Thursday, March 21, 2019

Shinde Named Faculty Member of the Year for TBR

Congratulations to Dr. Girija Shinde on being named Community College Faculty Member of the Year at the Statewide Outstanding Achievement Recognition (SOAR) celebration in Nashville last night. Professor Shinde has been teaching Biology at Vol State at Livingston since 2002.

The SOAR Awards are designed to highlight student, faculty, and staff achievement in the TBR system.

“The mission of our College System and each of our community and technical colleges is the success of all our students and the development of Tennessee’s workforce. It’s appropriate that we recognize the outstanding students – and the outstanding faculty and staff members on our campuses who work with students daily to help them succeed,” said TBR Chancellor Flora W. Tydings.

Eighteen finalists for the individual awards advanced through college- and regional-level competitions in East, Middle and West Tennessee to the final interviews with a panel of judges this week. One winner was announced in each the three categories for the Community Colleges and for the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs) – for a total of six individual award winners.

Pictured: TCAT Faculty of the Year, Rebecca Russell of Knoxville, and Girija Shinde, Community College Faculty Member of the Year.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Vol State Speech and Debate Team Wins National Tournament

The Volunteer State Community College Speech and Debate Team won the Novice National Parliamentary Debate Tournament recently at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.  The team won other awards in several events. The Vol State team competed against over 200 other Novice students. The Novice Nationals event is designed to be an educational, yet competitive, atmosphere, and is open to students in their first year of intercollegiate forensics competition.

“It is a great honor to win this championship,” said Karen Johnson, director of Forensics. “I am thankful for the continued support of Tonya Daniels, dean of the Humanities Division, Melva Black, chair of the Department of Communication, as well as the faculty of the Humanities Division who have assisted in recruiting efforts over the past year. We are also thankful for the financial support of Student Engagement for without their assistance, we would not be able to compete in this national tournament.” 

Nine teams and five schools competed in Debate while sixteen schools competed in the Individual Events competition. Elijah Avery, sophomore from Lebanon, and Danielle Salvato, freshman from Hendersonville, won first place in Novice Parliamentary Debate. Additionally, Avery won 2nd place Debate, 2nd place in Impromptu Sales, 3rd place in Impromptu Speaking, and 3rd place Pentathlon. Autumn Howard, freshman from Hendersonville, won sixth place in Persuasive Speaking.

"Upon joining the Vol State Speech and Debate team last semester, I never thought that winning a national tournament would be in my future,” said Avery. “I'm incredibly ecstatic for not only earning a national title, but being able to do so with talented and passionate teammates and a fantastic coach whom without this would not have been possible to achieve"

The Vol State Speech and Debate Team is comprised of students from different academic divisions. Students can apply in the fall semester to be part of competitions next year. For more information about Communication programs at Vol State visit
Pictured: The Vol State competitors, left to right: Elijah Avery, Autumn Howard, and Danielle Salvato.

Vol State in the News

The Sonography program is still looking for pregnant women who would like a free ultrasound. The Lebanon Democrat has a story with the details.

The Nursing Program is accepting applications for the first class. It will be held in Gallatin and Livingston. Here is the Overton County News on the program.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Vol State Celebrates 40 Years of WVCP Radio

Students and volunteers came back to visit radio station WVCP on Saturday to celebrate the 40th anniversary of broadcasting on 88.5 FM. The Volunteer State Community College radio station took to the airwaves on January 4, 1979. Visitors toured the studios to see the many technology changes. The event brought in people from the last four decades to reminisce. Some had not seen each other in many years. DJ BumperJack, also known as George Hurd of Nashville, was doing his regular Heavens Gospel Memories show during the event.

“I love it. I came here for free college because I am over 65 and Mr. Howard signed me up. I’ve had a lot of good feedback from my listeners,” Hurd said. “People like the show and like the songs. We have good radio shows here. I’ve listened to the other DJs. It’s fun and educational to volunteer here.”

Pictured above: George “BumperJack” Hurd in a break from his DJ duties.
Alan Smith of Madison worked at WVCP from 1997-1998 and 2004-2005. He catches up with Jane Edwards of Hermitage who was DJ from 1990-1993.
Alan Smith of Madison worked at WVCP from 1997-1998 and 2004-2005. He catches up with Jane Edwards of Hermitage who was DJ from 1990-1993.
Group at WVCP party.
People view pictures from across the forty years of broadcasting history.

A Bridge for the Gallatin Campus

You have probably noticed the large sidewalk project underway on the Gallatin campus. Last week, construction crews put in a new bridge at the back of the parking lot behind SRB. It connects to a new sidewalk on the Loop Road around the back of campus.
Part of the sidewalk project includes connections to two new cross-walks, one at the intersection of Gap Blvd. and Nashville Pike, and the other at the main entrance. It will make it much easier for people to walk across the street to businesses.That project is expected to be completed later this year.
Here is a look at the other sidewalk projects.

Impressive Pass Rate for Mechatronics Certification Exams

Mechatronics students at Volunteer State Community College are showing an impressive pass rate in certification exams. Twenty-three of twenty-four students recently passed the Siemens Level One Certification exam. The technology company has training and certifications in many different areas. A Siemens Certified Mechatronic Systems Assistant could carry out their work at plant assembly sites or service operations which utilize complex mechatronic systems. The certification is recognized both locally and internationally as a mark of superior training. It’s an important factor for employers in hiring.

Congrats to the Mechatronics students and faculty and we can't wait to see you in your new Gallatin lab!

Vol State in the News

We've been promoting Work-Based Learning to the community. This story in the Cookeville Herald Citizen discusses two student experiences.

The Nursing Program is taking applications now for the first class. Here is coverage in the Lebanon Democrat.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Vol State in the News

Congratulations to Baseball Coach Ryan Hunt. He was honored recently with the Brent Foster Legacy Award from Lebanon High School. It honors outstanding alumni of LHS. Here is the story in the Wilson Post.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Workforce and Economic Development - We Need Your Help

Continuing Education was recently re-branded as the Division of Workforce and Economic Development.  The department is led by Assistant Vice President for Economic and Community Development, Hilary Marabeti and falls under the oversight of the Vice President for Economic and Community Development, Nick Bishop.  The department is focused on activities designed for career entry, career sustainability, and career advancement .  The department assists students, job seekers, and incumbent workers with obtaining training and certifications to succeed and advance within the workforce.  The department also provides a wide array of assistance to employers through incumbent worker trainings, as well as working with employers to develop partnerships to ensure both present and future workforce needs are being addressed within the communities we serve.

A recent report distributed by the Tennessee Board of Regents listed Volunteer State Community College as having generated the greatest number of workforce training hours among the thirteen state community colleges in Tennessee during fiscal year 2017-2018..Of the total 696,041 hours produced by all thirteen institutions, Volunteer State contributed 32% of the overall total, or 223,650 training hours.  The division recorded 17,700 enrollments during this same time period. The department is focused on continuing to enhance existing offerings, but also placing an emphasis on expanding offerings to further align the department offerings with labor market and industry demands. (see link to survey below) 

In an effort to further align our college and to continue our focus on student success as our number one priority, Administrator of Work Based Learning,  Dr. Rick Parrent will report directly to the Office of Vice President for Economic and Community Development, Nick Bishop.   Vol State is rapidly growing our commitments from employers to partner with the college in the area of Work Based Learning (WBL) and other related training partnerships.  One of our many goals is to further develop opportunities to connect our academic degree seeking programs with WBL or similar based opportunities in order to ensure student success and connectivity to the workforce. 

In the coming months be prepared to see more calls for partnerships from WBL and the Office of Vice President for Economic and Community Development as a result of increased demand from employers, local community leaders, and new legislative initiatives focusing on the connectivity between higher education and the workforce.  For additional information or questions, please contact  

Please feel free to complete the course interest survey below and share with your contacts across the region.