Welcome week peer mentors to get credit

Welcome Week is the time set aside each year on campuses for incoming freshmen to learn a little bit about the university they will be attending from those who have been students for awhile. At UMHB, upperclassmen and faculty will be trying something new this upcoming fall in an attempt to retain more students after their first year. The new initiative is called the peer mentoring program, and, since studies have shown success of the project on other campuses, the university decided to give it a try. “Instead of the leaders of the family groups only being a part of the actual week of Welcome Week, they will continue to be a part of their family, assisting (in) their freshman seminar course for six weeks,” said one of the student leaders of the group, junior nursing major Andrew Kester. “The peer mentoring program is something that a lot of other universities have that helps make new students feel more welcome and a part of student life.” The program is being spearheaded by director of student organizations Kristy Brischke. Since she started working for the campus almost five years ago, peer mentoring is something she has always wanted to initiate. “Research indicates that peer mentor programs are very successful in helping new students persist at a university. I hope that we will find the same here,” Brischke said. “The peer mentors (we are calling them Cru Leaders or CL’s for short) will first be with their students during Welcome Week, which will then become their Freshman Seminar.” After the seminar begins, students will assist the faculty members in leading activities and discussions once a week, while attending a Peer Mentor Leadership course with Brischke. “Peer mentors who participate in the course will learn how to develop their leadership skills,” Kester said. “Also, all who participate as peer mentors will receive two hours of elective credit.” One of the main ways students are finding out about the program is from a Facebook group created to advertise the upcoming peer mentoring event. Already, more than 90 people have said they would be interested in attending the initial planning meetings, which will take place each week and began yesterday. Brischke said she is pleased with the amount of student response they have received. “We will be selecting about 60 students to serve as Cru Leaders – so I hope this will provide a strong pool of applicants,” she said. “Not only will this impact the new students, but the CL’s will benefit greatly from this program. They will learn about leadership, serving and relationship building.” The Welcome Week steering committee is pulling out...

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How to get a Valentine’s date

The words “Valentine’s Day” typically conjure up ideas of red roses, pink hearts and naked winged babies shooting as many people as they can with “love” arrows. Yeah, so some of the imagery is a bit strange. But the most important thing this holiday makes people think of is relationships, and what to do if you are in one. Chocolate candies, romantic movies and candlelit dinners are just some of the ways to tell your significant other “I love you.” But what about those loners who don’t yet have a date for Valentine’s Day? Is it their lot to mope around on the couch, bemoaning their lack of love while watching a Friends marathon in their jammies? I say no! This year, I have a plan for all the lonely hearts out there, some foolproof tips to get the person who holds their hearts. I have enlisted a crack team of researchers (i.e. the rest of The Bells staff) to share how best to let someone know you are interested. So read on, dear friends, and be lonely no more! Ladies, here’s what you need to know about men. What you see is what you get. Most everything about guys is right there on the surface. As such, in order to get a guy to notice you, you’re going to have to be blunt. Playing hard to get will typically not work on guys. Usually, if you talk and laugh with a guy you like, he may start to see you’re flirting – until he sees you do it to the next guy you meet. Then he just thinks you’re a nice girl and not actually interested in him. As one of the researchers put it, for him to get the hint well, a girl should basically take him hostage long enough for Stockholm Syndrome to set in. Also, some guys may have trouble taking the initiative. If so, you may just have to suck it up and ask him out yourself. You may not like it, but, hey, it could be worth it. Try this, as well: next time you are sitting next to the guy you have your eye on, scoot a little closer. Let your shoulder brush his and don’t move it away too fast. Physical contact is a great indicator of attraction, and even a dense-as-rock guy is going to pick up on that one. And remember! “Footsies” is not just a children’s game. It’s fun for adults, too. Guys, you probably aren’t going to like it, but all those tips that make it easy for girls? You have to do the exact opposite to...

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First time winners take show
Jan25

First time winners take show

The 68th annual Golden Globes awards show took place Jan. 16, with the typical number of surprise wins and cliched “thank you” speeches. The biggest shockers of the night did not come from the award recipients, however, but instead from British comedian and movie star, host Ricky Gervais. This year was the first time Gervais had hosted the Golden Globes, and he came out of the gate running. His jokes were crass, his jabs were sharp and  the audience loved him. At least, those who could take a joke loved him. Gervais tried to spread the hate evenly, but some were more offended than others. While actor Johnny Depp cracked a smile at the jokes about the poor quality of his movie, The Tourist, actor Tom Cruise made his anger known after Gervais made a pointed joke about the movie I Love You Phillip Morris, starring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor. “Two heterosexual characters pretending to be gay,” Gervais said, “so the complete opposite of some Scientologists, then.” While some were surprised at many of the host’s harsher jokes, they were nothing compared to what did not make the final cut. Gervais revealed to Conan O’Brien that one of his original ideas was to walk on stage wearing a Nazi uniform and inform the audience that he got the suit from Mel Gibson’s closet. Compared to that, saying Gibson is “obsessed” with Jews is pretty tame. Instead of a Nazi uniform, Gervais started the night with a shot at Two and a Half Men star Charlie Sheen, saying “It’s going to be a night of partying and heavy drinking. Or as Charlie Sheen calls it, breakfast.” Few escaped the opening monologue, but Gervais got those who did while announcing the presenters of the awards. The big winner of the night was the movie  The Social Network, which took home four Globes, including the highly coveted Best Motion Picture Drama award. They also received Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Original Score. Natalie Portman and Colin Firth received the highest single awards of the night. Portman received Best Actress for her role in Black Swan, and Firth received Best Actor for his part in The King’s Speech. For the most part, first-time winners dominated the night. Chris Colfer (Kurt from Glee) seemed genuinely surprised to win a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series. Glee co-star Jane Lynch received her second Globe for Supporting Actress for her role in the hit television musical show. Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) received his first Globe for Best Actor in a Television Series – Comedy. Actress Katey Sagal has...

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Making resolutions that will stick the year

New Year’s resolution number one: get in shape. It has recently come to my attention that I have been gaining some weight, and, if this continues, I will become what I have affectionately dubbed a “fatty-fat-fatty.” As such, it might be time to start going to the gym. It couldn’t hurt to exercise a couple of times a week, and it would sure help fix some of the flab. Heck, even jogging around the neighborhood will fight some of the problem. The year can only look up from then on. New Year’s resolution number two: get the courage to get a girlfriend by the end of the year. I have always had trouble talking to girls, but the main problem actually corresponds to resolution number one. After all, it would be hard getting a date if I eventually evolve into a rolling ball of fat. This, of course, brings me to New Year’s resolution number three: remember. Remember the reason why the fight is worth it. Remember why it’s OK to fail at the little things in life sometimes. Remember why everything will be all right in the end: the new beginning we’ve all been given in Christ. Last Sunday I taught a Bible lesson on this same subject to the youth group I work with at church, and I think it hit me stronger than it did the children. It made me think about where I was going with my life and whether or not I wanted to continue down the road I was on. I took a step back and took a long, hard look at my life. I saw where I stood in my home life, my schooling and my chosen career field. I thought about where I stood in my faith and where I was heading. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, some bigger than others, but most of them weren’t that bad, and I always had help overcoming them. Friends and family were there for me, and I realized I had a great group of people I could rely on, including Christ. It was a wake-up moment. I realized I don’t think about my faith much when life is going well and knew that I should. It’s necessary to be thankful every day for what I’ve been given and not just asking for it when I finally decide it’s needed. Just remembering how I’ve survived life so far is enough to prove to me that it will all work out for the best. At midnight New Year’s Day, I raised my glass high and toasted with my family around the warm...

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Extra credit project saves one girl’s life
Nov02

Extra credit project saves one girl’s life

In June of 2004, just one year after graduating from UMHB, Matt Blackburn had no idea that an extra credit project would help him save a young woman’s life. Now a coach at Belton High School, Blackburn majored in exercise sports science. “We were offered a minuscule amount of extra credit if we would go over to the health fair that UMHB was putting on,” he said. “There was a particular booth that didn’t have too many people stopping by, so I walked over and asked the elderly woman how she was doing, and then she told me she was with the national marrow donor program … and she explained there was a registry that people could get on and if you were a perfect match for someone needing a transplant you get a call asking if you’d be willing to donate,” Blackburn said. After having been told that he was more likely to win the lottery than receive a call as a perfect match, Blackburn decided it would be a good thing to do, and he’d help on the off chance he was ever called. Despite never expecting to be asked, he knew he’d help in a heartbeat. Just a few years later, Ashley Taylor, a 19-year-old from Indianapolis, Ind., was told she had leukemia, and her only option for survival was a risky bone marrow transplant. “I was 18 when I was diagnosed with my first cancer, which was a bone cancer, and I completed 10 months of chemotherapy and radiation,” she said. “About three months after my clean bill of health, I was diagnosed with leukemia … and my body was so weak they knew either the chemo or the cancer would kill me if they couldn’t get the bone marrow.” When Blackburn was called, he was told that he was a match for someone, and he was the only one they had at that time. The doctors asked if he would be willing to donate. “At that point, I said, ‘Who wouldn’t donate?’ It was an opportunity to save someone’s life,” Blackburn said. Without hesitating, he immediately volunteered for the transplant, and Taylor’s life was saved. Now, six years after the call that brought them together in spirit, they met for the first time on the grounds of UMHB. At a medical forum held at the school by Scott & White Oct. 19, Blackburn and Taylor were finally able to see one another. “Seeing him was so overwhelming,” Taylor said. “I felt that there was this instant bond between us, like we are already family. And as soon as we met, he and his wife...

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