First Generation dinner: Making transitions and learning traditions
Sep12

First Generation dinner: Making transitions and learning traditions

To welcome the 370 first-generation freshmen who became Crusaders this year, The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor’s President Randy O’Rear hosted the third annual First to Go Welcome Dinner on his front lawn on campus Thursday, Aug. 30. The recently established annual dinner is held for first-generation freshmen to help them get in touch with other students, faculty and even President O’Rear himself. Students had the chance to eat Cru dogs for the first time, take pictures in a photo booth and participate in a raffle for UMHB themed prizes. UMHB defines the term ‘first-generation’ as a student where neither parents received a bachelor’s degree or higher. Katie Gregory is the head of the First to Go (F2G) program and a Student Success Specialist in the Center for Academic Excellence (CAE). She personally contacts each student before the school year starts and answers their questions. “There have always been first-generation students attending UMHB, but [this is the third year the program has been active].“As each year passes, we enhance the program to be more impactful and beneficial for students,” Gregory said. Statistics show that three out of five first-generation college students do not complete a degree in six years, and 60 percent of the first-generation students who drop out of college do so during their first year. These are two statistics UMHB is trying to change. By providing recourses and answering questions, the F2G program is helping first-generation students realize that they are not alone and have many people who want them to succeed in life beyond UMHB. “Originally, I felt we had such a large number of first-generation students and I felt that the university could do more for that group of students and encourage them. The national statistics communicate that it is hard to be successful as a first-generation student,” President Randy O’Rear said. He started hosting the dinner to show first-generation students that UMHB cares about their well-being and achievements. He wanted to show the incoming freshmen that they are not alone in this and help is all around them. “They came to Mary Hardin-Baylor because they want to obtain a college degree and we are here to help them reach that goal,” O’Rear said. Many students have some sort of idea about what college will be like or they can ask their parent about their college years. But first-generation students don’t really know what to expect because they are the first in their family to experience college. Freshman social work major Mary Herschberger says that a big challenge for her is breaking the cycle of not attending a college. And she feels the pressure to succeed...

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Summer break brings changes to campus

Over the summer, UMHB made some notable changes to different areas of campus, the most recognizable being the renovation of the Living Flame and the gas lines that power it. When the flame was renovated, the campus decided to relocate three plaques surrounding the flame to different areas of the school. Junior Christian studies major Ashley Boutte said that she noticed the renovations to the flame when she returned to campus. “As a junior, I had the honor of being a part of the first class to go to the newly renovated flame during welcome week. I think it looks more professional this way.” Other changes that occurred over the summer include moving the senior bell from the quad to the Musick Alumni Center and Museum, as well as the renovation of Presser Hall’s first and second floors. Tyler Baker, a senior political science and speech communication double major and UMHB Student Body President, said he was pleased with the changes. “I think it was a good idea. I was pleased that it is now all concrete around the flame and I think it represents UMHB well,” Baker said. “Moving the senior bell to the alumni museum makes more sense because that is where we will all end up. It is a way to connect seniors with the alumni community.” Dr. Steve Theodore is the Senior Vice President for Administration and Chief Operating Officer of UMHB, and he oversaw all of these projects. “We did everything with the students’ interests in mind,” he said. Dr. Theodore says that there are a few more projects in the works. One that is already in action is the expansion and rebuilding of the parking lot in front of Davidson Hall. The new parking lot should be finished by mid-September. The school also plans to complete an addition to Hardy Hall by next fall. Then, the Mabee Market on the first floor of the Mabee Student Success Center will be moved into Hardy Hall along with a new Moe’s Grill. The previous location of the Mabee Market will then be converted into an Einstein Bros. bagels, providing another dining...

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Ballroom club: A chance to dance
Apr11

Ballroom club: A chance to dance

Cru Ballroom is a new student organization focusing on getting people together to learn ballroom dancing. Club President Storm Garcia defines ballroom dancing as “partner dancing across many different cultures, countries, and types of music.” The club can teach students 32 different types of dances and features country, line, and swing dancing. Since the club is new, it currently averages 10 people who meet to dance. This club allows students to receive hands-on-help and offers new skills for all dancers, beginners and professionals alike. Garcia encourages students to attend meetings. “It’s a great way to meet people and a good way to get your mind off of school and have a good time. [Dancing] is also a very useful skill to have,” Garcia said. During each meeting, members spend time at the beginning talking and getting to know each other while waiting for more people to arrive. With the first dance of the meeting, Garcia will demonstrate the basic steps and then he’ll spend time dancing with each female dancer. Meanwhile, Vice President and senior psychology major Brook Shuck explained that members spend their time going through different dances. “Lately it’s been Swing, various forms of country dancing, and Waltz,” Shuck said. “ We usually break up categories of dance with a fun line dance. This usually gets people to relax a little,” Shuck said. “Our meetings are extremely laid back and it’s kind of like a come and go type thing.” Lauren Floyd, a freshman Christian studies major, is a member of the club. “I like ballroom dancing because it’s an expression of elegance and art that takes energy. It’s really fun when you get into it and the organization is a fun way to make friends,” Floyd said. A few more dance styles included for practice are Latin dancing, swing dancing, spot dancing, and progressive dancing. Students don’t have to worry about being good at a certain style. The club’s atmosphere is an accepting one that allows students to become more confident in their dancing abilities. “Ballroom dancing is a skill that is applicable to life, a fun way to make friends, and it’s a great workout,” Schuck said. “We’d love to see more people join Cru Ballroom, especially some guys.” The organization meets in the Mayborn aerobic room every Friday from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. For more information on how to join, students can contact Storm Garcia at...

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Recounting alumni’s life/career path
Apr11

Recounting alumni’s life/career path

Kari Sanders (formerly known as Kari Reitmeyer) is a 2004 alumna who graduated with a degree in business administration and a minor in marketing. She attended a small Baptist high school so she knew that she wanted to attend a smaller Christian college. While attending UMHB, Sanders participated in many events and intramural sports such as football, ultimate Frisbee and softball intramurals. Sanders also went to Mexico with the School of Business to study small businesses in developing countries and ended up meeting her husband, Keith Sanders (also class of 2004) on the trip. Since graduating, she married her husband, moved to Waco and the two started an insurance agency together. They have two children Austin, 9, and Abigail, 2. Both parents both serve on the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) board in Waco. “I knew since high school that I wanted to be in marketing. I have done different variations of marketing at each company and I have enjoyed them all,” Kari Sanders said. “I am still very happy that I chose marketing. It was the right path for me.” After graduating, Kari Sanders began working in the advertising and sales department at Time Warner Cable in Harker Heights and transferred over to the marketing department in Waco within a year as a marketing coordinator. Afterward, she transferred to The Dwyer Group as a marketing specialist and was promoted to a brand manager focusing on national franchise marketing. After nine years at Dwyer, Sanders decided it was time to try something else and moved over to Raising Cane’s. “[As a marketing advisor,] I support restaurants by assisting with national marketing campaign coordination, negotiating collegiate and high school sponsorships, developing local marketing/community involvement strategies and much more,” Sanders said. “I am field-based, meaning I do not drive into the office in Plano every day. I work from home when I am not visiting the restaurants that I support. My territory ranges from south DFW to College Station.” Sanders explained that each project she works on takes several months of planning and grand openings are usually the biggest events she plans. When preparing to open a new restaurant, Sanders must first develop marketing plans for it, as well as coordinate any events that will take place during the opening, such as the first 100 customers receive a T-shirt, etc. Her more recent projects involved opening the Temple restaurant in 2016 and the Copperas Cove restaurant in 2017. Sanders also said that later this year a Raising Cane’s will make its grand debut in Harker...

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Student Event Planning Association
Mar07

Student Event Planning Association

The spring semester has introduced many new organizations onto campus, including the Student Event Planning Association (SEPA) . The official SEPA website describes the organization as such: “The Student Event Planners Association is a professional organization that caters to millennials in the event planning and hospitality industry. Our mission is to develop student event planners into professionals.” The UMHB group adds that it also prepares students, professionals and businesses for success in the event planning and hospitality industry. SEPA serves as a professional outlet for members to gain knowledge and experience, develop skills, and network. Though this is only their first semester as a chapter on campus, the organization currently has around 20 to 30 members and has eight officers. It has already held two meetings and will hold two more later in the semester. The organization invites public relations and communication professionals in to speak at the meetings. “Speakers help by bringing in real world experts who do this and giving [students] tips,” public relations professor and SEPA adviser Avery Green, said. “Classroom learning doesn’t always include the real world big picture concepts, so we build on what we learn in the classroom as far as event planning. Each speaker has their own spin on the tips they offer.” To become an official member of the organization, students pay dues totaling to $50. This includes chapter dues ($10 per semester) and national dues ($30 for one academic year). Students must become a member of the national organization to be recognized as a member and put SEPA on their resume or LinkedIn account. Teasurer Rhema Jones, a senior public relations major with a marketing minor, joined in hopes of gaining tips on how to be a development officer and do fundraising for development institutions. When asked if it would be worth students’ time to invest in this organization Jones said, “I think it is a good opportunity to network with likeminded people.” “We had Dayspring Fowler come in at the last meeting and it was awesome to hear her perspective,” Jones said. It is a nationally recognized organization so it looks great on a resume and it is definitely worth the $50 investment.” Tori Bradbury, a senior public relations major with a minor in marketing, is the organization’s president. “We mainly wanted to set a good foundation for the underclassmen and set a good example. We didn’t want to bite off more than we could chew and then flop, so we wanted to start the organization out slow so we could make that foundation to build upon in the future. There are still many things we want to do...

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