Friday, January 30, 2009

Meet Chris Rutlegde

Chris is a 20 year old English Major. He's from Castilian Springs, and is the assistant editor of The Pioneer, a student-run magazine released every semester.

How often do you attend concerts?
"I would say at the very least, I go to 8 concerts a year. Usually between 8 and 20."

What's the most you've ever spent on a concert?
"$300, for Bonnaroo."

Have you ever skipped class to attend a concert or to buy tickets?
"I have, for the Ben Fold's 5 [concert] tickets. I missed English 1020."

Have you ever met any of the bands you saw in concert?
"Yes, I met Jason Mraz."

Would you give up college for a semester to be a roadie if one of your favorite band or music group asked you to?
"I'd do that for Ani DiFranco or the Dave Mathew's Band."

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Schedule for University Representatvites for the Spring 2009 semester

At different times during the semester, college representatives from four of our area's biggest public universities visit with students and help them transfer to their schools after graduation. Recruiters from Austin Peay State University, Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee State University, and Tenneessee Technological University visit the Advising Center in Ramer Suite 174.

"By meeting with [a recruiter], students ensure that they know all of the proper steps to applying. The requirements for transfer students are very different than those for freshman so it is important to meet with [a recruiter] and verify that they are on the right track," said Megan Mitchell, Transfer Coordinator, for Austin Peay State University.

Vol State and all the universities that visit the college are members of the Tennessee Board of Regents. A long story short, most of your credits will transfer to any universities in the Tennessee Board of Regents system. Each individual university has the final decision to honor the credit or not. The link underneath the university’s name will take you to each university list of credit transfer. Also below the link to check how your credit will transfer, I’ve listed the contact info for each recruiter.

University Representative Visit Schedule

Austin Peay State University (APSU)

Megan Mitchell
Transfer Coordinator

Tuesday, March 24
10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Tuesday, April 21
10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU)

Matt Hannah
Admissions Counselor

Thursday, February 12
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

Thursday, February 26
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

Thursday, March 26
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

Thursday, April 9
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

Thursday, April 23
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

Tennessee State University

Everett D. Jolley

Wednesday, February 18
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

Wednesday, March 18
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon

Monday, March 30
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

Wednesday, April 22
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

Tennessee Tech
Wednesday, February 4
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

Wednesday, March 4
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

Wednesday, April 8
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Get your game faces on, it's time for a pep rally!

Remember the pep rallies in high school? They're back!

The game plan for the pep rally for tomorrow include a dunking contest, tug of war, relay race, three legged race, Limbo, dance contest, singing contest, mascot contest, Stomp Out (balloon contest), and flag football. Be sure to dress in Vol State colors (red, white, and blue), and come ready to have some fun!

The pep rally will be hosted by the Cheerleaders, and will start tomorrow at 2:30pm in the Pickel Gymnasium.

After the pep rally, join the Ladies and Pioneers as they face off against Southwest Tennessee Community College. Girls game starts at 6pm, guys starts at 8pm.

Come out and support the Pioneers!

Vol State. Volunteer State Community College.

Unity Day to host a very special guest speaker, Dr. Terrence Roberts

Tomorrow at 12:30pm, students are invited to come to the Weymss Auditorium for Unity Day. The guest speaker is someone who played a very important role in civil rights movement.

Dr. Terrence Roberts was one of the the Little Rock Nine, a group of 9 African American students who attended high school at Little Rock Central High School.

He will be also be speaking for the general public at 7pm tomorrow in the Auditorium.

Vol State. Volunteer State Community College.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Meet Marija Raos Fitzhugh

Marija is 52, and moved to the Hendersonville area from Croatia. She is takes online classes with ROPD and plans to major in Art.

Why did you leave Croatia?

"I got married here."

How long have you been in the States?

"In May 2007."

How does Tennessee compare to Croatia?

"I would say they have different cultures. I didn't own a car for 15 years because I used public transportation in Zageb, Croatia. I don't feel like people communicate here. Developing friendships is different to me. My husband has friends that we only meet twice a year. I ask him, 'Do you know his dreams? His aspirations? How can you call him your best friend if you do not know these things?' People in my country are more expressive with their emotions. They will let you know if they are not in a good mood so it's just better to let them go."

How did you find out about Vol State, and why did you choose to go back to college?

"When I moved here, I felt like I had no history. I did go to school in my country, but my degree did not transfer here. I felt like a high school student who had just left secondary school and moving on to college. I had the exam for the GED, had to take an English exam, and enrolled as just any other students. I fount out about Vol State because my husband works here. I think that Vol State cheaper, and Vol State it really helpful."

When you graduate, do you plan on staying here in the US or returning to Croatia?
"I plan to stand here, to have a regular life."

Vol State. Volunteer State Community College.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Meet Vee Young

Vee is 19 years old and is from Pulaski, Tennessee. She is a basketball player, and she is currently studying Pre-Med.
What are you going to do now that you have your financial aid check?
"I'm going to buy my books and put the rest into savings."

How was waiting on your books effected your classes?
"My professors have waited to use books in class until we got our checks."

How do you feel about the dramatic shift in weather this week?
"It's weird to go from snow to 60 degree weather."

What are your weekend plans?
"I have a basketball game at Dyersburg."

How do you feel about the game in Dyersburg?
"I know we're going to win. We're gonna get 'er done!"

Volunteer State Community College. Vol State.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Join a club or orgainzation!

One thing I really didn't cover in my post You're here! Now what is there to do? were clubs and organizations.

Here is a few of the clubs and organizations on campus:

Student Government Association (SGA)

The SGA chapter at Vol State is responsible for getting the voice and opinions of students to the faculty and staff. They help out Associate of Campus Events with events on campus, as well. Contact: Dr. Bob Ruff or Nancy Blomgren.

Association of Campus Events (ACE)
These students work very closely with the Coordinator of Student Activities Gina Garera. They are responsible for planning and promoting events on campus like Movie Night on the Library lawn, Guest Speakers, Welcome Week, various comedians, Spring and Fall Fling, and ThinkFast!.
Contact: Gina Garera.

African American Student Union (AASU)
This club offers African American students a chance to develop their leadership skills, as well as a chance to hang out once a week. Like ACE, AASU produces events related to African American community.
Contact: Edmon Thomas and Dr. Robinson-Wright.

Returning Women
This club is for women who have been out of school for an extended period of time. It's a place were you can make friends, share your happiness or frustration with classes and life, and have a good time.
Contact: Judy Scheulke and Sue Roberts

Collegiate Ministry
Weekly meetings, always free food!
Contact: Cindy Chanin

The Settler
Weekly newspaper completely run and produced my students. All majors welcomed, no experience required.
Contact: Clay Scott

The Pioneer
A magazine released at the end of every semester. It is also completely student run and produced.
Contact: Clay Scott

Psychology Club
Self explanatory, a club for Psychology majors.
Contact: Dr. Carol Topping and Vicki Dretchen

Literary Society
A club for students to discuss and analyze classical literature.
Contact: Julie Morgan

Pioneer Forensics Team
Do you enjoy preparing and giving speeches? Is so, join the speech team that offers students a chance to compete against other teams across the Southeast.
Contact: Judi Truitt

Dungeons and Dragons Club
A community of Dungeon and Dragons and Magic: The Gathering players to get together and play.
Contact: Clark Hutton

There are a few clubs on campus that offer scholarships opportunities.

Presidents of ACE and SGA and the editors of the publications are given a full ride scholarship, on top of other perks.

The assistant editors and art director of the publication staffs and the vice presidents of SGA and ACE are given a book scholarship worth $250.

I didn't list all 22 active clubs on campus. Visit the Student Services office in the Wood Campus center for a pamphlet for all clubs.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Party Vlog

There were approximately 50-75 people who attended the inauguration party today. I interviewed four audience members and asked them what they thought of the inauguration, and why they think it's so important.

Volunteer State Community College. Vol State.

Javascript performance testing

I've been using the jQuery JavaScript library for a while now. I use it on the current site to do things like rotate the images and story links on the home page. In the redesign, I'm using it for a lot more. Today I'm reading up on JavaScript performance in various browsers. I'm a Firefox users, and also a Mac user. That can skew my perceptions of how efficient these scripts are when compared to the majority of our audience, who are using some combination of Microsoft Internet Explorer (versions 6 or 7) and Windows (usually XP or Vista). I test on 8 different browsers on both Mac and Windows platforms, but when it comes to performance issues, variables like the amount of RAM in your system play a big role. I can't simulate that as effectively.

So I'd like to ask you all to take a couple of minutes out of your day and run this JavaScript speed test and let me know your results. All I need to know is the number that shows up where it says “Total Duration”. If you happen to know the name and version number of your browser you can tell me that too, but if not it's no big deal. You can comment to this entry or email me at

Thanks! :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

A quote from Martin Luther King...

To quote him from his "I Have a Dream" speech, "Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.' ... I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today."

On Tuesday, January 20th, his "dream" will be a reality. Join the African American Student Union for a viewing of Inauguration of the 44th President-Elect Barack Obama and Vice President-Elect Joe Biden in the Wood Campus Center's Carpeted Dining Room at 10:30am.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

You're here! Now what is there to do?

Aahhh, the signs of life returning to Vol State... The campus bookstore has lines extending outside the Wood Campus Building. Classrooms are filled with frozen students with high hopes of a successful semester. The Help Desk is overwhelmed with six dozen calls an hour from students asking for their Pride Online passwords. And not a parking spot within comfortable walking distance in sight.

So, now that you're here at Vol State... what's next? What should you do with your time here?

Here is what a few professors on campus had to say:

Save yourself some frustration, don’t compare college to high school
"They are not the same, and you will be constantly frustrated if you try to make this new experience fit your past experience. Watch. Listen. Be ready to do things differently. Adaptation is a virtue."- Nancy Blomgren, English Professor

If you’re confused or have questions, ask! Professors don’t bite!
“One of the advantages of a community college is relatively small classes with ready access to professors. College professors have offices and office hours for the primary purpose of being accessible to students outside of class. Make an appointment with your professor, especially if you have a question or are experiencing difficulty with course material. They are thrilled when a student cares enough about either to come to their office (or stop them in the hall) to discuss something or ask a question” – Claire Hampton, Art Professor.

Major in something you want, not what your parents want
“It's important to realize you cannot make everyone happy so the first person you need to make happy is you. You can't do what your parents want or take the path all of your ‘friends’ are taking. You need to pick a career that will make you happy (however you define that whether it is job security, helping others, being creative).” - Loretta Calvert, Paralegal Program Coordinator.

Surround yourself with people who want you to do well
“Don't hang out with people who hold you back. Avoid people that think you're a dork for caring about school.” - Nancy Blomgren, English Professor.

Venture out of your major and explore new options
“Yes, you need to take certain classes in order to earn your degree, but you also need to take classes that interest you. Look for connections between the courses you take. If you stay happy and engaged in learning, school will go by in a flash and you might even want to keep learning. College is an opportunity to explore who you are and who you want to become and then bridge that gap. Take an ‘extra’ course if a topic interests you. Knowledge does not go to waste.” - Loretta Calvert, Paralegal Program Coordinator.

Getting enough sleep is critical
“That's when your brain processes what it learned during the day, and you won't get sick as often. Give up TV for sleep if your work schedule is heavy. Give up some hours at work if you're working to pay for non-essentials, and be honest in defining ‘non-essential.’” - Nancy Blomgren, English Professor.

If you have any tips you'd like give to new students, leave a comment!

Vol State. Volunteer State Community College.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Distance Learning Support Site for Students

Welcome to the Spring semester and the start of a new year. For those of you who will be taking Online and/or Hybrid classes (and even traditional classes) you may need some additional information on how to utilize our online course management system.

We use a product called Desire2Learn and you can find that by going to the MyVolStateOnline link on the Vol State homepage. MyVolStateOnline gives you access to your online classroom.

If you need a little help with your online courses, you can access the student success site at anytime of the day or night. The site is located here: Student Success. You can also call the help desk at 615-230-3302 if you get stuck.

Join the African American Student Union next Tuesday for a Inauguration Viewing Party

The 44th President of the United States President-Elect Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will be sworn into office on January 20th.

Every presidential inauguration is historical, but this one is sure to grab some more attention.

The African American Student Union is hosting a viewing party in the Carpeted Dining Room in the Wood Campus Building. There will be free refreshments and coffee served at the viewing. The viewing begins at 10:30am.

Stop by and watch history in the making!

Vol State. Volunteer State Community College.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Robert Riley to sign with Bryan College

Guard Robert Riley has signed with Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee on a full ride basketball scholarship.

"I like the program, I liked the school," said Riley. Riley is 21, and originally from Philly. He is undecided on what to major in at Bryan. He played 2 guard at Vol State, and should be playing the same position at Bryan.

Head Coach at Bryan College Don Rekoske
said when asked about Riley, "Overall, Rob is a great offensive player... He's also a natural born leader."

Vol State. Volunteer State Community College.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Update on Paving Project

If weather permits, all the new paving should be finished by the beginning of classes next week on Thursday.

Currently, construction crews are working on the parking lot between Pickel and Warf Building. It will be closed for the next three days.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Meet a group of new students...

Holly Herman, 19
Major: Early Childhood Education
Location: Hendersonville

Why Vol State?
"It's close to home, and I like the idea of taking TSU Early Childhood Education classes here."

Why did you leave Belmont?
"I quit softball and I'm chasing what I really want to do?"

How much longer do you think you have left until you graduate?
"2 and a half to 3 years."

Jenny Murphy, 26
Major: Nursing
Location: Carthage, TN

How long of a drive is it from Carthage?
"30-45 minutes. I could've have gone to Tech or Cumberland."

So why did you choose Vol State?
"My boyfriend goes here, and Vol State's a great school."

What's your major?
"Dental Hygienist."

Name: Taylor Ferraro, 19
Major: Business
Location: Lebanon, TN

What college did you attend first before Vol State?
"TTU. I work with my mom at her business after she had to let people go."

What do you want to do with your degree?
"I want to be an accountant like my father."

So, specifically why did you choose Vol State?
"It's small like TTU and you get to know just about eventually."

Name: Jessica Gilbert, 18
Major: Nursing
Location: Whites Creek, TN

Why are you starting in the Spring instead of the fall?
"I've been sick. I was supposed to go to UT Memphis, but my doctors wanted me to stay near Nashville."

What's your major and why?
"Nursing. It's a guaranteed job.

Are you excited to go back to school?
"No, school's not my thing."

It's not too late to register!

There's still time left to register for the upcoming semester!

You can register for classes up until the semester begins on
January 15th. The Advising and Admissions offices have extended their hours for the next two weeks to better accommodate students (They will be open from 8am to 5:30pm except for Fridays).

The campus will be closed on January 8th for Professional Development Day.

On January 13th, The Advising and Admissions offices will be open from 8am to 6pm.

Links for more information about registering for next semester:

- Visit this link for important dates for the Spring 2009 semester.

- Check out the Spring 2009 schedule by
PDF or Pride Online.

- An important note, you must pay your tuition and fees the same day you register or you will be dropped. To pay in installments, check out this link.

Vol State. Volunteer State Community College.