Forever Bulldogs – Homecoming 2018

The Union University community gathered to celebrate alumni and current students during Homecoming weekend Nov. 1-3. Events included a 50 year reunion for the class of 1969, food and games on the Great Lawn, basketball and volleyball games and the crowning of the 2018 homecoming queen.

We’ve put together our favorite photos from the events of the weekend here for you all to enjoy.

Bulldog Olympics, student competition. Photos by Lynn Tucker

Class of 1969 welcome, mix and mingle. Photos by Kristi Woody

Homecoming chapel, featuring members of the Class of 1969 and the presentation of the gift from the Class of 1968. Photos by Kristi Woody

Meritorious Service Awards Banquet with 14 awards given. Photos by Kristi Woody

Bulldog Madness. Photos by Joey Echeverria

Basketball games: Lady Bulldogs vs. Martin Methodist and Bulldogs vs. Freed Hardeman. Photos by Riley Boggs and Kristi Woody

President’s Cup winners SAE; Mr. & Miss Union, Grant Allen and Corinne Olund; and Homecoming Queen 2018, Sallie Norman. Photos by Kristi Woody

Forever Bulldogs event on the Great Lawn. Photos by Joey Echeverria and Kristi Woody

Blank Slate Improv performance. Photos by Nikki Grim

Anthem Lights performance. Photos by Nikki Grim and Kristi Woody

The Value and Purpose of Pharmacy

Post written by Drew Wells, doctor of pharmacy student

DrewSills_0003Pharmacy was an interest of mine for several years before entering pharmacy school. I liked the idea of developing a vast knowledge of medications and incorporating that directly into patient care.

But being a pharmacist is more than counting pills, knowing mechanism of actions, counseling patients on side effects of medications, or catching drug-drug interactions. While that is a major part of our skillset and training, we have more to offer!

Pharmacists serve as a first-line resource for patients. Pharmacists listen to patients’ stories and enjoy seeing a smile on a patient’s face. Pharmacists see a patient struggling with a diagnosis or at a low moment in life. Pharmacists must be ready to meet people where they are and serve them well!

Union’s College of Pharmacy is a great place to be educated, trained, equipped, and mentored to be a great pharmacist. A pharmacist willing to take the time to invest in patients and provide comprehensive care. A pharmacist who understands the potential impact one can have on a patient’s life. The comprehensive training Union provides, ranging from learning the details of the human body in gross anatomy to discussing moral and ethical considerations, has only strengthened my passion and desire to be a pharmacist.

Pharmacy has already taught me many skills and lessons. I have learned how to study efficiently, manage my time, effectively communicate, and serve my peers and patients. Most importantly, I have learned how to rest in God’s grace. The latter of those lessons seems increasingly important each and every day. No matter if you are in the grind of a long semester of pharmacy school or entering into a busy season of life, learning to rest in God’s grace is a must.

God does not need our work to keep him on his throne. He is the one who leaves his throne to work for us. Trusting God in your work means learning to put it to the side and enthrone him in your rest. To trust God in my work has brought joy, confidence, and reassurance that my desire to serve people as a pharmacist has true value and a greater purpose. I am excited to see God’s plan continue to unfold here at Union and in my future career as a pharmacist.

 

Family Weekend Photos – 2018

Last weekend was our annual Family Weekend. There were various family-oriented events on campus such as a corn-hole tournament, ultimate frisbee game, and Union Night with fireworks. Here are some of our favorite photos from the events of the weekend.

Photos by Kristi Woody, Joey Echeverria, Nikki Grim, Lynn Tucker

 

 

Engineering Professor on Research Sabbatical in Germany

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For Georg Pingen, his sabbatical during this fall semester was an opportunity to go home.

Pingen, originally from Germany, is spending the fall semester doing research at a University in Aachen, Germany — RWTH Aachen. Since most of his time as an associate professor of engineering at Union is spent teaching, the sabbatical is an opportunity for Pingen to devote himself full-time to scholarly projects and research that began during his days as a doctoral student.

The work is technical and complex in nature.

“We try to develop models that help engineers improve their designs so that the engineering design process can be accelerated or enhanced — so that when we’re getting into a new area of engineering, not everything takes us as long as it took us from the Wright Brothers’ first plane to the jet planes that we have today,” Pingen said.

“If we want to build something, let’s say we want to design a small bio-medical sensor, we don’t want to spend 100 years to arrive at a good design,” he explains. “And so coming up with computer models that can help in the design process is the underlying goal of the work that I’m doing.”

The research flowed from Pingen’s doctoral studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder.  He’s continued working with students and researchers there over the last eight years. Some of the theory they are trying to implement was developed by the applied math department at RWTH Aachen, a prestigious engineering, science and mathematics institution.

Over the years, he has met some of his colleagues from Aachen at different conferences, and Pingen says his time in Germany thus far has been an outstanding opportunity to work with those mathematicians on a day-to-day basis.

“To be honest, we’ve been stuck a little bit with trying to implement the theory that they have developed in Aachen into our computer model,” Pingen says. “And so it has been nice to just get up from my desk, walk over into the next office, and talk to Dr. Torrilhon or one of his graduate students who actually developed the theory.”

Pingen’s research allows him to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the engineering field, but it also gives him an opportunity to include Union students in his work.

“I just exchanged a text message with Gabriel Garneau, who is one of our current seniors in the engineering program,” Pingen says. “He is working on a project with me that’s directly related to the work that I’m doing in Aachen.”

In addition to the professional benefits that Pingen is deriving from his time in Germany, he’s enjoying the personal side of things, too. His wife Betsy and their three sons are with him, and the university in Aachen is only about 30 minutes from Pingen’s parents.

After growing up in Germany, Pingen came to the United States in high school as an exchange student at Jackson Christian School. He met Betsy during his time at JCS and convinced his parents that he needed to go to college where Betsy did. So he followed her to Samford University for his undergraduate work.

The Pingens are looking for a church home in Germany, and although the Christian communities in Germany are smaller than those in the United States, Pingen says there are some vibrant evangelical churches.

He’ll be in Germany until early January and will resume his teaching responsibilities at Union in the spring semester.

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Students Celebrate Arbor Day by Expanding Union Arboretum

Mark Bolyard, university professor of biology, and Michael Schiebout, associate professor of biology, went out this week with about 15 students to plant nine varieties of trees around campus to celebrate Arbor Day.

These additions bring the total trees in the Union University Arboretum to about 60. Students also helped place signs beside existing trees on campus, which will help educate visitors on what is planted here. Bolyard said he looks forward to continuing this tradition for Campus and Community Day each fall and Arbor Day each spring.

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The trees planted this week:

  1. Two Monkey Puzzle trees. These are endangered in their native range, and there are few of them planted in the state of Tennessee. They are unusual looking evergreen trees native to Chile (pictured above).
  2. Two small Catalpa trees, with plans to add a third one, which should become medium sized flowering trees.
  3. Shumard oak, which should have nice fall color.
  4. Burr oak
  5. Warei oak
  6. Black poplar
  7. Black Alder
  8. Kentucky coffee tree
  9. Basswood, which replaces a tree near the BAC that was struggling.

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Comm Arts Students Intern with MLK50 Event

Post by Austin Maddox, public relations major

I am a huge fan of several different Christian publications. Articles from websites such as Desiring God, Radical, The Gospel Coalition and the ERLC fill my news feeds from various social platforms throughout any given day.

Often, I will read an article that catches my attention, be inspired or convicted, and then share with close friends who I know will appreciate the content as well. There have even been times where we have joked about how incredible it would be to write and work for one of these publications alongside the great minds of John Piper, Kevin DeYoung or Russell Moore. What a dream that would be.

So, you can imagine how I felt when my adviser, Ashley Blair, offered me an internship with the ERLC for their MLK50 event in Memphis.

As soon as I receive the email, I freaked out. The ERLC? Are you kidding? I transferred from my community college in the fall of 2017 and had only been at Union University for a full semester at this point, and I was already getting unbelievable opportunities to serve in my desired field. It was nuts!

Of course, I accepted the offer, and on April 3-4, I woke up at 5:30 a.m., put on a tie (which felt super cool), and Corinne Olund and I headed to Memphis with nerves and excitement filling our spirits. The entire trip down we talked about what we would possibly be doing, as well as praising God for generously giving us such an amazing chance to work with a prestigious organization such as the ERLC.

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I can honestly say that those two days were probably some of the busiest of my life. As soon as we arrived, we met with Dan Darling, VP for communications for the ERLC, and talked about our life goals and why chose to study public relations. The meeting ended with a valuable offer for a recommendation whenever we needed one, and possible future job offers.

Afterwards, we worked alongside Elizabeth Bristow, press secretary for the ERLC. She showed us the ropes on her job during events like this, such as organizing the press that would come to interview the speakers, as well as keeping up with the buzz about the event on social media and writing press releases and emails. It was a very eye-opening experience.

Not only did we work hard, but we also got the opportunity to meet some of my personal role models, such as Russell Moore, Matt Chandler and John Piper. It was such a surreal experience.

After the work was done the last day, Corinne and I said our goodbyes to all of our new friends at the ERLC and headed back towards Union. The whole way home we talked about our experience, and how thankful we are for a school that values their students, knows them personally and matches them with opportunities that will further their professional careers and allow personal growth.

I can’t thank you enough, Union Communication Arts!

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Snow Days – January 2018

Union University has experienced an unusually snowy and cold January so far. The days off have given students and alumni in the area plenty of opportunities to get out and play in the snow. Here are a few of our favorite photos taken by our staff photographer, Kristi Woody, as well as photos submitted by students and alumni.

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Below are images submitted by students and alumni in the area.

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Top Ten Photos of 2017

Throughout the year, staff photographer Kristi Woody and four student photographers took more than 40,000 photos documenting life at Union University. Here are 10 photos from 2017 that give an overview of the year at Union. We are looking forward to even more great moments in 2018!

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For Variety Show, members of Chi Omega performed a Mario-themed number complete with Mario, Luigi and Princess Peach. Their performance won them first place in the large group category. Photo by Gretchen Foels.

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Dr. Dub Oliver, president of the university, walks out of The Logos with Buster the Bulldog. Photo by Kristi Woody.

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Members of the Bulldog soccer team celebrate after scoring a goal against Auburn University Montgomery. Photo by Hannah Heckart.

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The New Respects, who Rolling Stone described as “funky, exuberant blues-rock,” performed in Barefoots Joe in the fall. Photo by Gretchen Foels.

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On Aug. 21, Jackson experienced 96 percent totality during a solar eclipse. The event coincided with Welcome Week, so new students gathered on the Great Lawn to observe the eclipse. The physics department gave a short presentation and had viewing instruments out for use. Photo by Kristi Woody.

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The Union University players performed in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead under the direction of David Burke, professor of theatre, in the W.D. Powell Theatre. Photo by Kristi Woody.

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Each building in the residence life complexes forms a team of students that competes for points throughout the year. These points are tallied up at the end of the spring semester, and the Union Cup is awarded to the team with the most points. The final event in the competition is Field Day, where students compete in a balloon toss. Photo by Kristi Woody.

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Fireworks go off at the conclusion of Union Night during Family Weekend. Photo by Kristi Woody.

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Undergraduate Admissions passed out free stadium horns during a community appreciation event at a soccer game. This event coincided with Bulldog Days so several prospective students had the opportunity to enjoy a Bulldog sporting event during their stay. Photo by Kristi Woody.

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The Student Government Association hosted a Christmas tree lighting outside of The Logos with the hope that it will become a new Union tradition. Students sang a few Christmas songs and enjoyed some hot chocolate before the tree was lit. Photo by Kristi Woody.

Organizational Behavior class presents to West TN Healthcare

A few weeks ago Laura Ladymon from West Tennessee Healthcare was invited to speak in Dr. Emily Lean’s Organizational Behavior course about problems they are having recruiting and retaining Millennial employees.

West Tennessee Healthcare is the largest employer in West Tennessee, so a high turnover rate with the majority of those leaving being Millennials was a serious concern for them. Over the course of several weeks, students prepared and presented their ideas to the class as to how they would improve the current strategies at West Tennessee Healthcare.

The best ideas and presenters were combined into one large presentation which was given in the J. Walter Barnes Auditorium at the Jackson Madison County General Hospital on Nov. 2. Junior and senior business students went before multiple WTH directors, human resources, benefits, and recruiting coordinators to offer their research findings and suggestions.

Additional interested community members such as individuals from the Chamber of Commerce were also in attendance at the presentation. The audience of approximately 100 people included many former and current Union MBA students. The presentation team was composed of Brooke Fisher, Gillian Gandy, Emily Swope, Matthew Grove, Blake Karnes, Daniel Turner, Casper Nyberg and Caleb DeMarigny. These students were the perfect example of professionalism and were excellent ambassadors for Union University.

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Interprofessional Mega-Simulation

171111_KMW_InterdisciplinarySimulation_022Union University held its first interprofessional mega-simulation Nov. 11. Interprofessional Education (IPE) occurs when students learn about, from and with other health care providers.

This IPE learning activity was designed to allow health care professional students from the College of Pharmacy, the School of Nursing and the School of Social Work to work together to provide patient care. Additionally, students from the theater department made this simulation more life-like by serving as family members of the patient. The objective of the simulation was to allow students to demonstrate IPE competencies to practice as collaborative health care team members.

171111_KMW_InterdisciplinarySimulation_037Forty health care teams that participated in the simulation, each composed of one or two students from each of the three disciplines. As the students worked together to provide care for their patient and for family members, this simulation allowed them to identify not only their own roles and responsibilities, but also those of other team members.

During debriefing sessions after the simulation exercise, students described the activity with words such as fun, intense, stressful, challenging and confidence booster. Students said the activity increased their realization of the importance of communication and collaboration in providing patient care.

They also walked away from the activity with a greater appreciation of the other disciplines on their team. Students reported that they better understand the importance of relationships with other health care team members and learned skills that will help them in their future practice.

Post by Kim Lindsey-Goodrich, photos by Kristi Woody

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