Vol State to host Coffee with the President

 

By Presley Green

Volunteer State Community College will host Coffee with the President Thursday, April 12, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., in the Mary Cole Nichols Dining Room A in the Wood Campus Center. The event is for current students to grab a coffee with Jerry Faulkner, president of Vol State, and share ideas or ask questions.

“The idea of the event is to give students time to actually see and talk to the president of the college. Students can ask questions or give feedback to the president.The goal is that students see the president as another person, someone who is easy to talk to and relatable. Coffee and chicken biscuits help make that type of atmosphere,” said Tabitha Sherrell, coordinator of student activities.

Coffee with the President is a rare opportunity for one-on-one time with Faulkner. During Coffee with the President, he typically walks through the cafeteria, stopping at each table to talk with students and invite them for a coffee.

Vol State to show Black Panther May 18

 

via imdb

By Katie Doll

Vol State will be showing Marvel’s newest movie, Black Panther, in the Wood Campus Center in the Mary Nichols Dining Room May 18 at 6 p.m.

Both admission to the movie and refreshments are free.

The superhero movie currently has a 97% “certified fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, meaning the movie is definitely one to see. Metacritic gives the movie an 88%, while IMDb gives it a 7.8 out of 10.

Although the movie is an origin story of the Wakandan based superhero, viewers may want to watch Captain America: Civil War to understand some of the characters in the movie. T’Challa (Black Panther) was first introduced in Captain America: Civil War as the character whose father, previously the king of Wakanda, was killed in an explosion. The story of T’Challa picks up after the events of Captain America: Civil War, as T’Challa is appointed king of Wakanda and the new Black Panther.

As a powerful enemy threatens T’Challa’s position as king, T’Challa is tested when the fate of Wakanda and the entire world are at stake. T’Challa must unleash the power of the Black Panther and gather his allies to defeat his enemy and protect his country.

The movie has definitely changed the game for superhero movies, as this is Marvel’s first movie to have an ensemble cast where the majority are black actors. The African costumes are visually stunning along with the technologically advanced fictional country of Wakanda.

The movie does follow the familiar clichés that superhero movies use to captivate their audience: three big fight scenes, a villain with a connection to the hero, and the death of a parent. This makes the film seem a little repetitive especially for big superhero movie fans.

However, there is no damsel in distress, the jokes are rather funny, and the villain actually has a humane reason behind his actions. Not to mention the women in the film include an undercover spy, the all-female special forces of Wakanda, and a teenage genius who designs all of the technology, including Black Panther’s suit.

Black Panther is a movie definitely worth the watch. The visuals and dialogue along with the likeable characters gives a fresh spin on superhero movies.

 

The Age of Anti-Enlightenment (Part 2 of 3)

By Blake Bouza

(Read Part 1)

Last time when we were discussing the state of information in the world, we touched lightly on how essential the Internet has been in being the glue that cements confirmation bias. 

“When people believe something that the vast majority does not, it gives them a sense of belonging and when everybody is against them, it reinforces that belief,” said Jonathan Martin, a lab tech in the biology department at Vol State. 

The belief is reinforced because people believe opponents argue the supposed truth because they are motivated by an agenda. 

The Internet has done wonders for this phenomena, which gives these people the tools to pick and choose the information that they consider to be worthwhile and factual. 

Now last time, we discussed the conspiracy theory of the flat earth in depth. Conspiracy theories are fake news taken to the extreme. Confirmation bias is, in large part, the only reason a conspiracy theory such as the flat earth can thrive. 

Fake news can be anything from an email scandal and the supposed implications thereof, to an affair with a porn star with greater national importance. 

Often times it can be a simple rumor that gets blown far, far out of proportion. 

Growing up, I heard this remarkable rumor that J.K. Rowling, world-renown author of the Harry Potter series, was a witch. 

Like a real witch, not just a grumpy person. 

I was not allowed to read the series because of this. 

In that time the Internet was not observed as a place of questionable information put forth by individuals of even more questionable motive. 

When I got older, I did a little digging on my own and found that there was quite literally nothing substantial to support this rumor and common misconception among the circles I ran in. 

The Internet, though, let me be clear, is not the enemy. Our willingness and our priorities are. 

Obviously we should not take everything at face value, yet it is much easier to do so when an article or headline is found to be agreeable with our own outlook on life.

“If you believe something is true, you privilege the information available to you that supports that position. And if you think any information about that same topic disproves it, you disregard, discount and ignore,” said Dr. Clark Hutton, chair of philosophy. 

Dr. Philip Clifford, assistant professor of biology, agreed with this line of thinking

“It’s much cleaner to try and tear something down and fail than to try and support something. If you try to support something, all you have to do is ignore everything to the contrary,” said Clifford. 

“There’s also this notion with education that if our priority is to seek a better understanding on a subject, and a willingness to do so, that must be the objective driving force behind our actions in committing to good research. 

If our priority is to have our own biases confirmed, there may be the issue. 

Once our motivation behind seeking out information is clearly stated, good research and the ability to discern that research is essential more than ever before in our day and age.

For comments and letters to the editor, email me: bbouz@volstate.edu 

Vol State Hosted Women’s History Month Tea

 

By Riley Holcraft

The national theme for Women’s History Month 2018 was “Nevertheless, She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.” Volunteer State Community College celebrated this theme with a women’s tea event hosted by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion March 29.

Tables were set up in the dining hall with teacups, printed programs, and flower centerpieces; lunch was also served for all attendees. Dr. Melva Black was the Mistress of Ceremony and she welcomed all guests by stating, “You all look magnificent. It’s always good to be in the presence of women.”

To begin the event, Tiffany Zwart, coordinator of student support, read a piece by Brené Brown, “Manifesto of the Brave and Brokenhearted.” Lori Miller, administrative assistant in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion also read the poem “A Golden Chain” by Helen Steiner Rice. Miller stated that Rice, nicknamed “The Ambassador of Sunshine,” was her mother’s favorite writer.

Dr. Kenny Yarbrough, manager of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, introduced the two guest speakers for the event. Dr. Emily Short and Mrs. Patty Powell are two women that have worked together for 27 years. Powell is the former vice president of student services at Vol State, and Short currently holds that position. Both women shared encouraging words about one another and explained the importance of deep friendship.

Short said that Powell was the first person of color she had ever formed a relationship with. She explains that discrimination among women does nothing to fight discrimination against all women.

“Let go of petty arguments and live a judgeless life,” stated Short.

Powell expanded on her point by saying that an end to discrimination starts with learning to love and help one another along the way. Women can fight against discrimination through respect, honesty and love. They also advocated for strengthening relationships like their own to help along the journey.

Yarbrough closed the ceremony with a special thanks to Carlton Wilkinson. Wilkinson shot photographs of many women at Vol State. These photographs were displayed along the side wall, honoring the dedication of these women.

 

Vol State History Professor Discovered Ancient Cave Art

Dunbar 014

Photo Courtesy of Joe Douglas

 

By Presley Green

Dr. Joseph Douglas, a history professor at Volunteer State Community College, has enjoyed caving as sport from a young age. His enjoyment of caves branched into an interest in cave mapping and history of caves, which eventually led to one of his proudest accomplishments.

Douglas is credited with discovering cave art from the Mississippian culture in Dunbar Cave in Clarksville, Tennessee. The cave art is two rayed circles. There is an outline around the circles to look like a sun and many concentric circles. Inside the circles are interior crosses. The circle on the right has a tail and the circle on the left contains a left facing swastika.

In January 2004, Douglas traveled to Dunbar Cave State Natural Area in Clarksville to meet up with cave author Larry Matthews and Amy Wallace, the interpretive specialist of the park.

“In an area of the cave known as the Ballroom several hundred meters into the dark zone, Douglas noticed two charcoal drawings on the wall, overlaid by nineteenth-century grafiti.” according to the Journal of Cave and Karst Studies.

“Thousands of people walked by it before I recognized its significance,” Douglas said.  

Douglas then photographed these glyphs and sent them to his friend Jan Simek at the University of Tennessee to check for authenticity. Simek insisted on carbon dating.

Dunbar Cave was aware of some of the cave art in their caves, but after Douglas’s discovery dozens more were found, the majority of these pictographs and petroglyphs were made from charcoal and date back to the Mississippian period.

The pictographs Douglas discovered are common iconography from the Mississippian Culture, but not necessarily from then since the circles can be found in many prehistoric periods. After many tries of trying to date the pictographs they finally got a match. Based on carbon dating, the pictographs Douglas discovered date from 1200-1400 A.D.

After finding a total of 35 petroglyphs and pictographs in Dunbar Cave, a decision was made concerning damage in the cave to install a new, secure, bat-friendly gate before the artwork was announced to the public. Dunbar Cave is the only public cave art in the United States. The pictograph that he found in labeled in the cave as “Pre-Columbian Art.”

The documentation and excavation that took place in the cave led to the discovery of many pictographs and petroglyphs, but also human remains, lotted burial grounds, and four unique species of buffalo, elk, bear, and a bison. The excavation concluded that people had occupied Dunbar Cave for at least 4,000 years.

Report on Douglas’s findings: Dunbar Cave Art

CAB Hosted Women’s History Trivia

 

By Tayla Courage

In honor of Women’s History Month, Volunteer State Community College’s Campus Activities Board organized a trivia-themed café event in the Mary Cole Nichols Dining Room B March 27, at 12:45 p.m.

Crystal Sloss, chairperson of the campus activities board, explained that the formatting of the trivia activity would be similar to the game show Jeopardy. Participants used wireless buzzers to answer questions on prominent women in history.

While students were competing for the opportunity to win free Vol State merchandise, there were no penalties for incorrect answers.

“We want students to have fun and learn something at the same time,” wrote Sloss.

Similar to previous CAB café events, free food was offered as an incentive for more student engagement. Chicken tenders, chips and lemonade were available for anyone willing to join in for at least one round of trivia.

According to an email from Sloss, this isn’t the first women’s history event CAB has hosted.

“Last year we held a Women’s History BINGO. This year we thought it would be a great idea to try something new, which is where the trivia comes into play,” wrote Sloss.

Hayley Brazel, secretary of the student government association, said she enjoyed the educational PowerPoint that Sloss paired with her questions.

“Crystal was a great moderator. She taught us so much,” said Brazel.

Wyatt Tabor, a freshman, was continuously one of the first players to buzz in each round.  

“It was really fun. I enjoyed it, and I’m definitely coming back,” said Tabor.

Taylor Divney, a sophomore, commented on why she liked the event in correlation with Women’s History Month.

“I think us women are pretty savvy, so it’s cool to learn about the important and powerful things we’ve done,” she said.

Sloss said she hopes to see more creative learning opportunities offered to students and mentioned the possibility for women’s history trivia to return as an annual event.

“Students can leave the event, know that they have had fun, a free meal, and most importantly they have left with new information that they can spread to others,” wrote Sloss.

 

Artist Jessie Barnes Visited Vol State

 

By Katie Doll

Vol State hosted an art exhibit of artist Jessie Barnes from Feb. 26 to March 29 that was located in the SRB Humanities Building. Art displayed included oil on canvas, monotype, acrylic, graphite on paper, and printmaking.

Visitors had a chance to meet the artist on March 29 and ask questions. Barnes also hosted a printmaking demo where all visitors were welcome.

Barnes is originally from Jacksonville, and obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Florida in 2013 and her Master of Fine Arts from the University of North Texas in 2017.

Barnes has taught collegiate courses such as Drawing Foundations and Introductory Printmaking and Monotype. At Jacksonville University, the Maryland Institute College of Art and Penland School of Crafts, Barnes has assisted many workshops.

Her work, she stated, is inspired by personal memories but leads to art that is more complex.

“My work is driven by uncertainty,” she said. “It stems from personal memories and experiences, but taps into universal themes of adolescence, beauty, power, and fear.”

She also talked about how some elements within her work have a certain meaning to them.

“Tangled palmettos and invasive vines serve as metaphors in our lives when innocence turns to fear, while color lures the viewer closer,” she said.

Many visitors left notes on their opinions of her artwork. One visitor noted how not all art has to make sense.

“I thought this work had a deep meaning and some allusion to things I don’t understand,” Kaila O. wrote. “Now I see that it was that uncertainty that makes it make sense.”

Most of the art displayed had vibrant colors and complex shapes, while some of her other art was black and white with simplistic shapes.

 

Vol State To Host Sexual Assault Discussion

 

By Lauren Whitaker

Volunteer State Community is hosting an informational discussion pertaining to sexual assault with guest speaker Sharon Travis Thursday, March 5, in Wood Dining Room B from 2-3 p.m.

Sharon Travis is a Prevention Specialist at the Sexual Assault Center in Nashville. She has worked with youths, parents and professionals in the area of sexual violence, sex education and youth development for over 20 years, according to nashville-tn.aauw.net.

During Travis’s discussion she will cover topics including where to get an admissible rape kit, where a rape clinic can be found, modes of therapy, means of payment, the welcoming of men, the non-discrimination of race, and students will be given the opportunity to ask questions.

The country is embracing April as sexual assault awareness month.

Sexual assault is known as sexual behavior or contact without the other person’s individual consent. Sexual assault varies from extreme violations of another’s body to a simple unwanted touch.

Attempted rape, fondling or unwanted sexual touching and forcing a victim to perform sexual acts are extreme forms of sexual assault.

Consent is not only a matter of sex. Consent should come with any touch to another’s personal body and space.

Students should practice consent even when a hug is at stake. People have different restrictions and boundaries when it involves their body.

Victims of sexual abuse find the slightest unexpected touch to be traumatic and scary.

It is important for students to be aware of others’ privacy. The most common way to protect his or herself from being accused of sexual assault is to ask permission.

The absence of “no” or silence does not mean yes, according to NSVRC.org.

Approximately seven out of ten sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim, according to rainn.org.

Students should ask consent before touching, and to learn more about the effects of sexual assault Sharon Travis will be on campus to share.

 

Vol State English professor uses service-learning

 

By Riley Holcraft

Kelly Ormbsy, an English professor at Volunteer State Community College, has interests ranging from service to gardening to music. She is an active member of the community and always finds ways to use her talents.

Ormbsy has been a full-time staff member at Vol State for four years. Along with her primary role as a professor of English composition and literature, she is also the faculty coordinator for service-learning and learning support writing.

Her focus remains on student success and access, and she is an executive board member of The Tennessee Association for Student Success and Retention.

“I served through last year as the editor for its professional journal, the Journal of Student Success and Retention. Just this semester, I have presented at the Two-Year College English Association Southeast Conference, as well as the Tennessee Conference on Volunteerism and Service-Learning,” Ormsby said.

Community service has always been a huge part of Ormsby’s life.

“I am the oldest of six children, four of whom were adopted from the foster care system. My mother worked as a child rights advocate,” said Ormsby.

After witnessing the effects of poverty, she was exposed to the positive influence of education which heavily guided her decision to become a professor.  

Ormsby successfully incorporates her value of community service into her profession through service-learning, a teaching and learning strategy that integrates course learning goals with community service to help deepen students understanding of course content and help develop civic responsibility and workplace skills. She also works with the UT Extension Office Master Gardener Program, the Vol State Feed food pantry and the Vol State Garden.

Gardening and food are other passions that Ormsby connects with her professional and personal life. She volunteers her time with community gardens, but she also has a personal garden that she likes to use to grow food to cook for her husband and nine-year-old son.

Her family enjoys volunteer work, listening to music and attending live concerts, and participating outdoor activities such as hiking, camping and kayaking. Her husband is a Gallatin native, but Ormsby moved to Nashville from Mississippi.

Born in Jackson, Mississippi, Ormsby originally moved to Music City with an interest in songwriting. She is a published songwriter, and she plays “a little bit of several instruments,” she said.

Ormsby is grateful for the opportunity to play music with other talented faculty at Vol State. Last spring, the faculty hosted a “Humanities Matters” lecture on protest music where they played music from various causes and eras.

Ormsby is consistently involved in events around campus. She remains very active in her field, and is deeply committed to her family and community.

“I love working at Vol State. It is a great place to be because the faculty is committed to helping students and doing that in creative ways. There are a lot of opportunities to try new things, and I always feel supported in the ideas I want to explore,” said Ormsby.

Women in Media Reviewed

This week, we asked the five women staff writers at The Settler to write about their favorite women-centric entertainment.

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via IMDB

Katie Doll – Film

“Wonder Woman,” directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, is a superhero film based on the DC Comics character. When an American pilot, Steve Trevor, crashes into Diana’s home island which is only inhabited by women, Diana leaves to help stop the ongoing World War I, believing it is caused by an old enemy. This film is not only wonderfully directed by a woman, but is the second-highest rated superhero movie, according to Rotten Tomatoes. Breathtaking and thrilling, this film will bring out the superhero in every woman.

 

170429-wilstein-chelsea-tease_o0u3pf

via The Daily Beast

Presley Green – Comedy

Chelsea Handler, American comedian, is most known for being a late night talk show host on “Chelsea Lately”. Along with being a comedian, actress, writer, tv host, and producer, she is also an activist for many things such as women’s rights, gun control and LGBT rights.

She wants more women in political office and announced she will campaign for candidates who are fighting for women’s rights. When President Trump was elected, Handler decided to step out of the spotlight as an entertainer and leave her Netflix talk show, “Handler Said,” to be seen as an activist and speak at colleges around the country. She wants to hear from students and learn more about political division.

“I’ve become a better person, and I’m more informed. I’m learning. I have the Trump family to thank for that,” said Handler to Jake Tapper from CNN.

GQ030118SZA_03

via GQ

Tayla Courage – Music

Solána Rowe or SZA, as she is professionally known, received five Grammy nominations for her 2017 debut album “Ctrl.” The album is difficult to label as one specific genre, but the Billboard Top 100 often categorizes it as R&B. Many of its tracks feature brief commentary from the singer’s mother and grandmother, providing generational advice and wisdom that complements the lyrical subject matter. From sexual intimacy to body image to leaving adolescence behind, SZA doesn’t hide behind a mask of pseudo-positivity. She dismisses the sugar-coated reality and shows that there is strength in vulnerability.

image

via Refinery 29

Lauren Whitaker – Television

 Queen Daenerys Targaryen from “Game of Thrones” represents a true empowering woman on the HBO network. Daenerys is a ruling queen with grace and integrity in a world where men and deceit reign. She fights for justice and has the best interest of all people around her. She not only empowers women with her grit but also with her beauty. She exemplifies a strong woman who can be multi-faceted and seen as powerful. The most intriguing characteristic Daenerys portrays is her gentleness. She is the mother of dragons, and even though the beasts are large and frightening, the dragons are tame to her love and affection. Daenerys is a woman who has it all, power, strength, integrity, lovingkindness, and beauty.

J.K. Rowling

via Time Magazine

Riley Holcraft – Literature 

J.K. Rowling is one of the most successful and widely read authors in the world. However, Rowling had a less than glamorous background. She was fortunately able to graduate college, but after giving birth to her daughter in 1993, she lived off welfare programs. She began writing the Harry Potter series in 1990 and was rejected 12 times until the first book was published in 1995. Her books flew off the shelves and eventually evolved into an empire of movies and theme parks. She now spends her time and money in political affairs and non-profit organizations.