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Vol State fourth annual story slam

Fourth Annual Story Slam

Madison West

In 2017, Dr. Shellie Michael, a professor in Communication Studies and the English Departments at Volunteer State Community College, had an idea to help bring the community back to community college. With the help of Sheri Waltz, Department Chair of the Communication Studies Department at Vol State, and a Tennessee Board of Regents Grant she was able to create the Story Slam.

In the past, this has been one of the most attended events to happen on Vol State’s campus, typically this event would bring in 100 or more students, said Waltz.

“Even virtually, this event has already had 90 views so it seems that we should at least have the same attendance,” said Waltz.

This event was created with intention of bringing a community feel to Vol State.

“Especially during COVID, it’s important to continue that connection. People feel lonely because they can’t come to campus like normal, it’s hard to find a sense of community right now,” said Waltz.

This year, to help convert Story Slam and make it virtual, Michael and Waltz need the help of Student Services to promote the event and of Blake Bridges, Producer in the Office of Information and Technology for Vol State, to put together a cohesive video for easy viewing. Dianna Monk, director of Vol State’s radio network WVCP, introduced the event and gave instructions on how to vote.

Waltz said, that she is really happy that both faculty and students stepped up to participate in a totally new way.

One positive that came out of converting the Story Slam to a virtual program was that it allowed Dual Enrollment students to compete. Dual Enrollment is when a student is actually still attending high school, usually a junior or senior, but also attends collegiate level classes.

Waltz comments that typically, students of dual enrollment are not able to compete because the Story Slam is usually held during class hours for high school students. With the change to a virtual program this year, dual enrollment students were able to be involved and half of the finalists this year are students from Dual Enrollment.

Voting for this event closes, Oct. 30. To watch the Virtual Story Slam, and cast your vote for your favorite, click here!

2018 winners of the story slam, Ryan Kennedy,Nicole Black and poet Jon Goode.Picture provided by Eric Melcher.

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