Thursday, February 4, 2016

Auditions Next Week

2009 production of Fiddler on the Roof
Auditions for the Spring production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be held in Caudill Hall February 8, 9, and 10th from 3-5pm. Those interested in auditioning should prepare a 2 to 3 minute monologue.  

Monday, February 1, 2016

It's Time to Apply for Scholarships

The scholarship application for the 2016-2017 Academic year is now available at, Students use their portal ID and password to complete the application. In addition to this application, every student must also complete their FAFSA for the 2016-2017 year at

Vol State Book Read- "I Am Malala"

Imagine being attacked on your school bus and shot in the head, simply for speaking out about the educational rights of women. That's what happened to 15-year old Pakistani student Malala Yousafzai. The book “I Am Malala” is the subject for the third year of the Sumner County One Book, One Community read, sponsored by Vol State and Sumner County public libraries. People love to talk about books they are reading, so one can imagine the conversation if everyone was reading the same book. That’s the goal of One Book, One Community. Everyone in the community is encouraged to read “I Am Malala” and then discuss the book themes.
“I Am Malala” tells the story of how the student became an activist at age 11 and went on to international notoriety. She survived the 2012 shooting after a long and arduous recovery. She has since continued to speak out for the educational rights of women and people all over the world. In 2014 she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work. The One Book, One Community book read has a series of events to discuss the challenges Malala addresses, and also to look at the struggles of students here in Sumner County. Money, family issues, crime, and even war in their native country, are all challenges that local students have faced on their road to education.
Vol State will host a screening of the movie “He Named Me Malala” on March 3 at 6:30 p.m. in the Rochelle Center of the Thigpen Library. There will be a “Struggle for Education” panel held on March 23 at 12:45 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., also in the Rochelle Center of the Thigpen Library. The events are designed to get people talking, even if they have not yet read the book.
There are many events coming up at Sumner County libraries. There will be a Gallatin Public Library book discussion on Wednesday, March 16 at noon. A discussion luncheon will be held at the Portland Public Library at 11:30 a.m. on March 22. Millersville Public Library will hold a discussion brunch on Saturday, March 23 at 10:30 a.m. For a complete list of events and more information about the book visit

Photo by: Russell Watkins/Department for International Development.

This week at Vol State:

This week at Vol State:
Feb. 4 Coffee with the Prez, Cafeteria, 9 am
Feb. 6 2016 TN Promise FAFSA Help Event in Cookeville. Register
Feb. 10 Soul Food Luncheon, Nichols Dining Room, 12:45pm

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Why You Should Do Supplemental Instruction

Some classes at Vol State have the free option of Supplemental Instruction or SI. If you have a class that offers SI, you should take the opportunity. SI can help you do better in the class and SI sessions are usually held for the harder classes.
Supplemental Instruction provides students study support with a peer who has completed and earned a B+ or higher in the course. SI Leaders attend class sessions with the students and hold two 50 minute study sessions outside of class. SI is currently offered in courses such as anatomy and physiology, chemistry, history, Spanish and many others. Students who attend SI are more likely to complete the course successfully and earn up to a full letter grade improvement. Visit the SI web page to learn more about the courses served by SI, and the SI Leader contact information by course.
Do yourself a favor...if you have the option of taking SI sessions- do it!
Here is more info about the program:

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

As the Smoke Clears, Students React

I had just finished early registration for Spring classes last November, and finally feeling like I might actually belong at Vol State. That’s when the college announced a new policy that felt like a hostile act against me, and I almost changed my mind. The new No Smoking ANYWHERE on campus policy (okay, fine, I’ll smoke in my car. No? Not even in my own car??) inspired several smokers and vapers to post their annoyance on the Vol State blog, but it also brought out a different kind of reaction as a few fellow students posted things like “About time!” and “I hope you find a new school!”

My three-hour History class was buzzing with the news and, during the break that first day, several gathered to discuss. One guy sat on the rails of the steps and vaped defiantly, though he usually walked away to do so. “It’s not even smoke!” he fumed. Most students said that they would smoke anyway. Many of them considered switching colleges.

So as the new semester began I set out to find out if anyone was still smoking on campus, and to hear what they thought of the policy.

One thing of note –every single person I talked to who was against the new policy insisted on remaining anonymous. Those who supported the ban happily provided their names. To me, that’s more significant than anything they said.

“I think it’s good,” said student Lexus Williams of the ban. “Smoking is bad for you.”

“I don’t smoke, but my friends do,” said one student. “I have to look out for my guys,” he explained.

Would his friends still smoke on campus?

“Definitely,” he answered with a laugh. “We have a saying. ‘No cop, no stop.’”

Another student who was smoking in his car hadn’t heard about the smoking ban. “Oh well, that’s fine. I don’t mind coming out to my car.”

I informed him that was also against the new policy.

“That’s ridiculous,” he said, more than once.

“It’s discrimination,” said another student. “They’re punishing us.”

While some students I talked to expressed strong support over the policy, many non-smokers were more ambivalent.

“I’m good with it [the new policy]” said Chad Allen. “The whole 'no smoking in your car' is a little extreme. That’s your private property.”

While Vol State says it welcomes the debate and encourages free speech on its campus, the school also says that they’re not going to change the policy. “While your car may be private property, it is located directly on campus property while in the parking lot.” said Tami Wallace, Director of  Public Relations. “On the website, resources are listed to help students and staff stop using tobacco.”

Gaynell Buffinet Payne

Two Things You Can Do to Have a Great Semester

Welcome back! Here are two things you can do to make sure you have a great semester.
-Go to class. Yes, this sounds obvious, but it is the number one reason why students don’t do well in a course. You skip one class, and then another, and then you find yourself behind. You get frustrated. You don’t do well on a test. It all snowballs. Go to all of your class meetings and stay ahead on assignments. If you have to miss a class, contact the instructor to make up the work.
-Use the free academic help we have for you. You can get help with research for a paper at the Library. Then take that research to the Language Center for help in organizing and writing the paper, and then making sure it’s polished for the final product. You can get help with math homework in the Learning Commons. Take advantage of Supplemental Instruction study sessions if they are available in your class. We also have a new online tutor system available in many subjects coming soon…stay tuned to social media for details. For a list of what we currently have available visit the College Success Zone:
We want to see you smiling when it’s time for finals…so take action now. You can do this!