Wednesday, October 10, 2018

EYH Science Program for Girls Has Great Success

A hundred girls recently attended what has become one of Vol State's largest K-12 learning events. EYH stands for Expanding Your Horizons. The third edition was held last weekend here on the Gallatin campus. Girls in 5th through 9th grades attended a panel discussion featuring successful women in STEM areas (science, technology, engineering and math) sharing their life and career experiences. The kids also participated in workshops involving chemistry, biology, math, health science, animal science, and computer programming. Congrats to all of the organizers and volunteers! Lingli Ni shares her excitement in a poem:

Was It A Dream? Or Was It Not?
By Lingli Ni

One hundred girls registered,
For Vol State EYH,
At its third annual conference!
It is the record number,
That we have been seeking.
Now it is in front our eyes,
Was it a dream? Or was it not?

That ordinary dining room,
Was transformed into a colorful conference room!
Filled with beautiful, young ladies,
And lots of volunteers.
Presentations and interviews,
Questions and Answers,
Eye-catching door prizes,
Music and drum rolls.
Fancy EYH photo booth with a skeleton,
Science lab equipments and funny eye props.
Now the room is empty and quiet.
Was it a dream? Or was it not?

All workshop sessions were fully staffed,
With experienced and dedicated leaders.
We even had extra workshop leaders,
Prepared to help fill in for others.
Professionals from colleges and companies,
Provided quality workshops!

At this third annual EYH,
We had several new things.
We had our first keynote speaker,
We had our first ever essay competition.
We had a group picture taken,
We even had a few emergencies.
But everything worked out perfectly,
Make me wonder whether it was reality?

Over a hundred Vol State students volunteered,
And EYH girls loved them!
They are big brothers and sisters,
And they are college students and role models.
When those little legs got tired from walking,
A piggy back ride service is standing by,
Our volunteers worked so hard,
And they ate every slice of pizza.

A big crowd gathered at Vol State,
On that beautiful, sunny day.
Something strange happened at EYH,
The little girls asked big questions!
The first Saturday of October will be reserved,
Vol State EYH is going to happen annually!
One father said it was the best event his daughter attended,
That comment put me on cloud nine right away.
Was it a dream? Or was it not?
Maybe it is a dream,

A wonderful dream came true at the magic third conference!


Monday, October 1, 2018

Vol State Professors View American Culture Through the TV Show Mad Men



You may think that your professors just come to class, teach, and then go home to their families, yet a lot of our Vol State professors do some pretty interesting work in their off time.  As fanatics of the American TV show Mad Men, married Professors Scott McMillan and Jennifer James have been analyzing the TV show and the constant theme of “work” within American culture. Their work has turned into a research paper titled “Revisiting Mad Men: The Nature of Work in American Culture.” They will present some of their research and ideas at The Popular/American Culture Association in the South Conference in New Orleans during the weekend of October 4th, 2018.




“Part of our culture, from our very early history, is this American work ethic,” said McMillan. “We’ve always been about work, work, work. It’s at the heart of who we are, it drives us as a nation, and Mad Men symbolizes this. It’s not just a good TV show, its great American literature. Ultimately it’s just Americans working just like we all are… It transcends just being set in the 1960’s, it deals with the struggles we all face in any workplace, regardless of the era.” 




“We’re moving away from that sort of Ford economy, of assembly line production, into creative work," said James. “We see their focus of work (in Mad Men) while the country is falling apart around them, it’s this very tumultuous time in the U.S. and we see these main characters go through that time. We see them working, but they also focus on other work, the psychoanalytical work, the work of overcoming alcoholism, the work of becoming a better person, the spiritual work of meditation, it’s a beautiful series, and every time you watch it, a different theme emerges.” 



They soon realized the themes provided an opportunity for scholarly exploration.

“In the paper, we focus on this idea of work, and what work means to identity. Boomers live to work, Xers work to live. Does the job become our identity? Where do we stop and the job start, where does the job stop and we start? The American ideal is that we are workers, we are the job. We work more than any culture on the planet, constantly trying to find identity in work,” explained James.

McMillan said that he often ties pop-culture, including TV shows, into his Political Science curriculum to get the students engaged. 

“We not only teach the stuff, we’re also thinking about it, exploring ideas, presenting them and to a hopefully receptive audience, that will allow other people to think about things in a different way. I think it’s an important part of what we do as professors, that we stay active in this larger academic world… and it’s always nice to carry the Vol State flag into these kinds of things,” McMillan added.

For more information on The Popular/American Culture Association in the South Conference in New Orleans, please visit: pcasacas.org 
-By Rachel Keyes

QEP Focus Groups


 The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is part of our SACSCOC accreditation process. The focus is the First Year Experience, plans for helping freshmen be successful college students. Ideas include a new College Success class. The QEP Development Committee has been working since May to research best practices and develop a plan. They presented those findings in focus groups last week on the Gallatin campus. These are some pictures from one of those meetings. The 30 minute sessions provided an opportunity for a quick overview of the plan and input from group participants.  
 
The next step will be to take those focus group ideas and form a QEP Implementation Committee to decide how to carry out the plan.

If you have an opportunity to participate in future focus groups, please do so. Everyone from the college community is welcome to attend and participate. Cookeville and Livingston focus groups will be scheduled soon.


Vet Tech Hosts Scenting Trial


Vol State Veterinary Technology hosted Performance Scenting Dogs (PSD) scenting trial this past weekend. PSD held a silent auction in the week before the trial and raised enough money to award a second year Vet Tech student the funds to pay her national board examination fee once she has graduated. The winner was Holli Ann Hill. PSD will be at the Vet Tech Pinning Ceremony in May of 2019 to award the prize. Pictures courtesy Heather Coiner Photography.