Wednesday, March 27, 2013

National Honors for Vol State Advertising

Vol State picked up Gold for TV advertising in the Paragon Awards for the National Council of Marketing and Public Relations. The competition included hundreds of community colleges in the U.S. and Canada. The top award went to the Joseph James television spot and it drew a big round of applause when shown at the awards ceremony. We'd like to thank Joseph, and all of the students involved in the campaign, for sharing their stories. The ads were created by Clint Smart and Smart Team Media. Way to go Clint!

If you haven't seen the ad yet you can view it, and the other spots, on You Tube:

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Vol State Singers Present “A Night in Italy” - Tickets on Sale Now

“A Night in Italy” is available close to home thanks to an annual Volunteer State Community College event that combines music and dinner. The Vol State Singers can transport you without ever leaving the USA. Vol State students will be performing “A Night in Italy” on April 19 and 20 at the Ramer Great Hall on the Vol State campus in Gallatin at 6:30 p.m. The menu is an Italian buffet. The $20 tickets must be purchased in advance at the Humanities Division office in the Ramer Building room 101 on the Vol State campus, 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin. The proceeds will benefit the Visual and Performing Arts scholarship fund. For more information call 615-230-3201.

Hands-on Science Fun for Kids and Parents at Vol State

The Vol State  Science and Math Expo explores the “Human Element” this year with a full-size “Operation Man” and Lego engineering. It’s the twelfth year for the annual event, which brings in hundreds of kids and parents to explore science. There will be more than fifty demonstrations and hands-on activities covering subjects from chemistry and biology to environmental science and astronomy. The Expo is designed for kids from kindergarten through middle school. The activities are put together by Vol State Science and Math students, who gain a new perspective on science and math education.

This year's theme focuses on the science and math of the human body,” said event co-organizer Glenn McCombs. “Our Vol State students design the activities for the secondary school students and their parents and grandparents to enjoy. Our students shine every year and we anticipate their creativity and willingness to engage the community will be outstanding once again.”

Activities this year include many returning favorites: liquid nitrogen balloon dipping, telescope viewing with the Cumberland Astronomical Society, wildlife rehabilitation and animals from Walden’s Puddle, and the always popular egg drop contest.

The Vol State Science and Math Expo will be held on Thursday, April 4 from 2:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. It will take place in and around the Wallace Building on the Vol State campus at 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin. The event is free and open to everyone. For more information call 615-230-3261.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Dr. Faulkner: Vol State Values

There is lots of talk about values.  Family values, American values, traditional values, values associated with a particular religion, etc.  Values are those principles, standards, or qualities that we deem worthwhile or desirable.  In our personal life our values guide our behavior.  They influence how we spend our time and our money.  (“Your heart will be where your treasure is.”)  Values influence how we treat others and how we do our jobs.

Like personal values, an organization has values.  Often these are informal and are part of the culture.  They are communicated by action and not in written form.

A committee was formed in 2008 to work on determining and establishing core values for Volunteer State.  The initial idea was to tie the core values to the newly developed marketing tag line, “The Vol State Difference.”  The original members of the committee were Shanna Jackson, Tim Amyx, Len Assante, Lori Cutrell, Betty Gibson, Lori Johnson, Ken Lovett, Emily Short, and Penny Tucker.

The committee initially engaged the college community at the Fall 2008 Convocation.  Cards were distributed that asked those in attendance, “Why would you send your child to Vol State?” and “Why would you not send your child to Vol State?”  The results were compiled and reviewed by the committee. The committee also visited Belmont University to learn more about their, “It’s All Belmont to Me” campaign which eventually evolved into “Be Belmont.”  A second survey was conducted at the Fall 2008 Campus Forum where participants were asked to list the values that Vol State currently represented and were also asked to state what they felt the College’s values should be.

The committee drafted five core value statements in January 2009.  The committee examined each statement, revised and revised again.  The goal was to ensure that all members of the campus community could find their role in each value.  The final draft was completed in December, 2009.

This Fall at a cabinet retreat, the questioned emerged, “Who are we?”  To address the question, the December ’09 document was retrieved.  This Spring, members of the original committee were assembled with some substitutions and additions.   The original statement was presented to cabinet and adopted. 

Over the next five weeks we will roll out the five values that Volunteer State Community College has adopted.  Just like our personal values, these institutional values should inform and influence our behavior.  The original committee has now shifted into implementation.  We will reveal one value each of the next five weeks and there will be activities to reinforce the meaning of each.  The goal is that these values not be just ink on paper but that they are a genuine, living part of who we are – that they are at our core.

**Thanks to Tim Amyx for providing me with the history of the core values committee.

Vol State in the News: Park and Ride update and Math and Science Dean on TV

Nancy Morris is a star! And while we always knew that, now she's also a star for Goodwill of Middle Tennessee. You may have seen the Math and Science dean in a new commercial for Goodwill. She explains why the organization is important to her.  If you haven't seen it yet you can check it out here.

City leaders are moving forward with plans to create a new Park and Ride lot at Greenlea and Nashville Pike, just down the street from campus. Here is an update from the Gallatin News Examiner, with comments from Dr. Faulkner on what it could mean for our students.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Vol State April Calendar of Events

Through April 14

Sumner County Elementary Art Exhibit, Monday through Saturday 6am to 9pm, Ramer Great Hall


Stan Pearson- motivational speaker, Cafeteria, 12:30pm


Science and Math Expo, hands-on activities for kids, Wallace Building, 2:30pm to 6pm


Sumner County Elementary Art Exhibit reception Ramer Great Hall, 3:30pm-5:30pm


Sumner Emergency Management Command Post on campus to commemorate Vol State 2006 tornado, 9am to 4pm


Honors Lecture: "Who were the first environmentalists?", Merritt McKinney, Caudill 102, 12:30pm


Clearly You event for students, your photo placed onto a cube or necklace as a gift, free, Wood Campus Center, 12:30pm-6:30pm


Evening student event, free food, 5:30pm -until it’s gone, Wood Campus Center hallway


Vol State Home Plate Family Day, Library Lawn 11am-4pm


Sumner Bluegrass Jamboree, Caudill Hall,

10am-6pm, Free and open to the public


Comm Week: Hal Ramer Oratorical Contest and Sigma Chi Eta induction, Caudill Hall, 12:15pm


Vol State Spring Fling, student clubs and organizations, Duffer Plaza, 10am-2pm


TMTA Math Contest,

Pickel Field House, 9am-2pm


"The Federal Reserve and the Coming Economic Crash in the United States", discussion by Dr. Michael Lenz, Carpeted Dining Room, 12:20 p.m.


Retirement Celebration, Carpeted Dining Room, 1:30-3:30pm

19, 20

A Night in Italy: concert and dinner, Vol State Singers perform, advance tickets required-$20 available in the Humanities Office, Ramer room 101, event in the Ramer Great Hall, 6:30pm


Honors Lecture: "Mother Water", Keith Bell,

Caudill 102, 12:30pm

23 - May 4

Vol State Student Art Exhibition, Monday through Saturday 6am to 9pm Ramer Great Hall


Job Career Fair, Pickel Field House, 10am-1pm

26, 27

Music Department Spring Concert and CD Release Party, Wemyss Auditorium in Caudill Hall 7:30pm $5 admission $10 with CD


Highland Crest Spring Carnival in Springfield many events on campus, 10am-2pm


Commercial Music Ensemble live at the Gallatin Springfest, Gallatin Square, Noon

Monday, March 18, 2013

Congratulations Bobby!

Congratulations to Vol State Athletic Director Bobby Hudson! He was named the 2013 Distinguished Alumni at the annual Vol State Alumni Breakfast last week. Bobby graduated with an associate of science degree from Vol State way back in 1979. He went on to receive a bachelor's degree and master's degree from MTSU. Bobby joined Vol State in 1986. He's one of our best known faculty and staff members in the community and has received numerous honors in his years, including induction into the Tennessee Junior College Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2008.

Dr. Faulkner: What do ya’ think?

Quick!  What is the topic of our QEP?  If you are asking yourself, “What is a QEP?” then you are really behind. 

Our Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) topic is critical thinking.  We have determined that a need among our students is to have better critical thinking skills.  And, we have created a five year plan to incorporate more critical thinking in our classes and student experiences.

A recent article in Training Magazine asks, “How Do You Think?”  It caused me to pause and think (intentional use of term) about what we are doing as administration, faculty, and staff to improve our own critical thinking skills.

The article talks about critical thinking styles and a recent survey using a Pearson Publishing product that assesses My Thinking Styles. You can take the assessment for $15 and receive a report that measures your thinking style.    The author proposes that there are seven thinking styles.
(Analytical, Inquisitive, Insightful, Open-Minded, Systematic, Timely and Truth Seeking)  The article continues by offering “Five Steps to Thinking Better” duplicated below:

-Stop and think about your thinking.  What are you trying to achieve?

-Recognize assumptions that may not be true.  Sort out the facts from opinions.

-Evaluate information in a systematic and objective way.  Is the information relevant?  Are you being objective?

-Draw conclusions that match the information at hand.  Are you missing anything?

-Develop a plan of action that brings your decision to life.

There are a couple of lessons we can draw from this article: Different people have different thinking styles – different ways of approaching problems and decisions.  That is a good thing.  There is strength in diversity of thought.  We shouldn’t be come disagreeable just because we disagree.  We need to consider as many factors as possible to make the best decisions possible.

We could all strengthen our critical thinking abilities.  If it is a skill we say students should have, then we should model it in our own approach.

-Dr. Faulkner

Chartrand, J. “How Do You Think.”  Training Magazine.  Vol. 50, No. 1. January/ February, 2013

Vol State in the News

He was elected to Goodlettsville city government and attended the Democratic National Convention. He particpated in a student science research project, presenting about the program, and now student Zach Young is one of Sumner County’s Most Influential People in 2013.

Vol State students have been named to the All-Tennessee Academic Team by Phi Theta Kappa. The story in the Tennessean.

The Gallatin News Examiner has this coverage of the Lady Pioneers tournament wins that lead them to the NJCAA national basketball tournament this week.

Logistics Tour

Last week Bud Houck, Distribution Center Manager, and David Norrod, Shift Supervisor, treated Vol State Students and Faculty to a tour of A. O. Smith Corporation's 600,000 square foot water heater distribution center in Ashland City. Bud and David showed their Vol State visitors A. O. Smith's innovative methods for loading / unloading trucks, material handling, scanning, documentation, labeling, safety, and security.

Bud Houck is a graduate of the Vol State LGM program.Over the last 16 months, Bud Houck has participated in events for APICS, ISM, and CSCMP.

The Ashland City Distribution Center not only handles products manufactured at A. O. Smith's Tennessee facilities, but also ships to and receives water heater products from many other A. O. Smith facilities, including China and Mexico.

Before the tour, Bud Houck told the Vol State group about the history of the Distribution Center, including how the facility recovered from the flood of May 2010 (6 feet of water throughout the facility), and the huge influx of water heater orders from the Northeast generated by Hurricane Sandy's storm damage to homes and businesses in NY, NJ, and CT.

Participating in the A. O. Smith tour were (left to right below) Associate Professor George Wilson, Deborah Dockins, Carrie Irvin, Supervisor David Norrod, Karen Albritton, Brenda Fennell, Asjunct Instructor Beverly Wilson, Manager Bud Houck, Dawn Leady, and John Kemper.

Brenda Fennell and Deborah Dockins both work at Lochinvar, an A. O. Smith facility in Lebanon, so Brenda and Deborah were particularly interested in touring the Ashland City Distribution Center.

-George Wilson, Vol State Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Ireland - Friday

 Dr. Faulkner has this final report from the student and faculty trip to Ireland this week:      

Our last day in Ireland was very beneficial.  We traveled to the Limerick campus of Limerick Institute of Technology.  Our ensemble performed to a small but receptive audience in their auditorium.  The President of the college and other members of the administration attended.

        We had good conversations with the President and the Vice President for External Relations.  We explored a variety of options for their faculty and students to visit us at Vol State.  They do not have a model for short term intensive study like our TnCIS opportunities and so we are encouraging them to pilot something that would be innovative for the entire nation.  It appears our initial efforts may be in music or IT.

        A short blog for today since we will need to leave at 3:00 a.m. to reach Dublin airport for our 8:00 a.m. flight back to the U.S.  I think I can speak for the group when I say it has been a great trip, but we are ready to come home.

-Dr. Faulkner

Friday, March 15, 2013

Ireland - Thursday

        Today was religious culture day.  95% of the population of the Republic of Ireland is Catholic.  There has been significant conversation and news coverage about the election of the new Pope.  Cathedrals and churches are prominent in every city and town.  I mentioned in an earlier post about St. Mary's here in Thurles.  There is also St. Patrick's Cathedral near the center of town.

        This morning we had a short coach ride to Cashel which is located south west of Thurles.  We attended mass at St. John the Devine church.  The parish priest is also the chaplain of Limerick Institute of Technology.  (Another difference in Irish culture is the lack of separation of church and state.)  Three members of our ensemble were invited to provide music and song during the service.

        After a break for coffee, tea, and biscuits our group hiked out of town and up to the promontory referred to as the Rock of Cashel.  This fortress and cathedral was established in the 12th century.  Presently all that remains are the stone walls and architectural features of the site.  Even in a state of disrepair it is an impressive structure.  We viewed a short video presentation on the history of religion in Ireland and the role of the Rock through the centuries.

        After lunch there was free time to explore the town of Cashel and do a little shopping.

        On the way back to Thurles, we stopped briefly at the Holy Cross Abbey.  A volunteer docent gave us a quick tour of the Abbey and explained it's lengthy history.  The abbey was established in the 12th century.  Formerly occupied by Cistercian monks, the abbey was restored in the 15th century by the Butler family who owned Kilkenny Castle which we visited yesterday.  The building has had several additional restorations of various parts and is an active congregation today.

        In the evening our cultural experience was to observe and participate in some authentic Irish step dancing.  It was great exercise and an opportunity to participate in the culture.  There was no Lord of the Dance among us and the senior citizens who were our instructors really tired us out.

-Dr. Faulkner

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ireland - Wednesday

Dr. Faulkner has been traveling with our students and faculty in Ireland. This is his latest blog:

        The main reason for providing international study opportunities to our students, staff and faculty  is to help develop intercultural competency.  The definition of intercultural competency that we are using for this trip is from Byram (1977). The definition is  "Knowledge of others; knowledge of self; skills to interpret and relate; skills to discover and/or interact; valuing others' values, beliefs, and behaviors, and revitalizing one's self."  This doesn't always happen in classroom or in a formal instructional event.  It often happens by getting out to visit cultural sites.

        A short coach ride brought us to the town of Kilkenny.  The country side is beautiful and it is obvious why this is the Emerald Isle.  Having been in constant agricultural use for many centuries, the landscape is a series of fields and pastures.  While some fences are present, the old hedge-rows divide the parcels.  With agriculture one of the top two drivers of the Irish economy, the farming way of life creates a close tie to the land.

        Coming from Tennessee, it is painfully obvious that there are no major forests, at least in this part of Ireland.  We saw some tree farms but they were small pine plots and not the mixed mesophytic and deciduous forests we have in our part of the world.  The land is very flat with a few uplands equivalent to our ridges.

        In Kilkenny we visited Kilkenny Castle, the ancestral home of the Butler family.  Built in 1219, the castle was purchased in 1391 by James , the 3rd Earl of Ormond, the first of the 600 year ownership by the Butlers.  The Butlers ceased to live there in 1935 and the castle fell in to extreme disrepair.  The family presented the castle and grounds to the people of Kilkenny in 1967 for a token payment of 50 pounds.  The Office of Public Works has done a near miraculous job of restoring the castle.

        The visit emphasized how the history of Ireland has shaped it's culture.   Heritage is paramount and explains why Gaelic is spoken and a required subject in schools even though it is spoken no where else in the world.  Yesterday at Presentation school we met three girls that are part of the Gaelic debate team and they are on their way to the national competitions.  Today was a great day for developing intercultural competency.  

       Part of the joys of these kind of trips are the moments of serendipity when we encounter interesting persons.  In the afternoon, Dean Espey met and talked with an Irish economist that has done work in helping to restore the economies of many former Soviet block countries and helped them gain entry into the European Union.  He has some interesting ideas about rebuilding economies and I would love to be able to arrange to have him visit us at Vol State.

        In the evening, we visited Monk's Pub.  We were able to hear traditional Irish music.  Our ensemble performed separately and also joined in for a "jam" session with the the locals.  Pubs are the center of much of Irish social life and another good opportunity for learning about the culture.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Ireland - Tuesday

Dr. Faulkner continues his reports from Ireland:

        Another great day in Ireland.  The weather moderated some today.  After two days of freezing temperatures with 30 mph wind gusts and snow showers, we had a sunny day with much calmer winds.

        We had a little free time this morning and so Wanda and I walked into the center of Thurles.  I continue to be amazed at the ancient architecture  mixed in with the modern.  In the middle of town we saw and photographed a medieval stone tower.  When we approached, we found that the ground floor of the tower was a woman's apparel shop.  We also visited the church yard and cemetery of St. Mary's Church which was built in 1820.  Worship still occurs monthly but a good part of the building is taken up by a museum about the great Irish famine.  Unfortunately it was closed and though a passerby offered to fetch the caretaker to open it for us, we had run out of time and regrettably had to decline.

        In the afternoon we visited Presentation School.  The school was established by the Presentation Order of nuns, but is now a public school.  It is a girls school equivalent to our middle and high school.  Our ensemble provided two performances and received standing ovations.  For many of these young student, this was their first exposure to blue grass music.

        We were able to meet and interact with many of the students.  It was interesting to hear what careers the students had in mind and they seemed more decisive and to have clearer plans than most American students at the same age. 

        We met with the Principal and Deputy Principal.  We discussed a variety of topics and found that they are emphasizing many of the same things we do in the states - STEM, critical thinking, etc.  We  explored a variety of possible options for short term student trips to the states and some possible professional development for their faculty.  We look forward to continuing and enhancing this relationship.

-Dr. Faulkner

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ireland - Monday

Dr. Faulkner is traveling with Vol State students and faculty in Ireland. Here is his latest report:

        Today was a good day with many opportunities for connecting with the colleges in the area.

        While most of the group traveled by motor coach from Dublin to Thurles, Penny Duncan, Wanda and I met with representatives of Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT).  Their President, Brian Norton, gave a presentation on the college past, present and future plans.  DIT is a comprehensive institution with about 20,000 students.  They award certificates and degrees all the way from certificates in welding and auto body to Ph.D. degrees.  Currently they are in  39 different locations in Dublin.  Each location represents a different discipline or program.  We met at Grangegorman which is a 75 acre site of a former mental institution.  Most of the old buildings have been demolished.  Their plan is to relocate the entire  campus to this site by 2017.

        They have an early -childhood bachelors and masters degree and Penny was able to have some important conversations about possible exchange opportunities.  We also talked about other student and faculty exchange opportunities to follow up on once we return to Vol State.

        Most interesting to me were the many things they are doing to retain students.  Some were similar to our own efforts.  They are anxious to improve their 75% graduation rate.

        After our meeting there we boarded a train to catch up with the group in Thurles.  A brief taxi ride from the train station brought us to the Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) in Thurles.  This would be analogous to our Livingston campus.  They have a beautiful, modern campus with a wide range of offerings.

        Student Erin Fezell presented to two classes about our Intro to Programming class's creation of the Donut Text mobile app for Android.  Our bluegrass ensemble gave an excellent and well received performance in the main entrance area that would be similar to our Ramer Great Hall.  It was well attended by student, staff and Faculty of LIT.  There were many opportunities for one-on-one interactions and we were warmly received.  Again Penny was able to talk with two faculty members from LIT that are heavily involved in teacher education.

        Back at the hotel, we had a brief organizational meeting and an opportunity to talk about the assignment on intercultural competency.  We had dinner together in the hotel restaurant and there was much conversation about the cultural differences and similarities that we are observing.
-Dr. Faulkner

Monday, March 11, 2013

Vol State takes to the Emerald Isle!

Vol State music students, faculty and staff are in Ireland this week. They'll be playing concerts, meeting Irish musicians and learning more about Celtic music traditions. Dr. Faulkner is traveling with them and he has this first blog from the trip:

        After a one day delay because of the snow in the northeast, the Vol State group arrived in the Emerald Isle on early Sunday morning.  Although we had two starting times and two different routes to New York, we all met up there for the overnight flight to Dublin.  Only one lost piece of luggage.

        After checking in at our hotel, we set out for a tour of Dublin.  Our time in Dublin now shortened because of the flight delay.  One immediate difference between the U.S. and Ireland is the presence the Gaelic language.  Although everyone speaks English, most signs are in English and Gaelic.  Announcements on the local tram (train) are made in both.

        Speaking of mass transit, it is convenient, inexpensive, clean, and fast.  Our group took the light rail train into the center city where double decker buses were abundant.  Our group had reservations for a city, hop on-hop off tour operation.

        The age of the city is impressive having been established as a Viking colony in the 1300s.  Many of the buildings date back to the 1700s.  The Irish tend to preserve and repurpose structures and so much of the older architecture is preserved.  Trinity College and St. Patrick's Cathedral are beautiful and impressive.  At the same time, where appropriate, new structures rival any of those in the states.  There is an abundance of parks including Phoenix Park which is twice the size of New York's Central Park.

        The Irish people are friendly and welcoming and we are looking forward to our interactions and to enhancing our intercultural competency.    

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Vol State Athletes in the News

The TJCAA basketball tournament is underway. The women had a big win Wednesday night and the men play their first game Thursday. You can listen to the games and get updated info here.

The Vol State baseball team is turning up the heat. They added a win to the record earlier this week.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What makes you feel appreciated?

A few weeks ago I read (on my Kindle app for my iPad) Gary Chapman and Paul White’s book The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace:  Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People.  This is a companion to an earlier bestselling book titled The Five Love Languages:  The secret to Love That Lasts which sold six million copies in English and has been translated into forty languages around the world. 

In the introduction the book states, “The number one factor in job satisfaction is not the amount of pay but whether or not the individual feels appreciated and valued for the work they do.”  That may sound ludicrous but think of how many times you have heard someone say, “You couldn’t get me to work in ______________ office no matter how much you pay me!”

Chapman and White build on this premise by offering that what makes one person feel appreciated does not make another person feel appreciated.  Then they proceed to lay out suggestions for five different ways that appreciation can be expressed.  They are:

Words of Affirmation – verbally praising the person

Quality Time – giving the person your undivided attention

Acts of Service – providing assistance to one’s colleagues

Tangible Gifts – give a real gift the person values

Physical Touch – appropriate physical touch like a handshake or a pat on the back

The book was written to help managers and leaders know how to motivate employees.  I would submit that the same languages could be used to motivate students.

So how about you?  What makes you feel appreciated?  Let’s see if we can get a little exchange going here.  Click on “comment” at the bottom of this article and post an anonymous story of how someone made you feel appreciated.

-Dr. Jerry Faulkner

EMS Ambulance Honors

The Tennessee Ambulance Service Association (TASA) presented the 2012 awards at their recent conference in Gatlinburg. The nominations were submitted from all over Tennessee by EMS providers, educators, and administrators. The award winners were selected by a committee that reviewed and voted on each nomination. The Tommy Erwin Lifetime Achievement Award was presented posthumously to Jackie W. Wilkerson. Jackie’s family was at the banquet to receive the award. Jackie served as Chairman of the Vol State EMS Education Advisory Committee for over 20 years. Jackie was also a Vol State AAS degree graduate. (L-R) Keith Douglas, Robert Davis( VSCC), Wilkerson Family, Donna Tidwell and Dwight Davis (State EMS)

The Dr. C. Robert Clark EMS Medical Director award was presented to Dr. John A. Nixon. Dr. Nixon had been a practicing physician for over 30 years. Dr. Nixon has served as Vol State EMS Education Medical Director for 20 years. He also serves as Vol State EMS Adjunct Faculty and on the EMS Education Advisory Committee.

(L-R) Chip Brake (sponsor) and Dr. John A. Nixon.
Please join me, the EMS Education faculty, and the proud family members in remembering the legacy and celebrating the achievement of our award recipients . 

-Robert Davis

Monday, March 4, 2013

Faculty – Consider a Trip to the Netherlands

There’s plenty to be learned by visiting academic colleagues overseas. The Vol State International Education program is putting a call out for Vol State faculty members who want to travel to the Netherlands later this year. It is part of an ongoing academic exchange program we have with Dutch colleges. Karen Hutson went last year. She was interested in how they teach Dutch as a second language.

“It was beyond what I thought it would be,” she said. “I could see the way they managed the program. I observed several different sites and several different teachers. It was really interesting seeing how their school system worked. It broadened my whole view. I got some really good ideas.”

Hutson was in Utrecht. She was hosted by Ria Gerrits, who teaches Dutch as a second language at ROC Midden-Nederland. Karen stayed in Gerrits' home as part of the exchange. 

“At first I thought that would be uncomfortable. But they (the organizers) are really good at pairing you up, so it really worked out great. She was great. When they pair you up it’s usually a person of your same age and we had a lot of the same interests.”

It’s not all work. Hutson had the opportunity to visit Amsterdam, check out a real castle and see the famous Dutch tulip fields.

Hutson also hosted Garrett when she made the trip to the United States. Many people feel uncomfortable about that aspect of the exchange, but Huston says it went quite well.

“Ann-Marie had done so much planning for the visit here that it made it easy. We didn’t see each other all of the time and didn’t have to entertain her all of the time. But she cooked dinner for us one time and we shared lots of our food and culture.”

When asked if she would do it again Huston responds with an immediate yes.

“It was really incredible.”

If you’re interested in an exchange program with a Dutch faculty member contact Ann-Marie Ruttenbur soon. She can send you an info sheet and application. The deadline to apply is April.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Dr. Faulkner: Kudos

Within the past week I have had occasions to be in meetings regarding our Highland Crest campus in Springfield and at our Livingston campus.  I continue to be impressed each time I visit.

First and foremost I am impressed by the levels of support for our presence in these two communities.  At the meeting in Springfield there was palpable excitement at the prospect of moving forward.  There was a good discussion about looking beyond our initial three year agreement and about how we could raise scholarships for students from Robertson County to be able to attend Vol State at the Highland Crest site.  In Livingston, we have a base of support that highly values the center and puts that into action by doing things like the annual Vol-E Ball.  (Which, by the way, is coming up on April 19)  With community help, we are initiating a “Vol State First” campaign to encourage prospective students to consider Vol State as their initial destination.

Secondly, I’m impressed by the hard work and dedication of our teams.  Mike Powell and Kelly Miller do great work in leading our employee teams at their respective locations.  Our folks demonstrate each day that “student success is job one.”

These same levels of support are evidenced at Gallatin and McGavock and the many other locations where Vol State reaches out to our service area.  We are so fortunate to have team members at all our locations that put students first.

Kudos to all!!

-Dr. Jerry Faulkner

Vol State in the News

A Vol State Education alumnus has been named Teacher of the Year at her school:

The Gallatin News Examiner has this story about preps for the second annual Sumner County Bluegrass Jamboree:

The Vol State Baseball and Softball teams are on a roll again:

Baseball has won three of four to improve to 6 and 4 on the season.