Serving Amarillo College Since 1930

AC houses one of largest insect collections in Texas

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The Natural History Museum houses many different animal specimens at AC.
Tiffany Lamb, director of the Natural History Museum, works with thousands of animals, insects and plants. The Natural History Museum on the Amarillo College Washington Street Campus houses more than 30,000 specimens, including one of the largest insect collections in Texas. The museum is free for anyone to visit, and guided tours are available.  “We are there so anyone can come by and check out animals and plants from around the world,” Lamb said. The museum is there not only for people to examine the collection, but it can be used for research.  Scientists and students have used the collection for study. “We’ve had museum representatives from across the United States come view and study our specimens,” Lamb said. There are plans to add more to the collection in the future, but according to Lamb, “We rely on the generosity of the public and members of the biology department” to help it grow. “When we collect, all the specimens are donated to the museum,” Lamb said. “We also have individuals from the public donate to us. Many of the public donors are game hunters who do not have room to display in their trophy cases at home, so they donate them in order for everyone to be able to learn about the animals.” The museum accepts donations of legally obtained specimens that are in good condition for display. People interested in contributing to the museum can donate through the AC Foundation. The pieces at the museum vary in value, and some are even priceless because the species are endangered. Some of the rarer species are worth thousands of dollars, while others, such as local plants and insects, are collected for free.  Cristian Murga, a vocational nursing major, said he has heard of the museum but has never been inside. Because of a lack of an advertising budget, the facility is not well known by most students. “We do not have an advertising budget, so we rely on word of mouth to let people know about us,” Lamb said. Murga Read more [...]

Club provides necessary support for AC veterans

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Veterans of Amarillo College Together is among the school’s most covert clubs. The program keeps a low profile, but students say it provides necessary support for AC vets. Robert Celestino, a veteran and mass media major, said the VETACT club can help and encourage veterans. “I think that the club is a wonderful idea,” Celestino said. “I believe this because there are a number of veterans who attend AC that have the potential to benefit from it.” The VETACT club includes veterans, their spouses and their dependents. “We try to socialize, come together and do volunteer work for the veteran community. We help anyway we can,” explained Kelly Murphy, VETACT club coordinator. Murphy began her work as the veterans’ coordinator in 2007 and has assumed various roles in the registrar’s office for 17 years. She said she was well suited for the position because of her experience as a military family member and spouse. “It is good to have a club like this to help ease a recently discharged vet or an older one into college,” said David Lovejoy, a veteran and mass media major. The services offered to vets and their families include a book scholarship and two award letters granted to members based on application and qualification. “Our fundraising at the moment is going to endow those scholarships,” Murphy said. “With more fundraising, we get to branch out.” The group also helps make military holiday and observance events possible. “We participate in the Veterans Day parade followed by a welcome home event that we are involved with as well,” Murphy said. The club plans to celebrate all military branch birthdays and is open to new ideas from members.  “These last few years, participation has greatly declined,” Murphy admitted. “One event we always try to do is the Veterans Day luncheon catered and free to vets and their families as well as faculty and staff.” Last year, the club was unable to organize the luncheon. Nevertheless, Read more [...]

Steady decline in enrollment yet increase in full-time students

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Students walking around the Washington Street Campus this semester might not notice, but enrollment is down from this time last fall. Robert Austin, vice president of student affairs, said there are 9,927 students currently enrolled at AC. Last fall there were 10,287 students enrolled, a difference of 360 students. There are about 5,000 students on the Washington Street Campus. “We’ve had a consistent decline in enrollment over the last several years going back to the fall of 2010,” Austin said. That fall AC had the highest enrollment number of 11,600. “We’ve been recording enrollment declines over the last two to three years of 5 percent per year, so to come in at 3.5 percent this year is kind of a win in a way,” Austin said. Even with lower enrollment, Austin said there is a shortage of gateway courses such as Freshman Composition or College Algebra. “We have seen an increase in the number of students enrolled full-time,” Austin said. “I felt at times that we needed more classes available,” said Language, Communication and Fine Arts Adviser Ruth De Anda.  Dr. Brian Farmer, a social sciences professor, said he had three classes increased to the maximum capacity of 80. He now has to teach in 131 Russell Hall, a classroom that can accommodate 80 students. Farmer said he expects 80 percent of those students to complete the course. Austin Gibson, an engineering major, said he has noticed less space in his classes. “Actually, my classes seem to be a bit more crowded,” Gibson said. “I saw a great outpouring of students, especially mass media,” De Anda said. “I felt like I was filling up classes left and right.” Austin said late registration is a problem. “If we could get more students to register early, we’d have a better sense of how many new sections we would need to offer,” he said. He said he would like enrollment to break even next fall. “One of the things that we’ll be working on to guarantee that enrollment will Read more [...]

‘Mad Max’ proves to be worthy remake

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Tom Hardy, bottom, and charlize Theron rebel against a tyrannical ruler is post-apocalyptic Australia in Mad Max: Fury Road.
Mad Max: Fury Road is easily one of the best action movies I have ever seen. Exciting would be an understatement. This film has: action, drama, suspense,mystery, breathtaking visuals, likeable characters and everything you ever could want in a movie and so much more. George Miller is the genius behind the post-apocalyptic movie series that has been around since 1979: Mad Max followed by three others, including Fury Road. This film revolves around a mysterious man named Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy), and his adventures in a post-apocalyptic world. He is pitted against some of the most interesting characters I have seen in a long time. Fury Road throws Max into a dispute between a warlord/cult leader named Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) and his ex-girlfriend, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron). Somehow, Max finds himself on Furiosa’s side and wishes to seek redemption from his past by helping Furiosa rescue Immortan Joe’s “treasures,” or women he has captured for breeding purposes. Immortan Joe seeks to create the perfect offspring to lead his cult. Fury Road is essentially a two-hour long car chase. While that might sound a little boring, there are many small details that make the film incredibly exciting. I had to watch it twice to really understand what was going on. You will be absolutely blown away by the utterly amazing visuals Fury Road has to offer. George Miller decided to stick with using practical effects instead of CGI for a good 80 percent of the action sequences. So those exploding cars doing flips in the sand at 130 miles per hour are completely real.  Fury Road has become one of my favorites simply due to its characters and acting. Hardy, one of my favorite actors, absolutely nails Max’s character. He’s quiet, as he only says maybe 50 words throughout the entire film, but there is so much expression and emotion to his character. We learn that Max is troubled and is seeking redemption. Because of that, the audience falls in love Read more [...]

DisAbility Services offers equal opportunities

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acob McGee, a criminal justice major, spends time between classes having a few laughs with friends. He receives help from DisAbility Services.
Amarillo College provides countless services that help students through their college careers. DisAbility Services is a place where help is provided to students with special needs.The department offers assistance to create equal access to all programs and services at AC. Students are provided with assistance in classrooms such as extra time on tests, preferential seating and sign language interpreters, to name a few.“We work with individual students to develop needed accommodations for classroom and testing services,” said Brenda Rossnagel, DisAbility Services coordinator.“Those are developed with each student every semester.”Students who want to apply for assistance must have a documented disability in order to receive services in compliance with federal and state laws.“We will ask students to provide some documentation for their disability,” Rossnagel said. Without proper documentation, they will not be able to continue with the process. DisAbility Services helps students with disabilities such as autism, anxiety disorders, attention deficit disorders and mobility impairment. Students with disabilities are provided with help in every way possible.“I was born with Spina bifida, which put me in a wheelchair, so I have to have a table put in every class that I’m in as well as extra time on tests because it takes me a while to process information,” said Jacob McGee, a criminal justice major. “The DisAbility Services have been great. They go the extra mile for each student.”DisAbility Services serves 400 students on average each semester. More than half of those students request some type of accommodation. “There is a lot of variety in the students we serve, and therefore the services are really very individualized to what a particular student might need,” Rossnagel said.Students who are having difficulty are welcome to visit with DisAbility Services employees.“We try to make individuals feel as comfortable as possible and encourage students Read more [...]

Tom Brady deserves respect

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“I am the best decision this franchise has ever made,” is the famous quote that Tom Brady told the Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft the first time they met with Kraft not knowing who Brady was. Tom Brady is the best quarterback the National Football League has ever seen. Now before you get all defensive and start throwing accusations about his team, you have to set your opinions about the Patriots aside and look at the facts about just Brady. Let’s start with the way he has played on the biggest stage in football, the Super Bowl. After throwing four touchdowns against the “Legion of Boom,” he passed the great Joe Montana for most touchdowns in the Super Bowl at 13. He also now owns the records for the most completions in a half at 20, most completions in a game at 37 and Super Bowl starts at six, in which he now is 4-2. Those were just the records he broke in the game last February. Brady already had held the Super Bowl records for most career passing yards, career attempts and completions. Those are records that he just kept adding to during the game. Brady’s greatness isn’t just about the records. The thing that makes him such a great quarterback is his incredible competitive nature and will to win. His football knowledge is impeccable. He prepares for the competition better than any other quarterback in the league. Current and former teammates always are talking about how he is the first one in the locker room before practice and always the last one to leave the facilities. My favorite thing about Brady is the reason why he always is so competitive. He always is playing with a chip on his shoulder because people constantly are putting him down and not believing in him. Graduating from San Mateo High School in California and heading to play quarterback at Michigan, no one knew who he was. He didn’t get playing time until his junior season, and even then he wasn’t the starter. Once his senior season rolled around, he had to fight just to be Read more [...]
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