Potomac State Welcomes New Math Professor Nikki Chandler

Professor Nikki Chandler poses for a photo on campus. Photo by Zoe Sypolt.

by Zoe Sypolt

“For me, I was coming back home.” Coming back home was a priority for new professor Nikki Chandler and her family.

Chandler learned early on what Potomac State had to offer. “My first college classes were taken through PSC when I was a high school student at Petersburg High School.”

Chandler’s love of math started early. “I always loved math. In high school, I think I liked it most because I naturally excelled in the subject matter and enjoyed helping my fellow students learn,” Chandler said.

“As a math major in college, I realized it’s an incredibly deep and powerful subject matter. Odd as it may seem to ‘non-math’ people, I believe it the most interesting and most beautiful subject one can study.”

After high school graduation, she started out in college at West Virginia University before getting married to a U.S. Air Force airman. To be closer to the air force base, she then transferred to a small university, The University of Mount Olive in North Carolina.

While there, her professors inspired her to become a professor of mathematics. “There were only three math professors in the entire math department at UMO. Those three professors became my greatest mentors,” Chandler said.

Her experience at UMO led her to PSC. “Their influence led me to want to teach at a similar small institution, where the professors can get to know all the students and have the greatest impact on the entire student body.”

Chandler’s best advice for students during the busy semester is to remember that college is not a sprint but a marathon. “Just keep swimming” is what comes to her mind when you may feel like giving up. She advises students to push through the semester and just do their best.

In her spare time, Chandler enjoys spending time outdoors or playing tractors with her young son, who will be two in January. She and her family love the West Virginia mountains and are thrilled to now be “home.”

What to Expect When You’re Expecting Finals

By SeVohn Hunter, Contributing Writer

IMG-2285.JPGSeVohn Hunter is prepared for finals week, wearing her signature hoodie and UGG boots. Photo by Cody Brazil

We are finally into the fall/winter months and we are undoubtedly so excited to finally break out the UGG boots and hoodies, but there is also a darkness looming ahead: finals.

There are horror stories about finals told years before you actually get to college. Getting No sleep, being super stressed and having mental break-downs. This can be absolutely terrifying.

Sleep is a human need that should never be sacrificed. A popularized way of studying for finals is cramming the night before; we should know by now that is not the way to go.

It is true that if you study before going to bed, sleep will help you absorb the information you just went over (I learned that in PSYCH 101.), but cramming and then sleeping for a couple hours will not give your brain time to process the information and will ultimately leave you sleep-deprived.The best way to study is to break it up into sections over one or two days with breaks in between.

Stressing is never fun, especially when it comes to a test that can drastically alter your GPA. Using the study habits mentioned above will help you feel prepared for nals and keep you from being stressed about your grades.

Whenever you start to feel that niggling in your stomach or chest, take a few minutes to focus on your breathing and be present.

After a long day of studying, a hot bath or shower and some selfish indulgences before bed will relax your mind and result in many hours of needed sleep.

These easy tips will calm the volcano inside of you and prevent the eruption that is a mental breakdown.

If you really think about it, finals are an insignificant piece of the vast life you will live. They may seem important in the moment, and they are, but they will not determine your life’s purpose.

After finals week, you can sleep for as long as you want and watch as many trashy TV shows  that make your heart happy.

Remember these words of wisdom, and you can laugh in the faces of those who try to scare you with their finals horror stories.

Potomac State College Veteran Goes From Building Bombs to Hitting the Books


Steffan Chapman said he has been a West Virginia University fan ever since he was little. He followed a dream and ended up at PSC. Photo by Molly Browning

“I was a troublemaker. I needed to get some foundation under my feet to kind of start a decent life,” Potomac State College student and veteran Steffan Chapman stated, explaining his original reason for joining the military.

Chapman worked on ships as Aviation Ordinanceman during his time in the military. “I built bombs, missiles, rockets, anything that went boom pretty much,” said Chapman. His training began in Pensacola, Florida. He then was stationed in San Diego, California for a short time before being deployed to Japan.

Traveling was Chapman’s favorite part of his time in the service. He’s been to Guam, South Korea, Hawaii, Florida, California, Chicago and Japan. “I have friends from all over the world now,” stated Chapman. “No matter where I go, there’s probably somebody kind of close to me.”

Chapman is an Upstate New York native, so the question arises: How did he end up at PSC? “Funny story, actually. I’ve been a West Virginia fan since seventh grade. Figured I’d try to follow a dream, and here I am at Potomac State.”

Chapman is studying psychology at PSC, with plans of becoming a high school guidance counselor. The laid-back atmosphere of Keyser allows Chapman to spend time focusing on his studies.

Although WVU and PSC are very helpful and offer plenty of veteran benefits, Chapman stated that the government made it especially difficult for him to receive the benefits. The process took over two months to finally get them. “The government isn’t only paying me, they are paying every single veteran who’s attending college, so they get backed up a lot.”

PSC also offers veteran parking and a veterans’ lounge, but Chapman said he doesn’t like to receive these special privileges just because he’s a veteran. “I’m just a normal person, you know? I had to take a different road.”

Chapman is also the Veterans’ Representative in the Student Government Association. Chapman expressed how it is somewhat hard trying to make a difference on the campus for the veterans, primarily because most of the veterans he knows are commuters who come to class then leave. However, Chapman states that he’s still working on ideas.

Taste One of Many Marvelous Munchies at Marla’s Bakery

By Matthew Timbrook, Contributing Writer

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If you happen to be walking down Main Street here in Keyser, you might find yourself following the delicious aroma of fresh-baked cookies into the charming robin-egg blue building with white trim; there you will find one of the town’s sweetest local businesses: Marla’s Main Street Bakery.

Marla Payne first opened her business on September 23, 2008, after her husband was injured at work. Knowing it was up to her to support her family in their time of need, she made the decision to open a bakery.

Although she had never owned a business before, Payne had knowledge of how to proceed from previously managing very large bakeries. Although she recalls having had a talent at making treats for friends and family from as early as the age of 9, culinary school was never an option while she was growing up. Owning and operating her own bakery was an unexpected turn of events, but it seems to have been a pleasant surprise.

Payne provides custom cakes, donuts, cookies and more to customers of all ages in the local area and beyond and is always seeing new faces walking through her doors.

“I like to think of all my customers as my friends and some of them even as family,” said Payne. “I know people by the foods they like. I may not always know their name – which is sad – but eventually I do.”

It’s refreshing to see a local business such as Payne’s operate in my home town; she provides a great service to our community, but it’s up to us to ensure that services such as hers can afford to stay open.

“If the local community would come in to every small business – and this isn’t hard to do – and spend fifty dollars a month, small businesses would thrive. They would,” said Payne.

So if you’re downtown and your stomach is growling, consider stopping by Marla’s Main Street Bakery for a pastry or two; just prepare to be treated less like a customer and more like family.


Potomac State College Students Give Back to Their Community


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“I knew that giving an afternoon of my time to this unique park would be the smallest token I could give back to this piece of history,” said Potomac State College student Maddy Buss. Buss volunteered to clean up trash at the Flight 93 National Park in Somerset County, Pennslyvania. While Buss volunteered she had the chance to speak with families of victims who were aboard Flight 93. “I don’t remember everything she said to me about her relative, but I remember exactly how she made me feel: heavy-hearted but incredibly enlightened.” Buss’s experience had a great emotional impact on her that, she says, will always last with her.

PSC gives students opportunities to get involved in giving back to their community.

WVUe coordinator/professor Andrea Schafer has made it a goal to help students develop life skills as well as career skills. In the WVUe curriculum, students are given an Outreach Engagement Assignment in which they are asked to find a way to give back or engage the community. “Life skills are just as important as career skills,” said Schafer. It gives the students an opportunity to “step out of their comfort zone.”

Schafer sees a lasting impact this assignment leaves on some students

“They see a personal impact or career impact,” said Schafer. Tori Kane participated in giving meals to veterans. After speaking with them, Kane decided she wanted to go into the military.

“I think it’s important to show that we aren’t selfish and only take care of what we benefit from,” said PSC student Cassidy Aldridge, when talking about giving back to her community. Aldridge works at her local YMCA as a front desk staff, child care staff and as a managing assistant. Aldridge found herself staying past her shift, helping the maintenance staff clean. “I noticed how hard the maintenance staff’s job was, so I decided to help out.” Aldridge was offered a higher-level position as a party handler in result of her extra volunteer work. Aldridge expressed that volunteering made her helpful and led to more opportunities at her job.

Not only does this assignment help students to develop communication and interpersonal skills, it also reflects two more of Orlikoff’s core values. Schafer says that accountability and appreciation are also very important here. By volunteering students are showing accountability “by showing up and going through with what they said they would do,” said Schafer. “Appreciation is realized when a student discovers they have a role and a voice on their campus and in their community,” expressed Schafer. WVUe isn’t the only way students are getting involved, however.

PSC Clubs host events that give students opportunities to fundraise or participate in the community.

This year The Intro to Event Logistics class hosted a toy drive Nov. 15th and 16th. During this event, gifts were collected and distributed through the local schools to students/families in need. “I think it is important for students to get involved in the community because it makes a difference in the lives of others,” said event coordinator Amy Weaver. “The realization that you have impacted someone’s life is a huge reward.”

During the month of October, PSC students and Morgantown campus students joined together to complete projects in various Mineral County areas. These projects included painting at the Mineral County Family Resources site as well as cutting grass, power washing sidewalks and cleaning the parking lots at the Mineral County Health Department. Students also worked on similar projects in the city of Piedmont.

PSC clubs are also active in the community. Catamounts Against Cancer has hosted Relay for Life events in the past. Catamounts Against Cancer raised over $1,000 dollars at a mini Relay for Life in October of 2016. This money was then donated to American Cancer Society and the Mineral County Relay for Life. The Student Government also participated in donating their time to paint a house in the community and placed American flags on the quad in honor of veterans for Veteran’s Day.

  “Our campus is an integral part of this community, and by giving back we are showing the community around us that we care,” said Weaver.

Humans of Potomac State


Natalie 2.jpg“One day my friends randomly invited me to compete in the Hampshire County Fair Pageant. I won the title of Miss Hampshire County Fair. Once you win that title it is kind of mandatory that you become a contestant for the Miss West Virginia Pageant. Although I did not win, I got to make a lot of great connections, and I had the chance to make a difference in the state. I would say my personal favorite part of competing was getting to visit the West Virginia public schools. I currently study political science and hope to work with legislatures in the future. I created a non-profit to benefit veterans, and I really want to explore that aspect of it all.”

Interview by Cody Brazil, Editor

Humans of Potomac State

Tattoo lady.jpg

“When I got my first tattoo, my mother and I decided to get it together. It took me a while to figure it out, but I found the one that I liked. I showed my mom the tattoo and she told me that her grandma, my great-grandmother, would always sign ‘I love you’ through the glass door, and we would sign it back. So, it was always our little thing.”

Interview by Rebecca Helsley, Contributing Writer