Friday, October 20, 2017

Earthquake Drill and Tips if you Missed it

The New Madrid fault line is a couple of hundred miles away from us, but the risk of an earthquake in our area is still something to consider. Experts agree that a large quake on the New Madrid line would impact Middle Tennessee. And there are other fault lines in the region. With that in mind, there was recently a regional earthquake drill called ShakeOut, which Vol State participated in. If you missed it- here’s what it looked like here at the college.

This is the advice from emergency response coordinators:

“You cannot tell from the initial shaking if an earthquake will suddenly become intense…so always Drop, Cover, and Hold On immediately!

In MOST situations, you will reduce your chance of injury if you:

DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees. This position protects you from being knocked down and also allows you to stay low and crawl to shelter if nearby.

COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand

If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter

If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows)

Stay on your knees; bend over to protect vital organs

HOLD ON until the shaking stops.

Under shelter: hold on to it with one hand; be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts
No shelter: hold on to your head and neck with both arms and hands.

If there is no table or desk near you, drop to the ground and then if possible move to an inside corner of the room. Be in a crawling position to protect your vital organs and be ready to move if necessary, and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.”

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

You Can Still Walk Across Sumner County

You don't really walk across Sumner County for Walk Across Sumner County. The goal is to walk for fitness and keep track of your miles during October and early November. You can still participate with your Vol State colleagues. Just see Lesa Cross in the PR office, Ramer room 103 for a form. You simply fill in the form to record how much you walk each day. If you walk on campus there is a marker near the Library that shows how many laps equal miles. Some of the walkers joined the Walk Across Sumner organizers and Dr. Faulkner this week for a photo. It's great walking weather....we hope to see you out there!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Vol State in the News

We announced recently the upgrade of the Radiologic Technology to fully-digital equipment. It's a big deal for the program. The Tennessean ran the story.

Two local TV stations surprised us by running stories about the unveiling of our new mascot the morning of the announcement. We certainly appreciate the coverage...perhaps some Pioneers working at those TV stations? Here is the Tennessean story about the new mascot.

A Vol State student, who found international success in New York as a doll maker, has returned home to Gallatin. She has a show this month in the Vol State Art Gallery. It's an interesting story, as the Tennessean shows.

The media covered the lockdown situation on campus. A man with a knife made some strange statements at a business across the street from the Gallatin campus. Thanks to Campus Police and the Building Coordinators for the great work in locking down campus. Here is the Tennessean's story about the incident. The man was eventually found by police.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Remind Students to see their Academic Advisor

It's time to get students ready for Spring Priority Registration. We're doing a big push on social media this week and we could use your help. If you get a moment to mention in class that they should see their academic advisor, that would be appreciated.

If they're not sure who their academic advisor is, the answer is just a few clicks away. Have them go to their personal information on their My Vol State page- the advisor will be listed there.

Priority Registration for spring classes for current students opens on November 6 for sophomores (students with 30 credits of more) and November 7 for freshmen (students with less than 30 credits).

Dr. Faulkner: LQ

“What the world needs now is love, sweet love.  That’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.”  If you recognize that as the lyrics to a song and remember the original Dionne Warwick version, then you have been around a while.
Jack Ma is the founder of the world’s largest retailer.  Alibaba is the Chinese e-commerce giant that made Ma worth nearly $29 billion.

In a recent address at the Bloomberg Global BusinessForum he made two really important points.
First he made the point that we must embrace technology and develop the skills to use it effectively.  We must not fear technology and fret over the possibility of lost jobs.  He illustrates that the invention of the steam engine was predicted to cause the loss of jobs as was the automobile and electricity.  All resulted in changes in jobs but not net loss.  We can’t train to out-smart or out-work technology because a “machine never forgets, never gets tired, never sleeps or drinks.”

His statement reminds me of the Ballad of John Henry.  Again, if you remember this you are likely getting a little “long in the tooth.”  The story is of John Henry, a steel drivin’ man who won the race against a steam powered driver but ended up dying as a result.

The lesson is that we must embrace the technological changes surrounding us and teach our students how to use and capitalize on them.

The second of Ma’s points is somewhat surprising.  He offers that while we can’t beat technology in many roles there is one area where we humans can excel.  It isn’t IQ (intelligence quotient) or even EQ (emotional intelligence).  It is LQ.  “The quotient of love, which machines never have.”  Ma went on to say, “A machine does not have a heart, machine does not have soul, and machine does not have a belief.  Human being have the souls, have the belief, have the value; we are creative, we are showing that we can control the machines.”  Our feelings of love result in justice, creativity and our ability to empathize deeply and respond wisely. 

So while we teach technology we must also teach the uniqueness of humanity.  Ma says that we shouldn’t create machines to be like humans and not try to make humans like machines.  “Let humans be humans.”

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Furry Fundraiser

A big thanks to all who attended the Dog Wash and made it successful.  We had roughly 26 students here throughout the day washing the dogs.  The students bathed 29 dogs and raised $335.00 for a local rescue group (which one has yet to be decided).  

The smallest dog was a 15 week old Daschund weighing approx. 4 pounds and the largest dog was Tucker Winfield ( Saranne Winfield’s pet) an Alaskan Malamute weighing in, according to his owner, at 115 pounds.  He liked his “spa” treatment!

DJ Smith, Veterinary Technology Program

Connie Smith Art Exhibit at the Vol State Gallery

The creations of doll maker Connie Smith will be on display at the Vol State Art Gallery through November 2. Smith’s work has found its way into high-profile collections, including those of Nashville music producers Mike and Linda Curb, as well as actress Whoopi Goldberg, and Disney animators Eric and Susan Goldberg.

“Connie adapted the practice of hand-building hollow forms from high-fire clays, acquired a kiln and began reinventing the figures of her early childhood,” her biography said. “From 1991 to 2005, she honed her oeuvre in her family's art studio, The Lamb’s Ear, attending local art festivals and enjoying a cadre of collectors who hosted salons of her work in their Nashville homes and commissioned custom pieces. By the mid-1990’s Connie's work began to appear in trade magazines, and she’d discovered the National Institute of American Doll Artists. Her first ten years in the organization saw the more mature development of her signature anthropomorphic style, which found its way into collections across the country.”

Smith is an alumnus of Vol State.  She has just recently moved back to Gallatin after living in New York City. The Connie Smith exhibit is free and open to the public. There will be an artist reception on Saturday, October 28 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The Vol State Art Gallery is located on the first floor of the Steinhauer-Rogan-Black (SRB) Humanities Building on the Gallatin campus at 1480 Nashville Pike. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information call 615-230-3202.

Pictured: Alsacia diptych by Connie Smith

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A Chat with the New Dean of Math and Science

Tom Ekman took on the new role as dean of Math and Science in August...just in time for an Eclipse event and the start of the fall semester. 

He has taught chemistry at Vol State for the last four years and served as chair of the Science Department. Previously he was at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, as project consultant at the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery. He was associate director in the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations, and later director of the Medical Center Development and Alumni Relations. Ekman also taught Chemistry at Vanderbilt as an adjunct and visiting associate professor of Chemistry. He has held teaching positions at two other universities. He earned a B.A. degree in Chemistry from Lyon College, and a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Louisiana State University.

“I am a problem solver. In my experience at Vanderbilt, I spent 13 years on the support staff there solving problems,” Ekman said. “I see that as a big part of the dean’s work.”

And his goals for the new position?

“I want to strengthen and support the disciplines and courses we currently have, and then expand our relationships with other institutions,” he said. “I want to provide more experiences for students in undergraduate science research and have more professional development opportunities for faculty members.”

Where did Eclipse Visitors Come From?

The Eclipse was a big event for the college. It brought in more than 3,000 people from all over the globe. Dr. Faulkner put together this list. At the end you will find yet another letter from visitors who expressed gratitude for the event.

Dominican Republic

United States
New Jersey
New York  
North Carolina
South Carolina
Washington D.C.                              

Dear Dr. Faulkner,
Thank you for making your campus an eclipse watching location. I drove to Tennessee from Gettysburg, PA with my husband and adult daughter. We planned our eclipse adventure based on the information you submitted to the American Astronomical Society website. We arrived on your campus at 6:30 am and stayed until 2:00 pm. The security guard at the entrance gave us such a warm welcome that we knew we had come to the right place for this "once in a lifetime" adventure. 

Every volunteer was informative, helpful, friendly, and seemed to share our excitement. We loved your welcoming remarks, the lectures on history and math of eclipses, the shared telescopes, the maps, restrooms, and the way your campus made it an affordable day for everyone. 

My most memorable time was sitting on the library lawn listening to a NASA specialist and a science teacher narrate the eclipse by conversing with each other. When they told the crowd to remove their glasses to witness totality, the communal gasp of wonder was exhilarating! Your staff gave us an amazing day. Please share my gratitude with the people that worked so diligently to make August 21, 2017 truly meaningful. Bravo to Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, Tennessee!
Sincerely, Eileen Mathias

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Fall Fiesta and Potential Student Projects

The Fall Fiesta at Vol State is coming up on Saturday, October 21 from 10am to 3pm on the Gallatin campus. We encourage faculty to use this event to tie into course work, through community service or extra credit assignments. 

Topics could include Latino music, art, education, health care and cultural studies. How are Latinos keeping Aztec culture alive? What are the different types of Latino music and food. How does food tie into cultural perspective in a country? How are Mexicans different from Guatemalans? How are different states in Mexico different from each other?

If you're interested in participating with your call email

As always, you and your family are invited to this free event! Here's the basic info.

The Miss Princesa Americas Pageant will come to Volunteer State Community College on Saturday, October 21 as part of the Fall Fiesta at Vol State. The competition will be held live on the plaza stage. The annual celebration of Latino culture will include a soccer goal kicking contest with several age categories from kids to adult. The Fiesta is a free event featuring food, music, and fun.

“Vol State hosts the Fiesta each year to help showcase many of the nations and cultures that we call Latino,” said Eric Melcher with Vol State. “We want to show how diverse Latino culture is around the world. It’s also an opportunity to welcome people to the Vol State campus. We have hundreds of Latino students at the college each semester.”

The food cook-off contest features dishes from many different Latino nations. After judging at 11 a.m., the public is welcome to sample. There will also be a free Mexican lunch and drinks starting at noon. The family event, held outside on the campus grounds, includes live music, dance groups, art activities, and games for kids.

The Fall Fiesta at Vol State will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will happen, rain or shine, on the campus at 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin. The rain location is the Pickel Field House. The Fall Fiesta is free and open to everyone. Families are encouraged to bring a blanket and chairs and spend the day. The soccer contest age schedule can be found in Spanish and English on the web page: For more information in English or Spanish call 615-230-4846.