Pellissippi State faculty star in art exhibit

artworkThe works of many of Pellissippi State Community College’s Art faculty are featured in an exhibit that kicks off Oct. 6.

The special Faculty Art Exhibit runs through Oct. 24. The display is in the gallery of the Bagwell Center for Media and Art on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
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“This exhibit showcases the current work of our four full-time faculty members as well as several of our adjunct faculty members, so it’s a department-wide show,” said Jeff Lockett, professor and Art program coordinator. “We’ll have two-dimensional and three-dimensional art featuring both abstract and representational work.

“The Bagwell Gallery is wonderful for showcasing the work of local and regional artists, as well as the work of our talented students and our faculty.”

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The Faculty Art Exhibit 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 arts series celebrates Pellissippi State’s 40th anniversary.
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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.

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: Community invited to ‘A Few of Our Favorite Things’ faculty concert

Graphic with female singing into a microphone and the word Music below.Pellissippi State Community College hosts its annual Faculty Recital Thursday, Oct. 2.

“A Few of Our Favorite Things” begins 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 the college’s Music faculty.
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The event is free and the community is invited.

“Fifteen members of the Music faculty will be performing selections that represent their favorite genre, composer or time period,” said Bill Brewer, Music program coordinator. “Some commentary on selected pieces will be offered to give the audience a sense of why it is a favorite of the particular performer.”
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“A Few of Our Favorite Things” is one of the performances in Pellissippi State’s yearlong 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 are performed on Steinways, in keeping with Pellissippi State’s status as an All-Steinway School.

For additional information about the Pellissippi State 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 faculty members spend summer researching Icelandic geology

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Female with water and island behind.
Kathleen Affholter, a Pellissippi State Community College associate professor of geology, traveled to Iceland over the summer to study the island’s unique geology, including collecting soil and rock samples such as zeolite minerals.

Iceland, a sparsely populated island of glaciers, geysers and volcanoes, is again making international news, with the world waiting to see if the Bárdarbunga volcano will spew more than just lava from its latest eruption. In 2010, an ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano closed much of Europe’s air space for nearly a week.

Iceland’s unique geology drew two Pellissippi State Community College faculty members to the Northern European country for a two-week research trip this summer. The visit was supported by the National Science Foundation.

Kathleen Affholter, an associate professor of geology, traveled throughout Iceland with a research team, collecting soil and rock samples for DNA analysis from an archaeological site, glaciers, and volcanic mountains.

Affholter was joined on the trip by Pete Lemiszki, an adjunct faculty member who also teaches geology. The two traveled to Iceland at the invitation of a computer science professor at Earlham College, Charles Peck, who secured the grants and awards for the trip.

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“Geologically speaking, Iceland is very young,” said Affholter. “To paraphrase volcanologist Thor Thordarson, if the Earth is a year old, Iceland was born less than two days ago. The ice caps covered Iceland five hours ago, and they melted only a minute ago.”

According to Affholter, “Iceland is the only place in the world where you can stand on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a ‘divergent plate boundary’—a place where two tectonic plates are separating.” The country, which lies between the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans, straddles the ridge.

The divergent plate boundary, she says, creates volcanic systems, geysers and geothermal energy in the stark, stunning landscape. Iceland is growing, because the shifting of the plates causes molten rock, or magma, to erupt and the new rock that forms pushes the older rock toward the coastlines.

The group of researchers pulled together by Peck included not only Affholter and Lemiszki but also students from Earlham College and the University of California, San Diego. The American team was aided by researchers from the University of Iceland.

The group gathered rocks of varying ages from different locations around the island. Older and newer rocks may differ in a number of ways—in the amounts or types of bacteria they contain, for example—and the group used a university lab in Akureyri to extract DNA from the samples for further study back in the U.S.

While in Iceland, Affholter and one of the students also wrote a brochure about the zeolite minerals found there. The crystals form in holes caused by trapped gas in the country’s basalt rock. Zeolite crystals are unique, in that they can hydrate and dehydrate. Among their other applications, they are used to eliminate odors in diapers.

The fact that magma is, literally, the bedrock of Iceland presents a unique opportunity for geologic study, and the island is consequently a popular place to visit for geologists as well as other scientists, says Affholter.

“The students and professors on this trip were biologists, geologists and computer scientists,” she said. “It’s important to see how science is no longer compartmentalized. All of our disciplines are needed to do our research.”

This summer isn’t the first time Affholter has traveled to Iceland. She instructed the geology students on a Tennessee Consortium for International Studies trip there in 2013. TnCIS, which is headquartered at Pellissippi State, coordinates study abroad as part of its mission of boosting international experience and culture in higher education across the state.

For more information about Affholter’s trip, visit her blog, geologyslam.wordpress.com. For more information about Pellissippi State and its programs, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

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