Pellissippi State lecture tackles ‘Science vs. Religion’

The ongoing Faculty Lecture Series at Pellissippi State Community College is meant to provoke thinking, discussion, debate. The March 28 lecture on science and religion—supported by the Faculty Lecture Series and sponsored by Gnosis, the college’s student service-learning club—is guaranteed to be no exception.

In “Science vs. Religion,” David Howell, a Liberal Arts professor at Pellissippi State, addresses the incompatibility of the two. The presentation is 3:30-4:30 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium on­ the Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The community is invited to the free event.

“Many people believe that you can be religious and scientific at the same time,” said Howell. “I believe that the news is worse than that. Much as we’d like that to be the case, it’s not. You have to choose between science and religion.

“The conflict between science and religion is a real conflict and cannot be made to go away. Religion says that the world is a creation of a loving God. Science says it’s obviously not the case. People of good will want to say we can be religious and scientific and don’t have to give up one or the other. Unfortunately, they’re mistaken.”

Howell will refer to the works of St. Thomas Aquinas, a philosopher and theologian; Sir Isaac Newton, a mathematician and scientist; and Stephen Gould, an evolutionary biologist and historian of science.

The Gnosis service-learning club hosts educational events throughout the year, and its members do volunteer work in the community. The college has recognized Gnosis as its top student organization for the past two years. The Faculty Lecture Series showcases the talent of the college’s faculty members.

For more information about this event, contact Gnosis club sponsors Annie Gray,, or Trent Eades, To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or

Pellissippi State purchases East Knox site for Strawberry Plains Campus

Pellissippi State Community College has purchased the former Philips Consumer Electronics’ East Tennessee headquarters for the site of its new Strawberry Plains Campus, said Pellissippi State President Anthony Wise today.

“We are very excited about the acquisition of the new campus at Strawberry Plains,” said Wise. “This project has been part of the college’s master plan for several years and will allow us to increase access to our programs and to work toward the fulfillment of the goals of the Complete College Tennessee Act.”

The 32.6-acre property is located at 7201 Strawberry Plains Pike in East Knox County, off Interstate 40.

Pellissippi State bought the property for $10 million, an acquisition that required approval of the Tennessee Board of Regents, the college’s governing board, as well as the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and the State Building Commission. A state program that funded community college capital projects contributed $8.5 million toward the cost. The Pellissippi State Foundation paid the remaining $1.5 million through private donations.
Pellissippi State plans to open the Strawberry Plains Campus fall semester.

The college has long recognized the need for more effective outreach in the east, north and south parts of Knox County. It’s a need driven in part by the area’s educational demographic. In West Knox County, 43.6 percent of residents have college degrees, according to a report the college compiled with U.S. Department of Census data. In the rest of the county, 22.9 percent of residents have a degree.

Pellissippi State became aware of the availability of the 223,000-square-foot facility in 2010. Philips constructed the building in 1980, a project that took two years, then completed a major renovation and remodel in 2002. The facility has been vacant since 2006 when Philips moved out.

The three-story main building is partially furnished and makes up most of the square footage on the property. The facility also has open office space, gathering areas, private offices, a full-service cafeteria and kitchen, a theater-style presentation room, a warehouse area with loading dock, and a design wing once used by company engineers.

“One of the reasons the property was attractive to us is that it already has the feel of a college campus,” Wise said. “It has large open office spaces that can be transformed fairly easily into classroom space.”

The addition of the Strawberry Plains Campus will give the college a total of five campus locations.

The Pellissippi Campus, which is the main site, is located on Hardin Valley Road in West Knox County. The Division Street and Magnolia Avenue campuses are located in Knoxville as well. The Blount County Campus is at 2731 W. Lamar Alexander Parkway (U.S. 321).

Learn more about Pellissippi State at

Public invited to Pellissippi State’s ‘Children’s Literature in Africa’

Parents who want to give their small children a boost in reading will not want to miss Catherine T. Shafer’s lecture, “Children’s Literature by African Authors and Illustrators,” at Pellissippi State Community College.

Shafer speaks Monday, March 19, 10:45-11:45, in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

Shafer is a passionate advocate for early childhood literacy. An adjunct faculty member in the college’s Early Childhood Education, she says that reading to young children is of utmost importance. She also believes that when parents choose literature from other cultures, their children can become more accepting of their global peers.

The free event is part of this academic year’s Common Book activities, which revolve around “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope” by William Kamkwamba. Kamkwamba was a 14-year-old in Malawi, Africa, when he built a windmill out of spare parts in order to get electricity into his parents’ home.

For more information about this event, contact Pellissippi State’s English Department at (865) 694-6708 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

Pellissippi State’s Annual Student Art Show begins March 26

2011 Student Art Show in a Bagwell gallery
Pellissippi State’s Annual Student Art Show showcases the works of the college’s most talented student artists. The juried exhibit is in the Bagwell Center for Media and Art gallery. Exhibit dates are March 26-April 12, with a closing reception and award ceremony scheduled for April 12. All exhibit activities are free and open to the public. Pictured is the 2011 exhibit.

Slated for March 26 through April 12, the Annual Student Art Show at Pellissippi State Community College showcases the best work of students at all levels of art studies. The juried exhibit gives hot Inflatable Movie Screen students not only the opportunity to share their art with the community but also the chance to be awarded prizes for their creations.

This year’s exhibit offers a diverse selection of art, including drawings, paintings, watercolors, sculptures, ceramics and blacksmithing pieces, as well as 2D and 3D designs. Awards include the Pellissippi State Community College Purchase Award.

The Annual Student Art Show, which is free and open to the public, is at the Bagwell Center for Media and Art gallery on the Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Exhibit hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays or by appointment.

A closing reception and award ceremony, also free and open to the public, takes place in the gallery on April 12, 3-5 p.m.

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

Two-for-one special on handgun carry-permit class at Pellissippi State

Always a popular course, the Tennessee Handgun Carry-Permit Class at Pellissippi State Community College is sure to fill up quickly, thanks to special two-for-one pricing on the March 17 session.

The non-credit course is being offered at the rate of $75 for any two students who register at the same time. Space is limited, and one person must register both students simultaneously in order for the special $75 two-for-one rate to apply.

Those who satisfactorily complete the eight-hour course earn a certificate to apply for a state carry permit. Completion of this or another training course is required before applying for a Tennessee handgun carry permit.

The Pellissippi State course covers handgun parts, function, and operation; safety, cleaning, and storage; legal responsibilities of carrying a handgun; course review and testing; and firing range exercises.

Included are four to five hours of classroom instruction and approximately three hours of range training. The instructor is certified both as a firearms instructor with the National Rifle Association and as a handgun instructor with the state of Tennessee.

The course meets at the Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road, for classroom instruction. Range training takes place at the John Sevier Hunter Education Center, 2327 Rifle Range Road. Class hours are 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Students must supply their own gun and ammunition. A $5 range fee for each student is payable to the instructor during class.

To register for the carry-permit class or other courses offered through the Business and Community Services Division of Pellissippi State, visit or call (865) 539-7167.

Pellissippi State hosts expert on religion, culture, politics in Africa

The strife in Uganda is worlds away for most Americans, just something they hear about occasionally on the news. But when University of Tennessee professor Rosalind Hackett went to the East African country for the first time in 2004, she was totally rattled by the realities of the ongoing civil war.

Hackett, who is also the head of UT’s religious studies department, decided to do something to help. Since then she has spearheaded efforts to bring relief and healing to Uganda and has made many return trips.

She discusses her experiences in Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda and South Africa at Pellissippi State Community College on Monday, March 12. The community is invited to “Africa Matters: For Whom and Why,” 11:50 a.m.-12:45 p.m., in the Goins Building Auditorium at the Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

The free presentation is one of Pellissippi State’s 2011-2012 Common Book events. Each school year a new Common Book is incorporated into classes in many disciplines to serve as a springboard for discussion and activities.

This year’s book choice is “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope,” by William Kamkwamba. As a teenager in Malawi, one of the world’s least developed countries, Kamkwamba used his ingenuity to build a windmill to bring electricity into his parents’ house.

Hackett says the same kind of resourcefulness William Kamkwamba applied to his situation is apparent in Uganda.

“Since the early 1990s, the Lord’s Republic Army in northern Uganda has abducted women and children,” said Hackett, “pillaging villages and homes, and stealing anyone and anything beneficial to ensure the success of the rebel movement against the Ugandan government.

“I don’t want to downplay Africa’s problems—underdevelopment, resource exploitation, poor government,” she said, “but at the same time I want to show that Africans themselves, sometimes working in partnership with people overseas, are generating creative, pragmatic responses to these challenges.”

Hackett lectures widely in the U.S. and around the world. She is frequently consulted by government, development, and media organizations on religious conflict in Nigeria and the war in northern Uganda.

For more information about this event, contact Pellissippi State’s English Department at (865) 694-6708. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or

Multiple motorcycle riding classes offered by Pellissippi State

From classes geared to novice motorcycle riders to courses designed for experienced three-wheeled riders, Pellissippi State Community College offers a full slate of non-credit classes beginning in March. All courses are offered by Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services Division and take place at the Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

MSF Basic RiderCourse®—Classes are offered every weekend, with the exception of holiday weekends, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Fee is $225. This two-day course is aimed at beginning riders 15 years and older. The class includes five hours of classroom work and 10 of practical riding in a controlled, off-street environment. This is the Tennessee state–certified licensing Motorcycle Rider Education program.

Street RiderCourse® 1—Classes begin March 10 and run 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Cost is $195. For newly licensed riders, this class is designed to be a first street-riding experience under the supervision and guidance of a Rider Coach. The five-hour course includes classroom activities that improve perception, as well as practice time on the range to ensure basic riding skills.

Three-Wheeled Experienced RiderCourse®—Classes begin March 10 and are scheduled 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Fee is $95. The nine hours of instruction includes classroom and range time. Instruction is focused on the unique handling characteristics of riding a trike. A Gold Wing Road Riders Association completion card and state certificate are presented to riders who successfully complete the course.

Advanced RiderCourse®—Class is March 17, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Cost is $95. This one-day course is for experienced riders who want to learn and practice more in-depth riding techniques. On-cycle range exercises provide practice in cornering, braking and swerving. A Motorcycle Safety Foundation completion card, which may be used for insurance discounts, will be issued to students who complete the course successfully.

Basic RiderCourse® 2—License Waiver—Classes begin March 24, and they run 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Cost is $95. This eight-hour course is designed for students who already know how to ride and want to increase their knowledge and skill on their own motorcycle. This is an excellent followup to the Basic RiderCourse®, and graduates are welcome to enroll immediately after completing the first course.

Three-Wheeled Basic RiderCourse®—Classes begin April 21-22 and take place 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Fee is $250. This two-day course is an entry-level, learn-to-ride training and education class designed to prepare riders for entry into the complex world of traffic. Participants learn fundamental riding skills and safety strategies similar to the training provided in the MSF Basic RiderCourse®, but on a three-wheeled, three-track vehicle.

Each class has different requirements regarding age, proof of insurance, necessary equipment, skill level and other entry guidelines. Motorcycle classes are offered beginning in March and continuing through the first half of November. All have limited class size.

Please visit or call (865) 539-7167 for information regarding a particular motorcycle class, as well as for descriptions of the many other non-credit and certificate courses offered by BCS.

Public invited to art exhibit and closing reception at Pellissippi State

“E(labor)ated Surfaces,” an art exhibit at Pellissippi State Community College, features the creations of eight artists working in what is billed as “an entirely fabricated production.”

The exhibit continues through March 21, and it is free and open to the public. A closing reception honoring the artists takes place on the last day, 1-3 p.m. The reception is also free and open to the public.

Artists exhibiting in “E(labor)ated Surfaces” are James Arendt, Nick DeFord, Briena Harmening, Carri Jobe, Lesley Patterson-Marx, Herb Rieth, Jessie Van Der Laan and Charlotte Wegrzynowski.

“E(labor)ated Surfaces” is at the Bagwell Center for Media and Art gallery on the Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Exhibit hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays or by appointment.

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

Pellissippi State students record school’s highest finish ever in national math contest

Five Pellissippi State Community College students distinguished the college with its highest placement ever in Round One of the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges’ annual Student Mathematics League Math Competition. Now they’re taking part in Round Two.

Pellissippi State took first in the state and second in the Southeast region during Round One of the October competition, which involves administration of a math exam at the precalculus level. The Southeast region includes two-year colleges in eight states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

The same students are now participating in the second round. Round Two started Feb. 17 and continues through March 10. Any school may enter that competition.

“We have never been higher than about 10th place in the Southeast region,” said Bobby Jackson, an associate professor of mathematics. “We were only three points behind ‘perennial power’ Georgia Perimeter College.”

Pellissippi State students Trevor Sharpe and Christopher Shutt placed first and second, respectively, for their team and in the region.

Typically about 80 students from Pellissippi State take the exam, but that number increased this time around. Round One drew 111 Pellissippi State students. Each participating college administers the test according to AMATYC guidelines.

“It’s a very challenging test— very challenging,” said Jackson, who has overseen the SML test for more than a decade at Pellissippi State. “We’re just proud of the students who took part.”

Sharpe’s score is the highest Pellissippi State has ever recorded, says Jackson. Sharpe is a dual enrollment student who is taking classes at Pellissippi State and also home-schooling through Homelife Academy in Knoxville. Shutt, a sophomore, is scheduled to graduate in May.

The top five qualifying scores count toward the team total. Pellissippi State students Harry Hughes, Connor Corcoran and Isa Dauti rounded out the college’s top five in the competition. Hughes is also a dual enrollment student. Corcoran and Dauti are sophomores.

Nationally, Pellissippi State finished 42nd in a field of 185 colleges in Round One.

Learn more about the many programs offered at Pellissippi State. Visit or call (865) 694-6400.

Adult Education program at Pellissippi State offers free GED preparation

Thinking about earning your GED this year? The Adult Education program at Pellissippi State Community College can give you the help you need to succeed. Even better, GED support at Pellissippi State is free.

GED preparation is available both day and evening hours at several locations throughout Knoxville. Enrollment is open to everyone, and classes are taught by small-group or one-on-one instruction.

Even if you’ve been out of school for years, there’s no reason to fear the GED, says Joan Newman, director of Academic Testing and Adult Education.

“Approximately 70 percent of adults who take the GED pass,” she said. “Unfortunately, only about 1.5 percent of all adults who did not graduate from high school even attempt it. The odds really are in your favor, especially when you’re prepared.”

Pellissippi State also offers a free practice test that, according to Newman, provides a reliable predictor of actual GED scores.

Don’t put it off any longer. To find out more or to sign up, call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State Community College, Knoxville, TN