Tag: honors

Honors Program offers ‘escape’ from homework

 

Katie Peyton, Special to the Chanticleer


Next week, the JSU Honors program will give students the opportunity to escape homework—and from a mad scientist’s lab.

The program’s second-annual Escape Room is an event that challenges participants to find find clues, solve puzzles, and decode messages all within a period of 30 minutes.

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The event will be held March 18—March 21 from 6:00—10:00 p.m. each night in the basement of the Baptist Campus Ministries building.

This year’s theme will be escaping a mad scientist’s lab. Dr. Wakefield, a morally ambiguous geneticist, has been working on creating a perfect (but potentially dangerous) specimen. Participants will act as a group of federal spies who have infiltrated his lab. They will have to think quickly in order to find the ID badge that will keep him locked out of his own experiments for good.

Not only does the Escape Room raise funds for the program, but it also allows Honors students to reach out and offer a fun experience to the community.

Honors program Fundraising Coordinator Ashley Adamson, who has planned the event for the last two years, enjoys the way participants respond to the escape room.

“It’s very satisfying, after creating the puzzles and putting them in a strategic order, to see people having a good time and everything running smoothly.”

Even though she’s graduating after this semester, Adamson hopes that the escape room continues to entertain Jacksonville residents and students for years to come.

Senior Hannah Bryant, who participated in the Escape Room last spring, says the event offered a great time and a challenge.

“My group didn’t quite escape, but it was really fun trying to beat the clock!” she shares. Bryant says she will return with a new team next week for another shot at victory.

“It’s a really unique, inexpensive way to have fun with your friends,” says Kaleigh Ferguson, Honors Program President. Though she is helping plan the event this year, she participated last year. She says her team escaped with a couple minutes to spare, laughing all the way.

Groups can contain up to 5 people, and each participant must pay $5. To sign up for a time slot, email Katie Peyton at kpeyton1@stu.jsu.edu.

Honors class collects donations for 2nd Chance

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Students in Dr. Teresa Reed’s service learning class pose with the boxes they decorated for their Drive Out Sexual Assault supply drive. (Katie Cline/The Chanticleer)

Katie Cline, Editor-in-chief

According to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency,1,988 rapes were reported by county and municipal agencies in Alabama in 2015—a 5 percent increase from 2014. In 79 percent of the rapes, the victim and offender knew or were related to each other.

These are some of the statistics that the students in Dr. Teresa Reed’s honors lecture class hope to bring to light through their Drive Out Sexual Assault supply drive for 2nd Chance, Inc.

“I think this project is important because sexual violence is one of those things that’s kept hush-hush,” said James Thompson, a senior psychology major in Reed’s class. “Not really on purpose, but indirectly, because people don’t talk about it. Or if they do, it’s only with one or two people; it doesn’t get out, so we forget it exists. But it does exist, and it’s affecting people.”

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One of the donation boxes bears the message “It happens to everyone: my little sister, my little brother, my mom.” (Katie Cline/The Chanticleer)

The inspiration for the project came from the freshman summer reading book, “Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town” by Jon Krakauer. Reed’s class chose to sponsor a supply drive for 2nd Chance, Inc., a local rape crisis center. Donated items will be given to sexual assault victims after they receive forensic exams.

The project hits close to home for Laci Gurganus, a freshman accounting major. She volunteered at child advocacy center the past two summers where she was exposed to case files and interviews with child survivors of physical and sexual assault.

“This was reading that I don’t want to say I enjoyed, but I found it important and thought-provoking,” Gurganus said. “I read that book in two sittings, and I couldn’t put it down. And that was almost a year ago, so being able to do this project now has been a very fulfilling experience. I’ve been able to put all my thoughts and feelings about how those sexual assault victims were treated into an actual, tangible project.”

According to the National Sexual Assault Resource Center, one in five women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college. More than 90 percent of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault, and 81 percent of women and 35 percent of men report significant short-term or long-term impacts such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

“These statistics are shocking and should evoke a call to action,” the students said in a collaborative statement to The Chanticleer. “Our class decided to raise awareness about sexual assault on campus as a way reduce those numbers on our campus.””

Drive Out Sexual Assault is set to begin on March 28 and will run until the week of final exams in April. Items for donation include individually wrapped snack items, bottled water, menstrual pads, travel size toiletry items, toothbrushes, hair brushes or combs, packs of computer paper, two-pocket folders, paper towels, cleaning supplies, grocery store tote bags, yoga mats and restaurant gift cards.

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The completed boxes wait in the Honors House basement until distribution after Spring Break. (Katie Cline/The Chanticleer)

Boxes will be placed in the TMB, Stone Center, Martin Hall, Bibb Graves, Ayers Hall, Mason Hall and the residence halls.

“We, along with 2nd Chance, Inc., believe that victims have already been through a humiliating and dehumanizing experience and that we should be sending them home with proper supplies and support rather than in a hospital gown,” the student statement said.

Harvest Festival soon-to-be tradition

If you happened to stumble upon the quad Tuesday night, you would have found yourself amongst miniature superheroes, ghastly ghouls, and candy-eating royalty at the SGA’s Fall Harvest Festival. Celebrating its second year, this event brings together organizations from all across campus to give back to the community through volunteering and provides entertainment and games for all those who attend.

Students of all kinds blended in with their own creative costumes and themed tables in what can only be described as true Halloween spirit. Ranging from freshman zombies to Hogwarts students to Pokémon trainers, JSU students were given the chance to create games for their organizations and clubs for those who attended the Harvest Fest.

From sponsoring pumpkin bowling to bean-bag-tosses, local children who came to the event were catered to with the promise of candy with each table’s display. Alongside the students, the crowd was also offered an arrangement of activities including the inflatable duel match provided by the National Guard and dance performances via the Dance Academy.

JSU’s Student Government Association’s Kalyn Cabral was very enthusiastic when discussing this year’s event.

“My favorite part about it is that people really get into it and decorating. I really enjoy the atmosphere.”

Although it is only the festival’s second year, it has already made a big impact here on campus. With over twenty-seven on-campus organizations involved, it’s easy to see how much potential this autumn time event has.
There are hopes for even more growth with next year’s fall, but for now JSU’s students have accomplished bringing an afternoon of fun to the campus and local community.

It just goes to show that it doesn’t matter how old you are when it comes to enjoying the fun of wearing a costume, playing games, and eating candy.

Megan Wise
Staff Writer

2014 Elite Honors Scholars presented to President

This Tuesday on the 11th floor of the Houston Cole Library the 2014 Elite Honors Scholars were officially introduced into the program and presented before President Meehan.

Here at JSU, the Honors Program helps provide academically gifted students with an enriched educational experience in a diverse range of courses, as well as help students fulfill their potential in their chosen fields.

Every year, eight incoming freshman are selected and awarded the prestigious Elite Honors Scholarship. Spirits were high as each new addition was called forward and presented before family and staff into the program amongst their peers.

Much like the sorority and fraternity systems, the Honors Program Elites have adopted a tradition of “links” to help new members settle into college life and guide them throughout their time settling into JSU. Each new Elite Scholar found out with whom they had been “linked” on Tuesday night.

Before the presentation of the Elites, both President Meehan and Dr. Steven Whitton spoke on what it means to be an Elite Scholar at Jacksonville State University.

It was evident to see the pride that is associated with this program from the faculty as President Meehan praised the incoming and current members of the Elite Honors for their hard work, long hours and continuation of good habits and practices that had brought them all here.

Although directed at the freshman, his words of advice rang true for all current students at Jacksonville State University. “Education is not a vitamin we can take, but rather something to be exercised, and should be treated as a lifetime practice,” Meehan advised each of the Elites.

“The dream is here,” Whitton stated with confidence during his address to the group. Having once been the director over the Honors Program, his love for these students involved shone as he pointed out how the program has flourished over the last year.

This year, over 300 students are actively involved within the Honors Program, which is 25% more than last year.

When describing the role the Elites play within the Honors Program, Meehan regarded them as the very foundation. “They are actively molding the program for future scholars,” Meehan noted.

As well as being academic role models within the school, the program also encourages active volunteer work. From collecting shoes for local charities to raising money for Relay for Life, the Elite Honors members have certainly given back to the community in a way that should not be overlooked.

After much anticipation, “links” were announced and the class of 2018’s Elite Honors Scholars were presented. A reception for the freshmen Elites and their parents followed after the presentation.

For more information on enrollment in the honors program, go to http://www.jsu.edu/cas/honors or contact Ms. Janet Whitmore, the Honors Program Coordinator, at the Honors House across from Stone Center.

Megan Wise
Staff Writer

 

JSU Honors Program gets new director

Times are changing for the Honors Program here at Jacksonville State University.

Last fall, Dr. Steven Whitton stepped down as the director of the program to return to the classroom full-time.

Whitton started the program about five years ago with the help of the Honors Board per request of Dr. Earl Wade. Throughout his years within the program, it expanded each year, which he hopes will continue to do under its new director.

Dr. Lori Owens, the new director, wants to continue this increase and get to know the members of the program on a personal basis. She has had interactions with a few of the students but would like to get to know them all.

She has also been the faculty advisor for the school debate team since 1999 and she is the advisor for pre-law. Owens is involved with many student-oriented programs and she likes helping and being around the students.

She said when her dean asked her if she would want to be the new director for the honors program she didn’t have to think twice about it.

Honors Program Coordinator Mrs. Janet Whitmore is very optimistic about Dr. Owens and the future of the program. Similar to Owens, Whitmore also cares about the students on a personal basis and wants to continue building relationships throughout the program.

Whitmore believes that Owens is going to be caring, will be there for the students and will continue to help keep the students motivated.

Whitmore also believes the members will really like Owens and that she will be a great help to the program.

Emily Smith, president of the program, is also on a similar path concerning the future of the program.

“I would like to see the program continue to grow, and it’s going to be up to us to get the Honors Program involved around campus,” Smith said.

She is very optimistic with the new director and is looking forward to meeting Owens. She personally wants a director that would be involved and that cares about the students. She feels Owens is great for the job.

Smith, a senior Elite Honors Scholar, has been involved with the program from the time she started at Jacksonville State; this will be her last year as a member of the program.

Within the past four years Jacksonville State University’s Honors Program has had a twenty percent increase in the number of honors classes filled. The program grew from 365 seats to 565 seats this fall.

“The goal is to keep this increase in the number of students moving up,” Owens explained. She has several projects that she plans to start working on soon. She mentioned creating a theme for the program, meshing the Honors Program and honors classes together even further, and several other ideas that she hopes will continue to help the program thrive.

JSU’s Honors Program has a bright future ahead, and it seems Owens is very optimistic about it all.

Brandi Kendrick
Staff Writer