Sport Spotlight: Bianca Patterson
Nov05

Sport Spotlight: Bianca Patterson

Volleyball player Bianca Patterson is a junior math major from Killeen, Texas, and attended Harker Heights High School. Before transferring to UMHB, Patterson attended Navarro College. Patterson has added an extra threat to the Crusaders and has tallied  266 kills this season. Off  the volleyball court, Patterson enjoys being with her friends. “I like to hang out with my teammates, and I like to read,” she said. Her favorite book is My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. Patterson and her teammates all have pregame rituals. “I usually listen to “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson before every game, and lately, our team has been doing crazy dances,” she said. Besides sports, Patterson also has a passion for music. “I play the piano, and I sing at my church,” she said. After college, Patterson plans to go into coaching. “My dream job is to be a high school volleyball coach. After college, I plan to maybe assist with my old high school volleyball coach,” she said. Patterson attributes her playing style and competitive spirit to her mom’s advice growing up. “When I was in fourth grade, my mom wanted to toughen me up. So she initially tried to sign me up for soccer, but the only sport in season was volleyball. So I started playing, and I’ve been playing ever since.” Patterson and her teammates have already posted the highest season win total of 28 wins in Division III Cru volleyball history. They will be working to add more victories to their record when they travel to the University of Texas at Dallas where they will participate in the ASC Volleyball Championship Tournament Nov....

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A Monumental Witness to God’s Faithfulness
Oct09

A Monumental Witness to God’s Faithfulness

More than 19,000 students. Two universities. The same historic location. As the columns at Old Baylor Park stretched up into the sky on a perfect day in early autumn, guests of Baylor and Mary Hardin-Baylor universities took their seats in Independence, Texas. With a promising breeze and the sun shining on Academy Hill, the two schools had the privilege of gathering for a rededication service Sunday, Oct. 6. Each school selected a number of guests from the student body, as well as faculty, staff and members of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Presidents of both colleges were present and spoke, as did Dr. David Hardage, executive director of the BGCT. Before the ceremony, Hardage had preached in the historic First Baptist Church at Independence. He explained the reason for the event. In May of 2012, the ownership of Old Baylor park was given to the two universities, which wanted to rededicate the columns and highlight their importance in history. Hardage described the key role the original Baylor and Baylor Female College, which later became the separate universities of today, played in the history of the Republic of Texas. “It was the Texas Baptists … that fought for religious liberty…. You are the result of that vision from years ago,” he said. Dr. Thelma Cooper is part of the original President Dr. John Hill Luther’s family. To begin the service at Old Baylor Park, she spoke with genuine appreciation for the occasion. With the trees framing the iconic image of the four pillars on top of the archway, those in attendance were reminded of God’s goodness. “We look back with gratitude to those who paved the way before us…. We are grateful to the two institutions fathered here today,” she said. 168 years ago, Judge R.E.B. Baylor and Rev. William M. Tryon’s charter for a new Christian education system in the Republic of Texas was approved. Each speaker at the event emphasized how influential this piece of history became. UMHB President Dr. Randy O’Rear spoke about the ways God has blessed the Crusader side of history. “Independence is the birthplace of these two great universities, and today we pause for a moment to recognize and celebrate God’s faithfulness to both Baylor University and the University of Mary Hardin- Baylor,” he said. Baylor University President Judge Ken Starr also took the podium to address Baylor’s success as a place of higher learning. “People are the important thing…. Isn’t that why we are all here—the students,” he said. UMHB Student Foundation passed out collectible coins bearing the image of the columns and each university’s name, along with “1845.” Guests also enjoyed...

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Churches Help West Community Rebuild
Oct09

Churches Help West Community Rebuild

The sound of accordions and brass performing waltzes and polkas rang out from the speakers as smiling clerks and customers happily exchanged midday greetings. After one step into the jovial atmosphere of the Czech Stop, home to West, Texas’ famous kolaches, one would not have suspected that six short months earlier, this little town, less than an hour’s drive from UMHB, was rocked by a devastating explosion that claimed 14 lives, nine of whom were first responders. Beneath the area’s relaxed, tranquil surface, dramatic memories of chaos and tragedy can be conjured up at a moment’s notice. “Initially I thought it was an earthquake,” Associate Pastor of St. Mary’s Church of the Assumption, Father Boniface Onjefu, said of the April 18 event. “I had just finished the 6:30 p.m. mass, and I came to the rectory when I heard a loud explosion.” The priest recalled walking out to the street to witness town residents streaming out of their houses to see what had happened. He said, “I saw people running around helter-skelter everywhere, saying the fertilizer plant exploded. While I was standing in front of the church, I watched the dark smoke head up into the sky…. We never had peace for three days.” Because West’s population is one deeply rooted in faith, many of the Czech-Americans being Catholic, the sanctuary became a safe haven of constancy in the midst of a tempest. “If you live in West, you will know that the church is the center of activity….,” Onjefu said. “The church is the centerpiece, so when the explosion happened, they all came here. People were asked not to go back home, so we kept them at the church to take refuge.” He said the parish was able to provide spiritual, emotional and monetary support to community members, who have expressed much gratitude. The town is a tight-knit one, and the clergy are no exception. Catholics and Protestants alike belong to the West Area Ministers Alliance. Because St. Mary’s was the largest unaffected church structure deemed safe at the time, all the congregations met there for a candlelight vigil and prayer service the Friday after the Wednesday explosion. The community of faith has played an active role in the revitalization effort. First Baptist Church of West continues to meet practical needs. Pastor John Crowder, a childhood friend of university President Dr. Randy O’Rear, said he and his family were on their way back home from his daughter’s track meet in College Station when he received a phone call from one of the church elders about the explosion. Naturally, he inquired about his home and dog, but the deacon...

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Generation Y: Following Drug Culture
Oct09

Generation Y: Following Drug Culture

Since the early days of pop culture, the public has idolized the celebrity lifestyle. Stars set the standard for fashion and politics. But with great power comes great responsibility, and media influence is not always good. The problem of substance abuse is a societal behemoth, and celebrities are not exempt. Artists sing about getting high, athletes get busted for steroids, and dozens of actors spend time in rehab. By standing on America’s pedestal yet making poor life decisions, what example are celebrities setting? Young people tend to model their behavior after superstars. Does seeing Zac Efron or Michael Phelps with drugs influence them? Some of the greatest entertainers have prominently dealt with addictions. Stars like Ben “Macklemore” Haggerty, Robert Downey Jr. and Eminem have undergone rehabilitation for substance abuse. Others have died from overdosing and alcohol poisoning, leaving fans to mourn the loss of talents like Amy Winehouse and Heath Ledger. On July 13, Twitter flooded with reports that actor Cory Monteith was found dead in a hotel room. While the official cause was not immediately released, speculations were that he fatally combined alcohol with heroin. Monteith’s demise came after years of battling addiction, leaving fans to question what went wrong and Glee producers scrambling to write his character out of the show. Dr. Aida Sapp, a professor in the College of Nursing, uses stars like Monteith for mental health lectures. “He struggled, and he was so transparent about it,” she said. “Little did we know he was in the process of leaving a legacy for himself. He talked about how hard it was and how he just failed time and time again.” The public’s view of celebrity addictions is mixed. While some appreciate the authenticity of stars addressing their struggles, others grow tired of the constant coverage of hot messes like Miley Cyrus. Some have argued that when a celebrity overdoses, he or she is viewed as a “tragic hero,” but when an average Joe faces the same struggles, he or she is labeled a junkie who had it coming. Dean of students Ray Martin believes celebrities serve as a warning for young people rather than an example. “Who wants to have happen to them what’s happened to Lindsay Lohan?” he asked. “It’s just amazing what she’s thrown away.” Often, celebrities are sent to rehabilitation centers more resembling a beach resort than anything else. VH1 featured a television show called Celebrity Rehab, highlighting the lack of severity in dealing with addictions. Campus police Chief Gary Sargent finds that in many cases, A-listers’ behaviors desensitize the public to the consequences. “They don’t see the homeless person out on the street because...

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Coaches’ Commute to Campus A Cakewalk
Oct09

Coaches’ Commute to Campus A Cakewalk

Students aren’t the only ones who live on campus. Though many coaches have come and gone, currently two  live in university housing. Head men’s soccer Coach Brad Bankhead is in his eighth year coaching at the university. In July 2012, he moved into Stribling Hall with his family: wife, Shannon, and three children Mallory, Morgan and Max. They lived in Temple before relocating. University life compared to having a home outside of the school has its ups and downs. “There are a ton of differences,” Bankhead said.  “We don’t have the space that we once had, and we definitely are in a tighter house…. It’s a little less private, but we love being on campus and being around students. Our kids love it and enjoy having the quad as their front yard,” he said. Bankhead also spends less time traveling now. “My commute is about a minute and 30 seconds to my office, whereas it was before about 15 minutes,” he said. Head men’s and women’s tennis coach James Cohagan also lived with his family in Stribling Hall for nine years back in 1990. Cohagan enjoyed his time and the stories students would make up. “It was a lot of fun. I was both teaching and coaching. I learned a lot about what campus life was like. The computer ate my homework stories didn’t go quite as far when you saw the person who said they did it, but you saw them pick up a girl from Stribling that night,” he said. “In those days, the ping-pong tables and pool tables were down at the student union building, so we knew a lot more about what campus life was like.” Being on campus allows coaches to have a better relationship with their teams. Bankhead talked about being with his “other family.” “I see (my team) a whole lot more…. We don’t ever get away. That’s kind of the negative, but we enjoy it enough that we are never looking to get away,” Bankhead said. Assistant volleyball coach Lindsay Garza lives with her husband, Bear, and son, Anderson, in Gettys Hall. Garza  graduated from the university  in 2008. She played volleyball three years for the Cru. Garza and her family moved to campus two months ago. She also believes living at the university helps her relationship with the team. Moving off-campus would cause her to miss out on many memorable moments. “I think being on campus has been the bridge on getting to know them. In practices, everything is business, which is how we like our practices to be— very focused. So there is not a lot of opportunity to...

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Internationals Make Texas Home

 Country music blared as the scuttles and thuds of boots scooting and stomping across the carpeted floor of Shelton Theater beckoned Texans and those from afar to dance the night away. Guests who attended Texas Night Thursday, Oct. 3, participated in two-stepping as well as American line dances to songs like “Copperhead Road” and the “Cupid Shuffle.“ “We’re providing an environment for international students to meet American students, and for friendships to grow out of it,” junior Christian ministry major and co-leader of International Ministry Madison Prado said. “We’re hoping for them to be able to reconnect outside of this event and be friends.” Included in the array of refreshments were Texas-inspired dishes like Texas toast, chips and queso, guacamole and Dr Pepper. From advertisements on the sidewalks and by word of mouth, students, both American and international, learned about the event. Freshman marketing major Jason Zhou from China went because of an email from his reading and listening professor. “I decided to come because I thought the night would be fun. I have met a lot of people,” Zhou said. “I learned how to dance here. Before tonight, I just watched it on TV. I have danced with many girls, and I learned some things about Texas-style dancing.” Texas Night is part of a broader effort to welcome students from other countries into the family. The International Student Service office at 803 College Street has a purple and gold banner on the front door that reads “GO CRU.” Most Crusaders will never walk past this door and discover what lies beyond it. However, the international students find a community they can relate to behind the entrance. “People are people no matter what country they’re from,” Director of International Student Services Elizabeth Tanaka said. “Everybody is just hoping that somebody is going to smile at them and say hello; that’s all it takes.” Individuals who come to the United States from countries all around the world face many obstacles upon entering a new university located in a foreign country where almost everything is different. Freshman cell biology major Sahana Gollapalli did not know what to expect when she came to the United States from Mumbai, India. “I decided to watch movies to learn about America. The first movie I watched was unfortunately Mean Girls, and it terrified me,” Gollapalli said. “I was really nervous, but when I came here, it was totally different. People are nice here. Nobody is going to try to push me in front of a bus.” A common struggle for many international students is communication. The challenge to fit in and make friends becomes more...

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