washes, composition, and use of color when painting with watercolors and acrylics.
  • “Sketching and Drawing,” Thursdays, Feb. 5-March 19, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at the Blount County Campus, 2731 W. Lamar Alexander Parkway, or Wednesdays, April 29-June 3, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at the Hardin Valley Campus. Cost is $120. Learn to record quickly your impressions of an image, idea or principle through sketching.
  • “Introduction to Color Theory Wheel,” Wednesdays, March 18-April 22, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Cost is $120. Study color theory techniques and applications, and create original compositions using oil or acrylic paints.
  • “Basket Making,” Mondays, March 2-23, 6-9 p.m. Cost is $79. Create a market basket, round bushel basket and wine basket. Some experience is helpful, but it’s not necessary.
  • “Working With Yarn,” Tuesdays, Feb. 3-March 31, 7-8 p.m. Cost is $69.  Learn the basics of knitting or crochet, and create a handcrafted item.
  • “Beginning Chinese for Practical Travel and Business,” Wednesday, Feb. 25-Apr. 29, 6-7:30 p.m. Cost is $120. Learn pinyin, the Romanized version of the Chinese language, plus Chinese tones (that clarify the meaning of words) and 150 basic characters, and 10 short, practical conversations.

            Or attend a one-night course:

  • “Jewelry Wire Working,” Monday, March 2, 6-8 p.m. Cost is $59 plus $10 material fee payable to the instructor at the beginning of class. Create at least one set of matching earrings and pendant by learning how to form copper and wire into designs.
  • “Wire Jewelry Design,” Monday, March 9, 6-8 p.m. Cost is $59 plus $12 material fee payable to the instructor at the beginning of class. Create at least one pendant necklace during class using jewelry wire-wrapping techniques.

For more about these and the many other classes offered by BCS, visit www.pstcc.edu/bcs or call (865) 539-7167. To request accommodations for a disability, email accommodations@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State to host Science Olympiad

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.

Pellissippi State hosts permaculture expert Peter Bane for lecture

Where is your next meal coming from?

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.

Pellissippi State students named to Who’s Who list

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 to host free FAFSA workshops

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:

FAFSA Frenzy

  • Monday, Jan. 26, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Room 129, Alexander Building
  • Tuesday, Jan. 27, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Room 147, Educational Resources Center
  • Wednesday, Jan. 28, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; 147 ERC
  • Thursday, Jan. 29, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; 147 ERC
  • Friday, Jan. 30, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; 147 ERC
  • Saturday, Jan. 31, 9-noon; 147 ERC

College Goal Sunday

  • Sunday, Feb. 1, noon-4; 147 ERC

Students and parents should bring current W2 forms and their most recent tax return.

For more information about the workshops or Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State student meets President Obama, spreads message of hope

4 people standing in an office, smiling.
Ashley Albritton and her son, Mason, accept tickets to the Jan. 9 Presidential address on Friday, Jan. 9, from Pellissippi State Community College President L. Anthony Wise Jr., right, and Vice President of Student Affairs Rebecca Ashford, left.

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.”

Female holding up a box.
Ashley Albritton, on stage for President Barack Obama’s address at Pellissippi State Community College on Friday, Jan. 9, holds up a small hope chest mentioned in Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr.’s opening remarks.

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.

TSBDC names 2014 Rising Star

group of people in front of a building with a ServPro sign
Tennessee Small Business Development Center director Larry Rossini presents SERVPRO of Rocky Hill, Sequoyah Hills and South Knoxville owners John and Kristina Greenway with the 2014 Rising Star award.

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’ brings award-winning contemporary artist’s ‘organic’ installation to Pellissippi State

picture of a person walking through colorful art exhibit display.
Artist Crystal Wagner’s room-sized installations are unique at each site. Pictured is a previous installation titled “Immersion.” At Pellissippi State Community College, Wagner will have an installation titled “Elasticity,” which will be exhibited from Jan. 19-Feb. 20.

“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. 20.

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 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.

The artist recently won the Sculpture and Installation category at the SeeMe “Art Takes Paris” international competition (www.see.me/blog/art-takes-paris-winners). She has been featured in “Juxtapoz Art and Culture Magazine” and on the contemporary art blog www.arrestedmotion.com.

“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.