Graduation nears, requirements add up
Jan24

Graduation nears, requirements add up

N + T = ES. That’s the formula Career Services uses to explain that networking plus timing equals employment success. For graduates, however, the path to getting a job is more complicated than this simple formula suggests.  There’s applying for graduation, counting hours, calculating GPA, constructing a resume, picking up regalia and several other activities necessary before beginning that first day at work. Graduation Coordinator Lillie Lowery knows the ins and outs of the process and tells students it is ultimately up to them to be prepared for the end of college. “They have all this criteria they  have to meet. It’s more than just filling in the blanks on their degree plan. You have to have a certain amount of hours and upper level criteria,” she said. This isn’t where the process starts, though. The initial and most crucial step is for seniors to check and make sure the registrar has the correct date for their graduation. If the graduation date is wrong, the whole procedure is delayed. Degree audits are performed each semester for students graduating the next semester. “We do the degree audits the semester before they graduate. I may never see the student, but I pull their degree audits and look at it and make sure they are in everything they need, and if they’re not, then I contact the student,” Lowery said. “The main thing I go over is the upper level hours, the overall hours, how many chapel credits they have, and I also go over the basic things.” Unfortunately for some students, they anticipate a certain graduation date but for a variety of possible reasons, they aren’t allowed to walk across the stage. Lowery said, “Meeting all those extra points is very important. We graduate anywhere from 200 to 300 a semester, and we will maybe lose anywhere from seven to 10.” The last semester of college is a marathon for students. After they ensure all their academic requirements are met, they begin the tedious process of applying for jobs. Director of Career Services Don Owens believes that students are qualified to get the jobs they want, but the problem is often that they don’t know how to market themselves well. “I find that students either don’t give themselves enough credit, or they don’t know how,” Owens said. “It’s important for graduates to prepare their documents the best they can be. They need to be precise and concise to be somewhat of a snapshot of their credentials and what they offer to the prospective employer.” Even after preparing documents that highlight students’ skills and accomplishments, it’s important for seniors to develop a...

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Hunger Games books point to a promising future for the film
Jan24

Hunger Games books point to a promising future for the film

If any film has the potential to live up to its literary counterpart, The Hunger Games is it. It’s a rare occurrence when a movie based on a book offers the same emotional and mental connection that reading the book does, but it might just happen with the release of the first movie in March. Its plot packed with action, adventure, love, depravity and deception, The Hunger Games trilogy is an easy read that’s sure to please even the most critical of readers. It’s set in the post modern world, with the country Panem divided into 12 districts all controlled by the strong hand of the Capitol. The Capitol holds the Hunger Games each year to remind the nation why they are in control. Two teenagers from each district are chosen to fight in a complex arena until only one remains alive. The nation is required to watch the televised event so citizens can clearly see the power the Capitol exercises over not only them, but future generations. The trilogy focuses on Katniss Everdeen, a young girl from District 12, a poor and overlooked area. Though she has never been accustomed to having an advantage over others, Everdeen’s skills of hunting in banned areas gives her a leg up on the competition. Her fight for her own survival, her family’s safety, her right to love and her dream to overthrow the governmental strongholds captivate the reader from the first few pages through the end of the struggle. The simple yet powerful words Suzanne Collins  writes paint pictures unlike other popular series. Readers find themselves going straight from one book to the next at a quick pace to ensure they discover the outcome of Everdeen’s life and the Capitol’s position. Perhaps one reason the books have become so hugely popular is that they tap into a diverse spectrum of human emotion, pushing each situation to the raw edge. The majority of the trilogy is dominated by war, strife and depravity, but themes of forbidden love, unlikely friendship and rebellious political activism stream underneath the bloody cover of futuristic battlefields. The books continue growing in popularity the nearer the movie release date comes. They hold the top three spots on Kindle’s book list. The first single “Safe and Sound” from The Hunger Games sound track was released Dec. 23 and already has more than two million views on YouTube. The song is performed by big names in the music business, Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars, giving it added attention from their fans. Even for those who are not particularly fans of science fiction, futuristic settings or nonfiction books in general,...

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Brothels and orphans receive gift of Gospel
Jan10

Brothels and orphans receive gift of Gospel

Visions of sugar plums dance around most people’s heads during the Christmas season, but for junior Christian ministries major Leah Chapman, the only visions she saw were of women working in brothels. Chapman traveled to East Asia over the holidays to serve women working in some of the darkest places. “We made lots of cookies and assembled Christmas stockings with the gospels and other materials in them and then handed them out on the street as well as in brothels,” she said. Preparation for the trip began far in advance as Chapman started praying two years before for specific brothel ministries. She said, “I was reminded of how my mentor and I from a couple of years ago started praying for sexually exploited woman. We both felt really broken and burdened for them.” She learned about the trip one night at the Baptist Student Ministry’s FOCUS meeting and read more about it through Go Now, a Baptist missions organization in Texas. Realizing that she had a few weeks free from school, Chapman believed she had to do something to help the women in East Asia stuck in prostitution. “I had an overwhelming feeling that I just needed to do something with my Christmas break,” she said. “I knew that if I didn’t do something, … it would be wasted away, and I wouldn’t be doing what God wanted me to do.” Though she gave up part of her time with family and friends over the break, Chapman thinks the trip was worth all the time, effort and sacrifice. She said, “It was amazing to see the very women that we’d all been praying for all this time. But not just see them, we were able to hand them the very Word of God. That was amazing.” Sophomore nursing and Christian ministry major Dylan Topliff also spent part of his break serving the less fortunate in another country. He journeyed to Haiti with three other UMHB students to a boys’ orphanage that is run by Belton’s Hope for the Hungry organization. “We … helped remove mold and repaint a room for boys to move into as a bedroom. We also helped do concrete work in building walls, columns and a floor,” Topliff said. Their main goal was to complete the construction projects, but Topliff and his team also spent time with some of the boys living in the home. “My favorite part of the trip was talking to a boy about his hopes and dreams, a simple conversation, but it touched my heart deeply,” he said. Topliff heard about the trip to Haiti through the Baptist Student Ministry which promoted...

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Master plan calls for changes in parking
Nov15

Master plan calls for changes in parking

A convenient parking space is not something easy to come by on most college campuses. Now, with the university’s master plan first stages beginning construction, a parking place might be a little harder for UMHB students to find, as well. “During this first phase of construction that’s going to impact parking this fall, we’re going to lose about 110 parking spaces,” Chief of Police Gary Sargent said. “We’re encouraging individuals to park over by Presser Hall, and there’s an abundance of parking that was more than adequate to replace that number of spaces.” Sargent realizes losing the parking places is going to affect students getting to class but suggests they be aware of the extra time it might take them to get to class and prepare for that in advance. He said, “If you schedule your classes from 9 a.m. till about 12 or 1 p.m., parking on campus is going to be at or near capacity during those hours. The later you get into the day, especially those mid- morning hours, it becomes more congested.” Though parking lots are being closed to prepare for construction, plans for new parking lots have been in place from the beginning of the master plan. “We’ve done a good job of making it a needs-based plan. We can’t design a parking facility where everyone parks at the front door, but we can hopefully get you close to the building you are going to be in. We’re really trying to factor in student desires,” Sargent said. The plans for parking lots are already set, including building new lots along University Drive between Burt and McLane halls, and eventually along Crusader Way, but the university would appreciate feedback from students. Sargent said, “I would encourage students to make their voices heard as far as what their expectations are and their view of transportation on campus. You have to understand where the university is going, but with that in mind, what is it we can do collectively to make this an ideal situation for folks across campus?” Junior psychology major Hailey Loftis understands the university is in a period of transition and is keeping an open mind about the changes coming to campus. She said, “I think it could probably affect us in the long run because they will be gone so students will have to do more walking. It’s not really a big deal, but it’s probably less convenient.” Loftis recognizes the importance of the nursing program at the university and the need for new facilities to support the growing department. “There are so many people here who do nursing. I think it will...

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Coldplay is back on the pop/rock music scene
Nov15

Coldplay is back on the pop/rock music scene

With Mylo Xyloto reaching the number one spot on the charts in 30 countries, Coldplay has once again proved  they can construct an album people that love. Though its lyrics and melodies are catchy, the album is still typical Coldplay – except with a slight turn toward pop. Band members said they wanted this album to be more acoustic than their previous one. Tracks like “Us Against the World” and “U.F.O.” give off a stripped-down feel as Chris Martin’s voice is accompanied by few instruments. Other songs like “Hurts Like Heaven” and “Charlie Brown” give a fuller sound and could not be considered acoustic by the most liberal standards. Whether the album is acoustic or not, it works. Breaking their own record of highest first-week album sales on iTunes, Coldplay sold more than 500,000 copies upon release. Mylo Xyloto is supposed to tell the story of two lovers living out their relationship in the urban future.  The tracks progress along, carrying the listeners through the narrative of the lovers, Mylo and Xyloto. It’s an album that almost demands a tapping of the foot or a bobbing of the head while listening. Where the album strays most from the band’s classic sound is on the track “Princess of China.” It’s a pop song featuring Rihanna with distinct beats but still maintaining Coldplay’s catchy “Oh” segments thrown in. For those who don’t like Rihanna, though, the song is a bust. The middle of the song is dominated by her singing about fighting in a relationship in typical pop song fashion, leaving listeners wondering why Rihanna is disturbing the flow of the album. When the single “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” was released months before the album, it was clear that Coldplay was going to offer another crowd-pleaser. They delivered, perhaps with the song “Paradise” leading the way as a favorite track of the album. Its orchestral backdrop combined with heavy bass and easy-to-follow melodies for the lyrics draws listeners to the story of a young girl dreaming of a perfect place. The music video for the song might confuse fans as it features a person in an elephant costume traveling across England by bicycle and unicycle and ending in an African desert setting playing instruments with other friends dressed the same way. What that has to do with a young girl’s vision of paradise is still unclear. Though the album lacks much variation from what the band has always done, Coldplay fans will be pleased with the new album as their chart-topping ratings are already proving....

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