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Pellissippi State’s 40th anniversary: Former president remembers tenure

Male standing at a podium speaking with blue press background behind
J.L. Goins speaks during the kickoff ceremony for Pellissippi State Community College’s 40th anniversary celebrations in September.

“Overrun with success.” That’s how J.L. Goins remembers what’s now Pellissippi State Community College during his time as president of the institution.

This year, Pellissippi State celebrates four decades of service to the community, with the theme “Forty Years of Achieving Success, One Story at a Time.”

Goins was president from 1981 to 1993. Under his leadership, the school changed from State Technical Institute at Knoxville to Pellissippi State Technical Community College. During that time, the institution operated campuses on Division Street and Hardin Valley Road, and it offered classes in two different empty Blount County elementary schools and even a vacated building on the grounds of Lakeshore Mental Health Institute.

Goins recalls in particular the changes after the state legislature, in 1988, made State Tech a comprehensive community college. Enrollment promptly tripled, he says.
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“The Hardin Valley campus was finished in 18 months, which was a state record,” he said, “but still, we had to delay class a few weeks that fall so we could finish the buildings.
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“That first day, we watched for students nervously. By 8:15, students had filled every parking space we had—and still they came.”

Goins acknowledges the selfless contributions of faculty and staff in those years, when enrollment exceeded state funding and faculty members agreed to teach extra courses without pay to ensure no students were turned away.

He also recalls how the name “Pellissippi” was chosen. The name is said to come from a Cherokee word, “Pelisipi,” which means “winding waters” and refers to the nearby Clinch River.

“It wasn’t a typical name for a community college,” Goins said. “But it was a term that had a history in the community. We understood that we would be an anchor in the community, that we would be a leader in the growth of this area, and ‘Pellissippi’ fit that idea.”

It was during Goins’ term as president that the stage was set for Pellissippi State’s long history of workforce development.

“I spent a lot of time working to recruit businesses to the area,” he said, “because I understood that those businesses would be hiring our graduates.”
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Goins foresees that the next 40 years will bring continued growth to Pellissippi State. The college will “continue to change to meet the educational needs of our community, with programs like our culinary, music and art and with the much-needed advanced manufacturing training.”

Throughout the year, the college will host community events as well as other special occasions for students, faculty and staff. Students, alumni and community members are encouraged to share their positive stories and memories of Pellissippi State at www.pstcc.edu/anniversary. On social media, use #PSCC40.

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

Pellissippi State hosts ribbon-cutting for new Blount County Campus fitness trail

WHO: L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State Community College president, will be on hand for a ribbon-cutting for the new fitness trail at the Blount County Campus Friday, Oct. 24. The community is invited to attend.

WHAT: The one-mile fitness trail is open to Pellissippi State students, employees and the community. The trail’s wide path winds around the scenic campus grounds and includes benches, picnic tables, a fountain and an outdoor amphitheater, plus comfortable rocking chairs in the college’s courtyard. At the ribbon-cutting event, stations will be set up along the trail that include activities for families and children. There also will be an ice cream sundae bar for all attendees.

WHEN AND WHERE: The ribbon-cutting will be held at 10:40 a.m. Friday, Oct. 24, on Pellissippi State’s Blount County Campus, 2731 W. Lamar Alexander Parkway. The grand opening event lasts from 10:30 a.m.-noon.

For more information about the Blount County Campus, visit www.pstcc.edu or 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.

Pellissippi State hosts workshop for high school creative writers

Pellissippi State Community College hosts a daylong Young Creative Writer Workshop Saturday, Nov. 1, at its Strawberry Plains Campus.

The event begins with check-in at 9:30 a.m., followed by morning and afternoon workshop sessions, then an end-of-day showcase. The workshop is free and lunch is provided. The workshop is open to all interested high school students.

“Students can pursue their interests in workshops about fiction and poetry writing, songwriting, screenplay writing, and performance skills,” said Patricia Ireland. Ireland is an English faculty member and advisor for the Strawberry Plains Creative Writing Club, which is sponsoring the event.

Workshops will be led by professional writers from Pellissippi State’s faculty, assisted by members of the Creative Writing Club.

“In addition to ‘workshopping’ their original writings,” said Ireland, “area high school students will have the opportunity to visit the Strawberry Plains Campus and interact with professors, students, and staff at Pellissippi State.”

The workshop is free, but registration forms are required and are due by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29. To register, contact Ireland at paireland@pstcc.edu or (865) 225-2340. Forms may be returned via email to Ireland or by fax to (865) 225-2301.

Pellissippi State’s Strawberry Plains Campus is located at 7201 Strawberry Plains Pike.

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 to host open house for high school seniors

Photo of the exterior of the Hardin Valley Campus Education Resource Center with the words Fall Open House Thursday, October 23rd. High school seniors who attend will be placed in a drawing for two 250 dollar scholarships awarded by the Pellissippi State Foundation!

All prospective students and their guests are invited to attend an open house at the Hardin Valley Campus of Pellissippi State Community College on Thursday, Oct. 23.

The open house is free and open to anyone who wants to learn more about the educational opportunities at Pellissippi State. The event is 5:30-8 p.m. in the Goins Building College Center. The campus is at 10915 Hardin Valley Road.
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“The open house will allow guests to hear presentations regarding admissions and financial aid,” said Leigh Anne Touzeau, assistant vice president of Enrollment Services. “Guests will be able to speak with current students and all our support services representatives, as well as with faculty.”

Tours of the campus will be provided, as will Pellissippi State’s academic options and information on how to apply to the college. Students and their guests should register at www.pstcc.edu/prsvp.

High school seniors who attend will be placed in a drawing for two $250 scholarships awarded by the Pellissippi State Foundation.

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 Oct. 21 Fall Choral Concert at Pellissippi State

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

Special performances by student groups and soloists highlight Pellissippi State Community College’s Fall Choral Concert.

The annual concert is Tuesday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The concert features musical performances by student groups Concert Chorale and Variations Ensemble, as well as by selected student soloists.
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The event is free and the community is invited.

“The students in the choirs have been working very diligently to prepare for our first choral concert of the year,” said Bill Brewer, Music program coordinator. “They have been rehearsing a wide variety of pieces and styles, including traditional choral literature, folk song settings, and African-American spirituals. There should be something to please every musical palate.”

The Fall Choral Concert is one of the performances in Pellissippi State’s year-long Music Concert Series. The 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. All piano performances and accompaniments will be performed on Steinways, in keeping with the college’s status as an All-Steinway School.
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For additional information about the Pellissippi State Music Concert Series 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 and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State invites students to Tennessee Promise info event

Pellissippi State Community College is hosting Scholarship Day, an event to encourage and help eligible students to sign up for Tennessee Promise, on Sunday, Oct. 26.

Tennessee Promise is a “last-dollar” scholarship that will cover tuition and fees for community college students once other assistance has been applied. It gives high school graduates the opportunity to attend college essentially for free, beginning with spring 2015 graduates.

Although students won’t be eligible to receive funding until they begin college next fall, the deadline to apply for Tennessee Promise is Nov. 1.

Scholarship Day is noon-2 in the third-floor computer lab of the Educational Resources Center on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.
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“We’re inviting students to come out for Scholarship Day so we can help them through the process of signing up for Tennessee Promise,” said Rebecca Ashford, vice president of Student Affairs at Pellissippi State.

“It’s extremely important that students understand that they must meet the Nov. 1 deadline to qualify to receive Tennessee Promise funding. If a student misses this deadline, there will not be another opportunity to take advantage of the Promise scholarship.”

Pellissippi State also is hosting a number of informational sessions throughout October to share details about program requirements and deadlines, as well as to highlight the educational offerings at Pellissippi State. For a full list of those sessions, visit www.pstcc.edu/promise.

“The Tennessee Promise is an excellent opportunity for students throughout the state,” said Leigh Anne Touzeau, assistant vice president of Enrollment Services. “We hope the students in our region will take advantage of this scholarship at Pellissippi State.”

For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu/promise 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: ‘Many Faces of Socrates’ topic of faculty lecture

portrait of male in suitEthics, logic, physics, politics, science. Western civilization owes a great debt to the classical Greek philosophers, and one Pellissippi State Community College faculty member pays his respects to one of those early sages in a lecture Thursday, Oct. 23.

Trent Eades, an assistant professor of English, presents “The Many Faces of Socrates” beginning at 12:30 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The lecture is free and the community is invited.
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“Socrates was one of the most influential people in history—not as a man who lays down laws, but as one who reasons,” Eades said. “He was credited with turning philosophy away from explanations of the world to exploration of the self—to ethics, morality, justice and the proper way for a person to live.”

Eades’ presentation, which includes cameo appearances by other Pellissippi State faculty members, focuses on Socrates as a multifaceted character. Born circa 470 BCE, the Athenian philosopher was the mentor to both Plato and Xenophon. His namesake “Socratic method”—based on asking and answering questions to provoke critical thinking—laid the foundation for Western systems of logic and philosophy.
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“The Many Faces of Socrates” 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 arts series celebrates Pellissippi State’s 40th anniversary.
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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 art exhibit showcases images from Afghanistan

male with people behind him along a wall
Amar Jan, 18, an orphan. He lost all his family during the fights in Herat, about ten years ago.

Images of Afghanistan are the subject of an upcoming art exhibit at Pellissippi State Community College. The exhibit is sponsored by the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies.
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“Afghanistan: Unordinary Lives” runs Oct. 28-Nov. 12 at the Bagwell Center for Media and Art, located on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Admission is free, and the gallery is always open to the public.

“Bringing cultural awareness and understanding to students and faculty is an important component of the mission of TnCIS,” said Tracey Bradley, TnCIS executive director. “TnCIS is honored to be a part of this extraordinary exhibit portraying the lives of civilians in Afghanistan.”

The exhibit features the work of Slovenian artist Manca Juvan, who spent months in Afghanistan doing field research into the civil society of the country.

“Stories on the lives of ordinary Afghans caught in this endless conflict of interest and the ongoing struggle for money, power, and overall control remind us what the real images of war and poverty—of lives far from ordinary—look like,” Juvan said.
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“Afghanistan: Unordinary Lives” 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 arts series commemorates Pellissippi State’s 40th anniversary.

TnCIS, which has its headquarters at Pellissippi State, 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 the summer 2014 study abroad programs organized by TnCIS. For more information about TnCIS, visit www.tncis.org or call (865) 539-7280.

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.

Alumna recalls support, inspiration as first-generation student at Pellissippi State

female standing in front of brickVirginia Hughes remembers entering class and realizing she could not leave as the person she had been before.

That is one of the many memories of the Pellissippi State Community College alumna, who graduated with a general associate’s degree in 2013. Hughes is working toward an anthropology degree at the University of Tennessee, with plans to graduate in 2015.
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“My experience entering Pellissippi was like most college students in many ways,” Hughes said. “I remember being excited, scared, and nervous all at the same time—college is scary and exciting, especially as a first-generation student.”

“I can still recall sitting in Dr. Kelly Rivers’ English class and Dr. Chris Milne’s biology classes and thinking that there was no way I would come out of those classes the same person, and I didn’t: I came out a better person who realized my potential. I felt like I could conquer anything that was thrown at me, because those professors prepared me. Pellissippi was and still is my open door to my future.”
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As a first-generation college student, Hughes says she always felt that every one of her college achievements was celebrated, not just by her but by her whole family. While the pressure to succeed weighed on her, she was always aware that college could open the world to her.

Hughes, who attended Pellissippi State as a tnAchieves student, now volunteers as an ambassador for the program. TnAchieves increases higher education opportunities for Tennessee high school students by providing last-dollar scholarships with mentor guidance. Hughes also volunteers at the Forensic Anthropology Center on UT’s campus and holds down a part-time job.
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“TnAchieves gave me a unique college experience, because along with all the programs Pellissippi State has to help its students succeed, I also had a team of tnAchieves people that I could turn to.

“My mentor through tnAchieves gave me the opportunity to share everything about my experience with her, and she helped me celebrate the good things and work on the challenges that I faced.”
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Hughes plans to pursue a career in forensic anthropology, helping identify human remains after catastrophic events.

“I want to work on the teams that help bring peace and restore faces to those people who have become victims to circumstances beyond their control,” she said.

She credits Pellissippi State for starting her on the path to success.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better college experience,” said Hughes. “Pellissippi State gave me the skills I needed to keep reaching for my goals. I truly believe that had I not gone to Pellissippi State and received my associate’s degree, then I never would have made it to the point I am at now.”

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

 

Pellissippi State hosts Oct. 9 community forum on abortion amendment

Pellissippi State Community College hosts a panel discussion and community forum Thursday, Oct. 9, on Amendment 1, an abortion-related amendment set to appear on the Nov. 4 ballot.

The event is at noon in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. It is free and the community is welcome.

A panel discussion opens the session, introducing the topic and familiarizing the audience with Amendment 1. The panel will include a health-care provider, a social worker and theologian, a civil rights lawyer, and a constitutional lawyer.
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“This will be a human conversation, not a political debate,” said Marsha Hupfel, a Liberal Arts faculty member and planner of the event. The forum is part of Pellissippi State’s Conversation Cafe series.

Amendment 1 is related to the process of accessing abortion in the state of Tennessee. The language of the amendment reads:

“Shall Article I, of the Constitution of Tennessee be amended by adding the following language as a new, appropriately designated section: Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion. The people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.”
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Voters will be able to vote “yes” or “no” to the amendment.

Beyond the forum at the Hardin Valley Campus, all Pellissippi State campuses will live stream the event and host discussions of their own. For more information about this session, visit www.blogs.pstcc.edu/conversationcafe.

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.