Liberty, freedom of speech topics of ‘Je suis Charlie’ lecture at Pellissippi State

Portrait of a female with glasses and hallway behind her

“Je suis Charlie” was the slogan that emerged in response to the attack on the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo in early January. The French phrase translates as “I am Charlie,” and it came to stand for liberty, human rights, and freedom of speech.

“Je suis Charlie” is the topic of a faculty lecture at Pellissippi State Community College on Thursday, March 19. The event takes place on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road, beginning at 10:45 a.m. It is free and open to the community.

“I was in Paris three days after the peaceful march in response to the attack at Charlie Hebdo,” said Saralee Peccolo-Taylor, who is presenting the lecture. “The presentation will include my personal testimony from being in Paris at that time, as well as photos from Paris and interviews with French citizens.”

The lecture not only covers the attack but also includes a discussion of the history of liberty and of human rights in France and an homage to the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists and journalists who were killed.

“I really want attendees to think about the nature of liberty, the nature of freedom of speech and the importance of peaceful responses to attacks on liberty,” Peccolo-Taylor said.

Peccolo-Taylor has taught at local high schools and colleges for 40 years. She has taught French as an adjunct faculty member at Pellissippi State for four years. A first-generation American citizen, Peccolo-Taylor is passionate about travel and also works as a consultant for the American Council for International Studies. During her tenure as an educator, she has led students on 35 study abroad trips.

“Je suis Charlie” is a presentation of the college’s Faculty Lecture Series. The lecture series is part of the collection of 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.

For more information about the college and The Arts at Pellissippi State, visit or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or

Pellissippi State’s ‘Pi Day’ celebrates 3.1415926, Einstein

3.1415926. Those are the first few digits of the mathematical constant pi.

In celebration of the universally recognized number, Pellissippi State Community College hosts a “Pi Day” party on 3/14/15, beginning at 9:26 a.m.

The party, which is free and open to the community, takes place in the Courtyard on the Hardin Valley Campus, weather permitting. (In the event of inclement weather, the event moves into the McWherter Building.) The Hardin Valley Campus is located at 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Pi Day celebrations at Pellissippi State end at 1:30 p.m.

Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Pi Day is celebrated nationally each year on March 14.

The college’s kid-friendly event features plenty of pi- and pie-related fun. Among the festivities: age-appropriate math competitions, a contest to recite the most digits of pi and even a hula-hoop competition.

The Pi Day party showcases Pellissippi State’s advanced manufacturing and 3D printing equipment, including new 3D printers and 3Doodlers (3D printing pens) that will be available for live demonstrations.

March 14 also is the birthday of theoretical physicist Albert Einstein. Anyone who comes to Pellissippi State’s Pi Day dressed as Einstein receives a prize.

The event, sponsored by the Pellissippi State Foundation’s Mechanical Engineering Technology (John C. Mauer) fund, raises money for Mechanical Engineering students in the Engineering Technology program to travel to New York City for 3D Print Week. Donations will be accepted, and pies of all flavors will be for sale.

For more information about Pellissippi State and Pi Day, visit or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or

Pellissippi State: Student photography show open through March 20

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A student photography exhibit on display through Friday, March 20, at Pellissippi State Community College features the works of second-year students in the college’s art classes.

The photography show is free, and the community is invited. The exhibit is in the Bagwell Center for Media and Art on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Exhibit hours are 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. The event closes with a reception.

“There will be a variety of genres and techniques shown in both black-and-white and color photographs,” said Ron Goodrich, assistant professor and Photography/Media Technologies program coordinator. “All of the images will be archival digital prints.”

The closing reception is 4-6 p.m. Thursday, March 19. Reception attendees will have the chance to meet students whose artwork is featured.

For more information about the photography show, call (865) 694-6400 or visit To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or

Pellissippi State event showcases student speeches

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Student speeches will be the focus of an event Thursday, March 19, at Pellissippi State Community College.

The second annual Student Speech Showcase will be held from 7-9 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

Student speakers at the event include Hayden Bright, Kayla Lochman, Kyle McGee, Austin Smith and Priscilla Wilson. Lochman will deliver an informative talk titled “Connected or Lonely,” and McGee will persuade his audience that “Your Words DO Matter: The Power of Cyber Hate.” Smith will deliver a speech titled “Slow Down for a Healthy Future.” The other students also will deliver speeches either in the informative or persuasive styles. Each speech is between five and eight minutes long.

The event will feature a Skype interview with Steven Beebe, a professor at Texas State University, who will give a talk entitled “Communicating Well and the Search for Verbs.”

Beebe is author and coauthor of twelve books, many of which are used as textbooks at hundreds of higher education institutions across the world. He and his wife, Susan Beebe, are coauthors of “Public Speaking: An Audience-Centered Approach,” Pellissippi State’s new textbook for speech and public speaking courses. Beebe is a former president of the National Communication Association, and has been a visiting scholar at both Oxford University and Cambridge University.

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

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