Pellissippi State hosts award-winning author Nikki Giovanni

Nikki GiovanniOne of the world’s most well-known African American poets, Nikki Giovanni, will speak at Pellissippi State Community College’s Magnolia Avenue Campus on Thursday, March 17.

Giovanni is the recipient of an unprecedented seven NAACP Image awards and a Grammy nomination, and is a New York Times bestselling author and finalist for the National Book Award. She will be on campus from 6-7:30 p.m. to speak about her work “On My Journey Now: Looking at African-American History Through the Spirituals,” which studies the heritage of music as a means to escape the injustice and harshness of slavery.

Following her presentation, Giovanni will be available for a book signing and reception. The event is free and the community is invited. The Magnolia Avenue Campus is located at 1610 E. Magnolia Avenue.

Giovanni’s presentation is sponsored by Magnolia Avenue Campus’ Beyond the Common Book Club and is a Common Academic Experience event. Pellissippi State’s Common Book unites all Pellissippi State freshmen students in a shared reading experience, which becomes the basis of a year-long discussion of issues related to the book. This year’s Common Book is “The United States of Appalachia” by Jeff Biggers, and events in this series continue the conversation about the multifaceted history of Appalachia. Giovanni is featured in “The United States of Appalachia.”

Giovanni was born in Knoxville in 1943. Her first published volumes of poetry, “Black Feeling, Black Talk,” and “Black Judgment” grew out of her response to the assassinations of figures like Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers and Sen. Robert Kennedy. Since then, she has published dozens of works. Today, Giovanni is a distinguished professor at Virginia Tech.

Additional support at the March 17 event will be provided by Pellissippi State’s Access & Diversity Office and the University of Tennessee’s Black Alumni Council.

For more information about attending this event, visit or call the Magnolia Avenue Campus at 865-329-3100. To request accommodations for a disability at this event, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at 865-539-7401 or 


Download this press release: PSCC Nikki Giovanni

Afghan Humphrey Fellow to share message of hope, power of education

posted in: Community, International Students, TBR | 0

Angela Niazmand“I believe education is the only way out of darkness.”

So says Angela Niazmand, a Humphrey Fellows scholar from Afghanistan, who will visit Pellissippi State Community College the week of Feb. 8. She will share a presentation at 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11, in the Goins Building Cafeteria Annex, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Niazmand will spend time shadowing Pellissippi State administrators to learn more about the community college model and how Pellissippi State interacts with its community.

“Afghan women are capable the same as other women in the world. They are enhancing their capacity and building their nation. I believe we should be strong and stay firm with our goals and not let life challenges stop us from moving forward. Try to challenge life difficulties; do not let life difficulties challenge you,” Niazmand said.

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.

Before receiving the Humphrey Fellows award, Niazmand served as the acting registrar at the American University of Afghanistan. She holds two bachelor’s degrees, one in Dari language and literature from Kabul University and another in social science from the American University of Afghanistan. This year, she is based at Penn State University, where she is studying the American higher education system.

“My goal is to continue with my education in master’s degree and doctorate levels in higher education outside Afghanistan, then return to help the higher education system of my beloved country, Afghanistan,” Niazmand said.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or


Download this news release: Angela Niazmand Humphrey Fellow

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