April 2004

Criminal Justice Degree Pays off for UAM Students | Fishing Class at UAM Catches Attention

| Campus Connect Allows Students to Degree Shop


Give a student a fish and he eats for a day.  Teach a student to fish and he earns college credit!  UAM student James Hayes fishes at Weevil Pond.  Photo by Michael Arnold.


By  Cara Crossett

While looking through the course catalog, you might stumble across a new class in fishing.  Added this semester by the Education Department, the class is designed to allow the students a choice of a new credit or two laboratory hours.

The class, taught by Robert Leonard, includes instruction in the use of the rod, reel, and line, modern casting techniques, line control, hooking and controlling the fish, the difference in performance of a different tackle, general equipment needs, knots, correct tapered leader construction, indicator fishing, lake fishing, river fishing, reading water, and safety.

Some students and teachers, including Dr. Betty Matthews, question the relevance of fishing in the university curriculum.  “Why are we teaching a class on fishing?" asks Dr. Matthews.  "If it is because it is done frequently around this area, then why not have hunting or babysitting? We are short of funds anyway and I think it is ridiculous to have a fishing course.”  

Others think it is a way for students to earn a credit without the stress of a normal classroom environment.  Many students feel that fishing is a sport just like baseball, basketball, tennis, or golf, and people don’t seem to have a problem with any of these activities being taught.

Robert Leonard defends his course: “Teaching fishing is teaching people something they can do all their lives.  It is a form of relaxation that can be enjoyed from nine to ninety.  We are in need of a society that can slow down and enjoy the beauty of creation.”

Leonard explains that most of the people taking the class already know how to fish but they don’t really know why they fish the way they do.  Leonard says, “I am trying to make sure that my students get a good working knowledge about catching fish locally.”

The fishing class only covers the basics.  It is open to men, women, young, old, beginners, experts, and anyone else who is interested in learning techniques.


By  Karon Parrish

As an entering freshman, many students declare a major, but after a semester or two they change their minds.  Several changes later, the students realize they are behind in graduating in the traditional four years.

It is very important to study the UAM handbook, speak with your advisor or department head, and with the Registrar’s office for a complete understanding of the information needed to make good choices.  To help with these choices, UAM offers the Campus Connect program, an interface from the Internet to UAM’s academic database to all students.

By utilizing Campus Connect, students can shop for an unofficial degree that will list courses needed to fulfill the requirements for graduation.  Official degrees are only available through the Registrar’s office located in Harris Hall. 

Not sure if you want to major in Nursing or Pre-Pharmacy?  Just log onto Campus Connect and enter the requested information.  It will immediately list the courses completed, those still needed and any currently enrolled courses.

Campus Connect will also show the number of hours attempted and passed by the student.  It is an easy way to see how close you are to a degree.  Other features students can access include account status and demographic information.  This program was introduced several years ago in order to give the students more freedom in their degree planning.  

Certain areas of Campus Connect may not be available to those students whose financial or academic records at UAM are not in good standing.  If you have any questions contact Information Technology at 870-460-1036 or email pins@uamont.edu

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By  Sarah Kirkpatrick

Television shows like NYPD Blue and C.S.I. are drawing more and more students into pursuing a career in the field of Law Enforcement.  That goal can be met at UAM by earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice.

Students who are pursuing a Criminal Justice degree will take classes ranging anywhere from Policing in American and Criminal Procedure to Industrial Security, along with 15 hours of supportive requirements like Psychology and Race and Ethic Relations.

Criminal Justice and Political Science students can also take part in field studies.  The large field studies are usually a week long.  Students go to places like New York where they can visit FBI headquarters or the New York Police Department.  They also do smaller field studies that are only a couple of days long and go to such places as Louisiana State Penitentiary and New Orleans.

The Criminal Justice program has only been at UAM for four years but during that time, according to Dr. Vanneise Collins, Social and Behavioral Sciences department head, “The program has gone from sixteen graduates in 1999 to over eighty in 2002.  UAM had a total of 57 honor graduates in 2002-2003. Sixteen were from the Social and Behavioral department, including three criminal justice graduates.”

Professor Adam McKee stated, “The reason that the major is so popular is that it allows you to get a job in almost every community, and I feel confident that the program is going to continue to grow.”

A criminal justice degree is very broad and opens up many career options for students after graduation.  Raydine Hollinshed, UAM freshman, says, “I’ve always known that I’ve wanted to work in law enforcement and a criminal justice degree opens a world of possibilities for me.”

The Battle of the Bands

By Brad Amoroso

The UAM Debate Society and Pi Kappa Delta  presented the first annual “Battle of the Bands/Voices” last Thursday night. 

It was as much a battle of the bands as it was a battle of heavy metal fashion; baggy jeans, rayon shirts, oversized silver chains, and hair gel as far as the eye could see.  Rock and roll, in all its goateed glory, was alive and well on this exciting night at the Fine Arts Center.  

The backstage area was a flurry of activity in between the band performances, and a lot of critical listening and smack-talking during the performances. 

Six bands and five vocal acts attended.  The acts were staggered between voice and band in order to allow time to set up each band’s equipment. When the curtain was closed for the vocal performances, the bands dropped their ego and readily helped each other move drum-sets and amps while giving high-fives and pats on the back of the acts that they were just criticizing.  There was an unspoken respect between these rock n’ roll outlaws, for they all knew that they were all in the same boat: trying to make a name for themselves in the small corner of a very un-rock n’ roll state.

The show started with SufferKate doing two original songs.  This local band (very local), somewhat tripped on the first two measures of the first song, but quickly recovered to deliver two well-preformed and written songs. 

Undecided, the surprise of the night, hit the stage second with more than just a clever name.  They opened with a true-to-form, cover of STP’s classic, “Sex Type Thing.”  They followed with two originals, one which guitarist, Samad Abedi, said, “I kinda threw together at the last minute.”  Not bad for a minute’s work.

Next up was Word of Mouth, and these guys should spread like wildfire as their name suggests.  Their two originals were strong, and they closed with the Cars’ classic, “Just what I needed,” which ended up being a breath of fresh air, or … just what I needed.  We’re talking the same Cars that were a band when Word of Mouth couldn’t spell band; a very cool cover that one doesn’t hear everyday.

Tower was next, and they had an ace up their sleeve; they had a female singer.  No one ever suggested that women couldn’t sing hard rock, after all, you could fill a book with all of the Janis Joplins, Joan Jetts, and Lita Fords out there, but there is a current renaissance in hard rock of female rock vocalists.  And it could be said that a little band out of Little Rock, AR, spearheaded this rebirth.  The band is Evanescence, and if you haven’t heard of them, you’ve truly been living under a rock or stone of some sort.  Anyway, Tower was not without their power, and the crowd seemed to agree with enthusiasm.  When the vocalist came off the stage, the first thing she said was, “Finally, it’s over…I haven’t performed in front of that many people in ten years.”  Her hands were visibly shaking as her entourage of friends formed a circle around her.                

When the R&B quintet, Diversity, hit the stage, they were immediately deemed as the best-dressed band in the competition.  A highly talented group of young men, Diversity hit the crowd with a sound they weren’t ready for, but it didn’t take long before the audience was eating out of the lead singer’s charming hands. With a short, but very smooth and fluent performance, Diversity even had the rock bands backstage trying on their dancing shoes.

The night ended with the local band, Station, who came out of the box with the night’s second, out-of-left-field cover of Survivor’s, “Eye of the Tiger.”  But at the end of the night, it was Undecided who took home the prize.  “It was a total surprise, I couldn’t believe it,” said Abedi later that night.  Undecided’s next stop will be the studio to record their originals to be played on the local radio station.  The next day, on my way to class, I saw Abedi out of the corner of my eye walking with a fresh young female, talking about going into the studio.  The spirit of rock n’ roll is alive and well.

This is the nature of the rock band: complete and utter nurturing of the ego.  There is nothing more confident than a guitar player or singer wearing their favorite Abercrombie and Fitch shirt, getting ready to hit the stage for 200 or so students.  This was practice for the big-time; this was where egos were developed to the point of the ridiculous.  Fledging rock stars talked about past performances, newly acquired equipment, and dreams of making their first appearance on Headbanger’s Ball

All in all, the event was a knock-out success.  Will Whiting, one of the coordinators, said, “We never imagined it would go so well.”  That is a good indication that the Battle of the Bands will be an annual and welcome event.  Who knows, you might just see me next year on the stage with my croonies doing an obscure cover of Frank Zappa’s, “Don’t eat the yellow snow.

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