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Kendall Kuehler

STEM club does good for students, community

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Photo by Kendal Khueler | The
April 19, 2012 By Kendal Kuehler | Ranger Reporter   Despite it being a cloudy Saturday, the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics club and several other zoo volunteers banded together in an effort to clean up Thompson Lake. STEM is a new club offered at Amarillo College that helps students majoring in science fields to get grants for college. The club, founded two semesters ago, is working steadily at planting its roots, said Rebecca Mitchell, STEM secretary and a biology major. The STEM program has 200 people, but the club has only 10 active members with plans to continue growing in coming semesters. STEM members and future prospects meet at noon every other Thursday in room 012 in the Lynn Library basement. STEM is looking for officers for next semester. STEM’s long-term goal is to establish itself in local school districts to help motivate and encourage youth to pursue higher education. Meanwhile, STEM is working on achieving its short-term goals, such as establishing relationships with the community, Mitchell said. Volunteer work such as cleaning up Thompson Lake is part of STEM’s plan to increase community interaction. The Amarillo Zoo also organized a group to help with the cleanup project. Several members of the community along with a couple dozen local teenagers gave up their Saturday to help the cause. STEM members said volunteering gives the club an opportunity to expand and connect with a variety of people. One of the cleanup leaders was Jim Hammons, a past AC student. Hammons referred to himself as “the biggest kid ever” and “a professional aggravator.” Hammons a retiree from the Navy, is an associate pastor at an Amarillo Baptist Church. STEM gives the members many opportunities and helps Amarillo’s community. Two of STEM’s members agreed that their favorite aspect of STEM is the club’s advisers. Reggie Martinez, an engineer major, said the advisers helped him map out Read more [...]

Expressive photography lab: Blending historical process with cutting edge technology

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Photography By Brian Uecker
April 11, 2012 By Kendal Kuehler | Ranger Reporter “Every time I would go in there, they were rockin' the darkroom,” said Rene West with a grin of pride upon her face. That's how the photography instructor described her students working in the expressive photography lab. She knew they were working hard and having fun while  slaving over their Portfolio 2 projects. Expressive photography is the art of capturing a photo that creates a feeling or mood. The photographer's objective is to draw in the observer's attention and recreate the same emotion the photographer experienced when capturing the photo. Amarillo College offers a course in expressive photography that allows students to explore different photographic technology of formal, professional and individual uses of photography. The course requires completion of a Fundamentals of Photography course, but no books are required. Instead, students build their own textbook throughout the semester. The self-created textbook is called technical book. It is broken into three portfolios correlating with the class. The tech book will serve as the students' lab book and will consist of formulas, instructions, research notes and personal examples along with self notes, West said. Brian Uecker, a photography major, said he likes the idea of the tech book and that he plans to expand it after the class is over. West's students said creating their own textbook gives them another creative outlook to think outside the box with hands-on training that documents failures and successes. “Just because it's a mistake doesn't mean you cannot use it," West said. "Own it.” She encourages her students not only to learn from their mistakes but to embrace them and use the experience to a creative advantage. The three sections of the class are pinhole cameras and experimental darkroom techniques, Holga and cyanotypes and transfers and mixed-media. The class is now in section 2, where students work with Read more [...]

Senior’s College: “All the friendship is here”

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March 28, 2012 By KENDAL KUEHLER | Ranger Reporter  AMARILLO COLLEGE’S Seniors’ College offers hands-on training in art and computer courses that are designed for people age 50 and older. The Continuing Education Division offers nine arts and crafts classes and four computer classes on the Polk Street Campus. The classes are specifically designed for the benefit of senior citizens with the hands-on training that helps keep them moving. “It is important because it gets them out of the house to have fun and gain new skills,” said Cathy Massey, senior art program coordinator. Massey said many of the seniors enrolled are retired and that the classes give them an opportunity to get out of their homes and do something constructive while being around others who have the same interests. Art classes offered in the program include acrylic painting, China painting, drawing, beginning and intermediate oil painting, portrait painting and charcoal drawing, watercolor painting and beginning and intermediate woodcarving. The art classes cost $48 per class per semester. Students are required to furnish their own supplies. A supply list for each class is available  at the Polk Street Campus in room 123. Computer classes include an introductory computer concepts class, an “Exploring the Internet” class and introductory courses to Microsoft Office Suite programs Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The computer classes cost $43 per class per semester. “My favorite thing about Seniors’ College are the instructors and the people,” said Lois Cheatheam, a senior art student. “All the friendship is here.” Cheatheam said this is her third year in Seniors’ College. She enrolled in her first class because she wanted to get back into art. Another student this spring is Patricia Brown, who has been attending for 10 years and said she still enjoys it. “Everyone is really supportive and wonderful,” said Charlotte Clayburn, a Read more [...]

Club profile, Badger Hearts

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Badger Hearts
March 7, 2012 By Kendal Kuehler| Badger Hearts continues to reach out and help foster teens in the Amarillo area by providing household items upon graduation. Badger Hearts is a non-profit organization that was established in 2004 with one mission: to help former foster children in Amarillo after they graduate from high school. In most foster homes, once the child graduates from high school, the kids are on their own. In order to help them, Badger Hearts has created the Hope Chest Project. Throughout the year, Badger Hearts raises money so the organization can buy $500 to $600 worth of household items for the former foster children. “Every year in May after they graduate, we host a banquet where we present a chest full of items for them,” said Bruce Moseley, an assistant professor of paralegal studies. The members of Badger Hearts don't want to give them only house essentials but also hope. By reaching out, the group desires to bring the former foster children hope and courage to make a good life for themselves. “The most powerful thing is getting them on a college campus,” Moseley said. With the statistics high on crime and pregnancy in foster children after they become adults, Moseley said he likes having the opportunity to get them on a college campus and for them to meet others. “We really need people who can volunteer time for us,” said Alicia Kochenower, Badger Hearts president. Badger Hearts has five to six active members in the group who are eager to have more volunteers who can help reach out and give the foster children encouragement. Spring is the busiest time of the year for them. “It's a really great opportunity for the volunteers as well, because they can put it on their applications,” Kochenower said. She said it is valuable on applications and that Student Life provides a separate transcript for community activity that shows proof of students' activity in the organization. Another club that is reaching Read more [...]

Popularity factor in completion rates

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Brittani Roop studies at Parcells Hall computer lab
February 15, 2012 By Kendal Kuehler| Ranger Reporter The most sought-after degrees and programs at Amarillo College are among those with higher completion rates, according to Danita McAnally, chief of planning and advancement, said the popularity of degrees could be a part of the equation. “If completion rates are based on popularity, then the degrees and programs that are the most known will have higher rates,” McAnally said. The top five most popular completed degrees and programs at AC are nursing/registered nurse, general studies, business administration, management and general, licensed practical/vocational nurse training and data processing. The completion rates are determined on the frequency of the degree or program. “We have a great medical program,” said Rudeika Bowen, a nursing major. “The nursing program is really rigid and competitive,” said Kara Larkan-Skinner, director of institutional research and institutional effectiveness. Nursing holds the highest completion rate at AC. With students being aware that AC has a great nursing program, Bowen said, the competitiveness of it increases the frequency of students entering the program. “No, completion rates don’t matter, but the reputation and word-of-mouth of the college does,” Bowen said. Bowen voiced the concern that if completion rates were too important, some colleges might lower their standards in order to achieve higher rates. If that were to happen, colleges would be sending people out into the work force that were unsuited. “Completion rates are very important for individuals and our nation,” McAnally said. McAnally said she believes completion rates are important for the individuals because it is a continual process. She sees having an associate degree as a steppingstone. It will be recognized and also increases household income. “The college’s funding comes directly from Texas, which is based on momentum,” McAnally Read more [...]

What a coffee shop should be, Roasters provides freshness, perfect atmosphere

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Photo by: Joshua Wagner | The Ranger
February 8, 2012 By Kendal Kuehler |Ranger Reporter As Roasters nears its 20th anniversary in business, it still  provides customers with friendly service and high-quality coffee. Coffee is just the beginning of what Roasters provides for  customers. With its calming atmosphere, the brewing coffee  lingering in the air, the place has multiple purposes. The relaxed environment is great for meetings, study time or just down time. Roasters’ philosophy is to bring people a great cup of coffee that leaves them rejuvenated and refreshed. The company strives to deliver a place that “allows you to un-wind from the day-to-day grind,” according to the Roasters website. All the locations have comfortable seating available, ranging from regular tables and chairs to couches, to give an at-home, peaceful feel. It allows customers to have the ability to achieve their purpose for the space. Not to mention that Roasters has free Wi-Fi available for customers. Also for customers’ convenience, Roasters provides drive-throughs at all three locations for those who are on the go. The staff is polite and will even bring the coffee to the table once it is ready to be served. That should be no surprise, because Roasters was voted Amarillo’s favorite coffee shop in 2011. Roasters is famous for its products that aren’t from just anywhere. The goal is to keep customers with the freshest products available. The business constantly trades with companies all the way to Australia. Not only does Roasters trade all over the world, it roasts its  coffee beans daily. Don’t be afraid of running out of something to order. It will not happen here, even though the chance is high that customers will get hooked on the first product they taste. By offering more than 80 drinks on the menu, Roasters keeps a variety of choices for its customers. The drink menu offers various coffees, espressos, non-espressos, teas, frappes, smoothies and seasonal drinks. This Read more [...]
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