Category Archives: International

Pellissippi State celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

graphic with dragon that says culture and diversityPellissippi State Community College celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with an assortment of food and festivities on Wednesday, Oct. 1. Hispanic Heritage Month is Sept. 15-Oct. 15.

The Pellissippi State event takes place 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Goins Building College Center on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. It is free and open to the community.

“We will celebrate the histories, cultures and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America,” said Gayle Wood, director of Access and Diversity, which sponsors the event.

Activities will include performances of Latin dances by Tiffany Weddle and of Spanish and South American music by classical guitarist Chris Lee. Attendees can sample chicken fajitas and pork carnitas, as well as chips and salsa and non-alcoholic sangrias.

Hispanic Heritage Month began as a weeklong observation in 1968 and expanded under President Ronald Reagan in 1988. In September, a number of Central and South American countries—among them, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua—celebrate the anniversaries of their independence.

Hispanic Heritage Month 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 celebrates Pellissippi State’s 40th anniversary.

For more information about The Arts at Pellissippi State, 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.

August kicks off third annual Arts at Pellissippi State

artwork of hands on typewriter
Pellissippi State’s alumni art exhibit, “A Look in Both Directions,” will include a variety of artwork, including paintings like this one by artist Paige Burchell.

Pellissippi State Community College launches the third season of its community arts series, The Arts at Pellissippi State, in August.

The series brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts. The 2014-2015 Arts at Pellissippi State includes a number of special performances and exhibits to commemorate the college’s 40th anniversary.

This year, events get under way with the inaugural art exhibit at the Blount County Campus: “Quantum Confusion,” featuring the mind-bending artwork of Denise Stewart-Sanabria. The show runs Aug. 18-Oct. 18.

Talented Pellissippi State alumni artists return to the Hardin Valley Campus Aug. 25 for a commemorative anniversary art exhibit, “A Look in Both Directions.” Artists include Sharon Bachleda, Paige Burchell, Jessica Burleson, Pete Hoffecker, Daniel Huxtable, Steven Kempster, Jamie Schneider, Pamela Simpson, Bill Warden, Elliott White and Dean Yasko. The exhibit will run through Sept. 12 at the Bagwell Center for Media and Art on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

Bestselling author Mark Bowden gives a public presentation and book signing on Sept. 18. Bowden is the author of “Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War” and “The Finish: The Killing of Osama Bin Laden,” as well as an essayist in Pellissippi State’s 2014 Common Book, “The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013.”

His presentation begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The book signing and a question-and-answer session follow.

Pellissippi State’s Theatre program presents “Server Alley” Nov. 14-16 and Nov. 21-23. This is the world premiere of the comedy/drama by New York playwright Alex Gherardi and examines the lives of restaurant servers. In co-production with The WordPlayers, the college presents “A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas” Dec. 12-13.

The college celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month in October and American Indian Heritage Month in November. Other upcoming Arts at Pellissippi State performances include musical concerts, such as the ever-popular Holiday Spectacular, faculty lectures and more.

For more information about these and other events in the 2014-2015 Arts at Pellissippi State series, 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 to host Humphrey Fellows in February, March

FELLOWS
Engin Ayvaz

Pellissippi State Community College will host two Humphrey Fellows during February and March in an effort to foster understanding about the role of community colleges in the United States.

Humphrey Fellows are mid-career professionals from other nations who travel to the U.S. and spend one academic year at a university or other higher education institution. The program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, was established in 1978. Professionals from 24 countries participate.

Pellissippi State first welcomes Engin Ayvaz, director of the school of foreign languages at Yasar University in Izmir, Turkey, from Feb. 23 to March 1. He is being hosted by Boston University and is a professional affiliate of the English language studies department at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

March 23-29, Pellissippi State will host Dr. Nohier El Medany, who is a physician, clinical pathologist, medical manager and certified trainer for the Egyptian Ministry of Health. She is a fellow at Tulane University.

Both fellows will give a presentation during their time on campus, and each free lecture will be open to the community.

Dr. Nohier El Medany
Dr. Nohier El Medany

Ayvaz will speak at 12:25 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 27. Dr. Medany will speak at 11:50 a.m., Monday, March 24. Both presentations will be held in the Goins Building Auditorium on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

“Topics could include Arab Spring and the revolutions and uprisings in the Middle East,” said college president emeritus Allen Edwards. “Dr. Medany might discuss the role of women in Egypt.”

While in the United States, Humphrey Fellows spend the year completing non-degree graduate level study, leadership development and professional collaboration with U.S. counterparts. During their time at Pellissippi State, Ayvaz and Dr. Medany will meet with groups on campus and in the community.

“We hope that these influential fellows will return home and perhaps introduce the concept of community colleges to countries that need to bring higher education and technical and health education programs to the masses,” Edwards said.

“Many countries are spending money to build selective universities, even though those institutions might not provide an efficient and effective way of educating and developing a large middle class.”

The Humphrey Fellows’ visits to the college are sponsored by Pellissippi State and the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies.

TnCIS, with headquarters at Pellissippi State, organizes study abroad opportunities as part of its mission of boosting international experience and culture in higher education across the state. More than 425 students and 65 faculty from across Tennessee participated in the summer 2013 study abroad programs organized by TnCIS. There are 18 study abroad programs planned for summer 2014. For more information about TnCIS, visit www.tncis.org or call (865) 539-7280.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu 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.

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 www.pstcc.edu/tickets.

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 www.pstcc.edu/arts. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu. 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 www.pstcc.edu/diversity. For more information about The Arts at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts.

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

Community invited to Pellissippi State’s Sixth Annual Festival of Cultures

Photo of flower design on the campus floor made out of colored rice.
Rice art from the 2012 Festival of Cultures

There’s only one place where you can sample food from 16 countries and enjoy performances ranging from Brazilian dance and Irish step to Latin music and West African drum.

That place is the Goins Building College Center at the Hardin Valley Campus of Pellissippi State Community College. Members of the community are invited to enjoy the Sixth Annual International Festival of Cultures, a free event celebrating food, music and culture from around the globe.

Slated for Friday, April 12, the event also offers booths and exhibits that showcase international art, clothes, and artifacts by Pellissippi State’s international students. Hours are 4-9:30 p.m., and plenty of free parking is available.

A special feature this year is a display of the work of Russian artist Alex Cherepov in the Goins Building Rotunda. Born in Moscow, Cherepov moved to the U.S. in 1998. His work includes oil paintings, illustrations and animations. There will also be Rangoli floor art on exhibit, as well as Mehndi henna designs by Kajal Patel.

The food samplings, which vary at each year’s festival, include cuisine from the following countries: China, Costa Rica, Denmark, Dominica, France, Greece, India, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Madagascar, Mexico, Poland, Russia and Thailand.

Featured as a special performer is Andrea Moreira, director and choreographer of Dance Brasil Entertainment. Born in Brazil, Moreira began as a professional ballerina before moving to Atlanta in 1993.

She has performed at the 75th anniversary of Atlanta’s Fox Theatre, the Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games’ closing ceremony parade, Atlanta Symphony Hall, Delta Airlines’ Carnaval and other events. Moreira was also featured in “Mas Que Nada,” a music video by the Black Eyed Peas and Sérgio Mendes.

Photo of 4 Indian females in blue and red ornamental dresses, dancing on stage.
Indian cultural dance group from 2012 Festival of Cultures

Additional performers include the following: Freddy Vargas and Son Caribe, a local Latin band; Hardin Valley Thunder, Pellissippi State’s bluegrass band; Knoxville Irish Step Dancers, a local dance troupe; an Indian cultural dance group performing the traditional bharatanayam dance; Vine Middle School’s West African Drum and Dance team; and the Tennessee Children’s Dance Ensemble, which will perform Hungarian, Chinese, and Japanese fan dances.

The schedule of events is as follows:

  • 4-4:45 p.m.—Hardin Valley Thunder
  • 5-5:45 p.m.—Vine Middle School’s West African Drum and Dance team
  • 5:15-6:30 p.m.—Tennessee Children’s Dance Ensemble, bharatanayam Indian dance and Knoxville Irish Step Dancers
  • 6:30 p.m.—Start of international cuisine
  • 7:30 p.m.—Andrea Moreira’s Dance Brasil Entertainment
  • 8:30 p.m.—Freddy Vargas and Son Caribe

The Festival of Cultures is one component of 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 additional information about the Sixth Annual International Festival of Cultures 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. Requests should be made at least two weeks in advance.

Pellissippi State leads region in manufacturing education and training

Last year, Pellissippi State Community College enhanced its reputation as a leader in manufacturing education, marked the graduation of its first Nursing class, and achieved full state approval for its Nursing program. Nursing is offered at the Blount County Campus in Friendsville and the Magnolia Avenue Campus in Knoxville.

This year, the college is poised to build on its academic programs, as well as on its student participation in study abroad—already the highest of any U.S. community college.

Supporting students in completing college and increasing access to and placing graduates in good jobs serve as key priorities in 2013, said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president.

“We continue to focus on helping students complete their studies in both transfer programs and career/technical fields that lead to outstanding transfer opportunities and excellent jobs,” Wise said.

Pellissippi State also is reviewing its distance education program to find ways to provide additional pathways to degree completion.

“We’re going to change the way we use distance education—and this will certainly affect Blount County—to help students at our site campuses complete career and transfer degrees on those campuses,” Wise said.

Manufacturing education and training

At the state-of-the-art Manufacturing Tech Lab, the Blount County Campus has experienced an uptick in apprenticeship training through the college’s Business and Community Services Division and Engineering Technology degree program. For example, Cherokee Millwright revived its apprenticeship program with the consultation and expertise of BCS. BCS and Engineering Technology also developed curricula and training for Y-12 machinist apprentices at the Hardin Valley Campus.

This past year, the college played a key role in creating a national curriculum for the Automotive Manufacturing Technical Education Collaborative. AMTEC is a collaboration of colleges and industry to better prepare skilled technicians and manufacturing engineers for work in auto manufacturing and technology. The curriculum contribution helped Pellissippi State land two federal grants to fund manufacturing education, training and workforce development in East Tennessee.

“These types of advanced manufacturing programs, they really feed into what seems to be a growth in manufacturing in the local economy,” Wise said. “In terms of our career programs, that’s exactly where we need to be.”

The first grant came through the U.S. Department of Labor in September. The Labor Department awarded $15 million to an educational consortium that included Pellissippi State. The grant provides a minimum of $760,000 to each consortium member during a three-year period.

The award funds manufacturing job training to fill a shortage of skilled workers locally. The goal of the grant meets a long-term ambition, one that dovetails with Pellissippi State’s mission: to help transform manufacturing education.

The funding will boost instructional capacity, pay for equipment and technical support, and improve online delivery of the college’s Engineering Technology classes.

A few weeks after the Labor Department grant was announced, Pellissippi State learned it was the recipient of a second federal grant for manufacturing education.

The college plays a key role in the Advanced Manufacturing and Prototype Center of East Tennessee (AMP!), one of 10 public-private partnerships to receive a total of $20 million to revitalize U.S. manufacturing and create jobs. Pellissippi State’s partners on the grant include Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee’s Center for Industrial Services and Tech 20/20, the lead grant applicant.

The regional consortium’s proposal was selected through a federal multi-agency competition called the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge.

The grant enables Pellissippi State to offer a certificate in Additive Manufacturing and update existing curricula. It funds more than $250,000 in scholarships for students in Advanced Manufacturing courses.

Additive manufacturing describes the technologies that build 3D objects by adding layer-upon-layer of material, whether the material is plastic, metal or concrete. Using 3D printers, companies can create prototypes quickly, with less waste and cost than traditional methods. In addition, additive manufacturing is being used more and more to make finished products.

The certificate will be offered through BCS and Engineering Technology.

International Education

Study abroad by American students has more than tripled over the past two decades. During the 2010-11 academic year, 174 Pellissippi State students studied abroad, making the college the top two-year school in the U.S. in terms of the number of study abroad students.

The numbers come from the most recent Open Doors Report, published annually by the Institute of International Education in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

A key factor in Pellissippi State’s study abroad success is its robust scholarship program. Funded through the international education fee, study abroad scholarships at Pellissippi State total more than $300,000 each year.

“Our study abroad programs are designed to help students earn credits towards degrees and to develop a broader understanding of the world in which they study, live, and work,” said Wise.

“Scholarship support allows our students to travel to places they might never have imagined. Very often they come back better students and citizens and with a much better sense of who they are and what they want to do.”

Pellissippi State hosts visiting Russian professionals

russian-delegates

A delegation of 13 visitors from Russia joined Toni McDaniel’s history class last month at Pellissippi State Community College.

The group was in Knoxville courtesy of two organizations, the U.S. Congress’ Open World Program and Friendship Force International’s Knoxville chapter. Open World supports young professionals interested in visiting the U.S. to learn the democratic process and business practices.

The visit to Pellissippi State was sponsored by the institution’s Liberal Arts Department and the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies, which is housed at the college. The group was brought to campus by Joanne Schuetz of Friendship Force.

In the classroom, desks were arranged in a circle to encourage discussion between the visitors and students, and McDaniel opened the floor for an informal question-and-answer session.

“This was an excellent opportunity for my students, who were excited to dialogue with members of the group,” she said.

The group was composed of nine Open World delegates, two facilitators who were fluent in English and two translators. Delegates ranged in age from 19 to 46. They included deputies of the legislative assembly, political correspondents, a press secretary in public policy, attorneys and university instructors.

Most of the Russian guests were from the Altai Krai region, located northwest of China and just north of Kazakhstan. Two were from the capital city of Moscow, one from the city of Novgorod.

Discussion topics ranged from the size of Russia—“It’s ‘humongous,’” said Mikhail Italyevich Paklin, an associate professor of Russian history—to what the visitors expected to find in the U.S.

Anna Nikolayevna Kachurina, forewarned by fellow Russians, came to America with low expectations of the food. “But I’ve liked everything I’ve eaten.” Likewise, shoe styles. She was told they were all unattractive. “But that’s not true.” The misinformation, turns out, had come from people who’d never been to the U.S.

On the other hand, “some of the things I saw in American movies, such as downtown streets and student cafeterias, were what I expected,” she said.

Russians and Americans sharing the classroom also discovered common ground: both enjoy “going out on the town,” as one delegate put it, and to movies and concerts.

At one point McDaniel steered the discussion to the subject of Russia’s population and government.

“We have a hundred nations and nationalities living in the country,” Paklin said. “The Russian people are very tolerant.”

The group talked about presidential term lengths, the power of the government, ethnic groups and Russia’s infrastructure (a great rail system, but not every family can afford a car).

After class ended, conversation moved to the hallway.

“The thing that strikes us first is the high standard of living,” Paklin said, “and also my personal observation that people are open and friendly, smiling and talking.”

“I am so impressed to see clean cities,” said Yelena Viktorovna Klyushnikova. “You will never find a city as clean as in the U.S. There are no papers on the ground.”

Paklin agreed, and said he wanted to make another point.

“The realization I’ve come to is, we have more in common than the politicians would have us believe.”

Having arrived in Washington, D.C., the previous week, the group spent the remaining week in Knoxville. They were scheduled to go to concerts and to visit Congressman Jimmy Duncan, Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, Federal Judge Tom Varlin, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the News-Sentinel. They also planned an excursion with the Tennessee Riverboat Company, an evening at Cotton-Eyed Joe’s and attendance at the Christmas Parade on Gay Street. While in Knoxville, members of the delegation stayed with host families.

Before taking part in the classroom discussion, the delegation joined L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State’s president, and Ted Lewis, vice president of Academic Affairs; Tracey Bradley, TnCIS director; Jonathan Fowler, dean of Liberal Arts; and students from the history class for a traditional Southern barbecue.