Vol State’s ThinkFast Game Show a success

By: Shannon Feaganes, Web Editor

Volunteer State Community College hosted a ThinkFast Game Show celebrating Women’s History Month in the cafeteria March 2, at 12:45 p.m.

ThinkFast is an interactive game show created for colleges by TjohnE Booking & Production.  

ThinkFast allows college staff to customize the game show to fit certain themes and test student knowledge. ThinkFast provided game show buzzers, studio equipment, and interactive technology.    

TjohnE’s ThinkFast host, Paul Giambalvo, asked 12 students from the audience to volunteer to participate in the game who were given wireless keypads, and would allow them to answer questions displayed on the screen by pressing buttons on the keypad.

Each participating student was given a team name, and for each question answered correctly, they would gain points.

The questions were multiple choice and included both pop culture references as well as women’s history.

There were four talent portions in which contestants volunteered to compete against one another for placement in the final round by singing, dancing, or debating.  

Between a series of questions, a set of facts regarding women’s history appeared on the screen and polls were taken.  One of the polls asked the question, “Do you consider yourself a feminist?” to which half of the contestants answered, “Yes.”  

During the final round, the four remaining contestants had their speed tested when they were asked to answer a set of pop culture questions.

Those that hit their buzzer first would receive one hundred points if they answered the question correctly.  

The winner of ThinkFast and the grand prize of $200, with a total of 5000 points, was Aaron Smith, a Vol State student, who shared his prize with his friend.  

“I’m happy with my win, and I split it with my friend so we could get some lunch,” said Smith.  

The game show attracted the attention of the students in the dining room.  

“I’m happy that we had enough people to have a good time, but of course the more the merrier, and we had 100 at most,” said Giambalvo, “it would’ve been great to have more people, but we made the best of it, I think.”

Students expressed excitement about the ThinkFast Game Show after it was over, expressing hope that it would return next semester.  

“I think it was really, really fun,” said Penny Arwood, a Vol State student, “I would really like to participate next time.”        


Honors students donate book drive contributions

By: Blake Bouza, Assistant Editor

Students in the Honors Leadership and Development class hosted a book drive at Volunteer State Community College on Monday, Feb. 15 – Friday, Feb. 26.

Donations were taken to Safe Haven, a Nashville-based shelter-to-housing program whose official mission is empowering Middle Tennessee homeless families with children to achieve lasting self-sufficiency, said Christopher Keller, Community Relations Manager.

The project was put together by Shannon Feaganes, Victoria Anderson, Kyle Homer, and Jenny Hernandez, students of the leadership class.

“Over 200 books were donated. It was much more than we expected,” said Hernandez.

“Honestly, we expected around 50 books. It was amazing to have students, faculty, and staff contribute to our book drive,” she said.

Keller said that he was impressed at how hands-on the students in the leadership class were.

“They took care of the details with little help from us, which was great,” Keller said.

Keller’s role is to coordinate volunteer activities that happen daily at the shelter and meet families’ basic needs. This includes finding volunteers to provide dinners, staffing after school programs and special events.

Additionally, he coordinates many community events such as the book drive.

“We were overwhelmed at the quantity and quality of the donation,” Keller said.

He went on to say that all residents at Safe Haven, including children and parents, will have access to the books.

“We have a library here and we actually let residents keep any books they are interested in,” said Keller.

He said that this encourages a love for reading and is helpful for families to begin to read together.

“Reading is also a great way for families to relax and have quality time and escape from the day-to-day pressures of life,” Keller said.

In addition to books donated from faculty and students, Hernandez said that Guild Elementary School donated the majority of children’s books the drive received.

She said that the book drive is a great way to make a difference in the local community.

“This could definitely become an annual event. I would love to pass on the torch of this responsibility to another group of students,” said Hernandez.

Keller said that he is looking forward to working with students from Vol State in the future. He encouraged any students interested in volunteering in Safe Haven’s children’s program as a tutor or enrichment volunteer to visit safehaven.org for more information.

“I humbly enjoyed making a positive difference and promoting education for Safe Haven,” Hernandez said.

Editorial: Taking responsibility for your actions

By: Sara Keen, Editor-in-Chief

We all have a tendency to lay blame elsewhere when something goes wrong, but we happily take credit when something is right.  Whether that something is a class, assignment or relationship, when something goes wrong put the blame somewhere else.  

Everyone does it, and we often find ourselves giving reminders that maybe we are blaming the wrong person or thing.

As adults, we have to take responsibility for our own actions and contributions to what happens in our lives.  Whether you understand that you are partially to blame or receive credit, you know that you did something to affect that situation.

If you fail a class after a semester of procrastination, laziness or anything non-academic, then the blame is yours.  The educator cannot be entirely to blame, and sometimes you are not either.  For example, you can fail because of medical issues or personal issues that are repeatedly inhibiting your own ability to learn.  

Even with a legitimate reason, however, there is still blame that can fall to you.  Seldom is a situation so black and white that the blame falls solely on a single individual.  

We all have to make choices, and those choices can inevitably “make or break” us.  When a friendship ends, we want to blame the other party because we feel better by thinking that we are innocent in its downfall.

That just tends not to be true.  Both parties have an effect on a friendship, and typically when things end there is a reason on both sides.  Maybe you were not a good listener, or they were terrible with secrets.  Both people have their own reasons, and it tends to blame the other person.

As adults we have to learn that, as Spiderman puts it, “with great power, comes great responsibility.”  We have the ability to make decisions that affect not only ourselves, but also others, and that needs to be considered.  

So the responsibility falls on our shoulders, not to lay blame for our actions or the actions of others but to find a way to repair or cope with our decisions.  When you make a mistake, own it, and fix it if you can.

Mistakes and decisions are not reversible, and often take a long time to repair when they go considerably bad.  Life is not a video game, and you cannot undo, repeat or start over without saving when you mess up.  

We all want that ability, but all we have is the choices we make.  Those choices today can affect the rest of your life, so choose wisely.

Off-Campus art exhibit celebrates Black History Month

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(Pictured: Resistance is Futile by Samuel Dunson.  Photo courtesy of Barbara Harmon.)

By: Barbara Harmon, Assistant Editor

Volunteer State Community College hosted events dedicated to Black History Month. Those events commemorated historical events and observed occurrence in today’s society.

The Hendersonville Arts Council at Monthaven Mansion, which will annually host “Art Off-Campus,” an exhibit for Vol State students’ art, also featured a special exhibit during this time.

“Men of Winter: a fine art exhibition in celebration of Black History Month,” was curated by Carlton Wilkinson, proprietor of Wilkinson Arts and former photography teacher at Vol State.

“This exhibition represents a collective of Tennessee-based, male artists who are addressing their creativity in consideration of these contemporary times.

“They will be showcasing their perspectives of circumstances, in terms of one’s own existence,” according to the “Men of Winter” statement.

Some of the artists included in this exhibition were James Threalkill, Leroy Hodges and Samuel Dunson.

“We are in the still winter as there is an environment of social and economic chilliness in our world.

“However, there remains the projection of hope, continuity and productivity as we prepare for the spring season for renewal,” according to the statement.

Included in the exhibit was “I am a Man,” by Leroy Hodges.

“This picture was based on the sanitation workers in Memphis protesting for higher wages and the removal of glass ceilings, in terms of promotion.

“And this march took place right around the time Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated  in 1968,” said Wilkinson.

“Resistance is Futile,” by Samuel Dunson, relates to Michael Brown.

“This piece is an eye-opener. He’s relating to black males shot by police.

“It could happen anywhere—it could be in Ferguson, which by appearance isn’t ghetto, but poor or rich it doesn’t matter,” said Wilkinson.

The blood the man in the picture bleeds is an American flag.

“Dunson, who is also a professor of studio art at Tennessee State University, speaks about the subject of his work—the misrepresentation and mistreatment of African-Americans—with a warmth that might seem to mask his intensity, but which often underscores how ordinary incidents of violence against African-Americans have become.

“For him, it culminated with reports of the shooting of Walter Scott, a 50-year-old South Carolina man who was shot in the back eight times as he fled from a police officer after a traffic stop,” according to nashvillescene.com.

James Threalkill’s painting, “Wrapped in Glory,” is of a young African-American man wrapped in an American flag and bleeding in the area covering his heart.

“It’s the mood—the black and white, and the only thing he wanted in color was the blood—the symbolism of blood.

“I think you could probably relate that to a gunshot wound,” said Wilkinson.

“Destined for Greatness,” another piece by James Threalkill, is of an African-American child with a graduation cap on and ambitions surrounding him: teacher, scientist, judge, president, engineer, artist, doctor, CEO, inventor, mayor, athlete.

Wilkinson said Threalkill’s work is usually uplifting like this one, and “Wrapped in Glory” was a different piece for him.

“He was obviously thinking of contemporary issues concerning Black Lives Matter,” said Wilkinson.

“I think there is a lot of misunderstanding that is relating to that, because people see it as anti-police, but it’s about anti-corruption.

“And so, no one’s saying not to have police—I don’t think anyone would want that, but there are elements of the situations where black young, black males are treated differently, in terms of arrest and what have you,” said Wilkinson.

This exhibition ended on March 12, but these pieces and other African-American art can be purchased through Wilkinson Arts.

The next “Art Off-Campus” exhibit for Vol State students’ art will be May 14-June 14, said Dan Titcomb, Executive Director of Hendersonville Arts Council.


Vol State participates in virtual college fair

By: Jessica Peña

Volunteer State Community College was among 27 institutions in the state to participate in the first statewide virtual college fair March 16, from 1-6 p.m.

Tennessee Pathway Day was coordinated by the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) and offered a new way for current and upcoming college students to familiarize themselves with potential colleges of their choice.

The Tennessee Board of Regents has created a virtual college for the tech savvy generation.

According to the TBR website, participating colleges included all TBR institutions like Austin Peay University, East Tennessee State University, Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee State University, Tennessee Technological University and University of Memphis.

Participants of the college fair could register and login from their computers, tablets or smart phones and visit any of the available colleges, and were able to chat online with advisors to ask any questions they may have about their institution.

“It was a fairly simple, straightforward process,” said Virginia Moreland, Associate Director of Communications and Marketing at the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Moreland said the Tennessee Pathway Day was a new event created to enhance what institutions were already doing.

“Many students may not have the time or resources to attend a physical college fair, especially with a campus located far away.

A virtual college fair provides a convenient means of communicating with a variety of colleges from across the state in a single afternoon without leaving home,” said Moreland.

Each college had an online booth with links to download and view books, or other materials about their institution.

The booths also included links to specific information on the universities’ websites and videos about the schools.

Just as a physical college fair, participants could visit with as many or as few colleges as they chose.

Moreland said one objective of the event was to build awareness of the Tennessee Transfer Pathway program, so potential students could explore their options.

“Students that were considering starting at Vol State and then transferring onto one of the four year public universities, had the opportunity to talk to representatives at both colleges about that major, and the transfer process.

“It’s a great way for students to start mapping out their college plans,” said Annette Wagner, Assistant Director of Admissions at Vol State.

“It was a very user friendly format, so Vol State was confident that the students would be able to navigate it without a problem,” said Wagner.

Wagner said that the fair does not replace any other programs they have going on, but it is another way to showcase and share all about Vol State to prospective students.

“As a college, we are always looking for different ways to reach out to our prospective students. We want to connect with them in a format that works best for them.

“This is simply a new avenue that we can use to help them explore all that Vol State has to offer,” said Wagner.

Any students who missed Tennessee Pathway Day still have a chance to check out information on their institution.

College booths will be available online for another 30 days for anyone who would like to visit and learn more about the participating colleges. The link is tnpathwayday.org