summer Issue 3
Smokin’ Hookah See page 3
July 29, 2013
Moving On See page 6
Summer Treats See page 7
St. Louis Community College at Forest Park
Student Center sees big changes By Scott Allen The Scene staff Students returning to Forest Park this fall will find the Student Center has changed dramatically. Offices and student services on the first two levels are being rearranged. The objective is better accessibility, said Thomas Walker, vice president of student affairs. “That’s the goal behind the renovations,” he said. The bookstore, cashier’s office, financial aid and academic affairs are being grouped together to provide “one-stop shopping.” “They’ve already begun work on the main level of the Student Center, where the Highlander Lounge will be,” Walker said. “(It’s) an area where enrollment services, admissions and registration will occur.” Walker’s office and the office of Vice President of Academic Affairs Tracy Hall moved in July to new digs on the Student Center’s second floor. “Since I was really down the hallway in G Tower (before the move), it made sense for me to be closer to where the action is when students have concerns,” Walker said. “I’m closer to that activity, and it’s easier for students to find.” President Cindy Hess’s office has moved
Photo by Garrieth Crockett
Forest Park graduate Kristopher Claywell, 37, sorts books in the relocated bookstore. from the Student Center to the second floor of G Tower, along with community relations. One of the most significant changes for students is the bookstore’s relocation to the
southwest corner of the Student Center’s first floor. The move was quite an undertaking.
See Center page 4
Student earns degree while fighting cancer By Sana Cole The Scene staff Linda Foster walks the halls of Forest Park with a bright smile, hiding the challenges she’s faced in the past year. The 62-year-old student from North St. Louis completed an early childhood education degree in May while battling cancer. “I didn’t want to be a hindrance to anybody, so I tried to get (chemotherapy and radiation) treatments on the days I didn’t have school,” she said. Foster had enrolled at the college in 2009 after losing her job at a day-care center. Her only son, Greg Robinson, 38, also of North St. Louis, wasn’t surprised by his mother’s perseverance. “She can do anything she puts her mind to,” he said. “She’s strong. I just wanted to be able to take care of her. I wasn’t scared.” After a bout with breast cancer in 1976, Foster was cancer-free for more than three decades. Then she discovered blood in her stool in early 2012. Doctors diagnosed colorectal cancer. “I was sick and didn’t know it,” she said. The situation got worse after Foster began treatment. She was severely burned by radiation, causing nerve damage, and had to undergo three weeks of rehabilitation because she couldn’t walk. Foster couldn’t take classes in the summer, but she was determined to return that fall. “I thought, ‘I have to hurry up and get
Photo by Scott Allen
Linda Foster has inspired students and teachers at Forest Park with her determination.
better so I can attend school in August,’” she said. Foster has been touched by the help she has received from her son, as well as Forest Park students and teachers, but they insist she’s the one who has inspired them. “She’s an amazing woman,” said general transfer student Stacy Halpin, 29. “She’s a really cool lady. I loved to help her out
when I could.” Foster was taking a sociology class with Haplin when she became ill. Foster only missed five sessions of the class. Haplin made sure she got notes and assignments. “I really admired her, and thought she was the type of student I needed to hang around,” Haplin said. “You hear lots of stories, but Linda is a special case.” Early childhood education major Anita McNeil, 58, also pitched in. She took Foster home from school each day so she wouldn’t have to ride the bus. “Even though she was ill, she was an encouragement to me,” said McNeil, who called her a “tough old bird.” McNeil and Foster had met in 2009 in a child growth and development class. They became friends, partly because both were “seasoned” students. They studied and ate lunch together and encouraged each other. McNeil said God helped Foster stay on track, despite the cancer. “She’s a walking, talking, living testimony,” McNeil said. “I was just glad (God) placed her in my life. I was supposed to be an angel for her, and she was an angel to me.” Foster grew up in Edwardsville, Ill. She is the second oldest of 11 children. Her dad worked for Granite City Steel, and her mother was a nurse. “(My parents) taught me good work ethics,” she said. “(They said) don’t sit
See Cancer page 2
Black graduates on the rise By Sana Cole The Scene staff Higher Education Magazine has ranked St. Louis Community College 36th among the Top 100 institutions across the country for percentage of associate’s degrees conferred on black students. The college conferred degrees on 2,113 Donna Dare students, including 474 black students (22.4 percent), during the 2011-12 school year. That’s a 19 percent increase over the previous year. “It’s a cause for celebration,” said Donna Dare, vice chancellor for academic and student affairs. “We know there have been disparities (between black and white graduation rates). We’ve worked hard to improve that, and I think it’s great to see we’re making progress in reducing the gap.” Dare gave partial credit to college programs such as Achieving the Dream, the African American Male Initiative, Commit to Complete, Upward Bound and TRIO. “I think the recognition the college received (from the magazine) is a result of a culmination of a lot of efforts,” she said. “I think we’re seeing some benefits of the work we’ve put in.” Forest Park is known as the college’s most diverse campus, with about 54 percent black students, 34 percent white, 4 percent Asian, 3 percent Hispanic, 3 percent unknown, 2 percent multi-racial and less than 1 percent Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander and American Indian. Thomas Walker, Forest Park’s vice president of student affairs, offered his congratulations on a job well done with regard to the magazine’s ranking – with a caveat. “I think we have a lot of improving we need to do to better serve our African American students,” he said. Achieving the Dream is a multiyear national initiative to help community college students succeed. It’s focused heavily on those who have traditionally faced significant barriers, including the poor and minorities. TRIO is a group of eight Federal service and outreach programs designed to identify and assist poor,
See Ranking page 2
from page 1
around and wait for anyone to hand you Foster worked extensively with one anything.” little girl named Tamara Greer, who Foster attended Southern Illinois had a hearing problem. She got her help University at Edwardsville, but she got through the Special School District of St. married and pregnant during her first year Louis County. and left college. The marriage ended in “I just like to help people,” Foster said. divorce eight years later. “(Tamara’s) mother didn’t know there were Foster married her second husband, programs out there. If there is any knowlAlvin, in 1984. They later moved to St. edge I have to help a person, that’s what Louis, where he was shot and killed during I do.” a “drug transDarlene Greer, action” in 52, is grateful for 1991. the intervention. “It gets “My daugheasier, but ter just graduyou never ated from high forget,” she school, and she’s said. on her way to Foster nursing school,” worked as she said. a tutor for The day-care people who center closed were physin 2004 after ically and the owner died. mentally disFoster tried to abled until find another job, the owner but she was at of a Peers a disadvantage Unlimited without a college day-care degree. That’s center in her why she enrolled neighbor– Friend Anita McNeil at Forest Park. hood offered Outside of her a job. school, Foster She found her calling as a teacher and enjoys listening to rhythm and blues and became a “second mother” to students. working in the food pantry at Northern “I made sure the kids were fed,” she Missionary Baptist Church. She still is dealing with nerve damage said. “I would give them money and do but remains optimistic. She plans to take their hair. I would take my money and go more classes in the fall. to the Goodwill and buy clothes if they “The devil tried to throw a fork in needed them. Those kids still come by my the road, but God always prevails,” she house.” said.
“She’s a walking, talking, living testimony. I was just glad (God) placed her in my life. I was supposed to be an angel for her, and she was an angel to me.”
Linda Foster reads to a day-care student; she lost her job when the center closed, prompting her to enrol at Forest Park.
Munden takes math helm College gets training grant By Joan Nelson The Scene staff Forest Park has a new math chair. James Munden, 30, of Columbia, Ill., has replaced Seth Daugherty. “My philosophy is not to memorize rules, but to see and implement the actual mechanics behind the rules,”
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he said. Munden has been teaching pre-algebra, analytic geometry and calculus at Forest Park since 2010. He formerly served as a graduate assistant in math at St Louis University, where he is working on a doctorate. Daugherty served as Forest Park’s math chair for two Munden years before stepping down this month for personal reasons. He still is teaching classes as an assistant professor. “I hope and trust students will continue to feel well served by the math department,” he said. The math chair is responsible for scheduling classes, hiring and evaluating faculty, overseeing curriculum decisions and addressing student and faculty concerns. Continuing education student Jenn Bock, 38, of St. Louis, had Munden for a calculus class. “Mr. Munden is a good teacher,” she said. “He’s able to teach how to break down the concept of the math problem for student to understand.” Munden has been married for a year to wife Katie, a high-school math teacher. In their free time, they enjoy hiking and visiting national parks, such as Death Valley, Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon. “I’d like to visit all the national parks in Alaska,” Munden said.
By Scott Allen The Scene staff St. Louis Community College has received nearly $200,000 to train low-income and unemployed area residents in hazardous waste cleanup. For the fourth year, the Environmental Protection Agency granted the college funds to provide trainees with more than 200 hours of instruction. The college hopes to place 55 workers in environmental jobs, out of a potential 81 graduates. “This has been a very successful partnership over the years, with our local grant program achieving the highest placement rates nationally, and most importantly helping qualified residents earn credentials that are of value in the marketplace,” said Roderick Nunn, STLCC vice chancellor for economic development and workforce solutions,
Ranking disabled and other disadvantaged students from middle school to graduate school, as well as first-generation college students. “These programs are designed to aid students in having a level playing field in education,” said Carolyn Jackson, manager of Upward Bound and TRIO. “Sadly, so many students start college without being prepared for the challenges they will encounter.” The college’s African American Male Initiative provides support and assistance to black males. Interim Director Genesis Steel noted that 29 black students have graduated this year.
stated in a press release. Instruction will include courses on environmental technology, safety, lead, asbestos and mold cleanup, environmental sampling and monitoring, chemical hazards and blood-borne pathogens. Residents of St. Louis city and county, East St. Louis and surrounding Illinois counties who are low income or unemployed or receive public assistance will be recruited for the program. It’s the fourth time that STLCC has received the grant, provided to non-profit organizations to recruit, train and obtain jobs for mostly low-income and minority workers. They’re recruited from communities impacted by solid and hazardous waste. The EPA has funded more than 200 job-training grants for a total of more than $45 million.
from page 1 “They’re not only pursuing their degrees, they’re getting their degrees,” she said. “This shows that their hard work is paying off.” Steel believes the Higher Education Magazine recognition is good for the college. “It highlights what’s being done by the students and (that) their efforts have paid off,” she said. “A lot of people have a misconception about students who attend two-year colleges. The statistics show they are walking away with their degrees and doing great things.”
July 29, 2013
Hot on the Student opens hookah lounge on Delmar By Kevin Gomez The Scene staff Hookah tobacco smoking has spread across the United States, including St. Louis. It’s a Middle Eastern cultural tradition with roots that go back more than 500 years. Now it’s all the rave among young people. “It’s all about having fun and socializing,” said Amir Sadri, 22, a medical engineering student at St. Louis Community College at Meramec. Amir Sadri recently opened Puzzles Hookah Lounge on the east end of the Delmar Loop with his brother, Danial, and a close friend, Sina Karimi. “People come to relax, smoke and feel the buzz,” Sadri said. Hookah, also known as “narghile,” “shisha” and “goza,” is tobacco moistened with flavored syrup or molasses. It is produced all over the world. The “buzz” is a light-headed feeling, similar to what comes with cigarette smoking, only stronger. “Back home (in Iran), smoking hookah is very common,” Karimi said. “We share this activity with friends and family.” Hookah is smoked in an Arabian-style water pipe known by the same name. It’s a type of “bong” with detachable metal, clay and plastic components. The tobacco is placed in a bowl, covered with foil and topped with a piece of coal that is lit. Smoke is filtered through water at the hookah’s base and inhaled through a small mouthpiece connected to a hose.
Hookah tobacco comes in flavors ranging from fruity and sweet to tangy and minty. “Our customers love a special mix called Mary Jane and Dirty Blonde,” Sadri said “It is a mixture of white guava, melon, pineapple and banana.” Sadri’s entrepreneurial vision started two years ago, when he got a job at the former Ranoush Nights Hookah Lounge. He gained enough experience to open his own place. “Customers would always complain while I was working at Ranoush – Amir Sadri because we constantly ran out of tobacco,” he said. “… With the help of my business partners, we raised enough money to buy the business.” After several stressful months of filing city permits and organizing finances, Ranoush was reborn as Puzzles. “I am glad (it) opened,” said Rekan Ibrahim, a regular customer. “The price is right, and the music is epic.” The lounge appeals mostly to young city residents. It resembles a nightclub, dimly lit with colorful party lights and small round tables. A D.J. plays hip-hop, electronic, dubstep and pop music. Prices range from $12 to $20 for a smoking session. “Puzzles is a great place,” Sadri said. “We have more than 200 flavors (of tobacco) and several D.J.’s playing music every single night.” Puzzles Houkah Lounge is at 6165 Delmar Blvd. in University City. For more information, visit www.puzzleshookah.com or the Facebook page or call (314) 799-9934.
“People come to relax, smoke and feel the buzz.”
Photo by Kevin Gomez
Co-owner Amir Sadri stands outside his new business, above; hookahs are lined up, waiting for smokers, below left.
Exploradome removed after 17 years
By Dwayne Hagens The Scene staff An era ended at the St. Louis Science Center on June 24, when officials deflated the Exploradome. The 652,000-cubicfoot, gridded balloon structure had been inflated in 1997 to provide extra exhibit space. It cost $2 million. “It was never meant to be a permanent structure,” said spokeswoman Bert Vescolani Margie Walsh, noting the Exploradome was supposed to come down in six years. “It lasted a longer than expected.” The Science Center opened a new $9.5 million wing called Boeing Hall in 2011, providing more permanent space for exhibits and eliminating the need for the Exploradome. The current exhibit is “Lost Egypt: Ancient Secrets, Modern Science.” “I like how it is interactive,” said Ted Peterson III, 50, of St. Louis. “It’s definitely a family building, good for adults and children. It’s a great, solid teaching tool, very hands on.” After 17 years of use, the Exploradome was deflated in just under 10 minutes. “I didn’t even get to use my camera, it happened so fast,” said Gordon Brooks, a desktop support technician who witnessed the moment in history.
Photo by Garrieth Crockett
Plans for the property next to the Science Center’s main building still are being developed “I’m glad they took it down,” he said. “It was time.” The Exploradome’s removal also was a cost-cutting measure. The Science Center spent about $200,000 a year to operate
minimize expenses and where we want to invest more,” said President Bert Vescolani in a press release. “Exhibits are where we want to invest more.” Vescolani took over the Science Center
programs and five-figure bonuses given to vice presidents, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. After making cuts last year, officials said $10 million in cuts still were needed. “Body Worlds 3,” “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition” and “Real Pirates” are just a few of the blockbuster exhibits that attracted millions of visitors to the Exploradome over the years. “It was an iconic structure, well beyond its lifespan,” Vescolani said. “And with (it’s removal), we have lots of opportunity for change.” The Post-Dispatch reported that the land vacated by the Exploradome will be seeded to make way for an agriculture exhibit that will include outdoor classrooms, gardens and artwork. Science Center officials declined to comment on what will replace the Exploradome. “This will be the largest exhibit expansion in the Science Center’s history, and we know it will be highly relevant to the St. Louis area and its future,” Vescolani said in the press release. “Right now, we’re in the planning phase, but I can tell you that this exhibit will be highly interactive and contain many elements that change each year, ensuring the exhibit experiences stay current and refreshed every time you visit. “We will be sharing more as we develop concepts and ideas concerning specific content for the area in the coming months.”
“Body Worlds 3,” “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition” and “Real Pirates” are just a few of the blockbuster exhibits that attracted millions of visitors to the Exploradome over the years.
it. Fans ran around the clock to keep it inflated. “One of the important things we have to do is look at where we have to reduce or
helm in 2012, immediately facing the task of reducing a $20 million debt. Most of it resulted from daily operating costs, leased land, expanded education
July 29, 2013
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“We were closed (the first week in July),” said Julia Hoffman, assistant manager of textbooks. “Then we opened in the new store July 8. It’s the biggest move I’ve ever been involved in.” Staff packed up school supplies and textbooks by the thousands as they did their annual inventory. “The moving-company people were all smiles until they got to the textbook boxes,” Hoffman said. “But they took everything in stride.” The bookstore’s location isn’t as visible as the old one, off the lobby, and the space is smaller. But it works, Hoffmann said, because students do more business over the Internet than in years past. “A lot of people are commenting on the small size of the new store, and it is a challenge,” she said. “But we love the new space. With change there are always challenges, but we are willing to take them on.” The bookstore now is next to the financial aid office, which helps. “We still get some foot traffic that we (lost) from being off the lobby,” Hoffman said. Kelli Harris, executive assistant to Hess, said the president’s new office in G Tower is working out well for them. They’re more spacious, allowing for better organization. “We did not reconstruct anything,” Harris said. “We took the economic route. We took advantage of the existing space and added some paint (and new carpet). We even moved our old furniture.” Harris said it was more important for the vice presidents’ office to be grouped
Photo by Garrieth Crockett
Employee Nate Heagney, 19, learns the bookstore’s computer system while Jonathan Edwards, 22, works nearby.
together than it was for the president to be in the Student Center. “In the successful college models, there’s transparency between the vice president of student affairs and the vice president of academic affairs,” Harris said. “I think it will be a better resolution process for students.” Hess now is near Information and Marketing Coordinator Susie King Edmiston and Community Relations Coordinator Lynn Venhaus. Edmiston said this move will help the college move quicker on emergency alerts, cancellations and other information that must be disseminated to students. However, Venhaus said they’re still getting adjusted to their new space in G Tower. “Summer is supposed to be slower, but it’s not,” Venhaus said. “We’re very busy.”
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July 29, 2013
Hot on the
Photo by Chris Cunningham
General transfer student Carolina Rizos, 39, reads a newspaper in the Forest Park courtyard.
Photo by Garrieth Crcckett
Fine arts major Miles Boyd, 34, puts up pottery at the end of a ceramics class.
A Day in the Life of Forest Park Photo by Garrieth Crcckett
Education major Lucy DeBartolo, 23, shapes her horse sculpture in ceramics class.
Photo by Jamie Greene
Math faculty member Debbie Char is interviewed by Christine Padberg for a MoHealthWINs video on the success of the Forest Park Adult Learning Academy.
Photo by Scott Allen
Campus police and President Cindy Hess talk with St. Louis firefighters after a fire alarm.
July 29, 2013
Points of view Editor’s Desk
Thanks for the memories By Michelle McIntosh The Scene staff The time has come to write my last Editor’s Desk column for The Scene. I wasn’t sure what to write about, except to say that my decision to leave Forest Park and the student newspaper has been bittersweet. In the past two years, I have grown as a person and learned more then I expected, about myself and where I want to go in life. Advisers Teri Maddox and Lane Barnholtz have been two of the key players in all of this. I started working for The Scene during my first semester at the college, and I have enjoyed it a bunch, everything from late nights laying out the paper to
trips across Missouri for conferences and office potlucks. It’s been stressful and fun. The staff truly has become a tight little group of friends. My journey changed while in school, as I started out with plans to go into nursing. Then I met former editor Jake Lucas in the courtyard and heard about the student newspaper. My first assignment was a story about artwork stolen from the fourth-floor hallway. Little did I know that becoming involved in this extra-curricular activity would cause me to change my major to journalism. I went from being a reporter to assistant editor to managing editor within a year. But last year, I also started my own business, selling bath and body products, spices, coffees, teas and gourmet chocolates. It grew into something bigger than I could ever have imagined, so I decided to give it my full attention for now. I plan to return to school down the road and finish my degree, but this new road I am traveling seems to have endless possibilities. My “Nana” used to tell me to “Follow your dreams” and “Be anything you want to be.” But dreams can change at the drop of a hat. That’s one thing I have learned from this experience. My dreams as a girl were to write and be successful, but I also wanted to be a nurse like my mom. So I enrolled at Forest Park, not knowing my first dream would come true almost immediately.
I accomplished a lot with The Scene, winning multiple awards for reporting and writing. I started a blog whose readers wait for my poetry and posts each week. My career goal was journalism, and my business was my hobby. Now they will be reversed. My favorite teacher at Forest Park is Ron Hughes. He is funny and just a great guy. I have learned a lot about myself just through journal writing in his classes. I’m also reaching goals in my personal life. I am a mom of three beautiful children. My daughter is caring, and she does more than any other child her age I have met, on her own and with church, Girl Scouts and school. My oldest son has won KMOV’s “Do the Right Thing” awards for two years in a row, for showing his classmates and school what it takes to be a good student and friend. My youngest son has overcome many obstacles related to autism. He can now stand being at a park with other children and in a regular classroom. I am proud of my children, and I know they will be proud of me no matter what I do. So as I leave Forest Park to focus on the next chapter of my life, I want to remind all of you to follow your dreams, never give up and always take chances. It was just by chance that I met Jake, and by chance I came to The Scene. Thank you for all the fun times.
So as I leave Forest Park to focus on the next chapter of my life, I want to remind all of you to follow your dreams, never give up and always take chances.
OUR STAFF Managing editor: Michelle McIntosh Layout editor: Justin Tolliver Photo editor: Garrieth Crockett Business manager: Sana Cole Advertising: Kevin Gomez Assistant Editor: Chris Cunningham Reporters: Scott Allen, Joan Nelson, Dwayne Hagens Designers/artists/photographers: Jerome Clark, Jamie Greene Faculty advisers: Teri Maddox, Lane Barnholtz
Cartoon by Jerome Clark
The Scene is a publication written and designed by students at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park, 5600 Oakland Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110. The office is in F Tower, Room 408. The telephone number is (314) 644-9140. The e-mail address is the_scene_ firstname.lastname@example.org. All text, photos, graphics and other content are property of The Scene and may not be used without permission. Views expressed are not necessarily
those of St. Louis Community College, its Board of Trustees or administration. The Scene welcomes opinion pieces and letters to the editor. They should be signed and include the writer’s student or staff number. They can be mailed to the above addresses or delivered by hand. We reserve the right to edit for length and taste. The Scene will run classified ads for students free of charge. They should be submitted in the manner described above.
July 29, 2013
view By Scott Allen
es instructor Mark Kruger, humaniti cake.” “Mine is black forest
Derrick Owens, 24, human service
“My favorite dessert would have to be cookies and cream with chocolate chip coo kies.”
Josh Wyzer, 19, general studies “You can’t beat watermelon when it’s this hot out.”
shion design Shay Green, 21, fato) Coffee Cartel.
(I go “I love ice cream. and coffee shop in the m ea cr It’s an ice Central West End.”
Annie Robinson, 8, granddaughter of instructor Ev Corlich “Ice cream. My favorite is mint.”
“What’s your favorite dessert or summer treat?”
Tammi Harris, 23, communications “Pumpkin pie with whipped cream on top.”
Ron Hughes, English instructor Payton Reed, 20, marketing
“My favorite would be carrot cake.”
Debbie Benoit, campus visitor
“I like strawberry cheesecake. My grandma makes the best cheesecake.”
“Peanut butter cookies are my favorite.”
Jermaine Price, 23, general studies “I love chocolate cake.”
Janet Woodworth, secretary
Lacey Keller, 22, dental hygiene graduate
“I like strawberry ice cream. We usually go to Dairy Queen.”
“Chocolate ice cream. FroYo is good. I like that place a lot.”
July 29, 2013
Potamac at Oak Hill in South St. Louis
Kirkwood water tower
St. Louis in a new light Fine arts major Derrick Varner, 48, took these photos for his Photo III class using a technique called HDR (high dynamic range) imaging. It involves shooting three photos of the same scene—one underexposed, one well-exposed and one overexposed— and using the desired parts of each to create a stylized image.
Gateway Arch in downtown St. Louis
World’s Fair Pavillion in Forest Park Pool Pavilion in Tower Grove Park
July 29, 2013