Page 1

Optimist the

Blessings in Trial, page 8

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Vol. 99, No. 30

1 section, 8 pages


Forum tackles tough topic Yarhouse, professor of psychology at Regent UniEditor in Chief versity in Virginia Beach, Va. Dr. Mark Yarhouse defined and author of Homosexusexual identity and sug- ality and the Christian, said gested ways Christians that often, Christians focus should approach the topic so much on orientation of same-sex attraction in and the causes of same-sex the church on Monday attraction. They say sameduring a Chapel forum in sex attraction must have an environmental cause Cullen Auditorium.

Linda Bailey

DANIEL GOMEZ // Chief Photographer

Dr. Mark Yarhouse from Regent University speaks in Cullen Auditorium to students about Christians dealing with sexual identity Monday, Jan. 24.

instead of a biological one, and say same-sex attraction is something that can be changed. Yarhouse said this puts too much pressure on the Christian who does feel a same-sex attraction to then become heterosexual. Instead of sexual orientation, Yarhouse said

Christians should focus on sexual identity. “Identity brings to the foreground a discussion of behavior and ways in which behavior shapes an identity over time,” Yarhouse said. “Ultimately, I think identity speaks to what we treasure see YARHOUSE page 4


Nikki’s to sell frozen yogurt



Linda Bailey Editor in Chief

Nikki’s Swirl Shoppe will soon be “taking the guilt out of a guilty pleasure,” with their low-fat frozen yogurt, said operation manager Allie Jacobs. Frozen yogurt fans can get their fix at the grand opening of the Judge Ely Boulevard location on Feb. 25. The North Abilene store is located next to Sharky’s Burrito Company and the South Abilene store is located on Catclaw Drive next to Jason’s Deli. Jacobs said the Catclaw location will open soon after the Judge Ely shop. Customers will have 12 flavor options and six twist options, making a total of 18 different yogurt combinations. Jacobs said Nikki’s will also feature a variety of fruits, candies, nuts and granola as topping options. “The possibilities are endless,” Jacobs said. Among the flavor options is “Thin Mint,” which Jacobs claims as her favorite. She said it tastes exactly like a frozen Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookie. Other

Verizon’s addition of the iPhone prompts ACU to consider making the carrier an alternative to AT&T.

photo illustration by DANIEL GOMEZ // Chief Photographer


Christianna Lewis, Senior Reporter

T&T may no long have a monopoly on ACU students’ mobile devices. Verizon announced earlier this month that it will begin servicing the iPhone 4 on Feb. 10. Audrey Lundy, the public relations manager for Verizon Wireless in Texas, said Verizon has not announced whether customers could use their pre-existing plans on the iPhone. The only thing they will do for certain is to start selling iPhone 4s with a new two-year customer agreement. She also said Verizon had not made public any plans to represent itself at ACU, though that was still a possibility.

Kay Reeves, executive director of Information Technologies, said Verizon has made no concrete offer to ACU yet, though ACU has approached the company. Although neither side has made a decision, Reeves said ACU is still exploring this new possibility for its mobilelearning technology. “We are definitely entertaining the idea of offering a choice for students,” Reeves said. “We talked with them once, and we will be talking to them again in the next week or two.” Jade Jung, senior biochemistry major from South Korea, said she likes Verizon better than AT&T. She had a plan with Verizon before getting her iPhone at ACU.

“Verizon gave better reception,” Jung said. “And AT&T’s deposit was bigger compared to Verizon’s.” Alyssa Bowyer, senior speech pathology major from Granger, Ind., said she probably would have gotten an iPhone if she could have gotten a Verizon plan with it, but chose to get an Android phone since AT&T was the only option. “I like that Verizon is selling the iPhone because I have a Macintosh computer and would love a phone that has better compatibility,” Bowyer said. “However, now that I know how well the Droid compares, I would probably go with whatever cost less.” contact Lewis at

see SWIRL page 4


Risk management assesses potential campus risks Laura Gasvoda Staff Reporter

The Office of Risk Management has asked all departments to assess potential risks that could significantly impact the university and formulate a report by March 1. Mike Murphy, director of risk management, serves as head of the En-

inside news The Career Center has named MaryEllen Olson as its new executive director after an extensive, nationwide search. page 3

‘‘ ’’

terprise Risk Management Committee, which will begin meeting to review 2011 assessments on March 10. The 2011 risk assessment marks only the second university-wide risk assessment. The first was in 2009, producing some changes implemented in 2010, such as amendments to university driving policy. Other risks identified in 2009 in-

non-academic, took a critical look at their activities We want to look at the for the first time. He said strategic plan and vision the committee hopes for of ACU and look at risks an increase in focus this that affect that vision with year, as they have asked tangible impacts. departments to specifiMIKE MURPHY // director of risk management cally determine risks that directly affect the overall Murphy said hundreds mission of the university. cluded those associated The Safety Committee, with university-sponsored of risks were identified in domestic and international the 2009 assessment as de- a separate division of risk partments, academic and management, is devoted travel, Murphy said.


sports After their 8-year-old son was diagnosed with a brain tumor, the Fleming family has found hope in the support of others. page 8

to assessing departmental risks from the outside yearround. Risks such as volatile chemicals or art supplies stored on campus are addressed and mitigated by this committee, while the ERMC looks to assess risks at the university-wide level such as natural disaster response plans. see ASSESSMENT page 4


Flickr photostream Find more pictures of the Anatolians, featured on page 6, and other news photos from the week at photos/acuoptimist

Abilene Christian University




58° 31°

62° 37°

68° 42°


Campus Wednesday, January 26, 2011



calendar & events Wednesday

8:30 a.m. Social Club ranking in McKinzie Room 120



10 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. Service Expo in the Campus Center

10 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. Service Expo in the Campus Center

11 a.m. Small Group Chapels meet around campus

6 p.m. Women’s basketball game at Incarnate Word

3 p.m. Advocacy and Aging with Chris Kyker in the Campus Center Living Room

8 p.m. Men’s basketball game at Incarnate Word



All day Track & Field invitational in New Mexico



2 p.m. Home women’s basketball game vs. Eastern New Mexico

11 a.m. Praise Day in Moody Coliseum

4 p.m. Home men’s basketball game vs.w Eastern New Mexico

Last day to register a class for pass/fail or credit/no credit

about this page The Optimist maintains this calendar for the ACU community to keep track of local social, academic and service opportunities. Groups may send announcements directly to optimist@ To ensure an item will appear on time, the announcement should be sent at least 10 days in advance. The Optimist may edit items for space and style. Corrections and clarifications of published news articles will be printed on this page in a timely manner.

Chapel Checkup 09 64

Credited Chapels remaining

Credited Chapels to date


Spring Pledging Bid Night

follow us on Twitter: @acuoptimist // become a fan on Facebook: The Optimist

iPad . iPhone . iPod

volunteer opportunities “Guys Read Week” Thomas Elementary School is looking for male volunteers to read to children. Times are available throughout the day and participants can sign up for more than one slot. Contact Peggy Langford at 671-4995 ext. 5783 or e-mail peggy. The Dyess Youth Center needs help with a Ping Pong Exhibition from 4 - 6 p.m. every Friday. Volunteers will preside over tournaments and help with an exhibition for the students. Transportation will not be provided, nor can volunteers have any sexual assault charges or charges pending.

For more information, contact Sheri Frisby at 696-4797 or e-mail sheri.

any time 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesday - Friday. Call 677-8389 or e-mail info@ for more information.

Mesa Spring Healthcare Center needs volunteers from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. any day of the week to help with fun activities for the residents, including playing instruments, calling bingo and sitting and talking with them. All help is appreciated. Contact Laura Reynolds at 692-8080 or lgreynolds@

Aimee’s Art Studio is seeking volunteers from 9 - 10 a.m. or 1:30 - 2:30 p.m. Tuesday to assist with homeschool fine arts classes. No formal art skills or training is required. The studio is a five-minute walk from ACU’s campus. For more information, contact Aimee Williams at 672-9633.

The Center for Contemporary Arts needs a gallery assistant to help with exhibit setup and preparation, as well as an administrative assistant. The work can be done

Meals on Wheels needs volunteers to deliver noon meals to seniors and adults with disabilities. Routes are available 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Monday - Friday. Volunteers must be at least

18, with a valid driver’s license, auto insurance and a desire to serve. Training is provided. Students may be exempted from one Chapel per week if delivery time conflicts with Chapel. Contact Samantha Barker at 672-5050 or sbarker@ International Rescue Committee Students can work with refugees who recently moved to the U.S., teaching English, helping with homework and mentoring. Volunteer times are flexible. Call Daina Juryka-Owen at 675-5643 ext. 16 to make an appointment. For more information on the International Rescue Committee, visit

“Boys2Men” Madison Middle School is looking for male volunteers to participate in a weekly lunchtime program for 8th grade boys. Speakers will be addressing different aspects of growing up. Contact Jeff Womack at 692-5661 or jeffrey.

training sessions offered prior to the beginning of the program. Contact Beth Byerly at 660-3465 or e-mail herocoord@ HERO representatives will be available at Service Expo in the Campus Center on Jan. 26 and Jan. 27 from 10 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

HERO Hendrick Equine Rehabilitation Opportunities needs volunteers from March 22 - May 5 to help with their horse therapy program. Volunteers will walk or jog alongside horses and provide safety to the clients as they ride. No experience with horses is necessary. Volunteers must attend one of two

Abilene Youth Sports Authority needs volunteers on Feb. 5 to help with the West Texas Sports and Fitness Expo at the Abilene Civic Center 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Volunteers can take tickets, run sports contests and help with cleanup. For more information, contact Katie Miller at 692-2972 or khowerton@

announcements Social Club Ranking Day Students interested in pledging a social club must rank clubs on Jan. 26 in the Student Life Office, McKinzie Room 120 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Career Expo Current students and alumni have the opportunity to meet with employers from a variety of industries about potential full-time positions and internship opportunities from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Abilene Civic Center. The event offers résumé reviews and mock interviews. Professional attire is required.

Advocacy and Aging Chris Kyker of the Texas Silver-Haired Legislature and the Texas Department of Aging and Disability will be speaking in the Campus Center Living Room at 3 p.m. Jan. 27. Kyker will be speaking on advocacy, influencing public policy and Texas resolutions and law. Chapel Exemptions Students who are required to miss Chapel for work must submit exemption forms and documentation by Jan. 28. For students who begin a new job during the semester,

forms are due within two weeks of starting the job. Forms can be turned into the Chapel Office or the Depot. For more information, visit campusoffices/chapel/exemptions/index.html. ACUltimate The university’s ultimate frisbee club meets at 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Interested students can contact Kyle Thaxton at Married Students Retreat Registration for the Married Students Retreat is now open. The retreat is

Feb. 11 - 12 and is $65 per couple. Register at www. or contact Steve Eller at 674-2878 or Images of Aging Photo Contest ACU students may enter their photographs into any of five categories. The deadline for entries is Jan. 31. For more information, visit blogs. FCA The ACU chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes meets at 9 p.m. every Thursday in the Living Room of the Campus Center.

Summit Art Contest ACU students can submit original artwork in the form of photography, drawings, paintings or other creations to visually communicate the theme of next fall’s Summit. Entries must be submitted digitally to by Feb. 15. The winner will receive $100 and his or her artwork will be used during Summit. For more information, contact the Ministry Events Office at 674-3750. Service Expo Students can meet with representatives from local agencies

to discuss volunteer opportunities. The expo will take place 10 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. on Jan. 26 and Jan. 27 in the Campus Center. 2nd Annual Careers In Non-Profits Students can talk to representatives from Big Brothers/ Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Club, Disability Resources, Love & Care Ministries and the Noah Project from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 8 in the Hunter Welcome Center. Light snacks will be served. Students can RSVP to careercenter.


Local university faculty to conduct jazz concert Laura Gasvoda Staff Reporter

Several ACU faculty and adjunct faculty members will join members of the McMurry University and Hardin-Simmons University faculty to showcase their musical talents in a free jazz concert, marking the first official concert for the group and one of the only all-faculty concerts of the year. The performance will be conducted at the Williams Performing Arts Center Recital Hall on Feb. 1 from 8-10 p.m. Derek Brown, director of jazz studies and instructor of saxophone and

advanced theory, voiced his excitement about the event. He hopes the performance will teach others more about jazz. “Most people don’t realize there are a wide variety of styles ‘jazz’ can encompass,” Brown said. “We will be playing Latin tunes, swing tunes, show tunes, jazz-rock fusion and funk tunes.” The group consists of Derek Brown playing tenor and soprano saxophone, Dr. Allen Teel on percussion, Dr. Steven Ward on bass, Kristin Ward performing vocals, Mark Wilcox on trumpet, Dr. Jeff Cottrell on trom-

‘‘ ’’

bone and Henry Smith as jazz pianist. Brown, Teel and Steven Ward are full-time ACU faculty in the Department of Music. Teel serves as instrumental division chair and professor of percussion and world music. Ward is the director of bands and orchestra and an associate professor of conducting. Clarinet, SS, ET and Jazz Voice Instructor Kristin Ward is an adjunct faculty member at ACU, and Instructor of Trumpet Mark Wilcox and Dr. Jeff Cottrell, instructor of low brass, are intercollegiate faculty. Wilcox teaches full time at McMurry University and Cottrell teaches

“I am excited about sharing different styles of Most people don’t realize jazz,” Ward said. “Some there are a wide variety of the pieces I will sing of styles ‘jazz’ can include blues, a Latin or encompass bossa nova-style piece I DEREK BROWN // director of jazz studies and instructor of saxophone will sing in Portuguese, as well as a ballad.” Kristin Ward described full time at Hardin-Sim- dards,” or common-knowlbossa nova as a Latinedge pieces, Brown said. mons University. “A standard is a piece style jazz from Brazil and Smith is the only nonfaculty member of the en- many musicians know and said singing in Portusemble. Brown described play,” Brown said. “Many guese, bossa nova’s native language, helps capture Smith as an excellent all- are from the swing era.” Although the con- music’s original style. around pianist – the go-to For more information, jazz pianist, in fact – and cert will showcase a mix said he has played with the of purely instrumental contact the Department of group many times before. pieces, it also will feature Music at 674-2199. The group plans to play a some pieces with vocals, mix of original pieces writ- said Kristin Ward, who ten by Brown, Wilcox and will be performing vocals contact Gasvoda at Cottrell, as well as “stan- for the group.


January 26, 2011

Page 3


Counseling Center to sponsor marriage retreat Christina Burch Page 2 Editor

The University Counseling Center is encouraging couples to learn more about marital communication and mutual support by sponsoring a retreat for married students Feb. 11 – 12. The Married Students Retreat is a two-day retreat designed to encourage successful communication among wedded students. The weekend event is $65 per couple and includes meals, one overnight stay at the Abilene Courtyard by Marriott and participation in four ses-

sions covering the theme, Communication: Key to Your Marriage. ACU counselor Steve Eller has directed the event for the last three years and said he believes students will essentially leave with a new language of understanding. “In everything we know about conflict, males and females function in two different ways of communication,” Eller said. “This retreat will help them learn more about those different ways.” Participants and their spouses will hear from guest speakers Dr. Chris

Grace, professor of psychology at Biola University in California, and his wife Alisa Grace. Presentations by him and his wife will explore both sides of a marriage, encouraging a mutual understanding of spousal differences. “Communication takes practice, not just willpower,” Eller said. “Actually going through the steps will help make you better.” The retreat is in conjunction with Sacred Relationships Week, which starts Monday, Feb. 7. The week will include guest speakers in Chapel as well as several Chapel forums.


Career Center hires former dean as executive director Matthew Woodrow Opinions Page Editor

‘‘ ’’

Speakers will cover topics such as “Top 10 Dumbest Reasons to Date,” “Friends Don’t Let Friends Date Dumb” and “Living Life’s Questions and Searching for Answers.” Steve Rowlands, director of the University Counseling Center, said he encourages married students to evaluate just how important their marriage is. “The most important things in life are relationships so why not invest time to make yours better,” Rowlands said. “Whether your marriage is in a very good place or a difficult place, this event will only

Communication takes practice not just willpower.

STEVE ELLER // counselor for the University Counseling Center

help strengthen it.” Retreat participants will also attend one follow-up session mid-spring but the University Counseling Center offers marriage counseling for ACU students or staff members at any time. Students interested in the retreat are encouraged to register as soon as possible as space is limited. Information and registra-

tion forms can be found at For further information on the retreat or the University Counseling Center, contact Steve Eller at or the University Counseling Center at 674-2626 or

contact Burch at

POP! Culture

‘‘ ’’

The ACU Career Center has a found a new executive director after an extensive national search. MaryEllen Olson took over the position on Jan. 10, after previous Executive Director Tim Johnston moved into the position of assistant dean of the College of Business Administration and School of Information Technology last summer. Daniel Orozco, associate director of the Career Center had been serving in an interim position for the past six months and had a few things to say about what Olson could expect coming in. “ACU has made an investment in the Career Center and not only is there support but also high expectations,” Orozco said. “She has inherited a great team and we know that she can continue the work and meet challenges.” Prior to coming to ACU, Olson has worked in higher education as dean of students at three other universities. She has most recently helped head a consulting company which provided Fortune 500 companies with leadership assessments and training to help companies adopt cultural changes. Olson has come to ACU to serve students and help them prepare for the future. “Higher education is where my passion lies,” Olson said. “I’ve always had a heart for collegeage students and a desire to give back.” Olson has definitive plans for the Career Center and connecting with

ACU has made an investment in the Career Center and not only is there support, but also high expectations. DANIEL OROZCO // associate director of the Career Center

the various colleges on campus in order to better serve the students. “We as a Career Center not only need to be leaders in our respective areas, but have partners across campus so we can lead together,” Olson said. “The heart of success is for all leaders to come together. Whether they are faculty, staff or especially our students. They’re our customers and we need to serve them.” Olson spoke on the need for students to interact with the Career Center so that the services and help that undergraduates need will be available to them in the future. “We’re more concerned with the quality than of the quantity,” Olson said. “Are we offering the right programs? We want to hit the heart of students so they’ll want to come back and in order to do that we need students to talk to us and tell us how we can serve them.” The Career Center already has plans to offer the Discovery Program again this year. The program is a five-to-six week course in which students are provided with personality and skill assessments as well as personalized feedback sessions. It will also provide a list of jobs and careers that are well-

suited to different types of individuals. Last year, the program had around 110 students. Olson said she hopes to work with as many students as possible. Orozco said the Career Center also plans to continue offering expos and career fairs with several colleges from around Abilene including Hardin-Simmons University, McMurry University and Cisco College. He said the activities are open to all students. “We’ve had challenges with people thinking in the past that we are mainly meant for seniors, but we love to talk to juniors, sophomores and even freshmen,” Orozco said. “I’ll be in the library commons every Wednesday to answer any questions about résumés or internships, or help direct you to someone who can. It’s never too early to start planning.” More information about the Career Center and the services it offers students, faculty and staff can be found online at, or by calling the Career Center at 674-2473.

contact Woodrow at

TANNER FREEMAN // Staff Photographer

Visitors look at a painting by Annika Ringle, senior art major from Springdale, Ark., at the 2011 senior art show on Friday. The show was entitled POP!


Download the iPad application from Apple’s App Store. To get the Optimist application for your iPhone or iPod Touch, visit on your device and add the Optimist to your home screen.


iPad . iPhone . iPod


Page 4

January 26, 2011


Swirl: New frozen yogurt shop to open Feb. 25 Continued from page 1

JOZIE SANDS // Online Editor

Nikki’s Swirl Shoppe is scheduled to open Feb. 25 next to Sharky’s Burrito Company on Judge Ely Boulevard.

‘‘ ’’

flavors include classic ice cream flavors, fruit flavors and some seasonal flavors such as eggnog during Christmas and maybe pumpkin during fall, Jacobs said. They also have some fat-free and sugar-free options. “We’ll have staple flavors and some flavors that rotate, so there’ll be something new every time you come in,” Jacobs said. Similar to other self-serve frozen yogurt establishments, Nikki’s Swirl Shoppe will let customers pile as much frozen yogurt and toppings into a cup and then determine the price based on the weight of the cup. Jacobs said on average a customer can expect to spend $2.50 - $3 per cup. Part of Nikki’s concept is putting a “modern twist on a classic ice cream par-

We’ll have some staple flavors and some flavors that rotate, so there’ll be something new every time you come in. ALLIE JACOBS // operation manager for Nikki’s Swirl Shoppe

lor,” and Jacobs said fitting with that theme, they will also sell glass bottle cream soda, root beer and other fun “throw back” treats. Jacobs said Nikki’s is considering discounts and special deals for students as well as providing free WiFi Internet to customers. Corri Anne Wesley, junior advertising public relations major from Amarillo, said she frequently visits a frozen yogurt shop when she travels to Dallas. She said she was excited to hear the news about a frozen yogurt shop opening in Abilene and had high

hopes for Nikki’s future. “That place is going to take off,” Wesley said. Jacobs said she hopes Nikki’s will become a place where people of all ages can meet to study, hang out with friends and enjoy a delicious cup of frozen yogurt – a healthier snack option than ice cream. “Sometimes you go have ice cream and feel kind of guilty after,” Jacobs said, “but Nikki’s is somewhere you could come every day and be perfectly happy with.” contact Bailey at


Yarhouse: Speaker discusses sexual identity Continued from page 1


and of whose kingdom we’re a part.” Yarhouse describes sexual identity not as being either “gay” or “straight,” but describes three tiers to what Christians have traditionally labeled as simply ‘gay;’ same-sex attraction, a description to the experience of being attracted to the same sex; homosexual orientation, a fairly strong and persistent attraction over time; and gay identity, a hard label used today to designate people by categories. Yarhouse presented research he conducted on two different groups of Christians who struggle with same-sex attraction – those who identify themselves as gay and those who did not. Through his research, he distinguished differences and similarities between the two groups and developed ways that people can effectively help those struggling with same-sex attraction. The church community often either doesn’t talk about homosexuality or only talks about it in negative terms, Yarhouse said, leaving those struggling with same-sex attraction to look for other resources and often, reach out to the gay community. Instead, Yarhouse said the church should be a resource and a safe community for people who are figuring out their sexual identity.

The challenge for the church is that we haven’t been that community to support and encourage and affirm and create a place for them to say, ‘This has been my experience.’


DR. MARK YARHOUSE // professor of psychology at Regent University.

“The challenge for the church is that we haven’t been that community to support and encourage and affirm and create a place for them to say, ‘This has been my experience,’” Yarhouse said. “Too often we ostracize and push out and don’t help support and encourage.” To become this resource, Yarhouse gave general principles that help those struggling with same-sex attraction, but who did not identified themselves as gay, to live their lives faithfully before God. Yarhouse said those who do not identify themselves as gay, talk about their same-sex attraction without saying, “This is my identity.” It is part of their experience, but not part of their identity label, Yarhouse said. He also acknowledged that Christians need to avoid the two extremes of dealing with same-sex attraction. Some people have arrogant optimism, the idea that anyone who tries hard enough and has enough faith can be come heterosexual, but

Yarhouse said he doesn’t think scripture promises that. Also he warned to stay away from cynical pessimism, the idea that nobody has ever had success in moving away from homosexuality. Yarhouse said Christians need to have realistic, biblical hope in same-sex attraction, realizing that they must form an identity around Christ expanding our definition of ‘success’ to include such possibilities as a reduction in intensity, change in behavior or a choice to be celibate. As Christians we can help become a community that understands these principles by sitting and listening to people, offering support and encouragement and reflecting on identity. Also, we must realize that the statement, “I experience same-sex attraction,” does not always end in a period. At the end of the forum, Yarhouse left the audience with the idea that people dealing with same-sex attraction are “our people” – followers of Christ.

DANIEL GOMEZ // Chief Photographer

Dr. Mark Yarhouse, professor of psychology at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va., speaks in Chapel on Monday. Yarhouse discussed sexual stewardship. Steve Rowlands, director of the University Counseling Center said this conversation is important and needs to be talked about, and Yarhouse brings a balanced, Christ-centered perspective to the conversation. “I love his language of ‘they’re our people,’” Row-

lands said. “We tend to divide people. We all bring something we battle or struggle with, and to label is a really dangerous thing.” Students also appreciated Yarhouse’s message. Lawton Pybus, junior psychology major from Red Oak, said Yarhouse was

on track with Pybus’ own thoughts on the subject. “I liked how he spent the first half talking about his research and how he applied it in terms of his own faith,” Pybus said. contact Bailey at


Assessment: Departments to look for potential risks Continued from page 1

Guy Saylor, the university safety manager, describes his role on campus as different than Murphy’s. Saylor states that his de-

partment focuses on a variety of compliance issues around campus. “We are not connected to the ACU Police or public safety and law enforcement,” Saylor said.

The 2009 ERMC identified four top risks that would most significantly impact ACU’s mission. These risks were international travel policy, data storage and preservation,

compensation strategy and management training development, and a business continuity plan for the aftermath of potential natural disasters. Some of the top risks

of 2009 are still being addressed. The provost’s office is currently working on travel policy for student travel opportunities from Study Abroad to Spring Break Campaigns. A carbonate system has been put in place to back up data on university computers, and Human Resources continues to develop management training and more effective employee evaluation processes on campus. The goal of the ERMC is to develop universitywide responsiveness to identified risks, according to the risk management website. Murphy said identifying potential risks is key to ensuring

the university’s mission is met. “We want to look at the strategic plan and vision of ACU and look at risks that affect that vision with tangible impacts,” said Murphy. The ERMC plans to assess risks at least every other year and use alternating years to address top risks. For more information on risk management and tools for risk assessment visit the risk management website www.acu. edu/campusoffices/riskmanagement.

contact Gasvoda at


January 26, 2011

Page 5

Photos by STACY ACTON // Staff Photographer


Anatolian shepherds play as the goats graze in the background. Below: An Anatolian shepherd keeps watch at Rhoden Farm.


ACU’s Rhoden Farm leaves the security of its goats to the dogs spotted a snake. She will keep the snake cornered until Pierce comes to kill it, which—judging by the sound of Pita’s bark— Copy Editor sometimes has taken hours. Ian, the second oldest of the pack, is highly intelligent and As the sunlight reaches across the brush-covered fields of Rhoden Farm, caressing the wind-woven grasses and reflect- eager to please, if a little headstrong, Pierce said. “He’ll test his limits a little bit more, but he’s a little bit ing off the farmhouse windows, the goats are waking up. Nestled between the horse barn and the round pen, the more outgoing,” Pierce said. “He’s pretty adventurous. He brown and white Boer goats slowly stretch their way back to kind of gets himself into a little bit more trouble, because he’s standing on all four hooves after a night of peaceful slumber. always looking for something new to do.” They shake their white-furred tails as their brown faces emit the first hoarse “mahhhs” of the morning. They begin their morning graze, nuzzling the ground for the weeds they’ll pluck for breakfast from among the still richly green blades of grass on this chilly October day. About twenty feet away, from a cozy vantage on the dusty ground, the goats’ caretakers have been up for hours, taking turns to ensure their wards’ safety. Now, it’s Ian’s shift. With the sun barely risen, the watchman seems almost asleep. His back to the goats, his dark eyes drift closed as the sun slowly inches higher, the pinks and oranges of sunrise giving way to the soft grays and muted colors of morning. A barely discernable thud prompts a resounding bark from Ian’s Anatolian shepherd lungs, and the fawn-colored canine leaps to his feet. The dog barrels around the corner of the horse barn, instantly in pursuit of whatever threat might be lurking just beyond. His companion, Bonnie, rolls over, knowing she’s now on guard. Her gaze flits across the quietly bustling herd, her coal black nose wrinkling inquisitively, tasting the air for the potential threat. After a few moments, Ian returns, flopping down near Bonnie. The two lounge for another half hour in the warming morning light as their herd slowly moves farther from the safety of the pasture’s corner. Eventually, the dogs lug their lanky limbs off the dusty ground to catch up to their goats, trotting devotedly, ever a few yards behind. Ellice Pierce, Rhoden Farm manager, said ACU acquired its first Anatolian a couple summers ago, after the death of the goats’ first guard, a llama named Houston. The first dog was a gift, but after seeing its effectiveness in protecting the herd from West Texas predators like coyotes and bobcats, The two youngest, littermates, are Bonnie and Clyde. Althree more puppies were added to the ranks. The pack guards about 120 Boer goats at Rhoden Farm, though very shy, both are dedicated goat guards, Pierce said. Anatolians were bred to guard livestock, so much of the located about 10 miles northeast of Abilene, Pierce said. The goats ensure research possibilities for undergraduate ACU goat-guarding skill is instinctive. However, some training is required. To instill a heightened sense of responsibility to students, and the dogs insure the goats. According to the American Kennel Club website, the the goat herds, pups frequently are sent out with a more exAnatolian Shepherd Dog originated in Turkey more than perienced guard dog, which the youngster can emulate until 6,000 years ago. Bred to protect herds from predators in Tur- it successfully learns the ropes. The pups also may spend the key’s rugged landscape, the dog followed Turkish shepherds night in safe enclosures with the goats. By the time the puppies reach a few months of age, in a nomadic existence, forever accompanying the herd and they’ve already grasped the basics of their job, said Tiffany ensuring its safety. This breeding resulted in short-haired, fawn-colored Lutz, junior animal science major from Harmony, Pa. Lutz, who has worked with the Rhoden goats for redogs, with faces that look as if they were dipped in chocolate. Males may reach 29 inches in height at the shoulder search purposes, remembers when Bonnie and Clyde first arrived at Rhoden. The two sometimes were sepaand weigh as much as 150 lbs, according to AKC. The matriarch of the pack, Pita, is several years older than rated to shadow the more experienced dogs and occaher three young counterparts. Pierce describes her as the most sionally found themselves in pastures next door to each wise and reliable of the dogs. Frequently, Pierce said, she’ll other, on opposite sides of a dirt road. Lutz remembers driving down the road and seeing two drive in from town and hear Pita hoarsely barking, having Laura Acuff

small, white puppy heads peering above the grasses, through the barbed wire fencing at each other. But at the sound of vehicles, the heads would pop back down into the brush, guilty puppy expressions almost saying, “I’m not here! I’m not here!” Even then, the youngsters realized when they were slacking. Since “hiring” the Anatolians this year, Pierce said she already has seen a great improvement in goat retention numbers. Last year, the herd lost a little less than half its kids to predators, but she said it only lost 5 of about 75 this year, shrinking the percentage of kids lost from 40 percent to 15 percent. Without the dogs, the goats would need a human guard, someone to watch the herd at all times, including during the night. Even when the goats are locked in enclosures for the evening, danger exists, said Pierce. Predators like bobcats could slip through fencing to wreak havoc on the herd. Despite the herd’s two large, horn-endowed billies, goats just aren’t made to protect themselves well, Lutz said. “They’re not the smartest animals. They’re just not made to take on a coyote.” Although a personable canine, the AKC site cautions that the Anatolian breed is a “superior” guard for livestock, but is not a “glamour breed.” With too much energy and intelligence to be content as an average family pet, they are bestsuited for work, a distinction Pierce says she works to reinforce in Rhoden’s posse. Pierce feeds the dogs and offers encouragement and minimal companionship, but the animals are not pets. Too much attention, she says, and they might start preferring human company to that of their hoofed wards. That’s not to say the dogs are cruelly banished to the wilderness with herds of goats; it’s really their preference, Lutz said. The goats give the Anatolians purpose and, in their own canine way, fulfillment. It’s a job, but it’s one the dogs seem to take on willingly and even enjoy. “I think they like it, because you can’t mess with their goats,” Lutz said. “Don’t take their goats away. They wouldn’t know what to do if you took their goats away. I think they are really happy.” And that job satisfaction is important, because as Pierce said, the pack performs a crucial role on the farm. “We couldn’t have goats without them,” she said. “The goats would all be dead. If somebody came and picked [the dogs] up today, I wouldn’t have goats in a week. It would not take long for them to become—lunchmeat.” Pierce said the dogs enjoy their work, and they understand exactly what their duty is, filling an irreplaceable role at Rhoden, sometimes with shocking intelligence “Sometimes I feel like they look right through me.” The dogs are wholeheartedly dedicated to their goats. As the sun sets, Ian once again gazes out at his herd, Bonnie lounging by his side. His ears perked for sounds of predators, he scans the brush for danger. The pair has accompanied the herd all day and now settles in to guard them for the night. Ian’s tail twitches absentmindedly, and Bonnie gently sighs in contentment. A goat guard’s work is never done. And that’s exactly how they like it. contact Acuff at


Page 6

January 26, 2011


Students should self-enforce dress code The clothes we wear say a lot about who we are and what we stand for. Whether we like it or not, clothing is a window into our personalities. Universities, including ACU, often establish dress codes in an attempt to make sure the mission of the institution is expressed through what the students wear. ACU’s dress code is reasonable. The student dress code policy dictates that students dress should exude “a mature Christian attitude and the ability to discern propriety.”

But your momma isn’t here to enforce this policy. Students who want to be treated like adults should dress accordingly. It should not be the responsibility of professors or residence life to enforce dress code; students should want to enforce it themselves. Clothes, or in some instances the lack thereof, are an important part of expression. A guy wears his pants halfway to his knees to make an expression. A girl wears a low-cut shirt to make a statement.

When a jogger runs shirtless around the Lunsford Trail, a statement is being made. In turn, it is not necessary to wear shorts that barely cover your backside the moment the temperature gets above 50 degrees. It is true, jogging without a shirt or in skimpy shorts may be more comfortable, but you could also make the argument that it would be more comfortable to jog naked or in a toga. The fact of the matter is, life is about sacrifices and making concessions. As

students, we should be willing to sacrifice some level of expression and comfort in exchange for the benefits of adulthood. It may be time to trade in those skimpy shorts for something more reasonable. The stated purpose of the dress code in the handbook is to “assist students in making decisions about their dress and appearance on campus.” In theory, the university could force students to wear dresses, slacks and ties to classes. They could disallow hats in the class-

the issue

As spring approaches and the temperture rises, clothes are slowly but steadly disappering.

our take

The dress code is in place to reflect a mature environment, while still allowing students freedom of expression. room and shorts on campus. However, they recognize that students should be afforded the opportunity to express themselves through their attire, but they ask for one thing in return: Respect. Dressing appropriately should be a matter of personal conviction, but if it is not, students should desire

contact the Optimist at


By Morgan Davis

The Funny Funnies

to dress reasonably out of respect for their peers. So, put on a shirt next time you go out for a jog or consider more modest clothing for the sake of your fellow classmates. We all aspire to be mature; it’s time we dress like it.

Annual cookies positively deLite Little Linda

dressed as my favorite dessert. I bought two boxes. My love of Girl Scout Cookies comes from not only their ridiculously fresh taste, but also the simple fact that they are only sold a few months out of the year. In a time where we can buy almost anything instantly just by opening a Web browser and logging into Craigslist, eBay or any number of store websites, Girl Scout Cookies represent a different era where people actually spoke to each other faceto-face, an era where you had to wait patiently for what you wanted. I know people might criticize the Girl Scouts for selling cookies just once a year, saying they could make four times as

By Linda Bailey

I tasted my very first Girl Scout Cookie when I was in second grade. My older sister had recently joined the classic American organization popular among y o u n g girls and n a t u ra l l y Bailey my mom bought a few different boxes of the cookies. It was a Samoa, or Caramel deLites as they are also called, and after just one bite of the hexagon-shaped cookie, I was hooked. As soon as my mom would let me, I joined Girl Scout Troop 77. To be quite honest, my motives were not pure. I craved those cookI wanted those ies; I wanted those cookies and being cookies and being a young child, I a young child I thought being a Girl thought being a Scout would guarGirl Scout would antee an unlimited supply of the delecguarantee an table treat. unlimited supply of I’ll admit I liked the delectable treat. being a Girl Scout. I had fun learning how to use a pocket knife, gluing fabric much money by selling shells onto a parade ban- the cookies year-round, ner and camping in my but I simply cannot agree. troop leader’s backyard, The mere fact that I know but I was really only in it I only have a small window for the cookies. I couldn’t of opportunity to purchase help but get excited at the and enjoy the cookies is start of a new year, know- the reason why last year I ing I’d be selling, and more went through six boxes in importantly eating, those two weeks. Knowing that in August if I wanted a facmous cookies soon. Now that I’m 22, and fresh Carmel deLite, I’d be technically an adult, I still out of luck, I’d search for a get excited when I see my Girl Scout and buy another first set of Girl Scouts in box while I still could. I appreciate the Girl front of Walmart in their green vests full of patches Scout Cookie. Not only and smiles spread on their for the magic combinaface as they politely ask, tion of chocolate, cara“Would you like to buy mel and toasted coconut, but because they remind some cookies today?” me to appreciate the little Of course I would. Last year, I even ran into things in life. one girl dressed as a Carmel deLite. She was dancing in contact Bailey at front of a Walmart in Austin


Restroom habits disgust student

Your Average Jozie By Jozie Sands

Public restrooms wrecked my faith in humanity. The whole idea of sharing a toilet with hundreds of my closest strangers has always made me a bit queasy, but once I started to Sands notice how many people left the restroom without washing their hands my faith was shattered. People I saw at school and church on a regular basis would walk out of the restroom to face the world with germy hands. At first I would defend the germy-handed people in my mind with excuses like, “She’s late for class,”

“She just forgot,” or My faith was shattered. People I saw at “Maybe she is school and church on a regular basis running from would walk out of the restroom to face the mafia and just couldn’t the world with germy hands. hold it.” This reacThe finger-wash is them. If the finger-wash tion worked until I started to notice the activi- exactly what it sounds is the most effort a person ties people take part in like. It is when someone, can put into the cleanlibetween leaving the stall usually only using one ness of his or her hands, and exiting the restroom. hand, turns on the wa- how much effort can I exI noticed women would ter, and rubs their fingers pect someone to put into stop to check their hair together in the stream, the cleanliness of my food in the mirror, apply lip- only getting them wet at a restaurant? Please, think about the gloss or check for texts. from the second knuckle They obviously were not forward. Then they grab last time you washed your in a hurry, sometimes it a paper towel and head hands. Now, go wash them seemed like they were for the door. There is not again, and keep in mind wasting time before they any soap involved in the the advice your mother gave you when you were a went on with their day. finger-wash. This is all gross, but it’s kid. Although, I have seen This realization made it harder to make up ex- the principle that makes many mothers march out cuses for people, but me wonder about my fel- of the restroom without washing their hands. the practice that com- low humans. Since people don’t pletely crushed my coping mechanism was the wash their hands in pubcontact Sands at lic, they may never wash finger-wash.

editorial and letter policy Unsigned editorials are the opinions of the Optimist and may not necessarily reflect the views of the university or its administration. Signed columns, cartoons and letters are the opinions of their creators and may not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of the Optimist or the university. The Optimist encourages reader response through letters to the editor but reserves the right to limit frequent contributors or to refuse to print

letters containing personal attacks, obscenity, defamation, erroneous information or invasion of privacy. Please limit letters to 350 words or fewer. A name and phone number must be included for verification purposes. Phone numbers will not be published. Address letters to: ACU Box 27892 Abilene, TX 79699 E-mail letters to:

Optimist the

Published by the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication

newsroom (325) 674-2439

sports desk (325) 674-2684

editorial & management board Linda Bailey

Matthew Woodrow Christina Burch

Laura Acuff

Kenneth Pybus

Editor in Chief

Opinions Page Editor

Page 2 Editor

Copy Editor

Faculty Adviser

Jeff Craig

Brandon Tripp

Hannah Barnes

Bailey Griffith

Cade White

Managing Editor Sports Media Director

Features Editor

Copy Editor

Faculty Adviser

Jozie Sands Sandra Amstutz

Daniel Gomez

Morgan Davis

Cara Lee Cranford

Online Editor

Chief Photographer Cartoonist

Arts Editor

photo department (325) 674-2499

advertising office (325) 674-2463

multimedia desk (325) 674-2463


subscriptions ($40/year) (325) 674-2296


January 26, 2011

Page 7


Comfort: Family friends sponsor 5K fun run Continued from page 8

back of my head, I was thinking there was something wrong,” said Lance. And something was wrong. After undergoing the MRI, Dr. Robert Wiley walked into the room and told them their son had a golf ball-sized tumor in the middle of his brain. “You’re prepared for a lot of things as a parent, but one of the things you can’t be prepared for is, ‘Your son has a tumor,’” Lance said. The next day, Rex was on his way to Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth to get more testing, which eventually turned into a scheduled surgery to excise the tumor in his head. The question then became, how do you tell your eight-year-old son he has to go to a hospital to have a tumor removed. The simple answer, you don’t. “At eight years old we didn’t think right then was the time to tell him, ‘You have a brain tumor, it might be cancer,’” said Rex’s father. The average reaction you would expect when you tell a

child they have to have brain surgery is, ‘Will it hurt?’ But in much the same spirit he has had in every aspect of this ordeal, Rex was more interested in how they were going to cut into his head than the fear of what they might find inside it. The doctors were able to remove 100 percent of Rex’s tumor and initial signs look as though it was the best possible news, a benign tumor that required no further treatment other than physical and occupational therapy. Then a second tidal storm came when just a handful of days later, the Flemings got the test result back from Dr. Peter Berger Director of the Neuropathology Surgical Consultation Services at Johns Hopkins University. He had discovered that although 85 percent of the tumor was harmless and benign, 15 percent of the tumor was classified as a grade-three malignant glioma. “Apparently the statistics show that a grade-three malignant tumor is 30 to 40-percent survival rate for five years,” said Lance. “But

PHOTO COURTESY // Fleming Family

Rex displays the Rangers’ antlers sign with reigning American League Most Valuable Player and superstar Josh Hamilton. our son is not a statistic; he’s our son.” Through all of this, what stands out to Rex and his family is the outpouring they have received from people they barely know, and according to Rex, nothing more so than the countless prayers he has received. “The prayers have made everything go so good,” said Rex.

The things that astonish his parents the most are how Rex has been giving everyone else strength through his battle with cancer and how much so many people are willing to do for an eightyear-old boy. After being allowed to go home for Christmas, Rex found a special gift under the tree. Former ACU standouts Johnny Knox

and Danieal Manning got the entire Chicago Bears defense plus Knox and Jay Cutler to sign a helmet and shipped it to Abilene just in time for Christmas. Another gift is on the way for the Fleming family – some of the parents of Rex’s friends have decided to put on a 5K fun run benefiting Rex and his family. Proceeds from the run will all go to

help Rex and his family with medical and travel expenses for Rex’s treatment during the next two years. The fun run will take place Feb. 19 from 9 a.m. to noon at Crutcher Scott Field. To register for the fun run, visit the Facebook group Run4Rex 5K Walk/Run. contact Tripp at


Bowls: Gates receives call to play in Senior Bowl Continued from page 8

‘‘ ’’

“Football has been a blessing in my life for the past 10 years, and I’m so thankful for the opportunities it has presented me with and hopefully will continue to,” he said. Wide receiver Edmund Gates was invited to play in the Under Armour Senior Bowl, the most prestigious pre-draft bowl in the country on January 29 in Mobile, Ala. Gates will be the first player to play in the game from ACU since

chance to learn from these NFL coaches. I’m definiteFootball has been a ly taking everything they blessing for me, and I say to heart and am soakhope it continues to be. ing it all in,” said Gates. EDMUND GATES // former ACU wide The senior has lots to soak receiver in following a spectacular looking forward to playing collegiate career. He leaves Johnny Perkins in 1977. He is one of three Division in the game and learn from Abilene Christian ranked second in career receiving yards II standouts to be selected to the best,” Gates said. Gates will play for the (2,885), third in receptions play in the game and is relSouth team, which is under (158), tied for first in touchishing this opportunity. “It’s a blessing to be the direction of Buffalo Bills down catches (27) and fourth here today among the best head coach Chan Gailey and in scoring (194 points). college football players in his staff, something that Gates the country. This is a great is taking full advantage of. DANIEL GOMEZ // Chief Photographer contact Shake at “It’s great having the experience for me, and I’m Gates talks to reporters after graduating from ACU in December.


Victory: Whitaker has career night with 26 points Continued from page 8

In OT, the Wildcats controlled the ball and the clock. A Javelina three at the buzzer bounced off the rim to give the ’Cats a narrow, but well-earned twopoint victory, 84-82. “Kelsey was huge for us inside,” Whitaker said. “She is great down low and puts in the shots for us when we need them. She is

a great asset to this team.” It was only the second win in Moody Coliseum this year for Shawna Lavender’s bunch, but a 2-2 record in conference play is keeping the Wildcats right in the thick of Lone Star Conference competition. “Home games in the LSC, you have to win,” said head coach Shawna Lavender. “Being 2-2 puts us in the middle of the pack and 1-3 would

‘‘ ’’ ‘‘ ’’ Kelsey was huge for us inside ... She is a great asset to this team.

AUTUMN WHITAKER // senior guard for the ACU Wildcats

DANIEL GOMEZ // Chief Photographer

Kelsey Smith shoots a lay up in a game earlier this year.


Loss: Wildcats fall to to cellar of LSC poll Continued from page 8

have put us back. It was a confidence-boosting win and one we can build off of.” ACU trails both Tarleton State and West Texas A&M in the LSC standings by two games, but is in a tie for third. They will see another 2-2

“Our offense was good, we weren’t stagnant like we have been,” forward Giordan Cole said. “Our defense was solid, but we just didn’t cut off the net. I think that was the difference there.” The loss drops the Wildcats to 8-8 overall for the season and 0-4 in LSC South Division play. The Wildcats will travel to San Antonio to take on Incarnate Word on Wednesday. ACU will be looking to break a four-game losing streak and pick up its first win in division play. The

Our offense was good, we weren’t stagnant like we have been. GIORDAN COLE // senior forward for the ACU Wildcats

Wildcats will tip off against the Cardinals at 8 p.m. “You can’t worry about what is happening, you just have to look ahead,” Coach Copeland said. “We should play good Wednesday. We had a good practice Monday and we should be ready.” This is Incarnate Word’s first season to be eligible

to participate in LSC action. So far they haven’t disappointed with a 14-2 overall record. Coach Ken Burmeister helms the Cardinals. Under his leadership, the Cardinals have won at least 17 games every year. contact Cantrell at

team on Tuesday when they travel to San Antonio to face Incarnate Word. Overall this season the Cardinals are 6-10. contact Gwin at


Page 8

Standings MEN’S BASKETBALL Team Div. Ovrl. Tarleton St. 4-0 UIW 3-1 WTAMU 2-2 MSU 2-2 ENMU 2-2 ASU 2-2 TAMU-K 1-3 ACU 0-4

13-3 14-2 15-2 14-4 7-9 6-10 6-10 8-8

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL Team Div. Ovrl. Tarleton St. 4-0 WTAMU 4-0 Angelo St. 2-2 UIW 2-2 ACU 2-2 MSU 1-3 ENMU 1-3 TAMU-K 0-4

14-2 11-6 9-7 6-10 5-11 5-11 3-13 2-14


Turner shines for scouts in Cactus Bowl Bryson Shake

Assistant Sports Editor

After a season that included an 11-1 record, a Lone Star Conference championship and a ranking that topped out at No. 2 in the country, the ACU football program has plenty to be proud of. Two players who helped the Wildcats this season have been selected to play in postseason bowl games that highlight the nation’s best on the gridiron.


Briefs n Former

ACU wide receiver Edmund Gates will play in the Under Armour Senior Bowl on Saturday, in Mobile. Ala. The game will be aired at 3 p.m. on NFL Network.


ranked No. 12 in the country for attendance for home football games last season, as calculated by the NCAA in their latest poll. See the full story online at

n Legendary ACU athletes Wally Bullington and John Ray Godfrey were elected to the Big Country Athletic Hall of Fame earlier this month.

Player Profile n Autumn Whitaker, a senior guard from Longview, scored a career-high 26 points in the Wildcats’ 84-82 overtime win Saturday over Whitaker Texas A&M-Kingsville. The lone senior on the team, Whitaker is averaging 14 points and 5 rebounds a game. Whitaker was a threeyear letter winner and all-state player at Pine Tree High School.

‘‘ ’’

Offensive lineman Trevis Turner was chosen to participate in the 10th annual Cactus Bowl in Kingsville, which took place in early January, as well as the fourth annual NFLPA all-star game in San Antonio on Feb. 5, which will boast many Division I athletes among others. The Cactus Bowl selects 88 Division II seniors from around the country. The Cactus Bowl website says the game “brings together the finest football athletes from

It was a great honor to be selected for that award. I feel very humbled. TREVIS TURNER // former ACU offensive tackle

the 150 plus universities that comprise NCAA Division II” at Javelina Stadium. Turner was among those 88 selected and let the selection committee know they made a great choice in selecting him with his performance in the game. He started the game at of-

n The women’s basketball team will play at incarnate Word at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Ex-Factor n Johnny

Knox caught 2 passes for 56 yards in the Bears’ 21-14 loss to the Packers last Sunday. Danieal Manning recorded six tackles in the effort.

see BOWLS page 7

Fleming family finds hope in outpouring for son with cancer Brandon Tripp Sports Director

At just eight years old, Rex Fleming has been to the hospital more times in the last three months than most people have in their lifetimes. Eighty-five days ago, the Flemings learned that their son had a rare brain tumor that has changed their lives. Rex has been through surgery to remove the tumor and continues to undergo photon radiation therapy treatments nearly every day of the week, coupled with regular blood work, to make sure the medicine he is taking does not damage his kidneys or liver, and physical and occupational therapy to regain strength lost on the left side of Rex’s body during surgery. It started in late October when Rex began experiencing headaches and vomiting, but there was something different about

PHOTO COURTESY // Fleming Family

Rex Fleming and his surgeon Dr. David Donahue following his successful surgery at Cook Children’s Hospital in Ft. Worth. this illness. The symptoms only occurred between the hours of 9 and 11 A.M. and usually while he was in school. “We didn’t know one of the signs of a brain tumor was vomiting and having

headaches at the same time of day,” said Rex’s mother Jill. If you ask Rex, he claims that up until the day his parents told him otherwise, he thought he just had the flu. After all, who

would expect an eightyear-old boy know what “cancer” or “brain tumor” means. After seeing an ophthalmologist, Rex was sent to Hendrick Medical Center to get an MRI of his head

after what Rex’s father, ACU sports information director Lance Fleming, described as a migrainetype headache. “For some reason in the see COMFORT page 7



ACU skid hits four after loss Ryan Cantrell

Sports Multimedia Editor

n The

n The men’s basketball team will play Incarnate Word at 8 p.m., Wednesday in San Antonio.

fensive tackle and helped his offense rack up 464 yards of offense en route to winning 28-6. Turner’s efforts helped him earn the Jim Langer Offensive Lineman of the Game award, given to the game’s top offensive lineman. “It was a great honor to

be selected for that award. There are some very talented people in the game, and being selected leaves me feeling very humbled and honored,” Turner said. His play at the Cactus Bowl is an extension of his stellar season and career in the purple and white. As a first team All-American, Gene Upshaw Award finalist and first team all-region pick, Turner has left a lasting stamp on the ACU football program.

Blessings in Trial

Upcoming track and field team will compete at the New Mexico Invitational meet Friday and Saturday, Jan. 28-29, in Albuquerque, N.M.

January 26, 2011

DANIEL GOMEZ // Chief Photographer

Autumn Whitaker drives past a defender in the Wildcats 84-82 win over Texas A&M Kingsville.

Wildcats stop late rally, win in overtime 84-82 Austin Gwin Sports Editor

The women’s basketball team got a much-needed overtime victory in front of a loud and supportive home crowd at Moody Coliseum on Saturday. Playing a weak Texas A&M Kingsville squad, the Wildcats were playing in what they were calling a must-win game. “Coming into this game we were 1-2, and they were 0-3,” said senior Autumn Whitaker. “We needed

to move to 2-2 and they needed a conference win.” Whitaker has been the leader of this Wildcat team and Saturday was no different. Whitaker put up a career-high 26 points and 10 rebounds. No points were bigger than two clutch free throws with 15 seconds left to go in overtime. The Wildcats led throughout most of the game but an 18-2 Javelina run in the second half put ACU down by six, but the Wildcats clawed back. With four minutes to go

Mack Lankford grabbed a rebound and went coastto-coast for a lay up to give ACU a two-point lead. After trading free throws, Kingsville, who was lights out from long range, hit a three with 41 ticks left on the clock to go back up by two. The Wildcats would not be outdone on this day, however, as post Kelsey Smith hit a basket with 20 seconds left to tie it at 76. That would be the score going into overtime. see VICTORY page 7

The Wildcats could not overcome an 11–point first half deficit as the Texas A&M Kingsville Javelinas got the better of ACU 66-55. “We came out Saturday and I felt that we had good preparation for the game,” Head Coach Jason Copeland said. “We are just struggling to get the ball in the basket right now. We have made some changes and we are just trying to get back to having confidence in our game and confidence in each other.” ACU was held under 60 points for the second consecutive game as the offense struggled in the first half scoring only 25 points. ACU went into halftime trailing 36 –25. ACU would get back into the game in the second half, chipping away at the Javelina lead. The Wildcats would go on a 10 –2 in the first 5:45 of the second half to get within three points. The game

would go back and forth for the rest of the game as ACU would never get closer than three. The Wildcats were down four points in the final two minutes of the game. ACU tipped in a basket with 1:35 left that would have made the score 59–57 Kingsville. However, the bucket was waved off by an offensive goaltending call. The Javelinas would score on its next two possessions and make free throws down the stretch to come away with a 66-55 victory. The Wildcats were led by Desmond Woodberry who scored 10 points and had seven rebounds. Eric Milam added 12 points for the Wildcats in the losing effort. Antwan Mullins led Kingsville and all scorers in the game with 25 points. ACU shot 16–28 on the free throw line, a low 57.1 percent. The Wildcats were also outplayed in the paint, getting outscored 38–16. see LOSS page 7

The Optimist Print Edition: 01.26.11  
The Optimist Print Edition: 01.26.11  

The Optimist is a product of the JMC Network at Abilene Christian University