Unique collaboration on ‘Art Histories’ comes to Pellissippi State

painting of knight with bear head on a horse with football players in front
Tom Wegrzynowski’s “Lucky’s Triumphant Entry Into Rome.”

The Arts at Pellissippi State kicks off the new year with a special art exhibit, “Art Histories,” featuring the work of S. L. Dickey and Tom Wegrzynowski, in January and February.

“Art Histories” is on exhibit at the Bagwell Gallery Jan. 16-Feb. 6, with an opening reception set for 4-6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The artists are showing together for the first time for this unique exhibit at Pellissippi State Community College. Dickey, chair of the department of art and design at the Mississippi University for Women, is known for creating dimensional screenprints and for “The Piedmont Sideshow,” performance art that explores perceived conflict.

Wegrzynowski is a painter and instructor at the University of Alabama. His work deals with the nature of myth and symbolism as a foundation for identity.

“S. L. Dickey’s work is more informed by a pop history, and Tom Wegrzynowski’s work, while it does come from history, has an alternative narrative to it,” said Herb Rieth. Rieth is the curator of the exhibit, as well as an assistant professor of Liberal Arts at Pellissippi State.

painting of a man with black hair, black suit, and red background.
S.L. Dickey’s “The Match King”

“They’re very complementary styles. They each take a historical narrative and individualize it through their work.”

The Bagwell Gallery is located in the Bagwell Building on Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus. The “Art Histories” exhibit and reception are free, and the community is invited to enjoy both. Plenty of parking is available.

“Art Histories” is one of the many events that make up Pellissippi State’s arts and cultural series, “The Arts at Pellissippi State.” The series brings to the community 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 launches machinist apprenticeship program with IAM union, Y-12

Pellissippi State hosted representatives of B&W Y-12 and the Atomic Trades and Labor Council and International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers officials and apprentices for the onset of a new partnership apprenticeship program fall semester. From left to right: Tim Wright (IAM); Pat Riddle (Pellissippi State); Steve Passmore and Danny Lowry (IAM); Rick Heath (Pellissippi State); apprentice Rachel Henley; Bill Klemm (Y-12); apprentice Ryan Johnson; Mike Thompson (ATLC); apprentice Jason Brown; John Whalen (ATLC); apprentice Jonathan Bryant; Beth Green (Y-12); Steve Jones (ATLC); apprentices Rachel Bachorek, Rashaad Gibbs, Jeff Bryant, Justin Dupas, and Micheal Lovelady; and Robert Goins (Y-12).

Pellissippi State Community College welcomed its first class of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union apprentices from the B&W Y-12 National Security Complex this semester.

Thanks to a partnership that began early this year, Y-12’s IAM&AW workers are now receiving instruction in the classroom and hands-on training in the engineering labs at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus. The new apprenticeship program, which launched with 10 students, focuses on building the skills the workers need to succeed on the job: among them, machining, materials and maintenance print reading.

“Y-12 is a highly specialized and classified work environment,” said Rick Heath, solutions management director for the college’s Business and Community Services Division and a key player in the new partnership. “It’s logical and smart for them to grow apprentices from their own talent within the organization.”

“IAM is very committed to the apprenticeship training, but it doesn’t have the lab facilities or staff to train locally,” said Tim Wright, IAM District 711 business representative. The partnership between the college, Y-12 and the union makes training more convenient and saves Y-12, which pays for the apprenticeships, the expense of having to send workers out of town.

Beyond proximity and affordability, quality of programs factored into the IAM’s decision to choose Pellissippi State for the training contract.

“We have long been aware of the good work Pellissippi State does,” Wright said. “The training partnership is a win for everyone.”

The apprenticeship at Pellissippi State will take four years to complete. During that time, the machinists also have the opportunity to earn 45 credit hours toward an Associate of Applied Science degree. Since apprentices can finish the program only 15 hours short of earning a 60-credit degree, the college is also developing a 15-credit path to complete a General Education degree. The curriculum will be structured as a cohort, in which students proceed through their coursework as a group.

Pellissippi State’s Engineering Technology faculty and Business and Community Services developed the curriculum for the program. BCS works with employers to create customized training and development solutions, and Y-12 ultimately contracted with the division to offer the apprenticeship.

The effort is sponsored and the curriculum has been approved by the U.S. Department of Labor, says Heath. It also has the support of the Atomic Trades and Labor Council.

This is the first time Pellissippi State, Y-12 and IAM have collaborated on an apprenticeship program. Y-12 and union representatives initially met with Pellissippi State faculty and staff in early January. Curriculum development took place throughout spring and summer semester.

“They brought their experts over—the people who are doing the work,” said Heath. “They told us, ‘This is what you need to teach for our employees to be successful.’”

So far, the partnership seems to be working well for all parties, but there’s still plenty of room for fine-tuning.

“We’re going to analyze as we go along and see what’s working, what’s not working,” said Pat Riddle. Riddle coordinates and teaches in the Mechanical Engineering concentration of the Engineering Technology degree program. “We’ll meet with the IAM and Y-12 partners and see where we stand, see what they think we might want to change or reemphasize.

“This is a continuous improvement cycle that we’re working on, to make sure that the program meets the partners’ needs and still follows the academic guidelines set by the Tennessee Board of Regents.”

To find out more about the apprenticeship program and other contract training opportunities, email Rick Heath at rbheath@pstcc.edu. To learn more about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State ‘Fast Forward’ student accepted to West Point

posted in: Dual Enrollment, Students | 0

Matthew Waldrep, a home-schooler who accrued 42 college credits in Pellissippi State’s Fast Forward Dual Enrollment program, heads to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in July. Waldrep, 18, spent the last two years taking math and science courses in preparation for applying to the prestigious military school. He was nominated to the academy by U.S. Rep. John Duncan, at left.

Matthew Waldrep, a home-school student in the Fast Forward Dual Enrollment program at Pellissippi State Community College this past spring, has been accepted to the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

To be considered for admission to West Point, candidates must meet certain academic, medical and physical requirements and must receive a nomination from an approved source. Waldrep was nominated by U.S. Rep. John Duncan and leaves for New York in July.

The 18-year-old Farragut home-schooler took Fast Forward classes for the past two academic years. Dual enrollment allows high school students to earn high school and college credit simultaneously for the same course. Nearly 2,000 area high school students participated in the program in 2011-12.

Waldrep says he has known for many years that he wanted to go to West Point, and he chose his academic path accordingly.

Taking dual enrollment classes at Pellissippi State was a crucial part of the plan, since, he figured, college-level credit would carry more weight with the academy’s tough admission standards than would high school credit.

When President Thomas Jefferson signed legislation establishing West Point in 1802, he envisioned it as a strong science and engineering institution, and that tradition continues today. With that knowledge, Waldrep also took Fast Forward courses that would give him a good foundation in math and science.

“All my teachers at Pellissippi State were very helpful and willing to help me understand the concepts,” he said.

Waldrep earned a 3.96 grade point average at Pellissippi State. Along the way, he played for Farragut High School’s rugby club for two years, became an Eagle Scout, won two national awards from the Sons of the American Revolution and received a Congressional Award Gold Medal, the highest award bestowed on youth by the U.S. Congress.

In addition to accumulating 42 college credit hours through Fast Forward and 6 at the Governor’s School at UT-Martin, he worked as a paid student instructor at Pellissippi State under the supervision of Jerry Burns, a chemistry professor.

“When Matthew was in my class, I could tell he was a top-notch student,” said Burns, who served as a faculty reference. “After that, when he was my student instructor, he did an excellent job as well. When West Point chooses their cadets, some of what they look for is superb ability, inner strength and self-motivation. Matthew’s got all that.”

As a West Point cadet, Waldrep is a member of the U.S. Army. He receives a full scholarship and an annual salary, from which he pays for his uniforms, textbooks, personal computer and incidentals. Room, board, medical and dental care are provided by the federal government.

Upon graduation, he will be awarded a Bachelor of Science degree and an officer commission in the U.S. Army. In turn, he is obligated to serve five years on active duty in the Army and three years in an inactive reserve status.

For information about Pellissippi State’s Fast Forward program, visit www.pstcc.edu/dual or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State hosts dedication of Dr. Sharon Lord Music Suite

Dr. Sharon Lord
Dr. Sharon Lord

Pellissippi State Community College hosted a ceremony honoring well-known Knoxvillian Sharon Lord and dedicating the Dr. Sharon Lord Music Suite on Sept. 13. The suite is located on the Pellissippi Campus in the Alexander Building, where the event took place.

The Dr. Sharon Lord Music Suite was unveiled by Lord and the college’s Bill Brewer, Music program coordinator. The Pellissippi State Foundation received the gift from Lord on behalf of the Music program.

Lord, a community leader, motivational speaker and management consultant, provided an enthusiastic and memorable presentation. She spoke of the joy she receives from music and of her desire to create more joy by sharing music with others.

One of the highlights was an impromptu performance by Lord and her sister, Betsy. The duet entertained attendees with an a cappella song about their mother, Claudia. The words were written by Sharon Lord and set to the tune of the popular 1920s song “Has Anybody Seen My Gal?”

“My mother, Claudia Stuart, was my early inspiration for music,” said Lord. “She always dreamed of playing the piano and could play by ear on the black keys. My earliest memories are of Momma being able to play any song without sheet music.

“I thought she was magical. She seemed to know all the words to all the songs. She never got to take piano lessons, but she insisted that all six of her children take lessons.”

Dr. Sharon Lord
Dr. Sharon Lord

Also instrumental in laying the foundation of Lord’s lifelong love of music was William Barrett, a band director and math teacher.

“William Barrett was my mentor, inspiration and motivator in music beginning when I was in fourth grade,” she said. “He was determined to create a band in our high school. In order to do that, he would give free lessons and provide the musical instrument to promising students in grades four through six.

“I’ll never forget when he put an E-flat alto saxophone in my hands and I squawked the first sound out of that sax. I wasn’t much taller than the saxophone case. I could already read sheet music because of my exposure to piano lessons. I loved it!”

Lord expressed her delight at being honored by Pellissippi State.

“I have chosen throughout my life to contribute to the empowerment of children and adults,” she said. “Music is probably the most magical way to empower children—and the child in all of us. Music education should be the norm for every child. It is a privilege to contribute to the quality of music education at Pellissippi State.”

A Steinway Celebration concert featuring noted pianist William DeVan, an official “Steinway Artist,” took place immediately following the dedication ceremony. The concert celebrated Pellissippi State’s achievement of becoming an All Steinway School.

Also a supporter of the All Steinway School campaign, Lord has played key leadership roles on the local, national and international level in academia, business and government service.

A West Virginia native, she served as the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense during the administration of President Ronald Reagan and later as West Virginia’s secretary of human services. The author of numerous books and publications, she continues to speak internationally on topics of creative leadership, healthy lifestyles and managing challenging transitions.

The Pellissippi State Foundation kicked off the All Steinway School fundraising campaign in 2010 in order to elevate the college’s Music program to world-class status. Thanks to the campaign, the community college now boasts 13 Steinway pianos in studios, practice rooms and performance venues.

Not only is Pellissippi State the premier All Steinway community college in Tennessee, but it is also the fourth All Steinway community college in the nation and one of only about 120 All Steinway colleges and universities in the world.

For information on the Steinway Maintenance Society, call the Pellissippi State Foundation at (865) 694-6529 or visit www.pstcc.edu/steinway.

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