Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Holidays!

The fall semester has come to a close, and the holidays are almost here.

It has been a joy passing along information to the Vol State community and beyond, and I look forward to seeing you again in the spring.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to interviews, and especially thank you to the readers.

I sincerely hope that everyone did well this semester. Have a very safe and happy holiday, and I’ll see you next year!

Volunteer State Community College

Monday, December 21, 2009

Fitness Upgrades All Around

A complete workout room renovation made the way for local rural schools to have more.

Vol State is upgrading the workout room in the Pickel building, and decided to donate several treadmills, elliptical sets, and free weights in lieu of selling them.

“Vol State has been really good about donating things to school systems. We took a look at some of the schools in the area who had the biggest need. The rural schools sometimes get left out of proper funding. They have less students and a lack of resources. We draw a lot of students from those schools so it is a win-win situation for everybody,” said Bobby Hudson, Director of Athletics.

“We checked with Trousdale County High School, Red Boiling Springs High School in Macon County, and Westmoreland High School in Sumner County,” said Hudson. He said that the highschools were very receptive with the donations, and came to pick up the equipment while bringing some of their players.

“It’s been awhile and we are trying to upgrade the health and physical education department. We’ve never really done a total renovation like this. Dr. Nichols has been very supportive over the entire project,” Hudson said.

“The room is used extensively, and we wanted to give it more of a fitness center type look,” Hudson said of the workout room.

Hudson said, “The new facility will have three new treadmills, three new elliptical sets, and a new reception station that will be staffed with work study and coaches.”

The target opening for the new workout facility is January 17, 2010.

Volunteer State Community College

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas and holiday college schedule

It's the last day of finals! We hope classes went well for everyone. A reminder about the holiday and Christmas schedule for Vol State. The entire campus is closed from December 24-29. We will have limited offices open on December 30. We will be closed December 31 and January 1.

We will also be closed on Thursday, January 7 due to professional development day.

Here's wishing everyone a merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, festive Kwanzaa and happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dear Santa!

Dear Santa,
I am writing this letter on behalf of the Vol State students, faculty, and staff. They have questions and wishes they want to express to you.
Myka Drake said, “I want to know why you live in the North Pole. It is freezing there!” She then went on to say that she wants a million dollars.
“I would urge Mrs. Claus to prepare him healthier foods because he has gained too much weight,” said Leonard Assante, Associate Professor of Communications/Chair of Communications.
Student Amanda Johnson said, “I would ask him for easier homework!” Shanie Ayers said, “I want a vacation, and it better be good!”
Melissa Tyndall, Instructor of Communications said, “I would ask for a big bag of money!”
“I want to know what he does the first couple of days after Christmas,” said Jamey Campbell, Coordinator of Student Activities. Mr. Campbell also wants patio furniture.
Some people just want to know answers to puzzling questions. “Is it true that the Earth heats and cools in cycles, and man’s affect has nothing to do with global warming? I figure Santa would know something about that being the magical character he is,” said Howard Espravnik, Associate Professor of Communication; Manager, Radio Station WVCP.
Santa, it isn’t just children who have questions and wishes during the holiday season. You are a very popular guy. There are those who would be happy for the simple things, and are happy with the way things are.
“I would ask for an extra six hours a day to be able to get all of my stuff done, spend time with my family, and still be able to get eight hours of sleep a night. Other than that, I’ve got everything I could ask for,” said Derek Pennycuff, Webmaster.
Thank you for taking the time to read the comments and wishes of some of the Vol State community. By the way, my personal letter is in the mail!
Thank you,
Amie Lara, Student Blogger
Volunteer State Community College

Monday, December 14, 2009

Paralegal Open House

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to see what is involved in your choice of study before actually registering for classes?
On January 5, 2010 Vol State students wanting to become a paralegal will have that opportunity. There will be an open house at 5 p.m. in Mattox 106.
“It is still a viable job market,” said Loretta Calvert, Coordinator of the Paralegal Program. “The highest demand in the paralegal job market is Bankruptcy,” she said.
Calvert said that it is a popular program and several students enroll. “When I checked my list of advisees for the semester I personally have over one hundred,” she said.
At the open house students will be able to see what classes will be offered, as well as the content of the program. If they decide this is something they would like to do there will be time to sign up for classes before January 14. “I will never push it down someone’s throat. You need to have a passion for it,” Calvert said.
“We have people with Bachelor’s degrees that want to come and get a degree in the paralegal field,” said Calvert. Law students sometimes take paralegal courses and this can prove beneficial when going to law school according to Calvert.
Students interested in attending may email Loretta Calvert for additional information at Loretta.Calvert@volstate.edu.

Volunteer State Community College

Friday, December 11, 2009

Register for Classes Early

Early registration is becoming more important as the Vol State student population grows.

Registration for those currently enrolled began November 9, 2009. Classes seem to be filling up quickly and there is still over a month left before the start of the spring semester January 14, 2010.

“I’m always late registering. I looked today and it seems like everything is filled up,” said Erica Murphy. Rich Pharris said, “I haven’t registered yet because I still have a balance on my tuition.”

I asked Accounting major Tamula Chamberlain if she thought it was important to register early. She replied with a chuckle, “Yes, if you want to get the class. It was more important to register early this semester, because last semester I had to take what was left.”

While some students worry about getting the classes they need and locked into place others take it day by day such as Jonathan Perkins. “I haven’t registered yet. I just go with the flow.”
Bonny Copenhaver, Dean of Humanities said, “Yes, there are some things that are filling up. There are sections within each department that are full. There may have been some increase in early registration.” Copenhaver said it is important to register early, “Because you get the class and times you want.”

Students can register by logging into PRIDE online.

Volunteer State Community College

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Green Activities

The term going green is all the rage nowadays.

Vol State Environmental Science students participated in a community service project during the semester to help increase awareness of the ongoing environmental problems we face.
“It’s an introduction to the environment and environmental responsibility. All semester they had a requirement to work in their communities. This is their end of the semester project,” said Phil Clifford, Instructor of Biology and Environmental Science.
Among some of the issues covered was carpooling. Students Anthony Jordan and Jeremy Vandivier did research in this area. They explained about a website called carpool.com. “It is kind of like craigslist for carpooling,” said Jordan.
Amber Armstrong and Connie Sharp saved rain water. “We made four barrels. There are more expensive barrels that have filters to use for drinking, but the water from our barrels can be used for pets or to water plants, etc,” said Sharp. “You pick a gutter, and put a one inch hole in the barrel,” Armstrong said. They said that the rain water flows from the gutters into the barrels to conserve water.

Planting trees was another major endeavor taken on by several students involved. “I planted trees for the playground at my church. We planted a total of six,” said Shannon Beauvais.
Elise Barreiro planted trees for Robert F. Woodall Elementary School in White House, Tenn. The trees for her project were donated by The Wilkinson Planter Center in White House, Tenn. “As I planted the trees I got some of the after school children involved. I talked to them about environmental sustainability. My goal wasn’t just to plant a tree but to educate them. I had a lot of fun with this project,” said Barreiro.
Cleaning up our lakes and rivers is something that Kayla Day and Michael Goodman both sought out to do. A car was found in Drakes Creek. “I was kayaking in Drakes Creek and hit the car,” said Goodman. “We are working with The Army Corps of Engineers to get the car removed,” said Day.
The students in the class were happy to have been able to contribute to such a good cause while learning and receiving a grade.

Volunteer State Community College

Monday, December 7, 2009

Entrepreneurial Students

Small business owners aren’t just established college graduates. Vol State student Jamie Sutton decided to unleash his entrepreneurial spirit and start his own business.

With the help from Charles Alexander, The Director of (TSBDC) Tennessee Small Business Development Center here at Vol State, Sutton’s business is ready to go.
Sutton came up with the idea of launching a music web based business. “Charles Alexander looked over my plan and gave me specific advice. He referred me to a lawyer and marketing people. From the time I wrote the business plan to the time I got it up and running it was about eight or nine months,” Sutton said.
Charles Alexander said, “I’m under continuing education, and I teach workshops on a full time basis. This is primarily for the business community. The small business center offers counseling to those who either have a small business or those who want to start a business.”

“We are a news and information website for the Nashville music industry. We have CD reviews, band interviews, and cover concerts. It is called The Nashville Listener,” said Sutton. “I write most of the material, and I do interviews with local acts about upcoming shows,” he said.

On December 4, 2009, Sutton had the launch party for his website. “We are hooked up with soundforest.org. They are a charity that works with musicians and plants trees in the middle Tennessee area. All proceeds of the cover of the event go to the charity,” said Sutton.
“At the launch party we will have a winter wonderland theme, and pine trees will be decorated as Christmas trees that you can purchase and have planted in your name throughout middle Tennessee,” he said.

Anyone wanting more information about starting a business may contact Charles Alexander at Charles.Alexander@volstate.edu or 230-4780.

Volunteer State Community College

Friday, December 4, 2009

We Have A TV Studio!

One of Vol State’s best kept secrets is the state of the art television station located in the Ramer building.

In addition to shooting the cable television show “Inside Politics,” it is used to teach students video editing.

Vol State will be offering an Intro to Video Class in spring 2010, and Karen Russell will be teaching.

“It is a basic introduction to learning the studio,” Russell said. She said that it covers pre and post production from editing to writing the scripts. Russell said,” I worked for Fox 17 for ten years in promotion and production then moved on to producing the morning broadcast. This is my first time teaching this class, and I am excited.”

Director of Media Services Terry Heinen said, “The media services department serves the entire campus. We are part of the academic affairs division, and the primary focus is to support any of the academic programs with their media production needs.”

“In addition to academic affairs we also do production for everyone else on campus; primarily PR, the office of the president, and the foundation. Typically if students are involved in the communications programs they may have access to the studio,” said Heinen.

Heinen said, “In addition to Vol State projects we occasionally assist with area not for profit organizations and government agencies.”

Rick Hindman is the videographer. In addition to his position as videographer, he does editing and graphic design. He said, “It is a modern up to date studio and the school has a lot to be proud of.”

To see some of the work produced at the television studio, go to YouTube.

Volunteer State Community College

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Showstopping Holiday Event

Singing, dancing, and festive lighting will fill the Caudill Hall auditorium during the holiday concert.

“Christmas at Volunteer State” is being presented by Vol State’s department of Visual and Performing Arts with the “Showstoppers” and Commercial Music Ensemble performing various holiday songs.
A.J. Hughes said, “We’ve been rehearsing since the first day of school. I’ve invited a ton of people. I sing ‘Believe’ as a soloist from ‘The Polar Express.’ I do a lot of harmonies throughout.” Cody Pennington said, “I’m in the winter medley and ‘Do You Hear What I Hear?’ Those are my favorites.”
Several Vol State students are providing accompaniment as well by playing drums and keyboard along with a few other instruments. “I play drums and percussion for the Commercial Music Ensemble,” said Steven Phillips.
Not only have the performers been rehearsing since the beginning of the semester, but a lot goes on behind the scenes as well. Theatre major Andrew Givens said, “I do lighting and sound, and I do all of the theatrical events.”

There will be two opportunities to see the holiday production. Opening night is Saturday December 5, at 7:30p.m., with an encore presentation Sunday December 6 at 2:30p.m.
There is a suggested donation of five dollars, and ten dollars will get you into the show as well as a CD of the performance.

Volunteer State Community College

Green Science Projects

As part of the Biology 1040 class -Environmental Science - students are performing “green” activities in their communities. They have been asked to prepare presentations on what they have accomplished (photos, handouts, etc.) and during their last lab period they will be displaying these at the Vol State Rochelle Center on the first floor of the Thigpen Library. This will be on December 7th from 2:00pm – 4:30 pm. Everyone is welcome to wander through and see what they accomplished!

Phil Clifford, PhD.
Volunteer State Community College
Mathematics and Science Division
Office: 615-452-8600 X 2309

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Final Month!

The holidays are steadily approaching, and if that isn’t enough, Vol State students are gearing up for final exams.

Final exams are from Saturday December 12 until Friday December 18. For a detailed time schedule, click here.

Students have differing opinions about finals. Some are ready, and some are feeling the stress a bit more. Nicole Slate is a Radiology major and said, “I’m ready I think.” “I’m as ready as I’m going to be. You can only make up for so much in two weeks,” said Communications major Hank Elliot.

Brandon Teel said, “I’m ready for it to be over with honestly.” Teel also said that he is a little stressed about his History final. Justin Clark said, “It is just certain classes I’m worried about; math mainly.”

As a fellow student, I can definitely understand the stress that can accompany final exams. Even if you feel ready, there still seems to be a bit of anxiety when it comes to that last test of the semester.

Take a deep breath and do your best. Good luck!

Volunteer State Community College

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Help Make Christmas Brighter

Amy Mitchell is running the Vol State Christmas with the Kids campaign this year, and she needs your help:

The Annual SGA Christmas with the Kids tree is up in the Wood Campus Center Tiled Dining Room and has ornaments representing the children of VSCC students who need some extra magic this Christmas. Please consider picking up an ornament and helping make the holidays special for our collective College family. Each ornament indicates the gender, age, and needs and wants of a child. SGA invites you to pick up an ornament and purchase gifts not to exceed $50.00.

The last day to get the bulbs off of the Christmas tree is Thursday, December 3rd by 1:00pm. The last day to drop of the gifts (unwrapped and placed in a gift bag) for the kids is Friday, December 4th, by 4 pm. Gifts should be returned to the Student Club Center in Wood 213.

Christmas with the Kids will be on Sunday, December 6th from 3 until 5 pm in the cafeteria. If you have any questions at all please feel free to email me at amitchell31@volstate.edu or amitchell008@gmail.com

Amy L. Mitchell

Giving Warmth

The holiday season is here again, and this year Vol State is having a coat drive for the second year.

Associate Professor of English Daniel Kelley is heading this event. “This is in conjunction with the ‘Good Morning America’ campaign. This is the second year and we have already gotten twenty three coats. My goal is one hundred coats,” said Kelley.

Students who are just learning about the coat drive are showing interest. Darae Schafer said, “I think it is a really good thing.” “I think I may have something to donate,” Alex Mabry said when asked if he may participate.

Kelley wants to point out that donations aren’t just for students, faculty, and staff. “Students should encourage friends and family members to donate.”

Last year the coats got delivered to Burlington Coat Factory, and then The Nashville Rescue Mission. “They don’t have to be winter coats. They can be jackets and sweaters. We even took hats and gloves last year. They can be any size for males and females as long as they are in good condition,” said Kelley.

Kelley said that new donations are welcome as well. Those wanting to donate should bring the coats to Professor Kelley’s office located in the Ramer building room 135. Questions can be directed to Daniel Kelley at daniel.kelley@volstate.edu or 615-230-3242. Donations can be given between now and December 18th.
Volunteer State Community College

Monday, November 30, 2009

Honors Program Info Night Tuesday

Honors classes can challenge a student and help them find a new perspective on a subject. There is an emphasis on critical thinking, writing and discussion. The classes are tougher, but they are also smaller, and with increased interaction. Vol State is holding an information session for current students, prospective students and parents to learn more about Honors courses. It will be this Tuesday, December 1 at 7 p.m. in the Thigpen Library. Everyone is invited. For more information visit www.volstate.edu/honors or call 615-230-3281.

Volunteer State Community College Honors

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

See the World!

Seeing the Great Wall of China up close or enjoying a pint in a local Irish pub may be something you only read about or see on the television.

Vol State students each have an equal opportunity to see these via the International Education program that is offered through Vol State, and TnCIS (The Tennessee Consortium of International Studies). Even for those who have heard about this unique opportunity, you may not know exactly who can apply or even how to get everything started.
For the 2010 destinations, “You have to be enrolled in the spring semester,” said Dr. John H Espey, Academic Dean of the Business Division. Espey said that even if you are graduating in May 2010, you may still apply for the program and take a class abroad. “It will go onto your transcript as an elective. You will be taking a class and be involved with students throughout Tennessee.,” said Espey.
Most of the programs are three weeks long. “This is a travel study program. It is not first class accommodations,” said Espey. He does make the point that they are nice and livable, but it isn’t going to be a five star hotel.
Espey said, “Scholarship assistance is available through Vol State. You have to have a valid US passport. Scholarship applications are due by December 10, 2009.” He goes onto say that not all costs are covered through scholarship assistance, but you need to apply to see what you do qualify for.
Several students have already shown interest in the 2010 program. “I want to go to Mexico. I want to learn the language and get into the culture,” said student Michael Martin. Student Teresa Epley said, “I went to Greece May ’09, and I’m looking into going to Spain.” “I want to go to Ireland,” said Drew Rowley.
If you are interested in traveling and studying abroad, there is still time to get in your applications before the December 10 due date. This could be the opportunity of a lifetime.
For more information go to www.volstate.edu/international. Here is the direct link for scholarship applications.
Volunteer State Community College

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Behind the Scenes at Channel 2 News

What goes on behind the scenes at Channel 2 News? Most people get to see the finished product on their televisions, but there is so much more than meets the eye.

Since this is the field I want to go into I was thrilled at the opportunity to go on a ride along with Channel 2 News reporter Melissa Penry, and I got to see the details behind the scenes.
The day started with a 9 a.m. meeting that consisted of reporters giving and receiving story ideas. Penry was working on a re-zoning story in Williamson County, and had already set up interviews with parents. We had to leave downtown and be in Franklin, Tenn. at 10:30 a.m.
Channel 2 has an on call list, in case of a breaking news story. “I could be called at anytime. We have an on-call list, but in reality if something big happens I could be called,” said Penry.
“I’ve been at Channel 2 for twenty five years,” Penry said. Within twenty five years she has learned to be well prepared for just about anything. She has a video camera in the vehicle since she shoots her own segments.
“I have rubber boots, a raincoat, and an umbrella. When we shoot on the interstate we have to wear a fluorescent vest. You need to be prepared for whatever can happen, because it can change in a moment,” Penry said.
In the span of a day, Penry had to set up interviews for her story, write her own scripts, shoot the segments, and get back to the news station by about 2:00 p.m. so that the first segment could be edited and ready to go for the 4:30 p.m. news segment. Keep in mind all of the footage gathered throughout the day can’t be more than ninety seconds for each segment.
After that she had to edit more on her story for the main event around 6 p.m., plus write it for the web. It is a full day’s work that news reporters put into just one story.
Penry was very friendly, and made my day extremely enjoyable and educational. It was refreshing to see the true personality of some of the reporters and anchors behind the scenes. I got some footage of the day and was able to catch a few of the Channel 2 News personalities on camera.

Volunteer State Community College

Monday, November 23, 2009

It's a Close-Up View for Criminal Justice Students

Students in the new Criminal Justice Program at Vol State get out of the classroom for real life experiences in the real world of law enforcement. Intro to Criminal Justice student Jamal Jackson talks about a recent class trip to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation:

The TBI field trip was a good experience because it gave me a good opportunity to see another field of Criminal Justice, instead of just the prison and police jobs out there for criminal justice majors. The experience gave an insight into other fields of Criminal Justice, and the other opportunities you have if you wanted to make Criminal Justice a career. I saw things on this tour that I thought I would never see in my life such as methamphetamine, and gunshot bullets in vehicles. Before this tour some of the things I saw I had never seen before, and it was interesting to hear about the different types of technology that they use to solve crimes. The gun analysis lab was very interesting.

The things that are different than on the television is in real life situations you are investigating crimes and people’s lives are at stake and you can’t miss anything, it takes a long time to gather evidence and have the evidence tested and processed than on television. On television the crime happens, the investigation team comes out, gathers the evidence and goes to a commercial break, and then when the program comes back on air they have a suspect within 5 minutes. In reality it takes quite a while for the investigation team to go through and process the evidence. If you miss anything such as a string of hair, a speck of blood, or any other important evidence your case is ruined, you may be putting an innocent person behind bars or on a gurney all because you didn’t go back over the evidence you had. - Jamal Jackson
Volunteer State Community College Criminal Justice

Friday, November 20, 2009

Abstract Medicine

Art and medicine don’t usually coincide with one another, but Michael Lotfi loves both.
Lotfi has a love for art, but is following in his family’s footsteps and going into the medical field, and is a pre-med major at Vol State. “I plan on going to Vanderbilt for anesthesia. My mom works at Centennial Medical Center,” said Lotfi.
Lotfi said, “I’ve been doing art since I was thirteen or fourteen. I dwell mostly in abstract. I try my hand at realism, but it is always a realistic subject in an abstract environment.”
The reason Lotfi is pursuing a medical career versus a career in art is rather simple. “I love to do art, but I’m an extreme realist, and it is very hard to make a career out of without a strong footing. My family is all in the medical field. It is something I’ve always been surrounded in, and been interested in,” he said.
Lotfi, at twenty, seems to have a valid plan in place. “The plan is to be an anesthesiologist and use that money to supplement my career as an artist,” Lotfi said. He said he wants to make a lot of money doing something that interests him so that he can finance something he loves.

Volunteer State Community College

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Chance to Film

YouTube makes it possible for pretty much anyone to be a film maker these days. Vol State student Chance Ragland is striving for more.

“I’m hoping to go into video production. I graduated high school in 2004, and I made the mistake of waiting far too long to start college,” Ragland said. “I’m hoping I can go to a four year university, or at least an art institute,” he said.

Ragland said, “I filmed a project with my friend, and he wrote the script. Before that I had a career development class. I moved here from Colorado when my dad had a job opportunity, so I moved here. Moving here was probably one of the smartest things I did. People here are a lot nicer.”

“I’m working on a project. It’s a short film and I’m casting right now. It is called, ‘Moosing for Money.’”

Ragland said he enjoys filming his friends and putting random stuff on YouTube. When he isn’t filming, Ragland said, “I like to hang out with friends from church.”

Ragland is taking a practicum class in the television studio at Vol State. You can find some of his films on YouTube.

Volunteer State Community College

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Auditions for The Spitfire Grill

Are you ready to take to the stage and bring a character to life? Auditions are coming up soon for
The Spitfire Grill. The musical is a story of love, friendship, and forgiveness. The student production is happening next semester. Auditions will be Tuesday, December 1 from 3:00pm-6:00pm in the Music Room, Pickel 140. Come prepared to deliver a short monologue and a Broadway song. The rehearsals will be on MTR 3:00pm-6:00pm beginning Tuesday, January 19. The performances will be on February 26-27. For more information contact: Judi Truitt, ext. 3781 or James Story, ext. 3216.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

HIV: Yes, It Still Exists

It seems that the hype about HIV and AIDS has died down quite a bit over the last few years.
Dwayne Jenkins is the HIV Education

Coordinator at Nashville Cares. He came to Vol State and gave a fun, yet informative presentation on HIV prevention.

Jenkins showed a variety of contraceptives that are available in the safe sex kits, and discussed the proper way to clean needles. “We know that bleach kills the virus. This doesn’t mean that it is a cure, but it is used to sterilize test tubes and needles,” said Jenkins.

“The difference between HIV and AIDS is a test. If a person is infected with HIV, and their T-Cells drop to a certain level, that person will have developed AIDS,” said Jenkins. He said that the drug cocktails that are available now help to get the T-Cells back to a certain level. He talked about the fluids that serve as a vehicle to transmit HIV. These are blood, breast milk, and sexual fluid.

Aside from the scientific explanations, Jenkins made the presentation enjoyable, and all types of questions were welcomed.

Student Lita Miller said of the presentation, “I think it is fantastic. It was very frank.” “You don’t hear about it nearly as much,” Miller said about HIV. Yvette Burns said, “Since they have all of these programs, they have stopped talking about it. I think there should be more talk about it so that people don’t forget.”

There has been progress made in the way of medication and tests that are more available, but there is still no cure for HIV and AIDS. The presentations that Nashville Cares offer remind us of that fact. The Belcourt Theatre will be having a multimedia journey through HIV and AIDS on December 1, 2009. You can reach Dwayne Jenkins via email at djenkins@nashvillecares.org.

Volunteer State Community College

Free Weekend at the Frist for Vol State Folks

It's Vol State Free Weekend at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville. Vol State students, faculty and staff can get in for free this weekend by showing their Vol State ID. The promotion runs from Thursday, November 19-Sunday, November 22 2009. Spouses, children etc can also get in for free with a special flyer that was sent out on e-mail. You can also pick them up in the Humanities Office in Ramer 101.

There's plenty on tap for the weekend, with some great exhibitions:

Georgia O’Keeffe and Her Times: American Modernisms from the Lane Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
This exhibition of forty-five paintings and eight photographs featuring masterpieces by Georgia O’Keeffe, Charles Sheeler, Arthur G. Dove, Stuart Davis, and Marsden Hartley, the Lane Collection traces the development and diversity of American Modernism through the eyes of a passionate collector. William H. Lane (1914–1995), owner of a small Massachusetts manufacturing plant, formed his pioneering collection in the early 1950s when these painters were little understood, though today they are considered to be the most important American artists of the early twentieth century.

Thomas Hart Benton in Story and Song
In conjunction with the Nashville Public Library’s call for a citywide celebration of beloved author Mark Twain, the Frist Center will present a selection of drawings and watercolors by another promoter of American narratives and everyday life, Thomas Hart Benton. A second section of the exhibition will focus on another source of inspiration for the artist—one particularly appropriate for Nashville—folk music and musicians. Benton’s lifelong admiration of Americana music is well known, yet works of this subject matter have not yet been assembled as an exhibition.

Oliver Herring: Common Threads
This exhibition includes four objects and a selection of short videos by New York–based artist Oliver Herring. Collaborating with friends and strangers in the creation of his sculptures, performances, and video art, Herring documents his growing interest in using art as a tool of social engagement.

Twilight Visions: Surrealism, Photography, and Paris
More than 100 photographs by such artists as Eugène Atget, Hans Bellmer, Ilse Bing, Brassaï, André Kertész, and Man Ray, Twilight Visions will celebrate Paris as the literal and metaphoric base of Surrealism.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Body Images

Uninhibited self expression is one of the prerequisite perks of being an artist. For Laura Young, this comes in the form of turning her body into a piece of art.

“The drawings started as a way to merge the camera with my self- image. I stare at myself in the mirror and start drawing. It is a process that evolves as I’m staring at myself,” said Young.

“I take about one hundred frames, and out of that one hundred frames I will get about five to fifteen pictures that I choose,” said Young. As far as her artistic practice Young said, “I’m taking self portrait photographs. I’m making my body my canvas.”

Young has cards with her image on them with the quote, “My body is the tangible container in which I carry my mutable identity. My skin is the container’s surface. It is the protective but vulnerable membrane. It is the boundary, an organ, and a pelt upon which I inscribe my longings.”

When asked if she has had people that have had problems with her nudity in the photographs she responded, “Yes. I have a tendency not to force it on people. I’ve had people reject my work because of it.”

“When I first started taking photographs I didn’t think I would show my body. It has changed me. I’m not as concerned with how I look. It has been a positive experience,” said Young.

Why the tribal markings? “I found the only thing I could do that wouldn’t look like something else were the dots and lines,” Young said. She said that the materials used are a Sharpie marker or artist’s ink.

Young’s work also has varied facial expressions. “I am experimenting with different things. When I try different things, sometimes I wonder if I will look like an animal or something,” she said.

Young said that there are limitations on what she does. “For me, limitations are that I don’t have a photographer’s studio. I have to do all of my work when the sunlight is shining,” she said.

Psychology major Natasha Marshall said, “I thought that it was interesting to find someone who was expressive of her body.” “I thought it was good because she could express her body,” said Latoya Sawyers.

Young’s work can be seen in the lobby of the Thigpen library. Her website is http://www.laurayoung.smugmug.com/.

Volunteer State Community College

Friday, November 13, 2009

Help the Help Center with Food Donations

The Vol State College Democrats are hosting a canned food drive for the Goodlettsville Help Center. You can drop off cans in the Wood Campus Center room 213 or the Humanities Division office in Ramer 101 through November 24 The goal is to help the Help Center feed some needy folks on Thanksgiving and for the rest of the holiday season. As you know, food banks are under great stress due to the tough economic times. Any help would be greatly appreciated. For more information or to arrange a pick-up of donations email Chance Eblen at eblen09@yahoo.com

-Len Assante

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Human Sex Trafficking: Fact Not Fiction

Movies touch on subjects that you can usually shrug off as just being a movie. When you find out, however, that such horrors actually do happen, it makes you think a bit harder.

Nicholas Kristof, two time Pulitzer Prize winner and author of “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide,” came to Vol State and told of such horrors he has witnessed in his career as a journalist.

Kristof touched on the subjects of gender inequality and human sex trafficking. “There are more females in the U.S. and Europe than men, but in the world as a whole there are more males. Every year two million girls die do to lethal gender discrimination,” said Kristof. He said that women are considered disposable. “From ages one to five girls are more likely to die than boys. Women and girls aren’t the problem, they are the solution,” Kristof said.

Kristof tells of the thirteen year old girl who got sold into slavery. The image of the smiling girl with one eye is shown. “She got her eye gouged out because she resisted,” said Kristof. As image after image of girls went up on the screen, it became apparent that these are real people, and not actors in a movie scene. “800,000 people are trafficked across the border a year,” Kristof said.

“I did something a few years ago that raised a few eyebrows in journalistic circles. I bought two girls. One sold for $150 and the other just over $200. I took the two girls back to their families,” Kristof said after explaining that he found out that the mother of one of the girls couldn’t afford to buy her daughter back from the brothel after she had been kidnapped. This example really explains the lack of worth that is put on women and girls in several countries worldwide.

“One of the main questions asked is, ‘why poverty?’ People tend to have the perception that this is a depressing field. What is depressing to me is when I come back and I find that new cars and the latest cell phone is what the main worry is,” said Kristof.

“People may ask, ‘why should I care?’ If you’ve seen the girl with her eye gouged out, then you won’t ask. One thing that does change our base level of happiness is to find a cause to give back. The fact that we are all in here right now means that we all won the lottery at birth,” said Kristof to the listeners in the room.

“We list organizations on the site and in the back of the book for those that want to volunteer,” said Kristof. For those who would like to educate themselves on human trafficking and other causes mentioned in Kristof’s book, go to http://halftheskymovement.org/.

Volunteer State Community College

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Help for the Mathematically Challenged

Pictures of algebraic equations can be fun and intellectually stimulating for some, but for others can easily be a nightmare.

This is where the Vol State math and science lab tutors can offer assistance for those that struggle for whatever reason in math, science, and statistics. The list can go on just as surely as the numbers go into infinity on a number line.

I am one of those students who always struggled in math. From the time I was in the first grade, adding and subtracting was hard, then the struggle with long division, fractions, and so forth. I am currently trying to get through Elementary Algebra, and thanks to the math lab and an understanding professor I think I am finally making strides.

Students should feel free to ask questions in class without worrying about feeling unintelligent. The only stupid question is one that you already know the answer to. Often times in classes, student disruptions can hinder the understanding of the concept that one may already be struggling to grasp.

Bill Smith, Director of the Math and Science Lab said, “It is to assist students in math and science classes. It gives preparation for tests, and helps them succeed in their classes.” Smith said he has been employed with Vol State for close to fifteen years. Smith also added that students who are taking online classes and have online homework can use the resources offered in the math and science lab.

“Students who regularly come usually get the grade they want in their class. We have an average of two helpers per time period. We have a couple of student tutors and then we have faculty members who spend some of their office hours in here,” said Smith.

“I am studying statistics. That is why I am passing my classes,” said student, Gatluak Chuol of his experience in the math lab.

The math and science lab is located in the Warf building room 123. Hours are Monday-Thursday 8am -6pm; Fridays 8am-4pm; and on the second Saturday of the month from 8am-2pm.

Volunteer State Community College

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

No Needles Required!

Gone are the days when you had to wait a month to get your HIV test results back.

On Monday November 16, from 9am to 11am, Dwayne Jenkins from Nashville Cares will speak about the World AIDS Epidemic and covering everything from breaking the stereotypes with HIV/AIDS to those it can affect.

Stacy Jones, President of Phi Theta Kappa, said, “Phi Theta Kappa requires you to do projects. It is the two-year college national honor society. This year is 'The Paradox of Affluence: Choices, Challenges, and Consequences.' We wanted to do something that can affect everybody. That is why we decided as a group to cover HIV/AIDS.” HIV doesn’t discriminate. “It can affect anyone from babies, to rich, to poor, young and old. We hope to dispel some of the stereotypes,” said Jones.

The first thirty people who want to have confidential HIV testing will be able to do so on Monday November 16. “It is first come, first serve. There will be no needles, and it is done with a swab in the mouth with results being given in approximately twenty minutes. Safe sex kits will be given as well. These include condoms, how to use them, and also tips on promoting abstinence,” said Jones.

Student Joey Corso said, “I think it is a good idea for people to find out if they are sick. Finding out in twenty minutes is great. The quicker you find out, the better you feel without having to wait a whole month.” Shannon Ross, student, said of the testing Vol State will be doing on November 16, “It is wonderful. We offered the swab testing where I used to work at Pathfinders, a rehab center.”

This event will be in the Rochelle center of the library.

Photo courtesy of mcrrfoundation.org

Volunteer State Community College

Monday, November 9, 2009

Travel Study Info Meetings

Are you interested in Travel Study?

Students who want to participate in the 2010 TnCIS Study Abroad Programs must attend one of the sessions below. Information about application details, eligibility, scholarship assistance, how the programs operate will be provided. The sessions will last less than 1 hour.

Students can attend either:
Tuesday, November 17th, 2:30 P.M. – Mattox 104
Friday, November 20th, 2:00 P.M. - Mattox 104
Monday, November 23rd, 5:15 P.M. Mattox 104 (This session will conclude in time for 6:00 P.M. classes)

For more info about Travel Study visit: http://www.volstate.edu/International/?ref=az

Or contact: John Espey, Academic Dean, Business Division
Chairman, International Education Committee
Ann Marie Ruttenbur, Academic Assistant for International Education

Nicholas Kristof Presentation

Oppression and the global challenges for women are topics that are of concern. Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, and New York Times Columnist, Nicholas D. Kristof is honoring the campus of Vol State with his presence.

Kristof wrote the book “Half the Sky” with his wife Sheryl Wudunn, also a Pulitzer Prize winner.

Kristof will be at Vol State November 10, at 7pm and Wednesday November 11, at 11:30am. Both presentations will be in the auditorium at Caudill Hall. The event is free and everyone is welcome.

Volunteer State Community College

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Disaster for High School Counselors

What's the best way to show high school guidance counselors a bit of what we do in Allied Health at Vol State? Give them a disaster...or a disaster drill anyway. The fire trucks came rumbling in, lights flashing and sirens whooping. One poor young lady suffered from a broken leg and another fellow cradled a busted arm, blood rolling down his forehead. The drill simulated a chemistry lab explosion and patients were laid out in the grass behind the Wallace Building.

About 23 high school counselors are attending the Annual Counselors Luncheon today. Each year the folks in Admissions put together a fun, engaging event to show off the academic programs at Vol State.
"The goal is for the counselors to learn something about what we do at the college," said Tim Amyx, Director of Admissions and College Registrar. "But we also want them to learn something for themselves."
The Gallatin Fire Department, Sumner County EMS, Nashville Fire Department and Vanderbilt Lifeflight out of Lebanon all helped with the drill. The counselors had a chance to put on the heavy fire turnout gear, breathe with an air tank and try to control a twisting fire hose. They helped splint a leg and bandage a head. Many of the counselors had smiles on their faces as they got to live out a childhood dream or two.

The event was also a chance for Vol State Building Coordinators and CERT team members to get some extra observation. While this event was educational, the college holds drills and simulations to prepare for emergency response.

The finale was a landing by the Vanderbilt Lifeflight helicopter. They touched down in the field behind the college and showed off equipment inside the chopper.

It was a nice day for a disaster and a good experience for all. We hope the counselors will be able to relive a bit of the excitement for their students in coming years. And we know that a drill on a sunny day is one thing, and what first responders like EMTs and Fire Fighters experience every day is something else entirely. We thank them for their dedication and hard work.

The Wise Dreamer

It has been said that wisdom comes with age. At age 67, Helen McBride has decided to embrace her dream of finishing her education.

I met McBride in my Journalism Technology class here at Vol State, and she has a very positive attitude and outlook on life. “I lost my husband July 2007, so there was no reason for me not to finish my education. I got married at age 17, and I had my first son two weeks before I turned 19. I was married for forty seven years.” said McBride.

“I got my G.E.D. May 17, 2008, and I started college in the fall of 2008. I want to be a writer of children’s stories, and I want to help children reach their dreams and go for it. I’ve started several stories I’ve never completed,” said McBride.

McBride has four grandchildren and said she loves spending time with them. “I like to write and talk to my oldest grandson, age 14. We have an excellent relationship. I push him towards music; my late husband was a musician and had distant relatives to Hank Williams, Sr.” she said. McBride said that her oldest grandson loves music, and being an advocate for reaching for your dreams, this is one of the reasons she supports him in this.

McBride has had many traveling opportunities. “I have been to Greece, Rome, and Jerusalem. I was in D.C. when President Dwight D. Eisenhower was inaugurated. I was six, and I saw no reason for me to be there,” said McBride with a laugh.

McBride has a vision and a goal. The fact that she has the drive to do this shows great character. She said, “The dream never dies, only the dreamer.” That sounds like the making of a great story.

Volunteer State Community College

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Interested in EMS? Read This...

Emergency Medical Services is one of our most popular areas of study here at Vol State. There is quite a bit involved if you want to be an EMS student. Anyone interested in taking EMS classes in the spring semester needs to attend a special advising session. You can pick the date.

November 30 11am
December 7 11am and 6pm
December 21 11am and 6pm
January 6 11am and 6pm

These sessions are mandatory for all incoming EMT students and usually last 1 hour each. The sessions provide information on the required background check, physical exams, TB skin tests, and lab work. The students will be given the documents to be prepared for the first day of Spring classes.
Visit the EMS web page at www.volstate.edu/EMT or call them at 230-3346.
Volunteer State Community College

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

SEEK to Be Challenged

Complex thinking is being implemented in Vol State classes with the SEEK (Solutions in Enriched Experiences and Knowledge) program.

Recently, Vol State had a challenge for students as well as faculty and staff to introduce this new program of critical thinking techniques. Lita Miller is the student winner. “The reason I liked the SEEK challenge is because I like to push myself. That’s the reason I have a 4.0. I had a blast! I got to run all over campus finding the missing numbers for the last challenge,” said Miller.

Miller was the overall student winner as she won three of the challenges. She won fifteen free meals to use at the campus cafeteria. First Choice Foods was the sponsor and Paul Fields presented the prizes.

Keith Bell, Associate Professor of Geography and Holly Nimmo Office Supervisor in the PR office, won for the faculty and staff. They each received five free meals in the cafeteria.

“We had a wide variety of students to play. We had online students, students from the Livingston campus, and dual enrollment,” said Laura Black, Assistant Professor of English/Director of the Language Center.

“We began SEEK as a part of the reaccreditation for SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools). We decided to focus on critical thinking and problem solving skills. We will be working on critical thinking for the next five years,” Black said. Black said that three courses are running pilot courses, and include English 1010, Math 1530, and Psychology 101.

Volunteer State Community College

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Small and Fast Makes for Competition

Vol State is embracing the thrill of a piece of plastic that can travel at speeds up to 60 mph, and spin as fast as 9,000 resolutions per minute.

Ron Timberlake, Associate Professor of Health and Physical Education is directing Vol State’s first open table tennis tournament. “This is the first year and hopefully the first of many. A lot of people have shown interest, and we are hoping to have between 60 and 100 participants,” said Timberlake.

Timberlake said that he started playing table tennis when he was about 13 years of age. “I’ve been playing for about 47 years, and I still use my 1972 model paddle. I have been in about five or six tournaments,” said Timberlake.

“There are four age categories which are 8-12, 13-17, 18+, and seniors 55+. Prizes will be provided by Newgy Table Tennis. The event will be on Saturday, November 14, and we would like everyone to register by November 11, but you can register at the door,” said Timberlake. Doors will open at 8:30 am and the event will take place from 10 am until 3 pm. There is a ten dollar registration fee that includes a T-Shirt and a Pong Pack provided by, Newgy Robo-Pong. The tournament will be in the Vol State Gymnasium in Pickel Field House.

Vol State now offers a table tennis class for credit. “Newgy Table Tennis has donated eight tables and all of the equipment for the table tennis class, PHED 1110, which will be offered again in the spring,” said Timberlake.

For more information about signing up for the tournament, email Ron Timberlake at ron.timberlake@volstate.edu or call (615)230-3245.

Volunteer State Community College

Monday, November 2, 2009

Virtually Fresh

Vol State’s new website brings a fresh look and feel to the college’s virtual world.

Derek Pennycuff is Vol State’s onsite webmaster. “The new website has been a work in progress for two years,” said Pennycuff. “I tried to approach it from the point of view as a current or potential student because if I do something that is hard for a faculty member, I’m going to hear from them. I don’t hear from students as often. Student needs come first,” said Pennycuff.

Pennycuff said, “The biggest changes are going to be the way things are organized. The idea is that anyone can pick which user category you belong to.” The user categories are located on the left hand side of the new website’s main page. Whether you are a current student, parent, or member of the staff or faculty, it is categorized so that you can easily find what you need.

Why did it take two years to get everything up and running? “Part of the reason is because the hard drive had the equivalent of 22 copies worth of text of the ‘Complete Works of Shakespeare’ that had to be deleted. We have removed junk code, etc. This new site is simplified in every way. It is a cleaner site,” said Pennycuff.

Links at the bottom of the page can be found, and link directly to Vol State’s Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace pages, and the blog.

Check it out for yourself: www.volstate.edu

Volunteer State Community College

Friday, October 30, 2009


Zombies have invaded the campus of Vol State.

The Student Government Association (SGA) and the Dungeons and Dragons Club decided to celebrate Halloween with a new zombie walk. “It is a fun and new way to celebrate Halloween and get students involved,” said Maytee Vinces.

Aaron Doyka said, “It is also to get people to see parts of campus that they wouldn’t normally see.” This event was not exclusive to students alone. Associate Professor of French and English, Kay Grossberg donned zombie threads and said, “I love Halloween!”

On the other side of campus, the College Republicans hosted a Halloween party. Amy Mitchell, President of the College Republicans said the reason for the event is to get clubs involved, and get more students excited about the clubs. Former WVCP D.J. Justin Fernandes said, “I’m helping Amy out working as a D.J.”
Students seemed to be having fun. “It’s very well decorated. A lot of tape and patience went into this,” said Jarod Moore. “It’s cool!” said Michelle Wynne.

Terry Bubb, Director of the Advising Center, said “I’m officially a freak. The theme for the advising center is ‘Freaks and Geeks.’”
Halloween isn’t just for children anymore. There are a lot of ways for adults to plug in and get involved even on a college campus between classes. Have a safe and happy Halloween!
Volunteer State Community College