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VP of student services, applicants 29 and counting


Online Editor



News briefs THURSDAY

SAB Movie Night – SAB will be showing the movie “Moana” in the Doc Bryan Lecture Hall at 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. There will be free popcorn, food, snacks and prizes with the swipe of a Tech ID. The Golden Suns and Wonder Boys will be playing against Southern Nazarene at 5:30 and 8 p.m., respectively in Tucker Coliseum.


Golden Suns and Wonder Boys will be playing against Oklahoma Baptist at 1 and 3 p.m., respectively in Tucker Coliseum.


Super Bowl Party – Join SAB in rooting for your favorite team while eating snacks in Baz Tech from 4-10:30 p.m.


Gold Rush Bingo – Play bingo and win prizes at SAB’s annual Gold Rush Bingo in the Young Ballroom from 7-9 p.m.


Blood Drive – Donate blood in Young Ballroom from 8-5 p.m. Step Afrika – Come watch one of the top 10 African American dance companies in the U.S. at 8 p.m. in Doc Bryan Lecture Hall.

SGA hosts blood drive ELEXIS HARPER

Staff Writer

The Student Government Association at Arkansas Tech will be partnering with Arkansas Blood Institute to host a blood drive on February 7 and 8. The drive will start at 10 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. and will be held in Young Ballroom. The SGA Twitter account posted a photo of their flier, informing followers that all donors

would receive three service hours. Donors will also receive a free Blood Donor Challenge t-shirt. Donors are encouraged to share their experience on social media, using #BloodDonorChallenge to spread the word and awareness. Anyone interested in donating can sign up with an SGA member, or go to to schedule an appointment. Donors must show photo identification.


A search committee is in the process of reviewing the application materials of the 29 applicants who applied for the currently vacant position of vice president of student services. The last vice president in charge of student services, Susie Nicholson, was reassigned to the position of NCAA compliance officer and assistant affirmative action officer in August. Her title before her reassignment was vice president for student services and university relations, but the new vice president will not be directly in charge of university relations. Amy Pennington has served as the interim vice president for student services since Nicholson’s reassignment, while also maintaining her previous title of dean of students. Ultimately, the selected candidate will assume responsibility for, among other things, the departments of Campus Life, Diversity & Inclusion, International Programs, Public Safety, Residence Life, Student Wellness and Veterans Services. Sean Huss, associate professor of sociology, and Steve Mullins, director of

TRAVIS CLAYTON/MARCOMM At press time on Wednesday, two finalists for vice president of student affairs were announced. For updates, follow along at athletics, are jointly heading the search committee, which includes faculty, staff and student representatives. No applicants for the position were submitted by current Arkansas Tech faculty or staff, although Mullins said internal applicants were not discouraged. The committee is currently narrowing down the applicants to a smaller number of candidates who will be invited to the campus for further interviews. Mullins said he would love to have the applicant selected by the end of February, but at this time, there is no formal estimate of when

the new vice president will be hired. There were six applications from professionals working elsewhere in Arkansas. The following professionals from within the state submitted an application for the position: Brad Patterson, vice provost for student affairs and dean of students at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock; Lonnie Williams, associate vice chancellor for student affairs at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro; Lily Kersh, assistant administrator at Arkansas Career Training Institute;

Florence Johnson, assistant vice chancellor for university housing at the University of Arkansas - Fayetteville; Diana Johnson, executive director of high school relations at Northwest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville; Tom Pilgreen, former college director of the ITT Technical Institute campus in Little Rock, which was shutting down in September along with all of the other ITT Technical Institute campuses following financial sanctions from the federal Department of Education.

Sports complex construction underway


Staff Writer

Behind the baseball field, a section of orange parking spots have been taped off for the construction of a new multi-purpose sports complex building. “This will be a new facility to house the baseball team but will be an indoor practice field for baseball, softball, golf, tennis and football,” construction manager Galen Rounsaville said. “This will allow all of the teams to practice in times of bad or cold weather.” This new construction has been in planning and design for approximately two years and is scheduled to take 14 months. “This will allow for much better recruiting for baseball coach Dawson,” Rounsaville said. “It will help with all the teams to get in more practice days and will increase the athletic department to be more unified as a whole.” The athletic teams will still be having indoor practices in Stroupe until this building is ready. “I’m looking forward to having a new building and being able to use it, and it’s nice that it will be right by the

BRIANNA DAVIS/THE ARKA TECH The construction for the new Multi-Purpose Sports Complex is underway causing students with orange tags to find new places to park. baseball field,” Anthony Race, a wellness science major from Phoenix, said. “The athletic department will benefit because we will have a nicer facility and better equipment.” Once this building is finished, the existing building, Stroupe, will be demolished. “We will have the current building demolished, keeping building plaques

and verbiage,” Rounsaville said. “This will be used in some way to preserve the historic qualities and establish memories of that facility.” This new multi-purpose sports complex will be located on the existing orange parking lot behind the baseball field. Other options for orange parking close to M Street are in sections NN, Q and KK.

Master of Business Administration degree receives state approval SAM STRASNER


Individuals seeking a Master of Business Administration degree will have a new, entirely online and innovative choice from Arkansas Tech University beginning in August 2017. The Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved the Arkansas Tech MBA degree program proposal during its meeting on Friday, Jan. 27. According to the program proposal, the ATU Master of Business Administration degree consists of 10 three-hour courses that will be delivered online through the Russellville campus of Arkansas Tech. The proposal also states that the degree is “focused on executive decision

making and is information-analysis oriented in nature.” The Arkansas Tech MBA was developed in conjunction with surveys of ATU College of Business alumni and employers. Information from those surveys was used to identify specific needs in the marketplace that could be addressed by Tech’s new program. “Our research found that prospective MBA students are interested in a degree that will help them analyze business market situations using real-time or gathered business information, and that employers appreciate the efficiencies created by online learning,” said Dr. Robin E. Bowen, ATU president. “With that information in hand, the College of Business, in conjunction with the Office of Academic Affairs

and the Graduate College, developed an MBA program that will create new career opportunities for our students and a deeper, more prepared pool of leadership candidates for the business community in Arkansas and beyond.” The ATU College of Business is accredited by AACSB. In addition to its new MBA program, the college also offers Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degrees in accounting, business data analytics, economics and finance and management and marketing as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in business education.

Visit business to learn more about the ATU College of Business. Individuals interested in learning more about the ATU Master of Business Administration degree may contact Dr. Stephen Jones, associate dean, at (479) 968-0673 or

PAGE 2 | Opinion

It’s all about the journey Editorial: ed·i·to·ri·al

[ed-i-tawr-ee-uhl, -tohr-] noun: An article that represents the official viewpoint of a newspaper on a topic of public interest. It’s just a game. These words can inspire calm rational conversations or insight angry irrational conversation. There is no in between, especially when it comes to sporting events. This year, we, the staff of The Arka Tech, hope to change that: starting with the Super Bowl. The journey is what makes sports great, not the outcome. We begin by reminding everyone involved to enjoy the game and the time spent with those who enjoy the event as

much as you and to not forget that enjoyment once the game is over. The Super Bowl is “the National Football League championship game, played annually between the champions of the National and the American Football Conferences,” as defined by Google. This clashing of two teams for the ultimate title can get players, coaches and fans worked up. We understand this. You have been a part of the team from the beginning; working, sweating and putting much of your time into this


line, ranted about it on my podcast and even called the offices at AEG to speak to these evil promoters who had committed such terrible crimes against music. I’m glad I made that phone call because I was properly put in my place. I left a long rant on one booking agent’s voicemail, and it just happened to be the one that was in charge of booking “Rocklahoma.” He called me back, which still amazes me. After all, I was just an angry, complaining kid. I wasn’t an investor or a sponsor of any kind. He didn’t have to call me back. While on the phone with the agent, he explained to me that the old format of the festival simply wasn’t working anymore. The attendance had gone down, and the organizers were losing money. He also reminded me that they weren’t cutting out the older bands. In fact, that year featured bands such as ZZ Top and Cinderella, two of my favorites. I’m extremely passionate about music. It’s always been a big part of my life, and it’s one of the few things I’ve always been able to get enjoyment from. That being said, I’m old-fashioned in my tastes, and I haven’t always been the most open-minded person; although I’m proud to say I’ve put that behind me, for the most part. There are some great new rock bands out there, but most of the music just doesn’t work for me at all, and that’s okay. I’ve always been told by people that I have an old soul, and I guess that’s true, but I also have

team. Having experienced sports from different participation levels, we understand how competition gets under the skin, and you want the best for your team, your town and yourself. Whether you’re a playing in the game, on the sidelines or at home cheering on your team, each individual is important to the outcome of the game and what happens afterwards. “Denver police closed streets leading into downtown Denver and used pepper spray to disperse unruly crowds following the Denver Broncos win in Super Bowl 50,” said John Ingold, journalist for the Denver Post of the 2016 Super Bowl riot. Being excited about your team winning should invoke happiness and team comradery, not riots. Trashing a business, street or area does not show support for your team and the fact that you are happy they won. To many it shows a lack of support and respect for the team who just added a compliment to the town’s name. Riots are not a good

solution to victories or defeats of sporting events. “Before the crowds finally dispersed after midnight, 400 officers in riot gear used tear gas, helicopters and “nonlethal munitions” such as sting-ball grenades to scatter belligerent people, many of whom ducked onto side streets only to later regroup,” said Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown during the 2003 Super Bowl riot. So while we know it makes you angry, we want you to come up with a solution or battle plan to get your team to the Super Bowl the next year. We want you to go to your team’s games and support them, cheer for them even when they are losing. We do not need riots, police involvement, bloodshed or emergency room visits due to our team losing… or winning. We want you to remember the fun, the tears and the friends made along the way because the journey is what makes sports great; winning is just the icing on the cake.

Get off my lawn!­­— new rock and an old soul Entertainment Writer As we approach the summer concert season, music festivals around the country are announcing lineups. Many of these festivals are centered around rock music, with a focus on modern rock. One of these, “Rocklahoma,” has only had this format for the last few years. When “Rocklahoma” started in 2007, it became known as the premier 80s rock festival, with some even calling it “Hair Metal Woodstock.” Prominent 80s bands, such as Poison, Ratt and Twisted Sister performed in front of thousands of metalheads. The festival, held in Pryor, Oklahoma, kept the same format until 2010, when AEG Live took over. If you’ve gone to many events, there’s a good chance that you’ve been to an AEG event, with the company being one of the top entertainment presenters in the world. AEG is also in charge of booking other prominent rock festivals, such as “Rock On The Range” in Columbus, Ohio and “Carolina Rebellion” in Charlotte, North Carolina. These festivals feature a mix of newer and older rock bands, leaning more towards newer. When “Rocklahoma” began going in the same direction, it upset many fans, including myself, who felt as if the festival had been taken away from them. Looking back on it, I probably went way too far and made a fool of myself. I made negative posts on-



some of that “get off my lawn” attitude. In some ways, I’m a grumpy old man, and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean I can’t have fun with everybody else. Music is music. If it works for someone, it’s valid. When we argue over what kind of music is good and bad, we’re killing the entire point of

why music exists. It’s life. This year’s “Rocklahoma” features a good mix of new and old bands, such as Def Leppard, Soundgarden, Jackyl, Buckcherry and more. Sounds good to me! For more information, visit www.

Campus | PAGE 3


“It looks nice, but I don’t know where anything is.” Caitlen Topps Broadcast Journalism Little Rock

“It’s easy; it’s smooth.” Darryn Cain Computer Science Houston, Texas

“I don’t like it. I don’t think it’s very user friendly, and I can’t find stuff.”

SAB kicks off another semester of activities CLAUDIA YOUNG


With a new semester comes new events from the Student Activities Board. Tech’s Got Talent, movie nights, skating and a Super Bowl party are a few of the activities offered this spring. Glen Poole and Daniel Rivera, co-presidents of SAB, started planning this semester’s events months ago. Rivera said the main goal is to give the Tech community time that can be used to take their minds off work and school. “For every event we do, we want to make sure that it appeals not only to us, but our student body as well,” Poole said. “Without them we wouldn’t be putting on these amazing events.” SAB currently has four executive board members and four general board members. Rivera said he encourages students to get involved; it is a great way to gain connections, build leadership skills and have fun. “SAB has provided me plenty of leadership skills that I have been able to implement in the other executive boards I am a part of,” Rivera said. SAB meetings are Mondays at 3 p.m. in the student hub in front of Doc’s Place. Rivera said the best way to get connected with the organization is to follow their social media, come into the office or contact an executive board member. Students wanting to get involved with SAB can email driverabelzares@ and for more information.

TRAVIS CLAYTON/MARCOMM SAB has a new list of activities for students to participate in this spring.

SAB Events for Spring 2017: *On Track events

Feb. 28 *Musician Jesse MacLeod 12-1 p.m. Baz-Tech

Feb. 2 Movie: “Moana” 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Doc Bryan Lecture Hall

March 1 Tech’s Got Talent Auditions 6-9 p.m. Doc Bryan Lecture Hall

Feb. 5 *Super Bowl Party 5-10 p.m. Baz-Tech

March 2 “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Doc Bryan Lecture Hall

Feb. 6 *Gold Rush Bingo 7-9 p.m. Young Ballroom

Mar. 6 *Walk a Mile in Her Shoes 2-4 p.m. Hindsman Bell Tower

Feb. 8 *Step Afrika 8 p.m. Doc Bryan Lecture Hall

March 8 *Self Defense Class 6-8 p.m. Young Ballroom

Feb. 22 *Skate Night 7-9 p.m. Russellville Skate Station

Mar. 9 Tech’s Got Talent Auditions 6-9 p.m. Doc Bryan Lecture Hall

Jenna Jamison Graphic Design Benton

“I think it’s pretty good. I know a lot of people don’t like it, but it’s pretty simple.” Justin Castor Parks and Recreation Mena

“It could be easier to find stuff. It’s just different than the other one, and it takes some getting used to.” Samantha Baker Rehab Science St. Joe

“It’s not difficult; it’s pretty easy access.” Terrez Hampton Psychology Warren



PAGE 4 | News

Burnett appointed to Tech Board of Trustees SAM STRASNER


Gov. Asa Hutchinson has appointed Eric Burnett of Fort Smith to the Arkansas Tech University Board of Trustees. Burnett will serve a fiveyear term through Jan. 14, 2022. He will succeed John Ed Chambers III of Danville, who was chairman of the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees in 2016. Chambers served on the board from 1994-99 and from 2007-17. This will mark Burnett’s second term on the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees. He was a member of the board from January 2011-January 2016 and was chairman of the board in 2015.

Burnett is the head boys’ basketball coach at Fort Smith Northside High School. He was named to that position in April 2010 after spending the previous five seasons in the same role at Springdale Har-Ber High School. Burnett also has four years of experience as the head boys’ basketball coach at Fort Smith Southside High School. A 1994 graduate of Arkansas Tech, Burnett earned four letters as a member of the Wonder Boys basketball team. Burnett is Arkansas Tech’s all-time leader in 3-point field goals made (354). He also ranks among the Wonder Boys’ career leaders in scoring (6th, 1,981 points), rebounding (5th, 775), free throws made

(7th, 397), assists (8th, 343), steals (T-8th, 150) and field goals made (10th, 615). He was named an NAIA All-American in 1993 and he was a two-time All-Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference selection. The Wonder Boys won 83 games and the 1993 AIC title during Burnett’s career. Burnett and his wife, Michelle, have two daughters. Returning members of the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees for 2017 are Charles Blanchard of Russellville, Tom Kennedy of Little Rock, Fritz Kronberger of Russellville and Leigh Whiteside of Russellville. The board will elect officers for 2017 during its first meeting of the new year on Wednesday, Jan. 25.


Eric Burnett of Fort Smith was appointed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson to the Tech Board of Trustees

Trustees approve cybersecurity degree programs at ATU SAM STRASNER


Arkansas Tech University plans to offer Bachelor of Science and Associate of Applied Science degrees in cybersecurity following approval of program proposals by the ATU Board of Trustees on Wednesday. Dr. Mohamed Abdelrahman, vice president for academic affairs, wrote in a memorandum presented to trustees that the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Department of Computer and Information Science developed the programs “in response to the unprecedented rise in cyber threats nationwide.” Abdelrahman went on to write that the baccalaureate program will prepare students “to understand how a threat occurs, how to prevent a threat and how to recover from a threat,” while the associate program is “designed to prepare a student to support the cybersecurity professional in both prevention and recovery from a threat.” If approved by the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the programs would become active in August 2017. In another academic programming decision on Wednesday, the board approved a letter of notification stating the university’s intention to begin offering its Master of Science in Nursing degree 100 percent online beginning in August 2017. The measure applies to both the nursing

administration and emergency management concentrations within the degree. The ATU Board of Trustees also gave the following approvals during its meeting: *meal plan rates for 2017-18, including an average cost of $14.53 per day for the unlimited meal plan; *an amendment to the urban planning contract with Miller Boskus Lack and a transfer of $60,000 from the unexpended plant fund to cover the contract’s amended cost; *an adjustment to the function of the technology prioritization committee and a change of the group’s name to the technology prioritization and software review committee; *and a reduction in semester credit hours for the Certificate of Proficiency in industrial control systems from 16 semester hours to 15 to allow necessary academic changes and to provide flexibility to multiple post-secondary and secondary sites. In personnel-related matters, the board approved hiring the following full-time faculty members: *Dr. Peng Huang, associate professor of finance and economics, for the spring 2017 semester; Deidre Huey, workforce education faculty in occupational therapy assistant, for the spring 2017 semester; Stacy McKisick, visiting instructor of rehabilitation science, for the spring 2017 semester; Dr. Ekong Peters, assistant professor of emergency management, for

The Arka Tech


News stories printed in The Arka Tech must be accurate, fair and as unbiased as possible. Any mistakes in fact found in an issue of The Arka Tech will be corrected in the first possible issue. Opinions expressed in The Arka Tech are not necessarily the opinions of Arkansas Tech University or its students. Individual copies of The Arka Tech are free to members of the Tech community. Contact the adviser for pricing of multiple copies.

CONTACT US Office: Energy Center 138 General email: Ads email:

Editor-in-Chief: CLAUDIA YOUNG

Managing Editor/ Layout Editor: AMBER QUAID Online Editor: SAM HOISINGTON Copy Editor: AMBER APPLEBY Sports Editor: MATTHEW EMERY Assistant Layout Editor/ Editorial Cartoonist: EZEKIEL MASCUILLI Assistant Online Editor: ELEXIS HARPER Entertainment Writer: RYAN HARMON Staff Writers: BRIANNA DAVIS

@arkatechnews @arkatechnews @arkatechnews

Tech supports all students during Trump's new executive orders English Language Institute Statement The recent White House Executive Order that established a temporary travel ban of several countries has created anxiety and uncertainty. While we try to understand the full scope of the executive order, please understand that it does not affect you or your current studies here at Arkansas Tech. The English Language Institute believes that our students will transform the face of the world so it is a kinder place for all of us and our future generations. We will continue to support you, our students, in helping you with your goals and with making the planet a place without fear, without prejudice, and without hate. For those who are our students, and for those who are not our students, let us walk together, and let each of our hearts be the light in the darkness that will guide us to a better Earth. If you have any questions or concerns, please visit our offices. We are here for you! Brent Hogan Coordinator, English Language Institute --------Dear International Students, I realize that the recent White House Executive Orders related to immigration issues (the entry ban) have created confusion, uncertainty and fears among you. I share your concern, and empathize. While the IMSSO continues to monitor the situation, we have learned that the Executive Order relates to foreign nationals’ entry to the United States, but does not apply to your current status as international students on F or J visas. The entry ban does not direct the removal of F or J visa international students who are already in the US. I would like to ask you to stay calm and confident, and continue to focus on your studies. I also would like you to know that the IMSSO remains committed to ensuring the success of Tech’s international students, and to international education on our campus. As always, please come by to the IMSSO if you have questions or concerns. We will work with you and for you to look for solutions. I am glad that you are part of our Tech family, and that we work together to bring cultural diversity on our campus!


SportsWriter: RICCI LOGAN





the 2017-18 academic year; and Bethany Swindell, visiting instructor of emergency management, for the spring 2017 semester. Dr. Patricia Buford had the interim tag removed from her assignment as associate dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. She will also continue in her role as professor of electrical engineering. Trustees appointed Dr. Gina Kraft, assistant professor of health and physical education, as director of the Master of Science degree program in strength and conditioning studies. Linda Lloyd was hired in the role of assistant to the president. She will begin her duties on Feb. 20, 2017. The board accepted the resignations of the following employees: *Elizabeth Davis-Means, director of university testing and disability services, effective Dec. 16, 2016; and Kao Vang, target school liaison in the ATU Upward Bound Math and Science program, effective Jan. 6, 2017. Two members of Arkansas Tech faculty --- Dr. Theresa Herrick and Gary Morris --- notified trustees of their intention to retire at the end of the 2016-17 academic year. Herrick, professor of recreation and park administration, will retire effective May 31, 2017, after 32 years on the Tech faculty. Morris, a member of the faculty since 2002 in his roles as instructor of music and director of choirs, will retire effective May 13, 2017.

Yasushi Onodera Director International and Multicultural Student Services THE OFFICIAL STUDENT NEWSPAPER SINCE 1923 THE OFFICIAL STUDENT NEWSPAPER SINCE 1923


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Features | PAGE 5


All the glitter and gold BAYLEE LINKER

Contributing Writer

Most people can’t say they have had the opportunity to fish on the professional level, Fishing League Worldwide Tour, of fishing while still in high school, but I did. Growing up in Russellville, Arkansas I have had the great opportunity to be raised on Lake Dardanelle. When I was little, I followed my step dad’s footsteps in becoming a great bass fisherman like him. We would go fishing almost every day when school was over and stay till dark. It became a routine that I still follow to this day: eat, sleep and go fish. My favorite type of fishing is bass fishing and I love catching big bass on artificial lures such as a Carolina rig. When using a Carolina rig to fish, it’s a very slow process. Casting out a long piece of fishing line, letting the weight thump the bottom and dragging that sparkly bug on the bottom is definitely what I look forward to catching my fish on. My tournament fishing experience started during my freshmen year in high school, and that’s when I fell in love. Being the competitive person I am, I put everyday forward from then on out to getting better at fishing ‘The Bass Federation’ hosted the ‘High School Fishing World Finals’ - I just had to fish it. From the summer of my freshmen year to the summer of my senior year, I definitely became more familiar with the sport. It was a huge change in standings throughout the years I fished. When I was a freshman, I didn’t even make top ten in standings; it was so devastating. I didn’t want to go back to school the next year. My junior and senior year you can bet that’s all I put my mind to, finishing in the top ten.. I competed in the Arkansas Youth State Championship on Lake Darda-

nelle. I was the Runner-Up State Champion by less than a pound in 2011 (junior year), where as in 2012, I fell short again and finished with a ranking of third in the state of Arkansas in the high school division. It was definitely a huge let down, but hey, that’s just fishing. I just wanted to keep excelling in the sport I loved, and that’s when I thought about life after high school. The ATU Fishing team held a seminar at my high school one afternoon my senior year and I couldn’t believe I was hearing that college fishing existed. It was great to find out that the college right down the road had just what I wanted: a fishing team! So, it was as easy as that, Arkansas Tech University was where I would attend. I am a senior at Arkansas Tech University, graduating in May 2017 with a degree in journalism-public relations and a minor in speech communications. College fishing was a great opportunity in getting involved with others who have the itching urge to go fishing everyday like I do. This is my fourth year fishing for Arkansas Tech, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Our team is more like a family and that’s my favorite part. Whether team mates have good fishing days or bad, we always have a good time. Going to college was a great way for me to start competing in the fishing industry on a different level. I have fished several major college tournaments, Fishing League Worldwide: Bass Fishing League, and competed as a co-angler on the FLW Tour. I would describe myself as a female who has a love for the outdoors that is indescribable. I hope to one day share the love I have for the outdoors with the outdoor industry and people around the world.

BAYLEE LINKER/THE ARKA TECH ABOVE: Outside of the ATU Fishing team, Baylee fishes for fun. RIGHT: Baylee finished second in a tournament at Nimrod Lake.

Baylee kisses the biggest bass of the day.

Arkansas Tech University selects three to join Hall of Distinction SAM STRASNER


Three individuals have been selected to receive the highest honor Arkansas Tech University may bestow upon an individual in 2017. Hal Cooper of Russellville, Kevin Hern of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and George T. Hudgens of Silver Spring, Maryland, will be inducted into the ATU Hall of Distinction during spring commencement ceremonies at John E. Tucker Coliseum in Russellville on Saturday, May 13. Hern and Hudgens will enter under the Distinguished Alumnus category. Cooper will be inducted under the Distinguished Service category. “For more than a half-century, selection to the Hall of Distinction has symbolized the pinnacle of achievement as a member of the Arkansas Tech University community,” said Mike Hutchison, vice president for advancement at ATU. “These three individuals have distinguished themselves in their respective fields and brought honor to our university. We look forward to the opportunity to recognize them during spring commencement weekend.”

Cooper was director of bands at Arkansas Tech from 1979-2011. He is one of five individuals to hold that title during the more than century-long tradition of instrumental music at Tech. Cooper was named Arkansas Bandmaster of the Year in 1988, and he achieved membership in the American Bandmaster Association in 1992. Hern, a 1986 graduate of Arkansas Tech, is a private investor and managing partner at Firstrike Management Group. He has been involved in the McDonald’s franchise system for 30 years. Hern has the franchise for 10 McDonald’s restaurants in the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area that employ more than 400 individuals. Hudgens, who became the first African American graduate in Arkansas Tech history in 1963, went on to a distinguished 29-year military career that included serving as a commander in Vietnam and leading counterterrorism efforts as inspections branch chief in the U.S. Army Office of the Inspector General at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. He retired at the rank of Colonel following a career that included serving as Chief of Staff of the Armed

Forces Inaugural Committee for former president George W. Bush and as Deputy Director of the Inaugural Committee for former president William Jefferson Clinton. Established in 1964, the Arkansas Tech Hall of Distinction recognizes the accomplishments of Arkansas Tech alumni and friends in five categories: Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna, Distinguished Alumni Service, Outstanding Young Alumnus/ Alumna, Distinction in Intercollegiate Athletics and Distinguished Service (non-alumnus). Nominations for the Arkansas Tech Hall of Distinction may be made by any graduate of Arkansas Tech, any current or former member of the faculty or administration of Tech, any currently enrolled full-time student at Tech or any member of the Hall of Distinction. Nominations may not be made by a family member of the nominee. The nomination deadline is Oct. 1 of each year. No incumbent member of the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees, faculty, staff or administration is eligible for nomination for any category of the Hall of Distinction. For more informa-


Entries are now being accepted for the


2017 MISS TECH SCHOLARSHIP PAGEANT An official preliminary to the Miss America Pageant

February 17, 2017 Miss Tech 2017 will recieve: Two semesters tuition scholarship to Arkansas Tech and more than $2000 in guft certificates from area businesses.

HUDGENS tion about nominating an individual for the Arkansas Tech Hall of Distinction, visit www., call (479) 968-0242 or send e-mail to alumni@atu. edu.

Entry forms available at For more information: Dr. Jim Collins (home) 970-1066 (work) 968-0632 Proudly sponsored by the ladies of Delta Zeta Contestant Deadline: February 6


PAGE 6 | Entertainment

Travis Tritt unplugs for new live album RYAN HARMON

Entertainment Writer

When country music legend Travis Tritt was approached to perform solo acoustic concerts once, he said, “Nobody in their right mind will pay good money to hear me sing and play guitar for two hours.” Not only have people paid to see him play these concerts, but now they’re paying for an entire album of it. “A Man And His Guitar - Live From The Franklin Theatre” perfectly captures Tritt in this setting. The album and DVD were recorded over two nights at The Franklin Theatre in Franklin, Tennessee in 2014. The album features Tritt’s biggest hits, along with deep album cuts, such as the opening track, “It’s All About The Money,” from his 2004 album “My Honky Tonk History.” His instantly-recognizable vocal style has a power in this raw setting that you don’t get from studio albums. While this isn’t Tritt’s first live release, it’s my favorite. One flaw that I find with so many live albums is the fact that the banter and stories in-between songs always gets removed. To me, that’s the best part of going to a concert. If you only wanted to hear the songs, you could stay home and listen to the albums. I love hearing the stories behind the songs, and this album delivers on that. I’m especially pleased to see these stories included when Tritt brings out his friends, James Otto and Marty Stuart, during the show.


Assistant Online Editor


Otto joins Tritt on fan favorite “Lord Have Mercy On The Working Man;” while Stuart is brought out for the iconic duet “The Whiskey Ain’t Working Anymore.” Stuart and Tritt may not perform together often, but when they do, it’s as if no time has passed. Their pairing has arguably been one of the best in music history. The two also use this opportunity to play a new instrumental, “Pickin’ At It,” which Tritt has recorded for a new album, produced

by Stuart. For anyone who’s ever wondered if Tritt could really play, this song proves that he certainly can. Tritt also features some of his favorite covers on the album, such as Hank Williams Jr.’s “The Pressure Is On,” and a medley paying tribute to his friend and hero, Waylon Jennings. Travis Tritt is now an independent artist, which is one of the main reasons he’s able to release an album like this. This album defies the formulas, rules and regula-

tions of the modern music industry. It’s all about the music and an artist’s pure talent. Acoustic albums are nothing new, but good acoustic albums are few and far between. This is one. “A Man And His Guitar - Live From The Franklin Theatre” is available now through major digital retailers; physical CD’s and DVD’s can be purchased only through Tritt’s website and at live performances. For more information, visit

Lights off won't let you sleep


Staff Writer

For whatever reason, I am always searching for movies that make me afraid to go to sleep at night. “Lights Out,” directed by David F. Sandberg, certainly met that criteria, if nothing else. Now, for the next few weeks, I’m going to be the college kid who sleeps with a nightlight. “Lights Out” introduces us to 20-something-yearold Rebecca, who keeps everyone at a distance due to a complicated family history. That is, until she receives a phone call, notifying her that Martin, her half brother, has been behaving differently at school. Rebecca then discovers her mother’s mental illness seems to be resurfacing. Martin is sleepless and scared because his mother has begun locking herself in her room and talking to the shadows in her closet. Realizing her brother is not safe at home, Rebecca takes him away from their mother and lets him stay at her place. As it turns out, the sinister shadows plaguing their mother are not just in her head. There is a monster who can only be seen when the lights are out, leaving the characters to decide which scenario is more

Hitting sore spots pointedly

frightening: not knowing where the figure is or being submerged in darkness? This film is riddled with chilling images and sounds. I will never unsee the dark figure hunching in the hallways. It is not until late in the movie that we are privy to the monster’s distinct features, but we don’t need to be. The contorted silhouette and elongated fingers are the things of nightmares. However, this film relies entirely on the same startling image over and over again, rather than finding fresh ways to freak out the audience. As the movie progressed, I became desensitized to the creepiness. Admittedly, the plot has been done before, and it has been done better. Supernatural spooks, estranged families, mental institutions...I’ve seen it all before. Also, to be completely frank, not a whole lot really occurs in this movie. It consists largely of the sibling duo standing around, trying not to be attacked. What redeems this lack of originality, in my opinion, is Rebecca’s character arc. I am definitely the type of movie-goer who values characterization over plot, and I enjoyed watching Rebecca’s emotional development—all of which builds to a resolution that I didn’t



see coming, a painful one at that. I would not rank “Lights Out” among my favorite horror movies, but I wouldn’t mind watching it again. This film is director

Sandberg’s debut work, and I look forward to the sequel. I expect to see the same suspense and disturbing images, but hope he will be able to keep me more on my toes with a less familiar plot.

In honor of Black History Month, I will be reviewing books written by African American authors for the entire month of February. “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston is the first book in this four book series. Zora Neale Hurston is a woman who has been heralded as “one of the pre-eminent writers of twentieth-century African-American literature,” according to The other books will be: “Dreams from My Father” by Barrack Obama, “Beloved” by Toni Morrison and “All Our Names” by Dinaw Mengestu. I’m extremely excited to start on this journey and I sincerely hope you will join me on this adventure. I have heard many, many wonderful things about “Their Eyes Were Watching God.” I happened to see it in a bookstore, and I figured there was no time like the present to read it! The first thing you should know is that the novel was written in 1937. This was a time when the belief that “anyone different is lesser than normal people (straight white males) ” was very prevalent, and some of the moments can be hard to read. Be aware that the language is harsh and the people can be harsher in this novel. The second thing you should be aware of when reading this novel is that all the dialogue is written in a heavy southern dialect. I am born and raised in Arkansas and pretty fluent in southern, but I had to read some of the dialogue out loud to make sure I understood what was being said. However, for me, the dialect does not take away from the story. The story follows the life of Janie Crawford from the age of 17 until she is well above the age of 40. Janie’s story takes place in Florida, and the reader goes through each of Janie’s marriages and the various trials and tribulations that go with them. At its very core, “Their Eyes Were Watching God” is a love story. This novel can be difficult to read. The language is tough, some of the incidents are sad and some of the characters are not exactly likable. I was not entirely invested in Janie as the protagonist. She is defined by each of her husbands, but I will say that Janie never gives up in her quest for love, which is definitely a redeeming quality. I wish I could say that I was completely in love with this novel, but I just could not get invested in the story. I am by no means saying that this story is not wonderful, but it isn’t a story that I would want to reread. If you’re doing some sort of literary analysis or something of that nature, “Their Eyes Were Watching God” would be the perfect choice; there are several different angles you would be able to examine with this dense novel. However, if you’re just looking for an easy, Sunday morning read, I wouldn’t recommend reading this novel.

Sports | PAGE 7

Golden Suns split Oklahoma road trip RICCI LOGAN

Sports Writer

The Golden Suns defeated Northwestern Oklahoma last week with a final score of 7757. Danielle Frachiseur, from Wickes, had a big game scoring 21 points, grabbing eight rebounds and blocking four shots. Cali White, from Fort Smith, provided in the win with 14 points of her own. Tech opened the game on a 15-3 run over the Northwestern Oklahoma through the first four minutes. The Golden Suns continued to control the game jumping out to a 14-point lead making the score 24-10 in the first half. Northwestern Oklahoma fought their way backing the game pulling within six points in the second quarter, but the Suns would take 44-28 lead going into halftime. Coming out at halftime, Tech continued their hot shooting. The Golden Suns went up by 20 points, 50-30, at the 8:24 mark in the third quarter. This hot streak continued the rest of the game. Going into the fourth quarter the Golden Suns lead, 65-44. Tech took its largest lead at 5:38 taking a 31-point lead, 77-46 with 5:38 left. Northwestern Oklahoma were unable to overcome the deficit, eventually losing. RICCI LOGAN/THE ARKA TECH The Golden Suns were back in action this Cheyenne North, from Gallatin, Tennessee, drives to the basket on fast break in last week's game against Henderson. past week falling to Southwestern Oklahoma, 90-78. Frachiseur had another big game, scor- game out due to an injury she suffered previous- 11 on second-chance buckets. The Golden Suns ing 21 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Chey- ly during the Northwestern Oklahoma game. will be back action at home on Thursday, hostenne North, from Gallatin, Tennessee, sat the Tech was outscored 40-36 in the paint and 17- ing Southern Nazarene in a 5:30 p.m. contest.

Tempers flare in win against Northwestern Oklahoma RICCI LOGAN

Sports Writer

Justin Graham, from San Antonio, Texas, led the Wonder Boys with 24 points in a victory against Northwestern Oklahoma last week. Montrell Williams, from Rocky Mount, North Carolina, followed with 19 points. Trevon Woods, from Sugarland, Texas, also pitched in with 17 points. The first-half was a close contest as both teams traded the lead 11 times. NWOSU took a 12-9 lead in the opening minutes, and they extended the lead to 19-12 with 12:37 remaining in the first half. The Wonder Boys would get it going from behind the arc to come back and take the lead briefly, 36-31, with 5:24 left

RICCI LOGAN/THE ARKA TECH Justin Graham from San Antonio, Texas drives through the lane in the second half. in the first half. After falling back behind, Freddy Lee, from Clarksville, made a free throw with 34 seconds left before halftime to tie

the game, 47-47. Coming out at halftime, the Wonder Boys scored the first 12 points of the second half to take a 13-point lead.

Williams hit a big jumper with 9:23 remaining to give Tech a 17-point lead, 78-61, which was Tech’s largest lead of the game.

NWOSU fought back with 10 straight points to cut the deficit to seven, 7871, with 7:26 to play. With only 3:02 remaining, a hard foul by Adrian Motley on Bennie Lufile, from Milton, Ontario, resulted in a scuffle. Lufile would hit the showers early as he was ejected by the official. The Wonder Boys picked up another win last weekend on the road against Southwestern Oklahoma coming back from a 19-point deficit to win 98-87. Alex Brown, from Vernon, Florida, had a double-double, scoring 15-points and grabbing 12 rebounds. The Wonder Boys will be back at Tucker Coliseum on Thursday against Southern Nazarene at 7:30 p.m.

Golden Suns ranked 11th in nation, open season Friday


Sports Writer

After a historic 2016 campaign that saw program highs in both record, 49-11, and national ranking, fourth, the Golden Suns will begin the 2017 season ranked No. 11 in the nation by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Poll. Inside the Great American Conference, the Golden Suns were voted to finish second by the Preseason Coaches’ Poll, following only Southern Arkansas, who won the GAC championship last season. The young Golden Suns team will mostly stay the same as last year, but will feature six fresh faces on the field this season, as the team added five freshmen and a junior transfer. Jalissa Gum, from Red Rock, Oklahoma, returns to the Golden Suns this season after having a breakout season in 2016, leading the NCAA, all divisions, in ERA with 0.60. Gum

received honors for her prosperous season, being named the 2016 GAC Female Athlete of the Year, Pitcher of the Year, All-Region and All-American. Gum is not the only recognized Golden Sun who will be returning. Morgan Vaughan, from Bella Vista, and Sarah Coronado, from Frisco, Texas, return after making All-GAC Second Team honors. Vaughan helped surge the Golden Suns pitching staff to one of the best in the nation, posting a 15-1 record, winning 14 decisions before her first loss, with an ERA of 2.11. Coronado is looking to avoid a sophomore slump, after posting a .315 batting average and leading the team with 16 steals in her freshman season. The Golden Suns will open the 2017 season Friday at the Southeastern Oklahoma Regional Tournament. The Golden Suns will face Central Missouri and Emporia State to open the tournament.

RICCI LOGAN/THE ARKA TECH Danielle Frachiseur, forward for the Golden Suns, tries to pass the ball.

The Wonder Boys open season Friday against St. Mary's MATTHEW EMERY Boys showed last seaSports Writer son that everything can change once the playAfter a disappointing offs begin, as they played 24-31 record, and 12-21 their best baseball during conference record, the the GAC tournament. Wonder Boys have been The Wonder Boys played picked to finish seventh the role of Cinderella and in the Great American upset the No. 1 seed, Conference Preseason Southwestern Oklahoma, Coaches’ Poll this sea- in two straight games. son. Following the round However, the Wonder one matchup, the Won-

der Boys would not stop with the upsets, knocking off No. 4 seeded Henderson State. The Wonder Boys’ run ended soon after, dropping games to No. 2 seed Arkansas-Monticello and Henderson State. The Wonder Boys will field an experienced team featuring 12 seniors and 12 juniors.

Trent Armstrong, from Waxahachie, Texas, will lead the pitching staff, as he tallied the second most innings pitched on the team last season with 89.2. Lane Norwood, from Colleyville, Texas, who led the team in earned run average last season, 3.71, will also be returning.

When it comes to the other side of the plate, Marcus Wilson, from Bryant, will return to the Wonder Boys. Wilson led the team in on-base percentage last season, .441, and finished fourth on the team in batting average with .304. Slugger Mark Vaughn, from Salina, Kansas, will be returning to the Won-

der Boys in hopes to supply even more power to the lineup. Vaughn finished 2016 with a .306 batting average and a slugging percentage of .441. The Wonder Boys season opener is Friday in San Antonio, Texas, where they will take on St. Mary’s in a threegame series.


PAGE 8 | Community

Chinese New Year

Tingchen Ze, game design major from Guangzhou, China, leads as the head of the dragon during the traditional Chinese New Year Dragon Dance.

Photos by Amber Quaid

ABOVE LEFT: Bay Cai, phsycology major from Shanghi, China, turns people's names into their proper Chinese characters at the calligraphy table. ABOVE MIDDLE: Carolina Hernandez, graphic design major from Hamburg, (bottom left), Karla Penate, elementary education major from Texarkana, (middle) and Hannah Morrison, management/marketing major from Harrison (top right) pose with new year props to take advantage of the photo booth area. RIGHT: Xintong Ren, computer science and math major from Nanjing, China, shows off a traditional Chinese garment worn during the Chinese New Year. LEFT: Chinese characters hand drawn for guest to take as sounviers of the Chinese New Year.

Over 100 people attended the Chinese New Year event enjoying free food, paper lantern decorating and many other stations demonstrating cultural Chinese traditions.

ABOVE: Red envelope gifts are a tradition to give with a gift inside for the new year. In these red enevelope gifts, students recieved replica Chinese coins. RIGHT: Calligraphy brushes set waiting to be used to write Chinese characters.


Devon Hester, rehab science major from Bryant, glues pom poms onto her sky lanterns. Some of the students, once the sky lantern was decorated, stepped outside to release their lanterns as is custom in China to mark the last day of the Chinese New Year. Most sky lanterns are red and symbolize good fortune for the next year.

Vol 93 Issue 12  
Vol 93 Issue 12  

Second edition, not very proud of this one but it got out on time.