Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Vol State Events Calendar April and May 2015

All events are free, unless specified.
April 1                   Psychology/Sociology Department Panel on Mental Health, Thigpen Library, 12:20pm

April 3                   Good Friday Holiday, all campuses closed, no classes

April 6                   Priority Registration for sophomores starts at 8am

April 7                   Priority Registration for freshmen starts at 8am

April 6-11             Pioneer Pride Week

April 9                   Sumner Elementary Art Exhibition reception, Ramer, 3:30-5:30pm

April 11                 Vol State Home Plate Celebration, baseball and softball fields, 11am-2pm

April 11                 Sumner Bluegrass Jamboree, competitions and performances, Caudill Hall, 10am-6pm

April 13                 Lecture: Troy Tomlinson, CEO of Sony/ATV Publishing, Thigpen Library, 1:30pm

April 14                 Spring Fling, Library Lawn, 10am-2pm

April 14                 TMTA High School Math Contest, Pickel Field House

April 15                 Lecture: “History and the Environment” by Merritt McKinney, Thigpen Library, 12:20pm

April 15                 Ramer Oratorical Contest, Mattox Room 104, 12:30pm

April 16                 Coffee with the Prez, Cafeteria, 10am-11am

April 17                 National Library Week, Games Day, Thigpen Library, 10am-1pm

April 19                 Vol State Singers and Portland High School Choir Concert, Caudill Hall, 3 pm

April 21                 Vol State Student Art Exhibition, Ramer Great Hall, through May 2

April 22                 Spring Job/Career Fair, open to all job seekers, Pickel Field House, 10am-1pm

April 22                 Earth Day activities, Library Lawn, 11am-2pm

April 24                 Undergraduate Research Poster Sessions, Thigpen Library, 11am-1pm

April 24, 25          Spring Music Showcase, concerts and CD release, $5 donation, Caudill Hall, 7:30pm

May 1                    Vol State Student Art Exhibit reception, Ramer Great Hall, 12:30pm

May 2                    Vol State Cycling Classic, scholarship fundraiser, Pickel Field House, 8 am-1pm

May 2-8                Finals

May 9                    Vol State Graduation, Pickel Field House, 10am

May 14                 Eighth Grader Career Exploration Day, Pickel Field House, 8am-noon

May 16                 Sumner County Middle College High School Graduation, Caudill Hall, 1pm

NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars Program

Have you ever wished you could work at NASA or even become an astronaut?  Would you like to be part of a team that designs, builds, launches, and controls the next generation of space exploration vehicles?  Does the idea of working to put people on Mars get you excited?  Would you just like to find out more about NASA’s programs and opportunities?
On Thursday, April 2, Mike Welham, current mathematics instructor at Vol State and 20-year NASA veteran, will share his experiences and introduce you to the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars program.  He will present videos, pictures, and “war stories” from his 20-years at many of NASA centers in the U.S. and answer your questions.  He will also tell about the scholarship opportunities funded by NASA and a special program that’s open only to community college students who have completed or will soon complete 9+ hours in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines.  The event will take place from 12:00 to 2:00 in the Rochelle Center in the Thigpen Library.  
NASA Programs and Opportunities Presentation
Mike Welham (Math & Science)
Thursday, April 2, 2015
12:00 to 2:00 pm
Rochelle Center, Thigpen Library

Monday, March 30, 2015

Students Attend Historic Literary Festival in North Georgia

Honey-Rae Swan, Trish Villani, Samantha Eubanks on the campus at the University of North Georgia during the Southern Literary Festival
Vol State students Samantha Eubanks, Honey-Rae Swan, and Trish Villani, recently attended the Southern Literary Festival in historic Dahlonega, Georgia, along with English Professor Leslie LaChance.  They took writing workshops in poetry, fiction, and memoir, and attended literary readings and book signings with well-known authors, including Francis Mayes (Under the Tuscan Sun) and Tony Grooms (Trouble No More).  The students also read original works at an open mic. The festival was held at the University of North Georgia, in the beautiful Appalachian foothills. During the festival, Vol State students visited with students and faculty from other many other colleges and universities in the region, and they enjoyed exploring the historical surroundings of Dahlonega, a mining town and site of the first major U.S.  Gold Rush.

The Southern Literary Festival is an organization of southern colleges and schools founded in 1937 to promote southern literature. Each year a different school hosts the Festival—which is, in effect, an undergraduate writing conference that entails writing workshops in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and playwriting; a writing competition; and a venue in which the participating students, faculty, and general public attend readings by well-known writers.

The SLF has an illustrious history. Robert Penn Warren, then a professor at LSU, was one of the founders. He spoke at the conference on a number of occasions, as did Eudora Welty, Katherine Anne Porter, and Flannery O’Connor, who won an award at SLF as an undergraduate and later headlined the conference as a nationally prominent writer.

Priority Class Registration is Next Week

Priority class registration for summer and fall classes gives you the opportunity to get the classes you need at the times that you want. It starts on Monday and Tuesday, April 6 and 7, at 8 a.m. for current students. Sophomores can start registering on Monday and Freshmen (less than 30 class credits) start on Tuesday. This is the week to get ready. Your first step would be to check Degree Works on My Vol State. It can show you what classes you need for your degree. It also gives you the available day and time options. Once you have sorted out what you want to take, it's time to see your academic advisor. They can make sure that you are taking the correct classes in the correct order.

Registration for summer and fall classes will soon open to everyone. So, take advantage of Priority Registration now and the get the first crack at classes.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Expo Aims to Teach Kids Science and Math Can Be Exciting

Bonnie Breland and Justin Williams demonstrate their
experiment during the Math and Science Expo Thursday.
Whoever said science and math can't be fun obviously has never tried burning materials soaked in rubbing alcohol or mixed a variety of food with liquid nitrogen. It's actually a lot of fun.

That was the whole point of this week's annual Math and Science Expo at Vol State. Each year both departments host a day of hands-on experiments to engage with area youth, hopefully sparking an interest in math or science at a young age. The Wallace Building was filled with about 100 different experiments both kids and adults could wrap their hands around.

"You've got college students engaged in science education and math education reaching out to a much younger audience from elementary and middle school, so it's a totally different kind of engagement," associate professor of chemistry Paris Powers said.

In one corner of one of the science labs, Bonnie Breland, Justin Williams, and Taylor Wiley were busy burning dollar bills that had been soaked in a 50-50 mixture isopropyl alcohol and water. Kids were amazed when the bill remained unharmed after being lit on fire.

"We wanted something quick that we could reenact many times over without using a whole lot of supplies, plus kids like fire," Breland said. "I know they don't understand everything that's going on in these experiments, but it catches their eye and they get an interest in science and maybe they'll have a career in it later on."

In another room during the expo, Holly Guldeman and Dustin Jones were busy demonstrating how the diaphragm worked using a model built of a water jug, balloons, and a Darth Vader mask. As expected, the demonstration went over well with the kids, which was exciting for science students such as Guldeman and Jones.

"I never got to do anything like this when I was a kid, but science in general isn't appreciated enough, so it's good to start when they're a little kid to help learn that appreciation," Guldeman said.

Jones agreed with his partner.

"We can put it on a level that they understand, because if you really dive deep into all this stuff, it's really complicated. We take those ideas and put it in simple terms that gets them interested and excited about science," he said.

For more on the expo, check out this gallery of photos from the event.

Photo Album: Math and Science Expo

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Summer and Fall 2015 Class Schedules are now Available.

You can now check to see what classes are coming up for summer and fall. You will find the class schedules in My Vol State. A reminder that Maymester classes are listed under summer. Why is it important to consider classes now? Priority Registration for sophomores (30 hours or more) starts at 8am on April 6. For Freshmen (less than 30 hours) it opens on April 7 at 8am. Use Degree Works and see your advisor now to pick classes. Get the classes you need at the times that you want by using Priority Registration for current students.

Course registration for new and readmit students opens on April 20. New students may need to take part in orientation first. Please keep an eye on your Vol State email account for details.

Do you have personal stuff that needs to be shredded? We can help on Saturday

Protect Your Identity – A Free Community Shredding Event
March 28, 2015
Shredding truck available at Volunteer State Community College

Volunteer State Community College students and local residents can protect themselves from identity theft by participating in a community shredding event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, March 28, 2015, at Pickel Field House parking lot off Gap Boulevard at Volunteer State Community College.
The free event allows students, faculties and local area residents to safely destroy records that have personable identifiable information on them.  The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security is sponsoring the event in coordination with MaxShred “The Touchless On-Site Shredding Company”, Volunteer State Community College Campus Police, Sumner County Sheriff’s Office and Gallatin Police Department. 
A shredding truck will be parked on the lot for anyone to bring paper items that they would like to be shredded, said Captain Troy Everett, of the Identity Crimes Unit of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security.
“Our main audience will be the students on campus and residence of the local community who may need the service to provide that extra comfort of security in today’s environment,” Everett said.
Citizens can bring a maximum of two boxes or trash bags of personal or private documents to shred. No cardboard or non-paper items will be accepted. 
All vehicles must be in line by 2 p.m. in order to discard their items. For directions to the Pickel Field House parking lot off Gap Boulevard, a printable campus map is available at http://www.volstate.edu/_files/documents/Campus-Map.pdf . (Building #5 on Map)
For more information on the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Identity Crimes Unit’s free community shredding event, please call 615-289-6463 or 615-232-4109.

Pick Up a New Habit! Nunsense at Vol State This Weekend

Vol State students Stephanie Goodrum, Ren Creasy, and Hannah Meece play nuns
in the school's production of "Nunsense: The Mega Musical Version."
Nuns, spoiled food, and songs. These things might not seem like they go together, but in the world of "Nunsense: The Mega Musical Version," they do.

Starting tonight, the Volunteer State Community College Theater Program will present its production of the musical-comedy that follows a group of sisters who attempt to put on a show to raise money to bury fellow sisters who were accidentally killed by the convent cook's tainted soup.

It's an exciting production for theater students who are anxious to tackle musical theater, according to actors Stephanie Goodrum, Ren Creasy, and Hannah Meece.

"I'm more of an actor than a singer, so it's more challenging. I had to really work on that and the dancing. The acting was easy," Creasy said. "In every acting job, you're always going to try to step up and try something new, so this has been a good challenge."

"We've definitely gotten to experience how nuns are supposed to act and how they don't need to act," Goodrum added with a laugh.

The show features a variety of dance and song numbers, and Creasy said she hopes the show will provide a great piece of entertainment for the greater Vol State community.

"Our job as actors and performers is to let the audience have their moment of escape, so that's what I want for everyone who comes and watches this show. Just come, enjoy the show, laugh, and have a good time," she said.

Meek said she hopes the show will bring even more attention to the theater program at Vol State.

"I really hope the people that come and watch it just enjoy it and they get excited about coming back to Vol State for future productions.

The musical will begin at 7:30 p.m. tonight, Friday, and Saturday in the Wemyss Auditorium in Caudill Hall. A Sunday matinee performance will be presented at 2:30 p.m. Admission is $5 at the door. Vol State students get in free with their ID. For more information, call 615-230-3202.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Lights, Camera, Action! Vol State Student Lands Role in Indie Film

They say there are no small parts, only small actors.

But one Vol State student considers herself lucky to have landed a role in an upcoming independent horror film.

Kealani Hughes, a theater arts student and aspiring makeup artist, got involved after her friend and former Vol State student Nick Huntsman let her know a small production company called Deviant Pictures needed an artist for their upcoming horror sequel "The Hospital 2." After submitting some work, Hughes found herself in Alabama working on the movie.

"My goal is to be a special effects makeup artist. I want to be up there performing with my work. I like putting makeup more on other people than I do on myself, so I love special effects. That's what I want to do, so it was a great experience," she said.

The shoot lasted 10 days in late January as filming took place in Marion, Ala., with Hughes doing makeup work on the film. The filmmakers needed a small role filled, so Hughes auditioned and got the part of Officer Cooper, a rookie cop.

Vol State student Kealani Hughes as Officer Cooper in a still from "The Hospital 2."

Hughes described the film as a hardcore horror film about a haunted hospital, and it's definitely not designed for those who are squeamish.

"It is extreme hour. It's not for the kindhearted to say the least," she said with a laugh.

While the film might be shocking audiences when it's finally released in the fall, the experience making it was a lot of fun, according to Hughes. She learned a lot she can take into future filmmaking experiences.

"You just can't get 16 hours of experience working with a ton of people working by yourself at home. I just love it because it's not the same thing everyday," she said.

Find out more about "The Hospital 2," including behind-the-scenes pictures, and release date information, at the film's Facebook page.