Getting to know Dr. Thompson

Kyndra Sanden, Staff Writer

Grant Thompson

“I was lying on my back, looking up into the clear sky decomposing lights into one star. That’s when I knew what I wanted to be.”

Dr. Grant Thompson, a physics and astronomy professor at Wingate University, grew up in rural northern Missouri. He saw the sky at a whole different perspective than someone who lived in the city. Dr. Thompson was able to see all the stars that light up our night sky. He was able to hear the wind sing within the trees, and watch nature thrive all around him.

As he grew up, his love for stars and physics became more obvious. He attended the University of Missouri and studied astronomy and physics. He went on to further his education at the University of Kentucky where he received his Masters and Ph.D. in physics and astronomy.

While studying at the University of Kentucky, he met his future wife, Kristen Thompson. She also shares a love for the sky and stars. Kristen has her Ph.D. in physics and astronomy and teaches at Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina. How could two people be so perfect for each other?

I spoke with Dr. Thompson on what a typical conversation is like between a married couple who both have their Ph.Ds. in physics and astronomy. It is not common that you come across a couple who have such a prestigious background.

“We talk formulas, and we solve equations out loud. Sometimes we will even create a situation or problem and try to figure it out together.” said Dr. Thompson. He admitted that some days he thinks his wife is definitely smarter than him, but others he feels like it his day to shine. Most importantly, they love being outdoors and enjoying the fresh air.

As a college professor, Dr. Thompson said his favorite part of the job was seeing the pure awe and shock of students and the community. “I love the ‘Really? No way, shut up?’ reactions and seeing the look on students faces when the wonder of the universe sinks in for the first time.” said Dr. Thompson.

His goal as a professor is not only to educate students, but he wants all of his students to appreciate nature. He wants them to be aware of the universe and how really small we actually are.

“I want my students to stop looking down, and to look up instead. Space, physics, and knowledge are all around us. I want people to understand how the universe works. They will remember it for the rest of their lives.” said Dr. Thompson.

Dr. Thompson advice to any student is, “Don’t be scared of math. You deal with it every single day. It is always around you. Don’t turn yourself off of it.”

Edited by Dannie Stueber & Brooke Griffin 

Unlimited Meal Plan vs Bulldog Bucks

Cierra Smith, Staff Writer

Ever heard of the quote, “change is inevitable, why hold onto what you have to let go of?” Well, if you have, then you know that change sometimes can be difficult, but it is bound to happen, so you learn to live with it. That isn’t always the case!

For some students at a local North Carolina university, change is just what has occurred and the results of which are astonishing. Students who attend Wingate University just outside of Monroe, N.C. have just been bombarded by a new lunchroom modification; the unlimited meal-plan.

Their previous meal-plan options have been stripped away, and they are now forced to live with only one choice. Now, I’m sure you’re thinking “unlimited meals? Why are they complaining?” but if you knew what they were losing in order to have unlimited access to food, then you would feel the exact same way.

In exchange for more meal swipes in the dining hall, the students are being deprived of their only other option for food on-campus; bulldog bucks. If you’re not familiar, Bulldog Bucks is the funds that students are given along with a meal-plan that they can use at other on-campus food places, such as Subway and Einstein Brother’s Bagels.

They are given an amount of these funds per semester, and depending on the meal-plan, they could have more or less bulldog bucks. Now, with the new unlimited meal-plan, students have been given less Bulldog Bucks and as a result. The residential students are fed up with the unanticipated change that has occurred and are demanding a call for action!

Through their many complaints, you can see that the altering of what they were accustomed to has sparked an outcry. Students feel as if they weren’t included in these decisions that have been made and believe that their opinions should be taken into account before making such drastic amendments to what they know and love.

In order to get a better idea of how the new meal-plan has affected residential students, a few interviews were conducted in order to see student’s opinions. During one interview, a sophomore student, Brea Childs, stated “It’s an inconvenience. I live in an on-campus apartment, so I buy my own groceries and don’t frequent the dining hall as much. It would be great to have a smaller option with more bulldog bucks.”

During another interview, a junior student, Sarah Kelly, said “I feel as if the meal-plan is solely geared towards athletes. They eat more than the average person, so it is ideal for them to have unlimited meals. But, what about those students who don’t eat as much, it’s a complete waste.” Based on the two interviews, one can only conclude that students prefer the old way better.

Through the many protests of the new meal-plan, it is easy to see how change cannot always be a good thing. Sometimes when adjusting things that were never issues to begin with, it can cause for unforeseen debacles and complications that could have been avoided all together.

By simply asking students if whether or not a new meal-plan was a good idea, it could have cut down on some of the backlash that is now surfacing. It pretty much ties into the old statement that says, “Why fix something that isn’t broken.”

Edited by Brea Childs and Jenna Turner

Campus safety officers: more than meets the eye

Leigh-Anne Clark, Staff Writer

Everyone has their own definition of a campus safety officer. There has been controversy around Wingate about the need for campus safety.  I shadowed a patrol officer during his night shift.  We started the night by driving around campus and checking out parking lots to make sure all cars were safely parked for the night.

Everything about the job seemed simple until he got the first call of the night. When he answered his phone with, “Campus Safety,” and the person on the other end started talking, the look on his face changed.

When we got in the car, I asked him what the problem was and he said, “Someone’s water is dirty.”  I laughed but then realized he was being serious. Yes, campus safety officers take maintenance calls.

It was at that moment that I realized what really goes into this job; these men and women are more than just officers of the law.

There were four qualities that stood out to me as I finished up the night shift with the officer: patience, understanding, helpfulness and caring.

When it comes to being a safety officer, patience is a required attribute.  From staying calm while an angry patron yells at you or just driving in circles around campus all night, officers are patient with the community of Wingate University.

They are trained to be quick to respond to dangerous situations. If the most dangerous situation is figuring out why someone’s tap water is brown however, patience is your biggest asset.

Safety officers must also be understanding. The levels of understanding change very quickly in this line of work. One minute we were listening to a woman complain about dirty water and the next we were racing off to help turn off a fire alarm at the Klondike. I was amazed at how quickly he changed his mind set and level of understanding.

Every job, no matter what you do, requires you to do some form of work. The definition of “work” may vary, but you still have to do something productive each day. As a patrol officer, you are required to make sure the community of Wingate is safe.

Most officers don’t care to elaborate on how much extra work they do for this community, but don’t let them fool you.  They do more than you think. “I love to help people, even if it is the smallest, simplest maintenance job,” said the night patrol officer.

What makes them great at their job is the joy they find in selflessly helping people in need.

Finally, a safety officer is caring.  In order to be patient, understanding and helpful, a safety officer has to genuinely care for the people he protects.

One of my favorite parts of the ride along was listening to the officer tell stories of his favorite calls.  Some of the situations he talked about were dangerous and exciting, but others were just little things to help Wingate University. One thing he said stood out to me, “we are here to help get you out of trouble, not get you into trouble.”

Many people see Campus Safety as a threat, but they are trying to look out for your best interest.  From the stories he told,

it was clear that his care for Wingate students and faculty is genuine. I’m confident he would do anything to help and protect them.

So the question is, “does Wingate University need campus safety officers?” Let me put it to you another way, “do you need your best friend?” Of course, you do. Without a reliable person to be there, you would fall apart. The same can be said for Wingate University. Our campus needs safety officers to help us get through the day and always feel safe.

Edited by Brooke Griffin and Danny Stueber

Wingate welcomes the Hinson Art Museum

Courtney Bailey and Hope Rogers, Staff Writer

On September 24th, the Hinson Art Museum opened its doors for the first time. A second opening for Wingate University’s staff, faculty, and students followed on Friday. Years ago, Wingate University’s former president, Dr. Jerry McGee, expressed a desire to build an art museum to house the Wingate Permanent Collection. It is because of McGee’s wishes that plans for the Hinson Art Museum were first conceived.

The Hinson Art Museum is currently home to the Ben Long Color Studies, which is a custom-designed fresco for the university entitled, True Art is to Conceal Art. This impressive piece of artwork centers around the theme that creativity and artistry can never truly be destroyed.

The fresco features scenes from the discoveries of the Laocoon statue in Italy and the Lascaux cave paintings in France. The Hinson Art Museum also features works of several other artists, including: Rembrandt, Salvador Dali, Romare Bearden, Dale Chihuly, Andy Smith and a Wingate art professor, Dr. Louise Napier.

The Hinson Art Museum is mainly focused on 20th and 21st century southeastern artists. Many of the artists featured are from nearby towns or counties in North Carolina. Their different artistic styles showcase the rich variety of creativity found throughout the state.

“We are blessed in North Carolina to have the range of artists who live here,” Mrs. Charlene Bregier, the Hinson Art Museum director said. “There is something about this state that draws the artists to move here. That ‘something’ is the landscape—the beach, the mountains, or even the red clay—that makes us a top destination for creativity and creative people.”

Wingate faculty is encouraged to bring their classes to see the collection, as well as arrange a highlights tour with Mrs. Bregier. “Our goal is to engage each person who enters the doors of the museum,” Bregier explained. “People connect with art in different ways due to their backgrounds and personal experiences. Hopefully, there is something for everyone in the Hinson Art Museum.”

The Hinson Art Museum is open to the public from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Edited by: Kyndra Sanden and Meredith Lalor

International student looks at food traditions

Allers-IDUN-gjærbakst-2014

Øystein Fjeldberg, Staff Writer

Two years ago I left Norway, my home, to study in the United States. I was excited to begin a new adventure at Wingate University, but even though I enjoyed the experience, there were things that I missed from back home. It is a little funny, but my family wasn’t what I missed the most my first time overseas. It was the food.

I had grown up eating spelt and whole grain breads for almost every meal, and now I barely eat it anymore. The meals served for dinner were different as well; I was used to having chicken once in a while, but not this often! I noticed quickly that fish was not nearly as popular here as back home.

One year ago I started making Norwegian dishes in my campus apartment. I have made bread consisting of five different kinds of flour, risengrynsgrøt (a kind of porridge similar to rice pudding), skoleboller (buns with a custard-filled center) and my family´s recipe for cinnamon chocolate cake. Americans that have tried my food usually like it, but now I wonder what other countries have to offer.

During the last week, I have talked to some international students at my university about their food traditions. When I asked a Russian girl about it, a soup made from beer was the first thing that came to her mind. The soup is called Okroshka and has a sweet taste, being made from salami, green onions and radishes.

Another Russian dish I tried last New Year’s Eve, was the Oliv’e. It is a delicious salad made from diced pieces of potatoes, meat, and vegetables, all of which is usually topped with a little bit of sour cream. Kefir is a popular drink which is often used as an ingredient in Russian dishes; sometimes the beer in Okroshka is substituted for kefir.

Next I learned about a Macedonia cuisine where vegetables and spices play a big role. When buying groceries, the local farmer’s market is the place to go. There people can get what they need to make dishes like tavče gravče and pastrmajlija, both of which are traditional Macedonian dishes.

The tavče gravče dish is made with fresh white pinto beans along with pieces of tomatoes, and was recommended by the Macedonian I talked to. He also talked about pastrmajlija, a bread pie covered with sliced meat cubes.

I friend of mine from Turkmenistan once made a dish called plov that I was lucky enough to try. Plov is a pilaf made from lamb and rice; it is a dish I can endorse. She told me about a Turkmen dinner called dograma, which is made in a unique way.

Flatbreads (similar to naan) are baked in a clay oven, and meat from a mutten’s head and limbs is boiled tender. The bread is torn into small pieces, which are then mixed with the shredded meat and slices of onions. All of it is then covered in broth. The meal is served for weddings, holidays, and other special occasions.

Germany is a place for more familiar kinds of food. Germans enjoy «heavy» food with a lot of carbs, such as potatoes and meat from pork or cow. Sausages such as the famous bratwurst, which is dark grey and heavy in texture, is popular dinner choice. Many restaurants in Germany are family businesses that serve traditional German food.

Sweden has food traditions that are very similar to those found in my home country. Swedes have a diet heavily based on whole grain bread, just like Norway. Køtbullar (meat balls) with brunsås («brown sauce»), lingonberry jam and whole boiled potatoes is the signature dish of Sweden, and is a tasty everyday dinner for the ordinary Swedish family.

Belgium is world famous for its chocolate, although Sweden has strong chocolate traditions as well spanning almost hundred years back, which are represented by the popular Maribou chocolates. The Maribou chocolate company was founded by the Norwegian businessman Johan Throste Holst in 1916, who back then was the owner of the Norwegian chocolate company Freia (which has equally strong traditions in Norway). Both the Freia and Maribou chocolates are sold as big plates weighing about 7 ounces.

And now that we are back where we started, I think this is a good place to end. I hope I inspired you to explore food from other countries, just as I became inspired researching for this story. Cheers!

Edited By Jenna Turner, Brea Childs, Danny Stueber

The life of a college physique competitor

John Deluca 3

Kyndra Sanden, Staff Writer

Society has this idea that all college students are the same. They all love to party, sleep in late, skip class because they can and put their grades at the end of their priorities. That may be the case for some college students, but not for everyone on Wingate’s campus.

John Deluca, a junior nursing student from Durham, has bigger and brighter plans for his college career: clinching his National Physique Committee Professional card. “It would definitely be a long process, but I’d love to make money competing someday,” said Deluca.

John, a former Wingate baseball player, who decided to hang-up the jersey and focus more on his grades is now a regionally ranked physique competitor. Physique competitions are about proper shape and symmetry combined with muscularity and the overall condition of one’s body.

This is different from a bodybuilding contest because it primarily focuses on aesthetics and muscle definition rather than size. The regimen of living this lifestyle is not only difficult, but it is also demanding especially when the competitor is a college student who lives on campus with limited resources.

Deluca began his physique career in his childhood home in the basement. Growing up, John was always active playing football and baseball. His parents, Steve and Beverly Deluca also have a passion for being fit while raising healthy children. John’s sister, Melissa, was also an athlete who eventually went on to play volleyball here at Wingate.

The fitness and health lifestyle soon became a family affair. While growing up around weight equipment, John was able to learn a few things from his dad. Eventually, fitness turned into his passion.

John’s daily routine here on campus begins in the early morning with a lot of food, going to class, gym time and studying. For breakfast every single day he eats four eggs, two egg whites, and one cup of sugar free oatmeal.

For lunch and dinner he usually goes to both the café and Klondike. In the café, his meal consists of two turkey patties plain, a spinach chicken wrap and sometimes a protein option that is available. In the ‘Dike, John will order the same chicken wrap and a power bar. “You really have to put down a lot of clean calories if you want to gain weight, which works out nicely for me because I love to eat,” said Deluca.

Since John eats every three hours, he also prepares meals in his apartment. This includes Chicken, tilapia, sweet potatoes, and protein shakes. “It helps to look at food as a source of energy rather than a treat. Then, once you start seeing results it gets addicting,” said Deluca.

For his workouts, John trains a different part of the body every single day. For example, some days he only works his chest, and others he only does shoulders. He works out his core every other day and takes a rest day once a month. He rarely does cardio, and if he does it is when he plays basketball with his roommates. “I just love lifting weights. There’s this bad perception of guys who work out every day. It’s not about trying to be bigger or stronger than the other dudes in there; it’s all about making yourself better,” said Deluca.

On top of all his eating and working out, he manages to find ways to balance out his life. He spends most of his time studying, but he also makes time for his friends. “My roommates have really gotten into lifting over the last couple of years as well, and I love helping them get to where they want to be,” said Deluca.

Deluca has competed in several competitions placing in both. His first show, the GK Classic, was in August of 2014. He entered in the “open class” weighing 175 lbs. He was the youngest competitor on stage out of 9 men. By his surprise, he placed third.

His next competition was the same classic the following summer. This time his division was based on height. He entered the 5’7”-5’10” division that had 15 other competitors. On stage he weighed 190 lbs. This time John came out with the first place finish, a huge trophy and a bag of supplements.

John Deluca is a prime example of how it is possible to live a healthy lifestyle on a college campus.“There are so many different options for people to stay in shape. Whether it is crossfit, powerlifting, distance running, or even Zumba, there’s something out there for everyone to enjoy.” said John. Being healthy does not mean you have to go to John’s extreme diet and routine, but he does show that is it possible.

Edited by Danny Stueber, Brea Childs, Jenna Turner

Passion behind Wingate Swimming

Leigh-Anne Clark, Staff Writer

When most people hear the word passion, they think of an uncontrollable emotion such as love or hate.  Kirk Sanocki, in his fifthteenth season as head coach of Wingate University’s swim team, gives passion a definition of his own.

“Don’t mistake my passion for anger” is heard daily by Sanocki’s swimmers at practice.  Many of his athletes think they have an idea on why their coach is so passionate, but just after a 45 minute interview, it became apparent that there is more behind this man’s passion than just powerful emotion.

When asked about his first impression of Kirk, Wingate Swimming’s Graduate Assistant Bailey Noel replied, “During my first talk with Kirk ten years ago, I could tell how passionate of a man he is”.

When Noel first started swimming at Wingate, he was not sure that it was the right fit for him, so he decided to take a break from school.  Several years later, Coach Sanocki gave him a chance to come back to Wingate, finish school and help coach along the way.

Helping and watching Sanocki’s athletes achieve what they did not believe was possible is his favorite part of the job. Sometimes he wants it more than they want it for themselves.

This is not just inside the pool.  Sanocki said he feels like he has a parental responsibly for each of his 45 swimmers.  Every day he leaves work terrified that something will happen to one of them, and he will not be there to help.

His love and passion for his swimmers goes above and beyond a coach’s mindset.  Coach Sanocki cares for his swimmers more than they could ever imagine.

A word that consistently popped up during the interview was “fear”.  For Sanocki, fear is directly related to passion. One of his biggest fears is finding his climax: “If I have found my greatest success then there is nothing that can beat it, there is no room for improvement and no point in continuing”.

Coach Sanocki said, “The day I lose sight of what I can do for this team and the day I feel satisfied with my improvement and success is the day I throw in the towel.”

Kirk is not about winning. If he sees that his athletes have pushed their limits, improved themselves beyond their expectations and did it as a team, winning is just a bonus.

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Edited by: Kyndra Sanden and Meredith Lalor