Campus prepares for new performing arts space
Jan28

Campus prepares for new performing arts space

As giant bulldozer arms crushed and demolished bricks and metal on Jan. 13, the campus said goodbye to the Huckins Apartment complex that has been housing students since the mid-nineties. “Huckins is supposed to be a one week job in which we will take all rubble to the landfill for UMHB.” Said Jeff Cummings, RT Schneider Construction employee during demolitions. The purpose of the tear down is to make way for the new performing arts center that is set to be finished in the fall of 2017. Although plans for this new center have been a long-time coming, associate dean of Student Development, Donna Plank, said that the demolition couldn’t take place until there was room for displaced students in other campus housing. “We had a meeting with the students in Huckins in October concerning the demolition,” Plank said. “They were told the university would grant them first-choice housing.” The removal of the apartments left 54 students displaced. In order for the project to be completed on time, the university didn’t have the luxury of waiting until the summer when apartments would be unoccupied. “The new performing arts studio is due to be built by the fall of 2017, therefore adequate steps were needed to be taken now to see that accomplished,” said Associate Vice President for Campus Planning Robert Patee. Not only did the 54 displaced students get first dibs on where they wanted to live, but they also got a price break on their new location. “The university granted the students the option to live in the most expensive units for the price of living in Huckins during their spring term,” Plank said. The Performing Arts Center is the final installment of the university’s Campus Master Plan, which was approved in 2011. The project was delayed as the university had to wait until adequate alternative housing was available. “It was occupied, and we had to wait until College View apartment beds opened,” Patee said. Now that Huckins has been removed, the university will turn its focus to the future. A ceremony will be held Feb. 5 to break ground on the new Performing Arts Center. The facility will be 40,725 square feet and will include both performing and learning spaces, and will feature a 546-seat...

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Holocaust exhibit visits Bell County
Jan28

Holocaust exhibit visits Bell County

The Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. has presented the Bell County Museum with the opportunity to host the first traveling exhibit west of the Mississippi River. UMHB and the museum are partnering together to encourage students and residents of Belton to attend the exhibit. Dr. Timothy Crawford, the Dean of the College of Christian Studies brought the idea of hosting the exhibit to the museum’s curator, Beverly Headley. “We were honored to help out by bringing [the exhibit] to the UMHB community, the Bell County Museum, and the Belton area.” said Headley. “It’s a great reminder that we must study history. We need to understand not only what happened, but why it was allowed to happen. It raises fundamental issues about human nature, social responsibility and the obligation of individuals and institutions to act with a conscience in the face of unspeakable crimes.” The exhibit, Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race, discusses the medical and scientific studies of the Holocaust. This exhibit examines how the Nazi’s thought about genetics and used leadership and science to help justify persecution and murder. “This exhibit is a really good answer to the question why did the Holocaust happen?” Crawford said. “The terms ‘racially fit’ and ‘the cleansing of Germany’ was often used to explain to the German citizens why these atrocities were the right things to do.” The museum shows advertisements that were posted all around the country about how unethical it was for “racially fit Germans” to marry or procreate with “non-Germans.” And race wasn’t the only thing that Germany wanted to exterminate from family trees. Homosexuals, the handicapped, and the mentally ill were also considered to have “bad genetics.” A small number of artifacts are also located in the museum showing Nazi supporters personal items. “Deadly Medicine is a reminder that it has happened in the past and it is a history we should not repeat.” said. The exhibit is sectioned into two parts. On the first floor of the museum, guests can see sciences and experiments that took place before World War II began, focusing on creating the “perfect race.” Guests can also see the famous scientists that were used as inspiration for the experiments, such as Gregory Mendel and Charles Darwin, as well as the scientists that played important roles in the experiments, such as Dr. Ernst Rudin. There are many videos that play among the exhibit to show viewers what types of tools that were used, footage of results, and small biographies of different scientists. The second floor of the museum discusses what happened once World War II began. It depicts the victims of the illegal experiments,...

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Program connects students with career mentors
Jan28

Program connects students with career mentors

The Apprentice Belton program hosted their kickoff for the semester in Bawcom Student Union in the McLane Great Hall Jan. 21. The program is a partnership between Belton’s Chamber of Commerce and the university’s career center that provides mentors to students. Director of Career Services Don Owens and the chamber came to each other with the same idea about Apprentice Belton roughly four years ago when they heard about the Apprentice Austin program in Austin, TX. “It was certainly God’s being involved and us all being on the same page at the same time that made the program possible,” Owens said. Sophomore, junior and senior students must submit an application and a reference letter by mid-October to be considered for the program in the spring semester. Once a student applies, they will be contacted for an interview by the university and chamber. The university and the chamber then find mentors in each of the students’ chosen majors. Owens believes that students should be involved with this program so they can get a true feel for their profession before they walk across the stage. “I think students should apply to get a bird’s eye view of what it’s really like in that field,” Owens said. “A lot of us have these concepts of certain careers but we don’t realize it’s a lot of hard work. There’s the good, the bad, and the ugly of every job. There’s an old saying that says if you love what you do, you won’t have to work a day of your life. We want our students to have a passion and a calling for their career.” Thirteen students have been paired with professionals from the Belton and Temple area for this semester’s Apprentice Belton. The students will be required to meet with their mentor six times throughout the spring semester, whether it’s to discuss how the student’s semester is going over coffee or to shadow the professional on the job. At the end of April there will be a closing ceremony where participants will receive a certificate and they will be able to speak about their experience. “Through Apprentice Belton, I was able to gain a mentor in the medical field who has been able to help me navigate through my journey towards becoming a physician. While I also gained many hours of shadowing experience, what stood out to me more is the practical knowledge I gained through talking with Dr. Wooldridge about her experiences in the medical field,” said senior cell biology pre-med major and Apprentice Belton alumni Autumn Brewer. Junior BCIS major with a minor in Christian studies Ashli Adams is participating...

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On a mission Students take the Word into the world
Jan28

On a mission Students take the Word into the world

To those who are seeking adventure, and have a passion for sharing the love of Christ and fellowshipping with people from other cultures and backgrounds, mission trips can be a great opportunity. For those looking to actually join or be a part of a mission trip, but are unsure of how to go about it, there are multiple avenues by which to get involved. One way is to be part of a university-sponsored trip. The university’s Baptist Student Ministries (BSM) help students find the most cost-effective and lifestyle-friendly missions. They help students become a part of school-sponsored trips or get involved with Go Now missions that place students all over the country and the world. “I went on the refugee mission trip in Fort Worth at Camp Broadway and it was such an amazing experience,” said sophomore physical education major Lee Vasquez Jr. “It was my first mission trip and I was so blessed and thankful to start off there.” Vasquez attended a mission through the university over Christmas break and said that as soon as the team arrived, they could feel God’s spirit upon them. “As soon as the kids got there, we saw how much God has helped them through their lives and how much they want to become closer to him,” he said. “It made me so happy to see their faces glow and shine. It was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to go on another.” While students like Vasquez saw God’s hand working in university-sponsored mission trips over Christmas break, others like sophomore Christian studies major Kelly Carlin experienced God’s presence in church-sponsored mission trips. “I went to India and New Orleans. I loved seeing the different cultures of both places,” Carlin said. “In India, I helped run a Vacation Bible School.” Although the language barrier prevented Carlin and her team from communicating completely with the children, they connected with them through games and activities. Just a few weeks with the children impacted Carlin’s heart and worldview, she believes, forever. “[The trip] showed me that there is a lot of Kingdom work that needs to be done in the US,” Carlin said. “I encourage everyone to go [on a mission trip] at least once and see how the other half-lives and to experience the way God moves throughout the world.” Students who didn’t get the chance to trek through foreign cities and bring the Gospel to unreached peoples over Christmas break can take advantage of the opportunity to be a part of Beach Reach – a spring break mission trip organized by the Baptist Student Ministries. Every year, a group of UMHB students...

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Christmas traditions: Food, family, fun
Dec08

Christmas traditions: Food, family, fun

It’s the time of year when Christmas music is inescapable, pine is in the air, and carolers are as far as the eye can see. But despite these ubiquitous traditions, holiday customs differ from place to place and family to family. In big cities like New York and Chicago, Christmas might include a visit to a stories-high, brightly-colored Christmas tree or ice skating in the center of town, while people in smaller towns might enjoy parades or tree-lightings. But, for some, family plays a bigger role in how the holidays are celebrated. Senior Christian studies major, Taylor Irby, spends the Christmas season celebrating her family’s German heritage. “We do something called the pickle tradition, and whoever finds [the pickle ornament] gets a special present and some cash,” she said. Irby’s family tradition comes from an old German custom where parents hung a pickle ornament deep inside the Christmas tree. Whoever found the ornament on Christmas Eve received an extra gift from St. Nick. The Christian studies major said the hunt for the pickle can become an intense competition. “The poor tree and ornaments have no chance,” Irby said. “We even knocked the tree over once.” While Irby and her family draw on their cultural background during their holiday traditions, others, like Shelby Halloran focus on food and family togetherness. “On Christmas Eve we put out a spread, which is an assortment of food, like crackers and cheese, summer sausage, pigs and the blanket, and other wonderful things,” she said. After they’re finished filling up on cheese and crackers, Halloran and her siblings are allowed to open one present. “This is usually done before we go to the Christmas Eve service at 11 p.m. where we spend time in worship,” Halloran said. “The service ends at midnight with everyone singing ‘Silent Night.’” Focusing on Christ during the holidays is also an important aspect of junior nursing major, Stacie Garza’s Christmas celebration. “[My family and I] drive down to Victoria, TX where we enjoy the company of extended family, share the story of Christ, and attend a service at a local church, where one of my uncles works as a preacher,” Garza said. Traveling to be with family is also a tradition for senior exercise physiology major, Morgan Tongish. “We go to my grandparent’s house on Christmas Eve, and that night we will all make cookies and listen to Elvis Presley records together,” she said. “And, even though I am currently the youngest, every grandchild still has a stocking hanging up.” That night, each stocking is filled with gifts and treats. On Christmas morning, Tongish and her family will see what...

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College republicans start new organization
Dec08

College republicans start new organization

The College Republicans are back, and ready to educate voters on the political issues of the day. The club was originally started three years ago, but couldn’t find its momentum. Recently the organization was brought back to campus and students are excited to see its return. “When I heard they were bringing it back I thought, I want to get it done, I want to make it happen. I went to Sheryl Garza, our supervisor, and asked what I can do to help,” said senior economics major and organization president Collin Cavendish. The politically focused club hopes to help young voters on campus find their political identity so they know exactly why they vote for a cetain party or candidate, and know exactly what policies are most important to them. “For a lot of people on campus this will be the first election they will be voting in,” Cavendish said. “To think your vote doesn’t matter or won’t count for anything is scary. I want to raise awareness that the policies will effect you and it does matter. It is important to get to the polls and vote.” At the interest meeting on Nov. 19, the officers introduced the plan for the organization’s future. Many ideas are still in discussion, and the officers are allowing members to partake in the discussions by expressing their opinions as well. During the meeting, the organization’s officers brought in three guest speakers to talk to the students. Michael Ball, senior director of UMHB, was the first guest speaker to talk to the group. He talked about the upcoming election and the campaigns he had been a part of in the past. “Your ability to influence is greater now than ever,” Ball said. He explained that our votes do directly affect us even though we might not see the effect. The next guest speaker was Henry Garza, the current Bell County District Attorney. Garza talked about his previous experiences with Republican campaigns and creating your political identity is more important than ever. He explained to the viewers that politics are not bad, but they can be difficult. Michael James, who is a chairman of the Young Republicans in Bell County also spoke during the meeting. James talked about how UMHB represents a unique demographic “What I mean by that is, You are the majority,” James said. Freshman nursing major, Mackenzie Henderson, attended to gain a better understanding of how she can be a part of the political process. “I wanted to come so I can be informed further about political issues and develop friendships with other Republicans.” Freshman political science major, Tyler Baker, also...

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