Monthly Archives: January 2016

Smoke ’em if you got ’em: UWF to go tobacco-free Aug. 1

By Claudia Carlson

Staff Writer

 UWF offers free classes and groups for those who wish to quit smoking. Flyer provided by Patricia Barrington.

UWF offers free classes and groups for those who wish to quit smoking.
Flyer provided by Patricia Barrington.

The University of West Florida is taking steps to make the campus a non-smoking environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors. A new three-page policy prohibiting the use of tobacco in any form, including electric cigarettes and “vapes,” will go into effect on Aug. 1.

“Over the course of several months a task force worked on developing and implementing a tobacco-free policy for UWF,” said James Hurd, senior associate vice president for Student Affairs. “That group met with numerous constituencies, and the proposed policy went through the campus policy review process. The policy, written for delayed implementation, is set for full implementation effective August 1, 2016.”

Patricia (Patsy) Barrington, an assistant professor for Exercise Science and Community Health, led the task force to get smoking banned on campus.

“A task force worked for over a year in the development of a tobacco-free policy for the UWF campus,” Barrington said. “The policy was signed by President Bense on Oct. 13, 2015.”

UWF will offer free tobacco cessation [quitting] classes, and nicotine replacement products will be made available to all faculty, staff and students to aid in the transition.

Preparation for the ban is starting even now, with the removal of ashtray stands located around campus.

The new policy states that the use of tobacco products will be banned in all UWF facilities, property, and vehicles, owned or leased, regardless of location. Smoking and the use of any tobacco products will also be banned in any enclosed place, as well as outdoors on all UWF campus properties, included, but not limited to, parking lots, paths, fields, sports/recreational areas, and stadiums. To sum it up, smoking will not be allowed anywhere on campus.

“I am really excited to hear that UWF is prohibiting tobacco use on campus,” freshman Ali Knof said. “I believe this is a good thing because neither tobacco nor smoking do anything to help you positively, and the smell of smoke is disgusting enough to give me a headache.”

According to a listing published by American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, the University of West Florida will be the 22nd school in the state of Florida with 100% smoke-free policies for the entire campus, including schools such as the University of Florida, Florida State University and the University of Central Florida.

If you are interested in learning more about the policy, visit https://nautical.uwf.edu/Data/data.cfm?pub=631.

The next tobacco cessation class will be 5:30-7:30 p.m. Feb. 23 upstairs in the Counseling & Wellness Services (Building 960). To register call 850-398-6965 or email kschmidt@wfahec.org.

What are your thoughts on banning smoking on campus? Tweet me your thoughts: @claudcarlson.

 

He creates, he laughs, he scams: Be like Bill no more

By Kaitlin Lott

Staff Writer

 

Facebook is no stranger to social media fads that come in like a hurricane one day, flooding your timeline, only to leave like a gust of wind the next.

Currently, Bill, a stick figure cartoon, has contributed to the users of the social media world regressing to kindergarten arts and crafts with elementary class topics.

Bill, our sardonic, sarcastic, negative Nancy, has become somewhat of an inspiration to social media fanatics, becoming their voice of opinion. Instead of actually using their words in a class discussion or progressive political debate, “Bill” seems to have grasped their inner thoughts.

But the question is, does Bill get it right every time? Of course not. The computer generates what it thinks you might think or feel and hopes it lands on the moon. For me, it was way off on Jupiter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the record: I’m on level 645 of Candy Crush.

Haphazardly, Bill has made controversial topics relatable without being harmful.

It also seems that people have taken the “power of Bill” into their own hands. Bill tends to generate harmless memes that suggest that people should actually look like their Facebook pictures, not annoy their friends with stupid questions or take gym selfies.

However, recently individuals have created “Be Like Bill” memes for more “pressing issues.”

“I have some interesting adaptions using the current political race for the Be Like Bill memes,” said Carol Britton, communication liaison at UWF.

“In a weird way, ‘The Be Like Bill’ meme has allowed people to express how they feel about their political, social or cultural issues without hurting someone’s feelings,” said Troy University student Brittany Tate. “Many people today are afraid to simply say how they feel, but somehow Bill has made it OK for individuals to express what they do and don’t like without consequence.”

Bill is not supposed to be taken seriously in a world ruled by social media. Bill is merely a source of entertainment while cruising the World Wide Web, but there are some individuals who are critical of this craze.

“Of course I’ve seen Bill, but he is not an area of attention that needs to be focused on,” Amanda O’Beid, UWF hospitality major, said. “Social media has become something to occupy their time with instead of doing something important. So instead of paying their bills they decide to play with Bill.”

Bill just might be a little more dangerous than the average Joe assumed. Cyber scams now have a mask that appeals to the general population. Online credit accounts are no longer the only way to steal someone’s identity. Deceptively humorous memes that occupy our time in between class could be planning their own futures with our accounts.

“Several of the third-party sites that generate content like this have proven to be security risks for the computer users, so I tend to stay away from them personally,” Britton said.

Even more so, the Better Business Bureau has been investigating the popular app, as reported by Brett Molina, in USA TODAY on Jan. 24.

From this side of the fence, my best advice would be to stay away from Bill and find ancient ways to occupy your time, like reading a book. I know it is hard to believe, but there once was a time when memes didn’t exist and instead actual human interaction did.

If you feel like taking a gamble with Bill find him on Facebook at Official Be Like Bill.

 

Argie makes debut on new UWF Florida license plate

By Geri Battist

News Editor

plate

The new UWF license plates have been in the works since October 2014. It replaces the Nautilus shell plates which have been used since 1987.

Move over, nautilus shell – make way for “Argie” as he makes his debut on UWF’s new Florida license plate this month.

UWF begins 2016 with the Argo Pride plate starting to claim its territory among the Gators, Seminoles, sea turtles, dolphins and numerous other Florida specialty plates.

Vice President for University Advancement Brendan Kelly says the plate is one small element of the celebratory planning for the university’s 50th anniversary. “The symbols that represent the University are indicators of our past, present and future,” Kelly said. “The new license plate tries to capture all of those, especially with the emergence of this university after 50 years of growth.”

The person behind the new design is University Creative Services Marketing and Design Manager Brittany Boyd. “We wanted a design that would engage spirit, bring enthusiasm and demonstrate Argo Pride,” Boyd said.

Boyd said it has been a long process. She first received the task to design the new plate in October 2014. On Jan. 4 of this year, the new plate became available for purchase. A few new plates have been seen on vehicles in parking lots on campus. UWF President Judy Bense already is sporting the new “Argie” plate on her car.

Alumni Relations Director Missy Grace said she believes UWF alumni will like the new “Argie” plate. “There is an excitement attached with the Argo head logo,” Grace said. “The new plate also provides a stronger connection to football.”

The “CONNECTION,” an alumni and friends magazine published semi-annually by the Alumni Relations Department with the assistance of University Marketing and Communications, will feature the new plate on the back cover of the April 8 issue.

What does it take to get a new tag manufactured? It begins with research. Boyd first explored designs of other universities and evaluated best-known athletic designs. It did not take long to conclude the Argo head logo would best portray Argo Pride. “This is something that students, alumni, faculty and staff would want their school to be known by instead of the nautilus shell,” Boyd said.

Once Boyd received university approval for one of four designs, “Argie” was sent to the Department of Motor Vehicles for approval, which then sent it on to the Florida Highway Patrol to be reviewed for legibility and approval. Once “Argie” was deemed acceptable by the FHP, a plate was made and sent back to the university for final approval. In total, it took seven to nine months for the “Argie” plate to be manufactured into inventory.

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website, you can replace your current license plate with a new UWF “Argie” specialty when you renew your registration at your local tax collector’s office. Just let them know you want to replace your current license plate with the specialty plate.

If you want to switch from a regular plate to the new UWF “Argie” plate before renewal time, you may do so by going to www.GoRenew.com, but it will cost extra.

According to FHSMV, specialty license plates cost a set fee annually above the regular Florida license plate based on the type of plate. The additional funds support the cause for which the specialty license plate was designed.

In the case of “Argie,” the funds ($25 annually) added to the registration fee contribute  to a UWF Foundation fund that provides support to academic enhancements. This fund was established when the first UWF license plate, the nautilus shell, was enacted Oct. 1, 1987.

If you would like a plate for décor or to give as a gift, you may purchase a sample license plate for $28. Simply go to http://www.flhsmv.gov/dmv/forms/BTR/83000.pdf, complete the Sample License Plate Request form and mail your check or money order payable to Division of Motor Vehicles to the address provided.

Soon motorists will begin to see a new face staring at them on the streets, in parking lots, and at traffic stops

 Argie proudly displays the new Argo Pride UWF License Plate. Photo courtesy of University Creative Services.

Argie proudly displays the new Argo Pride UWF License Plate.
Photo courtesy of University Creative Services.

 

Professor Jim Jipson shines at his opening showcase

By Sydney O’Gwynn

Staff Writer

jim

Jim Jipson says his new solo exhibition, “My Endless Quest for the Chthonic,” is about discovery and digging his way through the darkness.
Photo by Sydney O’Gwynn.

 

Jim Jipson had the opening ceremony for his exhibition, “My Endless Quest for the Chthonic,” at 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, in The Art Gallery in the University of West Florida Center for Fine and Performing Arts.

Jipson is a professor in the Department of Art at UWF, teaching photography and art history courses. His showcase is part of his Rites of Passage process to become a full-time art professor at the university.

Jipson, a Detroit native, learned how to draw from his father and grandfather, both of whom drew models of cars for companies such as Ford. Jipson got his bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University in Detroit and his master’s from Michigan State University in East Lansing in drawing and printmaking. Jipson took on photography as a side job about 20 years ago and hasn’t looked back.

The artwork in this particular showcase features digital photographs taken with a device Jipson invented himself.

“I invented a projector that you can actually put three-dimensional objects inside the projector and it projects them out onto a screen,” he said.

Jipson said he sets up his camera on a tripod and photographs the objects through the screen on the projector. He said he also has fans attached to the projector so the objects are constantly moving.

“There’s a discovery element to it that regular photography doesn’t give me, so I like that,” he said. “I can’t wait to see it because I don’t know exactly what I’ve taken a photograph of.”

Jipson said the objects in the pictures are more-or-less everyday items.

“Most of the objects are objects I find,” he said. “They are discarded objects that we don’t pay any attention to.”

Jipson said he wanted to use these items to make a point that even the simplest idea can be made beautiful.

“If they can enjoy a discarded leaf, twig and berry, then they can really enjoy the rest of the world,” Jipson said. “We have a tendency to only look for the Maserati, and we don’t care about the Volkswagen.”

Jipson also answered the question of what “Chthonic” is. He said the term came from a critic reviewing one of his pieces that was featured in a show at the Florida Museum of Art.

“I didn’t know what it meant, so I literally had to turn on my computer and look and see what it was,” Jipson said. He said the technical definition is from literature wherein the Greeks and Romans explore the underworld, and he said he liked that idea because his artwork is about discovery and digging his way through the darkness.

“The whole thing is trying to get other people to enjoy and discover things and for me to enjoy and discover things,” he said.

Nick Croghan, the director of The Art Gallery, said he thought Jipson’s pieces of artwork were exploring the contrast of light and dark.

“They remind me a lot of what it would be like to be inside of a camera,” Croghan said.

Croghan also said he believes it is important for a professor of the university to have his work showcased.

“Just as a writer is tasked with making sure to be published, an instructor of art is always tasked with continually producing and showing their work,” Croghan said.

Junior art major Wolfy Howell, who said she had taken a class taught by Jipson, said she enjoyed the artwork.

“It’s definitely really intriguing and brings your mind to different places,” she said.

Howell also said she liked being able to see a professor’s work on display because she said it is a nice reference tool for art students who want to submit their work for display.

“That gives us a better idea of what they’re expecting,” Howell said. “It helps prepare us for what happens when we’re not in school anymore.”

Jipson said for this showcase he went through about 400 pictures, but had no trouble finding the right ones to choose.

“It’s really not difficult,” he said. “They, sort of, scream out and say, ‘We’re going to be interesting.’”

Jipson also said he finds that the greatest mystery of his artwork is seeing the object and forming an idea of what the image will look like only to be surprised.

“Even doing it for six years, I don’t know what the photograph is going to look like when it’s done,” he said.

As for his future plans, Jipson said he’s only looking forward.

“I can’t stop,” he said. “It’s in my blood at this point.”

The exhibit will run through Feb. 5, when he will deliver a lecture as part of the UWF Rite of Passage Lecture Series at 2 p.m.

For more information on Jipson and to view some of his work visit his website.

Discovery in the dirt: de Luna settlement unearthed

By Mackenzie Kees

Opinions Editor

 Students and staff of UWF’s Archeology Institute are hard at work at the Luna settlement site. Photo courtesy of UWF Division of Anthropology and Archaeology/Florida Public Archaeology Network.

Students and staff of UWF’s Archeology Institute are hard at work at the Luna settlement site.
Photo courtesy of UWF Division of Anthropology and Archaeology/Florida Public Archaeology Network.

On Oct. 2, 2015, a remarkable discovery was made that will forever alter the city of Pensacola and the way it will be remembered in history from this day forward.

Most Pensacolians know the story of the famous Don Tristán de Luna y Arellano. His legacy can be seen all over Pensacola. It can be found in street names such as Via De Luna Drive on Pensacola Beach, or by the cross on Santa Rosa Island that commemorates the first Catholic mass in America held by members of de Luna’s crew.

It has been a longstanding conviction amid locals that Pensacola is the earliest European settlement established in the United States. Today, thanks to local historian Tom Garner, the truth is substantiated by a discovery in the dirt of a developed neighborhood close to Pensacola Bay.

Overturned dirt from a recently bulldozed house piqued Garner’s interest that October day. Garner knew the residential area with the bulldozed lot was within view of two shipwrecks previously linked to the Luna expedition. After further investigation, Garner recovered a half rim of an old olive jar, the first of many Luna artifacts to be found.

 

 Photo courtesy of UWF Division of Anthropology and Archaeology/Florida Public Archaeology Network.

Sherds of Columbia Plain pottery were found at the Luna settlement.
Photo courtesy of UWF Division of Anthropology and Archaeology/Florida Public Archaeology Network.

“The only event in Pensacola history that this pottery could be associated with is the Luna expedition,” Garner said in reference to an unearthed fragment of a Spanish plate made from Columbia Plain pottery. He said the pottery predates all of Pensacola’s history except for the Luna expedition.

Pieces of assorted cookware, liquid storage containers, a copper lacing aglet, wrought iron nails, and glass trade beads are among the artifacts unearthed. “The most intact artifact we’ve found so far is the glass trade bead. We found six of them,” Garner said in an email interview.

When Garner brought the artifacts to the University of West Florida’s archaeology lab on Oct. 30, associate professor of historical archaeology in the Department of Anthropology John Worth confirmed Garner’s belief that they had finally discovered the long-lost Luna colony dating from 1559 to 1561. The significance of this discovery is that it predates both the Spanish settlement in St. Augustine, Florida, and the English settlement in Jamestown, Virginia.

On Dec.17 the UWF Archaeology Department made the announcement before a crowd at a press conference held inside the T.T. Wentworth Historical Museum.

UWF then obtained permission from the homeowners to explore the area further.

“Since so many privately-owned lots are involved, we hope to work with each landowner to request permission for archaeological work on a schedule that fits with their needs,” Worth said in an email interview. When asked how long the unearthing of the Luna colony should take, he said, “We anticipate the initial archaeological survey of the entire Luna settlement site to last for many months.”

More artifacts have been found on several lots beyond the original find last fall, according to Worth, the principal site investigator.

“What we already know based on past and current survey is that the Luna settlement site extends across multiple city blocks,” Worth said. “We are continuing to conduct systematic survey to define how big the site is, whether the archaeological deposits are uniformly distributed or patchier, and how much of it is still preserved below ground. The process of discovery and delineation of the site is still very much in its beginning stages.”

Worth said students in the archeology program will be given the opportunity to work on the site during a 10-week UWF archaeological field school this summer.

For more information on the Luna settlement, click here.

Campus Carry bill shot dead in state legislature

By Tom Moore

Contributing Writer

gun

 

Florida concealed carry owners were struck a blow Thursday when Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, fired a fatal shot into a campus carry proposal by refusing to schedule the bill for a hearing. He said he does not see a Second Amendment issue when university security policies prohibit firearms on campus.

This is a major victory for college presidents and law enforcement around the state. UWF President Judy Bense said, “A college campus, particularly UWF, is a place for quiet contemplation. But underneath, it’s a pressure cooker. Students upset about their grades. Parents upset about their children’s futures. The administrators stressed about the college’s standing in the state. You throw guns into the mix, and you get a Molotov cocktail just waiting to blow up in your face.”

While all gun bills have to go through Diaz de la Portilla, the Judiciary Committee is expected to hear SB 300, an open carry proposal. Florida is among only a handful of states prohibiting the open display of firearms in public.

Sponsor of SB 300, Sen. Don Gaetz, said in an email interview: “SB 300 does not expand who may carry a weapon or where a weapon can be carried. Private property owners still have control of their own property and can restrict who can enter their property and under what conditions. If SB 300 becomes law, a property owner can say “no weapons” in the same way he can say “no shirt, no shoes, no smoking.”

UWF Police Chief John Warren said, “I feel that colleges are a place where students should be able to learn quietly and without too much distraction. Mixing guns, alcohol and other recreational pursuits is not conducive to that learning environment.”

The Campus Carry bill passed the Florida Senate’s Criminal Justice committee 3-2 on Sept. 16, 2015. It then passed Florida Senate’s Higher Education Committee 5-3 on Oct. 20. If the bill had passed through the Florida Senate, it would have gone into effect on July 1.

Greg Evers, sponsor of Senate Bill 68 that would allow campus carry, said he was disappointed that Diaz de la Portilla did not talk to him about the decision to not hear the bill, although the two had previously discussed the proposal.

“It would make a statement to the residents of Florida to bring it up and actually have a vote on it,” Evers said.

Prepaid debit cards: The high price of convenience

By Tom Moore

Contributing Writer

Second in our Life Skills series

 

There is no doubt about it: Prepaid debit cards are everywhere. Available at most gas stations, department stores, and drug stores around the country, this is a common ad for them:  Add money any time. Pay by phone or online. No credit check. Add only what you need. Only when you need it.

A standard pack contains a plastic card, which has a number on the back to call to activate it and add money. With the same phone call, you can set up a PIN to withdraw your money at any ATM. Standard purchase price ranges from $3 to $6 dollars.

Sounds really convenient, right? Only spend what you need; don’t worry about trying to pay down those high balances on a regular credit card. It seems like a good way to budget your money, or make those online purchases on Amazon.com or Ebay.

But are these prepaid cards worth the convenience? Do they have a place in the day-to-day spending, budgeting, and finances of the average American consumer? Or are they along the same lines as Title Loans, Payday Advance Loans and appliance rental places – places whose business is built on exploiting people at their most vulnerable, when they have the most to lose?

According to estimates from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s 2015 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice, about one-third of American consumers have a prepaid card of some type. Some cards are targeted to specific customer needs. For example, these cards may be used to substitute for bank accounts for people who, for whatever reason, do not qualify. Gift cards, employee incentive cards, payroll cards, and government benefit cards provide a simplified system of budgeting and money distribution.

But beware – many prepaid cards have complicated fee structures that can be difficult to understand. Fees, as well as terms and conditions, vary by card. Fees may be assessed for initial activation, monthly maintenance, ATM withdrawals, reloading, replacement, monthly statements, and more.

Fortunately, recent competition between prepaid card issuers and increased volume have helped lower card fees and simplify card terms. Unfortunately, prepaid cards are exempt from federal consumer protection laws that apply to bank debit cards. Because of this, it is wise to compare prepaid card fees and question unclear terms and conditions.

To answer the original question, the use of prepaid debit cards, as with anything in life, is simply a matter of choices and options. If you qualify for a credit card, and you can pay it off each month, then a credit card is generally your best bet, unless the interest is 18 percent or higher. However, if you do not qualify for a credit card, or if the interest rate is too high to justify using one, or if you just have to make that purchase from Amazon.com or Ebay, then some form of prepaid debit card might be a viable option. Just know that if you leave your money on your prepaid debit card, instead of taking it off in cash or purchase, you will be hit with some kind of monthly fee until there is zero balance left on the card.

 

UWF’s Steinway celebration remains in key, a decade later

By Kenny Detwyler

Contributing Writer

 Nyasha Brice performing "Prelude No.1 in B flat major", by George Gershwin. Photo by Kenny Detwyler.

Nyasha Brice performing “Prelude No.1 in B flat major”, by George Gershwin.
Photo by Kenny Detwyler.

On Saturday evening, the halls of the Center for Fine and Performing Arts at the University of West Florida echoed with the sounds of talented musicians paying tribute to the most iconic instrument in music, the piano. This year marks a decade since Warren and Helen Wentworth donated 18 Steinway Pianos to the UWF Department of Music, thus granting UWF the prestigious distinction of being an “All-Steinway School” by Steinway & Sons.

The Steinway is often regarded as the most distinguished piano brand in the world. Recording artist Billy Joel once said, “I have long admired Steinway pianos for their qualities of tone, clarity, pitch consistency, touch responsiveness, and superior craftsmanship.” Pianist Martha Argerich even argued that “sometimes a Steinway plays better that the pianist, and it is then a marvelous surprise” The Steinway is also the exclusive performance instrument of famous artists, such as Harry Connick Jr. and Randy Newman.

In honor of the Wentworth’s generous gift, the Department of Music holds a yearly concert to celebrate the Steinway piano. The concert featured an array of UWF students, faculty, alumni, and local pianists. The show featured the compositions of a few of history’s greatest musicians such as George Gershwin, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Liszt, Piotr Tchaikovsky, J.S. Bach, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Johannes Brahms.

The concert was performed to a packed audience, which enjoyed seeing the Steinway in action. “It was very nice, I enjoyed listening to the different recitals. It was very relaxing and engaging,” Ebony Cornish, a graduate student,  said.

Amazing performers took the stage including the director of UWF’s piano and chamber music programs, Hedi Salanki. “Ever since the wonderful gift, we’ve built up the program and gotten stronger and stronger,” Salanki said.

Other performers included: junior Nyahsa Brice, senior Daniel Kern, freshman Lydia Harris, senior James Matthews, junior Meridith Stemen and assistant professor Blake Riley.

One of the shows stand-out moments came from three young performers, all of whom are students at Hedi Salanki’s private studio. The young students resonated extremely well with the audience, as they performed complicated compositions on the same stage as students of the performing arts here at UWF. “They’ve all worked so hard, they were able to perform for a large audience which is something a lot of 15-year-olds can’t do. They performed music that is not your average pop song,” performer Nyasha Brice said. “They have all made amazing progress, I am training them to be pianists, so this is a natural part of what they do,” Salanki said.

Also taking the stage was former UWF student, Bolton Ellenberg. Bolton has been performing at UWF since the first Steinway celebration 10 years ago. “I think he gave a brilliant performance, it all came together well, and it was fantastic.” Bolton’s brother, Easton Ellenberg said. It appeared that the audience shared similar sentiments, as Bolton received a spectacular standing ovation following both of his performances.

Even with all of the talented performers who took the stage, the real star of the evening was no doubt the Steinway Piano, which sat center stage. The piano means a great deal to the performers, and the Wentworth’s gift is still greatly appreciated a decade later. “The piano is a medium for me to turn my soul into notes and share it with people,” Bryce said. “As a performer it’s important to get interaction with the audience when you communicate emotions,” Samantha Negron, a junior, said after watching the show.

“When words stop, that’s when music starts. For me the Piano is extremely versatile, there’s so much you can say with it,” special guest performer Bolton Ellenberg said. “I can channel things that cannot be put into words”

For a complete schedule of the CFPA’s upcoming performances visit: http://uwf.edu/cfpa/

‘Grandma’ is in the classroom, and she’s teaching UWF students math

By Kelsi Gately

Staff Writer

hobbs

Hobbs teaches students Truth Tables in her Math for Liberal Arts 1 class.
Photo by Kelsi Gately.

 Right photo: Hobbs reviews with students before a lab day in her Math for Liberal Arts 1 class. Photo by Kelsi Gately.

Hobbs reviews with students before a lab day in her Math for Liberal Arts 1 class.
Photo by Kelsi Gately.

UWF teacher Caroll Hobbs, or “Grandma,” as many of her students know her, teaches in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. If you have ever taken a class with Grandma, you know she loves to start with a brief YouTube video having to do with learning math in song.

Hobbs is originally from Chicago and grew up as the first girl after four brothers, and six more siblings followed her. She didn’t always want to be teacher; as a young girl she dreamt of being a ballerina.

Hobbs said her mother used to tell her, “If the task has just begun, never leave it till it’s done, be the labor great or small, do it well or not at all.”  Hobbs has never forgotten that.

Hobbs first started at University of West Florida as a teaching assistant in 2004 and continued until 2006. In 2011, she returned as an adjunct for the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. Many students know her as Grandma, and at the start of each semester she lets her students know they are welcome to call her that, because she enjoys being a grandmother to her grandchildren.

“She is really helpful, because I have always struggled with math,” said one of her current students, Jordan Spicer, sophomore special education major. “I also enjoy walking into class and there is a YouTube video about math on.”

Grandma said she loves when she can see in her students’ eyes that they really understand the material.

“She is the best math teacher that I’ve ever had,” said Sara Agans, senior journalism major. “I have nothing negative to say about her. She cares a lot about her students and she makes sure that you learn the content, whether you understand it through her teaching or another student’s interpretation in simpler term.”

Hobbs earned a GED, and then at 17, she decided to become an attorney. She took the LSAT, but did not score high enough and decided not to pursue it. She then earned her master’s in accounting at Roosevelt University.

Hobbs said she would listen to talk radio while driving, and one day there was a discussion about students who could not learn math. She knew that if students are taught that they will use math throughout their life, they would be motivated to understand the material. This is when Hobbs said she knew she needed to be teaching math.

Hobbs said she believes most students have been miseducated when it comes to mathematics.

“We haven’t been taught that math is good for everything. We don’t know that, so we just do what they tell us to do. Students don’t see they will need it later on in life. Mathematics is not just doing calculations. Mathematics is helping you learn how to think and be more precise in your thinking.”

Grandma said that after college, and at every point in life, she hopes students remember to read and always learn something new. She said she recently read on the internet that there are early signs of dementia in 20 year olds. “That is because the brain is a muscle and we’re not really using it,” she said. “Once they leave school, READ. I don’t care if it is difficult reading or easy reading, but just read.”

If you take a class with Grandma and you struggle, know that she is always willing to help you… and that she doesn’t mind some good barbecue chicken.

Want to learn more about another professor? Tweet @uwfvoyager your favorite professor’s name, and we might write a story on him or her.

The Lady Argos hold off Lee to win in double overtime

By Grier Wellborn

Sports Editor

Courtney Jan 28

Sophomore forward Courtney Meyer shoots free throws in double overtime win against Lee University.
Photo by Grier Wellborn.

What looked to be a dominating win for the University of West Florida women’s basketball team turned into a fight for possession up until the last three seconds of the double overtime brawl between the Lady Argonauts and the Lee University Flames.

Thursday’s game against the Flames followed UWF’s Annual Blizzard Bash, sparking attendance to more than 600 fans.

All five starters for the Lady Argos scored in the double digits, and four of the five starters scored double-doubles in their highest scoring game of the season.

Sophomore forward Courtney Meyer scored 13 points and had 12 rebounds in Thursday night’s game against Lee.

“It was really exciting,” Meyer said. “Coach has been emphasizing that we have to have several offensive threats step up every game because the more scorers, the harder it is to guard us. We know that’s [four of five players scoring double-doubles] really rare, so it was exciting, but we really just get hyped off of our teammates’ success.”

Three of the starters, including junior forward Katie Bobos, junior guard Alex Coyne and sophomore forward Toni Brewer, are all ranked in the top 20 in the Gulf South Conference for scoring. Coyne also scored a career high in steals and assists with eight steals and 12 assists.

Despite a record-setting game for the Lady Argos, Lee was not going down without a fight.

The first two quarters of the game were dominated by the Lady Argos. UWF possessed the ball first and was the first on the scoreboard. The first quarter ended with a Lady Argos lead of 10 points, while at halftime, the Lady Argos were winning by a 13-point margin.

The Lady Argos steady double-digit lead was challenged in the second half when the Flames made a striking comeback. The Flames would not go down easy, and they gradually extended their score in the second half. With eight minutes left in the game, the Lady Argos led by only one point.

“Lee fought back hard and in the second half,” Bobos said. “We had a hard time making the easy shots. Lee started to adjust offensively to our defensive game plan and we had to play personnel correctly. Both teams hustled and played hard. I’m happy we came out on top. That was a big win for our team.”

Bobos, one of the starting five players scored 19 points, and had 12 rebounds in her double-double game against the Flames.

At the end of the fourth quarter, the game was tied 69-69 and the teams were forced into overtime. Throughout the five minutes of overtime, both teams had alternated leads, and another five minutes was added to the clock for a second overtime with a score of 76-76.

With 23 seconds left in double overtime and a five-point lead by the Lady Argos, Lee continued to foul the Lady Argos in a desperate attempt for ball possession. UWF secured the win with fouls shots by Coyne that drove the Lady Argos to a four-point edge on Lee. UWF ultimately won the game with a score of 89-85.

“Games in the GSC, we say it every game, they are challenging and they go down to the wire. You’re going to see some really good women’s basketball in our conference,” Head Coach Stephanie Lawrence Yelton said. “Tonight was one of those cases of things going our way; we hit free throws when we needed to, we got big rebounds, held on to possessions when we needed to and we were able to come out with a win.”

Yelton is in her fourth season as the head coach of UWF’s women’s basketball team and has since led the Lady Argos to their first GSC Championship in the 2013-2014 season.

The UWF women’s basketball team is now tied with Lee for third place in the GSC. The Lady Argos last met with Lee in December when they lost 82-85 to the Flames.

The Lady Argos will return to their home court on Thursday, February 11 to face off against Christian Brothers at 5:30 p.m. in the UWF Field House.