Category Archives: Community

Pellissippi State–Pond Gap Elementary community garden needs volunteers

Volunteers are needed at two upcoming Saturday workdays for the Pond Gap Elementary School community garden, a project of Pellissippi State Community College.

Pellissippi State’s Service-Learning program has partnered with Pond Gap and the University of Tennessee to install the garden at the elementary school, and now volunteers are needed to help bring shape to the area.

“In November, we’re going to be shaping out the contours of the raised beds throughout the one-sixth-acre garden, and we’ll be adding compost and mulch to the beds,” said Matt Callo. Callo, Outreach AmeriCorps VISTA for the college’s Service-Learning program, is the full-time supervisor for the garden project.

Workday volunteer opportunities are available to all community members, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9 and 16. Volunteers can contact Callo for more information or to sign up. Those who can bring their own tools, such as shovels and rakes, for use on the workdays are encouraged to do so.

Work on Nov. 9 will include removing rock, composting and moving pine needle mulch. Work on Nov. 16 will include hilling up raised garden beds to be constructed along the natural contours of the land around Pond Gap. Each of the approximately 20 beds is 30 to 50 feet long.

The community garden serves not only as a volunteer opportunity for Pellissippi State’s Service-Learning students but also as a learning resource for Pond Gap Elementary students and an example of sustainable food choices for the greater community.

“Edible-curricula”-based school programming, community workshops and Service-Learning projects hosted at the garden will foster the skills needed to grow easily accessible and affordable produce for healthy lifestyles. The shared garden-care activities will connect schoolchildren and their families with local volunteers, and everyone will hone his or her gardening skills, make new friends, and even explore ways of making a viable career out of growing food.

Within the garden, Callo plans to grow a “you-pick” strawberry patch, as well as perennial fruits and vegetables such as asparagus, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. Annual fruits and vegetables—among them, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers—also will be planted. Fruit trees likely will be part of the garden design, too, and they could include plums and native pawpaws. The majority of the food grown will be featured in the school cafeteria.

For more information about the community garden at Pond Gap Elementary School, contact Matt Callo at or 865.296.1792. For more information about Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit

Pellissippi State opens Ben Atchley Veterans Success Center Nov. 11

Pellissippi State Community College celebrates the grand opening of the Ben Atchley Veterans Success Center on Veterans Day, Monday, Nov. 11, with a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony. The community is invited to attend.

The ceremony begins at 3 p.m. in the courtyard outside the Educational Resources Center, where the new facility is housed. The Ben Atchley Veterans Success Center is located on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

The dedication will be attended by Pellissippi State student veterans, area dignitaries and elected officials. The Veterans Success Center’s namesake, Ben Atchley, an early and longtime supporter of Pellissippi State, also will be present.

Atchley, who was born in Knoxville in 1930, served in the U.S. Naval Reserves–Seabees (Construction Battalion) for 10 years, 1948-58. He was elected to the state House of Representatives in 1972, then to the Senate in 1976, where he served for 28 consecutive years. He retired from the Legislature in 2004.

The Ben Atchley Veterans Success Center will centralize veteran-related services—including tutoring, mentoring, advising, financial assistance and job placement services—at a single location. The facility plans to serve an estimated 125 veterans each year.

“We’re trying to provide an additional layer of support to an important group of students, and a growing group of students, who are returning to college after service in Iraq or Afghanistan,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president.

“We want to provide the best possible environment for them to learn and grow while they’re here at Pellissippi State.”

Pellissippi State hopes the Veterans Success Center also helps increase retention among student veterans.

Statistics indicate that more than 88 percent of veterans using the Post-9/11 GI Bill abandon higher education pursuits after the end of their second semester of college, and only 3 percent graduate. Feelings of isolation are said to be a major contributing factor to veterans’ dropping out.

“The Veterans Success Center will offer not only the ‘formal’ network of support these students need,” said Ted Lewis, vice president of Academic Affairs, “but it will also provide them with an informal network through which they can work together, socialize and share common interests.”

The Ben Atchley Veterans Success Center was funded in part by grants from the Tennessee College Access and Success Network and the Tennessee Board of Regents Office of Access and Diversity.

For more information about the Veterans Success Center, 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 launches veterinary, medical assistant programs

Pellissippi State Community College is launching two new job training programs: Clinical Medical Assistant and Veterinary Assistant. Designed to meet the needs of today’s adults, the new programs begin in November.

“Programs of this kind are often geared to the traditional student — the recent high school graduate who is able to attend class two to three days during the week from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., for a semester or more,” said Debi Bolton, a manager in Business and Community Services. “We scheduled our programs with the busy adult in mind. Classes meeting either two evenings a week or on Saturdays.”

A free informational session on both programs is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22, in Room 206, Alexander Building, at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus. To register for the session, call (800) 830-2228.

Completion of the Clinical Medical Assistant program generally takes less than seven months, and the Veterinary Assistant program can be completed in two.

The CMA program combines 134 hours of classroom and online training with 160 hours of hands-on clinical experience at a local medical practice. Students learn to perform duties such as taking vital signs, preparing examination rooms, assisting with medical examinations and administering medication.

Students who successfully complete the program are eligible for national certification through the National Healthcareer Association. They are prepared for employment in a physician’s office, urgent-care facility or other clinical setting.

The CMA training program begin Nov. 9 and ends March 8. It meets 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. each Saturday at the Hardin Valley Campus.

The VA program includes 35 hours of classroom training and 24 hours of volunteer, hands-on training in veterinary facilities. Students learn how to assist vets and vet technicians with examining pets, feeding, and watering. They also learn how to clean and disinfect cages, as well as how to sterilize surgical, examination, and lab equipment.

VA training begins Nov. 5 and runs through Dec. 12, with classes meeting 6-9:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Classes are also at the Hardin Valley Campus.

For more information about these programs and other job training offered at Pellissippi State, contact Business and Community Services at or (865) 539-7167.

Pellissippi State: Non-credit right-brain drawing, pastels classes begin Oct. 16, 17

Discover your inner artist at non-credit classes being offered to the community this fall at Pellissippi State Community College.

“Our art classes have been popular in the past, and these two new classes are wonderful additions to our non-credit programming,” said Nancy Corum, a Business and Community Services coordinator.

“Right-Brain Drawing” is offered at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus, 6-9 p.m. on Wednesdays, Oct. 16-Nov. 20. Cost is $119 and the instructor is Jennifer Austin Jennings.

“Right-Brain Drawing” is meant to help attendees who have the desire to draw—but don’t feel they necessarily have natural talent—to overcome typical challenges encountered when attempting to draw realistically. The class will teach attendees methods of rethinking how to perceive subject matter and how to translate that visual information into line, shape, and spatial arrangements.

Participants need to provide their own art supplies.

Jennings is a children’s book illustrator and artist who studied at the Dayton Art Institute in Ohio. She has been featured in exhibits by the Dogwood Arts Festival, the Knoxville Arts and Cultural Alliance, and the National Juried Show.

“Drawing With Pastels, Pencils and Charcoal” is set for 6:15-8:45 p.m. on Thursdays, Oct. 17-Nov. 21, on the Blount County Campus. The cost is $105 and instructor is Mary Ruden.

The class will teach the basics of drawing with charcoal, color and standard pencils, and pastels, in addition to the art of composition and how to balance drawings.

Attendees will work from a still life set up in class or from photos of people or places. Participants provide their own art supplies.

Ruden is an artist and sculptor who has taught adult education art classes for many years. Her sculptures, which include large outdoor sculptures, have been featured in the Dogwood Arts Festival, at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, and by the City of Knoxville.

For more information about these and other classes offered by BCS, visit or call (865) 539-7167. To request accommodations for a disability, email

Author, special-needs advocate headlines ‘Evening of Glamour’ at Pellissippi State

cover of a bookKnoxville native Keva Horry, an author and special-needs advocate, is featured at “An Evening of Glamour” at Pellissippi State Community College Thursday, Oct. 10.

Horry is the mother of Ashlyn Horry, who died in 2011, with former husband and seven-time NBA champion Robert Horry. She speaks about her daughter’s special needs and short life and of the book Horry wrote about that experience, “Glamorous Sacrifice: Life in the Shadow of Championships,” released earlier this year.

“Keva Horry will be speaking on her life as the mom of a special-needs child, the joys and challenges it brings, and of living in the shadow and spotlight of the NBA,” said Joy Ingram, associate professor of Liberal Arts. “She also will share some of the lessons her daughter taught her, as well as lessons we all can learn from Ashlyn’s beautiful but short life.

“October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and by bringing Keva in to speak about her experiences, we hope to bring awareness to disabilities in general and to Ashlyn Horry’s legacy.”

African-American female wearing red and leaning on her hands“An Evening of Glamour” begins with a book signing by Keva Horry, 5-6 p.m. in the Rotunda of the Goins Building on Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus. Copies of “Glamorous Sacrifice” will be available for purchase. Horry’s presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium, with a question-and-answer session to follow.

“An Evening of Glamour” is free and open to the public; seating is limited. Parking also is free and is available in any lot not requiring a staff parking pass.

Ashlyn Horry was born with a rare chromosome abnormality known as 1p36 deletion syndrome. The syndrome was not identified until she was 14 years old. Despite respiratory issues, seizures, and other physical and cognitive disabilities, Ashlyn lived to age 17.

Three years before Ashlyn died, the Horrys founded the Ashlyn Horry Foundation in her honor to serve as a source of information and hope to the families of those suffering with the same disease. Currently, there is no specific treatment or cure for the 1p36 deletion syndrome.

For more information about “An Evening of Glamour,” visit or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or

The Arts at Pellissippi State kicks off fall events

Pellissippi State Community College launches a new year of dance, song, culture, art and theatre with the 2013-2014 Arts at Pellissippi State, and the public is invited to take part.

“Participation in the arts isn’t only for the artists,” said Pat Myers, director of community outreach and donor engagement. “Participation engages the audience as well, and it means something a little bit different to each person who studies an exhibit, listens to a vocalist or discusses a film with friends.”

The college encourages the community to participate in The Arts at Pellissippi State’s array of cultural activities. All events are free unless otherwise noted.

New to The Arts at Pellissippi State this year is the Pacific Rim Street Fest: A Celebration of Asian Pacific Rim Heritage, featuring the distinctive food, music, art and dance of the Asian Pacific Rim nations. The event is set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, in the Goins Building College Center on the Hardin Valley Campus.

Musical performances kick off with the annual Faculty Recital, featuring a showcase of talented Pellissippi State faculty members, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3. All musical performances are in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus. Additional performances:

  • Fall Choral Concert, featuring student soloists and the student groups Concert Chorale and Variations Ensemble, 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24
  • Instrumental Concert, 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7
  • Holiday Spectacular, the perennially popular holiday event, with two shows, 6 and 8 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 5

Theatre productions begin with “The Robber Bridegroom,” Broadway’s hit bluegrass musical. Shows take place at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 1-2 and 8-9 and 2 p.m. on Nov. 3 and 10, all in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus.

“Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells,” a fun adaptation of Barbara Park’s Junie. B. Jones books, is a co-production with The WordPlayers. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, and 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, in the Clayton Performing Arts Center. Purchase tickets for theatre productions at

Pellissippi State’s Faculty Lecture Series features daytime lectures by the college’s faculty on topics as varied as literature, historical figures and current events. All lectures take place in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus. Fall lectures:

  • “What They Know: Privacy in the Age of Digital Tracking” by Lisa Bogaty at 12:30 p.m. Oct. 3
  • “Fairy Tales Aren’t Just for Children” by Sue Yamin at 2 p.m. Nov. 6

The Bagwell Gallery on the Hardin Valley Campus shares the Foothills Craft Guild Basket Show through Oct. 15, featuring basket artistry by local and regional artisans. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

The Arts at Pellissippi State continues with events throughout the winter and spring. Highlights of spring 2014 include the Seventh Annual Festival of Cultures, an art exhibit featuring sculptor Raymond Padrón and the modern theatre production “Unnecessary Farce.”

For more information about a specific event in The Arts at Pellissippi State or for a full listing of the year’s events, visit To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or Requests should be made at least two weeks in advance.

Pellissippi State’s Oct. 4 Pacific Rim Street Fest highlights Asian cultures

Pellissippi State Community College hopes a look at new cultures will prompt the community to look at the world from a new perspective.

Pacific Rim Street Fest: A Celebration of Asian Pacific Rim Heritage is slated for 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 4. The free event takes place in the Goins Building College Center on the Hardin Valley Campus.

“Each semester, we have events that focus on different cultural experiences,” said Gayle Wood, the college’s director of Access and Diversity. “We’ve spotlighted cultures as diverse as Mediterranean, Hispanic, African and Native American in the past. We hope each event encourages our students, faculty, and staff members and the community at large to look at the world from a new cultural perspective.

“The idea to focus on Pacific Rim countries—including China, Japan, Vietnam, Korea and Taiwan—came from a student who also is a military veteran. He had amazing stories about serving in some of those Pacific Rim countries and the cultural experiences he had there.”

Pacific Rim Street Fest is one of the events that make up this academic year’s The Arts at Pellissippi State. The arts series brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts.

Pacific Rim Street Fest features Wah Lum Kung Fu of Knoxville performing a traditional lion dance, a Japanese dancing troupe from Atlanta and a Japanese tea ceremony. Other tentative activities include a Chinese fine artist and personal booths set up by Pellissippi State students native to Pacific Rim countries.

The Access and Diversity Office will give away chopsticks, Chinese and Japanese folding fans, and fortune cookies. Asian teas will be served as well. The Pacific Rim Street Fest also allows attendees to sample traditional foods, including Taiwanese Kong Bao chicken, Japanese wasabi pork shumai and Vietnamese dau phong, or boiled peanuts.

For more information about Pacific Rim Street Fest, call Access and Diversity at (865) 539-7160 or visit For more information about The Arts at Pellissippi State, visit

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

Pellissippi State awarded record-breaking $4.6 million grant by federal Department of Labor

The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded Pellissippi State Community College a grant for $4,569,689—the largest single amount the school has ever received.

The funding is part of a $474.5 million DOL effort to help community colleges around the country train the workforce and facilitate students in earning credentials. The award was announced Wednesday, Sept. 18.

The grants are to be used for the development and expansion of innovative training programs in partnership with local employers. Pellissippi State was one of only three Tennessee colleges awarded funds in the competitive process.

“We are excited and proud to have won this very competitive grant for the expansion of our workforce training programs,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president. “The funding will significantly enhance our efforts with business and industry partners to create more and better jobs for graduates throughout East Tennessee.”

The college wrote and submitted the grant as the leader of the Southeastern Economic and Education Leadership Consortium. The consortium includes five other community colleges in the Southeast: Northeast State Community College, Palm Beach State College and Polk State College in Florida, and Randolph Community College and Vance-Granville Community College in North Carolina.

The SEELC proposal resulted in a total of $12.7 million for use in advanced manufacturing projects.

“At Pellissippi State, we will use the grant to expand welding, machining, and manufacturing programs, with the long-term goal of ensuring that our graduates are well prepared to enter the workforce,” said Wise. Funds will be used to purchase equipment and new technology and to hire program faculty and staff.

“As a SEELC member, we will also work with national credentialing bodies to make sure our training continues to meet industry-recognized standards of excellence.”

Through the consortium, Pellissippi State will partner with organizations such as the American Welding Society and the National Institute for Metalworking Skills to offer national credentials as part of the college’s degree and certificate programs. Pellissippi State has available a wide variety of short-term training certificates that enhance job opportunities for students.

Consortium members also will work with public partners in their respective states to open the door for more students and workers to receive advanced manufacturing certificates and degrees.

The six colleges that make up the SEELC are leaders in partnering in regional workforce development and education, and the six were specifically chosen to represent economic and demographic diversity. Each SEELC member is located in a state in which governors and other community leaders are working to improve economic development and workforce system change.

To learn more about Pellissippi State’s programs and services, call (865) 694-6400 or visit For more about the federal grant, visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s website.

DENSO, Pellissippi State partner on classroom automation equipment

Row of males and females standing in a line
DENSO North America Foundation presented a $50,000 check to Pellissippi State Community College officials during a ceremony and tour Wednesday, Aug. 21, on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus. The grant will be used to purchase programmable controller training systems, a robotic arm training station with software and motor training equipment for the newest Engineering Technology concentration, Automated Industrial Systems. Pictured from left are Kenneth Swayne, Engineering Technology faculty, Pellissippi State; Robyn Blair and Sara Harris, DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee representatives; Carl Mallette, Engineering Technology; Brian Crawford, DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee; Peggy Wilson, executive director, Pellissippi State Foundation; Pat Riddle, Engineering Technology; L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president; Dennis Hopkins, vice president, DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee; and Ted Lewis, vice president, Academic Affairs, Pellissippi State.

After more than 20 years of collaboration, Pellissippi State Community College and DENSO North America Foundation are joining forces once again, this time to help provide new equipment to students studying Automated Industrial Systems at the college.

Automated Industrial Systems is a new concentration in the Engineering Technology program that launches at Pellissippi State this fall. Students who graduate in Engineering Technology earn an Associate of Applied Science degree.

Representatives from DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee presented a $50,000 check on behalf of the DENSO North America Foundation to the Pellissippi State Foundation during a ceremony at the school’s Hardin Valley Campus Wednesday, Aug. 21. The donation will apply toward the purchase of programmable controller training systems, a robotic arm training station with software and motor training equipment.

“The partnership between DENSO and Pellissippi State is one that benefits both our students and DENSO employees,” said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president, “as, together, we strive to provide great education and technological training both on the job and in the classroom.”

group of males and females looking at computer and equipment

“For the auto industry to continue to advance, we need to further develop and invest in students’ technological skills—that’s what we hope to accomplish with Pellissippi State and this grant,” said Mike Brackett, DENSO Foundation board member and senior vice president of Corporate Services at DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee.

“At DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee, we specialize in robot design and programming and now have more than 800 robots on our production lines. Automation will continue to be critical in the future of DENSO and our automotive customers, meaning we need talented and knowledgeable people in this area.”

The equipment will be similar to that used in DENSO and other manufacturing settings where much of the automation is controlled by computer. With the robotic arm and programmable controller training systems, Pellissippi State students will learn relevant and technologically advanced techniques used in engineering technology and manufacturing.

“In order for students to be ready to go to work, we must continue to integrate newer technology into our training programs,” said Wise. “This cutting-edge equipment will be used for our new and existing engineering technology, workforce training, and STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] awareness programs.”

“Our partnership with DENSO is a win-win relationship,” said Peggy Wilson, executive director of the Pellissippi State Foundation. “Support from donors like DENSO helps the college provide its students the best education possible, and when those students graduate, they bring to employers the knowledge business and industry need to succeed.”

To learn more about Pellissippi State giving opportunities, call the Foundation at (865) 694-6528 or email For more information on Engineering Technology and other academic offerings, call Pellissippi State at (865) 694-6400 or visit



The DENSO North America Foundation was established in January 2001 to support the advancement of higher education in science, math, engineering and related business programs through grant-making to colleges and universities throughout North America. A priority is given to programs that demonstrate technological innovation and advance automotive engineering.

DENSO Corporation, headquartered in Kariya, Aichi prefecture, Japan, is a leading global automotive supplier of advanced technology, systems and components in the areas of thermal, powertrain control, electric, electronics, information and safety. Its customers include all the world’s major carmakers. Consolidated global sales for the fiscal year ending March 31 totaled U.S. $38.1 billion. In North America, DENSO employs more than 17,000 people, with consolidated sales totaling U.S. $6.8 billion for the fiscal year ending March 31.

‘A Celebration of Baskets’ exhibit at Pellissippi State starts Sept. 23

Swing Handle Market Basket - Artist Susan Mowan
Swing Handle Market Basket – Artist Susan Mowan

Weave your way to the Bagwell Center for Media and Art at Pellissippi State Community College and gain a new appreciation of an Appalachian heritage craft, basket weaving.

“A Celebration of Baskets” by the Foothills Craft Guild Basket Weavers is on display at the Bagwell Gallery Sept. 23-Oct. 15, with an opening reception 3-5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24. The event is free, and the community is invited. The gallery is located on the Hardin Valley Campus.

“The Foothills Craft Guild exhibit will present original work created by guild members, along with examples of work done by a special guest,” said Jennifer Brickey, an art instructor at Pellissippi State. “A Celebration of Baskets” features the work of Pam Parham, a Shaker-basket weaver from Sevierville.

According to Virgil Davis, a Pellissippi State adjunct faculty member and also a guild member, the basket exhibit pays homage to a timeless Appalachian craft, as well as introduces traditional and modern weaving techniques.

2 baskets on a table
Traditional Nantucket basket – Artist Susan Mowan

Like Parham, Davis creates Shaker baskets. Whether baskets, furniture or architecture, Shaker style is intended for longevity and usefulness. The display includes not only Shaker pieces but also nesting baskets, Nantuckets with solid wood bases and lids, and Appalachian berry baskets, which were traditionally made quickly, on site, from carved poplar bark.

Heritage basketry is joined in the exhibit by more modern creations. The display is meant to encourage visitors to be conscious of space and enclosures and to find beauty in everyday items.

“A Celebration of Baskets” is one of the events that make up Pellissippi State’s 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.

For more information about The Arts at Pellissippi State, contact Pellissippi State at (865) 694-6400 or visit To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or