New Movies at Thigpen Library

 

By Katie Doll

The Thigpen Library has a new selection of movies available to borrow. Here are reviews of five new movies you may enjoy.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

The group of misfits known as the Guardians of the Galaxy are back after their 2014 origin movie. Peter Quill (Star-Lord) learns about his parentage in this epic Marvel movie. Audiences will be laughing at the spot-on comedic comebacks. Although not as fresh as the previous film, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 definitely has the charm and thrill to make a great sequel.

Wonder Woman (2017)

This origin story of the classic DC superhero gives an empowering and intense two hours and thirty minutes experience for audiences to return to any day. While on her sheltered Amazonian island, Diana Prince comes across an American pilot who informs her about the war to end all wars. Diana chooses to fight while adjusting to the outside world. Although the DC cinematic universe had a rough patch with their previous movies, Wonder Woman comes out as an entertaining and action-packed story.

The Fate of the Furious (2017)

The eighth installment of the action-packed serious, The Fate of the Furious follows Dominic and his wife as Dominic is forced to betray his friends after meeting a woman named Cipher. The rest must unite to stop Cipher and bring their friend home. This film is the first after Paul Walker’s death, and while the absence shows, the film still brings the action and cast chemistry.

Where the Wild Things Are (2009)

Feeling left out at home, nine-year old Max turns to the land of the Wild Things where he promises to be their leader and create a kingdom for the community. Imaginative and majestic, Where the Wild Things Are is a film for anyone who dreams of escaping the real world. This film will make your inner child come out and run wild.

Selena (1997)

Jennifer Lopez portrays the late musician, Selena Quintanilla, in this biographical drama. The film follows her life growing up in a musical Mexican-American family and finding love with her guitarist. This film is a warm and moving tribute to the beloved performer.

Photos via imdb.com

Club Spotlight: Vol State’s Student Veterans of America

 

By Presley Green

Vol State Student Veterans of America is a club to promote the connectivity and networking among the veterans at Volunteer State Community College.

The club is designed for veterans and their dependents, but anyone is welcomed, student or faculty, veteran or not. However, veteran status is required to be on the board. The VSVA is a charter member of the National Student Veterans of America.

“The Vol State Veterans of America is a good program for veterans to be involved in because it gives them a network of people in the same situations. Most veterans now are coming from wartime situations. The VSVA lets them know others can relate to their struggles in classes or their transition from active duty to civilian life,” said Scott Hilgadiack, VSVA advisor.

The VSVA meets every Wednesday in Room 150 of the Ramer Administration Building. They also volunteer frequently with Veterans of Foreign Wars at the food pantry on Saturdays.

“Vol State’s Student Veterans of America Club is to help veterans at Vol State network because they are not all from here. A large part of our Vol State’s veterans was stationed at Fort Campbell. They might not have family or friends in the area, so Vol State’s Veterans of America is a family atmosphere for them,” said Penelope Starr, veterans affairs associate.

She went on to explain that a student used the word “family” when describing it to her, and since then it has stuck as the perfect explanation.

The purpose of Vol State’s Veterans of America Club is to provide resources, support and advocacy for veterans to help them succeed in higher education.

The VSVA has space in Ramer Room 150 referred to as the Vet Center. It is always open for veterans to hang out or use the computers. It is a quiet area for veterans to use for whatever purpose they need.

The Association of Vietnam Veterans of America of Sumner County, Chapter 240, keeps the Vet Center stocked with snacks for the VSVA. They even donated a Keurig.

Starr lets the Association know when the club are running low on snacks. They generously donate all kinds of snacks like Slim Jim’s, granola bars, chips, and coffee, she said.

Theft alerts at Vol State’s Pickel Field House

 

 

Inline image 3Inline image 2Inline image 1Inline image 4

By Presley Green

A crime alert was issued by Volunteer State Community College Feb. 21, stating thefts have been occurring in the Pickel Field House.

Pictures of two young men were sent out as “persons of interest.”

Campus Police claims the thefts have happened in the past two weeks. They are still investigating.

Campus Police is urging students to call 615-230-3595 if they have any information on the crimes or identity of the persons of interest.

Campus Police also issued personal safety tips such as never leaving bags, phones, or other belongings unattended or unsecured. Campus Police is encouraging students to be aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious behavior, such as loitering with no purpose.

The community and student body is being asked to help identify these persons of interest.

When contacted for more information, Lisa Morris, senior administrative assistant of campus police emailed, “This is an open investigation and the details you have requested cannot be released at this time.”

Vol State Pioneers ready to face off against Columbia this weekend

 

By Nick Kieser

The Volunteer State Community College Pioneers baseball team is in the midst of a five-game winning streak since beating Lake Land College, Moraine Valley Community College, and Cumberland University’s JV team.  

The 5-3 Pioneers have now made it over .500 and hope to keep their record that way.

“It feels good. Finally over .500, especially starting 0-3. Hopefully we keep this going,” said Ryan Hunt, head coach of the team.

Hunt commented on his team’s offensive play during the Feb. 20 doubleheader against Cumberland University’s JV team.

“Looking for some guys to be more consistent with the bat. We have some guys really struggling offensively, and hopefully that gets better because it’s still early,” he said.

The Pioneers did have high scoring games against Cumberland, but Hunt still thinks the game could have gone differently.

“We didn’t do what we thought we’d do. They helped us out with some errors and that’s how we scored most of the runs,” he said.

After the doubleheader, the Pioneers had won five straight games and were in fifth place in the conference.

Hunt did comment on the successful run, saying that “pitching was really [good].

“Anytime you get a couple of wins is always good. Anytime you win five in a row it feels good no matter who you are playing,” he said.

Baylor Steelman, sophomore leadoff hitter and outfielder, commented on how the nearing conference games would go.

“It’s gonna be huge. It will be hard against all conference teams. We have to go out there and give it all we got.” Baylor said. “I hope to not think too much and just hit more line drives to be a better player.”

Since the start of the 2018 season, Steelman has been the Pioneers leadoff man (the first hitter). “This is my first year that I’ve led off. I’m starting to get used to it,” said Steelman, who went 0-1 with two walks against Cumberland Feb. 20.

With the regular season in play, the positions on defense and offense have been locked up. “There’s already a few guys who have solidified their position. Still waiting on a few guys to produce with the bat,” said Hunt.

The everyday starters are still in the mix for final decisions that Coach Hunt will make, and Steelman believes he is a solidified guy where he is.

“I think I have played good enough to earn the starting spot in center field. I have to keep working hard and not lose it,” said Steelman.

The Pioneers will soon travel to Columbia State University to take on the Chargers, who are 5-6-1, as of Feb. 22. Columbia defeated Chipola College in Chipola, Florida, Sunday, Feb. 18, 12-8.

“It’ll be tough playing Columbia at their place. They just beat the preseason number one team in the country in Chipola,” said Hunt.

“It is going to be a hard fought battle, but we can win it though,” said Steelman confidently about going to Columbia.

The Pioneers will travel to Columbia this weekend, March 2-3. Three games will be played. One on Friday and two on Saturday. The games will be live streamed on The Settler’s Twitter page, @TheSettler. Friday’s game is at 2 p.m., and Saturday’s games are at noon and 2:30 p.m.

What is SGA?

 

By Katie Doll

Student Government Association is a club for students to come together to express interests and changes for the student body of Volunteer State Community College.

SGA works to create an environment that boosts student and alumni involvement in colleges across the country.

All students are welcomed to join. A five-dollar fee is required and put towards the student body, according to Matthew Gillette, attorney general for SGA.

“It’s important that SGA uses those funds in constructive ways to promote the student body as a whole,” wrote Gillette in an e-mail.

SGA has a bi-monthly Monday meeting called the General Assembly from 12:45-1:45 p.m. The meeting gives students the opportunity to be represented and heard, according to the Vol State website. Locations can be found on the campus events calendar on the Vol State website.

Student officers of SGA are elected by the student body each spring semester. Caitlyn Ellis, president of SGA, stated her work with the club has benefited her as a student.

“As a student, I get the leadership experience necessary to pursue my goals,” said Ellis. “As president, I also receive most of my tuition paid for and an office in Wood Room 213.”

Ellis also included other benefits for any member of SGA.

“We also have the ability, as do all students, to sit on Dr. Faulkner’s presidential cabinets that discuss things such as international education, commencement and academics,” said Ellis. “We are lucky to know a lot about Vol State just from being on SGA.”

Students through SGA have the opportunity to listen to guest speakers and learn more about the school.

Students also have the opportunity to make friends in SGA. Ellis stated she met her best friends through the organization.

Upcoming events involving SGA include burying a time capsule April 18. The Campus Activity Board (CAB), a constituent of SGA, will have an event called “Love Yourself” located in the Mary Nichols Dining Rooms A & B in the Wood Campus Center Feb. 27. Booths will be set up to give students information on health, suicide awareness, etc.

Vol State to host Transfer Fair Feb. 28

 

By Tayla Courage

Volunteer State Community College students have the opportunity to meet with college representatives at the Office of Admissions’ Transfer Fair Feb. 28, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., in the Mary Nichols Dining Room.

Representatives from 24 colleges and universities, both in-state and out-of-state, have registered to attend the fair, according to Jennifer Johnson, coordinator of student recruitment.

Johnson, although only being employed at Vol State for a short period of time, admitted that last year’s fair wasn’t as successful as it could have been.

“My experience last year, we had it in the Great Hall, and because there’s no classes over here anymore, we did not have a good turnout,” said Johnson.

She said she hopes having the event tables set up in the Wood Campus Center will allow for more student engagement.

Advisor and counselor Lindsay Guenther expressed the need for students to continue to play an active role in their individual transfer processes.

 “Make good grades! Even if you have already been admitted to a university, they will still ask for your final transcript,” according to an email from Guenther.

Guenther also urges transferring students to get an early start on their applications, especially those that concern financial aid.

“Start applying for universities and scholarships now. Scholarship deadlines for fall tend to be sooner than admissions deadlines for fall,” wrote Guenther.

Connie Pimentel, assistant director of admissions, said that she believes the Transfer Fair is a time for students to ask questions and consider the steps they may want to take after leaving Vol State.

“I think it’s great that we have the opportunity to bring those people here to give our students a chance to kind of just get a feel for what their options are,” said Pimentel.

Additional transfer information can also be found in the collection of college brochures in Ramer’s Advising Center Room 174.

Spring break fun that won’t break the bank

 

By Tayla Courage

Are you looking to have an eventful, yet inexpensive spring break? Here’s a list of five staycation options that won’t break the bank.

Nashville Public Library Community Yoga (March 3 & 10)

If you are looking to relax and destress, the Nashville Public Library offers free Saturday morning yoga sessions as a part of their “Be Well at the NPL” campaign. Yoga will take place in Hadley Park from 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. According to the Nashville Public Library’s website, people of all ages and abilities are welcome to participate in this beginner-friendly activity. The sessions will feature both breathing and stretching exercises, and attendees may choose to borrow a provided mat or bring their own.

The First Saturday Art Crawl (March 3)

If you are more interested in the downtown artistic scene, the city of Nashville hosts a free art crawl on the first Saturday of each month. Over twenty galleries participate in this monthly event, many of which offer free wine and refreshments, according to the Nashville Downtown Partnership’s website. Art crawlers will have the opportunity to view the works and exhibits of both local and world-renowned artists. Parking options for this event can be found here.

The Frist Center

If you happened to miss the art crawl, Nashville’s Frist Center offers free admission to college students with a valid student ID on Thursday and Friday nights from 5 – 9 p.m., excluding Frist Fridays. As of now there are three exhibitions available for viewing, but the Frist is constantly rotating its collections.

The Country Music Hall of Fame

The Country Music Hall of Fame benefits locals by offering free admission for youths aged 18-or-under from Davidson, Cheatham, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson Counties as a part of its Community Counts program. According to the website, an adult Nashville Public Library cardholder and a plus-one from Davidson County can receive free admission by picking up a Community Counts Passport from any of the NPL locations. Proof of residency is required. The Hall of Fame is open every day from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The Tennessee State Museum

If you’re interested in learning more about Tennessee’s history, the Tennessee State Museum offers free admission to the public Tuesday – Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  The museum’s permanent exhibitions are free year-round, but the changing exhibitions may be charged, according to tnmuseum.org. Visitors may also explore the Military Museum or take a guided tour of the State Capitol free of charge. Hours may vary.

Colleges attending Vol State transfer fair

 

By Tayla Courage

Volunteer State Community College will be hosting a transfer fair on Wednesday, Feb. 28, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the Wood Campus Center. Here is a list of all the colleges registered to attend so far:

Belmont University

Bethel University

Boyce College

Bryan College

Cumberland University

East Tennessee State University

King University

Lincoln Memorial University

Lindsey Wilson College

Martin Methodist College

Middle Tennessee State University

Mississippi State University

Nossi College of Art

Tennessee Tech

Tennessee Wesleyan University

The Art Institute

The University of Alabama

The University of Tennessee – Chattanooga

Trevecca Nazarene University

Union University

University of North Alabama

University of Tennessee – Knoxville

Welch College

English professor offers students chance to relax through breathing

 

By Katie Doll

College can be stressful, but Betty Mandeville, professor of English at Volunteer State Community College, has a few techniques to help students take the time to relax and breathe.

Mandeville hosts breathing exercises from 2:15-2:45 p.m. every Monday upstairs in Thigpen Library.

Abdominal breathing for 20 to 30 minutes a day reduces anxiety and stress, according to the American Institute of Stress. By breathing deeply, the parasympathetic nervous system of the body is stimulated, bringing about a state of calmness.

At the beginning of every class, Mandeville takes the time to make sure students are fully focused. Students are encouraged to close their eyes as they are walked through a series of slow deep breathing exercises to help stressful thoughts leave their minds.

Ten years ago, after she resigned from teaching, Mandeville started her own form of exercises to help calm her down while home with her son. Five years later, she returned to teaching and thought the exercises would be helpful for students.

“My hope would be that they then use it anytime when they’re about to study for a test or have a complicated conversation or do something that makes them feel anxious,” said Mandeville.

Some of her techniques are what she would want to hear, in hopes that students would want to hear the same, she said.

One of her techniques involves simple phrases or analogies, such as “thinking of your breath as an anchor.”

Mandeville went through a certification program at Duke University. She uses some of her training for in-class exercises.

“Their scale is a bigger scale where it’s class that you take,” said Mandeville. “I offer some longer classes, but consistently, I always do whatever we can do in class to get settled in, so to speak.”

Students like Elise Piliponis, a middle college student in Mandeville’s class, have often found these routines helpful in dealing with their everyday lives.

“I don’t get a lot of sleep, so it’s like really nice to get my brain focused,” said Piliponis. “Because I have stuff going on everyday after school.”

Vol State is 220 paved parking spots short

 

Photo by Lauren Whitaker

Photo by Lauren Whitaker

By Lauren Whitaker

Volunteer State Community College is 220 paved parking spots short for the number of students who attend the college.

“This past year, well it was about a two-year process, we worked with a design and architectural firm out of Atlanta called TSW to do a master facility plan. One of the things they look at is a formula to determine how many parking spaces you should have,” said Dr. Jerry Faulkner, president of Vol State. “They came back and said we should have more parking spaces on this campus.”

During this evaluation by TSW, paved parking was the only parking considered. The two gravel overflow parking lots were not taken into account.

“I don’t know the exact number the gravel lots have. Where the gravel lots do not have lines, it’s hard to get an exact number,” Faulkner said.

Vol State plans to pave the two gravel overflow parking lots in the future.

The Tennessee Reconnect program goes into effect August 2018 at Vol State. The Reconnect program is one designed to allow adult students to go back to school tuition-free. Vol State expects an increase in students when the program begins.

“We believe a lot of these returning students are going to be students that work during the day. They will be interested in evening classes and online classes, and we are even planning to have Saturday classes to accommodate those students,” Faulkner said. “I don’t think we will have a significant parking issue.”

During the first semester of the Tennessee Promise students, Vol State addressed the parking issue by having students park in grass areas as needed. This plan will be reactivated if needed, said Faulkner.

“We can’t do that all the time because as the fall comes and the winter comes, people would get stuck,” Faulkner said.

Current students who arrive to school around mid-morning find parking to be difficult.

“I decided to take earlier classes on Tuesday and Thursday because I didn’t want to spend so much time searching for a parking space,” said Sarah Hall, a sophomore at Vol State.

“I have noticed, as the semester progresses, the parking situation gets better. I think students drop classes or people carpool,” said Shelby Swaby, a sophomore at Vol State. “I feel like there is a lot more staff parking that isn’t always filled. I don’t know how many spaces are reserved for staff, but I feel like there are always empty staff spaces.”