Monday, January 28, 2019

Vol State Study Abroad Research Leads to Publication


Anne-Marie McKee from International Education is published in a new book about Study Abroad. It’s called “Study Abroad Opportunities for Community College Students and Strategies for Global Learning” and edited by Gregory F. Malveaux (Montgomery College, USA) and Rosalind Latiner Raby (California State University Northridge, USA)

Anne-Marie’s chapter focuses on the long-term results of the Ophthalmology Study Abroad/Service Learning project in Guatemala. The college has been participating in a mission trip to Guatemala with Hendersonville Rotary for ten years now. One part of the program brings eye exams to people struggling with poverty. If eye problems are found patients are then fitted with donated eyeglasses. The students can work with hundreds of people through the course of an exhausting, and yet often life changing, week. It’s a project that has had a huge impact not only in Guatemala but also for our students. They describe people in tears who can see for the first time in their lives. Those patients range from toddlers to the elderly. The study interviewed students from several years. Here are some excerpts from the findings, as written by Anne-Marie:

“As demonstrated in this study, study abroad does help develop CTE (Career and Technical Education) students’ cognitive, intrapersonal, and interpersonal skills. Students participating in this study articulated how because of participating in study abroad, they were now more flexible, confident, and self-aware. The students remarked how while abroad, their worldviews were challenged and as a result, their ability to demonstrate leadership and tolerance for ambiguity developed.”


“International engagement following this study abroad experience was evident. While students may not have been able to travel extensively abroad due to job and financial responsibilities, participants expressed because of their international experience, they were more confident, more understanding with patients, and were more open-minded toward people who were different from themselves. Several students mentioned they were more altruistic since studying abroad and now participate in more volunteer activities than before they studied abroad.”


Thigpen Library will soon have a copy of the book. 

Welcome Back Tonya Daniels


Tonya Daniels has been named dean of Humanities at Volunteer State Community College. It is a return for Daniels who was department chair of Communication, Foreign Languages, and Philosophy, and associate Professor of Spanish at Vol State for seven years. She comes most recently from Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College where she was dean of Arts and Humanities.

“It’s great to be back in the place where I started in higher education. I love the culture here at Vol State,” Daniels said. “I look forward to working with Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect students. The new Humanities building offers a lot for the community. That’s exciting to be a part of, as well. I do want some areas to grow. I would like to increase language learning at the college, and make more use of college facilities, such as the performing arts space in the Humanities building.”

Daniels holds a Doctor of Education: Leadership and Professional Practice degree from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville. She also has a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Georgia, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services and Spanish from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

What We Can Learn from Dollar General Training Sign-Up


Professional Development and Training: What We Can Learn from Dollar General
When: Friday, February 8, 2019 8:30 – 9:30 AM
Where: Mary Cole Nichols Dining Room

Lori and her team will talk about a variety of innovative employee training methods used at DG, such as train-the-trainer modules, virtual store simulations, classroom sessions, computer-based modules, gaming, and quick-reference guides. The company’s leaders are committed to maintaining a training culture that supports employee growth and development. They believe that employee development is a cornerstone of the company’s success.

Likewise, it is a central part of the Vol State mission to provide quality innovative educational programs and to prepare students for future successes. Come, learn and be inspired by what Lori and her colleagues have to share!

Registration is available now. Go to this website: Division of Continuing Education & Economic Development. Under Program Search, scroll through the list and select “Professional Development Training – VSCC.” Click the workshop title then click “Register / Sign In Now.” Use the account login information you create (or create a new one). Enter the approval code ADJPDT to add the training to your cart and checkout.

Sponsored by: President’s Office, Academic Affairs, and Distributed Education

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

MLK Event Wednesday

MLK Commemoration: A Day of Peace and Reconciliation,Wednesday, January 23rd • 11:30 AM • Caudill Auditorium
Gather for a candlelight vigil and a brief video to remember those lost these past years through mass shootings and other senseless acts of violence throughout the country. After this tribute, we will screen Dr. Martin Luther King’s renowned “I Have A Dream” speech at the March on Washington in 1963. A reception will follow.

Erin Bloom Journal Publication



Congrats to Math and Science faculty member Erin Bloom for her recent publication in the Journal of Crustacean Biology. Here is the title and abstract:

“Systematics and description of a new species of Faxonius Ortmann, 1905 (Decapoda: Astacidea: Cambaridae) from the Red River system of Kentucky and Tennessee, USA”
Erin T. Bloom, Brittany L. McCall, Guenter A. Schuster, and Rebecca E. Blanton.

Faxonius barrenensis (Rhoades, 1944) is endemic to the Green River system of Kentucky and Tennessee, USA and closely related to Faxonius mirus (Ortmann, 1931), which is restricted to Tennessee River tributaries in Tennessee and Alabama. A crayfish with morphological affinities to these species (Faxonius sp.) occurs in the Red River system (Cumberland River Drainage) of Kentucky and Tennessee. Whether the latter represents a disjunct population of F. barrenensis, F. mirus, or a distinct species, has not been tested. Whether the shared morphological traits reflect shared ancestry or convergence is unknown. We used molecular and morphological data, including two mitochondrial (COI and 16S) and two nuclear (28S and GAPDH) genes and a standard suite of phenotypic measurements to examine the phylogenetic relationships and the taxonomic status of Faxonius sp., relative to F. barrenensis, F. mirus, and other species of Faxonius Ortmann, 1905. All gene datasets recovered focal taxa as a clade, implying their morphological similarities likely reflect shared ancestry. In all mitochondrial and combined gene trees, Faxonius sp. was recovered as genetically divergent from F. barrenensis and F. mirus. Faxonius sp. is phenotypically distinguished from F. barrenensis and F. mirus based on several characteristics including shorter rostrum, longer abdomen, wider areola, and straight margins on both mandibles (toothed in F. mirus; toothed and straight in F. barrenensis); Form I males have a strong angular shoulder on the gonopod, in comparison to F. barrenensis. Given these findings, we describe Faxonius sp. as Faxonius bellator n. sp. Faxonius bellator n. sp. has been collected at only four localities, suggesting it has a small range and warrants conservation concern.

Vol State in the News

The recent announcement that Vol State has acquired land for a new Wilson County campus has attracted quite a bit of attention on TV, in local papers, and on news websites.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Vol State Announces Land Acquisition for Wilson County Campus


This Wilson County Campus news release will be coming out this week. We gave the Tennessean an advance copy since they have been following the story. Dr. Faulkner will provide status updates in the forums, as usual.

Volunteer State Community College has a verbal agreement with a land owner who is donating property for a new Vol State campus in Wilson County near Mt Juliet. The State Building Commission has approved the purchase of additional adjacent land needed for the facility. The college is currently working through the multi-part State process. The finished facility will be a new building with multiple classrooms and other educational facilities that will allow Vol State to offer a variety of classes. The size of the building and a timeline for the project are still being determined.

“This campus will allow us to better serve Wilson County, and residents in the surrounding areas. We have offered classes in the county, including dual enrollment classes in the high schools, for many years. We are excited to be able to expand those offerings with a new Vol State location,” said Vol State president, Jerry Faulkner. “There is still much to be done and we will be reaching out to the community to raise the funds needed for the initial payment on the property.”

Vol State currently has campuses in Gallatin, Springfield, Livingston, and Cookeville. More than 9,000 students were enrolled in the fall of 2018.

Warf Reno Work Tours

Faculty and staff had the opportunity to see the renovation work in the Warf Building last week. While the inside work will look much the same as we showed you a few weeks ago, the progress outside has been dramatic. Those on the tour viewed the concrete slab that will soon be a hallway and new offices for the expansion of the building. There is also cinder block going up and much progress to the Mechatronics part of the building. There have been plenty of updates inside the building as well, just not as visually noticeable for pictures.






One feature that will be much appreciated are the new student study-lounge areas at the Duffer Plaza entrance and at the back of the building near Pickel. Faculty were excited to see the walls up for their classrooms. The work is still on schedule for fall 2019 completion.

Cumberland Rep Visits The Feed


Rev. Mike Ripski, University Chaplain at Cumberland University, visited the Vol State Feed recently. Cumberland is considering adding a food pantry on their campus and is using The Feed as model. Lori Miller met with Rev. Ripski to discuss guidelines, paperwork, food drives, purchasing, and the work flow at The Feed.

Sustainability Work Highlighted

Congrats to Plant Ops for being highlighted in a publication by APPA— Leadership in Educational Facilities. Vol State was one of only three community colleges in the publication, which included universities across the nation. The two Vol State articles were about LED outdoor lights and automated controls and active management.