ISSUE 5, VOLUME 1
APRIL 29, 2004
Harris Hall Holds Open House |Pi Kappa Delta Announces New Officers | UAM Spatial Information to Graduate First Class in May| UAM Debate Team Wraps Up Season with Another Winning Record|UAM Student Ambassadors Raise Most Money For Drew County Relay For Life|Alpha Chi Honors Students, Faculty/Staff|Saying Goodbye to a Language Expert|Finals Are Next Week: A Few Tips For Studying|Arts and Humanities Department Honors Graduates and Scholarship Recipients
By Will Whiting
The Arkansas Theta Chapter of Pi Kappa Delta recently announced the organization’s officers for the 2004-2005 academic year.
Officers include Will Whiting, president; Matt Baumgarten, vice president; Charlotte Keiffner, secretary/treasurer; and Amanda Haught, historian.
Pi Kappa Delta is the oldest debate and forensics honorary organization in the nation. It was founded in 1913 and has since been a leader in collegiate forensics education. Since its inception, more than 60,000 individuals have been inducted. The organization has active chapters on more than 200 college campuses nationwide.
The 2004-2005 school year marks an important year in the history of Pi Kappa Delta. The honorary will host the 44th Pi Kappa Delta Debate and Forensics tournament at Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri, in the spring of 2005.
The UAM chapter is advised by R. David Ray, Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities. Ray also holds a leadership position within the organization on a national level. He serves as the national Pi Kappa Delta Historian.
Lydia Meier Editor-in-Chief
Will Whiting Managing Editor/ News Editor
Karon Parrish Sports/Features Editor
Brad Amoroso Entertainment Editor
DaQuita Hardeman Student Life Editor
Michael Arnold Layout Editor
Patricia Roberts Advisor
Photo by Lydia Meier
Harris Hall has seen many changes over the years. Most recently, the building underwent a nearly $4 million restoration project. It was officially re-opened on Sunday.
Holds Open House
By Will Whiting
The University of Arkansas–Monticello celebrated the restoration of a campus landmark on Sunday, April 25, 2004, with a reception and open house in Harris Hall.
Harris Hall, which is located in the center of the UAM campus, was constructed in 1933 and served as a men’s dormitory for many students until 1975. However, due to lack of funding, Harris Hall was abandoned in 1975. In 1980, Harris Hall’s first floor was re-opened and became home to a number of offices for many campus employees. Now, after several years of renovations, Harris Hall is home of the new UAM one-stop student services center, which includes the registrar, financial aid, admissions, cashier’s office, and several other student support programs.
The $3.85 million restoration project, which was completed in late summer 2003, was partially funded by two grants from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resource Center totaling $1.25 million.
The building, totaling 33,000 square feet, was originally part of a two-building construction project at UAM that included what has been come to be called its sister building, Horsfall Hall, now a women’s residence hall.
Harris Hall was named for longtime Arkansas A&M board member, C.T. Harris. During World War II, the building housed more than 200 Marines who were part of the Navy/Marine V-12 officer training program located at UAM.
The most recent renovation of the building included a state-of-the-art elevator which brings it to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
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Spatial Information to Graduate First Class
By Will Whiting
Five years ago, Bill Handly thought he wanted to be a doctor. After spending countless hours memorizing formulas and studying for biology tests, Handly decided medicine was not his cup of tea. Now a senior at the University of Arkansas-Monticello (UAM), Handly is set to graduate this May in the first-ever graduating class in the School of Forest Resources Spatial Information Systems (SIS) & Land Surveying program.
The UAM School of Forest Resources has been teaching basic surveying techniques for more than thirty years. However, in 1990, the school established itself as a leader in computer geo-technologies, and decided to build a Geographic Information System laboratory, now known as the Spatial Analysis Laboratory (SAL). The building of the lab was so successful that in 1991 the school received more than $100,000 in donations to purchase Geographic Information System (GIS) hardware and software.
In 1994, the school made another commitment to geo-technologies and created a new faculty position in GIS. Dr. Robert Weih came from NASA’s Stennis Space Center to fill the position. Since Weih took over the position, the GIS program has grown rapidly.
“We’ve seen an increase in the number of students enrolling in our program,” Weih said. “This is very exciting, and it speaks volumes about our success.”
Weih believes the development of a solid GIS program is very important to not only UAM, but also to the state of Arkansas overall.
“High school students who participated in the East Labs were being forced to further their education out of state, and we needed to keep the students in Arkansas,” Weih said. “Developing this program has done that, which in turn, has helped our state.”
The decision to develop the SIS program was very wise. Currently, the only GIS program in the state of Arkansas, it gives students the option to focus their studies in Land Surveying or Geographic Information Systems, which was Handly’s choice of study.
“Going from wanting to be a doctor to wanting to be involved in GIS was a big switch, but I’m glad I made it,” Handly said. “I’ve been exposed to things that are only available to students majoring in SIS at UAM.”
According to Weih, it is projected that there will be numerous opportunities available in the job market for the upcoming graduates.
“Our soon-to-be graduates are being offered jobs left and right,” Weih said. The placement of our graduates is going to be very good, which makes us feel great about what we are doing.”
The department is also very involved with numerous research projects. The results of their research are being forwarded to agencies around the United States.
According to Weih, students are currently tracking the number of elk in the state of Arkansas with GPS collars. The tracking devices collect signals from Global Positioning Systems (GPS) satellites that record the location coordinates of the elk. Then the University makes them coordinate on vegetation maps developed using aerial photography. The goal is to be able to study the habitat of elk in the Natural State.
However, with the research comes the need for equipment. The UAM program has state-of-the-art equipment available for students to use.
“We have everything from $80,000 thermal imaging cameras to computer systems totaling into the millions of dollars,” Weih said. “We have very expensive technology, but almost all of it has been purchased with grant money, saving the University’s funds.”
Handly believes the modern technology is what puts UAM students interested in this field a step above the rest.
“It’s great to know you are working with the best of the best equipment,” Handly said. “It really makes a difference in understanding what you are doing.”
Weih also believes the UAM facility is quite impressive.
“We have one of the best GIS labs in the nation,” Weih said. “Our technology is cutting-edge.”
In addition to completing coursework, the students in this major are also required to complete some hours of community service.
According to Weih, UAM hosts students from local schools to the campus to show them the tools used in various projects. In doing so, students are exposed to the technology needed to work within this particular field.
UAM students majoring in this field are being recognized internationally. According to Weih, at an annual convention held each year in California, UAM students always do well.
“We placed third out of approximately 900 entries from around the world in one division of the competition in 2002,” Weih said. “Also, fellowships are awarded to get students to the convention. UAM is the only school in the world to have received two fellowships for students to attend. There are only fifty awarded each year, and most schools, if they are lucky, get one. We have received two for several years in a row.”
In 2003, the program received permanent funding from the Arkansas State Legislature, insuring this program will be around for generations to come. With this permanent funding, UAM will now be able to promote the program on a statewide basis with hopes of increasing the participant numbers even more than it is now.
"It was great to get permanent funding,” Weih said. “It will allow us to expand our research and teaching capabilities, and hopefully we will grow. We hope to graduate around fifteen to eighteen students per year.”
With the first graduating class ready to receive their diplomas, Weih believes his hard work is about to pay off.
“Nothing excites me more to see these young students receive their degrees,” Weih said. “It makes all of the work we’ve done worth it.”
Handly seems to agree.
“I’ve put in many long hours in the labs, but it’s exciting to be a part of the first graduating class with degrees in this field,” Handly said. “And because I’m already being offered jobs, it makes the hard work I’ve done even more worth it.”
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The UAM Ambassadors raised nearly $2,000 to help fight cancer for the Drew County Relay for Life.
Photo by Matt Terry
Student Ambassadors Raise Most Money For Drew County Relay For Life
By Will Whiting
The UAM Student Ambassador Relay for Life team topped all other local teams raising money to help aid in searching for a cure for cancer at the annual Drew County Relay for Life held at Convoy-Leslie Cotton Boll Stadium on Friday, April 23, 2004.
The Ambassador team, led by Crystal Bean and Brooke Rodgers of the UAM Office of Admissions, raised more than $1,990.00, enough to beat the second place team, Union Bank who raised $1,839.00.
For several weeks, the UAM Ambassadors held numerous drives challenging clubs, organizations, offices and individuals at UAM to pledge a donation to help fund research to find a cure for cancer. According to Bean, their efforts paid off.
“I am extremely proud of the hard work and time the Ambassador’s gave for this event,” Bean said. “It speaks volumes about their character.”
In addition to the UAM Ambassadors receiving the honor of raising the most money, the Ambassador’s were also awarded the 2004 Relay for Life Most Spirited Team award, an award given as part of the Relay Idol festivities that took place. Relay Idol, a spin-off from American Idol, allowed all represented teams an opportunity to do more than just walk.
“Relay Idol was an excellent way to get everyone from young children to teens to adults involved,” Bean said. “Numerous contests were held, and it appeared that all who participated in the Relay Idol events really had a good time.”
Relay for Life is sponsored by the American Cancer Society. The event takes place across the nation at various times throughout the year. Total money raised by all 2004 teams in Drew County was upwards of $28,728.62. A portion of the money raised locally will stay in this area to fund cancer research.
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Charles Fleis, pictured, is leaving UAM to accept a position at Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, Virginia. He has been an asset in the development of foreign language studies at UAM.
Photo by Lydia Meier
Saying Goodbye to a Language Expert
By Cara Crossett
Charles Fleis, an instructor in the Foreign Language department, has made many major contributions here on campus. Fleis has not only helped the department to expand on extracurricular language activities but has been a major factor in educating the community in cultural and foreign language studies.
Fleis, along with Professor Isabel Bacon, has started the Seark F.L.A.R.E.S, or the Foreign Language Alliance Reaching Educator’s and Students. This is an association for foreign language teachers and students to get professional development skills, build resources, and make connections between schools. This organization has a workshop once a semester.
Every spring, Fleis organizes the High School Foreign Language Festival. This is where high school students participate in various foreign language competitions. Students who win the regional festival then go on to the state festival to compete against other students around Arkansas.
Fleis and Bacon have helped create the Foreign Language Club, which is open to any student who is interested in foreign language and culture. For the last six years, the foreign language club has sponsored the Foreign Food Feast and Film Festival. The club members bring foreign food dishes to share. The campus and community is invited to attend. After eating, a movie of a foreign theme is shown. This past fall, the movie “Frida” was shown. “Frida” is a film about a Mexican Artist, Frida Kahlo. In the spring, they viewed “Talk to Her,” a Spanish movie that won an Oscar in 2003.
Fleis has made many contributions to UAM through his work with the foreign language department and through his work in the community. Fleis is leaving UAM to teach at Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, VA. He will be teaching Spanish and French at the Assistant Professorship level.
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UAM Junior Walter Everett is already preparing for finals as he studies in the Fred J. Taylor Library and Technology Center.
Photo by Lydia Meier
Finals Are Next Week: A Few Tips For Studying
By Cara Crossett
It’s that dreaded time of year again, the time of year when the words “final exam” make you shiver with fear. The feeling in the pit of your stomach begins as you study for the one test that can either make or break your final grade, and yet all you can think about is summer break.
Many students have trouble taking finals because they do not know how to prepare for them. A few UAM professors have some suggestions on how to make it through finals and into summer break without pulling your hair out.
Dr. Paul Becker, a professor in the division of music, says, “The best advice I could give would be to start studying as soon as possible. Do not procrastinate. Also, I think “mini” sessions of study are more beneficial than cramming for an exam. Get organized; haphazard study leads to haphazard results. Get plenty of rest and eat right.”
Guy Nelson, an instructor of mathematics, says, “I think the most important thing to remember about studying for finals in college is that it must be done all semester long. Very rarely will it be possible to learn everything required for passing a final exam in a single week or two beforehand. In mathematics, I tell students to think of each test as a marker along the way to the Final Exam.”
Jeff Dombrowski, an instructor in the CIS department, has a simpler idea about studying for finals. He states, “Oddly enough, many students neglect to actually read the book used in the class. So, my suggestion is to read the book and work the examples or problems in the chapters if relevant to the course.”
Most professors have the same advice, don’t wait until the last minute to start studying and actually study the book.
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By Karon Parrish
The 1st Annual UAM School of Arts and Humanities Recognition Ceremony was recently held to honor graduating seniors and outstanding undergraduates.
Fifteen graduates for 2004 were recognized from the department: Richard Courson, Joe Farmer, Gelinda Hegler, Candrice Jones, Keke Robinson, Carolyn Sanders, Lindy Word, Sammi Jo Warren, Stacey Moore, Maggie Sullivan, Meghan Amoroso, Kelly Doggett, Margaret McTigrit, Betty Dintelman, and Brett Eckert.
Also, recognized were endowed scholarship recipients for the Fall 2004; Fred and Janice Taylor Scholarship in Debate/Forensics, Will Whiting; Charlotte Cruce Hornaday Scholarship, Charlotte Kieffner; Mary Claire Buffalo Scholarship, Lisa Burley, Charlotte Stephens, Casey Long, and Candace West; Benjamin and Jerri Whitten Hobson Scholarship, Candice Calvert; Thomas C. and Julian Hobson Scholarship, Heidi Long, and Kelly Stone; and the William and Verna Hobson Cahoon Scholarship, Jennifer Speer and Karon Parrish.