Pellissippi State hosts encore Registration Rocks for Tennessee Promise students


Back by popular demand, Pellissippi State Community College will host a second Registration Rocks event, organized specifically to assist Tennessee Promise students, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday, June 18.

Students should RSVP by going to or clicking on the Registration Rocks icon at the top of the homepage. Registration Rocks is on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

Registration Rocks is meant to help see Tennessee Promise students through the final requirements they need to meet to keep their funding. At the event, students can verify their financial aid, tour campus, sign up to attend an orientation session this summer and meet with Pellissippi State Service-Learning representatives about options available to complete the required eight hours of community service.

Academic advising and entrance testing appointments will be made on a first-come, first-served basis. Additionally, students who have completed the eligibility requirements can register for classes.

Tennessee Promise students are welcome to visit campus at any time during the summer to register for classes, but Registration Rocks provides a one-stop shopping experience for many college entrance needs.

For more information about Pellissippi State and its programs, visit or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at (865) 539-7401 or

‘Letters from Vietnam’ Pellissippi State’s first-ever summer art exhibit

posted in: Events, The Arts | 0


Pellissippi State Community College displays the correspondence and artwork of young people with autism during its summer exhibit, “Letters from Vietnam: International Art Exchange Exhibition,” June 22-July 31.

The community is invited to the free exhibit — the first the college has ever hosted during the summer. The art exhibit takes place in the Bagwell Center for Media and Art on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Hours are 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

“Letters from Vietnam” is an exchange between youth with autism spectrum disorders in East Tennessee and Vietnam. It includes letters and photographs of their local mountains in two seasons.

The exhibit, which previously was shown at the Knoxville Museum of Art, is facilitated by VSA Tennessee and the Artistic Spectrum. VSA Tennessee provides opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in the arts and education, and the Artistic Spectrum promotes fine arts opportunities for people with autism.

“We’re very excited to have this very special exhibition in the Bagwell Gallery this summer,” said Jennifer Brickey, assistant professor of studio art. “Not only does it give local young photographers a chance to exhibit their work, but it also showcases work of young photographers in Vietnam.”

“Letters from Vietnam” 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 more information about The Arts at Pellissippi State, visit or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at (865) 539-7401 or

Pellissippi State students pass stage-fighting exam

posted in: Students, Theatre | 0

Thirteen Pellissippi State Community College students recently passed a skills proficiency test for stage fighting through the Society of American Fight Directors.

Pellissippi State is the only school in Tennessee that offers the SAFD tests.

The students are Josh Bigwood, Carolyn Corley, Thomas Crout, Caroline Kat Darwin, Breland Lallie Donahoo, Julianna Meyers, Barrie Paulson, Donnie Peltz, Alex Riggs, Joshua Shelton, Steven Trigg, Debi Wetherington and Chad Collins Wood.

The students tested with Dale Girard, an SAFD fight master and director of stage combat studies at North Carolina School of the Arts. By passing the exam, the students earned a much sought-after theatrical skills status in the world of professional theatre.

According to Girard, it’s rare for an entire class — like the one at Pellissippi State — to pass the exam. In addition, four of the college’s students earned a “recommended pass,” connoting an exceptional level of proficiency. Those students are Bigwood, Darwin, Paulson and Wood.

The SAFD examination was the result of more than a semester of instruction by Bob Borwick, Pellissippi State adjunct faculty member and certified SAFD instructor, and assistance from Charles R. Miller, professor and program coordinator of Theatre. Borwick is the only SAFD certified instructor in Tennessee, and he teaches exclusively at Pellissippi State.

The course to prepare for the SAFD skills proficiency test is THEA 2222 Special Topics (Stage Combat). Business and Community Services also offers a non-credit Stage Combat course.

The test was sponsored by the Theatre and the Pellissippi State Foundation.

For more information about this class, email Miller at For more about Pellissippi State, visit or call (865) 694-6400.

Three-time Pellissippi State student finds promise in new degrees

Brenda Hale

Brenda Hale has probably experienced a heavier dose of work-world reality than most of Pellissippi State Community College’s 10,000-plus students.

The 54-year-old single mother is attending the college for the third time in nearly four decades, with a firsthand understanding of the fickleness of the economy and of employers’ needs for well-rounded, well-educated employees.

“I’ve been downsized and I’ve been laid off, but I know I can come back to Pellissippi State and update my education if I need to,” Hale said. “Pellissippi State reflects real life.”

Hale first graduated from Pellissippi State in 1980, only four years after the institution opened as State Technical Institute at Knoxville. She graduated with a degree in Construction Engineering Technology and was immediately hired by TVA. She went to work on construction at the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant near Spring City, but when that phase of work was completed, TVA laid off the construction team.

So Hale returned to Pellissippi State. She earned a second degree, this time in Computer Integrated Drafting and Design, in 1990. She worked for businesses around East Tennessee using that degree for nearly 20 years — until her position was downsized during the recession in 2008.

“I took some time off then to spend with my son, who was young,” Hale said, “and I went back to work part time. But now my son is older, and I’m looking for full-time work again. Since the recession, the CAD [computer-aided drafting] workers that businesses needed before now need to know new programs, like SolidWorks.”

So Hale once again enrolled at Pellissippi State.

“Pellissippi State is familiar and it’s convenient, and I know that the education I receive here is going to be what employers are looking for. They need people who know how to use SolidWorks, so that’s what Pellissippi State is offering now.”

Hale is now in the Engineering Technology/Mechanical Engineering degree program. She’s also studying additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, while she’s here.

“I love what I do — I love drafting,” Hale said. “I’ve always been interested in houses and building things, and I’ve never been tired of this job. It’s wonderful to see what was manufactured from my drawings. Things like 3D printing are the new iterations of what I do.”

“Technology is pulling everything forward,” said Pat Riddle, program coordinator of Engineering Technology/Mechanical Engineering at Pellissippi State. “Continuing education or training on the job is going to be necessary in many fields in the future, as employees find they have to keep up with changing programs and knowledge.”

For more information about Pellissippi State and its many program offerings, visit or call (865) 694-6400.

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