Professor turns class into campus film fest
Feb04

Professor turns class into campus film fest

The theater lights dim and Charlie Chaplin’s iconic character appears on the screen, complete with his cane, bowler hat and unmistakable moustache. His slapstick antics have the audience’s attention as they watch to see how he’s going to get out of a sticky situation. No, this isn’t a flashback to a 1920s movie theater, but rather a scene from Brindley Auditorium as part of a semester-long film series put on by the communication and media studies department.   The series was born from a class, Film History and Criticism, in which students view and discuss iconic films. The professor who teaches the course, Dr. Joseph Tabarlet, has opened his class to the public so that others can view the historic films that are seldom shown in theater-like settings.   Tabarlet belonged to the Central Texas Film Society, which hosted a similar series.   “We did that for a little over two years at the CAC in Temple. It was a lot of fun. I got to see films that I had never seen before and I was able to introduce people to films that I loved that they had never seen before,” he said.   He wanted to bring something similar to UMHB and saw that his Film History and Criticism class would be the perfect opportunity to do so. Films are shown every Monday at 2 p.m. in York 102. Each film in the series either has an important historical significance or has had a lasting impact on the film industry itself.   The first few weeks focus on the early stages of the motion picture industry.   “In this series, we’re seeing a lot of silent films, and the reason for that is that’s such an important part of film history,” Tabarlet said. “You can’t understand how the film industry developed unless you see those films made before 1930 that in many cases are ignored.”   Modern moviegoers may not think silent era films are appealing, but senior general studies major Robert Edwards said they’re more entertaining than one might think.   “I don’t think I ever watched too many silent films, but now that I have, me and my wife watch them together for entertainment,” Edwards said.   Tabarlet said those who avoid silent films are avoiding a major part of cinematic history.   “If they don’t see the silent films because they’re silent, then they’re missing out on a lot. Silent film is an art form ….,” he said.   Even though most people think comedy when thinking of silent films, Tabarlet said they can have a powerful impact as well.   “I remember the...

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Student leaders look ahead,  seek guidance for future
Feb04

Student leaders look ahead, seek guidance for future

The weekend before last, students packed luggage into a trailer and filled several university vans and embarked on a three-and-a-half-hour journey to Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene. Hardin-Simmons was this year’s host school for the annual Christian Association of Student Leaders conference. UMHB attendees represented almost every organization on campus including the likes of Student Government Association, Baptist Student Ministries, Campus Activities Board Welcome Week Steering Committee and Residence Life Association.   Junior psychology major Ross Jones went to the convention with members of First Year Council, also known as FYC. This was his third time to participate.   “My favorite part of CASL is getting to connect with students from other universities and sharing ideas. This year in particular really helped me step into the shoes of a first-year student and take into mind the stress level that they are experiencing and how to work with that not to overwhelm them more,” he said.   Not only did he meet and learn from students at other universities, but the experience made him grateful and gave him a new respect for his own school.   Overall, something I always end up taking away from CASL is perspective and the realization that we are truly blessed here at UMHB in a variety of ways and a lot of the time we tend to take it for granted.   Senior international business major and Student Body President Jonathan Kendall was among the representatives from SGA.   One lesson he took away from the event was how “to better prepare senators for SGA and to communicate the work that is happening within SGA.”   Maegan Loya, a senior education major and executive member of Campus Activities Board, enjoyed herself, but was sad this would be her last year to attend. What made this year special for her was being asked to make a presentation to all of the universities’ Campus Activities Boards about events she and her team have helped plan and execute at UMHB.   “It was great because it’s something I know, love and could talk about with ease. After submitting my presentation among every other school, I was honored to be one of two selected to present at CASL for Student Activities,” she said.   Another highlight of the event for Loya was the second night, which featured a concert by Christian songwriter and recording artist Jimmy Needham.   She said, “I absolutely loved it! I had never seen him live … which made me even more excited to see...

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Offering hope through textiles
Feb04

Offering hope through textiles

Over 3,000 miles away, hundreds of women and their families’ lives are being transformed through the operations of tiny warehouse number seven located in the UMHB Williams Service Center.   The works of Threads of Hope, a nonprofit organization that aids artisans in Peru by purchasing textiles and shipping them to churches and organizations around the country for them to sell.   “The university invited us with the belief that it would be beneficial for students by providing them with academic as well as service opportunities,” Jennifer Kellner, Threads of Hope center manager, said.   Since the foundation of Threads of Hope in 1999, the organization has strived to meet the needs of these family breadwinners by, “empowering impoverished women, [and] transforming lives.”   Originally based out of Plano, under the leadership of Cinde Rawn, Threads of Hope director, the small operation moved its warehouse to the campus just last February as part of a rare partnership that provides opportunity to its students, as well as assistance a people group in need.   “The organization’s collaboration with UMHB is unique,” Dr. Christie Bledsoe, chair of the Threads of Hope advisory board, said. “We are providing a space for the business operations.”   This “incubator idea” as one might call it, includes taking in an organization and giving it the room it needs to grow.   During the first year in action, the advisory council pushed to establish a functioning operational system, the “focus for 2015 will be marketing and publicizing the Threads of Hope partnership with UMHB on campus, in the community and among other universities,” Kellner said.   The partnership came about when a few members of the Threads of Hope board came to speak during the campus’ annual Missions Emphasis Week, just a few years prior.   “They were warmly received and their message resonated with the students,” Dr. David Bonner, advisory council member, said. “This led to student internships and projects, as well as two international studies trip,” which included both an MBA and undergraduate class.   As the relationship between the university and Threads of Hope continued to grow, the organization addressed Dr. Bonner with its needs, one of which included a place where passionate, servant minded students could help improve the operations of the nonprofit for further growth.   “(With) creativity on both of their parts, it culminated with Threads of Hope coming on campus to occupy space in the Williams Service Center,” Dr. Bonner said.   Since the warehouse has moved to the university campus, the organization has seen exceptional growth, as textile sales rocket to 44 percent.   With established contacts in...

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Campus welcomes new student body president
Jan22

Campus welcomes new student body president

It’s not often a political position is vacated mid-term. When it does happen, it’s imperative that someone step up and fill the role. When Student Body President Christian Harper resigned following the fall semester to pursue his education at Texas Tech University, senior international business major Jonathan Kendall eagerly took his place to become the new voice of the student body.   Kendall previously served as the junior class president before running for Student Body President for the 2014-15 academic year.   After losing that election to Harper, Kendall was appointed to the position of senior class president. Once it was established Harper would not be returning, the application process opened again.   “Once we knew about the vacant position of student body president, we notified the current senate members as well as the student body,” Student Organizations Director Tiffany Wurdemann said. “You have to serve on the senate for at least one semester and have junior hours to be able to apply for the position. Jonathan has served multiple years in the senate…. He applied and was unopposed, therefore we did not have to have a campus wide election and he could step right into the position.”   Kendall said he is honored to be able to serve his school and the student body throughout this semester.   “I believe in the mission of UMHB and see our school as a leader in private Christian higher education,” he said. “We are small but this serves to allow us to focus on people and relationships. I’m one of many that advocate for our school, and so I am blessed to serve in this capacity.”   Wurdemann said that even though Kendall didn’t come into the position through traditional circumstances, she still believes he is more than qualified for the role.   “I am a huge Jonathan fan. It is a great gift when you are granted a student under your care who is passionate and willing to learn,” she said.   Although he did not step into the position through traditional circumstances, she still believes he is more than qualified for the leadership role he has now assumed.   Kendall will only serve for one semester as he will graduate in May, but he still wants to leave the student government in a better state than when he found it.   “I hope to set up SGA for success going forward. I want to sharpen this group to be a clear voice of students as we serve the needs of this campus,” he said.   Internal Vice President and junior psychology and communication double major Spencer Sims doesn’t think...

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Crusaders traverse globe for missions, academics
Jan22

Crusaders traverse globe for missions, academics

While many students spent most of their breaks relaxing at home and binge-watching Netflix, some students decided to use their time to serve on mission trips and study abroad during the Christmas holiday.   Senior Christian studies major Hannah Bolin took courses in Israel over the break. The trip was 10 days long and covered six hours of courses needed for her major.   “We explored the Holy Land sites. We visited all throughout the land where Abraham’s descendants, the 12 tribes lived,” Bolin said.   The group that went on the trip had to wake up at 8 a.m. to visit four sites every day. These excursions delved deeply into the material covered in the upper level courses of Old and New Testament while also providing the students who went on the trip with a richer understanding of the stories contained in the Bible.   “I want to become a mission’s director or a mobilizer for missionaries in the future,” Bolin said. “This trip really made scripture come to life for me and I can’t wait to share that with others in the future.”   While the trip was a smooth success for the students, there were many preparations that to place during the planning that began long before the trip.   They had to attend prep meetings, which occurred weekly. These gatherings ensured that everything was ready to go and covered a lot of what the students were going to be experiencing during their time abroad.   They also had to discuss travel safety and the research project that would also occur throughout the trip while they were learning.   Each student kept a travel journal during the 10 days and went over their itinerary to stay on track.   “This trip really put the Bible into color for me,” Bolin said “Walking in the land where Jesus walked really was beautiful. We read scripture at every site, and we could really see the Bible come to life at that time.”   While there were several groups that studied abroad, there were also students who went to different countries and served on mission trips.   Senior Christian studies major Leah White went to India over the break with three other students and her sister. With no major commitments holding her back and with the help of her church, friends and family, her decision to spend two weeks in India was easy.   “The decision to travel to India over Christmas started off as a whim of love and turned into an exciting adventure. As I was growing spiritually in the beginning of last semester, the Lord touched...

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New fossils wow students, professors
Jan22

New fossils wow students, professors

At the end of last semester, a local woman, Marion Mount an area native, donated her assortment of fossils to the university’s science department.   “Ms. Mount was very interested in assurance that the collection would be displayed, and after this was promised, she decided donate the collection to UMHB,” Dr. Ruth Ann Murphy chairperson for the environmental science and geology department said.   Murphy is excited about the new possibilities the collection will provide for students during their learning experiences and for faculty as they teach.   She said, “It allows students to see a greater variety of samples from various places in the world and provides professors with more options for maintaining student interest and involvement. Often our geology students become teachers themselves, so this can benefit their future students as well.   The collection offers multiple examples of many of the fossils, making it easier for a classroom full of people to view them.   “There are many, many specimens so large numbers of students could look at them at the same time, but many of the items are tiny. The entire collection would probably fit in a large file cabinet drawer, except we protect the items by wrapping and cushioning them with felt or the equivalent so that requires more space,” Murphy said.   Not only is there a greater quantity of specimens, but there are some special ones.   “We can show the students lots more examples of fossils including sharks’ teeth, turtles, shark vertebrae, a whale tooth, porpoise ear bone to mention a few. It is a phenomenal collection,” she said.   Bill Lukens is an adjunct professor of geology at UMHB and a doctoral candidate at Baylor University. He believes hands-on experience and visual aids enhance his ability to teach as well as his students’ ability to learn.   “Geology is the study of the Earth, its contents, processes and how each change through time. Ideally, I would bring my students to the best examples of every rock and fossil that exists for any particular lesson. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough time and money to venture out into the great beyond twice a week! So instead, my job is to bring the geology to them,” he said.   Lukens is thrilled by one specific fossil in the new collection. “My favorite specimen is a well-preserved tortoise shell from a critter named Stylemys. Stylemys tortoises enjoyed the temperate, woody savannah landscapes of the Great Plains around 30-35 million years ago.”   Students are just as excited for the enhancements provided by the specimens.   Junior organismal biology major Victoria Camenisch believes the fossil...

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