Service-Learning hosts Civic Engagement Week

Thursday kicks off a week of celebrations across all five campuses for Civic Engagement Week. Civic Engagement Week 2015, which is celebrated on campuses around the country, launches a year of community service opportunities. The Pellissippi State activities are hosted by the Service-Learning program, and the theme is “Wellness and Sustainable Living in Appalachia.”

The College’s Civic Engagement Week connects with the book chosen for this academic year’s Common Academic Experience, Jeff Biggers’ “The United States of Appalachia.” The week focuses on encouraging East Tennesseans to take good care of themselves and of the environment.

Event locations, dates and times:

Hardin Valley Campus

  • Call2Service — 10:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, in the Goins Building College Center and Courtyard. Community partners come to campus to share how students can volunteer throughout the year.
  • 9/11 Day of Remembrance — 9-10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 11, in the Courtyard. The event features a short talk by John Ruppe, a veteran and Pellissippi State security supervisor. The rain location is the College Center.
  • “Boatlift” — 10:15 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., Friday, Sept. 11, in the College Center. A screening of this 9/11 short film, narrated by Tom Hanks, will be shown.
  • “One Year Down the Drain: Turkey Creek” — 11:50 a.m.-12:50 p.m. Monday, Sept. 14, in the Goins Building Auditorium. This event features Jason Scott, AmeriCorps project director, of the Knoxville Community Action Committee discussing an exclusive volunteer opportunity to clean waterways in Farragut and create found-objects artwork. Refreshments will be provided.
  • “The Gentle Barn: Teaching People Kindness and Compassion to Animals, Each Other, and the Planet” — 12:25-1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15, Goins Building Cafeteria Annex. Refreshments will be provided.
  • Lecture — 2-3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16, College Center
  • Constitution Day, “Freedom Isn’t Free: How Congress Really Works” — 2-3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, in the Auditorium. Professor Jake Hamric delivers this faculty lecture. Refreshments and pocket copies of the Constitution will be provided.

Division Street Campus

  • Sustainability Kiosk — 11 a.m.-1 p.m.Thursday, Sept. 10 and 2-4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15, front lobby
  • KAT “Smart Trips” — 8:30-10:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 14, in the front lobby. KAT representatives will discuss “green” transportation options.
  • Call2Service — 8:30-11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16 in the Educational Resources Center
  • Constitution Day — free pocket Constitutions available all day Thursday, Sept. 17, front lobby

Magnolia Avenue Campus

  • Call2Service — 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15, in rooms 100 and 109
  • “Community Health Care in Appalachian East Tennessee” — 9:40-10:35 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16. Featuring Rich Connelly and Larry A. Stanifer of Rural Medical Services, Inc., this event is a co-curricular activity of Civic Engagement Week and the Common Academic Experience. 

Strawberry Plains Campus

  • Voter Registration Drive — 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15; 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16, and noon-2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, in the Lobby

Contact the site directly to learn about Civic Engagement Week events being offered at the Blount County Campus.

Celebrate Earth Week with speakers, contests and giveaways

Pellissippi State has a jam-packed schedule of events for Earth Week, beginning Monday, April 20.

“We’ve had such a great response to Earth Day events in past years,” said Karen Lively, sustainable campus coordinator, “that we’re very excited to offer a whole week’s worth of events, with some on each of our five campuses. This gives all of our students, faculty and staff the ability to participate.”

Events, dates and times are listed below. All events are at the Hardin Valley Campus unless otherwise specified. A full Earth Week schedule of events at all campuses is available at www.pstcc.edu/sustainability/earthday.

Monday, April 20:

  • Sustainable Campus Initiative—11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium. Speaker Melissa Lapsa presents an overview of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s sustainable campus initiative.
  • Meatless Monday Information Table—11 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Goins Building Rotunda

Tuesday, April 21:

  • “Inhabit” Film Screening—10:30-11:30 a.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium. Popcorn is served; prizes and giveaways are available in the Rotunda. Knoxville Permaculture Guild members answer questions immediately following the film.
  • Snack Pack—1:30-3 p.m. on the first floor of the McWherter Building. Free organic snacks and juices are available to students.
  • “Making Tap Water Sexy and Available”—12:30-1:30 p.m. in the Community Room of the Magnolia Avenue Campus. Joshua Cunningham of the Tennessee Clean Water Network is speaking.

Wednesday, April 22:

  • Earth Day Exhibit—10 a.m.-1 p.m., featuring remarks by President Anthony Wise and a performance by Hardin Valley Thunder. Exhibitors include student clubs, local businesses and nonprofits, craft stations, and e-cycling collection. Attendees can expect giveaways, including Earth Week T-shirts, and prizes for students, plus cake and popsicles.
  • “Bug Me. Really. Please Bug Me!”—11-noon at the Division Street Campus. Speaker Janice Gangwer, a University of Tennessee Extension master gardener, speaks about beneficial insects.
  • Todd Montgomery, Elephant Sanctuary—2-3 p.m. in the Cafeteria Annex. Montgomery speaks about the Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald.
  • Climate Change Presentation—1-2:30 p.m. in the West Auditorium of the Blount County Campus. Speaker Tom Werkema of Arkema Inc. discusses the current understanding of the science of climate change. Werkema is an internationally known expert on climate change and ozone depletion and was recognized for his contribution to the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Thursday, April 23:

  • “Plant Your Seed in the Growing Field of ‘Green’ Careers”—Noon-1 in the Goins Building Auditorium. Speaker Scott Hacker of Trane Commercial Systems presents on the careers available in sustainability industries. Popcorn and giveaways are offered.
  • Student, Faculty and Staff Recycle Sorting Contest—11 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Courtyard

Friday, April 24:

  • National Arbor Day—10-11 a.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium. Certified arborist David Vandergriff speaks. Students can make pine cone birdfeeders in the Rotunda before and during the presentation. Prizes and popcorn are available.
  • Historic Seedling Giveaway—10-noon in the first-floor middle lobby of the Alexander Building

For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu/sustainability/earthday.

Sustainable lighting made Presidential video possible

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Pellissippi State’s Sustainable Campus Initiative made an unexpected difference when President Barack Obama visited campus in early January.

The energy-efficient LED stage lighting in the Clayton Performing Arts Center saved the day when it came to lighting the stage, and streaming video online, for an internationally-televised Presidential address. The Sustainable Campus Initiative paid for the installation of the LED lighting in 2013.

“A Presidential visit requires the stage lighting be set at a certain degree, both for appearance and for security. Because of that requirement, we couldn’t use the catwalk lighting. Instead, we had to light the stage from the balcony,” said J. Brent Morrison, theatre manager.

“With conventional stage lighting, we couldn’t have supplied enough electricity to the balcony to power all the necessary equipment. But because our intelligent LED fixtures use less than 200 watts, we were able to reliably light the stage with a dozen fixtures.”

Morrison added that, importantly, the LED fixtures left enough power available for the White House’s video streaming equipment.

“The White House staff was greatly impressed by what the Clayton Performing Arts Center could do,” he added. “If we didn’t have the LED fixtures, our alternative would have been to hire an outside vendor to supply lighting with additional power sources. It was a point of pride for us to be able to meet all of this event’s needs in-house.”

The Sustainable Campus Initiative engages students, faculty and staff to boost environmental awareness through recycling programs, community partnerships and other strategies to create energy-efficient campuses.

Take the Green Office Challenge!

Attention, faculty and staff: Make our world at work a better place by taking part in the Green Office Challenge!

In just a few minutes, you can download and check off the Green Office Challenge Checklist from www.pstcc.edu/sustainability/greenoffice. Score yourself in the different categories—Recycling, Energy, and Transportation, for example—and earn points that apply to four levels of eco-friendly accomplishment: Green Leaf, Copper Leaf, Bronze Leaf, and Gold Leaf.

By accruing points for achieving goals like recycling more paper or using task lamps rather than ceiling fluorescents, you can earn badges to display on your office door and in your email signature.

“The Green Office Challenge is intended to improve greenness on campus and increase awareness among employees and students about the importance of being eco-friendly and how easy it is to take simple steps,” said Susan McMahon, a member of the College’s Sustainability Campus Committee.

“Small steps—as small as turning off lights and computers at the end of the day or unplugging items that aren’t in use—can make a big difference,” said Larry Vincent, also a committee member. “The Green Office Challenge is quick and simple.”

So what are you waiting for? Take five minutes to fill out the Green Office Challenge Checklist at www.pstcc.edu/sustainability/greenoffice now!