Archive for November, 2006

Pellissippi students nominated for Irene Ryan Scholarship

by Brittany Hodge

Pellissippi State students Bonnie Blalock, Kat Hale and Kevin Velasco got great news two weeks after competing in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival’s regional competition in Johnson City.

All three were nominated for the prestigious Irene Ryan Scholarship award in recognition of their outstanding performances in the play “Widdershins” at the Oct. 27 competition.

Irene Ryan Scholarships provide recognition, honor, and financial assistance to outstanding student performers wishing to pursue further education. They are offered at each regional festival. Students compete in several performances with a scene partner to qualify for consideration for the award.

The scholarships are made possible by the generosity of the late Irene Ryan who is best remembered for her portrayal of ‘Granny Clampett’ in The Beverly Hillbillies. When she died, she had no living relatives and left more then $1 million for the foundation.

“Widdershins,” by nationally known playwright Don Nigro, had its world-premiere last month at Pellissippi State’s Performing Arts Center under the direction of Charles Miller, prior to competing in the festival.

Posted in General news November 29th, 2006 by Brittany Hodge | Edit

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

Drama club performs play with controversial theme

By Jennelyn Gallup

Pellissippi State’s Magnolia Avenue campus drama club will perform “Al Takes A Bride” in the Community Room on Thursday, Nov. 30 and Friday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m.

The play, written by award-winning author Gary Sunshine, tackles the controversial issue of same-sex marriage as portrayed by the two main characters, Alice and Freda.

“The club chose to perform this play in response to the debate surrounding Tennessee’s marriage amendment,” said Rick Patton, associate professor of English at Pellissippi State.

A Pellissippi community relation’s representative said admission is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

Auditions set for ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’

by Brittany Hodge

Auditions for the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” will be held Nov. 29 and 30 at 7 p.m. at Pellissippi State’s Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley campus. Callbacks will take place Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. The auditions are open to all local singers and actors.

Those planning to audition should prepare a 1-minute rock or pop song. An accompanist will be provided. It is recommended candidates’ wear comfortable clothing and shoes for a simple dance exercise.

Pellissippi State theater professor Steven McBride will direct the play, and Charles Miller, also a theater professor, will produce it. McBride said the performances are scheduled for March 23, 24 and 30 at 8 p.m. and March 25 and April 1 at 2 p.m.

“Jesus Christ Superstar,” written by Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice, is a rock opera that depicts the last days of Christ. For more information about the production, call (865) 694-6684.

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

World AIDS Day events planned for Dec. 1

by Ashley Hannay

“On Friday, Dec.1, 2006 we will recognize World AIDS Day,” said Kim Thomas, activities coordinator at Pellissippi State. “The idea is to bring an awareness of AIDS to the students at Pellissippi State,” she said.

Thomas has worked hard to plan events for the day. There will be red ribbons, lapel pins, save-a-life bags and t-shirts available at no cost.

The movies “Rent” and “Angels in America” will run continuously in the auditorium at the Hardin Valley campus with free popcorn and drinks offered. A power point presentation with stories of people living with AIDS will be shown on TV monitors at various locations.

Additional activities planned are:

  • an open mic for comments set-up in the cafeteria during lunch hours
  • two bands will play at the main campus.
  • an area set-up with supplies to paint landscape bricks with AIDS theme for display on campus

World AIDS Day has been designated as a passport event and will be acknowledged at all campuses from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m.

To show support for AIDS awareness, Thomas encourages everyone to wear red and hopes the event will bring students together for a sense of community.

“I am so excited about this,” she said

Posted in General news November 28th, 2006 by Hannay | Edit|

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

Pellissippi State’s on a reduction diet

by Ashley Hannay

Pellissippi is spreading its conservation around — environmentally speaking. Rose Ann Cox, a member of the college’s waste reduction committee, said the whole campus is working hard to reduce the amount of waste.

Benefits from a sound conservation program include:

  • saves the college money and energy
  • reduces the need for new landfills and incinerators
  • enhances air quality by the reduction of pollution from incinerators
  • conserves resources for future generations

Pellissippi’s Waste Management Plan stipulates the school donate “reusable computers, equipment and materials offsite.”

The college also recycles “scrap metal, wiring, fluorescent lights, pallets and paint.” A recycling company comes to the campus twice a month to pick up paper and cardboard, free of charge. Boxes for tossing aluminum cans are available, thanks to director of student life, Mary Bledsoe’s work.

All “reduces the amount of products that go to the landfill,” said Cox.

To increase the energy efficiency of the facilities, Pellissippi

  • replaced older motors with high-efficiency motors,
  • HVAC systems now have set-back features, or are otherwise controlled by computer,
  • all light switches have a motion detector to turn off when not in use,
  • automatic towel dispensers in bathrooms reduce the amount of paper towels used, and
  • many bathroom sinks have push knobs that ensure the water won’t be left running.

The Waste Production Plan is reviewed and revised by the committee annually to find more ways to minimize waste at the college.

Monday, November 27th, 2006

Create ‘Xanadu’ around your table

by Liz Overton

 “Don’t just save decorating for the holidays; make everyday a holiday,” said Margaret Ann Jeffries.

Jeffries, an interior design technology professor at Pellissippi State, and Lisa Dockery, an IDT student, conducted a free workshop on the art of table styling at noon on Thursday, Nov. 9, in the Pellissippi Performing Arts Center.

“The holidays tend to be the time that we decorate most for our tables,” said Jeffries. But she and Dockery said the holidays should not be the only time decorating is emphasized.

Using the “ABC’s of Table Styling,” Jeffries and Dockery discussed table styling essentials such as dinnerware, centerpieces, candles and napkin folding. As examples of different techniques, the duo had about 20 table settings set up displaying themes ranging from holidays to tailgating.

“The table should be the place where you are having your fun, fellowship and good conversation,” said Jeffries.

The duo repeatedly stated that thinking outside the box is a key factor in table styling. “Why be precise? Have a little fun,” Jeffries said.

Both women encouraged versatility and creativity. “It’s okay to go just a little bit over the edge every once in a while,” said Dockery.

Jeffries stated, “We’re not following the rules today that they did generations ago. As long as it looks nice, and you’re having fun with it and it’s comfortable . . . for your guests, that’s really all that’s going to matter.”

The duo stated that it is possible to find wonderful pieces for decorating without spending a large amount of money. “Be thrifty with your shopping,” Jeffries said.

Jeffries and Dockery said they both love to shop at dollar stores and end-of-the-season sales. Jeffries said that searching through garage sales and secondhand shops for decorating items has resulted in many great finds for her and Dockery.

Jeffries said that one of the goals of decorating is creating “Xanadu.”

“Xanadu is an idyllic, exotic or luxurious place,” Jeffries said. “Now where would you want that, but at your dining room table with your family, friends and those you have asked to come join you for a meal?” 

Sunday, November 26th, 2006

March breezes in annual faculty book sale

by Tyler Carr

Pellissippi State will hold its annual book sale in March. The event, a faculty tradition for more than 10 years, helps raise money to fund scholarships.

“The responsibility of the book sale rotates between departments. This year the Business and Computer Technology department is in charge,” said Professor Thomas Gaddis, director of Hospitality, Business and Computer Technology.

According to Gaddis, the faculty is hard at work in its quest for book donations. “They are preparing for the annual book sale at all four Pellissippi campuses,” he said.

“People have put their heart and soul into the book sale,” said Gaddis.

The schedule for the event is:

  • Blount Co. campus — March 12-15
  • Division St. campus — March 13-14
  • Magnolia Ave. campus — March 14
  • Hardin Valley campus — March 19-20

Gaddis said the hours of operation is not firm yet, but probably will run from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

Dual enrollment program is flourishing

by Liz Overton

Pellissippi State’s dual enrollment program is in rapid growth mode. The college saw a 107 student jump — from 343 to 450 students — compared to last year.

The program allows area junior and senior high school students, who meet entry-level requirements of the college, to take general college courses in their own schools. The participants earn both high school and college credit, said Touzeau.

The Tennessee Dual Enrollment Grant passed in 2004 is the primary reason attributed to the growth trend, according to Leigh Anne Touzeau, director of admissions and records. The grant is funded by the state lottery and gives a maximum $300 per semester or $600 a year to qualifying high school juniors and seniors enrolled in the program.

It covers most of $347 fee for a standard course. Pellissippi absorbs $30 of the cost. Parents appreciate the opportunity it affords their children to earn college credit without the heavy cost of tuition, said Dr. James Bruns, vice president of academic and student affairs. The grant is “one of the most amazing initiatives” the state has made in recent years, he said.

Once or twice a week, Pellissippi instructors go to the high schools to teach the coursework and mentor the involved teachers. English composition, intermediate Spanish and human anatomy and physiology are offered. Several schools will add U.S. history in the spring.

“Home-schooled students are eligible to take any courses for which they meet the entry-level requirements,” said Touzeau. These students attend classes at one of the Pellissippi campuses.

Alcoa, Heritage, Maryville Christian, Carter, Halls, Knoxville Catholic, Maryville, William Blount, Bearden, West, Farragut and Karns currently are partnered with the dual enrollment initiative.

Students contribute to the program’s growth by recommending it to their peers. “Students seem to be responding [to the program] very positively,” said Pellissippi English professor Susan Thomas, who teaches English composition at West High School.

As more efforts are made to inform parents, Bruns expects the program to continue its growth. Dr. Allen Edwards, president of Pellissippi, would like to see it expand to all local high schools, and allow qualifying students the opportunity to complete the basic requirements for one year of college while still in high school.

Monday, November 20th, 2006

Student enrollment hits record high

by Johanna Fielden

Pellissippi State’s fall-semester enrollment hit an all-time high with more then 500 new students signing up for classes. The record-breaking enrollment went from 7,686 to 8,188 students, a 6 percent jump since last year.

Allen Edwards, president of Pellissippi, said, “We were expecting an increase, but never 500.”

Some of the steps Pellissippi is taking to accommodate the growing student population include hiring new faculty and adjunct professors, offering more classes and adding parking lots.

Edwards said, “No students will be turned away,” although it may pose a challenge to get all classes needed.

Students are encouraged to consider attending one of the satellite campuses — Magnolia Avenue, Division Street or Blount County — as well as the Hardin Valley campus to ensure class space.

Attendance is not the only thing expanding at the college.

Pellissippi is adding a Media and Arts building. The facility has been in the works for ten years, and comes at an opportune time. Edwards said the building would consolidate all media and technology programs, freeing up space in other buildings for more classrooms and faculty offices.

Saturday, November 18th, 2006

Students and community take note of workshops

by Sarah Duncan

When it comes to note taking, Gayle Wood, Pellissippi State’s assistant director of admissions and records offered some sound advice at a recent workshop.

“The key to success” is to make sure that the notes make sense, said Wood. “Be in mind, not just body” by paying attention to the instructor as if the lecture were a personal discussion she added.

She stresses that students need to discover a method of note taking that is the most meaningful for them.

Wood suggests to label, number and date pages of notes . Organizing the information in an orderly fashion makes later recall easier. She said that her favorite method of taking notes is the “charting” method, which allows information to be viewed linearly.

To help keep information fresh, Wood advises students schedule at least 20 minutes a week to review notes.

Wood started conducting note-taking and study workshops at Pellissippi after students requested help with enhancing basic study skills. Wood teaches people ways to “study smarter, not harder.”

Additional study workshops offered in November are: “Improve Test Taking and Reduce Anxiety,” Nov.14, 1-2 p.m., and Nov. 15, 4-5 p.m.

All workshops are free and open to everyone. They will be conducted in the Cafeteria Annex, Room 151B of the Goins Administration Building, at the Pellissippi Campus on Hardin Valley Road.

Wood requests reservations to attend be sent to her at

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006