Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Upcoming Kid's Play Features Tiny Detectives, Big Mysteries

Cast members Breanne Childress, Darryl Van, and Helen Anderson.
Fedoras, trench coats and hard-boiled detectives aren't just for the likes of Humphrey Bogart. Kids can get in on the action, too.
Vol State Theater students will be performing "The Adventures of Nate the Great" on Saturday, Oct. 4, at 7:30 p.m. on the Gallatin campus. Based off the popular series of children's books that have entertained readers for 30 years, "The Adventures of Nate the Great" follows the titular child detective Nate, his assistant Kate, and his mystery-solving dog Sludge as they navigate an assortment of capers throughout the neighborhood.
For Darryl Van, who plays Nate, reaching back to a 12-year-old's mindset wasn't too difficult a task.
"I feel like I'm already a kid, so I have no trouble at all getting into character," he said.
This is Van's first leading role, and he's excited to see the reactions from the children in the audience as he and the rest of the cast work through the mysteries.
"I know they're going to laugh. When I was little, we never went to plays or anything, but I would have enjoyed it if we did," he said.
As Kate, Nate's trusty assistant, Breanne Childress said playing 12 was a bit of challenge.
"You have to find the kid voices. We're constantly having to remind ourselves that you can't talk like an adult. You've gotta reach into your imagination and think that you are actually a child," she said.
Just because the play is centered around pint-sized sleuths doesn't mean it's just for kids. Childress said the play has plenty of humor for both adults and children to enjoy.
"Adults are going to understand a lot of hidden inside jokes, but with kids watching it, you have to make all of your expressions bigger, so they can catch it. It's fun because you like hearing them laugh," she said.
There is a suggested donation of $5 for adults and kids can attend for free. Proceeds go to fund student scholarships. The play will be held in the Wemyss Auditorium at Caudill Hall. For more information, call 615-230-3201.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Events this Week at Vol State

Events at Vol State this Week:

Sept. 30 Meeting to discuss study abroad opportunities for students interested in learning critical languages, 11 a.m. in Mattox 104

Sept. 30 Western Kentucky President visit with students, Nichols Dining Room, 1-2pm

Oct. 1 Vol State Employee Benefits Fair, Ramer Building, 10am-3pm

Oct. 1 Vol State Employee Flu Shots, Ramer Building, 10am-2pm

Oct. 1 Hispanic Heritage Luncheon, RSVP to Student Life, Nichols Dining Room, 12:30pm

Oct. 1 Honors Lecture: “Should We Trust Science?” Parris Powers, Thigpen Library 12:20 pm

Oct. 2 The North Korean Human Rights Crisis, presentation sponsored by Collegiate Ministry, Thigpen Library, 12:45pm and 7pm

Oct. 4 Commercial Music Ensemble concert at Main Street Festival, Courthouse Square in Gallatin, Noon

Oct. 4 Kids Play: “The Adventures of Nate the Great” by Vol State Theater, Caudill Hall, 7:30 pm, $5 suggested donation, kids are free

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Vol State October Events Calendar

Vol State October Events Calendar 2014
All events are free, unless specified.

Oct. 1              Vol State Employee Benefits Fair, Ramer Building, 10am-3pm
Oct. 1              Vol State Employee Flu Shots, Ramer Building, 10am-2pm
Oct. 1              Hispanic Heritage Luncheon, RSVP to Student Life, Nichols Dining Room, 12:30pm
Oct. 1              Honors Lecture: “Should We Trust Science?” Parris Powers, Thigpen Library 12:20 pm
Oct. 2              The North Korean Human Rights Crisis, presentation sponsored by Collegiate Ministry, Thigpen Library, 12:45pm and 7pm
Oct. 4              Commercial Music Ensemble concert at Main Street Festival, Courthouse Square in Gallatin, Noon
Oct. 4              Kids Play: “The Adventures of Nate the Great” by Vol State Theater, Caudill Hall, 7:30 pm, $5 suggested donation, kids are free
Oct. 7              Gallatin Commit to Completion event, Phi Theta Kappa, Plaza,10am-2pm
Oct. 8              Lecture: “Peru!” by Keith Bell, Thigpen Library, 12:20pm
Oct. 8              Hispanic Heritage Quiz Bowl, Cafeteria, 12:30pm
Oct. 9              Movie: “Toxic Hot Seat” presented by Fire Science, Caudill,7pm
Oct. 11            Highland Crest Fall Carnival, Springfield, 10am to 2pm
Oct. 13, 14      Fall Break: A reminder that Fall Break is only two days this year
Oct. 15            Livingston Commit to Completion, signing event, Phi Theta Kappa, 11am-1pm
Oct. 16            Union University Nursing info session, Warf 110, 12:45-2:15pm
Oct. 18            Fall Fiesta at Vol State, a celebration of Hispanic culture, Duffer Plaza, 10am-4pm
Oct. 21            Highland  Commit to Completion, signing event, Phi Theta Kappa, 11am-1pm
Oct. 21            Lecture: Emerson and Transcendentalism, Shannon Lynch and Deb Moore, Mattox 104, 11:10am
Oct. 22            Fall Festival, Duffer Plaza, 10am to 2pm
Oct. 25            Household Hazardous Waste Collection, outside of Wood Campus Center, 9am to 2pm
Oct. 27            Diversity Week, events all week
Oct. 29            Honors Lecture: “Hal 2014” by David Fuqua, Thigpen, 12:20 pm

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Visit with the Western Kentucky University President Sept. 30

Visit with the WKU President next week. Ask questions about Western Kentucky University. Admissions reps will be on hand, as well. It's here on the Vol State campus.

And here's a video welcome from Dr. Ransdell: http://vimeo.com/104509769

Game On with Campus Intramurals

Want to play sports, but you're not on one of Vol State's athletic teams? No worries. That's what intramurals are for.

Fall intramurals have begun, which means you have the chance to play a game of flag football or soccer during the fall semester.

"It's going over very well this semester. It usually is better in the fall than in the spring," said Tabitha Sherrel, coordinator of student activities for the Office of Student Life and Diversity Initiatives.

It's free to join a team for any intramural sport, and games are played on the quad. Popularity is based on the sport, Sherrel said. This year, there are five teams for football and four teams for soccer.

Intramurals chairman Tim Moore said the program is essentially a series of pick-up games for people who just have a bit of fun on campus.

"It's for people who want to be active, and everybody that wants to come together for a game," he said.

While the initial intramurals meeting has already taken place, Sherrell said it's not too late to start a team. Paperwork can be picked up at the Office of Student Life and Diversity Initiatives, which is located in the Wood Campus Center. Teams also can get forms if they show up at the field during game times.

Even if you're not interested in joining a team, Moore said spectators are welcome.

The schedule for fall intramurals is below. All games begin at 2 p.m.

Flag football:


Monday, September 22, 2014

Free Help with Math, Physics and Chemistry

You can get free tutoring help in math, physics and chemistry in the Vol State Learning Commons in the Thigpen Library on the Gallatin campus. Just check in with the Learning Commons main desk for the tutor schedule. Get help before you get too far behind. We want to see you succeed!

Vol State Events this Week

Sept. 22           Tennessee Technological University representative, Wood Campus Center, 10am—1pm
Sept. 23           Austin Peay State University representative, Wood Campus Center, 10am—1pm
Sept. 23           Health and Wellness, Nichols Dining Room, 10am to 2pm
Sept. 23           Pre-Nursing Advising Session with Belmont University, Warf 110, 12:45pm
Sept. 24           Job Career Fair, Pickel Field House Gym, 10am to 1pm
Sept. 24           Vets Next Steps – Job advice for veterans, Pickel Field House, 11:30am-1 pm
Sept. 24           The Relationship Guy – Jereme Ford, Rochelle Center – Thigpen Library, 12:30pm
Sept. 25           Sumner College Night, Pickel Field House Gym, 6 pm to 8 pm

Sept. 26           Tennessee State University representative, Wood Campus Center, 9am—11am 

Extra! Extra! The Settler Lets You Read All About It

Don't you just hate it when you miss out on the cool things that are happening on campus?
Between classes and busy schedules, staying up-to-date on the goings-on at Vol State can be difficult. Luckily, there's an easy way to make sure you'll never miss any of the top stories that are taking place in the world of Vol State. The Settler, Vol State's student newspaper, is a great way of staying in the loop when it comes to the top stories that affect campus life.
"A lot of people just come to classes and leave, they don't know about the opportunities Vol State has for them — the lectures, guest speakers, and different student activities — that could help them have a better college experience. It's important to know what's going on, so you're not missing out on anything," editor-in-chief Ann Roberts said.
New issues of The Settler are out every Tuesday, and feature a variety of stories reporting on campus events, artwork, reviews, poetry, and the ever-popular word puzzle.
Roberts, who is in her first year of heading the paper, said she and the rest of the editing staff are working to create a publication that is more student-oriented and more fun to read.
"We want more student feedback. We're trying to make the paper more interesting, so if people will tell us what they enjoy, that would be helpful," she said.
After all, The Settler is made by students for students. If you're interested in contributing to the paper, it's easy to get involved. Enrolling in the class gives you credit depending on how many hours you sign up for. By joining the club, you can contribute as your schedule allows. And helping out with the paper isn't just limited to writing. There are plenty of other ways to get involved, such as taking pictures and submitting poetry. 
Another way to get involved is by working on the paper's design, which layout manager Michael Clark said is a great way to hone one's graphic design skills.
"Think of this like a workshop. You come here, and you are actively learning in a co-op. We're all in this together, working towards a common goal," he said.
In addition to bettering one's design skills and becoming familiar with how contributing to a paper works, Clark said working with The Settler is also good for those who want to get more involved on campus.
"It's an excellent way to get to know the school, to get to know teachers you otherwise wouldn't meet, and it's a great way to step outside your comfort zone and do something for the school," he said.
For more information, visit The Settler's Twitter page.
If you're interested in contributing articles, artwork, or other material to the paper, email Roberts at aroberts26@volstate.edu.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Get Your Vol State Merit Page

You will be receiving an email about our new Vol State Merit webpages. They're designed to help you celebrate your success while at Vol State. Many colleges and universities across the country have them for students. Your page can list a badge for an honors society you belong to or whether you made the dean's list. We'll be adding badges for various student achievements throughout the school year.

What do you need to do? The first thing is to claim your page. The easiest way to do this is click on the link provided in an email sent to the personal email address that you listed with the college. You can then personalize your Merit page however you want - add a picture or add work experience. You can also put in the emails of parents or loved ones so that they will be notified when you receive a new badge from Merit.

When you go to claim your page it will ask you for your email address...use your personal email address that you listed on your Vol State application. It's trying to confirm that you are who you are. Your Vol State email address won't work for that confirmation. Everything goes through your personal email address.

We'll start everyone off with an enrollment badge so you can see what they look like and how they work. It also puts you in the system. Vol State Merit pages are run by the Vol State Office of Public Relations. If you have any questions you can contact us at pr@volstate.edu.

If you don't get the email you can also visit the main Vol State Merit Pages web page and search from there. If you still can't find your page just email us with your name, city, zip code, and email address and we can create one for you.

Have a great school year!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Career Fair and Job Search Skills Sessions on September 24

Students...get your resumes going!

The Fall Job Career Fair at Vol State will have dozens of employers on site and special sessions on “What Employers Expect.” The skills training will include information about how job seekers can dress for success, enhance communication skills, and use social media in their job search. The fair provides an opportunity for job seekers to talk directly with the people responsible for hiring at many area companies. Participants are encouraged to bring their resumes

Military veterans can take part in a discussion called “Vets Next Steps!” from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Pickel Field House. Speakers will provide tips and answer questions about transitioning from the military to the civilian workforce.

The Fall Job Career Fair is free and open to all job seekers. It will be held in the gym at the Pickel Field House on Wednesday, September 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Volunteer State Community College is located at 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin. For more information call 615-230-3307 or visit www.volstate.edu/Placement

Monday, September 15, 2014

Vol State Events this Week

Vol State events this week:

Sept. 15 Intramural Flag Football meeting, Library Lawn, 2pm
Sept. 16 Hispanic Heritage Lunch and Learn, Nichols Dining Room, 12:30pm
Sept. 16 Intramural Soccer meeting, Library Lawn, 2pm
Sept. 17 Constitution Day- Jaywalking video, Paralegal, Cafeteria, 12 pm
Sept. 17 Civil Rights in the U.S: The 50th Anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act (A Constitution Day Presentation), Stella Pierce, Thigpen Library, 12:20pm
Sept. 18 Coffee with the Prez, Cafeteria, 10am-11am
Sept. 18 Pre-Nursing Advising Session with Cumberland University, Warf 110, 12:45pm

An honest talk about college completion

College isn’t easy. Many community college students drop out. Don’t be a statistic. You can do this and we will help you each step of the way. Your goal and our goal is the same and it’s simple: graduation. You need to get that certificate or degree. Here are some tips on how to do it:
Get focused and stay on track: Meet with your academic advisor at least once a semester. Pick a major and a degree plan as soon as you can. Take only the classes you need for your degree. How do you do that? Take charge of your college career with free tools, such as DegreeWorks and College Scheduler. You’ll find them on your My Vol State page.
Keep going:  Community college students face a real challenge with time. The longer college takes, the less chance you have of graduating. Does that mean you can’t do it as a part-time student? Of course not, but it’s best to take multiple classes each semester. Clearly, you don’t want to get overwhelmed by taking more classes than you can handle. We know its tough balancing work, family and school. Still, the quicker you get through college, the better chance you have of succeeding. Consider online courses and summer courses, but first speak with your academic advisor.
Don’t give up, if you run into problems. Visit the Advising Center for help. Is life getting in the way of college? They will have ideas on how you can keep going to school. The Vol State Advising Center can be reached at 615-230-3702. It’s in the Ramer Administration building, room 174, in Gallatin. You can also ask for advising help at the front desks of Livingston and Highland Crest.
Get free academic help. Is there one particular class that you can’t seem to pass? (We all have that one class.) Make sure you get extra help. Many courses have free Supplemental Instruction study groups. The college also has free help with papers and speeches in the Language Center and free help with Math in the Learning Commons. Smarthinking provides free online tutoring in many subjects.  Did you notice that we keep saying “free”?
Graduation is the goal. Whether you want to get a job after graduating with a career degree from Vol State or transfer to a college or university for a four-year degree, the common goal is graduation.

You can do this. We will help.
Commit to college completion.

Enhancing Communication at the Language Center

Don't let your major get the best of you. Things are bound to get confusing if you're trying to keep up with MLA, APA, AMA, and Chicago writing styles.
Never fear, the Vol State Language Center is here.

Nyanyaw Liem works in the Language Center.
Nyanyaw Liem, a first-year student from Sudan, knew she needed some help when diving into homework for her English grammar class, so she knew a visit to the Language Center was in order.

"I knew they could help me out with my homework and help me with my learning," she said. "In the case where it's something I do not understand, if I have a question, they'll have an answer for me."

And that's exactly the type of assistance the Language Center has to offer, according to director Suzanne Previte.

The Language Center has about 17 tutors that can assist students with everything from research and generating ideas to understanding the basics of how to properly structure a paper or presentation.

But the center isn't just geared to help students with papers and other writing assignments. It also offers a way to help deepen communication skills.

After all, communication is key, and the center's tutors understand that fact.

"A lot of students are under the impression that we're just here for English classes or we're the grammar shop. Neither of those is true. We're here to help people communicate more effectively," Previte said.

Language Center Director Suzanne Previte works with a student.
The help offered at the Language Center isn't just limited to class assignments. Previte said tutors have helped students with writing resumes, cover letters, college application essays, and crafting speeches.

The Language Center is located in Room 157 of the Ramer Building. The hours are as follows:
Monday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Tuesday: 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
Wednesday: 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
Thursday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

There's no appointment needed, and the service is free.

If you're in an online class, check with your instructor to see if an online Language Center tutor is available for assistance.

For more information, click here.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Studying? There's an App for That

Chances are you have a smartphone. It's also highly likely you use that device to tweet, post status updates, and Snapchat.
While there's a multitude of applications that allow you to easily pass the time, there's also a number of apps that can help you study.
Study apps are becoming more and more popular. In fact, they're becoming so popular, people like Connie Simpson, an instructor with Vol State's Supplemental Instruction program, is even using them in some of her sessions.
"It's all at your fingertips. You used to just carry around your notes with you, but now you can use your phone, which you always have you anyway," she said.
One of the most popular apps Simpson has used is Quizlet, which allows the user to develop sets of flash cards for whatever they might be studying.
Student Heather Jankowski said apps like Quizlet offer an easy way to get studying done without having to carry your books around all the time.
"Everybody has their phone, so you can download an app and study any time you want," she said.
Here's a list of a few free apps that might make your studying easier as the semester moves on:
Quizlet: Create sets of flash cards and other study tools for a variety of subjects (Available for iOS and Android devices)
Evernote: Take notes, collect research materials, and access everything you collect across a range of devices (Available for iOS and Android devices)
StudyBlue: Create online flash cards and note sets (Available for iOS and Android devices)
Have any other app recommendations? If so, sound off in the comments section below.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Vol State Events Calendar for this Week

Vol State events calendar for this week:

Sept. 10 Honors Lecture/ Panel: Science, Technology, and Society, Rochelle Center- Thigpen Library, 12:20pm

Home Free: Student Receives House During Titans Game

Gifts come in all shapes and sizes.

Vol State student Joseph James recently was honored at the Tennessee Titans in Nashville. He thought he was just going to be given the game ball.

Little did he know he and his family were about to given the gift of a house.

For weeks leading up to the game, folks with Operation Finally Home and Goodall Homes worked with James' wife, Jarin, to get the surprise set up.

To say the surprise worked would be an understatement.

"The moment they announced it I was completely amazed, shocked, and honored so much not just for what they were doing for my family but what they were doing for the veteran community," James said.

The amazing gift was made possible through donations from Goodall Homes and LP Building Productions.

James appeared in an award-winning ad for the college in 2012. The Ft. Campbell veteran spent four deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. He lost his legs after an IED attack.

The new home, which will be located in Hendersonville, will be a four-bedroom, two-story house. The best part is this new home also will be 100 percent handicap accessible.

"I can do a 360 in a chair when I use that. It's going to completely accessible for me from the front driveway to the back porch, and I can leave in a wheelchair, which is going to be new for me," he said.

James isn't sure when he and his family will be able to move in, as the land where the house will be is still being graded.

Either way, he said having the new home will make things easier for he and his family as he transitions back into school next semester.

"It's going to make a huge difference for my family. Just knowing that we'l be closer to the school than where we were. It's amazing that they blessed us with this house and awesome that it's going to be so helpful to us," he said.

After taking a break from classes, James will return to Vol State in the spring to begin work on his business degree.

He's itching to get back to class.

"I'm ready to go. I'm really excited for it. The break I took was needed, but I'm ready to go back to school and get that degree finished," he said.

For video of James at the Titans game, here is the Channel 4 story.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Need Help with Studying? Supplemental Instruction is Here

SI Instructor Connie Simpson leads a group session.
When Connie Simpson decided to go back to school last year, she knew she was going to need some help when it came to studying.

"I was a non-traditional student. I had been out of school for 26 years, and I was just terrified. I knew I needed something," she said.
Luckily, Vol State's Supplemental Instruction, or SI, program came to the rescue.
Supplemental Instruction is a student-led discussion group that allows students who might be having trouble with a specific course. 
"I found it to be very helpful. It reenforces what you are learning in the classroom, so it's a small group that kind of hangs out in between learning. It gives you an opportunity to sit with your classmates who have been taking notes and we can share it all," Simpson said.
Unlike the classroom, SI sessions are informal gatherings where students can share notes, study tips, and gain a better understanding of material covered in classes.
Simpson enjoyed the program so much, she became an SI instructor this semester, helping students with their science courses.
Students who received a B+ or higher lead the various SI groups.
Those sessions cover a range of classes from history to anatomy and physiology. 
Holly Guldeman is part of Simpson's SI group, and she enjoys diving deeper into material that will help her as she makes her way towards a career in radiology.
"Teachers have a small window of time, and they really can't individually focus. Here, anything I don't understand,  I can ask Connie and she has the time to explain it," she said.
One of the biggest benefits to the SI program is the chance for students to increase their grade by a full letter grade, according to SI Coordinator Toni Murad.
"Studies have found that students learn as much in a one-hour SI session that they would in two and a half hours studying on their own, so it has a real impact," Murad said.
Not every class offered at Vol State has an SI component. It's mostly offered for science and social science classes.
If you're interesting in joining an SI group, check with your instructor to see if one is available. There also will be fliers posted around campus in the coming weeks with more information about how to contact an SI instructor.
For more information, click here.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Break from the Books

Mary, Cameron Harris, Bailey Crowder & Malik Weir

Taking a break from homework during the day is highly recommended, especially if that break consists of catching up with friends.

That's what new students Malik Weir, Bailey Crowder, Cameron Harris, and Mary were doing as the first week of classes wrapped up at Vol State. 

The first-day jitters got the best of Mary but once she got into the groove of her schedule, things got a lot easier.

"The first two days, I hated it. I think I was just overwhelmed by the syllabus and everything, but then the third day was the first day I actually had fun, so I feel like I can do this now. I feel more ready and confident now," she said.

Crowder said she enjoyed her first week on campus.

"I really like it so far. I like how you can just do your own thing, and I think that's because we haven't gotten a lot of work yet. I think that'll change in a couple of days, so we'll see how that goes," she said.

While the class work might get a little more intensive as the semester goes on, Harris said he's looking forward to the opportunities college will offer.

Well, that and intramural football. 

"It was kind of awkward at first, because you're so used to high school. I feel kind of free now. It's not bad at all. It's college," Harris said.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Welcome Day Drives Students to Get Involved

The first week of classes is over. You know your way around campus. You're starting to settle into a groove for the semester.
What now?
You could continue just going to and from class, or you can start to get involved with one of the many clubs and organizations on campus.
On Wednesday, Sept. 3, Vol State will be hosting its annual Welcome Day event at the Gallatin campus in the Nichols Dining Room of the Wood Campus Center. The event, which will last from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., will feature the campus' 21 active clubs and organizations.
Tabitha Sherrel, coordinator of student activities for the Office of Student Life and Diversity Initiatives, said Welcome Day is the perfect opportunity for students — both old and new — to find out how to get connected this semester.
"It's a way to recruit new students that don't know what clubs might be on campus and to find out what's going on," Sherrel said.
During the event students will be able to roam around from booth to booth to find out just what sorts of clubs and organizations are offered on campus, including Student Government Association, The Settler, African American Student Union, Gay Straight Alliance, Music Club, and Vol State Cheerleaders.
Another organization that will be out on Wednesday is the Association of Campus Events, or ACE. The event-planning club hosts magicians, speakers, and other special events throughout the year, as well as help the campus' other clubs promote their events.
ACE President Megan Sexton said Welcome Day is perfect for students who are wanting to get more out of the college experience instead of just commenting to and from home.
"Welcome Days are important to students, because it allows new students to know that we do have clubs and activities to make a community college enjoyable," she said. "It allows returning students know what events will be going on this year. It allows all students to have fun and find something they are interested in."
In addition to the club booths, the event will also feature the League of Women Voters, who will helping students with voter registration, and a novelty act called Names & Faces, which will provide free digital caricatures and Asian name art for students.
Click here for more information on the various campus clubs and organizations.