Category Archives: Community

Pellissippi State honors Knox County, City of Knoxville

group of people standing in rows, holding award
Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and City of Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, recipients of the Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Philanthropy, celebrated the grand opening of the Center for Student and Community Engagement at Pellissippi State Community College’s Magnolia Avenue Campus Friday, Feb. 6. Also pictured are Pellissippi State president L. Anthony Wise Jr., Magnolia Avenue Campus dean Rosalyn Tillman, TBR chancellor John Morgan, TBR vice chancellor of community colleges Warren R. Nichols, TBR board member Danni Varlan, and other elected officials.

On Friday, February 6, Pellissippi State Community College and the Tennessee Board of Regents honored the support of Knox County and the City of Knoxville during an awards ceremony at the College’s Magnolia Avenue Campus.

Knox County and City of Knoxville representatives, including mayors Tim Burchett and Madeline Rogero, were presented the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Philanthropy in honor of their combined investment of more than $1 million to the College, particularly the Magnolia Avenue Campus.

“The support and partnership of our local governments has been critical to our success in reaching students and helping them succeed,” said Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. in his nomination letter.

“Courses and programs offered at the Magnolia Avenue Campus help build our regional workforce. Local government investment in the College has helped to support the expansion of our regional tax base and keep unemployment low in East Tennessee.

“At Pellissippi State, our collaboration with local government is impacting workforce development and student success. Without question, our mission to serve our community has been enhanced through our partnerships with the governments of Knox County and the City of Knoxville,” he added.

For more information about Pellissippi State’s Magnolia Avenue Campus, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 329-3100.

Family feuds and more: Discover Appalachian history at Pellissippi State

Pellissippi State Community College is offering two early-spring non-credit classes on the history of Appalachia, covering everything from the feud between the Hatfields and McCoys to the coal-field wars to the Cherokee nation.

Leading the classes is Mark Davidson, a retired William Blount High School teacher who developed an Appalachian studies program while at the school.

“Our Appalachia: The Little Tennessee—The Valley of the Cherokee” is 6-8 p.m. Tuesdays, March 3-April 14, at the Blount County Campus, 2731 W. Lamar Alexander Parkway. “Our Appalachia Part II: More Mountain Mayhem—Feuding, Hard Times and Such” is also at the Blount County Campus, 6-8 p.m. Mondays, March 2-April 13.

“The Little Tennessee—The Valley of the Cherokee” takes on the history of the Little Tennessee valley, from the earliest exploration of the area to the forcible removal of the Cherokee. The class includes visits to Fort Loudoun, Sequoyah Birthplace Museum, Tellico Blockhouse, Chota and Tanasi.

“Feuding, Hard Times and Such” covers the difficulties of life in the coal fields, the dangers of building railroad lines through the mountains, the Blair Mountain war, and various Appalachian feuds, including that of the infamous Hatfields and McCoys.

The cost of each class is $89, plus a $15 material fee.

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

Pellissippi State announces opening of support center at Magnolia Avenue Campus

group of people in a lab on computers

Today, Pellissippi State Community College celebrated the grand opening of the Center for Student and Community Engagement at the Magnolia Avenue Campus.

The center provides a one-stop resource for student support services, including financial aid, advising, counseling, tutoring, service-learning, and safety and security.

“Life sometimes gets in the way of academic success,” said Rosalyn Tillman, dean of the Magnolia Avenue Campus. “The goal of the center is to provide every service we can to help our students overcome those distractions and roadblocks to success. Everything we do, we do so they can focus on school.”

Tillman was joined for the grand opening by L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president, as well as representatives from the Tennessee Board of Regents, Knox County and the city of Knoxville.

The center is designed to encourage student engagement within the school and in the community. Support programs and other resources will promote overall student health and wellness, prepare students for careers, and connect them with essential social support.

For more information about the Magnolia Avenue Campus and the Center for Student and Community Engagement, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 329-3100.

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 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 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.

Pellissippi State generates $274 million annual economic impact

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.”

The complete study is available at http://www.pstcc.edu/ieap/_files/pdf/factbook_datarpts/2009-14%20Economic%20Impact%20Study.pdf.

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

Pellissippi State: Arrive early for complimentary tickets to popular Holiday Spectacular

Female ballerina with other ballerinas in the back and lit christmas trees

Join in the holiday cheer at Pellissippi State Community College’s hugely popular annual Holiday Spectacular concert, offered in two performances, 6 and 8 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 4.

Part of Pellissippi State’s Music Concert Series, the Holiday Spectacular is free, and the community is encouraged to attend. Because space is limited, the college asks that guests arrive 30 minutes before each performance to receive a complimentary ticket. Tickets will be issued at the door to the first 485 guests, and having a ticket guarantees a seat.

The Holiday Spectacular, whose theme this year is “A Candlelight Christmas Evening,” takes place in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The concert features the talents of more than 150 Pellissippi State students and faculty in eight different musical ensembles, performing classical choral numbers, bluegrass, and jazz.

“The concert will feature exciting production numbers full of bright visual displays, as well as more quiet, intimate carols by candlelight to celebrate the warmth of the season,” said Bill Brewer, Music program coordinator.

“Every audience member will leave the show with a taste of holiday cheer.”

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.

While all events in the series are free, donations are accepted at the door for the Pellissippi State Foundation on behalf of the Music Scholarship fund.

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