Friday, February 27, 2015

Vol State Students- Get Free Academic Help

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Get Ready for Spring Break

You're almost there! Vol State Spring Break will be March 9 through the 14th. There will be no classes at any of the Vol State locations, however most offices will be open for usual business hours. There are some changes Thigpen Library in Gallatin Spring Break hours will be Monday-Friday from 8:00a-4:30p, and closed March 14-15. Regular hours resume on Monday, March 16. The Leaning Commons hours will be March 9 and 10 from 8am - 8pm, March 11- 13 8am – 4:30pm and March 14 closed. The IT Helpdesk will be open from 7:30 am until 4:30 pm for Spring Break. The Bookstore will operate under reduced hours spring break week Monday - Thursday 8am - 2pm and Friday 8am - 12pm.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

March Events at Vol State

Vol State Events Calendar March 2015 All events are free, unless specified.

Mar. 2                   One Book: The Effects of Hip Hop on Society, Pickel Gym, 9am

Mar. 2                   “Cycling: Lycra Not Required, Pickel 101, 12:15pm

Mar. 2                   Lecture: Was Lindberg a Nazi? by Peter Johnson, Thigpen, 12:20pm

Mar. 3                   Lecture: Race, Slavery & American Values, by Grady Eades and Nancy Blomgren, Caudill 102, 11:10am

Mar. 4                   Speaker: Zohra Sawari, Thigpen, 12:30pm

Mar. 5                   Lecture: Intro to Gamification in Education, by Michael Torrence, Thigpen second floor, 2pm, open to faculty, staff and students

Mar. 6                   Chili/Soup for Books, fundraiser- $5 for lunch, Nichols Dining Room, 11:30-1:30pm

Mar. 13                 Free Community Shredding Event, Pickel Field House Parking Lot, 2pm-6pm

Mar. 17                 Lecture: Transcendentalist Communes, by Shellie Michael, Thigpen, 11:10am

Mar. 18                 Coffee with the Prez, Cafeteria, 11am-Noon

Mar. 18                 Honors: Technological Advancements in Sports, by Philip Williams, Thigpen, 12:20pm

Mar. 19                 One Book: Fear of, or Low Expectations of, Young African-American Males, Nichols Dining Room, 12:30pm

Mar. 21                 Sumner County Elementary Art Exhibit, Ramer Great Hall, through April 12

Mar. 24                 Lecture: Hear the Color & See the Rhythm, by Sue Mulcahy and Nancy Slaughter, Thigpen, 11:10am

Mar. 24                 One Book: Final Discussion- What We Have Learned, Thigpen Library, 6pm

Mar. 25                 Supplemental Instruction History Bowl, McKinney students versus Johnson students, Thigpen, 11:15am

Mar. 25                 Women’s History Tea, Nichols Dining Room, RSVP to Student Life, 12:30pm

Mar. 26                 Math and Science Expo, hands-on activities for kids and parents, Wallace Building-North, 2:30-6pm

Mar. 26-28            Nunsense Mega-Musical, comedy, $5 suggested donation, Caudill, 7:30pm

Mar. 28                 Family Day and Easter Egg Hunt, Library Lawn, 10am-Noon

Mar. 29                 Nunsense Mega-Musical, comedy, $5 suggested donation, Caudill, 2:30pm

Mar. 31                 Lecture: Thinking Fast and Slow, by Cynthia Wyatt, Thigpen, 11:10am

Mar. 31                 Belmont Pre-Nursing Advising Session, Warf 110, 12:45pm-2:10pm

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Get Ready for Your Next Semester at Vol State

For those of you who are not graduating (and a big congrats to those who are) it's time to get ready for your next semester at Vol State, whether it be summer or next fall. In March, you should schedule an appointment with your academic advisor to see what classes you should take next semester. Degree Works, on your My Vol State page, can help map it out for you, but make sure you also visit with your advisor. You don't want to take classes that you don't need for your degree or transfer plans. Priority registration starts the first week of April, the 6th and 7th.

Monday, February 23, 2015

2015-2016 Scholarship Application Open Now

It's time to apply for scholarships for next year. The scholarship application for 2015-2016 academic year is available now.  The application process is open now and the award process will begin in April. Apply here.

Vol State Events this Week

Ongoing                      Andy Dailey, art exhibit, Thigpen Gallery, 8am to 4:30pm, Mon.-Sat.
Feb. 23                        Tennessee Technological University, Wood Campus Center, 10am—1pm.
Feb. 24                        Austin Peay State University, Wood Campus Center, 10:00am—1:00pm.
Feb. 24                        Lecture: “James Baldwin’s Another Country,” by Laura Black, Thigpen Library, 11:10am
Feb. 24                        One Book: Tense relationships between police and the African-American community, Nichols Dining Room, 12:30pm
Feb. 24                        Chinese New Year celebration, traditional Chinese dances and food,  Ramer Great Hall, 1 p.m. to 2:20 p.m. 
Feb. 24                        VISA Club event: International students talk about their countries, Rochelle Center, 2:30pm
Feb. 25                         Middle Tennessee State University, Wood Campus Center, 10am—2:00pm.
Feb. 25                        Black History Recognition Luncheon, Nichols Dining Room, 12:30pm
Feb. 26                        Union Pre-Nursing Advising Session 12:45 – 2:10 pm Warf Bldg., Room 110
Feb. 27                        Tennessee State University representative will be in the Wood Campus Center 9:00am—10:30am.

Feb. 28                        Science Olympiad, area schools compete, campus-wide, all day

Don't Stay Silent: Shining a Spotlight on Dating Violence

Statistics from say one in four young people report emotional, physical, or sexual abuse from a dating partner each year. Those actions can range from emotional and verbal abuse to physical or sexual abuse.

February is Teen and Young Adult Dating Violence Awareness Month, and the Campus Police Department is doing its part to make sure every student knows it's their responsibility to help anyone they know who might be in an abusive relationship.

Assistant Chief Angie Lawson said there are several options for helping those who might be in trouble. While reporting the issue is important, Lawson said students don't always have to report the issue to campus police. If someone is in an abusive relationship, any staff or faculty member can be notified anonymously to help address the situation.

"A lot of people want to be involved, but they don't want to be involved. It's a catch-22 for a lot of people. A lot of people don't want to involve campus law enforcement, especially the victims, so they don't report it to us," Lawson said.

While reporting an incident can be a scary thing, it's still important to say something. First-year student Holly Wilson believes fear keeps many people from reporting anything when it comes to abusive situations.

"So many people don't even think about it. I would say some people are just abusive relationships just because they want to have someone with them. Maybe they're just too insecure or scared to say anything," she said.

Lawson said knowing when to report is one of the biggest issues police see when dealing with issues of dating violence and abuse. Programs that aim to educate people on bystander intervention such as Step Up, which Campus Police are working on integrating into student programs, is just one of the many ways students can be educated on the importance of reporting.

"It takes a whole army to try and change the culture, and if we can take a few steps to help, then that's worth it. Step up and say something, even if it's a text to a friend. Let us know, so we can do something about it. The silence is what's killing us," she said.

The Campus Police Department is located in the lower floor of the Wood Building. For more information on how to report abuse or prevention, call 615-230-3595. For more information on dating violence, visit LoveIsRespect or the CDC's Division of Violence Prevention website. The National Dating Abuse Helpline is 1-866-331-9474.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

No Day for a Snow Day: Students Return Following Winter Storm

Just as the ice began melting and the cabin fever was reaching a fever pitch, it was time to return to the classroom for many Vol State students.

"I didn't realize how much I liked coming to school, because just being home for a few days made me feel like I was going to go crazy. I was ready to leave," said first-year student Maya Fox.

Like a lot of students, Fox — who lives in Hermitage — was anxiously checking her phone Wednesday afternoon, waiting to hear if the Gallatin campus was going to be closed for a fourth day in a row. Even with a short break during the first half of the week, Fox said it wasn't all Netflix and sleep for her.

"At first I was thinking I didn't have to do school because I didn't have school, but I ended up spending every day doing homework," she said.

While he didn't have to go to class Monday through Wednesday, Lebanon student David Erwin said he was busy keeping up with assignments during the wild winter weather. With ice, snow, and low temperatures all around, Erwin said he was surprised the campus was open, as the other Vol State locations remained closed.

"When I got here half of the parking lots were closed and all the sidewalks were still icy," he said.

Sharing his surprise was Blake Sharer, a student from Mt. Juliet.

"I was very surprised whenever we were leaving the neighborhood because it was still covered in ice, but we made it. It wasn't too bad," Sharer said. "I was kind of angry, because I saw that all the other colleges were closed on the news, and we get here and the sidewalks are all still covered in ice."

Even with ice still on the ground and unreasonably cold winds whipping through campus, both Sharer and Thomas said it was nice to get out of the house — even if it meant heading back to class.

"It's better than sitting inside watching more snow come down and just freeze.  I hope we don't get more. I don't want to just sit at home," he said.

Vol State's main campus will be open from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 20. No classes ore offices will be open past 12:30 p.m. Highland Crest, McGavock, Livingston, and Wilson Central locations will be closed entirely. For up-to-date information on closures, keep an eye on Vol State's webpage and Facebook.

Respiratory Care Technology Application Deadline March 1

The deadline to submit an application for the Respiratory Care Technology program is March 1, 2015. Respiratory Therapists work under the direction of physicians to assess, treat, and manage patients with cardiopulmonary related medical problems. 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.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Snow Closing Tips for Students

Please check your Vol State email and eLearn for messages from your instructors about assignments. You can also use this time to get ahead in your class readings and assignments. When classes resume, there will be a lot of ground to cover, so you really want to make sure you are on top of things. Having a day off is fun, but you can also make use of it.

Online classes and assignments will continue as scheduled, they are not impacted by the weather.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Make Sure You Know Your Academic Advisor

Do you know who your Vol State academic advisor is? It's important, because you will need to meet with them soon to get ready for Priority Registration for fall classes. It's easy to do. Go to My Vol State and under the "Academics" tab click on the "Degree Works" link. You'll find your assigned advisor listed at the top of the Degree Works page, near your name and personal information. You should meet with your academic advisor in February or March to get ready for Priority Registration, which will start on April 6 and 7.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Digital Direction: Settler Online Undergoing Facelift

Change is good, and The Settler — Vol State's student newspaper — is taking that mantra to heart as it moves forward in the digital age.

Although this isn't the paper's first foray into the online world, the newly-launched Settler Online is the new way readers can access the week's top stories and interact with the Settler staff. The interactivity of the new website, which is in its beta form, will feature more social media aspects than ever before.

"It's going to showcase a lot of students individually and their talents and a lot more than what can just fit in a week's paper," online editor Adam Parks said.

The Settler has been without a website for some time, and this new version will not only feature the stories from the print edition, but it will also feature a variety of entertainment and interaction through games and the ability to comment. The paper has had both Facebook and Twitter accounts in the past, but staff members hope the new website will reach a wider audience through its online presence. The new website is mobile friendly, so readers can access from smart phones and other devices.

"The old website was more of an extension, not necessarily a whole different aspect of what the newspaper can be. We want it try to make it into something else rather than just having the same stuff that's in the print edition," layout manager Michael Clark said.

For the more traditional readers, the print edition isn't going anywhere. It'll still be available every week at a newsstand near you. For the tech-savvy, keep an eye on Settler Online for the latest updates.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Please Be Safe and Avoid Construction Areas

We are several weeks into the first construction phase for the new Humanities Building on the Gallatin campus.  I want to thank everyone for their patience during this process and just express how appreciative I am at how well the whole project is going.  I did want to take a moment and remind folks to stay out of areas under construction.  Although we have signage in place as well as barricades, the construction is quite expansive across multiple areas of campus. 

Here are a few tips to keep in mind as construction continues:

·         -Remember not to park in the parking lot near the tennis courts, where the construction trailer is located
·         -Watch where you’re walking.  Taking a shortcut through a construction area is not permitted
·         -Be alert that lane closures may change traffic patterns at any time
·         -Continue to be patient.  This project will provide a positive transformation to our campus – providing a benefit to not only our campus community, but our community at-large
·         -Please continually check the construction update page for the latest developments and potential campus road closures:

-Vol State President Jerry Faulkner

Events this Week at Vol State

Ongoing                      Andy Dailey, art exhibit, Thigpen Gallery, 8am to 4:30pm, Mon.-Sat.
Feb. 9                          MTSU representative, Wood Campus Center, 10am—2pm
Feb. 10                        One Book: “American Promise” film, Thigpen Library, noon and 3:30pm
Feb. 11                        Transfer Day: Four-year school reps meet with students, Ramer Great Hall, 10:30am to 12:30pm
Feb. 11.                       Soul Food Luncheon, Nichols Dining Room, Noon
Feb. 12                        “Clearly You”, free laser crystal imaging, presented by Evening Services, Nichols Dining Room, 1:30pm to 7:30pm
Feb. 13                        Andy Dailey, artist gallery talk, Thigpen Library, 10am

Student Literary Magazine Receives Award

"Radiance," an ink drawing by Allison Pate.
Next time you're included in Vol State's student literary magazine, you could be contributing to an award-winning publication.

The 2014 edition of Squatter's Rites, Vol State's student literary magazine – which features a collection of artwork, poetry, short stories, and photography – took home second place in the magazine category of the American Scholastic Press Association awards. The annual competition awards the top publications from schools across the country.

Magazine art director Michael Clark didn't even realize the magazine was being entered into the competition until he found out from Squatter's Rites adviser and communications instructor Melissa Tyndall Fox.

The ASPA scored Squatter's Rites in a variety of categories, and Clark plans on using their suggestions to make the 2015 edition better.

"We're going to take every single suggestion that they have given us and try to work on it. We can take areas where we were lacking and improve on them for this year," he said. "We want to try to make it to first place, and I feel like we can. Now that we know exactly what areas we need to improve on, we can definitely take a step in the right direction. It also might open the door for more competitions that we've never been a part of."

Squatter's Rites awards two students each year — one for written work and the other for art. In the 2014 edition, Allison Pate received the Fusion Art and Design Award for her ink drawing entitled "Radiance." Ann Roberts received the John MacDougall Award for her poem entitled "I Broke My Shin," which recounts the story of a boy who is dumped on the same day he injures himself.

Roberts wrote the poem over a break and was surprised to learn she had been given the award. As a writer, she said having something like Squatter's Rites is important for Vol State because it gives students a chance to showcase their talents.

"If you're a creative writer, poems and short stories are something that you can read any time. Squatter's Rites is a good thing for Vol State to have for the students because there are a lot of artistic and creative people here," she said.

The deadline for submitting work to the 2015 edition is March 27. Students can submit any type of art they wish, including photos, drawings, poetry, and short stories. Work can be emailed to or to

A digital version of Squatter's Rites 2014 can be found here. For more on the magazine, including updates on submission deadlines, visit Facebook.

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Librarian Brigade

You’ve seen them wandering around the computer lab, stepping into the silent study room, and walking down the aisles between the bookshelves. Who are they? They’re the Librarian Brigade!
(Okay, maybe that’s not really what we’re called but wouldn’t that be a good name for a gang of librarian superheroes?!?)

We actually call this service Roving Reference. The idea behind it is to make sure that we are providing the best possible service to everyone in the library. We also want to make sure that the library is a comfortable and inviting place where you can get work done.

Why do we rove? Well, without getting too librarian nerdy on you, I’ll give a couple of reasons. First, we want to remove any barriers between us and any library users. Some library users are a little reluctant to ask for help (not you, of course, since you’re reading our fantastic library blog!). They think they may be interrupting us or bothering us, or they may just feel a little shy about asking someone a question. It can be a little intimidating to go up to a stranger and ask them questions about things you feel like you should know how to do. By leaving the desk and going to where the users are, we meet them in their space and remove some of that intimidation factor.

Another reason for roving is to help make sure that the library remains a great place to study and get work done. We have different noise level zones in the building, so when we rove, we make sure that the silent study room is actually silent and that any groups in the yellow zone on the second floor aren’t getting too excited about what they’re studying and disturbing others. Plus, if we find that a group of people is being a little noisier than they should be, we can direct them to a study room or give them a “gentle reminder” to be respectful to others.

A third reason for roving is to help anyone lost in the bookshelves. Sometimes it’s easy to get lost on the way to finding a resource, especially if you’re not familiar with the way items are shelved here at Thigpen. If a roving librarian sees someone who looks like he needs a little help, then we can step in and help her find what he’s looking for.

Finally, it also gives the librarians a little exercise, which never hurts anyone who sits at a computer for a good part of the workday!

So, the next time you see a librarian wandering around, you will know what she is doing.  And, if you ever think of a better name for our librarian superhero gang, leave us a comment here!

-Amber McKee

Keep up with Thigpen Library news and tips. Visit their blog directly.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Four-Year Schools on Campus Feb. 11 for Transfer Day

Vol State Transfer Day will be held Wednesday, February 11 from 10:30am-12:30pm in the Great Hall of the Ramer Administration Building. It’s your opportunity to meet with folks from four-year colleges and universities from all over the area. There will be representatives from more than twenty colleges in attendance.  It’s a great opportunity for you to talk to admission/transfer reps and ask any questions you might have. The event is free. If you have questions please contact the Office of Admissions at 230-3688, or visit them in Ramer 173.


Aquinas College

Bethel University

Cumberland University

Hiwassee College

King University

Lipscomb University


Tennessee Tech Univ.

Tennessee Wesleyan

Trevecca Nazarene Univ.

Troy University


Tusculum College
Union University

University of Memphis

UT Chattanooga

UT Knoxville

UT Martin

Western Kentucky

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

From Art School to Criminal Justice Via Vol State

In 2010 Damoine Williams was living in the Nashville area working on a visual communications degree at Nossi College of Art. He was working in loss prevention with a local company when he became more interested in that line of work, and after some searching, Williams came across the criminal justice program at Vol State.

While still enrolled at Nossi, Williams began taking classes at Vol State in May of 2010 to further his career in loss prevention.

"At that point I was a junior at a different school. I couldn't just switch things. I was very dedicated. I was going to one school at night and the other school during the day, and I ended up graduating with both degrees at the same time," he said.

Following his time at Vol State, Williams moved to Ohio, where he began graduate work in business at Ohio State University, coupled graduate work in criminal justice at the University of Cincinnati. While going through graduate school, Williams began working as a loss prevention investigator for Gap Inc. before landing his current job with Target as an executive manager of asset protection. He has now taken his skills to Texas, working for Target in the San Antonio area.

Williams credits his success in both graduate school and a full-time career in his area of study to his time at Vol State.

"I went from Vol State to Ohio State, and I got up there and had some of the same core principles that I learned at Vol State. It translated very well. I've had some courses at Vol State — some of the criminology courses — that were more challenging than courses at my master level," he said.

Williams had such a love for the way a community college helps mold students he became an instructor with ITT Technical Institute last year, using much of what he learned at Vol State in his classes.

"I am such a huge advocate for them. I believe they change lives. I graduated high school with a 1.8 GPA, and now I have a master's degree. You would never know that, but once you get to a particular program that you enjoy and you thrive, you tend to do a lot better," he said.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Take Advantage of Free Academic Help this Semester

Take advantage of free academic help at Vol State this semester. Get assistance in most Math courses in the Learning Commons.  This includes individual tutoring, homework assistance, and some testing.  See the Learning Commons front desk for course availability, tutor schedules, and hours of operation. The Vol State Language Center can help with papers and assignments. They are officially open for the spring semester in Ramer 157. Visit their website for hours. 

Get Involved During Welcome Day

You're back at Vol State, and you've started to settle into a groove for the semester. Instead of asking yourself about what's next, you might be thinking it's time to get a little more involved on campus.

On Thursday, the campus will host Welcome Day at the Gallatin Campus from 10 a.m. until noon in the Nichols Dining Room of the Wood Campus Center.

While this event takes place every semester, the spring semester gives all of the clubs and organizations a chance to showcase what they did during the fall, in addition to recruiting new members.

"Students can see what clubs did last semester. They can see what plans they have for this semester, and it's an opportunity to see the new clubs that are in the making," Student Life and Diversity Initiatives secretary Lori Miller said.

One of those potential clubs is a transfer club for students who are planning to transfer to the University of Tennessee once they have completed their studies at Vol State. If enough interest is generated during Welcome Day, Miller said they'll be able to form a club.

But if that club doesn't interest you, Vol State has about 20 different clubs and organizations students can participate in, including Student Government Association, The Settler, African American Student Union, Gay Straight Alliance, Music Club, and Vol State Cheerleaders.

Click here for more information on the various clubs and organizations at Vol State. For more information about Welcome Day, contact Miller at 615-230-3461 or visit Room 215 in the Wood building.

Monday, February 2, 2015

You Can Help - United Way Winter Food Drive

The United Way Winter Food Drive is collecting for the next two weeks at Vol State in Gallatin. Donate food and help families in need in Sumner County. Collection boxes all over campus. See the graphic for details.

A Few Tips for Dealing with the Construction

The rear parking lots near the back entrance will be less congested than the main lots on the other side of campus.
If you haven't already noticed, there's a bit of construction going on at Vol State's Gallatin campus. Your usual parking spot or route through campus might no longer be available as work has begun on the new Humanities Building.

Of course, construction of a new building doesn't come without a few inconveniences for current students as they travel to and from campus throughout the semester. Students should be prepared for changing traffic patterns in the coming weeks.

The back entrance to the college off Greenlea is still open and the rear lots are likely to be the places with the least congestion as work continues.

Studio art student Catherine Bates usually enters the college from the back entrance and parks near the Art building, so she hasn't experienced many troubles trying to find a space.

"It hasn't affected me too much. It hasn't been too bad, because I have later classes anyway, so it really doesn't cause any problems for since since I normally park in front of the art building," she said.

The only issue she has run into since starting the spring semester is coming across the road closure going to and from the back entrance, which is expected to last several months. Students will only be able to go left and head towards the rear lots, Wallace South parking, the Art building, and the Pickel Field House. Science Field Station students will be the only ones allowed to take a right turn to go to their building from the back entrance.

This week the main entrance will remain open, but there will likely be lane closures over the next several months. You will be able to enter and exit from Nashville Pike, but the entrance will be down to one lane in each direction, which could cause problems for students who drive larger trucks and SUVs.

Some students will need to plan ahead to ensure they have ample time to make it to their classes from the various parking lots as the construction continues.

"I have gotten here earlier to find a spot. I'll probably get here early every day, because I live an hour away," agriculture student Kailee Evans said.

Students are being asked to keep a watchful eye on the college's online presence to find out about important construction information as it relates to campus traffic.

"We're doing our best to keep students updated to changes on campus. Students should pay close attention to social media updates — posts on Facebook, Twitter, and the blog," Coordinator of Communications and Public Relations Eric Melcher said.