Friday, December 12, 2014

Childcare Emergency Plan Project Recognized

Vol State has once again been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The honor goes to an innovative Service Learning Project that involved many Vol State classes. 

The 2014 roll recognizes 766 institutions nationwide for community service and Service Learning projects. Here is how the Honor Roll is described by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering and service, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as the American Council on Education, Campus Compact, and the Interfaith Youth Core.

“The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognizes institutions of higher education that support exemplary community service programs and raise the visibility of effective practices in campus community partnerships.”

Congrats to faculty members James Brown and Penny Duncan and their students. Their Childcare Emergency Plan project was the one presented for consideration this year. It was one of the largest Service Learning projects ever attempted at Vol State, involving more than fifty students in several Vol State classes. The students prepared emergency planning kits for 25 child care centers in Sumner County. It’s tough for a small business or nonprofit to find the time or expertise needed to develop a plan.

“It’s designed to be tailored to each individual center,” said Duncan. “Child care directors can put in their own maps and their own emergency contact lists. The new standards that just became required last year by the state, include reunification plans, getting kids back with their parents, evacuation procedures and how to work with children with disabilities.”

“The Criminal Justice students provided all of the emergency plans, the evacuation plan, the reunification plan,” said James Brown, Criminal Justice instructor. “The education students prepared the process, to make sure the kids don’t get scared and they have activities to keep them occupied during an emergency. The most important part for the education students was probably the training plan. Without proper training, staff won’t know what to do in an emergency.”

Just a few of the students and their instructors are shown here at a presentation event held for the day care centers last summer.

The plan is available for any interested child care operator in Tennessee to download and print for free, on the Vol State website. Visit and then click on “Child Care Emergency Plan.”

Dr. Rick Parrent, Director of Service Learning, points out that this is the second year Vol State has been on the honor roll for Service Learning and community service projects.

Classified Staff Appreciation Award

Staff Council would like congratulate Rhonda Custer, the winner of the Classified Staff Appreciation Award for the month of November! Rhonda is the Secretary III in the Humanities Division.

The other nominees for the month of November were: Jesse Poindexter from the Livingston Campus and Tabatha Roll from the Office of Admissions.

Every month a winner is drawn from the pool of nominees who were seen offering exceptional service to the Vol State community. The award recipient receives a certificate of appreciation and a $20 gift card. Any Vol State employee can fill out the short nomination form to recognize any permanent classified staff employee by going to the Staff Council webpage.

Thank you for supporting this Staff Council initiative and your fellow coworkers!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Dr. Faulkner: Celebrating Christmas Every Day

A few weeks ago I saw a sign that read, "Thanksgiving is not a day. It is a lifestyle."

What if the holidays were not dates on a calendar, but rather were our everyday lifestyle?

What if Hanukkah like celebrations of miracles and the acknowledgement of God's provision are routine?

What if the character traits of Kwanza are our daily pattern?  Unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith are demonstrated daily.

What if the Christmas spirit of caring and giving continued all year?  Charity would be an everyday occurrence and peace on earth and good will toward men would be prominent.

Wanda and I wish you a blessed holiday season and a happy and prosperous new year.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Gene Research Conference at Vol State in January

Databases of gene sequences are like a precious metal waiting to be mined by researchers. In January the Math and Science Division will be hosting a conference for educators to show refined techniques for using those databases to look for similarities in genes, inferring protein structure, location and function within a cell. This is exciting stuff for folks in biology. And it may mean a change in how we think about life on Earth.

"You're talking about millions of species on this planet," said associate professor Parris Powers. "Many species have 10 to 40 thousand different genes that code for as many as 100,000 proteins. This new research frontier of genomic and proteomic annotation are allowing biologists to reclassify organisms according to genomic characteristics."

That could mean a change in how we organize and classify the plant and animal world, which is a big deal for all of us.

Powers is organizing the January 8 and 9 Microbial Genome Annotation Network (MGAN) Workshop at Vol State. It will bring in 40 science educators from nine states. The goal is for the group to find new ways to teach biology utilizing gene databases to do genomic and proteomic annotation as problem based learning. Some of the members will be from the Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative (CCURI) grant program. Others will come from colleges and universities across the country.

Vol State students are also taking part in the workshop. They are part of a new undergraduate research group that will begin exploring genomic annotation at Vol State in the spring semester.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Dr. Faulkner: What I’m Thankful For

Roy Exum was a local columnist and Executive Vice President for the Chattanooga News – Free Press until it was sold in 2001.  His columns were always quite good and cast a critical eye on southern life, sports, and a variety of other topics.  My favorites of his columns were printed on Sundays before Thanksgiving.  Each year he wrote a column of 99 things for which he was thankful.  Here are a few of mine. 

I am thankful for:

1.      Medical science and the degree with which doctors are able to diagnose and treat illnesses both minor and major.
2.      Miracles which sometimes defy the medical logic and surprise the doctors.
3.      Changing seasons in Tennessee.  I really like that there is a noticeable difference in the four seasons without any of them being too severe.  I’ve often said I wouldn’t want to live where the weather was the same all the time.  We will see if I maintain that attitude in my declining years when year-around warmth beckons.
4.      Digital photography that allows me to take thousands of pictures at almost zero cost (beyond the cost of the device.)
5.      Modern technology that allows me to be in constant contact.  Is it a pain in the anatomy some times?  Absolutely.  But the benefits outweigh the down sides.
6.      Church services where there is ample opportunity for worship, praise, prayer, and learning.
7.      The diverse forests in Tennessee.  I really need an occasional dose of nature and fortunately it is never far away.
8.      Those who have served in the U.S.  Military.  All gave some.  Some gave all.
9.      The atmospheric phenomena of Mie Scattering and Rayleigh Scattering that result in the brilliant, colorful sunrises and sunsets so common here in Tennessee.
10.  The many places near here to get in a good walk.  (Station Camp Greenway, Hendersonville Greenway, Town Creek Greenway, Moss-Wright Park, and Bledsoe Creek State Park.)
11.  Music.
12.  Talented, gifted people that use their abilities to help others.
13.  Friends that you can call on at any time, day or night.
14.  Taking touch typing in high school.  It is probably the most important skill I acquired in those four years.
15.  The opportunity to hear the personal stories of hundreds of people who’s lives have been impacted by attending Vol State.

Have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!
-Dr. Jerry Faulkner

Red Solo Cup Repeat

The Red Solo Cup award recognizes outstanding advising for Campus Connect orientation students. Once again, the award goes to the Social Science and Education Division. You may remember that they won the inaugural award last year. Retention Services Director Heather Harper started the Red Solo Cup award to remind everyone of how important academic advising is for new students. Dean Phyllis Foley and former Interim Dean Grady Eades accepted the award for the Division. We are told it is available for viewing in the Division office. Kudos to everyone in Social Science and Education.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Vol State in the News

The Tennessean is catching up with some of our news stories. Here's an article on Vol State science research students traveling to Washington to educate lawmakers on the importance of undergrad research.

Vol State Number 21 in Nation on Student Ranking Site has announced that Vol State placed number 21 in the nation, in terms of student satisfaction, for community and junior colleges for its 2013-2014 report. The measurement combines faculty ratings with campus ratings. More than 8,000 colleges and universities are listed on the site. This is the second year in a row that Vol State has placed in the top 25 nationally.

MTV runs the popular website that has more than 15 million ratings. It asks students to rate professors in terms of how helpful they are and how clear they are. Those categories are used to determine an overall quality score. The overall campus score is judged in several categories, including reputation, internet access, food, library, clubs, social life and overall happiness. Vol State scored four out of five for the campus and 3.83 out of five for the average faculty score.

The complete rankings can be found at

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Vol State Veterans Recognition Lunch

You don't have to go far at Vol State to find someone who has served their nation in the military. Vol State student, faculty and staff veterans were honored, along with veterans from the community, during a lunch today. The group represented all military branches and service spanning many decades and several wars.

Kody Sharman, the president of the Vol State Student Veterans of America chapter, explained the symbolism behind the POW-MIA table, traditionally set during any veterans meal. The chair is reserved for all of the service people held behind enemy lines or missing in action. The salt on one of the plates symbolizes the tears family members have shed.
Dr. Faulkner told the group that support of student veterans can come from everyone at Vol State, but especially from faculty and staff veterans. He asked Veterans Affairs Coordinator Ken Hanson to come up with ideas for how to visually show student veterans which faculty and staff members have served, in hopes that they could become mentors, and even just a friendly person to listen to problems, for the students.

We thanks all veterans on this day for their service. 

For more information on Veterans Affairs at Vol State visit the web page:

Dr. Faulkner: Nostalgia

I recently attended a meeting in Clarksville.  Driving down a street there I passed McReynolds - Nave and Larson Funeral home.  Parked in the front drive was a shiny red 1957 Chevrolet ambulance. I was reminded of the time in my life when all the ambulance services were run by the local mortuary and not by the fire-department or a municipal emergency department. It got me in a nostalgic frame of mind.  I thought about many things that were true in my childhood and early adult life and how the "younger" generation doesn't even know about them.

This reminded me of the Beloit College Mind Set List. Each August since 1998, Beloit College has released the Beloit College Mindset List, providing a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college each fall. The list is prepared by Beloit’s former Public Affairs Director Ron Nief and Keefer Professor of the Humanities Tom McBride.

So I concluded I would prepare my own nostalgia list.  I have to warn you that if you remember all these things you may need to join me in old foggy land.

So do you remember. . . .

Ambulances were run by the local funeral home? 
Police cars did not have blue lights?
How to play Far Away with Coke bottles?
The Three Stooges?
The name of Roy Rogers' horse?
Needing Butch Wax to maintain your flat top?
If the car was really full you could always put a kid on the shelf behind the back seat?
Someone had to get up and walk across the room to change the TV channel?
A party line had nothing to do with a celebration?
If you wanted to look up something you went to the encyclopedia or dictionary?
The Sears -Roebuck catalog was the only way to shop without going to the store?
Teachers had paddles that had nothing to do with boating?
The only music in your car was AM or YOU?
Tennis shoes only came in black or white?
A nine volt transistor radio made music portable.
The initial release of the Hula-Hoop, Slinky, and Silly Putty.
The device you used to make a call actually looked like the phone icon on your smart device.
Grocery items had a price instead of a bar code.
It was all about Hi-fi not Wi-fi.

A trip down memory lane is fun, but I don't want to live there because some of the good old days weren't really all that good.

-Dr. Jerry Faulkner

Vol State in the News

The new CIT A.A.S degree is receiving plenty of attention. At the heart of the new program is certifications, the measure employers use to asses skill levels for IT employees. Here is a story in the Tennessean.

The Lady Pioneers have been battling hard on the court, with mixed results lately. Here's a story in the Gallatin News Examiner.

The men's basketball team is off to a rough start. Here is the latest, also from the Gallatin News Examiner.

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Busy Dr. Torrence

Assistant vice president for Academic Affairs, Dr. Michael Torrence, has been busy in several different areas lately. He graduated from the TBR Maxine Smith Fellowship Program. He was also elected Co-Region 3 Director for the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME). The region includes;  (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee). He is organizing the development of the TNNAME Chapter as well. Congratulations to him.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Dr. Faulkner on Multi-tasking

At the risk of sounding like Gomer Pyle, “Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!”  (You young folks can Google Gomer.)  A recent $439,000 study by Michigan State University found that multi-tasking in class on non-academic activities lowers test scores of all students – even the smartest. The article which appeared in the September issue of Computers and Education looked at non-academic Internet use in an introductory psychology class with 500 students.  The study found that irrespective of intellectual ability, as measured by ACT scores, “attention to distracting information reduces memory performance.”

This confirms what many of us have long suspected – students aren’t paying attention.  I remember in elementary school being prohibited from chewing gum because it distracted from learning.  I don’t really believe that is true, but it is certainly the case that the multiple devices ubiquitous in our classrooms detract from learning if not used appropriately.  This also disproves the contention by students that because they are digital natives they can learn and play at the same time.

Contrary to what you might suspect, the authors do not suggest banning the use of mobile devices in class.  It would be “nearly impossible.”  Instead they suggest that we develop a culture of personal responsibility to educate students to avoid distraction in the same way we remind people to not text and drive.

Another goal of the research was to explain “why unexciting information is more likely to be forgotten. . .” To me that is also a no-brainer.  If it is boring then it doesn’t get attention and without attention there is no memory formed.  This should serve as a challenge to all of us to make our efforts memorable.  I’m not suggesting you stack BBs while standing on your head, but we could all ask how our teaching could be more engaging.

-Dr. Jerry Faulkner

Vol State in the News

The big chemistry competition for our research students made it into the Tennessean and the Lebanon Democrat.

Tennessee Promise is on the front cover of Community College Week.

And also several stories from Nashville Public Radio WPLN including this one on sign-ups and another on mentors.

Classified Staff Appreciation Award

Staff Council would like congratulate Delois Reagan, the winner of the Classified Staff Appreciation Award for the month of October! Delois is the Coordinator in the Learning Commons.

The other nominees for the month of October were:
Bonnita Beasley from Academic Affairs
Rhonda Custer from the Humanities Division
Teresa Jackson from Continuing Education
Sharon Langford from Livingston
Holly Nimmo from Public Relations
Beverly Peden from Learning Commons
Janet Poindexter from Livingston
Tabatha Roll of the Office of Admissions

Every month a winner is drawn from the pool of nominees who were seen offering exceptional service to the Vol State community. The award recipient receives a certificate of appreciation and a $20 gift card. Any Vol State employee can fill out the short nomination form to recognize any permanent classified staff employee by going to the Staff Council web page

Monday, November 3, 2014

Painting for a Good Cause

The Vol state Men's Basketball team helped to paint  a house in Gallatin recently as part of a Habitat for Humanity project. Vol State athletes perform many hours of community service each semester.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Dr. Faulkner: T Shaped Persons

We’ve all likely heard of the hour-glass figure.  One web site says there are four body types – hourglass, spoon, rectangle and triangle.  A few years ago the idea was circulated that whether you were apple shaped or pear shaped had impacts on your future health.  This idea was refuted by a study done at the University of California, Davis.  I have concluded that I am melon shaped.

A few days ago I came across a new term – T shaped person.  The term apparently was first used in 1991 in a London newspaper to describe the type of computer manager in demand in IT fields.  It has since been used to describe candidates in a wide range of employment.

The term describes someone who is skilled in two planes, hence the use of the letter “T.”  The vertical portion of the T describes the depth of skills in a particular area.  For example, having skills in engineering, architecture, accounting, media, or business.  The horizontal portion represents the abilities of the person in relational skills like collaboration, empathy, understanding, and cooperation.  In short it represents both depth and breadth of characteristics.

We have all known person who were “deep” in their field but could not relate to other people.  These are “I” shaped people.  A common complaint from students is, “He/she is a very smart person, but they don’t know how to teach.” 

As a college, we want our students to become T shaped persons.  We want them to be excellent in the knowledge and skills of their chosen career.  But we also want graduates that can excel relationally.  We want our health science students to have great technical skills but also to have a good bed-side manner.  Sometimes the relational skills are a side effect of the program they are in and sometimes they are more purposed. 

Part of developing that horizontal plane is the general education requirement that is part of all our degrees.  What some may call the liberal arts gives our students a breadth of understanding of a variety of aspects of life and the ability to communicate with others both orally and in writing.  Another way we can broaden a student’s relational skills is the way we relate outside the classroom.  Giving exemplary customer service models relational skills for our graduates.

The challenge is for all of us to evaluate our own “shape” and to model a well-balanced “T” for our students.

-Dr. Jerry Faulkner

Hilary Marabeti Honored for Community Impact

Vol State assistant vice-president for Continuing Education and Economic Development, Hilary Marabeti, was honored recently with the "Women Impacting the Community" award from the Hendersonville Area Chamber of Commerce. Six women leaders were honored at the dinner. Lynn Johnson, owner of Primrose School in Hendersonville, presented Hilary with the award. Congratulations to Hilary, it's a well-deserved honor given her 42 years of service in higher education in a number of different roles.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Vol State Student Researchers Take Top Honors in Organic Chemistry Competition

People may not associate community college students with scientific research. However, Vol State students may be changing that perception. Recently Vol State Math and Science students took top honors in a student competition at the Southeastern Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society (SERMACS) in Nashville. Vol State was the only community college to compete and the Vol State students beat out more than eighty other students from universities across the South. Emmy Davis of Hendersonville, Nicole Gammons of Mt. Juliet, and Phillip Martinez of Lebanon received the first place award in the Organic Chemistry Division for their research presentation titled “Investigations of Green and Microscale Methods in the Synthesis of Several Flavones.” Chemists from all over the region did the judging.

“I always love interacting with people who really know their stuff,” said Martinez. “A lot of them identified with what I told them I learned about recrystallization.”

“I’m a pre-pharmacy major and this was my first research experience,” Davis said. “I can definitely see myself doing more research in the future. I’m considering pharmaceutical research as a possible career path now.”

“It was amazing that we were the only community college there and that we won. It was definitely nerve-wracking because it was my first conference and there were so many presentations.”

The students attended the conference as part of a Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative (CCURI) grant that also funds scientific research conducted by hundreds of Vol State students each year. This particular project was conducted by a Vol State undergraduate research class. The goal was to develop new labs for chemistry classes next semester.

“To do this well at synthesis is unique in a community college setting,” said faculty member Parris Powers of the winning students. “I think this project allowed them to see the bigger picture, including the connections to pharmaceuticals and biochemistry.”

“We are so proud for our students and for our faculty member, Mr. Powers,” said Vol State President, Dr. Jerry Faulkner. “This is a well-deserved honor reflecting their hard work and dedication. This award is also an acknowledgement of the high quality education and experience that Vol State provides to all students.”

Pictured: The student researchers in the Vol State chemistry lab. Left to right: Nicole Gammons, Emmy Davis, Phillip Martinez and associate professor of Chemistry, Parris Powers.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Vol State in the News

3,000 students have picked Vol State on their Tennessee Promise application thus far. We're not expecting that many people who have applied for Promise to actually attend. We should know more in the Spring semester. Here is a story in the Tennessean about Vol State and the Tennessee Promise sign-up.

Nashville Public Radio, WPLN, has this story about the effort to find enough mentors for the Tennessee Promise program. They visited Vol State at Highland Crest.

Community college educators across the country are excited about our Math and Science students taking top honors in an organic chemistry competition. They beat out more than 80 university students from across the South to do so. It's a testament to the fast-growing role of community college student research in Math and Science education. The Council on Undergraduate Research has the story on their website.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Connie Martin Awarded Scholarship

Connie Martin of the Social Science Division was chosen as the recipient of the Hal R. Ramer Professional Development Scholarship from Women in Higher Education in Tennessee (WHET ) during their annual conference in Murfreesboro recently. The $500 scholarship can be used for a professional conference. Connie says she plans on attending the National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology in January. Congrats to Connie!

Vol State in the News

The man behind WVCP, Howard Espravnik, is in the news up in Indiana, where he returned to Indiana State for a reunion of student workers at the radio station WISU, marking the FM stations fifty year anniversary.

Still one more Tennessee Promise application event to go if you know high school seniors and parents who want help. It's coming up on Tuesday from 5:30pm to 7:30pm in the Thigpen Library. The Tennessean has the story.

Congrats to Mike McDole

Staff Council would like congratulate Mike McDole, the winner of the Classified Staff Appreciation Award for the month of September! Mike is a Technician in the Information Technology department. Every month a winner is drawn from a pool of nominees who were seen offering exceptional service to the Vol State community. The award recipient receives a certificate of appreciation and a $20 gift card.

The other nominees for the month of September were:
Danielle Wright from Financial Aid
Gerri Helms from the Business Office
Mark Dennis from Information Technology
Wanda Smith from the Office of Records and Registration

Remember, any Vol State employee can fill out the short nomination form to recognize any permanent classified staff employee by going to the Staff Council webpage ( Thank you for supporting this Staff Council initiative!

Prior Winners:
August- Carolyn Thomas from Retention Support Services
July- Sydny Simpson from the Office of Admissions
June- Regina Pierpaoli from the Testing Center
May- Teresa Corlew from the Advising Center
April- Kristen Woodmore from Continuing Education
March- Lesa Cross from Public Relations

-Amanda Foster

Monday, October 13, 2014

Dr. Faulkner: Mentors

As we have been recruiting mentors for the Tennessee Promise program, an article from the Gallup Business Journal ( arrived in my in-box.  The article reports on a Gallup survey of more than 30,000 college graduates.  According to the survey, “the three most important elements linked to long-term success for college grads are . . . feeling they had a professor who made them excited about learning, that the professors at their alma mater cared about them as a person, and that they had a mentor who encouraged them. . . “

The term mentor actually comes from Greek mythology and more specifically from Homer’s Odyssey.  Odysseus, king of Ithaca, goes off to fight in the Trojan War.  He entrusts the care of his family and household to a person named Mentor, who serves as teacher and overseer of Odysseus' son, Telemachus.

I’ve been fortunate to have had many good mentors in my life. Most of the time, the mentoring came along with a relationship such as parent, minister, teacher, friend, or boss. 

In only one instance did we actually use the term “mentor.”  During a yearlong experience with the Chair Academy Advanced Leadership Academy, I had the opportunity to enlist a mentor as one of the requirements of the academy.  My mentor was the retired CEO of a large appliance manufacturing company.  Although a great friend of the college, he had little higher education experience and so the strength of what he shared with me was the unique non-academic perspective he brought to issues with which I was dealing at the time.  We met monthly over lunch and it was an extremely beneficial relationship.

My point is that mentoring can be extremely important in the future of a student here at Vol State and it is something that doesn’t necessarily require a huge time commitment.  It could be a formal relationship like Tennessee Promise mentoring or an assigned advisee or it could be a spontaneous opportunity.  Mentoring doesn’t just occur between faculty and students.  It can occur between any two members of the campus community.

The title of the article I referenced is The Biggest Blown Opportunity in Higher Ed History. It decries the fact that colleges don’t do a good job of mentoring students.  I would really hate to think that we at Vol State are blowing the opportunity to help students succeed. 

-Dr. Jerry Faulkner

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Congrats X-Rayders

Vol State Radiologic Technology students took first place in the annual TN State Radiologic Technology Student Bowl recently. The X-Rayders took the top spot in the knowledge and skill contest. They are: Deanna Smith, Tiffany Anderson, Katy Potts and Amberly Culver. It's the second year in a row that a Vol State team has wound up on top. There were 13 teams that competed. Radiologic Director Monica Korpady says that if there had been a "third place" it would have gone to another Vol State teams, this one called the Photon Slingers: Lindsey Hartfield, Cindy Coffee, Brittany Bolton and Christine Price.   

Pictured: Vol State students at the TN State Radiologic meeting: L - R: 1st row: Lindsey Hartfield and Amberly Culver. Second row: Hailey Cassanova, Cindy Coffee, Brittany Bolton, Cody Cashion, Katy Potts, Tiffany Anderson, Deanna Smith, Laurie Bagwell, and Lindsey Arrington.

Not Your Average Race

Racing down Demonbreun Street in Nashville on a tricycle or big wheel, and in a silly costume, may seem like a dangerous event and perhaps that's why the organizers of Race the Hill called on the Vol State EMS program to provide some medical first response. Vol State EMS provided first aid coverage for the inaugural Race the Hill event, which is a fundraiser for Renewal House of Nashville. Prior to the event, nine EMT students from the Nashville cohort received training on sports event medical support and athletic injury treatment protocols. Mandatory safety equipment requirements (i.e. leather gloves, safety helmets, knee pads, and elbow pads) resulted in zero injuries for the event. 

Brandie Park, EMS Clinical Coordinator, reported, “Although this race was designed for fun, many of the participants took painstaking measures to be highly competitive in the races.” 

In the end, the results exposed bruised egos and hurt feelings for those that left without a trophy. Event organizers promised a larger and more competitive race for 2015.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Remembering Sarah Ingram

Sarah Ingram passed away recently. The former Humanities adjunct faculty member was last teaching English 1010 in the Fall of 2012. She was married to former faculty member Ray Ingram. Sarah is remembered not only as a dedicated educator, but also as a prolific writer who brought the Tennessee hills to life with her prose. Sarah and Ray have both showcased in their writing a Southern tapestry vivid in character and setting. They have been involved for years with a Vol State faculty writing group. Members share their writing by reading a few pages aloud and then each member provides comment for editing.

"Her writing style made homemade cooking so real that sometimes my mouth would water thinking about it," said Paul Farmer. "I can’t help but think that wherever she is now, she already has a crowd gathering around from the smell of some good southern vittles, as they prepare to listen to a great story about some of her experiences in this life."

"She did a lot of writing about old Nashville, the city back when she was a child," said Cindy Wyatt. "It was always very charming. She was such a sweet person."

"Sarah was my student, then my friend and fellow writer in a group.  She was always a giving person:  She gave to her family, her friends, her church, her students, and anyone she knew who was in need.  She will be remembered and missed," Betty Nelson said.

"I am so grateful I got to know Sarah through our Vol State writing community," said Leslie LaChance. "She was always ready with a helpful comment and sincere encouragement when it came to our writing projects. Her kindhearted, generous spirit will remain an inspiration to me and, I'm sure, to all those lucky enough to have known her.  I'm going to miss her at our writers' table."

Our hearts go out to Ray and their family. Funeral services for Sarah will be held on Friday in Whites Creek.

Visitation:                               Thursday, October 9, 2014, 2:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
                                              Anderson & Garrett Funeral Home
                                              3501 Old Clarksville Pike
                                              Joelton, TN 

Visitation and Funeral:          Friday, October 10, 2014, 9:00 a.m. until time for service at 10:00 a.m.
                                            Beach Grove United Methodist Church
                                            4318 Brick Church Pike
                                            Whites Creek, TN  

Monday, October 6, 2014

Vol State Institutional Briefing Link

Vol State reports to TBR on a variety of topics in what is called an Institutional Briefing. Topics include: academics, student services, and information technology, among others. You can view the Briefing on the College web page

Vol State in the News

The announcement that James Story has made the cut to the top 25 for the GRAMMY Foundation Music Educator award made the Sumner A.M. section of the Tennessean.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Dr. Faulkner on Innovation

We live in a rapidly changing world and educational institutions are often on the leading edge or as a friend is want to say, the bleeding edge.  We are challenged to consider new ways of teaching, new equipment, and new technology.  Often new things are met with resistance because of perceived problems or detrimental influences.  Sometimes our resistance is just based on the discomfort of moving beyond the status quo.

I recently came across this quote from a legendary educator.

“…this discovery of yours will create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external . . . . .  and not remember of themselves. The specific which you have discovered is an aid not to memory, but to reminiscence, and you give your disciples not truth, but only the semblance of truth; they will be hearers of many things and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing; they will be tiresome company, having the show of wisdom without the reality.”

Words similar to this have probably been said about the calculator, the computer, the Internet, and most recently about mobile devices.  But this quote comes from Socrates (469 – 399 B.C.) and it is about “written characters.”  In other words, he was worried about the effect of people learning to write.

So the challenge we then face is to embrace new things.  We should try them and test them until we know clearly their worth and not reject them initially just because they are new.

-Dr. Jerry Faulkner

Business and Technology Faculty meet with Amazon Employees

Vol State was invited by Amazon Fulfillment Center to participate in their college fair held recently in Lebanon. Members of the Business and Technology Division were on hand to talk to Amazon employees. More than 30 people stopped by the Vol State table to gather information about Vol State programs.  Amazon will be allowing their employees tuition reimbursement.  

Vol State was represented by (L  - R): Louise Stephens, Brenda Buffington of Student Services, Marty Bollin, Joan Weaver, Phil Hearn, Teresa Moore, and Dean Patty Anderson.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Vol State Grad Best in DeKalb County

Please join me in congratulating Kristie Johnson being recognized as 2014 “Best of the Best” EMT/Paramedic for DeKalb County. Kristie is a 2012 Vol State paramedic graduate. We are proud of Kristie for setting the standard of professionalism for EMS in DeKalb County.

-Robert Davis, Director of EMS Education

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Vol State in the News

We're making a push for workforce training this fall through the many programs of Continuing Education. Here's the story in the Tennessean.

The Fall Fiesta at Vol State is coming up on Saturday, October 18 from 10am to 4pm. It's a celebration of Hispanic culture with free music, food, dance and fun. Everyone is invited. The Tennessean has the story of some new features of the Fiesta this year.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Meet Patty Anderson - Dean of Business and Technology

Patricia Anderson is the new dean of Business and Technology. She comes most recently from Dynetics, Inc., a Huntsville, Alabama engineering, scientific and IT solutions company, where she was a senior account manager. In her new role, she will oversee the Business and Technology Division at Vol State.

“Technology is so fast-evolving,” Anderson said. “You have to stay on the cutting edge. We’re going to enhance our technology electives and look into new programs at Vol State. I want to make sure that we give students the tools that they need to be the first choice in a job interview.”

Dean Anderson has a Master of Science in Information Assurance and Security from the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH). She also has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Athens State College and an Associate of Science degree from Calhoun Community College. Anderson has professional higher education experience as an academic advisor at the UAH College of Nursing and as director of the Gender Equity Program at Calhoun Community College.

“I didn’t start college until I was in my mid-thirties and I was scared to death,” she said. “I didn’t know if I could do it. The most rewarding professional position I’ve ever experienced has been in higher education. I realized how education changed my life and I could see how it could change the lives of my students. Education can truly be a lifesaver.”

Dean Anderson, who goes by Patty, is making the transition to live in Sumner County. But she and her husband already have roots here. Howard Harris Anderson's mother came from Gallatin and his family connections go back decades in Sumner County.

Friday, September 26, 2014

James has made the Top 25!

The GRAMMY Foundation® and The Recording Academy® have partnered to present the Music Educator Award™, to recognize music educators for their contributions to our musical landscape. Vol State’s own James Story was one of the 222 Quarterfinalists, and just this morning it was announced on CBS News that he has made the top 25 semifinalists.

James says he’s excited about what the publicity could mean for the program and the college. We personally think it’s a great recognition of his hard work and devotion to music education for more than three decades in Sumner County and at Vol State in particular.

The award is open to current U.S. music teachers from kindergarten through college, in public and private schools. One winner will be selected from 10 finalists each year to be recognized for their remarkable impact on their student’s lives. The winner will be flown to Los Angeles to accept the award and attend the GRAMMYs, and they will receive a $10,000 honorarium along with a $10,000 grant for his/her school. The nine finalists and their schools will each receive a $1,000 honorarium. Finalists will be announced in December.

The award will be presented at the Special Merit Awards Ceremony & Nominees Reception during GRAMMY Week 2015.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Vol State October Events Calendar

Vol State October Events Calendar 2014
All events are free, unless specified.

Oct. 1              Vol State Employee Benefits Fair, Ramer Building, 10am-3pm
Oct. 1              Vol State Employee Flu Shots, Ramer Building, 10am-2pm
Oct. 1              Hispanic Heritage Luncheon, RSVP to Student Life, Nichols Dining Room, 12:30pm
Oct. 1              Honors Lecture: “Should We Trust Science?” Parris Powers, Thigpen Library 12:20 pm
Oct. 2              The North Korean Human Rights Crisis, presentation sponsored by Collegiate Ministry, Thigpen Library, 12:45pm and 7pm
Oct. 4              Commercial Music Ensemble concert at Main Street Festival, Courthouse Square in Gallatin, Noon
Oct. 4              Kids Play: “The Adventures of Nate the Great” by Vol State Theater, Caudill Hall, 7:30 pm, $5 suggested donation, kids are free
Oct. 7              Gallatin Commit to Completion, signing event, Phi Theta Kappa, Plaza,
Oct. 8              Lecture: “Peru!” by Keith Bell, Thigpen Library, 12:20pm
Oct. 8              Hispanic Heritage Quiz Bowl, Cafeteria, 12:30pm
Oct. 9              Movie: “Toxic Hot Seat” presented by Fire Science, Caudill Hall, 7pm
Oct. 11            Highland Crest Fall Carnival, Springfield, 10am to 2pm
Oct. 13, 14      Fall Break: A reminder that Fall Break is only two days this year
Oct. 15            Livingston Commit to Completion, signing event, Phi Theta Kappa, 11am-1pm
Oct. 16            Union University Nursing info session, Warf 110, 12:45-2:15pm
Oct. 18            Fall Fiesta at Vol State, a celebration of Hispanic culture, Duffer Plaza, 10am-4pm
Oct. 21            Highland  Commit to Completion, signing event, Phi Theta Kappa, 11am-1pm
Oct. 21            Lecture: Emerson and Transcendentalism, Shannon Lynch and Deb Moore, Mattox 104, 11:10am

Oct. 22            Fall Festival, Duffer Plaza, 10am to 2pm
Oct. 25            Household Hazardous Waste Collection, outside of Wood Campus Center, 9am to 2pm
Oct. 27            Diversity Week, events all week

Oct. 29            Honors Lecture: “Hal 2014” by David Fuqua,  Thigpen Library, 12:20 pm

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Vol State in the News

We have several Vol State events in the news this week, including a kid's play called "Nate the Great" on October 4, a presentation on North Korea on October 2 and a movie about toxic fire issues on October 9. The Tennessean has the stories.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Students Join Police Reserves

After several months of hard work and training, four Vol State Criminal Justice students-Janos Briscoe, Caleb Helson, Derrick Walker and Jacob McCafferty- graduated to become Gallatin Police Reserve officers on Thursday, September 18. They took the police officer oath and had their badges pinned on by family members. Criminal Justice director Kevin Cook explains how it all came about: 

"In spring 2014, students taking CRMJ 1150-Criminal Justice Career Planning had the opportunity to do mock police candidate panel interviews with several police departments/officers in our service area," Cook said. "Several of our Social Science and Education Division faculty, including Dean Foley and Rick Parrent, were panel participants as well. The Gallatin Police Department was one of the partners on the panel. They were very impressed with our students and invited them to apply for the Gallatin Police Reserves."

Congrats to these newest reserves and to the Vol State Criminal Justice program. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Vol State Students Show Lawmakers the Power of Undergrad Science Research

Scientific research isn’t just a passion for professors and graduate students. Increasingly, undergraduates are getting in on the action. Educators say it can be a creative hook to get students interested in the sciences. Two Vol State State students will show off their undergraduate research to lawmakers in Washington next week. It’s hoped that by seeing the work of undergrads from across the country, members of Congress will get a better idea of the importance of research in teaching science. Student Genna Batchelder of Gallatin will be presenting on water quality.

“I didn’t think I was going to enjoy my Environmental Geology class,” said Batchelder. “But the research helped me to understand how this is so important. It brought together my chemistry, physics and geology classes. It meant more to me when I had a practical application for what I was learning.”

Batchelder was one of hundreds of Vol State Math and Science students who have been studying water quality in local streams over the last two years. Students are taking samples, charting measurements and compiling the information in a database. That database will help environmental engineers determine area water quality. The research gets students out of the classroom and helps them apply science to the world.

“Research is the best teacher,” said Parris Powers, associate professor of Chemistry. “It allows students to think critically and problem solve with real world applications.”

Batchelder will be presenting her project in the form of a poster session across the street from the U.S. Capitol. The event is put together by the Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative.

Professor Powers will be accompanying the students on the trip “It’s important for lawmakers to see what our students are doing. It will help them to understand that education happens in many different ways, not just in the classroom.”

Vol State student Phillip Martinez of Lebanon will be presenting on a tongue teasing topic: Proteo-Genomic Profiling of a Multi-Drug Resistant Acinetobacter baumanni Clinical Isolate. The paper stems from his work at Meharry Medical College, where he held an internship this summer, which then turned into a consultant role.

“The goal of this research is to find major multi-drug resistance indicators,” Martinez said. “This will help identify an appropriate treatment plan for patients in a matter of hours, instead of days.” That can help saves lives.

Martinez said that the excitement of medical research is consuming at times. “Every day that I go into Meharry, I love what I do. I’ve had to set the time on my phone to eat lunch, because I’m in the zone.”

“Gene sequencing, like Phillip is doing, is the future of molecular biology,” Powers said. “That’s the power of undergraduate research.”