IN MY OPINION: EXTEND A HAND TO INTERNATIONALS

BY: RACHEL FISH

Hwa hwa and hello! My name is Rachel Fish, and I am an international student from Myanmar (Burma). My major is Business Management and I am a junior.

CCU WHEN I ARRIVED

Coming to CCU, I was given the opportunity to learn a lot about the American culture and traditions through friends, professors, and events.
I remember the first international student dinner and get-together I went to hosted by former professor Steve Skaggs, which was held to welcome international students and give them an opportunity to connect with each other.

And it was at these events where my eyes would be opened to see how diverse CCU actually was and connect with people who were so different yet so similar to me. It gave me an opportunity to say hi to a familiar face and learn the amazing stories of these people.

There was also a car for international students, donated by a ministry called Valley of Baca, to get around easier, whether for grocery shopping or exploring the new city.
CCU does not currently have an international liaison, and international students are starting to become less connected with each other.

The international car is long gone, international dinners are no longer a thing, and I no longer know all the cool places where CCU international students are from.

“I love CCU and we claim to have a big focus on diversity and what not, but I think it’s too much on words and it’s not much on action,” said Senior Benji Reano Cuellar, originally from Colombia.

“If they were going to claim to be as diverse-focused, they should make a bigger effort to actually integrate the diverse groups on campus, with each other and with other people,” he added.

“I kind of had to do a lot of that myself. I get along very well with the international students, but it would have been great if I met them before.”

However, the recent addition of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force serves as a glimmer of hope of CCU’s efforts towards involving international students.
(see lead story in today’s issue)

WHAT WE CAN DO

Personally, I would have never been able to survive college if it were not for the people I have met during my time in the States. It sounds cliché, but it is true.

Easter, Christmas, and Thanksgiving: those were usually the seasons my homesickness would hit hard.

People would talk of seeing their families, going on trips with relatives, giving and receiving gifts from their loved ones; everything a student 8000 miles away from her family could not do.

I hope people realize that during those times, every time a person would offer an invitation to their house for dinner or a place to stay or even just a small lunch date, they were providing me not only company but a home, a friend, a family.

It is very meaningful to international students when people reach out to them. You are making your fellow students feel as much at home in the USA as you do.

So thank you for everything. Thank you for being home.

A NEW NEED FOR ASSISTANCE

BY: ALLIE JOHNSON

CCU’s Career Services has been unable to meet the demands of the university’s growing list of degree programs available.

The original intention of the Career Services department was to help students find jobs upon graduation. Unfortunately, without proper direction, it has fallen short of this goal. Careers Services are not directly at fault; because of budget cuts the service is only ran on an interim basis.

“At this point, Career Services acts mainly as a liaison between churches looking to fill ministry positions and the student population, but there is not an active job placement program. CCU is currently taking strides to connect students with jobs through internships and other opportunities,” said Student Services Administrative Coordinator Lydia Darlington.

“We also encourage students to visit the Counseling Center to get assistance with their future plans,” she added.

Internships for students are arranged with advisors as part of the student’s degree program. Students also occasionally receive emails from Student Services about current job offerings both on and off campus.

“We hope that all students are privy to the job opportunities that are available to them through the CCU network. We try to keep an open line of communication with our students through emails and open office hours when students can take advantage of academic and career advising with CCU staff and faculty,” said Darlington. “We also have a career closet that students are welcome to utilize to find appropriate interview attire.”

The career closet is a service provided by Student Services. Located in the Student Services hallway in President’s Hall, the career closet is a place where students may borrow appropriate attire for an interview.

“It is our hope that every student who graduates from CCU is prepared to be a leader in the career and ministry worlds,” said Darlington.

 

*Today’s Eaglette includes Senior Allie Johnson’s enterprise project on the subject of Career Services. In journalism, an enterprise project is a multi-faceted topic requiring more than one article to be written about it. Advanced level students in the Eaglette class write three stories about their chosen topic for their enterprise project, one of them an opinion piece.

–Joni Sullivan Baker, Student Newspaper Instructor

JONES’ SURVEY SERVES STUDENTS

BY: ALLIE JOHNSON

Assistant Professor David Jones has been conducting surveys based on a theory he formed that peoples’ personalities tend to influence what field of study they work in.

“My hypothesis is that a mismatch may influence academic success negatively,” said Jones. “For example, a business student who is high in agreeableness is more like a psychology student. Most business students, [score] high in extroversion and low in agreeableness. Does agreeableness limit a student capacity to be a go-getter?” said “There are always exceptions in that humanity is diverse,” continued Jones. “But we will be able to find trends that allow for generalizations. So if we do find that personality matters, we may be able to establish interventions for students who are mismatched to help them be more successful in life.”

Jones is aware that no survey is a one-size fits all.

Jones explained that the reason he is passionate about this theory is his own indecisiveness in college. “I changed my major around six times and still did not land well,” admitted Jones. “A big part of this was not knowing who I was (such as my personality). It took until later in life to find the counseling field which aligns well with how God created me and my strengths.”

The surveys are trying to help prove these theories and assist the students in the process. Over 300 students have taken the survey thus far.

Students who participate are entered to win a $100 Amazon gift card. To participate, contact
David Jones at
david.jones@ccuniversity.edu.

IN MY OPINION: EXPLORE YOUR FUTURE

BY: ALLIE JOHNSON

On May 13, the graduation ceremony for this year’s seniors will take place. These students will be thrust into the world with only their diplomas to help keep them afloat while student loans try to pull them down. I am one of these seniors.

Until about a month ago, I was still clueless about what I wanted to do once I left CCU. When I entered college in 2013, I had decided to pursue Ministry degree.

In two months, I will be leaving with a Bachelor’s degree in Humanities, an Associate’s degree in Communication Arts, and a minor in Youth and Children’s Ministry. This is after I changed my degree three times in two years.

I considered a Humanities degree to be a degree for those who needed to graduate but did not know what to pursue after college. If I had taken Assistant Professor David Jones’ survey earlier in the year, I may have had more peace of mind as my chapter in college slowly comes to an end.

Jones’ survey has the ability to make students aware of this uncertainty before it snowballs out of control. While it is still in the research stages, the personality test included in the survey is able to assist students in finding the career path that would be most beneficial, filling the gap that currently exists in Career Services.

However, I have realized that a Humanities degree also applies very well to someone who just needs somewhere to begin.

“The Humanities degree with a minor appeals to people who want more open electives either so that they can transfer in more credits or so that they can take a wider range of courses,” commented Professor Paul Friskney, Dean of the Foster School of Biblical Studies, Arts & Sciences.

“Both Biblical Studies and Humanities are also natural lead-ins to advanced studies in things like law.”

Humanities was a ‘natural lead-in’ that applied well to my situation. Even in my uncertainty and despair about a month ago, I have found my strengths and have been presented with wonderful opportunities because of the things I have learned.

“I encourage students to pursue even a general studies or liberal arts degree,” said Ray Horton, Director of Student Services. “I also don’t think it is always wise to pressure students to make these decisions immediately. They can take a few semesters of general education courses and give themselves time to get their bearings.”

For those who have found themselves in my situation, a good place to begin is Jones’ survey. This survey can help students to determine what future opportunities are available to them, allowing them to move forward.

CURTAIN RISES ON NEW CREATIVE ERA

BY: CAILEY BLAIR

Music and drama are two of the arts which have regularly appeared at CCU in the past, due to the joint efforts of Dr. Ken Read, chair of the Music & Worship Department, and Professor Paul Friskney, dean of the Foster School of Biblical Studies, Arts & Sciences.

CCU has promoted its longstanding tradition of musical excellence, and Friskney has worked alongside the music department to build an unofficial tradition of drama. However, both creative fields have been threatened by the university’s financial state.

The Music & Worship Department underwent drastic changes due to budget and staffing cuts in Fall 2015, leading to outrage from students, faculty, and alumni. With these cuts, however, came a series of changes which Read said were more practical and would better prepare students for current worship ministry needs.

In the past, Friskney and Read have worked alongside the other music professors to put on productions ranging from small choir, drama, and acapella performances to large musical theater productions.

This included the annual Christmas Dinner Theater, a music and drama event which Friskney started in 1989, and in 2010 became a smaller event called Christmas on Campus.

This year has been unusual since there was no Christmas drama, and the much-anticipated “Godspell” has been postponed until next spring.

Friskney said he was disappointed about the lack of drama this year, but not too concerned. Interest has varied over the years, and he is optimistic about the future.

“As the English major grows, I’d expect interest in drama to grow, as well.”

Will the same upswing hold true for music?

Read is confident that it will, based on recent additions to the program. “There are things we’ve never offered before, especially in technology,” Read said.

For now, the CCU community can look forward to a spring concert on Saturday, April 29, which will include a sneak peek at next spring’s Godspell production, and an original drama on Friday, May 5, titled “Arthur Sable’s Crime,” written and directed by Senior Iain Skaggs.

IN MY OPINION: TIME TO EXPAND THE ARTS

BY: CAILEY BLAIR

It only takes one look at the list of degrees for people to wonder why an artist would choose CCU. There are no art electives, and student art clubs have come and gone gaining little to no traction.

On top of this, budget cuts are a big hurdle for the once-thriving music program.

As a visual artist myself, I see a lot of evidence for interest in the arts among staff, faculty, and students. Wednesday night’s Family service even included a rap set by Freshman Gabe Jackson, an exciting addition to the usual worship songs.

But is it enough to simply put on drama productions and occasionally include other forms of art in worship services?

Without continued interest in the arts, CCU will miss an important area of worship and evangelism. Many artists feel alienated in churches because of the expectation that they will lead the children’s craft time or paint the church walls with bible scenes.

The truth is, the scope of Christian art is much wider.

As it builds Christian leaders, CCU’s job is to ensure students have every opportunity to widen their knowledge about God and worship, and part of that should be exploring the arts.

One positive is the growth of CCUarts, a group led by Music & Worship Chair Ken Read, Campus Community Worship Coordinator Bobby Jackson, and Technical Arts Coordinator Tanner Daniels.

CCUarts, made up of the music & worship staff, students, and production staff, is driven to help students and churches find ways to use digital media in worship.

“We should take advantage of the opportunity and search for new ways to align our heart to [God’s],” said Daniels.

Ideally, CCU should make a plan to rebuild the music & worship department, and consider adding fine art courses such as art history. A starting point may be to integrate gaming into CCU programming, which Junior Jon Marvin made a case for in Eaglette Vol. 7 Issue 11.

These art courses would prove beneficial for students in all fields, particularly psychology, business, and ministry.

“I really believe that all forms of art have a wonderful application for worship,” said Paul Friskney. dean of the Foster School of Biblical Studies, Arts & Sciences.

Friskney even created the Drama Production and Performance class for students to learn how to use drama in ministry.

“I’ve been very excited this year,” he added. “I’ve seen different groups begun, and working with different aspects of the arts, and connecting with Christ.”

For now, I am hopeful that the English Department, Music & Worship Department, Hilltop art shows, and student organizations will continue to build up the arts at CCU.