COVID-19 update: Biden’s response

By Cole GarnerEditor in Chief President Joe Biden speaks with House Democratic Leaders in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)             Over 500,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 as of Monday, Feb. 22, according to Johns Hopkins University & Medicine. Additionally, various new strains of the virus have been popping up. A prominent strain to catch scientists’ attention was the U.K. variant, B.1.1.7. The variant was first found in September, when U.K. scientists warned that the variant proved itself to be more contagious than regular COVID-19 variants.             A study by a team of U.K. scientists at the Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases, last updated on Feb. 6, found that the variant is 43-82% more contagious than previous strains found.             This does not mean that the strain is deadlier than other strains. In fact, the same study found no evidence that it is more deadly. The U.K. variant has now ended up in at least 21 states in theU.S., worrying scientists and leaders across the country. Colorado Governor Jared Polis released a statement on Dec. 19, 2020 about the variant being found in the Centennial State.             “The health and safety of Coloradans is our top priority and [the state] will closely monitor this case, as well as all COVID-19 indicators, very closely,” Polis said. (Colorado.gov)             The U.K. variant is not the only strain. The Brazil P.1 variant, which is thought to be more transmissible than initial COVID-19 strains, has also been found in the U.S. The first known case of this strain was found in Minnesota on Jan. 25 of this year. The strain is similar to the U.K. variant, as it is more contagious but is not known to be more deadly.             UMHB professor and nurse Dr. Lynn Heise says that the mutations are to be expected during a pandemic.             “The people that were infected with [the original strain] looked a little bit different than the ones that are coming out now,” Dr. Heise said. “So those that are in Brazil and those that are in the U.K., they’re still the COVID virus, but they are mutated.”             This is part of the reason why getting vaccinated is important for most people. “They say right now that immunizations that we are receiving for COVID will cover the original [strain] as well as the mutations,” Dr. Heise said.             “That doesn’t mean that because I have been vaccinated, if I have been exposed to COVID, I won’t get sick. It’s probable I will [get sick], but I won’t get as sick as...

Read More
Black History Month highlights those who have made a difference
Feb18

Black History Month highlights those who have made a difference

Beth Norvell studies the display featuring Virginia Leak, who graduated with the first integrated class at Temple High School in 1968 and graduated from the UMHB nursing program in 1979. The display is at the Musick Alumni Center and Museum at the Parker House on campus. Norvell is the Associate Director for Alumni Relations and the museum. By Malaika RandolphStaff Writer            There is an extra emphasis on Black History Month this year, especially because of protests that erupted after the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other Black citizens. But there are also some important strides that have been made.            The brightest of those are that for the first time, a Black woman, Kamala Harris, was instated as the Vice President of the United States.  Harris also represents Asians, and she is the first African American and the first woman to have served as Attorney General of California, and the second African American woman to ever have been elected to the United States Senate.             “I think it’s amazing,” UMHB student Chloe Ruedas said. “We have a lot of work to do and a lot of progress to continue to make, but the efforts that we have taken are amazing. Especially for women and women of color. Even though we have so much progress in doing, it’s okay to celebrate what we have won.”            Ruedas pinpoints that not only did Harris win by becoming Vice President, but Black women won someone to represent them in the highest office.            “Having her as vice president, having someone who looks like us in such power is uplifting,” junior pre-med major Gilda Tchao said. Tchao is also involved in the Association of Black Students  (ABS) and Pre-Health Professionals Club.             Vice President Kamala Harris was in the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority when she was at Howard University. In her 2020 memoir,  she describes herself as what her mother expected her to be: a “confident, proud, black woman.”            Virginia Leak may have had the same inclination. She graduated with the first integrated class at Temple High School in 1968 and graduated then from UMHB’s nursing program in 1979. She is now an Educational Chairperson for the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), as well as a founder of Temple Colleges’ nursing program.             Beth Norvell, Associate Director of Alumni Relations of the UMHB Museum, said that Leak likes to guide and share her wisdom.            “When I interviewed her,” Norvell said, “she stopped and said, ‘now let me tell you about the Lord.’ She is so nurturing and sweet. She is vibrant.”            Leak mentioned...

Read More

Psalm 139 shines light on idea of “being seen”

By Carrington Kelly Contributing Writer        The feeling of being completely known and seen is rare, but 143 women entered the Great Hall on Feb. 6, and had an opportunity to experience just that. This year, the Psalm 139 event at UMHB pushed to help women on campus know their worth and preach that feeling that you are “being seen” can only come from the Lord.        UMHB is over 60% women, and was in need of an event solely focused on women and their desire to be rooted in Christ. The three-year-old event has made a great impact on this year’s co-assistant director, Jamie Boykin.        “It has impacted me personally so much in my view of myself and others,” Boykin said. “I struggle a lot to feel seen, as I am typically more introverted, but the women there make sure everyone understands that they don’t have to bring anything to the table for the Lord to see them and love them. I have seen many girls come in feeling alone and leave feeling free and seen. That’s why I love this event & its gospel message so much.”        Women on campus have been effected by those who have come before them and want to follow in their lead. This event has been driven by the idea of growing women in their relationship with Christ. Once underclassmen see that growth in upperclassmen, they hope for that same growth.        Committee member Sarah Murphy said her first experience at Psalm 139 had a great impact on her.        “It was through this event that for the first time in my life I began to understand my identity in Christ and who He says I am,” Murphy said.  “Because of the way in which my life was impacted by this event, I decided to interview to be a member of the committee, on which I have been serving on for the past two years.”        The Bells wrote in 2019 about women’s experiences at the first ever Psalm 139 event. In that article, Marissa Halvorsen, a sophomore psychology major said that “as women, we think we have to fit the mold of doing everything for everyone and pleasing everybody.” However, Halvorsen said that “women already have their...

Read More
Taking a break from finals at Millennium Oaks Park
Nov24

Taking a break from finals at Millennium Oaks Park

While many students faced more finals by Friday afternoon, Nov. 20, some took a much needed break at Millennium Oaks Park on UMHB’s campus. Several students were found walking, talking, and relaxing on the rocks, benches, and grass in the beautiful, tree-filled park. One was in a hammock, reading the news. Two were feeding turtles and fish in the pond, and occasionally taking photos of the animals splashing in the water for their break crumbs. Across from the spray of the water fountain, Taylor Moore, right, and Sedrick Zgadzaj feed some bread crumbs to the turtles and fish in the Millennium Oaks Park Pond on UMHB’s campus Friday afternoon, Nov. 20. Taylor Moore and Sedrick Zgadzaj still had more finals to take but took a break Friday late afternoon to sit at water’s edge at the pond and feed bread crumbs to the turtles and fish.  Moore is a freshman psychology major and Zgadzaj is a sophomore engineering major. The two share an interest and practice in photography, so they were taking photos of the feeding as the fish and turtles scrambled to grab the bread crumbs. They both went to Round Rock High School, and have been engaged since graduation, with plans to marry after their next graduation – from UMHB. Freshman business major Sam Sommerfeld used her phone to read the news (previewing all the news outlets to “see how it all lines up”) in a friend’s hammock between two trees in the park. Sommerfeld is also on the volleyball team and plans to go into pharmaceutical sales like her father Kent Sommerfeld. The freshman from Longview, who used to be on the journalism team in high school, is glad to be here at UMHB. Freshman business major Sam Sommerfeld reads the news in a friends hammock at Millennium Oaks Park Friday afternoon, Nov. 20. “I couldn’t be any happier than where I am,” Sommerfeld said. “All the people are really friendly and….it’s just like a great environment to be in.” Sommerfeld, who plays the libero position on UMHB’s volleyball team, said her team’s first game is away on Feb. 9, but they their home game on Feb. 17 is with MacMurray College. Freshman elementary education major Anastasia Rakobalis sat under a large tree on the grass at the park while she talked to an old friend from Omaha on her phone. Rokobalis, who lives in Lord Hall, said she wished there were no COVID-19 restrictions because she would really like to visit her friends without restrictions – like in their dorm rooms instead of only in designated common areas. Other than that, she said she is...

Read More
Stunt Night “Drive-in”
Nov17

Stunt Night “Drive-in”

By Sterling Dube Assistant Editor UMHB’s Stunt Night was held as a “drive-in” big screen experience at Crusader Stadium Friday night, Oct. 13. Left to right performing on the stage above: senior education major Andrew Berg, senior public relations major Kim Rincones, and senior psychology major Walker Fain performing their dance routine for the senior class’ take on a UMHB-themed “Footloose.”Photos by Rebecca McEntee The class of 2022 won the best overall production during this year’s stunt night competition, Friday, Nov. 13. It came to no surprise to anyone who watched their previous performance in the fall of 2019, during the “glitch-in-time” themed night. “Movies from the Eighties” was the official 2020 Stunt Night theme,  so there was no telling what route any of the classes would take. As it turned out, the freshmen went with “Ghostbusters,” the sophomores did “Breakfast Club,” the juniors did a UMHB take on “Farris Bueller’s Day Off,” and lastly, the seniors did “Footloose.” UMHB’s Stunt Night’s “Drive-in” big screen experience at Crusader Stadium Friday night, Oct. 13. Students could see their fellow-students perform their Stunt Night skits on the Jumbotron as they sat on chairs or on the grass on the field, or in the bleachers.             Neither the change in venue, nor COVID-19 restrictions changed the atmosphere of Stunt Night. Despite the event being held on the football field with chairs placed six feet apart, there was still that sense of wonder for what the students were able to put together under these trying times. For a couple of hours on a chilly November night the audience could forget about the pandemic and focus on the amazing and jaw-dropping performances of not just the victorious junior class, but also the seniors, who just enjoyed the last Stunt Night of their college careers. The sophomore class also seemed to learn from last year and made improvements to every aspect of this year’s performance. The freshmen came in and showed their stuff and left many curious to see how they can improve on such an amazing showing next year. Seniors l-r: Kim Rincones, Andrew Berg, and Walker Fain perform a scene from the 80s classic movie, “Footloose,” during Stunt Night’s “Drive-in” at Crusader Stadium this...

Read More