Thursday, January 28, 2010

Help Is Available

Students at Vol State may not be aware of the many services offered.

If you struggle in Math or need help writing an essay for a class, the math lab and language center have tutors and a place you can study. “It helps you write your papers,” said student Yvette Burns, of the language center.

Today, student services had an open house to introduce FYE (First Year Experience). “We are trying to introduce the program, ‘The First Year Experience.’ It is a program to introduce new students what is offered,” said Erin Montgomery, Secretary in the Retention Support Department of Student Services. The learning centers are open to all students from first year, to those getting ready to graduate.

I can personally vouch for the benefits gained by going to the Math lab. If you struggle in Math, I highly recommend going and at least talking to someone. There are times when they are busy, but it is worth going back another time to get the help needed. Student Kevin Eaton said, “Honestly, it is a place to study and if I have a question there is always someone to ask.”

Newskills in another place where students can find additional help. “Newskills is fantastic. It is one of the best programs in this school. It depends on how you learn. I think a big part of college success is learning how you learn,” said Psychology student Terresa Melton. “It’s definitely helping me,” said Marie Lansdon of Newskills.

Hours are as follows:

The Language Center – Ramer –Suite 157; Monday – Thursday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. , Friday 9a.m. -2p.m.

The Math Lab-Warf-Suite 123; Monday-Thursday 8a.m. -6 p.m., Friday 8a.m. – 4p.m., the fourth Saturday of every month 8a.m. -2p.m.

Newskills – Warf – Suite- 126; Monday-Thursday 8a.m – 9 p.m., Friday 8a.m -2 p.m.; Saturday 8:30a.m. -12:30p.m.

Volunteer State Community College

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tokyo Native Now a Pioneer

Naomi Ito has only been in America for about one year. Originally from Tokyo, Japan she is now a student at Vol State.

At age 31, she is constantly thinking about her future. “I need to think about my future. I’m not sure what I want. I may change majors,” said Ito.

This is Ito’s first semester at Vol State. She said, “I went to language school. I finished, then I came here. The teachers are great. The staff is very kind.”

Pre-Dental Hygiene is currently Ito’s major. “I have experience working in Japan studying teeth. I didn’t really enjoy it, but some things interested me. It is very important to take care of teeth,” she said with a laugh.

Ito isn’t exactly sure what field she should go into. She is happy to begin her college education in America at Vol State.

Volunteer State Community College

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

100 Percent Pass Rate for Respiratory Students!

Congratulations to the 2009 graduates of the Vol State Respiratory Care Program. All of them passed the national credentialing exam on the very first attempt. That's the third year in a row for Respiratory Care grads to have a 100 percent pass rate.

These exams are a big deal. Students must pass them to be credentialed, and you have to be credentialed to get a good job. All of our Allied Health programs have very high pass rates, but 100 percent is pretty amazing. It's much higher than the national average of 51 percent.

The exam pass rates tell you a great deal about the quality of instruction, so we are quite proud of Respiratory Care Program Director Cory Martin and Director of Clinical Education Kimberly Christmon.

Volunteer State Community College Respiratory Care

Highlights to Trauma

Trena Burrow has always been interested in the medical field, and is in the EMT program at Vol State.

“This is my second semester. I’m taking the eighteen month program. You have to become an EMT first before a paramedic. I’ve always liked the medical field,” said Burrow.

Burrow had another interest that was very different from the medical field before she started the EMT program. “When I first graduated high school I went to cosmetology school. That is how I helped my mom out; making money doing hair, so that I could pay for my own stuff,” she said.

“I enjoy doing hair but I feel like the medical field is meant for me. When I had my oldest daughter, I worked at Center for Comprehensive Services for trauma brain injured patients. I did whatever they needed. I helped the nurses and the doctors,” said Burrow.

Burrow has two children ages 1 and 2. “I still do hair on the side to bring in some extra money,” she said.

Burrow welcomes emails from those needing a hair stylist at

Volunteer State Community College

Monday, January 25, 2010

More Power for Vol State radio WVCP-FM

Vol State radio station WVCP 88.5 FM has a new antenna and that means more power, so you can receive those rock and roll tunes crystal clear. We're proud of our college radio station. It has a broadcast range that extends into Nashville and many devoted listeners. Students are DJs, do the news, and many other functions at the station. If you're interested in working at WVCP we've included a contact e-mail below. Here's a note from WVCP Manager Howard Espravnik about the antenna process:

WVCP’s new broadcast antenna was installed on Friday afternoon. WVCP’s antenna is located on a tower belonging to Cumberland Electric Membership Cooperative (CEMC) on Blythe Street in Gallatin. WVCP appreciates that CEMC provides this tower space as a free service to the station, VSCC and the community.

The new antenna has Radomes (ice covers) over each of the three bays. On icy days, the ice will form on the cover and not on the antenna itself. Ice on the antenna can force stations to reduce their operating power. The covers will prevent that.

WVCP’s old antenna was retired after 26 years of service. The old antenna’s power divider was getting water in it, forcing the station to operate at less than 100 percent power, off and on, for the last couple of months.

The new Dielectric Antenna was purchased with stimulus funding and was scheduled to be replaced later this year as a part of the station’s upgrade to digital HD broadcasting. Water getting into the old antenna necessitated replacing the antenna now instead of later this year.

Howard Espravnik
WVCP-FM Manager
Associate Professor of Communication

Lee Mun Wah

What is the state of race relations in America today? It's a topic that filmmaker and speaker Lee Mun Wah has examined in many different ways. He's bringing his insight to Vol State this week for two events.

Mun Wah is a Chinese American who has spent the last twenty years working with corporations, government agencies, and educational institutions on diversity issues. He uses a healthy approach to combat an otherwise touchy subject.

Mun Wah is the Director of StirFry Seminars and Consulting, and is an author. In 1995 Oprah featured him on her show.

On Wednesday January 27, 2010, Mun Wah will speak at Vol State. Everyone is invited, and the event is free. He will be in the Auditorium of Caudill Hall at 12:15 p.m. and 7 p.m. The evening event will feature a screening of his film about race relations and a discussion.

Volunteer State Community College

Friday, January 22, 2010

Haiti Donation Update

Donations are continuously being taken for the Haiti relief fund here at Vol State.

So far, Phi Theta Kappa has raised $799.37 for the American Red Cross Haiti relief fund. Collegiate Ministry has raised $147.

The Phi Theta Kappa donation box is located in the Wood Campus Center room 217.

The Collegiate Ministry donations may be given to Cindy Chanin, Associate Professor of English and Advisor of Collegiate Ministry in Ramer 125.

Volunteer State Community College

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Former Vol State Basketball Players Sign

Some former Pioneer men's basketball players are doing well. Joseph Evans and Davis Warner recently signed letters-of-intent with Iowa Wesleyan College. Iowa Wesleyan is an NAIA-Division II school. Evans is a 6-foot-2 guard and Warner is a 6-foot-4 forward.

We wish them the best of luck with Iowa Wesleyan!

Need to Drop a Class?

Do you need to drop a class? Effective today, January 21, 2010, students who wish to drop a class (while still remaining enrolled in at least one other class) must obtain a signature from their professor and complete a DROP/ADD/WITHDRAWAL FORM. After completion, this form should be taken to the Records Office. Students who wish to drop all of their classes, however, must speak with an advisor/counselor in the Advising Center.

It is extremely important for students who are receiving financial aid (grants, loans, lottery funds, scholarships, stimulus funds, etc.) to notify the Financial Aid Office prior to dropping a class or withdrawing from the College.

Update: Family in Haiti

Vol State student, Frantz Massena has recently received word from family members in Haiti.

“I did speak to some family members, and one of them did pass away. It was one of my cousins. So far everyone else is okay,” said Massena.

Massena has a few questions though. “The questions I would like answered are these: Why are they turning away planes with medical supplies? They could at least drop the supplies. They haven’t just done this once; I’ve heard it has happened more than once,” Massena said.

“If I can get resources to my family, that would be great but I haven’t been able to do that. I’m grateful that most of my family is okay, but I want to see that they get proper resources,” said Massena.

Massena said that if anyone would like to contact him with further questions they may email him at

Volunteer State Community College

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Arby's for Donations

The Collegiate Ministry at Vol State is offering Arby's sandwiches for a donation to the Haiti relief fund.

They are in the Wood Campus Center and will be there until all sandwiches have been given away.

Cindy Chanin is the Advisor of Collegiate Ministry and Associate Professor of English. "Donations will be sent to The Tennessee Baptist Convention, and 100 percent of the designated funds go to the Haiti disaster relief," said Chanin.

After today donations may be given to Chanin in Ramer 125.

Volunteer State Community College

Census 2010 Imperative for Funding

The US Census 2010 logo can be seen in various places around Tenn., but what does this mean?

Cameron Parrish is the Partnership Specialist for the Census Bureau.

Parrish said that it is important to participate in the census survey because, “It is a constitutional obligation.”

Parrish also said that distribution of federal funds is an important part of having the correct number of residents. “People are under the misconception that funds for schools are allocated by how many students walk through the door. Instead it is tallied by how many people are documented by the Census every ten years. For every person who refuses to fill out the form, it reduces the amount of funding allocated to the schools,” he said.

Parrish touched on the fact that some residents who may be here illegally are afraid to fill out the form for fear of deportation. “It is confidential. We want to maintain the Census Bureau as a separate entity. Social security numbers aren’t even used.” Parrish said. Parrish said that even if residents are here illegally it is important to have those numbers since school funding can be allocated appropriately for each body counted.

“People will start receiving forms mid March by mail, or hand delivered. We can’t do it electronically. Dormitories and military facilities will count toward that residence,” said Parrish.

Vol State student Ethan Dorris said, “I think it is important for statistics to fill it out.” “If you don’t fill it out they aren’t going to have accurate counts,” said student Victoria Weeks.

Census jobs are available. “They pay between ten to sixteen dollars an hour depending on what county you are in. If you work for the Census and are receiving unemployment benefits, you won’t have to reapply for unemployment benefits after it is over. Your benefits will start again,” said Parrish.

To find out more about Census 2010, and the road tour visit the website.

Volunteer State Community College

Hope For Haiti Volunteer Meeting

Often when we see devastation we wonder how we can help.

Alexis Smith, 18, is a student at Vol State and decided to figure out a way to help with the Haiti earthquake relief. “I saw everything that happened, and was completely heartbroken,” said Smith.

Smith is leading the volunteer effort “Hope for Haiti.” This is a non-profit campaign for the disaster relief in Haiti through Convoy of Hope. She is having a meeting January 20, 2010 at 1:30 p.m., and January 21, 2010 at 1 p.m. Both of these will take place in the Vol State cafeteria.

Marla Shelton, Service Learning Coordinator said, “I think it really compliments what Phi Theta Kappa is doing by multiplying what the students can do by going out and collecting from local businesses. Lexi is amazing. She has organized all of this herself.”

“I approached Marla to get the students involved. We have already raised 150 dollars. Each week I’ll be giving the money to Convoy of Hope,” Smith said.

“If people are wanting to make a difference, this is a wonderful opportunity. I know that if I were ever in that situation, I would want to know that someone would try their best to help. The bottom line is just having compassion for others,” said Smith.

At the meetings Smith will go over how students can volunteer, and where everything will take place.

Volunteer State Community College

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Donations Continue

If you want to help out with the Haiti disaster relief, donations are still being taken in the Wood Campus Center at Vol State.

Including last Friday, Phi Theta Kappa has raised 560 dollars so far. Remember that the money is going directly to the American Red Cross. PTK will be in the Wood Campus Center again tomorrow from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

For those wanting to donate after that, stop by Wood 215 or 217.

Volunteer State Community College

Vision For Troubled Youth

Guiding troubled youth in a positive direction is a dream of Jordan Cartmell.

Cartmell, at age 18, moved from Pueblo, Colo. and is attending Vol State for his first semester. “I’ve been here almost eight months. I want to be a guidance counselor or something of that nature,” said Cartmell.

Cartmell is in the process of helping his uncle start a school for troubled teens. “My uncle is getting ready to start a non-profit organization for at risk youth. We are in the process of buying the school,” said Cartmell. He goes on to say that, “It will be for troubled kids that are involved in the court systems.”

“I moved here from Colo. with my uncle because I was getting into trouble. Since I conquered my troubles in the past, I’m trying to pay back,” said Cartmell. He said that he feels that his story could help those that have been in similar situations.

For more information about the school and future groundbreaking dates go to the website.

Volunteer State Community College

Friday, January 15, 2010

Haiti Tragedy Close to Home

Seeing the remnants of the earthquake in Haiti is a tragic sight. Imagine having family there and not knowing if they are okay.
That is precisely the case for Vol State student Frantz Massena. Massena lived in Haiti until he was nine years old, and has lived here for eighteen years.

“There is no question whether it has affected my family. I have cousins in Haiti. My mom has been trying to call, but we haven’t gotten word. I go through phases when I worry about it, but worrying about it won’t help anyone. I am just praying,” said Massena.
“I was really glad that people were trying to get in touch with me. It shows that we care about other people. I got to the point where I thought people didn’t pay attention to that stuff since you see so many bad things,” Massena said when contacted for questioning regarding the earthquake.
Massena has tried to call the toll free number for finding loved ones in Haiti that is given on the American Red Cross website. “That number is primarily for citizens of America who have traveled abroad to Haiti. None of my friends have heard anything. My sister tried seven different phone numbers. The second day I looked at different sites on the computer for a couple of hours trying to find information. Since I wasn’t finding any information I thought the best thing to do was to pray about the situation,” Massena said.
Ironically, Massena was planning on visiting Haiti later on this year. “I have not been back to Haiti since I was nine. I had the date planned this June where I was going back. Now I may have to put that on hold depending on how things turn out,” he said.
Joseph Meeker has family in Haiti as well. “My cousin was missing for a day and a half and someone found him. They said he is in shock and can’t even speak. I don’t know where they found him. My mother is from Haiti. She has been in touch with family. Her phone has been ringing off the hook. I’m constantly keeping updates,” said Meeker.

Massena is pictured looking at the CNN website keeping up to date on the status of Haiti, and Meeker is shown calling his mother asking if she has heard anything new.

Phi Theta Kappa is taking donations for the American Red Cross.

Volunteer State Community College

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Vol State Raises Money for Haiti

Vol State is responding to the disaster in Haiti as the death toll rises daily.

Phi Theta Kappa is accepting donations that will go directly to the American Red Cross in Haiti. “Our challenge is to have each student and member of the staff and faculty donate one dollar,” said Stacy Jones, Phi Theta Kappa President.

“The American Red Cross has a team in Haiti that is constantly there,” said Lydia Yau, PTK Treasurer. Yau said that they are in greater need of cash assistance because sending items is harder. “It’s easier to donate cash because of their buying power. They know what the needs are,” said Karen Yates of the American Red Cross. Yates is the fundraising chair of PTK.

The reason Vol State is contributing is simple. “Disaster can hit anytime, and we might be in need. It is good karma.” said Jones. “It’s good stewardship,” Yates said. “Pay it forward,” said Yau.

The Phi Theta Kappa table will be set up through welcome week, during the day on January 14, 15, 19, and 20. Afterward, donations can be directed to the Office of Student Life in the Wood Campus Center room 215. If you are writing a check, address it to The American Cross, and in the memo line write AP 2885 Haiti Relief and Development.

Volunteer State Community College

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Renting Saves

Money for tuition as well as the high cost of books can be daunting. Rent a text can help alleviate some of those costs.

This is the second semester that Vol State is offering this program. “Our titles increased by more than double,” said Dianne King, bookstore manager. Physical Therapist major Rahkiya Oriedo works in the bookstore and said, “It’s a good program and saves a lot of money.”

Not all titles are available for every class, but it is worth checking into since the savings are often more than fifty percent.

“I think it is a really good idea, and if they have what I need I’ll rent them,” said student Cassidy Lucas. Amanda Spivey said, “I think it is a great idea. I didn’t do it because they just didn’t have what I needed.” Richard Jackson said, "I had to buy mine because they were already in a pack. I’m doing the EMT certificate program. If it saves money I’m all about renting though.”

There are students who prefer not to rent textbooks. “I like to buy all mine because you get money back when you sell them at the end of the semester,” said Kristen Wildbur.

Most students seem willing to rent as long as the bookstore has the titles available. For a complete listing of available titles and more information on rent a text click here.

Volunteer State Community College

Monday, January 11, 2010

Welcome Back for Spring Semester

Spring classes start Thursday and plenty of students are checking schedules and buying books. A couple of reminders as we welcome you back to campus:

-Rent-A-Text is available this spring again in the Vol State bookstore. It helps you save up to 55% on selected text titles.

-The Ride Board is available for people who are looking to carpool to campus. You can find the link on the right hand side of this screen. To get to the latest postings scroll all the way down to the end of the comments page. Feel free to post. It may take a few hours for it to appear on the screen.
-We have been having some problems with Internet service on campus, which has impacted the Vol State website over the last week. It's a problem our Internet service provider is trying to fix and several colleges and universities across Tennessee are having the same issues. Best we can advise is to keep trying. The problems are intermittent.

-Spring registration is way up this semester, by about 20 percent. That means many classes are filling up fast. If you are trying to get into a class that is currently full, keep checking back. Some students will be dropping classes in the next week or so, opening up new slots.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Internet Problems - Vol State Website

We've been having some network Internet issues here at Vol State. You may notice that at times it's tough to get our website to load. If so, try again. The problem is apparently intermittent. If you can't get on right away, try again a bit later. Here on campus the link to the website is direct, no Internet, so if you can come to campus today (Wednesday...we are closed Thursday) you should be able to get on fine. We know that's not easy for many and impossible for some. The problem is with the Internet service provider which handles many TBR schools. It's not something we can fix here. We are told they are working on it.

You can always pay bills and register for classes here at the campus in Gallatin. We'll be open for normal business hours today (8am-4:30pm), closed Thursday for Professional Development Day, and open again Friday.

A reminder...classes start on Thursday, January 14.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Get Ready for Spring Classes

Vol State college offices are back open and busy as we get ready for Spring Semester. Spring classes start on January 14. If you need advising help or other assistance we're encouraging students to come in early. Enrollment is up dramatically from Spring Semester of last year. You can find a list of spring classes by going to our schedule page:

And a reminder that if you are a new student you will need to fill out an application first. You can do that online at:
One additional note: College offices will be closed for professional development day on Thursday, January 7.