Pellissippi State Foundation: ‘Backstage Pass’ offers new arts series sneak peek, auction opportunities

The Pellissippi State Foundation hosts a gala affair on Friday, Sept. 7, to kick off Pellissippi State Community College’s new arts series, “The Arts at Pellissippi State.”

“Backstage Pass” provides guests a behind-the-scenes look at the fall Arts at Pellissippi State activities. The series presents the best creative efforts of student, faculty, and professional presenters, offering music, fine arts, theatre, lectures, and international fare.

Backstage Pass also gives guests a chance to take part in a live auction. Among the items up for bid are a complete room makeover, a family memories video, graphic design services and a website design. Most of the auction items were donated by Pellissippi State students and faculty.

One auction item—the residential room makeover (estimated value $2,000)—could be used to change the function of a room, redesign a space or simply redecorate a room. Pellissippi State’s Interior Design Technology students will deliver a design proposal, floor plan, three-dimensional perspective, specifications sheet with ordering information and pricing, and samples of finishes, fabrics, and accessories.

The memories video (estimated value $1,500) is expected to be an especially popular auction item. Pellissippi State’s Video Production Technology students are offering a one-hour personalized production featuring the winning bidder’s family story and genealogy.

The college’s Communication Graphics Technology students will provide the lucky winner with graphic design services (estimated value $1,500-$3,000) that include three layout options. The options may be used for the bidder’s choice of a logo, poster, direct mail piece, brochure or billboard.

For those looking for the design and implementation of a website or the improvement of an existing one, Web Technology students will provide a package of services that includes five functional pages of a website (estimated value $8,000).

Backstage Pass takes place at Cherokee Country Club, 5138 Lyons View Pike, Knoxville. Proceeds from the special event will be used by the Pellissippi State Foundation to support The Arts at Pellissippi State.

Backstage Pass begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $100 per person and include a cocktail buffet.

For additional information or to purchase tickets, call the Pellissippi State Foundation at (865) 539-7351.

Pellissippi State hosts ‘Election Primer’

At his “Gnosis Election Primer” lecture, Keith Norris, associate professor of English, will discuss how the Electoral College works as well as tackle other political topics, including mudslinging, polling data and swing states. The community is invited to Pellissippi State for the free event, Monday, Sept. 10, 4:30-5:30 p.m. in the Goins Building Cafeteria Annex at the Hardin Valley Campus.

Dirty. Politics. The words have gone together since the election of 1796, says Keith Norris, associate professor of English at Pellissippi State Community College.

“Politics in the United States has always been a bare-knuckled sport,” says the self-proclaimed political junkie.

Norris will talk about all things electoral Monday, Sept. 10, 4:30-5:30 p.m., in the Goins Building Cafeteria Annex on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

His lecture, “The Gnosis Election Primer,” kicks off Pellissippi State’s first-ever Civic Engagement Week, Sept. 10-17. The free talk is sponsored by the Gnosis student organization, and the community is invited.

Norris discusses some famous past presidential elections and how they compared to this year’s political fistfight. He also explains the Electoral College, swing states, polling data and more.

“Right now Obama and Romney are about neck and neck in national polls,” he said, “but the race will ultimately be decided by eight or nine states. The state polls are what we should be paying attention to.”

In addition to addressing the fascinating mechanics of winning an election, Norris says he wants to emphasize the importance of developing the habit of voting in every election. He also wants to dispel the notion that a vote doesn’t “count” because it’s just one vote.

“Voting can be a tremendously emotional experience,” Norris said.

Beyond Norris’ lecture, the Civic Engagement Week activities include the presence of voter registration tables throughout the week at each of the five campuses. Also, on Sept. 17 Ian Hennessey with the Blount Mansion Association presents “From Philadelphia to Knoxville: Tennessee’s Role in the Constitutional Experiment.”

The Hennessey presentation is noon-12:50 in the Goins Building Auditorium. The lecture on Tennessee’s historical connection to the U.S. Constitution is also free and open to the public.

“The week between 9/11 and Constitution Day is perfect for encouraging civic participation,” said Annie Gray, Pellissippi State English professor and Civic Engagement Week coordinator.

For more information, call Pellissippi State at (865) 694-6400 or email Gray at To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or

Register to vote at Pellissippi State

Are you registered to vote in November’s state and federal elections? If not, Pellissippi State Community College is making it easier and more convenient by offering voter registration at all five campuses Sept. 11-14. The activities are part of the college’s first-ever Civic Engagement Week.

At the Hardin Valley Campus, voter registration takes place in the Courtyard between the Goins and McWherter buildings and inside the Alexander and McWherter buildings. Registration is scheduled for the following dates and times:

  • Sept. 11, 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Sept. 12, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Sept. 13, 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Sept.14, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Also, on Sept. 25 the Knox County/Knoxville League of Women Voters will be on hand 10 a.m-1 p.m. to help with register voters. Weather permitting, the table will be set up in the Courtyard. If it rains, the table will be in the Goins Building Rotunda.

On Sept. 12-13 the Blount County Election Commission will have staff available at the Blount County Campus to answer questions and register voters. The event takes place 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Lobby.

The Division Street Campus will have registration forms available in Room 117 12:30-3 p.m. Sept. 13 and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 14. On Sept. 25 the Knox County/Knoxville League of Women Voters will be set up 10 a.m-1 p.m. in Room 117.

At the Magnolia Avenue Campus, voter registration will be facilitated by Iota Phi Lambda business sorority Sept. 17. The event is 10-noon in the Lobby. Again, on Sept. 25 the Knox County/Knoxville League of Women Voters will be on hand for voter registration 10 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Lobby.

At the Strawberry Plains Campus, registration takes place Sept. 11-14, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., in the Lobby.

According to the Knox County Election Commission, to be eligible to vote in Tennessee, voters must be a U.S. citizen, a resident of Tennessee and at least 18 years old on or before the next election. They may not have been convicted of a felony. If they have, their full rights of citizenship must have been restored or they must have received a pardon. As of Jan. 1, 2012, voters must present an acceptable photo ID at the polls.

For more information, call Pellissippi State at (865) 649-6400 or email faculty sponsors Annie Gray ( or Ann Kronk (

Pellissippi State, TnCIS host Mexican art exhibit

Pellissippi State Community College and the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies will host a special traveling art exhibit from Mexico Aug. 27-Sept. 12. With the presentation of “Masks of Michoacán,” this will be the fourth year the college and TnCIS have worked with the Ministry of Culture of Michoacán to bring an international art exhibit to East Tennessee.

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 Michoacán collection, which includes 40 wooden masks from the Mask Museum in the Centro Cultural Antiguo Colegio Jesuita in Pátzcuaro, brings to life the attitudes and values of those whose culture the pieces represent. According to early chroniclers and historians, Mesoamerican cultures used masks in rituals and indigenous ceremonies. The masks were made in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors and were used in secular and religious celebrations, dances, and pantomimes.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. Group tours from schools, art classes or artist groups are welcome and may be arranged with advance notice. An opening reception, which is free and open to the publicprinces jumpers castles rentals, is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 27, at 3:15 p.m. in Pellissippi State’s Bagwell Center for Media and Art lobby.

“Masks of Michoacán” 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.

Exhibit hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The showing is in the Bagwell Center gallery at the Hardin Valley Campus.

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

Pellissippi State celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

Pellissippi State Community College marks National Hispanic Heritage Month with celebrations on Sept. 20 and Oct. 12 at the Hardin Valley Campus in West Knoxville.

The Sept. 20 presentation features dance groups performing in the Goins Building College Center. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. It includes the following scheduled performances:

  • 5:15-6 p.m.—Knoxville Argentine Tango Society
  • 6:15-7 p.m.—Academy Ballroom Latin Dance Ensemble
  • 7:15-8:15 p.m.—Pablo Garzon and Serenatta, Romantic Latin Ensemble, of Nashville

On Oct. 12, the Core Ensemble performs its chamber music theatre work “Tres Vidas,” 7-8:30 p.m. at the Clayton Performing Arts Center. Chamber music theatre is a format developed by the Core Ensemble that blends theatrical narrative and chamber music performance.

“Tres Vidas” is a celebration of the life, times and work of three significant Latin American women: painter Frida Kahlo of Mexico, peasant activist Ruffina Amaya of El Salvador and poet Alfonsina Storni of Argentina.

Each year, National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed Sept. 15-Oct. 15 in the U.S. by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of citizens of this country whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The observation began in 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded to its present 30-day period under President Ronald Reagan in 1988.

This year’s National Hispanic Heritage Month events are sponsored by Pellissippi State’s Access and Diversity Office, Student Life and Recreation, and Liberal Arts Department. The Hardin Valley Campus is located at 10915 Hardin Valley Road. For more information, call (865) 539-7160.

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 Backstage Pass event to launch arts series

For more than 35 years, Pellissippi State Community College has welcomed the community to take part in the institution’s many cultural activities. Beginning this fall, Pellissippi State launches The Arts at Pellissippi State, an arts series that offers more opportunities than ever to enjoy everything from music and theatre to cultural celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts.

The series showcases the talents of Pellissippi State students and faculty, as well as those of special guest performers. To set the new series in motion, the college is hosting Backstage Pass, an evening that will showcase a sampling of the arts-related events slated for the upcoming season.

Backstage Pass offers attendees not only a behind-the-scenes look at future arts activities but also a live auction and cocktail buffet. The setting is Knoxville’s Cherokee Country Club. Proceeds from the special event will be used by the Pellissippi State Foundation to support The Arts at Pellissippi State.

“Backstage Pass” takes place on Friday, Sept. 7, beginning at 7 p.m. Cherokee Country Club is located at 5138 Lyons View Pike.

Individuals interested in attending are encouraged to order tickets early. Tickets are $100 per person. Sponsorships also are available.

For additional information on Backstage Pass, call the Pellissippi State Foundation at (865) 539-7351.

Pellissippi State cuts ribbon on fifth campus

Exterior of Strawberry Plains Campus

As officials cut the ribbon on Monday, Aug. 13, a new era in education in East Knox County and the surrounding area will begin.

The Strawberry Plains Campus, Pellissippi State Community College’s fifth and newest location, will officially open. The community is invited to participate in the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2 p.m. The campus is at 7201 Strawberry Plains Pike, and the event will be followed by tours and a reception.

Math, English and learning support classes are set to start Aug. 26, and that’s just the beginning, says Mike North, campus dean.

“We hope to connect with local businesses to provide a place for them to provide instruction for their employees, and we are already in cooperation with four-year colleges to offer four-year programs on this campus,” he said.

The facility has 223,000 square feet and offers multiple classrooms, open office space, gathering areas, private offices, a full-service cafeteria and kitchen, a theatre-style presentation room, and a warehouse area with loading dock. So far, about 30,000 square feet have been renovated into classrooms, computer labs, a distance learning classroom and office space. Additional space will become available in phases as enrollment increases.

Prospective students may apply for admission, take a placement test, register for classes and get financial aid information each Thursday through Aug. 16.

For more information about the ribbon cutting, contact Pat Myers, director of Alumni Relations and Foundation events at or (865) 539-7242. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or

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

Pellissippi State scheduled Aug. 18 Alumni Family Movie Day

The Pellissippi State Alumni Association invites all Pellissippi State graduates and their families to attend Alumni Family Movie Day on Saturday, Aug. 18. The event takes place on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

Alumni Family Movie Day begins at noon with lunch, compliments of Buddy’s Bar-B-Q, in the Goins Building Cafeteria. While there is no charge for the meal, the Pellissippi State Foundation will accept donations for the Alumni Scholarship Fund.

A showing of the popular animated film “Madagascar” follows at 1 p.m. in the Goins Auditorium. The movie and popcorn are also free.

Those planning to attend are asked contact the Alumni Office at (865) 539-7242 or by Wednesday, Aug. 15.

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

To learn more about Pellissippi State, visit

Pellissippi State offers QuickBooks workshop for small-business owners

Keeping track of finances can be a real headache for small-business owners, but the fix may be fairly simple and painless: QuickBooks.

Debi Bolton of Pellissippi State Community College says QuickBooks software enables businesspeople to quickly find what they need when they need it, including money coming in and money going out of the business. Bolton is manager of the Computer Training Institute for the college’s Business and Community Services Division.

Pellissippi State is joining forces with the Tennessee Small Business Development Center to offer a $99 Introduction to QuickBooks workshop four times this fall: Sept. 14; Oct. 19, Nov. 16 and Dec. 7. The workshop takes place at the TSBDC office, located at the Knoxville Area Chamber Partnership, 17 Market Square. Since class size is limited, pre-registration is required.

The 3.5-hour workshop focuses on setting up business finances using QuickBooks Pro. The class covers company setup, chart of accounts creation, invoicing, bill payment, check writing, customer and vendor management, report generation, and preferences.

Gabe Beck, CPA and QuickBooks instructor, uses systematic instructions, making the material easy to understand.

To register or find out more, go to or call Debi Bolton at (865) 539-7008.

Pellissippi State administers the Knoxville branch of the TSBDC, whose mission is to provide free counseling and training for those interested in starting or improving a small business. The TSBDC serves 16 counties in East Tennessee.

Pellissippi State ‘Fast Forward’ student accepted to West Point

Matthew Waldrep, a home-schooler who accrued 42 college credits in Pellissippi State’s Fast Forward Dual Enrollment program, heads to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in July. Waldrep, 18, spent the last two years taking math and science courses in preparation for applying to the prestigious military school. He was nominated to the academy by U.S. Rep. John Duncan, at left.

Matthew Waldrep, a home-school student in the Fast Forward Dual Enrollment program at Pellissippi State Community College this past spring, has been accepted to the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

To be considered for admission to West Point, candidates must meet certain academic, medical and physical requirements and must receive a nomination from an approved source. Waldrep was nominated by U.S. Rep. John Duncan and leaves for New York in July.

The 18-year-old Farragut home-schooler took Fast Forward classes for the past two academic years. Dual enrollment allows high school students to earn high school and college credit simultaneously for the same course. Nearly 2,000 area high school students participated in the program in 2011-12.

Waldrep says he has known for many years that he wanted to go to West Point, and he chose his academic path accordingly.

Taking dual enrollment classes at Pellissippi State was a crucial part of the plan, since, he figured, college-level credit would carry more weight with the academy’s tough admission standards than would high school credit.

When President Thomas Jefferson signed legislation establishing West Point in 1802, he envisioned it as a strong science and engineering institution, and that tradition continues today. With that knowledge, Waldrep also took Fast Forward courses that would give him a good foundation in math and science.

“All my teachers at Pellissippi State were very helpful and willing to help me understand the concepts,” he said.

Waldrep earned a 3.96 grade point average at Pellissippi State. Along the way, he played for Farragut High School’s rugby club for two years, became an Eagle Scout, won two national awards from the Sons of the American Revolution and received a Congressional Award Gold Medal, the highest award bestowed on youth by the U.S. Congress.

In addition to accumulating 42 college credit hours through Fast Forward and 6 at the Governor’s School at UT-Martin, he worked as a paid student instructor at Pellissippi State under the supervision of Jerry Burns, a chemistry professor.

“When Matthew was in my class, I could tell he was a top-notch student,” said Burns, who served as a faculty reference. “After that, when he was my student instructor, he did an excellent job as well. When West Point chooses their cadets, some of what they look for is superb ability, inner strength and self-motivation. Matthew’s got all that.”

As a West Point cadet, Waldrep is a member of the U.S. Army. He receives a full scholarship and an annual salary, from which he pays for his uniforms, textbooks, personal computer and incidentals. Room, board, medical and dental care are provided by the federal government.

Upon graduation, he will be awarded a Bachelor of Science degree and an officer commission in the U.S. Army. In turn, he is obligated to serve five years on active duty in the Army and three years in an inactive reserve status.

For information about Pellissippi State’s Fast Forward program, visit or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State Community College, Knoxville, TN