The Buzz Announces 2019-2020 Editorial Staff

Hello SU and Buzz Community,

 

It gives me great pleasure to announce the 2019-2020 editorial staff:

 

Anna-Claire Hart – Editor-in-Chief

Bethany Melvin – Print Editor

Benjamin Mangubat – Visuals Editor

 

These individuals have put in countless time and effort to The Buzz and truly have a vision of success for The Buzz. I cannot wait to see all the wonderful things they will accomplish in the future. These roles could not have been filled better.

I can’t wait to hand the reins over to my trusty allies! Enjoy it and have a blast.

 

It has been a fantastic year for The Buzz and I am so glad and proud I got to be a part of it as Editor. As we descend into the final weeks of my last semester at Shenandoah, I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity The Buzz has given me. I developed a deeper love for journalism and curated friendships that I will have forever. I was able to write important pieces discussing the local opioid epidemic, fun pieces on fashion and delve into the kind of writer and leader I want to be. The Buzz made me a better student, communicator, and storyteller. It is an experience I will always hold close to my heart.

 

Thank you Buzz community for reading, listening, and watching.

 

Sincerely,

Elise O’Neill-Eckman

 

Pause The Music, The Future of De’Angelo’s Dance Party

By Noah Stitt

Dance Party with De’Angelo has become a well know staple on our campus over the past year. The dynamic and lively fitness class led by the charismatic De’angelo Wynn has progressed a lot since first being offered. What was once believed to only have a couple people show up for it, now constantly has 70 plus participants per class.

 

Dance party is a great way to take a break, let loose and have fun while also burning a few calories. However, it will be seeing some changes moving forward. I was personally able to work on a video covering dance party in its early stages last year. Now I had the pleasure to catch up with De’angelo and discuss how it’s been watching the fitness class grow and what it’s going to look like as he graduates this May.

“There are lots of new and exciting things happening with dance party. The growth has been so great that we now offer 2 classes. Watching the fitness class grow… has truly been humbling. What I get out of dance party is the satisfaction of helping others achieve their fitness goals in a fun way. One principle that I try and live by is, “each one reach one, each one teach one,” and in a way leading dance party helps me reach out to others.”

 

With De’angelo crossing the stage later this Spring that may bring up the questions. Who’s taking over and what’s going to happen with the class? Wynn does not like to look at it that way, He believes that the hip hop fitness class is bigger than himself. “There is no after dance party. This is because the actual party isn’t just me. I’ve had the opportunity to train trainers who will ensure that dance party always has a home at Shenandoah. And although Wynn will be graduating in the near future, he plans to still be around as he transitions into the MBA program here at SU. Wynn is confident that the fitness class will continue on with immense success and be in good hands. “I still see a bright future for dance party with De’Angelo. I ain’t going nowhere.”

 

Miles in His Shoes

Life is an unexpected journey of trials and tribulations. When people like to express that they have it rough they say, “Walk a mile in my shoes.” But be careful who you say that to, especially around 5th-year senior Miles Green.

 

“I was adopted straight out of the womb,” says Green.  Months before Miles was born, his mother was able to choose the parents that he would get adopted by. “My mother had me when she was 17 with her boyfriend. They decided that they weren’t ready for a child.”

 

Miles was adopted by two very loving parents. He considers himself lucky now. “When I was younger I had a void to fill, because I didn’t think I was good enough for some reason. Looking back on it now, it was better this way because the family I got was super amazing.”

 

Green grew up in the state of Maryland. His family started out in Silver Spring then moved twenty minutes down the road to Potomac for better academic opportunities. He would go on to attend Thomas Wooten High School. “Wooten was 35% Asian and 15% Jewish, everybody there was very preppy and judgmental,” said Green. “They all felt entitled to something.” He was able to get away from it all with football. He dedicated himself and performed very well. So well in fact he would receive attention from Division-1 Schools.

 

His high school coach went to UVA where he played under Coach Mike London. He convinced him to come see Miles play in a 7-on-7 tournament. Coach London was impressed enough to invite him down to a camp so he could see him play in front of all the UVA coaching staff. After the camp, London offered him a scholarship to come play football at UVA. There was only one thing that Green had to do though, finish with a 3.0 GPA at the end of his first semester of his senior year.

 

“Being the cocky kid that I was, I didn’t think he would actually pull the scholarship,” said Green. “I just went through school not worrying about it.” Miles received a call at the end of the semester from Coach London informing him that he didn’t meet the GPA requirement and pulled his scholarship.

 

At this point, his collegiate career in football was in jeopardy before it even started. There was only one other school that would give him the opportunity, and that was Shenandoah university.

“I came on a regular day visit to see Coach Yoder, we toured campus and watched a lacrosse game. At the end of the day, he offered me a roster spot.” The rest is history.

 

Miles Green is set to graduate at the end of the year with a degree in Media & Communications. The path wasn’t easy but he is going into field that his hero was a part of, his adoptive father.

“My father is the greatest person ever, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without him.”

Miles in His Shoes

By Joe Fisher

Life is an unexpected journey of trials and tribulations. When people like to express that they have it rough they say, “Walk a mile in my shoes.” But be careful who you say that to, especially around 5th-year senior Miles Green.

 

“I was adopted straight out of the womb,” says Green.  Months before Miles was born, his mother was able to choose the parents that he would get adopted by. “My mother had me when she was 17 with her boyfriend. They decided that they weren’t ready for a child.”

 

Miles was adopted by two very loving parents. He considers himself lucky now. “When I was younger I had a void to fill, because I didn’t think I was good enough for some reason. Looking back on it now, it was better this way because the family I got was super amazing.”

 

Green grew up in the state of Maryland. His family started out in Silver Spring then moved twenty minutes down the road to Potomac for better academic opportunities. He would go on to attend Thomas Wooten High School. “Wooten was 35% Asian and 15% Jewish, everybody there was very preppy and judgmental,” said Green. “They all felt entitled to something.” He was able to get away from it all with football. He dedicated himself and performed very well. So well in fact he would receive attention from Division-1 Schools.

 

His high school coach went to UVA where he played under Coach Mike London. He convinced him to come see Miles play in a 7-on-7 tournament. Coach London was impressed enough to invite him down to a camp so he could see him play in front of all the UVA coaching staff. After the camp, London offered him a scholarship to come play football at UVA. There was only one thing that Green had to do though, finish with a 3.0 GPA at the end of his first semester of his senior year.

 

“Being the cocky kid that I was, I didn’t think he would actually pull the scholarship,” said Green. “I just went through school not worrying about it.” Miles received a call at the end of the semester from Coach London informing him that he didn’t meet the GPA requirement and pulled his scholarship.

 

At this point, his collegiate career in football was in jeopardy before it even started. There was only one other school that would give him the opportunity, and that was Shenandoah university.

“I came on a regular day visit to see Coach Yoder, we toured campus and watched a lacrosse game. At the end of the day, he offered me a roster spot.” The rest is history.

 

Miles Green is set to graduate at the end of the year with a degree in Media & Communications. The path wasn’t easy but he is going into field that his hero was a part of, his adoptive father.

“My father is the greatest person ever, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without him.”

Chris Oates – Against All Odds

Local Winchester resident Chris Oates thoroughly enjoyed his stand out High School basketball career at Millbrook High before going on to play college basketball. It wasn’t until his Sophomore season when Oates realized he had the talent to play college basketball. He was heavily recruited by a bunch of Division 1 and Division 3 schools such as American University and Boston University. As recruiting slowed down, family friend Erick Green reached out to Oates about the potential of playing at a Division 2 school in West Virginia. Soon after, David & Elkins become the home of Oates as he received a full scholarship to play college ball after averaging an impressive 15.7 points, 4.2 assists and 6.8 rebounds per game as a senior. However, this was the beginning of the end for Oates at David & Elkins as a series of unfortunate events lead him to transfer after his Freshman year.

Oates preaches that the coaches whom recruited him were like family. The Assistant Coach for D&E that Oates had grown close with was let go due to cuts in the athletic department. Shortly after the Head Coach resigned for reasons that are still unknown to himself and the rest of the team. After not feeling wanted by the new Head Coach, transferring was constantly on his mind. Just four games into the season Oates was diagnosed with a heart murmur and with his health in best interest he was sidelined for the remainder of the season. Oates said nothing hurt more than having to sit out the majority of his freshman career. Playing college basketball was always a dream of his and to have it start out on this note was devastating. The pain of not playing basketball hurt more than anything.

Oates admits he struggled being in a relationship with a girl that attended another school and that by holding onto his friends from high school really held him back in his freshman year. “I was at a school with 800 kids, no social life, no parties. Video games and basketball ruled my life and basketball was taken away from me so quickly” said Oates. Watching his friends enjoy nights out from the view of his Snapchat really made him miss home, wishing that he could be somewhere other than the small town of Elkins. After a long day of studying for his finals at D&E Oates was set to drive home in the early hours of the morning to attend a surprise 80th birthday party for his beloved grandmother. Mentally and physically fatigued, Oates uncharacteristically forgot to put his seatbelt back on after stopping for gas at Sheetz. Oates crashed into a tree whilst travelling around 75 mph on State Route 127 in Hampshire County of West Virginia.

Oates suffered numerous injuries and is lucky to still be here today. A fractured vertebrae, cuts all over his head, left hand and both arms ultimately prompted his decision to transfer out of D&E. Christopher Newport University and Susquehanna University were two successful Division 3 programs that Oates looked at but instead decided to return home to Winchester to play for the Shenandoah Hornets where his brother Andrew was a member of the coaching staff. “Andrew is kinda like the person who puts everything together and kinda calms me down when things get too up or too down” said Oates. The transition from D&E to SU was “easier than ever” for Oates. He had High School friends still in the area, so he immediately felt comfortable and as clique as it sounds felt at home. Oates did not move into the campus dorms and instead opted to stay at home to be with his family and avoid paying unnecessary housing expenses. Oates said, “The most difficult thing to do was not being on campus. I miss a lot of things that happen on campus and in the dorms. At times that really took its toll on me as yet again I felt like I was missing out on the real college life.”

Just as Oates settled in to life at Shenandoah, he had high hopes for the remaining few years of his college basketball career. Early in his Junior season it was just another day, another practice, another opportunity to get better and play the game he loved. Fast approaching 100% fitness again Oates in tragic circumstances went down with a compact fracture and dislocation of the fibula and tibia, resulting in 2 plates and 11 screws being inserted to support his ankle. He missed the entire season and will not be cleared for 5 on 5 activity until next August at the earliest. Just as things were getting back on track, he was struck by another unfortunate event that will impact him for the rest of his playing career. “This year was tough, mentally along with physically. The whole experience has been eye opening because it gave me a taste of how meaningful playing basketball is and having it taken away so abruptly with no warning sucked.” Oates has missed an abnormally large amount of his playing career and says there were times like after his accident where he even questioned whether or not he wanted to play the game he loves again. As history shows Oates chose to persevere against all odds and decided that if he has made it through what he has so far in his life, he can make it through this.

So it begins, 12 long months of mental and physical torture as Oates prays he will be able to complete his first and final full season of college basketball. Many have doubted whether he will ever be the same player that he once was or even half of that, but Oates uses all this as motivation to prove everyone wrong. “It’s kinda motivational for me to try and come back better than ever”. Oates claims his rehab has been going great, “I see improvements every single day whether it is a big or even minor improvement”.

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His running motion is starting to develop again, and he expects to slowly be able to ease back into jumping and basketball activity by the end of April. Oates admits that at times the long process of rehab is exhausting and frustrating. “To be honest, everything is just going slow, there’s some days where I feel like nothing is wrong and that I’m completely normal and then there’s days where I’m in pain doing something, I’ve done before.” Without the support of his family Oates doesn’t think he will be where he is today, they are always by his side through thick and thin.

Oates started out his college dream in West Virginia and found his way back home to here in Winchester. It took a heart murmur, a near death car crash and both fracturing and dislocating his ankle to realize what was important in life. He describes his college experience in one word. “Growth”. “It’s weird too like my whole high school career I was saying man I just wanna leave so I can grow up, while I did that at D&E it took me coming home to actually realize that none of that party stuff is important besides getting better as a person and as a player.” I look forward to tracking Oates’s rehab and hopefully seeing him take the court for the Hornets in his much-anticipated Senior season. I have complete faith that once again, Chris Oates will rise against all odds.

New Parking Policies

By Brandon Cash

We have all had problems with parking here on the Shenandoah University campus. Whether it is students, staff or the faculty, this year it seems campus security is cracking down on their parking policy.

After being a student on this campus for five years now, I have seen the parking policy change often. We used to be able to park wherever without this or that lot preventing you from parking there.

I recently spoke to a fellow Shenandoah student Ibrahim Bundu in regard to the parking policy. He told me, “I don’t usually get tickets, but the other day I got one where I was allowed to park and that it wasn’t right.”

Captain William C. Christian from the Department of Public Safety said, “I believe the students have a good understanding of the policy regarding parking here on campus.” He also stated that his department took initiative on the issue with giving out warnings for about a month or so before they started issuing tickets to students.” He believes that the students know where to park, but they disregard the policy due to being late to classes, and not taking the time to find the appropriate parking space in the designated areas.

There have been measures taken to make parking better here on campus, but how are we affectively using that system? For instance, the freshman parking garage was put in to free up space beside parker and in front of Funk/Gore, but often those spaces are filled up.

We want to hear from you. Have the parking conditions here on the Shenandoah University campus gotten better or worse?

Campus Safety in Winter

By Kiara Hagan

Many students on campus have cars as transportation, but for some students walking and other things (bike, scooter, etc.) are the only options. This winter SU has gotten some of the coldest weather it’s ever seen. With temperatures lower than 20 degrees and snow fall almost each week, these weather conditions make it hard for students who don’t drive to get to and around campus safely. Icy roads, sidewalks, and heavy snow are all things that can make it unsafe for students to get to campus.

 

I sat down with Barry Schnoor, director of utilities to discuss how students who don’t have mobile transportation can get to and around campus safely. He started off by saying that the first step of safety for students is a meeting with the “Weather Team” which includes – Vice President, Provost, Director of Public Safety, Auxiliary Services, senior administrator for the satellite at the Scholar plaza and PCPH locations, and himself.

 

The weather team looks at the events that being held that day and the day after and decide if they are still happening. “There may be a basketball game, lacrosse game or a theater production so sometimes the athletic director from SU and the other school have to decide if it’s safe for either team to travel to the game same with the conservatory” said Schnoor. He also said that they try to make the decision about closings and cancellation the evenings before the next day. Schnoor gave two websites and two physical forms of help that he and his team look at when deciding the safety of students, “students can look at the websites as well, they’re plenty of them”.

When speaking with Schnoor he also said that deciding these decisions are difficult because “we still have a university to run”. “Sometimes I wake up at 4 am and go outside to see for myself what the weather is like from there I text my staff and let them know”. When deciding the safety of the students, SU also has to consider the staff. Most of the SU staff doesn’t live close so even if campus is safe in certain conditions the road and different counties circumstances have to be taken in to account as well. “We don’t always get it right”, said Schnoor.

The safety of the entire University is not an easy job, but procedures like these are what helps students and faculty to remain safe on and off campus.

Big Risks Equal Big Rewards For International Students

By Chris Oates

Shenandoah University students call many different places home. Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, and various parts of Virginia are the hotspots for incoming freshmen and transfers.

While most of us can make a simple 2 hour drive back home over a long weekend or for christmas break, other students aren’t so lucky.

 

According to Lora Steiner, The International Student Advisor for the University, says that little over 80 international students makeup little over 3,800 total student body here at Shenandoah University.

Students from abroad come to pursue opportunities that could change their lives in a new home. Whether it is a pursuit of education and to graduate with a degree, athletics, or even just a change in scenery.

 

“Many of our students struggle with adapting to slang and they way we speak… our tone of voice coming from us in a sarcastic and funny way to our friends is common but to a student from another country some who aren’t accustomed to it may get offended” said Steiner. “Americans tend to value really direct communication, and we don’t ‘sugarcoat’ a lot of things”.

 

She goes onto say that the similar ways American students hear about Shenandoah is how international students hear about it as well. “It is shocking. Most international students hear about Shenandoah through various independent research about a program that we offer, word of mouth by somebody who formerly went here… ultimately being close to D.C is a huge part of it”.

 

While some abroad students research Shenandoah University about their programs. Some of our programs tend to look for ‘diamonds in the rough’ from other countries.

Harry Wall, a freshman from Wellington, New Zealand, was given an opportunity to not only come to Shenandoah University to get an education, but also was recruited to play on our Men’s Basketball team.

“I took a big risk,” said Wall. He also said he had some doubts about living so far from home. When asked about his doubts to fit in at Shenandoah. “I wanted to find out what I liked and didn’t like about it, and if I could really live so far away from home”. Wall’s flight from Auckland International Airport to Dulles Airport in Virginia was almost 22 hours.

“Many people have helped me fit right in. A lot of faculty from the International Program from the University invited me along with other kids that came from other countries” said Wall. “I met a lot of people from my FYS class and went to dinner with them…. it got me closer with people on campus.”

 

Wall credits his teammates and coaches when asked about how basketball has helped him with fitting into American culture. “Coach Walsh and Coach Peters have been great to me with their understanding… and have helped me with a lot of stuff since I came here.”

 

Wall understands that his life as a international student will always be important to him. “I miss my family, but I want to pursue things in life and I know it will be difficult, but I can do it” said Wall. “Of course at the beginning of the year, so many people asked me about my accent and how New Zealand is and it was a bit annoying, but now that we’re in the second semester they know me as Harry Wall, Shenandoah student and not just the kid from New Zealand”

Photo credits to SU Hornets

SU Transfer Students Embrace New Challenges

By Nathan Lewando

Tough. Difficult. Challenging. That is how Shenandoah University transfer students are describing their first semester. From feeling separated socially to having to make adult decisions for the first time, these students are facing challenges in their lives they haven’t seen before.

 

Chris Oates, a transfer to Shenandoah that’s been here over three years, says it’s definitely been a struggle. “It was difficult for me coming in as a transfer, I didn’t have any of that special bond with someone to share any of those college “struggles” like living in a dorm or things of that nature with anyone since I’m from Winchester” said Oates.

Still, don’t expect them to be intimidated.

 

“I’ve liked it so far.” Said Jahvon Noray, a transfer student in his first semester. “It’s kinda like a puzzle because you’re trying to connect the pieces and make everything fit.” Noray continued to say, “it was definitely an adjustment because I am on my own for the first time and I have to make adult decisions with not a lot of guidance so it’s definitely tough”.

 

While the challenges are there, SU transfer students are using all the help and resources at their disposal according to the Orientation and Persistence Director, Amy Sine. “The programs such as Transfer Connection have definitely picked up steam over the past few years with Transfer students and we have had more attendance in programs such as Transfer Connection. The students are more actively participating in the monthly program” said Sine.

 

Sine went on to talk about the positive feedback she has gotten from transfer students in recent years. “This year we have had a lot more participation from Transfer students in Transfer Connection and we have received great feedback that they are feeling more connected to campus and a better sense of community” said Sine

 

Whether it’s using resources like Transfer Connection or just embracing the new challenges like doing a puzzle, SU transfer students aren’t scared of the challenges ahead.

 

eSports Experiences Success in First Year

By Andrew Coffman

In the inaugural season of E-Sports at Shenandoah University expectations have been blown out of the water.

 

“My expectations for the year were to have 12-15 students and just to complete at 1 or 2 games at a national or regional competition,” said Dr. Joey Gawrysiak, the founder and leader of both the E-Sport major and team at Shenandoah University.

 

The team now bolsters a varsity roster of over 35 students who compete on 3 different games at the national level every week.

 

Even with the program being new, they’ve seen success early. “We’re number 1 right now in the region in Overwatch, we’re in the top 50% in League of Legends, and our Rocket League team is competing against professional teams,” said Gawrysiak.

 

With the early success and growth have come some growing pains. As the team grows, a bigger space to compete and more coaches will be needed. But Gawrysiak feels these are “good” problems to have.

 

Despite the quick expansion, the E-Sports team is always looking for more students to add to their growing team. “If the students want to do it, then I want to give them a place to do this,” Gawrysiak said. “That’s the point of having this organization.”

 

If you have interest in joining the E-Sports team contact Dr. Gawrysiak at jgawrysi@su.eduor visit the E-Sports lab in the basement of the Health and Life Sciences Building.

Global Game Jam

Global Game Jam

By Jesse Ya Diul

Over the weekend of January 25th – 27th, Shenandoah University took part in the Global Game Jam. Headed by Professor Graham Spice along with help from the ESports and the computer science departments, the Global Game Jam gave anyone who was interested the chance to create a video game from scratch.  

The Global Game Jam is an event that happens every year in which participants from all around the world are given 48 hours to develop a video game which best reflects a particular theme. The theme for this years Game Jam was: What Does Home Mean To You? Students from both the computer science department and the conservatory worked together to create a game which centered around that theme.

The game is entitled Homebox. Its initial concept was developed by freshmen Michaela Brayboy. Brayboy’s unique interpretation of the theme helped her come up with the idea for the game. “People always say that home is where whoever you love is [well] why not start with the soul and the soul finding home, and home and your life being what you make it”. The game takes place before you are ‘born’ when you are simply a soul. As you travel throughout the game’s landscape, there are choices you have to make which have an impact on your character and determine the outcome of the game. The game ends with the sounds of a hospital and your soul being ‘born’ into the world.

Creating the game was a complete in-house effort as students contributed and learned about the strenuous process of creating a video game. Wes Brown, an employee of Shenandoah University who works for the ESports department, provided assistance to the students by compiling a group of tutorials to help teach students about the process of creating a game. “24 of the 48 hours were spent watching YouTube tutorials” joked Professor Spice.50624126_10100169504448711_2550038125061603328_o-1

Professor Spice views the Global Game Jam as an opportunity for students involved to put something on their resumes that will give them a better chance of landing a job as they look to professional life after college. “If you can get a project which you actually have your name on, that you did stuff with, that gets you in the door so much faster… We are putting are graduates on a path towards a profession if that’s what they want to do” said Spice.

 

Homebox is available for free download here and a short trailer for the game is also available here.

 

Documentary: What are eSports and why should SU care?

By: Jeremy Flaherty, Martijn Goosens & Jacob Yard

Shenandoah University is one of the first universities to offer an eSports major. Take an inside look!