Tag Archives: Students

Student Athlete Spotlight: Hannah Hinson

Mason Teague, Staff Writer

A ton of athletes across different sports tell about how they have always loved playing their sport ever since they were a little kid. In the case of junior women’s track & field student-athlete Hannah Hinson of Suffolk, Va., being a thrower began during her freshman year in high school.

At a football game her freshman year, Hinson was approached by a P.E. teacher, who encouraged her to come out for throwing on the school’s track & field team that spring.  She decided to take the chance and try out, which proved to be one of the best choices she ever made.

“I immediately fell in love with throwing when I started,” says Hinson.  “It felt really natural from the beginning and I knew that it was something that I wanted to get good at.”

Hinson threw discus and shotput all four years of high school at Kings Fork High, and decided her senior year to pursue her passion at the collegiate level at Wingate.  The transition from throwing in high school to college, however, was a lot more difficult than she anticipated.

“It was definitely a big change in terms of the different training styles between high school and college, as well as how much more the coaching staff at Wingate demands of you than high school coaches,” says Hinson.“But the coaches at Wingate have pushed me to be better every day since I’ve been here, which really helped me to get used to everything very quickly.”

Hinson throws hammer, discus and shotput for the outdoor and indoor Women’s Track & Field team, and has had a large amount of success in the two years she has participated.  She broke the school record for indoor hammer throw, also known as weight throw, at the JDL Fast Track Meet in 2016, as well as winning All-SAC honors for hammer throw (2016, 2017) and discus (2017).

As she continues to challenge herself each season, Hinson has created two personal goals for herself during her junior season.

“I want to be the first thrower in Wingate history to make Nationals for indoor this year,” says Hinson.  “I also want to win discus and hammer throw in the SAC for outdoor this year.”

As the new season begins, Hinson sees a lot of potential for her team as they compete against other schools in the SAC conference.

“We challenge each other every day by competing against one another to be the best at our sport out of the entire team,” Hinson says.“I believe that this healthy competition is going to help us when we compete against other throwers because we will already have that competitive edge that we give one another on the team.”


Edited by Brendan Shriver


VITA club students are helping those in the community to file their taxes

Savanna Harris, Staff Writer

It’s always refreshing to hear that the people in your community are helping those in need. What’s even better is when those volunteers are coming from your very own college campus.

Part of the Wingate University mission statement is to take advantage of opportunities to go beyond the campus itself and make a difference, and that is exactly what the students of VITA are doing.

Photo Credit: Savanna Harris

VITA, or Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, is a nationwide program that offers free income tax preparation not only to low-income families, but to people with disabilities, people who speak limited English, and to the elderly, as well. The Wingate University branch of the program was started in 2008 by Dr. Bob Threatt, Assistant Professor of Accounting. His goal was to apply the knowledge of the Business School in a way that would make a significant impact and comply with the service component of the Wingate mission statement.

One of the most surprising aspects of this program is that there are no prerequisite requirements to be a volunteer. If a student desires to be apart of the program, they must only pass three online IRS tests. Before the tests, they are given IRS booklets to study over the holiday break.

The entire process also counts as a three-credit course and a ninety hour internship. Students must put in approximately fifty hours of studying and preparation, and approximately forty hours of doing the actual tax returns.

It is very student friendly due to the fact that the volunteer hours are not demanding. The volunteers simply send in a schedule to the VITA headquarters in Monroe stating the days and times that they are available.

It is no surprise that this program has been remarkably successful during its ten years of operation. According to Dr. Threatt, all of the feedback he has received has been positive, and Union County particularly enjoys having Wingate students volunteer.

During our interview, he recalled a time when the IRS sent an agent to come review the overall performance of the student volunteers, as well as how well our branch of the program was running. The agent went as far as to say that this was one of the best VITA locations he had ever visited, and that he was greatly impressed at how the students interacted with their clients.

Luis Aguilar, finance major, and Beau Hildebrand, accounting major, both of whom are seniors and VITA volunteers, reflected on how VITA has changed their own lives, as well as the lives of those they have helped.

Aguilar described feeling humbled, and called to mind a specific memory with a client of his. “I remember helping one lady who had two little kids. Her family was very cute and you could definitely see the unity.”

Hildebrand gave a different perspective, going on to say, “I haven’t officially started working yet, but so far I’ve had a great experience learning about the tax process, and I look forward to getting to know the people I work with better.”

All in all, there have been sixty-eight Wingate University students who have participated in VITA, completing an average of forty tax returns each, equalling around 2,700 tax returns throughout ten years.

Our volunteers have gotten a total of $6,646,160 in tax refunds for their clients. In the fine words of Dr. Threatt, “It has been much more than I ever dreamed it would be.”

Edited by: Brea Childs

Wingate football beats Pembroke to remain undefeated and advances in AFCA ranking

Sarah Thurman Staff Writer

After a big win at home on Saturday against UNC-Pembroke,  the undefeated Wingate Bulldogs will be on the road for their next two football games.

Wingate, 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the South Atlantic Conference, will travel to Salisbury to play Catawba on Saturday and to Mars Hill on Oct. 21. Both games will kick off at 1:30 p.m.

The next home game will be against Newberry at Irwin Belk Stadium on Oct. 28, at 6 p.m.

The Bulldogs are one of only two undefeated teams playing NCAA football in North Carolina (the other one is North Carolina A&T) after taking a 31-28 victory over UNC-Pembroke (1-5).

Wingate is ranked No. 24 nationally in this week’s  AFCA/NCAA Division II Coaches’ top 25 poll. It’s the first time we’ve been in the rankings this season

Wide receiver Jay Hood scored the winning touchdown on a 14-yard pass from quarterback James Whitaker with 1:34 left in the game. Senior running back Lawrence Pittman ran for 165 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries.

It was the first time the two teams had played each other since the 2014 season. Wingate leads the all-time series 6-3.

The game was the first for the Bulldogs since a 22-14 win at Lenoir-Rhyne on Sept. 23.

In that game, Pittman rushed 37 times for 127 yards and one touchdown. Redshirt senior place kicker Freddy McCollum made a career-high three field goals for Wingate.

By the end of first quarter Wingate led 3-0 with McCollum scoring a 19-yard field goal. At halftime L-R got the lead with a 9-yard touchdown run. But Wingate regained the lead at 10-7 on Whitakers 16-yard touchdown pass to Malik Bledsoe.

In the third quarter, McCollum kicked a 21-yard field goal for a 13-7 lead

During the fourth quarter Pittman got a 3-yard touchdown run and with 3:12 on the clock, McCollum scored a 31-yard field goal, making the score 22-7.

L-Rs Nelson Brown got a 1-yard touchdown run for the final 22-14 score.

Edited by: Brea Childs

Photo Credit: Wingate Athletics Website

Dreamers of Wingate share their stories 

Savanna Harris, Staff Writer

DACA has been a hot news topic in recent weeks since the Trump Administration announced that the policy will be allowed to expire. But, what exactly is DACA?

Simply put, DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is a program that was put into place by President Barack Obama in 2012 to protect children of undocumented immigrants from deportation.

It also allows them to acquire important documents, such as work permits and driver’s licenses. Not only that, DACA is the reason that many of these children, who have been dubbed “dreamers,” are able to attend college. This includes students right here at Wingate, who are currently faced with possibly having to return to their birth countries in the midst of obtaining a  college education.

Affected students on campus knew that more people needed to be made aware of what is happening to them and many others, so the Latino Club sponsored a Lyceum last Wednesday, appropriately named, “Dreamers of Wingate.” The event also was supported by the Modern Languages and History and Political Science departments.

At the event, political science faculty member Dr. Steven Hyland, who was the host; the pastor of a local church; an immigration lawyer; and three of our DACA students all came together to tell their stories.

Father Benjamin Roberts, pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Monroe, began by giving an emotional perspective. He said, “We want to maintain a vision of people, not numbers,” in reference to many viewpoints on immigration being based on the number of people who come here instead of why they come here. His speech paved the way for the informational portion of the program.

Following Father Roberts, Cynthia Aziz, an immigration lawyer who works out of Charlotte, provided details about the specific conditions and requirements of DACA, and gave insight into how it is being handled in Washington D.C. “DACA has become a political football, and it shouldn’t have. It was meant to be a humanitarian act,” she said.

She also went on to say that she has clients from places all over the world, such as Canada and even Lebanon, contrary to the stereotype that most or all of DACA recipients come from Central America or Mexico. The audience listened with great interest, but when the students began to recount their own personal experiences, all eyes were on them.

Alicia Rubio Gomez, sophomore, was the first of the students to speak. She described in great detail how it constantly feels as though she is up against a great opposition. “Regardless of the support, the thing that hangs in the backs of our minds are those who hate us,” said Alicia, whose parents brought her to this country from Mexico and settled in Lawrenceville, Ga.

Despite her struggles, the main one being unable to apply for colleges in Georgia, Gomez was able to come here thanks to a full scholarship designed specifically for DACA students.

Cristo Carrasco, from Charlotte, shared a similar experience, and said it has pushed him to do better. “DACA has personally influenced me to work harder, because I have been forced to carry the weight of being a ‘dreamer’ on my shoulders,” he said.

Maria Perez, freshman from Gainesville, Ga., closed out the Lyceum with the heartbreaking story of her father being deported, and went on to say that ultimately, she was not discouraged even through the heartbreak. “We will fight for a permanent solution,” she said.

Dr. Hyland said that recent polls indicate that a great majority of Americans support the right for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children to become legal residents.

He said  he was pleased with the turnout of about 320 people for the event, which included students, faculty, staff and community members.“I think it was an important display of interest in DACA and its impact on Wingate and of solidarity on the part of our students for their fellow classmates and peers,” he said.

Edited by: Brea Childs

Wingate’s Pep band prepares to bring more excitement to the new athletic season

Ryan McKeel, Staff Writer

Wingate University’s Pep Band gears up for the first home game of the 2017 season on Saturday, September 16 at 6:00 PM at Irwin Belk Stadium.

The Pep Band, Wingate’s premiere athletic performing ensemble, has been under the direction of Dr. Dawn Price, Associate Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Wingate University, for ten years.

With performances at select Volleyball games as well as all home Football games, the Pep Band strives to bring Wingate spirit to any game they attend. “My favorite Pep Band activity, besides playing music, is helping engage the crowd in cheering on the sports teams,” said Junior Dariyhn Lee.

A common theme in both rehearsals and games amongst the band members is the excitement for the game. With their music ready to go and instruments in hand, the band members are often the loudest ones in the stands cheering on their fellow bulldogs.

The band hasn’t always dominated a section in the stadiums, says Dr. Price. “The band has grown from 17 members in 2008 to now 47 members. The overall ability of the group has improved as well.”

Dr. Price strives to give every band member an opportunity to gain something from their time in the stadiums. “[Pep Band] gives students, both music majors and non-majors, an opportunity to play their instruments in sports and entertainment events,” she said. “The band also provides a wide variety of music intended to promote spirit at the various athletic events at which we play.”

Other key game day members have noted the, no pun intended, pep that the band brings. Head Football Coach, Joe Reich commented on the “special energy” that the band provides. “That is college football, having the band playing and the crowd cheering. That’s good stuff.”

The Pep Bands partner in crime, The Wingate University Cheerleader’s, have built a bond based on excitement and cheer with the musicians. “I think that the cheerleaders and pep band have been growing a relationship over the past few years,” said head cheer coach Kelly Sheppard. “We love the energy that the band gives us… I literally have to tell the girls to stay calm when the band starts up.”

Several of the Pep Band members have commented on the importance of their halftime shows.“I love performing for the people in the stands and hearing them sing along,” said junior Taylor Eudy. “It is exciting to be out there on that field and give the folks in the stand a chance to hear some tunes that they are familiar with.”

Other students in the stands have also felt the excitement that the band brings when their on the field. “It kind of stops you in your tracks. You can’t help but turn around and watch their show,” said senior Naomi Askew.

Athletes at games always find a way to show their support to the band members. Whether it’s a salute or shouted “Thanks!” from the football players celebrating a victory on the field, or a line of volleyball players after their win inside Cuddy Arena, most come together in some way to thank the band either at the stadium or in passing on campus.

When asked about their favorite tune, 12 of the 15 respondents listed Mark Ronson’s & Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk”.

Edited by: Brea Childs

Photo credit: Wingate University Athletics

Jim Wand Returns to Wingate As New Semester Begins

Harrison Taylor, Staff Writer

Dr. Jim Wand arrived on Wingate’s campus this past Tuesday to hypnotize students once again. Wand, a hypnotist, has been coming to Wingate for decades, and is currently on a college tour spanning nearly 200 shows in just a year.

Students lined up over an hour beforehand outside Austin Auditorium, as the seating was first come, first serve. “My friends and I got here as early as we could,” said junior Cameron Walser, a Marketing Major. “There was no way we were missing this.”

Backstage, Dr. Wand went over his notes half an hour before the show’s start. He tells some of the Batte Center crew a couple of jokes he has planned for the night, before going over a sound check with his sound technician.

Wand goes into extreme detail when asked what he can and cannot do. While the earlier 8 p.m. show is typically PG, the later show at 10 p.m. has been known to be a lot raunchier. The adult themes explored in the 10 p.m. make the show more popular than its predecessor, which is why some students do whatever they can to see both shows.

“It’s definitely worth the wait,” said senior Kamery Reynolds. “It’s one of my favorite things to happen on campus.”

In the beginning of the show, Dr. Wand calls up students, then points out which students have been hypnotized. He quickly hypnotizes them, then he works on hypnotizing the new volunteers.

During the show, Wand poked fun at Wingate rivals such as Queens and Catawba. He also asked students to do various stunts, such as making up new dance moves to pop songs or belting out any song that comes to their mind.

The hypnotist show was a good final end to welcome week as Wingate has welcomed its first largest freshmen class of over 1,200 new students.

Edited by: Brea Childs

Hurricane Harvey hits close to home for some Wingate students

Savanna Harris, Staff Writer

It’s unlikely that, sometime throughout the past few days, you haven’t heard something about Hurricane Harvey. With coverage on every mass media outlet from TV to radio, news about what is being called the worst storm to hit the United States in over a decade, is being heard far and wide.

Making landfall last Friday as a Category 4 storm with winds of 130 mph, Harvey has relentlessly battered the Texas coastline. Although it has since been downgraded to a tropical depression and is moving inland, a record-breaking 50+ inches of rain have fallen in some areas.

Storm surge and flooding remain as imminent threats, and officials are worried the floodwaters may not begin to recede for days. The death toll has already exceeded 30 and is expected to rise further.

When a natural disaster strikes somewhere far away, we often don’t think about the possibility of it having an impact on the people who live on campus. But, students on campus who call Texas home have suddenly found themselves in this situation.

Treslyn Ortiz, a sophmore and resident of Texas City and Katie Bludau, a senior and residents of Seabrook which are both located in the Houston area both play volleyball here at Wingate and are feeling the effects of Harvey firsthand.

Treslyn Ortiz, photo by: Savanna Harris
Katie Bludau, photo by: Savanna Harris

Both girls, who have been keeping in constant contact with family and friends back home, expressed very much concern, as well as fear, based on news from their loved ones.

“I’m worried for the people who have lost everything,” said Bludau. “The community is strong and it’s good to see them coming together. But, I’m scared and heartbroken for those who no longer have a home.”

Thankfully, neither of their homes were directly hit or badly damaged. However, having close relationships with people who weren’t as fortunate is taking its toll.  “I have a cousin whose son has diabetes but wasn’t able to be taken to the hospital,” Ortiz said. “I’m scared for them and how others are being affected as well.”

She also has an aunt whose home was flooded with 7 inches of water, but even among the devastation, her family is graciously going out and rescuing people by boat.

With everything that’s unfolding, the two girls can’t help but feel the urge to return home. According to Bludau, “I won’t be able to go home until Christmas break because of volleyball, but I’d be there in a heartbeat if I could.” But, since Wingate remains their home away from home for now, they are donating money and clothes to those in need, as well as sending good thoughts to Texas.

Edited by: Brea Childs