Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Junie B. Jones Visits Vol State

Junie B. Jones is a mischievous kindergartener consistently paying the price for her questionable decisions; she tends to learn the hard way. The best-selling chapter book series, Junie B. Jones, offers life lessons, insight, and most of all – humor. Despite it being a children’s book, there is much to appreciate and gain from Junie B. even as an adult. It’s a feel good play that the entire family will enjoy. You may find yourself rolling on the floor laughing as the Theatre department takes you back to your childhood during their performance of Junie B. Jones: Is Not a Crook.

“I love creating myself into characters, particularly old ladies and little boys,” said Nicole Black. “It’s kind of weird, but I like it… I’m doing three (characters) a little boy, Ricardo, Junie B.’s ex-boyfriend, she breaks up with me; it is a sad day… I play an old lady who likes to type, and a cat burglar. I’m just excited to perform for some kids, hopefully make them laugh a little bit.” Nicole said that she loves comedic acting and has an irrational fear of her pants falling down on stage.

Kiara Jenkins will play Junie B.’s teacher, Mrs. “When I was younger, the first time I saw a play, was when they came to my school, I wasn’t really interested because I was trying to get my work done, but I really liked it a lot from then on, I just wanted to do acting…” Kiara said. She plans to pursue a career as an actress and is excited to perform for kids so they can hopefully have the same experience as she did.

The love interest of almost every female character in the play, Warren, will be Matt Pace. He also plays a fireman, and a police officer. “I’m actually majoring in Broadcasting to become a voice actor,” he said. “I do share some interest in theatre because it’s still acting… it’s going to be my first play in probably a decade, so it’s pretty exciting. It’ll give me some experience with acting again, especially on stage…”

“I’m basically like Sharpay Evans (from High School Musical) but, like, five,” said Emily Bardwell, who is casted as Junie B.’s friend, Lucille. “I like performing for kids. I think they’re fun and you can kind of be a bit little more like a cartoon character… I want to be a makeup artist for movies, but as my fallback plan I’d be a theatre teacher to little kids, which kind of ties into the show… Theatre is what started the whole thing.”

For a night of family fun with the Vol State Theatre Department, join us on October 19th and 20th at 7:30 P.M. in Caudill Hall. Admission is $5 at the door and free for students, faculty, and staff with a Vol State ID. All proceeds go to fund student scholarships. For more information on the Theatre Department at Vol State, please visit:

-By Rachel Keyes

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Events this Week at Vol State

This week at Vol State:
Oct. 17 Western Kentucky University representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 9:30 am-2 pm
Oct. 18 Welch College representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10 am-2 pm
Oct. 18 Let’s Talk About Domestic Violence, Nichols Dining Room, 10:30am-11:30am
Oct. 19 Theater for kids: “Junie B. Jones- I am not a Crook,” Caudill Hall, 7:30pm $5 admission goes to student scholarships, free with Vol State ID.
Oct. 20 Theater for kids: “Junie B. Jones- I am not a Crook,” Caudill Hall, 7:30pm $5 admission goes to student scholarships, free with Vol State ID.
Oct. 20 Fall Fiesta at Vol State, a celebration of Latino culture, inside the Pickel Field House, 10am-3pm, free and open to everyone

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Major Medical Challenges Lead to a New Life Purpose

Michael Johnson has had quite a hand dealt to him, but has never given up. Diagnosed with leukemia at age five, he went into remission at eight years old after undergoing extensive radiation and chemotherapy. Yet more challenges lay ahead; let’s fast forward 33 years later.

“I was living in Wilmington, North Carolina at the time. I was really broken from my divorce. I was pretty close to being homeless at the time. I was working a job trying to pay my rent. I had been feeling tired for the past couple of weeks, but I had been working a lot of hours at work so I really didn’t think that it was anything medical. I got off work from cleaning the store one night and nearly collapsed on a pallet of Dr. Peppers,” he said.

Michael had suffered a stroke at age 37. He was rushed to the hospital, where he stayed for a month. Luckily, the only side effects from the stroke were that his balance and concentration abilities were somewhat affected. However, when he returned home, it wasn’t for long. He soon became sick again.

“I was re-hospitalized, I was there for a couple of weeks and eventually they put in an AED device that shocks my heart if something goes wrong, because I was also diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure and later on type two diabetes.” The doctors had stabilized him. He began to face the realization that he needed to find a new life path, so he pondered his next steps.

“I knew I had to change something because all I had done before is physical labor jobs. They essentially told me ‘you can’t do this anymore because it might cause your heart to wear out faster,’ and so I had to find a new path. People had all of these perceptions of what I was going to be and they weren’t really listening to what I had to say.”

So, he decided to make a change towards education; he applied to Vol State. “I got accepted. I had Pell grants for the first few years. There came a period where I didn’t know if I was going to make it, because everything was just tough, and I’ve never been really good at academics anyway. Then things changed, and I began to study better and my grades go up.”

He started out majoring in Criminal Justice, planning to knock out his degree and get back into the workforce. He reached a point where he realized it was not the right path for him. After speaking to a classmate who was a Vol State Human Services major and stumbling upon a flyer for the Lindsey Wilson Human Services degree, the convenience of the degree being held on Vol State’s campus was appealing to him. He also like the idea of completing his Bachelor’s in 18 months; it felt right.

Michael had done some work as a camp counselor in his twenties working with at-risk juveniles, and realized that he wanted to pursue some sort of mentorship. After his stroke, he realized that he wants to work with hospitalized stroke patients as well. Both of these are possible within Human Services.

“After I had my stroke, I felt lost. Quite literally, I didn’t know what to do. It’s a bit overwhelming. They (stroke patients) need to know that there’s life after the stroke. It has to do with being a mentor, and sharing my story so they realize that there can be change, that they can rise above the situation. They may not be able to do everything they did before, but I feel like to many times the doctors and nurses limit what they think you can do.”

-By Rachel Keyes

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Spring Registration Coming Up - See Your Advisor Now

Priority spring class registration for current students is coming up soon. Why should you care? Priority registration is your opportunity to get the classes you need at the times you want. You have two weeks to register for spring before the public. To get ready to register you need to meet with your academic advisor. You don't want to take classes that don't apply towards your degree. Make an appointment with your advisor now!
You can start the process by visiting the DegreeWorks section of your MyVolState page. It shows you what classes you need, but you still need to meet with your academic advisor to make sure. If you don't know your academic advisor, you can look them up under your personal information on your MyVolState page. Advisors are also listed in DegreeWorks.
A reminder: Advising is mandatory this year for new Tennessee Promise students.

Priority spring course registration for current sophomores (30 credit hours or more) starts at 8am on November 5. It opens for current freshmen (less than 30 credit hours) on November 6 at 8am.

Spring registration for new and readmit students opens on November 19. So, you have priority for classes until then. However, you can still register and make changes at any time up until the first week of Spring classes.
If you have problems you can contact the Advising Center at 615-230-3702 or visit them in person in Gallatin in Ramer room 174. For the other campuses ask for Student Services help at the front desk.

Adentro Pickel Field House: La Fiesta de Vol State Presenta El Baile Azteca el 20 de octubre

Adentro Pickel Field House
El grupo de baile azteca Quetzalli Yolotl será uno de los destacados en la Fiesta de Otoño en Volunteer State Community College el 20 de octubre. La celebración anual de la cultura latina incluirá un concurso de lanzamiento de goles de fútbol, ​​con varias categorías de diferentes edades, desde niños hasta adultos. La Fiesta es un evento gratuito que ofrece comida, música y diversión.

"Disfrutamos traer grupos de baile latino y música en vivo al condado de Sumner", dijo Eric Melcher con Vol State. "La Fiesta es un buen día para que las familias visiten el campus y disfruten de la celebración. La comunidad latina es importante para Vol State, tenemos cientos de estudiantes latinos tomando clases aquí."

Las bandas musicales de Nashville, El Recreo y Cactus Fire se presentarán en la Fiesta. El Recreo toca rock latino. Cactus Fire se especializa en musica Tex-Mex, conjunto, rancheras, cumbias, polkas y boleros.
El concurso de cocina contiene comida de diferentes naciones latinas. Después de juzgar los platillos presentados a las 11 a.m., el público puede probar las muestras. También habrá un almuerzo mexicano gratis y refrigerios a partir del mediodía. El evento familiar, que se realiza en el exterior del campus, incluye actividades artísticas, pintura facial y juegos para los niños.

La Fiesta de Otoño se llevará a cabo de 10 a.m. a 3 p.m. El evento ocurrirá, llueva o haga sol, en el campus de Vol State localizado en el 1480 Nashville Pike en Gallatin. La ubicación en caso de lluvia será el Pickel Field House. La Fiesta de Otoño es gratis y abierta para todos. Se exhorta a las familias a traer una manta y sillas para pasar el día con nosotros. Para obtener más información en inglés o español, llame al 615-230-4846.

Inside Pickel Field House: Fall Fiesta Features Aztec Dance October 20

Update: The Fiesta will be held inside the Pickel Field House
Aztec dance group Quetzalli Yolotl will be a highlight of the Fall Fiesta at Volunteer State Community College on October 20. The annual celebration of Latino culture will include a soccer goal kicking contest, with several age categories from kids to adult. The Fiesta is a free event featuring food, music and fun.
“We enjoy bringing Latino dance groups and live music to Sumner County,” said Eric Melcher with Vol State. “The Fiesta is a nice day for families to visit the campus and enjoy a celebration. The Latino community is important to Vol State, we have hundreds of Latino students taking classes here.”
The Nashville bands El Recreo and Cactus Fire will perform at the Fiesta. El Recreo plays Latin rock. Cactus fire specializes in Tex-Mex, conjunto, rancheras, cumbias, polkas, and boleros. The food cook-off contest features foods from many different Latino nations. After judging at 11 a.m., the public is welcome to sample. There will also be a free lunch and drinks starting at noon. The family event, held outside on the campus grounds, includes art activities, face painting, and games for kids.
The Fall Fiesta at Vol State will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will happen, rain or shine, on the campus at 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin. The rain location is the Pickel Field House. The Fall Fiesta is free and open to everyone. Families are encouraged to bring a blanket and chairs and spend the day. For more information in English or Spanish call 615-230-4846.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Events this week at Vol State

Events this week at Vol State:
Oct. 8 Welch College representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10 am – 2 pm
Oct. 9 Serengeti Ecosystem, Jerry Faulkner, Rochelle Center, Thigpen Library, 11:10am
Oct. 10 UT Martin representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 11 am – 3 pm
Oct. 11 Lipscomb University representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10 am – 1 pm
Oct. 15 Fall Break, no classes, offices open
Oct. 16 Fall Break, no classes, offices open

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Your Vol State Merit Page Celebrates Your Accomplishments

You will soon be receiving an email about your Vol State Merit Page. They're designed to help you celebrate your success while at Vol State. That can include academic honors, such as the dean's list or honor roll. It can also include student clubs and activities. We'll be adding badges for various student achievements throughout the school year. Many colleges and universities across the country have them for students. You can add to your badge if you transfer to keep a total record of your college and university career.

What do you need to do? The first thing is to claim your page. The easiest way to do this is click on the link provided in an email sent to the personal email address that you listed with the college. You can then personalize your Merit page however you want - add a picture or add work experience. You can also put in the emails of parents or loved ones so that they will be notified when you receive a new badge from Merit.

When you go to claim your page it will ask you for your email address...use your personal email address that you listed on your Vol State application. It's trying to confirm that you are who you are. Your Vol State email address won't work for that confirmation. Everything goes through your personal email address.

We'll start everyone off with an enrollment badge so you can see what they look like and how they work. It also puts you in the system. Vol State Merit pages are run by the Vol State Office of Public Relations. If you have any questions you can contact us at

If you don't get the email you can also visit the main Vol State Merit Pages web page and search from there. If you still can't find your page just email us with your name, city, zip code, and email address and we can create one for you.

If you don't want to participate that's fine. You will find a link to opt out of the system, as well, with your page.

Have a great school year!

Midterms are Coming Up - Get Free Help with Papers and Assignments

Midterms are coming up. Get free help with papers, assignments, and math tutoring in the Vol State Learning Commons on each campus, including the location inside the Thigpen Library in Gallatin. You can also use if your class has an eLearn page. is 24/7 online help with a range of subjects. It’s free and available to all Vol State students.  Visit the class eLearn page to get started.
If you feel like you are falling behind in class, talk to your instructor. They want to see you succeed. But now is the time to turn things around. You can do this!

Stewart and Nordeman Exhibit at Vol State Art Gallery

The Vol State Art Gallery is showcasing the work of two female artists, both working with feminine imagery in a variety of materials, including textiles.  Gallery coordinator, Sue Mulcahy, said that Monica Stewart and Erinn Nordeman challenge the traditional roles of women, and invite the viewer to question the identity and expectations of women today.

Stewart is a multimedia artist working primarily with paper. She received her B.F.A with an emphasis painting from Murray State University and is currently pursuing her M.F.A at the University of Louisville. 

“In my recent work, I explore the relationships between narrative and object,” Stewart said. “I often draw on object imagery from fairytales to allude to dysfunctional familial relationships, female agency, as well as the magical and grotesque. By cutting, rearranging, and embellishing both traditional and nontraditional materials, I create new works that enter the realm of objects.”

Erinn Nordeman is a printmaker, photographer, video, and textile artist. She received her B.F.A from Millersville University and her M.F.A at the University of Arizona. She is interested in shifting traditional materials into contemporary questions of sexuality, identity, and female gender expectations.

“This collection of work is expressing a nostalgia for the younger version of myself; a version that was much more confident and in touch with herself,” Nordeman said. “The fabrics I chose, along with the self-portraits, embody that little girl, and all of her female role models on television and movies.”

The show runs from October 1 to November 1. The exhibit is free and open to the public. The Vol State Art Gallery is located on the first floor of the Steinhauer-Rogan-Black (SRB) Humanities Building on the Gallatin campus at 1480 Nashville Pike. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information call 615-230-3202.

Pictured: Monica Stewart, Dress.

A Message to First Generation College Students

Even after more than a few semesters in college, most of the time, I still have no idea what I am doing. I’ve mostly had to attempt to figure it out alone, in a perpetual state of confusion, because I am a first generation college student. I was raised by a single mother who had a background in the military before entering the workforce, and my father never finished high school. For all of my home life, I had no one to turn to for academic or professional advice. I never fully understood the importance of college and how to do this life thing because I never had a solid example of what success looked like.

Dr. Frank E. Dobson, Jr., associate dean of students for Social Justice and Identity at Vanderbilt University, can relate to this experience, just like a lot of Vol State students. I had the opportunity to meet with him one on one before a presentation he gave this week at Vol State.

“I didn’t have people in my family that had went to college, I was an African American, working class kid, my Mom had worked in factories and as a domestic, but she was a really veracious reader. My Dad had worked in the steel mill, but he was a smart guy. I knew that I wanted to go to college, but I also knew that in going to college, I was going to have to work,” he said.

Dobson explained how, as an undergraduate student in Buffalo, New York, his life revolved around work, school, and church. Dobson said that his biggest struggles through his college career boiled down to: time, money, and convincing the people around him that what he was doing was good for him.

“You always have to realize that you love your loved ones, your friends and family members, but you’re striking out on a different path… Y’all’s mascot is the Pioneer, I knew that I was kind of the pioneer, because there wasn’t anybody before me that I could say, ‘hey, what do you do when….?’ Nobody was doing what I was doing.”

Are you a first generation college student dealing with a similar experience? Here’s some advice from Dr. D:

“Dream big, stick to your dream, never, ever let it go. Don’t put yourself on a time table, don’t compare yourself to other people… Ease the pressure, keep your eyes on the prize, and when you get it done, it’s in your time.”

To keep up with more events and happenings hosted by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, please visit:, or swing by room 217 of the Wood Campus Center.

-By Rachel Keyes

Monday, October 1, 2018

Plenty Going On - Events this Week at Vol State

Busy week at Vol State - check out these events:
Oct. 1 Art Exhibit: Monica Stewart and Erinn Nordeman, Vol State Gallery, First Floor of SRB, through Nov. 1
Oct. 1 Belmont University representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 12–2 pm
Oct. 2 Union University representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10 am–2 pm
October 2 CAB Café presents: arcade- - Xbox One, Wii, ping pong, board games, cards, etc. with prizes for winners, Nichols Dining Room, 11:30am-3pm
Oct. 2 Pioneer Pen literary magazine interest meeting, SRB 209, 2pm
Oct. 2 Nicholas Reynolds piano recital, Caudill Hall, Auditorium, 7pm
Oct. 3 Cumberland University representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 11am – 1:30 pm
Oct. 4 Austin Peay State University representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10am – 1 pm
Oct. 4 Understanding the Faces of DACA, discussion, Rochelle Center, Thigpen, 11:30am-1pm
Oct. 6 Vol State Commercial Music Ensemble, concert at Gallatin Square, noon

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Vol State Professors View American Culture Through the TV Show Mad Men.

You may think that your professors just come to class, teach, and then go home to their families, yet a lot of our Vol State professors do some pretty interesting work in their off time.  As fanatics of the American TV show Mad Men, married Professors Scott McMillan and Jennifer James have been analyzing the TV show and the constant theme of “work” within American culture. Their work has turned into a research paper titled “Revisiting Mad Men: The Nature of Work in American Culture.” They will present some of their research and ideas at The Popular/American Culture Association in the South Conference in New Orleans during the weekend of October 4th, 2018.

“Part of our culture, from our very early history, is this American work ethic,” said McMillan. “We’ve always been about work, work, work. It’s at the heart of who we are, it drives us as a nation, and Mad Men symbolizes this. It’s not just a good TV show, its great American literature. Ultimately it’s just Americans working just like we all are… It transcends just being set in the 1960’s, it deals with the struggles we all face in any workplace, regardless of the era.”

“We’re moving away from that sort of Ford economy, of assembly line production, into creative work," said James. “We see their focus of work (in Mad Men) while the country is falling apart around them, it’s this very tumultuous time in the U.S. and we see these main characters go through that time. We see them working, but they also focus on other work, the psychoanalytical work, the work of overcoming alcoholism, the work of becoming a better person, the spiritual work of meditation, it’s a beautiful series, and every time you watch it, a different theme emerges.” 

They soon realized the themes provided an opportunity for scholarly exploration.

“In the paper, we focus on this idea of work, and what work means to identity. Boomers live to work, Xers work to live. Does the job become our identity? Where do we stop and the job start, where does the job stop and we start? The American ideal is that we are workers, we are the job. We work more than any culture on the planet, constantly trying to find identity in work,” explained James.

McMillan said that he often ties pop-culture, including TV shows, into his Political Science curriculum to get the students engaged. 

“We not only teach the stuff, we’re also thinking about it, exploring ideas, presenting them and to a hopefully receptive audience, that will allow other people to think about things in a different way. I think it’s an important part of what we do as professors, that we stay active in this larger academic world… and it’s always nice to carry the Vol State flag into these kinds of things,” McMillan added.

For more information on The Popular/American Culture Association in the South Conference in New Orleans, please visit: 
-By Rachel Keyes

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

3 things to do right now if you are struggling in your classes.

The work is piling up. You are getting behind in your classes. You are not sure if you can do it. First, take a deep breath. Most college students feel this way at one point or another. It is still early in the semester and there are things you can do to catch up. Here are three things to do immediately:
1.       Talk to the instructor for any class that you are having problems. Visit them in their office or see them after class, but have a real discussion about what you can do to catch up. They have to hold you to the same standards as other students in the class. They also want to see you do well in their class. Work out a plan with each instructor and get the work done.
2.       Many students have trouble juggling work and family needs with college demands. Make a priority list of what are the most important things you need to get done and consider dropping the extras that you don’t have time for. Hopefully, that isn’t your classes. It could be that you have over-extended yourself with extracurricular activities, volunteering at church, etc.
3.       You may be trying to take too many classes and need to drop one. Just be careful, it can impact your TN Promise, TN Reconnect and other financial aid. If you are considering dropping a class at this point or perhaps even considering dropping out of college altogether, please talk to someone first. There are advisors available on each Vol State campus. It doesn’t have to be your assigned academic advisor. You can visit the Advising Center on the Gallatin campus, Ramer Room 174, at any time during business hours. You can drop-in or make appointments to see advisors on other campuses. You should also meet with Financial Aid to discuss how it will impact you.
College may be tougher than you expected. You can do this.  Successful college students have one thing in common- they overcome adversity and challenges. That means getting in there and fighting to succeed. We are here to help, whether it be with free academic assistance and tutoring or just by listening and offering advice.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Guest Student Blog: Jim Hayes and the Electric Vampire

The alarm breaks through my sleep at 3:45 a.m. every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday morning. Time for my date with the electric vampire.
I roll out of bed, pack up my computer, and make the 20 minute drive from White House to Hendersonville, where I will spend four hours with a pair of needles about the size of a #3 pencil lead in my wrist, cycling my blood through a dialysis machine, since my kidneys no longer perform their assigned function.
After the dialysis, and somewhere between 3 and 4 kilos lighter than when I arrived at the clinic, (hey, if your kidneys don’t function, you don’t eliminate waste, right, so that is part of the dialysis process) I head for the campus and my two classes for the day (Settler Staff meeting and Political Science).
Mondays and Wednesdays are more packed, with rehabbing from an early August heart attack from 8-9 a.m. followed by classes from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
I’m Jim Hayes, 58, and a student returning to school after some 40 years under the TN Reconnect program.  After graduating high school in California in 1978, I spent three years in the Marine Corps before being medically discharged.  After a couple of career changes, I taught myself computer programming and pursued a career in that field for 35 years.
At about 35, I received what I have come to call the gift that keeps on taking, diabetes.  Among other things, the diabetes triggered kidney failure, which in turn led to my being on the Vanderbilt Medical Center kidney transplant list. The wait on that list ranges from three to five years or longer.
Being on the transplant list means having to be within four hours of Vandy. My last programming gig was working remotely from my home as a software administrator for the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. Once that contract ended, it was not possible to find another remote engagement (and the fact that I had no college degree wasn’t a point in my favor either) so, I decided to return to school and pursue a journalism degree.
So there you have it.  My days are mostly filled with some sort of interaction with my medical team followed by the requirements of returning to school.  I see I completely failed to mention my wife, Denise, who basically runs the household, or our kids, Jason and Jaidyn who have their own agenda’s (Jason is 31 and autistic, while Jaidyn is our adopted daughter and takes ballet classes with the Nashville Ballet).
Through it all, I simply meet each new challenge as they come and conquer them one by one. 

Monday, September 24, 2018

Feeling Overwhelmed? Free Academic Help in the College Success Zone

Feeling overwhelmed with class work? Get free academic help in the College Success Zone
This is a tough time in the semester. The coursework is starting to pile up. You have paper due. That math test is coming up soon. We know it’s tough. We also know that you can do it. We have some free academic assistance that can help. We put it together for what we call the College Success Zone. It’s not an actual place, but rather a list of all sorts of programs that can help Vol State students. You can connect to math tutoring, help with papers, online tutoring in many subjects, just to name a few. It’s easy and we have a list for each Vol State campus. Just visit

Are You First in Your Family to Attend College?

Are you the first one in your family to attend college? Dr. Frank E. Dobson, Jr., from Vanderbilt University, understands what you are going through, as he too was first in his family to attend college. He will be talking to Vol State students about the challenges first generation college students face and how you can overcome those challenges and succeed. Join him this Thursday, September 27 at 11:30 a.m. in the Rochelle Center in Thigpen Library. Sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

This Week at Vol State

This week at Vol State:
Sept. 24 UT Knoxville representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10 am – 1 pm
Sept. 25 Lipscomb University representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10 am – 1 pm
Sept. 25 SGA Meet and Greet: grab a float, register to vote, Nichols Dining Room, 12:45pm-1:45pm
Sept. 26 Fall Job/Career Fair, dozens of area employers, Pickel Field House, 10am-1pm
Sept. 26 Middle Tennessee State University representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10 am – 2 pm
Sept. 26 Banned Books Reading, SRB Room 150, 12:45pm-3pm
Sept. 27 Western Kentucky University representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 9:30 am – 2 pm
Sept. 27 First Generation College Students, Are you the first in your family to attend college? We have a speaker to discuss issues and challenges, Rochelle Center in Thigpen Library, 11:30am-1pm
Sept. 30 Voice Recital: Nancy Slaughter, soprano, Caudill Hall auditorium, 3:30pm

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Science and Technology Event for Girls 5th-9th Grade - Sign-Up Now

We’re looking for 5th-9th grade girls for a special day-long educational event at Vol State in Gallatin. E.Y.H stands for Expanding Your Horizons. The goal is to help girls develop a passion for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
October 6 from 8 am - 3 pm
Registration fee: $20
Open to all 5th - 9th grade girls
The Conference features:
• Hands-on workshops in STEM (Science,
Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
• Successful women in STEM sharing as role models
• Dedicated and experienced workshop leaders
• Passionate college students serving as group leaders
• Photo booth and fun activities
Register Today!

Why You Should Consider Learning a Foreign Language

It was my first day in France. I had been strolling the city of Paris all day in the summer heat. Enamored by all that was around me, it suddenly dawned on me that I needed to find a drink of water. My phone was dead, my charger at my hotel, and I needed directions. An elegant, elderly woman with a huge smile on her face crossed my path. She seemed approachable; it was time to put my skills to the test.

“Excusez-moi, où est l'épicerie?” I asked. She graciously spouted off directions to me that I couldn’t quite comprehend. “Désolé, je ne comprends pas, madame. Je parle un peu français,” I added. She quickly grabbed my hand, pulling me with her. As we walked, I made small talk in my broken French, and somehow, we were communicating.

At this point, I realized that I might be onto something with this language thing. Later that day, I began to reflect on my first day of French class last year. My professor, Lisa Blomquist, came into the classroom, introduced herself, laid out a few ground rules and expectations, and then informed us that the class would be entirely conducted in French. She then proceeded in her flawless French accent. The majority of the class seemed apprehensive. One student even got up and left, and murmured something like, “yeah, this is too much for me.”

You may be intimidated to take a foreign language. I know that I was. But I was also determined, so I stuck with it, and voilà, I was able to communicate and get around Paris this summer. Traveling through Europe reminded me of how secluded we are in our bubble in the United States.

“The students at Vol State just have to know that the world is a really big place, and there are a lot of opportunities, and you should never limit yourself to staying where you grew up, and what you know, because it’s really easy to do what you know – and it’s a challenge to do something you don’t know. But it’s almost always worth it,” said Professor Blomquist.

Oky Aruguello, Hispanic outreach specialist of Advising, offered some advice. “You need to mingle and learn about other people, the enrichment that you get from learning another language, culture, and system of beliefs makes you a well-rounded person,” she said.

When learning a language, you’re learning more than just words. You’re learning context, history, and culture along with it. Learning a language literally opens up a new world to you.

“Language is sort of like math or working puzzle and there is a right answer. My teacher once said that when you start to dream in the language, you’ll know that your brain is really connecting,” said Professor Blomquist.

Vol State currently offers classes in French, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese. If you want to pick up another language in your spare time, regardless of your degree, as a student of Vol State you also have access to Rosetta Stone for free, which offers around 30 languages to choose from. 
If you’re interested in foreign languages, please visit; to set up your Rosetta Stone account, head over to the Language Center located in the Learning Commons of the Thigpen Library.

Au revoir!

-By Rachel Keyes

3 Reasons to Attend the Job Fair on September 26

3 Reasons to attend the Vol State Job Fair next Wednesday, Sept. 26.
-Network with employers and find out what skills they need for future employment
-Learn basic introduction and interview skills.
-Have your picture taken by a professional photographer for you can use it to create a LinkedIn page.
Dozens of employers will be at the Pickel Field House from 10am to 1pm. The Job Fair is free and open to everyone. You don't have to be searching for a job to get something out of it!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Donate to The Feed Student Food Pantry

The Feed is the student food pantry on each Vol State campus. The Feed locations have food and hygiene items for any Vol State student in need. To do that, we need your help. Here are some of the current needs of The Feed in Gallatin. Many of these items would also be good for other campuses. Check with the front desk at your campus to get specific needs.
-Ready to eat meals for lunches (they can be microwavable or ready to eat).
-Individual sized drinks
-Personal hygiene items
And remember- The Feed will take any non-perishable food item or hygiene item. You can find donation bins on the Gallatin campus at the Wood Campus Center, Ramer, SRB Second Floor and Thigpen Library. See the front desk at other campuses to donate.
Thanks to everyone for the support!

Events this Week at Vol State

Events this week at Vol State:
Sept. 17 Western Governors University representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway in front of Student Services 10:00am—2:00pm.
Sept. 18 Trevecca Nazarene University representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway in front of Student Services 11:00am—1:00pm.
Sept. 18 Sumner College Night, area universities on campus, Pickel Field House, 6pm-8pm students must register first at
Sept. 19 Tennessee State University representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway in front of Student Services 10:00am—1:00pm.
Sept. 20 University of Tennessee - Martin representative Wood Campus Center main hallway in front of Student Services office from 11:00am--3:00pm.
Sept. 20 Constitutionally Speaking: a public reading of American documents by Vol State students, Cafeteria, 12:30-1:30pm
Sept. 20 Break the Silence: Suicide Awareness, SRB Plaza, 6pm

Friday, September 14, 2018

Many University Reps at Vol State Tuesday, September 18

Considering transfer to a university? Put this event on your calendar for Tuesday, September 18 at Vol State in Gallatin. Sumner College Night will be held in the Gym 6pm-8pm. Many university reps will be on site. You must register before the event...go to

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Student Food Pantry - The Feed at Vol State

Money for food can be tight. The Feed at Vol State is available for all Vol State students.
The Feed at Vol State seeks to alleviate the barriers and challenges associated with food insecurity and hunger so that students can remain in school, and ultimately, earn their degrees. It could be called a food pantry or a food bank. The important point is that The Feed is open to all Vol State students. It is operated at all four Vol State campuses.
The Feed is stocked with non-perishable food items and personal hygiene items. All current students are welcome to use The Feed and must present their Student ID at each visit. Students are able to use The Feed as often as needed. The Feed operates on the honor system. Students will be asked to fill out a brief registration form with basic information, but it is not necessary to prove eligibility.
The hours are 9am to 4pm Monday through Thursday and by appointment on Friday for the Gallatin campus location. Other campuses may have different hours- check at the front desk for details.
The Feed is located in the Ramer Building, Room 151, next to the Veterans Affairs and Adult Learners Office on the Gallatin campus. Please see the front desks at CHEC, Livingston and Highland Crest campuses for help at those locations. Email:

Monday, September 10, 2018

Events this Week at Vol State

Events this week at Vol State:
Sept. 10 Adult Student Open House, Library and Learning Commons, 10am-Noon and 4pm-6pm
Sept. 10 Let’s Talk About Suicide, Nichols Dining Room, 2pm
Sept. 11 SGA voter registration table, Wood Main Hallway, 11am-1pm
Sept. 12 SGA voter registration table, Wood Main Hallway, 11am-1pm
Sept. 13 SGA grab and go food and voter registration, Wood Main Hallway, 5pm-6pm

Register to Vote!

Vol State students: Register to vote and encourage your friends to do so by taking a picture and putting it up on social media. The Vol State Student Government Association is hosting a Voter Registration Drive in September and participating in a social media contest for Voter Registration.
You can participate and by using #GoVoteTN and #PioneerPolls
SGA Voter Registration table dates on campus in Gallatin in the Wood Campus Center
• September 11, 2018 from 11:00AM-1:00PM
• September 12, 2018 from 11:00AM-1:00PM
• September 13, 2018 from 5:00PM-6:00PM
• September 25, 2018- National Voter Registration Day- SGA will host a Meet & Greet called Grab a Float and Register to Vote from 12:45PM-1:45PM