Friday, August 29, 2014

Vol State Alumnus and Veteran Receives New Home

Joseph James is a familiar name at Vol State. The alumnus, who has taken a break from college courses, appeared in an award-winning television ad for the college in 2012. The Army veteran served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He lost both of his legs during an IED attack. Last night, during the Tennessee Titans game in Nashville, James thought he was going down to the field to receive a game ball. He was actually presented with designs for a new house that will be better equipped for him. It's the work of a group called Operation Finally Home through generous donations by Goodall Homes and LP Building Products. Several Nashville TV stations covered the event on the news. Here is the Channel 4 story that ran last night. This is the original ad with Joseph. He is shown in this picture receiving a national community college award for best TV ad.

The folks in the Vol State Foundation point out another great Vol State tie to this story. Bob Goodall with Goodall homes was there for the presentation. He's a former Vol State Foundation Trustee. The new home is in Hendersonville.

Congrats to Joseph and we hope to see him back at Vol State soon.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Vol State September Events Calendar

All events are free, unless specified

Sept. 1 Labor Day holiday – campuses closed

Sept. 3 Welcome Day! Nichols Dining Room, 10am-2pm

Sept. 10 Honors Lecture/ Panel: Science, Technology, and Society, Thigpen Library, 12:20pm

Sept. 12 Harvest Moon Soiree, Foundation fundraiser, Bluegrass Country Club, 6pm 
advance tickets for sale, call 230-3506

Sept. 15  Intramural Flag Football meeting, Library Lawn, 2pm

Sept. 16 Hispanic Heritage Lunch and Learn, Nichols Dining Room, 12:30pm

Sept. 16  Intramural Soccer meeting, Library Lawn, 2pm

Sept. 17 Constitution Day- Jaywalking Video, Paralegal, Cafeteria, 12 pm

Sept. 17 Civil Rights in the U.S: The 50th Anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act 
(A  Constitution Day Presentation), Stella Pierce, Thigpen Library, 12:20pm

Sept. 18 Coffee with the Prez, Cafeteria, 10am-11am

Sept. 18 Pre-Nursing Advising Session with Cumberland University, Warf 110, 12:45pm

Sept. 23 Health and Wellness, Nichols Dining Room, 10am to 2pm

Sept. 23 Pre-Nursing Advising Session with Belmont University, Warf 110, 12:45pm

Sept. 24 Job Career Fair, Pickel Field House Gym, 10am to 1pm

Sept. 24  Vets Next Steps – Job advice for veterans, Pickel Field House, 11:30am-1 pm

Sept. 24 The Relationship Guy – Jereme Ford, Thigpen Library, 12:30pm

Sept. 25 Sumner College Night, Pickel Field House Gym, 6 pm to 8 pm

Sept. 30 Western Kentucky President visit with students, Nichols Dining Room, 1-2pm

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The President's Ambassadors for 2014-2015

Vol State welcomes a new group of President’s Ambassadors for 2014-2015. The Ambassadors represent the College at events, conduct campus tours and help with public relations. Students selected for the President’s Ambassadors scholarship program go through a rigorous vetting and interview process.  Successful candidates are selected from over two thousand eligible students.  To be eligible for the program, students must have a cumulative 3.0 grade point average and have completed at least 12 college-level credit hours at Vol State.  The scholarship covers full tuition and fees at the in-state rate, as well as a $300 per semester book stipend.  Students selected serve a one-year term.

The 2014-2015 Vol State President’s Ambassadors from left to right: Graham Gaines of Goodlettsville; Virginia White of Miami, FL; Maggie Goodner of Lebanon; Allie Brown of Livingston; Sarina Milonis of Hermitage; Samantha Harden of Jamestown; Garrett Moore of Portland; Kristin Grimes of Portland; Lindsey Maxwell of Gallatin; Andrew Stoddard of Lebanon; and Jacob Shartzer of Portland. Not pictured is Kyle Nagy of Goodlettsville.

Vol State in the News

The new semester is bringing the first batch of school events. The Tennessean has this piece on the Fall Career Fair coming up on September 24.

The President's Ambassadors were recognized in this Tennessean story.

The Nashville Business Journal has this story on Dr. Faulkner's Impact Award.

Meet the New Humphrey Fellows

Dr. Faulkner and the International Education program welcomed a new group of international scholars to campus recently. Vanderbilt University is hosting a new group of ten Humphrey Fellows. They are leaders in the field of education in their home countries. The Humphrey Program is a Fulbright exchange activity funded by the U.S. Department of State. As in years past, part of the program will involve partnerships with Vol State, including presentations and class interactions. Here's a look at the group this year:
Mr. Hilarion Vegba, from Benin, is a high school principal in an underserved village. Compassion for his students prompted him to create a lunchtime mentoring club for teenage girls, develop an environmental club, which all helped to decrease the dropout rate of girls at his school. He is especially interested in the professional development and capacity building of teachers and administrators. Mr. Vegba’s professional goals include developing and supporting educational leaders, strengthening school, family, and community connections, and improving policies that serve children. As a Humphrey Fellow, he looks forward to enhancing his skills in teacher training.
Mrs. Kelly Cardozo, from Brazil, serves as the Pedagogical Coordinator at the Institute for Sustainable Development where she helps coordinate projects focused on the development of cultural and social entrepreneurship, educational heritage, ethnic-racial education, and environmental education. In her work, she has observed how important it is to appreciate and support communities. Mrs. Cardozo wishes to use her Humphrey year to learn about the desegregation in the United States’ education system. Upon her return to Brazil, she intends to create socio-cultural centers with professional courses, making it possible to develop new, diverse leaders that will work in the communities in which they live.
Ms. Lesong Lamao Dongtse, of China, is an Education Administrator in the Education Department of Zaduo County, a region near Tibet where 97% of the population is nomadic. She works to raise awareness of the importance of education and to improve the education system for youth in rural, impoverished areas. Upon her return, Ms. Dongtse plans to enhance educational opportunities in her community through creating networks between the education department, families, schools, and community groups.
Ms. Libni Guardado, from El Salvador, has been an English teacher since 1997. In a region that has been affected by gang warfare, she helps her students grow both academically and in discipline, respect, and courtesy. In addition to teaching middle school English, she also teaches English at a nonprofit organization that serves students from rural areas. During her Humphrey year, Ms. Guardado would like to learn more about child psychology and motivation. She is also interested in studying school-community connections and enhancing her teaching skills to become a better instructor of the English language. 
Ms. Nancy Mendy, of The Gambia, serves as the Principal Education Officer responsible for special education in the Ministry of Education. She coordinates special needs programs nationwide, provides professional development for current teachers and teachers in-training, and has a weekly TV show to teach sign language and to interpret the news for the hearing impaired. Additionally, she coordinated the development of the Special Needs and Inclusive Education Policy Framework, 2009-2015 and is the current coordinator for the 2015-2025 Framework. Ms. Mendy is especially interested in studying educational policy and instruction for students with special needs in low-income areas. Upon her return home, she hopes to develop policies and implement services that support the delivery of inclusive practices in all sectors of The Gambia’s education system.
Mr. Ousmane Bâ, from Mauritania, has been teaching English and French in high schools since 1997 and has worked with Peace Corps, Mauritania as a modal school supervisor. During his tenure, he created the first English club at his school, which spread throughout the district, and schools now host English cultural exchanges that include activities such as football games and knowledge bowls. Additionally, he conducts quarterly trainings about incorporating technology into teaching, hosts an English radio program to teach the language, and volunteers on a mediation forum between the teachers’ union and the Ministry of Education. Mr. Bâ would like to use his Humphrey year to enhance his skills in teacher training and student assessment so that he can better serve Mauritanian stuents.

Mr. Siradji Mahamane, of Niger, works for the Inspectorate of Secondary Learning in the Ministry of Education and has been working in public schools for over twenty years. As a teacher trainer, he is passionate about helping teachers develop professionally and he conducts workshops, training sessions, and classroom visits in order to assist English teachers. Additionally, he assists the pedagogical inspector in measuring teachers’ professional progress. As a Humphrey fellow, Mr. Mahamane looks forward to learning new trends in teaching English language and to further develop his skills in monitoring and evaluating teachers.
Mr. Farhan Vakani, of Pakistan, a medical doctor holds the position of Assistant Manager at Aga Khan University where he creates, plans, and monitors continuing education for medical personnel. He is also a researcher and has been published in various medical journals. Pakistan still lacks a national Continuing Medical Education (CME) framework and Dr. Vakani would like to use his Humphrey year to study how CME is implemented in the United States. that will enhance physicians’ knowledge and make a positive impact on health outcomes in his home country.
Ms. Roselle Mendoza, from the Philippines, serves as a high school principal in the rural, mountainous Nueva Vizcaya province, which currently has a focus on promoting indigenous education. Always trying to improve the lives of her students, designed a dropout reduction program, initiated teacher trainings to address achievement gaps, and made provisions to support the cultural preservation of the many ethnic tribes at her school, which was done with the support of teachers. Most recently, she was a project coordinator for Amnesty International. Dr. Mendoza’s Humphrey focus is to enhance her capability as an instructional leader and manager. Upon her return, she hopes to use these skills to mainstream students from diverse cultural backgrounds in order to create better learning outcomes and an intercultural society.
Mrs. Geeta Motilal, from South Africa, has been a lecturer at the University of Witwatersrand since 2002. She teaches and supervises undergraduate education majors, lectures in Masters-level courses, and recently began lecturing in an executive education program for school principals. She is also involved in school development and improvement programs throughout South Africa. Dr. Motilal’s Humphrey focus is to study the theory and methods of instructional leadership and educational management. Upon her return to South Africa, she intends to develop a more rigorous training program for educational leaders and principals to empower and equip them with skills to improve the education system.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Sarah Smith Leads Vol State Library Services

Sarah Smith is the new director of library services and learning resources at Vol State. She comes most recently from Colorado, where she was the library director for Colorado Mountain College in Leadville. She has been a librarian for more than a decade, serving several institutions. She started on campus earlier this month.

“The location of Vol State is attractive to me, as it’s closer to family,” Smith said. “But it’s really about serving the students. The library is more important than ever for students. When there is so much bad information readily accessible, it’s critical for students to learn about reputable sources and ways to properly search.”

Smith will direct the Vol State Thigpen Library and library sites at other campuses. That includes the college database collection and research tools. She has a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and a Master of Arts in Information Science and Learning Technologies from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Vol State in the News

Craig Harris has a nice piece in the Gallatin News Examiner with Otis Key, the new Vol State women's basketball coach. They talk in depth about the upcoming season. And the Tennessean has this story.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Former Globetrotter Hired as Women’s Basketball Coach

Otis Key is the new women’s basketball coach at Volunteer State Community College. He comes most recently from South Warren High School in Kentucky, where he was boys’ varsity assistant and freshmen coach.

“We had a lot of quality applicants,” said Vol State athletic director, Bobby Hudson. “I took the time to find the right one. I think Otis will do a great job. He has player development experience. He’s also a former player for the Harlem Globetrotters.”

“I spent ten great seasons within the Harlem Globetrotters organization,” Key said. “I had many roles. I think that experience, in many different areas, helps me in my coaching, not to mention all of the great coaches I worked for.”

Key coached for the American Basketball Association Kentucky Bison and the Continental Basketball Association Bowling Green Hornets. He is currently working with the Vol State team to get ready for the upcoming season.

“I’ve talked to all of our players. I’m excited to meet them and begin watching them play. I think this team has a lot of potential. We have our nucleus coming back and an all-American, Jenise Davis, coming back.”

The Vol State Lady Pioneers will hold scrimmages in October and kick-off their season on November 1 in the Vestle “Pops” Hudson Classic at Vol State versus Wabash Valley. For the complete schedule visit

Meet Ashley Kyler: the New Executive Assistant to the President

Ashley Kyler is the new executive assistant to the president at Vol State. She began working on campus this month. She comes most recently from Miller-Motte Technical College in Madison, where she was director of education. Kyler also has higher education experience during her tenure at DeVry University in Nashville. In her role as executive assistant, Kyler will lead initiatives as outlined by the president.

“I love education. It’s always been a passion of mine,” said Kyler. “I come from a family where I was the first to get a master’s degree and one of the first to get a college degree. I think I understand this demographic. If you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything. I strongly believe in community college education.”

Kyler grew up in Pennsylvania and moved to Nashville in 2006 to open the DeVry University campus. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and a Master in Business Administration in Marketing from the Keller Graduate School of Management of DeVry University.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Humanities Building: No Pain - No Gain

The next two years are going to be busy here on the Gallatin campus. Dr. Faulkner reported at Convocation that construction for the road and parking lot projects that precede the Humanities Building construction, will start at some point near or in November. A new parking lot will be built near the back entrance of the college near Enterprise Drive. There will be a new ring road which will cut over from the main entrance and connect with the current outer ring road. Perhaps the biggest change will be that the current inner ring road, Howard George Blvd, will stop behind Caudill and there will be a pedestrian mall for the rest of the stretch past the library. The new Humanities Building, as you have probably heard, will be built in the parking lot behind the Wood Campus Center. 

There will be a learning curve for faculty, staff and students as we all navigate the construction. We encourage everyone to keep in mind how wonderful the new facility will be for Vol State. Nothing great comes without challenges. 

Hot Auction Items at the Harvest Moon Soirée

Celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Volunteer State College Foundation at the Harvest Moon Soirée coming up on Friday, September 12 at the Bluegrass Yacht and Country Club in Hendersonville. The annual fundraising dinner supports student scholarships at Vol State. It will feature a silent auction and performances by Vol State community members. Some items available in this year’s auction include fiddles signed by Charlie Daniels and one signed by The Band Perry; a hockey stick signed by Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne; a pet microchip identification system from Critter Clinic; eight passes to Long Hollow Golf Course; a weekend stay at the Tropicana Hotel in Evansville; and a media dresser and mirror from Cresent Fine Furniture.

Sponsorship packages, tables, and individual seats are available through Friday, September 5, while space is available. Individual tickets are $75 each. The Titanium and event title sponsor this year is Sumner Regional Medical Center with a $20,000 commitment to the Soirée. The 2014 Harvest Moon Soirée Committee is Shirley Arrendale, Wanda Faulkner, Jim Harding, Diane Hughes, Dixie Jones, Hilary Marabeti, Chris Nichols, Laurette Nuckols, Grace Tomkins, Sandy Webster, and Betty Zuccarello with support from the Foundation staff.

The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with cocktails and the silent auction. Dinner and entertainment will follow. For more information, visit

For tickets call the Foundation at 615-230-3506, or email   


Monday, August 18, 2014

Convocation 2014

Faculty and staff filled the Wemyss Auditorium on Monday for an official welcome to the new school year. Convocation 2014 was primarily an informational and motivational event. 

A talent show provided some lighter moments, showcasing the musical stylings of Vol State faculty and staff.

Heather Harper revealed that the Social Science and Education Division was once again the Red Solo Cup award winner, for providing outstanding advising and orientation help this year.

Convocation is also a time to salute our long-time employees. Here is a list of the Service Awards for this year. We'll have a picture gallery up soon.

Five Year Awards
Academic Affairs Division
Philip A. Clifford
Kevin Marcus Cook
Alisha Rene Cornish
Melissa Renee Tyndall Fox
Mohamed Jamshed Ghouse
Phillip Turner Hearn
Peter J. Johnson
Carolyn J. Moore
Angela Racquel Neal
Mark L. Poindexter

Business & Finance Division
Ann Michelle Boyd
Mark E. Dennis
Sheila Wells Jessup
Brian J. Kraus
Yvonne Marie Deweese Waller

IERPA Division
Kimberly Anne Martin
Ten Year Awards
Academic Affairs Division
Samuel C. Cropper
Robert G. Jankiewicz
Kelly Ormsby
Terry M. Seals
Carol Jean Topping

Business and Finance Division
LaDonna J. Brooks
Elizabeth C. Cooksey
Steve Etheridge
Donnie R Goodrum
Morris W. Keith
David Richard Reese

Office of the President
Karen D. Waller

Student Services
Judith Ann Hendon

Fifteen Year Awards
Academic Affairs Division
Julie Gail Brown
Le-Ellen Dayhuff
Yolanda Clarice Ellison
Jimmy A. Hargrove
Carolyn S. Harlan
Joy Hosey
Debra L. Lindsay
Cory E. Martin
Nancy Ann Slaughter
Tammy Denise Swindle

Business and Finance Division
Randall H. Fuqua
Beverly R. Houser
Terrance M. McGovern
Linda A. Parker
Michele L. Taqui

Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Publications
Holly Nimmo

Student Services Division
Timothy Amyx

Twenty Year Awards
Academic Affairs Division
Leonard E. Assante
Travis M. Ford
Phillip W. Hailey
Sidney E. Hardyway
Katherine R. Johnson
Edith Bailey Lester
Hillman Kemp Mann
Jeffrey Tod Moore
Julie Rhea Morgan
George Joseph Pimentel
Gregory D. Pryor
Mary Norton Yarbrough

Office of the President
Jerry L. Faulkner

Student Services Division
Walter Russell Melvin

Twenty-Five Year Awards
Academic Affairs Division
Lisa Carol Haley
Mickey R Hall
Andy Eldo Osaitile
Rita B Sowell

Business and Finance Division
Paul M. Hammock

Thirty-Five Year Awards
Academic Affairs Division

Betty C. Williams

Friday, August 15, 2014

Work in the Community Garden at Vol State

Have you been to the Vol State Community Garden? It's located behind the Wallace Buildings. If you enjoy gardening you can join in. This is an old picture. If you get the opportunity, take a walk by at some point this semester. Jeff Kent has this update:

There will be regular Community Garden workdays scheduled into the fall.  The workdays will be on the 3rd Saturday of each month and will start at 9:00AM and generally last until 12:00PM. Everyone who is interested in gardening is welcome to attend.  The Master Gardeners who oversee the development of the garden offer a wealth of advice and expertise to us novices learning gardening and often they are willing to provide seeds and plants for use in our home gardens. Also, the garden is there for all VSCC staff and faculty to enjoy so come out and help us enhance the beauty of the campus! 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

International Color in the Wood Campus Center

Take a look up the next time you are walking through the Wood Campus Center main hallway outside of the Student Services offices. You'll see a new and colorful reminder of the growing international make-up of Vol State. The flags are from many different nations and represent each of the countries that Vol State students, faculty and staff come from. The project was a joint effort between Student Life and Diversity Initiatives and the International Education program. If you see a country that we have left out please contact Student Life, so that we can get the proper flag.

Vol State in the News

There has been plenty of promotion about university and Vol State 2 plus 2 programs from our end. It's interesting to see from the university side. Here's a recent news release from Tennessee State University.

Our 101 year old Lifelong Learner was featured in the Gallatin News Examiner.

The fiddle signed by Charlie Daniels is just one of many interesting auction items that will be available at the Harvest Moon Soirée. The Tennessean has this story.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

101 year-old is a Vol State Lifelong Learner

Allene Byars and her daughters Ann Byars (left) and Kay Cook (right) during a break in the lecture series. 

Joe Spann is a genealogist and on this day he’s explaining emigration to the American Colonies. “Most of you will have ancestors in one of these groups,” he said, pointing to a projection that lists Scots-Irish, Quaker, English Elite and Puritans. If it sounds like a history class, it is, of sorts. But it’s for a different group of students than you might normally expect at Volunteer State Community College. These are Lifelong Learners, many of them retirees, looking for some intellectual fun. The group is attending one in a series of lectures called KEY Lifelong Learning at Vol State. KEY stands for Keep Educating Yourself. 101 year-old Allene Byars of Gallatin has attended several of the lectures with her daughters.

“”I’m interested in history and genealogy, almost anything along those lines,” Byars said. “I’m a born student. I read a lot. Yesterday we had a lecture about art and I was interested in that. I’ve read all of the books in the lecture series and I want to see what the speakers say about them.”

Vol State Continuing Education is putting on the program. They offer classes throughout the year for fun, career and workforce development. For details visit

Vol State Grad Coordinates International Program at Vandy

Vol State and University of Memphis graduate, Shannon White is now Program Coordinator for the Hubert H. Humphrey (HHH) Fellowship Program at Vanderbilt University. The program brings in visiting scholars from across the globe. They learn about the American educational system and share knowledge from their home country. Vol State has been involved in the Humphrey Fellowship program with Vanderbilt for several years. The Fellows visit the Vol State campuses each year to share international insights with students.

“Vol State has been involved with the program since 2009 and each year we continue to be excited about the opportunities the partnership provides to our campus and to Vol State students,” said Anne-Marie Ruttenbur, coordinator of International Education at Vol State. “A few years ago, Vol State was officially named a Humphrey Associate Campus; one of only four associate campuses in the country.”

Shannon recently organized one of the first events of the year, the Friendship Family Dinner. The Friendship Family Dinner is the first opportunity for the HHH Fellows to meet the Friendship Families who will work with them throughout the year.  George and Beverly Wilson from Vol State were in attendance and are taking part in the program. George knows Shannon well from her days as a student here. Anne-Marie remembers the role travel study played in Shannon’s Vol State experience.

"Shannon's desire for global learning was fostered when she traveled to Greece with TnCIS/Vol State to study philosophy," said Anne-Marie. "Being able to engage in learning on foreign soil opens the mind."
The Fellows will be on the main campus on August 27 beginning at 8:45 a.m. in the Ramer Building for our annual Kick-off event showcasing “What is a Community College.” Dr. Faulkner will provide a welcome in the Carpeted Dining Room at 9 a.m. with presentations from various departments following.

Pictured: (left-to-right) the new Friendship Family for a visiting Fellow from Brazil: Kelly Hill, Comptroller of the Tennessee Treasury Office; Kelly Cardoza, Humphrey’s Fellow from Brazil; Shannon White, George Wilson, and Beverly Wilson.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Vol State in the News

The Tennessee Small Business Development Center honors one new business each year. The Gallatin News Examiner has this year's Rising Star.