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The student voice of Midwestern State University

The Wichitan page 3 Hidden truths

page 11 Polk to Dallas

Graduating art majors’ masterpieces to be put on display for senior exhibition

Record-setting quarterback was signed as a “priority” free agent with the Dallas Cowboys.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Brain disease forces beloved professor to retire Chris Collins Managing Editor

A strong, cool wind cuts through a warm April afternoon as Dr. Michael Flavin slouches through the front door of his Wichita Falls home to stand on the porch. The gray-headed, 66-year-old political scientist ambles onto a path in the yard, his formidable 6’4” frame slouching in the house’s shadow. He comments on the railroad ties that decorate his lavish home front. They were cut from the tracks many years ago, he says. Now they’re rotting. His tall, spare figure moves back onto the porch with notice-

able effort. He’s getting old, and he knows it. His head is bald. His joints hurt. His memory is failing. But his humor is still intact. “I’m almost 23!” Flavin exclaims when wife, Dawn, walks outside and jokes about his age. “You can be old and handsome,” she tells him reassuringly. Flavin was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease about three years ago. It ended his 38-year tenure as a professor of political science at MSU in September 2007. He has taught at the university since 1969. Only five current professors have been here longer. “I’m even funnier than I used to be!” the political scientist said

when asked about the progressive brain condition. Humor is key in coping with the disease, he said. A reception will be held Wednesday for Flavin, who retired in April 2008. He had been on extended sick leave since September 2007. Personal friends of Flavin and MSU political science staff will speak about the distinguished professor’s life and career in the Clark Student Center Kiowa room at 2 p.m. “It’s a great pleasure to help organize a party to honor a good friend and a good colleague,” said Dr. Michael Preda, political science professor. “Michael was a major contributor to the com-

Photo by Brenda Rich-Miller Michael Flavin

munity in a lot of ways. He’s just an all-around really nice guy.” Flavin was the political sci-

ence department’s senior member until 2007. “Now I’m the senior member,” Preda said. “I’m very sad he’s leaving,” said Ernest Dover, professor of political science and graduate instructor. Flavin occupied the room across the hall from Dover for 23 years. “I’m going to miss him,” Dover said, “but I guess it’s time for him to retire.” Flavin has taught more than 20,000 students in his MSU career. He’s tried to treat them all like the children he never had, he said. “We’re childless by choice, but so many of the students have been special to him throughout the years,” said Dawn. “We’ve

dos Prazeres-Silva Erika Moss For the Wichitan

Art Show Rodeo

First juried competition at Gilrose Studios brings in a slew of area artists Chris Collins Managing Editor

B.C. Gilbert, gallery director of Gilrose Studios in Wichita Falls, is kind of like a cowboy in a Cadillac. On one hand, Gilbert owns B.C. Country and Weldrite, a metalworking company. On the other, Gilbert is a successful Texas artist whose work has been shown in Texas, Oklahoma and even Peru. So it may be fitting that the Art Show Rodeo, Gilrose Studios’ April 26 exhibition, was a pairing of sophisticated, abstract art and gritty Texas naturalism. “I like dry and tongue-and-cheek humor,” Gilbert said. He describes his own art as “reinventing the Western stereotype.” The show was Gilrose Studios’ fifth exhibition since it opened in July 2005. It’s the venue’s first juried competition. “You do one show and everybody keeps asking for the next one and the next one,” Gilbert said.

The event went terrifically, according to Gilbert. “We had a huge success with this last show,” he said. “You’re a rock star in your own town. You’re on cloud nine.” The exhibition featured 38 artists, mostly from Texas. There were 50 entries. About 15 of the contributors came to the event. Bonnie Young from Houston won best in show with her pencil/ watercolor Let the Poor Eat Themselves. She was awarded $300 and a custom-made belt buckle. “I think we’re the first art show to give a belt buckle as a prize!” Gilbert exclaimed. “Rodeo is part of our culture. Whether you participate in it or not, you know what it is.” Though Gilrose Studios ran out of refreshments (the wine first, then the beer), regular patrons picked up the slack. Greg Johnson, studio manager at San Antonio Southwest School of the Arts, was the competition’s juror. The artists funded the competition themselves with a $25 entry fee. Gil-

rose Studios broke even on the show. “Sometimes when you’re an artist you have to spend your own money and not get much of it back,” Gilbert said. The average show costs between $350 and $500. “It comes out of our pockets,” he said. Any excess funds go to pay for studio equipment. “We’re dedicated to the arts,” Gilbert said. “It’s draining when you put that much work into it.” Three pieces were sold at the show. Gilrose Studios will take 30 percent of every sale to cover costs. “We’re not trying to make money,” Gilbert said. Gilbert said his goal as gallery director is to change artistic expectations. “We’re trying to put a new perspective on art and give a little culture to Wichita Falls,” he said. “This is something we think this town needs. We’re exposing the city to different art than it’s seen.” Catherine Prose, gallery director at

See “Gilrose” pg. 6

See “Flavin” pg. 6

Jet-setting students study business abroad Melissa

Photo by Richard Carter MSU students Richie and Cortny Bates perform Saturday at the Gilrose Studios juried art show. Also playing that night were Ali Holder, Abbey Laine, Adam Duke and Paul Shults. A number of painters, sculptors and musicians were past or present MSU students.

gotten so many wonderful letters from so many students telling him he made a huge difference in their lives.” Though Flavin has dedicated much of his life to MSU, his humility won’t let him take credit for it. It’s all about giving back to the community, he said. “That’s part of what life is,” he said. “You can live in a cave and say, ‘Everything is for me,’ but you’re going to live a bad life over time.” Flavin was the first coach of the MSU intercollegiate soccer team. He took the position without pay. The team went 1-8-1 during its first season because

This summer, as many as five MSU students will travel to Germany to help cobble together a business plan for a beverage company. For the Americans, the European assignment will be more than just a class project. It will be a global effort. Students from the Dillard College of Business will collaborate with their counterparts from India, Indonesia, Poland, Russia, the United Kingdom and tutors from Germany. The 14-day project sprang from MSU’s partnership with the Fachhochschule University of Applied Sciences in Erfurt, Germany. “The students’ work will not be based on how perfect the plan is, but how well the students work together with their different ideas,” said Steffen Schwarz, professor of entrepreneurship

studies at the German university. Schwarz and Dr. Klaus Merforth, vice president of technology transfer and international relations, are on the MSU campus this week to work out details of the program with Dr. David Wierschem, associate professor of management information systems at MSU. The two German professors said each student brings his own unique intercultural perspective to the table, which makes coming to a decision the most challenging part of the project. MSU’s International Summer School Program began in 2007, taking three students and two professors. This year it will run from Aug. 31 to Sept. 13. This year’s topic will involve the International Aspects of Entrepreneurship-Market Strategies for the Beverage Sector. The students must collect information and develop a business idea to present to a critical jury

See “Germany” pg. 6

Taking global view on criminal justice Lindsey Lemon For The Wichitan The Criminal Justice Department at MSU is taking part in the International Education trip to London this summer. According to Dr. Nathan Moran, chair and associate professor in the Criminal Justice Department, students will be in London for one month during the second summer session.  Moran said students will attend lectures and class every day as well as visit different police stations, prisons, and courts. Students will stay in dorm rooms at Queen Mary College at the University of London, according to Dr. Larry Williams, director of international education. According to Williams, of the 55 MSU students attending the summer semester in London, approximately 14 students are

attending the criminal justice classes.  The cost of the trip, according to Williams and the International Education Web site, is $5,350, but each student who is accepted receives a scholarship. “Each student receives an automatic $1,000 scholarship,” Williams said. The cost of the trip, according to the International Education Web-site and Dr. Moran, does not include food or personal entertainment. Students attending the criminal justice classes will be examining the criminal justice system in the U.K. and comparing and contrasting it to other systems, such as the system in the U.S. and others throughout Europe, according to the Web site’s course description. Students will receive a total of six hours for their participation

See “Justice” pg. 6


Sweepstakes Winner 2006 Texas Intercollegiate Press Association

Viewpoints

Finalist 2004 Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker Award

The Wichitan

Staff Editorial

Internet evals Online course evaluations might sound

good in theory, but when it comes to putting this new system to use, the flaws become more and more visible.

First, when a professor hands out a sheet

of paper fifteen minutes before class is over, says “I’m leaving, do your evaluation,” and heads for the door, there’s always the chance that a handful of students will wait five minutes and slip out after them, leaving the evaluation form untouched on the desk.

But the convenience of this “old” meth-

od, paired with the fact that once a student is finished with the three-minute survey, they can walk out the door and head to lunch a few minutes early, makes it incredibly convenient.

It also is far more likely that students

will complete the evaluations using this method.

Now, take the online method. Instead of

passing out a stack of papers and disappearing, the professor has to beg, wheedle, cajole, even bribe students with extra credit to even get them to log onto the Web page.

Even with the prospect of extra points on

that dreaded final exam hanging overhead, the chance of students taking a break from their online activities long enough to rate their professors on something other than Myspace is slim. College students have a short attention span for things on the Internet that aren’t directly related to social networking.

The odds of them providing a worth-

while critique of their class? It gets even slim-

Play with puzzles, not play-doh Most of the time when you read my columns, you can either experience some of my witty Haley Cunningham r e p a r tees For The Wichitan or philosophical anecdotes. I have yet to write a personal story with a life-lesson cleverly attached. Until now. I have never been one to be romantic. I am not a lovey dovey kind of girl (on the outside.) And I don’t want to write one of those love-lost articles with a nice dose of pain and suffering, so I’m not going to. But let me clear the air of something before I get on with the excerpt from Haley’s book of Romance. The definition of a break-up in Haley’s eyes: Depressing. You are no longer in a relationship, you are free from expectations and bitterness is inspired. It is consoling, when love has let you down. To me, you finally hear that happiness was never part of the plan. Who, me? Bitter? No.

mer.

The online method may save the lives

of a few trees, but it certainly doesn’t seem to draw as many students to participate as the old tried-and-true.

The Wichitan 3410 Taft Blvd. Box 14 • Wichita Falls, Texas 76308 News Desk (940) 397-4704 • Advertising Desk (940) 397-4705 Fax (940) 397-4025 • E-mail WICHITAN@mwsu.edu Web site: http://wichitan.mwsu.edu Copyright © 2007. The Wichitan is a member of the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association. The Wichitan reserves the right to edit any material submitted for publication. Opinions expressed in The Wichitan do not necessarily reflect those of the students, staff, faculty, administration or Board of Regents of Midwestern State University. First copy of the paper is free of charge; additional copies are $1. The Wichitan welcomes letters of opinion from students, faculty and staff submitted by the Friday before intended publication. Letters should be brief and without abusive language or personal attacks. Letters must be typed and signed by the writer and include a telephone number and address for verification purposes. The editor retains the right to edit letters.

Now, on with the lecture. Let me start off with an example of all the hundreds and hundreds of love letters that the famous serial killer Ted Bundy received. American women were crazy about this loony, even though he had been caught doing psychotic and revolting things with women he picked up in bars. The women that wrote him the love letters claimed they could “change” the rapist-killer. Yeah, I call that crazy. You know what else is just as crazy in my opinion? How many people I know that go into a relationship with someone they don’t particularly like, but “it’s okay, people change. I can change them.” Upon a recent occurrence, that I’m sure you have figured out by now, I have finally accepted something that has been slapping me in the face for years. Never ever try to change someone. And more important still, never ever change yourself for someone else. You cannot, nor should you want to, change your significant other. I wouldn’t want someone to be with me with the intention of changing me to fit their desires. Who would? I’m speaking from both par-

ties, the manipulator and the victim (once upon a time). Those annoying habits and other things you can’t stand are what create the person you are with. Although it may be quite bothersome at times, everyone has quirks in their personality, for God’s sake, let them be. If you don’t like something in someone, don’t vie to change it. Change your attitude. Don’t complain. Love someone for them, pesky parts included. Don’t go out looking for play-doh. By play-doh I mean something you can mold and mash and manipulate to your liking to where you can cock your head and say “Oh, now isn’t that pretty?” Instead of play-doh, go shopping for a puzzle! Puzzle pieces fit together without any type of trimming. In my opinion, along with acceptance, the key to a healthy relationship is honesty. Some may argue that it is communication that Is the most important aspect, but I will have to disagree with you. If you are with someone that is just going through the motions, doing what they are trained to do, isn’t that lying? Being hon-

est with yourself about what you truly seek in a person is just as significant as being honest with your significant other. Never should you let yourself be molded to someone else’s expectations, and you should give them the same courtesy. Do you really want to be someone’s puppet? How should you expect someone else to? It is against the moral code of Haley’s Book of Romance, and plus it is just plain unfair to the other guy. But Haley, what if someone “swears” that they will change for you? You mean, if they make a big boo-boo and their life is flashing before their eyes? That is something anyone in a corner will always resort to. Call me cynical, but I don’t buy it. No one will change unless they want to, and until that time, what were they doing before? Acting? Lying? It may be fun when you get your way and the annoyances disappear for the time being. However, not everyone’s personality will cooperate forever. And then you have to ask yourself, where are you going to be when the promises break and the make-believe runs out?

THINK GREEN: Please recycle The Wichitan after reading.

Bins are located in Clark Student Center and Bolin Hall Editorial Board

Reporters Richard Carter Josh Mujica

Copy Editor Marissa Millender

Entertainment Editor Courtney Foreman

Photographers Loren Eggenschwiler

Adviser Randy Pruitt

Sports Editor Bobby Morris

Advertising Manager Correlle Ferlance

Editor-in-Chief Brittany Norman

Managing Editor Chris Collins Op-Ed Editor Position Open

Photo Editor Patrick Johnston


Feature

Discovering

hidden truths

Graduating seniors to display portfolios at Wichita Falls Museum of Art Brittany Norman Editor in Chief Graduating art majors will have their artwork on display at the Wichita Falls Museum of Art at MSU from May 2 to June 20. “Hidden Truths” is the theme for the senior exhibition. There will be an opening reception on Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the department of art foyer gallery in the Fain Fine Arts Center. The exhibiting artists are Joel Abeyta, Cameron Hill, Ashley Lindsey, Stacy Loudamy, and Cassandra Skarsten.

Joel Abeyta “There is a constant pressure to consume in American culture. Advertisements like: “You deserve a new car… for zero down…” “Want to look good? Drink this…” “Your cell phone is old; get this new one…” are leaking out of magazines and popping up unannounced and unwanted in our digital and analog mail boxes. They’re becoming our new roadside scenery and filling every corner they can. “The average human size is not zero. Only eight percent of the world’s population owns a car. Americans throw away about 30,000 cell phones a day. The images I have put together are advertisements to invest in relationships. They are advertisements for people in need. All of the images are for sale. All of the money will go to the Casa Hogaw Benito Juarez orphanage and the Jesus Ministry in Reynosa, Mexico, and New Life Church in Wichita Falls, Texas.” Cameron Hill “Physical and sexual exploitation of children, rape, and spousal abuse are all vicious attacks. For several different reasons, numerous people become victims as the result. Four children die every day from child abuse alone and even more survive and are wounded because of these heinous crimes. We do not acknowledge or hear about most cases. Individuals who are victimized will frequently deny that something occurred. They may not come forward because the aggressor has threatened and/or frightened them. When they do tell, they are not believed or are attacked again. Others can be mentally absent through what is called disassociation, where they separate themselves psychologically from the situation. “In this series of oil paintings, cast bronze sculptures, and metal work I address these horrific crimes both metaphorically and literally. All of this series encompasses how we look away or ‘close the door’ on this subject. We become accomplices when we turn out head and pretend it is not happening.”

Ashley Lindsey “My collection of photographs captures nature from a different perspective than the ordinary still life or landscape. Most intriguing to me is the unusual beauty that is found by close examination. I used my camera almost like a magnifying glass to isolate these aspects. I concentrate on plant life because there is an endless variety of picturesque specimens. Also included are shells, curious rock forms, and an insect. “I looked for interesting shapes or patterns in nature, like the graceful curves of leaves, odd designs in rocks, or peculiar elements of insect anatomy, such as the markings on a moth. By employing a deep depth of field, I captured all of the minute details and made the focus of the picture.” Stacy Loudamy Graffiti (gre-fe’te): A drawing or inscription made on a wall or other surface, usually so as to be seen by the public. –American Heritage Dictionary “Because the public nature of graffiti often deters viewers from inspecting it, I have chosen to document it through my photographs. Some of my images capture the location where the graphics were created, while others focus on my interest in the abstraction of the lines and color without a point of reference. “Although tagging is a defacement of property, internationally renowned artists Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat started their careers by spray painting on walls and public surfaces. My images reveal while other graffitists consider themselves artists.” Cassandra Skarsten

“These works of art are representations pertaining to an aspect of human nature, and the consequences of our behavior. They signify prejudicial conflicts we have with animals and other cultures. “A life-size sculpture of my mother symbolizes my Native American culture and how our way of life is lost through each generation. Small circular metalworks made of nickel, brass and copper are titled “Human Fantasy” and “What Goes Around Comes Around.” These pieces metaphorically refer to concepts of denial, trophy animals and the extinction of ancient cultures. The jewelry depicts animals and their natural beauty and provides an alternative to wearing animals as garments. The works are my way of honoring the spirits of my ancestors, as well as the many animals lost to extinction throughout time.”

The Wichitan April 30, 2008

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News

Seniors produce documentaries Melissa dos Prazeres-Silva For the Wichitan

The end of the college journey bears upon 10 MSU mass communication students who will showcase their learnings of the field/from over the years by producing documentaries, as required by their senior productions class, which is instructed by Assistant Professor Jim Gorham. Senior Productions is the course all mass communications majors take in their final semester before graduating. “It is the capstone course, which means it’s essentially the last thing you will do in mass communication,” Gorham said. The class of 10 has been separated into three groups, each of which must produce a 12-15 minute documentary on any subject, provided it has not been done in previous years. The documentaries will be shown at the Senior Screenings at 3 p.m. in Shawnee Theater at the Clark Student Center on May 2. The screenings will be held in-conjunction with the Mass Communcation Department’s year-end event, “Lights, Camera, Dinner!” The groups have to also prepare a script, a month before the final product is due. Scripts tend to be a minute per page.

One group’s documentary highlights the positive aspects of beauty pageants. Shinice Curry, Shae Pittman and Lucy Peters have traveled miles to capture the brighter essence of the beauty contest world. The idea derived from Peters’ former pageant participation and the girls drove to Oklahoma and Arlington and Shamrock, Texas to get over 20 hours of pagentry footage. “All the information we got will make you realize there’s whole other side of pageants other than the negative points, like eating disorders, which are always picked on,” Curry commented upon interviewing participants, parents, judges and directors. Another group, consisting of Minna Gilliam, Amar Spencer, Bethany Berry and Marissa Millender, are documenting the role ‘Meals on Wheels’ plays in the Wichita Falls community. ‘Meals on Wheels’ is a nonprofit organization which delivers food once a day, every weekday, to people who cannot afford food. “Professor Gorham handed out a list of topics that had been done before, which eliminated a lot,” Spencer said. “We chose this organization because we wanted something that would relate to Wichita Falls and also appeal to human interest.”

To depict a regular day at ‘Meals on Wheels,’ the girls filmed the staff preparing and packaging meals. They rode along with volunteers delivering meals in the community. With nearly 15 hours of footage, Spencer said their toughest challenge has been deciding what to use for the 15 minute documentary, and since they have so much information, which angle they want to show the documentary from. After assessing each member’s suggestions, the third group of Randall Mobely, Correlle Ferlance and Amanda Vietenheimer decided to shoot their documentary on locally owned restaurants. “I was watching a documentary on the Food Network and I liked the idea of food for a documentary,” Ferlance said. To add a local twist to the food idea and tie it in to the Wichitan culture, the trio picked Casa Manana, Gene’s Tasty Burger and Pioneer 3, three local restaurants that have been in business for a long time. The documentary will accentuate what it entails to run the restaurants and the joys and challenges of the business by sharing candid moments. “The restaurants have been very accommodative and cooperative with us, but we try to maintain our limits,” Ferlance

said. This group has also put in their share of sleepless nights at work, spending a total of 22 hours in one weekend on writing their script. Conflicting ideas, schedules and personalities have been one of the main challenges faced while putting together this laborintense project. Creating these documentaries solicits the combining of all the skills attained from the degree courses mass communication students have taken over the years. News writing provides interviewing and reporting exposure, the studio classes instill videography and editing experience, and the media law class teaches the legalities of the field, Gorham explained. “That’s why we leave it till last, because this way you’ll be ready for it,” he said. Despite the hours of planning and implementing, the seniors agree that it will all be worth it in the end. “Producing this documentary gives me a sense of accomplishment,” Spencer said. “We come into school and enroll in the most basic class, introduction to mass communication, and when the end comes around we’re producing documentaries.”

Filmmaking club has hope for future

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The Wichitan April 30, 2008

Campus briefs • April 30

Math Club Coke

Float Sale; CSC Sundance Food Court; Wed. 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

•Delta Sigma Theta; Deltarobics; Sunwatcher Clubhouse; Wed. 7:13 p.m.

• May 1

Finals Tent; Sun-

watcher Plaza; Thurs. 9:00 a.m. to noon

Finals Frenzy: free activities

for students; CSC; Thurs. 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

• May 2 Department of Recreational Sports; T-shirt design contest; $100 MSU bookstore gift card; submit by Fri. at D.L. Ligon Coliseum

• May 3 MSU Singers and Oratorio Chorus present “Franz Joseph Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass;” Conductor Dr. James Schuppener; First United Methodist Church, Sat. 7:30 p.m.

• May 10

Commencement bert and Liz Minden, the club’s ning was intense.  Some of the their audience.  Greenlight memfaculty adviser.  Lambert got ideas were solid, others were bers acknowledged that students ceremonies; Sat. 10:00 a.m. for out his phone and tried to locate quickly dismissed as impracti- are broke, that free food and free To get to CSC Apache on some additional students.  Con- cal.  Dotson proposed a contest stuff will get them to do almost the colleges of Health Sciences Thursday night, one was re- versation was friendly and ca- for screenwriters on campus, anything, and that they don’t like quired to weave through the sual. Everyone in the room knew then Minden suggested it be used to write very much.  The MSU and Human Services, Science groups of well-dressed football everyone else, mostly from ear- as a fundraiser.  Sandeep Singh, students were central to every players wandering the halls and lier film or theater projects. a graduate student from India, step in the discussion. and Mathematics, and Fine Arts resist the smell of grilled steaks Slowly, the meeting began to turned it around and proposed a The meeting drew to a close at majors, 2:00 p.m. for the collegwafting in from Sunwatcher Pla- take form.  With the arrival of contest where Greenlight would about 8:20, after a good 30 minza.  one more student the group got provide the script to competing utes of planning and brainstormes of Business Administration,   Once inside the Apache board- down to business. directors. ing.  The meeting was frustratroom, the atmosphere calmed Club Greenlight won’t be an Occasionally, the serious dis- ingly vague.  Some of the most Education, and Humanities and down.  The east end of the Clark official student organization un- cussion broke down and the promising ideas, like the conStudent Center was much qui- til the fall semester.  Thursday’s room filled with laughter.  At its tests for screenwriters or pulling Social Sciences; D.L. Ligon Coleter and free of athletes.  A TV meeting was more of a strategy core, the club’s members were a film crew together,  couldn’t be hummed muted in a corner.  session than anything else, while just a group of friends, hanging implemented for months.  Deiseum.; Speakers Glen Veteto Seated at one end of the table the members discussed plans to out, united by a common interest spite this, the attitude of the club were John Dotson and Chamu raise money and increase mem- and thinking of ways to nurture was optimistic. and Dr. Lynwood Givens Prince. It was 7:25 p.m., and the bership.  Membership dues were that interest around campus. “There’s a community of talfirst meeting of the new student set—$20 per semester—and the “We have not won the heart of ent,” Dotson said of the MSU MSU democrats and Sierra organization Club Greenlight group made tentative plans for a the campus,” Dotson said.  “We student body.  “They’re hidClub; camping trip; contact Jowas five minutes away. showing of Dotson’s short film need to win the hearts of the ing and we need to smoke them Club Greenlight is an organi- Pulverized early next semester campus.” out.” anna at (971)404-6876 by May 1 zation for aspiring filmmakers to promote the club. Student organizations at least and Dotson’s baby.  He had al- The brainstorming that eve- have the advantage of knowing ready filed a club roster and by-laws with Matthew Park at Student Activities, canvassed the campus with flyers, and reserved the room for the When You Donate Plasma You meeting.  Now, they just needed peoHelp Create Life Saving Therapies for: ple to show up. Newborns and their mothers Things didn’t look good.  The band was holding its Children and adults with hemophila spring concert at the same time as the Greenlight meetBurn, shock, and trauma victims ing, and the Student Athlete Vaccine development • Surgical patients • Hepatitis patients Dinner in the other side of the student center wouldn’t help Bone-marrow transplant adult recipients either. “That probably took up half Immunedeficient children and adults of the population,” Dotson Research and development in medical testing said jokingly. But he had a point.  This Name: Kevin Lloyd late in the semester, with finals Occupation: Student students are members of the Golden around the corner and organiHobbies: Playing music and surfing the Thunder Marching Band. This is the fifth zations trying to tie things up internet consecutive year of new record enrollments. Why I donate plasma: Donating before school lets out for the plasma is a worthy cause. summer, students and faculty percent of MSU students receive some form have a lot to get done.  He was Name: Lua Augustin of financial assistance including grants, aware that trying to organize Occupation: ISM lead at Sears scholarships, loans, waivers, exemption, an entirely new group was Hobbies: Reading and dancing 1908 9th Street and work study. Why I donate plasma: A simple way to contribute to bound to be difficult. medical advances. My mother is a nurse and I always www.dciplasma.com Dotson and Prince had been wanted to do something to help other people. joined by student Walter Lam3114082 Zachary Shipp For the Wichitan

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The Wichitan April 30, 2008

News

First mechanical engineering majors to walk the stage at commencement

For the Wichitan

For those students who love math and science, MSU offers yet another major to curb their interests, mechanical engineering. The first graduating class will take to the stage in May 2008. Since its establishment three and a half years ago, approximately 10 students have almost completed the requirements to receive their mechanical engineering degree from the McCoy School of Engineering. “These graduates will be eligible to work in any sector of the industry,” Dr. Jerry Faulk, associate professor for the engineering school, said. According to Faulk, potential employers include Howmet Investment Casting, Cryovac, Certainteed, Tranter, Carrier, Wichita Clutch, Washex, PPG, General Motors, Toyota, Ford Motor Company, located in the region, and Ford, Chrysler, Pratt & Whitney, Westinghouse, NASA, JPL, Sandia, Boeing and numerous other companies located across the country and the world. “MSU has been offering the manufacturing engineering Technology program for the last 22 years. The establishment of the

McCoy School of Engineering has led to the creation of the mechanical engineering program, which is a four-year, professional-track engineering degree,” Faulk said. The manufacturing engineering technology schools’ namesake, Jim McCoy, is the creator and owner of Echometer, which is a Wichita Falls based company. McCoy earned an engineering degree from the University of Oklahoma and later developed a successful business. “Mr. McCoy’s interest in engineering and technology brought him to MSU. I was told he wanted to meet with me to discuss a mechanical engineering technology program for MSU and, within an hour, we had a plan laid out on the table,” Dr. Jesse Rogers, president of MSU said. “He chose us.” Until the late 1990s, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board did not allow any new engineering program to be established at small universities. “MSU has always had a very strong science and math program,” Rogers said. “The program started as a manufacturing technologies program and then, after receiving approval for an engineering program,

was renamed to include the engineering aspect of the program.” “The mechanical engineering program includes 150 students and has been increasing at the significant rate of 33 percent,” Faulk said. The education of the mechanical engineering students culminates in capstone projects, which require students not only to design the system on paper, but also to build a physical model of the design. Student projects are sponsored by the local and regional industry, which allows students to solve real design problems, not just academic designs. According to Faulk, the background of faculty members includes: mechanical engineering and aerospace, engineering physics degrees as well as industrial experience. This broad range of combined experience is vital to the education of students in mechanical engineering. “A professional track engineering program is very valuable to the local and regional industry. Of all engineering degrees, mechanical engineering is the most viable for MSU. Mechanical engineering curricula are very broad and therefore give the graduate a greater number of employment oppor-

tunities,” Faulk said. According to Faulk, a computer engineering degree would not be useful for graduates wishing to remain in the region of North Texas because very few employment opportunities exist for such a degree. Faulk also said the same is true for other non-mechanical engineering degrees. “A mechanical engineering program has always been important to MSU and the North Texas region. However, due to state and economical constraints, such a degree could not be offered,” Faulk said. Financial contributors to the program included Jim McCoy and his family, Phil Bolin, the Priddy Foundation and the Bridwell Foundation. Together, they have provided in excess of $10 million to MSU for the establishment of the mechanical engineering program. President Jesse Rogers provided the necessary guidance and the faculty were charged with the design of the program. Vice President of University Advancement and Student Affairs, Dr. Howard Farrell also played a key role in securing funds for the program, Faulk said.

“Germany”......................continued from pg. 1 and public audience on Sept. 12. Besides gaining educational knowledge and experience, Wierschem said that the students get exposure to different cultures, languages and what’s available. “As a faculty member, the experience was wonderful and more than just content,” he said. “The students get to know that people aren’t all that different and realize what a small world it really is.” The cost for the program is

$375, which covers the registration and accommodations. Not included are airfare and the train ride from Frankfurt to Erfurt, Germany. MSU offers three $1,000 scholarships to help defray those expenses. To be eligible for the program, each student is required to be a business major and must submit an application. The two-week course will transfer to MSU as an elective credit. Informational meetings will be held April 30 in Dillard 121 and May 1 in Dillard 189 at 10 a.m.

“Justice”.........................continued from pg. 1 six hours for their participation in the London summer program, according to Moran. Williams said that students must have at least 30 hours to participate in the criminal justice program in London. Students will leave from DFW International Airport on July 10 and will return on August 10.  This is not Moran’s first trip to London with MSU’s Criminal Justice Department. “I took a group of students

back in 2005,” said Moran. According to Williams, the International Education Department has been taking trips to London since 1985. The date for this year’s deadline has passed, but students who may be interested in future trips are welcome to look at the International Education Department’s course and trip descriptions at their web site: http://academics. mwsu.edu/internationaleducation/.

“Gilrose”..........................continued from pg. 1 MSU, helps Gilbert organize and plan shows. The two were married in 1997. They moved to Wichita Falls from Lubbock in 2005. Gilrose Studios is even the combination of the couple’s last names, ‘Gilbert’ and ‘Prose.’ She used to be more involved at Gilrose Studios, but has since cooled out. “Catherine’s been a big help,” Gilbert said. “She has a lot of professional art show experience.”

Prose eventually relinquished most control of the venue to her husband. “I got very controlling, It made me crazy,” Prose said. Gilrose Studios will probably host its next show sometime in the fall, Gilbert said. Its next juried show will probably be in May. “The community wants us here,” Gilbert said. “The community wants us to stay.”

“Flavin”.......................................................................................................................................................................................continued from pg. 1 sport before. “We had a lot of fun. We were proud of what we had done,” he said.. Flavin has also served as the MSU adviser for the NAACP, Alpha Phi, College Republicans and Young Democrats. He was the president of the Faculty Senate and TACT and a board member for the Hotter ‘N Hell bicycle race. He spends so much time and effort volunteering because he loves to help others, he said. “I had a lot of teachers who helped me in school,” Flavin said. “They were my mentors. You have to give back what you have.” Flavin founded MSU’s Faculty Award in the mid-1980s. The award, which Flavin won in 1988, is one of the most prestigious among current faculty. The professor refused to be considered for the honor until several years after he created it. Flavin was also instrumental in creating the Congressional internship program about 20 years ago. The internship sends MSU students every year to Washington D.C. to work in Congressional offices. “One year we had so many requests we didn’t have enough students to participate!” he said. “He’s been very helpful,” Patricia Puig, constituent service representative for Congressman Mac Thornberry, said. Puig was an intern for Thornberry before being hired to a paid job. She credits Flavin for her current career. “If it hadn’t been for him I wouldn’t have this position,” she said. “He sees people through. That’s his reward.” Libby Hastings, who also works in Thornberry’s office, took Flavin’s American History course in 1986. She still vividly remembers it. “I thought he was the most knowledgeable, interesting person ever. He inspired me to get into politics and get a job here at the Congressman’s office,” she

said. “Dr. Flavin’s passion for political science has been the catalyst for so many students to find the right career path.” Flavin was born April 11, 1942 in St. Louis, MO. His father was a firefighter. He earned his B.S. in political science at St. Louis University in 1964; earned his M.A. in political science at St. Louis University in 1966; earned his Ph.D. in political science at the University of Arizona in 1977. Flavin was interested in government even in high school, he said. One year he dressed up as Abraham Lincoln to recite the Gettysburg Address to a class. “I couldn’t do it. I got up to give it and they all started laughing at me.” The political scientist first planned to teach high school government, but then decided he wouldn’t have the patience. It turned out to be a good idea: Flavin met his future wife during the first class he taught at MSU. “It was pretty outrageous to be dating back then,” Dawn said, laughing. Flavin’s wife also attended his last class in September 2007. It was special to both of them, they said. They have been married for 35 years. “We work as a double unit,” Dawn said. “I’ve inherited some of his memories.” Life has changed a lot for Flavin in the past several years. The Alzheimer’s has caused him to give up driving, a responsibility Dawn is happy to take up. He resigned his license voluntarily. “We have a joke around here now,” Dawn said. “Sometimes when I’m stressed and wacky, I’ll say, ‘Who’s the one with Alzheimer’s?’” Flavin’s diagnosis was reached after several years of testing at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center’s Alzheimer’s Research Facility. The disease was discovered in its early stages. Doctors told the political scientist to continue teaching as long as

Photos courtesy Pictures of Michael Flavin from the past.

he could. “One morning I woke up and I was physically tired,” he said. Flavin knew it was time to quit teaching. He waited until he was sure he had the disease to mention it at work. He wasn’t ashamed, rather he didn’t want anyone to focus on the condition instead of his teaching. “I wanted to make sure it didn’t hurt the students,” he said. “If I had gone any longer than I had it would have started to deteriorate.” The professor said he had to put extra effort into planning classes and grading tests because of the disease. It was taking too much out of him. “We chose to accept the situation with as much grace and humor as we could muster.”

Flavin said he hopes his legacy will be a message of selflessness. “I’ve dedicated my life to Dawn and my family,” he said. “I hope students will learn something, and if people help them they give back. They need to give back to the community.” Flavin urged students to stay in Wichita Falls and try to do as much good as possible. “I would be surprised if there was anyone who didn’t want to make a difference in someone’s life,” Dawn said. “To know you made a difference in someone’s life is huge.” Upon Flavin’s death, his bran will be donated to medical research for comparative study in the Alzheimer’s disease.


Feature

The Wichitan April 30, 2008

7

Improv comedy group entertains on the spot Jermey Elliott For the Wichitan A large group of students file into the Shawnee Theater and take their seats. The air is filled with the soft murmur of conversation. Seven well-dressed students sit center stage talking amongst themselves. The audience quiets as the MC comes to the podium and introduces the group of seven. The crowd focus on the group. The audience has high expectations, “Funky Monkey and the Ebola Virus” is a student improv group that performs shows on campus throughout the year. The group is comprised of MSU students Joey Dassinger, Derrius Burks, Dustin Webb, Simon Welch, Jacob Casey, Bronson Wilson, and Rob Gray. Improv or improvisational theater is a comedy acting technique that is performed spontaneously. Actors typically use audience suggestions to guide the performance as they create dialogue, setting and plot. An example of a famous improv troupe is the cast of ABC’s “Whose line is it anyway?” starring Drew Carey, Ryan Stiles, Wayne Brady and Colin Mochrie. The group started after junior

theatre major Joey Dassinger had a conversation with some fellow theatre students. “David Henne, Donald Gibson, Mary Okonkwo, and myself first thought of the idea. The original name of the group was ‘Risky Brisket Slow Cooked Comedy.’ We are all in theater, but everyone else was busy with other obligations so I took it under my wing,” Dassinger said. Dassinger held open auditions during the spring of 2007. About 35 people showed up for the two-day tryout. “I was really surprised how many people came out for the first audition. There were a lot of people interested in being a part of the group,” Dassinger said. Dassinger picked nine students to be a part of the improv group. The original group was made up of Dassinger, Webb, Welch and Casey, as well as Pierre Lafaille, Aaron Munoz and E.J. Eddins. Senior Dustin Webb went to the original audition as a joke. “It was kind of by accident. I went to the audition with a friend. The only reason we went was to see people make a fool of themselves and get a quick laugh. We saw some people struggling so we got up there and tried out. Joey talked to us after and asked us both to be in the group. We both agreed and it’s been awe-

some,” Webb said. After the auditions the group got to work practicing. The practices are held in Killingsworth Halls upstairs lounge. “It’s funny to see some of the girls reactions when a bunch of guys head upstairs on their elevator. We hold the practices there because we all live on campus and Killingsworth has large lounges and it is pretty quiet. We try hard not to bother any of the women in the building,” Dassinger said. Dassinger explains how the practices are run. “We practice twice a week. A lot of people think we don’t have to practice for improv, because it’s improvisation, but during our practices it’s more of training. We run through the games and get familiar with the rules. Improv is all about keeping your mind fresh and being able to come up with scenes and scenarios on the spot. We don’t memorize any scenes or characters before shows, it’s all at random,” Dassinger said. The group held its first show in the spring of 2007. The hourlong show was done in front of a packed house of about 70 students in Shawnee Theatre. “All of us were kind of nervous. We just didn’t want to bomb on stage. Plus, during the

show, we rely on the audience to give good suggestions and be involved, so we hope they were into it,” Dassinger said. “For our first show it went really good. There were a lot of people just cracking up and really into it. It’s a good feeling to have people congratulating you after the show,” Webb said. At the end of the semester the group lost Lafaille, Eddins, Munoz so more auditions had to be held when classes resume in the fall. “Pierre was trying to become more focused on academics, and Aaron and E.J. transferred to other schools. It was tough because they all brought a lot of talent to the group,” Dassinger said. After a second set of auditions were held, the group brought in three new members, Derrius Burks, Bronson Wilson and Rob Gray. “Improv has really opened up a whole new crowd of pople to me and forced me to find new ways to be funny. Also it has given me a chance to work with some really cool guys,” junior Derrius Burks said. Though the shows have gone well this year, at one show the group ran into a problem. “We had a situation where two of the members couldn’t show

up. Simon hadn’t practiced with us before the show because he had a lot of tests and wasn’t able to put in any practice time. We asked him at the last minute if he could fill in and he ran over no questions asked,” Webb said. “It was just unexpected, plus I hadn’t been to any practices in about a month. I got over my nervousness and just went up there and did my best. The show went really good though,” junior art major Simon Welch said. To date, the group has done eight one-hour shows, including a show during Greek Week and last years Final’s Frenzy. “It’s been really fun, I really enjoy it. It thinks it really cool how other organizations want us to come and work with them,” Webb said. The group has received very positive feedback from students that have attended the shows. “The shows are good. They do very well and are really funny. The only thing they really need now is a funny girl in the group,” sophomore Stefen Nweke said. “My favorite game is when they do “say P and die.” It’s so funny because they can’t say any word with the letter P in it. I love that,” junior Patrick Johnson said. “Those guys are innovators and it’s cool. They put themselves out

there and just have a good time,” junior Melissa Higgs said. “I’ve only had the opportunity to go to two shows. I wish they had more. Every time I hear about a show I can go to, I try my hardest to make it,” junior Britney Martin said. “I think the students enjoy our shows because it gives them something else to look forward to. Its different from the other run-of-the-mill activities on campus.” Burks said. The group has many plans for next year, including a trip out of town. “We’re going to try and have a little retreat where we attend a Improv workshop run by a professional group in Fort Worth,” Dassinger said. “I see us having a television show in a bout a year, and Joey getting kicked out of the group because of money laundering or for being involved in a prostitution ring,” Burks jokingly said. “But seriously we would really like to have more shows and get some of the ladies involved,” he said. The group will have its final sow of the year Thursday May 1st at 6:00p.m. in Comanche Suite located in the Clark Student Center.

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The Wichitan April 30, 2008

Entertainment

Mega-Christian rock band set to play MPEC One-on-one with Paul Coleman of The Newsboys

Courtney Foreman Entertainment Editor 20 years and 14 albums describe the success describe the mega-mogul Christian rock band The Newsboys. The band originally formed in the late 1980s and really found success in the ‘90s as they became one of the more popular Christian bands of the time. Over the years, the Australianbased band has had six number-one singles on the Christian charts and surprisingly, have been featured in more secular media outlets than other Christian bands at the time. The Newsboys have truly made a mark on the music industry most bands haven’t. Aussie singer/songwriter Paul Coleman was kind enough to answer a few questions about the major success this band has come to know over the years. The Newsboys are familiar with travel. Because the band has a pop-rock sound, it hasn’t become regional to any place in the world. This allows the band to travel globally without hesitation. On a recent trip to Israel, the band played at a New Age Festival in the Sea of Galilee,

“Historically for a biblical scholar, that would be where Jesus descended back to heaven,� said Coleman. “Music has this incredible way of leaking over the boundaries and I think that’s the thing I fell in love with about music even more than music itself,� Coleman said, about traveling internationally and the impact they can have on people. Because the band has been all over the world and been a part of the music industry for years as a Christian band, one might wonder if there was more pressure on being a Christian band than another genre. “You’re definitely held to a different standard,� Coleman said. “The very genre we’re in helps us be humbled by the Band Members: Peter Furler, Duncan Phillips, Jeff Frankenstein, message and realize that we are Paul Colman servants as opposed to lords.� Knowing that the band has where everyone bought CDs to to- songs, let’s keep traveling and puta little amount of added pressure day, downloading music for free. ting on a great show and be faithful because of their beliefs, Coleman The band is just rolling with the to the core of who we are.� challenges people to, “find the punches. The band believes there are still validity not in what you do, but Coleman knows there’s nothing many ways to survive in the music in who you are� when it comes to you can do to fight people on the industry today. whatever you might be doing in topic. Despite downloading and other this world. “Just look for way to keep sur- obstacles, the band has produced The band has come from an era viving. Let’s keep writing great 14 albums.

A person has to wonder if each song composed by the band is trying to get across a certain message to their listeners. Coleman knows about great songwriting. “Its got to be emotional, not instructional. Otherwise you get too in your head and to write a song, you really have to be in your heart.� As the band continues to write great songs, the success continues to follow. But, the question remains: what is it that puts The Newsboys aside from other bands and why they stand out from the crowd? Coleman broke down in three simple steps why he believes his band has lasted the test of time. From a business aspect there’s a need to write great songs, a need to put effort into each and every show, and people who work around you in management and booking that are good with business and even better with money. On the other side, from a religious point of view, “the most important reason why I believe the Newsboys have had success is because we believe it’s what God wanted. I think anything that sur-

vives that has God’s name on it survives because of his enduring grace.� The band truly believes the main reason why they have kept performing has to be because it was God’s idea in the first place. Coleman thinks it too ironic that a bunch of guys from Australia have survived for 20 years and has been playing arenas for 15, and to think that it was all about them would be forgetting the main message in the end. So, with a music career most musician would die for, Coleman gave some advice to up-and-coming Christian bands that are just getting started. “Write great songs and work hard and always commit your ways to the Lord,� he said. “The Bible says if you do that, he will direct your steps and he will bless you. It’s a journey to find that balance at getting that trade right and working hard at it, and always remembering where life comes from.� The band’s latest CD, Go, is in stores now. Paul Coleman and The Newsboys will be gracing Wichita Falls with their presence on Saturday, May 3 at the MPEC. Tickets are on sale now.

Summer blockbusters set to hit the big screen Lauren Wood For The Wichitan

May 30 The Strangers This horror/thriller flick is sure to leave the audience in suspense and on the edge of their seats. Actors Scott Speedman, from the sci-fi hit Underworld, and Liv Tyler, from the romantic comedy Jersey Girl, star in this film about a couple who return from a wedding reception and stay in an isolated vacation house. One late night they receive a knock on the door which leads into a violent invasion of three masked strangers. The couple finds themselves in a life-threatening struggle, both of them just trying to survive. Rated “R� for violence/terror as well as language and is being previewed as a movie that will make you check your locks twice.

May 9 Speed Racer With a full cast of stars including Emile Hirsch, Christina Ricci and Matthew Fox, this action/adventure flick is called Speed Racer, an aggressive and fearless driver who is loyal to his family’s racing business, led by his father. When Speed turns down an offer from Royalton Industries, he uncovers a secret and pisses off the company’s owner. If Speed doesn’t race for Royalton, then they will see to it that Speed will never see the finish line. It is up to him to save his family’s business and beat Royalton. With the support of his family and girlfriend, Speed teams with is one-time rival, Racer X, to win the cross-country rally known as The Crucible. This science fiction/fantasy film is rated “PG� and also includes actors Susan Sarandon and John Goodman playing Speeds’ mom and pops.

May 16 The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian Following the original “Narnia,� this tale continues a year later when the Kings and Queens of Narnia return to the phenomenal realm, but they soon discover that more than 1,300 years have passed. With most of the original cast, the main newcomer is Prince Caspian, played by Ben Barnes, who has had little acting experience. Barnes played a small role in the 2007 film Stardust. During the children’s absence, the Golden Age of Narnia has disappeared and is now under new control of an evil king. The four children soon discover this new character Caspian and learn that he is the rightful heir to Narnia and the King is out to kill him. With help from kind and courageous creatures, they all embark on a journey to find Aslan and rescue Narnia.

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Sports

The Wichitan April 30, 2008

Mustangs softball ace thriving at MSU Erika Moss For the Wichitan

Sophomore Katie Peterson said that the one thing she loves other than softball is playing card games, “especially poker.” Peterson is a mathematics major and has been the starting pitcher for the Lady Mustangs the past two seasons. Influenced by her parents at a very young age, Peterson played several sports but grew to love softball the most. In high school, Peterson also competed in volleyball, but said that she chose softball because she was better at it. Along with being the Pitcher of the Week in the Dallas Morning News her junior and senior years at Plano West High School, Peterson was also the school’s pitcher of the year her freshman and sophomore years, and the MVP of her district in her senior campaign.

Peterson said the difference between college softball and high school softball is the basic conditioning. “In high school we only lifted weights and conditioned during the season,” Peterson said. “When playing college softball, we practice during the season and during the off-season and practice is about an hour longer.” Peterson also said that comparing her high school head coach Mike Ledsome to MSU head coach Brady Tigert, who is not so laid back. “Tigert is about winning,” said Peterson. “He wants the best nine players on the field. Tigert is not going to play you because your parents make a fuss about you (not) being on the field. Coach Tigert is more intense and if you are not, he will make you.” Peterson has had two successful years at MSU. In 2007 and

2008, Peterson was named the Pitcher of the Week in the Lone Star Conference along with being named to the LSC All-Conference second-team last season. “Getting to pitch and being a starter,” Peterson said when asked what her favorite things about softball are. Peterson also said that she has never had any major injuries playing softball; just back problems and a few jammed fingers. Pizza is Peterson’s food, “me and my roommate would get two and eat one apiece.” Peterson said that during the season she actually gains more weight because the team eats fast food all the time. “Softball takes up a lot of your time,” Peterson said. “Most girls on the team can’t work, because they are on the field everyday from about 2 to 6 p.m. And there’s a game every Saturday.” Peterson said that on away

9

games she feels that if she falls asleep on the bus, she will do badly in the game, while “all the rest of the players like to go to sleep on the bus.” “I love to play them at home,” Peterson said. During the off-season Peterson loves to go home on the weekend, because during the season she never has time. Peterson’s Patrick Johnston The Wichitan family makes the situation better, because Katie Peterson (19) tosses a pitch towards the plate in a mid-season they are at every game tilt against the University of Central Oklahoma. on the weekend, and sometimes, if the game is impor- time. She is undecided what she memorable experience playing tant enough, they will even be at wants to do after college, but she softball was her junior year in knows for sure that she does not high school when she pitched a a game during the week. Peterson said the hardest thing want to coach softball, because perfect game against Mesquite about playing college softball is she doesn’t want to do anything Potette, but said that she has not been able to accomplish that managing grades in school and pertaining to teaching. Peterson said that her most again, yet. being on the field at the same

At the Kentucky Derby, anything can happen... and often does Ed McNamara MCT

The 3-year-old thoroughbreds are inexperienced, the equine equivalents of human teenagers. They are asked to run 1 1/4 miles for the first time, against as many as 19 opponents, amid a circus atmosphere. Many are not bred to go the distance. Traffic problems ruin the chances of others. “On Derby Day, just about anything can happen,” trainer Eoin Harty said. Usually, it does. There’s no race like the Kentucky Derby, where the best horse often doesn’t win. Superstars Native Dancer, Round Table,

Easy Goer, Holy Bull and Point Given didn’t. Many two-legged all-time greats have had problems in America’s Race, too. D. Wayne Lukas won it four times, but he sent out 12 losers before breaking through with the filly Winning Colors. Ron McAnally (0-for-10) and Bobby Frankel (0-for-8) are world-class Derby maidens, and the late, great Charlie Whittingham was 73 before he got the job done with Ferdinand in 1986. In the spring of 1988, Risen Star was the best 3-year-old in America, but a wide trip compromised him in the Derby, where he finished third behind front-running Winning Colors.

Risen Star ruled the Preakness and the Belmont, and trainer Louie Roussel will always believe he should have swept that Triple Crown. “The Derby is such a unique race,” Roussel said recently. “It is the ultimate race of all time because you’re going to face so many horses and so many possible pace scenarios that it’s just so difficult to win it. I feel sorry for the bettor, because it’s a tough, tough race to handicap.” Jockey Alex Solis is 0-for15, and Hall of Famers Pat Day (1-for-22) and Laffit Pincay (1-for-21) spent many years wondering if they’d ever pos-

sess that elusive blanket of roses. In his darker moments, perennial leading trainer Todd Pletcher has to be thinking the same thing. He’s a record 0-for19 in the Derby. Pletcher’s run of futility has become an obligatory sidebar on the first Saturday in May. He’s been philosophical about the frustration, but he’d be overjoyed if one of his two runners - Monba or Cowboy Cal - could end those questions forever on Saturday. Rags to Riches, the first filly to win the Belmont since 1905, last year gave Pletcher his first classic and “in some ways got the monkey off our back.”

He’s trained eight champions, won four consecutive Eclipse Awards and keeps shattering his own record for yearly earnings. A Derby would crown the resume of a 40-year-old who is a lock for the Hall of Fame. “We’ve done a very good job of getting a lot of horses to the Derby,” Pletcher said. “We’ve had some horses run very well. We’ve also probably brought horses that just simply weren’t good enough. And now I feel confident that if we show up with the right horse, we can get the job done. If it happens, great, but if not, then we’ll continue to try.” Steve Asmussen, 43, is an-

other win machine still chasing his first Derby. He has more than 4,000 victories, including 488 last year, and trains King of the World Curlin, who swept the Preakness, Jockey Club Gold Cup and Breeders’ Cup Classic on the way to becoming the 2007 Horse of the Year. On Saturday, Asmussen will saddle his eighth and ninth Derby runners, Pyro and Z Fortune. “Anybody who wins the Derby is going to have a little bit of a shock,” Asmussen said. “I got Curlin beat in the race last year, so I know how hard it is to win. It has to be a horse’s lifetimebest race that day.”

giving up huge plays over the top when either Anthony Henry or Newman were injured, which seemed to alternate week to week. But there were no truly astounding cornerback prospects in this year’s draft. There were some excellent chances but every corner, it seemed, came with a downfall. However, the runningback position was absolutely packed with potential this year, especially backs that would be drafted in the twenties, where Dallas drafted. So, despite rumors circulating about Jerry Jones trading obscene amounts of picks to get his Razorback runningback, he stayed patient and true to what his team really needed. The Cowboys have a potential elite running back with

Marion Barber III. A pro-bowl style runner as a back-up last season, but he has never truly carried the entire rushing load for any team. The last few seasons, Julius Jones signed with Seattle in the offseason, carried the initial load to wear down a team before Barber would blow it up in the second half. Even in college Barber split

time with Laurence Maroney, presetly the top back for the New England Patriots. What they needed was a speedy back to take some load off of Barber. They got that in Felix Jones from Arkansas, with the 22nd pick. Then they made a very little trade to get a hold of a top-3 defensive back in Mike Jenkins,

from South Florida, with the 25th pick. So, while some may be worry because the Cowboys didn’t make as many moves as in year’s past, don’t. They just have an overall out-

standing team, so while others were making noise with blockbuster trades, the Cowboys just sat back and quietly added more potential pro-bowlers to their already potent roster.

A quiet draft day for the Dallas Cowboys is a good sign Bobby Morris Sports Editor

For a team with 13 pro-bowlers returning off of a team that finished 13-3 on the season, even with the Super Bowl champs in their division, the Cowboys sure have a lot of doubters. Looking back though they entered this draft with very minimal, but glaring needs. It was obvious last season that the secondary was not only bad at times, but just horrendous, overall. Ken Hamlin provided a nice spark and made some plays, while Terrence Newman is slowly developing into an elite, “Neon Deion” type of cornerback, but that was about it out of the secondary. Roy Williams has been struggling for the past few seasons,

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Wednesday

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Thrusday

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Friday

Softball - @ LSC

Postseason Tournament in Durant, Okla.

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Saturday

Softball - @ LSC

Postseason Tournament in Durant, Okla.

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Sunday

Softball - @ LSC

Postseason Tournament in Durant, Okla.

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Sports

The Wichitan April 30, 2008

11

Polk Joins Dallas Cowboys

Record-setting quarterback joins Dallas Cowboys franchise as ‘priority’ free agent Msumustangs.com

Daniel Polk spent much of his Sunday answering calls and watching coverage of the NFL Draft just waiting for opportunity to finally buzz his cell phone. “It was nerve wracking watching names go up on the board,” Polk said. “The best thing to do was to be patient and let God take care of the situation for me.” Polk didn’t have time to consider his patience as the seventh round neared its close. “Several teams started to call me about possibly drafting me,” he said. “Buffalo called a few times and then Arizona and St. Louis. They told me to be on standby.” But Polk’s name was never called, but his night was far

from over as each of what the NFL calls “priority” free agents were contacted. “It (being drafted) was something that I wanted,” he said. “But what really matters is getting an opportunity. This is a dream come true.” A native of Dallas, Polk narrowed his choices to two teams before making his decision to sign with the hometown Dallas Cowboys. “It came down to Miami or Dallas and what I thought was the best situation for me,” Polk said. “It was a long wait, but we finally got it done.” Polk’s opportunity with the Cowboys will come in a special teams role and will hinge on his ability to adapt to the wide receiver role, but he has a good example to follow.

“I’ve been compared to (current Dallas receiver) Patrick Crayton a lot,” he said. “It’s the same situation for me and I’ll have to play special teams, too.” Crayton, a converted quarterback from NAIA Northwestern Oklahoma State, was picked in the seventh round in 2004 and has blossomed into a starter at the wide receiver position. Polk capped a brilliant fouryear career with Midwestern State by becoming the school’s first NCAA Division II firstteam All American and was the only quarterback in all of college football to pass for more 2,000 yards and rush for more than 1,000 last season. Polk led NCAA Division II’s top offense while carrying a 153.74 pass efficiency rating

after completing 65.7 percent of his passes (188-of-286) for 2,487 yards and 16 touchdowns. He threw just five interceptions. Polk also rushed for more than 1,000 yards for the secondstraight season finishing with 1,069 yards on 147 carries with a school-record 19 touchdowns. He also finished fourth in the nation with 322.6 total yards of offense, 12th in scoring with 10.4 points per game, 14th in pass efficiency rating at 153.7 and 32nd in rushing yards. Polk’s 3,556 yards of total offense in 2007 also stand as a school record. He finished his career as MSU’s all-time leader in rushing yards (3,560), total offense yards (8,276), touchdowns scored (44) and touchdowns accounted for with 82.

Patrick Johnston The Wichitan Daniel Polk laughs with teammates at the end of the game against Southwestern Oklahoma State University.

Softball team looks poised to defend conference championship Bobby Morris Sports Editor

A clutch RBI-single by third baseman Kristen Stonecipher into right-field in the top half of the seventh inning lifted the Lady Mustangs to a 3-2 victory over the No. 4 Angelo State Rambelles in the second game of the double-header to secure the third seed in the LSC postseason tournament. The victory also marked the

300th career win for MSU head coach Brady Tigert. Tigert is 190-93 (.671) in five seasons with the Lady Mustangs. Before coming to MSU, Tigert coached Texas A&M-Kingsville in three seasons to a 110-55 (.671) record. Senior Ashley Kuchenski paced the Lady Mustangs offense again as she extended her career-best hitting streak to twelve games with her fifth-

straight multi-hit outing. Catcher Lindsey Voigt led the game off with a line-drive double down the third base line, and then came in to score off of a Lauren Craig fielder’s choice. The Lady Mustangs then extended their early lead to 2-0 in the top of the fourth when sophomore pitcher Katie Peterson drove in Tabitha Yannetti on a sacrifice fly. Until the sixth inning, Peter-

son was pitching a shutout gem, then it seemed to unravel with a two-run double by Laura Lopez to tie the ballgame at 2-2. After getting down with only one out left in the final half inning in regulation, Maranda Bishop began a tough two-out rally. With Bishop on first after her single to left field, first baseman Jessica Rodriguez drilled a single up the middle to put the

go-ahead run in scoring position. Kristen Stonecipher then came up to bat and pounded the RBIsingle into right field and plated Bishop before Rodriguez was gunned out at third. The win improved the Lady Mustangs’ regular season record to 33-25 and secured the No. 3 seed for the North division in the LSC postseason tournament. The come-from-behind victory marked the 23rd win for

MSU ace Peterson. The Lady Mustangs will be looking to defend their LSC championship for the third-straight season as their first pitch is slated for 5 p.m. on Thursday at the Durant Multi-Sports Complex in Durant, Okla. Tarleton State will be squaring off against Midwestern State as they secured the No. 2 seed in the South division earlier last week.

we had to play well to at least have a chance and we had a great round today as a team.” Freshman of the year Travis Klutts led the way in the final round for the Mustangs with a team-best 3-under par round of 69. Klutts’s final round improved his final score to 215 (-1), good enough to place tenth overall. Senior Brady Jones wasn’t far behind thanks to an eagle on the final hole of the tournament to card a 2-under 70. After the completion of the tournament last Tuesday, the Mustangs had to anxiously wait for the announcement of the Super Regional participants until this past Friday. On Friday, however, the Mustangs were left out of the field of eight schools to qualify. This would have been their secondstraight appearance after last year’s record-setting campaign. It wasn’t all negative for the MSU golf program, however, as two of their individuals will be

heading to the Super Regionals to compete. Both Klutts and Jones were invited to participate, individually, at the Super Regionals. The Super Regionals will be held on May 5 in Austin at the Grey Rock Golf Club. Klutts earned a medalist spot

at the South/South Central Regional after averaging slightly over a 73 in 24 rounds of the ten tournaments he competed in. His season-best finish was second at the St. Edward’s Invitational before finishing fourth at the Texoma Championship. He will be joined by the senior

Jones who averaged a 75 in his 20 rounds and eight tournaments this season. His season-best finishes came at the Red River Intercollegiate and UCO/Kickingbird Classic where he finished tied for third both times. The winner of each regional and the top finishing individual

not on a winning team will advance to the Division II Spring National Championships Festival from May 14-17 in Houston. The finals will be hosted by Rice University and the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority.

Golf squad snubbed; Klutts, Jones invited to Super Regionals Bobby Morris Sports Editor

With their backs up against

the wall the MSU golf team fired their best round of the Lone Star Conference Championships, but it wasn’t quite enough for the team. This was the last time for teams to make some noise and make their bid to the NCAA Division II National Men’s Golf Committee, while they wait to select both the teams and individuals to compete in the annual NCAA Division II Super Regional held in Austin from May 5-7. After a steady but slightly disappointing 9-over par first round, the team fired a 3-under 285 to grab fifth place at the tournament, which was held at the Par-72, 7,194-yard WinStar Golf Course. “I feel we might have played our way into the regional,” MSU coach Jeff Ray said. “We knew

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Sports briefs Jeff Williams Update

• Jeff returned home this weekend on a day pass from the Neurorestorative Specialty Services Center in Tyler • On Midwestern State University’s athletics’ website their is an open letter from Jeff Williams and his family to the university in the community. Visit msumustangs.com to read the letter and click on the Jeff Williams’ icon to check for updates on his status.

Women’s Tennis • At one point the Lady Mustangs hed the lead in four matches on the court last Friday, however the No. 11 Northeastern State RiverHawks swept through the first five games to defeat the Lady Mustangs and drop their overall record to 10-8. • The Lady Mustangs now must wait until the final South Central Region rankings are announced this week in order to see if they will be competing in their eleventh-straight NCAA Division II national tournament.

Men’s Tennis •Last Friday, the No. 29 Mustangs battled the No. 13 Abilene Christian Wildcats. MSU was only able to claim to victories out of the match and ended up dropping to 12-7 on the season after the 5-2 loss. • The Mustangs now must wait until the final South Central Region rankings are announced this week in order to see if they will be competing in their eleventh-straight NCAA Division II national tournament.

Tennis News • Vjekoslav Stipanic was named the Freshman of the Year in the LSC. • Two Lady Mustangs were honored last Friday when the LSC announced their annual awards. Ann Sophie Indeherberge and Melissa dos Prazeres-Silva were named to the Commisioner’s Honor Roll for this past season. Two Mustangs were also honored on the All-Academic team. Travis Stgner and John Svard were both named to the All-Academic team last Friday.

“Let it Fly” • MSU will be hosting the Sixth Annual “Let it Fly” 7-on-7 Passing Championship. The event will be held on Saturday June 14 at the MSI Practice Fields. Teams will be places into groups in which they will play in a round-robin format. According to records, a single-elimination tornament will be set up and is set to begin at 3:30 p.m. • Early registration costs $170 and has to be recieved by June 2. Any teams registering after June 2 will need $220.


April 30, 2008