All posts by elsimpson

Pellissippi State: TSBDC receives $5,000 from First Tennessee Foundation

The Knoxville office of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center, which is administered by Pellissippi State Community College, has received a $5,000 grant through the Pellissippi State Foundation from the First Tennessee Foundation. The First Tennessee Foundation has given to the TSBDC’s First Tennessee Resource Center for more than 20 years.

“The funds from the First Tennessee Foundation over the years have funded a small library, upgraded the TSBDC training room, and maintained the First Tennessee Resource Center’s business software and support equipment,” said Larry Rossini, director of the Knoxville TSBDC. Upgrades to the training room include dual-screen technology for instructional programs like QuickBooks Reports and Google My Business.

“Without these generous funds from the First Tennessee Foundation, we could not provide the quality service we offer to the business community,” Rossini said.

TSBDC’s First Tennessee Resource Center opened in 1993 using funds from a $10,000 grant from the First Tennessee Foundation, along with matching federal funds. It is open to anyone, free of charge, and provides computer and Internet access, as well as printing and faxing capabilities and a library of business-related books. The Resource Center serves a broad spectrum of clients, including entrepreneurs, businesspeople and researchers.

Recent users of local TSBDC services include Bobby Nicholson, owner of Outliers Advantage In-Home Tutoring, who received help to apply for a government grant to tutor military veterans, and Umoja Abdul-Ahad, executive director of Project 2000 Inc.

“We appreciate the TSBDC staff and facility for this priceless service provided to the community,” said Abdul-Ahad.

“As a result of the generosity of the First Tennessee Foundation,” said Peggy Wilson, “the TSBDC has been able to continually upgrade the TSBDC Resource Center and classroom with the latest business-related hardware and software.” Wilson is vice president of College Advancement and executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation.

“None of this would have been possible without the generous support of the First Tennessee Foundation.”

The Pellissippi State Foundation works to provide student scholarships and emergency loans, as well as to improve college facilities and secure new equipment. For more information about the Foundation, visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation or call (865) 694-6528.

For more about TSBDC, visit www.tsbdc.org/pscc or call (865) 246-2663.

Coal in Appalachia topic of April 7 Pellissippi State faculty lecture

The community is invited to take part in a discussion of the history and possible future of coal in Appalachia on Tuesday, April 7, at Pellissippi State Community College’s next Faculty Lecture Series presentation.

Grant Mincy, an adjunct faculty member in Natural and Behavioral Sciences at Pellissippi State, presents “Flowers of Darkness: Coal, Power and Liberty in the Southern Appalachian Bio-Region” beginning at 12:30 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium at the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

The event is free and the community is invited.

“The presentation will include a brief history of the Appalachians and coal formation, the rise of the coal industry and its consequences and evolution over the years, and the social movements in the region that might liberate the coal fields from industry,” said Mincy, who teaches biology and geology.

“As an environmental scientist, I think coal mining—especially mountaintop removal and valley fill operations—is incredibly destructive. I’m also concerned with the human cost of coal mining and the ensuing socioeconomic depression.”

Mincy has participated in a number of protests against the coal mining industry, including an event staged by the Occupy movement at the U.S. Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C., and a march with Appalachia Rising.

“Flowers of Darkness: Coal, Power and Liberty in the Southern Appalachian Bio-Region” is part of the Faculty Lecture Series. The lecture series presentations are among the many 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. This year, the arts series commemorates Pellissippi State’s 40th anniversary.

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.

Community invited to Instrumental Concert at Pellissippi State

Graphic with female singing into a microphone and the word Music below.

Instrumental music is the featured entertainment at a concert on Thursday, April 9, at Pellissippi State Community College.

The Instrumental Concert begins at 7 p.m. in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The event is free and the community is invited.

“This concert will feature more than 40 students in four of our student instrumental groups: the Brass Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, Studio Orchestra and Percussion Ensemble,” said Larry Vincent, associate professor of Music. “Each group will play a 15-minute set of music covering all kinds of styles and genres.”

The concert is one of the performances in Pellissippi State’s Music Concert Series, which is part of The Arts at Pellissippi State. The Arts at Pellissippi State brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts. This year, the arts series commemorates Pellissippi State’s 40th anniversary.

All piano performances and accompaniments are performed on Steinways, in keeping with Pellissippi State’s status as an All-Steinway School.

For additional information about 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 and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Non-credit courses at Pellissippi State offer baby boomers retirement info

In late April and May, Pellissippi State Community College gives baby boomers several opportunities to learn more about retirement planning.

  • “Savvy Social Security and Life Planning Strategies for Women” is offered at the Strawberry Plains Campus April 21 and the Hardin Valley Campus June 2. Class times are 6:30-8:30 p.m. Cost is $29.
  • “Savvy Social Security Planning: What Baby Boomers Need to Know to Maximize Retirement Income” is offered at the Blount County Campus April 28 and 30 and at the Hardin Valley Campus May 26 and 28. Classes are 6:30-8:30 p.m. Cost is $59, and married couples may attend for the cost of one registration. Seating is limited.

The classes cover explanations of various types of Social Security benefits, the factors to consider when deciding when to apply for benefits, how to check your earnings record for accuracy, how to take advantage of spousal benefits, how to coordinate benefits with your spouse, how to minimize taxes on benefits and how to coordinate Social Security with other retirement income.

For more information about this and other classes offered by the college’s Business and Community Services Division, visit www.pstcc.edu/bcs or call (865) 539-7167. To request accommodations for a disability, email accommodations@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State presents Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’

theatre graphic with female holding flowers

A magical storm. A shipwreck. Monsters and magic. Revenge, forgiveness and true love.

Playgoers will find these and more in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” to be performed April 17-19 and 24-26 at Pellissippi State Community College.

Performance times are 7:30 p.m., April 17-18 and 24-25, and 2 p.m., April 19 and 26. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. Tickets can be purchased at www.pstcc.edu/tickets.

The family-friendly presentation is sponsored and co-produced by Duck Ears Theatre Company. It features the talents of student, community and professional actors. Professional and community stagehands, dramatists, and actors, as well as the Dragonfly Aerial Arts Studio, are donating time to participate in the play.

“The Tempest” also includes live performances of original musical compositions by Alex Gherardi, a playwright and Pellissippi State adjunct faculty member.

“If you’ve never come to see a play at Pellissippi State, this is the play to see,” said Charles R. Miller, director of the production and a professor at the college. “It’s Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest.’ It has everything: magic, monsters, and fairies in a tale of redemption and forgiveness. It’s insanely funny; it’s a romance. It has everything.

“This is the biggest thing we’ve ever done here. In terms of scale, outlay, community participation and production values, this is our biggest production.”

“The Tempest” will be performed in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

The play 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. This year, the series commemorates Pellissippi State’s 40th anniversary.

For more information about The Arts at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts 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’s inaugural Gamma Beta Phi class also honor society’s largest

portrait of femaleDoneisha Wilburn was one of 176 students at Pellissippi State Community College inducted into the national Gamma Beta Phi Society earlier this school year.

The induction was Pellissippi State’s inaugural Gamma Beta Phi class—it was also the biggest community college class in the 40,000-plus-member honor society.

“Pellissippi State had the largest community college induction in the entire organization,” said Kevin Fillers. Fillers, himself a Pellissippi State alumnus, is assistant national executive director of Gamma Beta Phi.

“Gamma Beta Phi sets out to recognize and enrich the lives of academically excellent students who are willing to make a commitment to improving their community through service projects.”

Wilburn, who is pursuing a career in social work, is set to earn her associate’s degree in May.

“I was honored to be named to Gamma Beta Phi,” she said. “It’s the first time I’ve ever been involved in an honors society.”

The Gamma Beta Phi Society is dedicated to promoting education and providing community service to colleges and communities. Pellissippi State’s first Gamma Beta Phi induction took place in October 2014.

The college’s Gamma Beta Phi chapter is one of several student clubs that offer the opportunity for students to give back to the community and be honored for their academic achievements.

“When students get involved in a club, they feel connected to Pellissippi State for years to come,” said Kim Thomas-LaRue, director of Student Life. “Our goal is to lead students to connect and engage on campus so that their academic experience is enhanced.”

Wilburn is active in Student Life and is a member of the college’s Student Activities Board, which plans campus events for students. She says both organizations keep her busy on campus, but she loves opportunities to get to know people and to help.

“It’s an honor to do that: to help out around campus as much as we can,” said Wilburn. “It’s busy, but it’s fun and good to be involved and to help students.

“I started at another community college in Nashville before moving back home and coming to Pellissippi State, but that ended up being the best thing for me. Pellissippi State has helped me start out well on my academic path.”

After Wilburn graduates in May, she plans to transfer to Tennessee State University, where she will continue working toward a bachelor’s degree in social work.

“I love to help people. Knowing that you made an impact and that you changed someone’s life for the better is always a rewarding feeling.”

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

April 18 open house at Pellissippi State for adult learners

Pellissippi State Community College hosts a special open house for adult learners 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, April 18.

The open house is free and takes place in the College Center of the Goins Administration Building on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Adult students (those age 24 or older) are invited.

RSVP to attend the open house at www.pstcc.edu/adult.

Participants may bring copies of their transcripts for an informal evaluation of potential college credit. The event also will include information sessions throughout the day:

  • 10:15-11 a.m. and 12:15-1 p.m.—“Affording College as an Adult Learner, Prior Learning Assessment, and Transferring In and Transferring Out”
  • 11:15-noon—Programming for Adult Student Support, a program that supports degree attainment for nontraditional students at Pellissippi State

Additional information about academic departments, services, workforce development, veterans’ services, and access and diversity will be presented as well.

Pellissippi State Community College makes going back to school easier for adult learners by providing unique pathways and services for nontraditional students. The college offers many scholarships and grants for adult students, and additional financial aid is available to students who are eligible. With prior learning assessment, adult learners can receive college credit for experiences ranging from career and military training to volunteer work.

Adult students can take classes at their convenience through online learning and alternative scheduling. Some programs also are offered as cohorts, in which groups of students progress through a degree program together. Created with busy parents and working students in mind, accelerated pathway cohorts allow students go to school part time, yet earn a degree more quickly, thanks to shorter-length courses.

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.

Haiti topic of Pellissippi State presentation by visiting Humphrey Fellow

portrait of a male in suitPellissippi State Community College welcomes Serge Michel, a Humphrey Fellow from Haiti, for a special presentation Wednesday, April 8.

Humphrey Fellows are mid-career professionals from other nations who travel to the U.S. and spend one academic year at a university or other higher education institution. The program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, was established in 1978. Professionals from 24 countries participate.

Michel’s presentation is “Haiti: Too Rich to Be Poor, Breaking the Vicious Cycle of Poverty.” It takes place 2-3 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The presentation is free and open to the community.

Michel is on campus the first full week of April, with several speaking engagements planned in the community. He will spend time shadowing Pellissippi State administrators to learn more about the community college model and how Pellissippi State interacts with its community.

Michel is a cofounder and vice chair of the board of GRAHN-Haiti, a branch of GRAHN-Monde, a think tank dedicated to the reconstruction of Haiti following the devastating earthquake in 2010. He also serves as a project coordinator in the United Nations Office Project of Services in Haiti. Michel has degrees in development management, business administration and computer programming.

For more information about the presentation and 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.

Eighth annual Festival of Cultures at Pellissippi State celebrates diversity

graphic with dragon that says culture and diversityFood, music and festivities will fill the evening as Pellissippi State Community College celebrates diversity at its eighth annual Festival of Cultures Friday, April 10.

The event is 4-8:30 p.m. in the College Center on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The Festival of Cultures is free to attend. 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, the office that plans the event. “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.

The event features performances by the Carib Sounds Steel Band, Caribbean Dancers of Atlanta, Chinese Dancers of Atlanta and Hardin Valley Thunder, Pellissippi State’s student bluegrass ensemble.

Additionally, the Festival of Cultures offers children’s activities such as balloon art, glitter tattoos and face painting, a magic show, exhibits from Pellissippi State’s own international students, and international food.

Festival of Cultures is one of the events that make up the college’s arts and culture 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. This year, the arts series commemorates Pellissippi State’s 40th anniversary.

For more information on the festival and other arts series events, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts 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.

Free open house at Pellissippi State’s Blount County Campus

Pellissippi State Community College’s Blount County Campus hosts the free “Sneak Peek” Open House for prospective students and their families 4:30-6 p.m. Thursday, April 9.

The campus is located at 2731 W. Lamar Alexander Parkway.

Students will receive all the information they need for a smooth entrance into college life: info on admissions, financial aid, services for students with disabilities, dual enrollment and degrees. Details about educational and training opportunities offered through the college’s non-credit division, Business and Community Services, also will be provided.

Guests can take a tour of the 70,485-square-foot, two-story facility, and light refreshments will be served.

To learn more about the open house, call (865) 981-5300. 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.