Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Vol State in the News

More money for community college advising? That's the discussion in Tennessee right now. Dr. Faulkner discusses an anticipated proposal by Governor Haslam in this Tennessean story.

The college has been considering expansion in Wilson County for some time now. The Mt. Juliet location is still being finalized. Here is an update in the Tennessean.

Vol State hosted a transportation meeting last month. The discussion focused on the Sumner County part of the regional transportation plan. This is a Tennessean article about what came out of the meeting.

Angie Lawson is now the chief of Campus Police. We shared that news with the Tennessean recently. Chief Lawson gives a big shout-out to retired Chief William Rogan in the piece.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Hail to the Chief

It's retirement time for Vol State Campus Police Chief William Rogan. He's served the college for more than 25 years. Chief Rogan has been a calm and reassuring presence on campus for so long it will be hard to imagine the place without him. There was a retirement party held for him recently. It brought in many people from campus, police from other jurisdictions and friends from around Sumner County.

Monday, July 24, 2017

One Book, One Community: Just Mercy

According to numbers provided by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, the United States has the highest incarceration rate of any nation in the world. The number of American prisoners has increased from 300,000 in the 1970s to 2.3 million people today." We'll be examining these issues at Vol State this coming school year as "Just Mercy" has been chosen for the One Book, One Community read. Here is how the publisher describes the non-fiction book.

“Bryan Stevenson takes us on an unforgettable journey into the broken American criminal justice system in his much lauded New York Times bestselling “Just Mercy.” After Stevenson graduated from Harvard Law School he started the Equal Justice Initiative, a law practice dedicated to defending some of America's most rejected and marginalized people. Among the first cases he took on was that of Walter McMillian, a black man from Monroeville, Alabama who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn't commit. The case would change Bryan's life and transform his understanding of justice and mercy forever. “Just Mercy” follows the suspenseful battle to free Walter before the state executes him, while also stepping back to tell the profoundly moving stories of men, women, and even children, who found themselves at the mercy of a system often incapable of showing it.” 
Bryan Stevenson. Photo by Nina Subin

The One Book One Community initiative has three speakers coming to the Vol State campus in Gallatin to discuss issues raised by the book.

Jeannie Alexander will be speaking on September 13th at 1 p.m. in the Caudill Hall Wemyss Auditorium. Readers of the Nashville Scene will recognize her as the publication’s “Best Advocate” in 2017. Alexander, who has been involved in advocacy for those affected by homelessness as well as the prison system, now heads up the No Exceptions Prison Collective, a nonprofit focused on the abolition of prisons as well as the establishment of basic treatment standards for prisoners. Alexander will speak about her experiences as an advocate and more generally about the prison system.

Vanderbilt Philosophy Professor Lisa Guenther will speak about the prison system in America on October 24th at 1 p.m. in the Mary Cole Nichols Dining Room. Guenther’s areas of focus include mass incarceration, capital punishment, the carceral state, race and racism, and the effects of solitary confinement. Students, faculty and members of the community are invited to join for what promises to be a compelling and interesting discussion of imprisonment practices in America.

The Reverend Joseph B. Ingle will join us on November 15th at 1 p.m. in the Caudill Hall Wemyss Auditorium. Ingle is an expert on the history of incarceration in the United States and will speak on that subject. Ingle founded the Tennessee Committee against State Killing, and has served as the director of the Southern Coalition on Jails and Prisons as well as the Executive Director of the Neighborhood Justice Center, a Nashville based coalition focused on restorative justice. Ingle will share some of his wealth of knowledge on the subjects of incarceration and justice, as well as providing unique insights gained from his years of dedicated service to ameliorative justice in Tennessee.

For more information please visit the web page.

Respiratory Students at CMA Fest

Our Respiratory Care students stay engaged with the community….even working at one of Nashville’s biggest music festivals. On June 10th, they volunteered at the CMA Festival tent for the CHEST Foundation’s Lung Health Experience in Nashville. They collected health information and gained valuable hands-on-experience by performing spirometry screenings for the country music fans. Details about the Respiratory Care program can be found at the website.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Athletic Association Golf Classic Coming August 7

Individuals and teams can compete for prizes and bragging rights at the eleventh annual Business Credit Reports Athletic Association Golf Classic, benefiting the Volunteer State College Foundation. The tournament is scheduled for Monday, August 7 and registration is open now. Highlights of the event are the Volunteer State Bank Paul Warren Memorial Corporate Cup Challenge and the Business Credit Reports Four Man Scramble. The tournament will be held at Fairvue Plantation in Gallatin. Registration and warm-up begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by a light lunch and a noon shotgun start.

The Golf Classic raises money for the Volunteer State Community College Athletic Association. Businesses and individuals are encouraged to enter teams for the event. The cost for individuals is $150 and $600 per team. There will be prizes for men and women’s par 3, long drive and closest to the pin. All tickets this year will include a putting contest, mulligan, chipping contest and other fun events. The event will culminate that evening with an awards dinner.

To register a team or for more information, call the Volunteer State College Foundation at 615-230-3526 or email Alison.muncy@volstate.edu

Alison Muncy Joins the Foundation

Alison Muncy is the new development officer for the College Foundation. Muncy was most recently director of Member Relations for the Hendersonville Area Chamber of Commerce. She also served as a board member for Beautiful Hendersonville. In her Vol State position she is charged with fundraising and event planning.

“Development is educating people about what their money will be doing and the impact it will have on people’s lives,” Muncy said. “People may be under the impression that community college is free these days, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Books and materials are expensive, and our scholarships can help cover those costs. And even with the great new statewide scholarship programs, there are still some people who might not qualify. We’re here to help them, as well.”

Muncy holds a Master of Science in Public Health degree from Meharry Medical College and a Bachelor of Business Administration, Marketing degree from Middle Tennessee State University. She also has an associate of applied science degree from Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio. She is a Leadership Sumner graduate and former member of the Board of Directors.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Meet the New Sonography Director

Vol State has named Edward Carlton as Director of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS). Carlton comes most recently from Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, where he is a Diagnostic Sonographer. DMS is medical imaging that includes ultrasound technology. It uses high-frequency sound waves to make images of organs and other systems in the body.

“In the clinical setting you work with students a lot,” Carlton said. “That really appeals to me. I would like to see the program at Vol State expand. Growing the program is important.”

Carlton is in progress with the Master of Science in Radiologic Science, Education program from Midwestern State University. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography from Grand Valley State University. He attended community college in North Carolina.

The Vol State Sonography Laboratory is set up like a clinic, with eight beds, each with high-tech imaging units and HD displays. They also have a state-of-the-art virtual reality simulator for students to practice more difficult scans and image specific pathologies. For more information visit www.volstate.edu/dms

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Vol State in the News

We recently announced a preliminary schedule for our eclipse watch event on August 21. Several area news outlets picked it up and ran the schedule, including Fox 17 and News2. A reminder that faculty, staff and students who wish to attend the event, but who will not be working or volunteering, should register, so we can control how many people are on campus. It's easy and only takes a moment to register the whole family if you want. Those who are working or volunteering do not need to register.

Vol State is hosting a Mechatronics open house on July 13. The Tennessean has the story.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

New Programs Help Adult Students Attend Vol State

New programs at Volunteer State Community College can help adult students who want to earn a college degree. There is an evaluation of life experience called a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA).  It's designed to help students speed up their steps towards a college degree by evaluating the student's life experiences for possible college credit. Vol State also offers Academic Fresh Start.  This is an opportunity to disregard previous poor grades that were earned at Vol State.  Students can work to earn higher grades and increase their Grade Point Average (GPA). There is also much excitement about TN Reconnect, the newly approved scholarship program starting in fall 2018 that will provide a tuition-free community college education for most adults in Tennessee. But even with all of the new assistance, there is still the matter of a person making room in their life for college. One person that understands that situation is actually the president of Vol State, Jerry Faulkner. He dropped out of college as a junior at U-T Knoxville and spent years doing various jobs.

“I realized that what I was getting out of life was a paycheck and an ulcer,” Faulkner said. “If I was going to have a more meaningful career, I would need a college education.”

And so, just shy of his thirtieth birthday, Faulkner went back to college. “It was very scary. The job I left was pretty good paying. I had a wife and son. We made the decision that I should go to college full-time. The anticipation before I got in the class was the scariest part. I had a lot of anxiety because I knew I would be in a classroom with a lot of younger people.”

Despite the fears, academic challenges, and the major financial burden of balancing work and school, Faulkner went on to earn a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree and then a Ph.D. When asked what advice he gives to adults considering college, Faulkner remembers what he felt as an adult student.

“Don’t let fear hold you back. You can succeed. The likely maturity you gained will make you a better student. Education is a great vehicle to get you where you want to go. The tassel is worth the hassle.”

Vol State is encouraging adult students to consider returning to college even before the TN Reconnect scholarship program starts in 2018. Adult students may be eligible for Pell Grants and Vol State scholarships now. Filling out the FAFSA form is the way to find out what kind of assistance is available. The college offers many evening and online classes and is piloting new classes that may provide an even better fit with adult schedules. The office of Veterans Affairs and Adult Learners provides help for adults in navigating the college process. Academic advisors help students set-up a plan for the degree they are seeking. For those still wondering about an academic major, the Advising Center at Vol State offers a personality inventory that can show the academic areas in which a student might do well.

In the end, it all comes down to graduating with a degree or certificate. There were many adult graduates in the audience at the recent Vol State spring commencement ceremony.

“I have new best friends and none of them are over 24 years old,” said Les Lyle of Lebanon. “The PTA (Physical Therapist Assistant) program has opened doors for me. I have several job opportunities available to me now.”

Vol State has a web page especially designed for adult students. They’re encouraged to visit www.volstate.edu/adult. Then students can use the website to explore the more than 90 degree programs the college offers. Help is also available on the phone at 615-230-3688 and in-person at the Vol State campus locations in Gallatin, Springfield, Cookeville and Livingston.

Pictured: Les Lyle came to Vol State after a layoff. He had been with the same company for 35 years. He now has an associate of applied science degree.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Carole Bucy in new NPT Documentary

Vol State History professor, Carole Bucy, is one of the experts interviewed for a new Nashville Public Television documentary- Cheekwood: A Masterpiece by Man & Nature. This is what NPT says about the show: “This month, Cheekwood completes a major renovation to return much of the house and gardens to their original glory. At this pivotal moment of rebirth, NPT’s original documentary, Cheekwood: A Masterpiece by Man & Nature, ventures behind the scenes for an in-depth look at the mansion and grounds. The 30-minute program premieres Thursday, June 22, at 8 p.m. Cheekwood: A Masterpiece by Man & Nature will also be available for online viewing at wnpt.org.