Friday, March 31, 2017

Bow Tie Cult Allegedly Not Dangerous

April 1, 2017

A new religious cult with bow tie wearing followers has been trying to recruit members on the Vol State campus. They can be seen helping each other put on the ties. It is not known if they then go out to panhandle at airports. The cult seems to be especially keen on persuading middle aged men to join their mysterious assemblage. An investigation has revealed that they have close ties (make of this as you will) to two other closely watched cult groups called TBR and THEC. Authorities say they use common language like data-driven decision making and high impact practices. If you are approached by one of these cult members, it is best to smile and not agitate them. Those familiar with the group says it is likely, given how often their parent cults change their methods, that the bow ties will soon be traded-in for umbrellas and top hats, if they get the grant money for that project.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Vol State Cap and Gown Bike Ride May 13

Vol State is hosting a day of bicycling fun for the fourth year in a row, but now under the title “Vol State Cap and Gown Ride.” The name change from “Vol State Cycling Classic” reflects a new focus for the event. It’s designed to raise awareness and book scholarship money for adults starting a college degree or coming back to college to finish a degree. Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam calls the effort the “Drive to 55.” The goal is to have 55 percent of adult Tennesseans equipped with a college degree or certificate by the year 2025. It’s an important part of the Vol State mission.

The Cap and Gown Ride, like the former Cycling Classic, is a fun day of riding, with food and entertainment. The music and atmosphere are something riders point out as different from other rides in Tennessee.

“Many musicians and entertainers from Vol State’s Music Department performed, encompassing many different types of music,” said cyclist Tim Mullis of the 2016 ride. “It was actually one of the few times that I hung around after the ride, and after lunch, just to hear the music. All in all, a great ride.”

The Cap and Gown event features three different rides, depending on ability and interest. The routes travel through scenic roads across Sumner County. There will be a 15 mile Fitness Tour; a 33 mile Half Metric Century Tour; and a 63 mile Metric Century Tour. The tours will start and finish on the Vol State campus in Gallatin. There will be rest stops along the way for food, hydration, first aid and restrooms. The Metric Century Tour leaves at 8 a.m. The Half Metric Century will depart at 8:15 a.m. and the Fitness Tour will get underway at 8:30 a.m.  When riders finish, the college will have an event with barbecue, beverages and live music. Changing facilities and showers will also be available.

The ride cost is $40 for advance registration and $45 on May 12 or 13 at the site. Riders will get a t-shirt and a goody bag. Only riders who sign up by April 21 are guaranteed to receive a shirt in their size of preference. Route maps for each tour and a link to the registration page can be found at

Business Credit Reports is the Metric Century Ride Sponsor for 2017. There are still opportunities for sponsorships. For more information about the ride and sponsorships contact the Vol State College Foundation at 615-230-3506 or email

Pictured: Business Credit Reports (BCR) is the Metric Century Sponsor again this year. Pam Ogden from BCR, in the yellow jacket, rode with friends at the 2016 event.

Vol State in the News

There's plenty of discussion about the impact of federal budget cuts in higher education. Vol State could see cuts in several areas, if the proposed reductions go through the legislative process. It's important to note that some of these programs have faced the chopping block before and survived unscathed. The Tennessean talked to Dr. Faulkner and a TRIO student about concerns we have.

Vol State at Livingston works to keep in touch with community leaders and educators. The Livingston Enterprise has a story on a recent meeting.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Educate A Woman Celebrates 10 Years

In ten years the Volunteer State College Foundation “Educate A Woman” luncheon has raised more than $174,000 for women to attend Volunteer State Community College. The tradition of giving continues in 2017 and comedy will be in the spotlight. Nationally known comedian Leanne Morgan will be the featured speaker. She uses her Southern charm and insight to relate funny stories from her life. Morgan has appeared on ABC’s The View and has toured for three years with the Southern Fried Chicks comedy group.

“Educate A Woman” started in 2008. Louise Mandrell graciously agreed to be the inaugural speaker. The first event had more than 180 women in attendance. In 2016 there were nearly 400 guests. Despite recent financial aid programs such as Tennessee Promise, there is still a big need for college scholarship donations.  Last year there were 630 students who were not able to obtain financial or academic scholarships due to a lack of funding. An opportunity to make a pledge or donation will be extended during the luncheon.

“Educate A Woman is a wonderful opportunity for women to help other women achieve their hopes and dreams,” said Karen Mitchell, College Foundation executive director. “Some of the women who have received the scholarship previously, have completed their education, are enjoying a career, and have become strong supporters of the event.”

“Educate A Woman” will be held at Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville on Friday, April 21. Registration begins at 11 a.m. and the luncheon runs from 11:15 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Organizers ask that attendees RSVP by April 12 at People can also call 615-230-3506 or email

Join the Pedaling Pioneers

Join the Pedaling Pioneers, the Volunteer State Community College Cycling Club for weekly rides beginning Tuesday March 21 at 4:45PM in Lot F near the Warf and Pickel buildings.
We will ride, weather permitting, Tuesday and Thursdays during the Spring 2017 semester.

When: Tuesday and Thursday 4:45PM
Where: Lot F

These rides are open to students, faculty and staff.
Whether you are an experienced rider or haven’t been on a bicycle in 20 years, this is the group for you.
We will have shorter beginner routes that start at 4 miles and longer more advanced routes of 14-20+ miles that takes us further from campus.

All riders must wear a helmet.

The Vol State Cap and Gown ride is two months away and we can help you get ready for the 15, 30 or 60 mile routes. 

For more information or to be added to the cycling group email list, please contact Chrysa Malosh,

Monday, March 13, 2017

Parris Powers Honored with Science and Math Expo Naming

The 16th annual Volunteer State Community College Science and Math Expo has a new name. Former Vol State Associate Professor of Chemistry, Parris Powers, organized the event for many years and passed away in 2016. He is being honored for his hard work and dedication to science education. The event will now be known as the Parris Powers Science and Math Expo. 

Students are already reacting fondly on social media to news of the naming. There are hundreds of students over the years who have worked on Expo activities and thousands of kids and parents who have attended the event. Parris helped to grow the Expo into one of Vol State's best outreach events.

The Expo will continue in 2017 as an outreach and education event. It’s a fun day of science learning for kids K-8 and their parents and grandparents.

“You can see the kids have a genuinely fun time while learning something,” said biology instructor, Billy Dye. “It’s great to see kids discover that science isn’t stodgy and stale, but it’s alive, active and interesting.”

Many of demonstrations and activities are put together by Vol State students, who gain a new perspective on science and math education.  Topics will include: water properties (cohesion, adhesion, and surface tension), dry ice demonstrations, and education on biodegradable and recyclable materials. Students can make, and take home, their own bouncy polymer balls. The Cumberland Astronomical Society and Vanderbilt Mobile Planetarium will be on hand, with much discussion of the upcoming August total eclipse of the Sun in Middle Tennessee.

The Vol State Science and Math Expo will be held on Thursday, April 6 from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. It will take place in and around the Wallace Health Sciences Building- North. 

Dr. Faulkner: Does My Selfie Make Me a Narcissist?

A recent study in the journal Personality and Individual Differences found that rates of narcissism and self –promotional behavior were directly correlated to use of Facebook. Another article in The Guardian reports that diagnoses of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) are on the increase comparable to the increased incidence of obesity. Cal State University researcher, Larry Rosen, has found correlations between excessive Facebook use and bad grades, poor health and anti-social personality disorders. Consider these statistics:

- It is estimated that through mid-2001 3.8 trillion photos were taken in all of human history. In 2015 alone 1 trillion photos were taken. estimates the average mobile phone user takes 150 photos every month and that the average camera roll holds 630 photos and 24 videos.

- 1.23 billion people logged onto Facebook for September 2016 and photo uploads total 300 million per day reports

· reports that 2.5 billion Snaps are uploaded each day to Snapchat.
Before you despair too much other researchers such as Amy Gonzales and Jeffrey Hancock found that active social media use enhanced self-esteem and promoted a greater sense of well-being. And Bruce McKinney at UNC suggests that this isn’t a narcissistic disorder but is just the “new norm.”  

So what are the take-aways?  First technology has greatly enhanced our ability to take and share photos.  Second, people consciously or unconsciously, recognize the power of images to convey information but more importantly to evoke emotion.  And finally, it seems that we are all more likely to want to share parts of our lives in an effort to connect with others.  Some could certainly argue that it is the media that has caused the disconnect, but that is a discussion for another blog.

Given the emphasis on personal experience and visual media, our teaching must be more visual.  Most recently I read an article that offered that after 3 days we retain 10% of what we heard but 60% of what we saw. Different sources may report different percentages but the fact is that humans are visual creatures.  We must capitalize on this to be the most effective instructors we can be.
-Dr. Jerry Faulkner

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Vol State in the News

Channel 4 visited the Gallatin campus for this story about the original TN Promise class getting close to graduation.

NewsChannel 5 did a piece about tornado season with a look back at the 2006 tornado that hit the Vol state campus causing $9 million in damage and how we hold tornado drills to keep prepared.