Category Archives: Community

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.

Pellissippi State certified as a veteran-friendly campus

The state recently certified Pellissippi State Community College as a “VETS Campus,” in acknowledgment of the institution’s efforts to ensure veterans experience a successful transition from military service to college enrollment.

“This designation is important because it recognizes Pellissippi State’s commitment to educating our men and women who have served in the military,” said Rachael Cragle. Cragle is Pellissippi State’s Advising director. She also is project director of the grants that help fund a number of the college’s student veteran support projects, including the Ben Atchley Veterans Success Center.

“This certification validates all of the work that Pellissippi State has done to establish our Veterans Success Center and to provide support for our student veterans,” said Cragle.

The certification is part of the Tennessee Veterans Education Transition Support (VETS) Act, which was passed into law earlier this year. The VETS Act recognizes colleges that not only deliver services to veterans but also “create a supportive environment where student veterans can prosper while pursuing their education.”

Pellissippi State opened the Ben Atchley Veterans Success Center one year ago this Veterans Day (Nov. 11) to provide space for veterans to gather, study, and relax, as well as to have access to advising and mentoring services.

The college provides pre-enrollment services—such as test preparation and help with benefits—through a partnership with the Veterans Upward Bound Program at the University of Tennessee.

The school communicates with its student veterans through email from enrollment to graduation and beyond, with the goals of improving retention rates and identifying situations that might require intervention. Pellissippi State offers veterans credit for military and other career experience through prior learning assessment, or PLA.

The college’s outreach programs to veterans are funded in part by a $37,982 Tennessee Access and Success Network grant and a three-year, $98,000 Tennessee Board of Regents Access and Diversity grant. Community partners include the Knoxville Rotary Club, the East Tennessee Military Affairs Council, and other non-profit and support groups.

For more information about Pellissippi State’s efforts to help student veterans succeed, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State hosts inaugural ‘Take Back the Night’

WHO: Pellissippi State Community College students and employees and community members are invited to “Take Back the Night” to raise awareness of domestic and sexual violence.Take Back the Night” is an international awareness campaign.

WHAT: Pellissippi State’s “Take Back the Night” event features a short march and a “speak out” session featuring keynote speaker Kali Meister, a Pellissippi State adjunct faculty member, playwright, and rape survivor. Also on hand will be college counselors as well as representatives of local women’s health and community outreach organizations.

WHEN AND WHERE: Thursday, Nov. 6, at 6 p.m. on the Division Street Campus, 3435 Division St.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu 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.

Medic Mobile at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus Nov. 19

Pellissippi State Community College hosts a Medic Regional Blood Center blood drive on Wednesday, Nov. 19, at the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

The Medic Mobile is available 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m., and the community is invited to donate to the blood drive. The mobile unit will be parked in Faculty/Staff Lot F1, located beyond the Visitors Lot in front of the Goins Administration Building.

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

Pellissippi State hosts Pulitzer-nominated writer David Madden Nov. 5

male speaking at a podium

Pulitzer Prize nominee David Madden reads from his newest book on Wednesday, Nov. 5, beginning at noon on Pellissippi State Community College’s Strawberry Plains Campus.

Madden chooses excerpts from his newest collection of short stories, “The Last Bizarre Tale.” The reading is free and the community is invited.

“We are honored to have acclaimed author David Madden with us,” said Patricia Ireland, an English faculty member and advisor for the Strawberry Plains Creative Writing Club, which is sponsoring the event. “We feel certain he will serve as an inspiration to all of our aspiring writers.

“The fact that his reading is presented as a dramatic performance will certainly provide listeners with an entertaining and informative experience. He’ll be taking questions from the audience after his reading, so we hope everyone will stay for that part of the event as well.”

Stories in “The Last Bizarre Tale” include “A Walk with Jefferson at Poplar Forest,” “The Invisible Girl” and “Who Killed Harpo Marx?” among others. Copies of his books will be available to buy at the event.

Madden was born in Knoxville in 1933 and is the author of several novels, including “The Suicide’s Wife,” “London Bridge in Plague and Fire,” and “Sharpshooter: A Novel of the Civil War.” Both “The Suicide’s Wife” and “Sharpshooter” were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Madden also is a prolific poet, short story writer and essayist, as well as an editor.

For more information about this event, visit www.pstcc.edu or call the Strawberry Plains Campus at (865) 225-2300. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State honors veterans with week’s worth of events

Pellissippi State Community College serves one of the largest veteran populations of any Tennessee community college. In the week leading up to Veterans Day, Nov. 11, the college will host a series of events in honor of veterans—particularly student veterans.

“Student veterans often have unique challenges when entering or returning to school,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president. “Some of our Veterans Week events are geared toward helping student veterans overcome those challenges, and some of our events are meant to celebrate their service and the service of all veterans.”

A focal point in the week is a presentation by Capt. William Robinson, Vietnam veteran, former prisoner of war and author of “The Longest Rescue.” Robinson speaks 11-noon Wednesday, Nov. 5, at the Ben Atchley Veterans Success Center on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

The schedule of events, all at the Hardin Valley Campus:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 4:
    • Flag-raising ceremony at 9 a.m. outside the Goins Building, featuring Rolling Thunder Chapter 3, an organization dedicated to publicizing the search for prisoners of war and those missing in action
    • Suicide prevention presentation, 3:30-4:30 p.m. in the Ben Atchley Veterans Success Center, to include information about prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action
  • Wednesday, Nov. 5:
    • “Missing Man” ceremony at 10:45 a.m. in the Ben Atchley Veterans Success Center, featuring Rolling Thunder Chapter 3
  • Monday, Nov. 10:
    • Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6598, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Goins Building Rotunda, to share what the VFW does to help veterans
    • “MASH” screening, noon-2 in the Goins Building Auditorium
  • Tuesday, Nov. 11:
    • Heroes’ Breakfast, 7:30-9 a.m. in the Goins Building Cafeteria Annex to honor all of Pellissippi State’s student veterans
    • Cake and punch, noon-2 in the Goins Building Rotunda

For more information about these events or Pellissippi State programs, visit www.pstcc.edu 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.

Pellissippi State celebrates American Indian Heritage Month

Male leaning against a doorway with violin and dressed in Native American attire.Pellissippi State Community College recognizes American Indian Heritage Month with a celebration that takes place 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Monday, Nov. 3.

The event, which is free and open to the community, is in the Goins Building College Center on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

“At Pellissippi State, we celebrate the diversity of our students, faculty and staff year-round,” said Gayle Wood, director of Access and Diversity, which sponsors the event. “At the Nov. 3 program, we will honor the struggles and celebrate the accomplishments of Native Americans.”
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The event includes a performance by musician Arvel Bird. Bird, who describes himself and his music as “Celtic Indian,” plays violin, fiddle, Native American flutes, and Irish whistles. His original compositions are a fusion of his Scottish and Southern Paiute heritage. Bird has performed with Glen Campbell, Loretta Lynn, Ray Price and Louise Mandrell, among others.

Attendees at Pellissippi State’s event also can taste traditional Native American foods.

“National American Indian Heritage Month” was established in 1990 by President George H. W. Bush, and the special recognition is now celebrated each November.

American Indian Heritage Month is one of the many 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 arts series commemorates 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.

Jewelry making, metalsmithing and much more offered at Pellissippi State

Learn painting, jewelry making, photography and foreign language at Pellissippi State Community College through a host of non-credit community courses this fall. All courses are offered through the college’s Business and Community Services Division.
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“Spanish Conversation” and “Hablando Español” both begin in late October and teach conversational Spanish that can be used for everyday encounters, travel, and business.

“Spanish Conversation” is 7-9 p.m. Mondays, Oct. 27-Dec.1, at the Hardin Valley Campus. Cost is $105 plus a $17 materials fee. “Hablando Español” is 7-9 p.m. Tuesdays, Oct. 28-Dec. 2, also at the Hardin Valley Campus. Cost is $105 plus an $11 materials fee.

Other non-credit courses this fall:

  • “Beginning Watercolor”—6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursdays, Oct. 30-Dec. 11, at the Blount County Campus. Cost is $120. Learn watercolor brush strokes, washes and composition.
  • “Basic Jewelry Beading”—6-8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 27, at the Hardin Valley Campus. Cost is $59 plus a $10 materials fee.
  • “Jewelry Wire Working”—6-8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 10, at the Hardin Valley Campus. Cost is $59 plus a $10 materials fee.
  • “Playing With Copper: Hot and Cold Connections”—6:30-9 p.m. Mondays, Nov. 17-Dec. 8, at the Hardin Valley Campus. Cost is $130.
  • “Beyond Basic Digital Photography”—6:15-8:15 p.m. Wednesdays, Nov. 19-Dec. 10, at the Hardin Valley Campus. Cost is $109.
  • “Stop Emotional Eating”—6:30-8 p.m. Mondays, Nov. 3-17, at the Blount County Campus. Cost is $75.

For more information and a full listing of 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’s 40th anniversary: Former president remembers tenure

Male standing at a podium speaking with blue press background behind
J.L. Goins speaks during the kickoff ceremony for Pellissippi State Community College’s 40th anniversary celebrations in September.

“Overrun with success.” That’s how J.L. Goins remembers what’s now Pellissippi State Community College during his time as president of the institution.

This year, Pellissippi State celebrates four decades of service to the community, with the theme “Forty Years of Achieving Success, One Story at a Time.”

Goins was president from 1981 to 1993. Under his leadership, the school changed from State Technical Institute at Knoxville to Pellissippi State Technical Community College. During that time, the institution operated campuses on Division Street and Hardin Valley Road, and it offered classes in two different empty Blount County elementary schools and even a vacated building on the grounds of Lakeshore Mental Health Institute.

Goins recalls in particular the changes after the state legislature, in 1988, made State Tech a comprehensive community college. Enrollment promptly tripled, he says.
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“The Hardin Valley campus was finished in 18 months, which was a state record,” he said, “but still, we had to delay class a few weeks that fall so we could finish the buildings.
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“That first day, we watched for students nervously. By 8:15, students had filled every parking space we had—and still they came.”

Goins acknowledges the selfless contributions of faculty and staff in those years, when enrollment exceeded state funding and faculty members agreed to teach extra courses without pay to ensure no students were turned away.

He also recalls how the name “Pellissippi” was chosen. The name is said to come from a Cherokee word, “Pelisipi,” which means “winding waters” and refers to the nearby Clinch River.

“It wasn’t a typical name for a community college,” Goins said. “But it was a term that had a history in the community. We understood that we would be an anchor in the community, that we would be a leader in the growth of this area, and ‘Pellissippi’ fit that idea.”

It was during Goins’ term as president that the stage was set for Pellissippi State’s long history of workforce development.

“I spent a lot of time working to recruit businesses to the area,” he said, “because I understood that those businesses would be hiring our graduates.”
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Goins foresees that the next 40 years will bring continued growth to Pellissippi State. The college will “continue to change to meet the educational needs of our community, with programs like our culinary, music and art and with the much-needed advanced manufacturing training.”

Throughout the year, the college will host community events as well as other special occasions for students, faculty and staff. Students, alumni and community members are encouraged to share their positive stories and memories of Pellissippi State at www.pstcc.edu/anniversary. On social media, use #PSCC40.

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

Pellissippi State hosts ribbon-cutting for new Blount County Campus fitness trail

WHO: L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State Community College president, will be on hand for a ribbon-cutting for the new fitness trail at the Blount County Campus Friday, Oct. 24. The community is invited to attend.

WHAT: The one-mile fitness trail is open to Pellissippi State students, employees and the community. The trail’s wide path winds around the scenic campus grounds and includes benches, picnic tables, a fountain and an outdoor amphitheater, plus comfortable rocking chairs in the college’s courtyard. At the ribbon-cutting event, stations will be set up along the trail that include activities for families and children. There also will be an ice cream sundae bar for all attendees.

WHEN AND WHERE: The ribbon-cutting will be held at 10:40 a.m. Friday, Oct. 24, on Pellissippi State’s Blount County Campus, 2731 W. Lamar Alexander Parkway. The grand opening event lasts from 10:30 a.m.-noon.

For more information about the Blount County Campus, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 981-5300. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.