Pellissippi State culinary students shine at UT’s Ready for the World Café

Pellissippi State Culinary Arts students serve as kitchen managers for UT’s Ready for the World Café luncheon series, which concludes on April 26. Pictured, l-r, are culinary students Summer Bury, Jessica Hawkins, and Candace Gilbert at the March 27 luncheon.

Candace Gilbert did Japan and Italy. Jessica Hawkins oversaw Ireland and France. Summer Bury coordinated Brazil and Persia.

No, the Pellissippi State Community College students are not involved in a study abroad program. As students in Culinary Arts at the college, all three have been involved in a series of luncheons this spring at the University of Tennessee’s Ready for the World Café.

The luncheon series, which concludes on April 26, offers the culinary students the opportunity to serve as head kitchen managers and assistant kitchen managers for luncheons inspired by cuisines from a wide variety of traditions.

In their supervisory roles, Gilbert, Hawkins and Bury have already taken their turn at executing the dining experience, managing staff, planning menus, preparing the food, generating cost analyses, marketing, serving diners and ensuring customer satisfaction.

Pictured: Summer Bury, as she prepares to serve luncheon guests.

Bury stepped into the spotlight on April 17, when she oversaw the luncheon spotlighting Persia. The Pellissippi State student, who moved to Knoxville five years ago from Washington state, says she was excited about her luncheon duties. She had previously supervised a luncheon focusing on Brazil, so many of her preparatory activities were the same for the Persia luncheon. What was different, she explains, was the challenge of gathering ingredients.

“For my research for the Persia luncheon,” she said, “I found that we couldn’t necessarily get all of the ingredients here. We had to find substitutes. Some things are the same, though, such as presentation. The food always has to be plated nicely.” Bury recently began an internship with Kroger Marketplace.

Gilbert, originally from Knoxville, says that she has been interested in cooking since the age of 4. She cooked for her family as a teen, deciding to pursue her passion as a profession when Pellissippi State began offering Culinary Arts.

Gilbert is now working as an intern with All Occasion Catering. She hopes to one day open her own catering business, preferably one that focuses on organic food and operates as a food truck. She praises the chefs who serve as instructors.

“Tyler White and John Alunni are excellent instructors,” she said. “Chef White and Chef Alunni both push you out of your comfort zone to make you the best you can be. They have been very supportive and have offered me great direction.”

Hawkins, who has worked in the restaurant industry for 13 years, enrolled at Pellissippi State for an education in hospitality management. Culinary Arts and Hospitality are two of five concentrations offered in Business Administration. She says that Tom Gaddis, coordinator of both Culinary Arts and Hospitality, saw her potential and encouraged her to attend the Culinary Arts classes.

“I am glad he did,” said Hawkins. “I love the program and am going to miss it when I graduate. We have had many great opportunities, such as working with Chef McGrady, Princess Diana’s chef, and Chef Garrett, who has his own show on PBS.”

Hawkins says she is also grateful for the employment opportunities that she attributes to Pellissippi State:

“When I started my job at Calhoun’s on the River as a banquet chef, I surprised myself with how comfortable I was and how much I know. I owe this to the Culinary Arts concentration. In this slow economy, many people have the problem of finding a job. My problem seems to be choosing which job to accept.”

The Ready for the World Café is produced through collaboration by Pellissippi State, the UT Culinary Institute and UT’s Advanced Food Production and Service Management class. The two schools began a joint venture in 2010 that offers Pellissippi State students the opportunity to earn the Associate of Applied Science degree.

The Pellissippi State students learn culinary skills in a state-of-the-art laboratory/kitchen at the Culinary Institute, located in UT’s Visitors Center, 2712 Neyland Dr. The students also take classes at Pellissippi State’s Division Street Campus, which is located two miles from the Culinary Institute.

Graduates of Pellissippi State’s two-year program are eligible to apply to the American Culinary Federation for the Certified Culinarian credential, the first step toward professional chef certification.

The April 26 luncheon features the cuisine of Germany. The event takes place noon-1 and is open to the public.

Tickets are $12, available through UT, by calling (865) 974-6645. Seating capacity is 50-60 diners.

For more information regarding Pellissippi State or the Culinary Arts concentration, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State recognizes outstanding students

More than 50 Pellissippi State students were recognized recently for outstanding achievements during the 2012 Academic Awards ceremony at Pellissippi State’s Clayton Performing Arts Center. Pictured: Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. congratulates Kenyatta Rogers, who was inducted into Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.

Pellissippi State Community College recognized students for their outstanding achievements at the 2012 Academic Awards ceremony, April 9 in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus.

Students Amber Hampton and Joshua Hemphill were named to the All-USA Community College Academic Team. They were nominated by Pellissippi State President Anthony Wise in recognition of scholarly achievements.

Luis Mora, Shokrieh Rezabaksh and Lu Zhang were the recipients of the Outstanding Achievement Award–International, presented to students with international backgrounds.

Inductees into the 2011-12 Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges were Katie Adcock, Natalya Andreeva-Smith, Michael Baird, Jessie K. Crane, Alexander DeLoach, ReGina Evans-Truss, America Henry, Shandie Howell, Sarah Jett, Billi Lewellyn, Heather Lowery, Corey Miller, Luis Mora, Jean Nkurunziza, Kenyatta Rogers, Lindsay Shaw, Christina Shelley, Janell Sinclair, Ryan Sparks, Olga Vorobyeva, Kalonji Woods, Trina Yates and Karen Yearwood.

Awards of Merit were presented to students in several academic disciplines: Nathaniel West, Civil Engineering (Engineering Technology); Lyndsey Sharp, Interior Design Technology; Stephanie Bullock, Communication Graphics Technology (Media Technologies); Garrett Masters, Video Production Technology (Media Technologies); and Gatlin McPherson, Web Technology (Media Technologies).

Pictured: Lois Reynolds, interim vice president of Academic Affairs, presents the Nursing Outstanding Graduate Award to Kelly Nelson.

Outstanding Graduate Awards were given across the curriculum as well. Recipients included the following: Jesse Carmichael, Mathematics; Claudia Coleman, Behavioral Sciences; Jacqueline Davis, English; Kathryn Kelso, Natural Sciences; Sadril Mohammad, Social Sciences (Liberal Arts); and Kelly Nelson, Nursing.

Business and Computer Technology Outstanding Graduate Award recipients, with their concentrations and majors: Floyd Davis, Business (Administrative Professional Technology); Elliott Foster, Networking and Communications Systems (Computer Science and Information Technology); Sally French, Computer Accounting (Business Administration); Daniel Greene, Management (Business Administration); Elizabeth Kilbey, Marketing (Business Administration); E. Jewell Lawson, Health Care Office Administration (Administrative Professional Technology); Kyndall Leach, Culinary Arts (Business Administration); Stanley Weaver, Programming (Computer Science and Information Technology); Jesse Williams, Hospitality (Business Administration); and Karen Yearwood, Paralegal Studies.

The Engineering and Media Technologies Outstanding Graduate Awards were presented to Ryan Burgess, Interior Design Technology; Sarah Busby, Photography (Media Technologies); Chadwick Doub, Electrical Engineering (Engineering Technology); Oliver Gee, Video Production Technology (Media Technologies); Robert Kring, Civil Engineering (Engineering Technology); Matthew McNeilly, Mechanical Engineering (Engineering Technology); Michael Nagle, Web Technology (Media Technologies); and Sophie Willborn, Communication Graphics Technology (Media Technologies).

The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs’ ACBSP Student Leadership Award was presented to Tyler Hood.

Faculty member Jonathan Lamb was selected by students to receive the Faculty of the Year Award. Lamb is an associate professor of Mathematics.

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

Pellissippi State registering for fall, increases certificate choices

Fall registration is under way at Pellissippi State Community College, and the school has greatly expanded the selection of certificate programs available to students.

Pellissippi State’s certificates cover a broad range of academic disciplines and career areas—from business, computers and health science to engineering, media and education. Most certificates are “embedded” within specific degree programs, which means the classes for those certificates also count toward an associate’s degree.

“Earning a certificate offers students a benchmark along the way to a degree,” said Lois Reynolds, Pellissippi State’s interim vice president for Academic Affairs. “This gives students a sense of accomplishment, more confidence and increased motivation for continuing toward a degree.”

For non-degree-seeking students, certificate programs enable them to update or improve skills in their current field or support them in making a career change.

Pellissippi State currently offers these certificates. The ones marked with an asterisk will be available for the first time fall semester:

  • 3D Parametric Modeling SolidWorks
  • A+/Network+ Certification Preparation
  • A.A./A.S. General Education Core
  • A.A.S. General Education Core
  • Accessible Web Design and Compliance
  • Accounting Specialist
  • Architectural AutoCAD Applications
  • Basic Photography
  • Construction Business Principles*
  • Digital Imaging for Photography
  • Document Specialist
  • Early Childhood Education*
  • E-Commerce Web Design
  • Electrical Systems Technology*
  • Electronic Health Records Specialist
  • Electronics Technology
  • General Culinary Arts
  • General Hospitality
  • Industrial Automation*
  • Industrial Maintenance Technology
  • Information Systems Fundamentals
  • Interactive Web Design*
  • Medical Insurance Coding and Reimbursement
  • Mobile Web Design
  • Pre-business Transfer
  • Pre-health Science
  • Producing for Video and Media Arts*
  • Promotion Methods
  • Sound Production
  • Studio Photography*
  • Supervision
  • Surveying
  • University Computer Science Preparation
  • Video Editing
  • Videography
  • Visual Communication for Graphic Design*
  • Web Design Tools
  • Web Page Authoring

The increase in the number of certificates offered is a result of changes made by Pellissippi State to meet the goals of the Complete College Tennessee Act.

A record number of degrees and certificates were awarded to students at Pellissippi State’s Commencement ceremony in May 2011. The college awarded 962 associate’s degrees and 553 certificates. The 2012 Commencement ceremony is May 4 at the University of Tennessee’s Thompson-Boling Arena.

Registration for fall started on April 2, and classes begin in late August.

Learn more about Pellissippi State at www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Register now for Pellissippi State’s May 1 golf fundraiser

On May 1, area golfers will gather at Egwani Farms to help raise funds for the Pellissippi State Foundation at the Eighth Annual Swing Big for Students Golf Tournament. Registration is open through April 27.

It’s all about the students. Amid the camaraderie, the hopes for a hole-in-one and the hushed tones during close putts, the golfers who participate in Pellissippi State Community College’s annual Swing Big for Students Golf Tournament do so knowing that they are helping area students.

The tournament, now in its eighth year, is hosted by the Pellissippi State Foundation. This year’s event takes place on May 1, and registration is open until April 27.

The Swing Big for Students Golf Tournament raises money that goes toward programs that directly impact deserving students. Funds have been used not only to provide student scholarships and emergency loans but also to improve facilities and secure new equipment.

A portion of the proceeds from the 2012 tournament will be awarded to a recipient of the Swing Big for Students Scholarship. The fund was established in 2010 for Pellissippi State students in Exercise Science or Sport Management.

Pellissippi State student Jolene Maurino, 2011 recipient of the Swing Big for Students Scholarship, and golfers at the 2010 tournament.

Jolene Maurino was the 2011 recipient.

“Returning to school after being in the workforce for several years has brought me a greater appreciation for the opportunity of education,” said Maurino. “I feel fortunate to have been selected to receive the Swing Big for Students Scholarship and offer my sincere gratitude.”

The fundraising event takes place at Egwani Farms in Rockford, and shotguns are scheduled at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. The cost is $100 per player or $400 for a four-person team. The entry fee includes 18 holes of golf, cart, driving range, snack, lunch and prizes. In case of inclement weather on May 1, a rain date is scheduled for May 15.

A limited number of sponsorship opportunities—ranging from $150 to $5,000—are still available. Tournament is sponsored by Pilot Travel Centers.

To learn more about sponsoring or to register, contact Pat Myers, tournament director, at (865) 539-7242 or pmyers@pstcc.edu. The registration form also is available online at www.pstcc.edu/golf.

Pellissippi State concludes season of free music concerts on April 26

The musical selections have ranged from choral to instrumental, from bluegrass to holiday fare. As the 2011-12 season of Pellissippi State Community College’s annual Music Concert Series concludes on April 26, the focus will again be on choral music.

Featured during the season-ending Spring Choral Concert are performances by the student groups Concert Chorale and Variations Ensemble. The highlight of the concert is a multimedia presentation of the Variations Ensemble’s Spring Break 2012 tour in Germany. As the choir sings, the audience will experience the tour through video and still photography.

The nine-day tour included six full concerts and four abbreviated singing experiences in Berlin, Munich, Regensburg, Weimar and Wittenberg. A highlight of the tour for the Pellissippi State students was the opportunity to sing in Wittenberg’s Castle Church. The historic church is the site made famous in 1517 by Martin Luther. The German monk became a key figure in the Protestant Reformation when he nailed to the church’s doors his “Ninety-Five Theses” protesting clerical abuses.

Like all events in Pellissippi State’s music series, admission to the Spring Choral Concert is free. However, donations will be accepted at the door for the Pellissippi State Foundation on behalf of the Music Scholarship Fund. For the 2010-11 academic year, the Foundation awarded more than 100 music-related scholarships to more than 80 Pellissippi State students.

The 7 p.m. performance takes place in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus in Knoxville. Parking is convenient and free.

For additional information, 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 invites students to Middle School Mathematics Contest

All area sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students are invited to participate in the 12th annual Pellissippi State Middle School Mathematics Contest, Friday, May 4.

Last year’s competition attracted more than 600 of the top math students from East Tennessee middle schools and also included home-school and independent competitors. The students participated in the contest at Pellissippi State Community College for the honor of being named the top middle school math student in East Tennessee.

This year’s event will again take place at the Hardin Valley Campus. The day begins with registration, 7:50-8:30 a.m. in the Clayton Performing Arts Center, and includes competitions for each grade level, as well as a party with food, music, games and inflatables.

Participation is free and more than $6,000 in prizes will be awarded to the top finishers, thanks to funding provided by Oak Ridge Associated Universities.

Students are asked to bring pencils and a calculator, except those with QWERTY keypads.

To find out more, contact Jonathan Lamb, event coordinator and an associate professor of Mathematics at Pellissippi State: jwlamb@pstcc.edu or (865) 694-6699.

To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday at Pellissippi State’s Magnolia Avenue Campus

Pellissippi State students Kelly Wright, left, and Phoelycia Washington, both members of the Magnolia Avenue Campus Drama Club, prepare for the “Scattered Shakespeare” performances on April 18, 19 and 23.

The Brits will be celebrating William Shakespeare’s 448th birthday this month, and so can you.

The Magnolia Avenue Campus Drama Club of Pellissippi State Community College invites the public to enjoy “Scattered Shakespeare,” a presentation of favorite scenes from the Bard of Avon’s plays, offered three times, beginning Wednesday, April 18.

The student club will perform segments from “Macbeth,” “Hamlet,” “Henry V,” “The Taming of the Shrew,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “The Comedy of Errors,” “The Winter’s Tale,” “The Merchant of Venice” and “Julius Caesar.”

The event takes place in the Community Room of the campus’ Joe Armstrong Building, 1610 E. Magnolia Ave. Presentations are April 18, 4-5 p.m.; April 19, 7-8 p.m.; and the traditionally celebrated day, April 23, 7-8 p.m.

The performances are free and light refreshments will be provided. Donations will be accepted at the door on behalf of the Pellissippi State Foundation.

For more information, contact Rick Patton, co-sponsor of the Magnolia Avenue Campus Drama Club, (865) 329-3134 or rpatton@pstcc.edu.

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 student robotics team finishes regional competition in top quarter

Pellissippi State's robotics team traveled to Florida and competed March 15-18 in the IEEE SoutheastCon 2012 Hardware Competition, returning home with 13th place. Pictured are (l-r) Carl Mallette, team advisor; Marcus Monday, Nathan Wolfe, Amber Dyer, Jeremy Kelso, and Erik Speyer, the student robotics team; and Kenneth Swayne, team mentor.

The robotics team from Pellissippi State Community College faced off with 53 other teams in Orlando, Fla., March 15-18 and came home satisfied.

The team competed in the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) SoutheastCon 2012 Hardware Competition. Contenders included 51 four-year institutions and only two other community colleges.

Pellissippi State took 13th place, defeating the other two-year schools and dozens of top-ranked engineering institutions, among them, the University of Florida, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Clemson University.

The robotics team was led by Carl Mallette and Kenneth Swayne, both of whom teach in the Electrical Engineering concentration. Mallette is the student advisor for the team and is the IEEE East Tennessee section chair for 2012-13. Swayne served as a mentor.

All teams were required to bring a robot that could navigate a course with four stations. The robots had to measure voltage and the difference between two wave signals, temperature, and capacitance. They had four minutes to complete the course as many times as possible. The robots competed in three rounds, with points given for each correct measure and deducted for incorrect measures.

“We were very pleased with the performance of our robot in being able to endure real-world conditions,” said Erik Speyer, team leader and a student in Mallette’s Robotics and Automation course last semester. “Its ability to make correct decisions allowed us to beat out numerous top-ranked engineering universities. This really emphasizes the caliber of education Pellissppi provides its students.”

“The students tell me that they understood so much more of what they’ve learned in other classes by working on this project,” Mallette said.

Pellissippi State chooses veteran site dean as head of Strawberry Plains Campus

Mike North sitting at deskPellissippi State Community College has selected Mike North, an experienced site dean, to lead the new Strawberry Plains Campus.

North currently serves as the assistant dean and top administrator for Pellissippi State’s Division Street Campus, a position he has been in since 2003. He began his career at Pellissippi State as a counselor almost 20 years ago and has worked at all of the college’s campuses.

“Mike brings experience to the position, which I think we need with the start of a new campus,” said Pellissippi State President Anthony Wise. “We’ll be adding new support staff positions, academic programs, and partnership programs in the community, and his experience as site dean at Division Street positions him well to lead Strawberry Plains.”

Pellissippi State acquired the Strawberry Plains Campus recently to expand higher education access to areas of Knox and surrounding counties that are traditionally underserved by colleges and universities. The 33-acre property is the site of the former Philips Consumer Electronics’ East Tennessee headquarters.

“It’s exciting to think about what the college could do at Strawberry Plains, and I feel very fortunate to be part of the process,” said North.

The Strawberry Plains Campus is scheduled to open fall semester for classes.

North’s introduction to Pellissippi State came in 1991, when he toured the main campus on Hardin Valley Road as part of a graduate class at the University of Tennessee. Coincidentally, he was in the midst of a decision about where to do the practicum for his master’s degree. The visit resonated, North says, and he ultimately chose Pellissippi State.

“I just loved the feel—it felt very comfortable here. I really liked the people I met. It seemed so hands-on, so accessible.”

North, 46, has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Iowa. His master’s degree from UT is in college student personnel. He earned a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from UT as well.

The practicum at Pellissippi State in 1992 led to a full-time job at the Student Development Center as a counselor, a position North was in for a decade before being chosen assistant dean at the Division Street Campus.

North also served as the interim vice president for Student Success and Enrollment Management for Pellissippi State from February 2007 to June 2008.

During the summers, when the Division Street Campus closes, he has worked as site dean at the Magnolia Avenue and Blount County campuses whenever the current deans have been called to perform additional duties.

North says he will miss the staff, faculty and students of the Division Street Campus.

“However, it’s a good time for me to experience a change, and I am very appreciative of the opportunity to go to Strawberry Plains. I have served at Division Street as site dean for almost 10 years, so it will be healthy for the campus (and me) to have some fresh ideas.”

Pellissippi State has five campuses: Hardin Valley, Blount County, Division Street, Magnolia Avenue and, now, Strawberry Plains. The new site is located at 7201 Strawberry Plains Pike in Knoxville.

Learn more about Pellissippi State by visiting www.pstcc.edu or calling (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State Foundation receives civil rights-themed art donation

When Herb Rieth traveled the highways of Mississippi in 2005, he was doing so as an art teacher and as a son. Rieth was at that time serving as an art instructor in Starkville, and he frequently made the 150-mile drive to Coldwater in order to visit his mother and stepfather.

Seven years later, Reith, now an art instructor at Pellissippi State Community College, has donated a mixed-media fabric piece to the school through the Pellissippi State Foundation that was inspired by those drives.

“Savage from the Outside: An Ode to Mose Wright” is 110 inches by 119 inches.  It was created by Rieth to pay homage both to Mose Wright, the great-uncle of Emmett Till, and to the struggles for civil rights that took place in communities across Mississippi.

The August 1955 death of the 14-year-old Till and the murder trial that followed one month later served as catalysts for the emerging Civil Rights Movement.

A famous photograph of Wright testifying during the trial in Sumner—taken by photographer Ernest Withers despite a judge’s orders prohibiting photographs—shows Till’s great-uncle pointing as he identifies a defendant in court. Wright’s testimony was believed to be the first instance of a black person’s testifying against a white defendant in a Mississippi courtroom.

Rieth’s art combines history and his own firsthand impressions of the Mississippi landscape. During his visits to Coldwater, he encountered the nearby community of Savage. Rieth knew the history of the Till events, yet he was struck by the geography of the Mississippi Delta region and the area’s role as the setting for strife and, eventually, monumental change.

“Savage is just a bump in the road,” said Rieth. “That area’s flatness is only broken by running tufts of large live oaks and cottonwood trees that serve as windbreaks.

“The roads border decaying towns that lay like broken shells of a great postwar American culture. The sharp contrast in geography that I saw while driving brought home the rupture in culture that riveted the country during that hot summer 50 years before. That was the inspiration for ‘Savage from the Outside.’”

Rieth decided to donate the piece to the Pellissippi State Foundation on behalf of the college, and it is now displayed in the McWherter Building on the Hardin Valley Campus. Students, faculty, staff and visitors can enjoy the art as both a beautiful addition to the facility and as an ode to the personal stories that helped shape the Civil Rights Movement.

This is not the first time the Foundation has received an art donation. Ed Harmon, a Blount County native and art collector, gave the school 20 paintings and prints. The pieces represent the works of local artists who focus on the landscapes of the Appalachian region.

An anonymous donor also gifted five pieces of art for the Library at the Blount County Campus. Donations to the college are coordinated by the Foundation, which works to support programs that directly impact students.

“Part of our mission is to provide opportunities for life, civic and cultural enrichment,” said Peggy Wilson. “We appreciate Herb Rieth’s willingness to share his beautiful and meaningful art with the entire community, and the Foundation would certainly encourage others to contact us regarding such gifts.” Wilson is executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation, as well as vice president of College Advancement.

To discuss the possibility of making a donation, call the Foundation at (865) 694-6528 or email foundation@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State Community College, Knoxville, TN