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Welcome to

Fashion inspired by the classic tale “Alice in Wonderland”

THE MAN & HIS MAGIC Magician, marketing director and Tech student, Elliot Terral explains how to balance a full schedule.

DRESSED FOR SUCCESS Whether on the job or in your hammock, we give you pointers to help you look your best.

NO. 1 | SUMMER/FALL 2014



20 18


17 23




4 | Trading Miles For Music Itching to hit the road and take in a few shows? We’ve done all the heavy lifting for you.

7 | Getting Into The Spirit Roma’s Italian Bistro barman Dustin Pullig divulges the secret to being successful behind the bar.

17 | Tattoo Taboo Model and Tech student Emily Prestridge speaks of balancing her two loves; modeling and body art.

5 | Rapper: K Levy Meet K. Levy, rapper who goes against the status quo.


18 | Ballin’ On A Budget Need to furnish your apartment or are you looking for a new look? Shopping at a thrift store can help you do both in one place for less.

HEALTH+FITNESS 6 | Let’s Get Fit! With resources like the Lambright Intramural Sports and Wellness center and the skilled fitness trainers that work there, what’s your excuse?

2 | SPEAK magazine

8 | Dressed For Success Whether on the job or in your hammock, we give pointers to help you look your best. 12 | Down The Rabbit Hole Fashion inspired by the classic tale “Alice in Wonderland.”

20 | Smoke & Mirrors Magician, marketing director and Tech student Elliot Terral explains how to balance a full schedule. 23 | Flyn’ Lions If you live in Ruston, chances are you’ve seen or met John Mitchell and his Flyn’ Lions.

From the Editor


eople practice journalism for different reasons.  Some are curious, others just want to be the first to know, but I became a journalist because I love it.  I love to write, I love to design pages and I love the satisfaction of starting with a blank page and finishing with a beautiful and creative layout.  Regardless of what others think, I believe journalism and the media are an art form, a way to express yourself, to let your creativity shine and to satisfy other people.  All three of these are my passions, which have led me to pursue a double major in journalism and merchandising and consumer studies.  I can remember the first time I opened an issue of Seventeen magazine, I was in the seventh grade and completely amazed.  The pictures seemed to jump off the page, and they alone told a story.  The colors evoked emotions deep and real, and the typography was beautiful and fluid.  It was at that moment that I decided I wanted to create something so mesmerizing that the reader just couldn’t look away.  Now here I am, eight years later, and that dream is coming true.  You hold in your hands the debut issue of Louisiana Tech’s new student magazine — Speak.  I am blessed to be its first editor-in-chief.  Our plan through this new publication is to provide the student body with a different type of media outlet.  Here, we plan to reach every student’s inner artist.  Whether it is through fashion or music or food or culture or entertainment or even exercise, we all have a way of expressing ourselves.  My dream is to inspire you to express yourself in your own creative way, and for you to immerse yourself in the enjoyment of everything that is entertainment.  Speak didn’t become the magazine’s name without any rhyme or reason.  It was chosen because that is the magazine’s purpose —to speak to you.



John Sadler Cody Sexton Ellie Moslander Ray Patterson Frededreia Willis Cody McElroy Ben Siegmund Brennen Lege


Deepanjan Mukhopadhyay


Devin Dronett Johnathan Courter


Michael LeBlanc Dr. Reginald Owens Dr. Judith Roberts T. Scott Boatright



Dr. Reginald Owens


Kelsy Kershaw Editor-in-Chief

© Views expressed in the magazine do not necessarily express the views of Louisiana Tech University. SPEAK Magazine welcomes letters to the editor. However, we reserve the right not to print anonymous letters. We also ask that each letter be accompanied by a telephone number, address, and classification or title. We will not print the telephone number or address. Direct all inquires to

portunity for learning and development of all qualified citizens without regard to race, sex, religion, color, national origin, age, disability, marital status, or veteran status for admission to, participation in, or employment in the programs and activities which the University sponsors or operates. For Title IX information, see University Policy #1445 at http:// policies-andprocedures/1445.shtm.

Louisiana Tech University is committed to the principle of providing the op-

SUMMER/FALL 2014 | 3

Music + Culture 36 HOURS




Hours from Ruston 6 HRS 30 M



Trading miles for the Music 15 HRS 30 M

With road trips, body paint and, of course, killer shows, festival season is upon us. Each year, both firsttime and veteran festival-goers face a huge dilemma. What festival is the best for me? Speak is here to give you the ins-and-outs of the major festivals across America, and to help you have that awesome festival experience you might have only heard about. Festivals

iHeartRADIO Festival

When September 19-20 Where Las Vegas Who’s playing? Usher, Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Nicki Minaj, Zac Brown Band, Bastille, One Direction, Iggy Azalea, Train Paramore, Calvin Harris, Lorde, Ed Sheeran

Austin City Limits

Fun Fun Fun Fest

When November 7 - 9 Where Austin Who’s playing? Judas Priest, Death From Above 1979, 2 Chainz, Ginuwine, Dinosaur Jr., The New Pornographers, Guided By Voices, City and Colour, Yo La Tengo, Run The Jewels, Modest Mouse, Neutral Milk Hotel, alt-J, Nas, Girl Talk, Wiz Khalifa

One Direction

When October 5 / 6 PM Where Miami - Sun Life Stadium

Bruno Mars

When October 17 / 8 PM Where Las Vegas - The Cosmopolitan

Black Keys

When October 3-5 and 10-12 Where Austin Who’s playing? Eminem, Pearl Jam, Outkast, Skrillex, Beck, Calvin Harris, Lana Del Rey, Foster the People, Zedd, Childish Gambino, Broken Bells, The Avett Brothers


When October 18 / 7 PM Where Brooklyn - Barclays Center

Katy Perry

When September 19 / 7:30 PM Where Los Angeles - Staples Center

Ray Lamontagne

When October 26 / 7:30 PM Where Shreveport - Shreveport Municipal

Voodoo Experience

Drake / Lil Wayne


When October 31 and November 1-2 Where New Orleans Who’s playing? Foo Fighters, Outkast, Skrillex, Arctic Monkeys, Zedd, Slayer, Pretty Lights, Manchester Orchestra, Rise AgainstBleachers, Fishbone, Rebirth Brass Band 4 | SPEAK magazine

When September 27 / 7 PM Where The Woodlands


When October 5 / 6 PM Where New Orleans - House of Blues

When November 20 / 8 PM Where Chicago - United Center

Justin Timberlake

When November 20 / 8 PM Where Portland, OR - Moda Center

K. Levy Breaking the status quo

One man with one dream to change the negative stereotypes associated with hip hop and rap music


na fast paced world that glorifies sex, drugs, and violent behavior, it’s difficult to find someone who refuses to fulfill the status quo. K. Levy is just that. “I just feel like I’m different from a lot of the rappers most people know because all of my music is clean and positive.” That’s how 19-year-old-rapper, Kaelan Levy, describes himself. It is no secret that many “black” rappers are producing negative music for the upcoming generation. Too often there’s always a negative or disturbing image portrayed through the songs. But Levy breaks that stereotypical mindset about black rappers through his music. Levy is from Vacherie, and he’s been writing his own music since the age of 5. Levy goes by the stage name of K.Levy. He stated that he is on a mission to change the world through his music in a positive and inspiring way. With this mission he has started the K. Levy Movement. The movement is clear; Levy wants to be a positive role model through music for today’s generation. “It helps that I’m able to reach people through my music just by speaking directly to them,” Levy said. “I truly feel like I am a very unique rapper.” Teenagers are the major consum-

Words by FREDEDRIA WILLIS ers of rap music, according to New York Insomia, a news blogging site. They are exposed to the negativities and are more likely to act on the violence, a factor that affects males the most. As a result, we are seeing an increasing number of crimes and discrimination in our society due to rap music. “I’ve seen a lot of children who are going down the wrong path just because of the type of music that they listen to,” said Alice Willis, a behavioral interventionist. Willis explained how the hip hop or rap music is slowly taking over the black children’s outlook on life. “I’ve had students tell me ‘Well, Lil’ Boosie does it, or Lil’ Wayne does it’ and I always reassure them that it’s not the correct behavior if you want to truly be successful in life.” Kanye West, Russell Simmons, Jay Z and other rappers have “sold out the black community” by promoting the very worst that the black community has to offer, according to Your Black Bloggers, blogging site. This has had a rippling effect and contributed to spawning an entire generation of unemployable black males. “I never curse in my music, I don’t sag and I don’t have any tattoos,” Levy said. “That’s very rare these days in the hip hop community. Those are some areas where I feel like I stand out.” The problem with rap and hip-hop isn’t really the music. Music is a good

Photos courtesy of K. LEVY

thing. Rap and hip-hop music, rock music, soul music, jazz, classical, It’s all good, according to The Architects of Rap, a book by Leslie Tato that takes a critical look at hip-hop culture and its impact on African Americans. The problem is the words and images that are woven into them. And in the case of rap and hip-hop we all are quite aware of what those words and images are: glorification of criminal behavior, promiscuity, drugs, and images consisting of the ugliest, most degrading black stereotypes. “Kaelan’s music is the rap I would let my children listen to in class when we’re having a free day,” Willis said. “It gives me peace knowing that I don’t have to monitor the music while it’s playing. Our children need guidance from their parents, teachers and their favorite item, music.” Levy believes that without our youth, there is no future, so he feels like it is up to him to step up to the plate. His fans said his music is powerful, inspirational, energetic, and unique and overall, full of hope. Levy is “Spitting reality raps in a positive light,” said Todd Samuel, a fan of the K.Levy Movement. “There is no greater feeling than being able to touch and inspire others by doing what I love to do most,” Levy said. “My lyrics are the clearest evidence of my intent to enlighten people and promote change for a great world.”

SUMMER/FALL 2014 | 5



t’s staring at you right now. Hidden behind the shade of a rainy spring, summer sits waiting to take its place among the Louisiana sky. Here, summer means long— hot days that can make sweat flow faster than you can read this sentence. We do live in “sportsman’s paradise,” and as such are offered a variety of escapes from summer’s cruel sun. With everything from waterparks and swimming pools, to rivers and bayous, at some point everyone jumps in, and most people want to look good doing it. That means hitting the gym and watching what you eat. Not sure where to start? No worries. Ian Orten, a member of the fitness staff at Lambright Intramural Center, suggests starting off with a simple plan. “If you’re just starting out, go to the gym two to three times a week for no more than thirty minutes to an hour at a time just so you can get acclimated to it,” Orten said. Orten believes that by taking it slow, you allow your body to become acclimated to working out on a regular basis. As much as we’d like going to the gym to be the end all be all, it’s not, Orten said. In fact, it may not even be the most important aspect to getting that beach body, suggests Parker Temple, also a member of the fitness staff at Lambright. “Just coming to the gym once, twice, even five times a week, it doesn’t matter if you’re not giving your body the proper foods and you’re not doing your cardio,” Temple said. Orten and Temple both agree that getting in shape is not a quick fix. “It’s not a one-stop shop,” said Temple. “You can’t come to the gym and pump iron three times a week and get fit.” It is going to take time and some wait until the last minute to try and get an overnight makeover. “We see a lot of people start to come in during the spring,”

Ian Orten Parker Temple


More than just a summer fad Words by RAY PATTERSON Photos by DEEPANJAN MUKHOPADHYAY Orten said. Temple thinks the reason people wait is clear. “I think it’s plain and simple,” Temple said. “In our society there is such a thing as social physique anxiety and we do worry about what other people see.” “Nobody wants to put in the hard work. Nobody wants to start in September and work their butts off. Everybody thinks there is a quick-fix to fitness and it doesn’t work like that,” Temple said. Whatever the reason for procrastination, it is time to start. Fitness isn’t a fad, it is a lifestyle. “It has to be a lifestyle,” Orten said. “If you’re not going to make fitness a lifestyle then you’re not going to achieve the goals that you want to achieve.” So, where does one begin? You’re prepared to start going to the gym two to three times a week and you are ready to start eating healthy. “I am a firm believer that it is 80 percent diet and 20 percent gym,” Temple said. “While the gym is very important, if you want to get lean and lose body fat, you

have to be strict with your diet.” Subtle changes are stepping stones that lead to a healthier lifestyle. “Don’t drink your calories,” Orten said. Orten and Temple agree that drinking water over soft drinks is a simple, healthier alternative. Temple cautions that the ones who come in for the “summer fad,” are the ones who aren’t going to find success in their workout. “The ones who come in four to five times a week, who put in the work and eat healthy, the ones who say ‘this is not a diet, this is not a quick fix,’ these are the ones with the changes,” Temple said. Temple believes that more than a “beach body,” a healthy lifestyle is just that: a lifestyle. While exhausting images of weights and treadmills may be the first thought when you hear the words “fitness” and “healthy,” the importance of a diet is paramount, Temple said. “It doesn’t matter if you come in here and burn 500 calories, it doesn’t matter if you make the walls sweat and then you go home and eat six cheeseburgers,” Temple said. Temple insists diet is key and with this knowledge you have the keys to, at least, begin working toward much more than just a summer body, but a healthier life.

SUPERMAN POSE Step 1 - Begin laying flat on the floor (or a

yoga mat), arms extended in front of you and palms facing down.

6 | SPEAK magazine

Step 2 - In one motion, raise both your

Come on, get moving! Can’t seem to fit going to the gym into your schedule? Here are a few exercises you can do in your dorm room, apartment, the Quad or practically anywhere! BURPEES Step 1 - Begin in a crouched position with hands flat on the floor in front of you.

Step 2 - Kick your legs out from under

your body, assuming a push-up position.

Step 3 - Jump back to crouched position. Step 4 - Jump straight into the air with arms extended above your head. Upon landing, return back to a crouching position. Repeat steps 2-4. 1




MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS Step 1 - Begin in a push-up position with your back straight.

Step 2 & 3 - Alternate between pulling your right and left knees towards your chest. Repeat as many times as you can. 1



POWER JACKS Step 1 - Begin with your feet spread

shoulder width apart. Jump straight into the air with arms extended above your head and legs straight.

Step 2 & 3 - Land with your legs wider

than your shoulder width and crouch down into a squatting position with arms extended by your side.

Step 4 - Jump straight into the air with

arms extended above your head and legs straight. Repeat steps 2-4.


1 2


arms and legs as high as you can. Hold this pose for 2-3 seconds.

Step 3 - Lower arms and legs simultaneous ly back to the starting position. Rest for 2-3 seconds, then repeat step 2.


Getting into the

SPIRIT Roma’s Italian Bistro barman Dustin Pullig divulges the secret to being successful behind the bar Words by CODY McELROY Photos BY DEVIN DRONETT Hurricane Arbor contents 1. Rum-both gold and silver 2. Triple sec 3. Orange juice 4. Cranberry juice 5. Grenadine

Dustin Pullig

oma’s Italian Bistro has been on the corner of North Monroe Street and West Park Avenue since its establishment in February 2013. The restaurant and bar has attracted Ruston residents and Louisiana Tech students alike since then, including bar employee Dustin Pullig, a sophomore business major. “It’s more than just giving out food and handling drinks,” Pullig said. “I look forward to getting to see my regulars more than anything.” Pullig said he bartends, brings food to tables, cleans dishes and does pretty much anything other than managing or cooking. Bartending is his specialty, however, as he said he has been doing it around Ruston since 2009. Pullig described the uniqueness of bartending, how it is different from waiting tables, even though he works for tips. “It’s a lot more personal than just bartending,” Pullig said. “It’s more than just getting tips. You know their secrets, and they know yours.” Pullig said it is one of the best jobs he has had. “You get to meet a lot of people,” Pullig said. The word he used to describe the major uniqueness of his job from others was “networking.” “You never know who you’re meeting,” Pullig said. He said he has had customers come in who he had simple, pleasant conversations with, and the next day they came back and offered him a job somewhere. With skill, he often serves Roma’s two most popular drinks, the Hurricane Arbor and Big Easy Martini. In a quick minute, he can mix up the rum, triple sec and necessary juices comprising the Hurricane Arbor all while holding meaningful conversation with the customers. Pullig has been working at Roma’s since November 2013, but he says he feels completely comfortable already. He said the owners and management run the establishment like a family. He said that carries over to the employees, who all have a group text. On his birthday recently, he said his phone was blowing up with messages. “The owners actually care about employees,” Pullig said.

SUMMER/FALL 2014 | 7




o you have an job this fall? Are you feeling pressure to look your best all of the time? Jobs and internships are exciting and nerve racking all at once. They play an important role for your future career so you do not need to be stressing about what to wear. You need to be focused on your job. While you focus on your job, we will focus on ours and that’s making sure you are dressed to impress. FORMAL



s s e cc


u s or s



s by




If your job is very business-like and structured, you need a more formal look. Formal does not mean less comfort, so don’t worry. Guys, you can never go wrong with a black suit. Now I know that may seem boring but you have endless options for making it your own look. You can wear whatever color shirt you want with a matching tie, or if you want to “up” your formality, a bowtie. Mix and match prints and solids and give your suit some pizazz. Always make sure you have a pair of nice black dress socks and black dress shoes to cap off your look. Now ladies, you have a bit more to work with. You can go with a pant or skirt suit but that’s almost too safe. Embrace your inner fashionista and take a risk. Go for a sophisticated black dress and heels (pictured on next page) or even more adventurous with a printed dress or a chiffon top tucked into a faux leather skirt. And finish it off with a sleek and sassy pair of pumps. Don’t feel limited to pinstripes and polyester. Variety is your friend. When you step out of the box, you’ll feel more confident and perform to your highest potential.


So maybe your job or internship is not in the heart of the city. Your boss might prefer a less formal, more relaxed atmosphere. No worries, we’ve got you covered. Guys, you can go with khaki, navy, brown or white (pictured on next page) pants and if you are feeling adventurous, you can wear colored pants. Whichever you choose can be paired with a cotton button down with a linen sports jacket. Now ladies, again you have free reign. With semi dressy attire cottons, rayons and polyesters are your best friend. One example is a button down sheath dress with a belt and sandals or wedges (pictured). As far as colors, prints and textures, you can choose whatever you want.


Jobs and internships are not just about work. They are about the experience. You need to be equipped for down time. Comfort is the key with casual. Ladies, dependent on the weather, you can wear a crop top with high-waisted shorts (pictured). With casual and comfort, anything distressed, denim, cutoff, heathery, worn, cotton, spandex, graphic or something similar can be worn. The same goes for all you guys out there. Simple and subdues usually portrays casual. For example, a white button down with dark denim jeans as pictured. You could even wear a T-shirt. Opportunities are literally endless as today’s trends continue to take a casual spin.







Suit by Zara. Shirt and tie by Express. Shoes by Steve Madden.


Dress and shoes by White House | Black Market. Bag from Target.


Dress by Forever 21. Shoes from TJ Maxx.


Shirt by Express. Pants by Edge by WD.NY. Shoes by Sperry. Glasses by RayBan.

10 | SPEAK magazine



5 6




Shirt by H&M. Pants by Levi Strauss & Co. Shoes by Sperry.



Daisy top by Forever 21. Shorts by TJ Maxx. Sunglasses by TJ Maxx. SUMMER/FALL 2014 | 11

FASHION INSPIRED BY the classic tale alice in wonderland With spring turning into summer, we are able to watch the weather and wildlife change, filling gardens, parks and yards with warmth and bright-colors. It’s like a summery wonderland. So it’s a no brainer why this issue feature’s a fashion wonderland. The bold colors, eclectic prints, soft eyelets and laces, chambray and seer sucker are all reflective of the feelings evoked by a sweet Louisiana summer.


Dress by Baileygirl. Sandals by Kelly and Katie. Necklace by Tiffany & Co. Shirt by Express. Pants by Edge by WD.NY. Bow tie by Countess.

Dress by Trixxi. Pearl necklace by Ann Taylor. Watch by Fossil. Shoes by “Y-Not?”. Top and skirt by H&M. Necklace by Rodeo Boutique. Shoes by BCBG.

14 | SPEAK magazine

Shirt by Frank & Oak. Blazer by Paisley & Gray Pants by Levi Strauss & Co. Shoes by Sperry.

(far left and left)

Top,skirt & bangles by H&M. Sunglasses by Betsey Johnson. Pearl necklace by Ann Taylor Loft. Watch from Fossil. Shoes by Bamboo. Sun glasses by Toms. (left and bottom)

Shirt by Express. Shorts by Hawkings McGill Shoes by Sperry. Sun glasses by Toms.

Dress by Daniel Crumiex. Shoes by BCBG Necklace by Beehive Outlet.


Dress by City Triangles. Shirt by Express. Pants by Zara. Bow tie by Ben Sherman.


Tattoo Words by BEN SIEGMUND



slender, fair-skinned girl steps to the front of her university classroom and prepares to deliver her assigned how-to speech. She wears slim-fitting black sweatpants, cutting off right above her ankles so her classmates get a peek of her not-so-white vintage high-top converses. The gray cardigan over her fitted long-sleeve shirt is anything but ordinary in the piney hills of North Louisiana where camouflage is not only the go-to pattern but also a considered color scheme. Her unique ensemble grabs the attention of the room, but what she says next turns heads: “My name is Emily Prestridge, and today I’m going to teach you how to care for your tattoos.” Emily, 19, is from West Monroe — about a 25-minute drive from theLouisiana Tech campus in Ruston where she is a speech major. Louisiana is in the middle the tightly-buckled Bible belt of the southern United States. Even her speech professor remarks that she doesn’t seem to be the “type” to have a single tattoo, much less four of them. This neither surprises, nor bothers her. She shrugs it off, saying that it’s common for older men (including her father) to find distaste in her form of self-expression. “All my tattoos are able to be covered up …. for now,” she adds with a smirk. At one time, tattoos were only seen among societal outcasts and this odium still gives pause to potential employers in many hiring processes. However, with more sanitary and surgical-like techniques, tattoos are now more popular than ever. The newfound prominence also invites more personal inking ideas; tattooing is art and the human body is a medium. Just like unique and recognizable bodily features, tattoos add a creative twist to the already complex shell of the human soul. As an aspiring actress and model, it is important for Emily to have tattoos that can easily be covered with articles of clothing, makeup or Photoshop. However, Emily dreams of the day that she works for a high-end fashion magazine where she can flaunt her body’s masterpieces on visible places like her wrist or forearm. Emily is proud that she designed all four of her tattoos; from the simple dime-sized heart on the inside of her

Photo by Jamie Frayser

Model and Tech student, Emily Prestridge, speaks of balancing her two loves: modeling and body art.

ing an extensive symbolic garden while still being a full-time student and an active member in her Kappa Delta sorority. Although she has blossomed, she knows that to continue and extend her exposure, she must middle finger to do like star-hungry Americans Photos by Hunter Leone “Proverbs 17:17” writhave has done for the last 10o ten in Braille on the back of her neck. years. and move west to Los Angeles. “Tattoos are supposed to be origiThis decisive and risky move will only nal,” she asserts. This statement makes work if her talent is the rarest whilst perfect sense coming from a former art also the strongest, just like the yellow major. Like her fellow students in her diamond tattooed on her right bicep. speech class, Emily realizes her unique “A (yellow diamond) describes me sense of style and art aren’t typical in pretty well … and it doesn’t hurt that the piney hills of Ruston — hence, the Rihanna sings about ‘yellow diamonds intricate black-and-white rose tattoo on in the light,’” she says smiling, recalling her back right shoulder. one of her favorite artists — who also is “I got (the tattoo) after I was comknown for her prominently inked body. plaining of having to stay in North As she mentioned before, she is aware Louisiana for college,” she said. “My boss of the social stigma against tattoos. told me, ‘Bloom where you’re planted.’” Many people, especially women, are She has done just that. denied jobs because of tattoo visibility The last quarter of her sophomore and placement. year, she has already compiled a quite “Some people feel as though tattoos impressive portfolio. Aside from having make women less feminine and vulnerthe supporting role as Madison in the able and that’s frowned upon in a malelocally-filmed movie “New Hope,” she dominant workplace,” she says. But she has twice been featured on the cover of also sees a silver lining for all tattooed the regional fashion magazine Bayou feminists: “I believe we are ‘in the gap’ Life. Her feature appearances have of a coming generation with more accaught the attention of the world-famed ceptance toward (tattooed women in Three Nails Photography based out of the workplace)” and with that hopeful Shreveport — only an hour away from insight into the future of the female job Ruston. So not only has Emily bloomed atmosphere, she begins to follow her where she was planted, but is now creatdream.

SUMMER/FALL 2014 | 17


Lamp $10

Throw $1 Vases .50 Outfit $5


Sofa $75

$5 Books $1 per


Shoes $5


Need to furnish your apartment or are you looking for a new look? Shopping at a thrift strore can help you do both in one place for less. Words by ELLIE MOSLANDER


Shoes, toys, clothing and furniture are some of the items scattered around the warehouse as volunteers laugh and talk with each other while sorting through them. “There is organization behind all of this chaos,” said David Abernathy, director for Rolling Hills, while walking through the warehouse. The volunteers section off different items in the warehouse and place them in which section they belong. There is a clothing area, furniture and even a section just for Christmas. In the outskirts of the city of Ruston is the Rolling Hills Ministry Thrift Store where people will find more than just clothes and items. When guests enter the thrift store, they are greeted by a sign with the ministry’s motto: “Making a difference in the world one person at a time.” Abernathy said this is the motto for the ministry. Along with disaster relief and park ministry, the thrift store exists to provide another ministerial aspect. The disaster relief helps people during emergencies as: hurricanes, tornadoes, fires and other kinds of disaster. The parks ministry holds worship services in various national parks. The thrift store also helps people through providing inexpensive items, Abernathy said. “Anyone can shop; it is wide open to the community,” Abernathy said. Abernathy said the store can impact Louisiana Tech students in many different ways. Abernathy said the thrift store provides inexpensive clothing and furniture for students on a budget. There is also opportunity for employment. Abernathy said the ministry aims to offer jobs for students now and keep them throughout their college careers. Addie Crosby, a Tech graduate, has been working for Rolling Hills for more than three years. She said she helps out wherever it is needed. “You definitely see the poverty side of Ruston, and you see the wealthy side of Ruston,” she said. “A lot of people, even though they’re wealthy, want to save every penny, so they come here and shop.” She said it is a good place for college students to shop because of the cheap prices. “It’s cheap; we have all sorts of random stuff,” she said. “Fraternities and sororities really like to come here and get their outfits for their parties and fundraisers and things like that.” Chris Albritton, also a Tech graduate, works for the ministry. He began as a college student, working mainly in the thrift store. “I like the disaster relief end the most; you get to do a lot of different things,” he said. Albritton coordinates the state park ministry, tracks volunteer hours and helps with disaster relief. He said the thrift store is a good place for college students to shop for cheap clothes. “If students are moving into another house or something, we have good prices on furniture,” he said. There are community service opportunities through volunteering for the store and the other ministries. Students

Curling Iron $5

Dress $10

can also donate items they no longer need. The ministry presents students with numerous opportunities to be involved and help the community. “We have a bunch of college students that come out here to get their community service hours,” Albritton said. Abernathy said many college students shop at the store because of the cheap prices. The vintage section in particular is popular and tends to run out fast, he said. The store itself is one large room with rows of clothes organized at the front of the building. Each row of clothing is labeled accordingly and further back is where furniture, toys and an assortment of items are found. Items such as household decorations and arts and craft material are on small shelves. A small room on the left side of the store is filled with books and DVDs. There is a selection of cassette tapes as well, which have become a rarity in today’s digital world. In addition to the shopping area, much goes on behind the scenes. Entering the left-hand side of the building there is a sign that reads “Authorized Personal Only.” Behind these doors volunteers and employees work for hours sorting through donations, Abernathy said. In the back of the building is a kitchen where food is provided for volunteers and workers. The area also stores disaster relief equipment such as laundry, shower and food units. “We have a feeding unit that can do 25,000 meals a day,” Abernathy said. The ministry has trained more than 1,000 trained volunteers for the disaster relief program, he said. He said all of the volunteers and workers are dedicated and are like family to him. Jean Kennedy has volunteered for 11 years. Abernathy said she came to the door as they were putting the roof on the store. She was looking for a way to help before the ministry even opened. “It’s been a blessing all the way,” Kennedy said. She said one of her favorite things

about working there is seeing the good things that come through it. She always enjoys hearing people compliment the store. “You hear them all the time saying, ‘I’m addicted to this store,’” she said. “I think we do a lot of good; we fill a real need.” Abernathy said anyone can volunteer. Individuals can come ask to meet with the staff and get plugged in. In addition to volunteers, there are paid employees as well. Abernathy said the profits from the store go to local ministries. “It has supported our disaster relief,” he said. “We could not have done anything disaster-relief wise hardly without the income off of the thrift store.” They are also beginning a food ministry and plan to build another thrift store in Shreveport. “You see it all,” Abernathy said. “I don’t think a lot of people realize that there is a tremendous need in Lincoln Parish and the parishes surrounding here.” The thrift store is unique because it is in a rural area and not in the center of town. “The good thing about it is we are very blessed, because the people who donate make this ministry,” Abernathy said. “People are very generous in this area.” The store receives donations for everything. Abernathy said they run a pickup truck within a 45-mile radius of Ruston and a drop-off room that is open 24 hours. “There is a huge influx of items in May from students,” Abernathy said. The profit from the store funds charitable ministry and a lot of it stays local. It can even support disaster relief so the ministry will be able to go to places all around the country. “Every day is different,” Abernathy said. “It’s not just the people you work with, it’s the people who shop in the store you build relationships with them. It’s the people that you’re able to help, be it disaster relief, through the thrift store or out in the parks.”

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At 14, Elliott Terral was excited to show off his first magic trick to his family. The trick involved creating an illusion that one card could change into another. From the moment he saw his family members’ astonished reactions, Terral has been hooked on magic.


oday, the 21-year-old Terral, a senior marketing major from West Monroe, has earned the opportunity of a lifetime: getting his degree in college without giving up on being a magician. His knowledge of business marketing and a dash of good fortune have landed him in the vice president of sales and marketing position at Dan & Dave, one of the biggest magical goods companies in the country. The opportunity for Terral to blend both magic and marketing came to him during the San Diego Magic-Con event he attended in 2011. Since 2010, the convention has brought together aspiring and popular magicians, marketing gurus

and software developers from around the nation, all for the sake of celebrating their craft and pushing the field in better directions. The event was created by large-scale magic merchandise distributor Dan & Dave, a California-based company which was founded in 2001. Dan & Dave has steadily found success since ‘01, currently selling its merchandise on an international scale. Terral recalls running into company owners Dan and Dave Buck at the convention three years ago. “I was able to meet Dan and Dave and sort of become friends with them,” Terral said of his first encounter with the Buck brothers. Through social media he began turning a casual relationship into a business one.

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weeting back and forth became texting back and forth became a phone call saying, “‘Hey, we are expanding and we would like you to come onboard,’” Terral said. At the time the Buck brothers were looking to expand their brand and needed someone skilled in marketing to take a position alongside them. Terral now handles businessto-business collaborations across the nation like online clothing sites Touch of Modern and Huckberry in order to bring new opportunities for Dan & Dave. Terral said the reason he loves exploring fashion in particular is because of how integral it is in how he presents his magical acts. “When people think ‘magician,’ they usually think of a birthday magician in one of those sequined vests along with outrageous colors,” Terral said, laughing. “The vast majority of the magic fraternity isn’t like that at all. If I take the time to prepare my appearance, then I’m mentally preparing myself too,” he said. “That means I’m going to dress to the nines, and be sophisticated and professional. If I take time to take care of my appearance, it translates that I take time to take care of my performance.” No one knew at the time that the sharply-dressed kid who bumped into the Buck brothers during the 2011 Magic-Con would walk into the same convention three years later as the vice president of sales and marketing for their company. Even Terral was in awe of how fortunate his trip to the convention ended up being. “I was just a kid from Louisiana who did card tricks,” Terral said, explaining his motivations. “People are so familiar with the notion that the people they look up to would never give them the time of day. You just have to put yourself into the situations where it would occur, and then follow through with your passion.” Growing up, Terral’s parents took him to a David Copperfield show, inspiring him to want to learn more. “It’s two sides of the same coin,” Terral said. “You get into magic because you’re amazed and mystified, but you want to know how it works. You stay in magic because once you know how it works; you want to make others feel amazed.” When Terral got to visit his first magic shop, his interest in magic snowballed. Terral bought magic books, playing cards, rubber bands and coins, which he says further developed his craft. Soon his parents began to worry that their son spent too much time in his magic guides and not in his textbooks, and suggested he put away magic and move on from it. Terral’s heart con-

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People think that it’s a power play. My whole goal is not to say I’m smarter than you because I can do these things and you can’t. I just want to share an experience with someone. Make that person’s day a little better.

vinced him otherwise. He honed his craft, and continued his acts into his adulthood. Terral also wastes no time dispelling misconceptions that surround magicians and the magic profession at large. “People think that it’s a power play. My whole goal is not to say I’m smarter than you because I can do these things and you can’t. I just want to share an experience with someone. Make that person’s day a little better.” As Terral’s graduation date looms nearer, he does not get to perform as much magic as he used to. Most days he is busy in his studies, limiting the time he gets to perform for friends and small crowds. Terral still finds time to pick up the cards every now and then, spending his free time practicing new tricks and posting them onto his YouTube channel from his apartment. After graduating this winter, Terral says he plans on continuing his work with Dan & Dave. “I’ll do a paid gig every once in a while but I’m getting my degree in marketing now and that’s what I want to do,” Terral said, and he strongly urges anyone with a passion to explore it like he did and not look back. “If you have a passion, and there’s an outlet for your passion, explore that,” Terral said. “Dive into it no matter what people say.”

two years Mitchell decided to leave Tech and Ruston. “I decided to spread my adventurous wings and I moved away,” he said. From Ruston, Mitchell traveled to Vale, Colorado, where he worked odd jobs that ranged from working a grill to being a nanny to the children of the ambassador of Denmark. Mitchell bounced between Louisiana, Colorado, Texas and California before he was offered a job in Cancun as an emcee at Margaritaville. It was while traveling there he met and fell in love with a woman named London. After some time in Cancun, the two decided to travel back to Austin, Texas. “The drive back was beautiful,” Mitchell said. “We drove through the forests, and the scenery was amazing.” This was the time Mitchell decided he wanted a dog, specifically, a Pomeranian. When he finally found someone with a Pomeranian puppy, Mitchell said it was like destiny had brought him to the dog. “When we I held him for the first time he stood in my hand,” he said. “He’s been standing in my hand since he was 8 weeks old.” Thus, the legend of the duo John Mitchell and Sir Austin Rebel was born. The two have gained fame by performing in and attending events like the Nashville Christmas Parade, the Sundance Film Festival, the X Games in Aspen and the 2006 Winter Olympics in Italy. While living in Nashville, Mitchell skated on his long board while balancing Austin on his arm to the cheers of the crowd. “We ended up crashing the Nashville Christmas Parade,” he said. “But the audience was so receptive to what we were doing that we were asked to be in it the next year.” Mitchell said the audience acted as a cheering wave when he and Austin skated by. Words by CODY SEXTON In Venice Beach, where Mitchell said everyone is in show business, he would skate the Photo by DEVIN DRONETT length of the beach balancing Austin and as in Nashville, people were receptive. “We know people in Central Casting, we’ve been featured on the Travel Channel,” Mitchell said. “Austin was even in a movie with Joey Lawrence called ‘Hit List.’” Also, while in Venice Beach, Mitchell and Austin expanded their family with another ohn Mitchell is proof that big things can come Pomeranian, Brandy. from a small town. “Austin balances on my arm but Brandy’s talent is she is our The Ruston native has done things in his satellite,” he said. “She sticks with us and keeps track of us.” life not many from his hometown can say the Mitchell said he believes it is destiny that has kept them same about. However, even after living a selftogether, even after Austin was stolen three times, the longest proclaimed rock star lifestyle in Venice Beach time missing being a year. It was not until one bad week he with his Pomeranian Austin or working at Club was missing Ausin he sought divine intervention. Med in Cancun, Ruston’s small town charm “I knew he would come back because I knew after everybrings Mitchell home. thing we’d been through it wasn’t going to end this way,” he “It’s crazy out there in the world,” he said. said. “Once night I just prayed hard that Austin would come “It’s nice to come back to Ruston where the pace is slower.” home, and the next day I got the call.” He can always count on Ruston’s familiarity to be nice Now back in Ruston, Mitchell can be seen skating across change of pace. Mitchell was born and raised in Ruston by his Tech’s campus with Austin, Brandy and now their newest admother, who was a student at Tech. His love for Tech started dition, Royal Rebel Junior Jr. at a young age when he would spend time on the campus Mitchell has since traded in his rock star lifestyle for one of while his mother was in class. healthy living and teaches kickboxing at the Lambright and is “The campus was my playground,” he said. “I used to take quick to tell anyone why drinking Cokes are bad for you. the broken tiles from the Lady of the Mist to maintenance in He enjoys being back in Ruston where he has settled and my little red wagon.” hopes to come back to Tech to get his degree. After graduating from Ruston High School in 1987, Mitch“I just realized just how important Tech is to me,” he said. “I ell attended Tech on a theater scholarship, but after only was born and raised here.”

If you live in Ruston, chances are you’ve seen or met John Mitchell and his...


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Profile for SPEAK magazine

Speak Magazine Summer/Fall 2014  

SPEAK Magazine is a published quarterly by students in the Louisiana Tech University department of journalism

Speak Magazine Summer/Fall 2014  

SPEAK Magazine is a published quarterly by students in the Louisiana Tech University department of journalism