Students pursue dreams of medical school
Mar10

Students pursue dreams of medical school

By Lindsay Schaefer According to Dr. Ruth Ann Murphy, professor and department chair of chem-istry, environmental sciences and geology, UMHB has an impressive success rate of students being accepted into medical school. One of the reasons is because it is part of the Joint Admission Medical Program, or JAMP. This award grants financial and academic help to Texas students wanting to achieve their dreams of entering medical school. It is a partnership created to place students from 65 public and private institutions with one of the eight Texas medical schools. “JAMP was somewhat designed to bring students to medical school who would have not gotten there otherwise,” Murphy said. Sophomore mathematics and chemistry major, Ashli Lawson, was one of the students to receive the JAMP scholarship. Lawson was elated when she found out that her dream of becoming a doctor was now turning into a reality. “I want to be a doctor because I think the biggest part of being a citizen of the world is contributing back to your community. I specifically want to be an OB/GYN (obstetrician/gynecologist) because I love empowering women,” she said. Through JAMP, Lawson will be able to achieve the goal she has worked toward. Students may be eligible for the JAMP program if they are pre-med, a 2008 spring graduate of a Texas high school and have an ACT or SAT score equal to or higher than this year’s mean score in Texas. Additional requirements include eligibility for a Pell Grant and 27 hours credit with a 3.25 GPA freshman year. Applications are due at the end of the sophomore year. JAMP provides a way into medical school for several students, but there are also other means of getting in. Craig Jenkins, a senior chemistry and cell biology major, has a story of his own. At 18 and not knowing what he wanted to do with his life, Jenkins enlisted in the Army for six and half years. He attributes his desire to become a family physician to his mentor, a doctor, whom he worked  with in the States and in Iraq. “He was kind of like a catalyst. He told me that I have what it takes, and nobody’s told me that prior to him, so at that point I got out of the Army and started going to school,” Jenkins said. Through a program called HPSP, Health Profession Scholarship Program, the Air Force will pay for his medical school at A.T. Still School of Osteopathic Medicine in Mesa, Ariz., in return for his service in the forces. Senior cell biology and psychology major, Zayde Radwan, is heading straight into medical school...

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Darwin goes under the scope
Mar10

Darwin goes under the scope

By Evangeline Ciupek This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin. He is most notably recognized for his theory of evolution—also called Darwinism—which states that life evolved from single-celled organisms to plants and animals through random natural selection. Evolution is still debated today just as it was in Darwin’s time, especially in Christian circles. Chairperson of the department of biology, Dr. Kathleen Wood, said the subject is important to science. “You will find Darwin’s theory of evolution in practically every biology textbook. For anyone who enjoys watching nature shows on TV, (the) evolutionary theory is quite prominent.” The Darwin Day Celebration (DDC), a nonprofit corporation run by the American Humanist Association, said its mission “is to promote the public education about science, and to encourage the celebration of science and humanity.” According to the DDC, Darwin Day is celebrated in 713 separate events in 45 different countries. Wood has wrestled with the questions of the origin of life from an early age. “I still remember a graduate enzymology course … when I innocently asked the speaker how he knew that insulin had evolved the way he (told) us it had. He got quite angry and accused me of being an anti-evolution religious nut …. It very quickly became clear to me that it was dangerous to question evolution,” Wood said. University president, Dr. Jerry Bawcom, said evolution and creationism are both taught on campus. “If one is to seek advanced studies in the sciences, one must understand this theory, because (it) is the primary focus in nearly all grad schools,” Bawcom said. “Clearly being a Christian college we believe in what is presented in the Bible. No one can tell, though, if God’s day is our day, or (if) is day is really a thousand years or much more.” Wood tries to balance her teaching. “I personally do not agree with the theory of evolution, but … I believe my students absolutely must understand and know the basis of this theory. I teach the basics of the theory and then I also bring up arguments of respected scientists against (evolution) and specific scientific examples that do not seem to support evolution. I want my students to think (and) to question things … even from the experts,’” Wood said. Professor of Hebrew, archaeology and Old Testament, Dr. Stephen Von Wyrick, said, “Evolution  is  on my list to ask … when I visit with Jesus.” He said interpretations, not truths, are the cause of conflict. “Science and scripture are not contradictory,” he said. “My interpretation of scripture may need to be modified … based on new discoveries.”...

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Hands extending to ‘Reach Out’
Mar10

Hands extending to ‘Reach Out’

By Evan Duncan More than 225 students participated in Reaching Out, a project offering community opportunities  sponsored by the Student Government Association. The March 7 event had its highest participation rate ever. Students gathered early in the morning to do work projects around the Belton and Temple areas.  Groups led by SGA chaplains went to local organizations, including Helping Hands, the Belton Christian Youth Center, the Ronald McDonald House and Central Texas Christian School to complete work projects that included activities like painting and cleaning. The goal this semester was for students to have more opportunities to be purposeful with their actions to those they serve. While some students went to various organizations,  others served at five individual homes. These projects included cleaning the windows of an elderly woman’s home, helping an elderly man with yard work and doing small jobs for lower income residents. “On the evaluations last semester, students wanted to make the experience more intimate,”   junior Tommy Wilson said. As the student director of spiritual life, Wilson worked closely with chaplains to plan and implement updated agendas to meet students’ service desires. “They  used to work  in (people’s) homes five years ago,” he  said.  “(Dr.  George   Loutherback) put the bug in my ear, and it has grown since then.” Collaboration is essential, according to Dr. George Harrison, UMHB’s director of cultural affairs. Harrison has been the coordinator for five years. The program was established in 1999 by university chaplain, Dr. George Loutherback. Many faculty and staff members take part in the service projects. Some departments are encouraged to participate at least once a year. “The collaboration goes well,” Harrison said. “We are here because of the students. It is not the students’ job to interact with us, but our job to interact with them.” The community also participates in the event. Middle schooler Jacob Fitzwater, son of McLane Hall Resident Director Wendi Fitzwater, took part as well. To fulfill his community service duties for National Junior Honor Society, he spent the day working with older Crusaders. Junior Tyler Jones is part of the SGA team of chaplains who worked to plan the event. He and his peers spent time talking with people, finding contacts for projects and advertising the event to the student body. “It is all about giving back to the community because (it) has given us so much,” Jones said. “We have a chance to serve instead of being served.” Wilson stressed the importance of the chaplains’ dedication. “They have done a phenomenal job,” he said. “They are growing more and more and taking ownership in this.” As the ministry evolves, many are looking...

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Slumping economy, TV shows cut short
Feb24

Slumping economy, TV shows cut short

By Evan Duncan The economic crisis is not just hitting businesses, banks and real estate. Most industries are pinching pennies these days, and entertainment is no exception. Television networks are cutting costs, and the effects are showing up on screen. Marketwatch.com says automotive ads, which normally supply one third of all TV ad revenue, are disappearing as auto sales decline. Overall, television profit is down 40%. Executives are being forced to find new ways to be successful. In January, NBC announced a plan to give Jay Leno the 9 p.m. central time slot five days a week. That means five hour-long dramas, such as E.R., will not be returning in the fall. Conan O’Brien will be taking over the Tonight Show at 10:30, and Jimmy Fallon will run things in Conan’s old slot. In the life of college students, who spend most evenings studying or with friends, this move may not have much impact. Tanner Perkins, a junior English major, is unfazed by the adjustment. “Let’s just say, watching Craig Ferguson at midnight is worth more than watching Jay Leno any time,” he said. “Jay Leno is only good for wasting time for the good shows.” Even before the economic troubles, TV networks had been facing issues. Digital Video Recorders, or DVRs, allow viewers to record television and watch it later. DVR users can also fastforward through advertisements. Web sites like hulu.com offer shows on demand with limited commercial interruption. As fewer viewers are seeing ads, advertisers are not willing to pay as much as they had before. Cheaper ads mean less money for networks to put into content. As other businesses falter, even less money can be put into advertising, especially on a medium that is not as influential as it once was. “I love Lost, but I watch it online,” said sophomore biblical studies major, Brittany Montgomery. “That way it fits my schedule. I can pause it when I want, and I don’t have to sit through blocks of commercials. I barely even use a TV.” Despite the worries of executives, the crisis has been good for some shows. The Sarah Conner Chronicles of Fox, for example, would normally be canceled after the low ratings it has received. But Fox, like other networks, has little material after last  year’s writer’s strike and low funds to develop new shows. For Conner...

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Ring by spring becomes reality

By Andra Holbrooks The weather has been beautiful, the air crisp, purple and gold flowers in bloom, and several female Crusaders have pretty diamond rings on their left hands. It must be spring. Senior computer graphics design major, Joseph Villegas, recently became engaged to junior psychology major, Natasha Mills. They met at Mayborn Campus Center. “I was on duty working the weight room and was trying to recruit volleyball players for a team,” Mills said. “The captain asked Joseph if he wanted to play, but Joseph declined. I skipped over to him, pearl earrings and all, and asked if he would play. He enthusiastically accepted. That was our first encounter together.” Villegas shares the same story “After I found out Natasha was on the (volleyball) team she told me I should join, so I did,” he said. First encounters go a long way because the two have been a couple even since. Mills said, “I knew I loved that kid within three months.” Villegas saw Mills in his future within the first month. “One night she called me and said ‘I love you,’ and I just knew this was the one,” he said. On Feb. 1, Villegas proposed to Mills. It was a special day for them because they were celebrating two years of being together. “I asked her at the Georgetown Airport after our helicopter ride, which she thought was for our two-year anniversary. She got out of the helicopter still ecstatic from the ride.” From there she began to realize her future was about to change. “We walked up to the hanger doors because the pilot said the main ones were locked. As an employee opened the doors, Natasha saw everyone and just started crying. She knew exactly what was going to happen.” Villegas was anxious as he proceeded to go through what he had planned. “I got down on one knee and asked, but being so nervous I had the ring upside down. She informed me of my mistake, but gladly said yes,” Villegas said. They greeted family and friends thanking all for coming to celebrate their future. “I was so shocked I felt very loved and wanted by him. I started crying and being a girl about the whole thing. The proposal was a thrill and so sentimental. All of my loved ones were there to share this beautiful moment with us,” Mills said. Villegas and Mills aren’t the only junior/senior couple getting hitched. Newly engaged senior graphics design major, Brodie Reynolds, and junior history major, Cassie Konichek, have set the big day for Dec. 17, 2010. “Brodie and I met at Summer Fun during...

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