Gaffney duo designs custom shirts
Apr13

Gaffney duo designs custom shirts

By Anna Jauregui Two brothers tired of the same recycled designs that can be seen all over campus decided to create a clothing line that they could call their own. Their work has paid off as they are now negotiating a show with a major department store. Junior visual communication major, Casey Gaffney, and alum Justin Gaffney are co-founders of GunSmoke. It is a clothing line that can only be described as one of a kind because of both the designers and how the line came about. “My brother and I want to start a cigar lounge and gun range but we needed money to fund everything,” Casey said. “We both like graphic tees, and I being an art major led to the idea of creating our own line of shirts and hats.” The brothers recently met with Nordstrom. A trunk show and live demonstration at their store in North East or Stonbriar Mall in Dallas is in the works. The combination of both of their business ideas led to the birth of the brand. GunSmoke started in 2007 with only two designs and no Web site. Now, the line has about 30 designs and a brand new site. Visitors can purchase the different graphic T-shirts, look over information about how GunSmoke came to be and listen to music while they browse the site. Former UMHB student Taylor Gaffney helps her brothers market the line on their Web site, and both brothers work on producing and designing the merchandise. “GunSmoke clothing is done from an artist’s eyes , meaning (Casey) is not afraid to make a statement or try something new,” she said Art professor John Hancock has been influential in the broad view that Gaffney expresses through his design. Hancock describes Casey’s work as creative, hard working, thoughtful and determined. “Casey is a fast learner. (He) isn’t afraid of making a mistake and learns from them. He’s willing to roll up his sleeves and get dirty and try things,” Hancock said. Gaffney characterizes GunSmoke in one word — unique. “You have the option to buy a custom shirt. Since the dye is made and put on by hand and the design is printed manually, this allows the shirts to come out a little different each time,” he said. Casey and his brother are always looking for ways to get GunSmoke out to the public. Their clothing was published in a California based magazine, University Link Magazine, in the fashion section. They also attended a clothing trade show called M.A.G.I.C in Las Vegas where they met many people and buyers for their clothing. The two brothers are looking at...

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Survivor champions right to life
Nov24

Survivor champions right to life

On the night of Aug. 29, 1977, Melissa Ohden’s mother was having an abortion at St. Luke’s Hospital in Sioux City, Iowa. Over one billion babies have been aborted since the 1970s, but Ohden is one of eight known babies to survive the experience. Her biological mother had a saline infusion abortion. This procedure was common in the ’70s, but is no longer performed. “The doctor takes out amniotic fluid from the womb and inserts a salt solution to burn the unborn baby from the outside to the inside,” Ohden said. “My mother was then induced to have labor, and I was delivered.” When Ohden was born, her two-pound body was supposed to be dead. After a few seconds, she began to make small, grunting sounds and demonstrated noticeable movement. Even though the medical staff was not required to care for the barely alive baby, the staff transferred her to another hospital and checked her into neonatal care. Carefully observed by nurses, the baby girl continued to grow stronger. On Oct. 17, 1977, Ohden was adopted. Doctors warned her new parents that she could have mental and physical disabilities from the attempted abortion. The family welcomed her with open arms, and when she was 5 years old doctors assured the family that she was going to be healthy. “I grew up in a loving home , ” Ohden said. “My parents did not tell me I had been adopted until I was 14 years old. My older sister had become pregnant , and my parents told her about my abortion survival. That was the way the Lord intended me to find out.” Ohden had support from her family but said she felt angry, confused, sad and scared after discovering her true past. “I began to feel guilty for those emotions because it was a miracle that I was even alive,” she said. University chaplain Dr. George Loutherback heard about Ohden’s amazing story and invited her to speak on campus. On Nov. 11 she shared her testimony with students during chapel. Sophomore nursing major Ashley Filippuzzi is vice president of Cru 4 Life, a UMHB group dedicated to the pro-life movement. “I am greatly appreciative of Melissa coming to speak with us,” she said. “I hope students are more aware now on the issue of abortion.” Sophomore elementary education major Amanda Willey is also an advocate for pro-life. “I hope that people heard her story and see how abortion affects so many lives, not just the woman having the abortion,” she said. “We have a responsibility to speak out about the abortion.” Ohden said she has lived an “amazingly wonderful...

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Professor tells of plant, animal tales
Oct27

Professor tells of plant, animal tales

The fox, hidden in darkness, leaped several feet into the air to grab a ripe pear from the tree in the backyard of biology professor Dr. Kathleen Wood. It moved swiftly and confidently, unaware that every move was being captured on film. The camera was one of six purchased with funds given to biology professor Dr. Cathleen Early for research. Early received approximately $13,600 last year from the Faculty Development Fund to research flora and fauna in Bell County. One of her goals is to compare and update the 1978 list of plants and animals found in Bell Country, with emphasis on terrestrial plants, birds and mammals. Grants are given yearly to professors seeking to contribute to their field. The research in the biology department involves identifying and collecting a range of local plant and wildlife to improve the collection at the college and benefit the community and scholars. She is grateful to expose her students and community to one of her passions. “It is a chance to share the skills I have,” she said. “(I) collect and quantify plants and animals, and then I get to share it with students.” The impact of the research is spreading beyond the classrooms. A German researcher and member of the German Cactus Society called Early asking for a photo of the Echinocereus for a book he is writing. Early pulled the plant from the specimen case – a herbarium – and got the photo and UMHB citation to the researcher. Another of Early’s objectives is to improve and expand UMHB’s specimen collection. She used some of the grant money to purchase a new herbarium cabinet. Dr. York, namesake of the science building, began the collection in the early 20th century. Thanks to Early, his specimens and hundreds like it are now cataloged in online databases. Now researchers everywhere have access to UMHB resources. All students in Early’s plant taxonomy class must submit 50 specimens of their own. She takes interesting submissions and adds them to the herbarium. Each one is documented with their names. The specimens, similar to the Echinocereus, may end up in a book one day. Five students, including senior organismal biology major Brandon Ray and senior chemistry major Scottie Henriquez, signed up for independent study alongside Early. In the field, students learned how to use some of the 360 Sherman traps purchased with the grant funds. The trap is a silver metal box with a spring-loaded door. It is large enough for small mammals to enter. Once the animal is inside the trap to get the bait, the door shuts and the animal spends the night with its...

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Blog: Why Halloween is Fabulous

I love the month of October is wonderful.  Reasons  all pertain to Halloween.  Halloween is a month long celebration. Once I walk into Wal-Mart and see the trick-or-treat section set-up, I’m ready to celebrate. The popcorn balls, caramel apples and pumpkins bring an overwhelming excitement. I then begin to search the Internet and the local Halloween costume stores for the perfect costume. However, for the past three years, I have gone as Goldie Locks. Still, I enjoy rummaging through the colorful outfits, sequined tops and humorous masks. Maybe I will find an outfit worth spending my hard earned money on; not that I think a Goldie Locks costume was worth spending money on but I needed one for a party and it was decently priced. Another favorite Halloween tradition of mine is watching, It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. The childhood classic airs on ABC every year the Tuesday before Halloween. Linus is so cute, sitting in the pumpkin patch just waiting for the Great Pumpkin to arrive. While watching the movie, I like to drink apple cider and roast pumpkin seeds. Which, I usually have after gutting my pumpkin for carving. I carve the same classic pumpkin face every year; it will never get old to...

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Call me an entrepreneur

I started the fall semester proud of my newfound place to purchase textbooks. I came across half.com (a subsidy of eBay) my sophomore year. And I’m hooked. I buy and sell online. Beyond saving money I don’t have, another plus is getting and sending mail. When I get an e-mail saying “You’ve made a sale” I whip out the paper, tape and animal stickers. It’s like wrapping Christmas presents. I’m sure to include the paper from the site alerting the buyer to leave positive feedback for me. I’m proud to say that guitarprincess189 has shooting star reviews. The not so good But something not so great happened last semester. I branched out from ordering school textbooks and bought a Becoming Jane on the site. Not only was the item late (sellers have three days to ship an item once it’s been sold), but it turned out to be a pirated copy! I reported that sucker to the half.com authorities. They quickly responded by giving me a complete refund. Talk about good customer service and excellent PR. The extra surprise I used to order my books for my fall classes during the summer. But the upperclassmen in me has gotten this “do I actually need this book” to a science. I waited until the first week of class was over to purchase a book for a certain class (can’t tell you because I’m still in it), but three weeks came and went, and I still hadn’t received the book. Another cool feature on half.com is the ability for sellers and buyers to converse. I had a message from the seller saying she hadn’t received the notice that the book had been sold until recently. I said, “Yeah right” aloud and clicked the reply button. She asked me if I still wanted the book. I’d been charged for it already so of course, I said yes. A couple of days later, I got a really heavy box in the mail. It was the book! Now I could stop mooching off my friend who had the book already. The textbook was in a box marked “World’s Finest Chocolates” – I smiled because my sister and I used to have to sell those for our school fundraiser. Then, when I cut open the taped edges, I found inside … three chocolate bars. It made me laugh out loud. Poor lady who felt sorry for sending the book late! It was worth the wait. Three chocolate bars for not really missing the book too much (tear, tear). Even though it’s not predictable, I’m glad for the funny memories using a Web site to buy...

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Former English prof goes back to school
Oct13

Former English prof goes back to school

Dr. Sharon Ganslen is a student, sitting in classrooms next to students she taught at UMHB just a few years before. Ganslen double majored in English and physics at Notre Dame College in Ohio. “That was in the age of science … John Kennedy’s ‘We’re going to put a man on the moon in this next decade’ …. If you had half a brain you were supposed to go into science,” Ganslen said. Through her college experience, she learned how much she loved English. It was easy for her. “I started teaching junior high … and then a year later I got married with three priests and a saber detail,” she said. “Because I was certified to teach secondary English, I got this position teaching the basic skills classes for the Army through Big Bend Community College in Washington state, and later Temple University in Philly,” Ganslen said. She taught the service members overseas in Germany in two time blocks each day, 8 to 12 p.m. and 1 to 5 p.m. The men held reading levels comparable to a fourth-grader. “I got back to the States, and I was angry that these kids were walking around with high school diplomas and reading at the fourth-grade level,” Ganslen said. She began teaching at UMHB in 1989, but at the end of her first semester she was diagnosed with leukemia. “For a few years it took all of my energy to teach and keep up with doctors’ appointments,” Ganslen said. After recovering from leukemia, she taught at the university for 20 years, and offi cially retired in May 2009. “I estimate I worked with nearly 2000 students over the years. Now I am enjoying a self-directed sabbatical. I am taking some literature classes I always wanted to take from my friends and colleagues in the English department. These dedicated professors are all excellent teachers, and I am enjoying the challenge of being a student again,” she said. When teaching, she helped under-prepared students become better writers. “Many of them come in and say ‘what do you mean I have to take this class? I got As and Bs in high school.’ ‘Well, you shouldn’t have.’ So it takes them a while to get the chip off their shoulder, but then it becomes a teamwork thing. Tell me what you need, and I’ll help you get it,” Ganslen said. “I used to tell my students ‘I don’t know where the holes are in your grammar Swiss cheese …. We’re not blaming anybody, we’re just trying to fill in the holes.” Ganslen lives in Harker Heights with her husband, Greg. “I’m happy to...

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