The voice behind the phone: serving the Cru with every call

Many people talk to her. Few know her name. Debbie Bennett, the university’s administrative receptionist, directs countless calls each day. Responsible for the school’s main phone line, Bennett’s entire attention is on helping others. “I get to meet a lot of great people,” she said. “It’s an interesting job.” Bennett approaches her duties, which include answering phones, directing callers and assisting human resources and the admissions offices, as the chance to humbly serve others. “A student will come in crying because something didn’t go right,” Bennett said. “They’re lost and don’t have a clue. There are also those first-time parents who are sending their children off to college. I can relate.” She tries to meet the various needs that come through the Sanderford office doors, which is one of the lessons her mother taught her. Bennett dwelled on the concept “always help people.” She said her mother, who is 78 and lives in Monahans, Texas, set the perfect example. “She is very active and goes to church every time the door opens,” Bennett said of her mom. “She takes anywhere from two to three women to go with her who are normally not able to go. She’s the best mom.” Bennett has modeled herself after her mother’s attitude, according to her daughter, Lori Tupin. “My mother has always had the kindest heart, and she always put us before herself,” Tupin said. “Our needs were always met, and we are better people because of my mother’s generosity and loving heart.” Bennett’s past jobs have all been about assisting people. “(She) is the most selfless person that I know and she has a heart of gold,” Tupin said. “Any act of kindness that she gives is out of good faith, and she never expects anything in return.” Though born in Rockdale, Calif., Bennett was raised in Andrews, Texas. Her father was in the Marines. She then moved to Odessa, Texas, where she went to Odessa College and took a nine-month secretarial business class. In that same city she met and married David Bennett, her husband of 27 years, who is employed by the Texas Depart-ment of Transportation in Austin. David’s job has taken the family to various Texas cities, which have all brought a variety of adventures, including different jobs for Debbie. “Every time we’ve moved, it has been a better position for him,” Debbie said of her husband. Bennett has always been willing to make the adjustments, but it hasn’t been easy. “I’ve been very lucky to get good jobs, but it has been hard,” she said. “It’s difficult going to a town where you don’t know anybody and nobody...

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Zumba classes add spice, lively music to workouts
Feb10

Zumba classes add spice, lively music to workouts

By Lindsay Schaefer Dr. Jim King, dean of the College of Business, is one of the few males who attends the new Zumba classes, but that has not stopped him from learning how to shake his hips. He admits that it’s intimidating being one of the only males; however he enjoys giving Sue Weaver, the instructor, a hard time when she refers to the group as “girls.” Although King is surrounded by females, he is not embarrassed during the class because there is no time to be concerned if the other class participants are watching. “I can’t worry about what other people think,” he said. “I’m not coordinated enough. I am so focused on (Weaver), the mirror and myself that I just think about doing my best and getting it over with.” Weaver, director of Campus Recreation, said she brought zumba to the university because she is “always looking for new and innovative classes and (UMHB) really needed another cardiovascular type of class that people would like and would be interested in.” Zumba, Spanish slang for “to move fast and have fun,” is a Latin-inspired dance workout that blends salsa, meringue, cumbia and samba moves with classical aerobic steps to tone muscles and strengthen the cardiovascular system. Founded in Latin America by Beto Perez in the 1990s, Zumba was brought to the United States in 1999 and has grown into the most popular dance fitness class to sweep the U.S and abroad. The class is a high energy, fast-paced, full body exercise that makes it easy to forget that it’s a real exercise. Zumba’s catch phrase, “Ditch the party, join the workout,” is centered on the idea that exercising should be exciting and easy to do. Weaver said, “Mainly it’s just fun, and people don’t feel like they’re working out all that much, but in reality they are burning between 500 and 1,000 calories.” The class appeals to people who are looking for a new type of fitness regimen or to those who want to enjoy exercising with friends. King started attending the Zumba class because he was looking for a group exercise to add to his usual workout routine, so he took a chance by attending the first class. He has stuck with it and recommends it. “It’s a great activity for exercise, and it’s a lot of fun,” he said. Prior dance or athleticism abilities are not required to enjoy a zumba class; however, a positive attitude and a willingness to try are the keys to successfully completing a class. If you are considering taking the Zumba class, King offers words of wisdom. “You have to accept...

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Filling  Tatenda’s Shoes
Feb10

Filling Tatenda’s Shoes

“Good. Better. Best. Never let it rest, until the good is better and the better best.” -Tatenda Tavaziva Student Body President Garret Smith Junior mass communication/public relations major Q- How do you define good leadership? A- I think good leadership is for one thing, having not just a knowledge of how to lead, but two, taking the initiative of actually doing that, and once you start the course not letting up. Tommy Wilson Junior marketing major Q-What do you hope to do if elected? A-One of the main things I hope to do if elected here at Mary Hardin-Baylor is to continue helping build community. I know that’s a constant goal we’re working on, and we’re continuously trying to work on that, but the more that we press toward that and we really have that on our hearts and have that as our focus, I think we can achieve it. Kimberly Jones Junior history major Q- What experience or qualifications can you bring to the position? A- I was student body president in high school. I was freshman class chaplain, and I served two years on the executive cabinet. I am now internal vice president …. I have the leadership and administration gifts that I am ready and just excited to be using more on this...

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Local businesses meet student needs
Jan27

Local businesses meet student needs

As the economy tightens, college students who have very little to spend find the need for discounted food, goods and services more necessary than ever. Businesses like Taco Cabana, Alvin Ord’s, Texas Java, the Beltonian and Premiere Temple Cinema 16 offer price reductions and competitive prices to students who might otherwise not be able to afford a cup of premium roast coffee or a couple of enchiladas on an outing with friends. The discounts, however, are few and far between. Only a handful of places provide a break from the financial stress that comes with being a college student. For example, the Beltonian, under new management, is offering a college night in which students can enter the theater free of charge. Sophomore nursing major Jessie Cromack enjoys the 10 percent discount that Alvin Ord’s gives students on sandwiches, but notes that the area lacks in student-friendly dining. “I’m not sure why we don’t have more discounts,” she said, and added that the cause may be because Belton is “too small.” Cromack suggested that local businesses could adopt a “college night” in which students could get discounted food or services once a week. Local businesses contribute roughly $200,000 a year to the school to be used for scholarships for students in financial need. The Director of Corporate Relations, Michael Street, handles monetary interaction between the university and businesses. He said, “We have more than 100 local businesses and individuals that contributed to our central Texas annual fund, which is a scholarship fund for students here at UMHB.” Street explains the reason that more discounts are not available in the area is most likely due to university policy. He said, “We tell them ‘If you will give to our scholarship fund, we won’t come to you and ask for gifts any time within that year.’” Sophomore Kelly Buethe thinks market conditions influence the lack of reduced prices in the area as well. “The economy is probably a big reason why businesses do not want to be a little more reasonable when selling to financially troubled college students,” she said. Students at other universities help stimulate the local economy by using money from their meal plan to eat at restaurants located near campus. Schools like the University of Texas and Texas State University allow their students to dine with their equivalent of “Sader bucks” off campus, giving them a diverse range of food choices. Buethe thinks the idea is great for college students but would not work for UMHB. “It would be useful for me, but I honestly doubt it would be useful for companies. If MHB was a bigger school …...

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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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