Category Archives: Community

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 or call (865) 539-7167. To request accommodations for a disability, email

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 On social media, use #PSCC40.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit 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 or call (865) 981-5300. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or

Community invited to Oct. 21 Fall Choral Concert at Pellissippi State

Graphic with female singing into a microphone and the word Music below.

Special performances by student groups and soloists highlight Pellissippi State Community College’s Fall Choral Concert.

The annual concert is Tuesday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The concert features musical performances by student groups Concert Chorale and Variations Ensemble, as well as by selected student soloists.
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The event is free and the community is invited.

“The students in the choirs have been working very diligently to prepare for our first choral concert of the year,” said Bill Brewer, Music program coordinator. “They have been rehearsing a wide variety of pieces and styles, including traditional choral literature, folk song settings, and African-American spirituals. There should be something to please every musical palate.”

The Fall Choral Concert is one of the performances in Pellissippi State’s year-long Music Concert Series. The 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. All piano performances and accompaniments will be performed on Steinways, in keeping with the college’s status as an All-Steinway School.
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For additional information about the Pellissippi State Music Concert Series or The Arts at Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or

Pellissippi State hosts Oct. 9 community forum on abortion amendment

Pellissippi State Community College hosts a panel discussion and community forum Thursday, Oct. 9, on Amendment 1, an abortion-related amendment set to appear on the Nov. 4 ballot.

The event is at noon in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. It is free and the community is welcome.

A panel discussion opens the session, introducing the topic and familiarizing the audience with Amendment 1. The panel will include a health-care provider, a social worker and theologian, a civil rights lawyer, and a constitutional lawyer.
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“This will be a human conversation, not a political debate,” said Marsha Hupfel, a Liberal Arts faculty member and planner of the event. The forum is part of Pellissippi State’s Conversation Cafe series.

Amendment 1 is related to the process of accessing abortion in the state of Tennessee. The language of the amendment reads:

“Shall Article I, of the Constitution of Tennessee be amended by adding the following language as a new, appropriately designated section: Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion. The people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.”
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Voters will be able to vote “yes” or “no” to the amendment.

Beyond the forum at the Hardin Valley Campus, all Pellissippi State campuses will live stream the event and host discussions of their own. For more information about this session, visit

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or

‘Playing With Copper’ classes teach basic metalsmithing at Pellissippi State

Learn the basics of metalsmithing at Pellissippi State Community College with two new non-credit courses, both themed “Playing With Copper.”

“Playing With Copper: Beginning” is Mondays, Oct. 20-Nov. 10, on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The class times are 6:30-9 p.m., and the cost is $130. No prerequisite or experience is required.

Learn traditional metalsmithing techniques, including forming, sawing, and disk cutting, using copper sheet and wire. All tools and supplies are included in an additional materials fee of $40, payable to the instructor, Kathy Bradley. Bring your own safety glasses.
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“Playing With Copper: Hot and Cold Connections” is Mondays, Nov. 17-Dec. 8, 6:30-9 p.m., also at the Hardin Valley Campus. Cost is $130. To take part in this class, students must have metalsmithing experience or should have taken “Playing With Copper: Beginning.” This course explores different ways to connect copper pieces, including soldering and riveting.

Bradley is an artist who has studied metalsmithing at Arrowmont School, John C. Campbell Folk School, Spruill Center and the Appalachian Center for Craft. Each of the “Playing With Copper” classes introduces metalsmithing as a way of creating art and jewelry.
The courses are being offered through Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services Division. Can’t commit to a weekly class? BCS offers a number of one-night classes in creating art and making jewelry this fall: “Wire Jewelry Design,” Oct. 13; “Basic Jewelry Beading,” Oct. 27; and “Jewelry Wire Working,” Nov. 10.
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For more information and a full listing of these and other classes offered by Business and Community Services, visit or call (865) 539-7167. To request accommodations for a disability, email

Pellissippi State faculty member’s art explores time, movement

artwork of pathway
Artist Brian Jobe and his son, Russell, visit “Right Angle Reply (Tall Grasses)” at the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum.

In a culture in which the passage of time is often rushed, one Pellissippi State Community College faculty member has unveiled an interactive public art installation designed to encourage visitors to pause in the moment and engage in their surroundings.
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Brian R. Jobe, an art adjunct faculty member, completed the permanent piece, titled “Right Angle Reply (Tall Grasses),” at the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum during the summer. The 100-linear-foot pathway is constructed of brick, mortar, and paint and is designed to increase the mindfulness of visitors who walk through it.

“‘Right Angle Reply (Tall Grasses)’ is a series of open pathways allowing visitors to come in and interact with it at multiple points,” Jobe said. “The universal nature of the angled corridors creates a space of increased awareness for a person within the piece. When the zigzag motion slows visitors, they become more engaged and aware of their surroundings.
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“I hope that it can be a place for people to gather, rest, move and think. It invites all ages to walk through it, lean against it, sit on top of it or next to it. That interactive experience is something people will remember being part of, and it’s designed to be a destination spot for people to return again and again.”

Jobe’s projects are focused on altering foot traffic to engage walkers in a physical, sensory experience.

To complete “Right Angle Reply (Tall Grasses),” Jobe partnered with General Shale, Johnson & Galyon Construction, and Sequatchie Concrete, which donated materials and labor in full. He also worked with project consultants Christopher King of Smee + Busby Architects; John McRae, a professor at the University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design; and Carri Jobe, a painter and the artist’s wife.

“The use of brick and other modular building units suggests permanence, yet houses the fluid movement of the public within these passages,” said Brian Jobe. “There’s a terrific tension embedded in that dynamic of static and active.”
For more information about Pellissippi State, visit or call (865) 694-6400. For more about Brian Jobe, visit


Pellissippi State receives $1 million for students with disabilities

One million dollars in funds to integrate new educational and career training strategies for students with disabilities was awarded to Pellissippi State Community College Monday, Sept. 29.

“All of our students deserve an equal opportunity to learn,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president. “This grant, the Universal Pathways to Employment Project, will help us deliver integrated education and career training to students with disabilities.”
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The Universal Pathways to Employment Project grant was awarded through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. The award is renewable for the next five years, for up to $5,199,269. Vice President Joe Biden announced the grant as part of a $450 million job-training initiative, jointly administered by the federal departments of Labor and Education, to fund programs at roughly 270 community colleges across the country.

At Pellissippi State, the funds will be used to coordinate and expand academic and career support services, expand partnerships with local school systems and employers, and assist student with disabilities in obtaining assistance—both at the college and in outside systems like public transportation or housing.

The grant also will be used to employ new staff to handle the funds and support services, as well as to train faculty and staff in support for students with disabilities.
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“This grant puts the needed supports in place for students with disabilities,” said Ann Satkowiak, director of Disability Services. “We’ll work to identify any potential barriers to graduation that exist for students with disabilities, which could include improving accommodations or making programs and courses more accessible.”
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Funding, grants and scholarships at Pellissippi State are managed by the Pellissippi State Foundation. The Foundation works to provide student scholarships and emergency loans as well as to improve facilities and secure new equipment. For more information about the Foundation, visit or call (865) 694-6528.

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

Pellissippi State student starts scholarship for homeless students

A Pellissippi State Community College student is taking steps to ensure homeless students have the funds they need to attend college.

Through a partnership with the Pellissippi State Foundation, student Stephanie Davis has started the Homeless Students Scholarship, which will help fund tuition, books and school supplies for students who are homeless.

The Homeless Students Scholarship is dependent upon donations from the community. To make a donation, contact the Foundation at (865) 694-6528.

“In the spring, I wrote an argument essay in my English 1010 class about homeless students,” said Davis. “During the research for that paper, I found out that Pellissippi State has had homeless students attend classes, and I came up with the idea of starting a fund to help those students.
“It is heartbreaking that homeless students sometimes feel that they have nowhere to turn, or that they’re embarrassed to ask for help. It just takes one person to speak up before we see change.”

Davis hopes the scholarship is up and running by the spring 2015 semester.

“Stephanie is enthusiastic and inspiring in her desire to help other students,” said Peggy Wilson, vice president of College Advancement and executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation. “By setting up this scholarship, we hope to help students in need achieve their dreams.”

To qualify for the scholarship, a student would need to meet the following criteria:

  • Demonstrate financial need.
  • Validate that he/she is homeless.
  • Provide a written recommendation from a high school or college advisor, counselor, teacher or other professional.
  • Maintain an overall GPA of 2.0. Scholarships would be awarded annually, and the award would depend on the funding available.

“Even $5 would buy a pack of pens,” Davis said. “We can start small and grow.”

The Pellissippi State Foundation works to provide student scholarships and emergency loans, as well as to improve facilities and secure new equipment. For more information about this and other scholarships and grants offered through the Foundation, visit or call (865) 694-6528.

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.
“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 or call (865) 694-6400. To learn more about the college’s academic programs, go to