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 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.

Pellissippi State ranks at top for National Voter Registration Day

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

Sculptor Padrón brings ‘Journeyman’ exhibit to Pellissippi State

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 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.

Pellissippi State generates $261 million annual economic impact

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: www.pstcc.edu/departments/institutional_research/economic/eis_2008-2013.pdf.

Young filmmakers address making a difference at ‘Give a Damn?’ showing, Q&A

Poster with 3 young men, picture of the world, and information about eventCan you make a difference? Students and the community have the opportunity to pose that and other significant questions to three young activist filmmakers Pellissippi State Community College is hosting on Friday, Feb. 7.

The filmmakers will take part in a question-and-answer session after the showing of their feature-length documentary, “Give a Damn?” on the Hardin Valley Campus. Refreshments will be served at a reception with the trio following the film and Q&A.

“Give a Damn?” is a documentary about two idealistic friends who convince a third friend (who is not so sure he ‘gives a damn’) to join them as they attempt to immerse themselves in poverty while traveling across three continents. The filmmakers choose to subsist on $1.25 per day — the amount on which an average resident of Kibera, one of Kenya, Africa’s largest slums, lives.

“The goal,” explains the ‘Give a Damn?’ website, “was to make a funny, adventurous and compelling film about the ability young people have to make a difference in … poverty and injustice.”

The documentary stars the film’s creators: Dan Parris, a Biola University graduate and owner of Speak Up Productions LLC; David Peterka, founder of the nonprofit organization When The Saints; and Rob Lehr, a graduate of Missouri State University who operates Hambone Productions.

Lehr serves as the skeptic among the friends in the documentary, and the film ultimately makes the case that the current generation can have a profound impact on global social issues.

Parris, Peterka and Lehr will be present for the screening, which begins at 11:50 a.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium, as well as the Q&A and reception.

The event is open to everyone. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Parking is free and convenient.

The documentary screening is sponsored by Pellissippi State and the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies, with support from the college’s Service-Learning program.

TnCIS, which is based at the college, 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 TnCIS’ summer 2013 study abroad. There are 18 study abroad programs planned for summer 2014. For more information about TnCIS, visit www.tncis.org or call (865) 539-7280.

Now in its third year, the Service-Learning program allows Pellissippi State students and faculty to integrate meaningful community service and reflection with more traditional learning experiences, teaching civic responsibility and strengthening communities. For more information about Service-Learning, call (865) 694-6492 or email service-learning@pstcc.edu.

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.

Politics, security expert to speak at Pellissippi State showcase

Portrait of man in suit with flags behind himPellissippi State Community College hosts Steven P. Bucci as the featured speaker Tuesday, Feb. 4, at the Student Speech Showcase.

The showcase is sponsored by Pellissippi State’s Communication Club. The event begins at 7 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium and is open to the community. Ample parking is available.

Bucci will deliver a speech on the state of Greece and the issues that country faces. His talk is entitled “From Prosperity to Austerity and Back: Recent, Current and Emerging Issues in Greece.”

The guest presenter is director of the Heritage Foundation’s Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies. He is also a senior fellow for Homeland Security and Defense Issues in Washington, D.C. A retired U.S Army colonel, Bucci served as commander of the 3rd Battalion of the 5th Special Forces and as military assistant to former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

“Bucci is one of those great speakers who can change the scope of how our students view the world and help them learn about things they might otherwise have not known,” said Susan Childress, a Liberal Arts instructor and Communication Club advisor.

The Student Speech Showcase also features four top student speech contest winners from the fall semester.

Student speakers are Charysse Young on the topic “Make Your Body Talk: You Need ASL Literacy,” Alexis Huddleston on “Learning to Learn,” Summer Burns on “Shoes for Everyone” and Josh Boling on “Believe It to Achieve It.” One of the speeches is in the informative style, and the others are persuasive. Each is five to eight minutes long.

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.

Pellissippi State offers free financial aid workshop

The process of applying for financial aid can seem overwhelming for both students and parents, but Pellissippi State Community College makes it easier on College Goal Sunday, a free workshop Jan. 26.

College Goal Sunday is 9 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Educational Resources Center of Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus. Ample free parking is available for the event.

Pellissippi State hosts College Goal Sunday to help current and potential students and their families navigate the steps necessary to apply for financial aid for higher education. Staff will be on hand to help students and parents in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Having a completed FAFSA on file is required for students to be considered for financial aid, including grants, scholarships and loans.

Those who are unsure if they’ll need financial aid are encouraged to attend the event as well. Attending guarantees that critical FAFSA deadlines have been met if applicants decide they need assistance later in the year. Completing the FAFSA establishes no obligation to attend college.

Students and/or their parents need to bring completed 2013 IRS 1040 tax returns or estimations of 2013 income, W-2 statements, current bank statements, driver’s licenses or alien registration cards, and untaxed income records for 2013 (Social Security, welfare, veterans benefits or TANF).

To see a full list of required documentation and to register for College Goal Sunday at Pellissippi State, visit www.tn.gov/collegegoalsunday.

College Goal Sunday is part of College Goal Tennessee, a nonprofit program that provides free information and assistance to Tennessee families applying for financial assistance for higher education.

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.

Pellissippi State students save classmate’s life

row of 5, male and female students with security officer at end of row
Pellissippi State Community College student Eric Flynn, center, suffered a heart attack during a class in early December. He was aided by, from left, students Jordan Sugg, Alice Holt and Mary Elizabeth Sands, and security officer Doug Walston, who administered CPR and provided other emergency care until emergency medical professionals could arrive.

For Eric Flynn, the 2013 holiday season was a time to feel particularly blessed.

During an English class in early December at Pellissippi State Community College, Flynn collapsed at his desk after suffering a heart attack. Two classmates, Alice Holt and Mary Elizabeth Sands, administered CPR and emergency care until help arrived—and aided in saving Flynn’s life.

“If they hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t be here,” Flynn, a single parent, said of Holt, Sands and Doug Walston, Safety and Security supervisor at Pellissippi State. “What [they] did means the world to me, to my children and to my family.”

During a small ceremony Monday, Dec. 16, L. Anthony Wise Jr., the college’s president, recognized Holt, Sands and Walston for their actions by presenting them each with a Pellissippi State shield.

“The Pellissippi State shield symbolizes power and strength,” he said. “The gold color symbolizes wisdom. You used all of those things to take care of Eric and give him the best possible chance of success. We thank you for your great and heroic action.”

Flynn, a Business Administration/Management student, says he was making his way from the parking lot to his classroom when he began to feel tired. He remembers walking into English class but doesn’t remember collapsing.

Holt and Sands, both Nursing students, noticed Flynn slump at his desk and immediately began administering CPR.

“We were working on portfolios, heard a noise and looked up to see Eric sort of slumped over,” said Holt. “We jumped up and ran over there.”

Another student called 911, and Walston and Jordan Suggs, a lab assistant, helped the first responders find Flynn and get him on his way to the hospital.

Sands, who works at Parkwest Medical Center, where Flynn was taken, checked in on him frequently, as did Holt, Walston and others. Flynn was hospitalized for 11 days and underwent an angioplasty and stent placement, a surgical operation that opens a partially blocked artery.

“Everyone was going the extra mile. You’ve had a lot of people pulling for you, even if you didn’t know it,” Walston said.

“It’s overwhelming to know how many people care,” Flynn said.

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

Pellissippi State names Pevey new Mathematics Department dean

female portraitIn December, Pellissippi State Community College named Nancy Pevey the new dean of the Mathematics Department. Pevey has served as a Mathematics faculty member at the college since 1996.

“She has been a leader in a variety of design, improvement and implementation initiatives at Pellissippi State,” said Ted A. Lewis, vice president of Academic Affairs at Pellissippi State.

“As student success coordinator of the Mathematics Department and developer of the supplemental instruction program for the college, she has demonstrated her commitment to student success.”

Pevey began her career at Pellissippi State as an adjunct faculty member in math in 1996 and became a full-time faculty member in 2000. She also has served as director of the college’s Quality Enhancement Plan, “Strong to the Core.”

In 2012, Pevey received a Teaching Excellence Award from the Tennessee Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunities of this position to serve the math faculty and the new challenges and responsibilities that will unfold in the coming years,” Pevey said.

Pevey earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee and a master’s from the University of South Carolina, both in mathematics education. She has instructed students in middle and high school as well as college.

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

Pellissippi State puts out casting call for ‘Unnecessary Farce’

Comedic actors and actresses: Try out your talents at Pellissippi State Community College. Auditions get under way at the end of this month for the play “Unnecessary Farce.”

Auditions are open to everyone. They take place 7-9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 27-28, in Room 156 of the Alexander Building on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus.

“Unnecessary Farce” is the tale of a police sting gone awry after a bumbling mayor, a pair of lusty civil servants and a Scottish hit man are thrown together. This is a fast-paced, physical comedy that will require performers to have perfect timing and boundless energy.

Rehearsals will be 7-10:30 p.m. Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Pellissippi State presents “Unnecessary Farce” at 7:30 p.m., April 4, 5, and 11 and at 2 p.m., April 6 and 13. Tickets will be available at www.pstcc.edu/tickets.

“Unnecessary Farce” 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, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts or call (865) 694-6400.