Make Yourself Make: An Art Student’s Reflection

Post by Mary Scarlett Greenway, senior art major

In January I had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in Europe with a great group of students – including fellow members of the art department. During our 11-day trip, we visited many great artistic and historical sites in Paris, Venice, Florence, Pisa and Rome.

As an art student seeking Art History credit, this was a dream. Getting to graduate on time by visiting practically the art capitals of the world seemed like cheating…and I wasn’t going to waste the opportunity. I wanted to remember every second and soak in each unique city as much as I could in such a short time.

In every city that I visited, I created a typography piece with the name of the city and held it up in front of an iconic landmark or scene (or at least, I did my best to do that – it really is hard to stop and take a picture of your journal when your leader moves at about 40 miles an hour and will leave you behind).

 

A project like this was incredibly fun and challenging – trying to capture the personality of a city in letter forms (without smudging anything on a rattling train).

In addition to my typography pieces, two other art students (Kayli Sommers and Josh Smith) and I agreed to make a conscious effort to sit down and sketch something in each city. So we did. We sketched the Arc de Triomphe, the courtyard of statues in the Louvre, Michelangelo’s statue of David in Florence, the Trevi Fountain in Rome and many others.

As an art student, the discipline of sketching things you see is often a hard one to hold yourself to – it’s at once a desire and a chore. But I cannot overstate how important and fulfilling it is to make it an instinct.

Despite all the little mistakes, I captured my experience in my journal in a way that I never could have with my camera. I remember every little side stop and place we got lost and times I almost cried (sometimes because of hunger but usually out of excitement and awe). I remember every bridge we crossed and alley we took and staircase we climbed (the stairs, the STAIRS). I remember all the shops – the little old print maker and the woman who made pigments and the aggressive leather salesmen in the streets.

Though I loved seeing every landmark and museum and cathedral, one of my favorite aspects of this trip was simply exploring the cities in our free time. My favorite city to explore was Venice by far. Never in my life have I seen such a cinematic city. Every back alley, every uneven street, every clothes line, every stretch of ivy, every hole-in-the-wall cannoli shop – they seemed so accidentally and authentically beautiful. I wanted to take all of it with me.

Hands down, I have never been on such an inspiring, exhausting, creatively stimulating trip in my life. Even if you aren’t an art student, I encourage you to draw something. Write something. Anything. Take down what you see and what you find interesting or funny or odd – no matter how trifling it seems. Don’t rely on Instagram or Facebook to keep your memories for you. Life reminds you how rare and beautiful it is when you don’t just look, but see. To my fellow art students, keep making.

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Follow Mary Scarlett on Instagram for more images of her impressive work: @mary.scarlett

 

Meet Our Students – Part 3

Union students work hard and set lofty goals. They enjoy building community, pursuing leadership roles and having fun. Here are just a few of the stellar students we would like you to meet.

Part 1 | Part 2

 


 

Austin Orr

Austin Orr – exercise science/wellness major from Jackson, Tennessee

“Pretty much every aspect of campus life I’m involved with, either in class or on the field, faith is always that overarching theme that ties everything together about Union.”

Learn more about Austin here.

 

 


 

Ryne Roper

Ryne Roper – elementary education major from Harrisburg, Illinois

“The sense of community that Union brings is very different and something I was really longing for. It’s been nothing short of remarkable.”

Read more about Ryne’s Union story here.

 

 


 

Bailey Howell

Bailey Howell – teaching English as a second language major from Jackson, Tennessee

“I look at my time at Union so far, and I think that the tight-knit community with the professors and staff and students here makes it exactly what I want. I’m the person I am today because of a lot of people at Union.”

Read more about Bailey here.

Cell Biology Project Uses Bio-Rad qPCR

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Students in the department of biology have been working throughout the summer on research projects. Many of the projects, including Benton Hurt’s, are focused on the thyroid and thyroid irregularities.

Benton is a senior cell and molecular biology major, and his project is focused specifically on how cells regulate the thyroid under different types of stress.

“We’re looking to see if there is a marked difference in RNA expression in the macrophages, which are immune cells,” Benton said. “The goal ties into broader research going on in the department to better understand hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.”

William Thierfelder, associate professor of biology, has been working on the project with Benton. He said some of the things they are studying are possible because of new equipment provided by donors.

“This machine, the Bio-Rad qPCR, is a complex piece of machinery,” he said. “But it basically allows us to measure gene expression in these cells.”

Thierfelder said the research may help find ways of treating thyroid irregularities that cause metabolism issues and other symptoms. Benton said even though the project does not sound exciting to most people, he has enjoyed the process.

“It’s nice to be able to work on something like this and later be able to see how it ties into the bigger picture,” he said. “We’re not looking for a major discovery, but every part of the research is important.”

Story by Nathan Handley, photos by Kristi Woody

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Meet Our Students – Part 2

Union students work hard and set lofty goals. They enjoy building community, pursuing leadership roles and having fun. Here are just a few of the stellar students we would like you to meet.

Part 1


 

Reeves Garrett

Reeves Garrett – Biblical Studies major from Brownsville, Tennessee

“I like that Union’s community as a whole is pretty organic. Students build relationships because we’re a small campus – small enough that you can know a lot of people but big enough that you can always meet someone new.”

Learn more about Reeves here.

 


 

Emily Easter

Emily Easter – conservation biology major from Hendersonville, Tennessee

“I left Union [the day that I visited], and I remember thinking, ‘How am I ever going to decide where I want to go to school if every college campus feels like this?’ And none of the other ones ever did.”

Read more of Emily’s story here.

 

 


 

Joshua Stucky

Joshua Stucky – mathematics and computer science major from Maryville, Tennessee

“Having the skills that you learn in upper level mathematics allows me to better engage in theological discussions and philosophical discussions about God’s nature.”

Read more about Joshua here.

Meet Our Students – Part 1

Union students work hard and set lofty goals. They enjoy building community, pursuing leadership roles and having fun. Here are just a few of the stellar students we would like you to meet.


 

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Daniel Roberts – accounting major from Germantown, Tennessee

“I felt as if the community at Union cared about growing me as a whole instead of just giving me a degree. I saw how much the faculty wanted to relate to me spiritually, academically and relationally. After the past three years, I can see exactly why Union was such a great decision.”

Learn more about Daniel here.

 


 

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Eugenia Nestico – public relations major from Monroe, Washington

“It wasn’t until I came during registration that the Lord truly made it clear that this was where I needed to go. I was expecting it to be somewhat different from how it was portrayed online, but to my surprise, it remained very true to all I had read about it and heard from family and friends.”

Read more of Eugenia’s story here.

 


 

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Adam Reinhard – nursing major from Martin, Tennessee

“My favorite thing about Union is the people here. I have made lifelong relationships and built some incredible friendships.”

See more about why Adam loves Union here.

Union EDGE – It’s All About The Eggs

Post by Jennifer Graves, director of The Union EDGE

Recently I was at a family gathering and was asked about our Union EDGE Program and how it was going. We are teaching our students how to cook, and we had just had our very first cooking lab. For those who know me, I’m not the cooking teacher!   My assistant director, Kevin Ung, is the head chef for the Union EDGE program. The first lesson for our students was cooking eggs. Kevin demonstrated to his eager students how to scramble eggs, fry eggs, make eggs over-easy, and how to make an omelet. Each person chose the type of eggs that he or she wanted to make, and there were examples of each type.   Ethan likes his eggs fried. Seth wanted scrambled. Taylor does not really like eggs, but had fun making them. All eight students enjoyed learning a new skill. You see, the EDGE program is all about building independence. It is about teaching skills that will allow our students to be productive, independent, and safe in the community that we all share.

Two EDGE students enjoy learning to cook eggs in class

Back to the family gathering. As I shared all about the program and what it meant to each of our student students, one person said, “It really is all about the eggs.” Yes, it is. EDGE is about eggs last week, sandwiches the next, and vegetables in the near future. It is about living life.

Jennifer Graves is the director of the new Union EDGE program, which is a two year, 48-hour Postsecondary Education Program for students with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (IDD). This program is based on the Think College national standards. To find out more, check out our website. Below are some photos taken during EDGE events.

Union EDGE employees

Kelsey laughs with her mentors during the kick-off event.

Faculty mingle with EDGE students during the kick-off event The first group of Union EDGE students Blanche participates in a music therapy lesson with her mentors Maria participates in an art therapy lesson with her mentors Seth participates in an art therapy lesson with his mentors. Faculty and staff mingle with EDGE students at a shower hosted by the first lady of the university.

Rogers inherits her father’s love for Union

Lisa Rogers, portrait inside the Jackson ClinicLisa Rogers didn’t just learn about Union University when she started considering where to attend college. She had known about it all her life.

“My dad attended Union, and he was Union’s biggest fan,” Rogers says.

Rogers, a 1983 Union University graduate and a physician in obstetrics and gynecology with the Jackson Clinic, is the daughter of Melvin Williams, who was a longtime Baptist pastor in western Kentucky and West Tennessee.

“It was his habit to take juniors and seniors from his church to Union and make sure they had seen the campus and encouraged them in attending Union,” Rogers says. “They joked that he was an admissions counselor who was not on the payroll. He strongly believed in Union’s mission.”

Rogers had scholarship offers from other schools but said Union was where she felt she belonged. Participating in the Rising Senior Program as a high school senior solidified her decision to come to Union, and that’s a decision she has never regretted.

“It was a great place to grow, to have exposure to many different facets of life that I really had not seen before, to have professors who invested themselves in me, spent time with me, encouraged me, advised me, helped me to achieve my goals,” Rogers says. “Academically I was very well prepared to achieve my goals.”

Though those goals in high school included becoming a nurse, Rogers changed her mind when a friend encouraged her to become a doctor. She discussed it with her parents and prayed about the decision before determining God was leading her in that direction.

While at Union, she heard speakers such as Paul Brand, a missionary to India who took care of leprosy patients. Brand helped her to view medicine in a different light, and she says exposure to such speakers helped her to mature spiritually and to focus on practicing medicine in a way that showed the love of Christ.

Rogers with Phi Beta Chi members in 1981 yearbook

Lisa Rogers, second from right in the middle row, with fellow Phi Beta Chi members in the 1981 Lest We Forget. Phi Beta Chi was an honors physical science club.

Rogers’ involvement with Union didn’t end with her graduation. She became a trustee in 1999 and a few weeks ago was elected as chairman of Union’s Board of Trustees.

Like her father, she sees Union as a place where young people are taught to live out their faith in Christ in whatever their vocation.

“It’s great to see my alma mater continuing its mission,” she says. “Some other schools have felt they have to compromise their academic standards to keep their commitment to biblical truth, but Union strives for excellence. It’s an honor to be involved.”

Lisa Rogers talking to the pharmacist at the Jackson Clinic

Lisa Rogers in the Jackson Clinic

Residence Life Field Day and The 2015 Union Cup

On Monday evening, the Residence Life team hosted Field Day outside of the Bowld Student Commons. Over the course of the year, teams of students represented their residence hall buildings in competitions. In each competition, the teams could win points toward the final prize: The Union Cup. Two teams were neck and neck throughout the year, and the final points earned at Field Day were crucial for winning. Ultimately the men of Grey won the cup, with Ayers 1 picking up second place. Both teams did excellently and made their RAs proud!

Eleven buildings were represented in the final competition, which consisted of four relays. The prize that came along with the spectacular trophy was a steak dinner for the winning team. Winners of the individual relays also won prizes such as candy and gift cards. Congratulations to the winners! 

Below are several photos taken during Field Day. Click image to make it large and scroll through the gallery.

Meet Our Student Bloggers

Throughout this semester, we’ve had a few students pen some blog posts about their first year at Union. The students have done a great job portraying what it’s like to be here, and we are looking forward to hearing even more from them next semester. We thought it would be nice to have a proper introduction to these wonderful students who have given so willingly of their time to blog for us, so without further ado, meet our bloggers!

Josiah Murphy headshot Josiah Murphy, freshman Christian studies major.

  • Favorite food in the Brewer Dining Hall – corn nuggets
  • Favorite place to go in Jackson – Waffle House
  • Favorite movie – Forrest Gump
  • Hidden talent – It’s still hidden from me!
  • Farthest I’ve travelled – Jamaica
  • Why I picked Union – I picked Union because during my visit I met a group with whom I immediately connected and wanted to spend time. My sister also attended Union and the school treated us all like family and I really appreciated that.
  • Extracurricular Activities – Greek life; Student Ambassador; Buster the Bulldog mascot

Chandler Bell headshot Chandler Bell, freshman accounting major

  • Favorite band – Coldplay
  • Favorite food in the Brewer Dining Hall – Wrap Wednesday
  • Favorite place to go in Jackson – Kroger
  • Favorite book – The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • Hidden talent – It wouldn’t be hidden if I told you
  • Farthest I’ve travelled – El Salvador
  • Why I picked Union – The community here is something you can’t find anywhere else.  You’re genuinely cared for.
  • Extracurricular Activities – Freshman council and Greek Life

EmilyJohnson-200 Emily Johnson, freshman biology major

  • Favorite band – Right now, probably the Oh Hellos, although it will likely change in a week!
  • Favorite food in the Brewer Dining Hall – the mac and cheese, for sure
  • Favorite place to go in Jackson – I enjoy going to Alba, a coffee shop downtown. It is definitely the best place to study off campus. Plus, their coffee is incredible!
  • Favorite book – Right now, one of my favorite books is Manalive by G.K. Chesterton.
  • Hidden talent – I am creepily adept at picking objects up with my feet.
  • Farthest I’ve travelled – The glorious Rocky Mountains in Colorado.
  • Why I picked Union – Both my sisters had the privilege of attending Union, and I fell in love with it through them! Union is genuinely Christ-centered, and the community is welcoming and encouraging. I can’t imagine going to school anywhere else!
  • Extracurricular Activities – Student Government Association

StevenCutliff-200Stephen Cutliff, freshman international business major

  • Favorite band – Maroon 5, Rascal Flatts, and Mumford And Sons
  • Favorite food in the Brewer Dining Hall – pepperoni pizza and french fries
  • Favorite place to go in Jackson – movie theater (Jackson 16)
  • Favorite book – the Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher
  • Hidden talent – I’m really flexible
  • Farthest I’ve travelled – Neply, Haiti
  • Why I picked Union – I really wanted to go to a Christian college. Union seemed like a college that really cared about me. They also offered good scholarships and I was able to get a job on campus.
  • Extracurricular Activities – Student Activities Council and Men’s Choir

Yee Eun Lee headshot Yee Eun Lee, freshman pre-professional major

  • Favorite musician – Bruno Mars
  • Favorite food in the Brewer Dining Hall – chocolate ice cream
  • Favorite place to go in Jackson – Alba (coffee shop downtown)
  • Hidden talent – rugby, I was on my high school’s team
  • Farthest I’ve travelled – Philippines and Korea
  • Why I picked Union – God called me to come to Union
  • Extracurricular Activities – BIOME, SMACS (American Chemical Society), and the International Students Organization

New Student Move-in Day at Union University

Life Group leaders welcome new students to campus with signs and much excitement

Each year the entire Union University community comes together for one reason: to welcome its newest members. New students arrive on campus to the energetic cheering of several Life Group leaders. They and their families make their way to the Fred DeLay Gymnasium to check in with Residence Life for keys, as well as to collect car tags, post office box numbers, etc.. Once checked in, they head over to the residence complexes, only to find out that they no longer have the burden of unloading their belongings. The car/truck/trailer that took hours to pack, will take minutes to unpack due to the hundreds of faculty, staff, Union friends and upperclassmen who come to help unload. Anyone who has ever moved into Union will tell you what a relief that crowd of helpers is! We are wrapping up another fantastic move-in day, and new students are beginning Focus, which is full of fun activities to acquaint them with Union. We hope you enjoy these photos from the morning, and if you are a new student, welcome to Union!

Life Group leaders welcome new students to campus with signs and much excitement New students check in with res life to get their room keys New students check in with various departments on campus Karen Taylor welcomes new students and their families Renee Jones carries a box for a new student Union employees and student leaders help new students move in A sign is displayed in a window: Welcome to Union Life group leaders help new students move in Jim Avery helps a Union parent unload his truck. Campus is a buzz with activity on move-in day Buster carries a mirror up to a new student's room Buster doling out high-fives Buster posing with an SGA officer

 

Short video from the day: