Knight in shining armor reigns until ’10
Mar10

Knight in shining armor reigns until ’10

Years before he was crowned 2009 Crusader Knight, Patrick Munoz was living the high life. At age 25, he managed a chain of coffee shops in Cancun, Mexico. His business degree ensured a prosperous future, and his nights were filled with partying and drinking in a town known for its revelry. Christ was not exactly on his list of priorities. Munoz describes his early life as not surrendered to God. “I accepted Christ at age seven, but growing up I started making wrong decisions,” he said. “I didn’t have any Christian friends, and my life basically consisted in working, meeting with friends and drinking again and again. It was a really lame way to live, especially as a Christian.” God was not done with Munoz, and when he decided to visit his parents in Belton everything changed. “I found myself with a lot of time since I was not working, and I knew I needed to make some changes in my life,” Munoz said. “In a couple months, I had a re-encounter with God. I spent time reading the Scriptures, praying and I became involved with First Baptist Belton. I was really searching for God strongly.” Armed with his new dedication, Munoz decided to glorify God instead of himself. He said, “I felt in my heart a change, a switch to wanting to serve God with my life.” Munoz was accepted to Truett Seminary at Baylor University, but he jumped at the chance to attend the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor when the administration encouraged him to come. He said, “The Lord, from day one, put me in this place. It was God who put me here.” Now a junior Christian studies major, Munoz is leaving his mark on campus. On Feb. 27, he became UMHB’s 2009 Crusader Knight, an honor he did not expect but takes seriously. “Whenever they called my name I thought, ‘This is crazy.’ I couldn’t believe it,” Munoz said. “Now I know more eyes are on me, so I want to point people to God.” He misses the practices because he enjoyed meeting and being in fellowship with the other contestants, whom he described as “amazing.” Senior theology and philosophy major Asa Crow, a fellow contender for Crusader Knight, remembers Munoz  “didn’t take himself too seriously and was always a lot of fun to be around.” Sophomore nursing major and roommate Andrew Kester said, “Patrick is really cool, really genuine. He really invests time in people and loves them. He’s just a fun-loving guy.” Munoz says his years at UMHB have been among the happiest of his life, and he feels God has given him...

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Biology, history, chocolate
Mar10

Biology, history, chocolate

By Garrett Pekar Students and faculty alike received a real treat at the spring lecture for the Honors Program. Dr. Romi Burks from Southwestern University discussed all things chocolate and even provided a taste test for those in attendance. She said, “Four out of five people say they like chocolate, and the fifth one lies.” Burks is the assistant professor of biology at Southwestern, where she created a freshman seminar course about chocolate. She has undergraduate degrees in biology and English as well as a Ph.D. from Notre Dame. Burks’ favorite chocolate is Claudio Corallo, but she is fascinated with many different types produced around the world. “Every person who eats chocolate has a story behind why they consume it or produce it,” she said. Burks started with some statistics. “In 2000, 81 percent of U.S. adults consumed chocolate,” she said. “The U.S. eats less chocolate per capita than European countries.” Burks spoke of the gender bias portrayed in the media that women like chocolate more than men. American women buy 75 percent of chocolate every year, but no scientific evidence has been found to prove that the bias is true. Burks discussed the differences of gourmet and mass-produced chocolate. “Hershey’s is not real chocolate. Sugar is the first ingredient listed. It’s candy, not gourmet chocolate,” she said. She considers chocolate gourmet if it costs more than $10 per pound and has cacao listed as the main ingredient. Cacao is the name of the plant used to make chocolate. Scharffen Berger, Claudio Corallo and Askinosie are, by her standards, a few gourmet brands. Burks explained the intensive process of making chocolate. Chocolate is derived from a unique fruit that grows on the trunk of the cocoa tree. Pods from the tree contain flesh (fruit) that is fermented, which gives it flavor. Winnowing is next and takes the shell from the beans. Then it is roasted. After that comes the removal of the cocoa butter, the most expensive part of making chocolate. Now, it is also called liquor. Conching (pressing) and tempering (heating and cooling) are the final steps to create the product. Theobroma cacao is the scientific name for the cocoa plant. Theobroma actually means “food of the gods.” Chocolate was thought of as a spiritual bridge between earth and heaven by ancient cultures. Chocolate was really a drink before it was solid candy bar. Burks also talked about different additives used in chocolate. The most common is vanilla, but some chocolates contain pop rocks candies. One brand of chocolate even has bits of bacon in it. All that was left was to taste the different kinds of chocolate....

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The life, work of Jon Wallin
Mar10

The life, work of Jon Wallin

The sports information director has passion for sports, the ability to communicate with the public and keeps the game statistics in order, among many other tedious jobs. The man in charge of all this is Jon Wallin, who has worked for 10 years in the UMHB sports department. Wallin is responsible for everything from staffing the press boxes to reporting results and reporting statistics to the American Southwest Confer-ence. He also attends many of the games the university has to offer and travels for some of the away games. He nominates players for players of the week awards and tries to get them recognized nationally. His list of duties continues to grow because he is also in charge of the athletic Web site and writes radio broadcasts for local stations. “The most rewarding thing about my job is having our athletic students being recognized,” he said. “I know how hard they work and they’re not on scholarship. To put in the amount of time they do at practice and go study; to have them recognized and put their picture in the paper means a lot.” Wallin graduated from Baylor and has always been in the communication field. He worked for the ABC station in Waco, in the news department for two years, as the weatherman for three years and as the sports anchor for three years. Wallin has always loved watching and playing sports. “My favorite sport to watch is probably football, both college and professional,” he said. “I like to play softball; I like to play golf. Whatever the kids are playing, I like to mess around and do that, too.” Basketball Head Coach Ken Deweese constantly interacts with Wallin during the basketball season. “I consider him irreplaceable,” DeWeese said. “We couldn’t function without him. We wouldn’t get any attention or media without Jon Wallin. A portion of the awards the team gains every season should go to him.” Football Head Coach Pete Fredenburg has been here almost as long as Wallin. He believes Wallin is the single most vital person in the UMHB athletic program. “He is maybe the most important because of his dedication and great work he does and he does it all with such grace,” Fredenburg said. “I would like to tell him how much I admire him for his dedication, hard work and positive attitude.” Wallin doesn’t have a typical eight-hour-a-day job. During the fall semester, he puts in about 80 hours a week, inhibiting some of his family time. He has a 10-year-old son and a 7-year-old daughter who attend some of the games. Wallin says they have a knack for knowing...

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Students pursue dreams of medical school
Mar10

Students pursue dreams of medical school

By Lindsay Schaefer According to Dr. Ruth Ann Murphy, professor and department chair of chem-istry, environmental sciences and geology, UMHB has an impressive success rate of students being accepted into medical school. One of the reasons is because it is part of the Joint Admission Medical Program, or JAMP. This award grants financial and academic help to Texas students wanting to achieve their dreams of entering medical school. It is a partnership created to place students from 65 public and private institutions with one of the eight Texas medical schools. “JAMP was somewhat designed to bring students to medical school who would have not gotten there otherwise,” Murphy said. Sophomore mathematics and chemistry major, Ashli Lawson, was one of the students to receive the JAMP scholarship. Lawson was elated when she found out that her dream of becoming a doctor was now turning into a reality. “I want to be a doctor because I think the biggest part of being a citizen of the world is contributing back to your community. I specifically want to be an OB/GYN (obstetrician/gynecologist) because I love empowering women,” she said. Through JAMP, Lawson will be able to achieve the goal she has worked toward. Students may be eligible for the JAMP program if they are pre-med, a 2008 spring graduate of a Texas high school and have an ACT or SAT score equal to or higher than this year’s mean score in Texas. Additional requirements include eligibility for a Pell Grant and 27 hours credit with a 3.25 GPA freshman year. Applications are due at the end of the sophomore year. JAMP provides a way into medical school for several students, but there are also other means of getting in. Craig Jenkins, a senior chemistry and cell biology major, has a story of his own. At 18 and not knowing what he wanted to do with his life, Jenkins enlisted in the Army for six and half years. He attributes his desire to become a family physician to his mentor, a doctor, whom he worked  with in the States and in Iraq. “He was kind of like a catalyst. He told me that I have what it takes, and nobody’s told me that prior to him, so at that point I got out of the Army and started going to school,” Jenkins said. Through a program called HPSP, Health Profession Scholarship Program, the Air Force will pay for his medical school at A.T. Still School of Osteopathic Medicine in Mesa, Ariz., in return for his service in the forces. Senior cell biology and psychology major, Zayde Radwan, is heading straight into medical school...

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Ring by spring becomes reality

By Andra Holbrooks The weather has been beautiful, the air crisp, purple and gold flowers in bloom, and several female Crusaders have pretty diamond rings on their left hands. It must be spring. Senior computer graphics design major, Joseph Villegas, recently became engaged to junior psychology major, Natasha Mills. They met at Mayborn Campus Center. “I was on duty working the weight room and was trying to recruit volleyball players for a team,” Mills said. “The captain asked Joseph if he wanted to play, but Joseph declined. I skipped over to him, pearl earrings and all, and asked if he would play. He enthusiastically accepted. That was our first encounter together.” Villegas shares the same story “After I found out Natasha was on the (volleyball) team she told me I should join, so I did,” he said. First encounters go a long way because the two have been a couple even since. Mills said, “I knew I loved that kid within three months.” Villegas saw Mills in his future within the first month. “One night she called me and said ‘I love you,’ and I just knew this was the one,” he said. On Feb. 1, Villegas proposed to Mills. It was a special day for them because they were celebrating two years of being together. “I asked her at the Georgetown Airport after our helicopter ride, which she thought was for our two-year anniversary. She got out of the helicopter still ecstatic from the ride.” From there she began to realize her future was about to change. “We walked up to the hanger doors because the pilot said the main ones were locked. As an employee opened the doors, Natasha saw everyone and just started crying. She knew exactly what was going to happen.” Villegas was anxious as he proceeded to go through what he had planned. “I got down on one knee and asked, but being so nervous I had the ring upside down. She informed me of my mistake, but gladly said yes,” Villegas said. They greeted family and friends thanking all for coming to celebrate their future. “I was so shocked I felt very loved and wanted by him. I started crying and being a girl about the whole thing. The proposal was a thrill and so sentimental. All of my loved ones were there to share this beautiful moment with us,” Mills said. Villegas and Mills aren’t the only junior/senior couple getting hitched. Newly engaged senior graphics design major, Brodie Reynolds, and junior history major, Cassie Konichek, have set the big day for Dec. 17, 2010. “Brodie and I met at Summer Fun during...

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‘Texas Ranger’  inspires professor to train in karate
Feb24

‘Texas Ranger’ inspires professor to train in karate

Many would call playing an extra on a TV show, whose leading actor could snap a person in two like a twig, a life highlight. For UMHB’s Professor Emeritus of English, Dr. George Musacchio, standing in the presence of the man who changed his life seemed all the sweeter as he performed scenes with the skillful karate artist and actor Chuck Norris. The 1990s hit TV series, Walker, Texas Ranger, presented Norris expertise as a martial artist, which motivated numerous viewers to engage in forms of karate and seek better health practices. Musacchio, one of those viewers, became a fan of Norris’ and one day stumbled across the fact stating Norris was only a year younger than himself. This lit a fire, and Musachhio said to himself, ‘If he can do this, then so can I.’ He began intensifying his workouts by adding more running and a weight program. When in better shape, Musacchio enrolled in a local karate class. “It was interesting and different,” he said. He recalls a young man there who teased him about his age and at one point told him to hire a bodyguard. After three years of training, Musacchio, 60 at the time, moved up the tae kwo do levels and finally tested for his black belt. He received it on his first try, whereas the teasing young man did not. He looks back and said, “The experience gave me more confidence.” Musacchio no longer takes karate classes, but continues his exercise workouts. He said staying healthy is a priority in his life. He also believes his efforts to stay in shape truly makes a difference. Finding out Musacchio, a nationally recognized scholar on C.S. Lewis and Milton, has such an active past surprises people who have known him for years. Several colleagues never knew of his martial arts abilities, and some said they just thought he was really limber for a man of his age. English professor, Dr. Sarah Brown, said she recalls an encounter with Musacchio during which he kicked a door to open it. “I was behind him, and he did not know anyone was there,” she said. “When he came to the door, I expected him to reach down and push the crash bar, but, instead, his right leg came up, hit that crash bar and he started through the door. I started laughing, and he turned around and grinned and said ‘keeps me in shape’ then kept going just as if it were the most natural thing to do.” At the time, Brown did not know about Musacchio’s experience with precision kicking. Musacchio, who taught at  UMHB for...

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