Thursday, October 29, 2020

Vol State Student in Statewide TBR Video

Vol State student LaDarius Roberts was featured in the opening video of the Tennessee Board of Regents “We All Rise” Biennial Conference recently. The diversity and inclusion conference was attended by educators across the state. Roberts is an adult learner at Vol State and a Peer Mentor in the Pioneer Connections Peer Mentor program administrated by the Office of Adult Learners and Veterans Affairs. He was interviewed about his experiences at Vol State and the importance of diversity and student success iniatives. He did a great job, so we wanted to share the video with campus. It's about 11 minutes long and Ladarius appears in it several times.  

Vol State in the News

Vol State has a program called MOCAS (Men of Color Achieving Success). Part of the mission is to help student athletes do well academically in college. Community College Daily highlighted MOCAS in an article recently.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

First-Generation College Student Celebration

A First-Generation college student is defined as a student whose parent(s) did not complete a bachelor's degree and who is resilient, determined, driven, persistent, tenacious, hopeful, supportive, AND is a trailblazer who inspires others!

Vol State is joining in the national celebration of First-Generation college students with profiles of students this week and a series of events next week, marking the official First-Generation College Student Week.

· First-Generation student stories on social media.      

      Monday, November 2, 2020

·      Early Registration (Spring 2021) for students with 30 or more credits! Opens 8am.


Tuesday, November 3, 2020

·         Early Registration (Spring 2021) for all currently enrolled students! Opens at 8am.

·         SGA meeting - TRIO will speak about First-Generation and TRIO services.

o   All Campus Locations: Zoom, 11:15AM, Zoom ID: 326 397 332

 Wednesday, November 4, 2020

·         TRIO Virtual Open House - Hop on to learn more about TRIO. Students who are First-Generation, eligible for Pell Grant or who are registered with the Access Center could be eligible for TRIO services.  Applications are OPEN at

o   All Campus Locations: Zoom, Hop on Anytime between 10:00-11:00AM or 1:00-2:00PM



Thursday, November 5, 2020

·         Grab-n-Go for Livingston and Springfield students. Information tables including The Well, financial aid, and The Feed.  Students can schedule Spring 2021 advising appointments. We will hand out t-shirts, goodie bags and provide First-Gen information with First-Gen Buttons, limited availability.

o   Livingston:  10-11AM and 3-4:30 pm

o   Springfield: 10-11AM and 3-4:30pm


·         Student Engagement & Support will host a Just In Time virtual Jobs Fair.

o   All Campus Locations: 10:00AM-12:00PM

o   Participants RSVP to to receive the zoom link


·         Vol State’s 2nd Annual First-Generation Celebration, 1st Virtual event to celebrate First-Generation students, faculty, and staff. Everyone encouraged to wear First-Gen t-shirt or Vol State gear. Bring your lunch… Eat while Zooming.  Panel of First-Generation students, faculty and staff.

o   All Campus Locations: Zoom Webinar, 12:00-1:00PM

·         National Joint Virtual First-Generation College Celebration by the Center for First-generation Student Success and the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE). You are welcome to participate by registering below. (You do not have to join to participate):

o 1:00PM-2:30PM 

Friday, November 6, 2020

·         Student Engagement & Support will provide The Well Tables and coordinate The Feed drive-thru.  We will hand out t-shirts, First-Gen wrist bands and provide First-Gen information.

o   Gallatin: 12:00PM, Wood Parking Lot

o   Cookeville: 11AM-2PM; Drive Thru T-shirt and swag bag

Monday, October 26, 2020

Story Slam - Watch Student Stories and Vote

We invite you to participate in the 2020 Vol State Story Slam! It’s simple - just watch and vote. Students in Communication classes created amazing video stories of hardship and triumph. You watch the four finalists on You Tube and decide which is best:

Then vote at:

The Virtual Story Slam will run Monday, Oct. 26 through Friday, Oct. 30 at 11:59 PM.

ALL members of the Vol State community are invited to vote (including staff, faculty, friends, and family).

Monday, October 19, 2020

James Tells His Story

Retired Vol State Music Professor, James Story, battled COVID-19 for more than two months in the hospital. He continues his hard work to recover at home. CBN, Christian Broadcast Network, put together this story about his experience. 

Sumner Adult Education is Back at Vol State

Sumner County Adult Education has returned to Vol State. The free HiSET prep courses (High School Equivalency Test) and basic ESL classes had most recently been administered by Workforce Essentials. The ESL classes start at the most basic levels and include HiSET test prep. They also prepare students to move to college preparatory ESOL courses held at Vol State. Classes meet day and evening, on the Gallatin campus and six other locations in Sumner County. In addition, there is an option for totally virtual learning and testing.

If you have people who should be referred to the program the new contact information is:

Casey Hendricks: 615-230-3621

Kastonia “Sam” Herron: 615-230-3703

Cultural Connections Week/Fall Festival and Food Day

Cultural Connections Week/Fall Festival and Food Day 

As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, in partnership with ESL and English faculty, plan a week of fun programs to hopefully help us understand and learn about our different cultures and history.


Monday, October 19, 2020 
Immigration Reform: Where Do We Go from Here?   
James Cobb (Cobb Law Group)  
Presenters:  Attorneys James Cobb and Abigail Mabry  
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion will host the Cobb Law Group. Attorneys James Cobb and Abigal Mabry will help the community understand immigration law, the recent Supreme Court decision, and what may be in the future after the elections. Experienced immigration attorneys with extensive experience will help answer questions and hopefully unravel the often-confusing nature of U.S. Immigration policies and practices.  
Open to students, faculty, and staff. 

Time: 12:30 PM –1:30 PM  
Zoom Registration Link: 


Tuesday, October 20, 2020 
Let’s Get to Know Each Other 
Presenter:  Prof. Shirley Gomez 

To celebrate the growing diversity in our Vol State community, we will host a 90 minutes event geared toward providing opportunities for the students on our campus to get to know each other. Let’s Get to Know Each Other will consist of 3 interactive, online activities which will hopefully help open lines of communication among the diverse student groups.  

Time:  1:00 – 2:00 PM 
Registration Link  


Wednesday, October 21, 2020 
American Stew: A Brief History of American Cuisine 
Presenter:  Professor Melanie Cochran, History Dept. 

One area in which Americans have lived up to the "melting pot" idea is with our food. In this talk, we'll examine how imperialism, slavery, immigration, technology, politics and popular culture have shaped a uniquely American cuisine. 

Time:  11:30 AM – 12:30 PM 
Registration Link  


Thursday, October 22, 2020 
Discussing Politics and the Elections – Part 2 
Panelists:  Profs. Melva Black, Nancy Blomgren, Len Assante, Scott McMillan, and Carole Bucy. 
As we are now less than two weeks from perhaps the most pivotal elections of our lifetime, where do we stand as a nation?  What did the debates accomplish?  Will we have a free and fair election and a possible peaceful transfer of power?  Join us for another riveting discussion with our panel of experts.  This discussion will be respectful, civil, and a safe place for differences of opinions. 
Open to students, faculty, and staff.   

Time:  12:30 – 2:00 PM 
Registration Link  


Friday, October 23, 2020 
Fall Festival featuring Food Day, Celebrating the 
th Anniversary of World Food Day 
The Annual Fall Festival and World Food Day celebrates Fall Semester with help from Student Organizations and info stations coordinated by Student Engagement and Support.  World Food Day is celebrated every year around the world in honor of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization through the United Nations.   The day is celebrated widely by many organizations and on college campuses concerned with food security. 
Outside, Wood Parking Lot 

Monday, October 5, 2020

Watch Vol State Student Compete on Netflix "SingOn!" TV Show


How far does Vol State student Seibreanna Alkinani make it on the new Netflix competition “Sing On!”? Pretty far, but you’ll need to watch to find out.

It started with a phone call. “I got a call while I was actually in class,” Seibreanna said. “She told me I was going to be on the show. I took the major here because I want to be an independent artist. It was fitting I got the call while on campus.”

It has been a whirlwind experience that took the Hendersonville singer to London, England, after a series of auditions and interviews. “It was crazy. I had never done anything like this before. For the audition I had to learn the song in two days.”

In the competition for the $60,000 jackpot, contestants had to sing well-known hits matching the original note for note. But personality was a big part of making the cut for TV. “I did a lot of goofy things and they liked it. They kept it in there.”

Seibreanna says her social media is getting busy now that the show has debuted on Netflix. That could help her decide the next step after she graduates in December with a degree in Music Business. “I’m an R and B and soul singer. My inspirations come from Gospel music. I just want to be a recording artist and travel.”

She says the Vol State Entertainment Media Production program has provided her with important tools to stake out her career. “As soon as I got to Vol State I felt relieved. Everything I have learned has been hands-on and I work well that way.”

And that’s a long way from her original views of college. “I did not plan on going to college. When TN Promise came I thought- well this is free, why not take advantage of the opportunity? The kids in the program here are so talented. It really inspires me. I’ve met great musicians and jammed at their homes.”

Her experience with EMP Director Steve Bishir has also had a big impact. “He’s super passionate about teaching. He really wants us to succeed. It’s amazing to have a teacher care about us that much.”

The six-time Grammy award winning Recording Engineer also helps his students make connections with people in the music industry. “The experience of networking has been great for me.”

In the meantime, Seibreanna is enjoying her moment in the spotlight. The show premiered in September. Tune in to Netflix to see how she does. Here's a link to the Netflix "Sing On!" web page:

For more information about the Vol State Entertainment Media Production program visit: