Thursday, April 27, 2017

Join Us May 13 for Vol State Cap and Gown Bike Ride

Vol State is hosting a day of bicycling fun for the fourth year in a row, but now under the title “Vol State Cap and Gown Ride.” The name change from “Vol State Cycling Classic” reflects a new focus for the event. It’s designed to raise awareness and book scholarship money for adults starting a college degree or coming back to college to finish a degree. Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam calls the effort the “Drive to 55.” The goal is to have 55 percent of adult Tennesseans equipped with a college degree or certificate by the year 2025. It’s an important part of the Vol State mission.
The Cap and Gown Ride, like the former Cycling Classic, is a fun day of riding, with food and entertainment. The music and atmosphere are something riders point out as different from other rides in Tennessee.
“Many musicians and entertainers from Vol State’s Music Department performed, encompassing many different types of music,” said cyclist Tim Mullis of the 2016 ride. “It was actually one of the few times that I hung around after the ride, and after lunch, just to hear the music. All in all, a great ride.”
The Cap and Gown event features three different rides, depending on ability and interest. The routes travel through scenic roads across Sumner County. There will be a 15 mile Fitness Tour; a 33 mile Half Metric Century Tour; and a 63 mile Metric Century Tour. The tours will start and finish on the Vol State campus in Gallatin. There will be rest stops along the way for food, hydration, first aid and restrooms. The Metric Century Tour leaves at 8 a.m. The Half Metric Century will depart at 8:15 a.m. and the Fitness Tour will get underway at 8:30 a.m.  When riders finish, the college will have an event with barbecue, beverages and live music. Changing facilities and showers will also be available.
The ride cost is $40 for advance registration and $45 on May 12 or 13 at the site. Riders will get a t-shirt and a goody bag. Only riders who sign up by April 21 are guaranteed to receive a shirt in their size of preference. Route maps for each tour and a link to the registration page can be found at
Business Credit Reports is the Metric Century Ride Sponsor for 2017. There are still opportunities for sponsorships. For more information about the ride and sponsorships contact the Vol State College Foundation at 615-230-3506 or email

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Current Students: Register Now for Fall and Summer Classes

Current students can register at any time for summer and fall classes, but you should do it now if you can. You'll get a better selection of classes and class times. If you are taking a break for the summer, register now for fall. Keep yourself on the path towards a college degree!

If you still have not met with your academic advisor, you should do that now. After finals, many faculty members will be gone for the summer. If you are having problems with registration you can visit the Advising Center in Ramer 174 on the Gallatin campus or visit with Student Services on any of our other campuses.

Graduate Profiles: Overcoming Obstacles and Realizing Dreams

Kelsie Piercey of Portland is graduating with a Vol State associate of science degree and a high school diploma. The Sumner County Middle College High School student has also built up more than 60 college credits that she plans to use at Berea College in Kentucky this fall. She is the first in her family to attend college. The journey hasn’t been easy.
“I’ve been couch hopping. I have to juggle school and work. I work about forty hours a week,” Kelsie said. “If I don’t have WiFi where I’m staying, that makes it hard to do homework.”
Despite the obstacles, she has done well on the Vol State campus, taking classes for both high school and college credit. “I’m probably going to cry (at graduation). I didn’t see myself going to Vol State. I just wanted to throw it out there to see what I could do. I like how it’s challenging,” she said. “I’ve met a number of eccentric and interesting people. There’s a lot more freedom. There’s no dress code.”

Kelsie said she plans to pursue a career in social services when she graduates from Berea. “I was in foster care once. We had one really good social worker and one that didn’t care. I want to make a difference.”

Crystal Sloss of Gallatin said she didn’t take college seriously when she first attended in Kentucky.  But that all changed on her second try. “I came to Vol State in 2015 with my aunt, who had just lost her job. I said – let’s do this together,” she said. “I had matured and by my second semester I decided to get involved in student activities.”
Those activities included work as a President’s Ambassador, representing Vol State at events. It’s a prestigious scholarship at Vol State and Sloss credits the people she worked with for much of her success.
“It’s opened up so many doors for me. Tim and Annette (in Admissions) believed in me. I’ve gained supportive friends with the other ambassadors. Having a group of people to support you helps you have a better outlook on school.”
It wasn’t just one activity, Crystal led several student groups, including in her most recent role as vice chairperson of the Campus Activities Board. For her service to the college, Crystal was recently awarded the Robert M. Ruff Distinguished Leadership Award.
She manages classes and extracurricular activities, while also raising two young girls as a single mom.
“I work a full-time job at Chili’s,” she said. “Being a mom with all that is really hard, but my family has been able to support me.”
Crystal isn’t content with just one degree from Vol State. She graduated with a pre-nursing degree and will head back to Vol State in the fall to work on a biology degree. And it’s more than just a career step for her. She has another reason for wanting to succeed in college.
“My girls are my everything,” she said. “I want to show them that if you put your mind to something you can do it no matter what the obstacles.”

Les Lyle of Lebanon has embraced change with a new career path and at the age of 55. He spent most of his life in the printing business.
“They had another layoff and I was gone after 35 years with the same company,” Les said. “I met with a really wonderful lady, Guin Tyus, with Tennessee Career Centers. She had me take a Myers-Briggs personality inventory and it showed that I really like working with people. She showed me a list of career fields for my personality type.”
Les knew how important physical therapy can be. His father received treatment and in the process found a bond with his therapist. So, Lyle chose the Physical Therapist Assistant program at Vol State. He even enrolled in a Health Sciences cohort program that has a small group of students work together. One of those students was his daughter.
“She was great. We had similar study styles. She was like my teacher,” he said. “The cohort was tough academically, but it was one of the best things I have ever done. I have new best friends and none of them are over 24 years old. The PTA program has opened doors for me. I have several job opportunities available to me now.”
It’s all in the family for Morgan Seay. When she walks across the stage at graduation she will join her mother and family as Vol State alumni.
“My mom is a nurse. She got here degree from Vol State,” she said. “My dad has an associate’s degree in Fire Science from Vol State.”
Morgan says she has wanted to pursue a medical career for most of her life. “I’m planning on becoming a doctor. I hope to be either an OB-GYN or a trauma surgeon.”
Her experience in medical science began at an early age. “I grew up learning to read nursing manuals as my mom studied out loud.”
The dream of delivering babies as an OB-GYN comes from being the oldest of seven kids. “I’m eight years older than all of my sibilings. Babies have always been a part of my life. I have always wanted to be part of something that special in someone’s life.”
Morgan is a Sumner County Middle College High School student. She is graduating with a Vol State associate’s degree and a high school diploma. “I’ve always been a lot more mature for my age,” she said. “I was bored at high school. I have had all this freedom here to choose my path- that means a lot.”
Morgan plans to pursue a pre-med or biology degree. “Since I have 74 credit hours already they say I may be able to graduate in three semesters at WKU (Western Kentucky University).”
“My parents are really proud and glad that I got to get my degree. My mom has always pushed me to be a doctor, because she could see that was always what I wanted to do.”

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Writing Papers? It’s Dangerous To Go Alone!

As we head into Finals Week, and many of us are working on research papers, I want to remind my fellow students of some of my favorite research tools. And if you haven’t done so already, now may be a good time to click around Vol State’s Thigpen Library website and see what they have to offer.

JStor is in the Library’s "Databases" section (under “J”) and is a wealth of papers, essays, and books; both old and new. If you need something quotable on a certain literary subject, stop there first.

NoodleTools is your one-stop source for creating a citations page. Choose the type of style you need (MLA, AP, or Chicago) and start a new project. You enter the information for your citations, and it does all the formatting! You’ll find NoodleTools in the menu on the right on the Library’s website, and if you need help getting started ask a librarian.

For outside help, try where Google has been working on archiving out-of-print and hard-to-find texts.

Don’t forget that experts are available in the Language Center to help you editing and style guidelines, and our librarians can help point you in the right direction for research sources.

Good luck! I have papers to finish.

Gaynell Buffinet Payne is a writer, single mother, and student at Volunteer State Community College. She also blogs for Vol State's Returning Adult Learners

Monday, April 24, 2017

Spring Showcase Concerts this Friday and Saturday

The annual Spring Music Showcase concerts are coming up this Friday and Saturday, April 28 and 29. The shows will highlight the skills of the Commercial Music Ensemble, Bluegrass Ablaze, original songs from the Advanced Songwriting students and the Vol State Showstoppers. The concerts bring together many facets of the Vol State curriculum, including the technical abilities of students in the live sound class, music business and practicum classes and a lighting production crew. The concerts coincide with the release of the spring music CD. It’s called “20th Year Edition of Project 109”. Producers will explain the mysterious title at the concert and the photo in the poster as depicted above.. The CD will be available for sale at the show and at the Vol State Bookstore in Gallatin. It was recorded in the Vol State recording studios.
The Spring Showcase performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Wemyss Auditorium at Caudill Hall on the Vol State campus at 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin. There is a suggested donation of $5 for admission and $10 for admission and a copy of the CD. The funds will be used for music scholarships. For further information please call 615-230-3201. For information about the Music Program at Vol State visit

This Week at Vol State

Plenty to do this week at Vol State:
April 24                       Honors Program Info for students and exam prep party, free snacks and stress busters, SRB 252, 2pm-4pm
April 25                       Student Art Show reception and awards ceremony, SRB Art Gallery, 12pm-1pm 
April 25                       Vol State’s regional community literary magazine, Number One, readings from most recent issue, Performing Arts Studio, SRB 150,12:30pm-2pm
April 25                       Music Department Recital, SRB 151, 2pm
April 27                       Environmental Stewardship projects in the main hallway of the Warf Building from 1:00 to 3:00
April 28-29                  Spring Showcase Concert, Caudill Hall, 7:30pm

April 30                       Sophomore Recital, SRB 151, 3pm

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Choral Music Sunday, April 23

Choral music this weekend! The Vol State Department of Visual and Performing Arts presents Franz Schubert- Mass in G. The Vol State Singers are joined by the Portland High School Ensemble and String Orchestra.  Nancy Slaughter is the director for this performance. It's this Sunday, April 23 at 3pm in Caudill Hall, Wemyss Auditorium. Everyone is invited. Free with student or staff ID and just $5 donation for the public. Funds go to provide music scholarships.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Job Career Fair on Wednesday, April 19

It’s time to polish up that resume. Vol State will be hosting dozens of area employers for the Spring Job Career Fair this Wednesday, April 19. The fair provides an opportunity for job seekers to talk directly with the people responsible for hiring. Participants are encouraged to bring several copies of their resumes. Everyone is invited to attend.

“Participants will find tables with information about LinkedIn online brand development. Students will find information about career services from our office including job search, career exploration, soft skills, interviewing and resume preparation,” said Rick Parent, director of Career Placement.

The mobile Career Coach bus from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development will be on site, offering the assistance typically available at a Tennessee American Job Center.  Services will include computer workstations with Internet connections, and job search and career exploration information.

There is still space available at the fair for recruiters and businesses. They should visit for details. The Spring Job Career Fair is free and will be held in the gym at the Pickel Field House from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Vol State is located at 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin. For more information call 615-230-3307.

This Week at Vol State

This week at Vol State
April 19 Job Career Fair, Pickel Field House, 10am-1pm
April 20 Protest Music: A Primer, Rochelle Center-Thigpen Library, 12:45pm
April 21 Educate A Woman, fundraiser luncheon, Long Hollow Baptist Church, 11am -1pm
April 23 Schubert Mass in G, choral performance with Vol State Singers and Portland High School Students, Caudill Hall, 3pm

Monday, April 10, 2017

LGBTQI- what do all those letters stand for?

LGBTQI- what do all those letters stand for? We'll have a discussion of those terms and some gender descriptions during a Critical Conversations event this Wednesday, April 12 from 12:45pm-1:45pm in the Cafateria. Everyone is welcome to join us. It's organized by the Vol State Diversity Committee.

Video Production Student Projects

Video Production Practicum students, led by instructor Deja Brandeis, are busy with a number of cool projects…some are working on a documentary project showcasing the Memorial Wall Art Project. Mosaic tiles are being created by VSA Tennessee and local artist Yvette Renee, and will be installed on the walls at Hendersonville’s Memorial Park as part of a beautification effort. The documentary project will follow the process from start to finish, and will serve as an engaging representation of the undertakings of VSA Tennessee.

Another group project taken on by practicum students is a promotional video for the college itself. Students in class felt passionately about showcasing all the great features Vol State has to offer, and decided to create a promo video that would do just that.

Two students in the class, Michael Butts and Chase Lyons, recently competed in the Nashville 54 Film Fest, a timed filmmaking competition with dozens of professional, amateur, and student participants from the Middle Tennessee area. Their team was nominated for 6 awards, and won 2.

Pictured: Left to Right:  Stanley Karr, Chase Lyons, Michael Butts, Jarrett Jarvis, Jarrett Brooks.

Video Production is part of the Entertainment Media Production program at Vol State. Visit the website for details. 

It's Crunch Time - Get Free Academic Help

The final weeks of the semester means that everyone is rushing around, working to finish papers and assignments, and studying for finals. There is free help for Vol State students available for all of those activities, including help with papers, math tutoring and online tutoring in a number of subjects. This is the big push...get the help you need to bring up that grade!

We have a list of what's available in the College Success Zone:

Good luck to everyone...only a few weeks more for the big push!

Events this Week at Vol State

Events this week at Vol State
April 12 Critical Conversations: LGBTQI Terminology: What are all these words?, Cafeteria, 12:45pm-1:45pm
April 14 Campus Closed- Good Friday

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Fun Events this Weekend for Families

Sunshine and plenty of fun activities are the forecast for this weekend, April 7-9, on the Gallatin campus. Everyone is invited to these free events for families. Anyone participating in Music Day does need to register with the link. For everything else- just come on down and have some fun!

Friday: April 7 Free Movie Friday: Secret Life of Pets, Nichols Dining Room, 7pm

April 8 High School Music Day, SRB Building, 9am-4pm
April 8 Easter Egg Hunt, Library Lawn, 11am
April 8 Vol State Home Plate, Softball and Baseball fields, noon-2pm

April 9 Sophomore Music Recital, SRB 151, 3pm

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Events this Week at Vol State

Many great events on the Gallatin campus this week and weekend. Check them out:
April 5 Comedian: Jason Cheny, Cafeteria, 12:45pm-1:45pm
April 6 Campus Spa, Nichols Dining Room, 10am-2pm
April 6 Science and Math Expo, Wallace North, 2:30pm-6pm
April 7 Free Movie Friday: Secret Life of Pets, Nichols Dining Room, 7pm
April 8 High School Music Day, SRB Building, 9am-4pm
April 8 Easter Egg Hunt, Library Lawn, 11am
April 8 Vol State Home Plate, Softball and Baseball fields, noon-2pm
April 9 Sophomore Music Recital, SRB 151, 3pm