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UCM Feature Stories

UCM Professor Completes the New York City Marathon While Knitting for a Cause

UCM professor David Babcock completed the New York City Marathon while knitting a scarf to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer's.

UCM graphic design professor David Babcock began running and knitting five years ago. He didn't intend for the two hobbies to go together at first. As Babcock began running longer distances and became more skilled at knitting, he paired the two hobbies together.

"Both knitting and running are tedious, yet similar tasks so they go together quite well," says Babcock. "Running requires one foot in front of the other and knitting requires one stitch after the other."

After breaking the world record for knitting the longest scarf while running, Babcock traveled to New York to run the New York City Marathon with a new version of knitting. Due to security issues, Babcock invented a new style of finger knitting to closely simulate needle knitting.

Babcock accomplished his dream of running the marathon on Nov. 2 and completed it while knitting a scarf with the message "I'll remember for you" knit into it. The message comes from Babcock's support of the Alzheimer's Association. He uses his talent of knitting while running to raise awareness for the foundation. His goal is to raise $3,500 by Nov. 30, 2014, for the Alzheimer's Association.

Babcock demonstrated learning to a greater degree by using his skills to make a difference for those affected by Alzheimer's.



UCM Professor's Trash Sculptures Aim to Change Perspectives

UCM Professor's Trash Sculptures Aim to Change Perspectives.

For UCM Photography Assistant Professor and alumnus Jeremy Underwood, seeing things others don't is nothing new. As a photographer, it's Underwood's job to see art where others cannot; recently, he found inspiration in trash.

While walking along a beach in Houston littered with debris and a pungent smell this past summer, Underwood felt something had to be done about the way he looked at trash; his answer was building sculptures.

Underwood's hope is that people will see these sculptures of trash along the beach and be curious enough to question the next piece of trash they see. He hopes the sculptures challenge their environmental relationship and the clash of nature and culture.

"That's the purpose of art," says Underwood "For things to be seen in a different way, to think of things in a more deeply complex way."

Underwood will bring his experiences from this project into the classroom in spring 2015 in his contemporary landscape photography course, which will explore the relationship students have with the natural world and their place within it.

"Man's effects on this planet are undeniable," says Underwood. "I read that human beings now have a larger impact on the landscape than the rain does. But how does one individual posit change?"

By challenging the way people look at ordinary trash, Underwood exemplifies learning to a greater degree.

Cricket Brings a Piece of Home to Warrensburg for International Students

More than 180 students are participating in UCM's first five-week intramural cricket tournament.

When most students pack for school, they fill their suitcases with clothes, room decorations and video games, but for UCM’s international students, the process isn’t quite the same.

When deciding to travel thousands of miles to UCM, international students leave most of their culture behind, including a favorite pastime - cricket.

With the large influx of international students throughout the past few years, the Office of Student Activities decided to bring a piece of India’s culture to UCM by creating a five-week intramural cricket tournament.

"We have nearly 180 international and American students participating in the tournament," says Beth Rutt, director of student activities. "Through it, they are broadening their perspectives and learning that the differences between each other are minimal."

For UCM’s international students, the tournament is a taste of home, but for the American students, it's a new experience.

"For me, cricket is interesting, challenging and sometimes humorous," says junior Caleb James. "It's enlightening to learn a sport that's so popular on the other side of the world."

UCM is building a cricket pitch at the South Recreation Complex, due for completion in late November. Once built, students hope to establish a team and join a Kansas City league.

By bringing a piece of Indian culture to Warrensburg, UCM staff and students are learning to a greater degree.

UCM Students Write for Social Justice, Sweep Competition

UCM students Kendra Collins (left) and Jonathan Thomas (right) earned the Missouri Sociology Association Paper Competition Awards for writing about social justice.

Jonathan Thompson and Kendra Collins are passionate about the injustices in American society, and writing about these injustices earned them the 2014 Missouri Sociological Association Paper Competition Awards.

Thompson and Collins learned about the competition from their professors. Students were able to apply past assignments from UCM classes and compete against other students across from the state. This year's theme for paper submissions was social justice, and students were encouraged to use the opportunity to make a difference in society.

"I wanted to write about an issue that showed people how things really worked," says Thompson, a Communication Studies student.

Thompson explained the injustices for aspiring high school athletes living in the inner city, based off of Steve James' award-winning documentary Hoop Dreams. Thompson explored the film's controversial issues concerning race, economic division and education through his paper.

Collins, UCM Social Gerontology graduate student, felt the desire to compare the federal and Missouri laws surrounding domestic violence.

"Domestic violence is such a big issue today in our society," says Collins. "I wanted to bring awareness to the issue and what improvements need to be made."

By sharing their passions and speaking out against injustices, Collins and Thompson are learning to a greater degree.

ConocoPhillips Turns to UCM for Top Interns, Employees

ConocoPhillips turns to UCM for top interns, employees.

Jamie Randall, an Occupational Safety and Health major, and Cullen Rosine, an Industrial Hygiene graduate student, were two of four UCM students selected by ConocoPhillips for summer internships that provided more than they ever imagined.

"University recruiting is all about establishing the future for companies like ConocoPhillips,” says Stephen de Albuquerque, Global Manager of Health and Safety Assurance for ConocoPhillips. “With this in mind, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to work with UCM. The UCM Safety Science programs ranks right up there with schools like Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and Montana Tech."

Rosine spent his internship with ConocoPhillips in Texas, and was recently offered a full-time position as a safety health environment and regulatory specialist to work with ConocoPhillips' growing Eagle Ford Shale business in South Texas.

"At ConocoPhillips you’re treated as a full-time employee," Rosine says. "You get hands-on experience in a variety of topics helping you gain knowledge on key health, safety and environmental issues."

During Randall's internship, she traveled to Canada to visit one of the company's biggest projects in the Canadian oil sands. "I loved it; it gave me a real sense of what I want to do in the future," says Randall.

By engaging in hands-on experiences through their internships with ConocoPhillips, UCM students are learning to a greater degree.

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