PSC Student Boards Horse on Campus

 

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By: Corrisa Connor, Staff Writer

Potomac State College of West Virginia University has offered the unique opportunity for students to board their horses on the campus barn since 2014. This year, Mighty Executive Ace or, known by his owner, Brianna Giargiano, as Ace, is residing at the campus barn.

Horses have always been a part of Giargianos’ life. She’s been riding since the age of three, and began formal riding lessons at age six. She has trained in every discipline including barrel racing, jumping, equitation, and pleasure classes.

Giargiano is an equine production and management major. She has worked with thoroughbred breeding programs at O’Sullivin Farms in Charlestown, West Virginia. and Audley Farms in Berryville, Virginia and hopes to have her own training farm of thoroughbreds in the future.

“Because my life and degree are so much about horses I wanted to bring him up to college and work with him and make sure he is always in good hands and in great shape. As an athlete I want him to stay on his toes and be as healthy as he would be at home. It is always a pleasure going up to the barn and watching his willingness and excitement to work,” stated Giargiano.

Giargiano received six-month-old Ace as a birthday and Christmas present from her grandparents at age 11. She and her grandfather started to train Ace as a hunter jumper and later would showed him. Due to a bone chip in Aces’ hock Giargiano decided to no longer compete in the jumping division and instead they began barrel racing together and have won the following shows; the 2015 West Virginia 05 Champion Youth 3d, the 2013 Grand Champion English Horse at Miller Farms and, the 2013 Grand Champion of the English Senior Division at Berkley Youth Fair.

Though balancing school work and caring for Ace can be hectic, Giargiano believes that if you manage your time responsibly, you’ll be fine. There is also the reward of comfort having your horse with you on campus.

PSC Professor Eric Slivoskey Hikes Across Spain

By Molly Browning, staff writer

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Potomac State College professor Eric Slivoskey hiked for four weeks across Spain, impacting him mentally, physically and spiritually.

His journey was from St. Jean Pied de Port, France to Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Slivoskey hiked 1,104,513 steps over a period of 27 days, which equated to 776.2 miles.

Slivoskey had originally heard about the famous trail from a colleague in 2010, and over the past five years he thought about hiking the trail.

The trail is famous and is known around the world as a religious experience.

At the end of the 2015/2016 school year, Slivoskey decided he should take the free time during the summer to go. After receiving his wife’s, blessing he was on his way.

Slivoskey prepared by watching YouTube videos, reading online blogs and posts, and studying specific guidebooks about the trail.

He also spoke with the friend who had traveled on the trail before to find out what necessities to pack and what to expect.

He stated he was nervous about not being trained enough and not having the proper gear.

“You always kind of wonder what you’re going to encounter; you just hope that you’re prepared for whatever you face,” said Slivoskey.

When he started his journey, he tried not have too many expectations and “let it be what it’s going to be.”

The trip impacted him more  than he had anticipated.  He said that when he returned home he felt as if “everything was enriched.”

He told a story of how he spoke to a Syrian refugee at a café. The refugee told Slivoskey about his family and how he didn’t know if his family was alive.

The man had been traveling by foot for almost two years.

Slivoskey said this experience changed his perspective. From that point on, if he saw someone in need he did what he could to help.

Slivoskey said one of the greatest takeaways from his experience was the realization that human beings across the world are more alike than they are different.

“People by and large are mostly the same,” said Slivoskey, “and they want the same things out of life: health, family, a dream, goals.”

Slivoskey also said that he was surprised at how far he could push himself mentally even when his body was physically exhausted.

Slivoskey pointed out that we lose sight of how much mental power we have.

Slivoskey said that if he could change anything he would have slowed down. He felt that he missed a lot of little things because he was on a time schedule.

For those who wish to embark on a journey of this size, Slivoskey gives this advice: plan ahead, train yourself, research your route, know what you need and do not need, and most importantly “just do it.”

“Don’t look for the reasons not to do it, because they are always there. I think if you go out and you get started, you will be glad you did,” Slivoskey said.

For more information on Slivoskey’s journey, visit his blog www.coachingoutofbounds.blogspot.com where he posted daily entries on the trip.

He will also be speaking on Potomac State campus in January 2017 about his experience.

SGA Raising Money for Security Cameras

The Potomac State College Student Government Association is currently raising funds to support the installation of security cameras on the quad and surrounding areas.

“I think we should have more eyes on campus. Theft and accidents in the parking lots are our main concern,” said SGA President Nick Imes.

“More eyes” is what the campus needed this time last year. Richard A Smith aka “Champ,” a retiree of PSC was robbed in the underground of the student union. Cases like this could have been discouraged if cameras were present.

Some people on campus do not believe cameras provide security. Jahvon Tolbert, a PSC student athlete, is uneasy with the decision. “It makes me feel like I am being watched,” said Tolbert, “I think campus police do a fine job keeping campus crime-free and safe.”

“Crime-free” is not an all-inclusive description of the quad. Students have complained of the smell and smoke of cannabis.

“We hope security cameras will discourage PSC residents from openly smoking cannabis on campus,” said Imes.

For better or worse, it appears security cameras could eventually make their way onto the quad and surrounding areas.  To support the SGA’s installation of security cameras or to express concerns, attend the SGA’s open meeting Dec. 16 from 5 to 6 p.m.

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Native American Student Attends PSC

By Cody Brazil

Imagine growing up surrounded by rushing waterfalls and a lush forest. Imagine running through the woods looking for arrowheads and attending potlucks with a proud native people. For Potomac State College freshman Carrissa Carter, these were everyday occurrences.

Carter grew up on the Nez perce Reservation in the state of Washington. Although she has no relation to the Nez perce people, her family was still able to buy a house on the reservation. Carter is part Cherokee, but had no ties to any tribe. Despite this, the people allowed her family to live on the reservation, and were very open to her family. Carter’s family was quickly welcomed into the community.

“We were all very close, there were only 36 people in my graduating class,” Carter said.

The reservation never had a shortage of adventures. From basketball tournaments to learning the Nez perce language, the amount of activities to participate in were endless. A common activity for the young people in the community was to go out and look for arrow heads. They would also hangout at the site of Nez perce folklore.

“There was this place called the heart of the monster, where supposedly a monster died. We’d all go and hangout there,” Carter said.

“The whole community was really into keeping nature clean; I probably lived on the cleanest river in the entire United States,” Carter joked about the community’s devotion to nature.

The Nez Perce people follow the same ideals their tribe has had for hundreds of years, including a devotion to community, family and their environment. To keep their community strong, they would get together and throw pow wows often. Families would normally stay close together on the reservation.

Everyone in the community worked together to keep their home clean and healthy. They would pick up trash and clean out the rivers. The cleanliness kept animals around all year, and the residents of the reservation were allowed to hunt year round.

Carter now attends PSC to be close to her family in West Virginia. Although she has never lived in one, Carter plans on moving to a traditional neighborhood after college.

“It’s not that I didn’t love it there, it’s just that there aren’t a lot of opportunities there,” said Carter.

Carter went on to tell that almost all of the money in the community went into education for young Native Americans. A lot of jobs are unattainable unless you were Nez perce. Although she doesn’t plan on going anytime soon, Carter told that she’d probably move back when she is a lot older.

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Five PSC Student Earn The American Future Farmers of America Degree

By Ali Barrett, staff writer

Potomac State College students, Paige Bohrer, Kyle Collins, Theodore Evans III, Andrew Hauser and Luke Hott, were awarded the American Future Farmers of America Degree at the 89th National FFA Convention and Expo held in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The National FFA Organization only hands out 3,500 American FFA Degrees a year. This makes up less than one percent of the 600,000 FFA members. Needless to say, the degree is the highest honor one can receive in FFA. Along with the degree, each member receives a gold American FFA Degree key.

Hauser, the 2016-2017 State FFA President, has found FFA to be quite rewarding. He said the organization has helped shape him into the leader he is today by developing his public speaking and conversation skills. It has also made him realize his career of one day becoming an agriculture teacher.

“This was a goal of mine to achieve from the first time I put on my [FFA] jacket. Being the first one ever to receive this degree from my high school was very humbling to me,” Hauser said.

Both Hauser and Bohrer love attending the convention each year. It brings them closer with old friends and gives them a chance to meet new people. Since Hauser serves as a state FFA officer, he serves on a committee during the convention to vote on changes made to the national level.

Bohrer, Hampshire County FFA member, sees people in the club as part of her family. She said it has taught her to stand up for what she believes in and has allowed her to be more confident in herself.

She remembers the ceremony like it was yesterday. She waited in line to go across the stage where she shook the president’s hand and smiled for a photo.  Afterwards, she was greeted by family, friends and advisers who congratulated her. “I was gleaming with pride and it is certainly a moment I will never ever forget,” Bohrer said.

Collins, Gilmore County FFA member, credits the club for making him into the man he is today. He said the organization has given him more knowledge and wisdom on things that farmers need to know.

He was both happy and sad to receive his degree. “I knew that was probably the last time I would zip that corduroy jacket,” Collins said. He plans to use the degree to become an animal inspector and run his own farm. Collins said his favorite part of the convention is the expo on new technology used today in agriculture.

Evans, Garrett County FFA member, also hopes to become an agriculture teacher.  Through officer positions, the club has helped him become more responsible and a stronger team leader. He was very excited to get his degree. “Being looked up at by my FFA peers and getting put on TV for my three seconds of fame on RFDTV was worth it,” Evans said.

Evans is reminded of what the future of agriculture holds when he visits the convention each year. Seeing all the students wearing their dress code of blue corduroy jackets gives him hope that the future of agriculture will be a great one.

Hott, Hampshire County FFA member, said the club has shaped him to be a better leader and public speaker. He had mixed emotions while receiving his degree. “I was telling myself not to fall in front of all these people and my hard work has finally paid off,” Hott said. He enjoys the convention where he is able to learn about different career pathways in agriculture and make new connections with those who are already in the industry.

Thousands of high schools and colleges around the country attend the convention every year. It offers workshops for the students as well as the teachers, shopping trips, talent competitions, concerts and keynote speakers.

Before students can get the degree, they have to fill out an application to prove they have met the requirements. The application has to be approved by the regional, state and national FFA. Students have to make $10,000 through an agriculture program, complete 50 hours of community service and 360 hours of supervised classroom experience, and have received their state FFA degree.

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Photos of Bohrer, Collins, Evans, Hauser and Hott at the 89th National FFA Convention and Expo.

 

 

 

 

 

BSA Visits National Museum of African American History and Culture

By Toniqua Hubert, staff writer

“A lie is not a shelter,

discrimination is not protection,

isolation is not a remedy,

a promise is not a prophylactic” -Unknown

 

The quote above is one of many that the Black Student Alliance of Potomac State College saw when we took a field trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture on Oct. 7, 2016.

The NMAAHC is the only national museum dedicated to African American life, history and culture. The museum and all of its 36,000+ documents opened to the public on Sept. 24, 2016, as the 19th Smithsonian Institution.

Floor one was based on “A Changing America: 1968 and Beyond.” Outfits worn by famous musicians like Little Richard, En Vogue, Lena Horne and Whitney Houston were on display. The Cadillac that Chuck Berry used as a prop for concerts and pages from The Philadelphia Tribune and covers of the first black magazines such as “Ebony” and “Jet” were exhibited.

Floor two has documents on “Defending Freedom, Defining Freedom: The Era of Segregation 1876-1968.” On this floor were many interesting photos. One that stood out was the Emmett Till memorial. Till was brutally murdered by white men for “whistling at a white woman.”

Other documents were charcoal paintings of unidentifiable individuals with mothers from the South and fathers of the West Indian background, sports for the African American community and information on historically black colleges/universities and the Divine Nine.

The Divine Nine is nine Greek organizations that were created for blacks in college that weren’t allowed to join other organizations since racism was a huge issue. Specifically, the Divine Nine are Alpha Phi Alpha (1906), Alpha Kappa Alpha (1908), Kappa Alpha Psi (1911), Omega Psi Phi (1911), Delta Sigma Theta (1913), Phi Beta Sigma (1914), Zeta Phi Beta (1920), Sigma Gamma Rho (1922), and Iota Phi Theta (1963).

Floor three, the final floor, held facts about “Slavery and Freedom 1400-1877.” Here we read about The Fort Pillow Massacre, Black British Marines, and the Segregated Military. For me, this floor sparked many negative emotions because I never knew half of the things I learned from the articles and videos. A part of me wanted to cry, but another part of me was too angry to do so because blacks were treated so badly, even in the military. They were allowed to fight in wars but weren’t allowed to have decent jobs. Most slaves enlisted in the military because from what they knew during that time was that the only freedom they’d have.

“The museum was great! I just wish we could’ve stayed there longer.” Kayatou Ouattara said, “I already made plans with two of my friends to visit again this Thanksgiving break!”

Professor Yelena Meadows said, “I found the experience deeply moving. It encompassed such a wide range of emotions: from profound sadness, hurt, and shame of fellow human beings to unbelievable examples of human dignity, creativity, and resilience in the face of unspeakable circumstances.”

Admission for the NMAAHC is free, but one should call in advance for tickets.

 

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Photos taken by Toniqua  Hubert of the National Museum of African American History and Culture during BSA’s visit.

Spring Break Spots to Keep You and Your Wallet Happy

 

By Alyssa Murray, staff writer

Spring Break (March 4-11 this academic year) is always highly anticipated and majorly expensive. Finding a fun spot to relax and enjoy yourself while also staying on a budget is not exactly the easiest thing to do. It may seem long away now, but it will be here before you know it.

College kids are typically on the strictest budgets but have the most energy to go out and have fun. So, how can we find the perfect place? This list is your new bible. Find the ideal destination for you and your friends to visit this Spring Break to relax (or not relax whatsoever) all while not breaking the bank.

The drive may take a while, but just pack your best friends into your car (Don’t forget the aux cord.) and the time will pass before you even know it. Get planning ASAP. The sooner you book hotels, the cheaper it will be.

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Atlantic City, New Jersey

 

  1. Atlantic City, New Jersey.

This bustling ocean-side city is only about a five-hour drive from Keyser and offers tons of things to do, no matter the time of day. Spend hours surfing, shopping, enjoying the world-famous Boardwalk, fishing, etc. Don’t miss Steel Pier, a 1,000-foot pier offering plenty of amusement rides and games. It may still be a little cold part of the time you’re in town so bring warmer clothes just in case. But don’t worry, even if it’s too cold to swim, you’ll still find endless amounts of things to do no matter the temperature. Plus, if you are 21, enjoy the casinos the city has to offer.

Your best bet for cheap-yet-decent hotels would be to stay somewhere a little outside of the main drag. You’ll still be close to the attractions but won’t be spending hundreds per night. Expect to spend around $700 total for decent lodging for the entire week. It may seem like a lot but split with just four other friends and you only need to contribute $140.

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Washington, D.C.

  1. Washington, D.C.

If the beach isn’t exactly how you’d like to spend your week of freedom, D.C. may be the spot for you. It’s not as rowdy as the packed beach cities will be and will still offer fun attractions and things to do in our nation’s capital. You won’t be bored in this town that is only two hours and 45 minutes from Keyser.

Obviously, the museums must be mentioned. Be sure to check out the Museum of Natural History and the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture. The Botanical Gardens and the National Zoo are also great places to spend the day. Catch a concert at the Fillmore or the Verizon Center, visit the iconic Washington Monument, try to see the president outside of the White House, or check out the countless art galleries scattered in the city. The Renwick Gallery and the Zenith Gallery are must-sees. You might even get to see the famous Cherry Blossoms. The greatest part? Almost all of these attractions are free.

Lodging won’t be too expensive if you stay in a city right outside of DC and catch the metro in. You can find places for about $650 per week, only $158 for you if you bring three more friends.

 

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Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

 

  1. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Bad news first: This Smokey Mountain city is seven hours away from Keyser. Good news: it’s worth the drive. Are you a thrill-seeker? Yes? Keep reading. Pigeon Forge has almost everything you can imagine to get your adrenaline pumping, all tucked away in Tennessee mountains. You can bungee jump, race go-karts, try the alpine coaster, indoor skydive, zip line, the list goes on and on.

Be surrounded by the beautiful Smokey Mountains and have a blast. Lodging here can be extremely cheap if you enjoy camping. Tent camp for as little as $24 a night or upgrade to a cabin for only $58 per night so you can save your money for the tons of attractions.

UPDATE (November 30, 2016):  This area is currently experiencing wild fires. Call in advance to see what attractions are open.

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New York, New York

 

  1. New York, New York

I know what you’re thinking: “Wasn’t this supposed to be a list of places we can afford?” But, hear me out. New sites like Airbnb.com make staying in NYC actually affordable on a budget for pretty much the first time ever. If you’re willing to share most of the apartment with the owners while still having your own private room, this trip is completely doable.

Although obviously a little pricier than the other places, you can find an amazing spot to stay for as little as $800 for the whole week. Split that with just three of your friends and you pay $200 to stay in NYC for an entire week. Start saving now so you can stroll Central Park, visit the top of the Empire State Building, and of course see Times Square and its Naked Cowboy.

This would be a trip you’d never forget. Just imagine the Instagram pictures you’ll snap of the sparkling city lights at night. And it’s only five hours from Keyser. Time to get packing.

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Panama City Beach, Floria

 

 

       5.  Panama City Beach, Florida

This is the mecca of spring break destinations. Yes, it’s far away, a little over 14 hours away to be exact. But let’s face it: it’s worth it. Make a road trip out of it, take turns driving, create a road trip playlist, and hit the road. Leave early Saturday morning around 6 a.m. and you’ll be there by 9 p.m. Yeah, a whole day of driving isn’t necessarily the most fun thing, but it’s worth it for a week in the warm weather and Florida sun.

Prepare to do lots of partying and be social. You’ll have the opportunity to meet thousands of other college kids from around the world in town for the same reason you are. Mingle, swim in the Gulf of Mexico, go clubbing at night, shop at the hundreds of stores, or enjoy a day at the waterpark. I guarantee you’ll not be bored for a single minute in this city during Spring Break.

Budget about $550-$600 to stay for a week in a condo. The more friends you bring, the less money you’ll spend. Go on, invite everyone.

 

These five different spots offer different activities.  Enjoy a week at the beach, in the woods, adventuring, thrill-seeking, or shopping in the city. Get planning now, start saving your money, invite all your friends and get excited for spring break. It will be here before you know it!