Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Vol State Holiday Closing December 24 - January 2

College offices will be closed starting December 24 and through January 2. Vol State offices will reopen for business on Monday, January 5. We wish everyone happy and safe holidays. We look forward to seeing you for Spring classes. They start January 20. You can apply online at any time:

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Student Forum Set to Discuss Growing Social Issues

Gabrielle Staton and Zachary Ford
Just because classes have ended and the focus has turned to finals doesn't mean students have to turn a blind eye to what's going on elsewhere in the country.

Students Zachary Ford and Gabrielle Staton have formed a group made up of community members and other students that plan to hold a forum next semester to discuss the issues that have been in the popular consciousness following the decisions made by grand juries in the cases of both Michael Brown and Eric Garner, who died following altercations police in Missouri and New York.

With emotions high in communities everywhere and protests taking place across the country, both Staton and Ford are hoping students at Vol State take the break to think about the news from the past few weeks and think of how we can move away from violent and racially-motivated protests that have dominated newscasts recently.

"We want to make this impactful, and we want to make sure we do have a group of listeners. We need to impact new minds. We need to get to those minds who haven't formulated their opinion as to what it is they stand for," Staton said.

Both students hope to have the forum set for early February. By that point, Ford said he believes people will have clearer minds to have a positive discussion instead of just focusing on all of the negative aspects of the unrest that has taken over so many other communities.

"As they go through Christmas break, people will be on their own time. There'll be a new year. They'll see this and think about what they can really do to see change," Ford said.

Staton said there is a larger issue at hand that needs to focus on how to love one another as human beings instead of labeling each other by the color of a person's skin or job. By coming together to promote a message of love and peace, both Staton and Ford hope there will be more work done to move toward a more progressive future.

"Everyone wakes up with the same 24 hours in each day. People need to understand it's what you do with that time that matters, and that's going to dictate how we move forward," Staton said.

For more information about next semester's forum, email You can also check out Twitter and Instagram for future updates.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Service Set to Remember Lives Lost in South Sudanese Conflict

Chudia Tutlam
South Sudan might be a long way from Volunteer State Community College, but that won't stop members of the college community from remembering those who lost their lives during a violent conflict last year.

In mid-December of 2013, a large number of Nuer were killed in an attack led by the presidential guard during a period of political turmoil following the ousting of the country's vice president. While many people from various South Sudanese tribes have been killed, Tutlam said the violence has specifically targeted the Nuer people.

On Saturday, Dec. 20, a memorial service will be held in Caudill Hall's Wemyss Auditorium. It will be an evening of prayer, reflection, and first-hand accounts of what happened last year in South Sudan. The service is sponsored by Collegiate Ministry and the Vol State International Student Association.

The purpose of the memorial service is twofold, according to Chudia Tutlam, a former Vol State student and native of South Sudan. First, the service will honor those who were killed during the violence. Second, Tutlam hopes the community will begin to become more aware of the conflict that is going on in his home country.

"We want to remember all the victims and all of the loved ones who were killed basically because they were Nuer. We want to send awareness out that those predators that are responsible for this cruel act have to be held accountable to killing innocent civilians," he said.

During the attacks, Tutlam lost a relative, as well as a couple of friends. He said the loss of human life is a terrible thing, especially when they are being targeted for who they are. That's one of the reasons he wanted to have a service to remember those who lost their lives in the violence.

"Losing someone that close to you is very, very difficult, and for you to know they were targeted because of who they are is terrible. It could happen to all the other tribes. If we speak about it and let those people in power know that this is wrong and that you can't kill people, the more people will know about it and the better it will be," he said.

There are a number of South Sudanese students at Vol State, as well as in the greater Nashville area, and Tutlam said he hopes local people will begin to learn about what is going on in his home country.

"All we want is peace. We want all 64 tribes to live peacefully. There's lots of tribes, and they're targeting the one now. Next time, it could happen to anyone," he said.

The service will be held from 3-6 p.m. For more information, call Tutlam at 615-668-9541.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Respiratory Care at Vol State

Did you know that Vol State has a Respiratory Care Technology program? Respiratory Therapists work under the direction of physicians to assess, treat, and manage patients with cardiopulmonary related medical problems. Upon completion of the program, students obtain an A.A.S. degree and are eligible to take National Board exams. The application deadline for potential candidates is March 1, 2015. The program begins in Maymaster. Detailed information can be found at Contact Mallory Higginbotham at 615-230-3349 or Kim Christmon at 615-230-3329 if you have additional questions.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tips for Spring Classes

Spring classes start January 20. Registration is open now for all students. New and readmit students will need to apply first.

Spring class fees are due on January 9. You can pay online, over the phone, or in person at all three campuses. Here is more info on all methods. If you don't pay your fees by the due date they will be purged from the computer system and you will have to re-register. So, please, pay your fees when they're due.

The Spring 2015 bookstore charge dates for financial aid students are shorter this year. The dates are Jan. 13 &14, 2015. Students with qualified financial aid will be able to begin charging once they’ve received the email saying that they qualify in their student email. Start checking on January 12. Students can charge at the Vol State Bookstore in Gallatin in person or by visiting the Bookstore online.

Current students can use College Scheduler and Degree Works to help plan their classes. Stay focused and take the classes you need for your degree. 

We hope everyone has a great Christmas break. Consider registering or taking care of business for Spring soon. It only gets busier as we get closer to the start of classes.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Final Exam Info and Tips

Get geared up for finals! Here is the final exam schedule

Don't forget that you can get help with papers in the Language Center, Ramer room 157 in Gallatin, and the Learning Commons in Livingston.

The Thigpen Library in Gallatin has extended hours for study:
Mon.-Thurs., Dec. 1-4, 7:30am until 10:50pm
Fri., Dec. 5, 7:30am until 6:00pm
Sat., Dec. 6, 8:00am until 4:00pm
Mon.-Tues., Dec. 8-9, 7:30am until 10:50pm
Weds.-Thurs., Dec. 10-11, 7:30am until 8:50pm
Fri., Dec. 12, 7:30am until 4:30pm

Good luck everyone!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

End the Semester with Sounds of the Season

Tradition has long been a part of the holiday season and there’s no better way to celebrate those traditions than at Volunteer State Community College.

The Sounds of the Season concert — which will take place Friday and Saturday night — has been ringing in the holidays for well over a decade and people like Steven Brown, a dual enrollment student at Vol State, have grown up experiencing the show each time December rolls around.

“I remember going to the shows, watching the choir, and seeing my cousin play bass in the pit band. I’m now going to be a part of it. I think it’s going to hit me on show night. I’ll look out and see my family watching,” the piano player said.

The show is a joint production of the music department, which means classic holiday tunes will be performed by the Showstoppers, the Commercial Music Ensemble, the Commercial Jazz Ensemble, and the Bluegrass Ensemble. It’s the first time in the 2014-2015 school year the entire department plays together, which makes it exciting for all of those involved.

“It’s a cool experience because there’s so many people working on one show and all trying to achieve a common goal. It’s just cool to see how everyone is working together to make this great,” Brown said.

The holiday show comes together at the last minute as a culmination for the department’s hard work during the semester, according to assistant professor of music Lynn Peterson.

“We work all semester at getting the parts together, but we don’t work together and get it staged until the week of the show. It’s always wonderfully exciting, because we hear it during practice but it all comes together during that week,” he said.

A special CD is recorded every year, which includes about half of the numbers performed during the show. The album can be purchased at the show.

Veteran holiday show performer Kyle Cothron said the entire process is always an exciting part of the semester, especially when everyone finally comes together.

“It makes it sound awesome. Whenever we’re back here practicing for the Christmas stuff, it’s always missing something, but once we all come together, it sings, pardon the pun,” he said.

The shows will begin each night at 7:30 p.m. in the Wemyss Auditorium in Caudill Hall. Students with a Vol State ID get in for free. A suggested donation of $5 benefits the Music Department Scholarship Fund. Admission and a copy of the CD are $10.

For more information on Sounds of the Season, click here or call 615-230-3202.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Prepping for Finals: How to Not Fall Behind

Students study in the Thigpen Library.

Congratulations, you're almost there. The end of the semester is in sight, and you can smell Christmas break just around the corner.
But you're not out of the woods yet. Finals will be here before you know it, and the best thing you can do to ensure smooth sailing for the end of the semester is getting a head start on all of your studying by not procrastinating.
"I'm really bad about that, and I'll have to definitely plan it out. I'm a planner, so I have to have it scheduled out," said freshman business major Hope Houston.
Houston said she's a little stressed out by the thought of finals, but she's excited to get through them in order to enjoy her break.
Sophomore Seth McCoy said his hardest final will be his Human Anatomy & Physiology exam.
"Those are the hardest classes I have, so I'm just going to study with groups and with myself, mostly," he said.
McCoy said the key to studying with a group is by making sure you're actually studying and not just hanging out with one another.
That's a tip Supplemental Instruction leader Connie Simpson said is very important to remember if students are planning on getting together for a group session before finals week.
"Don't use it as a social get-together time. It's the holidays. Everybody is ready for school to be over. Don't let the holidays get you. Make sure you're taking the time you need to go back over the entire semester's worth of tests," she said.
If you are planning on having a study group, Simpson recommended getting together with people from your class to make sure you are looking over the material supplied by the instructor.
The biggest study tip is making sure you're not waiting until the last minute to hit the books.
"You'll find when you get to the last week, you won't remember things you learned 15 weeks ago. Start early. Attend any Supplemental Instruction sessions there might be. If you have a class that has Si, attend those sessions," Simpson said.
Fellow SI leader Heather Jankowski said SI leaders can try to help students who might not have an SI component to their class.
"Even if you don't have SI for your class, you can come in and we can help you with any study tips or anything you might want," Jankowski said.
A finals schedule can be found by clicking here. For more information about Supplemental Instruction sessions, click here.