Women’s Lacrosse Wrap-Up

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The PSC Women’s Lacrosse team had 5 games this season. They had one win and four losses. Their win was 19-17 against the College of Southern Maryland. They made a total of 28 goals over the course of the season. The girls made an average of 5.6 goals per game and a 4.6 average shots per game. Their shooting percentage is 121.7%. They had two assists and eight turnovers.

Upton’s Mantra: Breathe Deep, Seek Peace

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Ruth Upton, cancer survivor. Photo by Aaron Smith

 

Ruth Upton has many titles. She is an education professor, a wife, a mother and a grandmother to name a few. However, the most inspiring title is cancer survivor.

In the spring semester of 2015, Upton was diagnosed with breast cancer. She started her chemotherapy treatment in the summer, after her spring classes ended. Upton said she would not have been able to teach her classes during chemotherapy treatments because the side effects from chemo were rough.

She received her radiation treatments during the fall semester of 2015. Her appointments were early in the morning, so she could still teach her afternoon classes.

Upton said she is uncertain if facing cancer changed her outlook on life as much as it reinforced the lesson she learned throughout her life: you should live for today and never take anything for granted.

Upton’s husband Frank was a big help. When she got the diagnosis, he said, “We will get through this.” Frank took her to all of her appointments (except two), always stayed positive and cared for both Upton and their household. Upton said, “I don’t think I could have had anyone better to be there with me. He was always strong.”

She had radiation at the same time as a friend and said that it was nice to have someone there with her who completely understood what was going on. Upton also had support from her students. After her diagnosis, students in her classes helped teach lessons for the remainder of the semester. The students had different assignments and worked together as a team to get things accomplished.

She is much more understanding now of students who have health issues. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the number one human need is to take care of yourself. Ruth said she reminds her students of this often. Upton said, “You can’t take care of your business and get your work done if you don’t take care of yourself first.”

When asked how she managed her daily life tasks, Ruth said, “You just do what you have to do, and help others along the way.”

Upton serves as advisor for PSC Serves You club. The club completes community service projects in Keyser and the surrounding areas. Upton also participates in Relay for Life.

Upton’s advice to anyone with cancer is, “Don’t be devastated by a diagnosis of cancer because it is amazing how far they have come with treatment and making you as comfortable as they can during treatment. The folks who do the care for the patients are amazingly kind and thoughtful folks.”

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The STEM Festival, held on PSC’s campus, attracted 1,000 guests who could learn with hands on activities

 Children could learn about different health systems by viewing a brain, a sheep heart, a dissected shark and squid, and a pig fetus with dyed bones.     

 They could also get their blood pressure taken. Children’s fingerprints were stamped onto a ballon, the balloon was blown up, then the instructors would show the children how to identify their own fingerprints.    

 Other activities for children included making a boat out of aluminum foil, making a fossil mold, drawing a hybrid animal and looking at dinosaur bones. They could also look some exotic insects and make their own bug antennas.

  In the library visitors could experience a 3-D printer, play with a green screen, watch a virtual reality video, use a GoPro and learn about journalism tools.

Engineering Club Wows at STEM

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The Engineering Club makes different projects each year for the STEM Festival. This year their projects included two potato cannons, a couple small robots, a tennis ball launcher and a windmill. Their most popular creation, however, was a go-kart.

Students spent 2-3 hours per day for 4 weeks building the go-kart. They had some issues with welding parts onto the frame, but learned how to fix it by watching a few minutes of a video on YouTube, and getting a quick lesson from a student in the Ag Tech building.

“The front wheels kept breaking from the intense stress and power of the motor, so we had to get heavy duty wheels and tires,” said Tanner Ashenfelter. Ashenfelter also added that they had to remove and reposition the motor mount so the motor would fit.

The only accommodations they needed were the tools used to create the go-kart. They figured everything else out on their own. “It was a lot of fun,” said Tristan Kimble.

Ashenfelter said he learned about how small engines and how powerful they are. He said, “I also learned how to work as a team to achieve a common goal.”

When asked how he felt about all the interest in their projects, Kimble said, “It felt great. We had a phenomenal turnout. If we can help raise greater understanding of what is done in our field of study to the kids, we would call that successful.”

Student Involvement Varies Due to Different Reasons

Club activity on campus varies due to numerous reasons. There are 26 student organizations at PSC. Some of the organizations hold events on campus, while others meet regularly and keep their activities within the club. However some other clubs are not as active due to lack of membership.

When asked if she was involved in any clubs on campus, sophomore Angela Keeney said, “No, but I need to be. Between homework, class and work, I don’t have much free time.” Keeney has 13 credit hours, and spends her spare time in the library studying or doing homework. When that is done she visits with friends if she has time.

SGA President Nick Imes believes that our campus needs more enthusiasm and large events to get students excited about being involved. However, sometimes being excited isn’t the issue.

Timothy Woodson, a full-time sophomore who works a job with varying hours, said he would be interested in clubs if there were more that attracted his interest, such as an anime (Japanese cartoons) club.

Other students have more flexible schedules, so they can find time join clubs and participate in activities.

SGA president Nick Imes said he has been involved in many activities within a number of clubs here on campus. Imes is currently helping the Social Justice Club to host oxefam (a demonstration to show how the world works based on your economic status.)

Andrew Day is a full-time, third-year student, resident assistant, SGA member, vice president of the Geeks and Gamers Club and also chair of the Humans Vs. Zombies game. Day said he is involved because he likes to help students see what good things there are on campus. With this being his third year, Day has a flexible schedule that allows him to be involved.

“I wish more students would be involved because that would make better experiences for everyone,” Day said.

Several clubs have been very active this year.

The Circle K Club started off the 2016-2017 year with a few community service and fundraising projects. Club advisor Jay Badenhoop said the club has had some setbacks so they have been conducting business through email.

The Black Student Alliance meets every other Tuesday. The club held Keyser’s Got Talent in the fall and took a trip to D.C Capitol Hill on March 31, 3017. They also went to the D.C. Museum of African American History. The club held activities for Black History Month including a movie night and a trivia game.

The Criminal Justice Club has 12-15 active members that participate in activities and show up to meetings. This year they have helped with the food pantry, painted for the Burlington school and assisted CASA in promoting Child Abuse Awareness Month.

Campus and Community Involvement travelled to Rainelle, WV to work with the Appalachian Service Project to help rebuild and/or repair flood damaged homes from last summer’s storm.

Check out the audio interview about the Queen 2 Queen club below:

PSC Offers Safe Zones for Students, Faculty and Staff

   

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You may have seen these stickers around campus recently. They represent ‘Safe Zones’ for students, faculty and staff.

A Safe Zone is a place where someone can go when they need someone to talk to who will be nonjudgmental and unbiased. Many safe zones exist on campus. The Safe Zone stickers indicate individuals (faculty, staff, etc) who are willing to talk with anyone who is feeling bullied, overwhelmed or who just wants to talk, according to professor Sheri Chisholm.

Cris Mayo, director of LGBTQ+ center in Morgantown, trained PSC faculty and staff on gender and sexuality diversity policies that will help protect those minorities from bias. Mayo said, “the people who go through trainings and put up Safe Zone signs have learned how to be allies to LGBTQ people and understand what resources for support and advocacy are available at WVU campuses.”

Professor Catie Snider has safety pins outside of her office door, AD 117, as part of the safety pin movement. She said the pins are for anyone who wants to take one and show that they are a ‘safe person.’

The “safety pin movement” began around the time of the recent presidential election. Some people who are disabled, Muslims, Mexicans, women and nonheterosexuals experienced fear based on some things that were said during the recent presidential election. Some individuals decided to wear a safety pin to show others that they are a safe person, will not discriminate or judge, and can provide help if necessary.

However, just because someone is not wearing a safety pin does not mean that they are not a safe person. Snider said, “I believe that sometimes the smallest, simplest acts can have meaningful, lasting effects.”

PSC Student to Be Published in Local Literary Journal

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Diana Cayton is being published for the first time.

 

   Potomac State College student Diana Cayton is going to have a story published in the “Backbone Mountain Review”, a local literary journal in Frostburg, Maryland. The “Backbone Mountain Review” showcases essays, poems, prose and artwork. Cayton is a sophomore majoring in English.

   An excerpt from Cayton’s story reads:

  “He looks her up and down, from her matted hair to her stained clothing and track mark riddled arms. “We don’t need your kind around here,” he says, wrinkling his nose, “And we certainly don’t need that filth.” Gesturing to the word she had painted across the bricks. He snaps handcuffs on her wrists, quite roughly even though she holds her arms out to him with no struggle. He shoves her in the back of the car and wipes his hands on his uniform as if he’s touched something dirty….”

   Titled “4 Letters”, the story explores the disease of addiction and how people treat those battling addiction as second-rate citizens. She has submitted multiple pieces of her work to many different places. This was the first piece to be published.

   Cayton began writing as a child once she physically learned to write because she wanted to create her own stories. She writes mostly fiction mystery stories. Her ultimate goal is to be able to support herself financially by writing novels and articles for magazines.

   Cayton said she wrote the fiction piece for Steve Oberlechner’s creative writing class, which is the first creative writing class she has ever taken. She said that Oberlechner is a really fun professor.

   “Having peers look over my writing and getting to look over others’ writing was a good experience,” Cayton said.

   The class gave her the opportunity to get opinions from Oberlechner, who is published, and her peers.She added that having multiple sets of eyes to look over a story helps the editing process immensely.

   A release party with readings for the 2017 edition of the “Backbone Mountain Review” is set to be held on March 26.