Women’s Art Exhibit

By: Riley Holcraft

Risque photographs and intricate paper art are displayed among the walls of the Vol State Art Gallery on the first floor of the Steinhauer-Rogan-Black Humanities Building.

This new exhibit focuses on the role of women in today’s society. The Art of Women by Monica Stewart and Erinn Nordeman is free and open to the public through Nov. 1st.

Stewart and Nordeman are professional, women artists who have intermingled their different art styles to create an exhibit that challenges the traditional roles of women.

Stewart has two untitled artworks on display. She is a multimedia artist studying at the University of Louisville. She crafts mainly with paper to produce a bold, zany expression within her artwork.

“I often draw on object imagery from fairytales to allude to dysfunctional familial relationships, female agency, as well as the magical and grotesque,” said Stewart within the gallery description.

Her first piece resembles a delicately designed article of clothing hanging over a flower bed.

The white wall captures shadows from the clothing and flowers, providing dimension and character.

The second piece resembles an abstract, female monster. Stewart utilizes multiple different colors to display a chaotic image that symbolizes different aspects of a woman.

Nordeman has a series of photographs paired with handmade quilts.

Nordeman is a printmaker, photographer, video, and textile artist. She blends photography with textiles in her three displayed pieces titled: Sandy, Pamela, and Kimberly.

The photographs are self-portraits illustrating different types of female role models from Nordeman’s childhood.

She matches each self-portrait with a uniquely-made quilt that depicts the woman via textile art. The gallery description explained that Nordeman, “is interested in shifting traditional materials into contemporary questions of sexuality, identity, and female gender expectations.”

Her art challenges the viewer to contemplate how famous women within television and movies are viewed, idolized, and criticized.

The Art of Women exhibit unifies different types of art to create a gallery that encourages viewers to question the identity of a woman.

The majority of the exhibit is made up of different types of materials, papers, and textiles that are cut, folded and molded into pieces of art.

The presence of negative space within the gallery allows each piece to effectively stand out and convey a bold statement concerning women of today.

Both artists challenge stereotypical femininity by exposing a new, unique light on women in society.

Grave Robbing lecture event

By: Nick Kieser

Here on the Volunteer State Community College campus on Oct. 22-23 Thigpen Library will be hosting a lecture on Grave-Robbing in America.

The first chance to listen to speaker Jennifer Weedman is at 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 22.

On the following day, Weedman will speak again at 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Students and those who participate and listen to the former Merrol Hyde Librarian give a lecture are welcome and according to Coordinator of Library Services, Lynda Vincent, light refreshments will be available to those who attend as well.

“We found it to be an interesting topic approaching Halloween. I think students who come will understand how things were back then, and hearing that people hired others to go rob graves,” said Vincent.

“I would most definitely be interested in going because I absolutely love history and scary stories. I want to hear the history behind this because I am unaware of it. It will probably keep me on my toes because of just hearing what it’s about,” said student Autumn Edwards.

Weedman is a part-time librarian in Thigpen and according to her, she tripped over this discovery based on studying her genealogy tree.

“I saw a picture of a man named Bud Rogan. He was a Gallatin man who died in 1905 and was the fourth tallest man in the United States. Bud is buried in the front yard of the family household, and had concrete poured over him so Vanderbilt couldn’t get to him,” said Weedman.

According to Weedman, Rogan was wanted by the doctors of Vanderbilt because they wanted to understand how a man could be the height that Rogan was when he was alive.

“The law forced doctors to hire robbers and sometimes the doctors even did this themselves. Sometimes medical students would pay their tuition in bodies. Many doctors, believe me, actually did this,” said Weedman.

“I am interested in hearing her speak as well. I have only heard her mention only a thing or two about it here and there. I think that anyone would find this interesting,” said Vincent.

“It is an odd topic, but hearing about a topic that I haven’t heard or thought about before is interesting to me,” said student Seth Griffith.

Fall Activities

By: Shelby Leighton

With the weather finally chilling, and pumpkins everywhere you go – fall is slowly coming to end just as quickly as it began.

That doesn’t mean there’s still not plenty to do to stay in the spirits of fall. So, make the most of autumn with these free activities around Sumner County.

Fall Extravaganza – Hosted at Hendersonville First United Methodist Church Oct. 27, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The extravaganza will offer a wide variety of handcrafted gift items by over 80 craft artists. There will also be a large Bake Sale, Freezer Pleezers, Caramel Apples, plus a silent auction. This is a fundraiser that benefits missions of the United Methodist Women of HFUMC.

GracePoint Church & FBC Winchester Community Fall Festival – Hosted at the Sumner County Fairgrounds Oct. 27, from 4- 6 p.m. This festival will have bounce houses, carnival games, face painting, food, trunk or treating, and more.

Saturday Night Cruise-In and Trunk or Treat – Hosted at the Gallatin City Hall Oct. 27, from 4-8 p.m. Come to see the antique and classic cars of Gallatin while having a fun at the trunk or treat for the kids. A night filled with oldies music, door prizes and a ride of the week trophy.

Halloween In the Park – Hosted at Moss-Wright Park in Goodlettsville Oct. 27, from 1-3 p.m. Come to enjoy crafts, a pumpkin patch, games, photo booths, a DJ, dancing, and treats from local businesses and organizations.

Trunk or Treat at Newton Nissan – Hosted at Newton Nissan, Oct. 28, from 3-5 p.m. Come to join the community for fun, games, food, and of course, candy. This year Newton Nissan is adding a fun photo booth for family pictures to be taken, a nice way to remember such an event.

Harvest Festival – Hosted at Celebration of Life Church in Hendersonville Oct. 28, from 1-7 p.m. This festival includes food trucks, hayrides, face painting, live music, bounce houses, tonnes of games, and so much more. The church will also be hosting a food drive and taking donations where all proceeds will be given to Sumner County families in need during the upcoming holiday season.

Free stuff for students

By: Yvonne Nachtigal

Microsoft Office 365 is available FREE to all Vol State students.

Essentially, the same as Microsoft Office 2016, the difference between Office 2016 and Office 365 is only which of the cloud services are included.

According to the Microsoft website, both include Office 2016 Windows and Mac versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher.

Access on up to five computers per user, as well as the Office apps on five phones and tablets per user.

To download your copy, go to https://www.volstate.edu/students where Office 365 is listed under “Tools.”

This software is free to you with your Vol State tuition.

Students wanting to get a license for Rosetta Stone software should visit the Language Center at the Learning Commons and pick up a blue Rosetta Stone language user software request card.

Fill out the card with your name, email and which language you would like to request and turn it into Suzanne Previte.

You will receive an email from Rosetta Stone with login information once you can access the program.

Vol State has a finite number of licenses for Rosetta Stone and language students will be given priority.

Previte said that due to the limited number of licenses, after 30 days of non-use, students will receive an email letting them know their license has been canceled, but it can easily be renewed again.

Adobe Products Can Be Purchased with an Educational Discount.

According to Vol State Art Faculty Chair, Nathaniel Smyth, the school has an institutional license for Adobe software for college-owned hardware and a very limited number of additional licenses for faculty.

Smyth recommends that students needing Adobe software take advantage of the educational discount offered by Adobe. Individual student licenses can be purchased beginning at $9.99 per month.

For other student discounts including the Dell Member Purchase Program Coupon, visit https://www.volstate.edu/discounts.

Story Slam

By: Yvonne Nachtigal

The Story Slam is returning for its second year, on Tuesday, Oct 30, 2018, from

11:10 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. at Thigpen Library in the Rochelle Center.

“There are some students who we have asked to come to speak, but it will primarily be an open mic event,” said Dr. Shellie Michael.

Storytellers can present a personal Halloween story or personal story on another topic.

Stories can be 2 to 4 minutes in length.

Snacks will be provided and the winners will be voted on.

The second-place winner will receive $50 and the first-place winner will receive $75.

Dr. Michael said that last year’s event was a great success.

“We literally laughed and cried,” she said.

Students who are interested in participating can show up at the event or contact Tabitha Sherrell for more details at Sherrell@volstate.edu or 615-230-3799.

Annual security report

By: Jim Hayes

The Volunteer State Community College Police Department released the Annual Security Report, detailing campus crimes reported to the FBI and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for 2017.

The department reported 17 crimes to the FBI and 40 to the TBI. The numbers do not match
because of differing reporting requirements between the two agencies.

In 2016, only one crime was reported to the FBI and none were reported to the TBI.

“I think the crime rate is low because of officer presence, and the fact that we don’t have dorms
here, that makes a huge difference,” said Lisa Morris, Senior administrative assistant to Police
Chief Angela Lawson.

“People are here a shorter amount of time. They go to class and then go home,” said Morris.

Only the Gallatin and Livingston campuses reported incidents to the FBI in 2017. The TBI
statistics are not broken down by individual campuses.

The Gallatin campus had 13 incidents to report to the FBI. They included three in the burglary
and drug law arrest categories, two in the domestic violence category and one each in the
aggravated assault, motor vehicle theft, stalking, weapons law violation referral and weapons law
arrest categories.

Livingston reported single occurrences of domestic violence, liquor law arrests, stalking and
weapons law arrests to the FBI.

The TBI reporting was highlighted by 13 intimidations, and 11 thefts from buildings.

The Vol State police force consists of 9 full-time officers supplemented by part-time police
officers from local law enforcement departments.

To qualify to be reported to the FBI, an incident has to meet the parameters for Uniform Crime
Reporting as set forth by the bureau.

Blood Drive

By: Gloria Cortes

The American Red Cross held a blood drive at the Rochelle Center in the Thigpen Library of Volunteer State Community College Oct. 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“We’re the collection side of the blood drive. So, we come out, we get a schedule, we go to the places that have set up with us,” said American Red Cross blood drive supervisor Howard Anderson.

“We’ve had 36 sign up, but that’s not including the people that signed up online, that’s just the signup sheet I have from the school,” said Anderson.

“I’d like to donate blood, but I don’t think I have the time to do that right now,” said sophomore Thomas Williams.

He said 16 people had been able to donate so far that day.

“Our goal today is 39 donations,” said Anderson.

He said the turnout has been good and steady throughout the day.

“A lot of people were there, outside the library, so I’m sure the blood drive went well,” said sophomore Rachel Spurlock.

He said he also hopes that the blood drive will raise student awareness about giving back to the community.

“I hope it makes the students aware of their ability to give back something because the blood drive helps people. With one pint of blood, you are affecting three lives. We take one unit back to our lab and break it down into platelets, plasma, and red cells. So that’s three different people you’re going to affect,” said Anderson.

“I would consider donating blood. I have before,” said adjunct history professor Melanie Cochran.

She said she believes that the blood drive is good because donating encourages positive community involvement.

“I think it’s good. It gets people to be more involved with the community, and help out our neighbors,” said Cochran.

National Portfolio Day

By: Nick Kieser

For students at Volunteer State Community College and who are interested in displaying their artwork, there is a National Portfolio Day taking place at Watkins College of Art in downtown Nashville.

The event is on Oct. 13, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. open to the public and is free of charge.

“We are trying to encourage a lot of our art majors who are interested in pursuing art-related degrees. It includes things for architecture, graphic design, fashion design, and other things as well,” said art teacher Nate Smyth.

According to www.Watkins.edu, National Portfolio Day gives the opportunity to meet with experienced college representatives who will review artwork, offer critiques, discuss college plans, and share information about their schools.

“If they have questions about the school or the program they can answer the questions, and usually have swag to give away,” said Smyth.

“I used to work these events as an assistant director of graduate admissions at the School of Art Institution of Chicago, and we used to give out outrageous amounts of stuff,” said Smyth.

Additionally, on the site as well there is an opportunity to be able to show personal artwork publicly.

The way a student or a young professional can participate in this is to register online.

“Any art school you go to you’ll need a portfolio. This gives students an incentive to show their work and really try to show their best,” said student Taylor Phillips.

According to a flyer that is posted on the second floor of the Steinhauer-Rogan-Black building down the art hallway there will be 23 schools represented at the event including the host school as well.

Student from Egypt pursues programming degree

By: Yvonne Nachtigal

Mina Shahta, a Volunteer State computer programming major, came to the U.S. from Egypt three years ago on an immigration visa. He was selected by lottery through the US Diversity Visa program.

The program selects 3,000 Egyptian citizens annually to come to the U.S. Once here, they receive a green card.  

“Actually, about 5,000 from Egypt are selected,” said Shahta. He explained that applicants go through a qualification screening and only 3,000 are chosen.  

The Immigration Act of 1990 established a select number of immigrant visas to be available in various countries through an annual lottery.

According to the US Embassy & Consulate in Egypt website, the purpose of the lottery is to diversify the immigrant population by selecting applicants mostly from countries with lower rates of immigration to the United States.

“When you are in a poor country like my country, you want to make a better life,” said Shahta, in reference to applying for a visa in hopes of coming to America.  

“There is rich and poor, very little middle class,” he said. “You cannot better yourself. The state you are born is where you stay. Here you can come from zero and make a better life.”

Although the government pays for college in Egypt, Shahta says there are few jobs and no chance for career advancement.  

“You can’t better yourself. The government takes all your money,” said Shahta. 

Safety was another reason for leaving Egypt. Shahta’s family is Christian.  

“Christians know it is not safe to live in Egypt. They kill us. When you are in your church and you want to pray, you find bombs,” said Shahta. 

Violence against Christians in Egypt has caused many Egyptians to emigrate to the US. Many have found a home in Nashville.

According to the Tennessean, Christians, who make up 10 percent of the population of Egypt has suffered from discrimination and violence in the Muslim-majority country for a year.

Shahta explained how attacks against them increased when the Islamists rose to power after the 2011 Arab Spring uprising that drove Hosni Mubarak from power.  

In 2013, The Tennessean reported that Coptic Christians from churches around Nashville rallied to put an end to the violence in Egypt. Nearly 40 churches in Egypt had been looted and torched, while 23 others were heavily damaged.

Shahta has two older brothers and an older sister. His father is a doctor and his mother works for the government.  

He has not seen his family in 3 years and misses them greatly. He talks to them every day. He would like to go back and visit but says he cannot safely do so.

“I can’t go back there because if I go back there I’d have to join the army and go to Sinai,” he said.

Shahta looks forward to the day when he can become a U.S. citizen so that he can visit his family and eventually bring them to the US.

When he first came to Nashville, Shahta found work at a hotel earning minimum wage, but he has already bettered himself by finding higher paying positions. He was working two jobs in addition to going to school but recently quit one to devote more time to his studies.  

Shahta says he thinks it is difficult for American young people to fully appreciate the opportunities they have in America.

“They have the freedom to better themselves,” said Shahta.


Faculty Recital

By Gloria Cortes

Volunteer State Community College had a faculty recital Oct. 2, and Dr. Nicholas Reynolds played a variety of solo piano pieces.

He said this was his Vol State recital debut, as this is his first semester teaching here.

“I love working with the faculty and the students are all fun. The Vol State faculty has been very supportive of me. Before I even moved here, they set up this recital for me to play. I really enjoy my classes,” said Reynolds.

At the recital, he performed in order: selections from Maurice Ravel’s Miroirs, Frederic Chopin’s Scherzo in B minor, arrangements of Gershwin tunes by Earl Wild, and Bela Bartok’s Sonata.

“I’ve played these pieces on and off for years, but I have been preparing for this specific performance for a couple months,” said Reynolds.

The recital lasted an hour with this selection.  Before every piece, Reynolds would briefly explain the piece he was about to play.

“I love variety.  There’s so much great music out there…. I wanted pieces that were relatable to the audience, so I chose a wide variety,” said Reynolds.

After the finale, the audience gave Reynolds a standing ovation.

“It was really nice. Reynolds happens to be my piano instructor, so it was a cool thing to see how far he’s come. He’s a cool guy, and he’s very talented at what he does,” said student Andrew Corbitt.

Some fellow music faculty and some of his students showed their support, appreciation, and respect for Reynolds at the recital.

“He’s a great guy, and we’re lucky to have him. I think the pieces he played tonight were of wonderful variety and showed off his skills and his ear for music,” said professor Lynn Peterson.

Reynolds said he looks forward to helping build Vol State’s music program.

“The musicians here are very engaged in learning all different kinds of music, and I think that’s one of the most exciting things about teaching here. Being here as the first full-time piano faculty, I’m thrilled to help build to help build a program and to be a part of the future of the music program,” said Reynolds.