- Heckert-Wells renovation behind schedule
| Audrey Dighans copy editor |
Many students may not be aware of the delays in the renovation of Heckert-Wells Hall, but biology and chemistry students are still highly aware.
Originally scheduled to be complete with students allowed back into the building on Aug. 29, Heckert-Wells is still zoned off with construction tape to students and staff.
“It’s been inconvenient,” said Dixie Smith, associate professor of biology and chair of the department. “But we’ve all understood this is a complicated project and we are optimistic we will soon be back in a much more efficient and better building.”
Smith and Paul Stewart, director of facilities planning, both say the renovation should be complete with faculty moved back into their offices and classes resuming in the building by Monday, Sept. 29.
“We’re working hard to even beat the goal of opening on the 29th,” Stewart said.
The delays in the renovation can be pinpointed to two incidents, the first occurring on Aug. 29, the original completion date, when the subcontractor for the job, Corvus, left and did not return.
“When our office went home on the 29th they were still there and scheduled to work that weekend,” Stewart said. “We didn’t realize they’d left until the following Tuesday, since it was a holiday weekend.”
Stewart says the university then contacted Barsto Construction, the hired contractor.
“You see PSU doesn’t make contracts with the subcontractors,” Stewart said. “We contract with Barsto and they contract work out to subcontractors.”
Barsto’s main office and on-site employees declined to comment on the situation to the Collegio.
The situation was less than ideal in the eyes of Steve Scott, university president, who says he is disappointed the project has not been completed on time.
“Personally, I feel a great sense of frustration that students and faculty are being so negatively affected,” Scott said. “I can’t overstate my appreciation to faculty who now have to create a plan for completing course activities.”
Corvus also has not responded to any contact attempts made by the Collegio.
Barsto has since recruited a new subcontractor to complete the job.
A student bulk-e was sent to chemistry and biology students from Karl Kunkel, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, confirming the hire and apologizing to students for the extended delay.
The second reason for the delay was the state fire marshal inspections of the building.
“With every construction job you have to retest all the systems,” Stewart said. “The fire marshal identified things we hadn’t anticipated and so we’ve been working hard to get everything fixed.”
Some students and staff, including Smith, are understanding of the problems.
“Everyone has worked so hard to make this as painless as possible,” Smith said. “It has been stressful for some courses, but we all know there were conditions in this building that needed attention and are being seen to now with the renovation.”
Tyler Elmore, junior in biology, agrees with Smith.
“The delays have affected labs more than anything. A lot of professors are just giving us the math and there isn’t much hands-on experience anymore,” Elmore said. “But I know the renovation was needed and we were prepared for it last year. It’s not the university’s fault the subcontractors walked off the job.”
- Fighting cancer one nano at a time
| Kelsea Renz editor-in-chief |
The fight to eradicate cancer has taken a step forward with nanotechnology, which allows cancer-fighting drugs to target cancer cells only and leave healthy cells alone.
The drugs are polymers that are packaged as nanoparticles with the cancer-fighting agents and an imaging agent so the nanoparticles will show up in an MRI.
“We use imaging agents because once you inject it into a person’s body, you want to know where that nanomaterial is going,” said Santimukul Santra, assistant professor of chemistry. “Once we have the imaging agents, we can put the person in an MRI and see where the nanomaterials are.”
Using organic chemistry, the researchers add chemicals together until they achieve the desired polymer. Then, they add the cancer drug and a dye. The dye will show if the drug has gone into the cancer cells or not.
The polymers are made two ways: one way is completely organic, meaning carbon-based with a non-metal core, and the other way is with a metal core, specifically iron oxide nanoparticles. The metal core, along with the dyes, are the imaging agents.
Santra started doing this kind of research seven years ago during his post-doctorate work at the University of Central Florida and brought it to Pitt State last year.
“While I was working there, I developed my idea for what next. What could be next for this project? What’s new? I had plenty of new ideas and projects in my mind, and when I came here I started them,” Santra said.
Although Santra comes up with the ideas, he does not do all the work alone. He has about six undergraduate and two graduate assistants in the lab.
The nanoparticles that are being synthesized at the Kansas Polymer Research Center, part of Pitt State, target cervical cancer and were made by those students.
“This is the first time we, as the students, have created our own nanoparticle that’s gone into the cells. That’s big,” said Kalee Woody, senior in biology. “So now we know that something we’ve done this time is right.”
There is not always success, however.
“That is the bulk of this. That’s what’s so frustrating. Just with science in general, you’re going to fail until you succeed, but you’re not going to know it’s not working until it starts working,” Woody said. “I started in December and it’s September, so it’s been almost a year and I’m finally getting some success.”
“This is something very frustrating for the students. You are not doing something like mix two things together and have a new thing, characterize them and publish. This is not like that. You are making a new medicine for human health, so it takes a lot of time.”
- Pike members report several cars vandalized
| Audrey Dighans copy editor |
Tires of six cars were slashed in the early hours of Sunday, Sept. 14, with five of the cars located in the parking lot of the Pi Kappa Alpha (Pike) house.
The house hosted a date function the previous night, Saturday, Sept. 13, open only to members and their dates.
“A few people were mad when we turned them away,” said Austin Barnett, sophomore in marketing and management.
Dylan McCollar and Lacey Moss, two of the victims, discovered the vandalized cars Sunday morning at about 11:30 a.m.
“Not all the cars in our lot were hit,” said McCollar, junior in nursing. “I feel like whoever did it knew they were our cars. It was more of a message than a general ‘FU.’”
“It’s not a joke,” Moss said. “It hurt and we have to pay for it.” Replacement tires will cost about $100 each, she said.
Mark Flood, senior in mechanical engineering and president of Pike, says that two cars on the Pike lot also had tires slashed last year, one owned by a member and the second owned by Flood’s girlfriend, Taylor Heuertz, whose car was one of the five to be damaged Sunday.
A second attack occurred at Pike at about 7:45 p.m. Sunday. Pike fraternity members told police that passengers in a car traveling south on Broadway fired four paintball shots at the Phi Sigma Kappa and Pike houses.
Austin Williams, freshman in construction management, described the car as a red Grand Cherokee Jeep Laredo.
“A guy from Phi Sig came around the corner with paint on his hands, Williams said. “And it was really quick but we were able to see the paintball gun slide back into the window.”
“I informed the officer who came about the paintball incident and told him the info we had on the car,” Flood said. “He said there didn’t seem like enough information to make a report.”
Mike McCracken, director of university police, says the department is following up on leads and working to gather more information.
“For some reason, it seems to be pretty limited to Pike,” McCracken said.
The third attack of the weekend involved a theft.
Flood said that a tweet on PSUAnonymous listed what was stolen, as well as an insulting comment.
“There are other tweets on there directed at members by name as well,” Flood said.
McCracken says no formal report was made to his department regarding the social media comments.
“As far as social media goes, we have tools that can trace where the posts came from, but they need to be reported,” McCracken said.
For now much of the damage has been dealt with.
“We really feel that we haven’t done anything to deserve this,” McCollar said.
Flood says Pike, thanks to donations from alumni, will install night vision cameras within the next week.
“Hopefully, this will deter future attempts,” he said.
- Regents OK Ph.D. program for nursing school
| Kelsea Renz editor in chief |
Pittsburg State will soon be in the final stages of planning for offering its first doctoral degree.
The degree program will offered by the Irene Ransom Bradley School of Nursing and will be the first of its kind in rural Kansas.
The Kansas Board of Regents met on Wednesday, Sept. 17, and approved Pitt State’s proposal to offer the program.
“As rural healthcare strives to find providers, they’re turning more and more to nurse practitioners,” said Karl Kunkel, dean of The College of Arts and Sciences. “This will be something that not only raises the profile of the university, but also provides tremendous career opportunities for students in the future and helps with the shortage of health care providers in southeast Kansas.”
This program has been several years in the making, with a long approval process being one of the final steps.
“As a non-doctoral degree-granting institution we had to submit to the Kansas Board of Regents a statement of intent to offer a doctor of nursing practice,” said Mary Carol Pomatto, director of the school of nursing. “We worked with a whole variety of places who had interest into the development of the program.”
The doctoral degree fills a major need in rural southeast Kansas.
“When you look at the Health Index in the state and the shortage we have of healthcare practitioners, there’s a tremendous need,” Kunkel said.
Because Pitt State is not a doctoral-granting institution, being able to provide nurse practitioners to the region is one of the reasons the university was successful in getting approval.
“It’s a practice doctoral program, which is different from a research doctoral program,” Kunkel said. “It also has to do with the region of the state we’re in and the need of the region of the state we’re in.”
Those heading the preparation for the new program hope to start admitting students by summer of 2015.
“I’d like to think that we’ve done most of the really hard work,” Pomatto said. “But there is much to be done.”
- When no means NO
| Kyleigh Becker reporter |
A student at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in New York state says she was sexually assaulted and raped by three male students. The college responded by revealing her name to several students, thus subjecting her to harassment and threats.
A student at the University of Kansas in Lawrence reported that she was assaulted in a fraternity. According to the campus newspaper, The Daily Kansan, the university repeatedly violated her wishes on how she wished to be contacted and planned a hearing for her and her alleged attacker even though she specifically requested not to.
Also in Kansas, Washburn University in Topeka is on the list of colleges the federal government is investigating under Title IX, a federal law that prohibits gender discrimination on campuses, for its handling of sexual assault.
Focus on the victims
These high-profile cases have brought sexual assault on college campuses to the headlines, with the colleges being criticized for how they handled the cases.
Sexual assault is a power-based crime, says Julie Allison, professor of psychology and counseling, typically directed toward women and committed by men. Generally, sexual assault can be defined as forced sexual contact.
Sexual assault can encompass forcible rape, forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an object, forcible fondling, incest and non-forcible statutory rape. Pittsburg State defines sexual offenses as: “Any sexual act directed against another person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will; or, not forcibly or against the person’s will where the victim is incapable of giving consent” (PSU Annual Crime Statistics, pittstate.edu).
“I think some young men are taught to believe that they should be the assertive one and the woman should be the passive one and that’s not the case,” Allison said. “If someone says no, stop.”
Only about 9 percent of men commit these types of crimes, but they do so on a serial basis, Allison said.
“But it is important to recognize that 9 percent of men is a huge number,” Allison said. “You can’t tell the difference between one of the good guys and one of the guys who does horrible things.”
Creating “good guys”
Pitt State, however, is working to create more “good guys.” Beginning this semester, officials have implemented “Think About It,” an online training tool all students new to the university must complete to educate them to reduce risky behavior and sexual assaults.
According to Steven Erwin, associate director for campus life and auxiliary services, Pitt State also works to educate students on this issue and its relation with the college lifestyle, especially consumption of alcohol and other drugs. There are also “concerns about the apparent hook-up culture … and the phenomenon of bystander behavior” in such cases, Erwin said.
Bystander behavior, described by Erwin as the “reluctance of other students to intervene to prevent sexual violence and protect potential victims” is an important factor in the prevention of assault in large groups or at parties.
If assaulted, students are encouraged to not change their clothing, shower, use the restroom or do anything that could corrupt or compromise evidence and instead go straight to university police or the Via Christi Health emergency room.
“Those who do report sexual assault or rape are granted additional measures of safety when they present their case to the judicial board,” Allison said. “I have been an advocate for a victim/survivor who chose to go this route (instead of filing criminal charges). The student accused was found responsible by the judicial board and ordered to leave campus within 24 hours and not to return for a year.”
During 2011 and 2012, Pitt State investigated six (four on-campus and two non-campus property) and four (on-campus) cases of sexual assault, respectively, compared to the two of 2013, according to Sgt. Terry Pierce with the campus police. In 2008, however, no cases were reported, compared to the six of 2007. On-campus sexual assaults include student housing.
A July 9 report by the U.S. Senatesubcommittee on financial and contracting oversight stated that “less than 5 percent of rape victims attending college report their attack to law enforcement.”
A lot of sexual assaults reported to campus police could mean more assaults are occurring or more students are reporting the crime. Pitt State has seen a decline in reports of sexual assault. The police department can’t say if this is because there are fewer reports or if fewer such crimes are committed.
Pitt State police officers get training twice a year on how to handle sexual assault cases, Pierce said. Residence hall staff and coaches also get training.
Gorillas in Your Midst, Students for Violence Prevention and the Safehouse Victims’ Advocate are organizations for students who need help or want to get involved.
The psychology department, starting summer 2015, will offer a class on power-based violence.
The university will also report cases of domestic violence and stalking on and near campus.
“Our administration takes this seriously,” Allison said.
- 37-0 run-out
| Michael Bauer sports editor |
John Brown and Nate Dreilling may be gone, but after the way things went on Saturday, Sept. 6, Pitt State fans had trouble telling the difference.
The Gorillas won their first home game of the season against the Northeastern State River Hawks 37-0.
Junior wide receiver Marquise Cushon provided a comfortable look into the post-John Brown era by catching four passes for a game-high 96 yards in the first half and adding three rushes for 26 yards in the second.
“Marquise is a very explosive competitor,” said Tim Beck, head coach. “He’s a great triple jumper for our track and field team. He likes to compete. I’m glad he’s on our football team.”
Senior Tyler Disney had 13 tackles with seven solos.
The Gorilla defense recorded its second shutout in seven years.
“We had a lot of players who really stepped up,” Beck said. “It was a good first win for our football team because in the first game of the year you really don’t know what you’re going to get offensively and defensively.”
Senior quarterback Anthony Abenoja went 18-23 for 230 yards, threw one touchdown and rushed for a second.
The Gorillas held the River Hawks to 48 net rushing yards and 180 total yards in the game.
Senior kicker Connor Frazell booted three field goals, which included a 26-yarder on the opening drive of the game.
“I’m just real happy with everybody’s performance,” Beck said. “And we have to take our hats off to the defense, because it’s hard to get a goose egg on the board in this day and age.”
NSU’s quarterback Kevin Pantastico went 13-28 and threw two interceptions for 132 yards. He was sacked five times.
River Hawk running back Terrance Dixon had 13 carries for 9 yards while Pantastico had 13 rushing yards off of 12 carries.
Junior running back Jeff Seybold had six carries for only 14 yards but scored a touchdown in the first half.
Senior running back Solomon Watkins, who missed all of last year due to an injury, scored on a 5-yard touchdown run with 1:36 left in the third quarter to make the score 34-0. A 36-yard field goal by Frazell completed the fourth quarter with a Gorilla victory.
Pitt State will now turn its attention to Thursday night’s game against the Lindenwood Lions at 7 p.m. in St. Charles, Mo.
The Lions are coming off a 44-38 upset win over the Washburn Ichabods .
Quarterback Dillon Miller of Lindenwood went 24 of 42 for 230 yards and one interception. Wide receiver Tre’ Roby had five catches for 53 yards while Jaron Alexander had six for 64 yards. Running back Lavorrie Johnson had 14 carries for 42 yards to lead the Lions’ rushing attack.
Lindenwood trailed by 17 points in the first quarter before tying the game in a second-quarter scoring burst. Jordan Gater caught a 12-yard pass from Miller with 8:13 left in the game to give the Lions the game-clutching win.
- Campus mourns death
| Kelsea Renz editor-in-chief |
Everyone who knew Julie Hisey knew of the bond she shared with her family and how much she invested in them.
“Her daughters would stop by frequently between classes just to catch up,” said Debbie Greve, registrar. “It was all about family for her, always. We got to learn a great deal and got very involved in her family through her. We all continue to speak of how difficult this must be for them.”
Hisey, administrative assistant to the registrar, died from leukemia Thursday, Sept. 4, at the age of 46, after being diagnosed only three weeks before.
“Since it happened so quickly, we just haven’t come to grips that she’s really dead,” Greve said. “The thought was that she’d be out this semester, and we’d see her again in January after the bone marrow transplant.
“She would need to be isolated for a while and recover, but she’d be back. We just weren’t prepared for the other.”
Hisey is survived by her husband, her two daughters and her son.
“While she was hospitalized, they made a point to stop in and we put together a care package. We’ve been reaching out through Facebook and texts just to get regular updates,” Greve said. “One of the ladies spent some time at the family home with them over the weekend.”
Funeral services are set for 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 13, at Family Life Assembly of God in Pittsburg.
- Fake jobs: Students get false opportunities through system and Gus mail
| Val Vita guest writer |
A student majoring in international business found what she thought was the perfect job for her. The position was described as “international business assistant” and the pay was $200 for 10 hours of work a week. The job was posted in May on the Gorillas 4 Hire webpage, the PSU system that allows students to search for opportunities.
“I was really happy, it was everything I wanted in a summer job,” said the student, who preferred not to be identified. “I sent my resume in the same day.”
Her excitement didn’t last long.
The employer explained he would need help with errands, because he was constantly out of town.
“As a matter of fact, I am currently on a business trip to Stockholm, Sweden,” he wrote. The employer already asked how soon could she start and that he “would love to meet” after his “return from Sweden to discuss the possibility of making this job long term.”
After he asked for her address to provide the payment, the student started to feel the situation was kind of unusual. She went to the Career Services office to check.
“And over there, they told me the job offer was fake and that I ‘wouldn’t want a job like this.’”
The student says she was scared after leaving the office. The fake employer had some of her information, including name, email, phone number and address. She says Career Services told her they did not know how this happened and that they were sorry and this situation would not be repeated.
“After I left the office that day, I just cried,” the student said. “What if I had taken that job?”
Although Gorillas 4 Hire staff said this situation would not reoccur, four months later, the same student faced a similar problem.
On Friday, Sept. 5, she received a job offer through the system on her Gus email: to be a part-time bookkeeper/funds processor with a monthly payment of $1,000. The email stated no formal knowledge was required. Employee must be ready to learn. Interested?
This offer was fake and not authorized by Gorillas 4 Hire.
In response to complaints received at Career Services by other students who had received the same email, PSU sent out a bulk-e to all students, alerting the entire campus about employment phishing attacks.
The email explained that Career Services has been receiving more and more false job listings over the past several months. It stated:
“We work diligently to identify these and make sure they do not get posted in Gorillas 4 Hire. These listings going directly to student email addresses and are an attempt we have not seen until now.”
Mindy Cloninger, director of Career Services, says she found out about this fake job through her own son, who is a Pitt State student and also got the employer’s email. He asked her if she thought it was real.
“And it wasn’t an actual employer,” Cloninger said.
Cloninger says there’s nothing Career Services can do regarding the job opportunities students receive through their Gus emails, but they do need to approve all jobs posted at Gorillas 4 Hire.
She added fake employments started appearing in the spring with real company names, but not real jobs.
“The only thing we can do is try to remain vigilant,” Cloninger said.
Career Services encourages students to be cautious and use discretion when applying for any job posting, and to never provide personal information like birth date, Social Security number, driver’s license or credit card number.
Cloninger says personal information, at least during the hiring process, usually is not asked.
If students have any doubts about a job posting, they should contact Career Services at 235-4140 or go directly to the office, which is located in Horace Mann, room 203.
- Partnership brings casino to area
| Brett Collier reporter |
The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat could soon be coming to Southeast Kansas.
Phil Ruffin, owner of the vacant Camptown Greyhound Park in Frontenac, has partnered with the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma to bring a casino to the area, where Camptown sits now.
Camptown Park has sat vacant for nearly 20 years, after being open for only six months in 1995. The park closed down and filed for bankruptcy in 1996.
If approved by the Kansas State Lottery Commission, the park could be set on the fast track to being rebuilt and transformed into a casino, but an exact opening date has yet to be determined.
Ruffin, who also owns the Las Vegas Treasure Island Hotel and Casino, says he is looking forward to partnering with the Quapaw Tribe to bring the casino to the area.
“I have long admired Quapaw Chairman John Berrey and the tribe for their remarkable success in our region with their Downstream Casino Resort, and for their good will and strength in community partnerships,” Ruffin was quoted as saying in a press release. “They know how to get things done. I know how to get things done. This is a strong partnership.”
The Quapaw Tribe has been successful with the operation of Downstream Casino Resort, which sits on the Kansas-Missouri-Oklahoma state line.
Berrey, Quapaw chairman, says partnering with Ruffin is the best move to bring the casino to the area.
“This is a very positive force for bringing new jobs and new economic opportunities to the communities of Southeast Kansas,” he said. “Partnering with Kansas native Mr. Ruffin makes a lot of sense. And we know that Camptown can be a great success for the region, the local community and its citizens.”
Unlike Oklahoma, the legal gambling age in Kansas is 21 and the opening of a casino so close to Pittsburg is sure to have some sort of impact on the students of PSU.
Colter Purdon, freshman in construction engineering technology, says he sees positives and negatives to the opening. Ultimately, he believes it would benefit the area.
“It would give us something else to do,” he said. “It would give students at the university, as well as other people in the area, a different form of entertainment and it would bring a lot of money to the area. The only downside I could see is students hanging out there too much and wasting money, but overall I think it would be a good thing.”
Other students, like Halle Cybulski, say the bad outweighs the good.
“I can see people spending a lot of money there,” Cybulski, freshman in psychology, said. “As college kids, we don’t have a lot of money to begin with, and gambling it away would just make things worse. It could bring some publicity to the town and Pitt State, but I just can’t see it being successful, especially when it would be competing with a casino like Downstream that’s right down the road.”
- Women in technology
| Audrey Dighans copy editor |
Susan Martin says it is common for her to be the only female in a class.
“If there are other women there’s only one or two,” said Martin, senior in construction management.
The Kansas Technology Center, where Martin attends many of her classes, has had its fair share of the limelight over the past decade. With nearly $26 million worth of equipment and technology inside its walls, thousands of students from across the country flock to at least one of the building’s five departments, ready to learn and gain hands-on experience.
Although the departments housed in the KTC may attract men easily, women too, call the KTC home. Just not as many.
“When people hear the word construction, they imagine being on a job site using a hammer or pouring concrete,” said Jenny McCool, instructor in the school of construction. “Yes, it is true construction involves hammers and concrete. However, construction is a very broad field and I feel many women just don’t know or realize this.”
The 2013 fall semester percentage of enrollment for the school of construction, the most recent data available, showed 93 percent of students were male.
Martin agrees with McCool that there is a misconception of the field, that it is mostly on-site, outside work and girls aren’t as interested or don’t realize that many divisions exist within construction, which is why enrollment for women is so low.
“There’s marketing to it, management and interior design just joined our department, too,” Martin said. “You can’t have the outside of a building without the inside.”
Martin says if more women realized that interior design is actually a part of construction, they might become interested in other divisions of the field as well.
“Some people in my classes are here to learn about the industry because they want to go into insurance,” Martin said. “Knowing stuff about construction makes them better insurance agents for construction companies. Construction can be applied in a lot of ways people don’t normally think, women especially.”
“You can be outside if you want to, or inside if you want.”
McCool says starting salaries in construction range from $52,000 to $55,000.
“The list goes on and on of what you can do with construction,” she said. “Project manager, estimator, safety manager, owner, scheduling, bidding. I’ve worked in the field and in the office, it is nice not to be stuck inside all day.”
Jordyn Showers also sees fewer women in her classes.
“I’m the only girl in my classes a lot,” Showers, sophomore in plastics engineering, said. “My field is dominated by men but I don’t mind. I think it depends on the person and women tend to not be as interested in my field.”
“I, however, feel that plastics has a huge future and I am ready to be a part of that.”
The enrollment percentages in Showers’ department, engineering technology, sit slightly higher than the school of construction, at 90 percent male enrollment and 10 percent female.
Showers says the program and the KTC itself helped make her decision to attend PSU.
“You can’t beat the facilities.”
“I started out at the University of Missouri and I had up to 700 people in a class,” she said. “I transferred to Pitt because my family is now in Fort Scott and also the smaller school meant only 30 people to a class and a lot more hands-on experience.”
Despite the not-so-high enrollment numbers for women, the KTC and the departments are working to increase numbers and promote current female students.
“The Women in Construction (WIC) student chapter was chartered to unite women-in-construction students,” McCool said. “We have the Southeast NAWIC chapter also chartered here in Pittsburg.”
The NAWIC stands for National Association of Women in Construction. McCool says it was developed to enhance the women in the field and both the NAWIC and student WIC chapters work together to network and continue the education of women.
Martin is the president of the Pitt State WIC.
“Before NAWIC and WIC, I don’t remember much to promote women in our industry,” Martin said. “Now we have both chapters and we’re working hard to fix that.”
Martin says the WIC is currently planning to host a scavenger hunt at Home Depot, open to all students, to have some fun and hopefully gain the department some notice, in November.
Even with the scales severely tipped, McCool, Showers and Martin all say the departments within the KTC are working to gain the notice of women, but that it really just comes down to the individual person and what she wants to study.
“It would be nice if there were more women,” Martin said.