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Zena Stephens, Tourette’s, People and more. A magazine insert in this issue.

UNIVERSITY PRESS Science, not Silence

The Newspaper of Lamar University Vol. 93, No. 23 April 27, 2017

Lamar to introduce new DSDE Programs Dylan Lutes UP contributor

UP photo by Trevier Gonzalez

Participants raise their signs as they prepare to leave Sam Houston Park for Houston’s “March for Science,” March 22.

More than 15,000 march for science on Earth Day Trevier Gonzalez UP multimedia editor

HOUSTON — Scientists wore lab coats like armor alongside doctors, teachers, students, and supporters of science, as marchers in Houston and across the United States protested President Trump’s proposed budget cuts to organizations including the National Institute of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency. The march, which began at a brightly sunny Sam Houston Park, caused road closures along Dallas and Louisiana streets. The route finished at Houston City Hall, where marchers recycled their signs and refilled their water bottles from large tanks to reduce plastic waste. Tables were set up throughout city hall, offering scientific experiments

for children to interact with. Madison Logan, 23, one of the directors for Houston’s March for Science event, said she knew her city wanted to be a part of the movement. “We didn’t know when, so all of the marches worldwide communicated and decided on the date together,” Logan said. “D.C. announced that it was going to be April 22, and we were like, ‘That’s perfect.’ I knew at that moment that we had to get Houston involved.” Logan said an immediate result of the march is a stronger connection between scientists and their communities. “In the planning of this march, I realized that there were a lot of people that had never met a real-life scientist before, and in Houston, that’s kind of odd,” she said. “Because we do have (the) Medical Center, NASA, oil and

Carnegie Project recruits Lamar Madelynn Holdreith UP contributor

The Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate recently announced that Lamar University will join program in June. Lamar and 21 other new graduate schools of education will unite with more than 80 members of the consortium in the redesigning of professional preparation in education for the improvement of PK-20 education and the organizations that support it, a release stated. “We have always focused on offering Ed.D programs globally, before this,” Kaye Shelton, associate professor of educational leadership and director

of the Center for Doctoral Studies in the College of Education and Human Development, said. “However, this project encourages new members to do more research, concentrate on global education leadership, and have continuous improvement.” LU’s doctoral program in edSee CPED page 3

Beaumont Public Library to host annual booksale Caitlin McAlister, UP staff writer

The Friends of the Beaumont Public Library will be holding a book sale, Friday and Saturday. The sale is an annual fundraiser for the Beaumont Public Library. “(The Friends of the Beaumont Public Library) is a support group of volunteers to raise money for the extra stuff that the library and its strained budget can’t afford,” Gary Brice, Friends of the Library treasurer, said. There will be an estimated

50,000 books for sale. “They’re typically donated to the library,” he said. “Some of us gather leftovers from estate sales and garage sales. About a quarter are old books that were formerly on the shelf at the library.” The first day of the sale is exclusively for members of the Friends of the Beaumont Public Library, while the second day of the sale is open to the public. Memberships can be purchased at the book sale for

See LIBRARY page 2

gas. I think one of the major outcomes that we will see is more communication between communities and scientists, and more engagement. “People tend to think that scientists are kind of aloof, and they stay in their little corner and don’t interact with the rest of the world. But I think, today, we showed them that that’s changing — things are changing.” The March for Science worked to make science and its benefits tangible for the average person, Logan said. “Day-to-day, isn’t something that they really think about,” she said. “But I think with all of our speakers here, they were able to realize that science is something that they benefit from every

Lamar University’s department of Deaf studies and Deaf education is introducing two new programs in the fall, a bachelor’s in ASL advocacy and an ASL minor. They are adding programs for Lamar University students to improve benefits and opportunities for their future jobs, department chair Diane Clark, said. “Many students have other majors but have enjoyed their language experience in ASL and want to learn more than simply ASL I through ASL IV,” she said. The classes required to complete for BA-ASL minor are ASL I to IV, introduction to deaf studies and nine hours of advanced American Sign Language electives. The program does not provide interpreting certification. It is a benefit for hearing students who might work with Deaf people in the future, Clark said. The skills students will gain from the program are See DSDE page 2

Diane Clark

See SCIENCE page 3

‘Mind Garden’ thesis exhibit to open Friday Baylee Billiot UP contributor

Lamar University’s graduating art students will showcase their work in the senior thesis exhibit, “Mind Garden,” opening 6:30 p.m., Friday, at the Dishman Art Museum. Photographer Victoria Robicheaux said the exhibition is the culmination of a lot of hard work. “Choosing a theme is one of the hardest thing to do,” she said. “You may know what kind of art you want to make, but it’s difficult to make that idea come together.” Robicheaux picked a theme that shows the diversity across America. Her series is titled, “All for One and One For All.” It is a series aimed at adult audiences, she said. “I have constantly been editing through the whole semester,” said Robicheaux. Prince Thomas, senior thesis course teacher, said each student will showcase roughly eight pieces that revolve around a single theme. “The purpose of this show has multiple levels — the main one is so that they are able to showcase their talent,” he said. The show will feature five graphic design students, one painter, one photographer and one sculptor. Graphic designer Marisol Lua is ready to show her work about the solar system, which is aimed toward children. She said she took a big leap in creating an

UP photo by Noah Dawlearn

Senior Victoria Robicheaux sets up her senior art thesis exhibit in the Dishman Art Museum, April, 24. exhibit that was difficult and n’t even used yet,” she said. “It’s new, but she is hopeful of how fairly new and many people wonderful it will become. don’t know how to work with it “I used something called vir- yet.” tual reality in my exhibit, and Lua said there were times this is something that the See THESIS page 2 graphic design department has-


Thursday, April 27, 2017 University Press


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“Success isn't always about greatness. It's about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.” — Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

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basic communication skills, working with Deaf people and social communications. “We are still waiting for state approval for this program to start,” associate professor Zanthia Smith, said. DSDE encourage students to learn about another culture and to better understand how deaf people contribute to


society, Smith said. The department seeks to develop competencies to the highest level in the areas of interpreting, teaching and doctoral level leadership. They also provide multiple programs such as BA- ASL teaching and interpreting, M.S. in Deaf studies and education and Ed.D in Deaf studies and education. “We are working on new master’s de-

grees for those people who want to teach at the community college level, as well as changing out Ed.D. in Deaf studies and Deaf education to a Ph.D.,” Clark said. For more information, call 8614861(video phone), or email or, or visit 107 Communication Building.

break. “No matter your age, gender, or race, there is something that everyone can find throughout our show and enjoy.” Viewers to the show will see the students’ passion for art. “I love art,” Lua said. “I have studied drawing, sculptures, graphic design, photography and more, and my interest always grows.” While Robicheaux’s passion is photography, her original major was accounting. “I found that I wasn’t happy when I was studying my other degree,” she said. “I wanted to find something I was passionate

about, and art had always been my relaxation.” The students said that they are excited for their future careers in art because they will get to work with what they love. “We hope for people to come to see how hard we have worked and to see how we incorporated our passion into our work,” Lua said. Robicheaux agrees. “This is a showcase of all of our works,” she said. “But to be honest, this is really us just going out with a bang.” For more information, visit

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ucational leadership went online in 2011 and has grown steadily, Shelton said. Today, there are around 300 applications for about 60 openings in the next cohort. The Carnegie Project on the Educational Doctorate institution members and their faculty engage to learn from insight and with each other, the best ways to design professional preparation. CPED anticipates that adding these institutions to the consortium will add an immense value and push CPED’s collec-


tive work even further. “The idea of the Carnegie Project on the Educational Doctorate is that you’re bringing together universities that are normally competing with one another to solve challenges faced in trying to become well-equipped scholarly practitioners who provide stewardship of the profession,” Brian K. Sattler, LU director of public relations, said. New members of CPED were chosen through an application process and evaluated by a CPED committee composed of

faculty members of current CPED institutions. “It’s actually an honor to be invited to join this project,” Sattler said. “Not only do they want us to take away from other schools, they also recognize what Lamar University can bring to the table. We get to work alongside people that have experience and knowledge in the ways that education has changed in the 21st century. We’re very excited for this opportunity.” For more information, email, or call 880-8396.

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$10. Brice said that the memberships do not impose any responsibilities on individuals. “(There are) no responsibilities, just privileges,” he said. “You can come to meetings and contribute to the Friends’ calendar for the year. The main incentive


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.


Undergraduate Research Faculty Talk Judith Mann

Landes Auditorium

3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

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during the semester when the work got difficult, but she never gave up. “I created a graphic design interaction exhibit that children can view and get involved in,” she said. “This could actually be an open door for me to something else or something bigger.” All students have different themes that they choose at the beginning of the semester. Robicheaux said it’s not an easy process. “We’ve been working on the thesis writing and the thesis exhibit, so we’re excited to show off how hard we have been working,” she said. “And we’re also ready for a



is that you get the first look at the books.” Brice said that students can find a variety of books at the sale. “We had a lot of students come last year and they went away with a lot of books,” he said. “I don’t think they’ll be disappointed, no matter what they’re

looking for. It’s like panning for gold miners – there’s lots of sand, but there are nuggets of gold in the sand.” All of the books at the sale are 10 cents each. Hours for the book sale are 5-9 p.m. on Friday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

April 28

Art Senior Thesis

Opening Reception

Dishman Art Museum 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

April 30

Spring Choir Concert

Dishman Art Museum

May 5

Student Awards Ceremony

8th Floor, Gray Library 2 p.m. - 3 p.m.

May 2

Final Exams Begin

Landes Auditorium 5 p.m.

May 12 - 13

LU Commencement

Montagne Center

Visit the web page for commencement times

UNIVERSITY PRESS • Thursday, April 27, 2017


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day, whether they think about it or not. It’s there. It’s science — it’s in everything that we do.” The proposed budget cuts would affect the area locally. “Houston, in particular, is going to be very hardhit,” Logan said. “Our economy will suffer. I don’t know if you remember the NASA cuts, but our economy took a hit whenever everybody in NASA was laid off. “The NIH (cuts) will not only be detrimental to jobs in the area, but also to cancer research. One of our volunteers, Becky Mayall, she’s a geneticist, and her salary and all of her research is funded by NIH. If it’s gone — she’s gone. She doesn’t have a job, and her research will stop happening. So it’s got very real impact here in Houston.” After the march, participants heard from members of the local scientific community, many of whom were women.

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“We had a pretty good ratio of women to men represented in our speakers — I think that in itself shows that it’s possible to be a woman in science,” Logan said. “Not to mention that we had a speaker from American Women in Science, the organization that promotes women in science, so I think that will get them more exposure as well. Now that we’ve got the momentum, it’s just gonna keep rolling.” The recycling stations and sustainability efforts reflected the organizers’’ viewpoints on science and the environment, Logan said. “We knew that we wanted to make sure we practice what we preach,” she said. “We tried to be as sustainable and waste-free as possible. That’s one of the reasons why we made sure that we hired a company that did trash and recycling, which was actually a much higher cost for us, but we knew it was worth it.” As an assistant debate coach at high schools, Logan regularly performs research on communicating information to people. “Being able to be here and fill that gap — bridge the gap between science and their communities — has been a really unique opportunity,” she said. “I’ve never done anything on this large of a scale before. This is the most people I’ve ever managed or directed.” The role of science is important, Logan said, even when she’s not speaking to large audiences. “My whole family is here, supporting me and supporting science,” she said. “My PawPaw, he has a pacemaker, and my grandmother is diabetic, and then my mom is actually a nurse at the Texas Medical Center. “I had my aunts, my uncles, six of my baby cousins, both of my little brothers, my grandparents — everybody came out. This is truly an event for everybody.” For more information, visit

UP photos by Trevier Gonzalez

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Thursday, April 27, 2017 • UNIVERSITY PRESS

Losing that ‘Freshman 50’ PEOPLE


From early in the morning to late at night, graduate assistant athletic trainer Dave Kovner can be found working with Lamar athletes in the Dauphin Athletic Complex. In his spare time, he takes pride in working out and staying healthy. However, that wasn’t always the case. “My freshman year at Stony Brook, I gained about 50 pounds — I hit my freshman 50,” Dave says. Despite being an athletic training major, Dave did not practice what he preached and his weight got up to 265 pounds. Dave attributes his weight gain to poor diet and exercise. When he was sophomore, Dave found out he was lactose intolerant. “I had to change up my diet pretty drastically, which lead to me losing about five pounds just from that,” he says. With the new diet came a change in attitude. “I started eating smaller portions and working out every day — the weight just fell off,” he says. Dave says his passion for athletic training is what really kickstarted his weight loss. Now in his last semester of his master’s program at Lamar, Dave is looking forward to a career as an athletic trainer.

For more People, check out UPbeat magazine, inserted in this issue

Story and photo by Brendan Satran

LU students’ field day raises money for St. Jude’s Rashamir Sims UP contributor

What started off as a class project has now become something meaningful for Lamar students. The project was to raise money for St. Jude’s Research Hospital. Chelsea Jones, Houston senior, said she viewed the class project no differently from any other class assignment. “However, once meeting those who were battling various illnesses and diseases,” she said. “I knew then this project would mean more than just a letter grade, and that it was bigger than me. The class was spilt into dif-

ferent groups to compete against each other to raise money. “The group that raises the most funds for field day not only wins, but will also be exempt from taking the semester final,” Bryson Wilson, Houston senior. “We set our fundraising goal at $300 for field day. “Since we are competing against other groups, we wanted to stand out in every way possible. We named our group ‘The Avengers.’ I felt that our group actions exemplified superhero-like qualities,” he said. The field day took place, April 19, in front of BrooksShivers Dining Hall lawn. The event lasted from 11:30 a.m. to

2 p.m. Jones said the turnout was tremendous. “Although, we were competing against other groups, it was great to see students unify for a common cause,” she said. “If a group needed help with anything, the other groups were there to chip in any way possible.” The field day consisted of a plethora of games and food. Tamera Thigpen, Mississippi UP photo by Rashamir Sims sophomore, said she had a blast. Houston senior Bryson Wilson helps raise money for St. Jude’s Hospital. “I really enjoyed myself,” even more special was the fact raised a total of $280.26. she said “There were henna it was very cost efficient — The Avengers will still actattoos, tug of war, face paintnothing at the field day cost cept donations through May 3. ing, and a live DJ. I personally more than $1.” For more information, visit enjoyed petting the chipmunk The Avengers field day squirrels What made this event

LU choir to host spring concert, Sunday Tehillah Watson-Kemp UP contributor

The Mary Moore department of music will host “Love U,” their annual spring choir concert, April 30, at 4 p.m., in the Dishman Art Museum. Admis-

sion is free. “The theme is an ‘I Love You’ concert,” Zoe Karahouni, vocal performance major, said. “Each spring semester we choose to hold this concert to bring together different concepts and people together through the music.”

This is the fourth ‘Love U’ concert that the department has performed. The students pick selections that portray love in a variety of ways. This year they decided to put a twist on the love concept. “We usually do American

love songs, but we wanted to do something a little different this year,” Karahouni, said. “We wanted to incorporate different cultures. One of the selections is called ‘Five Hebrew Love Songs.’ This song shows how love is also consistent in

other countries just like ours. We hope that our audience loves the songs just as we loved rehearsing them.” The choir is led and directed by James Han. For more information, call 880 8144.

Enjoy thhe summer while studying sessions cost $59 per credit hour and are 100% transfeerable back to your institution. Choose from o 325

Get ahead this summ mer! Visit to register.

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Thursday, April 27, 2017 • UNIVERSITY PRESS

‘Walk to End Lupus’ walkathon held at Lamar Aspen Winn UP contributor

A Walk to End Lupus walkathon was held at Lamar University, April 22. The walkathon, hosted by the Lupus Foundation of America, Texas Gulf Coast Chapter, is an annual fundraiser. The proceeds from the walkathon go towards research, education, outreach and direct services regarding Lupus, an incurable, inflammatory disease caused when the immune system attacks its own tissues. The participants in the walkathon formed teams or sponsored walkers to reach a fundraising goal. At the end of the walk, the top-10 fundraisers and the top-10 teams were honored for raising the most money. “I hardly see events that support the research and education of Lupus, so I’m glad that they had such a big turn out today,” participant Courtney Hornsby said. Hornsby, 23, was diagnosed with Lupus in 2011. Her kidneys only have an eight-percent functioning rate, and earlier this year her B- cells

were not detectable making her ineligible to receive a new kidney. “It’s been hard,” she said. “It’s been more than hard actually. Some days are better than others. You just never know what news you are going to hear from the doctors, but the most important thing is to remain positive. Your outlook on life is what is going to get you through this thing.” Most of her team of more than 20 wore black shirts with purple and white writing that read, “Lupus messed with the wrong chick,” which were specially made for the event. “I won’t let this beat me,” Hornsby said. “I’ve come too far and have dealt with this way too long to give up now. I will keep on walking regardless of what happens.” Hornsby’s team is made up of her family, friends, coworkers and church members. They walked the 5k, encouraging Hornsby along the way. “They keep me going, literally,” she said. “I have no idea where I would be without them. I love them to pieces. They’re the reason that I won’t give up — or can’t give up for

that matter.” Currently, more than $7,000 has been raised and the Lupus Foundation is accepting donations through July 31. Jessica Fobbs, who also has Lupus, didn’t participate in the walk but was the No. 1 fundraiser, totaling $822, exceeding her goal of $750. “This is so close to my heart because it affects me daily,” she said. “I hate what it does to your body and spirit. Some days I can’t even get out of bed from my body hurting so bad. It breaks you down mentally, because you don’t even know the cause of Lupus, so every day you think about what you could’ve and probably should’ve done differently — but you’ll truly never know what caused it.” Fobb said she is excited to raise awareness of Lupus and believes that these 5k runs are a great way to get people involved. “Support is one of the most important things in fighting Lupus,” she said. “You need the love and helping hand. That’s why I like the idea of having teams, because it’s so

much easier when you have that extra hand. I wouldn’t have been able to raise that money and keep raising without the help of my loved ones. That support means something.” Things are looking up for Hornsby, she said. She recently found out that B-Cells have been detected and doctors have found her perfect match — “Boom,” her boyfriend of eight years. “When they told us, I immediately got chills,” she said. “A lot has gone on that people can’t imagine. He has given me the strength since I was diagnosed at 15 to keep the faith, to keep going, and the reminder that one day it’ll all be over. I guess eight-years ago, God knew I was going to need a miracle so he sent Boom.” More than 1.5 million Americans have lupus. In the Houston/Galveston area, more than 30,000 people are living with lupus, according to the Lupus Foundation website. It is one of the most misunderstood and misdiagnosed diseases in the world. According to the Texas Gulf Chapter of the foundation,

UP photo by Aspen Winn

Courtney Hornsby with her boyfriend of eight years and donor, ‘Boom.’

they expect to see more than $10,000 raised by the end of July. For more information, visit

‘Fate of the Furious’ offers fun, jam-packed adventure Baylee Billiot UP contributor

Family, betrayal and crime is jam-packed into the latest in the “Fast & Furious” movie series — “The Fate of the Furious.” The movie opened in theaters April 20. Director, F. Gary Gray has made the eighth movie of the series. Even after the franchise lost one of its stars, Paul Walker, who died in 2013, the franchise, which began in 2001, is still phenomenal.

Dom, played by Vin Diesel, and Letty, Michelle Rodriquez, are enjoying their honeymoon in Cuba, when a strange woman confronts Dom and makes him betray his team to save a life (no spoilers here). The rest of the team, played by Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris, are busy relaxing, staying away from crime and living easy. After Dom betrays them, the team is brought back together to find Dom and bring him back home into their family while they travel all over

the world. The team of characters creates a tight bond that is exciting to watch. Audiences see how strong Dom is when he is forced to make tough decisions for his family, and the bond between loyalty and family is tested. The battle between Dom and his team is one like audiences have never seen before. The stunts are well thought out and exhilarating. The action will keep you at the edge of your seat until the

movie ends. The movie is long, running two hours and 16 minutes, but I was left wanting more. It’s full of surprises that keep one guessing. The movie is rated PG-13 and has a little bit for everyone. It has crime, thrills, romance, action, and even comedy. All of the “Fast and Furious” movies are well directed and acted. They seem to get better each time, the opposite of what one expects from a long-running franchise. This is the best F&F movie yet. So many princi-

ples are tested and they develop smoothly across the plot. Of course, as usual, the real stars are the cars. Some of the car manufactures in this movie include Lamborghini, Mercedes, Rolls Royce, Volkswagen, Jaguar, Aston Martin, Bentley, and some complex vehicles that are custom made. The cars, the action, and thrill are everything that pulled me in. “Fate of the Furious” is a must see. If you have never seen a “Fast and Furious” movie before, now is the time to get involved.

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Thursday, April 27, 2017 • UNIVERSITY PRESS


Participation doubles in LU undergraduate research exposition

Lamar University’s Fourth Annual Undergraduate Research Expo, held April 21, surpassed its expected growth with a major leap in attendance, number of presentations and student involvement from the 2016 event. “The annual undergraduate research Expo has become a proud tradition at Lamar University,” said Kumer Das, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research. “The Expo, open to all students in all disciplines, offers students the opportunity to highlight the results and progress of their academic, research and scholarly work. This annual event recognizes and promotes student scholarly activities in research and creative production and celebrates collaboration among faculty and students within and across disciplines.” “Undergraduate research and creative activities are high impact educational practices with longlasting benefits,” said Catalina Castillón, assistant director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity. “The 2017 EXPO was a great showcase of Lamar University's commitment to undergraduate research. As a university, we are at the leading edge of undergraduate research in Texas.” The 2017 conference included 120 presentations by 250 LU students mentored by 88 faculty members representing 28 academic departments, a significant increase from last year’s numbers when 59 scholarly research projects were presented by 98 students mentored by 43 faculty. The exposition is a unique way for students to gain experience in academia, helping them to refine

their research and presentation skills as well as receive feedback and tips from others, Castillón said. “This research expo was an incredible experience for me because it’s the first time I’ve been involved with anything that has this kind of importance,” said Humberto Jimenez, a senior double majoring in advertising and Spanish from Beaumont. “It really opened my mind to what all I can do with my education.” The Office of Undergraduate Research offers research grants each year to undergraduate students to support their research and creative activities. The grant is designed to encourage undergraduate students to participate in scholarly work mentored by at least one LU faculty mentor. The work is unique in the sense that no part of it should be financially sponsored or accommodated by a different program at the time of submission. However, further development of the project beyond the initiation of the grant is highly encouraged, Das said. Currently, the Office of Undergraduate Research offers 35 such OUR grants, the highest to date. All students involved in these projects presented at this year’s expo. The increase in both OUR grants and expo participation is accompanied by the increase in quality too, Das said. Two OUR grant recipients (Keely Townley Smith in 2014 and Chris York in 2017) have been awarded the Goldwater Scholarship in the last 3 years, many students receive national fellowships and most of the OUR grant recipients are going to prestigious graduate programs, he said.

LU art professor Thomas presents exhibit in Houston Bryson Wilson UP contributor

Art League Houston presents “The Space Between Grief and Morning,” an exhibition by Lamar University art professor, Prince Varughese Thomas. The exhibition metaphorically explores the process of grief and mourning in private and public contexts through drawing, video and photography. Thomas draws on art history, politics and references to death, as it relates to personal and communal loss. Thomas said he wanted to

know what it would look like if actors expressed their emotions using vocals. A two-channel video shows the difference between grieving physically and grieving by using music. “I got a group of actors for one part of the video, and I got a group of musicians for the other part of the video,” Thomas said. “I asked actors to pretend like they were grieving for a fictitious death. I have a group of actors pretending like they are grieving or suffering from a lost.” That actors and musicians in the video are all students at Lamar who performed an origi-

nal choral composition by Composer Nick Rissman. Debra Ghreschner, LU instructor of voice, is one of the main characters in the video. The show includes photographs of Thomas’ ancestors and family members. There is a tradition in many cultures of shooting a family portrait with a dead loved one, Thomas said. Thomas uses a binaural microphone that adds a different sensory experience. His drawings are sourced from tragic events that have happened all over the world. “The show comes from al-

most 15 years when I became the primary care giver for my parents after they couldn’t care for themselves anymore,” Thomas said. “I cared for them every day. As you care for someone at an elderly age, you start to see the difference and aging of the body. I watched my father pass away from the slow process of aging.” Thomas said he turned personal loss into something productive. “For about six months I couldn’t make anything — I didn’t walk in my studio due to me trying to process everything that

has happened,” he said. “Then I decided I wanted to do this show.“ It took him two years to draft the video. “(I’m) trying to communicate a sense of a communal loss that we all share while dealing with loss,” he said. “Every artist experiences the world in their own unique ways — we tap into those experiences to try and communicate and share (our) common experience with others. “As an artist, the biggest thing is getting your work seen. For more information, visit



UNIVERSITY PRESS Thursday, April 27, 2017

Dancing with Dragons LU students explore Taiwanese culture on study abroad trip Imagine white sand beaches and open marketplaces, plus an element of culture shock and the opportunity to study a subject you love with professors and students from halfway around the world. It is a oncein-a-lifetime experience that the Lamar University dance students will not likely forget. The six students were in Taiwan from March 18 to April 2, to study dance at the Tainan University of Technology. “We are friends with people at TUT,” Kim Ramsey, Katy junior, said. “We had about 16 students and four faculty come (to Lamar) last year for about two weeks.” Golden Wright, chair of the department of theatre and dance, said that the idea for hosting the TUT students came from the director of global studies and study abroad. “Jeff Palis had a previous university host the same university a few years ago two different times,” Wright said. “He approached me with the idea of us hosting them last year. They came over and it was a really wonderful experience for all. All of our faculty, from both universities, taught classes and all of our students took all of those classes in the two weeks they were in residency here.” Wright accompanied the students on the trip. He said that it was during the Taiwanese students’ visit that the idea of Lamar students going to Taiwan first came up. “While they were here they said, ‘Would you be interested in going there?’ and that’s what started the ball rolling with applying for the study abroad and checking the interest on people who wanted to go,” he said. Rebekah Gonzales, Beaumont junior, said that one of the first things the group did when they arrived in Tainan was meet up with the students who had visited Lamar. “We went to a night market,”

Story and layout by Caitlin McAlister

Courtesy photos

Taiwanese dancers teach Lamar students the dragon, a traditional Chinese dance. she said. “That was great — it was like the South Texas State Fair but every night.” Wright said that the night market provided a chance to sample local cuisine. “We had a dress rehearsal the first day we showed up,” he said. “Immediately following that dress rehearsal, we went straight to the night market, which is lots of street vendors. They have lots of carnival games and lots of little shopping areas to hang out. You just go from vendor to vendor eating all different types of food. The students who were there would go buy this and go buy that and say, ‘Hey, try this’ and ‘Hey, try that.’ I probably tried the largest variety of food that I’ve tried in an evening.” The students did not stay in Tainan the entire time, however. “One of the faculty members that was originally from Kaoshiung took us to a temple and to one of the oldest schools in Taiwan,” Wright said. “Chechen (the faculty member) showed us all around where he grew up and where his parents still live. We got back on the bus and it was a wild night of karaoke on the hour drive back on the bus.” Gonzales said that what made the karaoke different was the language. “It wasn’t just karaoke, it was Mandarin karaoke,” she said. At one point, the students were invited by the TUT dancers to participate in a ritual meant to prevent injuries during performances. “They were going to burn incense,” Wright said. “They invited us into this room and it was kind of a ritual and a prayer. They feel that a theatre is a dark space and they pray to keep

harm away, that injuries don’t take place and that everybody stays safe throughout the process. It was kind of a touching moment to be part of what they were doing.” During one of their classes, the Lamar students learned the dragon and the lion, both traditional Chinese dances. “The dragon is where everyone stands and they’re holding the sticks with the dragon on the top,” Ramsey said. “We were weaving in and out trying not to run over each other or fall over and go the wrong direction. With the lion, they taught us a combination where you’re in the lion head and we put something on the ground. We would look at it like it was something curious, something to eat and then we’d go and we’d pick it up.” Rachel Curtis, Houston sophomore, said the dance would continue with the lion pretending to eat the object. “The lion would come to it and you would hold it in the fake lion’s mouth,” she said. “You would chew it, then you would turn the other direction and chew it, and then decide you didn’t like it, so you’d throw it out, so that it would look like the lion spit it out.” Gonzales said that the lion dance is traditionally associated with healing. “The origin of that ritual was to get rid of sickness,” she said. “The thing on the ground represented the sickness that the person was coming down with, and so they would take it and chew it up and spit it out. That was how they expelled illness.” Wright said that the traditional dances also required the students to act as part of a larger whole. “It was a two-person suit for the lion, and then the dragon was 10 people and one person who carried a stick with a ball on it that led the dragon where it was going,” he said. “You were part of something larger than just yourself in all of these dances. So many times, it’s about a soloist or you’re playing your own character. In this, you have to work with everybody to play one particular thing.” The group also went to the beach in Kenting, one of Taiwan’s southernmost points. “You walked out and there was this beautiful view of the

Clockwise from above right: Performers in “Taipei Eye,” a show combining acrobats and opera; Lamar students participate alongside their Taiwanese counterparts in a dance class; the Lamar study abroad students pose for a group photo at Tainan University of Technology; a statue in the collection of the National Palace Museum, Taiwan.

ocean,” he said. “All of us just kind of stopped and pondered this beautiful view of the beach. There were these black rocks — I thought they were beautiful — right in front of where the water was.” Among the cultural experiences the students had was a show that combined acrobats and Chinese opera. “We went and saw a show called ‘Taipei Eye,’” Wright said. “A university put it on. Half of the show was Chinese acrobats and the other half of it was a Chinese opera. It was a really

great show. You got to take your picture with them at intermission, and they actually had live performances going on before the show and during intermission in the lobby, so you could go in and see a little more upclose — a little more personal about what was happening.” The group’s final day in Taiwan included a visit to the National Palace Museum. “It’s a reality check, that some of this stuff has been around for so long and our country is so young,” Wright said. “Some of the items there are 32 times older than the United States.” Ramsey said that it was amazing to see the ancient artifacts that the museum housed. “All three of their oldest, most treasured artifacts were in that building, and we got to go see all three of those,” she said. Gonzales said that she is thankful that the Taiwanese students who hosted them were eager to show them the country. “I’m really grateful for the students that elected to take us places and wanted to share their experiences with us,” she said. “We definitely wouldn’t have had as many experiences without them — we wouldn’t have experienced it as fully as we did when we had them with us.” The trip changed the students’ perspective on the world, Wright said. “I think it was eye-opening,” Wright said. “It was life-changing.”

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Thursday, April 27, 2017 • UNIVERSITY PRESS


BOSTON MARATHON Baylee Billiot UP contributor

Orange resident David Jones recently ran in the 2017 Boston Marathon accomplishing more than simply finished a race. While there were more than 30,000 participants, no one was more motivated than Jones. “I’ve always told myself if I’m going to do something I need to give 100 percent or don’t do it all — go hard or go home,” he said. In 2011, Jones was in a car accident while riding in the backseat of a truck. When the truck crashed, he flew through the sunroof breaking his wrist, which required nine surgeries to fix. For the first few months, he could not even grip a water bottle. “In the beginning I wondered if I would ever be able to use my hand again,” he said. After his last surgery, Jones said he wanted to accomplish something to show gratitude for his recovery. “I had been through so much after the accident — I needed a reason to come back and God sent me that reason,” he said. Jones was a member of the Little Cypress-Mauriceville school board and was attending a meeting

in 2013 and listening to a speaker who was a two-time world champion runner. “The speaker, Robyn Benincasa, changed my life,” he said. “The subject of her lecture was about goals. She shared with us how she had been in a serious injury, and right before she came out of the hospital she set a comeback goal for herself.” Jones said the speech inspired him to set his own comeback goal. His first thought was to start working out just to get healthy again. “After the speech ended, I went to speak with Robyn,” he said. “She noticed that I was wearing a wrist brace and asked why I had that on. I told her about my accident and she asked me what my comeback goal was. After telling her what I had in mind she suggested that I start training to become a runner.” Jones said he had never been a serious runner, although he would sometimes run to stay in shape, but could never run a mile faster than 11 minutes and 30 seconds. “At first I told her that she was crazy, then I actually considered it,” he said. “She then told me, I’ll see you at the finish line.” Jones started training in 2013 after his final surgery. He completely changed his diet and started running many times during the week. His first marathon was the Gusher in 2014 in Beaumont. After that he ran many different races, including the Canyon Run in 2015. Running the Boston Marathon was never a goal, Jones said, as he always thought that race was out of

reach and impossible. His running coach recommended that he at least give it a shot and start training for it. “The usual training takes about 20 weeks, but I did it in 14,” he said. “Those weeks were tough. I had a foot injury and even had a stomach virus the week before I left for Boston.” Jones said he set a goal to change someone’s life through his experience. “I knew if I was going to run in the Boston Marathon, I wouldn’t be motivated enough to do it only for me,” he said. “Two families in my community had lost children in the past to cancer, and I decided to run for them.” The Cure Starts Now Foundation, a charity directed towards childhood cancer, seemed like the perfect cause to get him motivated. “During the fourteen weeks that I trained for the marathon, I raised money for the foundation to give as a donation,” he said. Jones was able to raise a total of $10,081. “Running for someone else other than myself is what pushed me to run,” he said. “I simply was running to be strong for other people.” He wore a T-shirt during the race that read, “Running for Indy and Corbin,” the children who lost their battle with cancer. “During the race, people would read my shirt on the sidelines and start shouting those names,” he said. “It was crazy. Those shouted names is what helped me to keep

Courtesy photo

David Jones celebrates after finishing the Boston Marathon.

pushing.” Jones set a goal to finish the race in less than four hours. He finished in four hours and two minutes. His mile pace throughout the run averaged about nine minutes and fifteen seconds. “There were times towards the middle of the run where I wasn’t enjoying myself,” he said. “It’s the most difficult thing I have ever done, but I never thought about quitting.” Jones had a support system that he said pushed him to keep going. He had friends, family, and supporters who were following him

through social media to keep up with his experience. “When I finally crossed the finish line I felt a whirlwind of emotions,” he said. “I truly cannot even explain it. I was so proud of myself and how far I had come from my injury. I was able to accomplish something that I felt was impossible.” Jones said he is humbled by the experience. The 48 year old said his running days are over and he plans to move onto the next chapter in his life. His new goal? “My plan is to just live life,” he said.




Women’s golf finishes fourth in SLC Cassandra Jenkins UP staff writer

Elodie Chapelet

Lamar University’s women’s golf team finished fourth in the Southland Conference Tournament, April 17-19, in Montgomery. The Cardinals had a rocky start and a shaky finish that cost them their fifthstraight SLC championship title. “It went OK,” head coach Jessica Steward said. “It didn’t go well, but it was OK. It could have been a lot worse. We started off a little slow. This course is tough, in the sense that it’s penalizing. If you hit a bad shot in the wrong place, then you’re looking at a double bogey easily, and so it took us a day to get the hang of it.” After the first day, the Lady Cards returned to their hotel room in fifth place. Steward said a better first round would have been a

confidence booster for the team and the tournament might have unfolded differently. “If we had a little bit better of a first round and were more toward the leaders, then I think that would have helped,” she said. “It would’ve helped our demeanor. It would’ve helped our confidence and we probably would have played better just because of that.” The second and third day were a little more even keel, Steward said. “The second day was a little better for us,” she said. “The third day we were playing well until the end. We gave up four shots as a team on the last hole, which it was a tough hole. It was a long par four over water with a difficult green. We were prepared for that hole, but looking back at the tournament, we left a lot of shots out there.” Steward said the team may have lost the title but as not beaten mentally.

“We made a lot of mistakes, but the girls had a good demeanor,” she said. “They had a good attitude and we didn’t make many mental mistakes, which in a high-pressure tournament like this, that’s your goal. So, I think we did that well.” The Lady Cards finished behind Houston Baptist, who finished first, followed by Central Arkansas and Sam Houston. “Houston Baptist played well for the first two rounds — they played great,” Steward said. “Then Central Arkansas put up a good round (the last day) to challenge them. It’s hard to keep up with good scores. It’s a championship, you can’t make too many mistakes. You have to be on you’re Agame and you have to execute everything to the best of your ability — and we, unfortunately, didn’t do that.” The only LU team member to finish in the top five was freshman Elodie Chapelet. The France na-

tive posted her ninth top-five finish when she completed the SLC tournament tied for fourth place. “I know she wanted to be No. 1,” Steward said. “She was ranked No. 1 going into it, but unfortunately for Elodie, there were a lot of Texas players in this tournament that grew up playing on this course. She got beat by a couple of girls who played on this course a ton of times and knew the course really well, and this was her first time playing there.” Chapelet shot an even par 71 on the 6,191-yard Woodforest Country Club layout and finished with a six-over-par 219 to tie with Central Arkansas’ Emma Svensson to give her a chance to earn a spot in regionals. “As a team, we needed to win conference to qualify for regionals and we did not do that,” Steward said. “But, the NCAA takes the top-12 individuals in the country See GOLF page 10

Baseball’s lucky Lucy gives team leg up Marcus Owens UP contributor

Superstition is well-known in the game of baseball, even for the Lamar Cardinals. When former Cardinal outfielder Gavin Tristan saw a flamingo at Walmart during the 2016 season, he couldn’t resist bringing it to the dugout for good luck. The Cardinals christened her “Lucy” and proceeded to win 13 games in a row, earning them a top-25 ranking. When the team’s streak was snapped by Baylor, things went downhill. As a result, the baseball team decided to bury Lucy out by the bullpen. When the team struggled to begin this season, they decided it was time to give Lucy another shot and dig her up — they’ve since won six out of their last eight games. Senior outfielder Brendan

4 years, 4 schools; Harrison home at Lamar Marcus Owens UP contributor

James Harrison has faced a lot of adversity in his collegiate career. He’s played basketball for four different universities in four years. Persistence, perseverance and two god-fearing parents have been the driving force to get Harrison where he needs to be mentally, physically and spiritually. Harrison admits the last four years have been a tough ride. “Going to four different schools you get to thinking, ‘Man what’s next?’” he said. “You don’t know what’s going to happen, or if you will be able to get to another school. This has made me a stronger person on and off the floor.” Having to start fresh each year has been overwhelming. “Every athlete would love the chance to be at the same school for four years — that’s the plan, that’s what I signed up for,” he said. “That way, you get to know who your coaches are, how the system works, and get familiar with the players. Going from school to school, you don’t really get to understand your coaches and your teammates. See HOME page 10

Satran said he is optimistic about Lucy impacting the rest of the season. “Every little thing helps,” he said. “If guys believe it’s good luck we will play a little better — it’s because we believe we have that extra edge over other teams.” Satran said that Lucy is more appealing to the hitters than the pitchers. “The hitters are the main ones who believe in it,” he said. “If they are having a good game, they go over and give Lucy a little pat. I say it’s more of a hitters thing because the hitters are a little more superstitious than the pitchers are.” The coaches are aware of the impact Lucy has on the players. “The coaches just kind of let us have fun with it in the dugout,” Satran said. “They know about it and they like it. It keeps the attitude light and not so serious, so

UP photo by Ariel Rosete

Lucy the flamingo, Lamar baseball’s lucky charm, hangs out in the locker room. that we can be loose out there and have fun. The more relaxed you are, the better you will play, especially in baseball, so they approve of Lucy.” Satran said fans may wonder why the players have a pink

flamingo in the dugout. “If you ever come to a game, watch whenever we score runs — you’ll see someone carrying her around the dugout,” he said. “Guys will go over and pat her. She just kind of hangs out to-

wards the side. When guys need a little confidence, they will go over and pay their respects to Lucy.” Junior transfer Chad Fleischman said he had no clue who Lucy was until a couple weeks ago. “I did not know what they were talking about at first,” he said. “Finally, when they found her, I thought it was the coolest thing we could do.” Fleischman is surprised at the recognition the flamingo is receiving. “At first I was skeptical,” he said. “But now that she has joined our team, she has really turned our bats on, including myself, and I thank her every day for that. “Finding her was a blessing. When she rejoined our team, she brought back a spark that we needed. Lucy has been a game changer and the magic she brings to us every day on the field lets us know that we can do anything.”

Student-athletes balance work, play Brendan Satran UP contributor

Outspoken NFL cornerback and Stanford grad Richard Sherman once said, “I would love for a regular student to have a studentathlete’s schedule during the season for just one quarter, or one semester, and show me how you balance that.” The life of a collegiate athlete is not as privileged as one might think. It is a constant balancing act of classes, practices and games. For many athletes making the adjustment is not always easy. “The fall semester was a shock to me,” Cole Girouard, freshman baseball player, said. “Transitioning from high school to college really forced me to learn to manage my time.” Many athletes can only schedule classes before noon or after 6 p.m. due to practice. Compound this with mandatory study hall hours and many athletes have little to no free time outside of school and athletics. “I’d say we have missed around 20 days of class this semester,” Maddy Myers, sophomore softball player, said, “To make sure I get my homework done, I typically do it all at the beginning of the week, and I stay after class to finish it so I don’t have to stress about it during the weekend or panic about a weekend due date.” Many student-athletes have to miss classes due to travel. During these times, student-athletes often have to do their assignments while on charter buses, in hotel rooms or business centers. “Usually on the trip back from wherever we are playing, you’ll see 10 to 15 laptops lighting up people’s faces on the bus,” Brett Brown, senior baseball player, said. “Imagine taking a quiz in your car while a movie is playing

UP photo by Brendan Satran

Members of the Lamar University baseball team do homework on the bus during a recent road trip.

and guys are being loud, it’s tough.” While on the road, athletes stay in hotels and generally only have free time after the games. Athletes can be found in the hotel lobby and business center doing work in order to get some quiet time away from the team. “My first year here it was hard to do homework while on the road,” Reid Russell, senior baseball captain, said. “Imagine being in a hotel with 30 of your good friends and trying to get work done — it’s not as easy as it seems.” Although some student athletes have trouble doing work on the road, a majority have adjusted to doing work while traveling. “It all boils down to time management, if you can manage your time and set aside an hour or two, it’s really not that bad,” Stefan Panayiotou, baseball redshirt junior said. “You just have to get

it done during down time when everyone isn’t really doing anything.” Student-Athletes are expected to put their studies before athletics and regularly attend meetings with academic advisors to make sure they are keeping up with their work. Freshman are expected to complete up to eight hours of study hall each week, sophomores must complete six and juniors four. Seniors are exempt from study hall if they have a GPA higher than 3.0. Baseball and softball season lasts from February until late May, and the teams will leave for weekend road trips on Thursday and not return until Sunday night. Compound this with midweek away games and a student athlete could potentially be in class one day in an entire week. “When I’m on the road, I tend to set reminders on my phone so that I don’t forget about assign-

ments,” Beth Castillo, freshman softball player, said, “It’s a lot to make sure I have all of my uniforms and equipment packed and ready for games, so making sure I don’t forget about my homework is crucial” Student athletes are expected to stay on top of their classes regardless of the classes they miss. This means they frequently must teach themselves in order to keep up with schoolwork. “Missing a lot of class can be a nice thing sometimes,” Panayiotou said. “But when it comes to teaching myself the material, and making up assignments and notes, it’s not really worth it.” Collegiate athletics gives many young athletes the opportunity to play the sport they love while getting school paid for. Many learn quickly how important time management is when they have to balance a full academic schedule as well as six- to eight-hours of athletics each day.

Page 10


Thursday, April 27, 2017 •


from page 9

“In my situation, having to adjust in one year isn’t enough time for me. I need at least two years to get to know everybody.” There are many reasons why a player would move to a different school. Maybe the player doesn’t get along with a coach. Maybe the player doesn’t fit a system. Maybe the player simply runs out of eligibility at a two-year school. Harrison not only knows the reasons, he has lived them. Harrison’s first stop out of high school was the University of New Orleans. That was fun while it lasted, he said. “The coach at New Orleans was a good man, I didn’t have any problems with him,” Harrison said. “It’s just that me and him didn’t click, so I thought the best thing for me was to leave that program and start somewhere new.” The next stop was McClellan Junior College, where he was one of the Highlander’s key players, averaging 11.5 points and shooting almost 46 percent from the field. “Honestly, I felt like out of high school I should have went to junior college,” he said. “Junior college is probably the best thing ever. It toughens you mentally, because you don’t have everything like you have at the division one level.” Some guys, including himself, leave high school thinking that it’s division one or nothing, Harrison said. “I feel like they don’t want to go to junior college because it’s not the big stage or whatever, but honestly junior college makes you hungrier — from how you have to live, and not having all the resources that a division one has — it makes you tough-minded,” he said. After a strong season at McClellan, Harrison defied the odds and earned himself yet

another scholarship, this time to the University of Tennessee-Martin. “I had high hopes for Tennessee Martin, but they weren’t who I thought they were going to be,” he said. “I wish them the best, but it just didn’t work out for me there. We always had problems. I feel like they already had their group of guys who they were going to play, so they kind of threw me under the bus. “Truthfully, I didn’t leave Tennessee Martin, they released me. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. I wouldn’t be where I’m at physically and mentally if they hadn’t cut me.” Harrison finally ended up being recruited by Lamar. NCAA rules state that transfers between the two division one schools must sit out a year, and Harrison said he is using his time to grow as an individual. “I’m just blessed, man,” he said. “Not many guys would be able to come from a school where they weren’t able to produce much and land another division one school. Dudes don’t get that opportunity. I thank god every morning and I get on my knees before I go to bed every night. I thank Coach (Brian) Burton and Coach (Tic) Price for giving me another opportunity and believing in me. “Even though I had to sit out this year, I felt really good. Of course, being a competitor you want to be out there playing, you don’t want to sit out. I really don’t think dudes realize how much better you can become physically and mentally. I think sitting out was good for me. It has made me a totally different player.” Harrison said he feels he has a lot to prove when he is eligible next season. “I feel like I have a huge chip on my shoulder,” he said. “I definitely won’t take this op-

portunity for granted. I just want to show those guys in the pass that they messed up. “My dad always told me, ‘Son, you have to go through the tunnel to get to the light.’ These past three years I was going through a dark tunnel. There were some days I would go back to my room frustrated with confidence shot. Now, here at Lamar, it’s like I’ve found the light. I’m just ready to spread my wings and soar like a true cardinal.”

UPsports briefs

Senior Galen Andrews tossed an inning and Tanner Driskill earned a save with his work in the ninth inning. Junior Ryan Johnson started the game for the Cardinals and pitched four solid innings. The win over Texas Southern was a team effort, in which both the offense and defense worked together with the pitchers to shut down the Tigers. Twice in the first four innings the Cardinals turned a double play. In the third, catcher Bryndan Arrendondo chopped down a runner stealing second, which ended an inning. Junior Grant DeVore and Trey Silvers made a diving stab at a ball, corralled it and also made

considerable contributions to keeping the Tigers off the diamond. Offensive players Cutter McDowell, Robin Adames and Cutter McDowell worked to add runs to the board. Texas Southern tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the fourth on three-straight hits. The Cards took the lead back in the bottom of the inning to finish the game. LU returns to the field Friday at 6 p.m. to open a three-game Southland Conference series with Nicholls. The second game begins at 2 p.m. Saturday with the finale Sunday at 1 p.m. Compiled by Cassandra Jenkins

BASEBALL Lamar University scratched some early runs together and downed Texas Southern 3-2 in its final home midweek contest on Tuesday afternoon in nonconference action. LU pitching efforts held the Tigers hitless in the final five innings. Senior Brent Janak pitched three of those five innings and was perfect with four strikeouts.


James Harrison

UP photo by Marcus Owens


from page 9

whose teams didn’t qualify and they give them an individual spot. There’s a chance Elodie could qualify for regionals as an individual. She has about a 60-percent chance, over half, but it’s not guaranteed.” Chapelet said she thought the tournament went well, but she still has a lot to work on. “I played good the last day,” she said. “I didn’t play so good on the second day, but all three rounds I started good every time. I was only one or two under, but I made some stupid mistakes. I still need to work on everything, but at least my putting is good.” Other LU players included junior Olivia Le Roux who tied for eighth with an 8-over 221 after a 74 on the first day of the tournament. Senior Wenny Chang ended her career for the Cardinals with a tie for 20th place at 227. Steward said next year’s team will produce a lot of new players and give Lamar a fresh start to regain their championship title. “We have two incoming freshmen,” she said. “We have one transfer student who will be a sophomore and then we have one junior college transfer who’s joining us full time. We’re going to have a lot of new faces. It’s going to be a totally different team, which, I think will be good, because I have a little bit of a sour taste in my mouth from this season. It will be like brand new next year, a fresh start, and I think we will be pretty motivated to get back our trophy.”

University Press April 27, 2017  

The award-winning student newspaper of Lamar University.

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