‘Black Hawk Down’ author to speak at Pellissippi State

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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.

‘Sanctuary’ author’s talk speaks to Pellissippi State’s Common Book

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Pellissippi State Community College hosts Greg Johnson, an author and News Sentinel columnist, for a reading from his meditation on the Smoky Mountains, “Sanctuary,” at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, April 16.

The free event takes place at the Strawberry Plains Campus, and the community is invited. The reading is sponsored by the Strawberry Plains Creative Writing Club. Students will read some of their own original, nature-themed works beginning at 11:30 a.m., before Johnson’s presentation.

Johnson, a native of East Tennessee, completed “Sanctuary” in anticipation of the 75th anniversary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which occurred in 2009. The book is a collection of written and photographic meditations on the mountains.

“Greg Johnson’s moving, intimate essays celebrate the mountains and their Maker,” said Patricia Ireland, an instructor of English at Pellissippi State, “inviting readers to walk into the wild, in keeping with the spirit of this year’s Common Book.”

The 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 has inspired discussions on topics as wide-ranging as ecology, biological diversity, the effects of tourism, the importance of outdoor activity and the tradition of nature writing.

In his first-person narrative, Bryson recounts his tale of hiking the Appalachian Trail. He reflects on the many emotions, logistical problems and incidents to be expected for a hiker on the AT. The account also touches 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.

The 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.

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

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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.

Pellissippi State hosts author/naturalist Joel Zachry for bear lecture

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female and male hiking with sign
Author and naturalist Joel Zachry and his wife, Kathy, are pictured at the Appalachian Trail terminus, Mount Katahdin in Maine.

Bear encounters are the topic of the day for “You and Me Coexisting With Bears,” a lecture at Pellissippi State Community College featuring Joel Zachry, a hiker, author and naturalist.

Zachry, who wrote “Bears We’ve Met: Short Stories of Close Encounters” with his wife, Kathy, delivers the lecture beginning at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17. The presentation—one activity in a yearlong schedule of events tied to Pellissippi State’s 2013-2014 Common Book, “A Walk in the Woods,” by Bill Bryson—takes place in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus. The community is invited to the free event.

“In my presentation,” said Zachry, “I’ll speak a bit about ‘A Walk in the Woods’ and compare my experiences hiking the Appalachian Trail to what the book says—from the mistakes they made, and that we made, to the people they met along the way.

“If you hike the Appalachian Trail, you get the best education you could get. It’s an activity of enrichment: you learn so much about yourself and about America.”

black bear
Appalachian Bear Rescue, of which speaker Joe Zachry is a board member, rehabilitates injured and orphaned black bears so they can be returned to the wild.

Zachry, who is on the board of directors for Appalachian Bear Rescue, also will speak about ABR and his own experiences meeting bears on hiking trails.

As this year’s Common Book, “A Walk in the Woods” will serve to inspire discussions on topics as wide ranging as ecology, biological diversity, the effects of tourism, the importance of outdoor activity and the tradition of nature writing.

In his first-person narrative, Bryson recounts his tale of hiking the Appalachian Trail and reflects on the many emotions, logistical problems, and incidents hikers might expect. The account also reflects on the history of the AT 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.

Zachry formerly taught biology at Pellissippi State. He is an avid hiker and naturalist and has been program director of the University of Tennessee and Park Service’s Smoky Mountain Field School since 2011. The Zachrys also own Great Outdoors! Adventure Travel. Joel Zachry has section-hiked the entirety of the AT, completing the trail in 2005.

Appalachian Bear Rescue is a black bear rehabilitation facility. It seeks to return orphaned, injured and medically needy black bears back to the wild. For more information, visit www.appalachianbearrescue.org.

For more information about Common Book programs, contact Pellissippi State at (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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