Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Vol State in the News

The national publication, Community College Daily, picked-up a story we did about the Logistics and Supply Chain Management program

Friday, December 7, 2018

No-Shave November Winners

The Vol State Campus Police department led a No-Shave November Cancer awareness event this year. They raised more than $370 dollars. They even made it a competition. Here are the winners:
The Best Try (at least he tried…)  Winner – Officer McKinley
The Ugly (think desert Island survivor)  Winner – Sergeant Pennington
The Natural (Soap opera handsome)  Winner – Assistant Chief Anschuetz
The Saint Nick (fullest and biggest)  Winner – Officer Grimes
The Mean (Cop you don’t want to roll the window down for)  Winner – Officer Scantland

Before and After Pics

Officer McKinley Gallatin Campus

Sergeant Pennington
Gallatin Campus

Assistant Chief Anschuetz
Gallatin Campus

Officer Grimes
Highland Crest

Dispatcher Rogers
Gallatin Campus

Officer Scantland

Officer Phillips
Livingston Campus

Monday, December 3, 2018

Dr. Faulkner: Last of the 20th Century Students

I read today a short article in the Campbell University Magazine.  Campbell is a small, faith-based, liberal arts institution in North Carolina.  Their student body is majority traditional aged.  The article was reminding the University that their newest class was the first to have never lived in the 20th century.  This poses some challenge to those of us who lived the majority of our life in the 20th century.

That realization reminded me of the Beloit College Mindset List created by Ron Nief, Public Affairs Director Emeritus, Tom McBride, Professor of English and Keefer Professor of Humanities, and Charles Westerberg, Brannon-Ballard Professor of Sociology.

The list explores the culture of the 18 year old incoming class and is a window into the experiences that shaped them. I’ve often shared from the list and find it interesting and challenging. 

Here are a few excerpts from the list:

-Among the iconic figures never alive in their lifetime are Victor Borge, Charles Schulz and the original Obi-Wan Kenobi, Alec Guinness.

-Outer space has never been without human habitation.

-They have always been able to refer to Wikipedia.

-They have grown up afraid that a shooting could happen at their school, too.

-They've grown up with stories about where their grandparents were on 11/22/63 and where their parents were on Sept. 11.

-The Prius has always been on the road in the U.S.

-They never used a spit bowl in a dentist’s office.

-A visit to a bank is a rare event.

-None having served there, American presidents have always visited Vietnam as commander in chief.

-Donny and Marie who?

-Films have always been distributed on the Internet.

So given that this generation of students has an entirely different frame of reference and a vastly different cultural experience is it time to change the “what” and “how” we teach?  Is it time change the “when” and “why” of our processes at the college?

I’ll be thinking about that as I recoil back to the safety of the 20th century.

P.S.  The Mindset list is moving to Marist College

-Dr. Faulkner

Monday, November 26, 2018

Donate to the Foundation on #GivingTuesday Tomorrow

People can make a difference on #GivingTuesday, November 27, by donating to Vol State student scholarships with the Volunteer State College Foundation. Organizers call #GivingTuesday a “global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide.” The Volunteer State College Foundation has set a goal to increase donor giving during the 24-hour #GivingTuesday event. Donations can be made online.

“No amount is too small, because each dollar makes an impact in a student’s life,” said Foundation development officer, Alison Muncy. “The money raised during the #GivingTuesday campaign will fund book and tuition scholarships for Vol State students. We’ll be sharing the stories of those students and have messages from our donors on social media over the next few weeks.”

Last year, the Volunteer State College Foundation was able to raise enough money on #GivingTuesday to fund nine book scholarships for students at the college. To donate and for more information visit www.volstate.edu/foundation

A Peek Inside the Warf Renovation

Dr. Faulkner needed some pictures of the Warf Renovation project for a presentation, and so we decided to share them with campus. The interior is virtually unrecognizable, as many walls are torn out in areas that used to make up classrooms. The reconfiguration will provide space for a new science lab and faculty offices. The outdoor work, facing Nashville Pike, is for a new Mechatronics lab and more office space.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Vol State in the News

The published research of Stephanie Voris, adjunct faculty member and coordinator of the CHEC facility in Cookeville, was picked up as a story by the Cookeville Herald-Citizen. Her work examines the impact of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder on the family members of combat veterans.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Vol State Faculty Perform Shakespeare on PBS

You can watch two Vol State Upper Cumberland faculty members perform Shakespeare this weekend on the Cookeville PBS station, which can be seen on Nashville area cable systems. David Johnson and Lucas Flatt were in the play Much Ado About Nothing that was produced as part of the Cookeville Performing Arts Center’s Shakespeare in the Park.  The play was performed at Dogwood Park in Cookeville for the community. Lucas played the role of Benedick and David played the role of Dogberry.  Both Lucas and David are seasoned actors and have had leading roles in plays both locally and regionally.

WCTE, the Upper Cumberland Public Television station, brought a full crew and tech truck and live streamed the show. They also recorded the play to air as part of PBS’s Shakespeare Uncovered Series. The play is scheduled to air on Sunday, November 18, at 3:30 pm on WCTE. You can also watch online: https://livestream.com/accounts/14164480/events/8396406

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

English Professor's Battle with Lung Cancer

“If you have lungs, you can get lung cancer,” said Leslie LaChance, professor of English at Vol State, who was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in November of 2017. She added that lung cancer is one of the most underfunded, under researched, and highly stigmatized cancers that exist. It’s considered a smoker’s cancer, yet anyone can get it.

“I developed a really bad cough, it wasn’t going away. My doctor and I thought that it was my asthma flaring up and that I needed to get on a different inhaler. A few days later I got a little lump in my neck. It was a lymph node that had swollen up, which could be a sign of something infectious or of something metastatic,” she explained. In her case, it was metastatic. After seeing multiple doctors and receiving CT scans, she got a call two days later stating that it was lung cancer and that it had spread to her lymphatic system. At stage four, the cancer was technically incurable, yet it was treatable.

Leslie discovered that it was an extremely rare form of cancer, caused by a genetic mutation of the ROS1 gene. Her doctor informed her of a drug specifically designed to treat her type of cancer through targeted therapy. On the day she was supposed to begin the treatment, she woke up unable to breathe. She called her doctor, who told her to get to the ER right away. On arrival, Leslie had emergency heart surgery.

“I’m lucky I woke up, because what happened was a bunch of cancer cells had attacked the fluid around my heart and the pericardium, there was all kind of fluid buildup around the heart.” Following the heart surgery, she began the treatment.

“Sadly, in May, I had some follow up scans and it showed that the drug had stopped working.” The cancer had developed a resistance to the drug. “Cancer is really clever and it will do whatever it can to survive.” It had metastasized to her brain. “I had about 20 small tumors in my brain.” At that point there were no drugs available, that she knew of, to treat her type of cancer that had spread to the brain. “The only solution was to go into a chemotherapy kind of thing, and I would have had to have whole brain radiation,” she said.

Leslie began doing research. A tremendous amount of research. “I tried to Google myself to PhD in lung cancer,” she said. In the meantime, she joined a Facebook support group for those with ROS1 cancer. “It’s a group that calls themselves the ROS1DERS (pronounced ROS wonders) because we keep finding ways to stay alive apparently.”

From the support group, she located a clinical trial in Boston for another targeted therapy that would treat her type of cancer, both in the brain and the body, by penetrating the blood-brain barrier. She qualified for the trial. “I got myself a plane ticket and I was there the next week.” 

By July, she had no evidence of disease in her body. “All of the tumors in my brain were gone, I just had a tiny little bit, and by September that tiny little bit was gone. It does not mean I’m cured. It means I have no visible cancer in my body. I have it at the molecular level, but as long as this drug keeps it suppressed, I won’t have tumor growth. So, I can kind of walk around like a normal person.” The current side effects that she’s dealing with are fatigue, forgetfulness, and neuropathy in her hands. 
“Different things work for different people. So many factors determine it. This just happened to work for me. So, I come up lucky on this one … We don’t know how long it will work for, or how long I’ll be able to tolerate it,” she explained.

“The most important thing I’ve discovered is that it’s really important to be your own best advocate. Play an active role in your treatment and treatment decisions. Think of your doctor more as a partner, not necessarily as the person in charge … I’m going to be that person that tells people to do their own research. By doing research, I learned it’s good to do research.”

November is Lung Cancer awareness month. Leslie’s first year “cancerversary” was on Nov. 9, 2018, which was the day she was diagnosed. LUNGevity Foundation is one of the major fundraisers for Lung Cancer research, also providing patient education and support. They’ll host a walk on November 17th at 8:00 A.M. in Nashville, and you can get involved. Colleagues of Leslie have formulated a support group called the “Lit Wits” who will participate in the event together. Everyone is welcome to join them in the walk.

Please visit LUNGevity.org/Nashville to register to volunteer or to find out more information. To donate to or join Leslie’s group, please search “Lit Wits” in the search bar on the website.

Leslie is retiring from Vol State at the end of the current fall semester. She plans to return to next fall as an adjunct faculty member. Leslie has been channeling her writing energy into her blog, which she started in response to her journey with cancer. You can follow her blog at: sojournandstardust.blogspot.com

-By Rachel Keyes

Cookeville Faculty Member PTSD Family Research Published

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a tragic condition, recently highlighted by a mass shooting in California. A combat veteran there killed 12 people in a bar. Friends and relatives say the former Marine suffered from PTSD. The condition doesn’t just impact those afflicted, friends and family have to deal with effects of PTSD. Vol State adjunct faculty member Stephanie Voris, who is also the coordinator at the Cookeville Higher Education Campus (CHEC), was recently published in a journal for her research with PTSD and the wives of veterans. Here is how she explains it:

“My research was part of an opportunity I took in my Master’s Program with New Mexico State University. I have an interest in combat veteran spouses due to my own history with the military at Fort Campbell, Ky. Further, I have direct relatives who suffered secondary trauma from PTSD and Shell Shock aftereffects from both a WWI combat veteran great grandfather and a WWII combat veteran grandfather.”

“Whereas research has been abundant in recent decades regarding PTSD and/or Traumatic Brain Injury in combat veterans, little has been sought in the livelihood after military service of combat veteran spouses who are often the ones picking up the pieces post-combat. In a time of “Thank you for your service,” spouses often hear: “…and thank your husband for his service.” While combat veterans often need help with acclimating into civilian society, spouses needs and struggles tend to be ignored.”

“My study was a qualitative analysis on the struggles that combat veteran spouses face while attempting to support their spouses and in acclimating to the civilian sector. Findings include troubling emotional, financial, and social challenges and, further, social and emotional isolation from both military and civilian communities. Further research is needed in how to better accommodate transitioning for both combat veteran and spouse post-service and also how to give spouses a needed voice throughout and after active military life.“

Story Slam Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the Second Annual Vol State Live Story Slam, student Ryan Kennedy and Nicole Black, shown here with poet and Story Slam host Jon Goode. Students in COMM 2025 and COMM 2045 classes study the art of storytelling. They tell stories in their classes, and then compete in Story Slams within their class and then a finalists' round held online. This enables on-ground and online students to connect by hearing each other's stories. This event started with a TBR grant given to Shellie Michael and Sheri Waltz, which also included the development of a storytelling curriculum in COMM 2025 and COMM 2045.