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

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween Plans

I’ve always thought Halloween was a fun holiday, and wanted to see what Vol State students were doing this year.

For some, taking the kiddos trick or treating is a yearly tradition. This is something that I always do. This year my daughter is going as Wonder Woman and wanted me to join her. This should be interesting!

Student Heather Lewis is taking her daughters Ramona age 2, and Hazel, 6 months old trick or treating. “We are going to Columbia, Tenn. Because we have family there. My two year old is going to be a fairy, and my 6 month old is going as a flower,” said Lewis.

Other students are hitting the parties for some fun in costume. Amy Mitchell, President of the College Republicans said, “I’m going to a party and dressing up as a vampire.” Zelphia Minton said, “I’m going to be a black kitty cat.” Alex Rice is dressing up as a Black Eyed Pea. “Not the group, but an actual black-eyed pea,” said Rice. “I’m also looking for Edward Cullen,” Rice said with a laugh.

Future student and cafeteria employee Harold Myers is also celebrating Halloween. “I’m going to a couple of parties, and going as K.I.S.S. member Gene Simmons,” Myers said.

Volunteer State Community College

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Understanding Asperger's Syndrome

Asperger’s Syndrome may be closer to home than you think.

“October is Disability Awareness month. Each year we focus on a different theme, and this year we want to focus on Asperger’s Syndrome. It coincides with the increase in numbers of the diagnosis of Autism,” said Jason McAlexander, Accommodations Coordinator for Disability Services at Vol State.

“There are a lot of different characteristics within the Autism spectrum. There are more students with Asperger’s Syndrome who are going to college. Asperger’s Syndrome is a high functioning form of Autism, and the purpose of the presentation is to inform so that people don’t pre-judge,” said McAlexander.

“Asperger’s is a disability that comes with social awkwardness. Social awkwardness affects communication and the interaction with others. Disability Rights is a civil rights struggle, and we are trying to decrease those barriers that people have between us and them,” McAlexander said.

When speaking of those with Asperger’s Syndrome, McAlexander said, “They are discovering that they can be successful in the work force.” He talks about the Absent-Minded Professor, and the thought process that what used to be thought of as quirks is now sometimes diagnosed as Asperger’s Syndrome.

On October 29 and 30 everyone may attend the presentation in the Rochelle Center in the library from 1 to 2 p.m.

Volunteer State Community College

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Just Ask!

Everyone has something to say these days. The SGA forum was a great way to get questions answered and your student voice heard.

The turnout was rather good, with students and faculty both in attendance. Questions ranged from IT issues to the possibility of Vol State going green.

Amy Mitchell is the president of the Vol State Republicans and asked why certain students are allowed to park in staff parking while others have to fight for a space. “Students such as the SGA president have staff parking privileges because they do extra service for the college,” said Patty Powell, Vice President of Student Services. “It is our intention to get another paved parking lot where the modular classrooms used to be, to add more parking,” said Vol State President Dr. Warren Nichols.

Students were encouraged to leave questions in the SGA box if they couldn’t attend the forum. One of the submitted questions was why certain clubs weren’t linked directly to the Vol State website. “If you have a question about getting your club linked and sites updated, you should contact student life. If you have other questions contact P.R.,” said Kenyatta Lovett. Lovett’s extension is 3571.

The question was asked yet again about cigarette smokers having a covered smoking area. “Many universities have eliminated smoking on campus altogether. This includes the parking lots. We are moving in that direction so we will not be offering a covered smoking area,” said Dr. Nichols.

Going green was a large topic of interest, and students want to know how Vol State is moving more in that direction. “This college, because of its structure and lack of financing, make it impossible to completely change over. We have already implemented a lot of change such as light fixtures, and we have purchased a fleet of hybrid vehicles. We have been working towards being green for many years,” said Dr. Nichols.

“Amongst Vol State’s recycling program, why don’t they recycle Styrofoam?” was a concern for some students. “The recycling committee is looking into ways of getting rid of Styrofoam,” said Leonard Assante, Associate Professor of Communication and Chair of the Communications Department. Gary Hume, Senior Director of Plant Operations added, “I think it should be banned.”

In closing, Dr. Nichols said, “We have solved many issues such as additional parking. We do listen and pay attention. I want to applaud everyone for getting students to attend.”
Students can get their voice heard and questions answered. It may not always be the answer wanted, but you never know unless you ask.

Volunteer State Community College

Monday, October 26, 2009

Businesses Stay Afloat in Harsh Economy

Stimulus plans and bailouts are all the rage. The downward spiral of the economy has affected a lot of Americans, and businesses have had to close up shop, while some are still going strong. Some of the businesses in the Publix shopping center across from Vol State are taking a different approach.

Rachel Mullins is the owner of The Red Tulip. “It has definitely gotten slower because of the economy. We have added Vera Bradley items, and we are gearing up for Christmas. We have been here for four years.
We get some students from Volunteer State, and some of our best customers are the staff. They come here for a gift on their lunch hour,” said Mullins.
The Red Tulip has specialty gifts, home accessories, and invitations. They also offer baby items. “We do personalized gifts and invitations,” Mullins said. Mullins said that they are having success with adding Vera Bradley to the collection. The Red Tulip is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am until 5:30 pm.
Scott Lannom owner of Painturo’s has been in business across from Vol State for over three years. “The economy has affected us. We have seen at least a thirty percent fall in sales, and we have to watch our labor and food costs. We haven’t had to let anybody go, but it is a roller coaster. We’ll be slammed one weekend and on a wait, and the following week we won’t have as much business,” said Lannom.
Lannom said that customers have stated that they tend to wait for the coupons to come out. “Last year alone I gave over $50,000 in discounts,” Lannom said. Lannom said that some people may see that as losing over $50,000 in these down economic times, but this could be one of the things that helped him stay in business. People are still coming to his restaurant. Dustin McBurnett works at Painturo’s and said, “We get a whole bunch of repeat customers, and Vol-State students come in the mornings sometimes.”

The newest addition to the shopping center is Yogurt Oasis, which specializes in non-fat yogurt. They have been in Gallatin for over three weeks. Dale Malleck is the owner and said, “This is our third store. We have one in Nashville in the West End area, and one in Stones River Mall in Murfreesboro.”
“I wanted to offer customers a great tasting healthy option. College students often put on the freshman fifteen, and this yogurt can help combat that,” said Malleck.

“The economy is affecting everybody. We are still doing well, and get a lot of customers. Some customers that come in say that the economy is bad. I have people coming in almost every day looking for a job. You know the economy is bad when you have people with a college degree saying that they will take a job that pays minimum wage,” said Malleck.
Yogurt Oasis offers a ten percent discount to students, firefighters, and police officers. It is only forty five cents an ounce, and customers can add select toppings.

Businesses offering discounts and coupons seem to be staying afloat and adapting to the ever changing economy.
Volunteer State Community College

Friday, October 23, 2009

Get Your Voice Heard

Questions often go unanswered due to lack of knowing who to ask.
On Monday October 26, 2009 at 12:30 pm students will have the chance to exercise their voice at the SGA forum. “The forum has been a tradition at Volunteer State since Dr. Nichols became president,” said Dusty Good, SGA President.
The forum will be in the cafeteria of the Wood Campus Center.
“The administrative powers will answer questions from the student body. The ability for this forum to affect change relies solely on the turnout of the student body,” said Good. “If students can’t make it to the forum, they can drop off questions in the drop box of the SGA office anytime between now and Monday before the forum,” Good said.
Good wants to point out that this is a chance for your voice to be heard. Comments can come in the form of questions, concerns, praise, and even complaints about Vol State.
Volunteer State Community College

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Taking Strides for Service Learning

What's Service Learning?
It's one way our Vol State classes can get directly involved in the community, doing projects that tie directly into what they are learning in the classroom. The Physical Therapy Assistant Program recently took on a Service Learning project to help the Faces of Hope Children's Therapy Center. Student Missy McAdams Huffman has more:
Normally at 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning there is very little activity going on at a college campus. This was not the case on Oct. 3 at Volunteer State Community College. The students in the Physical Therapist Assistant program were up early to set up and prepare for a 5K fun run and walk, called Paces for Faces, which they had organized to benefit Faces of Hope Children’s Therapy Center in Gallatin.
Ruthie Martin, Will Hudson, Luis Del Rio and Abbey Gilbert serve as the team leaders for this year’s PTA class, which consists of a total of 31 students. The team leaders were responsible for planning and organizing the event as well as delegating responsibilities for each team and each student prior to and on the day of the event.
The event raised $3,000 for Faces of Hope. On Oct. 13 the class presented a check to Leslie Face, the founder and director of the center. And in appreciation for their efforts, the class received a plaque and was treated to lunch by the staff of Faces of Hope.
According to the team leaders the event took a tremendous amount of planning and organizing. It took a complete group effort and each leader felt that the individual students and the teams worked hard to make the event a success.
“We started working on the project about the second or third week of the summer semester,” shared Martin.
“And we would meet weekly as individual teams and monthly as a class to make sure we were on track with all of our planning,” added Gilbert.
Before they began planning the event, the class had to agree upon which organization would benefit from their efforts. Martin explained that it was her team that brought Faces of Hope to the attention of the rest of the class and it was Gilbert’s team that suggested organizing the 5K. All four team leaders admitted that it was a lot to take on.
“We really had to pull all of our resources together to make it work,” Hudson said.
“But everyone really bought into the idea of the 5K,” explained Del Rio. “And it really was our best option to raise money to help Faces of Hope.”
The team leaders said that they didn’t have a particular monetary goal in mind when they began working on the project. Hudson shared that they wanted to get as many people involved as possible.
“I think we all wanted to raise enough money to help them bring a physical therapist to the center, but that was $40,000 so that really wasn’t realistic. But we did raise enough to maybe go to it,” added Del Rio.
All four agreed that the event was a great success and they would easily do it again. They admitted that they did have a few bumps along the way, but nothing that they couldn’t overcome as a group. They all learned to trust each other as individuals and as a class.
“During the planning and on the day of the event everyone really stepped up,” said Hudson.
And on the day of the event, according to the team leaders, things went very smoothly. On the day of the event, close to 30 people showed up to participate, in addition to those who had already preregistered. That surprised and thrilled the entire group and the participants were pleased as well.
“I had people coming up to me saying that they were amazed at how well we were able to pull it off,” said Martin. “They were asking if we would do it again.”
As for next year and doing it again, each team leader hopes that the next class will pick up where they left off and make the event even bigger and better. They also expressed their thoughts on how much they enjoyed working on the project and seeing it through to completion.
“We all learned how to work together as a team and as a class as a whole,” explained Del Rio. “And we all had to balance our heavy class schedule while working on the project.”
“And it felt good. We’re so centered on this program, but we learned that we could work on our classes, the project and spend time with our families,” added Gilbert.
“It was a great learning experience for all of us – being able to do something for someone else,” shared Hudson.
“Doing something like this and being able to give back really was a great experience for all of us,” said Martin.
And the students weren’t the only ones impressed with their efforts. Carolyn Moore, the director of the PTA program and Pam Saladino, the ACCE of the program, commented on the efforts of their students relating to the event.
“I think that their event was well thought out and planned out. I loved the teamwork that they applied to the project in order to accomplish something for such a deserving organization.
“And I was not surprised. I was thrilled and pleased, but not surprised because I know the caliber of these students,” said Saladino.
Moore added, “I was very proud of the class for their organization, cooperation and follow through that they showed for such a worthy organization.”

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Miller signs with Trevecca

Volunteer State Community College sophomore post player Heather Miller signed with Coach Gary Van Atta and Trevecca University on Tuesday. The six foot tall Miller averaged 8.67 points per game and 6.85 rebounds per game during the 2008-2009 season for the Vol State Lady Pioneers. Her 55% field goal percentage and 72 % free throw percentage were among the leaders of a team finishing 27-4 on the year. Miller is a graduate of Mt. Juliet High School.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Meet Jesse

An orphaned kitten and Jesse Campbell make for an interesting conversation.

While approaching Jesse for an interview, he begins telling how he and some fellow students found a few kittens in a drain on campus. Homes had been found for the kittens, and he was holding the last one.

Jesse has been at Vol State for a year and a half and is a theatre major. “Theatre is my passion. I have been in ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ and ‘Puss and Boots.’ I’m interested in being in the spring musical 'Spitfire Grill',” said Jesse.

“I really like Vol-State and I’m getting ready to graduate. I’m really an interesting person. I’ve won over one thousand radio contests just by calling in around the Tenn. area. I’ve won a couple of national contests. I’ve won about seven hundred dollars in all,” Jesse said.

Jesse loves animals and is the Vice President of The Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM), and can be seen around campus.

Volunteer State Community College

Monday, October 19, 2009

Facebook or Face to Face?

Being someone’s friend used to mean that you went out for lunch or coffee. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter have changed face to face contact for some, and Vol State isn’t excluded from the social networking phenomenon.
Some students don’t like the thought of social networking. Jon-Michael Hines is a freshman here at Vol State and said he used to have a Myspace. “I just thought that this is a waste of time for me. If I want to go out and meet people, I’ll just go meet them,” Hines said.
Keeping in touch with friends and loved ones who live out of state can be a great reason to have an account, and for Amy Webb this is one of the reasons she signed up. “I do have a Facebook account. Personally I use it for friends that live out of state and to keep in touch with childhood friends. I don’t like how it cuts out verbal communication, and I’m not a big fan of Twitter,” said Webb.
Caleb Miller is twenty years old and is majoring in music. “I have Twitter so that I can update where my band is playing,” said Miller. He said he also has a Facebook account. “I love it. I moved out here on Christmas day from San Diego, and that is how I keep in touch with friends and family. I think the non-verbal communication is good but you need to talk on the phone. It definitely isn’t the same talking on the computer,” Miller said.
David Altizer says he uses Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace to publicize his magic shows. “It is very helpful for a performer to announce shows. I like Facebook more than Myspace because Myspace is kind of trashy,” said Altizer.
Social networking isn’t just for students. Leonard Assante, Associate Professor and Chair of Communications at Vol State, has both Facebook and Twitter accounts. “I don’t have Mypace, but I have Facebook. It is a good way to keep up with a lot of my friends. I’ve always felt the need to be a part of something and it is a good way to get hooked up with causes and groups. Group membership is very important to me and Facebook provides access to those. For example, political organizations,” Assante said.
Twitter may seem like a waste of time for some people, but Assante said that it has some value. “Airlines that I fly will send tweets if there are delays, etc. but I also think that it can be very narcissistic because people share their thoughts and it is all about them. Some of my students don’t see the point of having Twitter if they can update their Facebook status,” said Assante.
The consensus seems to be that social networking is a good thing, but you still need that face to face contact and phone conversations from time to time.

Volunteer State Community College

Friday, October 16, 2009

"You Have Been DMazed!"

The art of illusion can be baffling to some, but for David Altizer this is his specialty.
At nineteen years of age David has been doing magic professionally for about five years. “I started when I was thirteen, and after a year of practicing I started doing shows at Cici’s Pizza. When I was thirteen I would practice for about nine hours a day in front of the mirror,” David said.

“Before magic I was very shy. I love performing and magic is a great art because everyone likes magic. I find it intriguing that I can fool people older than me,” David said. He fooled me when I saw him turn four dollar bills into four twenty dollar bills!

David first came to Vol State as a graphic design major, and now he is here for business. “I’m an entrepreneur, and I’d like to start touring this summer. I have a team of three magicians that help me. I do comedy magic. I work at Wow Wingery every Friday night,” David said. He is known for saying, "You have been Dmazed!"

David has done various magic performances throughout middle Tenn. that include Vol State, and says that his parents are very supportive of his passion for magic. His website can be viewed at

Volunteer State Community College

Thursday, October 15, 2009

You Can Touch It!

Culture is apparent when entering the lobby of the Vol State Thigpen Library. Artwork is featured from artists every few weeks for anyone to enjoy.

Kaaren Engel is the current featured artist and her pieces are vibrant with a palate of primary colors. Engel gave a presentation about her art in the gallery, and students were able to meet her and ask questions. Engel said, “It takes twenty layers or more of paint to make one of these pieces.”

Engel’s work has been showcased in dozens of venues from hospitals to museums and colleges. She said that she likes showcasing her art in places where people may not generally go to an art gallery.
Several students were enjoying her art and listening intently to Engel’s presentation. “I love the colors,” said Sarah Remboldt, who is an art major. “It is very sporadic and vivid,” said Randall Ladd of Engel’s art.

The ability to see artwork showcased at Vol State is a plus for many students. “I think it is important to show art so that we get a visual concept,” said Amber Rogers. Rogers is a communications major but says she enjoys painting. “I do abstracts. It is fun to paint stuff that has no meaning so that people can take away their own definition of what it should be,” Rogers said.
One of the interesting things about Engel’s work is that people can photograph it and actually touch it. “I invite everyone to please touch the art so that you can get a feel for it. If it tears, oh well. It is paper and paint, and I’ll take a piece and make something else!” Engel said.
Engel has a website where you can view more of her work and contact information.
Volunteer State Community College

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Vol State Main Entrance Advisory

The main entrance to Vol State, the one with the electronic sign, will be closed Thursday, October 15th, from approximately 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. to unload a delivery of poles for the softball field construction project. This will include both in-bound and out-bound lanes. All campus traffic will be routed through the Gap Blvd entrance during this time.

A Whole New World

Living in a land of enchantment and getting paid for it is only a dream for most people, but for Amanda Hash this dream has become a reality.

Amanda is in the Hotel Restaurant Management Program (HTL) at Vol State, and got accepted for an internship at Disneyworld. The application process is very intense and only a select amount of students get accepted.

Amanda will be going to Disney World for the spring 2010 semester from January to May, and will be working in one of the hotels. “I’m extremely excited! I wish it was January already. I will be in a dorm with up to seven people. They pay for everything except for food and personal items. The rent for the dorms comes out of your paycheck, and it is only about eighty dollars a month,” Hash said.

Amanda has been at Vol State for five semesters. “I started in high school with the dual enrollment program. I decided on a career in hotel management because I read about the career and thought it would be cool,” she said. She will graduate in the summer of 2010 with her Associate’s Degree. “I currently work at the Holiday Inn Express in Hendersonville. One of the reasons I chose to apply with Disney is because I would love a permanent position with one of their hotels,” she said.

Mary Nunaley is an Associate Professor in the business division of Vol State. “The Hotel Management Program is designed to be a two year program but most students take four years. Amanda has been in the program for eighteen months. She is an excellent student,” said Nunaley.

Amanda is nineteen years old. “My parents will miss me, but they are very supportive,” Hash said. In her spare time she says she balances her school schedule with her social life. “I don’t have time to breathe!” she said. Other than working she spends time with her friends, family, and doing church activities.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Fall Fiesta brings in more than 800 people

More than 800 people attended the Fall Fiesta at Vol State on Saturday. The celebration of Hispanic culture featured food, music and fun for the whole family. A food contest, cultural quiz contest and Hispanic themed storytelling for kids were just a few of the highlights.

Many came for the popular soccer tournament. 14 men’s teams and 4 women’s teams competed. The tournament was organized by Jesus Gomez and the Gallatin Soccer League. Three men’s teams and the top women’s teams received trophies. Kazique’s Band provided the music for the event.

This is the third year for the Fall Fiesta, which is held on the Volunteer State Community College campus in Gallatin.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Heart for Nursing

Three open heart surgeries within a year was the inspiration that Stacy Black needed to propel her decision to get a nursing degree.

Stacy’s seven year old daughter had Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD), Pulmonary Atresia, (an extremely rare form of congenital heart disease), and Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA).

At five days old she had open heart surgery at Vanderbilt Medical Center, then at six months of age, and again at one year. “She is due to have another surgery in her teen years. Hopefully this will be her last,” said Stacy.

Stacy is in positive spirits. “This is what inspired me to become a nurse. I really want to get into Pediatric Cardiology,” said Stacy. She is thirty years old, and is hoping to get into the highly coveted TSU nursing program through Vol State. “It is very competitive and only thirty students usually get selected,” said Stacy.

Stacy isn't the only one who is in positive spirits. According to Stacy her daughter is very happy and active. “You can’t slow her down! She loves playing softball and wants to cheer,” Stacy said. She is very active in sports despite the surgeries she has been through.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Governor's Race on Inside Politics

The field is pretty big for the Tennessee Governor's race and with so many candidates it may be hard to settle on a favorite. The Vol State TV show Inside Politics can help. They have shows featuring all of the candidates for Governor. There are still several episodes to go, so we provide the complete list below. If you missed any candidate you can see that show on You Tube. The link is below. Vol State is proud to have it's own political TV show, just one of many activities for our Media Services Department, utilizing the TV production studio and editing suites at Vol State.

Here is the playback schedule for the series on the 2010 Governor’s race.

Week of:
Sept. 14 Memphis District Attorney Bill Gibbons (R)
Sept. 21 U.S. Congressman Zach Wamp (R)
Sept. 28 Former State Representative Kim McMillan (D)
Oct. 5 Jackson Businessman Mike McWherter (D)
Oct. 12 State Senator Jim Kyle (D)
Oct. 19 Nashville Businessman Ward Cammack (D)
Oct. 26 Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey (R)
Nov. 2 State Senator Roy Herron (D)
Nov. 9 Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam (D)

Inside Politics airs on the community access cable channels in Gallatin, Hendersonville, Portland, White House, Lebanon, Mt. Juliet, Springfield, Greenbrier and Ridgetop.

They are also posted to You Tube – our link is

Volunteer State Community College television production political science

ArtScape at Vol State

Kaaren Hirschowitz Engel's new work, entitled ArtScape, evokes the idea of art as a landscape and also as an escape. Kaaren Hirschowitz Engel has created an environment of art, which can be enjoyed in the way a spectator would a beautiful nature scene, or into which one can submerge oneself, leaving behind the “ordinary” world.

The installation is defined by its brilliant color, unusual shapes and larger-than-life scale. The sculptures are created by the artist on large rolls of Arches watercolor paper with numerous layers of acrylic paint and acrylic medium. After completing a painting on both sides, Kaaren rolls or cuts the paintings to create woven orbs or giant columns. The former give viewers a sense of being in an outerspace or undersea voyage. The latter appear to be trees or pillars from an exotic land.Together, they create an ArtScape.

Kaaren Hirschowitz Engel was born in Birmingham, Alabama, but traveled extensively with her parents and siblings, often spending summers in South Africa, where her father was born. She graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University in 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts. She then attended law school at Emory University, and after graduating, began practicing law in San Francisco in 1987. In 1988, she moved to Nashville, where she continued her law practice for another 11 years. In 1999, she left her practice with the intent of pursuing a more creative path. Six months later she began painting, and has been making her career as an artist ever since. She has shown nationally and internationally, creating installations in a variety of settings, including hospitals, museums, public spaces and galleries.

Her work is included in numerous corporate and private collections. Based in Nashville, she still travels the globe, gathering inspiration for her paintings and sculptures from all corners of the earth. The exhibit can be seen in the Thigpen Library Gallery on the Vol State campus at 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin, from October 5 to November 1. Kaaren Engel will speak about the exhibit on October 14 at 11am at Rochelle Centre of Thigpen Library. For more information call 230-3220.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Citing your Sources Just got Easier

Don’t know your MLA from your APA? Think Chicago style refers to the latest trend from the Windy City? Maybe it is time to learn to use your noodle – NoodleBib that is.

NoodleBib is a web-based bibliography composer and note-taking tool. It creates a works cited or bibliography in MLA, APA, and Chicago/Turabian styles for export into your research paper.
The Vol State Library is offering workshops on using NoodleBib to lessen the frustration of citing your sources for a research paper or annotated bibliography. The workshop will begin with a 10-minute overview of NoodleBib so you can decide if it fits your needs. Then you can sign up for a free account and participate in a hands-on exercise of creating citations. The remainder of the hour-long workshop is open for discussion and exploration of the various features available, including note-taking.

The workshops are open to all Vol State students, staff and faculty and will be in the Library’s Research Center on the first floor. No reservations required. Dates and times of workshops are:

Mon., Oct 12 10:10 a.m.
Tue., Oct 13 11:30 a.m.
Thu, Oct. 15 1:00 p.m.
Tue., Oct 20 3:00 p.m. (fall break)
Mon., Oct. 26 11:15 a.m.
Mon, Oct. 26 2:30 p.m.
Thu., Oct. 29 5:00 p.m.
Tue., Nov. 3 3:00 p.m.
Wed., Nov 4 5:00 p.m.

For more information contact Livy Simpson at ext. 3414 or stop by the library.

Rebel With a Cause

Inspiration strikes when you least expect it.

Asra Nomani is full of this inspiration and spirit. Having the unique opportunity to meet and converse with her, I found it to be an uplifting and moving experience.

Nomani was a guest speaker at Vol State, and the purpose was to give some understanding of women in Islam and the Muslim religion. She began by telling how her mother has always been a rebel in her own right and even took off her veil in college although she knew it wasn’t allowed as an Islamic woman.

Nomani speaks of following your heart and the struggles that all young people have when we are trying to come into our own. “You have to keep moving towards that purpose,” Nomani said. “In all of our lives there comes a moment where we have to make a choice,” Nomani said.

January 23, 2002 was that day for Nomani. This was the day that Nomani’s friend Daniel Pearl was captured. She goes into the details of the agonizing wait for him to come and join her and his wife for dinner. Hours go by before they realize that he has been captured. Some of Pearl’s last words were, “I am a Jew.” Nomani said that Jews and Christians weren’t supposed to be friends with Muslims and this was one of the reasons Pearl was captured. “I went back to the same expression of faith that I had learned as a child. This was the same faith that was used for murder,” Nomani said. She realized that this wasn’t how her faith was supposed to be. In that moment she came to the realization that she needed to fight for her beliefs.

Women and men cannot pray in the main prayer hall of the Mosque together. When asked if she thinks the religious struggles are political she said, “I do believe that the struggle is political. It is a power struggle.”

On November 6, 2003 Nomani enters the Mosque in Morgantown, W. Va. through the front doors with her mom, dad, and son. Nomani says this is where certain choices and paths come up in your life. “I knew that if I stepped back instead of walking forward in the church I would be affirming the segregation,” said Nomani. The events are covered in “The Mosque in Morgantown” documentary. It is still a struggle for women of Muslim faith to pray in the main prayer hall alongside the men, but Nomani’s strength has helped to open the door for women. “I had to overcome so much fear to walk through that front door. Each one of us can make change. There is a definite role for each one of us to make a change,” said Nomani.

Nomani is a former Wall Street Journal writer and the author of her current book titled “Standing Alone: An American Woman’s Struggle for the Soul of Islam.” Nomani is a visiting professor at Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies, and leads a faculty-student project, “The Pearl Project.”
Volunteer State Community College

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Nice to Meet You!

Hello. We have been back in class for about two months now, and I’ve been meaning to introduce myself. My name is Amie Lara and I’m the student blogger at Vol State.

Some of you may have seen me around campus, and I’ve had the pleasure of talking to some of you already. What does a blogger do? I write about fun things going on around campus and talk to students and staff about issues that arise. I love having the opportunity to meet new people, and find out what makes them tick so to speak.

Journalism is my major, and I chose this because I love to write. I’ve written articles for “Eat and Drink Austin,” a quarterly magazine in Austin, TX.

I’m a single mother and I have three beautiful children ages thirteen, ten, and four. Of course every mother thinks her children are beautiful but mine really are!

Performing has been a love of mine since the age of six, and I have the opportunity to continue this when time permits. I have done productions with The Nashville Opera and my most recent is in the production of “Tosca” at TPAC. I have performed many places with roles and jobs that range from an NFL Cheerleader, musicals, and a singer and dancer at Six Flags. Performing is an outlet for me and although I do have professional opportunities, I decided to take my “career” a different route. I love the fact that I still have the option to perform as well as write.

Another fascination of mine is Sci-Fi and Fantasy. Yes, I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to Wolverine and Spiderman. I’ve been known to go to a few comic book/sci-fi conventions and I actually enjoy it!

In May I will be graduating from Vol-State and I plan on continuing my education at MTSU.

Students who have questions or comments about the blog may email me at

Students who wish to contribute may also send content to for consideration.

Volunteer State Community College

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Dispel Islamic Myths

Knowledge is the key to overcoming stereotypes. Asra Nomani will be speaking about the paradox of women in Islam and shedding some light on a few subjects.

Monique Robinson Wright, Director of Student Life and Diversity Initiatives said, “I think it is important for people to attend so that their perspective and understanding of Islam can be broadened and hopefully dispel myths.”

Asra Nomani is a former Wall Street Journal reporter and has written many articles about women’s rights in Islam. She passionately fought for change so that women could pray in the main prayer space among men in her mosque.

Nomani will be speaking in the auditorium of Caudill Hall on Wednesday October 7, at 12:15 p.m. and 7p.m.

Fall Fiesta Celebrates Hispanic Culture Saturday

The cuisine of Latin America and the Caribbean will be available for tasting at the Fall Fiesta at Vol State. It’s part of an expanded food cook-off contest. This is the third year for the Fiesta in Gallatin, which celebrates Hispanic culture. It will happen on Saturday, October 10.

“We’ll have a talent show and several new contests for the kids,” said Eric Melcher, Coordinator of Communications. “The inflatable jumping games are always a favorite. We try and make this a fun event for the entire family.”

An exhibition of cultural dances from many different countries will be performed by the Hispano America dance troupe. Sports skills will be on display at the soccer tournament. Teams of five people are welcome to play in the half-field competition, but they should sign up at the beginning of the Fiesta at 10 a.m.

“Live music is always a big part of the Fiesta. The Son Latino band is returning this year,” Melcher said. “They have quite the following in Nashville.”

In addition to the food cook-off contest at 11 a.m. there will be a free lunch and drinks starting at noon.

The Fall Fiesta at Vol State will be held on Saturday, October 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is held the Volunteer State Community College campus at 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin. It is free and open to everyone. Families are encouraged to bring a blanket and chairs and spend the day. For more information in English call 615-230-3570 or Spanish at 615-230-4846.

Monday, October 5, 2009

“Polaroid Stories” Coming to Vol State

Michael is working on promotion for an upcoming Vol State student theater production. Here is his blog about Polaroid Stories:

Polaroid Stories is a play being put on by students of Volunteer State Community College, about the lives of teenage kids on the street. Each character involved has to undergo challenges of being homeless, prostitution, drug addiction, and being alone on city streets. With an added twist of Greek Mythology this story is sure to bring a tear to your eye as you watch the realistic interpretation of the lives these young teenagers are leading. From Director Edmond Thomas and with returning actors Steve Parnell, Jessie Smith, Samantha Hearn, Brittany King, Steven Cox, Nikki Colwell, Sean Carney, Felicia Tate, and new-comer Rome Logan, this show is sure to captivate your attention keeping you glued to the edge of your seat yearning for more. Because of adult content and language, Polaroid Stories is only for mature audiences.

“The audience will hopefully be captivated by each of the stories told in the play, and be able to feel the emotion and pain the characters deal with.” – Samantha Hearn

“The audience will appreciate the realism.”- Jessie Smith

“The audience will expect to momentarily alter their reality.” –Rome Logan

Don’t miss out on what everyone will be talking about!

Auditorium in Caudill Hall
October 16, 17, at 7:30pm and Sunday the 18th at 2:30pm
October 23, 24, at 7:30pm and Sunday the 25th at 2:30pm
Admission: $5 to benefit student scholarships.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Political Vixen

Conservative politics and rock 'n' roll mesh well together in Amy Mitchell’s world.
President of the College Republicans and a disc jockey for Vol State’s radio station 88.5 WVCP, Amy has the Monday time slot from 5:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. “Vixen is my radio name! My politics are conservative, but I do have a great personality,” said Mitchell. Amy is also the Assistant Senior Senator of SGA.
She has been interested in pursuing her career as a disc jockey since high school. “I worked at a small station in Lafayette for two and a half years while I was in high school. I have been doing this for almost five years,” Mitchell said.
Amy said she is getting an internship for the summer with 102.9 The Buzz. “I love the music they play which is Alternative and Rock!” she said. Becoming employed as a full time disc jockey is her goal, but she realizes that this is a competitive field. “To get hired as a DJ, you have to have a special pizzazz because it is very competitive, especially with everything becoming syndicated,” Mitchell said.
Amy enjoys politics as well as listening to music, playing soccer, and working on cars.

Volunteer State Community College; 88.5 WVCP

Thursday, October 1, 2009

New Steinway Pianos - A Big Time Musical Upgrade

Positive energy and rich chords surround the students of Vol State's Showstopper music group as student Patrick Orianus passionately plays a new Steinway seven foot grand piano. The concert grand and seven studio Steinways were delivered to the college yesterday and students in the Vol State Music Program are talking.

"I play gospel at my church, and I would choose a Steinway over another model if I had the choice," said Orianus. He has been performing since he was a child and sings tenor and bass.

James Story is the chair of the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Vol State, and was very excited as he played a few jazz pieces. "Steinways feel as if you are playing on water. They have a better orchestral quality and smoothness. They also have a very good sound for studio playing," said Story.

The Steinways replace pianos that have been at the college for years, some since the school opened in 1971.

"I am very excited about getting Steinways. Usually community colleges end up with a crappy Casio," said Brandon Millichamp. Brandon and tenor V.J. Cieselski were among the students singing along with the piano. "I have always been a big fan of Steinways. They are fun to play because of the reaction of the keys. I have never had a bad experience with a Steinway," said Cieselski.
"Mr. Story told us last week that we would be getting Steinways and everyone in class started screaming," said Orianus.

Bill Metcalfe is the president of the Steinway Piano Gallery of Nashville. "Steinway builds their pianos to a musical standard of excellence, to perform better, and last longer. 1400 artists who travel the world have said that, and over one hundred schools have chosen to buy Steinways," said Metcalfe.

Volunteer State Community College Music Program