UMHB celebrates Black History Month
Feb13

UMHB celebrates Black History Month

Diverse cultural backgrounds, ethnicities and mixed races have been a true pride of the UMHB family. As February is Black History month, UMHB is finding unique and inclusive ways to celebrate the historical month. Black History Month is an annual celebration that occurs every February in honor of African-Ameri- cans and their past, present and future achievements. It has been 93 years since Black History Month was first recognized as a national holiday in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. When it first began, it was only a week-long celebration held on the second week of the month, coinciding with the week that Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery in 1865. Kicking off the month is an art exhibit held by UMHB’s art department. The “Black to the Future” art exhibit, curated by seniors Chriscina Lampkin and Danielle Demetria, features artwork created by African-American students majoring and minoring in art. The exhibit will be featured in Baugh Center for the Visual Arts on Feb. 14 at 5 p.m. Dani- elle Demetria East, a senior whose artwork will be displayed, is excited that UMHB is put- ting on this event to honor Black His- tory Month. “I have a sculpture in the show. It’s called ‘She’s Gotta Have It’, East said. “I went around UMHB and got different black women to write on these cement blocks about their perspective as a woman of color.” The English department is also participating in the month’s celebrations by hosting its third annual Black History Month Creative Writing Contest. Students can submit works of poetry, fiction and nonfiction. A panel of writers will deliver their creative pieces in McLane Great Hall on Feb. 13 at 2:30 p.m. In addition to activities at UMHB this February, The Association of Black Students (ABS) attended the 31st Southwestern Black Student Leadership Conference, which was held at Texas A&M in College Station from Jan. 17-19. The conference focused on empowerment and leadership. Jason Kontchou, a junior at Texas A&M and the Co-Executive Chair of the SBSLC, attends every year. “I got involved in SBSLC my freshman year,” Kontchou said. “It was supposed to just be something to put on my resume, something to do for fun. However, I quickly realized it was so much more than that. I felt like it gave me a purpose. “It made me feel at home with my school,” he added. “I fell in love after experiencing my first conference and ever since then I’ve just wanted to be more and more involved in the planning and process of the conference, so I applied and got onto the executive...

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Baptist Student Ministry’s new home encourages student involvement
Feb13

Baptist Student Ministry’s new home encourages student involvement

UMHB’s Baptist Student Ministry has experienced some exciting changes this semester. The BSM has relocated to the second floor of Bawcom Student Union and received a new interim director, UMHB alumna Mary Hebison. Hebison, who graduated in 2014, was involved in several organizations at the BSM during her time as a student, including the Ministry Leadership Council and Drama Ministry. She also served as the co-president of the BSM. Additionally, she was a part of the Texas BSM Lead Team. After she graduated, Hebison began to work as an oncology nurse at Scott and White Medical Center in Temple. She is continuing to pursue this career while she serves as the interim director of the BSM for the spring 2019 semester. “This is very new for me,” Hebison said “This is a really big adjustment for me because it isn’t anything I’ve ever done. But, when I was a student here I was involved in the BSM, so I’ve been able to see it through several different levels. I’ve seen the BSM through the student side, so seeing this through the office side has been very interesting. Luckily, my boss at the hospital has been very accommodating so I can still work at Scott and White while I work here.” The BSM has also relocated The Gathering. This event, which allows students to worship and have fellowship with one other in a friendly environment, was originally held in the BSM sanctuary. Now, the event is held in the McLane Great Hall located on the third floor of Bawcom. “This is kind of bittersweet, but there is a lot of sweet with it,” Hebison said. “We are excited to be more centrally located. I love that students can come by here without having to walk all the way to the old building. You don’t really walk by that part of campus, but you walk by this part all the time. We also like having events like The Gathering in a more central location. We are working on redefining where the BSM is and what the identity of the BSM is. It’s still a work in progress, but there is definitely a lot of progress.” Various specialized ministries within the BSM have also had to relocate to different buildings on campus because the old BSM building is being repurposed as a counseling center. However, even though the ministries and events are being relocated, the BSM is still looking forward to helping students grow in their Christian faith and walk with God during their time at UMHB. “We’re leaning on some old things that were already established. We want to go back...

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Students prepare for Cru Knights
Feb13

Students prepare for Cru Knights

Who doesn’t love Crusader Knights? It’s a fun opportunity to laugh, cheer on your friends and vote for your favorite contestants. Since 1993, Cru Knights has been one of the most popular traditions on campus each spring. Various campus organizations select male students to participate in this lighthearted event. Cru Knights is often described as a spoof of the Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor pageant, which has been an annual campus tradition since the 1950s. The men even perform the same stroll that the women do in their pageant. This always earns plenty of cheers and laughter from the crowd. Participants create a video skit based on the year’s theme, which is played for the audience during the event. On the night of the event, the men participate in a group dance and individual walks. After the judges score them in these areas and the audience has submitted their votes, the finalists are announced. They then answer interview questions presented by the reigning Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor. Finally, the judges crown the new Mr. Crusader Knight and announce other awards including Campus Choice, Best Video, Best Spotlight and the Timothy Award. The reigning Mr. Crusader Knight is alumnus Caleb Fitzwater, who represent- ed McLane Hall in 2018. He will be present at this year’s event to pass on the title. Also present will be Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor, Briana Frederickson, a senior social work major who represented Phi Alpha in this year’s pageant. Senior special education major Jimmy Boutte represent- ed Remschel Hall in Cru Knights during his sophomore year in 2017. “I really enjoyed meeting new people on campus when I was in Crusader Knights,” he said. “I also enjoyed the dance practices. Even though we messed up, we still had a lot of fun.” He is excited to attend the event this year. “I am excited for this year’s Olympic theme because I always enjoy watching the Olympics.” This year, there are 16 men participating in Cru Knights. The event will be held on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. in Walton Chapel. Students are encouraged to come out and support their friends and classmates who are participating in this fun tradition. To keep up with Cru Knights, follow CAB on Twitter...

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UMHB’s impressive basketball seasons
Jan30

UMHB’s impressive basketball seasons

The men’s and women’s basketball teams have been doing really well this season. Both teams have moved forward into the ASC tournamentand are coming close to thefinals. As of Sunday, Jan. 27, the men’s basketball team has won 15 games and lost five in this season. Of these games, six wins and five losses were in conference games. The women’s team has won 10 games and lost one game. Both the men’s and women’s teams will be playing against McMurray University on Thursday, Jan. 31 in Abilene,...

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The art of Sofia LeJeune: child prodigy’s artwork featured
Jan30

The art of Sofia LeJeune: child prodigy’s artwork featured

The art of Sofia LeJeune, a 10-year-old legally blind and autistic child artist from McKinney, Texas was on display from December 2018 to Jan. 14 at the UMHB Baugh Center for the Visual Arts. Sofia’s interest in art began when she was just 18 months old, and she has been creating ever since. During a phone interview, Sofia was more than happy to share about her life and her passion for art. She says that it is a great way to “…express your feelings, it looks pretty,” and it’s a “…good way to impress people.” Her mother, Rebeca Gracia, shared the details about how Sofia’s condition has developed over time. “She was severely autistic when she was younger. We have been using natural therapies… for the past five years with great success. Now, she is high functioning, and we thought we would see how she likes public school,” Gracia said. After being homeschooled since the start of her education, Sofia began her first year of public school in 2018. “Sofia’s vision impairment originates in the brain, not the eye. [It] has several components: nystagmus, which is improving, decreased acuity, which has remained the same, and astigmatism, which has worsened since starting public school,” Gracia said. In relation to Sofia’s talents, Gracia said that Sofia’s school does not have a strong art program, so it brings her daughter joy when people share an interest in art and talk to her about her artwork. Sofia said that she tried her hand at pottery and made some books with a lady named Helen. She was talking about Helen Kwiatkowski, who teaches book arts, photography and design here at UMHB. Although Sofia has experimented with various media and subjects, her preference is for drawing animals of all kinds. Using simple pencils and any scratch paper she can find, she creates lively illustrations through contour lines and expression. Sofia was recently diagnosed as legally blind but has struggled with her vision for a while. She described her vision as, “kinda good, kinda bad.” She can see to draw up close but has a very hard time seeing far away. Aside from her artistic hobbies, she, like most third graders, finds additional joy in a large array of things. Her favorite subject in school other than art is, as she said, “Science! Science! Science!” Sofia has also been participating in mixed martial arts for two years and is delighted to share that she has just earned her yellow belt. She also enjoys playing games inside and outside, like checkers, Go Fish and playing pretend. She shows pure excitement when she talks about the fun times she has on her great-grandmother’s...

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Jácome Flamenco troupe ignites the Performing Arts Center
Jan30

Jácome Flamenco troupe ignites the Performing Arts Center

The latest Highways and Byways performance in the Sue and Frank Mayborn Performing Arts Center on Thursday, Jan. 24, left audience members in awe. Jácome Flamenco, led by Chris B. Jácome, performed breathtaking flamenco routines that had the crowd bobbing their heads and tapping their feet along with the music. During the introduction, Jácome encouraged the audience to interact throughout the performance by yelling “Olé!” and cheers to the dancers. Chayito Champion, the lead singer of the group, jokingly stated they didn’t want to hear any “yee-haws,” which prompted laughter from the crowd. Three of the troupe members played various instruments while Champion sang and three dancers made their way onto the stage. The emotion and intense dancing, as well as the beautiful music, captivated the audience, causing many to cheer and chant with the dancers. After intermission, each of the dancers performed a solo. Jácome and Champion performed a duet. There was never a dull moment. While the dancers underwent costume changes, Jácome shared some facts and trivia about the flamenco form to the audience. The show went wonderfully, which is why it was surprising to hear they didn’t rehearse beforehand. “We got here today, did sound check, talked about what we were going to do, and we did it. No rehearsals,” Champion said. When asked how she knew when to chime in with her singing or clapping without rehearsals, she explained, “Sometimes they just give me a look or do something with their body, and I know to come in. Its all about feeling.” After the event, audience members had the chance to buy signed CDs and take pictures with the performers. Paulina Riewald is a senior sports management major who attended the show. “I loved it. I wanted to be up there with them,” she said. “I loved the music and the dancing was beautiful and it was really fun.” To learn more about Jácomes Flamenco, visit jacomeflamenco.com. There you can browse merchandise, find tips and tricks about the art of flamenco and get a sneak peek at where they will be performing...

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