Monthly Archives: March 2011

Tough as Stone

By Brian Carlisle

Imagine you’re at the pinnacle of your career. Whether it be a writer, professional athlete, teacher or musician it doesn’t matter, you’re living your dream and you’re at your peak.

Then one day something happens and you’re injured to the extent that you can no longer live out your dream. To make it worse someone intentionally did this to you to better themselves. How would you recover? Would you sulk and blame the world or would you be strong and overcome? 

This is what happened to semi-professional Ugandan soccer player, Stone Kyambadde, whose knee was injured intentionally by another player during a match. This ended Stone’s career at its peak.

But as if he were the star in an underdog sports movie, Kyambadde was down but not out. Instead of slipping into depression and self-loathing, Kyambadde found a way to bring together the needy and abandoned youth of Kampala and established a soccer team called the wolves in 1989 that he continues to coach to this day. The boys he mentors are often from rival communities.

The nation of Uganda is war torn by these rivaling factions, but Kyambadde has found a common interest for the boys through soccer and brings them together to teach them love and forgiveness.

Students and the public will have a chance to hear Kyambadde’s message of forgiveness during his visit to Northwest Vista College on April 28 and 29.

“We hear stories like this from around the world that don’t seem real to us but they are and with Kyambadde we get to experience what he lived through,” said Valarie Fluellen, the Intern Organizational Learning Coordinator at NVC and the person responsible for Kyambadde’s visit.

Kyambadde’s story inspired Stephen Covey to include it in his “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” workshop. Kyambadde is a speaker of Habit 1- Be Proactive, in the “7 Habits” and travels internationally to speak at conferences, colleges and various groups. Habit 1 teaches to be proactive, or to assess the situation and develop a positive response not just reacting to events. 

On April 28-29, Kyambadde will be visiting NVC to meet with students, faculty and staff about his approach to leadership. He will spend time on April 29th with NVC’s fourteen Leadership Lab participants to help strengthen leadership skills in the area of deployment and execution of plans, both locally and globally. The public may attend Kyambadde’s lecture from 11:00am -12:00pm and he will engage in dialogue in the form of questions and answers from 12:00pm– 12:30pm.

Brian Carlisle is a Northwest Vista College student.


The Great Northwest…Vista Parking Problem

By Joseph Frymire

“Hey are you leaving? Can I have your spot?”

Parking spaces are scarce at Northwest Vista College; if you haven’t been asked this question yet, you probably haven’t been here very long. During the first few weeks of class you might as well resign yourself to either a long search for a spot or a very long walk to class. It gets better as the semester goes on, but one could never describe it as perfect. Luckily, the NVC staff is well aware of the problem, and is actively looking for solutions.

“The administration is well aware that there are issues with parking, and we’re looking all the time for ways to improve.” says Melissa Monroe-Young, Public Information Officer at Northwest Vista. 

And it’s true, the school administration hasn’t just been sitting on their hands. Per a deal reached with Sea World, NVC students can park off-campus and catch a shuttle right back to the Cypress Campus Center. Even more on-campus lots are being constructed out past the Boardwalk portables.

“There are lots of options for students.” Monroe-Young explains, “If they take night classes, or arrive earlier, parking can be a lot less difficult.”

But with a population of roughly 15,000 students, timeliness and proper planning can only go so far. There’s only so much space to build at ground level; eventually they’re going to have to start building up.

“There are already plans in the works to build a parking garage to deal with population growth.” says Monroe-Young, “In fact, parking pass prices have already been increased to help pay for it.”

Large universities such as UTSA have implemented garages to deal with parking issues. However, there is a point of contention in regards to building one at Northwest Vista: the campus’ natural theme. Monroe-Young stated that there have been multiple talks on how to include a parking garage without impeding upon the “green” motif present throughout the school.

“I’m on the fence,” says Leah, an NVC student, “On one hand (a garage) would be nice to have, but it might look ugly against all the trees.”

Students are ambivalent toward the issue. Most were happy to hear that one would be built, but were sketchy on whether it would be naturally obtrusive. Some, however, were indifferent.

“Live Oak Hall already looks like a factory,” says Brian, another student, “Paint (the garage) purple, call it ‘artsy’ and nobody will care.”

Ultimately one garage isn’t going to solve all the parking problems either, and everyone probably knows that. The Sea World lot isn’t going away, and there could be more off-campus lots in Northwest Vista’s future. Which raises the question: is it fair to expect students to pay the same amount for off-campus parking as they would for an on-campus spot?

“I don’t think it’s really an issue, since the current system is all we have right now.” says Monroe-Young.

It’s first come, first served parking at NVC, for students and faculty alike. That’s the way its always been, and it looks to stay that way in the near future. Most students are happy with the flat rate, and parking equality. Only a few are interested in a tiered system, and those who are only want it so they can pay more for preferential parking.

“If I could get a spot right up front, sure.” says Michelle, another student, “Otherwise I don’t care that much.”

And right now, what’s there to care about? The spring semester has reached its midpoint, and parking isn’t that hard to find. During the summer semesters, the Northwest Vista lots will look practically barren. But when the fall semester rolls around again, and there’s a brand new batch of students freshly graduated from high school, the old grumblings will begin anew.

The parking problem is always going to be there, but at least we’ve got a few ideas on how to make it better.

Joseph Frymire is a Northwest Vista College student.

NVC’s Dance Ensemble Takes Show on the Road

By Graciana Rodriguez

The Repertory Dance Ensemble is preparing to take the show on the road for all to experience. Students are preparing a touring schedule that includes three venues around San Antonio plus one on- campus performance.

Being a part of NVC’s touring repertory dance ensemble, students create and stage innovative and fun dances with faculty and guest artists, and experience a variety of dance styles, performing in theatres, schools and community centers throughout San Antonio, plus they earn transferable college credit in repertory and performance dance.

Guest choreographer Ruben Ornelis from New York City composes Folklorico dances adding his own spice to the act. Beatriz Ayi from Uganda choreographs Temperance and African dances from her native land. This diversity adds to the program’s success.

“It’s a diversity of dance languages,” says program director Jayne King. Before coming to NVC, King owned her own studio in California and now teaches fulltime at NVC.

On March 29 the group will be at Jumpstart Theatre. In April they will perform at Kriewald Road Elementary School and Southwest High School. The last scheduled event will be at NVC on May 6 at the Cypress Campus Center patio. Participating in the event will be local senior citizens who will join in a variety of activities, including student dancing, workshops, and judging.

Graciana Rodriguez is a Northwest Vista College student.

Wildcats Put NVC on the Map

by Stephanie Cavazos

Anyone who remembers the Cinderella story might be surprised to know we have one right here at Northwest Vista College with the Wildcats girls basketball team who are preparing for the South Texas Club Sports League this weekend at UTSA.

This team coached by Daniel Johnson was the first 2-year college team to make it to the Championship round at the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) Tourney Feb. 26.  Surprisingly, the Wildcats competed against 4 year colleges; although SAC and PAC were among their competitors.

“We beat 7 four-year colleges,” says Coach Johnson. “Among them was UT PAN AM from the south to Beaumont from the west, taking 2nd place.” “We put NVC on the map,” said Johnson.

Team unity is one of the core values the Wildcats attributes to a winning record. “It happens naturally,” says Johnson.  However team unity is not the only value Coach Johnson teaches.  “I believe in teaching sportsmanship,” says Johnson. “Just because we can outscore the other team doesn’t mean we have to blow them out the water.”

What’s next for the Wildcats? This weekend the Wildcats will be in a tournament at UTSA. Coach Johnson has a unique way of prepping his team. “Visualize yourself, see yourself making that layup, that 3 pointer, and it will happen,” he says.  Every girl on the team has a different method to their mental preparation.  “Each girl is different”, says Johnson. “One will listen to her iPod, while another will meditate.”  No matter how they prepare, it’s safe to say the team’s spirit and morale comes to life once they step on the court.  We have all heard it.  It starts with a slow escalating clap ending in “Wildcats!”  To cheer on the Wildcats attend this event and see what all the fuss is about. The girls already have a bye which places them into the Championship round March 13 at 1p. Their competition will be the winner of Southwest Texas Junior College (SWTJC) vs. St. Phillips College (SPC). Good Luck Wildcats!

Stephanie Cavazos is a student at Northwest Vista College.

Diversity Conversation This Friday

by Brianna Luna

Diversity Conversation is an open seminar for NVC students. Dr. Jackie Claunch, president of Northwest Vista College will be attending the March 11 campus event. NVC students have a special opportunity to have a professional conversation with the president, and their peers about how to improve diverse communities.

Diversity is a broad term that can mean a variety of things, but the fun of this seminar is that students have the freedom to talk about anything. They might want to discuss opportunities to improve students’ lives and how to make a difference in the NVC community.  

 “Diversity Conversation is an open, new technology to create latitude for people to find their passion and communicate with the president, the dean and students,” said Sabrina Carey, event coordinator for Northwest Vista College.

 This seminar will allow students to think outside the box on diversity topics, and may even help build leadership skills.

“The idea is to be uncensored AND professional,” Carey said.

After the event, Dr. Claunch and the diversity team will review all the diversity topics with an eye to develop solutions.

This event can help students to be more involved in the NVC community and make a difference in themselves and fellow students. Join us Friday March 11 from 9:00am-12:30pm in the Cypress Campus Center Lago Vista room 121-122.

Brianna Luna is a Northwest Vista College Student  

Student Ambassadors Get Leadership Experience

by Alexia Hall

When NVC’s Student Leadership and Activities Coordinator  Darryl Nettles  was asked to make-over the student ambassador program at NVC  6 years ago, he had a quite a task.

The program was small and hadn’t made much progress in comparison to similar programs in other educational organizations. Today, the program has grown to 21 ambassadors.

“We had so many good applicants, so many good people,” Nettles said. “We were originally funded for only 15 ambassadors, but we made room.”

It might be NVC’s best kept secret. Ambassadors volunteer their time for a chance to represent the school in a variety of ways; they may be asked to give campus tours, serve on committees, organize a school function, or even usher at a Wildcats game.

All in all, ambassadors must put in 48 hours of service by the end of the year. That averages out to 3 hours per week. Ambassadors who complete their service receive a $500 dollar scholarship for the year, $250 for each semester.

But Nettles insists that’s not why most ambassadors give their time.

 “I’m amazed at the amount of time some of our student ambassadors put in. I mean, you’re talking about students who have a family, work full time, and go to school full time, yet they love the program and NVC so much, that they put in the extra time. They tell me they’re not doing it for the money.”

“The program has so much intrinsic value,” Nettles says, “Students have networking opportunities, and they develop marketing and leadership skills they might not otherwise get.”

Nettles stated that his staff is looking for a variety of students. “We’re looking for enthusiastic people, not necessarily stellar students who have a 4.0 GPA. We’re also looking for those students who we can help to grow through this opportunity.”

Applications for next year’s ambassadors start April 1. Interested students should apply at the Cypress Center RM 126. The deadline for applications is April 19.

Alexia Hall is a student at Northwest Vista College

NVC’s Got Talent Debuts Next Week

By Ashley Ramos

The 3rd Annual Northwest Vista College’s Got Talent show is getting closer as production is under way for the big night on March 11 in the Palmetto Center of the Arts Theater.

The talent show is being hosted by The Cat Crew Programming Board, a group of students who put together entertaining programs on campus and will be hosted by Comedian BT. Performances will range from singing and dancing to reciting poetry and even band performances. Granted to the winners will be a $1000 scholarship to first place, $750 to second place, and $500 to third place.  

Scholarship money is the focus for at least one contestant, Alex Cavazos.

“I saw a flyer and saw that scholarships were going to be given to winners,” said Cavazos, the drummer from the Indies band Tokyo Nights, “I thought let me use my talents, I’m a drummer. I pay for school out of pocket with a little help from Financial Aid, but I could still use this scholarship.”

He and lead guitarist Justin Campbell; lead vocalist Vanessa Hernandez, and bass player Bob Flores composed an original song in just 1 night to perform at the show in hopes of becoming a contestant. And they succeeded. 

Other contestants are joining simply for the entertainment. Kevin Kyle Laurente, last year’s NVC’s Got Talent first place winner, knows what to expect.

“A variety of talented individuals, including Allison Valdivia and Cassandra Woodbum are both amazing people, and gifted in their own way,” said Laurente. This year Laurente will attempt to top his first place winning performance by partnering with Adam Blanco for a hip-hop inspired dance piece.

Kelly Blanco, Assistant Coordinator of Student Leadership and Activities, estimates that the Palmetto Theater will be full with around 400 people attending, similar to last year’s talent show. So whether you go to the NVC’s Got Talent show to perform or to have a fun night out, Blanco guarantees that you will be entertained.

“The talent we have here at Vista is amazing,” said Blanco.

Friday, March 11, Palmetto Center of the Arts Theater at 6 PM, don’t miss it.

Ashley Ramos is a Northwest Vista College student.