Students reach out to Belton and beyond
Apr17

Students reach out to Belton and beyond

By Jenna Magness and Antonio Hebert As the end of the semester approaches, and with finals right around the corner, UMHB students took time out of their busy schedules to give back to the community.  Reaching Out, a favorite tradition on campus, took place this past Saturday April 13. Students gathered at Luther Memorial at 8:00 a.m. , grabbed some breakfast and then split up into teams. The groups helped with various miscellaneous projects like cleaning the Temple Animal Shelter, volunteering at Helping Hands and, the most popular, building playhouses for military families at Fort Hood. “I think it’s one of the best things we do on campus …,” freshman pre-Med  major Victoria Fahy said. “Just helping the community out in every way we can.” Fahy helped landscape First Baptist Belton’s garden that was in need of care. She was glad to be able to assist. “They don’t really have the time and people to help the church look better, so we were just there to help contribute in any way we could.” Not only did the church benefit from Reaching Out, but Fahy received a broader perspective from the experience. “It just gives me a better overall view of the community, a better understanding of what I can do to help in the Temple-Belton area.” Like Fahy, Victoria Camenisch, a freshman organismal biology major did yard work. Although it seemed like an unimportant gesture, she felt like she helped in a big way. “I like being part of the details that make people’s lives better,” she said. “In the big scheme of things it may be small, but it means a lot to people anyway.” Reaching Out highlights   students’  willingness to serve. Although the event takes place at the crack of dawn and lasts for four hours, it doesn’t diminish their attitude. Freshman public relations major Katie Valenzuela said, “Reaching Out is such an amazing opportunity to be a blessing to others. It’s a wonderful ministry and everyone should try participating in it at least once in their college experience.” For sophomore business major Seth Michaelson, this was an outlook changer. He said, “I think Reaching Out is a great program to open our eyes to people less fortunate. Not everyone has it as good as us.” Michaelson also views the outreach as an inspiration to live differently throughout the rest of the year. “It’s awesome. It makes you see this is how we’re  supposed to treat others.” For the seniors, it was  the last semester they were able to participate in before graduation. “It was such a special experience for me because I got to work with...

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Cru Score Second
Apr17

Cru Score Second

As the final seconds on the clock witnessed the formalities of a decided game, the dominant story of the 2013 NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship was not Amherst’s second national title. It was the story of an unranked University of Mary Hardin-Baylor team and its crusade to Atlanta. After two losses in the three opening games of what would be their national championship campaign, the Cru would regroup to forge a regular season record of 17-2 and place themselves in the American Southwest Conference fi nal. The loss to conference rival, Concordia University, in the ASC championship robbed the team of an ASC title, but perhaps in exchange unknowingly gave UMHB the drive to orchestrate a championship run. With the best record in the conference, the Crusaders earned a fi rst round bye in the NCAA tournament. Almost two weeks after their ASC title defeat, the Cru came after Concordia with a vengeance by unleashing 117 points on the Tornados to win by 25 at home at its Crusader Arena. With the momentum of a huge and high-scoring second round win, the UMHB basketball program punched its ticket to the NCAA Sweet 16 and tied the best run by men’s basketball in school history. By then defeating Whitworth University, ranked sixth in the nation, UMHB began its Cinderella story. In an interview after the game that elevated the team and school to its highest accomplishment in the sport, Head Coach Ken De-Weese talked about the feeling of the victory as indescribable. He would go on to commend his team on the poise they exemplified when the Pirates took the lead after a successful shooting spree by Whitworth. “There was one timeout there where I was talking to them saying, ‘we need to do some things out there,’ and they said, ‘Coach, we’re going to be fine,’ and they were,” DeWeese said. And that is the way the team handled the next two matchups again, with poise. A trip to Salem, Va., produced two more victories for the Cru with one against St. Mary’s College of Maryland in the Elite 8 stage. With just more than a minute left to play, only one point separated the two teams in a game that would end 69-66. There was the more impressive win that resonated around Division III; a Final Four victory that catapulted the small school into the national spotlight and the tournament final. The unranked UMHB program surprisingly knocked the number-one-ranked St. Thomas out of the tournament. The Crusaders overcame many obstacles to line up against Amherst College April 7. They are the first team in the conference and...

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Revival stirs spiritual renewal under tent

A committee planned the long-awaited event for nearly a year, and the annual tent revival finally came to manifestation this month. The experience featured a guest worship band and a speaker who came to shake up the spiritual climate. The campus community considered this year a success, even though stormy weather caused the last two nights of the three-day meeting to be held in Walton Chapel. Despite the break with tradition, students had a positive reaction to the event. Sophomore nursing major Kia Torres was on the Revival Steering Committee. “Although we would’ve loved to have Revival all three days in the tent like tradition, Revival is not defined by a tent. Revival is defined by the presence of God and open hearts.” Even with the last-minute change in course, the meetings were not ruined for Torres. “I felt God move in ways I never thought possible. That’s why I love Revival so much. My freshman year,  it caused me to reflect on my relationship with God and make some much needed changes. I loved seeing everyone on their groups being open and talking and praying together. “It was amazing. It definitely helped my spiritual life. It made me closer to God,” freshman marketing major Jessica Picathly said. Freshman Savannah Davis enjoyed Revival as well. “I went the last day. I think the speaker was hilarious, and he kept us really interested .… You could feel God working in that room,” she said. For Davis, the high point was the sense of community the services built and the atmosphere of togetherness fostered among students. “I liked when we split up into groups and talked and fellowshipped with our friends.” This year’s speaker was a youth minister known for preaching at church camps around Texas. He has also made appearances at UMHB on a few other occasions. His name is Douglas Runkles, but people who have heard him speak know him by something different—Runks. He opened his first talk by explaining the nickname. “My parents did not name me Runks because that would be stupid,” he said. “I don’t go by Doug … Doug is a verb,” he joked. “I dug a ditch, I dug a hole…. I feel arrogant if I introduce myself as Doug because, ‘I’m Doug. People dig me.’” In his gregarious, humorous style, he paced the stage energetically, recounting stories from his life and the lives of people he knows, explaining how biblical principles can practically be applied to every situation. Runkles talked about addiction, his own struggles and the different ways people try to distract themselves from their personal troubles. “When we face a tough...

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New graduate programs added

Last fall, the graduate school had an enrollment of 363 students, and during the spring the numbers remained strong with 351. The university is expecting a drastic increase in these demographics with the development of new programs. The graduate school has announced the beginnings of a new Doctor of Physical Therapy program expected to start in the fall of 2014. Also, two new tracks, Leadership in Nursing Education and Education and Sport Administration, will be included in the Doctor of Education and Master of Science in Education degrees. What is the significance of these programs being offered now? Dean of the graduate school and Associate Professor of exercise and sport science, Dr. Colin Wilborn, explains it’s all about figuring out which programs will be best suited for the university, which has taken two years of consideration. “We believe it fits our mission with service. Clearly, physical therapists in their profession are all about service, so it fits with our mission in that way. It allows us to reach a completely different population of students that we haven’t had before. It allows us to spread our reach as Christian higher education,” he said. Wilborn anticipates a boost in job opportunities for graduate students in upcoming years. We know the need for physical therapists over the next 10 years is going to increase to 40 percent; job placement is currently 99 percent. So, we know that our graduates are going to have good jobs. They’re going to have good jobs quickly and that they are also the new population of Mary Hardin-Baylor,” he said. With terminal degrees in nursing education so hard to find at other schools, Wilborn said that including the Ed.D track at the university will fill a void to educate nurse leaders. The program will help nurse educators learn new skills and prepare them to be better teachers. Prospective graduate students will have plenty of interesting occasions to look forward to.. “They’ll have the opportunity to go to Austin the first summer to be involved in some of the legislative issues that are affecting nursing education. The second summer, they’ll be able to go to Washington and get on a deeper level legislatively with what’s going on in nursing education and how they can make a difference with that,” said Associate Professor and Director of the master’s of science and nursing programs Dr. Carrie Johnson. She also said students involved in the new nursing track will get the chance to study abroad at a later time. With the DPT program being largely based on clinical experience, students interested in the new degree will get a chance for research...

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Leah Bunkers brings Iowa talent

A sparkly tiara once balanced on the head of sophomore public relations major Leah Bunkers. But this isn’t a story of Honey Boo Boo or whiny toddlers in crowns. Bunkers grew up as an athlete and discovered that being a pageant girl means far more than strutting the stage in glittery heels. “I wasn’t the typical pageant girl growing up because I was involved in sports and other things that people wouldn’t expect,” she said. Bunker’s father, Doug, remembers Leah at age nine, creating her own business around hair ties. He said, “Leah has always been a little quiet, a very hard worker and motivated to achieve whatever her goals are.  She has always been willing to help others and extremely nonjudgmental.  Leah is intensely loyal and has very good friends.” At 14, Leah saw the opportunity to compete for scholarship money by entering the contests. “I knew I would have to pay for college. I had the skills that they were looking for in a title holder, so I took it upon myself to train for it,” she said. Leah enjoys exploring new things, so she and her family thought the decision was fitting. With her family’s support, she began a rigorous training schedule of working out, singing and poise lessons that changed her life. Bunkers first competed in Miss Capital City’s Outstanding Teen, a preliminary to Miss Iowa’s outstanding Teen. She was shocked when the crown was placed on her head. “I was really surprised I won my first contest because I was the youngest contestant, and I didn’t know what I was doing…. It was a learning experience, and I did better every year,” she said. “I ended up getting first runner-up in Miss Iowa’s Outstanding Teen next. I really bettered myself by taking a look at each phase of competition and looking at how I can be the best I can be.” Bunkers missed a lot of school her senior year. When she went on to win Miss Greenbelt, she had to travel back and forth to vocal coaches and trainers for the upcoming Miss Iowa pageant in hopes of winning and moving forward to Miss America. Bunkers joined 16 other local titleholders for the Miss Iowa pageant and spent a week doing community service, volunteer work and making appearances all over the state. “You really get to connect with the girls and make an impact on a lot of people in that one week. Then we had preliminaries to determine the top ten.” Leah qualified for the next round of competition, making the top ten in the Miss Iowa pageant. But her world came...

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Students dig Israeli archaeolgy

By Ashleigh Bugg While others are relaxing or working at home this summer, Dr. Stephen Von Wyrick and a select group of students will get their hands dirty. Wyrick, who teaches Hebrew, archaeology and Old Testament, is leading an excavation at the city of Tel Gezer in Israel. “Students learn everything archaeologists do. They will work on site with people from all over the world. There are doctors, lawyers, botanists… people from all disciplines, but we all move dirt together,” Wyrick said. The Israel study abroad trip will count for 12 semester hours. It is open to all UMHB students, not just Christian studies or archaeology majors. Credit can be earned for social science, art and world issues. Participants will spend a month in the field and learn to take levels and measurements, work with ancient pottery and make field notes. “Students will engage in original research. They’re not just reading about it in a textbook or hearing about it from someone who has never been. They will learn about a people group that shaped much of Western society,” Wyrick said. Although Wyrick is interested in the biblical significance of the excavation, he maintains that the trip’s main goal is for the cultural and academic value. “I don’t want students to go over there to try to prove the Bible,” he said. “Archaeology was not designed to prove the Bible. It is interesting when what we find intersects with Scripture, but we are trying to understand how people in that area lived.” In Israel, students will interact with a diverse group, including graduate students from Oxford. “We have people who are Muslims, Christians, Jews and atheists excavating…. We are all curious about humans, about how this group lived and worked nearly 2,800 years ago,” Wyrick said. Freshman Christian studies major Leah White is especially excited about the trip. “I mean it’s Israel. We study about it but to actually be able to go there… to see what we are learning in a tangible form. It’s awesome,” White said. Students pay $9,180 for tuition; the actual trip is free for students. “Travel from site to site alone would cost over $5,000. It’s never been more convenient for students to go,” Wyrick said. Archaeological expeditions evoke images of roughing it in tent cities covered in ancient dust. However, students will stay in a resort called Nev Shalom or Oasis of Peace. Despite the luxury of air conditioning, the trip is not for the faint of heart. “Our day starts at 4:00 a.m.…. We work hard. We move a lot of dirt. It’s intense but a lot of fun. Students who have...

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