Friday, April 27, 2018

Vol State in the News

The Tennessean had a lovely story about the new Parris Powers arboretum...and the impact a professor can have on students. It's something that happens every day at Vol State. It's nice when it gets highlighted.

The Tennessean ran our news release about the Pioneer Pen winning a national honor.

The Tennessean and Channel 5 came out to cover the memorial for Vol State student Lexus Williams, who was killed in a reported domestic incident earlier this month.

The CHEC Earth Day event attracted some attention with articles in the Overton County News and the Cookeville Herald Citizen.

Channel 4 came out to the Gallatin campus for a weather warning story. They reported on our upgraded emergency warning systems, including the police speaker system inside and outside on campus and our texting system.

Campus Police were lauded for their safety efforts and the Tennessean had the story.

Tennessee Reconnect has been a big promotional inititiative for the college. Here is a story in the Tennessean.

The Overton County News  interviewed Greg Burgess, a Vol State Cyber Security instructor, for a feature story on the Cyber Security program in Livingston. 



Monday, April 23, 2018

A Police Officer with his Hands in Clay



Student artists can be known for their stylish outfits, but seldom do they dress in an all-navy uniform and carry a gun. Thus there was a bit of a surprise on this reporter’s part when Campus Police Sergeant Philip Woodard stepped forward at a recent student art awards ceremony to receive his certificate for Best Ceramic Set. His beautiful cobalt blue and brown coffee mugs and bowl would be at home in any craft art show in Nashville. It’s the product of his independent study class in ceramics with instructor Patrick Green.

“I’ve always liked to build and make stuff,” Woodard said. “My grandmother painted, so I come from people with some artistic ability. When I started working here I saw the pottery studio and I thought it would be really neat to take a class.”

Woodard has been working on a degree in history at Vol State. Now he is considering switching to fine arts. “I think it’s a great way to relieve stress.”

He thanks the Art Department faculty members for helping him to develop his skills. But don’t think for a moment that the recognition has gone to his head. He told me that his big goal is to take that ceramic bowl home and eat ice cream out of it.

Sergeant Woodard’s pottery, and many other fine student art works, are on display in the Vol State Gallery on the first floor of SRB. It’s well worth a visit.

Graduate Profiles on the Virtual Community Blog


Each year we highlight a couple of upcoming graduates. You can find the stories for this semester on the Vol State Virtual Community Blog.

Reminder: Parris Powers Memorial Arboretum Event Friday


The Vol State Gallatin campus is now home to a certified Arboretum: a collection of trees that have been identified and listed for nature exploration and scientific study. The Tennessee Urban Forestry Council has certified the campus as a Level II Arboretum. It will be named for former Vol State Chemistry Professor Parris Powers. A grand opening for the Parris Powers Memorial Arboretum will be held on Friday, April 27 at 2 p.m. on the Duffer Plaza.  Everyone is invited.

The designation is largely the work of Vol State alumnus Cynthia Hernandez and Vol State faculty members. Part of the effort involved identifying and marking 62 species of trees on the campus. They worked with Parris Powers on the project and it will stand as a lasting symbol of his commitment to environmental science at Vol State. The college will be producing a map of the tree locations and visitors are welcome to campus to view them.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Fond Farewell for Dr. Torrence

Dr. Michael Torrence is headed soon to Motlow State Community College to take on the position of President. Today, faculty and staff here at Vol State gathered to wish him well.




Vol State Student Among Tops in Mircosoft Word

Vol State graduate Jordyn Houghton recently discovered she ranked fourth in the state of TN on the Microsoft Office Specialist (M.O.S.) exam in Word. You could be next by taking advantage of the many free testing opportunities available to students, faculty, and staff at Vol State. The International Data Corporation says that Microsoft Office skills rank third as the top skills employers are looking for. Obtaining a Microsoft Office Specialist certification is way to give you a professional edge, potentially boosting annual salary by as much as $16,000, according to Microsoft.com.

“I knew I passed, but I had no idea that I had done that well. I didn’t even know this test was an option until it was given to me as the final exam for a computer class I was taking,” said Jordyn. “I had a lot of experience with Word, so the classes were kind of like a review for me. If I learned something new, it was easy to retain that information because of my experience with the program. Students need to know that this is an option. It’s free and it’s something great to add onto your resume. Excel is another one that students should look into because it’s a big part of any business."

“We only had a handful of students that tested with us at Vol State, so for one of those students to be number four in the entire state for her age bracket is pretty awesome,” said Lisa Borre, assistant director of Advising and Testing. “A lot of people in job interviews will say that they’re proficient in Microsoft Office, and that’s pretty subjective. But to say that you are Microsoft certified, that’s taking it to another level - its confirmation from Microsoft. If you don’t get the score you need, nothing gets recorded, so there’s really nothing to lose…We’re trying to get the word out because it’s an awesome benefit that a lot of people aren’t aware of. When you’re a student and you’ve graduated, you’ll not only have your degree in your subject matter, you can also have an added benefit of receiving Microsoft certification. I would also highly recommend Imagine Academy,” said Borre.

Microsoft’s Imagine Academy provides free curricula and resources on Microsoft products for students and educators; it can be used to prepare for the exams. The exam can then be scheduled through Vol State’s website. The Testing Center offers many other free tests for students, faculty, and staff, such as career and personality assessments, CLEP, and much more. For more information on testing at Vol State, swing by the testing center in room 126 of the Warf building, or check out their website at www.volstate.edu/testing.

Photos - Top Left: Jordyn Houghton
             Bottom Right: Lisa Borre

                                                                       
-By Rachel Keyes

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Retirement Celebration

It's that time of the year again...when we send off the latest group of college retirees. There were fond wishes and some funny stories at this year's event. We wish everyone the best.





Monday, April 9, 2018

Gallatin Campus Celebrates Arboretum Designation April 27

This Japanese Maple is one of the Arboretum trees
The Vol State Gallatin campus is now home to a certified Arboretum: a collection of trees that have been identified and listed for nature exploration and scientific study. The Tennessee Urban Forestry Council has certified the campus as a Level II Arboretum. It will be named for former Vol State Chemistry Professor Parris Powers. A grand opening for the Parris Powers Memorial Arboretum will be held on Friday, April 27 at 2 p.m. on the Duffer Plaza. Everyone is invited.

The designation is largely the work of Vol State alumnus Cynthia Hernandez and Vol State faculty members. Part of the effort involved identifying and marking 62 species of trees on the campus. They worked with Parris Powers on the project and it will stand as a lasting symbol of his commitment to environmental science at Vol State. The college will be producing a map of the tree locations and visitors are welcome to campus to view them.

Dr. Faulkner: Mistakes


“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”  John Powell
“All men make mistakes, but only wise men learn from their mistakes.”  Winston Churchill

“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” Thomas Edison

Often we view those that are successful as always being perfect and never having made a mistake.  Even wildly successful persons and enterprises have mistakes in their history.  Look at the uber-successful company Pixar.  We are all familiar with their top grossing films like the now 20 year old Toy Story or Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, and Cars.  What we have not been aware of are the stops and starts that led to those blockbusters.

Pixar has just taken the unprecedented step of releasing a video of their failures.  You can find their Scrapped Ideas video on YouTube

Why would any company, let alone the premier animation studio in America, release a video about their failures?  Perhaps they are reminding us that the creative process is often a messy one.  Perhaps they are reminding us of the truth from the quotes above.  Mistakes will be made but we must learn from and build upon our mistakes.

That can only happen in a culture that gives people permission to explore and make mistakes.  A culture that punishes creative mistakes causes people to hide their failures, not to learn from them.

From the Harvard Business Review  we learn that Pixar operates on three principles: 

1. Everyone must have the freedom to communicate with anyone.
2. It must be safe for everyone to offer ideas.
3. We must stay close to innovations happening in the academic community.

Where could we as a Vol State community go if we embraced these principals and applied them across our campuses?  What if we felt safe being creative and taking risks?  What if we learned from our mistakes?