Category Archives: Community

Pellissippi State volunteers generate nearly $817,600 in economic impact

Pellissippi State Community College’s student volunteers have generated an estimated $817,569.88 in economic impact during the past year, according to the estimated state value of volunteer time.

Through participation in its Service-Learning program, Pellissippi State recorded 2,867 student volunteers in the 2013-2014 academic year. Service-learning integrates community service with more traditional learning experiences. The program’s primary goals are to teach civic responsibility and strengthen communities.

“What’s even more impressive than the economic impact of our students’ volunteer time,” said Annie Gray, Service-Learning coordinator and an English professor, “are the consistently positive things students have to say about how that service experience helped them find career focus and deep motivation during their college journey.
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“Based on the projects I have seen them do, I am convinced that service-learning experiences inspire college students to strive hard and think deeply about their subjects from multiple points of view. That’s pretty exciting.”

The economic impact of students’ hours was calculated using the dollar value the state places on volunteer time: $20.13 per hour. Using the federal estimate of $22.55 for volunteer service, the Service-Learning students contributed $915,856.97 to the local economy. Gray estimates that even more students participated in volunteer work than the total reflects, but that they didn’t report their hours in the college’s ServiceCorps program, which collects and reports such hours.

The benefits for students of participation in community service go beyond economics.

According to the findings of more than 900 anonymous surveys, students overwhelmingly believe that community service reinforces their desire to earn a college degree and that it motivates them to be better students. More than 80 percent prefer courses that incorporate some type of community service into the curriculum.

The vast majority also feel that civic engagement is essential to a successful academic and professional life.
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“At Pellissippi State, we incentivize giving back to the community while pursuing a higher education,” Gray said. “Students’ verified service hours are listed on their student transcripts, which shows a future employer or a transfer institution how well-rounded an applicant really is.”

For more information about Service-Learning at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu/service-learning or call (865) 694-6400. To learn more about the college’s academic programs, go to www.pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State vice president named Woman of the Year

portrait of female in red suitPeggy Wilson, Pellissippi State Community College’s vice president of College Advancement, has been named Woman of the Year in Education by the National Association of Professional Women.

“I’m honored and humbled to receive this award by an organization that seeks to empower and encourage professional women,” said Wilson, also the executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation.
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The award recognizes “excellence, leadership and commitment to her profession, while encouraging the achievement of professional women.” The NAPW is the largest networking organization of professional women in the country, with more than 600,000 members.

Wilson has worked at Pellissippi State for 28 years. She was the first person in her family to graduate from college, the first employee at Pellissippi State to receive the Outstanding Administrator award and the school’s first female vice president. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Eastern Kentucky University and a master’s in education from Morehead State University.

“My greatest achievement is going from a girl wanting more than the mountains could offer to becoming the first female vice president at Pellissippi State,” Wilson said.

In addition to her other accomplishments, Wilson was named the 2001 Executive of the Year for the International Association of Administrative Professionals, Oak Ridge Chapter, and won the 2010 Excellence in Administration Otis L. Floyd Jr. Award from the Tennessee College Public Relations Association.
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Wilson serves in and supports a number of community and international organizations, including Rotary Club of Farragut and Rotary International, Knoxville Symphony League, the Cerebral Palsy Center, East Tennessee Historical Society, and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. She and her husband, Joe, are members of Cokesbury United Methodist Church. Wilson has three children and three grandchildren.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400. For more information about the National Association of Professional Women, visit www.napw.com.

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, Sept. 17.

The Medic Mobile is scheduled to be at the campus, located at 10915 Hardin Valley Road, 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. The community is invited to participate in the blood drive. The Medic Mobile will be parked in the O1 lot adjoining visitors’ parking in front of the Goins Building.
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Medic is a nonprofit organization that 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 instead that donors eat a meal and drink fluids approximately three hours prior to donating.

Participants are asked to present photo identification and a list of current medications.
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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.

Pellissippi State Internet coming back online

The Internet at all five Pellissippi State Community College campuses went down earlier this week, but it was expected to be operational later today (Sept. 5).

The outage affected Pellissippi State’s website, www.pstcc.edu, as well as classroom software and some email systems. The outage began intermittently on Tuesday, and it impacted traffic both on and off campus.
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Technicians have been working around the clock to restore the Internet and bring the college’s website back online. On campus, classroom software and Internet access were restored Wednesday. An emergency notice was sent to students advising them of the best way to access classroom software from home. Off campus, access to all Pellissippi State Web-based systems was expected to be restored Friday afternoon.

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

Pellissippi State’s Civic Engagement Week introduces ‘Good Food For All’

Pellissippi State Community College invites the community to join the fun during Civic Engagement Week, Sept. 10-17, with events that profile community service, sustainability, and local and regional food and agriculture.

Local and national speakers will highlight the week, whose theme is “Good Food For All.” All events are free and open to the community, and all take place on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The weeklong series of events is being hosted by the college’s Service-Learning program.
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The annual Call2Service Volunteer Fair kicks off the week. Community partners will be in the Courtyard and the Goins Building College Center sharing ways students and employees can volunteer in the community. The fair is 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Sept. 10.

The National Day of Service and Remembrance on Sept. 11 features a brief address from Capt. Bill Robinson, a Vietnam veteran and former prisoner of war. His presentation and a moment of silence begin at 9 a.m. in the Courtyard.

Chad Hellwinckel delivers a lecture titled “Wanted: 10,000 Lunatic Farmers!” 11:50 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Monday, Sept. 15, in the Goins Building Auditorium. Hellwinckel is founder of the Knoxville Permaculture Guild and a research assistant professor at the Agricultural Policy Analysis Center of the University of Tennessee.

Jennifer Jones, president and CEO of the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, speaks 12:25-1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16, on “Global Food Politics: Sovereignty From Farm to Fork,” in the Goins Building Cafeteria Annex.

The week closes with a Constitution Day presentation by David Key, a Pellissippi State history professor. The talk is titled “Citizen Farmer: Thomas Jefferson’s Agrarianism.” The lecture is 11:50 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17, in the Goins Building Auditorium. Free pocket Constitutions will be available for attendees.
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Each of Pellissippi State’s four site campuses—Blount County, Division Street, Magnolia Avenue and Strawberry Plains—will host additional events during Civic Engagement Week. A full listing is available on the calendar at www.pstcc.edu.

Now in its fourth year, the Service-Learning program allows Pellissippi State students and faculty to integrate meaningful community service and reflection with more traditional learning experiences, teaching civic responsibility and strengthening communities.

For more information about Service-Learning, visit www.pstcc.edu/service-learning 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, community partners team up for ‘Good Food For All’

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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.new balance 759

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.

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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

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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

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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.

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.

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 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.