RHA can: challenge created to fight hunger
Nov16

RHA can: challenge created to fight hunger

The holiday season is coming up, and food drives around campus are in full swing. Local organization Helping Hands is collecting cans for families in need, and students have plenty of opportunities to chip in. The Collegiate Financial Organization was part of a group that announced a food drive, and the university’s Residence Hall Association joined forces to help inspire students to support local food banks and the community. Hot off the heels of the successful Flat Randy Project, RHA sponsor and Burt Hall Resident Director Rebeka Retta thought it was time to bring students together by performing a service project.. She brainstormed with co-sponsors Johnson Hall Resident Director Julie Barr and associate dean of students and Director of Residence Life Donna Plank. “I know there’s another organization that’s doing a can drive, and they asked (Julie) if it would be possible to do something in the dorms to promote the students within the dorms to (donate),” Retta said. “All the cans will eventually go to Helping Hands. So we got to thinking and Julie said, ‘Why don’t we do a challenge and see who can get the most cans?’” Retta met with the publicity team for RHA and hashed out the details. Since the competition lasts Nov. 5-15, the team decided to name it the 10 Day Tin Can Challenge. Though the main goal is to assist Helping Hands, RHA wanted students to have fun in the process by hosting a competition. The dorm that collects the most cans wins the chance to prank their resident director. Some of the proposed prizes include free room checks and throwing jello and pies at the RD. Freshman exercise sport science major and RHA publicity team member Nicole Viana believes the contest aspect of the canned food drive is what makes it successful. “We wanted to make it fun and not just donate cans. We wanted the students in the halls to get something out of it, so we decided to make it a competition within the dorms,” she said. Retta hopes to mimick the success that another project generated. She said, “The Flat Randy project that we did worked out really well; people had a lot of fun with it, so we did something else against dorms.” However, Retta is looking for more in the 10 Day Tin Can Challenge. “Even though the Flat Randy was a lot of fun, it was just fun,” she said. “This one is fun still, but it’s about helping other people, thinking outside of ourselves. It’s kind of a twist because it’s still like the Flat Randy where there’s competition, but it’s still helping...

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Computer science team awarded
Nov16

Computer science team awarded

Assistant Professor of computer science Isaac Gang did not expect any freshmen to try out for the computer science team. So he was surprised when three of them won the campus wide competition and even more surprised when they finished 23rd in the International Computer Programming Competition regional event. Freshmen computer science majors Riley Massey, Matt Liberty and Garrett Garbee made up the team that tied for 1st in the script contest at Baylor University Oct. 20. They placed 23rd out of a 58-team field in the general competition, the best finish by a team from the university. “This is the first time a group at UMHB solved that many problems at that contest so that was historic,” Gang said. “I trusted that they would do well, but I didn’t think they would be able to solve six problems in the script contest and two problems in the general contest.” At the competition sponsored by IBM, the teams recieved eight computer programming problems to solve. Teams spent up to five hours working and reworking solutions to the programs. “I didn’t know exactly what to expect going into it,” Massey said. “Once we got there, it was basically you could solve the problem if you thought it was right. You could submit it to the judges, and they would return a yes or no. We turned in one problem four times until we got it right.” Preparation for the event is difficult because of the often wacky nature of the problems. Competitors had a practice round the day before the actual event, and for the freshmen every ounce of experience was valuable. “We did check last year’s problems, but they were completely different (from this year),” Garbee said. “I think I provided my brain to help come up with solutions. They (Massey and Liberty) brought the programming knowledge.” As freshmen, stepping into a room full of competing students from larger schools all across the state was at first daunting for the trio. However, they soon forgot about the opposition and began to systematically work on writing programs. “I thought it was intimidating because we had never gone before,” Massey said. “We’re all freshmen and people competing were generally seniors or graduates, so it was kind of intimidating. Once we got there and started doing it, that kind of went away, and we were just solving problems.” Gang is glad that a group of freshmen did so well because now they have three more years to improve on this year’s success. “They’re very excited about next year,” Gang said. “I’m excited for the kids because they are freshmen.” After they won...

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Social media outlets a source of news in an age of entertainment

By Jamie Dye With Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr, students’ free time has been steadily evaporating since the rise of social media, but these sites are also helping relay important events to a generation that does not watch the news or read a paper. Many students spend upwards of three hours daily on social media sites liking their friends’ statuses, reposting pictures of cats and pinning ambitious craft projects. What they may not realize is how many current events are reaching them through social media. Senior psychology and sociology major Christen Barnum admits that she uses the Internet for her entertainment, not for news sites. “I get on to keep up with my friends, get neat craft ideas and watch all the viral videos everyone is talking about,” she said. Although Barnum and other students may not be conscious of it, they are hearing about news events that friends or fan pages are posting or reposting. Senior English and history major Maria Martin admits that she gets news from Facebook that she would not have heard otherwise. “My whole feed was in an uproar about the Disney/Star Wars thing, and before that, my friends were posting articles about Hurricane Sandy. The only reason I remembered to watch the last presidential debate was because someone was tweeting about it,” she said. Social media sites are not only guilty of spreading news, they are invading the mindless diversions of the Internet with awareness. “I don’t have to pay attention to it at all. It’s just absent -minded entertainment,” Barnum said of Facebook. Even as senseless surfing, social media expose people to pressing issues that they may not have otherwise heard about. Currently, the news stations do not have much to say that interests the average college student, especially not when television is full of hyper-violent, less realistic and uninteresting programming. Nevertheless, social media have empowered people, letting them use the portals as means to reach people unwilling, or without the time, to keep up with the world. “I heard about the attacks in Libya on Twitter. It was right next to my friend’s tweet about her breakfast,” Martin said. The popularity and ease of social media have made the Internet everybody’s soapbox. Politically conscious and up-to-date friends are keeping people in the loop, but even those posting their own opinions are still bringing attention to current events. Social movements such as Kony 2012 and breast cancer awareness month depend partly on social media for disseminating information Senior English major Amanda Pate realizes the impact of such media on her understanding and awareness of events. She said “I love the idea of...

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Business students sew hope and seam memories in Peru
Nov16

Business students sew hope and seam memories in Peru

By Brittany Pumphrey It’s not every day that an opportunity arises to change someone’s life, but for the College of Business, the chance presented itself. Two professors and five graduate students recently visited two towns in Peru to oversee a company entitled Threads of Hope. The organization is a group of about 20 women who hand sew patterns into usable items such as oven mitts and Bible cases. Once they are completed, the items are sent to a distribution center in Plano, Texas, to be sold. The graduate students’ responsibility on the trip was to collect research and provide feedback for the business. Associate Professor and Director of the MBA program Dr. Terry Fox was one of the professors who went on the trip. Fox enjoyed his time in Peru and called it an incredible experience. He described the two villages, Lima and Ayacucho, in which the students spent their time. “Belton is a world away from Lima, and Lima is a world away from Ayacucho,” Fox said. Lima is the city where the women worked and sewed the items together. There, the team took time with the women, learning how the business works and taking notes. They also interviewed some of the workers during the process. Fox said, “It was a fact- finding type of trip and … just meeting everyone was amazing. They were so open and welcoming.” He described his trip as being more beneficial to him and the students than it was for the women in Lima. Business management graduate student Michael Kattan also accompanied Fox on the trip. He describes his favorite part about his journey. “The three-hour bike tour was really fun … some accidents happened, but it was fun.” It was Kattan’s first time being introduced to a different environment other than the United States and his home country of Lebanon. He found it interesting to learn about the different cultures and the way they do things in Lima. However, he did find some similarities of his own culture. “It reminds me of being back in my village by the way they dress,” Kattan said. He also believes that they got more out of the experience than the natives just by learning how they ran their business. “It was a great experience I will remember for a long time,” Kattan said. Business administration graduate student Mary Beth Kelton was interested in going on the trip to help with the non-profit side; she was moved in more than one way. “I enjoyed experiencing the differences in culture and working with the women directly. It was humbling to see poverty in real life. They...

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Zombies bring fear to Beall Hall activities
Oct30

Zombies bring fear to Beall Hall activities

Students put their zombie apocalypse survival skills to the test at Beall Hall’s Fright Night Oct. 26. Beall residents dressed up and gathered in the common room for pizza, candy and even a haunted house. The party was hosted by Beall’s house council. Freshman nursing major and house council co-president Marissa Lara said that planning began about two months ago. One challenge was figuring out how to have a successful Halloween party with limited funds. “We had a really small budget; our budget was first $50,” Lara said. “Then the RAs put more in, so we had $100 total to put everything together.” Lara turned her room into a haunted house for the party. Freshman music education major Eva Noxon helped decorate. “We had a lot of cobwebs. We had yarn hanging from the ceiling with spiders attached to it,” Noxon said. “It was an insane asylum, and there were strobe lights in rooms and people convulsing in beds and screaming and jumping out. People actually were legitimately scared…. I’d say it was a success.” With most of the money going toward the party, the planning committee conjured up a game that would be exciting but inexpensive. The result? Zombie Apocalypse, the brainchild of senior exercise and sport science major Aaron Miller. Students of all ages flooded the lobby and separated into two teams: humans and zombies. In order to survive the apocalypse, the humans had to reach safety zones and collect “vaccinations.” “We have 15-minute intervals that we’re open, or safe, and we mark their hand,” Lara said. “They have to have four marks to complete the game. Once they have four, then they’re supposed to go to the evacuation point.” The safe areas were scattered across campus from Shannon Commons to Burt Pond. The zombies took their roles seriously, dressing in costumes and painting each other’s faces black, white and red. They paced around campus, searching for runners to tag and guarding the safe zones. Sophomore studio art major Miranda Jenkins was one of the few survivors to reach the end. She had some close calls along the way, but her survival skills helped her reach the evacuation zone. As the apocalypse wound down, both zombies and humans agreed that it was a hit. “For a second there you kind of forget that this is a game,” Jenkins said. “It makes it...

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Study abroad program plans potential trips

Many students may not have the money or time to travel internationally during their college years, but the university offers them a chance to do just that while getting class credit. The study abroad program provides students the opportunity to experience parts of the world that they might not see otherwise. Several study abroad programs are short-term trips, but others require spending an entire semester in another country. For example, this coming spring semester, 10 students from UMHB are going to London along with nine from Howard Payne and nine from Hardin-Simmons. Professor of history and political science Dr. David Holcomb is in charge of the London Studies Program. He said, “Students will take a full load of classes from both American and British faculty. Classes meet Monday-Thursday with Friday reserved for field trips to places such as Hampton Palace, Canterbury, Bath, Cambridge, and other places in and beyond London.” They will also take a nine- day coach tour of northern England and Scotland in the middle of the semester. The College of Business is offering a spring semester abroad trip to Bangkok, which is sponsored by the Consortium for Global Education. This is the first year that the school will be taking the trip as it was canceled last year due to flooding in that region. Students can also take a trip to Israel through the College of Christian Studies during the winter term with Dr. Stephen Von Wyrick. A trip is being planned for Peru during the 2013 May term said Dr. Jim King with the College of Business. Some trips are still in the works, like a trip to Argentina during December with Dr. Michelle Reina in the College of Business. The College of Education, College of Humanities, College of Christian Studies, and the Department of Exercise and Sport Science are all planning trips for next semester. They will take place in the May, spring break or summer term. Students wanting information can contact the college. King said, “I think that the way it’s looking …right now, we could have 15 different trips that students could go on if you include graduate trips and undergraduate trips during the academic year.” For the fall semester, four students are currently in Central America in the Latin America studies program, which is through another consortium. Senior finance and accounting major Taylor Barnard traveled with the College of Business to Costa Rica last December. Before Barnard left, he and other team members went through several weeks of preparation with classes and coursework. He said, “The course was intended to familiarize ourselves with the culture so that we could better analyze...

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