Race and Sports Discussion September 25

19 hours 13 minutes ago

Black athletes have a unique relationship with college and professional sports due to a history of systemic racism, challenges that continue to this day. Andrew Maraniss, the New York Times bestselling author of the book Strong Inside, joins with associate dean Frank Dobson of Vanderbilt University for a discussion at Volunteer State Community College titled Strong Inside: The Confluence of Race and Sports. The Maraniss novel chronicles the life of Perry Wallace, the first African-American to integrate the SEC in basketball. The discussion will examine the struggles of Wallace and his African-American teammate Godfrey Dillard as they endured racism in the mid-1960s. The presenters will compare the efforts of Wallace, Dillard, and others trailblazers with the struggles black athletes still face, even as many are considered powerful, multi-million-dollar assets. The event will be held on Wednesday, September 25 at 6 p.m. in Caudill Hall on the Vol State campus in Gallatin at 1480 Nashville Pike. It is free and open to the public. The presentation is co-sponsored by the Vol State Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Vol State Athletic Department, Vol State’s Thigpen Library, and First Baptist Church in Winchester.
Vol State

The Feed Student Food Bank at Vol State

3 days 10 hours ago

The Vol State Feed provides free food to students in need. All students are eligible.The Feed at Vol State seeks to alleviate the barriers and challenges associated with food insecurity and hunger so that students can remain in school, and ultimately, earn their degrees. It could be called a food pantry or a food bank. The important point is that The Feed is open to all Vol State students. It is operated at all four Vol State campuses.The Feed is stocked with non-perishable food items and personal hygiene items. All current students are welcome to use The Feed and must present their Student ID at each visit. Students are able to use The Feed as often as needed. The Feed operates on the honor system. Students will be asked to fill out a brief registration form with basic information, but it is not necessary to prove eligibility.How to Use The FeedYou need to make an appointment to use The Feed this semester. Just visit the Student Engagement Office in the Wood Campus Center, room 215. Or email  Please see the front desks at CHEC, Livingston and Highland Crest campuses for help at those locations.
Vol State

Events this Week at Vol State

3 days 16 hours ago

Sept. 16              Tennessee Tech University, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10 am – 2 pmSept. 17              Middle Tennessee State University, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10 am – 2 pmSept. 17              How to Mitigate Micro-Aggressions on Campus, Greg Fontus presents, Nichols Dining B, 11:30am-1pmSept. 18              The Well, student resource info, free food, SRB second floor and Warf Hallway, 9:15-9:45am and 11-11:30amSept. 18               Free Speech and the Constitution, speaker David Hudson, SRB 150, Performing Arts Studio, 11amSept. 18                UT Martin, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 11:30 am – 1 pmSept. 18                Civitan Club Meeting, all students welcome, Wood 206, 2pm-3pmSept. 18                Deconstructing Unconscious Bias, discussion, Nichols Dining B, 6pmSept. 19                Let’s Talk About Food Insecurity, discussion, Nichols Dining B, 11:15am-12:15pmSept. 19                Carson-Newman University representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10 am – 1 pmSept. 19               Future Educator’s Club, all students welcome, Wood Room 206, 1pm-2pmSept. 20               Deconstructing Unconscious Bias, discussion, Highland Crest Community Room, 10am-Noon

Vol State

Student Support Tips for the Semester

1 week ago
Amanda Clark, Jessica Lee and Pippin Chapman
Now that everyone is settling into the fall semester, the workload will only increase until winter break.  All of this college work can be really stressful to manage by yourself, especially if you don’t have a support system or group.  Here are a few tips about forming your support system to get you through school:
1    1.) Get to know some of your classmates.Even if you aren’t real “friends,” the connections you make with your classmates will help you get through the class.  Together, you can remind each other of upcoming due dates, grade accountability and help each other with classwork.  Make a group chat so you can communicate with each other wherever, whenever.  “Don’t be afraid to exchange numbers with other students,” said freshman Jessica Lee.  And who knows?  You might end up with a new friend.  Freshman Amanda Clark says, “Form relationships with other students early in the semester.  These relationships will turn into study groups,” which perfectly leads into the next tip.
2    2.) Create a study group.Study groups can be very beneficial if they are small, about four people at most.  This way, there are enough people to offer different perspectives and ways of understanding things.  Smaller groups also have less of a chance of becoming distracted, whereas with bigger groups, it can be a lot easier to lose focus.  “Forming a study group with a few other students will help you keep up to speed on studying, and it can help boost your spirits when things are challenging,” said non-degree student Pippin Chapman.
3    3.) Join the Vol State Student Discussion on Facebook.This is a discussion page where any Vol State students can ask questions about classes, share information and engage with each other.  It’s also another way for you to make personal connections with other students.  To join, make sure you’re following the Vol State Facebook page, then click on the "Groups" tab on the left-hand side.
Good luck with the rest of the semester.  We can do it!

-Gloria Cortes
Vol State

Volunteer Fair this Saturday, September 14

1 week ago
Find a volunteer location to earn your TN Promise community service hours...or serve for the joy of it. The Volunteer Fair at Vol State will feature 20 local nonprofit groups on Saturday, September 14. It's organized by the One Community Sumner County library collaborative- a partnership between the public libraries of Sumner County, Sumner County Schools, and Vol State’s Thigpen Library.Held in the Wood Campus Center on the Gallatin campus at 1480 Nashville Pike from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be free snacks and giveaways at the event. For more information call 615-230-3400.
Vol State

Student Spotlight- Sabrina Schuessler

1 week 2 days ago

A physical embodiment of the phrase, “An open heart is an open mind,” sophomore Sabrina Schuessler is majoring in early childhood development and trying to better Vol State.
While she said that she thoroughly enjoys working with children, she also wants to go into early childhood development for family reasons. 
“My little brother is severely autistic.  He is nonverbal as well, and I want to help children like him,” said Schuessler, “I want to help kids feel like they have a purpose when they don’t know where they belong or say, ‘I can’t do it.’  I want to have that little bit of light that gives them confidence.”
She’s currently working as a teacher’s assistant at Primrose, a private daycare for children from six weeks to five-years-old.  “If they need tissues, paper towels or crayons, I go get them.  It’s a fun little job where I get to work with children, and they can hug and attack me,” said Schuessler.
On top of dealing with her job and school work, Schuessler has a speech impediment, dyslexia, insomnia, and ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder).
“For assignments, what takes people an hour or two takes me longer because I have to think of it more.  But if I could live a life without them, I think I wouldn’t, because they define who I am.  They make Sabrina, Sabrina.  Without them, I wouldn’t be me.”
When she isn’t working, spending time with her family or attending classes, Schuessler is an active member of the Vol State community.  She is a student representative of the Future Educators’ Club for the Student Government Association (SGA), and was previously a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. 
“[The Future Educators’ Club] doesn’t just work with kids, and we’re not just babysitters.  Our job is to shape the model of the brain and get them prepared for life….  Right now we’re a small club- we just started last year,” said Schuessler, “but hopefully we can build our way up.  We’re looking for a president and vice president right now.” 

-Gloria Cortes
Vol State

Events for the Week of September 9

1 week 3 days ago

Sept. 9                                  Trevecca University representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 11 am – 2 pm
Sept. 9                                  The First Generation College Experience, Frank Dobson discussion, Nichols Dining B, 11:30am-1pmSept. 10                                Campus and Community Safety Fair, CHEC Atrium, 10am-1pmSept. 10                                Cumberland University representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 11 am - 1 pm
Sept. 10                                Break the Silence, suicide awareness, Duffer Plaza, 12pm-1pmSept. 11                                9/11 Remembrance, Library Lawn, moment of silence, 8:35am
Sept. 11                Austin Peay State University representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10 am – 2 pmSept. 11                                Campus Resource Fair, clubs and organizations for students, free lunch, Nichols Dining B, 11am-1pm
Sept. 12                Belmont University representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 11 am – 2 pmSept. 12                                Campus Safety Day, texting and driving simulator, free food, Wood Parking Lot, 11am-1:30pmSept. 12                                Study Abroad Info Session, all students welcome, Caudill Room 102, 2:15-3:15pmSept. 12                                Sumner County College Night, 70 colleges and universities on hand, Pickel Field House, 6pmSept. 14                                Volunteer Fair, opportunities for community service, Nichols Dining, 

Vol State

Student Spotlight: Taylor Evans

2 weeks ago

Ever wonder who the man behind the mascot really is?  Well in this case, it’s a woman.  One of the people behind Vol State’s Patch the Pioneer is sophomore Taylor Evans.
One would think school spirit is a requirement for a mascot; however, Evans wasn’t really involved in the Vol State community until this year, but now she’s made a new home for herself at school.
“I got an email saying something like, ‘You want free books?’ and I said, ‘Yes, please!’  Then, I found out that in order to receive free books, I would have to help out with student leadership and be a mascot,” said Evans, “I haven’t done any ‘mascotting’ yet…. There’s four of us and we’re going to split the dates [for school events]…. I’m nervous, but excited.”
To find another fun way to participate at Vol State, Evans signed up for Camp PIO, which is a day camp that focuses on teambuilding games and getting to know other Vol State students.
Evans has always lived in Hendersonville, Tennessee.  She graduated from Hendersonville High School, and enrolled at Vol State to major in psychology.
“Once I started taking actual psychology courses, I grew to really enjoy it.  I like the idea of identifying a problem and finding different kinds of solutions to fix it, or coping mechanisms,” said Evans, “It’s also challenging, but there are a lot of things I can do with a [degree in psychology].”
Although she would prefer to go to school a lot further from home, she plans to attend University of Tennessee- Chattanooga for her bachelor degree, and then move out-of-state for a master’s degree.
“I wasn’t very excited about coming here, truly because it’s still living at home, it’s 15 minutes from my house, but it’s provided a lot of experiences that I didn’t really expect to get,” said Evans, “This past spring break, I went to India for the Study Abroad trip and ended up loving it.  I’m really excited for this year.”

-Gloria Cortes
Vol State

Study Abroad Info Sessions

2 weeks ago
Interested in traveling to another country to study next spring? These Study Abroad info sessions are mandatory for students who want to apply. They will have all the info and a list of possible countries. It's an amazing experience and you can apply for scholarships to cover some of the cost. Gallatin Campus Sept., 9, 10, 11 and 12 2:15-3:30 Mon-Thurs in Caudill 102Sept 26th Livingston campus 9 am- 11Sept 26th Cookeville campus 12-2 p.m. Cody HallOct. 2 Highland Crest 10 a.m. to noon front desk Oct. 3 Cookeville campus 11 to 12 p.m. Cody Hall

Vol State

Events this Week at Vol State

2 weeks 2 days ago

Sept. 3 and 5        Student Club Rush Week, learning about clubs, Nichols Dining Room B, 11:30am-1pmSept. 4                  Campus Resource Fair, resources for students, clubs and organizations, Nichols Dining B, 11:30am-1pmSept. 7                  Adult Learner Study Sessions with Kids, bring your kids to the library while you study, kids must stay with you at all times, Thigpen Library – Gallatin, Each Saturday 8:30am-3:30pm and Monday and Tuesday 4pm-8pm when classes are in session.
Vol State

Renovations Give Warf a Complete Makeover

3 weeks ago

I speak from experience when I say the old Warf Math and Science Building on the Gallatin campus was narrower, dingier, and there were no real areas for students to relax.  The new Warf, after a year of renovations, is much more welcoming.Freshman Danny Dean
The first thing you notice about the renovations are the aesthetic changes, like added student lounges, updated safety functions and a new, modern look.  “The renovations make [Vol State] look more modern, more up-to-date… not like you’re in prison,” said freshman Danny Dean.
Before renovations, Warf was a little cramped for students and faculty.  The renovations opened up the hallways, created more spaces for students to relax.  Sophomore Harley Keene“It’s all new, so everything is clean and fresh,” said sophomore Harley Keene, “The design is nice!  I think it definitely gives everyone a lot more room.  I think the faculty is definitely happy to have new offices and that the students aren’t as spread out.”
Warf is the oldest building on campus, as it was originally constructed in the 1970s.  The 2018-2019 renovations included necessary updates designed to benefit students and faculty.  “We’ve put a lot of thought into the way things ought to be, rather than the way an architect back in the 70s designed the building,” said Tom Ekman, dean of Math and Science. 
Sophomore Haley Cook in one of Warf's student lounges.A few of the most notable renovations included new office spaces for faculty, a 6,000 square-foot Mechatronics wing, modernized laboratories, and more rooms like classrooms and labs.   
Dean of Math and Science Tom Ekman“We’ve got more space, the space we had is more functional than it used to be.  Everybody is very, very pleased with the new environment….  Faculty were crammed into very small office spaces, and several folks were in two or three-person offices, which does not get the kind of privacy you want when advising or focusing on grading.  Many of the laboratories were very old, in terms of the furniture that was in there, and almost all of that has been replaced,” said Ekman.
-Gloria Cortes
Vol State

Students: Three Things to Do Now

3 weeks ago
We're launched into the semester. If you do these three things you'll be off to a great start!

-Buy all of your required textbooks. If you are waiting on a refund you can read textbooks at the library in the meantime. Ask at the library front desk. Don't get behind on readings.

-Keep a master calendar of all of your big assignments and keep checking the course schedule for each class.-Work ahead on the bigger assignments, especially research projects. Visit the Thigpen Library for help starting research.
Vol State

Commit to Completion

3 weeks 2 days ago
We have Commit to Completion flags up on our campuses for the start of the semester. They're intended to set a tone for the coming school-year and remind you why you are here. Committing to Completion means that you will earn your degree or certificate. It's most important to remember that commitment when times get tough, as they inevitably will. We'll have posters on all of the campuses over the next two weeks that you can sign to show your commitment.Here are a few ideas to help you do well in your classes:-Attend all of your class meetings. College courses move quickly and skipping classes will cause you to fall behind. -Keep looking ahead on the course schedule for each class you take. Work ahead on assignments if you can.-Talk to your instructor if you don't understand something or if you need help. They're not here to give you extensions or allow you to get out of work. They are here to help you learn and succeed. Don't be embarrassed about not understanding something....that's why you're here and that's why we're here.-Get extra help. We have a number of free academic support services available to all students. Those services will really help you as the semester piles up with assignments and papers. We've collected the services in one list that we call the "College Success Zone." You can view the list of free services here: can do this. We will help. Commit to college completion.
Vol State

Meet Vol State's New Social Media Writer

3 weeks 2 days ago
Hello, Volunteer State Community College!  I’m Gloria Cortes, Vol State’s new social media writer and a sophomore majoring in mass communications. 

Reading and writing are two of my favorite pastimes, so for the last two semesters, I worked at Vol State’s student newspaper, The Settler.  When I’m not going to class or working as a writer, I teach high school marching band percussion.  I thought this new writing position would combine things I enjoy with a new environment that would challenge and cultivate my skills.  As most people have experienced, working with others can sometimes be stressful and dreadful, but through my experiences as a writer, teacher and student, I found a passion for helping people.  The purpose of this blog is to inform and entertain viewers about Vol State, so don’t be afraid to comment your opinions, suggestions, or experiences.  As an online voice for Vol State, any feedback from members of its community would be greatly appreciated.  You can send any story ideas to

With the help and guidance of my teachers and those who believed in me, I’ve matured as a writer and young adult, but like any other college student, I still make mistakes and have room to improve.  I’m looking forward to writing about and growing with you, Vol State.  Good luck with the upcoming school year, and go Pioneers!- Gloria Cortes
Vol State

TRIO Start to Finish

3 weeks 2 days ago
Many Vol State students need guidance during college- not just class advising, but resources, mentors and support systems as well.  There’s a college program to help meet your needs: TRIO.
TRIO is a program federally funded by the U.S. Department of Education that provides student support services to students who are:·         Low-income·         Disabled·         First-generation college students
The program’s goal is to help students graduate or transfer to universities.  Not only do they provide academic advising and tutoring, they offer culturally-enriching field trips, class tools and equipment, financial literacy, career opportunities, and much more.
“They make the transfer path really seamless for students,” said alumna Rachel Keyes, “I’ve sat down with [TRIO program coordinator] Jean Colello for hours, just looking at specific courses, researching scholarship opportunities and grants, and other ways to maximize my university experience.”  TRIO is also concerned about their students’ holistic college experience, which includes community involvement and communicating with faculty.  “[TRIO] has been my solid support system through everything.  They really encouraged and motivated me to keep moving forward when I wanted to give up.  I’ve gone to them for some of the most difficult challenges in my personal life, and they really opened my eyes to the possibilities I have as a student when I limited myself in my own thinking…. Whether it be for academic or personal stuff, they’ve been my family [at Vol State].”
Program applications are accepted throughout the year, but there are limited openings, so students may be put on a waiting list.  Interested students should stop by the TRIO Student Support Services in the Wood Campus Center, call them at (615) 230-3732, or visit for more information. 

-Gloria Cortes
Vol State

Vol State Events this Week

3 weeks 3 days ago

August 26            Classes StartAugust 26            Ongoing: CHEC Art Exhibit: Barbara Martorello, Lobby Hall, All SemesterAugust 26            ART Gallery: Heather and Jeffrey Jones, SRB First Floor, through Sept. 19Aug. 26-29           Free Coffee and Donuts, Diversity and Inclusion, Wood Center 217, 8am-10:30amAugust 27            Coffee with the Prez, free coffee with Vol State President, SRB 2nd Floor Hallway, 7:45am-9:45amAugust 27            SGA Ice Cream Social, free ice cream and soda, Nichols Dining B, 12:45pm-1:45pmAugust 27            CHEC SGA Ice Cream Social, free ice cream and soda, Cody Hall, 12:30-1:30pmAugust 28            CAB Café at CHEC: Board Games Day, Atrium, 10am-2pmAugust 28            Meet the Teach Concert, faculty perform, SRB 151, 3pm-4:30pmAugust 28            Evening Grab and Go, dinner for evening students, Wood Campus Hallway, 5-6pmAugust 29            CAB Café: The Arcade, old school arcade games and free lunch, Nichols Dining B 11:30am-1pmSept. 2                  Labor Day: No Classes, All campus locations closed
Vol State

Parking Tips and New Sidewalks

4 weeks ago

Half the battle of getting through the first couple weeks of school is finding the best, most efficient parking places and ways to get to class.  By 7:45 a.m., it seems like every parking spot is taken, and by the time you finally find a parking spot, you’re almost running late to class.  However, recent renovations to the back entrance area can help you get to class quicker, safer, and easier.
Last semester, there was sidewalk construction and other renovations taking place near the back campus entrance.  Now, there’s a new sidewalk that stretches from parking lot K, between lots D and E, and leading to the SRB area.  The spots closest to the main buildings are always filled first, so try to park in the back entrance lots off of Enterprise Drive (Greenlea Blvd.) and walk a little bit further to class if you’re in a rush or if it seems like most of the closer lots are filled.  Using the back entrance makes it easier to get to the parking lots than using the main entrance on Nashville Pike.
There is a gravel lot across from the Fox Maintenance Building that’s used as an overflow parking area.  Make sure you’re parking in a valid parking spot, or campus police might give you a ticket!  Be sure to not park in the gravel lot closest to the back entrance, because it’s not used for overflow parking.  Before you start classes, make sure that you have your parking pass located in the lower left-hand corner of your car’s back windshield.  If you still don’t have it, you can find information for parking registration at
While knowing where to park always helps, getting to campus early and giving yourself enough time to calmly find a spot and get class will help transitioning into the fall semester less stressful. 

-Gloria Cortes
Vol State

Tips for New Students

4 weeks 1 day ago

Welcome to Vol State! Classes start the week of August 26. The start of fall classes is an exciting time, but also a really busy time. Here are a few tips for those first few days of classes:
1. Print up your schedule at home so you have it ready to go, before you get to campus. If you have a class scheduled for Livingston, CHEC, Cookeville, Springfield or Highland- those are different campuses, in different cities, not buildings. If you still don’t have a room assignment for a class, make sure it is not an online section unless that is what you intended. Online courses have a C in the course number. Contact the Division Office for that class if you have a question about location.2. Print up a Gallatin campus map to help you get around those first few days.The other campuses are in one building. If you have questions, ask at the front desk.3. Give yourself extra time for traffic and parking. It may seem a bit crazy the first couple of weeks; don't worry- parking and traffic both calm down later in the semester.4. Give yourself extra time to find classes.5. Ask for directions or help. The faculty and staff will be happy to assist. 6. Attend all of your classes. Missing a class can put you behind. If you do have to miss a class, be sure to let the instructor know, check the course schedule, and do the assignments. Attendance during the first week is mandatory for you to receive financial aid. You won’t get a financial aid refund unless your attendance is taken. 7. Have fun and enjoy college! We have many campus events planned this year, so stay tuned to social media and the calendar on the front page of our website for details:
Vol State

3 Tips for Incoming Freshmen

1 month ago

Welcome to Volunteer State Community College, freshmen!  Does the thought of entering this new chapter of your life make you feel slightly anxious?  To help calm your nerves, here are some sophomore tips to get you through your first year of college:
1    1.) Stay focused on success, and come to class prepared and ready to learn. 
Try to get the most out of your classes, even the required ones that don’t really interest you- make sure you regularly go to class!  As the saying goes, “Knowledge is power,” so having a “bare minimum” mindset only puts yourself at a disadvantage.  The number-one beneficiary of getting an education is you, so why wouldn’t you want the best for yourself when it’s so achievable?

2    2.) Establish good connections with your teachers. 
Needless to say, use good manners when communicating with your teachers, and don’t be afraid to ask them for help or to actively participate in class.  This shows that you actually care about your work in that class, and teachers always appreciate that quality in students.  Speaking from my personal teaching experiences, watching your students grow and care about what they’re learning is such a gratifying aspect of the job.  Also, some faculty have participation grades in their classes, so if you don’t want to talk for the connection itself, at least do it for a good grade.
3    3.) Get involved at Volunteer State Community College!
Everyone appreciates having friends and good college experiences.  There are plenty of ways to make friends and memories at Vol State.  Visit the office of Student Engagement and Support for information about clubs to join or events to attend.  There’s almost always something going on, and you can find out more by checking out, following Vol State’s social media, and reading The Settler, Vol State’s student newspaper.  Whether it be simply talking to your classmates or going to an event, make your college experiences something worth reminiscing about later on down the road. 
Remember, college is all about making mistakes and growing because of them.  Take a deep breath.  You can do this.
-Gloria Cortes

Vol State

Alumni Spotlight: Wesley Bray

1 month ago
Vol State alumnus Wesley Bray's passion for people and law recently earned him the title of criminal court judge to the 13th Judicial District of Tennessee.

“That means that I am the trial level judge for seven counties in the 13th Judicial District. It’s the largest geographic district in the state and there’s never a shortage of things to do,” he said.
Wesley got the phone call from Governor Bill Lee the morning of July 8th. By that afternoon, he was sworn in. The next day he was in the judge’s office working.
“I really enjoy the job. I promised everyone that if I got the appointment I’d be ready to go on day one and I held true to that. That’s what the governor appointed me to do and that’s what the people expect of their judge. So that’s what I’m here doing.”

Wesley worked as a private attorney for over fourteen years before stepping into his new role. He’s currently in the process of closing down his law practice.
“It’s been a really good thing so far. I’ve enjoyed it. It’s a different pace, it’s different than private practice. I’m just looking to help people of the 13th district.”

Backtracking a bit, he began his college experience in 1993 as a senior in high school through Vol State's Interactive TV Program, which allowed him to take virtual classes. He transferred to Tennessee Tech University to study psychology and eventually went on to the Nashville School of Law.

“[Law] was something I had always been interested in and I wanted a job where I could be my own boss, where I could help people with their problems, and law is just where I fell … I’ve always been a people person. I’ve always been interested in people and I’ve always been interested in politics.”

Wesley recognized Vol State’s Livingston Center Director, Mike Powell, for initially putting him “on a good path” in his education. “I really appreciate the work that Mike Powell has done for years for the people of this area,” he said.

Wesley shared his current plans for his future: “I plan to settle into my role as a criminal court judge and continue to raise my family and be involved in the Upper Cumberland community where we have lived our entire lives.”

-By Rachel Keyes

Vol State
6 hours 39 minutes ago
Volunteer State Community College, Vol State, degree, Volunteer State, college, Gallatin, Hendersonville, Tennessee
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