Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Education Students and Read Across America

Education students, led by Penny Duncan, had a big project this spring. They collected more than 250 children’s books and distributed them to a local Head Start location for “Read Across America” day. The students also toured the Head Start and read to a small group of students in each classroom to celebrate this national event that promotes early childhood literacy.

Respiratory Care Service Learning

Great Service Learning projects are happening this semester. Here is one for Health Sciences:

The Respiratory Care Program participated in the Fight for Air Climb through the American Lung Association. This event took place on Saturday, February 17, 2018 at the Fifth Third Bank Center in downtown Nashville. This building has 29 flights of stairs the climbers have to climb. This is a timed event. The students all volunteered in a variety of capacities from working the registration table, providing hydration and nutrients to the climbers, and being the climbers biggest cheerleaders all the way to the finish line. One of the top climbers suffers from a severe lung disease and he participates every year to bring awareness to lung health. The fastest climb time was 4:00 minutes by a firefighter with all of his gear.

-Mallory Higginbotham, Respiratory Care

Strengthening Ties with the Netherlands

ROC Midden students are shown here with their president, Paul van Maanen, as he signs a memorandum of understanding between ROC Midden and Vol State. ROC Midden is located in Utrecht, Netherlands.

This exchange is an on-going project that began in  2008 when Vol State hosted its first delegation of education representatives from the Netherlands. Thus far, Vol State has sent 23 faculty and administrators to visit and observe the higher education system in the Netherlands. This June, six Vol State students will be participating in this college exchange.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Presidential Announcements: Congrats to a Current and Former Vol State Employee

Two educators with Vol State ties will take on presidential roles in the Tennessee community college system soon.

The first is our very own Dr. Michael Torrence, assistant vice president for Academic Affairs. He has been named president of Motlow State Community College.

“I am overwhelmed and appreciative of the opportunity to stand up Motlow and connect in ways that perhaps we haven’t done yet but we will. I want support for student success and completion and workforce development. That ties directly into the governor’s initiatives – the Drive to 55, Tennessee Reconnect and Tennessee Promise. We understand the importance of making sure that we collaborate and have programs that are designed in ways that meets the needs of the community. I look forward to making that happen and to success for our students and our communities.”

"My roles here at Vol State prepared me for the the Presidency at Motlow through the trust developed between Dr. Jerry Faulkner, Dr. George Pimentel, and myself. They invested in my skill set and provided a broad landscape for me to assist in the success of Vol State. Their openness to our areas of focus in Dual Enrollment, Student Success, Learning Commons, Distributed Education and the further development of the Upper Cumberland centers at Livingston and Cookeville greatly prepares me. I would be remiss if I did not mention the importance of every single person at Vol State that I have worked with directly and indirectly, they too have prepared me in ways that are immeasurable. I am thankful and humbled by it all." 

Dr. Torrence will start at Motlow on May 1.

A former Vol State employee has been appointed president of Nashville State Community College. Dr. Shanna Jackson was executive assistant to the president here at Vol State and spent a number of years coordinating Off-Campus activities. She is currently associate vice president and chief operating officer of the Columbia State Community College Williamson County Campus. 

“[While] teaching and meeting students, who had barriers outside of the classroom that were preventing them from being successful – and wanting to really make a difference in their lives and to contribute in a significant way, [higher education became a path],” Jackson said. “And when I started my community college journey at Volunteer State Community College, it really was one of those life-changing moments where you realize the power that community colleges have to transform lives.”

The new Nashville State president may change relationships with neighboring community colleges.

“Our industries and our students don’t care about service-area lines, so we will be partners together to serve this great state and our students and really make a difference. I am grateful and excited about the future, not just for Nashville State but for Middle Tennessee and our state.”

Dr. Jackson will begin her new position on June 1.

Join the New Civitan Club at Vol State

There is a new club forming on the Vol State campus and this time it's aimed at Vol State faculty and staff members, as well as anyone from the community. Kevin Cook is one of the organizers:

"Many faculty members have been looking for convenient opportunities to meet promotion and tenure community services requirements. Please come to our next meeting held in Betty Gibson Hall, every Thursday at Noon until the end of April."

For information contact Kevin Cook, kevin.cook@volstate.edu or Alison Muncy, Development Officer, Office of the Vice President for Resource Development and Executive Director of the College Foundation, 615-230-3526 alison.muncy@volstate.edu

More information about Civitan http://civitan.org/

Monday, March 12, 2018

Vol State Student Determined to Drive After an Accident

Getting a driver’s license is a big step in life for most people. Austin Bonebrake, a Freshman at Vol State, was excited to get his, and then his life completely changed. He was two weeks shy of getting the license when he was in a serious sledding accident on a large hill in Robertson County.
“They estimated I was going 45 MPH, I shattered C5 and broke the C6 vertebrae in my neck and it paralyzed me from the chest down. I was life flighted out after the accident. It didn’t sink in that it was permanent until after the surgery. I’m considered a quadriplegic, sometimes that means you can’t move anything. I can move my arms, and my hands don’t work much, but I can still do certain things.” Austin has been going through various rehabilitation programs, and even learned to drive while he was at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, which brings him closer to his goal of owning a truck that he can operate using hand controls.
The cost of purchasing a vehicle with special hand controls is through the roof. For Austin, this is the only option. “My parents have been a big support, helping me get to Vol State. My mom, she had to lose her job to take me back and forth, so it’s just dad working right now. Just the hand controls are going to cost anywhere from $45,000-$50,000. We’re trying to get a vehicle that I can drive (the wheelchair) into, and the vehicle can run from $50,000-$60,000 itself.”
Austin says he wants to become more independent and to care of himself completely. “The goal is to move out and live on my own, being able to branch out and not have to have any limitations, this is what I want to do, and I’m going to do it, that probably won’t take off until I get a job and am able to drive. We’re always going to be faced with challenges, but you can’t take those challenges and just give up," he said. "No matter what you’re faced with, you have to keep pushing forward to overcome it or learn new ways around it. It's better to laugh than cry about it.” 

Austin has a GoFundMe account to collect donations for his future truck. In Gallatin, a local rehabilitation center has also extended financial help to his family. “We’re going through a thing called vocational rehab, as soon as I graduate, and am looking for a job, if we buy a vehicle, they’ll pay for the hand controls.”
In the meantime, Austin continues his education. He says he is fascinated by the environment and loves to go hunting and fishing. Austin plans to follow his interests and pursue a career in Environmental Science.

-By Rachel Keyes

I Ain’t Doin It- Social Media Sensation at Educate a Woman

Heather Land, known as the “I Ain’t Doin It” sensation from social media, will be the featured presentation at the Educate a Woman luncheon on April 13. The event raises money for scholarships for women at Volunteer State Community College. Tickets are not required, but there is a suggested minimum donation of $50 requested at the event. This year Educate a Woman will be held at the First Baptist Church of Hendersonville at 106 Bluegrass Commons Blvd. Registration starts at 11 a.m. and the lunch and program at 11:30 a.m. The Summa Cum Laude sponsor for Educate a Woman 2018 is Sumner Regional Medical Center – Highpoint Health Systems. The Magna Cum Laude sponsor is First Tennessee Bank. To register email lynn.jones@volstate.edu or call 615-230-3506.

California Suite Comedy Theater at Vol State

A suite in the Beverly Hills Hotel is the setting for the classic Neil Simon comedy California Suite. The play will be presented by the Volunteer State Community College theater program as part of the Spring 2018 Visual and Performing Arts Series. The production uses the same suite as the location for each of four parts, with different characters in each act. Couples visiting Los Angeles sort through marriage problems, mid-life complications, and in one case, a dilemma involving an unconscious prostitute. The 1976 Broadway play was later made into a movie by the same name.

The play will be performed on Fridays and Saturdays, March 16 and 17, and March 23 and 24 at 7:30 p.m. There will be a matinee show on Sunday, March 18 at 2:30 p.m. The event will be held in the Wemyss Auditorium in Caudill Hall on the Vol State campus at 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin. Admission is a suggested $5 donation, which is used to fund student scholarships. For more information call 615-230-3200. For other Visual and Performing Arts Series events visit www.volstate.edu/art.