Baseball team puts on treat to watch

By: Nick Kieser

Volunteer State Community College’s baseball program held its second annual Halloween game under head coach Ryan Hunt Oct. 30.

The tradition began last year as a fun exhibition game that the players had a chance to participate in.

“It was great to be Stone Cold Steve Austin for a day. We had some shaky spots this fall, but we got that cleared up towards the end and we’re ready to go. The first couple of games are in Florida and we’ll face some top JUCO teams. It’ll be a good test for us early to open up,” said pitcher Dalton Heath.

With the Halloween game the last game of the fall, the team will not play an exhibition game until spring season starts.

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Vol State’s baseball players in costume for the game. (Nick Kieser / Athletic Department)

“It was awesome. All of the guys coming in here at the end of fall and kind of having a good time before we get some workouts in. We open up in Pensacola, Florida and there’s going to be some great competition and it’s going to be a great season,” said catcher Zeke Lecomte.

All of the participating players had on costumes, including a green army soldier to a ghost that was head coach Ryan Hunt who donned the white sheet with two holes to oversee the game.

“Just keep competing. It’s a long season and I think we have the team this year to do it. I want them to stay up and just keep competing all year long and I want to end up on top,” said Lecomte.

As of now the first scheduled game for the team is at 1 p.m. March 22 at Walters State Community College.

The last outing against Walters was a 2-0 loss in the postseason tournament the team was May 9.

“I am looking forward to just the guys getting better. Just wanting to come some get extra reps. Next week we start group work, and I am eager to see guys take the next step as far as getting ready for the season,” said Scott.

Java Jolt

By: Nick Kieser

Volunteer State Community College hosted what is called a Java Jolt in the lobby of Thigpen Library Oct. 30 and on Halloween.

Coffee was provided by Thigpen Library and it was purchased from the cafe that is in the Woods Campus Center according to Director of Library Services Sarah Smith.

“We know from our surveys of students at the end of their academic years that students think coffee in the library is important. They do not have to get up from their studies and go over to the cafe and get coffee, and at the same time it helps students focus,” said Smith.

Three coffee dispensers were in place on a table along with sugar and creamers, to note as well, students came by and were able to get information on how the library can help with writing academic papers for class.

“If I ever have questions then I could get the help I needed, and at the same time if I just walk over to the cafeteria I would have forgotten I needed to stop and get help,” said student Triana Earls-Cuozzo.

As a student worker for the library, Earls-Cuozzo was on duty to be promoting the Java Jolt event and the library services that are offered to the students.

“It’s also another a little other way to get some citation style bookmarks and take them so they can be used to write papers and then consult them for examples or information about the library in general,” said Smith.

Continuing on from the previous school year Smith interjected that the library has had this setup before around finals and hopes to have more mini-breaks like this one.

Spring Registration

By: Jim Hayes

Priority registration for sophomores planning to attend Volunteer State Community College in the spring of 2019 began Monday, Nov. 5.

Returning freshmen will be able to begin register Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Priority registration lasts through Nov. 19 for all returning students. After that new students and readmitted students will be allowed to register for the semester.

Registration will take place on the My Vol State web page, the school’s computer registration system.

Prior to registering, students should log ono their DegreeWorks page available from the My Vol State link at www.volstate.edu.  That page will indicate classes to be taken or the student’s major and how many hours the student has earned.

A postcard to be mailed out to all eligible students this week recommends discussing class options with the student advisor. It also recommends visiting the business office to find out fee due dates.

Students failing to pay fees by the due date will be dropped from their classes and will have to re-register.

Here are the registration instructions for all returning Vol State Students:

  1. Go to My VolState.
  2. Click the Pride Online tab.
  3. Click “Add or Drop Classes” at the top of the center column and follow the prompts.
  4. Once a schedule has been selected from the options given, click “Send to Cart” at the top of the view schedule screen.
  5. After the courses have been sent to the registration cart, click “register” to complete the registration process.
  6. Check the class schedule to make sure the correct class has been registered for the correct classes by following the Concise Student Schedule link on the Pride Online tab.
  7. After registering, click on “Account Summary” to review the the bill and statement of fees. Fees can be paid online by VISA, VISA Check Card or MasterCard.
  8. When the transactions have completed, log out of My VolState.

TNT found on campus

By: Jim Hayes

The Tennessee Highway Patrol bomb squad removed two jars believed to contain explosive materials, Oct. 27, from Volunteer State Community College parking lot E.

According to a police report filed by Vol State officer Frank Winslow, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Materials Management Department was having its annual Household Chemical Collections event when an unidentified man deposited a box containing two, four-ounce plastic jars of a white powdery substance later identified as being trinitrotoluene otherwise known as TNT.

“We had a hazardous waste collection event at the college,” said Eric Melcher, Vol State coordinator of public relations and marketing.  

“The college was just a host for the event. TDEC actually ran the event,” said Melcher.

“At some point, someone dropped off a box of what appeared to be TNT. Organizers of the event contacted our campus police department,” said Melcher.

“Our police department then contacted the THP bomb squad who came off and collected the box,” said Melcher.


Winslow’s report says that the box was dropped off at approximately 1 p.m. Saturday and that THP actually arrived on the scene at and took possession of the package about 5:30 p.m. Saturday after being contacted at about 3 p.m.

“TDEC holds these events all over the state. We’ve had it here annually every year for many years without incident. This year they just had someone drop off something they shouldn’t have,” said Melcher.

Melcher said no campus events were disrupted as the result of the incident.

No criminal charges are being filed.

Christmas for kids

By: Riley Holcraft

The holiday season is here, and Volunteer State Community College is celebrating with an annual Christmas for the Kids event.

It is an opportunity for low-income students at Vol State to provide a Christmas celebration for their children.

For over 10 years, Christmas for the Kids has allowed Vol State students to give their children between ages 0-16 a Christmas to remember.

Campus organizations and other individuals are encouraged to sponsor a child by selecting an ornament from the Christmas tree located in Woods Campus Center in the Mary Cole Nichols Dining Room.

The ornaments with individual information on the different children will be displayed Nov. 16, and the gifts of up to $75 are due Nov. 29.

The Office of Student Engagement and Support handles the applications and houses all of the gifts. The children are able to unwrap their surprises at a Christmas party on Dec. 1.

If a family wishes to participate, applications for the children receiving gifts are due on Nov. 9. The application includes a survey that asks for information about hobbies, interests, and needs so the children can receive gifts of significant value.

Attendance for the party event is required. Light refreshments will be provided for all guests, and Christmas-themed activities and games will be set up for the children. Santa will also be attending, and families are encouraged to snap a photo with him.

This fundraiser is hosted by Vol State’s Student Government Association. These individuals are responsible for keeping track of the children and sponsors and setting up the event on Dec. 1.

Vol State students, faculty, staff, clubs, and organizations are all qualified to sponsor one or more children.

Coordinator of Student Activities, Tabitha Sherrell, is passionate about the opportunity that Christmas for the Kids provides.

“This is one of my favorite events each fall semester. It is a chance to help support our Vol State students and their families during the holiday season,” explained Sherrell.

Do you want to provide a joyful Christmas for children of Vol State students? Are you a struggling student at Vol State with a child that needs a happy holiday? Christmas for the Kids is the event for you.

Story Slam

By: Gloria Cortes

The second annual Storytelling Slam competition was hosted in the Rochelle Center of the Thigpen Library Oct. 30 from 11:10 a.m. to 12:10 p.m.

The 12 contestants were: Abigail Wilson, Jack Coomer, Jared Clubbs, Amanda Edwards, Alex Carmen, Gregory Crenshaw, Ryan Kennedy, Michael Picchietti, Nicole Black, Tracy Lily, and Casey Collins.

Jared Clubbs was not there to present his story.

After the scheduled contestants went, a few students told their stories while people voted for the winner.

“We had five student-curated to present we got commitments from them to be there five showed up to speak. We had six students sign up for the open mic portion. In all, we heard 11 stories. Then we had three to four students answer the questions and stand up to speak at the end they were not a part of the competition,” wrote communication professor Sheri Waltz in an email.

Performance artist Jon Goode was the host for the Storytelling Slam and told several stories throughout the event.

“I think that in the course of people sharing their stories, you find out that we all have so much in common, there’s a common thread that runs through all of our lives, that we’re all just a swamp in this quilt and that these stories are the narrative string that pulls it all together,” said Goode.

The winners were Ryan Kennedy and Nicole Black who were tied for first place. Kennedy’s story was about the birth of his son, and Black’s story was about a time where she severely injured her arm.

Instead of having one winner and one runner-up, Kennedy and Black were both awarded $75 for first place.

“In public speaking class, we had to do a story for our first speech, and the teacher said to do something that is really impactful on your life. My son being born was one of those major things in my life,” said Kennedy.

“I heard there was $75 for the winner… I just wanted to say something funny,” said Black.

Waltz wrote that both Story Slams had been successful, with about 100 students attending this year.

“Our goal is to provide a platform for students and faculty to connect- to take time to celebrate our similarities and differences,” wrote Waltz.

Trevor Gordon event

By: Gloria Cortes

Progressive acoustic guitarist Trevor Gordon Hall held a public clinic and performance at Volunteer State Community College Nov. 1.

The event was in room 157 of the Steinhager-Rogan-Black Humanities Building, and it took place from 1:30-3 p.m.

“A decent crowd was here, but it could have been better,” said Music Department Chair Benjamin Graves.

Hall played several pieces and answered crowd members’ questions between songs. The songs he performed were: “Pine Trees and Powerlines”, “I Will”, “A Severe Mercy”, “The Meeting at the Window”, “Kalimbatar”, and “Skylark”.

This selection included some of his original work, like “Kalimbatar”, as well as covers, like “I Will” by The Beatles, that featured the kalimba, also known as a thumb piano.

Hall shared his musical experiences and spoke about his kalimbatar project, where he has attached a kalimba to his guitar and has been arranging music that features both instruments.

“The kalimbatar project has deepened my appreciation for music for sure. Now, I’m thinking with different tones, like I can play guitar and grab an entirely different sound from a different instrument just a couple of inches away. It makes me think of melodies differently, and I hear chords differently,” said Hall.

Graves said this event was to inform people, music majors, and non-music students alike, about progressive guitar music.

“I’m always interested in trying to bring as much different culture to campus as possible. I’ve been teaching here for years and I’ve never heard anything like Trevor Hall on campus, so I thought, ‘Let’s have a different flavor of a guitar player, because this is Nashville,’ and I have a buddy who teaches at MTSU and recommended Trevor,” said Graves.

Along with guitar-specific tips, Hall gave advice for music majors at Vol State.

“There’s always going to be the pieces that you have to work on, promoting yourself as a musician, all of this stuff that will get between you and your instrument. Make sure you keep your emotional connection to the instrument alive at all costs, because everything that gets between you two is going to feel like a foreign object, and you’re going to eventually grow to hate it,” said Hall.

The audience applauded for Hall between songs and for the end of the event, and several audience members asked more questions while Hall was packing up.

“I liked Hall’s original stuff.  I thought it was really cool, really innovative. I think this was a new experience for Vol State, we’ve never had a masterclass like this before,” said Vol State sophomore Kendahl Oakley.