Pellissippi State brings inventors to campus this Thursday

The potato chip. The paper clip. The microchip. Inventions can improve our lives in a thousand different ways.

Learn how to take your great idea through the patent process all the way to manufacturing at “Inventing the Inventor: Creative People Who Make a Difference” at Pellissippi State Community College this Thursday, March 1.

The community is invited to a panel discussion by local inventors, 12:25-1:40 p.m., in the Goins Building Auditorium, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

The panel of four will talk about their personal inventions and how they navigated the waters of patenting and marketing. They will take questions from the audience, and some of the inventions will be on display at the end of the presentation.

“Inventing the Inventor: Creative People Who Make a Difference” is in conjunction with the college’s 2011-12 Common Book activities, which revolve around “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope,” by William Kamkwamba. The author of the New York Times bestseller was the keynote speaker at the President’s Convocation Sept. 1. He spoke about his experiences building a 16-foot-tall windmill nine years ago in Malawi.

For more information about this event, call (865) 694-6400 or 694-6708. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or

Pellissippi State hosts Caribbean Fest on Feb. 28

steel drum band
When it came time to plan Caribbean Fest, Pellissippi State Community College’s Access and Diversity Office relied on an in-house consultant and native of the southern Caribbean country of Trinidad and Tobago, student Roshni Joseph-Biles.

Pellissippi State hosts Caribbean Fest 4-7 p.m. on Feb. 28 in the Goins Building College Center of the Pellissippi Campus.

For Joseph-Biles, a student worker in Access and Diversity, the event is a chance to share the history and culture behind “carnival,” a week of revelry and feasting leading up to Lent throughout the world.

Joseph-Biles grew up on the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, where the annual celebration has taken place since the arrival of French settlers in the 18th century, evolving into one of the most imitated festivals in the world.

In the U.S., people celebrate Mardi Gras—French for “Fat Tuesday,” in reference to the Catholic tradition of eating richer, fatty foods just before the Lenten fast.

“People know about carnival; they know about Mardi Gras. They don’t seem to really know the history or why, what set it off, what the meaning behind it is,” said Joseph-Biles, who is studying philosophy and pursuing an associate’s degree at Pellissippi State.

“To have the opportunity to share that, to show people who are going to participate what their actual connection is historically, is amazing.”

At Pellissippi State’s Caribbean Fest, participants can sample jerk chicken with rice, beans and a traditional dessert, Trinidadian black cake. Music will be performed by the Carib Sounds Band 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Vere Henry, a native of the Caribbean island of Antigua, directs Carib Sounds. Henry said that the music will move audience members into that “island attitude” with hot calypso and soca beats, reggae, and other arrangements.

Masquerade will be part of Pellissippi State’s Caribbean Fest as well. Traditionally, masks and costumes take center stage at carnival, with artists devoting much time and effort on their creations.

“The individual costumes are exceedingly expensive, and those take sometimes years to make,” said Joseph-Biles. “Those are the ones that are very elaborate; those are the ones that go on display from country to country every now and then. You find a display in the U.S. and it’s the carnival costumes from the year before.”

The public is invited to attend the free event, one of several that have taken place in February as part of the college’s Black History Month celebration.

The Pellissippi Campus is located at 10915 Hardin Valley Road, and parking is available in any lot marked “Open.”

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

Home-schooling families invited to Pellissippi State open house

Home-schoolers and their parents are invited to the Home School Open House at Pellissippi State Community College March 15.

At the event, Pellissippi State staff members will address the specific needs and questions posed by home-schooling families. Participants can meet with faculty and learn about academic options available at the college, and representatives from Admissions and Financial Aid will be on hand to answer questions.

One lucky senior will be the recipient of a $250 scholarship drawing. The scholarship is provided by the Pellissippi State Foundation.

In addition, students and parents have an opportunity to find out about the Dual Enrollment program, which gives high school juniors and seniors the chance to earn high school credit and college credit at the same time. Students may be eligible for a dual enrollment grant that allows them to take a college course for as little as $10 plus the cost of a textbook.

“Each year we have about 60-70 home-schooled students who are participating in classes through the Dual Enrollment program,” said Leigh Anne Touzeau, assistant vice president of Enrollment Services at Pellissippi State.

The free event takes place 6-7:30 p.m. in the Goins Building College Center and Auditorium at the Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

Reservations should be made by March 8 by calling (865) 539-7189 or emailing

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

Get active with outdoor, home repair classes at Pellissippi State

Spring officially starts less than one month from now, so why not get a jump-start on heading outdoors? Enroll now in one (or more) of the non-credit classes at Pellissippi State Community College.

Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services Division has a great selection of courses for springtime. Classes take place at the Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road, unless otherwise noted. Here are just a few you can choose from:

  • Flyfish 101—Feb. 25 or April 21, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; March 24 or May 19 (Blount County Campus, 2731 W. Lamar Alexander Pkwy.), 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; $79 per single/$69 for each additional family member registering simultaneously

This is an introductory course geared to those who have never fly-fished or those who want a better understanding of the basics. Topics covered include fly rod and reel; line, leader and tippet; types of flies; rigging an outfit; finding fish; casting (demonstration, weather permitting). Instructor Marshall Hall is a guide, custom rod maker and member of the Foothills Craft Guild and Custom Rod Makers Guild.

  • Landscaping Made Easy and Fun—Feb. 28-March 8, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m.; $79

This is a basic course covering the principles of landscape design for home enhancement. Topics include choosing and installing the proper plants; mulching, fertilizing, watering and trimming; and learning about the different varieties of flowering shrubs, small trees, flowers and grass. Instructor Valarie Huffman, owner of Instant Flower Gardens, is a landscape professional with extensive experience in East Tennessee landscaping.

  • DIY Home Improvement and Repairs for Women—March 10, 9-11 a.m.; $29

Learn how to do basic home repairs from someone who has done them herself. Instructor Lynda Tutko will show students how to complete many repairs without the assistance of a professional, as well as cover home improvements that can be completed with basic skills. Attendees will learn how to save money by using skills taught during class.

  • Simple Home Repairs—March 15, 6-8 p.m., Blount County Campus; $29

Completing home repairs may be easier than you think. Instructor Art Gall will share skills that build confidence in tackling projects. Learn how to troubleshoot problems and make repairs to electrical outlets and switches, leaking toilets and faucets, and more. Students also will learn how to install or make adjustments to door locks and deadbolts.

Full class descriptions, along with a schedule of all courses offered by BCS, are available at

For additional information or to register, call BCS at (865) 539-7167.

Pellissippi State hosts ‘Pell-Aware’ alcohol and drug awareness day

Binge drinking and driving while intoxicated have increased among young college students and other 18- to 24-year-olds since 1998, according to a recent report by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The encouraging news is that community initiatives have contributed to reducing the problem.

Pellissippi State Community College is hosting a free event on Feb. 29 aimed at raising awareness about the dangers of alcohol and drugs.

“Pell-Aware” takes place 10 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Goins Building College Center on the Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Students, faculty, staff and the community are invited to attend.

Representatives of area mental health facilities, rehabilitation centers and health-care organizations will be on hand to provide information. Confidential screenings will be available, with referrals given as needed.

For more information, call (865) 694-6400 or email

Pellissippi State expands apprenticeships, green education initiatives

Engineering Technology students at Pellissippi State Community College blend classroom work with hands-on training. In the coming year, Pellissippi State is expanding apprenticeship programs, making plans to propose a Sustainable Technology degree program and developing transfer agreements with Tennessee Technology Centers.

Observers don’t have to look beyond East Tennessee to find a labor shortage in technical and scientific fields like engineering.

Pellissippi State Community College’s initiatives this year are helping to stem that shortage by giving prospective students more options for affordable, flexible education and training in engineering technology.

The initiatives include apprenticeship programs and a proposal under way for a new degree program in Sustainable Technology.

Working with local industry, Pellissippi State is creating apprenticeships that can deliver instruction online, on campus or at a company’s site. The length of the apprenticeship depends on the company’s needs.

“A lot of employers like the fact that they can set up a one-year or a four-year program,” said Pat Riddle, an associate professor in Engineering Technology.

The apprenticeships combine on-the-job training with classroom instruction. Companies are investing in their workers to bolster staff, as record numbers of baby boomers prepare to retire. Employers also view a broader field of competition than their county or state.

“The global economy—we’ve talked about it,” said Riddle. “It’s here today.” The apprenticeship opportunities are anticipated to expand throughout the region.

Collaboration among employers, Pellissippi State’s Engineering Technology faculty and staff, and its Business and Community Services Division is making the apprenticeships possible.

Pellissippi State faculty, meanwhile, are solidifying the curriculum for the Sustainable Technology degree program, according to Greg Armour, a Pellissippi State instructor and an architect. The college plans to submit the program proposal to the Tennessee Board of Regents, the school’s governing body, this year.

In addition to the apprenticeship and green degree program initiatives, new agreements with the Tennessee Technology centers will set a clear path for students who want to pursue an associate’s degree in Engineering Technology at Pellissippi State.

The college’s Engineering Technology degree program spans a range of disciplines. Students can pursue a concentration in Civil Engineering, Electrical Construction Management, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Maintenance, Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering.

In the midst of all the changes, Engineering Technology students are getting ready for the annual Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ SouthEastCon Robotic Hardware competition on March 15-18 in Orlando, Fla. Carl Mallette, a Pellissippi State professor in Engineering Technology, is the group’s advisor. Ken Swayne, also an Engineering Tech professor, works with the students on their entries as well.

This is the club’s fourth year in the competition. Pellissippi State’s Engineering Technology students often place in a field of competition, even though most of the teams are from four-year universities.

Next year, the Engineering Technology program has an accreditation visit scheduled with the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering.

To learn more about Engineering Technology and other Pellissippi State offerings, call (865) 694-6400 or visit

Student art sought for juried Annual Student Art Show

Current and past students who have taken studio art classes at Pellissippi State are invited to submit artwork for the upcoming Annual Student Art Show.

Any student who has completed a Pellissippi State studio art class during the past two years may submit up to two pieces of two- or three-dimensional art for consideration. Categories include drawing, painting, watercolor, 2-D design, intermediate color/design, 3-D design, sculpture, figure sculpture, ceramics and blacksmithing. All work submitted must be ready for exhibit.

Entry forms are required. They may be picked up in Room 106 of the Bagwell Center on the Pellissippi Campus or requested by contacting Jennifer Brickey at

The submission date is March 22, 12-4 p.m.

An informational session concerning various options for matting and framing takes place at 10 a.m. Feb. 24 in Bagwell 102.

Exhibit dates for the Annual Student Art Show are March 26-April 12. Prizes will be awarded, including the Pellissippi State Community College Purchase Award.

Prepare for Certified Welding Inspector exam at Pellissippi State

Many major U.S. and international corporations are now requiring potential employees and employees already in welding inspection positions to become certified.

The 46-hour Certified Welding Inspector Exam Preparation course at Pellissippi State Community College prepares students for the American Welding Society’s Certified Welding Inspector examination. The exam is April 14 at the Pellissippi Campus.

Upon completion of the class, students will be knowledgeable in the principles of visual inspection related to welded fabrication as it applies to a variety of industrial applications. Topics covered include AWS certification, visual inspection, welding processes, nondestructive testing, codes and standards. Practice exams will be administered.

The course is recommended for welding and inspection professionals who have a minimum of five years of experience in welding, inspection, testing, metallurgy, engineering or a closely related field.

The course is Feb. 21-March 29, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6-9 p.m. Classes take place at the Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. A total of 4.6 continuing education units are available. Cost is $995.

The full class description, along with a schedule of all courses offered by Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services Division, is available at

For additional information or to register, call BCS at (865) 539-7167.

Pellissippi State hosts discussion among political party reps

With candidates busily slugging it out in anticipation of the presidential election, the country is focused on the differences among politicians and their parties. Come November it will all be over, but the need to find common ground will be as great as ever.

In the spirit of bringing people together, Pellissippi State Community College invites the public to “Civil Rivalry in the Political Landscape: A Panel Discussion.” The free event is 1-2:30 p.m. Feb. 29 in the Student Lounge of the Division Street Campus, 3435 Division St.

“The topic is our current political landscape, and the discussion is bound to be interesting,” said Mike North, the campus’ assistant dean, “but the goal is to foster dialogue rather than debate between the parties.”

Representatives of the Democratic, Republican and Libertarian points of view will join two Pellissippi State faculty members on the panel.

Doug Veum, vice chair of the Knox County Democrats; Ray Jenkins, chair of the Knox County Republicans; and David Kerns, representing a Libertarian position, will submit some of their own questions as well as take questions from the audience.

Marsha Hupfel, who mediates for the Knox County Juvenile Court and is an adjunct faculty member in sociology at the Division Street Campus, moderates the discussion.

The event is part of Pellissippi State’s Civility Series. The series was launched to create opportunities for students, faculty and the community to come together to discuss ideas in a safe environment. Light refreshments will be served.

For more information contact Marcia Coleman at (865) 971-5200. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or

Pellissippi State Community College, Knoxville, TN