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Bike to the Future Sisters Unite Provost, second year

Monday, September 21, 2015

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Cover photo by Prof. Don Piper See article page 3.

PBA News

SGA to transform student living By Loganne Vincent Staff Writer

Fall 2015 DUANE MEEKS Dean of School of Communication and Media MICHAEL RAY SMITH Adviser SIERRA DARVILLE Executive Editor CELESTE BROWN News Editor DAVID WILLIAMS Features Editor JEREMIAH SATER Acting Web Editor/Sports Editor SELBY STEBBINS Photo Editor CELESTE BROWN Graphic Design Editor KATIE FORSYTHE Broadcast Content Editor AMANDA HIGGINS Advertising Director Weekly Staff: Peter Amirata Taylor Branham Aaron Broghamer April Evans Jordan Flug Kayla Harris Nicole Jimenez Kelsey Kash Curtis McParland Danielle Mendocha Katlyn Menjivar Amber Miller Benjarong Murray Normarie Naim Avery Korn Valeriia Nagovitcina Keisha Oakley Tracy Peyton Hayley Spitler Selby Stebbins Jackie Streng Loganne Vincent

Palm Beach Atlantic University’s new House Representatives look forward to improving the living conditions for students. The purpose of dorm representatives is to take student concerns and present them to the Student Government Executive cabinet. Forty-six students applied to house representative positions, and it was narrowed down to 23. Two to three students were selected to represent each residence hall. Sophomore film major Austin Parenti has stepped into the role of dorm room representative for Coastal Towers. “This year they’ve really upped their game. We have more student representatives than we have [had] in years past,” Parenti said. “I think the cabinet this year understands that in order to make great improvements to campus, we’ll need to rely on other people to help carry it out. I’m really looking forward to being a part of that and making history here at PBA.” Student Government is attempting to find new ways to give more voice to students. Student body president and history major Evan Berlanti said, “The idea developed more when Laura Humphrey and I decided that students would be better served by being represented by someone who was doing life alongside them.” This option has opened doors

for 23 students to improve their leadership skills and improve the conditions of campus. Evan Berlanti says, “The Student Government constitution requires that there is a House of Representatives for the campus so there always has to be representation for the students across campus”. Topics such as curfew, visitation and a Homecoming event are being discussed by Student Government and House Representatives. “Our next step is to form what we call task forces or committees amongst the representatives,” said Vice President and musical theatre major Laura Humphrey. “They will each work on a

project involving PBA and all the students. Some of the task forces consists of looking into recycling options, being a part of the Parking Citation Review committee, looking into the visitation policy at PBA, looking into a mentoring program for PBA and discussing ways to say thanks to Aramark, National, faculty and staff.” More than 15 task forces run on campus. The goal is to have each representative represent one new force. Junior communication major Megan Freeman has already experienced working with a House Representative. “I think the house [representatives] are great. I have already

have gotten the chance to work with one of them, James Davisson, in planning the Student Government 9/11 chapel that happened on Friday,” Freeman said. “It was so comforting to know that I had a reliable person in the chapel who was representing the mission of the Student Government.” Students can expect a new voice to express their concerns and complaints. “They [the representatives] are everywhere we cannot be, doing things we cannot do, and allowing SGA as a unit to better serve the students and unify the university,” Freeman said.

Student representatives listen to dean of students Kevin Abel speak during a meeting. The representatives for the students are expected to play a bigger part in Student Government than in the past.

Photo by Selby Stebbins

Four professors among many new faces

By Selby Stebbins, Nicole Jimenez, and Amber Miller Staff Writers

Mission Statement The Beacon is an award-winning student publication of Palm Beach Atlantic University, West Palm Beach, Fla. Its mission is to highlight the campus while providing coverage of the community. The students participate in a journalism laboratory and write articles for class. While news of PBA remains a stable of the publication, coverage will include the surrounding community issues such as politics and law enforcement, business, arts and entertainment, religion and more. To supplement the monthly publication, the staff edits an online site called and includes content not found in the print edition. In 2015 Evangelical Press Association awarded Readmybeacon. com a second-place award in national competition.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Photo by Celeste Brown

Professor Andrew Ray is from North Reading, Mass., just outside of Boston. Having a passion for writing and classical rhetoric, he studied at Salem State University and graduated with a Bachelor’s in communications and received his second graduate’s degree in fine arts. Moving from Massachusetts to Florida with his wife and two daughters was not a difficult decision for him to make. “PBA was so welcoming and supportive, that I knew this was the right decision,” he said. “Everything has been a delight. Colleagues are becoming friends, and I really love teaching here.”

Dr. Chandrima Bhattacharya, Professor of Psychology

Dr. Bhattacharya received her undergraduate degree while living in India and received her Master’s in the United States. She furthered her education and earned her doctorate from the University of Toledo, Ohio in Cognitive Psychology. Dr. Bhattacharya moved to the states from India seven years ago and teaches cognitive psychology, statistics and personalities. She first started with clinical psychology and made the change to cognitive psychology. As a child, she was shy, introverted but tried not to be like everyone else. She later met a psychologist who told her that she does not need to be like everyone else, and can be comfortable with herself, which sparked her interest in psychology.

Photo by Selby Stebbins

Photo by Selby Stebbins

Dr. Mirela Helberi, Professor of French Dr. Helberi is the new associate professor of French. Helberi is from Romania and has taught all over Europe. She earned her undergraduate degree in English Studies while in France and received her Master’s in French in Romania. Helberi has two doctorates: one in Compared Literature and the other in French Literature. She moved to the U.S. in 2007. According to Helberi, it has been quite the culture shock moving to West Palm Beach, but she is excited to be by the ocean. She loved the school’s values; she finds it refreshing that everyone is nice and helpful, which puts her at ease. Helberi hopes to diversify the French courses, make the French department larger and start an exchange program with the Catholic University of Paris.

Maureen Walsh, Professor of Nursing Maureen Walsh received her undergraduate degree in science from Seton Hall University and her Master’s in education from Rutgers University as well as her doctorate in education. Walsh worked at a clinical and psychiatric behavioral health center in NJ for five years. Walsh has taught at other universities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and is no stranger to the classroom. She has 10 children, eight sons and two daughters. Walsh has been married for 49 years and is very sportsoriented. Two of her sons are iron men and her daughters are marathon runners. She enjoys working out and reading. She loves the nursing field and see the job as a blessings. Walsh is dedicated in all she does and wants students to find their passion. Her goal for the year is to work with students and help them develop their nursing skills, and to her there for her students spiritually.

Photo by Selby Stebbins

Monday, September 21, 2015

PBA News

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City debuts Skybikes

A new way to fly through City of West Palm Beach By April Evans Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of April Evans

Sky Bikes sit locked and ready for use at the station on Dixie Highway and Fern Street. Each station can hold up to 12 bikes. Customers can pick up their bike at one station and drop it off at another location in downtown West Palm Beach.

Sky Bike is a rental bike share program in downtown West Palm Beach that creates mobile convenience for the community. Sky Bike is a project between P3 Global Management (P3GM), a Smart City Infrastructure Firm that owns Sky Bike, and the City of West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority (DDA). “Bike share programs provide a solution for mobility, a healthy active lifestyle, and reduce traffic,” said P3 Global Management project development manager Steven Aitkenhead. “It’s convenient for a community as a whole.” The bike share program officially launched June 2015 and now runs 12 bike stations in downtown West Palm Beach. By the end of September, it will be a 15-station, 150-bike share program. According to Aitkenhead, P3GM desires to do an infrastructure program with West Palm Beach. The DDA petitioned for a bike share program to be in West Palm Beach. The company hopes to expand within six months. A station will arrive next to Palm Beach Atlantic University’s campus. Aitkenhead said the program is helpful for people that are visiting, especially people travelling via Tri-Rail. They can conveniently get a bike out of the station at the intersection of Clematis and Tamarind. “This allows people to commute within the same city or square miles more effectively and more conveniently,”Aitkenhead said .

West Palm Beach resident Grace Dias likes the idea of a bike rental program. “For those who need temporary transport I think it is a great thing to have,” Dias said. Other cities have bike share programs, but Sky Bike is exclusive to West Palm Beach. The program requires a registration in the system and a credit card for payment before use. Users may select anywhere from a 30-minute ride to a 24-hour ride and the prices vary. If users exceed the purchased rental time, their card will be automatically charged for every 30 minutes over the time purchased. According to Aitkenhead, the bikes are Smart Bikes and are equipped with computer boards. The computer boards allow for the bikes to have Smart Locks. Smart Locks allow users to park a bike at a bike rack without having to return the bike to the station. The locking system provides the user with a pin only they will know, which allows them to lock and unlock the bike. “You can relax knowing that no one is going to steal it,” Aitkenhead said. Aitkenhead said both tourists and locals have been utilizing the bikes. “Anywhere from the millennials to users around the age of 50 are using it,” Aitkenhead said. Sky Bike offers standard and deluxe memberships. The standard membership includes a free 30 minute ride every time you remove a bike from a station. The deluxe membership includes one free hour per use. Sky Bike plans to announce a

student discount for PBA students in the near future. For updated information on this discount visit

Daily Rental Options: • 30-minute access pass: $4.00 • 1-hour access pass: $6.00 • 2-hour access pass: $10.00 • 4-hour access pass: $16.00 • 1 day access pass: $24.00 • Standard subscription: $15.00/month • Deluxe subscription: $20.00/month • Student discount: to be announced

PBA professor shares his summer European travels

By Taylor Branham Staff Writer

With every new semester that passes at Palm Beach Atlantic, students will have a new assignment or project that needs to be completed. Even after completing school, professors of PBA are still able to embark on learning experiences of their own, with new surroundings and opportunities. Associate professor and director of production technology, Don Piper is just one person who works on projects through in the field of video production. This past summer Piper traveled to Normandy and Paris to gather footage for the next production of a weekly 30 minute televised show called “The Joy of Music.” Now in his 24th year working as the director and editor of the show, Piper has traveled to various locations around Europe shooting footage of numerous cathedrals and churches featuring organ music.

“Learning is more of a lifestyle than a four year commitment,” said sophomore nursing major Stephanie Manda. Manda goes on to talk about growing in her field and the opportunities that come her way when she said, “With nursing, I need a four year degree but I can also specialize in certain things. You’re always learning new things, gaining more knowledge and sharing new experiences.” After spending a week and a half traveling alongside the Seine River from Paris to Caudebec en Caux, Piper worked at five different locations serving as director, camera operator, videographer and sound editor. Piper shared the process of setup and tear-down in the series of production. “The French cathedrals are noted for very narrow, winding staircases up to the organ lofts and there was one we had to go up through a particularly narrow passage that I didn’t even think I’d get through with the equipment to get to the loft,” Piper said. “There’s almost no room for anybody but the organist in some of these lofts so it’s interesting setting up cameras and lights, and getting the angles that you need to shoot.”

Piper shot footage of the local scenery and surrounding areas to add aesthetic value to the production. Creating these visual touches made the production into what he refers to as a “music travel log.” After directing and editing over 400 shows for the “Joy of Music,” Piper said he has grown to appreciate organ music and the instrument itself, although going into it he did not think that would be the case. Initially Piper thought he would only be doing these productions for a couple of summers, but has continued to film for the show over the years and still loves it. When asked about his future career in film, sophomore cinema-television major Nathan Lord said, “Film is like a living, breathing thing that’s always changing. I hope I end up doing something that is constantly changing and that I’m able to grow with it and change as I learn.” Piper is just one individual of many who has the dynamics to learn and experience new places and venture even after years of school.

Photo by Don Piper

The organ in the Evreux Cathedral in Evreux, France. This iegion is one of many locations at which professor Piper filmed this summer for “The Joy of Music.”

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Dr. Gene Fant returns for second year

Provost gives a glimpse into his history with PBA By Kayla Harris Staff Writer

Photo by Kayla Harris

Provost Gene Fant succeeded former provost Joseph A. Kloba. “It was clear what God was calling me and my family to do next.”

In his second year as provost of Palm Beach AtHe also highlights how PBA is presented with lantic University, Dr. Gene Fant has made it his pri- location-based opportunities, particularly the variority to reflect on how God is working at PBA and ous financial districts located within proximity of focus on where he believes the school is headed. campus, and the outreach opportunities in the West Identified by others as a “third culture kid,” Fant Palm area because of spiritual poverty in a wealthy claims both Virginia and Mississippi as home and community. has earned a well-qualified educational background, “The location of the institution in terms of kingincluding a certificate in educational management dom work is a total act of providence,” he says. “It’s at Harvard University Graduate School. amazing, the opportunities we have.” Prior to taking his position at PBA, he served as Fant has already pioneered several changes to the the executive vice president for academic adminisacademic structure of PBA. tration of Union University in Jackson, Tenn. In the past 14 months, close to 30 new faculty “PBA has always been on my short list of places I’d members have already been hired and a number of love to be,” Fant said. new programs are in the process of being impleHe interviewed for a position mented for the near future. at PBA in 2001, but did not “In the past year, there has been a ‘It was clear get the job due to cuts in the more significant alignment between the what God was institution’s budget. student body, what the mission of the “It was clear what God was school is and a lot more intentionality,” calling me and calling me and my family to Fant says. do next,” he says, concerning my family to do He enjoys helping newly employed Sailnext,’ Fant says. fish faculty realize where they can be of his move to PBA. “Before I came, there was a lot of buzz, service for the university and contributand there continues to be a ing to the organizational process of the lot of buzz at other Christian educational programs. colleges, that there’s something unusual happening “There are probably a half-dozen people that I at PBA; it’s a season where there are a lot of good would say [have] made me so excited to see them things are happening.” placed in new positions,” he says. “I can’t imagine a Reflecting on the positive feedback, he says his better place for a student to come who wants more impressions of the school have only gotten better than great education. I’m hoping five years from and is especially satisfied with the work of faculty. now, everyone will realize just how amazing this “We have a wonderful teaching faculty and an university is.” amazingly supportive staff community,” Fant says. As the university continues to evolve, Fant hopes Observing how many of the faculty members to build on the distinguished work of his predecesinteract with the students and the investments they sor – Dr. Joseph A. Kloba – and aid President Flemmake in their lives, Fant says that he “wholehearting to “Press On” in realizing the founders’ vision edly” recommends PBA to his own children. for PBA. So far, he describes is overall experience at PBA as “fun and challenging.” Fant is excited about the unique opportunities that PBA has to impact students as a Christ-based, nondenominational institution.

The trifecta: Professor balances career with fatherhood, teaching and TV journalism By Jackie Streng Staff Writer Award–winning news anchor and reporter Israel Balderas recently began his second semester as an adjunct professor in the School of Communication and Media at Palm Beach Atlantic University. Balderas has been in the journalism field for over 20 years. He also works for CBS 12 News in West Palm Beach as an investigative reporter and weekend news anchor. “I really have a desire to speak to students about the [journalism] industry and what’s going on,” Balderas says. “That door turned into teaching. I was intrigued and said yes.” Balderas says his favorite part of teaching at PBA has been the level of freedom. “I can teach what I know, what I see, and what I have experienced. They trust me to teach the real world,” Balderas said. “It’s a fun environment.” He also has an 18-monthold daughter, which among teaching and news reporting

gives him a full range of responsibilities. “I enjoy all 3 of my jobs: full time dad, journalist and teacher,” Balderas says. Along with his 20 years of experience, Balderas has another qualification under his belt. He is a lawyer. Balderas received his graduate degree at the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America in 2002. “Law school helped me become a better investigative journalist, taught me the importance of the First Amendment, how to think logically and see the big picture.” Balderas says. Balderas’ long-time cameraman and friend Frank Porter acknowledges that in his time working with him, “He certainly knows what he’s doing.” “Israel is an incredibly intelligent guy,” Porter says. “His knowledge in law and political topics always came in handy with any interview he conducted because he made it his business to have adequate knowledge on the stories he was presented with.” The combination of having a background in law and news reporting has helped Balderas

teach the next generation of journalists at PBA. Balderas shares his views on the importance of journalism in this day and age. “There’s more need today for good journalists than I’ve ever seen. We need to hold the power-

ful accountable, to ask those tough questions,” Balderas says. “More and more people are accepting the status quo. Good journalism is not famous. Journalism makes sure the wrongs are righted.” For students going into the field of journalism, he emphasizes the

importance of understanding how media and how people get their news is converging. “Internet journalism is key. How news is gathered and delivered is changing, and it’s getting harder,” Balderas says. “We have to be more creative, but I’d call it the golden age of journalism.” His faith is also an important factor in his work as a journalist. Balderas believes that it comes down to how you approach others. “With everyone I meet, I want to make sure that if they were asked [about the application of my faith], they would say I exhibited the character and nature of God, and that they saw something different in me.” Balderas says the most impactful moment of his career so far has been covering 9/11. “Being at the Pentagon, I remember that we had a job to do as journalists to tell the story because people trusted us to be their eyes and ears,” Balderas says. “Telling the story is the most important thing a journalist can do. Where a lot [of responsibility] is given, a lot is required,” Balderas says. “We must be able to do our jobs without fear and hesitation.”

Monday, September 21, 2015


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Students make the most of Galapagos By Hannah Deadman Contributing Writer Just a week after the end of Palm Beach Atlantic University’s 2015-spring semester, 16 individuals seized the opportunity to travel from West Palm Beach to the Galapagos Islands for a 10-day study abroad trip. I was one of them. Little did we know, the time we’d spent preparing for the excursion still wouldn’t be enough for what we would encounter. PBA alumna Phyllis Klarmann is a Galapagos trip veteran. Though this was her third time returning back to the islands, she says she’s still amazed. “Reading something on paper, like the age and biodiversity of the islands – is far different than actually seeing it in person,” she says. “You can look at pictures and read about it all day long, but once you finally see it, it all comes together and you see how it all makes sense.” Under the leadership of associate professor and biology chair Dr. Thomas Chesnes, the trip is available through the David and Leighan Rinker Center for Experiential Learning, a PBA program that sends students to various overseas destinations. Fourteen PBA students as well as one student’s grandfather accompanied Chesnes. The diverse group showed respect to the environment, travel, and conservation of education. “I’ve seen more in-depth of what I learned in the classroom, like in ecology and field biology,” says senior biology major Kyle Holly. “It was good to bring the skills I learned in those classes here when looking at things like [forest] succession.” Our trip was complete with daily snorkel and hiking tours across the central islands of

the Galápagos – all while led by an experienced naturalist, who explained the archipelago’s natural history and ecosystems. Whether towering volcanoes, in forests or swimming with fish and sea lions, we experienced the world in its most natural state. Visiting grottoes, climbing to the top of volcanoes and walking over miles of lava fields were just part of the adventure.

Natural History of the Galapagos biology class taught by Chesnes. Every alternating year is a class and experiential trip to the Florida Everglades. The Galapagos’ unique biodiversity and natural history make it a prime place for biological study. Many species in the Galapagos are endemic to the islands – meaning they’re only found in that specific area.

in the beginning, is eye and heart opening.” Interestingly, Charles Darwin formed his theory of natural selection in the Galapagos when he visited the islands as a naturalist on the HMS Beagle in the mid-1830s. Since then, biologists and students have considered it one of the best locations to visit, study and observe the theory first hand.

Fourteen students traveled to the Galapagos islands during the summer. Photo courtesy of Hannah Deadman

“You’re going to see and interact with animals like you never have before, and it’s a ton of fun.” Klarmann said. “I feel as if the closest I’ve ever felt to God is when I looked at the stars here for the first time. It reminded me of how big and wonderful God is.” Senior Mirentxu Gonzalez agrees. “The islands are so unique – not like anything you’re going to be around,” she says. “It’s a natural environment you’re coming into.” Offered every two years, the Galapagos trip coincides with the

Some species like the bluefooted booby and the Galapagos marine iguana were so close we could have touched them. Since the animals remain practically untouched by humans, they display no fear - only curiosity. Being in the middle of the Pacific Ocean surrounded by nothing but nature also meant no WIFI signals. No Instagramming. No Facebook updates. “[This trip] takes you out of the technology we live in and the culture we’ve become adapted to,” Klarmann said. “And going back to what God’s creation was

Since some Christians are sensitive to evolution, Chesnes says the Galapagos Islands allow for a great conversation starter. “If you really want to take Christian higher education seriously, you have to grapple with these tough questions and get a little uncomfortable with what you initially thought,” Chesnes says. “Think deeply about how faith and science intersect. A class and an opportunity like this allow students to think deeper about how they understand creation and life as a whole.” Alumna Victoria Vierstra,

who studied biology with a concentration in ecology, botany and environmental science, says she never saw a conflict between faith and science. Junior biology major Katie Vertullo agrees and testifies to God’s power on the trip. “While being here, I’ve seen the Lord work a lot in sustaining us,” she says. “I think it’s really cool being able to appreciate Gods creation more and more. I think it’s such a privilege to discover more of what He’s made. It makes me want to be a scientist even more and discover His truth.” Though Christians still debate creation and evolution, participants on the trip said their convictions were strengthened. Some believe God allowed for natural selection and adaptation through evolution, while others held firm that everything God created remained the same from Genesis until now. “In ecology class, Dr. Waldner explained that in the Bible’s original language there are two words for [describing] how God created the animals” she says. “One of the words [meant] ‘created’ as in ‘He created the heavens’. But the other is used for describing how He created the animals, [meaning] He ‘set into motion.’ There’s a different use in verbs, which wasn’t translated in the English version of the Bible.” Chesnes says life is often filled with gray areas, who, like Vierstra, believes Christians shouldn’t have to choose between science and faith. He adds that scientists who are Christians should study places like the Galapagos Islands in order to deepen their understanding. “[Having to choose] is a false notion – I think it’s important to have the ability to see the mechanism of the Creator and understand creation and adaptation,” Chesnes says. “If all truth is God’s truth, then there is no contradiction.”

Students connect with Student Government By Avery Korn and Tracy Peyton Staff Writers Palm Beach Atlantic Student Government president Evan Berlanti is a senior in the Fredrich M. Suppers honors program studying history, with a minor in philosophy. He is a worship leader in chapel and is also involved with the Le Mieux fellowship. He joined student government during his sophomore year after being recruited by former president and vice president A.J. Titus and Dana White. Vice president Laura Humphrey is a senior who has also been involved with student government since her sophomore year. Humphrey is studying musical theater in the honors program and is also the president of Alpha Si Omega, a sorority chapter on campus. During the welcome week of 2012-2013 school year, Berlanti and Humphrey were placed in the same fish group and have been close friends ever since.

“[Student government] is where we are supposed to be,” Humphrey says. Berlanti and Humphrey are examining many of PBA’s campus policies to evaluate whether they are successfully serving student needs. One of the main project currently underway is the introduction of FishTalks – a spoof of TedTalks. Like TedTalks, FishTalks is a project that welcomes a variety of influential speakers to talk about hot topics in hopes of sparking stimulating conversations around campus. Helping them along the way is their Executive cabinet: seniors Keenan Kauth and Mark Miller, juniors Spencer Carroll, Daniel Grasso, Megan Freeman and Katie Forysthe, and sophomore Cassie Stanton. Humphrey made an emphasis on her mantra for student government, “stop complaining and start contributing.” Widespread student involvement is one of Humphrey’s primary goals. Student government aims to create tangible change for the future.

“There are no smoke and mirrors, just a desire to serve students and be open to fresh ideas and opportunities for improvement,” Berlanti says. The best way to contact the student government staff is through reaching out to your student representative assigned to each residence hall. Student representatives are the people to contact with ideas or concerns about PBA. Students and faculty can also connect with student government via email, at, or through social media such as Instagram or Twitter, @PBASGA.

“Stop complaining and start contributing.” -Laura Humphrey

Courtesy of Student Government


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Monday, September 21, 2015

Men’s soccer returns with veteran roster of players

Team starts season with 20 returning players By Benjarong Murray Staff Writer A new season begins with many familiar faces returning to the Palm Beach Atlantic University men’s soccer team. The core of this year’s squad features almost exclusively returning upperclassmen, with two freshmen and five transfers rounding out the 27-man roster. “We have a veteran team, who has great team chemistry at the moment,” men’s soccer head coach Brian McMahon said. “We like our young guys, and they are adjusting well so far.”

‘We feel we are good enough to beat anyone in the country,’ Neil Slooves said. ‘We just have to go and show it out on the field.’ Redshirt-sophomore Phill Cardoso from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is one of the younger players on this year’s team. He received no playing time last year, so he redshirted to extend his eligibility. “I really like being young and playing with more experienced players,” he said. “I learn from them every practice and game.” The team makes it clear to the

new arrivals that they are to live and play the “PBA Way,” which states: “When you choose to be a part of OUR team, you adopt OUR culture.” Junior Lucas Coutinho from Recife, Brazil knows the “PBA Way,” as he enters into his third year as a starting forward. He said how excited he is

to be able to represent Christ, while competing against the best schools in the country. With the transition into the Sunshine State Conference, the team will no longer participate in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) tournament, where they reached the national semi-finals last year.

“NCCAA obviously was very important to us,” Coutinho said. “It is part of our foundation as a Christian School, but athletically speaking, it was time to move on.” With the NCCAA in the past, the Sailfish will face opponents from the SSC more frequently. The team was ranked 21st by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) ranking released Sept. 15. Junior defenseman Neil Slooves from Prestwick, Scotland said he believes that the team’s overwhelming veteran presence is up to the task to compete with the SSC competition. “We are returning 20 players from last year’s team,” he said. “The majority of our team knows what to expect from all of the other teams in our conference, and the challenges that are in

store for us this season.” Claiming a spot in the national tournament is not a simple task. “Our region only has four bids between the two toughest conferences in the country, so whoever gets a bid to the NCAA will automatically be one of the favorites to win a National Championship,” McMahon said. A bid or a seed in the NCAA tournament is unprecedented territory for the Sailfish. Previously, the team would enter into the NCCAA tournament if they did not receive a spot in the national tournament. “Our goal for this year is clear,” Coutinho said. “Make it to the NCAA National Tournament for the first time in PBA men’s soccer history.” Slooves agreed. “It is a priority that we make NCAA nationals this year,” he said. “We have a lot of depth to the squad this year and a lot of players who can come on and make an impact in games, so we are very excited.” The team has started the season 5-0-1 as of Sept. 16. “We feel we are good enough to beat anyone in the country,” Slooves said. “We just have to go and show it out on the field.” Photo by: Benjarong Murray

Sisters reunited on the volleyball court Rohn sisters play together for first time since high school

By Danielle Mendocha Staff Writer An All-American’s sister joins Palm Beach Atlantic women’s volleyball team this year. Ally Rohn joins her sister, senior Faith Rohn, as a starter on the team. She was in eighth grade when her sister was recruited to PBA in between her junior and senior years of high school. “Ally was already on our radar after we recruited Faith,” head coach Bob White said. “She has played at an exceptionally high level all through high school, and we always wanted Ally to play at PBA alongside her sister.” In her junior year of high school, Ally Rohn was faced with the decision of whether or not to attend PBA. “When I was trying to make the decision, the Lord led me to the scripture Matthew 6:25-34,” she said. “Those verses revealed to me that PBA is where God wants me.” She said that PBA had always been in the back of her mind, because of her sister’s recruitment. “It’s comforting to have [Faith] on the team with me,” Ally Rohn said. “She’s a captain, and has a lot of experience, so I can go to her for questions and guidance.” Faith Rohn said that having her sister on the team reminds

her of the great team dynamic they had in high school. “I’m so excited we are on the same team again at a higher level,” she said. “Our numbers are 21 and 22, so hearing our names announced right after each other before a game is a great feeling.” White agreed. He said the sisters are equally driven, and they encourage one another on the court. Their playing styles and intensity on the court are very similar. “Sometimes it can be like watching twins out there,” he said. “Their playing styles are like mirror images.” When it comes to sibling rivalry, White said that both sisters like to check statistics together after games. “They like to compare stats,” he said. “But they play two different positions. Ally is on the right side, and Faith is on the left, so they’re not in competition with one another.” White said the team likes to call themselves the “16 best friends,” because of their close connection. “The siblings have added to the closeness of the team,” he said. “We all like watching the sisters interact on the court.” Ally Rohn said she is looking forward to trying to make it to

the National Championships. She said her goal this year is to help lead the Sailfish to victories, while becoming a better athlete. In both training and preseason, Faith Rohn said that her sister performed exceedingly well and earned her spot as a starter. “Ally has a lot of pressure put on her as a starting freshman,” she said. “She has exceeded our expectations, and I am so proud of her.” White agreed. “Ally is coming on this team as a seasoned freshman who has the volleyball IQ of an upperclassman,” he said. “She has exceeded all of our preseason goals and has been a major asset to the team’s success.”

Faith, left, and Ally Rohn played together in high school and now return to the court at the collegiate level. “I’m so excited we are on the same team again at a higher level,” Faith Rohn said. Photo courtesy of PBA Athletics


Monday, September 21, 2015

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Volleyball team begins season on the road Team improves on program-best ranking By Peter Amirata Staff Writer Palm Beach Atlantic women’s volleyball team started the new season with nine straight road matches. The team defeated American Volleyball Coaches Association second-ranked Concordia University. The team came back after falling behind two sets to zero to win in five sets in St. Paul, Minn. “It was a huge win for the program,” head coach Bob White said. “I couldn’t be more proud of our players.” Concordia has won seven out of the last eight NCAA Division II National Championships. The Sailfish are coming off their third 30-win season in four years, where they played in the NCAA South Region tournament for the third-straight year. The team uses volleyball as ministry, which allows them to grow closer to Christ as they continue to rally around faith. “We know that we are playing this game for so much more than just to win volleyball games,”

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Palm Beach Atlantic’s volleyball team ended last season with a program-best 15th AVCA ranking. After their first tournament in 2015, the team rose to the 12th-ranked position. sophomore Sarah Ragland said. This year’s theme comes from Isaiah 28:6, which reads, “Your name and renown are the desires of our hearts.” The team has a special nickname for themselves, in which,

they refer to each other as the “16 best friends.” “I have never been on a team that cares so much for each other,” Ragland said. The team began the season ranked 15th in the AVCA poll

before improving to the 12th spot in the nation after their first tournament. Last year, the team started the year ranked 25th before ending at a program best 15th. This year, the team is without graduated seniors Becca Acevedo and Melissa Buckingham. The two played all four of their eligible years with the Sailfish. Acevedo was the team’s exclusive setter last season. Replacing Acevedo are junior Alex Roberts and freshman Ally Rohn. In addition, senior Rachael Holehouse is now playing at the libero position, previously held by Buckingham.

“We know that we are playing this game for so much more than just to win volleyball games,” sophomore Sarah Ragland said.

According to sophomore Sarah Ragland, Holehouse has a chance to become an All-American this season. The team has three seniors and four freshmen on the roster All-American senior Faith Rohn had a team-high and personal best of 459 kills and finished with 365 digs and 29 assists last year. Her younger sister, Ally Rohn, is also having an impact on the team, according to White. “Ally had an outstanding tournament at Concordia University,” he said. “She played at a high level, especially for a freshman just coming onto the team.” In addition to the team’s success on the court, they were named to the AVCA Team Academic award listing. The award is earned by teams that maintain at least a 3.3 cumulative grade-point average. The team’s home opener is Sept. 25 at 7pm versus Eckerd College in the Rubin Arena. The team has a record of 5-2 as of Sept. 17. “I can’t wait to see what this year holds for us,” Ragland said. “The leadership, chemistry and talent are the strongest it has ever been.”

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The Beacon 09/21/2015  
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