Motivational Speaker

by Katherine Lown

A young Hispanic is on the track of fulfilling his dream to inspire people all over the world.

Adolfo Angel Felix’s dream is to be a motivational speaker. Having spent much of his teenage years living in Mexico, Angel and his family have seen firsthand the dramatic effects that poverty and hardships can have on people.

“People feel like this all the time and sometimes they don’t have anybody…experience in Mexico and seeing how they live, and then here – that’s probably the biggest thing,” Angel said. His passion is to encourage and inspire people who are walking through the rough times in life.

Angel also expresses a lot of compassion for people going through hard circumstances because of a unique view he has as a wrestling trainer. “I wrestle, and cutting weight drags on your mind and body. You’re hungry and exercising…you have to be very mentally strong and you’re in a low state of mind.” He says that being weak in mind can drag a person down a lot and often lead to unnecessary pain.

“In Cancun, a lot of people are poor… there are things harder out there,” he said, realizing that even his stress is light compared to the loads that many carry around the globe.

Recognizing the effects that depression and suffering has on people is what drives Angel to want to be a speaker and motivate others to a better life. He hopes to one day travel the world and have a full time job giving speeches. “I don’t think I’ll be getting paid yet,” he said, looking to the future, “but I’ll be living on my own, helping others, not doing many things besides putting time into what I want to do.”

As a guy balancing work, family, and school every day, Angel knows that young people are capable of far more than most people think. “We are capable of a lot of things and have a lot of things going on in our life,” he said. “Not all of us make such bad choices.”

Those who have made bad choices, however, are who he hopes to inspire. One of the biggest motivators for Angel is that he knows things can get better for everyone. “People are really strong,” he said. “They are the future…they go through tough times and good times. They will make a difference. They got to encourage each other and keep doing difficult things.”

Angel has high hopes of pushing his peers to excellence. “I think we’re going to do a lot of great things – this generation,” he said.

May 26th, 2016, posted by Katherine Lown

Spring Choral Concert Coming to Pellissippi

By Nicholas Walker

Pellissippi State Community College will be holding its annual Spring Choral Concert on April 28.

The annual Spring Choral Concert hosted by Pellissippi is on April 28.

The event will be held at 7 p.m. in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on Pellissippi’s Hardin Valley Campus, at 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

The choir, which consists of the Concert Chorale and Variations Ensemble, is directed by Pellissippi music professor Meagan Langford, who has taught at the school for about 4 years.

  • The Spring Choral is the last of The Arts of Pellissippi and dates back to beginning of the music program itself.
  • The event will feature performances by all female and all male choirs respectively.
  • The Concert Chorale consists of a diverse group of singers.
  • The Variations Ensemble is more acapella-oriented.
  • Various genres will be performed, such as classics dating back to the 1700s, and standards from a wide variety of styles.
  • The choir will perform covers from artists such as Billy Joel and Sting, as well as renditions of spiritual songs from the late 19th century.

May 26th, 2016, posted by Nicholas Walker

Have a Bash before Finals

by Marissa Frankel

Finals Bash provides massages and free food to Pellissippi students.

The Finals Bash event provides free massages and free food for students on April 26 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Finals Bash occurs every semester, said Joshua Anderson, president of student government at the Hardin Valley campus.

The massages provided are meant to relieve stress before final exams, said Anderson. The event is held by the Student Activities Board in the courtyard at the Hardin Valley campus.

There will also be massages provided to students on May 2 and 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Hardin Valley’s Student Recreation Center.

For more information, visit


April 27th, 2016, posted by Marissa Frankel

Come Make a Racket

by Cameron Watkins

“Tennis is a perfect combination of violent action taking place in an atmosphere of total tranquility.” -Billie Jean King

Pellissippi State’s Intermural tennis tournament will take place on Wednesday, April 20 at Hardin Valley Campus.

The manager at the Student Recreation Center, Phillip Ems, said the event will be held in the SRC, and the matches are set to begin at 3 p.m.

Ems also said that the event will have both singles and doubles competitions. All levels of competition are welcome, and the bracket will be set up based on the level of talent.

Ems said that there will be prizes awarded for the singles and doubles champions, saying, “We have championship t-shirts available for the winners.”

Registration is still available. You may either sign up at the SRC or email Andy Frost at

April 22nd, 2016, posted by Marissa Frankel

Pellissippi State Celebrates Shakespeare at the Blount County Campus

by Stephanie Corum

To be or not to be? That is the question.

Shakespeare’s life and works will be spoken about by Pellissippi State faculty members.

These lectures will be a part of Blount County’s, “The Bard at Blount: A Celebration of Shakespeare.” Julia Wood said that it will be a two-day festival that is free and open to the community, taking place April 19-20.

The following lectures will take place during the event in the West Chevrolet Auditorium:

  • At 2 p.m. on April 19, faculty members, Amanda Carr-Wilcoxson and Kelly Rivers, will present “Accidental Icon: Shakespeare in History and Culture.”
  • On April 20 at 3 p.m., faculty member Jennifer Horn will present “Renew, Reuse, Recycle: Shakespeare Today.”
  • Following Horn’s Lecture, Gretchen Wingerter’s Acting Class I will give a performance.

In honor of Shakespeare’s birthday being in April, cake will be served at both events.

The Blount County Campus is located at 2731 W. Lamar Alexander Pkwy.

For more information, visit

April 22nd, 2016, posted by Marissa Frankel

We Will, We Will Rock You

by Alexandra Schultz

The 11th annual Pellapalooza at Pellissippi State is having a lip-sync battle.

A lip-sync battle is being held for the 11th annual Pellapalooza. Student Life is holding the event on April 20 in the courtyard at the Hardin Valley campus.

“I’m going to dress up as Scary Spice, and I even have a cheetah print dress,” said Mackenzie Immenhort, a future singer at Pellapalooza.

According to the Student Life members, dressing up and dancing for performances is encouraged.

Pellapalooza is also having:

  • Cash prizes for 1st and 2nd place
  • Free food

For more information, visit:

April 22nd, 2016, posted by Marissa Frankel

Student Art Exhibit Being Held at Pellissippi


By Nicholas Walker

A juried art exhibition is currently being shown at Pellissippi State Community College’s Hardin Valley Campus.

Jennifer Brickey, Pellissippi’s associate professor of Liberal Arts, says the exhibit is beneficial to students by teaching them how to prepare showings for art shows.

The campus is located on 10915 Hardin Valley Road, and it is being held in the galley of the Bagwell Center for Media and Art. The exhibit opens on March 28 and runs through April 15. The gallery is open to the public from 10 to 6:30 p.m.

The exhibit is showcasing many forms of art, including paintings, sculptures, two-dimensional and three-dimensional design and ceramics.


April 22nd, 2016, posted by Nicholas Walker

From Rebellious to Responsible

by Katherine Lown

Once a troublemaker who despised school, one young Ecuadorian’s life now looks completely different as he realizes the importance of responsibility and of doing his best.

Cesar Èscobar easily recalls the moment that changed his life forever. Having spent much of his early education skipping classes and failing courses, Cesar’s lifestyle was one of avoiding any kind of responsibility. While in high school, he was kicked out of school, began drinking and was in two car crashes. It was a talk with his grandpa that finally began to open Cesar’s eyes and show him the need to make changes in his life.

“My grandpa, he talked to me. And I’m named after my grandpa,” Cesar said, emphasizing the importance of representing the name well. It gave him pressure to be good.

The talk made him realize he needed to make something of his life, not just be a child, and to respect things. His grandpa took him to the family company, introduced him to workers and staff members and showed him that he has to be responsible in life.

One year later, Cesar’s grandpa died.

“That moment when he passed away,” Cesar paused. “I have to be an extremely…good guy. It changed my life.”

Cesar’s bad grades rapidly went up, he attained a good GPA, and he was even elected as president of his high school. “[I] became a total different person, changed irresponsibility, the way I handle my life. Everything changed.”

After graduating high school in his hometown of Puyo, Ecuador, Cesar went on to study math and physics in Quito, where he finished a marketing degree. He moved to the United States in fall of 2015 and speaks English fluently for having been here less than a year. Currently, Cesar is taking classes at Pellissippi State, but plans to further his education at UT or in Miami.

However, there are things Cesar very much misses from home, especially the culture and the food from South America. “I am done with the hamburgers and the pizza and the french fries,” he said.

For the most part, Cesar says he likes it here, but “being here in TN, it’s like a cultural impact because people here are weird,” Cesar added. “You have really close circles of friends, you’re not an open person. If you’re in Knoxville, be friendly.”

Cesar is working his way up to eventually managing a business. The company that his grandpa handled, and that was later passed on to his father, will eventually pass on to Cesar when he is ready to take it over. Careers in business run in the family for the Èscobars.

“It’s in the blood,” Cesar smiled.

April 22nd, 2016, posted by Katherine Lown

Stage Production of Mining Activist to Be Performed At Pellissippi


By Nicholas Walker

A semi-autobiographical play about the life of activist and songwriter Florence Reece called “Which Side Are You On?” will debut this weekend at Pellissippi State Community College.

The production will be performed April 15, 16, 22 and 23 at 7:30 p.m. and April 17 and 24 at 2 p.m. at the Hardin Valley campus.

The play was written by Pellissippi English professor Edward Francisco. Francisco has been Pellissippi’s Writer-in-Residence for 10 years, and he has taught at the school for 26 years.

  • The title is inspired by a protest song written by Reece, who was the daughter and wife of coal miners in Harlan County, Ky.
  • The song grew in popularity after being performed by Pete Seeger.
  • Reece was inspired to write the song when she was 12 years old after her family was shot at by thugs hired by a mining company.
  • Little is known about Reece’s life, and Francisco assembled the story from journals and news on the Harlan County War.
  • Francisco was inspired by his own family history of mine workers and alludes to this in the play.

April 15th, 2016, posted by Nicholas Walker

Jazz and Bluegrass Concert Coming to Pellissippi


By Nicholas Walker

An instrumental jazz and bluegrass concert will be held at Pellissippi’s Hardin Valley campus Thursday, March 24, from 7 to 9 p.m.

The ensemble will be performed in the Clayton Performing Arts Center. The building is located on 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

The first 45 minutes will be performed by The Hardin Valley Thunder, which is led by Pellissippi’s professor of music Larry Vincent. The second half of the performance will be devoted to jazz and led by music teacher Tom Johnson.

Vincent, who has taught at Pellissippi for 20 years, began Hardin Valley Thunder in 2009. The group plays predominately contemporary bluegrass.

The jazz band will perform several forms of the genre, such as Latin groove and hard bop.

April 11th, 2016, posted by Nicholas Walker