Monday, September 30, 2019

Vol State Events this Week

Sept. 30 Cultural Competence vs. Cultural Humility, Highland Crest Community Room, 12:45-2:30pm
Sept. 30 King University representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10 am – 2 pm
Oct. 1 Lipscomb University representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10 am – 1 pm
Oct. 1 In Their Shoes, domestic violence awareness activity and lunch, Nichols Dining B, 11am-12:30pm
Oct. 2 WKU representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10 am – 2 pm
Oct. 3 WKU representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10 am – 2 pm
Oct. 3 Body Farm Founder, Dr. William Bass, two presentations, Caudill Hall, 11:15am and 6pm, both are open to the public
Oct. 4, 5 Kid’s Theater: City Mouse-Country Mouse, $5 suggested donation, Caudill Hall, 6pm
Oct. 5 Commercial Rock/Pop Ensemble concert, Gallatin Courthouse Square, Noon

Friday, September 27, 2019

Have Fun on the Fitness Trail

The Vol State Gallatin campus offers a Fitness Trail as a scenic route and a way to stay physically active on campus.

The Fitness Trail begins by the back of the tennis courts and leads to the Vet Tech building near parking lot J.

The whole trail is mulched and follows the creek behind the college, slightly sheltered by more-forested areas, which provide a place for people to take a break from classes and relax in nature.

For those who want to be more physically engaged, there are six exercise equipment stations located throughout the trail.  It starts with the uneven bars near the tennis courts, then follows with a back extension, sit-up bench, push-up stand, rowing machine, and ends with dual exercise bars near the fine arts building.  Each station has a plaque with exercise information for users. 

For more information about the trail or Vol State fitness, visit

-Gloria Cortes

Theater for Kids at Vol State October 4 and 5

The children’s theater production of City Mouse-Country Mouse will be staged by the Volunteer State Community College Theater students in October. It’s planned as a fun evening for the whole family. The college is staging performances for schools during the week and also holding public shows on Friday, October 4 and Saturday, October 5 at 6 p.m. There is a suggested donation of $5 at the door. Proceeds go to fund student scholarships. The play will be performed at Caudill Hall on the Vol State campus at 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin. For more information call 615-230-3201.

Body Farm Founder Speaks in Two Presentations

Dr. William Bass, the creator of “The Body Farm” in Knoxville, makes a return engagement to Volunteer State Community College on Thursday, October 3 for two public lectures. The forensic anthropologist is best known for his work in founding the Anthropology Research Facility at U-T Knoxville. Researchers there study the decomposition of donated bodies in various weather and burial conditions. The findings, including methods to help determine when a person died, revolutionized forensic science and criminal investigation. To expand the work, and provide expertise to the world, the Forensic Anthropology Center was opened in 1987. It curates the largest collection of contemporary human skeletons in the nation and provides professional training. Bass, now retired, became a bestselling author and inspired many fictional characters in TV and movies. His first presentation, at 11:15 a.m., will discuss “The History of the Body Farm.” His second lecture will be at 6 p.m. and is titled “The Mysterious Case of Colonel William Shy.” Both events are free and open to the public and will be held at Caudill Hall on the Vol State campus at 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin.  The college encourages attendees to bring non-perishable food donations for the Feed student food bank. For more information call 615-230-3492.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Student Email Changes

Vol State student email recently switched over to Outlook based email with Microsoft. This will be your new location to receive email messages. Your email address will stay the same. 
Click the link below for some great resources to help you get started.

Student Instructions for Outlook and Setting up Your Email Apps

As always, the IT Helpdesk will be able to assist you if you have any issues. They are physically located in the Learning Commons in Thigpen Library on the Gallatin campus, or can be reached by phone at 615-230-3302.

Three Things to Do Now if You are Struggling in Your Classes

The work is piling up. You are getting behind in your classes. You are not sure if you can do it. First, take a deep breath. Most college students feel this way at one point or another. It is still early in the semester and there are things you can do to catch up. Here are three things to do immediately:
1.       1. Talk to the instructor for any class that you are having problems. Visit them in their office or see them after class, but have a real discussion about what you can do to catch up. They have to hold you to the same standards as other students in the class. They also want to see you do well in their class. Work out a plan with each instructor and get the work done.
2.       2. Many students have trouble juggling work and family needs with college demands. Make a priority list of what are the most important things you need to get done and consider dropping the extras that you don’t have time for. Hopefully, that isn’t your classes. It could be that you have over-extended yourself with extracurricular activities, volunteering at church, etc.
3.       3. You may be trying to take too many classes and need to drop one. Just be careful, it can impact your TN Promise, TN Reconnect and other financial aid. If you are considering dropping a class at this point or perhaps even considering dropping out of college altogether, please talk to someone first. There are advisors available on each Vol State campus. It doesn’t have to be your assigned academic advisor. You can visit the Advising Center on the Gallatin campus, Ramer Room 141, at any time during business hours. You can drop-in or make appointments to see advisors on other campuses. You should also meet with Financial Aid to discuss how it will impact you.
College may be tougher than you expected. You can do this.  Successful college students have one thing in common- they overcome adversity and challenges. That means getting in there and fighting to succeed. We are here to help, whether it be with free academic assistance and tutoring or just by listening and offering advice. Don’t forget all of the free Vol State academic help you have available to you. Visit for details.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Vol State Events this Week

Sept. 24             Union University representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10 am – 2 pm
Sept. 25             Know One, Feed One: donate bottled water to the Feed, Nichols A, 11:30am-1pm
Sept. 25             Lipscomb University representative, Wood Campus Center hallway, 10 am-2pm
Sept. 26             Tennessee State Univ representative, Wood Campus Center hallway, 11 am – 3 pm
Sept. 25             Race and Sports, discussion with author Andrew Maraniss, Caudill Hall, 6pm
Sept. 27             CAB Movie Night: Toy Story 4, free movie, public invited, Library Lawn, 6:45pm

Monday, September 23, 2019

Three Generations, One School

Imagine going to school with not just your mom, but also your great-grandfather.  It may be seem strange at first, but it's sophomore Kiersten Kent's life.  

Kiersten Kent
Kent is a sophomore in mass communications and the third generation to represent her family at Vol State.

“I know a lot of people have come to Vol State and really liked it,” said Kiersten, “It’s a good school.  I enjoy spending my time here.”

As the youngest family member going to college, and being the only traditional student attending Vol State, Kiersten said experiencing school with her family has changed her perspective of college.

“I have a lot more understanding about going to class with adults after seeing my mom come, because it was weird at first to be in class with people 20 years older than me,” said Kiersten.

“It’s not that I don’t have as much freedom.  It’s weird, because usually your parents are already doing what their plans were after college, but with my mom and my [grandad], it’s different because they’re so eager to learn and I have active examples to follow to get an education,”
Jessica Kent
Her mom, Jessica Kent, is an online student with the goal of graduating with an associate’s in general education.  On top of school and work, Jessica is a mother of three children, one of which is attending Vol State with her.

“I think it’s neat to go to school with my family.  My grandfather and daughter encourage me to press on when it’s hard,” said Jessica, “To know that my grandfather chooses to do this after he has completed college before is inspiring.  My daughter inspires me just by being herself.”

“The roles changed with my daughter through college.  Now she’s teaching me things that I should know or be teaching her,” said Jessica.
Richard Holtz
Holtz is Kiersten Kent’s great-grandad and Jessica Kent’s grandad.  At 88 years old, Holtz said he’s not coming back to school to achieve a specific career goal, he just wants to keep learning.  “I’ve already taken all of the history, literature and public relations courses, and I’m now in an ethics course,” said Holtz. 

In 1957, Holtz graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo with a master’s in business administration.  After working for companies, he decided to start his own company in 1978, which closed in 2009.  “When I turned 79, I figured it was time to retire,” said Holtz, “Now, I’m just going to school to learn.  I sit in class and contribute where I can, by that I mean references to the ‘olden days.’”

-Gloria Cortes

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Race and Sports Discussion September 25

Black athletes have a unique relationship with college and professional sports due to a history of systemic racism, challenges that continue to this day. Andrew Maraniss, the New York Times bestselling author of the book Strong Inside, joins with associate dean Frank Dobson of Vanderbilt University for a discussion at Volunteer State Community College titled Strong Inside: The Confluence of Race and Sports. The Maraniss novel chronicles the life of Perry Wallace, the first African-American to integrate the SEC in basketball. The discussion will examine the struggles of Wallace and his African-American teammate Godfrey Dillard as they endured racism in the mid-1960s. The presenters will compare the efforts of Wallace, Dillard, and others trailblazers with the struggles black athletes still face, even as many are considered powerful, multi-million-dollar assets. The event will be held on Wednesday, September 25 at 6 p.m. in Caudill Hall on the Vol State campus in Gallatin at 1480 Nashville Pike. It is free and open to the public. The presentation is co-sponsored by the Vol State Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Vol State Athletic Department, Vol State’s Thigpen Library, and First Baptist Church in Winchester.

Monday, September 16, 2019

The Feed Student Food Bank at Vol State

The Vol State Feed provides free food to students in need. All students are eligible.The Feed at Vol State seeks to alleviate the barriers and challenges associated with food insecurity and hunger so that students can remain in school, and ultimately, earn their degrees. It could be called a food pantry or a food bank. The important point is that The Feed is open to all Vol State students. It is operated at all four Vol State campuses.
The Feed is stocked with non-perishable food items and personal hygiene items. All current students are welcome to use The Feed and must present their Student ID at each visit. Students are able to use The Feed as often as needed. The Feed operates on the honor system. Students will be asked to fill out a brief registration form with basic information, but it is not necessary to prove eligibility.
How to Use The Feed
You need to make an appointment to use The Feed this semester. Just visit the Student Engagement Office in the Wood Campus Center, room 215. Or email  Please see the front desks at CHEC, Livingston and Highland Crest campuses for help at those locations.

Events this Week at Vol State

Sept. 16              Tennessee Tech University, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10 am – 2 pm
Sept. 17              Middle Tennessee State University, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10 am – 2 pm
Sept. 17              How to Mitigate Micro-Aggressions on Campus, Greg Fontus presents, Nichols Dining B, 11:30am-1pm
Sept. 18              The Well, student resource info, free food, SRB second floor and Warf Hallway, 9:15-9:45am and 11-11:30am
Sept. 18               Free Speech and the Constitution, speaker David Hudson, SRB 150, Performing Arts Studio, 11am
Sept. 18                UT Martin, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 11:30 am – 1 pm
Sept. 18                Civitan Club Meeting, all students welcome, Wood 206, 2pm-3pm
Sept. 18                Deconstructing Unconscious Bias, discussion, Nichols Dining B, 6pm
Sept. 19                Let’s Talk About Food Insecurity, discussion, Nichols Dining B, 11:15am-12:15pm
Sept. 19                Carson-Newman University representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10 am – 1 pm
Sept. 19               Future Educator’s Club, all students welcome, Wood Room 206, 1pm-2pm
Sept. 20               Deconstructing Unconscious Bias, discussion, Highland Crest Community Room, 10am-Noon

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Student Support Tips for the Semester

Amanda Clark, Jessica Lee and Pippin Chapman

Now that everyone is settling into the fall semester, the workload will only increase until winter break.  All of this college work can be really stressful to manage by yourself, especially if you don’t have a support system or group.  Here are a few tips about forming your support system to get you through school:

1    1.) Get to know some of your classmates.
Even if you aren’t real “friends,” the connections you make with your classmates will help you get through the class.  Together, you can remind each other of upcoming due dates, grade accountability and help each other with classwork.  Make a group chat so you can communicate with each other wherever, whenever.  “Don’t be afraid to exchange numbers with other students,” said freshman Jessica Lee.  And who knows?  You might end up with a new friend.  Freshman Amanda Clark says, “Form relationships with other students early in the semester.  These relationships will turn into study groups,” which perfectly leads into the next tip.

2    2.) Create a study group.
Study groups can be very beneficial if they are small, about four people at most.  This way, there are enough people to offer different perspectives and ways of understanding things.  Smaller groups also have less of a chance of becoming distracted, whereas with bigger groups, it can be a lot easier to lose focus.  “Forming a study group with a few other students will help you keep up to speed on studying, and it can help boost your spirits when things are challenging,” said non-degree student Pippin Chapman.

3    3.) Join the Vol State Student Discussion on Facebook.
This is a discussion page where any Vol State students can ask questions about classes, share information and engage with each other.  It’s also another way for you to make personal connections with other students.  To join, make sure you’re following the Vol State Facebook page, then click on the "Groups" tab on the left-hand side.

Good luck with the rest of the semester.  We can do it!

-Gloria Cortes

Volunteer Fair this Saturday, September 14

Find a volunteer location to earn your TN Promise community service hours...or serve for the joy of it. The Volunteer Fair at Vol State will feature 20 local nonprofit groups on Saturday, September 14. It's organized by the One Community Sumner County library collaborative- a partnership between the public libraries of Sumner County, Sumner County Schools, and Vol State’s Thigpen Library.
Held in the Wood Campus Center on the Gallatin campus at 1480 Nashville Pike from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be free snacks and giveaways at the event. For more information call 615-230-3400.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Student Spotlight- Sabrina Schuessler

A physical embodiment of the phrase, “An open heart is an open mind,” sophomore Sabrina Schuessler is majoring in early childhood development and trying to better Vol State.

While she said that she thoroughly enjoys working with children, she also wants to go into early childhood development for family reasons. 

“My little brother is severely autistic.  He is nonverbal as well, and I want to help children like him,” said Schuessler, “I want to help kids feel like they have a purpose when they don’t know where they belong or say, ‘I can’t do it.’  I want to have that little bit of light that gives them confidence.”

She’s currently working as a teacher’s assistant at Primrose, a private daycare for children from six weeks to five-years-old.  “If they need tissues, paper towels or crayons, I go get them.  It’s a fun little job where I get to work with children, and they can hug and attack me,” said Schuessler.

On top of dealing with her job and school work, Schuessler has a speech impediment, dyslexia, insomnia, and ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder).

“For assignments, what takes people an hour or two takes me longer because I have to think of it more.  But if I could live a life without them, I think I wouldn’t, because they define who I am.  They make Sabrina, Sabrina.  Without them, I wouldn’t be me.”

When she isn’t working, spending time with her family or attending classes, Schuessler is an active member of the Vol State community.  She is a student representative of the Future Educators’ Club for the Student Government Association (SGA), and was previously a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. 

“[The Future Educators’ Club] doesn’t just work with kids, and we’re not just babysitters.  Our job is to shape the model of the brain and get them prepared for life….  Right now we’re a small club- we just started last year,” said Schuessler, “but hopefully we can build our way up.  We’re looking for a president and vice president right now.” 

-Gloria Cortes

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Student Spotlight: Taylor Evans

Ever wonder who the man behind the mascot really is?  Well in this case, it’s a woman.  One of the people behind Vol State’s Patch the Pioneer is sophomore Taylor Evans.

One would think school spirit is a requirement for a mascot; however, Evans wasn’t really involved in the Vol State community until this year, but now she’s made a new home for herself at school.

“I got an email saying something like, ‘You want free books?’ and I said, ‘Yes, please!’  Then, I found out that in order to receive free books, I would have to help out with student leadership and be a mascot,” said Evans, “I haven’t done any ‘mascotting’ yet…. There’s four of us and we’re going to split the dates [for school events]…. I’m nervous, but excited.”

To find another fun way to participate at Vol State, Evans signed up for Camp PIO, which is a day camp that focuses on teambuilding games and getting to know other Vol State students.

Evans has always lived in Hendersonville, Tennessee.  She graduated from Hendersonville High School, and enrolled at Vol State to major in psychology.

“Once I started taking actual psychology courses, I grew to really enjoy it.  I like the idea of identifying a problem and finding different kinds of solutions to fix it, or coping mechanisms,” said Evans, “It’s also challenging, but there are a lot of things I can do with a [degree in psychology].”

Although she would prefer to go to school a lot further from home, she plans to attend University of Tennessee- Chattanooga for her bachelor degree, and then move out-of-state for a master’s degree.

“I wasn’t very excited about coming here, truly because it’s still living at home, it’s 15 minutes from my house, but it’s provided a lot of experiences that I didn’t really expect to get,” said Evans, “This past spring break, I went to India for the Study Abroad trip and ended up loving it.  I’m really excited for this year.”

-Gloria Cortes

Study Abroad Info Sessions

Interested in traveling to another country to study next spring? These Study Abroad info sessions are mandatory for students who want to apply. They will have all the info and a list of possible countries. It's an amazing experience and you can apply for scholarships to cover some of the cost.
Gallatin Campus Sept., 9, 10, 11 and 12
2:15-3:30 Mon-Thurs in Caudill 102
Sept 26th Livingston campus 9 am- 11
Sept 26th Cookeville campus 12-2 p.m. Cody Hall
Oct. 2 Highland Crest 10 a.m. to noon front desk
Oct. 3 Cookeville campus 11 to 12 p.m. Cody Hall

Events for the Week of September 9

Sept. 9                                  Trevecca University representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 11 am – 2 pm
Sept. 9                                  The First Generation College Experience, Frank Dobson discussion, Nichols Dining B, 11:30am-1pm
Sept. 10                                Campus and Community Safety Fair, CHEC Atrium, 10am-1pm
Sept. 10                                Cumberland University representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 11 am - 1 pm
Sept. 10                                Break the Silence, suicide awareness, Duffer Plaza, 12pm-1pm
Sept. 11                                9/11 Remembrance, Library Lawn, moment of silence, 8:35am
Sept. 11                Austin Peay State University representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10 am – 2 pm
Sept. 11                                Campus Resource Fair, clubs and organizations for students, free lunch, Nichols Dining B, 11am-1pm
Sept. 12                Belmont University representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 11 am – 2 pm
Sept. 12                                Campus Safety Day, texting and driving simulator, free food, Wood Parking Lot, 11am-1:30pm
Sept. 12                                Study Abroad Info Session, all students welcome, Caudill Room 102, 2:15-3:15pm
Sept. 12                                Sumner County College Night, 70 colleges and universities on hand, Pickel Field House, 6pm
Sept. 14                                Volunteer Fair, opportunities for community service, Nichols Dining, 

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Events this Week at Vol State

Sept. 3 and 5        Student Club Rush Week, learning about clubs, Nichols Dining Room B, 11:30am-1pm
Sept. 4                  Campus Resource Fair, resources for students, clubs and organizations, Nichols Dining B, 11:30am-1pm
Sept. 7                  Adult Learner Study Sessions with Kids, bring your kids to the library while you study, kids must stay with you at all times, Thigpen Library – Gallatin, Each Saturday 8:30am-3:30pm and Monday and Tuesday 4pm-8pm when classes are in session.