Slapstick whodunit brings classic film energy to Pellissippi State stage

Promotional poster for The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940Live theatre returns to Pellissippi State Community College this November in a play the director calls “one-third screwball comedy, one-third murder mystery and one-third farce.” 

“The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940” by John Bishop will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays Nov. 5-6 and Nov. 12-13, as well as at 2 p.m. Sundays Nov. 7 and 14. 

Capacity in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus is capped at 250 for each show to allow for social distancing, and audience members will be required to wear masks. 

“Coming off what has been a very difficult year, I wanted to choose something light, fluffy and fun that would make people laugh,” said Theatre Professor Charles Miller, who is directing the play. “We all need some laughter right now.” 

It’s the first live theatre performance at Pellissippi State since 2019, as the college’s Theatre program shifted to radio plays in fall 2020 and a livestreamed performance in spring 2021, due to the pandemic. Sixteen Pellissippi State Theatre students and recent graduates have roles on stage, backstage or as part of the production crew. 

“Comedy is very difficult to do, and we hadn’t done one in a while, so this is a good opportunity for our students to learn,” Miller said. “There are a lot of things I’m trying to teach them – physical comedy, punchlines, throwaway lines. It’s not easy to teach, and it’s not easy to perform.” 

“The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940” opened on Broadway in 1987 and features blizzard conditions, secret passageways and an isolated mansion in a slapstick whodunit. To prepare for the play, students were assigned to watch black-and-white films from that era, including “Bringing Up Baby” starring Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant and “The Hound of the Baskervilles” starring Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes. 

“There are references you’ll get if you watch old movies,” Miller noted, who added that the play is similar to the popular 1985 movie “Clue,” “but crazier.” 

Tickets are free, but please obtain one at, as seating is limited to half capacity due to COVID-19.  

To request accommodations for a disability at any campus event, call 865-539-7401 or email 


Magnolia Avenue Campus hosts Knoxville City Council candidates

Almost all of the Knoxville City Council candidates will stop by Pellissippi State Community College’s Magnolia Avenue Campus to talk to voters Tuesday. 

The meet-and-greet will be held 10:15 a.m.-noon Oct. 26, in the lobby of the Magnolia Avenue Campus, 1610 E. Magnolia Avenue. 

So far eight of the 10 city council candidates have confirmed their attendance: incumbent Tommy Smith and challenger Elizabeth Murphy of District 1, incumbent Andrew Roberto of District 2, incumbent Seema Singh and challenger Nick Ciparro of District 3, incumbent Lauren Rider and challenger Jim Klonaris of District 4, and incumbent Vice Mayor Gwen McKenzie of District 6. 

In this election, all registered voters in the City of Knoxville, including voters in the 5th District, are able to vote in all five races on the ballot. 

“This will be an informal meeting where anyone can come up to the candidates and talk to them,” said Administrative Assistant Terry Lund, who is organizing the event for the community. “I have a brochure to distribute to anyone who wants one that outlines each candidate’s platform. I am hopeful the information will start conversations with each candidate.” 

Thursday, Oct. 28, is the final day for early voting in the City of Knoxville regular election, and you can see hours and locations here. Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 2, and here is a copy of the sample ballot. 


Pellissippi State offers COVID-19 vaccines and boosters Monday, no appointment necessary

Nursing student gives Nursing Dean Angela Lunsford her COVID-19 booster at the college's first Vaccinate and Education Fair
A Pelllissippi State Nursing student gives Nursing Dean Angela Lunsford her COVID-19 booster at the college’s first Vaccinate and Educate Fair.

Pellissippi State Community College will offer all doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines at its third Vaccinate and Educate Fair next week. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine may be available Monday as well. 

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held noon-4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 25, outside the Bagwell Center for Media and Art on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.  

In case of rain, the event will be moved to the F1 parking lot beside the new Bill Haslam Center for Math and Science, and participants will not need to leave their cars. 

Pellissippi State is working with the nonprofit Faith Leaders Initiative and New Directions Healthcare to offer these Vaccinate and Educate Fairs for the community. Vaccines are provided by Winbigler Medical, PLLC, and education stations staffed by Nursing faculty and students provide information about COVID-19 and how to keep you and your family safe. 

The Pfizer vaccine is approved for anyone 12 years old or older. Be sure to bring your vaccination card with you if you are seeking your second dose of Pfizer or Moderna. 


Pellissippi State Libraries host first Appalachia Speaks symposium

Chris Green sitting at a table
Chris Green will headline Pellissippi State Community College’s inaugural Appalachia Speaks symposium later this month.

Chris Green, director of the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center at Berea College in Berea, Kentucky, will headline Pellissippi State Community College’s inaugural Appalachia Speaks symposium later this month. 

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27, on Zoom. It also will be recorded for later viewing.

This program is sponsored by the Pellissippi State Libraries as part of the Appalachian Heritage Project, which is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Project offers quarterly programming and scheduled exhibits that support the enhancement of the Appalachian Collection, currently housed in the Hardin Valley Campus library. The Collection will move to the new Strawberry Plains Campus library when it opens in fall 2022. 

“The Libraries are proud to host Dr. Chris Green for our inaugural Appalachian Heritage Project fall speaker series,” said Mary Ellen Spencer, Dean of Library Services. “I’m excited that his talk will dovetail so well with the College’s efforts to create a sense of social belonging for our students, faculty and staff. We’re also excited to feature members of our own Pellissippi State English faculty, Associate Professors Candice Dendy and Patty Ireland. I hope those who attend will come away with a real sense of pride about living in this special region.” 

Green is author of “The Social Life of Poetry: Appalachia, Race, and Radical Modernism” and several books of poems and has edited “Coal: A Poetry Anthology.” For the last three decades, he has dedicated his work to helping Appalachians create and circulate their stories via creative writing, documentaries, music, children’s books and other mediums.  

“When someone asks (as they often do), ‘Where are you from?’ they are also hoping that eventually you’ll tell your story and how you came to be where you are,” Green said. “Just as each of us embodies the stories of the places and people we’ve known, so each place we go is made up of everyone’s stories who have been there (even those whose stories aren’t being told).   

“When we begin to understand how our stories and the stories of a place evolve and intertwine, we call that living history and we call that change,” he added. “When we begin to feel those stories combining in our bones, we call that belonging.” 

Green, Dendy and Ireland will share their own stories about being Appalachian and how that has influenced and guided their work as teachers and in education.  The last 20 minutes will be a Q&A session with questions from students in Dendy’s and Ireland’s English classes at Pellissippi State as well as from Ireland’s Young Creative Writer’s Workshop. 

For more information about the Appalachia Speaks Symposium or the Appalachian Heritage Project, contact Strawberry Plains Campus Librarian Allison McKittrick at   

Pellissippi State art gallery features work of ‘indispensable’ adjuncts

Poster of the four art adjuncts who have works on display until Oct. 22
Pellissippi State’s four adjunct visual art instructors have works on display until Oct. 22 in the Bagwell Center for Media and Art Gallery.

Watercolor and acrylic. Folded paper and found objects. Digital prints and woodcuts. 

Pellissippi State Community College’s newest art exhibit has a little something for everyone. 

“The Indispensables,” on display until Oct. 22, features the work of Pellissippi State’s four adjunct visual art instructors: John Allen, Anna Halliwell Boyd, Marty Komorny and Tatiana Potts — their works, processes and investigations as varied as they are. 

The exhibition is a survey of our underrecognized colleagues’ talents and hard work and spans many mediums,” said Associate Professor Herb Rieth. “Drawing, painting, sculpture, installation, photography and printmaking are all explored here, often in thought provoking and striking ways.” 

  • John Allen earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing from Clemson University in 2010 and his Master of Fine Arts from University of South Florida in 2014. His work spans various media including drawing, sculpture, photography and printmaking, and is often focused on process, especially aspects that are experimental, meditative or imaginative. His work on display at Pellissippi State includes “Case Studies I-IV,” silver gelatin pinhole prints in converted found objects such as old luggage. 
  • Anna Halliwell Boyd is a mixed media artist who earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2D Studio Art from the University of Tennessee in 2008 and her Master of Fine Arts in Painting from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2018. Her recent works explore themes of loss and how the past is recollected, with photographs she took growing up resurrected to convey lost connections with others and the distorted nature of memory. The original printed photographs are sanded, erased and painted on with the intent of creating separation between the figures and the viewer, just as they are now separated from the artist. Another installation redacts details from the artist’s old school notes, with the blank spaces she created in them serving as lapses in memory. 
  • A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Marty Komorny received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking from Southern Illinois University, as well as a Master of Arts in Philosophy.  She spent a motivational year picking fruit in the great Northwest, living out of a blue van, before returning to school to study Printmaking at the University of Tennessee.  She continues to garden and make drawings, watercolors and prints from her home in Maryville. 
  • Tatiana Potts is a native of Slovakia who received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking from the University of North Carolina, Asheville, and her Master of Fine Arts degree in Printmaking from the University of Tennessee. Potts incorporates images, artist books and paper installations into a world that reflects her experiences and perspectives living, traveling and studying in Europe and the United States. Images are printed with printmaking processes such as screen print, intaglio, relief and lithography and then folded piece by piece and composed into one installation with glue, magnets and Velcro. 

“Like most programs and, indeed, the College as a whole, we would not function without our adjuncts teaching many of our classes,” Reith said. “They are not paid nearly enough, put in long hours and undergo rigorous training, and yet they often receive very little recognition for what they bring to the classroom: professionalism, caring and a high degree of skill and thought in their chosen field of research. We find them to be indispensable.” 

“The Indispensables” is free and open to the public 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday until Oct. 22. The Bagwell Center for Media and Art Gallery is located on Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road, Knoxville.  

Masks are encouraged in indoor spaces. 

For more information about The Arts at Pellissippi State this season, visit or call 865-694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability at any campus event, call 865-539-7401 or email




Pellissippi State’s annual literature conference evolves into online reading series

Headshot of Crystal Wilkinson
Kentucky’s Poet Laureate Crystal Wilkinson kicks off the James Agee Online Reading Series this Thursday, Sept. 30, on YouTube.

The annual James Agee Conference for Arts and Literature at Pellissippi State Community College will be held as the James Agee Online Reading Series this fall, after having been canceled due to COVID-19 in 2020. 

“By rethinking the conference as an online reading series that will be available on YouTube throughout the academic year, we can reach a wider audience,” said conference founder Charles Dodd White, an author and associate professor of English at Pellissippi State. “We are encouraging instructors to use it in their classrooms, but the entire series is free and open to the public as well.” 

White, whose 2020 novel “How Fire Runs” won a 2021 Independent Publishers gold medal for Best Regional Fiction – South, created the James Agee Conference six years ago to give Pellissippi State students an opportunity to attend a scholarly conference while also celebrating the literature, culture and arts of Appalachia. 

“Agee is such a particular touchstone for this area,” said White, who was inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame for fiction in 2018. “The conference gives us an opportunity to honor his influence while also exploring the hometown portrayal of Appalachia through writing and art.” 

While the online reading series continues in the spirit of the James Agee Conference, White noted that an online reading series allows Pellissippi State to expand the featured writers beyond Appalachia to the general Southeast. Their readings will be recorded, not live, and will include the authors’ thoughts on writing and publishing in addition to sharing from their books. 

The three authors on tap this fall include: 

  • Crystal Wilkinson, Kentucky’s Poet Laureate and the award-winning author of “Perfect Black,” “The Birds of Opulence,” “Water Street” and “Blackberries, Blackberries.” Her reading will premiere Sept. 30. 
  • Ravi Howard, author of two books of fiction, “Driving the King” and “Like Trees, Walking,” which won the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. His reading will premiere Oct. 30. 

For more about each featured author and the link to their readings, please visit 


Overstreet named State Star by Tennessee Small Business Development Center network

Laura Overstreet headshot
Under Laura Overstreet’s leadership, the Tennessee Small Business Development Center in Knoxville assisted clients with $11.3 million in federal disaster assistance in 2020 and $15.3 million in federal disaster assistance in 2021, to date. The Center also assisted in retaining 1,348 jobs in 2020 and 847 jobs in 2021 so far.

Pellissippi State Community College’s Laura Overstreet, director of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center in Knoxville, has received the state’s highest honor from her peers and was celebrated this week at America’s Small Business Development Center’s annual conference. 

The State Stars, who were chosen by their SBDC networks, are among the best of the best – those who demonstrate exemplary performance, make significant contributions to their networks and are deeply committed to the success of America’s small businesses. 

“I am honored, but it takes a team,” Overstreet said. “I depend on them heavily, and they are fantastic. You have to have a very well-oiled machine to pull off what we pulled off this last year.” 

The Tennessee Small Business Development Center in Knoxville is hosted by Pellissippi State, although its office is located in Market Square. Overstreet joined the Center in 2013 as a business specialist, after owning and operating her own retail business for 17 years. 

“I opened the first legal liquor store in the town that temperance built,” Overstreet explained, referring to Harriman, Tennessee. “I was a self-made entrepreneur. I went from zero sales to $2.5 million at peak. I went from leasing a space to owning a shopping center.” 

Along the way, Overstreet received the Athena Leadership Award and the Sam Walton Business Leader Award and served on several community boards, including chairing the capital campaign to restore the historic Roane County Courthouse.  

Overstreet sold her business in 2010, but found her retirement to be premature, she said. A job posting for the Tennessee Small Business Development Center in Knoxville piqued her interest. 

“I thought, ‘Isn’t that the perfect thing for me to do?’ because I received so much help from the community when I started my business,” she said. “It sounded like the perfect opportunity to give back.” 

America’s nationwide network of Small Business Development Centers provide one-on-one consulting and training services to new and existing businesses, “at no cost to clients for the life of the business,” Overstreet noted. The SBDCs are funded in part by the U.S. Congress through a partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Pellissippi State provides the rest of the funding for the Knoxville Center. 

Since joining the Tennessee Small Business Development Center in Knoxville, which serves seven counties, Overstreet has assisted small businesses in generating over $29 million in capital formation and has helped 85 entrepreneurs start a business. She has earned her Certified Export Specialist designation as well as her Certified Global Business Professional designation, which allowed her to represent Tennessee’s marine equipment manufacturing industry at an international trade show in Amsterdam two years in a row, pre-pandemic. 

“95% of the market for marine equipment is international,” she explained. “We just happen to have a lot of marine equipment manufacturers in Tennessee, and this helped them get leads all over the world.” 

When the coronavirus pandemic hit East Tennessee, Overstreet and her two staff members shifted to “100 percent disaster relief,” she said, helping clients navigate the Paycheck Protection Program, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan, the Shuttered Venues Operations Act, the Restaurant Recovery Fund and more. 

“Our phones rang and rang and rang, seven days a week,” Overstreet remembered. “It was heart-wrenching. The rules for everything were changing constantly. Changes would come out every night around midnight. I felt like I read the Encyclopedia Britannica cover to cover. The three of us worked seven days a week from March (2020) through June (2020).” 

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, allowed Overstreet to hire nine part-time consultants, which she called “a huge relief to the team.”  

Under Overstreet’s leadership, the Tennessee Small Business Development Center in Knoxville assisted clients with $11.3 million in federal disaster assistance in 2020 and $15.3 million in federal disaster assistance in 2021, to date. The Center also assisted in retaining 1,348 jobs in 2020 and 847 jobs in 2021 so far. 

“Our work during the pandemic has been rewarding, but really hard,” Overstreet said. “It was emotionally taxing, but we couldn’t not answer the phones. We had to help.” 

In nominating Overstreet for the award, Overstreet’s team recognized her dedication and commitment to her community, witnessing her expertise, professionalism and willingness to learn in an effort to serve more individuals. 

“Pellissippi State, the TSBDC network and our clients are very fortunate to have someone of Laura’s caliber leading our Center,” said Teri Brahams, executive director of Economic and Workforce Development for Pellissippi State. “She’s a great advocate for our area’s small businesses, an extremely competent business advisor and an exceptional leader. I’m extremely pleased she is part of my team.” 

For more information about the Tennessee Small Business Development Center in Knoxville, visit or call 865-246-2663. While the Center is located in Market Square, staff meet clients one day each week at the Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce and at the Blount County Chamber of Commerce and one day each month at the Cocke County Chamber of Commerce. 


Get answers to your college questions at fall Pellissippi Preview

Students walking on Hardin Valley Campus in fall leaves
Prospective students are encouraged to join Pellissippi State for its fall open house in person Oct. 2 or on Zoom Oct. 20.

Anyone who has considered taking classes at Pellissippi State Community College has two opportunities this October to check out the school from the academic programs offered to the financial aid available. 

Pellissippi State’s open house, now called Pellissippi Preview, will be held in person 9:15-11:15 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, at the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. An online version will be held 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20, for those who would rather learn about the college via Zoom. 

Pellissippi Preview is open to prospective students of all ages and is free to attend. 

Pellissippi State will kick off the Oct. 2 in-person event in the Clayton Performing Arts Center at 9:15 a.m. before letting prospective students browse the departments that interest them until 10:30 a.m. Faculty and staff will be available to answer questions about the college’s academic programs as well as the student services available at Pellissippi State. 

Pellissippi Preview also will feature a presentation on academic programs, services and financial aid at 10:30 a.m. Participants will get hands-on information about one of the questions Pellissippi State advisers and recruiters hear the most: “Will my Pellissippi State classes transfer?” They’ll also learn more about scholarship opportunities, including Tennessee Promise for high school seniors. 

All those who attend Pellissippi Preview in person will be entered in a drawing for one of two $250 scholarships from the Pellissippi State Foundation. The drawing will be held at 11:15 a.m. to close the event.  

“You are sure to get all your questions answered,” said Enrollment Services Coordinator Sarah Davis. “We hope to see you there.”  

To RSVP for Pellissippi Preview in person or online, visit To request accommodations for this or any campus event, call 865-694-6411 or email 


Pellissippi State offers COVID-19 vaccines Monday, no appointment necessary

Pellissippi State Nursing students in tent
Pellissippi State Nursing students gave 124 COVID-19 vaccines at the college’s first Vaccinate and Educate Fair on Aug. 30.

Pellissippi State Community College will offer both Pfizer and Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccines at its second Vaccinate and Educate Fair next week. 

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held 12:30-4:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 20, outside the Bagwell Center for Media and Art on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.  

In case of rain, the event will be moved to the F1 parking lot beside the new Bill Haslam Center for Math and Science, and participants will not need to leave their cars. 

Pellissippi State Nursing students gave 124 vaccines at the college’s first Vaccinate and Educate Fair on Aug. 30. The vaccines are provided by Winbigler Medical, PLLC. 

Pellissippi State is working with the nonprofit Faith Leaders Initiative and New Directions Healthcare to offer these Vaccinate and Educate Fairs for the community. Education stations will provide information about COVID-19 and how to keep you and your family safe. 

Free popcorn and snow cones will be available at the event, so feel free to bring the whole family. The Pfizer vaccine is approved for anyone 12 years old or older. 

For more information about the Vaccinate and Educate Fair, call Cynthia J. Finch at 865-254-4793 or CONNECT Ministries at 865-851-8005. 


All4Knox offers free substance misuse and prevention trainings at Pellissippi State

All4Knox logo with interlocking red and blue diamondsLearn about substance misuse and prevention during Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies week at Pellissippi State Community College, Sept. 27-30. 

The programming, which touches on everything from suicide prevention techniques to human trafficking, is sponsored by All4Knox, a joint effort of Knox County and the City of Knoxville with support from Metro Drug Coalition, the Knox County District Attorney General’s Office and Knox County Health Department. 

All sessions are free and open to the public. Pellissippi State encourages all individuals to wear masks in indoor spaces. 

“Our goal for this week is for our community to understand the purpose of substance misuse and prevention,” said Courtney Niemann, director of prevention for Metro Drug Coalition. “By providing an array of speaking sessions, we want individuals to have resources and education on the substance misuse epidemic in our community.” 

Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies will kick off at 1 p.m. Monday, Sept. 27, with speaker Cory Henry in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus. Henry has been free of substances for more than seven years and now works at Faith Promise Church. Jason Goodman, director of Recovery Support Services for Metro Drug Commission, also will share about The Gateway, a recovery community center that will provide additional support and ongoing recovery to those transitioning from addiction treatment back into the community and to those who are seeking recovery but need someone to walk beside them as they navigate a path free from substance misuse. 

Sessions planned for Tuesday-Thursday, Sept. 28-30, will touch on a variety of topics, including: 

  • Mindfulness – Offered at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 28, and Thursday, Sept. 30 at the Magnolia Avenue Campus and 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29, at the Hardin Valley Campus, mindfulness is a set of skills and practices that anyone can learn. Mindfulness can be beneficial for helping people deal with difficult emotions and stressful situations by cultivating curiosity, compassion and acceptance of whatever arises in the present moment. Using a combination of groundbreaking neuroscience, mindfulness-based techniques and discussion format, Mindful Recovery Groups are open to all people seeking a better sense of balance in their lives. 
  • Metro Drug Coalition’s community meeting – At noon Tuesday, Sept. 28, at the Magnolia Avenue Campus, Amanda Ainsley and Asheton Casey of MDC will offer a comprehensive presentation on substance misuse from the perspectives of crisis intervention, prevention work, advocacy and recovery. Topics include addiction and the brain, substance facts and statistics, and how to connect with resources. 
  • Building Strong Brains Adverse Childhood Experiences training – 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 28, on the Magnolia Avenue Campus. This training mobilizes the Tennessee community in having a shared understanding, based in science, of the architecture of a young child’s brain, how interactions shape this brain architecture, how adversity negatively impacts the developing brain, and how children thrive in safe, stable, nurturing environments. 
  • Question, Persuade and Refer (QPR) – Offered at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29, on the Hardin Valley Campus, this internationally renowned suicide prevention training educates participants on identifying signs and risk factors common to individuals experiencing suicidal thoughts, techniques to engaging with this individual, and available resources within the community to help. 
  • PrEP – At noon Wednesday, Sept. 29, on the Hardin Valley Campus, leaders will discuss how to access PrEP, a daily pill taken to protect you from HIV. The session will include answers to common questions and additional resources available in the greater Knoxville community.  
  • One family’s addiction story – At 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29, on the Hardin Valley Campus, Sharon Hajko will share about her son, Justin Hajko, who she describes as the “daredevil of the family” who “thrived on adventure” until the disease of addiction changed all their lives. 
  • Narcan training – At 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 30, on the Magnolia Avenue Campus, Regional Overdose Prevention Specialists will provide an opioid training that addresses harm reduction, reducing stigma and increasing public awareness. These specialists are located throughout the state and serve as a point of contact for overdose prevention through the distribution of naloxone. 
  • Opening Up About What’s Getting You Down – This first session in the CHASCO Lunch and Learn series will be held noon-1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30, on the college’s Magnolia Avenue Campus. Speakers include Schylar Long, Student Government Association parliamentarian for Pellissippi State, and Amy Rowling, violence prevention educator for the Knox County Health Department and facilitator for the Tennessee Building Strong Brains Initiative, who will present on how trauma affects the brain and nervous system, resiliency and self-care. 
  • Human trafficking – At 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30, on the Magnolia Avenue Campus, the Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking will address the basics of human trafficking including prevalence and types of trafficking in our community, the common misconceptions surrounding human trafficking and how you can combat them in your neighborhood. 
  • Harm Reduction: Safer Sex and Drug Use – Offered at 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30, on the Magnolia Avenue Campus. Did you know there are ways to reduce the risks associated with sex and drug use? This workshop will introduce attendees to the concept of Harm Reduction and provide a variety of strategies you can employ to improve your overall health and wellness. Presented by Positively Living & Choice Health Network, Knoxville’s premier public health nonprofit and home of East Tennessee’s largest syringe service exchange and medical clinic specifically focused on HIV prevention and care for people living with HIV. 

Sessions on the Hardin Valley Campus will be held in the Goins Auditorium in the Goins Administration Building. The Hardin Valley Campus is located at 10915 Hardin Valley Road. 

Sessions on the Magnolia Avenue Campus will be held in the Magnolia Community Room. The Magnolia Avenue Campus is located at 1610 E. Magnolia Ave. 

All sessions will have a virtual option as well. You can find those links on each event in the Pellissippi State calendar. Click on the date on the calendar to bring up all sessions on that date, then click on the session you want to access the webinar link. 

For more information about Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies week, contact Courtney Niemann at To request accommodations for a disability for any Pellissippi State event, call 865-539-7401 or email