Pellissippi State celebrates 45 years of serving the community with 45 Days of Giving

1974 faculty and staff of Pellissippi State in front of Division Street building
Pellissippi State Community College opened for classes at what is now the college’s Division Street Campus on Sept. 23, 1974. The college was named State Technical Institute at Knoxville,and it offered three associate degree programs, all in Engineering Technology.

It’s been 45 years since Pellissippi State Community College opened as State Technical Institute at Knoxville, with 45,000 square feet of floor space, to an inaugural headcount of 45 students.

Now the largest community college in Tennessee, with five campuses and 10,694 students, Pellissippi State is celebrating its 45th anniversary with 45 Days of Giving, a push to finish out Pellissippi State’s campaign to build two new buildings, expand its Media Technologies programs and support students financially.

“There will never be forests in the future if we don’t plant the seeds today,” said Ronni Chandler, a Pellissippi State alumna who serves on the college Foundation’s Board of Trustees. “This campaign is about doing our part to ensure that current and future students have the facilities and resources they need to be prepared to succeed and to lead.”

Pellissippi State launched the campaign Feb. 1, outlining a lofty goal of raising $10 million. So far the Foundation has reached 99% of that goal, and construction of the Bill Haslam Center for Math and Science on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus is underway.

The college expects to break ground on the Ruth and Steve West Workforce Development Center on the Blount County Campus in spring 2020.

“Every part of this campaign — from the new buildings to the Student Opportunity Fund — will benefit our students,” said Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr.

For example, the new 82,000-square-foot Bill Haslam Center for Math and Science will help Pellissippi State meet demands for classrooms and lab spaces that have increased due to the Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect scholarships while the new 53,000-square-foot Ruth and Steve West Workforce Development Center will be used by Pellissippi State and Tennessee College of Applied Technology Knoxville to help fill the area’s need for highly skilled, college-educated employees.

Pellissippi State’s Student Opportunity Fund also will benefit from the campaign. Created in 2018 to help break down the barriers that keep students from staying in school, the Student Opportunity Fund has provided a total of $55,115 in assistance to 153 students since its inception last year.

“Many people believe the cost of an education at Pellissippi State is now paid for by the state,” explained Campaign Chair Tom Ballard, who established the Student Opportunity Fund with his wife Diane and support from Marty Adler-Jasny and Norm and Ann Naylor. “That is true for things like tuition, but it doesn’t pay for incidentals or unexpected expenses for a student whose car breaks down or computer dies. Those are expenses that many of Pellissippi State’s students cannot absorb.”

To complete the campaign before the end of the calendar year, Pellissippi State is celebrating 45 Days of Giving. 45 Days of Giving will continue until Dec. 31 and will include Giving Tuesday on Dec. 3.

During these 45 days, Pellissippi State faculty, staff, students, alumni and the community are encouraged to donate to Pellissippi State at https://giving.pstcc.edu.

Five alumni champions – one for each decade the college has existed – are challenging their fellow alumni to see which decade’s alumni can raise the most for the campaign. Champions include Curt Maxey, Class of 1979; Randy Merritt, Class of 1989; Ronni Chandler, Class of 1994; J. Travis Howerton, Class of 2002; and Candace Viox, Class of 2013.

“After being out of the workforce for 13 years and college for 20 years, I enrolled in the culinary program at Pellissippi State,” said Viox, owner of Water into Wine Bistro and Lounge. “My experience and the many supporters I gained there led to the conception, and ultimately the success, of my restaurant in Farragut.”

Even those donors who didn’t graduate from Pellissippi State are welcome to indicate which decade they want their gift to join. The winning decade will be the theme of the campaign celebration.

To keep up with 45 Days of Giving and the friendly competition between the decades, be sure to follow Pellissippi State, Pellissippi State Foundation and Pellissippi State Alumni and Friends on Facebook. Facebook profile frames to support the campaign are available here.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865.694.6400.

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GIVE grants to help Pellissippi State expand information technology, construction and advanced manufacturing training

Instructor standing in Strawberry Plains Cyber Defense lab
Instructor Charles Nelson, standing, tells visitors about Pellissippi State’s new Cyber Defense lab on the college’s Strawberry Plains Campus on Sept. 10, 2019.

Pellissippi State Community College has been awarded two Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education (GIVE) grants, Gov. Bill Lee announced Nov. 7.

The funding, $999,874 for Knox County initiatives and $998,416 for Blount County initiatives, will be used to address workforce needs: information technology careers in Knox County and construction and advanced manufacturing careers in Blount County.

“We are proud to work with the General Assembly to pass the GIVE initiative and expand career and technical education for Tennessee students,” Lee said in a press release last week. “These funds directly support our workforce development efforts in distressed and at-risk counties and are a key component of our strategy to prioritize rural Tennessee.”

Both the GIVE Knox County Career Collaborative and the GIVE Blount County Career Collaborative established by the grants will address:

  • barriers to education/training access, including a lack of understanding and awareness of viable career choices and training options for high-demand fields;
  • insufficient early postsecondary education and training opportunities;
  • insufficient student support services; and
  • misalignment between education and workforce needs.

“With the number of new jobs coming into Blount County specifically, we have to do everything we can as a college to help train the next generation workforce,” said Teri Brahams, executive director of Economic and Workforce Development at Pellissippi State and project manager for the GIVE Blount County Career Collaborative. “Engaging our students from middle school through high school and college is crucial, and helping them understand pathways to college and careers is one way to do that.”

In Knox County, the Career Collaborative will focus on increasing the number of students who enroll in and complete Information Technology-related degrees and certifications in Pellissippi State’s Computer Information Technology programs, which include concentrations in Cybersecurity, Networking, Programming and Systems Administration and Management.

The grant also will be used to boost enrollment in and completion of the Computer Information Technology Technical Support Specialist, IT Network Support Specialist, IT Network Security Specialist, IT Systems Support Specialist, and IT Systems Coordinator options at Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Knoxville (TCAT).

“Training a workforce that is not only skilled in computer technology but, perhaps more importantly, is able to adapt those skills as new technology emerges is vital to all of East Tennessee,” said Business and Computer Technology Dean Michael Wolfe of Pellissippi State, who is serving as project director for the GIVE Knox County Career Collaborative. “This grant will provide the support to help students in Knox County do just that. Working together, the grant partners will immerse students from middle school through college in work-based learning environments, develop innovative pathways that result in industry-recognized credentials and increase the number of potential employees that possess a college degree.”

In Blount County, the Career Collaborative will focus on increasing the number of students who enroll in and complete advanced manufacturing and construction-related degree and certifications in Pellissippi State’s Engineering Technology program, which includes concentrations in Manufacturing, Industrial Maintenance and Civil Engineering, as well as in Pellissippi State’s Electrical Engineering Technology program.

The grant also will be used to boost enrollment in and completion of the Industrial Maintenance/Mechatronics Technology, Pipefitting and Plumbing Technology, Industrial Electricity and HVAC Technician options at TCAT.

Pellissippi State chose to address information technology, construction and advanced manufacturing careers because these local industries are struggling to meet demand.

Tennessee employed 174,346 information technology workers in 2018, a gain of more than 3,797 jobs from the year before, according to a study by the Computer Technology Industry Association. Between 900 and 1,000 openings are projected in information technology in the Knoxville region between 2020 and 2026, according to data from Jobs4TN and the Tennessee School Boards Association District Data Dashboard.

“It is evident that the projected information technology workforce needs in the region are significant, and the enrollment and graduation rates for the related education and training programs are not sufficient to meet the projected needs,” Wolfe said, noting there have been only 26 graduates in the past three years from the four associate degree program concentrations at Pellissippi State that prepare students for positions as customer support specialists, programmers, data/computer systems analysts, cybersecurity analysts and systems engineers.

Meanwhile, the average age of Tennessee construction and manufacturing workers is 56, but only one worker is replaced for every four that retire, according to the Associated General Contractors of America. A Jobs4TN Area Profile projects that manufacturing and construction industries will post 2,650 openings in East Tennessee alone between 2016 and 2026.

“Unfortunately, interest in the pursuit of construction and manufacturing-related occupations has been on a steady decline,” Brahams explained. “Misperceptions about wages, career pathways and the elimination of many vocational programs with the push for students to obtain four-year degrees have compounded the problem. Young people are considering these occupations less frequently, and parents and counselors have become equally reluctant to discuss these career paths. As a result, supply and demand gaps widen.”

Among the major strategies Pellissippi State plans to employ to meet the goals of its GIVE Knox County and GIVE Blount County Career Collaboratives are

  • enhancing and expanding career pathway programs utilizing a stackable credentials approach;
  • developing and implementing a collaborative, meaningful and structured work-based learning continuum that begins in middle school and continues through completion of postsecondary credentials; and
  • expanding access to industry recognized certification preparation and testing.

“Local employers, all three Blount County school systems, the Blount Partnership and Pellissippi State have been working together to address the workforce needs of our community, and this grant will allow us to go to the next level with our efforts,” Brahams said.

In Knox County, Pellissippi State will continue to partner with the Knoxville Chamber, the East Tennessee Local Workforce Development Board, TCAT, Knox County Schools and multiple employers.

“We’ve worked together for years to identify and address regional workforce needs and skills gaps, but this grant brings new focus to expanding career pathways and implementing a structured continuum of work-based learning experiences in Knox County,” Wolfe said.

Click here for more information on the GIVE grants announced by Gov. Lee last week.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865.694.6400.

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Pellissippi State invites all to celebrate international culture next week

Four students at a table
Pellissippi State students participate in the International Culture Festival in spring 2018. The next one is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 22, on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus.

Pellissippi State Community College will mark International Education Week with five days of activities on its Hardin Valley Campus next week, culminating with an International Culture Festival hosted by the college’s international students.

“We celebrate the week at Pellissippi State to highlight the many international experiences available to students from both here and abroad,” explained Theresa Castillo, assistant director of the Tennessee Consortium of International Studies, which is housed at Pellissippi State, and chair of the college’s International Education Committee. “The week is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and to attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn and exchange experiences with us.”

Pellissippi State has 96 international students enrolled in classes who are here on student visas from 35 countries, noted International Admissions Specialist Patricia J. Higgins. The college also has hundreds of students who were born outside of the United States and now live here permanently, she added.

“Many of the students celebrating with us at the Culture Festival are U.S. immigrants who are bringing their families with them to help celebrate,” Higgins noted.

All International Education Week activities at Pellissippi State are planned for the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road, and are free and open to the public:

  • Monday, Nov. 18: World Café featuring Brazil, 12:30-2 p.m. in the Goins Building College Center. This event, cosponsored by the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies, will feature music, culture and activities focused on the country of Brazil.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 19: Faculty panel on internationalizing the curriculum, 3:30-4:30 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium. Professor Oakley Atterson, a Pellissippi Academic Center for Excellence faculty fellow for Global and Diversity Learning, will share his project working with faculty to internationalize their syllabi to prepare college students for an increasingly interconnected world and the impact this project is already having in our classrooms.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 20: International film “Embrace of the Serpent,” 10:45 a.m.-1 p.m., Goins Building Auditorium. Through parallel story threads set 40 years apart, this odyssey follows two Western scientists who travel deep into the Amazon jungle looking for a rare plant that possesses healing powers. This film was nominated for Best Foreign Language Feature at the 2016 Academy Awards and Best International Film at the Film Independent Spirit Awards and was winner of the Sundance Film Festival’s Alfred P. Sloan Award.
  • Thursday, Nov. 21: Displays in the Educational Resource Center (library), all day. Displays will include films and books highlighting international themes as well as art, photos and journals from 2019 Tennessee Consortium for International Studies study abroad programs.
  • Friday, Nov. 22: International Student Culture Festival, 12:30-3:30 p.m. in the Goins Building College Center. Pellissippi State’s international students will share their country’s culture through music, food, dance and more. Cosponsored by the International Student Club and Access and Diversity, activities will include a fashion show of clothing traditionally worn in other countries and virtual reality tours that allow festivalgoers to “visit” countries around the world.

To request accommodations for a disability at this event or any campus event, call 865.539.7401 or email accommodations@pstcc.edu.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865.694.6400.

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Pellissippi State business students awarded first place in national entrepreneurship competition

Three Pellissippi State students and one professor holding ceremonial check for $1,000
Pellissippi State Associate Professor Mark Fuentes, third from left, congratulates students Catherine Taylor, Joe Bedford and Vanya Malmstead, who earned first prize in a national entrepreneurship competition in California, along with with classmate Jameisha Robinson (not pictured).

A team of four business students from Pellissippi State Community College took home first place in a national entrepreneurship competition last month for a new app that would make tutoring accessible to struggling high school students regardless of their ability to pay.

Catherine Taylor, Joe Bedford, Jameisha Robinson and Vanya Malmstead from Pellissippi State were awarded $1,000 by the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship for their business idea, the East Tennessee Tutor Network.

Meanwhile, a second Pellissippi State team – comprised of Jeannette Green, Angela Heaverlo, David Scott and Tabitha Uremovich – finished in the top 3 of the online competition for their business idea, Kids Tech, which would provide tablets with educational apps free of charge for students in first through third grades.

The teams, all students in Associate Professor Mark Fuentes’ Special Topics in Accounting class, were challenged to solve a problem in local education, but with a solution that could be expanded beyond their geographic area.

“Both teams completed business plans and created a brief presentation to pitch their business ideas,” Fuentes explained. “One team finished in the top 5 and competed at the conference by setting up an exhibition booth and giving a presentation on stage in front of a panel of judges who were once contestants on the ‘Shark Tank’ television program.

Taylor and Bedford pitched the East Tennessee Tutor Network at the competition in Newport Beach, California, on Oct. 15.

Bedford explained that the team first researched how many incoming college freshmen in Tennessee have to take remedial math and English courses. They learned that almost half of incoming college freshmen lack sufficient math skills to succeed in college while almost one-third lack sufficient English skills.

“Tutoring seemed like an obvious solution, yet there are many existing tutoring options already that have failed to solve the problem; why?” Bedford said. “We think it’s because existing options are too expensive, too difficult to access but, most importantly, fail to meet struggling high school students where they are and where they live, which we know all too well is on their phones and on their devices.”

The team decided, “What if we could combine Uber with FaceTime?”

“Shouldn’t getting a tutor be as easy as getting a ride with a ride share app?” Taylor asked. “Our app is that easy: tap the app, tap the subject and the learning begins.”

Bedford and Taylor then outlined their business plan for the East Tennessee Tutor Network, including how they would fund it and roll it out to East Tennessee high schools, starting with those identified by the Tennessee Board of Education as being in the bottom 5 percent in student success rates.

“We are passionate and excited about our solution, which uses the technology of today to provide an innovative, scalable and, yes, a disruptive solution to this serious problem,” Bedford said. “I chuckled when one of our morning presenters asked, ‘Are you ready for the Uber of education?’ Challenge accepted! It’s time to get ready. The future is here.”

The team is not sure yet how they will use the $1,000 prize money.

“To actually put the business ideas into action, they would need a significant amount of funding and time; there are also only so many weeks left in the semester,” Fuentes said. “We have been building in class on the ideas and business plans they created.”

The competition was sponsored by NAACE and the HP Foundation, and students said they learned a lot by participating in it – “leadership, teamwork and nobody can do anything by themselves,” Taylor said.

“If we didn’t divide up the project like we did, we wouldn’t have gotten this far,” she noted.

“We started here in the classroom with an idea, and it was incredible to turn it into something feasible and real,” Bedford added.

NACCE is a member organization of over 300 community colleges representing nearly 2,000 staff. Presidents, educators, administrators and center directors are focused on igniting entrepreneurship in their community and on their campus. For more information, visit www.nacce.com.

The HP Foundation invests in programs and provides technology solutions that meet learners where they are and take them where they want to go. For more information, visit www8.hp.com/us/en/hp-information/social-innovation/hp-foundation.html.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865.694.6400.

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Private preschool establishes Early Childhood Education scholarships for Pellissippi State students

Pellissippi State folks accepting check from Goddard School representatives
The Goddard School of Knoxville will fund scholarships for Early Childhood Education majors at Pellissippi State. From left are
Natural and Behavioral Sciences Dean Kane Barker; Assistant Professor Lizzie Kelly; Early Childhood Education Program Coordinator J. Hope Denny; Anoula McCarren, co-owner of The Goddard School of Knoxville; Tonya Ray, curriculum director; and Kayla Suter, operations director.

A fundraiser by The Goddard School of Knoxville will provide up to 22 scholarships each year for students majoring in Early Childhood Education at Pellissippi State Community College.

The Goddard Luau, held Aug. 24, raised $3,500, which the private preschool used to establish The Goddard School Scholarship and Program Support. The program will fund $75 scholarships for Early Childhood Education majors at Pellissippi State.

“Here at The Goddard School, we know how important the foundation of learning is, and we want to help give our community high quality early childhood educators,” said Anoula McCarren, co-owner of The Goddard School of Knoxville with her husband, Don. “The Goddard School uses the most current academically endorsed methods to ensure that children have fun while learning the skills they need for long-term success in school and in life.”

The Goddard School presented Pellissippi State with the donation on Oct. 2, the same day the Goddard School Scholarship and Program Support was established through a memorandum of agreement with the Pellissippi State Community College Foundation, a nonprofit that develops financial resources to support the educational, cultural and service goals of the college.

Any future donations from The Goddard School will be deposited in the fund, which will provide student support in the form of scholarships, but also may be used to support Early Childhood Education technology and program needs.

“The Goddard School is an invaluable partner with our Pellissippi State Early Childhood Education program,” said Associate Professor and Program Coordinator J. Hope Denny. “The staff provide support by hosting students in field experiences, serve as representatives on our advisory board, and are strong advocates for this program in general. Their generosity is a crucial support to many of our students who need financial assistance in meeting fieldwork requirements. These scholarships will help our students be successful – not only in their coursework, but also in their careers.”

In order to qualify for one of the scholarships provided from the Goddard School Scholarship and Program Support, students must:

  • Major in Early Childhood Education and enroll for a minimum of 6 hours;
  • Complete a Foundation Scholarship Application;
  • Demonstrate financial need; and
  • Have a grade point average of 2.0 or higher.

Priority will be given to students in need of financial support of required fieldwork for the Early Childhood Education Program, such as the cost of background checks.

Pellissippi State offers both a certificate and an associate degree in Early Childhood Education. Accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the Early Childhood Education program at Pellissippi State prepares students to deliver programming for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and primary-age children (birth through age 8) and their families.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865.694.6400.

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Pellissippi State play explores racial injustice, inspired by true story

Rehearsal for "Blood at the Root"
The cast of “Blood at the Root” rehearses the upcoming play at Pellissippi State.

Racial justice – or lack of it – in the United States is at the center of “Blood at the Root,” a play at Pellissippi State Community College this fall.

Written by Tony Award-nominated playwright Dominique Morisseau, “Blood at the Root” was inspired by a 2006 incident in Jena, Louisiana, in which six black students were charged with attempted murder for a school fight after nooses were found hanging from a tree on campus – while the white students involved in the fight received three-day suspensions.

“Here we are, almost 20 years into the 21st century, and we are still having these conversations about valuing people – or devaluing people – based on skin color,” said Associate Professor Grechen Lynne Wingerter, who is directing the play for the Arts at Pellissippi State. “Of course it makes us uncomfortable, but it comes down to those of us who have privilege need to be listening to those who don’t. And theatre is the one way I know how to talk about difficult subjects.”

Audiences will have six chances to see “Blood at the Root” at Pellissippi State: 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 8-9 and Nov. 15-16, and 2 p.m. Sundays, Nov. 10 and Nov. 17. There will be nightly talk-back sessions after each performance.

All performances are general seating in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Seating is limited, and advanced reservations for tickets are strongly encouraged.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $8 for Pellissippi State students, faculty and staff. They can be purchased at www.pstcc.edu/tickets.

While “Blood at the Root” is inspired by the true story of the Jena Six, the plot is multi-layered, Wingerter noted. One fictional student involved in the fight gets outed as homosexual, for example, while eyewitnesses all have different perspectives of what happened.

“The heart of it is still the inequity of the justice system in America and how our systems were set up from the beginning for this kind of inequity,” she said.

The play centers on three black students and three white students, as well as the principal of the school and the district attorney. Wingerter has cast 14 Pellissippi State students – non-named characters are members of the ensemble – while five Pellissippi State students and one Austin-East Magnet High School student join Pellissippi State faculty, staff and alumni as members of the artistic production team.

“I’ve always wanted my students to understand the power of theatre and art in general and to recognize the need for everyone to truly have a voice and be seen,” Wingerter said. “Theatre has the ability to do that.”

Wingerter hopes audiences will take away from “Blood at the Root” the courage to talk about the things that make us uncomfortable.

“The last couple of years in this country have pointed out all the things that divide us,” Wingerter said. “The only way to move forward is to be willing to be uncomfortable for a bit, to admit, ‘I haven’t lived these experiences, but I can see that that is difficult.’ It is easy to pretend that if something is not happening to us, it’s not happening. But until we talk about it, nothing is going to happen.”

The Arts at Pellissippi State is an annual arts series that includes music, theatre performances and fine arts exhibits. For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts or call 865-694-6400.

To request accommodations for a disability at this event or any campus event, call 865-539-7401 or email accommodations@pstcc.edu.

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Pellissippi State hosts War Dog Memorial March for pooches and their people this Sunday

Humans and their canine companions can help raise money to build a War Dog Memorial Dog Park in Knoxville simply by strolling around Pellissippi State Community College’s pond this Sunday.

Pellissippi State is partnering with PetSafe and other sponsors to host the Veterans Heritage Site Foundation War Dog Memorial March 2-4:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3, on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

Participants will walk their pooches on Pellissippi State’s 0.75-mile paved walking loop while learning about “war dogs” and Knoxville’s plan to honor them with a new dog park at Sharp’s Ridge Veterans Memorial Park.

Festivities begin at 2, with the walk starting at 2:30 p.m. This year’s grand marshal is Marine Corps War Dog Sgt. Rush, who has served six tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and participants are sure to spot several local celebrities, including Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr., walking dogs.

Young-Williams Animal Center will be on site with adoptable dogs and will be offering discounted vaccinations and microchipping. Participants are asked to bring a sack of dry dog food to support this local no-kill animal shelter.

Dress up your dog for a chance to win a prize for the Most Patriotic dog. The march also will feature a custom dog house auction and door prizes. Pellissippi State’s student club for veterans will be selling Sweet P’s barbecue sandwiches, mac ’n cheese and banana pudding.

To register for the march, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/vhsf-war-dog-memorial-march-presented-by-petsafe-tickets-62958428354. Single dog registration is $20 while those bringing more than one dog may register for $15.

The registration fee includes an event bandana for your dog while matching event T-shirts are available at the march for an additional cost.

Registration ends Saturday, Nov. 2.

There’s also an opportunity, at the same link, to donate even if you can’t make the march. Donations will be accepted until Sunday, Nov. 3.

The VHSF War Dog Memorial March is sponsored by PetSafe & Radio Systems Corp., Young-Williams Animal Center, WIMZ 103.5 radio, Powell Animal Hospital, River Dog Bakery, Woodmen Life Chapter 803, Sweet P’s BBQ and Pellissippi Patriots, the student club for veterans.

Pellissippi State hosts Knoxville mayoral, city council candidates on Magnolia Avenue Campus

Several Knoxville mayoral and city council candidates will stop by Pellissippi State Community College’s Magnolia Avenue Campus to talk to voters Wednesday.

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

So far both Knoxville mayoral candidates, Indya Kincannon and Eddie Mannis, have confirmed their attendance, as have five of the eight city council candidates: Charles F. Lomax Jr. (At Large, Seat A), Janet Testerman (At Large, Seat B), Amy Midis and Amelia Parker (At Large, Seat C) and Charles Al-Bawi (District 5).

Thursday, Oct. 31, is the final day for early voting in the City of Knoxville regular election. Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 5.

“Even if you do not live in the City of Knoxville, please stop by and bring your questions,” Magnolia Avenue Campus Dean Rosalyn Tillman said. “The candidates have a wealth of knowledge about local government and will be happy to discuss issues with you.”

To view a sample ballot of the the City of Knoxville election, visit http://knoxvilletn.gov/UserFiles/Servers/Server_109478/File/Election/SampleBallot_2019_GeneralElection.pdf.

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Variety abounds at Pellissippi State’s Fall Instrumental Concert

A student playing a trombone
Pellissippi State music students perform in concert in November 2018.

Where can one hear both marimba music from Mexico and a medley of cop and detective television themes from the 1970s and ‘80s?

Pellissippi State Community College’s Fall Instrumental Concert on Monday, Oct. 28, will include these and much, much more from the college’s brass, guitar and percussion ensembles and the studio orchestra.

The free concert, part of The Arts at Pellissippi State, will be held at 7 p.m. in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

The evening’s diversity will include:

  • The brass ensemble, directed by Tom Lundberg, playing selections from ballet to opera by Italian Giovanni Gabrieli, French composer Leo Delibes, American composer Collier Jones and Spaniard Manuel Penella;
  • The guitar ensemble, directed by Chad Volkers, performing a series of character pieces telling a story using musical imagery, taking the audience from a tumultuous boat ride and the sounds of the earth to a circus and finding a mouse in the house;
  • The percussion ensemble, directed by Paul Hayes, exploring the unique and eccentric, including marimba music from Mexico, a flamenco-inspired mallet duet and a trio using some of the more neglected instruments in the percussion family; and
  • The studio orchestra, directed by David Slack, playing a medley of cop and detective television themes composed by Mike Post, Jack Elliot, Allyn Ferguson, John Parker and Henry Mancini.

The Arts at Pellissippi State is an annual arts series that includes music and theatre performances and fine arts exhibits. For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts or call 865-694-6400.

To request accommodations for a disability at this event or any campus event, call 865-539-7401 or email accommodations@pstcc.edu.

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Pellissippi State presents Fall Bluegrass Concert on Thursday

Hardin Valley Thunder performing
The Pellissippi State Bluegrass Ensemble, also known as the Hardin Valley Thunder, performs at the college’s Fall Bluegrass Concert last year.

Bluegrass fans have an opportunity to hear a local ensemble before they perform internationally in 2020.

Pellissippi State Community College’s Bluegrass Ensemble, under the direction of Associate Professor Larry Vincent, will perform a free concert at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

The ensemble, which was established in 2009, has performed in prestigious venues in the Knoxville area – the Tennessee Theatre, the Bijou Theatre and the Museum of Appalachia, to name a few – and has appeared on WDVX’s Blue Plate Special on multiple occasions.

The group, which is also known as Hardin Valley Thunder, is scheduled to perform in Slovakia and Hungary in 2020.

This year’s concert will feature 14 songs by artists such as Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley and Hank Williams. The ensemble is comprised of Andie Bradley on fiddle; J.T. Coleman on bass; Jonathan Maness on mandolin and Dobro; Marshall Murphey on banjo, mandolin and vocals; AnnaBelle Rabinowitz on vocals; David Sharp on guitar; Isaac Scott on fiddle and vocals; Hannah Sloas on vocals; and Vincent on guitar.

The Fall Bluegrass Concert is part of The Arts at Pellissippi State, an annual arts series that includes music and theatre performances and fine arts exhibits. For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts or call 865-694-6400.

To request accommodations for a disability at this event or any campus event, call 865-539-7401 or email accommodations@pstcc.edu.

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