Friday, December 18, 2020

Holiday Schedule for Campuses

Vol State staff are here to help you get ready for the spring semester. But you should be aware of some dates coming up. We are open to help you Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, December 21-23. All campuses will be closed starting December 24. We will reopen all campuses on Monday, January 4. During the holiday break, fall students can still register for spring classes on My Vol State. New and readmit students can apply online over the holidays. Visit www.volstate.edu/apply

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Vol State Virtual Graduation Ceremony Dec. 12


Vol State Fall 2020 graduates will celebrate with a virtual ceremony on Saturday, December 12 starting at 10 a.m. It can be found at
www.volstate.edu/graduation. If you miss the premier, you can also watch the ceremony for the next several weeks at that same location. Congrats graduates!

Graduate Profile: Andrew Burgess

Andrew Burgess chose the Vol State Cookeville campus because of close proximity. But he said his decision to go into Computer Information Technology (CIT) was based on conversations with faculty members.

“I talked to professors Imam and Said about the CIT program. I could tell from our conversations that the program was about collaboration and studio thinking, where everyone brings something to the table.”

Burgess is due to graduate with a CIT degree this fall. It’s actually the second step in his IT education. He received a certificate from a CISCO Networking Academy in California nearly 20 years ago. “I went to Vol State to have a second chapter in my IT work and to focus on security and forensics.”

Cyber defense isn’t just an area of study for Burgess. He has personal experience as a victim. “My medical records were wiped out in a cyber attack this year. Cyber crime effects every American eventually. I wanted to be engaged as part of the solution.”

The TN Reconnect student said the support at the Cookeville campus helped him through some challenging times. “They had the same level of passion that I did. They never let me get to a place where I would give up. They advocated for my success at Vol State, from the beginning.”

Burgess is headed to Tennessee Tech next year to continue academic work for a bachelor’s degree.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Graduate Profile: Patrick Collum

Vol State has many students seeking a mid-life career change, but Patrick Collum’s past career and future calling make him stand out.

“My experience was a decade of emergency medical services. I was an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) and Captain of the Sumner County Basic Life Support Division,” he said. “I was glad for my years of service, but I want to spend more time with my children.”

Normally, you would expect that someone with a background in emergency medicine would find another career in the Health Sciences. Collum chose a brand new path.

“Growing up my father was a police officer. Today, most cybercrimes go unsolved. People are paying large ransoms and the perpetrators can be operating from the other side of the world. It seems like a challenge.”

And thus the EMT is graduating from Vol State with a Computer Information Technology degree in CyberDefense.

“I just got hired with the Sumner County Board of Education in the IT department. The degree worked.”

His career change is a big milestone in his life. “This last year has been so hard for everyone in healthcare and completing my degree while serving the community has been challenging to maintain momentum toward graduating. My wife, three daughters, and my mother have continued to motivate and support me through this difficult time and encouraged me every step of the way.”

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Graduate Profile: Nyalat Bidit

College assignments can be tough, so imagine how hard it would be if English wasn’t your native language? That was the case for fall graduate Nyalat Bidit. The Ethiopian mother of four came to the United States in 2005 from South Sudan.

“I went to school in Ethiopia, but it was in other languages. I knew English, but don’t speak it that well. It was really hard. I appreciate all of the ESOL instructors. They lifted me up so I could learn to write a paper and do college level work.”

She went through Vol State ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes and then to college level courses. The road to a college degree wasn’t just hard because of the academics. “I live in Lavergne. I have to travel two hours a day. It’s a long commute.”

Bidit said many people helped her on her path to a degree in pre-nursing. But some Vol State faculty members went even further. “Karen Hutson was more like a mentor to me. She helped me through a lot. She would tell me- keep pushing, you can do it. I don’t know how I can thank her enough.”

Monday, December 7, 2020

Graduate Profile: Andrea Benson

Imagine attending two different colleges, three different times, over 30 years. Graduation for Andrea Benson of Westmoreland is a big deal. It’s especially significant because she had to drop two classes this semester and didn’t think she would graduate. The problem was one many people are facing- Andrea had several coworkers sick with COVID, which left her struggling with a 65 hour work week. She did the right thing, though, she contacted an advisor before giving up for the semester. They pointed out that with a major change she would have enough credits to graduate. The fifty-eight year old has been on a long journey to get that degree.

“I started college at 28 years old at Nashville Tech. I transferred to Vol State in 2000, when the company I worked for closed up. We made NASCAR caps,” she said.

She stopped taking classes after a few more years, leaving the degree unfinished, until just recently.

“My daughter went back to school for a social work degree and she said – mom, why don’t you go back?”

And Andrea is taking the virtual graduation ceremony pretty seriously.

“Me and my grandchildren are planning to watch with a celebration party. We have invitations and everything,” she said.

Friday, December 4, 2020

New Performing Arts YouTube Channel

Check
out Vol State musicians on the new Performing Arts YouTube Channel. They have created a Performing Arts 2020 Christmas/End of Semester playlist for everyone to enjoy. It’s a work in progress, so also check back next week for more additions. The songs are a variety of styles, some holiday and some other themes. And subscribe to get all of the playlist updates.

Photo by David Beale on Unsplash