Study Abroad: an interesting alternative to higher education
Feb25

Study Abroad: an interesting alternative to higher education

“Global learning, whether it occurs in local communities or abroad, provides an array of skills and experiences that follow students throughout their civic and professional lives.” This is what the Association of American Colleges & Universities concluded after extensive research into the effects of travel abroad programs have on a wide variety of college students in the 2017 academic year. They also noted on their site that despite the clear advantages that such programs have on student’s academic and professional careers’ only 1.5% of US college students partake in study abroad. Many students in the United States are concerned with the supposed ‘downsides’ to partaking in study abroad programs. However, some students had no problems with any downsides that may plague some students. UMHB student Maya Wiemokly found none. “I was fortunate enough to hear about the London study abroad program early in my time at UMHB, “Wiemokly said, “so I planned ahead to make it possible. I saved some basic and pre-requisite courses that I knew were more likely to be offered in London.” Students in the United States are not the only ones that are able to partake in the study abroad program unhindered. Nick Van Riel, a communication major at the University of Amsterdam stated when asked about his travel abroad program. “There is already a semester scheduled in our programs to do study abroad programs. This means, as long as I will pass my courses in Melbourne, I will be fully on schedule for my graduation.” The statement that study abroad programs will delay a student’s graduation date is also rebutted by NAFSA, which is a nonprofit organization connecting international teaching communities. They stated on their website: “Far from the fears that studying abroad will delay a student’s graduation, multiple large-scale studies have found that students who study abroad, especially underrepresented or “at-risk” students, are more likely to complete their degrees or certificate programs than students who did not study abroad.” The pros of study abroad programs appear to outweigh the cons. The everlasting bonds and life-changing experiences that are created by these programs can be summed up by Wiemokly. “I had never left the country before studying abroad in London and it was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. Traveling allowed me to experience other cultures and recognize how BIG the world really is.” Wiemokly said. “The group that went with me to London quickly became my family. I still talk with some of the UMHB students weekly. Even those who do not go to UMHB or live near Belton still make an effort to meet up every few months.”...

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Summer filled with training for UMHB ROTC cadets
Dec05

Summer filled with training for UMHB ROTC cadets

Many college students spend their summers making money at a part-time job, going on vacation or simply catching up on much-needed sleep. However, nine of the students in UMHB’s Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program did something a little different this summer. All nine cadets traveled to Fort Knox, Kentucky to complete Advanced Camp, a month-long summer training program for upcoming seniors. This program is considered to be the most important training event for a cadet, and successful completion of the program is a prerequisite for commissioning as a second lieutenant in the Army. During the Advanced Camp, cadets participate in classroom, field and weapons training, and they learn how to be successful officers. There they are assessed in their leadership skills, and they are tested in their physical skills. “The participants pass a physical fitness test, plus they take part in three road marches of 6, 8 and 12-miles with a 35-lb rucksack (an army version of an oversized backpack),” Senior military science instructor Carl Cook said. “They must complete a land navigation assessment and basic rifle marksmanship as part of nine mandatory requirements.” Advanced Camp serves as the final assessment for senior cadets before they are assigned to a branch of the Army. This year, six UMHB students will commission—one in December and five in May.  Spring UMHB graduate Matthew Boquiren already commissioned as a second lieutenant at the completion of camp in July, is awaiting his branch assignment with the National Guard. In addition to completing Advanced Camp, three cadets participated in the Nurse Summer Training Program, a unique experience that prepares cadets for careers as Army nurses. Cadet Eunice Chanco traveled to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland to complete the summer internship. Cadets Caroline Vining and Sydney McMurrey traveled to Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in Fort Belvoir, Virginia to complete the 28-day program. During their time in Fort Belvoir, Vining and McMurrey completed over 156 clinical hours in multiple medical units and participated in a research project. “Training this summer helped me [prepare] for my future as a nurse,” said Vining, who is preparing to graduate in December. “It required me to work in a stressful environment where I was constantly being assessed on my leadership skills under pressure. This helped prepare me for future events where I may be faced with difficult and stressful situations.” Some cadets traveled beyond the borders of the U.S. this summer. Senior pre-med biology major and military science minor Benjamin Kenneaster spent the first part of his summer at Advanced Camp in Fort Knox, he then traveled to Germany to work with the United...

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Phi Alpha shines light on domestic violence through coffee house event
Oct25

Phi Alpha shines light on domestic violence through coffee house event

Coffee, good music and laughs were in abundance as people gathered in McLane Great Hall to support those who have been affected by domestic violence Tuesday, Oct. 14. October is national domestic violence awareness month so Delta Epsilon Phi Alpha (Phi Alpha) teamed up with Teach Them to Love (T3L) in Killeen to spread awareness. Phi Alpha President Taylor Ballou gave a speech explaining Phi Alpha and what the honors society was all about. Senior Officer Maya Wiemokly explained what exactly T3L was as an organization and the kind of work they were doing for those in need. Briana Frederickson, Miss MHB 2017/18 and recent graduate gave a short yet powerful speech about domestic violence and was keen to share her story. “My sophomore year I was in a relationship that turned abusive,” Frederickson said. She was “…assaulted by someone I did not know, and after that had happened I tried to commit suicide, and all of this happened within a span of five months. So, I had hit rock bottom, pretty much,” she said. “Had” was the keyword, as she realized over the course of her time at UMHB what her purpose was, when she was suggested for the Miss MHB pageant by one of her professors during her senior year. “Miss MHB is supposed to be this picture of grace, virtue,” Frederickson said. “And I thought there is no way I can do that.” As a guest singer for the event, Frederickson was obviously talented in singing. She used it as her special talent in the pageant. “I knew I wanted to sing, but I didn’t know what I wanted to sing. So I asked [the judges] if they could listen to my song I wrote and see if it was an option. When I played it they said, ‘you have to play it!’” The song in question has no title. In fact, the title is whatever each person thinks it is. But, personally, an appropriate title could have been ‘Uphill Battle.’ “Everybody has a story and some people might hear my story [specifically] and think that my story isn’t filled with as much heartache, or even more heartache,” Frederickson said. “Wherever people are, they can find something to relate to in the song and get the message that it might be hard to keep going… whether they gave up, or kept going, I wanted this song to be for them.” After a fantastic, tear-inducing performance by Frederickson, everyone broke off into smaller groups and chatted the night away. As the coffee ran out and the music stopped, people started to head home. After hearing the sobering,...

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Local artists Illuminated
Sep27

Local artists Illuminated

Illuminate held its second event here on campus, Friday, Sept. 27. Illuminate is labeled as a “positive vibes only” event that highlights the talents of various students and Belton locals with performances in Christian rap, singing, dancing and poetry. The event was founded by UMHB Alums Michael Carpenter and Alish Burden, along with sophomore Jan Carlo Rodriguez. It took only 3 months for the determined students to get their idea off the ground, which created major buzz within the UMHB and Belton community. “We feel like there is a gap in cultural events on campus,” Carpenter said. “There is a group of students whom we call ‘cultural minorities.’ They aren’t a specific race, gender or ethnicity, but they are cultured in a way that’s different than the majority of UMHB students, so a lot of times they fall through the cracks…we want to help fill that gap.” “These students appreciate a wide variety of music, fashion, humor, etc. than is normally promoted on campus,” Carpenter added. Illuminate was held at the Parker Academic Center in partnership with the CRU Bridge student organization. The scene for the event was decked out with lights, cameras and eager students ready to support their fellow classmates throughout the night. “I find it important for it to be hosted near or on campus, because there is a lot of talent in our backyard. A lot of dope artists and creators, but they have no platform for their voice,” junior marketing major Kalen Chatman, a previous Illuminate performer, said. “Illuminate allows UMHB to empower those artists and give them a platform,” Chatman said. Each performer had a lengthy amount of time to express themselves and show off their talents. The audience was filled with laughter and dance moves.  The room was packed with so much diversity. To learn more about Illuminate and their upcoming events follow their Instagram handle...

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Foster Love Bell County
Apr02

Foster Love Bell County

Foster Love Bell County celebrated the grand opening of their Foster Love House on Friday, Feb. 22. FLBC works to serve children who are in the foster care system in the Bell County area. Candace Cartwright founded the organization in February 2016. “I founded it [Foster Love] about three years ago,” Cartwright said. “I didn’t have a big vision or anything like this [the house] in mind, but it started out as a group on Facebook after my husband and I adopted from foster care.” The organization realized their need for a house facility when they discovered that children without a foster family assignment did not have a place to stay. FLBC moved into the house on Dec. 1,2018, and officially openedthe house on Feb. 22, 2019. The house provides several services for individuals involved in the foster program in Bell County. “We are kind of like a multi-resource center,” Cart- wright said. “We are open for conferences—we have two conference rooms that are available for case workers to use. Throughout the course of a case, there are a lot of conferences that have to take place and they have their unit meetings here.” The house also has a kitchen, laundry room, playroom, supply closet and two bedrooms for children and other individuals involved in the foster program. “One of the main reasons we opened the house was for the bathrooms,” Cartwrightsaid. “The Temple office doesnot have a shower facility and so the kids come in here needing to be cleaned.” The search for the Foster Love House began as a quest to find an office space for members of FLBC to use. “We were initially looking for an office space,”Cartwright said. “Over time, knowing what was going on in the CPS (Child ProtectiveServices) offices and that kids often come into care needing either a shower or a meal or a snack or supplies changed that. Often times they sit in an office for hours waiting for a placement with really nothing to do in an office-type setting, which is why the playrooms are there. Unfortunately, that wait does transfer overnight, and we knew that instead of sleeping on an office floor, a bedroom would be better in a home-like setting.” The Foster Love Bell County mission statement is to “raise awareness and mobilize the community to care for those in the child welfare system.” They accomplish this goal by providing a safe place for children in the foster system and engaging the community in helping the children in need. UMHB students are getting involved in helping at the Foster Love House in various ways. “We are so excited...

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Dr. Joey Tabarlet: Professor and friend
Apr02

Dr. Joey Tabarlet: Professor and friend

UMHB’s Communication and Media Studies Department chair Dr. Joey Tabarlet has been inspiring students on campus since 1995. Tabarlet is also a movie buff, cat lover, dad-joke comedian and guitarist. Besides teaching, his research explores major historical events in mass media and moral depictions in film. He has also been involved with curriculum development and assessments. Tabarlet has been president of the UMHB faculty assembly and served on the Promotion and Tenure Committee, the Honors Committee and the Nominating Committee. He also founded the Central Texas Film Society. “I thought he was a very interesting professor to have,” freshman film studies major Sarah McGirk said. “He had a lot of interesting stories and real-world information that made the class easier to understand and relate to.” McGirk said that she felt challenged by the assignments he gave, and she noted that he always made sure to give feedback for improvements. Anytime she did not understand a topic, she said that he was very helpful in explaining things. “As a freshman, I found it refreshing to have a professor who treated his students like adults and let us talk and work at our own pace. While the class did require work, it felt accomplishable. I really loved having Dr. Tabarlet and hope I get to take another one of his classes sometime in my college career,” McGirk said. Tabarlet earned both his Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees from Louisiana State University. His doctorate is from Florida State University. He taught at Wesleyan College in Georgia for three years before coming to UMHB in 1995 as the chair of the Speech and Drama Department, which would later become the Department of Communication and Media Studies. Since then, Tabarlet has taught many courses including Introduction to Mass Media, Film Studies and Public Speaking. He credits his interest in the communication field to his experiences in high school and college. “I was on the speech debate team in high school and college,” Tabarlet said. “That was a turning point because that really determined what I wanted to do.” It was there that he found his love for speech and debate. “I’ve taught public speaking a lot,” Tabarlet said. “This semester is the first semester in 10 or 15 years I haven’t taught Public Speaking, so I really miss it.” Tabarlet’s colleagues are also appreciative of his contributions to the school. “I’ve worked with him for a number of years in the Honors program,” said English professor Brent Gibson. “I enjoy working with him and he’s been very helpful in the Honors Seminar. I really appreciate him as a colleague and enjoy his...

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