Bicknell houses annual PSU Choirs Concert

The Bicknell Family Center for the Arts is known for hosting a variety of events. Last week, the annual fall PSU Choirs Concert was held on Friday, Nov. 1 in the Linda & Lee Scott Performance Hall.  

The concert was presented by the department of music at Pitt State and was directed by professor of music and chair of the music department, Susan Marchant. The concert featured the University Choir and the Chorale.  

“Well.., it was our annual fall concert,” Marchant said. “We do one every November around this time… Because the groups are different, they presented diverse repertoire. Some for smaller ensembles, some for larger ensembles. Everything from Renaissance pieces through works that have been written within the last several years. So, that was our objective, to provide a nicely diverse program.”  

Senior in mechanical engineering and automotive technology Tim Klinker, who participated in the concert, was excited to perform in the Bicknell.  

“It’s always really nice to be able to perform in such a wonderful space such as the Bicknell,” Klinker said. “It truly is a nice, fantastic concert hall. It’s also really enjoyable to see a group of a hundred-ish people come together and work as a team in order to create something bigger than just one person. So, it’s a lot of hard work that goes into it and its very nice to be able to get that performed.”  

Sophomore in music education Erica Baldwin said she enjoys music which is why she decided to take part in the Choirs Concert.  

“Well, I am a music major, so music is a way for me to relax in my life and… to get away from everything and find my peace,” Baldwin said.  

Marchant did well in picking a variety of styles and types of music according to Baldwin.  

“Well, I really enjoyed getting to participate because Dr. Marchant does an amazing job with picking a variety of music for us to sing from pieces that are nice and fun for us to dance to… versus pieces that are performed in churches,” Baldwin said. “… She always picks such an amazing variety and it always wows the audience.” 

Klinker took a chance on choir and chose to continue with it throughout the rest of him time at Pitt State.  

“So, I really haven’t had any choir experience since like eighth grade, the required stuff,” Klinker said. “Through my fraternity (Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia), actually through Brock (Willard), he convinced me to join choir last year and I enjoyed it so much that I decided I’ll go ahead and keep doing it until I graduate. It’s kind of fun. It’s a lot of hard work but it’s nice to see the payoff in things such as the choir concert.”  

According to Marchant, the participants of the concert started working “in earnest” after the first performance in September.   

“… (I just want to say) how pleased we are to have an opportunity to perform in the Bicknell Center,” Marchant said. “For some students, that was the first opportunity to do that and (it) was a great experience.”

Men’s Basketball begins 2019 season with exhibition game against KU

The men’s basketball team had their first game of the season on Thursday, Oct. 31. The Gorillas lost the exhibition game against the University of Kansas (KU) (42-102).  

Head men’s basketball coach Kim Anderson thought the team didn’t play all that well in the game.  

“I don’t think we played very well,” Anderson said. “I think that obviously Kansas is a top two or three team in Division-I and so their size and strength kind of overwhelmed us. We have some guys that were out that are injured and there (are) some that won’t be eligible until second semester. So, we’re still kind of putting our team together. But certainly, Kansas played great and we didn’t play very well, and we didn’t get very good very good shots and they just were so much bigger than us. We just couldn’t handle them on the inside.”  

Anderson saw a couple things that the team did well, but in the end they couldn’t manage to bounce back.  

“I think we competed against a team that’s much bigger and much stronger than us,” Anderson said. “We had a couple of guys (that) I thought stepped up. Drew Roelfs (and) Grant Harding, those guys stepped up and made some shots. I think as the game wore on, our guys got more comfortable playing with that type of opponent, that size and speed and strength that they had to play against. But certainly, we have a lot of room to improve and I think we’ll continue to do that as we get ready for our opener.”  

According to Anderson, this game brought some things to light that the team needs to improve on before the next game.   

“Well, I think rebounding, defense,” Anderson said. “I think that probably execution offensively, being able to handle the ball under pressure, getting the right timing down on plays and stuff. Really there’s a lot of things to work on but it’s still really early in the season. So, we just (have to) keep working away.”  

A couple of players stood out to Anderson during the game.  

“… I think Drew Roelfs and then Grant Harding (stood out to me),” Anderson said. “Both of those guys did a really good job. They shot the ball well. Kansas is a big, strong, tough physical team so I thought those two guys shot the ball well. I think Jah-Kobe Womack scored some points, I think he had 10 or 12 points. So, we certainly have to play better and so that’s what we’ll continue to work on.”  

It is still early in the season so there is plenty of time for the team to improve and Anderson hopes to see some improvement in the next game against Upper Iowa in Kansas City on Friday, Nov. 8.  

“(I hope to see) improvement (in the next game),” Anderson said. “Improvement in our offensive spacing and timing and then… rebounding. I think rebounding’s (going to) be important. We’re (going to) play a team that (going to) shoot a lot of three-point shots and we got to make sure we get to those shooters and not give them open looks.”  

Athlete of the Week: Erika Ivkov

This week’s athlete of the week is senior in nursing Erika Ivkov.  

Ivkov has been on the volleyball team for four years at Pitt State but began playing the year before entering high school.  

Ivkov enjoys volleyball and playing with her teammates.  

“I like the adrenaline rush,” Ivkov said. “I like that it’s a team sport and that you can’t do it independently. You have to work together and communicate. It’s all about the team effort and I think that’s really cool that you have to be able to come together as a team and be able to be successful. I think that’s really cool to be able celebrate that…”  

Ivkov maintains a 3.77 GPA as a nursing major but balancing course work with volleyball, or any other sport, is no easy task.  

“…I wouldn’t be able to do it without the support,” Ivkov said. “This school is one of the few that allows you to do nursing and do athletics as well and I know that’s pretty rare. I know a lot of nursing schools are pretty strict and they don’t allow athletes to play sports while they’re in school. So, I got really lucky and I’m really fortunate to have professors and just the school be able to work with me and do both of those things… That’s really, really awesome for me. But I have a really good support system. My parents help me, my roommate’s awesome. I just wouldn’t be able to do it without everybody around me.”  

The volleyball team is nearing the end of the season and Ivkov hopes to see the team make it to the conference tournament.  

“Honestly, seeing the culture change (has)… been really cool for me,” Ivkov said. “I mean it hasn’t happened yet, but we should have a pretty good shot at making the conference tournament and ever since I got here, it was a goal coming in my freshman year, but it wasn’t something that we had done continuously. So.., we’re hopefully, crossing our fingers, (going to) make it this year. It’s a really big accomplishment and its cool to be able to see that done in the time that I’ve been here.”  

According to Ivkov, she has many supporters within her family and at Pitt State.   

“I couldn’t do it without my coaches,” Ivkov said. “…They’re kind of like moms to me here since I don’t have my parents. They’re about ten hours away but my parents have been my biggest rock and my brother, they’ve both been my biggest supporters and fans ever since I started athletics in my whole life. So, I couldn’t do it without them. But my coaches have helped me a lot and they’ve just been here the whole time. I have some really good professors that have been supportive the whole way. I mean I have a large group of (people) around me that’s been pretty awesome. So, I couldn’t do it without them.”  

Being a part of the team has been an enjoyable experience for Ivkov she said.  

“… This group of gals has been really unique and fun to play with and its definitely different than any other team that I’ve been a part of thus far,” Ivkov said. “I mean we have great chemistry and we just have a good time and we hope to see some more change coming. So, it’s pretty awesome…”  

Club Baseball wins 4/5 games in Wood Wars tournament

The Club Baseball team competed on the Wood Wars tournament from Friday, Nov. 1 to Sunday, Nov. 3. Their first opponent was Texas A&M on Friday, Nov. 1 and the team won that match (2-1). Game two was against the University of Kansas on Saturday, Nov. 2 and the Gorillas won that game as well (2-0). The third came of the tournament was also on Saturday and it was against Houston Community College. The team won that game (7-0). The last two games were on Sunday, Nov. 3. The first one was against the University of Texas-San Antonio and the Gorillas won (1-0). The last and final game for Pitt State’s Club Baseball team was against the Texas Tech Raiders and the team lost that game (5-2).  

Club President Drew Roy was pleased with the overall turnout of the competition.  

“It was definitely a great weekend,” Roy said. “We played some very strong competition. The team definitely showed up to play.”  

 There were a couple of things that Roy saw that the team did well.  

“Our pitching and defense were both phenomenal,” Roy said. “I think we gave (six) runs across the entire tournament and (five) of those were in the championship game. But defense was great. The only thing, probably, we struggled with was the offense…”  

One member of the team stood out to Roy during the tournament.  

“I’d just like to throw in (and) give a shout out to Jacob Galbraith,” Roy said. “The guy threw eleven innings in the semifinals, complete game shutout. He was perfect through seven and unfortunately, we couldn’t get him a run in regulation to get him that perfect game. But he was absolutely phenomenal on the mound in the semi-finals.”  

The difference between last year’s Wood Wars tournament and this years showed a lot of growth in the team.  

“… This is the end of our fall (semester) here, so we’ll being going into the spring. Overall, I think we played pretty well. We saw a lot of good things. Last year when we went down to Wood Wars, we felt like it showed that our team had a lot of holes and this year we came away with going like, ‘wow, we’re pretty good.’ There’s not very many things we can just look and say, ‘this is gonna be a problem.”  

These were the last games of the fall semester for Club Baseball.  

“Well, we’re gonna practice probably one night a week until the end of the semester,” Roy said. “Just kind of keep the guys together. We want to give guys time away especially… getting here to the end of the semester. We’ll take Christmas break off, everybody will go home, do whatever they need to do, and we’ll get back together right as soon as the semester starts. (We will) ramp back up practice (and) really start working on things at that point. We open up with a big-time conference opponent in Truman State. I know they were 11 and four in the conference we move into, in Division I, this year. So, they’ll be a tough opponent. So, we’ll have to make sure we’re doing everything we get to do over the off season to be ready and come out and start hot.”  

There were many new players on the team this semester and Roy is proud of how far the team has come since they started the semester.  

“(We have improved) tremendously,” Roy said. “We started a lot of new faces on this group… We got some guys come out high school… and it’s an adjustment period. Some guys had to come in and say, ‘Wow. This competition level is better than I expected.’ Other guys had to really focus on themselves and work on themselves and make sure they were ready to play. I think I’ve seen a lot of good things from the team as a whole. We’ve definitely, definitely improved from the start of the fall.”

Pittsburg State hosts ‘Majors Fair’

Choosing a major is an important part of being a college student. It is essentially choosing the field or career students hope to enter after graduation, but this is no easy choice for some.  

The Exploratory Studies Program and Career Services presented the Majors Fair on Thursday, Oct. 24 in the Crimson and Gold Ballrooms in the Overman Student Center which is held to help undeclared majors narrow down their choices.  

Students were given the opportunity to look into different programs, internships and job opportunities, and even student organizations that are associated in each program.  

Booths were set up by departments all around campus. They had information about the programs and life in the workforce after graduation.  

“The majors fair is set up to assist students in particular who are undeclared,” said director of Student Success Programs Heather Eckstein said. “We call it the Exploratory Studies program meaning they haven’t decided on a major but are seeking to do that. We invite all of the academic departments to have a booth with information and a faculty advisor who can answer questions about their programs to the students who attend. We put just about every department in one room and a student can go from department to department if they’re interested in multiple right there in the ballroom rather than having to go all around campus.”  

Director of career services Mindy Cloninger believes that the majors fair is an “excellent way for students who are attempting to select a major to get a real-world perspective of what that major would translate to when they enter the workplace.”  

“… The majors fair is an excellent opportunity for undeclared majors to visit with the experts in each of our programs on campus, people that can answer questions for them about what the program is really about,” Cloninger said. “And then also, what our past graduates of that program (are) doing with their degree from Pitt State so they can learn about what other students who actually (have) gone through those programs are doing now out in the workplace…”  

Garrett Roughton, undeclared freshman, talks about finding his major with Greg Murray, chair of engineering technology, at the Mojors Fair Thursday, Oct. 24. The event was held in the Overman Student Center. Shakota Woolsey

Undeclared sophomore Parker Samford attended the event.  

“…Before going in, I wasn’t too sure as to what the departments would offer at least not specifically,” Samford said. “But afterwards, I got to know more about the individual programs, the salaries of the jobs it would offer after graduation, the graduation rate and things of that nature.”  

 Samford has a couple of ideas about what he wants to major in.  

“…I would say that before I really declare a major, I would need to go and visit some of the places they recommended and get the tours and whatnot,” Samford said. “But the event itself helped narrow it down.”  

Navigating life in college can be tough, so Eckstein was happy to see all the departments and faculty from departments at the event.   

“… We really do appreciate every department participating,” Eckstein said. “It’s very helpful to our students to know that there are faculty members waiting for them in those departments to advise them into programs and careers where they will find success.”