PittCulture

  • Look of the Week

    Its never too early

    As I walked into the Career Closet I was amazed with the selection of garments available for both men and women. Pitt State students should be aware of and take advantage of the opportunity to choose three pieces per semester to add to their professional wardrobe. It is never too early to build a professional wardrobe.

    Christina Cook, professor of fashion merchandising, styles her own look of the week from clothes found in the Career Closet located on the second floor of Horace Mann.

    Christina Cook, professor of fashion merchandising, styles her own look of the week from clothes found in the Career Closet located on the second floor of Horace Mann.


    My fashion merchandising students and I have been working with Career Services this semester to get the word out. As many of my students have enjoyed this opportunity, I wanted to experience it for myself.
    I chose a blue-green matching pantsuit made of 100 percent polyester. This means that it will launder easily and will not wrinkle. This is a good quality for a business outfit, especially if you will be traveling for an interview. To add a little flair, I choose a cream blouse with a patterned neckline. As with many suit sets, this one also came with a knee-length pencil skirt. This gives the wearer choices depending on the situation and the weather. The color is what stood out the most to me as I was making my selection. I wanted to stray away from the traditional black suit.
    I have always enjoyed putting outfits together, whether it is on a mannequin in a store, for a customer or even a friend. I would encourage everyone to take a peek at what the Career Closet has to offer. Even if you are unable to find something on your first visit, go back again. The merchandise is always changing because of continuous donations from the community. You can also go and just browse through the garments to see what is considered appropriate business attire for your own shopping ideas. I would also suggest bringing a friend who will give you some honest feedback on possible outfit choices.
    Each of the looks featured in this article are available in the Career Clothes Closet, located on the second floor of Horace Mann.  All clothing in the Career Clothes Closet is free to all students.  The look of the week is brought to you by the partnership between the Office of Career Services, the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences fashion merchandising program, and the Collegio.   

    Christina Cook is a fashion merchandising instructor

  • Students get a taste of real art world

    | Gretchen Burns reporter |

    Thirteen students presented their final projects for the Senior Art Seminar class in the first ever Senior Art Fair on Wednesday, Dec. 3, in the second floor gallery of Porter Hall.
    The fair was designed to give students the experience of showcasing their work and allowed them to sell their pieces.
    “This has been set up like a mock art fair so we can get experience for what it’s like to go to a conference or actual art fair,” said Catherine Jepson, senior in 3-D art. “I’m OK with this. I’ve done art shows with my dad. It’s nice to have art that I’ve completed recently for sale. It makes me feel accomplished.”
    Jepson was selling and showcasing her printed fabric and letters that she had printed from a letterpress.
    Rudi Rodebush displayed her paper-cut artwork and paintings and says the Senior Art Fair was a good way for her to prepare for her future.

    Taylor Elliott, senior in Communication, buys some Christmas cards during the Senior Art Show on the second floor of Porter Hall at Pittsburg State Univesity on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014.

    Taylor Elliott, senior in Communication, buys some Christmas cards during the Senior Art Show on the second floor of Porter Hall at Pittsburg State Univesity on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014.


    “It’s slightly nerve-wracking,” said Rodebush, senior in commercial art. “You can only be so prepared for people to see your stuff. It’s the real world, but it’s really exciting at the same time.”
    Displaying his metalwork, jewelry and ceramics, Jeremy Kelly was also glad for the chance to participate.
    “It feels good to finally be at this stage,” Kelly, senior in 3-D art, said. “It lets people know my work, and if they like it enough, then they can buy it.”
    Jacqueline Denton stood behind her booth that was decorated in psychedelic colors and displayed her printed artworks.
    “I think this a good idea,” said Denton, senior in 2-D art. “People don’t realize what artists do in real life. There is enough of a different variety and types of art in this room alone that should show different avenues. It’s good to see the physical art that everyone has made.”
    Much of the artwork displayed and on sale spanned over the course of the artists’ studies at Pitt State. While enrolled in Senior Art Seminar, students learned how to develop their personal brands by designing promotional material, creating websites and hard copy as well as digital portfolios. The course also instructed the students on marketing and business skills for future art fairs and shows.
    Rebekah Parrish displayed her photography and talked to those who stopped by her booth to observe.
    “I sold my first photograph! I’m so excited,” said Parrish, senior in commercial art. “I’m a legit artist now.”
    Emmalyn Gennis says that she was impressed with the work she had seen her students create and was proud of their accomplishments.
    “This is a great chance for the community to get to know our students and the work that they do, and to be able to take home a piece of art with them,” said Gennis, professor of art. “I’ve been impressed with what I have seen the students creating for this event; they will have a wide range of items for sale, such as toys, cards and art prints that would make excellent holiday gifts.”

  • Faculty exhibit moving to bigger home

    | Gretchen Burns reporter |

    The University Gallery of Porter Hall walls are being graced for the last time with the artwork of the faculty in the Biannual Department of Art Faculty Exhibit. The next time the exhibit will be held, the artwork will be featured in the new Bicknell Family Center for the Fine Arts.
    “It will be very exciting to have shows in the new center,” said Marjorie Schick, professor of art. “The gallery here is beautiful, but I look forward to seeing everything in the new gallery.”
    The exhibition’s purpose is to celebrate the Department of Art faculty at Pittsburg State University as professional, working artists.

    Feng Chen, junior in Marketing, looks at paintings in the Faculty Art Exhibition in Porter Hall at Pittsburg State University on Tuesday, Dec. 2.

    Feng Chen, junior in Marketing, looks at paintings in the Faculty Art Exhibition in Porter Hall at Pittsburg State University on Tuesday, Dec. 2.

    The exhibit recognizes many of the routes and paths that they have taken. The faculty has come together as a group to inspire students toward what is difficult to communicate — self-discovery, imagination and tenacity, and has titled the exhibition “Assembly Required.”
    “I think it’s a good example for students,” said Emmalyn Gennis, professor of art. “Professors are part of the art world and the art industry. This exhibition gives students ideas of what it means to be professional artists because we’ve all taken our own paths in the art world.”
    Gennis says she loves having work in Porter Hall but is excited about the space in the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts and believes that it will elevate how the university and department puts on a show as a faculty.
    “I feel that the faculty exhibition allows students and the community, both PSU and Pittsburg, to see what we make,” said James Oliver, professor of art. “That we are teaching faculty, yes, but professional artists as well.”
    “Through the work exhibited the students can see a glimpse into the studio practice of each faculty member and what specific visual problems we are wrestling with.  It is always great to see new work by faculty.  As colleagues we know that each is creating new work, but we don’t always see it on a regular basis, so the faculty show is always new to each of us as well.”
    Oliver says he believes that with exhibits moving to the new center, it will draw crossover people from all the fine arts areas, music, theater and even art. He added the center will allow visitors attending a performance to view the gallery as well and broadens the audience for each group.
    “I have exhibited in the University Gallery numerous times while I have been a faculty member at PSU,” Oliver said. “I do not necessarily feel sad that I will not exhibit there again, but I definitely have a sense of excitement for the future exhibitions in the new space, as well as the events throughout the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts.”
    With the new larger space, Portico Bowman says the faculty will feel compelled to make larger artwork to fill the area but believes that the fine arts center will be a benefit to everyone.
    “I believe the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts gives everyone engaged with it an opportunity to be moved, to be drawn into deeper experiences with the arts, with the community, with the world. I can only be excited about the energy it will generate,” said Bowman, professor of art.
    Bowman agreed with Oliver and says the exhibition in Porter helps other faculty and even students realize the visual problems each wrestles with when the work is displayed and it helps her connect to her students.
    “If I’m not making artwork and writing, a source of inspiration for my art practice, then it is hard to stay sympathetic to the challenges of art-making,” said Bowman. “Having made art for 30 years does not mean it always goes smoothly, and it’s important to be in tune with how it feels when something falls apart when a student is trying something for the first time.”

  • Seniors host play date

    | Valli Sridharan reporter |

    Theater lovers will get a triple treat when communication majors present their directorial debuts during “The Night of One Acts” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Dec. 4 and 5, in Grubbs Hall.

    Kevin MaNay (right) sophomore, plastic enginnering major and mason Bayliss(left) community member are in the show named Night of One Acts rehearsal on Tuesday, Dec 2

    Kevin MaNay (right) sophomore, plastic enginnering major and mason Bayliss(left) community member are in the show named Night of One Acts rehearsal on Tuesday, Dec 2


    “The most enjoyable part in working as the director of one acts was that I get to work with the student actors who were so willing to contribute their time to help us with our school projects, “ said Taylor Elliot, director of “Women and Wallace.”
    Elliot’s play is a dark comedy by Johnathan Marc Sherman. It revolves around a man who has difficulty forming relationships with women because of his mother’s death. Elliot says this play taught her a lot more than just directing skills.
    “I learned a lot about being patient with myself,” she said.
    The directors chose their plays with various factors in mind. Danielle Walker’s play, “Closet Madness” by Murray Schisgal, deals with gay relationships.
    Logan Qualls, director of “Your Mother’s Butt” by Alan Ball, wanted to direct a play that college audiences could connect with.
    “There is this trend I have noticed,” Qualls said. “As people we go through the world at a shallow level once and then over time we work through our complexes and deeper issues.
    “I thought the client in the play was very interesting because he was dwelling only on the superficial issues and totally avoiding his own deeper conflicts. I think this is relevant to college students because there are a lot of important decisions to be made at this time.”
    Although directing is crucial in theater performance, other skills help directors realize their vision.
    For example, Ryan Urban, freshman in communication, was responsible for sound and lighting.
    “Lighting is meant to match the mood and the effect of the scene,” Urban said.
    “One of my favorite parts this time is I get angled lights, which are very cool. I use them during the dream sequence in Taylor’s play. The light goes dim to indicate the dream scene.”
    An enthusiasm for theater doesn’t stop with the directors and technicians. The actors, including Mason Bayliss, say they are motivated to give their best for a different reason.
    “I feel plays like this can be used as a platform to raise awareness,” said Bayliss, who plays the character of Sam Kogan in “Closet Madness.” “If we can bring those same ideas and messages to people through theater, then we could make a difference one story at a time.”
    For other actors, including Austin VanBecelaere, who plays Wallace in “Women and Wallace,” acting is an important part of daily life.
    “I am my happiest when I am on stage,” VanBecelaere said. “I never get tired of this. The thrill and the adrenaline rush I get motivates me to go on stage and perform. Personally, if I go two weeks without acting, I am going crazy.”

  • Chicken soup for the cross-cultural soul

    | Valli Sridharan reporter |

    Bafa bafa. Gi na no na no. Gibberish?
    No, this is what a group students actually said in the cross cultural simulation, Bafa Bafa, held on Thursday, Nov. 13, in Grubbs Hall. This annual event, organized by Harriet Bachner, associate professor of psychology and counseling, and her co-leader, Grant Moss, tries to help students understand the difficulties of being in a different culture.
    “Dr. Bachner and I believe strongly that this experience teaches students about feelings that one has about their own culture and other cultures, particularly when one has to attempt to understand the other while in it,” said Moss, associate professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literature.
    The participants were divided into two groups, the Alphas and Betas, and each group developed a culture of its own based on instructions. Later, when members of one culture were exposed to the other, they tried to make sense of each other’s idiosyncratic behavior. The struggle to understand each other and to feel accepted gave the participants a glimpse of culture shock.
    “After Bafa Bafa, I realized that going to a place that you have never been and having to learn their rules and customs can be very scary,” said Lacy Ivicsics, an Arma resident.
    Although it appears as a fun-filled activity, such cross-cultural simulations can often trigger strong emotions. A few years ago, some of the international students who were participating in this event got into an argument.
    “I noticed that they had probably felt the same feelings and lived the same experiences personally in their own lives when they arrived in Pittsburg only a short time ago,” said Moss. “The simulation created the same situations and their negativity came out.”
    As the members of each group struggled to understand the other culture, Bachner and Moss said they learned a lot, too.
    “As the co-leader, I have learned that the participants actually interpret the other culture from their own make-believe lens in less than 15 minutes,” Moss said.
    “Imagine, we have spent much more time in our culture than 15 minutes.”
    The students said the simulation helped them become more sensitive to individuals from other cultures.
    “You are around strangers, and you don’t exactly understand what you’re doing,” said Ivicsics. “It can be quite challenging.”
    Ivicsics added that the exercise may even change her behavior.
    “I would definitely be friendlier to people from a different culture,” she said. “I would try and help them out as much as I can, as well as try to get to know them.”
    The cultural mishaps resulted in some humor as well, said one Beta member, Lauren Woodall, graduate student in clinical mental health counseling.
    “The best thing about tonight’s experience has to be one of the Betas mistakenly calling the alphas ‘strippers’ instead of ‘stippers,’ (as they were known),” Woodall said.

  • Look of the week

    Having a little fun

    I never thought I’d pursue a fashion career. However, as I learned more about myself, I felt that fashion was something I was very much interested in and had a sense of creativity for. Not only do I feel I’m great in this field, but I have been complimented on my fashion skills and sense. That is why I’ve decided to pursue a career in fashion merchandising.

    Korchi Yang, junior in fashion merchandising, poses with her outfit she constructed from clothes in the Career Closet located on the second floor of Horace Man.

    Korchi Yang, junior in fashion merchandising, poses with her outfit she constructed from clothes in the Career Closet located on the second floor of Horace Man.


    My goal is to own my own boutique with my sister, who is studying fashion design. We would like to come out with a clothing line for working single women who are serious about work and enjoy single life. These would include outfits from nicely fitted business attire to casual outing wear to cocktail dresses for evening fun.
    I enjoy putting together clothes and outfits for others because I like to help people look great. Of course they already look great, but the clothes and accessories they wear are there to complement them, and I enjoy giving them the compliment they deserve.
    For this week’s look, I decided to do a fun interview look with patterns and bright colors. I paired high-waisted dress pants with a hot pink blouse. I added a black and white checkered print suit jacket. This outfit looks fun to me and can be appropriate for an interview or a casual meeting.
    When it comes to interview business attire, everyone looks for that plain matching color suit bottom and jacket. However, it’s not that serious and you can definitely play around with it and have some fun with your attire. As long as you look presentable and professional, you can wear almost anything that’s sitting in your closet. It’s how you put it together that makes it presentable and professional.
    Each of the looks featured in this article are available in the Career Clothes Closet located on the second floor of Horace Mann. All clothing in the Career Clothes Closet is free to all students. The Look of the Week is brought to you by a partnership between the Office of Career Services, the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences Fashion Merchandising program, and the Collegio. 

  • Lorelei Enseble enchants audience

    | Charles A. Ault reporter |

    The angelic voices of the Lorelei Ensemble filled McCray Hall Friday, Nov. 14.
    The ensemble, founded by director Beth Willer in 2007, is based in Boston and composed of nine women.
    Each of the women hails from a different state and along with participating in the ensemble, are actively involved in their solo careers.
    The Lorelei Ensemble sung poems from the ancient writings of Tacitus to verses of Emily Dickenson, tuned to American folk songs. The concert was also arranged to mimic a Catholic mass, with a section serving as the Curare, one as the Gloria, one the Credo, and so on.
    With the exception of the American folk song “Saro,” featuring PSU’s Raul Munguia, assistant professor in music, on violin, the ensemble performed entirely a cappella.
    Munguia says he loved performing with the ensemble.
    “It is great to have these kinds of artists here in town but it is even more special to be able to play with them,” he said. “I had to practice on my own first and then we put it together today in one rehearsal only so I had to be prepared for that.”
    Students who attended the concert were not disappointed.
    “My favorite song was ‘Saro.’ I was literally crying a little bit by the end,” said Macy Gerken, sophomore in vocal music education. “I thought it was amazing, honestly. I’ve always really loved a cappella Americana folk songs and that sort of thing, so it was right up my alley.”
    Randalin Ward, freshman in instrumental education, also enjoyed the show.
    “I enjoyed the first song. I thought it set the tone for the whole concert,” Ward said.
    Sam Ortiz says he loves coming to these concerts.
    “They’re amazing,” Ortiz, sophomore in music education, said. “The very last tune was my favorite, it’s still ringing in my ears, it was so beautiful.”
    Members of the ensemble were also glad to showcase their talents at Pitt State.
    “I absolutely love coming to schools like Pitt State,” said Emily Culler, member. “(McCray) is a beautiful hall, it rivals anything else we’ve sung in. I went to a small liberal arts college, so I really appreciate the atmosphere of the campus. It’s really conducive for music like this and for me in general to be in a small, supportive community where you can know everyone and encourage everyone through your studies, it’s really great.”
    Gerken added one reason concerts such as this are so entertaining is that students have the chance to learn about the artists.
    “I look forward to coming to performances like this in the future,” she said.
    The next concert in the Pittsburg State University Solo and Chamber Series will be baritone Sidney Outlaw on Jan. 30.

  • If you’ve got it, flaunt it

    | Valli Sridharan reporter |

    More than 100 students cheered for their peers as six teams participated in “Gorillas Got Talent” on Tuesday, Nov.18, in Weede Stadium.
    The annual event raises money for the Make A Wish Foundation, an organization that grants wishes to children with terminal illness.
    “The performances were outstanding and this is a great way to raise money,” said Jacob Stevenson, senior in education.
    The six participating teams that performed were softball, baseball, volleyball, women’s track and football.
    The athletes practiced for several hours to create their dances and many say they were motivated to show their talent for a good cause.
    “Showing that the track team does have a presence at this school and is involved in the community is what kept me motivated to practice for the Gorillas Got Talent,” said Heather Glenn, sophomore in nursing and member of the women’s track team.
    The presence of students and community members were other incentives for most participants to push themselves.
    “The students and community members that came were great,” Glenn said. “They gave us a lot of support to go out there and do something that was a little nerve-wracking for most of us.”
    To determine the winning team, points were calculated based on the scores given by judges and the money donated by the audience for each team. The softball team came first, followed by baseball while the women’s track team came third. In total, they managed to collect $2,208, double the target.
    Glenn says she was excited to be on a placing team.
    “I think it is a great way to raise money,” she said. “The entertainment aspect actually brings more people to donate for Make A Wish.”
    There was some disappointment from those on teams that did not win.
    “I really wanted to win, winning feels good,” said Eric Brantley, senior in management, a participant from the football team.
    But Brantley added that it was more for entertainment and the cause that they participated in the first place.
    “More than anything, it was a great cause,” he said. “The crowd participation was fantastic and they showed a lot of support.”
    This year’s judges panel consisted of Kaylee Cole from KIX 102.5 Morning KIX with Randy and Kaylee, Phil Scott, Dan Peak, Crawford County Sheriff, and Patty Horgan.
    “The baseball was my favorite performance,” said Scott. “They had some pretty good ideas and were very creative. Judging such talented teams is a lot of fun.”
    Scott added that the teams were very talented and it was a close call.
    “Oh, it was a tough competition and the teams were pretty evenly matched,” he said. “We had to get down to details when giving scores.”
    Brantley also says the whole event served as a great learning experience.
    “While practicing, I gained a better appreciation for the men and women that are entertainers and dancers for a living,” said Brantley. “It’s not easy work by any means, they just make it look that way.”

  • Look of the Week

    A good fit

     I’ve always had a love for creating and exploring this thing we call earth. I have explored many avenues throughout my college career and am very happy where I am ending up. I’m a professional wedding photograper based in Wichita, spending most of my time on that. I love life and can’t wait for the crazy adventures I’ll have.

    Merrick Rhodes

    Merrick Rhodes


    So I was supposed to create an outfit for an interview and, seeing that none of the clothes in the Career Closet fit me, I just made do with the patterns that I enjoyed most. I was going for more of a casual interview look, which can be seemingly difficult to pull off. You don’t want to come off as too under-dressed or over-dressed. I started with a nice pair of brown leather boots. These complement most colors that could be thrown into the outfit later. Pants were next. Here is the most important part of the outfit. If you decide to go with a pair of denim pants, you need to make sure they are just classic, raw denim. These give off a very casual, yet professional feel.
    The upper half of the outfit is also key in pulling off this look. I went with an army green jacket with a simple patterned shirt and a green flannel tie. These colors were specifically chosen to show off my creativity, but not sacrifice professionalism.
    Many of you might not have access to a mass amount of clothes or have access to the Career Closet when you need it. My most useful advice is choose something that expresses who you are, because they are trying to decide whether you are a good fit for their company. The worst thing you want to do is try to be something you aren’t, and then get hired at a place that doesn’t even fit you. You want them to hire you for YOU. Nothing else. 
    Each of the looks featured in this article are available in the Career Clothes Closet, located on the second floor of Horace Mann.  All clothing in the Career Clothes Closet are free to all students.  The Look of the Week is brought to you by the partnership between the Office of Career Services, the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences Fashion Merchandising program, and the Collegio.   

    Merrick Rhodes is a senior in fashion merchandising

  • Mind games

    | Audrey Dighans copy editor |

    The International Gathering was not the only gathering of the night Friday, Nov. 7, in Grubbs Hall.
    While many learned about African countries, some passed through the lobby crowd to Grubbs 107 for the Student Activities Council (SAC) Quizbowl.
    “Quizbowl is a competitive academic exercise with questions covering all sorts of topics from pop culture, history, science, math, sports, anything, where teams ‘buzz-in’ to try and score points,” said Meagan Smejdir, programming coordinator for campus activities. “SAC has hosted several Quizbowls in the past, it’s always a fun event to participate in and watch. It’s impressive to see what people know.”
    This semester’s Quizbowl featured a total of nine teams, with a maximum of four to a team, which Smejdir called a good turnout.

    Dagen Worthington, a sophomore in Chemistry, answers the question in Quizz Bowl in Grubbs Hall on Friday, Nov. 7, 2014.

    Dagen Worthington, a sophomore in Chemistry, answers the question in Quizz Bowl in Grubbs Hall on Friday, Nov. 7, 2014.


    The teams competed in a double elimination tournament. Four teams, two to a room, were able to compete in each round, which consisted of 15 questions.
    “I hope I know most of them,” said Travis Eppinger, senior in graphic communications.
    Eppinger says he joined his team at the last minute because his friends needed a fourth member.
    “I thought, ‘Why not?’ it might be fun, and it’s turning out to be a lot of fun,” Eppinger said. “I like the competiveness of it.”
    To keep it fair and suspenseful, Smejdir says the questions are preordered by a company that specializes in making Quizbowl questions for competitions such as SAC’s.
    “No team has access to the questions beforehand,” Smejdir said.
    Phillip Foster, sophomore in history, says the questions were esoteric but not necessarily difficult.
    “My favorite one of the evening was, ‘What video game had these final words: wake me when you need me?’” Foster said.
    Many competitors also say that they enjoyed getting a free meal during the event.
    “It’s an added bonus for the students who sign up,” Smejdir said. “These competitions usually start at 6 or 7 and will go until 9, maybe 10.”
    In the past, Quizbowls have taken place in Overman Student Center with the meeting place in the Crimson & Gold Ballroom and the smaller meeting rooms used for rounds. Due to other campus events and construction on the student center, SAC made the decision to use Grubbs this semester. Future Quizbowls will most likely be held in Grubbs as well, Smejdir says, since the ballroom will be offline next semester for renovations.
    After rounds and rounds of competition, at the end of the night, Foster and his teammates Marcus Platt, Christopher Gordon and Tanner Christy, “The Boxists,” took third place.
    “I am happy with the place we received,” Foster said. “I like Quizbowls, it was a good Friday night.”
    Second place went to team “White Dynamite,” composed of Zachary Botkin, Reed White and Tyler Casteel while first place went to team “Astronaut Sloth,” consisting of Charles Ault, Gage Davies, Mason Williams and Gavin Houser.
    Astronaut Sloth also took home $400 in prize money and will have the chance to compete at a regional level Quizbowl next semester representing Pitt State against other universities.

Leave A Comment