Tuesday, January 22, 2019

MLK Event Wednesday

MLK Commemoration: A Day of Peace and Reconciliation,Wednesday, January 23rd • 11:30 AM • Caudill Auditorium
Gather for a candlelight vigil and a brief video to remember those lost these past years through mass shootings and other senseless acts of violence throughout the country. After this tribute, we will screen Dr. Martin Luther King’s renowned “I Have A Dream” speech at the March on Washington in 1963. A reception will follow.

Erin Bloom Journal Publication

Congrats to Math and Science faculty member Erin Bloom for her recent publication in the Journal of Crustacean Biology. Here is the title and abstract:

“Systematics and description of a new species of Faxonius Ortmann, 1905 (Decapoda: Astacidea: Cambaridae) from the Red River system of Kentucky and Tennessee, USA”
Erin T. Bloom, Brittany L. McCall, Guenter A. Schuster, and Rebecca E. Blanton.

Faxonius barrenensis (Rhoades, 1944) is endemic to the Green River system of Kentucky and Tennessee, USA and closely related to Faxonius mirus (Ortmann, 1931), which is restricted to Tennessee River tributaries in Tennessee and Alabama. A crayfish with morphological affinities to these species (Faxonius sp.) occurs in the Red River system (Cumberland River Drainage) of Kentucky and Tennessee. Whether the latter represents a disjunct population of F. barrenensis, F. mirus, or a distinct species, has not been tested. Whether the shared morphological traits reflect shared ancestry or convergence is unknown. We used molecular and morphological data, including two mitochondrial (COI and 16S) and two nuclear (28S and GAPDH) genes and a standard suite of phenotypic measurements to examine the phylogenetic relationships and the taxonomic status of Faxonius sp., relative to F. barrenensis, F. mirus, and other species of Faxonius Ortmann, 1905. All gene datasets recovered focal taxa as a clade, implying their morphological similarities likely reflect shared ancestry. In all mitochondrial and combined gene trees, Faxonius sp. was recovered as genetically divergent from F. barrenensis and F. mirus. Faxonius sp. is phenotypically distinguished from F. barrenensis and F. mirus based on several characteristics including shorter rostrum, longer abdomen, wider areola, and straight margins on both mandibles (toothed in F. mirus; toothed and straight in F. barrenensis); Form I males have a strong angular shoulder on the gonopod, in comparison to F. barrenensis. Given these findings, we describe Faxonius sp. as Faxonius bellator n. sp. Faxonius bellator n. sp. has been collected at only four localities, suggesting it has a small range and warrants conservation concern.

Vol State in the News

The recent announcement that Vol State has acquired land for a new Wilson County campus has attracted quite a bit of attention on TV, in local papers, and on news websites.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Vol State Announces Land Acquisition for Wilson County Campus

This Wilson County Campus news release will be coming out this week. We gave the Tennessean an advance copy since they have been following the story. Dr. Faulkner will provide status updates in the forums, as usual.

Volunteer State Community College has a verbal agreement with a land owner who is donating property for a new Vol State campus in Wilson County near Mt Juliet. The State Building Commission has approved the purchase of additional adjacent land needed for the facility. The college is currently working through the multi-part State process. The finished facility will be a new building with multiple classrooms and other educational facilities that will allow Vol State to offer a variety of classes. The size of the building and a timeline for the project are still being determined.

“This campus will allow us to better serve Wilson County, and residents in the surrounding areas. We have offered classes in the county, including dual enrollment classes in the high schools, for many years. We are excited to be able to expand those offerings with a new Vol State location,” said Vol State president, Jerry Faulkner. “There is still much to be done and we will be reaching out to the community to raise the funds needed for the initial payment on the property.”

Vol State currently has campuses in Gallatin, Springfield, Livingston, and Cookeville. More than 9,000 students were enrolled in the fall of 2018.

Warf Reno Work Tours

Faculty and staff had the opportunity to see the renovation work in the Warf Building last week. While the inside work will look much the same as we showed you a few weeks ago, the progress outside has been dramatic. Those on the tour viewed the concrete slab that will soon be a hallway and new offices for the expansion of the building. There is also cinder block going up and much progress to the Mechatronics part of the building. There have been plenty of updates inside the building as well, just not as visually noticeable for pictures.

One feature that will be much appreciated are the new student study-lounge areas at the Duffer Plaza entrance and at the back of the building near Pickel. Faculty were excited to see the walls up for their classrooms. The work is still on schedule for fall 2019 completion.

Cumberland Rep Visits The Feed

Rev. Mike Ripski, University Chaplain at Cumberland University, visited the Vol State Feed recently. Cumberland is considering adding a food pantry on their campus and is using The Feed as model. Lori Miller met with Rev. Ripski to discuss guidelines, paperwork, food drives, purchasing, and the work flow at The Feed.

Sustainability Work Highlighted

Congrats to Plant Ops for being highlighted in a publication by APPA— Leadership in Educational Facilities. Vol State was one of only three community colleges in the publication, which included universities across the nation. The two Vol State articles were about LED outdoor lights and automated controls and active management.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Vol State in Upper Cumberland Christmas Parades

The Cookeville Higher Education Campus (CHEC) and Vol State at Livingston have been participating in Christmas parades. CHEC entered a float in the Cookeville parade that students worked to decorate.They had great participation. Vol State at Livingston had the Vol State Campus Police car in the Overton, Clay, Pickett and Jackson Parades.

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.

A Vol State grad is highlighted in a CNBC story free tuition programs in the United States. 

WPLN, NPR Radio in Nashville, did an update recently with the Bare family, four people all enrolling at Vol State using TN Reconnect this fall. The follow-up is not surprising, two are continuing classes in the spring and two are not. We will continue the important work to help folks who are struggling with the demands of family life and college.

Our Outstanding Fall graduate was Cesar Espinosa from Cookeville, he received this write-up in the Herald-Citizen.

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