Friday, July 31, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
You’ve probably heard of whiz kids who attend college at age 13. The big question is: what are they doing at age 21? We can only answer for one pair of whiz kids. The Kenigson twins, Jonathan and Jessica, are well known at Vol State. They came here to take classes in 2001, at the age of 13, using a special dual enrollment program to combine middle, high school and college work. They both received Associate of Arts degrees in University Studies from Vol State and transferred to the University of Tennessee- Knoxville.
Here’s the update: The twins just graduated from U-T with bachelor’s degrees. The U-T Department of Mathematics awarded them the John H. Barrett Prize for outstanding seniors in mathematics. They also received, between them, five National Science Foundation research prizes. Jonathan actually built his own degree at U-T: pure mathematics and religion. Here is how he describes his major:
“It’s the mathematical rigor involved in the formation of complex systems of values and beliefs; the rationalism in certain modes of religious thought,” Jonathan said.
One paper he and Jessica wrote together is under review for publication by the Iowa State University Press. The title: “Energy Decay Estimates for the Dissipative Wave Equation with Space-Time Dependent Potential.” They have presented the paper to mathematics conferences across the country.
Jonathan will most likely continue his exploration of religious philosophy and math in a unique interdisciplinary studies Ph.D. program at Oklahoma State University. The graduate program in mathematical sciences is one of the few in the nation with the interdisciplinary focus that Jonathan wants to pursue.
There will be one tough part: Jessica is headed to California for her graduate work. The twins have been together their entire lives.
“It’s going to be very lonely,” said Jonathan. “I’ve never been away from Jessica or out of Tennessee for any extent of time.”
“That’s going to be very sad,” Jessica said. “I know I’ll stay in communication with him at all times.”
Jessica is headed to the University of California at San Diego to pursue her Ph.D. in pure mathematics.
“I’m very excited. It’s an excellent program with a diverse group of mathematicians,” she said.
With all this success, we had to ask if the Vol State classes helped them on their way.
“I had a really great experience at Vol State,” Jessica said. “I encountered some excellent professors there who were inspirational. I wish the honors program would grow to include more math and science.”
“The honors program at Vol State prepared us to succeed in our work at U-T, even when taking graduate level classes,” Jonathan said. “It gave us the broad background we needed to be the top graduates in a class of 900 at U-T. The Vol State honors program was the deciding factor for us coming to Vol State. I will tell you that there was not a single day I spent there that was wasted.”
Volunteer State Community College
Monday, July 20, 2009
Americans have millions of animals and spend more than $41 billion a year on those pets. U.S. Department of Labor statistics project that animal medical care will be one of the fastest growing job fields in Tennessee. Volunteer State Community College is responding to the need by offering a new Animal Care Technology Certificate starting this fall.
“It’s intended to train people to become veterinary assistants,” said Dr. Douglas Shaw, who will coordinate the program. “The other potential employment opportunity would be research facilities, like Vanderbilt.”
Dr. Shaw has worked in private veterinary practice and taught veterinary classes at Ohio State University. He holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from Colorado State University. He says the first two classes offered in the fall will be Vet 101 and Animal Science. Students in the certificate program, which can be completed in one year, will learn the fundamentals of animal husbandry, animal physiology and basic veterinary medicine. Facilities are under renovation at Vol State, so students will have some hands on experience with animals at the college.
“The students who finish the certificate course work will do clinical work out in the field with veterinarians,” said Dr. Shaw.
Vol State is putting together an application to grow the certificate program into a full Associate of Applied Science degree program. That process may take a little time. But students can start with the certificate work.
“All of those first year certificate classes will then apply to the full A.A.S degree and once they have that degree they will be able to sit for the boards,” Dr. Shaw said.
Students can start taking classes in the fall by simply applying to the college. They will then need to officially apply to the program as well, which is expected to be competitive. For more information visit www.volstate.edu/AnimalCare or call the Math and Science Division at 615-230-3261.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
What does it take to save a life? Vol State paramedic students learn life saving techniques in the classroom through months of study and practice. What happens when those skills are put to the test? Matt Fuson is an EMT with the Nashville Fire Department, working on his paramedic certification. He describes a recent ambulance run on his student clinical rotation that put it all to the test.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Vol State basketball player Carlos Woodard signed with Indiana Tech this week. Head Coach Brad Whinton traveled from Fort Wayne for the event. Woodard is from Nashville. He was the co-captain of the Vol State squad, which reached the quarterfinals of the Region 7 tournament.
Monday, July 13, 2009
There’s more to criminal justice than catching bad guys and locking them up. It’s a complex system requiring in-depth knowledge and solid training. Volunteer State Community College has a new Criminal Justice degree and technical certificate program that can help give students an edge in law enforcement careers.
“This is for students who have an interest in criminology, police techniques, probation, parole, and corrections,” said Dean Phyllis Foley. “Ours is a more general degree that will help people in all of these fields. And there is a demand. We did a survey of area police departments and criminal justice professionals. The response was overwhelmingly positive.”
Courses starting this fall include Criminal Evidence and Procedure, Introduction to Criminal Law, Probation and Parole, and Introduction to Criminal Justice. Students will need 18 credits to get the certificate, which can usually be completed in a year. All of the certificate classes can then apply to a two-year Associate of Applied Science Degree in Criminal Justice.
Vol State fall classes start August 29. For more information visit www.volstate.edu/CriminalJustice or call 615-230-3231.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
This news release comes from Senator Lamar Alexander's office:
COMPASS Program Provides Free Community College Tuition to Sumner County Students
“More local governments should follow Sumner County’s example and look at ways to provide free community college to qualified students so we can make sure future generations get the education they deserve.” – Lamar Alexander
Hendersonville, Tenn. – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today told a gathering for the Community Outreach Making Partnerships at Sumner Schools (COMPASS) program—which provides scholarships for Sumner County Students to attend Volunteer State Community College—that Sumner County should serve as a model for education programs across Tennessee and the country.
“This program puts Sumner County on the right track in higher education,” said Alexander, a former U.S. secretary of education and president of the University of Tennessee. “If it weren’t for this program, many Sumner County students wouldn’t have the opportunity to go to college. More local governments should follow Sumner County’s example and look at ways to provide free community college to qualified students so we can make sure future generations get the education they deserve.”
In a February address to the American Council on Education, Alexander suggested working with states and local businesses to make community college tuition-free as well as offering a three-year baccalaureate degree to reduce the cost of attending college by one-fourth and the time it takes to graduate by as much as one-third. In April, following the senator’s suggestions, Nashville-based Lipscomb University announced initiatives to provide full scholarships for qualified community-college students and to allow eligible students to obtain their degrees in three years. Lipscomb also announced a third initiative to allow eligible U.S. military veterans to attend Lipscomb tuition-free.
For information about the COMPASS Educate and Grow program, including specifics of who is eligible and how to apply, please visit:
Vol State. Volunteer State Community College.