Pellissippi State: Poet Dunbar topic of Feb. 6 Faculty Lecture Series talk

portrait of a male in black hat and gray sweatshirtThe enduring poetry of African-American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar will be the topic of two Faculty Lecture Series presentations at Pellissippi State Community College in February.

Robert Boyd presents “A Salute to Dunbar,” reading selections from “The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar,” on Thursday, Feb. 6, and Thursday, Feb. 20.

“Dunbar was a ‘griot’ [an African tribal storyteller] who told his tales in verse,” said Boyd, an associate professor of English. “Words, rhythms, rhymes and voices became verse, verse that flowed from his imagination and his life on to those of us who read.”

The Feb. 6 presentation is at 12:30 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium of the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The Feb. 20 presentation takes place at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Room of the Magnolia Avenue Campus, 1610 E. Magnolia Ave.

Both events are free. The community is invited.

Boyd’s presentations will include a discussion of Dunbar’s life and selected readings from his works.

Dunbar was an African-American poet, novelist and playwright of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Born in Ohio to parents who had been slaves in Kentucky, he was one of the first black writers to establish a national reputation.

“He wanted to be known for his more traditional poetry, but most of his better-known works are written in dialect,” Boyd said.

The Faculty Lecture 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.

To learn more about “A Salute to Dunbar” or The Arts at Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or

Pellissippi State ranks at top for National Voter Registration Day

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A student-led voter registration effort fall semester at Pellissippi State Community College ranked among the top highest in number of registered voters in the nation.

Pellissippi State’s National Voter Registration Day 2013 event registered 251 voters, earning the college a ranking of 21st in the nation in registering the most voters at individual events, according to National Voter Registration Day’s Communications and Field Report, prepared by Voto Latino.

National Voter Registration Day was Sept. 24. That day, there were 809 registration events around the nation, including at colleges, civic and community clubs, and other community service-oriented organizations.

“We partnered with Knoxville’s League of Women Voters to sponsor voter registration among college students, to help publicize the League of Women Voters, to help voters judge candidates and to help citizen organizations host effective candidate forums,” said Lisa Bogaty, associate professor in Business and Computer Technology.

Pellissippi State’s event took place all week at the Hardin Valley Campus. The college teamed up student, faculty and staff volunteers with members of the League of Women Voters Knoxville/Knox County.

Four classes at the two-year school also worked on various aspects of the event, from conducting marketing research to designing and producing posters to developing databases for surveys.

“It’s wonderful from a Service-Learning perspective, because each class has had an opportunity to learn and volunteer,” Bogaty said.

The Service-Learning program encourages Pellissippi State students to engage in a culture of civic engagement and altruism, partnering traditional academic experiences with opportunities for volunteerism and community service.

Overall, National Voter Registration Day resulted in 56,196 voters being registered among all 50 states.

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

Sculptor Padrón brings ‘Journeyman’ exhibit to Pellissippi State

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Raymond Padrón, "Into the Wild," sculpture
Raymond Padrón, “Into the Wild,” sculpture

Sculptor Raymond Padrón brings a one-man show of his far-ranging and eclectic pieces to Pellissippi State Community College in February, part of The Arts at Pellissippi State.

“Journeyman,” featuring the artist many may know from his public art installations in Chattanooga, exhibits at the Bagwell Center for Media and Art gallery Feb. 10-28, with an opening reception 4-6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10.

Some of the pieces Padrón will display were done specifically for this exhibit. According to Brian Jobe, a Liberal Arts adjunct faculty member, the sculptor uses a variety of techniques for his work, including casting and woodworking.

Raymond-Padron_head-shotThe Bagwell Gallery is located at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus. Both the opening reception and the exhibit are free and open to the community. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Ample parking is available on campus.

“Journeyman” 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.

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

Pellissippi State generates $261 million annual economic impact

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Pellissippi State Community College pumped an average of $261 million each year into the local economy over the past five years, a recent study shows.

The 26th annual analysis of the economic impact of the college on the Knox and Blount county area revealed that the value of business volume, jobs and individual income amounted to about $1.3 billion in the 2008-2013 period, or an average of $261 million each year.

Fred H. Martin, an educational consultant who completed the study, says local business volume—the total amount generated locally by businesses from the college’s direct and indirect expenditures—was $630 million for the five-year period. Of that total, $513 million came from non-local revenues, such as state appropriations, state and federal contracts and grants, and federal and state student financial aid revenues.

Although Pellissippi State had an average of only 494 full-time-equivalent employees per year during the period, the total employment created and sustained by the college’s expenditures was estimated at 42,947 jobs for the five years. Of that number, 32,565 jobs were created by external or new funds.

Using the more conservative of two different calculations, Martin has estimated that the impact of the college’s expenditures on personal income in the area amounted to about $676 million during 2008-2013, of which $561 million came from external or new funds.

Of the college’s $1.3 billion total economic impact, about $1.1 billion ($214 million each year) could be attributed to the infusion of new non-local revenues.

“This impact would likely not have occurred without the presence of Pellissippi State in the area,” Martin said.

The economic impact study notes that each dollar of local revenue coming into Pellissippi State generated a return on investment of about $3.67 in local business volume. The individual income generated ranged from $3.94 to $4.18, for a total return on investment of at least $7.61.

The study also estimated that a two-year associate’s degree graduate could expect to earn about $350,000 more over his or her work lifetime than if the individual had only a high school diploma. For the most recent class of Pellissippi State graduates, this difference could mean an additional $441 million in lifetime earnings, plus about $2.4 million in additional annual tax payments.

Finally, the study described a number of benefits to society that are proven to accompany higher levels of education.

“The results of this economic impact study clearly demonstrate that Pellissippi State continues to be a major contributor to the economic base of Knox and Blount counties,” Martin said. “This economic impact is expressed in this study in terms of jobs created, business volume generated and personal income earned.”

The complete study is available on the following website:

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