Friday, April 29, 2011

Vol State Collects Boxes and Boxes of Food for Food Bank

This may look like stacks of boxed paper, but it’s really boxes filled with food. The Staff Council delivered 24 boxes like this to the Mid-Cumberland Community Action Agency in Sumner County yesterday. It was the result of a week-long food drive held on the Volunteer State Community College campus in Gallatin. Departments competed for a pizza party with Business and Finance winning with a contribution of 171 food items. Financial Aid finished second with 120 items and Institutional Effectiveness third with 84 items.

MCCAA’s Linda Fuqua said that the food was a blessing since the food bank would have closed with bare shelves. The organization provides non-perishable food items to eligible people and families through a collaboration and partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Tennessee Emergency Food Assistance Program; teaches proper nutrition and helps participants make wise decisions with their food stamps; and helps people reduce grocery expenses by teaching them how to grow gardens.

Penny Tucker started the first food drive three years ago, and it has continued to grow. Last year the Staff Council donated over 1600 pounds of food to help local families in need.

The Livingston campus held a separate food drive, collecting food for families on the Upper Cumberland.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Learn How Social Media Can Help or Hurt You

Want to know more about how social media works? Come Thursday morning at 8a.m. to the Vol State Carpeted Dining Room in the Wood Campus Center to find out what social media is all about. You will learn what it is, who uses it, and why. Social media can be valuable for people, but as the students will point out, there are plenty of downsides. This presentation is sponsored by students in Melissa Tyndall-Fox’s communication class.

They'll be serving a free breakfast and everyone attending will recieve door prize ticket. One ticket will be called out at the end of the presentation and if you are the lucky ticket holder you will win a new IPod shuffle. Everyone is welcome to attend. Feel free to invite students, staff, faculty and anyone from the community that is interested in learning how to harness one of the most powerful tools available today.

Volunteer State Community College

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Career Possibilities at the Job Fair Wednesday

It's time to explore the possibilities. The Spring Job Career Fair is coming up this Wednesday, April 20 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Pickel Field House.

More than fifty companies will have representatives on hand to talk to students about job opportunities. Students are encouraged to bring copies of their resume and be prepared to talk business. This year there is also a focus on how international education and travel-study can help you in your career.  Dr. Rick Parrent is the director of Career Placement.
“Traveling with our TnCIS program can be parlayed into a career that could be somewhere other than the United States,” said Parrent, “or it could be a job right here in middle Tennessee that requires a global perspective. Culture, language, and skill sets are all factors being considered by potential employers.”

To better understand the value of international education students are encourage to attend one of two international breakout sessions on Wednesday. The first is from 10:30 a.m.-11:15 a.m. and the second is from 11:30 a.m-12:15 p.m., both in the Pickel Building room P-102. These sessions will include presentations by students Tina Newman and Dana Vick, who have both seen the value of international training with college education. They formed Taabar 2 a non-profit group dedicated to helping street kids in India.

Dr. Parrent advises students to come dressed to impress, with plenty of resumes, and a positive attitude. This could be your first step to one of the most important decisions you may ever make. For more information please visit the the Office of Career Placement, email Mel Timberlake, or call (615) 230-3307.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Do You Feel Privileged? Civil Rights event Tuesday

If you go to a public place for lunch, do you stop and wonder if you are allowed to enter the restaurant? If you have to take public transportation, are you afraid the driver will not let you get on the bus? When you are in a public building and need a drink of water, do you search for the fountain that is labeled with your skin color? If you answered no to any of these questions, you are considered privileged.

If you cannot imagine the insanity of the above scenarios, then come check out what Professor Chanin’s English class has created. It is a visual display of just a few people who fought for, and sacrificed much, to create a world of equality for all. The Civil Rights Movement in Tennessee marked the turn of the times. Young college students, not unlike the ones here at Vol State, staged non-violent demonstrations to draw attention to the unfair treatment that existed throughout the nation. These demonstrations led our country to create and enforce laws of desegregation.

Why should you care about what we learned? This type of uncivilized societal behavior should never be tolerated. We should be acutely aware of what was sacrificed for our freedoms and ensure that our generation, and the next, has a tangible understanding and appreciation of being able to exercise our rights.

When: April 19, 2011

• Open House Between 4:00-5:00

Where: The Great Hall/Ramer Building

Refreshments Available


-Vol State student, Gena Marie Robinson

Friday, April 15, 2011

American Idol Fans - Kimberley Locke Sings

In 2003 Kimberley Locke took the nation by storm during season two of American Idol. Within one year she released her debut album and the rest is history. I have heard the old saying, Success is when opportunity meets preparation. Locke is a perfect role model for this. She was ready when the door opened up. She has been a very savvy business woman. Part of this is due to focus on her business education.

“I knew as a young kid growing up that whatever I did I was going to be exceptionally good at it,” Locke said. “So I think that I set my family up a long time ago, that I was going to do something great.”

What you may not know is all the hard work that went into preparing for a successful career.

“When I was in college I stopped singing for a little while to pursue a more realistic career,” said Locke. “I think my education played a huge role in where I am today and the business decisions I have been able to make for myself.”

Music is a top priority for her.

“I wanted to do it professionally; I think that American idol afforded me the opportunity sooner than I anticipated. Education is priceless. It really doesn’t matter where you go to school; your level of education is dependent upon you. You get out of it what you put into it, and I feel like I put a lot into mine. It has been very helpful to me along the way.”

Locke attended Gallatin High School and shared a funny memory, “I was auditioning for a song against my best friend, and there was a big note at the end of the song,” she said, laughing. “I hit the note, but I passed out. I wanted the part so bad but I didn’t get it.”

Locke appears 8:00 pm Sunday night at the Wemyss Auditorium inside Caudill Hall at the Volunteer State Community College here in Gallatin. This will be Locke’s first home-town performance since stardom. Tickets have gone fast but there will be a few for $20 at the door.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spectacular Music Showcase Saturday

Some people say they do not appreciate the arts. That is because they have not heard the Vol State music showcase. This is a great opportunity to add some culture into your life. This is part of Vol State's Celebration of the Arts Festival. The music starts at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, April 16 and the suggested entrance donation is $5.00.

Student Asa Wiggins will be playing bass for multiple sets. His eyes lit up with excitement when he spoke about preparing for this event. “There is going to be a big variety of music; it’s kind of like a big smorgasbord of genres,” he said. “Anyone who likes music should come; even if you don’t like music you should come, because maybe you’ll learn to like it by the time you leave.”
This performance is packed full of every kind of music you can imagine. “There is literally a style for everyone there, we cover every genre,” said Ally Smith, a music production student. “We have stuff that’s classical, Italian, and some musical theater thrown in, we also have commercial music covered in choral and band style. We even have some original music as well, so you’re going to see some up and coming artists.”
The group has a CD which will be debuting Saturday night with a promotional price of $5.00 and features original music that will be shared at the performance. “This CD is new every year,” said music instructor Lynn Peterson. “I encourage all to visit the new Facebook page for this year’s project. This year is unique because I don’t always have this much talent at the same time. Our biggest challenge with this show is going to be the downtime between sets due to the amount of talent we setting up for each showcase.”

What is impressive about this event is that students are not just making the music but they are the ones making everything else happen as well. Student Jim Obaid is studying the art of audio engineering, he said, “Doing live sound is another kind of art form because we get to sculpt the sound to help the audience appreciate the full impact of the musician.”

Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Bruce Scism shared how this came about, “This was really the outgrowth of some conversations we were having with folks in the visual and performing arts department. We wanted to find the best way to showcase the programs that we have and engage our community.”

So, if you would like to participate in a show designed to enrich the culture of our community, take a moment out of your busy schedule and come out to Vol State this weekend. The Music Showcase is just part of the Celebration of the Arts weekend. It starts Thursday night and goes through Sunday night, closing with a grand finale of Gallatin’s own Kimberley Locke. Click here to see the complete schedule of events.

The first four individuals to email me will each receive one FREE ticket to the Kimberley Locke concert on Sunday night at 8:00 pm. Also two FREE tickets will be given away at the Pecha Kucha competition at 12:15 p.m. on Friday at the carpeted dining room in the Woods Campus Center. Come out for a FREE lunch and get to know our students better. (If you attend, you will get to hear me tell you why it is “Good to have ADHD").

Whether you like movies, music, viewing art, or story-telling, there is something for all ages. Some may just want to relax and walk around celebrating the arts by spending quality time in a great community.

Volunteer State Community College

Hey Robertson and Joelton Students: check out the new Springfield class schedule for fall

We have posted the class schedule for Vol State at Highland Crest classes in Springfield. Nearly 60 courses are coming up this fall in subjects ranging from accounting to veterinary technology. The college is encouraging people interested in taking classes to view the schedule now to plan for registration, which will start in June for new students and is open now for current students.

Highland Crest is a new higher education facility set to open in August at 150 Laureate Avenue in Springfield. The building is located just south of NorthCrest Medical Center, off of Highway 431 and William A. Batson Parkway. It’s a 25,000 square foot, two-story, brick building that includes: 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.

The Vol State course schedule has many general education courses, such as English Composition and Survey of American History. Those offerings take place during the day and in the evening. Human Anatomy and Physiology is one of the core courses required for most allied health career paths. Other course areas include: emergency medical services, criminal justice, education, logistics, business, health information technology and English for speakers of other languages (ESOL). Vol State Continuing Education will have non-credit bluegrass music courses. The complete Highland Crest fall schedule can be viewed at Austin Peay State University will also be offering classes at Highland Crest.

Current Vol State students can register for fall classes at Highland Crest right now. New and readmit students will be able to register starting on June 8. There is plenty that new students can do now to get ready. All new students will need to apply to the college first. That can be done in person at the Office of Admissions on the Gallatin campus at 1480 Nashville Pike, or online at For the latest news and information about Highland Crest visit or call 615-230-4839.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Interested in Ophthalmic?

The application deadline is fast approaching for the Ophthalmic Technician Program.  If you are looking for an interesting and dynamic career with good work hours, benefits, and great job placement, this program may be for you.  This is a one year program once accepted.  Prerequisites for the Ophthalmic Technician Program include:  English 1010, Anatomy and Physiology I, Psychology 101, Math 1010 or higher, 1 Humanities/Fine Art course, Medical Terminology, and CIS 100.  The application deadline to be considered for the next class of students is April 30th.  Please contact Alisha Cornish at 615-230-3723 or if you have any questions.

Communication Week!

It's Communication Week and Vol State is celebrating with a number of events organized by our Communication Department. Yesterday six student speakers competed in the Ramer Memorial Oratorical Contest. The winners were: Anna Francis – 1st place, Jessica Cobb – 2nd place, Elliott Pratt – 3rd place

They also inducted two students into the Communication Honor Society. Today is an open house event for the recording studio from 11:00am-2:30pm. Tomorrow the Pioneer is released. Be sure to pick up a copy.

Celebrate communication!

Monday, April 11, 2011

ADHD, College, and Drugs

One by one, students approach my professor handing in their completed tests. I think, "How could they be done already?" I am just now at the half-way point. The whole class knows that we will start the lecture as soon as I complete my test. I am the last one. . . The questions on the page start to go in and out of focus. I can literally hear the motor in the clock on the wall. It’s ironic that everyone is trying to be quiet around me, but I am hearing a cacophony of sounds. Sniffing, clearing throats, whispers, shuffling through paperwork and footsteps in the hall. Isn’t there a pill that fixes this? I try not to look up. I know I am getting stares from those ready to move on. They must be thinking, “What’s taking him so long?” The pressure builds; I am tempted to just turn in the unfinished test… I can’t concentrate anyway so what is the point? This is just a small window into the daily life of a person with attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD). ADHD is one of many obstacles students may face when running through the gauntlet of the education process. Could you have a learning disability and not know it?

Director of Disability Services Kathy Sowell and her staff have been instrumental in empowering Vol State students to succeed. “People often think the only persons in society with disabilities are those in a wheelchair, a blind individual with a cane, or someone with a hearing aid, but it really covers a lot more. In fact, I would say that probably 85 percent of the students registered here in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) program have what we call hidden disabilities.”

“You have to be cautious about diagnosing yourself.” Said Sowell, “Talking to a family doctor is always a good way to start the process. Do some research, the National Institute of Health, and CHADD are good places to start.”

Student Andrew Huckeby was diagnosed with ADHD fourteen years ago. He says that in his case he did not feel a negative stigma associated with taking medicine. Now that he is in college, he shares some of the tips that have helped him to be successful. “You have to write everything down”, said Huckeby. “Keep a pen and paper with you at all times. I took medicine just during school hours and it was fine. One of the best classes I ever took was Learning Strategies, it helped me to organize, use folders, and do a lot of other stuff that just works. I loved the class. It’s one of the best things I ever did.”

The class Huckeby is referring to is now called College Success. You can locate the times for this course at this link. Start by selecting your term, for subject select College Success and the campus of your choice, this will give you all available listings for this class.

"We are excited that this class now counts as a college level class," said Terry Bubb, director of the Advising Center. "Check with your advisor to see if you can apply it to your major. Even if it does not pertain to your major, the skills learned will help in every area of your education.”

Vol State psychology instructor Mary Beth Scott has vast experience in helping people with ADHD. She is familiar with the latest information about the challenges parents, students, and teachers face when dealing with an education plan for those with learning disabilities. “More often than not, ADHD kids are gifted, but you need to help them to be resourceful,” Scott said. She also operates the Hermitage Learning Center, which offers professional tutoring and psycho-educational testing for children throughout middle Tennessee.

Now, (Thanks to the testing center) when taking exams, the soothing sound of white noise surrounds me, allowing me to focus, free from external distractions. Using all the helps available to me, I think I'll sign up for the college success class and fine tune my study skills. ADHD is actually considered a gift by many, sometimes we just learn differently than others. Are you gifted?

Volunteer State Community College

Get Ready: Celebration of the Arts Schedule

Vol State's newest event weekend kicks off this coming weekend and there are plenty of free activities for the entire family. Here's the schedule:

Volunteer State Community College
Celebration of the Arts
April 14-17, 2011

Thursday, April 14
• Bluegrass jam, including Q&A with the artists at the auditorium in Caudill Hall 7:00-9:00 p.m. Free.
Friday, April 15

• Pecha Kucha presentation contest – Carpeted Dining Room, Wood Campus Center Noon. Free.

• National student films screening 3:30-5:30 p.m. at the auditorium in Caudill Hall. Free.

• “Movies by Starlight”- movies outside on the Thigpen Library Lawn featuring “Tron Legacy” and “The Green Hornet” starting at 7:30 p.m. Free.

Saturday, April 16

• Easter Egg Hunt- college front lawn at 10 a.m. Free.

• Arts demonstrations, exhibitions, music and kids activities starting at 10 a.m. and running throughout the day. All are free.

• Vol State Recording Studio tour in Ramer 167

• Kids art projects on the Library Lawn

• Student art show opens at 2:00 p.m. in the Thigpen Library Gallery

• Local dance organizations, including Center Stage, Jump for Joy, Main Stage and the Hispano America Dance Group perform at the auditorium in Caudill Hall

• Vol State children’s theater production in Pickel Field House Room 130

• Storytelling in Pickel Field House Room 130

• Bands, including bluegrass, jazz and rock groups, play on two stages on the Library Lawn from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Free.

• The Vol State Music Department Spring Showcase concert and CD release 7:00 p.m. at the auditorium in Caudill Hall. $5 suggested donation at the door to benefit student scholarships.

Sunday, April 17:

• 15th annual Shalom Zone student scholarship benefit concert- 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the auditorium in Caudill Hall. Donations accepted.

• Bluegrass gospel concert - 5:00-6:00 p.m. at the auditorium in Caudill Hall. Free.

• Kimberley Locke in concert- 8:00 p.m. at the auditorium in Caudill Hall

• Ticket prices for The Kimberly Locke concert

o $15 in advance

o $20 at the door

o $40 VIP ticket for post concert reception and question and answer with Ms. Locke

Kimberley Locke tickets go on sale March 28 in the Vol State Business Office in the Ramer Building Room 181 and by phone at 615-230-3585.

Made possible in part by a grant from The Community Foundation and the Tennessee Arts Commission, with support from the Gallatin Arts Council.

For more info visit the web page:

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Education Leaders Remember Dr. Ramer

Dr. Hal R. Ramer, founding president of Vol State, left a legacy at this college that will last for years and years to come. He's such an important figure for us that it's easy to forget sometimes what a big impact he had on higher education as whole in Tennessee. He was instrumental in setting up the community college system in the state and was actively involved in many higher education issues, for many years. Recently, the Tennessee College Association (TCA) looked for a way to memorialize his accomplishments and dedication. Richard Rhoda, Executive Director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, was responsible for presenting the proposal for naming the keynote address at their annual meeting after Dr. Ramer. The TCA approved the idea last week and so it will be the "Hal Ramer Keynote Address" for future TCA meetings. Dr. Rhoda notes that this means Dr. Ramer will again be attending the meeting that he never missed in life.

Five Years After the Tornado...What has Changed?

Does this look familiar? It's folks taking cover in the Humanities breakroom for the tornado warning on Monday. That event really hit home for many people on campus. This week marks the five year anniversary of the 2006 tornado outbreak in Middle Tennessee. Vol State was hit hard with $9 million in damage. As incredible as the damage was, what still stands out are the heroic efforts by the Vol State Building Coordinators that protected so many lives. Lisa Lynch has been the supervisor at the campus police dispatch center for eleven years.

“Prior to Dr. Nichols' arrival, people were not aware of the emergency management plan we had in place at the college," she said. "Once in his position he reviewed it and tweaked it and told us to let everybody know about it. His arrival really added gravity to the implementation of the plan. Prior to the tornado we had a few building coordinators in each building, but now we have 60 plus in place and 97 percent of those have completed Certified Emergency Response Training program."

“People need to take the emergency coordinators serious," said Lynch. "Whether it is a fire alarm, gas alarm, or a tornado warning, our office is responsible for directing these efforts. Even Dr. Nichols takes direction from the coordinators. When they say 'go in here,' he obeys and he follows that direction,because he knows they have been trained and are receiving first-hand information. Our number one responsibility is to communicate what we need to have happen, to save lives.”

Associate Professor Nancy Blomgren found shelter with some colleagues under desks. “Who ever heard of a tornado hitting a college? I was glad that these structures were in place to make sure things happened as they should. I was willing to be herded along because I could tell that these people were doing what they were trained to do.” Initially, Blomgren could not find her car. A few days later it turned up in a lot across the street, only identifiable by the VIN.

Fran Henslee started working in Vol State's, Disabilities office the week of the tornado. “We had a tutoring lab up on the third floor in the Wood building,” she said. “We received advanced notice because sometimes our students have wheelchairs or carry oxygen, and they might have a difficult time evacuating. We had two building coordinators, and they swept the whole building to make sure everyone was safe.”

She did not mind Monday’s safety measures at all.  “We all felt good about going into the designated room on Monday because we knew it was for safety purposes," she said.  "We had a lot of students crammed in there. I think a lot of times people get upset in a crisis situation because they don’t know what to do, or where to go. Our coordinators helped by being calm and firm. They even prevented some of the students from going outside. They did an excellent job keeping everyone calm and organized.”

No one is ever fully equipped to deal with this kind of tragedy, but Vol State has worked hard to take its preparedness to the next level. Five years ago Holly Nimmo was a Building Coordinator and she played an important role in keeping people safe. “We now have stations providing flashlights, glow sticks and other emergency items in case of an emergency.” She also mentioned other improvements such as better training, adding more outdoor speakers, and an improved intercom and telephone system to broadcast updates.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

2011-2012 Student President Results Announced

The annual Student Leadership Luncheon was hosted today in the Wood Campus Center carpeted dining room. Some students are always contributing to the quality of life for the rest of us on campus, and it is usually the student leaders. They are quick to volunteer to be part of the solution, when there is a need. Jamey Campbell announced that our 2011-2012 Student Government Association President will be Chanel Alford. She has been involved in the Student Government Association in various capacities.

Some of the other notable awards announced were:

Gallatin, Advisor of the Year, to Nancy Blomgren.

Livingston, Advisor of the Year, to Rufus Darden.

The Robert M. Ruff Distinguished Student Leadership Award was given to Jamie Blurton.

Volunteer State Community College