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

To request accommodations for this event, call 865-539-7401 or email


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

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 or call 865-694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at 865-539-7401 or


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

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


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 or call 865-539-7167.

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

NASA speaker explores outer, inner space at Pellissippi State

A special guest from NASA will help kick off the school year at Pellissippi State Community College on Sept. 6 – and the community is invited.

Johnny F. Stephenson Jr., director of the Office of Strategic Analysis & Communications at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., will speak on “The Journey of Exploration: From Outer Space to Inner Space” as part of Pellissippi State’s annual Convocation ceremony.

The presentation will be held 12:30-1:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The event is free to attend.

Stephenson’s NASA career began in 1986, when he joined the student co-op program, working as a systems engineer in Marshall’s Engineering Directorate. After earning a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 1987, Stephenson went to work for NASA full time.

Over his career at NASA, Stephenson has served in several capacities at both Marshall and at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C. NASA has bestowed numerous awards on Stephenson, including the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the highest award bestowed by the agency, for excellence in his leadership of the One NASA effort.

Stephenson now leads an organization of 160 civil service and contractor personnel in providing the strategic planning, objective analysis and comprehensive communications to support the policy, program and budget decisions for Marshall Space Flight Center, a field center with an annual budget of approximately $2.4 billion.

Stephenson’s presentation fits perfectly into 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.

Stephenson also is a first-generation college student, which Common Academic Experience co-chairs Will Buck and Allison Scripa felt would resonate with many Pellissippi State students.

“We hope students will be inspired by Johnny’s story and get fired up for the new academic year, while faculty and staff will be reminded of our common purpose to help our students get to where they’re going,” Scripa said. “We may have a future NASA director among our students, and we are an integral part of helping them get situated on that path.”

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


Pellissippi State closed Aug. 15 for in-service

All Pellissippi State campuses and offices will be closed on Wednesday, August 15, for In-service. They will reopen for business the next day.  We thank you for your understanding and patience. Please note that classes scheduled to meet on Aug. 15 will not be canceled.

Meanwhile, Pellissippi State has extended its hours for student services during August to serve you better. Those offices include Admissions, Records, Financial Aid and Advising. Extended hours at the Hardin Valley Campus are Saturday, Aug. 4 and 11, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. All campus offices including the Cashier will be open until 6 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays, Aug. 13, 16, 20 and 23. Advising is by appointment only on Aug. 4; all other days are for walk-ins.