Category Archives: Faculty Lecture Series

Pellissippi State presents ‘What Dance Moves?’ faculty lecture March 21

mjenkinswebThe Faculty Lecture Series at Pellissippi State Community College features a range of presentations, from history and hobbits to Shakespeare and economics.

Finding uncharted territory in this eclectic group might not be easy, but Pellissippi State faculty member Maggie Jenkins has done it.

“What Dance Moves?” brings audiences of the Faculty Lecture Series a fresh subject and gives Jenkins a rare venue to talk about how her art form has impacted society.

The event is Thursday, March 21, 12:30-1:30 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus.

“I have focused on how dance interacts with, shapes and sometimes downright controls community values throughout history, political movements, social concerns,” said Jenkins.

The scope of the lecture is broad, beginning with the dithyrambs of ancient Greece and moving toward dance in the 21st century. Jenkins does offer one caveat: This is not a dance history lecture. And it promises to be visual.

For the last few months, she has viewed and collected several video clips for her presentation. Some of them come from the world literature classes she has taught for many years.

Jenkins has an ideal background for this lecture. She earned a master’s degree in English from the University of Tennessee in 1972 and followed up with a master’s degree in dance from UT in 1982. While teaching English literature and composition, she also performed with dance companies and ran a dance studio.

She has always seen her vocation and avocation as complementary, with each experience informing the other.

“I enjoyed the balance throughout the years. I did not see anything separate between them, as a matter of fact,” she said. “Every time I’m teaching something in literature class, I’m very much aware of a choreographer or a piece of a ballet, something that would connect historically to what we’re studying. It’s just impossible to separate the two.”

For more information, go to www.pstcc.edu/arts or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action for Pellissippi State at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State faculty lecture revisits Cold War

David-Key“I grew up in the last throes of the Cold War,” said David Key, who teaches history at Pellissippi State Community College. “It shaped my early worldview.”

The Cold War was more than a political standoff between the U.S. and Soviet Union. It also impacted American culture through sports, television and film, according to Key.

Key gives his perspective on the long-term conflict in “The Cold War,” Feb. 21, 12:30-1:30 p.m., in the Goins Building Auditorium at the Hardin Valley Campus. The talk is part of the ongoing Faculty Lecture Series, which highlights the talents of faculty members and local experts.

The speaker promises an entertaining discussion that looks at the Cold War’s impact on popular American culture in the U.S. The lecture also covers the conflict’s evolution, from the Berlin Airlift in the 1940s to the Cuban Missile Crisis in the 1960s to the fall of the Berlin Wall beginning in 1989.

“Some of Pellissippi State’s students were born five years after the Berlin Wall fell,” Key said. “That makes it necessary to look back and see how foreign policy in the U.S. has changed as we’ve moved from the policy of containment to a new set of issues in the post-Cold War world.”

Key has taught history at Pellissippi State for 12 years. He currently teaches U.S. History and serves as the assistant director of the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies, which is housed at Pellissippi State. He will lead a history-focused study abroad program in May to Eastern Europe.

The Faculty Lecture Series is part of “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 visual arts.

The next lecture in the Faculty Lecture Series is faculty member Maggie Jenkins’ “What Dance Moves?” The event is March 21, 12:30-1:30 p.m., in the Goins Building Auditorium.

For more information, go to www.pstcc.edu/arts or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action for Pellissippi State at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi professor presents ‘A Hobbit’s Holiday’

Before Harry Potter, “Game of Thrones” and “The Lord of the Rings,” a timid, yet surprisingly resourceful hobbit set out on a series of adventures. Along the way, he fought trolls, spiders, orcs, and an ancient dragon, and ended up learning quite a bit about himself.

The journey of Bilbo Baggins, the hero of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit,” is the subject of the upcoming Faculty Lecture Series presentation at Pellissippi State Community College. Faculty member Keith Norris’ talk—“A Hobbit’s Holiday: The Extraordinary Journey of Bilbo Baggins”—is Nov. 29, 7-8 p.m., in the Clayton Performing Arts Center at the Hardin Valley Campus.

Norris focuses on Bilbo’s journey, performing original stories, poems and musical compositions to evoke the magic of Tolkien’s novel. The family-friendly event is free and open to the public.

Norris will retell Bilbo’s adventures in five parts: “Drinking With Dwarves,” “The Trouble With Trolls,” “Matching Wits With a Monster,” “Songs for Spiders” and “Dueling With Dragons.”

Even though “The Hobbit, or There and Back Again” was published as a children’s novel in 1937, Norris says it also can teach adults a thing or two.

“Bilbo runs into a series of foes, and he learns enough to make sensible decisions,” said Norris. “He becomes the perfect person to stand between powerful people as a negotiator. As we grow up and learn to deal with our own bullies, enemies, monsters and villains, we learn to use creativity to effectively oppose them.”

Norris has read “The Hobbit” at least once a year since he was 12 and says the book has taught him that people can talk their way out of almost any unpleasant situation. More than that, he credits the book with influencing him to become an English professor and poet.

The next lecture is faculty member David Key’s “The Cold War,” Feb. 21, 12:30-1:30 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus.

The Faculty Lecture Series is part of Pellissippi State’s new arts series, “The Arts at Pellissippi State,” which brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the visual arts.

For more information about the Faculty Lecture Series, email Keith Norris at knorris@pstcc.edu or Rob Lloyd at rtlloyd@pstcc.edu, or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action for Pellissippi State at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State faculty speaker addresses fighting heritage of East Tennesseans

Scottish and Irish immigrants poured into America in the 1700s and 1800s, many of them migrating to this region. Their impact on the culture of East Tennessee is still felt today, says Pat Riddle. Riddle is a faculty member and program coordinator of the Mechanical Engineering concentration in Engineering Technology at Pellissippi State Community College.

In a Nov. 15 presentation at the college titled “Born Fighting,” Riddle discusses the waves of emigration from the British Isles and how the thinking and behavior of native Tennesseans are still influenced by their ancestral heritage. The discussion is part of the 2012-13 Faculty Lecture Series, which showcases the expertise of Pellissippi State faculty members. The series lectures are designed to be informative and entertaining.

Riddle, who has Scottish blood coursing through his own veins, speaks at 12:30-1:30 p.m., in the Goins Building Auditorium at the Hardin Valley Campus. The event is free, and the community is invited to attend.

“Red hair and quick tempers are stereotypes of people of Scots-Irish descent,” said Riddle. “There’s a lot of truth in those stereotypes. The Scots are wired to fight.

“The Scots and Scots-Irish have always had to fight, and have long been known as the best fighters. The border region that includes Scotland and England has been in a constant state of war. The Normans and Saxons couldn’t conquer the locals. The Romans couldn’t conquer them, and ultimately they were sent to America to serve as a buffer between the ‘civilized’ colonies and Native Americans.”

The propensity to fight persists, Riddle says: The majority of the Marines come from Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky and Virginia. Fighting is in East Tennesseans’ DNA and is a pivotal element of our regional culture. The challenge we have today, he says, is to direct that impulse and energy in positive ways.

The Faculty Lecture Series is part of Pellissippi State’s new arts series, The Arts at Pellissippi State, which brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the visual arts.

The next lecturer is the English Department’s Keith Norris. Norris speaks on “A Hobbit’s Holiday: The Extraordinary Journey of Bilbo Baggins,” on Nov. 29, 7-8 p.m., in the Clayton Performing Arts Center at the Hardin Valley Campus.

For more information about the Faculty Lecture Series, call Pellissippi State at (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 for Pellissippi State at (865) 694-6607 or humanresouces@pstcc.edu.

Faculty Lecture Series: Pellissippi State professor examines the stories we tell ourselves

You might want to adjust the story you tell yourself about who you are, says Donn King, associate professor of Liberal Arts at Pellissippi State Community College. We all tell ourselves stories about our lives, he says, and it’s not something we can stop doing. But a different version of the story of your life might just make you happier.

The speech communications instructor and former pastor touches on just about everybody—individuals, parents, children, lovers—in an upcoming lecture at the college, “The Greatest Story Never Told.” The title refers to the story you tell yourself.

The free event is Oct. 11, 12:30-1:30 p.m., in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus. The community is invited to attend.

“I’ve always been interested in storytelling,” said King, an award-winning Toastmasters International speaker. “Humans have always told stories to preserve and transmit knowledge, and to try to make sense of the universe. But anything we tell ourselves is not going to be the truth. It’s going to be a viewpoint.”

King will examine the power of story to influence behaviors, expectations and the decisions we make.

“Through exploring a few example stories,” he said, “I plan to help audience members recognize their own stories so they can decide whether they are useful or need changing or dropping altogether.”

He draws upon the philosophy of the ancient Greek sage Epictetus.

“Epictetus said 2,000 years ago that it’s not what happens to us, but what we think about what happens to us, that determines our experience.”

The presentation is part of the 2012-13 Faculty Lecture Series, which is designed to highlight the expertise of Pellissippi State faculty. The lecture is one component of the college’s new 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.

The next lecture in the series is “Born Fighting,” presented by Pat Riddle, an associate professor and the program coordinator of Engineering Technology’s Mechanical Engineering concentration. The event is Nov. 15, 12:30-1:30 p.m., at the same location.

For additional information about the King lecture 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 musical lecture pokes fun at the economy

The country’s economic situation may be enough to make you want to cry, but those involved in the first presentation of the 2012-13 Faculty Lecture Series at Pellissippi State Community College hope you’ll laugh, or at least snicker, at “Economics: the Musical.”

The musical, the first of its genre in the series, is Sept. 20, 12:30-1:30 p.m., in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus. The community is invited to the free event.

Based on the recent financial crisis, the witty script by Tyra Barrett, an associate professor of the Business Administration degree program, puts an entertaining spin on our current economic woes.

The musical presentation calls upon the talents of faculty and students to poke fun at all aspects of our financial condition—from a spoof of the Julie Andrews classic “My Favorite Things,” sung by a member of “The One Percent” (a reference to America’s wealthiest), to a ukulele concert by Occupy Wall Street “protestors.”

Even “Ben Bernanke” will be there, singing “The Liquidity Trap Song” to the tune of Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds.” The audience will be supplied with a program containing the words to the songs and definitions of economic concepts, so they won’t miss a single innuendo.

“I wanted to do something really different,” said Barrett. “People asked why the financial meltdown happened. It was predicted for years. We had bankers and investors with their fingers in their ears. What I’ve tried to do with the production is explain what led up to the crisis and where it has left us. The audience will be treated to a musical and an economics lesson, too!”

Robyn James, violist and Music adjunct faculty member, assisted Barrett in writing the arrangements for the production. James has collaborated musically with several local musicians, including the popular band The Dirty Guv’nahs. She also writes the arrangements for her own group, The Robyn James Trio.

The Faculty Lecture Series showcases the expertise of Pellissippi State faculty. The next lecture is “The Greatest Story Never Told,” by Donn King, associate professor of Liberal Arts. It takes place on Oct. 11, 12:30-1:30 p.m., in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

For details on the economics musical, email Tyra Barrett at tbarrett@pstcc.edu. For more information about the Faculty Lecture Series, call Pellissippi State at (865) 694-6400.

To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action for Pellissippi State, (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State’s writer-in-residence presents ‘Sexy Shakespeare II’

Ed Francisco
Ed Francisco

Lovers, wives and dalliances: William Shakespeare had so many affairs that his love life is legendary.

Ed Francisco, English professor and writer-in-residence at Pellissippi State Community College, discussed the liaisons in his first “Sexy Shakespeare” lecture a few months ago to a standing-room-only crowd. Now, he says, the research done for that lecture has inspired him to present a second lecture and write a novel.

Francisco will read from the first two chapters of his work-in-progress at the Thursday, April 19, lecture, “Sexy Shakespeare II: The Further Adventures of the Amorous Bard of Avon.” He will discuss Shakespeare’s web of women and, using material from the writer’s plays and poems, will speculate about the identity of the mysterious “dark lady,” whom Shakespeare apparently loved.

The community is invited to the free event. It takes place 12:30-1:30 p.m. in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus. The presentation is sponsored by Pellissippi State’s student service-learning club, Gnosis, and the college’s Faculty Lecture Series.

For more information, call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Public invited to Pellissippi State’s ‘Women in Film’ lecture

Katie Lovette, a Video Production Technology instructor at Pellissippi State, presents the lecture “Women in Film” on March 21. The community is invited to the free event.

In the cartoon program “The Dudley Do-Right Show,” Snidely Whiplash was always tying Nell Fenwick to the railroad tracks, keeping Do-Right busy rescuing her just in the nick of time. Nell was the perfect damsel in distress, but, of course, she was a just cartoon character.

According to Katie Lovette, an instructor at Pellissippi State Community College, women have historically been a staple not only on TV but also in the movie industry, beginning with silent films. But times they are a-changin’, and so is the role of the female in Hollywood, says Lovette.

Lovette discusses female roles in a March 21 lecture at Pellissippi State. “Women in Film” is 1-2 p.m. in the Auditorium of the Goins Administration Building on the Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The community is invited to the free event, which is part of the college’s ongoing Faculty Lecture Series.

Lovette takes a chronological look at film, beginning in the 1930s and moving up through the decades. She examines the image of the starlet, the shift toward older actresses and roles women are now playing in the making of films. She also looks at the opportunities the internet has made available to budding filmmakers, including her own students.

“Women have come a long way from being tied on the railroad tracks,” she said.

For more information, contact Trent Eades at tweades@pstcc.edu or Keith Norris at knorris@pstcc.edu.

To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Is a stem cell transplant in your future? Pellissippi State professor discusses sources, applications of stem cells

Susan McMahon, Pellissippi State biology professor, is pictured with an inverted light microscope. McMahon addresses “Stem Cells: The Hope of the Future” on the Pellissippi Campus Feb. 21 as part of the ongoing Faculty Lecture Series.

“In Australia, people with blinding corneal diseases are seeing once again with the help of stem cells derived from their own eyes,” said Susan McMahon. The Pellissippi State Community College biology professor discusses the science behind stem cells, along with their current and future applications, in a Feb. 21 lecture at the college.

“Stem Cells: The Hope of the Future” is the next presentation in the ongoing Pellissippi State Faculty Lecture Series. The free event is 12:30-1:30 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The community is invited to attend.

“Cures for breast cancer, spinal cord injuries, diabetes, muscular dystrophy, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy—these and many other disorders may someday be treated, and even cured, with stem cells,” McMahon said.

“Striking results are being seen using stem cells,” she said. “For example, lab rats have been successfully treated with stem cells to regrow the pancreatic cells lacking in type 1 diabetes and to partially reverse spinal paralysis. Several people have recently received new tracheas grown from their own bone marrow and nasal stem cells.

“In fact, a Pellissippi State student will be traveling to Philadelphia this summer to receive an injection of her own stem cells with the hope of regenerating muscle tissue damaged by a degenerative neurological disorder.”

Trials using embryonic and adult stem cells are currently under way in many research facilities around the world.

“Stem cells have tremendous potential in regenerative medicine,” said McMahon. “But their use, particularly embryonic stem cells, raises ethical issues. We all need to understand this new field of science, so that we can make informed decisions regarding its applications,” said McMahon.

For more information about this event, contact Trent Eades at tweades@pstcc.edu or Keith Norris at knorris@pstcc.edu. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

The series lecture following McMahon’s is “Women in Film” by Katie Lovette, an instructor in Media Technologies. It takes place on March 21, 1-2 p.m., in the Goins Building Auditorium.

Pellissippi State lecture addresses role of commercialism, women in the 1920s

David Key, an assistant professor of history at Pellissippi State, will discuss how consumerism and the rise of the "new woman" in the 1920s impacted American culture. His Feb. 1 lecture is sponsored by Gnosis student organization and is free and open to the public.

David Key, an assistant history professor for Pellissippi State Community College, discusses at a Feb. 1 lecture how consumerism and the rise of the “new woman” in the 1920s rocked American culture.

The community is invited to the free presentation, set for 4:30 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

“America became really, really modern really, really fast—in about a 40-year period,” Key said. “The change in moral and consumer culture created cultural conflict.”

Key says that the 1920s saw the beginnings of “modern” America.

“Even our concepts of modern dating, which include cars and theaters, are byproducts of the 1920s,” he said. “America had felt the effects of industrialism and urbanization. Jobs had been created and advertising had exploded.

“People started to become acclimated to buying things with credit. We moved from a society of delayed gratification to immediate gratification.”

The event is sponsored by Gnosis, Pellissippi State’s student service-learning club, and supported by the Faculty Lecture Series. Gnosis members do charitable work for the community, and the club hosts many educational events throughout the year. The college has recognized Gnosis as its top student club for the past two years.

For more information, contact Annie Gray (ajgray@pstcc.edu) or Trent Eades (tweades@pstcc.edu), Gnosis faculty sponsors, or call the English Department at (865) 694-6708.

To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.