Best Wildlife Campus
Students and faculty relish the presence of eight young cranes relocated near campus in the fall of 2001. As part of a plan to reestablish a crane population in the area, the release is a joint effort of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The 325-acre Warner campus sits in the center of the drop-off area, the eastern half of Polk County. The campus is situated in an environment of half-marshy wetland and half-native woodland, perfect for the birds to establish colonies. “My personal opinion is that they found living in Florida ideal and did not want to migrate,” says Charlene Lawson, director of public relations.
Originally from Virginia, the cranes are turning heads across campus. “When these beautiful, tall, white cranes first appeared, some of us immediately got out our bird identification books to look them up,” Lawson says.
The small radio transmitters attached to their legs led many faculty members and students to wonder whether the birds were part of a conservation project. The cranes stand five feet tall, have an eight-foot wing span, and are easily identified by the bright red cap on their heads. —AS
Contact Lawson at email@example.com.
Students, faculty, and staff were divvied up and assigned to either the Stoer, Administration, or Library/Education building. Partnering with local food pantries, the school pitted the campus buildings against each other. The team who collected the most food and toys earned a pizza party. “The contest was designed to encourage social responsibility," says Steve Thomas, director of field placement.
This small school made one big bang with a collection total of 700 pounds of food and 239 toys. —EG
Contact Michael Anderson, director of student services, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While Atkinson started out looking for girls with good attitudes and athletic ability, she now relies significantly on TCC’s international reputation. “The players’ success is tracked by their home countries, and word gets around that we have a good program,” Atkinson says. “High school and club coaches tracking the progress of our team contact me with players they think would qualify.” TCC's squad currently has players from Sweden, Barbados, the Virgin Islands, England, and Trinidad.
Not only do the women have enough skill to travel the globe playing ball, but 90 percent of them maintain a 3.0 GPA or above. The contrasting cultures and backgrounds only add to the team spirit, Atkinson says.
Even though many colleges recruit internationally, TCC’s consistency makes the program strong. “We have a lot of international students, so the fact that we already may have a basketball player from their home countries gets the international students more involved,” Atkinson says. —CA
Contact Athletic Director Brian Anweiler at email@example.com.
Best Music Major
Contrary to popular opinion, steel pan can adapt to any genre of music including jazz, hip hop, and R&B. It isn’t just the cruise ship instrument that people usually think of. The FMC programs “allow people to understand the true possibilities of the instrument,” says Dr. Dawn Batson, steel pan instructor.
This Caribbean staple for musical expression, also known as steel drum, originated in Trinidad, where the worldwide Steel Pan Competition is held every two years. In 1998, the Florida Memorial Steel Band took home first prize and became the first winner ever outside of Trinidad. Last year, Florida Memorial students also earned first, second, and seventh places in the solo competitions.
Director of Music Dr. Alfred Pinkston says the steel pan major is a valuable addition. “It’s a source of pride for the whole college,” he says.
The awards got the music department some desperately needed attention and attracted students. Since 1996, the number of possible music majors has jumped from eight to 36, and classes that couldn’t be filled before are now at full capacity. The steel pan players alone are nearly 40 students strong.
“The major has allowed ‘panners’, as we call them, to pursue a musical degree,” Batson says. Generally, the instrument is one taught by oral tradition and finally with the steel pan major, students can get formal training to better their musical craft.
Now, FMC students are taking what they have learned to other schools. FMC has already established three different steel pan programs where students can intern and teach younger students about the instrument. In addition, the college has held two youth steel pan festivals just to enjoy the music, Batson says. —BF
Best College Cooking
When Pace Hall President J.C. Clark noticed how little the kitchen was being used, she decided to teach fellow students a little bit about cooking. Being a food connoisseur, Clark says, “Cooking is like a canvas--you start plain and create your own masterpiece.” Clark and friends planned a cooking show with a menu that included spaghetti, fried rice, and cookies. Residents learned how to fix the easy and cheap meal—everything cost less than $15.
Now Clark is trying to get the school’s TV station to broadcast a weekly cooking show.—EG
Contact Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 2006 Oxendine Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved