Vets transition from combat to classroom
Apr15

Vets transition from combat to classroom

UMHB students have a variety of backgrounds and experiences. Some students have even seen combat, and are looking to transition from active duty to civilian life. The university has demonstrated a commitment to helping veterans adapt to their new lives. So much so that UMHB has been classified as a yellow ribbon school which simply means soldiers are always welcome. They go through admissions, enrolling, and classes just like everyone else. One downside to the admissions process is that sometimes UMHB doesn’t allow active duty students. “[Active duty military members] often have to work on the base as a full-time job, and working from eight-to-five isn’t going to give them a well-rounded college experience,” said Patrick Munoz, head of military admissions. But because the university wants to serve all members of the military, they are working on an online program that would be beneficial to those active duty students. For those who have gone through active duty and are returning to civilian life, the process can be very stressful. The university not only wants to help ease this transition by providing an opportunity to advance their careers, but also by providing services that will help them ease into the next stage of life. If a solider is having a hard time adapting to their new life and classes they can get free counseling at UMHB’s Counseling Center. Being on campus also gives veterans the chance to get to know other students and participate in university events. “After leaving the Navy, I tried to do a semester online before coming to UMHB, but it was so isolated. UMHB gives me social interaction.” said Garrett Coppin, a junior business Management major. Coppin was an Intel specialist for the Navy and spent a lot of his time at different ports around the Americas. He has served in Cuba, California, Washington State, and Hawaii. “My responsibilities are different and I get to sleep in longer,” said Coppin said of the differences between military and college life. But even though college affords many veterans the chance to gain experiences they’ve never had, it can often be an adjustment when going from living on a base to living in an institutional setting. Brandon Middleton, a sophomore history major, explained that after coming to UMHB he had a hard time following UMHB’s rules. He struggled with these issues for a short while, but eventually realized that these rules were put in place for a reason. “My work ethic changed and got better after all the training,” said Middleton, “It is easier to learn here because of the small classroom sizes.” Middleton was a tank driver in...

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Following in the footsteps
Apr15

Following in the footsteps

For more than three-quarters of a century, UMHB has preluded the Easter holiday with its annual Easter Pageant. And while guests often leave campus feeling moved by this rendition of Christ’s crucifixion, the pageant has an equally strong impact on those who portray the Biblical characters. The pageant process begins with the selection of a director, and individuals to portray Jesus and Mary. These selections are made by University President Dr. Randy O’Rear. This year, senior social work major Carissa Araujo was selected to direct. “I was in complete shock that I was asked to direct. I was also so thankful and humbled by this opportunity,” Araujo said. Dr. O’Rear selected senior Christian studies major, Quinton Payton to play Jesus, and senior education major, Brianna Helmer to portray Mary. Once these three roles are assigned, the director begins putting together the rest of the cast. “Usually, several people want to fill the same role which is where being the director can be tricky,” Araujo said. “Casting took a little while this semester.” Araujo said it was important that she considered what role would be right for each individual.” “I spent a lot of time praying and thinking about who should fill what role. I want people to be able to connect to the story in a different way through each role,” she said. Once roles were assigned, Araujo then had the task of putting the performance together. “The first week of rehearsals I was only working with Mary, Jesus, disciples and mourners,” she said. “We worked on the few opening scenes so that they would have those down and be comfortable before we added the rest of the cast in.” Pageant participants don’t always have acting experience, so it was important for Araujo to ease everyone into the process. “I would try to focus on three to four scenes at each practice before we started morphing all of the scenes together,” she said. “Practice takes a lot of repetition at times, so it was always important to just keep the people you specifically needed for those scenes to respect everyone’s time.” As time went on, the pageant became less of a theatrical production and more of a spiritual learning process. Payton said the experience playing Jesus gave him and his fellow cast members a chance to grow in their faith. “For me to play Jesus, it meant that I was going to bring others alongside me to enjoy this journey with me and be there with me when it became difficult,” Payton said. “God surrounded me with an amazing group of disciples from all across the campus and brought...

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Career Services prepares students for graduation
Feb16

Career Services prepares students for graduation

“Start Early, Be Prepared Get Noticed!” That’s exactly what Career Services can help graduating seniors do. College students are all here for the same thing; to get an education and gain experiences that will help them attain future jobs. Finding a job before graduation can be a difficult task, but with the help of UMHB’s Career Services, the process can be easier. Career Services helps students create resumes, make connections in the field they’re interested in, and assist seniors in finding full-time jobs directly out of college. “We feel career planning is a four-year activity and students need to take advantage of their college years to explore and confirm career paths,” said Don Owens, the director of Career services. Owens said that the four steps to succeed in finding a job are: completing an interest assessment as a freshman and then at the start of junior year, start your professional career resume right away, review it every month to add skills and experiences that will be required for field work, complete three different internships, and build connections and a network. Career Services offers workshops throughout the year in addition to eight job fairs: the Senior Etiquette Dinner, Speed Interview Events, Mock Interview Appointments, Employer Information Sessions, and Employer Campus Interview Days. The department also actively partners with the Belton Chamber of Commerce to aid in the Apprentice Belton Mentoring program, and the Alumni Association to bring the Fall Homecoming Alumni Career Connection BBQ. “We will also partner with the Social Work Program to host the first Social Work Expo on March 4 and with the Modern Foreign Languages Program for Spanish in the Marketplace roundtable.” Jobs offered through Career services include off-campus, part-time positions, internships, and full time jobs. These job opportunities could be anywhere from local, regional, statewide, national, or even international positions. “I’ve been multiple times and they’ve given me great advice. [Career Services] Made me feel more secure about getting into the field I’m going into,” said junior psychology major Scott Carter. Career Services offers a program called “Cru Connection” which is a university career management tool. Cru Connection is used to link students and alumni with employers. Owens suggests that students, if available, bring a current resume to the meeting, if they have one available. If students do not have a resume available, then the Career Services staff, will gladly assist the student in developing their professional resume. Career Services is located on the second floor of Mabee, room 202. They will take appointments or walk-ins. For more information, call 254-295-4691 or send an email to careerservices@umhb.edu. Students can also find the Career Services page...

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Students raise the curtain on new drama club
Feb16

Students raise the curtain on new drama club

The Crusader Company is one of the newest organizations on campus and was formed in the fall semester of 2015. The club hopes to help students prepare for work in show business. Whether students have experience or not, the club accepts them all. “We wanted to make the club because there was no drama club on campus,” said Danielle East, the club’s president. The purpose of Crusader Company is to help students gain knowledge of everything that would happen onstage or backstage, like using props, making costumes, creating a scene, and acting. The club will host workshops this semester to help students improve in a certain area and rehearse for upcoming plays. Club sponsor and supervisor Kathy Owens said the organization is a way for those interested in theatre to get their feet wet. “It will introduce them to the various tasks that theatre production require,” Owens said. “It will also allow like-minded individuals to bond over their shared love of theatre.” Owens likes the potential of the organization,” “It has the potential to be a wonderful force on campus,”she said. There will be many events this spring semester in which students can get involved. For their February fundraiser, the organization will be selling chocolate covered strawberries (two for a dollar) in the first floor of Bawcom on Friday, Feb. 12. The club will also be partnering with ROTC in March for a unique service project. Members of Crusader Company will pose as civilians, leaders, and military personnel during a training exercise put on by the ROTC. The opposing forces (played by the Crusader Company members) and the ROTC members will both be armed with paintball guns to simulate combat. The organization also plans to perform a small play for students and the community sometime during the semester. With the organization continuing to gain recognition, East said she has realized the need for such a club on campus. “I like how [Crusader Company] has gained a lot of feedback about how an organization like it needs to be on campus,” East said. The organization is currently meeting every other Monday in the Baugh Center for Visual Arts at 8...

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Helping Hands offers hope to Bell County
Feb16

Helping Hands offers hope to Bell County

lton Ministers Fellowship in 1995, Helping Hands has aided thousands of families who have fallen on hard times. Aid can be anything from groceries, items for new parents, financial help, and professional training, all at no cost to the participant. The executive director of the ministry, Rucker Preston, said it is important to have something like Helping Hands available in the community in order to solve social and economic problems that face the people of Belton, TX. “The reason we do what we do is because we believe Jesus meant what He said, so we are to follow His example and serve people in a very holistic way,” Preston said. “We do that through three different initiatives—relief, development, and advocacy.” Relief comes in the form of helping someone with their pressing physical needs like providing food, clothing, praying with them in the organization’s chapel, providing school supplies, or providing emergency needs for homeless families. “And then there’s development, which is where we work towards helping someone work their way out of poverty, save for the future to get a higher education, or find a job in our employment mentoring ministry,” Preston said. The director said it is also important for the organization and those who support it to be an advocate and a voice for the families who are trapped in poverty. Advocacy can come through talking to others about Helping Hands, providing donations, or volunteering at the organization. Senior social work major, Braden Wilson, said he chose the ministry to fulfill his internship requirements because of what they do for less fortunate families and the Kingdom of God. “I just love that Helping Hands is faith-based,” Wilson said. “[The organization] is supported by all different churches in the area who really work together to better the community.” Wilson also said that she likes Helping Hands’ holistic approach to helping each person who benefits from the ministry. “We ask them, is this helping? How can we improve this? What can we do better?” she said. “So, they really work for the clients.” Helping Hands is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization, which means the services they provide are not funded by the government. They fund their charitable giving through a resale shop, donations from private donors, and monetary support from local churches. Senior social work major and Helping Hands intern, Michael Carpenter, said the work he’s done through the organization has not only helped needy families, but it has also helped him gain a unique perspective and experience that will help him in his future career. “I am a social work major and Helping Hands directly helped me by allowing...

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Sports Spotlight: Senior carries out family legacy
Feb16

Sports Spotlight: Senior carries out family legacy

On and off the court, Senior Exercise and Sport Science major and women’s basketball player Tori Tucker has always led by example, and aspires to be the best that she can be. With 15 years of basketball experience under her belt, Tucker hopes to finish this season strong, and along with the help from the rest of the team, have a shot at winning the conference championship in a sport that she has devoted her entire life to playing. “Both my parents are coaches, so I kind of grew up with the game. I started by playing with Little Dribblers. That’s where it all started,” Tucker said. “My mom was my coach, so I grew up playing for her, and I played Amateur Athletic Union for about 10 years. All of that led up to me coming to play here at UMHB.” Tucker’s biggest inspiration in basketball, however, didn’t come from her parents or other coaches, but instead came from her older sister, who also played basketball for UMHB. “My sister, Taylor played basketball here for three years,” she said. I have always looked up to her on the basketball floor. I have always tried to strive to be like her because her work ethic was exceptional.” While Tucker loves playing for UMHB for many reasons, there are a few that stick out to her specifically. “My favorite part of playing here is probably the facilities. However, it is also because of the EXS staff and how they give me insight and background on the sport,” Tucker said. “I love being a part of a team because of the team chemistry. Doing things together outside of the court kind of helps us on the court.” Tucker has used the sport to help her in many different ways. Besides getting to play the game that she loves, basketball has also taught her a lot about life. “Basketball is important to me because it is my getaway. It always has been. If I am going through something, I kind of use basketball to help me cope,” she said. “It helped me find myself when I didn’t know who I was.” This season, Tucker is looking to put her best foot forward and do everything she can to help this team to be successful. “Even though for about three years I wasn’t able to contribute to the team because I was hurt, I feel like this year I am a contributor through leadership,” Tucker said. “I lead by example with how to do stuff full speed and giving 110 percent. Nobody can say that I am not giving it my all. I...

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