Category Archives: Community

Pellissippi State, community partners team up for ‘Good Food For All’

3 people around some vegetables.
Pellissippi State Community College students, from left, Juls Jackson, Roxmin Lakhani and Cindy Lozano help harvest food at the Pond Gap Elementary School community garden. Pellissippi State founded the garden in 2013.

This fall, Pellissippi State Community College begins a year of collaboration with five area partners working on community school support and food access outreach projects.

The college’s Service-Learning program, with support from the Sustainable Campus Initiative, kicks off the “Good Food For All” campaign during Civic Engagement Week, Sept. 10-17.

“This project is upping the ante on Pellissippi State’s connections to the community and our outreach into poverty alleviation and education efforts outside our campuses,” said Annie Gray, Service-Learning coordinator.

“We will be working to create awareness of East Tennessee challenges to food security and good nutrition. Through these projects, we’ll connect Pellissippi State students and employees with community service opportunities. Together, we’ll support volunteer programming and nutrition initiatives in Knoxville’s new community schools—initiatives that are already under way to combat food security issues.”

During Civic Engagement Week, Pellissippi State will host events and speakers tied in to food access, sustainability, and community service. The week will include lectures and skill sharing on food security, organic gardening, permaculture, and careers in sustainability, food, agriculture, and human sciences. There will be harvesting events and speakers on topics as varied as Knoxville’s food scene and the agrarian heritage of the United States.

“We want to showcase opportunities for service in ways that relate to food, like community gardens, and stoke students’ fire for education as we spotlight career paths in sustainability, local food and agriculture, nutrition education, human sciences, and more,” Gray said.

But Civic Engagement Week is just the beginning.

Good Food For All continues throughout the year through the work of five AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers, funded by a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service.

The VISTA volunteers will work at five area sites in poverty alleviation projects as they relate to food access and nutritional awareness. Elias Attea will work with Pond Gap Elementary, a participant in the University-Assisted Community Schools Program; Nicole Lewis, with Knoxville’s Great Schools Partnership; Caley Hyatt, with Knoxville-Knox County’s Food Policy Council; Jeremy Roberts, with the University of Tennessee-Tennessee State University Extension-Knox County; and Jennifer Hurst, with Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee. 

“Food is a great place to start with the college’s poverty alleviation outreach projects,” said Gray, “because it is common ground we all share: we all need food, we all understand food. Sharing more knowledge about food gives people more power over their food supply; this bridges socioeconomic and demographic differences. There are a lot of community outreach and academic opportunities here.”

Through the CNCS grant, Pellissippi State will pay for one AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer’s time for the year. The five community partners will donate a portion of the funding for the four additional VISTA workers, and CNCS will cover the rest. VISTA volunteers are paid at the poverty level during their year of service.

The community partnerships of Good Food For All are building on the foundation of Pellissippi State’s community garden at Pond Gap Elementary School. The garden has been used to grow food for the community, has served as an educational tool for the schoolchildren at Pond Gap and has been a place for Pellissippi State students to volunteer time in service. 

AmeriCorps VISTA was founded in 1965 as a national service program dedicated to fighting poverty. Pellissippi State’s Service-Learning program allows students and faculty to integrate meaningful community service and reflection with more traditional learning experiences, with the underlying goals of teaching civic responsibility and strengthening communities. 

For more information about Pellissippi State or the Service-Learning program, visit www.pstcc.edu/service-learning/ or call (865) 694-6400.

artwork with people

Pellissippi State: Blount County Campus hosts inaugural art exhibit

Pellissippi State Community College’s Blount County Campus presents its first art exhibit Aug. 18-Oct. 17, and the community is invited to enjoy the display.

The exhibit, “Quantum Confusion,” features the work of artist Denise Stewart-Sanabria. A public reception takes place 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25. The art will be on display in the lobby of the campus, 2731 W. Lamar Alexander Pkwy., during normal business hours, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. each weekday.

“‘Quantum Confusion’ involves the many theories given to the existence of parallel worlds, both in the disciplines of quantum physics and metaphysics. Whether any parts of these theories eventually prove to be true remains to be seen, but with further developments in the world of quantum physics, we are constantly reminded that the more we discover, the less we know,” Stewart-Sanabria said.

The exhibit will feature installations of large charcoal drawings on plywood that suggest the presence of portals, using existing walls and building spaces. Visitors and students will walk through the installation when they visit the Blount County Campus.

“We’re planning to use some of the architecture of the building and to reconstruct this exhibit so that the environment of parallel universes is actually in the college,” Stewart-Sanabria said.

Figures in the exhibit appear to be disappearing into and reappearing from alternate dimensions, as if they’ve not quite discovered what is happening to them. The sole alert figure in the exhibit is called “The Physicist,” who appears to study the other figures while holding a pencil and clipboard.

“Quantum Confusion” is one of the events that make up The Arts at Pellissippi State. The arts 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 exhibit, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts or contact the Blount County Campus at (865) 981-5300. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State hosts alumni artists for 40th anniversary exhibit

alumniexhibit

In celebration of its 40th anniversary, Pellissippi State Community College is welcoming back its alumni artists for a special exhibit in August.

“A Look in Both Directions” opens Aug. 25 and extends to Sept. 12. The free exhibit will be displayed in the Bagwell Center for Media and Art on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The opening reception is 3-5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 25.

“Pellissippi State has had a great influence on many people’s lives, including those of local and regional artists who were once our students,” said Jeff Lockett, Art professor and program coordinator. “We thought it would be great to see how some of those artists are doing now, how they began as our students and what their work is now.”

paige_resizedThe exhibit is Pellissippi State’s first featuring only the work of alumni. The alumni artists include Sharon Bachleda, Paige Burchell, Jessica Burelson, Pete Hoffecker, Daniel Huxtable, Steven Kempster, Jamie Schneider, Pamela Simpson, Bill Warden, Elliott White and Dean Yasko.

The exhibit will feature two- and three-dimensional works: sculpture, ceramics, painting, and drawing. Bagwell Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

“A Look in Both Directions” 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, 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.

August kicks off third annual Arts at Pellissippi State

artwork of hands on typewriter
Pellissippi State’s alumni art exhibit, “A Look in Both Directions,” will include a variety of artwork, including paintings like this one by artist Paige Burchell.

Pellissippi State Community College launches the third season of its community arts series, The Arts at Pellissippi State, in August.

The series brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts. The 2014-2015 Arts at Pellissippi State includes a number of special performances and exhibits to commemorate the college’s 40th anniversary.

This year, events get under way with the inaugural art exhibit at the Blount County Campus: “Quantum Confusion,” featuring the mind-bending artwork of Denise Stewart-Sanabria. The show runs Aug. 18-Oct. 18.

Talented Pellissippi State alumni artists return to the Hardin Valley Campus Aug. 25 for a commemorative anniversary art exhibit, “A Look in Both Directions.” Artists include Sharon Bachleda, Paige Burchell, Jessica Burleson, Pete Hoffecker, Daniel Huxtable, Steven Kempster, Jamie Schneider, Pamela Simpson, Bill Warden, Elliott White and Dean Yasko. The exhibit will run through Sept. 12 at the Bagwell Center for Media and Art on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

Bestselling author Mark Bowden gives a public presentation and book signing on Sept. 18. Bowden is the author of “Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War” and “The Finish: The Killing of Osama Bin Laden,” as well as an essayist in Pellissippi State’s 2014 Common Book, “The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013.”

His presentation begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The book signing and a question-and-answer session follow. Tickets are $10 apiece and may be ordered at www.pstcc.edu/tickets. Because of limited seating, tickets are limited to two per purchaser.

Pellissippi State’s Theatre program presents “Server Alley” Nov. 14-16 and Nov. 21-23. This is the world premiere of the comedy/drama by New York playwright Alex Gherardi and examines the lives of restaurant servers. In co-production with The WordPlayers, the college presents “A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas” Dec. 12-13.

The college celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month in October and American Indian Heritage Month in November. Other upcoming Arts at Pellissippi State performances include musical concerts, such as the ever-popular Holiday Spectacular, faculty lectures and more.

For more information about these and other events in the 2014-2015 Arts at Pellissippi State series, 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.

‘Black Hawk Down’ author to speak at Pellissippi State

male leaning against bar with arms foldedBestselling author Mark Bowden will be at Pellissippi State Community College Thursday, Sept. 18, for a lecture and book signing. He is the author of “Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War” and “The Finish: The Killing of Osama Bin Laden,” as well as an essayist in Pellissippi State’s 2014 Common Book, “The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013.”

Bowden will visit classrooms during the day, then begin his public presentation at 7:30 p.m. in the Clayton Performing Arts Center of the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The book signing and a question-and-answer session follow the lecture.

Tickets for the presentation are $10 apiece. They will be available at www.pstcc.edu/tickets closer to the event. Because of limited seating, tickets will be limited to two per purchaser.

The Common Book unites all Pellissippi State freshmen in a shared reading experience. The reading becomes the basis of a yearlong discussion of issues related to the book. The Common Book encourages exploration in class and in co-curricular programming and events both on and off campus.

“The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013” will serve to inspire discussions on topics such as biology, nature, and the impact of scientific research on the world around us and in our own psyches.

Bowden’s essay, “The Measured Man,” recounts the work of Larry Smarr, an astrophysicist and pioneer of the Internet who advocates “digitally enabled genomic medicine” through in-depth study of his own body. Bowden relates Smarr’s self-diagnosis of Crohn’s disease, an incurable chronic inflammation disorder of the digestive system, and his intensive self-study of everything from his bodily excretions to his DNA. Smarr foresees a future in which health care is personalized and each person is in charge of his own treatments, but he faces criticism that such a future could lead to unnecessary medical intervention and anxiety.

Bowden’s presentation is sponsored by Pellissippi State’s English Department and the Pellissippi State Foundation. Funding is provided by the Foundation’s Clayton Performing Arts Center Endowment.

For more information about Bowden’s visit, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400. For more information about the Pellissippi State Foundation, visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation or call (865) 694-6528.

Pellissippi State hosts Medic Mobile at Hardin Valley Campus

Medic Regional Blood Center will host a blood drive at Pellissippi State Community College’s Hardin Valley Campus on Wednesday, July 9. The community is invited to donate.

The Medic Mobile is scheduled to be at the campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. The Medic Mobile will be in Faculty/Staff Parking Lot 2 near the Educational Resources Center.

Medic, a nonprofit organization, supplies 27 area hospitals with volunteer donations. Medic representatives say there is a need for all blood types.

Potential donors must be at least 17 years of age and weigh at least 110 pounds. Donors should not fast before arriving. Medic suggests that donors eat a meal and drink fluids approximately three hours prior to donating. Participants also are asked to present photo identification and a list of current medications.

For more questions about donor eligibility, visit www.medicblood.com. For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

The facts about Tennessee Promise

Gov. Bill Haslam’s Tennessee Promise will bring significant changes to the state’s higher education landscape, so we’re taking this opportunity to address several common questions and misconceptions about the new initiative, specifically as it impacts Pellissippi State.

Tennessee Promise is part of the state’s Drive to 55 campaign, which aims to increase the percentage of Tennesseans with college degrees or certifications to 55 percent by the year 2025. Through Tennessee Promise, graduating high school seniors will be eligible to earn an associate’s degree or certificate free of tuition and fees.

For complete details on Tennessee Promise, visit www.driveto55.org/initiatives.

  • Who is eligible for Tennessee Promise? Any high school senior who graduates from an eligible Tennessee high school or home school program and anyone who completes a GED or HiSET diploma before 19 years of age can apply for funds. The program will launch with the high school graduating class of 2015. Tennessee Promise students who graduate from high school in spring 2015 must begin college in fall 2015 to receive funding.
  • What will students be required to do? To get Tennessee Promise funding, students must take the following steps in their senior year of high school:
      1. Apply for the Tennessee Promise program by November 1.
      2. Attend mandatory meetings related to completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and applying to college.
      3. Complete the FAFSA by February 15.
      4. Attend New Student Orientation.
      5. Maintain continuous enrollment as a full-time student (12 credit hours), maintain a 2.0 GPA and complete at least eight hours of community service each term.
  • What does Tennessee Promise fund? Tennessee Promise is a last-dollar scholarship—that is, it will cover tuition and fees after other assistance (except for loans and work-study) has been applied. It won’t cover books or the cost of attendance fees, such as travel and gas expenses.
  • How will funds be administered? Tennessee Promise funds will be administered by the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation through higher education institutions. Students will never receive funding directly.

About 25,000 high school seniors are expected to apply to higher education institutions in fall 2015 through Tennessee Promise. The initiative is estimated to cost about $34 million per year, and the funds will come from existing sources, including modifications to the HOPE Scholarship.

Acting, art, dance among July creative summer camps at Pellissippi State

Creative learning opportunities continue through July at Pellissippi State Community College’s summer creative learning camps. Early registration is encouraged.

The youth summer course selection for July, offered through the college’s Business and Community Services Division, includes the following:

“BizSmart: Shark Tank Meets Talented Kid”—July 7-11, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., rising 4-8 grades; $209. Turn your art, craft, jewelry or photography into a business. Come up with a product or service, name your company, design a logo and marketing materials, and create a commercial. Participants need to bring a lunch, drink and snack every day.

“CreACTivity”—July 7-11, 1-4 p.m., ages 8-10; $115. Students will enjoy creative drama, theatre games and exercises as they expand their acting abilities. Instruction is provided by The WordPlayers.

“ImaginACTion”—July 14-18, 1-4:30 p.m., ages 11-13; $125. Through theatre games and acting, students will build their acting repertoire. Focus is on using imagination and technique to create characters for the stage. The week culminates in a performance showcase. Instruction is provided by The WordPlayers.

“Young Artist”—July 14-18, 9-noon and 1-4 p.m., ages 8-15; $119. Improve fine arts skills and learn new skills, including basic drawing, figure drawing, proportion, portraits, sculpture, polymer clay, oil pastels, book and journal making, color theory, and perspective.

“Kid News: Lights, Camera, Action”—July 14-18, 9-noon and 1-4 p.m., grades 4-8; $119. Create a news program from start to finish. Participants will work in teams to write scripts, rehearse, develop music and background, work green screens, record video, and edit footage. Students will screen videos at the end of the week.

“Basket Making”—July 21-24, 9-noon, ages 10 and up; $129. Projects may include a wooden base basket, basketry bowls from round reed, paper baskets from watercolor paper and a woven birdhouse.

“More Than Just Knitting”—July 21-24, 1-4 p.m., ages 11 and up; $109. Make your own knitting needles, dye yarn with KoolAid and learn the basics of knitting, including how to read a pattern.

“Claymation”—July 21-25, 9-noon and 1-4 p.m., ages 8-15; $119. Learn the process of creating claymation movies and cartoons. Participants will work in small groups, and each group will write a script, create clay figures and backgrounds, take photographs, and compile the images into short animated movies. Students will screen videos at the end of the week.

“Zumba Kids ‘Dance Around the World’”—July 21-25, 9-noon, rising 4-6 grades; $105. Learn basic dance steps for salsa, samba, mambo, reggaeton and merengue. At the end of the week, students will perform the top three dances in a showcase for parents.

Unless otherwise noted, all courses are at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Participants may bring snacks or money for vending machines.

To find out more or to register, visit www.pstcc.edu/bcs or call (865) 539-7167. To request accommodations for a disability, email accommodations@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State partners with Boy Scouts to offer kids’ summer camps

Pellissippi State Community College is joining forces with the Boy Scouts of America to offer two children’s summer camps that focus on science, technology, engineering and math education.

“STEM camps such as these help kids become creative thinkers and problem solvers, and can help prepare them for the technological innovations they will face,” said Nancy Corum, a coordinator for Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services Division.

“In these camps, kids can discover how much fun and interesting these subjects can be and will take this interest with them. Hopefully, their experiences will inspire them toward a career in science and engineering fields to help fill the gap in America’s workforce.”

The following STEM summer camps take place on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

  • Race Engineering Ten80, ages 13-18, 8:30-noon, June 23-27. Students will build and race remote-controlled cars. The hands-on course encourages learning about mechanics and technology. Cost: $150.
  • USA BMX Bikes, ages 13-18, 1-5 p.m., June 23-27. Students will learn and have fun as they build and ride BMX bikes. Cost: $150.

To enroll in one or more of the STEM-related camps, contact the BSA’s Sarah Barnett at (865) 243-8057 or sarah.barnett@scouting.org.

In addition to the STEM classes, Pellissippi State is offering a variety of other summer camps for children of all ages. To learn more, visit www.pstcc.edu/bcs or call (865) 539-7167. To request accommodations for a disability, email accommodations@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State to dedicate Jenny and Randy Boyd Building

In recognition of outstanding support of higher education opportunities in this area, Pellissippi State Community College will dedicate its Strawberry Plains Campus building in honor of Randy and Jenny Boyd on Friday, May 9.

The dedication ceremony begins at 10 a.m., and the campus is located at 7201 Strawberry Plains Pike. Tours of the building will follow.

“We are naming this building in recognition of Jenny and Randy Boyd for their support of Pellissippi State Community College and their dedication to increased access and opportunities for higher education in East Tennessee,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State’s president.

In 2012, Randy and Jenny Boyd donated $1 million to the Pellissippi State Foundation toward the purchase of the Strawberry Plains Campus. The campus began offering classes in fall of that year.

Boyd, who is chairman of Radio Systems Corporation, also was Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s special advisor for higher education in 2013. In 2009, he helped start tnAchieves, a last-dollar scholarship and mentoring program for college students.

Boyd is a proponent of the governor’s “Drive to 55” campaign. The campaign’s goal to increase the percentage of Tennesseans with college degrees or certificates to 55 percent by 2025.

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