What could top this year?
Feb18

What could top this year?

By Jayten Ames   For the past 12 years, the university has hosted the McLane Lecture for students and staff to hear from speakers who have been in positions of influence.   This year, the lecture received more attention from students than usual when it was announced that the speaker would be George W. Bush.   The prestigious guest caused students to seek access to this event with quite a bit of interest. Due to limited seating in the Mayborn Campus Center, attendance for the event required tickets for entrance. The day that tickets for the lecture became available, the turnout was large.   As one walked into the building, all he or she could see were lining the walls of the Bawcom Student Union so they could claim tickets to the event. The line stretched from the Campus Activities Center, down the wall past Starbucks and all the way out the door to the football stadium.   Interest in the event didn’t just end with students. Although numerous alumni and community members inquired about purchasing tickets, they were reserved only for students, faculty and staff in addition to special guests of the university such as trustees and donors.   The event was well received. The turnout was almost unprecedented, as there was a point that there was standing room only in the cram-packed arena. The president received a total of four standing ovations, and there was a private luncheon in his honor after he spoke at the lecture.   This was a moment on campus that many students will not soon forget. As students endeavor to live by the inspirational words of the former president, one must wonder what can be done to top this year’s...

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Ballplayer gets second chance
Feb18

Ballplayer gets second chance

By Michael Crosson   To most collegiate baseball players, the big prize is a shot at the major leagues. For one Crusader, it is about playing the game he loves and making the team better.   Emery Atkisson is one of 30 members of the UMHB baseball team. He plays second base and shortstop. Atkisson is grateful for his position on a team. For a time, he wondered if he would ever be a college athlete again.   “The game finds a way to humble you. Although my shoulder injury was unfortunate, I have found a new love for the game and gained a greater understanding of life as well as the importance of a good work ethic,” says Atkisson.   Before the ballplayer’s injury, major league scouts from the Colorado Rockies and the Atlanta Braves franchises were following Atkisson.   “I had a set rehabilitation program at Stephen F. Austin, but I tried to push myself too hard, which ultimately prolonged my recuperation process. However, it has been two years since my surgery and my arm is feeling better than ever and I am ready for the 2015 season,” he said.   The idea of an athlete going from NCAA Division I to Division III means Atkisson has to work harder to prove he is still an elite player.   “The biggest difference between Division I and Division III is the lack of athletic perks in terms of scholarship opportunities. We are encouraged to play for the love of the game. The passion we have for this game will ultimately lead us to becoming a better team and better individuals in the long run. We play because we love it and we learn life lessons through the games of baseball,” Atkisson said.   Atkisson believes his work ethic and positive attitude toward the game of baseball is the most valuable attribute he brings to the team.   “My work ethic was compared to Robert Griffin III in high school, I feel like that is what I bring most to this team,” he said.   Atkisson is excited for the opportunity to be a more vocal leader for the team.   “When baseball is good, Emery is good and I plan on having a very good spring,” Atkisson said.   If this team can push itself not only in beating Concordia or LeTourneau Universities, but in getting to the Division III College Baseball World Series in Wisconsin, then this team can become one of the elite Division III programs in the nation.   Chase Burrow, is also a member of the baseball team and plays left field. He said...

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Concealed guns on campus

The Lone Star State is a place defined by gun culture. A lot of Texans grow up shooting cans in the backyard, aiming 22s at targets. It’s not a hobby, it’s a lifestyle.   That being said, Texas students with gun licenses could be allowed to have concealed, approved weapons on campus. If the students are of the legal age and went through the proper training, why should they not be allowed to carry them on campus? Gun-free zones scream, “Come shoot me! I’m not armed!”   Those who say, “If people left their concealed guns at home, they wouldn’t have the temptation to commit a mass shooting,” many times fail to acknowledge that the majority of people who shoot up schools or movie theaters do so with weapons that do not belong to them.   Once fired, bullets don’t take time to consider legislation. It’s irresponsible in a time when mass shootings occur so frequently to make universities slaughterhouses full of defenseless potential victims.   But some may cringe at the idea of concealed firearms on a campus, and rightfully so with the increasing number of shootings in public venues.   The potential of something violent happening becomes greater when students on campus decide to carry concealed weapons. Who’s to say that some mentally unstable person isn’t going to take someone’s gun who does have their concealed handgun license and start a massacre?   However, just because someone carries a firearm doesn’t mean that person has intent to kill. The majority of licensed, concealed weapons never see the light of day because their carriers only have them for self-defense purposes.   Considering both sides of this argument, maybe there is a reasonable conclusion. Allowing firearms might only work in Texas. In places like New York and California, where residents squirm at the thought of loaded weapons, carrying a firearm into a school would cause more harm that good. The culture isn’t prepared for that — people are afraid. That fear is reason enough not to allow concealed carry laws at universities, even Texas ones.   While defense is important, having the guns in such populated places would cause more harm than good.   But if most Texans feel qualified, prepared and safe with this idea, why should they not be able to carry a concealed weapon to college? It could stop many potentially fatal situations from...

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Campus goes pink for breast cancer
Nov07

Campus goes pink for breast cancer

Breast cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related death. Two diagnoses this year alone make it a life-threatening and eye-opening disease.   October was Breast Cancer Awareness month, and several UMHB clubs and organizations created events to highlight the severity of the disease.   Light the Night Pink, sponsored by the Pre-Health Professional Club, was a beautiful display of creativity.   Because of her personal experience with an aunt who survived breast cancer and a godmother who died after three battles with reoccurring breast cancer, freshman pre-med, psychology major Lexxi McBride showed her support by attending the event, Oct. 28.   She said she enjoyed the pink-frosted popcorn, delectable pink lemonade and other tasty pink treats.   The speaker, Dr. Heidi M. DiFrancesca, is an assistant professor for anatomy and physiology I and II as well as cancer biology.   Dr. DiFrancesca she participated in an eight-year effort in breast cancer research where she studied the effects of enzymes on the prognosis of breast cancer.   She enlightened students on what cancer actually is and what happens to the tissue of a person diagnosed with either benign cancer or malignant cancer. Normal cells in the human body grow, divide then die.   However, cancer cells grow, divide, continue to divide but don’t die. Malignant cancer has the ability to invade neighboring tissue, but benign cancer does not.   Diagnostic technology and better medicine have reduced the mortality rate of men and women; but 1/1000 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer next year, and 4,000 women are estimated to die of the disease in 2015.   Still, Dr. DiFrancesca said she “is excited that research, awareness, and survival rate of breast cancer has increased and the death rate has declined.”   Those participating may not have years of research experience like Dr. DiFrancesca, but their simple donation and presence made a difference in the growing awareness surrounding the...

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Mission offers hope through clean water
Nov07

Mission offers hope through clean water

Ask any non-profit how they got started and they’ll never say it was with someone who thought it would just be cool to make a difference. It happens when enough courage is built to be proactive with dreams.   Mike Lipman, an ex-military soldier who saw too much to sit back and do nothing, founded South Asia Pure Water Initiative, Inc. in 2004. He put together a team that would begin a journey to help provide purified water for the innocent people of India whom are at high risks of contracting disease due to lack of clean water.   SAPWII strives to provide households, villages, primary schools and health clinics with BioSand Filters.   “Our team is focused on taking the BioSand filter technology countrywide by training organizations that already have rural development projects and are looking for a low cost and effective clean water technology,” Lipman said.   The team travels overseas to India to train different organizations that already have rural development projects and are looking for low cost and effective clean water technology. The BioSand Filters use reverse osmosis (RO) to purify the water.   “RO has some drawbacks. Fundamentally, reverse osmosis is the process of pushing contaminated water under pressure through a very fine membrane to remove all the contaminants. The process requires large amounts of electricity to force the water through the membrane,” explained Lipman.   Shivani Kumar, SAPWII’s India country representative, hoped to spread this technology throughout India and manage the 90 trained non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that are building and distributing.   “When I do site visits to villages and see that families are reporting healthier lives and spending less sick days, it’s the most gratifying feeling and that’s what keeps me energized and focused,” she said.   Some students are much closer to the problem than we think. Masters of Science in Information Systems international student Shiv Rudravaram, was aware of his countries needs and struggles.   “I am from the city, people maybe 100 miles from the city drink contaminated water from the factories. [The BioSand filter] is good, but they need to know the exact places where the problem is. They have good intent.” Going back to the basics of the environment, Kumar explained the process of the BioSand Filter and what it is capable of.   “While the rest of the world is going hi-tech, we are going back to nature. The BioSand Filter simply requires sand, gravel, and a naturally occurring biolayer as the purification method. Actually the solution is ancient, it’s utilizing the same principle as fresh mountain water. It’s nature purifying...

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