Monday, January 30, 2017

Vol State will Host Eclipse Watching Event August 21

Vol State is hosting a total eclipse watching family educational event on August 21. It is a week before classes start. Up to a million people are expected to travel to Middle Tennessee to watch the total eclipse. It's a narrow path for viewing the totality and the best spot in our area is Gallatin. Faculty and staff don't need to register at the link below. Members of the public will need to register, but it's just for a count. Tickets will not be needed and the event will be first come, first served. 

We're very excited to announce a special guest presenting that day: Todd May, the Director of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.

Here are the details thus far:

Total Eclipse 2017
On August 21, 2017 there will be a total solar eclipse on a narrow path across the United States. A total solar eclipse occurs when the new Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth. The event creates fascinating lighting and allows viewers to see the corona of the Sun.

Gallatin, Tennessee will be one of the best spots in the country to view the total eclipse with totality lasting two minutes and forty seconds. Eclipse viewing in the area will be from noon-3 p.m. Totality will occur at 1:27 p.m.

Of course, viewing is dependent on the weather. Overcast skies may make eclipse viewing marginal.

Watch the 2017 Total Eclipse with Us
Volunteer State Community College is hosting a free eclipse watching event on our campus in Gallatin from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is open to everyone. We will have educational presentations, live video viewing of the eclipse in other parts of the country, live narration during the totality, and fun science exhibits for kids and adults. The activities will be held both outside and in air-conditioned buildings.

While there will be limited outdoor seating, attendees should be prepared to sit on the lawn. People are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs. There will be room for picnicking. We will also have food and beverages for sale. The campus has plenty of bathrooms and heat relief zones (seating areas) in many buildings.

Parking is also free. Buses and RV's are welcome, but there will be no overnight parking, before or after the event. Parking lots open at 8 a.m. Once the lots are full, the campus will be closed to new entrants. Entry is first come, first served. The campus will close at 6pm on the day of the Eclipse. No alcohol will be allowed in vehicles or on campus. There is no smoking on campus. This is designed as a family event.

We need to have an idea of how many people will be attending. We have set-up an Eventbrite registration webpage. We ask that people register on that page and let us know how many people will be attending in their group. The ticket that is emailed back to each person signing-up does not guarantee admission. Admission will be first-come, first-served. You don’t need to bring the ticket to the event. The registration is simply for our count of attendees.

If you have questions you can email or call 615-230-3571.

General Information
Parking lots open to the public at 8 a.m.
The event will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Totality at 1:27 p.m.
The campus closes to the public at 6 p.m.
Most events will be on and around the Thigpen Library lawn
Food and drinks will be available for purchase at the Vol State CafĂ© in the Wood Campus Center.  They open at 8 a.m. and close at 4 p.m. It is fine for people to bring in outside food and beverages. Alcohol is not allowed on campus.

Vol State Tops in State for Workforce Training Hours

Workforce development may sound like a bureaucratic title. But the essence is simple: it’s about businesses investing in training for their employees. Partnerships between colleges and the business community are essential for workforce development. The Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) recently announced that Vol State has the most training hours for workforce development among TBR colleges and universities. Vol State provided 121,639 contact training hours. That’s 22 percent of the entire state total for TBR.

“The Vol State programs that generated the greatest hours were our OSHA health and safety training and the American Heart Association certification and recertification courses,” said Hilary Marabeti, assistant vice president for Continuing Education and Economic Development. “But businesses can come to us to customize anything they need. Customer service is an example. Our training is made to order to match your company culture and your employee knowledge and skills base.”

Vol State trains OSHA trainers for courses held across the southern U.S. as an OSHA Training Institute Education Center (OTIEC). That means Vol State offers courses not only at the Gallatin campus, but all over the region.

The U.S. Department of Commerce has called Workforce Development one of the most important economic tools for the nation. But in the end it comes down to the human factor. Marabeti has this message for business leaders.
“Retool your most valuable resource- your employees,” Marabeti said. “When you do, you retool your productivity, your profit and you foster economic growth. It’s win-win for everyone.”

For more information about workforce development training offerings at Vol State visit or call 615-230-3358.

The Last of Many Awards for Squatter's Rites

The “Squatter’s Rites” student literary magazine at Vol State has received its last award. The magazine took first place in the American Scholastic Press Association national contest, winning in the Junior/Community Colleges category with enrollment of 2501 or more. It’s just the latest in a string of national awards for the student publication, but it will be the last for “Squatter’s Rites.” Don't worry- it's not going anywhere. The magazine officially has a new name: “Pioneer Pen.” Students and faculty are already preparing for the first issue and student submissions are open now with a March 19 deadline. For more information email

Pictured from left to right: Emily Andrews, instructor of English; Aiden Walker, student writer, Gallatin; Carrie Thompson, student writer, Cookeville; Laura McClister, instructor of English; and Darya Stein, student writer, Cottontown.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Vol State in the News

Vol State at Livingston received a nice honor recently from the Tennessee legislature. The Livingston Enterprise has the story.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Dr. Faulkner: Do You Love Your Job?

Perhaps no single person has had more impact over the last 45 years than Steve Jobs.  In recent biopics he has been praised and vilified.  He was a unique individual with very human frailties.  His contributions to the technology have forever changed our lives and those in future generations.

He was also an adept communicator.  An article by Minda Zetlin in Inc. Magazine  shared 10 quotes that Jobs had used in a variety of presentations.  The two that stuck out to me are:

“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself:  ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today?’  And whenever the answer has been no for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

In short, do you love your job?

When I interviewed to become the President of Vol State I responded to a question about employee relations by sharing some research from SUNY that appeared in USA Today.  There are three types of employees – those that have a job, those that have a career, and those that have a calling.

People with a job are doing what they do to earn money to do the things they really want to do.  Certainly there is an element of that in all of us.  I know I am really attracted to eating regular and living indoors.

People with a career are doing what they do because of social and promotional opportunities.  Their employment places them in high regard by their peers and is a stepping stone to bigger and better things.

And then those that have a calling are doing what they do because they love what they do.  They feel they are making a difference and receive personal gratification (beyond the paycheck) in what they do.

Those that have a job or a career are externally motivated while those who have a calling are internally motivated. 

I hope everyone at Vol State doesn’t have too many of those days when you answer, “No,” and that you can say you love your calling.

-Dr. Jerry Faulkner

Vol State in the News

Our news release about Education graduates using technology and interactivity ran in the Tennessean last week.

We have a guest speaker for Unity Day on January 25. Learn more about William "Tipper" Thomas in this Tennessean piece.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

New Cafeteria Logos

The PR Office has been working to update old logos on campus. The cafeteria is the latest installment. One of our freelance designers, Aaron Fraze, put together a couple of fun graphics to cover the old logos in the cafeteria. As time and money permits, there are plans to update graphics in other buildings. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A Science Research Presentation You Missed

These students were due to present at Professional Development Day some research that they did last semester. The presentation was canceled due to a weather delay. But Billy Dye was kind enough to share this with us:

As part of an independent study/research program during the fall semester 2016, students learned to analyze DNA sequences and annotate the functions of unknown genes into the genome database.  Students used the Microbial Genome Annotation Network (MGAN) to access the genome of a prokaryote called Acidianus hospitalis.  The students used several online bioinformatics tools to identify the functions of unknown genes and then update the genome database with their findings.  Near the end of the semester, as two groups, the students presented posters of their work at the Tennessee Academy of Science Meeting held at Austin Peay on November 19.  Some of the students received college credit under BIOL276T and some did it only for the experience and learning opportunity.

The students were (from left to right in the photo) Keri Buttrey, Braxton Dawson, Melissa Ortiz, Ariana Whitley, Katelyn Armstrong, Megan Gardner, and Steven Wall (not pictured).

Vol State in the News

Vol State Librarian Laura Sheets has a great piece in the Tennessean about fake news and the importance of librarians in education.

A Medical Laboratory program news release made it in the Lebanon Democrat recently.

The Tennessean ran a release over the holidays about our campus security upgrades.

The Tennessean also ran a story about the efforts to upgrade the Warf Building classrooms and labs.