Category Archives: Community

‘Black Hawk Down’ author to speak at Pellissippi State

male leaning against bar with arms foldedBestselling author Mark Bowden will be at Pellissippi State Community College Thursday, Sept. 18, for a lecture and book signing. He is the author of “Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War” and “The Finish: The Killing of Osama Bin Laden,” as well as an essayist in Pellissippi State’s 2014 Common Book, “The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013.”

Bowden will visit classrooms during the day, then begin his public presentation at 7:30 p.m. in the Clayton Performing Arts Center of the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The book signing and a question-and-answer session follow the lecture.

The Common Book unites all Pellissippi State freshmen in a shared reading experience. The reading becomes the basis of a yearlong discussion of issues related to the book. The Common Book encourages exploration in class and in co-curricular programming and events both on and off campus.

“The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013” will serve to inspire discussions on topics such as biology, nature, and the impact of scientific research on the world around us and in our own psyches.

Bowden’s essay, “The Measured Man,” recounts the work of Larry Smarr, an astrophysicist and pioneer of the Internet who advocates “digitally enabled genomic medicine” through in-depth study of his own body. Bowden relates Smarr’s self-diagnosis of Crohn’s disease, an incurable chronic inflammation disorder of the digestive system, and his intensive self-study of everything from his bodily excretions to his DNA. Smarr foresees a future in which health care is personalized and each person is in charge of his own treatments, but he faces criticism that such a future could lead to unnecessary medical intervention and anxiety.

Bowden’s presentation is sponsored by Pellissippi State’s English Department and the Pellissippi State Foundation. Funding is provided by the Foundation’s Clayton Performing Arts Endowment.

For more information about Bowden’s visit, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400. For more information about the Pellissippi State Foundation, visit www.pstcc.edu/foundation or call (865) 694-6528.

Pellissippi State hosts Medic Mobile at Hardin Valley Campus

Medic Regional Blood Center will host a blood drive at Pellissippi State Community College’s Hardin Valley Campus on Wednesday, July 9. The community is invited to donate.

The Medic Mobile is scheduled to be at the campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. The Medic Mobile will be in Faculty/Staff Parking Lot 2 near the Educational Resources Center.

Medic, a nonprofit organization, supplies 27 area hospitals with volunteer donations. Medic representatives say there is a need for all blood types.

Potential donors must be at least 17 years of age and weigh at least 110 pounds. Donors should not fast before arriving. Medic suggests that donors eat a meal and drink fluids approximately three hours prior to donating. Participants also are asked to present photo identification and a list of current medications.

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

The facts about Tennessee Promise

Gov. Bill Haslam’s Tennessee Promise will bring significant changes to the state’s higher education landscape, so we’re taking this opportunity to address several common questions and misconceptions about the new initiative, specifically as it impacts Pellissippi State.

Tennessee Promise is part of the state’s Drive to 55 campaign, which aims to increase the percentage of Tennesseans with college degrees or certifications to 55 percent by the year 2025. Through Tennessee Promise, graduating high school seniors will be eligible to earn an associate’s degree or certificate free of tuition and fees.

For complete details on Tennessee Promise, visit www.driveto55.org/initiatives.

  • Who is eligible for Tennessee Promise? Any high school senior who graduates from an eligible Tennessee high school or home school program and anyone who completes a GED or HiSET diploma before 19 years of age can apply for funds. The program will launch with the high school graduating class of 2015. Tennessee Promise students who graduate from high school in spring 2015 must begin college in fall 2015 to receive funding.
  • What will students be required to do? To get Tennessee Promise funding, students must take the following steps in their senior year of high school:
      1. Apply for the Tennessee Promise program by November 1.
      2. Attend mandatory meetings related to completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and applying to college.
      3. Complete the FAFSA by February 15.
      4. Attend New Student Orientation.
      5. Maintain continuous enrollment as a full-time student (12 credit hours), maintain a 2.0 GPA and complete at least eight hours of community service each term.
  • What does Tennessee Promise fund? Tennessee Promise is a last-dollar scholarship—that is, it will cover tuition and fees after other assistance (except for loans and work-study) has been applied. It won’t cover books or the cost of attendance fees, such as travel and gas expenses.
  • How will funds be administered? Tennessee Promise funds will be administered by the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation through higher education institutions. Students will never receive funding directly.

About 25,000 high school seniors are expected to apply to higher education institutions in fall 2015 through Tennessee Promise. The initiative is estimated to cost about $34 million per year, and the funds will come from existing sources, including modifications to the HOPE Scholarship.

Acting, art, dance among July creative summer camps at Pellissippi State

Creative learning opportunities continue through July at Pellissippi State Community College’s summer creative learning camps. Early registration is encouraged.

The youth summer course selection for July, offered through the college’s Business and Community Services Division, includes the following:

“BizSmart: Shark Tank Meets Talented Kid”—July 7-11, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., rising 4-8 grades; $209. Turn your art, craft, jewelry or photography into a business. Come up with a product or service, name your company, design a logo and marketing materials, and create a commercial. Participants need to bring a lunch, drink and snack every day.

“CreACTivity”—July 7-11, 1-4 p.m., ages 8-10; $115. Students will enjoy creative drama, theatre games and exercises as they expand their acting abilities. Instruction is provided by The WordPlayers.

“ImaginACTion”—July 14-18, 1-4:30 p.m., ages 11-13; $125. Through theatre games and acting, students will build their acting repertoire. Focus is on using imagination and technique to create characters for the stage. The week culminates in a performance showcase. Instruction is provided by The WordPlayers.

“Young Artist”—July 14-18, 9-noon and 1-4 p.m., ages 8-15; $119. Improve fine arts skills and learn new skills, including basic drawing, figure drawing, proportion, portraits, sculpture, polymer clay, oil pastels, book and journal making, color theory, and perspective.

“Kid News: Lights, Camera, Action”—July 14-18, 9-noon and 1-4 p.m., grades 4-8; $119. Create a news program from start to finish. Participants will work in teams to write scripts, rehearse, develop music and background, work green screens, record video, and edit footage. Students will screen videos at the end of the week.

“Basket Making”—July 21-24, 9-noon, ages 10 and up; $129. Projects may include a wooden base basket, basketry bowls from round reed, paper baskets from watercolor paper and a woven birdhouse.

“More Than Just Knitting”—July 21-24, 1-4 p.m., ages 11 and up; $109. Make your own knitting needles, dye yarn with KoolAid and learn the basics of knitting, including how to read a pattern.

“Claymation”—July 21-25, 9-noon and 1-4 p.m., ages 8-15; $119. Learn the process of creating claymation movies and cartoons. Participants will work in small groups, and each group will write a script, create clay figures and backgrounds, take photographs, and compile the images into short animated movies. Students will screen videos at the end of the week.

“Zumba Kids ‘Dance Around the World’”—July 21-25, 9-noon, rising 4-6 grades; $105. Learn basic dance steps for salsa, samba, mambo, reggaeton and merengue. At the end of the week, students will perform the top three dances in a showcase for parents.

Unless otherwise noted, all courses are at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Participants may bring snacks or money for vending machines.

To find out more or to register, visit www.pstcc.edu/bcs or call (865) 539-7167. To request accommodations for a disability, email accommodations@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State partners with Boy Scouts to offer kids’ summer camps

Pellissippi State Community College is joining forces with the Boy Scouts of America to offer two children’s summer camps that focus on science, technology, engineering and math education.

“STEM camps such as these help kids become creative thinkers and problem solvers, and can help prepare them for the technological innovations they will face,” said Nancy Corum, a coordinator for Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services Division.

“In these camps, kids can discover how much fun and interesting these subjects can be and will take this interest with them. Hopefully, their experiences will inspire them toward a career in science and engineering fields to help fill the gap in America’s workforce.”

The following STEM summer camps take place on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

  • Race Engineering Ten80, ages 13-18, 8:30-noon, June 23-27. Students will build and race remote-controlled cars. The hands-on course encourages learning about mechanics and technology. Cost: $150.
  • USA BMX Bikes, ages 13-18, 1-5 p.m., June 23-27. Students will learn and have fun as they build and ride BMX bikes. Cost: $150.

To enroll in one or more of the STEM-related camps, contact the BSA’s Sarah Barnett at (865) 243-8057 or sarah.barnett@scouting.org.

In addition to the STEM classes, Pellissippi State is offering a variety of other summer camps for children of all ages. To learn more, visit www.pstcc.edu/bcs or call (865) 539-7167. To request accommodations for a disability, email accommodations@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State to dedicate Jenny and Randy Boyd Building

In recognition of outstanding support of higher education opportunities in this area, Pellissippi State Community College will dedicate its Strawberry Plains Campus building in honor of Randy and Jenny Boyd on Friday, May 9.

The dedication ceremony begins at 10 a.m., and the campus is located at 7201 Strawberry Plains Pike. Tours of the building will follow.

“We are naming this building in recognition of Jenny and Randy Boyd for their support of Pellissippi State Community College and their dedication to increased access and opportunities for higher education in East Tennessee,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State’s president.

In 2012, Randy and Jenny Boyd donated $1 million to the Pellissippi State Foundation toward the purchase of the Strawberry Plains Campus. The campus began offering classes in fall of that year.

Boyd, who is chairman of Radio Systems Corporation, also was Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s special advisor for higher education in 2013. In 2009, he helped start tnAchieves, a last-dollar scholarship and mentoring program for college students.

Boyd is a proponent of the governor’s “Drive to 55” campaign. The campaign’s goal to increase the percentage of Tennesseans with college degrees or certificates to 55 percent by 2025.

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

Pellissippi State to dedicate Pond Gap Elementary community garden

Pond-Gap-Garden-Group

Pellissippi State Community College’s Service-Learning Program invites community members, students, families and volunteers to celebrate the conversion of lawn to garden plot at a ceremony at the Pond Gap Elementary School.

The community garden ceremony takes place 3-4 p.m. Monday, May 12, marking the official dedication of the Pellissippi State Edible Schoolyards Project launched last fall. The garden is an outreach project of the college’s Service-Learning program, in which students pair community service with classroom learning.

Through the community garden, students at Pond Gap have worked with Pellissippi State students and volunteers to learn about food insecurity, food access, and food production.

“The garden has been a great educational opportunity to the children here,” said Matt Callo, project manager of the garden and an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer. “Even at a young age, their interest in the garden is immediate. I think it distills an interest in the field of agriculture—it’s awesome to see the initiatives they take.”

The dedication ceremony will include remarks from Tim Burchett, Knox County mayor; Madeline Rogero, Knoxville mayor; Jim McIntyre, Knox County Schools superintendent; L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president; and others.

“We are very proud of all we have accomplished in this inaugural year of the Pond Gap community garden,” said Annie Gray, English professor and Service-Learning coordinator.

“By partnering with the University of Tennessee University-Assisted Community Schools Program at Pond Gap Elementary and local businesses in the creation and support of a sustainable community garden project, the Service-Learning program is promoting urban agriculture education in the Pond Gap area.

“We hope it will be part of an economic stimulus effort rooted in the individual and communal sharing of resources.”

Through “edible curricula”–based school programming, community workshops, and Service-Learning projects, the Pond Gap community garden has served as a community demonstration space for fostering the skills needed to grow easily accessible and affordable produce for healthy lifestyles. Community participants have had the opportunity to hone their gardening skills, make new friends and even explored ways of making a viable career out of growing food.

For more information about Service-Learning at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu/service-learning or call (865) 694-6400.

‘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.

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.

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.