60.2 F
Waco
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Home Blog Page 675

Students yearn to teach

Jed Dean | Lariat Photo Editor
Chicago junior Gretchen Nyberg, who is pursuing an education degree, says she wants to make a difference.

By Kelly Galvin
Reporter

Preparing a child for their future is a task that takes a lot of time and patience.

With recent budget cuts and an unsteady job market, teachers face the uncertainty of layoffs or pay cuts, but many Baylor students are still striving to take on the role of educator.

Palos Verdes junior Justine Rellos was inspired to become a teacher at a young age.

“My fourth-grade teacher was always my favorite and told me that she knew I was going to be a teacher. She did a lot of hands-on learning and really engaged us in activities,” Rellos said.

There are many reasons students choose the majors they do, but Rellos has a personal reason behind her choice.

“When we adopted my little brother and sister, I always helped them with all their schoolwork and realized the importance of it,” Rellos said. Her new siblings were especially eager to learn and Rellos was just as eager to help.

Chicago junior Gretchen Nyberg was also inspired to be a teacher at a young age.

“I’ve always grown up knowing I want to be a teacher; I love kids,” Nyberg said.

Nyberg helps teach eighth grade at the Carver Academy in Waco.

“I want to teach middle school grades four through eight. I feel you can make the most difference in a kid because they’re the most vulnerable and need someone to talk to,” Nyberg said.

“I don’t think I would ever not teach, to be completely honest.”

Following a path that she says was set for her has allowed Nyberg to fully appreciate teaching through both its advantages and disadvantages.

“The benefits are seeing the progress in your students and know that you are making a difference every day, and feeling so rewarded when students do well,” Nyberg said.

Nyberg says there are less positive aspects as well.

“I think people don’t realize how time consuming teaching is and the emotional aspect when dealing with a difficult home situation,” she said.

Nyberg makes lesson plans for each class, which can take up to three hours a night, not including the many hours spent with students.

Rellos said helping youth will be in her future even if it is not as a teacher.

“I would probably be a counselor for children. I want to impact students’ lives and care for their needs as well as prepare them for the future,” Rellos said.

Baylor courses have helped improve the skills of these women and have given them tools to help children thrive academically.

“The most helpful course is being a teaching associate because you’re in the classroom not just learning through a book, but through experience,” Nyberg said.

Katy junior Ashley Entz is also an education major at Baylor and is planning to teach kindergarten.

Entz says teaching children in kindergarten is especially rewarding because the children are enthusiastic and love to come to school.

“I have the opportunity to make an impact in the lives of children,” Entz said.

These women agree that their futures as teachers are very important. They are fostering the education of the future and have nothing but excitement for what is to come.

Compassion finds a voice in Waco’s youth

Photo courtesy Bonnie Berger | Reporter
Mission Waco utilizes its Youth Center to reach kids interested in music through providing a creative outlet of music production.

By Bonnie Berger
Reporter

Waco teens put pens to paper and lyrics to beats through the Mission Waco Youth Center’s music program.

Aimed at providing a creative outlet for their talents and experiences, mDub Music puts kids in the studio rapping and recording professional-grade albums.

The first such album, “The Mix Tape,” was released in December 2010 and is available for $5. A more intentional album, “Medicine,” will be released later this year for $10. Tracks addressing suicide, lamenting premature death, heartache and hope litter the album.

“At the end of the day, we want people to identify with what’s being said,” said youth director Gabe Dominguez. “We want kids to listen to this album and think, ‘If I could sing a song, that’s what I’d be singing.’”

Stevie Walker-Webb, director of the Jubilee Theatre, grew up actively involved with Mission Waco. After recently graduating from the University of North Texas, Walker-Webb returned to Waco to contribute to a program that positively impacted his life. Offering his musical talent, Walker-Webb’s soulful vocals are featured on the upcoming album.

“For me, music is a second love, rivaled only for my love of theater,” he said. “[Dominguez’s] passion for music is feverish, like my love for theater. … it’s difficult to separate the two.”

Initiated by Dominguez, mDub Music enables youth to creatively process and share experiences without turning to violence or drugs. It gives them the chance to be heard.

“The music unleashes what’s on the inside in a healthy way,” Dominguez said. “They live this stuff. It’s not just a beat.”

The Mission Waco Youth Center, a constituent of the nonprofit organization founded by Jimmy and Janet Dorrell in 1991, offers kids a safe space for a warm meal, fun, relaxation, help with homework and a chance to pursue musical passions.

Transformed from a bar, the youth center is equipped with amenities such as a 62 inch big screen TV, an exercise area, and a pool table, allowing kids to fill their time after school. The center also houses a TV/audio production room that services mDub Music.

Dominguez identifies with the teens he mentors. A Waco native, he dropped out of school and sank into drug dealing and selling firearms, which landed him in prison.

“Our music is for those who find themselves in situations where they don’t want to be,” he said. “It’s a process to get where we want to be … somehow, the lyrics give us hope that there’s people like us.”

Individuals throughout Central Texas are contributing to the budding music program’s efforts. During a visit to Mission Waco in October 2010, Christian artist David Crowder donated a 100-CD duplicator to the studio.

Also, Dominguez’s longtime friend Mike Sanchez, a musician and producer, has joined forces with mDub Music.

“I’ve seen the damage our generation caused this younger one,” Sanchez said in a recent press release. “I want us to give something back after all we’ve taken.”

Currently, the studio is operating on borrowed equipment that does not allow unlimited access.

“I don’t know how long I’ll be on this earth, but it’d be nice to know that they have their own equipment,” Dominguez said.

Aspiring musicians, producers and those with a heart for outreach are encouraged to volunteer their time.

“You start to build relationships,” said Mission Waco staff member and Woodlands junior Kristine Gear. “The kids are excited to see you. It’s fun and rewarding when you realize you’re building those relationships.”

Making an impact is not reserved for the musically gifted. Baylor students who are interested in volunteering their time and investing in the lives of Waco’s youth are encouraged to contact volunteers@missionwaco.org for further information.

“Don’t be afraid to jump in,” Gear said. “If you have a willing heart, there’s a place for you.”

National Signing Day: Bears stress defense, O-line with 19 recruits

Jed Dean | Lariat Photo Editor Coach Art Briles introduces Baylor’s 2011 recruiting class at Wednesday’s press conference. The group features 19 players, including four junior college transfers. Eleven will serve on the defensive side, and another four add offensive line depth.

By Chris Derrett
Sports Editor

It did not take coach Art Briles much time to determine the Bears’ 2011 recruiting needs. Bidding farewell to senior leaders like safety Byron Landor, defensive tackle Phil Taylor and linebacker Antonio Johnson, Baylor placed a premium on defensive players.

On behalf of his team, Briles officially announced Wednesday a class of 19 players who chose green and gold.

“I’d like to look at it as the first victory of 2011 today with our signing class,” Briles said. “Our depth has gotten better; our needs have diminished a little bit. What we really got to be was selective with the guys we brought on campus to be future Baylor Bears.”

The Bears inked 19 athletes, including four junior college transfers, all on the defensive side of the ball.

Those transfers, Navarro College defensive lineman Nick Johnson, College of the Sequoias defensive back K.J. Morton, Kilgore College defensive back Josh Wilson and Iowa Western defensive back David Whitmore, could see playing time immediately.

“We want our guys coming in thinking that they need to play now. Is it realistic always? No,” Briles said. “We’ve got some guys that can come in and play. I don’t want to throw them out there individually, but we have some people that can help us next year, no doubt.”

Johnson, Morton, Wilson and Whitmore are four of the 11 defensive recruits. Johnson was slated to join Baylor’s offensive line, but Briles chose to employ his 6-foot-3, 290-pound frame on the other side.

The most highly acclaimed recruit, however, is offensive lineman Spencer Drango. The Cedar Park standout was ranked the No. 23 offensive lineman in the country by Rivals.com and given four stars.

But Briles doesn’t take much stock in numbers.

“If they fit what we’re looking for and they happen to be a one-star, great. If they happen to be a four-star, outstanding. Because what some people perceive as the best guy may not always be the reality. And the reality is getting people we think really fit what we’re looking for,” Briles said.

Drango is one of four offensive lineman, a group whose athleticism has Briles excited. Lincoln’s Desmond Hilliard could win a state title in discus throwing, Amarillo’s LaQuan McGowan packs a 335-pound punch, and Kilgore’s Pat Colbert’s versatility allowed him to play tight end earlier in his high school career.

While Briles emphasized defense and offensive linemen, the Bears did pick up a few offensive weapons as well. Headlining the skill position recruits is Tatum’s B.J. Allen, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound player recruited as an athlete. Briles says Allen will most likely serve as a running back or inside receiver in future years.

“B.J. is probably one of the more dynamic players we’ve signed in the last two or three years without a doubt. He’ll win state in 300 hurdles this year,” Briles said. “He is a guy that can run, that is really elusive.”

Cypress Creek running back Jermichael Selders was a late, unexpected addition that could join the mix as well. Jonathan “Jay” Lee is the lone receiver, one whose speed could make him a deep threat like sophomore Josh Gordon.

Women thrash OU; men struggle

Matt Hellman | Lariat Photographer
No. 5 senior guard Melissa Jones drives the ball on Oklahoma in Wednesday’s 92-70 win over the Sooners. Jones, one of four Lady Bears to finish the night in double figures, scored 14 points.

By Krista Pirtle
Sports Writer

If there was any question why the Baylor Lady Bears have held the No. 1 spot for five weeks, they were all answered Wednesday night in Waco as the Lady Bears continued their winning streak of now 17 games, dominating the Oklahoma Sooners 92-70.

From Baylor’s 17-2 start, the Sooners never had a chance to answer back and shorten the gap, seeing as Baylor was firing from all cylinders, hitting 50 percent from the floor.

“We were hitting on all cylinders,” Lady Bears head coach Kim Mulkey said. “When you can pass a ball around the way we did and hit shots from many places on the floor, you’re going to have a good night.”

Melissa Jones showed senior leadership, opening and closing the first half with a pair of treys, finishing the game with 14 points and six assists.

The Sooners had no answer for Brittney Griner; once she found her rhythm, their only hope of stopping her was to foul. But that wasn’t very effective either, as Griner went 11-15 from the free throw line.

Griner led the Lady Bears with 29, followed by Destiny Williams with 19.

In the paint, Baylor overpowered the Sooners, outscoring them 52-6. Griner and Williams combined accounted for 48.

Freshman Aaryn Ellenberg led the way for Oklahoma with 27, hitting seven shots from behind the arc. Right behind her was Danielle Robinson, acquiring 25 with her last-minute bucket from half court, while Whitney Hand contributed 10.

The Lady Bears left the hardwood at halftime with a commanding 41-17 lead.

In the second half, Oklahoma outscored Baylor 53-51, mostly because of Aaryn Ellenberg’s hot streak, totaling 25 points. The Lady Bears look to set things right from their loss last year in Stillwater, Okla., as they take on Oklahoma State at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Men fall in Norman

It was looking like the blizzard conditions and the postponement of the game was going to assist Baylor in a win, but as time dragged on in the second half, the cold seemed to take its toll, not only on the outside, but on the Baylor basket as well.

After holding a seven-point lead with 15 minutes remaining in the game, the turnover-plagued Bears fell to Oklahoma, 73-66, at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.

Oklahoma freshman Cameron Clark led all scorers with 25 points

Baylor freshman Perry Jones III led the Bears with 19, followed by Anthony Jones with 16 and LaceDarius Dunn with 15.

Anthony Jones had a big game for Baylor offensively, going 7 for 9 from inside the arc and 2 for 3 from beyond it. He usually averages nine points a game, but Wednesday afternoon he had obtained 12 points by half time. Quincy Acy came in as the sixth man for the fourth game in the row, scoring 11 points, six boards and three blocks.

Baylor finished the first half with a lead of 39-34 and only four turnovers.

A turnover by senior LaceDarius Dunn with 14:42 sparked an eight-minute, 17-2 Sooner run, as they capitalized on the Bears’ seven turnovers by scoring nine points. Baylor went without a bucket for 5:26 during this run.

The momentum seemed to be turning back toward Baylor with 2:57 left as Oklahoma sophomore Andrew Fitzgerald trekked his way to the bench with five fouls; however, the Bears couldn’t recapture the lead, closing the gap to three with 31 seconds left.

Oklahoma pulled away as Carl Blair went 4-5 from the line as Baylor fouled desperately to gain some more offensive chances.

Baylor next looks to find a win as they face Texas A&M at 1 p.m. in College Station Saturday.

Religion: Personal or crowd-pleasing?

Nick Berryman | Lariat Photographer
Dr. JoAnn Tsang, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience, teaches the Psychology of Religion course which challenges students to look at religion in a new way.

Psychology class explores social side of faith

By Stori Long
Reporter

At a university where every student is required to take two semesters of Chapel, it is no surprise that the study of religion and faith works itself into many different facets of study.

Psychology 4339, Psychology of Religion, is one of the those classes attempting to provide Baylor students with a different perspective on religion and religious experiences.

“The class focuses on the social psychology of religion,” Dr. JoAnn Tsang, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience, said. “Social psychology describes how we are affected by the presence of other people. … This is fun to apply to religion because people are usually religious in front of other people.”

Tsang said this is particularly relevant to religion because no matter a person’s faith, the way someone treats the people around them is often dictated by what relig-
ious creed he or she follows.

The class also explores how people react to the religious experiences of others. People in groups are much more likely to have religious experiences if those around them also claim to be having them, Tsang said.

“This is particularly relevant to those who may want to enter into the Christian counseling profession,” Tsang said. “With this kind of knowledge in mind, it might encourage a counselor to take those mountaintop ‘come-to-Jesus’ moments with a grain of salt.”

The class is very dialogue driven, with Tsang serving as coordinator and assuring that the class stays on topic. The students read and discuss various authors, ranging from the religious to the atheistic, who have written about the social and cognitive factors of religious experience, such as social pressure, political propaganda or mental stability.

“It’s very interesting to read so many varying opinions on a topic that is important to so many people,” Seattle senior Alyssa DeMoss said. “It’s amazing that so many different thinkers can look at the same topic and come to so many different conclusions.”

The class is primarily composed of psychology majors, but also includes some religion majors and a few students who are double majoring in both.

In dealing with a topic as personal as religion, Tsang stresses to her class the importance of keeping an open mind and respecting all opinions.

“Religion is something we study scientifically in this class, and people are pretty good about it,” Tsang said. “I figure it’s a 4000- level course; everyone should be prepared at that point. We don’t all have to agree. We just have to agree to be nice.”

Tsang said she hopes this friendly class atmosphere will help foster a healthy dialogue. The students come from varied religious backgrounds, and the discussion is not exclusive to any one religion but seeks to study how people respond to any sort of religious experience.

“If we all just agree with each other all the time, there would be no discussion. I’m thankful the climate is comfortable enough for people to talk,” Tsang said.

This tolerance and ability to listen and take seriously various opinions toward any issue is one of the fundamental skills Tsang wants her students to take away from the class.

“I enjoy it when students come at an issue from all angles,” Tsang said. “I love seeing people’s reaction when they are exposed to something they’ve never thought of, spurring critical thought.”

Tulsa senior Amy Liu echoes this sentiment and said exposure to different opinions and beliefs is one of her goals in taking the class.

“I hope to gain more and different perspectives on religion, and why different people believe different things,” said Liu. “Especially at a Baptist university, you don’t get exposed to much more than the usual conservative Christian religion. … It would be good to broaden those horizons a little bit.”

Contest promotes green campuses

By Leigh Ann Henry
Reporter

Jan. 23 marked the beginning of a nationwide recycling competition between colleges and universities.

Recyclemania is an annual competition that lasts 10 weeks, but schools send in their recycling totals for only the last eight weeks of the competition.

The first two weeks of the competition are a non-binding preseason, but from Sunday through April 2 recycling totals from each participating school will be submitted weekly.

“It’s an opportunity, number one, to concentrate for 10 weeks on education about recycling in our community,” said Carl Flynn, director of marketing communications for IT and libraries.

Recyclemania originated in 2001 when students from Ohio University and Miami University decided there was a need to increase recycling at schools across the country.

For Recyclemania 2011, about 620 schools currently registered for participation and 43 of those are located in Texas.

Recyclemania surveys indicate “80 percent of participating schools experienced a noticeable increase in recycling collection during the competition.”

The competition hosts two divisions: benchmark and competition.

The benchmark division is much less formal and requires the schools to submit their totals, but the campuses are not ranked. The competition division requires totals submitted weekly where the campuses will be pitted against each other and organized from most recycled to least.

Once posted, the information can be followed online weekly.

Baylor is registered for the competition division along with 384 other colleges and universities, 22 from Texas.

Over the 10 weeks in which Recyclemania takes place, schools will record and report the weight of recycled materials including bottles, cans, paper, cardboard and trash.

The data is organized according to who collects the most recyclables per capita, total recyclables, least amount of trash per capita and highest recycling rate.

In the fall 2010 semester, 100 Baylor students took part in the first campuswide survey regarding recycling know-how, organized by the sustainability department at Baylor.

“The focus this year is recycling education. We want students to know what they can recycle on campus and where they can recycle on campus — currently, students just don’t know,” said Smith Getterman, sustainability coordinator at Baylor.

The survey also housed a comments and suggestions section where survey participants could leave their thoughts.

Most of the student proposals from this survey included the need for additional recycling receptacles or centralized placement near trashcans along with the need for glass recycling capability.

Getterman said recyclable items include paper, cardboard, plastics and aluminum, but there is currently no method for recycling glass. Ideas are being discussed to try and resolve this matter.

Baylor has more than 800 recycling receptacles located around campus that may be found in the Moody and Jones Library, the Bill Daniel Student Center, Hankamer School of Business, Baylor Sciences Building, all of the residence halls and many other locations around campus.

“You’re not doing it alone. It’s a friendly competition and goal if we can get some school spirit behind it,” said Flynn, who also helps oversee sustainability at Baylor.

In 2010 Baylor’s involvement in the competition left the university ranked third for overall highest recycling rate among other schools from the Big 12 conference, with Colorado and Missouri ranking first and second.

Super showcase: ‘Glee’ to become latest series to exploit post-game slot

By Chuck Barney
Contra Costa Times

The Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers won’t be the only ones out to wow America on Super Bowl Sunday. Those scrappy underdogs from Fox’s musical sensation, “Glee,” are also bringing their “A” game.

Airing directly after the title clash, “Glee” will present a massive song-and-dance homage to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video. With a price tag reportedly in the $3 million to 5 million range, it’s the show’s most expensive episode to date.

Thus continues the grand television tradition of trying to milk the plum post-Super Bowl time slot for all it’s worth. Knowing that it’s the biggest showcase of the year, networks typically bank on the slot to launch a new series – as CBS did with “Undercover Boss” last year – or to boost the profile of an existing show.

“Glee,” which already has a robust fan base, might not seem like a natural fit with the football crowd. That undoubtedly explains why it will open Sunday’s episode with a dance number featuring cheerleaders and plenty of skin.

Not every post-Super Bowl TV show is a winner, of course. In 2007, CBS coughed up a fumble with a gloomy episode of “Criminal Minds” that — ugh — had James Van Der Beek playing a serial killer. Still, there have been enough memorable moments to comprise a mini hall of fame.

Let’s go to the highlight reel:

“The A-Team” (1983)

We pity the fools who missed the two-hour pilot of NBC’s soldiers-of-fortune thriller. With its fast-paced action, abundant violence and a scowling star (Mr. T) who was built like a linebacker, the show proved to be perfect fodder for viewers already revved up from watching the Washington Redskins throttle the Miami Dolphins. Audience: 21.9 million.

“60 Minutes” (1992)

All eyes were on the CBS newsmagazine as presidential candidate Bill Clinton showed up – with wife Hillary – to address the allegation that he’d had a extramarital affair with model-actress Gennifer Flowers. “That allegation is false,” he tells reporter Steve Kroft, displaying a coolness under pressure many quarterbacks would envy. Audience: 24.8 million.

“Friends” (1996)

The NBC comedy, already a megahit, unleashed an all-out blitz with a parade of guest stars that included Julia Roberts, Brooke Shields, Jean Claude Van-Damme and Chris Isaak. Critics mostly panned the episode, which had the gang visiting a movie set. But viewers piled on, making it the most-watched post-Super Bowl show ever. Audience: 52.9 million.

“Survivor: The Australian Outback” (2001)

“Survivor” fever was at full-blast when the CBS reality show returned for its Season 2 opener. This edition introduced fans to several colorful contestants, including Colby Donaldson, Jerri Manthey and Amber Brkich. It also launched Elisabeth Filarski’s (Hasselbeck) TV career. “Survivor” went on to be the top-rated series of the season. Audience: 45.3 million.

“Grey’s Anatomy” (2006)

In one of the show’s most tense episodes ever, a patient arrives at Seattle Grace with an unexploded bazooka shell embedded in his body. The “code black” situation puts the entire hospital at risk and leaves Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) holding the trigger. A gut-wrenching cliffhanger kicked the fan frenzy surrounding the ABC series to new heights. Audience: 37.8 million.

“The Office” (2009)

Then in its fifth season, the sitcom probably wasn’t NBC’s best game-day option, but it delivered perhaps the funniest post-Super Bowl episode ever. It had clueless boss Michael Scott (Steve Carell) trying to relieve workplace stress by offering himself up for a comedic roast. The laughs were punctuated by cameos by Jack Black, Jessica Alba and Cloris Leachman. Audience: 22.9 million.

Organization shines light on dark side of Super Bowl

By Caitlin Giddens
Reporter

More than 100,000 fans will flock to the Cowboys Stadium on Sunday to mark Super Bowl XLV, but for many young women, the Super Bowl marks a day of terror.

During past Super Bowls, hundreds of people have fallen victim to sex trafficking. Baylor’s International Justice Mission will travel to Arlington on Saturday to educate fans of the prevalence and risk of sexual exploitation, especially during major sporting events. More than 50 girls were rescued from sexual exploitation at the past two Super Bowls.

“People think trafficking is something that happens in different countries, in poor parts of the world,” Katy sophomore Kristina Miller, a member of International Justice Mission, said. “But this happens in our backyard, especially in Texas. We just want to educate people because once people know trafficking is going on, they want to help.”

An estimated 100,000 to 300,000 U.S. children are at risk for sex trafficking each year. The organization’s mission is to raise awareness of this growing statistic.

Miller invited students to join. Members of the organization will meet at 2 p.m. Saturday at Irving Baptist Church in Dallas.

The Dallas area has been preparing for the Super Bowl by initiating Anti-Pimp My Ride, a campaign that will educate football fans on human trafficking by implementing fliers and bumper stickers. After attending an Anti-Pimp My Ride training session in Dallas, Miller anticipates more than 300 participants will join the protest.

“We went to Dallas for the training session last weekend,” Miller said, “and received a huge bag full of giant magnets and stats about human trafficking. We just want everyone at the Super Bowl to realize what is happening.”

International Justice Mission encourages Super Bowl fans who witness suspicious situations, such as a young girl who seems to be held against her will, to immediately call the trafficking hotline. The hotline, 1-888-3737-888, receives more calls from Texas than any other state. Fifteen percent of those reports come from the Dallas-Fort Worth Area, according to the organization’s reports.

“This is happening a lot in Houston, and even in Waco,” Miller said. “It’s American citizens being bought and sold for sex. You don’t have to be a social worker or a police officer to help. You just have to open your eyes and see what’s happening around you.”

International Justice Mission teaches members to look for signs of sex trafficking, even in their seemingly innocent hometowns, and take a stand. Houston sophomore Dalychia Saah, a new member of the organization, hopes students from all different majors will join.

“When you sit down and look at the statistics, it can be overwhelming,” Saah said. “This epidemic can’t be solved with just social work and pre-law students. We need everyone to help, especially pre-meds so we can show them the signs.”

Taking another step to prevent trafficking, Baylor’s International Justice Mission has been showing local doctors the signs of victims.

“We’ve heard stories of some of these victims who went to doctors, and they didn’t see the signs,” Saah said. “Pimps can be like boyfriends, saying you don’t love me if you don’t do this. It’s a very confusing relationship. Pimps will beat these girls, but then take them to the hospital.”

In addition to reaching all majors, International Justice Mission hopes to involve both genders in its mission.

“Men can play a powerful role in this,” Miller said. “It’s men who can go undercover in brothels. And men can hold each other to a new standard. When their friends say they may get a prostitute, a man can stand up and say that’s not OK.”

On average, American girls are first prostituted at age 13. Professions in pornography and exotic dancing often begin with trafficking as a minor.

“Society perceives these women as scum of the earth, and they’re not,” Miller said. “They’re victims, and they need to know they deserve more.”

International Justice Mission partners with It’s Not My Fault, a campaign that reaches out to trafficking victims.

“At 13 years old, you don’t decide to sell your body,” Saah said. “So It’s Not My Fault tries to take the shame out of prostitution among minors.”

Students planning to join the organization can attend the weekly meetings, which take place at 5:30 p.m. each Thursday in the Cowden room of the Bill Daniel Student Center. Those interested in attending the Super Bowl protest should contact Miller at Kristina_Miller@baylor.edu.

In addition to its involvement with the Anti-Pimp My Ride campaign during the Super Bowl, the organization is planning a spring break trip to Houston and a summer trip to Los Angeles.

“Investing in the younger generation is a vital step to stopping this cycle,” Miller said. “Another step is flexing our political power by supporting candidates who make issues like trafficking a priority. This is going on right under our noses and we as Americans should take it personally that in the home of the free, a type of slavery still exists.”

BU engineering to partner with UMHB

Program gives two degrees in five years

By Jade Mardirosian
Staff Writer

Baylor’s School of Engineering and Computer Science has created a program with the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor that will allow engineering students to earn two Bachelor of Science degrees in five years.

Students will begin the Young Engineering Students (YES) program at UMHB and after three years transfer to Baylor to complete another two years of coursework.

Cindy Fry, senior lecturer and assistant dean of Baylor’s School of Engineering and Computer Science said both schools will benefit from the program.

“This works out really well,” Fry said. “It meets UMHB’s need to have their students gain accredited engineering degrees, and it meets one of our challenges to bring in more qualified transfer students.”

Dr. Bill Tanner, chair of the department of computer science and engineering at UMHB, explains how the concept for YES program came about.

“The idea for starting the program arose naturally from our mutual desire to expand our scientific programs at UMHB and to provide quality undergraduate transfer students for Baylor University,” Tanner said.

Tanner explained that students will begin taking courses at UMHB in basics such as English, history, and religion, as well as prerequisite courses in mathematics, science, computer science and engineering, in preparation for upper-level engineering classes.

According to the agreement, “the student who progresses through the program as prescribed would receive a Bachelor of Science Degree with a major in Engineering Science from The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, or Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree from Baylor University within five years.”

Tanner sees the program as helping to fill a need for engineers in Texas.

“There will be a shortage of engineers in Texas, and we established the YES program specifically to address that need,” Tanner said. “UMHB students who wanted to prepare for a career in engineering could not do so at UMHB. With the YES program, a major in engineering science was available for pre-engineering students who want to do their work at UMHB.”

Fry views the partnership as key to bringing in valuable additions to Baylor’s student body.

“We are looking for quality transfer students and are looking to increase the number of qualified students who will finish with a bachelor’s degree and perhaps even stay for some graduate work,” Fry said. “We would love to get more students involved in research as undergrads and having highly qualified juniors and seniors coming into our program gives us a much wider population to look at.”

Fry said the program will be especially positive for Baylor’s School for Engineering and Computer Science and is looking forward to the partnership.

“This is the first time we’ve had something that brings the two campuses back together. UMHB shares a lot of the same mission and objectives that Baylor does, so this is exciting,” Fry said. “I see this opening up future possibilities in collaborative teaching and research. We are close enough that we could share industrial partners, so who knows what this will be the start of.”

Students will begin matriculating to Baylor beginning next fall, with about 16 students already planning to transfer.

Editorial: Internet successes fail to negate education’s worth

In Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address the 44th president praised the fact that we live in a world with “Facebook and Google.” It is extremely fascinating that these two companies have become so successful — providing outlets for communication and research on a global scale.

However, later in his address Obama goes on to stress the importance of an education, saying that America’s percentage of people holding a college diploma ranks only ninth in the world — a startling fact considering our nation used to reign supreme.

The correlation in these two statements by the president is a convoluted but serious one.

The creator of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, may have a had an award-winning movie made about the early years of his now multi billion-dollar site and he may have been named TIME magazines person of the year — but he never got a degree. He dropped out of college because of the success of his website.

First off, it should be said that we are in no way questioning the intelligence of Zuckerberg or taking a stance against the major social network of our time.

But the Lariat recognizes a propelling trend toward online innovation. One that could arguably be associated with the billions of dollars that are associated with those tales like Zuckerbergs — a 20-something developing something on the Digital Frontier while huddled over a computer in his room.

As we become a society that becomes more dependent on the Internet and technology, should we begin to consider how important a degree from an institute of higher education is in America? Or how digital technologies, while they allow many to make it big without a degree, could be detrimental to our future generations’ aspirations?

Zuckerberg — and all other non-degree holding, Internet-based billionaires — are the exception in America. While their ingenuity is astounding and admirable and their innovations are changing the way this world operates, there is still something to be said about them not holding a degree higher than a high school diploma. As we begin to raise a nation that receives iPod touches for their seventh birthday and reads all books on an e-reader, we may begin to idealize the exceptions.

We herald their creations as incredible (rightfully so) but their back-stories don’t provide the best example for students – especially in a nation that has a national collegiate ration that is falling.

But technology definitely is not the first, or last, industry that has unintentionally promoted a path to fame and success sans higher education.

The public has always held sports stars and film actors and actresses in high esteem while a large percentage did not attain a degree.

Of course there are exceptions to the exceptions, which we find in the actors and athletes that do complete college before transitioning to their trade.

While completing a degree is a personal choice and the technological industry has a few stand out celebrities that have not finished college, it is safe to say that the thousands of workers that now make up the companies are highly qualified degree holders that have had to fight for their employment at companies like Facebook.

Many Internet companies are known for their intense application processes and the rigor of their workloads, though the best and brightest flock toward them.

So, while the innovations of the exceptional Zuckerbergs of the world are truly amazing and benefiting the world, it is safe to say that more people should idealize the degree and its benefits. Because being a college graduate doesn’t mean that a person is better than someone else, it should be seen as a chance to be a role model for the kids aspiring to something great.

As numerous people from Baylor’s student population go out and create new things, their back-stories will point all on-lookers toward one road — higher education.

Point of View: Reputation rests on backs of current journalists

By Sara Tirrito

Sometimes I forget how little trust the public has in the media.

But as I walked home from church on a recent Sunday, I was stopped by a man who reminded me of just that. He asked me a few questions about my church and whether I was a Baylor student, and then asked about my major: journalism. It’s not a question I’ve ever been afraid to answer, because people normally at least act intrigued and as though they think this is a respectable field of study, or else we simply don’t linger on the topic. Not so with my new acquaintance.

“How can I say this nicely?” he asked. “So you want to be one of those people who makes up things.”

It didn’t come across so much as a question as it did an accusation of journalists everywhere.

“No,” I answered, “I want to write the truth.”

“That’s what they all say,” he replied.

I was taken aback by his certainty and stubbornness, and at first I tried to defend my vocation. But I quickly realized there would be no changing his mind.

I think this confrontation was most disheartening because for me, this man was a representative of a larger population — a population of people who have lost their respect for journalists somewhere along the way and who have no inclination to give us another chance.

In some ways, I feel as though I can’t blame these people — I don’t like being duped or lied to either, and I know there are corrupt journalists out there. I know there are some who are outright liars. I don’t live in a fairytale world; I have watched the movie about Stephen Glass.

But if you look around, there are corrupt individuals in every profession, from businesspeople and priests to doctors and police. That doesn’t mean that we stop trusting everyone in those fields, or label them all as liars. Our attitudes toward journalists should be no exception.

Although many people don’t, I do have faith in the media today.

There are honest reporters in the world, reporters who do everything they can to write the truth and keep their articles balanced while doing it.

They throw themselves into their work with honesty and dedication, seeking to help bring about change where change is needed and disclosure where it is called for. I want to become one of those journalists.

But just as I was recently reminded, it sometimes seems that before I even write my first word as a professional journalist, those who have written irresponsibly before me have already diminished my own credibility. It’s a discouraging feeling for sure, but it won’t keep me from writing.

Instead, I will pursue my passion with a hope that, one story at a time, journalists everywhere can overcome the prejudice we face and earn a newfound trust from the public based on our honesty and our work as individuals. However, this can only happen if the public will first give us a chance.

Sara Tirrito is a sophomore journalism major from Texarkana and a staff writer for the Lariat.

Point of View: Backing Egypt: America’s stance on democracy should mimic our values

By Jonathan Angel

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived a people subject to the British Empire. They worked hard to sustain their livelihoods, but tensions led to British officers firing upon crudely armed villagers. Eventually, this spark was fanned into widespread discontent of British rule; the people shucked the colonial yoke in favor of a new republic.

Over the course of decades, investment reformed the economy. The population exploded on both sides of the great river that divided the nation. And in 2011, protests against the autocratic president were met with water cannons, rubber bullets and tear gas. Then on Jan. 28, in the midst of these protests, access to the Internet was disabled nationwide.

America and Egypt have so much in common, from money to innovation to founding history.

Thus, it was most surprising that through late last week President Barack Obama and the United States Federal Government continued to support the Egyptian autocratic president, Hosni Mubarak against his citizens, even as they clamor for self-rule, for changes, for freedom.

Over the past two months, the Middle East has been in perhaps the greatest state of internal unrest since World War II. From the collapse of Lebanon’s pro-western coalition government to the night flight of Tunisia’s pro-Western dictator from his post to the ever-more-forceful protests in other countries, especially pro-Western Egypt and Yemen, the region may be headed toward an era of greater individual freedoms and less acquiescence to U.S. political interests.

In his June 2009 speech in Cairo, Obama extended a hand of friendship to the Muslim world – “A New Beginning,” to use the words of the speech title. He commended Morocco for being the first country to recognize the U.S.’s sovereignty, in 1777.

He noted that America and Islam share the common higher principles of “justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”

Why, then, would Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stress just days before Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s flight that “we are not taking sides” in this fight for [Tunisian] democracy? Even after a July 2009 State Department cable (classified, but released by Wikileaks) cited that Tunisia had “serious human rights problems” and that “major change in Tunisia will have to wait for Ben Ali’s departure,” the U.S. continued to insist on supporting Ben Ali until the day he fled the country.

The State Department, had it been more astute, would have enjoined support for the Tunisian people; its own cable stated that “most still admire … the American dream.” Instead, we’re likely viewed now at best as self-interested imbeciles without moral consciences.

“It is not the role of any other country to determine Egypt’s leaders,” Obama said Tuesday from the White House. And he is right; in Iraq we see the consequences of military intrusion. This revolution, however, is of the people, by the people, and for the people of Egypt.

The great news is that we have been given a second chance, an opportunity to form a lasting relationship with a people that will, whether tomorrow or in 10 years, get rid of Mubarak and install a truly democratic leader.

Second chances rarely come around, and when they do, it’s often at great cost. It took an attack on Pearl Harbor for us to reconsider entering World War II, despite the danger the Axis powers posed. Let’s not demand a second Pearl Harbor to learn our lesson this time.

The U.S. has long shared a special relationship with Egypt. From the Camp David Accords to the nearly $2 billion in annual aid sent to support Egypt’s economic and military might, the two countries have a complex history of support.

That relationship should not hinder us from pushing unabashedly for much greater democratization in Egypt; it certainly didn’t hinder President Mubarak from unabashedly ordering crackdowns on nonviolent protests.

Is freedom worth risking a friendly relationship with a dictator? Obama has finally answered that in the affirmative.

“Going forward, the United States will continue to stand up for democracy and the universal rights that all human beings deserve, in Egypt and around the world.” The question now is whether he will fulfill that promise and end his practice of apologetics for Mubarak’s continued grip on power.

Jonathan Angel is a senior biochemistry major from Flower Mound and the Web editor for the Lariat.

Sudoku solution: 2/3/11

Sudoku solution: 2/3/11

Crossword solution: 2/3/11

Crossword solution: 2/3/11

2/3/11: The Baylor Lariat

[issuu autoFlip=true width=640 height=560 embedBackground=%23005fbb shareMenuEnabled=false backgroundColor=%23222222 documentId=110203055006-c6a3558f6fee4087bf465f82535cb7b4 name=110203pdf username=jonangel tag=news unit=px v=2 showhtmllink=false]

Blood needed

Carter BloodCare supplies blood to Waco hospitals and throughout the Central Texas region. Ice and snow have shut down many of Carter BloodCare’s blood drives throughout Texas, but the need continues. Donate from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Friday at buses on Fountain Mall and across from the Bobo Baptist Student Center.

SPJ meeting

The Society of Professional Journalists will host local radio announcer Jessica Goodlett at 6 p.m. today in 245 Castellaw. Goodlett graduated from Baylor in 2010 and currently hosts the afternoon show on 92.9 FM Waco. She also provides sports updates for 1660 ESPN Radio Waco and has interned with ESPN in New York City. The event is open to the entire campus and free pizza will be provided.

Karnival of diversity

OneBU has partnered with the admissions department to showcase the different cultures and opportunities on campus. Students are invited to the Kaleidoscope Karnival, taking place from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. Friday in the Barfield Drawing Room of the Bill Daniel Student Center. The Karnival has invited nearly 100 high school seniors to learn more about Baylor’s diversity in conjunction with the Winter Premiere.

Recent graduate’s savvy airplane stunt pays off

Courtesy Photo
Baylor graduate Shelby Burford’s abridged resume, printed on 250 cocktail napkins and given to airplane passengers, helped Burford generate publicity and eventually land 12 job interviews.

By Sara Tirrito
Staff Writer

Just two months before his December graduation, Shelby Burford completely dropped his post-graduation plans. He had intended to start a dessert and coffee shop in downtown Waco and had already created a business plan for the project, but as he prayed about his future, Burford felt called to find work and join a church plan called Mosaic in Seattle.

“I tend to be very ambitious and kind of control every aspect that I can control, so in this when I felt like God was calling me to Seattle without a job and without a plan it was very counter to the way I usually am,” Burford said. “I just felt like I really needed to trust God on this and not know all of the answers for once.”

Matthew Armstrong, Burford’s section leader at Antioch Community Church in Waco, said that despite his uncertainty, Burford had never been one to shy away from God’s call.

“There was definitely uncertainty, but I never saw any fear in Shelby, I never saw any question in his heart,” Armstrong said. “He’s the kind of guy that once he feels like God is telling him to do something, he will give himself to it.”

And so Burford boarded a flight to Seattle on Jan. 1 without a job but with a plan to find one.

He had 250 cocktail napkins with him, each printed with his objective — “Seeking creative and entrepreneurial employment in Seattle” — followed by his abridged resume, contact information and seat number. After the flight attendants had served everyone’s beverages, Burford followed up with his specialized napkins, hoping someone on the flight might be searching for an employee that fit his qualifications.

But no one was.

So Burford came up with a new plan. He called the Seattle Times and offered to tell them his story, thinking if it reached the right people he might be offered a job.

And he was right.

Dozens of e-mails from people all over Seattle filled his inbox the day the story ran, and Burford ended up with 12 interviews.

Members of the corporate world searching for employees weren’t the only ones to express interest in Burford’s story, however. He also heard from a 12-year-old named Benjamin who wished he could offer Burford a job, an 86-year-old woman who wanted to personally welcome him to Seattle and invite him to attend her church and one businessman who simply wanted to meet the now-famous Burford.

“There was one company that I learned once I got to the interview that they didn’t have any openings, and he said, ‘I really wanted to meet with you because you’re a Seattle rock star,’” Burford said. “That was probably the funniest reaction.”

His other interviews did lead to several job offers, but Burford is still in the process of making a decision on where he will accept.

Although the process was somewhat uncomfortable, Burford said he is glad he trusted God’s call and went to Seattle.

“It would be a lot easier to do my usual — go somewhere where there are options and where things are easy and practical,” Burford said, “but God’s radical plans are always bigger and better.” Dr. Greg Leman, clinical professor and director of the university entrepreneurial initiative, and a former professor of Burford’s, said he was not surprised that Burford left for Seattle without a job.

“He’s a very kind of purpose-driven person, and it was clear in talking to him that it wasn’t just a whim,” Leman said. “He was a little gutsy in that regard, but again, that’s Shelby.”

Dr. Marlene Reed, visiting professor of management in the Hankamer School of Business, and a former professor of Burford’s, said she was not surprised by his actions either, because of his spontaneity and liveliness. Burford had been a creative student as well, she said.

“He’s a very creative person and just always thinking of ideas for businesses and projects that are kind of out of the normal range of possibilities,” Reed said.

“Most people wouldn’t think of the really creative things that he thinks of, or be willing to do something like apply to Wheel of Fortune.”

And apply to Wheel of Fortune, Burford did. He was accepted, and will have another 15 minutes of fame when the April 22 episode of Wheel of Fortune airs.

Local defensive end among 2011 football recruits

Courtesy Photo | Rivals.com
Midway High School defensive end Beau Blackshear, at 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, is a member of Baylor football’s 2011 recruiting class.

By Daniel Wallace
Reporter

One of Waco’s finest football stars will be playing for a new team this fall, but he but he will not be leaving the city.

Midway High School senior and Waco native Beau Blackshear has verbally committed to playing football at Baylor beginning in 2011 and will make it official today when he signs his National Letter of Intent.

At 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, Blackshear is hailed as “one of the best defensive ends in the state of Texas,” by his head coach, Terry Gambill.

Although his strength and athleticism draws double and triple-teams in games, what makes Blackshear truly stand out is that “he plays the game of football the way you are supposed to play it; his motor is always running,” Gambill said.

Recruited strongly by TCU, Houston, Rice, and Baylor, Blackshear chose to be a Bear for a number of reasons.

“[Baylor] is close to home where my family and friends can come see me. I also like what [head coach] Art Briles is doing with the program.”

He said he is excited to play under new defensive coordinator Phil Bennett, and thinks Bennett will be a good change for Baylor.

Blackshear knows playing in college will be much different than in high school, but feels well prepared and attributes that to Coach Gambill.

“His way of coaching helped me get more into the college level. He was a pretty big part of my senior year,” Blackshear said.

Blackshear has one more chance this season to watch one of the NFL players who inspires him, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

“He messed up really badly, but then he realized how blessed he is, that he gets to play in the NFL. He just put his life in perspective, I guess,” Blackshear said.

Roethlisberger sat out the first four games of the 2010 NFL season serving a suspension for a sexual assault complaint filed against him. He takes on the Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl Sunday.

Blackshear talked about his favorite aspects of the game, which include, “Being able to hit all the people and not get in trouble for it,” he said, and the feeling “when you walk off the field at the end of a game and you know you played better than the other team.”

In one of his favorites moments of his high school career, Blackshear had just that feeling. That came on Oct. 29 when Midway faced Stephenville, coincidentally where Briles worked from 1988 to 1999.

“We knew they would be the best team we would face all year and we beat them late in the fourth quarter,” Blackshear said.

Midway won, 35-28.

Blackshear hopes to bring feelings and moments like that when he plays for Baylor.

“I just want to make the best impact I can for the team; just knowing I contributed to the team in whatever way they needed would be success,” Blackshear said.

Blackshear will have plenty of guidance and leadership at his position, as the Bears have retained several defensive ends from last season like Zac Scotton, Gary Mason Jr. and Tevin Elliott. Scotton will be a senior next year, Mason Jr. and junior and Elliott a sophomore.

With Blackshear, the Bears will have five Midway graduates on the roster next season.

Artist connected to Baylor opens show at Rice

Courtesy Photo
Mary Temple, an artist formerly featured at Baylor’s Martin Museum, opens an installation at Rice University Art Gallery with the help of Hana Shoup, a 2007 Baylor grad.

By Liz Hitchcock
Reporter

Artist Mary Temple, who was formerly featured at Baylor, along with her assistants, one of whom graduated from Baylor, set up an installation at Rice University’s art gallery this past week. The installation is titled Northwest Corner, Southeast Light, and covers three walls and a large space on the hardwood floor of the gallery.

Using latex paint and wood stain, Temple creates images of light pouring through a window and reflecting on the surfaces in the room.

Detailed depictions of shadows cast by branches, leaves and windowsills, create an image that tricks the viewer into believing there is a window nearby.

This specific piece is part of Temple’s series of light installations that she began in 2002, according to the Rice Gallery’s website, and is an ongoing progression of installations.

“There is a pool of light that you are able to walk into and onto the hardwood surface, but when you do, you realize that you cannot cast a shadow on this shard of light… and on closer inspection, you realize that everything that looks like light interior is either a stain on the hardwood floors or paint,” Temple said about her most recent installation.

One of Temples’ assistants is a Baylor alumna, Hana Shoup. Shoup graduated in 2007 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and was chosen because of her painting skills.

Although it may seem like Temple’s paintings are one color of paint contained in a simple outline, there is a fastidious method to obtaining the exact consistency of paint needed to fool the eye.

“It’s very precise work. We had to make sure that our brush strokes were even and matched every one else’s in order to create this optical illusion,” Shoup said.

Julia Hitchcock, associate professor of art at Baylor, attended graduate school at Arizona State University with Temple, and she invited her to speak at Baylor.

“Mary Temple and I went to ASU and were both graduate students, studying figurative painting, and we were both oil painters,” Hitchcock said. “She changed from figurative painting to abstraction before she graduated.”

In 2004 Temple was invited to Baylor’s art department as a visiting artist and gave a lecture. In 2006 her work was shown at the Martin Museum.

“I had met Mary Temple previously at Baylor in Spring 2004 when she visited Julia’s Drawing II class, and I was in that class,” Shoup said. “So, it was really neat to be able to meet her again and work with her.”

Hitchcock recalled Temple’s work from their time at ASU, remembering that she used line and colors to indicate spatial separation and platforms, but now Temple creates these illusions using light and illumination.

“Her abstractions were extremely large paintings, so it seems normal for her to be doing what she is now,” Hitchcock said.

Hitchcock said Temple creates intricate models of the spaces she shows in, making her installations extremely site specific.

“All the colors she uses are meticulously chosen to work with the space,” Hitchcock said. “She creates these small models of the spaces she will be working in and plans exactly how the light will be cast inside of them.”

Joshua Fischer, the assistant curator for the Rice Gallery, said the reason they chose Temple is because of her ability to work within a space and create installations specifically for the gallery space.

“The director of the gallery saw her work at a couple different museums. The artists that are shown here are always chosen by the way they can work in the entire gallery space. We do large-scale installations,” Fischer said. “Her work fit that kind of mission. She works with the entire gallery space. … It causes the illusion that light is completely flooding the gallery space.”

Temple is currently showing at a couple other very prestigious institutions, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and even a permanent installation in the Q line subway in New York City.

She encourages aspiring artists to continue to do work that they love.

“Find a place where you can work, and do the best work that you can. … Find a community where you can show this work. As artists we are creating work to communicate with someone; at least for me, I want some one to be able to respond to that work.”

Temple’s installation will be featured February 3 through May 25 at Rice University Art Gallery at 6100 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77005. Admission is free and open to the public.

Lady Bears battle No. 13 Sooners in Waco

Nick Berryman | Lariat Photographer
Freshman No. 0 guard Odyssey Sims brings the ball down the court during the game against Texas Tech on Jan 22. Baylor won, 64-51. The Lady Bears put their 6-0 Big 12 record on the line against Oklahoma today at 7 p.m.

By Matt Larsen
Sports Writer

Overcoming a Reed Arena crowd and a No. 5/6 Aggie squad may have been the toughest conference challenge for Baylor this season, but the Lady Bears should not expect a much easier foe when they host No. 13 Oklahoma at 7 p.m. today at the Ferrell Center.

“I don’t anticipate tomorrow’s game to be any different than what you saw at A&M,” head coach Kim Mulkey said in a press conference Tuesday. “It’s just going to come down to players making plays in the crunch.”

Like the Aggies, the Sooners (16-4 overall) sit at 6-1 in the Big 12. The head-to-head matchup knocks them to third in conference standing, however, as Oklahoma’s only loss came at the hands of the Aggies, 80-78, just two games ago.

Most recently, the Sooners came off an 82-77 road win against in-state rival Oklahoma State.

The Sooners boast a wealth of talent around the perimeter and find ways to cash in on 3-pointers more consistently than anyone else in the Big 12. Nationally, they rank fifth, sinking 8.4 treys a game.

“They’ve always shot it well; they probably just have more [three point shooters] on the floor together at the same time,” Mulkey said. “They spread the floor on you.”

To spread the floor successfully, the Sooners need a go-to scorer and distribution-savvy point guard.

It just so happens that with senior guard Danielle Robinson, they get both.

“Danielle Robinson is the engine that makes them go,” Mulkey said. “She can score 30 and you can’t stop her. But what she does that’s so impressive is that if you focus on Danielle Robinson and stopping her, she’s going to find the open player. Then you’re going to get burned by that player.”

Often that open player is freshman Aaryn Ellenberg spotting up behind the 3-point line.

Second only to Robinson’s 19.3 points a game, Ellenberg puts up 17.1 a contest. The three-time Big 12 Freshman of the Week leads her team with a .438 percentage from behind the arc.

When it isn’t Ellenberg spotting up for a three, it’s one of the four other guards who all shoot better than 33 percent from three-point land.

When it comes to defending the wealth of talented guards, Mulkey expects plenty of screens around the perimeter and knows that just accounting for Robinson will not be enough.

“I don’t think you stop a Danielle Robinson. I think that she’s that good,” the fifth-year coach said. “So you better be able to defend those other players and not let another player for Oklahoma have 20-plus points, or you’re probably not going to win the basketball game because Robinson’s going to get her points.”

The Sooners’ senior point guard will likely match up against Baylor’s Odyssey Sims, the only freshman with more Big 12 Freshman of the Week honors than Ellenberg.

Sims provided 25 points and the answers when her team needed them last Sunday at Texas A&M.

“The wings weren’t going to be able to get open. They were doubling down on [sophomore post Brittney Griner], so I had to create myself some space,” the Lady Bears’ second-leading scorer said. “I had to work for my shot.”

Now her team may need her just as much on the defensive end as they did offensively against the Aggies.

“I think a lot of people are very excited to see that matchup,” senior guard Melissa Jones said. “They’re so valuable to each team that it’s going to be exciting to watch.”

Baylor in Paris offers authentic taste of French life

Nick Berryman | Lariat Photographer
San Angelo junior Ryan Polunsky participated in the Baylor in Paris program in the summer of 2010. She said the host family and daily language practice make the trip a worthwhile summer venture.

By Kelly Galvin
Reporter

One of many opportunities students in college have is the chance to study in another country. During the summer session, Baylor has an opportunity for students studying French to participate in a program in Paris.

Dr. David Uber, professor of French, said this program gives students a new perspective while learning the French culture.

“The students get to live with host families, which is very important because it sets up for language emergence,” Uber said.

Having just graduated from Baylor in December, Lisa Mozejko participated in the program during the summer of 2010.

“I loved having the freedom to explore Paris and learn about French culture. Everything there is old and beautiful; we had opportunities every day to see parts of Paris and we had the privilege to choose what we wanted to do or where we wanted to go when we went out,” Mozejko said.

To apply for the program, students must be in intermediate or advanced French and have taken it in the spring semester.

“This trip gives students a confidence in the language and the culture,” Uber said. The students take two classes a day, but have ample time to explore Paris.

“We take tours in and around Paris and visit parts with well-known art that is very lively,” Uber said.

The Baylor in Paris program was the first in Europe to set up student living with host families.

“It can be intimidating at first, but if you resolve to learn and see as much as you can, your family is a very valuable resource. My family had great suggestions for fun things to do and we learned a lot about the culture over the course of time we spent with them,” Mozejko said.

San Angelo junior Ryan Polunsky went on the trip with Mozejko and said living with a host family was a great experience.

“My family had two younger children that lived in our apartment and two children about my age away at college that came to visit for a week. My roommate and I were introduced to close family friends and neighbors, which made a difference for me because I actually felt like they tried to make us part of their family,” Polunsky said.

For future students thinking about making this trip to Paris, Mozejko and Polunsky highly recommend taking this opportunity.

“I would advise anyone going on this trip to keep an open mind about the people and the culture…and to at least try to speak French with everyone they can,” Polunsky said.

Both women agreed that even trying to speak the language was helpful when communicating with French natives.

“Don’t be shy or afraid to speak. Some French people can be impatient with Americans, but for the most part they appreciate the effort when you try to speak their language,” Mozejko said.

There are many historical sites and architecture to see in Paris and the trip gives students plenty of time to visit them all.

“We took a class trip to the Loire Valley, where we toured several castles. It was amazing to see how well they were being preserved; it was interesting to learn about some of the history behind them,” Mozejko said.

Uber said each student comes back with fond memories and a great improvement in language abilities.

“This experience certainly improved my French-speaking ability. Simply being immersed in the culture helped, but being forced to speak the language with our families helped immensely,” Pulunksky said.

The program applications for this summer are due by March 14. For any further information, contact Uber at david_uber@baylor.edu.

Concealed firearms bill unlikely to affect Baylor policy

By Daniel C. Houston
Reporter

Baylor and other private universities in Texas will likely not be required by law [PDF] to allow licensed students, faculty, administrators or staff to carry concealed handguns onto campus, according to sources in the Texas Legislature.

Although H.B. 86, a bill introduced in the Texas House of Representatives by Republican Rep. David Simpson, would currently require both public and private institutions to allow concealed carry of firearms, Simpson said he intends to include an opt-out clause exempting private universities from its provisions.

“As long as people are free to choose their university, whether that be public or private, then that’s their choice,” Simpson said. “If someone doesn’t want to go to an institution that allows them to defend themselves personally, they can choose to go to a private university.”

Simpson said he has received a new draft of H.B. 86 including the opt-out clause from the Texas Legislative Council, a nonpartisan organization that assists state legislators in writing the language of bills, and plans to substitute this new draft for the old one when it is considered in committee.

Two similar bills, H.B. 750 in the House and S.B. 354 in the Texas Senate, both include such opt-out clauses already, according to the bills as filed the Texas Legislature’s online database.

Both H.B. 750, authored by Republican Rep. Joe Driver, and S.B. 354, authored by Republican Sen. Jeff Wentworth, would both require private institutions like Baylor to “[consult] with students, staff, and faculty” before establishing rules prohibiting license holders from carrying handguns onto campus.

Prompted by a request in November from Wichita Falls junior Daniel Cervera, a member of the Student Senate, Simpson sent a letter on Dec. 1 addressed to the Baylor community, assuring his bill would not require Baylor to conform with potential weapons policy changes.

“I discovered that a bill had been filed in the Texas House last fall addressing the carry on campus issue, and that it didn’t appear to include an opt-out clause for private institutions,” Cervera said. “I asked him to draft a letter to the Baylor student body assuring them that he does intend to include an opt-out clause in his bill.”

The letter was sent directly to Cervera and then forwarded on to other student leaders. This letter was provided to the Baylor Lariat on Monday, and in it Simpson affirmed his belief that Baylor has the right to determine its own weapons policy.

Cervera, also a member of the Young Conservatives of Texas, supports the opt-out clause, but also supports Baylor allowing licensed handgun owners to bring them on campus.

“I think in principle,” Cervera said, “we agree that there is a concern — private property rights — that merits the inclusion of an opt-out clause for a private Christian institution such as Baylor, though I believe participation in this program is a step that Baylor should be prepared to take. With the increase in crime and violence on campus, those who are legally able to carry concealed weapons for self-defense may wish to be able to defend themselves on campus as well.”

Simpson said his bill will likely serve as a backup to Driver’s bill, which Simpson believes has “no substantial differences” compared with his own.

Simpson does not believe his colleagues in the House will oppose an exemption for private universities at any point in the legislative process, but thinks that Baylor administrators should still take the policy seriously, despite university President Ken Starr publicly calling the policy “unwise” at a Nov. 11 Student Senate meeting.

“I think administrators are going to think long and hard before they remove the right of self-defense,” Simpson said.

NBC, Comcast join to create TV monopoly

McClatchy Newspapers

After 13 months of pointless scrutiny, federal regulators have done what they were certain to do all along, and blessed the most momentous media deal of this still-new century: The takeover by Comcast, the biggest U.S. cable operator, of NBC Universal, one of the country’s premier sources of news and entertainment.

The scope of this deal exceeds its nearly $14 billion price. That’s because Comcast controls the pipes. True, it’s also a content mill in its own right – with a dozen regional sports networks, the Golf Channel, E! Entertainment, and online properties – but its real business is sending TV and Internet into one in every five U.S. cable households, 17 million in all.

Now it gets a majority stake in NBC Universal, with 25 local TV stations, including those of its Telemundo subsidiary – the No. 2 Spanish-language network – and more than 200 affiliates, reaching 99 percent of U.S. homes. Plus, NBCU includes the legendary Universal Studios and theme parks, the USA Network, Bravo, Syfy, Oxygen and The Weather Channel.

Although NBC has looked bad lately with its dithering over Jay Leno and its limp prime-time lineup, it is still a TV giant. Comcast is getting the top-rated evening newscast (“NBC Nightly News”), morning newscast (“The Today Show”), and Sunday talk show (“Meet the Press”), as well as the leading TV business news source (CNBC), and MSNBC, the cable partnership with Microsoft.

So this deal is big, the biggest mashup of media distribution and production might since the Hollywood studios were forced to shed their theater chains in 1948. You’d think that in an era when media-bashing is so popular somebody might decide to take this public.

But the curious fact is that concentration of media power is one of those subjects, like love of flag, where our normally fractious political partisans find rare common ground. They all say nothing. And the media themselves, with obvious conflicts of interest, are happy to believe the story is too obscure or too complicated for their G-rated audience.

That’s fine for Comcast. For the rest of us, not so fine. For starters, the deal will cost us. A study conducted for a cable operators group by William Rogerson, formerly the Federal Communications Commission’s chief economist, concluded that consumers will pay $2.4 billion more for cable service over the next nine years.

Why? Rogerson’s study looked at Comcast’s ability to raise fees it charges other cable systems for the vast range of program offerings it will control, and the knock-on effect those increases will have on cable rates industrywide.

His analysis hints at a more basic reality: The same reasons the deal is good business are why it’s bad public policy. When a media company that dominates distribution also becomes a major content producer it acquires enormous power. Indeed, that’s the main business reason for doing the deal.

That power insulates the company from the bracing influence of the marketplace, and gives it huge unfair advantages over rivals, independents and upstarts, and sweeping control over what new services are made available.

If you’re Comcast, you’ll use your cable systems to favor your program networks, and your program networks to favor your cable systems.

Look at your leverage: You can help your program networks by consigning their competitors to the Siberia of cable channels so nobody will find them. You can deny competing networks or online services access to your cable customers altogether. You can withhold your most popular networks from other cable systems to weaken them. You can lean on independent networks to keep off rival cable systems if they want to get on yours. You can strong-arm rival cable systems into carrying even your weakest networks by packaging them with the popular ones.

Regulatory approval of the merger prohibits some of that, but these abuses are notoriously difficult to document, let alone undo.

Comcast could never really argue that its plan was in the public interest, which it unquestionably is not, so it resorted to wholly irrelevant pageantry to disarm opponents. It announced vague agreements to launch a rainbow of cable networks, perhaps 10 in all, four for African-Americans; four for Latinos; one or two for Asian-Americans.

It also promised arrangements with nonprofit news outfits in five cities where NBC owns stations, giving the nonprofits undefined support (and assuring the stations cheap, quality content.) Again, the promise is vague, and again, it’s nothing that couldn’t happen without the merger, but it still prompted a gullible New York Times headline: “Nonprofit News May Thrive in Comcast Takeover.”

If so, we might at least see one bit of public benefit in a deal that the public, and the rest of the industry, will be paying heavily for.

Texas approves test swap for high school students

Students will take new STAAR test instead of TAKS

By Sobia Siddiqui
Reporter

Since 2003, all Texas high school juniors have anxiously prepared for the TAKS test, hoping to pass it and graduate with the rest of their classmates come senior year.

But the test requirement will change in the 2011-2012 school year when students will be expected to take the State of Texas Assessments and Academic Readiness (STAAR) test every year instead of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. This is different from previous years where juniors took the TAKS test to graduate but were allowed their senior year to make up any portion of the test they may have failed.

The TAKS test was given to students in third, fifth and eighth grades to determine their qualification to reach the next grade level. It has also been issued to 11th graders to decide whether they have the minimal skills necessary in the four core subjects of English, mathematics, science and social studies in order to graduate.

The Texas Legislature passed a bill in 2009 requiring the Texas Education Agency to develop a new test that would raise the standard for Texas students, said Debbie Ratcliffe, director of the communication division for the Texas Education Agency.

“It’s a harder test,” Ratcliffe said. “Students will be tested at a greater depth and complexity than they were with TAKS and any of the previous tests.”

With the TAKS test, students were required to pass four subject exams at the end of their junior year to meet the graduation requirement.

Under the STAAR test, however, students will be expected to pass 12 different tests over the course of their four years in high school to meet all their graduation requirements, Ratcliffe said.

The STAAR test will also focus on college and career readiness for older students.

“For the TAKS test, I feel like a lot of the parents and the general public felt like teachers were teaching the TAKS test instead of teaching the curriculum,” said Crystal Anthony, a member of the West Independent School District board of trustees as well as professor for the Multiculturalism College Experience class offered at Baylor.

“The STAAR [tests] are more like exit-level exams, so whatever you learned for that year, you’re tested over that. I feel like that’s better.”

Jay Davis, district testing coordinator of Waco ISD, also believes the STAAR exams will test students in a better way.

“It’s more of a grade-level test instead of a cumulative test,” Davis said. “It’ll be a lot more pertinent than the TAKS test.”

Ratcliffe said there will be more essay and short-answer questions under the reading and writing sections of the STAAR test, as well as more questions requiring calculations and explanations under the math and science sections of the test.

“You can’t use process of elimination to guess and answer,” Ratcliffe said.

Originally like the TAKS test, the STAAR test was not expected to have a time limit while it was being developed in December 2010.

Ratcliffe said a time limit is currently being considered.

Developers and coordinators are considering timing each subject test within a regular school day, with the exception of the English subject exam, so there will be no students and faculty remaining until 6 p.m. to finish the examination.

“Because we’re requiring more writing on the high school English exam, we’re recommending those be given over a two-day period,” Ratcliffe said. “There are more short answer and essay questions involved, so that’s why we think the kids will need more time.”

Unlike the TAKS test, students who fail a section of the STAAR test will not be required to take a separate preparation class.

“If they got a passing grade in the course, they wouldn’t have to retake the course. They would just retake the test,” Ratcliffe said.

According to the Texas Education Agency, the new state accountability rating system will debut in 2013.

“Normally what we see happen when we introduce a new test is that the passing rate dips for a couple of years,” Ratcliffe said. “Then people become more comfortable with the exam and have a little better sense of what to expect on it, and then the scores start to go back up.”

Editorial: Media pressure too much for aspiring collegiate athletes

In the world of college football, no day in the offseason carries as much as importance as the first Wednesday of February. Today is National Signing Day. All around the country, athletes will sign their letters of intent, signaling where they will play their college football.

Everybody is watching, millions of television viewers and millions more on Internet forums, discussing why they feel or don’t feel their school’s recruits give them hope for their team’s future.

While signing a letter of intent is undoubtedly a colossal day for these players and equally as important to their new schools, the coverage leading to this day has unfortunately ballooned to unmerited levels in football as well as other sports.

The recruits going to the top college programs have been picked apart and analyzed by websites netting millions of dollars from subscribers. Some of the players traveled thousands of miles with their teams last semester to play interstate teams as part of ESPN’s high school game telecasts. All of these athletes, men and women in a wide range of sports, also carry a ranking that fluctuates with their performances.

Such coverage has not always existed. The self-proclaimed worldwide leader in sports, ESPN began its first full schedule of high school football games in 2006 with 13 matchups. That same year the network featured nine boys’ basketball games as well. Recruit rankings have existed even before the 2011 recruiting class was born, but it was not until 2001 that recruiting website Rivals.com was founded. The website now charges customers $100 per year to receive the latest recruiting news on a daily basis.

ESPN RISE, a subsidiary of ESPN.com, reports on high-schoolers in seven boys’ sports and six for girls.

This year-round attention to high school athletes is detrimental to athletes and places them on a stage equal to that of current college and professional athletes.

Like most high school students, athletes have enough pressures without having their performances critiqued by professional analysts and a national audience. But exposure is at a level that is simply unavoidable unless one avoids the Internet and television altogether.

Another issue involves the mentality that this coverage can breed. After receiving praise and high reviews throughout high school, it is easy for an athlete to develop a false sense of security. In reality, no rating guarantees success in the NCAA, nor does it even guarantee the athlete will earn playing time. Because of how high school recruits are portrayed, efforts must be made to educate them about handling the coverage before it is too late. Lack of judgment and humility can set up an athlete for failure.

“There’s no unknowns, from an athlete to what an athlete’s thinking or doing,” Baylor football coach Art Briles said in an Oct. 8 Lariat article. “It’s a wide-open Internet world that everyone has access to.” Ideally, high school athletes would once again be allowed to go relatively unwatched before putting on a college uniform.

In today’s world, that won’t happen. Rivals.com sold its rights to Yahoo for $98 million in 2007, and another popular high school athletics website, MaxPreps.com, sold to CBSsports.com for $43 million the same year.

Barring a massive reordering of priorities, profit will continue to be placed before athletes.

Point of View: Five weeks at No. 1 increase target on backs of Lady Bears, push team harder

By Krista Pirtle

The swagger of being No. 1. The pride of being the trend-setter throughout the league. The discipline of knowing you have a target on your back but not letting it hinder your play.

From their back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010, the University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball held this title, had this swagger and dominated despite the growing target on its back.

But, when Stamford pulled off an incredible upset, 71-59, Dec. 30, 2010, the Baylor Lady Bears stepped up from the No. 2 spot and have held the top ranking for the fifth straight week now.

Not only are the Lady Bears dominating their opponents on the hardwood, they are also learning what it means to be the No. 1 women’s college basketball team in the country.

Being the top program in the nation is quite an honor and does not mean that a team gets to ease up in practice because it’s the best.

Practices should become more intensive, focusing on how to better what is already good and strengthen any weaknesses that are apparent.

The top spot comes with multiple pressures: being put under a microscope by the entire sports world as it tries to exploit your weaknesses so as to defeat you, while opposing teams and fans circle your game on their schedule, knowing they will get to be a part of a great game and hoping they are the ones to bring the upset.

Sports analysts and reporters will praise the No. 1 team for their accomplishments, but they will also strive to provide a look inside to the team’s weaknesses.

It is true that no team is perfect, no team can have perfect stats game in and game out, but a No. 1 team is willing to accept that fact and improve on what they were not pleased with.

Secondly, opposing teams and fans cannot wait until they have a shot at the top team in the country, an opportunity to face off against the best, seeing how they match up and hoping for an upset.

This game will call for more than just the average fan base, but more people will show up to see what the No. 1 team is all about.

For example, at the women’s basketball game in College Station, between the Baylor Lady Bears and the Texas A&M Aggies, a record crowd of 13,162 was in attendance.

Why?

Well, the Battle of the Brazos is a huge rivalry, especially considering that roughly 88 miles separate the two schools. Plus, Baylor is No. 1 in the Big 12 and No. 1 in the country, whereas A&M is No. 2 in the Big 12 and No. 6 in the country. Probably the biggest reason for the record-breaking crowd was that the Aggie fans were hoping they would be the ones to defeat the Lady Bears, knocking them out of the No. 1 spot in both the conference and the nation.

Sitting atop the nation should not cause a team to coast through the next game and the next. The team should be well aware of the target growing on its backs, as the other teams in the country are preparing for their shot.

Being No. 1 and the swagger that comes with it is a very special thing and should be appreciated by whoever gets to experience it.

Consequently, it does not come with only fame and glory, but hard work and discipline are needed to stay atop the masses, improving on weaknesses and not letting the adversities that arise slow the team down.

Krista Pirtle is a sophomore journalism major from Olney and a sports writer for the Lariat.

Point of View: Game marketing endangers kids

By Jessica Acklen

Recently, I was watching television and a commercial came on the screen.

Pictured were mothers watching a television screen of the video game being played. They expressed their disgust at the horrific nature of the game.

“Why would they even make something like this?” one of the mothers asked with a puzzled look on her face.

Each of the mothers shown expressed their disgust at the gruesome and violent images shown to them from a game called “Dead Space 2.”

The footage of their reactions to the game was used in the commercial to mimick the fact that moms were appalled.

“But if you’re telling me that this is to be some kind of joke, it’s not funny. It’s not a game. It’s a dangerous, mind-numbing, mind-altering weapon,” another mother exclaimed after being told that this was not a focus group, but footage to be used in a commercial.

Typically, I have no issue with video games that are gruesome or have M (Mature) as a rating, as long as the player is over the age of 17.

To be honest, I don’t particularly have an issue with the game itself. I wouldn’t be interested in playing it, but to each his own.

The issue that I have with this is the way in which the game was marketed. I think that, at any age, things should not be done, simply to rebel against authority, especially that of one’s parents.

Moreover, the question must be asked, who is the target audience for this video game?

If one is over 17, the legal age to purchase the game for them, they have already entered into a state of independence.

They do not need their parents to purchase the game, so the opinion of their parents probably won’t affect their decision to play the game.

This game is being marketed to children despite the fact that the game is in no way appropriate for that age group.

“I don’t understand the person that would make something like this. … What even brought this into your mind that you should make this? What brought this into your mind that you thought this was OK?” asked one of the mothers.

I think that the entire marketing scheme of the game is wrong, including the website for the game: yourmomhatesthis.com.

Even in the name of the website, the makers of the game are emphasizing the aspect of defying one’s parents.

If the game is marketed toward young players, which it seems to be, this can be a dangerous issue.

Those wanting to rebel against their parents, typically in junior high or high school, are impressionable.

God placed parents as authority over their children and it is unbiblical to encourage blatant rebellion.

I may be old-fashioned, but I believe it is wrong to glamorize something that your mother wouldn’t approve of.

Jessica Acklen is a junior double major in journalism and political science from Arlington and the A&E editor for the Lariat.

Lariat Instagram