Pellissippi State offers two free Holiday Spectacular concerts

The traditional Holiday Spectacular concert staged annually at Pellissippi State Community College is so popular that two performances will be presented again this year. Audience members are encouraged to arrive early for the event, which features all of the student ensembles in a fast-paced, high-energy show.

Part of the 2012-13 music series, the Holiday Spectacular takes place on Dec. 6 at 6 and 8 p.m. The theme for this year’s performances is “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Included in the program are seasonal favorites in traditional and contemporary styles.

The concerts’ pianists will perform on Steinway pianos, in keeping with Pellissippi State’s status as an All Steinway School. The Pellissippi State Foundation conducted the All Steinway School fundraising campaign year before last to elevate the college’s Music program to world-class status.

The community college now boasts 13 Steinway pianos in studios, practice rooms and performance venues. This is the second season that Pellissippi State’s Music program presents concerts as an All Steinway School.

Many of the student performers are pursuing the college’s new Associate of Fine Arts degree, concentrating in Music. Through the Tennessee Transfer Pathways, all credits from the degree transfer to other Tennessee Board of Regents institutions—Pellissippi State is a TBR college—and the University of Tennessee.

Both Holiday Spectacular performances take place in the Clayton Performing Arts Center at the Hardin Valley Campus. Plenty of free parking is available. Admission is free; however, donations are accepted at the door for the Pellissippi State Foundation on behalf of the Music Scholarship Fund.

The 2012-13 Pellissippi State Music Concert Series is one component of Pellissippi State’s new 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.

For additional information about the Pellissippi State Music Concert Series or The Arts at Pellissippi State, 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 schedules spring-semester New Student Orientation sessions

Want to attend Pellissippi State Community College during the spring 2013 semester? Make plans now to attend a New Student Orientation session.

The sessions are required of all first-time degree-seeking freshmen. Orientation is recommended for transfer students and those who have been out of school for a while.

The sessions give new enrollees the opportunity to meet with Pellissippi State students, faculty, and staff; learn strategies for college success; explore degree, major, and transfer options; and discover campus services and resources such as financial aid. Pellissippi State encourages parents, spouses and others supportive of the student to attend as well.

A total of 10 sessions, two at each campus, are offered. Accepted students are urged to reserve their place in an orientation session as soon as possible. Dates, times and locations are as follows:

Tuesday, Dec. 4, 5:30-8:30 p.m.—Hardin Valley Campus

Thursday, Jan. 10, 5:30-8:30 p.m.—Magnolia Avenue Campus

Friday, Jan. 11, 9-11:30 a.m.—Magnolia Avenue Campus

Monday, Jan. 14, 1-3 p.m.—Blount County Campus

Tuesday, Jan. 15, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.—Division Street Campus

Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2-4 p.m.—Strawberry Plains Campus

Tuesday, Jan. 15, 5:30-7:30 p.m.—Blount County Campus

Wednesday, Jan. 16, 9-noon—Hardin Valley Campus

Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2-5 p.m.—Division Street Campus

Wednesday, Jan. 16, 5:30-7:30 p.m.—Strawberry Plains Campus

Pellissippi State’s spring 2013 application deadline is Jan. 7. Classes begin on Jan. 17.

Visit or call (865) 694-6400 to make your reservation. To request accommodations for a disability, email or call (865) 539-7153.

Registration under way for accelerated degree program at Pellissippi State

The Accelerated Higher Education Degree (AHEAD) program at Pellissippi State Community College continues its growth with a new Computer Accounting concentration in spring semester. Classes start Jan. 17, and registration began Oct. 29.

The college also starts new “cohorts” in two long-running AHEAD degree choices, Management and Culinary Arts.

AHEAD is designed to meet the needs of busy adults and working parents. Concentrating in Culinary Arts, Management or the new Computer Accounting option leads to an Associate of Applied Science degree in Business Administration.

Most students enrolled in the program work full time, have a family and seek a path to promotion in their career, according to Roger Crowe, a faculty member who has taught Management classes in AHEAD since its onset in fall 2007.

“They’re usually moving along in their careers but have reached a point where they either have to have a degree of some kind to move up the ladder or they feel like they just need additional training,” said Crowe. “In some cases, they realize they should have gotten a degree way back when and they’re trying to make up for that.

“But I’d say that the majority of the AHEAD students see the necessity of a degree in order to make progress from where they are now.”

AHEAD provides two ways to accelerate earning a degree: shorter-length courses and credit for prior learning. The program also is newly offering Management and Culinary Arts in a cohort-style format. In a cohort, a group of students follows the same set schedule and progresses through the program as a unit. Cohorts benefit students by giving them a ready-made framework to support one other.

Like Crowe, faculty member Denise Reed has taught classes in AHEAD since the beginning of the program. She says the coursework is rigorous and intensive and the students bring a high level of commitment to the program.

“You have to have such a determination that you’re going to succeed and do this. I’m so proud of the students for all they accomplish in such a short amount of time,” she said.

AHEAD degree programs are designed for completion in two years or less. In addition to Computer Accounting, Management, and Culinary Arts, AHEAD degrees are offered in Industrial Maintenance and Teaching. The program also provides students with the opportunity to earn an A.S. (Associate of Science) 41-hour General Education certificate.

To learn more about AHEAD, visit or call Celeste Evans at (865) 539-7381.

Pellissippi State launches machinist apprenticeship program with IAM union, Y-12

Pellissippi State hosted representatives of B&W Y-12 and the Atomic Trades and Labor Council and International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers officials and apprentices for the onset of a new partnership apprenticeship program fall semester. From left to right: Tim Wright (IAM); Pat Riddle (Pellissippi State); Steve Passmore and Danny Lowry (IAM); Rick Heath (Pellissippi State); apprentice Rachel Henley; Bill Klemm (Y-12); apprentice Ryan Johnson; Mike Thompson (ATLC); apprentice Jason Brown; John Whalen (ATLC); apprentice Jonathan Bryant; Beth Green (Y-12); Steve Jones (ATLC); apprentices Rachel Bachorek, Rashaad Gibbs, Jeff Bryant, Justin Dupas, and Micheal Lovelady; and Robert Goins (Y-12).

Pellissippi State Community College welcomed its first class of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union apprentices from the B&W Y-12 National Security Complex this semester.

Thanks to a partnership that began early this year, Y-12’s IAM&AW workers are now receiving instruction in the classroom and hands-on training in the engineering labs at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus. The new apprenticeship program, which launched with 10 students, focuses on building the skills the workers need to succeed on the job: among them, machining, materials and maintenance print reading.

“Y-12 is a highly specialized and classified work environment,” said Rick Heath, solutions management director for the college’s Business and Community Services Division and a key player in the new partnership. “It’s logical and smart for them to grow apprentices from their own talent within the organization.”

“IAM is very committed to the apprenticeship training, but it doesn’t have the lab facilities or staff to train locally,” said Tim Wright, IAM District 711 business representative. The partnership between the college, Y-12 and the union makes training more convenient and saves Y-12, which pays for the apprenticeships, the expense of having to send workers out of town.

Beyond proximity and affordability, quality of programs factored into the IAM’s decision to choose Pellissippi State for the training contract.

“We have long been aware of the good work Pellissippi State does,” Wright said. “The training partnership is a win for everyone.”

The apprenticeship at Pellissippi State will take four years to complete. During that time, the machinists also have the opportunity to earn 45 credit hours toward an Associate of Applied Science degree. Since apprentices can finish the program only 15 hours short of earning a 60-credit degree, the college is also developing a 15-credit path to complete a General Education degree. The curriculum will be structured as a cohort, in which students proceed through their coursework as a group.

Pellissippi State’s Engineering Technology faculty and Business and Community Services developed the curriculum for the program. BCS works with employers to create customized training and development solutions, and Y-12 ultimately contracted with the division to offer the apprenticeship.

The effort is sponsored and the curriculum has been approved by the U.S. Department of Labor, says Heath. It also has the support of the Atomic Trades and Labor Council.

This is the first time Pellissippi State, Y-12 and IAM have collaborated on an apprenticeship program. Y-12 and union representatives initially met with Pellissippi State faculty and staff in early January. Curriculum development took place throughout spring and summer semester.

“They brought their experts over—the people who are doing the work,” said Heath. “They told us, ‘This is what you need to teach for our employees to be successful.’”

So far, the partnership seems to be working well for all parties, but there’s still plenty of room for fine-tuning.

“We’re going to analyze as we go along and see what’s working, what’s not working,” said Pat Riddle. Riddle coordinates and teaches in the Mechanical Engineering concentration of the Engineering Technology degree program. “We’ll meet with the IAM and Y-12 partners and see where we stand, see what they think we might want to change or reemphasize.

“This is a continuous improvement cycle that we’re working on, to make sure that the program meets the partners’ needs and still follows the academic guidelines set by the Tennessee Board of Regents.”

To find out more about the apprenticeship program and other contract training opportunities, email Rick Heath at To learn more about Pellissippi State, visit or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State Hospitality student awarded hotel/lodging scholarship

Lisa Grunwald is the first Pellissippi State Community College student to receive an American Express Scholarship from the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Foundation.

Grunwald, a student in the Hospitality concentration of the Business Administration degree program, competed nationally with other hospitality students from two- and four-year institutions for the $1,000 scholarship. She was one of the six recent awardees and the only student from Tennessee.

“Lisa is a terrific student and a hard worker,” said Tom Gaddis, head of the Hospitality concentration at Pellissippi State.

The first $500 check was applied to Grunwald’s tuition this semester. She will receive another $500 for spring.

“I was really just honored to be granted a scholarship from the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Foundation, since it’s such a prestigious organization,” Grunwald said.

Grunwald, the mother of two grown sons, says she lost her job when the company she was employed with sent all the production-line work overseas. She found a job at a local hotel and discovered she loved the environment. Grunwald decided to go to college for the first time and enrolled at Pellissippi State. She is now in her third semester.

“I hadn’t been to school for 30 years,” she said, “but once I got my study skills back, I’ve been doing really well. My first semester I was on the Academic Achievers list, and my second semester I made the dean’s list.”

For more information about Hospitality or other offerings at Pellissippi State, visit or call (865) 649-6400.

Pellissippi State offers Chinese language, culture classes for spring 2013

Since 2010, Pellissippi State Community College has offered classes in Chinese language and culture. The first language class that year was full long before registration ended. That’s why those interested in learning Mandarin Chinese or studying the culture of China are encouraged to apply and register early for the spring 2013 sessions.

Thanks to the establishment two years ago of a Confucius Classroom at Pellissippi State, students now may choose from a series of courses in beginning- and intermediate-level Mandarin. With nearly a billion primary- or first-language speakers, Mandarin Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world, according to geographer Matt Rosenberg. Chinese is the third most widely spoken language in American homes, a 2009 census reports.

The Confucius Classroom is the result of a prestigious grant made to the college by the Confucius Institute at the University of Memphis. The award includes funding for a full-time instructor from China. Shuang Liu, also known as “Lydia,” teaches the classes at Pellissippi State.

Spring 2013 courses available as part of the Confucius Classroom are “Beginning Chinese I” (CHIN 1010), “Beginning Chinese II” (CHIN 1020) and “Peoples and Culture of China” (LAS 2020).

Pellissippi State’s spring 2013 application deadline is Jan. 7. Classes begin on Jan. 17.

For additional information, visit or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State graduates, families invited to ‘Green Screen and Goodies’

Already starting to worry about what holiday gift to get friends and family? If you’re a Pellissippi State Community College graduate, we have the perfect gift at the perfect price.

We invite you, with your family, to have a holiday portrait made at the Hardin Valley Campus the evening of Friday, Nov. 30. At “Green Screen and Goodies,” talented students from our Photography concentration will be on hand 5-8 p.m. to capture your essence in the TV studio of the Bagwell Center for Media and Art.

Attendees are encouraged to wear their favorite holiday outfit—as long as it’s not green: photos will be taken in front of a professional “green screen,” which allows for the addition of our computer-generated backdrop.

Participants will be able to select their favorite portrait and have it immediately sent to their personal email account.

The cost to have an individual or family photo taken is $10. All proceeds go to the Pellissippi State Foundation on behalf of the Alumni Scholarship and Photography funds.

To reserve your spot, simply email Alumni Relations at or call (865) 539-7275 no later than Wednesday, Nov. 28.

‘Home Inspection Licensing’ class offered by Pellissippi State

It’s a business with relatively low overhead, fairly quick licensing requirements and potentially high income. Beginning an entrepreneurial enterprise as a professional home inspector can be an especially good fit for those with previous experience in construction or home repair.

On Nov. 27, individuals interested in pursuing a career in home inspection have the opportunity to begin a state-approved “Home Inspection Licensing” class at Pellissippi State Community College.

The non-credit course is offered through Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services Division. Students will engage in both classroom work and on-site inspections. Topics covered include tools, techniques, systems and fundamentals for roofs, exteriors, and foundations; structural problems; case studies; liability management; report writing; communications; business start-ups. The course also includes actual home inspections.

Instruction is provided by the Home Inspection Institute of Cincinnati. Students who satisfactorily complete the state-approved course are prepared to take the licensing exam required by Tennessee. According to the Home Inspection Institute, licensed home inspectors can expect to earn $250-400 for the typical inspection.

“Home Inspection Licensing” is a 90-hour class that meets over the course of nine days. Class dates and times are Nov. 27-Dec. 2, 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; Dec. 7, 4-10 p.m.; and Dec. 8-9, 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m. The fee is $2,095.

Classes meet at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus, with travel to on-site home inspections to be determined.

For information or registration, visit or call (865) 694-6400. The BCS website also lists updated class schedules and information on new course offerings.

Pellissippi State awarded federal grant for manufacturing training and education

A $15 million federal grant awarded to a consortium that includes Pellissippi State Community College is earmarked to fund manufacturing job training for East Tennesseans and help local companies in search of more skilled workers.

The funding also could transform manufacturing education and training—an area in which Pellissippi State has emerged as a leader.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced Sept. 19 that the grant had been awarded to the multi-state consortium. One goal of the 13-college partnership is to redesign teaching and delivery programs in manufacturing. Pellissippi State is the only community college in Tennessee to be a member.

“We’re honored to receive this grant and look forward to this collaboration,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president.

“Working with our consortium partners, we’ll be able to come up with innovative ways to train and educate workers in manufacturing. Our being part of the consortium benefits our community and the region’s manufacturers, and it better positions the U.S. to compete in the global market.”

The DOL grant awards a minimum of $760,000 to each consortium member during a three-year period. The funding will boost instructional capacity at each school, pay for equipment and technical support, and improve online delivery of the college’s Engineering Technology classes.

Pellissippi State offers a two-year associate’s degree in Engineering Technology. Students can concentrate in Civil Engineering, Electrical Construction Management, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Maintenance, Manufacturing or Mechanical Engineering.

The grant-funded training is directed toward helping workers who are displaced, unemployed or underemployed. It also focuses on the needs of the manufacturing industry.

Manufacturing employers and manufacturing instructors alike recognize a “disconnect” between the needs of industry and the content of manufacturing curricula in most colleges, according to Pat Riddle. Riddle is the program coordinator and a faculty member in Mechanical Engineering at Pellissippi State. He is also the co-leader of curriculum development for the DOL grant.

Manufacturing has changed a lot in the last 30 years, and with those changes have come the introduction of robotics and other technological advances that have reduced the need for manual labor. As a result, manufacturing now requires employees with more education and skills, says Riddle.

“What we’re starting to see now is a blend in the industrial environment of machinery and electronic communications,” he said. “In other words, we’re starting to see high-speed production environments that require workers who not only work hard but can think through problems on their own, to help their company find solutions to better and more efficient production.”

One example of how the grant will benefit Pellissippi State—and subsequently employees and employers—is that it will fund a software development tool called a fault simulator. A fault simulator allows users to introduce computer-application glitches that might occur in a real workplace.

“With it, we will have the capability to introduce problems that require troubleshooting skills,” said Riddle. “That is a major component that employers consistently ask for from us.  The equipment will provide the ultimate in state-of-the-art problem-solving development and skills development.”

Pellissippi State has a history of working with East Tennessee employers to find workforce development solutions, while creating more flexible pathways to education for the region’s residents.

In 2004, for example, Pellissippi State joined forces with several other colleges and the nation’s automakers on a new curriculum to train autoworkers. The partnership was the Automotive Manufacturing Technical Education Collaborative.

This August, AMTEC announced the release of a new general maintenance mechatronics curriculum and program, which Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services staff and Mechanical Engineering Technology degree program (now the Mechanical Engineering concentration) faculty helped create. The new program also is expected to benefit workers and employers in non-automotive manufacturing.

Pellissippi State can build on its work with the AMTEC partnership for the DOL grant project.

“This new multi-college collaboration is an offshoot to [AMTEC] and runs parallel to it,” said Riddle.

To find out more about the grant, manufacturing training and Pellissippi State, visit or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi professor presents ‘A Hobbit’s Holiday’

Before Harry Potter, “Game of Thrones” and “The Lord of the Rings,” a timid, yet surprisingly resourceful hobbit set out on a series of adventures. Along the way, he fought trolls, spiders, orcs, and an ancient dragon, and ended up learning quite a bit about himself.

The journey of Bilbo Baggins, the hero of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit,” is the subject of the upcoming Faculty Lecture Series presentation at Pellissippi State Community College. Faculty member Keith Norris’ talk—“A Hobbit’s Holiday: The Extraordinary Journey of Bilbo Baggins”—is Nov. 29, 7-8 p.m., in the Clayton Performing Arts Center at the Hardin Valley Campus.

Norris focuses on Bilbo’s journey, performing original stories, poems and musical compositions to evoke the magic of Tolkien’s novel. The family-friendly event is free and open to the public.

Norris will retell Bilbo’s adventures in five parts: “Drinking With Dwarves,” “The Trouble With Trolls,” “Matching Wits With a Monster,” “Songs for Spiders” and “Dueling With Dragons.”

Even though “The Hobbit, or There and Back Again” was published as a children’s novel in 1937, Norris says it also can teach adults a thing or two.

“Bilbo runs into a series of foes, and he learns enough to make sensible decisions,” said Norris. “He becomes the perfect person to stand between powerful people as a negotiator. As we grow up and learn to deal with our own bullies, enemies, monsters and villains, we learn to use creativity to effectively oppose them.”

Norris has read “The Hobbit” at least once a year since he was 12 and says the book has taught him that people can talk their way out of almost any unpleasant situation. More than that, he credits the book with influencing him to become an English professor and poet.

The next lecture is faculty member David Key’s “The Cold War,” Feb. 21, 12:30-1:30 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus.

The Faculty Lecture Series is part of Pellissippi State’s new arts series, “The Arts at Pellissippi State,” which brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the visual arts.

For more information about the Faculty Lecture Series, email Keith Norris at or Rob Lloyd at, or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action for Pellissippi State at (865) 694-6607 or

Pellissippi State Community College, Knoxville, TN