Illusionist wows crowd over and over

| Gretchen Burns reporter | Levitation, sleights of hand and swords through boxes with a human inside was only part of what Reza’s audience witnessed during the illusionist’s performance at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts last night, Wednesday, March 25. One of Reza’s assistants was the lucky human being to be speared in the box. This was one of the assistant’s first performances and though the audience saw her enter the box and saw the long, pointed spears enter that same box, the assistant managed to disappear. Once the spears were removed, she successfully reappeared to the audience’s delight. Giving credit where its due, Reza began his career as an illusionist at the…

Mystery in religion

A student sets up an informational display on the Shroud of Turin. Speaker Russ Breault talked about the subject at the Bicknell Center on Sunday, March22.

Speaker brings mystery of Shroud of Turin to campus | Gretchen Burns reporter | A world of mystery was the center of Russ Breault’s presentation on Monday, March 23, in Grubbs Hall. “The world is full of mysteries from the pyramids to Stonehenge to crop circles,” Breault said. “There is a mystery in the Italian city of Turin. The cathedral of St. John the Baptist houses a mysterious cloth with a mysterious image.” This cloth is known as “The Shroud of Turin,” the cloth believed to have covered the body of Jesus Christ when he was laid in the tomb. The shroud bears the image of a crucified man and has undergone hundreds of thousands…

Students being warned against extortion scam

Students who checked their Gus mail over spring break received a Bulk-E warning from the Pittsburg Police Department after the department received several calls from individuals targeted in an over-the-phone extortion scam. The victims reported phone calls from unknown individuals claiming to be Pittsburg Police officers. Victims were told they had outstanding warrants and would be arrested if they did not send money to the fraudulent callers. Extortion is defined as a crime in which a person or persons forces the victim to do something against his or her will, generally to give up money or property, by threat of violence, property damage, damage to the victim’s reputation or extreme financial hardship. Extortion involves the…

Jazz concert hits all right notes

| Gretchen Burns reporter | The 41st annual PSU Jazz Festival, held Friday, March 6, in the Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium, drew high school jazz bands from across the state and region for events and performances that led up to the final performance of the evening. High school students crowded the upper balcony and left little seating to spare while PSU students, faculty and Pittsburg residents sat in the lower floor sections while they all enjoyed the music together. The PSU Jazz Ensemble opened the evening performance with a jazz arrangement of “America the Beautiful,” followed by three other pieces, featuring solos by various students. When Sam Ortiz stood and played his solo on the tenor…

Charity group tangled in controversy

| Gretchen Burns reporter | Megan Hoffman was bothered when she found out that her hair donations to Locks of Love could be sold to another organization instead of used as a wig for a child as she intended. In a recent article published by the Huffington Post, a nonprofit investigator has claimed that Locks of Love, a nonprofit organization that makes hairpieces for needy children with illnesses that lead to hair loss, produced only 317 hairpieces or wigs in 2011, but should have had enough hair to produce 2,080 hairpieces. “I understand that they can’t keep all the hair because the lengths are uneven or it’s dyed,” said Hoffman, “but if they are going…

Students evaluate teacher evaluations

| Gretchen Burns reporter | Every semester it’s the same thing: No. 2 pencil, sheet with bubbles, professor not allowed in the classroom and a random student employee passing out teacher evaluations. On Wednesday, Feb. 4, Dylan McCollar, academic affairs director for the Student Government Association (SGA), gave a report to the Senate about the importance of teacher evaluations and he came with Provost Lynette Olson’s responses to the Senate’s questions about evaluations. McCollar said teacher evaluations are important to the university, but students should realize that it takes about two years for a “bad” faculty member to be put on an improvement plan. “Olson said students also fail to take the evaluations as seriously…

Flannery appointed interim VP for university advancements

| Gretchen Burns reporter | Kathleen Flannery was recently appointed to the position of interim vice president for the Office of University Advancement, along with the position of president and CEO of the PSU Foundation. Having previously been employed as the executive director of university advancement, Flannery says she is excited to have been chosen for her new roles and looks forward to what she will be able to help the PSU Foundation accomplish. “It’s only been a few weeks for me but I’ve really enjoyed it,” she said. “It’s been challenging for me so far, but it’s been a great opportunity for me.” Throughout her career at Pitt State, Flannery has worked in several…

Technology becoming issue in classrooms

| Gretchen Burns reporter | Scrolling through Facebook. Scrolling through text messages. Scrolling through Twitter. Across campus, professors are tired of students scrolling while they are teaching. Donald Baack, professor of management and marketing, does not allow the use of any technology in his classroom. He says his decision to “ban” technology is based upon a larger policy in his classroom: courtesy, which includes not being tardy, no excessive talking to peers, no passing notes or leaving class early. Baack added that his technology policy is based on studies conducted at Princeton and Harvard, which reveal students using laptops for note-taking purposes actually impairs learning. “Using a handwriting app on a laptop as an appeasement…

Students prep for MCAT as much as possible

| Gretchen Burns reporter | Kalee Woody has given up her social life to spend her free time studying for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) exam in June. The MCAT is a national standardized test designed to gauge medical school applicants’ knowledge of basic science concepts, as well as their skills in problem-solving, critical thinking and writing. “I spend my weekend working and studying,” said Woody, senior in biology. “It’s extremely hard. I work 25 or more hours a week and then spend all day Sunday studying. It’s difficult to focus on everything I have to study for.” Jayden Bowen, junior in biology, says when he takes the exam in April it will be…

Women of Pittsburg

| Gretchen Burns reporter | Although the night was chilly and the audience was sparse, Beverly Clarkson shared the story of Ella Buchanan, first director of the Pittsburg Public Library, to help observe Women’s History Month at Pittsburg State University on Wednesday, March 4. After a large donation was made to the library, the librarians wanted to create a permanent art collection and showcase the talents of local artists. Buchanan, though originally a director at the library, later became one such artist featured at the library. Buchanan was hired by the city of Pittsburg to direct the library in 1901. She was the daughter of newspaper editor J.C. Buchanan of The Kansan. A socialist paper…