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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Illegal immigration heightens tension across nation
Mar10

Illegal immigration heightens tension across nation

Prosperity, freedom and a future. Neon signs, health care and job opportunities. America looks pretty good. From a place of economic despair, violent streets and poverty-stricken residential zones, crossing the Texas-Mexico border into the U.S., by whatever means, is tempting for many. Every year half a million undocumented people of many nationalities try to cross into the U.S. The Department of Homeland Security estimates that 11.6 million unauthorized immigrants were living in America in 2008, a vast majority of them Mexicans. U.S. and local governments, however, are buckling down on illegal immigration, not because they want to limit people from finding success and opportunity in the States, but rather because the illicit activity is associated with crimes such as human smuggling, drug trafficking, gangs, prostitution, kidnappings, murders, auto theft, gun running and violence. It is a controversial subject that has affected the economy, civil matters, American culture, national security and government programming. The solution remains ambiguous. Carlos Maldonado is the chief of police in the border city of Laredo, Texas. He believes illegal immigration is a concern. “(It) needs to be addressed at the political level. It’s not just a law enforcement issue,” Maldonado said. The Laredo Police Department’s main goal, according to its chief, is to safeguard citizens and others in the city and to encourage everyone to report crimes. “The last thing you  want to do is to ostracize any particular group of people,” Maldonado said. “If … they become fearful of police, they are less likely to respond to and report suspicious activity.” With many other concerns in the city, Maldonado said checking immigration status is not a top concern for his department. “I don’t think it should be a primary objective from a law enforcement perspective,” he said. “If we have someone engaged in illegal activities, I am going to do everything I can to have them deported. But if it is someone who has committed a traffic violation who works everyday and tries to be a good citizen, although they do not have legal status here, I will probably not ask them to prove citizenship.” Problems exist in the vague interpretation of proper moral procedures. “It’s a challenge for us as a country because they’re really not our citizens to take care of, but they’re here,” Maldonado said. “(We) do the best we can.” The path is unclear on every level of jurisdiction. “It’s a policy issue that needs to be explored where there is no real guidance,” Maldonado said. “It is a fine line that we have to walk, and … the U.S. cannot do it alone. We need to work as closely...

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Alumna overcomes cancer battle, serves in medical field
Mar10

Alumna overcomes cancer battle, serves in medical field

When nursing graduate of the class of 1988, Lesley Burns, was told that she had breast cancer in 2005, she was scared. Her mother was diagnosed with the disease in 1990 and died just six years later. “She was the only one that I had that dealt with breast cancer, and so it really frightened me,” Burns said. She and her husband, Jeff, are both graduates of the university and live and work in Temple, Texas. Their son, Nathan, was 3 years old when Burns was diagnosed. “I have this really small child, and so I’m thinking,  six years and I’m going to be gone,” she said. Her mammogram caught the cancer while it was still in stage zero. She was only 40 years old. Doctors believed they could remove the cancer surgically and without any radiation treatments. “When they went in to take it out, they didn’t get what they call clean margins,” Burns said. “They still saw a little bit of cancer where they had cut it out.” Doctors asked her if she’d consider a mastectomy to remove the remaining cancer. Burns would not have to undergo any chemotherapy if she agreed to the procedure. She made the tough decision to get a double mastectomy because of her family history. Her lymph nodes are checked yearly to ensure the cancer hasn’t returned. “I am free,” Burns said. “Cancer free for almost four years – one more year, and I  can give blood again.” Friends from church provided comfort and offered prayers. Rose Morales, a UMHB elementary education graduate of 2000, said, “Lesley depended on others by (accepting) their support … She is a very independent woman, but knows … she can’t do it alone.” Enduring her cancer battle, she said she felt God telling her, “Lesley, I am here. I am the Master Gardener. There are times when I’m going to have to prune you, but the fruit that is going to explode from you is going to be an amazing thing.” Burns grew up on a farm in the small town of Caldwell, Texas, only an hour away from the university where she received her nursing degree. “I started talking about being a nurse when I was 7 years old,” Burns said. “And that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.” She carried the infamously heavy study load with a practical strategy. “If I knew I was going to do something fun with my friends, and it took an hour, then I would know I would have to study for two hours … because there was so much reading,” she said. “I knew I had to take...

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Darwin goes under the scope
Mar10

Darwin goes under the scope

By Evangeline Ciupek This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin. He is most notably recognized for his theory of evolution—also called Darwinism—which states that life evolved from single-celled organisms to plants and animals through random natural selection. Evolution is still debated today just as it was in Darwin’s time, especially in Christian circles. Chairperson of the department of biology, Dr. Kathleen Wood, said the subject is important to science. “You will find Darwin’s theory of evolution in practically every biology textbook. For anyone who enjoys watching nature shows on TV, (the) evolutionary theory is quite prominent.” The Darwin Day Celebration (DDC), a nonprofit corporation run by the American Humanist Association, said its mission “is to promote the public education about science, and to encourage the celebration of science and humanity.” According to the DDC, Darwin Day is celebrated in 713 separate events in 45 different countries. Wood has wrestled with the questions of the origin of life from an early age. “I still remember a graduate enzymology course … when I innocently asked the speaker how he knew that insulin had evolved the way he (told) us it had. He got quite angry and accused me of being an anti-evolution religious nut …. It very quickly became clear to me that it was dangerous to question evolution,” Wood said. University president, Dr. Jerry Bawcom, said evolution and creationism are both taught on campus. “If one is to seek advanced studies in the sciences, one must understand this theory, because (it) is the primary focus in nearly all grad schools,” Bawcom said. “Clearly being a Christian college we believe in what is presented in the Bible. No one can tell, though, if God’s day is our day, or (if) is day is really a thousand years or much more.” Wood tries to balance her teaching. “I personally do not agree with the theory of evolution, but … I believe my students absolutely must understand and know the basis of this theory. I teach the basics of the theory and then I also bring up arguments of respected scientists against (evolution) and specific scientific examples that do not seem to support evolution. I want my students to think (and) to question things … even from the experts,’” Wood said. Professor of Hebrew, archaeology and Old Testament, Dr. Stephen Von Wyrick, said, “Evolution  is  on my list to ask … when I visit with Jesus.” He said interpretations, not truths, are the cause of conflict. “Science and scripture are not contradictory,” he said. “My interpretation of scripture may need to be modified … based on new discoveries.”...

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Hands extending to ‘Reach Out’
Mar10

Hands extending to ‘Reach Out’

By Evan Duncan More than 225 students participated in Reaching Out, a project offering community opportunities  sponsored by the Student Government Association. The March 7 event had its highest participation rate ever. Students gathered early in the morning to do work projects around the Belton and Temple areas.  Groups led by SGA chaplains went to local organizations, including Helping Hands, the Belton Christian Youth Center, the Ronald McDonald House and Central Texas Christian School to complete work projects that included activities like painting and cleaning. The goal this semester was for students to have more opportunities to be purposeful with their actions to those they serve. While some students went to various organizations,  others served at five individual homes. These projects included cleaning the windows of an elderly woman’s home, helping an elderly man with yard work and doing small jobs for lower income residents. “On the evaluations last semester, students wanted to make the experience more intimate,”   junior Tommy Wilson said. As the student director of spiritual life, Wilson worked closely with chaplains to plan and implement updated agendas to meet students’ service desires. “They  used to work  in (people’s) homes five years ago,” he  said.  “(Dr.  George   Loutherback) put the bug in my ear, and it has grown since then.” Collaboration is essential, according to Dr. George Harrison, UMHB’s director of cultural affairs. Harrison has been the coordinator for five years. The program was established in 1999 by university chaplain, Dr. George Loutherback. Many faculty and staff members take part in the service projects. Some departments are encouraged to participate at least once a year. “The collaboration goes well,” Harrison said. “We are here because of the students. It is not the students’ job to interact with us, but our job to interact with them.” The community also participates in the event. Middle schooler Jacob Fitzwater, son of McLane Hall Resident Director Wendi Fitzwater, took part as well. To fulfill his community service duties for National Junior Honor Society, he spent the day working with older Crusaders. Junior Tyler Jones is part of the SGA team of chaplains who worked to plan the event. He and his peers spent time talking with people, finding contacts for projects and advertising the event to the student body. “It is all about giving back to the community because (it) has given us so much,” Jones said. “We have a chance to serve instead of being served.” Wilson stressed the importance of the chaplains’ dedication. “They have done a phenomenal job,” he said. “They are growing more and more and taking ownership in this.” As the ministry evolves, many are looking...

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Video of the Week: Feb 23 – Mar 1

Glow in the Dark Mountain Dew...

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