The impact of COVID-19 on UMHB’s nursing program
Oct05

The impact of COVID-19 on UMHB’s nursing program

By Regan Murr The spread of COVID-19 has had a dramatic effect across the globe and, most noticeably, on the medical field.  Nurses stand on the front lines in the fight against the coronavirus, often at great personal risk, as they struggle to combat the pandemic.  This outbreak, coupled with an ongoing nursing shortage in the United States, has profoundly impacted the environment that future nursing students must confront after they graduate.  At the University of Mary Hardin- Baylor, students in the nursing program face having to adapt to many changes in learning methods and class structures, while also preparing for their future careers in a profession that continues to face unique challenges. Molly Radar, a senior nursing student at the university, plans to work in pediatrics after her graduation next spring.  She describes the transition to CRUflex classes this semester as “cool, but…wild and weird.” “It’s crazy that I will be starting a job, maybe, during a global pandemic,” said Radar.  “It’s kind of terrifying.” Junior UMHB nursing major Hannah Glass studies in between classes for an upcoming exam in the Townsend Memorial Library on campus in September 2020. Photo by Malaika Randolph At the same time, the pandemic has highlighted, perhaps more than ever, the need for more nurses in the workforce.  According to the American Nurses Association, there is projected to be far more nursing jobs available as compared to any other profession in 2022.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 1.1 million new registered nurses will be needed by 2022 to replace retirees and to avoid a continued shortage. When asked whether or not she was concerned about her future career during COVID-19, senior nursing student Sarah Hughes said: “No, because we’re needed.” Hughes also stated that she felt ready to enter the profession. “As nurses, we’re going to be dealing with a whole lot of infectious stuff all the time,” Hughes said.  “This is just a new infectious disease that we have to deal with.” Junior UMHB nursing major Hannah Glass studies in between classes for an upcoming exam in the Townsend Memorial Library on campus in September 2020. Photo by Malaika Randolph Nursing schools may also be facing dramatic fluctuations in applications due to COVID-19.  According to Ilana Kowarski’s  article in  U.S. News and World Report , “How coronavirus affects nursing school admissions,”  universities such as Villanova in Pennsylvania and Regis College in Massachusetts, have witnessed an increase in nursing school applications, which may be due to the pandemic. Still, it is possible that safety concerns may result in fewer applicants to nursing schools across the board, according to Kowarski’s article.  Only...

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ROTC’s Color Guard at the Salute to America at Crusader Stadium
Oct05

ROTC’s Color Guard at the Salute to America at Crusader Stadium

The United States Flag unfurls in the wind during The Salute to America on Friday, Sept. 11, which honored the events of 9/11 on the Crusader Stadium field. After the invocation by senior ROTC Cadet Stone Klingaman, ROTC’s Color Guard helped kick off the event along with the Black Shirt CRU Spirit Band on the field. L-R are cadets Alexia Brown, Jasmine Taylor (holding the U.S. Flag), Jami Hayden (holding the Texas flag), and Kayla Nielsen. Photo by Cadet Alexandria...

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Online learning with CRUflex: Is it worth keeping?
Oct05

Online learning with CRUflex: Is it worth keeping?

By Kailyn Strain – Contributing Writer Online learning with CRUflex: Is CRUflex worth keeping? Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (UMHB) launched CRUflex, which allows students to attend class online through Zoom. CRUflex gives students the option to either go to classes online or in the classroom, giving them the freedom to choose how they want to learn. Associate Dean of Humanities and English Professor Dr. Jacky Dumas talks with sophomore education interdisciplinary studies major Willameana Norman in Davidson Hall, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. The two were discussing he application of lighting in Young Frankenstein and Opale’s video for “Sparkles and Wine.” Photo by Rebecca McEntee Not only does CRUflex allow students to attend class virtually, but it also allows a student the option to go back and listen to previous lectures if they feel like they missed something. With its flexibility, CRUflex has helped many students at UMHB to be able to attend class regardless of work, illness, and or disability, especially during the pandemic. Education worldwide has changed drastically, and according to studies in the World Economic Forum’s, article, The COVID-19 pandemic has changed education forever. This is how, online learning has been shown to increase retention of the material and take less time. CRUflex is classified as E-learning. The Salem Press Encyclopedia defines E-learning as “the use of online computer-based technologies to complete an area of instruction,” which it says can occur in or out of classrooms while led by an instructor in real-time or it can be completed at a student’s preferred pace. It can also take place as a hybrid or combination of both teaching modes.  UMHB faculty and staff have taken steps to integrate such online learning with CRUflex and the incorporation of Zoom while  ensuring a smooth transition for both professors and students.   Dr. Susan Wegmann, associate dean of Digital Learning and Innovation, stated that they began developing CRUflex in early May. Training faculty began in June, utilizing Canvas and Zoom to host the training sessions. While training was going on, the Information Technology department (IT) and the Physical Plant department bought and installed the webcams that make CRUflex possible. “It was an incredible effort by the CDL team, IT, and the Physical Plant,” Dr. Wegmann said. Many students are excited to have CRUflex as an option for their learning. Jacquelyn Gonzales, a senior majoring in engineering, is one. CRUflex has allowed Jacquelyn to focus more on her health and be present for classes. “I think CRUflex is great,” Gonzales said.  “I believe CRUflex has made life and school so much easier to manage, as well as more...

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CRUflex –  a new multimodal way of learning: Class in person, online with Zoom,  or with video tapes of classes
Oct05

CRUflex – a new multimodal way of learning: Class in person, online with Zoom, or with video tapes of classes

By Cole Garner – Editor-in-Chief and Dakota Powell – Staff Writer Students wearing masks listen and take notes as Dr. Kerry Owens teaches his Public Speaking class in Davidson Hall Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. Students L-R are: pre-nursing major and cross country athlete Justin Miller; ROTC pre-nursing sophomore Bernadette Rivera; and freshman Christian studies major Ashley Moore. The students look close together here in this photos as the photo is compressed with a long lens. However these students’ desks are at least 6 feet apart. Photo by Rebecca McEntee This year, the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor needed to try to do things a little differently. After COVID-19 caused UMHB and other universities across the country to move their classes to an online format last spring, UMHB’s strategists knew that they would have to make the fall semester look very different. In doing that, UMHB started using a new way of learning. This is what the university now calls CRUflex. CRUflex is based on a hybrid learning approach that offers multiple ways to complete a course. Students can either attend class in person, or they can attend class virtually, or, they can watch a video of the taped class at a more convenient time for them. They can even combine their modes of accessing class and information, such as when reviewing a taped class they have already attended or viewed. All classes are videotaped with a program named Panopto. So most professors are teaching live on campus to some students in their seats in the classroom, while some of their other students attend with their computer desktops in the program known as Zoom. All of it, class in the classroom with students in attendance, along with students’ faces on computer tops through Zoom, is videotaped during class time. The video tape is then placed into a module reachable through myCampus courses for the week, so that students can access classes through their personal myCampus entry. Dr. Kerry Owens talking to his students in his Public Speaking class in Davidson Hall on Tuesday, Sept. 22. Pre-nursing major and cross country athlete Justin Miller listens in foreground. Photo by Rebecca McEntee Only a select number of students can attend each classroom because students must social distance.  Those who attend sit in desks that are placed at least six feet apart, which allows fewer students in each classroom. Students who may attend are rotated if needed, depending on the number of students and the room size, so sometimes students must alternatively attend class by tuning in with Zoom. Since attendance is not required, but encouraged when possible, faculty assign ARA’s (Academically Related Assignments)...

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Flu shots now available on campus!
Sep24

Flu shots now available on campus!

It is already time to get a flu shot, and because of COVID, it is especially important to take care that this year, as soon as possible. With COVID-19 being one respiratory illness we have to be vigilantly guard against, having the risk of a second respiratory disease infecting people at the same time presents and even worse scenario. This possibility of two respiratory diseases infecting people either at once or in tandem, affects individuals as well as the collective on campus and all of us at home with our families and loved ones. It also presents, with more people sick from two diseases, the chance that hospitals will be inundated this season. To help get better control over our health this season for yourself and others, you can schedule your flu shot with Nurse Debbie  (Rosenberger, CSN, RN-BC) in Health Services in the Mabee Student Success Center building on the third floor. She has provided the following information about getting the shot: Flu shots are now available for $20 – cash or check; while supplies last. To get the shot, please Email healthservices@umhb.edu with your ID number and date and time at which you would like to have an appointment, and you will receive an email confirmation.  (There are NO appointments between noon-1pm daily.)  Bring your filled out flu shot consent form and have your funds ready. Again, BRING your completed form and $20 with you to the appointment.   Also, be sure to maintain social distancing and wear your mask.  If you are ill – do NOT keep your appointment. Nurse Debbie will need you to have already filled out and signed a consent form for the shot. You can download it and print it out, and sign and again, be sure to take it with you.  It can be found here. The flu shot is especially important this year because the COVID virus will still be something any of us can catch, and we have been warned of a second wave of infections. Therefore, we need to be sure we are protected from at least one of these diseases that we can already control with a vaccine. Nurse Debbie says another reason to get the flu shot this season is that, as the CDC advises points out, it prevents suspicions of COVID from putting more people in quarantine and/or in isolation for 10-14 days, which can be a long time when trying to complete a semester of school.  Although some people feel that they have flu symptom after taking the shot, that is because the antibodies are working to protect the body from the more serious outbreak. Most people...

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Service Animals at UMHB
Sep02

Service Animals at UMHB

By Kailyn Strain Service animals can be spotted anywhere in public with their handler, a person with a disability, to assist them when they need to. Many people are confused as to what a service animal is and how to interact with them. A service dog, defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA’s “Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA,” is as follows: “A service animal is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability.  The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability.” A task is a specific command that the animal is trained to do to help the person with a disability. The ADA does not require service animals to be professionally trained or to need them to have any identification, and service animals must be given access no matter the establishment that is open to the public. Service animals must behave well in public, and if not, businesses are legally allowed to remove them if they are showing the following behaviors: aggression, excessive barking, no longer under control and relieving themselves in public. Businesses can only ask two questions, according to ADA and its website at https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/service_animal_qa.html The two questions that can be asked are under the General Rules section, where it states:  “In situations where it is not obvious that the dog is a service animal, staff may ask only two specific questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability? And (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform. Staff are not allowed to request any documentation for the dog, require that the dog demonstrate its task, or inquire about the nature of the person’s disability.” Behavior is the one telling sign that a dog is a legitimate service dog.  Here at UMHB, we have several dogs on campus that assist their handlers on daily tasks. Cassidy Menard, a senior majoring in interdisciplinary education and her service dog Blue, have been together for almost two years. Blue is a hearing dog and is trained to assist Menard by alerting her to specific sounds. These sounds include her phone ringing, a tornado siren and a fire alarm. Blue has three different cues she gives to Menard for each different sound. In general, Menard would like the student body to know the following: “It is safe to assume that you cannot pet service dogs,” Menard said, “but I would rather you ask me before trying to pet her. The same goes for talking to her; you...

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