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

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