Christmas trips go far beyond visits to grandmother’s house
Jan27

Christmas trips go far beyond visits to grandmother’s house

By Patrick McDonald Many memories are associated with Christmas. For some, it is that feeling of wonder as they plummet downstairs like a bullet toward the Christmas tree. Most would then tear open their presents, but this did not happen for some. Students from the university traveled the world during Christmas break as missionaries with GoNow. Sophomore social work major Stacey Davidson went to East Asia. The work that she did there was beneficial to the people in many ways. “My team taught English for a week at middle school and got a chance to really love on all of the students and teachers there,” Davidson said. “The next week, we hosted English at a local university and built some relationships with the students for the short amount of time that we had left. Most of our job, however, was to encourage and strengthen our host, who was a Chinese Christian at the middle school where we taught.” She also had the chance to minister to a university student there. She met Lindsay, who spoke very English well. “I got to know her pretty well and found out that she was not a Christian, but she knew who Jesus was because of her Christian mother,” Davidson said. “We had to leave soon after, but I told her that I was a Christian as well. The next day, I had hopes of seeing Lindsay, but no way to contact her. Soon after arriving at the same university, a student randomly began a conversation with me, inviting me up to her dorm room in the process. It was Lindsay’s room. This really showed me that God was definitely at work among us and in me. He placed me where he wanted me.” Students traveled around the world to minister to people. Senior psychology major Tania Riveria went to Serbia. She helped distribute Bibles and build relationships with the people, in conditions very different from East Asia. “It was really, really cold. Everybody spoke a language we did not. We were like fish out of water,” Riveria said. “They put us to shame of how much history they know. I learned a lot about their history.” Riveria had opportunities to spread the Gospel while she was there. “We were doing something with Bibles in the square, and for the most part could not understand what they were saying. But there was a lady and she came up and said, ‘A Bible for me, really?’ She was just in awe that we would give her a Bible because she has never had a Bible in her life. And she said, ‘That’s the best...

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Students’ ‘hard day’s night’ may only be a myth

University students are getting enough sleep. Associate Professor of Marketing Doyle Eiler and Assistant Professor of Eco-nomics Paul Stock conducted a two-week-long survey last fall about how university undergraduate students spend their time. The preliminary results revealed shocking realities. Eiler said, “I suppose the one that surprised me the most based on what you hear in class and (when) you talk to students is how much sleep they’re getting.” Stock said of the 342 students who completed at least one survey, the average amount of sleep is eight hours or more. Eiler did not expect it. “I mean you listen to (students) and there’s always this moaning and groaning of being tired,” he said. The survey was conducted out of personal curiosity, as well as a desire to better understand students’ needs. “It’s an area of interest for us,” Stock said. “I was surprised also at how much the students work here. It’s good for us to know, too, how much work should we assign, how much time do they have to work on homework or to study for exams, things like that.” He admits eight hours is plenty of rest. Stock said, “They must be forcing themselves to get that much sleep.” The professors divided each day into 13 “common time use categories,” which students used to allocate their time use, for the chance to win a Wii gaming system. Nursing December graduate Sarah Hare won the drawing for a Wii gaming system. “We play the Wii sports game that came with the system because you can play with multiple players,” Hare said. Surveys were sent via e-mail. Students categorized each half-hour increment for certain days of the week. Seventy-five percent of the participants were female, with seniors making up the majority of participants by class. Of those who responded, an average of two hours working and two hours in class is spent a day. Eiler said, “Our big goal was to get out the preliminary results. Now, we’re going to be doing more analysis. One thing we want to do is get some published research.” Eiler anticipated the university using the results to better plan campus events as well as to inform various academic departments of their findings. “It’s ended up in the freshman seminars’ workbook,” Eiler said. They hope the results broaden the doors of the university and the nationwide academic community. Stock said, “Our hope is to present our findings at a conference. That might inspire other research….Other universities may ask to join and do another similar survey.” Another interesting fact was that student athletes spend more time in class and sleeping than their non-athlete...

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Who knew a bridge would make the lasting difference
Jan27

Who knew a bridge would make the lasting difference

Packing an auditorium ceases to fear former pastor Don Piper. At UMHB, he did just that. Piper, a guest speaker for chapel, spoke on a dramatic life-changing experience as told in the book, 90 Minutes In Heaven. His story places an emphasis on decision making and begins like any other day, which turns ugly but ends in a miracle. On Wednesday morning, Jan. 18, 1989, the cold east Texas wind blew as the rain trickled down. Piper, leaving a pastors’ retreat, chose to drive a different way home. “I pulled out of the gates and made a big decision. I decided to go right for no other reason than curiosity,” he said. With thoughts only on the night’s prayer meeting, he came to the two-lane Trinity River Bridge over Lake Livingston and proceeded to cross. About to enter the bridge, an 18-wheeler in the oncoming lane swerved across the yellow line. “He rolled over me like a speed bump,” Piper said. Then the driver side-swiped the two cars in front of him before coming to a halt near the other end of the bridge. Emergency assistance arrived, found no one else hurt but received no pulse from Piper’s lifeless body. “They were unsuccessful in reviving me, declared me dead on the spot and covered me up so no one could see me.” Unable to move the body until he was officially pronounced dead, officers stood by as the last EMT vehicle prepared to leave. Meanwhile, traffic piled up on the two-lane road leading to the accident site. Dick and Anita Onerecker, speakers from the pastors’ retreat, were among the people caught in the stand still. They tried to piece together what happened. Dick Onerecker walked to the site and asked an officer if he could pray for anyone. The officer replied that everyone involved was fine except for the man in the red car, who died. Piper, the man in the red car, said Onerecker heard God telling him to pray for the dead man. Against his better judgment, Onerecker asked the officer if he could get in the red car and pray for the man. The astonished officer told him no, but after watching him a few moments said ok. The officer said, “Sir you seem very sincere, but the reason we covered him up is because he is torn up.” Piper said the sight in the car was horrible with blood everywhere and dismembered limbs scattered around the car. Onerecker crawled through the back window and sat in the back seat, touched Piper’s right arm and began to pray. He then began to sing the hymn “What...

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African Outreach: Surpassing barriers to share love through a different language
Jan27

African Outreach: Surpassing barriers to share love through a different language

Students often spend part of Christmas break on mission trips or a weekend helping out with local relief efforts, but sophomore Christian studies major Eli Jackson spent an entire semester in East Africa with the International Mission Board Hands-On program. “You can go over there, and you’re the big missionary. You’re the head honcho … that’s what you think while you’re over here,” Jackson said. “But once you get over there (and) stay more than two weeks, you realize that you’re just some weird white guy that can’t speak the language trying to help these people out. And God shows you how much you’re worth and how much you have to depend on Him.” When he first heard of the program from an older gentleman in his hometown church, he was thinking of taking a short trip. “I wasn’t expecting to go for four and half months. I was thinking more like Christmas or summer,” Jackson said. “But (I) looked at it, thought about it, prayed about it. I’m not going to graduate on time anyways, so I might as well go on to Africa for a while.” Jackson’s sister Kelci, a senior at Belton High School said, “It was kind of exciting, bitter sweet I mean,” when her brother decided to go. “It would be really cool to know somebody who’s been to Africa, and he’s serving God in a foreign country and telling … people about Him.” But the work Jackson undertook thousands of miles from the university last semester proved to be far from an easy break from school. He learned more about his faith in the villages of Africa than from the classroom setting. “There’s a lot more than the school stuff has. Just the small things of daily life … are bigger within,” part  of putting faith into action. “The first two weeks were nice,” Jackson said. He had a spiritual high after gathering for orientation with other Christians at a resort on the beach. After three weeks in language school learning as much Swahili as he could, Jackson and his team members began their mission. “I was drilling and refurbishing water wells,” he said. “You get excited about the whole culture .… At first you’re excited, then you hate it (and) then you get used to it.” He worked on the mission field for months, so the experience was different from any other trips he had taken before with his youth group. “It was a lot different because two weeks you don’t get it all. You (just) get the excitement, ” Jackson said.  “You don’t get the day-to-day frustrations, the small things that all...

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Search CRU hosts events for prospective students
Dec09

Search CRU hosts events for prospective students

The high school student arrives, and his mother parks the car. He timidly steps outside of the car and onto the pavement. As he proceeds toward the campus, he walks past the large stone letters and is greeted by college students in purple and white polos. Search CRU, an organization  started in 2007 by the admissions and recruiting office. It was designed for  for the purpose of welcoming prospective students to campus. Admissions counselor Elizabeth Webb is one of the advisers for the foundation. She was involved with the planning process before the organization was created and thinks it has been an advantage for all parties participating. “We started it as a way to get current students involved with meeting prospective students,” she said. “We have a lot of current students who love UMHB and wanted to show and talk with students and tell them why. So it seemed like a good fit to get them more involved with the prospects and a benefit for both of them.” Some of the prospective students complete evaluations, and the recruiting office has received positive remarks about their experiences. “We had students say ‘I enjoyed meeting current students. I really enjoyed hanging out with them.’ That seems good because they do enjoy having that interaction,” Webb said. Currently, 30 members serve the campus in Search Cru, but it’s not too late for others to join. Junior marketing major and the organization’s president Jennifer Walker said, “We have interviews every semester. You only have to be committed for a semester, or you can stay committed to Search CRU ‘till you graduate. It is up to you.” Walker wanted to join because of her passion for the university, and she hopes more people will jump aboard. “I joined Search CRU because I love UMHB, and I always try to get other students to come here. I love to tell them everything that UMHB has to offer. If you are like this and love to tell people about UMHB, then you should try out for this group.” Several events are planned through the admissions and recruiting office and put on by Search CRU. One is Preview Weekend, a time when prospective students spend two days at UMHB. They are also partnered with current students, allowing them to gain the full picture of what is offered by the university. Walker said Preview Weekend took a whole semester to organize. “Actually it gets planned all year long for the recruiters. Preview is the recruiter’s main recruiting event, so there is a lot going on.” On Nov. 21 and 22 about 300 prospective students arrived to get a...

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Students strike gold with ‘Texas Louvre’ art site

While many students ask themselves if anything they do in class will be useful in real life, that is not an issue for senior marketing majors Tanner Vaughan, Gilbert Mendoza and Eric Roberson. They have a successful art auctioning Web site and nearly $750 in sales to prove it. The three students began a business venture in October called the “3-20 Challenge” as part of the Introduction to Entrepreneurship class taught by Assistant Prof-essor and chair of the Management and Marketing departments, Dr. Barbara Dalby. “Rather than just the typical things you do in a course, I wanted them to get the flavor of being an entrepreneur,” Dalby said. During the challenge, each team of three students was loaned $20 as an original investment and given three weeks to turn a profit. Not only did the original loan have to be repaid, but also $2 a week in “rent.” Of any profits, 20 percent would go to “taxes” and 10 percent back to the “investor” as dividends. Vaughan developed the idea for an art auctioning Web site, inspired by his mother. “My mom is an oil painter, so the original idea was to commission a painting from her, sell it online and give her a portion of the profits,” Vaughan said. “Then I realized that this is a lot like what an art gallery does, only they take paintings that are already finished, sell them for the artist and take a portion of the profits. My thought was that I could do the exact same thing, only do it online.” The students created their Web site using a free service and named the site The Texas Louvre. They began by auctioning art from Vaughan’s mother and several of her friends who were also artists. “She and a couple of her friends had several paintings lying around that they hadn’t been able to sell at their shows,” Roberson said. “They gave these unsold paintings to us to sell for them.” The students auction most of the art through eBay, although several paintings sold quickly from the site itself. The Texas Louvre features art from Austin artist Robin Cheers, California artist Tom Brown and “V” Vaughn, Tanner Vaughn’s mother. The site includes an art gallery of paintings that can be immediately purchased, links to current eBay auctions and information about the artists and the site itself. The students keep 20 percent of total sales, with half going directly to the artists and the other 30 percent to the class in the form of “taxes” and “dividends” to the “investor.” This has not come without challenges, as the young entrepreneurs have sometimes...

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