Category Archives: Community

Pellissippi State and The WordPlayers present family-friendly Christmas show

Pellissippi State Community College and The WordPlayers get in the holiday spirit by presenting “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” at the school’s Clayton Performing Arts Center on Dec. 14-15.

Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 14, and Saturday, Dec. 15. There is also a matinee at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.

This family-friendly presentation is part of The Arts at Pellissippi State, an ongoing opportunity for the community to enjoy cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the visual arts.

The WordPlayers is a company of Christian theatre artists based in Knoxville. In this hilarious tale, a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant is faced with casting the Herdman kids, probably the most inventively awful kids in history.

The Clayton Performing Arts Center is located on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Cost of admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students, $8 for youth (age 12-17), and $5 for children under 12.

Tickets may be purchased by visiting www.pstcc.edu/arts or by calling (865) 694-6400. They also may be reserved by phone at (865) 694-6684 or by email at foundation@pstcc.edu.

To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action for Pellissippi State, (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State launches machinist apprenticeship program with IAM union, Y-12

Pellissippi State hosted representatives of B&W Y-12 and the Atomic Trades and Labor Council and International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers officials and apprentices for the onset of a new partnership apprenticeship program fall semester. From left to right: Tim Wright (IAM); Pat Riddle (Pellissippi State); Steve Passmore and Danny Lowry (IAM); Rick Heath (Pellissippi State); apprentice Rachel Henley; Bill Klemm (Y-12); apprentice Ryan Johnson; Mike Thompson (ATLC); apprentice Jason Brown; John Whalen (ATLC); apprentice Jonathan Bryant; Beth Green (Y-12); Steve Jones (ATLC); apprentices Rachel Bachorek, Rashaad Gibbs, Jeff Bryant, Justin Dupas, and Micheal Lovelady; and Robert Goins (Y-12).

Pellissippi State Community College welcomed its first class of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union apprentices from the B&W Y-12 National Security Complex this semester.

Thanks to a partnership that began early this year, Y-12’s IAM&AW workers are now receiving instruction in the classroom and hands-on training in the engineering labs at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus. The new apprenticeship program, which launched with 10 students, focuses on building the skills the workers need to succeed on the job: among them, machining, materials and maintenance print reading.

“Y-12 is a highly specialized and classified work environment,” said Rick Heath, solutions management director for the college’s Business and Community Services Division and a key player in the new partnership. “It’s logical and smart for them to grow apprentices from their own talent within the organization.”

“IAM is very committed to the apprenticeship training, but it doesn’t have the lab facilities or staff to train locally,” said Tim Wright, IAM District 711 business representative. The partnership between the college, Y-12 and the union makes training more convenient and saves Y-12, which pays for the apprenticeships, the expense of having to send workers out of town.

Beyond proximity and affordability, quality of programs factored into the IAM’s decision to choose Pellissippi State for the training contract.

“We have long been aware of the good work Pellissippi State does,” Wright said. “The training partnership is a win for everyone.”

The apprenticeship at Pellissippi State will take four years to complete. During that time, the machinists also have the opportunity to earn 45 credit hours toward an Associate of Applied Science degree. Since apprentices can finish the program only 15 hours short of earning a 60-credit degree, the college is also developing a 15-credit path to complete a General Education degree. The curriculum will be structured as a cohort, in which students proceed through their coursework as a group.

Pellissippi State’s Engineering Technology faculty and Business and Community Services developed the curriculum for the program. BCS works with employers to create customized training and development solutions, and Y-12 ultimately contracted with the division to offer the apprenticeship.

The effort is sponsored and the curriculum has been approved by the U.S. Department of Labor, says Heath. It also has the support of the Atomic Trades and Labor Council.

This is the first time Pellissippi State, Y-12 and IAM have collaborated on an apprenticeship program. Y-12 and union representatives initially met with Pellissippi State faculty and staff in early January. Curriculum development took place throughout spring and summer semester.

“They brought their experts over—the people who are doing the work,” said Heath. “They told us, ‘This is what you need to teach for our employees to be successful.’”

So far, the partnership seems to be working well for all parties, but there’s still plenty of room for fine-tuning.

“We’re going to analyze as we go along and see what’s working, what’s not working,” said Pat Riddle. Riddle coordinates and teaches in the Mechanical Engineering concentration of the Engineering Technology degree program. “We’ll meet with the IAM and Y-12 partners and see where we stand, see what they think we might want to change or reemphasize.

“This is a continuous improvement cycle that we’re working on, to make sure that the program meets the partners’ needs and still follows the academic guidelines set by the Tennessee Board of Regents.”

To find out more about the apprenticeship program and other contract training opportunities, email Rick Heath at rbheath@pstcc.edu. To learn more about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Help beat Kentucky by donating blood at Pellissippi State

Community members who wish to take part in the “25th Annual Battle of the Orange and Blue” organized by Medic Regional Blood Center may do so at Pellissippi State Community College on Nov. 14. The blood drive, which is held each year prior to the University of Tennessee vs. University of Kentucky football game, encourages friendly competition to see which community can turn out the most blood donors. Kentucky has won the blood drive competition for the past two years.

Those who donate will receive a free game day T-shirt and a coupon for a one-topping pizza from Papa John’s. More importantly, donors will play an instrumental role in keeping the blood supply at necessary levels to serve community members in the East Tennessee region.

There is a need for all blood types. Blood and its components are used for transfusions, as well as in the treatment of cancer patients and in the treatment of those with clotting disorders. One donation can help up to three people.

Donors must be at least 17 years of age and weigh at least 110 pounds. They should not have fasted prior to arriving. In fact, Medic suggests that donors eat a meal and drink fluids approximately three hours prior to donating. Participants are asked to provide photo identification and a list of all current medications to Medic personnel at the site.

Event hours are 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. The mobile unit will be parked in the F-1 lot at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus.

Additional information on the donation process can be found at www.medicblood.org.

Pellissippi State announces Veterans Day activities

The campuses of Pellissippi State Community College have events scheduled throughout the week leading up to Veterans Day. Veterans Day is celebrated Monday, Nov. 12, to honor veterans for their service.

Here are the highlights of the activities:

Hardin Valley Campus

  • Thursday and Friday, Nov. 8-9—The campus hosts a display called “In Their Own Words.” The exhibit is a collection of stories, photos, and memorabilia by Pellissippi State veterans and their loved ones. The display is in the Rotunda of the Goins Building.
  • Thursday, Nov. 8, 7:30 a.m.—Pellissippi State presents a breakfast for veterans in the Cafeteria Annex of the Goins Building.
  • Thursday, Nov. 8, 11:30 a.m.—Gathering to thank veterans for their service. Cake and punch will be served in the Rotunda of the Goins Building.

The Hardin Valley Campus is located at 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

Blount County Campus

  • Thursday and Friday, Nov. 8-9—The campus hosts a display of veterans’ memorabilia in the William “Keith” McCord Lobby.
  • Friday, Nov. 9, 10:30 a.m.—Pellissippi State thanks veterans for their service at a gathering in the McCord Lobby. Cake will be served.
  • Monday, Nov. 12, 2:30 p.m.—The campus hosts the “Military Uniform Through the Eyes of God,” a presentation by veteran Thomas Vananda in the West Chevrolet Auditorium. The event is sponsored by the Blount County Bible Club.

The Blount County Campus is located at 2731 W. Lamar Alexander Pkwy., Friendsville.

Magnolia Avenue Campus

  • Friday, Nov. 9, 9:30 a.m.—Participants gather in the plaza to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” There will be a display of military memorabilia provided by staff, faculty and students. Cake will be served in the Lobby.
  • Nov. 9, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.—Luncheon for veterans by invitation only has been scheduled in the campus Community Room. Retired Major Max Lemons will be the luncheon speaker and his topic will be “Words of Encouragement.”

The Magnolia Avenue Campus is located at 1610 E. Magnolia Ave.

Strawberry Plains Campus

  • Tuesday, Nov. 6, 10 a.m.—A screening of the movie “The Guardian” is scheduled in Room 2500 on the main floor. Popcorn will be served.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 7—It’s Camo Day, and Pellissippi State is giving away footballs and lanyards donated by the National Guard. Pellissippi State’s Service-Learning program oversees the giveaway.
  • Thursday, Nov. 8, 9:30 a.m.—American Legion Post 104 will raise the flag, display a military vehicle and set up a rock-climbing wall. Volunteers and canines with Smoky Mountain Service Dogs also will be present. The nonprofit group trains dogs to help people with disabilities, including disabled veterans.

The Strawberry Plains Campus is located at 7210 Strawberry Plains Pike.

To learn more about Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu.

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

Pellissippi State sponsors successful Habitat building project

Hammers were swinging throughout the day of Saturday, Oct. 13, at the Hardin Valley Campus of Pellissippi State Community College, as the school hosted an alternative fall break event called “Shed Happens.”

One hundred volunteers joined forces at the college with the Lowe’s Home Improvement Heroes Project, Loudon County Habitat for Humanity, Smithbilt Homes and TnAchieves to construct 18 sheds to be donated to the Loudon County Habitat.

Habitat will present each of its families with a storage shed upon the completion of the family’s home. The building project will provide the Loudon County Habitat with an 18-month supply of sheds.

The event was part of the Pellissippi State’s Service-Learning program, launched last year. Service-learning integrates community service and academics to make education relevant and exciting for students, according to Tara Lynn, an English faculty member who facilitates the program with Annie Gray, also an English faculty member.

“We hope this consortium of businesses, nonprofit organizations and our college will become a model for community and civic engagement endeavors throughout the state,” Lynn said.

Six of the college’s classes currently have a service-learning component. More than 1,000 Pellissippi State students are engaged in service in the community in some way, whether through service-learning courses, the Gnosis student service club, or TnAchieves, Lynn says.

For more information about Pellissippi State’s Service-Learning program, visit www.pstcc.edu/service-learning or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State presents dramatic reading of Sophocles’ ‘Ajax’

When Sophocles wrote the play “Ajax” about 440 B.C., he could never have guessed that his tragedy about war in ancient Greece would be applicable in 21st century America.

Rob Lloyd, an English faculty member at Pellissippi State Community College, is bringing a dramatic reading of Sophocles’ oldest surviving play to campus. In the college’s presentation, “Shattered Ancients,” the parts of “Ajax” will be read by faculty and students.

The event is Friday, Nov. 9, noon-1, in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus. The community is invited to attend the free reading.

Lloyd says he has been amazed at how the classic mirrors the problems of some of his students who are veterans: adjusting to civilian life after military service and coping with post-traumatic stress disorder, for instance.

The play centers around the mighty warrior Ajax and addresses such timeless issues as pride, disgrace, and respect for the dead.

“I thought when I read the play, The human heart didn’t change much in 25 centuries,” Lloyd said. “War was hell. War is still hell. We believe Johnny comes marching home again and that he goes back to an upright family. Many times that’s not true—he often comes home deeply damaged.”

The performance is sponsored by the college’s Faculty Lecture Series and the student literary publication “Imaginary Gardens.”

For more information about the production, 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 humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State hosts Mediterranean Cultural Fest

The Mediterranean Sea touches countries on three continents, bridging the cultures of a vast and exotic expanse. Pellissippi State Community College celebrates that region with the Mediterranean Cultural Festival on Nov. 2.

The free event is 5-8:30 p.m. in the Goins Building College Center on the Hardin Valley Campus. The public is encouraged to attend.

The festival is part of the Arts at Pellissippi State series, which brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts.

The Mediterranean Cultural Festival showcases the entertainment of the region with the following performances:

  • 6-7 p.m.—Debka and the Oasis Dancers, a Knoxville-based belly dancing group.
  • 7:10-8:30 p.m.—Italian violinist Al Colombo and ensemble. The group also features Mike Benjamin on keyboard and vocals and David Correll on bass guitar. The ensemble plays classic and contemporary Italian music, including pieces written by Italy’s foremost composers.

Take in the performances and experience the region’s food at an epicurean marketplace with fruits and vegetables and an Italian café with European teas, coffees, and desserts.

Participants also can sample Spanish paella, pastitsio with bechamel topping, Mediterranean pasta salad with California avocado, tzatziki sauce with falafel, keftedes (Greek meatballs), and hummus and pita bread.

The festival is sponsored by Pellissippi State’s Access and Diversity Office. For more information, call (865) 694-6400 or email Gayle Wood, director of Access and Diversity, at gwood@pstcc.edu.

To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action for Pellissippi State, (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State hosts Oct. 13 Habitat shed-raising event

Eighteen sheds. Seven-and-a-half hours. One hundred volunteers at Pellissippi State Community College.

Hammers will be swinging on the Hardin Valley Campus on Saturday, Oct. 13, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., as the college hosts an alternative fall break event titled “Shed Happens.”

Pellissippi State is joining with Lowe’s Home Improvement Heroes Project, the Loudon County Habitat for Humanity, Smithbilt Homes and TnAchieves to construct 18 sheds to be donated to the Loudon County Habitat for Humanity.

The Loudon County Habitat presents each family it works with on building a home with a storage shed upon the house’s completion, and the Pellissippi State partnership’s efforts will provide the nonprofit organization with an 18-month supply of sheds.

The college’s participation is part of its Service-Learning program, launched last year.

Service-Learning integrates community service and academics to make education relevant and exciting, says Tara Lynn, who facilitates the program with Annie Gray. Lynn and Gray are both English faculty members. Lynn says she and Gray hope that the partnership among businesses, nonprofit organizations, and the college will become a model for community and civic engagement efforts throughout the state.

“Six of our classes currently have a service-learning component,” said Lynn. “There are approximately 1,000 to 1,500 Pellissippi State students engaged in service in the community in some way, whether through Service-Learning courses, our Gnosis student service club or TnAchieves. This event is our single largest Service-Learning volunteer effort for fall 2012.”

For more information about Pellissippi State’s Service-Learning program or the shed-raising event, visit www.pstcc.edu/service-learning or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State receives prestigious American Council on Education grant to benefit working adults

Pellissippi State Community College is the recipient of a $23,000 grant awarded by the American Council on Education for its Adult Education Demonstration projects.

The grant is part of ACE’s initiative to help more working adults in the U.S. earn college degrees. Pellissippi State is one of only six higher education institutions nationwide to be chosen for the award.

“We’re honored to partner with the American Council on Education on this initiative,” said Anthony Wise, Pellissippi State president. “This grant helps us reach a growing population on our campuses and contributes toward a more skilled, educated workforce in our region. It will also support our goals under Complete College Tennessee.”

Pellissippi State plans to use the grant funds to expand the process of awarding course-specific credits to adult learners who are in Department of Labor apprenticeship programs or the military. The college is already working with several area employers and will target its efforts on the Associate of Applied Science degree in Engineering Technology.

The Engineering Technology program offers concentrations in Civil Engineering, Electrical Construction Management, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Maintenance, Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering. Credits may also be used toward Pellissippi State’s General Technology program.

For Pellissippi State, this is not unfamiliar territory. The college has developed curricula for several local companies and is currently writing course content for a new general maintenance mechatronics program announced by the Automotive Manufacturers Technical Education Collaborative. The AMTEC curriculum takes into consideration skills employees have learned on the job, which can result in academic credit for those who make satisfactory scores on assessments and curriculum modules.

The institutions that won grants present their project results at the ACE Annual Meeting, March 2-5, 2013, in Washington, D.C. The other grant recipients are the School of Continuing and Professional Studies at the University of Virginia, Eastern Connecticut State University, Campbellsville (Ky.) University, University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College in Ohio, and Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

Learn more about Pellissippi State at www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

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 www.pstcc.edu. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.