Monday, December 20, 2010

When Can I See My Grades?

Final grades will be available late Wednesday afternoon. Once posted, grades can be found in Pride Online. Under the “Student” heading click on the “Final Grades” link. You can also use the “My Grades” channel in the My VolState portal.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Passing the Torch

As the end of the year is coming to a close, I begin to think of new beginnings.

I have had the wonderful opportunity to be employed in the public relations office here at Vol State for the past year and a half while completing my degree.

This position has paved the way for me to meet some extraordinary people, and taught me a great deal about reporting. I have had the opportunity to meet and interview several guest speakers including Pulitzer Prize winning author Nicholas Kristof.

Seeing the world through Asra Nomani’s eyes, if only for a couple of hours, when she was telling of her adventures as she demanded women’s rights to pray in the same area as the men in her mosque, was priceless. Having the opportunity to hear Lee Mun Wah speak about diversity, and having a one on one conversation with him was an amazing opportunity that cannot be put into words.

Not only have I had the opportunity to interview guests for print, I have had the unique opportunity to interview local politicians including Governor Bill Haslam on “Inside Politics,” Vol State’s cable television production.

Aside from the career and networking opportunities, I have made lasting relationships through my job here that will always be remembered. Getting to know the faculty and staff not just as a student, but as a co-worker and friend in some cases was one of the better parts of my position.

Interviewing different students for personal profiles not only helped make the blog interesting, but gave me the opportunity to make friends along the way.

I want to thank everyone over the past year and a half that has let me interview, photograph and video them for the blog. For everyone in the PR office, thank you for everything. Eric Melcher, you have taught me so much, and it has been an honor to be a part of your team.

For the next person that will take my place, I leave you with a bit of advice if I may. Really listen to the people you are talking to and have fun! I am passing the torch along.

May everyone have a happy holiday and a wonderful new year!

Volunteer State Community College

EMT Service Learning Project

Vol State classes go out into the community to do service learning projects throughout the year. The daytime Gallatin campus EMT class participated in a service learning project this semester with the Sumner County Schools Wellness Program. The students assisted the school nurses in obtaining vital signs, heights and weights for elementary school students. This is the second year the EMT class has participated. The nurses came to campus to award certificates to the instructors, Hunter Henson and Muff Farmer, and say thanks to the students.

Volunteer State Community College

Thursday, December 16, 2010

All Thursday Finals Happening as Scheduled

All Vol State day and evening finals Thursday will happen as scheduled. A reminder that if you had a final postponed on Wednesday night, it has been rescheduled for tonight (Thursday) at 7:30pm for Gallatin, McGavock and Livingston. Students at other off-campus sites who had finals postponed Wednesday night should contact their instructor for the new date and time.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

To clarify: final exams postponed

To clarify: all final exams starting at 6p.m. or later have been postponed until 7:30p.m. Thursday.  Includes Gallatin campus, McGavock, and Livingston. Thursday finals at 6pm will meet as planned. All-off campus location finals are also postponed. The instructor will contact students with the new time and date. Wilson Central History 2010 is also postponed. Students in this class should contact the instructor for details.

All evening final exams, all locations postponed Wednesday night

Due to weather concerns all final exams starting after 6pm tonight (Wednesday) have been postponed until tomorrow (Thursday) night. This includes the Gallatin campus, McGavock, and Livingston. The finals scheduled for tonight will now be held at 7:30pm Thursday in the same location. Thursday finals at 6pm will meet as planned. All-off campus location finals are also postponed. The instructor will contact students with the new time and date.

Wilson Central: HIST 2010 will not meet for exam tonight

Vol State Wilson Central Site: HIST 2010 551 will not meet for the exam at Wilson Central, tonight, Wednesday. Contact your instructor for the reschedule date and time.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Important Information- Changes due to the weather conditions: Main Campus, Off-Campus and Livingston

Changes due to the weather conditions: Main Campus, Off-Campus and Livingston

-All finals scheduled for Monday before 10am on the Vol State main campus will be held on Friday at the same time and the same location. Some finals may have directions to another room, those will be posted on the door if that is the case.

-Livingston finals scheduled for Monday will be held on Friday at the same time and the same location.

-Livingston will open late at 9am Tuesday. All finals will be held that day, with times sliding. If you have a final scheduled before 9am, show up at 9am. See the schedule posted in the Livingston lobby when you arrive.

-If you could not make it to any main campus class on Monday after 10am or Tuesday, due to weather safety issues, you can reschedule the exam with your instructor. Every student has a right to make up a missed exam. Contact your instructor.

-McGavock will be open Monday night for exams as usual.

-Macon County final exams will be held as planned.

-Wilson Central will be closed Monday night. All Monday night exams will be rescheduled. Your instructor will contact you with details.

-Students taking evening classes at Springfield H.S. will be contacted by the instructor.

-For faculty: final grades must be submitted by midnight on Monday, December 20.

-For students: students should be able to see final grades posted by Wednesday afternoon December 22.

Coats, Coats and More Coats!

The Vol State Employee Relations Committee says that its third annual Coat Drive has well exceeded goals. Faculty, staff and students donated more than 200 coats this year. That's well above the total of 100 collected last year and even beats the goal of 150 for this year. The drive also took in dozens of scarves, gloves and hats.

"Everyone has been so generous," said Renee Byrnes-Eades.

The project is carried out in conjunction with the ABC News Warm Coats and Warm Hearts campaign, a partnership with Burlington Coat Factory to provide warm coats to those in need during the winter months. The bags of coats were packed up last week and taken to the 100 Oaks Burlington Coat Factory. From there, the garments will be cleaned and sent to the Nashville Rescue Mission. Many folks will keep warmer this year thanks to your support!
Volunteer State Community College

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Vol State Delayed Opening 10 a.m Monday and Faculty and Staff E-mail Update

Vol State will delay opening on Monday, December 13 until 10a.m. on the main campus in Gallatin due to the weather. The Livingston campus will be closed Monday. Any finals earlier than 10 a.m. will be rescheduled as will all Livingston finals for Monday. Faculty and staff can now access their e-mail by going to the Faculty and Staff page of the web site and using the faculty and staff e-mail link. Any old bookmarks of the old faculty and staff e-mail system will not work, you must access through the Faculty and Staff web page.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Banner and Pride computer systems are up again

Vol State Banner and Pride computer systems are up again. Faculty and staff e-mail may be down for a while, possibly into weekend. Student e-mail is working.

Faculty and Staff E-mail Issues

The Vol State faculty and staff e-mail system is down and may remain down for some time today. The student e-mail system is working. The Vol State website is back up and running.

Power has been restored

The power has been restored to the Vol State Gallatin campus. The website is also online again. Classes will happen as scheduled today.

Power Disruption on Campus Today

Computer and phone systems are down at Vol State this morning due to a power disruption. This includes the College website. Crews are working on the problem now. Classes will continue as scheduled today.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thanks from Afghanistan

Recently the Vol State EMS program held a donation drive to help soldiers in Afghanistan. Those soldiers really appreciated the effort. This is a note they sent in thanks to everyone who participated:

To all those that extended their support and patriotism through the donations received by Volunteer State Community College Students and Staff and those of Nashville Fire Department. We raised Approx. 300lbs of goods to send to Afghanistan through Christmas Donations which far exceeded expectations! The Soldiers currently serving overseas extend their thanks and this will surely bring them some Joy and Holiday Cheer, as well as letting them know that their sacrifices are NOT left unappreciated. Thank you for all your support! Attached Is a "Thank You" Photo from the soldiers that your donations were made, currently serving in North East Afghanistan mountains in the Korrenghal Valley, of the Kunar Province. Keep up the thoughts, prayers, and support for our brave troops!!

SSG Crews, Benjamin R.
E. Co., 3-398th, 95th Div
U.S. Army Infantry

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Phi Theta Kappa Reaches Five Star Status

This year Vol State Phi Theta Kappa students managed to set the bar to a higher standard by attaining a five star rating.

“In order to become five-star you are required to do a certain number of things,” said Kerensa James, PTK Vice President of leadership. “It has been years since we have been five-star.”

The honors in action study topic this year is “The Democratization of Information: Power, Peril, Promise.” PTK students presented their project in front of a panel of Vol State professors. Several questions were asked by the students in order to shed light on how to improve the college experience for current and future college students.

“Our ultimate goal is to have more of an open communication and general understanding between students and professors,” said Jamie Blurton, PTK Vice President of service. “We have to provide a response for the administration.”

Questions about career preparation and the importance of technology were directed toward the professors.

In regard to preparation, several professors agreed that being passionate about the overall learning process is the key to a successful college experience.

“When college is done well, it is a chemical transformation in the person,” said Nancy Blomgren, associate professor of English.

“Students need to be active learners,” said George Pimentel, department chair, history, geography, political science, and associate professor of history. “Students need to know their strengths.”

PTK students were congratulated for all of the work that was put into this project, and attaining the five-star status.

“I think every chapter after us will be encouraged to be more active and work toward becoming a five-star chapter,” said Blurton.

Both the students and faculty expressed what an amazing opportunity this is for Vol State.

“It is always an honor when our students and clubs receive recognition, especially for their scholarly endeavors,” said Dr. Monique Robinson-Wright, director of student life diversity and initiatives.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Vol State at Highland Crest Progress Update

Civic leaders from Springfield and Robertson County had an opportunity to tour the new Vol State at Highland Crest facility on Friday. There has been quite a bit of progress in the last few months. Workers are finishing roofing and the installation of windows. The framing inside the building and the electrical are ready to go. Streets leading up to the new campus are under construction, with curbs laid and the road bed down.

Vol State and Austin Peay State University will begin offering classes in the fall of 2011. When completed Vol State at Highland Crest will be a 25,000 square foot, two-story building including: four classrooms; a multi-purpose room; a science lab; an interactive television classroom; a bookstore; a library; a learning support center; and ten faculty offices

Vol State will run the new learning center with an on-site director, faculty and staff. Hiring is underway for those positions. Vol State classes will include general education requirement courses that apply to most of the degree and program options at the College. A number of specific academic programs are also under consideration for Highland Crest.

The college facility is located just south of NorthCrest Medical Center in Springfield on Highway 431 and then turning onto William A. Batson Parkway. We'll have updates on our web page at:

Friday, December 3, 2010

Festival of Lights Brings More Culture This Year

Various cultures were represented Wednesday December 1, at the annual Festival of Lights program at Vol State, in addition to the usual focus on Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa.

Fettework Mecha is a student originally from Ethiopia and performed two songs from the Ethiopian Greek Orthodox Church. She said that she was performing church music for Christmas.

Students, faculty and staff were lining up to get their name written in calligraphy by Japanese student Yuko Tanaka.

“I want to introduce the Japanese culture,” said Tanaka. She said that in Japan, students learn calligraphy from elementary age, and continue to practice throughout the years.

The showstoppers performed a few holiday songs, and student Patrick Orianus sang one of his original songs while playing the piano.

Students seemed to enjoy the holiday food and beverages while watching the festivities.

Larry Leftwich said that he wanted to participate to try to catch the Christmas spirit.

At the end of the festival, the different departments at Vol State hung an ornament on the tree to officially start the holiday season.

Volunteer State Community College

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Final Countdown

It is the time when the semester begins winding down, and final exams are less than two weeks away.

A few students shared their thoughts on the end of semester final exam process.

“In all honesty I’m very nervous because I don’t know how well I’m going to do,” said Ashley Fram, secondary education major. “I study and do what I can not to freak out. If I’m stressed, I know I’m going to fail.”

“I don’t like tests,” said William Baxter. “Tests give me the heebie jeebies.”

“I’m confident about it,” said pre-law student, Cameron Ligon. “The only one I feel nervous about is my evidence and procedure class since it is a group presentation.”

The Vice President of SGA, Buddy Daniel said, “You need to plan your study time so that it will be effective and increase your overall grade.”

Students should be aware that the schedule for finals may be different than their regularly scheduled class. The final exam schedule can be found here.

Volunteer State Community College

Environmental stewardship project presentations

Phil Clifford’s Biology 1040 class has put together environmental stewardship project presentations, which will be on display on Monday December 6, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm in the main hallway of the Warf building. The Vol State student Service Learning projects this year include:

-A sign for the community garden so everyone will know it is there (this is a continuation of a project they began in their leadership class.)

-Educating the public regarding safe disposal of old medications so they don’t contaminate our water supply (they are placing fliers in local doctor’s offices.)

-Giving away reusable shopping bags that were donated by Wal-Mart (this will be done during the presentation so, come get free bags!)

-A street cleanup on Lakeview road in Gallatin.

-A group went to local schools and taught children about recycling.

-A group is building safe nesting for birds – this will be placed here on campus.

-A group is promoting metal can recycling in their neighborhood.

-A group produced a video on composting with worms (vermiculture) that they will post on the Internet.

Everyone is invited to come take a look, and talk to the students about what they did this semester.

Volunteer State Community College

Monday, November 29, 2010

State Historian Walter Durham Will Speak at Vol State

Tennessee state historian Walter Durham will be speaking at Vol State about his 23rd book titled “Grasslands.”

Dr. Carole Bucy, professor of history, said that this will most likely be his last book published.

He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University where he received his master’s degree.

“This is a great opportunity for Vol State to recognize his contribution to Sumner County and Tenn. history,” said Bucy. “He is the most charming, gracious, and gentile man.”

This event is open to the public, and students are encouraged to attend on Tuesday December 7 at 12:00 p.m. in the Rochelle center.

Volunteer State Community College

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

On Campus Orientation Room Change

Please note the room change below is for the EMT program orientation, not new student orientation. We're sorry for any confusion this may have caused.

On Monday November 29th the EMT program will be hosting 2 on campus orientation sessions; one at 11:30 am and another at 6:00 pm. The 11:30 am session is being moved to the auditorium in Caudill Hall (#11 on the campus map) due to larger than expected turn out. The 6pm on campus advising session that day will still be held in building 300 (#18 on the campus map) as originally planned.

Being Thankful at Vol State

International students were able to have a traditional Thanksgiving meal at the Thanksgiving luncheon for international students, sponsored by the collegiate ministry.

Several students at this event as well as students, faculty and staff around campus voiced the reasons they are thankful.

“I am thankful that I live in a country that allows us so much freedom,” said Clay Scott, associate professor, communication and journalism.

“I’m thankful for my family’s support through school,” said sophomore Rob Glenn.

“I’m thankful that my family was able to re-build their house after the flood, and that I have good grades,” said student Tanner Battenberg.

“I’m thankful for life itself,” said Akhiyar Ahmed

“I’m thankful for the people I work with in the visual and performing arts department,” said Edmon Thomas, associate professor, communication and theater.

“I’m thankful for my family,” said student Jackson Bush.

“I’m thankful for my friends,” said psychology major Megan Davis.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to come to the United States because I have more opportunity,” said student Roman Shutt.

Volunteer State Community College

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Honors Program Information Night December 7

Honors classes are designed to challenge the highly-motivated student. Vol State  will be holding an informational night to help prospective students and their parents learn more about the Honors Program. Honors classes come in a variety of subjects each semester and honors by contract allows most classes to have an honors component.  The event will be held on December 7 at 7 p.m. in the Rochelle Center of the Thigpen Library on the Vol State campus, 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin. For more information call 230-3281. For specifics about Honors Program requirements visit

Volunteer State Community College

Paid Student Tutor Positions Available

Hey, Vol State students. Do you make good grades? Are you looking for part-time work on-campus? Will you be taking classes in the spring semester? Do you need a flexible schedule? Are you patient and do you like to help others? If so, consider working as a student tutor
Vol State is currently hiring tutors for the following classes:

ACT 201
ACT 202
AHC 115
BIOL 1010
BIOL 1020
BIOL 1030
BIOL 1040
BIOL 2010
BIOL 2020
CHEM 1030
CIS 100
DSPM 0700
DSPM 0800
DSPM 0850
GEOL 1030
MATH 0990
MATH 1010
MATH 1130
MATH 1710
MATH 1720
MATH 1910
MATH 1920
PHYS 1030
PSCI 1030


Must have taken the class to be tutored (or a higher level) and received a grade of A

Must be eligible to work in the U.S.

Must have a checking account for payroll purposes

Must provide 3 references who are available and who are willing to provide a reference

Please contact the Office of Disability Services if you are interested in working as a tutor

Office Location: WOOD 108

Office Phone: (615) 230-3472

Monday, November 22, 2010

Overcoming Challenges

College students face challenges every day, but some challenges are more complicated than others. At only 17, Vol State student Kalyn Barber has had to make significant changes to her lifestyle after passing out suddenly on September 11.
After she passed out she went to 3 different doctors, and was diagnosed with Hypoglycemia. She isn’t allowed to drive for 6 months, and has had to alter her schedule a great deal.
“It is frustrating because I have to eat 6-8 meals a day to keep my blood sugar regulated, which can interfere with my schedule,” said Barber. “I had to skip class this morning because I had to get a meal in.”
Although she lives in Murfreesboro, she decided to attend Vol State for the radiology program, but since finding out the news on her health, will transfer to MTSU in the spring.
“If I were to continue at Vol State, I would have to skip next semester with a medical appeal because I’m on financial aid,” said Barber. “It is just easier to transfer to MTSU.”
Barber said that not driving has made it more difficult to get to school. She wakes up at 4 a.m. so she can be in the car by 5:30 a.m.
“My dad drives me to Gallatin to a friend’s house,” said Barber. “My dad has to be at work so he can’t take me at 9. We leave her house at 7:30 a.m. because her first class is at 8 a.m.”
Barber’s classes are from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. and she has to wait for about 5 hours until her father is able to pick her up from Vol State after he gets off of work.
“After that, I go to one of my various commitments,” she said.
Although Barber has had to go through some challenges, she said there is a silver lining. Since MTSU doesn’t offer a radiology program, she has decided to go into elementary education.
“I thought I wanted to do radiology, but I realized I’d be better off in education because I love kids,” she said. “I never would have considered anything else but radiology had this not happened.”
As long as Barber doesn’t have any more blackouts, she said she will be able to drive in March 2011.
Volunteer State Community College

Criminal Justice Students Visit Tennessee Supreme Court

Vol State students in the Introduction to Criminal Law class were recently given a tour of the Tennessee Supreme Court. They attended three Tennessee criminal appeals involving statutory rape, murder and child abuse/neglect. The photograph was taken inside the Supreme court chambers with Judges Thomas Woodall, James Curwood and Alan Glenn, who presided over the criminal appeals.

Here are what some of the Criminal Justice students had to say about the experience:

Jennifer Graves: “The ability to take what we have discussed in the classroom and then view it all first hand in the actual courtroom, assisted in a greater understanding of the role of the Tennessee Supreme Court plays in the criminal justice system.”

Jackie Brewer: “The Tennessee Supreme Court building was one of the most amazing buildings that I have ever been to or seen. The history inside the walls of the Tennessee Supreme Court is one that I could never fathom, this experience definitely will be one memory that will stay with me forever.”

Erin Vague: “The criminal appeals dealt with child neglect, statutory rape and murder, I was astonished to know and understand what they were talking about and would have never in a million years thought that I would have become this knowledgeable about the law."

Heather Weber: “Overall the educational experience from this field trip is something that I will carry with me throughout my college career. It has helped in shaping my future projections career-wise and has given me a perspective into the Criminal Court of Appeals that I was not privileged to have prior to this experience.”

Volunteer State Community College

Friday, November 19, 2010

Now Students Can See What Books are Needed Before Registering

The problem of not knowing which textbooks and class materials are needed before registering for classes can be frustrating, but with the Book Look/Book Now program, students can see what they will need.

“Prior to a student registering for class, they have the ability to view course materials for the class,” said Dianne King, manager, Vol State bookstore.

There is now a link that students can click on in the class lookup section that will take them to a page that shows what textbooks are needed for each class.

“After a student registers for a class, they can go to a link that enables students to purchase online,” King said. “Prior to Book Now they had to leave the PRIDE online website to go to our site.” She added that students who decide to purchase books directly after registering for classes will be directed to the bookstore website.

So far, students seem to think implementing this system is a good idea.

“That would have been very helpful if I would have had more notice before registering for classes when I registered for the fall,” said student Kalyn Barber.

“I think it is a good idea so you don’t have to waste your money before,” student Heather Brown said.

For more information on the program, contact Dianne King at the campus bookstore at 230-3630.

Volunteer State Community College

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Meet the Cheerleaders!

The Vol State Cheerleading Squad has been keeping the spirit going at Vol State basketball games. The two co-captains have this introduction:

Amanda Smith: I am an elementary education major as a sophomore here at Vol-State. I plan on becoming part of the TSU education program within the next year. I was a varsity cheerleader at Gallatin High School and captain my senior year. I am one of the student representatives on the VSCC facilities committee. I am currently your VSCC cheerleading captain for the 2010-2011 season. Go Pioneers!

Hey Everyone! I am Lydia “Shake” Green. I moved to Tennessee three years ago from Barberton, Ohio. I graduated in 2010 from Hendersonville High School. I am a freshman here at Vol- State. My major is health and physical education. I plan to work on a minor in coaching. I have cheered over eight years for the Barberton Magics. I have also cheered for several other teams throughout the city back in Ohio. I currently serve as your VSCC cheerleading squad Co-Captain for the 2010-2011 season. I’m looking forward to a very successful and fun season. Go Red, White and Blue!

Our squad consists of 8 dedicated members, who have worked hard since day one. After our cheerleading tryouts our squad has been successful and improving as a team. We started off not knowing each other at all and today we consider ourselves a family. Our friendships have been created and will become stronger as the season continues. We have performed as a squad at halftimes and cheer for our Men's and Women's Basketball teams. We conduct weekly practices to learn and perfect our routines to promote crowd involvement and entertain our VSCC fans. The squad also plans on participating in community events and helping our local residents. We look forward to meeting new fans, students, and other community members as our cheerleading season continues. Go Pioneers!

Volunteer State Community College

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pop Culture Class and Country Music

Vol State student Matthew Mason went on a class trip recently and has this report:

Our Pop Culture class has been focusing on music in popular culture and how it affects us as consumers. To help us feel more connected to the subject, our Professor Laura Black, took us to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Though I've lived in Nashville for seven years, I had never been to the Hall of Fame. I was very excited to be able to visit the exhibits and learn where Nashville's country music roots actually stream from.

We strolled through the many different exhibits occasionally stopping to take in some of the classic tunes in their different isolated listening areas and watch the old reels that played on large screens throughout the top floor of old fashion "hoedowns" and other gatherings of early players. We stopped to look into Elvis's "Solid Gold Cadillac" complete with a small T.V. and bunny ear antennae. We were educated in the life and accomplishments of Hank Williams and his rowdy bunch of boys that followed in his footsteps.

The most interesting parts for me personally were the exquisite outfits that both the men and women of country music would wear on stage. These Nudie Suits had so many different intricate and sparkling designs. It's hard to believe that they could even move in some of them. The different designs gave you an interesting look into the artist personalities. As we made our way around to the actual Hall of Fame the stairways walls were covered from top to bottom in silver, gold and platinum records. It was really a beautiful site to see. In the actual Hall we found the many different plaques hung in memorial to all the most important people to country music. From Johnny Cash to Alabama, and Minnie Pearl to Jimmy Rogers these plaques spanned all of the generations of country music and Nashville's connection to popular culture that shines and sparkles like a rhinestone across America.

After leaving I felt I had a true understanding of country music and how it continues to thrive and entertain people from young to old. As country music continues to grow we will see how the music has touched our city and helped Nashville evolve into a historical and prominent monument for American music as a whole.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Speak Spanish With Pedro Martinez

Pedro Martinez is the newest advisor and counselor at Vol State, and has a few ideas to help the Hispanic community on campus.

“I am going to be in charge of the Hispanic outreach efforts here at Vol State,” Martinez said. “We want all of the Hispanic students to be able to graduate, so we are looking for ways to connect with them.”

Martinez started a Hispanic Vol State Facebook page. He said that it will be predominantly in English, but if it is necessary he will put some information in Spanish.

“My goal is that people can go on the page and find out more about the Hispanic community,” said Martinez.

Everyone is encouraged to go to the Hispanic Vol State Facebook page and become a friend.

“I think it’s a good thing,” said Maytee Vinces, Secretary of State of the SGA. “For some people, it’s a little harder to understand English.”

Martinez also said that he wants to be available for all students if they have problems. He speaks Spanish therefore he is able to communicate with Spanish speaking students if they need assistance.

Volunteer State Community College

Friday, November 12, 2010

WWII Veterans Honored

Several generations filled the seats in Caudill Hall today to honor WWII veterans.

History students were involved in the presentation. Brett Steffan, Tyler Wheeler, Christian Arguello, Ethan Jensen and David Spears wore authentic WWII uniforms that were supplied by Professor Peter Johnson, history instructor, from his personal collection.

“My grandfather was in WWII, so I decided to volunteer,” said Ethan Jensen.

They also presented letters written by Vol State students to WWII veterans at the end of the ceremony.

WWII veteran Charlie Hingst said he joined the military in 1942. He spoke about a few very close calls in battle and ended saying, “We live in the greatest country in the world.”

Ed Bruchas is a WWII veteran and said that he was still in high school at the time the war started.

“I shouted out through the entire neighborhood that we were at war,” said Bruchas. “I guess I was 17, and I wanted to go to war because as a young boy, I thought I could fix it.” He said the last part with a smile, and went on to say that he imagines most young boys felt the same way at the time.

“You go in as a boy, and you come out as a man,” said Bruchas.

Peter Johnson wrote an excerpt in the program from the ceremony that said, “This generation came home from the war and built America. Now each day they are slipping away to eternity. We sincerely owe them a great debt of gratitude. May this commemoration today be partial payment on that debt before the last one leaves us.”

Volunteer State Community College

Read My Mind

Students in Caudill Hall erupted into applause, laughter and gasps of astonishment on Wednesday November 10.

Mentalist Wayne Hoffman came to Vol State and seemed to have the ability to wow believers and skeptics alike.

“In the cafeteria he did a preview, and guessed someone’s name and got it right, and it intrigued me,” said Chase Stidham, recording industry management student.

The crowd response proved that Hoffman was entertaining and able to grab people’s attention.

He did several demonstrations that included bringing a mother and daughter onstage, and only touching the mother with a feather. The daughter said she felt the exact same thing, and he didn't touch her at all.

He also guessed which playing cards students were thinking about.

Hoffman said he has been doing this professionally for 13 years, and has studied the subject of the mind extensively. He said that what he does isn’t supernatural.

“Everything is scientific,” said Hoffman. “I wanted to use science for entertainment.”

Hoffman was on a nationally syndicated show titled “Phenomenon” from 2007-2008. “I got the chance on national television to read people’s minds,” he said.

The grand finale consisted of Hoffman filling up a Coke can and re-sealing it. The catch was that this was the same can of Coke he had been drinking during the show.

Steffen Dunham, president of the SGA, said that he wasn’t sure what he thought of the whole thing. “The Coke was strange.” Of all of the demonstrations, this seemed to puzzle most people who witnessed it.

Hoffman said that he enjoyed his experience at Vol State.

“It was awesome,” Hoffman said. “This is one of the coolest theaters I’ve seen in a community college.”

Hoffman can be followed on Facebook and Twitter.

Volunteer State Community College

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Vol State Homecoming is Saturday

The Volunteer State Community College Alumni Association welcomes back Vol State alum as they celebrate the Alumni Basketball Homecoming Bash on Saturday, November 13. The Pioneer basketball teams will take on Jackson State in two games: 2 p.m. for the women and 4 p.m. for the men. Alumni in attendance will be recognized at half court between the games. Vol State Cheerleaders, the Vol State Dance Team and Middle Tennessee Junior League Cheerleaders are set to perform. The Alumni Association and the Athletic Department will host a hospitality room beginning at 1:00 p.m. Alumni can enjoy refreshments and reconnect with friends.
Admission to the event is free. The Alumni Advisory Council is challenging Alumni with the “Your Change Can Make a Change” Campaign. Bring your loose change to donate to the Vol State Alumni Association Scholarship Fund.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Continuing Education: Personal Enrichment

Whether it is pursuing a lifelong hobby, or a career opportunity, personal enrichment offers everything from cake decorating to small engine repair.

The personal enrichment area of the continuing education department at Vol State can be a good starting point.

“A lot of people don’t even know that we offer non-credit courses,” said Lisa Haley, director of non credit instruction. “I think there are a lot of classes that the community doesn’t know we offer.”

Haley said that classes such as flower arranging and interior decorating classes may give students the foundation skills they need to utilize those skills.

“We had a student that took the cake decorating class, and ended up opening a cake decorating business,” said Haley.

Vern Scurlark, instructor of the current cake decorating class, is the owner of It’s a Piece of Cake Bakery in Nashville.

“I’m a hands-on instructor,” said Scurlark. “I’m good at what I do. It’s a passion, and that’s why it doesn’t seem like a lot of work to me.”

Scurlark said for classroom purposes, he allows the students to decide if they want to use a box, or bake a cake from scratch for the final project. He said he loves to see the progress that his students make from the beginning of class to the end, and seeing how proud the students are of their accomplishments.

Those interested in taking a personal enrichment course should contact Lisa Haley at 230-3360.

Volunteer State Community College

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Get Paid to Write for this Blog!

Do you enjoy writing? Are you interested in a part-time job on campus for spring semester? The Vol State PR Office is looking for a student social media writer to write for this blog and other Vol State social media sites. You must be a current student, enrolled in the spring semester. The position is for 10-15 hours a week and can be worked around your class schedule.

We're taking applications now. Visit:

You'll need to submit writing samples with your online application.

We'll start reviewing applications on December 1 and have interviews right after finals. If you have any further questions you can e-mail

Volunteer State Community College

WWII Commemoration

Veteran’s Day is November 11, and on Friday November 12, Vol State will be hosting a salute to WWII veterans in the Caudill auditorium from 12:30 p.m. until 2 p.m.

Peter Johnson, Instructor of History is organizing the event.

There are several events planned that include a ladies’ trio that will perform the song “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and a WWII reenactment.
“I’m hoping to have about 12 veterans from WWII,” said Johnson.

Johnson said he has been collecting memorabilia since he was a child. He said that by organizing this event, he hopes students will get a real sense of what these men and women did for our country.

“They have been called the greatest generation, and there is a reason for that,” said Johnson. “I think we owe them a deep debt of gratitude.”

There will be a mail call, and several letters written to veterans by Vol State students will be presented.

Johnson said that five of his students will be dressing up in WWII uniforms from his collection, and two students will be displaying artwork.

“WWII veterans are dying off, and in a few short years they will all be gone,” said Johnson. He said that this is one of the reasons for organizing this event.

Volunteer State Community College

Monday, November 8, 2010

Speech Team Takes Second Place

The Vol State Speech Team went to Owensboro, Kentucky last weekend to compete in the Owensboro Community College BBQ Capital of the World tournament. Ten people attended: Coaches, Judi Truitt and Donzetta Ketcherside; returning team members Josh Moore and Barbara Jackson; and new members Haley Henley, Elizabeth Duke, Laura Myers, Chanel Alford, Christian Arguello, and Jesse Smith. Vol State brought home the 2nd place trophy in the small college division.

Individual awards were:

Barbara Jackson – Dramatic Interpretation, 3rd place

Haley Henley and Jesse Smith – Dramatic Interpretation finalists

Jesse Smith and Laura Myers – DUO Acting finalists

Laura Myers and Elizabeth Duke – Informative Speaking finalists

Haley Henley – Novice Award in Informative Speaking

Chanel Alford, Christian Arguello, and Elizabeth Duke – Novice Award in Persuasive Speaking

Congrats to everyone!

Volunteer State Community College

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Calculus III Students Have a Blast!

Calculus III students took part in fellow student Zach French’s honors project at the Vol State driving range on Monday November 1, and seemed to enjoy every minute of the experience.

French, an applied mathematics major, designed and built a potato gun.

"I needed an honors project,” said French. “This is the first one of these I’ve ever built. I used propane because it is less explosive than acetylene.” He said it took about one month to build it.

French said he thought that this was the best way to measure projectile motion, and decided to

apply his honors project to what they are currently learning, which is projectile motion.

“I like doing stuff like this,” said Joey Craighead, calculus student. “It helps to show how the calculations work with real-world applications.”

Mary Yarbrough, associate professor of mathematics, said that these are some of her top students. She said she has fun with the class, and added that they are not what some would consider boring calculus students.

This seemed to be the case, as the students were very easy going while making jokes preparing for the shooting experiment.

The students assisting French with the project were Roman Shutt, Marquis Merritt, Eunkyung Choi, Kerry Siegrist, Wade Pearson and Heather Hamilton.

Volunteer State Community College

Monday, November 1, 2010

Continuing Education: Workforce Development

Workforce Development is one of the four departments that make up Vol State’s Continuing Education Division. English as a second language classes (ESOL) are just one of the many types of courses they offer for companies.

“We are a venue for employers to provide additional training for their workforce at a low cost,” said Bob Jankiewicz, director, business and industry institute at Vol State. “They look to us for
English as a second language. We also provide management courses, soft skills training, dealing with peers, harassment prevention and conflict resolution.”

Tyson Foods in Goodlettsville has ESOL classes for employees through the Vol State continuing education program. The classes are taken at the plant itself, which seems to be a convenient option for the students who are getting ready to work their shift at Tyson.

“I’m the only teacher they have for ESOL here,” said Audrey Cine, adjunct instructor.

Students have been in class for two weeks, and the class is 16 weeks long.

“I need to speak English,” said Magdy Salib. “I speak Arabic.” He added that he has been working at Tyson for 3 ½ years so far.

Having the ability to communicate well in English seems to be one of the main reasons students elect to take the ESOL classes.

Medhat and Amira Ishak are married and enrolled in the ESOL class together. Mr. Ishak said that they are supposed to take the citizenship test next year for the United States.

“We are from Egypt,” said Mr. Ishak. “We need to learn English.”

The Workforce Development courses also offer the Six Sigma training.

“It’s a problem solving methodology,” said Jankiewicz. “We teach six sigma at different stages. We are teaching individuals how to find solutions to a problem for which there is no known solution.”

Health and safety training is another portion of workforce development, and includes training in occupational safety and health administration (OSHA).

For information on any upcoming workforce development courses contact Bob Jankiewicz at 230-3359 or e-mail

Volunteer State Community College

Friday, October 29, 2010

Vol State Faculty and Student Research Published

The study of the rare American chestnut tree has long been a passion for Vol State Professor of Biology, Joe Schibig. It’s lead to all sorts of research and publications. The latest publication will be an entire 61 page chapter in a book called “Geotechnologies and Environmental Management.”

“It’s based on the field work Vol State students and I did, where we inventoried the American chestnut and collected data in Mammoth Cave National Park,” said Schibig.

Three years of field work collected plenty of data. SongLin Fei, an assistant professor with the University of Kentucky, took that data and mapped the locations where the rare trees were found. Those maps use geotechnology to then show the affinities of the trees to specific geological factors and soil types. That could help researchers find more of the rare trees in similar locations in the future. Dr. Fei is the lead author of the chapter.

While Schibig has received quite a bit of recognition for his work in recent years, he says adding another element to the scientific body of knowledge is rewarding.

“It feels pretty good. My students will be proud. There will be a statement at the end of the chapter crediting them and myself.”

The students who participated in the research are: Mark Vance, Jeramie Tinsley, Lloyd Fly, and Anne Osborne.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Make a Difference: Non-Profit Started By Two Vol State Students

Embracing the opportunity to make a difference is something Vol State students Tina Newman and Dana Vick decided to do when they went to India with The Tennessee Consortium for International Studies (TnCIS) program.

Newman and Vick decided to start a non-profit organization to benefit the children of Taabar. They were in India from May10 until June 1, 2010. “I saw the need and didn’t think twice,” said Newman.

“We were roommates in the program,” said Newman. “We started making our plan to start this non-profit while we were still there. While we were there we started making contacts. We wanted to figure out what the needs are."

“I was more prone to poverty stricken countries,” said Newman. Newman added that she felt she could make more of a difference in a third world country, and said she could go to Europe any time, when she was deciding which country to visit.

Newman and Vick have hit the ground running and now have a non-profit organization titled Taabar2.

“It is only 300 dollars a year to support one kid,” said Newman. “It’s going to cover shelter, medical and dental expenses, clothing and food.”

Newman and Vick are planning to go to India twice a year to personally deliver the contributions and foresee that the money goes to benefit the children. Newman said that in December she and Vick plan on going back to India.

On November 13, there will be a silent auction and dinner to help raise money to send to the children of Taabar. Newman said that there will be a four course meal with dessert. Tickets are 30 dollars per person, or 50 dollars for two. This event will be in The Wood Campus Center at Vol State in the carpeted dining room.

“I feel like I’m a true humanitarian at heart,” said Newman. “I feel like this is my calling to do.”

Newman stressed again that it takes so little to sponsor a child, adding that the number one cause of death is unsafe drinking water in India. Future long term goals include having the Taabar2 organization in several different countries in the world. Newman said that this is her vision.

For more information on how how to get involved, or to purchase tickets for the silent auction and dinner, email Dana Vick at

Volunteer State Community College

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hate Crimes Still Exist

Left, James Cauffiel
Tolerance is the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with, according to

In light of the recent suicides of gay teens, which received nationwide news coverage, the Lambda organization wants to get the word out that hate crimes are still prevalent.
James Cauffiel, 29, is president of Lambda at Vol State, and is a victim of a hate crime while he attended Clarksville High School.
Cauffiel said that he was on the football team, and very active in sports before he came out and told everyone he was gay.
The equality sticker placed on the gazebo in the Vol State courtyard

“My junior year I came out,” said Cauffiel. “I was in high school and I got beaten up. I was in the hospital about a week. I was bruised up with a punctured lung. I tried to press charges but the school came back and said that no one had witnessed it.”

Cauffiel said his attackers were former friends and members of the football team.
Since that time, he has been active in several different gay and lesbian organizations that include Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), and Lambda.

The Lambda organization at Vol State provides an open environment to foster dialogue between gay and straight students in a supportive atmosphere according to the clubs and organizations pamphlet in the office of student life and diversity initiatives.

In the past, Lambda has not been very well known around Vol State. “People don’t know it exists,” said Jamie Blurton, Vice President of Lambda, and student ambassador.
“I like to advocate for people’s rights,” said Blurton. “I’m involved in a lot.”

Several students around campus voiced their opinions about gay rights and Lambda.
“The fear of it is ridiculous,” said Denzel Greer about people’s fear of the gay community.
On student wanted to remain anonymous and said, “I’m not going to disrespect anybody, but I don’t associate with those kinds of people.”

Ryan Mclean said that he and his friends support equality.

“I have a huge number of gay and lesbian friends,” said student Shellie Leach. “I want to support equality and equal rights. Coming out day was October 11, and it was my anniversary to my husband. I spent the day reflecting how fortunate I am to be able to marry the person I love.”

Leach said she thinks that everyone should have that right.

For those interested in becoming involved in Lambda at Vol State, contact Nancy Blomgren at 230-3208, or Loretta Calvert at 230-3786. The next meeting will be Monday October 25 at 2 p.m. in the Wood Campus Center room 101. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Volunteer State Community College