Category Archives: Community

Pellissippi State: Non-credit right-brain drawing, pastels classes begin Oct. 16, 17

Discover your inner artist at non-credit classes being offered to the community this fall at Pellissippi State Community College.

“Our art classes have been popular in the past, and these two new classes are wonderful additions to our non-credit programming,” said Nancy Corum, a Business and Community Services coordinator.

“Right-Brain Drawing” is offered at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus, 6-9 p.m. on Wednesdays, Oct. 16-Nov. 20. Cost is $119 and the instructor is Jennifer Austin Jennings.

“Right-Brain Drawing” is meant to help attendees who have the desire to draw—but don’t feel they necessarily have natural talent—to overcome typical challenges encountered when attempting to draw realistically. The class will teach attendees methods of rethinking how to perceive subject matter and how to translate that visual information into line, shape, and spatial arrangements.

Participants need to provide their own art supplies.

Jennings is a children’s book illustrator and artist who studied at the Dayton Art Institute in Ohio. She has been featured in exhibits by the Dogwood Arts Festival, the Knoxville Arts and Cultural Alliance, and the National Juried Show.

“Drawing With Pastels, Pencils and Charcoal” is set for 6:15-8:45 p.m. on Thursdays, Oct. 17-Nov. 21, on the Blount County Campus. The cost is $105 and instructor is Mary Ruden.

The class will teach the basics of drawing with charcoal, color and standard pencils, and pastels, in addition to the art of composition and how to balance drawings.

Attendees will work from a still life set up in class or from photos of people or places. Participants provide their own art supplies.

Ruden is an artist and sculptor who has taught adult education art classes for many years. Her sculptures, which include large outdoor sculptures, have been featured in the Dogwood Arts Festival, at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, and by the City of Knoxville.

For more information about these and other classes offered by BCS, visit or call (865) 539-7167. To request accommodations for a disability, email

Author, special-needs advocate headlines ‘Evening of Glamour’ at Pellissippi State

cover of a bookKnoxville native Keva Horry, an author and special-needs advocate, is featured at “An Evening of Glamour” at Pellissippi State Community College Thursday, Oct. 10.

Horry is the mother of Ashlyn Horry, who died in 2011, with former husband and seven-time NBA champion Robert Horry. She speaks about her daughter’s special needs and short life and of the book Horry wrote about that experience, “Glamorous Sacrifice: Life in the Shadow of Championships,” released earlier this year.

“Keva Horry will be speaking on her life as the mom of a special-needs child, the joys and challenges it brings, and of living in the shadow and spotlight of the NBA,” said Joy Ingram, associate professor of Liberal Arts. “She also will share some of the lessons her daughter taught her, as well as lessons we all can learn from Ashlyn’s beautiful but short life.

“October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and by bringing Keva in to speak about her experiences, we hope to bring awareness to disabilities in general and to Ashlyn Horry’s legacy.”

African-American female wearing red and leaning on her hands“An Evening of Glamour” begins with a book signing by Keva Horry, 5-6 p.m. in the Rotunda of the Goins Building on Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus. Copies of “Glamorous Sacrifice” will be available for purchase. Horry’s presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium, with a question-and-answer session to follow.

“An Evening of Glamour” is free and open to the public; seating is limited. Parking also is free and is available in any lot not requiring a staff parking pass.

Ashlyn Horry was born with a rare chromosome abnormality known as 1p36 deletion syndrome. The syndrome was not identified until she was 14 years old. Despite respiratory issues, seizures, and other physical and cognitive disabilities, Ashlyn lived to age 17.

Three years before Ashlyn died, the Horrys founded the Ashlyn Horry Foundation in her honor to serve as a source of information and hope to the families of those suffering with the same disease. Currently, there is no specific treatment or cure for the 1p36 deletion syndrome.

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

The Arts at Pellissippi State kicks off fall events

Pellissippi State Community College launches a new year of dance, song, culture, art and theatre with the 2013-2014 Arts at Pellissippi State, and the public is invited to take part.

“Participation in the arts isn’t only for the artists,” said Pat Myers, director of community outreach and donor engagement. “Participation engages the audience as well, and it means something a little bit different to each person who studies an exhibit, listens to a vocalist or discusses a film with friends.”

The college encourages the community to participate in The Arts at Pellissippi State’s array of cultural activities. All events are free unless otherwise noted.

New to The Arts at Pellissippi State this year is the Pacific Rim Street Fest: A Celebration of Asian Pacific Rim Heritage, featuring the distinctive food, music, art and dance of the Asian Pacific Rim nations. The event is set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, in the Goins Building College Center on the Hardin Valley Campus.

Musical performances kick off with the annual Faculty Recital, featuring a showcase of talented Pellissippi State faculty members, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3. All musical performances are in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus. Additional performances:

  • Fall Choral Concert, featuring student soloists and the student groups Concert Chorale and Variations Ensemble, 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24
  • Instrumental Concert, 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7
  • Holiday Spectacular, the perennially popular holiday event, with two shows, 6 and 8 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 5

Theatre productions begin with “The Robber Bridegroom,” Broadway’s hit bluegrass musical. Shows take place at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 1-2 and 8-9 and 2 p.m. on Nov. 3 and 10, all in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus.

“Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells,” a fun adaptation of Barbara Park’s Junie. B. Jones books, is a co-production with The WordPlayers. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, and 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, in the Clayton Performing Arts Center. Purchase tickets for theatre productions at

Pellissippi State’s Faculty Lecture Series features daytime lectures by the college’s faculty on topics as varied as literature, historical figures and current events. All lectures take place in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus. Fall lectures:

  • “What They Know: Privacy in the Age of Digital Tracking” by Lisa Bogaty at 12:30 p.m. Oct. 3
  • “Fairy Tales Aren’t Just for Children” by Sue Yamin at 2 p.m. Nov. 6

The Bagwell Gallery on the Hardin Valley Campus shares the Foothills Craft Guild Basket Show through Oct. 15, featuring basket artistry by local and regional artisans. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

The Arts at Pellissippi State continues with events throughout the winter and spring. Highlights of spring 2014 include the Seventh Annual Festival of Cultures, an art exhibit featuring sculptor Raymond Padrón and the modern theatre production “Unnecessary Farce.”

For more information about a specific event in The Arts at Pellissippi State or for a full listing of the year’s events, visit To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or Requests should be made at least two weeks in advance.

Pellissippi State’s Oct. 4 Pacific Rim Street Fest highlights Asian cultures

Pellissippi State Community College hopes a look at new cultures will prompt the community to look at the world from a new perspective.

Pacific Rim Street Fest: A Celebration of Asian Pacific Rim Heritage is slated for 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 4. The free event takes place in the Goins Building College Center on the Hardin Valley Campus.

“Each semester, we have events that focus on different cultural experiences,” said Gayle Wood, the college’s director of Access and Diversity. “We’ve spotlighted cultures as diverse as Mediterranean, Hispanic, African and Native American in the past. We hope each event encourages our students, faculty, and staff members and the community at large to look at the world from a new cultural perspective.

“The idea to focus on Pacific Rim countries—including China, Japan, Vietnam, Korea and Taiwan—came from a student who also is a military veteran. He had amazing stories about serving in some of those Pacific Rim countries and the cultural experiences he had there.”

Pacific Rim Street Fest is one of the events that make up this academic year’s 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.

Pacific Rim Street Fest features Wah Lum Kung Fu of Knoxville performing a traditional lion dance, a Japanese dancing troupe from Atlanta and a Japanese tea ceremony. Other tentative activities include a Chinese fine artist and personal booths set up by Pellissippi State students native to Pacific Rim countries.

The Access and Diversity Office will give away chopsticks, Chinese and Japanese folding fans, and fortune cookies. Asian teas will be served as well. The Pacific Rim Street Fest also allows attendees to sample traditional foods, including Taiwanese Kong Bao chicken, Japanese wasabi pork shumai and Vietnamese dau phong, or boiled peanuts.

For more information about Pacific Rim Street Fest, call Access and Diversity at (865) 539-7160 or visit For more information about The Arts at Pellissippi State, visit

To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or

Pellissippi State awarded record-breaking $4.6 million grant by federal Department of Labor

The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded Pellissippi State Community College a grant for $4,569,689—the largest single amount the school has ever received.

The funding is part of a $474.5 million DOL effort to help community colleges around the country train the workforce and facilitate students in earning credentials. The award was announced Wednesday, Sept. 18.

The grants are to be used for the development and expansion of innovative training programs in partnership with local employers. Pellissippi State was one of only three Tennessee colleges awarded funds in the competitive process.

“We are excited and proud to have won this very competitive grant for the expansion of our workforce training programs,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president. “The funding will significantly enhance our efforts with business and industry partners to create more and better jobs for graduates throughout East Tennessee.”

The college wrote and submitted the grant as the leader of the Southeastern Economic and Education Leadership Consortium. The consortium includes five other community colleges in the Southeast: Northeast State Community College, Palm Beach State College and Polk State College in Florida, and Randolph Community College and Vance-Granville Community College in North Carolina.

The SEELC proposal resulted in a total of $12.7 million for use in advanced manufacturing projects.

“At Pellissippi State, we will use the grant to expand welding, machining, and manufacturing programs, with the long-term goal of ensuring that our graduates are well prepared to enter the workforce,” said Wise. Funds will be used to purchase equipment and new technology and to hire program faculty and staff.

“As a SEELC member, we will also work with national credentialing bodies to make sure our training continues to meet industry-recognized standards of excellence.”

Through the consortium, Pellissippi State will partner with organizations such as the American Welding Society and the National Institute for Metalworking Skills to offer national credentials as part of the college’s degree and certificate programs. Pellissippi State has available a wide variety of short-term training certificates that enhance job opportunities for students.

Consortium members also will work with public partners in their respective states to open the door for more students and workers to receive advanced manufacturing certificates and degrees.

The six colleges that make up the SEELC are leaders in partnering in regional workforce development and education, and the six were specifically chosen to represent economic and demographic diversity. Each SEELC member is located in a state in which governors and other community leaders are working to improve economic development and workforce system change.

To learn more about Pellissippi State’s programs and services, call (865) 694-6400 or visit For more about the federal grant, visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s website.

DENSO, Pellissippi State partner on classroom automation equipment

Row of males and females standing in a line
DENSO North America Foundation presented a $50,000 check to Pellissippi State Community College officials during a ceremony and tour Wednesday, Aug. 21, on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus. The grant will be used to purchase programmable controller training systems, a robotic arm training station with software and motor training equipment for the newest Engineering Technology concentration, Automated Industrial Systems. Pictured from left are Kenneth Swayne, Engineering Technology faculty, Pellissippi State; Robyn Blair and Sara Harris, DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee representatives; Carl Mallette, Engineering Technology; Brian Crawford, DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee; Peggy Wilson, executive director, Pellissippi State Foundation; Pat Riddle, Engineering Technology; L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president; Dennis Hopkins, vice president, DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee; and Ted Lewis, vice president, Academic Affairs, Pellissippi State.

After more than 20 years of collaboration, Pellissippi State Community College and DENSO North America Foundation are joining forces once again, this time to help provide new equipment to students studying Automated Industrial Systems at the college.

Automated Industrial Systems is a new concentration in the Engineering Technology program that launches at Pellissippi State this fall. Students who graduate in Engineering Technology earn an Associate of Applied Science degree.

Representatives from DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee presented a $50,000 check on behalf of the DENSO North America Foundation to the Pellissippi State Foundation during a ceremony at the school’s Hardin Valley Campus Wednesday, Aug. 21. The donation will apply toward the purchase of programmable controller training systems, a robotic arm training station with software and motor training equipment.

“The partnership between DENSO and Pellissippi State is one that benefits both our students and DENSO employees,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president, “as, together, we strive to provide great education and technological training both on the job and in the classroom.”

group of males and females looking at computer and equipment

“For the auto industry to continue to advance, we need to further develop and invest in students’ technological skills—that’s what we hope to accomplish with Pellissippi State and this grant,” said Mike Brackett, DENSO Foundation board member and senior vice president of Corporate Services at DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee.

“At DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee, we specialize in robot design and programming and now have more than 800 robots on our production lines. Automation will continue to be critical in the future of DENSO and our automotive customers, meaning we need talented and knowledgeable people in this area.”

The equipment will be similar to that used in DENSO and other manufacturing settings where much of the automation is controlled by computer. With the robotic arm and programmable controller training systems, Pellissippi State students will learn relevant and technologically advanced techniques used in engineering technology and manufacturing.

“In order for students to be ready to go to work, we must continue to integrate newer technology into our training programs,” said Wise. “This cutting-edge equipment will be used for our new and existing engineering technology, workforce training, and STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] awareness programs.”

“Our partnership with DENSO is a win-win relationship,” said Peggy Wilson, executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation. “Support from donors like DENSO helps the college provide its students the best education possible, and when those students graduate, they bring to employers the knowledge business and industry need to succeed.”

To learn more about Pellissippi State giving opportunities, call the Foundation at (865) 694-6528 or email For more information on Engineering Technology and other academic offerings, call Pellissippi State at (865) 694-6400 or visit



The DENSO North America Foundation was established in January 2001 to support the advancement of higher education in science, math, engineering and related business programs through grant-making to colleges and universities throughout North America. A priority is given to programs that demonstrate technological innovation and advance automotive engineering.

DENSO Corporation, headquartered in Kariya, Aichi prefecture, Japan, is a leading global automotive supplier of advanced technology, systems and components in the areas of thermal, powertrain control, electric, electronics, information and safety. Its customers include all the world’s major carmakers. Consolidated global sales for the fiscal year ending March 31 totaled U.S. $38.1 billion. In North America, DENSO employs more than 17,000 people, with consolidated sales totaling U.S. $6.8 billion for the fiscal year ending March 31.

‘A Celebration of Baskets’ exhibit at Pellissippi State starts Sept. 23

Swing Handle Market Basket - Artist Susan Mowan
Swing Handle Market Basket – Artist Susan Mowan

Weave your way to the Bagwell Center for Media and Art at Pellissippi State Community College and gain a new appreciation of an Appalachian heritage craft, basket weaving.

“A Celebration of Baskets” by the Foothills Craft Guild Basket Weavers is on display at the Bagwell Gallery Sept. 23-Oct. 15, with an opening reception 3-5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24. The event is free, and the community is invited. The gallery is located on the Hardin Valley Campus.

“The Foothills Craft Guild exhibit will present original work created by guild members, along with examples of work done by a special guest,” said Jennifer Brickey, an art instructor at Pellissippi State. “A Celebration of Baskets” features the work of Pam Parham, a Shaker-basket weaver from Sevierville.

According to Virgil Davis, a Pellissippi State adjunct faculty member and also a guild member, the basket exhibit pays homage to a timeless Appalachian craft, as well as introduces traditional and modern weaving techniques.

2 baskets on a table
Traditional Nantucket basket – Artist Susan Mowan

Like Parham, Davis creates Shaker baskets. Whether baskets, furniture or architecture, Shaker style is intended for longevity and usefulness. The display includes not only Shaker pieces but also nesting baskets, Nantuckets with solid wood bases and lids, and Appalachian berry baskets, which were traditionally made quickly, on site, from carved poplar bark.

Heritage basketry is joined in the exhibit by more modern creations. The display is meant to encourage visitors to be conscious of space and enclosures and to find beauty in everyday items.

“A Celebration of Baskets” 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 about The Arts at Pellissippi State, contact Pellissippi State at (865) 694-6400 or visit To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or

High school seniors invited to enter Pellissippi State photography contest

A $500 scholarship is the prize awaiting one aspiring young photojournalist, portraitist or even Instagrammer as winner of the Horizons 2013 Photography Contest.

Horizons 2013, presented by Pellissippi State Community College, is open to high school seniors in Knox and Blount counties. It’s free to enter.

The winner of “Best Photograph” earns a $500 scholarship to attend Pellissippi State. Each of the top 10 winners receives a $50 award. In addition, winning entries will be displayed on the Pellissippi State Horizons 2013 website and will be announced to local media.

The deadline for entries is Friday, Oct. 11. Only one entry per person is permitted.

“Horizons is an opportunity for high school students and their families to get a look at Pellissippi State and see all that we can offer to aspiring artists,” said John Edwin May, an assistant professor in Engineering and Media Technologies.

“Student photographers will have the opportunity to have their work displayed on campus and judged by a panel of faculty and community members, plus they’ll be able to explore Pellissippi State’s campus, meet the Art faculty and college administrators, and get a glimpse of the college art experience.”

All types of photographs are eligible for entry—including black-and-white, color, non-silver and computer-manipulated. To be considered, the photograph must be uploaded in JPEG format, be appropriate labeled, and meet color, sizing, and compression requirements. For a full list of entry specifications, visit

Entries will be judged on creativity, uniqueness of subject matter, composition and overall impact. Judges will include Pellissippi State Photography and Art faculty and community advisory board members.

All submitted work will be on display Nov. 11-15 in the gallery of the Bagwell Center for Media and Art on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus. An artist reception takes place at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12, in the Bagwell Gallery.

Winners will be announced during a ceremony set for 7 p.m. Nov. 12, in the Clayton Performing Arts Center, also on the Hardin Valley Campus. Artists must be present to win.

For more information or to submit an entry, visit

Pellissippi State recognizes Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Male in suit at table with paper on desk and pen in hand. 3 females are standing behind him.
Pellissippi State Community College President L. Anthony Wise Jr. signs a proclamation Thursday, Aug. 29, naming September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month on all Pellissippi State campuses. Joining him, from left, are College counselors Lisa Orient, Elizabeth Firestone and Kathleen Douthat.

Pellissippi State Community College has named September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month at all of its five campuses. President L. Anthony Wise Jr. signed the official proclamation on Thursday.

According to the Jed Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting emotional health and preventing suicide among college students, one in 10 college students has contemplated suicide at some point.

Suicide is now the third leading cause of death among 15- to 24-year-olds and is the second leading cause among college-age students. Approximately 1,100 college students die by suicide each year.

“We want Pellissippi State students to be successful and hopeful,” said Wise. “Every student should know that our faculty and staff are here to help support them.”

As part of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, Pellissippi State counselors will offer programming designed to teach students how to recognize behaviors associated with vulnerability, depression and suicide contemplation.

In addition, counselors will visit classrooms by faculty request to facilitate question-persuade-refer training. QPR is designed to prevent suicide by providing support to the person in need.

“Mental illnesses are real, diagnosable and treatable,” said Elizabeth Firestone, director of Counseling at Pellissippi State. “More important, treatment of mental illnesses works—there is hope for recovery. Students who are feeling stressed, depressed or having suicidal thoughts can contact Counseling and find help.”

Pellissippi State joins the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network in its recognition of September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. The network is a collaboration of Tennesseans and organizations working to eliminate the stigma of suicide, educate the community about the warning signs and ultimately reduce the rate of suicide in the state.

For more information about Pellissippi State’s Counseling Office, call (865) 694-6547 or visit

National aquarist addresses ocean pollutants at Pellissippi State lecture

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Beyond its size—by some estimates twice that of the continental U.S.—there’s nothing “great” about this swirling flotsam of plastics, chemical sludge and other debris.

Katie Williams, an aquarist at the National Aquarium in Washington, D.C., addresses the ocean-borne garbage dump and related pollutants by invitation of the Sustainable Campus Initiative at Pellissippi State Community College in September. The topic is plastics and their role in the health and future of oceans and other major waterways.

Williams’ lecture, “Plastics and Waste Reduction: An Oceans and Wildlife Perspective,” is 10:45-11:45 a.m., Friday, Sept. 27, in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus. The event is free and the public is invited.

“Education is important to build awareness of what it will take to ensure the continuation of these species in our oceans that are threatened by pollution,” said Karen Lively, the college’s sustainable campus coordinator. “Even in landlocked areas, we affect that pollution.”

“The same waste reduction efforts used globally can be related to protecting the wildlife in and around local watersheds like the Tennessee River,” said Judy Sichler, an anthropology instructor at Pellissippi State.

During her lecture, Williams will show the visual reminders of plastic pollution in our oceans and major waterways, including images of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, beach destruction and the effects of microplastic.

Williams graduated with a degree in marine biology from the University of Tennessee and has worked for Sea World, the National Aquarium in Baltimore and the National Aquarium in Washington.

The lecture is tied in to the Sustainable Campus Initiative’s theme for September, plastics and waste reduction. Pellissippi State also will host a viewing of “Tapped,” a documentary film examining the bottled water industry. The event takes place at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, in the Goins Building Auditorium.

The community is invited to enjoy the free film and popcorn.

For additional information about the Sustainable Campus Initiative’s September events, call Lively at (865) 539-7364 or visit To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or