Pellissippi State instructor speaks on Harry Potter’s connection to higher ed

Harry Potter has entered college. In fact, in academic institutions across the country, Harry Potter–themed courses are under way.

Jake Hamric, a Liberal Arts instructor at Pellissippi State Community College, explores the connections between the famous boy wizard and the state of higher education in an upcoming lecture, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Higher Education.” Hamric speaks on Sept. 25, 4-5 p.m., in the Goins Building Auditorium at the Hardin Valley Campus.

“I’ll look at how and why the Harry Potter books have been used in higher education to discuss and analyze issues such as morality, religion, and politics,” he said. “The characters in J.K. Rowling’s books must make important decisions that affect themselves and others, just like people in all modern societies.”

According to Hamric, Rowling’s books are being used in such postsecondary courses as English literature, sociology and history.

“I believe that the Harry Potter series provides an example of how popular culture can be effectively used in the college classroom,” he said.

The lecture is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Gnosis student club.

For information about other Gnosis lectures, contact faculty sponsor Annie Gray at or call the college at (865) 694-6400.

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

The Arts at Pellissippi State: 2012-13 free concert series begins on Oct. 2

The popular free concert series hosted by Pellissippi State Community College throughout each academic year begins its new season on Tuesday, Oct. 2, with the Faculty Recital Showcase. The theme for this year’s performance is “Music Faculty Favorites.”

The 2012-13 Pellissippi State Music Concert Series is one component of the college’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.

This will be the second season that Pellissippi State’s Music program presents concerts as an All Steinway School.

The 2012-13 Pellissippi State Music Concert Series includes the following performances:

FALL 2012

Oct. 25, 7 p.m.—Fall Choral Concert

Nov. 15, 7 p.m.—Instrumental Concert (Studio Orchestra and Percussion, Brass, Bluegrass, and Guitar ensembles)

Dec. 6, 6 and 8 p.m.—Holiday Spectacular


Feb. 26, 7 p.m.—Winter Choral Concert

March 5, 7 p.m.—Student Honors Recital

March 28, 7 p.m.—Jazz Band/Bluegrass Concert

April 18, 7 p.m.— Instrumental Concert (Studio Orchestra and Brass, Guitar, and Percussion ensembles)

May 2, 7 p.m.—Spring Choral Concert

The Oct. 2 showcase begins at 7 p.m. and takes place in the Clayton Performing Arts Center at the Hardin Valley Campus. Ample free parking is available. Admission is free, but donations are accepted at the door for the Pellissippi State Foundation on behalf of the Music Scholarship Fund.

For additional information about “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

Accreditation of Pellissippi State Business and Computer Technology programs reaffirmed by national organization

Three academic degree programs offered through the Business and Computer Technology Department at Pellissippi State Community College recently received reaffirmation of accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. The programs now accredited through 2022 are Administrative Professional Technology, Business Administration, and Computer Science and Information Technology.

The reaffirmation of accreditation from ACBSP certifies that the teaching and learning processes within the institution meet the rigorous educational standards set up by the organization. Established in 1988, ACBSP is the only business accrediting organization for both two-year and four-year institutions.

Pellissippi State is one of three Tennessee schools to have achieved ACBSP reaffirmation in 2012. The others are Nashville State Community College and Lipscomb University.

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

Pellissippi State presents summer dean’s list

Pellissippi State Community College has named 61 top students to the summer semester 2012 dean’s list. Students are eligible for the dean’s list upon completion of 12 college-level hours per semester of college coursework with a 3.5-4.00 GPA. Pellissippi State honorees include the following:

Brian Bailey
Caroline Barton
Christopher Bass
Megan Beckler
Dominique Blue
Andrew Bobbett
William Bohon
Steven Bowling
Kelly Bridges
Kevin Buckner
Kristyn Burnette
Cayla Cannon
John Carter
David Clark
Callie Crane
Charles Deaderick
Elizabeth Donaldson
Hanane El Moutii Thompson
Ashley Fugate
Vasile Garbulet
Jonathan Giles
Jennifer Grooms
Colleen Hedtke
Aaron Hess
Linda Hinkle
Seth Howerton
Davis Hu
Christine Jensen
Corrie Jones
Joe Junemann
Cassandra Kerr
Jordan Kerr
Jordan Kooijman
Diana Mannis
Benjamin Manuel
Kelly Martin
Kimberly Mathes
Mason Matlock
Julie Miller
Jonathan Nickelson
Jeeten Patel
Grace Prazniak
Alexis Pugh
Daryl Ray
Derek Rider
Mary Rouleau
Travis Silcox
Amber Slaterbeck
James Smith
Bobby Snodderly
Joshua Spalding
Richard Stogsdill
Silvia Sweitzer
Michael Swihart
Justine Tabyate
Kermisha Tate
Madison Thode
Aerielle Thomas
Jefferson Thompson
Vicki Wenke
James Wolfenbarger

Second Pellissippi State student receives prestigious study abroad scholarship

Pellissippi State student Alex Huezo.

Pellissippi State Community College student Alex Huezo has joined fellow student Casey Sullivan as a recent recipient of the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.

Huezo, who has attended Pellissippi State for a year, returned in June from a summer study abroad program during which he focused on biology in the Galápagos Islands and Ecuador. The travel opportunity was hosted by the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies, which resides on the Hardin Valley Campus.

The Pellissippi State students were two of only about 500 nationwide who were named recipients of the highly competitive scholarship this year.

Huezo chose the Galápagos trip from among 18 destinations specifically because of the General Biology I course offered for credit as part of the experience. Huezo plans to study nursing, and he recognized that the opportunity to take the class in a setting renowned for its biodiversity was a unique chance to learn biology principles.

The Galápagos Islands, located in South America off the west coast of Ecuador in the Pacific, helped inspire Charles Darwin and his theories of evolution in the 1830s.

“We saw in ‘real life’ the things we would have only read about in textbooks,” said Huezo. “In our lab work, we were able to observe finches, tortoises and other wildlife firsthand, and then we presented our reports from the analyses that we did while we were on the island.”

Pellissippi State student Alex Huezo, pictured with peers during a summer study abroad to the Galápagos Islands and Ecuador. The trip was offered through the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies, located at the college.

Now in its 10th year, the Gilman Scholarship Program has helped approximately 10,000 students from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico who might not otherwise be able to study abroad because of financial constraints. The program is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Institute of International Education. It is known for its rigorous application standards.

Although he was aware at the outset that the Gilman Scholarship was highly competitive, Huezo nonetheless felt positive about his chances for success when he submitted his application. He credits not only his essay and proposed project but also his sheer determination to study abroad with his selection as one of this year’s scholars.

“At the end of my essay, I made it clear that I would find some way to pay for studying abroad this summer,” said Huezo. “I explained that I would appreciate any assistance, but I was determined to go even if I wasn’t selected for the scholarship.

“And now that I’ve had this experience, I definitely want to study abroad again next summer. I’d like to go to Iceland. It’s supposed to be a challenging program, but I’m ready.”

Huezo is one of more than 450 Tennessee students, faculty and administrators who participated in this summer’s TnCIS study abroad programs. TnCIS coordinates the opportunities as part of its mission of boosting international experience and culture in higher education across the state. A wide variety of study areas were offered this year, in locales ranging from Brazil and China to the Czech Republic and Ghana.

For additional information about TnCIS, including 2013 study abroad options, visit or call (865) 539-7280. For more about Pellissippi State, visit or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State: Rep. Armstrong speaks at Magnolia site for Civic Engagement Week

In honor of Constitution Day, on Monday, Sept. 17, Pellissippi State Community College will host State Rep. Joe Armstrong at the Magnolia Avenue Campus, 1610 E. Magnolia Ave.

Armstrong will talk about the rights and responsibilities of citizens. The public is invited to hear the free presentation in the Community Room, 10:45-11:45 a.m. In addition, voter registration is taking place with the help of Iota Phi Lambda sorority in the Lobby, 10-noon.

The events are part of the college’s first-ever Civic Engagement Week, Sept. 10-17.

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

For more information, call the Magnolia Avenue Campus at (865) 329-3100.

Pellissippi State debuts arts series with two performances of ‘biting comedy’

The new “Arts at Pellissippi State” series showcases an eclectic mix of theatre, music, lectures and visual arts for 2012-13. Pellissippi State Community College’s first theatrical offering of the series features an evening and a matinee performance of “Pardon Me for Living: A Biting New Comedy.”

The first performance is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, and the second is at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30. Both take place at Pellissippi State’s Clayton Performing Arts Center, located in West Knox County on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

Co-produced by Pellissippi State and Flying Anvil Theatre, the one-woman show features performer Staci Swedeen, also the playwright. Jayne Morgan directs. The idea for the show came to Swedeen in 2003, when she was bitten by a raccoon at her home in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.

“It’s my version of ‘Alice in Wonderland,’” she said, “but instead of ‘through the rabbit hole,’ it’s ‘through the rabid raccoon hole.’”

“[Swedeen] captures the event and its aftermath with comedic flair,” wrote Peter Kramer in Gannett’s Journal News of the 2008 Hudson Stage Company production.

Tickets are now on sale for both performances. Cost is $20 general admission in advance, $24 at the door, $16 with student ID and $18 for discount groups. Proceeds go to the Pellissippi State Foundation to benefit Flying Anvil Theatre and the Pellissippi State Theatre program.

Tickets are available at the Clayton Performing Arts Center Box Office beginning one hour before each performance.  They also can be reserved by phone at (865) 694-6684 or by email at

For more information on “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 for Pellissippi State, (865) 694-6607 or

Pellissippi State hosts exhibit featuring African-American artist Harold Winslow

He lived on the roof of a five-story apartment building in Mexico, and his room was so small that it contained little more than a bed, some canvases and his painting tools. It was from there, though, that African-American artist Harold Winslow created more than 1,300 pieces, securing a place in art history as a prolific chronicler of Mexican culture.

A collection of 50 of Winslow’s works will be shown at a special traveling art exhibit hosted by Pellissippi State Community College and the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies. The works have been on tour since August 2011 at selected Kentucky and Tennessee colleges and universities.

Slated for display at Pellissippi State Sept. 19-Oct. 3, “Una Visión de la Mexicanidad”—“Mexicanidad” refers to the Mexican national identity and culture—offers a record of one artist’s experience in two cultures. Winslow, who was born in 1918 in Dayton, Ohio, moved to Mexico in 1940 in the hopes of escaping racism. He remained there until his death in 2001, at the age of 83.

“As a painter, Winslow expressed the enduring spirit of Mexican culture and the detailed harmony of human anatomy,” said Tracey Bradley, executive director of the consortium. “This unique perspective gives us all an opportunity to experience Mexico through his vision.”

The creative community in Mexico embraced Winslow, and he studied under such notable artists as painters Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco, watercolorist Pastor Velásquez, and muralist Alfredo Zalce. Winslow’s work includes paintings, murals and illustrations.

In the early 1940s, the artist also drew more than 2,000 illustrations for the “Treaty of Human Anatomy,” a textbook still in use at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, one of the most recognized academic institutions in Latin America.

“Una Visión de la Mexicanidad” marks the second time this summer that Pellissippi State and TnCIS have joined with the Ministry of Culture of Michoacán to bring an international art exhibit to East Tennessee. The three organizations teamed in August to bring “Masks of Michoacán” from Mexico to Knoxville for a 17-day showing.

TnCIS, whose headquarters are at Pellissippi State, and the Ministry of Culture of Michoacán, a Mexican state, are sponsoring the exhibit. TnCIS is dedicated to making international education and cultural understanding a central goal of higher education in Tennessee. The consortium offers study abroad opportunities to college students throughout the state.

The display of Winslow’s art is one of the events that make up 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.

The exhibit is on display Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The showing is in the gallery of the Bagwell Center for Media and Art on the Hardin Valley Campus. It is free and open to the public. Group tours from schools, art classes and artist groups are welcome and may be arranged with advance notice.

To learn more or schedule a group tour, contact Linnette Legg at (865) 539-7064 or To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or

Additional information about TnCIS is available at For more about Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit

Pellissippi State offers wide range of non-credit classes at Blount County Campus

Pellissippi State Community College has scheduled a variety of non-credit courses this fall at its Blount County Campus, and they are open for immediate registration. The fall non-credit course selection provided by Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services Division includes the following:

“Rules of the Road for Sound Investing”—Sept. 17-Oct. 8, Mondays, 6:30-8:30 p.m.; $65. Learn the “rules of the road” to gain a better understanding of the key principles of saving and investing. Tips will be given to identify and avoid the most common investment mistakes.

“Crash Course—Not Your Typical Guitar Class for the Adult Beginner”—Oct. 2-16, Tuesdays, 6-7:30 p.m.; ages 13 and up; $65, plus $15 materials fee payable to the instructor at the first class. Students will pick up quick, easy methods of guitar playing without having to learn lots of chords. Methods require the use of one or two fingers, making this the perfect class for those with hand or finger limitations.

“Tennessee Handgun Carry-Permit Class”—Oct. 6, Nov. 3 or Dec. 1, Saturdays, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; $65, plus $5 range fee payable to the instructor. Successfully completing this eight-hour course satisfies the requirement necessary for application for a state permit. About three of the hours are spent on the firing range (Location is to be announced). Students must furnish gun and ammunition.

“How to Thrive Financially in Retirement”—Oct. 9-16, Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m.; $59. Designed for those who are retired or getting close to retiring, this course covers topics such as retirement investing, tax reduction, estate planning and IRA/401K strategies.

“Basic Digital Photography”—Oct. 10-Nov. 7, Wednesdays, 6:15-8:15 p.m.; $99. Participants will learn how to use a digital camera effectively. The course covers exposure, composition, lighting and color theory. Students must bring a digital SLR camera. A point-and-shoot camera may be used if it has a manual mode.

“Introduction to Using Herbs”—Nov. 8-Dec. 6 (No class Nov. 22), Thursdays, 6-9 p.m.; $65, plus required textbooks (Call for information). Susan Jane Fidler, a registered herbalist with the American Herbalist Guild, teaches students how herbs work, safe preparation for different body systems and drug-herb interaction safety tips.

All of the classes are at Pellissippi State’s Blount County Campus, 2731 W. Lamar Alexander Pkwy.

Non-credit courses also are currently being offered by Pellissippi State in Knox County. For information or registration, visit or call (865) 539-7167. The BCS website lists updated class schedules and information on new course offerings.

Learn more about East Tennessee volunteer opportunities at Pellissippi State’s volunteer resource fair

Pellissippi State Community College will host a volunteer resource fair, Call to Service (C2S), on Sept. 12 to introduce members of the community and students interested in learning about regional volunteer opportunities to local nonprofit agencies seeking volunteers. More than 75 agencies have been invited to the free event. Pellissippi State’s Magnolia Avenue Campus is hosting the fair.

Potential volunteers will have the opportunity to meet with agency representatives to learn more about each nonprofit organization’s mission and the roles available to individuals wishing to become more involved in their communities. This marks the second year that the Magnolia Avenue Campus has hosted a volunteer resource fair.

Students at Pellissippi State are introduced to volunteerism through the school’s Service-Learning program and the student club Gnosis. Service-learning pairs community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.

To date, Pellissippi State students have volunteered with Beardsley Community Farm, Ijams Nature Center, and Maynard Elementary School, all in Knoxville; Second Harvest Food Bank in Maryville; and a growing list of other schools and nonprofit organizations.

Event hours are 10 a.m.-2 p.m. C2S takes place in the Joe Armstrong Building at Pellissippi State’s Magnolia Avenue Campus, 1610 E. Magnolia Ave. Registration is not required. The event will also take place at the Blount County Campus on September 26 and the Hardin Valley Campus on September 28.

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

Pellissippi State Community College, Knoxville, TN