Former Navy SEAL speaks of memories
Apr12

Former Navy SEAL speaks of memories

Written by Thanh Duong Marcus Luttrell served as a Navy SEAL for 14 years. He was deployed to Afghanistan in 2005 along with three other men in his unit. Their inspirational journey became the foundation for his best-selling book Lone Survivor. Luttrell told of his trek through Afghanistan at the McLane Lecture March 31. He began to tell the gruesome story of the fight to freedom and the attempt to save the lives of his platoon members. Although years have gone by since his active duty in the military, the visions of what happened in the six days he was lost are still vivid in his mind. He describes the heavy firearms and the rounds of RPG’s blowing them off the mountainsides. He remembers the triangle formation of the men as they discreetly waited for their opportunity to fight back. Senior international business and marketing major Kevin Ramirez, who attended the lecture said, “I’ve never heard any story like this before. It’s mind blowing and seems unreal.” Luttrell told what he had witnessed of his best friend’s terrifying death. “Mikey was out on a big perch and had a satellite phone. I forgot he had it. He took two rounds sideways on each side of the belly. It really threw me into a tantrum because he was my best friend. You know, I loved him.” Luttrell said. “I tried to scream to him ‘Come down here, come to me, I’ll carry you down the mountain.Get to me.’ He didn’t see me; he went left and disappeared behind a rock embankment.” Luttrell can still recall the dialogue between him and his friend. “I could hear his gun go off, and I could hear him start to take heavy fire. I could hear him screaming for help. He started screaming my name ‘Marcus I need help, man. I need help,’ and the way he was screaming my name was so terrifying that I actually put my gun down and covered my ears because I couldn’t handle the way he was screaming my name,” Luttrell said. “I don’t know if that makes me a coward or not, but I did that. And they killed him. I never saw him again.” There was no embellishment in the descriptions of how every member of his unit lost their lives. Junior social work major Cara Scott said, “It amazed me how he went into detail to tell about all of their wounds. It made me cringe at times, and it made me feel like I was really there watching it all happen in front of me.” As the uneasy feelings began to surface and tears...

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Seniors take last shot at Stunt Night
Mar29

Seniors take last shot at Stunt Night

They have lived in living room closets and game rooms for years. When college students were children, they were played and loved dearly, and visions of playing either board games, or being addicted to a Nintendo, Play Station or any kind of video game are forever embedded in memories. It’s that time of year again, the time when classes compete against each other in the ultimate campus competition — Stunt Night. Games have been chosen as the theme. The individual classes are performing their representation of different forms of gaming. Senior class is portraying the classic video games they grew up with, like Mario Brothers, Donkey Kong and Sonic the Hedgehog. Creativity has been limitless for this group. Senior nursing major Andrew Kester has played a part in the annual Stunt Night event his whole college career. “The first two years, our class was rough, but last year was golden …. This year we are just building off last, and it’s only going to be better,” he said. Kester said their show is “incredibly witty and really funny,” which is what Stunt Night is all about. While the cast continues to practice for the big show Friday, April 1, many other students are working hard to make sure every detail is perfect for the performance. Senior elementary education major Rebecca Widmer is one of those. “I love Stunt Night and have really loved being a part of it every year that I have been at UMHB,” she said. Being a resident assistant has held her back from being part of the cast. For the past two Stunt Nights, she was not able to fully commit to attending every practice, so she works behind the scenes. “The seniors are amazing and so easy to work with, so it really makes my job fun and easy,” she said. Widmer and senior marketing major Julia Bishop are working together. The two have been brainstorming different ideas of what they’ll use for costumes and props. Most of which have been handmade during any free time they have. “Julia, some of the other seniors and I have thought of some really creative things to incorporate in the skit …. I think it will truly be a performance loved by all,” Widmer said. She is eager to hear laughter from the audience. “All of the classes have been working super hard to make their skits perfect,” she said. Senior psychology major Adam Fischer enjoys the practices because “all the fun you get to have with friends is just translated into a production.” Fischer gets to work with his close circle of friends, and is ready...

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Health fair benefits community, students

More than 50 vendors from health and wellness related businesses in the area gathered March 25 in Mayborn Campus Center Arena for the 12th annual UMHB and Community Health Fair, known as Health Quest. With a variety of exhibits, the fair offered information and demonstrations for students, faculty, staff and the public. Campus Nurse Debbie Rosenberger is in charge of the event and works yearlong to ensure that it provides the campus and community with access to the important healthcare information and services available to them. “We do the health fair for a couple of reasons,” Rosenberger said. “One is to increase health awareness. Also, it is to be a resource to students.” Rosenberger said the vendors from the free and reduced-cost clinics in the area, as well as free services offered throughout the day, are some of the most valuable aspects of Health Quest. “We have a pretty good component of our students who don’t have health insurance, and we want to give an option,” she said. Other represented  businesses included Belton Eye Center, Fitness Equipment Unlimited, Scott & White Hospital and many more. “Vendors vary from year to year,” Rosenberger said. “I think people have been pretty happy with what’s been here, and there’s been a wide variety of things folks can do.” The Central Texas Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse was one organization present to inform and educate the public. Felix Rubert, the representative from CTCADA, hoped that by attending the event, he could help bring awareness to students in a relaxed environment. “We don’t want to force it on you not to do drugs,” he said. “But, you can come over to look at our things, and if you have questions we can provide answers.” Rubert thinks that the key to the organization’s mission is education, which is the purpose for attending. “You’re going to make a choice one way or the other. If you learn enough about it, you can make an educated choice,” he said. Along with information, the event also offered exercise demonstrations, free massages and smoothies and door prizes. Sophomore business major Michael Murphy was enticed to come to Health Quest after attending last year and hearing about this year’s big give-away, a Kindle. “I came last year, too, and it was fun. And, when I heard they were giving away a Kindle, I came,” he said Sophomore psychology major Kristina Zufall is a student worker for counseling and health services, which puts on Health Quest, and thinks the event was successful. “We had a bunch of students come in, especially around lunch time,” Zufall said. “It’s been really awesome.”...

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Campus revival to focus on God’s grace
Mar29

Campus revival to focus on God’s grace

A revival is coming. Speaker Afshin Ziafat and the Jeff Johnson Band will be ready to speak truth and worship underneath a big white tent in the middle of the Quad beginning Monday, April 4, at 7 p.m. Everybody from campus and the surrounding communities are welcome to attend the three-night event. Freshman graphic design major Diana Fadal is on the publicity sub-committee. “I like being responsible for things week by week,” she said. The planning process has taken a year for the revival steering committee to prepare. Not only does everyone have a list of duties, but they are encouraged to reach out and build relationships with others. Fadal’s best experience so far is “getting to pray all together and interact with people outside of the committee.” A theme was decided in October 2010. After talking about the vision of how the committee should present the event to the university and community, grace came to mind. Fadal believes “Ocean of Grace” is a perfect fit for this year. “So many things have been popping up as confirmation,” she said. “It could only have been made by God.” After deciding on a theme, the full committee chose a verse to represent it. 2 Corinthians 15:10 says, “But by the grace of God I am what I am and His grace to me was not without effect”. The verse was selected because to the committee, there is no denying God’s grace covers all, can humble all and change all. “It just reminds me of how abounding His grace is for me. Sometimes I forget that and take it for granted,” sophomore math major Melissa Donham said. Freshman graphic design major Jacob Brenton serves on the publicity committee, and will attend his first Revival at UMHB. “I’m looking forward to seeing all of our heart work come to fruition, and seeing people who may never have given Jesus a thought get real with Him,” he said. Those attending revival, the speaker, band and all fine details have been prayed for since the forming of the committee. She is also ready to see how God continues to work in the committee. “I am excited that people are excited,” Fadal said. “I can’t wait to see who all comes and hear how God rocked their world and changed them.” Donham hopes the evenings run smoothly. “One thing I’ve always told myself is that no matter if we, as the committee, don’t get everything accomplished that we hope to, God will still be working at Revival,” she said. “He can use anything for His glory. That’s my prayer for this...

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Students, scholars meet for religious conference
Mar08

Students, scholars meet for religious conference

Associate Professor Dr. Renate Hood’s voice filled the meeting room in the Dallas Marriot. Her lecture, a discussion on Paul’s use of ‘hope’ in the book of Romans, resembled any lecture she could give in one of her Christian studies classes. But the audience was wildly different – except for a few of her pupils that made the journey with her. Six students and five faculty members traveled to the Southwest Commission of Religious Studies where they attended seminars from scholars throughout the region on anything to do with religion. And some of the faculty – Christian studies professor Dr. Carol Holcomb, history and political science Professor Dr. David Holcomb and Hood represented UMHB as presenters. Hood was instrumental in bringing the students to the event. And while the students learned a great deal, she concedes that the scholars also were able to learn from the undergrads. “We have a different way of looking at the academy. Students bring a dialogue that you cannot reproduce without them,” she said. “When I see their enthusiasm and what they bring back, it’s worth everything.” Senior biblical studies and biblical languages double major Heather Witlock was one of the students at the conference. “It was a good opportunity to hear lectures on things we are interested in,” Witlock said. “Plus we can hang out with professors who we don’t usually get to see outside of the classroom and hear them giving presentations on research they are interested in.” Senior biblical studies major Becca Freitag was particularly impressed with the variety of topics “A lot of really interesting things were talked about,” she said. “We went to one lecture on mega churches and how things are turning towards prosperity gospel. Also, a doctor from med school did research on Jeffery Dhamer and how origins moves us more towards evil or good.” The conference not only allowed students to learn and interact with professors, but they also got to see how the academic world works. Junior theology/philosophy and history double major Tyler Potts hopes to be a professor one day. Then he, like Associate Professor of Christian studies Dr. Michael Robinson and Christian studies Professor Dr. Stephen Von Wyrick can attend more of these conferences. Perhaps even present his research. “It’s something that I have an aspiration to potentially do one day,” he said. “Being at this conference excites me about it much more.” The Christian studies department wanted to showcase the event for students who may be interested in biblical scholarship. Junior Christian ministry major Hannah Eaton was appreciative of the opportunity – even if she plans to focus her graduate work more...

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Innovative food drive ‘canstructs’ help
Feb21

Innovative food drive ‘canstructs’ help

King Tut made an appearance on campus Feb. 10. Seven teams competed in Belton’s first Canstruction competition benefiting Belton’s Helping Hands Ministry in the Mayborn Campus Center. The teams built their structures out of canned goods in order to help stock the local food pantry in Belton. Sophomore elementary education major Lauren McKee attended the event because of her role as a Helping Hands ministry leader on the Ministry Leadership Council at the Baptist Student Ministry. At the event, McKee helped by collecting money and cans from people who attended. She also helped get the cans to the ministry. McKee thinks the canned food event was amazing. “It was really inspiring to see the people come together to help serve Helping Hands, who serves so many people in the Belton community,” she said. Her favorite structure was one by Belton Middle School. “(They) made a canstruction of the Disney movie Ratatouille. It had 5,000 cans and looked so much like the actual Ratatouille that it won my vote,” McKee said. Each person who attended was given a ticket to put in a container next to each structure. Additional votes could be acquired through additional monetary donations placed in the containers. Senior sport management major Kinzey Joiner said the event sounded great, so he participated by sorting and moving cans. Kinzey believes the event helped recognize the local ministry. “I thought it shed light to the things Helping Hands stands for and the things they have accomplished in outreach.” Director of Christian Life Commission Suzii Paytner was the guest speaker for the Saturday luncheon and the gala that evening.  She spoke on food insecurity and those who live in poverty in Texas. “(Paytner) was amazing and had such a passion for families and people in the state of Texas,”  Kinzey said. He was most impressed with the King Tut construction. The canstruction was made mostly of cans with yellow labels stacked to resemble the great Egyptian’s head. “It was so distinct and used the colors of the labels so well and truly showed what could be accomplished when hard work and planning is put into a nonprofit event,” he said. Teams were made up of students from Belton Middle School, Foundation United Methodist Church (of Belton), the youth ministry of Belton Nazarene Church, the Belton Young Professionals, Architectural Edge of Temple and a group of physician assistants from the Internal and Family Medicine departments of Scott & White Memorial Hospital. Teams were  responsible for providing all cans needed for their structures with a 1,000 can minimum. The university was a silver can sponsor for the event along with Salado Web Hosting and...

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