Monday, June 26, 2017

Campus Connect Experiences

One of the most exciting things about becoming a Vol State student is attending Campus Connect, an event where the faculty and staff of Vol State welcome new students to the campus. I can remember when I went to Campus Connect with my aunt, who was there to make sure I stayed focused and didn't become a nervous wreck. Not only did they give us valuable information needed to succeed as a Vol State student (things such as who to contact in an emergency, how many days we needed to attend and why, and how to access the online features available from Vol State), they also gave us a free lunch which is always a good reason to attend many events as a college student.

A College Success Fair was held inside the SRB Building. Vol State representatives were on hand to give incoming freshmen information on valuable resources, such as the Library and Language Center.
Now that I'm almost done with my studies here at Vol State, I can say it's been interesting to see things from the other side during Campus Connect. I saw freshmen followed by, or led by, their parents as they took their first steps onto campus. I got a chance to hear what people were going to school for and whether they had everything planned out or not. There was plenty of hard work put in by the faculty and staff, and they carried on despite the heavy rain. By the end of the day, the uncertainty that the students felt when they first set foot on campus had been washed away, replaced with excitement for the upcoming semester.

A new addition to Campus Connect is the Color War, a competition where students choose to represent either the Blue Team or the Red Team. Which team do you support?



Monday, June 19, 2017

Vol State Professors on Freshman Success


Believe it or not, your professors were once students too; they survived college and lived to teach about it. I interviewed a few of them, asking them about their time as freshmen and what advice they had for you. Here’s what the professors at Vol State had to say:

What was it like being a freshman, and how does that affect what you’re doing now?

Professor Leslie LaChance:I felt empowered by getting to choose my own classes and create my own schedule. I really liked how all the different classes created an intellectual synergy. I loved being in classes with a diverse group of students and faculty who challenged me to think for myself, to connect my own dots, and to synthesize what I was learning. That experience affects me now as a lifelong learner who is interested in interdisciplinary studies and as a teacher who wants her students to think for themselves and be empowered by their learning. Also, as an advisor, I like to encourage students to challenge themselves by taking classes on a wide range of subjects.

Professor Douglas Williams: “I had a lot of fun [laughs]. It was a fun experience and it taught me how to manage my time.”

What advice do you have for incoming freshmen?
Professor LaChance: I think the most important thing to understand is that once you get into college, you are in charge of and responsible for your own learning. Also it’s important to be an active learner. That means you’ll need to put away your distractions in  class (I see you Snapchatting over there!) and participate in discussions, take notes on lectures, do the in-class exercises and group work.”
Professor Williams: “Enjoy the college experience, but don’t lose focus of the learning aspect. That’s why you’re here.”
 
What is the most important habit a new student should pick up?

Professor LaChance:  “The best habit is to cultivate curiosity and imagination, to challenge yourself each day to learn something surprising, difficult, fun. Think of yourself not just as a college student, but as a lifelong learner.”

Professor Williams: “Use the library! I don’t want to just say ‘study’. Use the library and all available resources.”

What habits should a new student avoid?

Professor LaChance: “Avoid a negative and fixed mindset. If something goes wrong, for instance, if you fail a test or do poorly on a project or essay, don’t dwell on the negativity of that experience. It’s fine to feel angry or embarrassed, but don’t stay angry or embarrassed.  Move beyond that, and ask yourself what you can learn from the experience, how you can do better the next time.”
Professor Douglas: “Staying out late [laughs]. That was one my son who takes classes here had to avoid. More specifically, avoid staying out late on weekdays. Weekends are fine, but you’ll want to get in bed on weekdays.”

Professor Leslie LaChance is a member of the English faculty and director of Sigma Kappa Phi, the English Honors Society.

Professor Douglas Williams is a member of the Natural Sciences faculty.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Vol State Announces Eclipse Event Activities for Families

The August 21 total solar eclipse will be a moment for families to share together. Volunteer State Community College has a free and educational eclipse watching event planed that day for kids and parents. Everyone, from everywhere, is invited, but advance registration is required. The total eclipse will only be seen in a narrow path across the United States. Gallatin will be one of the best spots in the country to view the total eclipse, with totality lasting two minutes and forty seconds. 
Educational presentations at Vol State will include an examination of the eclipse event in human history and culture and how viewing the sun can cause eye damage, if you’re not safe. There will be discussions with amateur astronomers who are traveling to Vol State from across North America to view the eclipse. Science activities for kids will include a scale model of the solar system; construction of pinhole cameras to view the eclipse; making a sun dial; and constructing a solar hot dog cooker for a contest. There will even be astronomically themed face painting. A science instructor from Mississippi will be doing fun eclipse presentations for younger kids that will include music and demonstrations. There will be a live narration during the totality and free viewing glasses for attendees. The activities will be held both outside on the Thigpen Library lawn and in air-conditioned buildings.
The Vol State event will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eclipse viewing in the area will be from noon to 3 p.m. Totality will occur at 1:27 p.m. Viewing will be dependent on the weather. Attendees are encouraged to pack for a picnic, as seating will be on the lawn. Food and drinks will be available for sale at the event. There will be no smoking or alcohol allowed on campus. Attendance will be capped at 3500. While a ticket is not needed, pre-registration is required. One person can enter the form for a group attending the event. Traffic in Gallatin is expected to be heavy on that day. Attendees are encouraged to car pool and arrive early. Registrations are already approaching 2000, so people should register soon. Click here to register and for more information. People with specific questions can also email pr@volstate.edu or call 615-230-3571.
Parking and entry
Campus officially opens at 8 a.m. Parking will be limited. We encourage carpools.
Caudill Hall Wemyss Auditorium
9:30 a.m. Auditorium Welcome by Vol State President, Dr. Jerry Faulkner, and eclipse viewing suggestions and warnings
10:15 a.m. “Image and Understanding: Overcoming Error through Observation and Reason" by Dr. Jeremy Shipley, Vol State Philosophy
11:30 a.m. “Eclipses in History and Culture” by Dr. Joe Douglas, Vol State History
12:30 p.m.-1 p.m. Eclipse video feeds from other parts of country
Pickel Field House Gym
7 a.m. – 3 p.m. Athletic Department Concessions open for breakfast and lunch
9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Kid and parent activities by Vol State faculty and staff volunteers
“Solar System Scale Model” -a gym sized model to explore
“Construct a Pinhole Camera” -use it to watch the eclipse
“Make a sun dial and see it in action” -take it outside to track the sun
“Astronomical and Earth Science Face Painting”
10 a.m., 11 a.m. and Noon  Kid and family presentation and songs about eclipse phases and viewing an eclipse- Bob Swanson, Instructor of Physical Sciences / Geography, Itawamba Community College- Tupelo, MS
Thigpen Library Lawn
9 a.m. Day kick-off with light, fun, family Yoga and discussion of how astronomical events are used in Yoga- by Joanna Blauw, Vol State Health and Fitness
10:30 a.m. Lawn Welcome by Vol State President, Dr. Jerry Faulkner, and eclipse viewing suggestions and warnings
11 a.m. “Build a Solar Cooker Contest” -kids build sun powered cookers out of material we provide. It’s a race to cook hot dogs the quickest! Parents please attend with your child to participate.
11:15 a.m. What does it take to get good pictures of an eclipse? We talk to a Montgomery County Community College assistant professor of Physics, visiting from Pennsylvania. Kelli Corrado Spangler explains the Coronado Solar telescope.
11:30 a.m. Why travel for a total eclipse? A conversation with Starr Livingstone, amateur astronomer from Ontario, Canada and member of the Royal Astronomy Society of Canada.  
11:45 a.m.  “How the eclipse may or may not affect natural background radiation” by the Vol State Radiologic Technology Program
Noon Direct solar viewing can cause serious eye damage. There are some surprising people in history who damaged their eyes by looking directly at the Sun. We chat with Alisha Cornish, Director of the Vol State Ophthalmic Technology Program
12:30 p.m. Solar Cooker Contest winners announced
1 p.m. – 2 p.m. Eclipse Narration before and after totality, Bob Swanson, Itawamba Community College- Tupelo, MS
Wood Campus Center – Nichols Dining Rooms
7 a.m. – 4 p.m. Vol State CafĂ© open for breakfast and lunch
9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Eclipse themed art work on display in the Nichols Dining Room
11 a.m. Eclipse and astronomy themed poetry, story-telling and music
The Eclipse Watch event will end at 3 p.m.

The Vol State campus will close to the public at 6 p.m.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Overcoming Freshman Fears

“When you get to college, you’re going to have a harder time. The professors there won’t let you get away with some of the stuff you do here.” I can’t attribute this quote to one single teacher, but I heard it many times throughout high school. The funny thing is that I remember this being said about high school when I was in eighth grade, and about middle school when I was a fifth grader. It’s true that college is quite a leap from high school, what with the different expectations and all, but I wouldn’t say it’s been all that bad. On the contrary, being a student at Vol State has been the best time of my life.

Like most students, I had a mix of emotions during my first couple of weeks as a college student. There was joy in having the freedom I didn’t have in high school, but there was also fear that I was in over my head. For those first few weeks, most of my time was spent in the library studying and listening to music. I figured it would be a good idea to stay on top of things. While I was right about that, I wasn’t having that great of a time. Eventually, I made friends with some of my classmates and we made a habit of hanging out a lot. As the months wore on, I made more friends and worked hard, even making it onto the Dean’s List and having one of my essays published. All it took was for me to overcome my fears. Now it is time for you to do the same.

Hello there, my name is Shannon. I create content for Vol State's blog and Facebook page. If you have any questions, email me at Shannon.Lamont@volstate.edu

Friday, June 9, 2017

Sumner Parents - Bring Your Family Here for the Eclipse August 21

Sumner County public schools will be closed on Monday, August 21 for the total eclipse of the sun. It's a huge event for the area. We're inviting kids and families to a free educational eclipse watching event on the Vol State campus in Gallatin that day. We'll have presentations, fun activities for kids, free eclipse watching glasses and a narration during the event itself. The goal is to share a love of science learning with kids and parents alike. It's a family event- no alcohol or smoking will be allowed. We will have food for sale. Families can picnic if they would like.

We're inviting people from across the area to attend. It should be a fun day. We already have 1000 people registered. We will cut off registration when we reach our limit for the event...so we encourage interested parents to sign-up now at this registration web page

Here are more details:

On August 21, 2017 there will be a total solar eclipse along a narrow path across the United States. A total solar eclipse occurs when the new Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth. The event creates fascinating lighting and allows viewers to see the corona of the Sun.

Gallatin, Tennessee will be one of the best spots in the country to view the total eclipse with totality lasting two minutes and forty seconds. Eclipse viewing in the area will be from noon-3 p.m. Totality will occur at 1:27 p.m.
Of course, viewing is dependent on the weather. Overcast skies may make eclipse viewing marginal.
Volunteer State Community College is organizing a free eclipse watching event on our campus in Gallatin. It is open to everyone. We will have educational presentations, live video viewing of the eclipse in other parts of the country, live narration during the totality, and fun science exhibits for kids and adults. The activities will be held outside and also in air-conditioned buildings.
We will have free eclipse viewing glasses available, while supplies last. You want to make sure to use such glasses or devices to view the sun during the partial phases of the eclipse. Viewing the sun directly is dangerous without the proper eyeware. Sunglasses do not block enough light to be safe.
Seating will be primarily open lawn. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs. There will be room for picnicking. We will also have food and beverages for sale. The campus has plenty of bathrooms and heat relief zones (seating areas) in many buildings.
Parking is also free. Buses and RV's are welcome, but there will be no overnight parking, before or after the event. Parking lots open at 8 a.m. Once the lots are full, the campus will be closed to new entrants. Entry is first come, first served. The campus will close at 6pm on the day of the Eclipse. No alcohol will be allowed in vehicles or on campus. There is no smoking on campus. This is designed as a family event. To schedule a group visit with a bus please call 615-230-3570 or email eric.melcher@volstate.edu

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

3 Tips for Freshman Success


College may seem like a difficult time but it doesn’t have to be. Here are three tips to stay on top of your game.

 

1. Follow the Class Syllabus


The syllabus is given to you on the first day of class. This valuable document is your guide to the semester, giving you information about the course, important dates to remember, and ways to keep in touch with your instructor. Follow the syllabus closely and use it to stay ahead of assignments.

 

2. Make a Schedule


Balancing school, work, and life can be hard. A good schedule helps you use your time wisely and keeps you from being overwhelmed. Avoid staying up all-night if you can help it, and remember to set aside time for studying. I try to spend 2-3 hours each evening after school doing homework and studying, which works for me. Just find what works for you and stick with it.

 

3. Remember Your Campus Resources


We all need a little help sometimes, and there are plenty of useful resources on (and off) campus that can do just that. The Learning Commons has tutoring for math and math-based science classes. The Language Center on the Gallatin campus has people who can help you with papers and assignments. The Vol State library and its website are great for research papers, see the librarians for help. And tutor.com covers a variety of tutoring and it’s free to all Vol State students. You access it via the class eLearn page.

Monday, June 5, 2017

New Courses and Degrees this Fall

Volunteer State Community College is continually updating course offerings and degree programs to keep up with the demands of a fast-changing society. Students will find new courses and new degrees this fall, as part of 90 programs of study at the college. Fall registration is open now. New students will need to apply first.
The new Associate of Science Health Sciences degree is designed for transfer to a university bachelor’s degree program. People with the four-year degree can seek jobs as Community Health Workers, Health Services Managers and Health Education Teachers. Health Sciences bachelor degree programs are taught at Tennessee State University and East Tennessee State University. The new Vol State degree can also help people who don’t make it into specific Health Sciences specialties at the college, but still want a career in the health field. The degree is offered at all Vol State campuses, but some of the classes may need to be taken online. See your advisor for details.
New courses in Gallatin this fall include African-American Literature (ENGL 2055). Students will read poems, stories, novels, memoirs, and songs by African-American writers. It fulfills the literature General Education requirement. Mechatronics is also new to the Gallatin campus this fall. Mechatronics professionals are the experts who design, program, repair, and maintain state-of-the-art robotics and computer-aided equipment in today’s fastest growing industries. The Vol State degree program is taught for people with a high school degree or those with another college degree who want in-demand job skills.
Fall classes start on August 28. The fall schedule is available on the college website at www.volstate.edu. New students will need to fill out an application on the website at www.volstate.edu/apply . The Office of Admissions is located in the Ramer Building, Room 173, on the Gallatin campus at 1480 Nashville Pike. Students with questions can also call 615-230-3688. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Tell the Machines What to Do with Vol State Mechatronics

Employment analysts say that manufacturing jobs are at risk because of automation. Robots have become the new employees on the line. There is one way to stay ahead of technology: be the person who tells the robots and machines what to do. The field is called mechatronics. Volunteer State Community College is expanding its Mechatronics degree program to Gallatin starting this fall semester. Mechatronics is the blending of engineering fields including mechanical, controls, electronic and computer engineering, to automate manufacturing, distribution and complex services through multiple industries. Mechatronics professionals are the experts who repair, maintain, and design state-of-the-art robotics and computer-aided equipment in today’s fastest growing industries. The Vol State program is taught for people with a high school degree or those with another college degree who want in-demand job skills.

“Students with a natural curiosity and who enjoy working with their hands will do well in Mechatronics,” said Tim Dean, department chair of Mechatronics. “Folks with mechanical aptitude do well, but it’s not a requirement. As we go through the process of training, students can acquire the mechanical aptitude.”

There is plenty of technical equipment used in the program to give students hands-on experience in automation, hydraulics, machine controls and robotics. Students in the Cookeville Mechatronics program say it provides a great base for a new job or a promotion at a current workplace.

“Right now I’m a lab tech,” said student Joana Rhodifer, who works at Tutco Heating Solutions. “With this program I can do engineering jobs, like designing our heaters. Having a degree will increase my opportunity to get a better position at work.”

“I love the fact that this class is very hands-on,” said student Charles Little. “It turns into more of a conversation than a lecture in the classroom. It’s very animated and there is a lot of feedback.”

Job prospects for students with Mechatronics degrees are much higher than average in Tennessee and the positions have a national median salary of $53,910 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Vol State program will feature Work Based Learning opportunities, designed to get students plugged into the many companies that need Mechatronics professionals.

“Having the connection with industry gives students an idea of what will be expected when they get a job,” said Dean. It can also lead directly to jobs for students who fit in well with a company.

Vol State offers a two-year associate of applied science degree in Mechatronics. Each step of the degree program also prepares students to test for Siemens Certifications. Siemens Certifications are internationally-recognized Mechatronics industry designations. They are important to employers. Being Siemens certified gives Vol State graduates a real advantage in the field.

Classes start in Gallatin this fall with a new Mechatronics lab. However, the program will grow even more with a new facility as part of a renovation project to the Warf Math and Science building on the Gallatin campus. The Mechatronics-2-Jobs LEAP 2.0 Grant Project expands the Mechatronics A.A.S. program targeting potential students in Macon, Robertson, Sumner, Trousdale, and Wilson counties. The grant helped purchase equipment for the new Mechatronics classes on the main Campus in Gallatin and the Highland Crest Campus in Springfield. Mechatronics classes are also available from Vol State at the Cookeville Higher Education Campus (CHEC).

For more information on a career in Mechatronics visit the web page at www.volstate.edu/mechatronics. People interested in learning more can call 1-931-372-5546. By email: tim.dean@volstate.edu




Thursday, May 11, 2017

New TN Reconnect Scholarship for Adults Starts Fall of 2018

There is a high degree of public interest in the new version of TN Reconnect, which will be a last dollar scholarship, making community college tuition-free for adult students. It just passed the legislature and will be signed by the Governor.  It starts in Fall of 2018. This is a link to the TN Reconnect eligibility requirements. Please note that some of the most important eligibility info is in the notes at the bottom of the page, which explain who can be called an “independent student."

In the meantime, we are encouraging adults who want to get a degree to start this fall by applying for current Financial Aid, such as Pell Grants and scholarships.

To get started visit the Adult Learning web page.



Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Spring Grades Now Available


Spring grades are now available for viewing on your My Vol State page. Hope they turned out well!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Cap and Gown Bicycle Ride this Saturday, May 13

Volunteer State Community College is hosting a day of bicycling fun for the fourth year in a row, but now under the title “Vol State Cap and Gown Ride. The Cap and Gown Ride, like the former Cycling Classic, is a fun day of riding, with food and entertainment. The music and atmosphere are something riders point out as different from other rides in Tennessee.
“Many musicians and entertainers from Vol State’s Music Department performed, encompassing many different types of music,” said cyclist Tim Mullis of the 2016 ride. “It was actually one of the few times that I hung around after the ride, and after lunch, just to hear the music. All in all, a great ride.”
The Cap and Gown event features three different rides, depending on ability and interest. The routes travel through scenic roads across Sumner County. There will be a 15 mile Fitness Tour; a 33 mile Half Metric Century Tour; and a 63 mile Metric Century Tour. The tours will start and finish on the Vol State campus in Gallatin. There will be rest stops along the way for food, hydration, first aid and restrooms. The Metric Century Tour leaves at 8 a.m. The Half Metric Century will depart at 8:15 a.m. and the Fitness Tour will get underway at 8:30 a.m.  When riders finish, the college will have an event with barbecue, beverages and live music. Changing facilities and showers will also be available.
The ride cost is $40 for advance registration until Thursday and $45 on Friday, May 12 at the Pickel Field House 5pm-7pm or on the day of the ride at the Pickel Field House starting at 6:30am. Riders will get a t-shirt and a goody bag. Only riders who sign up by April 21 are guaranteed to receive a shirt in their size of preference. Route maps for each tour and a link to the registration page can be found at www.volstate.edu/cycling.

Business Credit Reports is the Metric Century Ride Sponsor for 2017. There are still opportunities for sponsorships. For more information about the ride and sponsorships contact the Vol State College Foundation at 615-230-3506 or email lynn.jones@volstate.edu.




Awesome Brother-Sister Story at Graduation

After having to drop out of Tennessee Tech University 18 years ago to take care of his mom and sister, Ferrell Lewis finally took the stage at Vol State's Commencement ceremony Saturday with an A.A.S. in Computer Information Technology. Ferrell's sister, Feylyn flew in from England to surprise him just before the ceremony started. Their mom, Darline Lewis was there to enjoy the magical moment as well. Congratulations, Ferrell!

Feylyn wrote up the whole story in the Huffington Post- it's quite moving. Congrats to an awesome family. 

Friday, May 5, 2017

Graduation Live Streaming

The Spring 2017 Commencement Ceremony will be streamed live on the Vol State website starting at 10am on Saturday, May 6. You can view it on this web page. Congrats to all of the graduates!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Student Leadership Awards- Ruff and KEY awards

There were two student leadership awards announced during the annual Student Leadership Luncheon at Vol State. Congrats to these two students:


Crystal Sloss was awarded the Robert M. Ruff Distinguished Leadership Award.  Crystal held  a prestigious scholarship as a President’s Ambassador, representing Vol State at events. She also led student groups, including her most recent position as vice chairperson of the Campus Activities Board. The Robert M. Ruff Award is named for retired Professor of History and Political Science, Dr. Robert Ruff. The criteria for the award include dedication, dependability, sensitivity, objectivity and the ability to motivate others. 


Dillon Van Rennes was honored with the KEY Award during the luncheon. The KEY Award recognizes his exemplary service to the Office of Student Life. Van Rennes served on the cabinet for the Student Government Association as Secretary of Treasury. 


Spring Graduate Awards 2017

Vol State Graduate Awards Night is always a special moment at the college. It's an opportunity to recognize students for academic and extracurricular honors. The awards include academic division awards, Student Services leadership awards, Who's Who honorees and Outstanding Graduate nominees (shown here). The winner of Outstanding Graduate will be announced on graduation day. Congrats to everyone! View all of the pictures on Facebook. Each winner will also be sent the picture via student email in a Merit Pages announcement in the next few days.


2017 Spring Awards 
Name
Award
Alicia Marshall
Who's Who
Amera Biggs
Janice Nelson Award
Anedra Moore
Who's Who
Austin Windsor
Outstanding Grad nominee
Benjamin Cody
Patricia B. Lebkuecher Award
Brad Howell
Teresa Moore Award
Briah Beasley-Jones
James "Jim" C. Moore Award
Caitlyn Ellis
Who's Who
Carlie Pride
Who's Who
Chelsy Stephenson
J. Richard Moore Award
Crystal Sloss
Positive Difference Award
Dallas Eidson
Who's Who
Debra Sandow
Who's Who
Dillion Van Rennes
Patty T. Powell Award
Emily Beasley
Who's Who
Gaynell Buffinet Payne
Humanities & Grad Nominee
Hannah Williams
Who's Who
Lauren Hamblin
Who's Who & Grad Nominee
Mackenzie O'Sullivan
Who's Who
Marrisa Edwards
SS & Education and Grad Nominee
Nicholis Crumble
Who's Who
Pamela Lockhart
R. Wade Powers Award
Sabreana Cashman
Hal R. Ramer Award
Savannah Kearney
Who's Who
Shannon Cherry
Mary Cole Nichols Award
Shannon Cooper
Pathfinder Award
Steven Wall
Math & Science and Grad Nominee
Tanner Bushue
Bus. & Tech and Grad Nominee


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Join Us May 13 for Vol State Cap and Gown Bike Ride

Vol State is hosting a day of bicycling fun for the fourth year in a row, but now under the title “Vol State Cap and Gown Ride.” The name change from “Vol State Cycling Classic” reflects a new focus for the event. It’s designed to raise awareness and book scholarship money for adults starting a college degree or coming back to college to finish a degree. Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam calls the effort the “Drive to 55.” The goal is to have 55 percent of adult Tennesseans equipped with a college degree or certificate by the year 2025. It’s an important part of the Vol State mission.
The Cap and Gown Ride, like the former Cycling Classic, is a fun day of riding, with food and entertainment. The music and atmosphere are something riders point out as different from other rides in Tennessee.
“Many musicians and entertainers from Vol State’s Music Department performed, encompassing many different types of music,” said cyclist Tim Mullis of the 2016 ride. “It was actually one of the few times that I hung around after the ride, and after lunch, just to hear the music. All in all, a great ride.”
The Cap and Gown event features three different rides, depending on ability and interest. The routes travel through scenic roads across Sumner County. There will be a 15 mile Fitness Tour; a 33 mile Half Metric Century Tour; and a 63 mile Metric Century Tour. The tours will start and finish on the Vol State campus in Gallatin. There will be rest stops along the way for food, hydration, first aid and restrooms. The Metric Century Tour leaves at 8 a.m. The Half Metric Century will depart at 8:15 a.m. and the Fitness Tour will get underway at 8:30 a.m.  When riders finish, the college will have an event with barbecue, beverages and live music. Changing facilities and showers will also be available.
The ride cost is $40 for advance registration and $45 on May 12 or 13 at the site. Riders will get a t-shirt and a goody bag. Only riders who sign up by April 21 are guaranteed to receive a shirt in their size of preference. Route maps for each tour and a link to the registration page can be found at www.volstate.edu/cycling.
Business Credit Reports is the Metric Century Ride Sponsor for 2017. There are still opportunities for sponsorships. For more information about the ride and sponsorships contact the Vol State College Foundation at 615-230-3506 or email lynn.jones@volstate.edu.



Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Current Students: Register Now for Fall and Summer Classes

Current students can register at any time for summer and fall classes, but you should do it now if you can. You'll get a better selection of classes and class times. If you are taking a break for the summer, register now for fall. Keep yourself on the path towards a college degree!

If you still have not met with your academic advisor, you should do that now. After finals, many faculty members will be gone for the summer. If you are having problems with registration you can visit the Advising Center in Ramer 174 on the Gallatin campus or visit with Student Services on any of our other campuses.

Graduate Profiles: Overcoming Obstacles and Realizing Dreams

Kelsie Piercey of Portland is graduating with a Vol State associate of science degree and a high school diploma. The Sumner County Middle College High School student has also built up more than 60 college credits that she plans to use at Berea College in Kentucky this fall. She is the first in her family to attend college. The journey hasn’t been easy.
“I’ve been couch hopping. I have to juggle school and work. I work about forty hours a week,” Kelsie said. “If I don’t have WiFi where I’m staying, that makes it hard to do homework.”
Despite the obstacles, she has done well on the Vol State campus, taking classes for both high school and college credit. “I’m probably going to cry (at graduation). I didn’t see myself going to Vol State. I just wanted to throw it out there to see what I could do. I like how it’s challenging,” she said. “I’ve met a number of eccentric and interesting people. There’s a lot more freedom. There’s no dress code.”

Kelsie said she plans to pursue a career in social services when she graduates from Berea. “I was in foster care once. We had one really good social worker and one that didn’t care. I want to make a difference.”

Crystal Sloss of Gallatin said she didn’t take college seriously when she first attended in Kentucky.  But that all changed on her second try. “I came to Vol State in 2015 with my aunt, who had just lost her job. I said – let’s do this together,” she said. “I had matured and by my second semester I decided to get involved in student activities.”
Those activities included work as a President’s Ambassador, representing Vol State at events. It’s a prestigious scholarship at Vol State and Sloss credits the people she worked with for much of her success.
“It’s opened up so many doors for me. Tim and Annette (in Admissions) believed in me. I’ve gained supportive friends with the other ambassadors. Having a group of people to support you helps you have a better outlook on school.”
It wasn’t just one activity, Crystal led several student groups, including in her most recent role as vice chairperson of the Campus Activities Board. For her service to the college, Crystal was recently awarded the Robert M. Ruff Distinguished Leadership Award.
She manages classes and extracurricular activities, while also raising two young girls as a single mom.
“I work a full-time job at Chili’s,” she said. “Being a mom with all that is really hard, but my family has been able to support me.”
Crystal isn’t content with just one degree from Vol State. She graduated with a pre-nursing degree and will head back to Vol State in the fall to work on a biology degree. And it’s more than just a career step for her. She has another reason for wanting to succeed in college.
“My girls are my everything,” she said. “I want to show them that if you put your mind to something you can do it no matter what the obstacles.”

Les Lyle of Lebanon has embraced change with a new career path and at the age of 55. He spent most of his life in the printing business.
“They had another layoff and I was gone after 35 years with the same company,” Les said. “I met with a really wonderful lady, Guin Tyus, with Tennessee Career Centers. She had me take a Myers-Briggs personality inventory and it showed that I really like working with people. She showed me a list of career fields for my personality type.”
Les knew how important physical therapy can be. His father received treatment and in the process found a bond with his therapist. So, Lyle chose the Physical Therapist Assistant program at Vol State. He even enrolled in a Health Sciences cohort program that has a small group of students work together. One of those students was his daughter.
“She was great. We had similar study styles. She was like my teacher,” he said. “The cohort was tough academically, but it was one of the best things I have ever done. I have new best friends and none of them are over 24 years old. The PTA program has opened doors for me. I have several job opportunities available to me now.”
  
It’s all in the family for Morgan Seay. When she walks across the stage at graduation she will join her mother and family as Vol State alumni.
“My mom is a nurse. She got here degree from Vol State,” she said. “My dad has an associate’s degree in Fire Science from Vol State.”
Morgan says she has wanted to pursue a medical career for most of her life. “I’m planning on becoming a doctor. I hope to be either an OB-GYN or a trauma surgeon.”
Her experience in medical science began at an early age. “I grew up learning to read nursing manuals as my mom studied out loud.”
The dream of delivering babies as an OB-GYN comes from being the oldest of seven kids. “I’m eight years older than all of my sibilings. Babies have always been a part of my life. I have always wanted to be part of something that special in someone’s life.”
Morgan is a Sumner County Middle College High School student. She is graduating with a Vol State associate’s degree and a high school diploma. “I’ve always been a lot more mature for my age,” she said. “I was bored at high school. I have had all this freedom here to choose my path- that means a lot.”
Morgan plans to pursue a pre-med or biology degree. “Since I have 74 credit hours already they say I may be able to graduate in three semesters at WKU (Western Kentucky University).”
“My parents are really proud and glad that I got to get my degree. My mom has always pushed me to be a doctor, because she could see that was always what I wanted to do.”

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Writing Papers? It’s Dangerous To Go Alone!


As we head into Finals Week, and many of us are working on research papers, I want to remind my fellow students of some of my favorite research tools. And if you haven’t done so already, now may be a good time to click around Vol State’s Thigpen Library website and see what they have to offer.

JStor is in the Library’s "Databases" section (under “J”) and is a wealth of papers, essays, and books; both old and new. If you need something quotable on a certain literary subject, stop there first.

NoodleTools is your one-stop source for creating a citations page. Choose the type of style you need (MLA, AP, or Chicago) and start a new project. You enter the information for your citations, and it does all the formatting! You’ll find NoodleTools in the menu on the right on the Library’s website, and if you need help getting started ask a librarian.


For outside help, try books.google.com where Google has been working on archiving out-of-print and hard-to-find texts.

Don’t forget that experts are available in the Language Center to help you editing and style guidelines, and our librarians can help point you in the right direction for research sources.

Good luck! I have papers to finish.


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, April 24, 2017

Spring Showcase Concerts this Friday and Saturday

The annual Spring Music Showcase concerts are coming up this Friday and Saturday, April 28 and 29. The shows will highlight the skills of the Commercial Music Ensemble, Bluegrass Ablaze, original songs from the Advanced Songwriting students and the Vol State Showstoppers. The concerts bring together many facets of the Vol State curriculum, including the technical abilities of students in the live sound class, music business and practicum classes and a lighting production crew. The concerts coincide with the release of the spring music CD. It’s called “20th Year Edition of Project 109”. Producers will explain the mysterious title at the concert and the photo in the poster as depicted above.. The CD will be available for sale at the show and at the Vol State Bookstore in Gallatin. It was recorded in the Vol State recording studios.
The Spring Showcase performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Wemyss Auditorium at Caudill Hall on the Vol State campus at 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin. There is a suggested donation of $5 for admission and $10 for admission and a copy of the CD. The funds will be used for music scholarships. For further information please call 615-230-3201. For information about the Music Program at Vol State visit www.volstate.edu/music

This Week at Vol State

Plenty to do this week at Vol State:
April 24                       Honors Program Info for students and exam prep party, free snacks and stress busters, SRB 252, 2pm-4pm
April 25                       Student Art Show reception and awards ceremony, SRB Art Gallery, 12pm-1pm 
April 25                       Vol State’s regional community literary magazine, Number One, readings from most recent issue, Performing Arts Studio, SRB 150,12:30pm-2pm
April 25                       Music Department Recital, SRB 151, 2pm
April 27                       Environmental Stewardship projects in the main hallway of the Warf Building from 1:00 to 3:00
April 28-29                  Spring Showcase Concert, Caudill Hall, 7:30pm

April 30                       Sophomore Recital, SRB 151, 3pm

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Choral Music Sunday, April 23

Choral music this weekend! The Vol State Department of Visual and Performing Arts presents Franz Schubert- Mass in G. The Vol State Singers are joined by the Portland High School Ensemble and String Orchestra.  Nancy Slaughter is the director for this performance. It's this Sunday, April 23 at 3pm in Caudill Hall, Wemyss Auditorium. Everyone is invited. Free with student or staff ID and just $5 donation for the public. Funds go to provide music scholarships.