First baseman Bill Hamilton commits to MTSU

By: Nate Kaly 

The Volunteer State Community College Pioneers first-basemen Bill Hamilton committed to Middle Tennessee State University on Tuesday, Sept. 18.

Photo of Bill Hamilton taken by Jacob McKaig

Photo of Bill Hamilton taken by Jacob McKaig

While Hamilton, who is a sophomore at Vol State this year, had offers from several schools, he knew he would be going to MTSU after he visited the facility last weekend.

“The big reason I chose MTSU is the coaches. I went on my visit Sunday (Sept. 16) and they made me feel right at home when I was there. All really cool guys. They were all just hired and ready to get off to a good start,” said Hamilton.

Although Jim Tomen just took over as MTSUs baseball coach in June, he already has a plan in place to use Hamilton in his system.

“I was able to meet new head coach Tomen on Sunday. We went over how I would fit in with the team and the different areas that he wanted to use me on the field,” said Hamilton.

Because Hamilton’s numbers from the 2018 spring season at Vol State didn’t jump out of the box (.357 AVG. 5 HR. 30 RBI. 25 runs), he knows that there is still a learning curve to go through this season before taking the next step at a division one school.

“The biggest thing for me is to take the next step and have a breakout season. Also probably to see leadership improve. Just talking to the younger guys and always making sure that they know exactly what to do and lead by example,” said Hamilton.

When asked what kind of player MTSU will be getting next year, Hamilton said, “Hard-working.”

“Bill is very deserving of that. You see a big-time prospect by the way he looks. He’s been hungry since he got here, and he’s proved people wrong. MTSU is getting in my opinion, a big-time player,” said head coach Ryan Hunt.

This season Hamilton will try to improve a Pioneers offense that hit the third-fewest runs (278), third-fewest home runs (25) and second fewest RBIs (217) in the conference last season.

Although the fall season consists of expedition games and games that don’t count against the team’s record like the spring season does, it will be an opportunity for the Pioneers offense and Hamilton to work out any wrinkles that they might have, to reach their full potential as an offense in the spring.

Break the silence

By: Riley Holcraft 

Suicide is no new phenomenon and the public has become virtually desensitized to its effects with a surge of TV shows, celebrity attempts and news reports.

Stories like this come and go but rarely do people stop to think about those affected. Volunteer State Community College partnered with The Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network by hosting its first annual Break the Silence event dedicated to lives touched by suicide.

On Sept. 20, at the Humanities Plaza, a small group gathered to discuss suicide within the community. The ceremony opened with a song performed by Vol State Students, Kendahl Oakley, and Cole Harper.

Quilts with pictures of suicide victims in Tennessee and pinwheels with names of suicide victims connected to Vol State students were on display. Many of the pinwheels had repeating names.

Oliver Graves, Vol State Student and Spectrum club leader explained the meaning behind the repetition, “When someone commits suicide, not just one person is affected,” said Graves.

Graves had personal experience with a suicide attempt six months after coming out as gay.

“forty percent of LGBT youth have either attempted or contemplated suicide. It is not a joke,” said Graves.

Oftentimes, suicide is overlooked as “selfish” or “overrated.”

However, TSPN Volunteer, Teresa Culbreath explained, “No one is immune.”

The effects of suicide spread to a wide community of individuals, and suicide attempters often have no refuge.

Culbreath lost a brother and husband to suicide, so her personal experience has inspired her to bring awareness to others.

“Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network has three main goals when it comes to dealing with suicide: intervention, prevention, and postvention,” said Culbreath.

The best way to implement these goals is by making others aware of available assistance and educating the public of warning signs.

“I have had personal, lasting effects from suicide after my sister attempted. If I could let the student body know one think about suicide, it would be: learn the signs,” said Vol State student, Crystal Hutchins.

Warning signs include: talking about death, withdrawal from social activities, behavior changes, giving away prized possessions, and drug abuse.

The most important thing to do when encountering these warning signs is to approach the affected person with compassion and notify someone of greater authority. It is important to never belittle the feelings of someone who feels hopeless.

Samantha Nadler, a devoted wife, and mother, also shared her personal experience with suicide. She had made several attempts throughout her lifetime and is now an advocate dedicated to helping those that struggle with suicide.

Nadler explained that along with knowing warning signs the most important aspect of suicide prevention is a community. “Community matters. Connections with other people matter,” she said.

Most suicide attempts are related to ending a lifelong pain, emotional or physical. A community typically serves as a buffer between the pain and the thoughts of death. Nadler explained how her community of suicide preventionists “ended up saving my life.”

The event closed with a reflection time. All attendees were offered a small container of bubbles that read “Break the Silence.” Each person thought of a person who is currently affected by or struggling with suicide and blew the bubbles in their honor.

September is Suicide Awareness Month. Students, you are urged to take notice of what is happening around you. Be aware, be compassionate.

In 2016, Tennessee lost 1,110 people to suicide and the number continues to rise. It is happening in your state. It is happening in your community. It is happening in your school.

Help is offered on the school website; students can also be connected with an experienced counselor on campus. If you are in immediate need of help, call the suicide prevention hotline: 1-800-273-8255.

 

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.