Archive for the ‘Features’ Category

Behind the scenes of the Dillon Lecture Series

Friday, April 6th, 2018

By Pablo Sanchez
Staff Writer

Much goes into planning the Dillon Lecture Series, which brings four renowned speakers, to Hutchinson Community College annually.

Robin Woodworth – Administrative Assistant to the President – handles all of HutchCC President Carter File’s appointments. Woodworth is helping out with the Board of Trustees and helps out with the lecture series. She contacts a potential speaker’s agent to see if they are willing to give a lecture.

Woodworth has been with the college for seven years and working in File’s office for two years

“Dillon Lecture Series is an organization that started 36 years ago by two ladies in the community, Jeanette Mull and Barbara Peirce, and they wanted to do something based on K-State that had a lecture series, something they can bring to Hutch,” Woodworth said. “We have four speakers a year that come in, on a variety of topics, and the community gets together.

“There’s different topics. We don’t try to focus on any one thing. It’s just who the community will suggest. The community will ask a name, and we will look into it and see if they would be available, if they’re in budget range and what the community thinks. In the past lecture years, there were five or six speakers but, because of the increase in cost of the speaking fees, it takes a lot to get four.”

As far getting a speaker selected, the event organizers come across someone in the news that sounds interesting, or based on a book they wrote.

“We have several people in Kansas, speakers that we have connection with. Dave Dillon came from the Dillon family and was the CEO of Kroger at the same and he came and spoke,” said Woodworth, adding that other Hutchinson natives like Shawn James have been among the series’ speakers.

The community and Woodworth are in the process of selecting speakers for 2019, and if anyone has someone that they think that would be interesting, she would email it to the community she would like to get some speakers for 2019 because they will start their patron drive in late fall and will want to present to them so they want to be a patron.

Annually the community will spend around $4,000-5,000 on a speaker but, yearly the community will spend $45,000-50,000

Dillon Lecture Series

Tickets: Free for students with ID. General admission tickets are $10

Rest of 2018 lecture schedule: April 17, astronaut Scott Kelly; actor RJ Mitte, who battles cerebral-palsy; flight attendant Doreen Walsh, who was on the US Airways flight that landed on the Hudson River.

Astronaut Capt. Scott Kelly in Hutch on April 17

Friday, April 6th, 2018

By Merissa Anderson
Collegian Editor

Navy Capt. Scott Kelly, an astronaut best known for his year-long voyage on the International Space Station, will be visiting Hutchinson Community College for what should be an awe-inspiring speech April 17 through the Dillon Lecture Series and Cosmosphere.

According to Kelly’s web site, scottkelly.com, he is a former military fighter pilot and test pilot, an engineer, a retired astronaut, and a retired U.S. Navy captain. He is a veteran of four space flights, and Kelly commanded the International Space Station on three expeditions and was a member of the yearlong mission to the ISS. In Oct. 2015, he set the record for the total accumulated number of days spent in space, the single longest space mission by an American astronaut.

Kelly resides in Houston.

Robin Woodworth, HutchCC Administrative Assistant to the President and Dillon Lecture Series Coordinator, said she believes that Kelly’s speech on will be important for the community and campus.

“He encourages people to dream and keep persevering and, as he says, ‘The sky is not the limit’,” Woodworth said. “I hope students will take advantage of this, because it’s an opportunity that a lot of people won’t have. I just hope that they would attend all of the Dillon Lectures, because even though they may not know the person or recognize the name, they certainly have something we feel would be a good message for this.”

Sam Wilson, a HutchCC sophomore and box office associate at the Cosmosphere, said he has been looking forward to Kelly’s lecture for months.

“When I first heard that Scott Kelly was coming to Hutchinson, I was ecstatic,” Wilson said. “Being able to hear first-hand accounts of monumental accomplishments, such as living through a long-duration space flight, is exhilarating. It definitely gives me hope for the future of space flight.”

On average, a Dillon Lecture will draw in a crowd of 1,500 people to 1,800, according to Woodworth. But, because of the attention that Kelly’s inspiring adventure has drawn, upwards of 2,300 people are expected to attend.

“I think this will probably be the largest and most-attended lecture,” Woodworth said. “The Cosmosphere spoke to us when we were selecting speakers for the 2018 lectures and suggested that we partner up with Capt. Scott Kelly. They certainly had followed his year in space and thought that he would be a good speaker. It’s a win-win situation for us.

Admittance into the lecture is free for HutchCC students, faculty and staff with an ID. For anyone else interested in attending Kelly’s lecture, tickets are $10.

“From what I can tell, he’s going to tie in his life experiences and struggles from when he was younger,” Woodworth said. “He’ll also talk about how he has endured obstacles and how he never would have imagined he would make history.”

 

Final production of the year takes the stage

Thursday, April 5th, 2018

By Jack Greenwood
Staff writer

“21 Guns,” “Wake me up when September Ends,” “Holiday,” are just some of the legendary Green Day songs incorporated into the stage musical, “American Idiot”, which will round out a strong year for Hutchinson Community College’s theatre department.
The musical follows the self proclaimed “Jesus of Suburbia,” Johnny, in his quest to escape the suburban life, with his two buddies, Will and Tunny. However, after leaving the city, Johnny finds himself in a passionate affair with a rebellious woman only known in the show as ‘Whatsername’.
Shortly after, Johnny conjures up a troubling alter ego in St. Jimmy, who encourages drug use and damages Johnny’s relationship.
The musical uses music from two of Green Day’s albums: “American Idiot” and “21st Century Breakdown”. It debuted on Broadway in 2009 and was nominated for three Tony awards, including Best Musical. Throughout its original run, lead singer of Green Day, Billie Joe Armstrong, would play the character St. Jimmy.
The show contains sensitive material including drugs, military propaganda and sex, among others. The cast didn’t hesitate to take on these subjects and prepared to do the story justice.
The show is high energy and physically demanding. At times, the cast sings while performing extreme choreography. To prepare, the cast did cardio and endurance workouts for part of their rehearsals.
The musical finishes out an impressive year for HutchCC theatre, with previous successful productions in September and November with “Gruesome Playground Injuries” and “The Importance of Being Earnest”.
The show runs April 12-14 at Stringer Fine Arts Center, starting at 7:30 p.m. Students and faculty can get in free with an ID but are advised to reserve tickets ahead of time.

RASK inspires weekly amigurumi scavenger hunt

Friday, March 23rd, 2018

By Merissa Anderson
Collegian Editor

Following the recent involvement of the RASK Force (Random Acts of Selfless Kindness) on campus, Leanna Coon, Writing Paraprofessional at Rimmer Learning and Resource Center, along with Desiree Coon, IT Support Analyst, have worked together to hand crochet and hide tiny stuffed animals known as amigurumi.

Since the idea came about in February, the pair has hidden five amigurumi and hope to continue the event weekly.

“Desiree had the idea to put out little critters for RASK because it would be a way to cheer people up, and market Rimmer by tying it to Facebook.” Leanna Coon said. “We have clues posted before we hide each amigurumi with a note that has the website address so that people can post their photos and share them with us online.”

One such found amigurumi was a cat that was picked up by an anonymous passerby and then passed around campus before coming back into the hands of Hannah Gomez, a front desk writing tutor at RLRC.

“It wasn’t originally found by me, but it was passed around to me after traveling campus,” Gomez said. “It was so squishy, and it brought me a lot of joy to look at how cute it was.”

Included on the amigurumi is a note with a happy quote and instructions on how to post their find on the the Rimmer Facebook page, Hutch CC Rimmer Services.

A faculty member’s young daughter, upon hearing about the amigurumi scavenger hunt, used the posted clues to seek out a crocheted Ariel hiding in the ocean section of the library.

Shortly after, her smiling face was posted and the amigurumi’s purpose was fulfilled.

“I think (the amigurumis) and RASK is a good idea to make people more mindful of others’ feelings, and just make their day a little better.” Leanna Coon said. “I like knowing that it’s going to cheer somebody up and having a little project that I can complete relatively quickly.”

Depending on the size of the amigurumi, it can take between a few hours to several days to complete one for the scavenger hunt that is free and available to all students on Wednesdays.

HutchCC cheerleaders compete in Region 6 Championships

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

Hutchinson Community College’s cheerleaders had a chance to compete Region 6 Cheer and Dance Championship, two weekends ago in Salina.

It was a big event for the teams, as cheer competitions like this are rare.

“We only compete at the one competition. Some of the other teams compete at more competition each year,” said cheer coach Holli Rowe.

Every year, three judges are hired for cheer and three judges are hired for dance. The teams then do their routines, and the judges give their scores. Only Region 6 cheer and dance teams compete at this competition.

HutchCC cheer squad end up placing second, right behind Garden City, who took first.

Sophomore Laurelle Augustine, who is a cheer captain along with sophomore Tristin Padgett, said she thought the cheer team did well enough to win the competition. Yet, Augustine said she was proud of the squad.

“We had so many people quit on us this year, and we had to change the routine so many times,” Augustine said.

The dance team finished fifth in the team routine and second in hip-hop. The team also had two individual competitors, as Aubrey Myers came in fourth and Jasmine Merrell was second.

Men prepare to compete in their 21st NJCAA Tournament

Monday, March 19th, 2018

By Brenna Eller
Opinion Page Editor

The NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship is coming to the Sports Arena again, starting Monday. Not only that, but Hutchinson Community College received one of the eight at-large-bids and has been seeded 11 in the tournament against Cape Fear, whic the Blue Dragons will play at noon Tuesday.

The Blue Dragons will now have been in the NJCAA Tournament 21 times.

Joe O’Sullivan, the Tournament Director, gave some information on the workings of being in the NJCAA Committee. There are other people with specific jobs such as team host, scorer’s table, press credentials and assignments, locker room and equipment, statisticians, entertainment, opening ceremonies, awards, public address, game officials (provided needs and security by committee), house committee, and others.

“They all do a great job without much involvement from me. My job is to manage all aspects of the tournament directly involving the games,” O’Sullivan said.

He also explained in further detail what he does.

“I coordinate the activities, making sure they are where they need to be when scheduled, communicate with coaches and game officials and NJCAA officials as necessary, provide solutions for problems should they arise, deal with inquiries and occasional complaints from fans, etc.,” O’Sullivan said.

Since HutchCC is now in the NJCAA Tournament, O’Sullivan said he presumes that there will be an increase in ticket sales and more enthusiasm from the Hutchinson community.

“Many of our fans have been coming for many years, and they can recite from memory the years in which Hutchinson won the tournament,” O’Sullivan said. “They are familiar with many of the teams who are returning, and the coaches and players from those schools who went on to four-year schools and to professional basketball.”

Even if the Blue Dragons hadn’t gotten into the Tournament, there still would’ve been a large audience.

“That has been proven over the 70 years the American Legion has sponsored this tournament in Hutchinson, even when HutchCC didn’t make it,” O’Sullivan said.

Since the American Legion hosts for all 24 teams, the Sports Arena has been appointed a “neutral court” so that there is no bias and no such thing as a “home-court advantage”. Therefore, committee members like O’Sullivan are impartial to certain teams, although O’Sullivan said that he is glad Hutchinson has made it to the Tournament.

 

HutchCC Child Care Center shares the love

Monday, March 19th, 2018

By Merissa Anderson
Collegian Editor

A few blocks north from main campus, next door to the Elland Hall dorms, sit the quaint building and playground area of the Hutchinson Community College Child Care Center.

Julie Wisbey, Child Care Center Coordinator, has spent the last 23 years of her time working at HutchCC caring for the young children of students, staff members and surrounding area teachers.

“We have children ages 3 and potty trained up to 6-years old,” Wisbey said. “We are open 7:30 to 5 Monday through Friday, and our main goal is to prepare children for their future. They need to learn to communicate with each other, they need the social skills, they need the introduction to the letters. It’s not as direct as a preschool but we do introduce them to the things they’ll need for kindergarten.”

For students with children, there are several scholarships available for possible financial help.

“I want campus to know that we’re here and that we’re here to support the staff and students that have children,” Wisbey said. “We want them to know that their child is in a safe and happy space while they’re working. I want even the people that don’t have children to know that so if they know someone who has a child, they’re comfortable recommending us to them.”

Although the center can care for up to 38 children at a time, with the help of three full time employees and several work study students, this year they have a smaller group with 17 kids.

The day’s activities for the children are always educational and fun for all involved.

“We have a lot of free play because a lot of learning happens when they’re playing,” Wisbey said. “We give them a breakfast snack in the morning, we have circle time with music and movement and we have stories that happen outside and a lot of discussion about the things they want to accomplish for the day. We have two groups where one group is outside and the other is inside and we switch them so they get to do both. Then we’ll all come in and do an activity of some sort, like painting. Then we have more free play and get ready for lunch.”

Just before lunch, some children leave early and load up on a bus so that they can attend a preschool of their parent’s choice for the second half of the day.

“There’s a lot of rules we have to follow but seeing the kids be successful and watching them grow up is a really great feeling,” Wisbey said. “To see them and to have them still remember me is amazing.”

As much as Wisbey and the other employees enjoy spending time with the kids, there are times that the young ones can pose challenges.

“Dynamics of personalities can be difficult,” Wisbey said. “Each child is different and they all have their own personality and what you can say to one child doesn’t work with the next child sometimes. And it can be a challenge to figure out how to address a certain issue with a certain child. It can be challenging but it’s rewarding.”

Wisbey make the Child Care Center mission statement online to be her goal when caring for the children of HutchCC students and staff.

“The HCC Child Care Center, located on HCC campus is dedicated to promoting a healthy self image and to developing social skills through interaction with others, enhancing language development and self expression through communication, strengthening motor skills and encouraging cognitive development through a variety of ‘learning by doing’ activities while continuing to grow at each child’s own developmental level,” The Child Care Center website states.

 

 

Tuesday to include men’s game, baseball with freebies for HutchCC students

Friday, March 16th, 2018

By The Collegian staff

Tuesday will be a busy day for Hutchinson Community College athletics, and students are encouraged to take advantage.

The men’s basketball team will open the NJCAA Division 1 Men’s Championship at noon against Cape Fear, North Carolina. Student tickets will be available for $5, starting at 1 p.m. today at Parker Student Union and the dorms. Student ID must be presented, and students may buy just one ticket per ID. Cash will be the only form of payment accepted.

At 2 p.m. Tuesday, the HutchCC baseball team has a game against Cowley at Hobart-Detter Field. Free hot dogs will be available for students, and there will be about 100 Blue Dragon bucket hats handed out to students while supplies last.

CrossPoint Challenge warms hearts with coffee

Thursday, March 8th, 2018

For any student looking for a Monday morning pick-me-up, look no further than the CrossPoint Challenge booth set up in the Parker Student Union every Monday from 9 to 12.

Challenge, a local church youth group for college-aged students, has several volunteering individuals who reach out to the campus community with hot coffee, cocoa and snacks for all who would like some.

“It first started with asking to be able to give coffee or a snack to passing students,” Challenge leader, Porfirio Ramirez said. “Once we got Student Support Services’ permission to set up occasionally, it evolved to us being here weekly.”

Although the group always loves seeing new faces at their youth group on Monday nights, their main goal is to show others that they care whether or not they’re a part of Challenge.

“I just want them to know that we love them and we want to show that in a real life way,” Kara Muhs, HutchCC student said. “I started coming because it’s a community I could rely on and that could support me and build me up.”

Despite the large number of HutchCC students that attend weekly, Challenge welcomes people from anywhere and has a weekly average of over 80 attendees during their Monday night sessions.

“Our group in general has a very diverse makeup,” Ramirez said. “We have international and out-of-state students as well as many students from McPherson.”

In the future, the group would be interested in expanding their food selection and involvement on campus without overstaying their welcome.

“We would like to bring a day or an afternoon fair or carnival with popcorn and cotton candy and music,” Ramirez said. “maybe a little bit of art just to bring a little bit of life to campus.”

By the time they tear down their booth for the day, the most rewarding aspect of being able to serve the campus community is seeing the student reactions.

“I remember one time we had an ice cream punch drink and we had a lot of students say it was ‘lit’ or ‘fire’ and I love seeing the smiles on their faces,” Eric Pham, HutchCC student said.

“We want to be a service and encouragement,” Ramirez said. “We would love for people to join of course but we also realize that it may not be for everyone. But we do want to make efforts to let people know we care even if it’s a simple cup of coffee or popcorn. It’s great to see students and I love to be bringing some activity to campus as well. I like to think that not everyone has time for a snack and it’s a way we care for our community and everyone at Hutch.”

Merissa Anderson

Battle of the sexes: ‘Scouts’ vs. HutchCC women’s basketball

Friday, March 2nd, 2018

By Brenna Eller
Opinion Page Editor

The Hutchinson Community College women’s basketball team has a record of 26-5 so far in the season. Who do they have to thank, at least in part, for their drive and hard work other than each other?

Well there is a group of male HutchCC students called, “The Scout Team” that could answer that question.

Blue Dragons coach John Ontjes decided to push the girls and make them work harder, so his idea was to find a group of male HutchCC students who aren’t doing collegiate athletics, but played in high school or were involved in athletics, and practice plays and defensive strategies with the girls.

Before games, the male students scrimmage the women’s team to boost their skills and abilities.

Sara Cramer, a freshman guard from Dighton, said, “It makes us tougher by raising the intensity of practices because they never let up.”

Ti Kimbro, a redshirt sophomore, mentioned how much fun the boys are.

“They make us want to play, and they get us hyped up when we don’t feel like practicing,” Kimbro said.

In addition to that, freshman Coretta Hopkins said, “Shout out to my boy, Chase Swanson.”

If that doesn’t explain the relationship the guys and women’s basketball team have with each other, not much else would.

One of the HutchCC males that helps the girls is Chase Swanson, a Buhler graduate. He began doing this because he knew the coaches growing up. His dad, Ryan, was a coach at HutchCC. He also works in the AD office under Josh Gooch and Steve Kappenman.

Since Swanson spends so much time with them, he was more than happy to accept the offer to become part of the “Scout Team”.

“I had been injured a lot my senior year of high school and couldn’t play, so it was a chance for me to get back to it,” Swanson said. “Plus, all of the girls are really nice and funny, so it’s really relaxed at practice and we joke around.”

Swanson also said that he wants to participate again next year.

The scrimmages are not YMCA kind of basketball, it’s like watching an actual basketball game. One of the assistant coaches creates plays for the guys and tells them what to do, while the other assistant coach calls plays for the Blue Dragons.

With the agility of the boys, and the intuition and teamwork of the girls, it makes for a healthy competition. The boys are expected to play rough, so the girls have to push themselves and challenge themselves in a way that other women’s teams won’t likely be able to do.

“They’re the best people we’re going to play against”, said sophomore guard Tia Bradshaw.

When asked how hard the boys push the girls and how they make the team better, Cramer answered, “They have more skill set and it brings a lot of diversity.”