Category Archives: Community

Pellissippi State, American Heart Association host August nursing conference

Pellissippi State Community College and the American Heart Association will co-host the inaugural Nurse Symposium at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus on Aug. 8. The theme of the event is “Care for Those Who Give Care.”

“We know that nurses are one of our most valued treasures,” said Pat Myers, director of community outreach and donor engagement at Pellissippi State. “This symposium is a way to both honor them and share learning tools that are vital for better health—better health not only for those who work in the medical field but for all of us.”

The symposium is 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Goins Administration Building. Here is the event schedule in brief:

  • 9-11:30 a.m.—Registration, vendor exhibits/screenings and mini-sessions
  • 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.—Lunch
  • 12:45-1:45 p.m.—Keynote speaker and demonstrations presented by Laerdal Medical
  • 2-4 p.m.—Breakout sessions (30 minutes each, running concurrently throughout the afternoon; applicable for continuing education units)

Registration is $10 and includes lunch, an exhibit area with information, and various medical screenings. The event has several key partners, including Covenant Health, East Tennessee Heart Consultants, Tennova Healthcare and the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

To register, as either a participant or a vendor, visit or call (865) 539-7242.

Carter High School to host ‘Registration Days’ for Pellissippi State

Pellissippi State Community College is reaching out to community members in East Knox County through its newly opened Strawberry Plains Campus and will host summer registration days for prospective college students at Carter High School.

“‘Registration Days’ at Carter High School will be an opportunity for anyone interested in registering for fall 2013 classes at Pellissippi State to apply, work with a Financial Aid representative and register for classes,” said Mike North, Strawberry Plains campus dean.

“Anyone interested in enrollment at Pellissippi State can come to one of the two registration days we will offer at Carter High School—you don’t have to be a Carter graduate. Interested high school graduates, adult learners or transfer students from other institutions can come on July 10 or 24 to get help with applying to Pellissippi State, financial aid, placement testing, or registration.”

Registration Days takes place 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Wednesday, July 10, and Wednesday, July 24. Pellissippi State staff from the Admissions, Financial Aid and Advising offices will be on hand to assist prospective students. Students can even take a placement test on site.

This is the first time a Pellissippi State registration event has been staged at a community high school.

“This is a new initiative for the college,” said North. “The Strawberry Plains Campus will close for several renovation projects and will not be able to provide enrollment services until it reopens later this summer.

“Carter High School is close to Pellissippi State’s Strawberry Plains Campus, and people in and around the community are familiar with the location.”

No reservation or registration is required. Interested students may walk in at any time July 10 or 24 and find assistance.

For more information, call the Strawberry Plains Campus at (865) 225-2300 or the Hardin Valley Campus at (865) 694-6400.

Creative learning for children continues with Pellissippi State’s summer classes

Summer months may give children the chance to take a break from school, but they also give them the opportunity to explore topics they might remember long into adulthood. Children as young as 6 can have fun learning about subjects ranging from art and history to acting and computers in Pellissippi State Community College’s summer creative learning classes.

Creative learning camps for kids continue through July, with classes beginning on July 8. Early registration is encouraged. The youth summer course selection for July, offered through Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services Division, includes the following:

“Girls on the Run”—July 8-12, 9-noon; ages 8-12; $75. This summer camp introduces participants to the physical-activity-based Girls on the Run program and helps them prepare for the 10-week fall season. Fee includes healthy snacks, water and a gift. Space is limited.

“Self-Defense for Teen Girls”—July 8-12, 2-4 p.m.; ages 13 and up; $95. Attendees learn basic self-defense skills, safe-dating strategies, predator awareness, escape techniques and assault prevention in an age-appropriate way.

“CreACTivity”—July 8-12, 1-4 p.m.; ages 8-10; $115. Students explore and expand their abilities in all areas of acting for the stage, with the chance to display their skills in a showcase performance. Instruction provided by The WordPlayers.

“ImaginACTion”—July 15-19, 1-4:30 p.m.; ages 11-13; $125. Participants use imagination and technique to create characters for the stage in this active class. The class is capped off with a showcase performance. Instruction provided by The WordPlayers.

“Claymation”—July 15-19, 1-4 p.m.; ages 8-15; $119. Working in small groups, attendees write a script, create clay figures, take photographs and compile a short animated movie. Includes a movie premiere featuring all final projects.

“The Amazing History Adventure”—July 15-19, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; ages 9-13; $169. Presented in conjunction with historic Ramsey House, this day-camp experience offers hands-on activities, games and crafts based on early American history. Participants must register by July 8 and should visit the BCS website for a list of materials to bring each day. Classes meet at Ramsey House, 2614 Thorngrove Pike, in East Knox County.

“App-tastic”—July 15-18, 9-noon; ages 8-15; $115. This four-day class teaches students how to build their own app that will work on an iPhone, iPad, iPod or Android with Wi-Fi capabilities.

“Manners Come From the Heart”—July 15-16, 10:30-noon; ages 7-12; $65. This class helps younger students develop tools to make friends easily and feel confident as they learn manners for all occasions.

“Confident Teens in Today’s Changing World”—July 17-18, 12-1:30 p.m.; ages 13 and up; $65. Students learn how to boost confidence and decrease feelings of awkwardness in this social skills class.

“Keyboarding and Basic Computer Skills”—July 22-25, 9-noon; ages 6-10; $115. Youngsters have fun learning their way around the computer in age-appropriate activities, including doing online searches and making greeting cards.

“Microsoft Office Sampler”—July 22-25, 1-4 p.m.; ages 8-15; $115. Attendees can get a head start on future job skills by learning the basic tools for creating documents (Word), presentations (PowerPoint) and spreadsheets (Excel).

“Cambridge ACT Test Prep Class”—July 20, 8:30-noon (pre-test); July 29-20, 5-8 p.m. (math/science); Aug. 5-6, 5-8 p.m. (English/reading); Aug. 10, 8:30-noon (post-test); $425, with $100 discount to those registering by July 5. Students preparing to take the ACT gain test strategies in this curriculum, which has a solid record of improving scores. Must register by July 12.

Unless otherwise noted, all courses are at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus. Participants may bring snacks or money for snack machines (optional).

For additional information or registration, visit or call (865) 539-7167. The BCS website lists updated class schedules and information on new course offerings.

Pellissippi State Engineering Tech student benefits from prestigious Grainger scholarship

Esther Dyer, dean of Pellissippi State’s Division Street Campus, views the new display case frame created by students Ted Maitlin and Ben Manuel (not pictured). Maitlin and Manuel created the frame to hold fliers at the campus. The frame was part of a project for both an Engineering Technology class and the college’s Service-Learning program.
Esther Dyer, dean of Pellissippi State’s Division Street Campus, views the new display case frame created by students Ted Maitlen and Ben Manuel (not pictured).

When Ted Maitlen thought about his future, he did not picture himself on a college campus.

“I never thought school was for me,” he said. “I didn’t do well in high school. I never really saw college as an option.”

Maitlen has turned that image on its head at Pellissippi State Community College.

As a top student in Engineering Technology’s Industrial Maintenance concentration, the 29-year-old just completed the academic year with support from the prestigious Grainger Tools for Tomorrow scholarship.

The scholarship provided $2,000 for tuition and fees. Upon graduation this fall, Maitlen also will receive a customized Westward toolkit worth $2,500 from the company, a leading supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products.

Maitlen began classes at Pellissippi State fall 2011. Prior to college, he served three years in the Army before being discharged and returning to East Tennessee. When he reenlisted six months later, he was deployed to Iraq, where his unit provided security for high-level officials, including U.N. inspectors present for the country’s first election.

Back at home, though, the recession took a toll on Maitlen’s civilian career. His employer cut jobs, and his position as a crane operator was eliminated. He struggled to find work and eventually decided to give college a try.

Maitlen started by visiting Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus and picking up some information about Industrial Maintenance. He also met with Pat Riddle, the concentration’s coordinator and a faculty member. Once Maitlen made the commitment to enroll, he has worked steadily toward a degree.

Part of his motivation rests in securing a better career with a good company. Even more powerful, he says, is his desire to provide a more secure future for his family.

A husband and the father of two, Maitlen attends class in the day, doing homework in between and in the evening. He also helps his 5-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter with their homework.

“There’s not much I’m more proud of than those two,” he said.

Riddle recommended Maitlen for the Grainger Tools for Tomorrow scholarship. He described the student as a hard worker, a self-starter, someone willing to help his classmates.

But when asked about the recommendation, Riddle mentioned first a modification Maitlen made to a Humvee in Baghdad that made his team’s patrols safer. According to Riddle, Maitlen figured out a way to cool the fuel solenoid by rerouting the windshield washer fluid.

“This allowed us to stop and restart our vehicle without having to get out and lift the hood (a two-man job) to pour water over the solenoid in order to cool it,” Maitlen said.

Pretty impressive considering that Maitlen was not technically even the unit’s mechanic.

“That kind of quick thinking and problem solving, that’s almost at an instinctual level with him. It’s one of the things that impress me about Ted,” Riddle said.

Maitlen is the fourth Pellissippi State student to earn a Grainger scholarship and one of 100 nationally to receive it for the past academic year. The scholarships are coordinated by the Pellissippi State Foundation.

To learn more about enrolling at Pellissippi State, visit or call (865) 694-6400. To find out more about scholarships, go to

DENSO gift boosts Pellissippi State Engineering Technology program

The DENSO North America Foundation has presented the Pellissippi State Foundation with a $50,000 donation for new equipment and technology that enhances Pellissippi State Community College’s Engineering Technology degree program.

Providing students with the equipment and technology that they will use upon graduation is a key priority at Pellissippi State.

“Pellissippi State and DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee have collaborated since 1992,” Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. said. “This partnership has included training programs for DENSO employees, programmatic and curriculum recommendations for our academic programs, and donations from DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee and the DENSO North America Foundation.”

DENSO’s gift pays for Mechatronics Training Systems, also called MecLabs, and thermography equipment for Engineering Technology, as well as for workforce training and STEM—science, technology, engineering, and math—awareness.

Students enrolled in Engineering Technology and participants in Business and Community Services training will benefit from the new equipment and technology. Knox County and Blount County students will also be introduced to the new MecLabs.

“This equipment will be used to generate interest at middle and high schools by providing demonstrations and hands-on activities for students with the goal of encouraging potential careers paths involving science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said Wise.

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

Pellissippi State’s Swing Big tournament: Enjoy a round of golf, support students

About 5 men practicing their golf swing early on the green golf course

Early May in East Tennessee usually offers perfect golfing weather. It also offers the perfect opportunity to assist area students while enjoying a round of golf.

Pellissippi State Community College’s ninth annual Swing Big for Students Golf Tournament, scheduled for May 7, brings together players united in a friendly game that ultimately benefits students pursuing their education. Registration is open until May 3.

This year, the Swing Big Signature Sponsor is Pilot Travel Centers. And thanks to Hole-in-One sponsors Karen’s Jewelers and Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson, a player who sinks that perfectly timed hole-in-one could walk away with a diamond ring or ride off on a Harley.

The tournament, hosted by the Pellissippi State Foundation, raises money that goes toward programs that directly impact deserving students. Funds have been used not only to provide student scholarships and emergency loans but also to improve facilities and secure new equipment. The tournament has raised more than $114,000 during the past eight years.

A portion of the proceeds from the 2013 tournament will be awarded to a recipient of the Swing Big for Students Scholarship, which was established in 2010 for Pellissippi State students in Exercise Science or Sport Management.

The golf event takes place at Egwani Farms in Rockford, and shotguns are scheduled at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. The cost is $100 per player or $400 for a four-person team. Entry fee includes 18 holes of golf, cart, driving range, snack, lunch and prizes. In case of inclement weather on May 7, a rain date is scheduled for May 21.

Sponsorship opportunities begin at $150, and a limited number are still available. To learn more about sponsoring, contact Pat Myers, tournament director, at (865) 539-7242 or

To register, visit for the entry form. Completed forms may be faxed to (865) 539-7241 or mailed to the Pellissippi State Foundation, P.O. Box 22990, Knoxville 37933-0990.

Pellissippi State celebrates Earth Day with recycled-art exhibit, festivities

In celebration of April 22’s Earth Day 2013, Pellissippi State Community College is hosting a unique art exhibit that is available both in an online gallery and in Pellissippi State’s Bagwell Center for Media and Art. All artwork to be on display is crafted entirely from recycled materials.

There will also be Earth Day festivities at the Hardin Valley Campus on April 19. The exhibit and celebration are free and open to the public.

Pellissippi State students will be joined as exhibiting artists by students from the community who take part in the after-school arts programs of the Knox County Public Defender’s Community Law Office.

The CLO works in conjunction with the Arts Academy and The Zone, both of which are funded by the East Tennessee Foundation, to offer after-school programming to local youth. Students explore various art forms, including art, dance, music, theatre and science. The complete exhibit can be viewed online April 15-19, with selected pieces on “traditional” display on campus during the same dates.

The April 19 celebration takes place 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Hardin Valley Thunder, Pellissippi State’s bluegrass ensemble, performs at noon. There will be information tables, light refreshments and a brief Earth Day welcome by L. Anthony Wise Jr., president of the college.

This year marks the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day. It is estimated that more than one billion people will take part in Earth Day 2013 observances and events worldwide.

Founded in 1970 by Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. senator from Wisconsin who was concerned about a massive 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, Calif., Earth Day is celebrated each April. The first Earth Day witnessed more than 20 million Americans staging rallies and demonstrations to encourage environmental awareness and reforms.

The exhibit is viewable online at and in the lobby of the Bagwell Center, located on the Hardin Valley Campus. Regular building hours are 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

For information about the art display, email To learn more about other Earth Day activities, 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: Randy Boyd honored with statewide philanthropy award

Photo of two men in suits holding a framed photo.
Randy Boyd (L) and Dr. Anthony Wise, Jr. (R)

Randy Boyd, president and CEO of PetSafe, has been honored by Pellissippi State Community College as a recipient of the 2013 Regents Award for Excellence in Philanthropy.

The award, bestowed annually by the Tennessee Board of Regents, recognizes individuals who make a significant impact on higher education in their communities. Boyd was nominated by Pellissippi State, which hosted a breakfast in his honor and presented the award in February.

Boyd’s PetSafe company develops pet behavior, containment, and lifestyle product solutions and services. PetSafe’s headquarters are in Knoxville. Its parent company, Radio Systems Corporation, was founded by Boyd in 1991.

In 2012, Boyd and his wife, Jenny, donated $1 million to the Pellissippi State Foundation. The donation was earmarked to go toward the purchase of Pellissippi State’s new Strawberry Plains Campus. The site began offering classes during the fall 2012 semester.

Pellissippi State acquired the former Philips Consumer Electronics’ East Tennessee headquarters in order to increase access to the college’s programs and work toward the fulfillment of the goals of the Complete College Tennessee Act.

A state program that funded community college capital projects contributed $8.5 million toward the $10 million cost. The Pellissippi State Foundation paid the remaining $1.5 million through private donations.

The addition of the Strawberry Plains Campus, located at 7201 Strawberry Plains Pike in East Knox County, gives Pellissippi State a total of five locations in Knox and Blount counties.

Boyd is involved with local education nonprofit organizations, serving as a board member for organizations such as tnAchieves (chair) and Knox County’s Great Schools Partnership. He has received several awards, including Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year for the Southeast in 2008, Tennessee Business Magazine’s CEO of the Year in 2009 and the University of Tennessee’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2009. Boyd was inducted into Junior Achievement’s East Tennessee Hall of Fame in 2008.

For additional information about Pellissippi State, visit or call (865) 694-6400. To learn more about giving opportunities, call (865) 694-6528 or email

Pellissippi State hosts award-winning poets to celebrate National Poetry Month

Photo of woman looking to left with sunglasses on and resting her chin on her hand.
Poet Marilyn Kallet

Her “Fireflies” poem has been read for listeners by Garrison Keillor, the popular public radio personality.

His first book of poems, “Elegy on Independence Day,” was awarded the prestigious Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize.

Collectively, poets Marilyn Kallet and Arthur Smith have published more than 20 books and have received numerous awards. On April 10, the two are special guests of Pellissippi State Community College, where they will read from selected works as the college celebrates National Poetry Month.

Though their poetic styles differ, Kallet and Smith have much in common. Both are English professors at the University of Tennessee, where Kallet also serves as the director of the Creative Writing Program. And, they both have newly released collections: Kallet’s “The Love That Moves Me” was released this month, and Smith’s “The Fortunate Era” has been available since February.

Kallet, the author of personal essays, translations, and children’s books, has been a featured poet in “Prairie Schooner,” “New Letters,” “Denver Quarterly,” and other publications. In 2010, The New York Times paired her “Fireflies” poem with an environmental story of a firefly research project in its weekly “Poetry Pairing” series.

In addition to her duties at UT, Kallet also teaches poetry workshops in Auvillar, France, for the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

Photo of older man in black turtleneck, with a gray suit jacket and glasses. He also has short hair with a gray goatee and is looking forward and smiling.
Poet Arthur Smith

A Pushcart Prize recipient, Smith has published his poetry in “The New Yorker,” “The Nation,” “The Kenyon Review,” “Hunger Mountain” and other outlets. He is a 1984 recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, a highly competitive fellowship that honors the best among American writers.

Smith’s poetry collections are released through his longtime publisher, Carnegie Mellon University Press. He has served as an English professor at the University of Tennessee since 1986.

National Poetry Month, established in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, takes place each year in April. Organizations around the world celebrate poetry with readings, festivals, workshops, book signings and other special events.

The National Poetry Month event is one component of 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 fines arts. The poetry event is sponsored by Pellissippi State’s English Department.

Readings by Kallet and Smith take place 11:50 a.m.-12:45 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium at the Hardin Valley Campus. Attendance is free. Both poets will conduct a book signing of their newest releases after the event, and books will be available for purchase.

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

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

Community invited to Pellissippi State’s Sixth Annual Festival of Cultures

Photo of flower design on the campus floor made out of colored rice.
Rice art from the 2012 Festival of Cultures

There’s only one place where you can sample food from 16 countries and enjoy performances ranging from Brazilian dance and Irish step to Latin music and West African drum.

That place is the Goins Building College Center at the Hardin Valley Campus of Pellissippi State Community College. Members of the community are invited to enjoy the Sixth Annual International Festival of Cultures, a free event celebrating food, music and culture from around the globe.

Slated for Friday, April 12, the event also offers booths and exhibits that showcase international art, clothes, and artifacts by Pellissippi State’s international students. Hours are 4-9:30 p.m., and plenty of free parking is available.

A special feature this year is a display of the work of Russian artist Alex Cherepov in the Goins Building Rotunda. Born in Moscow, Cherepov moved to the U.S. in 1998. His work includes oil paintings, illustrations and animations. There will also be Rangoli floor art on exhibit, as well as Mehndi henna designs by Kajal Patel.

The food samplings, which vary at each year’s festival, include cuisine from the following countries: China, Costa Rica, Denmark, Dominica, France, Greece, India, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Madagascar, Mexico, Poland, Russia and Thailand.

Featured as a special performer is Andrea Moreira, director and choreographer of Dance Brasil Entertainment. Born in Brazil, Moreira began as a professional ballerina before moving to Atlanta in 1993.

She has performed at the 75th anniversary of Atlanta’s Fox Theatre, the Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games’ closing ceremony parade, Atlanta Symphony Hall, Delta Airlines’ Carnaval and other events. Moreira was also featured in “Mas Que Nada,” a music video by the Black Eyed Peas and Sérgio Mendes.

Photo of 4 Indian females in blue and red ornamental dresses, dancing on stage.
Indian cultural dance group from 2012 Festival of Cultures

Additional performers include the following: Freddy Vargas and Son Caribe, a local Latin band; Hardin Valley Thunder, Pellissippi State’s bluegrass band; Knoxville Irish Step Dancers, a local dance troupe; an Indian cultural dance group performing the traditional bharatanayam dance; Vine Middle School’s West African Drum and Dance team; and the Tennessee Children’s Dance Ensemble, which will perform Hungarian, Chinese, and Japanese fan dances.

The schedule of events is as follows:

  • 4-4:45 p.m.—Hardin Valley Thunder
  • 5-5:45 p.m.—Vine Middle School’s West African Drum and Dance team
  • 5:15-6:30 p.m.—Tennessee Children’s Dance Ensemble, bharatanayam Indian dance and Knoxville Irish Step Dancers
  • 6:30 p.m.—Start of international cuisine
  • 7:30 p.m.—Andrea Moreira’s Dance Brasil Entertainment
  • 8:30 p.m.—Freddy Vargas and Son Caribe

The Festival of Cultures is one component of 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 additional information about the Sixth Annual International Festival of Cultures or The Arts at Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit

To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or Requests should be made at least two weeks in advance.