Pellissippi State hosts discussion among political party reps

With candidates busily slugging it out in anticipation of the presidential election, the country is focused on the differences among politicians and their parties. Come November it will all be over, but the need to find common ground will be as great as ever.

In the spirit of bringing people together, Pellissippi State Community College invites the public to “Civil Rivalry in the Political Landscape: A Panel Discussion.” The free event is 1-2:30 p.m. Feb. 29 in the Student Lounge of the Division Street Campus, 3435 Division St.

“The topic is our current political landscape, and the discussion is bound to be interesting,” said Mike North, the campus’ assistant dean, “but the goal is to foster dialogue rather than debate between the parties.”

Representatives of the Democratic, Republican and Libertarian points of view will join two Pellissippi State faculty members on the panel.

Doug Veum, vice chair of the Knox County Democrats; Ray Jenkins, chair of the Knox County Republicans; and David Kerns, representing a Libertarian position, will submit some of their own questions as well as take questions from the audience.

Marsha Hupfel, who mediates for the Knox County Juvenile Court and is an adjunct faculty member in sociology at the Division Street Campus, moderates the discussion.

The event is part of Pellissippi State’s Civility Series. The series was launched to create opportunities for students, faculty and the community to come together to discuss ideas in a safe environment. Light refreshments will be served.

For more information contact Marcia Coleman at (865) 971-5200. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Internationally acclaimed photographer Lois Greenfield to visit Pellissippi State

Lois Greenfield, internationally acclaimed photographer, visits Pellissippi State Community College on Feb. 22 for a free public forum on photography. Pictured is Greenfield’s “Flipper Hope, Jack Gallagher, Daniel Erzalow and Ashley Roland.”

In her exuberant and explosive pictures, Lois Greenfield captures not just the lithe and acrobatic forms of dancers in flight but also the purity and exhilaration of movement itself.

Without tricks or manipulation of any kind, she catches these seemingly impossible moments in a lyrical and graphic style. On Feb. 22, members of the community are invited to a presentation by the artist, “Lois Greenfield on Photography,” at Pellissippi State Community College.

Greenfield has created signature images for most of the major contemporary dance companies, from Alvin Ailey to American Ballet Theatre. Many of these images can be seen in magazines such as Elle, Vanity Fair, Time and GQ. Her commercial clients include Pepsi, Hanes, Raymond Weil and Sony.

Since Greenfield’s first solo show at New York City’s International Center of Photography, her work has been exhibited at the French Foundation of Photography, The Venice Biennale in Italy, Musée de L’Elysée in Switzerland, Tel Aviv Museum of Art in Israel, and many other museums and galleries around the world.

Lois Greenfield, internationally acclaimed photographer, visits Pellissippi State Community College on Feb. 22 for a free public forum on photography. Pictured are Greenfield’s "Sham Mosher.”

Her best-selling book “Breaking Bounds” (Thames & Hudson, 1992) and her second volume, “Airborne” (1998), have radically redefined the genre and influenced generations of young photographers.

The free public forum, scheduled for 7 p.m., brings Greenfield to the Pellissippi Campus to share her reflections on more than 35 years as a professional photographer. Prior to the forum, Greenfield will visit classes at Pellissippi State to meet with students and discuss photography.

“Lois Greenfield on Photography” takes place in the Goins Building Auditorium. The Pellissippi Campus is located at 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Plenty of free parking is available.

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 hosts panel on Jim Crow laws for Black History Month

Imagine riding the bus for hours to attend public school when a much better school is nearby or taking a long trip, not knowing if a motel or restaurant will serve you at the end of an exhausting day.

The participants of Pellissippi State Community College’s Feb. 23 panel discussion, “Living With Jim Crow: Growing Up in the Segregated South,” don’t have to imagine what it was like. They lived it.

Robert Boyd and Joy Ingram, both associate professors at Pellissippi State, and Freddie Owens, a decorated Vietnam veteran, serve on the panel and recount living with the Jim Crow laws.

The panel discussion is 12:30-1:30 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The community is invited to attend the free event.

The Jim Crow laws emerged in Southern states after the Civil War. First enacted in the 1880s by legislators who were bitter about the loss to the North and the end of slavery, the laws separated the races in all walks of life.

The resulting legislative barrier to equal rights created a system that favored whites and repressed blacks. The institutionalized form of inequality grew in subsequent decades with help from the U.S. Supreme Court. Jim Crow laws were finally abolished in the 1960s through the efforts of the Civil Rights Movement.

The panel discussion is sponsored by the college’s Liberal Arts Department and presented in celebration of Black History Month.

Learn more about Pellissippi State at www.pstcc.edu/admissions 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.

Increase math skills at your own pace with online ‘ReadyMATH’ class

Students who prefer to work at their own pace rather than trying to keep up with a rapidly advancing math class should find a new online course to their liking.

Offered by Pellissippi State Community College’s Business and Community Services, “ReadyMATH” allows participants to pace their studies and progress through the course with the guidance of an experienced academic tutor.

Now available online, ReadyMATH is an advanced system for learning math and preparing for exams. The system assesses each individual’s needs, then targets instruction and practice to fill in specific knowledge gaps. Students master everything from basic arithmetic to intermediate algebra. The custom-tailored online program is meant to improve math skills and provide confidence for those preparing to take the GED test or college math placement exams.

BCS offers a growing catalog of more than 300 instructor-facilitated online courses. Technology is used to uniquely tailor both the content and the method of delivery in order to provide the best instruction for each student.

With each of the online courses, individuals can access the program at any time from any place with an internet connection. New enrollments are processed immediately, and students have access to the program for three months.

Access to the ReadyMATH course is available now, with new sessions starting monthly. Cost is $499.

To enroll or view additional online courses, visit www.ed2go.com/pstccedu.

A schedule of all courses offered by Business and Community Services is available at www.pstcc.edu/bcs. For additional information, call BCS at (865) 539-7167.

Associate professor speaks on using math, computer to resolve group decisions

Dave VinsonDecisions made by committee often can be frustrating and time-consuming. But there is a mathematical “solution” for making the process easier, says Dave Vinson, associate professor of Mathematics at Pellissippi State Community College.

Vinson shares his solution when he addresses “The Order of Everything” on Feb. 22. The free lecture is 4:30-5:30 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The community is invited to attend.

“Group decisions can often be swayed by a charismatic individual, and unfortunately the end result isn’t always the best result,” said Vinson. “By removing the element of personality and giving everybody an equal voice, a plan of action can be easily reached.”

He suggests that groups faced with making a decision apply the “pairwise comparison” approach. With that approach, the group brainstorms, creating a list of all suggested ideas. Those ideas are then paired randomly and reevaluated by group members according to specific criteria. The underlying premise is that it is much easier to choose between a pair of ideas than a long list of them.

Ultimately, the data are entered into a simple computer program, which “decides” what suggestions are the best.

“By combining ranking by pairwise comparison with a simple algorithm,” Vinson said, “decision-making becomes a democratic process where everyone’s input is equally valuable.”

Vinson’s lecture is sponsored by the college’s service-learning club, Gnosis. Gnosis members do charitable work for the community, and the club hosts many educational events throughout the year. The college has recognized Gnosis as its top student club for the past two years. The event is supported by the Faculty Lecture Series.

For more information, contact Gnosis faculty sponsors Annie Gray, ajgray@pstcc.edu, or Trent Eades, tweades@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.

Chinese delegates to visit Pellissippi State

Pellissippi State Community College hosts a delegation from China during the week of Feb. 20, during which the college plans to share its best practices in “Building a Green Campus.”

The visitors will be in the U.S. to research the coordination and cooperation of educational institutions, companies and associations. Pellissippi State was selected as a host site by the Community Colleges for International Development, Inc., an association for global education based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The team of five delegates represents Rizhao Polytechnic, a comprehensive vocational and technical college in China’s Shandong province. The guests are Feng Xinguang, the college’s president; Li Jiangang, assistant president; Yang Baoguo, director, higher education research center; Mao Huaidong, vice director, general affairs office; and Li Hongye, director, internal affairs.

Upon their arrival in East Tennessee on Feb. 18, the delegates will have the weekend to explore the community. On Feb. 20, they will begin their week of research activities with tours of the Pellissippi Campus and Blount County Campus.

Pellissippi State was awarded a 2010 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship, in part thanks to the building and design of the Blount County Campus. Green features include a parking plan that incorporates reserved spaces near the building for alternative fuel vehicles, as well as charging stations for electric cars. The green design plan also includes bike racks and access to a shower for bicyclists.

“Pellissippi State is honored and excited to be a part of this vital cultural exchange,” said Anthony Wise, Pellissippi State president. “Our green initiatives are definitely collaborative in nature, and we are pleased to share our experiences with our counterparts from Rizhao Polytechnic.

“Their visit also complements our Confucius Classroom. We’re looking forward to being able to engage in personal dialogue with educators from China.”

Pellissippi State boasts a Confucius Classroom thanks to the school’s status as the 2010 recipient of a prestigious grant from the Confucius Institute at the University of Memphis.

Pellissippi State now offers three Chinese language classes and one Chinese culture course. By fall 2012, a fourth-level language course will be offered. That means students pursuing an Associate of Arts degree at Pellissippi State may now satisfy their foreign language requirement with Mandarin Chinese.

Assisting in the coordination of delegate activities is the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies. TnCIS, whose headquarters are at Pellissippi State, is devoted to making international education and cultural understanding a central goal of higher education in Tennessee.

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

Pellissippi State’s Magnolia Avenue Campus hosts Feb. 17 electronics recycling event

Every year, tons of discarded TVs, computers, keyboards and cell phones wind up in U.S. landfills. Pellissippi State Community College aims to reduce this waste with an electronics recycling event on Feb. 17 at the Magnolia Avenue Campus.

The “e-cycle” activity is 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in the rear parking lot of the campus, which is located at 1610 E. Magnolia Ave. The community is encouraged to donate items.

Scott Recycling of Knoxville will be on hand to accept all types of equipment that contains electronic parts: copiers, fax machines, printers, computer and telephone equipment, power backups, servers, and small appliances. Disposal of donated items is done in accordance with local, state and federal regulations.

The amount of electronics recycled will count toward Pellissippi State’s total for Recyclemania, a national competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities. Recyclemania starts Feb. 15 and continues through March 31.

Electronic products contain natural resources and highly engineered materials like metals, plastics, and glass, all of which require energy to mine and manufacture. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, recycling and reusing consumer electronics conserves natural resources and reduces air and water pollution, as well as greenhouse gas emissions that are caused by manufacturing virgin materials.

A leader in environmental and sustainability initiatives among Tennessee colleges and universities, Pellissippi State received the Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award in 2010.

For more information about this event, call (865) 694-6400 or contact the campus’ recycling coordinator, Roger Milam, at recyclingmaganddiv@pstcc.edu.

Is a stem cell transplant in your future? Pellissippi State professor discusses sources, applications of stem cells

Susan McMahon, Pellissippi State biology professor, is pictured with an inverted light microscope. McMahon addresses “Stem Cells: The Hope of the Future” on the Pellissippi Campus Feb. 21 as part of the ongoing Faculty Lecture Series.

“In Australia, people with blinding corneal diseases are seeing once again with the help of stem cells derived from their own eyes,” said Susan McMahon. The Pellissippi State Community College biology professor discusses the science behind stem cells, along with their current and future applications, in a Feb. 21 lecture at the college.

“Stem Cells: The Hope of the Future” is the next presentation in the ongoing Pellissippi State Faculty Lecture Series. The free event is 12:30-1:30 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The community is invited to attend.

“Cures for breast cancer, spinal cord injuries, diabetes, muscular dystrophy, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy—these and many other disorders may someday be treated, and even cured, with stem cells,” McMahon said.

“Striking results are being seen using stem cells,” she said. “For example, lab rats have been successfully treated with stem cells to regrow the pancreatic cells lacking in type 1 diabetes and to partially reverse spinal paralysis. Several people have recently received new tracheas grown from their own bone marrow and nasal stem cells.

“In fact, a Pellissippi State student will be traveling to Philadelphia this summer to receive an injection of her own stem cells with the hope of regenerating muscle tissue damaged by a degenerative neurological disorder.”

Trials using embryonic and adult stem cells are currently under way in many research facilities around the world.

“Stem cells have tremendous potential in regenerative medicine,” said McMahon. “But their use, particularly embryonic stem cells, raises ethical issues. We all need to understand this new field of science, so that we can make informed decisions regarding its applications,” said McMahon.

For more information about this event, contact Trent Eades at tweades@pstcc.edu or Keith Norris at knorris@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.

The series lecture following McMahon’s is “Women in Film” by Katie Lovette, an instructor in Media Technologies. It takes place on March 21, 1-2 p.m., in the Goins Building Auditorium.

Dancers, artists from China to perform at Pellissippi State

A presentation by performers from China’s Hubei University on Feb. 24 at Pellissippi State’s Clayton Performing Arts Center showcases Chinese art, dance, music and culture.

Imagine a calligrapher creating a written work of art onstage. Now weave in dancers clothed in colorful costumes, performing traditional Chinese Dragon and Lion dances. Add musicians playing centuries-old songs and martial artists demonstrating their fluid movements.

Audiences of the Chinese troupe performing at Pellissippi State Community College on Feb. 24 will experience this multimedia presentation—a mixture of Chinese art, dance, music and culture.

The free event, to which the community is invited, provides a rare opportunity for attendees to immerse themselves in the traditional Chinese arts. The troupe of approximately 30 performers from Hubei University is showcased, incorporating Chinese history and culture as expressed through the various media.

The Chinese Dragon Dance to be performed has been done for more than 5,000 years. Originally a symbol of imperial power, today’s Dragon Dance in China serves more as a symbol of courage, pride and wisdom.


The Lion Dance, which dates back more than 2,000 years, is a joint performance by two dancers. It is typically staged to express joy and happiness when the Chinese celebrate grand events. The art of calligraphy is a combination of physical agility, manual dexterity and artistic precision.

Professor Yiping Yang, associate director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Memphis, presents a special lecture prior to the performance. “The Chinese Perspectives of Dragon” will provide guests with Professor Yang’s historic and modern reflections on the cultural importance of the dragon.

The Hubei University performers are visiting in connection with Pellissippi State’s Confucius Classroom. As the 2010 recipient of a prestigious grant from the Confucius Institute at the University of Memphis, Pellissippi State has a full-time instructor from China who teaches language and culture classes.

The college now offers “Beginning Chinese I,” “Beginning Chinese II,” “Intermediate Chinese I” and “Peoples and Culture of China.” By fall 2012, “Intermediate Chinese II” will be added. Students pursuing an Associate of Arts degree at Pellissippi State now have the opportunity to satisfy their foreign language requirement with Mandarin Chinese.

Co-sponsor of the performance and lecture is the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies. TnCIS, whose headquarters are at Pellissippi State, is devoted to making international education and cultural understanding a central goal of higher education in Tennessee.

All activities take place on the Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The lecture begins at 2 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium. The performance begins at 3 p.m. in the Clayton Performing Arts Center.

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.

Black History Month celebration continues at Pellissippi State

Black History Month celebrations are ongoing throughout February for all four Pellissippi State Community College campuses. All events are free and open to the public:

  • Through Feb. 29: Information about Black History Month is available in the lobby of the Division Street Campus, 3435 Division St., 7:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Friday.
  • Feb. 17: Local historian and author Robert Booker speaks in the Community Room of the Magnolia Avenue Campus, 1610 E. Magnolia Ave., 10:45-11:40 a.m. His lecture is titled “History of the Civil Rights Movement.”
  • Feb. 20-29: The African-American inventors mini-museum is on display in the Community Room of the Magnolia Avenue Campus. The exhibit includes pictures, information and some modern-day versions of original inventions.
  • Feb. 26: The Knoxville Opera Gospel Choir performs at 4 p.m. in the Clayton Performing Arts Center at the Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.
  • Feb. 28: The Caribbean Festival, featuring the Carib Sounds Steel Band, the Hotep Dancers and Caribbean food, is 4-7 p.m. in the Goins Building College Center on the Pellissippi Campus.
  • Feb. 29: The Magnolia Avenue Campus’ “I Am” a cappella gospel choir performs 1-1:45 p.m. in the Community Room of that campus.

For more 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 Community College, Knoxville, TN