Events this Week at Vol State

7 hours 10 minutes ago

Nov. 13                 Around the World in a Day, international displays, Nichols Dining Room, 11am-1pmNov. 14                 Irish Music: Paul Brock Band, Caudill Hall auditorium, 7pmNov. 15                 Irish Music: Paul Brock Band, CHEC Campus Cookeville, Cody Hall, 3pm
Nov. 17                 Boles Art Gallery Exhibit Reception, SRB First Floor, 1pm-3pm
Nov. 18                 Vol State Singers Concert, Caudill Hall, 3pm
Vol State

Boles Exhibit at Vol State Art Gallery

7 hours 12 minutes ago

The work of Nashville artist Chip Boles is on display at the Volunteer State Community College Art Gallery. Boles creates drawings in graphite and charcoal on wood panels. He is a muralist in productions for the Nashville Children’s Theatre, and has been featured in publications such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. He illustrates what he calls “realistic drawings of unreal characters.”“Rendering detail is a form of meditation and focus for me,” Boles said. “These characters’ personal stories become important to me as I consider their emotional reactions to a world where monsters show a capacity for humanity while humans show an aptitude for monstrosity.”The show runs until December 13. There will be a reception with the artist on Saturday, November 17 from 1 3 p.m. The exhibit is free and open to the public. The Vol State Art Gallery is located on the first floor of the Steinhauer-Rogan-Black (SRB) Humanities Building on the Gallatin campus at 1480 Nashville Pike. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information call 615-230-3202.Pictured: Cyclopsia Victoria by Chip Boles
Vol State

English Professor’s Battle With Lung Cancer

8 hours 43 minutes ago
“If you have lungs, you can get lung cancer,” said Leslie LaChance, professor of English at Vol State who was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in November of 2017. She added that lung cancer is one of the most underfunded, under researched, and highly stigmatized cancers that exist. It’s considered a smoker’s cancer, yet anyone can get it.

“I developed a really bad cough, it wasn’t going away. My doctor and I thought that it was my asthma flaring up and that I needed to get on a different inhaler. A few days later I got a little lump in my neck. It was a lymph node that had swollen up, which could be a sign of something infectious or of something metastatic,” she explained. In her case, it was metastatic. After seeing multiple doctors and receiving CT scans, she got a call two days later stating that it was lung cancer and had spread to her lymphatic system. At stage four, the cancer was technically incurable, yet it was treatable.

Leslie discovered that it was an extremely rare form, caused by a genetic mutation of the ROS1 gene. Her doctor informed her of a drug specifically designed to treat her type of cancer through targeted therapy. On the day she was supposed to begin the treatment, she woke up unable to breathe. She called her doctor, who told her to get to the ER right away. Upon arrival, Leslie had emergency heart surgery.

“I’m lucky I woke up, because what happened was a bunch of cancer cells had attacked the fluid around my heart and the pericardium, there was all kind of fluid buildup around the heart.” Following the heart surgery, she began the treatment.

“Sadly, in May, I had some follow up scans and it showed that the drug had stopped working.” The cancer had developed a resistance to the drug. “Cancer is really clever and it will do whatever it can to survive.” It had metastasized to her brain. “I had about 20 small tumors in my brain.” At that point there were no drugs available, that she knew of, to treat her type of cancer that had spread to the brain. “The only solution was to go into a chemotherapy kind of thing, and I would have had to have whole brain radiation,” she said.

Leslie began doing research. A lot of it. “I tried to Google myself to PhD in lung cancer.” In the meantime, she joined a Facebook support group for those with ROS1 cancer. “It’s a group that calls themselves the ROS1DERS (pronounced ROS wonders) because we keep finding ways to stay alive apparently.”

From the support group, she located a clinical trial in Boston for another targeted therapy that would treat her type of cancer both in the brain and body, by penetrating the blood-brain barrier. She qualified for the trial. “I got myself a plane ticket and I was there the next week.”

By July, she had no evidence of disease in her body. “All of the tumors in my brain were gone, I just had a tiny little bit, and by September that tiny little bit was gone. It does not mean I’m cured. It means I have no visible cancer in my body. I have it at the molecular level, but as long as this drug keeps it suppressed, I won’t have tumor growth. So, I can kind of walk around like a normal person.” The current side effects that she’s dealing with are fatigue, forgetfulness, and neuropathy in her hands. “Different things work for different people. So many factors determine it. This just happened to work for me. So, I come up lucky on this one … We don’t know how long it will work for, or how long I’ll be able to tolerate it,” she explained.

“The most important thing I’ve discovered is that it’s really important to be your own best advocate. Play an active role in your treatment and treatment decisions. Think of your doctor more as a partner, not necessarily as the person in charge … I’m going to be that person that tells people to do their own research. By doing research, I learned it’s good to do research.”

November is lung cancer awareness month. Leslie’s first year “cancerversary” was on Nov. 9, 2018, which was the day she was diagnosed in 2017. LUNGevity Foundation is one of the major fundraisers for lung cancer research, also providing patient education and support. They’ll host a walk on November 17th at 8:00 A.M. in Nashville, and you can get involved. Colleagues of Leslie have formulated a support group called the “Lit Wits” who will participate in the event together.

Please visit to register to volunteer or to find out more information. To donate to or join Leslie’s group, please search “Lit Wits” in the search bar on the website.

Leslie is retiring from Vol State at the end of the current fall semester. She plans to return to next fall as an adjunct faculty member. Leslie has been channeling her writing energy into her blog, which she started in response to her journey with cancer. You can follow her blog at:

-By Rachel Keyes

Vol State

Choral Music Nov. 18 with Vol State Singers

4 days 10 hours ago
Choral music will take center stage on Sunday, November 18 as the Vol State Singers perform sacred and secular seasonal music, accompanied and a cappella, including works by the composers Hassler, Scarlatti, Berger, Handel, Whitacre, and Koppin. The Vol State Singers are led by Nancy Slaughter and will be accompanied by faculty member Nicholas Reynolds on the piano. The concert is free and open to everyone. It will be held at 3 p.m. in the Wemyss Auditorium in Caudill Hall on the Vol State campus in Gallatin. 

Here is a sample of what you will hear, from a recent rehearsal:

Vol State

New Paramedic Program Group Starts this Spring in Gallatin

5 days 10 hours ago

Emergency Medical Technicians who want to take the next step to Paramedic can now do so with a spring cohort that starts in January. Usually Vol State enrolls new groups only in the fall. However, due to the popularity of the program a new Paramedic spring cohort has been added. Students must have already completed an Advanced EMT program to be eligible. For details visit
Vol State

Vol State President Explores Africa and Brings it Back to You

6 days 5 hours ago

You may know Dr. Jerry Faulkner as the president of Vol State, but you may not know that his first love is teaching. Before he was in administration, Dr. Faulkner was an environmental science and biology professor for many years. After voyaging to the plains of Tanzania to explore the Serengeti National Park with his wife Wanda this past summer, they returned to the U.S. with many stories. Dr. Faulkner gave a presentation which highlighted their experience, and offered a crash course on ecology, elaborating on that of the Serengeti. 

“You can’t keep a good field biologist out of the field,” he said. “The way that I have described it to people is that it was like being in a National Geographic special for nine days,” he explained. “It’s kind of a bucket list thing for me … it’s such a unique ecosystem and not something you can see in North America.”

Wanda said they were able come into fairly close contact with quite a few different species of animals. “The number of animals was just breathtaking,” she said. Dr. Faulkner presented many photographs of the animals and explained the symbiotic relationship between the animals and the environment. 

“Getting to see a mother cheetah run down and capture a Thomson’s gazelle, then not killing it, but calling her cubs to come and finish it off, to teach them how to kill, that was pretty cool,” said Dr. Faulkner. “To see and understand the balance of nature that takes place in a totally wild community is not something we really experience here in the states. In an environment where you see predators killing prey you see that balance of nature,” he added. 

There are over 120 tribes in Tanzania, and the Faulkners interacted with two of them, the Maasai and the Chaga tribes. Wanda said that she admired the way the tribal people live. “They make do with everything,” she said.

By experiencing this environment first hand and being able to convey those experiences to students, Faulkner was able to revisit his love and passion for teaching science. “Hopefully I’ll create among some of the students an interest and an appetite to know more about ecology and biology,” Faulkner said.

-By Rachel Keyes
Vol State

Irish Music at Vol State in Gallatin and Cookeville

6 days 10 hours ago
Celebrated Irish performer, Paul Brock, brings Celtic, Irish and Global music to Volunteer State Community College for two performances. Several Irish musicians and dancers join him in the Paul Brock Band. Brock is an accomplished accordion and melodeon player who has performed at venues across the world, including the Grand Ole Opry. The first free concert will be held on November 14 at 7 p.m. in Caudill Hall on the Vol State campus in Gallatin at 1480 Nashville Pike. No tickets are required. There will also be a show at the Vol State CHEC campus in Cookeville on November 15 at 3 p.m in Cody Hall, 1000 Neal Street. It is also free and everyone is invited. The concerts are presented by the International Education Program at Vol State. For more information call 615-230-3764.
Vol State

Current Students - Register Now for Spring Classes

1 week ago
Vol State Priority spring class registration is now open for all current students at all of our campuses. Get the classes you need at the times you want! Registration opens to the public in about two weeks, so take advantage of priority registration. However, class registration will remain open until the first week of classes...January 14.
Vol State

This week at Vol State

1 week 1 day ago
This week at Vol State:Nov. 5 Spring Semester class registration opens for sophomores, 8amNov. 6 Spring Semester class registration opens for freshmen, 8amNov. 8 Deconstructing Unconscious Bias, Greg Fontus, Rochelle Ctr. 11:30am
Vol State

Spring Priority Class Registration Starts Monday, November 5 and Tuesday, November 6

1 week 6 days ago
Get the classes you need at the times you want. Spring class registration opens at 8 a.m. on Monday, November 5 for sophomores (30 or more credit hours earned). It opens at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, November 6 for freshmen (less than 30 credit hours earned). Once Priority Registration starts, you will have until November 19 to take advantage of it. You can still register for classes after November 19, but you will be competing with new and readmit students.Get ready this week by visiting the Degree Works program on your My Vol State page. It will show the classes you need for your listed degree path. But that isn't enough- make sure you talk to your academic advisor about your choices. You don't want to take classes you don't need for your degree. You can find the name of your academic advisor listed on that Degree Works page.
Vol State

Chinese Group Wulin Hanyun Performs Nov. 2

2 weeks 5 days ago

The performance group Wulin Hanyun will bring Shaolin Kungfu and Chinese folk music to Vol State in Gallatin on November 2. The Kungfu masters from the Shaolin Martial Academy in the Henan province in Central China combine colorful costumes with acts of physical prowess. The show is sponsored by the Center for Chinese Music and Culture and the Confucius Center at Middle Tennessee State University. The event will be held at 7 p.m. in Caudill Hall on the campus at 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin. The show is free and open to the public. Advance tickets are not required. The performance is part of the International Education program at Vol State, bringing global culture and perspective to students, faculty, staff and the community.
Vol State

Use Degree Works to Get Ready for Priority Spring Registration

3 weeks 1 day ago

November 5 and 6, will be important dates for current Vol State students. It's the start of Spring Priority Registration. It's your short opportunity to register before the public. That could mean getting the classes you need at the times you want.

Spring class registration opens at 8 a.m. on Monday, November 5 for sophomores (30 or more credit hours earned). It opens at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, November 6 for freshmen (less than 30 credit hours earned). Once Priority Registration starts, you will have until November 19 to take advantage of it. You can still register for classes after November 19, but you will be competing with new and readmit students.

Get ready this week by visiting the Degree Works program on your My Vol State page. It will show the classes you need for your listed degree path. But that isn't enough- make sure you talk to your academic advisor about your choices. You don't want to take classes you don't need for your degree. You can find the name of your academic advisor listed on that Degree Works page.
Vol State

Events this Week at Vol State

3 weeks 1 day ago
This week at Vol State:Oct. 22  UT-Knoxville, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10am – 1pmOct. 22 The Color of Fear: race relations, movie, free pizza, Nichols Dining Room, 3pm-5pmOct. 22 Grave Robbing in America, lecture, Jennifer Weedman, Rochelle Center, 6:30pm
Oct. 23 Lecture by Dr. Bill Bass, Body Farm Founder, Caudill Hall auditorium, 10am
Oct. 23 Middle Tennessee State University, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10am-2pm
Oct. 23 Grave Robbing in America, lecture, Jennifer Weedman, Rochelle Center, 11:30am
Oct. 23 The Color of Fear: racism, movie, free pizza, Nichols Dining Room, 3pm-5pm
Oct. 24 Fall Festival and Food Day, activities, food displays, tasting, Thigpen Plaza, 11am-1pm
Oct. 24 The Color of Fear: gay identity, movie, free pizza, Nichols Dining Room, 3pm-5pm
Oct. 25 Count it, Lock it, Drop it, drop-off unwanted medications, Duffer Plaza, 10am-2pm
Oct. 25 Western Governors University, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10 am – 2 pm
Oct. 25 Identity and Career Choices, LGBT issues and careers, Nichols Dining Room, 11:30am
Oct. 25 The Color of Fear: discussion, free pizza, Nichols Dining Room, 3pm-5pm
Oct. 26 CAB Movie Night: Hotel Transylvania 3, free and open to the public, Nichols Dining Room, 6:15pm
Oct. 27 Hazardous Waste Collection, drop-off site at Vol State, Wood Parking Lot, 9am-2pm

Vol State

Dr. Bill Bass, Body Farm Founder, Speaks October 23

3 weeks 1 day ago

The creator of “The Body Farm” in Knoxville, Bill Bass, will speak at Volunteer State Community College on Tuesday, October 23 at 10 a.m. in a public lecture. The forensic anthropologist is best known for his work in founding the Anthropology Research Facility at U-T Knoxville. Researchers there study the decomposition of donated bodies in various weather and burial conditions. The findings, including methods to help determine when a person died, revolutionized forensic science and criminal investigation. To expand the work, and provide expertise to the world, the Forensic Anthropology Center, was opened in 1987. It curates the largest collection of contemporary human skeletons in the nation and provides professional training. Bass, now retired, became a bestselling author and inspired many fictional characters in TV and movies. He will be speaking about his work at Caudill Hall on the Vol State campus at 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin. The event is free and open to the public. It is organized by the Vol State Radiologic Technology program in conjunction with the Health Sciences Division. For more information call 615-230-3570.

Members of the public can park in any open space for this event, aside from disability parking.

Vol State

Lecture Monday and Tuesday: Grave Robbing in America

3 weeks 4 days ago

Jennifer Weedman is fascinated by the history of grave robbing. She will tell you that one of the most notorious body snatchers in America was born in Gallatin. She has collected the stories of resurrectionists, and “sack-‘em-up” men (and women), who secretly sold bodies to medical schools back in the days before dissection was legal in this country. Weedman is a retired school librarian and lifelong history buff. She is working on a book about the subject. She will share her research in two lectures at Volunteer State Community College titled “A Fate Worse Than Death: Grave Robbing in America.” The first lecture is on October 22 at 6:30 p.m. The second is October 23 at 11:30 a.m. Both events are free and open to the public. They will be held in the Rochelle Center of the Thigpen Library on the Vol State campus at 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin. For more information call 615-230-3400.
Vol State

International Honors Society Inducts New Members

3 weeks 5 days ago
Perhaps you’re service minded and seeking to build some leadership skills for your resume. One way to get ready for your next step after college may be to join an honors society. Phi Theta Kappa may bridge this gap for you. It’s a club offering opportunities for growth as a student through service, leadership, and academic excellence.

“The big thing we’re trying to make known is that we’re a service club. We believe that students learn leadership through service. Participation and service are important,” president Megen Roberts explained.

Vol State’s chapter, Beta Delta Kappa, recently hosted their induction ceremony, where new members were recognized and officially inducted into the club. PTK is always seeking members and extra chapter officers. At the beginning of each semester, invitations are sent out via email to eligible students. A 3.5 GPA is initially required to be eligible for the club, once accepted, a 3.0 must be maintained. A minimum of 12 credit hours must have also been completed by the student. There is a one-time membership fee of $60, however, there are millions of dollars in scholarships that are given out to Phi Theta Kappa students annually.

Treasurer of PTK at Vol State, Anedra Moore, shared some of her experience. “One of the things that I’ve gotten out of this is networking. It’s probably one of the best nuggets you get out of any club or organization. Not just networking, but leadership skills. When you go back out into the workforce, you’ve got to have good leadership qualities. You get so many soft skills here being a part of PTK, that you probably wouldn’t get if you were just here as a student.”

PTK strives to give back to the community in a multitude of ways. Most recently they volunteered for non-profit organization, Music City Trykes, where members participated in building fully adaptive tricycles for those individuals with special needs who cannot ride a standard bike. “That was a really amazing experience,” said Makenzie Smith. “I’m just really excited to see what else I get to do… I feel like so far, I’m growing my leadership abilities right now.”

After undergoing many club changes, faculty advisor Jamie Fuston said she hopes for some sort of stability for the clubs future. President Megen Roberts added that her biggest hope is to leave PTK in a better place than she found it.

“We’re basically starting from the ground up, trying to renew the chapter completely. That’s part of why it’s so much of a hurdle because everybody is starting from scratch… It’s all about scholarship and service. So all of it is about being able to not only grow as an individual but being able to do research, figure out where the problems are, fix the problems. So, anybody who is service motivated and has academic inclination… we want you,“ Fuston emphasized.

For more information on PTK, please visit their website: For specific questions about, please contact Vol State PTK president Megen Roberts at: or faculty advisor Jamie Fuston at:

-By Rachel Keyes

Vol State

Junie B. Jones Visits Vol State

3 weeks 6 days ago

Junie B. Jones is a mischievous kindergartener consistently paying the price for her questionable decisions; she tends to learn the hard way. The best-selling chapter book series, Junie B. Jones, offers life lessons, insight, and most of all – humor. Despite it being a children’s book, there is much to appreciate and gain from Junie B. even as an adult. It’s a feel good play that the entire family will enjoy. You may find yourself rolling on the floor laughing as the Theatre department takes you back to your childhood during their performance of Junie B. Jones: Is Not a Crook.

“I love creating myself into characters, particularly old ladies and little boys,” said Nicole Black. “It’s kind of weird, but I like it… I’m doing three (characters) a little boy, Ricardo, Junie B.’s ex-boyfriend, she breaks up with me; it is a sad day… I play an old lady who likes to type, and a cat burglar. I’m just excited to perform for some kids, hopefully make them laugh a little bit.” Nicole said that she loves comedic acting and has an irrational fear of her pants falling down on stage.

Kiara Jenkins will play Junie B.’s teacher, Mrs. “When I was younger, the first time I saw a play, was when they came to my school, I wasn’t really interested because I was trying to get my work done, but I really liked it a lot from then on, I just wanted to do acting…” Kiara said. She plans to pursue a career as an actress and is excited to perform for kids so they can hopefully have the same experience as she did.

The love interest of almost every female character in the play, Warren, will be Matt Pace. He also plays a fireman, and a police officer. “I’m actually majoring in Broadcasting to become a voice actor,” he said. “I do share some interest in theatre because it’s still acting… it’s going to be my first play in probably a decade, so it’s pretty exciting. It’ll give me some experience with acting again, especially on stage…”

“I’m basically like Sharpay Evans (from High School Musical) but, like, five,” said Emily Bardwell, who is casted as Junie B.’s friend, Lucille. “I like performing for kids. I think they’re fun and you can kind of be a bit little more like a cartoon character… I want to be a makeup artist for movies, but as my fallback plan I’d be a theatre teacher to little kids, which kind of ties into the show… Theatre is what started the whole thing.”

For a night of family fun with the Vol State Theatre Department, join us on October 19th and 20th at 7:30 P.M. in Caudill Hall. Admission is $5 at the door and free for students, faculty, and staff with a Vol State ID. All proceeds go to fund student scholarships. For more information on the Theatre Department at Vol State, please visit:

-By Rachel Keyes
Vol State

Adentro Pickel Field House: La Fiesta de Vol State Presenta El Baile Azteca el 20 de octubre

4 weeks ago
Adentro Pickel Field House
El grupo de baile azteca Quetzalli Yolotl será uno de los destacados en la Fiesta de Otoño en Volunteer State Community College el 20 de octubre. La celebración anual de la cultura latina incluirá un concurso de lanzamiento de goles de fútbol, ​​con varias categorías de diferentes edades, desde niños hasta adultos. La Fiesta es un evento gratuito que ofrece comida, música y diversión.

"Disfrutamos traer grupos de baile latino y música en vivo al condado de Sumner", dijo Eric Melcher con Vol State. "La Fiesta es un buen día para que las familias visiten el campus y disfruten de la celebración. La comunidad latina es importante para Vol State, tenemos cientos de estudiantes latinos tomando clases aquí."

Las bandas musicales de Nashville, El Recreo y Cactus Fire se presentarán en la Fiesta. El Recreo toca rock latino. Cactus Fire se especializa en musica Tex-Mex, conjunto, rancheras, cumbias, polkas y boleros. El concurso de cocina contiene comida de diferentes naciones latinas. Después de juzgar los platillos presentados a las 11 a.m., el público puede probar las muestras. También habrá un almuerzo mexicano gratis y refrigerios a partir del mediodía. El evento familiar, que se realiza en el exterior del campus, incluye actividades artísticas, pintura facial y juegos para los niños.

La Fiesta de Otoño se llevará a cabo de 10 a.m. a 3 p.m. El evento ocurrirá, llueva o haga sol, en el campus de Vol State localizado en el 1480 Nashville Pike en Gallatin. La ubicación en caso de lluvia será el Pickel Field House. La Fiesta de Otoño es gratis y abierta para todos. Se exhorta a las familias a traer una manta y sillas para pasar el día con nosotros. Para obtener más información en inglés o español, llame al 615-230-4846.

Vol State

Inside Pickel Field House: Fall Fiesta Features Aztec Dance October 20

4 weeks ago
Update: The Fiesta will be held inside the Pickel Field House
Aztec dance group Quetzalli Yolotl will be a highlight of the Fall Fiesta at Volunteer State Community College on October 20. The annual celebration of Latino culture will include a soccer goal kicking contest, with several age categories from kids to adult. The Fiesta is a free event featuring food, music and fun.“We enjoy bringing Latino dance groups and live music to Sumner County,” said Eric Melcher with Vol State. “The Fiesta is a nice day for families to visit the campus and enjoy a celebration. The Latino community is important to Vol State, we have hundreds of Latino students taking classes here.”The Nashville bands El Recreo and Cactus Fire will perform at the Fiesta. El Recreo plays Latin rock. Cactus fire specializes in Tex-Mex, conjunto, rancheras, cumbias, polkas, and boleros. The food cook-off contest features foods from many different Latino nations. After judging at 11 a.m., the public is welcome to sample. There will also be a free lunch and drinks starting at noon. The family event, held outside on the campus grounds, includes art activities, face painting, and games for kids.The Fall Fiesta at Vol State will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will happen, rain or shine, on the campus at 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin. The rain location is the Pickel Field House. The Fall Fiesta is free and open to everyone. Families are encouraged to bring a blanket and chairs and spend the day. For more information in English or Spanish call 615-230-4846.
Vol State

Events this Week at Vol State

4 weeks ago
This week at Vol State:
Oct. 17 Western Kentucky University representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 9:30 am-2 pm
Oct. 18 Welch College representative, Wood Campus Center main hallway, 10 am-2 pm
Oct. 18 Let’s Talk About Domestic Violence, Nichols Dining Room, 10:30am-11:30am
Oct. 19 Theater for kids: “Junie B. Jones- I am not a Crook,” Caudill Hall, 7:30pm $5 admission goes to student scholarships, free with Vol State ID.
Oct. 20 Theater for kids: “Junie B. Jones- I am not a Crook,” Caudill Hall, 7:30pm $5 admission goes to student scholarships, free with Vol State ID.
Oct. 20 Fall Fiesta at Vol State, a celebration of Latino culture, inside the Pickel Field House, 10am-3pm, free and open to everyone
Vol State
5 hours 59 minutes ago
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