Pellissippi State hosts Bob Booker for African American Read-In Week

Pellissippi State Community College will celebrate African American literature during a read-in week Feb. 12-16 at each of its campuses.

Local historian Robert J. “Bob” Booker will discuss the history of the Civil Rights Movement in Knoxville during a special presentation at 6:30 p.m., Feb. 15, in the Magnolia Avenue Campus community room. The presentation is free to attend and open to the community.

Booker is a prominent Civil Rights activist who organized downtown Knoxville sit-ins as a student. He was the first African American elected to the Tennessee state legislature from Knoxville in the twentieth century and was instrumental in establishing the Beck Cultural Center. He is currently a Knoxville News Sentinel columnist and the author of the recently-published “An Encyclopedia: Experiences of Black People in Knoxville, Tennessee 1844-1974.”

At all five Pellissippi State campuses, students and employees will share their favorite texts by African American authors during read-ins — essentially a collection of marathon reading events:

  • Blount County Campus — 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Feb. 14, lobby
  • Division Street Campus — 9:40 a.m.-5 p.m., Feb. 15, lobby
  • Hardin Valley Campus — 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Feb. 16, Goins Building rotunda
  • Magnolia Avenue Campus — 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Feb. 12, lobby
  • Strawberry Plains Campus — 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Feb. 13, lobby

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit or call 865-694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability at one of these events, call 865-539-7401 or email

Pellissippi State invites young writers to free mini-conference

Knoxville’s high-school aged writers are invited to the fourth annual Young Creative Writer’s Workshop at Pellissippi State Community College, Saturday, Oct. 21.

The free event features morning and afternoon sessions on fiction, poetry, performance, songwriting, screenplay writing and publication, as well as a complimentary lunch. The day will culminate in a showcase event in which workshop attendees may read or perform their original works to family members and teachers.

Interested high school students can RSVP at The first 100 registrants will receive a free T-shirt.

The workshop will be held at the college’s Strawberry Plains Campus, 7201 Strawberry Plains Pike. Free transportation to the workshop is available from Austin-East and Fulton high schools and from Pellissippi State’s Magnolia Avenue Campus.

Check-in for the Young Creative Writer’s Workshop begins at 9:30 a.m. and ends with the showcase at around 2:45 p.m. Attendees may attend all or a portion of the day’s events.

Workshop leaders include Pellissippi State faculty members and award-winning professional writers from across Tennessee. Vrondelia “Ronni” Chandler, executive director of Project GRAD Knoxville and published author, is the keynote speaker.

The Young Creative Writer’s Workshop is sponsored by the Pellissippi State Foundation, the Tennessee Arts Commission and Papa John’s Pizza.

For more information about the Young Creative Writers Conference, contact faculty advisor Patty Ireland at or 865-225-2340.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit or call 865-694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability at this event, call 865-539-7401 or email

Pellissippi State has record enrollment in fall 2017

Students in Courtyard

Pellissippi State Community College will see record enrollment this fall.

When classes begin August 28, approximately 11,571 students will walk onto Pellissippi State’s five campuses — which reflects an increase in enrollment of about 10.4 percent over the same day last year.

This fall, the college launched Reconnect Now, a last-dollar scholarship for qualified adult students that covers tuition and mandatory fees. About 2,706 students are eligible for Reconnect Now funding.

The college’s previous record high enrollment was 11,260 in 2011. Pellissippi State has been the largest community college in Tennessee since 2015.

“Our pilot of Reconnect Now has proven that adults in Tennessee have waited for an opportunity like this,” said Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. “Pellissippi State is proud to open the doors of education to everyone.”

Headcount enrollment is up at all five of Pellissippi State’s campuses in Knox and Blount counties, and is up almost 50 percent online.

“Covering the cost of tuition and fees does not meet all of the needs of adults with jobs, families and lives outside of school,” Wise said. “We have expanded the classes and programs we offer online, in the evenings and on weekends to fit adults’ schedules, and we’re pairing adult learners with support services like free child care for qualified single parents, credit for prior learning and even an academic fresh start if they’ve tried college before unsuccessfully.”

Pellissippi State’s Reconnect Now program will last through summer 2018. Next fall, qualified Reconnect Now students at Pellissippi State will transfer into the state’s Tennessee Reconnect scholarship program.

The official enrollment numbers for the semester will be determined and released on September 11.

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

Pellissippi State invites community to hear poet Marilyn Kallet

Marilyn Kallet Photo
Marilyn Kallet

Pellissippi State Community College invites the community to celebrate National Poetry Month at a reading and book signing by author Marilyn Kallet.

Kallet will speak from noon-1 p.m. Wednesday, April 5, in room 2540 at the Strawberry Plains Campus, 7201 Strawberry Plains Pike. She will sell and sign books and take questions following the reading.

She will read from two of her works: “The Love That Moves Me” and “Packing Light: New and Selected Poems.”

Kallet is the author of 17 books, including “The Love That Moves Me.” She has translated Paul Eluard’s “Last Love Poems,” Péret’s “The Big Game,” and co-translated Chantal Bizzini’s “Disenchanted City.” She also is the Nancy Moore Goslee Professor of English at the University of Tennessee.

The reading and book signing is sponsored by Pellissippi State’s Creative Writing Club.

For more information about the event, contact the Strawberry Plains Campus at 865-225-2300. To request accommodations for a disability at this event, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at 865-539-7401 or

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