Thursday, November 29, 2007

New Look for the Bookstore

If you haven’t done so already, you need to check out the newly renovated bookstore. There are some dramatic changes that speak well for the College and the commitment on Follett’s part to provide our students with quality service and resources. When you enter the store, there’s classical music playing, and for a split second, you feel like you’re in a bookstore in Manhattan. Okay, maybe not Manhattan, but an urban intellectual setting – if that makes sense. Anyway, it’s a wonderful environment, and I think the renovation adds to the prestige of the College.

Please stop by when you can, and let them know how fantastic it looks.

Posted by Ken.
Vol State. Volunteer State Community College.

You can still sign-up for the trip to Spain and France

Come join Volunteer State students and community members in Spain and France in May! We are going on a 9 day personalized tour from May 13-21, 2008.

We will explore Paris, visit the Louvre, stroll the Champs-Elysées, and see many famous places in the city. We will visit Chartres cathedral, Giverny, home and gardens of Monet where he painted many Impressionist works.
We will travel by train through stunning countryside. We will visit the country of castles and famous wines and foods. And eat wonderful foods, of course!

In Spain we will stay in Barcelona and visit Costa Brava and its scenic beach area. We will experience history and art at the Dali Museum, the Picasso museum, the old city, and more in this beautiful country. Eat tapas, shop, explore a world that is both old and new with us in May.

If you are interested in meeting some of the trip participants and getting more information, come join us on campus Thursday, December 6th at 2:20 p.m. in Ramer Bldg. room 170.

For more information, contact Kay McLean Grossberg at 230-3385 or or Jaime Sanchez at 230-3379 or Registration is still available.

Posted by Kay.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Speech Team

Persuasive speaking is one of the most important skills in the business world. The Speech Team at Vol State is a great way to build those skills. Judi Truitt, the faculty advisor, says it's a chance to perform, travel, compete, make new friends and develop your self-confidence. The Vol State Speech Team takes part in events that challenge students in Informative & Persuasive Speaking; After Dinner Speaking; Dramatic Interpretation; Prose & Poetry; Duo Acting and Debate.

Register early! The class, COM296P will meet, TR 1:00-3:00 Spring 2008

Dr. Judi Truitt
615-828-4084 or 230-3781

Volunteer State Community College.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tech Tip Tuesday- "Free" Alternatives to MS Office

If you are anything like me, you probably enjoy a good sale or a freebie now and then. The following programs are "open source", meaning they are free to the user (or they offer a free and a pay for use version). For those of you who are looking for productivity software that is compatible with Microsoft's Office suite but doesn't carry a price tag, you might want to consider using one of these.

NOTE: If you are taking CIS 100 - you will need to have the actual Microsoft Office 2007.

My current favorite is the Zoho Suite. This suite offers very easy to use word processor, spreadsheet, and database programs. In addition, you have access to a project management program, desktop sharing program for conferences and so much more. You can save your work in an office compatible format and these documents are compatible with MyVolStateOnline. If you are interested in starting your own wiki, you can also use the Zoho Wiki tool. Take a spin and see what you think. Setting up an account is simple and FREE.

Before I was introduced to Zoho, I used ThinkFree for most of my word processing and spreadsheet needs. ThinkFree has more of a "Mac" look and feel but is easy to use by all. The interface looks and feels like Microsoft and if you use multiple computers from different locations (for example: work, school, and home) you also get 1GB of free online storage. This makes it great for students on the go.

Two other solutions are OpenOffice and Googles alternative Google Docs and Spreadsheets. While I like many of Google's offerings, I haven't been overly impressed with this entry. If you use Google Doc's I'd be interested in hearing your comments.

Southwest Field Trip

Keith Bell and Clark Cropper are planning a Southwest Field Trip during Maymester. It’s for potential students for a field studies course. They have started a blog and have a couple of meetings coming up. We have included a flyer that has more info.

Check out the blog at:

They are having application meetings with students Tuesday at 1pm and Wednesday at 11:30am in the Rochelle Center.

Say “H−EYE” to Genoa Jenkins

Genoa practices her tonometry skills using a Tonopen on an artificial eye.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned so far in the Ophthalmic Tech Program?

“Blindness is one of the most interesting. Most people who are legally blind can actually see in some form. It amazes me the things you can tell about people from their eyes, and how it seems like everything has to do with the eye. Also, how some diseases or medicines affect your eyes.”

What are you looking forward to most once at your clinical site?

“I am really excited to get out into clinicals and experience things hands-on. I am looking forward to getting to put to the test what I have learned.”

What would you tell someone who’s thinking about applying to the program, but hasn’t for one reason or another?

“I would tell them that if it sounds interesting to them and they like helping people to go for it. It is really a great program and there is always a job out there for you.”

What’s your least favorite thing about the program?

“I would have to say lensometry. Other than that, just my drive to school. I drive an hour and a half, but it is worth it.”

What’s your favorite thing about the program so far?

“Open-Lab on Friday. I like learning about the different equipment and skills we have to do, and then getting to practice for ourselves at our own pace.”

Posted by Melissa. Vol State. Volunteer State Community College.

Monday, November 26, 2007

This Week at Vol State

Welcome back to campus! Kind of a dreary start to the week. We have an event coming up on Wednesday, November 28 that could help lift those post-holiday blues. Comedian Rip Michaels will perform in the cafeteria at 12:15pm. On Friday Friday November 30 get ready for a Halo 3 video game competition, Noon until 3 p.m. in the Carpeted Dining Room at the Wood Campus Center. For those of you not familiar with the Carpeted Dining Room, it's right next to the cafeteria.

And don't forget we have registration help available all day, every weekday in the Ramer Building Lobby or you can call 230-3532 or go to our website for an online explanation of the process.

Vol State. Volunteer State Community College.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Say “H−EYE” to Emily Hutchins

Emily practices her lensometry skills during open lab.

Why did you choose the Ophthalmic Tech Program?

“I’ve always wanted to be in the healthcare field, so I was reading about the Allied Health fields available at Vol State and this one caught my eye and seemed interesting.”

What’s your favorite thing about the program so far?

“I love my classmates and teacher and learning new info and skills everyday.”

What’s your least favorite thing about the program?

“It’s always freezing in our room.”
What are you looking forward to most once at your clinical site?

“Learning so much and actually working with real patients.”

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned so far?

“Everything – I can’t pick just one.”

What would you say to someone who was thinking about applying to the Ophthalmic Technician Program, but hasn’t done so for one reason or another?

“Just do it!”
Posted by Melissa
Vol State. Volunteer State Community College.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Jewelry Sale Today

I just stopped by the jewelry sale in the Ramer Building Great Hall, and there are some really nice things for sale. There are even things for guys to buy, like this really interesting watch I’m thinking about buying. Anyway, if you get a chance to get out today, stop by the jewelry sale and pick up an item or two. The proceeds benefit the Vol State General Scholarship Fund – not to mention you can get some Holiday shopping out of the way. The crazy thing about the sale is that everything is $5, which is less than you will spend on lunch today.

Stop by the Great Hall, and buy some bling for a worthy cause.

Posted by Ken

Monday, November 19, 2007

Spring Registration Help

It's time to register for Spring classes and we have help available again in a number of different ways. Current students are registering now. New students can start registering on November 30. If you need assistance you can visit our Help Desk. It's located in the Ramer Building lobby. You can also find everything you need to know on our web page just check out the lefthand side of the front page for tips. If you want help over the phone you can call 230-3544 or 230-3532. They can walk you through the online registration system.
If you need help picking classes or have any other class questions you can call the Advising Center at 230-3702 or visit them in the Ramer Building.

The toughest part of college should be your classes, not getting registered. So, if you need any help at all, don't hesitate to ask. It's why we're here!
Volunteer State Community College. Vol State.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tech Tip Thursday: Organize your "iLife"

I just returned from several days at the CIT (Conference in Information Technology) held in Nashville. This conference is geared towards educator's at community colleges and the goal is to highlight some of the new and innovative ways to incorporate technology in our teaching and our lives. Unfortunately, I didn't get to attend any sessions, I was one of the steering committee members and spent the whole time working. However, I did get to share ideas with my friends and colleagues, who were working with me and I wanted to share something I learned.

If you are like me (or my son) and spend a fair amount of time online, you might find it helpful to use a portal to organize some (or all) of your online life. The two portals that I have been playing with are iGoogle and Netvibes. These are both similar in nature and allow you to create tabs to organize your virtual stuff as well as collecting all of your RSS feeds in one place.

Both portals allow you to customize the look and feel. The iGoogle space is definitely more fun- my son, for example, chose a topper that has a monster eating another monster. The NetVibes choices are more in line with a Blogger template- boring but workable.

I have determined that iGoogle is better for the "fun" side of my life (lots of widgets are available for both platforms) that allow you to add games, pictures, video's and more. and NetVibes is for my "work" life. Netvibes offers pre-made tabs- with popular RSS feeds already added, I found this quite exciting.

What portals are you using? Do you think portals help you become more organized and connected? Drop me a comment or two and let me know your experiences.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Say “H−EYE” to Daniel Tyree

Daniel reads a pair of glasses on the lensometer while Mrs. Moore, the Program Director, watches. Mrs. Moore is always available to make sure we’re performing skills correctly and give us advice on how to perfect them.

How did you hear about the Ophthalmic Tech Program here at Vol State?

“I found out about the Ophthalmic Tech Program by a letter sent to me by Mrs. Moore.”

What’s your favorite thing about the program so far?

“My favorite thing about the program so far is learning about all the different instruments and equipment that we as techs will use on a daily basis. I also have enjoyed all the friendships that have been made in so little time.”

What are you looking forward to most once at your clinical site?

“I’m looking forward to applying what I have learned in the past few months. I’m also looking forward to seeing some of the surgical procedures.”

What’s your least favorite thing about the program?

“Well, this is a hard one…uh…optics! Ha. Ha. I have enjoyed optics as a whole, but the different formulas that we have used so far have been a little challenging.”

Why did you choose this program?

“I chose this program because after reading about some of the courses that are offered it sounded really interesting. I also enjoy the working environment, as well as all the different opportunities after this program.”

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned so far?

“The most interesting thing that I’ve learned so far is image formation and just how complex an eye really.”
Posted by Melissa
Learn more about ophthalmic at Volunteer State Community College

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

This Week at Vol State

Welcome back! We have several things going on this week. Honors Week activities Nov 13 and 14 at 12:15 in the Rochelle Center. There's a student music recital at 12:30pm on Nov. 14th in the Pickel Building room 130. Later this week, Nov. 15 and 16, the Tennessee Academy of Science will be meeting on campus. Also don't forget the Community Garden work day on Saturday. Just scroll down for an entire entry on that event.

Volunteer State Community College

Monday, November 12, 2007

Garden Work Day This Saturday

We invite you to mark your calendar for the final public workday of the year on Saturday, November 17, 2007 from 9:00 – 12:00. This will mark our one year anniversary for the VSCC COMMUNITY GARDEN. Look what we have accomplished together. If you have students or family members looking for opportunities to get in additional volunteer hours for civic responsibility or community service, this is an open invitation. We will continue work on the split rail fence being installed around the garden, clearing and cleaning of the ravine areas immediately adjacent to the Community Garden, late season garden clearing, collection of leaves for composting, and …who knows what else! Bring a brown paper bag, we'll teach you to harvest seed from the Community Garden for your very own Meadow Garden next spring.

Posted by Jeff Kent

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Say “H−EYE” to Christopher Dedmon

Christopher has his pupils checked with a pen light.
You can tell a lot about a patient’s eyes simply
by viewing them in dim light with a tiny beam of light.

What’s your favorite thing about the Ophthalmic Tech Program?

“My favorite thing about the program has been learning how complex and complicated the human eye is, and also about how many different pieces of equipment we must use.”

What’s your least favorite thing about the Program?

“My least favorite thing about the program would be that we are set apart from the rest of the main campus, so many people don’t know about our program.”

Why did you choose this program?

“After receiving my information I started researching what an Ophthalmic Technician was and what they do. Then I made the decision to go to the interview, because I was excited about what the program had to offer and the possibilities of career advancement.”

What are you looking forward to most once at your clinical site?

“I am looking forward to actually being on the floor using my skills I have learned this semester. It is going to be a great experience actually putting my skills to the test with patients in a clinical setting, instead of being in the classroom where I can stop and ask questions.”

Friday, November 2, 2007

Tech Fun- Weekend Reading

I couldn't resist, perhaps it's the geek in me :)

Anyway, this afternoon, I came across an article talking about H.G. Wells War of the Worlds, which was published 77 years ago and talked about how people were so frightened when it first aired on the radio. Society was changed by that experience.

To celebrate that event, a FREE War of the Worlds eComic has been published. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Tech Tip Thursday: Animoto

Greetings! Today we are going to take a look at a program called Animoto. Animoto allows you to create high quality flash productions using still photo's and adding music. The free version of the program lets you create a piece of up to 30 seconds. You add your photo's and then select from the list of "free" music or you can add your own music clip (Just be sure your own the rights to the music).

The program will generate the video - in a snap! Check out the sample above, it took me approximately 5 minutes to create. Once your video is finished, you can email it, link it to a website, blog, Facebook, etc. If you don't like the finished product, click a button and you can remix to your heart's delight!

For a small fee, you can create unlimited video's of much longer length. Plans for Animoto include the ability to create your own CD's and more.