President’s Ambassadors program mold student’s into leaders

The President’s Ambassadors is a full ride scholarship given to five girls and five boys at Volunteer State Community College.
In order to receive this scholarship, a student has to take 12 or more hours with a 3.0 or higher GPA. A student who is qualified for this scholarship is invited to apply.
Then, the student must fill out the application that was mailed to them and submit the application by the deadline.

Once applications are reviewed, students that are selected will be notified for their first interview. At the end of the interview process, the final ambassadors will be chosen.
This student is required to have 40 hours a semester and 20 hours of community work around Vol State, which can be accomplished over the summer.

Being in the office, having a campus tour or participating in events/ activities goes toward those hours. These students will partake as servant leaders to the president.

“Vol State needs to have a student representative to make a positive impact on the future students visiting,” said Sydny Simpson, admission specialist.
Lindsey Maxwell is a President’s Ambassador. She went through this process and was selected for this academic year.

Maxwell has maintained a 4.0 GPA and said she enjoys being an ambassador for Vol State because it enables her to be an extension and representative of the college’s mission to the local community.
She said she is passionate about encouraging prospective students by giving campus tours and working with various events on campus.

“I have definitely grown as an individual by being a part of this program,” said Maxwell. “It has given me opportunities to better not only Vol State, but the community and myself.”
Garrett Moore is a President’s Ambassador. He was selected for this academic year and has accumulated a 3.68 GPA through his journey at Vol State.
Moore said that through his many experiences he has had the best two years of his life so far.

“I love meeting new people and helping others. The Ambassador Program has definitely provided an awesome avenue to pursue,” said Moore.
Other events that the President’s Ambassadors have been involved with include: Hispanic Fiesta, TN Promise sign-ups, Sumner County College Night and career fair.

“The Ambassador Program is in its eleventh year at the college.  Students selected for the program are given the opportunity to learn more about themselves and develop leadership skills while giving back to the community and college.

“We keep in touch with many of the Ambassador alums and enjoy watching them continue to grow and succeed after they leave Vol State,” said Tim Amyx, director of Admissions and College Registrar.

The Other Wes Moore book study

For its second year, Volunteer State Community College welcomes One Book, One Community. One Book, One Community is a partnership between the Vol State Thigpen Library and the public libraries of Gallatin, Hendersonville, Portland, Westmoreland, and White House.
New York Times bestseller “The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates” written by Wes Moore is the selection of 2015.
It explores the life of young Moore and is often relatable to urban America.
It follows the life and the struggles of inner city kids, from drugs and abuse, all the way to absent parents and lack of structure.
Since being published in April of 2010, this book has become an urban American phenomenon, with Moore being placed on Ebony’s Annual Power 100 List, and now hosting Beyond Belief on Oprah’s Own Network.
Now this book is gaining popularity all over the world, and sparked an interest in Cindy Chanin, assistant professor of English, who referred Vol State to the book.
Moore’s story may have started in Maryland, but now it has reached the desks of local students and our community.
Kay Grossberg, associate professor of English, is one of eight who are teaching this book this year.
“One Book, One Community is a program made to establish a connection to reading to college students to the community,” said Grossberg.
In concurrence with the book read, Vol State will also hold a special lecture series that is free and open to the public.

The lecure series is as follows:

Feb. 10: Film: “American Promise”, two showings- noon and 5 p.m., Thigpen library.

Feb. 16: Effects and possible solutions to the issue of “deadbeat dads”, 12:30 p.m., Nichols Dining Room, Wood Campus Center.

Feb. 24: Tense relationships between the police and the African-American community and possible solutions, 12:30 p.m. Nichols Dining Room, Wood Campus Center.

March 2: The effects of Hip-Hop on Society, 9 a.m., Pickel Field House.

March 19: Fear of (or low expectations of) young African-American males and possible solutions, 12:30 p.m., Nichols Dining Room, Wood Campus.

March 24: Final discussion: Lessons learned and where do we go from here? 6 p.m., Thigpen Library.

Nunsense coming soon to Volunteer State

This semester Volunteer State Community College’s Theater program is working on a play called Nunsense.

The event is a musical comedy play that will have singing, dancing and laughing.

There will be auditions for any Vol State student who love to sing, act and dance.

Auditions will occur on Feb. 9-11, from 6-8 p. m. and will take place in the Wemyss Auditorium in Caudill Hall.

“I’m very excited to be auditioning for Nunsense,”said Logan Kemp, a Vol State student and actor.

Edmon Thomas, professor of communication and theater, will be directing the play. He said he is looking for highly motivated people who can sing, act and dance.

He is mostly looking for female actors but there are a few male roles in the play.

This play has two lead roles and Thomas is looking for two females to play the part
of Sister Mary Regina and Sister Robert Anne.

Nunsense was created by Dan Goggin, who is an American writer, composer and lyricist.

The play was written in 1985 and since then has been translated into 21 different languages.

Nunsense is about a nun who accidently poisons and kills 52 of her sisters, and is in need of money. They start a fundraiser to raise money to bury their nun sisters who died from food poisoning.

To raise money, they put on shows in a school auditorium that is set up for the play Grease.

This musical comedy has tap dancing, ballet, singing and comedy zingers.

Vol State students with their student IDs are free.

For other attendees, tickets are five dollars.

The musical will also have a live band performance from the Vol State band.

They will be providing the background music for all the singing and dancing.

“I’m really excited for the music and theater departments coming together to put on a great show,” said William York, stage manager who will be working along side Thomas.

York will be setting up the stage and getting the cast ready for opening night in March.

Thomas, who will be overseeing the casting and rehearsal, said he is very excited about the play. “It will be a fun musical comedy that all ages from kids to adults can enjoy,” said Thomas.

Changes coming to African American Student Union

One of Volunteer State Community College student clubs, African American Student Union (AASU), is going through changes.
Zachary Ford, former vice president, stepped down and transferred authoritative power to Ashlyn Challenger.
Challenger says she is a little “nervous” but “excited” about being the new president.
She said she is looking forward to learning new things and influencing students in a positive way.
“Our goal for the semester is to … empower one another and to promote positivity,” said Challenger.
February is Black History Month and with its arrival, the Gallatin campus has events lined up each week.
This Wednesday, Feb. 4, Poet Odd Rod will perform in the Mary Cole Nichols Tiled Dining Room at 12:30 p.m.
He will share his personal story of overcoming the odds.
The annual Soul Food Luncheon, AASU’s most largely attended event, is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 11 at noon in the Carpeted Dining Room.
“This event is open to all Vol State students and the focus will be Black Literary Figures,” said Ford.
Beginning at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 19, Lunch and Learn will take place in the Carpeted Dining Room.
Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunches.
Drinks and desserts will be provided by the office of Student Life and Diversity Initiatives (SLDI).
Directly afterward there will be a concert.
The annual Black History Recognition Luncheon is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 25, at 12:30 p.m. in the Carpeted Dining Room.
Students must RSVP prior to the event through SLDI in the Wood Campus Center, Room 215.
In addition to these on-campus events, AASU also has regular scheduled meetings each Monday at 10 a.m. and Thursday at 12:30 p.m. in the student lounge, located in first floor of the Wood Campus Center.
This is subject to change “depending on the schedule of who joins the club on Welcome Days,” said Challenger. According to Colossians 3:13 – 14, “Continue putting up with one another and forgiving one another freely even if anyone has a cause for complaint against another. But besides all these things, clothe yourselves with love, for it is a perfect bond of union.”
AASU is currently seeking a Vice President and a Treasurer. If interested, stop by the table on Welcome Day, this Thursday, between 10 a.m. and noon or email achallenger@volstate.edu.

Taking the initiative can change your life for the better

To be frank, I had no inkling to become the editor-in-chief of this school’s newspaper. I was asked to apply for the position because I became a surprisingly active and constant member in the club under the previous editor’s reign.

I really did not want to be the boss due to all that pressure to perform and keep on top of everything and be the figurehead to the other club members. The thought of myself in that leadership role made me shiver. My heart sank with apprehension when I was hired for the job.

I passed the most basic qualifications, but I had no knowledge about newspapers, how they were run or how I was supposed to run one. I was petrified.

Do you know how many people beside myself applied for the editor’s position? Zero. There was no option B.

There are two possible explanations for why that was. One, nobody knew that the position was available for application or two, they knew but nobody wanted the job.

Do not get me wrong; I do not regret applying and having the position I have. I am so thankful for this opportunity that has caused me to grow, learn and experience things I never imagined would happen in my life.

However when I began to wrap my mind around the concept of little ole’ me becoming the confident, organized and decisive editor The Settler needed, I was reeling from the unreality of it.

“Never be afraid to fail. Failure is only a stepping-stone to improvement. Never be overconfident because that will block your improvement,” said Tony Jaa.

My job keeps me busy and is often stressful, but I would not trade it for the simpler life I had before. Now I’ve gotten a taste of the business and it’s given me a new perspective on how I can make a difference.

This experience has helped me develop useful skills and allowed me to meet and connect with more people. It was a scary transition for a wallflower like me, but it was unmistakably worth it.

I was afraid to take this job and adjusting to my position and responsibilities was a bit rocky, but if I had to do it all again, knowing what I know now, I would still take the job.

“I would rather regret the things I have done than the things I have not,” said Lucille Ball.

Last spring semester there was also an opportunity for students to apply for positions for the Student Government Association (SGA). There was only one candidate for each of the positions. The cabinet ran unopposed and inevitably was given the positions.

The president we have now was the only one who applied, and it may look to some, that she was the only one who cared about doing something through the SGA.

There are plenty of students at Vol State, but apparently only an extremely small percentage is interested in participating and leading student clubs and organizations.

“If you’re not actively involved in getting what you want, you don’t really want it,” said Peter McWilliam.

There are avenues for excellence in every corner of this campus.

The Honors Program, Service Learning club, Squatter’s Rites publication, SGA and so many more are available and always looking for more members.

Supplemental Instruction, Leanring Commons and Language Center have hiring  opportunities.

I encourage you to take the initiative. You’re not selling your soul to do so. Just try it.

Let our student body not be comprised of individuals suffering from the bystander effect. If nobody ever steps up to the plate, then nothing extraordinary and noteworthy will be talked about or appreciated.

“I’ve always had confidence. It came because I have lots of initiative. I wanted to make something of myself,” said Eddie Murphy.

There are opportunities all over this campus to go the extra mile and accomplish something that needs to be done, though few wish for the responsibility.

Take the initiative, you don’t know what can be discovered, invented or enhanced. Who knows how many people you could affect by stepping up and doing what needs to be done?

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover,” said Mark Twain.