Thursday, January 31, 2008

Dr. Douglas has his own millipede

Our faculty get out into the community and often into really interesting places. For Dr. Joe Douglas those places include caves. And even though he's a History Professor he's now officially on record for helping to discover a new species. Here is a note from his colleague Le-Ellen Dayhuff and one from Joe explaining it all:

The new species Pseudotremia douglasi is named in honor of Dr. Joseph C. Douglas, Professor of History, Volunteer State Community College. Pseudotremia douglasi is known from two caves about 2 miles apart along the western edge of the Appalachian Cumberland Plateau in north-central Tennessee. I guess all that time in caves did finally pay off !! Congratulations Joe.

Le-Ellen Dayhuff
Several people have asked, so I guess I should tell something about it. I have been volunteering for the last five or six years to assist biological cave surveys on the Cumberland Plateau conducted by the Nature Conservancy and partners, like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Dr. Julian (Jerry) Lewis of Indiana is the principle investigator. As a result of his work, a few dozen new species of obligate cave dwelling animals have been found. Now these are pretty much all invertebrates, not flashy or showy things like mammals or birds. They are mostly spiders, beetles, pseudoscorpions, millipedes, and the like. Anyway, I think Dr. Lewis must have run out of other names; after naming them after TNC scientists and the donors who funded the project he started to name them after his field volunteers. So I have a small white millipede, a Pseduotremia. It is kind of an ugly little thing, but it is an honor. I do not have a photo of it currently, but I’ve attached a photo of a related Pseudotremia.
Joe Douglas

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

We need your help for the Vol State web site redesign

A web site is more than just another internet connection; it has become a new face to the world. We're doing a redesign of the school web site to make it more engaging and easier to use. The college is encouraging everyone to help by taking a new web site survey. It can be found at for the next four weeks.

By everyone we mean students, faculty, staff and community members. We all have a stake in this and it makes sense to have every involved in the process.

The survey includes questions about what works and what doesn’t work on the current web site at It also asks about what features people think should be on the new college web site. The entire survey only takes a few minutes. It will be available online at until February 27.

Vol State. Volunteer State Community College.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Susan is the 100th contestant for Vol State "Biggest Loser"

Susan Hosier is the 100th person to sign up for the "Biggest Loser" weight loss contest here at Vol State. There's still time to sign up.

Vicki Stratton, Secretary
Health Services

Posted by Vicki.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Tech Tip- Tools to Help You Stay Organized this Semester (and beyond)

Now that the semester is underway, I've noticed that many students are looking for ways to get better organized, keep their notes together or just get the best possible grade in the class. I've spent some time looking at loads of sites and here are a few of my favorites to get you on track.

One of the first tools for success is being a good note taker, whether you prefer paper and pencil or online note taking, there are tools out there for you. In 50 Ways to Take Notes, take a look to see if you can find a tool that will work for you.

The second tool, is designed to help the busy student organize their homework assignments with their personal schedules. The Gradefix site helps you plan which homework to work on at what time. Just plug in due dates and other responsibilities and a schedule will be prepared for you. Hopefully, no more last minute cramming! The site offers a free version and a more full featured version for $5 per month.

The third tool is the "ultimate" online organizer. This site allows you to keep your notes online, create to do lists, build a calendar and also includes templates for situations as varied as planning a wedding, selling a product, or creating a list of restaurants you want to try. Backpack is free.

And for those of you in Math class, here's a simple online calculator to help with all of your equation solving problems. Calcoolate is the place to be.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Vol State Singers

The Vol State Singers are a performing group on campus that is open to all students. The group is comprised of students who are going to major in music and those who just love to sing. Some singers have a long history of choral singing and some are just beginning their musical journey. It is this combination that makes the group “user friendly” and lots of fun.

Last year, the group participated in several concerts. One of those was “A NIGHT IN ITALY”. This event was a dinner/concert at the Amber Leaf on the square in Gallatin. Over 100 people attended and ate to their hearts delight while they listened to wonderful music performed in an Italian cafĂ© style environment. This year, the group will put on this event on April 11th and 12th. The cost of the meal and concert will be $15.00.
If you would like to join the group, call Nancy Slaughter @ 230-3286 or email her at The class meets on TR 12:45-2:10.

Weight Watchers

Have you tried every diet known to mankind? The lose 10lbs in 3 days! The Atkins! The South Beach Diet! The Cabbage Soup Diet!

Then I invite you to try something that works, where you don’t have to sacrifice your favorite foods in order to loose weight! Where you will have the support of your friends and co-workers to help you stay on track.

On February 5th at 12:00pm a representative from Weight Watchers will provide a free informational session on the Weight Watchers at Work Program. The session will take place in the President’s Conference Room in the Ramer Administration Building.

In order to have the at Work Program on the Vol State Campus we will need a minimum of 15 people to join. Please come to the free informational session to see if Weight Watchers is the right program for you! The Weight Watchers at Work program is open to men and women staff, faculty, student and community members. The cost for the program is outlined below:

$120 for new members
$110 for current members
$100 for lifetime members trying to get back to goal

We are hoping to put together a Weight Watcher team in the “Biggest Loser” contest with Health Services. Join us in getting fit for LIFE!

Please contact me directly at 230-3530 if you are interested.

Posted by Shanna

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Unity Day on Wednesday

Wednesday, January 23rd is Unity Day at Vol State. The featured performer at the 12:15pm event in the gym is Kenya King. Here is how the publicity packet describes her:

"Kenya King tells the story of the Civil Rights movement from a different perspective in a musical tribute to Coretta Scott King. Kenya has often been told she looks like a young Coretta, brings the perspective of this quiet, gracious wife of Dr. Martin Luther King into focus as she shares the life and times of this tireless civil rights leader before, during and after the death of her famous husband. The presentation is peppered with the inspiring freedom songs and melodious spirituals characteristic of the 1960s coupled with insightful quotes from Mrs. King."

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

Friday, January 18, 2008

Vol State basketball “Think Pink” fundraiser for cancer research

The Vol State basketball teams will take to the floor for games on February 9, but they won’t just be battling opponents on the court. Everyone will be working to help fight breast cancer. It’s a “Think Pink” fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. The Vol State women’s basketball team will face off against the Columbia State Chargers at 6 p.m. Fans are encouraged to come root for the Lady Pioneers and wear pink to show concern for breast cancer. There will be prizes and games at half time. Admission is $2 with all of the proceeds going to the American Cancer Society. The games will be held in the gym. For more information call 615-230-3233.

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

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Say “H−EYE” to Melissa Gibson

Melissa has her vision checked. Notice the projected Snellen Chart above and behind her on the wall. A reflection of this in a mirror on the wall in front of her simulates the needed 20ft. range when much shorter areas are available.

How did you find the Ophthalmic Tech Program?

“Well, I got my BS Degree in Math, but soon discovered that I wasn’t going to be completely happy with the type of career that a person with a math degree usually has. I’ve always wanted to really help people, so I started searching careers that focused on that. I found the term “ophthalmic technician,” but had no idea what it was, so I looked it up. After reading about what an ophthalmic tech actually is and does I decided it was everything I wanted for a career. I believe there are ways of telling whether or not something is meant to be… So when I discovered that Vol State had the only Ophthalmic Tech Program in TN and was 1 of only 7 schools in the nation I knew it was meant to be!”

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

“I love it all- the skills, the hands-on access to all the equipment we’ll use at our clinical sites and future jobs, our classes, and definitely the sense of belonging…”

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

“Working with patients. It’s one thing working with classmates, which is great, but it’s a whole new world working with actual patients and I can’t wait!”

Why did you choose this program?

“I wanted a career that would give to me as much as I would be giving to it…”

Posted by Melissa. Vol State. Volunteer State Community College

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Not too late to be a big loser

The excitement is building on campus as students return to find that Vol State is shedding poundage beginning in February with the Biggest Loser on Campus. It is not too late to sign up in Health Services to join in the fun with other students as they challenge the faculty & staff to lose more “tonnage” this spring! Will you be one of the Biggest Losers?

Posted by Vicki

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Welcome week at Vol State

There are a bunch of cool things to do on campus this semester. Do you want to get the scoop on a big story? Write for the Settler student newspaper. Do you enjoy the other kind of football? Check out the soccer club. You can chat with several student clubs and organizations during Welcome Week today through Friday. They'll have tables and displays in the Wood Campus Center so you can find out which group might be right for you. Here's who will be there:
SGA-Student Government Association
ACE-Association of Campus Events
The Settler student newspaper
Returning Women's Organization
Speech Team
Phi Theta Kappa honors society
Fellowship of Christian Athletes
Psychology Club
ACE is even giving out free pizza on Wednesday and Thursday and you can't beat free pizza.

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

Monday, January 14, 2008

Welcome back students!

Spring semester 2008 is off to a good start. Weekend classes began on Saturday and weekday classes started today. Students are back in the classrooms in Caudill Hall, which is really nice to see considering what we went through with the tornado. This is a picture we took today and the one below is the same classroom after the April 7, 2006 tornado. Quite a difference! A special thanks to the construction crews for all of their hard work and our own maintenance and facility staff for getting it ready for classes. All classes marked Caudill will now be held again in Caudill. The modular classrooms that were over by the Art Building are no longer being used. Faculty from the Social Science and Education Division are still located in the Pickel Building. We expect that they will move some time in the next month. The auditorium in Caudill is still undergoing some more renovations. When it's done it will be even better than before, with new dressing rooms, lighting grids and seating. We expect the work to be finished later this spring.

We hope everyone has a great spring semester!

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

Friday, January 11, 2008

Caudill Hall is back in business!

Good news....Caudill Hall is back open for classes this spring semester! It's something we have been looking forward to for some time. Caudill Hall was severely damaged in the 2006 tornado and has been closed for repair work. Caudill classes have been held in modular classroom units over by the Art Department building. Those modular units are now closed and all classes marked Caudill on your schedule will actually be held in Caudill.

It marks the last big piece of work for tornado recovery on campus. The final touch will be completion of work on the auditorium in Caudill, which should be done later this spring.

The Social Science and Education faculty and division offices are still located in Pickel for the next few weeks. They will be moving back to Caudill in the next month or so.
Here is a link for the updated version of the campus map:
Posted by Eric. Vol State. Volunteer State Community College.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Will HR folks be the biggest losers?

It’s not too late to join in the fun that the Human Resources Department is enjoying this spring. The whole HR office has signed up for the BIGGEST LOSER CAMPAIGN in Health Services which begins in February. The HR office has decided to lose a whole person, can your department do the same? Students are also welcome to join in the fun and get healthy also!

Don’t be left out, sign-ups continue through January.

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

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Student literary publication wins again!

To use a shopworn yet apt sports metaphor—Squatter’s Rites did a “three-peat” in winning second place award of the American Scholastic Press Association for 2007.

Thanks and congratulations are due to the 2007 SR staff; Managing Editor Tamela Harris, Layout Editor Erin Haynes, and judges Ashley Greene and Leighanne Quinn—also the student contributors of written and literary art to this edition, most notably George Hodges, winner of the John McDougal Literary Award, and Brett Dabbs, winner of the Fusion Art and Design Award

Last, but certainly not least much thanks to Cindy Wyatt for keeping the faith by sending in the 2007 edition to the ASPA, and Claire Hampton for the crash course in Indesign!

Yay, indeed!
Elkin Brown
Faculty Co-Advisor and Chief Nanny
Squatter’s Rites
Vol State. Volunteer State Community College.

Robinson joins the Vol State Lady Pioneers

The Vol State women’s basketball team is pleased to announce that Ciera Robinson, a 6’0” post player from Michigan, has joined the team for the spring semester and will be eligible as a freshman for the Pioneers in the 2008-09 season. Robinson comes to us from Henderson State University where she attended the fall semester. Prior to Henderson she was an All-League and Honorable Mention All-State selection while averaging 12 points and 11 rebounds per game for her senior campaign at South Lake High School near Detroit.

Robinson becomes the first member of the 2008 recruiting class. Ciera brings to us an athletic and physical post presence and is a great first piece of our recruiting puzzle.

Posted by Coach Montgomery
Vol State. Volunteer State Community College.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Biggest Loser

It’s that time of the year, a New Year, which means, we all resolve to lose weight! Why not have fun, while you struggle with all the issues that go along with that “heavy load”! The “Biggest Loser” is a top rated TV show and has great weigh loss results! Vol State’s very own Health Services has developed a “Biggest Loser” Campaign beginning in February for faculty, staff and students. There will be teams, meetings, events, support and much, much more! To join in the fun, or for more information, come by Health Services in Wood Campus Center Room 215.

Posted by Vicki. Vol State Volunteer State Community College.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Say “H−EYE” to Lisa Edwards

Lisa practices using the “Big E” on a fellow classmate.

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

“I had a friend go through the Dental Assisting Program and after taking a year off from school to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, I decided to check out the other programs Vol State had to offer. I knew I wanted to work in an eye doctor’s office, but I had been told there weren’t any programs for this. And so when I found this one on the website I knew it was for me!”

What would you say to someone who was thinking about applying to the Ophthalmic Tech Program, but thinks he/she won’t get in, that the program would be too difficult, or anything else that would keep him/her from applying?

“As far as odds go, I had every odd against me that I wouldn’t get in. I had a low GPA, not enough classes, and not enough time to devote because I had to work full-time in order to support my husband and myself. However, Mrs. Moore is wonderful! She worked with me all summer long to bring my GPA up and get the classes I needed. I had to commit 100% to the program, as well as to Mrs. Moore. And finally, with all of her help, I was able to get in, and the money situation miraculously worked itself out. It’s always worth a shot!”

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

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Don't try to pull a fast one on Google

Have you ever used Google to look for a local business, like when you want to order pizza or find a place to shop or need a specialty shop? Did you get the full results where it shows you the map and everything on the results page? When I'm looking for a local business I'm more likely to stop by if a simple Google search gives me a map to your front door and I'm more likely to call if your phone number comes up at the top of the page.

So as webmaster I thought it'd be a good idea to set this up for Vol State. We've already got an account because I use Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools to keep tabs on the Volunteer State Community College website. Setting up the info and even adding photos from around campus was super easy, I've got to commend Google for that. But I did run in to one small problem.

I had to specify a primary phone number, that's easy, the main camps trunk line is published on our home page, 615.452.8600. At the end of the process, it wants to verify your data by phone. It's an automated call that prompts you to enter a verification code that shows up on the screen when you're done. I didn't want to drop an unexpected call from Google on our switch board operator.

So I went back to our details and listed the number that comes directly to my desk as our primary number, then the main trunk as the alternate number. Then I had Google call me. After the verification it told me the changes should take effect in the next 4 weeks or so. Ok, good. I'll just go switch the phone numbers back around now.

Only Google wants to verify that change as well. So I'm back to square one and choose the verify by postcard option. I'm not sure how long it will take that verification to kick in. But chances are the first couple of weeks of February Google will be publishing my direct line as the primary contact number for the whole campus.

Student Success Seminars Offered for Online and Hybrid Students

The Distance Learning Department will be offering several one hour Student Success seminars for students who are taking online and hybrid courses this semester. During this one hour seminar students will be introduced to the following:

  • How to Login to MyVolStateOnline
  • Who to call for help
  • How to navigate a MyVolStateOnline course
  • How to submit homework assignments using the Dropbox
  • How to submit a quiz
  • How to post to the discussion board
  • How to view grades and track progress within their MyVolStateOnline class
Sessions will be held at the following time and will meet in the Rochelle Center (Main Campus-Library). There will also be one session offered in L-115 and broadcast to the Livingston site via ITV.

Session dates and times are:

January 12 9:00 - 9:50 a.m. Rochelle Center
January 12 10:00 - 1o:50 a.m. L-115 /Livingston
January 14 2:00 - 2:50 p.m. Jim Moore Conference Room (2nd floor L/LRC)
January 15 2:00 - 2:50 p.m. Rochelle Center

Please contact Peggy Watson ( to reserve a spot or ask any questions about the session.

Additional support material is available at the Distance Learning Student Success site.

Campus is back open for business

The campus is back open again after a holiday break. That means you can apply and register for the spring semester. There is still plenty of time. Weekend classes start on January12 and weekday classes on January 14. You can come to campus for the personal touch. Admissions and advising are good first places to stop. The Admissions folks can help with everything you need to take classes at Vol State. The Advising Center can help you with ideas on what classes to take, degree programs and generally where you want to go with your life and career.

If you feel more comfortable talking to someone first give Admissions a call at 230-3688 or Advising at 230-3702.

For a look at the spring schedule and all of our academic programs visit the website at

And if you're looking for a class to learn new skills for work or just for fun check out our Continuing Education and Workforce Development classes. You can find a complete list of what we are offering at or give them a call at 230-3358.

Vol State. Volunteer State Community College