Thursday, October 29, 2015

Clean-Up Leads to Big Book Donation

Clean-up day did more than just clear out clutter on campus. Faculty members and division offices donated more than 850 used textbooks. Forty-eight cartons were collected and packaged by the Vol State Bookstore staff and sent to a group called Better World Books. They are a for-profit social venture company that supports literacy causes around the world. Social venture companies operate under a for-profit business model in which success is measured by the positive impact a company makes in addressing a specific social issue. In the case of Better World Books, that issue is literacy. The donated books are re-sold, primarily overseas, and funds are used to drive those programs. Since many of the books are faculty editions those sales are closely monitored. The funds collected from sales of the donated Follett books (They are the company that runs the Vol State Bookstore) are donated to The Thirst Project. The Thirst Project, a non-profit organization, is dedicated to bringing clean drinking water to communities around the globe. 

Faculty members can always donate used textbooks to Better World Books. There is a collection box in the Bookstore in Gallatin year-round.

Costumed on Campus

Halloween at Vol State isn't particularly scary, unless you have a big assignment due. It's more amusement than anything else. Here is the collection of costumed faculty, staff and students on campus today. Kudos to Advising for the Willy Wonka theme - creative and well-done. If you missed it, imagine these green-haired oompa-loompas sitting with students in the Advising Center. Quite the scene. Thankfully Mr. Wonka was there to supervise. Check out the Student Services/Evil Scientist Lair in the Wood Campus Center. It is rather spooky.Those scientists also did a great job. It will be tough judging for the Employee Relations Committee, who will award group and individual honors.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Vol State in the News

As part of ongoing coverage of TN Promise students, the Tennessean also took a look at how we are getting the next round of TN Promise students ready for the program.

The Tennessee Small Business Development Center at Vol State named the 2015 Rising Star Award for the local business achieving the most using TSBDC services. The Tennessean has this story.

Vol State leads the area P-16 Council. It's a group of secondary school and higher ed leaders from our area. Each year they recognize community people who have championed education in their county. The 2015 BEST awards were announced recently. The Lebanon Democrat has the story.

Friday, October 23, 2015

How to Recycle in Your Office

We have a new single stream recycling method on campus now. That means we can put mixed recycling in one container. You may have seen the new receptacles around campus. But many people are still wondering what they need to do in their office. Here are the important points:

-Some office suites have new common office receptacles for people to put recycling into. If your office suite has that new, larger, common receptacle, you need to put your mixed recycling in it.

-Many office suites do not have these receptacles yet. Those folks can continue to put the proper mixed use recycling in the recycling containers that they have always used. Just make sure you follow the rules below.

-When you get a new common receptacle for your office or suite you will need to put your mixed use recycling in it each night or whenever you want to.

-If you do not have a recycling container in your individual office you will need to take your recycling down to the nearest common receptacle, which are in lobby areas and hallways.

What can be Recycled:
-Plastic containers
-Aluminum cans
-Mixed office paper
-Newspaper and magazines

What can’t be Recycled:
-Food containers and food waste
-Used tissues
-Used paper towels
-Plastic bags
-Light bulbs

Home Recycling

You can use the new recycling bins that are next to the Fox Maintenance building if you want to bring recycling from home.

If you questions about recycling contact Plant Operations at 230-3605.

Abstract Faculty

"Storm" by Sue Mulcahy
Art Professor Sue Mulcahy is curating and participating in a new art exhibit coming up at Monthaven in Hendersonville from November 14 through January 9. It’s called “Women of Abstraction’ and also features another Vol State faculty member- Beth Boquel. As you might take from the title, the show is abstract art in a number of different styles. It’s sponsored by the Hendersonville Arts Council. Sue has shown her work in many venues from the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville to galleries in the Netherlands. The exhibition hours will be Monday through Friday 9am to 3pm and Saturdays from 10am to 2pm. Monthaven is located at 1017 Antebellum Circle in Hendersonville. For more information visit

An Honor for Dr. Torrence

Michael Torrence, assistant vice president for Academic Affairs, has been selected as one of 36 college leaders to attend an Executive Leadership Institute sponsored by the League for Innovation in the Community College. He was selected by a national review panel. The Institute provides an opportunity for potential community college presidents to refine their skills, review their abilities, and participate in discussions on leadership with faculty from across the country. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Dr. Faulkner: Dropout-ism

I recently encountered an info-graphic from American Student Assistance that listed the 7 Warning Signs of Dropout-ism.  Although written from a university perspective, six of the seven describe our average student:

- Trying to balance school and work as early as freshman year.  The info says this affects twice as many students as the actual cost of tuition.

-Paying for school with no help from family.  62% of these students leave early.

-Choose college based on convenience.  66% end up with no degree.

-Part-time student.  68.5% become no-time students

- Non-traditional student.  1.5 times less likely to complete.

-Starting School over the age of 20.  58% walk away without a diploma.

So what are we to do when many of our students have one or more dropout-ism factors? 
We can’t change their circumstances but we can give them encouragement.  At the Trio program celebration this Spring, five students were chosen to give their personal story.  Each mentioned the encouragement to not give up that they received from Trio personnel.

We can teach coping skills so they can succeed despite their circumstance.  Time management and financial management skills are often lacking in our students.  Many don’t even know how to organize their study time in order to optimize their results.

And finally, we can help them see that the “tassel is worth the hassle.”  If we help keep their eyes on the goal they will be less likely to be overcome by the clutter of life occurring around them.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Diversity Week at Vol State

A wide-ranging line-up is planned for Diversity Week, October 19-23. These events are sponsored in conjunction with the Diversity and Cultural Awareness Committee.  Here's the line-up:

Dalia Lama Film 
DATE     Monday, October 19, 2015
TIME      11:30 am – 2:00 pm CDT
EVENT LOCATION            Wood Campus Center
ROOM  Mary Cole Nichols Dining Room B
A film featuring the Dalia Lama will be shown with discussion to follow facilitated by Kenny Westmoreland.  This event is sponsored in conjunction with the Diversity and Cultural Awareness Committee

Discussion: Male & Female Roles in Pop Culture
DATE     Tuesday, October 20, 2015
TIME      12:45 pm – 2:00 pm CDT
EVENT LOCATION            Ramer Administration Building
ROOM  Great Hall
Dr. Michael Torrence will lead the discussion. 

Discussion: Religion 
DATE     Wednesday, October 21, 2015
TIME      11:30 am – 12:30 pm CDT
EVENT LOCATION            Ramer Administration Building
ROOM  Great Hall
Professor Deborah Moore, Professor Sherri Person, and Professor Peter Pagan will make up the panel to discuss religion.  The talk will be facilitated by Dr. Kenny Yarbrough.  This event is being sponsored in conjunction with the Diversity and Cultural Awareness Committee

Race: Implicit Association Test
DATE     Friday, October 23, 2015
TIME      11:30 am – 1:00 pm CDT
EVENT LOCATION            Wood Campus Center
ROOM  Mary Cole Nichols Dining Room B
Instructor Jamie Fuston will administer and analyze the results of the Implicit Association Test which is a survey to help individuals understand their own perspectives of race and all that it implies.

Vol State in the News

The Atlantic magazine has a story about Tn Promise and interviews some Vol State folks. The article does have some criticisms, not of us directly, but of the Tn Promise system and the other challenges students face in graduating. 

Vol State hosted Camp STEM for secondary school students over fall break. It's the first year for the Sumner County part of the science, technology, engineering and math program, which started at MTSU. The News Examiner has the story.