Friday, October 20, 2017

Earthquake Drill and Tips if you Missed it



The New Madrid fault line is a couple of hundred miles away from us, but the risk of an earthquake in our area is still something to consider. Experts agree that a large quake on the New Madrid line would impact Middle Tennessee. And there are other fault lines in the region. With that in mind, there was recently a regional earthquake drill called ShakeOut, which Vol State participated in. If you missed it- here’s what it looked like here at the college.

This is the advice from emergency response coordinators:

“You cannot tell from the initial shaking if an earthquake will suddenly become intense…so always Drop, Cover, and Hold On immediately!

In MOST situations, you will reduce your chance of injury if you:

DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees. This position protects you from being knocked down and also allows you to stay low and crawl to shelter if nearby.

COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand

If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter

If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows)

Stay on your knees; bend over to protect vital organs

HOLD ON until the shaking stops.

Under shelter: hold on to it with one hand; be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts
No shelter: hold on to your head and neck with both arms and hands.

If there is no table or desk near you, drop to the ground and then if possible move to an inside corner of the room. Be in a crawling position to protect your vital organs and be ready to move if necessary, and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.”

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

You Can Still Walk Across Sumner County

You don't really walk across Sumner County for Walk Across Sumner County. The goal is to walk for fitness and keep track of your miles during October and early November. You can still participate with your Vol State colleagues. Just see Lesa Cross in the PR office, Ramer room 103 for a form. You simply fill in the form to record how much you walk each day. If you walk on campus there is a marker near the Library that shows how many laps equal miles. Some of the walkers joined the Walk Across Sumner organizers and Dr. Faulkner this week for a photo. It's great walking weather....we hope to see you out there!


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Vol State in the News

We announced recently the upgrade of the Radiologic Technology to fully-digital equipment. It's a big deal for the program. The Tennessean ran the story.

Two local TV stations surprised us by running stories about the unveiling of our new mascot the morning of the announcement. We certainly appreciate the coverage...perhaps some Pioneers working at those TV stations? Here is the Tennessean story about the new mascot.

A Vol State student, who found international success in New York as a doll maker, has returned home to Gallatin. She has a show this month in the Vol State Art Gallery. It's an interesting story, as the Tennessean shows.

The media covered the lockdown situation on campus. A man with a knife made some strange statements at a business across the street from the Gallatin campus. Thanks to Campus Police and the Building Coordinators for the great work in locking down campus. Here is the Tennessean's story about the incident. The man was eventually found by police.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Remind Students to see their Academic Advisor

It's time to get students ready for Spring Priority Registration. We're doing a big push on social media this week and we could use your help. If you get a moment to mention in class that they should see their academic advisor, that would be appreciated.

If they're not sure who their academic advisor is, the answer is just a few clicks away. Have them go to their personal information on their My Vol State page- the advisor will be listed there.

Priority Registration for spring classes for current students opens on November 6 for sophomores (students with 30 credits of more) and November 7 for freshmen (students with less than 30 credits).

Dr. Faulkner: LQ

“What the world needs now is love, sweet love.  That’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.”  If you recognize that as the lyrics to a song and remember the original Dionne Warwick version, then you have been around a while.
Jack Ma is the founder of the world’s largest retailer.  Alibaba is the Chinese e-commerce giant that made Ma worth nearly $29 billion.

In a recent address at the Bloomberg Global BusinessForum he made two really important points.
First he made the point that we must embrace technology and develop the skills to use it effectively.  We must not fear technology and fret over the possibility of lost jobs.  He illustrates that the invention of the steam engine was predicted to cause the loss of jobs as was the automobile and electricity.  All resulted in changes in jobs but not net loss.  We can’t train to out-smart or out-work technology because a “machine never forgets, never gets tired, never sleeps or drinks.”

His statement reminds me of the Ballad of John Henry.  Again, if you remember this you are likely getting a little “long in the tooth.”  The story is of John Henry, a steel drivin’ man who won the race against a steam powered driver but ended up dying as a result.

The lesson is that we must embrace the technological changes surrounding us and teach our students how to use and capitalize on them.

The second of Ma’s points is somewhat surprising.  He offers that while we can’t beat technology in many roles there is one area where we humans can excel.  It isn’t IQ (intelligence quotient) or even EQ (emotional intelligence).  It is LQ.  “The quotient of love, which machines never have.”  Ma went on to say, “A machine does not have a heart, machine does not have soul, and machine does not have a belief.  Human being have the souls, have the belief, have the value; we are creative, we are showing that we can control the machines.”  Our feelings of love result in justice, creativity and our ability to empathize deeply and respond wisely. 

So while we teach technology we must also teach the uniqueness of humanity.  Ma says that we shouldn’t create machines to be like humans and not try to make humans like machines.  “Let humans be humans.”

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Furry Fundraiser


A big thanks to all who attended the Dog Wash and made it successful.  We had roughly 26 students here throughout the day washing the dogs.  The students bathed 29 dogs and raised $335.00 for a local rescue group (which one has yet to be decided).  

The smallest dog was a 15 week old Daschund weighing approx. 4 pounds and the largest dog was Tucker Winfield ( Saranne Winfield’s pet) an Alaskan Malamute weighing in, according to his owner, at 115 pounds.  He liked his “spa” treatment!

DJ Smith, Veterinary Technology Program

Connie Smith Art Exhibit at the Vol State Gallery

The creations of doll maker Connie Smith will be on display at the Vol State Art Gallery through November 2. Smith’s work has found its way into high-profile collections, including those of Nashville music producers Mike and Linda Curb, as well as actress Whoopi Goldberg, and Disney animators Eric and Susan Goldberg.

“Connie adapted the practice of hand-building hollow forms from high-fire clays, acquired a kiln and began reinventing the figures of her early childhood,” her biography said. “From 1991 to 2005, she honed her oeuvre in her family's art studio, The Lamb’s Ear, attending local art festivals and enjoying a cadre of collectors who hosted salons of her work in their Nashville homes and commissioned custom pieces. By the mid-1990’s Connie's work began to appear in trade magazines, and she’d discovered the National Institute of American Doll Artists. Her first ten years in the organization saw the more mature development of her signature anthropomorphic style, which found its way into collections across the country.”

Smith is an alumnus of Vol State.  She has just recently moved back to Gallatin after living in New York City. The Connie Smith exhibit is free and open to the public. There will be an artist reception on Saturday, October 28 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The Vol State Art Gallery is located on the first floor of the Steinhauer-Rogan-Black (SRB) Humanities Building on the Gallatin campus at 1480 Nashville Pike. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information call 615-230-3202.

Pictured: Alsacia diptych by Connie Smith

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A Chat with the New Dean of Math and Science

Tom Ekman took on the new role as dean of Math and Science in August...just in time for an Eclipse event and the start of the fall semester. 

He has taught chemistry at Vol State for the last four years and served as chair of the Science Department. Previously he was at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, as project consultant at the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery. He was associate director in the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations, and later director of the Medical Center Development and Alumni Relations. Ekman also taught Chemistry at Vanderbilt as an adjunct and visiting associate professor of Chemistry. He has held teaching positions at two other universities. He earned a B.A. degree in Chemistry from Lyon College, and a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Louisiana State University.

“I am a problem solver. In my experience at Vanderbilt, I spent 13 years on the support staff there solving problems,” Ekman said. “I see that as a big part of the dean’s work.”

And his goals for the new position?

“I want to strengthen and support the disciplines and courses we currently have, and then expand our relationships with other institutions,” he said. “I want to provide more experiences for students in undergraduate science research and have more professional development opportunities for faculty members.”


Where did Eclipse Visitors Come From?



The Eclipse was a big event for the college. It brought in more than 3,000 people from all over the globe. Dr. Faulkner put together this list. At the end you will find yet another letter from visitors who expressed gratitude for the event.

Canada
China
Dominican Republic
England                                            
France                                              
India
Italy                                                 
Scotland
Spain

United States
Alabama
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Connecticut
Florida
Georgia
Illinois
Indiana
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maryland                                         
Massachusetts
Michigan
Mississippi
New Jersey
New York  
North Carolina
Ohio
Pennsylvania                                    
South Carolina
Texas                                                
Vermont                                           
Virginia
Washington D.C.                              

Dear Dr. Faulkner,
Thank you for making your campus an eclipse watching location. I drove to Tennessee from Gettysburg, PA with my husband and adult daughter. We planned our eclipse adventure based on the information you submitted to the American Astronomical Society website. We arrived on your campus at 6:30 am and stayed until 2:00 pm. The security guard at the entrance gave us such a warm welcome that we knew we had come to the right place for this "once in a lifetime" adventure. 


Every volunteer was informative, helpful, friendly, and seemed to share our excitement. We loved your welcoming remarks, the lectures on history and math of eclipses, the shared telescopes, the maps, restrooms, and the way your campus made it an affordable day for everyone. 

My most memorable time was sitting on the library lawn listening to a NASA specialist and a science teacher narrate the eclipse by conversing with each other. When they told the crowd to remove their glasses to witness totality, the communal gasp of wonder was exhilarating! Your staff gave us an amazing day. Please share my gratitude with the people that worked so diligently to make August 21, 2017 truly meaningful. Bravo to Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, Tennessee!
Sincerely, Eileen Mathias

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Fall Fiesta and Potential Student Projects

The Fall Fiesta at Vol State is coming up on Saturday, October 21 from 10am to 3pm on the Gallatin campus. We encourage faculty to use this event to tie into course work, through community service or extra credit assignments. 

Topics could include Latino music, art, education, health care and cultural studies. How are Latinos keeping Aztec culture alive? What are the different types of Latino music and food. How does food tie into cultural perspective in a country? How are Mexicans different from Guatemalans? How are different states in Mexico different from each other?

If you're interested in participating with your call email eric.melcher@volstate.edu

As always, you and your family are invited to this free event! Here's the basic info.

The Miss Princesa Americas Pageant will come to Volunteer State Community College on Saturday, October 21 as part of the Fall Fiesta at Vol State. The competition will be held live on the plaza stage. The annual celebration of Latino culture will include a soccer goal kicking contest with several age categories from kids to adult. The Fiesta is a free event featuring food, music, and fun.

“Vol State hosts the Fiesta each year to help showcase many of the nations and cultures that we call Latino,” said Eric Melcher with Vol State. “We want to show how diverse Latino culture is around the world. It’s also an opportunity to welcome people to the Vol State campus. We have hundreds of Latino students at the college each semester.”

The food cook-off contest features dishes from many different Latino nations. After judging at 11 a.m., the public is welcome to sample. There will also be a free Mexican lunch and drinks starting at noon. The family event, held outside on the campus grounds, includes live music, dance groups, art activities, and games for kids.

The Fall Fiesta at Vol State will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will happen, rain or shine, on the campus at 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin. The rain location is the Pickel Field House. The Fall Fiesta is free and open to everyone. Families are encouraged to bring a blanket and chairs and spend the day. The soccer contest age schedule can be found in Spanish and English on the web page: www.volstate.edu/espanol/Fiesta.php For more information in English or Spanish call 615-230-4846.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Remind Your Students: Career Fair September 20

Dozens of employers will be on site for the 2017 Fall Job Career Fair at Vol State. Please remind students of this event. It provides an opportunity for job seekers to talk directly with the people responsible for hiring at many area companies. Participants are encouraged to bring their resumes. Everyone is invited to attend. The Career Fair will be held at the Pickel Field House on Wednesday, September 20 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information call 615-230-3307 or visit www.volstate.edu/CareerFair

Monday, September 11, 2017

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Relay for Life on September 23

Relay for Life will be held on the Vol State Gallatin campus on Saturday, September 23 from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. There will be some other activities on campus that day, as well. Relay is an annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. It is now held in 5,200 communities across the world. If you would like more information or you want to sign up to walk and collect donations, please visit the website.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Your Donations at Work in Texas

Vol State Senior Director of Plant Operations, Will Newman, recently led a relief trip to Texas to help people hit hard by flooding. Many of you helped with donations. He's back and has this account of how it went.

Now that it's over I can look back and see how it all happened. What started with a simple Facebook post on Aug 29th quickly snowballed into a full blown relief effort for the flood victims of east Texas.  Within hours of the post, support for the mission was established and the true American spirit was shown.  This lead to a budget, logistical planning, seeking assistance for operations, and the goal to load up boats and pack as much food, water, and supplies on 2 trailers. 

Within 48 hours the "Wet Donkey Team" was up to 7 volunteers which included my poor wife. Word spread quickly about the mission and the funding and support grew. The Vol State community donated monetarily and by filling 2 pallets with supplies.

Food for thought.. as a good example of how amazing Americans can be, in less 72 hours task force #wetDonkey secured over $5400 in donations as well as over $4000 in food, water, hygiene, and baby supplies. Our team made multiple convoys in and out of flood damaged cities and drove over 34 hours in 3 days.

$.79 of every dollar donated went to providing food and water or some sort of comfort item to a flood victim. Any money not spend on donation or recovery supplies was spent on fuel and transportation costs.

I want to thank absolutely everyone that donated money, food, and said a prayer for the mission from the bottom of my heart.

I'm proud of my team. #wetdonkey


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Meet the New President's Ambassadors

Vol State has a new group of President’s Ambassadors for 2017-2018. You may have seen them recently at Convocation. 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 2017-2018 Vol State President’s Ambassadors from left to right. Back row: Joshua Thompson of Greenbrier; Dylan Brewer of Lyles; Daniel Hannett of Old Hickory; Jason Smith of Cookeville; Alisea Turc of Gallatin; and Lisa Green of Gainesboro. Front row: Nicole Boone of Celina; Leighanne Simmons of Portland; Jacie Boyd of Sparta; Adriana Sanchez-Xalate of Murfreesboro; Kendra Marin of Cottontown; and Sarahi Villasenor of Hendersonville.

Dr. Faulkner: How to Learn by Elon Musk

You likely have heard of Elon Musk.  He co-founded PayPal and is the founder of the Tesla electric cars and SpaceX.  He is also a proponent of the mission to Mars and a project to connect America via a system of underground tubes containing hyper-speed vehicles.

So this guy is no slouch.  He is an entrepreneur extraordinaire and you would think he is very intelligent.  As reported on the Inc. website, in a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything), a fan asked, “I know you’ve read a lot of books and you hire a lot of smart people and soak up what they know, but you have to acknowledge you seem to have found a way to pack more knowledge into your head than nearly anyone else alive.  

How are you so good at it?”

Musk’s response was very interesting.  He give two pieces of critical advice.

      “I think most people can learn a lot more than they think the can.  They sell themselves short without trying.”

      “One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree – make sure you understand the fundamental principles, i.e. the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to.”

As we begin a new academic year and a new semester at Vol State these are good lessons for us to remember as we teach students (We are all educators.) and as we seek to continue our own education (We are all learners.)

First we need to challenge our students and ourselves to stretch beyond what we think we are capable of attaining.  As a faculty member and department chair I’ve heard the same things you have.  “I’m just not good at math.”  I’m just not good at science.”  I have a learning block when it comes to languages.”  “That’s just the way I am.”  Saying these things is making an excuse for not trying.

Second we need to practice good andragogy by structuring our lessons to be sure we cover the fundamentals before diving into the details.  There is much research that show that learning occurs when we connect something new to something we already know.  If there are no branches then there is no place to hang the leaves.  We must construct our lessons so that there is a sound framework while at the same time understanding that student will have their own construct based on their own experiences and prior learning.

Who can know if the next Elon Musk is attending Vol State right now?

Vol State Art Gallery - Richard Painter Exhibit in September

Vol State has a beautiful new art gallery on the first floor of the SRB Building. It's open to everyone. It can be a nice way to spend a few minutes over lunch. There will be displays by regional artists throughout the school year and a student show in the spring. The work of internationally known artist Richard Painter will be on display through September 28. Painter creates large scale images and three-dimensional objects by a unique process of using fire resistant coating and blow torches to char wood.

“My work since 1995 has utilized burning,” Painter says on his website. “Either rapidly or slowly, everything burns- the stars, planets, rocks, earth, plants and animals, molecules and atoms, quarks and maybe tachyons--everything that springs into tangible existence starts being consumed by the oxidation of time. Some say that I'm really an arsonist at heart and have simply found a polite and productive way to deal with that tendency.”

Painter is an alumnus of Vol State.  He went on to build a career exhibiting across the nation and internationally. The Richard Painter exhibit is free and open to the public. The Vol State Art Gallery is located on the first floor of the Steinhauer-Rogan-Black (SRB) Humanities Building on the Gallatin campus at 1480 Nashville Pike. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information call 615-230-3202.

Pictured: Winter Note #6. Charred wood, pastel and acrylic, 25" x 49" by Richard Painter.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Much Easier Discussion Board

The Vol State employee Discussion Board is now much easier to use. We have set up links in three different locations. You simply click the link and enter your normal computer credentials and you'll go right there. The links are: one the right hand side column of this blog; under the Faculty and Staff tools links on the website; and also on your My Vol State page under Employee Menu.

The Discussion Board is a way for you to reach campus with any non-work related comments or offers. It could include selling a car, a puppy up for adoption, tickets for sale, or cookies available from your kid's school. If you see a snake on campus or a deer wandering the back lawn, and it's not a problem, you can post about it there and talk about it there.

We hope the new links make it easier to use the Discussion Board. We hope everyone has a great semester!


Vol State Book Read Examines Incarceration with “Just Mercy”

According to numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, the United States has the highest incarceration rate of any nation in the world. The number of American prisoners has increased from 300,000 in the 1970s to 2.3 million people today. The Volunteer State Community College One Book, One Community initiative will examine these issues this coming school year with a group read of the non-fiction book "Just Mercy" by Bryan Stevenson. This is how the publisher, Spiegel and Grau, describes “Just Mercy.”

“Bryan Stevenson takes us on an unforgettable journey into the broken American criminal justice system in his much lauded New York Times bestselling “Just Mercy.” After Stevenson graduated from Harvard Law School he started the Equal Justice Initiative, a law practice dedicated to defending some of America's most rejected and marginalized people. Among the first cases he took on was that of Walter McMillian, a black man from Monroeville, Alabama who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn't commit. The case would change Bryan's life and transform his understanding of justice and mercy forever. “Just Mercy” follows the suspenseful battle to free Walter before the state executes him, while also stepping back to tell the profoundly moving stories of men, women, and even children, who found themselves at the mercy of a system often incapable of showing it.” 

Bryan Stevenson. Photo by Nina Subin.
The One Book, One Community initiative joins Vol State, local schools, libraries and readers from across Sumner County for the group read. There are three speakers coming to the Vol State campus in Gallatin to discuss issues raised by the book. Everyone is welcome to attend these free events.

Jeannie Alexander will be speaking on September 13 at 1 p.m. in the Caudill Hall Wemyss Auditorium. Readers of the Nashville Scene will recognize her as the publication’s “Best Advocate” in 2017. Alexander, who has been involved in advocacy for those affected by homelessness as well as the prison system, now heads up the No Exceptions Prison Collective, a nonprofit focused on the abolition of prisons as well as the establishment of basic treatment standards for prisoners. Alexander will talk about her experiences as an advocate and more generally about the prison system.

Vanderbilt Philosophy Professor Lisa Guenther will discuss the prison system in America on October 24 at 1 p.m. in the Mary Cole Nichols Dining Room. Guenther’s areas of focus include mass incarceration, capital punishment, the carceral state, race and racism, and the effects of solitary confinement.

The Reverend Joseph B. Ingle will present on November 15 at 1 p.m. in the Caudill Hall Wemyss Auditorium. Ingle is an expert on the history of incarceration in the United States. The Reverend founded the Tennessee Committee against State Killing, and has served as the director of the Southern Coalition on Jails and Prisons as well as the Executive Director of the Neighborhood Justice Center, a Nashville based coalition focused on restorative justice.


“Just Mercy” is available at many Sumner County libraries and all Vol State library locations. For more information on One Book, One Community and “Just Mercy” visit www.volstate.edu/onebook.

Here are the references for the above stats:
Highest Incarceration Rate
Number of Americans in Prison

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Red Solo Cup Winner

Advising is a big deal here at Vol State. And orientation, in the form of Campus Connect, is the start for many students. That's why it's no small matter when the Red Solo Cup is awarded at Convocation each year. It honors all of the academic divisions for their hard work in getting students properly advised. Alas, there can only be one winner. The award goes to the Social Science and Education Division this year. Heather Harper made the presentation. Dean Phyllis Foley accepted on behalf of her Division. Thanks to everyone for the great work on Campus Connect this year...now we continue that effort through the school year.


Join us for the Harvest Moon Soiree September 15

Attendees of the Volunteer State College Foundation Harvest Moon Soirée will need to figure out their song requests. The Nashville duo Rock and Roll Pianos will be taking those requests and having fun with the crowd as the dueling piano entertainment for the event on September 15. The Soirée has raised more than a half-million dollars for student scholarships at Vol State over the last 11 years. Tickets are on sale now.

The Soirée will have electronic bidding via GalaBid for the Silent Auction this year. The items will include: lunch with Hendersonville Mayor Jamie Clary; a guided wildflower walk; Nashville Titans tickets with a parking pass; a signed UT football; a Ryan Johansen signed Nashville Predators mini-helmet; and gift cards to various local restaurants and entertainment venues. These items will be available for viewing on the new electronic bidding platform at www.galabid.com/HarvestMoon17 starting September 8.

The Soirée will be held this year in the St. Joseph Hall of Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Hendersonville. The evening will begin at 5:30 p.m. with cocktails and the silent auction. Dinner and entertainment will follow. Sponsorship packages, tables, and individual seats can be purchased through Friday, September 8, while space is available. Individual tickets are $75 each. The returning Titanium and event title sponsor this year is Sumner Regional Medical Center. Sponsorships are still available. Please contact Alison Muncy at 615-230-3526 or alison.muncy@volstate.edu for more information. For tickets call the Foundation at 615-230-3506, or visit www.volstate.edu/HarvestMoon.

The 2017 Harvest Moon Soirée committee includes: Shirley Arrendale, Wanda Faulkner, Jim Harding, Mary Holtman-Reed, Diane Hughes, Dixie Jones, Lori Johnson, Hilary Marabeti, Laurette Nuckols, Sandy Webster, and Betty Zuccarello.

Pictured: Harvest Moon Soirée 2016, left to right: Susan Peach, chief executive officer, Sumner Regional Medical Center; Dr. Jerry Faulkner, president, Volunteer State Community College; and Karen Mitchell, vice president of Resource Development and executive director of the Foundation, Volunteer State Community College

Monday, August 21, 2017

An Amazing Eclipse Event

Thanks to everyone who made the eclipse event such a success. We had visitors from more than 20 states and several different countries. Police and Plant Operations made it all happen and more than 100 faculty, staff and students worked with the public on various activities. We even had 20 employees from Nissan headquarters come out to volunteer. The public seemed to have a great time. And I think we can all agree that totality was a once in a lifetime experience.



Service Awards

Congrats to everyone who received service awards from the college at Convocation. If you would like your picture please email me and I'll send it to you: eric.melcher@volstate.edu

Here were some of the long-timers:


Thirty Year Awards
Terrence Heinen
Erica Malone









Thirty‐Five Year Awards
Suzanne Hesson
Donna Davis










Forty Year Awards
Ondis Bible











Forty‐Five Year Awards

Sue Pedigo

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Vol State in the News

More money for community college advising? That's the discussion in Tennessee right now. Dr. Faulkner discusses an anticipated proposal by Governor Haslam in this Tennessean story.

The college has been considering expansion in Wilson County for some time now. The Mt. Juliet location is still being finalized. Here is an update in the Tennessean.

Vol State hosted a transportation meeting last month. The discussion focused on the Sumner County part of the regional transportation plan. This is a Tennessean article about what came out of the meeting.

Angie Lawson is now the chief of Campus Police. We shared that news with the Tennessean recently. Chief Lawson gives a big shout-out to retired Chief William Rogan in the piece.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Hail to the Chief


It's retirement time for Vol State Campus Police Chief William Rogan. He's served the college for more than 25 years. Chief Rogan has been a calm and reassuring presence on campus for so long it will be hard to imagine the place without him. There was a retirement party held for him recently. It brought in many people from campus, police from other jurisdictions and friends from around Sumner County.





Monday, July 24, 2017

One Book, One Community: Just Mercy

According to numbers provided by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, the United States has the highest incarceration rate of any nation in the world. The number of American prisoners has increased from 300,000 in the 1970s to 2.3 million people today." We'll be examining these issues at Vol State this coming school year as "Just Mercy" has been chosen for the One Book, One Community read. Here is how the publisher describes the non-fiction book.

“Bryan Stevenson takes us on an unforgettable journey into the broken American criminal justice system in his much lauded New York Times bestselling “Just Mercy.” After Stevenson graduated from Harvard Law School he started the Equal Justice Initiative, a law practice dedicated to defending some of America's most rejected and marginalized people. Among the first cases he took on was that of Walter McMillian, a black man from Monroeville, Alabama who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn't commit. The case would change Bryan's life and transform his understanding of justice and mercy forever. “Just Mercy” follows the suspenseful battle to free Walter before the state executes him, while also stepping back to tell the profoundly moving stories of men, women, and even children, who found themselves at the mercy of a system often incapable of showing it.” 
Bryan Stevenson. Photo by Nina Subin


The One Book One Community initiative has three speakers coming to the Vol State campus in Gallatin to discuss issues raised by the book.


Jeannie Alexander will be speaking on September 13th at 1 p.m. in the Caudill Hall Wemyss Auditorium. Readers of the Nashville Scene will recognize her as the publication’s “Best Advocate” in 2017. Alexander, who has been involved in advocacy for those affected by homelessness as well as the prison system, now heads up the No Exceptions Prison Collective, a nonprofit focused on the abolition of prisons as well as the establishment of basic treatment standards for prisoners. Alexander will speak about her experiences as an advocate and more generally about the prison system.


Vanderbilt Philosophy Professor Lisa Guenther will speak about the prison system in America on October 24th at 1 p.m. in the Mary Cole Nichols Dining Room. Guenther’s areas of focus include mass incarceration, capital punishment, the carceral state, race and racism, and the effects of solitary confinement. Students, faculty and members of the community are invited to join for what promises to be a compelling and interesting discussion of imprisonment practices in America.

The Reverend Joseph B. Ingle will join us on November 15th at 1 p.m. in the Caudill Hall Wemyss Auditorium. Ingle is an expert on the history of incarceration in the United States and will speak on that subject. Ingle founded the Tennessee Committee against State Killing, and has served as the director of the Southern Coalition on Jails and Prisons as well as the Executive Director of the Neighborhood Justice Center, a Nashville based coalition focused on restorative justice. Ingle will share some of his wealth of knowledge on the subjects of incarceration and justice, as well as providing unique insights gained from his years of dedicated service to ameliorative justice in Tennessee.


For more information please visit the web page.

Respiratory Students at CMA Fest

Our Respiratory Care students stay engaged with the community….even working at one of Nashville’s biggest music festivals. On June 10th, they volunteered at the CMA Festival tent for the CHEST Foundation’s Lung Health Experience in Nashville. They collected health information and gained valuable hands-on-experience by performing spirometry screenings for the country music fans. Details about the Respiratory Care program can be found at the website.


Monday, July 10, 2017

Athletic Association Golf Classic Coming August 7

Individuals and teams can compete for prizes and bragging rights at the eleventh annual Business Credit Reports Athletic Association Golf Classic, benefiting the Volunteer State College Foundation. The tournament is scheduled for Monday, August 7 and registration is open now. Highlights of the event are the Volunteer State Bank Paul Warren Memorial Corporate Cup Challenge and the Business Credit Reports Four Man Scramble. The tournament will be held at Fairvue Plantation in Gallatin. Registration and warm-up begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by a light lunch and a noon shotgun start.

The Golf Classic raises money for the Volunteer State Community College Athletic Association. Businesses and individuals are encouraged to enter teams for the event. The cost for individuals is $150 and $600 per team. There will be prizes for men and women’s par 3, long drive and closest to the pin. All tickets this year will include a putting contest, mulligan, chipping contest and other fun events. The event will culminate that evening with an awards dinner.

To register a team or for more information, call the Volunteer State College Foundation at 615-230-3526 or email Alison.muncy@volstate.edu

Alison Muncy Joins the Foundation

Alison Muncy is the new development officer for the College Foundation. Muncy was most recently director of Member Relations for the Hendersonville Area Chamber of Commerce. She also served as a board member for Beautiful Hendersonville. In her Vol State position she is charged with fundraising and event planning.

“Development is educating people about what their money will be doing and the impact it will have on people’s lives,” Muncy said. “People may be under the impression that community college is free these days, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Books and materials are expensive, and our scholarships can help cover those costs. And even with the great new statewide scholarship programs, there are still some people who might not qualify. We’re here to help them, as well.”

Muncy holds a Master of Science in Public Health degree from Meharry Medical College and a Bachelor of Business Administration, Marketing degree from Middle Tennessee State University. She also has an associate of applied science degree from Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio. She is a Leadership Sumner graduate and former member of the Board of Directors.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Meet the New Sonography Director

Vol State has named Edward Carlton as Director of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS). Carlton comes most recently from Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, where he is a Diagnostic Sonographer. DMS is medical imaging that includes ultrasound technology. It uses high-frequency sound waves to make images of organs and other systems in the body.

“In the clinical setting you work with students a lot,” Carlton said. “That really appeals to me. I would like to see the program at Vol State expand. Growing the program is important.”

Carlton is in progress with the Master of Science in Radiologic Science, Education program from Midwestern State University. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography from Grand Valley State University. He attended community college in North Carolina.

The Vol State Sonography Laboratory is set up like a clinic, with eight beds, each with high-tech imaging units and HD displays. They also have a state-of-the-art virtual reality simulator for students to practice more difficult scans and image specific pathologies. For more information visit www.volstate.edu/dms

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Vol State in the News

We recently announced a preliminary schedule for our eclipse watch event on August 21. Several area news outlets picked it up and ran the schedule, including Fox 17 and News2. A reminder that faculty, staff and students who wish to attend the event, but who will not be working or volunteering, should register, so we can control how many people are on campus. It's easy and only takes a moment to register the whole family if you want. Those who are working or volunteering do not need to register.

Vol State is hosting a Mechatronics open house on July 13. The Tennessean has the story.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

New Programs Help Adult Students Attend Vol State

New programs at Volunteer State Community College can help adult students who want to earn a college degree. There is an evaluation of life experience called a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA).  It's designed to help students speed up their steps towards a college degree by evaluating the student's life experiences for possible college credit. Vol State also offers Academic Fresh Start.  This is an opportunity to disregard previous poor grades that were earned at Vol State.  Students can work to earn higher grades and increase their Grade Point Average (GPA). There is also much excitement about TN Reconnect, the newly approved scholarship program starting in fall 2018 that will provide a tuition-free community college education for most adults in Tennessee. But even with all of the new assistance, there is still the matter of a person making room in their life for college. One person that understands that situation is actually the president of Vol State, Jerry Faulkner. He dropped out of college as a junior at U-T Knoxville and spent years doing various jobs.

“I realized that what I was getting out of life was a paycheck and an ulcer,” Faulkner said. “If I was going to have a more meaningful career, I would need a college education.”

And so, just shy of his thirtieth birthday, Faulkner went back to college. “It was very scary. The job I left was pretty good paying. I had a wife and son. We made the decision that I should go to college full-time. The anticipation before I got in the class was the scariest part. I had a lot of anxiety because I knew I would be in a classroom with a lot of younger people.”

Despite the fears, academic challenges, and the major financial burden of balancing work and school, Faulkner went on to earn a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree and then a Ph.D. When asked what advice he gives to adults considering college, Faulkner remembers what he felt as an adult student.

“Don’t let fear hold you back. You can succeed. The likely maturity you gained will make you a better student. Education is a great vehicle to get you where you want to go. The tassel is worth the hassle.”

Vol State is encouraging adult students to consider returning to college even before the TN Reconnect scholarship program starts in 2018. Adult students may be eligible for Pell Grants and Vol State scholarships now. Filling out the FAFSA form is the way to find out what kind of assistance is available. The college offers many evening and online classes and is piloting new classes that may provide an even better fit with adult schedules. The office of Veterans Affairs and Adult Learners provides help for adults in navigating the college process. Academic advisors help students set-up a plan for the degree they are seeking. For those still wondering about an academic major, the Advising Center at Vol State offers a personality inventory that can show the academic areas in which a student might do well.

In the end, it all comes down to graduating with a degree or certificate. There were many adult graduates in the audience at the recent Vol State spring commencement ceremony.

“I have new best friends and none of them are over 24 years old,” said Les Lyle of Lebanon. “The PTA (Physical Therapist Assistant) program has opened doors for me. I have several job opportunities available to me now.”

Vol State has a web page especially designed for adult students. They’re encouraged to visit www.volstate.edu/adult. Then students can use the website to explore the more than 90 degree programs the college offers. Help is also available on the phone at 615-230-3688 and in-person at the Vol State campus locations in Gallatin, Springfield, Cookeville and Livingston.


Pictured: Les Lyle came to Vol State after a layoff. He had been with the same company for 35 years. He now has an associate of applied science degree.