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Player of the Week: Kyle Lewis
Mercer Baseball’s Kyle Lewis was named SoCon Player of the Month for March, as announced by the league office this past week. The sophomore batter leads the SoCon in both home runs (10) and total bases (92) this season and also ranks among the conference leaders in hits (50), doubles (12), batting average (.382), slugging percentage (.702), runs scored (31) and RBIs (26). In addition, Lewis led the Bears to a league best 5-1 record in SoCon play during March, batting a team-best .386 with 21 runs scored, seven home runs and 18 RBIs. A Snellville, Ga., native, Lewis says that he chose Mercer both for its academic atmosphere and for the success of its eminent baseball program. “I love the laid back atmosphere around Mercer,” said Lewis. “Everyone is so friendly, and it fits perfect with my relaxed personality. I've been playing baseball my whole life, and to be able to play for a program like this has been extremely satisfying for me. I am able to receive an excellent education while still playing some great baseball.” In his first season as a Bear, Lewis played in 42 games and started in 17 games. He was named to the A-Sun All-Freshman Team with a hitting percentage of .281 and 21 runs scored. This year alone, Lewis has started in 33 games as an outfielder and has made a true impact for the Bears’ offense. Lewis says that his favorite moment so far this season was his walk off home run against Eastern Tennessee State University in March. Lewis’ hit closed out the Bears’ sweep of their league-opening weekend against the Buccaneers. “We needed a big win, and the fact that I was able to deliver was so satisfying,” said Lewis. Lewis also had another walk-off home run against the Belmont Bruins in the 11th inning, among other stellar offensive performances. In a non conference game against Bethune-Cookman, Lewis had a season high of four RBIs and also added a homerun in their 13-4 win. The indisputable highlight of the baseball season so far came in late March, when the Bears defeated the University of Georgia twice, 16-4 at home and 12-8 away. “Beating UGA twice has been huge for us as a team,” says Lewis. “We believe we are among the best teams in Georgia and to show it like that was great.” A Business Marketing major, Lewis plans to play professionally after college.
Spring Sports Recap: April 2- April 12
Baseball In their third weekend of conference play, the Bears continued to shine, taking the series against The Citadel 2-1. The Bears struggled in the first game of the series, losing to the Bulldogs 4-0. Eric Nyquist, senior pitcher for the Bears, received the loss, making him 4-2 on the season. Offensively, Mercer struck out 14 times throughout the game, which was a season-high for Bulldogs’ pitcher James Reeves. For the second game of the series, the Bears were finally swinging their bats, which powered them to a 4-3 win. Matt Meeder was the offensive star for the Bears, recording multiple hits in the winning effort. In his second SoCon start, pitcher Grant Papelian received the win after only giving up six hits and three runs in his six innings of work. The Bears took the series in the final game by making an offensive statement against the Bulldogs with a 17-0 win. The 17 runs that the Bears recorded made up the highest number that they have recorded this season. Both Danny Edgeworth and Trey Truitt added home runs to the win while pitcher Ryan Askew took the win after six scoreless innings of pitching. In a midweek rivalry game, the Bears faced off against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in Atlanta. Although the Bears’ three runs in the seventh inning put them ahead, their rally fell short after a couple of late hits by the Yellow Jackets. Pitcher Mitchell Wade received his first loss while Jackson Ware led the Bears offensively with multiple hits. After four consecutive weekends of conference play, the Bears remained in first place after taking the series against the No. 2 Western Carolina Catamounts. The first game against the Catamounts was an offensive battle, but the Bears came away with an 11-8 win. Nyquist started on the mound for Mercer but allowed 6 runs in only 1.1 innings of work. From there, Morgan Pittman took over the next 5.2 innings and allowed only one run on two hits. Reliever Ben Lumsden received the win for the Bears due to his stellar performance in the last inning. The Bears fell on the second day of the series 3-0. Papelian received the loss, which puts him at 4-2 on the season. Truitt was the only Mercer player to record a hit throughout the contest. The Bears took the series with a 5-3 win for the final game between the teams. Mitchell Wade received the win while DJ Johnson recorded the save. Devin Bonin added a home run, and Jackson Ware recorded a double in the series finale. The Bears will travel to Spartanburg, S.C., to take on the Wofford Terriers on April 17. Softball In its first Southern Conference road trip, the Mercer Softball Team went 2-1 against the Furman University Paladins. The Bears opened up the series with a win for pitcher Kristen Stevens, which makes her an impressive 18-6 on the season. Caroline Taylor, Kaytlin Haney and Taylor Rogers all recorded doubles in the win. Furman added two seventh inning runs, but their rally fell short, giving the Bears a 5-2 win in the series opener. Megan Bilgri, freshman pitcher for the Bears, added her fourth win with only one loss on the season. Bilgri was the third pitcher on the mound for the Bears, and she recorded only one hit and three strikeouts in her four innings of work. Both Riley Carter and Caroline Taylor added home runs in the 11-inning 5-3 win over the Paladins. The Bears fell in the final game of the series 4-3. While Stevens started the game for the Bears, Bilgri recorded her second loss of the season, giving away a home run in the last outing of the game. Offensively, Quirisa Mauga recorded the only home run for the Bears while Taylor Miller added a double in the losing effort. The Bears opened up their series against UNC-Greensboro strong with a 7-2 win, but then fell to the Spartans as they answered back with an 8-5 win. In the first game, Stevens added another win after pitching an entire game and only allowing two runs. Offensively, Caroline Taylor led the Bears with two hits, one run and three RBIs. The Bears were unable to take the series because of their lack of offense in the second game between the teams. The Spartans opened the game with a two-run homer, already creating a deficit for the Bears. Anna O’Neill received the loss for the Bears, putting her at 5-6 for the year. Riley Carter led the Bears offensively with two hits and three RBIs. The deciding game of the series was cancelled due to unfit field conditions and will not be made up. The Bears return to play on April 18 against the Samford University Bulldogs in Birmingham, Ala. Men’s Lacrosse Rounding out the second half of its Southern Conference schedule, the Mercer Men’s Lacrosse Team overpowered the Virginia Military Institute Keydets 17-4. With this win, the team is tied for most wins in a season, being 4-0 in Southern Conference play. In the win, Chris Baxa recorded a career-high of four goals while Chris Rahil added three and Brian Gibson added two of his own. Eight other players also recorded goals in the win, including Whit Anderson, Scott Baird, James Fromert, Jackson Kleintz, Matt Quinn, Anssi Kaisalmi, Walker Ensor and Timmy Geran. Goalkeeper Mike Nugent snagged seven saves against the Keydets, and Kleintz posted an impressive six assists. In the team’s fifth SoCon game, the Bears fell to the Air Force 10-7, breaking their four-game winning streak. Offensively, Timmy Gerna and Chris Baxa led the Bears with two goals apiece. Chris Rahil, Bryan Gibson and Jackson Kleintz also added goals for the Bears. Mike Nugent registered 13 saves in the loss while Justin Evans went 9-for-21 in faceoffs. The Bears return to Five Star Stadium on April 18 to take on the Jacksonville University Dolphins for their Senior Day and the final home game of the season. Women’s Lacrosse In their third straight Southern Conference loss of the season, the Bears were defeated by the Old Dominion Monarchs 24-10. Kate Leone led the Bears offensively with three goals while teammate Lindsey Zeltwanger recorded four assists as well as one goal and three ground balls. Erica Coyne also added two goals, two assists and two ground balls in the losing effort. Goalkeeper Haleigh Wurzel posted 11 saves in the loss while allowing 16 goals throughout her playing time. The Monarchs outshot the Bears 45-16 and also overpowered them in ground balls 28-13. The Bears finally posted their first Atlantic Sun win against the Howard University Bison. In the 21-15 victory, Leone once again led the Bears offensively with a program-record of eight goals in the winning effort. She also added an assist, a ground ball and four draw controls. Both Zeltwanger and Kate Christian added five goals, two assists, two draw controls and a ground ball. Goalkeepers Wurzel and Michele Holmes tallied six saves each throughout the game. After traveling to Jacksonville, the Bears were defeated by the JU Dolphins 21-6 for their fourth loss in SoCon play. Offensively, Kate Leone and Kate Christian led the Bears with two goals each. Teammates Lindsey Zeltwanger and Tori Blakeman also added goals for the Bears. Haleigh Wurzel tallied 17 saves in the losing effort. The Bears return to Five Star Stadium on April 18 to take on the Stetson University Hatters. Men’s Tennis On April 3, the Bears traveled to Chattanooga, Tenn., to take on the Chattanooga Mocs in their fourth SoCon match of the season. In the matchup, the Bears swept the Mocs 7-0 in their second sweep of the second. All six single matches came out victorious, and both of the one and two seed for the doubles matches came out with wins. In their final road match of the season, the Bears picked up their third sweep on the season, defeating The Citadel 7-0. The Bears dominated in both the singles and the doubles matches against the Bulldogs. This was the Bears’ fourth-straight SoCon win, as they moved to 11-11 on the season. Next up, the nationally ranked ETSU Buccaneers broke Mercer’s four-game win streak with a 7-0 sweep against the Bears. In the doubles matches, the pairing of Sam Philip and Anderson Scarpa were the only team to win while all six single matches fell to the Bucs. The next day, the Bears bounced back against the Samford Bulldogs with a 5-2 win. Oliver Snaider, Sam Philip, Arsav Mohanty and Manuel de Luis came out victorious in the singles matches while pairings Austin Emmet/Oliver Snaider and Sam Philip/Anderson Scarpa added wins in the doubles portion of the match. The Bears finished the regular season with a record of 5-2 in SoCon play and 12-12 overall. The team will travel to Greenville, S.C., for the Southern Conference Tournament beginning on April 24. Women’s Tennis On April 1, the Bears fell to the Samford Bulldogs 6-1 at Leroy Peddy Tennis Center. In the number three spot, Roxy Bartz was the only Bear to defeat the Bulldogs in both the singles and doubles matches. The Bears then traveled to Greenville, S.C., to take on the Furman University Bulldogs. At the Mickel Tennis Center, the Bears were swept by the Bulldogs 7-0. There was not a single victor in the singles or double matches for the Bears. The Bears’ losing streak continued as the team fell to instate rival Kennesaw State University 4-3. In the singles matches, Haley Powell, Liza Klyachkin and Laura Kelly tallied wins in the four, five and six spots while the pairing of Powell and Xandra Fougner was the only team to win for the doubles matches. For their six-straight conference loss, the Bears fell to the UNC Greensboro Spartans 6-1. Laura Kelly was the only Bear to win a match for the singles portion of play while the pairing of Grace Korta and Roxy Bartz found a win in the number one spot for doubles play. The Bears will conclude their regular season play against the Chattanooga Mocs in Macon on April 12.
Camp Inspiration: An event of celebrate medically-fragile children and their families
April 11th, 2015 was a day some children and their parents had been waiting for the entire year: Camp Inspiration. For this annual event, the Jessie Mercer Stewards invited medically fragile children and their families to attend a Neverland-inspired day-out on the Mercer Quad. Children met pirates and followed a map leading to treasured activities of painting, parachutes and wheelchair washes. These Stewards are Atlanta campus students representing each of the colleges, with 3 to 4 students per college, including pharmacy, nursing, PA, PT, public health, counseling, and theology. These students fundraised, planned, and hosted for over 70 attendees, including 15 families, at Camp Inspiration. Speaking with Adrian Lawrence, a Jessie Mercer Steward and third-year pharmacy student, she described Camp Inspiration as a fun event for the entire family. She said: “Medically fragile children, those with wheelchairs, severe medical illnesses, and mental disabilities, often don’t get to go out and have fun. So Camp Inspiration is a time for these kids to have fun with all sorts of activities. Also, their healthy siblings, who sometimes receive less attention from their parents, get to enjoy the camp. Parents, especially, get to relax at massage stations and receive support from other families.” Adrian also led a team of healthcare students in proving health screening services for adult attendees, including blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol, and HIV screenings as well as health and wellness counseling. How can you support such a heart-felt cause? Join the Bear Cup! That’s right, the Bear Cup, an inter-school athletic relay, is actually a fundraising event to support Camp Inspiration. This is a fun way to bond with your classmates and raise money. Also, the Jessie Mercer Stewards always need volunteers for this special day and accept donations for toys, crafts, and snacks. So get inspired and make a lasting impact within the Atlanta community! Sign-up and represent the charitable spirit of “Being the Bear” at the next annual Camp Inspiration.
A New Foreign Policy
Cultural relativism is the view that no culture is superior to any other culture when comparing systems of morality, law, politics, etc. It's the philosophical notion that all cultural beliefs are equally valid and that truth itself is relative, depending on the cultural environment. During the 20th century, the United States seized the throne of democracy and became the world’s champion for democracy and freedom. Whether it was during World War II, or subsequently throughout the Cold War, the United States has proven itself more than willing to come to the aid of democratic regimes throughout the world. Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the United States government adopted a more preemptive approach towards dealing with perceived threats from abroad; this new doctrine, labeled the Bush Doctrine, culminated with the decision to invade Iraq in the spring of 2003. One of the reasons cited by President Bush for the invasion was to spread freedom and bring democracy to the Iraqi nation. This effort to “impose” American-style democracy on Iraq has faced criticism from many analysts who thought it quite unfeasible to simply transfer American democracy to a nation where the conditions differed greatly than in the United States. Over a decade later, Iraq still lacks a functioning democratic government. Was the Bush Doctrine misguided? What conditions in Iraq make the implementation of American-style democracy so difficult and cumbersome? Geography, historical developments, and religion (sectarianism) are the variables present within Iraq that hinder the successful installation and development of American-style democracy. Utilizing Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America as the guiding tool, we can determine why the United States has struggled in its efforts to implement American-style democracy in Iraq. It is my hope that this will lead to a new era of foreign relations and a new foreign policy. European observers often credit accidental causes for the rise of democracy on the American continent. More specifically, geography is cited as a major reason that democracy has been successfully implemented in the United States. Upon the arrival of the English in the early 17th century, America remained a boundless continent that had yet to be tamed by the hand of man. As Tocqueville put it, “The Mississippi Valley is, all in all, the most magnificent dwelling that God has ever prepared for the habitation of man.” Yet, Iraq is also home to a major river valley as well. The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers form a region of the world that is known as the Fertile Crescent. This area of the world is often referred to as the cradle of civilization, signifying its incredible historical importance. Iraq possesses fertile land, great rivers, and is a major producer of one of the world’s most sought after commodities, oil. Yet, democracy has failed to be successfully implemented in Iraq despite over ten years after the American invasion. There must be more needed in order to ensure the survival of democratic institutions than the presence of arable land, rivers, and natural resources. Another reason cited by Tocqueville as advantageous to the successful implementation and development of democracy in America is the lack of potentially aggressive or violent neighbors. Due to its geographic isolation, the United States was not forced to maintain large military forces; it had no reason to fear aggression from any of its neighbors. As Tocqueville put it, “The Americans have no neighbors and consequently no great wars...nor a numerous army.” As a result, the Americans were able to experiment with democracy seemingly within a vacuum, with little to no fear of the outside world. Iraq, on the other hand, lies in perhaps the most volatile region on Earth. To the East, lies Iran, a nation with whom Iraq engaged in a lengthy war during the 1980’s. The Iranian regime, which is Shi’a, was at odds with the Sunni Baathist party led by Saddam throughout the dictator’s reign. The first Gulf War occurred as a result of the decision by Saddam to invade Kuwait, Iraq’s southern neighbor. United Nation forces, led by the United States and Great Britain launched an offensive attack to remove Saddam’s forces from Kuwait. With little difficulty, they were able to do so. As we have seen, geography played an instrumental role in the development of democracy in the United States. In Part 2, we will examine economics and historical conditions and their role in the growth of democracy.  http://www.cultural-relativism.com/).  (Tocqueville 21).  (Tocqueville 265).
The Life of an Atlanta Braves Fan
“Stairway to Heaven” and “Highway to Hell” – two iconic songs with two diverse destinations. The former, celestial steps that lead to a fulfilled promise. The latter, a gravel terrain that we unequivocally bypass if we can. In your life, you have free will to choose which path you take. Some take the unbeknownst highway, while others take the road less traveled. Regardless, your terminus becomes solidified forever. The life of a Braves fan, however, is not as autonomous. It’s a cycle of emotions. A roller-coaster that never stops no matter how much you scream. The crest of the ride represents 91’ to 05’ – a time our team ruled over the “Iron Throne” like the Targaryen’s. The trough of the ride, however, represents our postseason shortcomings– a time we ruled, only to be beheaded like Ned Stark. What is your fondest memory of the Atlanta Braves? Is it the 91’ season, when the team went from worst to first, and started their divisional dominance? How about Game 7 of 92’ NLCS when the lethargic Sid Bream beat the throw from Barry Bonds, and was called safe at home plate? For some, it’s the 95’ season, when the Atlanta Braves won their only championship. For others, it’s the many faces that adorned our diamond through the years, and donned the iconic insignia across their chests. Whatever memory you turn to, I can almost guarantee it is a good one. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of rich history woven in this franchise. Year after year, the Braves gave us something special, and we’ve stored these moments in our baseball archives. And while I’m proud of my team, I can’t help but feel let down in many ways. Yes, the great moments are there, stored in our brain and ready to be re-counted at any social gathering. But let’s face it, the bad moments are there as well, locked deep in our hearts like the Titans of Tartarus. These inconceivable moments in our history wail and shriek like ghosts, yearning to get out. Yet we suppress these thoughts with Freddie Freeman’s on-base percentage, followed by the notion that this will be the year we win it all. To be honest, it’s tough being an Atlanta Braves fan, and it’s ok to feel this way. Sure, our resume is impressive – 14 straight division titles – but we only have one World Series to show for it. Furthermore, the past few years as a fan has felt like a punishment that your parents issued because you wouldn’t eat all your vegetables: The “infield fly rule” in the 2012 National League Wild Card game, Dan Carpenter serving up a fat fastball for Juan Uribe to crush in the 2013 NLDS, and Dan Uggla… I realize at this moment you’re probably yelling obscenities at me in the name of Andres Galarraga. I get it, you’re frustrated, but so is every other Braves fanatic. The truth is, someone had to say it! It’s not easy being the Boba Fett of baseball – sure we look cool and have a substantial fan base – but we never do anything meaningful when the camera is on us. Much like the bounty hunter, we make it to the final movie, only to meet our demise in the end by some freak accident. No matter how many times we rewind it, we get eaten by the Sarlaac. Now that a new season is upon us, and our beloved team has been gutted and replaced by a bunch of Raul Mondesi’s, where do we go from here? Do we quit on the Braves? Do we jump ship and become bandwagon fans until the opening of Suntrust Stadium in 2017? No, we stick it out. We keep tuning in every night, no matter how dismal the season gets. Why? Because that’s what we do; that’s who we are. I don’t know about you, but I’m married to this team. Sure, this spouse gets on my nerves at times, but I still love them. I’m going to remain loyal, because that’s what defines a Braves fan. I didn’t pretend I was Andruw Jones in my backyard for no reason. I didn’t sit with my grandfather and watch the Braves dominate in the 90’s, only to quit on them when times get hard. We’re not the Yankees or the Red Sox – and thank God we’re not. We’re resilient and steadfast. We’re a small market with a respected farm system. We are “The Boxer” that Simon and Garfunkel alluded to. That’s something to be proud of.
'Macon Music' calls for contributions from local artists
Calling all Macon musicians! The chance for immense opportunities has landed itself at your feet. I’m talking about a new project to establish musical talent in Middle Georgia. The project takes the form of a CD compiling various artists across the region called ‘Macon Music.’ Shadow Sound Studios and New Town Macon are looking for original musical artists to contribute to this Macon centered album. This venture is the brainchild of Joey Stuckey, esteemed music producer and founder of Shadow Sound Studios. “Macon has a huge musical heritage ranging from the Allman Brothers to Little Richard,” said Stuckey, “but I want Macon to start looking for a musical identity centered on current musicians, not just those from the past.” Stuckey believes that it’s not lack of talent keeping Macon from reaching the potential of cities like Nashville or Austin. Rather, the culprit is simple lack of infrastructure in place to amplify the status of regional musicians. “There’s so many unbelievable musicians in and around Macon, but no one knows about them,” said Stuckey. For years, Stuckey has delved into this issue by showcasing local musicians (many of which are Mercer students) on his TV show which broadcasts every morning. Finally, Stuckey teamed up with New Town Macon, the premiere non-profit organization responsible for the revitalization of culture and commerce in downtown Macon. Together, Stuckey and New Town developed a way to contribute to this musical growth by giving ambitious musicians the chance to manifest themselves. Ten musicians will be chosen via online submission, then asked to contribute their talent to the compilation CD. Selected winners of the competition will each be given eight hours in Shadow Sound Studios to record a single song. Stuckey will oversee the production, ensuring that each piece is of the utmost professional quality. The competition is open to artists of all musical genres. Classical musicians, solo-act songwriters, hip hop groups and heavy metal bands are all encouraged to submit up to three basic samples of their work. You can do this through NewTownMacon.com. It is only asked that the file format is MP3 and that any lyrics and music are wholly intelligible. Furthermore, the work must be entirely original and un-copyrighted. The culmination of these artists’ work will become a centerpiece for Macon’s musical culture. This collaborative album will be entirely free and not for-profit. It will be dispersed to local businesses and venues downtown to be played and simultaneously given away to whomever so desires it. So there you have it. It’s time to submit your work! Judging will be done by five professionals in the Georgia music scene. The deadline for submissions is this Wednesday April 15 at midnight. Following the CD’s completion, a concert will be held including each of the groups featured on the album. Look for this event around June or July. Should the album develop successfully, it will be a huge stride for the musical community of Macon. Not only will unheard artists get a chance to be heard, but Macon will develop a modern musical identity worthy of international recognition. The hope is that this venture will continue every year, continually putting regional musicians on the map of the larger musical scene. Don’t miss out on this - the opportunity for success is just a submission away.
Social Media Roundup: Bearstock 2015
[View the story "Bearstock 2015" on Storify]
'Art in the Park' exhibit opens in Tattnall Square Park
Artwork will be up for the next five months in Tattnall Square Park as a result of Mercer Art Department’s new “Art in the Park” exhibit. The opening event was held in Tattnall Square Park March 20, and Associate Professor of Art Craig Coleman said that there were more than 60 people in attendance. This exhibit was the first of four, and the funding from the Knight Neighborhood Challenge grant will bring art to the park for the next two years. " 'Art in the Park’ is a series of four different shows that will display temporary public art,” Coleman said. “This first one was to raise awareness for the entire program, and give it a good kick off.” The Art Department partnered with College Hill and borrowed their stage for the musical guests that performed. The headliner was artist Preston Poe from Tampa, Florida. Poe writes musical pieces about local artists and their works. “Preston will be doing events for us about every other month for the next 11 months with the program,” Coleman said. “We are lucky to have him.” In addition to Poe’s music, there were other musicians, a local DJ, and two large white screens with video projections on either side of the stage to set the scene. Nu-Way Weiners provided hot dogs, and Coleman said that they wanted to highlight local food, so local restaurants will be at the next events as well. There are seven pieces that are displayed in the park for people to look, and they will remain there for five months. “Two of the artists that created pieces for the show were in Tattnall for the event,” Coleman said. “They spoke to the crowd about their work and took questions.” Susie Hendrix, one of the local artists, displayed her piece called the “Cubic Throne.” It is a red shaped chair that is made out of glass, and there is also a tile mosaic painted as a carpet in front of the chair. The second local artist in attendance was Chris Lavery. He displayed his piece called “Word Bubble,” which is a giant 12 foot tall word bubble that is made out of steel. The artists in this show were chosen by the art department after many submissions were sent in. The next show will be a curated show by a chosen artist, and the third show will be curated by the Tubman Museum and the Museum of Arts and Sciences. Coleman said that having the different shows will bring more diversity and give varying perspectives of art. The series of “Art in the Park” shows will hopefully lead to annual showings of public art. “We are hoping that eventually this leads to an art in public places program that could be part of the city of Macon and Mercer University,” Coleman said.
SGA Presidential Debate 2015
Two teams began a debate on March 26 and only one team will come out on top after the students vote for a new presidential pairing for Mercer’s Student Government Association. The presidential debate was held between David Boggs and Tony Perella, Boggs’ vice presidential running mate, and Austin Harrison and Taylor Jolly, Harrison’s vice presidential running mate, in Bear Rock Cafe. “Overall, I think students know more and more about the candidates and I think they’re excited to know more,” said Joey Wozniak, current president of SGA. “I really hope this, if anything, kind of recharges SGA to realize we’re about the students.” Both tickets shared their platforms with the audience and answered student questions submitted on paper. On the Harrison and Jolly ticket, their platform consisted of three main points: collaboration, engagement, and responsibility. Sarah Webster, the campaign manager for Harrison and Jolly, said she thought the debate went well and is anxious to continue to watch the campaign. “I’m definitely a Harrison/Jolly fan, but I feel like the conversation was really fruitful and a lot of good things came from it,” Webster said. “I totally think that Boggs and Perella held their own though.” Boggs and Perella’s three main points were to reform, revise, and involve. Johnel Bowers, a Boggs and Perella supporter, responded to a quote he saw on Yik Yak that said that you wouldn’t vote for a President of the United States that has no experience in the Congress. “Well we’re not voting for the President of the United States. We’re voting for the Mercer President and if you want a Mercerian who represents the student body the best ... that’s BoggsPerella2k15,” Bowers said. The candidates received the ability to ask each other one question in a special round, and at the end of the debate, students were able to verbally ask questions directly to the candidates. Both tickets said they were pleased with the turnout of students at the event. “It’s great to see students out here really caring about it,” Harrison said. “It really makes us confident about our platform because our whole thing is getting students involved and connected, and tonight showed that they want to be involved.” Issues Discussed in the Debate Budget The first question of the night concerned the budget and how the candidates expected to manage the money in SGA. Boggs said he had experience in budgeting from being the president of club soccer and vice president of Kappa Sigma. They plan to cut spending on certain events such as Founder’s Day and request more money from Mercer since it’s a growing campus, Boggs said. Harrison, the SGA Fiscal Affairs Chairperson, said that people who know him well call him the “money-man” because he handles the money in many different organizations including SGA. “I know how the dollar bill works,” Harrison said. Harrison and Jolly have calculated the exact amount of money they will need next year and knows what they are going to do. Jolly also added that all senators vote on fiscal legislation. Time Commitment The question of how the candidates would manage their time to adequately accommodate for the time commitment it takes to be the SGA president arose twice during the debate, first to both candidates, then to Boggs and Perella. Jolly said they have taken less time consuming rolls in the organizations in which they participate. Boggs and Perella are student athletes and they said their coaches were on board with their decision to serve Mercer and would work with them. “Words don’t even express the drive we would have for this campus,” Perella said. Boggs and Perella are engineering majors and their junior year is the toughest, Boggs said. Their senior year will not be as strenuous, he said. “I will be devoting all of my time and energy to this,” Boggs said. Housing Both tickets agreed that housing is a problem on campus and needs to be addressed. Harrison said the new residence halls are coming and that the number one priority is that the student interests are served. They understand that students came here for a small campus, and they plan to keep it that way, Harrison said. Social Injustice Issues Both tickets said that they would let the campus be aware of these issues to prevent them from happening. “We only make good headlines,” Perella said. Harrison said that they are already working to help by having the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event on March 28. Student Questions Asked Directly to Candidates Boggs and Perella Ticket - Reforming SGA A student asked the Boggs and Perella ticket how they are going to reform SGA if they do not know the policies already in place. Boggs said that they have a good understanding of the functionality of SGA and how it works. They plan to move to amend the constitution to have more senators because more man power allows more organization, Boggs said. Harrison and Jolly Ticket - Student involvement problem Harrison and Jolly were asked what they were planning to do to help the student involvement problem on campus. Since students are busy, Jolly said they want to make a campus-wide calendar for organizations to put their events on to avoid double-booking. This will allow students to attend more events because they won’t be scheduled on the same night, Jolly said. Both Tickets - When the administration says no The last verbally asked question was toward both of the tickets and asked about the candidates’ reactions and responses for when the administration tells them no. Boggs said that since him and Perella are engineering students, they are used to doing research and bringing forth proposals to convince people of their projects. They will do the same thing in the instance that the administration says no, Boggs said. Perella added that they would let the students know what happened. Harrison said they have a different approach to this situation. They want to have the students and organizations most passionate about the topic with them in their meeting with the administration to have face to face interaction, Harrison said. He added that they want to start having one SGA meeting a month in a different location and in casual clothes so more students will feel comfortable and want to come to meetings. Reverse Roles Round Boggs and Perella asked Harrison and Jolly how they plan to “go green” if the current buildings are not up to regulations. Boggs explained that if anything is changed about a building on campus that is not up to date with regulations, the whole building will have to be renovated. The only reason they haven’t been forced to renovate the buildings is because they haven’t been changed. Jolly said that their main idea with going green is recycling. They want to put up recycling bins during tailgates and other campus events to encourage students and visitors to recycle. She said they were not planning on renovating the buildings, but they are planning to have the new building built “more green” with technology such as light sensors. Harrison and Jolly asked Boggs and Perella how they plan to build a relationship with the administration. Perella said they have already met with Douglas Pearson, the dean of students, and other faculty members and have began making those relationships. Boggs admitted that they do not have as great of a relationship with the administration as Harrison and Jolly, but he said that doesn’t mean they are not going to make those relationships. They have already started making those relationships and are still planning to develop them, Boggs said.
Bear Bites: The Back Burner is 'the best meal we'd had for a long time'
On Ingleside Avenue is one of Macon’s most interesting and less talked about eateries: The Back Burner. The restaurant is casual, yet elegant. The staff was welcoming and our server, Elliot West, knew every nook and cranny of the menu. Our meal was adventurous and amazing. Once the food started coming to the table, the sounds of forks and knives drowned out conversation. The appetizers set the tone for the rest of our dining experience. It was the first time that Justin and I had escargot and duck. The duck, served in thick slices and covered in an orange whiskey glaze, was succulent and rich. The dish had similar properties to a mixture of turkey and ham but with a gamey taste. The escargot was served on a large dish in small, individual butter-filled divots. The tastes were very complex and interesting. Its appearance and texture was similar to mushrooms. They were very chewy and had a freshwater aftertaste. The butter had a strong, garlic flavor and complimented the dish well. I ordered the Herb-Crusted New Zealand Rack of Lamb with Almond Pesto Mashed Potatoes and Pan-Fried Asparagus. Justin, the photographer, ordered the Prime Black Angus New York Strip Au Poivre with Almond Pesto Mashed Potatoes and Pan-Fried Asparagus. Cluster reporters Jave Boyboy and Marin Guta also came along on the trip. Jave ordered the Pan-Roasted Wild Sea Bass served with Roasted Almond Red Pepper Pesto, Sautéed Baby Portobello Mushrooms and Garlic Sautéed Baby Spinach. Marin ordered the Open Flame Grilled Scottish Salmon served with Lobster Champagne Sauce, Fingerling Potatoes and Garlic Sautéed Baby Spinach. It was the first time I had lamb and it was unbelievable. It melted in your mouth like a hot knife running through butter and fell off the bone when you moved it. The Almond Pesto Mashed Potatoes were rich and smooth. The almond and pesto brought the natural flavors of the mashed potatoes out and made it difficult to put your fork down. The pan fried-asparagus was two massive stalks and covered more of the plate than you’d expect. It was well cooked and crunchy. The Sea Bass was perfect. The roasted red almond pesto made the Bass crunchy and complemented the natural flavors of the dish well. It dish was light, but rich and flavorful. The Prime Black Angus New York Strip Au Poivre was unusual. It was thick and juicy—more than any New York Strip I’d ever had. A cognac cream reduction puddled up at the bottom of the plate and covered the peppered, pan-seared steak. “The sauce just got better as I kept eating,” Justin said. The salmon was delicious. The flavor wasn’t too intense, but still very rich and pleasant. Dessert came and we hoped that it tasted as good as it looked. We ordered strawberry cake and bread pudding. The cake was sweet and the preserves in the middle tasted were fresh. It seemed like they had just been picked. The bread pudding was topped with caramel sauce and powdered sugar. It seemed to be the favorite at the table. We left the table in awe. It was the best meal we’d had in a long time. The Backburner is open 11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. and 5:30-9:30 p.m. Tuesday - Saturday. It’s a dining experience unlike anything else in Macon.
Business Spotlight: Cherry Street Ink
They ink murals. Their canvas--whether skin or the Macon community at large--is filled with bursts of color and life by the time they’re done. Founded in 2012, Cherry Street Ink is a downtown tattoo and piercing parlor. Stephen Dunn, or Structure as he’s called, is one of the shop’s part owners. He came to Georgia in 1995 from Massachusetts after his mother moved down here. Dunn said he started DJ’ing and began working on his tattoo apprenticeship around 1999 or 2000. While DJ’ing, Dunn met Alex Webb and his partner, Jessica Carroll. Webb’s club, Reaction, hosted Dunn, and Carroll met Dunn at Club Traxx. A few years later, Carroll took her younger sister to get her belly button pierced for her 18th birthday and Dunn was the piercer. “We kept in contact from that point on,” Carroll said. Eventually, the pair settled down together. Dunn wanted something more, and he had an idea. He got together with Carroll and Webb to lay the groundwork for their own business. “I had the feeling it was time,” Dunn said. There were doubts about a tattoo parlor setting up shop downtown. But, Cherry Street Ink thrived. “Downtown is a lot of old money,” Dunn said. “We went for that upscale look.” The shop prides itself on quality work and cleanliness. All employees that pierce or tattoo are licensed with the Health Department and have blood-born pathogen certificates. They are also trained in first aid and CPR. All equipment undergoes autoclave testing to ensure the tools are sterilized correctly. “It’s cleaner than most doctor’s offices,” Dunn said. Dunn is also working with the Health Department to set guidelines and regulations for piercings. Dunn says the Health Department isn’t familiar with this field, and he wanted to make the process safer for the general public. “We already have to work with [them],” he said. “Instead of pushing them away, we open-armed them.” Dunn also refuses to do certain piercings--such as cheek piercings--because they are dangerous. “We don’t just want your money. We want the reputation that comes with it. We want you to feel comfortable and keep coming here,” Dunn said. That reputation has helped Cherry Street Ink. Dunn says large portions of his clientele are Mercer students. “When Mercer goes on their breaks, we see a 30 to 40 percent drop in our business,” Dunn said. Parents also bring in their children above the age of five to get pierced regularly, according to Dunn. “Nobody else does that,” Dunn said. “Everybody deserves to be pierced in a safe and sterile environment instead of [a place] where you have someone that basically watched a video piercing your child.” Cherry Street Ink also does more than tattoo and pierce. “We try to get involved in people’s lives,” Dunn said. They are involved in community outreach projects such as Ink4Autism and breast cancer awareness events which provides charities with a percentage of the shop’s profits. Cherry Street Ink also supports the local fraternal order of police with their Backpacks for Kids drive. In addition, Cherry Street Ink finds a family in need and buys gifts for the children every Christmas. “We love our community and look for opportunities to help,” Carroll said. “These are things we do every chance we get.” The marks Cherry Street Ink leaves on Macon are hard to ignore. The parlor has done well, despite the doubts surround the store’s opening. “We’re here for good,” Dunn said. “This is what we’re doing.”
Athlete of the Week: Jackson Kleintz
Jackson, a freshman attackman for the Mercer Men’s Lacrosse team, has had a phenomenal breakout season for the Bears. Hailing from Springside Chestnut Hill Academy in Philadelphia, Penn., Kleintz has made major contributions to the team’s winning record in SoCon play. The Bears suffered a number of tough losses at the outset of the spring season, losing to Boston University, Duke, Siena, Detroit Mercy and Marquette. Despite these five losses to begin the 2015 season, the Bears rallied these past couple of weeks just in time for conference play. The Bears are now 3-0 in the SoCon, having downed High Point, Furman, and Bellarmine. In the win against High Point, Kleintz registered a hat-trick with three goals to go along with three ground balls. Against Furman, Kleintz netted the game-winning goal to secure the 11-10 win. Kleintz has truly stepped up to plate as a freshman and does not take this new position lightly. He recognizes the vast differences between high school and college lacrosse and commits himself to making a successful transition. “The difference is definitely in the speed of the game,” explains Kleintz. “At this level, everyone can play, and it makes the ball move that much faster. Preparing for games is also a lot different [in college]. It’s a full week of preparation for each team rather than just a couple of days, [and] you really have to know your opponent.” Knowing the opponent has clearly aided the team in its recent wins, yet early on in the season, it was not enough to clench wins. Kleintz attributes the recent success to team cohesion, mainly. “We have the players and the system to allow us to win those [early] games, but we just didn’t play up to our potential,” said Kleintz. “As for the recent success, we’ve just been able to find ourselves. We finally know what style of play suits us, and as long as we play our game, we can win. Now that we’ve found our groove, we have a lot more energy and we definitely plan on keeping it going.” A Philadelphia native, Kleintz has come a long way to compete for the Bears, but lacrosse was not the only factor that lead him down South. “[Mercer] had everything I was looking for in my college experience,” recounts Kleintz. “It’s a fantastic school and a beautiful campus, and they offered me the opportunity to play high-level lacrosse. Looking back now, I couldn’t be happier with my decision.” When asked about his transition from Pennsylvania to Georgia, Kleintz does not seem to be experiencing the typical freshman homesickness. “I’m definitely enjoying my time in the South,” says Kleintz. “It’s really not a big adjustment, but the biggest difference is how nice everyone is. I feel like people are meaner up North, and we’re always in a rush.” Kleintz is an Economics and International Business double major.
Volleyball hosts 5k for the Miracle League of Macon
About 60 people ran in Mercer University Volleyball’s first ever 5k last weekend. The 5k raised money for the team and for Miracle League of Macon, an organization that gives children with disabilities the opportunity to play baseball. In addition to being the first 5k that the team has hosted, it was the first fundraiser of its kind ever organized by the volleyball team. The team has volunteered multiple times with Miracle League. “In the spring, every weekend, the Miracle League hosts games for children with disabilities,” said Caroline Carlton. Carlton is a member of the volleyball team and helped organize the 5k. “Different groups and organizations come out weekly and buddy up with a player. Each evening everyone hits, and everyone makes it around the bases. We don’t keep score, and everyone wins.” Carlton said that, in addition to the 60 runners, there was a large crowd of supporters and alumni—a great turnout for a first-time event. “The weekend as a whole was probably the most successful weekend in program history,” said Carlton. In addition to hosting the 5k, the team won three of its four games. The money that does not go toward Miracle League will help pay for operational expenses like traveling and gear. Although the 5k competed against the Cherry Blossom Festival for participants and spectators, Carlton said that the race was successful. Fifty-six runners signed up although not all of them showed up. Carlton said that additional runners signed up on the day of the event. “Planning the event was definitely stressful,” said Carlton, “especially because when we decided two months ago we were doing [the 5k], we had no idea what was involved.” Finding sponsors and volunteers was the most difficult part of the planning process, she said. As of Monday, the team had not finished counting the money that it had raised. “But we were definitely profitable,” said Carlton. The runners ran a course on Mercer’s campus, and Ryan Crawford won first place.
Spring Sports Recap: Mar. 17-Mar. 29
Baseball After a rough start to the season, the Mercer baseball team seems to be back on track after beating the University of Georgia in two midweek games and sweeping the East Tennessee State Buccaneers in the first conference series of the year. In their first meeting with the UGA Bulldogs, the Bears offensively overpowered the SEC team, with a final score of 16-4. In the win, both Danny Edgeworth and Charlie Madden recorded homeruns, while eight other players added hits throughout the game. Grant Papelian received the win for the Bears for allowing only one run in 5.2 innings pitched. In the teams’ second meeting, the Bears once again came out victorious, even though the Bulldogs made a run in the final innings of the game. Ryan askew allowed four runs in his 5.2 innings pitched and received the win for the Bears. Both Devin Bonin and Kyle Lewis recorded homeruns in the 12-8 victory. In the team’s conference opener against the ETSU Bucs, Eric Nyquist recorded a shutout in the 2-0 win. The Bear’s bats were swinging in the second game of the series with an 11-5 win over the Bucs. Mitchell Wade recorded the win for the Bears because of his 2.2 innings of scoreless relief pitching. Trey Truitt, Bonin and Lewis all recorded homeruns in the win. The third game of the series was a nail biter, but the Bears came out victorious for the sweep. In the 10-9 win, Lewis recorded another home run, while newcomer Jose Hernandez added his first homerun of the year. Morgan Pittman picked up the win after 2.1 scoreless innings. In their second conference series, the Bears traveled to Greenville, S.C. to take on the Furman Paladins. Mercer went 2-1 on the weekend, which gives it a 5-1 record in conference play. On March 27, Nyquist snatched the win for the his outstanding pitching, while Howard Joe and Madden combined for five RBIs in the 9-5 win. The Bears continued their winning streak with an impressive 11-1 to win against the Paladins on Saturday. Papelian threw seven scoreless innings with only three hits. For his efforts, Papelian received Southern Conference Pitcher of the Week for the first time in his career. Bonin and Ware were the offensive powerhouses for the Bears after both recorded a home run. The team’s seven-game winning streak snapped on Sunday afternoon after the Paladins pulled out an 8-4 win over the Bears. Askew received his third loss of the season, while Joe recorded another home run. For their next conference series, the Bears will travel to Charleston, S.C. to take on The Citadel. Softball Going into its first Southern Conference series, the Mercer softball team was on a nine game winning streak after defeating Michigan State, Youngstown State, Alabama A&M, Alabama State and Savannah State. The Bears recorded four shutouts against four different teams because of strong pitching from a number of different team members. Kristen Steven recorded three of the shutouts, while freshman Megan Bilgri recorded one. The team’s powerful offense also helped the Bears during their winning streak. The team enforced the run-rule in four different games over this stretch. The Bears’ offense has been lead by both Natalie Shiver and Riley Carter. Both players lead the team in hits and home runs. In their first conference series, the Bears went 2-1 against the Western Carolina Catamounts, which broke the Catamounts’ 10 game win streak. In the opening game, the Bears came out victorious 3-2. Stevens once again received the the win, putting her at 16-6 on the season. She produced seven innings of work, only allowing seven runs and two hits. Both Meghan Rud and Taylor Rogers recorded doubles in the win. The Bears dropped their second game of the day in a close 6-5 game. Five of the Catamounts’ runs came in the first inning when freshman Bilgri couldn’t handle the heat. Anna O’Neill relieved her after one inning, but the Bears could not come back from there. In the final game of the series, the Bears overcame the Catamounts 3-1 because of late offense in the sixth. Stevens recorded another win for the Bears after allowing seven hits and only one run in her seven innings pitched. Rodgers recorded a double, while Caroline Taylor and Kaytlin Haney added runs as well. The Bears return to their conference play on April 3 against the Furman Paladins. Men’s Lacrosse Although the Mercer men’s lacrosse team started its season on a rough note, it seems to have redeemed itself with a 2-0 Southern Conference start. The Bears’ first win against High Point University was an overtime victory with the final score being 12-11. Both High Point and Mercer scored with under two minutes left in regulation play, forcing them into overtime. The Panthers had the first shot on goal during overtime play, but goalkeeper Mike Nugent made the save, keeping the Bears alive. Freshman Scott Baird finally found the back of the net with only 1:47 left in overtime play. Nugent recorded 20 saves for only the second time this season, while Baird, Chris Rahil, Chris Gibson, Jackson Kleintz, Ben Lesane and Timmy Geran recorded goals for the Bears. The team’s second Southern Conference victory also came in overtime play against the Furman University Paladins. In the 11-10 victory, Kleintz netted the overtime goal, giving the Bears a 2-0 conference record. Nugent recorded 10 saves, while Justin Evans, James Fromert, Matt Quinn, Geran, Lesane and Baxa netted goals in the win. In another close conference game, the Bears came out victorious against the Bellarmine Knights 8-6. Rahil recorded his first-career hat trick to lead the Bears to their third-straight conference victory of the season. Baxa, Kleintz, Lesane and Baird also added goals to the win. Nugent recorded an impressive 15 saves on 21 attempts in the win and five of these saves were in the first quarter. Senior Justin Wood was a crucial defensive component for the Bears after he forced three turnovers in the win. The Bears will continue their conference schedule on April 4 in Lexington, Va. against the VMI Keydets. Women’s Lacrosse The Mercer women’s lacrosse team picked up its third win of the season against the Gardner-Webb Bulldogs. In the overpowering 15-2 win, nine different players scored for the Bears, with Hannah Blair recording three individual goals and Lindsey Zeltwanger netting two of her own. Goalkeeper Haleigh Wurzel had three saves in the first half, while Michele Holmes had six in the second. Wrapping up their nonconference schedule, the Bears suffered a devastating 15-14 loss against the Presbyterian Blue Hose. Erica Coyne, freshman offensive leader for the Bears, led the team with a record-setting six goals in the loss. Erica Leone, Jillian Bailey, Holly Berns and Meghan Segreti also added goals for the Bears. In the loss, Wurzel picked up two saves in the first half, while Holmes rounded out the second half with three saves. In their first Atlantic Sun match of the season, the Bears fell to the Detroit Mercy Titans 15-8. Once again, Coyne led the Bears with three goals of her own, while Kate Christian, Tori Blakeman and Lindsey Zeltwanger also added goals to the scoreboard. Wurzel recorded 11 saves in her full 60 minutes of play. The Titans outshot the Bears 36-19 and Mercer also had nine more turnovers than Detroit. In their second conference match, the Bears were defeated by the Furman Paladins 15-7. Leone led the Bears offensively with four goals, while Coyne, Zeltwanger and Berns all added goals as well. Wurzel had 16 saves in the loss and also added a season-high of three turnovers in the loss. The Bears will return to Five Star Stadium on April 2 to take on Old Dominion. Women’s Tennis The Mercer women’s tennis team opened their Southern Conference play with a 0-2 record after being defeated by the Western Carolina Catamounts and the Wofford Terriers. In their SoCon debut against the Catamounts, the Bears were defeated 4-3. Roxy Bartz and Liza Klyachkin picked up wins in their singles matches, while pairs Grace Korta/Roxy Bartz and Haley Powell/Liza Klyachkin added wins for the doubles portion of the match. The Bears also suffered a close 4-3 loss against the Terriers in their second conference match. Xandra Fougner and Powell recorded wins for their singles matches. In the doubles matches Grace Korta/Roxy Bartz and Haley Powell/Liza Klyachkin came out victorious once again. In a midweek non-conference game, the Bears were overpowered by the Lamar Cardinals 6-1. Laura Kelly recorded the only win for the Bears in the single matches, while pair Grace Korta/Roxy Bartz added a win for the doubles category. The Bears’ seven game losing streak continued against the ETSU Buccaneers with a 7-0 loss. There was not a single Bear that could pull out a win against the Bucs. The Bears fall to 0-3 in conference, while their overall record remains at 4-13. Men’s Tennis After an extremely difficult non-conference schedule, the Bears opened their conference play with a 4-3 victory over the University of North Carolina-Greensboro Spartans. In their first Southern Conference win, Sam Philip, Manuel de Luis and Arsav Mohanty added wins in the singles matches for the day. In doubles play, both pairs of Austin Emmet/Oliver Snaider and Sam Philip/Anderson Scarpa also recorded wins for the Bears. In their second conference match of the season, the Bears were edged 4-3 by the Furman Paladins, making their conference record 1-1. Arnav Mohanty, Oliver Snaider and Arsav Mohanty added wins in the singles column, while the Mohanty twins also recorded a win in the doubles portion of the match. In a midweek game, the Bears took on instate rivals, Georgia Southern University. The Bears survived the Eagles, with the final score being 4-3. Philip, Scarpa and Arsav Mohanty recorded wins in their single matches, while pairs Austin Emmet/Oliver Snaider and Sam Philip/Anderson Scarpa also defeated the Eagles in the doubles matches. After traveling to Spartanburg, S.C., the Bears defeated the Wofford Terriers 4-3 for their second conference win of the season. Philip, Arsav Mohanty and de Luis came out victorious in the singles matches, while pairs Austin Emmet/Oliver Snaider and Sam Philip/Anderson Scarpa defeated the Terriers in the doubles matches. The Bears will return to conference play on April 3 to take on the Chattanooga Mocs in Tennessee.
Podcasts: not just your recorded lectures
Stuck in Atlanta traffic? Soothe your road rage with the wonderful world of podcasts. No, I am not referring to the recorded lectures by your last monotone professor (we do not want you sleeping behind the wheel). Podcasts are recorded spoken entertainment and are streamed from channels, usually via a site such as iTunes or on your mobile device, via an app such as the Podcast App. Their topics are as diverse as TV channels. If you like radio talk shows, podcasts may be for you. As a healthcare student, I have always found the Science & Health channels fascinating and edifying. Here are some of my favorites, with each representing a unique style of podcasting. NPR Invisibilia NPR, National Public radio, has many podcasts, with Invisibilia highlighting scientific principles through a human light, using a technique called storytelling. This show weaves exposition, interviews, rhetorical questions, and news journalism to immerse you into the personal impact scientific theories can make. Though this podcast in currently on hiatus, its pilot season can be found here. Science Magazine Science magazine podcast presents a weekly “round-up” of its original scientific research and breaking stories featured in its online news site and monthly magazine. The podcast hosts often interview the researcher themselves to break down their complex research designs. This Q&A process reflections the process of following the logic of research and critiquing project designs, which have helped me tremendously in my own research. Food and Drug Administration Drug Safety Podcast Why get spammed with daily news emails from your professional organization subscriptions when you can listen to breaking news on your commute? As a pharmacy student, that’s why I have subscribed to the FDA’s Drug Safety Podcast, where they report recent product recalls, warnings, and updates in 3-minute clips. Yes, it can be dry, but we all have an obligation to stay at the top of our profession. So try finding a podcast for your career interests! Your own! You have a voice and perspective that is waiting to be heard. All you need is a script, research on your topic, and a microphone. You can enhance your sound quality and add effects using sound-editing software such as Garageband (Apple) or a free downloadable one called Audacity. Luckily, Atlanta’s Swilley Library actually has a recording studio on its lower level; just ask permission from the front desk. Let it be your lab for to broadcast your interests to the world.
MPS II: A Call to Action
“When you live in a world where someone has told you your child is dying, you start preparing for someday. Someday, you’ll have to decide that even though a surgery is needed, it is just too dangerous to go through with. Someday, you’ll have to decide when to stop trying to fix problems and to just provide as much comfort as you can. Someday, you’ll have to decide when treatments aren’t working anymore anyway, so it is time to go ahead and stop them. Someday, you’ll have to decide when to sign papers that give medical staff permission to let your child stop breathing and their heart stop beating. Someday, you’ll have to make funeral plans for your baby. Someday, you’ll have to say goodbye. Someday is never actually supposed to happen”. These words were written by Carolyn Marie upon hearing that a friend’s son passed away as a result of complications from Hunter Syndrome, or MPS II. Hunter Syndrome, also known as mucopolysaccharidosis II or MPS II, is a rare disease that occurs in children who are missing an enzyme called iduronate sulfatase, which is critical for the body in breaking down the sugars that build bones, skin, tendons, and other tissues. As a result, the incomplete broken down mucopolysaccharides remain stored in the cells of the body causing ongoing damage. The disease usually affects boys. Joint problems that prohibit movement, breathing problems, loss of hearing, and heart problems are a few of the symptoms that are associated with MPS II. Sadly, as of right now, there is no known cure for MPS II. I first became aware of MPS II through my friend, Elizabeth Snarey. On April 24th, 2013, my friend Elizabeth’s world changed forever when her son, Michael, was diagnosed with MPS II. In the nearly two years since his diagnosis, Michael has had to endure constant visits to the doctor followed by procedure after procedure. In spite of this, he remains the happiest and most loving person you’ll ever meet. It is amazing to me that he is able to maintain such an upbeat and cheerful attitude when faced with such obstacles. I have learned a great deal about life from watching him and from watching Elizabeth. Most of us take far too many things for granted and we fail to appreciate the everyday blessings that we receive. Elizabeth once asked me to describe her in three words: I chose loyal, strong, and Mother. I think that Mother is the word that is most appropriate and fully encompasses her. She sacrifices her personal well-being to make sure that Michael is taken care of at all times. When asked how someone can help, Elizabeth requested that people take the time to "learn more about the disease, help raise awareness, contact representatives and encourage them to join rare disease caucus, donate to MPS society, and most importantly, love our kids". For more information about MPS II and how you can help, please visit http://mpssociety.org/ .
April Four's Day
If you’re anything like me, you’re sitting in a dark room, wondering how a No. 14 seed toppled at No. 3 seed. You find it perplexing that your alma mater didn’t make it past the first round. Everybody in the office is laughing at you, and there’s only one reason why. Yes your bracket is more busted than your mother-in-law. Unlike her, however, your woebegone bracket still has a place in your heart. Deep down inside you still want to see if you made the correct picks in the championship game – gives you something to brag about. Furthermore, you thoroughly enjoy watching the tourney. March Madness has attached itself to you like a leech, and no matter how bad your picks were, you’re still going to watch it. And now that we’re down to the final four, you’re inviting friends and family over on Saturday to try your wife’s horrendous dip – don’t worry, you’re not alone. But before you can validate your final picks, there are some huge games on tap. Let’s take a look at each team by the numbers. FINAL FOUR Indianapolis, IN April 4th, 2015 Game 1/6:09 PM: Michigan State 7 (27-11) vs Duke 1 (33-4) There’s only two people that picked Michigan State to go this far – Magic Johnson and the entire student body in East Lansing, MI. This was a huge surprise, given the fact that Michigan State is a #7 seed. In all actuality, they’re playing like a #1 seed. But should we really be surprised? The Spartans are led by Travis Trice (15.3 PPG) and Denzel Valentine (14.3 PPG). Not to mention they have arguably one of the greatest coaches of all-time in Tom Izzo. Furthermore, he’s been to the NCAA tournament 18 times since he first took over the head coaching job in ’95 – winning the championship in 2000. His resume is overwhelming, but so is the resume of his counterpart. In many ways, Mike Krzyzewski is the “second coming” of John Wooden. Clinching his 12th Final Four appearance, Coach K is on the verge of winning his fifth title as the Blue Devils’ head coach. The man has all the accolades you could want: He’s led the Blue Devils to 4 NCAA Championships and 13 ACC Championships, he’s a three-time Coach of the Year recipient, he’s amassed a record of 943-251, and he’s led Team USA to two gold medals. Led by freshman Jahlil Okafor (17.5 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 1.4 APG), Duke has a solid chance at capturing the title this year. Vegas Odds: Duke -5 Game 2/8:49 PM: Wisconsin 1 (35-3) vs Kentucky 1 (38-0) One of the most talked about teams is without a doubt the Wisconsin Badgers. They have a litany of talent on the court, and they are led by their “Big Three” – Frank Kaminsky (7’0), Sam Dekker (6’9), and Nigel Hayes (6’7). Dekker especially has come on strong in the tournament – shooting 8-11, knocking off the No. 2 seed Arizona. The Badgers are led by Coach Bo Ryan. Although Ryan does not possess the honors the other coaches do, he has led his team to the Final Four the past two seasons. Could this be Wisconsin’s year? Think before you answer the previous question, and when you’re done thinking, think some more. Wisconsin will have their hands full Saturday, as they face the undefeated Kentucky Wildcats. The Wildcats possess a plethora of talent – four of their top scorers are underclassmen. If there is one team that plays together, it’s Kentucky. Their strongest asset is their defense – holding teams to a 35.2 shooting percentage (1st in the nation). The Wildcats are led by Coach John Calipari. Calipari led Kentucky to a NCAA Championship in 2012. Vegas Odds: Kentucky -5.5
Sexual assault and safety on college campuses
Sexual assault stories are commonplace in today’s media outlets. What a sad but true sentence to come to grips with. Every week we hear news reports, personal stories, and media posts that reflect this pitiful reality. The issue is so widespread that The White House launched a special task force in 2014 solely to investigate rape and sexual assault on college campuses. But has the prevalence of sexual assault incidences spiked in the last several years, or are we finally opening our eyes to the truth? The U.S Department of Justice used a tool called the National Crime Victimization Survey - or NCVS – to collect data from female university students aged 18 to 24 from 1995 to 2011 and found surprising results. While there is no arguing that this age and gender group is the highest to report rape or sexual assault crimes, the number of cases has not significantly increased over the 16 year span. The highest reported number of crimes occurred in 2002 at 294,786 according to the NCVS. And as of 2011 the number of reported sexual assault crimes listed on the NCVS was 259,479. According to Dr. Scott Hampton –the director of an organization called Ending the Violence that focuses on assisting victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence - almost 30% of all sexual assaults involve alcohol or other drugs. The argument has been that sexual assaults on college campuses are difficult to prevent due to most incidences involving alcohol or other drugs, and due to victims being familiar with their attackers. Students often unknowingly put themselves in vulnerable situations at parties where alcohol is present. Dr. Hampton suggests the number one way to not become a victim of a sexually violent crime is to be aware of your surroundings and listen to your instincts. Another way to address the rise in rapes and sexual attacks across campuses is through student education and awareness. All undergraduate and graduate level Mercer students were sent a required online Title IX training course at the beginning of the spring semester. This course – as part of an action plan that President Underwood’s appointed committee put in place last fall – helps educate students about sexual assault and addresses student’s safety on campus. According to an email sent by President Underwood last December, the committee was formed due to rising national attention around sexual assault statistics and the outcry for action from parents, students, and political figures. This course was meant to help educate students about the prevalence of sexual assault on university campuses and help prevent any crimes on Mercer’s campus. An interesting educational campaign was recently conducted by an organization called Rape Crisis Scotland. The U.K. group focuses on preventing rape and sexual assault by publically blasting common myths about sexual assault. Myths like, for example, if a women dresses in revealing clothing she is contributing to her likelihood to be raped. While the organization uses humorous posters to bring a serious subject to light, the message across the globe is agreeably the same. Regardless of age or gender, the more the subject of sexual violence is talked about and the more educated students are, the less likely they are to become victims.
Women's basketball ends season with loss in WBI semifinals
After a remarkable year for the Mercer Women's Basketball Team, their season ended in Loudonville, NY against the Sienna Saints with a (65-54) loss. The Bears ended the season with a 20-15 overall record and truly displayed their worth during their first year in the Southern Conference. The Bears led the Saints by three points going into the second half, but they were unable to hold that lead for the rest of the game. Teanna Robinson, leading forward for the Bears, received her fourth foul only three minutes into the second half. She was forced to sit for a majority of the remaining time and the Bear's defense suffered because of her loss. Senior Precious Bridges once again led the Bears with 19 points and also added four assists in her efforts. Alicia Williams followed behind her with 15 points, while fellow senior Briana Williams also contributed nine points. Although Robinson was benched for a majority of the second half, she still tallied a game-high of nine rebounds and added four points in her last game as a Bear. The Bear's Southern Conference debut was something to remember and the 2014-2015 team should hold their heads high for a remarkable season. The four fearless seniors will be greatly missed, but the future looks bright for Mercer Women's Basketball.