Students hit the hardwood with hopes of earning intramural glory
Feb11

Students hit the hardwood with hopes of earning intramural glory

BELTON, TX – THE BELLS — Just when intramural sports couldn’t get any more exciting, students come up with  unbelievably creative team name. Hoops! I Did It Again!, Cru Chainz and Yao Know What I Ming just to name a few. This year the number of players who registered for intramural basketball grew significantly from last year’s numbers. “Since I have been working for campus rec (this is my second year), this is definitely the most teams we’ve had,” senior math education major Shangrila Pathak said. “The women’s teams are twice as many as last year, and both men’s leagues reached the maximum amount of teams.” That makes 12 teams in men’s three-on-three league, 14 teams in men’s five-on-five and seven teams in women’s three-on-three. This growing involvement could be attributed to the influx of new students, or perhaps students are beginning to realize that “ball is life” after all. Although the campus recreation staff is glad about the large numbers they had sign up via imleagues.com, Pathak, who is also the intramural coordinator, said it has also posed some new challenges. “The only difficult part with having so many teams is having enough time to allow teams to get plenty of games in,” Pathak said. “I love that we have so many students eager to play and stay active.” Junior music education major Terry Livingston is playing intramural basketball for the first time. So far, he has enjoyed the season and is thankful for the opportunity to play. “I’ve enjoyed getting to know some new people and having opportunities shooting around with some good guys,” he said. “I enjoy the competitiveness, but I also enjoy that we are ultimately out there to have some fun.” Junior nursing major Taylor Frank is a veteran of intramural basketball. She is a returning member of the Chinchillas three-on-three women’s team. Frank said that playing for the same team has its benefits. “It makes the experience better because we get the chance to grow in our friendships as well as our skills in basketball,” she said. “Knowing your teammates well makes a huge difference on the court because you can read them better. It’s definitely more fun that way.” Pathak hopes students and others will stay involved through any of the various campus rec events. “I would encourage, not only students, but even faculty and staff to get involved with intramurals because it’s a great way to stay active and have fun with your peers.  It’s also a great escape from the busyness and stress of school or life in...

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Job fair draws State Department
Feb11

Job fair draws State Department

THE BELLS — Tuesday, the university hosted its annual spring job fair in the Lord Conference Center in the Parker Academic Complex. A variety of professionals were present and ready to talk with and recruit UMHB students seeking post-graduation employment. Employers from top fortune-500 companies, federal agencies and national and regional organizations came looking for interns and full-time candidates. Those who attended were impressed with what they saw. Don Owens, director of the university’s career services department was instrumental in facilitating the event. He said, “The spring Business Job Fair was a success with an array of companies seeking great talent. Recruiters were pleased with our students’ professionalism and proper business dress for the event.” D’Andra Lusby, secretary of Career Services, helped facilitate the event and enjoys interacting with those who attend the university. . “We’re here to serve the students…. I think it was a pretty good turnout. It was steady the whole two hours,” she said. Though the turnout was good, Owens said, “We always would like to see more students.” After the general job fair, students in the political science and international studies programs welcomed a diplomat from the U.S. State Department – Julie Connor, a diplomat-in-residence at the University of Texas at Austin. She’s been an ambassador for more than three decades, serving nine tours in countries such as Israel, Paraguay, Guatemala, Indonesia, Colombia, Malaysia and Chile. She also spent time as a desk officer in Washington, D.C. Owens was excited to bring her to the campus to introduce jobs they may never have considered. “Many students in political science and international studies seek career options, and careers with the State Department should be a viable consideration,” he said. “The campus visit and briefings by Julie Connor is an invaluable opportunity for students to interview and get first hand information regarding these exciting and interesting careers.” Connor warned that people who aspire to work for the State Department should be open to exploring different geographic locations. She broke down the misconception that international policy work is exploring European tourist destinations like Paris, Rome or London. Connor also thinks State Department work, although a challenge, can be conducive to raising a family. She said, “For the second part of my career… I actually spent more time in Washington…. which allowed my son to finish high school in Washington, D.C., which was important to me because he’d spent almost his entire life oversees, and I needed him to have a feeling about what the United States was all...

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Do you want to build a snowman?
Jan29

Do you want to build a snowman?

THE BELLS — The odds weren’t very favorable. Only a 40 percent chance. But none of that mattered when the first flakes began to fall from the night sky and students filed out of their dorms and apartments, as excited as children, to see that it was, indeed, snowing. The first winter weather advisory was sent out at 9:10 a.m. Thursday by Chief of Campus Police Gary Sargent. He warned students that travel could be dangerous due to winter precipitation between 6 p.m. and noon Friday. Earlier in the day, junior exercise sport science major Daniel Villarreal placed the probability of snow behind one basketball shot on his miniature door goal. He said if he made the shot, it would snow. He made the shot but didn’t really believe. “Honestly, I doubted it was going to snow,” Villarreal said. “Maybe some ice, but I was skeptical of actual snow falling and sticking.” Perhaps he should have had more faith because around 6 p.m. the fluffy flakes were falling, and he was rushing outside like so many of his fellow Crusaders to witness the rare occurrence. Villarreal went to get his girlfriend, sophomore nursing major, Lauren Garcia. Together they walked around the campus. Students were ecstatic about the snow Thursday night, but they were even happier when they received phone calls and texts around 7:30 a.m. Friday informing them that the university would be closed, giving them a snow day. Villarreal shared his thoughts about canceled classes. “I think the best part is… another three-day weekend,” he said. “Getting to hang out with friends and enjoy the snow makes it worthwhile.” With no school and accumulation on the ground, students flocked outside in coats, scarves, ear warmers and boots Friday morning to walk across the ground that was covered with a thin layer of white. Villarreal and Garcia went for a walk across University Drive and down some trails by the creek. “The best part about having this day was… just walking around in it (snow). The sound under my boots (and) it’s just so pretty to see,” Garcia said. Sophomore education major Maegan Loya was another student that was pleasantly surprised when the winter precipitation first began. “My immediate thought was, ‘I can’t believe it happened,’” she said. “There had been other chances of snow earlier in the year but nothing happened, so for it to actually snow was just unbelievable.” Having classes canceled Friday made the event even more special for Loya, who is from Pharr, which is in the valley region of South Texas. “I was also really happy because it was always on my list to...

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CASL brings student leaders to campus
Jan29

CASL brings student leaders to campus

THE BELLS — If there’s one word that pumps up student leaders across campus, it’s CASL. The Christian Association of Student Leaders conference is an annual event that brings students from different universities together to think-tank and encourage one another. “(CASL) is first and foremost a leadership conference. It’s a place where you go and you learn how to be a good leader through your organization and back on your campus,” senior Christian studies major Katelyn Killian said. “I think its second purpose is to share ideas and just talk and brainstorm. It’s a good source for new ideas and new thoughts.” Killian joined 15 others on the CASL Steering Committee. The conference rotates among campuses on a seven-year track. This year, it was the Cru’s turn to host. Faculty and students attended from seven different universities, putting attendance at 275. Despite the surprise of snow, the conference was a success. Director of Student Organizations Tiffany Wurdemann saw the weather as an opportunity to solidify the meaning of the conference. “I think the biggest thing with that is, it’s a leadership program,” she said. “So anything that happens, it’s like a live workshop of ‘well, what are we going to do?’” Mon’Sher Spencer, a staff member from Houston Baptist University, is a CASL veteran. This was her sixth year to bring students to the conference. “The big thing I want them to know is that, one, they’re not alone, and that they don’t have to do everything themselves,” she said. “The best thing of being a leader is being able to empower others to lead as well. I want them to see ways that they can impact the students that they lead to lead … they’re actually passing it forward.” Senior psychology major Jason Aleman was a member of the hospitality committee. One popular element was a ball pit. “We have balls with questions on them so they can get in and get to know someone they don’t know, ask questions and play in the ball pit,” Aleman said. A major aspect of CASL are the round tables, where people break into their different organizations to discuss ideas and issues. Senior mathematics major Ryan Frusha helped organize the talks. “We really tried to pick good quality leaders who are fun but also focused, good leaders on campus that can maintain a good atmosphere,” he said. Sophomore chemistry major Elliott Taylor and sophomore elementary education major Lauren Daugherty were first-time CASL attendees from Mississippi College. They found the round tables helpful for their jobs as resident assistants. “I enjoyed hearing what other RAs had to say about certain things. That...

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Windhover Writers’ Festival to feature best-selling author
Jan29

Windhover Writers’ Festival to feature best-selling author

THE BELLS — The campus will host the Windhover Writers’ Festival this year in early February. English professor Dr. Nathaniel Hansen is the director of the event this year, despite this being only his second year teaching at the university. “I was already serving as the editor of Windhover, and one of the traditions is that people who get work published in the journal are invited to come read at the festival .… We needed someone to direct the festival, so I volunteered to do that.” Hansen has managed to snag a few prestigious authors to speak at the festival and lead workshops. Bestselling author of 14 books, Bret Lott, is the keynote speaker for this year’s event. Aside from being a writer, Lott is a professor at the College of Charleston where he teaches creative writing. He also edits for the nonfiction literary journal Crazyhorse. Lott said he was “delighted and honored” when Hansen asked him to be the main speaker for the festival. “Chances are I’ll be wearing a tie at the event, which is always a big deal for me, and a sport coat, too,” he said. Lott will lead a creative nonfiction workshop for a number of students who registered, and a larger group of people will be able to attend a speech on precision in writing. Lott likes to keep busy when he’s not playing the baritone saxophone for his church orchestra. He loves golf, even though he isn’t very good at it, and enjoys spending time with his grandchildren. Gina Ochsner, an author of short stories, will be another speaker students can look forward to hearing. Ochsner has taught at universities in Russia and has held workshops in Ireland, Lativa, Moldova, Canada and other places in the United States. “I will be talking about tips and tricks writers can use to help themselves out if they ever find themselves ‘stuck’ with a story idea or novel. I’ll share ideas about how to start stories and what to do to keep them rolling,” Ochsner said about her upcoming visit to Belton. She hopes that her presentation will bring students encouragement and a “renewed desire to recreate.” Author Benjamin Myers, a poet, is another one of the speakers at the festival. He is a professor at Oklahoma Baptist University. Myers will read excerpts of his poetry at one of the events. He will also lead a workshop on the craft of writing. “In reading my poems, I hope to move and entertain the audience. I don’t think I could ask for any more than that,” Myers said. Along with the workshops and presentation, Myers will...

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New Miss MHB crowned
Nov20

New Miss MHB crowned

Pageant. “You hear that word, and it’s kind of a negative connotation of like a Toddlers & Tiaras type thing,” junior public relations major and contestant Andrea Hale said. “But the Miss MHB pageant is so different because the focus isn’t on outer beauty. It’s more focused on personal growth.” When the crown was placed on the head of the 2014 Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor, senior music major Linny Mitchell, everyone in attendance learned how important and inspiring personal growth really is. Her talent was singing a mix-up of the songs “Titanium” and “Stay” while playing the piano. She is now focusing on enacting her platform of strengthening faith in family crisis. “I’ve learned so much through my own personal struggle that I’ve gained a serious desire to help others going through similar suffering,” she said. “I’m going to expose my own self. I’ve learned if you share, you can move on. If you hold it in, you can’t.” Using the analogy of a seed to represent how difficult situations can lead to positive outcomes, Mitchell has plans to reach all age groups as she implements her platform and tries to make a lasting impact on the community. “I’m trying to cover the whole spectrum because family crisis affects everyone,” she said. “There’s a huge majority of people who’ve suffered … but no one’s open to talk about it because they feel embarrassed. I want to just be open.” Miss Freedom Movement Lauren Ribera won first runner-up. Miss Junior Class Kayla Upshaw took second runner-up, followed by Miss Senior Class Alyssa Martinez and Miss Cru for Life Kelsey Kunk. Audience members were captivated each night by the 24 young women who competed in the pageant Nov. 8-9. Inspired by the encouragement from Matthew 5:16 to “let your light shine before men,” this year’s theme was Lumiere, meaning light. “It was an opportunity to embrace shining,” Hale said. “We may all be shining our lights in different ways, but we were all coming together for one purpose, which was through the weekend we wanted to glorify God.” Pageant is a seven-week commitment in which contestants represent a campus group or organization. Participants compete in four categories: evening gown, talent, platform speech and interview. “It will test you in the way you think about yourself and the way you present yourself to others,” senior Christian studies/art major Naomi Flores said. “Also, it’s the struggle of submitting yourself to Christ and saying ‘Lord at the end of the day, no matter where I rank, will I trust you in this.’” The first night audience members and judges heard the participants’ platforms and saw...

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