Colleges attending Vol State transfer fair

 

By Tayla Courage

Volunteer State Community College will be hosting a transfer fair on Wednesday, Feb. 28, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the Wood Campus Center. Here is a list of all the colleges registered to attend so far:

Belmont University

Bethel University

Boyce College

Bryan College

Cumberland University

East Tennessee State University

King University

Lincoln Memorial University

Lindsey Wilson College

Martin Methodist College

Middle Tennessee State University

Mississippi State University

Nossi College of Art

Tennessee Tech

Tennessee Wesleyan University

The Art Institute

The University of Alabama

The University of Tennessee – Chattanooga

Trevecca Nazarene University

Union University

University of North Alabama

University of Tennessee – Knoxville

Welch College

Vol State is 220 paved parking spots short

 

Photo by Lauren Whitaker

Photo by Lauren Whitaker

By Lauren Whitaker

Volunteer State Community College is 220 paved parking spots short for the number of students who attend the college.

“This past year, well it was about a two-year process, we worked with a design and architectural firm out of Atlanta called TSW to do a master facility plan. One of the things they look at is a formula to determine how many parking spaces you should have,” said Dr. Jerry Faulkner, president of Vol State. “They came back and said we should have more parking spaces on this campus.”

During this evaluation by TSW, paved parking was the only parking considered. The two gravel overflow parking lots were not taken into account.

“I don’t know the exact number the gravel lots have. Where the gravel lots do not have lines, it’s hard to get an exact number,” Faulkner said.

Vol State plans to pave the two gravel overflow parking lots in the future.

The Tennessee Reconnect program goes into effect August 2018 at Vol State. The Reconnect program is one designed to allow adult students to go back to school tuition-free. Vol State expects an increase in students when the program begins.

“We believe a lot of these returning students are going to be students that work during the day. They will be interested in evening classes and online classes, and we are even planning to have Saturday classes to accommodate those students,” Faulkner said. “I don’t think we will have a significant parking issue.”

During the first semester of the Tennessee Promise students, Vol State addressed the parking issue by having students park in grass areas as needed. This plan will be reactivated if needed, said Faulkner.

“We can’t do that all the time because as the fall comes and the winter comes, people would get stuck,” Faulkner said.

Current students who arrive to school around mid-morning find parking to be difficult.

“I decided to take earlier classes on Tuesday and Thursday because I didn’t want to spend so much time searching for a parking space,” said Sarah Hall, a sophomore at Vol State.

“I have noticed, as the semester progresses, the parking situation gets better. I think students drop classes or people carpool,” said Shelby Swaby, a sophomore at Vol State. “I feel like there is a lot more staff parking that isn’t always filled. I don’t know how many spaces are reserved for staff, but I feel like there are always empty staff spaces.”

Songwriters needed for spring album

 

By Ben Rastelli

Each spring semester, Professor Lynn Peterson looks for students to submit their original songs to him so that he can consider them for the Volunteer State Community College annual spring album.  

Anyone who is currently a Vol State student is welcome to submit their original songs.  This includes anyone who is in a band with others who are not enrolled at Vol State. As long as one of the band members is currently enrolled here at Vol State, they may submit their original work to be considered for the album.  

Students who write original music but do not wish to perform it themselves are also welcome to submit their songs.  

There are many talented musicians here at Vol State that would be happy to perform other people’s music. Songs of all genres and styles are welcome for consideration, including instrumental songs, but preference will be given to songs that have lyrics written and would fit well in a spring album.  

Songs may be either submitted as an audio file or performed live for Peterson.  The writers of those songs that are initially accepted by Peterson and his panel will be invited to participate in recording sessions held in the Vol State studio in order to “flesh out” and edit their songs.  After these songs have been mixed and mastered, final decisions will be made to determine which songs will make the album.  

If students have any questions or have any original work they would like to submit, they can contact Lynn Peterson.  His office is in Steinhauer-Rogan-Black 106-B, and his office phone number is 615-230-3221.  His cell phone number is 615-517-4355.  

Pioneer Peers program to get students involved in orientation

 

Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 2.45.25 PMBy Riley Holcraft

The Office of Student Engagement and Support is forming an organization called Pioneer Peers to welcome new students at Campus Connect.

Campus Connect is orientation for new students that provides an informative and entertaining way to introduce them to the Volunteer State Community College Campus, according to the Office of Student Engagement and Support.

To become a Pioneer Peer, students must be passionate about their time at Vol State and willing to be a mentor for upcoming students, according to the Office of Student Engagement and Support.

Vol State wishes to establish a successful and sustainable program for student orientation, similar to student-led programs at four-year schools, according to the Office of Student Engagement and Support.

Student involvement is an essential part to the college experience, and it provides a networking resource, according to the Office of Student Engagement and Support.

Becoming a Pioneer Peer is also a great way to earn Tennessee Promise Service Hours, build communication skills, and even get free Vol State merchandise, according to the Office of Student Engagement and Support.

Kate Crye, from the Office of Student Engagement and Support, described a Pioneer Peer as a student who has had positive experiences with Campus Connect and is passionate about his or her college experience. It is necessary to be outgoing, engaging, and friendly.

If students meet these requirements, they can contact Crye at kate.crye@volstate.edu.

“We are hoping to have at least 15 to 20 student orientation leaders on our team to become lighthouses for our incoming students,” said Crye.

Establishing Pioneer Peers is building a foundation for Campus Connect in the upcoming years, and the program successfully links students together right at the start of their college experience, according to the Office of Student Engagement and Support.

Heather Harper spoke about how the Office of Student Engagement and Support is working hard to create new ways to offer leadership opportunities for Vol State students.

“The experiences our students are engaged in while in college can change the course of their lives through providing a skill set and a networking opportunity that cannot always be gained in the classroom,” said Harper.

She commented that the overall goal of Pioneer Peers is to “develop more leaders in our school and provide more opportunities for students to shine.”

Black history month service learning seeks to inform

 

By Riley Holcraft

Volunteer State Community College is hosting a service learning event during Black History Month to raise awareness about sickle cell anemia and glaucoma Feb. 21 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m in the Wallace Health Sciences Building.

The AmeriCorps VISTAs in the Office of Student Services have partnered with Dr. Kenny Yarbrough, manager of diversity and inclusion, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion for this event.

The AmeriCorps VISTA program is one designed “to strengthen organizations that alleviate poverty through volunteering and the mobilization of resources,” according to the program website. VISTA stands for Volunteers in Service to America.

The event is open to all students, faculty, and staff in Wallace South 216 and 217, according to Shala Curtis, a member of the AmeriCorps VISTA program. Food will be provided in Room 216, and a hands-on activity lab will be available in Room 217.

This event is not a three hour presentation, Curtis wrote. Attendees are encouraged to come and go, and instructors are allowed to bring classes at any time.

Curtis and Kate Crye, another AmeriCorps VISTA, have planned this event and commented on the inspiration

“Each year, the Corporation for National Community Service has a Day of Service that honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” according to Curtis and Crye. “We decided to plan our event in accordance with Black History Month.”

Curtis and Crye went on to explain that the diseases of sickle cell anemia and glaucoma are being recognized during Black History Month due to the higher frequency of each disease within the African-American population.

According to the American Society of Hematology, 1 in 12 African-Americans carry the sickle cell gene. The Glaucoma Research Foundation states that glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in African-Americans.

Because diseases such as these can affect anyone, the main purpose of the event is to advise students to protect themselves by keeping up with their health. The informative activities and speakers will encourage regular screenings to expose symptoms before the disease becomes destructive.

“There will be a few interactive activity stations. The stations will be managed by members of the Ophthalmic Tech Program. This will be an opportunity for participants to learn about the negative impact of these diseases on their vision. We are hosting Medical professionals from Meharry Medical College in Nashville. They will be present to offer sickle cell disease screenings during the latter portion of the event,” stated Curtis and Crye.

African-Americans and the Great War

 

By Ashley Perham

Grady Eades, chair of Volunteer State Community College’s history department, will present a lecture titled “Closing Ranks: African Americans and the Great War” Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 1. p.m. in Thigpen Library’s Rochelle Center.

The lecture is part of the yearly lecture series put on by the college’s history, economics, geography, and political science department, according to Eades.

“This year being the centennial of the First World War, it only made sense to have our presentations connect to this anniversary,” wrote Eades.

The lecture also ties in to Vol State’s Black History Month events.

The lecture will focus on African-Americans from all over the country, but will also have middle Tennessee anecdotes, wrote Eades.

“The most important point from the presentation is the same point that Black History month tries to convey in general: African Americans have made important contributions to the history and survival of this country,” wrote Eades. “Sadly, those contributions have often been downplayed or ignored.”

Eades has worked on this lecture for about a month, he wrote. His favorite part of lectures like this one are getting to go beyond the basics of the story to “dig into the specifics.”

For students who are interested in learning more about African-Americans in The Great War, specifically from middle Tennessee, Eades recommended “The African-American History of Nashville, TN, 1780-1930” by Bobby Lovett.

“Just about anything on the Harlem Hellfighters is going to be a good read!” Eades wrote.

Lovett’s book is available at Thigpen Library, according to the library’s website.

Eades said that he doesn’t have a favorite event Vol State puts on for Black History Month.

“All of them have value!” he wrote.

He explained why it is important for students to be aware of Black History Month.

“As long as it is necessary to explain why people should be aware of Black History Month, it is important to have a Black History month,” wrote Eades.

Tori Long, a Vol State freshman at the Highland Crest campus in Springfield, wrote that she would be interested in having an event like this lecture at her campus if it pertained to World War I.

Vol State to host Valentine’s concert

 

By Tayla Courage

Volunteer State Community College’s Associate of Fine Arts students will perform a free Valentine’s Day voice concert Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. in Steinhauer-Rogan-Black Room 151.

The concert is scheduled for the Tuesday before Valentine’s Day so as not to interfere with Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent, according to Nancy Slaughter, associate professor of music.

The performances will feature a medley of Broadway love songs selected by Slaughter and Mark Granlund, a fellow associate professor of music.

Voice students will be singing the great songs from Musical Theater [sic] of yesterday. You will be humming a familiar tune when you leave!” according to an email from Granland.

The soloists and duets, which will include a married couple, will be accompanied by Slaughter and Granlund, respectively, on the grand piano.

Slaughter said that Vol State students enrolled in a music appreciation course may use this event as a writing opportunity for one of their required concert reports for the semester.

Sophomore Livy Blizzard, one of the performing vocal students, said that she believes the concert will be “a very wonderful affair” to showcase some of Vol State’s most talented students.

“She chose really well for each of her individual singers, as well as Mr. Granlund. So, not only will there be good songs, but there are good vocalists and the songs suit them perfectly and really show the best of their abilities,” said Blizzard.

Slaughter explained that her students have only had a couple of weeks to fully memorize their music, but she acknowledged that the presence of an audience will serve as an incentive for them to give their best performances.

“It makes them want to be even more prepared when they’re going to have an audience, so it’s very supportive for everybody to come,” said Slaughter.

VSCC to repair parking lots, add sidewalks

 

By Presley Green

Volunteer State Community College will be repairing parking lots and adding sidewalks on the Gallatin campus in 2018.

The Parking, Road and Site Upgrade Project is to repair and resurface older parking lots. Also, sidewalks will be added to end the issues students face while walking to the further parking lots across Loop Road, the road the that wraps around campus connecting the entrances.

This project is still in the design phase, but construction is already being scheduled.

The goal of the Parking, Road and Site Upgrade Project is to repair aging parking lots and increase pedestrian safety through the construction of sidewalks on campus,” according to Will Newman, senior director of plant operations.

This upgrade project includes resurfacing Parking Lots A and B, located outside Ramer Administration Building and Caudill Hall, and repairing Lot E, by the tennis courts, and Lot Y, on the east side of campus. The project is not adding additional parking but just repairing and resurfacing current lots that are damaged or old.

A five-foot-wide sidewalk will be constructed around the southwest side of Loop Road, and another sidewalk will connect Loop Road to the center of the campus.

“This project is funded by annual capital maintenance appropriations which are provided by the state. For fiscal year 2016-2017, the state awarded VSCC nearly $1.6 million for site repairs and upgrades. The Parking, Road, and Site Upgrade is estimated to cost $644,000,” according to Newman in an email.

Even though the project is still in the design phase, the construction is estimated to start in the middle of May and is projected to last until the middle of September. The construction is scheduled to take place during the summer months to avoid disturbing students, faculty, and traffic.

Fatima Carreno, sophomore at Vol State who parks in Lot E four days a week said, “I think this upgrade project is great. I rarely walk along Loop Road, but I’m sure many students do and will appreciate the safety of a sidewalk.”

Annual Soul Food Luncheon Educates

 

By Presley Green

Vol State’s annual Soul Food Luncheon will be Wednesday, Feb. 7th, 12:45 p.m., in the Mary Cole Nichols Dining Room in the Wood Campus Center.

Everyone in the campus community is welcome.

There will be a dramatic reading at the luncheon, and Dr. Kenny Yarbrough, manager of diversity and inclusion, will be giving an address.

The event is sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to kick off Black History Month.

“People bond around food and most Southern people like soul food. This luncheon highlights the origin of soul food, and how it came to be,” according to Yarborough.

The lunch promotes an understanding of culture and unity around something most people appreciate, good food, according to Yarborough.

“By highlighting our similarities, we can learn to appreciate our differences,” according to Yarborough.

 

Vol State Updates Website

 

By Tayla Courage

Volunteer State Community College sent an email announcement notifying students about its new mobile-friendly website Jan. 30.

Cindy Williams, a web designer for Vol State, described how the “clean and contemporary” appearance allows students and faculty to locate information more efficiently.

“The content has been streamlined and formatted in a way that is easier to skim through and read, both visually and by screen readers and assistive technology,” according to an email from Williams.

Harmoni Eddington and Jacob West, two students in Introduction to Electronic Media, voiced their opinions on the layout of the new website.

“It looks a lot more user-friendly,” said Eddington, a freshman.

“It’s snazzy. It looks sleek. It’s much better than the last website,” said West, a sophomore.

Visitors to the website may also notice a name change in the header of the website. Rather than saying “Volunteer State Community College,” the new header simply says “Vol State Community College.”

Market research has revealed that more students prefer the use of “Vol State” when referring to the campus, according to Jason Bugiada, web and digital media administrator.

Since our website serves as our primary online marketing piece for Vol State, we made the decision to incorporate the “Vol State Community College” logo in the top header,” wrote Bugiada.

He also made sure to point out the original “Volunteer State Community College” logo is still on the website’s footer.

Tami Wallace, director of public relations and marketing, is confident in the market research and believes the redesign will prove to be beneficial to both current and incoming students.

“Throughout the planning process of redesigning volstate.edu, our vision was to create an impactful, student-centered platform to attract incoming students as well as emulate our warm campus community in online form,” explained Wallace in an email.

Tips for navigating Vol State’s new website can be found on The Vol State Virtual Community page located at volunteerstatecommunitycollege.blogspot.com.