Pellissippi State Community College will reopen its drive-thru vaccination clinic on its Blount County Campus Friday, April 23, with the Moderna vaccine instead of Janssen/Johnson & Johnson.
The clinic will be closed this weekend as the College prepares for the shift to a different vaccine. Those who had appointments scheduled for Friday, April 16, and Saturday, April 17, are being notified by Pellissippi State staff.
Pellissippi State staff waited to cancel this weekend’s vaccination clinic appointments until after the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which provides guidance to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, met Wednesday afternoon to discussdata involving six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The committee delayed a decision Wednesday, continuing the hold on the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine for at least 10 more days to allow further review.
Because the Moderna vaccine requires two shots spaced four weeks apart, Pellissippi State is retooling its appointment software to allow for this change. For more information about the College’s vaccination clinic, including a link to register when the software is updated, visit www.pstcc.edu/vaccine.
Coming off the most challenging year Pellissippi State Community College has faced in its 47-year history, who better to recognize than an alumna who is helping educate and vaccinate at-risk populations during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Vivian Underwood Shipe, class of 1991, will be honored Friday by the Pellissippi State Community College Foundation at Pellissippi Strong: A Virtual Celebration. The free event, 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. online, is open to the public and includes door prizes, networking and an exclusive Q&A with Allison Page, president of Magnolia Network, the joint venture between Discovery Inc. and Chip and Joanna Gaines’ home and lifestyle brand.
Presenting sponsor FirstBank will present Shipe with Pellissippi State’s 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award, which highlights an outstanding graduate in recognition of significant professional achievement and service to the community.
“FirstBank is happy to partner with Pellissippi State to support the great work this school is doing in our community,” said Brent Ball, Knoxville market president for FirstBank. “As a longtime resident of East Tennessee, I know how important Pellissippi State is to the residents of this area, and we are proud to support their alumni and students’ success.”
Shipe, who earned her associate degree in Marketingfrom Pellissippi Stateat 41, has stayed activein the community since retiring from the U.S. Postal Service in 2018 after 35 years of service. She is founder and chief executive officer of I AM the Voice of the Voiceless, a nonprofit dedicated to providing education and resources for vulnerable populations, as well as a founding member of Faith Leaders Health Initiative and the state’s pre-arrest diversion task force.
Shipe also serves on the boards of the Mental Health Association of East Tennessee, Elder Abuse Task Force of Knoxville/Knox County, Knoxville Community Health Fair and many other community organizations.
“Vivian Shipe is a strong advocate and champion for people often marginalized,” writes Vrondelia (Ronni) Chandler, executive director of Project GRAD Knoxville, in nominating Shipe for the award. “Vivian firmly believes we are only as great as the least of us. She lives by two scriptures: Proverbs 19:17 and Matthew 25:40, ‘The King will say to them, I assure you that to the extent you did it for the least of these brothers of mine, you did it for Me.’”
Shipe is most proud of four recent projects:
her collaborative work with other organizations in the development of a Safety Center as a jail alternative for the mentally ill,
the successful passing of a $15million state budget addition for pre–arrest diversion for the mentally ill,
the shutdown of a nursing home charged with elder abuse and
her ongoing work with the Faith Leaders initiative in the fight to educate and vaccinate during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I believe in building relationships and communicating,” Shipe said.“I try to bring out the best in everyone I meet and help them to develop or use their talents to help others.”
Whether helping create warming centers in area businesses and churches to protect the homeless in frigid temperatures to working with A21 to fight human trafficking, Shipeis a champion for Knoxville.
“As an advocate I speak at the local and state level for the most vulnerable, voiceless and those who fear retaliation,” Shipe said.“I work to bring together those who need with those who have.”
Join Pellissippi State and presenting sponsor FirstBank on Friday in celebrating Shipe and her many contributions to the community. Register here for the virtual event, which will begin with networking at 11:45 a.m. and will wrap up by 12:45 p.m.
Nashville-based FirstBank, a wholly owned subsidiary of FB Financial Corporation (NYSE: FBK), is the third largest Tennessee-headquartered bank, with 81 full-service bank branches across Tennessee, South Central Kentucky, North Alabama and North Georgia, and a national mortgage business with offices across the Southeast. The bank serves five of the major metropolitan markets in Tennessee and, with approximately $11.2 billion in total assets, has the resources to provide a comprehensive variety of financial services and products.
Pellissippi State Community College is pausing operations at its Blount County Campus drive-thru vaccination clinic because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have recommended a hold on the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccinefor now.
College staff will be contacting those who have made appointments to receive their vaccinations this Friday and Saturday.
Pellissippi State is in contact with the Tennessee Department of Health and is awaiting further guidance as the CDC and FDA review data involving six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the J&J vaccine.
In the meantime, College staff is exploring alternate solutions to moving forward with operating the drive-thru vaccination clinic that opened April 9. Pellissippi State vaccinated 190 individuals on Friday and 179 on Saturday.
Join Pellissippi State Community College for a free virtual event featuring a Q&A with the president of Magnolia Network, the joint venture between Discovery Inc. and Chip and Joanna Gaines’ home and lifestyle brand.
Pellissippi Strong: A Virtual Celebration will be held 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Friday, April 16, and also will feature door prizes, networking and the college’s annual alumni awards. Registration is free and open to the public.
“The virtual celebration represents a transition from our former Alumni & Friends luncheon to a new event encompassing all individuals in the community that have a vested interest in the success of the college and its students,” said AneisaRolen, executive director of the Pellissippi State Community College Foundation.“We are focused on sharing the stories that bring our Pellissippi State mantra ‘start strong, stay strong and finish strong’ to life. Next year, we hope to fully launch the redesigned event in person.”
The celebration, presented by FirstBank, will be held on Lunchpool, which allows participants to video chat around virtual tables for face-to-face networking if they choose. Participants also may choose to keep their cameras off, if they prefer.
At noon, media sponsor WATE-TV’sTearsa Smith will kick off the event with a Q&A with Allison Page of the Magnolia Network. The former president of HGTV and Food Network, Page joined Food Network in 2001 and spent many years developing primetime series for Rachael Ray, Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay and Guy Fieri. Her efforts were key to Food Network’s record-breaking, double-digit, ratings growth and instrumental in the successful launch of Cooking Channel in 2010.
She later served as general manager of HGTV, DIY Network, Great American Country and Travel Channel. Under her leadership, series such as “Fixer Upper,”“Flip or Flop” and “Brother vs. Brother” garnered record ratings for HGTV.
“Allison Page’s story of launching a new network during a pandemic is the perfect way to kick-off a conversation about how you ‘start strong,’” Rolen said.“Overcoming adversity takes determination and a clear vision of success. I look forward to hearing more about Allison’s leadership and lessons learned during this challenging time.”
Following the Q&A, Pellissippi State will present the College’s annual alumni awards. The Distinguished Alumni Award, announced by FirstBank, highlights an outstanding graduate in recognition of significant professional achievement and service to the community, while the Peggy Wilson Volunteer Alumni Award, sponsored and announced by Discovery Inc., highlights an outstanding graduate in recognition of extraordinary service to the Pellissippi State community.
Pellissippi State Community College Early Childhood Education faculty and students invite those who care for young children – whether at home or at a place of business – to participate in activities April 12-16 in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Week of the Young Child.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, most activities will be offered virtually this year.
“This is community based,” said Associate Professor Hope Denny, program coordinator for Early Childhood Education. “We will be sending out our lesson plans to local childcare facilities, but they also are open to anyone who wants to participate.”
Each day has a theme, explained Assistant Professor Elizabeth Kelly:
Music Monday, April 12: Pellissippi State’s Early Childhood Education students will demonstrate via video how to create handmade musical instruments with materials that are easy to find around your house; children are invited to join a “virtual band performance” with their handmade musical instruments at 10 a.m. on Zoom;
Tasty Tuesday, April 13: Students will demonstrate via video healthy snack recipes to make with children whileKnox Association for Children’s Early Education representatives will share nutritional information;
Work Together Wednesday, April 14:Pellissippi State’s Early Childhood Education faculty will create a storytelling chain on Facebook while KACEE will teach how to pull together a “prop box” with items to encourage imaginative play;
Artsy Thursday, April 15:Pellissippi State will display murals made by children throughoutthe area for a drive-through art show on the College’s Hardin Valley Campus; those who come by may choose to contribute to a large chalk art mural on site and/or stay and picnic with their families by the pond in circles that will be marked to maintain at least 6 feet of social distancing; and
Family Friday, April 16: Families will have two opportunities to participate in virtual scavenger hunts with their children, searching for items in their house that fulfill instructions such as, “Find me something that is red” and “Find me something that you might eat with.”
“This gives us an opportunity to take our activities outside the classroom to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Week of the Young Child,” Denny said, noting events are being programmed by Pellissippi State students in Early Childhood Curriculum, Safe and Healthy Learning Environments, and Family Dynamics and Community Involvement classes. “Our goal is to get the word out about our Early Childhood Education program while also engaging the larger community. We want to have a presence in leading early childhood education efforts locally.”
Those who would like to participate in the Week of the Young Child activities shouldfollow Pellissippi State’s Early Childhood Education onFacebook or Instagram or email email@example.com.
For more information about Pellissippi State’s Early Childhood Education program, one of the programs that will move this fall into the new Bill Haslam Center for Math and Science on the Hardin Valley Campus, visit www.pstcc.edu/eced.
Pellissippi State Community College invites the community to celebrate Black History Month next week with a virtual concert featuring Knoxville Opera artists.
Knoxville Opera soprano Adia Evans and baritone Michael Rodgers will present The Black American Musical Experience at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19, on Pellissippi State’s YouTube channeland Facebook page. The vocalists will be accompanied by pianist Brian Salesky,who also is the artistic director of Knoxville Opera.
The concert is free and open to the public.
“During the pandemic Knoxville Opera has had to find new ways to serve our community outside the theater through collaboration and innovation,” said Knoxville Opera Executive Director Jason Hardy.“We are so happy to collaborate with Pellissippi State in producing this program for Black History Month.”
The concert is sponsored by Pellissippi State’s Blount County, Division Street, Magnolia Avenue and Strawberry Plains campuses. The deans of the four campuses wanted to host a virtual event to celebrate Black History Month.
“I originally asked Knoxville Opera for a performance about Harriet Tubman, but our discussion morphed into a richer, more informative presentation highlighting the history of African American music, spanning a number of genres, composers and performers,” explained Magnolia Avenue Campus Dean Rosalyn Tillman.
Partnering with Knoxville Opera to record the concert so that it can be presented virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic also gave Pellissippi State students in the Media Technologies/Audio Production Engineering program the opportunity to practice their skills on a real project, she added.
“Opera is storytelling through voice,” said Hardy.“It is important for us, now more than ever, to listen to the stories that are told in this important genre of music. We are glad that Pellissippi State recognizes the healing power of music to uplift our weary hearts and bring people together.”
Mama C’s Gluten Free Goodies, a client of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center that is hosted by Pellissippi State, is highlighted in a new national report launched last week.
“In these challenging times, America’s Small Business Development Centers play a critical role in assuring the health of small businesses: helping them access capital needed for growth, navigating the uncertainty of the market, providing advice on compliance with government regulations, and being first responders when natural disaster requires intensive and long-term consulting,” according to a press release announcing the new national report.
Mama C’s is included as an example of a SBDC client that is helping an underserved community. You can find Mama C’s highlighted in the Tennessee section of the report.
Lynette Casazza started a gluten-free bakery from her home kitchen in 2015, after two of her children were diagnosed with a health condition requiring a gluten-free diet. She began baking and selling her gluten-free goodies — including dairy-free and nut-free items — at local farmers’ markets and expanded to a storefront in South Knoxville in 2019.
“Lynette has been a client of the center since the start of the bakery,” explained TSBDC Director Laura Overstreet. “TSBDC staff provided start-up assistance and continued to assist Lynnette, resulting in the expansion of Mama C’s to a storefront location. With this expansion, Lynette needed help navigating the process of hiring new employees and setting up payroll in Quickbooks.”
TSBDC was able to provide that assistance. Casazza is now successfully processing payroll through QuickBooks and handling her own bookkeeping, and her bakery added four jobs as a result of the expansion.
“It has been wonderful working with the TSBDC and (Senior Business Specialist) Teresa Sylvia,” Casazza said. “She has played a vital role in helping me put together a business plan and executing it to make my dreams come true. When situations have arrived that I’ve needed help with, the TSBDC have always been there to help me through it. Thanks to TSBDC Mama C’s Gluten Free Goodies has met a great need in South Knoxville.”
TSBDC provides services at no cost for small business owners and potential entrepreneurs. The Knoxville office offers workshops and private consultations ranging from business plan development, government contracting, marketing assistance and financial planning for new and existing small businesses.
Even as the pandemic engulfed East Tennessee, the TSBDC served 984 unique clients in 2020, delivering 1,134 hours of counseling and providing training to 1,147 participants. TSBDC also assisted clients in securing over $11 million in disaster loans.
“TSBDC is a powerful resource for our local small businesses to grow and thrive, all at no cost,” said Teri Brahams, Pellissippi State’s executive director, Economic and Workforce Development.
Nursing students at Pellissippi State Community College aren’t just watching history unfold as the COVID-19 pandemic continues – they’re taking action to end it.
Pellissippi State Nursing students started administering the first rounds of aCOVID-19 vaccine to frontline workers at Covenant Health hospitals on Saturday. Within five minutes of posting the sign-up sheet Wednesday night, 50 students had volunteered.
“I immediately let all of the College administration team know what an amazing and wonderful group of young nurses we have in our program,” Nursing Dean Angela Lunsford told students in an email Thursday. “You are part of something historic that you will tell your grandchildren about. You should be very proud!”
Pellissippi State Nursing students Megan Boyle, Yesenia Perez and Keiara Tate administered the Pfizer-BioNTechCOVID-19 vaccine Saturday morning at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center in Knoxville whileStephanie Busby, Autumn Smith and Angela Worley administered the vaccine at LeConte Medical Center in Sevierville.
“I knew I had to volunteer to be a part of this experience because I wanted to be part of the solution to this problem that has greatly affected not only my family, but the entire world,” said Tate, 27, a former Patient Care Technician in home health care who decided to become a Registered Nurse after her daughter was born.“I have had two family members who have passed due to COVIDand many others who have been ill due to this virus. I am looking forward to ushering in hope and a cure.”
Family experiences also influenced Perez’s decision to study Nursing.
“Growing up, my mom was always in and out of the hospital, and I saw firsthand the way nurses took care of her – the good experiences and the bad,” said Perez, 20, who works 12 hours a week as a Student Nurse Associate at Parkwest Medical Center in addition to 30 hours a week as a manager at Taco Bell. “I want to be that person who gives back to the community – and being bilingual, I can help (Spanishspeaking) people who come into the hospital because I can understand them.”
Although Pellissippi State students were prepared to draw up the vaccine themselves, Covenant Health had pharmacists on hand at the hospitals Saturday to draw up the medication, which was then put into a cooler.
“They got six syringes (of vaccine) per vial, and we had to get every dose out of the cooler,” Perez explained. “We couldn’t have multiple doses out and lined up. They had to stay a certain temperature.”
Nursing students injected the vaccine into the deltoid muscle – upper arm – of hospital frontline workers and other staff, including those who work in the cafeteria, housekeeping and maintenance.
“It was very intimidating at first because we were giving the injections to a lot of health care workers who have been doing this for years, and we are just Nursing students,” Perez said, noting the vaccinations moved at a fast pace and they exhausted their supply by 8:15 a.m. Saturday. “But everyone was really nice, and I am amazed we even got the opportunity to help with this historical thing.”
“The staff at LeConte said they couldn’t thank the students enough, that it would have taken double the time without them there to help,” Lunsford added.
Pellissippi State Nursing students will continue to help administer the vaccine at Covenant Health facilities daily until Dec. 29, except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, when no vaccination clinics are scheduled.
“The excitement for this vaccine is greater than I expected – so many frontline workers were elated and relieved to be able to get this vaccine,” Tate said. “Having to face COVID every day with just a mask and prayers has left a lot of people just feeling blessed to be here for this opportunity and to see this day.I look forward to my future career as a nurse.”
Pellissippi State’s Nursing classes are held on the College’s Blount County, Magnolia Avenue and Strawberry Plains campuses. For more information about Pellissippi State’s Nursing program, visit www.pstcc.edu/nursing, email Nursing@pstcc.edu or call 865.225.2330.
Pellissippi State Community College crushed the (friendly) competition this semester, collecting the equivalent of 31,412 items in College System of Tennessee’s 22nd Annual Food Drive Challenge.
Pellissippi State was the top institution in its tier during the month-long food drive that ended Dec. 8.
Students, faculty and staff at Tennessee’s community and technical colleges collected nearly 76,000 food items, including almost $28,000 in cash donations, for food pantries on their campuses and food banks and organizations in their communities.
ThisisthesecondyearinarowthatPellissippiStatehascollectedthemostfooditemsinitstier,butthisyear’s 31,412 items more than doubled last year’s 15,411.
“COVID-19 obviously has been a big factor,” said Drema Bowers, director of Student Care and Advocacy for Pellissippi State. “We are home more and on social media all the time. People can’t escape seeing food lines. It’s made people more aware of food insecurity.”
Pellissippi State was helped this year by the Pellissippi State Foundation’s Giving Tuesday campaign. Thanks to matching donors, gifts made to the Foundation and earmarked for the Pellissippi Pantry before and on Dec. 1 were doubled. Because TBR counts each $1 donation as the equivalent of two cans of food, during that time period, $1 equaled four cans of food, Bowers noted.
“I also think that now that many of us are working from home, we don’t have the cost of our commutes and that $7 or $8 lunch some of us were buying each day,” she added. “Those of us who are still fortunate to have our jobs may have had a little more to give this season.”
Pellissippi State was further helped by community partners including Church of the Savior, Faith Promise, Hardin Valley Church of Christ and the Scarecrow Foundation. These partners not only gave monetary donations to the Pellissippi Pantry, but also contributed boxed and canned items.
“We are very, very appreciative of all our community partners,” Bowers said. “We crushed it!”
The Pellissippi Pantry, like other College services, had to adjust its processes this year due to COVID-19, but still has served 70 participants in fall 2020. Participants were able to pick up a five-day supply of groceries once a month during the semester, and those who were unable to come to campus for food distribution were mailed gift cards to grocery stores.
While all the food collected by Pellissippi State stays with the college to serve Pellissippi Pantry participants, Bowers and her Student Care and Advocacy team also keep students apprised of resources in the community and teach students how to apply for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.
The Pellissippi State Community College Media Technologies program will continue its free webinar series titled “The Art, Science & Impact of Digital Storytelling” on Dec. 1, with a focus on “Building Greater Knoxville’s National Reputation as a Creative Community.”
Thesession will take place 12:30-2 p.m. Eastern over Zoom. Registration is open now for professionals, faculty, students and alumni in digital, creative and strategic communications.
“Building Greater Knoxville’s National Reputation as a Creative Community” will focus on the region’s wealth of creative intellectual assets and highlight Knoxvilleas a major hub of production vision, talent and output.
The session, which will be moderated by Mary Beth West of Fletcher Marketing PR,will spotlight the future direction and demand for creative and production services. Panelists including Deborah Allen of Catalina Content, Doug Lawyer of the Knoxville Chamber and Joe Richani of Jewelry Television will address how the region can best position itself to grow and adapt to workforce development needs.
This webinar series is sponsored by The Hive, Bagwell Entertainment and Jupiter Entertainment and will conclude Jan. 22 with “The Media Technologies Workforce Pipeline & 2021 Employer Hiring Priorities.”