Monday, March 30, 2015

Dr. Faulkner: Economic Impact of Mobile Devices

I continue to reflect on how mobile devices have changed society and have changed my life.  I can’t remember anyone’s phone number anymore because I just select their name from my contact list and touch the screen.  On the other hand, I had not given much thought to the economic impact until I received the March issue of The Rotarian.  Here are some thought provoking statistics from their article:

-Mobile device users downloaded more than 30 billion apps in 2011 creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in the app industry.  (Kudos to Dan Arena for teaching app creation in his Intro to Programming class.)

-Among small businesses in the U.S., 94% said mobile devices improve efficiency, 67 % said their companies would lose competitive ground without this technology.

-Around the world, there are 3.4 billion subscribers to mobile phone services.  The mobile phone industry generated more than $2.4 trillion or 3.6% or of the world-wide gross domestic product.

-Less than half of Nigeria’s population has access to electricity and clean water but people are signing up for mobile services at a rate of almost one every second.  (Perhaps that widow of a Nigerian government official that wants to send me $100,000 should invest it in mobile services.)
The global market for mobile wallet systems (like Apple Pay) is expected to hit $127.5 billion by 2020.

-The cell phone has been the most quickly adopted consumer technology in history.  Ninety-seven percent of U.S. households have mobile phones; 40 percent of them are mobile phone only households.

-Mobile phones contain valuable reusable materials, but less than 10 percent are recycled in the U.S.   The other 90 percent are worth $5 billion.  (Anyone want to start-up a mobile phone recycling business?)

The question for us then is: “Are our programs taking full advantage of the sea change in society and the economy?”

Students Attend Historic Literary Festival in North Georgia

Honey-Rae Swan, Trish Villani, Samantha Eubanks on the campus at the University of North Georgia during the Southern Literary Festival
Vol State students Samantha Eubanks, Honey-Rae Swan, and Trish Villani, recently attended the Southern Literary Festival in historic Dahlonega, Georgia, along with English Professor Leslie LaChance.  They took writing workshops in poetry, fiction, and memoir, and attended literary readings and book signings with well-known authors, including Francis Mayes (Under the Tuscan Sun) and Tony Grooms (Trouble No More).  The students also read original works at an open mic. The festival was held at the University of North Georgia, in the beautiful Appalachian foothills. During the festival, Vol State students visited with students and faculty from other many other colleges and universities in the region, and they enjoyed exploring the historical surroundings of Dahlonega, a mining town and site of the first major U.S.  Gold Rush.

The Southern Literary Festival is an organization of southern colleges and schools founded in 1937 to promote southern literature. Each year a different school hosts the Festival—which is, in effect, an undergraduate writing conference that entails writing workshops in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and playwriting; a writing competition; and a venue in which the participating students, faculty, and general public attend readings by well-known writers.

The SLF has an illustrious history. Robert Penn Warren, then a professor at LSU, was one of the founders. He spoke at the conference on a number of occasions, as did Eudora Welty, Katherine Anne Porter, and Flannery O’Connor, who won an award at SLF as an undergraduate and later headlined the conference as a nationally prominent writer.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Vol State in the News

It's that time of the year at Vol State...we have many great events coming up.

The Tennessean and others have had write-ups about the Sumner County Bluegrass Jamboree, coming up on Saturday, April 11. Here's a story from Hartsville.

The Vol State Cycling Classic is coming up on Saturday, May 2 and we'd love to have you participate. Here's a piece in the Tennessean.

We'll have a simulator at the Wood Campus Center Nichols Dining Room on Monday to show students and the public what it's like to drive while impaired. Everyone is welcome to try. Here's a story in the Tennessean.

Please remind your students that the Spring Job/Career Fair is coming up on April 22. This is a piece in the Hendersonville Standard.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Vol State Events Calendar April and May 2015

All events are free, unless specified.

April 1                   Psychology/Sociology Department Panel on Mental Health, Thigpen Library, 12:20pm

April 3                   Good Friday Holiday, all campuses closed, no classes

April 6                   Priority Registration for sophomores starts at 8am

April 7                   Priority Registration for freshmen starts at 8am

April 6-11             Pioneer Pride Week

April 9                   Sumner Elementary Art Exhibition reception, Ramer, 3:30-5:30pm

April 11                 Vol State Home Plate Celebration, baseball and softball fields, 11am-2pm

April 11                 Sumner Bluegrass Jamboree, competitions and performances, Caudill Hall, 10am-6pm

April 13                 Lecture: Troy Tomlinson, CEO of Sony/ATV Publishing, Thigpen Library, 1:30pm

April 14                 Spring Fling, Library Lawn, 10am-2pm

April 14                 TMTA High School Math Contest, Pickel Field House

April 15                 Lecture: “History and the Environment” by Merritt McKinney, Thigpen Library, 12:20pm

April 15                 Ramer Oratorical Contest, Mattox Room 104, 12:30pm

April 16                 Coffee with the Prez, Cafeteria, 10am-11am

April 17                 National Library Week, Games Day, Thigpen Library, 10am-1pm

April 19                 Vol State Singers and Portland High School Choir Concert, Caudill Hall, 3 pm

April 21                 Vol State Student Art Exhibition, Ramer Great Hall, through May 2

April 22                 Spring Job/Career Fair, open to all job seekers, Pickel Field House, 10am-1pm

April 22                 Earth Day activities, Library Lawn, 11am-2pm

April 24                 Undergraduate Research Poster Sessions, Thigpen Library, 11am-1pm

April 24, 25          Spring Music Showcase, concerts and CD release, $5 donation, Caudill Hall, 7:30pm

May 1                    Vol State Student Art Exhibit reception, Ramer Great Hall, 12:30pm

May 2                    Vol State Cycling Classic, scholarship fundraiser, Pickel Field House, 8 am-1pm

May 2-8                Finals

May 9                    Vol State Graduation, Pickel Field House, 10am

May 14                 Eighth Grader Career Exploration Day, Pickel Field House, 8am-noon

May 16                 Sumner County Middle College High School Graduation, Caudill Hall, 1pm

Monday, March 23, 2015

Sony/ATV Publishing CEO to Discuss Music Publishing at Vol State

Troy Tomlinson, the president and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing-Nashville, has more than 30 years of experience in music publishing, working with artists including Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert and George Strait. Tomlinson grew up in Portland, Tennessee. During a special lecture at Vol State, he’ll talk about his pathway into the music industry and what he found along the way. The visit is part of the Vol State Music Business Lecture Series, held in conjunction with the Entertainment Media Production program at the college. Vol State students will have an opportunity to ask questions. All students and all classes are welcome. The public is also invited to attend the free event. The lecture will be held on Monday, April 13 at 1:30 p.m. in the Thigpen Library on the Vol State campus at 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin. For more information call 615-230-3201.

Skeleton Donation Honors Sumner Physician

Many thanks to Dr. Tim Lynch for facilitating the donation of a skeleton to the Math and Science Division at Vol State. The skeleton comes from the office of Dr. Joseph Trubia, who passed away. The presentation to Dr. Faulkner was made at Hendersonville Rotary recently.

“I understand this is a most generous contribution to the science and anatomy program at Vol State because it conveys and gives tribute to a truly wonderful person, Joseph R. Trubia M.D. who aspired to excellence in education,” said Dr. Lynch.

After many years in medical practice, Dr. Trubia moved his practice to Tennessee, where he was employed with Mid-South Orthopedic Associates, an affiliate of Sumner Regional Medical Center, specializing in orthopedic surgery and sports medicine.

We appreciate Dr. Trubia’s contribution to learning here at Vol State.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Read Across America

Assistant Professor David Fuqua recently participated in the Read Across America program at Napier Elementary School in Nashville. The teacher of the class is Vol State alum Lauren Acevedo.  

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Vol State Events this Week

Mar. 24   Lecture: Hear the Color & See the Rhythm, by Sue Mulcahy & Nancy Slaughter, Thigpen, 11:10am
Mar. 24   One Book: Final Discussion- What We Have Learned, Thigpen Library, 6pm
Mar. 24   Chili/Soup for Books, fundraiser- $5 for lunch, Nichols Dining Room, 11:30-1:30pm
Mar. 25   Supplemental Instruction History Bowl, McKinney students versus Johnson students, Thigpen, 11:15am
Mar. 25   Women’s History Tea, Nichols Dining Room, RSVP to Student Life, 12:30pm
Mar. 26   Math and Science Expo, hands-on activities for kids and parents, Wallace Building-North, 2:30-6pm
Mar. 26-28  Nunsense Mega-Musical, comedy, $5 suggested donation, Caudill, 7:30pm
Mar. 27  Movie: “What Matters?”, meet the filmmakers and see the movie, free, open to everyone, Caudill Hall, 9 a.m.
Mar. 28  Free Community Shredding Event, bring items to shred, Warf Parking Lot, 10am-2pm
Mar. 28  Family Day and Easter Egg Hunt, Library Lawn, 10am-Noon    

Mar. 29  Nunsense Mega-Musical, comedy, $5 suggested donation, Caudill, 2:30pm

Monday, March 16, 2015

You Are Invited - Second Annual Vol State Cycling Classic Ride May 2

Bike riding season is coming up quickly and we have a great way for people to enjoy a ride in beautiful Sumner County and raise money for student scholarships. It’s the second annual Vol State Cycling Classic, organized by the Vol State College Foundation. It will be held on Saturday, May 2 and features three different rides, depending on ability and interest.

“This is an event for the whole family,” said Vol State president, Dr. Jerry Faulkner. “We’ll have a longer ride for experienced cyclists, and two shorter rides for folks who are new to biking. Last year we had entire families participating. Everyone can enjoy the party and music we have at the finish line.”

There will be a 15 mile Fitness Tour; a 33 mile Half Metric Century Tour; and a 61 mile Metric Century Tour. The tours will start and finish on the Vol State campus in Gallatin. There will be rest stops along the way for food, hydration, first aid and restrooms. The Metric Century Tour will leave at 8 a.m. The Half Metric will depart at 8:30 a.m. and the Fitness Tour will get underway at 9 a.m.

The after-ride event at the college will feature barbecue, beverages and live music. Changing facilities and showers will also be available at the college. The ride cost is $35 before April 30 and $45 after that date. Riders will get a t-shirt and a goody bag. Only riders who sign up by April 15 are guaranteed to receive a shirt in their size of preference. Route maps for each tour and a link to the registration page can be found at

Sponsors for the ride thus far include Biker’s Choice, Courier Printing, Cresent Enterprises, Keystone Business Solutions, Road ID and Smucker’s Uncrustables. There are still opportunities for sponsorships. For more information about the ride and sponsorships contact the Vol State College Foundation at 615-230-3506 or email

There is a Vol State cycling group getting ready for the ride. Riders of all abilities are welcome to join them in some gentle training. It's led by Chrysa Malosh and they will meet each Monday at 5 p.m. in the Warf Parking lot when the weather is good.

Pictured: The Biker’s Choice bike store team participated in the Metric Century Ride last year. Left to right: Chris Cooper, Jason Chatham, Josh Cook, Scott Marx, Craig Evans, Chris Wilson, and Mark Whitley.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Events this Week at Vol State

Mar. 17                 Lecture: Transcendentalist Communes, by Shellie Michael, Thigpen, 11:10am
Mar. 18                 Coffee with the Prez, Cafeteria, 11am-Noon
Mar. 18                 Honors: Technological Advancements in Sports, by Philip Williams, Thigpen, 12:20pm
Mar. 19                 One Book: Fear of, or Low Expectations of, Young African-American Males, Nichols Dining Room, 12:30pm

Mar. 21                 Sumner County Elementary Art Exhibit, Ramer Great Hall, through April 12

Friday, March 13, 2015

International Poverty Documentary Filmmakers Speak

“What Matters?” is a documentary movie about three friends, two idealistic Christians and one skeptic Atheist, attempting to live on $1.25 a day across three continents. The adventure takes a devastating turn when two of them survive a deadly plane crash in Africa, and all three must fight to finish what they started. Everyone is invited to see this movie about poverty and human perseverance and talk to the filmmakers during a special presentation by the Volunteer State Community College International Education Program. It’s free and open to everyone. “What Matters?” will be screened on Friday, March 27 at 9 a.m. in the Wemyss Auditorium in Caudill Hall at the Vol State campus at 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin. For more information call 615-230-3759.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Educate a Woman Luncheon Features Cindy Hinton Church

The Educate a Woman luncheon will feature self-described everyday humorist Cindy Hinton Church on Friday, April 24. The Volunteer State College Foundation annual fundraiser will be held at the First Baptist Church in Hendersonville. All of the proceeds from the luncheon will go to fund women’s scholarships at Vol State. The popular event has brought hundreds of women together over the last eight years.

Church is a grandmother who says that her young grandsons provide her with unlimited comedy material and exhaustion. She resides in Hendersonville and pursues comedy in the form of stand-up and storytelling. She is a graduate of Rik Robert’s School of Laughs. You can regularly find her at Pug Hugs Comedy, That Time of the Month, Authentic Coffee House, Tale It Like It Is and The Pavilion Coffee House. She is a member of the Christian Comedy Association.

The Summa Cum Laude Sponsors for Educate a Woman 2015 are Ms. Sue’s Medspa and Sumner Station. Registration begins at 11:00 a.m. The lunch and program run from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. The event does not require tickets, but there is a suggested minimum donation of $40. Space is limited, so attendees are encouraged to reserve a place now. To RSVP or for sponsorship opportunities contact Lynn Jones at (615) 230-3506 or email

Staff Appreciation Award

Staff Council would like congratulate Lenore Maurer, winner of the Classified Staff Appreciation Award for the month of February! Lenore is the Secretary II in the Office of Disability Services.

Also nominated in the month of February for exceptional service:
Andrea Scruggs from Distributed Education
Becky Cantrell from IERPA
Beverly Peden from The Learning Commons
Debra Lindsay from the Humanities Division
Ed Jackson from Plant Operations
Linda Parker from Information Technology
Shannon Hernandez from Continuing Education/ Center of Emphasis

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. The Staff Council webpage can also be found using the A-Z Index.

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

-Amanda Foster

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Basketball Tournament Update

Most of us missed it, because the college was closed at the time, but the TCCAA Basketball Tournament was held recently in Memphis.  The Pioneer men lost in the first round to Cleveland State.  The women won their first games against Southwest Tennessee and then lost to the eventual champions, Walters State, in the semi-finals.  Te Te Flowers of the women’s team made first team All-Conference and Walter Wright made Second Team All-Conference for the men. Congrats to our players for playing tough this year!

Now it's time for baseball and softabll. Both seasons are underway. Check out a game. Here's a link to the schedules. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Vol State in the News

Vol State faculty member and former NASA scientist, Mike Welham, is in the media this week. We did a feature story on Mike that appeared in the Tennessean.

Help us spread the word: the Vol State Science and Math Expo is coming up on March 26 from 2:30-6pm. It's a great way for parents to share science with kids. Here is a piece in the Tennessean and in the Portland Leader.

The THEC designation of Vol State as a VETS campus has made several news outlets recently, including this article in the Lebanon Democrat.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Dr. Faulkner: Monitoring Students

Among the recent sports pages of The Tennessean was an article about monitoring Vanderbilt football players during training.  The new strength coach introduced a technology called Catapult Sports.  It consists of a GPS device smaller than a deck of cards that is inserted in to shoulder pads.  The device records more than 400 variables per second for each player and then sends the data via Bluetooth or satellite to a laptop.  Coaches can get instant access to information on the performance of each athlete.

The same day in the USA Today Sports section, there was an article about the data being collected on each player at the NFL scouting combine.  In addition to 40 yard times and Wonderlic scores, they collected medical history, psychological profiles, functional movement patterns, and nutritional tracking on prospective players.  Each team is looking for an edge in selecting the best persons for their teams. 

The week before these articles, I heard Cleveland State President Emeritus, Dr. Carl Hite talk about how the future of higher education will involve more closely monitoring students.  The analogy was how the health care industry has seen dramatic improvement in patient outcomes by more frequent, and in some cases continuous, monitoring of vital signs.  Education can also see gains in our outcomes by increasing our monitoring of student progress and well-being.

And then the day after these newspaper articles, at a TBR sponsored Academic Completion Academy, a team from VSCC heard about and discussed how we intervene to keep students on track in their Guided Pathway to Success (GPS.)  The key to keeping students on track is . . . . wait for it . . . . monitoring.

In education our monitoring of student success has been mainly quizzes, tests, and graded assignments.  But let’s be honest.  How many graded assignments are given in a semester?  Four?  Six?  How much assessment is summative and how much is formative?  If the first graded assignment is not given and returned until 5 weeks into the semester, then how much monitoring is really going on?  Unfortunately we don’t have a cognitive Catapult device.  And we haven’t perfected the Vulcan mind melt.

To be fair, we are making progress in monitoring students and using the information to affect change.  During the Fall 2014 semester, faculty submitted 1367  First Alerts.  We will assess the effectiveness of First Alerts to determine if it results in positive student outcomes.

But we can and must do more to detect students in trouble and students that are straying off course.  Some may reply that we are, “baby sitting students” or “doing too much hand holding.”  My response is that I would not be where I am today if it were not for influential persons that sat with me and held my hand at critical junctures in my life. 

So during the next months, we will engage in an exploration and dialogue about how we monitor and intervene with students.  This fits right in with what I have been saying for more than two years.  Student Success is Job One!

-Dr. Jerry Faulkner

Sunday, March 1, 2015

A Welcome to our Russian Visitor

The International Education program has been working to establish relationships with educators in Russia. It's not only a timely effort, given the challenges in Russian international relations, but also an important effort, as Russian and American educational systems are different and there is much that can be learned. We have a Russian visitor coming to Vol State this week.

Olga Mukhina is a Specialist of the Office for International Students and Protocol of the International Relations Department of the Baltic Fishing Fleet State Academy of the Kaliningrad State Technical University. Mukhina has been working at the Baltic Fishing fleet State Academy since September 2010. The department is in charge of promoting international relations. The key objectives of the division include promoting and encouraging international scientific and educational cooperation, academic and student mobility, and the academy’s participation in international projects and initiatives. She also provides assistance in planning travel abroad, acts as liaison with overseas contacts, and collects data to prepare reports related to international activities of the Academy.

John Espey started this relationship during his visit to Russia last year. Mukhina will be visiting with classes and programs during her stay at Vol State. You can meet her during a Fulbright Luncheon on Thursday, March 5 on the Gallatin campus in the Nichols Dining Room. There will be an opportunity to visit with Olga beginning at 12:30 P.M. with lunch at 1:15 P.M. RSVP to Jimmy Hargrove by email or phone.