Archive for November, 2011

Pellissippi Opts for Freedom for Teachers

By Stephen Horrocks

Pellissippi State seeks to maintain teachers’ freedom to choose the textbooks they use to teach.

In a meeting with the Faculty Senate, Pellissippi President Dr. Anthony Wise said while there are efforts by some college presidents seeking to work with Pearson Publishing, such an agreement would not be sought by Pellissippi.

Wise did say that currently, there is no official proposal by the Tennessee Board of Regents to use Pearson.

The push to use Pearson would potentially create lower cost textbooks for college campuses, but could limit the choices available for faculty members.

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

Breakfast with Santa

by Haley Hardin

Come eat pancakes at Pellissippi’s Annual Breakfast with Santa event on Dec. 3, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Goins cafeteria.

“Kids will have the opportunity to have their photo taken with Santa,” said Gwen Miller. Volunteers will be doing face painting and making balloon animals. There will also be games and music at the event.

This free event is open to the children of Pellssippi students and employees.  It is located at the Hardin Valley Campus.

Volunteers are needed for this event planned by Student Life and will receive a free breakfast with Santa t-shirt. For any questions about volunteering contact Gwen Miller at, or call the Student Life office at 865-694-6555.


Thursday, November 24th, 2011

New Faculty Art Show

by Blake Hatfield

The Pellissippi State Visual Arts program will be presenting a New Faculty Show Art Exhibit, consisting of artistic works done by new staff members, beginning Jan. 12. and continuing through the end of the month.

Jeff Lockett, Liberal Arts professor at PSCC, is coordinating the event.

Two of Pellissippi’s new art professors will have their work displayed at the show.  The program’s website states that Jennifer Brickey and Herbert J. Reith III have been teaching at PSCC since fall 2010 and both teach classes ranging from drawing and painting to design.

The website states that Brickey compares her works to a “rubik’s cube”, and come from five years worth of paintings and drawings, many of which are autobiographical.

The website also states that Reith’s works come from life experiences and his career as a musician. His work has been exhibited in more than 20 states and several countries.

The exhibit will be shown in the Bagwell Center for Media and Arts at the Hardin Valley campus and will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The show is free and open to the public.

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

Fitzner’s “We Don’t Need No Education”

by Lindsey Collins

Education is of high concern amongst college students struggling to understand the importance of classes in which they might show no interest.

Alex Fitzner’s “We Don’t Need No Education” was a presentation given earlier this week to address the concerns of college students regarding the importance of the classes that are required of them and how they relate to what the students truly desire to learn.

Fitzner, a well-known English professor at Pellissippi, had been working on the speech for about a year before finally presenting it Nov. 17.

“Why do I have to take these courses?” is a question Fitzner began to hear more and more often when finally he became inspired to give it an answer himself.

When asked what he had hoped his listeners would gain from this presentation, he said, “I wanted to help them understand the difference between learning education and the actual process by which we learn it.” His goal was to provoke them in terms of being thoughtful, and apply that to daily life.

In the speech Fitzner stated, “Education is a process in which we learn to be discriminating in a positive way.” When asked his meaning behind this, he said, “When we discriminate, it means we compare, and that feeds directly into how we view the information in our daily lives.”

As an English professor, Fitzner is constantly addressing the components of literature and language devices in each course he encounters. Regarding how his view of education intertwines with the subjects he chooses to teach, he stated “I want people to be practicing thinking about what they’re seeing every day. Literature can be contradictory and suggestive and irresponsible, and I think that accurately depicts the human condition.”

During his presentation, Fitzner’s slight distaste for the way education is currently accessed was made apparent when he said that we do so “at a rate that belittles anything of the past.” When asked what his own ideal educational approach would entail, he said “I would hope to live in a culture or community that is focused on inquisitiveness and good [learning] habits. The culture itself would be supportive of people, in terms of life, encouraging them to go to school.”

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

Parking a Concern at Pellissippi Campuses

by Dale Coakley

Parking at Pellissippi State has become an issue for the continually growing student body, an issue that first year President Dr. Anthony Wise is well aware of.

“I read students’ comments on Pellissippi’s Facebook page about the issue and it’s something that I think about often” Wise stated.

Pellissippi attempted to resolve the issue last summer by building an additional parking lot at the main campus, but parking complaints are still heard.

Elliot Brooks, a student at Pellissippi said, “It’s everyone for them self. Having manners and being polite goes out the window. I try and leave my house 15 minutes before class and I live three mintues from campus. Sometimes, I’m still late.”

According to Wise, “Division Street has had the most problems and we are looking for ways to fix it.” The issue at the campus is a lack of space to build more parking spaces. The current limited parking forces some student to park at the football fields down the street.

Wise went on to say “We will continue to find ways in the future to make parking easier for the growing student body.”

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

Fred Breiner interview

by Lindsey Collins

Pellissippi’s security team is led by more than just an average security guard.

Fred Breiner, 52, is the head of the department of security at Pellissippi. While some may believe his life as a security guard has been a simple one, most would be surprised to know that he has personally experienced one of the most tragic events in American history.

Breiner grew up in Long Island and was a police officer in New York for 22 years. Most of his time was spent in Brooklyn, where it was a “great place to learn how to be a cop” – with an unusually high crime rate. The day of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, he was working as a detective captain and had been working late on one of his cases. He woke up just before the first plane hit the tower.

Breiner packed food and clothes, put a magnetic police light on top of his car, and tried to reach his department but all highways were shut down. “There was no mobilization,” he said, “the streets were completely blocked off from everyone.” All emergency vehicles were forced to drive on the shoulders of the roads.

Breiner was not able to actually investigate the scene immediately. He stated, “They couldn’t bring everybody down there – a good percent had to go to their regular jobs.” However, he did become part of the “Bucket Brigade” – an organization in which the officers would dig through the debris from the attacks to find any last bodily remains.

Though he says that the attacks did not necessarily emotionally scar him, he did work with several people who were killed. When asked what he remembered most about that day, he said, “All of the smoke blowing East towards Long Island, you could smell it almost immediately and it lasted for days.”

Breiner’s move to Tennessee in 2003 was purely motivated by his distaste for the city life. He worked as a contract laborer at the Oak Ridge nuclear plant and also built a business off of his skills as a handyman. In fact, when a maintenance job at Pellissippi became available, that led him to the position he holds today. From maintenance to human resources, once he learned his way around Pellissippi, he thought it best fit to reclaim his role in a security position.

About his current position at Pellissippi, Breiner states, “It’s definitely less intense, but the potential [for crime] is always there and you’ve got to keep an eye on it.”

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Bill Bass to Speak at Pellissippi

by Anna Daugherty

Renowned forensic anthropologist Dr. Bill Bass will be returning to Pellissippi on Nov. 10 to deliver a free presentation about the Body Farm.

His novel, Death’s Acre, says Bass is a former instructor at UT and continues to play a large role at the Body Farm, the anthropological research facility. He has also assisted federal and local authorities with identification of remains.

He has dedicated his life to his work and aside from Death’s Acre, Bass has produced six other fictional works with journalist, Jon Jefferson.

The presentation will take place at 12:30 on Thursday, Nov. 10 in the Clayton Performing Arts Center at the Hardin Valley Campus. The event is free, but donations will be accepted for the Pellissippi Scholarship Fund.

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

World AIDS Day

by Megan Berry

Over half a million people have died in the United States since the emergence of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), and its resultant disease, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrom (AIDS).  According to, a further one million people in the United States are suffering from some form of the disease, and 20 percent of those people are unaware of the fact they have the illness.

On Dec. 1, Pellissippi is honoring World Aids Day, a national celebration for those dealing with or those who have already passed from AIDS.

Robert Pope said several things will be taking place at this event including: HIV information in Africa, free t-shirt and wrist band give away, free oral HIV testing, the showing of the film Yesterday, a look at the AIDS quilt panels, and donations that will go to Buckets of Hope to will help local aids patients.

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Classroom Space

by Trey Hamblin

For the past 10 years, administrators at Pellissippi have had difficulty locating the classroom space they need for the classes they wish to offer, according to Dennis Adams.

Adams, Dean of Instructional Services, said that classes are not being cancelled, but are being rescheduled to later times. The issue spreads to all campuses, and the busy times occur from approximately 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., according to Adams. During this time, there are no more slots to put new classes.

Technical programs such as engineering and nursing need their own rooms to work in, which causes more problems. The nursing rooms need beds, while engineering needs machinery. The additives to these rooms make them unusable by other classes, making it more difficult to find space for new rooms.

Adams also said that in the past couple of years, the amount of class times have increased. For example, main courses used to run from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., but now they run until 3 or 4 p.m. This could be because of the new programs of teacher education and nursing being added two years ago.

To counteract this, courses will have more afternoon times, or we will have more of what Adams called hybrid classes, which combine lecture and web techniques. However, if no space can be found, the course is cancelled.

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Biloxi Blues at Pellissippi

by Blake Hatfield

The Pellissippi State theatre program will be performing their first play of the semester, Biloxi Blues, in the upcoming weeks.

Biloxi Blues is a play that portrays the tough times of an Army recruit during WWII.  The school’s theater website states that the play takes place at a basic training facility in Biloxi, Miss.

This play has been highly regarded for several years, and recieved the Tony Award for Best Play in 1985. The New York Times said that it was “Joyous and Unexpectedly Rewarding”.

There will be several opportunities to view the Pellissippi State’s theater performance of Biloxi Blues.  It will be acted out on Nov. 4, 5, 11, 12 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 6 and 13 at 2 p.m.  All performances will take place in the Clayton Performing Arts Center.

Tickets will be $12 and can be purchased at the box office one hour prior to each showing.  All funds received from the tickets will go to the Pellissippi State Foundation for the theater program.

For more info on the play visit:

Thursday, November 10th, 2011