Check out open Pellissippi State positions at Fall Career Fair

Now Hiring graphicPellissippi State Community College is hiring for full-time and part-time positions, and the public is invited to check out what’s available next week. 

Pellissippi State’s Fall Career Fair will be held 3-6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2, on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The fair will take place inside the College Center located in the Goins Administration Building. 

“This is a perfect chance to engage and learn about upcoming opportunities at Pellissippi State,” said Jacquelyn Coleman with Pellissippi State’s Human Resources. “We are always looking for talented individuals in a variety of roles inside and outside the classroom.” 

There are 23 open full-time and part-time positions at Pellissippi State as well as 54 listings for adjunct faculty. Some openings include 

  • Recruitment Program Manager 
  • Student Development Assistant 
  • Counselor 
  • Administrative Assistant at the Strawberry Plains Campus 
  • Financial Aid Manager 
  • Custodial & Waste Management Coordinator 
  • Recycled Material Handler 
  • Assistant Dean of Students 

Check out all of Pellissippi State’s current employment opportunities here. 

There is no need to RSVP for the career fair, but please bring your resume. For more information, contact Jacquelyn Coleman at or Human Resources at 


Pellissippi State recognized by U.S. State Department for number of study abroad Gilman Scholars

Gilman 20th anniversary logoPellissippi State Community College was recognized today by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for being one of the colleges that have produced the most Gilman recipients over the past 20 years in the Associate Institution category. 

Fourteen students from Pellissippi State have received Gilman awards since 2001, studying abroad in countries such as Ecuador, Italy and Japan. 

“One of the biggest barriers to study abroad is the cost,” explained Theresa Castillo, assistant director for the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies located at Pellissippi State. “Having this support at the federal level is multi-pronged. Not only do they receive financial support, but once they’re in, they have access to an entire network of Gilman alumni and staff. It’s not just one and done. As life-changing as a study abroad experience is for all students, the Gilman Program is even more so for the breadth of opportunities it opens up to students.” 

Throughout its 20-year history, the Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program has reshaped study abroad to make it more accessible and inclusive for American students by providing scholarships to outstanding U.S. undergraduate students who, due to financial constraints, might not otherwise participate.  

Since the program’s inception in 2001, more than 34,000 Gilman Scholars from all U.S. states, Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories have studied or interned in more than 155 countries around the globe. 

Today at the Diversity Abroad conference, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Ethan Rosenzweig virtually announced the U.S. colleges and universities that have sent the most Gilman Scholars abroad over the past two decades. These institutions – categorized by small, medium and large institutions as well as associate-degree-awarding institutions like Pellissippi State – were recognized for their support of equity, diversity and accessibility in study abroad for American students through the Gilman Program. 

“Literally thousands of colleges send students abroad, so this is really a monumental achievement for Pellissippi State,” Castillo said. “Pellissippi State is the flagship institution for the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies, which represents 19 colleges and universities in the state, and this honor shows that we know what we’re doing and making study abroad programs available is paying off for our students.” 

While TnCIS was unable to send students abroad after March 2020 and throughout 2021 due to the pandemic and travel restrictions, TnCIS applications are open now for summer 2022 programs. Applications are due Feb. 11. Interested students can see all the programs offered and learn more on the TnCIS website at 

To learn more about the Gilman and Gilman-McCain Scholarships and how their diverse alumni are pursuing impactful careers in the government, nonprofit and private sectors, contact or visit 


Pellissippi State, United Way partner to address trauma in children 8 and younger

Graphic for Transforming Hurt into HealingEarly childhood educators and families with young children in the east Knoxville community are invited to a free day of trainings and activities addressing trauma’s effect on little ones, presented by Pellissippi State Community College’s Early Childhood Education program in partnership with United Way of Greater Knoxville, Tennessee Child Care Resource & Referral Network and Knoxville Association for Children’s Early Education. 

Transforming Hurt into Healing will be held Saturday, Nov. 6, at Pellissippi State’s Magnolia Avenue Campus, 1610 E. Magnolia Avenue, with programming for early child care educators 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. and programming for families with children ages 8 and younger 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 

Attendance is capped at 40 educators and 50 families (this includes guardians and caretakers in addition to parents) to help maintain social distancing guidelines, and masks will be required for those older than 5. Educators who attend will receive a tote of resources and a $100 stipend for coming, while families also will receive take-home resources such as children’s books and activities to enjoy together at home. 

Research has shown that what happens in the early years around trauma has lifelong impacts on health and mental well-being, said Associate Professor Hope Denny, program coordinator for Early Childhood Education at Pellissippi State. “As members of the early childhood community, we wanted to support young children and their families in fostering healing and resilience. This event, focused on children birth to 8, is our way of addressing a need in the community.” 

Those who attend will  

  • Learn about trauma and what can be done to promote healing 
  • Gain techniques for helping children feel safe 
  • Understand the connections between thoughts, feelings and behaviors 
  • Discover how a child’s trauma can affect caregivers and the importance of self-care 

“Early childhood development is a key determining factor in a person’s long-term health and wellness,” said Ellie Kittrell, United Way of Greater Knoxville’s director of Childcare and Early Education Systems. “United Way is here to support and advocate for agencies engaged in the critical work of increasing trauma-informed care environments in our community.” 

Programming will include 

  • A keynote address by Nefertiti Poyner, early childhood specialist and national trainer from the Devereux Center for Resilient Children in Villanova, Pennsylvania 
  • Learning activities that can be done outside to help rekindle joy, led by Ashley Brailsford, founder of Our Joyful Learning Community in Nashville 
  • A curriculum-based professional development session called “STEM and Stories” provided by Muse Knoxville 
  • Other trainings provided by Pellissippi State, Tennessee Child Care Resource & Referral Network, Knoxville Association for Children’s Early Education and Harmony Family Center 

Meanwhile, children who attend with their families will engage in mindfulness activities they can make and take home, family yoga and a dance party. 

Meals and snacks are included. 

To register for Transforming Hurt into Healing, visit, email or call 865.539.7034 by Monday, Nov. 1. 

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


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.