Photography faculty work spotlight of Pellissippi State show

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Pellissippi State Community College showcases the work of its Photography faculty members during the Photography Faculty Exhibit, Nov. 18-Dec. 12.

The exhibit is in the Bagwell Center for Media and Art gallery at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

A reception takes place 4-6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17. The exhibit and reception are free to attend, and the community is invited.

“This exhibit allows our students to see what their professors are doing in their personal art pursuits,” said Kurt Eslick, an associate professor in Photography. “It’s great when students can see that their professors are out there creating, too.”

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

Pellissippi State presents world theatre premiere of ‘Server Alley’

graphic of waitress holding food with server alley label above

Pellissippi State Community College hosts the world debut of “Server Alley,” a comedy/drama by playwright Alex Gherardi, in November.

Performance times are 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 14, 15, 21, and 22 and 2 p.m. on Nov. 16 and 23. The event takes place in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

The play has a unique setup, in that audience members are seated on the stage near the actors. Seating is limited. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. Tickets are available at

The never-before-seen play examines the lives of an oft-seen but barely noticed group: the people who serve our food.

“The story focuses on young people at a time of their lives when they are deciding what they want and who they want to be,” said Charles R. Miller, Theatre program coordinator and a professor of Liberal Arts. “The characters in this play ask themselves if their lives are really what they wish them to be, or if they want to take the chance on something that might be better.”

Alex Gherardi is executive director of CNY Shakespeare in Central New York and is an adjunct faculty member at Pellissippi State. A graduate of Rutgers University, he is now living in Knoxville.

“We are so honored to show the world premiere of a play he wrote while in Knoxville,” said Miller. “Alex is hugely talented not only as a playwright but as a composer and an actor himself.”

“Server Alley” 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. This year, the series commemorates Pellissippi State’s 40th anniversary.

For more information about The Arts at 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

Pellissippi State associate professor of Spanish wins teaching award

posted in: Academics, Awards, Faculty/Staff, TBR | 0

portrait of femaleMarilyn Palatinus, foreign languages program coordinator and an associate professor of Spanish at Pellissippi State Community College, has been named this year’s Jacqueline Elliott Award recipient by the Tennessee Foreign Language Teaching Association.

The award honors exemplary work and recognizes outstanding service by foreign language educators at the postsecondary level. According to the TFLTA, Palatinus was recognized “in glowing terms” by her coworkers and colleagues for her support to foreign language at the college and to the TFLTA.

“I was very surprised and humbled to learn that my colleagues felt I deserved the award,” said Palatinus. “I’m so very proud of our program at Pellissippi State. We’ve been very successful because of all of our great faculty members.”

Jane Stribling nominated Palatinus for the teaching award.

“I was personally acquainted with the late Jacqueline Elliott,” said Stribling, an associate professor of French at Pellissippi State. “Marilyn demonstrates the debrouillard spirit which shone with Jacqueline—the ability to tackle any project and handle it with grace.”

Palatinus has taught Spanish at Pellissippi State for 25 years. She also formerly served as department head of Humanities.

“I’ve always been interested in different languages, and I studied Spanish in college and high school,” Palatinus said. After she completed graduate school, she and her husband spent two years in Panama, where she spoke Spanish every day.

She enjoys teaching the language to students and, she says, uses learning by experience—like her own immersive language opportunity in Panama—when possible.
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Palatinus put her passions for teaching and language into practice this summer when she accompanied Pellissippi State students to Spain for study abroad through the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies. It was the sixth summer she had taught Spanish on a TnCIS trip to Spain. TnCIS, which is based at Pellissippi State, organizes study abroad opportunities as part of its mission of boosting international experience and culture in higher education across the state.

Palatinus is the third foreign language faculty member from Pellissippi State to earn the Jacqueline Elliott Award. Beverly Burdette, who taught Spanish, and Joan Easterly, who teaches French, were recipients of the honor in 2011 and 2001, respectively. Elliott was a French professor at the University of Tennessee.

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

Pellissippi State’s 40th anniversary: Former president remembers tenure

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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.

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