Gift of gab propels speech team to success
Mar10

Gift of gab propels speech team to success

When children are born, they possess unique gifts. They may have great athletic ability, have the mind to break down the most complicated problems, or be able to create a musical masterpiece adored by millions. However, in order for that gift to reach its full potential, it must be developed. For the students on the speech team, their talent is the gift of gab. The team is coached by Dr. Kerry Owens of the Department of Communication and Media Studies. He coaches in tandem with his wife, Kathy Owens. Together they have been with the UMHB program for six years. “Coaching with my wife makes my job much easier. She’s very good at teaching students delivery skills while I prefer working with them on the content and organization.” Not to be confused with debate, the team travels all over the state giving speeches that they compose and deliver. Unlike the athletic programs, they are not separated by divisions. They regularly compete against big schools like Texas State University, Texas A&M, West Texas A&M and even the University of Texas. Their last competition took place Feb. 14 and 15 in which the team participated in the Speech on the Beach individual events tournament at Del Mar and San Jacinto College in Corpus Christi. Senior psychology major Dane’ll Leigh placed fifth in programmed oral interpretation of literature, freshman nursing major Jennifer Lum placed third in dramatic interpretation of literature, senior finance major Ruby Bowen placed second overall and senior performance studies major Adrian Turner placed second in duo interpretation of literature, as well as in prose reading. Both coaches were pleased with the results. Bowen’s second place overall ranking was a new plateau for the squad. “I’m extremely proud of our team this year,” Kathy Owens said. “We’ve never had a student place in individual sweeps before. It’s just astonishing.” No matter what students’ backgrounds or majors are, the team is always looking for willing, interested participants. Turner is one of the more recent additions to the team.  Most people know him as Tank. “That name came from high school football,” Turner said. “I was known for being able to hit people hard and move people out of the way. Now, most people don’t know what my real name is.” He played four years of football with the Cru  as a fullback, winning conference championships three out of the four. Owens was intrigued with Turner’s speaking ability after his fall performance in the play Twelve Angry Jurors. Since then, he has done four competitions with the speech team including prose and duo. He works with partner, Bowen, in the duo events....

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Jersey ties university and soldiers together
Mar10

Jersey ties university and soldiers together

One by one, the 4th Infantry Division soldiers left their headquarters in Iraq, each placing a hand on a UMHB football jersey, a reminder of home. Many soldiers of the 4th Infantry Division lost their lives fighting to bring peace to Iraq, a country in need. They fought proudly under the American flag and were reminded of UMHB’s support every time they saw the purple and gold jersey hanging on the wall. Recently, these soldiers were welcomed back to Texas by UMHB athletes, cheerleaders and others. Then on Feb. 25 at the Anderson Fieldhouse on campus, Commander of the 4th ID Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Hammond returned the gift given to him in September 2007 by the athletic program. The shirt  which served as an inspiration to his troops, was rededicated to the football team in honor of the families and 94 soldiers of the 4th ID who lost their lives. Hammond’s relationship with head football coach Pete Fredenburg began when he played under him at Louisiana State University. After seeing Hammond years later at a golf tournament in Fort Hood, Fredenburg invited him to give a pre-game speech to the university football team. It was the beginning of a fruitful relationship between the general and the  UMHB football program. The jersey dedication was an emotional gathering of about 50 people, including football players and coaches along with university officials and President Dr. Jerry Bawcom. “I just want to bring this jersey back to its rightful owners and tell you how grateful 4th ID and our families are of each of you,” Hammond said, “You’re living the dream. You’re playing football. You’re going to school. You’re getting an education. You’re going to make us all proud one day long into the future, but you sure made us proud over the year.” Fredenburg replied to Hammond. “Thank you for allowing all of us to share this with you. It has been very special ever since your first visit here. We will hang this, General Hammond, in a place of honor where football players for years to come will know what the sacrifices of those 94 soldiers meant to you and your soldiers and our football program. It has been a real honor to know you, and we cherish and honor your successes.” Hammond also addressed Bawcom and recognized the job he has done as president. “Sir, thank you for running such a magnificent university where kids have the freedom to learn and fulfill their dreams,” he said, “Kids like this can play football and have such great leadership in their coaching staff. If I could do it all over again, I...

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High School Musical 3  DVD release
Feb24

High School Musical 3 DVD release

The Film: HSM3 is exciting to watch and explores the many emotions seniors feel their senior year. It is just as hard to say goodbye to the cast as it is for them to say goodbye to each other. Special Features: The two-disc special edition has an expansive selection of special features to choose from. Viewers can go behind the scenes of prom and graduation and learn how the stylists chose specific outfits to suit each character and their personality. The bloopers are a treat, and the deleted scenes hint that there may be another HSM movie following the last in this trilogy. Sing Along: The extended version features a sing-along version of the movie with the choice to switch between the different dance routines and songs. Digital Copy: The best reason to buy the special edition of HSM3 is the inclusion of a digital copy disc. The digital copy of the movie allows buyers to save the film onto their computer and into their iTunes, which can transfer the movie onto an iPod or...

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Slumping economy, TV shows cut short
Feb24

Slumping economy, TV shows cut short

By Evan Duncan The economic crisis is not just hitting businesses, banks and real estate. Most industries are pinching pennies these days, and entertainment is no exception. Television networks are cutting costs, and the effects are showing up on screen. Marketwatch.com says automotive ads, which normally supply one third of all TV ad revenue, are disappearing as auto sales decline. Overall, television profit is down 40%. Executives are being forced to find new ways to be successful. In January, NBC announced a plan to give Jay Leno the 9 p.m. central time slot five days a week. That means five hour-long dramas, such as E.R., will not be returning in the fall. Conan O’Brien will be taking over the Tonight Show at 10:30, and Jimmy Fallon will run things in Conan’s old slot. In the life of college students, who spend most evenings studying or with friends, this move may not have much impact. Tanner Perkins, a junior English major, is unfazed by the adjustment. “Let’s just say, watching Craig Ferguson at midnight is worth more than watching Jay Leno any time,” he said. “Jay Leno is only good for wasting time for the good shows.” Even before the economic troubles, TV networks had been facing issues. Digital Video Recorders, or DVRs, allow viewers to record television and watch it later. DVR users can also fastforward through advertisements. Web sites like hulu.com offer shows on demand with limited commercial interruption. As fewer viewers are seeing ads, advertisers are not willing to pay as much as they had before. Cheaper ads mean less money for networks to put into content. As other businesses falter, even less money can be put into advertising, especially on a medium that is not as influential as it once was. “I love Lost, but I watch it online,” said sophomore biblical studies major, Brittany Montgomery. “That way it fits my schedule. I can pause it when I want, and I don’t have to sit through blocks of commercials. I barely even use a TV.” Despite the worries of executives, the crisis has been good for some shows. The Sarah Conner Chronicles of Fox, for example, would normally be canceled after the low ratings it has received. But Fox, like other networks, has little material after last  year’s writer’s strike and low funds to develop new shows. For Conner...

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Visiting artist exhibits iron pouring
Feb24

Visiting artist exhibits iron pouring

As the sun began to set on campus, another fire was burning bright orange and red at the York Art Studio. It came from the iron pour and casting demonstration performed Feb.12 by artist Preston Gilchrist, director of exhibitions and education at the River Oaks Arts Center in Alexandria, La. He explained the process. “We heat scrap iron and pour the metal into the molds for the castings,” he said. “Hershall (Seals) and Phil (Dun-ham) combined their art classes, and their students created the individual mold pieces used in the pouring. It’s an interesting concept and is a labor intensive project.” Professor of art Philip Dunham said, “It’s been a lot of work. Preston and his team drove eight hours from Louisiana, and we have been out here all day breaking up iron.” Dunham also wants to stimulate students to get involved. “You don’t have to have any experience to make something just as good as someone with experience,” he said. “I encourage students to take art, but you don’t have to have an art background. It’s a process of discovery.” Chair of the art department, Hershall Seals, wanted to get-up close exposure. “Our students got to meet and work with another non-faculty artist and to see first hand how inventive, helpful and hard-working artists tend to be,” he said. “Preston Gilchrist is a great example for students in this regard.” Seals also wanted to capture the curiosity of non-art students. “We brought the iron pour to campus so that art metals and sculpture students could understand the process of this exciting media and to generate interest from the general public, both of which were accomplished,” he said. Senior accounting/marketing major Russell Persky was interested in gaining insight from the demonstration. “I’m not much of an artist,” he said, “but this has broadened my horizons.” Junior theology/philosophy major Lydia Schmidt took a liking as well. “I think it’s really cool,” she said. “It’s really interesting, and it’s not your typical art.” Many students were involved with the abstract mold castings. Senior art major Amanda Garcia was one of them. “We made Styrofoam molds for the castings,” she said. “You definitely explore yourself and individuality in art. You are able to think outside of the box and create things.” Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, Ted Barnes, encourages everyone from the university to attend art events, saying that art can be a good socialization tool. “We’re trying to get more promotion out,” he said. “More people need to come out and see the exhibit and demonstration openings. This is a cultural event that most people never get...

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Dakota Fanning all grown up, stars in new sci-fi thriller Push
Feb10

Dakota Fanning all grown up, stars in new sci-fi thriller Push

New sci-fi action movie Push features Dakota Fanning as Cassie Holmes, a second generation “watcher,” and Chris Evans as Nick Gant, a second generation “mover.” Now before you get confused about what  a“watcher” and “mover” are, let me explain what each means. There are several different kinds of people with supernatural abilities in the movie, including Watchers, who can see and draw the future; Movers, who can move things with their mind by using telekinesis; Pushers, who can convince people to do anything by pushing their own thoughts on them; Sniffs, who can see the history of something by smelling it; Shadows, who can act as a shadow over other people, hiding them from potential watchers or sniffers; Shifters, who can change any object for a short period of time; Bleeders, who emit a loud shriek that can disable and potentially kill people; Wipers, who can wipe away people’s memories; and Stitchers, who can heal others. The premise of the movie is a heated struggle between two factions of people with abilities: The division, who are the “Galactic Empire” of the film, and the rebellion. Although the idea behind Push seems pretty original, the film is rather bland. The idea of two superhuman groups battling each other has already been used several times in movies like X-Men, Jumper and the popular TV show, Heroes. Young actress Dakota Fanning does a great job of keeping the movie interesting in her scenes with superb acting. She almost upstages the other actors in the film while breaking out of her “little girl” roles such as that in War of the Worlds and Uptown Girls. The plot is more or less shaky. Its twists take away from the movie more than they gain the viewer’s interest. The love interest between Nick and Kira (Camilla Belle) is vanilla. The two actors share little chemistry on screen and add much more complexity to the plot than what is otherwise needed. In fact, the duo is plain boring to watch. When the two actors look into each other’s eyes, viewers can almost see each of them thinking “When will this be over?” Few on-screen twosomes rival the mediocrity that Nick and Kira exemplify. The action in the movie is enjoyable and entertaining, but the lack of plot direction can’t be covered up with all the special effects, gun fighting and mind games. Summing it up Overall, the movie is disappointing due to the lack of quality and over-hyping by the media. The only things that save this film from being a complete failure are Dakota Fanning’s superior acting and the slow-motion, high-energy action scenes. The bottom...

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