History Bowl showdown features trivia from Civil War to Great Depression

by Mackenzie Border// Staff Writer

Volunteer State Community College will host the first History Bowl Wednesday, March 25, in the Rochelle Center from 11:15a.m. – 12:10p.m.
“The planning began in early February. I was picked, but I was happy to participate,” said Dr. Merritt McKinney, instructor of History and director of the Honors Program.
Professor Peter Johnson, instructor of History, was asked how the event came to be, and said, “My SI [Supplemental Instructor],

Jennifer Wooden, came up with the idea and she presented it to me and asked if this was a good idea. I think it’s great. Give her all the credit for this one.”
“I actually had be wanting to do a History Bowl for some time, but the timing was never right,” said Wooden, SI leader for Johnson’s History classes.
“It was this semester that I decided to pursue the idea further and Mrs. Toni Murad, coordinator of SI, agreed that it would be something we as a department could make happen.
“Once the idea took off, I asked Professor Johnson and Dr. McKinney if they would like to participate, and they agreed it was something that would be fun and a good idea,” continued Wooden.
Johnson also revealed information regarding the topic and format, saying, “The questions will cover a period of American history from the end of the Civil War through the Great Depression.
“There will be the following categories: Reconstruction, Industrial Age, Populism/Progressivism, Imperialism/Spanish-American War, WWI, 1920s and Great Depression.
“Most of the questions will be single answer questions rather than discussion questions.  Professor David Fuqua [assistant professor of Economics] will be the moderator and will ask the questions.
“There will be buzzers for the students to hit which will determine who was the first to respond and if the answer is incorrect, the other team will be given opportunity to answer,” said Johnson.
“The showdown will be fun and entertaining, but will also be steeped in historical facts which will make it educational at the same time.
“The students of both of these professors are being taught by the best in my opinion, and it should be a great match. Everyone who comes out to watch as well as those who are participating should walk away with something new,” said Wooden.

“I’m looking forward to the event. If it’s a success, it could become a tradition every semester,” said McKinney.
Johnson even gave his opinion on how it will turn out, saying, “I am confident the best team will win. Of course I think that will be my team – The History Pickers. All I can say is, watch out, Dr. McKinney, the Pickers are coming!”

Math and Science Expo to encourage attendees to have interest in those fields

by Brittney Mace// Assistant Editor

Volunteer State Community College will be hosting its annual Science and Math Expo on Thursday, March 26, from 2:30 – 6 p.m.
The event is open to Sumner County children in K-8, and their families, who want to learn about Science and Math.
Parris Powers, associate professor of Chemistry, has been a coordinator of the Expo since its conception 14 years ago.
“The Science and Math Expo is a community outreach that is sponsored by the Math and Science Division and is primarily directed by our science students and math students.
“They work in groups of two, three and four and develop and present hands on activities in the science and the math disciplines,” said Powers.
Powers said the attendance is usually between 300 and 500 community children, but it really depends on the weather.
“Most years we’ve had really good weather and there’s been a few years where we’ve had some rain and weather issues, but that usually doesn’t dampen the turn out too much but the better the day is, the better our attendance,” said Powers.
Dr. Glenn McCombs, instructor of Biology, is also a coordinator of the event.
“We love to host the Expo because it offers a fun way to learn and the whole family can enjoy it all for free. It is a great informal way to connect our community to our Vol State students through their service learning efforts,” said McCombs.
“Most of the activities are primarily in [the Wallace] building. We’ll have up to 50 hands-on activities in our two chemistry labs and three lecture rooms.
“We’ll have some activities outside and we also have the Fisk Vanderbilt planetarium in the gym,” said Powers.
McCombs said that for someone who has been in Science education for more than 20 years, the question of why it is important for young people to learn about Science and Math, is a big one.
“It is most important that young people use their time in and out of school to soak up everything they can because you don’t know until you try. No matter what direction you pursue, a strong foundation in science and math is valuable.
“Although certainly not exclusive to science and math, these areas are all about asking new questions, discovering innovative ways to answer them, and just plain solving problems. This world definitely needs more problem solvers,” said McCombs.
“[The main goal of this event is] to excite our community in science and math . . . to foster inquiry and excitement,” said Powers.
Dr. Billy Dye, instructor of Biology, said events like the Expo give benefits to both the college and the community.
“Hands-on opportunities to see science in action ignite a child’s curiosity, which is the heart of science itself.
“The Expo is student-led, allowing our Vol State students the incredible opportunity to design and implement their own ideas and projects. Community colleges are truly about the community, and events like the Expo help strengthen the relationship between the college and the people we are here to serve,” said Dye.

Shellie Michael lectures on Transcendentalist communes, Alcott and Hawthorne

by Cynthia Hernandez// Staff Writer

Volunteer State Community College hosted a lecture about the Transcendentalist movement by Shellie Michael, associate professor of Communications and English.
The event took place on Tuesday, March 17.
According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary,

Transcendentalism is a philosophy and social movement that began in the 1800s.
It is based on the idea that spiritual things are more real than the ordinary human experience and material things.
Michael said she is currently writing her dissertation on “Transcendentalist Communitarianism in Fiction.”
“Communal living has a fascinating history in America and especially here in Tennessee. My research focuses on communes that Transcendentalists started in the 1840s in Massachusetts.
“Two American writers, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Louisa May Alcott, lived at those communes, and I’m studying the fiction they wrote about their experiences. Much like the 1960s, the 1840s were an era of radical experimentation, and Hawthorne and Alcott were part of those exciting times,” said Michael.
Michael said the mid-1800s was an “age of reform” and communitarianism was very popular.

“People were really swept up in this mood of let’s overturn everything, much like the 1960s in the United States,” said Michael.
She also said there were abolitionist and women’s rights movements. People were questioning alot and were interested in lifestyle changes, such as vegetarianism, also during this time.
An example was given by the reading of a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet and transcendentalist.
“Emerson effected the communal movement by really emphasizing spiritual experiences in nature. So much of communitarianism is bound up with this romance of the soil. You need to be outside. You need to get out of the library.
“He, himself was more or less a bookworm, but for other people, he really recommended that they get outside and do things,” said Michael.
“We are all a little wild here with numberless projects of social reform, not a reading man but has a draft of a new community in his waistcoat pocket,” wrote Emerson.
“One of his other big ideas is this idea of non-conformity, that you shouldn’t just do what the mainstream society tells you. Also that you should really practice self-culture, that you should look within yourself, and to become your best self. God lives within every man and you can tap this and you can find this within yourself,” said Michael.
“I really enjoyed Professor Michael’s talk because it demonstrated the importance of drawing connections between literature and historical events.
“Several of the humanities lectures this year have shown what an interesting time the antebellum era was,” said Dr. Merritt McKinney, director of the Honors Program.

Wes Moore event discusses the fear or low expectations of young black males

by Brian Ferrell// Staff Writer

Volunteer State Community College had a Wes Moore lecture about the “Fear of (or low expectations of) young African-American males and possible solutions.”
The guest speakers included Bill Ligon, a lawyer who practiced law for 30 years, and Dr. Sidney Hardyway, professor of Psychology at Vol State.

The lecture started with Ligon telling about his life growing up in Nashville, graduating from Gallatin High School, and getting a basketball scholarship to Vanderbilt University, where he said his team won the SEC Championship that year.

While waiting to get into law school, Ligon said he was offered a contract to go play for four teams; The Harlem Globetrotters, The Kentucky Colonials, The Detroit Pistons, and The Dallas Cowboys.
Ligon decided to go play for The Detroit Pistons and played only one season with the team.

After being cut from the Detroit Pistons, Ligon said he came back to Nashville and enrolled law school.
He went on to practice law for 30 years and concentrated on young African-American men and criminal defense.
Ligon said he is now working on movie project and a book project.

Hardyway said he grew up in Wichita, Kansas and was the youngest of 11 children.

As a child, Hardyway said his nickname was ‘professor cricket’ because he had to read all the mail, due to his father being illiterate.
Hardyway said he graduated from a catholic school where he was the only African-American and went on to graduate at Wichita State University.
Now, he said he has been teaching at Vol State for 20 years.

After getting to know the guest speakers, the event continued into the discussion about perception.
Ligon asked “what is the perception of the African American Community and how it affects the African American race?” and talked about how today’s society is like a jungle.

“When you’re out in the world if you walk casually, something can get you and if you run, something can get you,” said Ligon.

Ligon said that young black people always have to maneuver around certain people because of the way they are portrayed.

One person in the audience talked about the media and how it portrays black people in a negative way and a lot of people get their perception from the media without actually taking the time to educate themselves.

Honors lecture discusses technology’s effects on fitness

by Austin Kemp// Contributing Writer

A lecture was open to all faculty, staff and students of Volunteer State Community College March 18.
The presentation was held in the Rochelle Center located in the Thigpen Building at 12:30 p.m.
Philip Williams, instructor of Sociology, gave a lecture centered on the integration of technology into sports over the past century and the changes that occurred as a result. “Basketball isn’t basketball and football isn’t football anymore,” said Williams.
Sports are changing with the times.
Williams specified three areas where technology has affected sports: equipment, medicine and communication.
Advancements allowed for safer equipment over the years resulting in the protective gear that audiences are familiar with today such as padded helmets rather than the traditional leather of the early 1900s, which provides a higher level of safety to the player.
Because of steps forward in sports medicine athletes were presented with a better caliber of healthcare to preserve their wellbeing.
The invention of MRIs and X-Rays allowed for better treatment towards sports related injuries.
With the introduction of radio, television and the Internet, sports have become more easily accessible across the world allowing a person in Colorado the opportunity to watch a soccer match in Ireland.
Social media outlets such as Twitter have also closed the gap between athlete and spectator communication as fans may directly address their favorite players.
The Q&A following the lecture brought out many diverse opinions about the pros and cons of technology’s partnership with sports.
“Ticket prices are so high because people all over the world have access. It makes it harder to get there,” said Todd Griffin, the production manager of Media Services.
Increased ticket prices are a result of the global access to ticket sales provided by secondary sellers on the Internet.
“I can actually watch the World Series of Cricket now. I can get away from the capitalism and get back to the purity of sports,” said David Fuqua, assistant professor of Economics.
As Williams stated throughout his presentation, the integration of sports and technology is designed primarily for the maximization of profit.
Along the way it simply manages to entertain.
Williams, said it has “created a more level playing field that comes with good and bad.”

Family Day Easter Egg Hunt open to the community

bt Jim Busha// Staff Writer

Volunteer State Community College is hosting Family Day Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 28.
The event will take place outside in the Quad and will be from 10 a.m. – noon.
The event is open to all on the Vol State campus as well as members of the community, who want to celebrate Easter with Vol State and spend some time outdoors.

“We encourage all students to invite their family and friends,” said Kathleen Long, president of the Association of Campus Events (ACE) Club. “It is a day for families to just spend time with each other, and for the community to come together, as well.”
There will be an Easter Egg Hunt

.
The Egg Hunt will have two age brackets, 0-6 years old and 7-11 years old, and there will be a raffle to give away prizes.
There will also be an appearance from the Easter Bunny.
Parents are encouraged to be involved and take photos of the event.
Anyone who has questions or concerns is encouraged to contact, Tabitha Sherrell, coordinator of student activities, in the office of Student Life and Diversity Initiatives (SLDI) at tabitha.sherrell@volstate.edu.

Club Spotlight: Phi Theta Kappa (PTK)

by Ja’vion Bozeman// Staff Writer

Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) is an International Academic Honor Society for two-year colleges.

Volunteer State Community College is privileged to have its own chapter.

PTK’s mission is to recognize and encourage the academic achievement of two-year college students and to provide opportunities for individual growth and development through participation in honors, leadership, service, and fellowship programming.

Dr. Merritt McKinney, director of the Honors Program, has been the advisor for PTK for over a year.

“I love Phi Theta Kappa. It’s a great opportunity for scholarships and a great way to meet motivated students who want to do community service,” said McKinney.

In order for a student to join PTK they have to obtain a 3.5 GPA.

Then Dr. Jerry Faulkner, president of Vol State, will mail the student a letter and an application that must be submitted with an $80 fee.

Jean Gorgie, English instructor and co-advisor, will accompany this chapter’s students to PTK’s annual international convention, NerdNation.

This yearís convention will take place April 16-18 in San Antonio, Texas.

NerdNation, branding the mantra “Cool 2B Smart,” is a three-day convention that will host people from all over the world.

It provides opportunities for advisor and student engagement that result in long term chapter and student success.

The 3-day agenda combines educational sessions to foster personal and chapter development, training to cultivate leaders, thought-provoking speakers who broaden attendees’ perspectives, networking opportunities to share ideas and expand ones pool of resources and award presentations recognizing past achievements while setting the bar high for future success.

“Last year we went to Orlando, and it was so great. There was dancing, workshops, and great key note speakers. They also help students transition from a 2-year college to a 4-year college,” said Gorgie.

Stephanie Winters, Dr. Rod A. Risley, Dr. David Burkus, and Dr. Michio Kaku are the featured speakers this year.

Any Phi Theta Kappa member is encouraged to attend.

For additional information, contact PTK President Ryan Carver at ccarver9@volstate.edu.

Bucy leads discussion panel on biracial marriage

by Lauren Cieler// Staff Writer

Students, faculty and staff at Volunteer State Community College were welcome to attend a lecture on March 2.

The event took place in the Rochelle Center in the Thigpen Building at 12:20 p. m.

The speaker was Dr. Carole Bucy, professor of History.

“This lecture is to provide more awareness of the subject of marriage inequality as part of the Civil Rights movement that still contours today,” said Bucy.

The history department has a grant from the Gilder-Lehram Foundation to do a series of lectures associated with films that are about the Civil Rights movement.

Bucy had four people from Vol State come in and sit on a panel to answer questions from herself and students.

These people were; Dr. Emily Short, assistant vice-president of Student Services and her husband Cedric Short; Dr. Michael Torrence, assistant vice-president of Academic Affairs; and Amber Hughes, a nursing major.

Each person told their backstory and how he or she dealt with interracial equality.

Dr. Short and Cedric have been married for nineteen years and have a daughter.

Dr. Short is from Westmorland, Tenn, a predominantly white community.

Dr. Short said she first told her friend that Cedric had proposed to her and her friend said, “You need to tell your mom.”

Although Dr. Short’s mother did know about Cedric, Dr. Short said her mother did not like the concept of a biracial marriage.

Cedric said remembered how he met his wife.

Cedric said in the mid 90s, he was a student at Vol State while Dr. Short worked in Student Services. He said he did not want to talk to her, but one day he finally had the courage to say hello.

As soon as he graduated he made his move and later on started dating.

Cedric said when he proposed to Dr. Short, he first told his younger brother, Marvin.

He said Marvin’s response was, “Did you tell dad yet? You need to tell him now.”

“My dad had a chilly response and was caught by surprise,” said Cedric.

Dr. Short’s family did not come to the wedding, which she said was a heavy rejection.

“I was preparing myself for no in-laws, but when my daughter was born everything changed,” said Cedric.

Torrence has been married for eight years and has two children.

Torrence said was in college when he first saw his wife.

“I was in my advisor’s office and I look out the window and saw red hair bouncing in the sunlight across the Quad,” said Torrence.

When the time came to propose to his wife, Torrence said he went to her brothers and they respected the decision he had made.

He said he asked her father and the father shrugged and said okay.

Torrence said both his children have had the privilege of being accepted and active in sports.

He has only dealt with one mishap of biracial inequality.

“There was a man in church that told my wife and daughter that they didn’t belong here and to get out,” said Torrence.

Amber Hughes said she has been married for 12 years and has three children.

She said when she first met the man she was going to marry, she was 17 and her husband was 23. Hughes said they had to keep their relationship as a secret because of their age difference.

Hughes and her husband met in the food court at the same mall.

His sister was Hughes’ boss.

Hughes said when she got engaged, she told her best friend who was concerned about the age difference.

Her family was not supportive, but her aunt stepped up to help with the wedding.

Hughes’ husband is African American and Hispanic and she said his parents were okay with him marrying her.

One encounter the Hughes said she had with biracial inequality was when she was looking for rent. She said when she was about to fill out the application, the clerk said that he doesn’t rent to African Americans/Hispanics. Hughes said she picked up her purse and walked away.

In the comment and question section of the lecture, Bucy proposed a question.

“What do you think can be done to promote tolerance and understanding among people in 2015? What can be done to improve racial tolerance?” said Bucy.

“To get out of his or her environment; too see something different; to meet people from different backgrounds,” answered Torrence.

Dr. Short said that what works well for her family is that they have open dialogue about racial equality and to learn about each other’s culture answered

“Parents should educate their children in biracial equality,” answered Hughes.

“I think if we learn to accept one another and live our lives everything will be better,” said Patty Powell, vice president of Student Services.

Wes Moore event discusses Hip-Hop and its effects on today’s society

by Cynthia Hernandez// Staff Writer

On Monday, March 2, Volunteer State Community College hosted a special presentation that attracted over 200 high school students from all over Sumner County.

Participating high schools included Beech, Gallatin, Hendersonville, Portland, Station Camp, and White House.

Dr. Michael Torrence, assistant vice president of Academic Affairs, lead the discussion titled “Effects of Hip-Hop on Society” in the Pickel Field Gymnasium.

The goal of the discussion was to “examine your environment with more awareness,” said Torrence.

During the presentation, he recognized five components of hip-hop: knowledge, dancing, MC-ing, DJ-ing, and graffiti.

Prizes were given to the students that participated in the discussion.

Some students showed off their dance moves and others showed their “freestyle” abilities.

“So often hip-hop music and the culture that surrounds it, are seen as negatives.

“I’m glad our students were able to learn the history and technicalities of the music they love, so that they can see all of the positives of hip-hop,” said Heather Adkins, an English teacher at Gallatin High School.

“The hip-hop event was very informative and a great avenue to bring the art form and culture of hip-hop to light.

“I believe students left with a new appreciation for the music genre and it’s correlation to the English language,” said Elizabeth Evans, choral director at Hendersonville High School.

This presentation was one in a special series of the One Book, One Community project.

The next presentation is scheduled for Thursday, March 19, at 12:30 p.m. in the Mary Cole Nichols Carpeted Dining Room (CDR) of Wood.

The discussion will focus on the low expectations of young African-American males.

The One Book, One Community culminating event will be held on Tuesday, March 24, from 6 – 8 p.m. in the Rochelle Center of Thigpen.

It is not too late to get your copy of “The Other Wes Moore” and join the discussion