Hometown Huddle: Cru Football players help inspire youth to be active
Apr11

Hometown Huddle: Cru Football players help inspire youth to be active

Crusader Stadium hosted the United Way of Central Texas’ event “Hometown Huddle” on Saturday, March 24. This event, which was free for both boys and girls ages 7-12 in the community, aimed to promote healthy lifestyles through different exercise stations and included two notable guest speakers. “The purpose of Hometown Huddle was to teach children the benefits of eating healthy, exercising daily and making smart food choices, Graduate Assistant Baylor Mullins, who was involved in the event, said. “Children participated in multiple non-contact football stations guided by Titan Total Training Chief Executive Officer and UMHB alumnus Ike Shaw and NFL Free Agent Linebacker and UMHB alumnus Jerrell Freeman, along with current UMHB football players.” Cru football players had the unique opportunity to serve the community and inspire children to pursue their dreams in a more personal setting. “As a UMHB football Graduate Assistant, I assisted in getting current UMHB football players there to help work with Ike Shaw and Jerrell Freeman in the different exercise stations,” Mullins said. This event, which takes place annually, is a fun and interactive way for kids in the Belton/Temple community to be educated on the importance of daily exercise. “I think it is beneficial for the kids that were involved because so many of them look up to older football players,” Mullins said. “Seeing older college and a professional football player there to help teach and guide them through different stations is very beneficial to the young kids in seeing how they can be successful in living a healthy lifestyle.” Mullins said his favorite part was seeing the many different ages of kids come out and just have fun while also learning about how to eat healthy and learn different exercises. “It is great also to see current UMHB players and former Cru player Jerrell Freeman come back and give to the community,” he...

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Nurses utilize simulation lab at UMHB
Feb21

Nurses utilize simulation lab at UMHB

In order to prepare nursing students for the clinical setting, the Scott and White College of Nursing has implemented three unique components that make up the Clinical Simulation Learning Center. These components include a skills laboratory, a standard clinic, and a simulation hospital. Each component is crucial in helping students to gaining experience and confidence in their skillset in order to grow into a successful professional nurse. The first component is the skills laboratory, which contains mannequins for students to learn, practice and perfect their clinical skills with. These labs are open for students throughout the week, with nursing faculty present to assist with teaching and evaluating students’ technique in clinical skills. “The skills lab is a relaxed setting in which students can really just become better in preforming all sorts of nursing skills,” junior nursing student Clarissa Canchola said. “As student nurses, we are often evaluated in our skillset, which can be very stressful. So it is very helpful to have an easy-going place for us to just practice and ask questions.” The second component is the patient clinic, which emulates a doctor’s office. The purpose for this clinic is for students to be evaluated in a more formal way, with faculty and other students who act as patients. The student nurse is then able to perform a wide variety of skills, including basic skills such as vital signs and a full health assessment, along with medication administration. “The environment of the practicums that take places in the clinic area make it seem like we are actually working as nurses in a health care setting,” sophomore nursing student Bennett Cardoso said. “We have to verbalize everything to our instructors, which will help us when we are at the hospital to explain the procedures step by step to our patients to help them feel more comfortable. Knowing these practicums are an essential part of our grade, we have to practice and make it perfect. This will help us in the future to use our assessment skills in real life. Practice definitely makes perfect.” Finally, the third component, which is the most advanced and realistic educational tool, is the simulation hospital. Each semester, students in each level of the nursing program have the opportunity to apply their skills to a life-like situation. These simulations each have a different concept that they cover and the nursing students work together in groups to provide care to mannequin patients. However, these mannequins are unique in that they can be controlled by the nursing faculty to do different things. The students must figure out how to deal with a wide array of situations, which...

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Best Buddies facilitates relationships between students and the special needs community
Feb09

Best Buddies facilitates relationships between students and the special needs community

For those looking to join a fun and rewarding organization that not only provides community outreach, but also builds valuable, longlastingfriendships, Best Buddies may be the perfect match. Best Buddies is a national organization that allows students to connect with those who have intellectual and developmental disabilities in the community. “The main goal that we have in Best Buddies, especially in this chapter, is just friendships with the special needs communities,” Best Buddies UMHB Chapter President Idaly Ramirez, a junior education major, said. “They truly are such a beautiful community; they are so powerful. We try to get young adults with special needs to feel more comfortable in our environment. We want to introduce them to our world and allow them to introduce us to theirs. Ramirez says that along with building meaningful friendships, community service is a huge part of the organization. “We go down to the Ark in Temple, which is a whole gym for special needs individuals,” she said. “They host special Olympics, which has a bunch of tournaments that we go and cheer on and help out in. We are able to volunteer with cleaning and keeping score and things like that. We also do more personal activities with our buddies, such as movie or game night, or go skating and things like that.” While Best Buddies is a small organization here at UMHB, its benefits have greatly impacted both students and the special needs community. “We have 16 members currently, and two buddies,” Ramirez said. “We are also about to add a third buddy. Currently, we are split into two groups of three or four people, and each group is paired with one of the buddies.” “Right now, I believe we are the only organization that really focuses on outreach to those in the special needs community. Our university does have an interdisciplinary studies degree, so having an organization like this available allows the students that are studying that to gain experience.” One benefit of Best Buddies that is different than any other student organization on campus is its flexibility. Since there are not many regular meetings, it is a perfect organization for those who have busy schedules. “Our organization is different in that our meetings are more on a personal basis, so it is flexible to your schedule,” Ramirez said. “The buddy groups will meet whenever everyone is available. As an organization, we will meet at least once a month for more big events, such as movie night and things like that.” While Best Buddies gives students the opportunity to experience many things, there are a few things in particular that Ramirez believes...

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Nursing students present at Houston conference
Nov16

Nursing students present at Houston conference

Five nursing students from UMHB are headed to Houston to present at a health care conference that draws hundreds of health care professionals from around the country. Nicole Ikefuna, Daniella Llanas, Laryssa Wills, Alaijah Taylor, and Deanna Hopkinson were chosen out of the entire Novice 1 nursing cohort throughout the university to participate in this honor, and have been working hard recently to prepare for their presentation. “We will be speaking at the TAHCH conference, which is a conference for the Texas Association for Home Care and Hospice,” Nicole Ikefuna said. The convention takes place at the Westin Hotel in the Houston Galleria. Our presentation will take place on Wednesday, the 15. Students from UMHB will be presenting at the conference, along with their teacher, Dr. Emerson and her husband, who will present additional information as well. Although the conference will cover a wide range of topics, the UMHB group will be presenting specifically on religion and how it impacts health care. Each member has done extensive research on a religion of their choosing and will present that information individually. “We will be presenting on religious diversity in relation to end-of-life care practices for hospice care,” Ikefuna said. “Health care professionals will be attending this conference, including hospice care providers and home health nurses. We’ve prepared for this project by doing research and making sure that all of our information was accurate. We have also spent a lot of time as a group, as well as individually practicing to make sure we can get our point across in the best way possible,” Ikafuna said. It was a lengthy process in getting chosen to present at such a large and notable conference and these young women know that it is an experience of a lifetime. “The process for being chosen to present at this conference began with our whole nursing cohort being divided up into groups of five people of creating and submmitind a presentation for our teacher. “Our teacher then chose the top two presentations out of each class and we had to present in front of a panel, where they then chose the winning group.” For Ikefuna, this experience is one that she hopes will further her evolution into a professional nurse, but she also wants to gain a clearer picture regarding the field of nursing she plans to pursue in the future. “I think that this experience will give me an opportunity to explore a side of nursing that I have always wanted to do, which is public health nursing,” she said. “I am very interested in that field of nursing. I think it will also help...

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Senior soccer player shines on and off the field
Nov15

Senior soccer player shines on and off the field

The UMHB men’s soccer team has made history this year, earning the program’s first ASC championship as they head to the NCAA Division III National Championship tournament. Senior midfielder Caleb Almanza, who was recently selected to compete on the First Team All-ASC and is a starter for the Cru, has played a big part in the team’s success this season. “This season has been great, we are playing well and put ourselves in a great position to do something amazing and make history,” Almanza said. “I feel I put in a lot of work to my team and do whatever it takes to win.” While Almanza has had many people in his life who have inspired and helped him in his soccer career, there is a certain person who has left a special impact on his heart. “My older brother, who is in the Navy is my biggest inspiration in life,” Almanza said. “I look up to him every day. He has helped me through everything throughout my life and is the reason I am who I am today.” Soccer has always been more than just a game for Almanza; it is a part of him that no matter where he goes, he will always take with him. “I have played soccer since I was 3 years old, so it’s been about 18 years,” Almanza said. “My parents got me started in it and it has been a part of my life ever since. I love that I forget about everything while I’m playing. It’s my time to get away from everything and do what I love, and I thank God for letting me do that every day. “It has been what I have done my entire life, soccer has taken me all over the world, brought me to a great university and just been a massive part of my life.” Although soccer holds so many special memories in the past for Almanza, his next step in life is to pursue his other dream: to become a physical therapist. “I plan on pursuing my career after I graduate and not play soccer anymore. I need to focus on my long-term future even though I would love to continue playing,” Almanza said. Choosing to further his athletic career as a Crusader was not a tough decision for Almanza and throughout his four years here, he has realized that this is exactly where he belongs. “I loved my visit when I came to visit UMHB,” he said. “They have great academics and Coach Bankhead ran a very good program so I wanted to be a part of it. To this day,...

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