Vol State theater department to perform “California Suites”


By Riley Holcraft

The theater department at Volunteer State Community College will be performing “California Suites” by Neil Simon, March 16-17, at 7:30 p. m.; March 18, at 2:30 p. m.; and March 23-24, at 7:30 p. m., in Caudill Hall.

“California Suites” is a full-length play divided into four one-act segments. The production follows the separate stories of families from New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and London. All of the action takes place in the same room, but characters change for each act. This comedy dives into a quick preview of the characters’ lives during their short time in California.  

The play is set in the 1970s, and Noah Geerholt, cast member, stated that the time period is one of his favorite aspects of the production.

“This is a period I don’t see a lot of onstage. Typically, I see settings in modern times, or in the much farther past,” said Geerholt.

Edmon Thomas, director, commented that he is most excited about the play because it has been in the back of his mind for years, and the time has finally come to perform it.

“If you haven’t seen a good live play, you have to see one,” stated Thomas, “It inspires you and allows you to escape for hours as you see it come alive right before you.”

All students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to experience this live performance.

Most of the cast are performing arts majors or theatre veterans.

Cooper Atkins, who plays Marvin Michaels and Stu Franklyn, is well versed in the world of theatre.

“This is my second college production. I’ve done a lot of high school shows and a handful of professional and local shows, but this is the first time I’ve done a straight comedy, and it’s nice to be able to put myself in a new position as an actor,” stated Atkins.

He went on to explain that the cast is full of interesting and talented individuals. The chemistry of the pairings makes for a good laugh, and this production is something everyone can enjoy.

Librarian has worked at Vol State since the start


By Presley Green


Picture by Presley Green

Marguerite Voorhies has worked in the library at Volunteer State Community College since the day it opened, July 1, 1971.

She started as a reference librarian, but has worked many different positions in the library from her favorite, catalog librarian, to her current position, library associate.

She has had a diverse career at Vol State. She worked under Virginia Thigpen, the lady that the current library is named after. She oversees the law library section, although she said books about law are not her favorite reading material.  

She spoke fondly of the coworkers and students she has worked with throughout the years.

“The people and students make me enjoy my job so much. Now, there is not much connection in the back, but I do try to smile at students who aren’t too busy,” she said, speaking of her workspace in the back of the library.

She has been an associate at Vol State through many changes and moves. She laughed while remembering the first library move from the administration building.

“Moving was an ordeal. We moved the books on book trucks with lots of volunteers. The whole campus was just mud. It was a rainy February,“ she said.

Voorhies shared one of her favorite books, “Black Stallion” by Walter Farley. When she was in fourth or fifth grade, she stayed up all night to finish the book, she said.

She recalled walking past the public library everyday on her walk home from school and stopping every few days when she ran out of reading material. Her summers as a child were spent reading.

Now, she does not read as much, but on her commute to her home in Colombia every weekend she listens to audiobooks.

Voorhies has rented a room from a former Vol State employee for 20 years. On the weekends, she goes to her home in Columbia where her grandnephews live. She drives home every Friday and back to Gallatin every Monday.


St. Patrick’s Day has a rich tradition in the US


By Katie Doll

St. Patrick’s Day is a global celebration of Irish culture on March 17. Parades and celebrations for this holiday are popular in American culture, but the history and traditions are important to note.

The Irish holiday originated as a Roman Catholic feast day to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland, Patrick. St. Patrick died March 17, 461, and was credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland.

While originally an Irish holiday, Irish immigrants moved to the United States and brought their traditions with them. Irish soldiers in the Revolutionary War held the first of the now famous St. Patrick’s Day parades.

Mike Cronin, a Dublin-based historian and Boston College professor, explained the holiday has changed over time to appeal to American celebrators.

“The tradition of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day grew across the U.S. and became a day that was also celebrated by people with no Irish heritage,” wrote Cronin, in his article in Time magazine.

The historian also explained the modern marketing strategies behind the holiday.

“By the 20th century, it was so ubiquitous that St. Patrick’s Day became a marketing bonanza,” wrote Cronin. “Greeting cards filled drugstores, imported Irish shamrocks (indeed anything green) showed up on T-shirts, and the food and drink that became associated with the day became bar promotions.”

Many original traditions of St. Patrick’s Day have stuck around, but few are purely American inventions, according to History.com.

The shamrock was a sacred plant that symbolized the rebirth of spring in ancient Ireland. Soon it became a symbol for Irish pride after the English banned the Irish language and Catholicism.

A traditional dish for Irish Americans to eat on St. Patrick’s Day is corned beef and cabbage. Cabbage has been an Irish food for a long time, but corned beef was an American alternative for Irish bacon that was too expensive for Irish immigrants.

One of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in America is in Savannah, Georgia. According to the official website of Savannah, Georgia, the parade will start at 10:15 a.m., Saturday, March 17, 2018. The parade will feature up to 15,000 people and 350 marching units.


Transfer Fair held at Vol State


By Tayla Courage

Volunteer State Community College students had the opportunity to meet with college representatives at the Office of Admissions’ Transfer Fair, Feb. 28.

Representatives from 24 colleges and universities, both in-state and out-of-state, 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 hoped having the event tables set up in the Wood Campus Center would allow for more student engagement.

The relocation idea worked for Robert Kallush, a sophomore at Vol State, who was eating lunch when he decided to check out the Tennessee Technological University table.

“It’s engineer focused, and being an older student coming back to school, I just want to focus on the degree I’m going for, for electrical engineering, and I was lucky to meet someone instead of just tour the campus like a stalker,” said Kallush.

Connie Pimentel, assistant director of admissions, said that she believes the Transfer Fair was 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.

Allison Hotard, a freshman, who learned about the fair via email, said she used her free time on Wednesday to check out the two schools she is interested in: Tennessee Tech and Middle Tennessee State University.

Alexa Flatt, a sophomore considering the University of Tennessee, said she was unaware of the transfer fair until she walked by and saw it in action.

Flatt said she needed to start thinking about her potential transfer options.

Lindsay Guenther, advisor and counselor, 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,” Guenther wrote in an email.

Guenther also urged 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.

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

Pioneers baseball team continues win streak


By Nick Kieser

The Volunteer State Community College Pioneers baseball team has won 11 games in a row, as of March 4. Most recently, the Pioneers swept a three-game series against Columbia State, March 3-4.

Collin Hopkins, catcher, commented on the streak that the Pioneers are on.

“It is preparation for conference play. We need momentum for the games that truly matter. We have that fluff,” said Hopkins.

With the 11-game win streak, the Pioneers are second in the TCCAA with a record of 11-3, behind Walters State with a record of 19-3.

“If we win the conference series we are going to be in a better position for the playoffs. A good playoff spot will help us out in the postseason,” said Raul Mercado, an outfielder and native of the Dominican Republic.

Applying Mercado’s comment, Hopkins seconded what his teammate said on how the conference games matter more than they appear.

“For a sweep, it would be better to get a conference sweep,” said Hopkins.

Despite sweeping a team that is out of state, Hopkins is seeking to win conference games and more importantly maybe sweep some in-conference teams this season.

Jason Barrett, assistant coach, spoke on the win streak and conference games that are beginning.

“It certainly gives us more confidence after starting 0-3. It doesn’t mean a whole lot going into the conference season. The conference season is what really matters the most. It was a chance to get good confidence back,” said Barrett.

The Pioneers will play Dyersburg State and Walters State in the next three weeks. All opponents are in the same conference, and nine games will be played between March 9-17. The only non-conference team played in this span is Joliet College on March 12-13.

“No matter who you are playing you still have to play the game. You still have to get outs. You still have to defend,” said Logan Maloney, assistant coach.

Ryan Hunt, head coach, called the conference teams “powerhouses” for how much depth each team has.

“You need depth, especially to battle in this conference,” said Barrett.

“We got to make the simple plays. No matter who we play, you don’t necessarily prepare differently for each team because then you are losing track of the goal that you are trying to do, and that’s just winning,” said Maloney.

Hopkins commented on whether he thinks the streak will continue.

“There’s no telling. Baseball is baseball. You could be the better team and lose any day,” said Hopkins.

The Pioneers will go to Dyersburg, Tennessee, March 9, and play a weekend series.

“We can do whatever we put our minds to. Keep the guys focused on one day at a time,” said Maloney.


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



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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.