‘Pell-Aware’ Alcohol and Drug Awareness Day scheduled at Pellissippi State

Pellissippi State Community College hopes to help students succeed when it hosts a campuswide Alcohol and Drug Awareness Day Wednesday, April 16.

The free event, Pell-Aware, is 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Courtyard of the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The community is invited.

Representatives of area mental health facilities, rehabilitation centers and health-care organizations will be on hand to distribute information and answer questions. Participating are representatives of Blount Memorial Hospital’s Emotional Health and Recovery Center, Cherokee Health, Cornerstone of Recovery, English Mountain Recovery, Knox County Health Department, and private medical practices, among others.

“We want to provide information but also link people with services that they may need or find useful,” said Kathleen Douthat, a counselor at Pellissippi State.

“Drug and alcohol abuse is a fairly big issue for college-age students, so an awareness of what drugs and alcohol can do is important, as is knowing who to go to for help if they’re having trouble, or if they know someone who is having trouble, with substance abuse.

As much as 30 percent of failure in school by college students may be tied to alcohol abuse, according to Douthat.

“If we can work with substance use and get that under control, maybe we can retain more students and help them be more successful.”

Pellissippi State’s Counseling staff, the planners of Pell-Aware, are available to help students manage obstacles that threaten their academic, career and life goals. The office provides career, personal and academic counseling.

For more information about Pell-Aware, visit www.pstcc.edu/counseling 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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Pellissippi State: Community invited to Blount County Campus Health and Wellness Fair

Pellissippi State Community College hosts a Health and Wellness Fair at the Blount County Campus Wednesday, April 16.

The fair features health-care exhibitors providing demonstrations, materials and health checks. The free event is 10 a.m.-1 p.m. in the main lobby of the campus, 2731 W. Lamar Alexander Pkwy. The community is invited.

The health fair is organized with the help of Alcoa Chiropractic, which will offer complimentary chair massages and spinal screenings. Marino Therapy Centers will conduct bone density assessments, and Pellissippi State’s nursing students will take blood pressure and glucose screenings. Other free health checks and demonstrations include allergy testing and acupuncture.

Exhibitors include Healthy Mind and Counseling, Acuquest Hearing, the University of Tennessee Medical Center, The Eye Group, the Pregnancy Resource Center, Complete Nutrition, Rx Relationships, the American Red Cross, Blue Ridge Family Dentistry and the Tennessee Vein Center, among others.

“Choosing to be healthy mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually is a choice we all make,” said Holly Burkett, dean of the Blount County Campus. “I want the students, faculty, and staff at Pellissippi State and the community to have the opportunity to begin or maintain a healthy lifestyle.”

To learn more about the fair, call (865) 981-5300. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu. For more about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu.

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Pellissippi State students, employees to participate in Ijams River Rescue

Pellissippi State Community College students and employees will spend the day on Saturday, April 5, cleaning East Tennessee’s waterways. The occasion is Ijams Nature Center’s River Rescue, and the Pellissippi State effort is being coordinated by the college’s Service-Learning program.

The team of students, faculty and staff will be on site 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Loves Creek, where Loves Creek Road meets Millertown Pike. The cleanup location is behind the ORNL Federal Credit Union and Food City, in Northeast Knoxville.

This year is Ijams’ 25th annual River Rescue. River Rescue places volunteers at more than 40 sites around the Knoxville metropolitan area to clean trash out of East Tennessee’s rivers, creeks and waterways. In 2013, more than 1,000 volunteers participated in the event.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400. For more information about the River Rescue, visit www.ijams.org or call Ijams at (865) 577-4717 ext. 124.

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Pellissippi State students only Grainger scholarship recipients in state

Michael Swihart

Michael Swihart

Pellissippi State Community College students Robert Sanders and Michael Swihart are the only two Tennessee recipients of $2,000 Grainger Tools for Tomorrow scholarships.

Both Sanders and Swihart are in the Mechanical Engineering concentration of the Engineering Technology degree program. The Grainger Tools for Tomorrow scholarship supports technical education and promotes careers in technical areas of work. Grainger is an Illinois-based distributor of facilities maintenance supplies.

“Pellissippi State is the only college in Tennessee that has students who receive this scholarship,” said Peggy Wilson, vice president of College Advancement and executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation.

“Grainger classifies Pellissippi State as a veteran-friendly college, and each student who receives a scholarship from Grainger must be a veteran.”

Robert Sanders

Robert Sanders

The Grainger awards go through the Pellissippi State Foundation. The $2,000 scholarships are earmarked for students in an Engineering Technology field. Upon graduating, recipients also receive $2,500 worth of Grainger hand tools, each with a lifetime replacement guarantee.

“Robert and Michael are outstanding students, and both are very deserving of this scholarship,” said Pat Riddle, program coordinator of Mechanical Engineering.

“We appreciate that Grainger has a scholarship that recognizes the dedication and sacrifice of our student veterans—the hard work they put into their education and their drive to better themselves.”

Sanders, a stay-at-home father, said, “I felt honored that Mr. Riddle picked me as an applicant for the scholarship. For him to single me out was a privilege in itself, and to win is a wonderful bonus.” Sanders, whose career interest lies in green construction, plans to donate a portion of the scholarship back to the Pellissippi State Foundation for another student to use.

Swihart relocated to Knoxville from Chicago, transferring credits to Pellissippi State and starting classes at the college in spring 2012. He plans to graduate this year and hopes to work for a geotechnical firm.

“When Mr. Riddle approached me and told me I was one of the few chosen,” said Swihart, “I was speechless and honored. I am very grateful to receive the scholarship. I’m very grateful to my instructors at Pellissippi State, because of their commitment and the extra time they’ve sacrificed to help me.”

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

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Pellissippi State launches online ‘Career Coach’ for students, community

Pellissippi State Community College has announced a partnership with Career Coach, a free online tool that allows students and community members to explore potential careers.

Career Coach can be accessed at Pellissippi State’s website, www.pstcc.edu.

Career Coach provides real-time information customized to East Tennessee, including career prospects for certain degrees, detailed wage estimates and up-to-date job postings for nearly any career. Users also are directed to Pellissippi State’s program offerings when searching for specific jobs.

“We are excited to offer our students and our community this opportunity to identify careers they would like to pursue and the pathways that will take them there,” said Ted Lewis, vice president of Academic Affairs.

On Career Coach, users can search for openings in their current field, or for similar jobs if their original search—or present job—doesn’t seem like a good fit. The site also shows the education required to move from one career to another. In addition, users can search for careers based on Pellissippi State’s top programs or the programs the users are most interested in.

Career Coach includes a resume builder to help students and job seekers quickly and efficiently highlight their key skills and job experience.

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

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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, paireland@pstcc.edu 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 www.pstcc.edu. 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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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 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.

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

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 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.

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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 www.pstcc.edu/diversity. For more information about The Arts at Pellissippi State, 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.

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Knoxville Area Tennessee Small Business Development Center receives Eagle Award


The Tennessee Small Business District Knoxville Office received an Eagle Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Tennessee District Thursday, March 20. Pictured, from left to right, are Jane Shelton, Bruce Hayes and Laura Overstreet of the TSBDC, Walter Perry, district director of the SBA Tennessee District Office; Larry Rossini, executive director of the TSBDC; L. Anthony Wise Jr., president of Pellissippi State Community College; Maria Lloyd of the SBA; and Teri Brahams, executive director of Economic and Workforce Development at Pellissippi State.

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Tennessee District has presented the Knoxville Area Tennessee Small Business Development Center, which is administered by Pellissippi State Community College, with the first Eagle Award.

The honor, given during an awards ceremony March 20, recognized the TSBDC office with the highest dollar volume of SBA loans for clients during 2013. TSBDC is a statewide network of centers that provide resources to assist small-business and potential small-business owners. The Small Business Administration is a federal agency.

Last year, Pellissippi State’s TSBDC directly assisted eight clients who obtained a cumulative total of more than $9.3 million in SBA loans.

“Pellissippi State’s Small Business Development Center has always been committed to helping businesses in our community to find the resources they need in order to be successful,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., president of Pellissippi State. “This recognition by the Small Business Administration is an affirmation of that good work.”

“Pellissippi State’s diligence in working with small-business owners and East Tennessee lenders demonstrates that dollars are available to start or expand a small business,” said Walter Perry, district director of SBA’s Tennessee District Office.

“The Eagle Award represents superior dedication of the Pellissippi State staff collaborating with area banks and credit unions to identify working capital for their clients.”

The SBA guarantees small-business loans and, through a cooperative agreement with Pellissippi State, provides counseling and training to small-business owners. A key component of that assistance is helping small-business owners acquire capital through SBA-guaranteed loans made by area lenders.

A wide variety of small businesses in the area were provided funding in 2013—among them, a veterinary practice, winery, restaurant, retail store, transportation services firm, research and development firm, and temporary services agency. East Tennessee lenders that assisted Pellissippi State clients included United Community Bank, Jefferson Federal Bank, UT Federal Credit Union, Fifth Third Bank and Areawide Development Corporation.

A total of 21 jobs were created and 42 jobs retained as a result of the SBA loans, according to the small businesses that were funded.

The area Small Business Development Center serves the counties of Blount, Claiborne, Cocke, Jefferson, Knox, Sevier and Union. In 2013, the center provided more than 1,695 hours of small-business counseling and trained 1,263 people in small-business-related subjects.

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