Pellissippi State holds informational sessions for Tennessee Promise

posted in: Academics, Registration, Students | 0

In September and October, Pellissippi State Community College invites students who will enter college in fall 2015 to attend informational sessions about the Tennessee Promise.

The Tennessee Promise is a last-dollar scholarship that will cover tuition and fees for community college students across the state, essentially giving high school graduates the opportunity to attend college for free, beginning with incoming freshmen in fall 2015. Although students won’t be eligible to receive funding until they begin school next fall, the deadline to apply for Tennessee Promise is Nov. 1, 2014.

“It’s extremely important that students understand that they must meet this deadline to qualify to receive Tennessee Promise funding. If a student misses this deadline, there will not be another opportunity to take advantage of the Promise scholarship,” said Rebecca Ashford, vice president of Student Affairs at Pellissippi State.
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Informational sessions at Pellissippi State will share details about program requirements and deadlines and highlight the educational offerings at Pellissippi State. Sessions will be offered at all five Pellissippi State campuses, from 6-7 p.m. each night:

  • Sept. 8: Hardin Valley, Goins Building Auditorium
  • Sept. 11: Strawberry Plains, Lobby
  • Sept. 15: Hardin Valley, Goins Building Auditorium
  • Sept. 18: Blount County, West Chevrolet Auditorium
  • Sept. 22: Hardin Valley, Goins Building Auditorium
  • Sept. 25: Division Street, Educational Resources Center
  • Sept. 29: Hardin Valley, Goins Building Auditorium
  • Oct. 2: Magnolia Avenue, Lobby
  • Oct. 6: Hardin Valley, Goins Building Auditorium
  • Oct. 9: Blount County, West Chevrolet Auditorium
  • Oct. 13: Hardin Valley, Goins Building Auditorium
  • Oct. 16: Division Street, Educational Resources Center
  • Oct. 20: Magnolia Avenue, Lobby
  • Oct. 27: Hardin Valley, Goins Building Auditorium
  • Oct. 30: Strawberry Plains, Lobby

“The Tennessee Promise is an excellent opportunity for students throughout the state,” said Leigh Anne Touzeau, assistant vice president of Enrollment Services. “We hope the students in our region will take advantage of this scholarship at Pellissippi State.”

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

NASA to grant scholarships to Pellissippi State students

Enrollment in STEM—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—at community colleges across the U.S. comes up short for women and underrepresented students, but at Pellissippi State Community College, a new grant will seek to change that.

NASA has awarded $499,689 to the Tennessee Community College Space Grant Consortium, through the Tennessee Space Grant Consortium located at Vanderbilt University, as part of the NSPIRES (NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System) program. The consortium is made up of Pellissippi State and four other Tennessee Board of Regents colleges.

“Pellissippi State is a major provider of qualified engineering technicians to local manufacturers,” said Peggy Wilson, vice president of College Advancement and executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation. “Similarly, NASA is committed to increasing the number of students graduating with STEM degrees.
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“While women represent about 61 percent of the total enrollment in the state’s community colleges, they only account for about 11 percent of the enrollment in engineering technology programs.” Underrepresented groups make up about 13 percent of engineering technology program enrollment.

As part of the Community College Space Grant Consortium, the college plans to recruit more women and underrepresented groups into STEM-related associate’s degree and certificate programs, particularly in the areas of engineering technology and robotics.

The grant will provide $45,000 in scholarships to Pellissippi State. This is the first time that a Space Grant scholarship has been awarded to Tennessee community college students.

The grant also will help the school hire a part-time “completion coach” to provide Pellissippi State’s Engineering Technology students the support they need to graduate. The Engineering Technology program culminates in an Associate of Applied Science degree.

Additionally, it will pay for membership in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, as well as for travel to the IEEE SoutheastCon’s robotics competition and the NASA Summer Robotics Institute at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
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Other members of the consortium include Cleveland State Community College, Columbia State Community College, Northeast State Community College and Roane State Community College.

For more information on the grant or the college’s engineering technology offerings, visit or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State, community partners team up for ‘Good Food For All’

3 people around some vegetables.
Pellissippi State Community College students, from left, Juls Jackson, Roxmin Lakhani and Cindy Lozano help harvest food at the Pond Gap Elementary School community garden. Pellissippi State founded the garden in 2013.

This fall, Pellissippi State Community College begins a year of collaboration with five area partners working on community school support and food access outreach projects.

The college’s Service-Learning program, with support from the Sustainable Campus Initiative, kicks off the “Good Food For All” campaign during Civic Engagement Week, Sept. 10-17.

“This project is upping the ante on Pellissippi State’s connections to the community and our outreach into poverty alleviation and education efforts outside our campuses,” said Annie Gray, Service-Learning coordinator.

“We will be working to create awareness of East Tennessee challenges to food security and good nutrition. Through these projects, we’ll connect Pellissippi State students and employees with community service opportunities. Together, we’ll support volunteer programming and nutrition initiatives in Knoxville’s new community schools—initiatives that are already under way to combat food security issues.”

During Civic Engagement Week, Pellissippi State will host events and speakers tied in to food access, sustainability, and community service. The week will include lectures and skill sharing on food security, organic gardening, permaculture, and careers in sustainability, food, agriculture, and human sciences. There will be harvesting events and speakers on topics as varied as Knoxville’s food scene and the agrarian heritage of the United States.

“We want to showcase opportunities for service in ways that relate to food, like community gardens, and stoke students’ fire for education as we spotlight career paths in sustainability, local food and agriculture, nutrition education, human sciences, and more,” Gray said.

But Civic Engagement Week is just the beginning.

Good Food For All continues throughout the year through the work of five AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers, funded by a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service.

The VISTA volunteers will work at five area sites in poverty alleviation projects as they relate to food access and nutritional awareness. Elias Attea will work with Pond Gap Elementary, a participant in the University-Assisted Community Schools Program; Nicole Lewis, with Knoxville’s Great Schools Partnership; Caley Hyatt, with Knoxville-Knox County’s Food Policy Council; Jeremy Roberts, with the University of Tennessee-Tennessee State University Extension-Knox County; and Jennifer Hurst, with Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee. 

“Food is a great place to start with the college’s poverty alleviation outreach projects,” said Gray, “because it is common ground we all share: we all need food, we all understand food. Sharing more knowledge about food gives people more power over their food supply; this bridges socioeconomic and demographic differences. There are a lot of community outreach and academic opportunities here.”

Through the CNCS grant, Pellissippi State will pay for one AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer’s time for the year. The five community partners will donate a portion of the funding for the four additional VISTA workers, and CNCS will cover the rest. VISTA volunteers are paid at the poverty level during their year of balance 759

The community partnerships of Good Food For All are building on the foundation of Pellissippi State’s community garden at Pond Gap Elementary School. The garden has been used to grow food for the community, has served as an educational tool for the schoolchildren at Pond Gap and has been a place for Pellissippi State students to volunteer time in service. 

AmeriCorps VISTA was founded in 1965 as a national service program dedicated to fighting poverty. Pellissippi State’s Service-Learning program allows students and faculty to integrate meaningful community service and reflection with more traditional learning experiences, with the underlying goals of teaching civic responsibility and strengthening communities. 

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

Pellissippi State puts out casting call for ‘Server Alley,’ ‘The Tempest’

posted in: Events, The Arts, Theatre | 0

theatre graphic with female holding flowersActors and actresses: Try out your talents at Pellissippi State Community College. Community-wide auditions get under way in September for Alex Gherardi’s “Server Alley” and William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.”

General auditions are set for 7 p.m. Sept. 3-4 in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Those auditioning will be asked to present one Shakespearean monologue, read from the text of a new work and perform an improvisational movement.

The Pellissippi State production of “Server Alley,” to be presented Nov. 14-16 and 21-23, is the world premiere. Written by New York playwright Alex Gherardi, the comedy-drama examines the lives of an oft-seen but barely noticed group: the people who serve your food.
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The Shakespeare classic “The Tempest” is being produced in partnership with Duck Ear Productions. The play is April 17-19 and 24-26. Attendees should prepare to be transported to a faraway island for a tale filled with spirits, monsters, vengeance, young love and sorcery.

“Server Alley” and “The Tempest” are two of the 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.

For more information about The Arts at Pellissippi State, visit or call (865) 694-6400. For more information about the auditions, contact Charles R. Miller, head of Theatre productions at Pellissippi State and co-founder of the Smoky Mountain Shakespeare Festival. His email is

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