Seniors face the real world, challenge of tackling the job market
Jan25

Seniors face the real world, challenge of tackling the job market

Senior year rolls around, causing students to swell with anticipation. But anxiety also gets the best of them as they realize obtaining a career is the next achievement waiting to be accomplished post-graduation. Finding a suitable place of employment is a job for Career Services, located on the second floor of Mabee Student Center. Director of Career Services Don Owens described the job market. “Certainly the national picture is still double digit as far as unemployment,” he said. “Texas is (in) a little better shape than the nation, maybe close to 8.5, but it is still rather high for our state.” The unemployment rate for workers with college degrees was 4.6 percent in 2009. The rate for workers without a high school diploma was 10 points higher in 2009 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Owens believes job opportunities are available, but students must be proactive in searching for openings in areas where they would not generally look. He encourages students to network as well. Owens said at times the media’s portrayal of a harsh job market causes some students to end job searching, neglect attending job fairs and flee to graduate school. Because of this, Owens and other career centers across the nation fear people with graduate degrees will flood the job market, making the master’s degree what the bachelor’s is now. For now, a bachelor’s degree is still better than having no degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median weekly earnings of those with bachelor’s degrees were $1,137, which is 1.8 times the average amount for workers with only a high school diploma. Accounting, finance, computer science, information systems, health occupations and the sciences were distinguished as strong fields in the market, and liberal arts and social sciences as weaker employment areas. Owens thinks that most students are taking steps toward their career. “I’ve sensed that a little more proactive of students are being concerned a little earlier,” he said. “I still think Career Services is somewhat the best-kept secret on campus.” Senior elementary education major Rebecca Widmer has visited Career Services, but not for a job. However, she is aware of its resources. Widmer debated going to graduate school, but it is not high on her list. “I know … in the education world there is a lot of high demand for a lot of teachers … especially in Texas, so I’m not super worried about being able to find a job,” she said. “But I know it’s not going to be as easy as cake.” Christian ministry major Brianna Edwards plans to be a missionary, which requires her to attend seminary....

Read More
The Beltonian provides more entertainment to Belton
Jan25

The Beltonian provides more entertainment to Belton

Tucked away at 219 East Central Avenue in Belton is a little movie theater called The Beltonian. Not only is this small establishment a movie dinner house, but it also hosts entertainment such as comedians, clowns, sports games and talent shows. People can even rent the theater for birthday parties, fundraisers and political events. The Beltonian’s history traces back to the 1900s when it was used as a church, billiard hall and an antique store. It closed in the 1970s only to be revamped later with surround sound, stadium seating and new decorations. It was also a place for UMHB students to go where the movie was cheap (occasionally free) and the atmosphere was fun. Sadly, The Beltonian closed in 2008. This past summer,  Wesley A. Riddle and his wife Maria Aida Riddle bought the Beltonian and readied it again for business. Manager Kelly Moran, who took over in December  said,  “I think they bought The Beltonian because they fell in love with the history of the building since it’s been here since the 1900s. They could see the theater had a lot of potential and couldn’t wait to restore the old artifact.” Some compare the old theater to a more popular one, the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin. Both theaters allow audience members to eat and watch movies at the same time. Former employee and sophomore education major Aubrey Turner said, “The difference between the Alamo Drafthouse and The Beltonian is that The Beltonian has more of a personal feel to it. We (servers) were required to stick around the whole time in the theater in case anyone needed anything. Each table had a flag in the middle and if it was in the air that meant the guest needed something. If it was down, they were fine. We would also frequently talk to the guests and see how they were doing.” The owners are trying to keep its old antique feel, but  at the same time modernize the equipment and improve the food quality. “We’ve made many changes to The Beltonian. During renovation we improved the snacks and dinner. We serve alcohol now,” Moran said. “We also renovated the audio and visual capability to the theater. Everything is  100 percent audio and digital video.” Also in keeping with  the historic character of the theater, The Beltonian has been showing classic movies such as Gone with the Wind. The overall atmosphere creates a friendly, fun environment for both students and locals. Turner said “Our uniform was western wear so we could keep that ‘Belton Texas’ sense. However, if it was kids night, we wore costumes.” UMHB is looking to...

Read More
New year to achieve successful resolutions
Jan11

New year to achieve successful resolutions

It’s no surprise that when Jan. 1 comes around gym membership’s increase, health food stores experience a rise in sales and budgets are created. Every year millions of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. Some may be original while others may even be repeats from years past.  Although the resolutions are made with good intent, results are not always seen as quickly as some would like. Junior psychology major Connor Buchanan thinks it is interesting that people choose Jan. 1 to make life-changing resolutions. “It is the most overindulgent time of year. People are spending excess amounts of money, eating lots of good food, and not working out because it’s ‘too cold,’” he said. “It’s like accelerating a car to 100 mph and expecting it to be able to stop on a dime. You just can’t expect such a sudden paradigm shift.” Bad habits are formed over months, even years, and often lead to a psychological connection within the body. Habitual activities like smoking, over-eating, and nail biting create neural patterns in the brain that become part of a daily routine like breathing or blinking. Junior nursing major Kelsey Anderson    recognizes that habits can be influenced by our environment and surroundings which makes changing something that has become a part of life much more difficult to change. “The motivation to change has to be greater than the temptation to fall back into old habits,” she said. Fanny Oliver, exercise sports science adjunct faculty, thinks that people have a tendency to see black and white, all or nothing, which is not a healthy environment for resolutions. “People simply need to be honest with themselves and set goals that are within reach in order to avoid disappointment,” she said. “The mistake people make is to do it all at once, a massive overload; this approach gets quite overwhelming.” Although breaking these habits can be a painful task, will power, determination and reasonable goals can help turn an old year’s resolution into a new year’s resolution. Oliver challenges people to remember that transitioning into a healthy lifestyle isn’t always easy, but it is always worth the effort and time. “Decide what is the ultimate goal, what time and resources are at your disposal and how committed you are to make it happen,” she said. “With all those factors mapped out, establish small goals at short time intervals to facilitate success and compliance to the plan…. Take your time, because after all, these changes should become a permanent part of your new healthy...

Read More

Bells ring around the world

The cheery dinging of a small silver bell floats across the air, penetrating the ears of consumers shopping at the Wal-Mart in Belton, Texas. Temple resident Carmen Mendoza grasps the bell, shaking it back and forth, hoping that those who are out shopping will drop some change into the small red bucket, giving the Salvation Army funds to help the less fortunate. This annual fundraising event is happening once again with a goal of $3 million this season. Founded in England in 1865, it has grown to be a worldwide community of people working together to do humanitarian work like providing Christmas presents for children whose parents can’t afford them. The Temple community branch didn’t open until 1995 and their main work is with families living in poverty. Mendoza is a direct beneficiary of the Salvation Army’s aid and is a volunteer bell ringer for the first time this year. “I lost my job and have been going to the (Salvation Army) thrift store to get clothes and stuff,” Mendoza said. She volunteers at three locations, using her free time working to raise funds not only for herself but also for others in the community who are in need. She said, “It’s a good job and I’ve already been the top person twice, and this is only the third week.” The central Texas locations have a competition each week to see who can raise the most money. The funds raised go toward helping with bills, providing meals for people during the holidays, providing jackets for cold nights, and buying presents for children. “I like that they help with little kids and get them toys for Christmas. They make so many kids happy at Christmas by buying them toys,” Mendoza said. Others believe in the mission statement of the Salvation Army as stated on their signs and website of, “Doing the Most Good,” and are working to raise money as well. Temple resident Lucy Cantwell rings the bell at the Wal-Mart in Temple as well as in front of the JC Penney at the Temple Mall. “A few years ago my grandmother received help from Salvation Army and that’s when I got involved,” Cantwell said. She has personally seen the difference the small contributions make in the lives of people. Not only does Salvation Army act during the holidays, but they run projects such as kids camps, prison ministries, and drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers throughout the year. Angel Tree is another popular project, favored by many churches in the area. “I’ve worked this a few times on and off,” Cantwell said. She volunteers when she can and hopes that...

Read More
Hooten shares passion for reading
Nov16

Hooten shares passion for reading

Devils fill the classroom on the first floor of Davidson — literally. Assistant Professor of English Dr. Jessica Hooten’s freshman seminar class on C.S. Lewis dressed up in red and wore devil horns in honor of The Screwtape Letters. In the book, Screwtape cautions his apprentice Wormwood to stay concealed. According to Hooten, Lewis knows that the devil’s biggest deception is trying to convince people of his nonexistence. “Dressing up with horns — one of my students even had a fantastic tail — mocks the devil, acknowledges his existence, and reinforces Lewis’ warning about the nature of evil in the book,” she said. Students also had to memorize a line of Lewis’, which was their reply when someone asked them about their outfit, sparking a conversation about Lewis. Sophomore exercise and sport science major Tyler Carpenter was one of the horned students, going back to take this required course after taking another class with Hooten. He believes her energy adds to the classes. “(She) is excited to educate her students. She finds fun ways to conduct class and has great discussions,” Carpenter said. Hooten chose to lead her freshman seminar class on The Screwtape Letters because of her belief in the power of literature. “Reading should change people — hearts, minds, and bodies. You can only teach this truth to students through experience; no matter how often they hear it, they won’t believe it until they experience it,” she said. Hooten said Lewis’ books allow for that experience. “Lewis says in his biography Surprised by Joy that a young atheist cannot be too careful about what he reads. He knew that books could transform people. I think Lewis’s books transform us for the better,” she said. Hooten loves how Screw-tape cannot understand God the “Enemy.” “He snarls at the idea that God actually loves and values his creatures, that he is the creator of pleasure. Most of all, I love how Lewis revamps T.S. Eliot in the line, ‘For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity,’” she said. She hopes to introduce students to the importance of reading. “If we have a society of people who cannot read, we will have a citizenry that is easily controlled by the markets, media and government. We will have people who have chosen ignorance,” Hooten said. Sophomore Spanish major Leighann Goodwin has taken other courses with Hooten and is currently in her American literature class. She attributes her excitement for learning to Hooten. “(Her) passion and love for literature is what really stands out … her class has changed the way that I read and perceive a text. She...

Read More
Art department to turn overpass into canvas
Nov16

Art department to turn overpass into canvas

What began as a small design drawn with pencil on newsprint will soon decorate a much larger canvas adjacent to campus. The art department has undertaken the task of painting a mural on the empty, gray, concrete wall beside University Drive at the rear entrance to campus. The wall is part of Loop 121, and it stands on the side of the road directly beneath the overpass. Overseeing the project will be Hershall Seals, chair of the art department, a man who has experience with paintings of this magnitude. He oversaw the creation of the enormous fish mural painted by UMHB art students on the side of Belton Dam in 2000. “The mural will be like a ‘Hi, how are you’ when you drive onto campus,” Seals said. The main entrance to campus is decorated with signs, emblems and purple and gold flowers in full bloom, but the Sports Plex is all that occupies the back entrance. The mural will add a big splash of color to beautify that side to the university. Seals accepted the task from senior Vice President for Administration Dr. Steve Theodore, who originally proposed the idea. The overpass has become a white board for eager vandals who have placed their stamps, some very off-color, on the cold concrete. “I drive to work that way, and I see the graffiti on the wall sometimes,” he said. “I thought it would be a great idea if we had something that represented our university there.” Theodore approached Seals with the idea, which he accepted without hesitation. Because Loop 121 is a state road, Theodore needed to obtain permission from the state before doing anything to alter it. He presented the idea to officials from the City of Belton as well, even though their approval was not required. The officials in Belton loved the idea, and they immediately helped receive the required permission from the state. All the legalities have been met, but before paint touches the wall, Seals and his students must first decide what they want the finished product to look like. Junior art major Joanne Cervantes painted a watercolor design for the mural. “Hershall drew up a sketch in class of what he had envisioned, and I took it home and painted the design with the letters, flowers and arches,” she said. The design is full of bright colors, but besides adding cheer, the mural could be a way to reduce the graffiti, that often appears on the wall. Drafting on the concrete is slated to begin this semester and painting could start as early as January. [poll...

Read More
Page 21 of 29« First...10...1920212223...Last »