Monday, September 30, 2019

Open Educational Resources Conference Presentation


The use of Open Educational Resources (OER) is expanding at colleges and universities across the country and Vol State is beginning the journey in how OER resources might shape the courses we offer.  OER are educational materials built by faculty and embedded into the course itself. They can take the place of an outside textbook, saving students money and making it easier for them to have access to all of the educational materials they need in the course. A pilot program is underway at Vol State in the Communication Department. Speech 2045 is being offered in an OER format. Recently, three faculty members, Sheri Waltz, Jennifer James, and Shellie Michael, presented at the TN Communication Association conference regarding the work they have done for the pilot and how OER is transforming the Public Speaking course. 


“Although the endeavor was time consuming, access to the course and the learning material should be available to all students regardless of socio-economic status, said Waltz. “ It is important that all students have equal and free access to course materials so each student may excel in the course.”

The revised Public Speaking course is being piloted for the first time in all sections in the Fall 2019 semester. Faculty members say the initial reception from students has been promising. There are other faculty also using OER at Vol State. Dean of Academic Support, Rhonda Gregory, said that Sidney Hardyway is using OER in PSYC 1030 and Phil Hearn uses it in a Project Management course. Other courses are still being planned for fall 2020 with the hopes to create at least three or four OER courses each year.





Marilyn Murphy Exhibit at Vol State Art Gallery in October


The drawings of Nashville artist Marilyn Murphy are on display at the Vol State Art Gallery through October. The professor of Art emerita at Vanderbilt University has been shown in 390 exhibitions nationally and abroad.

“My drawings typically include one or two figures involved in an improbable action or working at some curious task,” Murphy said. “While occasionally my art has a political element, many of the pieces in this series comment upon the act of seeing, the creative process or some aspect of human experience.”

“There is a particular logic inherent in Murphy’s conjunction, one based on visual punning and the slightly too bright, almost halated quality of her tonalities,” said Peter Frank, a Los Angeles curator.

“If this is dreaming, it is lucid dreaming, a knowing exploitation of the dream state by Murphy to provide her and us, with images and sensations of improbable freedom and thrilling or hilarious juxtaposition.”

Murphy has had a mid-career survey at the Frist Center in Nashville and a two-person exhibition at the Huntsville Museum of Art. Her work is in many public and private collections including the Huntsville Museum of Art, the Boston Museum School, and the Prudential and Bridgestone Collections. 

The Vol State show runs from September 30 until October 31. There will be a reception for the artist at the Gallery on October 19 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. The exhibit is free and open to the public. The Vol State Art Gallery is located on the first floor of the Steinhauer-Rogan-Black (SRB) Humanities Building on the Gallatin campus at 1480 Nashville Pike. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information call 615-230-3202.

Pictured: Marilyn Murphy, Civic Still Life Control.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Vol State in the News

Multiple news outlets helped to get the word out about an attempted abduction of a student at the Cookeville campus two weeks ago. Campus Police are still looking for the assailant. Cookeville Police are helping with extra patrols of the area. Campus police officers are on duty at CHEC during all class times and an hour and a half after the last class dismisses for the evening. We will have updates when they are new details in the case.

The upcoming appearance of Body Farm founder, Dr. Bill Bass, has been receiving much attention on social media and also in the news media. This story is from the Hendersonville Standard.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Respiratory Care Honored

The Respiratory Care program at Vol State has been honored with the Distinguished Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) Credentialing Success Award from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). The award was presented at the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) Summer Forum awards ceremony held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The award is given as part of CoARC’s continued efforts to value the RRT credential as a standard of professional achievement.

With a focus on program effectiveness, the CoARC views the RRT credential as a measure of a program’s success in inspiring its graduates to achieve their highest educational and professional aspirations. When selecting programs for the recognition, the CoARC Board used objective criteria based on key accreditation metrics documented in the 2018 Annual Report of Current Status. Programs are required to: (1) have three or more years of outcome data; (2) hold accreditation without a progress report; (3) document RRT credentialing success of 90 percent or above, and (4) meet or exceed established CoARC thresholds for certified respiratory therapist credentialing success, attrition, and positive job placement.

Presenting the award from left to right: Dr. Allen Gustin, Jr, CoARC’s president of the Board of Commissioners; Kim Christmon, Vol State program director; Mallory Higginbotham, director of Clinical Education; and Bradley Leidich, CoARC’s immediate past president of the Board of Commissioners.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Vol State in the News

Vol State is bringing more specialty courses to the Highland Crest campus. The Robertson County Connection has this story about a new phlebotomy class.

Foundation donations come from many community sources, some of which have been donating regularly for many years. The Gallatin News has a story on one of those donors.

The EYH science event for girls is coming up soon on the Gallatin campus. The Gallatin News has this piece.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Documentary Film Crew Comes to Gallatin Campus Next Week

A documentary film crew will be on the Vol State Gallatin campus next week, Tuesday and Wednesday. They are shooting a project tentatively titled “Voices of Pathways.” The project is focusing on guided pathways implemented at community colleges across the country. Guided pathways is an educational approach that includes clear academic plans for all students and a range of supports, including career exploration, first-year experience programs, completion coaches, and academic assistance, such as our co-requisite Math and English classes.

The crew has filmed at four colleges thus far, in Milwaukee, Austin, Maryland, and Oregon. The filmmakers will conduct a few interviews and film scenes around campus. They have already identified participants for the film, but you may be included in a scene if you happen to be where they are filming. The production team may ask you to sign a release if you are on camera. Next Chapter Communications, and documentary filmmakers Meridian Hill Pictures, are leading the project. The finished product may be up to five short films on the subject. We’ll have more word on where it is available once the project is completed.

Photo by Sam McGhee on Unsplash

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Body Farm Founder Speaks in Two Presentations

Dr. William Bass, the creator of “The Body Farm” in Knoxville, makes a return engagement to Volunteer State Community College on Thursday, October 3 for two public lectures. The forensic anthropologist is best known for his work in founding the Anthropology Research Facility at U-T Knoxville. Researchers there study the decomposition of donated bodies in various weather and burial conditions. The findings, including methods to help determine when a person died, revolutionized forensic science and criminal investigation. To expand the work, and provide expertise to the world, the Forensic Anthropology Center was opened in 1987. It curates the largest collection of contemporary human skeletons in the nation and provides professional training. Bass, now retired, became a bestselling author and inspired many fictional characters in TV and movies. His first presentation, at 11:15 a.m., will discuss “The History of the Body Farm.” His second lecture will be at 6 p.m. and is titled “The Mysterious Case of Colonel William Shy.” Both events are free and open to the public and will be held at Caudill Hall on the Vol State campus at 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin.  The college encourages attendees to bring non-perishable food donations for the Feed student food bank.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Vol State in the News

The story of a Robertson County alumnus who has been awarded a US State Department fellowship is in the Robertson County Connection.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Vol State Graduate Wins Prestigious State Department Fellowship


Orlinda, Tennessee is 6,934 miles from Beijing, China, but that didn’t stop a young Isabella Greene from dreaming about China and what it was like to live in Asia or Africa, for that matter. She was homeschooled in Robertson County, worked in her parents flower shop in Portland, and found joy in arranging stems and blooms. Greene took her talents to Volunteer State Community College at the age of 19. It didn’t stick. She returned again at age 25. Now the 35 year-old has arrived in Washington, D-C to work on master’s degree at American University. It’s part of a prestigious U.S. Department of State scholarship as a Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellow.

“I always wanted my degree,” Greene said. “I just felt that for me to get the most out of myself I needed to get a bachelor’s degree. I changed my major at Vol State several times- Business, Nursing, and Respiratory Care.” Greene still had that love of world history. A meeting with an advisor convinced her to follow her dream.  “Michelle Vandiver talked about a relative of hers that was not happy in their career and they finally made a change. She encouraged me to take the leap.”

That leap of faith led to China studies, and a mastery of the Chinese language, while at Western Kentucky University (WKU). There she also met a liaison with the U.S. State Department. He encouraged her to apply for State Department scholarships. It took several tries, a process that involved interviews, applications, and a lot of preparation. Finally, this summer, she received notice that she had been accepted.
“I balled my eyes out and so did my mother. It was very emotional. There was so much hard work that went into it. I read books and magazines and watched videos online; anything to learn about the State Department.”

The Fellowship includes two summer internships: one year working with the State Department in Washington, D-C and the other summer in an international posting. If she does well, she will serve as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer after graduation.

“Those positions are usually filled with Ivy League or large university graduates,” said History professor, Carole Bucy. “Isabella always says, whenever she is asked, how remarkable her educational journey has been.  The fact that a 35-year-old from Orlinda, Tennessee received the fellowship is a testament to the confidence she developed while at Vol State.  Now, she has become an inspiration to me.”

The international experience won’t be Greene’s first. She answered some of her childhood questions by studying in China for 10 months while at WKU. She described arriving in Beijing for the first time. “At first, I was exhilarated and then I felt culture shock when I realized it was nothing like Tennessee,” Greene said. “I freaked out. It was the first time in my life I had to find someone that could speak English.” She settled into her China experience and soon reveled in the fact that she was studying with students from across Europe and experiencing Chinese culture at the same time.

Greene knows that her Tennessee upbringing provides unique insights for international relations. “We’re in a time, more than ever, that we need to understand other cultures, which is why I want to be a diplomat. There’s often miscommunication between cultures. I would like to use commonalities to work together for a greater good.”

Pictured: Vol State History professor, Carole Bucy, wishes Isabella Greene well the day before her travel to Washington, D-C. They are shown in the family flower shop in Portland, Tennessee.

PTA Students Community Service

Health Sciences students often get out into the community as part of their education. Here is another example. Physical Therapist Assistant students spend 3 hours each week at Veranda Ministries assisting clients in fun, engaging activities for those who have been diagnosed with Dementia or Alzheimer’s. Here's a video of them in action.