Collegio Special Edition: Homecoming
ROTC cadets voted to homecoming royalty
Madison Dennis | Editor-in-chief
Hal Rivard and Callie Wheeler have a lot in common. They are both seniors in psychology, they both have minors in military science, and are both members of ROTC. In May, they will both be commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army. On Wednesday, Oct. 12, they found they had one more thing in common: They were named 2011 Homecoming King and Queen.
“My initial reaction was a wow factor,” Rivard said. “I didn’t see that one coming.”
Wheeler felt the same way, she said.
“I’m still kind of freaking out.”
To Wheeler, the fact that both Homecoming royalty winners are future service members fits perfectly with the militant theme “Gorilla Strong.”
“It says so much about the community here,” Wheeler said. “It’s very humbling and it makes me really proud to go to Pittsburg State.”
Wheeler hopes that ROTC benefits from the attention resulting in a double win.
“It’s so awesome to finally be recognized as something more than the group that does pushups during the game,” she said. “We do a lot on campus.”
Rivard and Wheeler do a lot on campus themselves. Rivard plays for the football team, and Wheeler is involved in multiple organizations on campus and is a member of the Kansas Army National Guard.
Wheeler said adding another responsibility to her workload is not an issue.
“It should be about the same,” she said. “I’ve got so many things going on. What’s one more thing?”
Rivard said he is not sure how he would balance the responsibilities of the football game with the halftime ceremony at the game on Saturday.
“The presentation is at halftime. I don’t know how that’s going to work,” he said.
Rivard hopes that he will be able to use his coronation as a way to make more people aware of the ROTC program.
“I think it’s going to put us out there as an organization,” he said.
Both said they didn’t expect to make it this far in the elections.
“When I came to Pittsburg State, being homecoming king definitely wasn’t on my list,” Rivard said. “When I was nominated I was pretty honored, I just kind of went with it.”
Wheeler said the biggest part of being nominated was the support she received from the ROTC and the people who voted for her.
“I’m sure there are people out there who voted for me that I haven’t had the opportunity to meet,” Wheeler said. “It says a lot about the people they are. I’m so honored.”
Alumni: Where are they now?
2009 graduate Kelsey Lewis
Stephanie Rogers | Collegio Reporter
Kelsey Lewis graduated in December 2009 with a degree in early/late childhood education. She says her life after college has been nothing short of a continuous search for a full-time teaching position.
In August 2010, Lewis began working at Grand Elementary in Kansas City, Kan., as a first-grade teacher and says her time there was interesting, to say the least.
“I loved my co-workers but hated the principal,” Lewis said. “I remember during my first semester working there, I had a 6-year-old specifically telling me the difference between a jail and a prison.”
She applied for other jobs nearby but inevitably found herself moving back home to Windsor, Mo. There, Lewis started working at the local elementary school as a paraprofessional but decided that wasn’t the job for her either.
“Finding a job is close to impossible,” Lewis said.
Lewis says she now works as a substitute teacher at Calhoun Elementary School and also part time at the Windsor Dairy Queen.
Lewis says she recently enrolled in a master’s program at the University of Central Missouri to study literacy education.
“I started courses at Pitt in January 2010 to become a librarian,” Lewis said. “But I decided that the online courses weren’t for me, so this is just something similar.”
Lewis says she has been teaching a mission class for her church for fourth-grade to sixth-grade girls.
“It’s called Girls in Action,” Lewis said. “I just try to get girls involved and motivated in doing mission work and explain what else is out there for them to get into.”
She says she has found herself coming back to Pittsburg a few times. She’s had lunch at Mall Deli and helped a friend plan a wedding, but says other than that, she doesn’t keep in touch with her classmates as much as she would like to.
Lewis says 10 years from now, she wishes to have a career teaching at an upper-level elementary school, achieved tenure, and be married with at least two children.
“My family has been wanting me to have kids, but I don’t think anything like that will be happening any time soon,” Lewis said.
In addition to her busy school and work schedules, Lewis says she spends most of her time with her family and boyfriend.
“He’s a really great guy, and we’re pretty serious,” she said. “But I don’t expect much to happen until at least a year before we take the next step.”
Lewis says she misses the lifestyle of a full-time college student at Pittsburg State.
“I miss seeing the people I know on a daily basis, my professors and going to class over going to work.”
Yell Like Hell ignites school spirit
Jen Rainey | Collegio Reporter
It’s time for Yell Like Hell, a competition where different student organizations go up against each other to see who has the most school spirit. Yell Like Hell will feature chants, cheers, dancing and a food drive this year.
“Yell Like Hell is a great way for organizations to get together, get noticed and have fun,” said Andrew Moore, senior in technology management and member of Sigma Tau Gamma. “It’s a great way to represent the university in front of the Pittsburg community and represent Pittsburg State.”
Sigma Tau Gamma is one of 14 organizations that will be competing at Yell Like Hell. The others are Lambda Chi Alpha, Alpha Sigma Alpha, Sigma Sigma Sigma, Residence Hall Assembly, Kansas Association of Nursing Students, Black Student Association, Alpha Gamma Delta, Phi Sigma Kappa, Campus Christians, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Dance Club, Sigma Chi and Pi Kappa Alpha. Each group has up to 25 members and there are three divisions of organizations: men’s, women’s and co-ed. The requirements for each group include building a pyramid, doing a chant and performing a five-minute routine. Some organizations have been spending five days a week practicing their routines.
Jacob Mendez says his group has been practicing five times a week, three hours each night.
“We have many practices with stunt groups and I often practice the routine by myself outside of regular practice,” said Mendez, senior in history and member of the dance club.
Mendez has done Yell Like Hell every homecoming, including the last four with the Residence Hall Assembly before switching this year.
“I love dancing and cheering and this is another experience to dance and have fun while I am at PSU,” Mendez said. “I enjoy watching people step out of the box and perform. Yell Like Hell is probably my favorite event on campus every year.”
Mendez says he plans to compete this year even though he has hurt his hamstring more than once in practice.
“I don’t want to hold my group back from winning, or even performing,” he said.
Emmaly Farr, freshman in education, is a member of RHA who was injured during a team practice. She sprained her ankle after landing wrong on a flip. Farr says she went to the emergency room and won’t be competing with her organization as originally planned.
“Emily’s sprain was kind of difficult to deal with, but it kind of made it easier on the group because it evened out the number of people involved,” said Sara Liming, junior in communication and member of RHA.
The members of Sigma Tau Gamma have taken steps to reduce the number of injuries.
“Nobody’s had any injuries,” Moore said. “Our routine includes stretches and the guys run a couple of laps around our house before we start practice.”
Moore says he was one of the members in charge of choosing the music for their routine. He says his favorite part of Yell Like Hell is getting to work with 24 of his fraternity brothers.
“Yell Like Hell has brought our group together and helped us work as a unit,” Moore said.
Lauren Matthews is competing with the Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority. She says her favorite part of Yell Like Hell is getting to spend time with her sorority sisters.
“Most of the members involved in this are freshmen, so it’s really nice to get to know the underclassmen in this way,” said Matthews, senior in marketing. “I wouldn’t ever get to know them as well if I wouldn’t have gotten to do this. We’ve faced more roadblocks this year than we ever have in the past, but our girls are sticking together through unexpected events that have happened.”
Yell Like Hell takes place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, on Brandenburg Field/Carnie Smith Stadium. Two sweepstakes points are given to every organization that enters the competition and the top four organizations will receive extra points based on their rank. The Student Government Association will have its annual food drive at Yell Like Hell. All of the organizations competing for sweepstakes points are required to bring 40 items. The items will be taken to the Wesley House food pantry to be given to needy residents of Crawford County.