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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6, 2016 • VOL. 43, NO. 6 • WWW.HCCEGALITARIAN.COM • @HCC_EGALITARIAN

A beautiful struggle: Elisa Cardenas see On Campus, Page 2

Binge-watching gold

Nuggets of wisdom

see Culture, page 10

see Community, Page 4

I am my brother’s keeper JimmiekA mills THE EGALITARIAN

Looking for a job based on your experience while still in school is difficult to say the least. Most employers want you to have some sort of hands-on experience before they are willing to make an investment in you. Usually to gain such experience, students would have to essentially volunteer their time with an organization which will consider their experience as an internship. Internships are usually unpaid which poses another obstacle for most students. How do you cover your mounting expenses when all your extra time is tied up in rendering free services? What if I told you there was a program that will allow you to gain that hands on experience while paying you for your time? One organization is not only employing students, but is also preparing students for one of the fastest growing industries in the world. iEducate USA is a nonprofit organization that places STEM students from colleges and universities in classrooms with elementary school kids in an effort to engage them in math and science. “We take undergrad and graduate students from colleges and universities around the area and we embed them in the classroom during regular classroom hours,” says Dr. Roopa Gir, President and

Courtesy of Arun Gir Maria Ruiz iEducate tutor at Crockett Elementary School CEO of iEducate. “They do roughly 10 hrs to sometimes a maximum of 20 hours a week. It depends on what the course load is, and they get paid $12 an hour.” Although colleges and universities offer work-study programs as well, iEducate has seen a difference in their tutors vs those involved in programs other than iEducate. “We feel that our tutors and community members are a bit more engaged. Our tutors are in the classrooms every day of the week, and many are actually going a grade above with the students,” said Amir

Eskafyan, iEducate Outreach Director. Tutors are referred to as Master Teachers by iEducate staff. They are gaining much more than a paycheck while in the classrooms with students. “I have grown a lot since joining iEducate. I am more confident about myself, given the fact that I have inspired many kids to study and become someone in life,” says Andres Restrepo, a University of Houston Biology major and iEducate tutor at Blackshear Elementary school. He adds, “I have been able to appreciate a lot more the power of education.”

The tutors are fully engaged with students and are extremely close with faculty and staff at the participating schools. This has led iEducate to take a different approach than when the organization first started in 2013. “By the requests of teachers and students, we kept certain tutors with the classroom or with a particular teacher not just as a benefit for the students, but iEducate is serving a huge benefit to the teachers,” says Dr. Gir. With teacher to student ratios growing, the need for more support in the classrooms are proving to be vital for early student success. Especially in the areas of math and science where only 45 percent of high school graduates are ready for college math and 30 percent for science. “You would be surprised. There are many students a Blackshear that are gifted and talented. But there is only one teacher in the classroom,” says Dr. Gir. Although iEducate’s goal is to increase students engagement and understanding of math and sciences, Eskafyan says they have noticed much more. “These students and tutors are forming extremely strong relationships to where, it’s not just a tutor at that point, it’s more of a mentor. These bonds formed pretty organically without direction from us.” iEducate’s platform has seen success for many reasons. “Someone who is a little closer to age

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Non-profit, pocket friendly JimmiekA mills THE EGALITARIAN

“With our college textbooks, we have saved 674,000 students $66 million since 2012, and will save 392,000 students $39 million this academic year alone,” noted Dani Nicholson, the Associate Director of Marketing and Communications at OpenStax. OpenStax is Rice University’s non-profit educational materials and technology initiative. They provide free, peerreviewed content that covers the standard scope and sequence requirements for introductory college courses. Essentially, the concepts of courses like algebra, biology, calculus and psychology to name a few. Founded in 1999 by Rice University’s electrical

engineering Professor Richard Baraniuk, OpenStax was originally named Connexions. OpenStax began as an Open Educational Resource (OER) repository where faculty around the world could publish, share, and remix educational materials. OpenStax has since expanded its offerings by not only providing a library that hosts thousands of pieces of educational content, but also by providing a line of free, peer-reviewed textbooks for introductory college courses and by developing personalized learning technology. The College Board’s estimation that the average cost of books and supplies is at $1,364 for the 2015-2016 semester reveal that more affordable textbook options are essential to student success. For many students, going

without the required textbook is simply not an option. “I can go online and download information that is equivalent to the information in the textbook my teacher wants us to have, but my math and science classes require me to submit my homework online and the access codes still cost me over $100! That is outrageous,” said Kevin Jacobs, an engineering major at Houston Community College. One barrier to adoption of open source material is the need for homework websites. Many of the required textbooks students must have for class also require online access to homework materials. These requirements are mandatory, so many students who are hoping to use an open source text instead of the required text will still need to

Courtesy of Rice University Richard Baranick, Director of OpenStax, sitting among five of many college text books that are avalible through the program. spend money for homework website access. OpenStax created a solution for costly homework sites as well. “OpenStax has partnerships with online homework providers such as Sapling Learning and WebAssign,” Nicholson explains, “These partners, called Allies, provide optional, lowcost additional resources that

integrate with OpenStax books.” If these partnerships are utilized by instructors, they allow students not only access to the free online content, but also allows them to be able to submit homework online. All this without students, who are already on a tight budget, having SEE

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A beautiful struggle: Elisa Cardenas AlyssA Foley

THE EGALITARIAN “I came from a broken home. I really didn’t have guidance. My parents never really got along, and so me and my sister suffered in-between,” recalled Elisa Cardenas, who experienced homelessness at 17. Growing up, “I felt like I didn’t have a place in the world—an identity to actually call my own.” “I’ve been through a lot of life experiences that have kind of broken me down as a person, but I never lost hope, and I never lost any of my beliefs and be like those who had the guidance.” Despite not having guidance, Cardenas says “I always yearned to go to school and be somebody because I knew that was the key to be successful, and people will look at you in a better light.” Cardenas is half Peruvian and half Italian, a first-generation American, and a first generation college student at Houston Community College. Although Cardenas comes from a Christian background, she explains that, “Through my journey, I found God and I chose Islam...it has actually let me to where I am today because Islam encourages you to seek knowledge. I felt like I was blessed to be given the opportunity to enter school despite my struggles.” Cardenas says that she always tells herself that, “It’s OK to have struggles, but it’s not OK to give up at all.” “When I became Muslim, my whole world changed,” reflects Cardenas, “I’m just thankful to God that he’s giving me what he’s giving me right now and I just hope in the future that God blesses me to actually be a difference to other people. To help those that are in suffering because I have been through that. And without service to other people, my degree doesn’t mean anything—at all.” Cardenas plans to become a dentist. “In my future, I’m not just looking to start a practice. I’m looking to service those

who are less fortunate.” She wants to start a non-profit organization called Bishallah Smiles. She explained that it would have a team of specialists who would service people in poverty-stricken areas. “I have big dreams, and I hope that God will see me through and put me in a place to be a service to people,” says Cardenas, “for me it’s really important to have that so I can enter heaven.” Her husband is also an HCC student studying political science. They recently welcomed a four-month-old daughter. “She’s been a blessing and a joy,” says Cardenas, “She is just another reason for me to continue to have inspiration; to be able to provide for her and to show her things that I was never able to experience: love, mercy, guidance and encouragement to seek knowledge.” “No one can see my face actually when I go to school,” she wears a veil which covers her entire face except for her eyes. “When I wear my Niqab,” Cardenas laughs, “people assume that I’m part of ISIS, but I’m really not. I cover myself because God says a woman should preserve her beauty for her husband, and that’s what I do. It separates all misconceptions of men looking at me wrong or trying to be attracted to me.” “My husband is the one to be blessed to see me.” However, Cardenas explained that her husband, “doesn’t make me cover my face. I chose to cover it.” When people are quick to judge based on her Niqab, Cardenas says “I always encourage people to seek knowledge. Question everything that you know, because if you don’t you could always be in the wrong. I encourage people to not only ask questions, but if you happen to be the one to ask, to read about it. Have an open dialogue with people that you’re curious about or that unsure of. Know truth, that’s what Islam tells us.” Cardenas is a full-time, active student at HCC. She is involved with the HCC

Image by Tri Tran HCC student Elisa Cardenas’ faith motivates her to pursue her dreams to serve those less fortunate. Model U.N. organization, a member of the International Student Chamber of Commerce and a member of the STEM Club at Northwest. She was also just invited to join two honor societies: Phi Theta Kappa and The National Society of Collegiate Scholars. “It’s been really a unique experience

being involved in those organizations, and it shapes your focus. Those types of organizations give me an opportunity to actually pinpoint what you want to do with yourself,” says Cardenas, “I’m excited to be a part of HCC, and I hope that people in the future are encouraged to get into those societies.”

Classifieds and tidbits from around HCC Photography Exhibit opens at Northwest. Hosted by: HCC Northeast “My View – My City: The Ray Carrington Collection.” Faculty and students are invited to attend a lecture and view the works at 11:30am, Wednesday April 6, at the Northeast Campus, 555 Community College Drive, 77013. The art exhibition will run from April 6 – May 6. Viewing is available Mondays through Thursdays, 1-5 pm and Fridays by appointment. Call 713-718-8300. Biology and Physical Sciences Career Fair Biology and Physical Science Career Fair will include HCC Alumni Roundtables where students will share their success stories and offer advice. Hosted by the Science Club on April 7 from 10 am to 1 pm at HCC Central Learning

Hub room 100. Where Are You From? Workshop on Culture, Class and Other Identities. Southeast Campus Angela Morales Lecture Hall, April 7 at 11am. Melanie Espinosa Pang, 29, is a queer Asian American woman who believes she can achieve social justice through connection and innovation— and a lot more vulnerability. She’ll share her adventures and challenges in self-acceptance around culture, gender, and sexuality, and we’ll discuss how these growing identities shift the way the world sees us—and how we see the world. Central Theatre: ‘Mauritius’ Stamp collecting is far more risky than you think. After their mother’s death, two estranged half-sisters discover a book of rare stamps that may include the crown jewel for

collectors. Shows Thursday April 7 through Saturday April 9 at 7:30pm. Tickets: $7 & $10. HCC Central Mers Stage, Theatre One (3517 Austin 77004). Contact: 713-718-6600 Student Open Mic Poetry Slam. The West Loop Student Library Advisory Council will be hosting a Poetry Slam for National Poetry Month in April, featuring poets from within the HCC student body. Student-poets can take this opportunity to showcase their talent. The event will be held April 11 from 4-6pm at the West Loop campus library. Registration is still open, contact W202214131@student. hccs.edu or 713-718-7880. Small Business Tech Expo The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Alumni will be hosting the 2016 Small

Business Expo to provide an opportunity for small business owners to learn from and engage with technology providers that support business growth. April 20 at 7:30am at HCC West Loop Campus. Art Spring 2016 Juried Student Art Exhibitions HCC student’s artwork in painting, drawing, photography, metalworking, ceramics and more will be judged and awarded in categories based on art type and class. Central, the Juried Art Exhibition Reception will be Tuesday, April 19, 6-8pm with awards announced at 7pm. The artwork will be on display April 19 - May 3 in Gallery, Fine Arts Center (3517 Austin St.). At HCC Southwest, the Juried Student Art Exhibit Reception will be on Thursday, April 21, 6-8pm with Awards

announced at 7pm. The artwork will be on display April 21- May 4 at the Stafford campus Fine Arts Center (9910 Cash Road). Both are free events. Contact: 713-718-7700. Career & Employment Fair The “Hire an Eagle” Career and Employment Fair is a great opportunity for HCC alumni and students to connect with area employers under one roof in Midtown Houston. The career fair will also feature a series of pre-event workshops on related topics including job fair etiquette, interviewing tips, resume writing and more to prepare you to put your best foot forward with a potential employer. Saturday April 23 in the HCC Administration Building, 2nd Floor Auditorium, 3100 Main St. Houston. Contact: alumni@ hccsfoundation.org


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National Society of Collegiate Scholars welcomes 500 Houston Community College’s chapter of The National Society of Collegiate Scholars is welcoming over 500 new members this semester. NSCS is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies. Membership invitations are sent to first and second year college students of all disciplines based on having at least a 3.4 grade point average. “NSCS is more than just a symbol of academic achievement. Membership gives students access to a number of amazing benefits including career and networking resources, scholarships, travel, and service projects both on campus and in the community,” says Stephen Loflin, NSCS Founder and Chief Executive Officer. Lauren Mitchell is the new president of HCC’s NSCS chapter. She was inducted as a new member last fall. Mitchell is the chapter’s third president this school year, the first transferred this spring and the second appointed president recently stepped down. “What NSCS does is it promotes wellrounded individuals who are academically orientated,” explained Mitchell, adding “You’re really networking with the right people when you join this club.” The group hosts an induction ceremony once a year in late October for new

IEDUCATE, FROM PAGE 1

can make the biggest impact for learning because there’s new ways to learn between learning online and then those old school tricks that still work for counting and doing multiplication they still work,” explains Outreach Director Eskafyanof, “but getting them to use them getting them to actually be engaged in them and practice them are the most important. this that we’re noticing are happening with putting an 18-19, in some cases 22 year-old, in front of them on a five day a week basis.” Those who are interested may be put off by the STEM aspect, but iEducate wants to reassure those interested that STEM casts a much wider net than you may think. “When we say stem it doesn’t have to be someone in the engineering sense. That could mean business school as well, even accounting, as long as they’ve got strong math skills, have taken algebra and calculus,” says Dr. Gir. iEducate has four pillars, the first being the tutoring aspect the second being their formal mentoring program which involves bringing young

members who joined both in the prior spring and that fall. Invitations will be sent to members closer to the date. “It’s really something that’s good to have on your resume because this isn’t just an organization specific to community colleges,” notes Mitchell. There are NSCS chapters at all the big name universities in Texas. “Whenever you transfer, you can transfer your membership and you’re already in an organization at your new university. You can kind of start to grow roots at that new university,” Mitchell points out. With their many scholarship opportunities totaling about $1 million in annual awards, Mitchell tells members, “No matter what, go for it. It can’t hurt you to apply.” “A lot of scholarships are looking for members who are really involved, which for our specific chapter that has kind of been a challenge because HCC is spread out across one of the biggest cities in the United States. It’s very difficult for us to connect all the students at all the different campuses, which is my goal for the rest of the semester is to try to connect and unify the club.” Some members have complained to Mitchell that there are not enough service opportunities at their campus or side of town. “I want to try and fix that,” says

professionals to talk to the elementary students. This program is not restricted to STEM fields. “This will include chefs, Houston Ballerinas and nursing. We also have speakers from HCC talking about vocational training to student,” says Dr. Gir. The third pillar is a three-day science workshop where students get hands on experience in earth, physical and life sciences. “We partner with Schlumberger, NASA and Baylor College of Medicine. So we’re getting those diverse tracks from Aerospace to Energy to Healthcare and medicine,” say Gir. One of the most popular experiments is building DNA sequences using gummy bears and twizzlers Dr. Gir adds. “The goal of this program is to dispel and remove the fear of science and math and create excitement. This way they learn science without knowing they’re learning science,” explains Dr. Gir. “Then we do a three week camp called a bridge camp. To bridge the educational gap between grade levels. We look at where they stand in concepts, what they don’t understand,” Dr.

OPENSTAX, FROM PAGE 1 to spending a small fortune. OpenStax material is not just beneficial for students, “OpenStax textbooks come with faculty only materials, such as PowerPoint slides, test banks, and instructor solution manuals,” says Nicholson. If students want the printed edition of an OpenStax textbook, Nicholson explained that “OpenStax textbooks are

Mitchell. “Coming up, there will be a scholarship where the officers nominate a specific member who has shown that they care and that they want to get involved.” Her advice to students applying for the scholarships is, “Whenever you write an essay, you have to be able to convey your academic prowess, as well as your public service—a well-rounded character essentially.” As for the club, Mitchell says that “My goal is to get more events for the members.” She says she is always open to ideas and “fresh eyes on the club.” NSCS.org also offers a program called Gifted Hire for members, which helps student build resumes and more. “It’s an online program that connects students to different businesses, and these businesses will specifically seek out NSCS members,” explained Mitchell, “it’s a great networking opportunity.” Elisa Cardenas is one of the society’s new members. “It does involve a lot of community efforts to uphold your membership, which I like because gives me more goals to work on,” says Cardenas, “When they offer workshops and seminars, I can position myself to realize what are my strengths and weakness and try to better them,

Gir mentioned. The program also works with 80 high school student volunteers from Carnegie, Bellaire and Debakey in addition to their master teachers. “These same student tutors that work through the school year getting paid volunteer over the summer.” Professional development, the fourth pillar, is aimed at preparing the tutors to market their skills in the workforce. “Our head of professional development helps with interview skills, resume writing and career development. This is critical for our master teachers who will be entering the workforce soon,” says Dr. Dir. To work for iEducate, students are required to have at least a 3.0 GPA, reliable transportation, and must be graduate or undergraduate in a STEM program. Along with this, good communication skills are a must. “They’re going to be dealing with younger kids, many from troubled backgrounds, so we really need students that are able to connect with the elementary kids in a positive manner,” says the Outreach Director Eskafyanof.

essentially sold at the cost of printing. Prices of textbooks range from $28.50 to $55.” This is still far below the national average. The non-profit organization is not stopping there. OpenStax is already planning for the future and looking to further student success. “We are also developing digital courseware that incorporates principles from cognitive science and machine learning algorithms to help students

which helps my upholds my grades and be a better student and a model for other people.” Cardenas has already applied to seven NSCS scholarships. “They have a lot of scholarship opportunities, which encourages me jump in on the band-wagon to get those scholarships and it helps me to tell myself: keep going, don’t give up. Even if you don’t get this scholarship, look there is another one over here that they’re offering.” With the induction ceremony next fall, Cardenas says she’s looking forward to “showing people like my friends that I made it this far.” For more info, visit NSCS.org or Facebook. com/nscs.hcc

Image by Arun Gir Marvin Thai, iEducate tutor at Crockett Elementary School getting students engaged. When asked what he would tell students thinking about joining iEducate, Restrepo says, “iEducate is of tremendous help to students. They are flexible with school and want us to be successful, and that itself is hard to find in many jobs.” iEducate currently employs students from Houston Community College, the

and instructors improve their return on effort in the classroom,” says Nicholson. Recently, BestSchools.org ranked the 50 best community colleges based on a multitude of factors beyond completion and graduation. Of the 50 community colleges ranked, six of the top ten—including the number one ranked Walla Walla Community College in Washington and the number two ranked Santa Barbara City College in Santa Barbara Ca—have adopted

University of Houston, Rice University and Houston Baptist University. For more information on iEducate: iEducateUSA.org Houston Community College faculty member, Ravi Brahmbhatt, Director of Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship at HCC, also serves as recruiting coordinator for iEducate.

OpenStax materials. The website also considered the success of achievement outcomes: whether or not students went on to pursue a four-year degree; if students matched with workplace skill needed; if the institutions were successful among low-income students and underrepresented racial and ethnic groups; and whether the institutions were shown to have minimized post school debt for students.


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Nuggets of wisdom JimmiekA mills THE EGALITARIAN

“I think the best lessons we can teach people are the one’s that we live with our lives.” From an early age, Johnathan Johnson was considered a teacher of sorts. “I have been preaching since I was 14 years old.” Now 21, Johnathan admits high school was different for him than most kids. “My peers were looking to me for advice, but I was going through all these different things at one time too. I had nobody my age there to really level with me.” He gives credit to his father as well as pastor Dr. Murphy Simon as two of the people who inspired and motivated him. Johnson says, “My father instilled in me how to be the man I am today. Watching him work all of his life to get me to this point taught me to stay grounded.” His pastor Dr. Simon, whom Johnson considers one of his best friends, was going to school for his doctorate degree when Johnson first began preaching, “My pastor taught me to never be afraid to strive for excellence.” Johnathan began building on the caveats they gave. “Whenever they gave me nuggets of wisdom, I took them. Then I took what it was that I was learning on my own, and right there, that’s when everything started to open up to me.” Johnathan is a Houston Community College student majoring in communications and minoring in English. He explains

that, “I’ve always loved to write and I feel like the best way for me to make use of my talent is to help people.” About two years ago, he began a text chain sending motivational messages to his close circle of friends. “It was just six of us at first, and I was talking about things that were already on my mind that I wanted to encourage people with.” In May of 2015, Johnathan and his friends experienced a great tragedy. A high school friend was shot and killed, and Johnathan fell into what he describes as depression. “I realized, I don’t have the answers for this one. This is one that got me going to the word, it still stung for me to do at the moment so, how can I look at them and say ‘God is going to take care of it’ when I’m frozen myself?” The day of his friend’s funeral he wrote a poem that he said touched everyone who knew and loved his friend as much and more than him. “Talk to God for me, is from my soul and is one of my best poems. It was transparent, I’m the one that y’all come to when y’all need someone to intercede on y’all’s behalf, but my heart is in pieces too.” He looks at this as a time of character building. “This was a reflective moment. It was a vulnerable moment in fact, which to me, is not a bad thing. It was a vulnerable moment that let people see, if preacher of all people is feeling bad about this, If he’s got these

questions, it’s okay for us to feel this pain.” A good friend and fellow pastor, Toddrick Johnson, gave Johnathan some advice during a conversation that he says stuck with him. “‘You cannot say God is a deliverer or a keeper if he has not delivered of kept you from anything.’ I go back to that conversation often,” says Johnathan. The reason the messages come so easy for him is because they are based on his own experiences. “I don’t go and do any research. Whatever my next message is going to be, that’s the life lesson I’m going through at the time.” “The one for April is going to be about forgiveness. This has been the hardest month of forgiving people in my life. I’m not perfect, I don’t live this extremely holierthan-thou lifestyle. I mess up just like everybody else.” The text chain, which has now grown to 150 members, is still individually sent by Johnathan himself. “It gives me a lot of joy to go through my contact list one by one and send it to them personally.” Johnathan feels that approaching his peers on a medium they are constantly accessing presents an advantage for him to spread his motivation. “It’s not the replies, it’s the fact that I don’t have to be confined to a pulpit to help people, that makes it all worth it.” Every month there is a

Image courtesy of Motivational Media Jonathan Johnson HCC Communication major started motivational text chain to inspire others with his messages based on personal experiences. particular lesson, something for the readers to take away that coincides with a struggle Johnathan himself is dealing with. “I never try to put on the guise that because I preach, I’m better than you. I’m learning just like you. There’s stuff I don’t know, there’s stuff I’ll never know, but I’ll never be content with not at

least sharing what I do know.” Johnathan has no plans to stop his motivational messages anytime soon, but does have plans for after HCC. “After I get my bachelor’s degree, I plan on going to seminary school. Then I’ll work on my writing career doing TV shows, stage plays and maybe even a few movies.”

Phi Theta Kappa inductes 60 new members AlyssA Foley

THE EGALITARIAN About 60 of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society’s new members were inducted into the organization in a ceremony on April 1. Maria Straus, HCC’s Dean of College Readiness and former Phi Theta Kappa adviser was the keynote speaker. “This is what Phi Theta Kappa is all about, the community of scholars,” said Straus at the gathering, “The mission of Phi Theta Kappa is to promote enthusiasm in scholarship, leadership and character.” Membership in the society is invitation only. Every fall and spring, invitations are sent to HCC students who have at least 12 hours of college level credit and at least a 3.5 GPA. “From now on, that is a minimum standard, 3.5,” Straus told students, “Set your goals higher, because I’m sure that you can do this.” “A leader is defined by his or her ability to look at adversity

and turn it into an opportunity. Sometimes leaders are merchants of dreams, you sell dreams and ideas to promote and motivate people,” says Straus, “I think Phi Theta Kappa is a vehicle for you guys, if you get involved in the chapter, you can be promoters of the American dream.” “Leaders aren’t necessarily born, I believe it is a learned response and you have to practice,” Straus told the students. Straus reflects that for the faculty and staff present, “It gives us energy to nourish leadership.” Straus called community service one of the hallmarks of Phi Theta Kappa. “When you help and you volunteer, not only do you grasp your identity, but you really find yourself by helping others.” “Character is doing the right thing when one is watching,” Straus reminded the students. “I challenge all of you to not just sit there before me as new inductees into Phi Theta Kappa, but to become a leader that makes a difference.”

“People are looking up to you,” said HCC Board Chair Adriana Tamez to the new inductees, “this is an honor for you to be recognized today.” “Remember to give back to your community, because you can have all the education in the world, but if you don’t take that and give back to your communities to make sure that others follow in your footsteps, then we’re not really doing much with it,” said Dr. Tamez. The organization offers over $90 million in scholarships for its members, about $37 million of that is in transfer scholarships. Currently, scholarships applications for students who will continue at a community college to pursue their Associate’s degree in the 2016-2017 academic year are open until May 2. The transfer and Bachelor’s degree scholarship application opens in the fall. HCC’s Omega Sigma chapter recently won two Awards of Merit at the Phi Theta KappaTexas Regional conference. Both their community service College

Image courtesy of Tri Tran New Phi Theta Kappa member is greeted by the HCC’s chapter faculty advisers and student officers at the society’s spring induction ceremony on April 1. Project and Honors in Action research project were recognized. For their community project, the group hosted studying and tutoring blasts the weekend before midterms and finals last fall and this spring to help lower the number of students dropping or failing their courses at HCC. Their research project

followed the theme of health and medicine as frontiers, and they researched the effects of social media. Currently, student membership in Phi Theta Kappa is the only membership which is recognized on HCC students’ transcripts.


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Backlash over N.C. LGBT discrimination law emery P. DAlesio ASSOCIATED PRESS

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — An economic backlash broadened Tuesday against a North Carolina law that critics say discriminates against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people with PayPal announcing it has canceled a major expansion in the state. North Carolina has come under heavy criticism since Gov. Pat McCrory signed the law, requiring transgender people to use public bathrooms that match the sex on their birth certificates. The law, passed in response to a Charlotte ordinance that offered protections to gay and transgender people, also excludes sexual orientation and gender identity from the state’s anti-discrimination law and bars local governments from expanding anti-discrimination rules. More than 100 corporate leaders have decried the law, saying it is unfair and makes it more difficult to attract talent. Just days before signing the law last month, McCrory personally attended PayPal’s announcement that it was opening a new operation center in Charlotte, where he was once mayor. On Tuesday, the San Jose, California-based company said it was canceling the $3.6 million plan, which would have

created 400 jobs. “This decision reflects PayPal’s deepest values and our strong belief that every person has the right to be treated equally, and with dignity and respect,” the company said in a statement. PayPal’s announcement came days after Lionsgate decided to move the filming for the pilot episode of a comedy series to Canada. New Jersey-based Braeburn Pharmaceuticals also said it was reconsidering building a $50 million facility in Durham County projected to bring 50 jobs paying an average of $76,000 a year. The NBA raised doubts about whether it would continue plans to hold its all-star game in Charlotte next year. But PayPal’s decision isn’t likely to lead to a wave of businesses fleeing the state, said Ryan McDevitt, a Duke University professor who studies how companies compete. Technology companies are particularly outspoken on social issues because they need to attract highly skilled and mobile employees while also appealing to younger customers, he said. “They’ve built a lot of their brand or identity on the idea of being inclusive,” McDevitt said. “I think this law in particular goes against that, and so no one wants to be seen as implicitly endorsing it by locating in North

Carolina now if a segment of their employees and many of their customers are going to be affected by it.” One test of how upset some businesses may be comes in less than two weeks with the twicea-year High Point Furniture Market, which brings 20,000 companies and about 75,000 people to the state. The market is responsible for about $5 billion in economic activity each year, organizers estimate. A slow stream of buyers canceled trips to boycott the law, but few sellers have decided against coming, market spokeswoman Ashley Grigg said. The American Society of Interior Designers still plans its events at this year’s market but said it will reassess its relationship next year if things don’t change. Red Ventures, a South Carolina-based sales and marketing company, is in the midst of a 500-job expansion in Charlotte. But the company “will not move forward with hiring in North Carolina until we understand what is happening with” the state law, spokeswoman Katie Zach said. Red Ventures CEO Ric Elias said in a letter he has shifted his political support from McCrory to Attorney General Roy Cooper, a Democrat challenging McCrory in November. Elias and Cooper, who has said he would not

Texas flower for all to share emmAnuel AkinolA THE EGALITARIAN

For years now, Texans have told tourists and each other that “It’s illegal to pick bluebonnets!” With the state flower blossoming across Texas, it’s time to re-examine that. That belief itself is completely false; it’s an urban legend. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, there’s no such law prohibiting the picking of our state flower. The law only stipulates that you cannot trespass on private property, even to take a photo. This involves farms and other places that are privately owned. However, in the case of a public area, it’s perfectly fine to pick as many as you want. In doing so, it’s highly advised that people should only pick the least number of Bluebonnets as possible. Bluebonnet seeds are usually taken up when picked, therefore it’s important to leave as many flowers undisturbed so they could continue to blossom. All bluebonnet flowers are members of the Lupinus, or lupine genus. The word Lupine comes from the Latin meaning “wolf”. The plant was given the name because at the time, it was thought to ravage the soil. Ironically, it’s now understood that the bluebonnets give nitrogen into the soil, making it more fertile than before. Earlier in Texas history, Spanish priests would gather bluebonnet seeds and scatter them around their monasteries. It was widely believed that bluebonnets were native to Spain due to this action, but historically, the bluebonnets have always been native to Texas. In fact, according to

studies done by Texas A&M University, the two predominant species of bluebonnets are found only in Texas. On March 7, 1901, the twenty-seventh Texas legislature adopted the bluebonnet flower from Lupinus subcarnosus, as the state flower. The popular name for the bluebonnet derives from its resemblance to a sunbonnet. For the next 70 years, there was fierce debate within legislature on which species of the flower to make official. Due to their popularity, five species of the flower: L. subcarnosus, L. texensis, L. concinnus, L. plattensis, and L. havardii were counted as official derivatives of the state flower. This was made official by Governor Preston Smith, who signed it into law on March 8, 1971, almost 70 years to the day from when Governor Joseph D. Sayers made the bluebonnet the state flower. The shape of the petals on the bluebonnet resembles the bonnet worn by American pioneer women to shield them from the sun back during the late 1700s to 1800s. A common local area to find bluebonnets include Highway 71 from Austin to Brady, which is lined on either side with the wildflowers. It’s common for families to visit an area where bluebonnets are to take photos, and that’s even become a yearly tradition as well. Thanks to the late Lady Bird Johnson, LBJ’s wife, bluebonnets were planted along the highways. She was able to persuade the Texas legislature to seed bluebonnets and other flowers as such. Her efforts became part of the Highway Beautification Act, which led to many scenic places in Texas where flowers blossom.

AP Photo/Gary Robertson Human Rights Campaign Executive Director Chad Griffin, center, speaks at a news conference at the old state Capitol Building in Raleigh, N.C. defend the law against lawsuits, each issued statements calling for its repeal. When asked about PayPal’s move Tuesday, McCrory repeated earlier comments that he was open to improving the state law but said it was needed to counteract the Charlotte ordinance. The law’s backers say it prevents men from molesting women in restrooms and locker rooms while claiming to be transgender. Opponents say that claim is bogus. The law “was to ensure that that expectation of privacy would

remain in our high schools and our universities and our community colleges,” McCrory said. “For those who disagree with that basic norm, they have that decision to make.” A group that supported the legislation said PayPal pulled out despite being promised millions in incentives. The North Carolina Values Coalition said in a statement that “a company with its hands in the pockets of the taxpayers of North Carolina shouldn’t insert itself into the bathroom policies of the state.”

Women missing 20 years, remains found ANGLETON, Texas (AP) — An imprisoned convicted kidnapper has led Texas authorities for the second time in two months to human remains that could be linked to the disappearance of a young woman two decades ago. Police said Tuesday that remains found in a Southeast Texas pasture potentially belong to Kelli Cox, a 20-year-old University of North Texas student who disappeared in July 1997. They found the remains with the help of William Reece, a 56-yearold man already serving a 60-year sentence for kidnapping one woman. Identification is also pending on remains authorities found last month with Reece’s help in the search for 17-year-old Jessica Cain, also missing since 1997. Police in Denton, Texas, investigating Cox’s disappearance said in a statement Tuesday that Reece led investigators to the site where her remains were found. Officers “cannot say definitively that the remains recovered are Kelli Cox; however, we are hopeful that they are,” the statement said. Reece has been temporarily released from state prison into local custody to help with the search. He directed investigators in person to the sites where they found both sets of remains. Reece hasn’t been charged in the disappearances of Cain or Cox, his attorney, Anthony Osso, said on Tuesday. Reece does face first-degree murder and kidnapping charges in

Oklahoma for the slaying of 19-yearold Tiffany Johnston, who was abducted from a car wash northwest of Oklahoma City in 1997. He was also previously named the prime suspect in the April 1997 abduction and killing of a 12-year-old girl in Friendswood near Houston but has not been charged. Reece was sent to prison the next year for the May 1997 Houston-area abduction of Sandra Sapaugh, who told authorities Reece forced her at knifepoint into his truck after first feigning to help her with a flat tire. Sapaugh escaped after jumping from the truck. Whether Reece has any information on other cases is unclear. Osso said authorities in other parts of Texas or elsewhere with similar cold cases might speak to Reece in the near future. Asked why Reece decided to help authorities, Osso said his client realized he already faced decades more in prison and had a serious heart condition. “He wants closure for the families involved,” Osso said. “I think he’s at peace with the fact that he’s going to remain in prison, probably die in prison.” Cox’s mother, Jan Bynum, told The Dallas Morning News that she was hopeful about the latest discovery of remains. “I’m feeling like maybe we’ll finally get answers, and I can finally know where my baby is,” Bynum said.


AROUND 6 Houston economy carries on despite bust WEDNESDAY APRIL 6, 2016

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HOUSTON — Amanda Salazar watched for a year as colleagues at the Houston-based oil rig manufacturer where she worked lost jobs, victims of the latest oil bust. She realized it was time for a change before she too got a pink slip. So Salazar left her job as a software trainer with National Oilwell Varco for a similar position at a hospital. Even if the oil market turned around immediately, she reasoned, it might take 18 months before the industry picked up again. “And that’s a long time to be sitting at work wondering if you’re going to get laid off,” she said. For generations, anyone who lived in Houston long enough was sure to feel the pain of an oil bust.

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But 21st century Houston isn’t like its oil-dependent predecessor. The city now has a more diversified economy, plus help from a wave of construction at its petrochemical plants. Even as the price of oil has plummeted, Houston has carried on, maintaining a jobless rate of 4.7 percent in February, slightly better than the national average. “Houston in the broadest sense is going to do fine. It’s the individual stories and the individual companies that are going to hurt and suffer,” said Patrick Jankowski, regional economist for the Greater Houston Partnership, a local business group. For the 38-year-old Salazar, her move proved prescient. Her old department was eliminated on March 11, the same day she started at Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital. The downturn resulted in about 50,000 layoffs last year of

Houston-area oil and gas workers. Oil is still vitally important here. The most recent boom helped create 100,000 jobs annually for several years. Many of the largest energy companies, including ConocoPhillips and Shell Oil Co., are headquartered in Houston and have gleaming buildings in the Energy Corridor, a 10-mile stretch along Interstate 10 that’s home to oil companies as well as energyrelated engineering and industrial firms. But the corridor is now dotted with “for lease” signs. Energy companies are dumping empty office space into the sublease market, which has grown to more than 8 million square feet. Another 8 million square feet of new office space is set to be built this year. At Carmelo’s Italian Restaurant in the corridor, owner Carmelo Mauro has been forced to cut

staff hours and make sure meal portions are exact because of falling revenue. “People are not going out or they are watching what they are spending or some don’t have a job,” he said. The layoffs aren’t over. Another 21,000 job losses in the oil and gas sectors are projected for this year, according to the Greater Houston Partnership. Other problems loom, including a projected city budget shortfall of at least $140 million and a slumping commercial real estate market. Still, the area’s petrochemical plants are in the midst of a $50 billion construction boom fueled by low natural gas prices. Cheap natural gas has made it much less expensive to make products such as plastics at those facilities. At the same time, Houston

has expanded well beyond oil. In the 1980s, the city’s economy was 84 percent dependent on oil and energy for its gross domestic product. That figure has dropped to about 44 percent. Health care, construction and education added more than 65,000 jobs in 2015. February home sales were up 2.2 percent compared with the same month last year. And a recent survey by the Houston West Chamber of Commerce — which includes the Energy Corridor — found most non-energy businesses were optimistic about the economy. The Memorial Hermann Health System currently has about 3,000 openings, many created by an expansion of facilities fueled by the city’s population growth. According to recent census figures, the Houston metro area had the nation’s biggest population gain between 2014 and 2015.


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Above- Returning a serve on Saturday qualifing for the ATP Clay Courts Championship tournament at the River Oaks Country Club. Middle- Banner of the Final Four hanging on the side of NRG Stadium for this weekends celebration. Below- Setting up a perfect fore hand that went down the line to start a ralley and earn a set point.

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HOUSTON (AP) — Despite being elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame on Monday, Allen Iverson knows he still won’t be able to shake his infamous rant about practice. “I’m in the Hall of Fame and I can go outside today and go to a restaurant or whatever and somebody will say to me: ‘Practice? We talking about practice,’” he said with a laugh, adding that even his children mock him for the 2002 news conference in which he repeated the phrase about 20 times. “Man, I am a Hall of Famer and that’s all you can think about — me saying practice.” Along with Iverson, Shaquille O’Neal, Yao Ming, Sheryl Swoopes, Tom Izzo and Jerry Reinsdorf were elected to the Hall of Fame on Monday. Posthumous honorees this year include 27-year NBA referee Darell Garretson; John McLendon, the first AfricanAmerican coach in a professional league; Cumberland Posey, who also is in the Baseball Hall of Fame; and Zelmo Beaty, who led Prairie View to an NAIA title in 1962. The selections were announced in Houston in advance of Monday night’s NCAA Tournament championship game between North Carolina and Villanova. Iverson, selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the first overall pick in the 1996 NBA draft, was named rookie of the year and went on to become an 11-time All-Star. John Thompson, his coach at Georgetown, was there to celebrate the latest honor with his former player. “I’m proud of the fact of knowing him as a person and knowing the challenges he’s had

to overcome,” Thompson said. “Allen is legitimate. There’s a lot of impersonators of what he is. But he is a kid who came from basically nothing and had to be thrust into a whole different way of life and been successful as he has been in his profession.” Iverson was asked to reminisce on the impressive dunking he did in his career despite being only 6-feet tall. “I can’t even touch the backboard now,” the 40-year-old lamented. “I ain’t lying. Like I can’t even touch the backboard. It is over.” O’Neal, the top overall pick in the 1992 draft by the Orlando Magic, was the NBA MVP in 2000, a three-time NBA Finals MVP and 15-time All-Star. When he was introduced Monday at the media event, the jokester scolded the announcer for not mentioning his work in the 1996 movie “Kazaam,” in which he played a genie. The man who has a plethora of nicknames was asked if he hopes to get a new one when he’s inducted into the hall in September. “No, just Hall of Famer,” he said. O’Neal had a simple mindset when he entered the NBA, one that he got from his love of karate movies. “In all your karate movies, you’ve got the young karate warrior and he goes all these places and he sees all these masters and he has to take them out,” O’Neal said. “So I was gunning for everybody. I was gunning for all the superstars, I was gunning for all the big guys, because I wanted their spot and that was my motivation.” Yao, the top overall pick in 2002 by the Houston Rockets, was an eight-time All-Star. He did not attend the event because

AP/Rusty Kennedy FILE - In this Oct. 11, 2005, file photo, Philadelphia 76ers’ Allen Iverson finds a way around Houston Rockets’ Yao Ming in the second half of their pre season game in Philadelphia. Iverson, Ming, Shaquille O’Neal, Tom Izzo, Sheryl Swoopes and Jerry Reinsdorf have been inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. The announcement was made in Houston, Monday, April 4, 2016. he was in Shanghai. Swoopes helped Texas Tech to a national title, won four WNBA titles with the Houston Comets, was a three-time WNBA MVP and won three Olympic gold medals. She grew up in the small West Texas town of Brownfield and hopes that her election can be an inspiration to children from small towns everywhere. “For me to be sitting here

today as a Hall of Famer I hope that all those kids out there that have ever doubted that things like this can happen to you, I’m a living example and living proof that if you trust in God and you work hard and believe in yourself and you surround yourself with the right people, anything can happen,” she said. Izzo, Michigan’s State coach, won a national title in 2000 and has taken the Spartans to the

Final Four seven times. “This is the biggest thrill of my life,” Izzo said. “I needed a lot of other guys to help me get here.” Reinsdorf has been the owner of the Chicago Bulls and White Sox for more than two decades. “An award like this has to be the most important accomplishment you can have,” he said. “The fact is I’m here because of what a lot of other people did.”

Astros start season off on the right foot with a win JoH

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Astros win opener in New York 5-3 after being postponed yesterday due to inclement weather. In a year where the Astros are pick to battle the Royals for the American League pennant and a spot in the World Series, they come out firing on all cylinders. Todays game was played in temperatures that were in the mid 30’s and a wind chill that was in the 20’s heated up in the top of the eight in a two two ball game. Yankees played the game under protest after a dribbler by Carlos Correa hit down the first base side of the infield that

was then over thrown by Dellin Betances. Joe Girardi argued that Correa had ran out of the baseline and was the cause of the bad throw to no avail of the umpiring crew who upheld the safe call at first base. On the same play Jose Altuve scored the tiebreaking run, making it a 3-2 game. Astros would go on and score two more runs in the inning which put them ahead for good. Yankees did manage to score one more run in the bottom of the eight on a Didi Gregorius solo homerun of of Ken Giles. Dallas Keuchel was the winning pitcher (1-0) giving up two runs on three hits while walking four and striking out five in seven innings.

Correa was the star of the game with two RBI’s, one on a solo homerun in the sixth the other on a fielders choice in the forth. Correa also scored twice in the game and had two stolen bases. On defense Correa stole a bloop single from Alex Rodriguez on a spectacular run to left field with his back turned to the plate. Luke Gregerson came into the game in the ninth recording three straight outs for the save (1-0). The loss went to Betances (0-1) after giving up three in the eighth. Next game is tonight where Collin McHugh will take the mound for the Astros against Michael Pineda throwing for the Yankees.

AP Photo/ Kathy Willens New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances (68) picks up Carlos Correa’s eighth-inning infield roller as Correa races to first base in an opening day baseball game in New York, Tuesday, April 5, 2016. Correa reached on a Betances throwing error. The Astros Jose Altuve scored on the play.


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AP SPORTS WRITER HOUSTON (AP) — The NCAA Tournament started on March 15 with Florida Gulf Coast handing Fairleigh Dickinson a 96-65 beatdown. It ended three weeks later with a game that will be talked about for decades — Villanova’s 77-74 victory over North Carolina on Kris Jenkins’ 3-pointer at the buzzer. Exactly 33 years after North Carolina State beat overwhelming favorite Houston on Lorenzo Charles’ dunk at the buzzer, Jenkins came up with his shot for the ages. As many times as we’ve seen North Carolina State coach Jim Valvano run around the court in The Pit in Albuquerque looking for someone to hug, we’ll see the Wildcats rolling on the court, covered in confetti as they celebrated what will go down as the most important 3-pointer since they put the line down on the court. North Carolina State’s gamewinner was a broken play with Dereck Whittenburg taking a 35foot shot that missed everything and Charles was there for the rebound dunk. To this day, Whittenburg swears it was a pass and not an airball but that doesn’t matter, the Wolfpack won the game. Villanova’s was a set play called in the Wildcats’ final timeout of the season. “We do practice that,” coach Jay Wright said. “We have certain plays with less than four seconds, from four to seven seconds. Every coach has this. Zero to four, four to seven, seven

AP Photo/David J. Phillip Villanova players celebrate on the court after the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against North Carolina, Monday, April 4, 2016, in Houston. Villanova won 77-74. to 12. We have plays. So we know what it is. We practice it every day. “I didn’t have to say anything in the huddle. We have a name for it, that’s what we’re going to do. Just put everybody in their spots.” Both plays won national titles and earned their place in college basketball history. From that opening-round game in Dayton, Ohio on March 15 to Villanova taking the title on April 4, there were blowouts, a halfcourt game-winner, one of the great meltdowns in basketball history, some incredible dunks, gut-wrenching losses and incredible wins. Here’s a quick look back at

some of the moments that make the NCAA Tournament one of sports’ great events: BEST SHOT Are you kidding? There will be no nominations other than Jenkins’ 3 that sent a shock wave through NRG Stadium. Marcus Paige of the Tar Heels had hit an off-balance 3 to tie the game with 4.7 seconds to go. That was definitely in the discussion for best shot until Jenkins touched off a celebration that could be going on Pennsylvania for some time. “The last play, we were just calm in the huddle honestly,” said Ryan Arcidiacono, who made the pass to Jenkins. “We knew what we were going to do

and we just executed.” STUNNING WIN Yale’s 79-75 victory over Baylor in the first round. An Ivy League school making its first tournament appearance since 1962 knocks off a national power from the Big 12 and does it by being tougher on the boards. BIGGEST UPSET Middle Tennessee State, a 15 seed, beat second-seeded Michigan State 90-81 in a game that busted brackets around the country. Many thought the Spartans should have been a No. 1 seed. There was little talk of the Blue Raiders being any higher than a 15. CONFERENCE CALL The Atlantic Coast Conference

had seven teams in the field of 68 and a record six of them made it to the Sweet 16. Two — North Carolina and Syracuse — made it to the Final Four. CONFERENCE BUST The Pac-12 also had seven teams in the field but five didn’t make it out of the first round. Oregon, a No. 1 seed, reached the regional final but lost to Oklahoma. HIGH AND LOW This will be a tournament Northern Iowa will never forget, going from as high as a team can get to as low as no team had before. The Panthers beat Texas 75-72 in the first round on a halfcourt buzzer-beater by Paul Jesperson. Two days later Northern Iowa set an NCAA Tournament record by blowing a 12-point lead in the final 44 seconds of regulation against Texas A&M. The Aggies went on to win 92-88 in double overtime capping Northern Iowa’s upand-down first two rounds. TOP SCORER Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield was the big scorer of the first four rounds with his 37-point effort against Oregon in the regional final his best performance. In the Final Four Hield and the Sooners just couldn’t figure out Villanova’s defense and he was held to nine points as the Wildcats won by 44 points. UP NEXT The 2016-17 season will start in early November and it will finish in Glendale, Arizona, in April. The only sure thing will be that the NCAA Tournament will be full of great plays and great games.

Herman swings his way to victory and the Masters HUMBLE, Texas (AP) — Jim Herman delivered a masterful performance at just the right time Sunday in the Shell Houston Open. Herman, winless in 105 previous starts on the PGA Tour, chipped in for birdie on the par-3 16th and finished with two solid pars for a 4-under 68 and a one-shot victory that sends him to the Masters for the first time in his career. Herman tapped in for par and thrust both fists in the air after his one-shot victory over Henrik Stenson. “This is pretty unreal,” Herman said, admitting he had to go through Q school seven times before sticking on the Tour. “I’ve dreamt of this for long time and I’m going to enjoy it. I’m pretty proud of myself. (It’s) the first time I’ve ever been up there in the final group. To be able to bring it home ... I did really well. It wasn’t too long ago that I was pretty low with my game. I couldn’t get out of my own way. This never would have been possible two years ago.” The Houston Open was the final opportunity for players to get into the Masters, and Herman seemed like a long shot at No. 191 in the world whose only professional victory was six years ago at

the Moonah Classic in Australia. Stenson missed an 18-foot birdie putt on the last hole for a 68 to finish one shot behind. It was the Swede’s eighth runnerup finish since his last victory in Dubai at the end of 2014. “You can play well and still lose,” he said. “I didn’t want to put any (extra) pressure on myself. I wasn’t given the tournament. I had to play 9 under on the weekend to win it.” Dustin Johnson tried to overcome a double bogey on the 11th hole. He made three birdies coming in, but had to settle for a 69 and was two shots back. Jordan Spieth made four straight birdies early in his round, but two shots into the water led to double bogeys and a 70. He was seven back in a tie for 13th. It was the third time since 2008 that a player won the Houston Open to get into the Masters, and Herman might be the most unlikely candidate. Ten years ago, Herman was working as an assistant pro at Trump Bedminster in New Jersey when he played one day with course owner and GOP front-runner Donald Trump, who wanted to know why he was folding shirts instead of competing against the best. Trump encouraged

him to give it another shot, and Herman eventually made it out to the PGA Tour. This is his fifth full season in the big leagues, and he still wears “Trump” on his golf shirts. Within the past month, Herman has changed from block letters of “Trump” to a logo from Trump’s course. He was artful in closing the deal at the Golf Club of Houston. Herman and Jamie Lovemark were tied for the lead going into the final round. Lovemark was 4 over through six holes and was never a factor. Herman hung around during Spieth’s early charge, and even after Stenson took the lead. Stenson fell back with a bogey from the bunker on the 14th hole, only to get that stroke back on the par-5 15th. Herman, however, never flinched. Tied for the lead, he missed the green to the left on the 16th and was in thick grass near the bunker. His chip came out perfectly and dropped for a surprising birdie and a oneshot lead, and he held it. He faced a long wait at the 18th to hit his tee shot, with a bunker to the right and water all the way down the left. Herman drilled it 316 yards down the middle, hit a safe shot to the middle of the green, and two putts later he was on his way to

AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith Jim Herman celebrates on the 18th green after winning the Houston Open golf tournament, Sunday, April 3, 2016, in Humble, Texas. Augusta National. The victory also gets Herman into the PGA Championship for the first time.


10 Binge-watching gold THE EGALITARIAN

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emmAnuel AkinolA THE EGALITARIAN

Netflix has released the second season of the Marvel Comics superhero show Daredevil on March 18. If you ask me, binge-watching never so felt good. In the second season, mild-mannered lawyer Matt Murdock continues being a superhero at night while dealing with financial problems from his law-film Nelson & Murdock, co-headed by his long time and fellow lawyer, Franklin “Foggy” Nelson. Their secretary and paralegal assistant, Karen Page, also continues to chime in on their work. Most of the cast returns to their respective roles: Charlie Cox as Murdock/Daredevil, Elden Henson as Foggy, Deborah Anne Woll as Page, and Rosario Dawson as Claire Templeton. New additions to the cast include Elodie Yung as Electra Natchios, Matt’s exgirlfriend, and Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle AKA The Punisher. Writers Marco Ramirez and Doug Petrie replace Steven S. DeKnight as showrunner with the creator of the show, Drew Goddard, serving as consultant. Prolific television directors Phil Abraham, Stephen Surjik, and Euros Lyn also return in helming certain episodes. This time around, the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York faces dire straits with the arrival of The Punisher,

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a merciless vigilante who kills criminals after his own family is gunned by mobsters. The Punisher’s war on crime draws him into conflict with Daredevil, who has an opposing viewpoint that’s against murdering criminals; believing they deserve a second chance. Castle’s relentless nature gets him in trouble with the authorities and other criminals as he tries to track down the man responsible for his family’s death: a notorious drug lord called The Blacksmith. In another subplot, Matt has to deal with the return of his ex-girlfriend, Natchios, whom he knows is up to no good. With her family’s fortune at her disposal, Elektra seeks to steal a ledger for her own ends from a shadowy ninja Ap Stock Photo organization called the Hand, who effectively serve as the main antagonist Artwork for the second season of Marvel’s Daredevil on Netflix. for this season. As an avid reader of comic books and Marvel in particular, I can safely where Daredevil had to fight them on taking over a prison, and Castle’s public trial after he is arrested for his actions this season was truly a true-de-force. several occasions. The fight scenes are incredibly well with his legal defense being none other It masterfully captures the tone from Frank Miller’s comic run from the 80s: crafted with amazing wide shots and than Nelson and Murdock in mid-season film noir, a trend that continues to the dolly shots that hone in on the action. episodes. The writing and characterizations on For any martial arts fans, they’ll present day with other writers. The conflict between the Punisher probably recognize similarities with The the show are impeccable. The dialogue is very realistic and deft, although a lot and Daredevil is accurately displayed on Raid films. There are also great subplots that ripe of the characters can be too sarcastic at screen, just as in the books which show their radically different approaches for water-cooler moments: Matt and times. That similarity among different to fighting crime. The inclusion of the Karen getting in a relationship, Season characters did take me out of the story Hand also references several comics one baddie Wilson Fisk aka The Kingpin a little bit.

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JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia’s environment and forestry minister says Oscarwinning actor Leonardo DiCaprio lacked complete information when he criticized the destruction of rainforests during a visit to a protected national park last month. His comments prompted immigration officials to warn that DiCaprio could be barred from reentering Indonesia, but the minister, Siti Nurbaya, said Monday that she appreciates his good intentions and hopes to cooperate with him in the future. The Hollywood star made a one-day visit to Mount Leuser National Park in northern Sumatra and uploaded photos to his Instagram account, expressing concerns over species whose habitats are threatened by palm oil plantations. But the apparent effort to raise awareness about endangered animals and burnish the star’s environmental credentials quickly went awry. The Indonesian government, meanwhile, has appeared inept, with officials making conflicting statements. Nurbaya said it was “rather unfortunate” that DiCaprio had not obtained comprehensive information about issues such as deforestation in Indonesia. The current government is “working hard” to protect the environment, including prosecution of companies that violate environmental laws and creating an inventory of areas at risk of deforestation, Nurbaya said. “We are fixing the problems” of the past decade, she said. Slash-and-burn practices destroy huge areas of Indonesian forest every year during the dry season, creating haze that pollutes neighboring countries and causes massive economic losses. The fires are often set to clear land for agriculture, including palm oil plantations, and threaten the habitats of species such as elephants and Sumatran tigers. Nurbaya said she had not been informed in advance about DiCaprio’s visit to Sumatra but

AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko In this Wednesday, March 23, 2016, Actor Leonardo DiCaprio waves during a photo session of the movie “The Revenant” in Tokyo. An Indonesian immigration official says Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio may be banned from returning to Indonesia over his criticisms that palm oil plantations are destroying the country’s rainforests. subsequent checks showed he had followed proper procedures and was accompanied by forestry officials. “I sincerely appreciate his concern, and we can cooperate with him in more detail on the forests, wildlife and the environment for the benefit of Indonesia,” she said. A representative for DiCaprio declined to comment.

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LONDON (AP) — From their first apartment through their most recent tours, the Rolling Stones are giving fans a chance to take a deep look into their lives as the “Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band in the World.” Here are some key things to see at “Exhibitionism,” the British band’s massive exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery that opens Tuesday: EDITH GROVE Shortly after the Stones got together as a band in 1962, founding member Brian Jones moved into an apartment in west London with Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and James Phelge. The apartment, at 102 Edith Grove, was notorious for being a mess, with clothes and dirty dishes strewn about the place. The exhibition has recreated the scene with incredible detail, right down to the old empty beer bottles, a kitchen sink filled with pots and pans, and plenty of old Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records ready to be heard by an aspiring band that was, at the time, making only a few dollars per gig. “The milk bottles were just growing this . stuff,” Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts says through a speaker as visitors walk through. “It was very much like that,

the kitchen particularly,” Watts said as he arrived for Monday’s opening. Jagger and Richards shared the only bedroom with Phelge, a London club-goer who became their roommate and companion. Jones slept in the living room. It was at Edith Grove that the band started writing their own music, like the Beatles were doing. Although no photos exist of the original Edith Grove apartment, exhibition curator Ileen Gallagher said it was made from the memories of the current band. “The real Edith Grove was like living in an alien culture,” Phelge, now 73, told The Associated Press. “You can’t replicate the spirit of the place.” GUITARS The creators of the exhibition raided the homes of Richards and Wood looking for guitars to display, and they found a few of their most iconic pieces. Among them is the 1957 Gibson Les Paul that was hand-painted by Richards and used during the filming of “Sympathy for the Devil.” At the time, the Stones were involved in a drug case that threatened to ruin the band. “Yeah, I painted it,” Richards says in the notes accompanying the guitar. “I was bored, waiting to go to jail.”


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11 Hospital security hacked WEDNESDAY APRIL 6, 2016

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Egal•i•tar•i•an (adjective) aiming for equal wealth, status, etc., for all people 3517 Austin; 303 Fine Arts Center; Houston TX 77004 Phone: 713.718.6016; Fax: 713.718.6601 Adviser: Fredrick Batiste

SPRING 2016 EGALITARIAN STAFF Editor-in-Chief .............................................. Alyssa Foley News Editor ...............................................Jimmieka Mills Sports Editor .............................................John Cañamar Culture Editor ............................................. Erik Calderon Photo Editor .......................................... Thomas Hopkins Social Media Mgr. ...................................Jessica Wosiack Staff Writer .................................................. Ajani Stewart Staff Writer ................................................... Ana Ramirez Staff Writer ......................................... Emmanuel Akinola Staff Writer ................................................ Tori Hendricks Staff Writer ........................................... Marialuisa Rincon Staff Photographer .....................................Gilbert Bernal ——— The Egalitarian has been the official student newspaper of the Houston Community College System since September 1974. The Egalitarian is published bi-monthly, every other Wednesday except during holiday breaks. Print circulation is 8,000 copies per issue and distributed to selected HCC campuses in the Houston, Spring Branch, Alief, Katy, North Forest and Fort Bend areas. Comments and contributions are always welcome. Deadlines for contributions and advertisements are one week before the issue print date. The Egalitarian is written and edited by students of Houston Community College. This publication does not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, interests, attitudes and tastes of the Board of Trustees, HCC administration, faculty, staff or students. Opinions and editorial content of The Egalitarian that are unsigned do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Egalitarian staff or adviser. The Egalitarian reserves the right to edit any submitted material for grammatical errors, offensive language, libelous materials and space constraints. It may also refuse any advertising that does not adhere to the HCC mission.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

The Egalitarian staff consists of HCC students who must complete all tasks required to produce the newspaper, which serves all campuses of the HCC System. We want all students from all majors to contribute. However, we must follow our submissions policy in order to operate under our limitations of time, energy and staff. All staff and contributing writers must be currently enrolled students at Houston Community College. The Egalitarian interacts with contributing writers via e-mail and telephone. Visiting The Egalitarian will not help contributors get published, only quality work will. Publication priority is given to staff members and assigned articles, and verbal commitments for assignments will not be accepted or recognized. Press releases, story ideas, news tips and suggestions are always welcomed. Any student interested in joining The Egalitarian staff may request more detailed information regarding story length, topics, style, etc., by e-mailing The Egalitarian Faculty Adviser Fredrick Batiste at adviser@hccegalitarian.com.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The hackers who seriously disrupted operations at a large hospital chain recently and held some data hostage broke into a computer server left vulnerable despite urgent public warnings since at least 2007 that it needed to be fixed with a simple update, The Associated Press has learned. The hackers exploited design flaws that had persisted on the MedStar Health Inc. network, according to a person familiar with the investigation who spoke on condition of anonymity because this person was not authorized to discuss the findings publicly. The flaws were in a JBoss application server supported by Red Hat Inc. and other organizations, the person said. The FBI, which is investigating, declined to discuss how the hackers broke in. The JBoss technology is popular because it allows programmers to write custombuilt software tools that can be quickly made available across a company, but security researchers discovered it was routinely misconfigured to allow unauthorized outside users to gain control. The U.S. government, Red Hat and others issued urgent warnings about the security problem and a related flaw in February 2007, March 2010 and again earlier this week. The government warned in 2007 the problem could disrupt operations and allow for unauthorized disclosures of confidential information. Fixing the problem involved installing an available update or manually deleting two lines of software code. It was not immediately clear why the hospital chain, which operates 10 hospitals in Maryland and Washington including the MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, was still vulnerable years after those warnings. The new disclosure doesn’t diminish the potential culpability of the hackers responsible for the break-in, but it reveals important details about how the crime unfolded. And it could affect MedStar’s civil or administrative exposure under U.S. laws and regulations that require health providers to exercise reasonable diligence to protect their systems. MedStar’s assistant vice president, Ann C. Nickles, said in a statement Tuesday to the AP that the company “maintains constant surveillance of its IT networks in concert with our outside IT partners and cybersecurity experts. We continuously apply patches and other defenses to protect the security and confidentiality of patient and associate information.” MedStar said Monday its systems “are almost

AP Photo/ Molly Riley In this March 28, 2016 file photo, a sign covers the door to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington. The hackers who seriously disrupted operations at a large hospital chain for days and held its data hostage broke into a computer server left vulnerable on its corporate network despite urgent public warnings since at least 2007 that it needed to be fixed with a simple update, The Associated fully back online,” just over a week after the March 28 hacking. The company hired experts from Symantec Corp. to help investigate. Nickles said Tuesday there was no evidence that patient or employee records were compromised. MedStar said in a statement Friday evening to the AP that it would not provide details about how the attack occurred, and it criticized further media coverage of the case as perpetuating “the infamy of malicious attacks for airtime and publicity” and encouraging copycat hackers. The MedStar hackers employed virus-like software known as Samas, or “samsam,” that scours the Internet searching for accessible and vulnerable JBoss application servers, especially ones used by hospitals. It’s the real-world equivalent of rattling doorknobs in a neighborhood to find unlocked homes. When it finds one, the software breaks in using the old vulnerabilities, then can spread across the company’s network by stealing passwords. Along the way, it encrypts scores of digital files and prevents access to them until victims pay the hackers a ransom, usually between $10,000 and $15,000. If a victim hasn’t made safe backups of files, there may be little choice except to pay, although MedStar has said it paid nothing. The hospital chain shut down its systems quickly after discovering the attack, limiting its impact to archives, some imaging and lab files and other duplicate records, according to the person with inside knowledge of the attack. “This old issue is still somehow spread across Internet-facing servers,” said Stefano Di Paola and Giorgio Fedon of Minded Security, an Italian security

firm, in a joint statement to the AP. They discovered a related vulnerability in the servers in 2010 that Red Hat designated its highest priority to fix. The FBI issued a flash message to companies days after the MedStar hacking, describing the dangers of samsam and asking for help detecting it and improving defenses against it. Days later, the Homeland Security Department issued a separate warning about samsam and another common ransomware strain, Locky, which tricks victims into opening email attachments to infect computers. Cisco Systems Inc., which has studied the attacks, estimated there were about 2.1 million servers around the world vulnerable to samsam, although some may be additionally protected by other layers of security. It described the ransomware campaign as “proving to be a profitable affair.” “If you haven’t patched your server, you’re vulnerable, and it can compromise your server at 3 a.m. in the morning when no one’s watching,” said Craig Williams, a senior technical leader at Talos, Cisco’s security research organization. “This is simply a case of people not following best practices and not applying patches for people to correct their systems.” Identifying the hackers and arresting them can be difficult. Tracing the scanning activity preceding an attack typically leads to other hacked computers; logs that might yield identifying clues can be manipulated or deleted and the samsam software is unusually self-sufficient and doesn’t require hackers to control it after an infection. Ransoms are paid using hard-to-trace digital currency.


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Profile for The HCC Egalitarian

The Egalitarian: April 6, 2016  

I am my brother's keeper; Non-profit, pocket friendly; A beautiful struggle, Elisa Cardenas; Nuggets of Wisdom; Binge-watching gold

The Egalitarian: April 6, 2016  

I am my brother's keeper; Non-profit, pocket friendly; A beautiful struggle, Elisa Cardenas; Nuggets of Wisdom; Binge-watching gold

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