Pellissippi State hosts author/naturalist Joel Zachry for bear lecture

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

For more information about Common Book programs, contact Pellissippi State at (865) 694-6400 or visit To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or

Pellissippi State grad accepted to prestigious Atlanta photography review

Female smiling at a desk with portfolio open with portraits
Nicole Carnival with photographs from her portfolio, which features men and women in natural settings.

It was about a 1 in 20 shot, and Nicole Carnival, a Pellissippi State Community College graduate, made it.

Carnival has been accepted for participation in this year’s Portfolio Review, part of the annual Atlanta Celebrates Photography conference taking place this month. The Oct. 12 Portfolio Review allows photographers to meet with curators, editors and photography agents from across the U.S.

“More than 1,000 people apply, and the ACP only accepts 52. So to be chosen the very first year I applied, at age 21, was really incredible,” Carnival said.

Carnival’s submitted portfolio included three images of her fine arts work, all depicting women in natural settings.

“It was a difficult process to choose only three images, since I’d usually have to submit 15 to 20 for a competition,” she said. “John Edwin May, my Photography professor at Pellissippi State, helped me with the selection process.”

An image submitted by Carnival to the Atlanta Celebrates Photography conference’s Portfolio Review depicts a woman against a background of bamboo.
An image submitted by Carnival to the Atlanta Celebrates Photography conference’s Portfolio Review depicts a woman against a background of bamboo.

Carnival, who now is attending classes at the University of Tennessee in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in photography, earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Media Technologies, concentrating in Photography, from Pellissippi State in December 2012. Samples of her work can be viewed at

For more information about Photography and other Pellissippi State offerings, visit

Pellissippi State offers community self-defense classes

In today’s culture, self-awareness and preparedness are important traits to cultivate, and Pellissippi State Community College is offering four self-defense classes in October and November to help reach that goal.

Three of the classes are geared to women, children and teenage girls. They cover topics as varied as bullying, self-defense and confidence. The fourth is open to women and men.

“Self-defense and bullying are being mentioned a lot in the media and in culture,” said Nancy Corum, “and we believe there is a need for instruction in these areas that Pellissippi State can help meet.” Corum is a coordinator for Business and Community Services, which is offering the courses.

All of the self-defense and bullying non-credit classes are open to the public.

“Women’s Self-Defense Seminar Level 1” is 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus. The class is open to females ages 14 and up and costs $40.

The class will teach attendees basic self-defense techniques, aiming specifically at situations in which a woman might be endangered in a remote area—e.g., parking lots and garages—and need to prevent an attacker from taking her to another location.

“Bully-Proof Kids 101” is Saturday, Oct. 26 and Nov. 2, also at the Hardin Valley Campus. The class is open to children ages 5-12 and costs $30. Class times for ages 5-9 are 12:30-1:30 p.m. Times for ages 10-12 are 5:30-6:30 p.m.

In “Bully-Proof Kids,” children will learn what bullying behavior looks like and how to face difficult situations with self-confidence. They will discover strategies for self-protection through fun role-playing and games. Very basic physical self-protection techniques also are included.

“Self-Defense for Teen Girls” is 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, at the Hardin Valley Campus. The course is open to teenage girls ages 13 and up. The class costs $40.

Attendees will learn bullying defense strategies, stranger defense skills, predator awareness and escape techniques. Basic self-defense skills and techniques will be presented through thoughtful discussion and role-playing. Attendees also will learn safe dating strategies and assault prevention, discussed in age-appropriate ways.

Teaching each class is Michelle Kirk, founder and lead instructor of Pink Diamond Defense, a Knoxville affiliate of the Women’s Self-Defense Institute.

“Refuse to Be a Victim” is open to men and women and is designed to offer a variety of options for learning crime prevention and personal safety strategies. Two sessions are available on the Hardin Valley Campus, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, and 6-10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22. Cost of the class is $50.

“Refuse to Be a Victim” also will offer a session for anyone interested in becoming an instructor for the class. It begins 6-10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, and continues  8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23. Cost of the class, which is at the Hardin Valley Campus, is $225.

Conducting both “Refuse to Be a Victim” classes is Jerry Huffman, an NRA certified training counselor and Tennessee certified handgun safety instructor.

For more information about these and other classes offered by Business and Community Services, visit or call (865) 539-7167. To request accommodations for a disability, email

Pellissippi State’s Blount County Campus hosts Medic blood drive

Pellissippi State Community College’s Blount County Campus is the location of a Medic Regional Blood Center blood drive on Thursday, Oct. 10.

The Medic Mobile is scheduled to be in the front parking lot of the campus, 2731 W. Lamar Alexander Pkwy., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. The community is invited to participate in the blood drive.

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. Medic suggests that donors eat a meal and drink fluids approximately three hours prior to giving blood. Donors should not fast before arriving.

Participants are asked to present photo identification and a list of current medications.

For more questions about donor eligibility, visit For more information about Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or go to