Vol State summer classes have new sessions

 

By Presley Green

Volunteer State Community College is offering more options for summer classes by introducing new summer sessions in three-week, six-week and 12-week portions.

For these changes to happen and to allow students more college credit opportunities, the summer semester is beginning a little earlier than usual. The semester begins May 1 and ends August 10.

“The reason is to have less overlapping of class terms, which allows students to take more classes, and earn more college credits over the summer,” Eric Melcher, coordinator of public relations and marketing, wrote on the Vol State website.

There will be four three-week sessions starting May 21, June 11, July 2, and July 23. The six-week sessions will begin May 21, and July 2. These shorter sessions are described as more intensive. They are held for more hours a day than the twelve-week classes.

The twelve-week session begins May 21 and ends August 10. The twelve-week session is similar to a normal semester. You can visit the academic calendar on Vol State’s website for a more complete list of dates.

Volunteer State Community College is also offering a wider variety of subjects. They are even offering both of the classes need to take the Real Estate Exam, Intro to Real Estate (RES215) and The Course for New Affiliates (RES220).

Vol State is also offering Education Psychology (EDUC2110) in the summer, which is a required class for all education majors.  

This is an opportunity for students to finish those final classes to graduate or further their education.

Summer classes can be taken online or in person.  There is no orientation needed for students who have not attended Vol State before. This makes it easy to apply, register, and earn the college credit needed. Applications can be filled out online or in the Ramer Administration Building.

Vol State baseball wrapping up season

 

By Nick Kieser

The Volunteer State Community College Pioneers baseball team is at the end of its regular season. This weekend the Pioneers will face off against the Roane State Community College Raiders.

“It’s game by game. Put our heads down and go after it. Worry about the game in front of us,” said Aaron England, relieving pitcher.

The three remaining games are preparation for the 2018 postseason. As of publication, the Pioneers would face Roane State in a play-in game situation.

“The pressure of it makes it fun,” said England.

The pioneers have an overall record of 23-15.

“In a disciplinary way coach has guided us in the right way. Team chemistry has been good comparing to recent years. This season has helped us bond,” said Matt Brown, second baseman.

The postseason tournament will be from May 6-11, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Depending on where the Pioneers finish, it is possible they will play on the first day of the tournament at 3:00 p.m. they would play the 10th seeded team.

“When we have our hitting, pitching, and defense all rolling together its a dangerous mix for these guys,” said Logan Maloney, assistant coach.

The road to the college world series is going through Chattanooga on the Pioneers first pitstop.

“The expectation is that every team in this conference is good. Every week we have to compete and give it our all. I look forward to competing each week, and I love facing the competition we get,” said Jacob Cole, starting pitcher.

The 44-game grind will end this weekend at home versus the Raiders, but another road will open up as the postseason will only be eight days away after the series is over.

“You have to be positive and wait for the next opportunity,” said Ryan Hunt, head coach.

“Well it’s always great to end the season off on a good note with a series win going into the conference tournament. That’d be great to not have to be in the play-in game,” said Cole.

“I think we have a good shot. I think we can kinda get it rolling again to stay out of the play-in game, which saves us an arm,” said Maloney.

To stay updated with the Pioneers baseball club for the remainder of their season follow them @VSCCPioneersBSB on Twitter for updates and analysis.

Vol State commencement ceremony will be May 5

 

By Riley Holcraft

Volunteer State Community College will host its commencement ceremony for all graduating students Saturday, May 5, from 10 a.m. -12 p.m. in Pickel Field House.

Doors will open at 8:30 a.m. for all attendees, and guests who are unable to attend are welcome to watch the ceremony through the graduation website (volstate.edu/graduation).

Amber Regan, graduation associate, provided information on the Commencement Ceremony. There are 784 students pending to graduate in the spring, and 367 students are planning to walk at the ceremony. These graduates include 11 students in middle college, a collaboration between Sumner County high schools and Vol State.  

Each graduate is given five tickets to invite guests to the ceremony. If the gymnasium is filled, the auditorium in Caudill Hall will be used as an overflow for family and friends who do not have tickets. The live video will also be streamed in that location.

This year’s speaker is David Gregory, former chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Gregory has worked for the Tennessee Board of Regents since May of 1998 and was appointed his position as Chancellor in February 2016. Gregory had plans to retire earlier; however, the abrupt resignation of John Morgan led to Governor Haslam endorsing Gregory’s election. After a unanimous vote, Gregory held this position for a year before retiring.

 

Vol State to host student film showcase

 

By Riley Holcraft

Volunteer State Community College is hosting its First Student Film Showcase April 26th, from 7-9 p.m. in the SRB Humanities Building.  Deja Brandeis, video production instructor, is organizing this event to screen student work from the 2017-2018 school year.

The video program at Vol State has been expanding over the past few years, and Brandeis explained that an event like this is important for film students to showcase their work. Her film students have worked on many projects over the year, including a promotional video for Vol State Mass Communications. This year, there are 35 video majors and more joining in the fall.

All film submissions are viewed and reviewed by Professor Brandeis before entering the contest. The content must be a strong piece and the best representation of the student’s work. Submissions can be made in a classroom setting or in the student’s free time.

Videos entered into the contest can include documentaries, narratives, promotional videos, and any creative vision a student may have. After the screening, there will be a Q&A with the participants. The audience will also engage in a vote after the videos are viewed, and an “Audience Choice” will be announced as the winner.

Students are encouraged to attend and vote for their favorite video. Since the event is brand new, it is a great opportunity for students to get involved on campus. The Film Showcase is also an introduction for non-video majors that may be interested in the program. Since video production at Vol State is recent addition, students can come learn more about the program and get a taste of video majors and classes.

Donations are encouraged, and all funds will benefit entertainment media at Vol State.

 

Let’s Review: Marvel movies

 

Image result for avengers

via Marvel

By Katie Doll

Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War” is projected to be the biggest movie of 2018. In “Avengers: Infinity War”, all the superheroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe must unite to defeat their biggest threat yet: Thanos, whose mission is to obtain all of the Infinity Stones to destroy half the universe.

Before seeing “Avengers: Infinity War,” viewers might want to re-watch all 18 films preceding it.

However, because some fans may not have the time to see all 18 films, here is an overview of six of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films that help explain the Infinity Stones and the events leading up to “Avengers: Infinity War”.

 

  1. “The Avengers” (2012)

As the first time the original Avengers banded together, this film already features two of the Infinity Stones. One being the Space Stone, located in the Tesseract, and the Mind Stone, located in Loki’s scepter. The Space Stone allows the user to control space and teleportation while the Mind Stone lets the owners control the minds of others. Not only does this film show the intense power of two of the Infinity Stones, but it shows how well all of these heroes work together for the first time.

 

  1. “Thor: The Dark World” (2013)

The sequel to “Thor” introduces the Reality Stone, which allows the user to warp reality at its will. At the end of the film it is given to The Collector for safekeeping, who will be later seen in Guardians of the Galaxy.

 

  1. “Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014)

In this comedic superhero film, the Power Stone is introduced in the Orb. The Power Stone gives the wielder immense power that could wipe out all life on a planet. The stone can also increase the power of other stones. This film also explains for the first time what the Infinity Stones are, as explained by The Collector. By the end of the film, the Orb is housed by the intergalactic police known as Nova Corps.

 

  1. “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015)

This film introduces two new Avengers powered by the Mind Stone: Scarlet Witch and Vision. Vision holds the Mind Stone in his forehead, which seems to be keeping him alive and more powerful than the rest of the Avengers. Scarlet Witch gains the powers of telekinesis through the Mind Stone.

 

  1. “Captain America: Civil War” (2016)

This film does not include the whereabouts of any of the Infinity Stones, but it does show by the end of the film that the Avengers are split, implying that Thanos will most likely bring them together in “Avengers: Infinity War.”

 

  1. “Thor: Ragnarok” (2017)

By the end of this comedic installment of the “Thor” series, the Space Stone seems to be in the hands of Loki, and Thor’s home of Asgard is destroyed, leaving him and the Asgardians into space. An end credits scene gives a hint that Thanos is already ready to attack Thor and the Hulk, starting his reign of terror.

Vol State diversity and inclusion manager headed to Wisconsin

 

By Tayla Courage

Dr. Kenny Yarbrough, manager of diversity and inclusion, is packing up his office at Volunteer State Community College after accepting a position at the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater.

He will be joining the Warhawk faculty as its chief equity diversity and inclusion officer.

Prepping for a move north has not been a simple task, according to Yarbrough, who is simultaneously in the process of completing his fifth academic degree.

“It’s a lot. Unpacking, packing, trying to find a house, and then I have to go home and try to work on chapter three. It’s something that nobody else can do but me, so it’s staring at the computer for days and days, and commiserating like you have got to get this done,” he said.

Having been open for just over a year, the Office of Student Life and Diversity Initiatives is a newer addition to Vol State. It is responsible for coordinating educational trainings and events aimed at identifying various diversity and inclusion issues that exist on and off campus.

He described his time at Vol State as “very educational” and “a growing process.”

“It has helped me to really determine the type of work that I want to continue to do,” said Yarbrough.

While he is unsure of who will be filling the role of manager in his absence, Yarbrough said he is hopeful that the momentum will continue with the aid of faculty members who have become “practitioners of diversity and inclusion.”

“We have wonderful faculty who really have taken an interest in this. I’m hoping that whoever they get to find as my replacement will be able to touch base with those persons and continue the work that I have started here.”

Dr. Michael Torrence, assistant vice president of academic affairs, acknowledged Yarbrough’s “exceptional” role at Vol State and congratulates him on his future endeavors.

“His willingness to connect with students and provide guidance, leadership, and a listening ear will be missed. However, he has a wonderful opportunity ahead of him, and he will be successful,” wrote Torrence.

Dr. Melva Black, chair of the communication department, furthered this sentiment with the Booker T. Washington quote: “Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.”

He has worked tirelessly to build awareness, understanding, and compassion among people of diverse backgrounds. Dr. Yarbrough’s contributions have been thoughtful and selfless, which is essential for identifying and pursuing avenues to serve and uplift those with whom he has worked in academia and the community. 

“He leaves a poignant legacy for all to emulate,” wrote Black.

In his concluding words, Yarbrough thanked Vol State for allowing him the opportunity to interact and potentially influence students, who he defines as “the life blood of any institution.”

 

Vol State students sent false email about registration holds

 

By Lauren Whitaker

Volunteer State Community College students under the Tennessee Promise Grant were lied to about holds placed on their account to force them to meet with an adviser to register for fall classes.

Targeted students received an email in April when registration opened. This email was from Dasha Harris, the project coordinator for the Tennessee Promise Forward Grant.

The email told the student that they were receiving it because the student received a letter grade of C or below in one or more of their courses. The email further communicated to the student in bold that they would not be permitted to register for classes until they had met with an advisor.

“Vol State wanted to use their Tennessee Promise Forward Grant for a proactive advising initiative for Tennessee Promise students to have mandatory second year advising as well as advising if they don’t do well in a course,” Harris said. “The holds that were put on registration is from the Forward Grant. We actually didn’t put any holds on students’ accounts, so no one has received a hold from this grant yet.”

The email was sent out before it was decided that holds would not be put on the targeted students’ accounts.

“Two or three weeks later, I sent a follow-up email that just said, ‘Hey, just a follow-up. We would like you to meet with your advisor. It is mandatory advising. I know you don’t have a hold on your account right now,’” Harris said.

Harris then retracted her statement. “I didn’t say that. I didn’t say there was no hold on your account,” she said.

Harris decided to leave students believing there was a hold on their account because she wanted students to take advising seriously she said.

“Honestly, I had already scheduled to meet with my advisor I think a week before I got the email,” said Nick Kieser, a second semester freshman at Vol State who received the email.

Kieser was confused by what made him need to meet with his advisor.

“It caught me off guard. I thought it was biased for making an effort over one class I could possibly be doing bad in. It wasn’t a positive reinforcement,” Kieser said.

Kieser never received a follow-up email from Harris.  

Faulkner commended at county luncheon

By Lauren Whitaker

Dr. Jerry Faulkner, president of Volunteer State Community College, was commended at the State of the County Luncheon held by the Hendersonville Chamber of Commerce Thursday, April 12.

Faulkner was praised by Del Phillips III, the director of Sumner County schools, during the commerce luncheon for his efforts to include and encourage adult students.

“I commend Dr. Faulkner on the progress being made at Vol State, and the advantages of dual enrollment available to students in high school now. High school students that choose, will be able to choose to graduate from high school and Vol State, at the same time,” said Phillips

Phillips also commended Faulkner on the expected attendance coming in the fall due to the Tennessee Reconnect Program.

The Tennessee Reconnect Program will allow adult students to attend college at no cost.

Phillips spoke about the many improvements Faulkner has seen at Vol State.

Parking has had to be expanded due to the number of students enrolling and attendance numbers are growing.

Library hosting finals events

 

By Presley Green

As students near the end of the semester, finals are looming like a storm cloud. Volunteer State Community College offers some small solutions to really take the edge off finals.

Pet Therapy will be in the Thigpen Library lobby April 30 and May 1, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Tashi, the dog on flyers all over campus, will be there with her owner Debbie.

Vol State will also be hosting Feasting Toward Finals in the Thigpen Library, Tuesday, April 24 from 4-6 p.m. This event is being offered so students can take a quick break from studying for finals to enjoy free pizza, cookies and coffee, provided by Thigpen Library.

Retiring professor built college music program

 

By Ashley Perham

James Story, Volunteer State Community College music professor, is retiring after spending 40 years as a music educator on the kindergarten through college levels.

Story was born and raised in Tennessee and grew up in Greeneville, Tennessee.

He started playing piano when he was around 13. By age 15, he was playing for church.

Story also used his music skills in another way as a teenager.

“I had a little rock band when I was 16. It was a bunch of us neighborhood boys got together and we just jammed,” he said.

The band would play at sock hops at the Negro Women’s Civic Club.

“We played a lot of Motown songs and tried to do dance tunes,” he said.

“My most influential teacher would have to be Mr. Gene Proffitt. He really sparked an interest in me in the sixth grade of learning music formally,“ said Story.

Story, who went to an all-black school through his seventh grade year, remembered Proffitt coming to teach band and telling the parents that participating in band could “bridge those gaps of racial divide” students might experience once they were integrated into a white school.

“And he was definitely right,” said Story.

Proffitt made Story the first black drum major of his high school in Greeneville. The experience gave Story confidence he could use in all areas of his life.

“To put me out front, as a young black kid in a predominantly white situation, that inspired me that I could do anything as far as leadership abilities or musical abilities because he trusted that I was good enough to be the leader of a band post-integration,” said Story.

Story attended Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, Tennessee, and received his bachelor’s degree in music education in 1977.

Story was again selected to be the drum major for the marching band at Tennessee Tech, the first African-American drum major in the university’s history.

“There were only 14 black kids on the entire campus when I went there so to have that honor of leading the Tennessee Tech marching band was a huge honor,” he said.

After graduating, Story’s first job was teaching the high school, jr. high and middle school band and choral programs in White House, Tennessee.

“I had the entire music program from the sixth grade to the high school, both band and choir,” said Story.

Story also worked at Gallatin High School with the jr. high and high school bands and choirs.

In 1986, Story received a fellowship to Austin Peay State University. He took a year off teaching to get his master’s degree in music education.

In 1997, Dr. Hal Ramer, the first president of Vol State, and Dr. Charles Lee recruited Story to come to Vol State and establish the music program.

At the time, the school had one teacher, one adjunct member, and two music majors. Story built the entire curriculum and program from where it was in 1997 to where it is today.

“I think it was my brain child because I had the opportunity to develop this program as it is today,” he said.

“I had the support of the administration to allow me to be creative in creating curriculum for the Vol State music department,” he said.

When Story started working at Vol State, there was no recording studio, so any recording projects had to be done outside the school. Eventually, the school renovated Pickel Field House for more music space and built a recording studio in the Ramer Administration Building.

“We were promised a new humanities building in 1999, and we waited this long just to get a new humanities building with a lot of space and practice rooms,” he said.

“I couldn’t retire until I saw the new building.”

Story worked in the public schools for 19 years and at Vol State for 21 years.

Story is also involved in music outside Vol State. He has conducted several community theater productions, several band and choral association events and the choir and orchestra at his church.

He also has a jazz ensemble called 2nd Story Rhythm that gets together to have fun and play for local parties.

Story mentioned Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong as some of his musical inspirations.

“They made an indelible impression on music history and they were successful before black artists were popular to be successful in the business because they had to go through racism and they had to go through their struggles going to the back door and things of that sort, prejudicial things. In spite of all the socio-economic things they had to go through, they rose to the top, and they were successful in their field,” he said.

Story said he still has a lot of hopes and dreams. His church choir has been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in December. He said the honor of getting to conduct or perform on that stage would be a huge bucket list item.

He also looks forward to taking the things he’s learned about producing Vol State projects and producing some individual recording projects in the coming years.

“Retirement is pretty much a misnomer to me. A retirement from education is just me taking what I’ve learned over the last 40 years and redirecting those energies and reinventing music on a different level than K through higher ed,” he said.

“I don’t look at it as resting. I look at it as reinventing,” Story said.

Story said that seeing how students perform in live venues and the studio is what he will miss most about teaching at Vol State.

“I’ll miss that part to see students develop their natural abilities behind a microphone or to see how they perform on the stage of the shows that we’ve done. There’s just nothing better than live performances or seeing that recording process from the beginning to the end,” he said.

Appreciation for Story’s service has also come from outside Vol State. In 2015, he was nominated by the Grammy Foundation for the Music Educator Award. Out of 7,000 applicants, he ended up in the top 25.

“That was a cool recognition,” he said.

Story mentioned several student successes he has had. He had a student place in American Idol, one who sings background vocals for The Voice, students who are orchestra leaders around the world, students who are on the road as professional musicians, and students who are church musicians.

“I’ve had a lot of successes with former students being successful in the musical field,” he said.

“You know it just makes me happy,” he said.

 

LESSONS FROM STORY

Be prepared. Be prepared to inspire a generation of young people that may not know the discipline of what it takes to be a musician.

Be prepared to exert a lot of physical energy in sharing your passion.

Be prepared for endless and selfless time of selflessness on your part because it takes a lot of work to inspire and be successful in music. It takes a lot of energy.

Be prepared for failures.

Be prepared to experience the highest level of creativity when your group does the best job they can.

A lot of the teachers go into music education with all these grandiose ideals of what music teaching is and you gotta stay with it because music education is not an overnight success.It’s not an “everybody wins” type of game for music teachers.You win by hard work and stick-to-it-iveness and sharing your passion and encouraging and inspiring and sometimes those things may take 40 years.