Monday, October 20, 2014

Vol State Events this Week

Oct. 21            Lecture: Emerson and Transcendentalism, Shannon Lynch and Deb Moore, Mattox 104, 11:10am
Oct. 21            Highland  Commit to Completion, signing event, Phi Theta Kappa, 11am-1pm
Oct. 22            Student Life Fall Festival, Duffer Plaza, 10am to 2pm
Oct. 22            Tennessee State University representative, Wood Campus Center, 9:00am—11:00am.

Oct. 25            Household Hazardous Waste Collection, outside of Wood Campus Center, 9am to 2pm

Overcoming Serious Challenges: Gabrielle's Road to Vol State

No matter what kind of obstacles are placed in front of you, it's never too late to get started on receiving an education. That's a lesson first-year student Gabrielle Staton knows all too well. She's overcome life threatening situations on her path to Vol State.

Staton, who is originally from Charlotte, N.C., dropped out of high school during the last semester of her junior year. She was initially supposed to graduate from high school in 2008, but family circumstances forced her to make a tough decision.

"It was a matter of survival for me. You either work and live, or you go to school and know you're going to have it pretty rough. I didn't have a whole lot of support from my family other than my grandmother, but she was supporting me and 10 of my other cousins," she said.

Instead of finishing school right away, Staton focused on work and becoming a mother — she had her first son in 2009. Juggling both a full-time job and her family made going back to school even more difficult. But she never let anything get in the way of wanting to complete high school.

"I really felt like I had to finish school, because I knew eventually my options would be limited, and I didn't want to end up years from now not being able to take advantage of the opportunities put in front of me because of the limitations of my education," she said.

Staton took advantage of an adult education program in North Carolina and on her third attempt through the program, she finally graduated in 2011. Working in retail management, Staton was able to have a steady job, which helped her along the way.

All that changed in 2012 when she was robbed at gunpoint. While the experience was traumatic, it was an event that fueled her desire to go to college.

"Sometimes it takes trauma to push us into the path to prosper," Staton said.

Staton, who was about to have her second son, started a catering business and after it became fairly prosperous, she decided it was time to sign up for classes with the intent to study international business in order to create a non-profit business that would teach ethics to nurses before they go out into the field.

Before classes were to begin in August, Staton was the victim of domestic violence and came close to death. Not one to let things stop her, Staton once again overcame the adversity that stood in her way. In a very short timespan, she left North Carolina for Nashville with her children and enrolled at Vol State.

"No matter what is placed in front of you, there's no reason why you can't do anything you want to. There's nothing that should ever stop you," she said.

Arriving at Vol State was a blessing, because Staton felt like she was welcomed into the community and she became heavily involved with some of the school's clubs and organizations. If anyone takes away anything from her story, Staton said she wants make sure people realize that setting a goal and sticking to it is important to success.

"I never thought I would have the opportunity to go to school this late. Now, I feel like I actually have a chance. I can make it here, and I can make it anywhere," she said. "It doesn't matter how long it takes you to get to that goal as long as you're constantly working at it. That's the important part."

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Former Globetrotter Ready for Season with Lady Pioneers

Otis Key sees plenty of opportunity for the Lady Pioneers basketball team, and he's planning on using his experience as a former Globetrotter to take the players to the next level.
"The lessons that you learn as a player is something that you carry through your whole life. In my time with the Globetrotters, I was able to be around a number of great coaches and great basketball minds, and now I'm able to give that input to players," he said.
Key took the helm of the women's basketball team this semester, and he's settling nicely into his new role as a member of the Vol State family. He spent 10 years with the Globetrotters, in addition to coaching for the American Basketball Association Kentucky Bison and the Continental Basketball Association Bowling Green Hornets.
Key said his experience as a Globetrotter gave him many life lessons he plans on sharing with his players, as well as sound advice on training, diet, and prioritization of life as a student athlete.
"Player development is one the huge keys to me personally and being able to go through some of the things I went through on the court, it just makes them better players," he said.
With the start of the season just a few weeks away, Key said the team is doing a lot to improve their skills as they prepare to hit the court next month.
"I'm pleasantly surprised at how far along we are, and I realize that we still have a lot of work to do, but the team seems like they're willing to do that," he said.
The Lady Pioneers roster sees four returning players — Jenise Davis, Shenequa Foster, Ta'Keyha Flowers, and Victoria Dye. Key said he's excited for what they will bring to the team.
"I'm extremely excited about who is coming and the leadership they offer for the freshman," he said.
As a Globetrotter, Key participated in numerous community outreach programs. He is already looking for ways to connect the team to the greater community through volunteer work with organizations like Habitat for Humanity and United Way. Through team-building opportunities with those organizations, Key said they will become stronger players and people.
"I want the ladies to realize they have a great opportunity here, because there are less fortunate people out there. Yes, it's great they have an opportunity to play collegiate basketball, but they also have a great opportunity to become pillars of the community," he said.
The new season will kick off Nov. 7 with a home game against Columbia State Community College. For more on the Lady Pioneers, including a full season schedule, click here.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Vol State Events this Week

Oct. 13, 14      Fall Break: A reminder that Fall Break is only two days this year
Oct. 15            Tennessee Tech University rep on Gallatin campus in the Wood Campus Center, 10am-1pm
Oct. 15            Livingston Commit to Completion, signing event, Phi Theta Kappa, 11am-1pm
Oct. 16            Bethel University rep on Gallatin campus in the Wood Campus Center, 10am-1pm
Oct. 16            Union University Nursing info session, Warf 110, 12:45-2:15pm
Oct. 16            Travel-Study Meeting for interested students, Mattox 104, 12:30pm
Oct. 17            Marian University at St. Thomas Health rep on Gallatin campus in the Wood Campus Center, 10am-1pm

Oct. 18            Fall Fiesta at Vol State, a celebration of Hispanic culture, free and everyone invited, bring the kids, Duffer Plaza, 10am-4pm

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fall Fiesta at Vol State on Saturday, October 18

Volunteer State Community College will celebrate Hispanic culture on Saturday, October 18 with the Fall Fiesta at Vol State. The annual event is in its eighth year. Everyone is invited. A talent contest is new this year, bringing together musicians, singers, and artists to perform and compete for prizes. Food is always a big part of the Fiesta. The food contest provides a venue for people to showcase their favorite dishes from the many different countries that make up what we call Hispanic culture.
“After the judging in the food contest, the public can sample the food. That’s always a favorite of mine. We’ve had dishes from Cuba, Mexico, Guatemala, and Argentina, just to name a few countries represented over the years,” said Eric Melcher, Vol State coordinator of communications. “This is a family event, held outside on the campus grounds. It includes a soccer tournament, live music, a dance group, art activities for the kids and plenty of fun games for the little ones.”
In addition to the food cook-off contest at 11 a.m., there will be a free Mexican lunch and drinks starting at noon. The Fall Fiesta at Vol State will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will happen, rain or shine, on the Volunteer State Community College 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. Anyone can enter the food contest or the talent contest. For more information in English call 615-230-3570 or Spanish at 615-230-4846.

Información en Español

Información en Español

Información en Español

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Meditation Gathering Offers Stress-Free Atmosphere

Betty Mandeville leads the meditation group.
Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and let the stress roll away.

Those are simple instructions for reducing the hectic nature of being in college. Thanks to a weekly meditation group led by associate professor of English Dr. Betty Mandeville, students, faculty, and staff at Vol State have a way to make their semester a little easier.

A similar group was led last year by Mandeville and Dr. Michael Lenz. With Lenz's departure from Vol State, Mandeville wanted to sure a similar time of meditation was offered this year. Mandeville wanted to open the practice up to more participants, including faculty and staff.

While attendance has only drawn a few faculty members in its first two weeks, Mandeville is hoping students start attending as well. After all, the stress from studying and being in the classroom go both ways.

"This can be helpful and it puts students and faculty on equal footing. We're all in this together. We're all stressed out. We all want time to be quiet. I like the idea of sharing the space together in an equal way," she said.

Each session starts off with a short reading before heading into about 30 minutes of silent meditation. It's just enough time to help refocus one's energy before heading back out to face the day.

"You have to go right back out and face it, because the chemistry test is still coming. The bills are still due. It can help you get through the bad things so you can enjoy the good things if you learn how to be a little more present to them," Mandeville said.

Even if you're unfamiliar with meditation or a little nervous about what to do, Mandeville said she would invite anyone who is interested to stop by and check it out.

The group meets every Friday at 12:30 p.m. in the Jim Moore Conference Room upstairs in the Thigpen Library.

For more information about the group, email Mandeville at or visit office 131 in the Ramer Administration Building.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fall Carnival at Highland Crest October 11

Celebrate Fall with carnival games, rides, and magic at the Highland Crest college campus Fall Carnival in Springfield. The event is organized by the Volunteer State Community College Student Government Association and it’s open to the public. Magician Eric Tyree will entertain the crowd with tricks. The magic shows happen at 10 a.m. and noon. There will be popcorn, snow cones and even Halloween bags for the first 100 kids. It’s all free. On the benefit side of things, there will be a barbecue cook-off and a silent auction held to raise money for the Robertson County Meals on Wheels program. Local vendors will be on hand so that people can get a jump on holiday shopping.  It’s also a good way for the public to come out and see the Vol State Highland Crest campus. The Fall Carnival will be held on Saturday, October 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The campus is located just off of Highway 431 on Billy Batson Parkway. For a map visit the web page at or call 615-483-7040 for more information.