Wednesday, October 10, 2018

EYH Science Program for Girls Has Great Success

A hundred girls recently attended what has become one of Vol State's largest K-12 learning events. EYH stands for Expanding Your Horizons. The third edition was held last weekend here on the Gallatin campus. Girls in 5th through 9th grades attended a panel discussion featuring successful women in STEM areas (science, technology, engineering and math) sharing their life and career experiences. The kids also participated in workshops involving chemistry, biology, math, health science, animal science, and computer programming. Congrats to all of the organizers and volunteers! Lingli Ni shares her excitement in a poem:

Was It A Dream? Or Was It Not?
By Lingli Ni

One hundred girls registered,
For Vol State EYH,
At its third annual conference!
It is the record number,
That we have been seeking.
Now it is in front our eyes,
Was it a dream? Or was it not?

That ordinary dining room,
Was transformed into a colorful conference room!
Filled with beautiful, young ladies,
And lots of volunteers.
Presentations and interviews,
Questions and Answers,
Eye-catching door prizes,
Music and drum rolls.
Fancy EYH photo booth with a skeleton,
Science lab equipments and funny eye props.
Now the room is empty and quiet.
Was it a dream? Or was it not?

All workshop sessions were fully staffed,
With experienced and dedicated leaders.
We even had extra workshop leaders,
Prepared to help fill in for others.
Professionals from colleges and companies,
Provided quality workshops!

At this third annual EYH,
We had several new things.
We had our first keynote speaker,
We had our first ever essay competition.
We had a group picture taken,
We even had a few emergencies.
But everything worked out perfectly,
Make me wonder whether it was reality?

Over a hundred Vol State students volunteered,
And EYH girls loved them!
They are big brothers and sisters,
And they are college students and role models.
When those little legs got tired from walking,
A piggy back ride service is standing by,
Our volunteers worked so hard,
And they ate every slice of pizza.

A big crowd gathered at Vol State,
On that beautiful, sunny day.
Something strange happened at EYH,
The little girls asked big questions!
The first Saturday of October will be reserved,
Vol State EYH is going to happen annually!
One father said it was the best event his daughter attended,
That comment put me on cloud nine right away.
Was it a dream? Or was it not?
Maybe it is a dream,

A wonderful dream came true at the magic third conference!


Monday, October 1, 2018

Vol State Professors View American Culture Through the TV Show Mad Men



You may think that your professors just come to class, teach, and then go home to their families, yet a lot of our Vol State professors do some pretty interesting work in their off time.  As fanatics of the American TV show Mad Men, married Professors Scott McMillan and Jennifer James have been analyzing the TV show and the constant theme of “work” within American culture. Their work has turned into a research paper titled “Revisiting Mad Men: The Nature of Work in American Culture.” They will present some of their research and ideas at The Popular/American Culture Association in the South Conference in New Orleans during the weekend of October 4th, 2018.




“Part of our culture, from our very early history, is this American work ethic,” said McMillan. “We’ve always been about work, work, work. It’s at the heart of who we are, it drives us as a nation, and Mad Men symbolizes this. It’s not just a good TV show, its great American literature. Ultimately it’s just Americans working just like we all are… It transcends just being set in the 1960’s, it deals with the struggles we all face in any workplace, regardless of the era.” 




“We’re moving away from that sort of Ford economy, of assembly line production, into creative work," said James. “We see their focus of work (in Mad Men) while the country is falling apart around them, it’s this very tumultuous time in the U.S. and we see these main characters go through that time. We see them working, but they also focus on other work, the psychoanalytical work, the work of overcoming alcoholism, the work of becoming a better person, the spiritual work of meditation, it’s a beautiful series, and every time you watch it, a different theme emerges.” 



They soon realized the themes provided an opportunity for scholarly exploration.

“In the paper, we focus on this idea of work, and what work means to identity. Boomers live to work, Xers work to live. Does the job become our identity? Where do we stop and the job start, where does the job stop and we start? The American ideal is that we are workers, we are the job. We work more than any culture on the planet, constantly trying to find identity in work,” explained James.

McMillan said that he often ties pop-culture, including TV shows, into his Political Science curriculum to get the students engaged. 

“We not only teach the stuff, we’re also thinking about it, exploring ideas, presenting them and to a hopefully receptive audience, that will allow other people to think about things in a different way. I think it’s an important part of what we do as professors, that we stay active in this larger academic world… and it’s always nice to carry the Vol State flag into these kinds of things,” McMillan added.

For more information on The Popular/American Culture Association in the South Conference in New Orleans, please visit: pcasacas.org 
-By Rachel Keyes

QEP Focus Groups


 The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is part of our SACSCOC accreditation process. The focus is the First Year Experience, plans for helping freshmen be successful college students. Ideas include a new College Success class. The QEP Development Committee has been working since May to research best practices and develop a plan. They presented those findings in focus groups last week on the Gallatin campus. These are some pictures from one of those meetings. The 30 minute sessions provided an opportunity for a quick overview of the plan and input from group participants.  
 
The next step will be to take those focus group ideas and form a QEP Implementation Committee to decide how to carry out the plan.

If you have an opportunity to participate in future focus groups, please do so. Everyone from the college community is welcome to attend and participate. Cookeville and Livingston focus groups will be scheduled soon.


Vet Tech Hosts Scenting Trial


Vol State Veterinary Technology hosted Performance Scenting Dogs (PSD) scenting trial this past weekend. PSD held a silent auction in the week before the trial and raised enough money to award a second year Vet Tech student the funds to pay her national board examination fee once she has graduated. The winner was Holli Ann Hill. PSD will be at the Vet Tech Pinning Ceremony in May of 2019 to award the prize. Pictures courtesy Heather Coiner Photography.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Vol State in the News

Our story about the Hawkins family and their tornado connection to Vol State was picked up by the Brentwood Home Page.

There are plenty of Vol State events coming up in October. The Lebanon Democrat has stories about the Fiesta and the upcoming children's play featuring the popular character Junie B. Jones.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Meet the New Vice President


Nicholas Bishop has been hired as vice president for Economic and Community Development at Volunteer State Community College. Bishop comes most recently from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development where he was director of Compliance and Policy in the Workforce Services Division. Bishop is the first person to hold the newly created vice president position at Vol State.

“I’ll be working on economic development initiatives. That includes reaching out to employers for workforce development,” Bishop said. “We want to make sure employers have the workforce they need and that students are being trained for the jobs of the future. I hope I can bridge some gaps and strengthen partnerships.”

Previous to his work for the State of Tennessee, Bishop served on the Morgan County Commission. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from U-T Knoxville, and a J.D. from the Nashville School of Law.

Jennifer Brezina Promoted to Assistant Vice President

Jennifer Brezina has been promoted to the position of assistant vice president for Academic Affairs at Volunteer State Community College. She has served for two and a half years as the dean of Humanities, the largest academic division at the college. In her new role Brezina will coordinate with all of the Vol State academic divisions.

“I’m excited about working with people from across the college and at all of our campuses. I’m looking forward to more involvement with Distributed Education for online classes. My experience as a faculty member and in the classroom helps with this position.”

Brezina previously served at the College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, California, where she was dean of Humanities and interim project director in the office of Academic Affairs. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from U.C.L.A; a Master of Arts degree in English from San Diego State University; and a Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Riverside.

The New Assistant Chief of Campus Police


Tim Anschuetz has joined Vol State Campus Police as assistant chief. He comes from the Gallatin Police Department where he was serving as sergeant in the Vice/Narcotics Unit. Anschuetz began his law enforcement career with Gallatin PD in 1999, first in Patrol, and then with the Traffic Division, continuing on as a motorcycle office. He tested and became a detective, and eventually moved up to the rank of corporal, and then sergeant.

When asked about his move to Vol State the assistant chief talked about opportunities.
“It’s a natural progression for someone in law enforcement to better themselves and progress in their career,” Anschuetz said. “The opportunity to take my base of knowledge and use it to help younger officers is one reason I took the job.”

The assistant chief said he’s enjoying working on a college campus.

“Here we’re dealing with safety and we want the environment to be such that students can succeed. We want them to feel safe here.”

He also considered the larger responsibilities of the position.

“The police here at Vol State have a unique opportunity. We can walk around and interact with younger people and show them that we really care. This is a prime place for a police officer to create change that can effect society. If we can all get along here, on campus, we can show students that police are not bad, and are here to help them.”

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Stewart and Nordeman Exhibit at Vol State in October


The Volunteer State Community College Art Gallery is showcasing the work of two female artists, both working with feminine imagery in a variety of materials, including textiles.  Gallery coordinator, Sue Mulcahy, said that Monica Stewart and Erinn Nordeman challenge the traditional roles of women, and invite the viewer to question the identity and expectations of women today.

Stewart is a multimedia artist working primarily with paper. She received her B.F.A with an emphasis painting from Murray State University and is currently pursuing her M.F.A at the University of Louisville. 

“In my recent work, I explore the relationships between narrative and object,” Stewart said. “I often draw on object imagery from fairytales to allude to dysfunctional familial relationships, female agency, as well as the magical and grotesque. By cutting, rearranging, and embellishing both traditional and nontraditional materials, I create new works that enter the realm of objects.”

Erinn Nordeman is a printmaker, photographer, video, and textile artist. She received her B.F.A from Millersville University and her M.F.A at the University of Arizona. She is interested in shifting traditional materials into contemporary questions of sexuality, identity, and female gender expectations.

“This collection of work is expressing a nostalgia for the younger version of myself; a version that was much more confident and in touch with herself,” Nordeman said. “The fabrics I chose, along with the self-portraits, embody that little girl, and all of her female role models on television and movies.”

The show runs from October 1 to November 1. The exhibit is free and open to the public. 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.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Vol State in the News


The appointment of a new VP was picked up by the Tennessean.

The Wilson Post helped us to celebrate the new class of President's Ambassadors.