Environmental Club Meeting

Erin DeBlanc

Are you interested in the EAGLE COMMUNITY GARDEN initiative?

Visit with TAMUT’s ENVIRONMENTAL CLUB Thursday, April 10th in room UC116 at 12:30, and share your thoughts.

Students will have the opportunity to influence local government, interact with other eco-friendly groups, and acquire new knowledge and skills pertinent to the field of environmental sciences and environmental communications.

Membership dues are only $5.00 and all proceeds will apply towards club events and philanthropic ventures.

For the first meeting, feel free to bring ideas for possible club logos.

We are also seeking potential members who are musicians that would be willing to play for an upcoming Earth Day event.

Please send inquiries related to the organization to erin.deblanc@ace.tamut.edu.

APRIL 10, 2014,

New Professor Added to Faculty

Ashley Morrow

Texas A&M University—Texarkana welcomes a new assistant professor to the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Dr. Kati Ireland Stoddard, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science, joined as a faculty member in September of 2013.

Dr. Stoddard studied as an undergraduate at Texas A&M University and received a BS in Bioenvironmental Science and continued at College Station to gain a MS in Water Management and Hydrological Science. Dr. Stoddard wanted to study environmental science from an early age, and stated, “I chose my major and stayed with it the whole way through.” In 2012, Stoddard earned a PhD in Environmental Science at University of North Texas in Denton, TX and continued to work on campus as an Adjunct Instructor of Environmental Science.

Dr. Stoddard hopes to expand on her PhD research project examining “pharmaceuticals and the environment.” The project was to develop a pharmaceutical take-back program that citizens could attend to dispose of their excess and unwanted pharmaceuticals properly. Stoddard strongly advises people to not flush medications down the drain. To accomplish this research project, Stoddard built the program and worked with an interdisciplinary team, composed of UNT researchers and city of Denton officials. It was the first and only approved “Pharmaceutical Take-Back” event approved by the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality.

In the Spring 2014 semester, students may look forward to taking Biology 2, Environmental Science, and Ecology with Dr. Stoddard. Also, an Environmental Science Club is in the works. Dr. Stoddard suggested some activities for the club such as adopting a stretch of road to keep litter free, and collecting and analyzing water samples as part of a water monitoring program. Founding students also proposed the idea of an on-campus garden. The club will be student driven and activities will depend on student interests.

Dr. Stoddard revealed a new university project, the Station for Environmental and Educational Research (SEER) campus. “It is a 350 acre plot of land about 30 minutes away from here, and we are setting up to have undergraduate education and undergraduate research opportunities. There are hayfields and managed forests. The plan is to provide a place where students can have hands-on experiences with environmental science and ecology outside of the classroom.

Researching, studying, and being able to share a passion for Environmental Science is what Dr. Stoddard enjoys most about teaching. She also finds it rewarding when students come back to share their application of lessons learned and make personal lifestyle changes to be more environmentally conscious. The students “drove less or took shorter showers, or turned off the water when they weren’t using it. I live for those little things.”
When not working, Dr. Stoddard enjoys reading leisurely, racing triathlons, and running with her husband. The New Year’s Day Double, a double marathon, is the next race for which she is training. “It’s one of the things I do to unwind”, Stoddard says, “It’s nice because I get to see the sun come up. I come up with my best ideas while I’m running.” Another fun fact is her collection of Macro Microbes (http://www.giantmicrobes.com/us/). These are stuffed animals in the shape of various microbes. Not only do they offer a colorful, decorative aspect to her office, but they also function as visual aids for science lectures.

When asked to give advice, Dr. Stoddard encourages students to “Persevere and try new things” and “don’t be afraid to fail because that is how you learn; if it’s easy, you are not going to learn much from it.” A personal philosophy that Stoddard follows is inspired by a favorite quote by Howard Thurman, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because the world needs more people who have come alive.” Dr. Stoddard adds, “Find what makes you happy and incorporate that into your life. You’re going to be a much more successful person if you are happy.”

Lions, Tigers, and…Redskins? (Oh my!)

Shelby Mustain

If you’re a sports fan, there’s no doubt you’re familiar with this feeling: the game is tied, the home team is mere inches away from scoring a go-ahead touchdown, and you’re one of 30,000 people screaming at the top of your lungs, “Let’s go _______, let’s go!” Go ahead. Insert your favorite team’s name: Aggies, Razorbacks, Crimson Tide, Cowboys. Yeah, you know the feeling.

Now imagine your right as a sports fan to yell your team’s name or proudly display that moniker across your chest was being put into question. If this is the current case, you must be a Washington Redskins fan.

For years, the Redskins and other professional and collegiate sports teams have been scrutinized for their use of Native American-related nicknames: the Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Chiefs, Florida State University Seminoles, and Atlanta Braves all carry such names. In 2008, the Arkansas State University athletic program, formerly known as the Indians, became the Red Wolves. The Redskins are just the most recent case of teams being asked to ditch their “racially and derogatory” team name.
On Tuesday, November 5, 2013, district law makers in Washington, D.C. called on the Redskins to change their name. The “Sense of the Council to Rename the Washington National Football Team Resolution of 2013” was first introduced in May. However, team owner Dan Snyder has no intention of changing the name of his football team.
But the question remains: should he?

Winners of three Super Bowl Championships, the Redskins are one of the most historic teams in major sports, but should history and branding come before the feelings of an entire ethnic group? Who’s to decide?
I’m glad it’s not up to me. That’s for sure.

Missing for a Decade

Breann Cooper

Every parent’s worst night mare, your child is abducted and for years you wrestle with praying for their safety and them being alive and praying that you could just get the body back for closure. A top of that is the impossibility most feel of finding an abducted youth alive especially after ten years add to that two more girls and you have a recipe for the incredible.

Incredible is exactly what happened Monday, May 6th. Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight, and two young children where rescued from a Cleveland, Ohio home by neighbor Charles Ramsey.
Ramsey stated in an interview with Cleveland’s Channel 5 ABC News that he heard a woman screaming and went to investigate. He found Amanda Berry screaming at the door of the house next door and when he approached she begged him to get her out. Thinking it nothing more than a domestic dispute, he kicked in the bottom half of the door after discovering that it would not open more than enough to stick an arm out.

Ramsey says Amanda and a young girl, presumably her 6 year old daughter, emerged from the home asking him to call 9-1-1, telling him and dispatchers “”I’m Amanda Berry. … I’ve been kidnapped, and I’ve been missing for 10 years. And I’m here. I’m free now.”

Berry alerted police that two other women where in the house, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight. Ramsey says he did not know who he had rescued at the time but, “when she told me it didn’t register until I got to calling 9-1-1. Then I’m like I’m calling 9-1-1 for Amanda Berry? I thought this girl was dead!”

Ramsey also stated that he knew the neighbor, as well as one can know a neighbor, he had lived next to for a year. Three men have been arrested in the case; Ariel Castro, 52, owner of the house and until November he was employed as a school bus driver, Pedro Castro, 54, and Onil Castro, 50. Little else has been released about the men.

Amanda Berry disappeared April 21, 2003 after leaving her job at Burger King on foot. Her mother died March 2, 2003 of heart failure two years after consulting psychic Sylvia Brown on the Montel Williams shows and being told her daughter was dead. Relatives say she died of a broken heart.

Gina DeJesus was abducted the following year when she was just fourteen on April 2, 2004 while walking home from middle school roughly in the same area as Amanda’s disappearance. Little is known about Michelle Knight’s disappeared only that she presumably disappeared August 22, 2002 after losing custody of her son. Deputy Police Chief Ed Tomba admits that little is known in Knight’s case but that her story is “going to come out.” Time can only tell in this case as this is a developing story.

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Rodman Requests Korean Prisoner Release

Blaine Shores

Former NBA Rebound Champion Dennis Rodman is looking into his friendship with North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un to request the release of a Korean-American man, the Associated Press reports.

“I’m calling on the Supreme Leader of North Korea, or as I call him ‘Kim’, to do me a solid and cut Kenneth Bae loose,” Rodman said on Twitter.

Kenneth Bae was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in North Korea for unspecified “hostile acts” against the country. The country said that the 44-year-old man entered North Korea under an alias.

Rodman called his tweet a direct response to a Seattle newspaper editorial that dared him to ask for the release since the two were close friends. Rodman also visited North Korea in February and sat with Kim at an exhibition basketball game at a time of high stakes between North Korea and the United States. The U.S. State department did not endorse the trip.

North Korea has not described the nature of Bae’s crimes. Political analysts have said that North Korea may be using Bae as bait to open negotiations with the United States over its nuclear arms program. Korea has said he is not a negotiating chip.

The U.S. and North Korea do not have formal diplomatic relations after the Korean War ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty. The U.S. has called for the North to release Bae immediately.

Rodman said after his February trip to North Korea that he has plans to return to the country in August to vacation with Kim who is a die-hard basketball fan.

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TAMUT Student Heads on Church Mission to Africa

Meagan Garrison

On June 30, 2013 Texas A&M-Texarkana student, Kendal Barajas will be heading for a life changing experience.  In order to participate, she will start with rounds of yellow fever shots and malaria medications.  She willalso have to endure a 24 hour plane ride, 18 hour car ride and a 3 hour canoe ride.

Barajas will be serving a church mission to the Island of Indego, which is just off the coast of Mozambique, Africa. In this church mission, Barajas along with 9 other members from different churches will be constructing a multipurpose building that will serve as a church and a school that teaches reading and writing to the locals.  With only the foundation laid for them, the team will be bringing their own duffle bag of tools and will be making the cinderblocks for the building by hand.  The cost of this building will be $30,000 and is being sponsored by The Church on the Rock of Texarkana, TX.

During Barajas’ stay, she and the other 9 team members will not be getting the most adequate accommodations.  Their sleeping arrangements are under mango trees in mosquito nets.  Their meals will consist of only beans and rice and water from the river.  The only shower that will be available to them will be the local river.

But Barajas doesn’t see these hardships as many in her position would.  All she can do is look forward to the adventure to come.  “I am most excited about the services that will be held and getting to spend time with the kids on the island,” Barajas said.

When asked why going through all of this is worth it,  Barajas said without hesitation, “Because it’s what I’m called to do and is what I want to do for the rest of my life.  If I could, I would live in Africa for longer than a month and to help the people that are less fortunate than me.”




People Are Not Products

Kendall Barajas

Currently on the Texas A&M Texarkana page there is a group of students raising awareness and funds to put a stop to the sex slave industry. The idea of this started in a Monday night girl’s bible study by one of the RA’s. The group partnered with Tiny Hands International. The funding started by carrying around cups receiving donations.

The group has had two bake sales raising 400 dollars and has recently started selling t-shirts for 15 dollars each. The t-shirts have been seen all around campus slowly spreading the word. The group started with 10 advocates and has increased to over 25 now. “We have received so much support and it is amazing to see how many people really did not know this form of slavery was happening not only today but even in America still”, Group leader Brittani Trumble says. All funds raised by the end of May are going towards the dream center, therapy and getting the victims back on their feet once rescued.

The average entry age into the sex slave industry is 12 years old. Many think that slavery was abolished in 1865 but slavery still exists all over the world. There is a new form of slavery evolving in to the fastest growing business in the world.

Texas being the first state to enforce laws to stop the sex slave industry has been in legislation working on a new bill named HB 8. The hearing was on April 15. The bill, HB 8, makes changes that increase the gravity of human trafficking, and offers assistance and protection for human trafficking victims. The new bill is proposing that violators be charged as second-degree felony rather than a Class A misdemeanor.




What’s Next for Tim Tebow

Shelby Mustain

It only took one season for Tebowmania to run its course in New York. The Jets parted ways with quarterback Tim Tebow last week. Now, how likely is it that we see the former Heisman Trophy winner suit up for another NFL team?

Let’s look at the facts.

He’s a proven winner; Tebow led the Florida Gators to two BCS National Championships in 2006 and 2008. He also led the Denver Broncos to a come-from-behind win in the first round of the 2012 NFL playoffs. But he has poor mechanics and one of the worst career passer ratings in NFL history: a mere 47.9.  Following the 2012 season the Broncos signed highly regarded free agent Peyton Manning to a five year deal and shipped Tebow off to the Jets, the only team willing to give him a chance. Even the Jets didn’t give him much of a chance either,  they made him the back up to starter Mark Sanchez and eventually demoted him down to third string.

Now the question is, where does Tim Tebow go from here?

Rumors immediately began that Tebow’s hometown Jacksonville Jaguars would sign him but those rumors were immediately shut down by new Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell.

The Jaguars seem to be Tebow’s only hope but it appears they too have figured out what the other 31 teams in the NFL already knew: Tim Tebow cannot play quarterback in the NFL.

Without agreeing to a position change, it appears Tim Tebow’s last hope lies in the Canadian Football League. The CFL’s Montreal Alouettes have shown interest in Tebow as a quarterback for their squad. However, he would be competing for a backup position behind three-time CFL Most Outstanding Player Anthony Calvillo.

So it appears that Tim Tebow has few options left. He can venture up north for a change of scenery and a change of pace in Montreal or he can opt to change positions and see where that leads him. But the truth is, those two options may not even be likely. Maybe the Tebowmania days are over.



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Tyga’s New Release

One of Young Money’s rap artist by the name of Tyga, released his third album “Hotel California” on April 9, 2013. During the first week, the album debut at number seven on the billboards, and sold 54,000 copies. During the second week, the album sold 19,000 more copies bringing it to a total of 73,000. The album features guest appearances from artists as in 2 Chainz, Chris Brown, Jadakiss, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Game, and Wiz Khalifa.

I think Tyga’s album “Hotel California” is the worse album I ever heard. The album had sexual explicit lyrics in it to where it degrades women. The album does not send a positive message to people. Instead, it sends a negative message to people as in explicit content. Most of the lyrics were repetitive, but the style was the same throughout the whole album. On his album “Hotel California,” he has a number one smash hit single “Dope.” The song features the artist Rick Ross. However, by listening to the song, I did not like it because the lyrics did not make any sense to where I could relate to it. Plus, he was describing what women do to him sexually and what he does to them as well. It just disgusts me. By listening to the album, it seemed more like a porn, money, and drug related album.

The reviewing score of the album was a 3.1. Critic reviews had zero positive, one negative, and six views of the album being either good or bad. All Music Guide states, “Hotel California refuses to sort his over-the-top bangers into anything sensible, and without a “Rack City” to make it crossover worthy, this is a full-length to leave for the fans.” RapReviews.com states, “Hotel California fails to deliver on any of the hype it had leading up to its release.” HipHopDX states, “His sexual callousness wears off quickly, and what listeners are left with is a release better fit for a Ramada Inn than a Four Seasons.”

Music artists should make music that has a positive meaning to it. If music artists keeps making music that have negative meanings, then what are they teaching society? Negative music has bad influence to where Tyga demonstrates it negativity on his album.