Page 1


The Newspaper of Lamar University

Vol. 95, No. 15 February 14, 2019

Gray Library conducting services survey Laney Powdrill UP contributor

Lamar University’s Gray Library will be assessing an online LibQual survey. The survey, which began Monday, will last about five weeks. The five-minute survey gives the students a chance to voice their opinions on the services the library has to offer, Michael Saar, interim instruction and assessment coordinator, said. Prizes will be awarded to randomly selected participants. The survey can be found on the library’s home page at “If a student or faculty member has opinions on services of-

fered or resources offered, or the building as a whole, this is the best opportunity to have your voice heard because we are going to use this heavily in how we plan for the future of the library,” Saar, who is coordinating the survey, said. “We are planning on doing it on a recurring basis, so we can continually access what people think of the library and where they would like us to go so we can use that to help make decisions.” Changes have occurred since the last survey was conducted in 2011, Saar said. For example, tests for more convenient service hours were pursued and training for personnel was

scheduled following student responses. “We will certainly be comparing these results to what happened before to see if we have improved,” Saar said. “This will also help access what changes need to be made.” The prizes consist of an iPad and two separate $10 Starbucks gift cards. In order to have a chance to win, participants will submit their email when they have finished the survey. When the survey is finished after five weeks, one random email will be selected for each prize. The survey is anonymous, and the email provided for the

UP photo by Cade Smith

Treyvion Smither-Byrd, sophomore chemical engineering major, studies for an exam on the first floor of Gray Library, Tuesday. prizes will remain separate from the survey data.


For more information, email

Learning to recycle Claire Robertson UP contributor

UP graphic by Noah Dawlearn

Henson finds self in love from other Cassandra Jenkins UP editor

Chance Henson, left, with Shawn Hare.

Love is fickle. It’s strange and it moves in ways no one thinks is possible, and today is one of those days that makes or breaks love — Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day is widely celebrated, typically filled with roses, chocolates and love letters. But for some, love doesn’t always come easy. LU alumnus Chance Henson is an international private charter flight attendant from Jasper who said his first Valentine’s Day was anything but happy. “My first Valentine’s Day was an awakening,” Henson said in an email interview. “I’d lived most of

my life within the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses, as well as in the closet as a gay man.” Henson said that when he finally came out to his congregation and friends at the age of 21, he was immediately disfellowshipped from the congregation, and later, by his family at the age of 22. “If you’re unfamiliar with Jehovah’s Witnesses, this process includes being cut off from contact with all of your friends and family who are members of the organization,” he said. “In short, within a few months of coming out. I found myself entirely alone, except for a single friend, my best friend, who was not a member of See VALENTINES page 5

Lamar has more than 3,000 recycling bins on campus. Every classroom, office and dorm room has access to recycling. However, Lamar is currently recycling only eight percent of its waste, Alicen Flosi, director of sustainability, said. “We are doing a lot more than we used to,” she said. “Some of the dorms have competitions. Their recycling bins are filled up, so that’s a lot more than we ever used to do.” When Flosi became the director of sustainability in 2014, one of her first priorities was recycling. “The way you’re supposed to do it, is everywhere you have a trash bin you should have a recycling bin,” she said. “That way people can make the right choice. But, it’s a lot more work and people have to do it right.” This year, Lamar is participating in RecycleMania, an eight-week-long competition between universities to increase recycling efforts and reduce waste. “The people who do our recycling will send me the numbers once a week, and I send it to RecycleMania,” Flosi said. These weekly numbers are shared with, and compared to, other universities. This year will serve as a benchmark year to compare Lamar’s waste and recycling to other universities. In 2020, Lamar will participate in RecycleMania as a competitor. Flosi’s goal for 2020 is at least 15 or 20 percent recycling. She thinks the increase is possible if everyone knows how. Recycling is not commonplace in Southeast Texas, and students often misuse the green containers on campus. “This person walked up and tried to put their trash in the trash can but it was full, so they just turned around and put it in the recycling,” Carolyn Langhoff, Lake Jackson senior, said. The recycling bins on campus accept types one, two and five of plastic, as well as cardboard and See RECYCLE page 2

Beaumont native becomes LU public affairs director Cade Smith UP staff writer

What started as an interest in journalism in the third grade turned into a career for Shelly Vitanza, LU’s new director of public affairs, that led her to meeting many fascinating people and, ultimately, returning back to her home town of Beaumont. “I had always done some type of writing or publication for my entire life,” she said. “I said this is what I wanted to do because it’s what I do. It was so natural to me. I loved photography and I almost got a minor in it. “I remember talking with my mother when we went to orientation at Texas A&M University. I

started looking through the catalogue, and I got to the journalism school and started looking at the classes (and) got excited. I said, ‘You know mom, I would really enjoy journalism,’ and she said, ‘Uh, yeah, because that is all you have ever done.’” Vitanza earned a bachelor’s in journalism with a minor in political science. She said she went to Texas A&M for practical reasons. “I think, now, you choose the school based on what you are going to major in,” she said. “My dad went to A&M, and he told me he would pay for me to go to A&M. If I wanted to go somewhere else, I had to get a job and pay for it myself — so I decided to go to A&M.” Vitanza has done just about

every journalism job there is. “I did an internship in Washington D.C.,” she said. “It was a coop actually, and I worked for the CIA on Capitol Hill — it was interesting. They employ journalists because they take images from their analysts from all over the world and they put together reports, and then go to members of Congress.” After her internship, Vitanza moved to Houston for her next job. “I worked for two different nonprofit organizations,” she said. “The first non-profit, I worked for two years, was an independent grocers’ organization and I did all See VITANZA page 8

UP photo by Noah Dawlearn

Shelly Vitanza, director of public affairs, reminisces about her time as a a journalist in her office in the Reaud Honors Building, Feb. 8.


Thursday, February 14, 2019 University Press



“I have decided to stick to love. Hate is too great a burden to bear."

Page 2

The University Press can be read online at Advertising rates can be found on the site, along with practically all information that a person might be looking for.

—Martin Luther King Jr.

REDtalk to discuss social media Cheyenne Ard UP contributor

Social media plays a big role in the growth of one’s career. To ensure that students use it to its potential, Ken J. Ward, assistant professor of communication, will present the REDtalk, “Using Social Media Strategically to Improve Your Career and Well-Being,” Monday at 2 p.m., on the sixth floor of Gray Library. The REDtalk is free and open to all students, faculty and staff.


The purpose of the talk is to help the audience find the balance between using social media for entertainment and for growing their careers, Ward said. “We’re going to sit down and identify platforms and how the audience is using them, and how they want to use them,” he said. The idea is not to discourage anyone from using social media for entertainment, but to encourage the audience to think strategically about what they are posting where, Ward said.

“Topics will include social media privacy, strategical thinking, career growth and having room to be yourself,” he said. “All of these should be allowed — it’s just doing those in the right places.” When using social media, it is easy to jump in, post and read, and not pay attention to what we’re doing, but one must remember that not all people use social media that way, Ward said. “This is the stage in one’s career when it’s time to start thinking critically about these

things — where the mistakes that you make start being permanent,” he said. At the end of the day, using social media is about learning to balance professional behavior and fun, Ward said. “Some of the things we tend to do on social media don’t benefit us in the long run,” he said. “The goal of this talk is to use social media to help (students) and their careers, and just to live a happier, healthier life.” For more information, visit

from page 1

paper. The type of plastic is shown by the number in the middle of the recycling symbol. Plastic bottles that hold liquids need to be empty, but do not have to be rinsed out. Straws and foam containers are not recyclable. “If it doesn’t have the recycle symbol on it, throw it in the trash,” Flosi said. “People want to recycle as much as they can and think, ‘It’s plastic, it’s OK,’ but it’s not OK.” Products contaminated by food, like greasy pizza boxes, are not recyclable. “You could tear off the portions with grease on them, but people never do that,” Flosi said. It’s important to pay attention to what we put in the recycling bins, Flosi said, because one wrong item in the recycling bin could mean the whole bin gets sorted into trash instead of being recycled. “If I throw away my Styrofoam cup, and there’s a lot of paper in the bin, then it gets everything wet,” she said. “Our custodians don’t have time to sort it all out, so if it’s ruined they throw it all in the trash.” All recyclable materials can go into the same bin.

“The people who do our recycling waste management prefer ‘single stream recycling,’” Flosi said. Single stream recycling means all recyclables get put into the same bin and are later hand sorted by type. It is more convenient for students to not sort their own recyclables and also assures that the recyclables will be sorted correctly later. Flosi said that it is important to recycle, because it reduces the number of things in the landfills that are never going to decompose. “When you start to see the impact on animals, the environment, climate change that we are already experiencing with extreme weather patterns and flooding— I just feel we can get more average American people into recycling,” she said. Flosi’s plans for the future of sustainability at Lamar include going paperless and using partially recycled materials. “Going paperless pretty much means doing everything online,” she said. “Because of Blackboard, we don’t have to print out our syllabus anymore

UP photo by Abigail Pennington

Braylon Thompson, Houston senior, recycles his empty water bottle after class. Recycling bins can be found in most classrooms and popular gathering places around campus. and a lot of teachers allow you to turn in assignments online so you don’t have to print it out.” Flosi said she would like Lamar to lead the way for Southeast Texas to start doing better. “I think we’ve come to a point where, if we don’t do something now, our future generations are going to be

hurting, so why would we not?” she said. There is a simple phrase that Flosi uses to sum up her philosophy. “First reduce, then recycle, and then buy things that are made out of recycled materials,” she said. For more information, visit


Feb. 14

Computer Science Career Fair Eighth floor, Gray Library Noon to 3 p.m.

Feb. 16

LU Women’s Basketball vs. Sam Houston State Montagne Center 2 p.m.

Feb. 16

LU Men’s Basketball vs. Sam Houston State Montagne Center 4:30 p.m.

Feb. 17

LU Baseball vs. LIU-Brooklyn Vincent-Beck Stadium 1 p.m.

Feb. 19

Construction Career Fair Eighth floor, Gray Library 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Feb. 20

LU Women’s Basketball vs. Incarnate Word Montagne Center 7 p.m.

Feb. 21

LU History Day Setzer Student Center Ballroom Noon to 5 p.m.

Feb. 23

LU Baseball vs. Prairie View Vincent-Beck Stadium 4 p.m.

Feb. 26

Collage Music Fundraiser Concert University Theatre 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.


3 UNIVERSITY PRESS Thursday, February 14, 2019


For the longest time, I debated investing in an Apple Watch because I wasn’t sure if it would benefit me in any way other than health and fitness. Four Apple Watch launches later, and after a lot of research, from asking my peers’ advice to watching countless video reviews on YouTube, I finally jumped on the smart watch bandwagon and purchased the Apple Watch Series 4. There are two sizes, 40 and 44 millimeters, and many different


Vy Nguyen UP staff writer

colors and wristbands to choose from. I went with the 40 mm black sport wristband. After a month of using the watch, I have discovered many features that benefit my daily health and fitness routines, and much more. My favorite feature is the Activity app that keeps track of my daily workout history, like calorie measurements, exercise duration and how much time I spend on my feet. Within the Activity app, I’m able to compete with friends who have the app as a way to boost my motivation when it comes working out. While working out, I may become sweaty, but the Apple Watch is water resistant up to 50 meters. There’s an option that allows for water ejection if I do laps in the pool or get in a shower. As someone who enjoys going to the gym daily, this app has helped me tremendously. I was glad I did my research and waited until the fourth watch came out, because I’ve heard a lot of good things about them compared to the ones in the past. The application’s speed is quicker, the volume is 50-percent

UPeditorial Put selflove above all else Valentine’s Day — a day synonymous with love and romance. The day is filled with roses, chocolates in heart-shaped boxes, fluffy teddy bears and endless rom-com marathons. But while this holiday is characterized mostly by couples, it’s an opportune time to indulge in some self-love. Every year there are articles about how single people can celebrate V-Day. They usually entail ice cream, a bunch of chocolate and alcohol (for those of age). But self-love is not just for single people — everyone needs to practice it. It can be hard to love ourselves because we all struggle with our self image. Here are some tips to practice today, and every day, so that we can take care of ourselves. Think happy thoughts. This may seem too menial to make a difference, but beginning the day with positive thoughts helps to create a more accepting attitude. Of course, there will be bad days, but finding the smallest positivities can have a huge impact on our mindsets. Don’t bottle emotions. It’s easier to supress emotions sometimes and not think about what may be bothering us, but it isn’t healthy in the long run. When stress is overwhelming and your chest feels like bursting, just let it out. Scream into a pillow or have a good cry if need be. Relieve the mind and body of the weight of anxieties. Find activities that ease the mind and soothe the soul. Whether it’s journaling or meditating, there are hundreds of hobbies that can take our minds off our troubles. There are many groups on campus to join, or, for those who prefer a more individual journey, explore options on the internet that adapt to every need. Believe in yourself. Yes, it’s corny, but we all have the potential to do great things in life. Sometimes we forget that and feel worthless, but those intrusive thoughts do not mean that we are not capable of greatness. Take a minute to absorb the environment that surrounds us. Nothing is too urgent that won’t allow a minute or two of peace to just clear the mind and breathe. Every one needs love but perhaps the most important love we need is that of ourselves.

Editor..........................................Cassandra Jenkins Managing Editor...............................Olivia Malick Photo Editor......................................Noah Dawlearn Staff ............ Cade Smith, Sierra Kondos, Vy Nguyen, ......................Abigail Pennington, Rachel Hellums, .............................Cheyenne Ard, Claire Roberston, ...............................Morgan Collier, Tiana Johnson, .................................Saydie Stanley, Laney Powdrill Business Manager .......................................An Vo Advisors Andy Coughlan and Stephan Malick Member of Texas Intercollegiate Press Association

louder, the screen display has curve edges making it 30-percent larger and the battery life for the Apple Watch 4 is longer lasting than previous ones. With the volume being significantly louder, features like Siri, phone calls or walkie-talkie are more audible. I usually don’t utilize Siri on my phone because it takes too much effort to access it, or it wouldn’t recognize my voice if I do hands-free commands. However, with the watch, Siri comes to life with a simple raise of my wrist to my mouth, plus a command. Speaking of talking to one’s wrist, another one of my favorite apps is the walkie talkie feature. Compared to regular walkie talkies, the range of signal is unlimited and I can send audio messages to friends who live in different towns. With the bigger screen display and vibrant colors, the interface of the watch accommodates more information in richer detail. The interface is as elegant and sleek as the ceramic back. It includes a new electrical heart sensor to measure one’s electrocardiogram, which is an

UP graphic by Vy Nguyen

upgrade from the optical heart sensor that Apple had from the beginning. This way, I can track my heart rate and it gives me an alert if my heart rate is either too high or too low. When it comes to battery life, the watch takes about two hours to fully charge, and the longest it has lasted for me was one and a half day with minimal usage. Apple claims it can last up to 18 hours, but it definitely exceeded my expectations. Not only can the Series 4 hold its own when it comes to battery life, but it’s 30-percent thinner

with more added components. It isn’t too bulky, doesn’t get in the way of things or get snagged against one’s clothes. People asked me why I didn’t choose to go with a cheaper watch because they nearly function the same way. I’ve always been an Apple person, from iPhones to MacBooks, despite many complaints of the company’s pricey products. I would rather spend good money for a long-lasting product than vice-versa. Hey Siri, it’s safe to say that the Apple Watch Series 4 is the best investment that I’ve ever made.

Mastering mindfulness

Breathing in, I know I’m breathing in. Breathing out, I know I’m breathing out.” If you’ve had public speaking with communications instructor Ruth Stanley, then you’ve probably done this exercise multiple times. It comes from the concept of mindfulness. Most people associate mindfulness with Buddhism and meditation, and while it has a lot to do with those things, mindfulness encompasses so much more than rituals and meditation. It helps to alleviate suffering. As a sufferer of the chronic illness ulcerative colitis, suffering is something I am extremely familiar with. I suffer both physically and emotionally. The concept of mindfulness is the only way I have been


Rachel Hellums UP contributor

able to cope. Just reciting the statement you first read, five times in a row brings me to the present and I am re-centered. When I am centered, I am able to overcome struggles that otherwise prohibit me from being able to function normally. I also have chronic anxiety, and catching my breath is the only thing that keeps me from having a panic attack. When I breathe, I make sure that when I am breathing in and my stomach is expanding, and when I breathe out, my stomach constricts. When my out breaths are longer than my in breaths, it calms the fight or flight signals and relaxes my body. When it gets really bad, I’ll turn on “Bennie and the Jets,” and breathe to the rhythm, I’m able to calm down a lot faster that way. The music gives me the space I need for five minutes. Mindfulness goes beyond breathing, too. There are many ways to alleviate suffering. One of them is finding gratitude. As cliché as this sounds, it works. For example, when I am washing dishes, I am feeling the heat of the water wash over my hands and smelling the

soap I’m using. I make scrubbing my one, sole job. I am awake, truly living in that moment, and I am finding something about that moment that makes me grateful. I have running water. The bits of food I scrub off the dishes is because I have food to cook for my family. When I wash clothes, I feel the texture of the clothes as I put them in the washer. I smell the lavender of the detergent I use. I am grateful for the clothes I have to wear and the machine I have to wash them. But, there is an element to mindfulness that a lot of people forget about. Mindfulness can spark peace and gratitude, but one of the best things resulting from mindfulness is focus — something I have too little of. William James once said, “The education of the attention would be the education par excellence.” In his book, “Resilience,” Rick Hanson talks about mindfulness and its effects on the brain. He explains, “‘You become what you eat.’ That may be true for the body, but ‘you’ — the person you are — gradually becomes what your attention rests upon.” If this is true, and I be-

come what my “attention rests upon,” then I am a stress-induced mother who has no energy to clean her house, a student who never has enough time, and a wife who would rather watch “True Detective” with her husband than talk about kids and bills. I’m also aware of what I’m feeling when I go through stressinduced situations and am able to observe from a much calmer point of view. Hanson explains it better — “Mindfulness holds your reactions in a spacious awareness that is itself never disturbed by whatever passes through it.” When I am mindful, I can encounter stress, pain, discomfort and suffering, and still be able to gauge my reactions as things happen. It’s easy to be mindful when you sit on a pillow or breathe out to “Bennie and the Jets,” but being able to be mindful during finals, or when my preschooler is throwing a temper tantrum while I’m trying to talk to my husband about what’s for dinner is the trick, isn’t it? I don’t know, maybe I need some of Bennie’s “electric boots and a mohair suit.”

UP editorial cartoon by Marina Akhter

Letters Policy

Individuals who wish to speak out on issues should send a letter fewer than 400 words in length to Letters to the Editor, P.O. Box 10055, Beaumont, TX 77710, or drop letters off at our office in 202 Carl Parker Building. The writer’s name, address, telephone number and ID number must accompany each letter. Letters received without this information cannot be printed. Letters may be edited for length, grammar, style and possible libel. Opinions expressed in letters are not necessarily those of the UP student management. Letters by the same writer on the same subject will not be published. Poetry and religious debates will not be published.

The opinions that appear in editorials are the official views of the University Press student management as determined by the UP Student Editorial Board. Opinions expressed elsewhere on this page are the views of the writers only and are not necessarily those of the University Press student management. Student opinions are not necessarily those of the university administration. ©University Press 2018

Page 4

Thursday, February 14, 2019 • UNIVERSITY PRESS

LU’s Dishman Art Museum to host book club, Feb. 22 Sierra Kondos UP staff writer

The Dishman Art Museum will host a book club in the lecture hall followed by a Q&A, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Feb. 22. “The Out of Africa” exhibition will also be open for viewing. “The book we will be discussing is ‘Homegoing,’ by author Yaa Gyasi,” Alyssabeth Guerra, curator for the exhibit, said in an email interview. “My idea for this was largely inspired by the fact that I have also simultaneously curated an exhibition on art from west African regions, sourced from the museum’s permanent collection. The book setting takes place in Ghana, a west African region.” Guerra, assistant director for the Dishman Gallery, said history has a habit of repeating itself and that Gyasi reminds us of that in a cleverly

expressed way. “The book involves topics such as colonization, slavery, war and civil rights,” she said. “Even though as a country we have Black History Month every February, I think that too often, it’s something that’s skipped over in both grade school and collegiate education.” Guerra said she specifically planned to do both an exhibition and a book club meeting because she wanted to create something to engage with Lamar’s African American community. “With the state of our society being what it is as a nation today, I think people of all colors are feeling a lot of negativity and stress, and we can all forget the struggles and battles, as well as the victories that came before us,” she said. “I think people would really gain a lot from reading this book and at-

tending this event. It’s a truly unique work of historical fiction spanning across many locations and time from the 18th to 20th century. “In my career as a student, I honestly can’t recall spending very much time on the subject, unless you were to seek it out yourself and carve out an entire class time in your schedule.” The Dishman’s main purpose is to serve as a learning tool for students, Guerra said. “I thought having these two events, the book club falling in Black History Month, together would be an excellent opportunity for students and community members to come together and learn together.” The Dishman Gallery located at the corner of Lavaca and MLK Parkway, is open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 880-8959.

Glasstire founder Knudson to speak, Feb. 28 in Dishman Saydie Stanley UP contributor

Rainey Knudson, founder and publisher of the Texas online art magazine Glasstire will speak at the Dishman Art Museum, Feb. 28. A reception will be held at 5:30 p.m. prior to the talk at 6 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. Knudson’s lecture, “Art, Media and the Digital Dumpster Fire” will tell the story of Glasstire from its origin as a scrappy startup in 2000 to becoming a leading art journal nationally, a release states, including brushes with libel law, scrapes with art dealers and artists, and at least one death threat. Knudson will also discuss how online journalism and the role of the critic has changed, and the lessons she’s learned from following Glasstire’s tagline, “Go See Some Art.” “I’m interested in any majors who are interested in online

media generally, and art specifically,” Knudson said in an email interview. “I was an English major, and I think (I hope?) I would have gotten something from my talk when I was in school. I talk a lot about how we communicate online, about social media, and about how things have changed. I think this applies to many fields of study.” Stephanie Chadwick, Lamar University assistant professor of art history, said the talk will appeal to a wide range of students. “Definitely the art studio and design students, (and) I think communications students, particularly anyone interested in journalism, but I think this could be interesting for people in a lot of different fields,” she said. “I think it’s also really helpful for studio students, because it gives them an idea of what’s going on in the contemporary art world — also how people are

talking about it and writing about it.” Knudson said the simple definition of Glasstire is an online magazine about visual art in Texas. “The long answer is that we provide critical discourse between artists and audiences through the mediated forum of an online magazine,” she said. “And we think about what all of those words mean, what their etymology is.” Knudson has been on a farewell lecture tour since December, visiting universities and museums prior to leaving the publication. “I like universities that are located in smaller cities,” she said. “I’ve been familiar with Lamar for years because of artists I admire who teach there, and because I usually try to run by and see what’s in the gallery when I visit the Art Museum of Southeast Texas.” For more information,


Rainey Knudson

and click on events.

UNIVERSITY PRESS • Thursday, February 14, 2019


Page 5

from page 1

that religious group.” Henson said the coming out process was difficult, but he opted to see it as an opportunity to learn as much as possible about the world outside of the organization, which, consequently, meant being able to explore his sexuality. After six months, he unexpectedly met his now boyfriend, Shawn Hare. “Meeting Shawn was unexpected,” he said. “After so many years of living in an oppressive organization, which not only managed all of my relationships but also lead me (and countless other queer people) to believe that I was somehow a broken person who should never love or be loved, I found it impossible to form romantic feelings for anyone. “That first night, however, when Shawn walked through the door of Easy’s (an old tapas bar in Beaumont), I saw him from across the bar and thought, ‘I absolutely must get this guy to talk to me somehow.’ He was the most beautiful, charismatic man I’d ever seen in real life. Shawn is one of those rare people who can walk into a room with such confidence and charm that he completely fills it with his presence. We talked for hours that night, finding that we had this incredibly easy, yet intense connection.” Henson said it was love at first sight, but, having never loved anyone before, it took him a long time to realize it. “The catalyst was our first Valentine’s Day,” he said. “It was about a year after we started dating. I still had very little understanding of customs like Valentine’s, Christmas, or even birthdays — aside from what I saw on television. I’d never been exposed to these holidays, so I took them at face value and assumed they were simply as commercial as they appeared. “I think that without a familial narrative to allay the foundation, it can be difficult for outsiders to access these sorts of customs.” At the time, Henson was work-

‘“I still didn’t know that I was in love with him, but in that moment — I should have.” — Chance Henson ing a graveyard shift doing security at a local plant. “That night, when I went to work, Shawn sent me an enormous bouquet of flowers, fourtiered-Valentine chocolates that stood at least three-feet tall and a beautifully written card,” Henson said. “I, for my part, had sent him nothing. I don’t think I even knew that it was Valentine’s Day.  I just thought, ‘Oh, well that’s kind of fun,’ thinking that it was just one of those things people do around holidays that I didn’t really understand.” Henson said he wondered if there was some sort of protocol for Valentine’s gifts he didn’t know about. “It was all a bit confusing for me,” he said. “I dismissed the thought,  assuming that Shawn would overlook my ignorance, as he had for so many things in the past year (including my  being oblivious to his birthday). But not this time. For Shawn, it was a devastating realization. “I’d crossed the line from being ignorant to being self-centered. When I saw him the next day,  there was such an awful look of hurt in his eyes, like I’d physically stabbed him in the chest. I still didn’t know that I was in love with him, but in that moment — I should have.” Hare broke up with Henson shortly after — and it was the best thing he could have done at the time, Henson said. “It took me several months to finally realize what he had given me,” Henson said. “Each of the gifts, thoughtful words and intimate experiences he’d shared with me over that past year,

UP illustration by Olivia Malick

which were new and seemed a little strange to me, were his way of healing me. He loved me, and he knew that I would never have happiness as I was. Shawn had spent our time together teaching me to love myself. “It is the greatest gift anyone could have ever given me, and it changed the entire trajectory of my life. That realization hit me like a ton of bricks and forced me to acknowledge how precious his love is to me, as well as the horror of the pain I’d inflicted on him.  “His gift allowed me to Chance Henson, left, and Shawn Hare, right, have been together for almost 10 years emerge from the toxic fog of after the pair met in a tapas bar in Beaumont. shame and self-loathing in which I’d been hiding, and in the confidence that comes from loving gift,” Henson said. Henson and Hare currently and being loved, I found pride of self — of being a gay man, but live on a cattle farm in Orange, “I found pride of self more so, pride that such an in- have been together for 10 years — of being a gay man, and are planning a wedding for credible man loved me.” but more so, Henson said he confessed all next year. The two founded pride that such of this to Hare when the two met Beaumont Pride together and founded the original “Coming again. an incredible man “Ten years later, that Valen- Out Ball,” which is now manloved me. tine’s Day, and the explosive fall- aged by PFLAG. Henson is also out from it, is a cornerstone in an escort and mentor for — Chance Henson our relationship — a poignant LGBTQ members for the upcoming ball, which will take reminder that love is a precious

GALLERY TALK Friday | Feb. 15, 5:30 p.m.

FREE OPENING RECEPTION Friday | Feb. 15, 6:30-8:30 p.m.


Images/left, Julie Bell, “Behind the Veil’ ; right, Boris Vellejo, “The Sylphids”

Julie Bell (born in Beaumont, Texas) and Boris Vallejo (born in Lima, Peru) are two of the top illustrator/painters in the world today. Their work in the fantasy and science fiction fields has appeared on hundreds of book and album covers, in comic books, trading cards, and various collectibles. While Boris works almost exclusively in the fantasy and erotica genres, Julie has also won awards for her wildlife and western art.

1030 E. Lavaca, Beaumont

Page 6

Thursday, February 14, 2019 • UNIVERSITY PRESS

UPcampus briefs CCPD to host computer science career fair today

The Center for Career & Professional Development will host a computer science career fair today, beginning at noon on the eighth floor of Gray Library. The fair is open to students majoring or interested in computer science, management information systems, mathematics and physics. The career fair is an opportunity for students to meet and network with employers and professionals working in computer science and information technology. Students are asked to bring copies of réumés and to dress business casual. For more information, contact the Center for Career & Professional Development at 880-8878, careercenter@lamar. edu, or visit 102 Galloway.

Gray Library extends Sunday hours

The Mary and John Gray Library has added three hours to its Sunday operation. The library is now open from 1 p.m. to 1:45 a.m. The building will be secured with a Campus Security Officer from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Shuttle services will run from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. For more information, contact the library at 880-7264.

Lamar to host JCPenney ‘Suit-Up’ event Sunday

Lamar will host a JCPenney Suit-Up event from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday at Central Mall in Port Arthur. Students who attend with their valid Lamar-issued ID

card will receive an extra 40 percent off men’s and women’s career dress apparel, accessories and shoes. For more information, contact the Center for Career & Professional Development at 880-8878,, or visit their office in 102 Galloway.

Tech building set to open April 3

CCPD announces new system for workshop requests

The Center for Career & Professional Development has improved their system for student organization workshop requests. An OrgSync form is now available for completion to assist in requesting workshops related to career exploration, professional development, career transition and more. The form is located at 584. For more information, contact CCPD at 880-8878,, or visit their office in 102 Galloway.

Ann Shaw award nominations due Wednesday

The Ann Shaw Leadership Award recognizes a junior or senior student who makes significant contributions to the LU community through fostering a spirit of teamwork, excellence in leadership and/or exhibiting exemplary personal ethics and integrity. Current juniors and seniors are eligible. Students may apply or be nominated by a student, faculty or staff member. The winner will receive $1,000 and recognition at the Toast to Leadership Banquet. Nominations can be submitted on OrgSync until Wednesday.

UP photo by Cassandra Jenkins

Paul Bernazzani, interim associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, gives a tour of LU’s new Science and Technology building, Feb. 11. The building is set to open April 3 and will feature state-of-the-art biology, chemistry and physics equipment and labs. The space will also include a “maker’s space,” a 3-D printer, laser-engraver and vertebrae lab, along with several classrooms and offices.

For more information, call 880-8458.

LU STEM Students of Color Alliance to host Langarica lecture, Friday

The LU STEM Students of Color Alliance will present Alicia Prieto Langarica’s talk, “What is Undergraduate Research in Math and who gets to do it?” from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., tomorrow in 119 Lucas. Langarica is an associate professor of mathematics at Youngstown State University Examples of problems in applied and some pure mathematics will be presented. Student involvement and the application process will also be discussed.

Refreshments will be served. For more information, contact Jacqueline Jensen-Vallin at 880-7859.

Seniors of Significance nominations due Monday

The Division of Student Engagement is seeking nominations and applications for Seniors of Significance. The Seniors of Significance Award recognizes students who have excelled in scholarship, leadership, service to the campus and community and who have brought distinction to Lamar University. Seniors who will graduate in May, August or December of 2019 are eligible to be consid-

ered for recognition. A senior may apply or be nominated by a student, faculty or staff member. Seniors of Significance will receive recognition at the Toast to Leadership banquet, a graduation stole and a commemorative gift. Honorees will also be featured on the Lamar website. The Bess Gentry Award and the C. Robert Kemble Award recipients will be selected from the Seniors of Significance. Recipients of these two awards will each receive $1,000. To nominate someone, visit Compiled by Olivia Malick



UNIVERSITY PRESS Thursday, February 14, 2019

LU adds nine on National Signing Day Cassandra Jenkins UP editor

Lamar University participated in National Signing Day, Feb. 6, in the Dauphin-Athletic Complex, as head coach Mike Schultz listed the nine new players who will be joining the Lamar football program in the fall. “It’s an exciting day, it always is on National Signing Day,” Schultz said. “We are excited about the student-athletes that have committed to come here.” Schultz said he first wanted to thank his staff who worked around the clock to ensure a successful recruiting period. “I cannot tell you what a great job they did,” he said. “They have been relentless in recruiting and I know sometimes it turns into a 24/7 job, and that’s exactly what they did — a great job.” Schultz said this recruiting period was about meeting needs and filling holes after the team lost a handful of graduating seniors on both offense and defense. “When you look at where we are offensively, we lost five receivers, one quarterback and one offensive lineman to graduation,” he said. “Defensively, we lost five defensive backs, one linebacker and one defensive end to graduation. So, we had some holes to fill and I think we got a very nice blend of junior college players, transfers and high school student-athletes who have committed to Lamar University.” After touching on a few of the early signees, Schultz addressed the nine student athletes they gained during National Signing Day, starting off with the offensive side which included one quarterback and two wide receivers. “We hadn’t talked about him too much, but we signed a quarterback of the name Will McBride out of League City,

UP photo by Cassandra Jenkins

Mike Schultz, head coach of the Lamar football program, addresses the media during National Signing Day, Feb. 6, in the Dauphin-Athletic Complex. who was originally at the University of Tennessee. He is already on campus and he has three years of eligibility left. We are excited to see what he will bring us in the future. “We also have a commitment from a guy named Kenny Allen (WR). He was at East Los Angeles Community College last year. Kenny is very fast, so along the lines of trying to recruit bigger, stronger, faster, we are still in that mode. Along with him, we also took another

man out of California JC and his name is Ryan Matlock (WR). Ryan is an extremely fast athlete and we are excited about him being here.” Schultz said that defense took the biggest hit and was their main priority during recruitment which concluded with the signing of five defensive backs during National Signing Day. “We had five defensive backs graduate,” he said. “We had one defensive lineman and

one linebacker graduate. So, we had immediate holes to fill. At the linebacker position we have Dallas Martin. Dallas is a transfer from Marshall University — big, athletic, fast linebacker. Kyron Norwood is another one we are really excited about. He is 5-11, 185 pounds, and we feel like Kyron is a dual-threat guy — and when I say dual-threat on defense, I think he can help us on corner or safety. He’s from Pearl River Junior College, he is on campus participating in our off-season workouts and will go through spring training with us. “Michael Lawson is from San Francisco City College and Mike is here on campus. He actually signed with us in the early signing period. Again, he is a young man who we look forward to working with this spring. He is going to fill some of those holes we had to fill in the back-end of our defense.” Schultz said there were also some students they hadn’t signed until the early morning of National Signing Day, Nakota Shepard-Creer and their only high school signee of the day, Anthony Ruffin. “Nakota Shepard-Creer is a man from Santa Barbara City College and is another big safety,” he said. “He is 6-2 and 200 pounds. He is very athletic, can run,and we are excited about having this young man on campus. He will join us in the first summer session. “Keshawn Young is a young man who was at Antelope Valley College out of California. Keshawn is actually a Louisiana native and this was a young man who wanted to be closer to home. The last one is a high school young man, Anthony Ruffin, another safety. It is good to a have a young one in that group at 6-1, 190 pounds and very physical.” Schultz said he is excited about the prospect of the new signees and feels like this signing class helped fill the holes

and gaps that needed to be filled in the team and after going down the list, he noticed that recruiting was easier this year after a successful, 7-5 (overall) 6-3 (SLC), season that included Lamar’s first appearance in a playoff game in more than a decade. “I don’t know if the kids talked about it a lot, but we talked about it a lot,” he said. “It helped a lot. Kids saw Lamar football on ESPN, they saw us in the playoffs and it was a big deal. We carried the success we had in the season right into recruiting and it made a difference. “When you are going and recruiting with a 5-7 season and a trip to the playoffs versus a 2-9 season and you have to figure out what you are going to do next — it definitely helps a lot.” Schultz said another major advantage in the recruiting process was being able to show off recent changes, like the fully operational nutrition center in the complex, and discuss future changes to the program such as new turf and room upgrades. “At the FCS level, I can’t think of more than two schools that have a fully operational nutrition center like we do,” he said. “It is in, it is operating, and our kids come in and it’s a great advantage for us, but also a great sell for recruiting. People see it and think it is pretty cool. “Things like that help and there are going to be some more improvements on the way. I think we are close to getting this building (Dauphin-Athletic Complex) some new graphics, and maybe in a year from now we are going to get some new turf. There are a lot of things that are still happening that we are excited about.” Schultz said he is still waiting for some athletes and students to add to the team, but he feels happy with the decisions so far and can’t wait to see the current athletes practice and perform on the field.

Schultz receives contract extension through 2021 Cassandra Jenkins UP editor

After leading the Lamar football program to one of the best season’s they have had since the return of the program, head coach Mike Schultz signed a contract at the end of January that extended his contract through the 2021 season. In his second year as head

coach, Schultz led the Cardinals to 7-5 overall and 6-3 in Southland Conference play, along with their first appearance in an NCAA FCS playoff game to finish the 2018 season with a bang. Schultz said he can describe his feelings in one word — excited. “It’s good to know where you are going to be,” he said. “I’m excited to be here. We are excited about the contract exten-

sion. I think it was another big thing for us to build on in recruiting. To be able to go into homes and say we got a new contract extension. The kids know we are going to be here, and I am going to be here. All of those are good things when it comes to recruiting and just being on solid ground is a big deal for me.” Schultz said he can’t wait for

the new season and it’s new prospective. “I don’t know if it’s satisfied or hungry,” he said. “I think the kids are hungry. I think they got a taste of success. We are disappointed on how the first playoff game went. We felt like after going back in we were in a very good position to win the game. I said after that game, ‘I think that without a doubt, we proved that

we could compete at the national level.’ They are hungry, the coaching staff is hungry, and I can’t wait to go back and try to win on the national level. That is a pretty big task for us, but that is kind of where we are right now.” The Cardinals kick off the 2019 season, Aug. 31, against Bethel University at the Montagne Center. Time to be announced later.

UPsports briefs MEN’S BASKETBALL Senior Nick Garth scored 23 points and junior Jordan Hunter  scored 20 to lead Lamar University to an 82-67 victory over Stephen F. Austin, Saturday, in Nacogdoches. Hunter opened the game with consecutive three-pointers to give LU a 6-0 advantage. The triples sparked a 16-2 start for the Cardinals who converted six of their first eight attempts. The ’Jacks didn’t get their first field goal until the 14:28 mark. SFA followed the basket up with a three-pointer, but LU kept up the pressure and pushed its advantage to 22-8. SFA finished the half with just seven field goals and only one three-pointer. The Lumberjacks opened the second half on a 7-2 run to trim LU’s lead down to 11. LU momentarily stole the momentum back following consecutive Hunter three ‘s to build the Cards’ advantage back to 13. The Lumberjacks started the second half converting five of their first seven and trimmed the lead down to eight points, 5951. SFA continued to chip away at the lead from the free throw line forcing LU junior V.J. Holmes out of the game due to fouls. Leading by just five, the Cardinals got consecutive three-pointers from freshman Davion Buster and Garth to push their advantage back to double-digits. After forcing consecutive stops on the defensive end LU got clutch baskets from junior Michael Kolawole and Garth to build the lead back to 13 with 2:47 to play. The Cardinals pushed their lead to 15 after a Hunter miss

was followed up by an offensive rebound and put back from Nzeakor. The Lumberjacks never seriously threatened after that as LU took care of business at the free throw line. The Cardinals returned to action Wednesday against Northwestern State. Scores were unavailable at press time.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL For the first time since Jan. 6, 2018, the LU’s women’s basketball team dropped a Southland Conference regular season contest, Saturday, when the Lady Cards were defeated, 70-58, by Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches. The loss snapped a 24 game SLC regular season winning streak. LU senior Moe Kinard led the Cards with 23 points on 9-of-17 shooting. The Lady Cards and Ladyjacks came out trading buckets and after a three-point shot by Kinard, LU held an early 5-2 lead over SFA. Following the play, the Lady Cardinals did not score for a two-minute stretch and LU found themselves down, 13-7. Lamar came back and a pair of free throws by junior Briana Laidler, put LU ahead 16-13. LU scored three more points in the quarter and led 19-17. After a three by Kinard early in the second quarter, Lamar held a three-point lead, 21-18 before LU found themselves down one, 24-23. The Ladyjacks lead was extended to seven, 30-23, after a pair of free throws. Lamar slowly started chipping away at the lead and after a jumper by Crump, LU trailed 34-29. Neither team

UP photo by Cassandra Jenkins

LU men’s basketball team defeated SFA, 82-67, Saturday, in Nacogdoches. It's the third consecutive victory for the Cardinals over SFA which is the first time since 2001 and 2002 that LU has picked up three straight wins in the series. scored for the last minute of the half and LU trailed 34-29 at halftime. Coming out of halftime, Laidler hit a layup to get LU on the board and Crump followed with a three tying the game at 34. Following Crumps three, LU went six minutes without scoring. Crump broke the scoreless drought for Lamar as she hit a three with 1:18 left in the third quarter. Lamar would not score again and trailed

49-37 at the end of the third quarter. Needing a big fourth quarter, the Cards slowly chipped away at the Ladyjacks lead. A minute later, the Cards had the lead down to four, 54-50. Four points would be as close as the Cards would get as SFA stretched the lead back to double-digits. The Cards returned to action, Wednesday, when they faced Northwestern State. Scores were unavailable at press time.

Page 8

Thursday, February 14, 2019 • UNIVERSITY PRESS

Construction career fair set for Tuesday Abigail Pennington UP contributor

The College of Business and the Center for Career and Professional Development will host a Construction Career Fair, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday, on the eighth floor of Gray Library. The construction career fair allows students interested in construction management to meet and network with employers in an interactive forum. Students should dress business casual and have multiple copies of their résumé for the event. “It’s open to any Lamar student, especially if they are general studies students who are unsure of what they want to do and want to see what it’s about,” Angie Thomas, associate director at the Center for Career and Professional Development, said. “This is


a great platform to figure that out and see if maybe construction management is for them.” Companies from Beaumont and surrounding areas will send representatives to talk to students about different types of jobs available in the construction industry. “Students can learn more about the different types of construction industries — commercial, home, petrochemical, etc.,” Thomas said. “There are a lot of different components to construction, so there will be a variety of different industries where they can learn a little bit more about them.” Students will be separated into groups and spend 10 to 15 minutes with representatives from each company, Thomas said. She recommends students arrive promptly as the format is structured, but late arrivals will be ad-

mitted. “Every student will get the opportunity to network and learn more about each company, and after that’s done, they can get dinner and sit with whoever they want,” she said. “A lot of the companies who attend the event regularly bring their alum with them — so that makes it a little bit easier for the students. They may recognize them and make that connection.” Courtesy photo The companies scheduled to attend the event are DezTex In- Workers show students in the Reese Construction Management Program how to dustrial Services LLC, H.B. Neild pour and finish a concrete foundation in Tyrell Park. & Sons, Inc., ISC Constructors struction management students struction management program LLC, Mason Construction, Ltd., to learn about internship and job already have a job lined up. The Oldcastle Materials Central Divi- opportunities, Thomas said. construction management prosion, Orion Marine Group, Spaw“A lot of these companies gram has a placement rate of 100 glass, Sunland Construction, come and look for interns or full- percent, so every student who Trans-Global Solutions, Inc. and time employees, and their interns graduates has a job by the end.” Verdigris Homes. usually end up getting hired on,” For more information, visit The event is a great way for she said. “Almost all of the stu- and prospective con- dents who graduate in the con- fair.

from page 1

second real job was with a pharmacy association and they represented independent pharmacists — I worked for them for about 12 years. I published a magazine for them and did all of their communications.” After working in Houston, she created an online events calendar. “I started a website called,” she said. “It was a website to keep the Southeast Texas calendar, so that everybody had a central location to go to see what was going on in the area. That was the vison I had for the website.” Eventually, Vitanza’s site was bought by the owner of “The website is gigantic,” she said. “People can sell their wares and services. I went to work for the guy who bought the website and did publishing and marketing for the Events Book for” In 2015, the Beaumont Enterprise bought and Vitanza was hired as the spe-

cialty publications manager. “I came on board there publishing the Events Book and the VIP magazine,” she said. “I published each month the Events Book and VIP magazine. I was basically a copyeditor for the Lakecaster magazine and helped manage that publication and one additional specialty publication a month. I was responsible for four magazines a month.” Now she said she is excited to be a Cardinal. “I am responsible for the image of Lamar University to the community and to the press,” she said. “I am responsible even for the image beyond our community. We want to make sure everybody understands how amazing Lamar University is, how amazing our faculty and staff is, students, facilities, sports, research programs, speakers, lecturers — even the Starbucks, and our library.” Vitanza said her parents are her biggest inspiration. The couple have been married for more than 50 years.

“(My dad) was 16 hours shy of an accounting degree,” she said. “He hated it and so he dropped out to marry my mother, because she was dating other guys. They are a wonderful example of love, perseverance, partnership — they have an inspirational love and marriage together. I am thankful that they have loved each other for all these years. “My mother is such an inspiration to me. She is going on into her 70s, but it is like she is going on 45. My dad has this incredible work ethic that has rubbed off on me. I watched him every day work hard. I am not talking about an eight-to-five job, I’m talking like seven-to-six, or whatever it took to support us, that is what he would do.” Vitanza said that she enjoys interviewing people who have been through hard times. “Some of my favorite interviews were interviewing breast cancer survivors,” she said. “They always gave me a perspective. Breast cancer survivors don’t have bad days. They don’t sweat

the small stuff. They focus on what is important which is family, friends, and loving one another.” Vitanza has interviewed people from all walks of life, including celebrities and southeast Texas icons. “I remember interviewing Jaime Lee Curtis,” she said. “She is so down to earth and willing to tell you the good, bad, and the ugly parts of her life. That was always kind of shocking, you know, that people are so down to earth when they didn’t have to be.” Recently, Vitanza interviewed local radio personalities Al Caldwell, Jack Piper and Jim Love. “(They) were some of my favorite people to interview, because it was one of those interviews where you get so much content that you don’t even know where to start,” she said. “You get it on a recorder and you listen to it repeatedly. They had many colorful stories, because they are three men who have worked together for decades. They have stories on each other and stories about who

they had met.” Vitanza said she hopes to bring a positive mindset to LU and create awareness of the school’s programs and dynamic people. “I have got to meet Dr. Fan over in engineering, who is responsible for the reliability of the microchip,” she said. “Intel brought him in from China in 2006 to make the microchip reliable. That is one of the things responsible for our cellphones working so well. “Our nursing program is rated top in the nation, and we’ve got a professor, P.J. Couch, over in mathematics who developed an app for kids to compete in math. The math camp is being done here at Lamar in April, but it has been done in Japan and Australia. He developed that, and I want people to know about that. “We have players doing things on a global-level field here at Lamar and that story is not being told — and I want to tell those stories to the world.”

Profile for University Press

University Press February 14, 2019  

The Award-Winning Student Newspaper of Lamar University

University Press February 14, 2019  

The Award-Winning Student Newspaper of Lamar University