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Automotive Mechanics Program gets students on the road to success

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Ramona Salgado reports.

College Reporter Day at the White House

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Written by | Alma Bustamante | The White House organized its first ever College Reporter Day on April 28 for around 50 student journalists from two- and four-year colleges from all over the nation, including Ranger Editor Alma Bustamante. President Barack Obama showed up in the middle of the briefing, surprising the attendees. Obama talked about several topics and announced some breaking news about an important issue among college students: student debt. “Today I want to announce that we’re aiming to enroll 2 million more people in Pay As You Earn by this time next year,” Obama said. The Pay As You Earn Repayment plan is a college loan repayment program that Obama instituted in 2012. The purpose of the plan is to cap student payment rates at 10 percent of their discretionary income with complete forgiveness after 20 to 25 years of payments, depending on the level of education. Student debt is at an all-time record high, with numbers rising to almost $1.3 trillion, according to an analysis at Edvisors.com. Around 43 million borrowers are being affected, which is about 71 percent of college graduates. During the briefing, Obama said he still is pushing his initiative of making community college free. “That’s something that is affordable for most states to do, and we are prepared to help with federal support,” he said. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest mentioned the results some states have had with the initiative. “This is what they’ve done in the state of Tennessee, and it’s been very beneficial to the state,” Earnest said. “They’ve seen an economic benefit associated with a better-educated work force.” Obama also mentioned his Supreme Court nomination after the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia. The Supreme Court still is in the process of selecting its ninth member. “I’ve nominated an individual named Merrick Garland, who’s currently the chief judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is the second Read more [...]

Professor to give last recital before retiring

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Written by | Tashana smith |

Before Dr. Jim Rauscher retires after more than three decades of teaching music at Amarillo College, he will perform a farewell recital.
At the event at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 8, in the Concert Hall Theater on the Washington Street Campus, Rauscher will perform some of his favorite pieces from Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Beethoven and Debussy on the piano.

“I am happy to be doing this,” Rauscher said. “It is my way of giving back to the community for all they have given me. Music is my passion. It is something that I love to do.” Rauscher, former chairman of the music department, has been at AC for 35 years. Besides his teaching job, he also is a music director with his wife, Vanessa Rauscher, at St. Mary’s Cathedral. He plans to continue at St. Mary’s.

“It’s difficult to think about retiring when you have been with a certain place for so long, but it’s my time, and I am ready,” Rauscher said. “There is a good thing to my retiring, and that is I get to spend more time with my grandkids, and continuing to be music director for St. Mary’s.”

During all his years at AC, Rauscher said he has learned how to listen to the students and has tried to be as attentive as possible to their needs. “It takes many years to become a great teacher, and after all my years here at AC, I am still learning how to become that great teacher,”
he said.

Rauscher has been a music professor and also served as music department chairman from 1988 to 2013. He has been a principal keyboardist for the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra since 1981. He began studying piano at the age of 6 in his hometown Medford, Wisconsin. He received a Ph.D in fine arts in 1991 at Texas Tech University.

My memorable day at the White House attending event for college journalists

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Written by | Alma Bustamante | My eyes couldn’t believe the email I was reading. I was accepted to participate in the inaugural College Reporter Day on April 28 at the White House in Washington, D. C. When I say I couldn’t believe it, I’m not kidding, I thought it probably was a joke, especially after how the application process went. Two weeks prior to the email, I received an email inviting me to be part of this event. I filled out all the information and questions they asked for, and after clicking submit, I saw the awful, “the page you requested is not found,” message. I freaked out. I knew all this wasn’t true. Well, I submitted the application again and again and again, actually like 20 times, hoping it would say otherwise. It never did, so I couldn’t do much but go on with my life. So when I received that email, I immediately forwarded it to Mike Haynes and Jill Gibson, my Student Media advisers and personal mentors. I remember Jill’s response, “Wow!” Yep, that’s how I felt, too. I was extremely lucky that the college was able to afford my trip, thanks to the Office of Student Affairs and President Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart. Thank you again. A month later, I was heading to the nation’s capital with Lynaé Jacob, chairwoman of the communication and theater department, to meet White House senior administration officials and, who knows, maybe President Barack Obama as well. Finally the day came, and I was super nervous. I didn’t know what to expect but finally was able to grasp the idea that I’M GOING TO BE IN THE WHITE HOUSE. Sitting there with college reporters from all over the country, covering important issues, seems surreal to me. It is undeniably an experience I will never forget. I was sitting across from people who are making a difference in this country. That’s empowering. We talked about college issues such as sexual assault and college affordability. As a journalist, meeting White House correspondents from Read more [...]
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