Friday, March 29, 2019

Women's History Month Spotlight: Dr. Emily Short

Dr. Emily Short, vice president of Student Services, has been an employee of the college for going on 28 years, but she was once in your shoes as a student. 1983 was the year her Vol State journey began. She studied business and finished her degree at what was Belmont College at the time before switching career paths.

“I did my business degree because that’s what my mother encouraged me to do, but I’ve always wanted to be in a helping profession really. So in my heart of hearts, I knew that.”

While attending graduate school at Western Kentucky University to pursue an education in counseling, she had contemplated where she’d complete her practicum that was required for her degree. One day she drove by Vol State on her way to Nashville; she saw a literal sign that would open the door for her career here.

“I was driving by the college one day and I was a semester behind on getting my practicum done. I just saw the sign, the marquee, and thought, ‘you know, I’ll just call them and see if they’ve got some kind of counseling practicum that they can offer me,’” she said.

She called and was offered an internship that would jumpstart her career. From working in Financial Aid to Admissions, Emily worked her way up into the position she's in now.

“I’ve had a very fulfilling career here, I’ve done a number of different things, I’ve always enjoyed working here and enjoyed the people I’ve worked with … I’ve been allowed to grow up here. It’s been one of the better experiences of my life.”

Emily said that her career has not only educated her, but has been therapy for herself along the way.

“Through earning my education, I think I learned how to appreciate where I’m from, I think I learned how to appreciate where I’m going, and to appreciate the people that I come in contact with all along the way.”

She said she still looks forward to getting up and coming to work every day. “Just being here on campus, being with the students, being with the staff, I just enjoy it.”

Emily is a Tennessee Promise mentor in her hometown of Westmoreland, Tennessee. She’s on the committee for Sumner County’s Habitat for Humanity and recently began working with Unlimited Potential, a community development corporation. She met her husband over 24 years ago during his last day as a Vol State student. They’ve been together ever since and have two children that she called her “greatest personal accomplishment.” Emily aims to remain at Vol State for the rest of her career.

-By Rachel Keyes

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Behind the Scenes of Dearly Departed

It’s almost time for Dearly Departed, a drop dead comedy produced by the Vol State Theater Department. We went behind the scenes during rehearsal to hear from some cast members and the director.  

“It’s really fun and enjoyable, every cast you work with is always going to be different, so it’s just really exciting,” said Nicole Black, who plays Lucille.

“I’m feeling really good about the actors, I’m feeling really good about their process, and that’s where I'm focused right now … My style is to do a lot in working with the actors in terms of them finding their intentions as characters, connecting with their characters,” said director Stephen Wedan.

One way that Stephen intends to help the squad get in touch with themselves and their characters is by practicing Tai chi before each rehearsal, not only to ease tensions, but to tap into the way energy moves through the body.

Stephen said that his favorite part of this production thus far has been “seeing the flame awaken when something clicks” in his actors. “And I’ve seen it here in several people. What happens is I’ll recognize it, I’ll let them know I see it, and their motivation just takes off. And when I don’t see it, I just work with what I can,” he added.

“I’m extremely nervous, but I think it’ll come together … We’re working really well as a team and we’re all clicking really well. We’re getting the job done, said Lauren Buchanan, who plays Raynelle. 

Dearly Departed will be performed in the Wemyss Auditorium of Caudill Hall on Fridays and Saturdays, March 29 and 30, and April 5 and 6, at 7:30 P.M. There’s also a matinee show on Sunday, March 31, at 2:30 P.M. It’s free with a Vol State ID, yet a $5 donation is encouraged which goes towards student scholarships.

Come laugh with us!

-By Rachel Keyes

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Women's History Month Spotlight: Anedra Moore

From representing Vol State at various events to conducting campus tours, student leader Anedra Moore wears more than a few hats around campus. Most notably, she lists Presidents Ambassador, AmeriCorps VISTA, president of the Returning Student Organization, and treasurer of Phi Theta Kappa on her current résumé. With a background in healthcare administration, Anedra returned to college in 2015 at Vol State to embark on a new career path. As a Cyber Defense major, she has a long-term goal of working for NASA as a cyber-analyst. Now at the age of 45 years young, Anedra has overcome many setbacks to become the leader she is today. Here's one thing she knows for sure: "It's never too late."

From humble beginnings in the small town of Many, Louisiana, Anedra’s family relocated to Tennessee during her later high school years where they lived in campground for about a year. Her father’s job soon provided them with housing through James A. Cayce Homes before her family purchased their own home. She finished up high school and received a scholarship to Tennessee State University for her athletic ability in track. She majored in Biology at TSU and dreamed of becoming a cardiovascular surgeon. But there was something else she wanted, which was to get married and start a family.

She met a man during her college years that she believed to be the one; she was quickly proved wrong. Her partner didn’t support her vision of going to medical school. She put her own hopes and dreams on the back burner in order to support his. She changed her major to Healthcare Administration and Planning at TSU so she could graduate and get married sooner. Life then quickly took a sharp left turn for her.

“I was abused from day one, I was abused for many, many years. At some point, I contemplated suicide because I thought, ‘you know what, this is just not what I wanted for me’ … I just thought, ‘there’s no way out but death.’ I even attempted it, but was unsuccessful. The next day when it was all over and I woke up, I realized that there’s a purpose for me. I needed to find out what that purpose was,” she said.

Eight years into an infernal, miserable marriage, her spouse left her for another woman. “He took everything. The house, the car, the furniture, everything. He filed for divorce, I went home to my parents; I went into a state of depression for about a year. I didn’t leave home, the only time I would get out of bed was to use the bathroom or shower and I wasn’t eating, I really just wanted to die.”

With the support of her family during that year, she eventually picked herself up, dusted off her shoulders, and got back out into the world. “If I had let that thinking, that I had failed, sink in, I would not have been able to rise above that situation. In my mind, I had failed, it was too late, it’s a wrap. But then I realized it’s never too late. It’s never too late to live your best moments. It’s never too late to be your best self. It’s never too late to live your best memories, and that’s what I’m experiencing now.”

Fast-forwarding to today, Anedra has indeed discovered her life’s purpose, which she said is serving others. One way she plans to fulfill this purpose is by opening a community center in her small hometown in Louisiana, which will offer professional development skills, career workshops, and other types of education. “That’s my dream,” she said. She plans to do this in honor of her father, who passed away in 2018, from whom she said she received her “serving heart.”

Anedra is a mother of two adopted children that she said are her “world.” She is projected to graduate from Vol State in December of 2019 and will eventually transfer to Western Kentucky University to continue her studies in Cyber Defense. In the meantime, Anedra will remain at Vol State for another year as she fulfills her second term as the Middle School Career Exploration AmeriCorps VISTA for the college.

-By Rachel Keyes

Monday, March 25, 2019

Comedy Theater Dearly Departed Next Two Weekends

The struggles of the fictional Turpin family offer insight and laughs in the comedy “Dearly Departed” presented by the Vol State theater program. The popular play by authors David Bottrell and Jessie Jones is set in a small Southern town. The beleaguered Turpin family proves that living and dying in the South are seldom tidy and always hilarious. It is a PG-13 production that may not be suitable for young children.

“Dearly Departed” will be performed on Fridays and Saturdays, March 29 and 30, and April 5 and 6 at 7:30 p.m. There will be a matinee show on Sunday, March 31 at 2:30 p.m. The production will be held in the Wemyss Auditorium in Caudill Hall. $5 suggested donation for theater scholarships and free with Vol State ID. 

This Week at Vol State

This week at Vol State:
March 25 Lindsey Wilson College representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10 am – 2 pm
March 25 Sophomore Vocal Recital, Jenna Lieseke, mezzo-soprano; and Victory Folsom, piano, SRB 151, 7pm
March 27 Belmont University representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 11 am – 1 pm
March 28 Austin Peay State University representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10 am – 1 pm
March 28 Thursday Trivia, hosted by Returning Students Organization, Nichols Dining A, 11am-1pm
March 29 CAB Movie Night: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, free, Nichols Dining Room B, 6pm
March 29 Dearly Departed, comedy, Theater Department, Caudill Hall, 7:30pm
March 30 Dearly Departed, comedy, Theater Department, Caudill Hall, 7:30pm
March 31 Dearly Departed, comedy, Theater Department, Caudill Hall, 2:30pm

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

WVCP Wants You!

Want to learn to DJ for free? WVCP wants you too. 

WVCP has been going strong for 40 years. It’s run by students and community volunteers, overseen by long time manager, Howard Espravnik.

Want to get involved? There are a few ways to do so.

If you’re seeking credit, check out COMM 291P. It’s a hands on practicum available as a 1, 2, or 3 hour credit. Additionally, there’s an internship available, COMM 285, through Work Based Learning. Both of these prepare students for entry-level positions at local radio stations. For more information on both of these, click here.

“Students learn a number of skills. They learn skills on how to present themselves, skills on communicating information from the college to the public, as well as motor and coordination skills," said Howard Espravnik.

Let’s say you aren’t a Communication major and just want to host your show for fun, you can do that! WVCP is always looking for volunteers. Are you on TN Promise? You can fulfill your community service hours as a WVCP volunteer as well.

Check out WVCP online; visit

-By Rachel Keyes

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Get Help with Final Papers at the Learning Commons

Final papers and projects will be due soon. Getting feedback now could help you get a better grade. Bring your papers and assignments to the Vol State Learning Commons. A tutor will work with you on everything from getting started to final editing. They provide the insight from an instructor perspective and you do the work to make it great. Vol State also offers online essay drop off in eLearn. See your course eLearn page for details. That free service is available to all students. There are Learning Commons locations on each Vol State campus. Those services are also free. Good luck with your finals!

Monday, March 18, 2019

Vol State RN Nursing A.A.S. Degree Information Sessions

Vol State is offering a new RN Nursing A.A.S. Degree Program. It starts in June and the application is available now. We have scheduled information sessions to answer your questions. Everyone is invited to attend.

For those who have finished all pre-requisites and intend to apply for this first summer 2019 nursing program cohort, attending one of these sessions is mandatory as part of the application requirements. All others who are interested in the program for a future admission cycle are also welcome to attend.
Gallatin Campus – 3/25 12:45 p.m.  Wood Campus Center Room 309
Gallatin Campus – 3/25 5:30 p.m.    Caudill Hall Room 102
Cookeville CHEC Campus – 3/26 10 a.m.  – Room 223
Livingston Campus – 3/26 12:45 p.m.   – Room 102
Livingston Campus 4/15 10 a.m.  – Room 155
Cookeville CHEC Campus – 4/15 12:45 p.m. – Large Conference Room
Gallatin Campus – 4/16 – 12:45 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. – Wood Campus  Room 309
There are general education classes required to be taken before application. The program is competitive and there are GPA requirements. The students most likely ready to apply for the summer start are current pre-nursing students. However, everyone is welcome to attend the info meetings.
To apply and for more information about the program please visit
The program is subject to SACSCOC approval.

Events this Week at Vol State

This week at Vol State:
March 18 TN Tech University representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10 am – 2 pm
March 19 Middle Tennessee State University, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10 am – 1 pm
March 20 Trevecca University representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 11 am – 1 pm
March 20 Not Yet a Woman, author talk, Nichols Dining Room B, 11:15am
March 21 Health and Wellness Fair, resources for students, Nichols Dining Room B, 10am-2pm
March 21 Sophomore Vocal Recital, Harlequine Clay, mezzo-soprano; and Kaleb Keller, baritone, SRB 151, 7pm

Friday, March 15, 2019

Body Image and Social Media: The Double-Edged Sword

Living in this digital age, most of us are well connected on social media platforms. But how do all of these hours spent behind the screens influence our own self-image? How much of a correlation is there between social media usage and mental health?

Recently, the office of Student Engagement and Support hosted an event to address various body image issues featuring speaker
Mackenzie Fox from Renewed, an eating disorder support system in Davidson County.

“We are faced with a lot of media … We are seeing a very narrow point of view of what people look like … On the flipside, social media can also be used for good, to create a supportive community … I think it can work both ways. It’s quite the double-edged sword,” Mackenzie said.

I personally quit social media a few years ago because I became consumed by it. I allowed my self-esteem to plummet as I was constantly comparing myself to others online. It really seemed to worsen my depression; I wasn’t using it to my advantage. This is ironic now considering that I work as the social media writer for Vol State. I plan to return to it soon for various reasons, but with a new mindset.  

Social media can be a place to build a sense of belonging and community, and that’s how it should be used. It’s an essential tool for networking, but it’s important to keep in mind that social media isn’t reality.

“I’ve struggled with my body image my entire life, I’ve had multiple eating disorders and it caused long term health problems for me … Maybe it’s just the people that I follow on social media, but for me it’s really empowering to see so many different body types on social media,” said a student who wished to remain unnamed.

“I think as a society, we tend to focus on the negative more than the positive, so we look at it like, ‘oh social media is tearing down women,’ but I think women tear down women in general, social media is just a tool to exacerbate it quicker,” said student and model Charika White.

So, if you’re struggling with your own body image when you log onto social media, perhaps those whom you choose to follow are not in alignment with your own best interest. Try following people who inspire you instead. It’s up to us to be conscious consumers, follow wisely.

-By Rachel Keyes

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

How To Get The Most Of Your Advising Appointment

Priority registration is coming up; you need to get ready. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your advising appointment.

Come prepared.
First and foremost, check out Degree Works; get familiar with your program and who your advisor is. You’ll then have a better understanding of which courses are required for you and if there are pre-existing transfer pathways beyond Vol State. “We’ll go over Degree Works with them anyway, but if they’ve already reviewed it, they will be more prepared and can come with deeper questions and make better use of their time,” said Lindsay Guenther of the Advising Center.

Plan ahead; begin with the end in mind.
“They need to be thinking about where they’re headed. They may need guidance through that process, and that’s what we’re here for. They don’t have to have answers yet, but they should start thinking about it … I tell a lot of students ‘begin with the end in mind’ that’s actually from Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” Lindsay said.

Do you want to transfer on to a university? If so, which school and program? Does your field require a graduate degree for entry level jobs? Maybe you are just burnt out by college and want to get into the workforce? By bringing this type of information to your advisor, you are helping them help you make the best decisions based on your specific plans. If you have no idea what you want to do, check the next tip.

List your interests; analyze the commonalities.
If you already know what you want to do, then skip this tip. If you’re clueless about your future career, start here. “Even if you play video games or like hanging out with friends, there are things that can be extracted from that … Like, if you enjoy videogames, to me that says you like strategy. So, you might excel in a job that involves some type of strategic thinking,” she said.

Additionally, there are many personal inventory and career assessment tests available through the Advising Center; an advisor can help you analyze your results.

Make an appointment.
This may seem like common sense, yet many students too often rely on walk-ins. Scheduling an appointment is the only way to ensure that your advisor is available. Go ahead and pick up the phone or shoot an email to your advisor to lock in your appointment. “This time of year, in the middle of the semester, they need to be making an appointment with their assigned advisor versus just walking in. During the summer and in between semesters they can just walk in because we see everybody,” Lindsay added.

By the way, it is now mandatory for all TN Promise students to meet with an advisor at least once and all incoming freshmen must attend orientation, take note! Here the some dates for summer/fall priority registration:

April 1: Sophomores
April 2: Freshmen
April 15: New and returning students

For more information on all things advising, visit:

-By Rachel Keyes

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Sophomore Music Recitals at Vol State

Student singers at Volunteer State Community College will perform in sophomore recitals at the college in March and April. Faculty member Nicholas Reynolds will accompany several of the performances on piano. All of the concerts are free and open to the public. They will be held in room 151 of the Steinhauer-Rogan-Black (SRB) building on the Gallatin campus at 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin. 7pm performance time.
March 14: Hannah Parker, soprano; and Alex Hopkins, baritone.
March 21: Harlequine Clay, mezzo-soprano; and Kaleb Keller, baritone.
March 25: Jenna Lieseke, mezzo-soprano; and Victory Folsom, piano
April 4: Kara Crabtree, soprano.

April 8: Danielle Sharp, mezzo-soprano; and Livy Blizzard, mezzo-soprano.

Monday, March 11, 2019

This Week at Vol State

Ongoing Landon Crowell art exhibit, Vol State Arts Gallery, SRB first floor
March 11 Lipscomb University, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10 am – 2 pm
March 12 Student Veterans of America Game Day, students invited to play games, bring items for care packages for service members, Nichols Dining Room B, 11am-2pm
March 12 King University, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10 am – 2 pm
March 13 UT Knoxville, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10 am – 2 pm
March 14 Tennessee State Univ. representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 11 am – 2 pm
March 14 Sumner County Elementary Art Exhibition, through April 27, Ramer Building Lobby
March 14 Sophomore Vocal Recital, Hannah Parker, soprano; and Alex Hopkins, baritone, SRB 151, 7pm
March 16 WVCP 40th Anniversary Celebration, studios in the Ramer Building, 11am to 3pm. Lunch at noon.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Vol State Student to Disney for Work-Based Learning

College graduates face challenges if they try to enter the workforce without experience. The Work-Based Learning (WBL) program at Volunteer State Community sets up partnerships with area businesses to provide students with work opportunities while they are still in college.
“Work-Based Learning is a high-impact practice,” said administrator of Work-Based Learning, Rick Parrent. “It’s a college course-based, for-credit experience. Many of the students in WBL courses are compensated financially by the employers.”
Currently, the majority of WBL courses are in Business and Technology, Education, Criminal Justice, Health Sciences, and Mechatronics. Other options include Communication, English, and Music. New courses are added each year.
“The WBL and the reserves led to me being hired as full time police officer,” said Vol State graduate, Perry Foxx.  “I gained real-world experience and training during WBL, which goes hand in hand with what I’m currently learning at the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy. It put me ahead of the learning curve.”
Students can also use WBL experience to enhance their future career skills, even if the company is quite different from their path. Courtney McQuiston is taking classes at Vol State to be a pediatric nurse someday. Her WBL experience is at Walt Disney World Resort. That may sound like an odd match, until you hear her explain it.
“Every day I meet different people from different cultures, and different countries,” McQuiston said. “I need to have that experience to work with kids from different backgrounds in my career. I’m also taking Disney Leadership courses.”
McQuiston takes classes at the Cookeville Higher Education Campus (CHEC). Sherrie Cannon, CHEC coordinator of Student Services, helped her get started. “She has helped me so much. She had to push me to do this. She’s helped me all the way,” McQuiston said.
Businesses can achieve a ready-made training and recruitment program that involves Vol State faculty, which can in turn help the academic programs grow to meet industry needs.
“Employers receive talented individuals who want to grow individually and professionally,” Parrent said. “Businesses also gain a valuable connection to the college and a network for new employees.”
Interested students can talk to their course instructor. Businesses interested in establishing a partnership can contact or call 615-230-3321.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Vol State Radio WVCP 40th Anniversary March 16

Thousands of students and volunteers have worked at the Vol State radio station over the years. Now WVCP-FM is welcoming back those alumni to celebrate the 40th anniversary of 88.5 FM. An open house will be held on Saturday, March 16 at the studios in the Ramer Building on the Vol State campus in Gallatin. The tours and events run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visitors will have the opportunity to see the latest studios and have lunch at noon.
People are asked to register on a web page so the college knows how many people may attend. Visit:
For more information about the WVCP anniversary open house call 615-230-3218.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Summer and Fall Class Schedules Now Available

Get ready for Priority Registration. The Summer and Fall class schedules are now available online. Current student registration starts on April 1 and 2. Visit Degree Works on My Vol State to see what classes you need and then make an appointment to see your adviser. Register early to beat the rush. Get the classes you need at the times you want.