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Pellissippi State hosts Pulitzer-nominated writer David Madden Nov. 5

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Pulitzer Prize nominee David Madden reads from his newest book on Wednesday, Nov. 5, beginning at noon on Pellissippi State Community College’s Strawberry Plains Campus.

Madden chooses excerpts from his newest collection of short stories, “The Last Bizarre Tale.” The reading is free and the community is invited.

“We are honored to have acclaimed author David Madden with us,” said Patricia Ireland, an English faculty member and advisor for the Strawberry Plains Creative Writing Club, which is sponsoring the event. “We feel certain he will serve as an inspiration to all of our aspiring writers.

“The fact that his reading is presented as a dramatic performance will certainly provide listeners with an entertaining and informative experience. He’ll be taking questions from the audience after his reading, so we hope everyone will stay for that part of the event as well.”

Stories in “The Last Bizarre Tale” include “A Walk with Jefferson at Poplar Forest,” “The Invisible Girl” and “Who Killed Harpo Marx?” among others. Copies of his books will be available to buy at the event.

Madden was born in Knoxville in 1933 and is the author of several novels, including “The Suicide’s Wife,” “London Bridge in Plague and Fire,” and “Sharpshooter: A Novel of the Civil War.” Both “The Suicide’s Wife” and “Sharpshooter” were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Madden also is a prolific poet, short story writer and essayist, as well as an editor.

For more information about this event, visit www.pstcc.edu or call the Strawberry Plains Campus at (865) 225-2300. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State tops in Tennessee for associate’s degree graduates

For students like Daniel Mace and Chisa Huffman, May 2014 was a milestone month in their lives. Both graduated from Pellissippi State Community College, with Huffman planning to enter a post-grad nursing program and Mace to continue working toward a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

The success of Mace and Huffman is definitely worthy of celebration, but the two students are also part of another cause for celebrating: they helped contribute to a new college record.

For the second year in a row, Pellissippi State leads the state in the number of associate’s degrees awarded by a two-year college.

In the 2013-2014 school year, Pellissippi State awarded 1,286 associate’s degrees—more than last year’s record-setting 1,265 degrees. According to the Tennessee Board of Regents, Pellissippi State’s governing body, the college also awarded 693 certificates.

“We’re incredibly proud to again be first in the state in the number of associate’s degrees we award,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president. “But the importance of these numbers isn’t in the statistics—it’s in the lives that are changed when our students earn their degrees and reach their goals.”

Huffman entered the doors of Pellissippi State’s Blount County Campus in 2013, when she decided to return to school at age 30 to pursue an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree. She’s now enrolled in Pellissippi State’s partnership RN to BSN program with King College, taking her coursework at the Blount County Campus.

Mace, who as an employee of Thompson-Boling Arena actually helped build the Commencement stage he walked across, plans to enroll at Austin Peay State University and pursue a degree in mechanical engineering. Those classes are offered at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus.

For more information about Pellissippi State and the many ways it offers to help students succeed, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State celebrates American Indian Heritage Month

Male leaning against a doorway with violin and dressed in Native American attire.Pellissippi State Community College recognizes American Indian Heritage Month with a celebration that takes place 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Monday, Nov. 3.

The event, which is free and open to the community, is in the Goins Building College Center on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

“At Pellissippi State, we celebrate the diversity of our students, faculty and staff year-round,” said Gayle Wood, director of Access and Diversity, which sponsors the event. “At the Nov. 3 program, we will honor the struggles and celebrate the accomplishments of Native Americans.”
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The event includes a performance by musician Arvel Bird. Bird, who describes himself and his music as “Celtic Indian,” plays violin, fiddle, Native American flutes, and Irish whistles. His original compositions are a fusion of his Scottish and Southern Paiute heritage. Bird has performed with Glen Campbell, Loretta Lynn, Ray Price and Louise Mandrell, among others.

Attendees at Pellissippi State’s event also can taste traditional Native American foods.

“National American Indian Heritage Month” was established in 1990 by President George H. W. Bush, and the special recognition is now celebrated each November.

American Indian Heritage Month is one of the many 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 commemorates 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.

Pellissippi State associate professor of Spanish wins teaching award

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 www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

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

Male standing at a podium speaking with blue press background behind
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 www.pstcc.edu/anniversary. On social media, use #PSCC40.

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

Pellissippi State: Early Childhood Education intro course hits record enrollment for fall

Female handing object to young child.
Hannah Wilson, an Early Childhood Education student at Pellissippi State Community College, interacts with a child through the program’s student club, “Club Ed,” which is devoted to community service and volunteerism. Students volunteer to provide children’s activities at community events such as Fantasy of Trees, Boo at the Zoo, and EarthFest and at Pellissippi State functions like the Festival of Cultures.

Enrollment in the introductory course of the Early Childhood Education degree program at Pellissippi State Community College is at an all-time high this semester.

Twenty-eight students signed up for Introduction to Early Childhood Education.

“These are great numbers for us. We’re so excited to have students interested in Early Childhood Education,” said Terenia Moody, Early Childhood’s program coordinator. “This semester, we’ve also introduced a new cohort program at the Magnolia Avenue Campus that is really taking off.”

An additional 21 students are taking the cohort courses offered at Magnolia Avenue. In a cohort, students begin, progress through and complete their coursework as a group. Cohorts encourage greater community and teamwork among students, as well as providing greater individualized attention from faculty.
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Pellissippi State gives students the opportunity to earn a short-term certificate, an Associate of Applied Science degree in Early Childhood Education and an Associate of Science in Teaching Pre-K-3.

“These different certificates and degrees offer our students a wide range of options for their futures,” said Moody. “They can pursue a career in child care right away, or they can transfer to a four-year institution and finish their education. Our students might be entrepreneurs, wanting to start their own center, or they might wish to be a teacher or a teacher’s assistant.”
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The program also has an active student club, “Club Ed,” which is devoted to community service and volunteerism. Students often volunteer to provide children’s activities at community events such as Fantasy of Trees, Boo at the Zoo, and EarthFest and at Pellissippi State functions like the Festival of Cultures.

For more information about Early Childhood Education, visit www.pstcc.edu/eced or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State ranks high nationwide in number of communication graduates

Pellissippi State Community College ranks second in the U.S. among two-year colleges in the number of students who graduated from the institution in 2013 in the communications field.

The rankings are published in the Aug. 18 issue of Community College Week, and the college places high in the category of Top 50 Associate Degrees: Communication Technologies/Technicians and Support Services.

Pellissippi State was the only community college in Tennessee recognized in the category. The college’s ranking rose 9 percent from 2012.
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The institution awarded 93 associate’s degrees in communication/media technologies in the 2012-2013 academic year, only 10 fewer than the top two-year school, the Institute of Production and Recording in Minnesota.

“We are honored to receive this national recognition for the number of graduates we have in this program,” said Ted Lewis, vice president of Academic Affairs. “Our faculty are deeply committed to helping students achieve their academic goals, and I am very proud of the excellent work they do in preparing students for successful careers in media technologies.”

The college offers a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree in Media Technologies. Students can choose from four concentrations: Communication Graphics Technology, Photography, Video Production Technology and Web Technology.
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Pellissippi State was one of only three Tennessee two- and four-year schools recognized in the Community College Week issue, which records the top 100 associate’s degree producers in 2013 across a variety of disciplines and categories.

Community College Week is published biweekly. It covers community college news and features, analyses of academic trends and issues, statistics, and technology updates.

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

New Computer Aided Manufacturing certificate offered at Pellissippi State

Pellissippi State Community College students have the opportunity beginning this fall to earn a Computer Aided Manufacturing certificate. Pellissippi State is the first Tennessee Board of Regents school to offer a CAM certificate.

CAM uses specialized software to create precise instructions for the machinery used to manufacture parts. It is the manufacturing step after computer-aided design (CAD), which uses computers to create and manipulate a design.

The certificate is available as a stand-alone credential or as a stepping stone toward earning an associate’s degree in Engineering Technology with a concentration in Manufacturing.
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CAM career opportunities include machinist, manufacturing technician, engineering assistant and machine operator or programmer positions. The certificate is also an opportunity for continuing education for students who are already employed.

“The certificate is based on developing machining and programming skills in applied mathematics, technical drawing, geometric dimensioning, and solids modeling,” said Pat Riddle, professor and program coordinator of the Mechanical Engineering concentration in Engineering Technology.

“Modern manufacturers require skilled machinists who can oversee operations and program this very sophisticated software to produce highly precise, dimensional components,” Riddle said. “The certificate program will train people who want to enhance their skills or who are interested in learning advanced manufacturing processes.”

The curriculum is determined primarily by the educational and training needs of local businesses. Students who earn the certificate won’t need extensive additional education and training to be productive immediately on the job.
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For more information about Engineering Technology and other programs at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State partners with Family Justice Center to prevent violence

3 people standing in a row, 2 holding a plaque together.
Dr. L. Anthony Wise Jr., president of Pellissippi State Community College, marks a new partnership with the Family Justice Center during a signing ceremony Thursday, Aug. 7. He is joined by Amy Dilworth, director of the Family Justice Center, pictured at center, and Rebecca Ashford, vice president of Student Affairs.

Student safety is of paramount importance at Pellissippi State Community College, and to help preserve the health and wellness of both students and employees, the college is partnering with the Knoxville Family Justice Center to implement the Campus SaVE Act.

“We are very fortunate and grateful to have a partnership with the Family Justice Center,” said Mary Bledsoe, dean of students and assistant vice president of Student Affairs at Pellissippi State. “They provide valuable, important resources to our students who encounter or know someone who is in a dangerous situation.

“Pellissippi State is committed to supporting the survivors of violence as they seek to work through those situations. There are safe places on our campuses for them to go to find that support.”

Pellissippi State and the Family Justice Center signed a memorandum of understanding Thursday, Aug. 7.

With the Family Justice Center, Pellissippi State will provide training to students and employees on how to deal with violence, stalking, and trauma. One of the training tools is a video for new students. The video includes interviews with campus security staff, other college employees and Justice Center spokespeople. It gives tips on how to prevent dangerous situations and offers solutions for how to deal with such situations if they arise.

In addition, the Family Justice Center will provide training to Pellissippi State employees on how to work with victims of trauma. The center also will serve as a referral agency for any of those victims.

In the coming year, Pellissippi State will provide workshops for victim support groups, covering topics such as applying for college, writing resumes and exploring career options. Pellissippi State will provide mentoring for Family Justice Center clients who enroll.

The Campus SaVE Act, or the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act of 2013, affects both colleges and universities. Higher education institutions are required to educate students, faculty, and staff on the prevention of rape, domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

The SaVE Act was put into effect as part of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, which was signed into law in March 2013. The SaVE Act applies to all students on campus, not just women.

“The SaVE Act gives us an outline for preventing domestic and sexual violence and for responding appropriately when victims of violence come onto our campus,” said Rebecca Ashford, vice president of Student Affairs.

The Knoxville Family Justice Center offers a variety of services to Knox-area victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, including counseling, support groups, safety planning, housing, and other assistance.

For more information about the Campus SaVE Act, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

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Pellissippi State: Blount County Campus hosts inaugural art exhibit

Pellissippi State Community College’s Blount County Campus presents its first art exhibit Aug. 18-Oct. 17, and the community is invited to enjoy the display.

The exhibit, “Quantum Confusion,” features the work of artist Denise Stewart-Sanabria. A public reception takes place 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25. The art will be on display in the lobby of the campus, 2731 W. Lamar Alexander Pkwy., during normal business hours, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. each weekday.

“‘Quantum Confusion’ involves the many theories given to the existence of parallel worlds, both in the disciplines of quantum physics and metaphysics. Whether any parts of these theories eventually prove to be true remains to be seen, but with further developments in the world of quantum physics, we are constantly reminded that the more we discover, the less we know,” Stewart-Sanabria said.

The exhibit will feature installations of large charcoal drawings on plywood that suggest the presence of portals, using existing walls and building spaces. Visitors and students will walk through the installation when they visit the Blount County Campus.

“We’re planning to use some of the architecture of the building and to reconstruct this exhibit so that the environment of parallel universes is actually in the college,” Stewart-Sanabria said.

Figures in the exhibit appear to be disappearing into and reappearing from alternate dimensions, as if they’ve not quite discovered what is happening to them. The sole alert figure in the exhibit is called “The Physicist,” who appears to study the other figures while holding a pencil and clipboard.

“Quantum Confusion” is one of the events that make up 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.

For more information about the exhibit, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts or contact the Blount County Campus at (865) 981-5300. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.