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BEST OF

20 ualr.edu/forum

Best Athlete

12

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Student Newspaper

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Sophomore hopes to build on award-winning first year

Jacob Ellerbee

Assistant Entertainment Editor Taylor Gault, a 5-foot-8 sophomore guard on the UALR women’s basketball team, won the title of Best Athlete in the Best of UALR. Gault downplayed the recognition and kept the focus on the team, “it’s pretty cool just knowing that people are out there watching us and supporting us.” Gault is a native of Conway and began playing basketball at the age of 5. Gault attributes her abilities to her father having a diverse athletic background, “My dad actually played basketball, football, track and baseball. He did it all and I got all of my talent from him.” Gault decided to attend UALR because of its proximity to her hometown. She said, “I wanted to stay close to home and they offered me a scholarship. I just like seeing all of my family in the stands and all my friends come see me.” Gault said a typical day for her consists of waking up at 8 a.m., going to class at 9 a.m.,

finishing class at 11:50 a.m., going straight to the gym, getting ready for practice, completing practice, studying, eating, going to sleep and then doing it all over again the next day. Although Gault has only played one season of college basketball, she has accumulated a number of impressive awards. One such award was being named to the Full Court NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Freshman All-American Third Team. Additionally, Gault was named the 2012 Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year and the 2012 Sun Belt Conference Tournament Most Outstanding Player. Gault not only broke the school’s freshman scoring record but also broke the record for scoring more points in one season than any first-year player in the Sun Belt Conference, according to UALR Trojan statistics. Although she has yet to start her sophomore season, Gault has received more accolades. She was named to the Preseason All-Sun Belt First Team. Also, Gault and her teammates have been picked to win the school’s sixth-straight West

Division Title. All of these preseason awards are voted on by Sun Belt Conference coaches prior to the start of each season. Gault said she and her teammates are excited to be picked first to win the West Division. “Every year we’re doubted. [Critics] say we’re not going to be as good as the previous year.” After completing her career at UALR, Gault plans to pursue a career in the Women’s National Basketball Association, but will look at her options in playing overseas. Gault said, “If I have to go overseas, then I’m still going to have fun with whatever God gives me.” Gault has yet to choose a major, but said, “I want to do something with medicine and athletes. I’m thinking athletic training or physical therapy.” Gault and her teammates begin the season on the road against Tulsa Nov. 12. They will be tested in non-conference games against teams like Oral Roberts, Missouri State and Memphis.

Sophomore women’s basketball player Taylor Gault was voted the Best Athlete. She was named the 2012 Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year and was recently named to the pre-season All-Sun Belt Conference first team. Photo by Chelsey McNiel

Sex serves as topic for course Inviting atmosphere, breaking Chelsey McNiel Features Editor

part of being human." M a s tin said the class also talks about the biological, psychological and sociological underpinnings of sexual orientation. He said sexual orientation is usually the most debated topic; however, students coexist in discussions because most are exceptionally open minded.

Best Course

We whisper and joke about what happens behind closed doors and under the covers, but topics like sexual orientation, sex toys and atypical sex are openly discussed in Psychosexual Behavior. "It's the opportunity to learn the science behind something so interesting," said David Mastin, associate professor of psychology. "We have a reticence to talk about sex in this country that we have inherited from the founders. Even today, folks are hesitant to talk about sex and that makes learning about sex We spend a lot of time thinking difficult." M a s t i n about sex. We should understand it as has been t e a c h i n g well.” David Mastin, associate professor of psychology Psychosexual Behavior for "[Our class] doesn't always about 10 years. He said learning about the scientifically under- agree on controversial topics," appreciated aspects of human said Zack Baker, junior liberal behavior is important and wor- arts major. "But it sparks different ideas and we can then disthy of investigation. "From the title one might mis- cuss the science of it." At least once a semester, takenly think the class is only about abnormal or 'psycho' sex, Mastin takes breaks from traditional lecture for a "fun party," but that's not true," Mastin said. The course spends about a or "a Tupperware party for sex third of the semester learning toys." "Usually the host for the about biology, a third talking about typical sex lives and the parties is a registered nurse final third on abnormal sex, ac- who can share her knowledge and experiences with adult cording to Mastin. "Dr. Mastin is a great mentor sex toys," he said. "It's a great and teacher," junior pre-med chance to think critically about biology major Anderson Lafont adult sexual products." Mastin said all important husaid. "He succeeds in making the subject matter interesting man behaviors are complex and and focuses on setting false worthy of study. "We spend lots of time thinkinformation straight. I would recommend the class to every ing about sex," he said. "We major because it's an important should understand it as well."

barriers key to professor’s success Liz Fox

Entertainment Editor David Briscoe, an accomplished professor in UALR’s Sociology and Anthropology department, is a man who adores teaching. His degrees and books tower above his desk in piles, yet he sits in his chair waiting to hear not just academic ideas, but insight into the lives of his students. Perhaps the reason behind his receipt of Best Faculty Award is because Briscoe — or David, as he prefers — doesn’t believe in the traditional student-teacher barrier. “If I have a following of students at the university, it is because I am very downto-earth and plain with my students,” he said. “I do not require that my students address me as Mr. Briscoe or Dr. Briscoe. … That way, it helps to break down the barriers that are set up structurally by society.” This mindset filters into the teaching atmosphere of all of Briscoe’s work. Of four classes he’s teaching this fall, Introduction to Sociology is Briscoe’s favorite and an old standby. He said the course’s expansive nature allows him to guide students in finding different educational pursuits within the discipline itself. “It gives me the opportunity to really send the message home to those who are attending those classes,” he said. “I put so much energy into teaching my classes that when I’m through with my classes, I’m tired.” The youngest of nine sib-

l i n g s , B r i s coe was born and raised on a farm in Mars Hill, N.C., a small c o m munity that emphasized faith and work as staples of a good life. His parents also stressed this philosophy in raising their children, and Briscoe believes they influenced his want and need for success. “They instilled in each of us really neat values pertaining to work ethic, pertaining to faith and pertaining to service,” he said. “Mom and Dad were terrific parents. Whatever I have achieved in my life, I would freely give to them.” After graduating from Mars Hill High School, he relocated to Little Rock and began pursuing a four-year sociology degree at UALR. He went on to receive a master’s in criminal justice before earning his doctorate in family sociology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. After teaching in SIU’s black history program, he journeyed back to UALR in 1992 and became the first African American to be promoted to full professor. Briscoe said that he is a man of strong faith, and it certainly shows. In addition to his secular education, he also completed seminary coursework at Harvard and Princeton, which resulted in three

Best Professor

David Briscoe, professor of sociology and anthropology, was voted Best Faculty member for the second year in a row. Photo by Justin Rowland books, all of which pertain to religious philosophy. But one of the most applicable parts of his faith, he believes, is treating others as they like to be

BRISCOE, continued on page 2


2 Best of UALR CLC leader stresses servant leadership

ualr.edu/forum

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Kerissa Accetta

Assistant Features Editor

Best Staff Member

Voted Best Staff Member at UALR, Nick Steele is more than thrilled to have won the title. “I’m elated and excited and certainly grateful, but not necessarily surprised,” Steele

said. I feel like I do a good job on teaching them how to learn how to lead and how to serve,” Steele said. Kelsey Reed, a sophomore Chancellor’s Leadership Corps scholar and biology major, said, “Nick is very dedicated to his job and to his students and [is] very motivated and ambitious for them all to succeed.” “I love working with the students. It’s certainly a passion of mine,” Steele said. “I kind of understand

“I’m elated and excited and

certainly grateful, but not necessarily surprised.”

Nick Steele, CLC coordinator

what it takes to be a CLC scholar, the time and dedication it takes to be a CLC Scholar [by doing things like] going to class, and serving the community.” Summer Flannery, a sophomore CLC Scholar with an undeclared major, said, “Nick is very personable and very idealistic. He’s very open to hearing other people’s opinion.” Steele has been the Coordinator for the CLC for a little over a year. Prior to that, he spent four years as the assistant director of admissions at UALR in the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. He began working with CLC students when he became a volunteer

Nick Steele, CLC coordinator, enjoys direct interaction with students in his role with the scholarship program. He was voted Best Staff Member by students, faculty and staff. Photo by Chelsey McNiel co-coordinator with Logan Hampton. The class sizes and interest in the program continued to increase, which led to the creation of the coordinator position. “Obviously it was a natural transition for me after volunteering for two years,” Steele said. Steele was born and raised in Pine Bluff and graduated from Sheridan High School before attending UALR. While he attended UALR, he majored

in radio, television, and film in the School of Mass Communication and was a CLC student himself. “I think [UALR is] a wonderful university and despite being in the capital city of Arkansas, I think it’s one of the best kept secrets in the state.” Steele wanted a job that he appreciated and had an impact on his life as well as others. “My favorite part [is] just working with the students everyday. A

West Hall Best Residence Hall

week could go by and my door is continuously revolving. It’s students in, students out. I love that because if I make an impact, a positive impact on a young adult’s life, just one a day, I feel like I’m doing a good job,” Steele said. “The most important job of mine is to retain scholars in our program and to graduate them as well. And also along the way, develop them into the successful young adults that they will become.”

BRISCOE, continued from page 1

“It uniquely combines private space with community space providing a great balance that supports students’ personal needs and excellent conditions for student success.”

Debbie Gentry, associate dean of students and executive director of housing

treated. “If you were in one of my classes, or if you were just a staff person or faculty person, I still feel I have a certain responsibility to behave in an appropriate way toward you,” he said. “I am commanded to love that person, thanks to my faith. It’s like scripture says: ‘hate the sin, love the sinner.’” Faith and academia aside, Briscoe’s other obligations can be found in organizations on and off campus. He serves at the first African-American president of UALR’s chapter of the Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society, an interdisciplinary program boasting 30,000 members nationwide. He

was also chosen to serve as a member of the National Executive Board for Boy Scouts of America, an organization he’s worked with for many years. Although these are some of his greatest accomplishments, Briscoe said that his best work is still done with students. “I am very passionate about what I teach,” he said. “I am also a student. I’m a student of society and a student of law, and I really believe what I do.” Briscoe lives in Little Rock with his wife and two daughters. He will teach Intro to Sociology in addition to three upper-level courses in spring 2013.

Benny Scroggin

Best Personal Office

Photo by Chelsey McNiel

Photo by Cameron Moix


ualr.edu/forum

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fraternity has success, focuses on membership Ian Bennett Staff Writer

Pi Kappa Alpha, Zeta Eta chapter, was recently voted Best Fraternity, making this their second consecutive win for Best of UALR. This award for the Pikes makes one of many for the fraternity in 2012, according to president Trey Gibeault and recruitment chair Stephen Hay. The most prestigious of the awards was the Harvey T. Newell award given to the chapter for growth in the areas of recruitment, 1,500 hours of community service last spring and the highest fraternal GPA. The fraternity has experienced tremendous growth over the past year, from eight to about 34 active members, and an additional 23 recently pledged. The Pikes have been recognized with a scholarship and recruitment award and were given the homecoming spirit award 2011-2012 along with the individual spirit award for the second year in a row for showing the most support for UALR, according to Gibeault. Hay said the Pikes advocate heavy participation in all UALR sporting events. The fraternity, Hay said, is engaged in off-campus events as well. The Pikes recently sponsored 11 runners in the Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure to support breast cancer awareness on Oct. 20, and will be attending Silent Sunday, a charitable event providing proceeds to technology programs for the Arkansas School for the Deaf on Oct. 28. They are also champions in their league’s flag football tournament and will be playing in the regional tournament in Fayetteville. For any onlooker, the Pikes are an accomplished fraternity, which Gibeault and Hay both attribute to recruiting, and the results speak for themselves. Hay also said, “We pride ourselves on being competitive” and that the organization offers an academic accountability matched with the feeling of brotherhood, whose purpose is to “enhance the collegiate experience by providing the opportunity to be involved.” SLAG, the Pikes’ acronym for scholars, leaders, athletes and gentlemen is what the members strive to be. Trey echoes the Pikes’ mission statement by saying “We are dedicated to developing men of integrity, intellect, and high moral character into fostering a truly lifelong fraternal experience.”

Best Fraternity

Trey

Gibeault

Best of UALR

3

Best Dressed Student

Anytime you’re going out in public, always put your best foot forward because you never know who you’re going to network with. You always want to

be at the top of your game in the business world. Be

confident in what you wear.” The Wardrobe • • • • •

Bowtie by Cremieux Shirt by Hugo Boss Suit by Hart Schaffner Marx Belt by Murano Shoes by Colehaan

Community service at heart of sorority success Juanita Britton Staff Writer

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. has been recognized by its peers as the Best Sorority on campus. Delta Sigma Theta is a private, non- profit organization that provides assistance and support to local communities. UALR’s Mu Kappa Chapter currently consists of 15 members, and was founded in 1975, after a petition was signed by 54 women determined to bring Delta Sigma Theta to campus. At the time, only 10 percent of UALR’s enrollment consisted of African Americans. The women’s mission was to enhance the lives of African American women on campus and in the community. The chapter’s purpose is to par-

ticipate in public service activities and to obtain high cultural, intellectual and moral standards for the collegiate and surrounding community. “I crossed in April of this year,” said Nikkia Ratliff, a member of the organization. “I wanted to join an organization in line with my ideology. I believe in helping others, and as our president says, “Have a servant heart.” “Often times, organizations say what they’re going to do, but you really don’t see them in the community. After conducting my research, I believed Delta Sigma Theta practiced what they preached, and stayed consistent on the principles it was founded on,” Ratliff said. The national organization was founded at Howard University in 1913 when discrimination and inequality for women were prevalent.

According to the Sorority’s national chapter, there are over 200,000 members and 900 chapters worldwide, making them the largest African-American women’s organization in the country. “I chose Delta Sigma Theta, hands down, because of the community involvement. I also saw an opportunity to grow individually, and to become a better person,” said Dekenbria Young, another member of the sorority. Delta’s motto is: Intelligence is the torch of wisdom.

Best Sorority

Love of teaching drives dean Busy professor finds time to lead UALR department Cameron Moix News Editor

The people have spoken; and the individual they have chosen as UALR’s best academic college dean is a woman whose presence is synonymous with the media. Jamie Byrne has served as interim dean for the college of professional studies since July, but her ties to the college are much deeper. Before assuming the position of associate dean in July 2011, Byrne had worked as director of the college’s School of Mass C o m munication for nearly ten years. She says that her colleagues have been like a second family and describes the college as one of great synergy. “The thing about the College of

Best Academic Dean

Best Academic Department

Professional Studies that brings it together is the service aspect,” Byrne said. “It’s about trying to make a difference. It doesn’t matter if it is criminal justice, social work, mass comm, speech comm or any of our schools in the college — they are all about trying to make a difference in the world.” Byrne said the path her career in higher education has taken is

“I’ve always defined

myself as a teacher and have always been student-oriented.”

Jamie Byrne, interim dean, College of Professional Studies

one of natural progression. She does not, however, intend on becoming the college’s permanent dean. “I’m just taking things one day at a time,” she said. After a permanent dean is selected, Byrne plans to return to the position of associate dean. She

&

attributes this decision to her love of teaching and concern that becoming full-time dean would distance her from it. “I’ve always defined Byrne myself as a teacher and always been student-oriented, in that I’ve been teaching for 25 years,” she said. “The further you go up in administration, the less teaching you do. I would never not want to teach, because you get too far away from the students that we are here to serve.” Along with her administrative duties, she currently teaches a course called Mass Media Research. When Byrne is not operating in her official administrative capacity, she enjoys expanding her extensive Barbie collection and spending time with her four cats: Angel, Bella, Punky and Buddy.

Rhetoric Writing

Alexis Willaims

Assistant News Editor UALR students voted George Jensen of Rhetoric and Writing as the Best Academic Chair of 2012. A professor of several courses, including Composition and Advanced Nonfiction, Jensen does more than fulfill his duties as educator. Yet he manages to serve the UALR community as a senator in the Faculty Senate, in addition to chair and adviser of the Rhetoric and Writing department. In the past year, Jensen worked with the Bone Marrow Donor drive on campus and aided in a few political campaigns. “He’s one of the finest men I know,” said Toran Isom, fellow department professor. Jensen said he was attracted to UALR for its administrators who are decent, ethical people. They are concerned about students, and they treat faculty with respect even when there are sharp disagreements. In my experience, this is rare. “We also have great students,” he said. “When we have speakers from other campuses, even the very best institutions in the world,

Best Academic Chair

they often say that they love our students.” Students might recognize Jensen’s office in the University Writing Center by the p l e t h o r a Jensen of eccentric window art, most notably his giant Radiohead poster. Jensen is quite the live music man, having attended a Radiohead concert in St. Louis and seen Wilco live four times. “This fall, I have seen some good shows in town: Shonon Knife, Victor Wooten, and Matisyahu,” he said. The chairman also said he is attempting to learn guitar. “It’s a humbling experience, but it has given me more respected for what good musicians do,” he said. Jensen enjoys biking and has been attempting to revive his blog democraticvistas.com, but he said finding time to write is difficult. He said that he used to fly-fish, but since it is a sport that takes “large chunks of time”, fly-fishing is not one he has endeavored in a decade. George Jensen is the author of several books, including "The Philosophy of Discourse", and most recently, "Some of the Words Are Theirs: A Memoir of an Alcoholic Family.”


ualr.edu/forum

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Best of UALR

Trojan Grill

4

Jimmy Johnson, a sophomore finance major, is a resident assistant in the West Residence Hall. Photo by Taylor Hoffard

Student leader helps peers have full college experience Taylor Hoffard Staff Writer

Being a resident assistant involves patience, persistence and even a little knowledge in knowing how to balance your personal life with your work life. Sophomore finance major Jimmy Johnson knows just how to do this. Being an RA in West Hall involves a lot of time and commitment, and the student from Osceola learned first-hand how this worked. “I wanted to inspire incoming freshmen to be themselves as well as remember why they’re here: let’s get something out of college; know why you’re here,” Johnson said. He is no stranger to leadership roles; he was i n volved i n E A ST l a b s a n d D ra m a club in h i g h school. This fall is Johnson’s first semester as a RA; he has 28 residents. “I felt this was a good transition to make while in collegeit’s quite an honor to be called the best RA, I just started this job and I’m already getting recognition for my work,” Johnson said. Change is inevitable while being a college student, Johnson said he handles this with a realistic approach by telling his residents that they won’t be the same person by Christmas break, let alone the end of the year, because he knows he’s not the same person he was last year. “Knowing that you’re touching someone’s life every day is the best part of being a RA. I would like my residents to learn to be themselves. There is nothing wrong with being yourself, just be you. We don’t use the word ‘weird’ on our floor. People have the tendency to stereotype other people,” Johnson said. At the beginning of the semester, Johnson did an “Ask Your RA” program with his residents, which he said is his favorite. “I just really gave them the chance to break the ice between the residents and me,” he said. In this program, Johnson had his residents write questions on a piece of paper, and he put the questions in a hat and drew questions to answer. “I found out that I have very curious residents,” Johnson said. They asked him questions like, ‘do you have a girlfriend?’ ‘Can you teach me how to dress?’ and ‘Where are you from, and how do you make it through each day?,” Johnson said. Some people make being a RA a career. “I plan on being a RA [during] my entire attendance here at UALR. My future is something that I often pray about. Student affairs would be a good field to go into, but ultimately I would want to get a master’s in finance.” Johnson said. Aside from being a RA and keeping his grades up, Johnson enjoys working out and playing basketball. In high school, Johnson played basketball for his school. “I had an ultimate goal to play college basketball, but after I didn’t get the division 1 scholarships I wanted, I decided to take an academic route and make the best of my situation,” Johnson said.

Best Resident Assistant

Best UALR Dining Location

“It’s very convenient because it’s open late at night.” - Jenny Wilbon, freshman

Photo by Cameron Moix

Angie Francis Commons Market

Best UALR Dining Employee

Best Student Organization

Sign Language Klub (Sigma Lambda Kappa)

Flag football returns to enthused students CJ Waters

Assistant Sports Editor After being absent from UALR’s intramural program for several years, flag football was brought back to the program this year to a supportive reaction from many students. “Well, it is a tremendous honor for flag football to be selected as the Best Intramural Sport,” said UALR Intramural Sports Coordinator Grant Watts. “It shows that students enjoyed participating and being out on the recreational complex field.” The season started in September with eight teams in the men’s division and two teams participating for the women’s division. The eight teams that participated in the men’s division were the African-American Male Initiative, Chancellor’s Leadership Corps, Hash Slinging Slashers, Kappa Sigma 1, Kappa Sigma 2, Pi Kappa Alpha, Pike Rushes and The Rangers. The African-American Female Initiative and CLC Gals were the only two teams that competed in the women’s division.

Best Intramural Sport

The Hash Slinging Slashers defeated AAMI 26-20 to win the men’s flag football championship on Oct. 18. The Hash Slinging Slashers were the thirdseeded team in the playoffs and finished the season with a 7-2 record. AAFI won the women’s division after beating CLC Gals 54-12 to finish the season with a perfect record of 4-0. “Flag football gives students the opportunity to participate in something they enjoy within the recreation of the game of football,” Watts said. “It brought a ton of interest to students to watch exciting competition and a great opportunity to connect with other students.”

Office of Campus Life

Best Administrative Office

The Office of Campus Life was voted Best Administrative Office. From left to right: Jenny Hunt, assistant director of campus life and Greek life adviser; Jan Austin, assistant vice chancellor for student life and leadership development; Benny Scroggin, graphic designer; Kara Matthews, diversity programs coordinator; Kenny Early, director of campus recreation; Emily Cox, student development specialist; Cynda Alexander, non-traditional student programs coordinator; and Mike Castens, research assistant. Not pictured: Brittany Mathews, student development specialist. Photo by Chelsey McNiel


Best of UALR Oct. 31, 2012