Thursday, September 29, 2016

FAFSA Event Saturday for Future TN Promise Students

High school seniors: future TN Promise students can get help with FAFSA financial aid forms and Vol State admission in one event this Saturday, October 1 on the Vol State campuses in Gallatin and Livingston. The sessions are from 10am-1pm. You must register to get the exact campus location.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Body Farm Expert Gives Gruesome Lecture to Vol State Students

“One of my biggest challenges is the decomposing eyeballs,” stated doctoral candidate Tiffany B. Saul. Saul, a Forensics Anthropologist from U.T., spoke at Vol State on Wednesday, Sept 28, in front of students of Radiology and Criminal Justice.

The University of Tennessee is home to the original “body farm”: an area dedicated to the decomposition of the dead, so that scientists can study the various stages and effects. This gruesome undertaking has been ongoing for over thirty years and helps to advance Forensic Science. They also host Human Remains Recovery training for the FBI.

“They keep [the bodies] right under the football field,” said Miss Sue in The Blind Side. In reality, said Saul, they keep skeletal remains on the second floor of the stadium. 

Saul discussed some of the techniques used at U.T., such as cooking hands in crockpots to soak away the ligaments and tissue. She also debunked some of the “science” of crime-drama CSI. It seems that you can’t really use someone else’s skin as gloves to use their fingerprints.

If that was your big plan for Saturday night, you should stay in with a movie and some finger foods.

Gaynell Buffinet Payne is a writer, single mother, and student at Volunteer State Community College. She also blogs for Vol State's Returning Adult Learners.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Free Help with Papers in the Language Center

Get help with papers and assignments at the Vol State Language Center. It's in SRB Humanities Room 205 on the Gallatin campus. It's free and available to all Vol State students. You can also get writing help in the Learning Commons at Springfield and Livingston.

The Language Center Can Help With:
• Generating Ideas
• Getting Started
• Thesis, Focus, and Development 
• Organization and Unity in Presentation
• Style and Diction
• Grammar, Punctuation, and Mechanics
• Proofreading Techniques
• MLA, APA, AMA, Chicago, and Turabian Documentation Styles

Resources Available Include:
• Qualified Writing Assistants for Tutoring
• Computer Lab
• Scanner for Academic and Personal Use
• Grammar Handbooks and Style Manuals
• Rosetta Stone  (Spanish, French, Chinese and English)
• English Basics and Grammar Software

Visit the website for hours:

Friday, September 23, 2016

New Orleans-Style Second Line Jazz Band Leads Vol State Students to the Future

“There will be so much happening in this building we think ‘SRB’ should stand for Students Really Boogie,” quipped Diane Black, donor for the Steinhauer-Rogan-Black Building.

Students were “boogying” today. Excitement crackled in the air as the crowd gathered in the dining room for the Grand Opening of the new Humanities Building. Speeches were made and gifts were given as the tireless work of many were recognized as being integral to the project’s completion. A New Orleans-style Second Line jazz band came in and led the way down the “Bridge of the Future.” Students waved banners and carried umbrellas as they followed, forming a parade along the bridge and through the Humanities Building.

Watch the fun!

Everyone made their way downstairs to find a catered feast along with more musical performances. Theater students, under the guidance of instructor Jack Yatsko,  took to the stage, performing improv in the black box theater for the guests.

The festive event was as much of a party as you’ll ever find at Vol State! From the students – thanks again to everyone who made this dream a reality and provided this amazing building for students to learn and grow.

Gaynell Buffinet Payne is a writer, single mother, and student at Volunteer State Community College. She also blogs for Vol State's Returning Adult Learners.

Students and a Jazz Band Lead the Way for SRB Humanities Celebration

Jazz music and a festive New Orleans-style Second Line procession led students, faculty, donors and the public into the new Steinhauer-Rogan-Black (SRB) Humanities Building on Friday. Attendees crossed over the pedestrian bridge to the new building for the grand opening celebration, signifying a bridge to the future. Guests were treated to student music performances, demonstrations in the art rooms and a sample of award-winning Vol State student publications as they toured the building. Thanks to everyone who made the event possible and especially students and faculty for the lovely performances and demonstrations throughout the building. The talent of our students was the true highlight of the day!

Here are some more pictures from the event:

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Complete your Vol State Haven Training

Hey students- Complete your Vol State Haven Training. Haven is a 60 minute online education module that can empower you to make well-informed decisions about issues such as campus safety. It’s simple to do. Check your Vol State email for login details and your registration code. Students are expected to complete Part 1 by September 30, 2016. Questions? Contact the Office of the Vice President for Student Services at 615-230-3441.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Vol State Literary Magazine Wants Your Help

We hope everyone’s semester has calmed down and smoothed out as the first few weeks of classes have passed. As we look ahead to the remaining weeks of fall semester, we wanted to inform you of some exciting changes to Volunteer State’s award-winning literary magazine Squatter’s Rites. Due to Melissa Tyndall’s departure to California, Laura McClister and Emily Andrews (us) are now the co-advisors of the literary magazine. In the spirit of change, and after discussion among the English department, it has also been decided that Squatter’s Rites is deserving of a new name. However, we have no idea what to call it. This is where we will need your help.

We would like for the new name to come from faculty, staff, and student suggestions emailed to the Squatter’s Rites email account, The deadline for submissions is October 21st. After this date, a small committee will whittle down the submissions to the top five. The top five finalists will be asked to submit a brief piece of writing explaining their title. We will then hold a voting period during which the Vol State community will be able to select their favorite out of the five. The final winner will receive a cash prize and have their aforementioned writing piece published in this year’s Squatter’s Rites.

Here’s your chance to be a part of Vol State history. Please share this information with your students and feel free to submit any ideas of your own. There is no limit to how many suggested titles you may submit.

Lastly, we are currently recruiting staff and accepting submissions for this year’s Squatter’s Rites (or whatever it may be named). We will be holding a general interest meeting on Wednesday, October 19 at 1:00 p.m. in the Humanities Conference Room (SRB 209). Please direct any student inquiry to or visit us at and we will take it from there!

-Emily Andrews, Instructor of English