Page 1

Optimist the

Vol. 98, No. 6

Massingill: In the Studio PAGE 5 1 section, 8 pages

Wednesday, September 9, 2009



SA representatives decided, budget approved Laura Acuff Features Editor Students’ Association elections ushered in a new group of representatives last week. New members, chosen by both vote and appointment, met for the first

body unanimously approved this year’s budget, allocating $90,000 to student groups, Brazell said. That amount is less than in previous years, but budget cuts were to be expected given the current economic climate, said Vice President Tony

time at the annual SA retreat Saturday. Get a complete list of elected and appointed “I think it’s a great members online. group of students; I’m really excited,” said nior class representative Chase Brazell, history major from Athens. “The was a lot of synergy going meeting on Saturday was on in the room.” The representative really encouraging. There

Godfrey, junior English major from Burleson. And SA intends to utilize its resources efficiently for a transformational year. “Take everything you know about SA in the past and just toss it out,” Godfrey said. Godfrey compared SA

to a boat, referring to an analogy of SA President Charles Gaines, senior criminal justice major from Cedar Hill. “In the past several years, we’ve been going in one direction, and we see ELECTIONS page 4


Record enrollment for ’09-’10 Almost 5,000 students attend Abilene Christian University–the largest enrollment figure in school history.


4,838 Students

ACU’s cultural diversity is unknown to few, but a look at the university’s diversity for the past three years reveals a continual rise (chart in percentages).

Sondra Rodriguez, Linda Bailey, and Colter Hettich

when he arrived. “My purpose all along was to build a solid platform for the next president Staff Report and his or her administraEnrollment for the 2009- tion to build on,” Money 10 school year is the high- said. “In the Enrollment Management department, est in ACU it’s in the business of behistory, ing accomplished. It’s a according continual process, but obto official viously, it has been a sucenrollment cessful one.” numbers Phil Schubert, executive recorded vice president, said several Tuesday. factors contributed to the The uniMoney enrollment increase: the versity announced a total enrollment two largest freshmen classof 4,838, passing the 4,800 es ever and a graduate class of almost 900 students for mark for the first time. High enrollment re- the past two years. Money and Schubert flects well on Dr. Royce Money, president of the said each area of emphauniversity. When he ac- sis outlined in the unicepts the role of chancel- versity’s 21st Century lor in May, he will leave Vision – a five-year strathe university in a better tegic plan to enhance the position, financially and quality of academics and globally, than it was in increase ethnic diversity,

Year Black Hispanic Other Overall

This year’s entering freshmen class of 988 boasts a higher average ACT score and higher percentage of students in a minority ethnic group than last year.

’08 ’09 7.7 9.6 7.4 10.2 4.0 3.1 19.1 22.9


n 2008-09 ACT average: 23.87 n 2009-10 ACT average: 24.0

The number of students in graduate school increased from last year to 897. n 2008-09 Graduate students: 763 n 2009-10 Graduate students: 897

2008-09 Minority ethnic groups: 19.1 percent n 2009-10 Minority ethnic groups: 22.9 percent n

among other things – has improved in the past year. Money praised the Enrollment Management and University Marketing departments for their commitment.

’07 8.8 7.3 3.3 19.4

“I think we made a good plan in the 21st Century Vision, and we’ve worked our plan over the last two years,” Money said. “As a result, we have reversed the downward trend in enrollment.”


A more intentional and personal recruiting process, an enhanced campus visits program and increased retention efforts also affected enrollment numbers, said Mark Lavender, director of

admissions. “It’s definitely a partnership with Retention, because we can bring in new students,” he said. “Then, if see ENROLLMENT page 4


COBA prof tests boundaries Chapel policy of mobile device application less forgiving Colter Hettich Editor in Chief Dr. Brent Reeves hated the iPhone. He avoided the device for a year – until an encounter with an iPhone-wielding colleague changed his mind. He laughed as he recalled watching the device magnify his coworker’s password letter by letter, an iPhone feature he found particularly annoying. “Hello. That’s not a plan,” said Reeves, associate professor of information systems and management sciences. “I thought to myself, ‘You know what? This is a horrible tool, and I want to mess with it.’” The Adams Center for Teaching and Learning provides Faculty Enrich-

ment Summer Stipend Awards to faculty members interested in completing research projects. Reeves, wanting to get his hands on the device, applied and was accepted.

Forecast Wed

90° 68°

Before long, he developed several tools designed to teach and test the effectiveness of teamwork, such as Big and Scramble. Scramble sends every selected device a piece of an image. Users then must assemble the image by properly arranging their phones. Big enlarges images; when multiple devices are placed together, the image spreads across all displays, essentially creating one large screen. Reeves also developed Zingem, a Webbased tool for anonymous peer evaluations. Dr. William Rankin, associate professor of English and director of mobile learning research, said Reeves’ tools have been effective outside of the class-

89° 67°


87° 66°

‘IN CASE YOU MISSED IT,’ sports writer Jeff Craig catches you up on the weekend’s action with recaps of soccer’s loss and crosscountry’s success. Page 8

Arts Editor The Chapel Attendance and Integrity policy has changed, effective this semester, as a result of decisions made by the Chapel Office and the Office of Judicial Affairs. The most significant change was in relation to policies governing Chapel attendance, exemptions and probation, said Mark Lewis, assistant dean for Spiritual Life and Chapel programs. Beginning this semester, students who fail to earn 55 Chapel credits for two consecutive semesters will be restricted from participating in student activities, as opposed to the previous policy that resulted in sus-

see MOBILE page 4

Inside Thu

Liz Spano

room, as well. “We’ve used Scramble and Big in a lot of different venues, and they’re brilliant,” Rankin said. “He’s one of the most truly, uninhibitedly creative people that I know.” Reeves’ tendency to test limits is especially valuable in a university setting where many people can benefit from his work. “To have someone creatively exploring is a great asset for us, because it helps us discover new things that will eventually become standard,” Rankin said. Creative problem-solving is nothing new for Reeves. One year ago, he sold the intellectual prop-

pension of students from the university. The decision to change the policy, which has been the university guideline for the last six years, was made in an effort to maintain consistent spiritual and academic requirements, Lewis said. “We don’t suspend students for non-attendance at class, so it seems inconsistent that we would suspend students for non-attendance at Chapel,” Lewis said. The new policy, formed after research and discussion among the Board of Trustees, Lewis and Dr. Jean-Noel Thompson, vice president for Student Life and dean of students, see POLICY page 4

Online EDITORIAL Friday’s chapel service featured an uncomfortable encounter with a homeless man. Find out who he was and what they meant to do. Page 6




Are the Chapel policy changes too extreme? Zoo Night

Visit to see what the ACU community is saying.



Campus Day Wednesday, September 9, 2009






11:30 a.m. Frater Sodalis Rush

11:30 a.m. GATA Rush

5 p.m. Gamma Sigma Phi Rush

5 p.m. Pi Kappa Rush ArtWalk

9 p.m. Delta Theta Rush Trojans Rush



Last day for 60 percent refund

7 p.m. Ko Jo Kai Rush Sigma Theta Chi Rush 8 p.m. Frater Sodalis Rush 9 p.m. Alpha Kai Omega Rush

West Texas Fair and Rodeo 8:30 a.m. Ranking Day 11 a.m. Praise Day 5 p.m. Part of the Son of Rambow Film Series will be presented at the Paramount Theatre. ACU Soccer vs. Incarnate Word


ArtWalk adopts ‘Fitness’ as theme Chelsea Hackney

Abilene Police SWAT team. For most students, ArtWalk is simply a Fitness is the theme of KATHERINE TROTTER time to relax, spend this month’s ArtWalk, Center of Contemporary Arts Education Coordinator time with friends and a “celebration of the support their fellow arts” that takes place in Downtown Abilene the time show openings to see the National Center students – for free. “ACU’s Cockerell second Thursday of ev- coincide with ArtWalk. for Children’s Illustrated ery month. The Center The Center has four ex- Literature exhibit, The Gallery is featuring my for Contemporary Arts hibits currently on dis- Wizards of Pop, before friend, Jessalyn Masssponsors the event, and play, and although the it ends next week. Some ingill,” Wattigney said. happen every “I’m really excited to local businesses are in- official opening is not events until Sept. 18, one of the month, like live music in see all the work she’s vited to participate. Massingill’s “We want to get peo- artists, Kim Alexander, Minter Park, but each new done.” ple out in the commu- is traveling from Dallas theme brings new faces show is called In Transit: The Places Life Has nity,” said Katherine to talk about her collec- and activities. “We give people a dif- Found Me. Trotter, education coor- tion, Young Immigrants, All museums and dinator for the Center, Thursday night. Ash Al- ferent experience for each galleries will be open to “We really want to build monte, another featured ArtWalk,” Trotter said. The main event at the public free of charge a sense of community artist, is also planning a more impromptu dis- ArtWalk for Fitness will from 5:30-8 p.m. downtown.” For some, including cussion of her series, be 10-15 minute fitness While the classes led by trainers Bonni Wattigney, junior Recovery. graphic design major two shows have similar and coaches from fitfrom Keller, ArtWalk is a themes, their styles are ness centers such as very different. Gold’s Gym, LA Boxing longstanding tradition. “Ash is just so gut- and Crossfit. Other spe“I pretty much go every month, if I can,” tural and raw, and the cial guests this month Wattigney said. “Partly other is so controlled,” include the Abilene Fire contact Hackney at Department and the because I’m an art ma- Trotter said. Although the focus is, of jor, and we’re required to get some event cred- course, on the art, ArtWalk its, but mostly because has events for everyone. The Grace Museum will all the galleries are free have a free art activity at that time.” Galleries will often for kids and families can

Copy Editor

We really want to build a sense of community downtown.

HEATHER LEIPHART Staff Photographer

Jennifer Gorenfio, junior sociology major from Flint, enjoys a free ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery on Monday during CAB’s Free Night Out.

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 To ensure that an item will appear on time, the announcement should be sent at least 10 days before. The Optimist may edit items for space and style. Corrections and clarifications of published news articles will be printed in this space in a timely manner.

Announcements ACU Alums LaShara Nieland and Willa Finley will sponsor a booksigning on Sept. 21 in the Campus Center from 2-4 p.m. Their book, Lone Star Wildflowers: A Guide to Texas Flowering Plants, showcases the history, and variety of Texas’ wildflowers. Neiland and Finley’s book realeased in July of 2009, and the two have been collaborating together since their days at ACU.

The film will begin at 7:30 p.m. on the Sept. 11, and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on the Sept. 12.

Downtown Dayz will take place Sept. 12. The event will begin at 7 a.m. at a Farmer’s Market on Mesquite Street, and continue at the Texas Star Trading Company. Attendees will receive 25 percent off selected store items. The event will conclude at First Central Presbyterian Church with The Paramount a free concert feais showing Son of turing Alive and Well: Rambow on Sept.11 An Evening With and 12. Student David Bailey. admission is $5.

Chapel Checkup Credited Chapels to date: Credited Chapels remaining:

14 57

Volunteer Opportunities Christian Service Center needs volunteers to fill requests for clothing, bedding, kitchen utensils, etc. from the donation center. Volunteers may work Friday or Saturday from 12-4 p.m. Contact Jim Clark at 673-7531 for more information. Breakfast On Beech Street serves breakfast to the homeless and lower income people of Abilene, and is in need of volunteers to serve and prepare breakfast. Breakfast is served at the First Christian Church on 3rd and Beech Street from 6:30-7:15

a.m. Volunteers must arrive at 5:30 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and Tuesdays at 5 a.m. If interested visit the First Christian Church’s website at html. Meals on Wheels is looking for volunteers to deliver hot meals to seniors and adults with disabilities each week. Volunteers may work once a week Monday through Friday, between the hours of 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. Contact Elisabeth Rodgers at 672-5050 for more information.

Campus News

September 9, 2009

Page 3


AnswerBook: the ulimate ACU resource Mary Garvis Page 2 Editor

Students looking for historical information about ACU – or just a list of the “Top Ten Funniest Professors” are in luck. The new ACU AnswerBook can answer these questions and is available for only $15. “The ACU AnswerBook tells you anything and everything you need to know about ACU,” said Stephanie Carlton, administrative coordinator for the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication. “Pretty much any question you can come up with about ACU, Dr. Marler has found an answer to,” she said. Dr. Charlie Marler, professor emeritus and director of graduate studies in journalism and mass communication, is the original creator of the AnswerBook. Marler has worked

at ACU for 54 years, including in the role of JMC department chair. He created the AnswerBook in 1988 to help create consistency and accuracy in the Optimist. Two decades later, a once 21-page book has bloomed into a 333page historical account of ACU that is sold all over campus. “It eventually became more than just an Optimist thing, because people around campus wanted them,” Marler said. The 2009-10 AnswerBook features the first photographic cover and 20 percent more content than last year’s. It acts as an index to questions about ACU. The book lists faculty members, buildings, events and other content – as Dr. Marler puts it, “all things Purple and White.” “The AnswerBook has been my hobby for the past 21 years,” Marler said. “I work every day for

about two months every summer updating the content and adding new categories.” Marler calls himself a “data-mining” hobbyist and enjoys all things historical. He already has plans for the 16th edition, which will include up to 30 new categories. Potential categories are: twins and triplets that have attended ACU; alumni awarded the Purple Heart; alumni who have been city mayors; and unusual campus weddings. Students can purchase an AnswerBook for $15; others can purchase them for $20 or three for $15 each. Books can be purchased from Carlton on the third floor of the Don Morris Building. All proceeds go to support programs in the JMC department.

contact Garvis at

Dr. Marler’s AnswerBook is the source of all campus, faculty and staff information.


Retired faculty leave lasting legacy on campus Chelsea Hackney Copy Editor

ACU said goodbye to three long-time faculty members last May; Jeanette Lipford, assistant professor emerita of voice; Dr. Bo Green, professor emeritus of mathematics and former chair of the Department of Mathematics; and Mark Jones, associate professor of foreign languages and former chair of the Foreign Languages Department. Even in retirement, the personal touch of each professor can be seen in their respective departments. Jeanette Lipford began teaching at ACU in 1968. For several years, she was a voice teacher for the Music Department and trained majors in all vocal disciplines. But ask anyone today, and they remember her for her unmatched talent in musical theatre. After her first production as vocal director in 1971, Camelot, Lipford became the vocal director for every

Homecoming musical after that until 2009. She was also a vocal coach for musical theatre majors. “Over the years, she really became such an expert at musical theatre and voice,” said Adam Hester, chair of the Theatre Department. “Baylor [University] wanted their instructors to take classes from her. She is highly respected in musical theatre.” Faculty in the math department showed similar respect for Green and his accomplishments. Dr. David Hendricks, associate professor and chair of the Mathematics Department, was quiet and thoughtful when recalling Green’s time at the university – that is, until asked what about Green stood out the most to him. Then, he answered immediately. “His enthusiasm,” Hendricks said. “He was enthusiastic about everything he did, whether it was teaching, serving on committees, serving as

RETIRED FACULTY n Dr. Bo Green, professor emeritus of mathematics and former chair of the Department of Mathematics n Mark Jones, associate professor of foreign languages and former chair of the Foreign Languages Department n Jeanette Lipford, assistant professor emerita of voice

department chair – he was always enthusiastic, always had a smile on his face.” Green was an integral member of the ACU community; he was named Educator of the Year for the College of Arts and Sciences for the 1998-99 school year. Many students remember him as the creator of the “Problem of the Week.” “He wanted to encourage the joy of the hunt, to try to instill that in our students,” said Dr. Mark Riggs, professor of mathematics. Jones mirrored Green’s passion for teaching. During his 38 years at ACU, he taught Spanish, French and Latin, and served as chair of the foreign language department. He was also taking stu-

dents to Mexico, Central America and Spain long before ACU had a Study Abroad Program. Although he retired in May, Jones is teaching French part-time

this semester while his replacement finalizes some academic credentials. This, it seems, is natural for Jones. “I’ve been a foreign language professor all

my life,” he said. “All my professional life, that is,” he added, laughing.

contact Hackney at

From Front

Page 4

September 9, 2009


Policy: Officials say changes are positive Continued from page 1 states that students placed on Chapel probation will be banned from all student activities. That means a loss of privileges in relation to all student organizations, intramurals, leadership positions and award nominations, Lewis said. “When someone has an academic problem to the point of probation, they can be restricted from activities until academics are stronger, so we decided to come in line with that at Chapel,” Lewis said. “Activities are such an im-

portant part of the life of ACU, and that might be an effective way of getting the student’s attention.” Exemption requirements have also been modified. Students who work during the afternoon may be exempted under the new policy but are required to earn at least 12 Chapel credits, depending on the number of exemptions granted. “There are plenty of ways that even a student that has to work at 11 a.m. every day can –outside of that time – get credits done without too much effort,” Lewis said.

The university will offer 35-40 Chapel credits this semester, in addition to morning Chapel sessions. Students can earn 23 more credits from ten different Summit events, making it possible for all students to meet the minimum requirement, Lewis said. Other changes include new rules for “sliding and gliding” at Chapel, a practice in which a student slides his card but does not attend the Chapel service. Penalties include a mandatory meeting with the Chapel Office and the Office of Judicial Affairs and may result in probation or

suspension, depending on the circumstances. The two offices will evaluate the initial results of the policy at the conclusion of this semester and consider any modifications after the spring semester, Lewis said. “The idea of telling a student they can’t participate in an extracurricular activity is painful, because that’s one of the wonderful things about ACU, not just our strong academics but our student life,” Lewis said. “But, given that Chapel is going to be a required part of the ACU


Enrollment: Record numbers Continued from page 1 we can always retain them at a higher percentage, it’s going to help us with our enrollment goals.” Schubert said 21 percent of this year’s incoming class is from an ethnically diverse background, 3 to 4 percent more than last year’s. A demographic breakdown of the freshman class tells the university who exactly is attending the university each year. Demographics include high school standing and GPA, race, geographic origins, home church congregations and a male-tofemale ratio of applicants and first-year students. “We look at who is com-

ing to ACU, where they are coming from and what they will bring,” Schubert said. “We feel all that is very important to shape the campus culture and provide the best experience for every student.” Schubert said enrollment was expected to be higher than average this year, but some goals were questioned in the face of the recent economic downturn. “We’ve got some real aggressive growth,” he said. “The economy makes it uncertain, but these targets were able to be achieved.” Lavender said he is pleased the university’s enrollment has grown in a year when students and their families are

feeling pressure from a sagging economy. “With all of that, we are thrilled to be able to have an increase in enrollment for this year,” he said. “That is something a lot of colleges and universities cannot say.” Not only has the total number of students on campus increased, but also there are more students who identify with congregations other than Churches of Christ. “I don’t think we have a great concern that more and more of our incoming students are not identifying themselves specifically with the Church of Christ,” Schubert said. “We’re not seeing a dramatic shift in the key aspects of those

congregations where they are attending. Most of them have a faith and practices very consistent with traditional Church of Christ. We see it as a great opportunity.” Schubert said the numbers reflect the success of the 21st Century Vision. “It’s encouraging to see that the investments in areas are seeming to work and be effective,” he said. “It’s a great year from an enrollment perspective.” Dr. Money invited faculty and staff to join him for the campus enrollment celebration at 4 p.m. Friday in the Hunter Welcome Center. contact the Optimist at

for students. “The intent of Chapel is to be very intentionally informative on a spiritual level,” Lewis said. He said although it might seem inconsistent to require students to attend a spiritual event, the university is focused on making Chapel worthwhile. “We want it to challenge students, cause them to think, to be stretched and to grow,” he said.

experience, there will be a consequence.” Brandyn Lee, junior computer science major from New Orleans, said he understands the reasoning for the new policy. “You have to enforce things,” Lee said. “As far as Chapel goes, you have 24 hours in the day. If you can’t give a half-hour a day to the Lord, then you have a problem. I try to avoid complaining about it.” Lewis said he hopes other students will understand the changes made to the policy were positive, and that each revision was made out of consideration

contact Spano at


Mobile: Striving for efficiency Continued from page 1

tently,” Reeves said. “You look at seven spreadsheets and your eyes glaze over.” Reeves continues to develop tools to help iPhone users be more efficient in working relationships and the classroom. Along those lines, he and his associates are currently working on an alternate reality game, but he was unable to provide details at this time.

erty rights for GradeSlayer to Genesis Networks Inc. Reeves was frustrated by the amount of time he wasted grading students’ spreadsheets, so he created GradeSlayer, a grading utility that can grade hundreds of Microsoft Excel workbooks in less than one-tenth of the time it takes an instructor. “I noticed that even the really diligent teacher’s assistants didn’t grade consis-

contact Hettich at


Elections: Students selected Continued from page 1

just want to stop and take a big step back and turn the the whole boat around,” Godfrey said. Even if the boat does not cover much new ground this year, Godfrey said the more important goal is to set SA up for future success. To help prove his point, Godfrey said congressional appointments were taken much more seriously this year than in the past. Instead of filling empty seats as quickly as possible, Godfrey and Gaines interviewed all applicants to judge each individual’s motivation. This year’s elected representatives also reflect

These students that we’re seeing are a lot more active. They’re a lot more creative. And I feel like they’re a lot more responsible. TONY GODFREY Students’ Association Vice President

the organization’s change in attitude,” Godfrey said. “These students that we’re seeing are a lot more active. They’re a lot more creative. And I feel like they’re a lot more responsible. They have a sense of duty to the people that elected them.” While there may be fewer representatives, Godfrey said this congress has a better dynamic than past congresses. “They’re different than a lot of people we’ve had,

in a good way,” Godfrey said. “As a whole, we have a slightly smaller congress than we did last year, but we also have a lot more passionate, productive congress than we’ve had in the past.”

contact Acuff at

September 9, 2009



Page 5 Massingill uses her downtown studio to sell her artistic creations, like this purse.


KELSI WILLIAMSON Staff Photographer

KELSI WILLIAMSON Staff Photographer

Jessalyn Massingill, senior fine arts major from Abilene, puts her major to work in her downtown Abilene studio, selling her own products and offering personalized henna tattoos.

Student artist seeks entrepreneurial success Cara Leahy

Features Writer In a small studio just a few blocks from the Paramount Theatre, Jessalyn Massingill has created a modern-day Bohemia. On one side of her storefront window, passers-by can see into her photo gallery. On the other, sketches and paintings sprawl across two drafting tables under a swath of purple cloth. Massingill, senior fine arts major from Abilene, opened her studio, “Jessalyn Claire Studios,” during the August ArtWalk in Downtown Abilene. A fellow student, Kara Dubose, provided live music for the crowd of nearly 100 people who came during the 4 ½ hour opening party. Massingill says she has had “solid” business ever since. The shop’s merchandise varies from professional-grade photographs to hand-drawn and painted portraits. Massingill even creates personalized henna tattoos. Imported goods from India and Africa add an exotic flair to her showroom, and in the back, a backdrop and lights frame a room for future photo shoots. Her interest in the arts began at an early age, influenced in part by her family’s regular visits to Zambia. “Growing up in two places allowed me to see a three-dimensional view of the world, instead of a flat one,” Massingill says. Her work during high school stemmed largely from that African perspective, during which her peers began to notice her gifts in photography and drawing, she says.

“People started asking me to take their senior portraits,” she says. “Then, I started taking engagement photographs and weddings. I’m not sure I ever would have thought I had it in me without people asking me to do things.” After high school, Massingill came to Abilene, where she found a job with Shelli Kay Studios. As an ACU student, she eventually took part in the Study Abroad program in Oxford, and the four months she spent in Europe led her to spend another semester in Montevideo, Uruguay, where she had the opportunity to see local artists selling handmade wares. “People live this lifestyle of the craftsman, sitting on blankets, selling what they make, and I came back from Uruguay, and that was my plan,” Massingill says. Initially, she intended to set out a blanket and sell her work to students or whoever else came by. She hoped her experience

KELSI WILLIAMSON Staff Photographer

Massingill displays photos from her trips to Zambia.

eventually would become a selfsupporting business venture. The idea of being a “starving artist,” Massingill says, was appealing at first. “You live the art,” she says. “That’s what you do, and you survive.” After pitching the idea to her parents, however, Massingill chose a more secure option. Her parents encouraged her to look into creating a legitimate business, complete with a name, license and her own workspace. Her father helped guide her through the technical aspects, but Massingill did much of the legwork herself, laying out a business plan and researching startup strategies. She began to explore store locations and nail down financial details. She applied to be a wholesaler, and with her research and her dad’s business know-how, she was able to secure a location in Downtown Abilene. “Initially, I wanted to wait, get set up more, have the store set up before I opened,” Massingill says. “My dad was influential in telling me to get it open.” Her parents were her driving force at this point, she says. They pushed for her to have the opening, and her dad helped her select professional-quality lighting and equipment for her photo studio. Although she says the store was not quite up to her decorative standards, Massingill opened shortly before the beginning of the fall semester. “I’m my own boss, and I love it,” Massingill says. “If I can do it

now, why not?” At the time of this interview, Massingill was working on a commissioned portrait, with at least two wedding shoots lined up. She does multiple photo shoots in a week and will do tattoos by appointment during business hours. Her dedication allows her to make a career out of what she loves. “Some people are smart when it comes to math, and some people are good at science, and some people build buildings, and I do art,” Massingill says. “This, the studio, allows me to do photography and sell art and paint and draw and do the tattoos – all the exotic things that appeal to me.” Massingill attributes her success to something beyond commitment. “I don’t think there’s something particularly special about me,” Massingill says. “Just stubbornness.” It’s her love for art that inspires her stubbornness, Massingill says. She encourages others to use their own passions to fulfill their dreams. “Find something you love and start it,” says Massingill. “It comes down to being too stubborn to do anything else.” Her secret, says Massingill, is a refusal to be interested in anything other than her art. Now, Massingill’s studio is her creative workspace. Sketches of Oxford phone booths and stunningly lifelike portraits litter her drafting table, and a colorful painting of a woman sprawls across remaining space. In the shop, photographs from both sides of the Atlantic decorate the walls. Unframed portraits lean against the wall next to imported Indian rugs and handbags, and African bas-

kets sit beside stacks of handdesigned greeting cards. “The coolest part of this is that the more you do, the more you come up with,” says Massingill, who hopes to eventually show some of her pieces in galleries. Massingill says her primary focus is always her art. “The shop’s not the main part; the studio is,” Massingill says. “I’d like to spend more time doing hands-on art.” For now, the Abilene community will reap the benefits of Massingill’s artistic gifts. She already has two or three wedding shoots scheduled for the spring, and she expects more as word-of-mouth spreads about her business. Meanwhile, Massingill spends the majority of her time in her shop, sketching and painting and waiting for street traffic to bring her business. Massingill will unveil a show in ACU’s Cockerell Gallery on N. 2nd during Art Walk Sept. 10, something she hopes will spark conversation and interest in her studio. Those interested in Massingill’s work can contact her via email at or visit her in person at 1051 N. 5th and Cypress Street in Downtown Abilene from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For examples of her work and pricing information, visit her website at

contact Leahy at


Page 6


September 9, 2009

Chapel leaves students confused ing, he was introduced as a “special guest speaker.” He then began to speak from his seat in the crowd about his experiences that day. Lewis said it was a powerful moment. This “teachable moment,” Lewis said, was intended to be a capstone to Mission Week. The point was to demonstrate that all followers of Christ are called to minister, regardless of their circumstances. Obviously, the message didn’t carry, but the university admitted that, and we’re all moving forward. Except some students still think Hewitt is homeless. They know the presentation was just that, but there is no reason the man taking part in the di-

After Friday’s Chapel, students poured out of Moody Coliseum into the concourse, and one question was heard over and over again. “Was that staged?” The word “staged” says it all. It implies a lack of authenticity. People must understand and believe a message before they can apply it. In this case, there was neither understanding nor belief. Mark Lewis, assistant dean of Spiritual Life, recalled a similar event that took place a few years ago. Hewitt, whose work keeps him very close to issues of homelessness, came to campus dressed as a homeless man and noted how people reacted to him. At Chapel that morn-

The man with the shopping cart in Chapel on Friday is not homeless. His name is Mark Hewitt, and he is the founder and executive director of Love and Care Ministries, a fact the university officials didn’t explain very well. This oversight, though unintentional, has created confusion and continues to trouble many students. Apologies have been made for the awkwardness of the exchange between Hewitt and song leader Nino Elliott and for extending the service past 11:30 a.m., but Hewitt’s true identity was not mentioned anywhere in the apology Monday morning. Running seven minutes over is frustrating, but giving students false information, even accidentally, is wrong.

alogue couldn’t really be homeless. Elliott even offered to take him to lunch before dismissing everyone, so surely, it couldn’t all be untrue. Of course, no one is hiding Hewitt’s identity. The Spiritual Life Office will tell anyone that asks who he is and his purpose there. Lewis even said he is thankful for such a strong reaction, because it means “people are invested enough to care.” We should be thankful to have such loving and humble people in charge, and we shouldn’t doubt their good intentions. But it still doesn’t address the real issue: students shouldn’t have to ask. The university, by failing to communicate clearly, inadvertently put genu-


By Jordan Blakey


Friday’s Chapel message created needless confusion and distress for students.


ACU should be careful not to sacrifice authenticity for the sake of a presentation. ineness at the bottom of their list of priorities. What was real was sacrificed for what was attention-grabbing. Churches, striving to remain culturally relevant, do things like that every day. The problem is we get enough of that from commercials. The passage Hewitt read from John on Friday seems even more appropriate in this context: “Yet a time is coming and has now come when

the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” Jesus’ message of radical love is, or should be, the most authentic thing we will ever experience, and if anyone deliberately or accidentally throws doubt on it, we have a responsibility to speak out. Email the Optimist at:


Generation Y boasts diversity Self-Examination Ryan Self


Students should show local support E-Span Lizzy Spano It seems that everywhere you turn these days, there is a Subway sandwich shop boasting its latest promotion. Subway is quickly becoming the Starbucks of Spano the sandwich industry, popping up every 20 yards, emanating that familiar bread and onion aroma. Now, I’ll admit I’ve enjoyed a $5 foot-long on occasion. And I appreciate the services and jobs Subway and other businesses provide to our community. There is a difference, however, between sitting at your everyday corporateowned lunch stop and nestling into the corner booth in a little café or sandwich shop found only in Abilene. Students overlook many family or locally owned restaurants

in Abilene every day. Most don’t realize what they’re missing – that is, until they spend a few hours on the couch with an endless cup of coffee from Monks coffee shop or try an “El Gato” Southwestern sandwich from AlleyCats. Restaurants aren’t Abilene’s only secret. Last year, I had a locally owned auto body shop change my oil – I promise, I’ve had it changed since then – and the workers were attentive, friendly and honest people that seemed genuinely thankful for my patronage. I was charged less than I would have been at a corporate chain, and they chatted with me while they worked on my car. They even honored a coupon I had received a year before that gave me an incredible discount.Other locally owned businesses offer student discounts and special offers that make their services reasonable for students with low budgets. I’m not about to advertise the weekly special at

Students make up a large percentage of the population of Abilene, so they play a prominent role in providing income for every business in the city. Joe’s Pizza, but students should take the time to look into what these small businesses can offer. Students should support small businesses for support’s sake, not just for the homey atmosphere and good, well-priced service. I began working at a family-owned Italian restaurant my first week in Abilene, and they have been my faithful employers for two years. I go home every summer knowing my job will be waiting for me when I return the next semester. Students make up a large percentage of the population of Abilene, so they play a prominent role in providing income for every business in the city. In the midst of the recession, almost every business is strug-

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:

gling. Of course, a college student’s budget is usually suffering no matter how the economy is doing, but we all enjoy eating out with friends after church or between classes once in a while. Next time you are in need of a tuneup or craving a good burger, try out an Abilene exclusive. You’ll get a great meal or service, support hard-working people that have been serving the Abilene community for years and probably have an experience that can beat a foot-long sub any day.

contact Spano at

Optimist the

Published by the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication Newsroom (325) 674-2439

Sports Desk (325) 674-2684

There are many names used to describe this generation: Generation Y, millenials, echo boomers. Some would describe this generation as lazy, arrogant and brash, but others would see those same atSelf tributes as optimism and self-confidence. With disagreements like these running wild, it’s important to put Generation Y in perspective. Generation Y includes those born between 1980 and 2000 and is the largest generation since the baby boomers. Making up 20 percent of the population, this generation will have an enormous impact on global economic and societal trends. A sense of entitlement is considered by some to be a common trait of millenials. Parents of Generation Y-ers have been more actively involved in their children’s lives than in previous generations, giving them a high sense of self-esteem. Many college professors and first-time bosses may say parents are too involved, checking up on their children in the workplace and classroom well into the child’s early adult years. While this deep well of support may foster confidence, it can easily cross the line into arrogance. Generation Y is technologically savvy. Those born in the late 80s can barely remember a world without computers, the Internet

and instant global communication. Text messages, Facebook and iPhones have led to complaints about the inability of echo boomers to carry on a conversation without some electronic medium in the mix. While this may be true, it is also believed millenials are better at multitasking than previous generations. The Internet might have made this Google generation impatient, but it hasn’t made them calloused. Millenials are notorious for high levels of volunteerism and social activism. According to USA Today, 61 percent of 13-25 year olds feel personally responsible for making a difference in the world, and 81 percent have volunteered in the past year. Generation Y is relatively open minded when it comes to diversity. According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, 91 percent of those who belong to Generation Y accept the idea of interracial dating - no surprise, since one in every three is a member of a minority. Every generation has flaws, and Generation Y is no exception. What is important is that the generations accept each others’ flaws and learn to complement rather than conflict with each other. I hope this generation will be known less for its informal business attire and attitude of entitlement and more for the progress it made toward diversity and acceptance. The only thing that is certain is that the mark we leave on history is entirely up to us.

contact Self at

Editorial and Management Board

Colter Hettich Editor in Chief

Linda Bailey

Opinion Page Editor

Sondra Rodriguez Jozie Sands Managing Editor

Chief Photographer

Laura Acuff

Brandon Tripp

Photo Department (325) 674-2499

Advertising Office (325) 674-2463

Features Editor

Sommerly Simser Scott Stewart Kenneth Pybus Multimedia Editor

Page 2 Editor

Faculty Adviser

Chelsea Hackney Jordan Blakey Cade White Copy Editor

Liz Spano

Sports Media Director Arts Editor

Multimedia Desk (325) 674-2463


Faculty Adviser

Christi Stark Advertising

Subscriptions ($40/year) (325) 674-2296.

From Sports

September 9, 2009

Page 7


Students react to NCAA ruling Jeff Craig Sports Writer The NCAA ruling to uphold sanctions against the football team has elicited a strong response from the student body. Students across campus are confused and disappointed with the final verdict. The ruling was based on violations made in 2007. Under the ruling, the ACU football team was forced to vacate 10 wins from the 2007 sea-

son and erase the stats of two unnamed players. Athletic Director Jared Mosley and head football coach Chris Thomsen have said they disagree with the ruling, but the program is moving on. Some students are not. Cross-country runner Jacob Schofield, sophomore mathematics major from Wayne, Mich., said he thinks the NCAA is wrong. “It’s stupid,” Schofield said. “Division I schools do this kind of stuff all the time and get away

ACU is a big-time Division II school, so they are trying to make an example of us. JACOB SCHOFIELD Sophomore mathematics major from Wayne, Mich.

with it. ACU is a big-time Division II school, so they are trying to make an example out of us.” The NCAA penalties have been criticized as harsh and excessive. Another complaint has been made regarding the appeals process. The appeals board failed to question one of the coaches mentioned in the report, and Thomsen, who was not named in the report, said he was never even questioned about the academic violations alleged against the team. This apparent lack of due process has drawn the ire of students across campus. Laurel Blackmon, a freshman communications major from Arlington, said she wonders if things might have gone differently if these


hard, in light of the fact that ACU self-reported The NCAA upheld its initial rulthe violations and ening, and ACU will have to impleacted some self-imposed ment the following sanctions: sanctions. Others conn ACU must immediately tend the ruling unfairly vacate all 10 wins from 2007 punishes individual playn Two athletes, who were not named in the NCAA report, ers for team violations. will lose all their statistics “I think it’s silly, befrom 2007 cause ACU reported the violations itself,” said coaches had been given Erin Boyd, sophomore major from an opportunity to speak. biology “It seems really un- Keller. “So there should fair. I would think it be a little bit of grace would be normal for the involved. I mean, it’s coaches to be able to not like we were trying make an appeal,” Black- to hide anything, and it mon said. “Maybe if he definitely wasn’t the inhad been able to explain dividual players’ fault.” ACU’s love for its foothimself, they could have seen his side of the sto- ball team has been the ry, and maybe things common theme throughwould have been more out the ordeal. Much like Mosley and Thomsen, the favorable for ACU.” Some students think students seem eager to the NCAA came down too go forward from here. Jeff

Morris, junior biochemistry major from Richmond, is among those who are ready to move on and cheer on this season’s undefeated team at the Cotton Bowl on Saturday. “I feel like it’s a shame they way things went down,” Morris said. “But, we are moving past all that and are excited about having a good season this year and in the future.”

contact Craig at


Win: Cats dominate competition at home Continued from page 8

The Wildcats’ win was a team effort, though there were some key players. The star was Jordan Schilling. She racked up 17 kills and 13 digs, not to mention three service aces against the Gorillas. “It’s great to see her play where she belongs,”

Mock said. “She played great on the inside for us last year, but she is a natural on the outside. She came into her own this weekend.” Schilling was forced to play on the inside last year because of injuries. This year, she is exactly where Mock wants her. Schilling led the Wildcats in kills, scoring 57 throughout

HEATHER LEIPHART Staff Photographer

Dumaurier Jordan celebrates after QB Mitchell Gale throws a 56-yard touchdown.


Rolls: Offense explodes Continued from page 8

The struggling offense from last week was nowhere to be found Friday. Stewart was 9-15 with 165 yards and two touchdowns. Harrell was 8-15 with 83 yards and one touchdown. With 84 yards and two touchdowns, Richardson was the leading running back. He averaged 8.4 yards per carry against the Skyhawks. The defense remained solid even without defensive leader Tony Harp, who sat out due to an ankle injury.

“I should be back next week. We are playing Commerce at Dallas in the Cotton Bowl,” Harp said. “I am just trying to rest it, to make sure not to reinjure it.” Harp was impressed with the defense; they only gave up 10 points the entire game. “We are still flying around out there, having fun, being fast, violent, and physical,” Harp said. “That is our philosophy for defense.” The momentum from this win will carry the Wildcats into their first conference game against Texas A&M-Commerce

next week. Head Coach Chris Thomsen was pleased with the win and is looking forward to next week. “It just gives you some confidence,” Thomsen said. “Improvement is crucial at this time of year, especially with new players. Hopefully, all of this will help us next week.” The Wildcats will play the Lions at 5 p.m. at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas on Saturday.

contact Cantrell at

the course of the ACU Classic. The four wins vaulted the Wildcats record to 5-3 going into the Lady Patriot Tournament hosted by Dallas Baptist University. The Wildcats expect tough competition. “This next weekend will challenge us,” Mock said. “We have now set a standard, and we have to stick to it. We need to control every match.” The Wildcats will play four non-conference games, two against Southwest Baptist and Arkansas-Monticello on Friday and two against Southern Arkansas and host Dallas Baptist on Saturday.

contact Gwin at

HEATHER LEIPHART Staff Photographer

Junior Ijeoma Moronu gets ready to set the ball.


Page 8

Standings FOOTBALL Div. Ovrl.


MSU Central Okla. ENMU ACU Tarleton St. TAMU-K Angelo St SE Okla. East Central NE State SW Okla. TAMU-C WTAMU


1-0 1-0 1-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0

2-0 1-1 1-1 2-0 2-0 2-0 1-1 1-1 0-2 0-2 0-2 0-2 0-2

September 9, 2009


Victorious Wildcats


Cameron Angelo St TAMU-K WTAMU SE Okla. ACU TAMU-C East Central TX Woman’s ENMU Tarleton St. MSU SW Okla.

0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0

7-1 6-1 7-2 7-2 6-2 5-3 4-3 5-4 3-6 2-6 2-7 1-7 1-8

WOMEN’S SOCCER Team Div. Ovrl. MSU WTAMU TAMU-C ACU Angelo St. East Central NE State TX Woman’s ENMU SE Okla. Central Okla.

0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0

3-0 3-0-1 4-1 2-1 2-2 1-1-1 1-2 1-2 1-3 0-2-1 0-3-1

Scores FRIDAY Volleyball ACU 3, Western State 1 ACU 3, Pittsburg State 1

HEATHER LEIPHART Staff Photographer

The Wildcats celebrate as they dominate the competition at the ACU Classic.

Cats finish ACU Classic undefeated Austin Gwin

the ACU Classic, winning all four of their matches. Assistant Sports Editor “We maintained our intensity and kept our Never let up. That’s what head women’s volleyball momentum throughout coach Kellen Mock preach- the matches,” Mock said. es, and the Wildcats prac- “We had our low points, ticed it this weekend at but that’s the nature of

sic, but they did not seem to remember the fact. The women built momenthe sport. We played re- tum in the first match of ally well. The girls proved the tournament, beating to themselves they can Western State 3-1. Although they lost play at a high level.” The Wildcats were 1-3 one of the four games, before the tournament the contest was never and facing some stiff in question. The loscompetition in the Clas- ing match only built up


Can’t touch this

ACU vs. SW Baptist (Canceled)

Sports Writer

ACU 3, Western New Mexico 0 ACU 3, Incarnate Word 0

Football ACU 58, Fort Lewis College 10

SUNDAY Soccer ACU 0, Rollins 1

Upcoming FRIDAY

HEATHER LEIPHART Staff Photographer

Reggie Brown darts past a defender in the first quarter of a blowout Saturday at Shotwell.

ACU vs. Incarnate Word, 5 p.m.

SATURDAY Volleyball ACU vs. Southern Arkansas, 3 p.m. ACU at Dallas Baptist, 7 p.m.

Football ACU vs. Ft. Lewis College, 6 p.m.


Charles Coody West Texas Intercollegiate HOME GAMES LISTED IN ITALICS

Briefs n Former Wildcats Bernard Scott and Johnny Knox made their 53-man rosters Saturday. Scott is listed as the second RB on the Bengals depth chart behind starter Cedric Benson. Knox may be returning kickoff for the Bears.

A quick recap of the games you may have missed this weekend.

Jeff Craig



In case you missed it

Cats lose first game


ACU vs. Southwest Baptist, 11 a.m. ACU vs. Arkansas-Monticello, 3 p.m.

see WIN page 7




to the most important match of the evening, ACU vs. Pittsburg State. Pitt State came into the match as the 17th team in the nation. They walked away from the match with their first loss of the season.

ACU rolls over Fort Lewis Skyhawks Ryan Cantrell

Assistant Sports Editor The Wildcats rolled over Fort Lewis College 58-10 Saturday night. The offense jumped ahead early in the game and never looked back on their way to a huge victory. Soon after kickoff, Zach Stewart hooked up with Terrell Woodall for a 45-yard touchdown pass, which set the pace for the Wildcats. Fort Lewis fought back, getting a field goal to make it 7-3, but after that, ACU controlled the first half. Wildcats scored 31 more points before halftime. Running backs Reggie Brown and Daryl Richardson each scored a touchdown, as did full back Justin Andrews.

GAME BREAKERS Optimist picks for players of the game and the play of the game. n Co-Offensive Player of the Game, Daryl Richardson, 10 rushes for 84 yards, 2 TD n Co-Offensive Player of the Game, Raymond Radway, 2 receptions for 66 yards, 2 TD n Defensive Player of the Game, Major Culbert, 5 tackles, 1 INT n Play of the Game, Arthur Johnson returns a punt 74 yards for a TD. It was the first punt return for a TD since 2005. Kendrick Johnson returned a punt 73 yards for a touchdown in one of the more impressive plays of the game. Johnson had another return later in the game that went for a touchdown, but it was called back on a penalty. ACU continued to dominate in the second half. Richardson got his second touchdown of the night on an

eight-yard carry. Raymond Radway scored two touchdowns in the second half; the second was a 56-yard pass from third-string quarterback Mitchell Gale. Gale threw a perfect pass to Radway for the Wildcats’ final touchdown of the night. The struggling offensive from last week see ROLLS page 7

The Wildcat soccer team suffered its first defeat of the season in a hard fought 1-0 loss to No. 11 Rollins College on Sunday. The squad was scheduled to play two games this weekend; however, Friday night’s matchup with Southwest Baptist was canceled when heavy storms rolled through the Big Country. The match against Rollins College was ACU’s toughest test of the season. The Tars improved to 3-0-1 after defeating ACU, and they have yet to allow a goal this season. Reigning LSC Goalie of the Week Crissy Lawson’s shutout streak ended when Tars midfielder Joy Powell fired a shot past Lawson. Lawson stopped all other Tars shots, making five saves. Senior forward Jordan Reese and senior defender Alyson Thomas collected the team’s only two shots on goal. The game was a defensive struggle, and although it went down as a loss, the Wildcats played well against one of the nation’s top-ranked teams.


Wildcats take second Jeff Craig

Sports Writer Both the men’s and women’s cross-country teams finished in second place at the Great Alaska Stampede in Anchorage on Saturday. Micah Chelimo, University of Alaska at Anchorage student, captured the men’s individual title with a time of 15:18.60, followed by ACU’s Cleophas Tanui in 2nd place with a time of 15:44.90. UAA runners finished in third and fourth place, ACU freshman Spencer Lynn finished fifth and sophomore Jacob Schofield finished in seventh place. The top ACU women’s finisher was Chloe Susset, who finished in fifth place. Head coach Sam Burroughs said the trip was an excellent opportunity for his team. “We raced on a world-circuit cross-country skiing course,” Burroughs said. “UAA is good competition as well. Their men’s team is ranked No. 15 and their women’s No. 9.”

The Optimist - Sept. 9, 2009  

A product of the JMC Network of student media at Abilene Christian University

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you