Hispanic Heritage Quiz Bowl a success

by Lillian Lynch
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15 – Oct. 15, the Volunteer State Community College Campus Activity Board held a Hispanic Heritage Quiz Bowl.
On Sept. 28 the ceiling of the Mary Nichols Dining Room had decorations hanging from it in preparation for the Bowl. It started at 12:45 p.m. with the host of the Bowl, Michelle Vandiver-Lawrence, Associate Professor of Spanish, introducing herself and asking for four contestants to volunteer.
The Quiz Bowl was made up of six rounds, the last one being the final round. Each round had four contestants, aside from the final one that had the winners of each previous round competing against each other.
The very first question of the bowl asked who the first female Hispanic astronaut was. The answer, Ellen Ochoa, was on the same screen as the question and the contestants had to be turned away from the screen so that they would not cheat.
The rest of the round consisted of questions of dance, the Day of the Dead and Hispanic culture.
The questions were on geography, the dance of the Salsa and holidays such as Cinco de Mayo and the Running of the Bulls.
The third round consisted of four more contestants lined in the same chairs faced away from the screen. Some of their questions asked how most people travel in Spain (on foot), what the Volkswagen Beetle was and is still used for in Mexico (taxis) and where El Rastro, a large flea market, is located (Madrid). Other questions had to do with geography, punctuation, and famous Latinos.
For round four another group of four contestants volunteered. Just three questions in, before Vandiver-Lawrence could utter the words “Hips Don’t Lie,” each contestant’s hand was up. The answer was Shakira.
There was another question of dance, this time Tango, and other questions asked about flag colors and when Mexican Independence Day was (Sept. 16, 1810).
The fifth round began with a question on the Spanish language. Other questions were asked about culture, where the term Hispanic came from (the United States Census Bureau created it for the census), national flowers and how many Spanish-speaking countries there are today (20).
In the final round each winner of the five previous rounds took a seat to compete for the grand prize: a Vol State pull-string bag and a Vol State hoodie.
Their questions were cultural for the most part.
They were asked about the Festival Internacional de Poesia (the International Poetry Festival held in Medellin, Puerto Rico), whether or not Puerto Ricans are U.S. Citizens (they are) and what the first Latin production was to hit broadway (“West Side Story”).
The overall winner of the Bowl was student Brittany Jackson.
“I didn’t even prepare for this, I just new that my class was coming to it,” said Jackson.
Even without preparing, it is possible to win a Quiz Bowl.

Carlos Andres comes to Vol State

by Miguel Detillier
Volunteer State Community College is planning to have spoken word artist Carlos Andres Gomez as a guest speaker this week.
Gomez will be speaking at the Mary Cole Nichols Dining Room A in the Randy and Lois Wood Campus Center on Tuesday, Oct. 4 from 12:45-1:45 p.m., after a student, faculty and staff open mic event that will last from 12:15-12:45 p.m. as part of the first Campus Activities Board (CAB) Coffee House of the fall semester.
Tabitha Sherrell, Coordinator of Student Activities, said that the Campus Activity Board (CAB) will be looking for faculty, staff and students who are interested in reading poetry or singing a song at the first Coffee House of this semester, and also that they will offer free coffee to students, faculty and staff in this event.
Sherrell also said that Gomez will be looking for a stand-out faculty, staff, or student performance during this event, and the winner of the showcase will win a copy of Gomez’s book called Man Up: Reimagining Modern Manhood.
According to the website, gomezlive.com, Gomez is an award-winning poet, actor, speaker and writer from New York City, and some of his accomplishments that he made in his career was winning the 2016 Best Diversity Award by Campus Activities Magazines, the 2015 Lucille Clifton Poetry Prize, the 2015 Makeda Bilqis Literary Award and even Artist of the Year at the 2009 Promoting Outsiders Writers Awards.
This website also acknowledges him for going viral online in May of 2016 with his poem called “What does Hispanic look like,” that reached over a million views in less than a month, and for co-starring with Denzel Washington, Jodie Foster and Clive Owen in “Inside Man” directed by Spike Lee, and for appearing in the sixth season of HBO’s “Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry” and in the third season of TV One’s “Verses and Poems.”
Gomez has been featured on a wide range of media outlets and platforms like NPR, TEDx, the New York Times, and even most recently as a performer in a special event at the White House, according to gomezlive.com.
This website also said that Gomez has also headlined festivals all over the world including the U.K, South Africa, Australia, Ireland, Indonesia, and as Guest of Honor at the Berlin International Literature Festival in Germany, and also has lectured and performed at more than 400 colleges and universities, and even has delivered many keynotes and commencement addresses.
“I saw him perform at the APCA conference and he did an outstanding job with his performance there, and he was also really personable,” said Sherrell. “I think he is willing to give away a copy of his book to anyone who wins the showcase at the Coffee House this week.”
“I think that any chance that students would have to see a poet like Carlos Andres Gomez has the potential to be very inspiring,” said Leslie LaChance, Associate Professor of English.

Artwork in the humanities building

by Kailyn Fournier
As many have noticed over the past few weeks, the Steinhauer-Rogan-Black Humanities Building has some artwork scattered all throughout the building. All of the artwork has been done by present or past students. Some of the work dates back as far as 1987.
The bulletin board in the hallway on the second floor is decorated with artwork from the various art classes. The most recent art ranges from observation drawings to oil paintings.
Two of these older works are drawings and can be found in display cases in the same hallway as the bulletin board.
These display cases also hold sculptures as well. There is also an entire section of one of the display cases dedicated to a masking tape shoe project for a 3D design class.
One of these shoes is on the first floor of the Steinhauer-Rogan-Black Humanities Building, where there is an art gallery with various projects student have created using various types of media. It was Susan Dewey’s first assignment for the class.
It is a Dickies brand work boot made only from masking tape and paint. Her instructor, Nathaniel Smyth, gave the assignment on the first day of school and took approximately three weeks to complete. It paid off, because at the end of the project when it was compared to the original shoe, some could barely tell the project from the real thing.
The work boot may seem an odd choice to some, especially considering the type of shoe they modeled their masking tape after was each student’s choice; however, because it was on odd choice was part of the reason Dewey decided to do it.
“I picked a work boot because I thought no one else would pick it,” said Dewey, but that wasn’t the only reason.
Dewey says the shoe is particularly tied to the outdoors, and since she likes the outdoors she said, “I kind of thought it reflected my personality.”
Dewey also has some other pieces up in the still unnamed gallery. One depicts a gumball machine, the other shows a bird in its nest.
Both pieces were projects from her printmaking class last semester.
The Gumball machine is an example of a relief print, and the bird an example of a mono print.
She also has some ceramic mugs up on display in the gallery that she made using a slab technique.
The other pieces in the gallery are in a variety of mediums. One of the displays is a series of photographs of a worn baseball.
The previously mentioned art instructor, Nathaniel Smyth, said that these were done by John Ausbrooks for a photography class.
Another piece that Smyth pointed out was that of an octopus done by a now graduated student, Rio McKaskle, for an old 3D design class.
Aside from those, there were various prints, drawings, carvings, ceramics and paintings up on the walls or in display cases.
However, doors were being added to the entrance of the gallery, and “the construction might cause them to take everything down for a while,” said Smyth.
Sure enough, the gallery was closed off on Thursday as the preparations are being done for the construction.
“It will probably take a week or two,” said Abby Felber, who was the one taking down the artwork so it wouldn’t get damaged in the process.
Based on the equipment left in the gallery, Felber says she thinks the doors will be made of glass and be able to slide open or closed.
The artwork should be put back up when the construction is complete.

Banned book reading provides open microphone for everyone

By Miguel Detillier
Volunteer State Community College hosted an open-mic reading to celebrate Banned Books Week at the Steinhauer-Rogan-Black Amphitheater on Sept. 27.
The open-mic reading lasted from 12:45-2:15 p.m. and was hosted by the Thigpen Library and Sigma Kappa Delta (SKD), and light refreshments and snacks were provided by the Office of Student Life and Diversity.
Many students, faculty and staff were offered to participate in this event by reading through a paragraph from books that have been banned in schools like “Maus,” “Catch-22,” “The Great Gatsby,” and “To Kill a Mockingbird” in this open-mic reading.
This open-mic reading on Banned Books Week started off with Gaynell Payne, President of Sigma Kappa Delta (SKD), who read excerpts from Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and Leslie LaChance, Associate Professor of English, who read through the opening passage of Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451.”
Laura McClister, Instructor of English, read through excerpts from Sherman Alexie’s “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” and April Young, Associate Professor of English, read through the first two sections of Norman Mailer’s “The Naked and the Dead.”
Also during this open-mic reading, Sarah Crotzer, Instructor of English, read through passages from L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” freshman Kaitlyn Lee read through excerpts from J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” and Cindy Chanin, Associate Professor of English, read through excerpts from Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are.”
And also during this open-mic reading, freshman Jasmine Washington read through passages of Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games,” and sophomore Rhonda Williams-Meneese read from excerpts of Walter Dean Meyers’ “Fallen Angels.”
And finally Kelly Ormsby, Assistant Professor of English, read through passages from Jeannette Walls’ “The Glass Castle,” and sophomore Maggie Colvin read from excerpts of Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree” to close this open-mic reading celebrating Banned Books Week.
“I think that the open-mic reading on Banned Books Week was a huge success for us with over 70 people attending this event including students, faculty and staff,” said Sarah Smith, Director of Library Services and Learning Resources. “And I was really happy to see both the students and faculty to read their chosen titles at this open-mic reading.”
“I was definitely pleased to see so many students come out to listen in this open-mic event on Banned Books Week, and I am also glad to see them participate as readers in this event,” said LaChance.
“I think that the open-mic reading on Banned Books Week was a great opportunity for students, faculty and staff to promote awareness for them to celebrate free speech and also celebrate the power of the written word,” said Young.
“I believe that the First Amendment is something that we all take for granted, and I also believe that events like the open-mic event on Banned Books Week helps raise awareness that we have to protect on free speech and also on the freedom to publish books,” said LaChance.

Is a higher education worth the Financial debt?

by Hope McKinney

This is something I struggle with constantly. With most students attending Volunteer State Community College at very little to no expense they can grow accustom to staying out of debt.
I know when I started looking to further my education at a four-year university I was amazed at how much money I would be putting into just tuition.
At Vol State they have an incredible program by the name of Tennessee Transfer Pathway.
This ensures students who are transferring to in state public, and most private universities that their credit hours earned at Vol State will transfer “seamlessly”.
The program has 50 different majors to choose from, and helps you pick the best university for you. This pathway will qualify you as a junior at the school of your choice which to me is a great deal.
You get to attend your first two years at Vol State with little to no expense, and transfer to a four-year university right on time.
For Vol State students who wish to transfer to an in state school such as the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, or Austin Peay this program makes it more than worth it to take on a small student loan.
With many students and parents taking on debt from freshmen year until graduation, this is so helpful.
Keep in mind that if you want to transfer to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville the pathway does not insure admission.
You still have to be accepted and due to the very competitive program you must meet the grading and ACT requirements.
If you find yourself ready to transfer, but you haven’t yet completed your Associates degree, you may qualify for the Tennessee Reverse Transfer Pathway.
This makes it possible for you to transfer with only 25% of your degree completed. You obviously will not transfer as a Junior, but you will transfer at the level you have completed which is still a great deal.
When you are searching for the University that is right for you after Vol State you should always look at the requirements and make sure your grades are staying on track to help you be able to achieve your goal.
Your advisor is there to help you make these hard decisions in furthering your education. They know which plan is going to help you the most and what would be best for your personal nancial situation.
Vol State also looks great on any college application. While Vol State may be a community college it has incredible credentials as an institution of learning.
Just recently U.S. Representative Dianne Black donated 1 million dollars to build and design the new Steinhauer- Rogan-Black Humanities building.
With the new building and the ever expanding student body we are able to educate so many students.
In-state Universities look for Vol State students because the programs here are competitive and I think all in all if you are using the pathway it is definitely worth the two years of debt to go and get your Bachelor’s degree.
However, if you aren’t using the pathway and aren’t planning to further your education after Vol State you can potentially graduate with your associates degree with little to no debt.I think any degree is great, but a free one is even better. Vol State is very willing to help any of its students achieve their goals.
Be sure to take advantage of all the scholarships Vol State has to offer and do not forget about the pathways that could help you further your education.
Choose your school wisely and always do what is best for you

Hispanic Heritage Quiz Bowl returns

by Lillian Lynch

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15 – Oct. 15, Volunteer State Community College has put together a few activities.
One of them is the Hispanic Heritage Quiz Bowl, which will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 12:45 p.m. in the Mary Cole Nichols Dining Room A.
Anyone can compete in the Bowl for the chance to win prizes and everyone is encouraged to try.
“We have Vol State t-shirts and a hoodie to give away as prizes,” said Tabitha Sherrell, Coordinator of Student Activities.
The questions themselves are designed to help one learn more about Hispanic culture.
“All questions in some way tie back to Spanish language, Hispanic culture, pop culture, geography, famous Latinos, world events, etc.,” said Michelle Vandiver-Lawrence, the host of the event.
“That sounds fun. I actually really like learning about other cultures, especially Hispanic culture,” said student Alexis Long.
“At the very least it is an entertaining and informative event.
This year many Spanish students will attend and participate. I’m excited to see how much they know about Hispanic topics,” said Vandiver- Lawrence.
Anyone and everyone is invited to learn and participate in this event in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Suicide prevention on the college campus

by Rachel Yates

Statics show that each year 34,598 people die by suicide. The rate of suicides on campus alone are between .5 and 7.5 per 100,000 students.
One in ten colleges have made a plan for suicides if they happen on campus. Studies by Emory University don’t just stop with these numbers, they continue to show that an average of 94 people complete suicides every day.
But why do students fall into such a dark hole that they think they cannot get out of? The American Institute of Stress said that in a mental health study in 2008 college students say they have sometimes or frequently experienced stress in their daily lives over the past three months.
This is an increase of 20% from a survey they did ve years ago “Stress is a well-known contributor to mood, mental disorders, and suicide risk,” said Charles E. Kubly Foundation.
Stress is something the average person faces constantly and throughout the college years stress can become much more pronounced in ones life.
With exams, term papers, quizzes, and homework all due at the same time on the same day, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed out.
Healthy ways to release stress are going for a walk, talking to friends, writing, lighting scented candles, reading, petting animals, or even just curling up and reading a good book, according to www.helpguide.org .
Depression is another symptom of suicide. 44% of American college students report of having symptoms of depression. 75% of college students do not reach out for help when facing with depression.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among college students. Younger people diagnosed with depression are five times more likely to attempt suicide than adults.
Helpful tools when facing depression are simply talking to someone, fighting through the hard times, and thinking more positive thoughts. These steps may seem difficult but depression is a mental illness that anyone can get over if one just seeks for help.
Bullying is also a major cause of suicide. By being hateful and abusive to one another, either verbally or physically, can end up taking effect on people.
“Students who report any involvement with bullying behavior are more likely to report high levels of suicide-related behavior than youth who do not report any involvement with bullying behavior,” said The Relationship Between Bullying and Suicide: What We Know and What it Means for Schools.
Thinking about harming oneself or others, feeling hopeless, rage or uncontrolled anger towards oneself or others, feeling trapped, increasing alcohol or drug use, and acting reckless or engaging in risky activities are just a few examples of signs students may face when leaning towards suicide actions. In 2014, the highest suicide rate was 19.3 among people 85 years or older. The second highest rate was 19.2 people between the ages of 45-64. Young adults between 15-24 years old suicide rate was 11.6.
The numbers continue to increase every single day.
Suicide is such a leading death in America that during Sept. 5-11 Americans hold a National Suicide Prevention Week. This week is filled with encouraging post on social media about how it gets better.
Although many cannot see the end of a dark tunnel, encouragement may be all one needs to steer away from suicide. The American Association of Suicidology encourages friends to talk to one another when someone is feeling down. So if one is having suicidal thoughts, reach out, people on campus, professors, and friends will be willing to help anyone through tough times.

Romeo Marquez visits VSCC

by Cole Miller

On September 14, 2016, Romeo Marquez, Jr. came to speak at Volunteer State Community College. Marquez is a motivational speaker who has appeared on Ted Talks and graduated from UCLA.
He began his speech by introducing himself, and by making the audience play a game similar to “rock, paper, scissors” called “bear, sh, mosquito,” with the person sitting next to them.
I personally found the game amusing and made the awkwardness of being next to somebody you may not know somewhat disappear.
After the warm-up game was nished, we were handed a sheet of paper and a pen, but did not receive instructions on what to do with these items yet.
Marquez had us do another warm-
up activity in which we were told to think of what we could better about ourselves if we did 5% more every day.
Marquez shared a bit from his personal life. He played football in high school, but always wanted to be a speaker, or something similar to such, but was afraid of what his peers would say if he took theatre classes or tried out for his high school plays.
After he graduating and starting community college, he took theatre classes and auditioned for the play they were performing. For his audition, he did a back ip on stage and read his lines.
After Marquez shared information about his past, he had us write a “Be, Do, Have list”. In this list, you write down things you want to be, things you want to do, and things you want to have, and set them as a goal.
After everyone wrote down our lists, he shared a story he read about
comedian Jim Carrey, and how when he rst moved to Los Angeles, he would shout from a cliff, “I will become an actor,” and eventually, Carrey did just that.
Marquez then gave out a free download code for his book and cd. The codes are “VOLSTATEBOOK” and “VOLSTATECD”, respectively.
To get these free downloads, simply text the code or codes to 44-
“Romeo was very inspiring. This
speaker helped me realize I need to wake up and start focusing on my life more.” said Wesam Saleh, a student at Vol State.
I have to agree with Wesam, Romeo was very helpful in the words that he shared, and I hope he comes back to our campus again very soon. Please make sure you take advantage of these free download codes that we were so generously given.

Vol State holds Health Fair for students

by Miguel Detillier

Volunteer State Community College hosted the Health Fair at the Randy and Lois Wood Campus Center on Sept. 13 and the event was a success.
“I thought that the Health Fair did well because the vendors took their time to participate in this event, but I felt like that we needed more students to get involved in this event,” said Tabitha Sherrell, Coordinator of Student Activities.
“Even though the Health Fair did pretty well with the amount of time the vendors took to be in this event, I hope that we will try in the future to have a speaker on the day of the Health Fair because I think that having a speaker at the event can really help generate more interest to the students,” said Sherrell
All the vendors that have
participated at the Health Fair were the Hendersonville UFC Gym, the Hendersonville Nutrishop, the Lebanon New Gym, the Sumner County Health Department who taught students about tobacco prevention, the cost of tobacco, food nutrition and also gave out information to students about annual physicals.
The Academic Advising Of ce who taught students about suicide prevention. The Salvus Center who taught students about medical and dental care. The Rivergate Dermatology Clinical Research Center who offered students their studies for acne, itchy skin or psoriasis, and that they would receive study treatment at no cost to them or their insurance with compensation for their time and travel.
The Of ce of Student Life and Diversity who gave out information to students about the sports intramurals schedule that includes co-ed flag football and soccer for the fall semester and taught them about yoga, Zumba and swimming, and also taught them about keeping their teeth clean and having an annual checkup and an eye exam, and even taught the students about drinking and driving, binge drinking, sexual assault.
Finally, Campus Police and the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), who cooperated with the Cumberland Crisis Pregnancy Center, to help teach students about pregnancy.
Crystal Sloss, Vice President of the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), said that this club chose to cooperate with the Cumberland Crisis Pregnancy Center since it is a 3-mile drive from Volunteer State and that they offer free services like pregnancy tests and maternity clothing to students who do not have a lot of money for the counseling and mentoring they need to have a successful pregnancy.
Sloss also con rms that having free services for students can really help them save money to prepare for their pregnancy, especially since college can be nancially tough for students.
“I think that the Health Fair did not have enough student participation due to advertising inef ciencies,” said Sandra “Domino” Hunt, President of the Student Government Association (SGA).
“It was disappointing that not many students got to participate in the Health Fair because of their study time, but I like how hard we tried to get them to participate in this event,” said Sherrell.

Annual Fall Fiesta is returning

by Michaela Marcellino

Volunteer State Community College will be celebrating the 10th Anniversary of it’s Fall Fiesta. The Fiesta will be held Saturday, Sept. 24, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., outside in the Duffer Plaza.
“We have many student volunteers for the Fiesta. We hope that they gain a new perspective on Hispanic culture. The word Hispanic is used to describe people from many different countries, [and] they each have cultural differences, with everything from food to music,” said Eric Melcher, Coordinator of Communications and Public Relations.
The ier for Fall Fiesta shows that the event will include everything from the Misión ConArte of Nashville, cultural dance, a Latin American food tasting and cook-off (11 a.m.-Noon), live music, as well as games and fun for kids.
There will also free food & drinks, health check-ups and information as well as community group tables. The new event at the 2016 Fall Fiesta is a Soccer Kick Contest for all ages (Kids, Men and Women), with prizes in each age category.
“It’s designed for everyone to attend. You don’t have to be Hispanic to enjoy the free food, music and fun.
It’s also great for the entire family, from young kids to adults,” said Melcher.
“We hope that the students get to experience some elements of the Latino/Hispanic culture: food, music, Spanish language, the countries that form the Latino/Hispanic culture, and more.
“Hopefully some of the students will get to interact with someone from a different culture than theirs, and have fun as they are learning something that they probably did not know before.
“We also hope that the students get motivated to explore other ways to enrich their global experiences, not only with the Fiesta but perhaps with study abroad. Those experiences needs to start somewhere, so maybe the Fiesta can be the beginning of their desire to explore other cultures different than their own,” said Pedro Martinez, an advisor and counselor at Volunteer State.
“It gives the opportunity to some students of the Spanish classes at Vol State to put into practice what they have learned in class, for example, the “dichos” by Professor Vandiver- Lawrence’s class.
“We want the Vol State community and the surrounding communities to get together and experience the rich elements that form what we call the Latino/Hispanic Culture. It is also an event that lets the community know
Vol State is a friendly place
not only for the Latino/Hispanic community, but for people of other countries as well.
“We want everyone to know what a beautiful college Vol State is, and what better way to do that than by having a big celebration such as the Fall Fiesta. This is a collaborative effort between some faculty and staff of Vol State, the students and members of the community. Many people who are involved in this event spend countless hours trying to make this a success. We are really proud of it,” said Martinez.
Fall Fiesta is also “an opportunity to celebrate and interact with Hispanic culture, as well as experience the Hispanic community.
“Because American students are able to connect with Spanish speaking students in a different environment, Fall Fiesta will give a sense of diversity. The Fiesta is colorful and happy, and there is something for everyone to do.
“The students that come will see how much fun it is, and what it has to offer. We have a lot of activities so people can have a fun and different day,” said Oky Arguello, an advisor at Vol State.
As the ier for the event also says, this event is “free and open to everyone, so bring a blanket and chairs and spend the whole day. Rain or shine!”