Students lose shoes to raise money, awareness
Apr12

Students lose shoes to raise money, awareness

By all accounts, April 6 was a normal day on campus as students trotted across grass, dirt, sidewalks and gravel-covered parking lots to their classes. For some, however, one thing was missing– shoes. Unfortunately for many children around the world, shoelessness is a reality for more than just one day a year, so student athletes and the Student Government Association partner together with Hope for the Hungry to provide footwear for more than 60 orphans in Haiti. Sole to Soul was started three years ago to raise both awareness and the money to purchase shoes for children. One day each year students walk barefoot all day as a reminder to pray for the Haitians. They are also given the opportunity to donate $10,  which will go towards purchasing a pair of shoes that will be given to one of the orphans at Hope for the Hungry. As Director of Children’s Ministries at Hope for the Hungry, Jen Sutton knows first hand the need for something so simple. “It’s really important. We have to supply everything for these kids, and these are the shoes they will wear for the whole school year,” Sutton said. The event raised almost $1,500, surpassing the goal set, and will not only be able to provide shoes, but also backpacks and school supplies for the children. “Every one of our kids is going to have a new pair of shoes, so that’s really exciting,” Sutton said. In addition to taking donations for shoes, Hope for the Hungry also sold bracelets for $2 each, and is urging students to support their child sponsorship program. “The sponsorship program provides food, clothes  and all of that stuff,” Sutton said. “We have a couple of students who are sponsoring kids now monthly, so that’s really cool.” Freshman class president theology/philosophy major Caleb Humphrey helped organize this year’s event, and is thankful that so many contributed to the effort. He said, “I’m really glad the students participated and helped out. I’m glad the school has the mind and the heart to do this.” As well as aiding the Haitian children, Humphrey thinks Sole to Soul also helps students to remain mindful of how much they have, as well as the responsibility to give back. “Just walking on hot gravel or hot pavement makes the student body aware that there are people who do not have it as good as we do,” Humphrey said. “God has blessed us, and it’s our job to take that blessing and return it.” Junior Christian ministry major LW is one who left her shoes at home for the day, choosing to walk barefoot to show...

Read More
Bible scholars study manuscript
Mar29

Bible scholars study manuscript

A manuscript so old and valuable that most scholars can only dream of ever seeing it is at the fingertips of a select group of UMHB students and faculty. Literally. When the Green family, which owns Hobby Lobby and other chain stores, decided to fund the Green Scholars Initiative, collect biblical artifacts and establish the world’s largest Bible museum, they chose Dr. Renate Hood, UMHB associate professor of Christian studies, to be a part of the project. Hood serves as a Scholar-Mentor, working on the research with four undergraduates and is excited about the department’s involvement with the project and the impact it will have in many different areas of study. “I was very grateful to see how it was received with open arms by the administration,” Hood said. Having a university that supports the research is essential to this initiative, partly because a small group of students are the ones examining the document. Undergraduates doing this caliber of research is unheard of in the areas of theological and biblical studies. “The vision is let’s get the undergraduate students involved and let’s get the smaller schools involved who normally do not get these opportunities,” Hood said. “Let’s get them excited about the word of God and the world of the Bible. I love that vision.” In her career in New Testament studies and teaching she has previously collated ancient Greek manuscripts for the International Greek New Testament project, and has taught a variety of Greek language and ancient manuscript courses. Hood said, “Students love a hands-on approach that teaches them in a real-life way the nuances of linguistics and the world of the text. It is that element of connecting the ancient world with contemporary relevance that can grab hold of a student and never let go.” Though few undergrads and even many Ph.D. scholars have ever had the opportunity to do research on such documents like this, Hood has no doubts the team will succeed. “I think that undergraduate students are capable of so much more than we think. If they can do it in the sciences, if they can do it in literature, they certainly can do it in the theological and biblical studies fields. It has just been kept from them,” she said. The Green Scholars Initiative project began less than a year ago and is already flourishing, continuing to add to the Green Collection’s already large number of documents. Hood said, “For the last 11 months they have bought up a tremendous collection. It now owns the second or third largest Dead Sea Scroll collection outside of Israel.” The UMHB team is part of one...

Read More
The frill of the hunt
Mar08

The frill of the hunt

Though some may consider hunting a “man’s sport”, it’s not just boys enjoying the thrill. From the rifles and bows to the early mornings, girls are doing it all, and proving they can hang with the guys. For as long as she can remember, junior exercise sport science major Amber Sherman, along with her sister, has been hunting alongside all the men in her family. “When we were born my dad had hunting knives made for us,” Sherman said. At 7-years-old she began practicing with her first BB gun, shooting tin cans in the backyard and receiving the nickname “Amber Oakley” from one of her uncles. It was with her father and uncles on an old rice field just outside of town that Sherman developed her love for the sport. She said, “I always felt like I was a big girl going on an important hunt.” Sherman describes a typical day of hunting as waking up early, grabbing some coffee and heading out. “We’re in the stand before the sun comes up, and we stay until we get hungry; usually around noon,” she said. Though she enjoys all of her hunts, the most memorable happened three years ago. “It was my first time to shoot with a bow,” Sherman said. “It was a perfect shot.” Sophomore social work major Kristen Kimmel recently experienced her first real hunt. Though she has mixed feelings about the expedition, she gained a new appreciation for hunting and hunters alike. “It’s more of a sport than I thought. I thought it was just people walking around, but there’s an art to it,” Kimmel said. Growing up in a small town, Kimmel saw many of her female friends going on hunts with their dads and wanted to finally see what it was all about. After hours of sitting in the stand in the cold, Kimmel walked away from her first hunt empty handed but happy to have had the time to bond with her father. “I enjoyed going with my dad to see him do something he enjoys,” she said. While hunting is something she has always enjoyed doing, Sherman does admit that as a female hunter she is often  teased by the guys who participate in the sport and feel that girls cannot perform as well. “I think they just want to be the ones to teach the girls how to do it,” Sherman said. Kimmel has found that there is often the misconception that hunting is just for guys, but has seen this trend begin to change. “Hunting is stereotyped with boys, but I think it’s cool to see more girls doing it....

Read More
Grounds Cru gains feminine touch
Mar08

Grounds Cru gains feminine touch

Written by Sarah Rank Digging trenches, planting flowers, pulling weeds and creating new landscapes are just a few of the many duties Grounds Cru workers are assigned to complete, not to mention they work in all elements of the Texas weather. One worker on the staff sticks out among the rest with her long hair, slim figure and feminine features. Senior English major Grace Ciupek jumped at the chance of working outdoors when looking for a work study job in the fall of 2010. “Being an English major, I spend most of my time sitting down, reading novels, or writing long papers on my computer,” she said. “For my sanity, I need the outdoors. I was a little frightened that they wouldn’t hire me because I’m a girl, but I knew I had to at least make an effort to do what I love.” Ciupek has worked on several intricate jobs all over campus; however, she admits to her favorite being the restoration of the front of Walton Chapel. “We’ve received so many comments on the new flower bed around Jesus. A lot of people thought the statue was brand new,” she said. On the other hand, Ciupek’s least preferred tasks include working in cold, rainy weather and driving battery-operated golf carts. “If I’m going downhill, I have to have something in the trunk of the cart to help weigh me down; otherwise I’m bouncing a full foot off the seat. If I’m going uphill, any extra weight threatens to stall the cart. It’s very frustrating,” she said. Although Ciupek is outnumbered by the opposite sex when at work, they do not oppose her. “They’re my home away from home. It’s like having a bunch of brothers and dads up there. We look out for each other, make fun of each other and help each other,” she said. Ciupek’s fellow employees never take work from her because of her gender. “They treat me like an individual–not a girl who needs easy work. I appreciate that,” she said. Senior interdisciplinary studies major Shayne Eddleman has had the opportunity to work side by side with Ciupek. He enjoys the positive attitude Ciupek brings to the job as well as her willingness to work just as hard as one of the guys. “I respect Grace for having such a great work ethic. She is a very hard worker. No lie, she works twice as hard as some of the guys on the Cru. I don’t treat her any differently because she’s a girl,” he said. Freshman pre-physical therapy major Brandon Payne sees Ciupek as an important asset because of her attention to...

Read More
Novel jobs: ice cream to bridal shows
Feb08

Novel jobs: ice cream to bridal shows

Students know about campus work study jobs, but several others find employment off campus as well in varied areas. Youth ministry, serving up ice cream and designing digital art are all areas in which people studying at UMHB work. Senior youth ministry major Clayton Aker serves as the full-time youth minister at Fellowship Baptist Church in Liberty Hill, Texas. A previous internship there helped him get the job. “In October my youth pastor, Tim, called me up saying he was looking for an intern, so after praying about it I took the job. I started in February 2010 and became full time as of January 1, 2011,” he said. Aker is also a full-time student, so he has to balance his school responsibilities with his work responsibilities. “Every week is different. Actually every day is different. I attend classes in the morning at UMHB, then go to work around 11,” he said. After studying youth ministry in his classes, Aker puts his knowledge into  action. “Most of my classes are ministry classes anyway, so I’m working already in what I’m learning and that makes it easier,” Aker said. He realizes that time alone is necessary in order to best do his job. “I take the method that Jesus used by drawing away from the crowds and spending his time with his father to be ready to go back out and serve. That’s how I do it, by relying fully on God,” Aker said. Although a work day in youth ministry varies majorly, Aker works on some consistent events each week. “If I’m teaching, I’m studying the lesson and getting handouts and Power Points all set up,” he said. Aker works with a team to decide the most effective ways to reach the youth in the Liberty Hill area. “We have creative discussion talks every week about where our ministry is headed and what we would like to accomplish in the coming weeks,” he said. Planning events and lessons is a major concern, but Aker knows that his main goal is to spend time building relationships with students. He said, “My biggest responsibility is to just hang out and love on the kids that walk through our doors and those outside our doors.” Junior art/visual communication major Abigail Davidhizar works for The Pink Studio designing websites and laying out magazines. Davidhizar learned about the job when the owner Angela Sims contacted Don Owens, director of Career Services. She started out with simple tasks and after having gained some experience, she is helping with larger jobs. “My first project with The Pink Studio was designing a Facebook page for a business...

Read More
Chapel bells turn into wedding bells
Jan25

Chapel bells turn into wedding bells

Awkward conversations, first impressions, a flirtatious hug or a friendly hand shake.  It all begins somewhere. It’s that magical moment where your heart rate increases, your palms begin sweating and all you can think about is spending late nights walking around the Quad gazing into each other’s eyes. It is love at first sight, or second glance or even sixth stare when you realize that you have found “the one.” Through the years, UMHB students have adopted a tradition, “ring by spring”.  Rumor has it that female students secretly hope to trade in their James Avery purity rings for a sparkly diamond rock by spring of their senior year. For UMHB alumna Brittany Payne, this alleged tradition became a reality when her then boyfriend, Geoff Payne, proposed to her at the senior reception at the Parker House.  He had not planned on proposing on campus, but the timing was right, and, after all, they did meet at school. He said, “Obviously if it hadn’t been for UMHB we would have never met, but at the same time proposing at UMHB was just kind of convenient .… We’re not that weird couple that’s going to name our kids Mary and Baylor, but we do love our alma mater.” From first kiss behind Remschel, proposing with fireworks at a Homecoming pep rally, wearing a white gown and posing by Luther Memorial and saying vows in Manning chapel, over the years, students have chosen to include their university in one of the biggest events in their lives. Couples and brides are known for taking engagement pictures or bridal portraits on campus.  Alumna Kennan (Neuman) Buckner wanted to include UMHB in her wedding even though she did not meet her husband at college. “I can remember seeing brides getting their pictures taken in the Quad. Everyone admires a bride in her gown, especially college girls dreaming about their own big day,” Buckner said. “One of the memories from that day that will stay with me forever was when I was taking pictures on the porch of Walton Chapel… I looked back and there were at least a dozen faces smashed against the doors smiling.” Even though there is no special tree to walk under with a lover or a midnight party to make out with a complete stranger, the university does offer a romantic gazebo overlooking Burt Pond, a luscious green patch of grass in the middle of campus and a variety of  activities to help with the next step in a relationship. Alumni Audrey and Dennis Greeson recently tied the knot in the Manning Chapel in the Meyer Christian Studies building.  The...

Read More