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

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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