Pellissippi State honors employees, retirees

Pellissippi State Community College hosted its annual Employee Awards ceremony recently, honoring faculty and staff for outstanding service and longevity and recognizing 2014-2015 retirees.

Jerry-Sherrod

At this year’s ceremony, the Excellence in Teaching Award went to Jerry Sherrod, an associate professor in Business and Computer Technology. The award recognizes innovative teaching techniques and the positive impact they have had on students. Sherrod uses industry-based case study models in his Computer Science and Information Technology courses. The case studies apply collaborative learning, improve students’ oral and written communication skills, and help prepare students for issues in a global economy.

David-Brown-and-Edward-Francisco

The Innovations Award—given in recognition of a project that demonstrates success of creative and original instructional and learning support activities—was presented to Edward Francisco and David Brown. This faculty team uses mathematical and computer science concepts including game theory, game trees and behavior trees, in discussing Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” in the classroom. Game theory is the study of mathematical models of conflict and cooperation, the classic application of which is exploring the various win-lose combinations in the game of chicken.

In the classroom, Francisco and Brown help students map the ever-expanding repercussions of each character’s actions within the world of “Hamlet.” Using game theory, game trees and behavior trees, students are meant to better understand characters and the play’s narrative, as well as to understand the alternate realities that might have occurred had any character’s actions been different. In addition, the team is developing software that will allow students to interactively and collaboratively examine any literary universe, including stories, plot lines and characters, and then use the collected structured information to create new characters and alternative narrative universes.

Morvarid-Bejnood

The Gene Joyce Visionary Award was given to Morvarid Bejnood, in recognition of her work on an external outreach project that had a positive impact on the community. Bejnood oversaw a Science Olympiad regional competition at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus in March. More than 270 middle and high school students competed in the competition.

The Excellence in Teaching, Innovations and Gene Joyce Visionary awards carry monetary recognition ranging from $1,000 to $1,500. Recipients of the awards also received a plaque and medallion.

Additional award recipients, each of whom received $100, a plaque and a medallion: Outstanding Adjunct Faculty, John Jackson; Outstanding Administrator, Carolyn Carson; Outstanding Contract Worker, Mark Palmer; Outstanding Full-Time Faculty, Kellie Toon; Outstanding Support Professional, Barbara Bailes; and Outstanding Technical/Service/Maintenance Worker, Alvin Brummett.

Pellissippi State also recognized employees at five-year increments of service, as well as acknowledging council presidents and retiring employees. The 2014-2015 faculty and staff retirees include Dennis Adams, Debi Bolton, Rick Bower, Jerry Bryan, Carolyn Carson, Karen Cornell, Joan Easterly, Pat Ferguson, Brenda Harmon, Lynn Hyman, Joy Ingram, Jean Jackson, Maggie Jenkins, Ellen Keene, Darell McBee, Linda Peterson, Ann Preston, Karen Queener and Mike Rose.

Funding for all awards is provided by the Pellissippi State Foundation. The Foundation works to provide student scholarships and emergency loans, as well as to improve facilities and secure new equipment.

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

Spring Choral Concert honors the late Bill Brewer, Pellissippi State’s longtime choral director

Pellissippi State Community College’s Spring Choral Concert on Thursday, April 30, honors the late Bill Brewer. Brewer, for many years the college’s Music program coordinator and choral director, passed away in March after a battle with cancer.

The concert is at 7 p.m. in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The event is free and the community is invited.

Donations will be accepted at the door for the Pellissippi State Foundation on behalf of the Music Scholarship Fund and the new Bill and Sharon Brewer Music Scholarship.

The event features the student vocal ensembles Concert Chorale and Variations, led by guest conductor David Stutzenberger. Several students will perform solos.

A slideshow of choir performances, including highlights from the annual Variations study abroad trips, will be shown, accompanied by recordings of choir presentations under Brewer’s direction.

In honor of Brewer, all of the college’s choirs will join together for performances at the end of the concert. For the final piece, “Climb Every Mountain,” anyone in the audience who has been a part of a Pellissippi State choir is invited to join the combined choirs on stage.

Following the concert, the public is invited to a reception that will include performances by alumni who were members of Pellissippi State choirs and who wanted to memorialize Brewer in song.

The Spring Choral Concert is the last of Pellissippi State’s 2014-2015 Music Concert Series. The series is part of The Arts at Pellissippi State, which brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts. All piano performances and accompaniments are performed on Steinways, in keeping with Pellissippi State’s status as an All-Steinway School.

To sign up for notices about the 2015-2016 Arts at Pellissippi State, go to www.pstcc.edu/arts and click on the link at the bottom of the page.

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

Community invited to Instrumental Concert at Pellissippi State

Graphic with female singing into a microphone and the word Music below.

Instrumental music is the featured entertainment at a concert on Thursday, April 9, at Pellissippi State Community College.

The Instrumental Concert begins at 7 p.m. in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The event is free and the community is invited.

“This concert will feature more than 40 students in four of our student instrumental groups: the Brass Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, Studio Orchestra and Percussion Ensemble,” said Larry Vincent, associate professor of Music. “Each group will play a 15-minute set of music covering all kinds of styles and genres.”

The concert is one of the performances in Pellissippi State’s Music Concert Series, which is part of The Arts at Pellissippi State. The Arts at Pellissippi State 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.

All piano performances and accompaniments are performed on Steinways, in keeping with Pellissippi State’s status as an All-Steinway School.

For additional information about 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.

Eighth annual Festival of Cultures at Pellissippi State celebrates diversity

graphic with dragon that says culture and diversityFood, music and festivities will fill the evening as Pellissippi State Community College celebrates diversity at its eighth annual Festival of Cultures Friday, April 10.

The event is 4-8:30 p.m. in the College Center on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The Festival of Cultures is free to attend. The community is invited.

“Each year, the Festival of Cultures promotes a wide array of cultural experiences,” said Gayle Wood, director of Access and Diversity, the office that plans the event. “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.”

At the Festival of Cultures, attendees will receive a Festival Passport booklet. As they browse cultural booths and exhibits, they’ll receive stickers representing various countries to place in their passports.

The event features performances by the Carib Sounds Steel Band, Caribbean Dancers of Atlanta, Chinese Dancers of Atlanta and Hardin Valley Thunder, Pellissippi State’s student bluegrass ensemble.

Additionally, the Festival of Cultures offers children’s activities such as balloon art, glitter tattoos and face painting, a magic show, exhibits from Pellissippi State’s own international students, and international food.

Festival of Cultures is one of the events that make up the college’s arts and culture 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 on the festival and other arts series events, 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.

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