Monday, September 26, 2016

Benefits Fair Friday

A reminder: The Vol State annual Benefits Fair for employees will be held on Friday, September 30 between 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Great Hall, Ramer Administration Building. Representatives from a variety of benefit plans will be available to answer questions and to provide updated benefits information. There will also be flu shots available. See the HR email for that form and details.

Friday, September 23, 2016

A Jazzy Opening for SRB

Jazz music and a festive New Orleans-style Second Line procession led students, faculty, donors and the public into the new Steinhauer-Rogan-Black (SRB) Humanities Building on Friday. Attendees crossed over the pedestrian bridge to the new building for the grand opening celebration, signifying a bridge to the future. Guests were treated to student music performances, demonstrations in the art rooms and a sample of award-winning Vol State student publications as they toured the building. Thanks to everyone who made the event possible and especially students and faculty for the lovely performances and demonstrations throughout the building. The talent of our students was the true highlight of the day!

Here are some more pictures from the event:

Monday, September 19, 2016

Dr. Faulkner: Lucky

Most of us know of Lou Gehrig because of the disease that bears his name.  The disease is more accurately know as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).  It is a fatal neuromuscular disease that causes muscle weakness leading to paralysis.

Gehrig was a star baseball player with the New York Yankees playing alongside greats like Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio.  He had a long an illustrious career winning many accolades and setting multiple records.  He held the record for most consecutive games played (2,130) until it was broken by Cal Ripkin Jr.  in 1995.  His playing streak came to an end in May of 1939.  Shortly after his last game, he was diagnosed with ALS.

Many know Lou Gehrig for the speech he delivered in July, 1939 when, in spite of ALS, he declared himself the “luckiest man on the face of the earth.”  But few know the full text of the speech and why Gehrig felt himself lucky even in the face of a fatal disease.  In short, Gehrig felt himself lucky not because of the fame and relative wealth that had come his way, but because of the people in his life.

Here is the full text of Gehrig’s speech taken from the Lou Gehrig web page.  

"Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans." 

"Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn't consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day? Sure, I'm lucky. Who wouldn't consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball's greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy? Sure, I'm lucky." 

"When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift - that's something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies - that's something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter - that's something. When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so you can have an education and build your body - it's a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed - that's the finest I know." 

"So I close in saying that I might have been given a bad break, but I've got an awful lot to live for."

- Lou Gehrig

Monday, September 12, 2016

You're Invited to Vol State Humanities Building Grand Opening

Students are raving about the new Steinhauer-Rogan-Black (SRB) Humanities Building. Now the public will get to see the three-story, 30 million dollar facility in person. Vol State is holding a grand opening event on Friday, September 23 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Everyone is invited to attend.

The SRB Humanities Building opened on the first day of classes for the fall semester. It is student focused in design- from comfortable and stylish study areas, to wide hallways and floor to ceiling windows. The entire building is wired for state-of-the-art classrooms, allowing for better connectivity and virtual collaboration. There is a new Performing Arts Studio that can house everything from plays to poetry readings. A new recording studio will more than triple the size of the other Vol State recording studio. Choral and music practice rooms provide for better instruction. The art studios include a dedicated printmaking room and a ceramics facility.

Guests will be able to view these areas during the open house. There will be heavy hors d’oeuvres for refreshments. The event will start with speakers promptly at 11 a.m. across from the new building in the Wood Campus Center, Mary Cole Nichols Dining Room. Attendees will then cross over the pedestrian bridge to the new SRB Humanities building as a group, signifying a bridge to the future. There is no registration required for the event. The Gallatin campus is located at 1480 Nashville Pike. For more information call 615-230-3571.

Pictured: The naming families in front of the new Steinhauer-Rogan-Black Humanities Building at Vol State. Left to right: Jane Steinhauer, Clara and Chet Rogan, and Diane and David Black.

Vol State in the News

There was much news coverage last week about the ITT Tech closure. Vol State has a initiative to help students, as much as possible, in issues of transfer and financial aid. Nashville TV stations ran that story and this is the Tennessean piece.

A Special Thanks to Plant Ops and IT

There are many people who have been working on the Steinhauer-Rogan-Black Humanities building for years. Getting the building designed and built required ton of work by deans, administrators and faculty members. However, getting the building ready for the first day of classes was also a major undertaking. Plant Operations folks moved Humanities faculty and offices and put the finishing touches on the building. IT had to install computers, check wiring and fix problems.

"Our team, especially Client Services, spent many hours transporting equipment in the hot summer sun to move faculty in, as well as worked long hours getting classrooms ready to go," said IT CIO Kevin Blankenship. "Jaret’s team: Jadson, Lynn, Les, Mike, Bill and Jacob were exceptionally dedicated to making sure we were ready to go, and the rest of the IT team from network to telecom pitched in throughout the summer. It was an awesome team effort and I can’t thank them enough."

The hard work continues as construction begins on Ramer Building renovations. Please take a moment and thank IT and Plant Ops folks for their dedication.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

It's Time to Walk

The Walk Across Sumner competition is back again this year and Vol State has teams participating. Dr. Faulkner has the details:

"The goal is for as many people as possible to walk at least 34.5 miles between Sept. 3 and Oct. 1.  There will be bragging rights for the team with the highest team average and for the team with the largest percentage of team members completing the 34.5 mile goal.  Also this year,  all persons that meet or exceed the 34.5 mile goal will be entered into a drawing for a $100 Academy Sports gift card."

The team captains that have already volunteered are:
George Pimentel
Mel Matthews
Jimmy Hargrove
Yvonne Waller
Josh Hite
Connie Pimentel
Tami Wallace

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Remembering Teresa Moore

Education never stops, especially when you work in higher education. That was the case for Teresa Moore. She started her career at Vol State in 2003 as an instructor in the Business Division and went on to teach in the Office Management Technology program as associate professor. She returned to school in 2014-2015 to acquire additional graduate hours to teach CIT /Cybersecurity course content. Recently she acquired IT certifications and Cisco Academy training to bring a new dimension to her teaching. She had just been named Business Chair when she died suddenly from a stroke. 

"Teresa's deep faith was reflected in all she did and in all she was; she cared, she loved, she gave- that was Teresa," said Business and Technology dean, Patty Anderson. "To her Vol State family, she was a brilliant yet humble colleague and a friend who pursued each task with a commitment to excellence.
To her students, community, and church she gave hope, encouragement, support and strength in guidance. To her family, she was everything. For all who knew her, she was inspiring and passionate about the things she believed in. As a donor, she was still giving hope; still touching lives- even in death. That was Teresa Moore- our Vol State treasure."

"Teresa was such a joy to work with at Volunteer State!," former Business dean and now director of International Education, John Espey said. "She was always on top of technology advances, working with students in a most professional fashion, and of course she was always full of encouragement, maintained the highest professional standards, and radiated kindness for all.  We encouraged her to apply to the Netherlands exchange program and she was  quickly chosen for a faculty exchange by the Dutch program  in Amsterdam. She  completed a great exchange program visiting The Netherlands and then hosting a counterpart faculty member in her home. To know and work with Teresa and learn from her these past years has been a privilege and an honor."

"She was a brilliant lady, a mutual Tennessee fan and graduate, and she wore cool shoes," said friend and colleague Phillip Hearn.

"I requested her to be my advisor from that point on and she agreed,” said student Brad Howell in a letter read at Teresa’s funeral. “She gave me the advice I needed to change my major to Cyber Defense and get my first round of classes set up. She also told me to "suck it up" when I complained about having to do Gen Ed classes instead of just doing all of the "fun techy ones". She kept me straight. Finally, and the thing that sticks out the most to me, she wrote me a recommendation for a scholarship that would have won me the Presidency. The things she said will stick with me the rest of my life. She didn't have to do this, but she went out of her way for me on this.”

"Teresa was a fantastic person—she was mild mannered; always helpful; loved her students," said friend and colleague Louise Stephens. "And, she was super organized, always prepared, always did her part and more of any assignment. She was talented—folks in this marveled at her beautiful voice; she played the piano, and flute; and was a whiz on a computer!  She was a strong Christian and lived the Christian life daily.  She was beautiful; talented; fair minded; and one of the most intellectually blessed in Vol State’s entire employee arena.  We miss her already—and will continue in the future."  

Teresa was always willing to help out with a photo shoot. We thought we would share these pictures of her with the President's Ambassadors from the summer of 2015. The smile says it all.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Meet Talia Koronkiewicz: New Assistant Vice President for Student Services

Talia Koronkiewicz has been named the assistant vice president for Student Services at Vol State. In her new role she will manage the student conduct and discipline process, as well as supervise the Offices of Student Life and Diversity, TRIO, and Disability Services. She comes most recently from McHenry County College in Illinois where she was manager of Student Conduct and Campus Life. She also served as the student conduct officer and coordinator of Student Life and Campus Activities at McHenry.

“I felt this Vol State position was a perfect complement to my skill set,” Dr. Koronkiewicz said. “Right now student conduct is my primary focus. I want people to understand the process. I want to help faculty with classroom management. We want the campus community to feel safe and have a clear reporting process when there are problems.”

For the other side of her responsibilities, student engagement, Dr. Koronkiewicz says that she will work to build relationships on campus to identify opportunities for students to become involved. “My background started in student activities. We will be working to get our employees more involved in student engagement initiatives to increase student success. We need to ask the faculty members what they are doing in class, so we can supplement that with out of class activities which enhance the academic experience.”

Koronkiewicz holds a Doctor of Education in Community College Leadership from Ferris State University in Michigan. She has a master of arts from Ball State University in Indiana and a bachelor of science degree from Carroll College in Wisconsin.

Talia says you can best pronounce her last name as “kronk-kih-witz.”

Vol State in the News

You can help raise money for Vol State student scholarships by eating great food. Rough, huh? Check out the Farm to Table Dinner coming up later this week. The Tennessean has details.

The Athletic Association golf tournament raised about $18,000 this summer. The Tennessean has this piece.

The Vol State Fall Fiesta is celebrating it's tenth anniversary on Saturday, September 24 from 10am to 3pm. This free celebration of Hispanic culture features food, music and fun. New this year is a soccer goal kicking contest for all ages. The Tennessean has the story.

Vol State Livingston faculty member Greg Burgess suggests that geocaching might be an alternative to Pokemon Go. Here's the story on the Upper Cumberland Podcast.

Visit Middle College Open House

The school year is well underway for Sumner County Middle College High School students here at Vol State. They actually got going in mid-August with computer information technology coursework. There's an opportunity for you to visit the Middle College High School offices here at Vol State and meet with the administrators and students. They're holding an open house on Thursday, September 9 from 11am-2pm at their offices in room 217-B of the Wood Campus Center. Everyone is invited.