An annual creative writing workshop for young people will have an Appalachian theme this year and feature an Appalachian Arts area.
The sixth annual Young Creative Writer’s Workshop at Pellissippi State Community College will be held 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, on the college’s Strawberry Plains Campus, 7201 Strawberry Plains Pike.
The event, designed specifically for high school students and Pellissippi State students of all ages, is free and lunch is provided, but space is limited. Students can register at www.pstcc.edu/events/writersworkshop.
“Cast members from Gatlinburg’s Tunes n’ Tales will provide entertainment and interactive Appalachian heritage-related activities,” said Pellissippi State Assistant Professor Patty Ireland, who organizes the workshop. “In addition, craftspeople, artisans and historical interpreters will interact with students to bring the rich culture and heritage of our Appalachian region alive in our Appalachian Arts area.
“If you ever wanted to learn to make an Appalachian ‘church doll,’ play the dulcimer, learn to quilt or hear stories of the mountains, you will enjoy this portion of our day’s activities,” she added.
This year’s keynote speaker and featured workshop leader will be novelist and Pellissippi State alumna Joy Ingram, author of “Whistling Girls and Crowing Hens.” Ingram will kick off the event with her keynote at 9:30 a.m. in the Strawberry Plains Campus cafeteria, located on the lower level of the building.
Students will get to attend three other workshops of their choice later in the day. Sessions offered this year include fiction, poetry, songwriting, screenplay writing, genre specific and publication.
“Workshop leaders include a combined team of Pellissippi instructors, who are themselves published writers, and award-winning professional writers, including members of the Author’s Guild of Tennessee,” Ireland noted. “Attendees will have the opportunity to meet and converse with Pellissippi State professors, professional writers, entertainers, students and staff.”
Professional writers will be on hand to answer students’ questions one-on-one in the Writer’s Room session, 1:15-2:15 p.m. And at the end of the day, students may choose to perform their original works at a Showcase event. Family members and instructors are invited to the Showcase at 3 p.m. in the cafeteria.
The Young Creative Writer’s Workshop is sponsored by the Pellissippi State Foundation, Pellissippi State’s Common Academic Experience and Papa John’s Pizza. For the complete workshop schedule and registration form, visit www.pstcc.edu/events/writersworkshop.
To request accommodations for a disability at this event or any campus event, call 865-539-7401 or email email@example.com.
The Blount County Economic Development Board was honored Thursday with the Tennessee Board of Regents’ Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Philanthropy.
The board was nominated by Pellissippi State Community College for its early pledge of $1 million on behalf of Blount County and the cities of Alcoa and Maryville to support the Ruth and Steve West Workforce Development Center that will be built on Pellissippi State’s Blount County Campus.
“The Economic Development Board was founded as the Blount County Industrial Development Board more than 50 years ago with the vision to attract good jobs so that young people wouldn’t have to leave Blount County,” said Regent Danni Varlan before presenting the award to Economic Development Board Chairman Fred Lawson at Blount Partnership. “With shared space for high school dual enrollment, Tennessee College of Applied Technology, Pellissippi State and incumbent worker training, the Ruth and Steve West Workforce Development Center will ensure that students are ready to enter the workforce with great local employers such as Arconic, Blount Memorial Hospital, DENSO and Clayton Homes.”
The $16.5 million Ruth and Steve West Workforce Development Center is being funded by a public-private partnership: $5.5 million raised by the Pellissippi State Community College Foundation, $5.7 million from TCAT Knoxville capacity expansion funds and $5.3 million from the state.
“This is a different path than most of our projects take,” noted Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. “State building projects usually wait on a list for about 18 years. The conversations we’ve had with business and industry leaders and (Blount Partnership CEO and President) Bryan Daniels indicated that, with the job growth in Blount County, we were pretty sure we didn’t have 18 years to wait.”
“Blount County is just rocking it,” she said. “Since 2012, Blount County has added 6,000 new jobs and $2.9 billion in capital investment.”
In addition to receiving the Chancellor’s Award, the Economic Development Board got a sneak peek at plans for the Ruth and Steve West Workforce Development Center on Thursday. The plans by BarberMcMurry Architects have not been shared publicly because they will not go to the state building commission for approval until October, Wise explained.
“The principal layout is large open teaching spaces, similar to our MegaLab at the Strawberry Plains Campus, because we wanted to build in flexibility,” Wise said. “When students walk out to train, they get the feeling they are walking out onto the floor at one of our industry partners. That flexibility is important because my guess is that advanced manufacturing won’t be done the same way 10 years from now.”
Varlan praised the flexibility reflected in the plans and connected that flexibility with how higher education has changed over the years.
“It’s very important to us at TBR to make sure our workforce is competitive,” she said. “The whole idea of our community and technical colleges is to be open and nimble. We don’t know what’s coming down the road, but we have to be ready to teach it. Now we ask communities, ‘What do you need?’ The whole point is that our students can get out of school and get a job.”
The 51,000-square-foot Ruth and Steve West Workforce Development Center will include proposed Pellissippi State programming for Computer Information Technology, Culinary Arts and Engineering Technology concentrations such as Automated Industrial Systems and Industrial Maintenance.
The building also will house a Corporate Training Center that will be available to businesses who want to train their workers off site, for training Business and Community Services provides to local employers and to the community for events.
“It can be divided into three areas for smaller groups, or we can open it up with theatre seating for 234 or round tables for banquets accommodating around 210,” noted Teri Brahams, Pellissippi State’s executive director for Economic and Workforce Development.
TCAT’s portion of the building is slated to include programming for Industrial Electrical Maintenance, Machine Tool Technology, Pipe Fitting and Welding to start, Wise said, while dual enrollment opportunities with Alcoa, Maryville and Blount County schools will continue to grow.
“We’ve done a lot and had a lot of conversations about this, and one of the things that’s exciting is now it’s time to execute that planning and have something really special here in Blount County,” Wise said. “It’s going to be a great facility to teach in, to learn in and to work in.”
Pellissippi State plans to break ground on the Ruth and Steve West Workforce Development Center this winter and fully occupy the building by fall 2021.
“We wouldn’t be here without the support of the people in this room,” Wise said.
For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865.694.6400.
Pellissippi State Community College’s fall Lifelong Learning class schedule includes several health and wellness noncredit courses.
Students can begin achieving a healthy lifestyle with two classes taught by certified and award-winning health and wellness coach Wanda Malhotra. Say Goodbye to Diets begins Sept. 25 and introduces the bio-individuality concept and practices to create a sustainable, long-lasting diet and healthy lifestyle. Functional Foods and Clean Eating starts Nov. 5 and dives into the world of food. It will help students gain a better understanding of immediate strategies to use to add healthy foods in their diet and get the most out of food they already buy. With more than 24 years of experience, Malhotra is the founder of Root Journey and specializes in weight loss, stress and anxiety management, sleep improvement and nutrition.
For those looking for better fitness, Ballroom Dancing Level I and Level II classes are great for having fun while staying fit. These returning class favorites begin Sept. 23 and 24, and are open to both individual registrants and couples.
Focusing on mental and emotional wellness, new instructor Joy Gaertner is teaching a grief recovery workshop, Unstuck: Making Peace with Your Past, beginning Sept. 16. Using the Grief Recovery Method, students in the class will learn skills to help cope with and reduce grief, learn how to confront unhelpful patterns and attitudes and learn how to practice recovery behaviors. The class is designed for anyone struggling to cope with pain caused by a death, divorce or end of a relationship; a change in environment such as moving; financial situations; a loss of health; or any experience that has caused grief.
Gaertner is also teaching How to Not End Up with a Jerk/Jerkette in November, which focuses on developing and maintaining healthy relationships. Gaertner is a certified Grief Recovery Specialist with the Grief Recovery Institute and is the founder of Walking With Joy. She is actively involved in the Knoxville community and has used her own experiences through divorce and cancer to help others.
To view the complete fall schedule and register for a class visit www.pstcc.edu/bcs. For more information about Lifelong Learning classes, contact the Business and Community Services office at 865.539.7167 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
An annual literature and arts conference at Pellissippi State Community College now includes editing and publishing presentations, in response to interest from local writers.
The fourth annual James Agee Conference for Literature and Arts will be held noon-7:15 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, in the Goins Building Auditorium on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.
The event is free and open to the public. There is no pre-registration. Check-in will be held 11-11:50 a.m. on site the day of the conference.
“We try to shift around and add something new each year in response to our participants,” explained conference founder Charles Dodd White, an associate professor of English at Pellissippi State. “This is the first time we’ve offered these editing and publishing presentations.”
Thomas Alas Holmes of East Tennessee State University will lead the editing discussion 12-12:30 p.m., while Beto and Bob Cumming of Iris Press will lead the publishing discussion 12:30-1 p.m.
The rest of the afternoon will feature master classes in Nature Writing with Kim Trevathan, an associate professor of writing/communications at Maryville College who is writing his latest book about canoeing the Tennessee River from Paducah, Kentucky, to Knoxville last year; Songwriting with Tiffany Williams, an Eastern Kentucky native who released her debut EP, “When You Go,” earlier this year; and Fiction Writing with Caleb Johnson, author of the novel “Treeborne,” an honorable mention for the 2019 Southern Book Prize.
Leigh Anne Henion, author of “Phenomenal: A Hesitant Adventurer’s Search for Wonder in the Natural World,” will take the stage at 6 p.m. for the conference’s keynote presentation. Henion, who has had stories noted in three editions of “The Best American Travel Writing,” penned her memoir after becoming a mother and questioning whether “experiencing earth’s most dazzling natural phenomena” could reawaken a sense of wonder in herself similar to the one she witnessed daily in her child, who would marvel over simple things in nature.
The conference will wrap up with a signing with all the authors, and Union Avenue Books will be on site with books available for purchase.
White, whose novel “In the House of Wilderness” was named the 2018 Appalachian Book of the Year by the Appalachian Writers Association in June, created the James Agee Conference four years ago largely 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 October. “The conference gives us an opportunity to honor his influence while also exploring the hometown portrayal of Appalachia through writing and art.”
Teenagers and young adults who want to get a jumpstart on a pilot’s license have the opportunity this fall through a new class at Pellissippi State Community College.
Pellissippi State has partnered with Tuskegee NEXT to offer a 13-week introductory aviation training for students ages 16-20, Pellissippi State announced in a kickoff breakfast Monday.
Classes will meet on Tuesday nights on Pellissippi State’s Magnolia Avenue Campus, with one mandatory Saturday field trip. Professionals from the aviation industry will mentor students in the program, who will use a flight simulator to “fly.”
“It’s no secret that the aviation industry is facing a shortage of airline pilots, but that isn’t the only aviation career grappling with a labor shortage,” said Teri Brahams, executive director for Economic and Workforce Development for Pellissippi State. “Aircraft mechanics and flight simulator technicians are also in high demand. This course will introduce students to the opportunities available and provide options for training to pursue these careers.”
There is a global need of 754,000 new aircraft maintenance technicians and 790,000 pilots over the next 20 years, according to Boeing’s 2018 Pilot and Technical Outlook projections.
The nonprofit Tuskegee NEXT saw that need and created programs to help fill that void by offering aviation outreach programs to at-risk youth through Flight Training, Life Skills and Educational Assistance. The program is named in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen, who were the United States’ first black military airmen.
“As a historian, I am excited about the connection this program has with the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen,” said Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. “As a community college president, I am pleased with the opportunities this program creates for young people in our community.”
Students who participate in the Introduction to Aviation class at Pellissippi State will gain the basic knowledge needed to sit for the Federal Aviation Administration private pilot written exam. Those who successfully complete the course and pass the written exam will be eligible to apply to the Tuskegee NEXT Cadet program in Chicago, which will run from mid-June to mid-August 2020.
“Students are often unaware of the many career possibilities available to them,” said Dean Rosalyn Tillman of Pellissippi State’s Magnolia Avenue Campus. “Exposure to this industry as an option may create interest for some that was never before imagined.”
There are aviation careers available right here in East Tennessee, Brahams noted.
“Local employers like Cirrus Aircraft, the Air National Guard, Pilot Flying J, Jet Aviation, Endeavor Air, STS Technical Services, Standard Aero and many others currently have openings and expect future openings for the next 10 years or more,” she said.
Students must be at least 16 years old and a sophomore in high school, hold a minimum grade point average of 2.75 and have no criminal record. Preference will be given to minority and female students.
For more information or to request an application, contact Pellissippi State Business and Community Services at 865-539-7167 or email@example.com.
College educators who want to explore active learning strategies and come away with lesson-planning ideas are invited to a one-day workshop at Pellissippi State Community College this fall.
“Teaching with your Mouth Shut: Keeping Students Active, Attentive and Engaged!” will be held 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road, Knoxville.
Capped at 75 participants, those who register by Aug. 16 will receive a $50 discount. Lunch is included in the price of the workshop.
Co-hosted by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) and Pellissippi State, this regional workshop is based on the popular book, “Teaching with Your Mouth Shut,” by Donald Finkel and will be led by Ericka Landry, director of Faculty Development at Lone Star College in Houston. Landry has worked and taught in K-12 and higher education for more than 20 years.
“This is the first time we’ve been asked to co-host a regional workshop with NISOD,” said Kellie Toon, director of the Pellissippi Academic Center for Excellence. “The topic – engagement and active learning strategies – was selected by Pellissippi State faculty, and I particularly like that participants will walk away with lesson-planning ideas they can incorporate into the classroom.”
Participants also will consider several classroom assessment techniques and explore at least three instructional technologies. All will receive a certificate of attendance upon completing the workshop.
Prices for the workshop vary by where educators are employed:
Pellissippi State: $129 for early registration, $179 after Aug. 16;
NISOD member college: $159 for early registration; $209 after Aug. 16; and
NISOD nonmember college: $209 for early registration; $259 after Aug. 16.
To learn more about the workshop or to register, visit www.nisod.org/pstcc. For those driving in from out of town, contact information for nearby hotels is listed on the website as well.
The nurses check the patient’s pupils. “They’re asymmetrical,” one reports. Stethoscopes out, they listen to his chest, where they hear an asthmatic wheeze. A few minutes later, they’re administering CPR, taking turns counting and doing chest compressions.
It’s not a real patient, and it’s not an emergency. It’s just a typical day at Nursing camp at Pellissippi State Community College.
YouthForce, the workforce development program of the Boys & Girls Club of the Tennessee Valley, will bring 60 high school students to Pellissippi State’s Strawberry Plains Campus this summer to experience week-long Technical Training Camps.
Nursing and Welding camps were held June 4-7 while Cybersecurity and Manufacturing camps will take place June 18-21.
“We like to make everything hands-on applications of the theory,” explained Andy Polnicki, director of the MegaLab on the Strawberry Plains Campus. “I went to a traditional (four-year) school, and when I graduated and got out into the real world, I realized I only knew a lot of theory. Here at Pellissippi State we spend a lot of time actually applying that theory.”
The goal of YouthForce, which is open to any high school student in Knox and Blount counties, is to expose high school students to skilled trades and to gain first-job skills, explained YouthForce Director Rebecca McDonough. This is the third year YouthForce has held the camps at Pellissippi State.
Decked out in matching scrubs with fully equipped nurse’s kits, the 16 students in Nursing camp rattled off all the things they learned during the week, from the medical (how to stop a bleed, how to perform the Heimlich maneuver, how to administer CPR to a baby) to the practical (how to change hospital beds, how to wash their hands, how to put a pillowcase on a pillow without getting it contaminated).
“We got to experience real nurses, and they shared their stories with us,” explained Callie Anderson, a rising senior at Fulton High School. “Them giving us that extra background of what it’s like to be in the nursing field and then all the hands-on skills labs was just beyond my expectations. I’m so appreciative of this program.”
As nursing instructor Jennifer Priano started to walk a group of students through how to deliver a baby on the SimMom, an advanced full-body birthing simulator, Auna Campbell could not contain her excitement.
“I watch labor videos all the time! People think I’m weird, but it’s really interesting,” said Campbell, a rising junior at West High School. “I want to be a nurse, and I know what I need to do, but I need guidance to know what classes to take and to keep me on the right path because labor and delivery takes a whole lot of schooling. This camp this week helps a lot.”
Downstairs, the 14 students in Welding camp showed off what they’d learned how to make this week.
“This was my first experience with welding, but it’s really cool,” said Tashaun Patrick, a rising junior at South Doyle High School. “I love the plasma cutter. It’s just the most amazing thing. I made my football number and put it on a post. Today I took these random parts and made an eagle. We’re making a lot of cool stuff that you wouldn’t make in a typical high school class.”
Patrick noted he enjoyed Welding camp so much that he plans to make welding his back-up plan if a sports career doesn’t work out.
“This has been all you want in a summer camp,” Patrick added. “We’ve been learning and having a lot of fun doing it.”
Knoxville’s four city councilwomen and one of Knox County’s two female commissioners will speak at Pellissippi State Community College next week, and the public is invited to attend the free event.
The Women’s History Month Event, spearheaded by a Pellissippi State student, will be held 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Monday, March 25, in the Community Room on the college’s Magnolia Avenue Campus, 1610 E. Magnolia Ave.
Knox County Commissioner Evelyn Gill, who represents the 1st District, will join Knoxville City Councilwomen Stephanie Welch (1st District), Seema Singh-Perez (3rd District), Lauren Rider (4th District) and Gwen McKenzie (6th District) to talk about their individual journeys to success and answer questions from the audience.
“I believe this event will put women in a positive light,” said Detriedah Welsh, a Pellissippi State student who will graduate in May and continue her education at Tennessee State University. “It’s not every day we can meet our council members and commissioners. This is a great opportunity for Pellissippi State students and the community as well.”
To request accommodations for a disability for this event, call 865-539-7401 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400.
Knoxville’s own Dragonfly Aerial Arts Studio brings its 8th Annual Circus Extravaganza to Pellissippi State Community College next week in a show designed to appeal to all ages.
Titled “Dominion” this year, the Circus Extravaganza will include about 40 performers – a mix of professionals, teachers and students – entertaining audiences through aerial arts, acrobatics, stilt walking and more.
“People love the shows,” said Jake Weinstein, who is directing the Circus Extravaganza and is on the management team of Dragonfly Aerial Arts Studio. “It’s very family-friendly, story-centered and thought-provoking. With spectacles, amazing feats and humor, there is something that appeals to everybody.”
Four shows will be offered this year at Pellissippi State’s Clayton Performing Arts Center on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road:
7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 22 and 23; and
2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, March 23 and 24.
Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for children and seniors. All proceeds benefit circus classes for at-risk youth.
“From the beginning, the Circus Extravaganza has supported our scholarship fund that helps at-risk youth and underserved groups attend circus classes and summer camps,” Weinstein said. “We also do circus work in the community.”
The Circus Extravaganza is part of The Arts at Pellissippi State. For more information on upcoming visual arts, theatre and music events, as well the Faculty Lecture Series, at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts.
Over the past five years, Pellissippi State Community College has pumped an average of $253 million per year into the local economy, according to a recently released study.
From 2013-2018, that amounts to about $1.3 billion in economic impact – the value of business volume, jobs and individual income in Knox and Blount counties that’s tied to Pellissippi State.
“I’m proud of Pellissippi State’s economic impact in our community, but we at the college place our emphasis on changing the lives of everyone who comes through our doors,” said Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. “Our greatest impact comes from graduates who pursue their dreams and, in turn, give back to our community, too.”
Of the college’s $1.3 billion in total impact, the majority — $998 million — can be attributed to the infusion of new, non-local revenues such as state appropriations, grants, contracts and federal student financial aid revenues.
“This impact would likely not have occurred without the presence of Pellissippi State in the area,” said educational consultant Fred H. Martin, who conducted the study.
Every single dollar of local revenue that comes into Pellissippi State generates an estimated annual return on investment of at least $5.94, comprised of $2.90 in local business volume, plus at least $3.04 in individual income.
The report also studied what a degree from Pellissippi State might mean for a student. According to the American Association of Community Colleges, graduates with an associate degree can expect to earn about $470,800 more over their work lifetime than if they only had a high school diploma.
For Pellissippi State’s 1,458 graduates in academic year 2017-2018, this means an additional $686 million in lifetime earnings and $2.8 million in additional annual tax payments, which benefit the economy.
Meanwhile, Pellissippi State’s business volume impact in the community amounted to about $619 million from 2013-2018. Of that total, $481 million came from non-local revenues.
Over that five-year period, Pellissippi State’s expenditures created and sustained an estimated 42,675 jobs as well. More than 32,700 of those were created by external or new funds. The college itself employed 2,858 full-time employees from 2013-2018.
The total impact of Pellissippi State’s expenditures on personal income in the area amounts to about $648 million over the past five years, including $517 million from new or external funds.
Read the 31st annual analysis of Pellissippi State’s economic impact in Knox and Blount counties here. For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400.