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.

Vol State to open arboretum

 

By Presley Green

The grand opening of Volunteer State Community College’s Parris Power Memorial Arboretum will be Arbor Day, Friday, April 27, 2018 at the Duffer Plaza.

The Duffer Plaza is the area with a fountain between the Ramer Administration Building, Wood Campus Center and Warf Building.

An arboretum is a group of trees identified and listed for nature exploration and scientific study. The Tennessee Urban Forestry Council has certified Vol State as a Level II Arboretum.  

“A certified arboretum must be open to the public with trees that are labeled, properly protected, and well maintained.” according to The Tennessee Urban Forestry Council.

The certification was pursued by Cynthia Hernandez, former student, with the help of the science and math faculty members, specifically Parris Powers and Le-Ellen Dayhuff.

“Parris Powers was a former chemistry professor at Vol State who has since passed away. He was much loved. He truly loved environmental science. He worked with Cynthia Hernandez to begin the process of identifying trees for the arboretum and she continued, eventually naming it in his honor.” said Eric Melcher, coordinator of public relations and marketing at Vol State.

Around the campus, 62 trees have been identified and marked with silver plaques, indicating their place in the arboretum. Vol State will be producing a map for students and visitors to locate and view the trees included in the arboretum.

There is mention of better signage for the trees, possibly one that includes an internet link to easily help onlookers find out more information, according to the Vol State website.

The arboretum is already opened.

There will be many speakers  at the grand opening including Hernandez and Dayhuff. Powers’s children Summer and Christian will also be speaking, along with Dr. Jerry Faulkner, president of Vol State, and a representative of The Tennessee Urban Forestry Council.

Student art will be on display during annual exhibition

 

By Katie Doll

Volunteer State Community College will host the annual free Student Art Exhibition from April 11 – 25 in the Vol State gallery in the SRB building.

An awards ceremony will be April 19 from 1:15 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Everyone is welcomed.

The competition is open to all Vol State art students. Each art studio student is required to submit work produced by the student during the preceding year, according to the Vol State website.

Over 250 students submitted artwork to the exhibit and approximately 60 are shown in the gallery. The submissions include categories like drawing, 2D and 3D design, painting, graphic design, printmaking, photography, and ceramics.

The exhibition showcases students’ hard work and creativity. Students also have an opportunity to learn about the preparation and presentation of art that can help them in their career as artists.   

Some students chose unique routes when creating their artwork. One student, Yingjia Yan, created a sculpture made out of newspapers and napkins resembling a clown. The sculpture is titled “Mushroom Cloud”.

Many students created art made of cardboard and white paper such as Jamie Erwin, who designed a portrait of Jackie Kennedy.

Serious topics were also portrayed through students’ art. Courtney Apedaile created a piece titled “Through Her Eyes” which depicts the subject of rape. The artwork was created using graphite and marker and stands out with the consistent use of the color red.

The reception for the art exhibition will be April 19 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and free refreshments will be served. Visitors will be able to meet the artists and ask them questions about their art.

Awards will be judged by guest Kathleen O’Connell, assistant professor of art and design at Middle Tennessee State University. The exhibition is judged based on excellence.

Mushroom Cloud by Yingjia Yan

Vol State hosted sexual assault informational discussion

 

By Riley Holcraft

The Office of Student Engagement and Support at Volunteer State Community College hosted an informational discussion on sexual assault April 5.

This event was hosted by Tiffany Zwart, coordinator of student support.

To open the discussion, Zwart stated, “We can try to ignore sexual assault and act like it doesn’t exist or we can talk about it to prevent it.”

Sharon Travis, a prevention specialist at the Sexual Assault Center (SAC) in Nashville, was the guest speaker for the event. Travis has worked with SAC to end sexual violence through counseling, education, and advocacy for over 20 years. During Travis’s discussion, she provided statistics, prevention techniques and real life instances to better inform participants about the dangers of sexual assault.

Travis explained that sexual assault is an issue rooted in childhood.

“What we recognize about this issue is it affects children in a disproportional way,” said Travis.

50% of clients at SAC are children, and 78% of all people in homes experiencing domestic violence become sex offenders, Travis shared in her presentation. Many times, sexual assault is a learned behavior.

“Rape is not sex,” stated Travis, “Rape is about power, control, domination, and manipulation.”

90% of rapes are committed by someone the victim knows, many of which go unreported. Travis explained that all people 18 and over are automatically considered a mandated reporter. As a mandated reporter, there is no option to not report cases of sexual assault.

 

Travis compared the effects of sexual assault to a broken leg. It creates a trauma that is not curable through self-medication, and rehabilitation is necessary. If one comes in contact with someone who has experienced sexual assault, they must remain ‘CALM.’

Travis explained the acronym to mean Comfort, Awareness, Listening, and Mentoring. She warned attendees not to ACCUSE: Abandon, Change the focus, Criticize, Underestimate, Share their story, and Evaluate validity. The best thing to say in these situations is, “I believe you. I support you, and I know it’s not your fault.”

Many students shared personal stories and opinions regarding sexual assault. Travis encouraged others to always be aware of surroundings and pay attention to safety.

Kayla Hopper, Vol State student, shared why she attended the event

“For me, personally, sexual assault is an occurrence that should be shared more, especially in colleges. I was able to learn more about what I can do to help and what my role is in the prevention and protection process,” said Hopper.

There are billboards located in Wood Campus Center and Caudill Hall explaining sexual assault. Everyone is encouraged to take a look at these set-ups and be informed on this issue as April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Sexual assault is a prevalent and preventable issue that requires fewer bystanders and more advocates. Students can become an advocate and be in control of what happens on their campus! They can start by tweeting #NotOnMyCampus or #ChangeTheCulture and sharing their thoughts with @TheSettler.

Home Plate event supports baseball and softball teams

 

By Presley Green

Volunteer State Community College’s annual Vol State Home Plate will be held Saturday, April 14, at noon, at the baseball and softball fields.

The Office of Student Engagement & Support will be hosting the event to celebrate the baseball and softball teams. There will be food, and everyone is invited.

“We celebrate the basketball teams in the fall semester with Homecoming, so the Vol State Home Plate is the spring edition of Homecoming to celebrate our baseball and softball teams,” according to an email from Tabitha Sherrell. “We will have the cafeteria catering free burgers, hotdogs, and chips at the concession stands and then we will have free giveaways.”

Both the softball and baseball teams play at home twice against Motlow State Community College that day. The baseball games are at noon and 2:30 p.m. The softball games are at noon and 2:00 p.m.

Vol State to host Coffee with the President

 

By Presley Green

Volunteer State Community College will host Coffee with the President Thursday, April 12, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., in the Mary Cole Nichols Dining Room A in the Wood Campus Center. The event is for current students to grab a coffee with Jerry Faulkner, president of Vol State, and share ideas or ask questions.

“The idea of the event is to give students time to actually see and talk to the president of the college. Students can ask questions or give feedback to the president.The goal is that students see the president as another person, someone who is easy to talk to and relatable. Coffee and chicken biscuits help make that type of atmosphere,” said Tabitha Sherrell, coordinator of student activities.

Coffee with the President is a rare opportunity for one-on-one time with Faulkner. During Coffee with the President, he typically walks through the cafeteria, stopping at each table to talk with students and invite them for a coffee.

Vol State to show Black Panther May 18

 

via imdb

By Katie Doll

Vol State will be showing Marvel’s newest movie, Black Panther, in the Wood Campus Center in the Mary Nichols Dining Room May 18 at 6 p.m.

Both admission to the movie and refreshments are free.

The superhero movie currently has a 97% “certified fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, meaning the movie is definitely one to see. Metacritic gives the movie an 88%, while IMDb gives it a 7.8 out of 10.

Although the movie is an origin story of the Wakandan based superhero, viewers may want to watch Captain America: Civil War to understand some of the characters in the movie. T’Challa (Black Panther) was first introduced in Captain America: Civil War as the character whose father, previously the king of Wakanda, was killed in an explosion. The story of T’Challa picks up after the events of Captain America: Civil War, as T’Challa is appointed king of Wakanda and the new Black Panther.

As a powerful enemy threatens T’Challa’s position as king, T’Challa is tested when the fate of Wakanda and the entire world are at stake. T’Challa must unleash the power of the Black Panther and gather his allies to defeat his enemy and protect his country.

The movie has definitely changed the game for superhero movies, as this is Marvel’s first movie to have an ensemble cast where the majority are black actors. The African costumes are visually stunning along with the technologically advanced fictional country of Wakanda.

The movie does follow the familiar clichés that superhero movies use to captivate their audience: three big fight scenes, a villain with a connection to the hero, and the death of a parent. This makes the film seem a little repetitive especially for big superhero movie fans.

However, there is no damsel in distress, the jokes are rather funny, and the villain actually has a humane reason behind his actions. Not to mention the women in the film include an undercover spy, the all-female special forces of Wakanda, and a teenage genius who designs all of the technology, including Black Panther’s suit.

Black Panther is a movie definitely worth the watch. The visuals and dialogue along with the likeable characters gives a fresh spin on superhero movies.

 

Vol State Hosted Women’s History Month Tea

 

By Riley Holcraft

The national theme for Women’s History Month 2018 was “Nevertheless, She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.” Volunteer State Community College celebrated this theme with a women’s tea event hosted by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion March 29.

Tables were set up in the dining hall with teacups, printed programs, and flower centerpieces; lunch was also served for all attendees. Dr. Melva Black was the Mistress of Ceremony and she welcomed all guests by stating, “You all look magnificent. It’s always good to be in the presence of women.”

To begin the event, Tiffany Zwart, coordinator of student support, read a piece by Brené Brown, “Manifesto of the Brave and Brokenhearted.” Lori Miller, administrative assistant in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion also read the poem “A Golden Chain” by Helen Steiner Rice. Miller stated that Rice, nicknamed “The Ambassador of Sunshine,” was her mother’s favorite writer.

Dr. Kenny Yarbrough, manager of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, introduced the two guest speakers for the event. Dr. Emily Short and Mrs. Patty Powell are two women that have worked together for 27 years. Powell is the former vice president of student services at Vol State, and Short currently holds that position. Both women shared encouraging words about one another and explained the importance of deep friendship.

Short said that Powell was the first person of color she had ever formed a relationship with. She explains that discrimination among women does nothing to fight discrimination against all women.

“Let go of petty arguments and live a judgeless life,” stated Short.

Powell expanded on her point by saying that an end to discrimination starts with learning to love and help one another along the way. Women can fight against discrimination through respect, honesty and love. They also advocated for strengthening relationships like their own to help along the journey.

Yarbrough closed the ceremony with a special thanks to Carlton Wilkinson. Wilkinson shot photographs of many women at Vol State. These photographs were displayed along the side wall, honoring the dedication of these women.

 

Vol State History Professor Discovered Ancient Cave Art

Dunbar 014

Photo Courtesy of Joe Douglas

 

By Presley Green

Dr. Joseph Douglas, a history professor at Volunteer State Community College, has enjoyed caving as sport from a young age. His enjoyment of caves branched into an interest in cave mapping and history of caves, which eventually led to one of his proudest accomplishments.

Douglas is credited with discovering cave art from the Mississippian culture in Dunbar Cave in Clarksville, Tennessee. The cave art is two rayed circles. There is an outline around the circles to look like a sun and many concentric circles. Inside the circles are interior crosses. The circle on the right has a tail and the circle on the left contains a left facing swastika.

In January 2004, Douglas traveled to Dunbar Cave State Natural Area in Clarksville to meet up with cave author Larry Matthews and Amy Wallace, the interpretive specialist of the park.

“In an area of the cave known as the Ballroom several hundred meters into the dark zone, Douglas noticed two charcoal drawings on the wall, overlaid by nineteenth-century grafiti.” according to the Journal of Cave and Karst Studies.

“Thousands of people walked by it before I recognized its significance,” Douglas said.  

Douglas then photographed these glyphs and sent them to his friend Jan Simek at the University of Tennessee to check for authenticity. Simek insisted on carbon dating.

Dunbar Cave was aware of some of the cave art in their caves, but after Douglas’s discovery dozens more were found, the majority of these pictographs and petroglyphs were made from charcoal and date back to the Mississippian period.

The pictographs Douglas discovered are common iconography from the Mississippian Culture, but not necessarily from then since the circles can be found in many prehistoric periods. After many tries of trying to date the pictographs they finally got a match. Based on carbon dating, the pictographs Douglas discovered date from 1200-1400 A.D.

After finding a total of 35 petroglyphs and pictographs in Dunbar Cave, a decision was made concerning damage in the cave to install a new, secure, bat-friendly gate before the artwork was announced to the public. Dunbar Cave is the only public cave art in the United States. The pictograph that he found in labeled in the cave as “Pre-Columbian Art.”

The documentation and excavation that took place in the cave led to the discovery of many pictographs and petroglyphs, but also human remains, lotted burial grounds, and four unique species of buffalo, elk, bear, and a bison. The excavation concluded that people had occupied Dunbar Cave for at least 4,000 years.

Report on Douglas’s findings: Dunbar Cave Art