Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Spring Graduation Deadline is Approaching

Are you planning to graduate Spring 2013? Well if so, you will need to get your graduation application in before the final deadline.
The Office of Records & Registration revised the deadlines in September 2012 to allow more students the opportunity to graduate by graduation deadline.

“Students need to get those in now and not wait to the last day,” said Howard Espravnik, manager of WVCP and Associate Professor of Communication.
When reminded that the date was Oct. 31, 2012 and the priority deadline is Oct. 31, 2012 Espravnik said, “Oh Gosh. Well then, they need to get those done today!”
There is now a priority deadline and a final deadline. Those who return their graduation packages by the priority deadline, Oct. 31, 2012, will have an opportunity to have a preliminary graduation audit by the Graduation Analyst.
“Getting the application in by the priority deadline gives me time to audit them,” said Amber Regan, Graduation Analyst.
Students that return their packages after the priority deadline, but before the final deadline of Feb. 1, 2013 will have an opportunity to graduate; however they will not be guaranteed an audit before the spring semester.
The sooner a student can get an application in, better the possibility that the student will not be surprised with classes they may need in order to graduate.
Nancy Sparkman said that she sat down with her advisor to go over her graduation packet and learned an interesting fact.
“I now have to take the computer literacy test, because if I fail, I will have to take the class in the spring,” said Sparkman.
If INFS 1010 is not required for your degree, you may skip the class by taking and passing the Computer Competency Exam (CCE). A pass of the class or test is required for all students in order to graduate with a degree from Vol State. Don't wait until Feb. and then find out that you are missing this one component in order to graduate. 
Spring enrollment begins Nov. 12, 2012, so connect with your advisor to enroll in classes needed to graduate in this spring.

Turn Concern for the Environment Into Action - Summit Friday

Do you ever dream of being a superhero and saving the planet? Well, your chance to get environmentally active to help change and/or save the planet has come.
Vol State is hosting the 6th annual Summit for a Sustainable Tennessee on November 2, 2012 in the Nichols Dining Room presented by the Tennessee Environmental Council.
It is an opportunity for students, citizens, environmental experts, business owners and whoever interested to learn and take action about most important environmental issues.
Gretchen Hagle, the program director of the Tennessee Environmental Council said that they are not just about talking about the issues, but taking action and coming up with solutions.
“A lot of people recognize that they want clean air to breath and no chemicals in their water… No one person can clean our air or our water; we have to work together," said Hagle.
This is the first time for Vol State to host the Summit.
“We are very excited about working with Vol State, and it is very important that students get involved,” Hagel said.
The summit is from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. During the Summit individuals will learn about the most important environmental issues during breakout sessions with speakers from places like Bridgestone-Firestone, Nissan, and Mars Candy. There will also be a tree planting on the campus grounds around 2:30 p.m.
Students can get involved by registering for the Summit online at www.sustainabletn.org. The normal registration fee is $75, but the student registration fee is only $15. There are no deadlines for the registration, but Hagel suggests that everyone register a day in advance to ensure there are enough lunches.  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

You Can be a Student Leader

Student leadership is one of those phrases often spoken, but rarely considered by most students on campus. Why? Perhaps students think of clubs, organizations, elections and student government. And student leadership can involve all of those things, but in the end it means much, much more.

"Student leadership at Vol State has taught me how to get outside of my comfort zone," said Chanel Alford of Goodlettsville. "What I've learned is that you don't grow unless you do something different. It's always good to do something you haven't done before.

Alford has been involved in so many aspects of Vol State campus life that it's tough to find room to list them all. She's currently president of the Association of Campus Events (ACE). She has also held president positions with the Student Government Association, African American Student Union and the Speech and Debate Team.

Vol State students gathered today to take a closer look at the meaning of leadership in a Student Leadership Symposium organized by the Office of Student Life and Diversity Initiatives. They heard from many speakers, including Edward Garnes, an author,educator and activist, and Dr. Jame'l Hodges director of Student Activities at Tennessee State University.

Karla Chavez of Madison is a President's Ambassador, another prominent leadership position on campus.

"I'm an online student and you don't usually see online students on campus. The President's Ambassador program has helped me make connections with people. I was very fortunate to meet an amazing young man who helped me to get involved in student leadership."

She was referring to fellow ambassador Jesse Walker of Hendersonville.

"Student leadership is a great way to get started meeting people," said Walker. "Ultimately, we'll take all of these skills to the workplace or wherever we go after Vol State."

How can you get involved? Take the time to meet with student leaders and find out about activities on campus. Leadership means taking the plunge and the only way to do that is by diving right in. You can meet folks in the Student Life office in the Wood Campus Center room 215 or just down the hall in the Student Government and Organization office.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Criminal Justice and Civil Service Career Workshop

Our Criminal Justice faculty members have a workshop coming up soon that you might be interested in:
Criminal Justice and Civil Service Career Workshop

What: Find job openings in criminal justice/civil service. Learn what qualifications you need, and how to apply. What jobs can I obtain with a certificate, associates, or bachelor’s degree? Increase your chance of being hired!

Who: Majors- Criminal Justice, Political Science, Human Services, Sociology, Paralegal, Pre-Law

When: Saturday, November, 3rd, 2012

Where: Vol State Caudill Hall- Wemyss Auditorium

This workshop is free and open to everyone

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Scary Pirate in Land of the Ma, an Original Play this Weekend

A play with singing lizards, dancing and a fight scene should be a lot of fun for both children and adults. "Scary Pirate in Land of the Ma" is an original play about bullying. Scary Pirate, who actually is not so scary, helps Zuma, the islander, stand up against bullying.

“I’m really excited about the project,” said Chelsea Wilson, a student who plays the role of Zuma.  “I think it’s going to be a great message to get across to kids. I am also excited about the production part of it, because it’s cool and imaginative.”
“It’s one of the most imaginative plays that I have been in,” said Ron Read, who plays the role of the Scary Pirate. This is Read’s first major roles and he said that he was a little nervous, because he has to sing.
Edmon Thomas, Associate Professor of Communication and Theater, who wrote and is directing the play, wants the students in his Children’s Theater class to be serious when it comes to performing the show, even though it has a fun theme. Thomas doesn’t want the cast to have a lax attitude, “Like, awe, it’s just a kid’s show.”

Thomas said he wants the class to go out on stage and “just use your imagination as if you were a kid. Have fun with the show.”

Make sure to catch the original play “Scary Pirate in The Land of Ma” Friday Oct. 26 and Sat. Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the Wemyss Auditorium of the Caudill Hall building.
Admission is $5 at the door, but free for Vol State students with an ID.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Diego Alonzo Talks About Hispanic Culture

Imagine living in a country with little to no diversity. A country where the economy is so bad that people are stealing just to get money needed to survive. Now imagine leaving that country at the age of 14 and coming to a country that was built on diversity and filled with individuals from just about every other county in the world.
Diego Alonzo, a Vol State student, experienced this type of change and culture shock when he and his immediate family moved from Maracaibo, Venezuela to the U.S.  
“It was hard for me to leave behind family and friends, but it taught me to live in a completely new culture, other than my own,” he said. 
Diego said the economy was getting so bad that people were stealing and killing to get money.
“In some ways, I was scared from watching the news. People were being shot over cars, cell phones, just material stuff.”
“My father’s God mother's husband was killed on his way to work when he refused to give them his car.”
Because of these horrendous events in the country, Diego said that he was happy to come to the U.S., plus he would get a better education.
“You don’t see much race diversity [in Venezuela], so there is no groups that get together… I guess the other races just adapt to our culture.” 
But here in the U.S., we celebrate Hispanic Heritage month from Sept. 15- Oct. 15. Diego said that it reminds him of his country.
“Hispanic people like to party… we are pretty sociable.”
“I think Hispanic heritage month is a rewarding experience… helps you grow up and see different things in a different way. Helps you be more open to people who are different from your culture.”
“It's not leaving your country behind, but being in a new country helps you grow-up and see things in a different way… I’m not the same guy I was six years ago.”
Vol State wants everyone to come out and experience Hispanic culture with the Fall Fiesta this Saturday, October 20. It will be held from 10am to 4pm outside on the campus plaza. There will be music, food and fun for adults and kids. It's free and open to everyone.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

November Calendar


Summit for a Sustainable Tennessee
by Tennessee Environmental Council
Nichols Dining Room 9am


Intercultural Conversation Group
Ramer 157 6pm


Studio voice recital, Nancy Slaughter students P-130 12:30-1:15


Debating the Draft panel discussion, Honors Lecture Series, Wemyss Auditorium 12:30pm


Music: A.N.T., Cafeteria


Homecoming Basketball Games
Pickel Fieldhouse 2pm and 4pm


Pecha Kucha and Around the World in a Day International Education Week celebration
Nichols Dining Room 12:30pm


Bluegrass Ensemble recital P-130 12:30-1:15


Music: Tropicante Cafeteria 12:30pm

Nov. 15-
Dec. 16

Miranda Herrick Art Exhibit, Ramer Great Hall 7am-9pm Monday through Saturday, closed Sunday


Free Movie "Presumed Guilty" Paralegal Student Association Nichols Dining Room 6pm


War on Drugs- Dr. Michael Lenz, Honors Lecture Series, Nichols Dining Room 12:30pm


Studio voice recital, Nancy Slaughter students
P-130 12:30-1:15

22, 23,24

Campus closed for holiday


Music Department recital P-130 12:30-1:15


Music: Svet, Cafeteria 12:30pm

30 and Dec. 1

Christmas at Vol State -seasonal music concert, Caudill Hall Wemyss Auditorium, 7:30pm, Suggested $5 donation for music scholarships

Friday, October 12, 2012

Student Leaders at National Leadership Conference

The Vol State Student Government Association executive board along with the Senior Senator at Large are currently in St. Louis to attend the 34th Annual Leadership National Leadership Conference on Student Government. The students include Aaron Thomas- President, me- VP, TrĂ© McCreary- Attorney General, Joe Kaiga- Secretary of Treasury, Brent Mercer -Secretary of State. And Megan Sexton- Senior Senator at Large
You may be thinking, yeah, a trip to the STL, but we are actually spending the majority of our time in workshops. The workshops are for us to gain valuable information about becoming more proficient student leaders by learning from the presenters and also listening to other student leaders. We're finding out what works for them and their colleges and universities.
There are about 200 people in attendance including student leaders, advisors, and presenters. They have come from distances as far north as Boston and as far west as Los Angeles.
Today, there was a workshop about creating a smoke free campus, which has been a hot topic at our campus the last few weeks. I think Vol State SGA has obtained enough feedback from other schools to help with the situation at our school.
Even though it is work, we have had a great time meeting and networking with student leaders and exchanging sweatshirts and memorabilia from the school.
Although we have not had much time to explore the city, after the lectures tonight we are taking a bus downtown to the galleria mall and visiting the St. Louis Arch tomorrow.
It may sound cheesy, but I am enjoying my time here and all the information I have obtained on the first day. I can’t wait to get back and inform the General Assembly of the ideas that I have running wild in my head.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

VISA President Explores Cultural Backgrounds, Starting with Home

Jordan Fernandes
“I wish people would become more interested in other people around the world, because they are interested in us, they are learning about us, so we may as well return the favor and learn a little bit about them," said Jordan Fernandes, President of Vol State International Student Association (VISA).
Jordan grew up in San Bernardino, California, a “culturally integrated” place a few hours outside of Los Angeles. Some of his best friends were Native American, Mexican and a lot were Asian.
With an Italian mom and a Mexican dad, Jordan said, “coming from kind of a mixed background, I find it difficult to fit in really well. I can relate to people, but I don’t fit in with Americans or Latinos. For me, I feel like I stick out."
“When I was growing up, I never knew what we were going to have for dinner, tacos or lasagna that’s something that was exciting. I didn’t really realize until I was older, that there were two cultures in one house. Now it’s something that I really appreciate."
His grandmother (father’s mother) was what he called “very Mexican." “I remember eating tacos straight off the griddle," he said. Jordan remembers the smells in his grandmother's house and the fresh fruit. He also remembers the Mexican cookies and the spicy candy. "I remember so many Catholics. My family was Catholic." 
He moved to Tennessee in 1996. Now he and his mother attend a Baptist church.
"We live a very Tennessean life. I’m trying to break out from that here at Vol State. I’m trying to reach out more to international people. That’s really the reason I got involved in the VISA club. Getting back in touch with people who have many more differences than myself." 
Now focusing on trying to get more Americans involved in outreach, he is working with a group in Nashville called Interface. They are pairing international students with people from Tennessee.
“I just love getting with people and concurring the communication barrier. It’s something that I really love."
He attends several international events throughout the Nashville area, where he finds the ability to communicate with international students as a rewarding experience. He is trying to pass this on to other Vol State students in the VISA club.  
“There are really refine and really valuable cultures that are out there besides what we have here in Tennessee and even what we have here in the United States."
The next VISA club meeting is October 23, 2012 in Ramer 156-B at 2:30 p.m.

Friday, October 5, 2012

One Month Until the Election... Does Anyone Care?

We are only one month away from selecting the next president of the United States. So, we hit the campus to see what students had to say.
“I honestly didn’t know there was an election this year, until May,” said Sydney Henry.
A majority of Americans want their voices to be heard by their vote, but some students may not want the same.
“I want to have a hand in who is going to run our country, because it’s our country,” said Jenny Brooks.
Others feel that they don't have a voice in the selection process.
“I don’t vote because of the Electoral College," said Samantha Curington. "If they feel threaten, they will vote for who they think will be better for them.”
“I don’t have enough information about either one of them,” said Cindy Fox, a student. “Honestly, your vote doesn’t count anyways, so why even bother. Unless something changes and I get more information, I don’t plan to vote.”
Some indiviuals may want to come across as they if the presidential election is of no concern to them, but they still prefer one candidate over the other.
Kevin Jones, a student, who is not yet registered to vote, said “I don’t really care (about the election), but I would prefer Obama over Mitt Romney.”
Remember, if you plan to vote in this year’s presidential election you will need to register 30 days before the election, and this year that date is Oct 9.
Wednesday, Oct. 10, from 12:20-1:15 p.m., in Mattox 104, please join Political Science Professor Lenz for a lecture and a discussion on the disturbing similarities of the two presidential candidates and the silencing of third party voices. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

What if Vol State went smoke-free?

Call it a right or a privilege but smoking on campus may soon be banned. With such a heated topic, should Vol State ban smoking on campus?
President Faulkner was present during the SGA general assembly meeting on Sept. 24 to discuss the possibilities of Vol State, like many other TBR schools, becoming a smoke free campus.  Other than club representatives and Senators-at-Large, there wasn’t a big turn-out of students present to speak on the subject, maybe about five non SGA members. But students who are smokers and nonsmokers have expressed their opinions on the subject. 
Would this be a nicer photo
without the ash-tray and sign?
“That’s not cool,” said student Kameron Moore. “People can do what they want to do, it’s their option.”
“I don’t smoke and I don’t support it (a smoke free campus),” said Jordan Ovenshire, a student.  “I would most likely support a smoke free campus, but it would be for an area for them to smoke,”
“Smoking should be in a certain location,” said student, Kayla Carney. “I hate when people come up and blow smoke in your face. I understand if you’re addicted to nicotine, but you should be respectful of those who don’t smoke.”
I’ve smelled smoke on me before,” said Tyler Belshire, a student. I think there should be an area away from the buildings, it gets annoying.”
“I think they should have a spot where they can smoke, but it should be off campus,” said Lyndsey Stewart, a student.
“I don’t mind that people smoke as long as they have an area that other people aren’t affected by it, and if they break the rules, they should pay a fine, a student Kandice Wilkerson said.”
“Abolish it! I’m a student and an athlete and second-hand-smoke is bad on my lungs,” said Treshawn Coleman, Pioneer basketball player. If I’m getting the second-hand-smoke, I may as well smoke.”

With the ash-tray next to the door, some students
feel they are likely to have smoke blown in their face
 as they enter the building.
“You can’t break people’s habits,” said Justin Perry.  There should be an area.
“I really wouldn’t care because it doesn’t affect me, but basically it affects my health,’” said a student, Tyler Whitehead.
Jessica Saunders, a student, said she quit smoking 10 months ago, so now as a non-smoker, she understands what it is like from both viewpoints.
“I don’t think it should be a completely smoke-free campus. I have a right not to smoke and you have a right to smoke, just don’t be in the way of the doors,” said Saunders. “Maybe there should be a pay to smoke facility. “If you have to pay to use the restroom in Europe and that’s a natural function, then you should pay to smoke, because that ain’t natural.”

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Interested in Travel-Study? Be Sure to Attend a Meeting

Travel-study allows students to take a class in another country, earning class credit and gaining an incredible international experience at the same time. Vol State offers travel-study scholarships to students that cover much (but not all) of the travel costs. How do you get started? You need to attend an upcoming meeting to get more information about the program and apply. It's a competitive process...not all applicants get scholarships. Attending a meeting is the first step. The program is called TnCIS (Tennessee Consortium for International Studies) and travel will include: Austria, Brazil, China, Eastern Europe, England, France, Great European Capitals, Greece, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Peru, Scotland, South Africa, Spain and Turkey!

Main Campus  
Monday, October 22     Carpeted Dining Room                                10 a.m.
Tuesday, October 23     Mattox 104                   3:00 pm or 5:00 pm (Attend one session)
Wednesday, October 24               Mattox 104                               3:00 pm or 5:00 pm (Attend one session)
Saturday, October 27  Mattox 102              9:00 am or 10:00 am   (Attend one session)

Highland Crest - Springfield
Monday, October 29                                                    3:00 pm or 5:00 pm (Attend one session)   
McGavock High School
Tuesday, October 30                                                      5:00 pm
Wednesday, November 14                                     10 am or 1:30 pm (Attend one session)
For more information contact
Anne Marie Ruttenbur - International Education
International Education  Ext. 3303           

Monday, October 1, 2012

Get Ready for Pioneer Hoops!

The basketball season is just around the corner. The regular season kicks off at home with the Vestle "Pops" Hudson Classic on November 2 and 3. The men's team held a media day and practice for fans recently. Observers say this is one of the best men's teams in many years.

"We've got one of the best big men in the country," said Coach Rusty Melvin. "Barry Robertson is in the top 100 for JuCo (Junior Colleges). Overall, this is probably the biggest team we've ever had. We have seven players over six foot six. We're just deep. Probably one of our best strengths will be rebounds."

Meanwhile, the Vol State Lady Pioneers are also getting ready for a big season. They kick off the season with the men on November 2 and 3. Many of the home games have both men and women's teams playing back-to-back...so you can get plenty of hoops action at one time.

Games are free for Vol State students, faculty, staff and alumni. It's just $5 for members of the public. We suggest you print up this season schedule and put it up in the office or on the fridge. We hope to see you out there this season to root on the Pioneers to victory!