K-12 educators invited to teaching conference keynote at Pellissippi State

Alan November
Alan November will give a keynote presentation on “Transforming the Culture of Teaching and Learning” on Jan. 11, and K-12 educators are invited.

An international leader in educational technology is coming to Pellissippi State Community College in January, and K-12 teachers are invited to attend his keynote presentation.

Alan November, named one of the nation’s 15 most influential thinkers of the decade by Tech & Learning magazine, will be at Pellissippi State for a Teaching and Learning Conference sponsored by the Pellissippi Academic Center for Excellence (PACE) and Mobile Fellows Program.

November’s keynote, “Transforming the Culture of Teaching and Learning,” will be held 8:30-10:15 a.m. Jan. 11 in the Goins Building Auditorium on Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road, Knoxville.

“Alan November will be discussing current and past ideas circulating on using technology in the classroom,” said Pellissippi State Chemistry Assistant Professor Rachel Glazener, PACE Faculty Fellow for Mobile and Emerging Technology. “Do not let the technology aspect scare you; rather, the conference is focused on a way of thinking about how to harness technology to help our students own their learning.”

November’s keynote will explore how the design of an assignment can move students from simply regurgitating learning material to being critical thinkers and applying the learned material. He also will delve into how forming a global network can increase collaboration not only inside the classroom, but outside of the classroom as well.

“Forming a learning network can move students to become empowered in their own learning, can help the learning become visible and can expand student’s communication in their field outside of the classroom,” November said.

The keynote is free, but teachers are asked to register at http://bit.ly/pscctechconkeynote by Dec. 14 because space is limited.

For more information, contact Glazener at rlglazener@pstcc.edu. To request accommodations for a disability for this event, call 865-539-7401 or email accommodations@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State hosts inaugural intercollegiate art exhibit

A work of art that will be on display at the Inaugural Intercollegiate Juried Student Exhibition at Pellissippi State
“Untitled,” a painting by Grace Wright of Chattanooga State Community College.

Community college students from across the state will have their art work displayed at Pellissippi State Community College in the first show of its kind.

The Inaugural Tennessee Intercollegiate Juried Student Exhibition will be on display Nov. 19-Dec. 7 in the Bagwell Center for Media and Art Gallery on Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road, Knoxville.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and the exhibition is free and open to the public.

“We at Pellissippi State and Tennessee’s community colleges believe strongly in our students, and that’s why we are teaching at a community college,” said Herbert Rieth, associate professor of art. “We bend over backwards to help their needs and pave their way to a four-year college.”

Rieth and Nathanial Smyth, art faculty and department chair at Volunteer State Community College, had the idea for an intercollegiate juried student exhibition at a conference a couple of years ago, Rieth explained.

“Being community colleges, there is not as much rivalry because we’re more regionally based,” Rieth said. “Not only did we think it would be fun for us to see what other programs are doing, but many students want to become professional artists, and we thought this would be a way for students to go through the process of applying for a juried exhibition to see what that’s like.”

Current and former students at Tennessee’s 13 community colleges were invited to enter works generated the past two years in studio art classes. There was no cost to enter.

Seven community colleges had students participate, with 103 works submitted. Peter Hoffecker Mejia, a visiting assistant professor of art at the University of Memphis and a former Pellissippi State student, served as juror, choosing 22 works for the exhibition.

“Twenty-one students made it in, including seven from Pellissippi State, so it’s an honor to get in there,” Rieth said. “There’s a little bit of everything we were allowing: photography, painting, drawing, design, sculpture, blacksmith, print making, collage. It’s quite a survey.”

A piece of art that will be displayed in the Intercollegiate Juried Student Exhibition at Pellissippi State Nov. 19-Dec. 7
“Reality,” a photograph by Oscar Morales of Volunteer State Community College.

A closing reception and awards ceremony will be held 3-5 p.m. Dec. 7. Three places and two honorable mentions will be awarded, with gifts donated by David Lusk Gallery, located in Memphis and Nashville, and Jerry’s Artarama in Knoxville.

Pellissippi State also will purchase the winning art work for $500, which the student will receive. The art work then will go on display at the college.

The exhibition is part of The Arts at Pellissippi State series. For more information on upcoming visual arts, theatre and music events,  visit www.pstcc.edu/arts.

Pellissippi State faculty explore World War I’s legacy on Armistice centennial

Pellissippi State Community College will mark the 100-year anniversary of the end of World War I with a symposium covering seven topics, from poetry to propaganda.

“The Great War: One Hundred Years Later” will be held 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 12, in the Goins Building Auditorium on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

The symposium, which includes seven 30-minute lectures by Pellissippi State faculty of different disciplines, is free and open to the public.

“This gives us an opportunity to present some research outside of our classrooms,” said symposium organizer Nathan Pavalko, an assistant professor of history who specializes in modern U.S. history and the Cold War. “I like to try to bring history topics outside the classroom, and I wanted to make this as interdisciplinary as possible. We have art, English and history represented.”

The symposium schedule includes:

  • 10-10:30 a.m.: The Great War and the end of the Long Nineteenth Century, presented by Harry Whiteside
  • 10:30-11 a.m.: Russian Propaganda, presented by YuLiya Kalnaus
  • 11-11:30 a.m.: Poets of the Great War, presented by Brigette McCray
  • 11:30 a.m.-noon: Versailles Treaty and 100 Years Later, presented by Pavalko
  • Noon-12:30 p.m. World War I and the Women Who Waged It, presented by Josh Durbin
  • 12:30-1 p.m.: The Great War and German Expressionism, presented by Herb Rieth
  • 1-1:30 p.m.: War Crimes of World War I, presented by Alison Vick

World War I left quite a legacy, Pavalko said.

“The world we live in today probably would not exist, politically and culturally, had World War I not happened,” he noted. “World War I creates the modern concept of what war is. It’s not heroic. It’s not some grand adventure. It’s sheer brutality, and that is what shocks people into rethinking what war is.”

World War I can serve as a cautionary tale even today, Pavalko added.

“One of the overarching thoughts before the war, especially in Europe, was, ‘We’ll never have another war because we are so civilized, technologically advanced and diplomatic,’” he explained. “We should learn not to underestimate the horribleness of humanity.”

For more information on Pellissippi State, visit the website at www.pstcc.edu or call 865.694.6400. To request accommodations for this event, call 865-539-7401 or email accommodations@pstcc.edu.


Pellissippi State performs world premiere of new play, “Soft Animals”

Pellissippi State students rehearse a scene for the upcoming play "Soft Animals."
Pellissippi State students Abby Reber, Peyton Southworth, Morgan Edwards, Kyle Walton, Katherine Wilcox-Chelimsky and Fredderick Richardson, from left, rehearse a scene in the upcoming play “Soft Animals,” a new play written for Pellissippi State in collaboration with The Farm Theater in New York.

It’s not every day theatre students get to produce an original play in collaboration with the playwright, but Pellissippi State Community College students have that rare opportunity this November.

Pellissippi State will present the world premiere of “Soft Animals,” a new play written by Erin Mallon for Pellissippi State in collaboration with The Farm Theater in New York.

The play, a comedy that explores the perceptions we have about people’s physical appearances and our relationships with our bodies, will be performed Nov. 9-11 and 16-18, with Friday and Saturday performances at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday performances at 2 p.m.

All performances will be held in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the College’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

“We are the first production of this play, and we really wanted to be the first,” said director Grechen Lynne Wingerter, associate professor of theatre at Pellissippi State. “This experience allows students to know what it’s like to build a play from the ground up.”

The Farm Theater commissioned Mallon – a writer, actor and voice artist – to write the play, which will be produced at Pellissippi State in November and at Arkansas State University in February. As the name College Collaboration Project indicates, the entire process has been collaborative.

“I had to pitch the idea, as the play had not been written yet,” explained Mallon, the playwright. “We discussed a question that has been swirling in my brain for a long time: Does the mind create the body? I felt like that was a worthy theme to explore in a play because I truly don’t know the answer, but the question fascinates me.”

The collaboration with Pellissippi State began in the spring, Wingerter noted, with a Skype meeting with Mallon.

“She took what the students had to say on the topic of body image and incorporated that into her writing,” Wingerter said. “It’s a funny play, but it also has some depth, in that it deals with the imperfections/quirks we all have and learning what we can and cannot control.”

In August Wingerter traveled to New York to attend a workshop reading of the play by professional actors and to meet the playwright in person. Rehearsals started at Pellissippi State in September. Wingerter “double cast” the play so that more students could participate, she noted, with the two casts alternating performances – and Mallon traveled to Knoxville to work with the students in mid-October.

“This team of actors is brave and game to try anything,” Mallon said of the Pellissippi State students. “The play is an absurd-ish comedy that carries some darker themes, but it is definitely comedy forward. The actors have to be bold and willing to try some weird stuff. This is a very funny and talented group.”

Two Pellissippi State students rehearse a scene for the upcoming play "Soft Animals."
Pellissippi State students Anna Czeh and Jeremy Kington rehearse a scene in the upcoming play “Soft Animals.” The play was “double cast” so that more students would have an opportunity to participate in the world premiere of this new play, with casts alternating performances.

Wingerter stressed how special this opportunity has been for Pellissippi State.

“This is unique for our students, to be the very first to bring a play to life,” she explained. “When you do the classics – say, ‘Romeo and Juliet’ or ‘Death of a Salesman’ – there are preconceived notions of how those plays are supposed to be done, and there always will be comparisons. With a new play, our actors are allowed to experiment, to explore character development, and they’re focusing on applying what they’re learning in the classroom to the stage.”

Wingerter is hopeful that the relationship the students are forming with Mallon also may serve them well later on.

“She’ll remember these guys because this is the first time ‘Soft Animals’ has been produced,” Wingerter said. “Maybe she will think of one of them in the future. Theatre is a lot of networking, and I want our students to have meaningful opportunities.”

Audiences at the Nov. 10 performance of “Soft Animals” will have a unique opportunity as well: to participate in a “talk back session” with the playwright after the play.

“I’ve noticed lately that what I seem to be writing over and over again are characters who are learning to love and accept themselves,” Mallon said. “That is incredibly hard for a lot of us to do, but I hope audiences will come away from the play with a little more kindness toward themselves – and enjoy a lot of laughter along the way.”Logo for The Farm Theater in New York

To purchase tickets for “Soft Animals,” visit www.pstcc.edu/tickets. To request accommodations for this event, call 865-539-7401 or email accommodations@pstcc.edu.


Pellissippi Preview shows prospective students what Pellissippi State has to offer

Anyone who has considered taking classes at Pellissippi State Community College has an opportunity next week to check out the school: from the academic programs offered to the financial aid available.

Pellissippi State’s fall open house, now called Pellissippi Preview, will be held 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, Oct. 27, at the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

Pellissippi Preview is open to prospective students of all ages.

Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. will kick off the event in the Clayton Performing Arts Center before those who attend are let loose to explore the campus at their leisure for one hour, explained Sarah Davis with Enrollment Services.

Each building on the Hardin Valley Campus will be open for the program showcase, 9:45-10:45 a.m., with maps showing participants where to find out more about the academic programs that interest them and the student services that are available at Pellissippi State.

“We hope they will go to every building and check out as many programs as they want,” Davis said, noting academic programs will be showcased in the buildings where those classes are taught.

Pellissippi Preview will feature two presentations after the program showcase ends: one on transferring from Pellissippi State to four-year colleges and universities and one on financial aid. Each of the presentations will be given twice – once at 10:45 and once at 11:25 – so that prospective students have the opportunity to attend both presentations, if they choose.

“They will get hands-on information about one of the questions we hear the most: ‘Will my Pellissippi State classes transfer?’” Davis said. “They’ll also learn more about scholarship opportunities, including Tennessee Promise for high school seniors and Tennessee Reconnect for adult learners.”

Throughout the day, participants can snag some refreshments in the college’s cafeteria or mug for the camera with fun props in a photo booth. All those who attend Pellissippi Preview will be entered in a drawing for two $250 scholarships from the Pellissippi State Foundation to attend Pellissippi State; winners will be contacted at a later date.

“This is a fun way to get on campus and see everything we have to offer – not just our academic programs, but our services as well, from Advising to Financial Aid to Student Life,” Davis said.

To RSVP for Pellissippi Preview or see the full agenda, visit www.pstcc.edu/prsvp.

To request accommodations for this event, call 865-539-7401 or email accommodations@pstcc.edu.


Local paintings, ceramics combine in upcoming exhibit at Pellissippi State

Green ceramic vase by clay artist Armanda Bonar
This ceramics work by Amanda Bonar of Terra Madre is among the art that will be on display at Pellissippi State Community College’s exhibit “Ashley Addair and Terra Madre: Women in Clay” Oct. 8-26.

Visual artist Ashley Addair of Knoxville joins 15 local clay artists in a new exhibit at Pellissippi State Community College.

“Ashley Addair and Terra Madre: Women in Clay” will be on display at the College’s Bagwell Center for Media and Art Gallery on the Hardin Valley Campus Oct. 8-26, with an opening reception with the artists scheduled for 3-5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10.

The exhibit, the latest installment in The Arts at Pellissippi State, is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

“It’s going to be a busy show, and it’s going to be full,” said Pellissippi State Professor Jeffrey Lockett, program coordinator for Art. “The artists will take up different spaces within the Gallery, with the Terra Madre works displayed on pedestals and Ashley’s works on the walls.”

Addair is a visual artist and an active member of the arts community in Knoxville. Her paintings are collected internationally.

Terra Madre is a juried group of women clay artists living and working in the Knoxville area. Their work ranges from functional to sculptural and from traditional to whimsical.

“Many Terra Madre members are or have been influential educators in the clay field locally, regionally and nationally,” said Lisa Kurtz, an adjunct fine arts instructor at Pellissippi State whose work will be included in the upcoming exhibit. “They teach or have taught clay at a variety of locations including elementary and secondary schools, colleges, craft centers, workshops and churches.”

Other Terra Madre teachers whose clay work will be featured at Pellissippi State include Amanda Bonar, Judy Brater, Jane Cartwright, Pat Clapsaddle, Valerie Eiler, Lynn Fisher, Anna Maria Gundlach, Pat Herzog, Ellie Kotsianas, Wendie Love, Sandra McEntire, Jackie Mirzadeh, Jessica Stewart and Rikki Taylor.

“Both Ashley’s and the Terra Madre artists’ works showcase immediate reactions to the media they use,” Lockett said. “With clay, you squeeze it and shape it while Ashley’s paintings are often stream of consciousness. Sometimes these works are well thought out. Sometimes they are more spontaneous.”

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.

Speakers share management expertise at Pellissippi State

Business leaders will share their secrets of success at Pellissippi State Community College this fall, and the public is invited to learn from them as well.

Pellissippi State’s new Leadership Management Speaker Series will be held 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. select Fridays in the Goins Building Auditorium on the College’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

All presentations are free.

Sponsored by Pellissippi State’s Business and Computer Technology department and the College’s Common Academic Experience program, the series kicks off this Friday with Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr., who will be addressing why an organization should be a good corporate citizen.

Future speakers and their topics include:

  • Sept. 28: Kim Bumpas, president of Visit Knoxville, on what tourism means to Knoxville;
  • Oct. 12: Bill Schmidt, former CEO of Oakley Eyewear and retired vice president for Gatorade Sports Marketing, on the keys to success;
  • Oct. 26: Marc Sallinger, WBIR reporter and multimedia journalist, on reporting news that matters to the community, cultivating sources and enhancing relationships;
  • Nov. 2: Tanya Brown, executive director of marketing and public relations for the University of Tennessee’s Haslam College of Business, on branding;
  • Nov. 9: Jimmy Buckner, executive director of the Scarecrow Foundation, on managing volunteers vs. paid employees; and
  • Nov. 16: Chris Wilson, chief operating officer for Smarter Searches, on managing a small team that produces big team results.

“I tried to get speakers in different stages of their careers,” said Pellissippi State Professor Lisa Fall, noting the speakers have worked not only locally, but in other markets. “We will save some time for Q&A at the end, and I always ask them, ‘If you only knew then what you know now, what advice would you share?’”

While the speakers initially were invited to share with Fall’s Project Management class, Amy Caponetti’s Organizational Behavior class and Brandi Funk’s Principles of Management class, all of which meet at the same time, the three instructors decided to open the presentations to the College and the public after colleagues noted the impressive list of speakers they had lined up.

“These professionals all specialize in different industries, and their experience is extensive,” Fall said. “Their lessons will add to the audience’s management repertoire; what they have to share with us is invaluable.”

The speaker series also complements Pellissippi State’s Common Academic Experience theme of “Inner Space | Outer Space,” which was inspired by the total solar eclipse in August 2017. The Common Academic Experience is a two-year discussion of issues, both in and out of class, around this theme.

“’Inner Space |Outer Space’ is about a journey that shows the relationship between the self and the environment around us,” said librarian Will Buck, who co-chairs Common Academic Experience with librarian Allison Scripa. “The experiences of these speakers showcases their journeys and allows our community to relate to their personal path of challenge and achievement.”

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu or call 865-694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at 865-539-7401 or accommodations@pstcc.edu.


Road trip through 47 states with upcoming art exhibit at Pellissippi State

See the United States in a different light at “American Miniature,” an art exhibit that combines souvenirs collected on cross-country trips with brightly colored backdrops used to provoke a sense of place.

The collaborative project between artists Nancy Daly and Kim Llerena will be on display Sept. 17-Oct. 5 at Pellissippi State Community College’s Bagwell Center for Media and Art Gallery on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

Souvenir replica of Mount Rushmore on a blue backdrop.
Mount Rushmore

Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, with an opening reception with the artists planned for 3-5 p.m. Sept. 17.

The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.

“Travel often involves lofty, idealized preconceptions about a place; once visited, the site becomes real, solid, grounded,” said Daly. “Upon leaving, a mass-produced knick-knack becomes personal, a means of transferring part of that place into your home and making it your own.”

These knick-knacks, collected on numerous road trips through 47 states, have been photographed for “American Miniature” against a solid-color background that recalls, sometimes abstractly, their original context — a commemorative plate from the site of the movie “Field of Dreams” sits against a corn-yellow backdrop, for example.

Employing the visual language of product photography, these large format images re-contextualize the cheap souvenirs as aspirational objects, monuments of travel and tourism.

“Ultimately, these souvenirs, like photographs, are more about a personal memory than about a place itself,” said Llerena. “The place becomes merely a backdrop.”

“American Miniature” is the latest installment in The Arts at Pellissippi State this fall. For more information on upcoming visual arts, theatre and music events, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts.

James Agee Conference at Pellissippi State celebrates Appalachian arts, literature

An annual literature conference with an Appalachian focus has branched out this year to include music and photography.

The third annual James Agee Conference for Literature and Arts will be held Sept. 14 and 15 at Pellissippi State Community College’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

The free event, which is open to the public, will include master classes led by musician Kelle Jolly, photographer Roger May and novelist Jon Sealy as well as a keynote presentation by author Robert Gipe. Their presentations, all on Sept. 14, will be held in the Goins Auditorium.

“In the past, we’ve had poets and writers of fiction and nonfiction,” explained conference founder Charles Dodd White, an associate professor of English at Pellissippi State. “This year we are going beyond the literary by adding music and photography, which will expand on our arts theme.”

White, who will be inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame in October, created the conference 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 is teaching Pellissippi State’s first Appalachian literature course this fall. “The Conference gives us an opportunity to honor his influence while also exploring the hometown portrayal of Appalachia through writing and art.”

White is committed to keeping the conference free so that it remains accessible to students, and he encourages music and photography students to participate as well.

“This lets students get their feet wet and see what a professional literary festival/conference is like,” White said. “These are also really good master classes, which is an excellent opportunity for other aspiring writers and artists.”

Union Avenue Books will be on hand with a selection of Appalachian literature, and conference participants will have opportunities between the interactive workshops to mingle with the presenters and get their works signed.

For the full schedule and more information on this year’s presenters, visit www.pstcc.edu/events/ageeconference.


Pellissippi State offers Influential Leadership series

Learn to give effective presentations, lead teams, delegate job duties and run meetings that accomplish goals with Pellissippi State Community College’s non-credit Influential Leadership series.

The classes are $99 each and scheduled for five Thursdays from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. All classes will be held at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

  • Learning Your Leadership Style on Sept. 6 – Explore your leadership style and understand how to adapt it for any situation.
  • Presentation 101: Keep the Room Awake on Sept. 13 – Ace your next presentation as you practice in front of a group and receive professional feedback.
  • Meetings 101: Herding Cats Effectively on Sept. 20 – Learn how to make your meetings shorter, more impactful and how to make everyone feel heard.
  • Delegation 101: Let It Go on Sept. 27 – Understand the four Ws of delegation and how to communicate exactly what you need.
  • Leading a Team on Oct. 4 – Learn the stages of team development, characteristics of high-performing teams and reward and recognition techniques.

To sign up for any classes in the Influential Leadership series or to learn more about lifelong learning and non-credit courses at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu/bcs or call 865-539-7167.

To request accommodations for a disability for one of these classes, call 865-539-7401 or email accommodations@pstcc.edu.