Pellissippi State stages April performances of ‘Unnecessary Farce’

Pellissippi State Community College presents “Unnecessary Farce,” the new classic American farce, the first two weekends of April.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. April 4, 5, 11, and 12 and at 2 p.m. April 6 and 13.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. Tickets are available at www.pstcc.edu/tickets.

“Unnecessary Farce” is the tale of a police sting gone awry after a bumbling mayor, a pair of lusty civil servants and an incomprehensible Scottish hit man are thrown together.

“I guarantee this will be the funniest play you see this year,” said Charles R. Miller, Theatre program coordinator and Liberal Arts professor.

“Unnecessary Farce” is one of the events that make up 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.

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

Five years of ‘Thunder’ celebrated at Jazz and Bluegrass Concert

Pellissippi State Community College will recognize the fifth anniversary of Hardin Valley Thunder, the college’s bluegrass group, at the Jazz and Bluegrass Concert.

The concert is Thursday, March 27, at 7 p.m. in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The community is invited.

The event is free; however, donations will be accepted at the door for the Pellissippi State Foundation, with proceeds benefiting the Music Scholarship Fund.

“We are expecting 10 to 15 former Hardin Valley Thunder members to participate in a special alumni performance,” said Larry Vincent, an assistant professor of Liberal Arts and the ensemble’s leader.

“The alumni will play on two selections that each Hardin Valley Thunder group has played in the past: ‘Foggy Mountain Breakdown’ and ‘Sitting on Top of the World.’”

The alumni also will join the current 10 members of Hardin Valley Thunder to perform “I’ll Fly Away,” “Mountain Dew,” “Song Bird” and a bluegrass version of “Crazy Train.”

In addition to Hardin Valley Thunder, the concert, a perennial favorite in the community, features the Pellissippi State Jazz Band.

The Jazz and Bluegrass Concert is the latest performance in the college’s ongoing 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 are performed on Steinways, in keeping with Pellissippi State’s status as an All-Steinway School.

For additional information about the 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: Blount County Campus hosts Faculty Senate Book Sale March 24-26

Pellissippi State Community College’s Blount County Campus hosts its annual Faculty Senate Book Sale in late March, and the community is invited to take part.

The sale runs 8 a.m.-6 p.m., March 24-25, and 8-noon, March 26. It takes place in the upstairs lobby of the Blount County Campus, 2731 W. Lamar Alexander Pkwy.

The event raises funds that go to the Pellissippi State Foundation for student scholarships.

“This is really a community event,” said Ashley Boone, a book sale planner and associate professor of Mathematics. “A lot of students and community members look forward to the sale, because the prices are so good for these books, music, and movies.”

All types of publications will be available—from fiction and nonfiction to craft books and cookbooks to collectible magazines such as National Geographic. Other items likely to be offered: movies and CDs. Donations have been made by Pellissippi State faculty, staff and students, as well as community members.

Used books, movies and CDs in good condition will be collected until March 21. Bring donated items to the Blount County Campus.

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

Pellissippi State plans open houses at site campuses

Pellissippi State Community College will host open houses at each of its site campuses this month and next.

The events are free and open to all prospective students and their families.

“These open houses allow students to meet with Admissions and Financial Aid representatives,” said Leigh Anne Touzeau, assistant vice president of Enrollment Services, “as well as with other support services like Advising, Counseling Services, Student Life and Recreation, and some faculty.”

Open house locations and dates:

  • Division Street Campus: 5-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 26
  • Magnolia Avenue Campus: 4-7 p.m. Thursday, March 27
  • Blount County Campus: 4:30-6 p.m. Thursday, April 3
  • Strawberry Plains Campus: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, April 8

Each open house is a drop-in event. Anyone who is interested may attend to learn more about Pellissippi State’s academic options, how to apply for financial aid and to the college, and the many resources available to students.

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

Pellissippi State supporting partner of Michigan-based manufacturing initiative

Pellissippi State Community College is a supporting partner in a $140 million U.S. Department of Defense-backed manufacturing institute in Michigan.

Pellissippi State is one of 60 members of a consortium for the Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing Innovation (LM3I) Institute in Wayne County, Michigan. The consortium brings together aluminum, titanium and high-strength steel manufacturers with universities and laboratories that are pioneering new technology development and research.

As a supporting partner of the LM3I Institute, Pellissippi State committed to an in-kind/cost-share donation for staff and faculty time and lab equipment to assist in the project.

“To be part of this national effort is an honor for Pellissippi State,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., the college’s president. “Through this project, Pellissippi State’s emphasis on advanced manufacturing training has found a national platform.

“We well know the importance of advanced manufacturing in the fields of research and development, and we’ll see that as this project seeks to build safer, more fuel-efficient vehicles and aircraft.”

Other local members include Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Alcoa and the University of Tennessee.

On Feb. 25, President Barack Obama announced that the LM3I Institute would receive $70 million in federal funding, matched by another $70 million in non-federal funding.

In addition to the research and development aspect of the project, the institute also will provide education, technical skills training, and workforce development. That aspect will address a growing disconnect between manufacturing technology and the training of workers.

“We look forward to working with LM3I on projects that will create a pipeline of talent capable of adopting the technologies developed by UT, ORNL and others,” said Teri Brahams, executive director of economic and workforce development at Pellissippi State.

LM3I is one of three institutes that will receive a combined $200 million in federal funding. The other two are the Next Generation Power Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Institute in North Carolina and the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, also based in Michigan.

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

From professional paintballer to youngest assistant director, Pellissippi State graduate aims for success

Kevin-Fillers-jpgKevin Fillers thought he would spend his career aiming a paintball gun at opponents, but with the help of Pellissippi State Community College, he’s aiming instead for a career in business.

Fillers, who earned an Associate of Science degree from Pellissippi State in 2011, was the top graduate from the University of Tennessee’s college of business administration in December 2013.

“I had an unusual path into college,” Fillers said. “When I graduated high school, I wanted to become a professional paintball player, and I eventually was offered a contract and played professional paintball from 2005 to 2008. But I could see that it wasn’t going to remain a long-term career option, so in 2006, I started taking occasional classes at Pellissippi State.”

Fillers, who graduated from UT with a 4.0 grade point average, attributes his success to those early classes at Pellissippi State.

“If I’d had to deal with traditional class formats,” he said, “I probably never would have started going to school.

“Because of how much I worked and how much I traveled, the only class options open to me were the online, one-night-a-week or two-night-a-week classes. That nontraditional path gave me an entirely new perspective on my future, and allowed me a new start.”

Fillers began taking full-time classes at Pellissippi State in 2010, while also working full time at the Gamma Beta Phi Society’s national headquarters in Oak Ridge.

He worked his way up from a minor position in Gamma Beta Phi, a national honors and service organization for college students, to the finance director and, ultimately, the assistant director position. He is the youngest-ever assistant director of the society. He also owns his own paintball company and school, The Bizniss.

Fillers began his classes at Pellissippi State with the intention of earning a mechanical engineering degree, but he switched to business classes when he realized he wanted to work more closely with other people.

His next academic goal is to attend UT starting fall 2015 in pursuit of an M.B.A. or J.D.

“Kevin was a nontraditional student who was not quite ready to attend college right out of high school,” said Jonathan Lamb, associate professor of Mathematics, “but he entered Pellissippi State when he was ready, and he has thrived ever since.

“I am thrilled for him, and I think he is an excellent example of how well Pellissippi State prepares students for transfer to four-year colleges.”

Fillers says he credits his early academic success specifically to Pellissippi State’s offerings that are geared toward working adults.

“I’m so grateful to Pellissippi State, because I got the start on my new career path here. I have worked really hard for the past seven years, working full time and attending school, and I’m proud of how much I’ve accomplished.”

He also recognizes his work ethic as an inheritance from his father, Fred Fillers. The elder Fillers earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree while serving as a lieutenant colonel in the Army National Guard, working for the U.S. Department of Energy, and raising a family.

“Now, I understand how hard my father worked to make the best life for himself and to give us every opportunity that he could,” the younger Fillers said.

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

Honda grant to help urban high-schoolers at Pellissippi State’s Summer Institute

Pellissippi State Community College’s Summer Institute will get a boost this year to include a new STEM—science, technology, engineering, mathematics—emphasis, thanks to a $46,760 grant from the American Honda Foundation. The grant was awarded through the Pellissippi State Foundation.

“The grant will help fund academic programs for urban high school students that will provide rigorous exposure to relevant STEM career fields,” said L. Anthony Wise, Pellissippi State president.

“This exposure will broaden the educational opportunities for these students and allow them to consider new fields of study for college and career.”

The Summer Institute takes place on the Hardin Valley Campus each summer and is open to rising sophomores from Austin-East and Fulton high schools. The institute is affiliated with Project GRAD Knoxville, which seeks to boost excellence in education, particularly in schools in urban Knoxville.

The American Honda Foundation grant funds four new STEM programs at the 2014 Summer Institute: Alternative Energy, Robotics, Aquabiotics and Photographic Science. The grant also supports professional development, a new instructor, field trips and equipment.

“Through grant giving, the American Honda Foundation seeks to develop youth in the areas of math, science, engineering, technology and literacy,” said Alexandra Warnier, manager of American Honda Foundation. “We are proud to partner with Pellissippi State on its important contribution in this area and look forward to the impact and results that will be achieved.”

The Summer Institute has been offered annually since 2001 and serves about 150 students per year. Since 2005, 946 students participating in the institute have gone on to graduate from high school and earn a college scholarship for up to four years.

Summer Institute participants from Austin-East and Fulton who continue on to attend college at Pellissippi State have a higher GPA average and take fewer pre-college-level courses than students from those two high schools who enroll at Pellissippi State but didn’t take part in the summer program.

To learn more about the giving opportunities available through the Pellissippi State Foundation, visit https://giving.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6528. For more information about Pellissippi State and its programs, go to www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.