March 2004

Spring Break Fever | CIV Courses a Hit With Students | New Lab Helps Students Learn | Non-Traditional Students on the Rise | A Worm that Destroys


CIV Courses A Hit With Students

By Bradly Gill

As Dr. Roy Cabaniss stands in front of a podium in one of the library’s classrooms, a student gets her books out and pulls out a pencil.  Behind Cabaniss are two big screen televisions. One of the screens shows Dr. Cabaniss lecturing to his Consumer Behavior class. The other shows a grainy video of a student taking her pencil out of her binder. The student is miles away in a different classroom, in a different county. She is taking the course at McGehee via Compressed Integrated Video, more commonly known as CIV.

The student is just one of 317 students taking courses through CIV. A host of classes are offered such as Fundamentals of English, Composition, Public Speaking, College Algebra and History courses.  These classes are taught at UAM and broadcast through Interactive Satellite Digital Network or more commonly known as ISDN connection to Crossett, McGehee, Stuttgart, and Dewitt.

Students can take tests on a computer or have the test faxed from the professor. A camera located in the back of the CIV lab allows the students to see the professor, plus whatever he writes on the board.  A microphone at the podium likewise transmits the professor’s words to the ears of the student. Microphones resembling a black computer mouse are also placed on the tables so they can hear any questions posed by students in the room.

As with all technology, there are speed bumps along the way. Dr. Cabaniss kept trying to establish a connection to Crossett and Stuttgart, but to no avail.

UAM’s web site shows that an average of 83% of students received a C or better in CIV courses for 2003. Robert Forest, a sophomore at UAM says, “I’ve had two (CIV) classes so far. I’d say it’s not much different from your average classroom.” Forest went on to say that he was currently enrolled in a CIV course and would almost certainly take another in the future.

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Non-Traditional    Students on the Rise

By Karon Parrish

Just a look across campus shows this is no longer just a young person’s world.   A large number of people are returning to school to either complete or start their college educations, and have attained the title "non-traditional student".

What exactly is a non-traditional student?  According to Dr. Rhonda Richards, UAM Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs, “A non-traditional student is one who enrolls in college after the age of 25.”

“The entire UAM enrollment has increased over the last few years.  Not only are more high school graduates enrolling in college but the number of non-traditional students has increased by 50% since 2000. Our total enrollment for Fall 2003 was 2,253 students and 489 of those were non-traditional,” Richards explained.

Keke Robinson, a non-traditional student, will be graduating with an English degree in May 2004.  She has spent many hours on the UAM campus as a non-traditional student.  Keke is a single mother of four children who believes education will open many doors for her and her children.  She has maintained a 3.5 or higher grade point each semester.  At the same time, her children have always made straight A’s. 

“It is important for me to get as much done as I can before 3:30 p.m. each day so when the children arrive home from school, I can be their full-time mom.  I have to make sure they have their school work done, fix supper and get them ready for another day at school.  I would not have been able to return to school full-time if it had not been by the grace of God.  I can not think of any unpleasant times or situations while I’ve been attending UAM,”  she states.

UAM has a high admission rate for non-traditional students.  The campus is located within driving distance from a number of small towns in Southeast Arkansas, which makes it attractive to many of the students who are employed in their hometowns.

Traditional students say they don't feel uncomfortable alongside older students in their classes and campus organizations.  Cara Crossett, a junior English major, said, “I respect someone for coming back to school.”

The next time you are walking across the campus, take a few minutes to notice all the people coming and going from classes.  Perhaps you, too, can appreciate the diverse group of students that make up the student body.

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Bringing personal stories to our campus. I hope that you enjoy this section of The UAM Voice. A lot of work has gone into making this section not only entertaining but informative. Sharing new interests, insights, and accomplishments can help bring a diverse group of people closer through human experiences.

Karon Parrish

Feature Editor

Spring Break Fever

By Karon Parrish

There is something going on around UAM that is creeping into the halls; whipping around corners; and filling up the classrooms all across campus.  No, it isn’t a wind storm or virus; it’s the anticipation of spring break March 15 – 19!

Students across campus can not wait until this long awaited vacation is here.  At this point in the semester most students have taken two or three tests, written a couple of essays; and they are at the point that they can not go another step, take another exam or cite one more reference.

Candrice Jones, senior UAM student had this to say about spring break: “I definitely will not be doing any homework during spring break.  I am looking forward to not getting up and coming to class every morning.  Even though I have no special plans, I am going to enjoy myself and rest, especially because this is the last spring break as I will be graduating in May.”

Terri Richardson of UAM Health Services said, “After nine weeks of hard work and study, Spring Break provides a great opportunity for some much needed 'down time'.  About half a million college students descend on beaches for Spring Break Week and unfortunately, the majority of them participate in risky behaviors.  These include combining alcohol and the sun, tattoos and body piercings, exposure to date rape drugs, and binge drinking.  My hope is that UAM students will make a conscious decision to stay safe on spring break!”

Whether you have plans to warm yourself across a white sandy beach or sleep away your five day break, spring break will be a chance to jump start your battery on life. 

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Journalism Lab offers students a place to study.  Photo by Lydia Meier.

New Lab Helps Students Learn

By Sarah Kirkpatrick

For years the yearbook and newspaper staff at UAM have worked with limited technology and space. That has changed with the completion of the new Student Publication Lab. The new lab is located on campus north of the MCB building in Jeter Hall.

Construction began on the lab last September and finished in late December. Rooms 101 and 106, former student apartments, were combined by knocking down a wall. Then the rooms were re-painted, re-floored, and re-wired. They are  equipped with two new Dell computers, a new IMAC computer, state of the art digital cameras, and top of the line HP printers.

The lab was established to support the new UAM journalism major. Dean Ray says, “I think it’s important for students to have a place to 'talk shop', and talk to others who are pursuing the same goals.”

The lab is primarily used by students who are working on the UAM Voice, the online student news publication, or on the Boll Weevil, the UAM yearbook, but can also be used by all journalism or English majors.

The lab is comprised of three rooms: a conference room, lab, and a lounge. The lounge includes a mini refrigerator, a stove, two bathrooms, and cable connections. It can be used for working on projects or just studying between classes.

Nancy Davis, editor of the Boll Weevil yearbook says, “The lab is a great place because it allows students involved in student publications a place to not only work, but to socialize and learn from others involved in student publications.”

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A Worm That Destroys

By Michael Arnold
While scrolling through the morning e-mail, something catches your eye.  An e-mail has been returned.  After opening the e-mail, you realize that it is not one that you sent. Just out of curiosity you decide to look at the attachment. The attachment opens, but it is all gibberish.
 This is exactly what the UAM Information Technology (IT) department does not want to happen.  The gibberish is a cover for an e-mail worm that might not do much harm to your computer, but will use it to cripple other computers.  Once open, the virus is activated and will begin to multiply to everyone on the same network. 
Fortunately, the IT department is now better prepared for any major virus attacks that infect the campus.  Since the Blaster Worm attack of last semester, IT has learned how and where the potential problems enter the school network.  With this knowledge, they are able to prevent viruses or hackers from getting into the school network. 
These preventative measures help keep the university network computers problem free and reduce the spread of viruses.  Most of the current bugs choose to travel through networks similar to UAM’s.  In other words, fewer bugs at UAM mean fewer bugs everywhere. 
Although very annoying, the Blaster worm taught IT many valuable lessons.  One of the most important lessons is that the current antivirus software, Command Antivirus, is not meeting the needs of the University.  According to Data Processing Network Manager, Allan Riggins, a new antivirus program is going to be purchased and offered to both faculty and students. 
The W32.Mydoom.A@mm worm, and its variants, is a new threat to the computing world. Thanks to the knowledge gained from the Blaster attack, students and faculty do not need to be alarmed, just cautious.  This particular threat is not quite as bad as the Blaster Worm but still should not be taken lightly.
Mydoom, unlike Blaster, does make its presence known on the infected machine.  A sure sign of Blaster infection is a seemingly unprompted dialog box informing the user of a restart.  Mydoom will never make its presence known, but will open ports on the infected machine, which could lead to unwanted visitors remotely using that machine.  Also, the worm will attempt to start a denial of service (DoS) attack.  The DoS attack attempts to cause certain website servers to crash by overloading them.  The Mydoom DoS tries to infinitely load Microsoft.com and SCO.com in hopes that the mass number of hits to the site will bring it down. 
The Mydoom worm affects more Windows operating systems but will not render the computer useless.  While Blaster only affected NT based machines (Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP), Mydoom will infect those plus Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows ME.  That will cover just about every computer on the UAM campus, excluding the handful of Apples and those machines running Linux. 
Knowledgeable IT staffer Reba Riley says that anyone who uses only the school’s e-mail does not need to worry.  “Delete the returned messages and do not open the attachment”, she says.  She adds that if anyone uses another mail service, like Hotmail or Yahoo, they should not, by any means, open the “undeliverable” e-mail. 
If anyone feels that they may have been infected with this worm, Symantec, makers of Norton Antivirus, offers a search and removal tool free of charge.  This tool can be accessed by visiting www.symantec.com.  The UAM IT department will be more than happy to answer any questions.
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