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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Anti-abortion: life for all
Oct23

Anti-abortion: life for all

Recently, I was reading in the Huffington Post’s religion section, and the Sept. 11 edition had an article I just had to read.   Rabbi Aaron Alexander, a frequent writer for this section, released an article titled, “Stop Calling it a Anti-abortion Movement or Become One.” You can go read the article if you wish, but in short, Alexander calls out the anti-abortion movement and he states some issues he has.   Among other suggestions, Alexander says that the anti-abortion movement should actually work with organizations like Planned Parenthood. Near the end of his article, Alexander says that we, as a group, should be willing to compromise with other abortion clinics.   This made me stop for a second. For the past six years, I have been adamantly anti-abortion. I have worked for the cause and done all I can do to spread the message of sanctity of life. Now, Alexander calls into question the anti-abortion cause and the values behind our ideals.   Alexander, in his article, does what many prominent pro-choice people often do when he uses and abuses the logical fallacy of red herrings when he says the anti-abortion movement needs to focus on issues outside of what the group is about.   Is the idea of loving people and doing everything we can to help people who are poor or hurting important? Absolutely. Anyone who identifies himself with the anti-abortion movement would easily say that he also wants to love people and help people.   This is a common misconception about the group today; people think anti-abortioners don’t care about people once they are born, they only care about the baby and making sure it isn’t aborted.   While fighting against abortion is easily the most commonly discussed section of the anti-abortion movement, it isn’t the only one, and I would argue that it isn’t the most important. I would argue that there isn’t a most important part of the movement.   We do believe that life is sacred from the point of conception to natural death. Why would one part of life be more important than any other part? It isn’t. That is what we are about.   Because the awareness for the sanctity of life is more prevalent, adversaries are more prevalent as well.   We need to know how to recognize and debunk arguments such as the ones Alexander is making. We need to realize that there is no room to compromise when it comes to the sanctity of life and finally get up and take a...

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Recipe to sucess begins with recruiting
Oct23

Recipe to sucess begins with recruiting

Imagine you’re a potential high school recruit with no scholarships or access to quality facilities.   The only thing you have been offered by the coaches is a promise for the chance to play, win conference titles and maybe a national championship. Not entirely what a recruit wants to hear from a football program.   Pete Fredenburg is the UMHB head football coach. When the program first got started back in 1998, it faced challenges like signing recruits to come play without any scholarships nor the best athletic facilities. Still, Fredenburg has managed to put together a winning team that competes year in and year out for championships.   “It begins with a central location to be able to go into areas like Austin, Waco, Dallas, San Antonio and Houston to get high quality recruits, but also a great message of us doing things the right way and allowing them to be the best they can be by teaching them the basic fundamentals, is how we come up with these good young players,” Fredenburg said   Fredenburg and his coaches approached recruits with the simple vision: Promising men the chance to win, and making them the best they can be on the field, in the classroom and in life, as great fathers and husbands. The coaches recruit athletes who are team players, academics and men of good ethics.   The problem the school encounters with recruiting is how it is pitted against Division I and II colleges that have scholarships and top-notch athletic facilities. Cru recruiters sell Division III ball by allowing kids to get valuable playing time and experience combined with being a part of a winning tradition   “I am pleasantly surprised by our successes, but that was our goal from the start — to produce a winning atmosphere and recruit the right player to fit the program,” Fredenburg said.   The football program has been fortunate to keep its coaching staff intact and has a university that supports it in helping to recruit the quality of kids for the program.   “I am proud of this school and these recruits for buying into the vision we had of being the best program which provides a winner on the field, a great student-athlete in the classroom and making these kids become great men in life,” Fredenburg said.   Jalen Lawson, a member of the football team, chose to come to the school as a recruit because of the winning tradition and the newly upgraded facilities.   Lawson also liked the family atmosphere portrayed by the program among the players and the coaching staff. He also likes the...

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Viewers navigate maze of emotion
Oct23

Viewers navigate maze of emotion

Based on the first novel of James Dashner’s bestselling trilogy, The Maze Runner presents a suspenseful and dark version of dystopian ideals found in films like The Hunger Games and Divergent.   The movie begins with 16 year-old Thomas waking up inside of an underground elevator. When he surfaces, he finds himself surrounded by dozens of other teenage boys in the middle of a meadow.   He doesn’t know where he is, why he’s there or even who he is. Apparently, none of the boys can remember anything about their past lives either, recalling only their names.   The group lives in a primitive camp built in the meadow, dubbed “The Glade” by residents of the dystopia. The boys call themselves “gladers,” and have made a life in the rough, green setting by building their own homes and growing food.   Anything else they need is sent to them once a month through the mysterious elevator. Along with the necessities comes a new boy, who is introduced to the lifestyle and encouraged to adapt to the strange circumstances.   Some gladers have lived there for years, and many have died there as well.   But why are they stuck in The Glade, and why can’t they just leave?   Surrounding the camp on all sides and towering in all of its ivy-covered glory is the solid stone walls of the maze. The only way out is through the maze, but very few enter it.   The brave kids who volunteer for the treacherous task are called “runners,” and it is their sole mission to run the course, mapping and charting all of the alleys and passages in hopes of finding the escape route.   However, there are a few problems with navigating the maze. The “runners” must return to the Glade before nightfall, because the opening to the course closes until early morning.   No one has ever survived a night within the walls, thanks to the Grievers — large, grotesque creatures that haunt gladers’ nightmares.   To make things worse, the maze changes each night as walls shift and new pathways open, making the possibility of finding a way out even more challenging.   Shortly after the arrival of Thomas, everything changes when the first girl shows up in the elevator, holding a written message.   Do they stay and die in the Glade? Or should they face the maze and all its dangers once and for all?   Sacrifices will be made, alliances will be formed and many will die before the maze trial is complete.   The Maze Runner proves to be both entertaining and thrilling....

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