International Education Week

By: Yvonne Nachtigal

Beginning today, Volunteer State Community College will be celebrating National Education Week with a special event that goes through Thursday, Nov. 15.

Director of International Education John Espey said international education week at Vol State began about 10 years ago as the result of the Tennessee Board of Regents including international education in their goals and programs.

“The primary goal is to prepare students for participation in global society,” said Espey. Continue reading

PTSD lecture takes place at Vol State

By: Riley Holcraft 

Volunteer State Community College continues its Let’s Talk series with a discussion about post-traumatic stress disorder. The audience was mostly made up of students studying to become EMTs; a better understanding of this common condition is useful on the job.

Tiffany Zwart, Coordinator of Student Support, organized this event near Veteran’s Day due to the fact that PTSD targets many members of the military community.

Guest speaker, Joanna Finney Dixon, gave a presentation concerning the causes, symptoms, and treatment of PTSD. Dixon is a licensed marriage and family therapist, mother to three children, and founder of Matters of the Heart Counseling. Continue reading

Lady Pioneers host Northeast Mississippi for first home game

Lady Pioneers coaches overseeing practice.

Lady Pioneers coaches overseeing practice.

By: Nick Kieser

On Nov. 12 the Volunteer State Community College Lady Pioneers basketball team hosts Northeast Mississippi Community College for the first home game of the season.

“We haven’t really talked about that game because we are trying to emphasize one game at a time. After the game on Monday, we will look back at we can take away from that game,” said guard Hope Hinson last Friday.

Two games into the 2018-19 season the Pioneers have an even record 1-1. This time last year the record was a five-game losing streak. Continue reading

“Wulin Hanyun” Performance at Vol State

By: Yvonne Nachtigal

Volunteer State Community College promoted a Chinese cultural exchange at Caudill Hall Nov. 2, with a Shaolin Kungfu and Chinese folk music performance of “Wulin Hanyun.”

About 200 people attended the two-hour show, which was a blend of history, martial arts, and musical performance was performed by students from Songshan Shaolin Wushu College.  Traditional Chinese music was performed by musicians from Henan University.

The troupe has performed “Wulin Hanyun” on 120 campuses worldwide. This is the second year it has included Vol State on its U.S. tour.

“They had multiple stops and were kind enough to include us. I would guesstimate they might have done eight to 10 performances this year,” said Director of International Education John Espey. Continue reading

WWII Comes To Life at Rochelle Center

By: Yvonne Nachtigal

Volunteer State Community College was treated to a World War II Display at the Rochelle Center in Thigpen Library Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.

The exhibit featured Vol State History Faculty Member Peter Johnson’s extensive World War II memorabilia collection.

The sound of Peggy Lee’s “Waiting For The Train” 1945 added to the ambiance as students viewed the exhibit of World War II uniforms, guns, swords, flags and newspapers and more.

Johnson, who was dressed in a World War II uniform, said he started his World War II when he was eight-years-old.

“My dad bought me a helmet. That was my first helmet. My dad was a World War II veteran,” said Johnson.

Johnson mentioned that many men in his neighborhood and all of his male teachers were veterans too, which added to his interest.

Johnson said that some items in the collection were given to him by veterans, some who were neighbors. He found many other items at military shows, antique stores, and garage sales.

Johnson enthusiastically answered student’s questions and shared the stories behind several of the items in his collection.

He said the memorabilia brings history to life, and that he likes imagining what the people associated with each of the items saw.

His favorite item is a bomber coat.

“You can’t find those anymore. I’ve been offered a lot of money for it. If my house was burning down I’d run upstairs and grab that thing. Of course, I’d grab my wife too,” said Johnson.

Asked about the value of the collection Johnson said that at some point he needs to create an itemized list.

“I can tell you this much, that there is one box worth $3000. Now you’re probably all wondering which box it is,” said Johnson.

The exhibit was well received by students.

“I’m really not that interested in history, but Professor Johnson’s presentation, and being able to see the collection makes it a lot cooler. The swords were my favorite part,” said Vol State General Sciences major Brenton Kennedy.

“It gives a perspective of what it was actually like,” said student Alex Winkler.

Java Jolt

By: Nick Kieser

Volunteer State Community College hosted what is called a Java Jolt in the lobby of Thigpen Library Oct. 30 and on Halloween.

Coffee was provided by Thigpen Library and it was purchased from the cafe that is in the Woods Campus Center according to Director of Library Services Sarah Smith.

“We know from our surveys of students at the end of their academic years that students think coffee in the library is important. They do not have to get up from their studies and go over to the cafe and get coffee, and at the same time it helps students focus,” said Smith.

Three coffee dispensers were in place on a table along with sugar and creamers, to note as well, students came by and were able to get information on how the library can help with writing academic papers for class.

“If I ever have questions then I could get the help I needed, and at the same time if I just walk over to the cafeteria I would have forgotten I needed to stop and get help,” said student Triana Earls-Cuozzo.

As a student worker for the library, Earls-Cuozzo was on duty to be promoting the Java Jolt event and the library services that are offered to the students.

“It’s also another a little other way to get some citation style bookmarks and take them so they can be used to write papers and then consult them for examples or information about the library in general,” said Smith.

Continuing on from the previous school year Smith interjected that the library has had this setup before around finals and hopes to have more mini-breaks like this one.

Spring Registration

By: Jim Hayes

Priority registration for sophomores planning to attend Volunteer State Community College in the spring of 2019 began Monday, Nov. 5.

Returning freshmen will be able to begin register Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Priority registration lasts through Nov. 19 for all returning students. After that new students and readmitted students will be allowed to register for the semester.

Registration will take place on the My Vol State web page, the school’s computer registration system.

Prior to registering, students should log ono their DegreeWorks page available from the My Vol State link at  That page will indicate classes to be taken or the student’s major and how many hours the student has earned.

A postcard to be mailed out to all eligible students this week recommends discussing class options with the student advisor. It also recommends visiting the business office to find out fee due dates.

Students failing to pay fees by the due date will be dropped from their classes and will have to re-register.

Here are the registration instructions for all returning Vol State Students:

  1. Go to My VolState.
  2. Click the Pride Online tab.
  3. Click “Add or Drop Classes” at the top of the center column and follow the prompts.
  4. Once a schedule has been selected from the options given, click “Send to Cart” at the top of the view schedule screen.
  5. After the courses have been sent to the registration cart, click “register” to complete the registration process.
  6. Check the class schedule to make sure the correct class has been registered for the correct classes by following the Concise Student Schedule link on the Pride Online tab.
  7. After registering, click on “Account Summary” to review the the bill and statement of fees. Fees can be paid online by VISA, VISA Check Card or MasterCard.
  8. When the transactions have completed, log out of My VolState.

TNT found on campus

By: Jim Hayes

The Tennessee Highway Patrol bomb squad removed two jars believed to contain explosive materials, Oct. 27, from Volunteer State Community College parking lot E.

According to a police report filed by Vol State officer Frank Winslow, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Materials Management Department was having its annual Household Chemical Collections event when an unidentified man deposited a box containing two, four-ounce plastic jars of a white powdery substance later identified as being trinitrotoluene otherwise known as TNT.

“We had a hazardous waste collection event at the college,” said Eric Melcher, Vol State coordinator of public relations and marketing.  

“The college was just a host for the event. TDEC actually ran the event,” said Melcher.

“At some point, someone dropped off a box of what appeared to be TNT. Organizers of the event contacted our campus police department,” said Melcher.

“Our police department then contacted the THP bomb squad who came off and collected the box,” said Melcher.

Winslow’s report says that the box was dropped off at approximately 1 p.m. Saturday and that THP actually arrived on the scene at and took possession of the package about 5:30 p.m. Saturday after being contacted at about 3 p.m.

“TDEC holds these events all over the state. We’ve had it here annually every year for many years without incident. This year they just had someone drop off something they shouldn’t have,” said Melcher.

Melcher said no campus events were disrupted as the result of the incident.

No criminal charges are being filed.

Christmas for kids

By: Riley Holcraft

The holiday season is here, and Volunteer State Community College is celebrating with an annual Christmas for the Kids event.

It is an opportunity for low-income students at Vol State to provide a Christmas celebration for their children.

For over 10 years, Christmas for the Kids has allowed Vol State students to give their children between ages 0-16 a Christmas to remember.

Campus organizations and other individuals are encouraged to sponsor a child by selecting an ornament from the Christmas tree located in Woods Campus Center in the Mary Cole Nichols Dining Room.

The ornaments with individual information on the different children will be displayed Nov. 16, and the gifts of up to $75 are due Nov. 29.

The Office of Student Engagement and Support handles the applications and houses all of the gifts. The children are able to unwrap their surprises at a Christmas party on Dec. 1.

If a family wishes to participate, applications for the children receiving gifts are due on Nov. 9. The application includes a survey that asks for information about hobbies, interests, and needs so the children can receive gifts of significant value.

Attendance for the party event is required. Light refreshments will be provided for all guests, and Christmas-themed activities and games will be set up for the children. Santa will also be attending, and families are encouraged to snap a photo with him.

This fundraiser is hosted by Vol State’s Student Government Association. These individuals are responsible for keeping track of the children and sponsors and setting up the event on Dec. 1.

Vol State students, faculty, staff, clubs, and organizations are all qualified to sponsor one or more children.

Coordinator of Student Activities, Tabitha Sherrell, is passionate about the opportunity that Christmas for the Kids provides.

“This is one of my favorite events each fall semester. It is a chance to help support our Vol State students and their families during the holiday season,” explained Sherrell.

Do you want to provide a joyful Christmas for children of Vol State students? Are you a struggling student at Vol State with a child that needs a happy holiday? Christmas for the Kids is the event for you.