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Optimist the

Let it Snow, page 5

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Vol. 99, No. 34

1 section, 8 pages


Winter weather postpones Eurydice performance

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rector Emily Rankin, senior theatre major from Abilene. “We just didn’t Staff Reporter think that we’d have enough time to The Department of Theatre’s per- be able to do everything we wanted formance of Eurydice was post- to do with moving a week of work. poned after wintry weather con- [It’s] better to be prepared.” As of now, the cast and crew are ditions delayed set completion, setting the cast back in rehearsal. all back to regular rehearsal, and “With the snow last week, it the production will run Feb. 17 didn’t allow us much time to work through Feb. 19 with the talk-back on everything. We’ve got a com- session scheduled for Feb. 18. Based on classic Greek mytholplicated set and we needed a little more time to get that up,” said di- ogy, Eurydice tells the tragic story

Marissa Ferguson

Incoming Stress

With the snow last week, it didn’t allow us much time to work on everything. We’ve got a complicated set and we needed a little more time to get that up. EMILY RANKIN // Director of Eurydice and senior theatre major from Abilene

of a young newlywed couple, and the depths of which love will go. “Orpheus and Eurydice are married, and Eurydice dies. Orpheus misses her so much that he travels to the underworld to rescue

her,” Rankin said. “He then plays beautiful music so that he can convince the lord of the underworld to let him take Eurydice back.” Rankin said that the particular piece they will be performing

A recent study shows freshmen stress levels hit 25-year high

see PLAY page 4


Campus mourns English instructor Jeff Craig

Managing Editor

Story by Christianna Lewis Illustration by Morgan Davis

Stress is no new concept in the life of a college student, but a recent study indicates that the emotional health of freshmen is worse than it was 25 years ago. Only 51.9 percent of freshmen had above average emotional health, according to a press release from the Cooperative Institutional Research Program. This is a 3.4 percent drop from 2009 and a decline from the 63.6 percent of freshmen in that category in 1985. The study is based on freshmen’s self-ratings of their emotional health over the past 25 years. The CIRP surveyed 201,818 fulltime freshmen at 279 of America’s four-year colleges and universities last fall alone. The CIRP Freshman Survey is the largest and longest-running survey of American college students, surveying more than 15 million students since 1966. John Delony, assistant dean for residence life, said he believed the national trends extended to ACU. However, he believes the rise in stress is more connected to economic uncertainty than an increase in the intensity of school loads.

is an updated version, and finds that Eurydice must make a decision, spinning the plot. “The thing is that it’s from Eurydice’s point of view, so you meet her in the underworld and see what she goes through while Orpheus is looking for her.” In line with the Department of Theatre’s mission to deliver thought-provoking pieces, Rankin

“I don’t believe that study is indicative of just college students,” Delony said. “I think that if they did that study for society in general, they’d find the same trends.” The study confirmed that the economy and financial strains on students’ families played a part in freshmen stress. The unemployment rate of students’ fathers (4.9 per-

cent) was at an all-time high and the rate of unemployed mothers (8.6 percent) showed increase as well. The amount of students getting college loans is at 53.7 percent. Carly Henderson, freshman biology major from Edmond, Okla., agreed that college see LEARNING page 4

V i c k i e Smith, instructor of English, died Saturday in Abilene, after a battle with cancer. She was 62. Smith taught in the Department of English until the first day of classes this semester but was unable to continue after being diagnosed with abdominal cancer. Dr. Cole Bennett, associate professor of English and interim department chair, moved into an office across the hall from Smith when he arrived at ACU in 2000. He said Smith was always asking her fellow professors questions to be the most effective teacher she could be. Bennett called Smith a “student of the craft.” “Vickie was an outstanding teacher, and her voluminous office files are a testament to her devotion,” Bennett said. “She was continuously inventing, designing and refining assignments for the see SMITH page 4


Undergraduate Research Festival extends deadline happening at ACU. It gives students a chance to present Contributing Reporter their research results while The deadline to submit an giving faculty, staff and stuapplication for the third dents a chance to hear and annual ACU Undergradu- see what’s going on in variate Research Festival was ous disciplines across camextended to Feb. 10 be- pus. Students compete for cause of inclement weath- a range of prizes, which, in er. The festival will take previous years, have includplace in the Robert D. and ed cash rewards of $100. Dr. Greg Powell, director Shirley Hunter Welcome of the Office of UndergraduCenter on March 28. The purpose of the festi- ate Research, said the festival is to showcase the under- val has fostered some great graduate research activity collaborative work among

Samantha Sutherland

atmosphere in an environment that is meant to feel like a research conference. Jade Jung, senior chemistry major from Busan, South Korea is entering the festival for the third time. Jung said she is used to presenting her findings at chemistry conferences where the general audience already has a vast knowledge of science. At the ACU festival, however, she will be presenting in front see UNDERGRADUATE page 4


inside news The Springboard Ideas Challenge is accepting mini-business plans for big-business ideas until March 4. page 3

faculty members. Students have seen friends and colleagues involved and have called his office asking how they can get involved, which is how he feels it should be. The festival also offers students a chance to improve their public speaking skills and to develop confidence. “We’ve all been in this spot before and we are here to learn and be friends, not critics,” Powell said. He said the festival offers a professional but relaxed

opinion Changes to Presidential Scholarships will give more students the opportunity to receive awards, but more is expected of recipients. page 6

SAMANTHA SUTHERLAND // Contributing Reporter

David Kempe, junior biochemistry major from Tulsa, Okla., inspects a test tube used in an experiment.

weather video archives Find archived Optimist Sing Song videos from years past before this year’s show on our YouTube channel, youtube. com/acuvideo.

Abilene Christian University




25° 14°

37° 23°

51° 28°



Campus Wednesday, February 9, 2011



calendar & events Wednesday

11 a.m. Chapel with guest speaker Joy Eggerichs from “Love and Respect NOW” in Moody Coliseum 2 p.m. ”Open Mic Relationship Q&A” Chapel forum with Joy Eggerichs in Cullen Auditorium



11 a.m. Small Group Chapels (locations vary across campus)



11 a.m. Praise Day in Moody Coliseum

8:15 p.m. Freshmen Devo at Chapel on the Hill

7:30 p.m. Eurydice in Fulks Theatre



10 a.m. Table Tennis Tournament in the Campus Center Living Room 2 p.m. Women’s basketball at Texas A&M-Kingsville 4 p.m. Men’s basketball at Texas A&M-Kingsville

5:30 p.m. Women’s basketball vs. West Texas A&M University

7:30 p.m. Eurydice in Fulks Theatre

7:30 p.m. Men’s basketball vs. West Texas A&M University

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

announcements 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 steve.eller@ or the Counseling Center at 674-2626. Table Tennis The ACU Table Tennis Club is hosting a free Table Tennis Tournament at 10 a.m. on Feb. 12 in the Campus Center Living Room. Students do not need to own their own paddle to participate. For more information, contact Benjamin Hayes at Online Summer Courses Registration opens Feb. 23 for online summer courses. Students can choose from 15 courses, and each course is three weeks long. For more information, visit www. 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. on Feb. 24 at the Abilene Civic Center. The event offers résumé reviews and mock interviews. Professional attire is required.

ACUltimate The university’s ultimate frisbee club meets at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Interested students can contact Kyle Thaxton at Civil Rights Tour Students can receive academic credit during Summer Session I by joining the ACU Freedom Ride on May 15-21. The seven-day, 1,800-mile guided bus tour will visit significant sites of the American Civil Rights Movement. Registration begins Feb. 23. For more information, contact Dr. Richard Beck at, Dr. Jennifer Dillman at jennifer.dillman@acu. edu, Dr. David Dillman at or your academic adviser. GRE Prep Course Students interested in registering for the GRE prep course need to sign up by Feb. 18. The course is designed to help students learn testtaking strategies for the computer-adaptive GRE General Test. Students can become familiar with the exam and identify study needs through lab practice tests. Sessions are Mondays, 6:30-9 p.m. from Feb. 21-March 28. For more information, visit

FilmFest Entry forms for the 2011 FilmFest can be found in McKinzie Hall Room 122, at www.acu. edu/filmfest or The Shinnery Review Students interested in being published in 2011 issue of The Shinnery Review, the ACU studentrun art and literary magazine, should e-mail original poetry, photography, short stories and art to by Feb. 15 to be considered. Equine-Assisted Learning The University Counseling Center will host a “Walls & Fences” workshop at 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 4. The free workshop will focus on learning to be aware of boundaries and assertiveness in relationships. Students should register to reserve a spot at For more information, contact Steve Eller at steve. 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. FCA The ACU chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes meets at 9 p.m. every Thursday in the Campus Center Living Room.

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 17 56

Credited Chapels to date

Credited Chapels remaining


volunteer opportunities 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, and volunteers cannot have any sexual assault charges or charges pending. For more information, contact Sheri Frisby at 696-4797, or e-mail sheri. Breakfast on Beech Street Students can help set up, prepare and serve breakfast for the homeless at First Christian Church on Third Street and Beech Street. Serving time is 6:30-7:15 a.m. on Monday-Friday. Visit for more information. National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature Students can greet patrons, assist with art activities, sell books and welcome visitors from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. or 1-3 p.m. on Tuesdays-Saturdays. For more information, contact Debby Lillick at 673-4586 or visit The Center for Contemporary Arts needs a gallery assistant to help with exhibit setup and preparation. The work can be done any time 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday-Friday. Call 677-8389 or e-mail info@ The Salvation Army Volunteers are needed at the 1726 Butternut St. Salvation Army to sort and price items and help with kitchen or yard work. Volunteers are welcome any time Monday-Saturday.

Contact J.D. Alonzo at 6771408 or visit www.satruck. com for more information on the program. 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. All help is appreciated. Contact Laura Reynolds at 692-8080 or lgreynolds@ International Rescue Committee Students can work with refugees who recently moved to the United States, teaching English, helping with homework and mentoring. Volunteer times are flexible. Call Daina JurykaOwen at 675-5643 ext. 16 to make an appointment. For more information on the International Rescue Committee, visit Betty Hardwick Center Volunteers are needed in several departments at the Betty Hardwick Center, specializing in mental health. Students can help mentally and physically challenged people play games, run track and go bowling. Students can volunteer from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Monday-Friday. Contact Angel Seca at 690-5235 for more information. 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. on 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@ Aimee’s Art Studio is seeking volunteers from 9-10 a.m. or 1:30-2:30 p.m. on 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. Madison Middle School is looking for male volunteers to participate in a weekly “Boys2Men” lunchtime program for 8th grade boys. Speakers will be addressing different aspects of growing up. Contact Jeff Womack at 692-5661 or Global Samaritan Resources Volunteers are needed to sort through clothing and repack boxes Monday-Thursday at any time. Volunteers should call ahead. Contact David Catalina at 676-9991 for more information. HERO Hendrick Equine Rehabilitation Opportunities needs volunteers from March 22-May 5 to help with its horse therapy program. Volunteers will walk or jog alongside horses and provide safety for clients as they ride. No horse experience is necessary. Volunteers must attend one of two training sessions offered prior to the beginning of the program. Contact Beth Byerly at 660-3465 or e-mail herocoord@


February 9, 2011

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SA solicits student opinion through survey teering. SA Vice President Jared Elk, said the survey Managing Editor is a great way for students A Students’ Association to have their voices heard. survey released Wednes- Students can take the surday will give students an vey through Friday. “There are a lot of good opportunity to express their opinions on multiple surveys sent out. This is one of the most important,” Elk campus issues. The 50-question Zoo- said. “This is the students’ merang survey will cover one opportunity to take an topics including recycling, SA survey while at ACU. meal plans, attendance pol- It probably won’t be done icy, social clubs and volun- again for several years.” Jeff Craig

Elk, senior political science major from Savoy, said the survey allows students to help shape the course of SA for the next several years. Elk said the last survey, sent out three years ago, helped change the university’s alcohol policy. “The purpose of the survey is to try to figure out what the students’ wants, needs and goals at ACU are,” Elk said. “We

Warming Up

want to know how we can express those goals to the administration and get people working toward the same goals. “ Elk said almost 1,000 students took the last survey and he hopes for similar participation numbers with this survey. SA will award prizes to random students who take the survey. The awards include an iPad, iHome, blankets


Shinnery Review seeks student art submissions Bailey Griffith Copy Editor

The Shinnery Review is accepting submissions to be evaluated for publishing in its annual art and literary magazine from now until Feb. 15. The Shinnery Review, ACU’s student-run publication, features poetry, short stories, photography and other artwork. Bethany Bradshaw, Shinnery Review coeditor, said the publication tries to keep away from certain profanities. “Other than that, pretty much anything goes. We don’t usually take a lot of academic essays … it’s more creative writing than academic writing,” Bradshaw said. Bradshaw, senior English major from Henderson, said she hopes the publication can start gaining diversity amidst the students who submit their work. “We’re trying to encourage it to be more widespread across campus and try to

get students from different disciplines to get more involved and interested in the magazine,” Bradshaw said. Most submissions come from the English and art departments. Students who want to get involved with the magazine can go to the Shinnery Review’s small group Chapel that meets on Thursdays in the Inkwell, which is in the commons area in the basement of Chambers Hall. “It’s just kind of an informal time where we can share information about the Shinnery and usually read some poetry,” Bradshaw said. That’s how David McMichael, senior English major from Abilene, was originally drawn into the magazine. He started going to meetings as a freshman and is now one of the coeditors of the Shinnery Review. “It’s great to see all the talent from the other students on campus and to get to read their poetry

and see their photography,” McMichael said. In his fourth year of involvement, the uniqueness of the publication keeps McMichael returning each year. “There’s not really anything else like this on campus,” McMichael said. “Allowing people to have a venue to kind of share their thoughts and share their art is very important to me.” The Shinnery Review will be published near the end of the semester and will host the Black Tulip, their big poetry reading of the year, to celebrate. They also plan to bring an author to campus about a month before the release of the magazine. To submit a piece of art to the editorial board of the Shinnery Review, e-mail with your titled piece as an attached file. contact Griffith at

contact Craig at

Athletes support local child Contributing Reporter

TANNER FREEMAN // Staff Photographer

advocate on their behalf.” Best, junior political science major from Sacramento, Calif., hopes to see an increase in participation over the last survey. “This is really important because the only way this is legitimate is if a bunch of students take the survey,” Best said.


Zane Goggans

Rachel Webb, senior marketing major from Beaumont, leads Ko Jo Kai Sing Song practice.

and other ACU gifts. SA Chief Development Officer Connor Best said students should take the survey to tell SA what issues they deem to be important. “It’s going to help SA really understand what the student body wants,” Best said. “This Saturday we are planning a spring retreat and we want to put into action the information we’ve received. It’ll help us better

The ACU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee has partnered up with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to help raise money for a local child’s wish. The SAAC does not have the right to publicize the name, age, gender or medical state of the child. However, it was made clear that the child is from Abilene. The SAAC is working with representatives from Make-A-Wish to get the rights to publicize. The Make-A-Wish Foundation is a nonprofit organization that helps grant wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. Make-A-Wish has granted 204,059 wishes as of Feb. 6, according to the MakeA-Wish website. Doctors, social workers or even parents refer children to Make-A-Wish. Ann Varner, director of athletics academic services, said that the student-athletes heard about

social clubs adopting children’s wishes and thought it would be a good idea for the SAAC, which promotes volunteer opportunities for athletes to get involved with their communities. Varner supported the decision wholeheartedly. Varner said in order to grant a wish with Make-AWish, you must raise a minimum of $5,000. The SAAC has committed to raising the minimum amount and more if possible. Varner said it could take up to $7,000-$10,000 for the wish to become a reality. “We felt like people would be willing to give more knowing it was a local child,” Varner said. “It made it more personal to have a local child.” The SAAC will fundraise to reach the $5,000 goal. One way that the SAAC plans on getting the funds is through penny wars. The game involves athletic teams carrying around jars asking for pennies. The pennies are counted at face value. If a donor drops any silver in

the jar, the worth of the silver is counted off from the total amount of pennies you earn. Whoever comes away with the most pennies wins the game. The money will go to the Disneyland wish – silver and all. Ijeoma Moronu, senior health promotions major from Fort Worth and chair of the SAAC has helped raise money all four years at ACU. She also plays volleyball for the Wildcats. “It means a lot to me to help sponsor a local child,” Moronu said. One way that students and social clubs can get involved is participating in the 5K walk on May 7 throughout the surrounding neighborhood. The details of the walk are to be determined. The money raised will benefit the local child. There will also be fundraising events at Chick-fil-A on March 30 and at Rosa’s on May 7 following the walk. contact Goggans at


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February 9, 2011


Students develop business plans for contest Christina Burch Page 2 Editor

Aspiring entrepreneurs and small business hopefuls are encouraged to submit the next big-business idea for the fourth annual Springboard Ideas Challenge. The competition is designed to support winning participants in their entrepreneurial ambitions, with the help of cash and other prizes. Advancing participants will also have the opportunity to receive feedback and advice from current business owners.

Jim Litton, J.D., director of the Griggs Center for Entrepreneurship & Philanthropy, said he encourages students to utilize this unique opportunity. “The competition is a great way for students interested in entrepreneurship or simply with a great business or nonprofit idea to get valuable feedback and potentially win significant prizes to help them launch their venture,” Litton said. Each team must outline their projected idea by submitting a written mini-business plan. The

plan should highlight core concepts and other explanations that would be of interest to new potential investors. The challenge, sponsored by the College of Business Administration, is open to students and other interested participants in the West Texas region. Teams can consist of up to four members and must register online by March 4. There is a $10 registration fee. Ashley Carroll, junior business marketing major from Prosper, said she believes this challenge proves

ACU’s strong commitment to promoting student success. “Not only does this contest encourage students to think outside the box and push themselves to be innovative, but it also generates interest from potential investors,” Carroll said. The competition will award winners in three divisions: Student, Community Pre-Revenue and Community Post-Revenue. From each of the categories, a first place winner will receive $7,500, a second place winner will receive $2,500 and honorable mentions will receive $1,000.

A “Most Fund-able” prize of $7,500 will be awarded to only one team, chosen from the three divisions. In addition, the “Social Entrepreneurship” award will grant $2,500 to one team in the competition. The Springboard Ideas Challenge has launched past winners into mainstream success, including four ACU students who presented the idea of Sheepdog. Sheepdog, a research service aimed at helping organizations identify their customers’ preferred social networks,

was the first place winner of the 2009 Springboard Ideas Challenge. The company was sold Fall 2010. “It’s an opportunity to showcase talents and potentially put a business plan into action,” Carroll said. “The ultimate winnings consist of an investment to jump-start your business plan.” For information regarding registration, deadlines and competition rules, visit www. contact Burch at



Play: Opening weekend pushed back to Feb. 17 Continued from page 1

DANIEL GOMEZ // Chief Photographer

A memorial service for Vickie Smith took place during the English Departmental Chapel on Tuesday. Faculty members lit candles and Smith’s frog collection was displayed.

Smith: English instructor emphasized faith in class Continued from page 1

students in her composition and British literature courses.” Bennett said Smith was as concerned with her students’ spiritual development as she was with their understanding of concepts she taught in class. “Because our office doors were often both open, I would hear her talking to students about their lives – troubles at home, illness, poor time management, faith matters and integrity,” Bennett said. “Her students may have had difficulty understanding British poetry or essay writing at times, but they could not have missed the woman of unbridled and never-ending love standing before them each class period.” Smith was born May 3, 1948. She graduated from Midwestern State University in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in English. She earned her master’s in English from ACU in 1992 and began teaching full time in 1995. Dr. Nancy Shankle, professor of English and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences,

remembers Smith as a teacher who loved her students and was passionate in her faith. Shankle said Smith expected her students to strive for excellence in her classes. “Any student who came to class unprepared or made excuses about missing homework quickly heard a lesson about accountability from Prof. Smith,” Shankle said. “However, she also worked overtime to help any student who earnestly wanted to learn. She often tutored students in her office to help them prepare for an assignment or test.” Shankle said Smith was effective as a teacher because she used unconventional teaching methods. She said Smith would teach her Major British Writers course backwards, starting with more recent literature and then going back in time. Shankle said Smith wanted her students to participate in class. “Professor Smith was also a champion for active learning and would give students a text to discuss or a writing exercise and then leave the room,” Shankle said. “ When she returned, she challenged

students to tell her what they learned, and they always rose to the challenge.” Dr. Mikee Delony, assistant professor of English, remembers Smith as a teacher who cared for her students. “I’ve been part of the ACU faculty for almost five years, and Vickie was always helpful, encouraging, and willing to share ideas and resources,” Delony said. “Many of my handouts have “Smith” in the header, indicating that she created them. She was often the first faculty member on the floor in the morning and the last to leave in the afternoon.” Delony said Smith’s encouragement was a positive influence for those she worked with in the Department of English. “She had a wonderfully dry wit, a generous spirit, and will be missed by those of us who worked with her every day.” Her funeral service will be at 1 p.m. on Thursday at Hillcrest Church of Christ. She is survived by her mother, sister and other family members. contact Craig at


said that the play will tackle questions that students deal with in their daily lives. “The play asks questions that are universal like what happens to us after we die, what parts of us get left, and what parts of us are we able to take once we leave this world,” said Rankin. “It also tackles how strong the bonds of love are, and what kind of relationships we carry on even after this world has passed away. It’s a play about questions but not necessarily answers which is something a lot of people are drawn to.” Dawne SwearingenChurchville, assistant professor of acting, said Rankin brings something special to the stage as the director. “[Rankin] was so wellrooted in the text and well-

The play asks questions that are universal like what happens to us after we die, what parts of us get left and what parts of us are we able to take once we leave this world.


EMILY RANKIN // Director of Eurydice and senior theatre major from Abilene

researched. She already had a great understanding of what the story was and the direction that she wanted to go with it,” SwearingenChurchville said. “Because she has put the trust in the students and has allowed them to try some things and take risks, there is a comfortable environment that’s there.” As scheduled, the talkback for the show on Feb. 18 will continue. This has served as a means of communication between stage members and the

audience in the past. “We find these sessions very interesting and enlightening,” Rankin said. “We started doing talk-backs a few years ago, and it has really changed our relationship with our audience. It helps open that dialogue more between the stage and the seats.” Tickets may be purchased for $12 at the WPAC box office. contact Ferguson at


Undergraduate: Students to display research abilities Continued from page 1

of people who are not familiar with the sciences which gives her experience using a new method of presenting. David Kempe, junior biochemistry major from Tulsa, Okla., said ordinary lab work does not involve much public speaking, so it is good to have an event where they can practice those skills. “It’s a really good experience in terms of learning how to speak publicly and learning how to present your ideas, especially complicated ideas, to a group of people who aren’t used to talking about those sorts of things,” Kempe said. “It’s something I think anyone

SAMANTHA SUTHERLAND// Contributing Reporter

David Kempe, junior biochemistry major from Tulsa, Okla., and Jade Jung, senior chemistry major from South Korea, inspect test tube results in the Foster Science Building. who goes into research needs to be good at.” The festival is open to all undergraduates and recent graduates who are seeking the opportunity to display the results of the research they con-

ducted the past year. Applications for the festival can be found on the Undergraduate Research Festival website. contact Sutherland at


Learning: Majority of freshmen report stress Continued from page 1

is more stressful for freshmen today than it was 25 years ago. “I think it’s probably a combination of the economy, tuition and the idea of not being able to get a job when their done,” Henderson said. Henderson said her family had difficulty covering tuition. She also worries about her future

career, which she hopes will be in the medical field. Delony said uncertainty caused by systemic changes in the economy is driving students to stand out academically. “My generation and beyond was told that you go to high school, then college and then get a job. That narrative I think is changing,” Delony said. Delony said the notion of having one job or profession for an entire career is gone.

‘‘ ’’

The survey may support this idea, as 75.8 percent of freshmen rated their drive to achieve as “above average,” showing an upward trend. Further, 72.7 percent of freshmen – the highest rate ever –believed that “the chief benefit of college is that it increases one’s earning power.” Far fewer female students reported high levels of emotional health than male students, the rates at 45.9 and 59.1 percent re-

ACU staff and faculty. Henderson said she is I think it’s probably trying to manage her time a combination of the better than she did last seeconomy, tuition and the mester to reduce her stress. idea of not getting a job She is also going to church when their done. more and reading her Bible CARLY HENDERSON // freshman biology major from Edmond, Okla. more regularly. “Whenever I have my spectively. Henderson said based education is para- God time, it kind of helps she observed much more mount in these times where me pull in my stress and stress in herself and other challenges and opportuni- get my thoughts in order,” female students than in ties are great. Any students Henderson said. experiencing high stress can her male classmates. Delony said he believed take advantage of the Councontact Lewis at that investing in experience- seling Center, or approach

February 9, 2011

Focus photos by DANIEL GOMEZ // Chief Photographer

Below: Walker Nikolaus, junior physics major from Abilene, watches his friends play in the snow outside of Smith and Adams Halls after rolling down a hill on the Wildcat Disk Golf Course on Feb. 1. Left: Snow covers the lawns of the Onstead-Packer Biblical Studies Building.

Let it Snow Icy weather offers students a break from classes and creates a winter wonderland on campus

Katie Greene, freshman undecided major from Abilene, tosses snow into the air outside of the McGlothlin Campus Center in front of the GATA Fountain.

Above: Caley Johnson, freshman business major from Omaha, Neb. and Savannah Smith freshman undecided from Dallas, stroll down the iced road between Mabee Business Building and the Education Building. Right: Moody Coliseum is covered in snow.

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February 9, 2011


Scholarship changes allow adaptability Changes made to the way Presidential Scholarships are awarded will give the university more flexibility in distributing the scholarships, the academic pinnacle for incoming freshmen. A record 453 potential students applied for the award this year, an increase from the 323 last year. This sharp increase in application numbers serves as an indicator to the university that it is doing the right things to attract more academic scholars. Students have competed for either a half schol-

arship or full scholarship in past years, based on their ACT or SAT scores, however, students now will all compete for up to a full scholarship. The university has not established what the lowest scholarship award will be. With the old system, the university could do one of three things for applicants It could give them no scholarship, a half scholarship or a full scholarship. We believe the former methods of distributing the awards limited the university too

much because students who were qualified for lesser amounts were left out. Even if handing out more partial scholarships reduces the number of full scholarships awarded, we believe this will attract more gifted students to the university. Helping more students pay for college is beneficial to families and to the quality of incoming classes. With enrollment numbers on the rise at ACU, a diverse scholarship program is necessary to meet

the needs of growing freshmen classes. The university will now be able to hand out scholarships they deem appropriate based on a student’s credentials. Additionally, the university will be holding these gifted scholars to a higher standard; recipients of the award will now be required to spend more time in the Honors College. This new standard for Presidential Scholars makes perfect sense for those who the university strives to hold to the By Morgan Davis

The Funny Funnies

the issue

ACU is changing the requirements attached to the Presidential Scholarship, as well as the amounts awarded.

our take

With a growing number of applicants, these changes will grant more students money and encourage success. “highest standards of academic success.” Students who receive the scholarship will now be required to spend the minimum amount of time necessary to participate in the Honors College and join an extracurricular activity. Last year students were only required to take Honors cours-

es. They did not have to participate in the college itself or any extracurricular activities. These moves will attract more gifted students and are good places to start enhancing the university’s credibility. contact the Optimist at


Snow remains constant irritant Little Linda

clump. Water lines the streets creating streams of cold liquid I’m forced to jump over – and I have short legs. Growing up, my family never went skiing. We spent winter break in South Padre and California. Needless to say, I could do without the snow. Sure, it’s fun for the first five minutes of a snowball fight until the snow soaks through my mittens and I’m left wondering how long it takes for frostbite to cause me to lose my fingers. Sure, I won’t complain about multiple

By Linda Bailey


Teacher impacted students’ lives Homeskool Validictorian By Jeff Craig

I don’t think I’ll ever forget Vickie Smith. My sophomore year at ACU I enrolled in Ms. Smith’s English 112 class, assuming it would be easy. I quickly found out that Ms. Craig Smith had no intentions of ever teaching a blow-off class. The first day of class she told us her course would be the hardest class we’d ever taken. She wasn’t lying. Ms. Smith died on Saturday at age 62, and the university lost one of its truly unique personalities. She was tough, persistent and frankly, she was intimidating. But from the first day of class three things were glaringly apparent: she loved teaching, she loved

God and she loved her People like Ms. Smith are rare. She students. At the would stay after class to help students start of evas often as they needed. For Vickie ery class, she Smith, teaching was not a job – it was would pass a prayer joura ministry. She relished the opportunity nal around to influence students. the class. She told students to put whatever was all about effort and ished the opportunity to was in their heart in the the more effort a student influence students. I only had her for one journal. It wasn’t a fan- put into an assignment, cy book, but Ms. Smith the better grade he or she semester, and there were times I wanted bang my wasn’t fancy. She said she would receive. Ms. Smith gave me a head against a wall dowould pray for us. Again, bad grade on my first es- ing one of her essays. she wasn’t lying. Her unconventional say, and I was pretty up- But looking back, it’s teaching style made her set. I asked her what I did easy to recognize that unique. Sure, we talked wrong and she asked me I was fortunate to have about all of the literature to come meet with her. been taught by an outstuff, but looking back, She proceeded to spend standing teacher. Vickie Smith knew Ms. Smith had an un- almost two hours of her canny ability to weave life own time helping me be- when it was time to make lessons into her class les- come a better writer – for her students laugh. She sons. Discussions about two hours I was all that knew when it was time to be tough, and she knew purity, integrity and re- mattered that her. People like Ms. Smith when it was time to show sponsibility were far more frequent in her class than are rare. She would stay compassion. This campus is going discussions about com- after class to help students as often as they to miss her. mas and phrases. However, she still ex- needed. For Vickie Smith, pected her students to teaching was not a job – it contact Craig at work hard. Ms. Smith was a ministry. She rel-

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:

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Growing up in the Texas Panhandle means I’m no stranger to the snow, but it doesn’t mean I like it. Those p e s k y flakes of solidified rainwater turn roads and sidewalks Bailey into icy death traps canceling school and trapping people indoors. Almost everything about the snow drives me crazy. Shoveling driveways, scraping ice off Those pesky my windshield, wearing at least flakes of solidified six layers of rainwater turn clothes and sliproads and ping in front of Mabee Hall on sidewalks into the way to work. icy death traps And when canceling school heavy winds are thrown into the and trapping snowy mix, it feels people indoors. like my face is being pelted with large icicles – an days of canceled class. experience I don’t enjoy. Snowball fights are And sure, playing in the wet and dangerous first snowfall of the year when college guys try in the middle of the night to see just how fast and with my closest friends hard they can throw the is fun at any age. But after four days, I tightly packed sphere of snow. Snowmen are just want to feel warm kind of creepy with and dry, walk on solid their beady coal eyes, ground, and be able to long carrot noses and drive my truck to school. So, perhaps you could crooked, stick arms. Snow angels are re- describe my feelings ally just a waste of dry toward snow as a love/ clothes. And why make hate relationship. I’ll a snow fort in the bit- admit that a blanket of ter cold outside when fresh, white snow is inyou can make a blanket comparably serene, but fort in a dry, warm liv- in the end I will always see snow as just really ing room? Melting snow is even cold rain. But growing up in Texworse. Water drips from rooftops into yards cre- as, I’ve at least learned to ating muddy, wet pud- tolerate it – but only in dles of ice and snow. two-inch intervals, not Snowmen become even in blizzard form. creepier when their eyes, nose and arms contact Bailey at slide into one big snowy

editorial & management board Linda Bailey

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February 9, 2011

Page 7


Season opener on horizon after weather delay Brandon Tripp Sports Director

After having its season opener delayed by four days, the Wildcat baseball team will have to wait another four days to get its 2011 season under way. Weather has forced the Wildcats to cancel both the series with Incarnate Word and Delta State, two of the top 40 teams in Division II baseball. ACU will now face off against Texas A&M-Kingsville this Friday in Kingsville with a three-game series against the Javelinas.

‘‘ ’’

The Wildcats will not be able to make up their series with Incarnate Word due to Lone Star Conference bylaws which give teams three days to complete a series once both teams are in town. “That’s baseball,” said Head Coach Britt Bonneau. “The bylaws give you three days to get your games in, and we couldn’t.” Bonneau and his players will get their shot at Delta State. The Statesmen will come back to Abilene in late March to make up the series lost this week because of the winter weather.

We are frustrated, but we know we will get to play eventually. BRITT BONNEAU // Wildcat baseball head coach

With the cancellations, ACU has managed to make it through the roughest part of their schedule without a loss and never took a swing or threw a pitch. The three opponents the Wildcats were scheduled to face over the last week were all in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s top 40 pre-season poll heading into the season.


Continued from page 8

Continued from page 8

JULIE COPPEDGE // Staff Photographer

Eric Milam drives past an Angelo State defender Monday night. was only two points away from his career high and also had seven rebounds in the game. Dosh Simms was next for the Wildcats in scoring as he added 13 for the Wildcats. Richard Thomas for ASU was the game’s leading scorer with 29 points to lead Angelo to victory.

The Wildcats will be back in action Wednesday night against fellow Lone Star Conference South team West Texas A&M. The game is set to tip off at 7:30 p.m. in Moody Colliseum. contact Cantrell at

“For most of the game, we played very well. Angelo State is a great team, and we showed that we can hang with them. We were clicking on all cylinders, and then let things get out of our hands. We just need to play a complete game and work on our mental skills. Physically, we’re doing well, but we need to get our minds right and have the right attitude in order to win games,” Sarah Martinez said. In the night cap, ACU found its stride early once again, jumping out to a 2-0 lead when an Ashley Calles single scored two. Calles would continue to swing a hot stick, adding another RBI in the sixth

Loss: ACU in final playoff spot

‘‘ ’’

as Angelo State closed out its fifth conference win of the year. In a game marred by fouls, ASU dressed only eight players. When two of their eight fouled out it looked like ACU had all the momentum. But, in a matter of 30 seconds, Mack Lankford and Smith fouled out. With two big offensive threats out of the game the Wildcats instantly became sloppy with the ball and ultimately gave the game away. “As coaches and players you have to learn to adjust to the way the game is officiated,” Lavender said. “Because of almost 50

Because of almost 50 fouls neither team could get into a rhythm. SHAWNA LAVENDER // head women’s basketball coach

fouls neither team could get into a rhythm.” But Lavender was quick to give credit to a good Angelo State squad. “They did a lot of things right even though they only had six players available there at the end,” Lavender said. “A lot of tough and unfortunate injuries have really affected their season, and for them to come in and get a win on the road with only eight was a testament to their coaching.”

It was a team effort when it came to giving the ball to the Rambelles. Four Wildcats committed at least four turnovers while eight had at least two. The Wildcats’ three main scorers posted double digits in points with Smith at 22, Lankford at 15 and senior Autumn Whitaker at 13. Other than those three, the rest of Lavender’s team combined for a mere 12. The loss was a big one for the Wildcats as it dropped them into fourth

place and turned the pressure up to get some crucial wins down the stretch. Only the top four Lone Star Conference South teams make the playoffs and LSC newcomer Incarnate Word is right on the Wildcats’ heels only a half game back in fifth place. A chance for some redemption comes quickly though as the ’Cats will play their third game in five days on Wednesday in Moody Coliseum against West Texas A&M University. The women’s game will start at 5:30 p.m followed immediately by the men’s game at 7:30 p.m.


Dallas: NFL gives away tickets to displaced fans Continued from page 8

‘‘ ’’

who hadn’t arrived early even missed the kickoff. For the most part I have always been a fan of Jerry Jones. However, this weekend Jones just disappointed me. I am not sure the next time Dallas will host a Super Bowl, but hopefully no fans will be left out whenever that day comes. Don’t feel too bad for the 400 fans though. It turns out that they were eventually brought into the stadium and allowed to watch the game from a plaza level on a TV screen.

contact Tripp at

Tourney: ’Cats ready to play on home soil


Continued from page 8

for its first three games. The Wildcats were 3-1 in a series with the Javelinas last year and also defeated Kingsville 16-7 in a post-season matchup in the Lone Star Conference Tournament, which the Wildcats went on to win. Texas A&M-Kingsville comes into the season as the No. 7 ranked team in the LSC pre-season poll, receiving 243 total votes including one first place vote, one of only two that didn’t go to the Wildcats.


Rematch: ACU falls to ASU ACU was coming off its first win in conference play as they upset this same ASU on Saturday 74-71 in overtime. This snapped a six-game losing streak and was also the first division road win since Feb. 25, 2009. As big as that win was for the Wildcats, it could not carry over into Monday’s game. “I think over there [in San Angelo] we did a good job contesting shots and here in Abilene we didn’t,” Copeland said. “We let them get shots that were uncontested and unguarded. Good shooters will get into a rhythm, and they shot the ball exceptionally well last night.” Giordan Cole had a season-high 17 points in the loss. He was able to get going early as he had three big dunks in the first half. Cole

“It would have been a great test for us to play those teams,” said senior pitcher Chay Lytle. “But we just have to keep practicing and working hard and be ready for when we do get to play.” Both Incarnate Word and Delta State have pushed back their season openers because of the cancellation of games with

ACU because of the inclement weather. St. Mary’s, on the other hand, has begun their season with a record of 3-0 and will face ACU in a makeup game March 1 in San Antonio. The biggest challenge for the players and coaches has been having to be patient with the wait of an impending season. “We are frustrated, but we know we will get to play eventually,” said Bonneau. Abilene Christian also will now have to begin a season that had six home games scheduled to start the year off on the road

In my opinion, that Super Bowl gaffe turned out to be a pretty good deal for those fans.

They received a refund of three times their ticket value and got to go on the field after the game. If that wasn’t enough the NFL announced Monday that they will give all 400 fans who were displaced and not able to receive a better seat to the game, tickets to next year’s Super Bowl. In my opinion, that Super Bowl gaffe turned out to

be a pretty good deal for those fans. For those who are curious, next year’s Super Bowl will be played in Indianapolis. So, instead of having to brave ice and freezing temperatures in Dallas, those 400 fans will most likely experience the same weather in Indy. contact Cantrell at

contact Gwin at

when ACU roped out four hits and scored three to tie the game at five. However, St. Mary’s Sarah Lee drove in the winning run in extra innings, as the Lady Rattlers were victorious 6-5. ACU played a doubleheader on Sunday in the same tournament to open their season. In their opener, starting pitcher Brittany Rexroat had a solid outing, going five innings and giving up five hits, which helped propel the ’Cats over St. Edwards 7-4. Nabayan and Brigance both hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning, giving ACU a 4-2 lead. Sarah Martinez would get her second hit with a double and would

later score on a Mendoza single. Mendoza would then score on a Hilltopper error. ACU would put up two more runs in the seventh when Mendoza doubled and later scored on a Candice Miller single. In their second game of the day, ACU could not find an offensive flow, as Texas A&M International’s Clarissa Salinas halted the ’Cats offense. She allowed five hits and three runs over the game. The Wildcats (1-3) will return home to host the Whitten Inn Classic on Friday and Saturday. The Wildcats will play at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. each day. contact Shake at


Page 8




Tarleton St. 6-1 ASU 5-3 MSU 4-3 UIW 4-3 ENMU 4-3 WTAMU 4-4 TAMU-K 2-6 ACU 1-7

15-4 9-11 16-5 15-4 9-10 17-4 7-13 9-11

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL Team Div. Ovrl. Tarleton St.7-0 WTAMU 6-2 Angelo St. 5-3 4-4 ACU 3-4 UIW 2-5 MSU ENMU 2-5 TAMU-K 1-7

17-2 13-8 12-8 7-13 6-12 6-13 4-15 3-17

Briefs n The

ACU women’s tennis team finished with a split in their first tournament of the spring season. The Wildcats lost to New Mexico 5-2 but defeated Western New Mexico 7-0 in Albuquerque last weekend.


February 9, 2011

ACU drops three in opening tourney Bryson Shake

Assistant Sports Editor

The softball team saw a pair of leads diminish Monday as it dropped a couple of close games in San Antonio at the St. Mary’s College Softball Classic to cap off its opening weekend of the season. The Wildcats fell to Lone Star Conference South Division rival Angelo State 1511 before losing 6-5 to tournament host St. Mary’s. The Rambelles of Angelo State put together a nine-run sixth inning, erasing the Wildcats’ eight-run

lead, which had them leading leading up to that point. Pitcher Shelby Hall had a solid outing, but came up on the on the losing end of a tough decision. The Wildcats got on the board first when Valentina Nabayan singled in Tiana Tuinei to start things off in the right direction in the first inning. In the top of the second, the floodgates opened and a track meet began for ACU. The scoring party began when Briana Fowlkes tripled to lead off the inning and would later score on a single from Tuinei that

also scored Erin Gilliland. Melissa Mendoza would then drive in Tuinei on a single. The ninth hit came off the bat of Lyndi Smith who smoked a two-RBI single right through the left field gap scoring Megan Brigance and Nabayan. The ’Cats put up a goose egg in the third before adding three more runs in the fourth. Angelo State would inch closer with one run in the fifth, but a nine-run outburst in the sixth inning propelled the Rambelles to victory. FILE PHOTO // Heather Liephart

ACU softball lost three of its four-game series last weekend.

see TOURNEY page 7




Empty seating angers fans Just A Bit Outside Ryan Cantrell

n Tickets for the Lone

Star Conference Basketball Championship are now available for purchase. The tournament will take place March 2-6 in Bartlesville, Okla. Tickets cost $35 and can be purchased through the ACU Department of Athletics on the Web at www. Call 325-674-6853 for more information.

Player Profile n Amos

Sang, senior long distance runner from Kenya, won the 5,000 -meter run and set a new personal record with a Sang time of 14:05.82 at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational meet in New York last weekend. Sang beat out several Division I runners in the process. An All-American and one of the best runners in ACU’s history, he will compete in the Nebraska Tune-Up Feb. 18.

Upcoming n The

men’s and women’s basketball teams will host West Texas A&M on Wednesday. The doubleheader will begin with the women playing at 5:30 p.m. followed by the men at 7:30 p.m.

n The

softball team hosts St. Mary’s at 4 p.m. followed by West Texas A&M at 6 p.m. Friday at Wells Field as a part of the Whitten Inn Classic.

n The baseball team will

host Texas A&M-Kingsville at 6 p.m. Friday and then play in a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 1 p.m. n The

women’s tennis team will host Tarleton State on Friday.

ing by four at halftime 36-32. However, during the second half, the Rams were able to score enough points to put ACU away. The loss drops ACU to 9-11 overall and 1-7 in LSC South Division play.

I am not one to point fingers, but Jerry Jones, I blame you. Dallas had one shot to show off to the world, and quite frankly, Jerry, you Cantrell left many fans disappointed. Football was not the problem on Sunday. The game was exciting and emotional, as it would come down to the final possession, before the Packers emerged victorious. Many fans traveled across the country to Dallas for the Super Bowl experience and while most of them enjoyed the game as planned, 1,250 fans were told just before the game that their seat was not available for the game. Jones decided to add seats to the stadium in order to maximize profit and break the attendance record at a Super Bowl. His game plan was genius like always, but his execution of the plan failed. The seats were all added, but were not all safely installed in time. The problem was the railings, risers and steps in some sections were deemed unsafe. Jones was able to relocate 850 of the 1,250 to equal or better seats, but 400 fans were unable to attend the game in a seat. This is completely ridiculous. Four hundred fans were left out of the game. This would be bad if it was any game, but it was not just any game it was the biggest sporting event in America. This gaffe was as big as Jerry World itself and made all of Dallas and Texas look bad. The weather didn’t help as it played a role in delaying the installation of the seats. It also ended up blocking off four of the 10 entrances into the stadium. This caused mass confusion as fans were herded around the stadium to other entrances. Many fans were upset with this as it took some people over an hour and a half to get into the game. Fans

see REMATCH page 7

see DALLAS page 7

DANIEL GOMEZ // Chief Photographer

Hillari Adam loses a ball to an Angelo State defender Monday night in Moody Coliseum. It was just one of the Wildcat’s 30 turnovers in a 68-62 loss to ASU. Eight players for the Wildcats had at least two turnovers in the loss.

Wildcats give away lead with poor play

won the most important basketball game of the season Monday night if only they would have commitAustin Gwin ted 28 turnovers. But two Sports Editor bad passes on late possesThirty turnovers. That is sions doomed the ‘Cats to a turnover every 1 minute their second straight loss to the Angelo State Univerand 33 seconds. The Wildcats could have sity Rambelles.

“Giving a team 30 extra possessions is not going to win you a basketball game,” head coach Shawna Lavender said. “We got away from doing things right. It was a disciple issue the entire game.” With 6 minutes left the Wildcats found them-

selves down by eight and in need of a comeback. They got just that thanks to six crucial points from center Kelsey Smith. With 2 minutes left the Wildcats led by one, 62-61, but the ’Cats wouldn’t score again see LOSS page 7


Rematch goes south for ’Cats Ryan Cantrell

Sports Multimedia Editor

After upsetting the Rams in San Angelo on Saturday, the Wildcats were unable to defend their home court as Angelo State avenged its loss, defeating ACU 90-74 on Monday night. Angelo shot 59 percent from the field, including 11 3-pointers, as they would score 90 points in the game. ACU took 26 more shots than Angelo, but it would not matter, since the Rams did not miss many shots. “I was pretty disappointed, I felt like we played really good Saturday over there, and we tried to make a few adjustments but basically stick with the same game plan. I felt that our energy level was not where it needed to be,” said Head Coach Jason Copeland. “I thought, with our depth, we could wear on them, but I think it worked the other way around as they wore on us.”

DANIEL GOMEZ // Chief Photographer

Marcus Washington dribbles past an Angelo State defender Monday night at Moody Coliseum. The Wildcats were able to keep the game close by pressing the Rams and forcing turnovers. ACU forced 28 turnovers as the full-court press caused havoc for ASU. ASU was too hot from the field though, as they earned two big runs by the Wild-

cats in the second half. “On defense, we need to locate the hot man and focus on getting stops,” senior guard Preston Davis said. “Transition defense will be key against [West Texas A&M].” ACU played well in the first half, only trail-

The Optimist Print Edition: 02.09.11  

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

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