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.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Carole Bucy in new NPT Documentary


Vol State History professor, Carole Bucy, is one of the experts interviewed for a new Nashville Public Television documentary- Cheekwood: A Masterpiece by Man & Nature. This is what NPT says about the show: “This month, Cheekwood completes a major renovation to return much of the house and gardens to their original glory. At this pivotal moment of rebirth, NPT’s original documentary, Cheekwood: A Masterpiece by Man & Nature, ventures behind the scenes for an in-depth look at the mansion and grounds. The 30-minute program premieres Thursday, June 22, at 8 p.m. Cheekwood: A Masterpiece by Man & Nature will also be available for online viewing at wnpt.org.

Vol State in the News

The SRB recording studio was featured in the national League for Innovation in the Community College newsletter.

Community College Daily picked up our story about new programs for adults. It features the story of Dr. Faulkner, who returned to college at age 30.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Vol State Logistics Students Receive Scholarships

Vol State Logistics Management students were recently awarded Delta Nu Alpha (DNA) Transportation Society scholarships. Students Brian Beddoes, Adam Mamula, and William Stroud received their award checks at the annual DNA Scholarship Dinner. For more information about the Logistics Management program at Vol State visit www.volstate.edu/logistics.




Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Vol State in the News

The Tennessean has the story about our undergraduate research pipeline. It was also picked-up by the Chalkboard education newsletter/website.

A new health sciences A.S. degree and an African-American Literature class are new for fall and also in the Tennessean.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Vol State Growing Research with a Student Pipeline

The numbers are stunning. There will be a need for one million more science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professionals than the United States will produce in the next few years. There has been a 17 percent increase in job growth for STEM fields. That’s according to a report by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. The question is- how do we produce more science professionals? Volunteer State Community College is teaming up with area high schools to grow a science research pipeline for students. Lebanon High School students gathered recently at Vol State to show off their laboratory skills. The partnership between the college and high school has big goals.

“The idea is to give students the ability to walk into a laboratory and know what they are doing,” said Math and Science Dean Phil Clifford. “That’s going to put them head and shoulders above other students in school.”

“These students will start their college career with a huge leg up,” said Lebanon High School teacher Melissa Bunch. “They’re doing molecular biology in my lab right now.”

Lebanon High School is now offering dual credit courses in key research areas. The classes are taught at the college level and provide both high school and college credit. Lebanon is also leading the way as the first high school in the state to have biotechnology program. “The pathway from high school to community college to university is a big selling point,” Bunch said.

That pipeline starts with science research and lab work in high school and continues it with undergraduate research at Vol State.  “We’re trying to grow our undergraduate research program by finding the right students,” said Assistant Professor of Biology Joe Dolan. “If we can reach into the high schools and find students, it will help us identify them for our undergraduate research at Vol State.”

The Vol State research then provides students a direct path to university research. “We are partnering with several local universities that are interested in accepting our students,” said Clifford.

“I’m hoping to pursue bio-chemistry or chemical engineering,” said Lebanon High School student Hunter Fugate. “I want to be at a lab bench wherever I go.”

“I love the hands-on part,” said student Melissa Crespo. “The career I want to go into is forensic science. There’s a lot of lab work in that. This will give me a real advantage.”

The Vol State and Lebanon High School partnership also reaches out to the business community with a nine week internship at a biotech company. “All of this gives students exposure to lab research, so they can make wise career choices down the road,” Clifford added.

For more information on science education at Vol State visit: www.volstate.edu/scienceresearch

This is a link to the 2012 report by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Sign-Up Now for Free Educational Eclipse Event August 21

Are you searching for a fun and educational total eclipse watching event on August 21?
Volunteer State Community College is hosting a free eclipse event on the campus in Gallatin at 1480 Nashville Pike from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is open to everyone. We will have educational presentations, fun science exhibits for kids and adults, and live narration during the totality. Many of our pre-eclipse activities will be held in air-conditioned buildings. Registration is requested. Join us, but please sign-up soon. We will close registration when we reach capacity.
Visit our registraton page for details and to sign-up.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Student Foodbank Food Drive

Plans for a student food bank are moving forward. You may have seen or participated in the food drive to stock the pantry. The TRIO Office was just one of many offices participating. The TRIO staff and students brought in 203 food items for the cause, far surpassing their goal of 167.


The pantry will be called “The Feed”. Organizers say they hope to have it open for the fall semester. It will be located in the Ramer Building. We’ll have much more on the opening and how it will work later this summer.

A Big Career Expo Fair

Congrats to everyone who  participated in the 2017 Career Expo Fair recently. The event was held for 2,700 eighth graders from Sumner, Trousdale and Macon County schools. It's designed to help them explore career fields and figure out the educational pathway to get there. It was the biggest year yet for the event. Dozens of Vol State faculty and staff worked to make it happen.




Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Vol State in the News

We launched a publicity campaign for the Mechatronics program, which starts here in Gallatin, and continues in Cookeville, this fall. The Tennessean ran our news release.

The Tennessean also has coverage of the Vol State Cap and Gown bike ride from this past weekend.

2,700 middle school students came to campus for the annual Career Exploration Fair. The event involved Vol State faculty and staff and many visiting professionals, all offering advice and info for students interested in various career paths. Here is a Tennessean story.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Vol State TSBDC Celebrates 10 Years Serving Small Business

Small business owners often need help navigating the marketplace. With 2,000 clients, 188 business starts and more than $25 million in capital formation, the Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) at Volunteer State Community College has been providing that assistance. The Vol State TSBDC is celebrating a ten-year anniversary. Clients say they have benefited with everything from formulating business plans to advice in marketing. The TSBDC offers free workshops, classes and one-on-one help.

“I received so much great advice and encouragement from Charles and TSBDC when I started my business.  I still hear his voice in my head saying that it just takes time to build a business,” said Kristie Rigdon of My Veggie Chef. 

“We are so grateful to Charles Alexander and the Tennessee Small Business Development Center for helping us successfully launch our new venture, Pour Vous Wine, Spirits and Beer Warehouse,” said Evelyn Bonds. “What an awesome resource they were to us for developing and implementing a marketing plan appropriate for our industry, location and size.  The research and free seminars were invaluable and represented a huge cost savings.” 

TSBDC clients come from a wide-variety of business types, have including restaurants, recycling companies and insurance companies.

“This has been a very interesting ride,” said TSBDC Director Charles Alexander. “When we started this TSBDC ten years ago, social media wasn’t really a thing and the big concern for entrepreneurs was spending money on the Yellow Pages. Since then we’ve had the Great Recession and a local economic boom.  This has been so much fun that I can’t believe I get paid to do it.  I get to selfishly see the help we provide, make an immediate impact on our community.  However, the real credit goes to the business owners.  It’s their hard work, risk, and determination that allows me to have this career.  I’m especially thankful to my supervisor Hilary Marabeti, our local donors, and my sidekick, Dave Jose for making this center thrive.”

Pictured: Celebrating successful businesses helped by TSBDC. The 2016 Rising Star Award recipients, Body Kneads, Inc of Lebanon. Pictured left to right: Charles Alexander, director of the Vol State TSBDC; Julie Miller-Wilson and Heather Hull, of Body Kneads; Dave Jose; Hilary Marabeti, assistant vice president for Continuing Education and Economic Development; and Jerry Faulkner, Vol State president.

Nice Day for a Bike Ride

The Vol State Cap and Gown Ride may be a new name, but the event provided the same fun atmosphere as the former Cycling Classic bike ride. Cyclists appreciated the near perfect weather on Saturday morning. More than a hundred riders participated in three different tour lengths from 15 to 63 miles, each of which started at the Vol State campus in Gallatin and wound through scenic Sumner County. Afterwards, cyclists were treated to barbecue and music. This is the fourth year for the fundraiser which goes to support student scholarships. The amount raised is still being calculated. 






Congrats to a Former Faculty Member

George Wilson may have left the state of Tennessee, but his impact is still being remembered. The Institute of Supply Management-Nashville has designated George as "Education Person of the Year" for 2017. ISM-Nashville previously awarded George the "Volunteer of the Year" award for 2012 and the "William L. Burns Leadership" award for 2013. George thanks his friends and colleagues Don Ellis and Andrew Singer for getting him involved in ISM-Nashville. George says he is very gratified to have so many of his Students win ISM-Nashville scholarships over the years, including Cynthia Sasser, Shannon Rizzo, Carrie Irvin, Jeff Hartmann, Dawn Leady, JT Kemper, Ron Moe, CJ Kolek, Kelly Dean, and Gayle Wilmore. 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Awesome Brother-Sister Story at Graduation

So many great stories at graduation this year...but one has stood out as a favorite.

After having to drop out of Tennessee Tech University 18 years ago to take care of his mom and sister, Ferrell Lewis finally took the stage at Vol State's Commencement ceremony Saturday with an A.A.S. in Computer Information Technology. Ferrell's sister, Feylyn flew in from England to surprise him just before the ceremony started. Their mom, Darline Lewis was there to enjoy the magical moment as well. Congratulations, Ferrell!

Feylyn wrote up the whole story in the Huffington Post- it's quite moving. Congrats to an awesome family. 

Vol State in the News

The Tennessean came to commencement to cover TN Promise students graduating. They have a nice piece with tons of great pictures for the online version (sadly no pics in the printed version).

Graduate awards are also in the news in the Tennessean Sumner edition.

The Entertainment Media Production scholarship program with Starstruck Entertainment in Nashville received press coverage recently.

A Surprise Award for Stephanie

A big surprise recently for Stephanie Coker of the IT Department. She received the Distinguished Service Award from the Tennessee Higher Education Information Technology Symposium. It's a statewide honor. Organizers went to great lengths to keep the honor a secret. It was given out at the Symposium in April. Her boss, Kevin Blankenship, was enlisted to help get her to the conference, which she was not planning on attending. He mentioned that she needed to moderate a panel and that there was a room available. So, Stephanie attended. And then came the awards banquet.

"They start reading facts about the person (receiving the award). They start reading things and then you realize it's you. They outlined my entire career at the college, without giving out the name until the very end. It was a big shock."

Now Stephanie has an important job coming up next year. It will be her responsibility to make sure the award recipient makes it to the symposium without knowing about the honor.

Congratulations to Stephanie. It's just another recognition of how talented and hardworking our Information Technology folks are here at Vol State.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Graduate Profiles: Overcoming Obstacles and Realizing Dreams

Kelsie Piercey of Portland is graduating with a Vol State associate of science degree and a high school diploma. The Sumner County Middle College High School student has also built up more than 60 college credits that she plans to use at Berea College in Kentucky this fall. She is the first in her family to attend college. The journey hasn’t been easy.

“I’ve been couch hopping. I have to juggle school and work. I work about forty hours a week,” Kelsie said. “If I don’t have WiFi where I’m staying, that makes it hard to do homework.”

Despite the obstacles, she has done well on the Vol State campus, taking classes for both high school and college credit. “I’m probably going to cry (at graduation). I didn’t see myself going to Vol State. I just wanted to throw it out there to see what I could do. I like how it’s challenging,” she said. “I’ve met a number of eccentric and interesting people. There’s a lot more freedom. There’s no dress code.”

Kelsie said she plans to pursue a career in social services when she graduates from Berea. “I was in foster care once. We had one really good social worker and one that didn’t care. I want to make a difference.”

Crystal Sloss of Gallatin said she didn’t take college seriously when she first attended in Kentucky.  But that all changed on her second try. “I came to Vol State in 2015 with my aunt, who had just lost her job. I said – let’s do this together,” she said. “I had matured and by my second semester I decided to get involved in student activities.”

Those activities included work as a President’s Ambassador, representing Vol State at events. It’s a prestigious scholarship at Vol State and Sloss credits the people she worked with for much of her success.

“It’s opened up so many doors for me. Tim and Annette (in Admissions) believed in me. I’ve gained supportive friends with the other ambassadors. Having a group of people to support you helps you have a better outlook on school.”

It wasn’t just one activity, Crystal led several student groups, including in her most recent role as vice chairperson of the Campus Activities Board. For her service to the college, Crystal was recently awarded the Robert M. Ruff Distinguished Leadership Award.
She manages classes and extracurricular activities, while also raising two young girls as a single mom.

“I work a full-time job at Chili’s,” she said. “Being a mom with all that is really hard, but my family has been able to support me.”

Crystal isn't content with just one degree from Vol State. She graduated with a pre-nursing degree and will head back to Vol State in the fall to work on a biology degree. And it’s more than just a career step for her. She has another reason for wanting to succeed in college.

“My girls are my everything,” she said. “I want to show them that if you put your mind to something you can do it no matter what the obstacles.”

Les Lyle of Lebanon has embraced change with a new career path and at the age of 55. He spent most of his life in the printing business.

“They had another layoff and I was gone after 35 years with the same company,” Les said. “I met with a really wonderful lady, Guin Tyus, with Tennessee Career Centers. She had me take a Myers-Briggs personality inventory and it showed that I really like working with people. She showed me a list of career fields for my personality type.”

Les knew how important physical therapy can be. His father received treatment and in the process found a bond with his therapist. So, Lyle chose the Physical Therapist Assistant program at Vol State. He even enrolled in a Health Sciences cohort program that has a small group of students work together. One of those students was his daughter.

“She was great. We had similar study styles. She was like my teacher,” he said. “The cohort was tough academically, but it was one of the best things I have ever done. I have new best friends and none of them are over 24 years old. The PTA program has opened doors for me. I have several job opportunities available to me now.”
  
It’s all in the family for Morgan Seay. When she walks across the stage at graduation she will join her mother and family as Vol State alumni.

“My mom is a nurse. She got here degree from Vol State,” she said. “My dad has an associate’s degree in Fire Science from Vol State.”

Morgan says she has wanted to pursue a medical career for most of her life. “I’m planning on becoming a doctor. I hope to be either an OB-GYN or a trauma surgeon.”

Her experience in medical science began at an early age. “I grew up learning to read nursing manuals as my mom studied out loud.”

The dream of delivering babies as an OB-GYN comes from being the oldest of seven kids. “I’m eight years older than all of my sibilings. Babies have always been a part of my life. I have always wanted to be part of something that special in someone’s life.”

Morgan is a Sumner County Middle College High School student. She is graduating with a Vol State associate’s degree and a high school diploma. “I’ve always been a lot more mature for my age,” she said. “I was bored at high school. I have had all this freedom here to choose my path- that means a lot.”

Morgan plans to pursue a pre-med or biology degree. “Since I have 74 credit hours already they say I may be able to graduate in three semesters at WKU (Western Kentucky University).”

“My parents are really proud and glad that I got to get my degree. My mom has always pushed me to be a doctor, because she could see that was always what I wanted to do.”

Vol State in the News

The Tennessean ran our story about Vol State being recognized as StormReady by the National Weather Service,


Monday, April 24, 2017

Dr. Faulkner: Seven Blunders

A few years ago I had the opportunity to hear Arun Gandhi speak at Cleveland State (he also spoke here at Vol State).  Arun is the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi.  Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born in1869 in Porbandar, India. He led India's movement for independence from British rule.  Gandhi is honored by his people as the father of the Indian nation and is called 'Mahatma', which means Great Soul.
During his presentation, Arun spoke of his grandfathers’s efforts to obtain freedom for India through non-violent resistance.  He spoke of Mahatma’s messages of peace, love, and tolerance.  His actions and words make him one of the most respected spiritual and political leaders of the 20th century.  

Arun also spoke of what his grandfather called the Seven Blunders of the World.  They are:

1. Wealth without work
2. Pleasure without conscience
3. Knowledge without character
4. Commerce without morality
5. Science without humanity
6. Worship without sacrifice
7. Politics without principle

To these Arun modestly added an eighth – Rights without responsibility.

Mahatma also referred to these as seven social sins and collectively as “passive violence.”  His premise was that these individually and collectively lead to manifestations of violence.  Left unchecked they can destroy a person or a society.

As I watch the TV news and read the newspaper (Yes.  I’m and old fogey that reads a real newspaper every day.) I observe that every criminal act, expression of violence, or terrorist attack has one or more of these blunders at its foundation.

Mahatma Gandhi’s real impact was not just in the words he said but in the actions and lifestyle that demonstrated what he said.  What could our college, our community, our state, our nation be like if we individually and collectively pledged ourselves to not commit the Seven Blunders?

-Dr. Jerry Faulkner

Monday, April 17, 2017

Vol State Recognized by National Weather Service

We have been fine-tuning the campus severe weather response for many years. Now the college has the title of StormReady to add to its list of accomplishments. The National Weather Service presented the recognition recently. The program is a national effort to prepare communities and institutions for all types of severe weather.

“It’s not an easy task to be recognized as StormReady,” said Krissy Hurley, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service (NWS). “Congratulations, you should be very proud. It’s fitting that this recognition comes on the 11th anniversary of the tornado.”

The Vol State Gallatin campus was struck by a tornado on April 7, 2006. At the time, the college officials said that safety drills were one of the reasons that there were only minor injuries on campus. In the years since, Vol State Campus Police have worked to upgrade emergency speaker systems, video monitoring and held CERT emergency response training sessions for faculty and staff. The latest upgrades include tornado shelter signs for all storm-safe areas on campus.

“Things were already pretty well figured out here,” Hurley said. “My congratulations for great work that was already done.”

“It’s not if it happens, but when it happens,” said Vol State president, Jerry Faulkner. “That’s the attitude that our folks have when planning. It’s created a safe environment here on campus.”

Pictured: The StormReady presentation. From left to right: assistant police chief, Angie Lawson; police senior administrative assistant, Lisa Morris; president, Jerry Faulkner; warning coordination meteorologist, NWS, Krissy Hurley; police dispatcher Larry Ashlock; and police chief William Rogan. 

Meet Erik Jessse

Erik Jesse is the Director of Emergency Medical Services at Vol State. He's been serving in that role for a few months now. He comes most recently from Erlanger Health Systems, where he was operations supervisor. He has also been a critical care paramedic for Warren County EMS for the last eight years. Jesse was clinic manager and emergency medical instructor at Fort Campbell in Kentucky from 2007 until 2016.

“I’ve been working in EMS education for 15 years,” Jesse said. “That’s what I did for the Army for 10 years. When the opportunity came to get back into education full-time, I wanted to go for it. Vol State has a great program. The growth potential is tremendous.”


Jesse holds a B.S. degree in Public Safety Administration and Emergency Disaster Management from Grand Canyon University in Arizona. He also has two master’s degrees from Grand Canyon, a M.S. in Public Administration and a M.S. in Accounting.

Retirement Celebration

The annual retirement celebration was held last week. It was a smaller than usual event, due to the fact that many of the retirees left earlier this year. Still, warm wishes for everyone and thanks for the many years of service. No matter where you are, you are remembered for your work and achievements here at Vol State.

Congratulations to:
Carolyn Chaffin
Cherry Creasy
Steve Etheridge
Sharon Hebb
Eloise Hitchcock
Deborah Snelling
Kathleen Sowell

George Wilson



Vol State in the News

Dr. Faulkner was the member of the week profile in the Hendersonville Chamber of Commerce newsletter recently.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Dr. Faulkner: Cracker Jack Has Gone Too Far!

From my previous blog posts, presentations, and conversations you know that I’m a technophile.  In recent months I've been fascinated by the potential for technology to impact our lives.  But I've also opined that there are limits to technology.  I recently stated that, “while a computer may be more proficient at diagnosing a cancer, I don’t want a computer to tell me I have cancer and discuss my treatment options.”

This weekend I encountered another instances where technology has gone too far and spoiled a good thing.  Wanda knows I’m a fan of Cracker Jack.  I try to limit my consumption but occasionally she will surprise me with a box.  That’s what happened this weekend.  Of course every Cracker Jack aficionado knows part of the enjoyment is the prize in every package.  And so as I crunched and munched I retrieved my prize from the package.  I imagined it would be a temporary, press on tattoo or a decoder ring or maybe even a plastic spider.  You can empathize when what I retrieved was a “Stick It Blipp It.”  On the cover it was hyped as a “New Prize Inside!”  When I unfolded it inside was a baseball sticker and these instructions:

Bring The Ballpark to Life.  Follow these simple steps to Blipp the ball game!
-Download Blipper App
-Aim & Frame Prize Inside Sticker
-Experience It Come to Life

My Cracker Jack prize required an “app” to make it work and it implied that I needed extra stimulation to enjoy a baseball game.  Cracker Jack has gone too far!  You shouldn’t need a smart phone app to enjoy your prize.  Maybe I’ll switch to Fiddle Faddle.

Vol State in the News



Community College Week ran a story about our Dental Assisting Program upgrading to digital radiography equipment.

A Fun Weekend on the Gallatin Campus

High School Music Day, an Easter Egg Hunt and Home Plate Day baseball and softball games were just a few of the fun community events at Vol State this weekend. Here are some pics: