Monday, January 31, 2011

WANTED! Artists and Writers!

There is something special about creating something new and original. Part of the college experience is to branch out and try things outside your comfort zone. Have you ever wanted to share a story that was special to you? What about using your artistic abilities to inspire others? This is your opportunity.
Our 2010 student literature and art publication, Squatters’ Rites, has been awarded first prize by the American Scholastic Press Association for the second consecutive year! Students with original short stories (five pages or under) poems, creative non-fiction (memoir) or artwork should get in touch with the editor, Christina Mankin, or the faculty advisors, Cindy Wyatt and Mickey Hall. The deadline is Friday, February 18.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Vampires In Nashville

So, what’s the deal with vampires in our pop-culture? We are seeing the bloodsuckers, along with witches, werewolves, and superheroes popping up all the time in our movies and books. This seems to be a trend that is gaining momentum. One Vol State faculty member is on the bleeding edge of that trend.

Melissa Tyndall Fox is a communications instructor here at Vol State. She received a Master of Arts degree in Corporate Communication and a Bachelor of Science degree in English and Creative Writing from Austin Peay. In passing conversation, after my Public Speaking class, I found that she had written a fictional novel entitled, "Bleed You Dry." She crossed a number of genres in this book; you get the best of vampires with a unique twist: think Dracula crossed with X-Men.

“My husband is an aspiring comic-strip artist, so for all the comic book, super-power type stuff I use him as a resource.”

I asked her what inspired her to write a novel about vampires in Nashville.

“It’s easy to write about what you know and in the winter time it’s always dreary and dark here, so it seemed like a good setting for a fantasy. Also, I had a pop culture blog when I was a journalist, and one of the things that people had an affinity for, was any time I posted something about vampire stuff, whether it was "True Blood", Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series, or "Twilight", those were the things that people seemed most interested in. Once I saw how accepted it was, I thought, I have wanted to write for a while, so why not write now when everybody loves it?”

After doing a little investigating I was intrigued to find out that a number of colleges are now teaching curriculum based on the imagery and evolution of vampires in world culture. Tyndall says quite often the genre doesn't get the respect it deserves in the literary world, but it resonates with the public.

“People like the vampire stories right now because it’s full of symbolism, to show how people are different in our own society. You have people with different religions or different sexualities, and there are going to be people whether monster or human, that are fighting the bad."

Tyndall also writes poetry and has been published in a number of journals.

“I knew I wanted to write in the third grade. We had a teacher who was really young and enthusiastic when I lived in Europe, because my dad was in the military. She assigned us to write our own Rudyard Kipling story. You had to draw a picture and then write a short story. That’s when I got the writing bug for short stories.”

People are buying more eBooks than ever before. Tyndall strongly considered using an agent and going through the formal book channels, but at this time she chose to self-publish, and so far this has proven to be a positive experience.

The $2.00 eBook is available at Amazon and it is also available at Barnes and Noble. She is working on her second novel, a slayer series also based in Nashville. For more information please visit her website/blog
Volunteer State Community College

Thursday, January 27, 2011

There's a Party Goin' on Tonight!

What is the VISA Club? A place where credit card members meet… right?

Actually, it stands for Vol State International Student Association. Tonight, the VISA club is sponsoring a Winter Welcome Back Party and Mixer at the Rochelle Center, in the Library from 6-8, for everyone. There will be games, icebreakers, music, dance lessons, pizza, and dessert.

Why would this club be important to me?  I asked a few of my fellow students that are currently members, to tell me about the club. Ruby Johnson is an international student, and shared that after moving to the Gallatin area she was “invited by an instructor to attend a VISA event, to go roller skating with the club.” It was just what she needed to get her semester rolling for a great start.

If you think this is only for international students… Think again, even American students like Christina McReynolds feel that, “The VISA club expands my views and horizons on the cultures and lives of our International students. I joined because I wanted to learn more about the cultural side of the languages that I'm learning.”

Whether you are learning a foreign language or just want to explore the diversity of our world please take a minute this evening and come out for a great time. For more information about VISA feel free to contact Tonya Daniels or Kay Grossberg.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

We Suited Up Despite the Snow!

A number of Vol State students, staff and faculty dressed up today, defying the crazy weather outside. Several suggestions were shared that this may become a more common trend. It was fun and everyone looked sharp.
Volunteer State Community College

Off-campus sites weather update for Wednesday

Vol State off-campus sites: McGavock is the only off-campus site that is meeting tonight, Wednesday, January 26. All other off-campus locations will be closed. Livingston and the main campus will be holding classes as usual starting at 10am. That means all afternoon and night classes in Livingston and Gallatin will be held as usual.

Canceled: Ranya Idliby - Unity Day Events

The speaker scheduled for Unity Day today, Ranya Idliby, has been canceled due to weather conditions. Both sessions, 12:15pm and 7pm have been canceled.

*Update* Delayed Opening

Both the Gallatin and Livingston campuses will be opening 2 hours late today (Wednesday, January 26).

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Suit Up in your Snazzy Clothes!

Mark Twain once said, “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” We have seen every style of clothing imaginable on the Volunteer State Community Campus. In fact, because of this relaxed environment, it is more common to see pajama pants than slacks and ties. After purchasing a vintage Dr. Who suit, Amadeus Nunaley was inspired to wear it on campus. After receiving a positive response from many students, he wanted to see what kind of participation he would get from others. You can find more information on his Suit-Up Facebook page. He said, “Our goal is to dress up the Vol State Campus for the day. On Wednesday, January 26, all are invited to dress in their most snazzy clothes they own. Join us as we Suit Up.” Even if you don’t want to wear a suit and tie, he still encourages participation by wearing dressier clothes than normal.

Monday, January 24, 2011

So, a Muslim, a Christian, and a Jew walk into a room…

Diversity is something that many people claim to embrace, but unfortunately it is not always definable. After the events surrounding 9/11 Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver and Priscilla Warner authored a new book called "The Faith Club: a Muslim, a Christian, a Jew: Three Women Search for Understanding."

Volunteer State Community College will host its annual Unity Day on Wednesday January 26 at 12:15 pm and 7:00 pm in the auditorium. Ranya Idilby is going to be the guest speaker, tackling sensitive issues such as stereotypes, religious barriers and other common misunderstandings.

All are welcome to attend this free event. The book is sold in the Vol State bookstore, and will be available after the event.

So, You Think Math is Hard?

Math is not a problem for Vol State student, Ata Mohseni. In fact, you might say he's at the top of his game. Last November, Ata competed in the Tennessee Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges, Annual Math Contest (TMATYC). He was thrilled last week when his math Professor Richard Harville contacted him to let him know that he had won first place in the Calculus competition. He was competing with students from all the two-year colleges in Tennessee. Though Ata enjoys soccer and working out, spending time with friends but his real love is math. He moved to Hendersonville, Tennessee from Iran, and lives with his uncle who owns a civil engineering firm. This gives Ata ample opportunity to visit commercial sites and get some on the job training.

Ata says that after acquiring his AS from Vol State, he plans to work on his masters at UT of Knoxville or Vanderbilt.

When asked what he missed most about Iran he said “family, friends, and food, but I really enjoy Gyros Restaurant”. He plans to compete again next year in the TMATYC at the next level of competition.

Volunteer State Community College

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hunter Harris- NJCAA Player of the Week!

Vol State's own Hunter Harris is one of the NJCAA Men's Basketball Players of the Week for January 19.
Here is what the NJCAA says about the Division 1 pick:
Vol State 6’6” center, Hunter Harris, demonstrated his talents in two games this past week. Harris averaged 36.0 points, 17.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.0 blocks per game. The Nashville, Tennessee native posted a double-double in both games; a 40 point-20 rebound effort against Southwest Tennessee and a 32 point-14 rebound effort against Dyersburg State. Hunter did all this after recently coming back from a broken hand injury, which kept him out of seven games!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Dropping Classes

If you are dropping all classes and withdrawing from the College, you must go through the Advising Center.

If you are dropping 1 or more of your classes, but not all of them, then you must get a signature from the instructor of any dropped class on a Drop/Add/Withdrawal form. The completed form must be turned in to the Records Office.

Where to get the form

Forms are available from the following locations:

  • The Advising Center, Ramer 174

  • The Records Office, Ramer 183

  • Academic division offices, find yours here

Financial Aid

It is extremely important for students who are receiving any kind of financial aid to notify the Financial Aid Office before dropping a class or withdrawing from the College. Types of financial aid include:

  • Grants

  • Loans

  • Lottery funds

  • Scholarships

  • Stimulus funds

Where to go if you have more questions

The Student Handbook collects a ton of useful information into a single location. When you have problems or questions you'll often find an answer there. And if not, you'll find contact information for who to go to with your problems.

If you have questions about dropping classes, talk to your academic advisor or visit the Advising Ceneter.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What do dragons and government have in common?

Luncheons, game shows, debates and concerts are just a sampling of the events found on the Student Life and Diversity calendar. Who helps to put on some of these events? Student Services.

Jamey Campbell, the Coordinator of Student Activities stated, “Student organizations are an important part of the Vol State culture. These clubs allow students to participate in developing student government skills. ”

Elizabeth Duke, President of the Association of Campus Events (ACE) states that they are “dedicated and motivated to provide quality entertainment and activities for all members of the Vol State community.”

ACE is responsible for organizing events on the Volunteer State Community College campus. Their goal is to develop the ideal college spirit, experience, and a positive environment.

Amadeus Nunaley, Secretary of the Dungeons and Dragons Club shares that they have, “the largest, most active club on campus. We bolster our members to become active in student government. I have seen freshmen join the club that started out uncomfortable on campus, feeling like they didn’t fit in, transform, and begin taking part in other school activities. Many have told me that they think their grades have improved because of how much more comfortable they feel on campus after getting involved.”

Some of the social benefits allow new students to engage in entertaining and challenging ways to meet people and participate in helping others.

Miles Monhollen, Student President of the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) said that the value of student clubs “gives an opportunity for participants to develop leadership abilities that will be valuable life-skills they can use long after college.”

Miles, who has been involved with charity work for both the Ronald McDonald House Foundation and the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, wants to encourage others in the community to be a part these outreaches.

Chanel Alford, President of the African-American Student Union (AASU) said “A lot of people think that only African-Americans should participate in the AASU. Nothing could be further from the truth. We encourage people from all backgrounds to get involved. We want to stimulate cultural diversity and inspire leadership in our community.”

Chanel and Daniel Russell are actively seeking participation from other students to help fill open positions in the club.

The next big event for AASU is the Soul Food Luncheon at the Rochelle Center of the Thigpen Library on February 16 at 12:15 p.m. It's free and all students, faculty and staff are invited.

If you would like to get involved any of the student clubs please feel free to contact Jamey Campbell, Coordinator of Student Activities at (615) 230-3799 or email him at for more information.

Volunteer State Community College

Friday, January 14, 2011

Meet Your Neighbors

What motivates people to go to college? Yesterday, as I walked from class to class, I noticed the diversity of students on the Vol State campus. I would venture to say that we cover just about every demographic you can imagine. One of the things that helped me decide to attend this college was how helpful the staff was in walking me through the enrolment process. I had an opportunity to ask a few people about their experiences.

Boyd Kernodle has decided to return to college after retiring from the U.S. Navy. Because of his love for history, he is working on a history/teaching degree with the hopes of sharing the things that are important to him with others. Boyd has dealt with physical complications since 1994, when a 1200 pound fuel tank crushed his wrist and elbow. Because of this, he uses a laptop to take notes in all of his classes. He said, “I have been to colleges on the west coast and throughout the south, and Vol State is one of the friendliest and most helpful colleges that I have run across.” He also encouraged non–traditional students to stay focused; “If a busted up vet can do this, anyone can.”

Janie Bresee, a philosophy major, is a returning sophomore. Janie was invited last year to participate in the honors program. After visiting Europe, she said, “My experience there has drastically broadened my horizons and taught me to set ambitious goals. I have recently developed a goal to take some summer courses at Oxford University in England.” She offers this advice to new students: “Maintain balance. Obviously, studies should be top priority so that you can get good grades, but don’t forget about your family and friends. The secret is to not procrastinate: study now and hang out later.”

Volunteer State Community College

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tips for RODP Online classes (not Vol State online)

If you are taking RODP online classes here are some tips:

Go to:


Username: Your Username is your First initial of your first name and full last name (If your last name is hyphenated it will be your en-tire last name including the hy-phen) AND the first four digits of your birth date (no spaces / no periods) Example: John Smith = jsmith0222

Password: Your password will be your six digit birth date Example: February 22, 1976 = 022276 (no spaces)

You cannot log in to the website until the first day of class

Classes begin January 13, 2011
(accessible after 6:00pm)

Refund Dates: 100 % Refund January 12, 2011
75 % Refund January 26, 2011
25 % Refund February 9, 2011
Last Day To Withdraw March 24, 2011
Mid Term Proctoring Dates: February 28-March 5
Final Proctoring Dates: April 29-May 5

RODP Campus Contact:
Kellie Jones

For students who receive financial aid: the report on your engagement (attendance) in RODP courses is an automatic data extraction. When you enter your course for the first time, a record is made automatically. That in-formation is provided to your home school’s Financial Aid Office after the 4th, 9th and 15th class meeting dates. The instructor does not report your at-tendance in RODP courses.

Password Problems - 888-223-0023
Log-In Problems - 866-550-7637
Technical Problems - 866-550-7637

First Day Tips for Online and Hybrid Students

Welcome to Vol State Spring Semester 2011!

Here are some tips if you are taking an online or hybrid class through Vol State. RODP classes have different instructions and we will have those shortly.

1. TO BEGIN THE COURSE go to and click “Quick Links” in the top right corner of the page and then click “MyVolStateOnline” in the top left corner of the page or log onto on the FIRST DAY OF THE SEMESTER (January 13 for Spring Term 2011). NOTE: If you have a hybrid course that does not have an on-campus class meeting until a later date you MUST still log onto MyVolstateOnline the first day of the semester.

2. Your MyVolStateOnline username is the same as your Vol State email account (in lowercase letters). Your password is the same as your Pride Online registration PIN number.

3. Once you log into MyVolstateOnline you may need to “open” the semester (click the +), then “open” the division the class is offered through (Example: Business), click on the +, then click on the course name to enter the course. The syllabus and instructor contact information should be found in the “Content” area.

4. If you need help, contact the "MyVolStateOnline Help Desk" at
615-230-3367. You can contact someone there 7 days a week and 24 hours a day. The Vol State Help Desk is located in Mattox 107-C. It is open
Monday – Thursday 8:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. and Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

How to access the course materials inside MyVolState Online

• Use the navigational tool bar along the top of the course homepage. The links located on this tool bar allow you to access materials within your course. Some tools that your instructor may be using include:

o Content which may include your course syllabus, reading material, or homework instructions.

o Grades where you can see your grades on assignments throughout the semester.

o Dropbox where you can submit electronic copies of your homework to your instructor.

o Quizzes where you can complete course quizzes.

Some helpful tips for using MyVolStateOnline

• You must have reliable internet access and a functioning computer at home or laptop in order to complete a course online. High speed internet or DSL works best when accessing online courses. You can test your system settings to see if it is compatible with MyVolStateOnline requirements by going to

• An online course is very much an independent study format; therefore, it is very important to have good time management skills.

• Get in the habit of using the links located on the navigational tool bar to move around inside your course.

• Read the syllabus very carefully to check for due dates of assignments, quizzes, tests, etc.

• The “Classlist” tool in MyVolStateOnline provides a list of students currently enrolled in your course. This tool can be used to locate classmates and send them a page or email, find classmates who are currently online, create and update a personal profile, or create and edit your personal homepage.

• The MyVolstateOnline internal e-mail system can only be used within MyVolstateOnline. Emails from MyVolStateOnline cannot be sent or forwarded to an external email address.

• When exiting your MyVolstateOnline course, be sure to click on the Logout link AND close the browser window. This is especially important if you are using a computer in a public lab.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Textbook Tips: Bookstore Advantages

When buying textbooks, retail locations have distinct advantages that are attractive to many buyers. Whether renting, buying, or selling books, you can finalize your transaction and walk out of the store with the satisfaction of knowing you are done. Let’s take a look at the two closest to Volunteer State Community College: Textbook Brokers and the Vol State Bookstore.

The Vol State bookstore is owned and operated by Follett Higher Education Group. They have been involved in education books for over 135 years. Pricing is set at a national level and they pride themselves in assisting students to be successful while attending college. Diane King manages the local branch on campus.

“Getting the right books and materials is important. We are the only store with a direct connection to your instructors. Each term, we find out directly from them which materials they want you to have. In many cases, this could mean special course packs, CDs, and online pass codes. Off-campus stores may not know that you need these materials.”

She points out that from their website “You can order your books from home and pick them up at the store to skip the shipping charge. We also have all those little items you may forget: writing instruments, notebooks, paper...”

They also stock candy, cough drops and even Vol State apparel if you want to show some school spirit. You can reach the bookstore at (615) 230-3636 or email them at with further questions.

Textbook Brokers may be an option for the price concerned shopper still wanting to review all options before making a decision to buy. Located across the street from the college at 1483 Nashville Pike #503 the Gallatin location has been serving student needs for almost four years. The company has been in the textbook business since 1997.

Michael Moghadam says, “We have great prices and a great return policy for course changes. We also offer a guaranteed buy-back price on selected books.”

Moghadam says that if you purchase all of your books, for your entire class schedule, you may be eligible for an additional $10 off. If you would like to communicate with Michael to put together a package with all of your books, please feel free to email him at or call (615) 230-0502 for more information.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Textbook Tips: The Best Product, Price and Place

Starting college last year was a new experience for me. After going through the minefields of admission, registration, and advising I thought the hard part was over. However, successfully navigating the textbook maze and avoiding textbook pitfalls is equally important. A few questions plaguing me were: Who has the best price? Do I buy online or at a store? Should I rent or purchase? Which is better digital or paper?
On the Vol State site select FUTURE STUDENTS then CLASS SCHEDULE, followed by SEARCH CLASS SCHEDULE. These dropdown boxes will enable you to choose your subject, course and time leading you to the TEXTBOOK and SUPPLY INFORMATION link. Once you have verified the items needed, you are prepared for the next phase of your quest: Buying textbooks.
First let’s talk about the good the bad and the ugly when dealing with online companies like Amazon, Chegg, Ebay and countless other sites. Here is an additional link that allows you to compare various vendors’ side-by-side.
Here are the things you need to be aware of when buying from the web:
1) Beware of fly by night companies and investigate their track record to avoid scams. Even Craigslist, Amazon and Ebay have been abused by crooks. You don’t want your credit card information compromised.
2) Have all the proper information. ISBN, Author, title and edition to ensure you are ordering the correct material. Nothing is more frustrating than getting the right book but the wrong edition.
3) Confirm the shipping date before finalizing order. Some companies have backlog and you are better off paying a little more from a different company for a reasonable timeframe.
4) Understand the return policy. This can be a nightmare when you order the wrong book or the material is changed by the instructor. If you purchased a new book from a reputable company like Amazon you have a good chance of just paying for return shipping and possibly a small restocking fee. However, if you buy a used book from another vendor and run into the same problem, you may be stuck with an unwanted schoolbook.
5) Before confirming your purchase, check that all necessary access codes, software and additional material is included. Many students have been thrilled to save money on a book only to find they need additional components like access codes and software. This is common in language and science books. It is possible to still save money by purchasing both the book and the code separately but just be aware before you click the buy button.
Tune in tomorrow to get the skinny on buying from the campus book store and other retail locations.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Taking Online Classes this Spring?

Are you taking online or hybrid classes this spring? Vol State has a seminar that could help. Student Success Seminars are one-hour, face-to-face sessions designed to provide students with a basic understanding of how to use MyVolStateOnline (D2L) and a very brief introduction to Wimba. The sessions are open to all students and first time online/hybrid students are strongly encouraged to attend.
The dates and times are as follows:

Thursday Jan. 13 1-2 p.m. Jim Moore Conference Room (second floor of Thigpen Library)

Friday Jan. 14 1-2 p.m. Jim Moore Conference Room (second floor of Thigpen Library)

Saturday Jan. 15 9- 10 a.m. Rochelle Center (first floor of Thigpen Library)

Saturday Jan. 15 10- 11 a.m. Rochelle Center (first floor of Thigpen Library)

Topics covered include:
How to Log-in
How to Recover a Forgotten Password
Submitting to the Dropbox
Taking an Online Quiz
Posting to the Discussion Board
Participating in a Wimba Chat

Registration is not required.

Monday, January 3, 2011

We're Open Again - Info For Spring Semester

All Vol State offices are back open today. There is still plenty of time to apply and register for spring classes at Vol State. Admissions and Advising are open today and the rest of the week, except for Thursday. The College is closed Thursday for professional development day. Spring classes start January 13.


Many people have questions about business office deadlines and financial aid check dispursement. Visit this page for those dates:


If you are having trouble getting onto Pride for registration you will need to call the IT Help Desk phone number: 615-230-3302.  They have long wait times currently, due to the demand.


The Advising Center has extended hours for the next couple of weeks to help with Spring Registration:


Tuesday 01/04/11 8:00am 5:30pm

Wednesday 01/05/11 8:00am 5:30pm

Thursday 01/06/11 Closed for Prof. Dev. Day

Friday 01/07/11 8:00am 4:30pm

Monday 01/10/11 8:00am 5:30pm

Tuesday 01/11/11 8:00am 6:00pm

Wednesday 01/12/11 8:00am 5:30pm

Thursday 01/13/11 8:00am 6:00pm 1st Day of Classes

Friday 01/14/11 8:00am 4:30pm

Saturday 01/15/11 8:00am 1:00pm 1st Day of College at Home

Monday 01/17/11 VSCC CLOSED M.L. King, Jr. Day

Tuesday 01/18/11 8:00am 6:00pm

Wednesday 01/19/11 8:00am 6:00pm

Thursday 01/20/11 8:00am 4:30pm

Friday 01/21/11 8:00am 4:30pm