Monday, October 23, 2017

Why a Vol State Mascot?

We recently unveiled the new physical mascot for Vol State and now we're in the process of taking suggestions for a name. Why are we going to a Pioneers mascot logo and physical mascot after all of these years of not having one? The answer is simple: students in our traditional age groups respond strongly to mascot identities for colleges and universities. This first dawned on those of us in PR after a student panel at a community college PR conference two years ago. The students all expressed regret that community colleges didn't have a stronger mascot presence and to them it reflected a boring campus life. Those who attended colleges with a mascot responded enthusiastically. This generation connects with mascots.

We understand that a community college mascot will never match the marketing power of Smokey the Dog at UT or Big Red at WKU. But a mascot can be a valuable part of student life and student culture, allowing us to share that our campus has many activities and events to offer students.

The mascot logo and character will be used in athletics and student engagement events. However, it will be used sparingly. Our academic foundation is the heart of what we do and student success will continue to be our calling card. Strong academic instruction and support is the primary focus for our marketing and outreach, as always.

A mascot does have a role in retention work interestingly enough. Studies show that students who are better connected to their college tend to do better in courses. A strong campus life and campus identity helps connect students to campus. A mascot can help in that process.

If you're interested in reading more about mascots and marketing, check out this blog article that brings up some of the main points.

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.

The Tennessean sent a photographer to the Fall Fiesta at Vol State. He put together this nice photo gallery.

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