Pellissippi State: High-schoolers invited to Creative Writer’s Workshop

Pellissippi State Community College invites local high school students to a Creative Writer’s Workshop Saturday, April 12, at the Strawberry Plains Campus.

The workshop is a free all-day event designed for current high school students who wish to gain experience in fiction and poetry writing, songwriting, screenplay writing, and performance skills. Lunch is provided.

“Young people who feel that hunger to write—whether it be fiction, poetry, plays or songs—need encouragement and motivation to pursue their abilities,” said Patricia Ireland, an English instructor at Pellissippi State.

“Our goal is to pair Pellissippi State’s professional writers with young, aspiring writers in order to offer personal feedback and inspiration, as well as an opportunity to see our campus and get to know college student writers.”

At the end of the day, students have the option of performing their original work at a showcase event. Check-in begins in the lobby at 9:30 a.m., followed by morning and afternoon workshop sessions. The showcase begins at 2:45 p.m.

Workshop sessions will be taught by professional writers from the Pellissippi State faculty, assisted by members of the Strawberry Plains Creative Writing Club.

Interested students should register by 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 9, with Ireland, or (865) 225-2340.

The Strawberry Plains Campus is located at 7201 Strawberry Plains Pike.

For more information, contact Ireland, 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 hosts Computer Careers Open House for Knox-area women

Pellissippi State Community College is offering a Computer Careers Open House for Knoxville-area women Monday, April 7.

The event is 5:15-7:15 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The open house is funded through a $1,000 grant to help encourage women in computing and information technology fields. The grant is administered by the National Center for Women and IT Academic Alliance.

The Computer Career Open House is open to female rising eighth-grade and high school students, their parents, Pellissippi State and other college students, and other women in the community interested in learning more about careers in computing.

“We are excited about and grateful for the opportunity to share and be an influence on young women in their career choices,” said Christy Watson, a Computer Science and Information Technology student and chair of the student club that received the Symantec Student Seed Fund grant.

“In some of my Computer Science and Information Technology classes,” she said, “I’m the only woman or in the minority among mostly male students. I think women often relegate computers and technology to being the equivalent of ‘gaming,’ or they feel that they’ve outgrown their interest in computers.”

Presenters at the Computer Career Open House will include Pellissippi State faculty and students, as well as local professionals and employers in the computer science and IT industries.

After the open house portion of the event, an optional hour-long “Hour of Code” session will be offered to the first 50 people to register. Sign up by contacting Sharon Burlingame, CSIT program coordinator at Pellissippi State, at (865) 694-6588.

The NCWIT Academic Alliance includes more than 275 colleges and universities. The program is charged with implementing institutional change in higher education, particularly in providing access to leading-edge best practices for recruiting and retaining women. Symantec, a NCWIT sponsor member, is a computer security software corporation and Fortune 500 company.

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

Author, naturalist to speak on Common Book topic at Pellissippi State

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Pellissippi State Community College hosts author and naturalist Doris Gove for a lecture beginning at 2 p.m. Thursday, April 3.

Gove shares her personal experiences in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park during the talk, which takes place in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The lecture is free and the community is invited.

“The second edition of her book ‘Exploring the Appalachian Trail: Hikes in the Southern Appalachians’ came out in 2013,” said Carol Luther, professor of English, “so Doris is familiar with current conditions on the trail and can update us on some of the problems and circumstances that Bill Bryson reported on in 1996.”

Gove’s presentation is part of the yearlong schedule of events tied to Pellissippi State’s 2013-2014 Common Book, “A Walk in the Woods,” by Bill Bryson. The book, Bryson’s personal account of hiking the Appalachian Trail, has inspired discussions on topics as wide-ranging as ecology, biological diversity, the effects of tourism on the AT, the importance of outdoor activity and the tradition of nature writing.

“We look forward to hearing Doris’ expert perspective on the trail, which will be a contrast to novice hiker Bryson’s experiences,” said Luther.

Gove is also the author of the “Audubon Guide to the National Wildlife Refuges: Southeast.” She is co-author of several children’s books, including “My Mother Talks to Trees,” “Red-Spotted Newt” and “A Water Snake’s Year.”

In his first-person narrative, Bryson reflects on the many emotions, logistical problems and incidents to be expected for a hiker on the AT. His account also reflects on the history of the Appalachian Trail and National Park Service, the depredations of disease and insects on trees and plants, the need for environmental awareness and stewardship, and the ever-present threat of bears.

For more information about the lecture or 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

Community invited to Seventh Annual Festival of Cultures at Pellissippi State

Photo of 4 Indian females in blue and red ornamental dresses, dancing on stage.
Indian cultural dance group from 2012 Festival of Cultures

Pellissippi State Community College once again shines a light on the many cultures represented by its student body when the school hosts the Seventh Annual Festival of Cultures Friday, April 11.

The Festival of Cultures is 4-8:30 p.m. in the Goins Building of the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The event is free and 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, which coordinates the celebration. “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.

Festival of Cultures will include performances by Mawre & Company, a West African dance and drum group; Miyagi Ryu Okinawan Dancers, a Japanese traditional dance group; the Alexia School of Middle Eastern Dance; the Tellico Tappers; Bhangra; the East Tennessee Chinese School dance team; and Pellissippi State’s bluegrass ensemble, Hardin Valley Thunder.

An exhibit depicting rangoli floor art, a traditional Indian design, will be on display in the Goins Building Rotunda. The design is created by Pellissippi State student Donna Kaur. Various personal artifact collections of Pellissippi State students with international backgrounds also will be on display. In addition, event attendees can receive henna art tattoos from Knoxville henna artist Kajal Patel.

Children’s activities will include face painting, balloon twisting and other arts and crafts. Stilt-walker “Jake,” from One World Circle, will be on hand. He will read “Abiyoyo,” an African folk tale written by Pete Seeger.

Finally, the Festival of Cultures boasts food tastings from international cuisines representing Canada, China, Germany, Ghana, India, Iraq, Kenya, Moldova, the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and Vietnam.

The Festival of Cultures is one of the events that make up 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 Festival of Cultures, call the Access and Diversity Office at (865) 539-7160 or visit For more information about The Arts at Pellissippi State, visit To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or

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